Hitching rides with a sheep is hard!
Thank you Derrick, Shane and Liam for our awesome realtalk conversation and thanks for offering Dottie and i a lift into Azalea, Oregon. Yesterday it was literally raining ashes from the nearby forest fires and today its actually blue sky while we graze next to the Azalea post office.
Our summer route so far..
Yellow was where we walked and red is where we were offered rides so far this summer. Dottie sheep and i are currently in Wolf Creek, Oregon working our way up to Winston where we’ll take the 42 hwy west over to the coast for some cool fresh air away from all the forest fire smoke..
Grazing highway easement helps prevent forest fires caused by littered cigarettes.
Local governments should encourage urban shepherding for it’s ability to attract eco-tourism and sustainably manage urban brushfires, especially after SHTF and gasoline isnt available for people to mow. Maybe they’ll require licenses to be able to do what im currently doing, when enough people start to see and begin trying it. They’ll make people take “leave no trace” and “wildfire steward” classes to earn a certification, which seems like a good thing. I just hope i can continue to afford a “walking-license” without using their future microchip currency? Wildfire smoke is clearer this morning headed north entering Hugo, Oregon.
Trying to hitchhike to the Coast again with a sheep to escape wildfire smoke!
We left Ashland a week ago to hitch over to the 199hwy and then down it to the coast but once we got to the 199 i heard about a new forest fire along its path in Selma. The only other way to the coast around here is up the I5 and then west over to Coos Bay but its a tighter pass with skinnier easments between the road edge and the bordering private property fences so i was discouraged from wanting to go to the coast through there. I got several clear days and nights while in Grants Pass so it gave me recharge air to illogically rationalize going back into my potentially smoky valley(house on fire) for the farmstand map project i talked about in my previous post. We walked with clear skies the whole way until from Grants Pass almost reaching Rogue River when the smoke settled in again on us reminding me of that horrible claustrophobic feeling! I also got a call from a friend, Anne who i sold 3 of my dairy sheep to. She said it was still so smoky in Ashland that she was considering selling the sheeps outside the area cheap cause she felt bad for them. So Dottie and i upon seeing this smoke and news, we turned the fuck around and started walking back towards Grants Pass to head up the northern route to the coast. Along our walk back we wanted ti avoid Southeast Grants Pass cause its a tweeker haven and so we stuck our thumb out to catch a ride and caught my first actual little 4 door car ride with a sheep!? Dottie “loaded up” quite well by jumping up on the back seat, then i sat in closing the door and turned her around on the seat to sit her down resting her head comfortably in my lap. She rode better like this than in any truck or hatchback i think cause the seat had less vibration and the seat wasnt even stable enough to sit on. The cool young hippy couple didnt care about the backseat seatcover getting soiled so i didnt even lay down our small tarp and Dottie didnt have any dookies the whole trip from southeast Grants Pass up to Merlin!
So Local Food
Hah! I turned on my phone the other day to find it had completely erased 2 apps from its homescreen; facebook and imovie!? Ive been using imovie to edit my youtube video blogs with. My phone signal here in Grants Pass isnt good enough to redownload those apps, so i remembered i could share something of our story today through the more independent platform that i should have been sharing on all along anyways!?
So my dairy sheep Dottie and i walked out of the forestfire-smoky Rogue Valley towards the coast with clear air to breath. We were also going out to explore the Pacific Coast Trail to see how much better it was than the Pacific Crest Trail? We walked into Whistling Duck Farmstand and Pennington Farms Barn Bakery along our way through Southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley. I was so impressed with the quality and freshness of these foods that i instantly wanted to abandon our coastal vacation for a local foods tour! The next morning i got the idea that i should make a map of all the farmstands and local-ingredient eatery’s around our Southern Oregon area like they make maps of the wineries and the fanciest restaurants. Then the next day, upon visiting Pennington Farms Barn Bakery the cashier Mia, suggested we add the regions farmers markets schedules to the map! My dairy sheep and i caught a ride from the end of the Applegate in Murphy up to Grants Pass, effectively departing our previous route towards the coast. We’re walking towards Fort Vannoy Farmstand in NW side of Grants Pass 5791 Lower River Road right now to document this renown farmstand that is not documented on the only existing internet list of farmstands. I think im gonna also add southern oregon woofing farms to this map so people can stop $laving for the artificial economic system and start circulating themselves around to their community farms to do less work thats more rewarding and use the lesser amounts of money earned from this unprofession to invest/indulge in all the local farmstand eateries, along their way to work for the next farm. My map will also detail the fruit/nut trees, wild edible plant patches, spring water outlets, swimming holes, parking spots and camping spots in Southern Oregon. Will add pics later when phone signal comes back up.
We got a working phone again to update y’all!
- JC sheep and i walked/hitched up to Washington a couple months ago to pickup a little dairy sheep that we found on craigslist and put a $50 paypal deposit on. The little sheep “Dottie” had many of the characteristics that im looking for; floppy ears, long tail to hold in her poopcup, fine wool, a small body weight, tri-colored.. except she wasnt a very good milk producer and she was missing a tooth so she was noticably less efficient in her eating habits so i ended up giving her to someone in Eatonville, Washington under the agreement that i could come back and breed my dairy ram with her and have the first round of offspring..which would have all their teeth AND have more dairy production than their momma! Since then JC and i’ve been making our way south back down to the Applegate Valley in Southern Oregon to switch out my grandma ewe who’s now in-milk and farmup my current ewe on-hand JC(daughter) until she’s rebred to be milking for me by early springtime.
Around Centralia, Washington we got interviewed by a reporter and here’s the link; http://www.chronline.com/nomadic-shepherd-in-centralia/image_2d22ce56-6380-11e7-b806-af0558f64f62.html
Then we hitched a rideshare from Chehalis down to what was supposed to be Portland but was actually Janzen Island which turned out to only have one way for my sheep and i to get over the bridge; the Portland Max train. Yes i bought a 2.50$ ticket, boarded the Max with my pet dairy sheep(wearing a poopcup), had her lay down like she does in car rides and we were in Milwaukee Oregon in 20 minutes!
Then we got interviewed for a Portland TV news KATU channel 2!Or you can read the article here; http://kval.com/news/offbeat/roaming-shepherd-spotted-in-canby-heads-south-to-jacksonville
Then I picked a gallon of blueberries at a u-pick patch in Dundee Oregon while JC grazed inbetween the bushes til she was fat, then i let her dig into the gallon of blueberries..she was soo happy!
Its pretty difficult to find a place with wifi where my sheeps can graze nearby long enough for me to load all the backphotos/descriptions from the last time we posted with available wifi. I will continue to try to upload with just wifi, but if people want to see more then you can buy Tmobile prepaid phone cards(available at any convenience, grocery or drugstore..its the pink one!) and email the number to me so i can input it in this phone, have data, and then be able to blog while in nature, away from wifi!?
Blah, blah, blog
There has been too much going on! I will try to highlight; since the Ashland city councel banned my dairy sheep(seriously watch it at 1:57:27)from walking through town i have spent at least 6 months trying to build/invent a bicycle trailer that could haul 2 of my dairy sheep through town, as a necessary loop-hole to their new law. I develope a working model that we traveled around the Rogue Valley and lived out of for 2 months! Unfortunately, i found Ashland itself to be much too hilly to have to pull my sheep up since i could not legally let them out to walk!? For another couple of months i fielded the possibility of helping select homeless to build their own version as a simple bicycle trailer-home with the $5000 that i raised for the Homefree Hostels project in Ashland 5 years ago? The idea was if the homeless had a legitimate camper that was self contained then they should be able to park it right behind a rich tourist’s camper to sleep as they are allowed to do? Unfortunately, i found myself gathering more material possessions with the increased trailer space and subsequently having to put those new possessions under the bike camper while i slept, so it didnt seem like other homeless would be able to keep a “self-contained” appearance at night either? I wanted to try making it a little bigger and work-in some wall and overhead storage so it could be more self-contained at night, but i felt that the other homeless who would make theirs’ would need to make it even bigger which would be too difficult to ride on the shoulder of roads, and may seem like a general homeless nuisance instead of a respectable homeless solution? I ended up givingup trying to evolve the bicycle trailer-home idea because i didnt think it would actually be able to help the homeless as much as it would piss people off that homeless bikecampers would have to be legally allowed to park everywhere a regular bike trailer can? I didnt have time or money to work on it and i didnt want to burden anyone by asking to park it on their property so i decided to just park it down on the bikepath across from the Wellsprings with a FREE sign on it! Lets see, what else has happened? I felted A LOT of wool and taught myself to make my own clothes for the winter!I also tried raising $2000 on Kickstarter to complete and publish my “World’s smallest survival guide” that fits in your wallet so you never leave home without it! I quickly found that every successful fundraiser on those sites actually has to pay a person/company to promote their project so that it will be funded. If you dont have money to begin with and you have the best idea in the world(not saying mine waslol) then you don’t get funded! I then saved up $60 myself and scheduled an appointment with the graphic designer at Printfast to simply complete my “World’s smallest survival guide”! Its now free to print and share, just click here! Then, for the first time in my life i actually decided to get a facebook “profile” to start connecting with people better? I been trying to learn to blog on there for the past month under my name Aaron Fletcher. Follow me on facebook here!lol
“Porches for the Poor” Project
February 13, 2016(original post date)I was just blessed with some more Sleep Slip Dollars that i have been able to hand out to the Ashland homeless so they can get them signed for a legal place to sleep for the night! I’ve also been giving them to home/business dwellers in hopes that some will return them to me signed with a legal place to sleep for the night?! Last time i was in town i had 3 different spots that i was allowed to sleep, but i have had dozens of spots over the years through these simple Sleep Slips. This time in town it didnt take long for the first person, Christopher Briscoe to hand me back one, simply allowing me to “be” on the front porch of his downtown business between 9pm and 8am through the entire month of February! Everyone can now personally address the homeless problem themselves and become as proactive and as virtuous a citizen as Chris! Click here to watch video footage of my first night “being” on his front porch. Print out these Sleep Slip Dollars here and email the pdf to everybody you know who may have the selflessness to help solve homelessness!
Ashland council conspires to kick sheepman out of Ashland!?
On November 17th, The Ashland City Councelers changed our community’s “Keeping of Animals” laws to make clear that driving, riding or leading livestock in any street, public right-of-way, or city park is deemed to be a public nuisance except under the terms of a valid special use permit issued by the City Administrator.
In their meeting they slip up, use my name and admit that they are changing the laws specifically to target me and my innocent little sheeper pets!(watch it here at 1:57:27) In their reports, the Ashland City Clowncil accuses my 2 pet dairy sheep and I of being a nuisance, that my sheep are unsanitary and that they cause property damage?! We have always had “poop cups” on our mini goats/dairy sheep to catch their compost-ready little poop pellets! We make people happy when they get to see these harmless animals peacefully grazing on the weeds. Yard owners plead and pay me to bring the sheep to graze their yards! We have dozens of yards now in Ashland that we have been providing free lawn maintanance to for over 2 years! Citizens also tell me how much nicer it is to have a break from hearing the loud and obnoxious lawnmowers/leafblowers! I also constantly hear tourists happily saying “only in Ashland” when they see my sheep grazing, which has been proven to create something called “eco-tourism” in many other communities..they could actually make money off our existence instead of trying to get rid of us?
Here is the video of their city councel meeting, watch it for yourself and see how exclusionary our spiritual community has become so you can do something to prevent further corruption in the future! Click here to watch! (They start talking about changing it at 1:47:50, then they slip up and admit that they are changing the law to specifically target me at 1:57:27 !)
I missed court..warrant?
October 07, 2015(original post date)
First i woke up(6am) and remembered that i had forgotten yesterday to go to Comak’s first potluck since he’s been back! I woke up feeling so horrible because i kniw first-hand how shitty it feels to try and help your community and to have them not respect or partake in it. I was soo happy when Comak said that he was gonna give his potlucks another go to see if people still wanted them..then i forgot to go and show some basic support!? God i hope some other people webt so that Comak is encouraged to continue these much needed community potlucks in the park. They arent as much needed for feeding as much as they serve as a meeting point in the week for people who otherwise have a difficult time connecting because they dont have a home or phone. Then after i was able to control my nausea from forgetting to support one of Ashland’s only true activists, i remembered that i forgot court this morning!? I called the courthouse and they said my “leaving animals unnattended” ticket for tying my sheep up while i ran into Webster’s was not an actual crime so it wouldnt result in a warrant but that it would be sent to a collections agency. I asked if the other “leaving animals unattended” ticket (that Carpenter also gave me for having my sheep lay down 6 feet to my right in order to protect them from the dog that was with the person i was talking to who was sitting on the bench to my left) would go to collections if i missed the second court date and she said yes because it was simply a violation and not misdemeanor crime. So i don’t see any point in waiting around town for a bogus court date when the result would be the same; a fine that i am literally unable to pay, it is sent to collections and then officer Carpenter gets his wish of banning me from the whole downtown area for 6 months under the already questionable “Ashland exclusionary zone”? So i’m gonna leave town, at least for awhile because Ashland seems to have become less and less supportive of the projects and efforts. As a result i have become less and less patient with the other people who live here, which is creating a downward spiral of respect for both of us. The room is about to be fire(the economy when the shit hits the fan) and i’ve been trying to preemptively hand out fire extinguishers(solutions to the problems) to the people in town and they have just laughed at my offers, then they tried to ignore them and now they have been fighting against them. Well i don’t want to keep pushing these solutions because i don’t want to “win” as Gandhi put it, because i just want to help, but if Ashland doesnt want or think that they need any help, then so be it? I’m headed north in the next few days to find a community that is actually supportive of sustainability-mindedness and to help them to preemtively transition to reduce their suffering when the SHTF. Blessings Ashland.