Tag Archives: bicycle tour

Un-travel Journal – Day 64

I finished my work exchange/internship up in Alabama, and now I’m back here in Saint Cloud, Florida at my parents’ house adjusting to life not on the road. It’s going pretty well, and I’ve noticed my motivation level is at an all time high now that I’m working on my own projects with all the knowledge I’ve acquired over the last few months. The first thing I did when I got here was build my own pad so I could maintain focus on the things I’m working toward by having a place to keep my energy focused.

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I popped up a tent, put together a cooking surface, set up a few chairs, strung up a canopy, installed a water catchment for dishes, and threw down some mulch. Now I have a place to call home while I’m working on projects here and being around for my parents in their time of need.

After I got the place set up I dedicated my energy toward the forest garden I installed before I left.Ā  Before:

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And after:

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And the pigmy rattle snake I found while doing the job:

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The next informational post I’ll be putting up will be a walk through of exactly what is growing in the garden so you all can get some ideas of what to plant. Also, if anyone wants to come out and learn just get ahold of me and come on out. The biggest thing I miss about being on the road is the constant companionship of other Permaculture enthusiasts, but working on my own projects is also rewarding, and as soon as I feel the push I will be riding my bicycle into Saint Cloud and Orlando to visit and work on some other farms. I’m also trying to make a little money while in town, so let me know if any of you know someone that needs help šŸ™‚ I’m looking for any sort of gardening or farm work. I’m also interested in learning skills in laying foundations, pavers, or other sorts of mason work.

I’ll also keep you all posted with my dad’s condition as we find out more info. Thursday is the big day that he meets with the doctors and finds out all the details on the diagnosis and treatment. I’ll also let you know what happens with the herbal salve treatment we will be beginning tomorrow. Much love! Thank you all for your support!

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Travel journal – Day 49

I’m into my second week here at Tranquility Campgrounds and I’m honestly feeling a little rough. I’m very low on energy and I slept from 6 pm last night to 6 this morning. That, combined with the hour long nap I took this afternoon should have done the job, but I still feel drained and a bit asocial. It can’t be helping that my dad was diagnosed with cancer two days ago and I’ve been corresponding with my family about the situation while trying to process the information and figure out what to do about my trip. No doubt this has taken a toll on my piece of mind and has also changed my trip plans, so I’m trying to feel out what I should do once I get back to Florida and how I can best support my family while still focusing on what is here in front of me.

So, to give you a little detail on my dad’s exact situation, he was just diagnosed with stage four “blue small cell cancer” which started in his tonsils and has moved to the lymph nodes in his neck. There is an 80% survival rate beyond 5 years when treated, which includes 7 months of chemo and radiation. First though, my dad will be trying a natural remedy I got from a friend’s father who administers natural cancer treatment in Canada using a Marijuana salve. He was kind enough to give me the directions to make it, so stay tuned for the results from that experiment.

I really just wanted to fill everybody in on this new turn off events, so I will keep you all up to date on his condition and what I will be doing with my trip.

Much Love,
Matt

About Wanderingupward

Hello, I’mĀ Matt Hunter. Thank you much for visiting my site. Wanderingupward is my way of sharing projects, knowledge, ideas, writings, and anything else I think may be of value to others.

I live on a 5 acre piece of land in Osceola County, with my mom and our three dogs, which my family has owned since the early 80’s. It’s a great privilege and joy to be able to steward this beautiful piece of property. This is where many of my projectsĀ that I share come from.

I work for the City of St. Cloud as Coordinator of their Urban Agriculture ProgramĀ whereĀ I oversee the community gardens, teach gardening and permaculture classes, organize different initiatives, and advise some local growers. I’m also working with Osceola County Grown on the development of a farm and CSA in which we are following the practices of Jean Martin FortierĀ to create a small-scale, no-till, organic farm.

Another thing you may see on this site are some of my projects with theĀ Orlando Permaculture Group.Ā I started this group in 2014 after returning from my bicycle tripĀ to visit homesteads and sustainability projects. I’ve moved on from being a core organizer of the group, but I still regularly help the amazing new leadership team with different projects.

I don’t make any money from this site and rarely research and publish articles for their own sake. My main purpose for theĀ blogĀ is to have a platform and stay in the habit of documenting my work. I’ve found this to be quite gratifying and even useful over the years.

I try to keep posts educational and demonstrational but sometimes feel the need to rant, write essays, or share (mostly unimpressive) poetry. I recommend taking the opinion posts with a grain of salt. If I wrote them over a week ago chances are I don’t even agree with them anymore.

Feel free to browse through the drop-down menus to see what kind of topics I’ve written about. Also feel free to comment or ask questions about anything you see on here. You can also email me at wanderinupward@gmail.com

 

 

Charcoal and Time

My bones were tired –Ā walking for years.
I didn’t realize the sky was missing,
and my heels had turned to stone.
The trees were charcoal,
and behind me was darkness…
It ate my footsteps as they hit the ground.

Knowing what I know now I may not have
smelled that flower when it called my name.
I didn’t know that if I stared too long
nectar could get caught in my veins.
I didn’t know I would have to leave it behind,
that it wasn’t mine.

It taunted me for all this time, but that’s fine.
It reminds me of ten years from now,
of that thing I’m here to find,
just past the mountain of time,
where the seed is sprouting,
that the vultures will notĀ find.

Travel Journal – Day 32

So it’s day 32 of my trip and I have parted ways with my wonderful hosts, Wendi, Jayden, and Kaia Bellows,

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and headed toward the off-grid homestead of Mycol Stevens, located 30 miles or so North in Brooker Florida. Mycol wasn’t there when I arrived, but I was greeted by Brian and Genina two of the most humble and natural people I could hope to encounter, and theyfit so naturally into the farm that I could hardly now imagine it without them, and luckily I didn’t have to.

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So, I settled in, set up tent and got the tour. Finca Mycol is a 20 acre off-grid homestead, which serves as a permaculture experimentation laboratory, and, thanks to the efforts of Mycol, a native restoration land and keystone species habitat.

So once again, despite my efforts to move on and find my way out of Florida, I have found myself pulled to stay and learn. Both Mycol and Brian are inspiring sources of knowledge and passion on all things plants, so wow, what a great place to hang out, gain knowledge, build relationships, and be of service. There is one drawback though from being off-grid and so far out in the country – there’s no internet connection. So, any videos I take will have to be put up later, and pictures and other blog posts and communication have to wait until I can catch a ride into town. But hey look at the perks:

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a beautiful outdoor kitchen,

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fresh greens from the garden in a coconut bowl,

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fresh cooked snake (don’t worry, we didn’t kill him. He got run over on the road šŸ˜¦ Poor little guy),

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a beautiful pond and great company,

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and another pond, and more great company,

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and more great company,

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and artists making art.

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Simple living and high thinking. Awareness. Consciousness. Intentionality. Choice. Walking toward what’s right. Nevermind the odds.

Travel Journal – Day 26

I’m almost a month into the trip, and I can’t believe how much time is already behind me, and not to mention how little distance I have covered. The 200 approximate miles I have covered so far should have taken me three and a half days according to my original estimate of 60 miles per day, But, it hasn’t been lack of stamina holding me back. It’s the large number of wonderful people and places I have come across. In the 25 nights I’ve been away from home, I have only had to road camp once, and I only stayed five nights with people I had known before starting the trip. There’s a beautiful network of people out here who are so full of awareness and care that we were family before I ever met them.

Quick update since my last post – After leaving the off-grid homestead of Craig, my mom came and payed me a visit. I took my mom out of her comfort zone by bringing her tent camping one night in a great little wildlife refuge called Paynes Prarie, where we got to sleep amongst clouds of fireflies, quite a nice experience,

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but one night was just about all the natural Florida my mom wanted to deal with, so she took me out of my comfort zone the second night and we stayed in a Motel 6. I appreciated the air conditioning, but it was surely more of a reminder of why I’m doing what I’m doing than anything else šŸ™‚

Next in line was the Homestead of Song Weaver, where I not only met a few great local and traveling earth enthusiasts, but I also had the synchronistic privilege of crossing paths with a fellow traveler who I met months before as she was passing through Orlando.

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After leaving Song’s place I passed through downtown Gainesville one more time to get an interview with Chris Cano, who runs a local socially conscious composting business in the downtown area.

Next, was onward and Northward to the house and garden of a friend of a friend, Wendi Bellows, who was not only kind enough to invite me in to stay with her and her wonderful kids,

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but also allowed me to ride with her to the Permaculture convergence in Lake Whales, where I had a three day deeply inspirational experience with a group of 200 people who felt like lost family.

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The next leg of the journey continues tomorrow as I head to an off-grid natural homestead and learning center in North Florida.

Step stone road

Security, comfort, warm, loving embrace – these are the things my mind and body keep asking for, a warm, secure, never ending embrace, money, security, friends, warm sun, the leather of a boat seat – these are the things it asks for. It wants money, respect, prestige, and it wants it now.

My heart seeks bliss, the warm, ever lasting embrace of bliss. These are the things my heart asks for, but it is apparent, the time is not now. My heart must wait. We stand and hope that the real bliss will come, but its apparent we must wait. We must keep walking forward, forward in the face of fear.

Why am I on this journey? Why have I dropped security in hopes of something I cannot see nor know? Why have I let go of nearly everything I trusted in and began walking into the unknown? And what am I to do now besides keep walking? Is it possible to gain comfort in the cold?

This vision I am seeking, will I find it? I keep dreaming. I keep imagining the goal, the ever-changing goal. I keep walking, putting my hope in hope, laying my fear down as foot stones, paving the road.