New horizons ahead. Sold the S.V. Flying Cloud

Diane and Wayne are going to eat tomatoes, basil, and rosemary this summer!

     On Saturday a random passer by came, and was told about the boat by Tom. He looked and went home. On Sunday he bought the boat. Imagine my relief that with so little effort and without waiting, and squandering time here in south Texas, I was able to sell the boat. There are no words that can express my relief at not having to worry about the sixty thing that were on my list of to-do’s before this boat had someone else’s name attached to it. No longer do I have to think about what else I need to do to get the boat ready for a long journey, much of which I didn’t have funds for. I don’t have to worry about the spare bilge pump, integrity of the standing rigging, or the keel falling off any longer. I will be excited to try again with another boat, but we will see how long it is before I am able to procure the funds that I need for a descent one.
     I learned a lot here, and was all that I was truly expecting when I came down. I learned about the raw water system in boats, navigation tricks, using a sextant, some excellent adhesives (NP1 is one of the craziest adhesives I have ever seen-works on everything!), practiced fiberglass work, how to tune rigging, and many many other intricacies of boat life. There are groups of boat owners by the sea that can’t see themselves ever being a land-lubber! I can. I love hiking up hill. I love the dense green forest, with crystal clear cold creeks. I am excited to perhaps get some skiing in before the season is over. There is yet some surfing to do on the gulf in the wind swell waves that show up. The peaks are erratic, but it is a very casual swim out compared with other places.
     I think Muddy Waters, my dog, will enjoy the change of pace. He has not had nearly the amount of exercise and free reign that he was used to back in Colorado. I wonder how his coat will react. Will he still shed in the frigid night time temperatures that he is about to be immersed in, or hold of on shedding until may when things warm up.
     I enjoyed very much getting to know the fine people of south Texas. Despite their tendency to support our current president, they are kind hearted and loving people. They voted for the person they thought would run the country best. They also don’t believe there is anything wrong with fossil fuels, and the jobs go right along with them. When you are surrounded by oil platforms and refineries, how else could you be expected to think?
One thing that I realized about myself while being down here is that I am a gardener at heart. I need to get my hands in the dirt and interact with plants from time to time. It was nice that Wayne had so much planter work while I was here, but I will be extra excited to get back to Colorado and plant a Pondorosa Pine forest on my property. Perhaps also some hardy apple trees. I am wondering if the thyme that I planted last fall in a swale made it over the winter. Oh so many seeds to get going!  It was never my intention so spend the summer working in Texas trying to save enough money for the boat.  I will enjoy setting some roots down for a while, though it seems in my nature to be a wanderer.  
     I am thinking that I will reshape the blog in the vein of gardening until I decide Muddy and myself are ready for another bid at adventure sailing. Life is too short to not live on a whim. 

Sprouts are an excellent way of staving of scurvy in a sailboat. Even in Port!

Oh wanderlust

     I will be taking a leisure day today, packing for my new destination, San Diego. It does feel really nice to have the freedom to go galavanting around. Some of my good friends from the navy are having a reunion in Pheonix, AZ, so tonight I will head off in that direction, arriving sometime tomorrow mid day. I need to dig some more potatoes for the trip, since I won’t be coming back from California until the end of November I am thinking. This is my favorite way to travel anyhow: No limits on how long your staying here or there, free to change plans and move in a different direction at will. I also had a facebook friend from my San Diego days who needs some help taking down a five year project Goat Farm in Joshua Tree, so I am going to make an effort to stop by and help. I would also just like to chat with him a bit, because what he was doing out there is similar to what I want to do on the land that I bought a few years back in Cotopaxi, CO. I want to find out what his biggest hurdles were, and what hardships I get to look forward too. Climbing ain’t bad in Joshua Tree either. My first big mission after the reunion will be to surf my face off in Ocean Beach. Probably head to San Onofre or Black’s Beach afterward.

     Even with all the farm and travel tasks I have to do, my family has needed help and kept me busy. My dad is framing in a trailer to insulate it to provide shelter for one more homeless veteran this winter, with a dog. If the guy has an address then he can get food stamps, and stretch his meager seven hundred dollar income further. I told him it was a bad idea; a waste of resources and time; not worthwhile to do whatsoever. I also told him that seeking out the homeless as tenants is probably not a good for a multitude of reasons. Most people are harimg_0003d headed, and my dad is no exception. He has had luck with being a landlord, and want’s to maintain that residual income in as many places as possible. Talking with a contractor friend, it is not the first time anybody has tried to improve or salvage a structure that didn’t merit it. He told me of a barn that took so much wood to reinforce the rot that they could have just built a whole new structure. I see renting as a nearly immoral thing to do. Get a loan on a property(the value of which is inflated due to loan availability) from a bank and then have somebody else pay the mortgage, often while the landlord/owner allows the residence to fall into dilapidation. Rarely is it insulated properly, which increases the resources used to heat the homes, and eats into the pocket books of the tenants.

     I just got back from Paonia yesterday, where I was helping the big hearted farmers, who donated to me all of the tomato and pepper seedlings I used on the orchard, dig up some tuberose bulbs. There was one flower in bloom in a hoop house nearby: Ohhhh the fragrance! Potatoes, dahlias, tuberose, all have to be dug up, overwintered in sawdust(to keep from rotting), and replanted in the spring when conditions are amiable for the bulbs and tubers. img_0011All this to keep a few flowers around! Farmers are giving the best of gifts to the world by continuing to provide everybody with fresh healthy good food and flowers. They are the least lazy and the most hopeful bunch I have met. There is so much behind the scenes work that food prices should really be fifty to eighty percent higher than what they are. We were also finishing up taking down the drip tape for watering and the black plastic weed barriers that are put up to save on cultivation time. I wish I could have seen Zephros farm mid season when everything was full on, but It’s easy to not find the time. It is rare that I ever leave Paonia short of feeling spiritually fulfilled. I have read that there are antidepressant microbes in the soil, perhaps this is why. Paonia is one of the places that I could see myself settling down, but don’t ever go there, you wouldn’t like it.

Fighting the good fight.

     Enjoying the farm life for a little longer now, I have a December fifth appointment with the Mesa County Justice System for driving my Vanagon without registration. Despite how inconvenient this is in delaying my plans, I am finding things to get done. I was adamant that my Vanagon was my “domicile” and not my “motor vehicle” since there is absolutely no commercial purpose that I use her for. That combined with my right to travel freely as mentioned in Thompson vs. Smith, 154 SE 579 stating “The Right of the Citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, either by horse drawn carriage or by automobile, is not a mere privilege which a city can prohibit or permit at will, but a common Right which he has under the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Now you may think that this is just a fight over me paying my one hundred dollars a year to have a sticker on my van, but the real issue is the constant overreach of the government into our pockets, and the acquiescence of the public to allow it. The revolution starts with yourselves, despite how inconvenient it may be to give up a days work to show up to a court hearing. Maybe refuse to pay your obamacare penalty for not purchasing health insurance FROM A PRIVATE ENTITY! The fact that health insurance is mandated to be purchased and is subsidized (money going to the insurance companies-from tax dollars) by the Government is criminal. Too many people are busy in their daily lives to give a hoot anyhow. Our national debt is up eight trillion in the last eight years; Arriving at twenty trillion dollars to date. Perpetual war(terrorist farming), corporate subsidies, tax loopholes, and bureaucracy overgrowth are the cause. Maybe if there were more people like Henry David Thoreau around, who refused to pay taxes to fight the mexican-american war and was subsequently jailed, we could fight this thing together. I know that Adam Kokesh at least has the right ideas anyhow. We just need a nation of moral character again.
     Woke up to rain this morning, wet bike seat on the way to the head, but compensated by the aroma of fresh rain. I have been harvesting my pot plants the last couple of days! Hooray Colorado! I opted to trim the plants initially while they were still in the ground, then chopped them for drying. This img_0017is my first harvest so I’m learning as I go. I used the trimmings to make oil, which is better than clogging up the alveoli in your lungs by smoking it. The whole process has been fun and interesting; just as watching any plant take form over a season. First the plant is scraggly and weak looking, then beefs up the stem as a response to being rocked by the wind, finally to bud out with blossoms ever filling with THC and CBD’s. Interesting fact: cannabis was fist made illegal due to competition of hemp in the paper industry with the cutting of forests for the same(pulp): it was a backdoor move by William Randolph Hearst to solidify his power and to push his own ideologies. How did the legislation get past the doctors and farmers who then relied on producing cannabis plants, species with and without THC, for paper pulp, clothes, seed oil, etc.? Manipulation of a word was the culprit. They called it marijuana. Seems commonplace today, but everybody referred to it as cannabis in the day, and so the alarms were not raised. Remember, it is through words that laws have their power. i.e. motor vehicle. I will not delve into how the word “income” has been twisted and manipulated over the last two hundred years, perhaps another time.

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     I did get a nice four day retreat over the last interval of writing. I was planning to spend some time alone bouldering and hiking, I ended up meeting an Australian that was on a sort of extended holiday in order to pay for his kids college tuition. He put his house up for rent ,and his indoor plant business was running well enough that he could take care of anything that came up from the road. Dave referred to it as “fucking off” in his native dialect. We had some great hikes together, with many beers and much laughter to follow each day around the campfire. He had a lot more hope in the ability of humanity to change things for the better and curb our destruction of the planet, and spent a good part of the weekend trying to convince me of the possibility. Certainly anything is possible. It is really just a consciousness shift, people understanding that they need to enact changeimg_0004(now) to protect the prospects of their children: to leave a habitable planet. One thing that we both agreed on was that “free time” is the most honored of all our possessions. It is something that money can never buy back. To surf, ski, snowboard, kite, spend time with loved ones, bicycle, play music, and all the other infinite possibilities of things to do while creeping toward death are much better use of time than busting your ass to make a dollar. Happiness is an internal circumstance, it does not have to yield to externalities, though it often does. The only picture I got of Dave was when he was climbing a tree to check out a nest, I thought a Raven. Pretty agile for being over fifty!

    All I see currently is a continuation of daily life as if we were all going along on a fine path. Off to work again today! Maybe you can legislate people into being greener? That is the method used in the past when concerned with a “tragedy of the commons”-a resource that would otherwise be abused if not for judicial action. Examples include grazing on BLM land, where perhaps the land would be abused, grazing too many cattle per hectare, if not for legislation. The same goes for fishing, legislating a catch limit based on fish availability in order to ensure everybody gets a bit. Dave and I talked a little about how, maybe it would be good to have a benevolent dictator. We can save this resource, planet earth, together. Lets build bullet-trains, mag-lev transport, and more solar infrastructure. I personally am a proponent of a ten dollar per gallon gasoline tax which goes wholly toward renewable transportation. Then we will see how many people drive across state lines for the weekend. We were late to save the Great Auk and the Passenger Pigeon was thought to be impossibleimg_0018 to drive to extinction until we shot them all down. Currently we are dealing with the collapse of the Atlantic Cod fisheries due to overfishing. Not on your radar? Well it is now. Go and do something about it. Grow a carrot!

 

 

     The secretary of state crushed initiatives 75 and 78 this year, which would have let local communities decide how their public resources are being developed, including fracking on public land. Tell me again how voting makes a difference in a corrupted and divided society?

     If you can’t tell, the climate has weighed heavily on my mind lately. It often does. Thank god for weeds ability to allow us to forget. It doesn’t help that the climate wasn’t even mentioned in any of the debates that were “performed”.

     On a positive note, the birds that still are finding this planets resources sufficient to avoid extinction are migrating, back from the boreal forest in canada to the deep amazon in brazil. There are several mallards who have stopped by the pond at the back of the farm on their way back. I have seen many dark-eyed junco’s here around the orchard, checking me out while I trim. A Cassin’s Finch stopped by to say hello as well. Yesterday while I was driving into the orchard there was an American Kestral on the power line eying his next meal. It gives me a little hope that all of these beautiful birds are flying around and managing to be a beacon of beauty to the world out there.