Thursday, July 24, 2014

7/24 Greetings from MN's largest Candy Story...and on to Iowa

Barb's picture of me at Minnesota's largest candy store

What a day we had yesterday! I'll organize and label the photos I took yesterday as soon as I get a minute...sitting in bed typing this...we had lunch with Maureen Carlson, who doll and polymer clay and story afficianados will know...the last picture of yesterday was a staff she is creating...she loves to tell stories and ask questions...wise women all around.

I insisted on stopping at Minnesota's largest candy store, that you see in the background...I swear I just took pictures...I was holding Barb's purchases and beaming. Hundreds of varieties of licorice, soda, bacon floss and bacon soda with chocolate, too.

Dawn Marie lives in a 1908 house in a small town, and has decorated every surface...she has a living showcase for her clients, and is traveling to Sarasota this winter to do a consultation...good deal for a Minnesotan!

I got to meet Barb's son, Chris, a tall computer art guy with black spikey hair and glasses...should have taken his picture, and Bill's friend, Mike, as they were doing a raku firing in the basement or out back...the garden is a delight, the basement holds Barb and Bill's studios. Both Mike and Bill are story tellers, too...aren't we all? Mike is working with teaching troubled youth urban gardening, and has come up with ways to change the way we grow food...Inspiring to hear his passion.

Driving through the middle of this country makes all more obvious how important food and energy and corporations versus people, and how the key to the future of all of us lies here and NOW.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Day 6 Continued...Lots of ART

Dawn Marie's marvelous kitchen

Dawn Marie's Kitchen

Day 6, Enjoying Friends

Bathroom at Space Aliens Grill and Bar...a Real Roadside Attraction

Day 6, a very pleasant morning in Crystal, MN. Bill made us blueberry buckwheat pancakes and bacon and watermelon. Barb and I are going to Maureen Carlson's retreat center, then some friends are coming over tonight...Lots of talking to make up for not seeing each other in person for 6 or 7 years...All her dolls and books and everything!

The posting is getting away from me...but better to be Experiencing. I was able to get up slowly yesterday in Fargo and listening to a James Taylor compilation that Annie or my brother, Steve made for me, perfect traveling music...the journey is the destination. Watching the country get greener and more treed. 

The issue of energy is big in the Midwest...huge power poles going up and signs in the rest area about not impeding traffic to gawk.

Barb and I stayed up late talking...the art versus need for making money dicotomy...her husband is an artist as well. The multiplicity of ideas. I thought of taking a series of landscape photos out my car window and then using Illustrator to have them melt into each other. In some ways it would be easier to do this with another person to drive, but I am being Very Safe, I promise.

A rest area with windmills in the distance...was this Eastern WA? MT?

I have my return trip scheduled with more stops, and I May get my documentation more  organized...Dang! this elderly much slips, slips away, but I do remember greenery, music, wanting to multidimensional art work when I get home...learn computer tricks...some way to express visually what music can...

Space Aliens Ceiling...I need to get more patient about taking pictures in focus

Green rest area in MN 7/22

I choose Experience over recording...but I'll try to fit in more recording, too.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The journey is the destination, Day 4, Dark night of the spirit, better on Day 5

From Fargo, ND: Mixed blessings...I kept driving toward the light and missed the heavy thunder storms with golf-ball-sized hail...though I hear thunder now...The difficult thing was that my windshield sustained a silver-dollar sized craze from a rock in Bismark...I need to contact Ray Gruver.

I am still happy to be seeing the country side change from my beloved Honda Fit...So pretty and clean when I left and somewhat battered now...all will be well. It's nice to be in a comfortable motel, cheaper and cushier than last night in Wolf Point...except the WiFi doesn't work consistently....all stuff. I may unplug to avoid any back flash. Finish in the am.

Day 5, Sleep helps

Sleeping well from 9:30pm to 6:30am EDT really helped my attitude, plus the green tea and homemade oatmeal cookies I brought, Plus support from my two Davids, one in WA and the other in VT...and the fact that the tornadoes and golf-ball-sized hail went west and south...sorry folks, I do feel for your pain...watched pictures on the weather channel last night...such awful life-changing things can happen in an instant. All I have to worry about is a silver-dollar-sized craze in the passenger side of the windshield, and I've already sent an email to Ray Gruver in Port Angeles, and David H has sent me contact information for the Honda dealer in Cedar Falls, near where we'll be staying for Mom's 90th birthday party.

Oh, if only my mind were a movie camera! The subtle changes traveling across the northern part of Montana and down through the middle of North Dakota, aiming for the light spots in the sky. I remember the heavy layer of dark clouds that could slowly gather and turn into points, giving birth to tornadoes.

Montana, scrubby hills in the distance

Montana, scrubby hills start to rise

North Dakota, giant windmills

I was delighted to latch onto North Dakota Public is a huge issue least to Public Radio listeners. Through Montana and North Dakota I saw trains of tank cars and peradactyle pumps working next to holding tanks. Also the HUGE magestic windmills stretching far across the rolling landscape. I saw a truck, with a bed as long as three or four regular trucks, carrying one of the three blades for a windmill.

Green cropland in ND, we need the food they can grow
 Sad towns with gravel streets and no trees, prefab towns, thrown up to house workers for the oil industry, abandoned farms with broken windows...people need work. What is right? How about sharing more of the profits with the workers whose lives are being affected?

Fascinating to watch the landscape shift slowly mountains,  creases, lumps, flat. Wonder about the people who live there, spending all summer under the sun without shade...satellite dishes...I don't want to stereotype. The grizzled guys at the truck stop in Washington's mountains, talking about the devastation the forest fires were wrecking. 

When I used to just visit WA for vacation, the plane would fly in over miles of burning forests, and we are not even in the season yet.

Osaka Sushi & Hibachi dragon overlooks a tangle of highway interchanges in Fargo

Funny to eat fresh sushi in the middle of the country, but it tasted good after eating out of my cooler all day. Will I find the Space Alien Bar and Grill in Fargo? I saw one in Bismark, but was in the middle of 6 lanes of traffic, just before I got on I 94 and got hit by the rock.

I did see the World's Largest Buffalo in Jamestown, ND, but only from the car as I raced the storm. The Lewis and Clark explanation center is growing crops typical of the era...and promoting using Heirloom seeds--good cause against too much homogenaity. I posted that picture on Facebook..of the statues...I'm sure there are LOTS of stories about what happened much of what looks like open land, but a radio program on trying to recover some acres of farmland from a lake that flooded...Are we thinking long term?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Day 4, Good Morning from Wolf Point, MT

I'm a little disoriented in time and space, a little tired...the blog and the travel journal may be a bit much to keep up with. Today I'll be driving a few hours less...heading for Fargo, ND, and another time zone change...time being an artificial construction, anyway. I'm eating some of June and Mike's cherries and my oatmeal cookies for breakfast, time to round up my scattered art supplies and hit the road.

The nice lady at the WOW food cart in Spokane

I keep learning new things about all my electronic equipment in the process of Stretching what I do with it. This is the first day when I won't be seeing someone I know along the way. Tomorrow I'll be getting to Crystal, MN, and Barb to sit and play here, but I'd best get on the road...more from Fargo.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Day three

The Gumbies on the ferry Friday. They're been all over the world with me

Mountain time today. 649 miles from Hope, ID, through mountains with lovely lakes, Glacier National Park, rain, softening landscape in MT. Farming in valleys sheltered by mountains, to wheat plains, to dry bumpy mounds with scrub grass. The houses are tucked into folds in the hills, some folds have groups of horses.

Eastern with smoke from the forest fires...I could smell it yesterday in ID. My shiny car is no longer clean

Found a cool truck in Spokane, selling all kinds of home made food...I finished the recommended Mac and Cheese with bacon for dinner tonight. After having to take I90 on Saturday (only yesterday) to avoid the forest fires in WA, I took SR 2 through Spokane and along that amazing glacial lake. No highways today, although the speed limit on 2 is 70...potentially scary, especially through all the construction.

My car survived the night, parked in front of June's house...the dog treed a quite large bear in back of the house before dinner

Little towns in the middle of plains of wheat in MT...baked by sun, and probably buried in winter snow...only gravel roads and a couple of grain elevators...long tanker trains of oil and coal tank cars silhouetted against the horizon. Not too many people to complain about possible many places I've driven: road, RR tracks, water on one side, hills on the other. I could not live so far from an edge, but there are whole lives and dramas occurring out here in the middle of the country.

June and Mike's pretty house in the woods above Hope, ID. I've been eating cherries from their trees today

I'm thinking about art work in the subtle colors of the fields, the light edge of a field against the of my iconic images...layers, textures...It's hard to capture the ever-changing images...I tear pictures out of travel brochures...the large round bales repeated over miles of Eastern WA, it's large boxy bales stacked under white plastic quonset hut things. Even my projected 37 days is not enough to take it all in.

North Central MT looks something like Iowa, something like Eastern, WA   
The patterns repeat, with variations. I'm glad I decided to do this...especially avoiding the thruways as much as possible. Seeing all this USof A gives me a more sound sense of where I am in the world...happy to be living between my Mountains and salt water, in the cool blue north...

I read about this in one of my books...on Route 2 before Wolf Point...I've seen LOTS of other stuff, too

9:37pm Mountain Time...time to sleep and get up early and drive to Fargo. I saw a series of hills sporting a wide variety of animals (fiberglass?) We do like, we weird ones, Roadside Attractions...keep the public on their toes.

Day 3, Good Morning from Hope, Idaho

The sky is getting lighter, but overcast and smelling slightly smokey. A distant train, a rooster, birds, wind rustling through evergreens and fruit trees. Looks like my car survived the bears. A lot of miles across northern MT with you later.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Day 2

This one's gonna be short. I got across WA...long way, interesting varieties in landscape, smoke, but escaped the fires. Many mistaken and duplicate photos and videos...I'm learning. I didn't do any pictures here in Hope, ID, yet. the dog treed a bear...gorgeous lake. Tired and a long drive tomorrow across northern MT.

Great Mac, Cheese, Bacon lunch from food cart in Spokane... documenting and experiencing can be mutually exclusive.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Day 1, July 18, 2014

Kale in pots on my back deck

Cut Kale for breakfast eggs, along with Jalapeno cheddar scone from Pain D'Amore, fresh raspberries, guac from last night...and Tom Robbins book.

Delicious breakfast at home this morning

I've been planning and preparing for this trip since the beginning of the year...I hope I have everything...added a third pair of black jeans and a black linen top at the last minute. Both my Davids called.

My 2011 Honda Fit on the ferry...good ferry waiting

Aside from the worry about routes 2 and 90 being closed because of forest fires, the trip is running smoothly today.

The Gumby Guardians...Tim made the shirt. They have been to Israel and Paris

Relief Map on the Ferry

If you look very closely, you'll see Port Angeles, 23 miles across the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Victoria, BC. I'll be coming home up the Pacific Coast from the mouth of the Columbia River on 8/24/14...37 days from now, so Stay Tuned!

We were expecting the first leg of the trip to take much longer with summer traffic, but many of the cars were headed to the Lavender Festival on the Peninsula. David was getting his mail just as i pulled in, around 3pm and I've been working in his 3rd floor studio with him.

Stay tuned for Battling Forest Fires tomorrow as I head for Hope, Idaho...wish me luck!


Life Keeps Happening, Even When I'm Otherwise Engaged 7/14-7/17/14

I was planning to start blogging Monday, but we all know what happens to plans.
Taking photo of front yard rocks with my of the few days when I wear shorts

Tuesday I got an email saying that my sister-in-law is in Arkansas instead of Seattle, taking care of her brother, who had a series of strokes, and her mother, who needs help…Amal and Doug may have permanent company living with them in Seattle. Doug and the kids are still coming to Mom's party...if Thayer can get back to the States from Israel without difficulty.

A new piece of three for the Fiber Arts Festival

A reminder of the Fiber Arts Festival in Sequim, WA, and entries due 9/9/14, the week after I get home…good thing I started a new piece Monday…need that and 2 more, which I started Wednesday afternoon…switching my trip sewing project. It was GOOD to have some Art to think about, instead of travel.

Close up of new piece

Tom Robbins, TIBETAN TANGERINE PIE...I had my name on a waiting list and it came just before I was leaving, but I read the first 2/3. I like memoirs from writers. Reminder of Wabi-Sabi, the imperfection that is a part of life...good to remember as I travel. "The journey is the destination," Dan Eldon.

Show at Oven Spoonful: I wasn't sure if it would happen, but it is...I have enough portraits completed to be ready to hang the last day of August...will be a busy week when I get home 8/24/14.

The rhubarb plants have grown and nicely mulched with stones...too bad it's a major route for deer

Sierra and David delivered the gusset video,  Go to U Tube and Search: Pamela Hastings Gussets
3:38pm WoW! Processing. Setting up 2 new pieces in addition to the one I’m taking with me, along with consulting with Mom about her Insurance. Turning the sewing project I was going to bring with me into a different book.

 THIS IS A consolidation and planning trip…obvious from the last three days. Mike and Katie and Kim came over for dinner last night, using up food and orienting Mike and Katie...Kim will be on the road east soon, too, moving more seriously to DC, but we'll all get together again later, and Mike and Katie will enjoy being at my house.

Mike and Katie's rock from AZ in center of my infinity sign