After a few days of remote sites in Arizona, we gathered again at the El Rancho Hotel in Gallup, NM- a campy joint with enormous, glittering geodes in the lobby and furniture fashioned from bullhorns but a proper hotel just the same- warm and with restaurant and bar and hot water and so many luxuries. Was tempting to take a room after many days of high altitude camping but the potential for a pop-up was too good to pass up. It felt like the first opportunity to set storage in a populated area and I was curious if it could be done without the authority’s notice. 
We all warmed and boozed ourselves in the bar until late and when it was time to turn in, I went out into an empty lot across the street to put up the facade. In the midst of this, I came across my new friends Jin and Jim and Julia who were out, allowing the night to carry on, darken. It was decided that we’d go into storage to take a drink and so we went, fired the propane burners for heat and took our bourbon. 
It was a fine site for stealth storage as we were settled on the main drag of Route 66 but positioned in such a way that the secret side faced the train yard with its chain-link fencing, inconspicuously snipped in the corner as a hobo’s threshold.Just to be sure, I poked the surveillance cam up through the skylight to keep an eye on the heat. It was a cold and quiet night and those that passed by did only that. It wasn’t until we were packing our bags the next morning that some sort of city official came along… but by then, the light of day revealed only absurdity and we all went away feeling ok.

After a few days of remote sites in Arizona, we gathered again at the El Rancho Hotel in Gallup, NM- a campy joint with enormous, glittering geodes in the lobby and furniture fashioned from bullhorns but a proper hotel just the same- warm and with restaurant and bar and hot water and so many luxuries. Was tempting to take a room after many days of high altitude camping but the potential for a pop-up was too good to pass up. It felt like the first opportunity to set storage in a populated area and I was curious if it could be done without the authority’s notice.

We all warmed and boozed ourselves in the bar until late and when it was time to turn in, I went out into an empty lot across the street to put up the facade. In the midst of this, I came across my new friends Jin and Jim and Julia who were out, allowing the night to carry on, darken. It was decided that we’d go into storage to take a drink and so we went, fired the propane burners for heat and took our bourbon. 

It was a fine site for stealth storage as we were settled on the main drag of Route 66 but positioned in such a way that the secret side faced the train yard with its chain-link fencing, inconspicuously snipped in the corner as a hobo’s threshold.

Just to be sure, I poked the surveillance cam up through the skylight to keep an eye on the heat. It was a cold and quiet night and those that passed by did only that. It wasn’t until we were packing our bags the next morning that some sort of city official came along… but by then, the light of day revealed only absurdity and we all went away feeling ok.

STORE MORE"You load It, we tow it"
Martinsville, IN

STORE MORE
"You load It, we tow it"

Martinsville, IN

Tek Tip:

Your older, air cooled Volkswagens will run crazy erratic when driving through changes in elevation, temperature, barometric pressure, etc (eg. up a snow-capped mountain, down that mountain into a dust-storming desert). Metals expand/contract, lines suck crud and variations in your fuel’s ethanol content make for pissy combustion. Watch the gap between your ignition points. 0.016” can swell or pinch and you might begin to lose that spark… which then leads to coughing, wheezing, sputtering. A misfiring putt-putt situation that makes getting up the hill a bitch. Some mechanics are able to set this gap without the aid of a feeler gauge. Some say a matchbook is the perfect thing to measure it. Regardless of method, it still gets out of whack in these kinda conditions so I recommend the CompuFire: a performance ignition module that does away with those old-school points altogether. Designed for use in competition Baja Beetles, we discovered that they fit darn well in ‘82 Vanagons as well. Boosts horsepower, are compatible with high output coils, and best of all, eliminates adjustment at every 6,000 feet of hill climbing. Add a roll bar and you’re ready to head down sideways.

Ghost towns.

Desert dwellings that hold only dust.

What worldly possessions might such spirits keep?

What need of self-storage?

Storage with a view, Taos.

Storage with a view, Taos.

Yesterday’s pop up site
Taos, NM.

Yesterday’s pop up site

Taos, NM.

I was so excited when I first found a road out of Taos that led to the very edge of this gorge. The rim gaped open and held the Rio Grande far, far below. All along, I’ve been pushing this poor old van to it’s limits in territory that really should be explored in an all-terrain vehicle but when you get this close to something so big, you can’t not take it to the edge. So excited, I was, that I didn’t really think about how I was going to eventually back OFF of the edge. It was a sandy, downhill slope to this drop but I went in head first and stopped about 30” from some rocks that may or may not have been enough to stop her if the e-brake should slip. I pulled the brake, killed the engine and cautiously eased off on the pedal. The brake held but right then it occurred to me that I still had to reverse, uphill, to get out of this position. Started her up again and tried the hill start method of letting out the clutch while giving much gas and simultaneously dropping the e-brake. The old 4-cylinder engine strained and raced with much gas but as soon as I fully let out on the clutch, the wheels only spun in the dust and we dropped even closer to the edge. Heat flushed through my face and I knew I was fucked. The sun was going down fast and we were far from anywhere. Can always find a heavy truck to pull us back, I thought, and decided to set up for the photography before the light was lost. Made the picture with a vague whir of panic in my head and when all was done, broke down the facade just as it was getting dark. With the the 15” of space that was left between the bumper and brink, I was able to make a 17 point turn and gun it across the fall-line to get up and out. Didn’t want to look back.

Here, the rim of the Rio Grande gorge drops hundreds of feet into what looks like a skimpy little stream. It’s like what’s left after you’ve drank a glass of water. Tip it way back and you can always get a few more droplets but it’s basically gone. They call this an “over-appropriated” river- more users of the water than there is water in the river. The Rio Grande originates in the Colorado mountains and until the middle of the 20th century, flowed uninterrupted through New Mexico, Texas and Mexico until spilling into the Gulf. These days, it’s only 20% of the river it once was and by the time it reaches Presidio, TX the flow rate is often zero. It does get replenished a bit south of Presidio but Presidio itself gets mostly nothing.
The well might run dry but if we work hard, we can at least bring self -storage to these parts.

Here, the rim of the Rio Grande gorge drops hundreds of feet into what looks like a skimpy little stream. It’s like what’s left after you’ve drank a glass of water. Tip it way back and you can always get a few more droplets but it’s basically gone. They call this an “over-appropriated” river- more users of the water than there is water in the river. The Rio Grande originates in the Colorado mountains and until the middle of the 20th century, flowed uninterrupted through New Mexico, Texas and Mexico until spilling into the Gulf. These days, it’s only 20% of the river it once was and by the time it reaches Presidio, TX the flow rate is often zero. It does get replenished a bit south of Presidio but Presidio itself gets mostly nothing.

The well might run dry but if we work hard, we can at least bring self -storage to these parts.

Impressive Austrian self storage unit spotted yesterday in Madrid, NM. Not all that cozy inside but clearly ready for any sort if mission. My own HDTS deployment has officially ended as of this day but much territory has yet to be covered and over the next few days, will report on the past 548 miles of test site explorations through AZ and NM.

Impressive Austrian self storage unit spotted yesterday in Madrid, NM. Not all that cozy inside but clearly ready for any sort if mission. My own HDTS deployment has officially ended as of this day but much territory has yet to be covered and over the next few days, will report on the past 548 miles of test site explorations through AZ and NM.

Been far from cell service the past few days, up in the mountains of Arizona. It’ll be a day or two before posting the latest endeavors but for now, a look at a secret pop up back in California. This is the home of Garth, rock gardener, Desert mystic. This place exists at the epicenter of a vortex. Garth focuses these forces with intense arrays of crystals and a free-for-all invitation to practice alternative architecture.

Seemed a perfect place to introduce the more earthbound enterprise of Self Storage.

Seemed a perfect place to introduce the more earthbound enterprise of Self Storage.

Ok, so Kingman was a bust. Thought I’d stir up some trouble and pop up in a lot that’s due to be developed for cul-de-sac housing on this beautiful mountainside site. There are typical homes all around here, surrounding the parcel and you bet your britches all these folks will eventually need storage. I imagined I’d last here a minute or two before some authority would come around in a fit. I was ready for it, kind of asking for it. Had my surveillance camera cropped up through the sky light and was watching, waiting. Hell, I’d even invited people to come out and have a party until the breakup but this is what happened: nothing. The only people around were some dudes on four wheelers kicking up dust and taking advantage of what is apparently a free-for-all anyway on the property until they break ground. No one had a care whatsoever as to what I was doing. So subversive, I am. Really causing a stir. Ended up sitting around in the wildflowers, taking pictures. At least one guy was here to appreciate them before they got torn up by the bulldozers.

Ok, so Kingman was a bust. Thought I’d stir up some trouble and pop up in a lot that’s due to be developed for cul-de-sac housing on this beautiful mountainside site. There are typical homes all around here, surrounding the parcel and you bet your britches all these folks will eventually need storage. I imagined I’d last here a minute or two before some authority would come around in a fit. I was ready for it, kind of asking for it. Had my surveillance camera cropped up through the sky light and was watching, waiting. Hell, I’d even invited people to come out and have a party until the breakup but this is what happened: nothing. The only people around were some dudes on four wheelers kicking up dust and taking advantage of what is apparently a free-for-all anyway on the property until they break ground. No one had a care whatsoever as to what I was doing. So subversive, I am. Really causing a stir. Ended up sitting around in the wildflowers, taking pictures. At least one guy was here to appreciate them before they got torn up by the bulldozers.

Development lot. Ready for it.

If it’s only Rock and Roll and you like it, OK.

But if you also enjoy:

• Disco inflected Rock
• Punk Rock
• Disco inflected Punk Rock
• Proto-punk Folkmusic
• Reggaemusic
• Reggae inflected Brit Pop

Then join me for a late afternoon lot jam in Kingman.