My friend Joel is partly of Finn decent and like most great Finnish folks he is obsessed with Finnish culture, ("Oh look!" he yells and points. "Another bath house!") history, geography etc. A great region of Finnish settlers is Fort Bragg California. Apparently when some of Joel's relatives moved to the United States they relocated here. In fact, he still has deep and distant family roots here. The Kjeveblahblahblahs and the Saaris are last names prevalent in Fort Bragg that Joel is directly related to, including a dentist according to the local phone book. When the Saaris moved to Fort Bragg many generations ago they bought a farm about a mile from the coast. I had heard the tales of the farm from Joel over the years including when his great uncle moved away when he was very old and Joel went to the farm to help clean and organize the place. He found some cool old pictures from the 70's! Anyway, the family sold the farm to a young couple who intended to raise alpacas, a creature valued for their wool. Joel wasn't sure if that's what happened but he did tell Gina and I where the farm was and we went to investigate The Great and Legendary Saari Farm.
I'm not sure about you but I love looking at something that someone told me about that is distant to where I usually am. It just seems plain exotic. That's the feeling that rushed over me when we followed the directions written on my arm and traveled to the farm. Above is a panorama of the Saari farm, and as you can see it sure as shit is an alpaca hot bed! No shit! I enjoy imagining Joel's quiet and contemplative relatives hoeing the earth, feeding the chickens and cursing the aggressive Russians.
This video with my narration really gives you the feeling of being there. Just imagine the Finns taking in the new world, surroundings, languages, cultures and customs so foreign! Gazing across the great Pacific and imagining the home country only an ocean, a continent and another continent away!