Category Archives: journal

interior finishes removed

Forty years of funk…

“Ow, we want the funk
Give up the funk
Ow, we need the funk
We gotta have that funk”

-George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic

It’s takes decades to achieve this kind of funkiness…but we are in it to win, once again.  After completing the frame and sub-floor redo (as well as numerous other replacement/repairs) the Argosy commission job has moved on down the line.  About a week after Jessica picked up her camper we pulled the Dream Stream II into it’s place next to the garage.  The dumpster was replaced and we have begun the demolition process.

We find all kinds of strange/random things when pulling these campers apart.  This one produced: a 1970s copy of Trailer Life magazine, two pairs of underwear, socks, a postcard from the 1980s, etc.

Beyond the items left behind, the other discoveries include floor rot, evidence of leaks, hack job repair work, and all other kinds of funkiness.

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As we did in the last renovation, the black water tank will be permanently removed and a “composter” used instead.  That cuts down considerably on the funk factor in my opinion!  Even still, we have a ways to go…the funk will be with us for a bit longer.  Stay tuned!

 

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Moving along…

The adventure continues. We have been somewhat home-bound for the past seven months….is there such a thing as the “seven month itch”?? If so, I think we are feeling it.

It has become our desire to share the airstream love by passing along the Dream Stream to a lovely couple who will be living in it in Oregon as they begin their post graduate school adventure.

With that said, we must replace her. Looking out my kitchen window and seeing the ‘stream has become a habit I don’t want to break! We are beginning the journey to restoring another, slightly longer trailer! We have even decided that with Brad’s expertise we will restore additional airstreams for others.

Once we listed, the feedback was tremendous! All of our blood, sweat, and tears were recognized and applauded.

Let us know if you are aware of any airstreams in need of a new home and some TLC. Will post pics of the Dream Stream II soon!!

Until then…

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Hush puppies were worth waiting for…

Some things are just better in the south. A  hush puppy is one of them.  I should have counted how many times Kimberly asked for them while we were on our west by northwest adventure…it would probably surprise you!

Not up for cooking last night as we continue to wade through unpacking, cleaning, laundry, etc…we opted for Allen and Son BBQ to go.  Brad had barely handed me the warm bag of goodies when he got back in the car before our littlest said ” can I have a hush puppy”.  I was so happy to finally be able to appease her with the genuine article.

Don’t get me wrong, we had our share of local fare as we traveled about…Brad and I are still longing for the amazing, yet foreign (to us) quality and quantity of beer options in Oregon.  We tried Bison jerky and  Elk burgers in Montana, mussels on the Olympic Peninsula, and EVERYTHING in Portland.  It was ALL so, so good.

We are still adjusting to the high humidity, low elevation, and having to walk more than three steps to get from the bed to the kitchen!  Getting back in to the swing of things is taking a little longer than I expected.  Tomorrow I will have been home with the girls for a week.  It has mostly been a blur.  Not sure if the next adventure will land us in a BBQ friendly locale…better get it while we can!

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Roaring Fork Valley: Aspen, Snowmass, Carbondale!

This will be short and sweet in light of recent family events.

We had a wonderful time visiting with friends, Joel and Bonnie. Joel biked with brad on trails at Snowmass, we rode the gondola, enjoyed dinner at Woody Creek Tavern and explored the valley.

The campground south of Carbondale was relaxing and being a stones throw from the Crystal River was a plus.

We hope to return to this area soon for more exploring! Thank you Bonnie and Joel for making it extra special!!

I am back at home with the girls as of yesterday and brad will hopefully begin his journey back tomorrow. Thanks for enjoying the trip journal with us. We look forward to sharing more adventures in the future!!

XOXO

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Southwestern CO tour

We arrived at Mesa Verde Tuesday afternoon with a much appreciated drop in the thermometer compared to Moab.

We checked into the campground at the Park early enough to unhook and ride up to the Spruce Tree House, hit the visitors center, and visit the museum. I also bought tickets for a guided tour of Cliff Palace the following morning.

I visited this park about 15 years ago but it was great to return and share it with Brad and the girls! We ventured into Cortez for dinner and back for a nice night with the windows open!

While hooking up the next morning our 37 year old tongue power jack died on us. Fortunately we were hooked up so we could drive to an RV place in Durango to buy a new one (Merry Christmas Brad and Dani :-/). We had to miss our tour but Virginia was able to complete her 5th and final Junior Ranger program.

Durango was a lot of fun. It started off on the right foot at the RV place, where we met two lovely couples from NC! Just hearing their sweet voices made me homesick! We took it easy for a few days: swam at the campground, rode the bus up and took the train back from Silverton, fished in the Animas River, and took in local brew.

The drive from Durango to the Carbondale area was slow but beautiful. We passed through Ouray and took the scenic route up 133.20140726-133059-48659670.jpg

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Utah: We think summer is the “off-season”

Here is the list of potential titles for this post that we came up with:
Utah: Don’t waste your time 😉
Utah: Hot.
Utah: Honey, it’s a dry heat
Utah: I’ll have a pint of Polygamy Porter, please
Utah: They must market the hell out of this place in Germany!

Over the last week we bedded down in Salt Lake for a few days while Brad made a work trip to Twenty-nine Palms, CA….the only place hotter ;-). The girls and I made a trip to the hair salon, parks, took in a movie, and found a great Whole Foods.

Brad’s return flight was cancelled so he and guy from Parsons drove back to Salt Lake from Palm Springs….11 hours…..through the desert…..with a stop in Vegas for “dinner”!

The next day we loaded up, cleared out of the hotel, and headed to Moab. It’s hot there. Our campground had some shade so that was a sweet relief. I can say that the low humidity is a nice feature…as were the evening breezes.

Arches NP is really beautiful. We visited the Windows area, Balanced Rock, and took in Delicate Arch from the viewpoint. Virginia completed her fourth Junior Ranger program.

Brad rode the famed Slickrock mtn bike trail on Sunday morning…apparently he should have started a little earlier in the day! He finished up around 11:30 and was getting cooked. He took the GoPro so we watched the footage that night….of course replaying the part where he went over the handle bars into the sand wash over and over!!

That evening we picked up the off road jeep we rented for the following day. We drove back to Arches that night to watch the sunset on the rocks. Gorgeous!

Monday we spent the better part of the day in the jeep exploring back country canyons, checked out Gemini Bridges and drove down Schaffer trail in Canyonlands NP. It is very unusual to be able to off-road in a NP, but the rangers insist it is the best way to experience this place.

Today we travel to Cortez/Mesa Verde NP. Tomorrow we will explore the cliff dwellings and then head on to Durango.

We are back in Colorado now. The temperature gauge in the car reads 82 and it’s 1 in the afternoon. Ahhhh!20140715-183806-67086571.jpg

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High times in the High Desert

Central Oregon is in the rear view mirror, to our dismay. This may be the 26th time I have sat down to write a summary of this leg the trip…it has been a busy one!

We were sad to leave Portland and plan to return as soon as we can! The Bend/Sisters area took a little of the sting out though. Our campsite was one of the nicer (from an amenities standpoint, not view) that we have inhabited so far. So much so that our arrival resulted in a period of awkwardness, and we (The Leadbetters as Brad refers to our clan occasionally) felt a little out of place. Our “vintage” camper was overshadowed by some seriously big rigs and fancy set ups.

The high desert area provided us with our first sustained days of sunshine and warm temps so far on the trip. Thankfully the campground had a nice salt water pool that we visited everyday!

Day 1 was finding our way around Bend, lunch at 10 Barrel (at Heathers suggestion, good stuff!), grocery shopping, and a stop at the Bend Rock Gym for Virginia to get her climb on! Day 2 landed us in the McKenzie River area and Brad tackled all 26 miles of that amazing trail. Thankfully he took his GoPro and video recorded segments of the ride, which took him 4 1/2 hrs! We picked him up at the bottom and headed back to camp.

Day 3 brought a trip to Shevlin Park in Bend, one of many areas they have for biking, hiking, etc. I fished Tumalo Creek and actually landed a few trout…as Brad put it, knocking the stink off of my dry spell thus far!! No Go Pro footage of that, but I swear it happened! That afternoon I was lucky enough to try my luck on the beautiful Metolius River…

Day 4, July 4th, we headed back to Bend for the Annual Pet Parade (what an event!), a festival in the park by the Deschuetes River, and some bike riding that afternoon. We met some new neighbors in the campground and made fast friends as did the girls.

Day 5, our last full day, we took in the Museum of the High Desert. It is a very nice facility with wonderful exhibits on animals, Native Americans, and history of the area. After a few hours we headed back to camp for dinner and some live music by the lake.

Sunday (yesterday) was a “road day”. If someone tells you there is not much in southeastern Oregon, they are not exaggerating in the least! Probably the most desolate stretch we have experienced so far. Five and a half hours later we pulled into a little park next to the Snake River in Ontario, Oregon to cook dinner and try to cool the camper off. It was 104 as we crossed the desert and 100 at 8:30pm as we pulled into the truck stop to overnight. Not the best sleeping!

We are back on the road today, hoping to end up somewhere near Salt Lake City. We are treating ourselves to 2 night in a hotel there while Brad flies back to CA for a work trip.

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Portland: A Sampler

We couldn’t have asked for better accommodations or tour guides! Visiting with Heather and Kris for three days was the perfect way to hit our mid-trip milestone.

We arrived Friday, walked to the “neighborhood” grocery, cooked a yummy dinner and crashed in our first non-camper accommodations in 27 days!! Saturday we headed downtown to check out the Rose Garden (roses at their peak!), stopped by REI, Powells Bookstore, Deschuetes Brewery for lunch, and Fat Tire Farm ( bike store for Brad). After a rest in the afternoon it was wings at Fire on the Mountain for dinner.

Sunday we had a less hectic schedule but still managed to visit the new Keen store/headquarters, wood fired pizza for lunch, a local stationary store, and Queen Bee for a new/replacement wallet for me! The guys checked out HUB bike bar and we stopped by laurel hurst park for some playtime. Then, it was back home for the tail end of the World Cup game.

Some good patio time and another yummy dinner were enjoyed! Heather and Kris introduced us to the game SkipBo and Virginia was the winner!

We said our goodbyes this morning and headed towards Bend. We are at the Sandy Ridge trails currently…brad is getting in some “seat time” while the girls and I hang out.

Looking forward to our upcoming week in the Bend/Sisters area!! Hoping to fish, hike, bike, and check out the breweries that have been recommended.

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Lush is an understatement!

The west side of Olympic NP did not disappoint…it was green on green on green.

Our campground was in the NP, Kalaloch was amazing!! I feel so fortunate we were able to reserve two nights there!! We could hear the ocean from our site in the temperate rainforest!

We made a trip down to the beach as soon as we set up camp. Huge drift logs and gorgeous stones were everywhere. Amazingly different than our east coast shoreline. It was misty, cool, and windy but beautiful none the less!

We biked around and had our first campfire since RMNP. Hot dogs over a fire just taste soooo much better! Thursday we trekked into the Hoh rainforest…through the Hall of Moses. What a place….

Virginia and Kimberly received their Junior Ranger badges and Virginia also completed the Ocean Steward Program.

Friday we headed out through cloudy, rainy skies…Portland bound.

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Contemplating Scale

imageSince we arrived on the Olympic Peninsula and in the vicinity of Olympic NP I have been feeling a bit small. Not in the sense of being insignificant maybe, but more about just our physical presence as well as how short our time is – when you really think about it.

Being in a place like this will make you think about these things. The isolation in time and space of this area has created an environment that is truly unique, not to mention, there is a lot here that is really big: snow-capped mountains, huge trees, the wilderness in general really…

This park is quite different than any other I have experienced, especially related to the three we visited before this one on our current journey. The road access is really just around the perimeter, and outside of the park at that. Venturing into the heart of the park is an experience exclusive to backpackers. I think that is awesome. I wish I was packing in for a week. I have lamented the fact that I am not several times a day so far.

One reason for that desire is that there is so much of the park you simply cannot experience any other way, and another possible reason is that Brad took off for CA for four days right after we got here…maybe I was longing for a little “quiet time” away from the girls :-).

We have managed to take in a few of the more accessible areas including a drive up to Hurricane Ridge…known as such for the high winds that, coupled with the 30+ feet of snow a winter, make for a most inhospitable environment! You can see several beautiful snow capped mountains from here, including Mt Olympus. You can also see back over Port Angeles to Canada…not very far away. The city of Victoria is easy to make out right across the Straight.

The girls and I ventured to Sol Duc Hot Springs and soaked for an hour or so. It is a more pungent spring than our last experience as has a slightly slimy feel to the water…tried not to think about that too much though as the girls were having fun. There were quite a few people there when we went and many were Eastern European…they have us beat in the “distanced traveled” department by a long shot!

Several of our excursions have taken us past Lake Crescent, a glacial lake that is several hundred feet deep and the most striking azure blue you can imagine. It is very distracting when driving along the shoreline…you have to keep looking over at it to convince yourself that it really is that surreal color. Quite beautiful.

Another adventure led the girls and I to Salt Creek Recreation Area, not too far from our campground. I had read somewhere that the tide pools at low tide were fun for exploring. We were right on time tide wise and were able to investigate the mid tide range with mussels and limpets exposed on the rocky shore and loads of beautiful driftwood and seaweed, unlike anything we have at home, on the beach area. It was probably my favorite outing so far.

Today we hiked to Sol Duc falls and it was beautiful!! Such spectacularly clear water…unlike anything I have ever seen – and I spend quite a bit of time in that environment!

Tomorrow we will leave this campsite and head around 101 to the west to stay at Kalaloch campground for two nights. We will visit the Hoh rainforest. I am super excited!! Hall of Mosses here we come! This region of the park gets 12-14 FEET of rain a year!!!

Only negative to report: last night my purse was stolen out of the truck – which was accidentally left unlocked for the first time the whole trip. A morning spent canceling credit cards, etc was no fun but we have taken care of everything and minimal damage was done. I need to replace our camera so am stuck with photos from the iPhone for a few days. Otherwise, just a small bump in the road!

More Olympic to come…

 

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