Tuesday, August 19, 2014



Our founding fathers used those very words to warn us against mob rule and mob influence.  Collectively we are much more evil than we are individually, a fact long ago described by Rhinhold Niebur in his book "Moral Man and Immoral Society.  The street rage in Ferguson, Missouri proves the point---in spades.  They are enraged and irrational---and probably DEAD WRONG in their assumptions about the death of that youth.  They have given no thought the central question of how a policeman is supposed to deal with an attack.  Should the policeman "fight him fair"? Not use his weapon.? This kid could possibly have killed the policeman.
The message that should go out to anyone dealing with a policeman is that  TO RESIST ARREST IS TO RISK DEATH.  If you did no wrong---if you have been misunderstood---you will have a chance to explain an justify yourself.
I know whereof I speak here because I have made more than 200 arrests on the streets of New Orleans and three times I have been put in fear of my life.  Once in Desire Street Project, I was surrounded by by a crowd of angry blacks.  Luckily, backup arrived just in time.

Most of us have cause to be angry---about lots of things---economic injustice primarily.  We should, from time to time, take to the streets in peaceful protest.  But this issue is the wrong one to mobilize around. I predict that in the end it will be judged by the courts to be "A JUSTIFIABLE SHOOT".

Friday, August 15, 2014


There is no English equivalent for this Spanish word describing EXACTLY what I am doing.  Here's what it looks like in action.

After sleeping on the altar stone at Stonehenge, I met this nice couple bicycling from the West coast to the east---3000 miles.  Only 2500 to go.

I'm drifting West and I've just  contacted  a holy man on that mountain in the distance.  Recognize it ---It's Mt Hood.  He's up there meditating--and whatever holy men do. We are friends and he's agreed to come down from the mountain and meet me in Hood River, Oregon a few days hence.

I pause at a rest area for a nap and wake surrounded by prisoners.  I walked among them to see what I would feel.  (uneasy) Took this picture surreptitiously.

The river along here is wide and beautiful but it's time to find a place to camp.

On pure instinct I turned into this dead end road. 

Found this great campsite.  Settled in for 2 nights.  Hiked the area.

At the appointed time and place my friend showed up.

Most of my readers will recognize him at once, Wayne Wirs a vagabond mystic I met some years ago.

He shows me the latest tweaks to his rig--overhead storage, etc.

I'm intrigued by the supporting technology and plumbing he's installed in the rear. This type rig may be the best way yet devised to move freely and frugally about the country.

We walk and talk all day---about things mystical and material--while appreciating the wind-powered sub culture here.  The winds here are said to be the best in the world--- 

for kite surfing.  Amazing to watch them skim across the water---and then skim back at the same speed.

Wayne returned to the mountain heights while I passed the night at this hidden nook just outside the city limits.  (How did I find it?  I asked a van dweller)

Continuing West on the Oregon side of the river, I pulled into a spot to find this lovely lady.  Can you guess who she is?  Of course---it's an idealized sculpture of Sacagawea the Indian guide to Lewis and Clarke.
Ah yes, and here she is again---IN SEDONA ARIZONA.  Different dress--same lady. I thought she looked familiar.  And this time I will show you the son she gave birth to on the journey and carried on her back.  (prepare yourself--this is a bit of sculptural genius)

There he is---comforting himself by touching mom's finger. 

Stopped again to see what this guy was doing on his platform above the river.  Fishing of course--sort of--he's just dipping a hoop net into the water. 
And damned if the fish don't just swim right into it.  Wonders won't cease.  He drove to a roadside pull off and offered them for sale.

I'm nearing the western end of the Columbia Gorge---will find a place to settle for the night before crossing Portland.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:    Steinbeck distilled his vacilando into his book TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY. I  find it a very satisfying way to travel.  Next entry I hope to catch up with myself on the coast.  My overall hope is that my adventures distill into something useful I can share..  And If not, I simply will have enjoyed myself.  Not a bad gamble.

Wayne Wirs

Thursday, August 07, 2014



I know there's a holy place near---high on a lonely hill.  Yes---that's it---I can drive there.

Nary a soul in sight---but I know the Tycoon is somewhere near.

This is the memorial he built--a replica of Stonehenge as it originally looked--complete with its sacrificial altar stone.  I go looking for his resting place.

Somewhere overlooking the majestic Columbia river.

And that tiny village below.

Ah yes, there he is--a man rich enough to own a private cemetery-for-one.  a man whose very name is a cliche and you have likely spoken it:  SAM HILL----(as in: Who in Sam Hill did this or that )

Meet Sam Hill---a man I admire---a visionary.  Read all about him:here

I go back and let the stones and the moment speak to me.
It is requesting intimacy?---not sure what that might mean.

I walk the area---relax my mind--consult my intuition.  Shall I camp the night here?---is that what it wants--company?

I wander back inside---darkness descends---the windmills whisper on.  Still no answer.

I Watch the perigee moonrise. ( closest to earth)


Yes--sleep-- right there-- on the altar stone!  I got a rush contemplating it---hurriedly--got a foam pad and a sleeping bag--lay down feeling delighted---this was exactly what I felt drawn to do.  As I lay there looking at the sky I saw one tiny curious thing: a white light with about double the brilliance of Venus illuminated directly overhead for about 3 seconds and faded--like a slow wink.  Didn't repeat.  Found it intriguing--not scary.  Resolved to do more of this--to sleep some star-filled night atop my rig and look at the sky.---Things are happening up there. if you look awhile you'll see. 
 I had a dream but forgot it.  But dreams do their work --remembered or not.

Woke with sunrise and took this selfie---feeling satisfied and complete--like I'd had a night with a lover.
I'm guessing that you too have slept on an altar stone---or its equivalent--sometime in your life.

So why do I mention the ghost of Einstein?  Because near this spot--June 9, 1918,  Astronomer Heber Curtis came here to photograph a total eclipse that would validate  or disprove Einstein's theory.  His mission was inconclusive because of clouds---but his highly publicized effort made Einstein famous.    

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  I'm glad I did this weird thing---it felt right. Engaging recently with my mystical friend Wayne Wirs influences me to listen for subtle messages wherever I find myself. What if he's right? ---What if there is available to us wisdom and guidance beyond our immediate conscious, thinking--knee jerk mind?  What if there's a better guide.  I like to think of it as my deepest intuition.  Wayne calls it something else.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014


I'VE MENTIONED LAKE MISSOULA---an ancient lake created by an ice dam and containing 500 cubic miles of water that broke loose in a single day creating the world's greatest flood---rushing across the landscape of southeast Washington--sweeping away everything in its path and creating a vast eerie wasteland called the scablands.  Read about: here                                                                          

I drove into the scablands

a few miles to get the flavor of them.

Imagine that vast flood sweeping across here.

Spent the day in Sprague, Wa. A wheat/railroad town once larger than Spokane.  Walked around town chatting with folks and researching in city hall.

At a rest area I met this terrific guy: Steve Borejko a Canadian philosopher and motorcycle racer.  We talked a whole afternoon away 

Across the way you can see where the scablands end and  wheatlands begin

At exit 231 I parked for the night at this dead end road.  A strange and lonely man came by on his 4 wheeler to invite me to his campground across the freeway.  I politely declined but got his story. Summary: He's been  stuck for 30 plus years  operating an old Stuckys shop. Never saw a Stuckys??  Never ate ate their famous pecan roll?  Here's what they looked like

Next day on a whim I visited the dying town of Sprague, Wa.  Chatted with some folks--got intrigued--spent some hours reading the town history in city hall.  Learned this town was once larger than Spokane.
Wheatlands---You are looking at the breadbasket of America.  

I got entranced and decided to spend a night in its midst---found a remote road with a view and settled in.  Only one car came by.

Spent the next day in Ritzville --Library and around town.  A small touch of irony that the town has a Ritz theater.  Chamber of commerce lady said that it's possible that ritz crackers get their name from the local-- especially fine-- wheat.

A retired guy who sliced a model T lengthwise and mounted it on his garage.

And now we come to the DEAD MAN TALKING part.  I came here looking for this very spot. This is Columbia park in Kennewick, Wa.  and that is the Columbia river.  Right there---is  where a skeleton was found by a bulldozer operator--and set in motion one of the great legal battles of our time---Scientist versus Indians.  Turns out "KENNEWICK MAN" was 9000 years old and WAS NOT AN INDIAN.   And to the world's astonishment HE LOOKED EXACTLY LIKE PATRICK STEWART--captain of the star ship enterprise.


Here they are side by side.  Isn't that amazing?
  Ahhhh yesss sweet people---do you get the drift of the controversy?  Who really---were the first people in America and where did they come from?  Read the story here :
Stayed the night and moved on along the north shore of the Columbia River

A lovely, lonely road
with about a thousand wonderful windmills along its edge.  It's 83 miles across here without a service station.
RANDY RUMINATES:  I'm on my way to a mystical, spooky place where I will do a daring deed.  Stay tuned.