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Visiting Airstream friends at Champoeg State Park, Oregon


Laura and Kevin, the Oregon couple I interviewed for Airstream Life ("The Technomads", Winter 2010), own a stomp-gorgeous 2010 27′ International. I dropped by to spend a splendid morning where they were glamped at Champoeg State Park only thirty miles from Portland, where the couple enjoys taking their writing work while they take in the view. (Sometimes they tow over to the coast, for a different scene from their picture window.)


Both hightech creatives, they’ve upgunned their rig with sleek silver and chocolate upholstery, the tastiest of household conveniences (down to the ingenious key holder by the door, magnetic vertical spice jars, and wine rack under the bed), and wired it (with as many solar panels as possible on the roof and supporting tech) for life on the road as long as they wish to be away from the city.


Expansive Champoeg (pronouned “shampooey”) State Park offers the requisite visitor’s center with interactive displays about regional history (“Open this door to vote ‘yes’ for a provisional government”) (wtf?), an 1860s kitchen garden, frisbee golf, and fishing in the Willamette River. It’s also the gravesite of Kitty Newell (a Nez Perce woman and trapper’s wife) and the Manson Barn; clues collected during its restoration date the structure back to the 1830s—not the 1860s as previously thought—making it (possibly) the oldest building left standing in Oregon.


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