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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Traveling Hobo Show



My lovely wife and I have done a fair bit of traveling. We do a lot of budget (and no budget) stuff. You develop a eye for fellow travelers.

Is the guy living and traveling in a big 5th wheel homeless? He may stay in nice RV parks all the time, but he has no big white house with a picket fence. On the other end are the homeless who travel with little more than a small pack and the clothes on their back. The RV guy and backpack guy don't appear to have much in common, but they both live on the move.

That's the two extremes, but there's a whole spectrum of travelers. When we travel with our ambulance/motorhome conversion we have our feet in a number of worlds. We can clean up and pretend to be upright citizens and stay in an RV park. Then we hook up our extension cord to the park power and run a water line. That happens, but not too often. Sometimes we stay in really cheap campsites with no running water or electric. We carry our water in 3.5 gallon water bricks and power comes from a solar panel on the roof. Of course, with that set up it's just as easy to park in truck stops and at big box stores -or to boondock somewhere down a dirt road.

Because we span those worlds we met folks who'll tell us about RV parks with good swimming pools and other amenities. On the other hand the hardcore boondockers share free parking spots where the cops won't hassle you too much. Believe me, that's a nice feature. People live and travel in vans, cars, on motorcycles, bikes, and on foot. Home is where you spend the night.

Florida has a lot of “homeless” people traveling around. Florida has its challenges but it beats freezing to death in the north. There's a certain look one gets when living on the road. I guess after a few months I must get that look too. I talk with a lot of fellow travelers. Sometimes we just give each other a nod.

Today I saw a guy hanging around the local CVS. He was being cool, sitting on a bench smoking a cigarette. The guy was dressed neat, but his cloths was a bit more rough and rugged than the average person on the street. He had a small bag with him. A power cord snaked out of the bag was a cell phone power cord was plugged into an outside outlet. Good for him, he found a place to charge.

As my lovely wife and I walked into the CVS we bumped into the manager. He was all stressed out in that petty manger way. The guy outside appeared to have him a bit concerned. He asked us if everything was Okay. I assured him it was. I was amused. The manager mistook me for being an upright citizen instead of one of the traveling tribe.

-Sixbears

12 comments:

  1. Sounds like "The Grapes of Wrath." I guess some things haven't changed and probably never will.

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    Replies
    1. As people drop off the bottom rungs of the economy, we can expect to see more of them.

      Of course, some just decided the rat race was for the rats.

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  2. The nod says it all.

    After a while you actually get pretty good at spotting folks on the move, so do they.

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  3. That's it, Sixbears, keep 'em confused! lol

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    Replies
    1. That's how it is when you live outside the box.

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  4. Enjoyed this post, Sixbears. And ditto to Georges' comment. But, I consider you ARE an upright citizen - one with your head on straight, looking out for yourself and your own, and probably wishing (like I do) that folks would do the same - leave other people's business to them unless it infringes on yours/mine.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Hermit's Baby Sis!

      Live and let live.

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  5. I find myself checking out the vans and rvs also wondering which of them are homeless nomads just trying to get by. Believe me there are a whole bunch of 'em out here in Kalifornia. Tons of them. Driving my shuttle bus back and forth from the hotel to Disneyland, I often tell the passengers that those aren't bus stops, they actually are low cost hotels. Just about every bus stop has residents, every single night. A sad commentary on the times and the economy.

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    Replies
    1. I'd rather live in a van than a bus stop. Actually, I rather live under a tarp in the woods than a bus stop.

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    2. A homeless person at a bus stop has become such a normal sight its acceptable. A traveler using vehicle, a tarp or tent in the woods is more suspect. I think most understand an addict/drunk and think poor soul. The same people see a boondocker who does it by choice and feel threatened /jealous of their lifestyle.

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    3. I have definitely run into the threatened/jealous people. One guy complained about the way he had to live his life, but got mad at me for beating the system.

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