Tiny Home in Northern California

A month or so ago, I saw a unique elliptical wooden teardrop trailer in the surfers’ parking lot at Salmon Creek (Sonoma County). Inside was Mira Nussbaum, who was painting on a silk scarf. The trailer will be one of the units covered in our forthcoming book (publication date May-June, 2022), Rolling Homes. Mira told me she and her husband lived in a tiny home, and she sent these photos. A link to her art work is at www.silkstorymaps.com.

Our tiny house, Tree Song, was inspired by three years of visioning and design for a better way of life. We built this sanctuary so that we could take a step towards living our own beliefs and values in our day-to-day choices. Tree Song was built in 2010 from locally harvested and produced material sourced from local businesses who care about their ecological impact, furthering our intention to live a simple life connected to the land. Tree Song was built on a 22′ × 8′ trailer and is 13′ tall. This amazing home has been at two retreat centers on the East Coast, made an arduous cross-country journey, and now resides in Northern California where we have called it our home since 2017.

–Mira and Alex

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How We Drained California Dry

A story of remaking the land and taking the water until there was nothing left

Technology Review

This is how we’ve come to the point today, during the driest decade in state history, that valley farmers haven’t diminished their footprint to meet water’s scarcity but have added a half-­million more acres of permanent crops—more almonds, pistachios, mandarins. They’ve lowered their pumps by hundreds of feet to chase the dwindling aquifer even as it dwindles further, sucking so many millions of acre-feet of water out of the earth that the land is sinking. This subsidence is collapsing the canals and ditches, reducing the flow of the very aqueduct that we built to create the flow itself.

How might a native account for such madness?

No civilization had ever built a grander system to transport water. It sprawled farmland. It sprawled suburbia. It made rise three world-class cities, and an economy that would rank as the fifth largest in the world. But it did not change the essential nature of California. Drought is California. Flood is California. One year our rivers and streams produce 30 million acre-feet of water. The next year, they produce 200 million acre-feet. The average year, 72.5 million acre-feet, is a lie we tell ourselves.

www.technologyreview.com/2021/12/16/1041296/california-climate-change-water-drought

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Camping in a Tacoma

Our truck, “The Greasy Devil,” all set up for a clear, but windy night’s sleep in Wyoming. We have an awning to add over the feet if the weather is raining/snowing or too cold.

Dear Lloyd,

I just wanna say thank you for putting out such great books over the years! I found Shelter Pub by way of picking up a Whole Earth Catalog in a thrift store while in high school about ten years ago and have been a fan ever since. Homework was my lockdown reading of choice last year!

I am writing because my husband and I are currently on a long road/camping trip and will be driving through Baja next month. Our rig is a 2018 6-cylinder manual Toyota Tacoma with a homemade sleeping platform and a Softopper (we jokingly call it ultralight overlanding since the softopper weighs about 40lbs). We just did about 5 weeks throughout Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Nevada, and Northern California. Next week we will leave our hometown of Boulder, CO to travel through New Mexico, Arizona, southern California, and Baja for the next 2 months.

I have gone over your blog posts about camping in Baja and was wondering if you have any tips or recommendations you would be willing to share. It will be our first time there, my first time in Mexico and we cannot wait! Our truck is pretty off-road equipped, with a 3″ lift, an air compressor, and recovery gear so we don’t mind going through tough terrain. We love mountain bikes and motorcycles (even though we are not planning on bringing any, maybe rent for a day or two?) and are beginner surfers with a love for the water (the one problem with living in Colorado!).

Anyways, thanks again for all of the wonderful work you put out. I have gone to multiple lectures while I lived in Oakland during college, always leaving inspired and hopeful. I actually had Marianne Rogoff as a writing teacher my freshman year, who told me she worked for you back in the day! I love following along your posts online, your trip to Rome looked simply amazing. I have always wanted to write to you to say thanks, but felt too shy, until now that I have an extra reason to say hi.

–Jessica Milavitz
SUNSHINE CANYON FURNITURE COMPANY
www.sunshinecanyonfurniture.com
instagram.com/ultralight_overland

Note: For lots of info on Baja from my travels there, see: lloydkahn.com/?s=baja

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Crystal Voyager — Music by Pink Floyd, Photography by George Greenough —1973

Crystal Voyager: Echoes from Jacob H on Vimeo.

In 1971, Bob Easton and I were putting the finishing touches on Domebook 2 at his home in Santa Barbara. Bob said his next-door neighbor was a surfer and liked to use the large white walls of Bob’s house on which to project his surfing films. Should I invite him over, said Bob. Well, duh…

When it got dark, over came the neighbor — George Greenough, with a projector, and as we watched George’s footage of hot dog surfers in Southern California, Bob played an Albert King blues album.

Later in the early 70s, when Bob and I were working on the book Shelter in Bolinas, George came up from Santa Barbara with the footage for this film, and we showed it to friends in my dome, and then to everyone down at the community center. He subsequently made a deal with Pink Floyd where they projected this footage along with their song “Echoes” in concerts, and George used the music in his 1973 film, “The Crystal Voyager.”

George was the originator of in-the-tube surf photography, using a homemade 30-pound waterproof camera mounted on his shoulder, riding a homemade spoon kneeboard. Resolution is a pretty crappy 240p, but you get the idea: you are inside the chamber of the tube with the barrel getting smaller and smaller, like the f-stop on a camera, until — wham! — psychedelic bubbles, turbulence, and spinning.

George went on to become a surfing legend legend and now lives in Australia.

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