Monday, September 27, 2010

Common Ground Fair

Hey, another short entry.  I've been at the Fair since Tuesday, and it was the first time in the trip that I felt a true sense of arrival.  Helped with setup, doing electrical work and carrying things, and whatnot.  Then 3 days of workshop-going at the fair.  Feeling so inspired/motivated/excited/newly directed.  Big fun, awesome AWESOME people that i met here, and even a couple I knew already!  helping with clean up for a day or 3 ....  More details, i promise (really, sometime ....!).  Trying to figure out where to go next, really.  Hum, cheers

Monday, September 20, 2010


I made it to Maine!!  4 Days ago, in fact!  Very exciting.  I'm in Augusta right now, hopefully making it to Unity by tonight.  Once I'm there, I'll be settled for a little while, so I'll fill in stories and pictures.  Having lots of fun, owing many thanks to people who I've stayed with, etc.  Gotta go!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I've decided to make tracks and get up to Maine.  As soon as I got into VT, people started to know about the Common Ground Fair.  Right now, I'm about halfway through New Hampshire.  Rode a rail trail for some miles, but the going was slow due to the gravel/sand surface.  So back on roads ... googlemaps' bike function is actually providing me some great parallel routes for getting off the highways.

Stayed in a barn last night!  In getting out of the rain while I ate dinner, I happened upon a 6-yr-old's birthday party, and one of the parents offered me this place on Tewksbury Pond.  Exceptionally warm and dry, and totally silent to boot!

There's some backstory for Burlington, Middlebury, and Hartland, but I'm feeling the need to keep biking on.  I'm really taking my time, going slowly enough that I feel almost nothing in my heel and knees.  I can do about 40 miles before this catches up, and I am forced to stop!


Monday, September 13, 2010

in the Hartland

Vermont continues to delight!  I made it up the Middlebury Gap (2144 ft), and down to the east border of VT.  I'm staying with Nancy Theriault, another friend of my aunt Julie, in Hartland Four Corners.  Thanks Julie, you've got great friends, to be sure!!  It's a big farmhouse with chickens, super-friendly golden retriever, gardens, a pond (wanting for rain!), mini lean-tos, willows, pines, a rabbit, a piano, wood stove ... not to mention two swell hosts.

I did my longest (intentional) day yet in getting here.  After camping below the Midd Gap, I probably came about 65 miles, and was feeling okay when I made it.  But my achilles started creaking again, and my knees were hurting ...  thankfully the weather was not so great today, and my bike needed some repairs, so I was lead to take a day off, and relax a little.  got to play the piano for a good chunk of time (from the selection of sheet music at the piano, i was more disappointed to be have just missed Nancy's musician daughters), went to the bike shop, got some lunch, hung out at a yoga/naturopathic medicine center, harvested dandelion greens for dinner, played banjo on the porch as the weather cleared, eliminated 10 lbs of weight from my packs, and tended to my heel with plantain/willow/tumeric/arnica.  All in all a fine day!  Back on the bike tomorrow, down to 35 lbs (or up to 35 lbs, from no weight for today's 10 miles).  North up the Conn. River, and then East from Dartmouth or so.

I found a couple sheets of paper that I had packed with me ... they were some thoughts I was writing to myself before I left, and I'm glad for the reminders at this point in the journey.  here are some exerpts:

(mid-august) - "Fall's coming - it's already here.  I can tell, because every so often now, my heart skips a beat as my body tries to process the image that drifted through my head - of burgundy leaves, golden weeds, orange sunset light on it all, wind breakers, apples, pumpkins, hayrides, new beginnings, and dying plants.  I love the fall, my goodness.  The image fades, but luckily it fades out just as the world around me tucks itself around me as the very same thing.  I don't know why it is, but everything seems to fall into place this time of year, and contentment controls it all."

(following a purging list of negative ideas, including things like "deer eating the garden," emerald ash borer imminent," "eyesight limiting," "judgement, expectations," "anger, apathy, fatigue," etc.) - "... feels like all these things are leaking in, creeping in, and as the walls become more porous, the despair begins flooding in.  So I gather myself to the center, to my core, where no fear has reached.  From my core, I gather all of the positivity, light, beauty, hope, gratitude, breath, sacredness, joy, and love - and once enough has gathered, I push outward with unmatchable strength, like a man busting out of an egg shell.  The negative emotion fall away and dissolve, and all that remains is my most pure love for all things great, and all things small ..."

(one more for now ...) - "I release control and have faith in the universe.  It's a lot to let go of, but everything I've ever created was destined for destruction.  (everything I've ever made was meant to be destroyed).  It's that instant of relaxation upon realizing that I don't need to do anything; nothing moves due to my tension;  instant of relaxation between voluntary release and involuntary defenses reigniting.  I smile, I dance, I connect, I breathe, I relax, I concentrate.  With positive intention, pure, glad, and sweet, I move freely about the world.  It's a lot to hang on to ... let it go.  Give it back to Mama, I don't need it anymore.  Give it back to Mama, she'll lighten your load.  Give it back to Mama, let it fall out through your feet.  give it back to Mama, through your hands into the earth.  Give it all back to Mama, you don't need it anymore.  Defenses that once served you well are now un-needed.  Beliefs from not so long ago are getting in the way.  Give it back to Mama, for her to decompose it, recreate ...."

Fall is so here, it's great.  I'm bummed only about the health of my joints; all else is fantastic!  I'm slightly worried about the combination of rain with cold nights (i had only previously considered these things separately, I guess!), but I got a snazzy pair of orange creamsicle wind pants at a church thrift store in Vergennes.  they will clearly solve of my weather worries.  and now to bed, in a bed, and in a room so quiet it makes my ears ring :-)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Photo Tour, number 2

(see my facebook page for more photos) August 26th-September 7th

Pigmy goat @ Ft. Rickey                      Sunset at Mom and Dad's          
<-- Dad w/his watercolors at Clinton Fest. of Art and Music

                                        Mom's Ponies -->

                  V-    Mohawk River   -V
 What do you suppose they distribute?             Erie Canal and bike path
                                                                       (that would have been easier!)  

 First night camping, just outside of posted area.
                                                           "Hotel Wooly-bear."
                                                                                                   Food hung in tree.

               Raquette Lake +
 Blue Mt. and Blue Mt. Lake 
^ Henry biking away from Blue Mt Museum

Me and Hemlock at Buttermilk Falls
Camp on Raquette River
                                                   Adirondack beauty

Me, Phil, Heidi, Ruby - striking a powerful pose as the camera ticks down.
 Wild Center!

stealthy campsite
on pond

            Saranac Lake Festival/Farmers' Market - cow; kraut demo

     Saranac Festival:  (top left, clockwise)  Beet ladies, om-ing squash monks, view to the lake, vendors and stage.

View from the Ice Cream Shop:

At Paul Smiths College .... lean-to site, bridge around pond, me w/Hotel Wooly Bear (picture to prove that it's still me, alive, at the other side of the camera).  This was the coldest night yet, into the low 40's.  It was an unfortunate time to discover that I forgot to bring any pants.

Entering "Special No Kill Area" along the Au Sable River descent - Why can't we have more such areas in the world?  I appointed myself temporary "Special No Kill Area" police,  and asked people if they had done any killing in this special area.  No one had.  Thank God.
NY somewhere

Au Sable Forks (west and east branch combine!)
Pulling into Fledging Crow Farm at sunset
The barn at sunrise
Good heavens
some young veggies and a little mountain

Kale Forest
Carrot Party
Oliver washing greens
Barn/washing station/office/loft
I forgot to document the potatoes, carrots, and beets that I helped bring in .... here are some of them in the walk-in cooler.
Kyle, Ian, and Lucas, working on transplanting, as I leave