My feet are cold

Posted by Shan on 11/30/11  ~  Posted in: Ashland

And I miss my cat. He is lost in the woods, on a mountain, in the forest. The sun is setting. It will be 31 degrees tonight. Do cats get hypothermia at the same degree as humans?

I packed five pair of socks. One light hiker, one heavy expedition, one medium, two pair running socks. I am not prepared for this weather. In the pod I have a "blue sky" bag. This is what I shopped for before we left. Sun dresses, skirts, tank tops. Vibrant colors, cottons to cool in the heat. Sandals flip flops. Damnit-what was I thinking?

I was not thinking it would take us three months rather than three weeks to begin our journey. I did not expect us to travel so slowly; for the cold to catch us as quickly. I did not expect to find myself at a Thanksgiving table so soon and to need socks-seriously need socks- as I sit in a café contemplating nationwide weather. Icy, cold, wind, snow-most of the States covered in blue. One bit of orange, deep in the heart of Texas-a few yellow splotches. Will mid sixties feel warm to me? I think so, I hope so. God I need a tan-not for the vanity of it all, that?s just the amount of sun my body/soul/spirit need to drink to come out of this and thaw.

Struggling with writing-did I mention cat lost, sun setting-frustrating because it has taken us nine days of effort to make it to this internet moment. For every hour spent in a café typing, dinner time and finding a place to sleep time is pressed, especially as the sun sets. Tie in lost cat searching in the freezing cold time and things get even tighter. I am gritting my teeth a lot at night. I am cold.

I watch the light play on the hills here in Ashland, and I am in love with these landscapes. I have never watched light and color transition and shift so fluidly as it does here now-this is truly a magical place. And yet the cold is driving us out. I feel fear, the fear of more cold nights grip me as the map promises no relief and as we wind up our tasks to search for the cat. I hope we find him, poor little bugger.

Coffee has never tasted so good. I drink it hotter than ever, just above scalding. I am drinking whiskey-often, we found this honey kind-lovely. Opting for soups rather than salads so I know my nutrition is concerned?..need to find the sun.

I saw a lizard on my hike yesterday. I wondered what he was doing here, out so late in the cold. I wonder what I am? Does anyone know a warm place we can get to without too many cold nights in between? Has anyone seen our kitty, a grey tabby, Taio?..damnit, this day did not go as planned.  Signing off, Shan


Our Kitty is a Streak

Posted by Shan on 11/30/11  ~  Posted in: Ashland

Our kitty is a streak- a jet of black, and white- brown, depending on which part is seen.

He is a shadow, a sprite. Only visible when he wants to be.

He has been wearing a cone lately. That's been hard. He is not used to looking conical.












But he found  Zen. He turned his face to the light and found peace, repose.

Kitty in a cone portrait, in low light-rendition 1.

Poor dear beast who's bottom is half shaved and whose hiney is now chilly- in the breeze, in the rain. Poor adventuresome, proud and daring soul who must suffer the indignation of a sheath of plastic around his skull-marring his vision, messing with acoustics, inhibiting his cleanliness of self.

It is only for a week kitty, or two- no more than two, maybe less. Don't fret kitty your days of majesty, stealth and cunning will reblossom once this apparition has disappeared. The time will come when you will no longer walk with a bobbly bowed head but will regain your dignity, your stride. For now kitty, enjoy the sun, the calm and let the cold breeze on your backside remind you to think twice before you tangle with other cats.








Clakamas River Walk

Posted by Shan on 11/30/11  ~  Posted in: Oregon, Bagby & Austin Hotsprings, Videos


The 199 Blues

Posted by admin on 11/21/11  ~  Posted in: Ethan's Thoughts, 199

Grey.  Rainy.  Wet.  Cold.  Ramshackle antique stores closed for the winter?or at best, selling crap nobody wants, let alone needs.  Decrepit trailers covered with shredded tarps, in front yards, or even as homes, the decks leaning and rotting.  Garbage on the side of the road.  These are the things I see as I drive the 199.

What have we done to our planet?  Earth.  What a treasure.  What a dump.  Plastic bottles floating down the river.  How is it that we came to this place.  Where I can be given a $250 fine just for casting my line on the same river that has industrial waste legally dumped into it each day?

No trespassing.  No trespassing.  Seems like that?s the only sign I see in the woods anymore.  Who gave them the right?  I thought this was our planet?  ?and yet the signs say otherwise.  Everything is ?property?.  Owned.  Keep out.  Mine.  Not yours.  Move along.

What beautiful country.  But it?s not yours.  It?s not mine.  It belongs to someone.  Teddy was right.  Protection was, and is a laudable goal.  But clearly it?s not enough.  Capitalism is eating the planet, one acre at a time.  More like one million acres at a time really.  Until there?s nothing left to eat.  All the streams dead.  All the forests cut.  What was that last Easter Islander thinking when they cut the very last tree?  What are we thinking now?  Most of us aren?t.  Or trying desperately not to.

Escape.  From this reality.  T.V.  Drugs.  Booze.  Bingo.  Internet.  Work.  Sleep.  Just don?t live.  Don?t look around.  Because if you do, what you see just might frighten you.  It just might scare the piss out of you.  Don?t think about the starving, the unemployed, the sick, the elderly, the KIDS - for godssake.  Don?t think about the concrete jungles of our world, the impending grey, the coming storm.  Asphalt.  Steel.  The city.  Don?t think about climate change or sudden hive collapse, don?t think about the plastic bottles floating down the river.  Don?t look around.  Don?t stop doing what you?re doing.  Get up.  Go to work.  Shop.  Eat.  Watch T.V.  Check Facebook.  Go to bed.  It will all be ok.  Someone will take care of everything for us.  I?m sure they?re working on things right now.  Right?

A refrigerator in the ditch.  I wonder who?s taking care of that?  I wonder who did that?  What went wrong?  Where are we headed?  I?m headed up the 199.


Reality Check

Posted by Shan on 11/20/11  ~  Posted in: Smith River

One thing I like about living in the van is how often our reality changes. It is almost like travelling in a time machine or something like as each time we open the sliding door there is a new world to experience. If we don't like our reality, we change it. I am not yet sure if this is good or bad, if we'll get used to simply moving on when things are unpleasant, but for the moment I am enjoying the luxury of it. If we don't like our reality we change it by moving elsewhere, by pressing on down the road believing there is the possibility of something better around the bend. I am sure that as time goes by the allure of the open road will become even more persuasive, addicting. The freedom every next turn offers is exciting to say the least. To travel as we are ensures a modicum of comfort while allowing for constant change.

Even though we have every need accounted for we are still greatly aware of our environment and its impact on every facet of our life. Because the cabin of the van pops up into a tent we can feel, hear and smell most things outside of it. Sound is odd as its reverberations are sometimes deceiving. Often are the times I will swear I heard something to the right and it will be to the left, or vice versa. It is often impossible to tell where a sound is coming from.  The weather is another factor which greatly affects us. We feel the cold distinctly (we've yet to feel hot in the van). When the rain sets in everything  inside starts to condense and rivulets of water form everywhere.












When the sky clears in the lower temps we begin to see our breath as we sit working or eating or what have you. Here in Oregon especially the weather feels almost foreign. Most of the time same grey skies, rain like we are used to, but from 2-4pm especially on the coast a cold sets in, only for those hours it seems but so far like clockwork. We will notice ourselves getting colder then look at the clock and sure enough, day after day it'll be around that time. Thankfully it seems to lift and return to milder temperatures most days. Our average temps each day range from the 40's to the 50's with nights dipping into the low 30's at times.

Last night we slept under the cover of nearby redwoods and I swear it was warmer under the blanket of their branches. This morning Ethan suggested we move the van from their shadows into the sun along the bank of the river. So now I sit with my back bathed in sun as I type.












Glorious sun! We've spread our linens, rainfly, etc out on the rocks to dry in the sun. And just like that, coldish, wet in the shade to dry roasty toasty in the sun. Having a home that moves is brilliant in my opinion. If we don't like what we are experiencing we simply change it!

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