Tag Archives: oregon

Walla Walla: travels to and from

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Thanksgiving evening on the side of the freeway in Grants Pass.

We spent Thanksgiving hitch hiking through Northern California. The night before we got a hotel room in Eureka. We were trying to get to Eugene but called it a night in Canyonville, after a trucker dropped us off at a truck stop near the casino. We made it to Roseburg the next day via a local bus and took Greyhound from there – Casper to Eugene and me to Portland.

Foggy mountain morning

Foggy mountain morning

It has been 15 days since we left Humboldt County. In those two short weeks we have seen a lot of extended family – me in Olympia, Seattle and Walla Walla and Casper in Eugene – and we are exhausted from the combination of transition, travel and visiting.

My parents reside in Walla Walla and I came home with them the weekend after Thanksgiving. Casper joined us a week later via Amtrak from Eugene.

That was four days ago. Tonight we board an Amtrak train headed east. Saturday morning my sister will pick us up in Minneapolis and yet another life begins. We will descend into yet another world.

And that is what we do, you know: we place ourselves over and over in new worlds. We watch and listen a lot; don’t speak as much as you might think.

And right now we’re thinking that we want to do more of that.

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On top of a parking garage in Roseburg, Oregon.

My mom will join us out in Wisconsin for Christmas, and a good friend of Jess’ (who we met when we visited her in Texas last year) is coming right after Christmas. She is house-sitting a little house in the same valley where we grew up and our own self-built house still stands.

Sisters are magical; I expect great beauty and growth for all present in the next three weeks. Also there will be a lot of really good food and my sister’s beautiful laugh which is contagious, particularly for me.

After Wisconsin – January? February? – Casper and I are flying to Mexico City! “Another white dash,” I think when I contemplate our latest leap of faith into a new world – and “once more with feeling”. Pack the bags. Reconsider your few belongings: what is now superfluous that last week was essential? what new items have taken top priority? We leave behind the ripped sleeping bag that was our only blanket this summer and trade out Casper’s threadbare backpack for a big duffel bag. I get to pack dresses, my paints and brushes, more than one pair of shoes. Every item we use regularly is re-examined for its worth in our new situation. Every possession is chosen.

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“Please understand I have been waiting to leave ever since i figured out there were roads willing to take me anywhere i wanted to go.”

In Mexico, we plan to live in Xalapa. We know what we want to do with our time and just need the space to do it so cheap rent and foreign culture beckon us. We are excited, though this morning our minds and hearts are caught up in the present transitions of leaving Walla and arriving in Wisconsin and the dreamy travel-time of Amtrak in between.

Oh, and I’m making solstice cards and I want you to want one. Send me your address in the next week or so for best results. <3

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Oregon Country Fair!

Just spent three days outside of the OCF meeting other travelers, soaking up the woods and summer, sleeping near a rarely used train tressle (note “rarely”), hitch hiking about. 101 wasn’t treating us well so we went to the Fair.

Traveling by thumb. Headed for Cali. Email and phone text is the best way to reach me ’cause Facebook won’t load on my laptop. Blesings!


Portland, the woods, Salem

Portland was sucking our souls – for unknown reasons – so we cooked up a bunch of rice and veggies and headed out to the woods last Wednesday.

Spent three nights in the Mount Hood National Forest east of Estacada. Up on a forestry development road in our tent for the first time. All day for reading, writing, walking, drawing, cuddling, stretching, playing cards and chess. I finished “The Good War” by Studs Terkel, started and finished Welcome to the Ark by Stephanie Tolan, and am now reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. It rained the last night but the car kept us comfy the next day as we waited for the sun to come out before packing up.

Me and Brutus. He freakin’ adored carrying that plastic pumpkin around.

Now we’re on day three at Casper’s half-sister’s place in Salem. She’s been working but is coming home tonight. They haven’t seen each other since they were little kids and Casper only vaguely knew of her before she found him on Facebook last year. She’s got a two year old who we’re watching this morning while her husband goes and picks her up at work (it’s, like, six hours away) and a playful pitbull named Brutus.

It’s been three weeks since we last slept in a real bed. It’s pretty rad.

I’m busy working, dealing with body pain, struggling with depression, making anatomical drawings, studying astrology and watching Casper interact with family for the first time. I’d like to get the last few month’s worth of photos online soon, especially the ones from our time on Vashon.

Our plans are to head to Eugene this Friday, possibly with a stop out in the woods again because we loved it. In Eugene, our focus is to get me studio space so I can work on a series for a show Casper has hopefully secured for me next month!

In case you haven’t been bombarded on Facebook, I am also selling my art for the first time: igart.tumblr.com. You can check it out on Facebook, too. Yay!


We’re back!

Our winter hiatus from travel is nearly over and we are just about ready to start this blog up again. We’ve spent the colder months burrowed in a small, cozy room on Vashon Island in the Puget Sound. A 20 minute ferry ride from West Seattle, we’ve spent most of the past six months on the island and inside our house.

I believe we last left off as we were leaving Bozeman, Montana. Of course, that was over at a different URL so those posts aren’t on this blog. However, we’re sticking to this blog now. I think. I guess. We’ll see.

We had a lovely time in Bozeman last fall and then took our time driving to Spokane. We spent a lovely day on a secluded mountain trail somewhere really high up in Montana or Idaho. Absolutely gorgeous.

That was August or September 2011. We spent a month in Walla Walla, Washington, living in my parents’ basement. They have two puppies who we are absolutely in love with. My paternal grandma had a stroke and died while we were there. My sister flew up from Texas to attend the funeral so my whole family (plus Casper) were in the same house for a few days there!

We left in October planning to travel the West Coast down to Eugene at least. We spent a week or two visiting my dear friend Sean in Chehalis, bopped down to Portland for a day to pick up a friend who was looking for a ride to Seattle, and then headed for Vashon Island.

Our plan was to spend a few days on Vashon visiting some of my old friends from when I was 14 and 15. We spent a week in our car near a lovely Seattle library doing writing work so we could afford the ferry ride to the Island.

Once on the Island, it was about a week before we decided to take the room they had available. It measures something like 14’x10′ and has lots of storage-like shelves up high. The walls were kind of beat up so we painted them boldly with quotes and art and the like during our stay. It very quickly became a cozy little home for us. We called it the Bunkernest.

Our roommates started out being Ben and Cosmo, folks I know from when I was younger. It’s a four bedroom house. A guy named Matt joined us November 1. Kyle kept sleeping on our couch while walking from town to a house south of us so in January he decided to move in. He sectioned off half of the living room with beautiful tapestries and I’m not actually sure what he was sleeping on for a bed back there… Brian, a friend of Kyle’s, started sleeping on our couches regularly sometime in March, I think. An older couple, Heather and Thom, took Matt’s room when he left in February.

As of April, the four bedroom house was home to seven housemates, one couch friend, three cats and over a dozen computers.

Right Now: Octavia
For the first time in a year and half, Casper and I are apart for more than a week! I’m in Wisconsin with my sister and he is back on Vashon.

My sister became known to the Vashon household because she stayed with us for a week after getting knee surgery and then at other points as she was flying to and from Texas. On the last visit, she was thinking she would need a second round of surgery so I offered to drive to Wisconsin with her to take care of her post-op.

We spent a few days with our parents in Walla Walla, picked up her dog Oso who was staying there, and then up to Spokane to visit our brother. The car, a rickety little thing named Antonia who has been through some stuff, was packed to the gills. I had a backpack and a bag and the rest was Jess’ worldly possessions and dog.

One of those possessions was a yurt she built. We set it up the first night on the road at some BLM land outside of Billings. It was easy to set up but bloody cold. We ended up in the same sleeping bag and full of giggles at 2am as we froze our asses off.

We hit the road at daybreak and managed to get all the way to the Twin Cities. It was, like, a 12 hour driving day. Jess did most of it; she’s a rockstar. We spent the night at an apartment in Minneapolis where some of our childhood friends live, though we didn’t actually see them at all because we got in after midnight and then slept in late.

In the past week, we’ve been housesitting outside of Menomonie, Wisconsin, for some old friends (actually the parents of the people with the apartment mentioned above!). It turns out Jess just needs a lot more physical therapy and not surgery so we’ve just been enjoying ourselves! This has included eating delicious gluten-free things that Jess makes, setting up her yurt in the valley where we grew up, yoga and tea on the front porch, talking about how cute her dog is, andmore. We’ve also been working a bunch on her midwifery business stuff – business cards, advertising, medical forms, licensing, tools of the trade, etc.

Right Now: Casper
I am leaving Wisconsin on May 2. Casper has been a rockstar, judging from afar, about getting our car ready for the road, our belongings packed and the bedroom walls painted. I am taking Amtrak out west and will meet him at the Portland train station on the 4th!

The Plan
The plan now is to do the West Coast. Anyone who has been told of our “plans” before, though, know how much these things can change! We go as the wind blows us, seeking bliss and adventure.

In our future: Portland, Salem, Eugene. We want to spend time on the coast, in ghost towns, on friends’ couches, and deep in BLM land. We’re excited to be back to moving again. Those four walls on Vashon were a comfort but by March were starting to feel like chains. We want to be away from people for awhile, not living in community and living instead by our daily whims.

And this fall? Europe. One way ticket, friends. I am so excited my feet have trouble staying in the socks they aren’t wearing! So far, I know how to say “yes” and “no” in Icelandic and am feeling really good about my future plans!


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