After leaving Birmingham, I headed north toward the country and the beautiful lower reaches of the Appalachian mountains. I was introduced to Martha and Stephen by my buddy Ken from Alaska. Their home, a yurt turned into a dodecagon, is situated among a mixed forest of southern pines and deciduous trees beside a terraced pasture. Fruit and nut trees as well as two well planned garden plots on either side of the home supply abundant produce seasonally. Welcomed with open arms by the warmhearted couple, we spent much time discussing lifestyles, homes, sustainability and the noise of modernity. Their hand built home is one of a handful of unique structures on Common Ground, their 80 acre intentional community. Yurts, sustainable small structures and even a subterranean home speak to the creativity of inhabitants, architectural whimsy and an eye toward the future. Their homes are built with a passive solar design, high insulation R-Values and many have solar panels. While visiting I had the opportunity to cut some firewood for next winter, move some items to the burn pile, go for a few walks around the property and learn more about a life closer to the earth.
In May 2014 I quit my job to ride a Honda Ruckus over 69'000 mi and counting. Wild camping most nights and cooking most of my own meals, I keep the costs low and the landscape changing.