Wednesday, January 10, 2007
I left Vancouver on the 24th of November. I drove straight to Ashland with one night stop over in Vancouver Washington. In ashland I stayed for about 3 or 4 nights at the wellsprings hot springs that Igor led me to. It was only 20 per night and included full access to the hotsprings. it is a local secret that doesn't advertise in any camping books. very hippie alternative. Then I went to Angels Organic Farm and Health food Institute in Central Point OR that is about 40 minutes north of ashland. I loved that place and Peggy and her family. Then I headed south and soon got to the pacific highway number one. Just before that, I stayed one night in Ferndale, CA. It is the quaintest old world victorian town. I had to get my Mexican Insurance at my RV club Office in Rio Vista, CA so I went there the next day. The club is called vagabundos and they offer the cheapest insurance around. about 400.00 Canadian for the whole year for the whole of Mexico. While I wa there, is tumbled upon a strange bar called Fosters big horn that had amassed the largest collection of stuffed - I mean taxidermy- animals in the world probably outside of a major museaum, even then. It is the life work of the previous now dead owner who traveled to Africa and Canada and US to do big game hunting. This was all done in the early 20th century, so very unique. There is a stuffed elephant, girafe, and many many different species including a wolverine from canada as well as the largest moose in the world (ok amoung the ten largest) also from Canada. The waitress told me that after her first day working there she had a dream that all the stuffed heads on one wall were talking to her. After that she was OK. LA LA Land: I ended up staying a whole month. The first day I arrived after a visit to the Hearst Castle in San Simeon at my old friend from TO's place. She has a nice life and family there, very stable and upwardly mobile. Ionly visited with her briefly and never saw any of them again for the whole month. She complained of stress. I did however stay for the rest of the time on and off with my other friend from BC in the ghetto of Venice Beach. It was kinda like sanford and son meets the beach boys. Interesting. I ventured off on my mission several times. My first foray was the Celebration of Oneness Festival in Pasadena. There I met many different contacts that I am still exploring. I won the Byron Katie workshop that I have yet to process (couldn't wait to leave) and another book from Mona Miller (very lively self help counsellor) that will be waiting for me at home when I return. Both these women just started out on their own with councilling and grew a business that thrives. Startling to me. That Byron Katie workshop must of netted her at least 60k for 4 days. I don't understand how people are convinced to volunteer for such a lucrative commercial venture. Although she seemed like a very maternal and compassionate woman, I had trouble with the whole thing. The highlight, after i decided to make the best of it, was performing at the new years eve talent show. I sang both sides now, by joni mitchell. Still in La, I went to several raw restaurants. The first was Terra Bella, an invite from Tim Van Orden www.runningraw.com. I mean to do some restaurant reviews and will but for now I will say that it was a poorly planned christmas party. The food (what little there was) seemed good but was not sufficient enought to give a fair review. I did meet Don Kitson (grandaddy raw vegan of Santa Monica - living lighhouse operator) and John Levine (Ann Wigmore's former lawyer). I went to Rawvolution and that was great. They had mainly mock cooked food items. I had the Big Matt and Cheese and an incredible watercress soup. The next event I was invited to was at the Taste of the Godess Cafe. Thanks Dorit from serenity spaces for inviting me. That was a very well planned christmas party where everyone was included and a set menu with a whole plate of good food was served and fun givaways and singing and dancing went on. I also met Psi there, with whom I had many good converstions about the raw food movement and LA in general. Thank you Psi for all your insights and information. Well, i couldn't be in LA and not go to Juliano's. So I went on boxing day after yoga and had the best raw food meal yet. really great cuisine. I had fettucini Alfredo in a tarragon sauce. heavenly. I hung out with Juliano and his web designer for the afternoon and got some interesting information from him about his life. the buzz around Juliano's is that it is expensive and Juliano himself is out there. Well he was the first and only raw restaurant in LA for quite some time so he was like the star of the show which probably suits his personality. Apparently he has been humbled by the deluge of raw restaurnts in the past two years in LA and has dropped his prices. It was the best example of a raw cuisine meal in a regular - i wouldn't say formal- dining atmosphere. The other place i went to was called LEAF. It was set up as an informal unpretentious les expensive alternative to Juliano's. The menu is made up of pates wrapped up in collard greans. There is a juice and smoothie bar as well. I was not too impressed with the taste of my wrap because i can make better myself. I think this restaurant is for the person who wants to make raw more a part of their lives and for the raw foodist who is in a hurry. A certain crowd seems to gravitate toward it, but this restaurant should not be the definition of being raw at all. I think it would turn people off if it were. Whilt biding my time in LA, I signed up for two weeks of yoga at yoga works. It was only 25.00. I tryed Iyengar, hatha, vinassa and some other general types of yoga. I had wanted to do this for some time since I had only done Bikrams for 2 years. I hung out in Santa Monica mostly and found a cool spot right by the water that i could poach internet at too. It was at Pico and Ocean. Once I got used to LA, i found there were lots of places you could dry camp (boondock) with ease and safety. I was so anxious to get going after a not so sweet departure from my friends place in Venice Beach and being wholed up in the Century Plaza hotel parking lot for 4 nights at the Byron katie thing that I beelined it to oceanside and stayed at my vacation club that i bought last year for 3 nights. I really needed to uncamp for a bit. It was very boring and i will not be buying into the club but it was great to get out of the rv and watch tv and drink and pamper myself. I skipped San Deigo although there are many places I should of seen. David wolfe has his centre there, optimal health is there and several more raw restaurants. but i had had such a fill of la i didn't want to get all jammed up in a city again. So I took to the highway. I wasn't even going to go to Tree of Life in Patagonia even though it was on my way until I spoke to Shahee and he convince me that i should go. I was glad i did because it is a great place. I didn't meet the architecht of this grand dream, Gabriel Cousens, because he was away but I had a great time and ate some great food and really felt that i wanted to explore it more because as far as allthe stuff i wanted to explore in myself on this trip, all the tools are there. I can't help being a little put off by the pictures of Dr. Cousens. He doesn't look right somehow in that white beret. I was kind of relieved that he wasn't there. While in Patagonia, I met some town people and was invited to a CD release party of alocal jazz and blues singer. It was a great little gathering in a great bar called the mission that is filled with wonderful art and beautiful things. totally extraordinary for such a small town. I met John ARnold who has done some great work with rural mexicans doing loan programs. he is very accomplished and was arizona citizen of the year in 2004. This was all because i stopped into a shop to buy some dates. Clara Hamilton was working there and she was very friendly and a pretty impressive painter. So I finally hit Mexico. I went straight to San Carlos in Sonora. I am leaving tomorrow from this typical upscale rv park. I need to get into it in Mexico. tomorrow i will be back on the road.