January 12, 2016

WWOOF 9: Little River

First off, I should probably acknowledge that the Great Road Trip of 2015 is long over and this post is many months overdue, BUT my excuse is that Little River is the last place I WWOOFed and CouchSurfing is a lot faster paced than WWOOFing so I would have had to chip into my adventure time to write about everything that was happening and then I would have had less happen.  Forgive me if the posts become less word-focused and more picture-focused from here on out (at least until I catch up to present day life).


Little River was the deep breath I took between West Coast cities.  After meeting the Pacific Ocean for real for the very first ever time, seeing redwoods and wild seals, a night in a Eureka motel, and hours of driving down skinny green highways with steep dropoffs, I arrived at Pegasus Farm.
This is what I remember:

1) My three full and two half days there slipped by quickly.  I remade beds and vacuumed floors in their cabins.  Bix and I went on long walks through the fog and trees.  The people were kind and there was a transitory sense about the place.  It had been used as a sort of refuge for women who were having a rough time in their lives, housing them in a spare room or in the tiny, perfect cabins.  When they were low on money and all the women had found safe places to live, they transitioned the cabins to Airbnb rooms.  One was named Sunlit and the other was Ohm, and I liked the cleaning part more than I expected - stripping flannel sheets and replacing them, vacuuming the traveler dust out of the rugs, refilling the glass water bottles.  People had set up and taken down rooms for me so many times on this journey, and now it was my turn.
2) Because they were carpenters/artists, they had the most beautiful furniture.  Decades ago, when cutting down redwoods was still legal, some logging company had dammed up a river, chopped down a bunch of the giants, laid them into the dry riverbed, and released the dam to send the redwoods floating down the river.  The guy who owned the farm and his brother lived in Little River their whole lives, and back in the 70s or 80s, they'd realized there were redwoods left at the bottom of the river and somehow dragged them out of the river using barges and scuba gear.  They turned the redwoods into richly striped tables and beds and bookshelves.  If I was made of money I would have bought everything at their art opening, but I am not and I had to settle for smoothing it over and over with my palms, tracing the ebbs and rings in the wood with my fingertips.
3) The WWOOFiest thing I did was the potatoes.  I loved this.  They sent me out into the garden with a fork - the shovel-sized farming kind, not the eating kind - and had me stab the earth and pull out the tiny round potatoes that surfaced.  I washed them and cut them into little cubes with "help" from Mari, and then, because I slept in, someone boiled them, and then under someone else's direction, I turned those potatoes into potato salad.  I was so proud of that potato salad it was silly, but I so loved how I was nearly the only human in the entire world who had touched the potatoes before they went into people's mouths.  That's something I took away from WWOOFing, that I want to eat food that is 100% mine - planted and grown and watered and harvested and prepared by just me.
4) They had an outdoor shower on the back porch with absolutely no semblance of privacy.  I eyed it the whole time I was there, considered showering at the risk of exposing myself to the various people who lived at Pegasus Farm.  In a beautiful twist, somehow, on Sunday afternoon, everybody left.  The residents of the farm scattered one by one, until it was just me and Bixby left.  And I took advantage, took the most wonderful shower with the sunshine and the redwoods and then drank wine on the porch while it was still warm outside.
5) I don't remember the names of the couple who lived in the barn (it was finished inside, like a house, but we still called it the barn), but their daughter's name was Mari and she loved Bixby so much that when I entered a room, she would ask, "Dog?"  Her mother had recently weaned her and she cried a lot, but she was also learning to yodel, so things kind of balanced out.  We both had an affinity for avocado toast.