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Chico Bound!

Friends and family members were worried about last week’s post. Sorry about the cliff hanger! Before you continue reading, I want to clarify a few things; we are not moving back to Portland nor are we having kids. With that out of the way, I’d like to share some big news!


When we moved from Portland to Northern California, we planned on staying at the ranch for a few weeks and then moving further south to Chico. We opted to stay at the ranch because it’s peaceful, quiet and beautiful. Also, we wanted to give rural living a try and it’s been a delightful five-month adventure. I love having my in-laws as neighbors and waking up to Mt. Shasta everyday is an awe-inspiring gift. In addition, the ranch has been a great place to write, take photos, and to reconnect with nature.

There are a lot of benefits to ranch life and there are also challenges. For us, one of the biggest challenges is being car-free. I love cycling in this area. Yet, being twelve miles from town makes a daily bike commute difficult. I’m a strong cyclist, but my knees can’t handle a twenty-five mile bike ride everyday.

There is public transportation in Siskiyou County, but it’s not easy to access. The closest bus-stop is five miles away, in Montague. Also, there is no Greyhound bus depot or train station in Yreka which makes it a challenge to visit my mom in Red Bluff and friends in Portland. The closest train station is in Dunsmir and the bus depot is in Weed; both are 45 minutes to an hour south of the ranch. Luckily my mother in-law works in Weed, so when we take trips to Portland, Red Bluff or Chico we car-pool to Weed and catch the bus.

We could buy a car, but I have conflicted feelings about that option. Cars are expensive and I’m concerned that buying a vehicle would increase our cost of living, erode our health, and wouldn’t solve the challenges we face on the ranch. As I noted above, there are many benefits to living on the ranch. However, I’ve experienced cabin fever and a sense of loneliness out here. I work alone and since we’re so far from town, it’s been difficult to volunteer regularly and meet new friends. To mitigate this problem, we’ve been talking about renting a car for the rest of winter.

After making lots of lists and talking about our circumstances, we decided to move to Chico in the spring. It feels like the right thing to do at this point in our lives. Currently, we are working with a realtor to find a space for our little abode in Chico and Logan is scouting for teaching opportunities in the area. He has always wanted to teach at the college level and is hoping to find a teaching position at Chico State or at a community college in the area. Plus, we will be able to get around by bike and family is nearby. My brother and sister in-law live in Chico, my mom lives close by in Red Bluff, and it’s only a three-hour drive from Chico to the ranch. And since our house is on wheels, we can always move back to the ranch if circumstances change.

Thinking about our upcoming move is scary. I feel safe and secure at the ranch. But life never stays the same and things can change in an instant. For me, that lesson was reaffirmed over the weekend. I received news that our friend Nils died suddenly. Nils was a gentle giant; tall, kind, and funny. He immigrated from Norway to the United States as a teenager, built a life in the states, and has a wonderful family. He and my step-dad were friends for over 30 years and both Nils and his wife — Majean — were a constant source of support as my dad’s health declined last year. Hearing that Nils died so suddenly floored me.

I know that Nils and my dad are having a party in the clouds. And I also know they would encourage us to move to Chico, to try new things, and to be open to opportunities as they arise, even if those options are scary.

Be well,

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Josh H. February 18, 2013, 8:59 am

    Best of luck on making the move this spring! That is so exciting!! Living in such an urban city as Chicago, I’ve so enjoyed your photos (especially of Mt. Shasta). Also, so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you, Logan, and Neils’ family during this time of pain and grieving.

    • Tammy Strobel February 18, 2013, 9:11 am

      Thank you Josh! We are excited about the new adventure! Also, I appreciate your kind words about Neils. He was such a good person. 🙂

  • Macy Miller February 18, 2013, 9:06 am

    Good luck with the exciting news! Chico is a great place to be!

  • Traci Sabia February 18, 2013, 9:55 am

    This is great news. Like you mentioned, your home is on wheels and u can go anywhere you wish. Yet another chapter closed and a new one to begin. If you can make the trek from Portland to the ranch you can certainly move to Chico with no worries. You and Logan seem to make things happen and get things done no matter the obstacle. It will be great and I’m excited to watch it all transpire. Happy travels!!!

  • Anne-Marie February 18, 2013, 9:59 am

    That is big news! Have actually never been to Chico but understand that it is a bit more “civilization” 😉 than Siskiyou County. It must be wonderful to be able to bring your home with you. Wishing you a great move.

  • Rebecca February 18, 2013, 10:19 am

    Tammy and Logan good luck with the move to Chico. As for where to move your little abode maybe you could try a campground near there. It is worth a try at least. It is always scary to move but, things always work out. I am sorry to hear about your families friend and I hope his wife is doing ok.

  • Cynthia February 18, 2013, 11:03 am

    What exciting news! Good luck on your move to Chico; looking forward to seeing pictures of your new location! I understand how you feel about the rural life. I enjoy visiting my Mom and parents-in-law in their rural homes, but I tend to feel isolated when I stay too long in a rural setting. I like to be able to go for a stroll and pop into the local cafe, visit shops, go see a show or go for dinner with friends. Moving to Chico will be an exciting adventure and I’m sure you’ll settle right in and make new friends quickly 🙂

    My condolences on the loss of your dear friend Neils. Life is short and we need to take full advantage of each and every day since we don’t know how long we’ll have…

  • Kathy February 18, 2013, 11:35 am

    Chico is a wonderful place to live. My son lived in Chico while going to Chico State and bought a townhome there. He has since moved to Paradise, CA which is about 30 minutes away. It is a wonderful city that nestles in the foothills of the Sierras. Can’t beat the home prices and he will be working at the ER Department at Feather River Hospital. Hope you have a good transition to Chico and enjoy the lovely park there, ideal for biking.

  • Becky February 18, 2013, 12:17 pm

    Sorry for your loss, but best of luck with the move and the new location!

  • Kristin Noelle February 18, 2013, 12:28 pm

    Sending love as you make this transition, Tammy.
    And as you navigate fresh grief.

  • Claire/Just a little less February 18, 2013, 1:09 pm

    Happy, healthy choices Tammy. Prayers and thoughts to you xo

  • Natalie February 18, 2013, 1:45 pm

    I admire the tough decisions that you and Logan are able to make together. I myself have a hard time deciding on anything. It appears to me that your decisions are always well thought out and I think as long as you have each other (and other family) surrounding you, you will be just fine. Good luck Tammy! 🙂

  • Bastian February 19, 2013, 12:59 am

    I can imagine that you are somewhat fearful to move again and I’m sure you’ll miss the Ranch and your very special view of Mt. Shasta.
    I’m kinda jealous of the view you have when you get up in the morning or go to bed in the evening.
    I’m living in the middle of the town and this is my view when I look out of the window: http://www.scheefe.de/2013/bestandshaus-25/ Our neighborhood is rather populous and I can’t look that far. I’d love to have a view like you!

    I hope you’ll find a nice spot in Chico – well, I’m sure you’ll do!
    And I’m already excited of the blogposts ond photos of your move. I really enjoyed the beautiful photos you made when you two moved from Portland to the Ranch!

    You don’t have to worry about it as I’m sure things will work out just fine for you.


  • Rick February 19, 2013, 3:53 am

    Sorry for your loss.

    What requirements are you giving the realtor regarding a location for your home?

    • Tammy Strobel February 19, 2013, 7:09 am

      Hi Rick – Thank you. We are going to miss Neils. He was a really sweet person.

      Ideally, we’d like to park our little house in a backyard in the Chico area. When we lived in Portland we rented a backyard and it was a great arrangement. Our monthly rent was $400 and our utilities were $100 and that included access to water, garbage, Internet, etc. We cycle everywhere, so being close to town is ideal. A 5 or 6 mile bike ride into town wouldn’t be an issue for us. But any longer and it starts getting more challenging for a daily bike commute. Ideally, we’d like to meet the landowners and see the property before we move; just to make sure it’s a good fit.


      • Kim Fortin February 19, 2013, 10:02 am

        Hi, Tammy

        I hope you’re taking some time for self-care and good memories since your family friend has passed 🙂

        As far as your moving goes, would you or Logan be willing to document your land-finding process for those of us who want to build a tiny house but aren’t sure who to talk to for finding space to live on?

        With caring,


        • Tammy Strobel February 19, 2013, 10:23 am

          Hi Kim – Sure. Logan will be writing a post about that soon. Also, I’ll record an audio blog on that topic too. We will be documenting our moving process as well.


  • Delicia February 19, 2013, 4:19 am

    Good luck with your new move Tammy and as scary as change is, it often brings unexpected opportunities as well as you mentioned. I am sure you and Logan will take those on with open arms. Sending warm thoughts during this challenging time of grief.

  • Piggywhistles February 19, 2013, 6:35 pm

    You seem to have such an interesting life. I look forward to following you on your next adventures. All the best with the move. I am sorry to hear about Neils.

  • Phoe February 20, 2013, 8:06 am

    Best of luck on the move. Chico is a lovely place.

  • Maria Northcutt February 20, 2013, 9:24 am

    Have fun in Chico! Bidwell Park offers amazing photo opportunities 😉

  • Alannah February 20, 2013, 3:16 pm

    I’m so sorry about the loss of your friend. What sad news.

    Best wishes for the move – I always appreciate how much thought you put into your decisions. You have such a gentle way of dealing with some of life’s challenges, and I enjoy reading about your process.

  • Stephanie February 20, 2013, 9:48 pm

    You both are an inspiration and I’m inspired by you. I can’t wait to see your photos on your new and exciting journey.

  • CD February 20, 2013, 11:48 pm

    I adore Chico… I was born there (and lived there all of 6 months…), but have friends that are more family than friends still there. My brother went to Chico State, and a good good friend and his wife own a Chinese Medicine shop, and are extremely knowledgeable about herbs, etc… http://vitaminfox.com/The_Vitamin_Fox/home.html if you’re interested in meeting some neat folks! I love all that Chico has to offer…. enjoy your time there. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend 🙁

  • Kate Miller February 21, 2013, 3:26 am

    Hi Tammy, I own my home but since the hospital ate up 500,000 set aside to retire on, I am left with a 12 year old home in disrepair, with horrible builders, where most everything has broken. I have six cats with which I will not part. Social security at age 66 in may pays me just $1223. I am a vegan my meals cost $1.04 each, i.e. beans, rice veggies, an occasional piece of fruit. In two years i want to sell my house for cash, it could take 2 years to sell., my car was stolen it was 12 years old, so i couldn’t replace it. My house was robbed of 35,000 in my mothers and grandmothers heirlooms. Needless to say Where do you find a place to park a tiny house? I have looked till I am blue in the face, any ideas? I have no mortgage, yeah!
    I have noticed tiny home land rentals have pet limits for indoor cats it insane. Best of luck with your move to Chico been following you about three years. TY

    • Tammy Strobel February 21, 2013, 8:50 am

      Hi Kate – I’d suggest listening to the audio I recorded here. Best of luck!

  • Kate Miller February 21, 2013, 3:34 am

    My deepest condolences, on the loss of your Dad, and your dear friend, We just never know how long we are here for, but we must carry on, and be ever so grateful for the opportunity to have known those we have lost.

  • Angela February 21, 2013, 8:18 am

    My husband grew up there and his family has a house bordering Bidwell Park. We love to get away there (from Sacramento) and we take our kids biking in the park. Love the downtown area too. I think Chico is a great place to live and is very bike friendly. I hope you guys are happy there!

  • Ellen February 24, 2013, 1:21 am

    Are you sure it’s spelled ‘Neils’? A common scandinavian name is ‘ Niels’, sometimes also spelled ‘Nils’. My son is also named Niels, his name is constantly misspelled in English speaking countries (we’re Dutch).

    • Tammy Strobel February 24, 2013, 6:47 am

      Hi Ellen – Thanks for letting me know. Yes, I did misspell his name. Over the years, I’ve done that before.


  • Christina Nellemann February 24, 2013, 7:54 am

    No matter what our living circumstances are, we always have to be ready for life to turn on a dime. Good luck on your move and I might have to come up and visit you this summer. 🙂

  • Trish Briel February 24, 2013, 12:37 pm

    I a so happy to hear you’ll be in Chico soon. It will be wonderful to have a chance to reconnect, my friend.

    • Tammy Strobel February 24, 2013, 4:49 pm

      Trish – It’s so good to hear from you!! We should meet-up for coffee soon. Xo.

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