0731 Bastendorf Beach 2

0731 Bastendorf Beach 2

I wanted to get a good 5 miles of walking in today. We started with the beach with 2 miles of walking, running on the beach. I saw more of those strange, clear cupcake bakers.



It finally dawned on me what they are.
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0730 Bastendorf Beach, Coos Bay, OR

0730 Bastendorf Beach, Coos Bay, OR

As we were going to sleep last night I wanted to open the front windows a couple of inches. I got the key, leaned over from the back, turned the ignition to auxiliary and — the blinking instrument panel thing happened again. I thought, “it’s a good thing I bought those jumper cables in Eureka!” In my mind I went through the vehicles that were parked in the camping/parking area and made my plan for the morning of which vehicles would be easiest and best to get a jump from. But, when we woke up the first thing I did was try to start the van, and it started right up. So, now I have two instances of the same issue with possibly different results. One needed a jump, though I didn’t let it sit overnight after the instrument panel blinking first happened, and one that started normally after sitting for about 8 hours. Had me concerned enough that I was looking at a map to figure out where I can try to get it looked at. 
We drove north and took the scenic road through Redwoods National Park. There are hundreds of acres of virgin redwood forest here. These are BIG trees. I’ve driven down this coast here a couple times and don’t remember going through these parks. Hard to believe I didn’t. Don’t know. Don’t remember. Don’t remember more and more… another story…

We found a road/trail that was yes dog. Took about a 5 mi hike in and back. 

Very big. Very tall. 

What makes one tree spiral like this?

More Ents. It’s a good thing they’re still around. We may need them in the coming years. 
I was 10 miles from Oregon. The first town in Oregon is Brookings. {{Yep! Oregon! Hot damn!}} I called AAA to see if there was a AAA recommended mechanic in town. There was. A tire shop that did repairs. I went there and they couldn’t see me till Monday. They recommended two other places in town that I drove by. Being Saturday they were both closed. So we drove north. Sherman needed to run. We found a beach a little north of Brookings and stopped. It was windy! The wind must’ve been over 30 miles an hour. 
​We started on the beach with the wind at our backs. Sherman chased seagulls, played with the waves, and we ran together down the beach as far as my lungs would carry me. 


Look out Sherman. A giant land shark!
About a half an hour down the beach we turned around to come back — into the wind. That was work. I tried to run, Sherman tried to run. Running was not possible. As we got near where the car was parked and headed into the dry sand away from the beach, I could feel the wind blowing sand stinging my legs. Sherman is at that same height. I thought of the sand blowing into his fur and eyes. So, I picked him up and carried him over that section. The wind had totally dried him out from his ocean frolic. We headed north again. Target Coos Bay.
As we were driving into town I was thinking that we needed a Zero Day. A day where we didn’t drive. Maybe Coos or surrounding area would be nice? Right then the read curved and there was a big Toyota dealer. Oh! Maybe they can diagnose what’s happening with the van? I pulled in and was told that service was closed until Monday morning, but the Service Manager was still there. I went in and asked if I could talk with him. He came out. I described the problem. He had never heard of it. Apologized for being closed at 4pm on Saturday. No problem! I was thrilled that he was there. He said his best mechanic would be there Monday. Great! What time should I come in? About 10 would be good. Great! See you at 10. Can I bring my dog in? Of course! We even have a 100 ft dog area out back with poop bags and water. Our kind of car place!
So… 2 nights in Coos it is. I checked the free camping app. There’s a free campsite on Bastendorf Beach, about 20 minutes from town. So, off we headed. I thought, “This is Saturday. It’s going to be packed. I should probably just head elsewhere.” But something felt “no, continue”, so we did. Got there and it turns out it’s not a campground at all. Feels like the city finally just surrendered to the people. For about a half mile there are signs that the new rule is that you can only spend one 24 hour period in the park in a 14 day period. There are cars pulled through the trees up onto the top of the dunes with tents pitched. There are cars, vans and van RVs pulled in between the trees. It’s pretty much a free for all. But the area is large enough the everyone is naturally quite spread out. We’re between the trees in a pretty level spot.

After we got settled in a bit I took off my shoes and Sherman and I went for our walk on the beach. Saw these strange and interresting things. Like clear cupcake/muffin baking papers. 

Then back to the van for dinner. I was sitting in my REI flex light chair cooking Indian meal from Trader Joe’s in my little jet boil stove Sherman was eating his dinner on his eating and stick chewing towel. A guy about my age walked up to ask about the stove. He flown to Sacramento from the East Coast and had rented a car, bought some basic gear and had been wandering the West Coast for 6 weeks. Not determined to move but kinda looking for places he might like to live.
It’s cold here. About 55° and breezy. After dinner and another little walk up the van and crawled in to write. It was 630. I’m going to work on getting what I’ve written on the blog.

0729 Smith River Recreation Area

0729 Smith River Recreation Area

Catching up…
On Wed, the 27th as we drove into Eureka, I looked at an app I’d found called “BringFido” and a website dog-friendly.com. I was looking for motels that were dog friendly in Eureka. There were about 6. The ones in the price range I wanted to pay — about $80 — were near Old Town Eureka. I remembered being there with Cynthia a few years back and how cool it was. So, I started looking at reviews for these motels on these dog-friendly references. They were all 1-2 bones out of 5 bones. Comments like, “never been in a dirty one of this chain before”, and “the sheets and towels were not only stained, they had holes in them”, and “the front desk staff told us to bring everything in from the car so that the local meth addicts who wander the area at night wouldn’t be tempted.” Hmmm… definitely not what I was looking for. So, I looked in Arcata, across the bay and the home of Humboldt University. The motels near the University were not much better according to dog owners. North of town there was a cluster that got 3-4 bones. No comments of dirt, holes or roaming addicts. So, we headed for north Arcata. The Best Western got the best reviews, actually has a fenced dog area, and had no dog-friendly rooms left. I asked them who they’d recommend? There were two others near by, Days Inn and Red Roof Inn. They said they send people to the Days Inn and would NOT go to the Red Roof Inn. Don’t know why I didn’t ask why… Anyway we went to Days Inn. They didn’t have any singles left so we took a double. After all there are two of us and Sherman may want his own bed… Got the paperwork done and the bill was $180! Yikes! I just paid it. (Good thing I had a successful pottery sale by donation as I was leaving.) I had some computer work to do for myself, 2 friends and a 2 clients. I wanted an internet connection I could count on, a desk at which to work and a roof to work under. Bed and shower were not on my want list that day. Had taken a shower in the morning and the bed in the van or tent was perfectly comfy!
It was now 6pm and Sherman needed a good walk. I wanted to go to the Arcata Community Forest. We’d hiked in it when here before and it’s spectacular. A lightly managed 2nd growth redwood forest filled with trails, frisbee golf, benches, and amazing redwoods and supporting cast. It was logged about 100 years ago. Those stumps are HUGE. Some of them are a good 8-10 feet across. The current trees gets maybe 4-5 feet across. We went for a lovely hike.

These rectangular holes are where boards were inserted for the loggers to stand on. Can you imagine cutting down a tree this big with a hand saw? These men were a different sort of creature than the circles I move in…

And glad to see the Ents are also alive and well in the Community Forest near Humboldt University. 
Back at the Inn we had dinner, then Sherman went to bed — on his own bed — while I went to work. I was up til 2:30am. When I went to bed, Sherman left HIS bed and came over to MY bed.
On the 28th, we were up at 7:30 and back to work. Checkout was 11. I owed Mr Sherman a good run. So I looked for dog-friendly beaches. There was one at the end of Samoa Rd with great reviews. We headed the 30 minutes to the coast and out to the tip of a long peninsula. At the beach the waves were breaking and foaming yellow. Not only the foam, but there was a thin crusty yellow layer on the sand left from high-tide. Definitely not what I wanted Sherman to play in. So we went to the inland side and all was clean. Off the leash he went and ran, ran, ran. I wanted to return to the Community Forest, so after an hour beach run we got in the car and headed to the in town woods. Got there about 2:30 and again off the leash happily running on the trails. We were water breaking on a bench when Sherman started to bark and posture at something on the trail. I got up and he went down the trail barking and bouncing at a man who was stretching his leg with his heal up on a tree. I walked down and as I got close Sherman decided that he was ok. We talked a while and I mentioned that I was a potter. He too threw pots. I showed some photos. He tried to, but had deleted them all from his iPhone to make room. (The curse of owning a 16gb iPhone.) I invited him to walk and talk. Off we went…
We had a great walk. He knew the forest very well. Both logistically and botanically and led the way through a maze of trails pointing out many of the indigenous plants in the redwood plant community. One thing he told me about was a pottery community in town The Fire Art Center. I know I want to visit them tomorrow. So, where to stay tonight?
Another website I discovered that’s been very useful is freecamping.com. It a crowd sourced map of free sites. Some are actually not free, but $10 or under. These are mostly BLM campsites. I found one about 30 minutes outside Arcata in the Six Rivers National Forest at East Fork Compground. Drove out there and found a great spot on the river. Cost $8. Yep last night $180. Tonight $8.
On the way we took a 30 min drive down an alternate bike trail road that looked promising. Didn’t find a place to camp. Just this cool old bridge. 

Forgot to take a river picture. But I did take a pic of the sign…

And a cool rock formation while walking Sherman.  

0727 Richardson Grove State Park

0727 Richardson Grove State Park

Stayed here last night. A beautiful park in a nice redwood grove. But… right on the 101. I didn’t even think about that when we stopped. The traffic noise was VERY loud all night. I did my best to hear it as a strong wind. That worked pretty well until a loud chugging truck came up the hill and passed by.
I’d used an inverter plugged into the cigarette lighter in the van to change the laptop. The cigarette lighter had stopped working. I assumed it blew a fuse. So, I opened the hood to look. No blow fuses. Hmmmmm…..
I started the car and no starting sounds happened. What did happen is the instrument panel light — the whole thing, not the dummy lights — flashed on and off. That was all the mind needed to create a disaster. FUCK! I thought. Something’s terribly wrong. It’s going to cost me at least $1000. Maybe $2000. Shit… I only have $3000. Then what?!@
Ok. New thought pattern. Go!
Q: What were you doing just before this happened?
A: Checking the fuses.
Q: OK. Look at the fuses again. Maybe you put one in upside down, or in the wrong place, or not properly seated.
A: I checked. They were all fine.
Q: Look it up online. See if anyone has ever had this happen.
A: I looked. All I found was someone with a new Toyota truck. He was sure the whole truck had died and wished he’d bought a Chevy. That made me feel better…
Q: Look again.
A: OK. Found another reference. A chat window popped up.
“Can I help you?” Well, yes. I typed in the story. “Great,” she said, “let me connect you to a mechanic. I’ll just send you a form where you can pay $20 for their answer.” I almost did it. Then thought, “Hey! I have a great mechanic. I’ll call him!”
I did. He said it sounded like the battery was dead. Had I left the doors open for a extended period of time? Well… How’s 4 hours? He chuckled. Yep. That could do it! You need a jump. Thanks Gary.
I was walking toward the park gate when I walked by a man and asked him if he had jumper cables. He did. The van started right up. Thank you!! Thanks for asking he said.
Learning so many things about living this way. Today’s lesson:
Don’t leave the doors open when they don’t need to be open!
And the program I’m typing this in thinks that when I type The Doors I mean the musical Doors. It auto capitalizes the words. Love it. Tells me something about the people who did the programming. Ha!
UPDATE: Doesn’t seem to be a battery drain. At this point it’s an unknown. And, I found the switches to turn off all the internal lights as doors are opened. That way I can turn the ones on I want on, instead of them all being on by default.

0727 Humboldt Redwood Forest

0727 Humboldt Redwood Forest

Sitting in the silence of these ancient beings, elders of the earth, I remember this is the natural energy of the earth. We don’t experience this because we are born and raised in a genocidal holocaust that has been in progress for thousands of years. We are members of a species that has declared a war of extinction on almost every other species on the planet. Some of it direct, like elephant poaching, or hunting mammoths and bison to extinction, some of it indirect, like sea birds dying from eating broken down plastic in the oceans that they mistake for food.
The earth IS sustainability. Humans have been champions of unsustainability. It seems the pace has picked up since we learned to farm agriculturally. Easter Island residents cutting down and burning all the wood. Southern Californian population expanding beyond the sustainability of the water — even the diverted — supply. The sinking ground water levels world wide. Cow farming as the premier cause of global warming. Our addiction to and belief in growth and expansion as equal to progress. Our institutions panic when companies don’t grow. What would happen if they just existed and did an extraordinarily fabulous job of providing their service? Oh yea. There couldn’t be billionaires…
Our addiction to having more is killing us. Mentally, emotionally, physically, socially, economically, spiritually…
Somewhere all of this is weaving its way through my journey. When I hiked the John Muir Trail last September and saw how little stuff was needed to be content—to be happy with my self, happy with others, happy with what I had that supported me so simply, it was transformational. Life hasn’t been the same since. It’s not a searching for, but a releasing of…  Physically, mentally, emotionally… What’s extra?
And yet, I don’t want to be a subsistence farmer or hunter-gatherer. I need a community of people with different skills that interoperate so we all have what we need. What we need being very different from what we want.
So in one way this is a journey into my craving. Separating myself in most ways from the machine constantly telling me what I want, what I need, what’s new and better, etc., I’m left with the naturally arising craving. Some of that is the momentum from my recent immersion in the social milieu. Some from my compensations for the love and attention I wanted and didn’t get as a child. Some as a diversion from the pains and sorrows of a life dotted with actions that were not good for me or others.
I like Buddha’s distinction of wholesome and unwholesome, as opposed to right/wrong or good/bad. Wholesome actions are good for oneself and good for others. Unwholesome actions are not good for oneself and/or not good for others. Very simple. Wholesome includes the community or 360º view. Unwholesome — right/wrong and good/bad — are personal or 1º views.
When I moved to NH in 1969 we rented a cabin in the woods on a little river. One of the cabin owners’ brothers had a house on 600 acres with a good sized pond on it. I was told a good chunk of that land had never been logged. It was the first virgin forest I’d ever seen. Shocking and magical. Huge trees. Oaks and Pines that were so big 2 or 3 of us could barely touch fingers hugging the trees. The trees were spread far apart because their canopy was so large. Smaller trees only lived in gaps where the old trees had died. There wasn’t much underbrush under the old trees. Some, but sparce. One could walk and walk under this amazing canopy. The silence was profound. Not just a sound silence. But a deep silent stillness. This is the earth in it’s natural state.
Here with these 400-600 year old redwoods, they seem ancient. But then I read that this species actually lives 2000 years. These huge trees are adolescents! How many of the trees we live with in our yards and city parks are babies? Who is going to teach them the ancient stories of their species? They are orphans. Or we’ve put them in children’s homes. Look at the forest! Trees are communal beings. They live in community. In groups. Different tree species have negotiated sharing the same spaces in harmony. All over the earth different species have negotiated sharing the same space. And, life requires energy. One form of being dissolves and in incorporated into another form of being. How that transmission happens takes many, many forms. From the mycelium carrying nutrients between tree roots, to owls eating mice. All the transfer of life energy from one form to another.
I remember being taught about the battle between young trees for survival. The battle for light and nutrition. That’s such a human-centric vision. Since THIS is just happening, then why wouldn’t one tree give it’s energy to another tree that has gathered and organized it’s energy more effectively. Why a battle? Why not a surrender for the community? But all of these terms are human-centric… Even the contemplation is human-centric.
All I know is that these ancient beings have a special presence. They have an energy that is palpable. On the John Muir Trail I would see a huge ancient tree and stop and rest my hands on its trunk to see what it had to say. We had a number of amazing conversations. No words. But a movement of knowing between life forms. But more of that another day. It’s time for Sherman and I to continue our movement toward Eureka!