And we’re off!
After what seemed like endless days of stress, problems and a severe lack of time with my family, I finally pulled out of Santa Cruz on April 30 for the road ahead. Actually, we spent two nights sleeping in the Airstream in our driveway before leaving town. The first night was not the best.
The mattresses we ordered from Earthsake were too wide for our narrow trailer. So instead of two side-by-side twin beds, Deirdre and I had to sleep together on just one twin bed. After a long and stressful day, it wasn’t nearly as romantic as it sounds. As for the kids, they slept on the couch. It converts into a bed, but the legs that prop it up aren’t connected properly either. You have to insert them into place. If you move too much they fall down and so does the bed. And that’s what happened at about 10pm, sending the kids to the ground. Much crying and parental anguish ensued.
That first night the full weight of what we were setting out to do (spending four months traveling around the country to meet food rebels while living in an Airstream) descended upon me. Was I up for this? Well, too late now.
The next night was slightly better because we swapped beds. Deirdre and I took extra care not to collapse the bed but we still need a permanent fix.
Saturday was our last day in Santa Cruz. We had planned a party with friends at Costanoa at 2pm, a plan that sounded like a good idea a few weeks ago but when 1pm came around and we were still frantically packing the truck and trailer and cleaning out the refrigerator in our old house, it became clear that moving out of one house and into a trailer while also hosting a party the same day wasn’t such a good idea. But with the critical help of friends Stephanie and Jesse we pulled out by 2pm.
The party was great, about 30 friends showed up to see us off. I just about had a breakdown when the park manager told me we weren’t supposed to have such a large gathering even though Deirdre called ahead and got clearance. It all worked out in the end.
Sunday night was our big send off dinner at Bonny Doon Vineyard. Hans Haveman of H&H Fish provided the delicious Puget Sound oysters and black cod while Joe Morris of Morris Grassfed brought some fantastic beef short ribs. Cynthia Sandberg of Love Apple Farmprovided the produce. My favorite was the rat-tail radish.
It was a true farm-(and sea) to-table meal. The dinner was a coming out party of sorts to the media and a soft fundraising effort but really it was a chance to thank all the Santa Cruz peeps who helped us get on the road. The RV Service Center of Santa Cruz tops my list. Rena, Mike and John went out of their way to help make our 45-year-old Airstream, safe and comfortable and bent over backwards to work with a cash poor operation like us. Scarlett Reed of Saffron and Genevieve and Lydia Corser of Greenspace went way out of their way to help us remodel the interior of the trailer too. Special thanks go out to the multi-talented Matt Farrar who installed some beautiful, artwork covered cabinets, created the Bonny Doon dinner invite and work on countless other tasks to help get us on our way. And a very special thanks to Rabobank for helping to sponsor the dinner. Bank executives Marco and Gianluca have became real friends of Food Forward. Thank you all.
Monday was a day to wrap up final errands, fix our sink, repack the truck and finally get out of town and head to the first stop on our cross-country tour: Pie Ranchin Pescadero. As I sit here in the room of a 150-year-old house typing, I look out the window into a jungle of wild roses, stinging nettle and wildflowers. I’m finally starting to exhale, leaving the stress of moving and packing behind and actually able to start enjoy this journey my family and I have begun. I can breathe again.
More on the Pie Ranch and our excellent hosts Jered and Nancy in my next post.