Tuesday, October 30, 2012

ran's in spokane

the weather was pretty nice the day i arrived in spokane. ran showed me around his front and back yards, pointing out all the plants he is trying to establish in the beginnings of a food forest. the goumi plants are off to a great start, and the apple tree in the front looks happy. i felt so jazzed to be at ran's place and asked if there were any projects i could help with. we made a pile of juniper branches into smaller pieces and then tidied up his garage. he has collected lots of leaves and has some in garbage bags that he intends to crush and use as cover material in the bucket toilet if he ever runs out of sawdust. i was so happy to see this toilet when i walked into the bathroom. so sensible and simple. i saw he was peeing in jars and asked if there was one i could use. helped me feel right at home!

ran offered me some thick chicken soup that was like a thin gravy actually, thickened with rue. it was so good! ran has very similar eating habits to mine, and i kept discovering more familiar items. kombucha, kefir, pastured butter, quinoa, dried seaweed... what next?

to arrive at the vipassana meditation course on time i had decided to give myself two days of travel. the route i decided to try would be through yakima, from there taking highway 12, which passes near to the meditation center. so i looked for hosts last minute on warmshowers.org and couchsurfing.org. the morning of the 29th, when i was to set out. i finally got someone on the phone who would let me stay with them in yakima! the road there would be an adventure, and i didn't know if it would work out... but i was up for it!

ran rode with me to the freeway onramp. we were able to take the bike trail most of the way! it is a nice one! we stopped in at the main market on the way so i could look it over. main market is spokane's fantastic food cooperative! i try to visit all the food coops, which seem to be almost everywhere i travel... i got a washington grown apple and some other supplies. this is one of the most comfortable and well-stocked coops i have been to. i appreciated their use of signage, highlighting local products.

the weather was great that day and i was happy to be outdoors, even if it was near an interstate onramp. the hours passed and i tried as i always do to project good vibes and show a smile to the motorists. any one of them could be the one to pick me up! i try not to descriminate, but i can't help it. certain vehicles or traits of the driver will attract or repel me. some people look like old friends and i wonder why they don't pick me up.
after a few hours at the browne st onramp without even one person stopping for me i headed down to the maple street onramp, where the word on the street was, 'they aren't letting people fly signs.' it was not important to me so i went to try my luck there.
four cops passed me during the time i was there and none of them even slowed. one of the gave me a friendly wave. but still i had no luck catching a ride, and as the afternoon passed into early evening i knew i'd be spending another night in spokane.

another wonderful evening with ran and housemate troy! i got to make a fire in their fireplace. thanks guys for the friendly hospitality!

no luck the next day after another three hours at the maple street onramp. one guy did stop for me. he was only going a little ways, to the airforce base, so i declined. he let me use his cell phone to check on a craigslist possibility. i told him where i was headed and he said, 'can't be late to a meditation course...' or something like that. i said that i was trying to meditate and send out good vibes while on the roadside... "i must have picked up some of those vibes, because i don't usually stop." he said. that boosted my spirits.
when the rain came, then came a little harder, i decided to go back to ran's a second time. i stopped by the coop on the way back and got some groceries: red chard, broccoli, apple, rolled oats, and pastured eggs! almost went for the raw goat milk, but wimped out, forgetting that i was told never to worry about having enough money on this trip. when i told ran he was like, 'OH YEAH, raw goat milk...mmmmm' and i knew i should have gone for it. i had imagined hot chocolate and pouring some in my oatmeal...
i worked with ran a little bit on preparing the wood for building a sturdy kitchen table that he can attach his country living grain mill to. ran baked some bread, i made greens, and we collaborated on a hearty lentil soup! you can see in the pictures that the soup is garnished with a leaf of malva, or mallow, one of the most common garden weeds. another fine meal... and ran busted out his cod liver oil to share! this guy knows what's up!
i got another fire going and we enjoyed the evening in this cozy little home while the rain showered off and on outside.

when i checked my e-mail i found a message from the meditation center in response to the one i had sent about being late. in it there was a suggestion to contact a guy coming from montana who could probably give me a ride! so i called him and set that up. amazing how this worked out! why didn't i just ask for the help of the center in the first place? i had thought of it but it seemed unlikely that someone would be coming from this far east. always ask!

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