My intent in writing about my travels is not to freak people out about all of the “what ifs” and negative stuff. That said, I do have times with more anxiety than others. Some of what I’ve been through in months of Airstream travel includes out driving tornados, near misses with grapefruit sized hail, flooded over highways in the midwest, eighty mile an hour winds, three feet of snow and the need for chains in mountain passes, chasing bears at midnight, flying microwaves and falling cupboards while going sixty down the road, expensive fixes on broken handles not covered in wrranties. I’ve dealt with homelessness while the shop has my rig, fighting to get warranty approved fixes completed and losing, recalls that were paid for but never done, and more direct lies from Airstream repair shops. This is just naming a few things briefly. Yes in life things wear out, however when something is still fairly new, one doesn’t expect to have to deal with piles and piles of horse manure. So I find my advocacy skills useful, I have worked on my patience and I have tackled the anxiety all of this brings by enjoying a new kind of adventure for myself. Airstream Headquarters is helping right the wrongs that have happened so in time things will get fixed and all of my horror stories have made for good just that fun stories.
As for my new adventure, I have learned to enjoy what I call Truck Tripping. Even though my trailer is a symbol for a life of freedom, a life where one can just get up and go. Because I live in it fulltime it does start to feel no different than a sticks and bricks house in some ways. There is a lot to just getting up and going when one lives fulltime in the trailer. When the trailer needed fixing I had to think about where I would stay and my first Truck Trip began. I started out at Edgefield McMenimins in Troutdale, 75 beautifully landscaped acres of walking paths filled with wineries, breweries, restauraunts and a hotel, as well as a spa, soaking pools, a golf course, gardens, a movie theater, and glass blowing house. Here are just a few shots from my stay at Edgefield.
Edgefield McMenamins Gardens are absolutely lovely!
The service was top notch. The bars were delightful and the drinks even better! Everywhere one looked there was something to treat the senses.
It kind of defeats the purpose of saving money on warranty work if I were to stay in a hotel the entire time my rig was in the shop. So, off I went using the time to catch up with relatives. It had been two years since my maiden towing adventure where I rolled my trailer up to visit my aunt and uncle in Manson Washington off of Lake Chelan. The drive up the Columbia River and through the forests in the mountains was such a treat.
The best part was feeling so light. It was just me and the truck. I didn’t have to lock down all of my personal items inside of the trailer for fear they would become flying torpedos. I left my outside chairs and plants right where they were. I didn’t have to determine ahead of time whether or not I could get in and out of an upcoming gas station stop. I could easily stop at vista points and take in the views. And I had no worries about whether the trailer was following safely behind. Driving in general was much more relaxed. I’ve started following more Van Life folks as I can see the appeal!
Looking out across vineyards and apple orchards with 360 degrees of valleys around the house helped me forget all previous anxiety.
Auntie’s garden was beautiful and she made delicious dessert with figs from her fig trees.
It really was a delight to be able to just pick up and go in the truck and not have to worry about leaving the silver home behind. My neighbors watered my container garden, but in all honesty planting a container garden I let go of any outcomes. Whatever grows is a delight.
The views were gorgeous. Smoke from Eastern Washington was sad.
Driving back down the Columbia to pick up my rig was a bit more nervewracking. There was no way to tell where the smoke was coming from, but that didn’t stop me from yet one more truck trip.
Off I went, leaving my trailer at my base camp in Portland Metro. I headed out to meet the girls from my book club in Fort Bragg and do an in person delivery of one of my paintings I love. Being able to bring my. painting in person to it’s forever home and not have to maneuver Highway one with a trailer was a treat. I actually got to see some of the coast and Redwood scenery along the way. Not that trailering along Hwy 1 can’t be done, It’s just for me. It was much more relaxing driving the highway dropped off into the ocean and left only a single lane to alternating passing on…. without my home dragging behind.
When I started my trailer life I was asked about how I prefered going fulltime. The movie Nomadland definitely is good commentary on one way we live. However, there are so many other ways we live this life as fulltimers. And I have discovered that I really enjoy base camping in an area for an extended period, making new friends and building community, and taking smaller day trips or truck camping.
Thanks for sticking with me as I catch you up on my last year. Thanks for your follow!
4 thoughts on “Truck Tripping: My Latest Escape”
I woke up at 3:33 AM after a long extended nap; Coffee and I had completed our weekly seven-hour long drive out and back into the desert for my construction inspection and photographs. I pulled out a left-over El Pollo Loco street taco, sat down and opened the laptop, and remembered a e-mail notice of your blog entry. How wonderful to read and see your journey in the quiet of an early morning. The writing seems to me a cathartic release of so many emotions up and down the human scale. I smiled with a bit of jealousy in that the artist can leave a part of herself with others; that time and place of your delivery begins the painting’s new journey with someone else and hopefully for others who don’t even yet know of it.
For some reason, two movie quotes came to me while beginning to read your entry. “Nothing is written unless you decide to write it” – Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia; and “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate…” – Rutger Hauer in Blade Runner. Maybe because I’m currently removed from such a journey filled with one new experience after another, but yeah, that’s what your post brought to mind for me. Maybe because I recently heard news that our next move likely has a date and confirmation, and so I can dream again of making new memories with Coffee. What started out as potential regrets with the Airstream turned into lemonade because you chose to stir up things and overcome inertia – that’s the boost I need. Both words and video of adventures, big and small, once pushed me to move years ago and now I need them again. The right words and a street taco at just the right time. So yes, while many souls are suffering and will continue to suffer across an ocean and land mass over, the job of living should and must continue. No regrets. I must remember that.
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I woke up at 5:40 with the pitter patter of rain on the roof. What a delight to see your comments on my post! I always love seeing what you have to say and am touched that my post had you thinking of those things. I am over the hill for you and Coffee and your next adventure. You two have been on this road with me from the start. I really hope to hang with you guys in Utah someday. It’s on my list. 🤓
You are made of stronger stuff than I am! I would set up and remain in Oregon. The road hazards and weather would scare me to death!
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I’m definitely enjoying a year of sitting still. If I had an unlimited budget I might take more risks. But honestly Oregon feels like home. I think it’s the most. beauitful geography in the United States. New Mexico has the most beautiful skies. And New York City I love for people, arts, food and fashion.