My Dad was a young man and a local during this time and lived in and visited many of the hippie houses in the area. I grew up hearing stories from my parents about the hippie houses on the mountain and these stories have gradually taken on fairy tale status in our family. With names like The Farm, Crow's Hollow, Moonrise, The Wooden Tee-Pee and The Dome, it's easy to see why.
When I was a teen my Dad took me to see the remains of The Dome where he had lived for a time in the late 70's. My love affair with handmade houses was born, and geodesic domes top my list of favorite specimens. I recently
harassed asked him to take a trip to visit The Dome and take some pictures for me. This past week he made my dreams come true and sent me some great photos of the old dome. Coincidentally the people that own the land now said it will have to be torn down this Summer, so I guess it was fate that he made it there before it's last day.
After 40 some years left to decay in the weather, the dome has seen better days. While some groovy details remain very intact. As my Dad pointed out- " They took the time to corbel it (the chimney) and add some character to it, how cool is that? The fascia board on the wood shed is 40 years old and it still looks great".
The interior of the dome, like many of the other hippie house was not very well insulated. As Dad said, he had to sleep in his toque in the Winter. Folks were not necessarily the most experienced carpenters and for that reason many people didn't make it through the harsh Canadian Winters, and bit by bit the hippie houses on the mountain were mostly abandoned.
There is no sign of where Moonrise had once stood, The Dome is on it's last legs. Dad tells me people are living in The Tee-Pee still (awesome). Rumor has it some ruins can still be found in the forest of maybe Crow's Hollow and some other satellite commune buildings.
Sadly we won't make it up North to visit this Summer. We absolutely will not miss next year though and when we do, I can't wait to go on the hunt for more of the hippie houses. While we're there we'll visit some hidden waterfalls and beaches that I 'm lucky enough to have the inside scoop on from dear ole' Dad.
Whenever I think of these houses and that beautiful time in history, I am reminded of this quote by the late great Hunter S. Thompson-
“It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era — the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run... but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant...
There was madness in any direction, at any hour. You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning...
And that, I think, was the handle — that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply PREVAIL. There was no point in fighting — on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave...
So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high water mark — that place where the wave finally broke, and rolled back.”
I think that the waves are gathering their momentum again, but this time they won't break and roll back, but instead wash over us finally with love, peace and understanding. Here's to hoping.
Bonus Reading- To read more about these groovy times, check out my friend Seymour Hamilton's book- The Hippies Who Meant It HERE.
Update! Due to the amount of exposure this post has received, I think it is important to note that The Dome is indeed on private property. Although The Dome itself stands empty, people do live VERY near by. Please respect their privacy and don't visit The Dome without permission. Thanks!