20101023

Road Trip Notes: Eugene's Family Castle Homestead

From Ashland a short crawl brought us to Eugene for a quick trip, a one night stay in a ferro cement castle built by a friend who is the maker of a mortar sprayer which we used during some of our paper crete building. A cold that I picked up from my girlfriend's daughter while in LA was now creeping up on me and I immediately crashed while Mikey was welcomed by our friend and his family which includes three bright and happy children, a dozen or so kittens and bunnies, a dog and variety of free roaming chickens. One does not often find such a litter occupying - of all things - a castle.

The castle has taken Noland 12 years to build, all the while the family lived quite joyously in a trailer. They reflect on those days with much happiness as they share stories about it, including one in which the trailer (once the castle was complete) was hoisted and hauled away the kids asked curiously, "I lived in a trailer?"

Like many homesteads the property was a virtual museum of large machines in half working condition. Projects to be completed one day were everywhere and it seemed the home was just sharing space with the fascinating hodge-podge of future possibilities. The greatest feat by far was the heating system that keeps the family home warm. The massive 3000+ sq ft home is heated by the same garbage fuels that Noland runs his car on: hydraulic fluid, train diesel, motor oil and the like. To burn them for home heating he built a massive incinerator of sorts which sends heat to hydronic tubing in the home's floor.

The rest of Eugene, on quick glance, seemed like a dark and wet town of mid size with no one in it. Having little further interest we moved on to Portland.

2 comments:

the dizzle said...

oh eugene. my boyfriend spent college there and insisted it was a good place but by the time i got there i felt like it was in the process of building too many mini malls and the community he felt had been there seemed to change. the co op was chill with a nice hot bar. if you go back that way you should explore cottage grove - it's known for the historic wooden bridges and also SECRET WATERFALLS. i can't really tell you where they're located, we drove around randomly, turned up a gravel path that seemed to go on forever, passing houses that looked as if someone had built them with their own hands and came upon a sign that pointed us towards the secret waterfalls. cottage grove is real pretty.

Starsquid said...

Eugene is a pretty decent place, even if it didn't seem too interesting... I have a friend who left California for Eugene since the living is cheaper, and the cultural scene is pretty active as opposed to nonexistent in his previous community.

But I guess one has to be there more than a short while to find out the good stuff.