Lisa Munniksma

freelance writing, editing, farming, travel

Staying put


There is so much happening on this farm that I can stay for a year and continue to learn new things.

I hate making travel plans (or plans of any kind, really). When my best friend Liz and I took our road trip to kick off my travel out West for the summer, I pretty much just handed planning over to her. She’s really good at planning, and I’ve asked her several times since then to please just continue planning my trip/life, but so far, she’s declined.It’s no wonder, then, that there’s not much planning of any sort going on here, even as summer wears on and I need to make my way back East.

I’m really not sure how I’m getting from this coast to that one—especially because I just arranged to stay on this farm in Oregon for another few weeks. I guess making the decision to stay put is a form of planning, so I should pat myself on the back.

How much right do I have to complain about this area’s crappy weather when hikes along creeks like this are a short drive away?

I have to admit that I built up Oregon in my mind before I got here. I like it here, but it’s not quite the oasis of temperate climate and outdoor activity that I’d imagined. For example, I am staying just 30 miles from the beach, but it’s only 60 degrees, cloudy and windy at the beach. Aside from a well-bundled oceanside stroll, there’s not a lot of beach activity going on. (I’ve actually stopped referring to it as “the beach” and am now calling it “the coast,” because the word beach invokes images of sundresses and large umbrellas in the sand, and the reality of wind and fog in late July makes me sad.) On the other hand, I have been on several really nice hikes, I went camping by a lovely reservoir, I am trying as much craft beer as I can get my hands on, and I am exploring a bunch of interesting cities and towns.

During my time here, I’ve even come to an agreement with the farm’s Alpine buck, Guido (aka Stinky G) that as long as he doesn’t touch me, I will take care of him.

So I do like Oregon as a state, but the real reason I’m staying put is this farm. I’m learning so much here every day, and I really enjoy everything we’re doing—milking goats, making cheese, working with fiber, planting, harvesting, installing irrigation—the people living here and the organic, farm-fresh, non-genetically modified food we’re eating . Planning will just have to wait, even if it means making a week-long marathon of 10-hour driving days to get home before my pending Europe trip in the fall. I eventually need to purchase a plane ticket for that trip, but that, too, requires planning. As my friend and horse trainer Linda likes to say, “Never face the facts.”


  1. You know, if you start paying me, I wouldn’t mind being your personal planner 🙂

  2. enjoy the rest of your stay and waiting for you to get back east.

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