I finally got to meet some family! This site made it possible, so thank you for that. r.dub was kind enough to pick me up for a trip out to Arkansas to meet up with Alicat and some others working hard on their farm. I been back home for about a week now and it's about time I posted about my experience there.
r.dub pulled into my driveway, I was packed and waiting to go. I got to meet my first brother, I highly doubt I could have met one nicer than r.dub. We headed out west down the highway and got to chatting, we had 10 or 11 hours to cover so plenty of time to chat. It was a great trip there, time really flew by. We stopped to grab some food and had a couple gas stops, even hit a walmart in Arkansas to pick up a few things for the roundhouse crew. We made good time and really had not much traffic to deal with, I helped to navigate with the printed out directions r.dub had and we did real good till night fell and we were looking for the last road on our list, we past it and had to turn about looking for it but we made it to our first stop without too much trouble.
Our first stop was at a trailer of an older gentleman that owned the land, Day. He was a real treat to meet, quite a guy. We really were eager to get down to the roundhouse but night was here and the way there was down a long rocky dirt round and it was advised to wait till morning. We hung out and chatted for a bit with Day and his guests, Amazon, Arron and Amazon's boy William. We then grabbed our sleeping bags and got some rest for the trip out to the roundhouse the next day.
Waking up fairly early me and r.dub headed into town to fill up on gas before we headed out and everyone was still asleep anyway. We got back and the 3 dogs were out so we knew someone was up, the dogs met us out on the road and had fun running about the car not letting us pull into the driveway for a few minutes. We went back in and gathered a few things up and then headed out to the roundhouse. We followed Day and eventually made it a long dirt and gravel road leading us deep into the woods. r.dub had to park his car at a neighbors not far from the roundhouse, we were advised the next part of the road required 4 wheel drive to navigate. So we loaded our stuff into Day's jeep and rode the last mile down with him. Pulling up we were met by Stoner, he barked and wagged his tail following us as we pulled down the drive. Right about as we parked Stoner jumped right into the jeep through Day's window and hopped around checking us all out. It was pretty funny.
Finally there we got to meet the roundhouse crew, Ali, Rabbit and Steve-O. Good people one and all. We dropped off a few things and I helped Rabbit unload some big air tanks from the second story of the barn so Day could take them back with him. They ended up making another town run so I hung out with Rabbit as the others left. Did my first bit of wood gathering as Rabbit did some dishes. Steve r.dub and Ali made it back as it was getting dark. We had our first wood burning stove meal prepared for us by chef Steve-O. Steve did the vast majority of cooking while I was there. I was pleasantly surprised by all the meals and food there and how much was available without a refrigerator.
So the next few days was all about gathering wood, pumping water and helping out here and there. Rabbit was the one doing the building and repairing there and I found myself helping him quite often. We built walls and doors, chainsawed and split wood, pulled down some big dead branches from the tree's surrounding the roundhouse and more. The cellar of the round house had a underground stream running right out of some rock and constantly trickling out for our drinking pleasure. This water was caught in a big holding area and was pumped right up to the kitchen sink. I did a lot of water pumping needless to say! They also had a small creek you could see right from the house, you always heard water flowing around there, very peaceful. I opted to jump in the creek instead of heat water for the bathtub, the creek was still cold but a couple of hot days made it very refreshing.
I had only planned to stay a long weekend there, but r.dub was going back to Ohio and taking Alicat along with him and coming back in a week so I just decided to stay there another week and help out. Help myself out too, the work there was really whipping me into shape and the clean water was really refreshing from the city water I was used too. The day we were to leave I really had quite and experience as well, one of those magical moments in life where everything seemed to click like it was just right, the people, the animals and the place. It didnt last long but for a moment I was almost in another world. That certainly influenced me to stay the extra week, and I knew r.dub would not leave me hanging out there and would come back.
I stayed on and helped out some more, watering some of the garden area, doing dishes, gathering wood, pumping water and helping out Rabbit with whatever his next project was. In between times having good conversation, listening to Steve play the banjo or guitar and singing or Ali playing the guitar and singing when she was there. All of the roundhouse folks knew how to play some guitar. Evening hours were spent doing some reading by lantern before retiring. Always something to do or something needing to be done. Little things and big things. Keeping Thelma, the goat, out of the garden, keeping and eye on the dogs Otis and Stoner. It really was a great trip for me and a positive reinforcement of the lifestyle I want to live in the future. Clean water, clean air, hard work and good people it was awesome and I look forward to my next trip out there. I even got some things I needed out there, traded my big tent for a smaller one, found me a sleeping bag and pad, the trip just seemed meant to be for me.
The only bad thing was the ticks, I ended up shaving my beard off cause I thought I had one in there! hehe There were not that bad I guess, pulled a handful off you everyday and knew to do a tick check before bed at night. I could go on and on but this is a blog not a book so let me just say a big thanks to everyone involved in making this trip work out for me. Thank you brothers! Thanks you Sisters! Much love! I needed that, and now I need more!
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