13-14 october : Crossing over to USA and Seattle
We are surprised at the ease of passage to the USA. Is it because we are taking the ferry instead of the terrestrial way ? The customs officers barely look into our heavily loaded car. The mention of a few vegetables doesn’t spark their interest and in the blink of an eye we are driving into the USA.
Maybe it is just the area but our first impressions of the US are commercials everywhere to purchase canabis and a lot of people who look completely impoverished and living outside. After Canada, it is harsh return to a harder maybe more individualistic reality it seems.
The next day we meet with Josiane from the Ferme des Quatre-Temps who is visiting her brother in Seattle. It is so nice to have this little reunion. She already had some time to discover a bit the city so we get to take advantage of that and discover nice places in a very short time.
15/10 - 16/10 : Portland
We spend two days in Portland in order to rest but also to visit a bit the city. We go to a nice cider bar and enjoy there a large variety of ciders before we venture into a subburb to search for a well graded pizzeria under the rain. The pizzas are delicious! One of our best! What a surprise!
Halloween preparations on the way!
17 October: Peace Seedlings
Thomas contacted Peace Seedlings after watching the video about Alan Kapuler presenting his tropical greenhouse in Oregon. With just a little bit of heating to avoid freezing, he grows many different trees including avocados and mangos. Compare the carbon footprint of locally grown small scale avocados to having them come all the way from South America into France, you can understand our interest.
Peace Seedlings has been taken up by her daughter and her companion and they make great seed saving work focusing on the (re)discovery of veggetables and plants of the Americas, notably central and south. Discover more about it HERE.
They are very nice and when they learn we are on our way to learn more about natural building and notably going to see Ianto Evans and Linda Smiley, famous cob builders, they are enchanted as they are lifelong friends and give us a lot of fruits and a flower bouquet for them.
We go through Eugene where we discover a series of pretty nice street artworks. Huge turkeys are strolling the streets, a funny constrast to the urban feeling of the area. We get to the tourist information center where a very helpful lady explains us everything there is to visit until California down the coast.
On the road we stop by the Jamie's recommended Sea Lion Cave but we don't go down as there isn't anyone home it seems on the camera. However, we do find the colony further down the road on some rocks at sea. Huge colony! Impressive! The weather is still pretty wet, several days now that it persists...
Reunion with our turkey friends in North Bend Wallmart "hotel"
19-20 October: Cob Ville
After unsuccesfully trying to find a payphone in North Bend (they have all disappeared) to try and call ahead to visit Ianto and Linda, we finally purchase a US sim card. There we meet a very nice guy at the phone shop who gives us a lot of information about the area and further down south too. We go to Tammy’s, who Tom has been in contact with, and is a very enthusiastic cob builder who helped us get in touch with a lot of the natural building american network. She has a workshop day with people coming to discover cob building, we dive right into it after visiting the various buildings under construction.
The next day, we go first to Myrtle Farm, for a workshop on mushrooms. With the rain and the sweet ending of summer, Oregon is covered in mushrooms, it is the opportunity to go and meet them !
Discover more about this wonderful farm HERE !
We then go to the organized visit of Cob Ville by Ianto and Linda. We discover this visit thanks to Tammy. It is an incredible visit, completely outside of time, the world and life are different there, as if we had stumbled into the lost world of Conan Doyle but with amazing little comfortable houses and an envelopping and welcoming nature ! Discover more HERE ! We leave from there with a few essential books to continue our learning.
We also meet Elizabeth who afer having lived several years in Alaska is back in Oregon and is a very talented artist ! We meet her again the next day, invited by her to discover her renovated barn house as well as pieces of her art made out of material she picked up on the beaches she is cleaning. We leave her with salmon that was fished and smoked by herself !
The evening we meet again in the cinema, The Egyptian, a beautiful renovated theater, for a free screening of « The biggest little farm », a moving story of a family launching into an adventure to create their dream farm.
When we arrive in Fort Bragg, we want to spend the night with the sound of the winds and wave and so we stop at a nice parking lot not too far from the ocean. Around 10pm, the cops come knocking our door. We are totally stressed out, our first encounter with american cops ! All you see in the news comes back rushing to our mind. However, when we open the door, we meet two very apologetic cops, super nice and kind, who apologize for the bad signs that we couldn’t see about not being able to stay over night and that « off the record », we could go park at the wallmart parking and spend there a quiet night. Nice !