Tiny House News: Moving to Red Bluff

by Tammy Strobel on May 6, 2013

kitty on the run

Over the last seven years, we’ve moved six times. I don’t think of myself as nomadic, yet I can’t deny that we move a lot. On Sunday, May 5th, we moved again! We hooked up our tiny house to my mom’s Ford F350 and headed south to her place in Red Bluff, CA.

The Why Behind Our Move

There were a few reasons we decided to move away from Portland last year. In short, my dad died and Logan’s job was moved to Boston. Leaving Portland wasn’t an easy decision, but we followed our instinct and moved back to California. For the last eight-months we’ve been living on my in-laws ranch, outside Yreka, California. Originally, we were going to stay at the ranch for a few months and then move to Chico. But we liked the ranch so much we decided to give rural living a try.

It was a great experience. I loved living next door to my in-laws and the ranch is incredibly beautiful. However, there are drawbacks to living in such a rural area. It was hard for Logan to find paid work and I felt isolated. After a lot of thoughtful consideration we decided to move to Chico.

In the interim, we are staying with my mom in Red Bluff. She needs help with a few projects like decluttering the house, putting in a new fence, starting a garden, and going through my dad’s belongings. The lot we are going to rent in Chico won’t be ready until the summer and Red Bluff is a perfect transition place for us. It will be easier for Logan to interview for teaching positions in Chico and we can help my mom out. Currently, we are parked in my mom’s driveway and we live about 10 miles outside of Red Bluff, in an area called “The Bend.” It’s sort of like a suburb, but more spread out. It’s close to the Sacramento River and we have a lovely view of Mt. Lassen.

Questions and Answers

I’ve received a lot of inquires about the tiny house move. Below are a few of the commonly asked questions that have been posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Did you prepare for the move? A few weeks ago, we turned our house around and packed our books, mason jars and other goodies. I’m glad we prepared because it made the moving weekend less stressful.

Did you get any funny looks on the highway? I loved seeing people’s reactions as we drove down Highway 5! Lots of folks did double takes, took pictures of the little house, and gave us the thumbs up sign. It was awesome and made me want to go on a tour with the tiny house, just to make people smile.

The funnest part of the move was getting a text message from my brother in-law, Tyler. He was at the Anderson outlets, with his wife Tina and the kids, when he saw our tiny house going down the freeway. It was a serendipitous sighting! They ended up coming over for a tiny happy hour after their errands.

How are the cats doing? They are doing good. On the way to Red Bluff, they rode with us in the cab of the truck, in their carriers. Earlier today, Elaina, our grey cat, had a little supervised play time in the yard. Christie, on the other hand, has taken very tentative steps outside the house.

When I brought Christie home with me — ten years ago — she wouldn’t come out of her carrier for hours and it took her three days to explore the living room. When I brought Elaina home, she cased the entire apartment in 30-minutes. Some things don’t change.

Will you still cycle everywhere? Until we move to Chico, we will be sharing a car with my mom to get to and from town. In this part of Red Bluff you literally can’t bike into town. Part of the route includes a stretch of Highway 5 and bikes are not allowed on the freeway. Unfortunately, because of the Sacramento river, there is no other way into Red Bluff and for now car-sharing with my mom is a good solution.

Parting Words

Prior to our move, I felt anxious. Moving is always challenging. It’s difficult to uproot and leave certainty behind. However, as our moving date approached I felt at ease and happy with our decision to uproot again. I haven’t lived in Red Bluff since I was teenager and being at my childhood home feels good. Plus, Logan and I are CSU, Chico Alumni and we can’t wait to explore Chico as “adults.”

Audio Love & Photos

Below is a photo round-up of the tiny house move and an audio recording. Listen to the audio below or click here to download the segment.

moving day

heading out of little shasta

resting with the big boys

heading down the mountain with our stuff

Our new parking spot

I’ll post more photos of our surroundings in Red Bluff soon!

Be well,
Tammy

1 Betsy May 6, 2013

glad you all made it safe and sound to red bluff. i loved that area too. i have such font memories of the sacramento river…its so beautiful! also, i remember some of the bike trails along the river in sacramento years ago and i used to get on my bike and ride for miles. in many ways our lives are paralleling. i can relate to the restlessness of moving…i have moved frequently in recent years and have another move coming up after i retire…to where…i don’t know yet, but i am hoping it will clear up as time approaches. vermont looks pretty nice. you will fall in love with that place :) i am betting you will wish you could have stayed longer! well, settle in and have a great week. i will be thinking of you going thru your dad’s stuff. i did that last summer and it was difficult. take care…

2 Tina Smith May 6, 2013

We loved seeing you guys go by on the freeway! Glad you made it safe and so much closer to Chico!! Jumping up and down with excitement :)

3 Deonna Bishopp May 6, 2013

Just bought your ebook & we are in the process of relocating from Texas (where everything is super sized), to California where all we can about afford is 600 sq. ft :)
So tickled I found you today!

4 Pat in Eastern NC May 6, 2013

So glad that you, Logan, the kitties, and the house made the trip safely. That last picture of Logan on the porch is terrific!. Hope all goes well for you both.

5 Paris Almond May 6, 2013

Tammy & Logan, I love following your journey! I think it’s wonderful that you are able to be near one set of parents, then move to be near the parent who lost a spouse and needs your help. I’ll be thinking of you both, your mom, your kittlies, and your little house. Life unfolds, doesn’t it?
Best,
Paris

6 April May 6, 2013

Glad you, the family, the cats, and the house all made it safely to your new nesting ground. Have fun exploring and settling in.

7 Delicia May 7, 2013

I am so happy your move went well and you are all settling in there. I love the photos of the house on the move :) especially your tiny house next to the truck. Great shot! Have fun in Red Bluff and enjoy each moment. x

8 Christina May 7, 2013

We were just passing near Red Bluff this weekend on our way back from Lake Shasta (teardrop gathering) and I was hoping to see the tiny house on the road, but we missed it by a day. I hope to meet up with you both in Chico this summer!

9 Anne May 7, 2013

Tammy – I love your small house and have been enjoying your book which I highly recommend. I have a house full of stuff and am downsizing and embracing voluntary minimalism. My question is that I coupon to save money for our family of 5 and I stockpile the necessities. We’re gluten free because of health issues and don’t eat most processed food. I like couponing and stockpiling because it is cost effective and saves us a lot of money. We have to be frugal. How do you make room for extras in your small house? Or do you forgo couponing and stockpiling? I’m just curious what your thoughts are on this subject now.

10 Tammy Strobel May 7, 2013

Hi Anne – We buy a lot of food in bulk. Some of our favorite bulk purchases include rice, pasta, quinoa, and raw sugar for baking. We store most of the food in Mason jars, which sit on our shelves. Also, we store food in larger containers under the house. Like you said, buying in bulk and clipping coupons saves a lot of money. :) I’ll write a post on this topic soon.

Best,
Tammy

11 ikuko May 8, 2013

I’m glad you completed the moving safely.
I remember about Tammy mentioned about the custom storage function as well as the mason jars, but I was also wondering how exactly food & other things are stored in the tiny house…. so I’m glad Anne asked the question, and Tammy answered it. I’m also would like to know how & where you keep paper documents (tax return & related stuff?) off the season clothes…

12 Tammy Strobel May 8, 2013

Ikuko – We have storage space for documents, like taxes, and winter clothing. Read about my tiny wardrobe here. Also I’ve talked about paper (and books) in a prior post.

13 Louise Krupski May 7, 2013

Glad you made it safely. I hope you enjoy your time with your Mum and good luck to Logan on finding work.

14 hay May 7, 2013

Good luck in your exciting new endeavours! x

15 Dan May 7, 2013

Let me know when you are in Chico. Love to help you take root again.
Dan

16 Tammy Strobel May 7, 2013

Hey Dan – Good to hear from you. We’ll have to get together for coffee. :)

17 Rebecca May 7, 2013

Glad your move went smoothly that is great. I am also glad the kitties are adjusting so far to their new area.

Take care.

18 Anne-Marie May 7, 2013

Glad the move went so well and that things are working out the way they are.
Can just imagine your tiny house causing a “stir” on the freeway. :)
You and Logan are really good “ambassadors” for the “tiny movement.” That is great!

19 Paul - The Kind Little Blogger May 7, 2013

Glad you made it to Red Bluff safely guys. And congratulations for the next stage of your life. The ability to pick up and move illustrates the real beauty of a tiny house.

20 jo james May 8, 2013

So glad someone pointed me at your blog! My husband and I are in the process of turning an old RV into a mobile art studio/home where we’ll live and work. It’s comforting to read about someone else living tiny, especially a couple. Thank you!

21 B.A. Norrgard May 8, 2013

Tammy,

Thank you for writing about your move! It gives me butterflies to see the photos and read about it, because I hope to be traveling the country in my tiny house next year. I cannot WAIT until that is me!

I loved your book – I bought the e-book and enjoyed it so much that I ordered a hard copy just to loan to friends.

I’m friends with Nina in Chico – she works at CSU – I think you all have been in contact about your upcoming move there.

I’ll look forward to your future posts!
BA

22 Elisa Pinheiro May 12, 2013

Glad to read (and hear!) your move went fine and neither you nor the kitties got stressed out by it. I hope you all settle down quickly. Looking forward to seeing more photos of your new surroundings. I love my small pad here in France but I still definitely wish I had a tiny house instead!

23 Jerry May 14, 2013

Glad to hear your move went smoothly, you seem to be old pros at it now! I also ride my bike everywhere rather than drive, have been car free for 7 years now and don’t plan on going back to four wheels, I honestly feel as if my health depends on it! Once I finish my house, I’ll be renting a large U-Haul to move it when necessary, allowing me to store any items that aren’t completely secured in the U-Haul rather than risk the interior of my house getting dinged up. I was wondering if you might share any driving tips while towing a tiny house that might help the rest of us do it safely as you have? Anything extra you do to prep the trailer before moving? I’ve been towing boats and campers since I got my license, so I have a pretty good system for prepping before towing, but I’ve never towed anything 13′ tall before, so I would love and appreciate any advice you might have!

24 Logan May 17, 2013

Hi Jerry, Tammy asked me to reply to your comment. I actually just submitted a story to the next issue of Tiny House Magazine on this exact topic. :) In the meantime check out Andrew Odom’s blog tinyrevolution.us to read his experience on moving a tiny house. Briefly, most state department of transportation offices have resources for max height and width on routes and offer permits for exceeding width and heights. :) Otherwise it’s just like any other camper or utility trailer. :)

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