Archive for the ‘NEW FRIENDS’ Category

Please share some of your favorites in the comments below. As I discover new explorers on social media, I will add them to the list below.

 

https://www.facebook.com/HastaAlaska

KombiLife.com

Hasta Alaska is the story of an English explorer named Ben who flew to Chile and has spent over 4 years road tripping all the way to Alaska in a VW Bus. He shares a video blog on youtube that does an amazing job of sharing all the details. His team has done such a great job, we hope to see more adventures from him in the future.

 

http://ModernMotoDiaries.com

Alex Chacon

https://www.facebook.com/ChaconAlex/?fref=ts

Alex has ridden motorcycles in a large portion of the world and continues on a quest to travel as many as possible.

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO9yxZFAdyyjRYGMh5Qp-eg

Long Way Around (& Down)

Ewin McGregor & Charley Boorman travel from England to New York and England to Cape Town Africa on motorcycles.

 

http://netvibes.com/HelpingHandsNet

Helping Hands Network

The story of the network has been growing since being founded in 2006 by Tim Frentz. YouTube videos, blog stories and digital Comic Books share the adventures of network members along their path to help causes in need. Short novels are being published soon to help tell the stories in more detail.

Advertisements

BACKGROUND STORY OF JAN PEREGRINE:

Hi, my name is Jan. 22 years ago I suffered a partial spinal cord injury from an unlucky fall in my parents’ home, bruising my spinal cord at the third vertebrae.

Since then I’ve learned to walk with a rolling walker, but after so many years muscle stiffness became more and more worse, which required greater dependence on a power scooter and home health aides. Nothing has been made available to regenerate my damaged spinal cord.

Very recently I was researching online about progress being made in spinal cord injury and one thing led to another. I made what looks to be my greatest discovery yet and it’s not a drug or surgery!

Intermittent Hypoxic Therapy (IHT) teaches your body to use less oxygen like athletes training for higher altitudes have been using for years to enhance their sports performance. For people with spinal cord injury, whether their injury is recent or old or partial or seemingly complete, clinical trials are showing that IHT will be a gamechanger.

IHT adapted to people with spinal cord injury stimulates your muscles and neurons into growing and making better connections. It may heal spinal cord damage fairly quickly!

Since I can walk with a walker and have full sensation, as well as excellent health, I believe I’ll respond very well to IHT and my physiatrist and nurse have given me to green light. The company Hypoxico found at hypoxico.com has IHT equiipment the clinical trials use and will allow you to buy or rent it.

I’ve asked many pertinent questions about how the spinal cord injury researchers are using the IHT equipment and would like to rent it (the mask must be bought) for a month for the safest and best results.

I need help with the money, especially since Medicaid is charging me for two social security checks because I had a scooter accident last June (it fell on top of me) and needed hospitalization and rehab for three months after my health care agency dropped me because they changed their accreditation policy.

The frigid temperatures make my muscle stiffness or imbalanced muscle tone from my injury much worse and so I’d like to order the IHT equipment as soon as possible. it should be noted that IHT will help a lot with my energy level so I can walk and exercise more, even if my spinal cord isn’t directly regenerated.

Thanks for reading my story and I hope you’ll agree that IHT is a very promising gamechanger that I’ve been waiting decades for. I’m excited to use it! I’ve felt like I’ve been living in  a prison that keeps closing in on me in spite of trying to heal my cord with nutrition and walking. That’s helped, but I keep getting stiffer.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

CAMPAIGN HOME WEB PAGE:

*See http://www.netvibes.com/subscribe.php?preconfig=7ff7586fc1cee505a4a388ecb342eb73&preconfigtype=tab

 

NEEDS

If medical insurance or medicaid has failed you. We want to hear your story. If you are a victim of a spinal injury and have research of your own to share, we want you to talk about it on our social media channels.

If you know someone who this campaign will benefit or you want to help with these causes, please click on the ASK 4 HELP tab at the top of our main page or directly contact us by emailing the director, Tim Frentz at tfrentz@hotmail.com.

The current needs for this campaign are limited to expense funding for IHT Equipment, travel and result tracking supplies. You may also help if you have contacts for these items directly to limit expenses.

VOLUNTEER

We could use assistance in Lincoln Nebraska at this time only but we hope to add more trial locations as this campaign spreads in awareness.

 

SUPPORT

We are now accepting donations to fund our volunteer efforts.  PLEASE DONATE directly to payPal ID: JanPeregrine@gmail.com

Thank you!!!!!!!!

 

BLOG UPDATES

https://freehelpinghands.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/spinal-injury-campaign-now-active/

 

Research on Hypoxia
http://www.medicaldaily.com/spinal-injuries-treated-hypoxia-what-promising-and-surprising-new-treatment-263872#.VqFSH144tDc.facebook

*Check back for updates soon.  🙂

When I first arrived in Texas to give some TLC to my 84′ Benz 300 Turbo Diesel I expected a new battery and tire where needed but was not expecting some major structural repairs. I spent a week detailing the entire car including the under carriage and soon discovered a major problem.

Rear PAssenger Quarter

 

In January of 2015 the suspension arm on my 84″ Mercedes 300 Turbo rusted to the point where the shock absorber mount busted free and made the arm un-repairable.

Mercedes Shock Rust

Luckily, there was a Mercedes Diesel collector and mechanic 4 miles from my current location. On Day 1 I went and visited John Redmond and after 3 hours oftouring his property we came to an agreement. I would provide 30 hours of computer and shop labor in exchange for the replacement parts, use of his shop and his guidance on the repair.

On day 2 and 3 John showed me his computer files and explained what he needed me to do. I spent the day organizing his inventory list.

 

Redmon Shelfs Redmon Shop Redmon Yard

On day 4 we went into the salvage yard and after 2 hours of dinking around in the rain we were down to the final 2 steps of removing a suspension arm. John then realized that the car behind ours had the bottom facing up so he suggested we take the part off that car instead because it was a lot easier and faster to remove. We got the part off just in time as the sun set.

On day 5 I got the new part painted and prepped and got most of my old part disasembled before discovering the main frame bolt would not come loose.

On day 6 I spent 6 hours trying to find a way to get the frame bolt loose. I worked it back and forth endlessly. I tapped it with a hammer and eventually drilled a hole from the top side so some lube would soak into the threads but I did not have a bit long enough.

On day 7, I found a bit long enough and picked up where I left off. After making sure creeping oil was sliding down the rusted bolt I dinked around with some detailing for a few hours and then went back to torquing the bolt. It still did not come loose so I grinded the head off the bolt so I could slide the suspension arm down and get busy. Once I got the bolt head and the support bracket off, I could see that the metal tube inside the suspension bushing was rusted to the bolt. The bolt itself appeared to be free from the threaded nut.

Suspension Bolt Suspension Bolt Grinding
On day 8, knowing that I was not in danger of warping and weakening the frame bracket welded to the threaded part of the tube I could move forward by cutting around the tube inside the bushing to get the bolt and rusted support tube out. I would then force out the bolt, clean and grease the tube, remove the bolt and suspension, and finally spray rubber truck liner around the tube to reattach it firmly in the bushing.

On day 9, I drilled and cut until the bushing tube and bolt unscrewed freely from the frame.

On day 10, I prepped a replacement bushing and bolt and removed the old suspension arm

On day 11, I moved all of my brake components on to the new suspension arm and replaced pads.

On day 12, I rebuilt the rear calipers and put the new arm into place.

Day 13, the rear differential did not need to be dropped and by having it loose at the same time as the axle bar… everything got tweaked out of place. While forcing it into place my helper stripped threads on the double bolt plate for the differential that sits inside the frame under the gas tank. I called it a night to pray I could tap it successfully the next day.

 

Day 14, got a break on repairing the bolt thread and got the differential into place but then the support bar was out of line and I wasted all day trying to get the new greased bolt, bushing, catch cover and support bar all to line up for the one single bolt that holds it together. I put a 17mil thick spring spacer on the top of my spring and installed it into place hoping it would raise my car and straighten out my wheel.

Day 15, my helper that messed up on Day 13 was able to get the support bar bolt into place after I left the night before so I started the day on a good path. I got everything together and lowered the car to discover the spring was too worn out for the spacer to help much.

Day 16, I checked the front brakes and made a spring compressor to try to remove the worn out spring. I gave up after realizing I needed to make a tool like the Mercedes manual recommended to remove the spring. It was that or remove the support arm bolt and go through getting it back into place all over again… yuck!  OR maybe I will just live with wearing out the inside tread on my tires way too fast for the rest of my time owning the car.

Day 17, repaired the sides of my seats to strengthen them with duct tape and treated the seats with vinyl protector. Spliced pieces of door lining into missing spots.

Day 18. Tested the turbo by removing the vacuum filter line for the shifting and bypassed it by plugging it up. It shifts smoother and increased my horsepower because the extra shifting filter really is not necessary and decreases the pressure too much.

Learned you can put your thumb over the vent hole on the top of the valve cover to get a good idea how healthy your ring seals are. The longer the engine continues to run, the better the seals. 3 seconds means run away from that engine while 6 seconds is average and 9 or more is like new! Mine is 7ish  🙂

Day 19, repaired AC condensation drain that caused pedal connector rot

AC drain lineAC drain AC drain foam

Day 20, Prepped for a new pedal.

Pedal damage close Pedal damage

 

Day 21, created new pedal connecting platePedal repair close

 

Day 22, installed new pedal

Pedal new holderPedal new

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 23, repaired door seals

Door Seal b4 Door Seals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 24, repaired floor board rot spots

Day 25, repaired and cleaned widow switches

Switch Cleaning Switch Cleaning 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 26, altered my hood latch cable so it opens properly. Replaced dash light bulb and rear dome light bulb.

 

Day 27, installed new AC belt and upgraded fuses.

 

Day 28, replaced damaged antennae seal.

HOW TO Watch AmericanHorrors.com on Kodi XB Media Center

Written by Tim Frentz (Author “Life’s Little Secrets“)

AmericanHorrors

Now that Halloween season is in full force, you are probably looking to discover new Horror films and that led you here. The American Horrors channel on the FilmOn network currently has the best variety of Horror films I have found.

For those not familiar with XBMC, welcome, and get ready to have your mind blown!

XBMC (now called Kodi) is a fully customizable Media center control system. It is free and the functions are open source so it can work on any platform you desire with the right skills and patience.  Visit forum.XBMC.org and set aside plenty of time to discover how you can watch any content you desire worldwide for free.

Are you ready to start watching some American Horrors?

Step 1: Download Kodi via XBMC.org 

Step 2: Download F.T.V. Guide add-on via addons.tvaddons.ag/show/script.ftvguide/ 

Step 3: Go to https://www.filmon.com/channel/american-horrors and create an account (don’t choose to sign in with facebook)

Step 4: Open Kodi and go to system settings – install from zip – and select the FTV zip file you downloaded

Step 5: In Kodi – go to Videos – click FTV (if FTV is not listed restart Kodi & try steps above again if still not listed) – then click Horror and you will see American Horrors (AH) at the top

Step 6:  Right click on American Horrors and enter your login info and add the channel to your favorites, FTV favorites and TV Guide

Step 7: START WATCHING and sharing the link to this guide with your social media network!  ENJOY.

BillHartAd

The first week of October 2014 had been a very encouraging one.

 

A discovery of art in the charity inventory had been lost for 20 years until I starting researching it. The art turned out to be the issue of a comic that was supposed to explain the origin of Bill the Bull. This Bill the Bull character, was on a path that would have led it to a multi-million dollar brand but when the art was lost, the publisher and artist split ways and a personal tragedy kept the publisher from inking the deal which would become what we all know as HB. Grasping the fact that the Helping Hands Network, has the original art for the comic issue that introduces this character and is one of the primary causes that HB as we know it exists, well, that’s just mind blowing to us.

 

The next day, I got an email from the Utopia project which is the current focus of our twitter discussions. The project has a $50million backing by Fox studios to shed light on Rural Community based living. This way of living is so crucial to the survival of American Society that I invest great energy to help consult the cast and film staff and I even agreed to make an appearance soon. See: wp.me/p13eVj-A0

 

The next day, I got an msg from a country music singer I admire discussing when I can get her a copy of the Helping Hands Yogi. I also got a wonderful letter of support from a cast member/contestant on a popular survival show.

 

These events seem to find me always when I am at a point of questioning my path, so I am very thankful for all of you who continue to support me.

Here’s a letter I just got today and the heart felt reply that it inspired me to put down on paper/screen.  ❤

******************************************************************************

LETTER:
wow. I feel both surprised and genuinely intrigued by your messages and the link you sent me- the synchronicity of this and my life is propelling my interest. I have found myself sifting through the helping hands link you set me- excited by the possibilities. Will you please explain to me, in your own words, what your intent is with this. Thank you for reaching out to me- i have found myself in a stagnant mind frame- the therapy work I do weights heavy on me sometimes…and you showing me this light has lifted my spirit, knowing that there are many people reaching to help others is an important reminder for me right now

 

REPLY:

The light you speak of, has surrounded me and all among me since I survived being hit by a car in 1997. Near death experiences are associated with the awakening of reincarnated spirits in manuscripts back to the beginning of such.

 

With every mentioning of the Helping Hands movement or my name, more and more is asked of me and the leaders whom associate with me. I enjoy the invitation into new experiences and the glam that often comes with it but at the same time I maintain a balance by returning to a place of solitude for weeks at a time.

 

I admit, I do find inspiration by the successful people who value my words as a source of encouragement, hope and muse.

******* you ask ******

my intention? The intention was to push an idea of joining loving caring beings with enlightened spirits into a central organized network AND to provide all with a place to post ideas that need help or ways and resources that can in return provide the help.

My intent has been achieved years ago and now that I have bonded with so many great leaders around the US, I am finally able to focus on my own manuscripts.

 

I’m assuming you friended my profile here, I will link you to the movements page. The next few months will be interesting. I have a book tour pending with the help of the radio/media friend I have just made and I am considering a 2 month business consulting offer during my winter stay in the Los Angeles area.

I’m so glad I was available today to share my light with you and yours.

Please share anyway I may help lift the dark above you….. namaste

 

******************************************************************

Welcome home!
Where the energy is drawn.

Welcome home.
Where the love creates the wind.
Where 20000 souls combine happiness.

Welcome home.
Where life is full.
Where peace is never ending.
Where LOVE builds a halo around all.

Welcome home.
Where music soothes.
Where crystals & sage lift the spirit.
Where hugs & ohms manifest peace.
Where prayer bells & such open hearts.

Welcome home.
Where hippies, yogis & others enlighten.
Where violence & sin is prevented.
Where caresses of emotion heal.

Welcome home.
Where nature is king, lord & the divine.
Where life is perfect & tears are made of joy.

Welcome home.
Where it is the way it is!

image

I have always wanted to make it too the national gathering but I seam to be at the furthest point away when it is time. If it is in PA then im in LA. When it is in Montana then I am on the east cost or Texas.

Finally, in 2014 I was layed over in Nebraska and the gathering was near Salt Lake City. It was as close as I was ever going to get and rideshares were abundant so I pulled the trigger.

My mom wanted to go to a festival in Omaha so I replied to a few ride offers on the rainbow forum that were leaving Omaha the day after the Celebrates America fest featuring Blues Travelers and Sugar Ray. My previous visit to this event was rained out and this show was again in jeopardy with a 70% chance of storms. The park sits on a massive hill reaching 150 yards wide by 400 yards long and with the stage at the bottom it forms the perfect amphitheater for over 25000.

image

After a night of enjoying fireworks, music and lovely ladies, we checked into a nearby hotel. In the morning I loaded up with food and supplies from the hotel buffet and hugged everyone goodbye.

I had not been able to find much public info on my driver but her communication had been fairly punctual with minor worrisome delays. Once I heard from her, I was able to send everyone on their way. There is always a bit of stress in these moments, especially if your backup ride does not have a mobile phone and is venturing 140 miles away.

My ride showed up punctually as I watched Brasil sneak by Chile in the mornings cup match. The wonderful miss Kira was waiting in the parking lot dressed in athletic tie dye. Her modelesck 5’5 frame met me with a hug and gorgeous smile. It was going to be a very enjoyable ride. Just when I thought the energy was peaking, Kira informed me we were waiting for another goddess from Kansas.

Kira shared the history of her moves from Omaha to Pittsburgh to Brooklyn. Her family was now following to Pittsburgh to be closer to her and others. She had timed the move so she could go to the gathering and then help drive them from Omaha to Pitt upon her return.

As she continued to speak I couldnt look away from the amazing spectrum of neutral colors gleaming in her eyes and a tiny little hoop piercing on her lower lip.

As we entered our 20th minute of chat a small SUV with Kansas plates pulled up and TWO beautiful college girls in sun dresses appeared from the back seats. Layce was near 5’10 with a slender light skin and dark dreads and her friend Bella was a bit as shorter with died lavender hair with a thin build and light complextion.

Layce’s mom was a free spirit and encouraged the girls to take the journey before committing to summer job committments so she drove them up from Topeka to catch our ride.

They piled in back while I took shotgun and we were on our way. As we traveled across Nebraska, the girls revealed a lot about their personalities. Kira had 7 national gatherings and nearly a hundred road trip adventures in her pocket so she played the leader position well for our group. Layce was a bit shy at first but grew as we went along. She would continue to have a timidness about her but I wouldnt be suprised if at some point she just let loose once we got to the forrest destination. Bella had taken a few road trips and we relied on her to start up conversations each time we went through more than 30 minutes of silence.

By nightfall we had reached the Rockies and found our way to Kira’s friendly home where we would be sheltered for the evening.

Our host, David, was a computer programmer and fit the description fairly well but also benefitted from the outdoor life of the average Boulder resident. His wife, Jackie, was an athletically built plant biologist whom had so much positive energy that you could see a white lining if you squinted at her just right.

After we made our introductions, I found my way to their balcony to pray and meditate as the sunset over the mountains. I enjoyed a certain cloud in the shape of a walrus in the western sky as it changed colors with the dimming sunlight. I continued writing and reading as I waited for dinner plans to be announced.

image

Our hosts wanted to show us their neighborhood health food pub called Southern Sun. I spurged on a humus reuben and salad loaded with too many veggies to name. Every bite was out of this world and I enjoyed praying and meditation with the infinite flavors shocking my system. Unfortunately Bella was turning out to be full of frustration for all the wrongs in the world and in her youth she has not realized how to control her vocal volume and mannerisms. Far too often up to this point Bella continues her negative rants not understanding she is in the company of several enlightened spirits whom understand her complaints and are aware of their needed solutions. I pray she soon discovers that her quiet voice is just as powerful in our company. It was a very challenging 2 hours of blocking her out while moving about to observe the nearby art while savoring each bite.

image

image

Once back to the crib we played a card game they called defense where the last person stuck with a card bought a round. By 2 I found my way to a couch and fell asleep watching a flick on my phone.

SUnday 6/29

Shortly after I awoke, Jackie followed and set me up with a bike for the day. I started with a 10 mile ride down Marshall Creek road passed a bunch of old mining and farming antiques and cabins. Then I circled around some ponds and explored a cave before soaring 40 mph down a 2 mile return which led me to the perfect street for a morning bath.

image

As 10am approached for the Netherlands Mexico game, I rolled on towards downtown. The trails were nicer then their roads and nearly one third of the traffic was on foot or bicycle transport. As I entered Pearl street flashbacks of Santa Monica overwhelmed my vision. It was so similar that if I didnt identify the familiarity I would have thought I was experiencing dejavu.

image

I enjoyed a few street performances including a Caribbean yogi contortionist, African drummer and a Didg player. There were so many to choose from that it was halftime before I made it to O’Neils.

image

image

After the Mexico defender ruined their countries hopes in the 92nd minute, I went to an art walk 3 blocks over and then cooled down in a swimming hole.

image

I had almost 2 hours before the Costa Rica game so I took the Boulder Creek trail 4 miles east and experienced several serene sights including a rock sculpture where rocks were set on top of iron beams. I also found some sand volleyball and an observatory where you could look under the water at the trout.

image

image

I returned to O’Neils to watch Costa Rica pull off their shootout win over Greece while munching a salad and then went swimming again. I then started biking Boulder Creek up the mountains.

image

I didn’t plan on doing it when I started the day. I was only going to go to the base of the first ridge but once I reached it, the incline was so gradual that I kept going about 4 miles up and over the first 6 ridges.

image

I found the perfect rock and sat in the river to work on some writing until the sun set leaving me enough light to find my way to the Chautauqua music hall.

image

image

Through out the past few days I had been exchanging messages with my first true love. When I was 16 I met Samantha while swimming in the Red Cloud Nebraska pool during a Wilson family reuion. We spent all day and night hanging out with my family while getting to know each other. We exchanged numbers and kiddy pecks on the cheek.

Over the next year we wrote every few weeks and I would return to visit her several times including a sleep over when she moved further away to Smith Center Kansas. One day the letters stoped coming and my next one was returned to sender. When I called the number was disconnected so I drove down and found the house empty. A neighbor told me they packed up and left overnight.

I made up some note cards asking for anyone who knew her families whereabouts to call me but never heard back. After a month with no replies, I started calling listings with her name in Tucson. She had told me her grandparents were there so I hoped I would find them. I didnt know it then but they were her mom’s parents and she never mentioned their last name.

Every few weeks while I was at college, I would search her name and pray I would find her. Still no luck and years started rolling by. Every month for 18 years I struck out searching. Finally one day in 2012, I got a friend request on facebook from her under an alias.

She had found our letters and pictures and couldnt stand not knowing if I would ever forgive her. She told me that she was in a coma and had to be transported to a larger city and her mom moved to be there. Her mom didnt think our friendship was serious enough to call me and by the time Sam recovered she was afraid I had moved on and didnt want to deal with my posssible unacceptance.

18 years later we finally picked up where we left off but she had just reached a serious level in her relationship with a possesive guy and she didnt want to jeopardize it by texting too much. We exchanged messages a few times and when ever I was coming to Denver, I would let her know. She was never able to come meet me because her boyfriend was not willing to go and would get furious if she tried to leave.

Finally, 20 years after our last hug, we were getting together at the  Chautauqua orchestra.

image

image

Once Sam arrived, I biked down to the car and loaded up the bike before walking her and 6 yearold Serenity up to the concert hall. We sat in the very back to chat and catch up.

She drove me back to the apartment and we exchanged kisses and tears of pure bliss.

image

My Rainbow family loaded up and we were on our way. As I was getting settled for the final 9 hour drive Sam sent me one of the most loving texts of all time expressing her excitement to be with me again.

Signal was spotty along the way but every chance I could get I was checking world cup updates and uploading my stories. The sun was just setting as we entered the state park near Heber Utah.

image

Once we found a parking area, we sorted our gear and got in line for the shuttle. The girls filled in the last few spots of a truck bed so I went over to a minivan. The driver was to the point, yelling “put your shit on the roof and get the fuck in”. Several people hesitated but I was getting the feeling it was a long walk so I tossed up my small bag and snuck back in the corner with my pack. I should of done it the other way around because my money and important items were now in jeopardy on the roof as we traveled over a very bumpy road. As I entered the van a caring brother gifted me a pair of thermal pants after hearing I didnt have any with me.

It was a 15 minute ride and along the way we picked up people until we were to the point where there was a second layer laying on top of us. Amongst the dogs and dirty hippies who showed little respect for their body, two brothers caught my attention. Next to me was a 30 something bearded brother from New Orleans and across was a teenager who looked and talked like Napolean Dynamite. I told NOLA about my fall stay to help repair central park after Katrina.

By the time we pilled out of the van it was dark and I couldnt find Kira so I walked up the entrance and back playing Marco Polo until we heard eachother. We passed several camp villages and went about 10 minutes until we hit the end of a trail and put up the tents. It was nearing 11 so Kira let me bunk with her and the other girls went out and found some cuddling buddies.

On the morning of Monday July 1st, I jogged a mile further out of the grounds and found a watering hole. When i got back Kira was ready to move. we packed up and moved Kiras tent to the other side of the rainbow grounds to an area above Kids Camp. We went past a trade circle where there was a enormous amount of jewelry and other items. It was the second day on the gathering Calendar and already there was 15000 people with campsites as far as the eye could see stretching like fingers out from the center circle peace pole in a massive meadow.

image

Kira found some friends to camp by way up on a mountain side. We leveled a spot out but it was still pretty slanted so sleeping was not going to be great. After everything was together, I sorted my day and night bags and then walked with Kira until she found her friends.  I wandered out on my own and found a Indian Krishna camp serving great rice dishes and soups.

image

They didnt have any need for volunteers at the moment so I went up to Granola funk to help build the theatre stage and do some writing.

Granola funk is where the artistic crowd hangs out at night with a different themed show every night from the 1st to the 5th. This year it was designed like a TV.

image

At sunset I went to Kirshna camp and ate dinner and that was followed with a prayer and song service with sitar music. To finish the night I went and danced around the drum circle.

 

PART 2

https://freehelpinghands.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/welcome-home

 

 

I came across this amazing Nomadic Permaculture Yogi’s story and am now following his efforts. I hope to follow some of his steps over the next 10 years so I am republishing it here to guide me along my travels….

previously published: http://permaculturenews.org/2014/05/07/nomadic-permaculture-journey-continues/

 

Posted May 7, 2014 by  & filed under Courses/WorkshopsGeneral.


Awareness course group, Tipwere orphanage, Malawi

Five years ago, I never would have thought it possible to experience a journey and transformation in my life like this. My whole world-view and belief system changed. With it came a change in eating and sleeping habits, a reduction in consumption of all kinds of unnecessary products, a more positive state of mind manifested, through satisfying work outside the city or office environment in beautiful outdoor settings, and getting to meet and share time with interesting people from all around the world.

How did that come to be?

 

In 2009, leaving Austria and my comfort zone, I took my first small steps in organic farming and community living in the Caribbean and after went to South America. We traveled by local buses through Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador, meeting local activists, farmers and change-makers to find out about local challenges, alternative initiatives and to build networks of support, sharing and understanding. This journey made me understand the global economic and environmental dark sides of our lifestyles, behavioral patterns and the exploitation of people and mother nature. I wanted to act, change something, and be part of the solution and not the problems. After some time of research I luckily discovered Permaculture.


Fruit tree root pruning, Natueco farm, India

I participated in my first PDC in 2010 with Alex Kruger from Berg en Dal Ecovillage at Nature’s Gift Permaculture Centre, Malawi — which was, just a few months before, the hosting site of the 9th International Permaculture Convergence. I stayed at the centre to volunteer for two months after my PDC course, and also participated in an Earth building workshop in which we build an outdoor kitchen with cob pizza oven.


Liquid fertilizer making, Farmer training, Surkhet district, Nepal

This experience changed my life, opened my eyes and inspired me to transform myself and the environments around me into more holistic, abundant and regenerative systems. A big awakening process started and with it came the motivation and opportunities to start spreading some seeds of change, which brought me to many different countries, cultures, climates and led me to participate in, co-organize and co-facilitate eight PDC courses and several introduction workshops and farmer trainings, mostly in India but also East Africa, Nepal and Portugal.


Mulch pit, Tipwere orphanage, Malawi

During my 1-year stay in East Africa, I was working with amazing and inspirational people and projects, being part of a permablitz in an orphanage near Blantyre with Walter Mugove and Chris Walker (ReScope Program), plus helping out at two 5-day Permaculture workshops in rural orphanages around Malawi. We established nurseries, kitchen gardens, compost systems and grey-water systems together, plus Chris Walker and his local team were sharing Permaculture theory and practical knowledge. I also got the chance to visit and volunteer in projects along the way through my travels in Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia. It gave me lots of great experiences and memories for a lifetime!


My Pattern session, PDC 2014, India

I wanted to continue on this path of gaining practical experiences in the different fields of Permaculture, living and learning in culturally and environmentally different places, so I saved some money after working in England and went off to magical India.

Arriving in India and ending up in Auroville, learning and working with experienced people like Krishna from Solitude Farm and Bernard and Deepika from Pebble Garden, pushed me to the next level. I got the chance to help with the design and implementation for Sapney Farm, a degraded half acre in a tropical arid climate on the edge of Auroville, owned by Snehal, the founder of Heal the Soil Project. With the help of Ellumalai, a local gardener with many years’ experience in growing medicinal plants and tree-planting, Martin from France, and hundreds of multinational volunteers, we managed to transform and get good response from the land in the short period of just 3 years. We started to receive more and more visitors, people started asking for advice and we started to organize more workshops. Heal the Soil hosted the first PDC at Sapney Farm, with Bernard Alonso from Canada in January 2012. We also successfully organized a PDC in Portugal in November that year, when Luis, one of our first PDC students, invited us to come to his land there. The network had started to grow! It brought me to Portugal, where I helped establish permaculture systems and gardens for 10 months, visited the Tamera project and meet Sepp Holzer — showing his inspirational Water Retention Landscapes during a day visit to a large group of people — to a brief consultation in Southern Italy, after which I returned to India.


Permablitz, Auroville area, India

After that period we also collaborated with the Himalayan Farm Project located in the magical foothills of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand. We organized the first PDC there together with Ben and Sam from the Panya Project, which brought 25 people from many different countries to this amazing place and we learned, shared and experienced for three weeks the beauty of living together in harmony with nature.

Also, I went to stay with Deepak Suchede for 1 month in central India, an experienced natural farmer and practitioner of Natueco Farming Science, mixing spirituality and science with traditional Indian farming practices. In Nepal I stayed with Govinda Sharma at the beautiful Hasera Farm and in Kathmandu at Sunrise Farm, from where I set out onto a journey into the wild west of Nepal, the Surket District, to visit the Himalayan Permaculture Centre, a project supported and founded by Chris Evans and local Permaculturists. I was lucky to be part of a 5-day Permaculture Farmers’ Training there, organized at the centre for local future permaculture farmers. I experienced an almost entirely self-sufficient and self reliant community (tea, sugar, salt and occasionally oil are the only products bought from outside) living in beneficial relationships with nature — a truly inspirational ecovillage model and traditional, low impact lifestyle!

After returning to India, more courses in Sapney Farm followed. Once again we collaborated with Bernard Alonso, plus held another PDC with Govinda Sharma from Nepal, who came to teach in the Auroville area for the first time. These courses attracted people from over 19 different countries and created a very rich, diverse and fertile learning environment for all the people involved. It also led me to participate in a practical Earthship building workshop at Karuna Farm, near Kodiakanal in South India, the first site in India to have an Earthship constructed.


Plant distribution at Intro-course, Chambe Rock, Malawi

In November 2013, I participated in and facilitated three sessions at a Permaculture Design Course in Darjeeling with inspirational and experienced teacher Rico Zook. This experience gave me deeper insights into professional group facilitation and confidence to continue sharing the knowledge I acquired in the period of my nomadic travels all over the world. Immediately good connections where established with Rico and we decided to do some more work together in the future. There will be a PDC with him in December 2014 in Sapney Farm, India, and we are organizing a PDC course with him in a beautifully located nature reserve near Barcelona in Spain this June 2014.

The latest stop on my journey was Thailand. I visited Khao Sok Nature Reserve, a very diverse and ancient rainforest in Southern Thailand — Zone 5 inspirations everywhere! Afterwards I visited my friends, Ben and Sam, at the wonderful Panya Project. I gained further inspiration in a brief visit to Pun Pun, plus a few days at Tacompai near Pai, and a short stay at the newly founded Gaia Ashram in Nothern Thailand. These four visits led me to meet amazing people and establish further connections plus get inspired by some functional models of Permaculture and natural building in Thailand, which in some parts has a very similar climate to the area where I was working in India.


Web of Life, Chambe Rock, Malawi

Over the past five years I was hosted, supported and inspired by amazing, kind and open-hearted people who gave me the chance to practice and get a deeper understanding of the theoretical knowledge I learned from books, videos and workshops. In return for my work I received food and accommodation plus a small income from workshops which helped me to sustain myself and to start to make permaculture almost my full-time profession.

I am extremely grateful for this journey and feel happy to share with you here my story and some impressions from past workshops. I feel my example could be a good inspiration and motivation for future students of PDC courses and Permaculture workshops all over the world, to make people understand and realize that a transformation and shift in our lives and ways of seeing the world is very much possible and supported by the Permaculture toolbox.

A good start is to just get out there! Follow your inner calling, join some Permaculture projects, communities and workshops, start to build networks and relationships. Start with small, manageable steps and more and more doors will open along your way!


With Deepak Suchede at Natueco farm, India

Although a journey like this may not be possible for everyone, and being aware of the significant resources it took in flights and transport, it’s possibly also not advisable, but there were huge returns for these investments — we regenerated degraded lands, designed and implemented regenerative systems, planted trees and grew our own food, harvested rainwater, re-used grey water, utilized alternative technologies and shared and inspired many people through workshops and volunteering. I believe the general environmental impact of the projects and life I lived these last years is comparably lower than in my old life in Austria, as often I was living in projects during the pioneer phase with no electricity, tap water or internet, etc.

Stay tuned, as in the future I plan to share more in-depth reports and articles about my experiences around the world.

We are hosting a Permaculture Design Course with Rico Zook and myself, together with a local project, Active Earth, in La Garrotxa, a beautiful nature reserve near Barcelona this June, and still have places available. For course info feel free to get in touch at: permaculturainfo (at) gmail.com

The time is now! and as Mahatma Ghandi very wisely said:

Be the change you wish to see in this world!

Links for further information about the projects mentioned in the article:

August 6-7th coming soon

August 8th

Arrived in Newcastle WY from Colorado Springs.

While eating a great valued plate sized pancake breakfast at Donna’s, I was joined in conversation by a nice gent from MA. After eating, my new friend picked up the tab for my birthday. As I stood by my bike, a group surrounded me to talk about it. I explained how my dad started me on the 80s Honda 750’s ever since they came out aind how the two of us had toured the continental 48 on them. They enjoyed hearing how I rescued the bike out of the MN field and rebuilt the Red/White/Blue into the bike I was now riding in memory of my pops.

I then headed north out of Castlewood. About 15 miles out of town about half of the land was covered with nearly 6 inches of hail slush. I went almost 8 miles before most signs of the hail had disapeared. As I entered Lead, SD my engine started ticking and I knew I must be using up more oil then usual. I had just added 3/4 of a quart in Lusk this morning while talking to LA Guns. I carried on 3 more miles to Deadwood and parked on main street. The parking was completly full of bikes from end to end but I found a spot at the far end.

I went straight to Saloon 10 to see if they had started their 10:30 poker tournment yet. I was still able to get in so I played their Turbo tourney and ended in 5th place around 12:30. I could then still make it to the 1p tourney at a different casino or try to promote some Shhmokewear.

I ended up weaving some Shhmokewear in several high traffic locations of Deadwood but had to refrain from displaying too much product because the city has a no vendor policy. I noticed cops surrounding me about 20 feet away so I quickly packed up and moved on. I got some more $8 oil at the Lucas booth and also got a free registration to win a $35k custom Tin Lizzy chopper. While waiting for the 4:45 drawing, I rode up to Lead to get a sub sandwhich and picked up a tarp for the rain that was coming.

I didn’t get back in time for the drawing so I went straight to another casino to get the currrent details for their poker tournaments then headed for the Buffalo Chip to party with Sturgis.

It was $72 and there was no way to sneak in with my gear so I sucked it up and paid. The campgrounds covered a 4 square miles with 2 stages, 2 shower buildings, a food barn, and a swimming hole not including the main stage grounds which was another 2 square miles full of everything you could imagine. I rode around scouting my best options. I found the perfect spot right between the side stages and the main stage ground. There was a little corner not being used but clearly meant to be part of a reserved area. No one was around the camp next to the spot so I quickly put the bike and tent on the very edge.

The gentlemen paying for the lot pulled up in his truck just as I completed so I quickly broke the ice. Ray was a Navajo and and very friendly. I jumped at the chance to share a Native American story with him and then he welcomed me into his personal space.

After getting all my gear into the tent, I headed into the main stage grounds to party with Skynyrd. Bradley Gilbert was warming up the crowd when I walked in. I made a few quick Shhmokewear advances before it got dark and then headed up front. It was a good thing I brought a tarp because it started pouring as they setup. Everyone near me was thankful when I shared it with them.

One of the few things that could possibly make Skynyrd better would be the roar of 100 loud bikes showing their appreciation between every song and the energy of thousands of bikers dancing together. After an epic performance of Free Byrd the soaked crowd shifted over to the night club lounge to dance till 2am. I failed to make any campground friends so I wandered back to my tent and passed out.

Friday 8/9
I spent the morning exploring the campground looking to score some free food and then went and showered and shaved. I went down to the swimming beach area and set up to promote some shhmokewear. One person after another came up and talked to me. Before I knew it, 5pm had rolled around and I had sold 10 bracelets and it was time to get in the filming crowd for CMT’s Sturgis show during a beer belly contest. As that came to a conclusion, a massive storm front was moving in. I had planned on promoting on main street in Sturgis all day but with the storm coming fast I wasn’t even going to have enough time to relocate my tent.

It wasn’t long before the storm hit. I was ready and standing by the bikini beach stage so I could take cover. The wind blew really hard and then marble hail followed. Everyone nearby was racing for a spot under the stage.

After the storm blew over I went to my tent and made an RTE meal while listening to the music of the Doors’ Robbie Krieger.  Then it was time to find my way to the stage for Sublime. I found a way in and enjoyed the show then went past some new Shhmokewear customers camp and then to the music aat the watering oasis to chill until 2ish.

Sat 8/10
Some young inconsiderate staff members ran their generator all night long with no silencer casing so adding that noise to the constant bike thunder made it a rough nights sleep. I needed a reset so I took my breakfast down to the watering hole right away.

I was soon joined by 3 bikini models who were doing their calendar shots and some Discovery channel filming. Some of the BC staff came over to make it look like there was more of partying in the background. I mde some new friends like Meagan, Zack and Greg who were running the karaoke and sound systems. Meagan and her mom were active in teaching and performing arts around Lower Bruelle reservation near Mitchell SD.

A few minutes went by and then a man resembling a 50 yearold version of me appeared. He started a yoga routine similar to mine while conversing about his 6 years as a Hare Krishna devotee in HI, Phily and San Diego.  Greg Bechtol met his wife at temple and then had children growing up in the yogi life. He mentioned how inspired he was by “the way home” autobiography of Swami ????  I was currently reading the same book and structuring my own version of it so we talked about how our journeys compared for a few minutes. Greg then went back to his camp to get a flyer and another monk traveling Sturgis with him. His friend was still mastering English so we didn’t talk a lot but just being in the company of other devoted yogi’s was a great way to close out my stay at Buffalo Chip.

A few minutes later some of my new friends joined us for a swim. I was also able to charge my phones while tanning and working on a custom ordered bracelet pipe. After lunch I said my good byes and packed up camp. I was off to downtown main street Sturgis and the heart of the rally.

While I was strolling around looking for mud flaps and seat rests with my KXL protest shirt on, a film crew came up to me because of my patriotic jacket and wanted some promo shots with their models. I then had them then take some shots for me with my shirt and their model to put in the next Helping Hands comic issue.

It was starting to get dark so I cruised over to my friends Randy and Shirley who own the Swap Meet property. We talked briefly as they were closing up and then he told me there was an empty lot a block over to put up my tent. When I pulled up to the lot, it was just what I hoped for. It was mostly cushy grass away from the noise. There were two other tents and an RV to keep the attention away from me and to detir anyone from raiding my tent.

After I was all set up, I headed back to the concerts on main street. I went from a country group to a hard rock group to a Joan Jett all girl group. All of the bands had girl lead vocalists too. I eventually made it to the Easy Riders club on the end of the strip where there was a blue grass group on one side and a night club with tons of mostly naked beautiful college girls dancing. You know where I ended up for the rest of the night. I found a stool near the dance floor and kicked back. After a short while, some tatoo artists from a reality show sat at the tables around me, including their super hot leading role model. She was very friendly and let people get a picture with them. I just took a couple of her dancing by me.

As I made it back to main street, I grabbed a $3 hot dog and got to my bike right at the 2am street parking curfew. As I was finishing my dog, a guy grabs my bike and wheels it over to his tow truck. I stepped in front of him just before the ramp and several other bikers surrounded him and the ticket cop. A few words about how much I had to drink were exchanged and then they stepped away from my bike so I could ride off and avoid a $250 tow fee!

Sunday 8/11
For the first time in 4 nights I was able to sleep with a bit of peace. There were still a few bikes roaring but I slept straight through. I left my tent up and went to stroll the vendors one last time then hit the $10 Gypsy Sideshack buffet while watching some NFL and charging my phone. As I was getting ready to ride over to the grocery and dollar stores for supplies, a guy from Portland roled up and wanted to talk about my bike. He had just closed his car dealership and was dealing with a sick wife so he rode to Sturgis to reset his stress.

I then went to Randy’s swap meet to look for my mud flaps and seat back. They didn’t have any so I bought a RWB Eagle vest extendor so I could help them out somehow. Shirley came over and started crying when I gave her a hug because she spent most of the spring providing hospice for dad in Texas and then her Uncle had passed away that morning. She also was still suffering from a bad business partner who she had been trying to part with the past 2 years and the city sales tax officers.

City tax officials had been going around entraping business owners by asking for receipts and citing any discounted sales even if they were properly taxed. Randy was forced to spend a night in jail and pay a $1800 bond and a $500 ticket. For the small vendors paying $4000+ for a booth in addition to a $700 permit and sales tax it was the last straw. The city is trying to use these dirty tactics to terminate long term contracts in certain locations in order to open them up for bigger corporate operations.

Randy and Shirley got too busy to talk so I went back over to my camp and loaded up then returned to get a picture and talk about visiting their farm in southwest Kansas on my way to CO Springs in late Sept. After saying goodbye, I stopped into McD’s to use the wifi and get my email caught up while enjoying a Sunday. Then I hit Subway to get sandwiches for a couple meals in the woods.

Once in Deadwood, I stopped at the casinos to verify the current poker tournament times and then went up to my favorite camp spot in Bullock/Rosevelt Castle. After getting set up I went back down and had an hour to play Black Jack at the Lodge. I took my $6 winnings over to Cadilac Jacks for the $23 seven pm poker tournament where I was dealt pocket Kings two hands in a row and lost all the chips before the second level ended.

I sat around waiting for my phone to charge awhile and used the wifi to check facebook then headed over to check out the new Grand Casino.  It was built with the same foundation and structure as the original wood saw mill building. It also has the river running under it that powered the saws and now charges electric turbine generators. It is interesting to see how the streets were built over the top of the river for several blocks. Inside the casino were some nice giveaway bikes and a biker painting exibit. The sports lounge had more football to watch and on another screen was a show featuring the top 50 Sportcenter commercials which is my favorite ad campaign. I plugged my phone in and watched some while charging then it was off to some live music at Saloon No. 10.

I was immediately approached by a nice older lady and reminded I was as handsome as the guy on “One Tree Hill”. I had never watched it but now I guess I have to look at some mug shots of the actors to see if I really do look similar to him. The nice lady continued to make advances at me so I often moved around the saloon. I bumped into the owners of the Full Throttle franchise, Michael and Rachael, and we talked about setting their next party up with Shhmokewear gift bags and then took some pictures together. I avoided the temptation to play black jack until close and instead left with the Full Throttle crew to walk around a bit. Not much else was going on so I headed up to camp.

Monday 8/12
Ahh. My first solid night of peace and quite. I was frustrated that the low cloud cover blocked my view of the meteor shower but I fell a sleep pretty quick anyway with the top of the tent open under the few stars I did get to enjoy. Some times a turkey or chipmunk, owl, eagle, deer or bear will wake me up but not this night.

I needed a nature day after all this excitement so I started with a hike down the rarely explored side of the mountain facing Deadwood while enjoying my apple, grapes, bananna and granola bar for breakfast. I went about 800ft. down and then back up and then went over to hike to Mt. Rosevelt/Bullock Castle. There were two nice elder local laddies having a picnic so I approached them for my morning conversation about the history of the castle and then another group offered me some water when I asked if I could trade a granola bar. I rode the bike up to the top and discovered the preservation of the peace tower was complete and they added a metal roof. I sat up there several hours while writing and eating then left my mark facing Spearfish and hiked down to the lookout dock for some nice private tanning of my cheeks.

At 6pm, I went back to camp to change gear and head into town. I stopped at the Lodge and another awesome Red White Blue bike parked beside mine so I got a quick picture then went in to play some black jack. From there it was off to Cadilac Jacks for their 7pm tourney. I had a good run before finally getting knocked out in 7th place. It was 11 by the time I got done replying to emails so I skipped downtown and went back up the mountain.

Tuesday 8/13
I started the day off with a nice 2 hour all natural yoga set at the tower before the first group of hikers showed up. I then went back to writing and tanning between visitors. Around 1pm a storm front started moving in and before I could get packed up the rain was already falling. I went back to the tower to stay dry just in time as quarter sized hail began to fall. As each ball fell it shreeked through the trees and exploded against the bark making a loud gunshot like noise. As the hail banged the steel roof and the thunder boomed I had to plug my ears as if I was in front of a concert speaker. After about 30 minutes the rain stopped long enough for me to run to the other side of the peak in my sandles to make sure the bike wasn’t blown down the cliff. I could see another wave rapidly blowing in from the south so I ran back to the tower. When I got back there was an adventurous couple in their 60s climbing the steep 14 inch high steps. The lady had a caine and bad knee but she tackled the beast as I watched in awe. As if the hike wasnt enough of a challenge. It was no suprise when they told me they lived in a sustainable cabin in the wild and he was a logger and trucker.
They continued on to make it back to their vehicle before the bucket of rain fell again. Pea sized hail forced me back into the shelter and this time the wind and lightning were going full force like a twister was forming. I began taking off my metal items and prayed I would not be struck sitting next to the lightning rod stair case rails attached to the roof. I had to remove my hat and shirt containing metal buttons and wrapped up in the tarp to stay warm as the rain and hail blew in through the window openings above me. As it calmed down I went to the top to scout the surrounding. I began cursing and pleading with the storm to move on so I could go get my warmer clothes and head into town.  A voice from the stairs below responded “keep praying”. I was completely caught off guard, not expecting anyone else to attemp the hike in this storm.
It was two more hard core bikers out looking to challenge their riding skills. They had just riden in the storm, up the muddy back road which I don’t even attempt in perfect conditions so they had my salute immediately. Mark and Gary were two of the few remaining bikers still camping among the hills after the rally. They were taking their time returning to the Minneapolis area. We shared a joint and stories about riding the storms out before the rain stopped to let us down the mountain. I went and put on my warm clothes and boots and then rode with them over to lead to get some PB&J. I gave them directions to Hippy Hole/Devils Bath and then we parted ways.
I headed over to the 7pm tourney and struck out again but got my phone charged for another day of writing then I went over to the 10 and lost at Black Jack. After getting my Sturgis journal caught up, I headed back up to the tent.

Wed 8/14
I started the day with a great uninterupted rock lifting and pushup workout on the lookout deck and then headed down to Cadilac Jacks for the 1pm $23 tourney. I got the further in this tournament then any other so far. I got knocked out in 5th and then the remaining players split $1000 four ways. It was 4pm by the time 8 got caught up on email and the weather was nice so I went for a ride through Spearfish Canyon over to Hippi Hole (Devils Bath) and then around Spearfish and back up to the Lodge in time for the main event tournament. Wednessday at 6:30 the Lodge has a $54 buy-in, 200% added, unlimited add-on event where the deep pocket retired boys put in around $6000 extra into the pot. This night, the pot was $9700 with a 40 player cap and they pay the top 10. That gives players a 1 in 4 shot at making as much as nearly $3500 for first place on a $54 minimum investment. I rolled my first table, winning about every 4 hands. By the time we split the table at the end of the add-on rounds, I was the tournament leader with 25,000 in chips while the table average was only 5k but then the thick wallets opened up and the old timmers loaded up $500 cash for 50,000 each in chips. I didn’t have that kind of money to invest so I was going to have to earn my spot at the final table. I almost made it before going 16k all-in with Ace diamonds & Queen hearts and lost to an Ace King kicker for about a 55k pot which would have gotten me to the money. Instead, I was sent packing empty handed in 15th place. I was too bummed to go to the 10 for music now so I went back to camp and called it a night.

Thursday 8/15
I packed up camp and headed to the 10 for the early $10 tournament. Two of the finalists from the big tournament were there and just getting started. I again had a bad run and was knocked out early. I headed over to the park for breakfast and writing and then went to Cadilac Jacks 1pm tournament for my final chance at making some money before heading to my camp on the lake in the middle of no where. I once again found myself on a roll and near the lead deep into the final table and just as I was about to finish in the money this young kid made a top notch play. He limps in for 1600 and two more call when it comes around to me so I push a massive 16000 with Ace Jack and the kid insta calls representing a strong pair. We see the rainbow 2,4,5 flop and he puts me all in and I fold to try to recover with only 2500 left in chips. The only time a player would do that would be with a high pair. If I would of just played it safe, I would have won enough to cover my whole trip and previous event entriees which ended up being $400. Frustrated, I sent a message to Heather that I would be ready to leave the hills and meet her at Ft. Robinson for dinner the next day and then turned the bike for my next favorite camp spot at Jenny Gulch along Silver City road.

I stopped at lake Raboix to pick some shrooms and then met two cool random travelors. They had met at Glacier years back and scheduled a reunion rendevue at Raboix. One came from Idaho and the other from Lacross WI. We shared stories and then I signed their travel journals before heading off for Jenny. I couldn’t remember exactly how to get to the cliff diving spot but I remembered the turn was by an ATV rental and fishing campground so I just kept riding until I saw a good posibility. I wasn’t even sure of the name but I saw a road sign for Jenny Gulch and I remebered a story from the very first time I tried to find it. Several years back I took that road for 2 hours to discover it turned into a logging road and then eventually was gated off through a field road on private land. It reminded me that I was in deed looking for the next crossing to get on that same road a few miles further ahead.

I arrived about 5 and had a good hour and a half to tan then put the hammock on a cliff about 40 feet above the water and then got dinner ready. There was no phone signal so there were no distractions to keep me from writing as the sun set and the half moon took control of the sky reflecting over the towereing pine tree shadows in the lake.

Friday 16th
I slept great in the hammock after encountering only one single mosquito. I don’t think having the tarp over top of me even mattered. Every time I pulled it back to watch the moon and stars there were no distractions other then a squaky eagle. It was so relaxing that I couldn’t convince myself to do any writing. The morning started out with and hour of rock and shroom collecting and then as I was about to get a nice morning bath in, this miny van parked and 7 noisy kids jumped out. They were soon followed by 3 more vehicles and my nice private spot 30 miles from no where was suddenly compromised. I thought most kids were in school by now? I rerouted back to my hammock to get some writing done and waited for the sun to shine a new hidden spot out of the childrens view.

(More pictures available on my facebook wall)

Prep

A rise of the people against the dirty energy fracking and TarSand Oil practices in 2012 encouraged me to carry on the awareness efforts while hiking & hitching from Lincoln NE to Taos NM, Lake Havasu AZ, Las Vegas NV, and LA CA.

The 24 hours leading up to my April 17th departure were used to closely examine my gear and limit the weight I would be carrying over the next 10+ days. I had hoped to be present at the 4/17-4/18 public hearings and central Nebraska rallies against the TransCanada Companies forced occupation of lands from Native Tribes, ranchers and farmers stretching from Canada to the southern US but my friends needed to leave that morning.

My friends Ryan, Billy and Kim were on their way to Vegas for a dart tournament and it was the perfect carpool road trip for me to do my next spiritual walk-about. It was a long day of driving for my friends and I. Starting at 4:30am, Ryan got behind the wheel and pushed back the boredom of driving through 12 hours of southern Nebraska and Colorado.

As we entered the 30 degree Taos NM area, the sun-setting sky opened, covering all the vegetation with shimmering ice crystals. It was as if we were touring a Christmas light display the way the Adobe buildings lined the iced surroundings, while the neon shop lights reflected around us.

Taos

Once we got settled in the condo it was time to explore the old Spanish settlement landmarks. A large portion of the area had been renamed after the explorer Kit Carson who led armed forces in the occupation of the surrounding area from the natives. His burial site was within view from the deck of our room and beyond that was a park, a community arts center and a restored model of his last house.

The surrounding area was full of shops, art studios, cafes and bars. Our first stop was Doc Martins restaurant. Just inside the door I was met by an amazing wood stick ceiling with an amazing center column protruding to a stained glass sky dome. The ambiance was candle lit with a romantic live jazz band entertaining the crowd. Wearing my “Stop the KXL Pipeline” shirt, I entered casually and sat towards the back with my map of the area. It was the perfect spot to look up directions the EarthShip Biotecture community. Everyone ordered food and drinks while I made some calls and sent emails trying to get invited into the EarthShip’s evening activities.

Taos Cafe

Once everyone was done eating we moved on down the street to El Caminos where the live jams of John Pepe were going on until midnight. The other big live music scene for Taos was at the Solar Center Club which was too far to walk. No longer had I walked in the door was I invited over to the bar to chat about my shirt by a young gent named Brian with a Rollie Fingers curl mustache.

On my left was a group of Navajo ladies who were quick to lean in on our chat so I got a round of drinks and waved my friends over to mingle. Even if they had boyfriends nearby, no one was going to cause me any problems thanks to our 300lb. 6 foot Billy.

Brian’s family had 300 acres of ranch land and they were being pressured by natural gas representatives for fracking rights. We had a great discussion about GasLand.com, the earthquake consequences of removing oil/gas resources needed by the planets crust, the fracking chemicals mixing with the water and his observations of the EarthShip members.

 

Gasland Poster

 

The dance floor soon gathered enough free spirits that I felt comfortable joining them. A few minutes later I was waved over to the bar by an Industrial Hemp supporter who wanted to talk about my experiences. Farrah was a 1st generation Dutch Iranian who had a lot of international renewable energy experience currently living in Seattle. While talking to her about my experiences setting up the nations first carbon neutral green gas station (NebraskaGreenFuels.com) and consulting industrial hemp jewelry maker Shhmokewear.com, we were shadowed by two gay land owners in black suits allegedly from Jackson Hole WY.

Before the WY couple could jump into our discussion Farrah mentioned that the band singer, John Pepe, rented a EarthShip home and my attention shifted to talking to him as they took a set break. Farrah introduced me to John and then they invited me to the 420 corner to share their peace pipe while discussing the EarthShip community. My feedback was limited to this handful of kind Taos citizens but I think it’s safe to conclude the EarthShip community was not much of a community at all. It was everyone’s opinion that the community was 80% upper class earth lovers who were not motivated to build a gathering center such as a park or rec building or even a community greenhouse. Roughly 5% of the community is staff who love teaching the other 15% of interns and anyone else who is willing to pay tuition fees to learn how to construct an EarthShip. Surely I thought there would be a group yoga session or shared meal time each week.

We then shift our conversation to the location of the local hot springs. All along the Rio Grande there are deep cracks releasing heat from the Earth’s crust to form hot springs and Pepe gave me directions to 2 different areas on the way to the EarthShip Community. One location was used in the famous hot spring scene for the movie “Easy Rider”.

As Pepe started up his final set another lady approached me to ask about the fracking details. As I began telling her about GasLand, the two WY suits cut in and commented they knew all about it because it was going on back at their WY ranch. The first guy, short and bald with a German accent, satirically told a story about how his cattle troff wells would burn but then laughed and followed that with the comment, “We solved that problem by using new chemicals in the process now”. I quickly smirked back, “so you are saying that you think adding different chemicals into drill wells to limit gas escape into the fresh water supplies is BETTER?”

He also smirked that refinning TarSands oil was no different then our existing oil. It was quickly obvious that they were placed into the community by a fracking affiliate to soften up the towns resistance.

I wrote down a bunch of links for the lady and the suits, then told everyone good night as I returned back to the condo.

Taos Bar

 

TR 4/18
I got up at 7:30a to talk to Ryan about my request to hike to a hot spring and then visit the EarthShip Community for an hour. He was fine with doing it on the way out of town rather then running me out there, dropping me off and going back and forth. That plan gave me an extra 30 minutes to do yoga and my morning workout while he went to lift. Around 8:30 everyone was ready to hit the road.

As we neared the first hot springs marker I decided the venture was going to consume too much time exploring and hiking so we continued on until we hit the Rio Grande Gorge bridge. We jumped out and rushed some quick pictures together on the bridge in the 10 degree morning chill before dashing back into the warm truck.

Rio Grande Canyon

Two miles further west on HWY 64 we came to the EarthShip Community. I didn’t want to take up too much of my friends time but for 7 years I had been trying to get here to spend some time learning how to construct these Earth homes so I was going to take a little extra time talking to the team currently building the newest home. Three good ole truth patriots were warming up around a fire barrel talking about the Boston bombs. They were quick to welcome me around the fire and discuss TransCanada. The foreman continued the conversation by sharing his knowledge of how the tribes in Canada were being pushed around to allow the pipelines over their hunting grounds as well.

EarthShip

They went back to work and as much as I wanted to join them, I needed to finish hiking around and get as many pictures as I could quickly. I saw no signs of any community gathering ground, no gardening or attempt at income generation and only encountered one lady strolling about the 40+ home 300+ acre community.

The next 6 hours we pushed west through the New Mexico bluffs and into eastern AZ. The nights destination was Overgaard AZ.

AZ condo WorldMark OvergaardAZ condo 1 AZ condo

 

DAY 3 FRIDAY 4/19

We made it to the Lake Havasu exit by 3pm. It was still another 22 miles to the lake but I didn’t want my friends to go out of their way so I had them drop me off at a service station so I could hitch into town.

I went and got a card board box from inside and sat out front making my sign saying “south to Lake Please” and after about 15 minutes I was asked to move away form the door. After 15 more minutes I was asked to move out by the road. I found a spot in the shade by incoming traffic and worked on sewing a patch over a hole in my vest pocket. After another 30 minutes I started walking around where the entrance met the parking lot and 5 minutes later a young guy named Jesse picked me up.

IMG_20130419_150702

He took me all the way to the north entrance to the lake front. I had plenty of time to scout the area out and then waited for the sun to set in order to approach the secluded spot I found to sleep for the night.

IMG_20130419_181914

I prefer a remote area where no authority hassles me but when I have to stay low, it challenges me to improve my stealth techniques.

In this case, the best spot I found was in a ditch below eye level with medium vegetation  It had a storm drain to hide my gear during the day and perfect tree’s for my hammock. Power was 40 feet away in a picnic pavilion and plumbing was another 20 feet from there. 60 feet the other direction was the Ranger check in station!

IMG_20130421_073050

I was feeling a bit of sun sickness and struggled to sleep. I woke up shivering but knew it was still 80 degrees around midnight. I tried my thin liner as a blanket but woke up again shivering around 2. I gave in and unpacked my sleeping bag but still struggled. It started getting light enough to see me easily by 5:30am and boaters were showing up for a bass fishing tournament and a speed skiing race so I took my hammock down.

 

Day 4 SAT 4/20

My appetite was lacking due to the previous days heat exhaustion so I just snacked on some granola and trail mix most of the day. I moved around different locations along the beach and asked the most friendly looking boaters for a ride every now and then with no takers. The northern lake access boat ramp area is mostly just older people relaxing. The water skiers use the middle area near the London bridge and the wild spring breakers go about 20 miles down to the southern-most cove.

Havasu Boats Havasu hiding spot

 

I hid my heavy pack in a storm drain and hiked light with just my money and days food hoping to find a good ride to the funner spots. As the day went I on I grew content with just watching the water skiing races and working on some hemp braiding. I had everything I needed in the current location so venturing further was not a priority.

 

Havasu

The evening sunset in Havasu is amazing. The colors bounce off the canyon walls and teal green water as the sun set behind a mountain ridge. The only thing that could have been better would have been to have a lot quiter boats. So many of them were over sized with NASCAR sounding engines. A nice bike/hike trail along the waterway would be a great improvement also. Currently your only convenient
way around the lake is by water and renting a kayak was $100 and a Jet Ski was $175 for 4 hours!

IMG_20130419_193327

After most of the traffic left and it grew dark, I went back to camp and got my gear and set up the hammock for the night. I slept much better this time since I knew I was going to need my sleeping bag by 3am when it dipped to the low 60s.

 

 

Day 5 SUN 4/21

I followed the same routine as yesterday but today I had a ride to Vegas at 9am so I did a few risky things that drew attention knowing I didn’t have to sneak around for another nights stay. I cooked up some oatmeal and then wore my protest shirt around the boaters on my way to the bathroom and back.

I decided to test how friendly the Sunday Rangers were by approaching them to check the time and mention my bus departure. They were friendly but kept an eye on me. They noticed where I went and came closer to watch me pack.

My shuttle to Vegas cost $55 plus $10 pickup. It had a 25 minute layover by the London Bridge so I quickly ran around the bridge and took some pictures.

Havasu London bottom Havasu London Bridge view Havasu London Bridge

We went through Laughlin at the end of the Corvette show and the beginning of the bike rally. On the ride my pipeline opinions were questioned by a Montana oil supporter. The kid next to me was busing back to VA. He noticed the hookah bracelet I was weaving and asked how much I sold them for. He quickly picked out one to take on his journey.

I arrived at the Vegas airport at 2 and had to pay $7 to get to Ballys. My friends were going to the store so I repacked for LA and then walked around casinos with my protest shirt for a couple hours until they got back.

Ballys

 

We partied in the room and made sandwiches before heading out. I took my laptop so I could get some photos loaded on the blog knowing Ballys and Paris don’t have much for live music or club dancing. A girl who recognized me came over and said hi and introduced me to her friends but my shirt disinterested them pretty quick.

Paris demo

My friends soon headed for the room shortly after 1.

 

Day 6 4/22 Monday


Got up at 7 for pancakes and then went to the dart tournament area to say hi to all my friends before getting a 20 minute swim in. 11am bus departure was sneaking up on me quickly. I had 5 minutes to swap bags and take the truck keys back to Ryan and get to the bus. The driver had just loaded the bag and was closing the luggage bay as I walked up. A minute later I would have been delayed 3 hours waiting for the next bus.

I was approached by 2 more hemp enthusiasts on the bus to LA. The Shhmokewear products are a big hit everywhere I go. I would of loved to surprise my good friend Sung with my arrival but his job keeps him unknown hours so when I was two hours away I broke silence and set up dinner plans.

I also coordinated a possible social meetup with another friend and arranged my lodging at Shhmokewear headquarters for the night.

From the bus drop at 7th and Maple I walked 5 blocks to central station and hopped the green line to my buddies near Manhattan Beach. It was here I met TX hobo Jesse. We had a nice chat about how he moves from one construction site to the next to sleep and then wakes up before crews arrive in the morning. He also told me how he can get on empty train engines with beds and AC from Long Beach back to TX. “Just bring plenty of water because sometimes the engine may stop for an extra day”, he warned.

 

Day 7 4/23 Tuesday


We got up at 7:30, ate some oatmeal and I was out the door by 8:30 heading for the Shhmokewear office.

After a few train hops I was in East LA Boyle Heights around 10:15. There must have been some budget cuts because there were no more paper ticket sales, only plastic bar code cards and I never saw any inspectors.

Boyle blooms Boyle paintings Boyle

 

When I walked up to the office I had a hard time maneuvering around all the items piled around the garden features. It had been officially hippitized.

 

garden hippitized

As I entered the office I was greeted by Scott at his prep station. As my voice resonated through the hall, Will came crawling out of his office all droopy eyed. He was soon followed by 3 more staff residents; Lee, Tim and Jesse.

I kept the guys company while Will prepped for the day. We went over a bunch of business items and he handed me an article to edit. Anytime he needed to redirect his attention, I turned my focus to the article so we stayed productive.

By 1 he was ready to go do some errands and eat. We picked up his assistant Gloria from her place and then went to get office paper on the way to a Mediterranean grill for lunch.

LA lunch

It was 4 by the time we got back and we had covered most of our meeting points so I wrapped up to head to my pick up point. My buddy was going to meet me at the Culver City depot to drive us 30 miles to Ojai but when I checked in he changed his mind and didn’t want to go.

IMG_20130423_154015

By then it was too late to train to Clarita and hitch over so I had to flip my plan for the week. Ojai was out now that I only had 24 hours to enjoy while using up Tuesday to get there and Thursday getting back. I decided to spend Wednesday at Venice and Thursday at Santa Monica now instead and I could stay at another friends house there instead of bothering Sung any longer.

I grabbed a train back to Sung’s for one more night. He asked me to accompany him and his girl Launi, to a new Indian restaurant for dinner. He dropped me off after dinner and then he went back out for the night.

I didn’t get much writing done before I passed out. I was so looking forward to sleeping under the stars in the hot springs but a warm couch and TV would do.

 

Day 8 4/24 Wed

I woke up, made some nice warm oatmeal with the comforts of kitchen access and then packed a day bag with snacks and some jewelry making supplies. I spent about 2 hours uploading photos and blog updates and then was out the door about 11.

Took the train to LAX station then the Santa Monica blue line to Venice. Spent the day walking around my protest shirt and even got in the background of a Bob Sinclaire DJ video with a piano and models.

 

IMG_20130424_175840 IMG_20130424_180444

 

IMG_20130424_161505

 

 

My host would be over to pick me up at 10 so as it got dark I relaxed on the beach with the sunset and some hemp weaving. From 9 to 10 I got a beer and watched the Lakers game until my ride arrived.

 

 

Day 9 4/25 Thursday

My friend was very hospitable and offered me everything they had to share. It is so great to have friends who give you unlimited access to their lives.

 

They dropped me off at the Santa Monica cliffs and I went about my blessed day protesting oil along the beach, pier, boardwalk and surrounding. I was approached by many interested people and all of them supported our efforts to stop the TransCanada invasion.

IMG_20130425_101349 SM Bench

 

By the end of this day of silent demonstration I had handed out all my flyers. As 6pm approached I went to a whole foods store and picked up wine and goodies to share with the evenings full moon wine hiking group and then met up with the car of friends driving to the Los Leones trail head.

My Minneapolis cousin Jen, had just moved to LA and she was available to join us but was going to be 30 minutes behind us.

10 people had already departed down the long moderate trail so the 4 of us in our car were joined by 3 other late arrivals to take a very difficult short cut trail. The long trail took 1.5 hours to the summit while the shortcut was about 30 minutes of brutle climbing.

IMG_20130425_185818

 

 

As we progressed, I continued to look back hoping to see my cousin and her girlfriend. I was also hoping to find a mature field of white sage.IMG_20130425_184651

Just as I began questioning whether there ever was going to be an end, the bush cleared to reveal the picnic area of the summit and our other 10 full moon party-goers.

I quickly scouted the area for sage and then joined in on introductions. On the far end of the group there was a guy with his back towards me who had the Scott Krinsky (Buymore Geek Jeff Barnes from Chuck) hair due. My parents generation know it as the the GENE WILDER due.

IMG_20130425_194244

As I positioned myself better I realized, it was Scott. I got to meet him back in March of 2012 when he did stand-up during Shhmokewear Comedy night at a penthouse club. I got a picture with him and talked briefly in 2012 but this was going to be a 3 hour social opportunity to chill and learn a lot from him.

As we laid out the picnic blankets and rested our weary legs everyone placed their goods in the center and the drinking commenced. Scott and his lady sat directly across from me so I was able to talk to him the whole time. As the sun set over our view of the entire LA coast I powered up my phone hoping to get my cousins # before the power died again. I got the first 6 #s before it shut back off for good. I had to accept that fate may not bring us together on this visit.

I hollered down the mountain for her as the Blood moon rose over the skyline. I noticed their light and kept a close eye on it as it got further away. They had decided against making the difficult climb in the moon & cell phone light.

I returned my attention to my friends and conversations with Scott. Most of the group was intrigued by my oil protest efforts and questions kept coming my way through the night about renewable energy, living a yogi minimalist life, the Pipeline and about life inside the 420 culture.

 

Around 10pm we all packed up and began the 90 minute hike down by moonlight. I was a bit buzzed and could not feel my feet much but I did notice a field full of young Sage brush to harvest enough for my tea needs. When harvesting this spiritual smudging plant it is important to think of it like you are moving a soul around. You say a blessing before harvesting and only remove up to 25% from each plant so it continues to grow healthy.

Scott and I talked the whole way down about Ojai springs, Machu Picchu, our career futures and a few other things. His cell phone light saved my drunk butt more times then I would like to admit.

We reached the cars at 11:15 and everyone said their good-byes. I was invited to the full moon rave at the Artist colony called the Brewery but didn’t want to mess with late night public transport. I passed out as soon as I hit the couch once back to my hosts place in Culver City.

 

Day 10 4/26 Friday

I helped my friend transplant some Sage and Mint and consulted her on garden plans then we went to this wonderful french breakfast cafe. From there we went to her work by the beach and said our good byes. I briefly walked the Santa Monica Promenade with my protest shirt on the way to find a spot to charge my phones.

IMG_20130426_130859

I spent from 11 to noon charging my phones at a coffee shop and then was out of beach time. It would take 1 hour 15 minutes to get to Sung’s; 15 minutes to get my pack and get back on the train and then over 1 hour to get downtown to my 4pm bus to Vegas.

 

On the oceanside bus I sat beside a 2011 USC volleyball player wearing #7 and we chatted about sand volleyball and Jenny Kropp all the way to the train.

After getting my pack and getting back on the bus I started watching the clock fiercely  knowing I was cutting it super close. One train delay or no delay by the Vegas bus would leave me scrambling for options like another bus. I called their support desk to check in and beg for them to wait. All they could say was good luck.

As I arrived to the southern edge of downtown I had 17 minutes to get to the bus. I had 11 minutes to go on the train and then hope I could run 9 blocks in under 5 minutes.

Hike gear

It was down to the wire but I made it! Once on the bus the lady beside me had to put up with my sweaty smell. She was not shy. Within the first hour I felt like I knew her life story from childhood in Florida to life battling the flawed 1%’s legal system as a Vegas dancer, movie extra and gambler.

 

I made it to Bally’s in Vegas about 10:30pm. I was just in time to catch my friends for their last wave of partying. I was hoping they were going to be in the mood to explore a new area with a good music scene but unfortunately they were on their last leg. I was content with sitting around playing some keno with the Bally’s house band and eventually went to the room around 2am.

 

Day 11&12 4/27-28 SAT/SUN

 

It was a long, uneventful drive from Vegas back to Lincoln NE. We went along the northern Grand Canyon area and up past Salt Lake City. Traveling across northern Utah was much more beautiful then I remembered my last visit. We past several nice river scenic areas but once we reached the northern Colorado passes it was too dark to enjoy. I took over the wheel near the Nebraska border and drove from 1-4am before Ryan was ready to go again. He made it a few more hours then Kim was ready to take over for the final shift.

I slept all day Sunday and then got back down to business first thing Monday to follow up with all the new friends we made during this 2013 KXL Pipeline Helping Hands Network awareness tour.

 

 

THINGS JUST WORK OUT… most of the time!

I am always amazed at how things just work out for me. If I get a flat tire, it leads to meeting someone super cool who pulls over to help or picks me up hitching. If my friends are too busy to give me a ride when I ask, I somehow get a ride from the unexpected.

This Friday I went to Lincoln to sell a book and then move the ’63 Plymouth show car to a location 30 miles closer to my mom. The book sale went fine then I drove out by Rokeby to service the Plymouth and drive it to Emerald.

By the time I got the car to Emerald it was 5pm and the wonderful person allowing me storage, just happen to be going back by Rokeby (30 miles away) for their grand son’s baseball game at that exact moment. Hitching and walking could have taken my until dark I got extremely blessed.

This then allowed me to get down i-80 to Council  Bluffs for Rockfest. Along the way, a biker pulled up beside me honking and waving. It was my awesome friend, Kim “Sugar” Stutzman. I followed her off the interstate and chatted for a few and exchanged hugs.

Then, out of no where, another one of my best “brother like” friends (Josh “the kid” Kenny) came out of a bar and I got another wonderful surprise. The day was turning out AMAZING!!!

From there I made it to Rockfest in time for Rob Zombie. I was a bit bummed that Alice Cooper had just finished opening for Rob though. The Coop was the main reason I wanted to go but oh well.

I rapped up the night at the Show and again bumped into a couple of my card playing friends until crashing around 4am.

THE NEXT DAY WAS GREAT AGAIN!!!!

I started with some yoga from 8-10am at the Con-agra water park. Then chilled with a book about Southern Myths while listening to artists likefacebook.com/4StringsOFswing at the Omaha Farmers market.

I had to leave at noon to meet Farmer Mick in Burt county to begin setting poles for his barn extension project. (picts coming soon)

After working with him until 7, I then went to Sioux City for some club dancing and card playing until crashing at the Winnebago.

IT WAS A FUN 24 hours!!!!