December 21st, 2014: Happy winter solstice. Our newest creation, the Bama Besom.
November 13th, 2014:
Here we are in Alabama, there was pretty much nothing exciting happening to comment on haha. Just getting back on track with yoga, meditation, mixing the album etc.
November 12th, 2014:
We drove the remainder of the Blue Ridge Parkway and ended up in the Cherokee Reservation. We checked out some shops and bought some stuff from a white lady working at a Native store? We got ourselves a horse dick sized sage bundle. It was only $8! We kept driving until we reached Jada's Mom's in Alabama.
Stopped at mabry mill, crossed into North Carolina and stayed at another overlook
We are hiiiiigh
Drove a little more, parked on a highway overlook on the blue ridge parkway for the night, I think we were about 5000 feet up at this point. I don't know if it was the altitude, all the driving, the weed, or all 3, but standing on the overlook, it looked like we were on shrooms :)
Driving through the mountains and scenic byways, I start realizing the beauty and majesty of our country that is entirely missed if you drive through cities and main highways. Crossed through West Virginia, and Virginia
Entered skyline drive which normally costs $8 but was free for veterans day weekend. Approaching big meadow campground we see all kinds of deer on the side of the road and then we see a few baby bears on the side of the road. We passed big meadow which is exactly what it says but it's gorgeous. We go past it because you have to pay $17 to park, but as we were deciding, we turn around to go back and see another bear 10-20ft up in a tree on the side of the road. We get back to the campsite and explore big meadow. There are deer everywhere and let you get within a few feet of them. We got high with a small pack of 3. They must be growing catnip in that meadow because as soon as we got back in the trailer the cats were going apeshit acting like they were on catnip hugging and attacking my boots.
Eh...the placed reeked of patriotism and any supernatural activity I think was dormant from all the tourism.
We leave vermont heading for Alabama and get all the way down to Hershey, PA. Slept at a rest stop for the night. We went to visit Centralia which is most likely the inspiration for the Silent Hill Movie. It's an abandoned town with underground cole fires still burning and will continue to do so for many years. Fucking badass.
Fuck it is cold
At this point, it's not even getting into the 30's in the middle of the day, it's snowing and we're thinking about heading down south to take care of some family business and get the fuck out of this cold. Our trailer is entirely uninsulated. It's interesting watching ice forming all over the walls. We saw something unexplainable in the sky. It was a light that was changing colors, twinkling a bit, and defying all laws of physics. Travelling great distances in an instance. Maybe it had something to do with ice in the atmosphere or some shit. Couldn't tell ya.
For Samhain, we are back up to Vermont at the camp site. Perfect.
We head back down to Southern New Hampshire to stay with Nana for a few days and go to our family halloween party. That shit was fucking SERIOUS. It's not uncommon to leave their parties(the next day) with a face sore from laughing. My family is wilder than you and all your friends I guarantee it. Crazy fucks.
So it's already snowing, not much but it is the first time Jada has ever seen it and is again "pissing glitter," as she says.
The urbanization of Somerset campground;
The "griswalds" show up. There are multiple camp sites full of maybe 10 people each being obnoxious in just about every way imaginable. They are all talking so loud we can hear them 100 yards away, they run generators pretty much day and night, they are up all night partying being loud, and then also up first thing in the morning letting their kids roam around the sites screaming at the top of their lungs just to hear the echo. There is talk radio with commercials blaring incessantly. The dumb asses are making constant "woo!" sounds, which to us is kind of funny because it sounds exactly like a bear call. We're just waiting to see if one of the bears in heat comes around lookin for some hot city boy action.
They have dogs barking constantly, and one of them has a loud ass bell on its collar so it is contstantly jangling. Said dog even roamed into our camp site 1 hundred yards away from their camp. They also just shit right on top of the ground all over the site, which is against camping rules/etiquette. You bury your shit 6-8 inches underground so as not to pollute the camp site/local water supplies and to keep the place looking nice. It's kind of funny because they are camping right on the edge of a no camping zone. There is a sign in that zone articulating the reason for it being closed...too much human waste was left uncovered in too close a proximity to the deerfield river.
They came in with a giant truckload of pre cut wood, also against the rules and not eco friendly because it brings in unwanted non indigineous pests who destroy the eco system. I didn't even need to check their plates to guess where they are from....can you? Why, Massachusetts of course, land of the ignorant, obnoxious douche bags who think they know everything, but actually know nothing except how to be a masshole. They saw us doing yoga, and one day we busted out the hand drums to fight fire with fire, which worked. They shut the fuck up for once. At this point they think we are pussy asss little hippies im sure. So we walk by their campsites and up to our favorite spot on a hill to collect firewood. We walk through with a hatchet and a machete and proceed to chop up all the huge fallen trees in the forest at a feverish pace. We walk out of the forest with almost more than we can both carry, I had probably 10 logs as thick as my legs walking a half mile back to our site hopefully to let them know they are the pussies and are doing it all wrong.
At this point Dan and Rico have been here for about 2 weeks, which is longer than they both intended on staying, and Rico is talking about how he doesnt want to leave. I don't blame him. Rico, Dan, Jack, Jada and I are all getting along great. It's like a nice little rural neighborhood. Best kind I've ever lived in. No barking dogs, or noise from the high way or nosey neighbors, just all laid back people, peace and quiet...until the "griswalds" show up.
Crossing our fingers for food stamps
We head in to the drop in center to check to see if our food stamps have arrived. We had a letter dated from the 24th letting us know we didnt sign the back so we had to sign them and send them back in. Now at this point, the government shutdown is in place, so we are waiting to see if our food stamps application can even go through. We watch the peak fall colors fall off and descend down the mountain into town. When it was the peak here, it was still all green down in town. Travelling down into town is kind of like travelling through a time machine because of the colors.
Tornadoes! And the fall colors are peaking all over the place!
We head into town where there is a lull in the rain, get more rubberize spray and make it back to camp to put another few coats on, and then I take a hatchet cut down a long tree log(a down tree, not a living one) to throw on top of the trailer under the tarp to give the roof a pitch. Hike down the street in the rain to cut down a few logs for supports inside the trailer to give the roof even more of a pitch. We get the supports in, and gorilla tape a tarp down taut just in time for what seems like a monsoon to hit. We were talking to Dan as we were finishing up and we all ended up jumping in the trailer to hang out and smoke a bowl as we watch several inches of rain come down at once. The storms in the mountain are of epic proportion. This one came with a tornado warning that was 3 towns away. Luckily the leaking has finally stopped. So now we have a watertight van to sleep in, and a watertight trailer to keep all our shit in and cook/hang out etc. FYI, do NOT go into town in Vermont around this time of year. I've never had any experience with leaf peepers other than family guy until just now. Jesus christ, this week or two is the best and worst time to be in vermont. All the plates in town are anything but vermont plates. It's all city douches here to see the leaves. I can't blame them too much, it is fucking gorgeous. I've lived in new england my whole life but i've never seen anything like this.
More epic fuckin rain
Rain storm hits, we wake up to our trailer being totally drenched on the inside. We duct tape it and then throw a tarp over the top, it rains again, and the trailer is drenched again. So in between rain storms we are covering the top of the trailer with gorilla tape and a rubberized waterproof spray, but still the trailer is leaking. The roof is slightly caved in which is causing water to collect and drip down through the seam in the middle of the roof. Fun stuff.
Heard a coyote or coy dog on top of the ridge behind our site then heard a pack of them all howling down the street. Very fucking eerie. I think the government shutdown happened around this time. Now the government shutdown means there are no rangers at the camp so we can stay as long as we need to basically :)
We finally seem to have all our shit together. We dont feel homeless, we feel we have a house on wheels and wouldnt rather be anywhere else in the world right now. The fall colors are getting really vibrant now.
Military Mind Control Serum
Hanging out with Gale and Dan we decide to make a movie on Gales life. We also are all discussing the sketchy vibe with all sorts of military personnel from the same base in NJ(Rico, and also a guy in a white pick up truck) being up here. We had two of them offer to get us water at the well so we didnt have to move the camper, and immediately dumped it out for fear of mind control syrum in said water.
9:30 Another military dude shows up, in a camper. Jack, an army ranger and trail angel with his dog super seargent spencer, smoked many bowls with him.
The next day another military dude shows up, in a camper. Jack, an army ranger and trail angel with his dog super seargent spencer, smoked many bowls with him.
Our new buddy Rico
Back at camp we run into and hang out with a guy named Rico who looks exactly like bruce willis, but shorter. He is a competitive fighter/trainer at 56 years young. It comes up in coversation that he too only eats natural healthy food, is against the things we are against and is in touch with his intuition. Another camper named dan shows up and is hanging out with us.(both of them are ex military and Rico trained on a military base)We smoked weed with dan and his friend (who is "rough around the edges") repeatedly and I did tarot readings for all of them.
All vermont natives and all really cool people as usual. We learned that this abandoned house for sale on route 9 we've been in love with is actually haunted, making it even more perfect.
Drop in center
We went down to the drop in center, got ourselves a mailing address and sent in an application for food stamps. Couldn't have come at a better time because our money is running out and we can't afford land anymore. We got a nice warm shower of which we have had few for months so it felt amazing along with a bunch of food. They even had organic rice flour and rice milk(used for vegan french toast) Jada mentioned her love for hot chocolate and one of the guys that worked there walked out with 2 giant ziplock bags of hot chocolate packets. Jada was pissing glitter she was so excited.
After a few days, and countless hunters and gunshots coming and going, we decided to go back to the other camp site we had been at.
Dan and Louis
Coming into camp at night, we see the two homeless guys that helped us find our skillet. We stop and they invite us to hang out and drink some beers. Dan and Louis were their names. Really awesome dudes. Louis is quite the chracter. He was almost a charachature of himself. They give us all kinds of awesome tips to help us out on our journey. They referred us to a drop in center a few towns over where you can get a shower, do some laundry, pick up some free food, and clothing. They even let you use their address if you are homeless so you can get hooked up with food stamps. They also told us how we can make good money hitting up yardsales, and they are everywhere up here. These tips proved invaluable especially as it started getting too cold to shower in a river or under a solar shower in the woods.
Jamming out with solar power!! WOO!
We woke up and got everything straightened out, cleared shit out of the van as jada was putting up the blankets and posters/decorations in the van while I set up the solar panels. We had put all our shit in the trailer and were setting up the van to sleep in there. At this point we were still sleeping in the trailer. I had read the instructions a few times over the last few days but had lost them. Luckily I remembered most of it, and used my common sense to get them hooked up. Within an hour or two, we were cranking out tunes to the wilderness purely on solar power! Fuckin exhilirating.
It's....illegal...to rest..overnight at a rest stop?
We headed down to mass to get our memory foam mattress out of Prasads(our drummer/best bud) storage unit. We couldn't meet up that night, so we were trying to find a place to spend the night. We tried rest stops in mass and learned it is HIGHLY illegal to rest overnight at a rest stop in mass and most other states. We ended up driving to Rhode Island and sleeping for a couple hours in the walmart parking lot. Next day we head up, meet prasad, get all our books, dvds, and of course the mattress. We hit a few more stores to get the last of our supplies and decorations for remodelling the van. We got back up to kelly camp trail at almost 2 in the morning and just passed out.
Solar power and a camper....moving on up!
After waiting and waiting we finally get our solar kit that we ordered along with the trailer hitch, and also happened to find a pop up camper converted to a travel trailer for $450 up near laconia nh. The guy who sold it to us offered to install the trailer hitch and wiring and such. We got there around 5:30 to find out the auto part store gave us the wrong kit. It was for 2007-2009 dodge. Our dodge is very clearly an old ass 1995, and they knew that. After fucking with it for a good 4 hours, mike offered for us to stay with him for the night. At first I didn't want to but he was harmless so we took him up on it. We slept in a spare bedroom. Mike was an older genteleman all about vikings, had a valkyrie model honda , a Thor costume he made himself for halloween which was awesome and had lots of wizard and viking shit around. We hung out talking til about midnight and we all decided to head to bed. Jada asked if we could get outside onto the porch. He asked "for what? To smoke some stuff?" We said yeah, and he explained his tenant didnt drink or do drugs and would be pissed if he smelled it, so he asked if we could do without for the night. I quickly said yeah knowing we had the vape and were intending to hit it in the room we were staying in anyway. No smell, no foul. So like little kids, we snuck some bowls in bed. Jada was doing the old cough while sparking up the lighter trick. Next morning we got up, the van was wired and ready to go within a few hours. We met his tenant, who happened to be into metal. I told him i played tribal metal and he asked if it was like Sepultura, who he happened to love and had seen in 96. We gave him a demo and were off on our way with our trailer.
Donna and Sheyanne.
Later on we met up with an older woman from ct, Donna. Jada noticed her having a hell of a time trying to get her tent up. She'd get one side down, and the other would fly off. This went on for some time so Jada offered to help her put it up. She was there with her dog "Sheyanne" she was letting the dog run all over. The silly people with the viking camper came over to ask her to not let the dog run free because they had 3 huge dogs that didnt get along with other dogs and they were in the little camper freaking out over it. Donna was pissed. We hung out smoking weed with her, drinking some morning wine and chatting. She told us about her friend down the road who has a well that all the campers use, and he apparently also is a pothead. Later that night we went our seperate ways once she was too drunk. Laying in the van, we hear her start freaking out because the dog "got loose." She's yelling for at least an hour or so "sheyanne" "shy shy" and lots of other garbled nonsense. It was hillarious and im sure the viking camper lame asses were pissed.
Are you fuckin serious guy? White people.
A couple(also from CT) pulled in to the site next to us with a big ass new truck and a nice sparkling viking pop up camper. The guy took an hour to park and position it. We sat in the van watching him drive back and forth, get out and look then get back in the truck to do it all over again, maybe 37 times.
Thank god for no nudity laws, and generous van mans.
The temperature jumped up to about 90 degrees so we climbed down to the river to jump in the little pool made out of stacked rocks in the riverbed from other campers attempting to make a bath. It was fucking awesome. Mountain views, fresh mountain water, just...mountains. Directly across from a moose bed(yet to see the fucker even though he's been seen running up and down our camp. On our way out we ran into van man who was leaving the campsite. He dropped us off a bunch of food, fixed our broken brake switch and the battery outlet in the van all within a few minutes. Even left us some extra fuses. Fuck yeah.
One morning we hear an ice cream truck coming. I'd like to reiterate that we are out in buttfuck middle of no where, it takes 15 minutes to even get to a main road, 30 minutes to the nearest town or cell phone reception.
The ice cream truck music turned out to be the van man from CT. He pulled up and said "I got some puppies in the back if you want to see them." Now that is a rape van, even more so than our own. Van life.
It was the 5th of September
We stopped at an auto parts store to buy a receiver hitch for the van so we could buy ourselves a travel trailer. We ended up getting high with the clerk and a bunch of his metal head friends in the back of the store. We spent a week or two at the campsite, hung out with one of the guys from CT again (who later became known as van man as he drove a white van) got high, shot the shit etc.
Gooood llaaaaaawd it's good to be home
We headed back to Vermont which was amazing. Everything felt right again. 2 guys from CT(different guys from previously) stopped to talk to us and drop off some wood, and eventually we got high with one of them. Walks along the trails to gather rasberries and blackberries for breakfast, a small green granny smith apple for lunch from one of the many apple trees, water from the river across the way, or the spring down the street. Life is good :)
August 31st, 2014:
Fuck it's hard to camp for free in Mass
We were trying to decide where to stay and having a bad time doing so. It was between parking at a walmart, camping behind one, or going back to Vermont. We were waiting on phone calls about practice spaces, hunting rentals etc. for a place to stay for a bit. We thought money was running out and were considering heading to Alabama early to stay with jadas mom. While deliberating, we posted our dillema to facebook.
We stopped to get gas at a gas station where we were deliberating. The Indian guy behind the counter asked us to move the van out of the pump because we had been there a while. He asked what we were doing so we explained. He said "oh ok hold on i have a customer." We moved the van to the side of the building while talking to people online. He came back out and was talking to us. He too had been homeless. It ended up coming out that we all smoked ganja. We got high with the Indian gas station attendant. We knew he was a cool guy, he let us know stating "I am cool guy," to which we had to agree. He said we could park at the gas station til the morning shift came in and he was off on his way. We expressed our deep appreciation for letting us do so if need be. He also told us he didnt know what ayurveda was which blew my mind. He was happy to talk to us because he didn't often get to have conversations in English. He was concerned we couldn't understand him well, which wasn't true until we got a few bowls deep.
The vans brake pedal at this point had a broken switch so anytime we stopped the van, we had to prop it up to keep the brake lights off.
My nana saved the day and offered for us to stay with her for a couple days, which we did. Washed our nasty asses while hanging out with the coolest lady ever, my nana. We also discovered the cats had fleas on the way out of her place. We panicked, then got some natural anti flea spray, soaked the cats and brushed the fleas out of them. Flea problem has been somewhat ongoing with cats but no big infestations.
August 30th, 2014:
One man show
Played the show at Sammy's Patio in Revere, MA. My drummer wasn't able to make it and even though I had been homeless for a month at this point on top of that, I decided to do a one man show with me on guitar and vocals, with the drums, bass, and keys I recorded for the CD. I let everyone know we had been homeless and such, they all had a lot of respect and compassion for me getting up there by myself and for what jada and I were doing. Dante the promoter told me I had a lot of balls for doing what I was doing. The show went really well, there were a few people right up front really getting into it and all the people at the bar seemed like they were enjoying it. We sold an eyeball and gave away a lot of free shit as usual. The cats in the van were getting a lot of attention. On the way out of the gig, we were stopped at a light on route 16 in Revere where there were 3 lanes of traffic on either side divided by a big strip down the middle. A car turned from a street to our right and turned into the left most lane of the WRONG side of traffic, 2 lanes over from where we were(heading in the correct direction). We were planning on going and camping out in the light woods behind the walmart with our new buddy Clifford, but were afraid of the van being towed or spooking clifford so we ended up in a hotel on Route 38 in Tewksbury near the motel 6. All they had was a jacuzzi room. Jada went from passed out to perky and ready to party in the hot tub in a matter of seconds upon learning of the jacuzzi. The hotel room was vile. Big bugs, giant spider, bee in the bathroom dirt, dust, and decay everywhere. The Jacuzzi was fucking intense. Loud as fuck with water gushing out and red lights to add to the horror of the situation. We got in anyway.
August 29th, 2014:
This morning we were hanging out with the couple hopping freight trains around the country(girl was the washboard player) getting high and multiple stab and poke tattoos were exchanged between jada and the female of the couple. Their 2 pit bulls were sleeping on our beds the whole time, as jadas cat slept in her litterbox. We closed them up in the bathroom so they wouldn't get eaten. Now we're watching some joe dirt. Feels very appropriate. Tomorrow on to Revere to play at Sammys' patio. I'll be on about 9:30.
August 28th, 2014:
Civilization is not our thing
Within 24 hours of being back in mass, we were amazed as to how anyone would purposely live there, including myself, a lifelong resident. It was overflowing chaos, negativety , anger, hositility and aggression. Note: A car horn is NOT a "fuck you I'm pissed" button.
We found out tonight that I gave my card for recording to a murderer. I don't think he was a murderer at the time. I gave it to him a few weeks back when we stayed here. He and his sevEEEERely coked up friend were talking to us on the way to the hotel office, came up that I worked on audio, so I gave him my card. He killed someone at this hotel a few days back. Also, they found a dead body(OD) in one of the rooms here since we last stayed. Glad to be back in Mass.
Anyway, when we pull in, a haggard old hippy pirate looking man asks us if we have enough shit in our van(it was indeed packed to the max). We started talking, asked if we smoked, and offered to smoke us up. We ended up smoking him up because we had way more. HE was quite the character , camping out under a bridge behind walmart sleeping with skunks, jamming on his harp with a couple hopping trains, one of which was a washboard player. His name was clifford(the big red dog). He had all kinds of incredible stories. One of which being that he saw Tom Petty punch a shark in the face. "Tom Petty is a very powerful man," he said with a glean in his eye.
August 27th, 2014:
We get up and start calling Prince's name down this forest road. We make it back to the inbred camp who just had one woman at this point, we asked if she saw a black cat. She said she knew she was hung over, but she thought she was tripping imagining a cat meowing at the site a half hour back (you may recall they previously misunderstood and thought we were looking for a cat several days before this actually happened). We ask her if we can look around. Hung out there for much of the day, smoking weed, looking for prince. Turned out to be a really cool, totally not inbred. We go back to camp hoping prince will make his way back, calling his name at the top of my death metal lungs for hours. about to go into town, take a ride down the road to check for prince, and in the 5 mins we're gone, someone ransacked our site, and stole our skillet.
Fuck this shit
Only 2 cars had come through the site, one of them was down the road, we went and asked them if they took it. They turned out to be homeless as well and hated thieves. We went out looking for the other vehicle that came through, ready to slash some tires, but we couldn't find them. We went into town and came back, and the other homeless people had seen them drive by and stopped them and said to the thievers "we know you took their shit give it back."He apparently tried to play it off like they thought our site was abandoned which was bullshit. They invited us to hang out and drink a few beers, but we are on our way into town and let them know we'll stop by on the way back. They were asleep by the time we got to camp. When we get back i hear a faint meow. I found prince in the valley by our campsite. Though we were supposed to leave this day, we ended up staying the night and decided to leave the next morning.
August 26th, 2014:
The Fucking Cat is gone
So the two guys from CT leave, and we're just doing our thing. We were getting ready to leave to head back down to mass to play a gig in Revere. We notice prince(the black one) has gone missing. It was the middle of the night by the time we realized he was gone. We tried looking in the pitch black with no luck. A rain storm hit us and I knew it was hopeless. He has gotten out a few times for the whole night in the suburbs, just never out in the mountains. We went to sleep, so we can wake up bright and early to go searching.
Going about our usual business outside at the campsite and we hear a "woo!" as a bird is flying by. We deduced that it must be a wizard who had just learned to turn himself into a bird and was trying out flying for the first time. We found out a few weeks later that it was actually a black bear call.
The beginning of our quartz collection.
What are you building a fuckin house?
So for the past few days we had seen a truck driving back and forth constantly, usually with a whole pick up bed full of huge tree logs. One day driving by they yelled out "bonfire at our camp site 10:00." We start walking down the road in the middle of the pitch black. It was quiiite a walk til we hit the next campsite. We walked up to them asked if they were the cats with the bonfire. After a few confused back and forths, they asked...you are looking for some cats?(which was ironic considering we were indeed looking for one a few days later). The guy who asked sounded like Boomhower(sp?) from King of the Hill. We decide they must be inbreds. They invite us to join them, we decline and continue to seek the bonfire. Further and further into the middle of the forest then we see a fire in the distance. This fire was about 10 feet tall with some people around it, alcohol and weed aplenty. We hung out with them for a couple nights, 2 guys from Connecticut on vacation. They too ran into the inbreds who told them a bear chased them in circles around the site. They liked the sauce. It came up in conversation that the woman crying sound I heard was actually a moose, which is ironic because we have been determined to see one while up here. Moose crossing signs are everywhere, but we still haven't seen shit.
At this point we were starting to sleep in the back of the van because it was getting cooold. The tent just wasn't cutting it.
This particular night we were in the van killing mosquitos one at a time all night long. Eventually I was like...wait a minute...why have there been one at a time all night considering the van had been closed up? Within a few seconds we were swarmed. They were onto us.
Later on while making french toast outside(I make this shit everynight before going to bed usually around 2 or 3 in the morning) i heard something that kind of sounded like a womans cry. Wasn't sure what it was or exactly where it was coming from. I had finished my first batch as I heard the noise and was trying to decide if i should risk being swarmed by wild dogs who are known for sending out a female dog as a decoy as the rest of the pack surrounds you from behind. Totally worth it, i finished the other pieces extremely paranoid. Upon getting back into the van I asked Jada, my redneck outdoors woman specialist, "what animal sounds like a womans cry? "oh thats a mountain lion" she replied. There are indeed mountain lions in the area. I didn't think they sounded like what I heard and Jada was in the van so she didn't hear it for herself.
Keeping to ourselves, but people seem to be drawn to us like moths to a light
An old mountain man, named Ted, born and raised in VT showed up at our campsite, asking if anyone was home. I was sitting in the front seat of the van as he came up saying something about having something in his jacket that he wanted me to reach in and get. I was like What the FUCK is in your jacket? He wouldnt tell me so i was like nah man, he finally said they're beers, you two look underage so i dont want anyone finding out, don't tell anyone about it. We both were like about "what beers?" Right over his head, he reiterated "the beers." We laughed and said ok. He said to stop by later if we wanted some more beers...
We drank the beers,
and decided to keep the lonely old mountain man hunter some company. He was waiting for his wife who apparently wasn't able to make it up. We drank some beers out of his freezer, and smoked some bud. He didnt, "that stuff was bad for you, ciggarettes are good for you," he said. He did give us some good tips, like how there are different rangers a town or two over so you could get away with going over there once your 2 week stay was up, and by the next night was gone. He showed us his pop up camper, which is what eventually inspired us to get one of our own. He also told us about the packs of wild dogs in vt. He had an encounter with them at the site we were at, they approached his camp so he shot one dead in the head. The rest of them carried the body into the woods.
The first couple nights we kept to ourselves, just L-I-V-I-N.
All in all, in vt we discovered there are at least moose, packs of wild dogs and coyotes, black bears, GIANT spiders, snakes, otters, orange salamanders with fluourescent spots, and of course ravens. We saw a dreaded old couple drive by, and once in their site, we hear a djembe coming from way off through the forest at the next campsite. I was about to bust mine out for call and response, but we had a lot of shit to get to. I figured the next night, but by then they were apparently gone.
Onward to Vermont, our new home.
We headed up to northeastern vermont to stay there for a night, hop on the internet and find a state park to primitive camp for free in. I was familiar with the area because I had been pursuing land purchase there. I had a deal all worked out right before I had to leave my job. My girlfriend and I were planning on trying to buy some land in vermont with the money we had left at this point. The best available piece of land we could afford was in southwestern vermont, so we drove down there and stayed nearby in the green mountain national forest where you can primitive camp for free for up to 2 weeks. No electricity or bathrooms or anything, just a level circle with a fire pit on a rural ass country road way up in the mountains.
Upon arrival to the nearest town, we got a LOT of looks. I could almost hear the needle scratch across a vinyl. After being there for a week we knew just about everyone in the town. From our campsite, we had to drive 30 mins east on the main road to get cell phone reception(not west, no service that way).
The woods are on fire with thunder?
5 days in, I woke up in middle of the night, half conscious to what sounded like all the whole mountains on fire. Once I fully woke up I realized it was an intense thunder and lightning storm that lasted for 12 hours and it seemed like water was being dumped straight on us. I can't even really explain the sound. Every crash of thunder came with a boom and a crackling that reverbated off the mountains circling our camp. There was constant flashing of lightning and I decided not to wake up Jada right away for this one so as to not cause alarm as I processed the situaiton. I thought cooking in pitch black wilderness was terrifying, but no, that is nothing compared to sleeping in a tent on the top of a fucking mountain in the most epic strorm I have ever witnessed. The tent eventually started leaking bad and then a creek showed up directly in front of our camp. I sort of jokingly said "We might have to abandon ship." We meditated on stopping the rain, then packed all our shit because everything was drenched and freezing. Once we were all packed up the rain stopped but the creek was still there, everything was soaked and we needed to hit the reset button on our homelessness. Id like to refer you to nhlovescampers.com as opposed to mass' fuckyoudirtyhippygetajobyoubumMASS.com.
Notice the creek forming to the right of the tent. This was not here a couple hours before.
This is what we saw as we were driving away. Apparently this is what mountains look like quite frequently after rain.
Our hike to camp
It would start here, a view from where the van is parked.
The first bend, there was still a path at this point.
This was one of the light trips. We learned how to pack the shit out of backpacks for maximum efficiency. Notice the cat carrier in her right hand. We couldn't leave them in the van, nor could we leave them in a tent in the middle of the woods by themselves, so they joined us on our hikes. Around that bend began the wild wilderness that would lead to a dirt path, and from there we would hike through thick woods to our campsite. I wouldn't trade this experience(as grueling as it was) for anything in the world.
Monday August 5th
What is primitive camping? Well, there are no facilities or hook ups, just raw woods. Cooking your food on fire, collecting water to drink, bathing in the creek, shitting in the woods etc. Etiquette dictates that you bury your shit 6-8 inches underground and always use eco friendly toilet paper of course. First morning I was out on he hunt for a solid spot to shit. I decide I've found the spot. Apparently a bear had the same though recently. Thus begins the tradition that happens at each subsequent sites we end up at. You don't truly know yourself until you reguarly experience hearing your shit hit the leaves below you as you poop. Anyway, the spot is gorgeous, very secluded. We saw a jogger or two pass within a half mile maybe 3 times for the 5 days we stayed there. Surprisingly we didn't run into a whole lot of dangerous wildlife, though there was a plenty. Our magick must be strong :)
Our days were spent wake and baking in the middle of the forest, gathering some fire wood to make a fire to cook breakfast on our iron skillet and lordy was it fucking amazing. We'd take a walk down to the creek to wash up and clean dishes. We'd also gather our water that we would boil in our iron skillet for drinking. We would collect quartz crystals and materials for besoms along our way. We took our time whenever we were doing our daily chores, stopping to savor in every scene. If we wanted anything from the van, or if we wanted to charge a phone or laptop we had to hike a mile uphill through thick woods. We ended up doing it plenty.
We are naturally night owls. I had been working 10 pm - 6 am until earlier this spring and I would end up staying up until noon sometimes. That all changes when that sun goes down and your sitting in a nylon tent on top of a mountain. There were bear, moose, bobcats, sometime mountain lions, coyote and more all around. The spiders in this place are terrifyingly amazing. We had led lamps and candles to keep ourselves lit. I make myself a large portion of French toast every night before I go to bed. Have you ever started a fire in pitch black wilderness at 2 in the morning and then sat there tending it and cooking whilst simultaneously holding some sort of blunt or sharp object to prevent something from eating your balls? Me either.
Not until this point. We developed the umfufu stick. We sharpened the end of a 5 foot wooden flag pole into a fuckin sweet stabbing device.
Sunday, August 4th 2013
Thus begins the wilderness adventure
Checked out of the hotel we stayed in after the gig, and headed for the white mountains. Armed with nothing but a tent and a lighter. No firewood, no fire starters. We are doing everything from scratch.
You can camp anywhere in the white mountain national forest as long as it's not on a path or trail. By the time we found a got spot to hike in at(pictured below)
...the sun was setting. We hiked a mile through the woods and stopped at the first relatively flat spot we could find. We got the tent set up as the darkness crept in. Here's what we ended up with, not our best work to say the least
You'd think in the beginning of August, it would be hot as fuck right? I had on shorts and a t-shirt which all ended up wet. The temperature must have been about 40 degrees that night. The mountains has not heard of summer apparently.
Saturday, August 3rd 2013
Journal entries from this day through December 2013 are being written long after the fact. I had little internet access and therefore was unable to post our experiences. So thus begins our journey of homelessness. We had been without a home for a week or two at this point. Played a gig at the Red Onion in central, MA. After the events of this night, things will be different with gigging. For one, my girlfriend will not be having an inch of skin showing. She was wearing much more than you'd see at a beach, but I would walk away from her for 3 seconds, and every time, a guy would end up in the typical stance, showing the typical body behavior of a man trying to get laid. At first I was polite about it, but by the end of the night I'd just walk over to her, grab her end and just pull her off somewhere else without even addressing the dude. People got shitfaced, were being obnoxious and a few of them ended up in a fight knocking all kinds of shit over. THIS is the type of shit I'm not into. So if you come to one of my gigs expecting that type of night think again.
Thursday, July 18th 2013
So we've been staying in hotels for a couple nights now, shit is expensive. A friend stopped in and mentioned she had a home that is set to be foreclosed on at some point, but no one is currently living there. She offered for all of us to move in if we would like. We took it into consideration, but weren't sure. We ended up checking out the next morning and decided we'd take her up on that offer. We hadn't let her know in advance, and she was at work until later that night, so we drove around in the van looking for a place to hang out. It was fucking HOT out. We apparently completely underestimated how fucking hot it actually was. We ended taking our van, with our two cats to the beach to park for the day until she got out of work. Because it was so hot, I felt it was unfair for us to leave the cats in there if we weren't in there with them. Once in a while we would get out of the van to cool off because it was unbearably hot. It felt like it was 70 degrees outside compared to how hot it was inside the van. I knew it was hot as fuck, but I was thinking we just needed to get over it, suck it up, and get through it, which we did. We ended up at our friends condo later that night. In conversation she mentioned that it was 103 degrees Fahrenheit that day. Remember...to us when we stepped out of the van it felt like it was 70 degrees. It was actually 103, which will give you an idea of how fucking hot it actually was in that van. We took turns taking a dip in the ocean before we left, and for the first time in my 28 years of living in New England, the water felt nice. Shiza.
Tuesday, July 16th 2013
As per usual with these blog entries, much has changed. Over the last year or so we have played gigs, and as per usual there has been a revolving door of live musicians coming and going. After several extremely embarrassing shows with said musicians, Prasad is back on drums and I was about 95% done with the album. I had money saved up to buy land in Vermont to start the post mortem tribe...and then my girlfriend and I got kicked out of my parents where we were living with no jobs and no where to live. Needless to say, it's fairly impossible to mix an album at that point. Things are changing significantly as you will see with all the blog entries to come.