Pan America 2011 - 2012
American writers like Kerouac and Miller influenced me a lot when I was in my Twenties. And I heard lots about the West Coast from American travellers, recommending great national parks and the Route 101 that is sort of famous thing to do for cyclists. So I decided to postpone other planned adventures and flew to Vancouver BC, equipped with my good old pushbike, a tent and a (warm!) sleeping bag.
After fantastic landscapes and forests down South to San Diego I teamed up with Kathrin, a great cycling mate. When we reached the Southern tip of Baja California, we decided to move on together, crossed Mexico into Guatemala and Belize. After living in a rented house on the Lake Atitlan we ventured out for snow capped mountains of South America, crossing the Andes from Santiago to Mendoza and moved up North again, to Machu Picchu. After 11 months and 11000 kilometres I arrived back in Germany, with Kathrin...
- Category: Pan America 2011 - 2012
Barry, my warmshowers host in Hollywood helps me to get some more unexpected maintenance done on my beloved bicycle - the fork started leaking badly. Quick service being rather impossible, I get a good over for a replacement and even a reasonable price for my old fork. Good news - the Morning Star Ranch, not too far away from LA, accepted my application for a WWOOFing experience (that is volunteer working on organic farms). It takes me almost a day to get out of LA and its sometimes rough and filthy suburbs. That is where most of the small churches are, the least cars on the wide streets and the people in rags push shopping carts far away from any super market. I reach Dana Point after sunset at 4:30PM. The recent time change to Winter time really shortens the time available for cycling if one doesn't take off at 6:30AM. However, a cyclist approaches me in the dark, asking where I was coming from and where I was headed. And if I wasn't in the mood to join him and his family for diner and some Bible reading. I could as well stay with them, and if not, the camp ground was not far away. Having not much in common with the Church I'm puzzled, yet nod and follow this guy up another hill to his home. Apparently Bob has spotted me from a bus on the way, and decided to invite me. I receive a hearty Welcome from his wife Jenny and his son David, who is being educated by Jenny at home. A nice diner, long talks about their faith and my journey and the sons back problem. The bible reading is cancelled, and instead I can give David some Reiki. On the following morning, the two of us attend a free Yoga session in the park. I believe some good Yoga instructions and practice could help David a lot.
Another small bicycle repair in San Clemente, a neat surfer town just a few miles South of Dana Point: the wire of the front shift system teared to pieces. However, because of that stop I learn about a nearby camp ground, and decide to stay here for a night. The camp ground does not have a hiker/biker camp, yet I am really lucky and get a ocean view place for 6 dollars instead of 35. Meet Nate playing some great guitar songs in his car, and join him in the bar where he's playing at night, just after a marvelous sunset. Beers and fun and big talks and a dull feeling in my head the morning after.
The Morning Star Ranch was just some 40 miles away I belived and took it easy. Left the campground late, enjoyed a long rest and great food on a farmers market in Carlsbad and a visit to an old mission museum. Great ascends on the remaining 20 miles, and again it is getting late without seeing a trace of the farm. I stop at a small Deli in sparcely settled area, ready to pay for a taxi to bring me to the ranch. I'm welcomed by bearded young man with long hair and women in kind of old fashioned clothes and headscarf. Quickly I learn that the Deli belongs to the Morning Star Ranch, and receive an energizing green pulpy juice as well as a free lift to the farm. The community consists of roughly 100 people, man, women, children of all ages it seems at a first glance. Every member has a Hebrew name which is hard for me to memorize at first.
There is no private property any more among the members, just the shared community property. Everyone works really hard for their savour Yashua, and to repay the mortgage they bought the farm with. Thousands of Avocado trees on a hill, thousands of Grapefruit and Persimmon trees full of ripe fruits surround the nice red and white painted wooden main house with the dining room, the kitchen and some laundry facilities. I get a bed in one of the yurts for the single male members and visitors, and are asked to join the daily evening gathering right after a shower. Members of all ages talk in the wood fire heated training hall about their day, express their gratitude for their master Yashua. Then they sing and dance in a big turning circle. Two guys play guitar, a boy plays on an African drum. Good vibes. The next day is Sabbath – no work is done but lot of spiritual ceremonies and talks. Two newer female community members get baptised under an almost full moon in the pond near the ceremony house. What a biblical scenery! There are two more WWOOFers like me on the farm. We are assigned fruit picking or collecting firewood or any other farm work under the supervision of some brothers on the following days. Work is hard but pleasant, and I can learn a few things about the local fruits and vegetables as well as the foundation principles and the 40 years history of the international Twelve Tribes communities. These guys strongly believe in the bible and in Yashua who laid down his live for the sake of man. Yet they don't belong to any Church. With the daily morning and evening gatherings they encourage and motivate themselves to stay on the path, and give their best. I'm amazed to see a really functional and loving commune on the one hand, and bewildered by the omnipresent talks about Yashua and a few other aspects. Reiki – well, Yashua will cure the ones in need. Nor is there any way for beers or tobacco or free love outside marriage.
Eventually I get a chance to play Harmonica with Zach, the other WWOOFer the night before he leaves. And two nights before I re-enter the normal live. Ravach brings me and my bike to Vista for a brief visit to the Yellow Deli, an amazing restaurant made of recycled old barn wood. The restaurant belongs to the Twelve Tribes too, and attracts everyday many customers that care for organic good food. I ride down to San Diego, where I can stay for four nights in the home a very nice cyclists.