Grounded

I'm starting to feel like someone has put an "Airstream Life" hex on us here at Rivet & Roam.  After the exciting tire blowout and Airstream repairs of the last six months, we thought we were due for a nice mellow summer.   The latest incident was a collision with Bill's truck (aka our tow vehicle) last week.   I will spare you the details but Bill is fine - the airbag didn't even go off - and the other person was luckily driving a big truck too so he was fine except for a few minor bumps and bruises.   Bill was on his way to go riding with the cargo trailer so we feel incredibly fortunate that overall the damage was so minor.  A huge thank you to our lovely landlord/neighbor for coming to haul the trailer back up to the farm for us - thank you Rolf!!   I'm also very thankful for insurance with rental car coverage.  Even though part of the frame is damaged, it looks like the truck will be repaired and not totaled out.   However, this means roughly 4-6 weeks without our tow vehicle so it's a good thing we love our current spot at Tanglewood Farm!   And we are headed out for our yearly stay (and volunteer photo gig) at Pickathon in two weeks and are trying to figure out how we will get the Airstream out there.  Worse case scenario, we rent a truck with a hitch to get us out there and back.   But if anyone has a big truck with a hitch they want to loan us for two days, let us know!!

The truck drama was balanced by a great visit from one of my oldest and dearest friends so I'm including a few pics from our adventures picking blueberries at The Croft Farm on Sauvie Island and a visit to the Japanese Gardens.   We are also loving our spot at Tanglewood Farm and this dreamy Oregon summer weather so I'll just focus on that for the next couple weeks instead of our usual summer roadtrips.

OUCH!

OUCH!

Waiting for the tow truck

Waiting for the tow truck

Thank you Rolf for saving the trailer!

Thank you Rolf for saving the trailer!

And now for some cute berry-picking kids from The Croft Farm

And now for some cute berry-picking kids from The Croft Farm

Jove hard at work

Jove hard at work

Miranda showing off the goods

Miranda showing off the goods

Carmen and Miranda at the Japanese Gardens

Carmen and Miranda at the Japanese Gardens

Very necessary zen moment from the Japanese Gardens

Very necessary zen moment from the Japanese Gardens

Full moon over Tanglewood Farm

Full moon over Tanglewood Farm

Home Is Where You Park It

One of our favorite "Airstream/RV life" hashtags is #homeiswhereyouparkit because it's true - we are right at home wherever we park the ole Airstream, whether its for one night or two weeks.   But ever since we started this crazy adventure almost two years ago (August 2015), we have been on the hunt for a home base.   We originally thought finding a spot would be easy - I mean, Portland is the land of tiny homes and alternative living situations, right?  Well, the housing/rental boom that encouraged us toward Airstream life still applied to yard space - not to mention all those pesky rules that I didn't exactly research before we took the leap.   If you have been following along, you will have seen the variety of options we have tried out - friends' driveways, state parks, RV parks - including months at a time at Roamer's Rest.  But county regulations (officially, you can't stay longer than 90 days in Washington County or 30 days in Multnomah County) and the scarcity of availability in 'good' RV parks remotely close to Portland made the RV park option not sustainable.   

Enter the wonderful random luck of Craigslist, which led us to Tanglewood Farm in Newberg, Oregon.  Our amazing hosts had a spot available on 25 acres with electric, water AND sewer (and wi-fi!) on the top of the 1200 Chehalem Mountain.  We are a short 10 minute drive to Newberg, 20 minutes to my work in Sherwood and surrounded by orchards, vineyards and views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson.   We have a little room to spread out, great back country roads to wander down, sunsets and nature galore (including a family of Red Tail Hawks that are currently doing flight training with their youngster in the huge tree next to us) along with the occasional exciting windstorm.    And our most recent addition was a cargo trailer (aka garage, aka shed, aka workspace, aka moto-hauler) so we can get a little more organized and not have to store everything in our cars!   Last but not least, we are the proud owners of a macerator (if you don't know what this is, consider yourself lucky).

Bedroom view

Bedroom view

Inga patrolling the driveway

Inga patrolling the driveway

I might be a little obsessed with the wildflowers around here

I might be a little obsessed with the wildflowers around here

There's even a gorgeous yurt (direct from Mongolia!)

There's even a gorgeous yurt (direct from Mongolia!)

Happy Inga girl

Happy Inga girl

Real RV lifers now!

Real RV lifers now!

"Please don't blow up, please don't blow up!"

"Please don't blow up, please don't blow up!"

Sigh

Sigh

Well, hello there Mt. Hood

Well, hello there Mt. Hood

Also slightly obsessed with the sunsets

Also slightly obsessed with the sunsets

The new addition!

The new addition!

 

 

Blowout!

We were lucky enough to experience one of the "great" Airstream rites of passage - the tire blowout!   All things considered, it wasn't too horrible of an experience - I guess the road trip gods were smiling down on us that day.   Cruising along I-90 in Montana, just past Missoula on our way to Spokane, Bill thought he heard something so we pulled off the highway to the off-ramp (which was thankfully quite large and had minimal traffic).  Sure enough, one of the trailer tires was blown.  And as you can see from the pics below, I mean BLOWN.   Among the many lessons of this pit spot - a blown tire can indeed rip a hole in the metal of the trailer, the Airstream doesn't come with a jack, the truck jack is a sneaky hidden little bugger, trying to use the leveling blocks doesn't make a great jack, we need to stockpile duct tape and the lugnut covers are pretty much useless pains in the ass.   But Bill was a champ and got us back on the road and we still made it to Spokane just before dark.   We have since learned that this is a relatively common issue with the stock Airstream tires (Goodyears) and we probably need to upgrade the tires/wheels so we can keep up our rambling ways.  And probably need a better fix than duct tape for the hole in the trailer body.    Alvord Desert and the Steens was going to be our next little road trip during my June work break but we are hesitant to do it before getting the tires swapped out, so we will see.

Epically destroyed tire photo op

Epically destroyed tire photo op

Ruh-roh

Ruh-roh

Ouch!

Ouch!

Peeled it right open!

Peeled it right open!

Silver lining - at least we had a great place to pull over and work on it

Silver lining - at least we had a great place to pull over and work on it

Inga always finds a nice shady spot to chill out

Inga always finds a nice shady spot to chill out

Had to end on a high note with the gratuitous booze shot - the Montana Moonshine from Willie's Distillery soothed us once we finally got settled in to our Spokane campsite

Had to end on a high note with the gratuitous booze shot - the Montana Moonshine from Willie's Distillery soothed us once we finally got settled in to our Spokane campsite

Rivet & Roam Returns to Chico

First things first, we finally have our Airstream back!   So what better way to celebrate then taking a nice long road trip?1?   Several months ago, we attended a great workshop/portfolio review hosted by The Collective Quarterly at Chico Hot Springs in Pray, Montana.   It was a great experience in so many ways and we fell in love with the Pray/Livingston area, so it's not a huge shock that we headed back there the first chance we got!   And, it turns out that the timing of Robert Osborn's gallery opening and release party for his gorgeous book "The Cowboys of Central Montana:  50 Portraits" was perfect, since we had to be in Spokane for some work the following week.  So why not just drive another 8 hours up to the Bozeman/Livingston area and stay there for a couple days?   One of the photographers we had the pleasure to meet at the workshop was Chris Douglas, who graciously offered us a place to park the Airstream on his beautiful property about 5 miles from Chico Hot Springs.     Such a dreamy place!   (Huge thanks to Chris and his awesome wife Darcy for their hospitality!)   We were also able to meet up with another workshop participant - Lauren Dillon - who we actually never had a chance to really chat with at the workshop.  Lauren recently moved to Montana and met up with us at the book release party, so the Collective Quarterly Chico Workshop love keeps rolling.

Stay tuned for the next blog post about our epic tire blowout on the way from Pray to Spokane...

Bill does his best JAWS impressions at Chico Hot Springs

Bill does his best JAWS impressions at Chico Hot Springs

Chef Taylor relaxing in style

Chef Taylor relaxing in style

A perfect evening for the hot springs 

A perfect evening for the hot springs 

Of course we had to have a drink at the Chico Saloon, post hot springs

Of course we had to have a drink at the Chico Saloon, post hot springs

Definitely in the top five 'moochdocking' spots of all time

Definitely in the top five 'moochdocking' spots of all time

I can never resist the lure of Livingston's neon signs

I can never resist the lure of Livingston's neon signs

Two of the cowboys featured in the book - John Hoiland on the accordian and Jim Larkin on guitar

Two of the cowboys featured in the book - John Hoiland on the accordian and Jim Larkin on guitar

Gil Cameron - featured on the cover and in two images in the book - signs our copy

Gil Cameron - featured on the cover and in two images in the book - signs our copy

Bob signing our copy of the book (and probably telling Bill some great story)

Bob signing our copy of the book (and probably telling Bill some great story)

Lauren getting her book signed by John Hoiland.  There was a also a Norwegian film crew there doing a documentary on John called "The Last Norwegian Cowboy"

Lauren getting her book signed by John Hoiland.  There was a also a Norwegian film crew there doing a documentary on John called "The Last Norwegian Cowboy"

Chico mini-reunion - unfortunately Chris was working and couldn't join us but random super-cool guitar guy filled in

Chico mini-reunion - unfortunately Chris was working and couldn't join us but random super-cool guitar guy filled in

We had breakfast at The Old Saloon in Emigrant on our way out of town.  I was smitten with their sheep taxidermy collection

We had breakfast at The Old Saloon in Emigrant on our way out of town.  I was smitten with their sheep taxidermy collection

Airstream Life Update - Lucy & Desi Style

Since I know you all are dying for an update on our Airstream service/repair drama, here's the latest.   One of the many issues we had was a problem with the original flooring.  A section of the subfloor lifted up and the dealership simply cut into the linoleum, which didn't exactly look awesome when they were done.  So they replaced a portion of the flooring but the installation/seam also looked even less awesome so after all the leaking drama, we asked them to replace the entire floor.   As you may expect, this is not a small job.   They have to rip pretty much everything out and the process takes a couple weeks.  Since our Airstream is our home, we negotiated a loaner to use during the repair time.   It's very similar to ours except the "International" line so overall it's a bit fancier with nicer finishes in the "Serenity" style.  The other hilarious part is that it has twin beds.   So it's become the "Lucy and Desi" loaner Airstream!  

We definitely appreciate the loaner but it's also a bit of a pain to move everything out for two weeks and transfer it all on the ONE hot day Portland decided to have this spring.   And of course, Inga had to make things more interesting by deciding to go roaming around the Airstream lot while we were moving stuff.  Normally, she's super chill and doesn't stray but I guess she wasn't pleased with our moving plan.    After probably 20 minutes of panicked running around the lot between probably 100 Airstreams, I circled back to our Airstream and found her just chilling in the shade right behind it.    Oh Inga, thanks for the heart attack!

We are hoping to have our sweet Airstream back in another week or so.    As annoying as this has all been, we also have great news.  After looking for the past year or so for a semi-permanent parking spot, we finally found the perfect spot!   We will be parking on a 25 acre farm in Newberg - trees galore with views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson!    We are SO excited!!

(iphone photos)

Goodbye Airstream - we will see you soon!

Goodbye Airstream - we will see you soon!

It's a tight squeeze moving our stuff to the loaner through all the shiny Airstreams.

It's a tight squeeze moving our stuff to the loaner through all the shiny Airstreams.

"Oh hey guys!  Didn't mean to completely panic you by wandering away..."

"Oh hey guys!  Didn't mean to completely panic you by wandering away..."

Lucy & Desi all the way 

Lucy & Desi all the way 

Inga attempting to enjoy the twin bed but still super confused by the lack of "her" regular bed.

Inga attempting to enjoy the twin bed but still super confused by the lack of "her" regular bed.

Gratuitous 'through the Airsteam window' rainbow pic - looking forward to brighter days ahead in our new parking spot!

Gratuitous 'through the Airsteam window' rainbow pic - looking forward to brighter days ahead in our new parking spot!

 

 

Montana Highs and Airstream Lows

Let's start with the highs, shall we?   Bill and I were both selected (along with 43 other photographers from the US, Canada and UK) to attend the Collective Quarterly workshop and portfolio review held at the Chico Hot Springs Resort in Pray, Montana.   We decided to go footloose and fancy-free and leave sweet old Inga at home with a dogsitter and drop of the Airstream at the dealership for repairs.   As much as we love road-tripping with the Airstream, it was awesome to just load up the truck and go.

The workshop was a four-day whirlwind - in parts completely inspiring, overwhelming, occasionally deflating but overall a very worthwhile experience.   Each of the 45 attending photographers had 20 minute portfolio reviews with six creative professionals at the top of their fields, including D.W. Pine - Creative Director at Time, Eugenie Frerichs - Director of Photography at Patagonia, Jesse Southerland - Design and Photo Director at Bicycling,  Jesse Lenz - Creative Director and co-founder of Collective Quarterly, Shannon Ghannam - Magnum Photos, Brandon Kavulla from Kavulla Creative (former Creative Director of Wired, Fortune and many others).    Not an intimidating list at all, eh?   Each reviewer also gave a one-hour talk about various issues facing freelance photographers.  I'm still trying to process all the information and feedback after several weeks and  I suspect it will take several more.  It was the first portfolio review for me (and Bill), so it was definitely a learning experience.   The feedback ranged from brutal honesty to inspiring and supportive ('hop a plane and go photograph your passion - trees -  in Russia or Finland!).     And I haven't even mentioned the other 43 photographers - a truly talented, supportive, open and encouraging bunch of people.  I wish I had a couple more days just to hang out and chat and view all the different photography work with all of them (and a couple more dips in the Hot Springs!)

After the workshop, Bill and I headed a little south to the sweetest little Airbnb log cabin about a 10 minute drive from Gardiner, Montana and the north entrance to Yellowstone.   The majority of the park was closed for winter, but we were still able to spend a day driving through the north portion and checking out Mammoth Hot Springs and bison galore!    It was a great way to decompress before heading back to Portland.    We also took time to visit Livingston - such a cool little town!   Thanks to the intro of one of the photographers at the workshop - Chris Douglas - we stopped by Robert Osborn's studio.  If you find yourself in Livingston, be sure to check it out.  Super cool guy with some absolutely stunning images of cowboys and Indians from Montana.   

Alas, it was time to return home and pick up the Airstream.   Unfortunately, our endless service issues (which I haven't blogged much about but we are beyond frustrated) continued.   We had a very minor leak that needed to be fixed along with checking the leaking windows (for the third time) and a couple minor things.   We picked it up and were assured everything was in great shape, so we headed to Astoria for the weekend.  I had a photo in a show at Lightbox Photographic Gallery (another great little gallery if you are on the Northern Oregon Coast!) so we went for the opening.    We got to the campground and as soon as we turned on the water pump, it started gushing out of the closet and all over the floor.    So no water for the weekend and yet another trip back to the dealer.    As I write this, it's all been fixed (again) and we are settled in at Roamer's Rest for the next 6 weeks but we shall see what happens next.  (I will spare you the sad gushing water photo but check out our instagram ( @rivetandroam ) for that!

The whole gang!  (Photo Credit:  Alexa Diserio )

The whole gang!  (Photo Credit:  Alexa Diserio )

And of course, we had to make a final stop by the tree farm on our way to Montana.  There are a couple small sections still standing but the majority of the farm is gone. (Heather - iPhone and instax).

And of course, we had to make a final stop by the tree farm on our way to Montana.  There are a couple small sections still standing but the majority of the farm is gone. (Heather - iPhone and instax).

Obligatory 'Bill wearing a hat staring at trees' photo (Heather - iphone)

Obligatory 'Bill wearing a hat staring at trees' photo (Heather - iphone)

Bill shot this on a loaner leica (thanks Leica Akademie for letting us play with all your cameras!)

Bill shot this on a loaner leica (thanks Leica Akademie for letting us play with all your cameras!)

Bill trying out the leica on the backroads of Old Chico (Heather - iPhone)

Bill trying out the leica on the backroads of Old Chico (Heather - iPhone)

The sweetest gallery dog at Robert Osborn's  (Heather - iPhone)

The sweetest gallery dog at Robert Osborn's  (Heather - iPhone)

Bill getting the drive-by stink eye (Bill)

Bill getting the drive-by stink eye (Bill)

so many bison!  (Heather - iPhone)

so many bison!  (Heather - iPhone)

Road-tripping through Yellowstone (Heather - iPhone)

Road-tripping through Yellowstone (Heather - iPhone)

Still plenty of snow to be found  (Heather - iPhone)

Still plenty of snow to be found  (Heather - iPhone)

Mammoth Hot Springs (Bill)

Mammoth Hot Springs (Bill)

Mammoth Hot Springs were a study in neutrals (Bill)

Mammoth Hot Springs were a study in neutrals (Bill)

our sweet little log cabin - at least for two nights!  (Heather - iPhone)

our sweet little log cabin - at least for two nights!  (Heather - iPhone)

Hibernation

It's been a rough couple months in Rivet and Roam land, but Spring is coming (right??)!  We ended up back at Roamer's Rest for a few months due to a crazy unusual Portland winter with almost a foot of snow and very cold temps.   We definitely needed the 30 AMP hook-up to run our extra little heater and to not have to worry about finding a dump station since we certainly didn't want to take the Airstream out on the crazy icy winter roads.

We have also been hit with a variety of winter colds and plagues so it's been a bit of a forced hibernation season for us.   At the end of the month, we will be hitting the road again but not with the Airstream (believe it or not!)  Both Bill and I were accepted in to a workshop/portfolio review at Chico Hot Springs (near Livingston, Montana) hosted by Collective Quarterly.  So we will be headed there while the Airstream gets some repairs done at the dealer.   Stay tuned to some awesome Montana and Yellowstone pics in our next post!

(All photos taken on iPhone 6)

The view from my car on a frosty morning.

The view from my car on a frosty morning.

Brrrr!!!

Brrrr!!!

Our neighbor at Roamer's Rest RV Park.

Our neighbor at Roamer's Rest RV Park.

We managed to get out and up to Mount Hood for a fun snowshoe trek on one of the few sunny days this winter.

We managed to get out and up to Mount Hood for a fun snowshoe trek on one of the few sunny days this winter.

Celebrating a rare warm day at the amazing farm brewery Wolves & People .

Celebrating a rare warm day at the amazing farm brewery Wolves & People .

Christmas in the California Redwoods

Greetings friends of Rivet and Roam!  It's been awhile but what better time to get back on the blogging wagon than Christmas, right?   This was a very unique Xmas for many reasons.  It was the first year I didn't go home to Michigan so we decided to take advantage of my work break and take a long trek in the Airstream.  Plan A was Utah - Zion, Arches, etc - but the snow came (very) early this year and we decided not to risk the passes.   Plan B was to head south and spend some time in the Redwoods of Northern California.   Our departure from Portland was delayed a couple days due to Snowpocalypse 2016 (we shall not discuss the white knuckle 3.5 hour commute on the first snowy day!) but finally left on the Sunday before Xmas.

First stop was Bandon and Bullard's Beach State Park.  It was pretty rainy most of the time there but a lovely state park, especially in the off-season when there were maybe 2 other RV's in the entire park.   Then it was off to California!  We stayed at Jedidiah Smith State Park near Crescent City which is a gorgeous park in the midst of huge redwoods and the most amazing emerald/turquoise river (Smith River).   We lucked out and had a couple fabulous sunny days before the crazy torrential rain hit.   Airstream, I love you and your tin roof, but damn if it isn't LOUD during a rain storm.    

For the actual Xmas holiday, we decided to go crazy and stay at an actual RV park with full hookups (Emerald Forest RV Park in Trinidad) so we could run xmas lights, watch bad movies and not have to worry about water, etc.   And let me tell you, that was a good decision.   We had a great Xmas eve exploring the cool historic towns Eureka and Ferndale then settled in to the Airstream to watch a Christmas Story and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.   But as luck would have it, poor Bill got hit with a nasty stomach flu that night and spent all of Xmas in bed (again, thank the RV gods for full hook-ups and cable!)   Fingers crossed he's feeling better tomorrow and we will continue our exploration of this gorgeous area.   

Bandon, Oregon (iPhone)

Bandon, Oregon (iPhone)

Our awesome spot at Bullard's Beach State Park in Bandon, OR.  (iPhone)

Our awesome spot at Bullard's Beach State Park in Bandon, OR.  (iPhone)

Jedidiah Smith State Park, Crescent City, CA

Jedidiah Smith State Park, Crescent City, CA

Dreamy trees and light around every corner

Dreamy trees and light around every corner

Slightly obsessed with the color of the Smith River

Slightly obsessed with the color of the Smith River

Jesus light and emerald waters on the Howland Hill scenic drive 

Jesus light and emerald waters on the Howland Hill scenic drive 

Crescent City sunset (iPhone)

Crescent City sunset (iPhone)

Always take the unknown back roads.  Thank you CR405 for this view.

Always take the unknown back roads.  Thank you CR405 for this view.

Our weather luck came to an end our last day at Jedidiah Smith.  Next stop Trinidad!

Our weather luck came to an end our last day at Jedidiah Smith.  Next stop Trinidad!

Bill caught a quick snap of this surfer in Trinidad headed out on a stormy afternoon. (Phone)

Bill caught a quick snap of this surfer in Trinidad headed out on a stormy afternoon. (Phone)

We got our Xmas lights up just in time!  (Phone)

We got our Xmas lights up just in time!  (Phone)

While poor Bill was sick in bed, I took a Xmas morning hike to the beach near our RV park.  (Phone)

While poor Bill was sick in bed, I took a Xmas morning hike to the beach near our RV park.  (Phone)

Christmas in California looks pretty awesome to me!  (iPhone)

Christmas in California looks pretty awesome to me!  (iPhone)

A Weekend on Sauvie Island

Last weekend we finally had the chance to take the Airstream out to Sauvie Island to stay at our friend's beautiful farm.   Vail and Greg (and their two adorable kiddos Huckleberry and Poppy) own and operate The Croft Farm.  Bill met them a couple years ago while shooting an article for 1859 Magazine on their stunning house.   Vail and Greg are some of the most genuine, hilarious and flat-out awesome people around and we quickly became friends.    We had a standing offer to come out and park the Airstream for a weekend and were finally able to take them up on their offer.

Even though Sauvie Island is only a short drive outside of Portland, it feels like a world away.  We also had the opportunity to attend the launch party/picnic/pig roast celebrating a new venture Vail is starting with two friends.  Collectivo "celebrates Mexican culture and tradition by bringing you beautiful handmade treasures, along with the stories behind them."   The fabulous Edna Vazquez performed a private concert in the yard of Wild Goose Farm (another incredible home and farm on Sauvie).  It was a truly dreamy night and we even survived biking back to the Airstream at midnight on the very dark country roads!   

Dreamy night for the "Collectivo" launch party.

Dreamy night for the "Collectivo" launch party.

Who can resist a big purple piñata?  There's a very zen video of it on our instagram (@rivetandroam).

Who can resist a big purple piñata?  There's a very zen video of it on our instagram (@rivetandroam).

Poppy Sparkle tries to break out of her 'cage'.

Poppy Sparkle tries to break out of her 'cage'.

Edna Vazquez was incredible.

Edna Vazquez was incredible.

So many delicious tomatoes in the Croft greenhouse!

So many delicious tomatoes in the Croft greenhouse!

Huckleberry checking out the Airstream.

Huckleberry checking out the Airstream.

DIRT!

DIRT!

Inga was so happy roaming around in the grass.  She's a farm dog at heart.

Inga was so happy roaming around in the grass.  She's a farm dog at heart.

The sweetest rocking horse hanging out in the new barn.

The sweetest rocking horse hanging out in the new barn.

View of Vail and Greg's Airstream from our spot.   We encouraged them to join the cult.

View of Vail and Greg's Airstream from our spot.   We encouraged them to join the cult.

Hello Big Dipper!

Hello Big Dipper!

 

 

It's our Airstream Anniversary!

It's hard to believe it's been a year since we took the leap and traded in our sweet 19 foot Airstream for our current "live full time" 25 footer.   Things have been crazy busy in Rivet & Roam land the last six weeks and the blog has been woefully neglected!  Stay tuned for updates from our latest trips - including Lassen, Pickathon music fest and three week cross-country trip to Michigan.   For now, here's a fabulous night photo by Bill of our campsite at Sully Creek Campground in North Dakota (just outside the Theodore Roosevelt National Park).

Sully Creek Campground was a nice change of pace from Walmart parking lot camping!

Roaming Through Lassen Volcanic National Park

After we realized it was going to be in the mid-90s in the Alvord Desert in the end of June, we decided to find an alternate destination for our 10 day vacation.    Neither of us had ever been to Lassen Volcanic National Park and after seeing one too many gorgeous instagram photo from there, it was time to check it out!   Everything I read said it was one of the few 'non busy' natioanl parks and that finding a camping spot would be no problem.  Of course, we didn't factor in that 2 of the 3 main campgrounds in the National Park were closed until July 1st.   So that left Manzanita Lake Campground which was pretty much packed by the time we arrived Friday afternoon.   We ended up finding the last spot, situated perfectly (ahem) near the bathrooms/shower/water.   However, we were determined to make it work for a couple days to explore the National Park and then see what else we could find.   And then our less than idyllic campsite experience was then met with another unfortunate incident.  Since dogs aren't really allowed on any trails in National Parks, we left Inga happily napping in the Airstream while we took a walk around gorgeous Lake Manzanita.  When we returned, Bill opened the door to find a scene out of a blood-spattered horror movie!   Poor Inga had an abscess that must have quickly formed and then burst (and then of course she shook herself and wandered through the Airstream).    We managed to get her cleaned up and kept an eye on it over the next couple days since we were quite far from any town with vet services.   

I will skip over the next morning where we went on a lovely hike to a waterfall which resulted in me almost keeling over with dehydration and altitude sickness.  Fun!   We managed to catch some of the other sights in Lassen National Forest but the coolest looking hike (and wonderfully named - Bumpass Hell) was still closed due to snow.    But our luck was soon to change!   We realized we needed to figure out a new campsite and went scouting in the Lassen National Forest (just outside of the National Park boundaries, which generally means much cheaper campgrounds and/or dispersed camping that allows dogs).   And lo and behold, we found the perfect spot!    A National Forest campground along a beautiful little creek with huge spots (and decent enough roads to get the Airstream in safely).   Did I mention it was FREE?  There were no services except some vault toilets but we were set to boondock in the Airstream for at least 5 days.   

Stay tuned for a couple more posts about our fire lookout visits and other cool spots in Lassen.  For now, enjoy some gorgeous photos of our campsite (and bonus milky way shots!)

Happy Inga Girl (a couple days after the exploding face incident)

Bill in his happy place

The perfect hammock spot

The perfect hammock spot

Making good use of our bumper bottle opener

Lumberjack Bill

YUM!

Just one of the many HUGE Ponderosa Pines at the campground.

Columbine by the creek

Such a pretty glowing Airstream!

Milky Way over Butte Lake

Bill tried his hand at night photography with pretty epic results

Escape to Lake Cushman

June is shaping up to be a fairly chaotic month between hopscotching around campsites and work commitments (not to mention the crazy 100+ heat!).    Last week Bill had some work up in Spokane so he took our 'house' with him and I headed to Tacoma to work for a couple days.  It's always funny staying in a hotel after months in the Airstream - so much space!    We had originally planned to meet up and camp near Leavenworth, WA for the weekend but with the forecast in the high 90s, it was time for a new plan.   We thought about Port Townsend but most of the good campgrounds were booked up, so we decided to head to Lake Cushman.  

Lake Cushman is a lovely spot about an hour west of Olympia, bordering the Olympic National Forest.   We stayed at the Skokomish Campground in the "North Camp", which didn't have hook-ups but had a more mellow forest campground vibe than the packed RV fest in South Camp.   We are still adjusting to summer camping with the bigger and more rowdy crowds (I sound like such a crabby old lady - get off my lawn, you summer campers!)   But we had a lovely time kayaking around the lake, doing a somewhat aborted hike to Mount Elinor, and visiting a cool little distillery in Hoodsport. We also attempted to check out the Timber Festival in Shelton with the Stihl lumberjack competition but we got there too late.   Bummer!    And then Monday morning arrived and we reluctantly packed up to head back to Portland.

(All photos were shot on our iPhones; it was one of those weekends!)   

Sunset Lake Cushman.

Sunset Lake Cushman.

Lovely light through the trees.

Lovely light through the trees.

This mountain goat didn't particularly want to share the trail.  However, he did eventually loop around us and head on down the trail.

This mountain goat didn't particularly want to share the trail.  However, he did eventually loop around us and head on down the trail.

Bill and Inga managed to find snow on Mt. Elinor.

Bill and Inga managed to find snow on Mt. Elinor.

Chuck at the Hardware Distillery in Hoodsport, WA.

Chuck at the Hardware Distillery in Hoodsport, WA.

IMG_4579.JPG
Inga sniffing around the lake.

Inga sniffing around the lake.

lone kayaker on a small island in the lake.

lone kayaker on a small island in the lake.

Pretty much sums it up!

Pretty much sums it up!

Obligatory selfie on the lake.

Obligatory selfie on the lake.

A Fond Farewell to Roamer's Rest

Who would have ever thought I would enjoy living in a RV Park?  That was not remotely part of the plan when we started this adventure almost 8 months ago.   But circumstances - part-time job, lack of RV parks or other parking options in central Portland, availability, etc - landed us here on and off for the majority of the last 8 months.   Our little spot (#23) at Roamer's Rest is tucked back in a tree-filled corner of the park with a fair amount of privacy (and lots of birds visiting our feeders!)   If you ignore the construction of the big apartment complex across the little forest area and the occasional monster truck revving from the auto repair shop behind us, it's downright idyllic!  The park is also right on the Tualatin River with a nice area for Inga to play ball.  There's also great access for kayaking on the river.  

BUT, all good things must come to an end.  We found out that the park is pretty much booked all summer (and our little spot is reserved starting June 1st through November) so it's time to find a new spot.  We will be traveling quite a bit over the summer on weekends working on our fire lookout project and then (hopefully) a big road trip back to MI in August.  But that leaves quite a few weeks to figure out.    One of the great things about this crazy full-time Airstream adventure is learning to remain flexible and keep an open mind on lodging options. 

Gorgeous evening light on the Tualatin River.

Gorgeous evening light on the Tualatin River.

Inga watching over spot #23

Inga watching over spot #23

Flashback to kayaking on the Tualatin River.

Flashback to kayaking on the Tualatin River.

Halloween at the RV park

Halloween at the RV park

Our sweet friend Aggie explores down by the river.

Our sweet friend Aggie explores down by the river.

Inga in the 'jungle' of Roamer's Rest.

Inga in the 'jungle' of Roamer's Rest.

So much green!

So much green!

Return to the Crooked River

After the awning incident put the kibosh on our Alvord Desert trek, we decided to head back to the Crooked River (where we spent a lovely, chilly New Year's!).   Camping is still a steal at only $8/night and we were able to score our favorite spot.   It's the start of prime fly fishing season on the Crooked River but it still wasn't super busy.   It was a mellow weekend of fishing, hammock naps, campfires and a little kayak time on Walton Lake.   

I spy Bill fishing with Chimney Rock in the distance.

I spy Bill fishing with Chimney Rock in the distance.

Overview of our awesome camping spot.

Overview of our awesome camping spot.

Perfect day for a little fly fishing.

Perfect day for a little fly fishing.

Happy Inga girl

Happy Inga girl

Post-fishing relaxation

Post-fishing relaxation

Kayaking (and more fishing) on Walton Lake

Kayaking (and more fishing) on Walton Lake

Backroad exploring through the Ochoco National Forest.

Backroad exploring through the Ochoco National Forest.

Campfires and Airstreams - two of our favorite things

Campfires and Airstreams - two of our favorite things

The new solar lights worked great

The new solar lights worked great

Good night from the Crooked River

Good night from the Crooked River

The Awning Incident

We were excited to hit the road this weekend for a quick trip to the Alvord Desert.   We took our old Airstream out there last March and were looking forward to trying out the big rig (as well as getting off the grid for a couple days).    

Our sweet 19 foot Airstream on Alvord Desert last year.

Our sweet 19 foot Airstream on Alvord Desert last year.

But our Airstream had other plans.   We had been warned about the fragile (ahem, wimpy) nature of the Zip Dee awnings.  Overall we have been pretty cautious - never leaving it up when it's windy, lowering one of the arms if it's raining a lot, etc.   But last Tuesday night Bill was off on a 11+ hour shoot and I was chilling in bed reading with Inga and it started pouring.  To be honest, I didn't even think about the awning....until there was a huge crash right outside my window.   I leaped out of bed and went out to the dark and stormy night to investigate.  Lo and behold, one side of the awning arm had snapped and crashed down on my car.  My Subaru is made of tough stuff so there's only a little chip in the paint, but the awning arm was sheared right in half.

Reviewing the damage the following day...

Reviewing the damage the following day...

I propped it up so it wouldn't (hopefully) cause much damage that night.   Bill reviewed the damage the next day - thankfully it wasn't raining!    Getting a new part is no easy feat and we weren't sure if we could just replace that arm or if would need a bigger fix.  (Don't get me started on the warranty issue and how it might not be covered if they can tell it was left out in the rain.  It's an awning!!)   And it's not like dropping your car for a fix at the dealer since we basically have to take the whole house in!   Bill headed off to the Airstream dealer and they were able to give us a replacement piece (thank you Airstream Adventures NW!)    But Alvord Desert is off the table for this weekend - it's just too far for a three day weekend.    The current plan is to head out towards Prineville, maybe hit a few fire lookouts as part of the recon for our summer project and do a little fishing on the Crooked River.  

P.S.  Who knew C-stands would make sure great awning supports?   Photographer-Airstream hack for the win!

One of the many uses for a C-Stand....

One of the many uses for a C-Stand....

Not the best long-term solution...

Not the best long-term solution...

Bill giving Zip Dee the stink-eye.

Bill giving Zip Dee the stink-eye.

Photographer-Airstream life hack!

Photographer-Airstream life hack!

Fear and Trembling at the Tamarack Fire Lookout

After our lovely trek through the Wallowas and a little work side-trip in Idaho, we headed to Eastern Oregon to visit our friends Joni and Philippa at their cabin in Spray.   It’s a truly gorgeous area near the Painted Hills (which is another of the 7 Wonders of Oregon per Travel Oregon).  On our way to the cabin, we spotted a sign for a fire lookout, of course we had to check that out!   The Tamarack Fire Lookout is about 9 miles off Highway 207.   The road starts off smooth and straight, but by the last mile is steep and rough.  As usual, we weren’t actually sure we were headed the right way as the road got rougher and rougher, but finally we arrived to a rather epic sight.   The lookout is the tallest (by far) we have visited and took some serious pep talks to climb to the top on a windy and chilly day (the wobbly first section of steps didn’t help).   The 96 foot metal tower was built in 1933 with a small lookout room on top.   There’s a cabin near the foot of the tower that is available for rent during the off-season.    We are really looking forward to revisiting the Tamarack Lookout and meeting the hardy soul that is going to be staffing it!

The amazing view from the top of the Tamarack Fire Lookout

The amazing view from the top of the Tamarack Fire Lookout

That's a LONG way up.

That's a LONG way up.

The view down (while tightly clutching the iPhone)!

The view down (while tightly clutching the iPhone)!

We can never resist a good reflection shot.

We can never resist a good reflection shot.

We weren't kidding.

We weren't kidding.

The monster truck looks so tiny down there.

The monster truck looks so tiny down there.

Is it a window or a painting?

Is it a window or a painting?

The horses were totally gossiping about Bill and Philippa.

The horses were totally gossiping about Bill and Philippa.

Heather scrambling down the hill during Philappa's "little" (3 hour) hike near the cabin.

Heather scrambling down the hill during Philappa's "little" (3 hour) hike near the cabin.

Joni  - at home on the range.

Joni  - at home on the range.

Inga and Toast living the cabin life.

Inga and Toast living the cabin life.

Wandering in the Wallowas

Travel Oregon calls the Wallowas one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon and we couldn't agree more!  We took a chance on the weather and headed to Joseph, a great little town known for it's art scene (particularly bronze sculpture) as well as easy access to Wallowa Lake and the Wallowa Mountains.   During the summer, the Wallowa Lake Campground is packed wall to wall.   However, in late March, we had the park almost to ourselves!    They received a couple inches of snow the day before which was melting and manageable in the Airstream by the time we arrived.   The weather gods were smiling on us with blue skies and temps in the 60s, which is pretty much a miracle in Oregon in March.   We took the kayak out on the lake, checked out the Chief Joseph Trail hike and explored Joseph - including a quick visit to the Jennings Hotel.   The Jennings is the "world's first Kickstarter funded hotel and artist residency" and is a great addition to Joseph.  I was a backer of the Kickstarter and was curious to see how things were coming along.  Greg Hennes, the owner, was hard at work on some drywall in the hallway when we arrived.  He's done an amazing job restoring the old hotel (including a gorgeous sauna).  We may have to give up a night in the Airstream some time to stay there!    As luck would have it, we were able to attend the monthly square dance that's held in Enterprise.  Caleb Klauder and the Cully Cut-Ups came over from Portland to play so we had to check it out.   Sadly, my memory card with all the insanely cute kids square dancing seems to be toast, so you will just have to take my word for the fun experience of this truly lovely, charming and fun community dance.   And we even danced!  If you have a chance to get out to Joseph and the Wallowas, take it and run - especially in the Spring or Fall.

Picnic anyone?

Picnic anyone?

A lovely morning on Wallowa Lake

A lovely morning on Wallowa Lake

Off season is the best

Off season is the best

Happy inga in the snow

Happy inga in the snow

Downtown Joseph, Oregon

Downtown Joseph, Oregon

Greg hennes at the jennings hotel

Greg hennes at the jennings hotel

unreal beauty on Wallowa Lake

unreal beauty on Wallowa Lake

His

His

hers

hers

perfect day for kayaking

perfect day for kayaking

happy kayakers

happy kayakers

imnaha, oregon

imnaha, oregon

caught 'grammin at the legendary imnaha store

caught 'grammin at the legendary imnaha store

Not amused by our accidental detour

Not amused by our accidental detour

Square dancing in enterprise, oregon - so much fun!

Square dancing in enterprise, oregon - so much fun!

terminal gravity beer is delicous and heather can't resist their beet reuben.

terminal gravity beer is delicous and heather can't resist their beet reuben.

March is for Moochdocking

"Mooch docking" (thanks to Dave of Advodna for the phrase!) is basically parking for free at a friend's place but we think it can also apply to free parking spots like Walmart.   We realized we would be traveling for part of March and didn't want to pay for an RV park so we cobbled together a plan of campgrounds and mooch docking sites.   A huge thanks to our friends Kim and Don for the loan of their driveway in Milwaukie for the first week of March (sadly, I didn't get a snap of our spot there!)   Next stop was Champoeg State Park for a couple days and then we headed out on the road for about 10 days.  

We headed first to the Wallowas and lucked out with perfect weather and a nearly empty Wallowa Lake Campground (stay tuned for a separate blog post about that part of the trip!)   After a blissful 4 days there, we were off to Moscow, Idaho for a couple days of work.   We stayed at our fave Walmart the first two nights and then took up a new friend on a generous offer to 'moochdock' at their farm about 8 miles outside of Moscow.  We had a fabulous evening with a home-cooked meal from their garden, good wine and lots of laughs.  I also fell in love with their barn - how could we not (check out the pic below)??  From there we made an overnight stop at a very windy Palouse Falls State Park and then off to Eastern Oregon our friend Joni's amazing cabin for our final stop.   

After a couple months of pretty much full-time RV park life, it was great to get back on the road and check out new camping spots - whether they were moochdocks or campgrounds.   As they say, home is where you park it!

All photos are iPhone for this post...stay tuned for more!   And be sure to follow us on instagram @rivetandroam

Ominous skies over the Moscow, Idaho Walmart 

Ominous skies over the Moscow, Idaho Walmart 

Seriously swoon-worthy barn outside of Moscow, Idaho (photo taken while dodging the hail storm).  

Seriously swoon-worthy barn outside of Moscow, Idaho (photo taken while dodging the hail storm).  

On the range in Eastern Oregon (near Spray and Fossil)

On the range in Eastern Oregon (near Spray and Fossil)

5 Months and Counting...

It's been over 5 months since we embarked on full-time Airstream life.   Overall, it's been great.  The adjustment to living in such a small space was actually easier than we expected, I think.   Honestly, the biggest stress we have had (aside from a few closet space issues) is figuring out where to park.   Due to my part time job, we need to stay in the general metro Portland area.   Staying in an RV park for the majority of the time wasn't really the plan but it's worked out well (even through the floods and crazy winter storms!)   It also helps that my parents have a condo in NE Portland, which we can use for some storage and an occasional 'weekend in the city' break.   We are still hoping to find that perfect 'home base' spot to rent but Airstream life is all about being flexible.     I'm working on a 'lessons learned' post (with links to some of our favorite airstream and travel blogs) so keep an eye out for that in the next couple weeks.

Flashback to picking up our new house in August 2015.

Flashback to picking up our new house in August 2015.

Inga in her favorite spot with her favorite ball.   She's adjusted great to Airstream life.

Inga in her favorite spot with her favorite ball.   She's adjusted great to Airstream life.

Our first weekend with the Airstream at Kelly's Brighton Marina on Nehalem Bay, Oregon Coast.

Our first weekend with the Airstream at Kelly's Brighton Marina on Nehalem Bay, Oregon Coast.

Home is where you park it, right??

Home is where you park it, right??


Hairstream

I was long overdue for a haircut, so my fave stylist Tia made a 'house call' to the Airstream.   We had a blast squeezing ourselves in to the living room/kitchen to set up shop.  Inga was very enthralled by the whole process and kept a close eye on us.  

I love the idea of an Airstream hair salon and I'm not alone.  And who can resist the name!  There's one in Portland - The Hairstream Trailer and a few others around the country.  

What'cha doing??

What'cha doing??

There has to be some food involved in this...

There has to be some food involved in this...

Miss Tia!

Miss Tia!

Feeling a little Donald Trump-esque here!

Feeling a little Donald Trump-esque here!

Inga keeps an eye on things

Inga keeps an eye on things

Chop chop

Chop chop

Serious biz

Serious biz