Updated: Dec 21, 2021
So far this season, I've avoided Amazon for Christmas gifts but the one remaining name on the list may be an Amazon purchase. Don't get me wrong I do enjoy the convenience of Amazon. But I try to think outside the Big Box.
Darin got a new electric bike for an early Christmas... We wanted certain specifics due to space requirements in our converted Sprinter van. I ordered early so we'd have an address to deliver to and so we could pedal around once we started our full-time van living. We like the style and the convenience of folding them up if we need more space in the van.
Lectric eBikes checked off all the boxes when it comes to electric bikes. We did quite a bit of searching before we decided on Lectric. One local shop that had what we wanted had a price tag of $3000. That would be a hard NO. If you’re in the market, definitely check them out. They ship super fast.
We also try to support small businesses and artists. Try sheldonwines.com as a great place to treat yourself or someone special on your list. Definitely mention TheRollingStowes to these guys they know us well and likely know some fun stories.
If you happen to be shopping for your favorite Nomad / Vanlifer, check out our K.I.S.S. Airflow Screens - we may get them delivered before Christmas. The other items in our shop, well, likely not before Christmas...
However, digital gifts are quick and easy!
Driving down the road and listening to a great story or even a self-help book is an awesome way to be entertained or enlightened. When it's cold outside, using the Kindle App and reading the latest great American Novel is a worthwhile way to spend a cozy snowy day.
This could be a great time to plan for fun in the sun. If you haven't looked into Rheos Eyewear, you are missing out. These bad boys float. I wonder how many expensive sunglasses are being worn by the fish in the sea these days. The frames are well made and the company was started by a couple of fun loving folks that did full-time RV life for a while.
Another great option for the Nomad on your list is the Cliq Camp Chairs. Our first night on the road, I sat in a poorly made chair that I thought was the bomb until I landed on the ground on top of a broken chair. Cliqs are hard-core sturdy and have not let us down, literally. The other great point is that they fold up to the size of a water bottle.
After Cloverdale we continued north on the 101 for 2-300 miles and then hopped on 199 to head east in order to visit Darin's sister in Talent, Oregon. One of the last bridges on 101 in California has giant gold bear statues... Here's the tail end of one:
I wonder who is in that nice T1N in front of us... That is one nicely maintained van. Has anyone come up with a proper Van wave yet?
The scenery on 199 is just beautiful. It was raining so the photo op really didn't pan out. But it is a worthwhile journey. We did get about 10 large wet snowflakes that landed on the windshield. But that was about it.
Talent, Oregon was platted in the 1880's, the first settler was A.P. Tallent who wanted to name it Wagner. He was overruled by postal officials that opened the post office in 1883. On September 8, 2020 the Almeda Drive Fire burned roughly one third of Talent along with Phoenix and parts of Medford and Ashland. By September 18 over 2800 structures had been destroyed. This was an act of arson that is still being investigated. Darin's sister, Mar, took us on a walk to see the devastation and told us about how the community came together for each other. Mar has an amazing green thumb and a wealth of knowledge when it comes to growing stuff. Her living room is truly living.
From her back yard we could see snow capped mountains but we didn't get any while there. After two nights in the beautiful town of Talent we moved on.
We took I-5N to Sutherlin and Hwy 138 to Hwy 38 to US 101 North to find our next camp spot. The rain and cold continued.
We checked into the South Jetty Thousand Trails campground which was really nice, we stayed one night and continued north. Our hope was to see a couple more friends in Oregon but the winter storm warning and timing became a factor. We crossed the Astoria bridge at about 4:30pm headed to Long Beach.
We stayed over night in the Long Beach Thousand Trails, then just like that, the rain stopped. The sun came out for a visit so we could get some scenic views. Washington has always been so beautiful to me and the air so crisp. We took a walk to the beach and talked about where to go next and when. Considering our close proximity to Port Orchard, it was time to look into how we can make it our new home base. We have lots of work to do and we're in no hurry. Time to visit old friends and more family. We'll let you know how that goes as we stumble through it.
Here's our latest photo session...