Friday, May 28, 2010

leg one


Last Monday morning I received an e-mail invitation from my sweetheart for a visit in Yosemite. My weekend has been spent struggling with the dense population, overly paved public spaces, and the tininess that is my home. The decision to go was simple, the tactics for getting out of work were reasonable, and the transportation would soon present itself.

I was lucky enough to connect with a fellow “city lover going to visit her country lover for the weekend,” to travel with. We made the adventure together on Thursday morning. Each stop made along the way was delicious, mysterious, and reassuring that the world had our back. Stop one, gas station, central valley, CA. I snuck into the bathroom and on my way back found a large black truck, tires taller than most of my students, blasting fox news. I offered the stout man of color a strawberry. He, sensing our contrasting appearances, began explaining how he listens to fox in addition to many other liberal radio stations. He began explaining his dislike of larger corporations, blaming them for all of the unjust in certain political situations. Even though this man and I were living very different lives, I felt very communally human in the experience.

Next stop was a cherry stand. We paused for a minute to pick up a few more rations. The woman selling us our fair was so friendly and offered us delicious, spray free, pre washed cherries. She made friendly conversation and told us to come back and get some cherries for our mothers on way back. Needless to say, I picked up three baskets on the way back.

Our third stop was in Oakhurt, the last town before Wawona, where our lovers were co-leading English emersion courses for 12 students from the area. We found ourselves at a small gas station, with a friendly man who graciously shared his filtered water.

We met our country lovers at work and enjoyed a tasty lunch on the porch of the hub of education programs within the park. I was lucky enough to borrow a bike for a exploratory adventure. It was delightful to wander the open spaces. I was able to leave the bike unlocked to sit on a large rock next to a rushing river. Later, the crew would reunite to jump in the same river. The next day I climbed to the top of the river to see some snow holding out for waiting for warmer weather.

Long dinners, simple cabins in the woods, Yosemite adventures, drastic views, wonderful company, backyard music festivals, and a safe ride home (acquired at the music festival) made for a wonderful start of my summer adventure. Thanks to everyone who helped made it possible.

blogging is the new journal

As I sit in my isle seat, zone 4, of the airplane that will take me clear across the country and then to the “middle,” I gaze at my desktop as I wait for word to open. My desktop is littered with an assortment of photos that have recently come into circulation. A diverse collection of memories from past adventures, silly college photos, and an array of bicycle shots that accompanied a recent blog feature I did on women who bike. Perhaps I will include some of these random photos with this next blog posting. The feelings that are stirred up through these visuals are unique beyond words.

I have begun my decent into the warm pool on a cool summer day. Instead of my usual behavior of jumping in and catching my breath later, this time I creep in. In my dedication to seasonal employment, keeping the school schedule alive, I find myself on the cusp of completion and reflection. What have I completed? I am so glad you asked. This year I started my own business, shared committed and communicative relationships, and worked with the YBike program to get kids riding bikes safely in the streets of San Francisco. I did really cool work this year. But I can’t ignore what happened last summer. I found freedom, self-reliance, and a spark for more. I find myself back here again. I am on the edge of adventure, departing from paradise to pursue such great unknown.

All spring I found myself restless from the unrelenting winter. I took on a lot of responsibility, risk, and stress this year. Stress, which I am morally against, took a nibble on my soul. If it’s not fun, why do it? Can you have responsibility and risk without it? I started asking big questions, but instead of answering them, I daydreamed. I daydreamed about the ways I want to live simply, on my bicycle, within nature, and in peace. I also dreamed of ways I can live within the densely populated environment and still hold onto my values of natural space, simplicity, and spontaneity. The goals of this summer adventure are based on that curiosity. I will fulfill my daydreams through action. A number of things could come from this. I may dissolve the illusion of daydreams by living them. I may change my city behavior based on what is learned and loved in this adventure. I may decide to continue more fully towards this daydream. Perhaps, and more likely, something completely out of the ordinary and unexpected will happen. The world may never know, but soon I will.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I'm back

I just had my planning meeting with my bestie who is joining me for a few weeks of my summer journey. I am counting down the days until I am done working. I am buying and building all the infrastructure for my bike. I am talking to friends who have been here, seen that, or know this. I am getting all googly eyed over google maps. I am getting ready!

I believe in seasonal employment. And the season for employment is up. I've worked my ass of this year, working 2-5 jobs, starting my own business, biking all over town, DIYing, trading, and saving to go on this journey. It is time. The first leg of the rest of the journey of the rest of my life.

July 1st sub-letter moves in (thanks seth!) and Rose hits the road with bike, mandolin, and one pair of pants. The route will take me by van-again and truck to two festival, High Sierra (see you there!) and Oregon Country Fair. From there I will have one week to meet Rachel in Vancouver where we will travel for 3 weeks, north, west, south, south, and east, to Seattle via the gulf islands. The rest of August will be spent at Camp Ten Trees and around Seattle.

I have no clue what this journey will bring me. Last summer brought me solo camping and Apothocurious.

I spend a lot of time day dreaming, and I am finally following out those dreams. I dream about living off my bicycle. I dream of cooking food. I dream of meeting strangers and trading stories, tables, and hugs with them. I dream of freedom. This is one step closer to finding it. I dream of writing again. Here we go!

The Latest

Hello ApothoCustomers!

I hope this e-mail finds you well. After April reflections and system modifications (fancy words for taking a frickin’ break) I have decided that next step to being a culinary adventure is to go on a culinary adventure! June, July and August will be full of bicycle travels, northwestern adventures, and new personal challenges. I will continue to learn about food production, ethics and cooking! In September, when the hibernation winds start blowing I will probably (unless this biking around the world dream just takes me away) put my roots back into the SF ground. Apothocurious has had so many successful experiences this year that I am excited to see what direction it takes next!

The future:
If Apothocurious is going to go on it needs a big kitchen, a business plan, and maybe even a business partner. The last two are already in process, but I need your help on this kitchen dream. I am putting out my feelers for a big (low-to-zero cost) kitchen (preferable in the NOPA area) with lots of fridge space. Ideally this is not in a personal home, though details can be worked out. Maybe even on with sweet equipment!
You are probably wondering what you should do with those fun jars you are juggling. Well you can either A. consider your deposit a donation/investment for the future to Apothocurious or B. Request either your second set of jars or deposit to be delivered to your door. E mail for more details!

This year:
Apothocurious delivered Hummus, Salad, Salsa and Pesto biweekly to over 30 customers. We hosted a Sidewalk Brunch feeding over 100 folks. Throughout the year we took on a variety of specialty customers, personal dinners, raw foods, and catering events. We even had a wonderful intern help us for 5 months. I declare this dream a success.
With the help of supportive customers like you, Apothocurious was able to make a $200 donation to two local women’s shelters in SF. We even got the money matched, totaling $400! The donation was made in honor of all of the wonderful volunteers, customers, and supporters of Apothocurious. We couldn’t have done it with out you, and we wouldn’t have wanted to.

In closing, thank you to everyone who helped make this dream come true. I am infinitely grateful. Stay tuned for updates from the journey!

a million thank yous,
Are you Apothocurious?
434 825 2890