to Fairfield, IA

Submitted by Ben on Thu, 09/30/2004 - 00:00

The ride from Geode to Fairfield was difficult only because it was gravel for several miles; I chose a more level route than I could have, but still it was gravel and took a lot out of me.

I arrived in Fairfield sufficiently late in the afternoon that I headed straight for the ecovillage, even though I could tell I wanted to see more of town.  On the way out of town, I passed a housing development of Maharishi Sthapatya Veda homes featuring energy-efficient windows and lighting, passive solar heating and cooling, and low VOC paint.

When I got to the village, I found a half dozen people at work on various buildings.  I headed to where Lonnie had told me to look for him but found another man, Michael, at work on his own house, a strawbale construction they built 10 years ago.  He showed me around and pointed me back out to Lonnie's home.

By the time I met Lonnie, I'd heard so much about him from so many people that I didn't know what to expect, but he turned out to be fairly young-looking, very energetic.  He offered me a bed indoors as the weather is predicted to get very nasty tomorrow.  The house I'm staying in is next door to Lonnie's current house and has a kitchen but no working bathroom; Lonnie's has a bathroom but no kitchen.  Both are strawbale construction, but you can't really tell from inside, and both are totally off the electrical grid; in fact the entire development is off grid.  Lonnie says there are probably 40 homes in Fairfield that are off grid.

We went into town to watch the movie "What the Bleep do we Know," which I thought was fantastic.  Then we went to a Thai deli for dessert and to a health food store that rivals the Wedge.  Everywhere we went, everyone knew Lonnie.

When we got back, I met Brian, who was traveling across the country doing construction work when he found Abundance and decided to stay as an unpaid intern, working for room and board.  The three of us jammed on guitar, bass, and autoharp for a while.

total distance: 46.54 mi

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