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Van Life, Foster Huntington's Brand New Book

Foster Huntington quit his job, where he was working 70-hour weeks for Ralph Lauren in New York City, and took off living on the road, first in a (very) used VW Synchro van, later in a Toyota Tacoma truck with a spiffy fiberglas camper shell. He started The Restless Transplant, a blog that became enormously popular. I remember seeing it years ago and thinking this is my kinda guy.
These days he's living in a treehouse in the Columbia River Gorge in Washington, just northeast of Portland and he has 1 million (!) Instagram followers.

His latest project is this book, and the publishers have printed 35,000 copies. Vans are tremendously popular right now, and this book shows them in all their glory.

https://www.amazon.com/Van-Life-Your-Home-Road/dp/0316556440/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502834221&sr=1-1&keywords=van+life



http://www.arestlesstransplant.com 

Loggers' Jubilee in Morton, Washington Last Weekend

This just came in from Paul Jensen. The event took place in Morton, Washington last weekend. A bunch of photos of loggers, lumberjacks and logging trucks, plus this tough 4x4.

"We went to the 75th Annual Morton Logger's Jubilee…A unique slice of Americana that hasn't changed much since it began…Men with sharp tools, rope, strength and courage…The parade seemed like a stream of postcards from the 50's…"

http://pauljensencustom.blogspot.com/2017/08/morton-loggers-jubilee.html


Otis and My Book on the '60s

On the last leg of my trip to Oregon this week, I had a great visit with Foster Huntington before heading home, saw his incredible new video project, spent the night in his treehouse, and went to the airport yesterday afternoon, delay of flight, dragged into home about midnight, got up this morning, for some reason had a hard time getting going on my book on the '60s. I even thought of dropping the project and going ahead with my book, "The Half-Acre Homestead."
But I did what I advise people to do when they don't know what to do about a project: "Start." Which I did, and it started flowing. I started writing about the Monterey Pop Festival. I was there and thought it was the beginning of a wonderful new world. For me, it wasn't about Jimi Hendrix, or Janis (her first appearance with Big Brother, I believe), or Bryan Jones wandering around in the crowd, but it was about Otis. Good god a-mighty…
He appeared Saturday night. I hardly knew who he was, had certainly never seen him. He was wearing a green suit, was maybe the most beautiful man I'd ever seen, and was an entire other universe of music. I pulled up the Youtube video of him singing I've been Loving You Too Long, and -- I didn't cry, but it sure brought tears to me eyes. For Otis, who's gone, and for the '60s, which never quit materialized the way I thought it would.

Gambrel Roof Home, Corvallis, Oregon


This was in a large field, maybe 2 acres. It looks like it could be fixed up for living. I always look to see if the eaves are sagging in old buildings; if not, it probably means the foundation is OK. There wasn't a "for sale" sign, but if I lived up there, I'd track it down. It could be a great home, with a lot of land for gardening, chickens, a few farm animals.

Floating Homes in Portland

On my way to see Foster Huntington in Washington this morning, crossing the Columbia River on Highway 5, I spotted this floating community.
Some quick Google research:
"The Portland region has more floating homes than Seattle or San Francisco. Hayden Island alone has four moorages for floating homes, including West Hayden Island Moorage, with 57 floating homes, on the far west side, Jantzen Beach Moorage, Inc, the largest with 176 Floating Homes (south of Home Depot), Island Cove Floating Homes with 55 units (just west of Lotus Isle Park), and Tomahawk Island Floating Homes with some 72 community members…
http://www.hayden-island.com/floating-homes/
(I can't get this link to work, so copy and paste in URL.)

One of Our Youngest Fans

Ayla Rose, 16 months, reading the mini book of Small Homes yesterday at the Mother Earth News Faire. She kept turning pages, and then followed me over to the stage where I was about to do a presentation on the book. (She even had the book right side up, i.e., not upside down.)

Small Home in Corvallis, Oregon


A Perfect Barn

This is on the outskirts of Corvallis, Oregon. Barns in this area (the Willamette* Valley) typically have gambrel roofs, as you see here, where the straight lines of a gable roof are raised to provide more room in the loft or 2nd story.

I had a great time at The Mother Earth News Faire, now heading for Portland where I'm doing a TV interview on AM Northwestern Live, KATU-TV, that will appear between 3-4 PM today (Monday), then an appearance at Powell's on Hawthorne in Portland at 7:30 tonight.

* pronounced will-lam-ett, emphasis on middle syllable

Washing Dishes

We wash dishes by hand (in a rectangular Rubbermaid dishpan), rinse and place in this drying rack/storage unit, built maybe 20 years ago by Lew Lewandowski.
When we had goats, I had installed a dishwasher, but found that we practically had to wash the dishes first (so as not to have food particles going into the septic system). Plus it used a lot of water and electricity, so I took it out and we've used this system ever since.
Another feature in this kitchen is a 5-gallon electric water heater right under the sink. While I'm not fond of electrically-heated water, this unit is so small, it's energy-efficient, and we get instant hot water.
We use rubber spatulas to get food off plates, pots, and pans; edible scraps go to chickens, non-edibles (coffee grounds, avocado pits, etc.) go in a stainless step-operated trash can for the compost pile.
After I finish the book on the '60s, I plan to do one titled The Half-Acre Homestead, all that I've learned abut building and raising food over 50 years.
Apropos of nothing here, the Amazon series "Sneaky Pete" is wonderful. Great story, fabulous acting all around.
I'm off for Oregon early tomorrow morning.

Fabian Popovici and Kaitlyn Wright of Vancouver in Muir Beach, Calif. on their way to San Diego on their #harley

My new car


This time I kid you not. 1999 Mercedes E320, 180,000 miles, reportedly 22-29 mpg, $3500 thru complex set of circumstances. Purrs like kitten. We'll see...

I'm Doing 3 Appearances in Oregon in the Next Week

I'm heading up to Oregon (a state I love in its entirety) on Friday. I'll be doing these events:

Saturday, Aug. 5, 10 AM, SMALL HOMES at The Mother Earth News Faire in Albany (70 miles south of Portland on I-5)

Sunday, Aug. 6, 2 PM, 50 YEARS OF NATURAL BUILDING at TMEN Faire
 Schedule: http://www.motherearthnewsfair.com/oregon/schedule/

I heartily recommend the TMEN fairs, They're genuine country fairs, with chickens, goats, dimensional lumber mills, a ton of workshops, great food, good country vibes. There are 2 more coming up, September in Pennsylvania, October in Kansas

Monday Aug. 7, 7:30 PM SMALL HOMES at Powell's on Hawthorne in Portland: http://www.powells.com/locations/powells-books-on-hawthorne/

On Tuesday I'm gonna go hang out with Foster Huntington, surfer, skater, filmmaker, Instagram master at his treehouse/skate bowl complex just over the border in Washington. Back home Wednesday. Then back to Oregon in a week (driving this trip) for the solar eclipse.

The Gag-Me-With-A-Spoon Summer of Love

My annoyance at all the lame krap floating around now about 1967 in the Haight-Ashbury district, "The Summer of Love,"just about turned to repulsion of late. Yeah, strong word, but man is it bad! We went to the deYoung Museum in San Francisco (an architectural catastrophe) Friday for their exhibit. $25 entrance fee! Most of the exhibit consisted of posters and yes, the posters were magnificent, but the exhibit was mostly '60s drivel.

The "hippie clothing" was awful. No elegance, no simplicity. People with bad taste and too much time on their hands; bad colors, mishmashes of design. A truly awful crocheted bedspread commissioned by Bob Weir. Two rooms of flashing video montages of blurry dancers -- senseless, dumb; not trippy — sloppy.

And the clincher: when you leave the exhibit, they funnel you into The Summer of Love Gift Shop. I kid you not. T-shirts, hats, trinkets, a poster of lame buttons -- all made in China.

These curators are giving the '60s a bad name.

The "Hippie Modernism" exhibit at the Berkeley Museum was way better.

As is the exhibit at the California Historical Society. Really good b&w photos, tracing the '60s from the Beats-on. $5 entrance fee.

There was a conference this weekend, some 45 presentations on the era, mostly by college professors.

Sorry, I've been brooding over all the distortions, all the weren't-there, don't-get-it pontificators.

"The Haight-Ashbury was a neighborhood. The '60s was a movement." -Ken Kesey

PS The "Summer of Love" (1967) was in actuality a disaster in San Francisco.

The Sky is Falling by Albert King