March 26, 2006

Meet Vicky, complete with Jesus Fish (but not Stinky)

I just found and purchased the ultimate roadtrip kayaking, surfing, climbing vehicle. We found her on the coast being used as a school bus for a church.
Meet Vicky, the van. As the 80's seem to be coming back into fashion (what the...?), I guess, for a change, I am ahead of the curve by driving a car from the era. She's a beauty! Her 1987 Toyota engine is still running strong, and there's enough room to seat at least 7 people. We are excited to get a rack on top, creating perfect shuttle rig. And camper, as the seats fold into a bed. What could be better, really?
The first thing I did to her was pluck off the plastic Jesus fish on the rear gate. My friend Dave said I should have left it so the cops would leave me alone! But, I just couldn't do that. You can still see the outline, so maybe that will be good enough?

Photos, top to bottom: Vicky with me and Stinky the Dog; A cold and sick Andy and one hyper white dog.

March 9, 2006

The Dirtbag Dream, Revisited

As I ponder other possibilities, living in a 18' trailer next to Rattlesnake Creek, trading comfort and convenience for simplicity seems bittersweet. No heat, no electricity, no running water are swapped for hearing the meditative trickle of the creek and the pattering of the rain on the tin roof. Coziness replaces spaciousness, and creativity, if not agility, is mandatory when doing just about any activity when more than one person is inside.
It's cheap, it's carefree, and it's non-conforming. It's liberating. From what, you might ask. From society, I suppose. From conformity, maybe. I'm nearly 31 years old, you say. Shouldn't I be buying a house or taking steps to ensure that I have a secure future? Retirement? All the American Dream stuff, you know, white picket fence with the Volvos and the babyjoggers, 2 week vacations like normal people. That's all great, if that is what you want. It's happens to be that right now, it's just not for me.
It's been a while since I've posted. The transitions from travelling to not travelling can be rough. I call into question what I am doing, and where I am going. I am forced to revisit all aspects, and take a good hard look at myself as I try to ease back into daily life. To say I don't want any of what society has to offer would be a complete exaggeration. Better to say that I can exist in society, no problem, but I have to do it my way. Going to Hood River to work in a flower shop downtown, which I happen to love, has to be balanced by something unusual, something out of the ordinary. Something unpredictable and maybe even unfathomable to most people. Living in the trailer adds an element of adventure that I yearn for, that I crave.
Living the dream is hard work, simple tasks become big chores, and getting warm in the morning takes some doing. It's not convenient, and it's not easy, but for now, it's a perfect dream, even if I'm not even a dirtbag.

Photos, top to bottom: Trailer Sweeeeeet Trailer; Optimistically hanging the hammock upon return from Ecuador...maybe a tad prematurely?

March 1, 2006


I love endings.
And beginnings. You can't have one without the other. I love the cyclical nature of life: circles, connections, 'what goes around, comes around', karma, life cycles, the water cycle, the seasons, tides, the phases of the moon, the menstrual cycle. Nothing stops, and everything changes, is continuous and dynamic; like flowing water, it can't be controlled but must be worked with rather than against.
Another chapter comes to an end, but I am excited to start a new one. Some storylines will continue, others will conclude when the time is right. We are the authors of our own novels, and I have plenty of plot ideas for the the next chapter. It will surely be full of more adventures, new places, familiar faces, and lots of twists and turns to keep things interesting. What happens in between will be the stuff of life, the small things that make living sooo good, our everyday routines that I personally need to learn to relish and cherish: Making dinner, the sound of the creek nearby, time to think, sleeping, talking with a friend, keeping in touch, learning something new, healthy food, pure water, and lots of love. And not taking any of it for granted.
We leave Ecuador this evening, with the excitement of knowing we are going home. The place that even the most nomadic of souls gravitate toward when it is time. Time for one circle to close, one more chapter to end, and another to begin.
See you in the states!

Photos, top to bottom: Ferns; Andy and the Rio Estancia; Andy and friends on Cispus River, Washington State