Friday, January 8, 2016


The Rubber Tramp Rendezvous is held on BLM land near Quartzsite, Arizona. Since it's a high use area, campers are supposed to get a free permit that allows 14 days of camping. Ordinarily, there's a camp host who issues the permits, but the BLM hasn't been able to fill that position yet. So a ranger has been coming through the RTR encampment to issue permits. A friendly guy just doing his paperwork, not being a hard ass.

Additionally, groups larger than 75 people are supposed to have an event permit, which is also free. In the past, RTR organizer, Bob Wells, had been avoiding the hassle of getting the permit, and the BLM hadn't been causing any trouble about it. The other day, though, the ranger reminded Bob about the event permit. "But I'll tell you what," the ranger said. "I know you guys are good campers, you don't damage things and you've always left the place clean, so don't worry about the event permit. Not only that, I won't bother writing out permits for individuals. I'll just give everyone an automatic 14 days from today."

There are people who abuse public lands. They cut down trees, steal cacti, tear up the ground, foul the water, dump trash and waste, abandon vehicles and appliances, grow pot, set up meth labs, poach wildlife, cause fires... It has been my observation, though, that those of us who live full time on public lands are least likely to mess it up. It's our home, not some place to get drunk, hack on trees and toss our empty beers. So it's nice to get a little official recognition of that—even if it's just from one ranger.


  1. Nice article, well written !! Thumbs up for all of U full time nomads that care about mother earth & thumbs up for the friendly ranger and the recognition he voiced. Keep up the good work amigos !!

  2. Excellent! Now let's just hope no one is called in to "assist" that ranger.