it was a full moon the night before I left Portland. Some friends and I had a fire going in their front yard, and every time I leave here it gets more and more difficult. I gave going back to a relatively stable life a fair go, but either I did it wrong or I was rejected.. either way I felt like I needed to leave. So, with a broken heart and trying to fight feelings of resentment, I left with Justin and Shawna on their way up to Canada. I made some plans to spend time with a friend on her farm on Vancouver Island, helping her take care of the animals she's rescued and spending the month in BC taking some time off for myself.
Our first day was spent driving up the Olympic Peninsula, stopping to check out 4 of the worlds largest trees; one of them being the worlds largest Western Red Cedar and also the worlds largest Sitka Spruce. As well as the Kalaloch Cedar, one of the most evil trees that I have ever seen in my life. Trees are amazing (if you didn't already know).
After our tree stops we spent some time on the coast, and while I was peeing amongst some driftwood I heard Justin yelling and I saw the most unbelievable thing: A bald eagle carrying a dead Cormorant in it's talons flying about 5 feet off of the sand down the beach. We all started yelling and Shawna managed to snap off a couple photos. We ran down the beach to get a closer look (but not too close) and while we were watching the eagle devour this bird we saw a fisherman run up, throw a rock and chase him off. It was fucked up. Shawna confronted him but there was a language barrier so after some awkward moments he just packed up and left. We kept our distance from the bird and watched as the eagle came back to finish after a bit, while having to fight off other scavenger birds that were trying to get at his prey.
That night we drove up to a campground called Heart O' the Hills, which we kept jokingly asking if it was anywhere near "Land O' Lakes". haha, so dumb. Anyways, we didn't have exact change for the campground, and we decided to just not pay unless the ranger came by and harassed us (yes, asking us to pay for things is harassment). It started to get dark, and still no sign of the ranger, so I went into the wood shed next to our campsite and grabbed a stack of wood for the fire. FYI everyone, the honor system about paying for things is not very appealing when it benefits the bullshit forest service that sells off millions of trees every year to logging companies that don't give a fuck about the environment and the devastation they leave in their wake. but yeah, we were also just psyched to save $17.
Went for a 4 hour hike at an amazing place called Hurricane Ridge on the Olympic Peninsula. Had a beautiful view of Mt. Olympus and the Olympic Range all day, and were there early enough to avoid having to deal with all the asshole tourists and their loud, inane conversations. Watched some people trample the protected meadows for a photo op, and witnessed morons leaving litter in their wake. Sorry, but I lose more and more hope in the humyn race every time I encounter people on a hiking trail. Saw a baby bear and it's mama crossing the road on the way up as well, and were able to snap a couple of shots of them before they disappeared into the woods. That totally made our day.
Afterward we drove to the ferry crossing in Port Angeles, and a short boat ride later arrived in Victoria, BC. We were pulled over for some "extra questions" and were held there for at least 45 minutes, the entire time being completely positive they weren't going to let us in. They finally came over and gave us permission to enter after we were found out as being dishonest about our arrest records. I was amazed that we got through. Shit's crazy.
Drove a couple hours to our friend Chuck's farm, though she was at work by the time we got there. I gave her permission to wake me up at 2 am to go to the river to swim, but exhausted from the day of hiking I just read to her out of a horrifying book I recently picked up called "Communion" by Whitley Strieber that's about his alien abduction experience. Leaving us both feeling terrified we headed off to bed and somehow managed to drag ourselves up the next morning for our next day of activities.
Went to a beautiful private river spot where a friend of Chuck's lives and had an awesome time splashing around and floating on inner tubes. I had been eyeing a cliff that had a drop off into the river when we got there, and Chuck's friend assured me that she had jumped off before and the water was deep enough to be (relatively) safe. We walked up the side of the cliff together, and looking down I asked how high it was. She said she'd tell me after I did it. So I did it and fell for what seemed like forever, the whole time the roar of the wind going past my ears and my vision blurring. I landed as straight as I could, arms at my side, and rectum clenched (that's how you do it, not even kidding. sorry for the vulgarity). After I surfaced I looked up and she shouted down that it was 50 ft. My feet freakin hurt so bad.
Spent the rest of the day goofing off, making food from the garden, and taking care of the animals that live on Chuck's farm. All of them have such funny personalities, and I will give a brief description of all the ones I have met so far:
Natalie Portman is a turkey that was destined for slaughter before Chuck got to him. He's super friendly, and apparently likes when I play my guitar because he gobbles loudly after each song.
Stanley is an ex-racehorse that still bears a cold branded number on his neck just like the numbers the Nazi's tattooed on the Jews. He's 7 years old and loves to be scratched.
Romeo and Timber are the 2 older horses here, and they both got into some hay in the barn that they weren't supposed to eat and soon after I witnessed chuck chasing them away with a broom. So freakin funny.
Mikey, Reggie, Dougie and the 2 twin cats I can't remember the name of are a mix of semi-feral/domesticated cats that live here at the house. Dougie does a really funny bag trick
(that you can see here), and Reggie and Mikey are the kind of cats that don't want you to do anything except keep them on your lap all day.
There are also a bunch of other bunnies and chickens that live here that are too many to name.
Slept on the deck that night and watched the bats fly over my head for who knows how long. Got only a fraction of sleep last night, and woke up at one point to Justin saying to me through the screendoor: "So you're sleeping out there, huh? ...cool." Then stood there for about 3 seconds just staring at me. CREEPER.
Packed up our gear and drove out to Tofino to possibly go whale watching and camp out. Unfortunately all the boat trips were done for the day, so we drove a good deal back south and found a secluded, free camping spot alongside a lake. We blocked off the trail that led to our site with Chuck's truck, set up our tent, built a fire and just kicked it. I read some more chapters out of Communion for everyone and we all got super freaked out that night and were accidentally scaring each other over and over again in our tent. Talking about my Skinwalker experience didn't help matters either.
Oh, and we saw 2 bears 2 seperate times on the drive, one of them eating berries right next to the road. it was effing awesome!
After breakfast at the lake, we drove back down to the farm and got all our gear put away. We were greeted by Natalie gobbling at us near the driveway, and hung out with the cats. Tonight we're making some food and I'm going to try and focus on some projects I've been putting off.
I'm trying to set up some shows while I'm up here, but I'd be satisfied in just helping Chuck out at the farm and hanging around for the month. This place is beautiful, the animals are amazing and Chuck so far has been the sweetest and most accommodating host. Maybe I won't come home?*
*Kidding, I have to come back for court. You can read more about that here: http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2010/06/400664.shtml