Hayfork or Bust 2012


Hayfork Valley, CA

A town named Hayfork you gotta love.”

    Steven Forrest

    WELL,we made it there! And what a time we had. But let me give you some background…


    On one of our many moves, Kris and I decided to explore Northern California's backroads on our way to Ashland, Oregon from the San Francisco Bay Area.


    The summer heat and stress of getting out of the city had triggered one of my famous migraines and so finding a good camping spot as quickly as possible had become essential. Kris pulled off the road at a Forest Service campground named—quite appropriately from my perspective—Hellgate. This is a campground not far from Hayfork.


    Short of Cairo, it seemed like the hottest, dryest place I had ever been and in my migrained delirium I was sure he had done this just to torture me. Why else stop such a god-forsaken place?


    Three days later, energy renewed in a completely unexpected and miraculous way, I was sure of just the opposite when—since we had business to attend to—he pressed for us to continue on our way. Some people just can't be pleased…


    But as it turned out, we've returned to the area again and again over the twenty seven years since. In fact we finally even moved there in 2000 and stayed for two years before ending up in first Prague in the Czeck Republic and then Xi'an, China for two years.


    In 1973 Hayfork was listed in the World Guiness Book of Records (don't quote me on the exact date) as being the town with the highest amount of alcohol consumed percapita. Later, the logging industry (which I feel contributed to this statistic) was to a great extent shut down before the entire forest was clear cut—thanks to the efforts of certain courageous local people. Hayfork is also one of the the first two GMO-free counties in the country, thanks to many of those same folks.


    But now-a-days it's known as part of The Green Triangle for pot-growing. That's a currently unfolding story giving everyone lots to think and talk about…


    Long story, short, we finally made it back there again. First we visited our friends, Susan and Joseph Bower in nearby Peanut (yes, there really is a place called Peanut) on the “bit 'o Heaven” property they've successfully and courageously homesteaded for 40 years.


    They were just harvesting a small crop of the same original, authentic rye grass for which the town of Hayfork was named. It can grow six to eight feet tall!


    “HAY” — rye grass +

    “FORK” — the fork of the creek (Hayfork Creek) known as the place where the best hay grows



    Next we visited our friends Rachel Anderson and Dave Menefee on the outskirts of Hayfork proper. Rachel and Dave own a menageree of three goats, one Llama, several sheep, and one black and white Tabby recovering sanity since being rescued from the pound.


    There was the feeling of “Home, sweet Home,” as we wandered up onto their comfy veranda twined all around with vibrant green hops vine.


    Rachel and Dave, both dedicated musicians—ukelele and upright bass, respectively—joined us for our concert that night at Northern Delights, one of Hayfork's several restaurants. We played for what we're told was a record turnout crowd of all ages. It was an experience we all hope to repeat sooner than later.

    Next night was a potluck, music and dance party at Dave and Rachel's. Unseasonably cold weather turned the yurt where we were sleeping into an impromptu concert hall and dance floor. The interior space is huge and accomodated the event quite nicely.


    And finally, we went backpacking the next day. Personally, we tend to feel that one of the things that music is for is to describe the beauty and the experience possible for a human being when in tune with nature.

    Jamaican Food Service

    Lark backpacking

    Jamaican Food Service, aka Kris


    It was really hard to leave our friends, musical collaborations and long, outrageous conversations freely ranging over topics far and wide. Family farms and farmers, hippies, artists and small business folk have always—and we think will always be—the true backbone of American culture.


    If you haven't already encountered it, a great read that intelligently discusses some of the history as well as present day status of American small farmers is The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollen. A great book for anybody who eats.                                                      Lark Backpacking in Trinity County, CA


    After this we headed for the San Francisco Bay Area for a very happy visit with Kris' family which "peaked" in a visit to 3800 ft. Island Mountain, Mt. Diablo.

    Mount Diablo, California

    Mt. Diablo, CA

    On our way home we stopped in Eugene, OR for a day of hiking, swimming and exploring the forest with a friend who used to live in Hayfork.


    Buck Shedding Antler Velvet

    Buck Shedding Antler Velvet


    So we're back home now and gearing up for playing at the Tsawwassen Sun Festival from 1 – 2 pm on August 4th at the Earthwise Garden in Boundary Bay .


    Then in August we play a concert at the recently opened metaphysical centre called Golden Rabbit Equilibrium Within. That's again from 1 - 2 pm on August 11th. You'll find it at 260-4351 No. 3 Rd. Between Browngate and Leslie in Richmond., BC.


    Hope to see you soon!

    Kris & Lark on Mt. Diablo

    Kris and Lark in the arms of Grandother Oak

    on Mt Diablo, CA - photo by Cindy Harvey


    July 15, 2012 @04:00 pm
    Lark! You have a marvelous writing voice! Your trip sounded liKe good medicine.

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    "Dear Lark and Kris,
    I'm writing on behalf of the South Fraser Gogos ( to thank you so much for your fantastic contribution to our Potluck Evening. You made the Grandmothers welcome quite spectacular and one I'm sure they will remember.

    Everyone enjoyed the rest of your music and singing and seeing everyone up dancing is a sight I'll always remember. Wishing you all the very best,                       Jesse Pringle, Go Go Grannies Co-coordinator, British Columbia

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