|...caught a fishing pole|
|Ski jump from the Lake Placid Olympics|
|an Adirondack lake|
|a very unhappy camper|
I did get two bites but was unable to set the hook and so I saw a couple of nice bass get away. Next time fishy, fishy, next time.
The trip was also quite interesting because I was able to meet an elder from the Mohawk tribe. He was a wonderful man, quick with a laugh and bright eyed. He reminded me of the Dalai Lama. I was hoping to receive some insight about my life but that's not how it really works. Besides, I probably wouldn't listen to him anyway.
Halloween was a few nights ago and at one of the local establishments here put on a fabulous carved pumpkin display. Check it out.
|The many faces of pumpkin pie|
Now I don't know if you can see the details but the display had 230 pumpkins that took two pumpkin carvers over a week to carve. Yes, there are professional pumpkin carvers here and you thought I was kidding about the Skinny Dipping profession. The carvings included Captain America, the Incredible Hulk, Darth Maul, Willie Nelson (at least it looked like Willie) and the dude from the Friday the 13th movies.
So here it is the first of November and I'm getting ready to move on. No, really. There are still some stunning fall colors left but winter is in the air and I packed summer dresses, not insulated pants. Perhaps I've stayed too long but I've really gotten the flavor of the people and the town and I have to admit, if this weren't my first stop, it could very well have been my last for several reasons.
Yes, I have met a man. I'm fairly sure that comes as no surprise. The girlfriend I came here to visit introduced me to several of her single male friends but there wasn't much mutual interest until I met "boots". When she introduced us and said this is the guy who lives in the tepee I thought, "oh good". The interest went both directions and we've had a great time together, so much so it's quite hard to leave, literally. You saw the video where we got the Pork Chop up the mountain and getting her down from there is just as challenging.
The second reason I've been sticking around is because I've started to play guitar and write songs again. I've even had the chance to play with some local cats. What fun! I can't tell you how wonderful it feels after nearly 5 years of playing very little and writing even less to be playing and writing nearly every day. I haven't done that since I was a teenager. All the other stuff, worrying about the bills, how I'm going to make a living and where I'm going to live, all that stuff just falls away during the moments I am wrapped in my music.
Something is beginning to happen to me up here. I'm beginning to wonder what is real to me verses what I seem to have been programmed to believe in. Work hard, save and retire when you're 65 so you can do what you want. How many of those people either (a) never make it to 65 or (b) end up with some disease that makes it impossible for them to do the things they wanted. Does playing by the rules really get us the safety and security we seek? I wonder.
Being off the grid and having to take a bath with a bucket, learning that one meal is a three hour process that starts off with getting the wood stove up to cooking temp and ends up by having to manage the water to do the dishes. Chopping wood and carrying water, cleaning out the ditches along the roadside up to the tepee, and stealing apples...yes, I have become an apple thief! A friend of mine from Nashville said I needed to do something bad. I wonder if apple abduction counts?
Anyway, life off grid and playing music feels so true and real compared to managing the modern world. One day all I could think about was how unreal money was, how we all agree it is worth something, give a lot of our time and energy to be a distribution point between our employers and the bill holders we owe. Yet in reality money is useless, it can't feed you but knowing how to catch, gut and cook a fish can. It can't clothe you but knowing how to clean and tan a hide can. Money can't make a shelter but knowing how to bend saplings into a structure you can cover with tarps can.
It must sound like I am truly slipping over the edge. Honestly, I can't say for sure what is happening to me. I'm away from the electro-magnetic frequencies and much of the background noise that permeates our lives. I'm sleeping more than 8 hours on a regular basis and eating very well. Life is slower, to do anything takes longer and...I don't know, I'm wondering if it is the life for me. Can I really do it? Without a doubt, I can not do an off grid life alone but one of the hardest facts to face is that I still have to make money. Though I spent one day playing with the idea of money being unreal, the fact seems to be that no matter how far you are unplugged, a person still has bills. I suppose I could forgo my phone or my car but I don't want to. So, I don't actually know how off grid I could really be because it's not all hammocks and yummy dinners.
|My truck in the ditch heading up the mountain|
|Hornets helping me with my kombucha|
I am so fortunate to have had the chance to live off the grid with such an experienced man. I have had the opportunity to live in quite a primitive way and to be honest, I have loved it. I have loved it because every aspect of life from eating to pooping, wind storms to bears has been in my face, and real. All in all my first stop with the Pork Chop has been quite successful and beyond anything I could have expected or planned. I am sad to be leaving my new found friend and the life we've shared over the last couple of months. I will miss the people I've met and those I've been playing music with. Still, I look forward to learning more about myself as I continue on this journey. Though honsestly, the next stop may only be as far as the New York state line where I turn around so I can head back up the mountain.