May the long time sun shine upon you, all love surround you and the pure light within you, guide your way on "~Incredible String Band

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

What a Long Strange Trip it's Been...........

I have received several emails lately asking what 's up with the blog and what Moss and I are up to. The truth is I have been much to busy living life lately and have had little time to write about it.

I will try here however to bring everyone up to date.

Last place we left off, Moss and I had just arrived in c.a. We stayed a few weeks and visited many dear friends before heading off to Washington to work on a few initiatives. We made our way slowly up the cost,on us 101, through the redwoods, stopping at beaches and forests along the way, never going over 50 miles an hour, and not even that on the big hills.While stopped at a gas station in willits we got to chatting with some folks who lived in town.It turns out they to were doing a veggie oil conversion at a near by place known as the Energy Park. They invited us over to see the place and hang out for a spell.

The energy park is a great little grassroots group of folk who help people convert their vehicles to run on WVO ( waste veggie oil). From what I could tell the place consisted of a shop and a large parking lot, filled with dozens of buses, from school buses to city buses and almost every one was beautifuly and artfully painted. We Immediately felt at home.

When we pulled in we saw some folks gathered around a bus maticulously painting. I stepped out and a kind , colorfully dressed girl called out,

" hey mamma, we have some grub here, if your hungry", and she pointed to a wok set on the gravel parking lot.

I took her up on her offer, and after much hugs and introductions, we all sat down to share a meal and chat. Turns out they had just spent the last week at the park converting their bus to wvo (waste veggie oil), with the help of the fine people at the energy park, and would be leaving the following day.

Some other kind folk we met offered for us to come back to their place for a few days to rest and hang out.Unfortunately we could not take them up on that as we had to get to Washington and work . We left near dusk with promises to return for a visit soon.

We continued up the coast on us 101, going ever so slowly and carefully through the enormous hills and windy roads in the mountains. When we reached the Oregon border we realized the roads were entirely too narow and windy for our big bus, so we cut over to I 5 and Grants Pass, via an even more insane road. At times it was one lane, no railing and vertical cliffs.

We had driven the 101 from c.a to Oregon more times that I can count, but never noticed how trecherous the roads were, until we drove it in the bus. You just cannot be in a hurry in a school bus, I kind of like that. The bus did wonderful though, we went slow and didn't overheat once. The airbreaks worked great , maintaining their pressure well. Whats more is we did it all on FREE clean burning waste veggie oil !

I gotta tell ya, it does feel good knowing we are not contributing to our current wacko goverments war for oil.

Once in washington we parked in the Walmart parking lot for a week or so and worked the initiative at the surounding stores. That did well for us, and we then headed down to Cougar (terwilliger hot springs ) in Oregon, for the weekend of the fourth.
On our way to cougar we stopped for a few days at a free campground, listed in my book, Guide to Free Campgrounds of the West.

The map showed it as being right off I 5 on the way to Oregon, so we figured it would be a great place to stop for a few days. What an adventure that turned out to be.

After driving for what seemed like forever through narrow,very steep and windy BLM roads, we finally found the road we were looking for, or so we thought. The road ,we quickly realized ( unfortunately not quick enough) turned out to be a very narrow logging road, one that became even more narrow the further we went. Eventually we were forced to turn our huge 37 foot bus around on this road,with a several hundred foot vertical drop off on one side, and a ditch on the other.

Well, somehow, I am still not quite shure how, we did manage to get it turned around and headed back out, much to my great relief.Once back to the main road,we were still many miles from nowhere, in the middle of the forest .

We continued on down the dirt road, lost at this point for shure, when we came upon, to our suprise, a strange looking complex of cement buildings, cut into the middle of the forest. Tired, confused and exhausted we turned into the drive way, just in time for me to notice the men in orange jump suits working out side and the sighn stating "state corectional facility"...

Uh oh, was too late to turn around at this point.The men in the orange jumpsuits stared open mouthed at us in our giant green bus, I am shure it is not every day they see something like that out there.

Unshure of what to do with no way to turn around Moss pulled up to the first person he saw and opened the door. It just so happened to be one of the orange suited inmates raking the ground.....

Moss opened the door and asked if the fellow knew of the campground we were looking for or how to get back to town, the distance I could see the other inmates jumping around and slapping their hands, hysterical with laughter.

The guy looked at us with a mixture of fear and disbelief,...

"uh,..I dun no,.." he stammered, looking away.

This was bad, at any momment I fully expected our bus to be riddled with bullets . In the rear view mirror we could see an officer aproaching,..he did not look happy...

Moss and I quickly fell over one another in a feeble attempt to explain what we were doing parked in the middle of the facility conversing with an inmate. He didnt want to hear it, and cut us off, trying very hard to remain composed, and stated simply and directly that we were to turn our bus around, there ( he pointed) and get out of here. End of story.

We turned the bus around, not without great difficulty, and much to the amusement of the inmates, and drove away, waving as we went.

Down the road another 10 miles we did find the campsite, where we stayed for three days before moving on to cougar hot springs in Oregon, one of our all time favorite places.

For those of you not familar with cougar it is a truly magikal hot spring nestled in the old growth forest of the cascade mountains, just 50 miles outside of Eugene. People have been going there to soak in the healing warm waters for many years. I couldn't take pictures of the pools to show you because there were people in it, naked people who would not have appreciated me taking pictures . You can see some photos of it here though, naked people not included... (sorry)

You meet a lot of intresting people sitting around naked in the springs there.Moss and I were not there more than thirty minutes when we were invited to a gathering / party down the road a piece at hippy hollow, a forest campground in the national forest and long time hangout in the area.

It was so wonderful to be around rainbow family, especially since we were not able to make the national gathering down south. We saw many old friends and made many new ones during the weekend. We even got to go crystal minning on top of the mountain with our friend Shawn, and found several good size pieces.

We spent a week in the mountains there soaking in the hot springs every morning , then heading back to camp to relax in the woods, play music and talk. At night there was live music, blazing campfires and good conversation. We headed back to Eugene on the fith( bringing with us TEN riders to town) just in time for the Oregon Country Fair the following weekend.

The Oregon Counrty Fair is not your mom and dads country fair. There is no way to acurately describe this beautiful gathering that has been taking place in the woods outside Eugene for 34 years. I have included lots of great photos to help you get the idea though.

Moss and I attended the three day festival on friday night and had a great time bumping into old friends, listening to music and enjoying all the amazingly talented artisians.We headed back to washington on the ninth to work some more on an initiative, this time in Renton.

So that is where I sit now, at a Starbucks in Renton Washington...... typing away.We plan on being here another few weeks, when we then head back to Eugene to attend the Faeire worlds festival,

The faery fest is a beautiful, grand celebration of all things fae !! We have a friend who will be able to get us on the crew and a camping pass AND maybe even a spot to sell my art work. This is the PERFECT venue for my dolls, so I am now busily creating more dolls, our bus parked at the Walmart parking lot, while Moss works the initiative.

Thats about it. I will now let the photos tell the story,...

One of the bus's parked at the Energy park.

One of the bus's parked at the Energy park.

Our friend paints his bus

Another friend we made at energy park

Our friend shows us his artwork

Gaia and I pose for a pic

Pippin explores a tree

Moss Poses for A Pic at a beach in Northern Cal

Chopping Wood for the Fire

Looking for Crystals

Water fall near Cougar Hot Springs

The View from the Crystal Mine

Oregon Country Fair

Oregon Country Fair - A personnel favorite :)

Oregon Country Fair

Oregon Country Fair

Oregon Country Fair

Oregon Country Fair

Oregon Country Fair

Oregon Country Fair

Oregon Country Fair

Oregon Country Fair

Oregon Country Fair

Oregon Country Fair