This blog is a little overdue…. I have been itching to share about our trip the summer before last, while we were being followed around by a crew making a documentary about our adventures with Frankie. We were not supposed to write about that trip until the episode was released, and well… it was finally released this past summer, so buckle up, here we goat!
While Cate and I were traveling around the West with the kids in Jan ‘21, a talent agent “discovered” us on Instagram and reached out. We figured they had been in talks with dozens of other folks and that nothing would really come of it- however, once we returned to Grants Pass they eagerly reached back out. Since then, Cate and I had been in touch with the directors of The Bond for several months trying to nail down a time to take our trip. In case you didn’t know, the Bond is a four part docu-series documenting unique animal-human relationships. It was produced by Robert Downey Jr. and would eventually air on Discovery+.
As the details came together, and the timeline became a bit more established, we were contacted by two more productions looking to send film crews to the farm. The first was a company doing a promo for Solo Stove. Over the years we have established a working relationship with Solo Stove and are big fans. Unfortunately living and traveling in the west isn’t always conducive to having campfires. The crew came out and took some footage of Frankie, Cate, and myself around the firepit.
Exactly a week later…
We hosted a news crew from Weltspiegel based in Germany who were in the U.S. doing a story about the 90th anniversary of Airstream and featuring a big Airstream rally in Oregon. For those who are unfamiliar with the brand, Airstream’s founder, Wally Byam was an Oregonian!
Exactly a week later…
We got our first visit from one of the directors of The Bond, Sheena,& her crew. We did our initial on-camera interviews in the pasture. I had assured everyone that our place was very quiet and would be no problem for the sound guy. Was I ever wrong! It was around lunchtime and the little quiet road next to us was inundated with traffic! Large trucks from the nearby dairy farm, tractors, delivery trucks…..what should have taken an hour, stretched into almost four. All the frustration I could see on the faces of the crew soon gave way to resigned amusement with each passing car. Oops, my ba-a-aa-a-ad!
Exactly a week later…
The new camera crew arrived. We had spent a few weeks prior prepping the camper for our journey after it had been sitting in the field for quite some time. We also tried our best to get it as camera ready as possible. We nervously watched as the big white box truck slowly made its way up the driveway, followed by the camper that would tail us throughout our journey. As the production assistant unloaded all the gear, including a nice shiny new generator that we had requested, we started our introductions with the “crew”. Brian was our sound man. He was an experienced sound tech that had done numerous shows, movies, and political events. Parker, the camera man, was younger and this was to be his first big assignment. He self-produced a road trip documentary about him and his cat that grabbed the attention of the producers- called the “Ramblin’ Freak” and you can find it here! It was great! https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjU7LDLq_L7AhXgFzQIHbLACXYQFnoECBsQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.imdb.com%2Ftitle%2Ftt6567544%2F&usg=AOvVaw1lDC_ZOxkPnxF8OmrXg3pG
Cate and I are very private people by nature, and although you might say to yourself, “private? But you document your travels on your blog?”, I would say to you… we document places, and Frankie! We rarely ever camp within miles of people and avoid campgrounds and RV parks as a matter of course. For the entirety of this journey we would be accompanied by another RV, two people, and a ton of gear. A lot of the time we would be wearing wireless mics, and being filmed while hiking, or cooking, etc.
Parker and Brian met in the airport and as far as I know, were strangers to the RV life (particularly the way we do it). So here are two guys who have never met, about to travel together in an RV for a month following some truly adventurous (and some might say crazy) campers. If I was them I’d be a bit nervous, but they didn’t show it and were consummate professionals.
The guys loaded the gear into the rental “chase” RV before coming down to attach the wireless mics. They wanted these scenes to be as natural as possible, this was to be documentary, not reality TV. Once the mics were hot, we continued about our departure checklist, bringing the truck in the field, hooking it up, removing the gate, checking, and double checking everything. As the camera rolled, we loaded Frankie into the truck and began the delicate process of extricating the camper from the field. Luckily, things went smoothly and before long we were headed out of the Applegate and into Grants Pass where our good buddy and adopted grandpa Nick would rendezvous with us.
Soon our little caravan was in route to our first destination on the Deschutes River in central Oregon.
Check back soon to read about our big adventure!