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Alabama Caravan

After 3 months in Orlando, we were itching to get out of the city and explore someplace new. Too early (read: too cold) to head north, too expensive ($1100+ per month?!) to head to the gulf of Florida, and still packed solid with no space for us (where we’d want to stay) on the east coast of Florida, we had the opportunity to join friends in a legitimate RV caravan to the gulf coast of Alabama!

While waiting for the other families, we headed out of our monthly spot in Orlando up to Juniper Springs Campground in Ocala National Forest for some much needed quiet time in the forest. Three nights later, we all headed out of our respective spots and met up on the highway. So fun!

We’ve heard the praises for southern Alabama from many people in our travels this past year. Maybe we’d heard them before but we weren’t listening… Alabama? Two and a half years on the road has stripped us of most of our state-prejudice as we’ve realized the beauty in every single place we’ve been. So here we are at a (so far) fabulous RV resort on the Alabama shore for the next month with friends! I have to go. The hot tub is calling.

The picture is we three families at a rest stop in the panhandle of Florida. The Clan of Parents rig is in the middle. ūüôā

All Imported-477

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Posted by on March 6, 2013 in Alabama, RV, Travel log

 

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California’s a Big State (Part 4) – Oregon House Farm & High Sierra Beef

We continued to head north from the RV docking point we used for San Francisco.¬† We’d been so busy with national parks and city touring that we were looking forward to some downtime.¬† Our first stop was two weeks at a campground/RV park on our Thousand Trails Zone Camping Pass in¬†Oregon House, CA- about 1 hour south of Chico.¬† This is rural America.¬† The drive in was absolutely beautiful and the country began to remind us distinctly of New England.

Wherever we are, I always check localharvest.org for local farms, farmstands, and farmers’ markets.¬† Since we eat paleo, fresh meats, eggs, vegetables, and fruits are our staples.¬† As you can imagine, this can get tricky.¬† No rice to fill a 3rd of the plate.¬† No beans to bulk up a meal.¬† No potatoes in the storage bin (anymore) to tide us over until we find a decent farmstand or market.¬† It takes some diligence and planning to ensure that our food supply is plentiful and sustained but it’s something we enjoy (the philosophy and the¬†flavors)¬†and believe in so it’s well worth the effort.¬† And there is less guilt when I buy those inorganic strawberries¬†because I know our bodies are strong and healthy and can tolerate the occasional insult.
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We’re arriving in the north country a little early for the beginning of the farmers’ markets season so I was hoping I might find a local farm for meat, eggs, and seasonal produce.¬† My freezer stock of grassfed ground beef and cuts that I loaded up on in Tucson from the University of Arizona was waning.and eating grocery store meat is really a last resort.¬† We lucked out!¬† I found Oregon House Farm owned and operated by Jenny Cavaliere just 2 miles away – a cooperative member of High Sierra Beef who also operates a weekend farm store out of her 100 year old barn.¬† My e-mail inquiry to Jenny resulted not only in stocking our freezer¬†but also a personal tour of her farm – 5 separate pieces of land – which included bee hives, calving cows (and calves!), chickens, sheep, and a peek into the life of a sustainable farmer.¬† Jenny also invited Sadie to sell her handmade felted pins, hair ties, beaded earrings, and flaxseed packs at the farm store the following weekend.
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Talk about knowing where your food comes from…¬† Jenny names all of her cows, walks among them in the fields, and they come down¬†to greet her when she calls.¬† We talked freely about the processes and logistics of sustainable and¬†humane breeding, feeding, and, yes, even slaughtering.¬† We even walked through the metal corral and down the ‘hall’ used to keep the cows still and safe for procedures and onto trailers for travel.
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You know, traveling is only partly about the places.¬† That’s how it starts.¬† The reason it continues and is fueled is the people.¬† Jenny is one of those people- who would take an entire afternoon to hang around in pastures sharing her passion¬†with a family just traveling through.¬† Chris and I have been tossing around the idea of farming.¬† Jenny’s honesty about it’s 24/7 tether has put¬†our dreamy prospect in¬†check.¬† But¬†this close connection has¬†made us even more dedicated to knowing our farmer and their practices¬†as much as possible.¬† Truth be told, there are a lot of different phrases used on packaging¬†that are used to airbrush dirty or unhealthy practices.¬† My decoder ring can’t keep up with the myriad of ways that these practices get off on technicalities or fuzzy language and into the market.

Here are a couple of articles I like about grass-fed vs. grain fed beef:

Health Benefits of Grass Farming

The Differences Between Grass-Fed Beef and Grain-Fed Beef

And one to ponder about the ethics of eating meat:

Is Eating Meat Ethical?

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2012 in California, Food, Travel log

 

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It doesn’t get easier.

We cried when we left Texas. We cried when we left California. Arizona. Texas again. Florida. And now we’re crying as we leave New Hampshire. Family, old friends, and new friends that quickly become old friends. It doesn’t get any easier to say, “goodbye.” We’ve been in NH for two and a half months. That’s the longest we’ve stayed in one place since we embarked on this RV journey one year ago. This is where Chris and I began our journey together with the loving support of our families; where our babies joined our lives; where we met and fell in love with a handful of other families who shared our desire to parent in a connected way and to support our children in pursuing their interests and learning in their own individual ways.

So when you ask me, “is it hard for the kids to say ‘goodbye’?” I’ll tell you the truth. It’s hard. Sometimes it’s beyond hard. Today it’s unbearable… for all of us.

I don’t have a way to make it easier. I have hashed this out over and over in my brain wondering if this was somehow damaging or mean to do to the children. Like with most things, though, the light dawns through our communications with them. We feel the emotions together. We talk about the people we love. It’s raw and honest. We even wonder aloud if traveling is the right thing if it hurts this much to leave.

Here’s what we came to today: We love our friends and family here so much. Time spent here is time spent wrapped in the comfort of the fold. These people are our people. When we are here, we are home. But our home moves. And that is amazing. It means that we have the ongoing opportunity to nurture and develop relationships with people along the way and at our destinations that we would never be able to do if we lived full time in one place. We have adventures and excitement beyond our wildest dreams. And we maintain these heartfelt connections made and grown until we return to throw another log on the fire in person.

We love our life. But saying ‘goodbye’ doesn’t get easier.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2011 in RV

 

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