On The Road Again

We fell in love with Kodachrome Basin and the surrounding area when we landed there for Thanksgiving 4 years ago (in Rivet & Roam 1.0 - our 19 ft Airstream). After months of no travel, we finally got new tires for the Airstream and decided to hit the road for the Thanksgiving holidays. After much discussion, we decided to head back to Utah and Kodachrome Basin. Bill found a handy list of Utah hot springs so we added a couple of those to our itinerary.

First hot springs stop was Homestead Crater in Midway, Utah. We splurged and got a hotel room for the night - which always feels a little silly when we have the Airstream with us but it was vacation-time, gotta live it up! The hot springs at Homestead Crater are very unique; it’s a geothermal spring located in a limestone crater. It reminded me of the cenotes in Mexico but in the middle of Utah (and warm!) It’s also a popular spot to learn to scuba dive in the nice warm water. You can purchase a soak pass for 40 minutes with probably 20 other people and scuba divers all around (and you have to wear a life jacket) but it was still a very interesting experience. I highly recommend trying it!

Next stop was Mystic Hot Springs in Monroe, Utah. Do yourself a favor and check out their website and make plans to get there! We are pretty much obsessed with this place now - we stayed one night on the way to Kodachrome and then came back for Thanksgiving. It’s a funky, wonderfully weird spot with amazing hot springs soaking pools and tubs. If you have been following @heathre , you have seen my 1,000 pics of the hot springs already but I’'m including more below. OBSESSED.

We also had a lovely time in Kodachrome and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument - including walking in the tracks of dinosaurs from 155 million (!!) years ago, dinner at a cool little cafe in the sweet town of Escalante, attempting to teach Luka how to hike without dragging us off mountains, campfires at 4:30 pm before it got too cold and full moon views. (Oh! And the most amazing campground showers ever are at Kodachrome Basin State Park! We rarely use the campground showers since we have our own—but damn, the Kodachrome ones are worth it).

I had to get a classic Airstream tunnel shot at Red Canyon

I had to get a classic Airstream tunnel shot at Red Canyon

My happy place

My happy place

One of the scuba guys hanging out after his dive

One of the scuba guys hanging out after his dive

No jumping allowed. Boo!

No jumping allowed. Boo!

The most magical place! (And kudos to Bill for doing the camera self-timer in 20 degree weather)

The most magical place! (And kudos to Bill for doing the camera self-timer in 20 degree weather)

A lovely morning soak

A lovely morning soak

Just a couple more photos before we leave

Just a couple more photos before we leave

Contentment

Contentment

A frosty morning at Mystic Hot Springs

A frosty morning at Mystic Hot Springs

Mystic Hot Springs

Mystic Hot Springs

Thank you Monroe High School for your fenced field so poor Luka could finally get some running out of his system (alternate title: Friday Night Lights)

Thank you Monroe High School for your fenced field so poor Luka could finally get some running out of his system (alternate title: Friday Night Lights)

Devil’s Garden, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Devil’s Garden, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Devil’s Garden was amazing

Devil’s Garden was amazing

Just walking by the tracks of dinosaurs…

Just walking by the tracks of dinosaurs…

Flashback to 2014 trip to Kodachrome in the wee 19 ft Airstream

Flashback to 2014 trip to Kodachrome in the wee 19 ft Airstream

Gotta include a classic road trip photo

Gotta include a classic road trip photo

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!

 

 

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

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!