Category Archives: Uncategorized

GOLD! ! !

There’s GOLD in them there hills!!

Ok, maybe it sounds better when a REAL prospector says it.  But nonetheless Brenda and I went prospecting for our own kind of treasure, things we can share with you.

I downloaded a map file for my GPS that showed all the gold mines in Arizona.  Now some of the mines are working “claims”.  In other words someone owns the mine property and has a claim filed with the Bureau of Land Management to extract gold or other valuable ore.  This is important because all of these are private property and the owners do look out for each other.  I’ve learned that there are “claim jumpers” even today.  This was told to me by Steve Hunt, the owner of Gold Eye Mine.  Steve approached us cautiously since we were looking  at what I thought was Kellogg Mine.

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I thought this was the Kellog mine I was mistaken.   And just then a fellow rolled up that owned the mine across a small wash from here that was once the Kellogg mine.
Once Steve began to see we were not modern day “claim jumpers” he gave me his card and invited us to take pictures of the the site.  We talked further and he would be willing to give free tours of the site.  Rather than take up his time for just two people, I told him I would put the offer out on social media to come up with a group.  GIVE ME A COMMENT BELOW IF YOU ARE INTERESTED.  I’m thinking this would be something fun to do during the RTR in January.

Here’s a link to a video Steve has up telling the history of his mine.

We a had a great time visiting the cabins that were still standing (for the most part) and just poking around looking at what a mine would have looked like.

I made a video for YouTube you can see here… https://youtu.be/XtE09BAPkSU

Our exploring earlier in the day took us to the Julian Mine.  I told Brenda we had to locate this one because Julian was the name of one of my favorite uncles.

OK, so we didn’t strike a prospector’s kind of “paydirt” but, we did find our own kind.  For us the treasure is being able to share the travels and adventures with all of you.

“Get out, Be safe, and Go adventure”

Small world and interesting timelines…

This is truly proof we live in a small world with all kinds of timelines.
First, let’s go backward in time.
[[[2013]]]    I stopped at an intentional community (Henry Thoreu’s definition) in Tennessee while headed south.  This was an open community that more closely resembled extended family. Anyone was welcome there with only a couple “requests”.
The community garden and animals needed tending and everyone was expected to do some part.  Nobody ‘assigned’ your part, that was for you to find and decide. The name of this place was “Shut Up and Grow It”.   There was some connection to other feed the people groups hence, the grow it part.
###  First link to Shut Up  ###
As you could see from the blog post a great little place with a mission to allow people to live their lives.   Now fast forward a bit to ….
[[[2015]]]    Brenda and I stopped at the same place I had been a year or so ago.
Except this time we were visiting at Christmas time. Our travels were taking us south so why not go west first?
Christmas Eve at “Shut Up and Grow It” was a unique experience. While a number of the the folks there were gone traveling to family.
We were greeted again openly and almost as extended family. Everbody pitched into the evening meal either foodstuffs, cooking expertice, or critique.
And we made friends there that we stay in touch with today.

###  Second link to Shut Up  ###

### Third link to Shut Up ###

So what does all this have to do with Oregon 2017, our vanlife, or even the total ecplise?
It goes back to those timelines. You see we returned to the Oregon coast to escape the heat east of Eugene only to realize that the coast area
in the line with the “area of totality” was going to be crazy. At least that was the opinion of all the media and therefore most of the people.
So we fell for it and headed for the forest and back to North Fork in the Suislaw National Forest. We hoped that all the places were not already full of people driven by the same instincts as ours.

[[[ 2017 ]]]  We were pleased to find not only was there a space, there was that bus again.   Before you go back and look at the above paragraphs searching for a bus reference there isn’t one.   We FIRST saw the bus several days ago when we were staying here while headed south down the coast. That’s when the world as a whole shrank in space and time.   Now Brenda will tell you I will talk to just about anyone, ok everyone. So, after having spoke to the neighbors one of them comes up to me and says she knows me.
While that was no cause for alarm it did surprise me. She said she recognized the picture of Layla and I on the card I gave to one of the travellers in their group.
(I have a suspicion it was Layla she recognized.)217

It had been a little more than three years, she had longer hair back then and was holding a baby about 6mos. old.  It was Jen from the “Shut Up and Grow It” community! IMG_20170817_141922Now the five kids were all much bigger and the 6mo old was a curly-headed delight riding a bike. IMG_20170817_120953.jpg You see, the timelines crossed and then crossed again, this time on the other side of the country.   Since we’ve spent a night or two in casino parking lots what are the odds of running into people like that.
AND, even larger, recognizing someone you ran into on a chance meeting. (OK,ok, I know it was Layla’s eyes.)
It was great fun to run into Chris and Jen again. Their bus had been painted, the kids had grown much bigger, my van was totally different, and I was no longer traveling alone. We were all amazed at how things had lined up to bring our paths back together.
This meeting renewed my faith in our travels and in our guidance through this big old universe. I learned that Patrick had changed the name of the place to “The Garden”.
The name change may have helped with garnering a little more local support.

[[[ 2018 ]]] So I guess this means we now have a 2018 destination to “etch into the Jello” of our plans. https://www.facebook.com/shutupandgrowit/
So more than a **Flashback Friday** we moved back forth along a timeline that ties us all together.
My usual tagline is flavored this time with good memories in the past and to be made in the future.

So…
“Get Out, Be Safe, and Go Adventure.”

A little history from Chief Black Hoof

Chief Black Hoof explains the meaning of the word we now say as “Kentucky” as he begins to explain life from the eyes of his people.  It’s interesting to hear history from a different perspective than the narrow view taught to us in school.  As he continues the differences begin to grow less and start to become similarities.He continues to describe the society of his people and it soon becomes clear that perhaps they were more progressive than the white men. He explains how women in his tribe were held in a higher position than even the white man’s women.  Indian women managed the affairs of the family, where to set camp, what to grow, they held all the belongings in the wig-wam, and yes even the wig-wam.  While the women in the white man’s nation had little to say about these things.  He describes  when it came time to go to war how the braves would defer the final veto to the elder women.  Then describes how young men became warriors.  And describes the making of the “scalp lock” and what it meant, along with the adorning of the warriors.  The reasons they fought the early settlers were described in ways that differ from those we learned.  Black Hoof goes on to describe his decisions in dealings with the white men of this new nation. And describes his final days.

Well I hope this has given you a little different perspective of history, it certainly caused me to think a little more about what I ‘knew”.  Brenda and I spent the whole day there just soaking up the atmosphere of the time they portrayed.  So I’ll be posting more videos and pictures to help tell the story we saw.

As always…

“Get out, Be safe, and Go adventure”

Spring Trade Day on May 28, 1782

Ok, maybe this was really just yesterday but it sure felt like 200 or more years ago.   We stopped in at Fort Boonesboro Kentucky to see the period actors and learn a few things.  I’l be posting some videos with music, history, and hopefully telling a story you’ll want to hear.  Those of you more than 400 followers know that I try and make fairly short posts here just so you can pop in to see what we’re doing. SO, to do that there are going to be several posts.   Along with the videos I’ll be adding podcast audio to “Road Noise” on this blog.  So stay tuned and check it out.

Jonathan shows us his two hundred year old lute.
Jonathan shows us his two hundred year old lute.

Today we were entertained by Jonathan Hagee who is known as a Colonial Balladeer.  He’s a “roving musician” who performs at fairs, festivals, schools, and historic sites sharing and talking about life in early America from the 1750-1820 time period.

Here’s a familiar tune with a hidden meaning…

Click this link…   Jonathan Hagee — “John Barley Corn”

To hear the entire video including a beautiful acapella and the description of his 200 year old lute visit: Road Noise on this blog.

To hear more from Jonathan go to his web site at:  Reverbnation.com/JonathanHagee     or Facebook: Facebook.com/ColonialBalladeer

I’ll be sitting still a little more and catching up.

Get Out, Be Safe, and Go Adventure.

This must be the place…

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Just as the sign said, “This must be the place”.

Brenda and I found this unique place while taking a day trip during the GTG in Ala.   This place definitely caught our interest as we drove by… DSC_1654

Wooden mules driving the Tin Man…

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A whole army of Tin Men…  Including a “Lineman for the county”

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What about a monkey wrench with a  “Baby Monkey Wrench”?  He built this in response to a conversation with Larry the Cable Guy.  Speaking of ‘critters…DSC_1657DSC_1658

There were green alligators and pink flamingos.  And they were all hanging out around the windmill.DSC_1647

Now before you accuse me of picking the wrong mushrooms from the forest, let me explain.  Brown’s Folk Art is a real place and he actually sells some of his pieces.  He also has treehouse cabins to rent up on the mountain behind his “open air museum”.  You can visit his Facebook page here at Brown’s FolkArt to see some pictures and learn more about this unique place, or give him a call at 256.437.1114.

That about wraps up one stop on our “day trip”.  Next time we’ll take a look at some abandoned quarry/mine pictures and a historic railroad stop.

So until then…

Be Safe, Get Out, and Go Adventure

Gypsy Jane sings us original songs


While at the Southeast GTG  (that’s ‘Get ToGether” for those who don’t know)  Gypsy Jane aka: Jane Cassidy, joined us and shared some of her music.  Now her’s is not just any music, it’s original and full of life’s stories.  Some of these stories are comical and bring a chuckle and some are full of wisdom from a life well lived and cause you to reflect.  All of them are purely Jane.

I’m not going to write a lot here, instead I’ll provide some audio and some links to the video of our time around the campfire with Jane.  So slap on some headphones or plug in your earbuds and join us for the live concert under Cuzzin’ Dyck’s tarp’s fluttering in the breeze blowing through Racoon Creek…

Movin’ On made perfect sense to the bunch of vandwellers gathered around this fire. Native American Heart expresses feelings that I can’t put to words. Thanks, Jane. Tongue -in-cheek she proclaims a truth for all to hear in Walmart. 

Now as you heard Jane does have cd’s available for perchase and her songs can be downloaded from Amazon.  So help support her as she travels and continues to write.
Buffalo womanVISIT: Gypsy Jane/Buffalo Woman  and Recovery Songs

As promised here are some links to You tube videos of this epic event.   😉

Walmart song

Aren’t ya lonely song

 

And as we get ready to head out to the Mountain Mushroom Festival I encourage all of you to…

Get Out, Be Safe, and Go Adventure!

 

Living in a really small space

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The ultimate fuel-efficient traveling home.


Would you think it possible to live in a space as small as this?

This week I met someone who is not only living but having a great time doing it. Below is a video where he explained the features and reasoning  of the engineering he put into this wonderful ride. The Prius is an interesting vehicle in it’s own rights.  Follow this link to go to the Toyota site.

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This is a very clean installation on the drivers side that gives Brent accurate monitoring of what’s going on with his house battery.

But the ideas and engineering that Brent has put in is pretty sharp.  Like the house battery installed behind this panel that also holds a voltage display, 12 volt power outlet and USB charging port.  He runs an inverter and charger off of the vehicle’s main battery which the Prius is monitors and starts the engine to recharge automatically.  In fact he can set the thermostat in the Prius to start and maintain the temperature where he is sleeping.

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What a great idea, a table with no legs! And at not even 2″ thick it slides into a very small storage space.

Brent’s engineering background was evident in excellent utilization of nearly every inch of space.  He designed this table to use the door’s tension to hold it in place against the little white wedge block.  AND,  it works on either side of the car.  He explained this is something that anybody can design for their vehicle using cardboard templates to trace the shape of the door and the fender well.

Another really neat feature was his water supply. How about built-in under the storage compartment he designed behind the passenger front seat.
Another really neat feature was his water supply. How about built-in under the storage compartment he designed behind the passenger front seat.

His use of space was not only designed in square inches, he considered cubic inches.  Here’s an example, under his bed is a well laid out storage area divided into compartments and beneath that is his water storage.  So his design has used every cubic inch behind the front passenger seat to the fullest.  Very impressive!

I had a great time interviewing Brent and learning how to make a very small space work as an efficient roving home.  Below is a link to the video posted on YouTube where he goes into detail all of the features.

Until next…

Get out, Be safe and Go adventure.

 

Another side trip on the Bourbon trail…

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This place is truly blessed.

This stop proves that often the most precious times are those that just happen without planning.  On the way to Heaven Hill distillery Brenda and I passed a beautiful Catholic church called St Rose Priory.  I’m going to share some pictures to show the beauty of this place.  We had a wonderful time with Fr. Kevin who shared some of this church’s rich history.  Since I had a technical failure (phone recording audio poorly) I’ll try my best to recall the things he described to us.  But mostly the pictures will tell the story of the beautiful presence of God in this place.

A somewhat unique feature carried from European churches is the cemetery for clergy being located closely to the church itself. This place is where many of the clergy that served here are laid to rest.
A somewhat unique feature carried from European churches is the cemetery for clergy being located closely to the church itself. This place is where many of the clergy that served here are laid to rest.
This view is overlooking the hillside in front of the church. The original cemetery where parishioners were buried was the hillside near the original church building.
This view is overlooking the hillside in front of the church. The original cemetery where parishioners were buried was the hillside near the original church building.

The beautiful view from this hilltop will literally take your breath away.  It’s little wonder the original priory was built here in 1807 and the church completed in 1809.  The church was named after St. Rose of Peru, the first American saint.

Impressive octagonal towers rise skyward giving the church it's hillside prominence.
Impressive octagonal towers rise skyward giving the church it’s hilltop prominence.

These towers are part of the church that was completed in 1854.  The interesting thing is the current church was built around the original and then the wall of the old church was removed from the interior to create this stunning Eucharistic Chapel.

Entering the church I was immediately struck with the absolutely gorgeous architecture. Yet the space provided a feeling of welcome and warmth.
Entering the church I was immediately struck with the absolutely gorgeous architecture. Yet the space provided a feeling of welcome and warmth.
I can not express all the feelings at the alter in front of the Last Supper scene.
I can not express all the feelings at the altar in front of the Last Supper scene.

  Along with the Last Supper there were other vignettes telling the story of the Christ, which was reflected in the stained glass.DSC_1262 DSC_1263

Not being Catholic I had to ask who this saint was.  Isidore was the laborer or farmer saint.  He lived in Spain during the later half of the 12th century.  Follow this link for more about St Isidore.

And standing in the rear of the sanctuary is St. Isidore, the Farmer. The Patron Saint that watches over the farming community here
And standing in the rear of the sanctuary is St. Isidore, the Farmer. The Patron Saint that watches over the farming community here.

For more information about this church and it’s location visit the Wiki site here…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Rose_Priory.  Or, to learn more about holy places here in Kentucky visit http://www.kyholyland.org/

Well as I said in the beginning some of the best most precious times are those that are unplanned and this was one of them.

Now back onto the trail….

 

As always     Get Out, Be Safe, and Go Adventure.

“Shut Up & Grow It” Part Three

We left off cooking breakfast and talking about the resources these guys were developing.  So let’s look at a few more things around the “farm”, like a couple of buildings… and of course the mud.  Though it wasn’t raining most of the time we were there it had rained for days before.  And we dodged the front edge of the storm as we headed east.

Cleanliness is a virtue, as Brenda points out.
Cleanliness is a virtue, as Brenda points out.

The community shower is supplied with solar heated water from a large container up the hill.  So that gives them probably 40′ or more drop to build real good water pressure.  And the Tennessee winters help to conserve water since the showers are open.

I found the very important building and brought along my own V.I.P.
I found the very important building and brought along my own V.I.P.

Another aspect of off-grid living is dealing with your own waste.  They have three outhouses on site.  Let me explain, it’s not that there’s that much poop, but you do have to rotate these things.  One is closed, one is covered over with the house removed and one is a very fine “two-seater”.  The ladies side is a little more enclosed for privacy than the guys.  What can I say?

This was the one closed down.
This was the one closed down.

So as time marches on the building of new things continues…

The beginnings of a new community. Did I mention there was mud?
The beginnings of a new community. Did I mention there was mud?

This is the community learning center that is being built.  You know those old tires that are just thrown away or cost a disposal charge?  That pile to the right is the beginning of a “rammed-earth” wall.  There were several examples of renewable or re-usable technology here.  The conversations in the kitchen and around the campfire reflected the ideas and dreams of where this community is headed.  The children are being home-schooled with “traditional” education and learning a better way by living their lives with those that love and teach them.  They had a library stocked with all manner of books from  fiction to philosophy to “how-to” books on building and farming.  One of the two geodesic domes that I pictured in the first part is serving as a green house to extend the harvest.

Glimpse's of personal expression
Glimpse’s of personal expression

And everywhere you look you find expressions of life by the people that are here living it.  From little things hanging in the trees, to the painting of sayings, to just the amount of art that pops up everywhere.

A Motto to live by
A Motto to live by

For some more beautiful pictures of this place visit this Facebook post…  “Shut Up and Grow It’ Facebook post

And yes there does seem to be a theme…”Shut Up!”  I think that too many times people speak about things that they have not yet tried and so their words echo the hypocrisy of their world view.  Here at this place, the world view is lived out not just talked about.  There is also the association with “Shut Up and Eat It” an organization that uses a mobile kitchen to provide meals across the country.

To close this post I want to say that Brenda and I are really looking forward to visiting again a little later in the year when the crops are in and I hope we can help them with some of the things going on.  Here’s a link to their website…      Shut Up and Grow It

Back to our travels, it’s time to leave this library and get back on the road.  I’ve got a couple of things to do to the van today since I finished the solar panel hookup at the beach yesterday.  Yeah, yeah that’s a plan let’s go back to the beach!

 

And  So . . . Get Out, Be Safe, and Go Adventure.

“Shut Up & Grow It” Part Two

First, let me say it has been great having a companion that is experienced in the ways of the road.  Brenda Durbin and I have been travelling together and it just works so well it’s amazing.  She and I stopped at a  library this evening to write this post and upload it to the blog.

Also, A special thanks to all the folks at “Shut Up & Grow It” for sharing their Christmas dinner with us.

Christmas dinner spread in the community kitchen.
Christmas dinner spread in the community kitchen.

 

To get you up to speed on this post we first have to go backwards a little bit…

****** The link to a previous post has been removed due to technical problems with the server. *********

The kitchen has been improved
The kitchen has been improved
The community table is a little less exposed since the last time I was here.
The community table is a little less exposed since the last time I was here.

The kitchen has been closed in more and the cooking area gained an oven, a griddle surface, and the grill has been rebuilt.

Stirring up some of the beans on the grill while using a blow pipe to stoke the fire.
Stirring up some of the beans on the grill while using a blow pipe to stoke the fire.

The addition of some LED solar powered lighting has made it a little easier to prepare meals at night.

I hated using the flash and disturbing the low level lighting that gave this a comfortable "homey" feel.
I hated using the flash and disturbing the low level lighting that gave this a comfortable “homey” feel.
A peek into the stores reveals no junk food just good things to eat.
A peek into the stores reveals no junk food just good things to eat.

They grow their own, trade, barter, or recover otherwise wasted food.   In America there are tons and tons of food that is wasted or otherwise thrown away for being beyond a “sell by date” or looking not “fresh”.  These guys are a testament to learning how to do more with less and wisely using available resources.

They even let me help with breakfast the next morning
They even let me help with breakfast the next morningL

Let me show you what I found on a stroll around…

Not all food go directly to consumption, some crops are sold at the local farm market.  These guys were pretty excited about some Jerusalem artichokes bringing a little higher dollar at market.

I’m going to take a break and finish the post tomorrow night.  It’s getting late and everyone (including me) in the van is either yawning or sleeping.

Get out, Be safe, and Go adventure.