mooretrees journal

Where are you and where are you going?
mooretrees
Posts: 363
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

Thanks @cl, HB for the comments.

Scored a bunch of free plums and a dryer to dry them late last week. They dryer is taking forever though, so it'll be another day or so before I can do another batch. We biked out to a friends yesterday and DH spotted a dumpster with some bread poking out. We checked it out on our way home. We stuffed the trailer and DH front bike basket full of discarded Orowheat bagels, english muffins, hot dog buns, organic sliced bread etc. I was giddy! They are all expired and in the freezer before we eat them. I've been trying to scope out local dumpsters of grocery stores without any luck. So this is my first dumpster dive, I'm stoked!

We do eat a lot of sliced bread and hot dog buns as a family, not so much me, but the guys do. So these will make a slight difference in the grocery bill. Mainly it was exciting to salvage perfectly good food from the waste stream.

I've got two beds still to plant for winter crops, now I suppose they'll be early spring crops. The four beds I've got planted are going strong. There was a chance of a freeze last night so I made a makeshift cover to protect the plants. If I don't mess with it too much, it might end up being the cover for the winter. It's a project I would normally ask for DH's help (or to actually do TBH), but since he is back to working on the bus I didn't want to interrupt his work. We have a number of sorta chicken wire things, they have bigger squares than the chicken wire, lying around. We had used them to protect some blueberry plants from our dogs. I maneuvered them into place, they are pretty malleable, and cut the white plastic to fit. They look pretty tidy, though the ends are being held by bricks/wood and that could get annoying to open. But, it if works, then they're protected for the winter.

I've tallied our vacation expenses from a 10 day road trip to Zion: $773. The biggest expenses in order, gas, food, lodging. We had hopes of staying with a friend outside of Salt Lake City, but we got out of our town too late to make it there our first night. There was a lot of construction and driving at night during construction was too harrowing to keep driving so we found a budget motel. We're still low brow enough that a budget motel seems pretty fancy! Then we were going to try again to stay with that friend but they had moved and she has an autoimmune disorder, and a three year old touching her stuff was too much for her and I.

It was a good and stressful vacation, mainly the stress came from not sleeping very well while camping and dealing with crowds during corona virus. I'm not sure I'll ever go back to Zion, I'd rather find other areas that are similar without the crowds.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1995
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

mooretrees wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 7:49 am
mainly the stress came from not sleeping very well while camping and dealing with crowds during corona virus. I'm not sure I'll ever go back to Zion, I'd rather find other areas that are similar without the crowds.
I just came back from a long weekend trip hiking trip at Teddy Roosevelt (far western ND/ bordering Montana). For the time of year there were inordinate amounts of people around, nothing like I'm sure Zion was though. Mostly with western state plates... By the end of the trip, I was calling them "refugees" :lol:. No offense intended.

I think the combo of many people not traveling to outdoorsy places earlier in the year due to COVID semi-closures, then the recent fires out west, has a lot of late season pent up demand for these places.

mooretrees
Posts: 363
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

@c_L did you see a million sprinter vans? I couldn't believe how many we saw on the road. I hear they're expensive, but haven't looked into it. Refugees seems appropriate. We wouldn't have gone to Zion if not for the fires out here.

Watched the presidential debate, ugh, that was exhausting. Made me squirm more than a few times. Also made me feel quite hopeless about our future. Couple that with reading Octavia Butler's Parable of the Talents and well, I just might have to numb my feelings with some harmless tv watching.

Anyway you shake it, ERE is simply a great solution to helplessness about the problems I'm concerned with: peak oil, climate change and how to survive in this crazy world. I'm working on creating the life I think I want, and focusing less on the money part of it. I'm sure when I go to part time, the money will become more front and center, but with more time comes more creativity and a better quality of life.

AxelHeyst
Posts: 384
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

Sprinters are 30-60k, and I think that's without a full conversion. They're good vans, all sprinter-hate aside, but when they break they're also quite expensive to fix and can be difficult to find parts and mechanics.

So many places are only worth it if you can manage to go in off-peak season (most of the Utah and CA NPs), as they're going to be full of people who have "Yosemite" and "Disneyland" in the same category of activity in their minds, one just being more boring but cheaper than the other.

The hordes of people descending on the outdoors makes me concerned about about access. Besides it being harder to find boondocking now, I'm mostly concerned that many places are going to have to either get much more sophisticated management plans (to deal with the pressure of so many people who don't yet know how to respectfully dry camp) or shut down / highly restricted. The idea of having to get a permit / reservation to boondock on BLM/NF... ugh. Hopefully the numbers drop significantly this winter, and people have enough time in their homes to google how to dig a cathole before going back out in the spring.

Congrats on the dumpster dive! Happening to notice bread literally sticking out of a dumpster, that's basically a welcome sign from the universe.

mooretrees
Posts: 363
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

AxelHeyst wrote:
Sat Oct 03, 2020 7:07 am

The hordes of people descending on the outdoors makes me concerned about about access. Besides it being harder to find boondocking now, I'm mostly concerned that many places are going to have to either get much more sophisticated management plans (to deal with the pressure of so many people who don't yet know how to respectfully dry camp) or shut down / highly restricted. The idea of having to get a permit / reservation to boondock on BLM/NF... ugh. Hopefully the numbers drop significantly this winter, and people have enough time in their homes to google how to dig a cathole before going back out in the spring.

Congrats on the dumpster dive! Happening to notice bread literally sticking out of a dumpster, that's basically a welcome sign from the universe.

I think some of the hordes of people out and about now are truly people who wouldn't normally be out. It's just everyone's refuge right now is being outside.

DH and I have a jokey saying in our family that 'the universe provides.' It started as joke because when he was living in a group house in Portland during Occupy, some of his nice camping gear up and disappeared. He wasn't impressed with those particular Occupiers, and we made up a story that they stole his stuff and were okay with it because 'the universe provides.' Anyway, not sure it's funny over the internet.

classical_Liberal
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Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

mooretrees wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:56 pm
I think some of the hordes of people out and about now are truly people who wouldn't normally be out. It's just everyone's refuge right now is being outside.
Agreed. Plus, most of these people driving 100K+ factory Sprinter conversions aren't usually the type of people that are going to take that investment onto an "iffy" BLM/national forest road. Rather, they are the people taking selfies in front of the national park signs before they drive through the park and stop at a campground for the night.
mooretrees wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:56 pm
Anyway, not sure it's funny over the internet.
Oh, it is :lol:

mooretrees
Posts: 363
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

Got the word from my manager that the part time position is posted and is mine. She asked that I wait a month or two before taking it to make it easier to hire someone to replace me. She's been good to me, so I agreed. I think I will be for sure part time in January, if not in December. So, while that's not as soon as I'd like, we can save up some more money for the build and general savings. And then I'll be able to enjoy ski season.

Build has hit a glitch. DH was trying to weld arches for the end pieces of the raised roof and the lower roof. When he finished with both pieces, they were much shorter than they needed to be. He thought he had compensated for the contraction of the metal due to the continuous heat of welding, but he hadn't. So that's a week + of work down the tube. Now he has to rethink the next step of this. And it's raining and we have a big hole in our roof..... :oops:

We had our first fire of the year today. More to enjoy and recover from a rainy cold market day. We cut a few lodge pole pines for our shoulder season wood so we don't burn through our larch during the times we don't want a fire all day and night.

I hope to take my son and pick some elderberries for syrup tomorrow. And perhaps make my salves with the herbal oil I've got ready. I've ordered some roving to try and repair a few wool sweaters I've had for years. I'm going to try felting the new wool into the sweaters. It looks fairly easy and I've chosen colorful wool that will contrast with my sweaters. Meaning, the repairs will look very obvious, so that'll be interesting.

RoamingFrancis
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Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by RoamingFrancis »

https://lvk104.wordpress.com/2010/03/12 ... ard-abbey/

Just going to leave this here. I love the old curmudgeon, though I wonder if I'm being some sort of eco-elitist...

ffj
Posts: 2257
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by ffj »

@Roaming

I love that book, but I had forgotten how long ago it was written. I was reminded when he referenced the next generation of 250 million, :( .


Here in Kentucky there is no solitude anymore. Anywhere and everywhere you'll see and hear evidence of mankind. And the parks and wildlife areas are swamped with people. We have a beautiful area called the Red River Gorge that I haven't visited in 20 years because of the onslaught of people; they are around every turn and bend in the trails and they all feel the need for non-stop talking while hiking. No thank you.

mooretrees
Posts: 363
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

That essay was a tough read, as my recent road trip to Zion was exactly what he was so dismissive of....I don't know if there are hints of eco-elitist or not, but there truly were hordes of people at the two nat'l parks we visited. If I'd known that, I wouldn't have gone. I haven't read DS yet, but now I'll try to find it.

Had fun picking elderberries earlier with the kiddo, now he knows what elderberries and snowberries are. Baby steps. I'll make syrup tomorrow, and it seems like I'll have a lot. Maybe presents?

Also, borrowed a neat tool from an arty friend. It's a felting needle. I used it to fix some holes in a wool sweater that I have from my grandfather. He died almost twenty years ago and I've loved that sweater ever since. I haven't worn it for years as the holes were getting too big and both armpits have blown out. I've got the holes plugged with the wool from our insulation for the bus. I should be able to sew the armpits together. The sweater is a bright, quite ugly yellow which looks very wrong with my complexion and salt and pepper hair. But I love it. And now that I've learned how simple it is to fix the holes in my wool sweaters, I've got two more lined up to fix. I let vanity get the better of me and ordered some dyed wool in to fix the other sweaters. Since the fixes will be really obvious, I decided to really play it up and get bright wool to fix the holes in my black and grey sweaters.

We've been trying to get our son to do 'quiet time' every afternoon. Everyone goes into their own room and has an hour of playing/reading alone. This afternoon, I sat by the fire and fixed my sweater by myself. My son came out fairly often to check and see if quiet time was over yet (it wasn't), but I did get some rare time alone.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1995
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

Congrats on getting the job. You're semi-ERE official now.

Sorry about the bus progress getting set back.

IMO, the National Park problems can be mostly avoided if you look for secondary or tertiary areas as your primary destinations and plan to disperse camp. Most parks have BLM, grassland/forest surrounding them with crappier access, hence maybe 0.1% of the people. Like the essay, a mile away from a paved road and the crowds thin, bigtime. Plus, anyone you run into is more of "your type" of person anyway. Unfortunately, to see the big draw sites you still have to suck it up and deal with crowd's for a few hours.

mooretrees
Posts: 363
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

Thanks c_L. I really haven't visited too many nat'l parks I realized. Since getting together with DH, we've mostly camped for free in nat'l forest. I didn't grow up camping so I'm still learning. I think I've learned that I'd rather bike around than drive around. When I visited the redwoods in northern ca, we were biking, so it was a really different feeling.

I am also realizing that I don't care to travel too much outside Oregon. I've been abroad a few times, but I think the travel bug has worked its way out of me since having a kid. Maybe it'll come back some day?

Disperse camp? What's that?

classical_Liberal
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

Here's the general site for BLM. Up to 14 days of free camping. There's also national grassland and forest land for dispersed camping as well. Rules will vary a bit from place to place. Also many states have state forest land you can disperse camp on.

Try looking at a big park like Yellowstone/Grand Teton on google maps. Zoom out to all the surrounding area. The parks themselves are surrounded by various national forest lands. Those are your gold zones. Dispersed camping or primitive national forest campgrounds. I've never once camped in the actual National Parks there. Almost every NP is the same situation with various BLM, Forest or grassland around the parks.

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

Ahh, okay. We've spent a lot of time in nat'l forests, just never heard it called dispersed camping. We've just called it primitive camping.

mooretrees
Posts: 363
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

Despite having slept poorly and having a slow, low energy start to my last day off, the day ended well. I made two types of salve from my infused oil. I'll give these some time to set and see how we like them before making anymore from my other oils. We have an older friend who keeps bees and she gave me a lot of her leftover beeswax. She didn't have a use for it and was happy to off load on me. Win, win. I can see these salves being gifts, but I'll want to make sure people actually want them....

I've found an Australian family that is wildly inspiring. They're permaculture, neopeasants that have been working the past 12 years to decouple from the money economy. Since I've found them, I've been inspired to forage from forgotten apple and pear trees, pickled garlic, gathered acorns for making acorn meal, harvested rose hips for tea, and investigated humanure setups. Never heard of 'family cloth' before, that's been interesting to learn about.

Here's an intro to them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCRukvZE2Vk

@ertyu inspired me to start mending after an off-hand mention of obvious mending somewhere. I've got a beloved jeans jacket that has a giant hole in one sleeve. I've still been wearing it, I just look sorta homeless in it. I borrowed a mending book from a friend (no idea that there was such a book out there), and while there's nothing really revolutionary in it, it has been nice to see denim mending laid out step by step. I usually don't have a lot of patience for mending, but today I spent a good amount of time measuring, cutting and pining a patch on my jacket. I will fix in stages as I have free time. The patch came from a set kids jeans I found on the side of the road.

In another mending project, I've fixed two wool sweaters. Both were hand me downs from family. My black cashmere sweater had a small hole dead center in my chest that I fixed today with an attractive blue wool. Unfortunately, now it really looks weird. The blue dot is smack dab in between my breasts and really draws the eye :roll: . I'll have to add more blue dots around it to play down the weirdness. A friend suggested I add a nipple to it and call it good. The other sweater looks much better and I'll be able to wear it out of the house now. So, while I have more work to do on the black sweater, at least the hole is fixed.

I still can't seem to make myself track money consistently. It's such a large amount of energy for me to start the tracking. I even tried weighing my squash recently to see what our harvest was and then lost interest. It's a character flaw.

Our kitchen counter is covered with pears, rose hips, acorn, summer squash and a few apples. I've got a friend with an orchard ladder who is interested in doing some gleaning this week. I need to figure out storing pears and apples as I think my basement is too warm for them. Maybe the garage? Fall and winter greens are going gangbusters in the garden, though I have to ration them. I've been frying the greens with an onion, olive oil and some salt. Delicious.
Last edited by mooretrees on Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ertyu
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by ertyu »

mooretrees wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:18 pm

@ertyu inspired me to start mending
yay! enjoy jacket and sweater!

7Wannabe5
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Generally, “primitive” means no facilities beyond maybe an outhouse are available. “Dispersed” means you have to be camping X yards beyond any developed trail, waterway, designated scenic wonder etc.

It has been my experience that once you get approximately 2 miles on trail away from any parking lot, any crowds thin out considerably. If you are a female by yourself, you will maybe see one guy who is also by himself, and you just have to do the comforting statistical unlikelihood he is random psycho killer calculation in your head. Luckily, most men in such situations are also pretty good at signaling “I am not a psycho killer.” Of course, inept hunters are really a bigger risk, and there are also bears and coyotes which really aren’t a risk at all, but still might freak you out a little bit. It’s also possible that you might get lost, which did happen to one of my sisters for a couple days, and then it took hours to comb the snarls out of her hair.

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

@7w5, I feel there is more to the getting lost story that we're not getting. How does getting lost end up meaning getting snarls in her hair? I will wait patiently for your explanation.

I've never thought of myself as obsessive. Now, I'm realizing I have obsessive tendencies. I've been loving listening/watching this family who have spent the last 12+ years decoupling from the monetary economy. It's like watching a permaculture take on ERE. They are so inspiring, I'm trying to slow down my consumption of their videos so they last. I am so ready to reduce my work hours and get started on the next chapter of skill learning, foraging and child rearing! I'm going to attempt a sauerkraut and a pear/apple vinegar in the next few days.

We've got snow on the horizon and I've got all the veggie beds covered. I don't really like how they're covered as it isn't very easy to harvest. I don't know if I'll have the energy to solve that problem before it gets really cold.

I'm slowly working on my step-by-step process of what skills to learn and by extension, what areas we'll try and save money in the near future. I'm very focused on food right now, as it's quite an easy actionable place. While I've really upped my gardening skills (from basically zero), I'm now really curious about foraging. I'm making a mental map of apple, pear and plum trees in my little town that are on somewhat 'commons' areas. I've also started the conversation with two friends about doing some gardening in their yards next year. I'm not sure of our time frame for moving into the bus, and how things will shake down with having access to a garden. So, I'm laying the groundwork for helping others garden and getting some veggies in the process. As I cook the past few days, I've become acutely aware of how little we actually produce for ourselves.

I've got five pounds of acorns drying now. I've scouted a few oaks around town and will try and get some more acorns gathered this weekend. It seems problematic to air dry them during the cold season. I've always loved oaks (who doesn't?), but now it's very interesting to focus on another part of the tree than just the leaves. I've figured out that scarlet oaks (wider leaves) have much bigger acorns than another common oak, the pin oak (very deeply pinnated leaves). When I was a tree climber, we all hated the pin oak as their branches would whip you no matter how careful you were.

Now that I'm watching this permaculture family, I can see how ERE and permaculture complement each other. Systems thinking is still very unnatural for me, so I really appreciate concrete examples of people reducing their carbon/waste foot print. While I'm wild to go to part time RIGHT NOW, I'm so happy with DH and I's work over the last few years to be in the position to deliberately make less money.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6293
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Well, knowing my sister, there may have been some hallucinogenic substance in the mix.

Foraging or scavenging of any kind is fun. Processing your finds is less fun. Have you read “The Scavenger’s Manifesto?” I think you might really enjoy it.

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