A Dollar Saved my Life Today

29 Jul

“The government has given me a number to simplify my birth, my life and death – but still my friends they think I’m awful important like the moon, the sea, the sun, the sky, and breath”- A new Avett Brothers song

So maybe you have been wondering what I am up to since I got home from my adventures, maybe you aren’t, and maybe you are not even reading this. But I am sure mommy still checks on a daily basis.

I was in Hamburg NJ for a weekend, I went to Philly to see Corinner! Donovan! and the animals! I then went to Lambertville, and currently I am back in Philly where we are expecting some severe thunderstorms tonight.

I am back with friends and it feels good. I have missed these people over the last 6 months and to come home to them is wonderful and it makes me feel good. I am not going to lie to you, however, I miss Grace (although having space is nice and we have had minimal communication this week), I miss the road, and I have had some anxiety since I have been back.

I have not decided whether or not to continue the blog, whether to go on hiatus until another adventure, or to keep up on a semi-regular basis. This is what I have been up to…

1. The first day home I did not change out of my pajamas, I exchanged new music with Woodsy for hours, I drank a beer before a time of day when society says its acceptable, and I ate tacos for dinner! It was a good day.

2. I went to the Warwick, NY farmer’s market where I instantly felt a twinge of sadness and jealousy. I wanted to be part of the market and not just a customer looking around. I got a free apple though.

3. I went to see Mike in Lambertville, NJ. We went on an awesome bike ride and shortly after I decided I wanted to relocate to Lambertville at the beginning of next year. More to come.

4. I am in back in Philly where I have been laying low. Today, I decided to go on a walk/run-mostly walk along the Schuylkill River Walk. It was hot as hell and I overestimated my ability to exercise in the middle of a heat advisory. It was only 5 miles yet I felt disoriented, my fingers were swollen and numb, and I couldn’t breathe. Luckily I had tucked a dollar in my shorts and there was someone selling water for 1 dollar. Yikes. I made it home safely.

5. Tomorrow I head back to Jersey, Sunday is “The Gun Show,” and Monday I start work again. Thats it. Way less interesting when I am not traveling the country and farming for no money, right?

Home x 2

23 Jul

Always remember….

“Don’t piss off the gnomes.”- a random quote from a piece of art we saw along the way. Wise words.

So my situation is an interesting one because I feel like I arrived home twice from this journey. My first arrival home was to Marietta, GA where I saw my friends and family. Grace and I spent a week living like two college students home for the summer with no jobs, no curfew, no money and no direction. It was awesome. We went kayaking, we had a cook-out (which I originally called a BBQ because to me they are the same thing but not to southerners- so sorry for the confusion), we went to Decatur where its greatur, took kickboxing classes, and I got to spend some time with my family- the whole family.

Then the questions started coming from all over- what are your plans? what do you want to do when you get back? where are you living? AHHHHHHHH. The truth is I wanted to answer these questions but I have no idea myself- I have no impressive or solid answer so I tried to avoid theses questions as much as possible.

Yesterday Grace and I drove straight from Georgia to Midland Park NJ. This marked the second ‘coming home.’ We left at 6AM and arrived at 8PM. It was a long ride full of anxieties about coming home, bobbing and weaving, some last minute conversation between Grace and I, and a Jimmy Eat World jam out session.

Then I dropped Grace off, said hi to the parents and Olive and drove away. That was it. 6 months of being on the road together, every minute of the day together, ups and downs and finding things out about yourself together and we were both free from that. It was both scary and liberating.

So now I am setting up shop with some friends for a bit- don’t want to give away my location. I am glad to be back in the East, back in the Northeast and more specifically New Jersey. It is beautiful and I don’t care what the haters say or what ” the Jersey Shore” portrays. I am excited to see my friends too. However, I am missing the road, the uncertainty, the intense moments, learning,  the new friends and experiences, and not having to answer to a real job. I am nervous about routine again, having to make money and pay rent, sitting in one place for to long, etc. I would go back out in a heartbeat- and I just might. Who is coming with me?

“You’re either heading somewhere or you ended up somewhere.”- We Are Augustines

The First National Park I Visit and There is a Big Hole….Figures

9 Jul

“God bless America, lets save some of it.”- Edward Abbey

I am somewhere in the middle of Texas. Actually, I know exactly where I am its Amarillo, Texas. It’s a Luxury Inn and its…nice. There is free internet, a fridge for my Happy Camper IPA (which is dinner tonight) and a TV with HBO-so I get to watch Bill Maher. I can’t complain.

The last three days consisted of 850 miles, 1 national park, 3 states, 2 hotels, 2 breweries, 1 major highway, mixed feelings and endless excitement about seeing the people I miss and love- most likely this means you.

We have departed the cozy confines of Lake Havasu, AZ and have started our easterly drive towards home. Next stop Arkansas, then stop Marietta GA, last stop New Jersey.

So enjoy the pictures…

 

The Grand Cayman?

 

Did I jump? Find out next blog.

 

Double the Fun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I left my AC Compressor in Upper Lake, CA

4 Jul

What is the feeling when you’re driving away from people, and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? -it’s the too huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”- Kerouac

Happy Birthday Amerikuh- but more importantly Happy Birthday Nanny! Although she is not here with any of us she is definitely here in spirit. Her memory lives on through all the gaudy, flashy American flag shirts and outfits, earrings, and decorations. She loved the 4th of July and any chance to dress up in sparkly clothing and accessories. I miss you everyday.

As the farming part of the trip comes to an end I feel less and less motivated to blog. The focus right now is to enjoy the last month of being on the road free from the constraints of mainstream society and the job market. Our plan is to leave Arizona (our current location) on Thursday to see the Grand Canyon- apparently its big or something. We then head through New Mexico and Texas to our 3rd to last destination on the trip- Fayetteville, Arkansas. Next we are on our way to Marietta, GA to see my family and friends grab the stuff that we didn’t take (thank God we didn’t) and head back to New Jersey.

So much has happened since I last blogged, the ups and downs have continued and the locations have consistently changed. I think the best way to do this would be to show you pictures of what has happened since my last blog.

I am not signing off, this probably won’t be my last blog or anything but I want to take the time to thank everyone who has taken the time to keep up with our travels. It has been an awesome learning experience for me both in the farming sense and in the self-discovery sense. I hope you enjoyed reading about it. I also want to apologize for not being completely honest with you. Looking back through my blogs I realized that I made the trip sound care-free and easy. Yeah you heard about our share of problems- broken windows, new car parts, Avett Brothers cancelations and so on- but even those seemed to have an air of humor surrounding them. Truth is, it is a lot harder to write about the true emotions that one experiences on a trip like this. The lowest of lows, the hot afternoons in the fields, meeting people and realizing you don’t know as much as you thought you did about things, discovering you don’t have everything figured out as you once thought, missing people on the east coast, crying then laughing, arguments with your best friend, the anger you feel towards politics, food systems, and government BS, making friends and saying good-bye, and finding out your true weaknesses. I apologize again for the serious nature of this blog but this was my attempt to be more honest with you. This trip was amazing and I would suggest it to anyone and everyone no matter what age.

Whoo that was intense…here are some pictures to lighten the load….

We went to the West Coast

We saw some breweries, Redwoods, and sea glass…..

look ma!

We went to Las Vegas—as Thurston said “they call it Lost Wages- but you don’t have any haha”

the lady taking the picture was confusing us...can you tell

We saw the Hoover Dam and beat the heat at lake havasu AZ

the Monkey Wrench Gang would be pissed!

london bridges falling down? I sure hope not.

it got close to 120…yikes

Thats all for now. More pics to come in person.

Grace- we have been through a lot (thats two words, right?) together, thanks for having this experience with me.

And I couldn’t choose between two Kerouac quotes…so here is one more..

My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.” — its blue and I don’t care. Wise words from the road.

If your going to San Francisco- you’re going to meet some crazy people there

21 Jun
  • Grace and I got arrested and escaped from Alcatraz- all in a days work

    “Work keeps at bay three great evils: boredom, vice, and need.” Voltaire-Candide

It is so hot here. Very hot. Like I had beads of sweat running down my face and I never sweat-(maybe glisten at most)- type of hot. Anyway that is all the negativity I will throw at you this fine Tuesday afternoon. Let’s recap the week.
We typically work 4 hours in the morning (8-12) then have the afternoon to ourselves- this is where boredom, vice and need set in. After our break which we spend exploring or laying in shade, we work another 2 to 3 hours around 4-6. Dinner is usually shared and then Grace and I retreat to our mini- RV to watch True Blood- Grace has gotten me hooked on this vampire BS and I kind of like it.
  

The view from the fields

more view

The vineyard needs a mow

the tail end of the sunset

Some of our afternoon trips have included Ukiah, CA for the Ukiah Brewing Company an CO-OP, Lakeport for some WI-FI and coffee, and then of course Kelseyville for a dive bar and new friends. Yes, I think I had my 15 minutes of fame and I think it was in Kelseyville. This small town in wine country was a random stop on this particular Saturday afternoon. When we stepped into the bar we were instantly the main attraction. Drinks were bought, questions asked, high fives given, and family members names and numbers written down for future favors along our trip. They were highly impressed with our trip and what we had been doing. We also got the bartender hooked on The Avett Brothers. BOOM.
Sunday was our first day off – and possibly only day off – and we decided to spend it romping around San Francisco. I am sure Grace will go into details on this part  of the week so I will only hit the highlights.

do you see what I see? barely?

   

1. Walking 8 miles from Golden Gate Park to Fisherman’s Wharf. It was a beautiful day and a great way to see the city and how different all the areas can be.
2. Rogue Public House. After Grace asked me about 8 times ‘what the place was called again’ we finally arrived 8 miles, 5 hills, 6 bums, and 1 Forever 21 later. We drank delicious beers ate yummy food and finally put my Rogue Citizenship Card to work- 75 cents off a pint. It was well deserved. Also I got hit on like college style again.
3. Fisherman’s Wharf. Although touristy I thoroughly enjoyed this area. I even ate 2 bites of fried fish! Whaaaa?
4. Ghiradelli Square- is where I consumed the best ice cream I have had in yearsssss
5. Our stop in Santa Rosa at the Russian River Brewery. As Grace says…it was the best pizza she has had since we left NJ. Wow.
So it is Tuesday now and we have been here for a week. The days are hot and filled with work. Maybe thats a good thing cause as you can tell the downtime is filled with money-spending, beer -drinking,  lame boy-dodging (where the good ones at), and food-eating. I think Voltaire was right.

Happy Belated Blog

16 Jun

“A day unemployed is like a bagel- even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good…” – A ridiculous quote from the book Evasion

This blog was supposed to be written about two days ago. I had a new title, new quotes in mind, and all the inspiration and motivation I would need. Then my car started making a funny noise and the rest is expensive history. On the way to the internet cafe we stopped by an auto shop to get the noise checked out and it turned out that my car needed a new air compressor blah blah blah blah blah. So here I am x amount of dollars poorer and not in the mood to blog at all. I feel like all my blogs start out this way nowadays.

Anyway, since we last talked a lot has happened. We left Weed and we are officially at our last new farm of the journey. It is a scary thought- I am ready to get back to all my friends and family but I am not ready for the trip to be over and the money to run out and the real world slap me in the face. Enough about that.

We have arrived in Upper Lake, California and more specifically Clover Creek Family  Farm. There is Thurston and Annelle who own the farm/vineyard, their family friend Rachel, Garlic the dog (I call him Garlique), Carbone the cat ( I call him carbomb), and 5 chickens. Everyone here seems really knowledgeable and more often then not I feel like I lack a lot of knowledge about a lot of subjects i.e. politics, food systems, car mechanics, medicine and health, kickball, current events, etc.

Hmm, what else….since being here we have done a lot……we have worked in our first vineyard of the trip. Vineyards take a lot of work. We spend the first part of the morning, trimming stray shoots, shoot thinning (well Thurston does this), and dodging thistle and weeds. We have worked with bovine blood as a deer deterrent, put up an electric chicken fence, and other miscellaneous tasks around the farm. Its nice to be working hard again- even though its hot as hell.

I have pictures to show you but Grace is done blogging and we need to get back to the farm for afternoon work. Here is one picture I will leave you with…for The Daily Show fans consider it a moment of Zen.

Drinking and Driving......Kombucha that is

Ok bye.

Skydance is Like a Bob Ross painting Come to Life

8 Jun

“I fall asleep with my friends around me, only place I know I feel safe, I’m going to call this home.”- Jimmy Eat World lyrics

I had this overwhelming itch to blog – maybe it was the fresh, clear air, the new company, or the two pints I had at Dunsmuir Breweryworks in the scorching sunlight. Three things I needed to talk to you about…

1. Our friend Cori Cornett has arrived. You may know her as bartender extraordinaire  from the Shepard and the Knucklehead, you may have seen her at the cheese counter at Hell Foods (Whole Foods, right Ryan?), or you may not know who she is at all. For those of you who don’t know her she is a great addition to the crew here at Skydance. She made the trek all the way out here to see…..us- or maybe the mountains- or maybe just to see another part of the country. Either way, she is here and enjoying every second- I can tell. She smiles constantly, drinks beer with me, take lots of pictures, makes guacamole, and keeps saying “wow look at that mountain.”

2. Not only has Cori arrived, Linda is home and with their forces combined they have brought the sun and Summer. That is right. For a second I thought that May 21st might have just meant the end of the sun not necessarily the world- but its back! We have moved our party outside- hiking, planting, mowing, weeding, and generally enjoying the outdoors.

3. I watched the Social Network the other night and it made me mad. I am not going to go on and on about all the things that I thought were wrong about it but I can say with confidence I will never have Facebook again and I am OK with it. Everyone involved in the movie/real life drama surrounding the rise Facebook has issues. So thats all. UGHHH

Thats all for now. Time to eat another dinner I barely helped prepare. I am, however, a good cleaner upper and I plan to maybe attempt dinner- making one night before we leave.

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