It’s crazy how much can change in a year. A casual trip to Oregon last summer was the catalyst that pushed us to sell our house in Florida. We came back from the west coast and soon after purchased our Airstream. We were visiting our friends Laura & Eric, who relocated to McMinnville and recently welcomed a sweet baby boy. The plan was always to return to the place that inspired this journey, so crossing into Oregon was a complete full-circle moment for us.
We landed in Burns, by way of Ontario - the gateway to Oregon. It was a quick stopover en route to Bend for some camping off the grid. It turns out the Wickiup Reservoir was an hour outside of Bend, where we settled into the wilderness for a few days and soaked up the full moon.
It also happened to be our two year wedding anniversary so we celebrated it with a trailer-made pasta dinner and carrot cake. A minor snafu occurred when GA realized he left his fishing pole at our site in Burns so we woke up super early to drive all the way back, sans Sterling. It would have been nice to know the owner’s wife slammed it in a door before we made the three hour trek there and back for a broken pole - but hey, that’s life.
After a couple of days deep in nature and covered in dust, we decided to check out The Camp RV Park in downtown Bend. Our Airstream got situated between their vintage trailer rentals, blending right in with the vibe. We both agreed that Bend is a place we could live because of its charming restaurants, endless breweries and views for days. I snapped photos for our friends at Downtowner - they have an awesome new operation called Ride Bend - then we treated ourselves to Bo’s Falafel before hitting the road again.
Our friend Jenny also made the move out west and bought an adorable house in McMinnville, where we parked Sterling like a lawn ornament for a week. From there we hiked around Trappist Abbey, explored the coastline and drank so much wine. The chardonnay and rose were plentiful, along with our appetites. We collaborated in the kitchen with garden-grown veggies and wild mushrooms picked by Joe. Jenny worked her floral magic while Bruce tried to coexist with the cats. It was so nice to have our feet on the ground, where we could regroup and relax in good company. A major bonus was being able to squeeze in a few photoshoots with Jenny & Joe and the adorable McGlynn family - I gush.
The Airstream fit perfectly in Jenny & Joe's driveway, which is why we should have just kept it there. But being the responsible adults that we are, we moved to Laura & Eric’s property in Dundee so we had a place to crash after a nearby block party. We precariously parked Sterling on the vineyard slope and prayed she wouldn't roll away. It paid off later while we devoured gourmet apple and brie grilled cheese sandwiches before passing out in our own bed. We woke up to the peaceful sounds of farmhands harvesting grapes and safely brought the trailer back to Mac.
We celebrated GA’s birthday at a beach house in the charming town of Manzanita. It was the perfect spot to spread out, play games and continue our gluttonous behavior. GA got to surf at Smuggler’s Cove, which was another gorgeous hike overflowing with ferns. From the coast we booked a tiny house in the Alberta neighborhood of Portland, where we satisfied our sushi cravings and met up with a familiar face from Florida. Yulia is on similar nomadic journey, but she takes van life to another level with her Toyota tent topper and pup, Milo. It was great to reconnect, share relatable stories and learn about her plans of living life to the fullest - on the road.
Oregon is a massive state but we managed to cover a lot of ground in just a couple weeks, saving the best for last. Crater Lake was absolutely breathtaking. A bit of rain welcomed us in and the clouds looked heavy during our evening expedition, but we still enjoyed every view. It was the beginning of Labor Day weekend and we were headed for northern California, anticipating the enchanting twists and turns of the Redwood Forest.