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!

 

 

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

Roaming with the Mosier Misfits

Last weekend we had the chance to hang out with our friends Colleen and Thad up in Mosier, Oregon (about 7 miles west of Hood River).   They are the proud owners of a sled dog team called The Mosier Misfits.  We talked about starting a photography project documenting their team and finally made our way up to Colleen and Thad's 40 acre property in Mosier.  Of course, we brought our home along with us!

I first met Colleen through her work with The Community Project, a non-profit that is working in Debre Berhan, Ethiopia to build a K-8 school, community garden and community center.   It's an incredible project and definitely worthy of a blog post on it's own (hopefully when Bill and I make it back there one of these years to help volunteer on the project!)   Thad is a software engineer and together they spend much of their free time training their 12 (!) dogs for 6 and 8 dog race competitions.    It's a fascinating sport that I was pretty ignorant about so it's been great to see all the different facets of training a team.

They currently have 11 'active' dogs (who believe it or not, Bill and I can now accurately identify!):  Wax, Flow, Rocket, Disel, Guillermo, Rose, Lilly, Comet, Oscar, Fido and Flash.  There are also three pups living the fabulous retired life - May, Becca and Samuel.   So yes, Colleen and Thad are the proud parents of 14 dogs.    And they are very much part of a big happy family - it's not unusual for all the dogs to come inside their house to hang out for an afternoon.  We got to experience this last sunday - all 14 dogs and 4 adults, hanging out watching football.     

We were able to tag along on two training runs - one with a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call to head up to Frog Lake on Mount Hood.  Unfortunately, it was a rather warm weekend so the snow conditions weren't ideal but it still made for some fun photos!  The second run was a short trek on the road by Colleen and Thad's house. Colleen drove the pilot vehicle to make sure traffic was clear (it's a very rural road with minimal traffic), so Bill and I hung out the back and tried to shoot the dogs in action.   It was a blast.    We are looking forward to following The Mosier Misfits and continue documenting them.    

The team is headed off to two races over the next two weeks, so Bill and I are dog sitting the retirees.  It feels weird to be a big ole house after almost 4 months in the Airstream!   

Thad checking out the snow conditions on the trail.

Getting Ready

Some dogs just can't wait to get going!

Out on the trail.

Thad and May

Sometimes training a sled dog team in Oregon requires a little creativity.

Running in the rain.

Big happy family--smiles all around!

Airstream in the mists of Mosier

Airstream in the mists of Mosier

Morning hike with Inga

Morning hike with Inga


Happy New Year from the Crooked River!

We decided to head off the grid for a little New Year’s retreat to kick off 2016.     For the past two Christmases, Bill took the Airstream to the Crooked River in Central Oregon, near Prineville, while I headed to Michigan to see my family.    After an unusually balmy Michigan Christmas, I wanted to see some snow and finally check out Bill’s bachelor pad camping spot.  It did not disappoint.   We stayed at Chimney Rock Campground, a BLM campground right on the river.    While not exactly a hot-spot for winter camping, we had the place to ourselves (aside from a couple of fisherman, our neighbor heron, a bunch of deer and a few beavers).   The views are stunning, incredibly quiet and peaceful, and it is FREE during the winter months.   We tested out the new solar panel, which soaked up the fabulous central Oregon sun.   Eventually all the ice we collected on the drive over melted, but our Airstream definitely is due for a bath.  Between the solar panel and our generator, we stayed toasty warm with temps down to 7 degrees at night.  (Although as I write this, we are trying to thaw out our pipes which froze overnight).

Our first day we did a sunset hike up to Chimney Rock (the trailhead is directly across from our campground) – lightly dusted with snow and a bit icy but gorgeous views from all directions.   On New Year’s Eve day, Bill did a little fly fishing on the river, then we tested out our new snowshoes near the Steins Pillar.  Last but not least, we hit up the local Prineville brewpub Ochoco Brewing Company and a dive bar for some New Year’s Eve drinks. New Year’s Day was wonderfully mellow including– Bloody Marys, black-eyed peas, a campfire, setting plans and intentions for the next year of adventures, naps and finishing off with a viewing of Star Wars at the local old-school movie theater in Prineville.

We originally planned to head back Sunday but luckily, we checked the weather on our way through town to more snowshoeing adventures.   It looked like Sunday would be dicey so we packed up (in record time!) and hit the road Saturday afternoon.   The snow found us around Maupin but luckily it was pretty minor.  We rolled in to Roamer’s Rest and were settled back in by 10 pm.   Just in time for the snow and ice storm on Sunday and Monday!

Stein's Pillars at sunset

Hiking up to Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock at sunset

Bill prepping for a little fly-fishing on the Crooked River

Tools of the trade

Tools of the trade

Chilly morning on the river

Our neighbor

Bloody Marys are essential for 2016 goal-setting

Bill's amazing black-eyed peas stew for New Year's good luck and prosperity

Setting fire to New Year's intentions

Burn baby burn!

Five Feet High and Rising...

This last week definitely brought to mind that Johnny Cash song.   The crazy torrential rain in the Portland area just doesn't seem to stop.   Since Roamer's Rest is located right on the Tualatin River, we joked about it flooding but we were still surprised to see the ENTIRE bottom part of the park flooded.   When we checked in for our latest stay, we had a choice between a couple spots on the lower area and one on the upper level.  We decided to stick with the upper level but were second guessing it when the storms started, since we are at the far end of the park, surrounded by trees and the fear of one falling on us didn't seem too far-fetched!  For once, we made the right choice!    In the midst of crazy rain, Bill bravely hung some old-school lights to bring a little holiday cheer to our Airstream (along with a fabulous tinsel/pipe cleaner tree powered by USB which was an impulse buy at Target).

Power boxes

Power boxes

Sunken park

Sunken park

Do not enter--unless you are prepared to be yelled at :)

Do not enter--unless you are prepared to be yelled at :)

X-mas lights

X-mas lights

Lights and reflections

Lights and reflections

Pretty much sums up the season so far in Portland

Pretty much sums up the season so far in Portland

Silver tree

Silver tree



Scenes From the Road

For Thanksgiving, we headed up to Victor, Idaho to see friends and explore the Tetons.   We were hoping to get to Yellowstone but the roads were already closed for the season.   After a lovely visit, we headed out from Victor to Pendleton, where we would be staying for a day (and catching the Timbers game at the Prodigal Son!)  Within the span of two hours driving between Victor and Idaho Falls, we stopped to frolic in a winter wonderland of hoar frost and were stopped by a sheepherding blockade (with a police escort no less!)   You just never know what you will see along the road.

For a few bonus videos, be sure to check out @rivetandroam on instagram

Falling Ice

Falling Ice

Frosty Tree

Frosty Trees

Sheep blocking the road in Idaho

Sheep all in a row

They made way for us



Boardman Tree Farm

Every time we head out on I-84 East, the Boardman Tree Farm is a mandatory photo stop.    It’s located in Morrow, 5 miles west of the I-82 junction.    There are over 25,000 acres of poplar trees at varying stages of growth and endless photo opportunities.   The symmetry of the trees and just sheer number of them fascinate me.   I started shooting there 6-7 years ago when I was working on a series called “Dreams of Trees” and in the midst of a daily self-portrait project on Flickr.   Here’s a link to just a few of my tree farm pics on Flickr (which I also just discovered on this website while researching a few facts for this post).  I should note that technically it’s private property and I try to stick to the main roads around the tree farm and somewhat close to the highway when I am shooting by myself.   I’ve never had an issue on the probably 20+ visits there but I’ve heard of other photographers running in to issues--so enter at your own risk.  It also seems to be a much more popular destination for photographers over the last couple years. 

Bill  and I have stopped here probably 10 times in the two years we have been dating and adventuring.   Every time of the year has it’s own unique feel and this visit was no exception.  We arrived near dusk and in the midst of freezing fog, which covered all the plants surrounding the trees in a gorgeous frost.  We stayed for about 45 minutes trying to eke out every bit of light and then reluctantly headed out back on the road.


Bits and Pieces

It's been a rough couple weeks in Rivet and Roam land (nothing serious, just some annoying colds, unexpected bills, etc) but we have managed to do a little decorating to make our Airstream feel even more like 'us'.    We are still hanging out at Roamer's Rest which definitely allows for puttering and seeing what works and doesn't work in terms of decor.  Living in such a small space definitely makes you think about all the little bits and pieces.

Happy air plants in the kitchen window

Our trusty gnome has traveled with us from the TAB to the 19 foot airstream to his current home by the door (guarding the fruits and veggies!)

Bill's dad (who passed away when Bill was 18) made this awesome plant holder.  We are so happy to have it with us in the Airstream.

Slightly obsessed with these shelves from Target.  They fit perfectly and allow for a rotating display of tchotchkes.

The external hard drive bay makes a great bookend!

The kitchen!  Not a lot of counter space but we make it work.  

Sunday at Rivet and Roam headquarters.  Bill edits photos and watches football while Inga lounges on 'her' bed.

Last but not least, the obligatory Inga photo.   Most days you can find her lounging in the bedroom and keeping an eye on everything.



An Ode to Walmart Parking Lots

Airstream Reflections

Oh Walmart, I have such conflicted feelings about you.   I do not love your uber-big box, take over the world, pay your employees crap nature BUT you are one of the few reliable spots to “camp” for free.  Check out All Stays for a list of Walmart stores that allow RV parking.  Overall company policy allows for RV parking but it’s up to the discretion of the store manager.

We have checked out quite a few Walmart parking lots in our roaming but our favorite by far is the Walmart parking lot in Moscow, Idaho.   Twice a year we head to work at the University of Idaho and the Moscow Walmart is a five minute drive from campus.  The biggest plus is that it has a large side lot that is perfect for RV parking with a lovely view overlooking the campus and the rolling hills of the Palouse.    Every other time we have had the place to ourselves so imagine our surprise when we pulled in at midnight and there were two other RV’s parked there!   There was plenty of room, as you can see from the pics.

Most other Walmarts we have stayed at have been on major highways or in major cities so it’s usually a mix of semi-truck, RVs and people sleeping in their cars.   It can seem a bit sketchy but it is a great option if you are looking to save some money and just need a spot to sleep on your way to an epic location.

And you never know what your view will be when you wake up in the morning!

And you never know what your view will be when you wake up in the morning!

Airstream Reflections

Airstream Reflections

The lovely view from the Moscow (Idaho) Walmart.

The lovely view from the Moscow (Idaho) Walmart.

"Roaming" With Friends

Our good friends (aka Team Davidson) came down from Olympia to visit our new 'home' at Roamer's Rest.   They have a cute little R-Pod, so they decided to come hang out with us at the RV park for the weekend.  It still counts as "roaming" if at least one of us roamed there, right?   

Team Davidson is comprised of Cora and Jason and their two insanely cute daughters Aggie and Mimi.   It was Aggie's 6th birthday weekend so there were many hijinks including ice skating, glitter crafts (breaking in the Airstream with the 'herpes of the craft world'!) and checking out the river.  I had hoped we could test out Roamer's Rest's horseshoe pits but classic Portland weather decided to return for a brief moment that Saturday.  

It was a nice chill weekend while we gear up for our next adventure with the Airstream.   We are heading to Moscow, Idaho for Bill's work for a couple of days.   Expect a post about our stay in the lovely Moscow Walmart parking lot.  Then we're off adventuring for a long weekend.  We are debating between heading back up to Montana (Glacier/Polebridge) or maybe Snoqualmie? Suggestions welcome!

 

 

 

Roamer's Rest

Fun house mirror reflection in vintage airstream

Fun house mirror reflection in vintage airstream

I swear we didn’t choose our first RV park based solely on the name – but it didn’t hurt!   Roamer’s Rest is a mid-sized RV park in Tualatin, Oregon, about 15 miles south of Portland.   Situated between Highway 99W (aka the road to wine country) and the Tualatin River, it’s a surprisingly quiet and mellow spot.    We didn’t realize it would be such a challenge to find a spot to park for the first couple months of Airstream life.   There aren’t very many RV parks in the Portland metro area and many of them were either fully booked or had a bazillion rules and regulations that would not allow for our lovely Miss Inga (our sweet, mellow, 12 year old Siberian Husky).  There’s also a pretty strict time limit on most RV park residencies (which varies by county).    Multnomah County only allows a 30 day stay whereas Washington County allows 90 days. 

inga along the tualatin

inga along the tualatin

For our intial stay, we wanted to do a month somewhere so we could shake out the nuts and bolts of living full-time in the Airstream.   We didn’t want to have to worry about having to find a place to ‘dump’ our tanks every week, so the full service RV park was the way to go.   Monthly rates are surprisingly affordable, especially when compared to nightly rates at most campgrounds.   Roamer’s Rest definitely adheres to the 90 day rule and encourages shorter stays, but there’s a nice mix of daily, weekly and monthly residents.  

old and new side by side

old and new side by side

kayaking on the tualatin

kayaking on the tualatin

Our other main requirement was ‘location, location, location.’  I work part-time at Victory Academy, a private school for kids impacted by Autism in Wilsonville.  On a good day, it’s a solid 30-45 minute commute from NE Portland.   I wanted to be a little closer to work since we were ramping up for our huge fundraiser and I was commuting more days than normal.  Roamer’s Rest is a lovely 15 minute drive to Victory through gorgeous farmland, which has been a lovely bonus.  We are also a five minute walk to river access and we were able to take our inflatable kayak for a little trip on the Tualatin River one sunny day after work.   Finally, as much as I am a Portland city girl at heart, one of the fun things about Airstream life is treating each location like a vacation destination.  I’m not sure I could live in the burbs, but it’s great to visit cute downtown Sherwood with it’s mix of wine bars, art galleries and small town charm.   And not too far down the road is Newburg, another great little town--where we had a delicious dinner for my birthday at Ruddick/Wood.  Knowing you are only going to be in a spot for a month or so is great motivation to explore what you may normally consider a ‘not-so-exciting’ area.

ruddick/wood

ruddick/wood

So It Begins!

They said our lives would change when we decided to live full time in our Airstream, but little did we know the first day out would turn us in to nudist hippies!   To kick off Airstream life, we decided to check out the Umpqua River valley for a long weekend.   

When in Rome...

When in Rome...

It’s no secret I’m slightly obsessed with all things water, including hot springs.  Our first stop Friday morning was the Umpqua Hot Springs.  A truly idyllic set of natural hot springs with several pools on the side of a cliff.  The crowd is definitely on the ‘get naked and jump in’ side, so we went with the flow.   We started chatting with a couple of kids – Cat and Cody.  The former has been living in the woods by the hot springs for the past month since he was released from prison.  He and Cat showed us the way down the hill to a gorgeous little pool/grotto that included colorful stalagtites and a small residence of bats.  

Cody was impressed by Bill's beard, but as you can see, he had a pretty epic beard himself!

Cody was impressed by Bill's beard, but as you can see, he had a pretty epic beard himself!

Lovely Cat

Lovely Cat

I didn’t realize how close we were (well, within 90 minutes) of Crater Lake, so we had to make the trek.   Unfortunately, my plot to finally hike down to the edge of the lake was thwarted because the majority of the Rim Road was closed to cars for the day (which is actually very cool – safe way for bikes and pedestrians to explore the lake without all those pesky cars!).   So, we just did a little hike around the lodge that included a stop to lounge in the rocking chairs and enjoy a beer.   I am always in awe of Crater Lake.

IMG_6308.JPG
IMG_6276.JPG

Susan Creek Campground was our home base.  It's a lovely National Forest campground and only $14/night!   No hookups but we actually prefer those campgrounds (especially now that we have bigger holding tanks!).   

rr-2.jpg