Holiday Gifts for the RVers in Your Life

Gifts for the RVers in Your Life

What do you give your loved ones that are full time RVers? Not much, unless you’re going to get them a larger RV to put more shit in.

We purposely got rid of all our crap to live on the road, and we try not keep things that we don’t use. If we have forgotten we even own something (which happens more than it should, really), then we don’t actually need it do we?  So, it gets donated to a thrift store that we come across in our travels (this is also where we buy most of the stuff that we donate – that’s what we call the thrift store circle of life, my friends).

So, again, WHAT do you give your loved ones that live in their RV? Well…I have made a list…make sure to check it twice.

A thermal backpack picnic set. You may think that this is something that people don’t really NEED…but it has a detachable thermal wine holder. Everyone needs this; even you. Order 2. 


Food. Unless your giftee’s are people that don’t eat (in which case you should call in a welfare check on them) then food is always a win. Something delicious that they wouldn’t normally splurge for.


 Games! RV people (well, at least these RV people) love to play games! Especially, the RVers that like to spend their time offgrid.
Also…this is great for people like my husband that likes to make up words and call himself a wordsmith.


Do you know what every RV traveler needs? Whether it is a travel trailer, motorhome, 5th while or even a tiny house they will all need some petrol to move on to their next spot. Unless they have teleportation devices, which would really just take away the enjoyment – happiness is in the journey, not the destination. So, gas cards!

Sadly, we are still without free gas.

If you’re one of those people – you know the kind…they spend so much on their gifts that everyone else is ashamed of their homemade macaroni necklaces – then a membership to an RV club would be a great gift. RV Club memberships include some pretty impressive discounts for the RVers, as well as free stays. Do a little research, click buy, and WHAM! You are more awesome that Santa this year. You want cookies or carrots left out for you?

Some memberships do have age restrictions on the RV, so do your research. Photo courtesy of AMC

Riesling. Gewürztraminer. Chardonnay. Sauvignon blanc. Merlot. Cabernet sauvignon. Pinot noir. Boone’s. Ale. Lager. Microbrews. PBR. Vodka. Whiskey. Gin. Tequila.  Moonshine. 

“Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy.” -Frank Sinatra

I saved the lamest, but probably the most useful for last. Gift cards. To Wal-mart, Kroger, Clothing Stores, Outdoor Stores, or just a prepaid Visa. This gift lacks imagination on your part, but will really be appreciated by your RVers.


Oh! I forgot the most important part. Have a happy and beautiful holiday season – and ditch the gifts, because the best gift is probably you – unless you suck.

Happy Holidays from Write on the Road. <3

Fall colors and Green Farms – Huntington, Oregon

Fall Colors and Green Farms – Huntington, Oregon

If you’re anything like me, you might be wondering where you can find a small, quiet rural town with glorious fall colors and more pot stores per capita than anywhere I have ever been. Well, beautiful people. Look no more. Welcome to Huntington, Oregon, population 436.

Welcome to Huntington, Oregon
Huntington’s City Park exploding with fall!

Huntington sits 25 miles west of the Idaho border, and is the closest town to Boise that legally sells marijuana. In Oregon it is not illegal to sell to out-of-state patrons, as long as they are of legal age. Going out of their way to make sure they will not be held responsible, the dispensaries in Huntington make out-of-staters sign a waiver stating that they won’t cross state lines with their purchases…luckily, patrons are not under oath when they sign. 

In addition to the dispensaries, there are also a few local pot farms within city limits which makes for a lovely crisp, fall aroma. 

Although this is in the window of one of the dispensaries, this is true for the entire town if the breeze is blowing right.

Huntington is an odd assortment of residents, history, and rugged beauty.

Picnic in the City Park
An old train car that the town uses for local events is parked at the City Park.
The trees in Huntington have nothing but love.
Mater sits in a field nearby.
Downtown Huntington building.
Even historic buildings could use an update sometimes. “Clark’s Cafe. All White Help. A good place to eat.
Coca – Cola from prehistoric times.
Huntington is very proud of their historical railways, which still run 24 hours a day through the area.

Okay, so if the marijuana isn’t enough to make you want to visit, maybe the herds of deer that wander freely through the town will convince you.

These lovelies were making out at the library, about 5 feet from me.
Excuse me ma’am. Do you have a minute to discuss our lord and savior, the Great Prince of the Forest and his son, Bambi?

Wildlife is easy to find nearby, like at the Spring Creek Recreation area along the Snake River. Spring Creek Recreation area is BLM land; you can stay for $5.00 a night during the active season, and for free in the off season. There is potable water, and vault toilets but no other amenities. The views are gorgeous, and the small critters are aplenty – including some  RV hitchhikers of the little mouse kind. 

Sunrise over the Snake River
Oh! Hello! Have you seen my brothers, Theodore or Alvin?
A popular member of the community. He is invited to dinner every Thanksgiving.
A few miles north of the Spring Creek Recreation area, we came across this little…town. Welcome to Jack Gordon, Oregon. Unincorporated. Population 2 or more. Elevation 2095.
Views of the Snake River
Most rural towns in America have a spot where the local graduates get to graffiti their graduation year, and Huntington is no different. This giant rock is located just outside of Huntington. The oldest mark we found was from 1964.
A heart-shaped cave…even their caves have nothing but love!

For those that enjoy a more civilized RVing life, there is the Farewell Bend State Park 4 miles from downtown Huntington (which is also the whole of Huntington) with water and electric hookups.

Farewell Bend State Park

Farewell Bend is named such because of the Oregon Trail pioneers that followed the Snake River, would pause to rest at the bend before continuing on their trek.

The last camp on the weary journey across the Snake River plains. Here the Oregon Trail left the Snake River and wound overland to the Columbia.
This is the farewell bend of the Snake River

The park is beautiful, well-maintained with helpful rangers. We were there in the off season, so only one loop was open in the campground. So, there may be loops in the campground that have full hookups, but the winter loop does not due to freezing temperatures.

Restored wagons welcome you to Farewell Bend State Park
Lookin for a pal, ain’t it a pity, Lookin for a gal, needn’t be pretty, if she’ll ride on the Wagon Train. Wagons ho!
…there are riders with guns by their sides, the wagon train’s full of women and hides, the men drink and smoke to pass the time

The Huntington area is rich with history, with a modern day twist on their local wares. We loved the 2 weeks we spent there, and will definitely stay in the area again on our way through.

Plus –  where else can you see a kid dressed up for Halloween as the Black Panther wearing worn out shitkickers?

What are thoooose?

Learn more about Huntington, Oregon here.

And you can get our awesome thermal backpack picnic set here.

 

Book Review – Hunger by Roxane Gay

“Even the happiest moments of my life are overshadowed by my body and how it doesn’t fit anywhere. This is no way to live, but this is how I live.”

Roxane Gay, a best-selling author, a college professor, and a feminist woman of color and size, has a lot to hunger for. Education. Success. Love. Affection. Acceptance. And food.

In the book Hunger – A Memoir of (My) Body, Roxane is brutally honest about all aspects of her life as a fat black woman. She wasn’t always fat, but she doesn’t have to think too hard about how she got there – because it wasn’t an accident. She used food to build her body into her own personal fortress.

This book delves deep into personal trauma, and all the things that come after…like life. Roxane Gay has a story to tell about her body, and she tells it superbly. 

Through Washington

Through Washington

We put in some serious effort in September to actually travel! Mr. Write on the Road healed pretty quickly after his liver surgery, and when we were able, we headed north through Washington to Bellingham. 

We wallydocked in Longview, which is where we saw our first squirrel bridge. The Nutty Narrows was built back in the 1960’s by a businessman that was tired of seeing all the flattened squirrels on the road. So, he and some co-workers worked together to design the bridge and brought the proposal to the city council, and voilà! 

The Nutty Narrows
Perfect for squirrels on the go!
This large squirrel is there to let the regular squirrels know where to cross.
Except for this guy. He does what he wants.

Onward to Bellingham, which is a city of about 90,000. There are a lot of small, rural towns nearby, though. And a lot of farms. It smells like cow poop almost all of the time. Which is just bullshit. 

They do have large cocks around here, though.
Did you see the size of that chicken?
This is a Hairstream. It’s located in a tiny town on the way to Mt. Baker. I can’t imagine they get a ton of business out there, but I appreciate their wittiness.
This is a fence made out of ski’s in a small town up by Mt. Baker. It’s brilliant!

Near Bellingham is Mt. Baker. It was a drizzly day, but we drove up the mountain to take a look-see. And we failed on that mission because it was too foggy at the top to even see the mountain. But it was still a beautiful drive.

Two very large ravens welcome you to Mt. Baker.
Views of a valley below the mountain.
Beautiful fall colors!
…and this is Mt. Baker….somewhere in there.

Here at Write on the Road, we are going to do our best to keep up our travelling…since we are a travel blog and all.

 

Somewhere in Washington
Flashing gang signs. But seriously, I don’t think peace and Trump go together.

Until next time – have your Trumper friends spayed or neutered.

 

The Real World

The Real World

 

We at Write on the Road know that we are lucky in so many ways. Neither of us have to go to an 8-5 job, and very rarely do we even have to set an alarm clock. Isn’t the alarm clock the worst sound ever? No. No, it isn’t. The worst sound ever is my mother yelling my name from across the house when I was young, but alarm clocks are definitely a close second.  

Not my actual mother, but obviously she is someone’s actual mother – look at the irritation on her face – you can’t fake that.

We both realize how lucky we are, but don’t be fooled by looking at our lives from the outside. We actually have to come back to the real world way more often than we like. Between family emergencies, and family stupidities, medical issues, and the maintenance costs to RV full time, the real world is something we know quite well.

This summer has been difficult with ALL of the above mentioned issues, but we are still hanging on to the dream. The most recent was a medical issue; Mr. Write on the Road had a liver cyst the size of a small puppy. Picking a name that was gender neutral, we chose Ollie (Oliver or Olivia). Ollie was just born 5 days ago, and we have discovered that full time RVing is not ideal for an intensive abdominal surgery, or the healing that comes after. We are doing our best, but it is not comfortable for the Mr. at all. Although, I am not sure that living in a sticks ‘n bricks would be any better; he is kind of a whiner. In his defense, they did remove the cyst, about 40% of his liver, and his gallbladder. 

The giant dark spot on the liver is Ollie.

The surgery was done by the liver clinic at Portland VA Hospital, and they were completely amazing. They did an excellent job on the very long surgery, and kept me updated as they progressed. The VA Hospital also arranged for us to stay in a nearby Fisher House, which is a non-profit organization that provides lodging for Veterans and their family during medical emergencies. The Fisher House in Vancouver, WA was exceptional. They provided a beautiful room with Cable TV and WiFi, invitations to community dinners, a stocked kitchen to prepare your own meals, and a full laundry room. I simply cannot say enough good things about the Fisher House. I am completely grateful to the organization.

View of Portland from the VA Hospital

Barring any family emergencies or family stupidities, we should be able to get back on the road soon. We can’t wait to share more travels, adventures, and cheesy jokes!

* If you are interested in sending gifts for the birth of Ollie we are accepting gas money, or alcohol for the Mrs.

 

Smith River Falls – Reedsport, Oregon

Smith River Falls

There are five Smith Rivers in the United States, plus the town of Smith River in California. Obviously, Oregon’s Smith River is the best because it has awesome free BLM campgrounds, as well as dispersed BLM land to stay on along the river, including near the Smith River Falls – which are really more like big steps than falls, but falls does sound more impressive.

Steps fit for a cave troll…
…which lives in the adorable heart-shaped cave! <3
Smith River Falls

There are a few privately owned RV parks and campgrounds, which includes a brand new one that will open soon. The falls are about 35 miles from Reedsport, OR, which is the closest town. There is an abundance of farms and farmland along the drive, plus some old abandoned barns that make for some great photo opportunities.

Smith River Highway
I love old barns. Imagine the history! Bucking hay, storing hay, rolling in the hay…
Another barn resisting time.
The local bovine are apparently very particular about their morning and afternoon road-crossings.
These are Great Egrets, or the Great White Heron. They can be seen along the first few miles of the Smith River Highway 
The Great Egrets in flight

This area is very popular with the local people, so it’s fairly busy on the weekends. During the week it wasn’t too crowded, but there were some camping neighbors that could learn a thing or two about camping etiquette…and better taste in music. If you’re going to play it that loud please don’t play crappy music.

Great clean campsites. 

In spite of the annoyances with some of the locals, we had a nice time completely off grid for a few days. Which we are determined to do more often to release our political pressure valve since we won’t have access to news 24/7. It’s better for everyone that way. Which also reminds me…make sure you are registered to vote!

Bad RVing Tips #2

More Bad RVing Tips!

Brought you by the lack of common sense of our recent camp neighbors!

  1. If your camp neighbor has decorative items at their campsite, make sure to let your small children play with it! Your neighbors are going to LOVE you!
  2. If you pull into a small campground and there is only one other person there you can go ahead and crank up your sorry-ass country music as loud as your minivan speakers will let you! It’ll turn into a boot-scootin’ party.
  3. If you find a little free library at your camp neighbors site, you can take as many books as you like! Shit, take all of them! There are no library police at camp!
  4. When there are lots of signs telling you to keep your dogs on leashes, do not even worry about it. They don’t mean YOUR dog, just everyone else’s!
  5. When you think, “Gee, I think I should run around in my underwear!” Yes! This is definitely what you should do!

Okay. I’m done being the grumpy old lady yelling “get off my lawn!”
But seriously…stay off my lawn.

I’m done yelling. Here’s some cute puppers.

Bad RVing Tips

 

All of July – All in Oregon

All of July. All in Oregon.

July was an interesting month for us here at Write on the Road. There was a lot of travel. Correction – there was a lot of driving.

Lakeside, OR
to Prineville, OR
to Portland, OR to
Prineville, OR to
Madras, OR to
Grants Pass, OR
to Lakeside, OR
to Prineville, OR to
Mitchell, OR to
Prospect, OR
to Grants Pass, OR
Ugh. I want out of Oregon for awhile!

The month was filled with doctor appointments, family visits, and family emergencies. It’s not what we had in mind when we decided to travel full time, but there it is…life.

It wasn’t all errands though. We went swimming, we saw cool stuff, we saw scary stuff, and beautiful stuff. Because there it is…life.

Just a deer running by our front door in Lakeside, OR
Crooked River near Prineville, OR
Old Highway tunnel near Madras, OR
This is what we call a No Thanks.
A fairly naked Mt. Hood
Interesting way the trees fell (or the Blair Witch is moving on to larger and more challenging designs.) near Mt. Hood.
A banana split bus! I hate bananas, but I like the split. Oh. Wait.
A TARDIS bus stop. I am officially jealous of these kids!
This School Bus Stop is the property of …. jealous. So jealous.
John Day River near Mitchell, OR.
Chasing sticks…
I got it! I got it!
I thtill gots it! I thtill gots it!
I see a little silhouette of a bird · Scaracutie, Scaracutie, will you do the chirpdango?
I haven’t see one of these in ages! Is that a bird? A plane?
It’s Superman! An illegal immigrant here to save our asses!
A long-awaited trip to Crater Lake..
Wizards Island in Crater Lake…through the smoke.
Fire Information. It’s hot. And it’s everywhere.
The Ghost Ship Island in Crater Lake. I think we’ll go back when the smoke clears. 

Welcome to August. Hoping for less driving and more travel!

 

Crooked River – Prineville, Oregon

Crooked River Campgrounds

Along the Crooked River Highway

The first of the Crooked River Campgrounds is located about 15 miles south of Prineville, OR along the Crooked River Highway. There are between eight and ten BLM campgrounds along the river. All of the campgrounds have bathrooms and garbage service, and a few have drinking water as well. You can stay a total of 14 days on BLM land, but you can switch to different campgrounds during your 14 days.

Campground entrance…and exit, actually. Are we coming or going?
One of the campsites at Stillwater Campground.

We chose to stay at Stillwater Campground, and had a whole end of the campground to ourselves for most of our stay. It is ridiculously warm during the summer, but that is what the freezing cold river is for. So, wear a swimsuit with a snowsuit over it.

There is a lot of wildlife in the area. We saw deer, a beaver, ducks, geese, all kinds of birds, and even bunnies! We didn’t get pics of all the critters, but we can’t do everything for you, now can we?

An Osprey waiting watching for his fish dinner. (Go Seahawks!)
A Blue Heron at dusk.
What’s this you say? Come on. You don’t know a beaver when you see one? 

It was a peaceful stay, and with Prineville so close there is access to everything you could need. There are grocery stores, fast food, restaurants, a cool dog park, and an RV Shop that has a Dump Station and a fresh water fill for only $10.00. If you find yourself passing through central Oregon make sure to stop and enjoy the Prineville area! 

Beautiful drive along the river!
River views from the campground.
A shoe tree! No one knows why they exist, but theories range from serial killers to fertility rituals. 

 

 

Book Review – Dietland by Sarai Walker

Dietland by Sarai Walker

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“I’m every American woman’s worst nightmare. It’s what they spend their lives fighting against, it’s why they diet and exercise and have plastic surgery—because they don’t want to look like me.” 
― Sarai Walker, Dietland

Are you fat? Read this book. Are you skinny? Read this book. Are you female? Are you male? Are you human? Read this book. Are you a feminist? Read this book? Are you not a feminist? Read this book and learn something.

This novel follows the life of Plum Kettle. She is scheduled for a weight loss surgery, and is looking forward to it so much that she spends her free time online shopping for her “skinny” clothes. With a closet full of things that aren’t even close to fitting, her regular uniform is her ankle length black skirts and long sleeve black shirts – even in the sweltering heat of summer.

Plum’s life changes when a mysterious woman wearing bright tights and combat boots starts following her. Between the punk stalker and the news of a dangerous anarchist causing damage around the world, Plum heads down a dark, winding road with no place to turn around.

This is Sarai Walkers’ debut novel, and I will probably cry if she never publishes another.