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Tiny Home/The Iron Skillet in Sedro Wooley

Idea for a tiny home (by side of road near Sedro Woolley Washington). The addition on the side could be a bathroom By the way, probably the best roadside breakfast I've ever had was at the Iron Skillet in Sedro Wooley yesterday.

I caught about 4 hours comfortable sleep in the back of my truck last night and am writing this from the Stage Door Cafe in Mt. Shasta City, Calif. (Driving south on Hwy 5, Mt. Shasta suddenly looms in the distance, a powerful presence, a definitely magic mountain). Apparently storms are about to hit the coast, from BC down to the SF Bay Area. We need the rain.

SunRay Kelley's Latest Structure

SunRay is one of the 3 major builders in Builders of the Pacific Coast.. I stopped off at his homestead in N/W Washington yesterday on my way home. He has replaced the white tarp roof that covered his shop with this new log structure. All the poles are from his land, as is the cedar panelling (which is shiplapped — and laid up in the same order in which it came off the tree).

Leaving Vancouver/Cigar Store Whiteman/Spirit Wrestler Gallery

I'm heading south in a few minutes. I stayed about 3 extra days in Vancouver, it's such a wonderful city. Here are a few discoveries:
• Kintaro Ramen. Japanese soup kitchen on the 700 block of Denman. The place was packed. Great soup on a cold day.
• The 1100 block of Davie is full of little restaurants, a lot like the upper West Side in NYC. I had good Vietnamese soup at Pho Central. I was sitting at a table in the window and a guy came in from the street and said, "I saw you on TV Monday..." The Dish is another cool little restaurant. There's a Greek restaurant that had a line out in the street.
• Daryl's Native Arts and Coffee, 945 Davie, has a few really nice First Nations art pieces, good coffee, and the below wooden figure out front with a sign saying "The cigar store Indian 'Elijah' has been replaced by this cigar store white man, General Custer. It's payback time."

Spirit Wrestler Gallery

Above: Raven and whale bentwood box by Douglas Zilkle at http://www.spiritwrestler.com/

I wandered in to this gallery in Gastown on Sunday and was stunned. I was surrounded by objects of great beauty. This gallery carries museum-quality artwork created by (alive) native people, of 3 cultures: the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest Coast, the Inuit of the Canadian Arctic and the Maori of Aotearoa (New Zealand). I bought a jade crossover pendant made by a young man (Tamaora Walker) of the Te Arawa tribe (one of seven Maori groups of indigenous peoples), and I think I'll wear it the rest of my life. For me, a place like this, with their focus, is better than museums which tend to overwhelm me.

I had a long conversation with Nigel Reading, one of the owners. When I left, I told him that being around these beautiful objects "...made my heart sing," like, I said, you know,.the '60s song "Wild Thing." He said, "Yeah, wasn't that the Troggs..?"

I've been telling all the Canadians I know to check this gallery out. It's at 47 Water Street in Gastown.

Otis Redding — Try A Little Tenderness

A great live version:

Lloyd House's New Gypsy Wagon

Lloyd House was the numero uno builder in Builders of the Pacific Coast. Fortuitously I ran in to him 5 minutes after I got to Hornby Island. We went over to see the van he's converting into a gypsy wagon and sat around the stove (made out of a propane tank) on this cold morning, catching up with each others' lives. The cover for the circular opening in the stove is a stainless steel saucepan cover, and on the walls around the stove, he's glued stainless steel sheets to plywood.

View From Top of Vancouver

Monday night I went to the Top of the Harbour Centre Tower in downtown Vancouver. It has a revolving restaurant with spectacular views of the city and harbor.

Top of Mountain on Salt Spring Island

Godfrey and I took the ferry out to Salt Spring Island for my slide show there last week (at the Duck Creek Gallery). We had some time to kill, so we used my GPS to track down a guy building a yurt in the woods. On the way there, we got to the this spot looking down on the bay, and the mist blew in and out.

Mural in An Alley in Vancouver

Tile Floor in Old Vancouver Building

Floor in the Umberto Al Porto Italian Restaurant in the Gastown area of Vancouver (where I had a great meal last night). The building, called The Hudson House was built in 1895.
Vancouver, by the way, is a fabulous town. It's practically surrounded by water, there's a range of mountains just to the north. Many of the high-rises are well designed; they seem to sparkle. It's got that San Francisco "I am beautiful" vibe that gladdens the hearts of both natives and visitors. People are great. Being here is a perfect way to end this trip. I did a TV appearance this morning with Fanny Kiefer on her "Studio Four" morning TV show, and that was my last official act on this 3-week tour. Boy am I relieved.

Vancouver at Night

Carved Bench by Godfrey Stephens

Detail of bench by Godfrey Stephens at the Duck Creek gallery on Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada. I am not sure of the gallery's website, but if you are interested in Godfrey's prolific work, go to http://www.godfreystephens.com/

Use of the Word "So" in Place of "Extremely"

As I got to northern Washington, approaching the Canadian border, I decided to divest myself of ganja. I stopperd in a cute home-made-looking little espresso stand, ordered a latte and asked the barista girl if she smoked weed. Well, yeah-uh!
" Here's some California Gold, I don't want to take it into Canada" I handed are a baggie with maybe 1/4 oz of organic homegrown and she started jumping up and down. Her eyes were sparkling (and she was cute!). "I'm going to call my friend..." She handed me my latte and said:
"The coffee is so on me!"
Reminds me of the line in the movie American Beauty where Kevin Spacey's wife drives up to the window of the hamburger stand where he's working — in a car with her boyfriend, — and as Kevin's co-worker hands the wife her order, she says, "You are so busted!"
Valley girl poetry.

Tiny House Pre-Fab of Cedar

This was by the side of the road near Newport, Oregon. It's 8 by 12 feet plus 4 feet of deck. Put it on wheels.
Our next book is going to be on tiny houses. Let us know if you have info to share. Don't get involved with banks. Don't pay rent. Do it yourself in a small and resource-conserving way. Email shelter@shelterpub.com

Tseshaht (First Nations) Tribe Riverside Administrative) Building, Port Alberni, BC

I ran across this building as I was just about to cross a river on the road east-to-west across Vancouver Island to the "wild coast." Nicely situated and designed. Hey, there's way too little good architecture these days! It's apparently an "administrative building" for the Tseshaht tribe. First Nations peoples have got their shit a lot more together than their more southern brothers. When you get to Washington there is an Indian casino complex that is well-designed (contrast this with the black vinyl air building casino near Clear Lake, Calif.)

2 AM Still Raining Vancouver Saturday Night

When I got into Vancouver yesterday morning at 7:30, after getting up at 4:30 AM in Robert;s Creek to catch the ferry, I had the biggest day of my trip waiting for me. A TV interview, newspaper interview, meeting a publisher friend, and presentation/signing at the Vancouver Public Library. I was beat. I used my new GPS device (Garmin Nuvi)* to find a hotel and it turned out to be a nice Best Western across the street from Vancouver's legendary blues venue, The Yale Hotel. In fact I ended up with a corner room looking down on the hotel:

This is a great club, the only other town I've been that had places like this was Chicago. No effetes. Real people. The house band, Brickhouse, was playing and it was a dance partay, with red/orange/pink spotlights, a large room, pool tables, an ambience that can't be faked, or acquired, the blues filling the room and dancers' souls.

It was my first totally fun night in 3 weeks.

*I absolutely cannot believe what one of these devices does for you. I can't see how I could have managed this trip, with all its addresses, without it. More later.