Brandon found Tipi Village online one day while researching primitive living and Intentional Communities. His typical impatience kicked in and although I told him I'd go with him for a couple weeks in spring or summer, he just couldn't wait, so he took two weeks off work at the end of October so he could take the kids to try teepee life while I was in Connecticut. They were there for six days and nights before I joined them.
After a whole day of driving thru the desolate barrenness that is Nevada, I was suddenly plunged into a beautiful forrest and then vistas like this:
When I arrived I introduced myself to Natasha as I was walking to the teepee, she has lived in the "village" for about a month. I found out later that in her "former life" she was an electronics technician.
I then met Ande, the founder who has been living in a teepee for well over a decade. He is originally from Wales and has only been in the US since 2001. I found out later that he is quite funny and a great storyteller.
The first day Brandon was excited to show me around the darling town of Ashland, OR. First we went swimming at the hot springs and everyone got cleaned up in the hot showers there. Then we went to the incredible Lithia Park for a picnic and playing.
Shopped around town.
Bought some books at one of the town's great used book stores.
Picked up a couple things at one of their great grocery stores.
I then got to meet the rest of the residents of Tipi Village:
There's Kayla, Andy's wife and the mother of three year old Rowan and two year old Isla. Kayla is stunningly beautiful and has one hazel-colored eye and one dark brown one. She is 28 and pregnant with her third child. She is originally from Big Bear, CA. She reminds me of my sister-in-law Michelle in a lot of ways. We got along well.
Rowan and Isla are the same ages as our kids and were really great.
There's Brian, Natasha's husband or boyfriend. He is incredibly quiet and shy. They moved here from the Chicago area looking for a simpler life. They are both currently unemployed.
Finally there's Jacqueline, a 36 year old woman, born in England but raised in Danbury, CT (where I spent last week!). She has lived everywhere from west Africa to New York City to Ashland. She works in town in the afternoons as a nanny and is an apprentice midwife.
That night we cooked pumpkin dinner over the fire and I swear it was my best batch ever.
Brandon finishing his pumpkin while the kids enjoy a sucker.
Natasha, Brian, Ande, and Elora.
Rowan and Kayla
Me making banana pancakes for everyone over the fire.
Isla, Jacqueline, Jonah, Elora, and I at breakfast
Isla, Rowan, and Jonah playing blocks in the kids play area
Views of the valley when we drove up a ways to get water from the spring
The glow of the two small lamps and the fire made for the most beautiful lighting outside the teepee. I wish this picture could do it justice. On the right you can see the dish washing station.