Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Joy to the world, all the boys and girls, joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea, joy to you and me

It's been a week and a half since I left the working world.  We spent the first weekend visiting some friends of Matthew in Pittsburgh.  He went to CMU (he's a little smart) and they have Carnival yearly.  It's a weekend that a lot of CMU alum return to enjoy the festivities and catch up.  I got to meet a few of his college friends, they were all really nice.  He did a lot of walking around campus and to various get together's.  I took advantage of the location and went to Five points bakery.  It's a place I went with a friend while she was living in Pittsburgh.  They have divine pastries if you are ever in the area.  One of the highlights of the weekend was watching the buggy races.  They stick very petite woman into a buggy and race around a track.  It can be dangerous for the driver and there was one accident with a girl that went off the track, into the grass and landed on her side.  Don't worry, she was not harmed.  We stayed with a friend named Marjorie, her husband Justin and one of the coolest kids I've ever met named Zoe, a 6 year old pistol and future astronaut... or whatever she wants to be.  I also met one of Matthews best friends, a very tall viking looking guy names Ivan.  He is one of the tallest people I have ever met, while his wife,Lindsey, was shorter than me.  They were a very adorable couple and have a baby on the way.  They live in Wisconsin and are the main reason we went to CMU.  They are a lovely couple I hope to visit on our travels.

We stopped in Damascus, VA to break up the trip from Pittsburgh, PA to Lafayette, GA.  We found a pizza place and were the only customers with a very chatty server.  She was a nice girl and we took the opportunity to ask if she knew a good place we could sleep in our car without getting in trouble.  She directed us to a road with free camping sites!  We were near Callebs cove campground off of Whitaker Hollow Road.  Not only was the camping free but we had a view of a river.  Oh, I should let you know the photos for this post will be scarce.  I took hardly any, sorry I was busy living in the moment and not thinking about capturing it.  I'll try working on that a little for future posts.  I do have some random ones from our trip from Damascus to Lafayette, GA.  Here are two of Matthew and one of a globe in Knoxville, TN.  We stopped there to get groceries and a guy asked us to return his mobile cart inside.  We hadn't thought of that fact that someone who has trouble walking would need to get there things to the car then return the mobile cart and get back to the car... Not a perfect system.  It did make for a fun photo of him!

 He's a cutie!
World's Fair Park Knoxville, TN

We arrived in Lafayette, GA for the Rivercane Rendezvous on April 18th.  If you are curious here's a link to there site  We parked the truck in a field and wandered around to say hello to whomever we came across. Actually for a photo of the truck Matthew has it on his blog  

The days were spent waking to people playing the flute to welcome the sun (Matthew included)
Then going to breakfast, which was included, and chatting with people.  Then we all meet for morning circle around a fire that stayed burning the entire week.  Morning circle included announcements and classes.  There was a board with the next days classes but there was often something announced that didn't make it to the board on time.  You then had about 10-15 min to get to class.   There was a bell that announced lunch break, not included, so we'd meet at the truck and chat.  Then afternoon classes, about an hour break with an activity of some kind if you wanted to participate but optional.  Next dinner around 630-7pm.  The evenings always held some kind of entertainment around the fire, then off to sleep or meet up with others around there fires to socialize.  The days varied in how much involved we were with activities but that's the basic schedule of the days.  My first time being here I thought I'd keep my classes simple.  My first one was a cordage class, I learned what materials I could use and how to make rope!  
Dogbane to rope
I make this from a branch... seriously.  I took a stick and made rope by hand!  It was a really cool class.  Other than that I spent most of the week doing plant walks.  There are a lot of plants to learn and I figured the more exposure the more I'd pick up and learn.  Some walks were tree focused, some herb focused, and I did one collecting edible plants for a salad.  I also did an awareness walk to improve your awareness of your environment and it included games to improve recall.  I also did a bowdrill class to start a fire. For those that may not know that is a way to create fire using friction of wood, it requires 4 components so handdrill is easier to get parts for.  I met a ton of amazing people and could probably write a book about the week and all that happened.  It was a lot of fun, I have so much to learn and got really excited while there.  It was great to see Matthew in that environment too, he was like a kid in a candy shop.  
Site Map of Rivercane Rendezvous 

We drove back to Waynesboro 2 days ago.  We had to clean up the apartment and drop off the keys.  We also have a few things that went on a trailer to tow up to Massachusetts.  We spent 1.5 days doing that, now we are officially residents of the outdoors.  After I post this we are heading back out to the woods for 2 days then visiting some friends of mine in Camp Hill, PA.  After that... ?  We initially planned to keep heading north but lately there have been talks of hanging around VA/West VA area to camp and rock climb before completely leaving the area.  We'll see where the wind blows.