Wednesday
Nov242004

« Day 6: Ferndale to Ukiah »

Be sure to look at the Treehugger Tour Photo Gallery with great captions to enhance these entries.

Shambala ranch house looks like a redwood mansion on the hills. beautiful.Shambala Ranch main houseThis morning we were still in Ferndale, and for the few hours we were here, we just milled around the town and looked at shops and generally made Kelli lust for the chance to live here. We went to the town museum where there were some interesting artifacts from their history—everything from farm implements to blacksmithing tools and switchboards for the earliest phone systems in the area. Not bad for a dollar at the door.

Then we left and finally started to head south to Ukiah. It's funny. The distances aren't too great in absolute terms but all our trips seem to go on for a long time. Of course we do stop to get out and look around at a few things, but damn! Anyhow, we took off the freeway at Ukiah and had to go what we thought was going to be an eight mile drive. It turned out to be 18 miles of moderately improved road, all twisty and windy through some steep forested hills. Some double backs were marked as being 10mph and I think one was for 5mph! All this was at night and the fog started to roll in. Our stay for the night was in an extremely out of the way place called Shambala Ranch. It is a place so isolated they are off any power grid, so they have their own solar and generator system for all their electrical. I believe somehow they have internet as well.

Once we got off the spaghetti-like road and found the lodge, we found we were the only ones there for the night, and we only had the manager lady to talk to. Since the facility was so unorthodox by most modern standards, we of course had to ask about this stuff, and that led into a talk about the state of the world, and we even talked peak oil! Traveling in northern California seems to bring out a lot more stated and obvious concern for such matters. I wish we had more time to get chatty along those lines. Anyhow, we were talking about the peak oil problem and that led to talk about intentional communities, which Kelli and I are growing interested in. Eventually we retired to our little tiny cottage and did the newlywed thing and called it a night.

This place was sooo isolated there was literally NO noise. My drumming-induced tinnitus was louder than any ambient noise. There was no road noise and no ocean noise, and at that time of night, no generator noise. It was utterly blissful. I wish I had a week or a lifetime to spend there. Ferndale was quite similar once the town went to sleep, but this was just quiet as can be, except for talking. Silence was a goal for me on this trip. In that regard, most of our places were very nice to be in.

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