June 30, 2017

One month of traveling!

We left our home, with the for sale sign in the yard, on May 27th to spend our first month of full-time traveling!

A quick stop at a truck scale was a good opportunity for an all loaded up photo!

It wasn't a typical month on the road, as Gracie got a sweet solar upgrade done for two weeks of that month, but it was a really fun month away from our sticks & bricks home, and it was enough to wet our appetites in the lifestyle of full-time adventure!  And let's just say, we are thirsting for more!

We are home now, for about a week, taking care of some 'housekeeping', both with our residential home (do you know of anyone moving to Pocatello?!) and our traveling home...and, catching up with our fun grandkids whom we missed so much!  

But first, let's catch up!

Our meandering map!

We left on Memorial Day weekend and made a beeline to Kennewick, Washington where Mike has family living...including a sister with a perfect spot for Gracie!  The trip was pretty uneventful, in a good way...made a quick stop at Airstream Adventures in Caldwell to fix a loose speaker, an ice cream stop in Baker City, Oregon and then finished the long trek by going over the Blue Mountains and into the valley that is Eastern Oregon and Washington.  We don't intend to travel that many miles in a day, ordinarily, but the roads weren't overly crowded and we were excited to get some miles behind us.

Ice cream stop in Baker City, OR

We enjoyed, immensely, this perfect mooch-docking spot under the shade tree, and loved spending time with family, and giving tours of our new home. 

Mooch-docking at its finest!  Thanks Tami!  :-)

After a few nights we needed to head out to make our appointment with Lew Farber for our solar install, so we headed out and along the Columbia River on the Washington side, meandering through barren landscapes.  The juxtaspoition of the enormous Columbia alongside mostly dry hillsides has always struck me as curious...not beautiful, just curious!  

We visited the Stonehenge monument, about 40 miles from our destination of Bingen, Washington.  It's an odd sight, those stone tablets popping out of the ground in the middle of nowhere...a replica of the one in England, this one dedicated in 1929 to fallen soldiers of World War I.  And then we hooked up for a quick overnight at Bridge RV Park, just across the Hood River bridge.  Other than the constant hum of traffic and trains and the somewhat cramped quarters, it was a perfect, clean overnight spot and we wouldn't hestitate to stay again if we needed to be in that area.


Gracie, taking in the view!

In the morning we met Lew, our solar expert!  His company is called Solar Tech Energy Systems...he's an authorized AM solar installer, a specialist in Airstream solar and electrical installation...and an incredibly nice human being!  His place is tucked quietly in an old lumber mill building right along the railroad tracks.  We had learned about Lew through the Airstream Forums and contacted him last fall to arrange for a June install.  One of the references Lew provided us was Chuck and Yvonne Kenney and they were super helpful in providing us information on their experiences with Lew and were also willing to share tons of information on their traveling life.

For those of you interested, here is what we had done...

4 - 100 watt panels
300 AH Victron Energy lithium battery
Victron Energy BlueSolar charge controller
2000 watt Magnum pure sine wave inverter
Victron Connect, bluetooth monitoring system
Air conditioner soft start
WeBoost cell booster with enhanced antennaes

While Gracie was getting readied for our boondocking life, we meandered across the river (thankful that we weren't pulling Gracie on that narrow bridge!) to Hood River for a yummy lunch, then farther west to hike to the top of Multnomah Falls (as many times as we've been there and passed by there we've never hiked it to the top!) and on to Battleground, WA to visit more family and Portland, OR to visit my long-time friend and then made our way over to our favorite spot on the Oregon Coast - Pacific City!  Meandered being the key word!

Proof that we made it to the very top!

Multnomah Falls

Cape Kiwanda

My best friend!  We've known each other for over 35 years!

While in Pacific City we hosted some family and friends, including our new traveling friends Curtis and Tami Bayer who are spending their summer camp hosting in Brownsville, Oregon.  We met Curtis and Tami this spring in the Tetons at a small, impromptu gathering of fellow Airstreamers and it was great to see them again!  My brother and his girlfriend came from Pennsylvania to hang out with us for a bit, and along the way we acquired a cool new toy, a  DJI Phantom drone, so they got to (had to) watch us play!

First flight!  Hi Dave and Jill!

We never tire of exploring the coast!

Getting brave with the drone!

Cape Lookout

Tierra del Mar beach, just north of Cape Kiwanda

Birds eye view!

Sunset over the Cape

If you haven't spent a morning watching dory boats launch and return, you haven't really been to Pacific City!

Yaquina Head lighthouse

Depoe Bay

Thors Well, Cape Perpetua

After our relaxing, incredible beach time we anxiously headed east to reunite with Gracie and check out her new 'sun hats' and drove east along the river to the Dalles to cross the bridge there (no, really, the bridge at Hood River is SOOOO narrow!) and back along the Oregon side to Memaloose State Park.  Again, it's hard to get a site along the Columbia River gorge sans train noise and traffic, but, this park is pretty nice...a figure 8 loop with hookups available if you need them and plenty of tent sites as well, with decent bathrooms and a view of the river.  And, it's less than 10 miles to Hood River, a city quickly becoming one of our favorite small towns!

We spent a couple of days at Memaloose kind of setting up house again after our short absence (rearranging seems part of this lifestyle!) and then we moved over to a campground south of Hood River, called Toll Bridge county park.  I love this campground for lots of reasons; the trees, the quiet, the generous space, the river running past, the camp hosts (who we met on the last day and wished we'd met earlier!), our neighbors and Instagram friends Pat & Ellen, and, probably my favorite thing - the proximity to everything we LOVE to see and do!  The mountains!  The hiking trails!  The lakes!  The river!  Hood River, and it's great little downtown vibe and breweries!  Seriously, I could hang out here for awhile and the plan, as much as we have one, is to head back that way in late August!

Dry Creek Falls, not so dry.

Me, getting up close and personal with a lot of water at Dry Creek Falls (the opposite of dry)!


Rowena Crest!  A drone shot I've always wanted to take!

Rowena, from the viewpoint

Sunset sky at Rowena Crest

A top down look at Gracie's new solar panels!

Our setup at Toll Bridge County Park...we loved it here!

Mt. Hood from Lost Lake

Pink sky on Mt. Hood

We left this area on a hot Wednesday to drive East to an even hotter day in the Tri-Cities, Washington...we wouldn't have chosen to leave this beautiful area so quickly as there is so much to explore, but we had a family wedding to attend for the weekend and we couldn't miss the opportinity to get together with family!  We had a really great time with Mike's siblings, our nieces and nephews, his parents and extended family as well...and we were super appreciative of the full hookups we enjoyed at RV Village, as both A/C's were running!


A sparse park, but we sure did appreciate the hookups and the indoor pool!

After the wedding weekend we headed into this....!  Heading east over the blue mountains we started to get rain, then wind, then sleet and more wind, then lightning...and the next several hours was kind of a blur of on again, off again stormy travel!  But Mike, and Gracie, plowed on through like storm chasers while I sat in the passenger seat and prayed for no hail!  Eventually, we pulled into Pocatello, weary and happy for a roof and a bed!

Driving into a Ghostbusters movie!

We came home for a quick check in...something about a granddaughter or two, and maybe a daughter, that missed us (we missed them too!)...and, it was a good regrouping opportunity for us and Gracie.

We got a selfie stick!  

Park day! 

It's always windy in Pocatello, but we don't care!  We are full-time travelers...going wherever the wind takes us!
So, that was June!  Whew!

Next up, leaving here next week, gonna head north to Island Park (wander into Yellowstone for a day or two perhaps) and Montana, then maybe over to northern Washington and across the North Cascades Highway.  Follow us on Instagram for more timely posts and don't hesitate to offer advice, insight, tips, or just say hello!  We hope to see you down the road!


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