Jacqui and I have spent 2 years on and off the road. In that time we've been through 2 adventure vehicles, 3 engines, 40,000 miles, 13 border crossings and an unknown number of breakdowns. It's not magic that we're on the road; we work.
I currently don't possess skills that allow me to make money from the road. I'm working on it, but for now I'm an Auto Mechanic. Jacqui, as an Industrial Designer, can come much closer to honing her skills for life remotely, but even that profession is rarely done outside the office.
So in the great journey that is us staying on the road, we got off the road for a bit. It was finally time for Jacqui and I to take a lesson from so many Canadians we met south of the border: work hard somewhere you love while the weather is good, and get out of there as soon as it gets cold.
Enter the Columbia Gorge.
The Columbia Gorge has 77 waterfalls accessible from the highway, one of the world's best network of rivers for white water kayaking, hundreds of mountain biking trails, world class wind for world class kiteboarding, endless hiking trails and easy access to Mount Hood for snowboarding and skiing.
Right up our alley!
From networking with friends we made in Mexico, we scored a room to rent in a beautiful house right on the river. From the living room we had an amazing view of Mount Hood and could watch the salmon jumping in the river. I got a job within the week at a local garage and we got Jacqui a desk at a local thrift store so she could dedicate her time to building a business and website for herself. The plan was simple, live off my income while Jacqui starts building a business and try to save enough from what I'm making to get us down to Baja for the winter. You know, live like the snow-birds.
I won't say it's an emotionally or physically easy transition to go from road adventurer to weekend warrior. But when my modest income wrenching on cars in a small town can earn enough in two months to live two more months in Mexico, the light at the end of the tunnel helps keep your head up. Even when I never got to see daylight Monday through Friday.
Regardless, our time in White Salmon, Washington has definitely opened our eyes to the many ways staying on the road can be achieved. Sure it'd be fantastic if I was a stock trader or web designer who could log on to the internet from anywhere in the world to work my day-job. But I don't have those kinds of skills...yet. Jacqui and I simply have our cumulative education and skills that we can leverage in any way we see fit.
Enough on that for now.
Have a look at our 9 weeks in the Columbia Gorge!
Some pictures of our time exploring as weekend warriors.