Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Home Sweet Home . . .

When I arrived in the Pacific Northwest the only thing I knew was I had a job, a Monte Carlo & a cousin in Portland. The minor detail I was missing was a place to live. After a little roommate searching and commuting (1 hour & 15 minutes each way) from my cousin's house in Portland, I found an opportunity that I knew little about, calling a tent my home. So... as many of you have been asking about it, here it is!

My home is actually borrowed from fellow Minnesotan's Nate & Heather Herbeck. My dream is to own a tent someday. (The key is to invest in one you can stand up in.) I have come to love this new life and feel so fortunate to be able to come home to my tent every night. We did experience unseasonable amounts of rain when I learned the importance of not having your blankets or pillows touching the side of the tent. Needless to say, that was a rough night which ended with me sleeping in the "hard top" aka Monte Carlo.

This photo is of our community tent that which we like to call, "The Big Tent". (We're pretty original). You can see the water hydrant in the lower left hand corner, sink setup on the right and cook top stove in front of the tent. Inside this luxurious estate is a picnic table, small refrigerator, wood stove & tons of laughter! We recently received a huge TV so we will be partaking in movie nights soon. You will also see Norm the Yellow Lab in front of the tent. He is my favorite roommate!

One of the best things about living in a tent is hearing your surroundings. This is a photo of the White Salmon river that runs in our backyard. I fall asleep and wake up to the sound of this river everyday. It is a constant reminder of how lucky I am to be here, living in a tent. Words cannot describe how amazing it is to live in a tent. If you have never tried it, I would highly recommend it! I cook supper under the stars, fall asleep to a river rushing with life and energy and wake up to the breathtaking hills of the Pacific Northwest.

I always have to laugh at people's reaction when they hear I live in a tent. Most people who know me are not surprised at all. Those who don't know me feel bad for me. The end result is the same, I am beyond lucky to call this tent, home sweet home.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Let the journey begin . . .

The morning of May 2, 2010 marked the beginning of a whole new world, adventure and way of life. As I pulled out of the driveway, I was leaving all that I ever knew behind me. I would no longer be waking up to the rooster’s cock-a-doodle-doing outside my bedroom window or hearing my niece, Jill, come racing up the stairs in the morning. I packed up my Monte Carlo, put my play boat in the passenger seat, strapped my creek boat to the top and took whatever else would fit. With the sun still sleeping behind the horizon, I started my journey to the Pacific Northwest.

This journey had many new firsts for me. The first time I moved out of Minnesota, the first time I drove this far by myself and the first time I knew I was on the right track. About 100 miles into South Dakota I passed a hitch-hiker headed east. I called my sister right away to ask if this was an omen of how I would someday return to Minnesota. After passing the windy Black Hills, sneaking through Wyoming and heading through rain and snow in Montana I decided it was time to stop for a good night of sleep. My family, knowing how I normally travel, insisted I stay at an actual Hotel or Motel versus “sleeping in the hard top” as I like to call it. (They never understood sleeping in my car, especially in the trunk next to my kayak!)

I awoke well rested from my 16 hour day and ready to finish the drive. As I passed through the Mountains in Idaho I realized I wouldn’t want to get caught up there with snow. Once I passed the mountains and arrived into Washington I was attacked by tumbleweeds! Never in my life have I experienced such horrendous winds or visibility so poor because of dirt and gravel whipping about. Finally, after getting terrible gas mileage, I began my descent into the place I was about to call home. The Columbia River Gorge is the place I’ve never seen but heard so much about. This national scenic area is so breathtaking; it can’t be described in words.

I am excited to start this new adventure, chasing a dream to find a balance between work, play and life. This “new” life will be amazing but so was the one I left in Minnesota. I am so lucky to have been blessed with incredible family, genuine friends and more adventures and hilarious stories than I can even remember. A special thank you to my mom, sisters and brothers who have always been there for me and always will be. A friend once told me that I, “wear the world like a loose garment”, you should try it sometime… you never know where it will take you! So… with that, let the journey begin…