Driftwood (16)

Kahn Family Kitchen

My book Driftwood Shacks is just about to go to the printers in Hong Kong, and now I’m starting to assemble the next one: Handmade: The Half-Acre Homestead, which covers 50+ years of building, gardening, cooking, foraging, fixing, and other aspects of creating our own shelter and food. In coming months, I’ll put up preview photos from this book.

This is our kitchen. The stainless steel sink was $100 at a salvage lumberyard. A key feature is that the sideboards drain into the sink. Most kitchen sinks have a rim around the edge, and the sideboards do not drain into the sink.

The dish rack at the right was designed and built by Lew Lewandowski about 20 years ago; after the plates and saucers and glasses are washed and rinsed, they are put in the rack to dry — and they stay there.

@lloyd.kahn

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Lost Coast Backpack Trip (continued)

There are 2 stretches of coast, each 3-4 miles long that are “inaccessible at high tide.” You are warned that you can die if get caught there. Well, uh, OK.

To begin with, it was harder going than I thought. My pack was really heavy. There was a rock slide upon entering the first part of the northern no-fly high tide zone that had to be clambered over. I hadn’t brought rain gear, either for me or the backpack, because the weather report had said no rain…well, 20% chance of rain the first day … and it started raining. Shit, if it poured I’d be screwed.

I found an opening in the rocks and prepared to duck under when the raindrops stopped. Yo!

Onward, or … upward. I had a moment climbing over the rock slide; I slipped, almost fell backward, and got a shot of adrenaline. I occurred to me if I fell and got hurt, I’d be screwed. No way to get word to the outside world. What had I got myself into? And yeah, grudgingly, being 80+ has taken its toll in strength and agility. In my mind I’m still 18, but that just ain’t the reality with an aging body. The kids that passed me that day seemed so strong and bouncy. God, I used to be like that.

I was a bit spooked, got to the end of the tidal zone and felt too tired to make it around the final point.

I found a ledge above the water, pitched my tent on the rocky ground, hoping I’d be above the high tide that night (I was), spent a restless night. Had to wait a few hours in the morning for the tide to drop so I could get around the point. 5½ hours hiking the 1st day.

After about 3 hours the 2nd day, I basically flat-lined. I was depressed, wiped out, thinking of all the things that could go wrong.

The wind was blowing, sun glaring, I felt almost dizzy, so stopped at Big Creek, a wide canyon with 15′-wide creek, pitched my tent, which took 45 minutes in howling wind, climbed inside and slept for an hour.

When I woke up, two women from Auburn, maybe in their 40s, had pitched their tents 100′ away and we visited. Renee told me she’d had 10 herniated discs, a back operation, and several pieces of titanium implanted and that it had taken her 10 years to recover, and one leg was shorter than the other. And here she was, on this incredibly tough hike. Shit, what kind of wimp was I? This was inspiration.

That night we sat around their campfire and her pal Pica pulled out a plastic lightweight ukulele and sang songs in a quiet sweet voice. Did I play the ukulele. Well, uh yeah-uh, songs from the ’20s, and I played “Five Foot Two,” “Ain’t She Sweet,” and “Jada.” Fun.

I got several hours of good sleep that night, woke up. I’m gonna make it! I lightened my load by burying a pair of running shoes, some extra food, and a spiral notebook in the sand and set off feeling lighter and inspired the next morning.

It’s Saturday morning, I’m at Trinks in Gualala, with a double latte and piece of berry pie with whipped cream for pre-breakfast, now going to get bacon and eggs. I can’t get enough food after the trip; listening to the Georgia Satellites sing “Keep Your Hands To Yourself”:

Rock and roll!

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On the Road Again — The Lost Coast

First driftwood photo of trip, near Mattole river yesterday

I took off at 8AM Sunday, driving through Petaluma to get on Hwy 101. The Nicasio lake is full to the brim, the hills a verdant green — both from late rains. The fog of the beach gradually gave way to the sun of inland. Orange splashes of poppies amidst the green … Roadkill — during the day: two skunks (neither smelling), a fox, a raccoon, two deer, today two squirrels; must be spring fever … giant piles of redwood logs in Cloverdale lumberyard … Hwy 101 narrows down to two lanes north of Willits. It’s relaxed, very little traffic, you can make a U-turn in middle of road … it clears the head to get out of the Bay Area where everything by comparison seems congested, every inch spoken for and/or ridiculously high-priced … south fork of the Eel River is turquoise … getting into crackpot roadside territory with rock shops, bears-carved-out-of-chainsaws shops, kind of like the reptile farms that used to be along Hwy 66…

Ended up camping at the Mattole rivermouth, then drove through back roads today to Shelter Cove … tomorrow 8AM, I’m getting a ride back to Mattole, will then backpack along beach 30 miles back to Black Sands Beach near Shelter Cove, hoping to find driftwood beach shacks to photograph … have decided to expand and reprint the driftwood shack book … just had great fish and chips down at Shelter Cove boat ramp…

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More Driftwood Shacks

After breakfast in Boonville, Louie and I drove through the giant redwoods back to the coast and went out to Navarro Beach, a driftwood mecca. Here’s the inside and outside of one of the shacks.

(I’m thinking of taking a two-week trip up the coast in May, including a three-day backpacking trip along the Lost Coast beaches, photographing shacks — and doing a larger driftwood book.)

Louie collected select pieces of driftwood to make a chair while I ran around shooting photos. Before we left I jumped into the Navarro River for a moment. The rivers up here are beautiful right now, plenty of water, and emerald green in between the rains…

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Driftwood Shacks: Anonymous Architecture Along the Northern California Coast Is Available

We just completed my latest book, Driftwood Shacks: Anonymous Architecture Along the Northern California Coast (82 pages, 8½″× 8½″). It’s the first in a series of short-run, digitally printed small books. This is a way for me to publish some not-ready-for-prime-time books, ones that we may just sell via mail order.

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