and I would like to thank in this way, even if I don’t know the name of everyone.
She was my first host and comforted me after my long flight. I am grateful how easy she made my first days in California. It was very special to stay in the Los Angeles Ranges, a place I might have not seen without her. She showed me not only the Pine Mountain Club, she also introduced me to:
buddhist monks: Reverend Master Phoebe and Reverend Master Seikai:
I was invited to be part of the Lotus Ceremony and here you can listen what Master Phoebe said about the ceremony during the Dharma Talk where we sat together and drank some tea and had some cookies which I found a touching way of teaching as we were encouraged to talk with her and ask questions.
I met Sandra at the parking lot of San Andreas Trail close to Palo Alto. She is born in New York and lives now since almost 30 years in California. She encouraged me to write about my experiences about my travel and she is reading this blog too. Quite a lot people I met use google translator. I was surprised how many were interested to read my blog. That is also a reason why I write this in English.
She is another couchsurfing host of mine and she is still encouraging me and I love that we are still in contact. I had to smile when she wrote after I sent her a book back, she borrowed me:
I have lost a couple of books over the years by lending them to close, dear friends that I had known for decades, and that I would trust with my life.(One of the couch surfing ratings, trusting someone with your life)
But trusting a book return is one step higher than trusting ones life!
So, I trust you with my life, and with my books!
Maybe the librarian’s heart came through. It means a lot to me that she told me that she invited me because of my photos but also that she uses her annual pass to the California State Parks now more often because of my travel blog. I like her pictures and her houses. If you want to see her houses, than enjoy I like her style.
Special Thanks to her.
Lyn and Sam:
while Sam was quite busy, I had wonderful talks with Lyn. It was like knowing her for ages and I came just home for a visit. We spoke about families, the world, our jobs … all that stuff you talk to familiar people. I am grateful that she made me feel we know each other since decades. I miss talks like I had with her. He, Lyn, you wondered what I will resume about you. Here you can see.
She works at the Lassen National Forest close to the campground where I staid at Mount Lassen. She was cheering me up for this travel asking if she could come along with me. She was so friendly and nice and explained and showed me where I can go and what might be special for me. That she looked at this blog even after weeks was a lovely surprise. Rangers like her are doing a wonderful job and I think they give a lot to all of visitors — happy we found someone like her.
Rachel is a 20 year old woman and I found her on a rainy day crying with her little dog on the staircase of my motel. I didn’t know what to do. Might it be obtrusive if I talk to her? I did and as I couldn’t understand her because of her heartbreaking tears I invited her for a breakfast. She told me a long story and I don’t know if it was true or not. But I saw her care for her dog, I saw her wish to make it. Her boyfriend kicked her out and she had no family who cares for her that was easy to believe. I don’t know if she really gave her child away for an adoption, she lost her mom 15 months ago. But I saw how strong she wanted to make it. Few days later I saw Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness and I asked myself how many homeless or almost homeless people has the same dream and how many won’t make it.
At Lowell Covered Bridge I met a lady who was cleaning the exhibition inside the the bridge. I asked her why this bridge was only covered partly. She didn’t know but then I could see that the other part was a dam and not a bridge anymore. I don’t know how it came but I spoke about the Roosevelts. Theodor Roosevelt whom I just knew from ‚Arsenic and Old Lace’ when the cousin was digging the Panama-Canal and who gave the teddy bears his name. Honestly he wanted a canal through Nicaragua and they bought it from the French. But he made quite a lot of National Parks, National Monuments, and National Forests and was the founder of Muir Woods National Monument. Here I heard of him and startet the research because this happened in 1908 and in 1945 the 50 delegates who signed the United Nations Charter went there. Franklin D. Roosevelt died shortly before it and on May 19, the delegates held a commemorative ceremony in tribute to his memory in Muir Woods’ Cathedral Grove.
Therefore I started to look for them while the first was a Republican, the second executed the ‚New Deal’ and a Democrat. So I told her that quite a lot of the dams at this time were built as a activity against the great depression of the 30s. Lot of the methods are now part of what Obama is trying to force. I spoke with her that the Republican act as this has never happened before but it did. She agreed and I was a little surprised because I didn’t expect to find people who like Obama in the countryside. So I told her that he has now gained more money from private people than 4 years ago. More people are active in his new campaign than 4 years ago. The Republicans like Palin have 1/7 of friends as Obama has in facebook. Maybe just journalists love the loud odd opinions of Republicans and therefore We hear more of them. Not all are watching Rachel Maddows.
On 4 July a young man came to me and asked me if I want to register for the election. With him it was clear that he was looking for voters for Obama. With him I spoke about the power of companies. Few days ago the 5 Million women lost a lawsuit because men are earning more than women at Walmart. They treat companies like any living person which is quite strange but started somehow with the roman law where properties count more than human lives. And we still have that but with decisions like that it becomes more obvious what strange direction our societies are going to. But if it doesn’t fit the companies a state can’t do anything. Some cities want to ban plastic bag but the plastic companies are fighting against it. Or stronger laws against power plants: here the Federal Supreme court says it isn’t possible that single states make stronger laws. We spoke about the unbelievable power of Monsanto and their restriction which is in my opinion against human rights. They bring more poverness than any other company I know.
I was just happy to find someone to talk about that after I was listening to different shows. And of course the talks with my friend Betty with skype who spoke with me about the situation in Wisconsin. I am definitely curious how it will go on because the people became active after the election and a Republican won.
I had almost forgotten that I met him till he wrote weeks later. I think he is not aware that he was the only one for 2 days who spoke with me in the Portland Hostel. I know that I don’t have real problems to get to know people but there no one spoke to me. They looked at me asking what the hell I want to do there. One stopped talking after realizing that I am from Austria like Schwarzenegger. Thank you Andrew, you gave me the confidence back the others took away. Good luck for your job!
I don’t know if this is the correct writing Haley like the comet but not written like it. Which was the compromise of her parents and not calling her ‚new moon’ but still people call her that way. What a nice talk we had on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Her Grandmother is from Wels in Upper Austria and she knew some German words. Her baby is almost a year and I just remember the 2nd name ‚Rebel’. I hope that he will live his name. We spoke about her childhood (she is 25) and now even at the most peacefully countryside children prefer to play with the computer different to her. She was out from morning till evening. I wonder where children will be able to learn what we learnt playing with others. Are they faster in learning social competence and empathy? This is the beach where she played as a child. We also spoke about the idea that Americans are seen as superficial. She first thought so but I think Americans are quite open and other people are in different ways close but you can’t connect openess with superficial. You might need as long as with close people and as much patience and efford for all people. If you don’t care more for the other, the result will always be the same.Take care and all the best for your small family and marry if you like it and if it is important for you and for no other reason! And visit your grandmother as long as it is possible, this is important!
Twilight Town Forks and their Jan:
She is a lovely lady from Town Motel and we had some lovely talks and I am looking forward to read the book of Nicholas Spark she gave to me (and I will look for Notebook by him too). And the legend of the Sand Dollar. It is beautiful for me to hear that for the 50th anniversary she took her whole family of 27 and cruise to the Caribbean. I have to write her that I came home safely which she asked me to do. I just saw now on her website what good prize I got. Maybe because of the rain? I was quite grateful that I didn’t had to learn about the ‚Twilight’ which you found all over the place. Thank you for all.
It was raining and I stood at one of the less beautiful trees of the ‚you have to see’ trees of my trip when someone asked me if I am impressed by this big … wow I had to look into the information of Olympic National Park. I forgot the name of the tree: it was a big Sitka spruce tree. I told him that the Big Cedar more south is more impressing. He was curious and as everyone who knows me: I CAN talk. And I told him about the trees, old and young land, about National Parks and so on and so forth. And he made notes, finally he said that he is a journalist and curious as I am, I asked for the newspaper. New York Times… He took a picture of mine which he send me later. He doesn’t know that I was married to a journalist. I know their fire when they hear good stories. Thank you for your fire.I prepared these lines a week ago as a finish of my trip (is there anything better than a BIG THANKKS at the end?). But during that week Bill wrote not just an article about the rainforest which was what I expected but an article about my travel:
Earthly Dream Is Realized in the Rain Forest
By WILLIAM YARDLEY Published: July 27, 2011
It is my fire to write ‚My little Stories about almost Everything’ which I already started. It made the end overwhelming. My stories are also encouraged by the next lady:
she was hitchhiking at the Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island. And she almost felt asleep because of her 2 jobs and she was going to visit her daughter in hospital. But she listened quite interested to my stories where I try to explain in easy words what scientists know nowadays about the universe and the world. She belongs to the First Nation of Ahousat but never lived in the reservation. I was happy to hear that she started to listen to the stories of the eldest. She told me about the eagle and the sea serpent which are the animals of her tribe. The eagle who came to every funeral and fly in circles around the family and friends. I remembered when I drove into their territory by accident that it was different feeling, a peace I didn’t felt on other places. But I was also in other reserve which felt more insecure and searching. She thanked me telling that stuff in words she can understand. That convinced me about the importance of a book like that.
It was recorded and the music is by Trent. (We were sitting in a coffee shop in Vienna just talking, and that’s what he made out of it :-).
Winnie, Yvonne and Gael:
Funny Victoria! After luxury couchsurfing places with an own room and an own bathroom, I stayed now at Winnie’s place. I was lucky that I had my mattress and sleeping bag with me as she had just one blanket but three couchsurfing guests. After the first night with Yvonne from Germany, Gael from New Mexico arrived and we slept in the kitchen/livingroom of about 18 sqm with a parking in it. It was good that she wrote in her profile that she smokes medical .… I didn’t know how much you need of that. In her enthusiasm of having guests from all over the world, I think she overestimate the tolerance of the guests. It was a kind of strange to sleep 2 other strangers in a small room on the floor. But on the other hand I had an experience I wouldn’t have had without her even if I don’t want to experience it again.
Talk with 2 enlightened guys at McDonalds in Victoria
Would you expect to sit at McDonalds and talk with enlightened people? Me neither. We spoke about universal power, unity and eternity. I didn’t expect that. But I had this conversation. I was just leaving when the man next to me said something and I totally forgot what he said. (I couldn’t even remember during the conversation how all began). But after 2 minutes I explained him my definition how everything started. It wasn’t the first time I did that.
But after speaking for a while with one guy the second accompanied us and we spoke for 2 hours till we went our own ways. Also this talk was definitely inspiring and touching. But I am not enlightened and one said we should believe and he would teach us. While the other enlightened said he found it and knows that he can’t explain because he lives now and don’t believe I will answer mails. The man doesn’t know me.
I just meant that nothing will convince me that I just have to believe. I want to understand and not all understanding comes out of mind. Once I heard at a radio-show a first people storyteller say: Food of the mind will feed the heart. Isn’t that an interesting view? I still see my wish to grow, as I still have problems to understand the no-attachment. I would have loved to communicate at least with the second one but he thought that he isn’t attached to anything anymore. I believe that love for each other and care is more important than any enlightenment. Or should I say my vision of enlightenment is love and care? And I don’t know how this goes without attachment. I’ll see.
Jan and Jakub:
2 young Czech men in the hostel in Vancouver prepared me in a way to going home. The 2 of them are travelling around the world and I don’t know exactly what it was but the way they speak or behave just brought back my home. Is there a special middle European way of beiing? Maybe.
THANK YOU ALL. You were all part making this trip special! Good luck and save travel through your lives!