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there’s no place like (a new) home

The Four R's move to Bend, Oregon; "Portland Insider" app for iPhone and iPad


This month we started the bassackward process of relocating our belongings to Bend, Oregon, a three-plus hour drive from Portland.


Why Bend? It’s a fishin’ hikin’ skiin’ bikin’ town, all activities Ralph enjoys and I will, too when the right loaded firearm is pointed at my head. Compared to hipster Portland (“a city where young people go to retire,” as observed in Portlandia), Bend culture can best be described as “emerging”. But I love the pine smells, the clean high desert ambience and relative lack of traffic #inBend. The new house, set back from the street and far from the neighbors, is surrounded instead by wildlife and easterly views, and came with a pull through driveway and civilized gravel pad upon which to park the DWR.

What I won’t miss about Portland

1. Rain. Its wet reputation? All true. Oh, you’ll read “yes, but, [insert town in Hawaii or the deep South] has blah blah more rainfall inches per year” but that stat must have more to do with the accumulation of occasional torrential downpours, not the persistent, dank, bone chilling, continual grey drizzle that typifies Portland’s miserable weather. Here’s how much it rains: Shoppers at Safeway hand off their “dry” grocery cart at the entrance. (Others must use provided paper towels to wipe down the soaking wet carts.) Outdoor event coordinators buy “rain insurance”. Outdoor weddings are scheduled with a contingency plan. Due to depression and suicide (often linked to the weather), Portland ranks reliably high in the annual “America’s Unhappiest City” lists.


2. Mexican food :: lack thereof.


3. Smug jaywalkers and bicycle terrorists (you know who you are).


4. The rush hour bottleneck on I5 between Portland and The Couve, effectively trapping residents behind state lines between 2 and 7pm.

What I will miss

Virtually everything else. Portland, Oregon is the most eccentric, vital, stimulating, and flat out fun location in the country (north of San Francisco and west of New Orleans).


Like a New Yorker who leaves the city without ever going to the Met, I’m saddened by all I haven’t done and took for granted; real music, edgy food, and whimsical events available right outside my door, every day, every night of the week.


Before leaving I authored an iPhone app, Portland Insider, as a sort of love letter to the city. (Please buy a copy! It’s only $2.99 and I get a buck for each one sold. I can’t say proceeds will go to charity unless you consider my Airstream habit one.) Perfect for visitors who are looking for Rose City activities beyond the mainstream


10 Responses to “there’s no place like (a new) home”

  • “3. Smug jaywalkers and bicycle terrorists (you know who you are).” hahaha! Rhonda you’re hilarious! And I totally know who you’re talking about…. Portland will miss you! Can’t wait to read all about your adventures in Bend!!

  • Leo:

    You will be 3-plus hours closer to Black Rock City! Hope the move goes well for you.

    • Rhonda:

      Hey, good point! Those hours to TTITD add up.
      Closer to Crater Lake too; looking forward to doing some weekend camping there.

  • Hey Rhonda
    I stumbled upon your blog while doing some research on Airstreams. I’m thinking of buying one and making the opposite move you just made (from Bend to Portland.) I thought I’d be able to find some cool little hide out of folks living out of their trailers. All I can seem to find instead are really fancy RV parks, parks way outside of town, or parks that cater to retirees. I’m 33 so I’m definitely looking for some kind of community in that range.

    Any thoughts on Portland? Sounds like you are the expert. I’ve enjoyed your blog.

    • admin:

      Hi Laurel! Great to hear from you. I don’t know of any enclaves of thirty something fulltiming Airstreamers in Portland. You’d think there’d be a whole community as such, but, alas. Most of the younger fulltimers I know are wanderers and technomads (read about some of them and their lifestyle here:

      You can meet fun Airstreaming Oregonians–many from Portland–through the Oregon Unit of the WBCCI. Check them out on Facebook: Airstream Living – Oregon Unit #090 WBCCI – at

      The Silver Sisters, also on Facebook, is a group that celebrates “women Airstreamers, towing their own campers and taking on the world!”

      Finally, check out the Riveted blog:
      Portlanders Kevin and Laura are practically fulltiming and they’re a blast.

      Thanks for your comment! Please keep in touch. Let me know if you’d like to connect with someone at the Airstream dealership, I know a guy (gal, actually).

      There’s a big Sovereign for sale on Hwy 20 near the Forum mall…!

  • Hey Rhonda
    Thanks so much for the reply and the info. All these links are fantastic and really helpful. I’m going to check out that Sovereign. I just stayed in my friend’s renovated one in Salt Lake when I was there and it was really really cool but I think they want like 100 grand for it. Does that sound like too much for a renovated one? It has solar panels and is pretty ecolux in general but I see there are super fancy new ones out there for more like 80…. Thanks again for your help and advice! See you around town!

    • admin:

      Ugh, I’m the last one to ask about prices, having paid WAY too much for my crazy wonderful DWR. I’d check out the Airforums ( for advice. Check out the “Airstream Inspectors” box on the right of the home page. See ya!

  • Ian:

    Guys, How is life in Bend. Just wanted to drop a line and say hi. I’m sure Ralph has fished out the river already. I know he is hating not coming back to work for Kym.
    Hope all is well and happy travels.

    • Rhonda:

      Hey Ian! We’ve been on the road so much this summer that Ralph hasn’t been in the Deschutes at all! But, ask him about fishing Detroit Lakes, MN sometime. Have a great school year!

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