Roots, Reggae and Big Sur, California

McWay Falls, Julia Pheiffer SP

This last week was spectacular. I drove south crossing into California, pausing a moment in Mount Shasta City, a rural place that I once resided and a place that I will always consider home. After a brief evening that yielded a fun and slightly drunken potluck at one of my best friend’s homes, I resumed the journey south with Sarah, another good friend from my current residence of Bend, Oregon. Together we spent the next week exploring, wandering, eating, and of course, drinking many a mighty craft brew. The first half of our adventure included a splendor of whale watching and coastal excursions along California’s rugged coastline of Big Sur. Call it luck, or being in the right place at the right time, but I spotted two dolphins, eleven Harbor Seals, several sea otters, a mother Humpback whale and her baby, and three “leaping” whales. That was over the course of twenty-four hours. Sarah was beyond impressed at my mad skills.

Lime kilns and old growth redwood trees

 Besides waves and whales, Sarah and I went on a few short hikes to historical coastal docks and waterfalls, in additional to an off-the-beaten-path hike to an old rusted Tin House, 1600-feet above the trailhead and coastline. Once a functioning gas station, it’s tin structure was moved this the high-away place. The residents soon discovered it was not so hospitable in the wind and rain…

Beachball craze during Michael Franti

 After our tour along Highway 1, we drove back to Monterey, where we secured a campsite for the next four nights. Three of those nights we’d spend dancing to an endless dream of roots and reggae. It was my first festival EVER and I loved it. Michael Franti, SOJA, Iration, The Roots, Tribal Seeds, Dirty Heads, Steel Pulse, G. Love & the Special Sauce, Slightly Stoopid, Trevor Hall, Nahko & the Medicine for the People, Dustin Thomas, Ethan Tucker Band, Soul Majestic, Chronixx, John Butler Trio and hands down, without a doubt the most entertaining and legendary band, Cypress Hill. If only I could teleport back in time… Three days of the best bass-bumping, booty-moving bands of reggae and rasta.  Two days later I’m back in Bend, and even though a festival of such kind would normally leave you drained, I feel rejuvenated. I was kind to myself and made sure I was properly hydrated, rested and ready for the day ahead. Onto a different topic, I arrived in Bend promptly when BBC (Bend Brewing Company) starts their local’s happy hour. Molly and I sat down, joyously discussing our weekly adventures. The Lovely Cherry Baltic Porter only made matters better, and we conversed until smiles were ubiquitous. Amongst the sharing of stories, we brainstormed all sorts of ideas for what my SOON TO BE PUBLISHED book can render useful. And one of those ideas was Podcasts. There simply is so much potential here, whether it’s reading an except from Married to the Trail, or talking about gear, travel logistics or what it’s like to be a woman wandering this great big world, often solo. Without a doubt, the ideas are brewing…

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