The Big Move

by Tammy Strobel on September 6, 2012

Photo by Russ Roca

***

On Tuesday, September 4 we moved from Portland, Oregon to the ranch. My sweet husband, Logan, grew up on a cattle ranch in northern California, about twelve miles east of Yreka. The ranch is nestled in a small valley called Little Shasta and it’s one of my favorite places on the planet because it’s so beautiful.

Originally, we had planned on moving to Chico in a few months. However, we’ve always wanted to live in a rural area and this is the perfect time to give it a try. We’re trying to be open to where life takes us and if we like living on the ranch we’ll stay. For now, we’re going to enjoy the ranch and time with family. Rural living is going to be a really fun adventure!

The Why Behind the Move

For those of you who don’t know the whole story behind our move from Portland to the ranch, I’ll give you the short version:

  • Throughout the first part of the year, I was traveling between Portland and Red Bluff because my dad was really ill. We had been thinking of moving back home for the past year and my dad’s illness made us rethink how and where we lived.
  • Then in May, Logan found out that his job was being moved to Boston. He was offered a position at the new lab, but he turned it down because we couldn’t imagine living so far away from family.
  • Then on June 10th my dad passed away and that cemented our decision to move back to California. It became clear that our family needed us as much as we needed them.

Now that you know a little bit about why we moved, I’ll tell you about moving day.

Rolling Down the Road

On Tuesday morning, we woke up at 4:45 a.m and our plan was to hit the road, with the tiny house in tow, by 6 a.m. However, we were delayed. My mom backed up her truck to hitch it to the tiny house and then turned it off. But when she tried to start the truck again, it made a horrid clicking noise. We all suspected that the battery was dead.

Thanks to a prompt response from AAA my mom’s Ford F350 received two new batteries and we left Portland at 9 a.m, right after the morning rush hour. I’m thankful that the battery died in Portland. It wouldn’t have been fun to be stuck on the side of the road with the tiny house or at a rest area waiting for AAA to arrive.

Overall, the move itself went really smoothly. Logan drove the whole way and my mom and the cats kept him company. Dee and I followed Logan and my mom down the road, just to make sure there were no problems. Dee’s car was also helpful when Logan had to merge into a new lane. We ran interference and flanked traffic for Logan.

It took about nine hours to travel from Portland to the ranch. We stopped a lot to check on the house and to take breaks from driving. Today, I need to clean the windows because there are so many finger prints and a few face prints from folks looking into the house. At every rest area, people were incredibly curious about the tiny house and peeked in the windows. I chatted with truckers, older folks with RVs, and a few people who were traveling to Ashland. Also, I told my mom that she should be my PR person. She was telling everyone about my new book and handing out my cards too.

Serendipitously, we ran into our friends Russ and Laura on the road as well. They were headed down to Ashland to do some work. Russ got some fun photos of the little house rolling down the highway. Check out their facebook fan page to see the photos.

I’m thankful that we have a house on wheels. However, moving the house wasn’t as simple or stress free as everyone predicted. I didn’t have to pack too many of our belongings in the house. However, it took a few hours to get the house out of the side yard, in Portland, and settled into the driveway. Then there was all the outside stuff — like the compost barrels, bulk food, bikes, paver stones, and other odds and ends — that had to be loaded into the house and the back of the truck. Plus, watching my house zip down the highway made me anxious.

I’m incredibly grateful that we made it safely to the ranch with no problems. So far unpacking has been easy and we are settling into our new space nicely. And the cats are doing great. They are currently sitting on the front porch basking in them morning sun and exploring the big yard. They aren’t sure of what to think of the cows and horses just yet.

Finally, this post wouldn’t be complete without photos. Below you’ll find our move in pictures. I hope you enjoy the shots! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.

The Move in Pictures

1 chel September 6, 2012

Awesome! Have a great time settling in! (LOVE the book -btw. Arrived from Amazon last week!)

2 David West September 6, 2012

Very cool. Good Luck living in the shadow of Shasta. It is a pretty spot. Welcome back to California.

3 Carrie Caverly September 6, 2012

Tammy – thanks for sharing about your move! great photos.

we just moved our house 500 miles from Prescott to Santa Fe and it went fine – but was not free of worry and anxiety! I kept thinking I was forgetting something… even following my husband’s truck (house-in-tow) I’d get a rush of panic “oh no, I forgot my computer!” Oh, it’s in the house. I wasn’t expecting all the attention at gas stations / rest stops… we gave a few impromptu tours and I wished the house had been in better show condition… instead there were 4 crates of stuff on the floor!

best of luck to you in your new rural location – we’re loving being out on some land – big views and lots of open outdoor space make me feel less like a fish in a bowl.

take care,
Carrie

4 Lainey September 6, 2012

I live in Gilbert and wondered about New Mexico has a place to live. How do you like it? I can’t move my house though. I hear Santa Fe is quite expensive. Is it expensive in a small tumbleweed type home? How do you manage it?

5 ChicagoMom2Twins September 6, 2012

Happy trails. Congrats and best of luck. Stay safe.

6 Patty September 6, 2012

Tammy,
I’ve only been following your blog for about a month and I want you to know what an inspiration you’ve been. I also ordered your book and will finish the last chapter during my lunch hour today – it, too, is full of wisdom. Looking at little houses on-line has been a lot of fun for a condo dweller in Chicago – the seed has been planted. Enjoy the ranch and keep taking photos!

Patty

7 Dana Mohamad September 6, 2012

I love your little house it is so sweet. Does it have everything in it like bathroom and place to cook? What is the sq footage. Did you all build it and what is the foundation, is it like a camper?

8 Tammy Strobel September 7, 2012

Hi Dana – For more info on the house please read the FAQ page. Thanks! http://rowdykittens.com/our-tiny-house/

9 Olga September 6, 2012

I am very glad you made it safely. Nice pictures!
Enjoy new place.

cheers

10 Sherry September 6, 2012

All I can say is wow ! The new place you have moved is so amazing. Such beauty. I know your mom is so happy to have you closer too. Many blessings on your new adventure !

11 Mariah September 6, 2012

So glad it all went well! I can imagine being a bit anxious seeing the house on the road…and I can imagine the interest of strangers too! Certainly I’m interested! That’s why I ready you daily! Here’s to an exciting new chapter of life! :-)

12 Pablo September 6, 2012

Congratulations on the move!

Long time reader, but this is my first comment. Really appreciate all you share!

Fun fact: I live in Philadelphia. Today, on my lunch break, I happened into Barnes & Nobel. Your book was prominently displayed. Congratulations again; the book is great.

Best to you and Logan!

Pablo

13 Tammy Strobel September 7, 2012

@Pablo – The book is starting to make it’s way out into the world. So exciting! I can’t wait to launch it on the 18th. So fun!

Thank you so much for reading.

Be well,
Tammy

14 mary September 6, 2012

what an adventure! glad you guys made it safely. i’m reading your book and loving it!

15 Hari September 6, 2012

I love your pics of the big move! Nothing has ever made me so anxious as driving behind my house on the interstate–lots of deep breaths! So glad you arrived safely in your rural paradise. :)

16 Kristi Bigham September 6, 2012

Welcome to Siskiyou County!! A friend took pix of your ‘tiny house’ yesterday and sent them to me, since she knows I love little houses. What a coincidence that you were coming here with your little house.

17 Kelly September 6, 2012

I don’t often comment on blog posts, but this one brought tears to my eyes. I am very interested to learn how rural life with the little house unfolds!
A logistical concern that occurred to me looking at your photos – did you consider the height and width of the little house during the planning/building phase, in terms of potentially towing it? Clearance under bridges, and the width in particular. “Wide load” signs come to mind with an envoy of police cars to escort it, etc.
Best wishes on your new adventure :)

18 Tammy Strobel September 7, 2012

Hi Kelly – The Department of Transportation has restrictions on height, weight, and length for anything that is towed down the road. All of those rules were considered while we planned/built the house. In short, the tiny house fit under highway overpasses just fine. :)

Thanks for the well-wishes.

19 Melissa J. September 6, 2012

Hi! Glad your move was mostly uneventful!! I just read your book cover to cover and loved it! I admire the path you are blazing and the life choices you are able to make because of your lifestyle. I found your blog about a month ago and have been intrigued and inspired to think differently about my priorities ever since. I’m thinking of starting a blog to chronicle my journey, one of your tips in the book. :-) All the best to you on your new adventure in northern CA. I can’t wait to hear how everything unfolds!

20 Al September 6, 2012

Congrats on the move! My hubby and I frequently visit Cottage Grove, Oregon and have made that drive many times, it is beautiful. I have friend who lives in CG in a tiny cottage in the woods, you would get a kick out of it :~)
PS enjoyed your book very much

21 Lainey September 6, 2012

I totally wish I could live in a Tumbleweed home, though one bigger than that. I need real plumbing and a bit more space. For instance, I’d nee all one floor. No loft for me. Still, I could easily live in a smaller home. I’ve always loved smaller dwellings that were designed with good feng shui. Utilizing every valuable space is important to me.
I would also love to live somewhere in California for the weather.

Portland Oregon interests me so much due to the culture and all those bicycle trails, but I hear there is such a mold issue.

1. Did you find it to be too damp there and were you at all allergic to the mold? The misty rain would be a bit depressing, or am I wrong?

2. I ADORE the pictures that you took. Did you use the iPhone for all of these or the D-SLR?

I love reading your blog and just purchased your book. I’ve always been one for living within my means and selling or giving away things I don’t need. It’s a freeing experience.

22 Big Lake ~ tiny house September 6, 2012

Lainey, check out the Popomo designed by Tumbleweed Tiny House, Company. I’m thinking about building one for my mom when she can no longer live alone in her home.

23 Tammy Strobel September 7, 2012

@Lainey – I actually loved the Portland rain. I’m going to miss the grey days.

I’m so glad you liked the photos. I used my Nikon and iPhone to take the shots. The photos in the collage format were taken with my iPhone. The others were taken with my Nikon.

Thanks for reading!

24 Springleaf September 6, 2012

Congratulations on a sucessful move :-)
Just looking at the photo of the tiny house next to the logging truck made me feel nervous for it and you -although I couldn’t help seeing it as a “before and after” shot – from logs to home!
Am half way though your new book and loving it. I am a very clutter free person and the bit about the bulk food arguments had me in stiches – as me and my partner have the same one, except he wants to bulk buy to save money.
Best of wishes for your new location, all the way from the UK.

25 Shana September 6, 2012

I’m so happy you all made it safe and sound. Great pics. It really isn’t something you see everyday; a cute, little house rolling down the highway. I hope your new surroundings bring you lots of joy and love! I bet Logan will be uber happy to be home near his family. What a fun, exciting experience. May you both be blessed with happiness. :)

26 Shadlyn Wolfe September 6, 2012

Unless you’re one of those people born for travel, I don’t think there *is* such a thing as an un-stressful move. Big, little, near, or far…you’re always nervous about what might go wrong or scared that you’ve forgotten something. It sounds like your move went great, and now you can get down to the good part about a new place: settling in and LIVING in it!

Congratulations on the move, and – as always – thank you for the pictures!

27 Rose Byrd September 6, 2012

Dear, dear Tammy! You have carried us right along with you on your move, with your Tiny House, from Portland down into No.Cal. to the ranch! I just know these next months will be a time of great family bonding and much outdoor adventure for you and Logan. How is it going with that teaching job Logan was considering? Your photos of the Tiny House zipping down Highway 5 in all that varied traffic are amazing. What a trip! Thanks for inviting us along!

28 Tammy Strobel September 7, 2012

Hi Rose – Right now Logan is taking a sabbatical from the work world and he’s helping me out with book stuff. :) He is looking for a teaching position in the spring. Hopefully he finds something he enjoys.

I’m so glad you liked the photos.

xo,
Tammy

29 Cynthia Capone September 6, 2012

great story.. glad it all went well!!!

30 Jennie September 6, 2012

You have to admit: pretty cool to be able to just take your house with you! No settling in, unpacking (much), etc. Enjoy the quiet of a rural life – it is unbeatable :) Glad you made it safely!

31 Diane September 6, 2012

Congratulations on a safe move! I hope you will be very happy in your new spot… I love it that your cats have taken the new place in stride. I once watched a dog on an anchor-out boat, which had to be moved about a mile down the coastline, run all over the boat “marking” because he felt like his territory had changed. ; )

32 Mopsa @ Inspira fundo September 6, 2012

Hi Tammy,

What an adventure! It’s wonderful that you’re able to move your tiny house to whatever new location you desire. I’m fascinated with the whole tiny house ‘movement’!
And I wish you enjoy the first days in your ‘new home’ :)

33 Big Lake ~ tiny house September 6, 2012

Hi Tammy,

I’m so happy your move went well. My husband and I are currently in Michigan building our own tiny house; however, prior to moving to Michigan 2 years ago we were living in Happy Camp, California, not too far from Yreka. It definitely is beautiful in that area. Have you been to Stuart Springs Mineral Baths in Weed? I highly recommend it if you havn’t been yet. A word of caution – clothing is optional. :) Have fun settling into your new surroundings. ~Erin

34 Serge Sigouin September 6, 2012

Thank you for providing me hours of dream ( knowing that dreaming is the first step of any significant plan!

35 Colleen September 6, 2012

What a fun photo journal of your move! Thanks for sharing. Best of luck to you in CA!

36 Nancy W September 6, 2012

Glad to see that you, Logan, house and kittens made it down the road safe and sound. Enjoy your wide open spaces and the settling in. Love to you!

37 matt picio September 6, 2012

Inquiring minds want to know – did you open the bottle of Pinot Noir yet?

Glad you made it down there ok, and I look forward to seeing both of you next time I’m down in California!

38 Tammy Strobel September 7, 2012

@Matt – Not yet! We’re saving it for next week. I can’t wait to taste the Pinot. Thank you again.

39 Michael September 6, 2012

GREAT page!! we too will one day be housing down the I5!! mabe we will stop by and show you our house!!
Happy trails!

40 Mark Owen-Ward September 7, 2012

Congratulations on your move. Hope you and Logan enjoy going rural – have you thought about a mini-tiny house for some chickens? Sure the contrast to Portland will be weird to start with but I can’t wait to see the new photos that will come. Also my copy of your book just arrived from Amazon in the UK! Looking forward to the read – good luck with everything.

41 Pattie Von Hagel September 7, 2012

Love the adventure. So happy you kept us up with your blog. You have had a good influence on me and my family.

42 Tod September 7, 2012

Congrats on the safe move, and all the best as you settle into your new surroundings. Always enjoy living the tiny life through you until I can get there myself — thanks for sharing so wonderfully!

43 Cece September 7, 2012

Thanks for your detailed description and photos of the move, and your honesty about the stress. Still, how great that you don’t have to unpack boxes! Best luck in your new spot.

44 Kris in WA September 7, 2012

Hi Tammy,

I’m a complete stranger to you but feel like I know you really well through your blog and now your new book. I’m glad your family had a safe journey to your new home(site). That part of CA looks gorgeous!

I’m reading your book now and I’m really enjoying it. I’m on the chapter that talks about commuting & other time-wasters. Everything you said is SO right on! My husband was slogging up to Seattle (an 80-90 minute one way commute) most of last year and was just miserable. Fortunately he recently got a job much closer to home (18 minute one way commute now) … he took a pretty hefty pay cut, but we both think it’s well worth the tradeoff (we are fortunate to be able to live below our means). When he gets home from work he is much happier and relaxed.

And on the subject of commutes — our house is just shy of 5 miles away from my office, so this summer I started to commute 1/2 of the way on my Go-Ped kick scooter (every once in a while I’ll do the entire house-to-office commute, but it takes longer and most days I don’t have the time — I like to sleep in a bit in the mornings). It takes me about 25 minutes to scooter 2.5 miles and I get a great workout doing it, and (even better) I feel like a kid every time. It brings me a lot of joy. I’m also very lucky I get to work from home 2 days a week, which I absolutely love too (and hubby benefits from it as I can take up some of his chores on the days I work at home, so he has even more time to relax in the evenings).

Thank you for writing your blog and book! I’m hooked! Great work!

45 Nina Nelson September 8, 2012

How exciting! My uncle still lives near Yreka, in a little town called Happy Camp. We’re currently looking for a bus to convert into a home for our family and I’m sure we’ll be heading that way as soon as it’s ready. Glad the move went well and can’t wait to read your book!

46 Wayne Turner September 9, 2012

Love those pictures of the house on the road! The one next to the giant logs was quite the juxtaposition :)

47 Duff Clarity September 9, 2012

Love the picture of the house on the Fremont bridge.

48 Ihilani September 12, 2012

This is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while. I love the idea of changing places but not changing dwellings. It must be kind of surreal to wake up in the same house but be in a completely different place when you step out the front door.

I love the idea of keeping it simple. We’ve been a pretty transient family over the last few years so we haven’t really been able to accumulate much stuff. I’m planning in keeping it that way when we do settle down.

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