Thursday, April 14, 2011

Build Some and They Will Come

Ike and Wendy perform a desert ballad on mouth harps

Well I haven't even finished building and they are coming. Since early February, most days I have had friends or strangers camping on my land, from anywhere from one night to two weeks. This seems to be a popular getaway for Canadians. I have had 3 sets of guests from Quebec. Two from New York. Many from Austin. And from a few other places with cold winters.  It has been enjoyable. I seem to do more hiking and see more sights when I am showing visitors around. I also learn a lot from watching the way that others live off-grid, what they cook, etc. Hopefully, they learn something too. 

Ike and Wendy, who I know from the Kerrville Folk festival camped out here last week. Ike is more of a dome enthusiast than anyone I know, other than Don Bryant. He ogled over Don's work and I could see his head spinning with ideas. Same thing happened to me when I first saw Don's buildings. 

Derek masters the Cram-Alot
My current guest is Derek Hansen, a cyclist who is prepping for a short little bicycle ride to Montana. We are linked by mutual friends in Austin. We put him to work this week in our volunteer recycling crew in Terlingua. And of course, I coerced him to mix a few batches of stucco after I showed him how, while I stuccoed the last piece of the exterior perimeter. Now all that is left of the outer cover coat is the very top. 

On Tuesday night we had a dinner in the shade of the dome. Eight friends and neighbors came by for a big pot of pesto pasta and some jalapeno and onion mashed potatoes.  

I do have to get more disciplined about keeping to a schedule, as I am falling a little behind on booking Summer shows as well as all the logistics that go along with my tour coming up in May (making and mailing flyers and other forms of promotion).

One thing that definitely keeps me homebound is the Fina station in Terlingua, where the lowest octane is now over $4 a gallon. Ruby prefers top shelf gasoline, but she seems wiling to make the sacrifice in these hard times. It now costs me almost $10 to get to Terlingua Ghost Town and back, so it defeats the purpose of two for one (veggie) burger night at the Starlight Theater. 

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