Monday, July 21, 2014

SHORT STORIES Part 4 --RED SUN LABYRINTH

A PLACE OF POSSIBILITY---far into the countryside around Victor, Montana--my companion leads us to a famous labyrinth.  If you don't know what a labyrinth is click here: http://www.redsunlabyrinth.com/ or google labyrinth.

When we arrive we are greeted by this gate and instructions to push that buzzer.  A very nice man welcomed us, answered our questions and set us on a path. 

He disappeared into this lovely country home---said that the labyrinth was his wife's inspiration.

This one
turns into a WISDOM WALK with lots of sayings like this
and this

and this (especially like this)

and this

and this

Till we get to the gate

opening into this huge labyrinth.  I walk in an accepting spirit and assume a posture I've seen Laurie take on similar occasions

The center also has messages.  You'll have to go see them for yourself.

It began to rain----did not dampen this lady's will to walk the entire path.  Umbrella courtesy of the host.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  A more pleasant and inspirational experience than I expected.  I am learning to say yes to my friends suggestions. I don't know if walking a labyrinth has any magic or healing in it---maybe it does---if you let it.  I left refreshed and thoughtful. 














Thursday, July 17, 2014

SHORT STORIES OF LIFE ON THE ROAD---Part 3

THE BEST REST STOP IN AMERICA?? MACKAY IDAHO

An eight star rest stop: 1. It's free  2. Has water 3 A dump 4. A beautiful view 5 Phone service 6. Internet access 7. Quiet 8. Close to town


Don't know why they do it---but it's much appreciated

Small town--We walk its entirety--chat with it's deputy'
He declined to be photographed---the cop killings in Vegas fresh in his mind.


Thank you Mackay


Salmon Idaho campground with a great show behind my rig. A mother osprey with 3 chicks.

We stay a few days enjoying the drama.  The father flew in with a small fish.



Days are hot---90+ and mom shields her 3 chicks with her wings.


A fish wheel---whose purpose is to protect fish---specifically baby salmon--on their way to the ocean.
This complicated and expensive machinery is necessary because farmers and ranchers along the river dig canals to divert water to their fields and pastures.  Too often the small fish headed downstream mistake the diversion for the main channel and end up dying in a field.  This machine prevents that. 


 here's how :   Tiny salmon who swim into this canal (from the left)are channeled by these vee positioned  stainless steel tubes to a focal point where they are swept into a tube that sends them back into the main channel.  Water flows freely through thousands of tiny holes in the tubes and then makes it way to the large water wheel----- turning it with enough power to sloowly rotate the steel tubes.


Here's a single wheel version perhaps easier to grasp.  Water is flowing from right to left--turning the paddle wheel which rotates that rod---which slowly turns the perforated cylinder.  The tiny salmon fry are shunted into that notch on the right and down a buried tube.

and out this pipe back into the river.
(damned clever contraption )

The steel cylinders get clogged and must be cleaned occasionally.There are hundreds of these all along the Salmon river---many versions for special situations---and PAID FOR BY THE BONNEVILLE DAM.

I'm fascinated by hermits.  Years ago I met this one and paid 2 dollars for a tour of his cave.  He played his guitar and sang me a song.


So imagine my surprise to see him featured in the Salmon Museum.

PREVIEWS OF COMING STORIES.  AN EMU EXPERIENCE---VISIT TO A LABYRINTH--I CHALLENGE MYSELF TO SPEND THE NIGHT ALONE IN A VERY SPOOKY PLACE.








Tuesday, July 15, 2014

SHORT STORIES OF LIFE ON THE ROAD---PART 2

BUSTER'S BIG BRAINSTORM
Meet Buster and son---two men with a dream ---in Hollister,  Idaho
I walked right up to them and asked if we could camp in their parking lot.  They said yes to us total strangers.

Here is the raw material of their dream:  Transform this old building into a good time bar and grill.  He just retired from trucking and no doubt having visited hundreds of good-time places knows just what makes for good comradery.  It should be ready soon--so stop in and enjoy BUSTERS BAR AND GRILL in Hollister, Idaho---just south of Twin Falls.
Just north of Twin Falls we settle at the fringe of a truck stop for two days to catch up on movies.  The lesson here is that you can camp in thousands of places--BY JUST DOING IT.

That's a very long drop to the Snake River below.  Evel Kenevil tried and failed to jump this canyon on a rocket powered cycle.

These guys regularly jump off this bridge and parachute--

down, down to the riverbank.  Only 3 or 4 have died in the many years that thousands have jumped.  One jumper said of his state's permissiveness:  We let adults be adults here.  What a sharp contrast to San Francisco who recently decided to spend countless millions on a safety net under the Golden Gate Bridge.
North from Twin Falls toward the Saw tooth mountains in the distance, I notice a genuine shepherd's wagon beside the road. 

We stay awhile in Shoshone, Id-- walked around and admired this prize winning horse welded from thousands of  leaf-shaped pieces of iron.

Then called it a night atop this hill beside the woods hole recreation area. Years ago, I saw a quirky happening here: A crow flew down when a camper called him and ate something from the guy's hand.

Moving East on hwy 20

to Craters of the Moon National Park----not very well known but interesting. That's us and our neighbors camping in a vast field of lava.

There's great hiking here too.  Lots of caves--large and small.  Two days here and we move on.


To Arco, Id---first town in the world to be powered by atomic power. (if only for a few minutes)
Here's the conning tower from US submarine # 666--the USS Hawksbill-called appropriately the Devils Submarine.  It was  nuclear powered and had a distinguished career---made the national news when it surfaced at the north pole in 1984.  Decommissioned in 2000 and its conning tower placed here..
A nearby kiosk has lots of good info including this bold and controversial statement claiming that Atomic bombs have, on balance, been a force for good.  I AGREE

and here are the numbers to prove his contention.  Can you see the numbers: WWI--15 million deaths---WWII--50 million deaths---(only 200,000 of them by Nuclear weapons)  Since then the world has so feared the consequences of nuclear exchange that a fearful peace has restrained the nuclear powers. 
It has also united them in limiting the spread of nuclear capability. 

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  I once wrote a letter to  Edward Teller thanking him for the development of the hydrogen bomb---a weapon so terrible that sane people would not use it.  It does not prevent small wars ---only big ones.  It prevents empire building and stabilizes borders and spheres of influence. Sentimentalist are the biggest threat to world peace because they lack the heart to do hard but necessary things----like sending 60,000 kids back to central America to show that we will not absorb  their surplus population and problems.  The inexpensive and obvious answer to that problem is to finance a giant, secure compound DOWN THERE to house them till they leave on their own accord or are retrieved by their parents.





Saturday, July 12, 2014

SEEING THE ELEPHANT AND OTHER SHORT STORIES OF LIFE ON THE ROAD

I'M WAY BEHIND IN REPORTING MY ADVENTURES---SO I WILL COMPRESS THEM IN THE NEXT FEW ENTRIES.
DONNA'S---A REAL LIVE BROTHEL----WELLS NEVADA. 


Not very attractive outside---didn't go inside---but quizzed the locals about the details---like-- HOW MUCH??  The short answer here is $150 for a quickie.  For more details: http://www.businessinsider.com/prostitution-legal-nevada-prostitutes-brothels-sex-2011-12?op=1

Way out in the boondocks, we stop to get the story of the Pony Express.





Then back on the road I had this eerie experience of a "Ghost rider".  Can you see it or is it a spot on my windshield.  Anyway it vanished as soon as I clicked the camera.








This mountain has long been an obstruction to East/West traffic near Elko, Nv and just recently they decided to permanently solve the problem---

with this tunnel through the mountain.



On the far side is a terrific museum explaining the wagon trail to California that passed here.



It was closed!  Soooo, we just stayed the night right here at the gate.






And were glad we did.  Terrific dioramas like this made us appreciate their heroism.




Outside they showed how the local Indians could make a serviceable shelter in two hours or so.  Consider how much of our time and energy is required for a modern shelter.  The outrageous cost of shelter is the elephant in the living room when considering the issue of poverty in America.







And speaking of elephants ---I loved this scene illustrating the then famous phrase:
"I HAVE SEEN THE ELEPHANT"
I understand it intuitively but it's hard to explain.  Click here if you're curious:





And speaking of elephants---check this out.  This 20 yr old lady was kind enough to peel off her shirt to let me photograph her tattoo.  Are you amazed that someone would make this kind of (lifetime) commitment?



OR THIS?? I engaged this Amish guy and his wife outside the museum.  He's in his thirties and has 5 children with another on the way.  Was very religious --giving me the thumbnail version of his faith.  I didn't challenge him on his beliefs or on the obvious fact that he is contributing to a great evil ---OVERPOPULATION OF THE PLANET.
Sooner or later we (the people) will have to legally restrain the breeding impulses of these earthy people. (Think China's one child policy)

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: SLOW TRAVEL WITH A CURIOUS EYE IS A SURE FIRE WAY TO SEE THE ELEPHANT.