This last summer, my husband and I took a three day whitewater rafting trip on the South Fork of the American River in central California. This area of the state has a culture of its own. While the mountains and the coast have the ski and surf bum, the American River is home to the seasonal river guide. Many of these river guides come from all over the country to raft and kayak one of the most popular rivers in the West and they live from May to October in a hodgepodge of dwellings.
The river guides we rafted, ate and played in the water with lived in tents at nearby campgrounds, in temporary buildings on land leased by various rafting companies or in VW buses in the parking lot. One of the guides even lived the entire summer in a hammock strung up between two live oak trees. The guides used the campground bathrooms and showers and cooked in outdoor kitchens. Around the river, and in the massive, thorny blackberry bushes these free spirits squat in what might seem like terrible living conditions, but what they see as the best way to experience the river. Continue Reading »
If you live in a ski town, keep an eye out for a truck towing an elegant tiny house and five ski bums on the lookout for some great powder and free Wi-Fi. For six weeks, Molly Baker, Zack Griffin, Neil Provo and their videographers Sam Griffin and Andy Walbon will be road tripping around North America in a 112 square foot house on wheels and will be posting their videos online. The idea behind the trip is to find grassroots ambassadors for the outdoor gear company, Outdoor Research, ski some of winter’s best deep powder and meet fellow ski enthusiasts. They also wanted to take this trip in a tiny house to show that a passionate and low-impact lifestyle could be had for little cost.
“We are refining the entire process of living as ski bums,” Zack said. “It is really about figuring out what you do and don’t need. For me, I want to ski and there isn’t much else that I need.”
Initially, the group thought they would take the trip in a van with a wood stove – similar to one that Zack lived in in the parking lot of Mt. Baker. But, after seeing some of the Tumbleweed tiny houses, the crew decided a custom built house would meet all their needs. Continue Reading »