Jan.1st-March 14th, 2008, Tillamook, Oregon
I tried. I took a job for the money. Today was my last day. Thanks to my friend, James, I landed it the first week in January. I've never worked so little and
got paid so much in my life. I worked 10 times as hard back in Maine at the feed store and got paid a fraction of the amount. It finally came to the
point where I'd have to stop caring completely about what I was doing if I stayed any longer and I won't do that, so I gave my two weeks
notice and today it ended. The only consolation was all the guys I met. I've worked a lot of jobs in a lot of different places and the
guys I met on this job were a great bunch and I'll miss 'em. They all have roots and reasons, like families, for having to turn a blind
eye working for a big company and the money and what it does for them is worth it. Who would blame them? But, I'm still free and this is
one major reason why I never started a family because then I'd be at the mercy of a system that can really take a toll on a person's
spirit. God love all the guys (and girls) stickin out in the cold wet weather day in and day out to provide for their families. I don't
believe a person should have to turn a blind eye in order to make enough money to provide for themselves and their loved ones and now I guess I'll
have to prove it...or never have any.
*James Davis for hooking me up.
*Wally and Diane Nelson for givin me a place to get cleaned up.
*Bill Farnum for givin a place to regroup at and work on my vehicle (I had to buy one temporarily so I could bring Job to work).
*Nice lady in the silver car who stopped in the middle of the night to see if we needed help.
Some concepts that we may want to consider:
cancer-an uncontrolled growth beyond the normal limits, intrusion on and invasion of
surrounding areas sometimes even spreading to other locations if gone untreated causing eventual death.
addiction-a compulsion of engaging in a specific activity, despite harmful consequences to
health, mental state and social life.
human beings- bipedal primates belonging to the mammalian species Homo sapiens (Latin: "wise man" or "knowing man")
in the family Hominidae (the great apes). Compared to other species, humans have a highly developed brain capable of abstract
reasoning, language, and introspection. This mental capability, combined with an erect body carriage that frees their upper limbs for
manipulating objects, has allowed humans to make far greater use of tools than any other species. DNA evidence indicates that modern
humans originated in Africa about 200,000 years ago. Humans now inhabit every continent with a total population
of over 6.7 billion as of March 2008. (-From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
denial- a defense mechanism in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to
accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.
April 2nd, 2008, Tillamook, Oregon
April 20th, 2008, Astoria, Oregon
We're back in Atown to fix up the sailboat after the bad storm this winter.
May 3rd, 2008, Astoria, Oregon
The sun hasn't shined in a longtime. Though the winter was less cold than in Maine, it's been much wetter and drearier.
The rain started in October and hasn't stopped yet. Even in New England in the winter you get some sunny days and spring's already started there,
but this is how you learn. I knew coming off the road would be a challenge and I
wouldn't know if a place would be the right fit until I'd spent a year there. The northwest is still breathtaking to me, but I miss the sunshine,
and so do my solar panels which I recently installed on the vanagon. I'm actually typing this on my laptop with solar power, right now.
I made a trip down the coast to northern California about a month ago to compare the climates, and though the commumtiy is different than Astoria
which I'll miss, the weather is much more favorable.
May 5th, 2008, Astoria, Oregon
Food from the earth. It didn't take that long to pick a whole bowl. There's a couple construction jobs I could land, but something inside has had enough
of contriving motivation for
meaningless work. If you want to build something strong you shouldn't build it with hollow bricks. My vanity has always justified labor kind
of work because it gave me an awesome work out, but I haven't found any true hard labor in a while, so I'm getting skinny, again. I know I'm supposed to be
ashamed or embarrassed for my present situation and if I was always late for work or constantly
screwing up and costing my employers money and as result getting fired all the time then maybe I would be. But, I've never been fired and I constantly look
for ways to save my employers money. I've always been the one employee they never had to worry about, except for making sure I quit at the end of the day instead
of working through the night. I've got nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. Maybe we need to look at our system and ask ourselves why an
honest hardworking person would have such a hard time going along with the way things are.
Instead of feeling negative, a weird kind of peace has come over me. Job is fine. I bought him a 50lb. bag last week, the good stuff as always. My bills are all payed for the time
being. I researched edible plants and have
been drinking lots of water and eating clovers until what's next presents itself. We are too disconnected from the earth. The fact that an abled body person
could starve surrounded by this beautiful wilderness is absurd. The knowledge of how to live in nature should be something that is taught and passsed down
from generation to generation and never lost.
I've met countless numbers of young people from all across America (Europe, Asia, and Australia, as well) who feel the same way I do about
the state of the world and our priorites in relation to what can be done and many have told me that they want to join me if I ever decided to walk,
again. A lot of them are educated college graduates reluctant to enter into a life that won’t afford them a lot of meaning or higher purpose.
Awareness needs to be brought to the issue we are all facing, not just young people, regarding a more sustainable relationship with the earth and ourselves.
New small-scale farm prototypes need to exist utilizing wind, water, and solar power, organic farming practices and zero emission machinery to
teach future generations what they need to learn to compose lives that are more harmonious with the planet. The days of cashing a check that our
planet can’t cash are over. I’ve been studying each facet of the farm prototype and getting hands on experience as I’ve walked and worked on many
different farms all across America and Europe for the past ten years. Upon arriving back in the States last summer, I’ve been scoping out possible
locations for the farm. I visited many versions similar to the farm prototype and the greatest hurdle they all face is the financial one. It’s a
double-edged sword, the desire for independence more sustainable practices offer and the reality of still being dependent on traditional means to
create income. The volume of people it is possible to reach through the media and the internet could be the determining factor regarding the success
in creating these working farm models.
May 14th, 2008, Astoria, Oregon
A production company in NY called me this morning and is interested in doing a reality show on farm life. Though I have mixed feelings about reality t.v.
and told them so, it could be an opportunity to promote the positive aspects of living with the land and not just another contrived drama laden fiasco. Sold
the sailboat for funds and food to relocate to northern California. Just have one last loose end to tie up here.
May 15th, 2008, Long Island, Washington
When I first arrived in Astoria in late summer last year, I would stop at a small quiet park and boat ramp just outside of town to go swimmimg, wash up
and let Job run around. One evening after a swim, a van trailering a boat backed down the ramp and two guys got out. I said "Doin' some night fishin?" as I
walked past and the older of the two men said,
"Fishing? That's work. We're goin water skiing."
"Just the two of you?" I replied (growing up we always went with three guys; one to drive, one to spot, and one to ski)
"Yah", he said.
"Ok", I remarked.
"Why you wanna come?"
"Sure" I exclaimed and off we went.
I had such a blast. I can't remembered the last time I'd gone. I gave all that stuff up years ago when I chose the road less traveled. I tried to replace
water skiing with windsurfing and
dirtbikes with horses, but I guess I did ok because occasionally I'd bump into Manny, Pete's son, the older of the two who had invited me (who's ten times
more active than guys half his age) around town and
he'd always say I should
stop by their building. Pete was a veterinarian and owned the office building where he had his practice and where two of his sons, Manny and Ben, twins,
lived in the apartments
on the backside of the building where they ran their construction company from and stored all their boats, trucks and toys. I finally did stop by and come to find out Ben's also an
aspiring treasure hunter. I guess the generous and gregarious nature of all the guys won me over especially considering how lonely it can get moving from
place to place all the time because here Job and I are on a remote wilderness island on the coast of Washington looking for treasure. Ben's convinced if he
harness the pig headed stubborn determination (my words, not his) it requires someone like me to walk 30 miles a day for months and months at a time living
the way I do and apply it to treasure hunting we'd all be millionaires. I didn't know treasure hunting was an actual enterprise, but it's excuse for me and Job
to camp and explore someplace new and if I happen to trip over a pile of gold in the woods while doing so I guess that'd be kinda cool.
Set up camp on the beach, but the bears where making too much racket in the woods behind us, so around eleven we took to the high moonlit tide in the kayak
and gently rocked to
sleep in a calm shallow inlet I found just off shore. Otters are a lot quieter. We didn't even hear the two that tip toed by us early this
morning after the tide had gone out and left us high and dry. After paddling across a windy bay at the end of day three, we made it back to the van which was parked on an overgrown
logging road that ended
at the shore of the mainland. Didn't find any treasure, just put a little more shine on this diamond in the rough journey.
*Pete, Manny and Ben Goza for all their generousity and for making me feel like part of the group.
June 1st, 2008, South-Hum, California
Made it down to Cali with a sense of relief (I didn't pay much for this vehicle and it shows). Job looked pretty stressed out, too, conked out on the couch in back.
Workin for an ol' homesteader up in the mountains. He has a vineyard and makes his own wine, bee
hives and makes his own honey (yum), a vegetable garden and a flock of sheep. He'd like me to stay, live there, and take over
the place, but he can't allow Job because he's afraid his new female sheep dog will want to play with Job rather
than protect the flock from mountain lions and other predators. He got her when she was a little too old and she's
a bit confused about where she belongs. I told him there's no doubt I could train Job
to do the job and in turn he'd train her, but I didn't insist because I knew this wasn't the place for me as
close to what I'm looking for as it is. He has a small business which is just a front for another produce that people grow A LOT
of around here and it is apparent. Hardwork, cleanliness and being organized aren't as common as they should be. But, this makes me
a commodity and he tells me I won't have any trouble finding work. There's plenty of people who aren't into that
other enterprise. It's still nice to get closer to the point where I might
be able to finally start growing some roots of my own, make friends, and start a life for myself.
Found a beautiful place to stay on some land by a river a couple towns away. I offered to pay Will, the landowner, in exchange for staying on the land,
but he wouldn't hear of it. He was happy to give us a home base to work from. Through the break in the trees
the field empties out to meet the river where I swim and wash up after work.
We share the acreage with a family of draft horses. When we first came to the property before I'd even met Will, they had gotten loose
and were nearing a spot where they could get out into the road, so I rounded them up and fixed the fence where they were getting out. The the big male who's
pretty much untrained recently became a gelding (which means he's been a stallion all
of his life) and stallions can be dangerous. He tried to bully me a little at first, but it's hard to be scared of something you love so much so he quickly learnt
I was no push over and we're buddies, now. They roam free on the 100+ acre parcel during the day and at night Job and I walk
up to the barn and visit with them. The big male and Job had to come to a peaceful understanding about respecting eachother's space
while I'm at work. They worked it out after kicking up a little dust and they've been fine ever since. Boys will be boys.
June 21st, 2008, Arcata, California
I wrote up a letter which I handed out to prospective farms at the farmer's market held in downtown Arcata and also dropped them off
at farms I visited in the
surrounding area. I was particular about which farms I inquired with regarding their location. I didn't want to be dependent on a vehicle for work.
In all the years and in all the places I've lived and worked I've always managed to live where I worked or in walking distance to my job. Commuting is
something I never agreed with. Now, of course, with the earth's oil reserves being depleted, gas prices soaring, and global warming becoming more concerning
it's a popular value to have. I, also, added another
requirement of being able to bike to town and get groceries and do errands. After two weeks of looking I may have found the right fit.
Job and I are living off the grid on a large piece of land in a secluded grove
of trees bordered by the Mad River on one side and pasture and farmland on the
others. It is owned by the farmer I am working for who's been farming organic longer than any other farm in this part of California. To get to work we simply
walk along the river a 1/4 mile or so. To get to town, we simply pedal about 5 miles (well, I pedal. He runs or rides). To
get to the beach, we simply paddle about 2 miles or wait for the outgoing tide and just float along with the current.
I got the added bonus, last week, of getting to go horseback riding. I tried not to make too big a deal about it
because Elly and Mary who were nice enough to let me take a break from the road and regroup at their house have lived in the valley over the first mountain pass outside of Arcata their entire lives, but
it was a dream come true for me to ride a horse, and a painted one at that, throughs the woods and over the open rolling hills surrounded by the expanse
of mountains and valleys this part of the country offers. I got to ride Hanah the brown one. The white one is Blue.
I'm not sure if this is heaven, but I know I've been through hell to get here. That's one of risks of taking the road less traveled, you could
have the worse day of your life and no one would ever know. The flip side is you could have the best and no one would either, but atleast I can write
about it. Here's hoping it finally lasts.
August 10th, 2008, Arcata, California
Making the decision to stay in one place was the first step. I've done that (with my fingers still crossed). The next step is to do more than just live
here. Over all the years and places
of living on the road, one belief in the world has kept me going more than any other. When fate would play it's hand and I'd go from one minute walking
down the road
completely alone to the next minute hanging out with a new friend or group of friends talking, laughing and visiting with one another, it would always
reinforce my faith that there is something familiar in all of us. I'm not sure if I was consciously aware of it a long
time ago, but it's always been there otherwise I never would have embarked on such a path. I'd be sittin on a kitchen countertop drinkin a beer laughin
with a buddy I just met and
it was as if we'd know eachother for years. In fact, there were times I'd find myself surrounded by a group who reminded me so much of the friends I grew up
with that I'd just have to laugh and kind of shake my head and accept that there was no way I could explain it and I'd just have to enjoy it.
It's taught me more clearly that we are all part of something whether we realize it or not. Though I really miss them and everyone I've met,
especially being in a new
place again where I don't know anyone, I believe we are surrounded by family we don't even know we have. I've been called naive for as long as I can remember
and accused of
trusting people too much with the way I've lived, and maybe it's true, but it's only because so many of us have forgotten what it's like to not have our guard up
so high that we can't even hear what someone else is saying. There are reasons why we somehow find ourselves in this position and luckily the life I've lived
has allowed me to avoid many of them. Whether I realized it or not walking down in empty road in the middle of
nowhere created the perfect opportunity for someone else who also hasn't given up on this connection to find me and they did. Hundreds passed me by just like
now I pass hundreds by, but when the opportuntity was there we found eachother, not to sound too touchy-feely. It's not about tip-toeing through the tulips
with the world -sorry, not sure I'll ever be ready for that. It's about realizing there's nothing to lose and everything to gain by remaining open to
eachother without feeling threatened by a new person or new idea, or like
you'll somehow lose you individual identity by being part of a group. A crucial element to these found connections was the fact that there was no needs or
expectations placed on the situation. I wasn't hitch-hiking. I wasn't asking for anything. I was simply walking and willing to walk on my own. This created
an opportunity for people who wanted to help someone who was willing to help themself to do so. It also weeded out predators who looked for people who were
in a positon of need and as a result more vulnerable. Each person I met unknowingly joined all the others, an expanding group of people who haven't given
up on being open, by simply reaching out to me
and it's up to me to keep these connections together by staying the course and not falling into the rut staying in one place can create. I need
to somehow create the opportunity for us to keep finding eachother and keep the
Aug.19th, 2008, Arcata, California
Left the farm. I wasn't getting any exercise weeding and picking vegetables nor had I made any new friends. Though I do think growing food locally is part of
the solution to many problems we face, I need to find a way to interact with my community more and work harder. I'd built an aluminum framed wagon this
winter big enough to carry a full sheet of plywood, 4x8 feet, in the
attempt to eliminate the dependency on a pick-up truck. From time to time, I'd entertain the idea of traveling across the country with it. I knew I built it
for a reason, little did I know I'd wind up in Arcata, California where people are so open-minded and creative when it comes to trying to live a more
conscientious life. I will miss my private little camping spot.
Aug.20th, 2008, Arcata, California
Loaded my bike and Job's trailer into the van along with all my camping gear and drove into town, pedaled back out to the farm with Job, loaded the bike and
trailer into the wagon, pulled it into town and parked it behind the van on a quiet street. It's the same size as a small flatbed utility trailer, so it
doesn't look too conspicuous.
Aug.21st, 2008, Arcata, California
When I built the tailgate part of the wagon, I made it so I could interchange different signs on it. Pulled the trailer to the outskirts of town where the
marsh meets the bay and parked it where Job could run around as I made a quick temporary sign just to have something on there in the hopes of finding
some work while I finished making a nice one.
Aug 22nd, 2008, Arcata, California
While stopping at the city recycle center to pick up some newspaper
so I could finish painting the sign, I got a small carpentry job from a genlteman who was interested in how I built the wagon. After finishing the
temporary tailgate sign, I decided to test out the
wagon on hills. In the evening when the streets where quiet, I loaded up the wagon with a cooler full of food, camping gear, laptop and tools and headed up
to Kinko's at the top of the decent sized hill in town to print out some flyers I made to post around to find work. Handled the hills fine, printed out the
flyers then parked the wagon in a group of trees along the freeway on the edge of town and went to bed.
Aug 23rd, 2008, Arcata, California
Posted flyers, picked up lumber for the carpentry job, rolled the wagon up to the town plaza where the farmer's market is held, today, and worked on the
sign some more. When I'm ready, a long shot hope of mine is to relieve all the farmer's at the market of whatever produce they don't sell and load it into
the wagon, so I can push it around town and sell the remainder.
Aug 24th, 2008, Arcata, California
Pulled the wagon out of town to a remote spot on the
highway that headed out to the coast and set up the saw horses and built a small piece of furniture for the customer I met the other day.
Aug.25th, 2008, Arcata, California
Checked out storage units. Juggling the van, kayak, bike, trailer and wagon with no place to live is not ideal. Got invited to try a yoga class by my customer,
James. One of the benefits of staying in one place is I can start taking different types of classes. I already started Brazilian Ju Jitsu classes, so
yoga would be a nice change.
Aug.26th, 2008, Arcata, California
Mounted the new sign and pulled the wagon up the hill to the location of the Tuesday farmer's market to see what kind of produce was sold there. I'll need
to find a place to store
the wagon before I undertake trying to use it to sell produce though. Went by a seamstress shop
and dropped off the protype of the shelter system I designed and used all over Europe last year to see how much it would cost to have more made. Though I
have no desire to try and make money off of it I've been
told I should market and sell them. Maybe if I had someone to provide for I could get more motivated to use my ideas to make money, but as it stands I
hate the idea. Rolled out to the edge of town to a check out a couple farms I'd heard about that I
for part time work on in exchange to keep the wagon there rather than on the street. Left a letter of introduction at one of them. Rolled back into town and
parked the wagon behind the van.
Sept.3rd, 2008, Arcata, California
Got a storage unit for free after offering to clean out the junk that was in it. It's big enough that I can roll the wagon right in. No more juggling all
my stuff. The
kayak is in a man's garage who asked me if he could rent it for a week. I told him he could borrow it and he offered to keep it in his garage and gave me a
key. I've been picking up regular work now and the town is getting to know me. I was offered a spot on an illustrated town map today which comes out this
winter. It would have a little drawing of my wagon and maybe even Job riding in it. I've met lots of people since I left the farm. It seems like everthing
I want is right here. There's only one problem. I had my movie remastered so I could stock it in the video stores here in Arcata and maybe makes some friends
that way. In the process I had to watch it and it got me thinkin about the road, again.
Sept.6-8th, 2008, Eureka, California
Left Arcata in the early evening and walked to Eureka where there was an art and film festival happening downtown. The streets where full of people and music.
Parked the wagon in between a bunch of motorcycles parked out front of a bar with a band playin classic Creedance on the sidewalk. Met lots of friendly
people. Headed to the outskirts
of town late night and slept in the wagon, cooked up some breakfast on the woodstove and rolled out of town in the late afternoon after checking out another
the scenic route back to Arcata on a country road that winded through farmland and little neighborhoods. Came to a small bridge and I'm not sure where it's
written by I think there's a law somewhere that states if a boy and his dog are walking down a country road in the summertime and come to a bridge over a nice
they have to jump in, so we did. I know technically I'm not a boy, but not for a lack of youthfulness. Camped out on a dirt construction road just off the main.
It was only about a 25 mile trip, but I just wanted to see how it felt.
Nov.09, 2008, Malibu, CA
Dec.19, 2008, central coast, CA