On the Road Again

Headed up the coast to hang out with my pal Louie in Pt. Arena yesterday. Was gonna leave at 7 or 8 AM, didn’t get extricated from office biz until noon.

But once rolling, I got the familiar burst of energy. Something about moving wakes my brain up from staying home. The different scenery, the people, the excitement from once again being a traveling photographer. It’s like hunting, whether its scanning the changing landscape for barns and the occasional bit of good architecture or walking down a crowded street in NYC.

I swear, the world is a a place of never-ceasing wonder to me. Photographing, talking to people, letting serendipity run the show, my chi kicks into overdrive.

I’m just gonna write a bit here because I can’t seem to download the 180 or so photos I took yesterday. Hey Instagrammers, remember writing?

At some point in my life I’d like to take trips and communicate (blog and Instagram) as I go, like Charles Kuralt used to do. Come along and ride shotgun with me.

Only problem: how to get paid for doing so?

I stopped at Hog Island Oyster farm yesterday, got a dozen, and left a copy of Driftwood Shacks for Terry and the crew. The woman at the counter said “I love your books.”

Also, along the self-aggrandizement lines, a woman came up to me a few weeks ago at Andytown Coffee in SFO, and said “My daughter still has that mini-book you gave her and she still looks at it.” I had given it to her 4-year old daughter Maggie maybe a year ago, and Maggie had looked through all the pages carefully, asking me which tiny house was mine.

The feedback on our books is off the charts. Everyday, no kidding. The people shown in our building books inspire others to build, or create — something. The idea of using hands to provide (at least part of) their own shelter and food.

On the Skateboard Again
I found a perfect place to ride my skateboard yesterday. Breaking my arm a few years ago was a trauma (first broken bone in 84 years). I’ve felt awkward, cautious, but for the first time yesterday, I felt into the flow. I need to find the right downslope, smooth pavement, feathering out at bottom. No more pushing the speed limit, but rather trying to turn gracefully, like longboard surfing. No slash and burn. For that, I’ll take up skating at age 3 (like my skate hero Jeremy) in my next life, rather than at age 65.

My Mercedes 320E
This is an as-yet undiscovered gem of a car. I bought a ’99 320E with 180K a few years ago, for $4k. Might be up to $7k now with new tires, repairs, tuneups, and I can’t believe not only the design and construction, but the luxury. I would never have thought of myself driving a “Cedes, but this fell in my lap and instead of buying a new Crosstrek (was about to do), I’m gonna stick with this as long as it runs. My first non stick shift ever and I love it. Especially going over the mountain. Gets 22-23 mpg. I read about a couple of 320 E’s with a million miles on motors.

I’m maybe 3/5 through laying out pages. It changes every day. It’s a book creating itself. I’m not gonna take time to go into specifics, but, in spite of the plethora of books on vans and nomadic living out there these days, this one will be unique, I kid you not. Now working on a couple’s 7-month, 20,000 mile trip through the Sahara desert in 1971 in a Citroen 2CV (Doo-sha-vo) van they bought for $1200 in Paris. Two cylinders, 36 horsepower…

Time to go skating. Sun shining, I love this part of the world. The farther north, the less lameness…

I’ll be putting photos up at: instagram.com/lloyd.kahn by tomorrow (Friday, Aug 27).

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The Price of Redwood These Days


Saw this truck with redwood recently out in front of Bette’s Oceanview Diner in Berkeley. I had just bought some outrageously expensive rough con heart redwood boards for two planter beds, and I said to the carpenter, what’s that, about $500?

He said, Don’t I wish — $1500, and showed me the bill.

Lumber prices hereabouts quadrupled this last year, now down to about double compared to a year ago.

Note: Not sure why it’s called “Oceanview,” the ocean is 12 miles away.

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Traveling Shepherd with Ingenious Shelter in Oregon

I can’t recommend Kirsten Dirksen’s videos highly enough. She’s a genius! Hundreds of wonderful videos of wonderful people doing amazing things. Trouble is, when I go to this website, I keep going from one video to another; they are all terrific. I can’t get anything done! youtube.com/channel/UCDsElQQt_gCZ9LgnW-7v-cQ

Re the above:

Aaron Fletcher has grazed his sheep and lived off the land as a traveling shepherd for 12 years. He calls it guerrilla grazing (a step above guerrilla gardening, he says) and he lets his sheep graze — with permission — public parks and side lots. Homeless by choice, he offers his services to small farms in exchange for food or a place to stay (though half his calories come from his sheeps’ milk).

With a tiny metal cart home pulled by his sheep he has a bed, a refrigerator/evaporative cooler, a shower (he uses a pesticide sprayer to pump up the water pressure), power (solar panel), sun oven, a mailbox stove for heat, bicycle tire wheels and a corrugated plastic roof.

Fletcher makes cheese and butter from his sheep milk and forages for seeds, fruits, vegetables and herbs. He’s created a map for foragers in his region. He makes some money with his scythe business — cutting noxious weeds for locals, but he insists he’s not interested in making money and just hopes to serve as an example for other homeless interested in guerrilla grazing.


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SunRay Kelley’s Latest Treehouse

Photo by Camille Ireland

SunRay’s creations just take my breath away. I mean, that top platform of the tower on the right. How can anyone conceive of something like this, let alone build it? Let alone climb up there? He told me that when he was in college and doing renderings of structures, his teacher said he was going to have to build them himself, because nobody else would.

This is on his 10 acres in Sedro-Woolley, Washington.

There are a dozen or so pages of his fantastical buildings in Builders of the Pacific Coast.

Hey, today is Friday the 13th! (My mom, who was born on a Friday the 13th, claimed that it was actually a lucky day.)


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Here are archives of Bringing it On Home, a bi-weekly program on our local world-class radio station, KWMR, which I listen to 3-4 times a week while doing dishes or fiddling around after dinner. This is the July 31, 2021 program, Stones, followed by Lou Reed, Aretha, Al Green, Marvin Gaye…


On Thursdays is Back to Bakersfield, Saturday is Celtic music, there’s Shorty’s Roadhouse… There’s no radio station in the world I like better.

KWMR archives (you need to scroll down, pick the program, then click “Find Archives.”):


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Bees Gathering Pollen From Opium Poppies


Two videos of bees gathering pollen from opium poppy + photo of pollen “saddlebag” on bee’s leg in upper right; bees gather pollen and nectar in pellets on their legs for transport back to hives.

I had five bee colonies in ’70s, ’80s, and they are utterly fascinating; the species has been around for 25 million years.
Don’t get me started talking about the brilliance of their societies!

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