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

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!

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??