Saturday November 29th
We met at the warehouse this morning at 6:00am, primed and geared for the Cascadia Rising expedition of the Pacific Northwest. We’re set to visit Seattle, Portland and back to San Francisco over the next week, stopping to visit with friends and fans along the way and cook up some Wilderness Perfume in the Field Lab Mobile Distillery. But, like all great journeys, ours wasn’t about to begin without an inaugural calamity. Like a castle gatekeeper, Obi drew the chains to the sliding warehouse door, unleashing Oakland’s morning light with a clammy gust. With the van packed, maps drawn, and itinerary set, we agreed to fire up the Field Lab van and set sail. Except there was no ‘firing-up’ and there was no ‘sail-setting’. In fact, there was nothing at all. Nothing but a key-turn followed by a dissatisfying engine tick that loomed with a resounding drawl through the perfumed corridor. Breathe, it’s just a dead battery; we’ll give it a jump and be on our merry way. For two hours we tried to resuscitate the lifeless cell to no avail, and though it wasn’t uttered, there was a collective unease about a potentially greater issue than a dead battery. We decided to give it one last go before resorting to a mechanic and considering other options of transportation. Bingo. The van turned over in a triumphant thunder that mirrored our personal jubilance, and the journey was underway. We stopped in Siskiyou County for harvest and experimental tincture. We’ll be sleeping in the frosted palms of Mt. Shasta tonight. This timeworn rock hasn’t erupted in over two hundred years, but you better believe we’ll be dreaming of cozy magma chambers and free-flowing lava as we grapple with the evening chill.
Sunday November 30th
The morning was brisk and raw. We continued our journey northward into Oregon through the Umpqua National Forest, weaving through green pastures that barreled into lush mountains decorated with booming cedar and fir. Low hanging clouds melted into the thick fog that orbited the mountains. Frosty rivers foamed through ponderosa meadows as we began a grade up an old country road that had seemingly become fixed in antiquity. We stopped to watch a perched eagle take flight, and in an instant the green hues had been conquered by a bleak white. The merciless frost had consumed the meadow blade by blade, cryogenically suspending its existence until its inevitable thaw. This is the inspiration for our non-fiction fragrance. We’re transcribing the language of the outback and providing deep interconnections to these unbelievable worlds. We reached Seattle by nightfall, and pulled the van up to Freeman on Capitol Hill. We were warmly received with hot whiskey ciders and cold beers. We fired up the still to cook up some wilderness perfume from today’s findings, met a lot of new friends and had a splendid wintry Seattle evening. Stay tuned for more updates from the Cascadia Rising tour!
If you want to experience stories like this in a bottle check out Timberline Trail, our newest limited run Field Lab scent. This seasonal fragance is inspired by Oregon’s Mt. Hood, we have created both Beard Oil & Incense filled with this unique scent of subalpine fir, spruce and pine, spring water, charred firewood, late-summer wild berries and glacial silt. These run in limited numbers so order before we sell out! We also have 17 handmade dog tags by Tiandra Cummins that you can order with the beard oil! A perfect unique & thoughtful gift!