roadtrip (41)

A Whole New Octave

Years ago I was in the Adolph Gasser photo store in SF and a bike messenger came in. He told the guy behind the counter he’d just had a baby. “It’s a whole new octave, man,” he said. (He was a musician.)

I think of this phrase whenever I’m about to change directions, like about now:

I feel like I’ve finished a cycle with my 7 building books, from Shelter in 1973, up through Small Homes in 2017, each book with over 1,000 photos. I’m working on a new book, to be called something like Handmade/Homemade: The Half-Acre Homestead. I ought to get it out by the end of 2018. Then a new direction.

Small books I have a bunch of maybe-not-for-prime-time books that I want to do. After publishing Driftwood Shacks, an 86-page digitally printed book, I realized that this and other books I want to do are for friends, probably not for bookstore distribution. I want to do these books without worrying about sales, “marketing.” The next one, a shrunk-down copy of a scrapbook I put together 25 years ago, hand-lettered, hand-bound, original 11″ by 14″, 48 pages, called Pop’s Diner, about a trip through the American southwest, hot springs –jeez, I’ve written this all before…us old guys…

I have 200-300,000 photos I’ve shot over the years. A great thing about Google Photos: you download all your photos with GPhotos, then you can go in and do a search for “barns,” or “Baja” and GPhotos will come up with just those photos. Man! How does the computer tell a barn from a house? Beyond me.

Subjects of these books: barns, Baja California Sur, trips in Southeast Asia, motorcycles, facsimiles of scrapbooks I’ve put together over the years, and yes: architecture. Have I said this before?

I’m going to get the homestead book done and then do some of these smaller ones.

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Bernie Harbert and His Mule Polly’s 2,500-mile Voyage Across America

Hi Lloyd and Lew,

I just wanted to let you know that Rocky Mountain PBS premiers the Lost Sea Expedition series January 4th. The series will also stream on Amazon and Vimeo. The story about this tiny wagon voyage across America featured in Tiny Homes (pp. 188–189). I think this info would really interest theshelterblog.com readers.

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On The Road Again — Eclipse-Bound

A great first day on the road. Latte at Toby’s barn + morning bun from Bovine Bakery, and thenceward on Hwy. 37, Sears Point Rd. through wetlands/nature preserve; there were maybe 100 egrets standing, flying diving. never seen so many in one place, heading for 505, then interstate 5 northwards.

The freedom of the road, good to get away from the constraints of Marin County. I get that feeling when I enter Nevada, a sense of release, it’s wide open, not every square inch analyzed and monetized.

I stopped off in Colusa, to visit my friend from 60 years ago, Jim Davison.

My dad had a rice farm 8 miles west of Colusa, and when I was 12, I helped him build a concrete block house there.  My job, on weekends and holidays, was shoveling sand, gravel, and cement into the concrete mixer).

Later, in teen years, I started hanging out with Colusa kids, complete with girlfriend, Roxana. Jim played piano and we did duets with me on ukulele; it was such a different experience, hanging out with these small town kids, for a city boy.  Population 3,000. We had fun! I worked in Colusa in the summer, bucking hay and driving a truck in the wheat harvest. Plus partying hearty at nights. Alcohol the only drug we knew of.

Yesterday I drove out to see the house. No one was home, but I shot a few photos. It looked as good as it did 70 years ago. When we started it was a barren piece of land.

Above: An almond orchard, with all the nuts on ground, ready to pick up

House my dad and I (plus two masons and one carpenter) built in 1947-48

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Bernie Harberts and His Lost Sea Expedition Series

Bernie Harberts and his mule Polly were featured in the “On the Road” section of our book Tiny Homes.

“I’ve sailed alone around the world, traveled across America by mule (twice), pedaled a ten dollar bike around Tasmania and walked across Newfoundland with a mule. Most recently, I sailed a wood ketch from the Falkland Islands to South Georgia Island, off Antarctica. From there, we sailed 3 weeks across the iceberg laced Southern Ocean to South Africa.…

For the Lost Sea Expedition series, I traveled 14 months across America in a wagon. Just as I did in North Carolina, I explored things that are particular to an area. This time around, it was horse breakers, Lakota elders, sod hut dwellers, ghost towns and a vanished sea that caught my eye.

I filmed the whole voyage myself – a first ever for a cross-country wagon voyage.…”

lostseaexpedition.com/

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Photos of French Carpenters’ West Coast Trip

We are running photos of our French carpenter friends Menthe and Yogan documenting the trip they took this summer along the Northern Pacific Coast, exchanging their carpentry skills for room and board.

This is a tiny home they built in 10 days on an old Dodge flatbed truck in Humboldt County, California.

We are posting one of their projects each day for a week here: https://www.theshelterblog.com/

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Yogan Carpenter’s Pacific Coast Journey, Fall, 2015

Yogan came to California from France and is exploring (and working wherever he stays) along the Pacific west coast this fall. I  dropped him off in Pt. Arena (Calif.) 2 weeks ago and as he makes his way northward, he is shooting photos and posting them on his blog:

https://yogan.over-blog.com/

His website: https://www.yogancharpentier.com/

This photo from The Salmon Creek Farm in Mendocino County

He’s now heading up to visit SunRay Kelley in Washington.

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Roll Your Own-The Complete Guide to Living in a Truck, Bus, Van or Camper – 1974

Hi guys,

I found this aged photocopy while going through a box of files from years past. It was tucked in with folders of research notes, press releases, rough drafts and galleys of articles for various publications and several rejected or killed stories that I’d had vague hopes of placing in other print media; all this from the days before the Internet. Everything looked so crisp and quaint, especially the neatly typed articles on 20 lb. bonded stationary.

Times do change. Something that has held fairly constant for me my entire more-or-less adult life though is an interest in vehicular living in long or short form.

 I had already been doing it in station wagons and a van by the time I came across this book in my local library. “Roll Your Own” by Jody Pallidini and Beverly Dubin was a classic of nomadic literature, a period companion piece to “Caravan” by Stephen Gaskin and “Vagabonding in Europe and North Africa” by Ed Buryn. I never once found a copy of “Roll Your Own” outside that lone library copy. I ran this copy off a dried-out, tattered, yellowed, and bug-eaten copy of the Whole Earth Catalog if memory serves me. It came out maybe 40 years before Tiny Homes on the Move, proving to me at least that good things never go out of style.

 Nels Norene

Thanks, Nels, I was able to track down a used copy on Amazon for our archives.- LK
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