|One of the best things about traveling is meeting new people so today I will introduce you to some interesting people I have met on this trip. “Radar”, whose real name is Debbie, is an attractive, funny, friendly tennis player I met my first night here. She was camped behind the tennis center in a cool Dodge van that she renovated herself to suit her new full-time lifestyle; she just hit the road in January. She has solar panels, cabinets, and a very comfy-looking bed and she plans to add a small refrigerator and small sink. We were all sorry to see her leave last week, but she wanted to meet up with some folks she met at the “Rubber Tramp Rendezvous”, which is held in Quartzsite, AZ each January. It seems there's a whole lot of nomads who live in small trailers, vans, and cars, camping for free or next to nothing on BLM and other public lands. Go to http://www.cheaprvliving.com/ or check out YouTube for some entertaining information and interviews done by the website's creator, Bob Wells. Some live on as little as $500 a month and love the freedom of the lifestyle. I am hoping Radar will come to PW and park in my driveway for a few nights this spring. She would fit right in with the Hikerettes.
One day last week I heard the sounds of someone trying to back into the space next to me. I peeked out my front window and saw an older Jeep trying to maneuver a small trailer: pull forward, back up, straighten out, no that's crooked, drive around the park, try it again....been there and done that so I tried not to stare. Later that day I met the driver, a friendly guy from Cathedral City. His name was Ken and he said he was a “camping virgin” as it was his first night camping, ever. He had been renovating his 17' Grasshopper trailer for months and it was adorable. He'd made the curtains from a funky, floral print which was yellow, black and gray on a white background and upholstered the couch he built with a big black and white dotted print. One side had a huge “window” which opened out into his screen room. He made his living as handyman and proudly showed me his three really cool camping purchases. One was an induction burner which heated up instantly, boiled water in just seconds and cooled down just as quickly. The second was a propane grill which could also be used as a burner and the legs folded up so it was very compact. He was most proud of an Amazon “Deal of the Day” which was a battery operated lantern with a flame-shaped bulb. When he blew on the bulb the “flame” went out. I must have one! On his last night he came over with his business card and told me to look him up if I was ever in Cathedral City (no, it's not like that, he has a partner who hates camping). I complimented him on his muscle shirt which had huge letters saying “I flexed and the sleeves fell off”. He was a fun neighbor.
On Friday Susan, Jo and I helped check in artists arriving to set up for the Circle of Art show that started on Saturday. Because of our location many tourists thought we were there to answer questions and we tried to help them. One tall, friendly guy wanted to know where the “garden” was with all the wildflowers. We tried to explain to him that we were surrounded by it. He thought there was just somewhere you could drive through to see them, and his wife walked up just as we told him, “No, you have to get out and walk”. Behind his back she mouthed a silent “Thank you!” While she wandered away he yelled, “Be right there, honey!” because he wanted to tell us a joke that she'd heard hundreds of times about a talking dog. He was a natural-born joke teller and he eloquently spoke as the dog describing his daring adventures around the world as a canine CIA agent and his affair in Paris with a French Poodle. The stranger listening to the dog is amazed, a talking dog! He asks the dog's owner how much he wants for him. The owner says, “That dog? $5.00.” The stranger is shocked, “Only $5.00!?” The owner says, “That dog's a bullshitter, he's never been out the yard.” We all laughed and Jo asked him what he did for a living. He answered, “I'm an attorney.” It takes a bullshitter to know one.