So often in recent days, now that we have returned to “business mode” in our quest to find land and start the next chapter, we have come across our photos or retold stories from the road and realized that we will never be able to fully express our gratitude for that time. The necessity for maintaining survival doesn’t stop, until survival itself does, so spending time reveling in the glory of a bygone adventure isn’t a luxury we can often afford. The best we can do is have the chronicle of these photo essay type posts and the occasional reverie of remembrance they evoke.
The latter days of our Ambling Full Tilt were marked by a top-to-bottom crisscrossing of the western half of Oregon. Many times before and since we’ve found kindred spirits seemingly by pure happenstance. Somewhere in the middle, both geographically and chronologically, we were invited to stay in the home of one such kindred spirit, Marcel. Time and again during the trip, we marveled at the kindness of strangers. This was no exception, though, as is often the case with kindred spirits, we soon learned that the person was to be “family by choice” and it was as though we were never strangers.
For something on the order of eleven days, we resided at Marcel’s Ecolodge, and shared ideas, meals, stories, housekeeping, assorted choice beverages, visits with homesteading neighbors, and a deep appreciation for the opportunity to do all of the above.
Our Oregon tale is largely one of woe that we were unable to find the place Marcel refers to as our Shangri La, and that we realized somewhere along the way that the state we love to visit on vacation doesn’t make nearly as much sense as a full-time residence for us. Regardless of these unfortunate realizations, we had a great time and, more importantly, we made friends and family by choice with some truly amazing people. One nice thing about a place so consistently inundated with clouds? There are always silver linings.
One not-so-cloudy day, I took advantage of a break in the rain and went on walkabout through Marcel’s fair Ecolodge. Here is what it looked like through my eyes that day…