Oregon roadtrip part 1

August 20, 2013

I left for Oregon on a Sunday morning eager to arrive at Crater Lake.  When I arrived I noticed that the smoke had blown in from the multitude of fires burning in the state.  Regardless, I set up camp and quickly hopped on my bike to ride to the rim for a view.  Although it was a smoky uphill climb, after so many hours in the car I appreciated every moment of it.  Sadly when I got to the top the view of the lake was obstructed from all the smoke.

The next day I went back early and was able to see the view from the top of the caldera.  Also, made my way to the boat dock for some swimming in the lakes cold clear water, and was able to go to Wizard Island for a nice hike to the top.

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A happy me swimming in the cool 50 degree water.  A 6 year wait!Image

A great photo of a crawdad in Crater lake.

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View from the top of Wizard Island

After a few days enjoying Crater Lake I made my way to Eugene to hang out with friends.  Got stuck on a highway when it closed abruptly and was happy to find a camping spot which lived up to its name ‘Sunset Cove’.  Spend a few days in Eugene catching up with old friends, exploring Eugene’s downtown, food spots, and museums, and visiting the nearby hot spring for some natural relaxation.

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Next I headed to the farm (Nagdeo Farm in Gresham) where I have been the past 12 days.  That update in part 2.  After the farm I will head to the Oregon Coast before visiting Bend- Update 3 & 4.

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Then and now

July 26, 2013

I have been spending the month of July in the Bay Area enjoying the warm weather, bike rides and bike events, friends, and re-visiting One Acre Farm.

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I revisiting One Acre Farm to thresh the wheat I helped harvest and enjoy a potluck.  I was amazed with how much everything has grown- especially the sunflowers which were small stalks when I left.  There were two other WWOOFers there, including one who was visiting specifically for the threshing.

To make a yummy meal boil the wheat berries, 3:1 ratio of waters to berries; add honey and banana.  Oh my!! Cereals have nothing on this breakfast treat.

This month also meant bikey event, including the 3rd year for Pedalfest at Jack London Square.  It was great to have a chance to hang with dozens in my bike community, and pose for ridiculous photos.

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Next month I will venture into Oregon.  I will be camping at Crater Lake with a visit to Wizard Island, visiting friends in Eugene, and then making my way to a farm just outside of Portland to learn about sustainable agriculture, and ancestral and homestead skills.

Infinity scarf

July 14, 2013

I found a very simple sewing project for making fun colorful infinity scarfs while exploring pinterest.  Since then I have made three for bday gifts, and of course one for myself.

The how to can be seen here:

http://www.sewhomegrown.com/2013/01/diythe-fat-quarter-infinity-scarf.html

My process:

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Crater Lake

June 27, 2013

When I went cross country in 2007, my travel companion and I sort of stumbled upon Crater Lake.  Having come from California and with no knowledge of what Crater Lake was (regardless of the obvious name), we pictures something closer to Lake Tahoe.  You can imagine our surprise when we came across the snow capped peaks and bright reflective blue water set below us.  It quickly became my favorite spot of the entire trip.

Now that I have family in Oregon, I find myself driving pass signs beckoning my return.  Thankfully I have very adventurous friends who quickly jump at the option of visiting, taking a boat tour to Wizard Island to hike around, and camp at the park.  

The plan so far-  WWOOFing in northern Oregon with a few day trip to Crater Lake on the way.  Can’t stop smiling….

Rain, rain, and more rain!

June 13, 2013

Today Portland showed me that its true colors were various shades of grey. Hazy skies with rain drops. So I bought a bright yellow shirt for $0.29!!!

The trouble with Portland

June 11, 2013

My first time in Portland Oregon was 2007 during my crosscountry roadtrip. It was spring, the weather was perfect, and I had a gracious host who showed me around the city and gave me an experience where for the following 6 years I spoke of my utopia, Portland.

It took me 6 years to make it back. Pedalpalooza, three weeks of themed bike rides including the famed naked bike ride, goes through the month of June. I came up with my cycling group to see first hand how Portland does it. Being part of a very bike oriented subculture, we  were excited to see it all.

I additionally came to Portland because I am in such a transitional state, I viewed this trip as that extra push towards Portland, my utopia, and making a life here.

My first group ride in Portland was a Farm to Farm ride, which took us to urban farms through the city, all with different layouts and stories with how they came into fruition. The turn out was inspiring, people of all different ages, who like me loved bikes and farms and were looking for their own way to put it all together. It was a great crowd of people to be surrounded by.

I am camping in a backyard of a beautiful home, next to some chickens, along a busy bike boulevard. The traffic of bikes far exceeds that of cars. It is beautiful.

There are local artists everywhere, and I have already been invited back with a place to stay and the urging to come sale my jewelry at their last Thursdays on Alberta, where I won’t need a permit or to worry about tax!

The road infrastructure seems to be the representation of complete streets- set up to account for pedestrians, cyclists, and cars. And the awareness of all three by each group creates a carefree trip around the city.

But, I don’t want to move to Portland.

Although in Portland I feels safe, I can easily find farms to volunteer at, I could sell my art, I could meet thousands of people with similar interests, and everything cool thing I could think of (bicycle repair + bar, urban farm + dinner club, delicious themes doughnuts, to name a few) have already been done, time and time again, it is lacking a few important things.

Growing up in the Bay Area I am not accustom to such a lack of ethnic and cultural diversity, and being surrounded by a variety of different ways of thinking. I don’t crave being different, but I do crave being opened and challenge by the people around me.  I don’t know if I would get that from Portland.

I want to live in a place where much of the good ideas already in place in Portland could be beneficial and flourish. I don’t want to compete with a large number of businesses with the same mission or idea. I believe I would feel more fulfilled bringing these things to a community that doesn’t already have it.

Of course I’d be a fool to stay away for another 6 years. Portland really is a mini utopia, and has a lot to offer in terms of ideas and inspiration.  But for now, the search for the right place for me continues.

Farm re-wind

June 5, 2013

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I couldn’t have asked for a better experience with One Acre Farm in Morgan Hill.  Above are my hosts, Michelle (left) and Gal (right).

Now that I am back home, I am eager to find more opportunities to visit and work on farms, and eventually find its place within my own home.  I am looking into internship opportunities to help build on the skills I have learned so far.

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Wheat, really? Yea, wheat!

June 1, 2013

When I came to the farm 2 weeks ago I was eager and excited to learn, as I came in with no background but tons of inspiration around me. Here was this amazing opportunity that would allow me to learn skills on a small (<1 acre) but abundant farm, with the trade of my labor for a place in my hosts home and wonderful fresh meals. What a deal!

On my first day I noticed a triple row of high growing wheat. My host Michelle showed me how to remove the tops, roll it in my hand, and drop the seeds from hand to hand before eating it (threshing). It was chewy due to the fact it was still not ready, but it tasted great and I enjoyed that tenderness of the texture.

I really hoped to harvest it while on the farm, and was thrilled when yesterday, my last day working the farm, Michelle said we could harvest.

The wheat have turned a rich golden brown and become a firm texture. As we harvested we made small groupings, and then put the groupings together in a teepee shape to dry.   I was clearly proud!

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For tea

May 29, 2013

Today I harvested chamomile.

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One Acre Farm

May 26, 2013

Weeding, harvesting, reading, relaxing.

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