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3-day trip, chapter #2

I'm deliriously in love with the Pacific Ocean, it fills my heart with joy. You never know with a body of water. I went down to paddle in the lagoon around 6 the other night. The water was like glass, the air was fresh, I stood talking to surfer/fisherman Andrew for 5 minutes, both of us enjoying the moment, the birds, water, sunlight, ridge in background. It's a bond that surfers, fishermen, and beachcombers share. We're drawn to the ocean. Tuesday night the cove in Pt. Arena was beautiful at sunset. The wind had dropped, and the waves shimmered with silver as they broke.

When I was around 12, I had my first insight into a deeper level of nature. We used to spend the summer at the Russian River, and one evening around sunset I was walking through a hay field and saw a mouse scurry by. I stopped and held still and soon more mice came out. I stood there for like 20 minutes. It was next to a haystack, which was like a mouse skyscraper, and the mice ran all over the friggin place, carrying stuff, chatting, almost climbing over my shoes. They thought I was a tree. It was this busy little society, seldom seen by humans. I was practically ecstatic.

The room I stay in at Louie's (see below) is in his shop. His house is on the other side of the river. To get there you ride in a bosun's chair 500' across the river on a cable. I went across Wed. night to have dinner. (I shot a video of the ride, which I'll put on YouTube next week.) We roasted 2 wild ducks, and had them with a salad, Louie's homemade Syrah wine, and an apple pastry he whipped up for desert. Oh yeah, a few shots of tequila and olives before dinner. Listened to music of the '40s, then CD of The Harder They Come while we ate … we old guys, like, know how to have a good time.

3-day trip up the coast

I get up a 5 Tuesday morning, load up the Tacoma, and take off for my friend Louie's, 3 hours up the coast on Hwy. One. Fragrant latte and cookie at Toby's in Pt. Reyes Station (best coffee in Marin), then skirt the eastern edge of Tomales bay, mist drifting across tide flats. In spite of the terrible things going on all over the world, I still have these days, magic moments when I'm thrilled to be alive. The hills are still moist from all the rain. Cattle all have shiny coats. Flock of fat butterball looking sheep. Coffee, ganja, blues on radio, not too shabby eh?. Sometimes a song will be perfect with passing scenery, and I make a movie in my mind, moving through space with music. It's a low tide and I check out a clam digging area for future trips. Lots of clams, a bunch of clam diggers. Pick up some beautiful large sheets of nori seaweed, will see if I can clean and dry it when I get home There's a roadkill faun on the highway, but it's too old.

Great breakfast (preceded by um, a Bloody Mary; hey, it seemed appropriate) at recently refurbished Timber Cove Inn. There's something good going on in that kitchen. Looks like a great place for a weekend getaway, on rocky point looking out at ocean. Not cheap, but elegant in its present incarnation.

Around noon I get out to Louie's, which is in a valley, on a river. I unpack in this room, which always makes me happy, every part of it is so right. Bed on right, desk for my MacBook at left, looks out into sunny vineyard, redwoods in background.

Louie and Lloyd House are my two favorite builders in the world. Louie's next project will be willow furniture, There are always little things around that are a delight, like this Birch branch hose holder:

I go down to the swimming hole, lie in sun a little, boy does it feel good to have sun on my skin, I'd forgotten. Dive into deep green water, the river is beautiful (and cold) right now. About 8' deep alongside rock face.

 Three 13-or-so-yr-old girls are on the beach, talking.
"And I'm, like, no way!"
"She like had 2 kids."
"He's like, sorry to be so late."
"And she's like, where have you been?"

Then, like, a 15-yr old boy comes and he and the girls start jumping off the cliff into the pool.

They're playing and giggling, having a great time. Gaiety on a sunny afternoon at the swimming hole.

Back home: I wrote a bunch of stuff yesterday afternoon, will post when there's time. Also shot movie of going 500' across river on Louie's aerial tramway cable, which I'll get up on YouTube.

Lloyd House's van conversion

lloyd house van
Michael McNamara sent this photo of Lloyd's current residence. He extended the walls of a van to create this beautiful space. He was building it when I visited him a year or so ago. It was a cold day and we had some tea sitting around the little stove he'd welded up out of an old propane tank with a wok for a door. It'll be in our forthcoming book on tiny houses.

Little wooden statue

Lesley found this in a thrift shop some years ago and I just looked at it closely the other day. It seems alive. I get a tingle when I look at it. Like Lovejoy, the antique dealer/detective in the series of crime novels by Jonathan Gash. Lovejoy was a "divvy," a person who could divine authentic antiques at a glance. Lovejoy would get dizzy, sometimes almost faint, when in the presence of a real and rare antique. I feel a bit of that at times with the occasional object. There's an aura, like with this little statue.