Saturday, June 27, 2009

Raw Union Festival

The first Raw Union of two raw foodist activists Matt Monarch and Angela Stokes was to take place on the Solstice. They turned their union into a festival with an open invite. The event was to take place at Angel's Organic Farm north of Ashland, Oregon which was on my way home.

This festival was smaller and more intimate than the Raw Spirit festival. Again, I had an exceptional time meeting new people from all over. I even partook in a raw speed dating event. It was another weekend of camping. I had the chance to take a yoga class with the beautiful Rainbeau Mars and a fitness class with Vegan Bodybuilder Robert Cheeke.

The Union itself was actually quite nice. I'm not a wedding person though there was something special about this whole gathering of like minded people. David Wolfe, one of the leading raw food gurus, is an Essene minister who was able to marry Matt and Angela.

The feast was amazing with a fine array of raw food items as well as the limitless chocolate bar and raw wedding cake. No-one left hungry and there were plenty leftovers. At least 300 people were fed this raw meal and it was cool to be part of the first mass raw food feast.

The evening ended with eclectic music and dance, very free spirited stuff. I am really liking hanging out at these events.

California Visits

I had 2 weeks before the next raw food event so I stopped to visit and train with friends in California. Leslie in Thousand Oaks who I met bike-touring in 1987, explored more of the Santa Monica roads with me. I finally got to ride Latigo road, twisty windy climbing up a canyon from the ocean. I was impressed when Leslie later jumped on my municycle and easily rode it. Apparently he learned when he was 12 and didn't tell me.

Met up with Jonathan Toker (Saltstick inventor) for a few rides

I took part in the Pride Run in L.A 5-km and 10-km running event. Those who did both events were ranked in the Ultra-pride event by their accumulated times. I was up for the challenge to get my cycling legs back running. I used my Garmin to stay within an 8-min mile pace for the 5-km event. It was hard to hold back and not go faster especially on the final stretch. I came in at 24:11 well on target. I had less than 6 min before the 10-km event started and almost missed the start as I was in the bathroom lineup. I ran the same pace for the first 5-km following the guy with the baby-jogger then picked it up in the last 5-km with whatever I had left. Course went out and back many times on Santa Monica Boulevard. Not overly exciting course though fans were cheering and it was easy to keep on pace. My 10-km time was 47:22. I was the only ultra runner to negative split! Awesome crowd and fun event.

Love the guy with the rainbow flag

In North Hollywood, I went cycling with my road racing bud Sandra and got to go on a wicked fast motorcycle ride with her husband Dino.

Met up with Transalp teammate Lou Kobin for a wicked ride in the Demonstration forest near Santa Cruz. After a steady climb we were rewarded with a 30-minute descent that switchbacked down. Lou and Eric live in a yurt which is surrounded by huge redwoods.

Met up with former Edmontonian ERTC-er Lance in Berkeley. I wish I caught a happy snap of Lance with his beard. Lance and his girlfriend Cherise joined me in checking out the famed raw food restaurant Cafe Gratitude. Yum-my!

Met up with Jason from Crankbrothers for a wicked mountain bike ride back of the Berkeley hills. Also met up for the Chicken Road Ride in Mill Valley with an added loop thru Mt Tam down to the ocean back up highway 1. The views were outstanding with riding on the high up cliffsides. After this ride, I jumped into my car for a very hot drive to Oregon.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Raw Spirit Food Festival

I was excited to include the Raw Spirit Festival in my plans. The festival was held at the Live Oak Campground in the Santa Ynez Valley 15 miles NW of Santa Barbara June 5-7. Wow, what a weekend of meeting new friends, hearing interesting speakers, eating yummy food, yoga, great music, and camping!!

Kevin & Annmarie Gianni (on the right) on a run overlooking the Santa Ynez Valley
There is so much information out there on raw foods. I respected each speaker that strongly held their viewpoint despite the conflicting views with other raw food speakers. It comes down to everyone has their own path to figure out what works best for them. I came away with bits of info from everyone I heard.

Workshop with David Wolfe
Many synchronistic happenings went on during the weekend. Early one morning with all campers still sleeping, I am putting on my running shoes for a run. A woman walking by my tent joined in with me and we ran the hills together. We bumped into a group of runners which included health speaker Kevin Gianni and his partner Annmarie as well as a few runners from the group.

Marg with RawRunners and Annmarie & Kevin
Camping was roughing it with the lumpy dusty ground hoping no poison oak was hovering near any of the oak trees. Loved seeing this guy meditate in the hub bub of the campground and expo.

One late night, I helped a woman put up her tent in the dark. It was a confusing set of poles and I struggled with this one. Surprise surprise when it all came together to be a lovely pink princess castle! Apparently, it was the only tent available at the Second hand store.

The next day I found out the woman I helped was Dr. Flora Van Orden who had been assistant to wheatgrass guru Ann Wigmore. It was pretty mesmorizing to get to meet her and listen to the wealth of information she offered... she had stories upon stories. Hope to meet her again someday. BTW she was around 72 years old, travelled alone and was up for sleeping in a child's Princess tent... no doubt I was impressed!

Marg & Kriya checking out Dr. Flora's princess castle tent!

The people at this festival were very open and welcoming. I loved all the new friendships made and how we all bumped into each other.

There are two more festivals on the schedule this year and I highly recommend them for anyone interested in a great experience and a wealth of information for healthy living.

Borrego Springs Desert

I spent a few weeks recently cycle training in the awesome San Diego area riding the old favourite rides like the long route Swami's Sat ride and a few new ones including Arnie Baker's Wed ride.

Took a ride into Borrego desert with the famous Montezuma climb, the heat, and the blustery winds with my friends Magdalena and Tamara, originally from Venezuela.

New sightings of the huge statues in the middle of nowhere of Borrego prehistoric animals looked pretty real!

The villa the hobo stayed at for a few weeks