Sunday, August 17, 2008

Cycle hard, cycle long...

Ah, Sunday mornings in Waterbury, Vermont, one of the 3.5 places in this state where you can actually get cell phone reception. Laying under a tree in dappled mid-morning sun with my cell phone glued to my ear, dad mentioned that he and Murray went on a 40 mile bike ride yesterday. No kidding--so did I! How beautiful to know that all three of us were rolling through this precious world via our own power atop two spinning wheels.

Let me tell you, folks, if you haven't hopped on a bike recently, you should get your rear on a seat and experience the enlightenment that only two pedals brings. Yesterday, I went on a gorgeous ride through some of the Green Mountains near Yestermorrow. This ride had everything--great conversation, sweat, threatening thunder, grinding 5 mph uphills that give you time to ponder life, and tension-ridden adrenaline-pumping gravel downhills that shake a new vitality and resolution into your soul.

Two of my dreams someday are to live without a car, relying solely on my bike, and to be a bike messenger in a city. I'm almost positive that the latter won't ever happen due to my abhorrent sense of direction. I'm still holding out hope for the first, though. In the meantime, I ride where and when I can, and get wicked excited about folks involved in projects like those pictured above (a friend's boyfriend created this vehicle in Minneapolis) and below (I was bout ready to leave this internship and move to Northhampton when I met a gal who rides for this trash-pickup outfit).

So friends, I say it again: Cycle hard, cycle long...cycle in silence, cycle in song. Cycle through fields and by cows, cycle today--cycle now!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

For Your Viewing Pleasure...

Sadly, last the Natural Building Intensive Program at Yestermorrow came to a close last week. I spent several weeks of class and intern time with these six amazing folks and their teacher as they built the timberframe, natural walled barn that I wrote about earlier. Some of the day to day work and silliness is captured in this YouTube video entitled "Yestermorrow: Behind the Scenes".

In case you're wondering what each scene is depicting, I'll give a brief rundown: Yestercheer, sawing up trees with the Peterson portable mill (go here for another great video of Richard, our sawyer, and the Peterson), our instructor Deva gets jiggy, measuring and recutting strawbales, mixing plaster in the wheelbarrow, fun with the compressed air sprayer, "a day in the life of a natural builder", Natan finds a way to stay engaged during a lecture, blowing in cellulose insulation (made from old newspaper), demonstrating cellulose's fire resistance, hail storm, fooling around with the video rear view mirror. Special Erin appearances happen at 1:30 and 2:44. Enjoy!