Transformation For All #2

We were dreaming of getting an RV to live in while traveling and playing music around the U.S. We were looking at numbers, logistics, prices, places, rules and regulations, discussing the how, what, and most importantly, WHEN. We had been living  in Portland, Oregon for seven years, working shitty jobs, working on music projects that kept fizzling out while collecting piles of musical material unused. In June 2010, I had taught myself how to play the drums and Sam and I realized we didn’t need anyone else for our music, and couldn’t we go on tour now? We were burnt out. At the time we were delivering pizza full time, making a lot of money that we wasted in the many strip clubs and craft micro-brew filled bars Portland has to offer. We played music in our studio when we could, but it wasn’t enough. We did’t know what we were living for and looking at our lives, we felt like we were treading water. That was life blood lost. Delivering pizza instead of playing music, traveling and being out in nature. We were losing it. We wanted out ASAP.

We started our plans early 2013 to buy an RV. On May 6th, we found The Warrior. She was owned by Pastor Bailey of Albany Oregon, my sister’s father in law. His walking cane was topped with a bronze wolf head baring its sharp teeth. He said some of the church goers thought it was satanic, which he couldn’t understand why. He said he sometimes covered the head with his hand so people couldn’t see it. He loved the RV but wasn’t able to take it out anymore. He and his granddaughters were using it as a club house of sorts. When we asked him how the shower worked he said he wasn’t sure, that he always just bathed in the river. Bathe in the river? Sounds good. Anyhow, we had seen quite a few RVs for sale at that point and were thrilled when we took her for  drive and felt the strength of that motor. Plus all the appliances worked. The interior needed work to suit our needs, and there were a few issues to resolve, but that was that.  Four thousand dollars lighter, we drove her back to Portland that night and gave our thirty day notice at our apartment two days later. This was for real. So we had one month to get the RV ready for us to move into it. We were SO excited! We cut our hours down at work, and got to it. We really thought we could do it in 30 days but it worked out to much, much more work then we thought. All the leg work, research and trial and errors added up. The cost did too.


Sam and Bella doing research. We needed new window coverings, new mattress, some specific RV parts, paint, chair covers. . . ect. Where were we to get them from and how much would it cost?


Bella on one of her “conditioning” car rides. Before then she had only lived in about ten places in her life (she is 16 years old) with trips to the vet but no major traveling. It was tough at first, but she got used to it very quickly. We were really worried about how it was going to work out for her. She is doing great now!


Sam is prepping for painting. You can see some of the original colors.


We worked late into the night, sometimes until 2 or 3 AM. We didn’t have the lights figured out, so I am wearing a head lamp. I only wonder what the neighbors thought we were doing! And yes, that’s red paint for the walls. We did the bedroom and bathroom green.


Me in my adorable head lamp again. In the background you can see our apartment turned into a work shop. The old pink curtains are on the left. Stuff everywhere.


Sam fixing a new bed board.

We ate Pho almost everyday with no time to cook and our kitchen turned workshop. Thank you Pho Ngon, and Pho Vietnam for keeping us healthy and happy. Pho is the perfect meal. Aromatic beef broth cooked for hours served over fresh rice noodles, rare steak, onions and cilantro. It is served with a huge pile of bean sprouts, thai basil, jalapeños and lime. We eat it with plenty of sriracha hot sauce. It is one of the most perfect foods in the world. It is actually Vietnam’s National dish, so other folks agree. Plus the serving is so huge Sam and I always split a bowl, only $6.50, for the both of us!


Pho Ngon’s menu. We always ordered the same thing. Pho Thai, number 17 on the menu. The waitress’s would see us come in and yell out, “Number 17?” Yes, please!

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We worked on the RV in our apartment’s parking lot. Bella loved to follow us around, or find a cool spot to hang out and watch.


Sam taking a break with one of our alcoholic concoctions that assisted us through the madness. Bacardi Gold, and Santa Cruz Organic Raspberry Lemonade, topped off with citrus flavor sparkling water. Refreshing.

Well, it was madness. We worked every day, before and after work, late into the night, had some major failures with parts of the project and major success. Yes there were some whopper breakdowns, and a couple good fights. It could have been one of those trashy reality TV shows, very entertaining and actually informative. Do you know how to buy foam? And do you know how much it costs? We kept joking, “So this is what it’s like to be a traveling musician? Browsing window treatments and doing fabric dye experiments?” But after 30 days we had somehow gotten it together enough to move in. The RV was transformed, we were definitely transformed, and Bella was now officially a traveling cat.

Here are the pics of our first real celebration meal in the RV. You can see how some of our work turned out. We moved out of the apartment in S.E. Portland June 11th. We spent the next four days camping out at Metzler Park on Clear Creek which runs into the Clackamas river (Oregon).


In the kitchen working on the lentil soup. Behind me is the green bedroom.


The meal is served! Lentil soup and grilled salmon with fresh Salmonberries and Oxalis greens we picked there at camp.


Bella sleeping on the bed. 



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