Tom Torrens Sculpture


For our wedding, my Uncle bought us a bell that would be rung in the ceremony. It was beautiful, and, I thought, had a really nice tone to it when struck. He thought otherwise (he thought it should be deeper) and used the excuse, when he came to visit prior to the wedding, of needing a striker, to go to see Tom Torrens’ studio and see if he had other bells. Luckily, Tom and his wife live in Gig Harbor, which was only about an hour away from where we are in Seattle. We drove down not knowing what to expect and entered into a very lush, gorgeous setting with some of his sculptures to greet us as we made our way down his driveway.

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Tom converted a ship’s builder barn into his studio where he creates his metal work, which not only includes bells of all sizes, but gates, bird baths, fountains, sculptural shapes and spheres. His work is quite beautiful. When we arrived, my Uncle had me strike several of the bells. To my astonishment, each one had its own distinct tone. He asked me which one I thought was the best and I pointed to another bell not the one we had purchased. It had an entirely different top to it – a little more filagree than the one given to us, so I wasn’t sure about exchanging the bell until Tom cheerfully said, “No worries, walk around our garden a bit and I’ll weld the top you like to the bell you like.” I couldn’t believe it. So we wandered around the grounds and came upon one beautiful sculpture and garden setting after another. It was a Zen inspired garden experience and has to be seen to be believed.

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When we returned he’d welded the bell together with the top I liked and welded the top to a bracket so the bell couldn’t be easily stolen from our yard. He also presented us with a striker as a wedding gift.

John and I went to Second Use in SODO and found a thick, weathered post that was just right and positioned the bell at the front of our home as a welcome and a chance for visitors to ring it on their way to the door.


This past weekend, we took back the old bracket and paint he lent us and John got to tour the garden and then they invited us into their home where they asked him to play their piano. The home was warm, encased in wood, with beautiful art they’d collected and bartered for over many years.


Their dining table is in an atrium setting with an indoor pool surrounded by plants. By way of giving back, the Torrens host several fund raisers in the summer for favorite causes. One can only imagine how beautiful the setting is for a party.

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We’d like to thank Tom and Donna for giving us a tour, their time and creating such a beautiful wedding gift that we’ll remember the rest of our lives. For information on his sculpture work, go here:

We’d also like to thank my Uncle Jim and his wife, Esther for giving us the bell and for being such an integral part of our celebration!

Pre-Honeymoon Honeymooning on the Olympic Peninsula


John and I were married on July 3rd this summer. It was 90 degrees. It was a beautiful ceremony, an amazing weekend full of family and friends, and it was great to be married right after the Supreme Court decision.

Prior to that, we sold my old house, moved into our dilapidated new home, designed, permitted for the remodel and moved out of the home, lived in our Airstream for 6.5 months on the property, did our business in a honey bucket, moved back into the house, had Thanksgiving, moved back out of the house, painted the interior, moved back in the house, finished it, remodeled the basement, and finished all the landscaping. Then I had a heart “incident” and then triple bypass surgery as John worked full time, while we planned and had a wedding for 100 guests. We have to thank John’s sister Fran for help through the roughest weeks.

We really needed a vacation, but I couldn’t do long flights yet. So we planned our pre-honeymoon honeymoon for the Oregon Coast and Olympic Peninsula in Margaret so we could bring Buster and enjoy some cooler weather. It was awesome.


Our first two nights were at Nehalem State Park just south of Manzanita, which is a quaint little town south of Canon Beach and much less crowded. The beach was stunning, though the wind picks up mightily from 10am to dusk and then dies down again. The park was clean, well kept and the campsites quite nice though our drought has made everything look crispy. The campsite was very full so I recommend making reservations early.

Walking on the beach was sublime and we were shown the town by our friend, Sarah, whose family has owned a beach cottage there for years.

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The next day we drove down the coast leaving Margaret behind at the park and discovered the little seaside towns and coves along the coast. We had fresh crab at a little spot just off the highway. There are a few spots to do this, but we found this one not far from camp. Down past Arch Cape, Rockaway Beach, Bay City Garibaldi and then Tillamook we went to explore.

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The Oregon coast is, in a word, stunning. We stayed a couple of nights and then decamped for the Olympic Peninsula passing through Astoria on our way. I always love going over the bridge between Astoria and Washington. It’s an amazing sight.



Our next spot was near Lake Quinalt Lodge at an RV camp right on the lake. It could not have been better although we were lucky as the camp was not nearly as crowded as we thought it would be.


There, we met a few great folks, and we were able to wake up and walk Buster down to the lake and have our coffee while he played.

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We had an amazing and romantic dinner at Lake Quinalt Lodge. The food was terrific including a Brie appetizer that was delicious. The lodge is as rustic as they come and takes you back to the early logging days. You could see from the old photographs how many trees they felled around the lake and how they’ve re-populated the lakeside with them.

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The Lake Quinalt area does boast the largest Fir and Sitka Spruce trees and we took a hike along the trail where you could really see the old growth and then where trees were sheared during the hurricane force winds of 10 years ago.

The next day we drove down along 101 to explore our next planned camping spot at South Beach and took one look at the overcrowded campsite full of box RVs and ATV’s and dirt bikes and every other loud toy and decided to stay those nights back at Lake Quinalt and just hang out. We felt we’d discovered paradise on accident and didn’t want to break the spell.

To Beach 3 we went and explored the tide pools and rocks. Low tide revealed thousands and thousands of sea anemones, mussels and eaten razor clams.

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After the beach trek, I was pretty much toast; worn out from traveling, hiking and such, my body just stopped and my heart was telling me to slow down so John and I just drove out to the Hoh Rainforest and I rested in the car while he took control. We lunched at Kalaloch Lodge, which was surprisingly good! It is another one of the classic old lodges that was built with a 180 degree view of the Pacific Ocean. The trees are windswept, and the cabins sit on the edge of the cliffs overlooking a small cove.

It was beautiful as we drove up into the Rainforest and strolled along the Hall of Mosses. Since rain had not fallen for weeks and weeks, the mosses were not as brilliantly green as usual, but you could see how, during a typically wet year, how emerald colored it could be. We went slow through the trees and the trail was mostly flat so I navigated it pretty well given how tired I was. I am looking forward to being on the other side of this healing process.

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Returning, we met Malcolm and his dog, Sheena, who stayed with us for a night. Malcolm taught us Cribbage and Buster wore himself out running around with a much younger woman/dog.

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We then ventured up into the Quinalt canyon to Grave’s Campground and stumbled upon Barry, the camp host. Man, he could talk! A crusty old fellow who was suspicious of me since I was eyeing his sewer line from his trailer and wondering where it was going off to and I was asking him about it. He then said he had PTSD from the Vietnam War so I kept quiet. It was a really interesting interaction.

We also were impressed with the backing skills of a fellow streamer who had the best spot in the entire campground along the Quinalt River. It was simply amazing how he shoehorned the vintage Airstream in. The woods were beautiful as the sun was setting and light raked through the trees.

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The next day it rained, Malcolm left, and John and I were content to hang in camp and relax and read as we’d planned to leave the following morning for the Macah Indian Reservation and Cape Flattery.

The drive up to Cape Flattery and our campsite was beautiful as we followed along the coast much of the way. Stopping in Forks, we encountered the oddest, but coolest grocery/hunting/outdoor wear/fishing and general goods store you could ever hope to see. Awesome sandwiches, too!

We almost took the Twilight Tour, but John held me back. We are on Team Jacob, but a friend of mine is still Team Edward. Almost bought the t-shirt, but resisted that, too.


On through Neah Bay and up to find our RV camp with some of the best views of the ocean one can see. It’s on the Macah Indian Reservation and is first come, first serve. You need a $10 permit to be in the reservation with an RV. We were the last ones to pull in and lucked out and got a spot for a full hook-up. In the picture, you can see the camp from the rocks. The clouds were coming in, rays of light shone through followed by the sliver of a sunset at the point. It was truly spectacular to see.

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The walk down to Cape Flattery was mostly on a boardwalk built for rainy days. The views out to the ocean, the craggy cliffs and swirling tides made for a terrific checkmark off John’s bucket list.

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On a side note, we picked up some smoked salmon in Neah Bay at a tiny little shack off the main road. There’s a sign that just says Fish so we followed it. Inside sat about five people while one guy manned the cash register. We were offered a taste and it was delicious, the Salmon jerky not so much. But we bought some and brought it home. We also tasted some salmon that had been traditionally cooked over an open pit on skewers that some women were selling for a fundraiser. It was some of the best salmon I’ve ever tasted.

The next day we drove down 112, which is one of the windiest and hardest to navigate roads pulling an Airstream. But the views are spectacular and you follow along the Strait of Juan de Fuca all the way to Port Angeles. There are some tasty RV camps along the way that we want to return to, but we had reservations at the Elwha River RV Park.

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When we arrived, we were amazed at how nice the park was. Full hook-ups, somewhat narrow, but level pull throughs, very clean laundry facilities and a location that can’t be beat. The staff was also pleasant and easy to talk to. We were to stay for 3 nights to explore all around the area, but had to leave after the 2nd night because we were put close to the septic tanks and the smell from them was extremely bad and overpowering – so much so that both of us couldn’t sleep the second night. We asked after the smell and were told they didn’t have the proper filters, and they’d only owned the park 5 months. If it were me, I’d be fixing that right away because we just simply couldn’t stay there any longer and won’t go back unless we are assured it’s fixed.

But as we arrived, our friend Merideth texted us and let us know she was arriving with 5 pounds of clams from Taylor Shellfish so John and I went to a great market nearby (Haggens) and bought chorizo, onions, tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. We steamed the clams up and they were delicious.


Meredith joined us the next day for a trip to Lake Crescent and to see the lodge on the way to Sol Duc Hot Springs where we soaked a bit. The lodge and lake were beautiful, but the hot springs were a bit of a disappointment. I don’t know if I was just tired that day, or there were too many people or that the pools weren’t what I was expecting, but it’s not a place I’d return to. I’d opt for a more natural surrounding or a place where there are less people. The lodge, however, was rustic, the surroundings lovely and the view across the lake quiet and peaceful. The water is clear and cold and reflects the surrounding trees and sky perfectly.


We ended the day by heading up to the top of the Elwha River where they blasted the dam away to restore the river to salmon and reverse the damage done at the beginning of the 20th century. It was amazing to see how the river has cut through the valley even though we’ve had two low water years. The falls down through the shoot are spectacular and it was a very moving moment for me to see what can be done for the good of our ecosystem rather than greedily destroy things.

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The next morning we went to where the Elwha River meets the ocean and was astonished at how decades of silt had created a huge beach, and how the river had carved its way through it. We spent a fair amount of time there and Buster had a great time swimming down the current and to the ebb.

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Then on up to Hurricane Ridge, a place that John really wanted to see. I’d been there when wildflowers blanketed the ground, but this time the dry grasses were a perfect complement to dissecting lines of green and blue. We spent awhile just looking out across the horizon at the line of mountains, the threatening sky dissipating and the sun rising in the sky. It was the perfect ending to an incredible 11 day journey seeing our beautiful state. Now that fires are destroying the landscape and people’s lives in Eastern Washington, this trip brought into focus how lucky we are to live in such natural beauty. We know that the land will repair itself and were lucky enough to see that rivers can be reborn, too.


Landscape changes every day – sometimes in an instant and much of it over eons. Our trip was but a snapshot – a blip on the radar of time and we were lucky to share it together with Buster and some new and old friends. This trip served as the start of our marriage and was so indicative of the easy way we are with each other given all we’ve been through during the past two years.

Many people have asked me how marriage has changed me. It’s very simple really. I feel settled for the first time in my life, which has not been an easy one. But I know John will be there at the end of the day, I know he’s there when he’s clear across country, or making children’s lives meaningful through music. I am settled, finally, 54 years into a life that could have ended just a few months ago. I consider myself one very lucky (and happy) husband. And if we leave our lives as two halves of a whole, on a beach sustaining the lives of other beings, well that will be fine with me.



Margaret on


Well, since my bypass surgery a few weeks ago, poor Margaret isn’t going to be able to go on the road soon. Hopefully, later this summer, we’ll be able to take her on an extended tour of the great Northwest. In the meantime, we’ve put her up on Airbnb for those people who are visiting Seattle and want a cool experience! Featuring great views of Lake Washington and the Cascades, a picnic table and nice yard, Margaret is a perfect place to hang while getting away. Our neighborhood is awesome, too, not to mention Columbia City with all kinds of great restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops within walking distance.

Check out our Airstream here on Airbnb:

Traveler’s Rest, Florida


Just outside Dade City, Florida is a place where Airstreams and their owners thrived and co-mingled. Developed by Jake Busch, a member of the Tampa Bay Unit of the Wally Byam Caravan Club, Traveler’s Rest was initially funded by Airstream enthusiasts who invested $500 a share and raised over $80,000 to help secure a site. Jake Busch scoured Florida for a beautiful location that could fulfill the dream he had of providing an Airstream Park for wintering travelers.


He found it near Dade City, adjacent to the small towns of St. Joe and San Antonio; the are know as the “Florida Alps.” In 1972, the property was secured, volunteers helped clear brush, install drainage and water, and prepare sites for silver bullets to nestle in together for warmer winters. Wells for drinking water were drilled and a sewage treatment plant was planned and eventually built.


Unfortunately, a corrupt contractor took advantage of the park builders and nearly bankrupted them right off the bat. Jake Busch stepped in and pulled the plug on him, but not before he and others paid him off. By 1973 part of the park was finished along with Busch Hall, which houses everything from church services, arts and craft fairs and, of course, the traditional Airstreamer’s pot-luck.



As is the custom of ‘streamers, much of the work done was facilitated by volunteerism, and several things available today, like the front office, pool, snack area, and Busch Hall floor were the result of loans given for the cause. There was much trust and fellowship as they built out the cabanas, maintained the grounds and enhanced the park. By the end of the ‘70’s most all of the Village lots were sold as well as about 100 mobile home lots were occupied. Traveler’s rest was now a wonderful destination spot for ‘streamers and winter “snowbirds” that wanted a community.



The golden years from the mid-70’s through the 80’s began. Tennis courts were built, Mirror Lake was created and a new golf course added. They were all enormous projects that today form the beauty that makes Traveler’s Rest unique. In 1986 the TR Times was begun by a retired newspaper editor and continues to this day.

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Can you imagine lines of silver trailers gleaming in the Florida sun? If you go to some of the larger Alumaevent rallies around the country, you might get the idea. But Utopia for Airstreams couldn’t last. Unfortunately, Airstream began developing a line of motor coaches that were strictly outlawed at Traveler’s Rest due to a clause prohibiting motor homes of any sort so that sight lines wouldn’t be ruined.

Additionally, Jake Busch was disheartened following a particularly nasty town hall meeting in his own hall. His dream sullied, Jake Busch passed away in 1993.

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Several “founders” stepped down including the park manager. Airstream sales began to decline and fewer trailers came to Traveler’s Rest as the elder ‘streamers declined. Discontent bread defections and many people simply left. Maintenance and park repair fell as money and interest dwindled and Traveler’s Rest was on the verge of collapse until the bylaws were changed admitting RV’s with other brands were allowed to stay. A renaissance of Traveler’s Roost was underway.


As we walked around the park, we were greeted by a friendly wave from everyone. And I mean everyone. The sense of community was palpable, and while Airstreams still dot the landscape with newer and older models existing side by side sometimes, the other RV’s fit in well with the landscape in the various sections.


We particularly liked the area of Cabana’s that were placed next to the Airstream offering what is known as a “Florida room” for residents to enjoy. Airstreams were next to mobile homes, or rested under canopies of Spanish moss covered oak trees.

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The gardens are well maintained by friendly Garden Club volunteers we met. The hall was bustling with church services, the golf links were busy and several people were out for walks with their dogs. They even have an off-leash area. Mirror Lake is now a bucolic view from the wood-planked walks and trails; wildlife teems along its shores.


John and I now know a place to bring “Margaret” that will be close to his mom’s and provide us with a community of ‘streamers and RVer’s alike, but also that promise of a hookup for electricity and sewage for our longer stays. We are looking forward to our first trip across country!


Roman, Josephine (John’s Mom) and John

Note: Much of the information on the park in the above article was taken from their history PDF available on their website here:

Today is the Day for Airstreaming


Three years ago today, I published AIRSTREAMING. And it’s been amazing meeting all of the fellow ‘streamers along the way. It’s Superbowl Sunday, our Hawks are playing and I’m reflecting on all of the great people and readers who’ve found something to love about this book.

I do hope that it finds a large audience someday, but even if it goes along at a fair clip (6 copies sold this week!) I’m a happy man. People are reading something I spent years and years on, and it makes me very proud.

If you’ve read the book, please write something up on Amazon about it. That helps a lot. If you haven’t download a copy and shoot this book to number one – just like our Seahawks. You can click on the book cover below, which will take you to the book for Kindle or paperback. It’s also available on Nook.

So – go AIRSTREAMING, GoHawks and above all, go read. It’s unbelievable where stories can take you.

The Good Ship Airship

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I finally got to me Laura and Kevin yesterday aboard AIRSHIP, their Nordic Tug 34 nestled in its berth downtown amid the high rises and ferris wheel.

Laura and Kevin have transferred their wanderlust from their Airstream to Airship and are traveling to all points in the Puget Sound and loving every minute. I’ve been following their travels, first in the Airstream and now on the Sound for some years and it was so fun to finally meet!


So congrats on your new adventures and hopefully, we can meet up in Port Angeles with both our vessels and hang out soon!

Renovation Underway for a 1965 Airstream Globetrotter


If Airstreams could talk, you’d probably hear some great stories from the first days of this trailer.


Dubbed “The Banana Boat,” one can only imagine the many Mai Tai’s and Daquiris that might have been sipped in proximity of this vintage 20 ft. Airstream 1965 Globetrotter. Found on Craigslist, like most vintage Airstreams, this trailer wasn’t in great shape, but now is being given new life by a devoted restorer, who, from what she told us, is doing an enormous amount of research.

Dena Marean invited us up to Mill Creek yesterday to see her Airstream 20 ft Globetrotter in process of being fully restored. She has a wonderful story of how she came to love this Airstream, but I’m sure she’ll tell it when she begins writing about it in her own way. It was also great to meet a number of other vintage and Airstream and RV enthusiasts as well while we were there.


Dena has embarked on an amazing adventure piecing each part of the trailer back together from scratch. The hull is lifted in the air on some lifts and is undergoing panel replacement and window repair.

Here is the hull from the inside:


The chassis has undergone a full rust abatement program of sandblasting, frame welding and new paint.


The windows are being stripped of paint and then will be polished and put back in place.


The subfloor is being completely replaced and the hull will be restored to a fine shine.


Dena has amazing friends who are letting her use their large barn and workshop to help her restore her dream. She hopes to have the hull completely restored by March and is now working with a designer to begin thinking up a cool interior.

It is amazing all of the things she’s thought of already, and, like remodeling a home, there are so many choices to make and people to talk to. One of the people there yesterday was already helping her with the chassis and pointing out issues. The wonderful thing about fellow ‘streamers is their willingness to offer help and advice in the friendliest possible ways.


We wish Dena much success, look forward to watching her progress, and can’t wait to see her on some of our trips out for the weekend. After all, she has this map to restore and begin filling in with color.IMG_8693