Monday, December 7, 2015


The search for dry weather necessitated a change of schedule and direction  from the Atlantic shore to southwest desert, posthaste.

 After a few days of grinding out miles on the interstate highways escaping the freezing northern temps we swung onto the Great River Road following the Mississippi River to Vicksburg, MS for one last motel evening before readying the RV for our winter home.

Duncan, MS, population 400 fell on hard times years ago and never recovered.  It is less than 5 miles from the Mississippi River and home of blues legend Eddie C. Campbell, renowned blues guitarist.

What's a ride through the back roads of Mississippi without sweet potatoes, cracklins and boiled peanuts?

Natchez, MS   Bald Cypress swamp.

Cameron, LA. RV Park    10 years post Hurricane Rita. When you are the only game in town you can charge exorbitant rates with a smile.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Slowly threading my way back home from a winter of professional snowbirding,  spoon carving, harp blowing and sun tanning. This morning on Highway 60 just east of Phoenix/Superior, AZ my attention was drawn by a crow landing on one of those little US Forrest Service roadside signs,
            OAK FLAT CAMPING  ---->

My first thought pulling into the campground reading these signs was Wounded Knee revisited and I damn near “did the loop” and exited back to the highway. If you read the book, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee you know what I mean, everyone was a target, native and white alike.

Then I thought, “What the hell, I’ve had a good run, if this is my last day, it’s a good day to die.”  I read that somewhere in an Indian book.  I’m the Curious George type.  I really wanted to know what was up and the only way to get a close-up taste was to stay. I could read about it on the Interweb but we all know there are so much half-truths and hear-says getting to the quick is sometimes impossible.  As luck would have it a space large enough to back in the big rig was there on the fringe of the protesters encampment.  Just as I saw the empty space I spied a white guy in the mess tent. I figured someone else of like color was here and alive, I’ll stay.  Might be a captive but if I escape, what a story.  I fill my cup with three fingers of gorilla juice to get my brave on and walk on over to their central fire.

 “Every time I’ve tried to make that dough blanket it’s either too sticky or too dry, do you put magic in your flour?” I ask. Laura Wind Girl replies, focusing intently while making perfectly round flour tortillas and without looking at me, says, “Woman’s touch.”  Everyone within hearing laughs. I was the joke.  I think,“This is good, I’m not a threat, just another dumb white guy.”

Wrap up the pulled meat, slip it in the boiling water and let’er cook

He told me his name was Crooked Leg but that I must call him Ekips or his tongue wouldn‘t let him talk.  Fine by me. I first asked if he was the Pottawatomie, keeper of the fire?  Splashing around the little Indian I knew might help, right? 

Pigtail beard was the coolest guy in the camp, possibly the brightest and surely the most friendly to me. He kept the fire just right for cooking and warming during the cool evenings and blazing during cold mornings. I never saw him put a log on the fire but it was always perfect.   I asked him if he had a short Pin Oak log about (I measured with my thumbs and index fingers making a circle.)  this big and a tomahawk handle long.  He looked at me like I was f’ing crazy, stepped close and whispers in my ear, “You mean white man trinket tomahawk or long ago tap your white ass with coup stick tomahawk?”  and motioned me to follow. I couldn’t follow until I dried my eyes from laughing. 

 His wood pile was beautiful. He bowed, unfurled his arm and hand toward his wood pile, and said, “I make pipes and you make spoons. Jim Beam may have erased my memory but damn if I remember telling him about carving spoons.  

What a fantastic little log I found, knotted, knurled  and wind twisted with an up-bend that would be the handle.  He smiled like he knew I was coming and had saved this very log for me.  He makes pipes from these logs and I could feel the kinship of wood reverence

It was payback time for Arizona Republican Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake after feeding from the money trough of Australian/British mining giant, RIO TINTO.  Normal goings-on but a cheap shot none-the-less by attaching a sneaky “midnight rider” using the 2015 Defense Bill as cowardly cover.   Now unless the San Carlos Indian Tribe is able to garner support for repeal of  *The Southeast Arizona Land Exchange,*  with powers greater than prayer, another chunk of  our America will be gobbled up by foreign industrial machines.

Oak Flat is a beautiful camping ground and sacred  Apache Indian land gone to the highest bidder. The real “kicker” here is this was supposed to be Federally Protected Land.  Turns out it was protected for the rich to rape and plunder at will.


Without the consumer’s consumption there would be no need for production.   Slow or even-out population growth and our progeny may still be able to see a few of the sights I now see.

Phoenix New Times account of how it all came down.

More information and pictures on the official Facebook page:

Sunday, March 1, 2015


February slid into the yesterday folder with a grand goodbye signaling an advancing storm.

March 1st sunrise, no storm but it'll be here.  Flood warnings posted.

Barb and Chloe retired from the work-a-day world and are now beginning a new career of publishing self help and Do It Yourself  internet features. I know she's bright and stubborn enough to take her dream to fruition.

Burros wandering the desert looking for anything new and green to munch.  They hung around by the RV for the the morning, descended into a nearby wash and disappeared.

Happily I was able to visit with my buddy Spike a couple of times this year.  A modern day nomad leaving as small a footprint as possible and still enjoy creature comforts in his solar equipped van.     I asked him for a few parting words:  

Action potential
Potential informs future
You can call me Spike

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Staying ahead of the snow, I raced from Madison, WI., in record time, stopping only for gas and sleep. One night stays in Walmart parking lots, state parks and various city parks. My buddy loaned me a CD, " HARP ATTACK."  James Cotton-Junior Wells-Carey Bell-Billy Branch.  Played that CD the whole way.  Driving music if your into blues harp.
                                           Or go to:

November the 10th, Earp, CA, morning coffee "On the hill." Warm sunshine.

Just over the Colorado River, from my spot on the hill, is Big River, AZ. where I opened a PO BOX. This is Charlene, post mistress of the one person post office...You are looking at the *whole* post office. Window hours, 11AM-3PM 6 days a week.

After a month on the hill I got a little restless and took a short trip up north of Lake Havasu, AZ. and squatted down on BLM land, Scraggy Wash, and walked the hills for a few days.

This picture was taken while sitting on the RV steps the second day at Scraggy Wash. Sheep or goats, never did figure out which.

Back in Earp, just a few days ago, while out walking, I had just come up to the top of a steep banked wash and three burros were staring at me. I froze so as not to scare them off.  No worry, after a few minutes I began walking toward them and they just ambled on their way with not the least concern of my presence. This picture was taken with my phone, so as you see, they were fairly close.

Most days end with  gorgeous to spectacular sunsets. A little splash of Jim Beam coupled with the sky fire is a perfect way to end the day.

The world is on a collision course with the things that keep us alive and healthy - the air, water, soil and variety of life. Corporations, especially those with head offices in some other part of the country or the world care little for the interests of local ecosystems or communities, except in so far as they interfere with the drive to maximize profit for shareholders. They have no obligation to protect local ecosystems or local communities. Their sole goal is to make as much money as they can get away with.   David Suzuki’s grandson, Tamo Campos.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


      Return to my winter desert home in Earp, CA

Western Desert or Arizona  Tarantula is not particularly venomous but you won't see me petting this guy.

 Jack, a painter, an artist who embraces giving back to the system, loathes fakes, government subconscious control and TV.  Touching finger to forehead, he says, "Remove ego and the ability of distorting art with flamboyant verbal foolery and you just might find an artist."

Fire rings, recent and ancient, telling tales of today's wheeled campers and yesterday's indigenous nomads.  One particular circle of rocks, undisturbed, ashes within long dissolved by weather calls me, "Sit and listen."  Snapping a few branches from the creosote bush that is now home within the ring I touch a match to dry tinder . Who last warmed or cooked here? How long ago? A hundred years, a thousand, more? This is indigenous country, CRIT, Colorado River Indian Tribes. My mind wanders,  imagination flames.

Monday, November 3, 2014


I stopped to see my old and very dear friend that now lives in a satellite burb of Madison, WI.  One of those curve balls was served up to JT and she accepted without missing a step. Through rehab she taught herself to talk and balance, and unimaginable to me, re-learned everything from dominate right hand to left in order to once again be self sufficient.

  Losing an arm and a leg ain't for the timid.

"It's all inside, I just had to learn a new way to let it out," She giggled, a giggle that makes everyone smile.  The giggle that the thief Stroke never found.

Being close to the ground in a wheelchair one sees what others miss. Another of JT's eclectic loves, collecting and arranging metal of weathered patina.

A stroke can be an ugly thief or a new path. We see what JT chose. Sympathy simply was not in the cards. Self pity will destroy all that is good.

Friday, October 31, 2014



Time to paint the days with southern sunshine.

Pulled the home-fires plug a couple of days ago, buttoned up the old shack for it's winter hibernation and ran away from home to once again visit the Blue Roads in warmer climes.

I'm not sure my one vote is going to make a difference, but....maybe, just maybe~~

Down the road 50 miles to my medical care facility, The Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center, Iron Mountain, MI. I'll have regular testing for  glaucoma, the easy-to-control kind, "open angled" and pick up little pills for the next six months that make my blood slippery and drops to keep my eyes healthy. Kudos to the VA, at least here in my neck of the woods. I feel fortunate to be a part of the Veterans Administration Health Care System.

Sleepover at the Oscar G Johnson VA Medical Center.

So my buddy, Camo Man, calls me and says, "Beale Street."    I think, "I bet it's warmer there than it is here," but first a JT rendezvous in Madison, WI..... and then see how long I can ride the Great River Road toward the Delta...As far as Memphis, I hope

Dusting of snow this morning in Nekoosa, WI  Good to be plugged-in at the HO-CHUNK Casino. At 28 degrees F, the electric heater runs continually.