Builders of the Pacific Coast cover
Builders of the Pacific Coast


Sample Chapter
SunRay Kelley

Sample Chapter
Jan Janzen

Image Slide Show

About the Author

Author Book Tour


Reader Response

Books on Natural Building from Shelter Publications

Tiny Homes cover
Tiny Homes

Home Work cover
Home Work:
Handbuilt Shelter


The Barefoot Architect cover
Barefoot Architect

The Septic System Owner's Manual cover
The Septic System Owner's Manual

Mongolian Cloud Houses
Mongolian Cloud Houses

Wonderful Houses Around the World
Wonderful Houses
Around the World

Builders of the Pacific Coast
Author Book Tour

Lloyd's tour has ended. Here's his wrap-up:

Author Tour – Builders of the Pacific Coast
December 10, 2008

It's a rainy day in Vancouver and I've been on the road for 22 days now. I've done 11 slide-show/book signing events, 3 radio, 2 TV, and 3 newspaper interviews. It's been a stressful 3 weeks, what with having an unshakeable cold, racing from one town to another, having to get to dozens of events (or appointments) on time. It's also been exhilarating and inspiring and also wonderful to hang out with these strong Nortwest Coast people again.

Shooting pix for this book, I made 4 2000-mile+ trips over a 2-year period up the Pacific Coast to British Columbia, where I had discovered a unique bunch of carpenters and their creations - work that had not been noted or reported anywhere. Now, with the book done, this was one last trip to this wondrous region, this land of wood and water.

Joe Martin (r) and his brother at the bakery in Tofino, on the "wild coast" side of Vancouver Island. Joe has made over 40 canoes (out of single cedar logs) in accordance with tradition passed down by his Nu-chah-nulth ancestors.

Shooting pix for this book, I made 4 2000-mile+ trips over a 2-year period up the Pacific Coast to British Columbia, where I had discovered a unique bunch of carpenters and their creations - work that had not been noted or reported anywhere. Now, with the book done, this was one last trip to this wondrous region, this land of wood and water.

Above: beach just south of Tofino

I've driven over 1300 miles so far and ridden on BC ferries 10 times, crossing various bodies of water.

I've got a 50-minute slide show of photos from the book on my MacBook, along with an Epson digital projector. The events in the U.S. (Gualala, Arcata in Calif.), Powell's in Portland, Univ. of Washington in Seattle), were OK, with crowds of 30-50, but as soon as I hit Canada - whoooeee! In Victoria, 250 people called the University to reserve seats, they moved to a bigger auditorium and had to turn away over 100 people. A lot of the success in Canada is due to our angel BC publicist, Kim Herter. Word was out. Two big articles in the Victoria Sun Times accounted for the big turnout there. On the islands in the Strait of Georgia (east side of Vancouver Island), it was standing room only. 70 people in the Duck Creek Gallery on little Salt Spring Island; 150 people on Denman; and 203 people at the community center on Hornby Island. The next day a woman in the Hornby co-op said, " I've been here 40 years, and never sen a turnout like that." The bookseller sold 60 books in Hornby that night. The bookseller on Denman said it has sold better than the latest Harry Potter book, and "…it made our Christmas."

Duck Creek Gallery on Salt Spring Island

I'd look out at the audience and see smiles, people nodding heads in agreement They get it! There's a lot of preaching to the choir here. This a bunch of people who set out in the '60s and '70s to build their own houses (and to treat the Earth right). We're still at it, and here is a 4-color flowing account of a bunch of maestros. A lot of people are grey-haired, but there are 20-30-40 year olds, who have the same spirit. Do stuff for yourself. Take things into your own hands. Dozens of young people came up to thank me; most of them said they'd been inspired by our books. Their eyes were sparkling. Wow!

The day I got into Vancouver I was being interviewed by John Mackie of the Vancouver Sun. We were sitting at a table outside a cafe in the Sun's lobby, I was blabbing away, and this young guy came up. "Are you Lloyd Kahn?" Yep. "Man, I just bought three of your books and I want to thank you..." Turned out this was Martijn Zugdeirolt and daughter Azaydi and he was a builder on Vancouver Island.

Book Sales
Books are selling like mad in these parts. I've signed hundreds of books for people plus hundreds more for the bookstores and I gotta say it, self-aggrandizing as seems, that this book has some magic. I've sen it with enough people to see a pattern. It's got some power. They pick it up and start turning the pages, looking at these creations, smiling and saying " Yeah!" (or the equivalent thereof). Feedback is awesome. Everyone.

Old Guy Discovers GPS
I recently got a Garmin Nuvi 660 GPS Navigator, and, man! I cannot believe what this thing does. It tracks my car, shows it going down say Pender Street and approaching Granville, with a voice telling me where to turn. Awesome way to find any address in a city (or small BC island, for that matter). It also gives you a listing of hotels or restaurants in descending proximity to your car. It greatly expands my ability to find food or or lodging in unfamiliar territory. This trip, with all its required destinations, and need for good food and shelter, would have been totally different without this marvelous tool.

Sleepless in Vancouver
Example: the Nuvi helped me a find the Best Western at 700 Drake and guess what's across the street and visible out my window? The Yale Hotel, one of North America's greatest blues club, in a 120-year-old building.

(John Fogerty is singing "And I can still hear my old hound dog barkin', chasin' down a hoodoo there,..." on the radio as I write this.) Saturday night all I had to do was wander across the street to see the kickass rock and roll band Brickhouse (the house band), which was packing the club. Everyone there seemed real, and local. No turistas. A great venue, big room, lots of good vantage points, rockin dance floor.

I've had the greatest time since getting here pretty totally wasted from lack of sleep, too many weeks of being re-sponsible, getting places on time, facing hundreds of people...It's a beautiful city, surrounded by water, with mountains visible just out the back door, culturally rich, good people. (I think people living in beautiful places tend to be sympatico, they reflect the beauty of their surroundings in their faces and actions. (I noticed this in the oasis town of San Ignacio, in the Baja California desert, where people walking or sitting in the tree-shaded town square, seemed happy and friendly.)

Spirit Wrestler Gallery

Above: bentwood boxes on website:

I wandered in to this gallery in Gastown on Sunday and was stunned. I was surrounded by objects of great beauty. This gallery carries museum-quality artwork created by (alive) native people, of 3 cultures: the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest Coast, the Inuit of the Canadian Arctic and the Maori of Aotearoa (New Zealand). I bought a jade crossover pendant made by a young man (Tamaora Walker) of the Te Arawa tribe (one of seven Maori groups of indigenous peoples), and I think I'll wear it the rest of my life. For me, a place like this, with their focus, is better than a museums which tends to overwhelm me.

I had a long conversation with Nigel Reading, one of the owners. When I left, I told him that being around these beautiful objects "...made my heart sing," like, I said, you know, the '60s song "Wild Thing." He said, "Yeah, wasn't that the Troggs…?"

I've been telling all the Canadians I know to check this gallery out. It's at 47 Water Street in Gastown.

I'm goin' home, home, home, home-home-home,
Home, home, home, home, back home...
In a day or two I'll head south. I love it up here, but I'm homesick. I'm going to stop off and see SunRay Kelley in Washington and maybe check out a 2-mile diownhill road with no traffic on Whidbey Island that 2 Washington skateboarders told me about. Blue skies will be dazzling. I've seen less than 2 hours of sun in 22 days.

Pix From NW Trip on My Blog

Two New Books Coming From Shelter
William Cooper Catalog (circa 1901)
The William Cooper Company manufactured pre-fab greenhouses, barns, bentwood furniture, even chapels, and shipped them from their London plant at the turn-of-the-century. This is their catalog of plans, a small book of about 5" x 8". (There are two pages in our book Home Work showing some of the drawings.) This will be a great reference for builders and gardeners, with its hundreds of drawings. We're going to make it look like the original, with elegant hand-lettering in black and gold on a red cover.

Tiny House Book
The time is right. Times are tight and will get tighter. Why pay $500K for a house or get locked into mortgage slavery? What about starting ultra simple - or divesting yourself of excess stuff and getting back to a simpler life? There are a lot of books out about tiny houses, including those by Lester Walker, but we've got our own take on the subject, along with input from our usual suspects. We're going to get rolling on as soon as we get this promo stuff mostly done. Send us loveletters, advice, or photos of tiny houses. Look for the book at the end of 2009 (or Spring 2010).

Elegant little house being built by a friend of Vic Marks

I'll close with the pic of this little Chinese girl. They were filming her Sunday night on Water Street in Gastown, not sure what it was about.

Happy days to all of us, with wishes that America now will now truly get back into a more friendly, less destructive relationship with the Planet and its people, land, and oceans.

Lloyd from Vancouver.

P.S.: Check for further pix from this trip.

* * * * *

Lloyd Kahn did a series of book signing/slide show events featuring photos and stories from his new book Nov-Dec 2008.

Thursday, Nov 6, 7:30pm
The Builders Booksource
1817 Fourth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710

Cuppola on temple roof
-N. California

Friday, Nov 7, 7:30pm
Bolinas Community Center
PO Box 122
Bolinas, CA 94924

book sales by Steve Costa
Pt. Reyes Books

Acorn-shaped sauna,
-Marin County , California

Nov 13-16
Green Festival
Booth 459
San Francisco Concourse Exhibition Center
635 8th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

Sculptor John McAbery's cabin on the Northern California coast

Wednesday, Nov 19, 5pm
Four-Eyed Frog Books
39138 Ocean Dr
Gualala, CA 95445

N. California homestead

Friday, Nov 21, 7pm - 9pm
Northtown Books
957 H St
Arcata, CA 95521

Temple roof framing
-N. California

Monday, Nov 24, 7:30pm
Powell's Books
1005 W Burnside
Portland, OR 97209

Reflective pond and gazebo

Tuesday, Nov 25, 7pm - 8pm
University of Washington
4326 University Way NE
Seatle, WA 98105

Roof framing at Budda House
-NW Washington

Thursday, Nov 27 -NEW LOCATION
7:00pm - 7:30pm Book Sale
7:30pm - 8:30pm Slide Show
8:30pm - 9:30pm Book Signing & Reception
University of Victoria
Harry Hickman Building
Victoria, BC

book sales by Jennifer Cameron
University Bookstore

Driftwood gazebo,
-Vancouver Island

Friday, Nov 28, 7pm
Duck Creek Gallery
181 Broadwell Road
Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 1H3

book sales by Adina Hildebrandt
Salt Springs Books

Spherical tree house,
Vancouver Island

Saturday, Nov 29
Legion Hall
331 Main St.
Tofino, BC

book sales by Dorothy
Wildside Booksellers

Gypsey wagon,
British Columbia

Monday, Dec 1
details to come
Seniors Hall
1111 Northwest Road
Denman Island, BC V0R 1T0

book sales by Corinne Bjorge & Juan Barker
Abraxas Books

Stefan's house on a small island off the coast of BC

Tuesday, Dec 2, 7:30pm
Hornby Island Community Hall
Central Rd. and Sollans
Hornby Island BC V0R 1Z0
250 335-1848

book sales by Deb McVittie
32 Books

Hornby Island Community Center

Thursday, Dec 4
St. Hilda’s by the Sea Church Hall
5838 Barnacle Street
Sechelt, BC

book sales by Bev Shaw
Talewind Books
5494 Trail Ave
Sechel, BC

Stefan's house interior

Friday, Dec 5, 7:30pm - 9pm
Vancouver Public Library Central Branch
350 W Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC

book sales by Michael Bertrand
Banyen Books
3608 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6R 1P1

A remote island on BC coast