Sorry I have been out of touch for a few weeks. As some of our subscribers learned while in Arizona my mother passed away, so I just spent 17 days cleaning out and renovating her home.
I found during the COVID-19 the worst part of having a loved one pass away for me was the lack of closure that one feels. This was brought about because of my family not being able to have a normal celebration of life and or funeral service. My mother was loved by many people and her sisters, best friends, past co-workers and neighbors were unable to celebrate her life in a normal way due to no group gatherings being allowed, I feel for them as I talk to them on the phone and they wait for a celebration of life to be able to occur. As direct family we were able to visit her at her gravesite on Memorial Day and I feel for everyone else who can’t. So my heart goes out to people who have lost a loved one during this trying time. On a more positive note, we are about to hit the road again! YEAH!
I thought what would be helpful is to share some of our favorite items we are packing in our van as we get ready to head back out on the road. Especially, how we can better support our local small businesses! Many states are heading into their Phase 2 of re-opening and Montana’s entrance to Yellowstone is opening on June 1st, so we hope to head back out on the road in the next week or two. We think we will be heading to the Owyhee in Eastern Oregon first then off to Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Since small businesses are the backbone of our country and the ones in greatest need right now, so they don’t close down, I wanted to highlight a few small businesses we are supporting that you may be interested in using for your next adventure or daily life.
- A great herbal tea. If you are like me, I am super sensitive to caffeine, so after noon I need to transition to caffeine free drinks. I love Metolius Artisan Tea Company, they have a fantastic North tea that is a sweet and spicy blend of coconut, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, licorice and peppercorn. Amy and her team are an awesome small business in Bend, Oregon that have created many yummy tea blends for you to enjoy!
- Amazing containers to keep your drinks cold or hot. Another great local Bend business is Hydroflask. I love our water bottles, coffee mugs, wine glasses that keep our drinks hot and cold. If it is enjoying an ice-cold beer, a whiskey on the rocks or our morning coffee or tea. What I also appreciate is how much Hydroflask and Scott’s team support local non-profits and are so active in our community. For example, they sponsored our Surfrider Central Oregon Conservation Summit last Summer!
- If you like IPAs and craft beers then we need to highlight our buddies from 10 Barrel Brewing who gave us a case of beer to kick off our trip. They are also big supporters of Surfrider and a bunch of our events. We enjoy Apocalypse IPA.
- Of course, there must be the coffee beans! One of our favorites is Bend local Strictly Organic Coffee Roasters and their Italian Roast Blend. Not only are they organic, free trade, sustainable but amazing supporters in the community. Last year, the team at Strictly Organic supported our International Women’s Day event at their Bond and Old Mill District establishments!
- Easy to travel and takes up little space is canned Albacore Tuna and canned Salmon. Locally, in Newport, Oregon is Chelsea Rose. They work with the local fishermen and buy their fish and sell it to the public. Great quality, amazing prices and they ship to you. I love a great tuna salad sandwich or niçoise salad with these wild caught ingredients.
- Easy to cook seafood meals. If you are like us and love some good seafood. In Newport, Oregon is Local Ocean and they create a weekly DockBox you can order. It has easy instructions and easily covers two meals for two people. Unfortunately, you need to be in Newport, Portland or Corvallis, Oregon to order but we highly suggest this awesome business who is supporting the local fishing industry and dock workers in Newport! This week we are trying Seared Coho Salmon and Pink Shrimp Crostini.
- A good whiskey is always nice after one of those long day drives. Crater Lake Distillery in partnership with Deschutes Brewery created the yummy Black Butte Whiskey. I highly recommend this yummy Whiskey dry on the rocks.
- I am a big Kombucha fan and I use to brew my own Kombucha since many were just too sweet for me. But in our small van there just isn’t room to do kombucha brewing so I am a big fan of local Bend business Humm Kombucha. They have also released a no sugar version called Humm zero! I am a big fan of ginger lemonade and the hopped grapefruit (does have sugar but isn’t too sweet). Jamie Danek the CEO is an amazing leader and super involved in the community and was one of our first speakers at TedxBendWomen!
E-Bikes make life so fun and easy when you are on the road. Thanks to San Diego Fly Rides, the largest dealer of e-Bikes in the USA. They have wonderful customer service, free shipping and great discounts on e-Bikes! We are proud owners of two new Cube e-Bikes! We highly suggest working with the team!
- People have asked what is the best bedding for your campervan and we have to go with the durable, beautiful and very comfortable Pendleton Wool Blankets! Made in Eastern Oregon, these amazing blankets rarely need to be washed, look super nice and are very warm! Another great Oregon business!