Life on the Open Road (April 2006 - May 2008)

The continuing saga of a single fulltime RVer who travels the western US. This is part one of my journey, from April 2006, when the blog started, to May 2008, when the blog continues at

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I have been a full-time RVer for 18 years, primarily "boondocking," camping free without hookups, in the Western US. I am connected electronically with the world via satellite TV, phone and internet. My batteries are charged solely by solar panels. I welcome your comments and emails.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Randy Gets the Story

Randy is drawn to eccentrics (like himself), and always wants to "get the story." Here on the streets of Calipatria, CA, he approaches traveling artist Robert Guesinard, age 59, originally from Pecos, Texas. Robert wanders full-time, pushing, not riding, this elaborately-packed bicycle, that has neither pedals nor seat.

Proud of his lightweight lifestyle, he explained each component: tent, water, food, clothes, flashlight, Bible, etc. He wanders the warm areas during winter and northward during summer at the rate of about 20 miles per walking day. He pitches his tent in the bushes at night.

His lifestyle is testament to a strong determination to be free of drudgery. He (and Randy) and every vagabond he ever met will do without luxuries, and comforts if need be, to preserve their freedom to wander.

He talked a blue streak, but there was something he needed to hear. Randy couldn't tell him. But then, wonder of wonders, our old friend, Chuck Januska, appeared as if by magic. He had the poem by Robert Service in his head and shared it with us.

The Men That Don't Fit In

There's a race of men that don't fit in,
A race that can't stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain's crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don't know how to rest.

If they just went straight they might go far;
They are strong and brave and true;
But they're always tired of the things that are,
And they want the strange and new.
They say: "Could I find my proper groove,
What a deep mark I would make!"
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
Is only a fresh mistake.

And each forgets, as he strips and runs
With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It's the steady, quiet, plodding ones
Who win in the lifelong race.
And each forgets that his youth has fled,
Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that's dead,
In the glare of the truth at last.

He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
He has just done things by half.
Life's been a jolly good joke on him,
And now is the time to laugh.
Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
He was never meant to win;
He's a rolling stone, and it's bred in the bone;
He's a man who won't fit in.

Robert, the traveling artist, was stunned to silence, like God had whispered to him. Chuck and Randy gave him money and left him pleasantly glowing. "That poem's about me," he said, as we walked away.


Blogger Wandrin said...

Fantastic story. Great character sketch.

PS: It appears that nomadic blood was still in Chuck's veins; last conversation with Chuck said he was going to settle into stix and brix.

9:49 PM  
Blogger squire said...

Hi Randy, I love this story. Hope you don't mind that I linked it in my blog.

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Corrie Clay said...

I really like how you usually put pictures of the actually conversation. They're not "posed" pictures most of the time. It makes it feel like we are right there talking to them too.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Annie said...

Squire sent me over. I have a brother who is a rolling stone too. It is he who can always tell me the most interesting routes from here to there. I like to travel with him now and again.

6:56 AM  

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