Jul 172014

Peak to Valley Airstream Road Trip via J5MM.comCampfire Cookout via J5MM.com

It’s getting close to one week when we returned from a beautiful summer road trip through Idaho and Oregon.  In between working in corporate America, taking care of hubby and B, walking Oliver and the rest of the usual day to day activities I am doing my best to sort through all of the photographs I took during our Peak to Valley adventure.  I call it Peak to Valley because our trip took us from the peaks of alpine life in McCall, Idaho to the valleys down below where Hells Canyon in Idaho and the Deschutes river in Oregon call home.

Airstream Trailer Rest Stop In Idaho via J5MM.com

We felt very fortunate to score a campsite at the McCall RV resort before the week of the 4th of July.  The last time we visited, it was in the middle of Winter — which we think, was equally as beautiful but definitely a very different experience.  Both winter and summer here are seasons one musn’t  pass up visiting.

McCall RV Resort in beautiful McCall, Idaho via J5MM.com

We also got brave and thought we’d explore some forest service roads in seek of the perfect boondocking site.  We heard that the sites here in Malheur National Forest and the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness are a dream come true.

At first we were very excited until the road started to get narrow — and even more narrow.

Pretty soon we were at a point where we either had to turn back, or keep going.

So turned back we did.

And then we found the perfect spot.


Back Woods Camping via J5MM.com

We had a three day river rafting trip scheduled with Hells Canyon Raft.  We had to pack carefully and put everything in dry bags and lock up the Airstream for two nights while we floated down the canyon.  It was really an incredible experience.

We learned a lot about the history of the canyon from the homesteads that are still there.

We picked fresh fruit from the trees on the homesteads.

We got splashed by the rapids, which was very refreshing because it was kind of a hot three days.

We fished.  A lot.

And we enjoyed fancy meals with good company by the river before retreating into our tents to sleep.

Under the most {INCREDIBLE} star lit sky I have ever seen.

That will be fun to write about — I can’t wait.

Hells Canyon River Raft trip with Hells Canyon Raft via J5MM.com Hells Canyon River Raft trip with Hells Canyon Raft via J5MM.com

B and Oliver had a really great time.  B captured some cool video footage with the GoPro and Oliver braved the Class 4 rapids quite well!

White Water Rafting with your dog in Hells Canyon via J5MM.com

Our journey continued on down deeper into the Strawberry Mountain wilderness.  We camped at Trout Farm Campground.

That was fun!  Probably one of the prettiest dry camping spots we have visited.  There was a creek running behind the Airstream so it was refreshing to walk down there every now and then to cool off.

We had fresh caught fish for dinner and some grilled oysters (that I picked up a market along our way not too far back).


The next morning was an early rise  for us.

We were heading on a full day fishing trip down the Deschutes River putting in at Warm Springs, Oregon —  and as we drove we were greeted with this beautiful sunrise view from Mt. Jefferson ♥

Mt. Jefferson in Oregon via J5MM.com

A  40 mile float down the Deschutes River was a dream come true for me.  I’ve always wanted to experience this .  Thank you  Matt and Nate from the Deschutes River Outfitters guide service for taking us out.

The scenery here was unbelievable.  The fishing was out of this world.  World class White Rapids even (White Horse rapids – it’s worth a Google).

Did I mention the scenery?

Another great experience I look forward to writing about in more detail.

White Horse Rapids Deschutes with Matt Deschutes River Outfitters via J5MM.com

Native Idaho Redband Trout in with Deschutes River Outfitters via J5MM.com

Picnic lunch and fishing the Deschutes river with Deschutes River Outfitters Matt and Nate via J5MM.com

Beautiful wild horses . . . happy and healthy ♥

Wild Horses on the Deschutes River with Deschutes River Outfitters Matt and Nate via J5MM.com

Our last night we spent at Kah-Nee-Ta Resort and Spa in Oregon’s high dessert.  It was our second time back and will not be our last.

kahnetaA picture I snapped of our Airstream as we departed Kahneeta and made our way slowly back to Seattle.

leaving kahneta (1 of 1)

Thank you for following along on our journey.  I hope we are able to inspire you to visit some of these most beautiful places we have been too.


Jun 102014

Anacortes ferry landing via J5MM.com

Sometimes when life gets super busy, it helps me to sit down and take note of everything happening around me.   The last two weekends for us have been spent up on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.

The purpose of our first visit was to reconnect with friends and have a party in their honor back at our camp.   I wanted everything to be perfect so I worked very hard on that trip for a couple of months prior.  The party went off without a hitch and so many wonderful things happened that weekend that I really look forward to sharing with you.


West Beach Resort Airstream Party via J5MM.com

The following weekend, Oliver and I packed up our tent and gear and headed back to Orcas with the mission to learn more about the Farm to Cafeteria / Farm to Classroom program that the school children of Orcas are so fortunate to be a part of.  We also stopped by Gavin and Teddy’s Asher & Olive’s catering digs to have a look around.  Wait until you hear about them.  They are amazing caterers on Island!  Just LOVE them both so very much and look forward to spending more time with those two.

I was so looking forward to this trip with just Ollie and I and as it turned out, it was a very transforming trip for me.  I’ve never camped alone before and I think I managed quite well :)

Oliver and I enjoyed quiet nights, campfires and skillet dinners.  We slept under the stars and were happy as could be . . .

Camp at West Beach Resort on Orcas Island via J5MM.comSitting by the crackling fire with Ollie in my lap was one of the (many) highlights of our trip together . . .Cracklin' Camp Fire via J5MM.comThe next morning we woke up bright and early and were ready to begin exploring.

From the beaches down below  . . .

Oliver Canine Wanderlust via J5MM.com

To the top of Mt. Constitution — we explored as much as we possibly could.

Our experience together was quiet and peaceful.

Just me and my little dog.

top of Mt. Constitution on Orcas Island via J5MM.com

Also on our agenda was taking a tour of the Orcas Island elementary school garden while learning all about the (wonderful) Farm to Cafeteria and Farm to Classroom Program that is run by Madie Murray.  Madie and I have been trying to connect for a couple of years and finally this past weekend it all worked out.  I really look forward to writing about that experience :)  It was completely amazing.

Oliver and I also had the honor to meet the charming young lady Arla Sutton.  Arla was one of 54 students ages eight to 12 who won a trip to the White House in August of 2012 to attend the very first “Kids’ State Dinner” hosted by the First Lady Michelle Obama. Her recipe for salad noodle wraps won over all other entries in the entire state of Washington.

 Thank you Arla for sharing your recipe with me and taking the time to meet with Oliver and I :)

Farm to Cafeteria and Farm to Classroom Program on Orcas Island via J5MM.com

As the sun slowly started to set,  Oliver and I went back to camp and I made dinner but not before stopping off at the local bakery and picking up a beautiful round loaf of bread to take back to camp.  Our dinner that night would be skillet Ling Cod fish with lemons, grape tomatoes, chamomile flowers, a splash of avocado oil and some salt.

We cooked that over the campfire and really enjoyed the simple flavors.

Sometimes, less is more and in this case with our dinner, it was a home run.

Camp Dinner at West Beach Resort on Orcas Island via J5MM.com

I’m really looking forward to posting here on J5MM in more detail all about those adventures we’ve had so far on Orcas Island.

Next week I do something a little different than my usual travel routine.  I fly out to Montana.  I have been invited by Montana Tourism to come and experience a “Heyday on the High Plains,” — a story-gathering mission to Montana’s semi-secret prairie lands.  I’m so very excited about that but I will admit, flying is not my cup of tea so I’m a little nervous.  But like all things in life, one must conquer and carry on :)

While in Montana I’ll be active on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter if you would like to follow along.  I will be very eager to share my discoveries with you ♥

Then a few days after I return from Montana, we hitch up the Airstream and b-line it back to McCall, Idaho !!  We’ll spend some time at our favorite RV park – McCall RV Resort !! We’ll also be taking a three day trip through Hells Canyon with Hells Canyon Raft, jet skiing on Lake Payette with Cheap Thrills.  Then as we continue on into Oregon, we will be fly fishing the Deschutes River with Deschutes River Outfitters and glamping our way through Oregon back up into Washington.  I’ll be cooking every night in my Airstream sourcing local ingredients and using recipes I’ll be collecting from our guides and locals that we’ll meet along our way.

Here’s to a great start to summertime XOXO

~ Monica ♥

Airstream Party By The Sea via J5MM.com


May 082014

When traveling with an RV there are many benefits to be had.  Take for example the fact that you have all the comforts of home with you including a fully equipped kitchen.  Sure it’s probably smaller than your kitchen at home, but with a little organization and planning, you can easily whip up the same healthy meals you do for your family at home, but on the road.

My Travel Trailer Kitchen

What’s better is that you’re actually on the road.  Traveling.  Exploring.  Seeking out new adventures.  Can you imagine a better way to experience the “here and now,” than visiting a local market where you just happen to be seeking out the freshest, in season goodies to cook a meal with?  Take it to the next level and talk to some locals shopping in the market.  Ask them how they like to cook those “in season” ingredients.  More often than not, you’ll make a new friend and come back to your RV inspired, ready to cook. Continue reading »

May 042014

Suncadia and Tumble Creek in the Wenatchee National Forest Setting

When hubby and I first met, one of our very first trips taken together was to the Bennett cabin which is located next to the Wenatchee National Forest.  I’ve heard a lot about this cabin and how it took many, many years for the Bennett family to build, by hand — all themselves.  No machinery here, just pulley systems and lots of muscles to get the logs one on top of the other. Continue reading »

Apr 242014

Springtime In The Forest via J5MM.com

This forest, right behind my house is a very special place for me.  For almost 15 years I’ve been retreating to mothers nature’s magical playground to think, clear my mind and take in the fresh air.

There is no time better in my opinion, to hike these woods than in the Springtime.  Little flower buds are popping out of woody dangly branches, the curly fiddleheads of the fern plant begin to slowly emerge and colorful flower blossoms seem to bend your way as you walk by so you can admire their beauty.

Oliver and I set off on a hike the morning before Easter to experience all the beauty that lay in these woods.  As we hiked along, I thought about Easter dinner the following evening.  The Bennett family was coming over and I always love to cook for them.

Today would be a test run of some of the appetizer and side dishes I had in mind to serve and I could hardly wait to get started.  Practice menu runs for me not only give me peace of mind the following day when cooking, it also gives me the opportunity to fine tune and perfect any given recipe. Continue reading »

Apr 152014

Fab Finds Tuesday via J5MM.com

  1. Because if you love canine’s and Airstreams, this silver trailer charm is pretty much a must have :)  Source  
  2. Multi-purpose kitchenware ranks high on my list for my tiny kitchen.  This cast iron drop biscuit pan not only makes the fluffiest biscuits ever, but doubles (or triples) as a muffin tin, tart pan and mini pizza pan (and so much more).  Try making baked eggs like these :)  Source
  3. Take feta to the next level with these scrumptious looking tartines.  I’ll take all three, please :) Source
  4. Document your most favorite trip by sewing the route onto a map.  Then frame it, hang it and adore it from near (and afar).  Source

Happy travels xoxo

~ Monica ♥

PS  We’re currently in the planning phases of our next trip.  It’s been a lot of work so far (probably the most work in planning a trip ever) and we’re crossing our fingers (and toes) it all works out.  We found a pretty amazing campsite along with some super fun outdoor adventures.  As soon as we get the final “go” from everyone involved, we’ll post our final destination here :)  Can’t wait to share it all with you xoxo  Hope you are having a wonderful Spring so far ♥

Mar 202014

skijoring at Sandpoint Winter Carnival 2014 at the Bonner County Fairgrounds

“Honey, it looks like when we’ll be in Sandpoint, ID for our trip, the annual Winter Carnival will be in full swing,” hubby tells me one night over dinner months before our trip was to be.

“Wow, really? Do you know what kind of activities will be happening?” I asked.

“Well for one, they’ll have Skijoring . . .”

(He knew by the look on my face I was totally clueless)

Continue reading »

Mar 102014

Bonner County Fairgrounds in Sandpoint, ID with our Airstream 2014

There’s always a day during our trips where I like to take it easy.  Easy as in, taking my good ol’ sweet time in the morning preparing breakfast and then heading out the Airstream door to really get acquainted with whatever town we are in.  Ever since arriving in the town of Sandpoint I’ve been eager to check it out.  Since hubby was off on his own skiing with his friend Tom, it was the perfect day to do this.

Continue reading »

Mar 032014

Schweitzer Mountain Resort Guided Snowshoeing Hikes

Snowshoeing was big for me at Schweitzer Mountain Resort.  Did you know?  Schweitzer is the largest resort in Idaho and Washington with 2900 acres of amazing terrain and renowned tree skiing located in the rugged Selkirk Mountains.  It was in these these mountains where I enjoyed many days of snowshoeing enjoying the peacefulness of nature while getting a great workout. If you love to ski but are looking to switch up your days with another winter sport, snowshoeing here at Schweitzer Mountain Resort is truly a once in a lifetime experience.  On guided tours you meet at the Information Center which is next to the Selkirk Lodge, get your gear and head out with your group up the chairlift and begin your hike.  Want to go at it alone or with a group?  No problem — enjoy the great trail system where you can hike  to your hearts content.  Just make sure to fuel up with a hearty breakfast that will keep you going all morning long before you head out ♥

Guided Snowshoe Hike and Fondue Dinner at Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Idaho via J5MM.com

Continue reading »