“How I Spent My Summer Vacation” continues, with more photos and anecdotes from the sustainability bicycle tour I went on in August…
Maitreya Eco-village, Eugene, OR
The trip began in Eugene, where we camped for the first few nights at a place called Dharmalaya. This is a privately owned home with land that hosts a yoga and meditation studio and acts as a community center for concerts and educational events. It is also an experiment in sustainable living, with an organic garden, composting toilets, and greywater reuse system. (More on Dharmalaya, including their ups and downs with the Eugene zoning board, here.) We visited a community called Maitreya Eco-Village, where we received some lessons in green building techniques (specifically straw bale and cob construction) from founder and architect Rob Bolman. We dropped by the factory and showroom of Bike Friday, manufacturer of world-famous sublime folding bikes, and got to take a few for a spin around the parking lot. We also checked out Eugene’s Center for Appropriate Transport, which hosts a community bike workshop and educational programs that teach kids how to build and design bikes and bike accessories.
Center for Appropriate Transport, Eugene, OR
Once this show actually got on the road, the distances each day were pretty significant for my wimpy self. (One point of pride was that I did actually RIDE up the hilliest portion of the trip, albeit at approximately 1.5 miles per hour.) I discovered that I like traveling by bike very much, and am looking forward to doing more in the future. It’s a great way to see the countryside, silently self-propelled, while still actually covering some distance in the course of a day. The weather was fantastic and Oregon’s Willamette Valley is a beautiful place.
Willamette River Valley, Oregon
We camped at organic farms and spent some time with the farmers who shared the reality of their work and lives with our group, including some delicious produce! We got our hands a little dirty on these farms too (though I personally can’t claim to have been very useful). Seeing both the beauty and the difficulty of this life made me more determined than ever to support the people whose labor and dedication brings beautiful healthy food to the rest of us.
Cyndi gives her chickens lots of love!
Next: “How What I Did On My Summer Vacation Changed My Life”... for real!