Thursday, November 28, 2013

Seafaring Gypsy - Theliveaboard

La Bonita - in the center with her blue sail-cover..somewhere in California

I saw mention of Theliveaboard a.k.a. Cynthia Shelton, in Lattitude 38, a free magazine the Bodega Bay harbor-master gave me. I enjoyed her video -- Landlubber to Liveaboard -- about how she got where she is and tho't you might too. Once downloaded, I used Quicktime to run it.

Here's a link to Dock Dorks, her comic book.

And her main website
where you can hire her to talk about her process.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

German RV

My RV suites me perfectly but every now and then I see another that catches my eye. On November 9, I was wending my way toward the west coast when I came across this one at the Pima Air & Space Museum outside Tuscon.

Note the bit of patriotism in the small window above the cab.

Understatement rules -- The Name (above the shotgun door) tastefully aligned with the window aperture.

 For those who don't recognize the coachmaker, it's discreetly written above the driver's door...Woelcke Offroadmobile. Their bespoke conversions are a self-defined class...Deutsch, of course. Here's a link to a list of Mercedes/Sprinter conversion websites.

Daimler AG bought 92% of Chrysler in 1998.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ajo, Arizona - Yes, we have no artists today

THOUSANDS of motorcycles blat through the S-turn that winds around Der Plaza. Hidden behind the backs of the stores, it remains unknown to the majority of passersby. As for the bikers, it's a mystery why they're here. Ajo has a smattering of offerings, but otherwise there's little to see between he'ar and th'ar.

Curley School has been converted into HUD apartments now occupied by, according to a confidential source, transients. Transients in this case is relative since the majority of Ajo-ites are  "seasonal visitors."

Also according to my source, when the artists were encouraged to join the churches, which are starved for members, and thereby also join the community, they formed their own. It was Sunday when I visited and the former school auditorium was being used by a church group. I wandered the halls looking at the art, but, as is often the case with that elusive species, I saw no artists.

Once There Was a Time...yesteryore hotel.
Following Mr. Nose, I rode the road uphill where I chanced into the Ajo Historical Society Museum. It's housed in a used-to-be church. Jose Castillo & Louie Walters were on duty. Both had a tremendous wealth of information and after almost two hours I'd only seen, but thoroughly enjoyed, one room. 

Newly-acquired knowledge seeping from my seams, I staggered into the waning afternoon light. Mr. Walters warned me there were no guarantees as to who would be staffing in the future -- they're all volunteers -- but if their compatriots are even remotely similar, I highly recommend it.

Ajo looks as if it's dying. My informant (in the anthropological sense of the term) said it was like a ghost town when they moved there in the '80s. People bought their homes for cheap and for a few years they congregated after church (you beginning to get the theme?) to enjoy lunch at the country club. Now those folks are dead or dying and the present batch of seasonals aren't wealthy or nonsecular enough to sustain the olde style.

Ajo Historical Society Museum

Mr. Costillo (aforementioned museum staffer) said he thought the day would come when the mine would reopen and the town would revive. He'll be 75 in about six months and has lived his whole life in Ajo. His is the voice of authority. So you'd be well-advised tuh git yer reel estate now. Prices won't be this low again!

Senor Costillo - Age 74 1/2

Senor Walters

Readers' Cove Used Books - Deming, New Mexico

Deming, New Mexico has come a long way from the days when it offered nought much more than several forms. It's gotten bigger too and although it still has a nice small-town feel, there are a number of amenities that appeal to us travelers.

The Visitor Center, where E Spruce St and highway 180/E Pine St merge has wifi. It's password protected (for reasons unknown) but inside the facility the password is out in the open for everyone to see. As of 11/7/13 it was demingvisitor -- all one word and all lowercase.

Readers' Cove Used Books & Gallery has an awesome selection. The current owners bought it two years ago and its eye-catching paint job does what it's supposed the corner of Spruce & Copper. Two blocks from the beaten path.

Las Casuelas Carneceria behind Denny's (Denny's is on E Cedar Street, the south-bound frontage road) has locally-grown, grass-fed ground beef for $6.00/pd. Their  home-made bratwurst and Mexican sausages are excellent.

Although the only thing organic available at Peppers Supermarket was tomatoes, the selection, wide-spaced aisles and general ambiance is so much more pleasant only a fool would shop anywhere else. It's a tad out of the way though so gird yer loins...or whatever. Take S Gold St (Which becomes Columbus Rd) about two miles south (from highway 180) toward Columbus. Watch for the Snappy Mart on the right as you approach the junction with E Florida St. On the SE corner is a large Chevron station. Turn left onto E Florida and it's about 200 feet on the right. The Dona Maria corn tortillas are superb. Of course, they have to be fried until crisp to reach their full potential.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

More than just Worldfamous Chili

Hatch, New Mexico is, of course, the chili capitol of the world. But I had a sneaky suspicion there was more. So when highway 26 deadended at the center of town instead of going right the way everybody ELSE was going I went left. A few blocks later the library hoved into view.

Always in need of reading matter, I strolled in to see what they have to offer. I was surprised at how comfy the place is. I'm not sure if it's the light or what, but there's a Wilkommen air to the place.
Ms. Lisa Neal - Librarian Extraordinaire

Lisa Neal greeted me from behind the counter and met my inquiry about books for sale with an enthusiastic "Yes!" When I told her my interests she took me to the back room. There, sequestered, while awaiting disposition, were the textbooks. I mentioned anthropology and she surprised me by pointing to three anthologies...which I bought.

Later, at a table where a large coffee-table book on Guagan provided cover for my eavesdropping. Over the next thirty  minutes she listened to a patron's difficulties with her teenage son (and gave advice on the benefits of a rollcage). She helped several youngsters find materials for a research paper for school while accepting returns and issuing a library card. During this time a lively discussion was going on between two patrons about the politics of the community volley ball teams. The place is the hub of the town!

Intrigued, I began my interrogation about how she'd come to be all things to everyone. She allowed that having five children, several of which were now teenagers, helped hone her skills.

She was relatively new to the job having started in January of 2013 when she began by rearranging the entire place. In the 1920s it had been a warehouse with huge doors (recently refinished) that slide on metal tracks and a floor scale for weighing stuff.

The rearranging took advantage of the large windows so there's now enough natural light that you almost don't need artificial.

                     Eggbert slumming....sans hubcaps.