Monday, February 27, 2012

Frenzy of Friends

My new visiting friend, Adam, left yesterday, and I’m hanging out with Shug, the dog, on the last day of this house-sit—a good time to blog.

Unlike my usual quiet Moab winters, this one’s been chock full of projects and surprises like visits from intriguing people from near and distant lands.

Bad News and Good News

The bad news is our Moab City Council flip-flopped and voted against the Resolution declaring "corporations are not people" that I talked about in the last post.  It looks like we’re going work to put it on the ballot so the people rather than the council members can decide, which is better anyway.

The good news is that I have gotten visits from amazing people this whole past month.  My first visit was from Benjamin, from France, and his two friends Yasmin and Marisa, from Mexico, all traveling without money. 

Forward the (R)evolution Friends

Benjamin, Michael (an English chap I've never met), and Yazmin,
in Mexico before I met them in person.
Some of you might be familiar with the Forward the (R)evolution moneyless voyagers.  I've been in contact with them for the past three years.  They began as three Europeans (Benjamin from France, Raphael from Germany, and Nicola from Italy) who hitched, without money (except for border-crossing fees), by boat from Europe to the Canary Islands to Brazil (where Nicola returned to Europe), then overland to Columbia, by boat to Panama, overland to Mexico (where Raphael’s and Benjamin’s girlfriends, Nieves and Camille, joined them from Europe).   Raphael , Nieves, and Camille later returned to Europe from Mexico while, to my joy, Benjamin continued northward via California to Moab, joined by two friends from Mexico, Yazmin and Marisa. 

Benjamin, in his mid 20s, is the first human in the flesh I’ve ever met who is committed to living completely without money, having gone three years moneyless, so far.  I felt child-like joy meeting him, like I had reunited with a long-lost soul-mate.  And his friends, Yazmin from Puebla and Marisa from Chihuahua, impressed me to no end, having the courage to leave Mexico, using nearly no money, on an odyssey across the US.  All three were a pure pleasure to be with, like I had known them all my life.  I got to oil my rusty Spanish, too.     
Marisa (in Mexico?) before I met her

Marisa is making a documentary of this incredible journey.  I tried to embed the teaser video of her work thus far, but it's not working.  So you'll have to watch it at Forward the (R)evolution.

My friend Bruni (whom I house-sit for) gladly offered to host them at her house for a couple days, to freshen up, before they stayed with me in a big “guest” cave for several days.   We ate scavenged food, played music around the fire, played their home-made replica of the Settlers of Catan game, hiked, philosophized, and hung out with my Moab friends.  

Benjamin, Yazmin, Suelo
(Not sure where Marisa is)
Glenn took this pic at the 'Guest Cave'

The 'Guest Cave'
(Glenn took this pic)
They continued east, planning to go to Boulder, Colorado, then to Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Austin, Texas.  Marisa planned to then head to New York and Benjamin and Yazmin back to Mexico.  Benjamin wants to hitch a boat back to Europe from there.

Meanwhile, Raphael and Nieves are back in Germany, gaining notoriety living virtually moneyless with their new baby (see Spanish article Viven Sin Dinero in

While my three friends and I were in the big cave, a dude named Glen showed up, saying he decided to swing through the Moab area to see if he could find me.  I had been house-sitting most the winter, so this was magical synchronicity.  Glen writes an excellent blog, The Practical Primitivist, and had just finished a wilderness course in Montana and was on his way to another one near Phoenix.  I found his wisdom profound and I learned invaluable things from him.

Adam in the cave in the morning


After all those friends left Moab, another mellow and loveable dread-locked visitor, Adam, showed up from Virginia.  He was also heading to the wilderness school in Montana and decided to first come to Moab.  He stayed with me mostly at this latest house-sit.  But we took Shug, the dog I’m caring for, up to the little cave and stayed up there a couple nights, relishing the luxury of the canyon.  Last Saturday night, Adam and I went to the Trashion Show at Frankie D’s and danced to Techno with lots of Moab friends and had the time of our lives.  I said my sad goodbyes to Adam yesterday morning as he hitched out of Moab.
Rocket-stove cooking outside the cave
(Adam took this pic)

Juniper tea. 
I also drink teas from Pinion, wild grasses,
and Mormon Tea as a daily staple.
(Adam took this pic)



While Adam had been here, a film team from MAHA Productions, based in Europe, showed up and filmed me and my friends Sallie and Helena for a documentary called Backroads USA, about off-the-beaten-path characters across the USA.  I usually don’t like that sort of thing, but they were so personable and wonderful, like old friends, that I loved working with them.  They took us to dinner afterward, along with another chap they had filmed, named Lou, and fun was had by all.

Bracing myself for what’s next 
The coming weeks call for an even stranger and new life for me, and I pray I can walk it with grace, with equanimity.  Mark Sundeen is taking me with him on part of the book signing for The Man Who Quit Money.  Funny, I didn't plan or decide for any of this book stuff to happen.  But that's the nature of this lifestyle, letting unfold what may, and things more magical happen than I could ever plan, much less conceive.

Here’s part of the itinerary, in case anybody out there wants to come:

The Man Who Quit Money Book Reading/Signing/Discussion Itinerary, so far:

Wednesday, March 14, 7:00 pm
1511 South 1500 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84105

Saturday, March 17, 6:30 pm
960 Main Avenue, Durango, CO 81301

Monday, March 19, 7:00 pm
Grand County Public Library
257 East Center Street, Moab, UT 84532
View Map · Get Directions

Wednesday, March 21, 7:30 pm
Skylight Books
1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027
Thursday, March 22, 7:00 pm
904 Manhattan Avenue, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
More events may be added to this itinerary