6 Months on the Lost Coast

6 months ago we had to abort the Pan American Highway trip that we had planned and worked hard on for over two years. We felt kicked in the gut, forsaken, and had absolutely no idea that the Lost Coast would actually be what we were looking for: a place to call “home”.

We have all fallen in love with this place, and we plan on being here for the long haul. Sure, we want to travel, explore and make disability connections abroad (- the idea of an Inn in someplace balmy – in addition to a retreat center on the Lost Coast – is percolating for the future). But while the kids are young and less tethered to the Best School Ever, we’d like to leave for the winters, returning for the summer.

I was looking through photos and could not believe how much has changed in these past 6 months. It’s incredible, as in literally “hard to believe.”

When we came, the loft in our yurt didn’t have walls – you could roll off and smash into the concrete floor on the first floor. Not exactly kid proof! The stairs were unguarded, there was no furniture. All 5 of us crammed onto a double futon. It was freezing and Mikey had to go out and chop wood in the mornings. The outdoor shower made it all okay – we’ve always loved that – and the well-crafted outhouse, strangely enough, is also something we like. 

I’m sure many people would think we are still roughing it, but for us, our set up is comfortable and we are content. 

Here, I wanted to share some of the highlights of the past 6 months – 

driving to the Lost Coast for the first time
driving to the Lost Coast for the first time

Our first views of the Lost Coast –

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With steep switchbacks,frequent heavy fog, wandering deer and cattle, narrow rough roads, sun in your eyes and views that make it difficult to concentrate at times, the way to the Lost Coast is not for everyone.

It’s not a breeze through suburbia; it’s like dipping your toe into a wild California, a place that time somehow forgot.

It’s fitting that parts of Jurassic Park were filmed here.

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We arrived on our hill from the drive, parked our truck Myrtle and loped up into the yurt, dragging our jaws behind us.

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bare bones!

I don’t know how easily you can tell where the loft is in the photos? the lack of any protective walls or really, anything! It’s all funny to me now only because I don’t have to sleep with all the kids anymore.

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The beauty of this place hit us hard and didn’t stop.

It doesn’t end.

It’s like, beauty upon beauty upon beauty.

Changing beauty, relentless beauty, embracing beauty, enveloping beauty.

Beauty is the one constant here on the Lost Coast.

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I can live with that

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In fact, it’s true to say that I’ve learned that I cannot live without beauty. I mean, I can’t function, I am not a whole person if I am not surrounded by beauty. It’s like something in me just dies and the pieces that make up the whole of who I am become scattered without the beauty of nature around me to hold me enthralled and keep me focused. I don’t know if that makes sense.

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6 months.

Both Micah and Moxie started school. They are thrilled.

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School here is something to treasure – small classes, caring and intelligent teachers, an authentic and holistic view of community and the world. It’s a dream come true for me and I deeply appreciate the opportunity to have our kids be a part of it.

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6 months

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It feels like a life time, it feels like no time.

A blink of an eye, an eternity.

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… Home.

 

Meriah
Meriah Nichols is teacher and artist who lives in a yurt off the grid. She is deaf, has 3 kids (one with Down syndrome) and a lot of chickens. She writes about travel, disability, and getting dishes done. She likes her tea Earl Grey and hot.
Meriah

@meriahnichols

#deaf mom, teacher & #disability activist, living in a yurt #offthegrid. 3 kids (1 with #downsyndrome), a camera and a lot of chickens. Never a dull moment
A comprehensive collection of resources for new parents of children with Down syndrome - https://t.co/WfzGfpmWm6 - 2 days ago
Meriah
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6 Comments

  • Oh – what a feast for the heart and eyes! I love those photos – now I want those too. I feel so blessed to be able to be immersed in the story of your amazing adventurous lives 🙂

  • That stuff you said about being surrounded by beauty totally makes sense to me. Only, it’s like we need to be reminded because somehow we don’t see it as a ‘necessity’.

    This is all so stunning and idyllic (and the description and pics of your bad ass yurt totally reminds me of my hippy childhood!). It must feel amazing to find that place that says: Welcome Home. And now I want to come visit 🙂

    • well, you are always welcome!
      but it’s true, I think in the urban areas, we get so distracted by stuff and life that we forget then wonder what’s wrong…

  • There is almost (not quite Ireland green) a Celtic quality to the green, the gate in the fence, etc. You have a honkin’ BIG yurt. Never seen one that big.

    You are so savvy about things that I hesitate to recommend anything to you. Have you considered teaching her sign language? It might give you more insight if she could broaden her word choices. Just a thought.

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