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

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!

 

 

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!

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!

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??


Snowshoeing at Trillium Lake

We took advantage of a gorgeous sunny Friday to head up to Mount Hood for a snowshoe trek around Trillium Lake.   The 5 mile loop includes stunning views of Mount Hood, cute little cabins, snowy meadows, and loop around the frozen lake.   Inga had a fabulous time romping around and chomping snow at every chance. With the temperature around 40 degrees, it was downright balmy!   After last year's snow drought, it was lovely to see so much snow on Mount Hood.    

(All photos are from our iPhones/instagram - be sure to follow @rivetandroam for ongoing adventures)

Finally stopped at Joe's Donuts; perfect snowshoe fuel-up!

Finally stopped at Joe's Donuts; perfect snowshoe fuel-up!

Nom nom nom

Nom nom nom

The perfect lunch spot

The perfect lunch spot

Frosty pine needles

Frosty pine needles

Testing out the ice on the lake

Testing out the ice on the lake