On the Road Dispatch from Portland

I’m off on a month-long trip shooting photos for our next major book, Builders of the Northwest Coast. I’ve been on the road 5 days now and it’s been magical — sorry, no other word to describe what’s been happening. Driving over to a somewhat remote mountain hot springs center to talk to Sun Ray Kelley, things started getting good as I got into snow. When I got to the resort I found, to my complete surprise, an unbelievable masterpiece of a building. I spent 2 days photographing it and talking to Sun Ray, a most remarkable man.

Then I drove over to the Mendocino coast to hang out with my friend Louie for a few days. I lucked into some great music Saturday night at Bones Bar-B-Q & Blues club in Gualala. Four young locals from Ft. Bragg, blue grass and blues and it was one of those nights. Pretty soon every single person in the room (20-25 people maybe), including waitresses and burly bouncer, was dancing. Total band/audience rapport.

I took off yesterday, Monday, drove over to Clearlake where 1000s of seagulls were spectacularly present in the blue waters, then got on Highway 5 north. I went into the town of Mt. Shasta and lucked out in the body department. I took a sauna and then had some extraordinary bodywork done by Michael Bueno at the newly-opened Sacred Mountain Retreat. He unlocked all kinds of tensions and helped with my sports injuries. I’ve had tons of body work, and this was extraordinary. Is this guy good for athletes!

Sacred Mountain Spa, Mt. Shasta City, CA

Had a hamburger and vanilla malt at an all-night diner in Medford, Oregon around midnight. Good! Classic burger. Malt made with real ice cream, and a lot left in the stainless shake container placed on the counter. Good burger and shake: American masterpiece.

I slept in my truck (20 degrees), warm down bag, for 3-4 hours last night. Had great breakfast in Eugene at Zenon cafe. Fresh-made chicken-apple sausage.

I’m sitting in a very cool coffee shop, the Stumptown Roastery, in Portland. Is this a great town! I decided I’d try to drive into town and scope it out cold and it worked. Found a good street with bunch of cafes, asked someone and got directed to this very homey part of town. The neighborhood with cute charming frame houses, with big back yards, not all gussied up like in San Francisco. Nice people everywhere. I’m going to talk to a bunch of art students from Reed college tomorrow, then head up to Victoria.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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