Archive | May, 2011

Home Sweet Skydance

27 May

If there was any time to pretentiously reference a Walden quote in order to compare it to modern day alternative ways of living, now would be the time. I am in a house built by the owners’ hands who live here. I am currently in the middle of the woods looking over a creek. There are threats of bears, mountain lions, lynx, and big foot. If I hadn’t rediscovered the music of Simon and Garfunkel I could probably hear the roar of both the creek and mountain lion as I write this.

Take that Thoreau

The main house

I cannot wait to get my hands dirty, start running again, sit on the deck and read, look at the mountain and think, do some writing, and see my friend CORI! I intend to take the subtle advice of Henry David Thoreau and enjoy my peaceful time in nature and not let anything in the world get to me- because who knows what is next–Vegas, L.A…

Oh yeah, and for that Walden quote…

” The morning wind forever blows, the poem of creation is uninterrupted; but few are the ears that hear it. “- Um, Thoreau

  

Goodbye my love!

That said "Welcome to California"- I am getting bad at this capturing signs thing

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Congrats on Surviving the End of the World

25 May

“Billy the kid did what he did and he died.”- lyrics by Why?

Let me be blunt. I am sick and I am totally not in the mood to blog- so don’t expect many laughs, overall themes, or thoughtful quotes. Expect lots of pictures, “please refer to Graces blog”, and that lyric above.

When I last left you I was in a Barnes And Noble in Boise, Idaho. I am currently blogging to you from French Press Coffee and Crepes in Salem, Oregon. There are many miles between the two places and within those miles a lot of stuff has gone down.

After Boise we headed to Olympia, Washington to hang out with The Melissa Sietsma and to regress to college debauchery. Before all that unfolded we were blessed with an amazing day and a beautiful ride. Pictures….

 

Mt. Hoodizzle

 

We left a body count in Oregon

Oregon is, according to me, the most beautiful state in the country. Alabama the least beautiful (still). We arrived safely in Olympia where we ate, drank and danced our way into the hearts of the locals.  For more detailed information about our stay in Olympia please see Grace’s blog.

One of the highlights of our Washington trip was our day adventure to Snoqualmie Falls and North Bend. As many of you know we are Twin Peaks fans and could not pass up the chance to see some of the locations where the show was filmed. I forgot my camera as per usual so I used Melissa’s digital camera- she has yet to send them to me so I have no pictures at this time- separate post to follow. We ate at the diner from the movie that is know for its cherry pie and damned fine cup of coffee. But instead of the youthful,good-looking characters from the show there were rough small-town women with raspy voices. Instead of the old wood panels and jukebox on the show there was a tacky checkered floor and red white and blue paint. Nonetheless, it was a good experience.

Can you read that?

Our next stop along our route was Portland, Oregon to see my good friend Theresa. Theresa is responsible for my love for Kombucha and the music of Why? and Defiance, Ohio. For that I will always be grateful. She took us around the city  for some food and beverages. That night we crashed out before 10:30. See Grace’s blog for more details.

Before heading to Salem, Oregon the next day we got breakfast at Fullers and doughnuts at Voodoo Donuts. Yes we ate breakfast and then donuts. Farmers on vacation can go a little crazy.  When we arrived in Salem Grace’s cousin took us out to lunch and then Grace, cousin Dave and I headed for the Pacific Coast.

That is the worlds smallest river- I am not even trying to be funny it really is

I have been kind of edgy the last week or so- whether its from lack of sunshine and heat, a bit of homesickness or the lack of physical activity and farm-life – touching my feet on the beach was just what I needed.

We continued down the 101 and hit a few more spots. The pictures taken below are from The Devil’s Punchbowl.

  

Thats a big punchbowl

Today we are just kind of relaxing and Grace has been running errands since I am currently worthless. We head for Mt. Shasta tomorrow where we will set up for just over three weeks.

Since our last farm I have lost my tan and found my beer belly. I am looking forward to getting my hands back in the dirt and sticking around one place for more than 3 days. The vacation part of this adventure has been fun and exhausting, we have made a lot of new friends and seen a few old ones. Thanks to all the friends and family along the way who have taken us in… and thanks to Grace’s mom for the carrot cake.

And I’m Back

18 May

“…happiness is not doing nothing, happiness is acting creatively, doing things, working hard on things you care about. Happiness is becoming an excellent long-distance runner, falling in love, cooking an original recipe for people you care about, building a bookshelf, writing a song.” – Excerpt from the book Work

Sorry folks-its been a long time since my last post and a lot as happened- so much so that the thought of blogging is a bit overwhelming. I will make an effort to hit the best parts and keep you engaged- I can’t promise much. This introudcution already feels awkward- oh well here we gooooooo

1. We are no longer in New Mexico. You probably know this from Grace’s blog or from the calendar you are using to follow our travels ( I kid.) Anyway the next stop was Colorado to visit my old roommate from college- Lauren Fowler. I shot some pictures from our New Mexico- Colorado drive. It was gorgeous.

 

We turned around to get this one

 

I had a weird affinity to this rock

When we got to Denver we went to a delicious brewery ( shocking I know) to get some grub and then we met Lauren’s bunnies and friends- they were all nice. Colorado was like time travel back to college in good and bad ways. I will leave it at that. At any rate it was a good time and we made some new friends.

these are some of the friends

these are some of the bunnies

oh boy

2. We are not in Colorado anymore. Nope. We are in Boise, Idaho. I know some readers might think to themselves Idaho, really? Truth is Idaho rocks. Uncle Bub ( grace’s awesome Uncle) rocks, the downtown scene rocks, and Jimmy Eat World rocked my face off last night. Also the mountains and rocks are awesome to- it was one of the prettiest states next to Wyoming in my humble, east coast opinion.

The drive from Colorado to Idaho was by far the most breathtaking part of the road trip – pure gorgeousness. Here are some pictures for your enjoyment.

Right outside of Fort Collins I believe

The Visibility- The fog was turrible Yikes!

   

I have so many pictures I could post but I think we need to leave the land of free Wi Fi. Grace’s family is coming over for dinner tonight and we need to get ready for that.I will post more pictures when I get a chance- or maybe I can show them to you next time I see you over a beer or a coffee- your treat.

Happy Campers

8 May

“Our feral energy will rip civilization to shreds and create a life of wild freedom and intense pleasure.” – anonymous

I must say Sunshine and I have been really outdoorsy lately- rugged even. Besides the obvious farming outdoors thing, we have rarely stepped indoors besides sleeping (its still in the 20s and 30s at night) and our Scream and Twin Peaks marathons. I am also proud to announce that we took our first shower since Clovis NM. That’s right 10 full days of sweating in the sun and not showering.

After working all morning Friday we were able to have the afternoon off.  We made plans to go up to Taos Ski Valley to do a little hiking followed by a visit to the dairy fairy (ice cream).  We did an hour or so of hiking- my guess was that we did an even 5 miles.  We plan to go back and hike further up the mountain- this time I will make sure my camera is not dying. I was able to snap a few shots…

Something is missing

The plan for the weekend was to drive down the Turquoise Trail in search of jewelry, beer and picturesque views. We found it all and more.

Our first stop was Madrid it is pronounced nothing like the Madrid you are thinking of. It was a neat little town full of galleries, jewelry stores, and drinking venues.  My personal favorite was the Mine Shaft Tavern. It is the most haunted place in town which is not that impressive because as far as you can see is how big the town is. Anyway it was cool and had a lot of history behind it. I love history and a good IPA.

you walk through here to get to the bar

We drove further down the Turquoise Trail and then oh yeah one more indoor stop was a Forever 21. Sunshine needed a dose of mall. I got out unscathed and she showed great control. We headed back to the camp site- good thing we made reservations. There were about 50 empty campsites and the 2 of us. We ate some dinner, went into town for a bit and ended the night in the tent watching “Californication.”

  

The next morning we went to the Route 66 diner- it was yummy. We also found cheap gas!

Next we drove up 14 miles of mountain to the Sandia Crest peak. My head felt like it was going to explode as we ascended into thin air. The pictures will have to tell the rest of the story.

   

Read closely---and get big!

this could probably work on the other kind of cougar- like the one in bars

light bathroom reading

We are back safe and sound in Taos ready for one more week of farming, hiking, and being awesome in New Mexico.  Then we are Denver-bound

Blame it on the A-A-A-Al-Al-Altitude

4 May

“True life is lived when tiny changes occur.”- Tolstoy

Taos is high! This means you get drunk more easily and hangovers are worse, running feels terrible on your lungs, and you have to use the high-altitude recipe on the back of the brownie mix. I’ve experienced two out of three of these–can you guess which 2?

Ok, lets catch you up. New Mexico is gorgeous and extremely different from any other place I have visited. Ahhh screw it I am going to use my list format to hit the high notes of the first week in TAOS.

1. Farming– I really like our new farm hosts Jeff and Tania. Jeff is really knowledgeable about farming and Tania is an amazing cook. We have been doing a lot of really physical work here which is good because we are not running at all. The way that Jeff waters some of his crops is with melt water from the mountains. There are actually water rights for this and meetings that he has to attend. It seems like a really cool way to use the water efficiently. It also means lots of digging trenches and tilling since the crops are not actually planted yet. The farm is quiet for now since it is the beginning of the growing season. The days here average around 70 and the night lows get as low as 20 degrees. We even saw snow for the first time since we left Jersey.

I hate snow. I hate when my pictures won't rotate even more.

2. Taos– Taos is beautiful and unique. I don’t think I could ever live here- I just don’t get the feeling that I belong. Nonetheless, its a great place to visit and I am happy it became part of our trip. the highlights are the Gorge Bridge and Earthships and green chile beer.

There is not much to say about the bridge, the pictures pretty much take care of that.

I had this overwhelming feeling that I was going to drop my camera

lucky for you dear reader I did not

Don't Look Down

Earthships are these funky houses made from recycled materials and are awesometown (hmm awesometown is not recognized as a word). Check out earthships.org for more valid information about them and their purpose.

 

Last night we went to a brew pub called Eske’s brew pub and I drank their green chile beer. It was incredible and the most unique beer I have ever tasted. mmmm.

This weekend Grace and I are planning on traveling down the Turquoise Trail in search of jewelry, beer, and picturesque views. We plan on camping out Saturday night so there should be much to blog about next Monday.

(corny paragraph alert) We are halfway through this trip already and its kind of crazy to think about. Along the way there have been changes in altitude, friends, housing arrangements, climate, farming techniques and scenery. Its these little changes that have made this trip so amazing and so overwhelming. I think its these changes and experiences that will make this part of my life unforgettable.

Happy Mother’s day to all the mothers reading this blog. Happy birthday Daddy Boy. Good luck on finals T.