Thursday, August 7, 2014

Whale Oil Beef Hooked. Lark Camp Day 2.

Day Two – Sunday.  No weather information, no communication with the outside world. Electricity only in limited places. Toilets are clean, food is reasonable. Someone else cooks it. I front up and am happy.

But tonight I am ill, ever so slightly. Means bed by ten. The walk home is dark. The useless relic of my city life – the iPhone with no reception – serves as a reasonable torch.

Words like that – torch – cause some laughter – it's 'flashlight'. But not as much consternation as my name. Hi Mike! Pleased to meet you. Or jokes about the 'cute aussie accent'.

Whale Oil Beef Hooked.

Thanks for that.

So I'm home alone. I hear a rare sound across the creek – an electronically produced noise. It's a transistor radio of some sort, playing … I mean ... replicating a sound. Voices, singing.

It is a rare sound because it is not being produced live.

Everything happening here is live. Not virtual, though I did briefly see one kid today with a gameboy (or somesuch).

All the music, all the conversations, all the learning. It is all happening face-to-real-face. I leave to go home (sick) and cannot pass up the chance to play with two of the most incredible improvising musicians here at camp. Both of them are Czech-American virtuosos – Radim and Leo - respectively - jazz mandolin and melodica. I trot back to get my trumpet and join in. I can join in, on the instrument and in spirit – I am welcomed. It is wonderful creative stuff – I help them turn Santana's 'Europa' into disco hit “I will survive” vocally, and then its back to Europa. And there is another song, that sounds like Piazola's 'Libertango'. It's all fabulous.

Life here at Lark – will I survive seven whole days?

The sun ...

I miss the sun. It does eventually penetrate through the perpetual sea fog, which doesn't quite rule this far inland, but still has an effect. It is mainly the trees that block the sun. We sunbathe in bed, between 3:30 and 3:55, the light streaming along the opening in the canopy caused by the creek. And then it is gone again, for perhaps another 24 ish hours.  The only time it really shines down is when it can shine straight down, between the giant sequoia trunks.

I now understand the comment by the previous Mendocino Woodlands caretaker who lived here for ten years, but then had to leave. It was just too dark. She now lives on a treeless ridge top with 360 deg views. I can understand that. I get that.

We are looking forward to home. But are learning and enjoying so much.

God Bless America. Well at least this tiny little bit.


  1. Love your blog Mark. Just don't ask for a serviette in the kitchen. They only have napkins.

  2. Why thank you ma'am! No! Thank-you! (Referencing Little Britain USA).