Grateful Ted showed up at a gathering we hosted - he wasn’t explicitly invited, but boy were we happy when he showed up. Ted, and his dog Dusty, came to the Oregon woods last summer after their best friend of 40 years died. The woods, not anyone’s “psychobabble,” offered solace.
Grateful Ted spent 39 years married to 13 different women - or so he claims. But, music was his first love. He’s been writing songs since he was 14; every time he sat down to write, he found he had something to say.
All of the songs he plays are 100% true - except for the parts he makes up.
Lemolo Lake, Oregon. June 2018.
Today, on Father’s Day, we celebrate families.
Families come in all shapes and sizes and, you know… I’m actually at a loss for words here. At least 2,000 children have been forcibly taken from their parents on the US-Mexico border since late April. Trump has implemented a “zero-tolerance” policy on people crossing, even if they are seeking asylum.
Families, no matter how you define them, aren’t a political gambit. Forcibly separating children from their parents isn’t ok. It’s just not. It’s inhuman and cruel.
We keep hearing accounts of children beside themselves with fear because they don’t know where their parents are - and stories of parents, mothers, and fathers, without an idea of where their children are. We’ve heard of one Honduran man who killed himself in detention after his child was taken from him; what a stark contrast to the Fatherhood messages of today’s holiday.
Ok, now that we’ve gotten that off our chest, how about a photo of family and fact from an I-10 roadside attraction in California.
We grabbed this moment at the Cabazon Dinosaur Park. At the park, one can, among other things, climb into the mouth of a 65-foot-tall T-Rex. This photo is about family and fathers - our country must do better.
Cabazon, California. May 2018.
We met Dennis while wandering on the Olympic Peninsula. We spotted his horse trailer turned home while walking to a waterfall; Dennis invited us in. (Dennis was gathering wood to heat his outdoor shower when he saw us - it was a perfect bit of timing on our part, ten minutes later and this story would have been a bit different!)
Dennis has 40 acres of pure Washington wonder, with rainforest-like conditions and streams full of salmon. He has spent the past twenty years building his home and learning about permaculture. He constructed a yurt against the river, carefully skirting building codes that disallow permeant structures. Much of his building skills were self-taught, picked up during his time in the Peace Corps.
Dennis continues to learn, preferring to live with, as opposed to against, the land. His roofs are living, covered in wildflowers. His guest home is a traditional Plains style teepee. His composting toilet pulls on lessons learned from time spent in both Jamaica and Mexico. The walls of his more permanent structures are built from straw and mud.
The more we travel, the more folks we meet who are redefining the idea of houses and home. From houseboats to cabins, to vans and yurts - home is, as the saying goes, where the heart is.
Brinnon, Washington. May 2018.
At 22 years old, Chris had finished college, found a steady, respectable job, and … felt stuck. There was too much of the world left unseen, so he, as he put it, rebelled. He quit his job, hopped in his car and drove west. (We high-fived when we realized we were both East Coasters making it big on the West Coast.)
When we met Chris he was sitting by Crater Lake playing his ukulele. His goal was to find the famed “Old Man of the Lake,” a floating tree with, according to legend, the ability to control the weather. (Seriously, google it!)
Chris planned to rent a boat, find the Old Man and trade a bouquet of flowered for a tiny bit of weather control. Unfortunately, due to the snow and the ice, boats haven’t started running in the lake yet, so his plans for the day were a bit dashed.
Still, Chris wasn’t deterred - he was making the most of the West Coast and all that the area had to offer. We chatted about making happiness where we found it, and he serenaded us with a few songs in exchange for a portrait.
(Chris offered to pay for a photo, but we couldn’t take him up on the offer - the music was enough! That being said, if anyone else wants to pay for a portrait of Chris, you can always back us on Patreon or donate via PayPal!)
Crater Lake, Oregon. June 2018.
We weren’t kidding about the snow here in southern Oregon - we’re just north of Crater Lake and this June snow is the real deal. Yikes!
Sleeping up top in Saul Goodvan without any heat is a bit chilly, but between two humans, two sleeping bags, a quilt, a wool blanket, and the warmth of two cats, we’re doing okay. (The canvas sides of our pop top keep the cold out, but the chill remains.)
After avoiding the snow this winter by hiding in Florida and Texas, this winter wonderland in June seems like karma - that’s what we get for gloating about sunshine and short sleeves in January!
Diamond Lake, Oregon. June 2018.