Thursday, May 11, 2017

Homeless on Kanab Creek

Six days ago,  while boondocked near Kodachrome Basin State Park, Phoebe let out a loud CRASH as she rolled backward off the block I'd set up to adjust her clutch. It wasn't long to realize the clutch was no more.

I got her going using the starter (HURRAY for standard shift!!)  and drove to Kanab where Tricky Ricky Rocks (see blogpost) had vetted Little's Diesel Service.

In the course of things I consulted (this is for all you other Tracker enthusiasts out there) with Fritz Gafford, owner  of Tracker Ranch in Livingston, Texas. Another Tracker driver met somewhere had described him as an aficionado.  Over the course of our 20-minute conversation I came to appreciate his opinion.

Over he last six days I've gained a feel for the vast gap 'tween Overlanding/RV living and homelessness. I was lucky to find a nice campspot within walking distance of town. Less than a stone's throw from Kanab Creek, aside from the highway noise and a few ATVers, it was idyllic. But thinking about it as a way of life brought into contrast the difference between the motorized mobile life and a shopping cart.

In my teens I hitchhiked the U.S. with a Camp Trails "Freighter." Their largest backback, I never could get it, during the four years I lived out of it, below 60 pounds. I traveled sans tent; when it rained I hunkered under my poncho. I had an army-surplus sleeping bag someone had added a pound of goose down to that enabled me to sleep comfortably in sub-freezing temperatures.  A breakdown fishing rod and a few hooks brought helped tease the trout out of the Idaho streams. I kept a journal, carried some brown rice and soy sauce, an extra pair of jeans, three shirts and several changes of underwear. It couldn't understand WHY it weighed so much.

Here I was with three boxes, several backpacks, although none designed for living out of, my sleeping bag, a car-camping special, weighs in at twice as much as the one in my youth and isn't as warm. The last hitchhiker I picked up, several years ago, said it'd taken him two weeks to get from Nashville to Albuquerque; a distance I'd covered in the '60s in three days, at the most.

They just called and said Phoebe's ready. They found several other things wrong and aware she's my home, they made the repairs to last. Billy hadn't added it up yet, but I'm suspecting it'll take me a couple of years to pay it off. But if you're ever near Kanab, Utah and need help, Little's Diesel is the place. Mike Little does the diesel and Billy does the automotive.

It's great to have my home back!!

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