Outfitting Lola: the Airstream Studio: Trading Cheese for Wood

off-the-grid-studios-trailer-beattie_20Idyllic Tillamook County sits on the Oregon Coast. Its lime-green pastures are a popular waypoint for folks hoping to sample fresh cheese made from the delicate milk of celebrity dairy cows. But today, we’re foregoing cheese boards. We’re here in search of sustainable wood to outfit the new Off the Grid Airstream Trailer Studio.

Cyril Jacob greets us at his mill with a jar of homemade honey, stories about bears, advice on how to catch sea-run cutthroat trout “on ever cast” and lots of factoids on maple trees. We mill about the back of the dust-covered log yard. The wind swirls and there’s no refuge from a cyclone of wood particles. Cyril’s running a giant blade thru a magnificent maple log. “This one came from the Trask River,” he hollers between passes. “There was a big fire up there and it burned so hot the ground turned to glass. The days looked like dusk during that fire. They said that land would never yield another tree.” The maple on the belt is gargantuan. Trees such this are often turned into wood chips, pulp, toilet paper or yard cover. Logging operations often leave what they perceive as less desirable specimens to rot on the forest floor. But for a guy like Cyril, every tree holds potential and value. Cyril identifies these gems and meticulously mills the wood, then finds the perfect application, whether for furniture, roofing, or instruments. Some of the sweetest guitars in the world would have been flushed were it not for Cyril’s discerning eye and ethic. With the aim to employ as many sustainable, efficient materials possible for the new trailer studio, we’re hoping Cyril can provide us wood for finish work and other features. Read more

Clear Cutting & Forest Policy Review in Oregon

When the U.S. surreptitiously conducted thermonuclear tests in the Bikini Atoll in the early 1950s, Pacific Islanders were transported from test sites to distant islands for safety. In spite of this thoughtful gesture, atomic downfall drifted in the opposite direction predicted and ash rained down upon islander foreheads. In the aftermath, some people died quickly. Some died slowly in the months and years following the tests. In the decade that followed, babies were born without faces and bones, little jellyfish destined to live on land. Today, traces of atomic matter are found in the DNA of fish inhabiting the waters enveloping the Atoll.
From DDT to Agent Orange to everyday urban smog, history is crammed with cases of contaminants furtively or flagrantly poisoning the environment and people, whether as an act of war, agriculture or forestry, industry, or plain human experimentation. We know how toxic these compounds are in doses large and small. We gasp in horror when we hear about entire communities suffering from pollutant-induced illness. And then we continue to disperse pollutants, tolerate pollutants, enable those polluting. In the small coastal community of Rockaway Beach, Oregon, citizens are drawing the line.

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Off the Grid on Wheels: Meet Lola

During World War II, the founder of Airstream, Wally Byam, was forced to put his budding trailer business on the back burner due to aluminum shortages. He went to work for the cause as an airplane builder. Following the war’s end, he set up Airstream in the very same airplane manufacturing warehouse. With new design skills and an improved design for aluminum-skinned trailers, Wally launched a trailer line that would become synonymous with the American open road. But he needed to test the road-worthiness of his post-war model on an epic trip.

In 1948, Cornelius “Neil” Vanderbilt IV — the black sheep and bohemian journalist son of business magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt III — invited Wally to tour war-ravaged Europe. Vanderbilt wanted to capture the devastated landscape in documentary film. The two shipped an Airstream to Europe and embarked on a journey to record the decimated landscape, a remarkable feat, as cities were still in disarray and tourists were more or less absent. Read more

Behind the Scenes: Gear prep for upcoming film shoot

mikes-pike-flies

OTG friend and Hawaiian bonefish guide, Mike Hennessy (Hawaii on the Fly), just shipped our team a huge pile of, well, flies? The strangely marked package arrived smelling of fish and sand – and unfolded into a treasure-trove of some wild looking creations. Mr. Hennessy explained, “I tied all of these for you guys in about 30 minutes, no big deal. “The duckling” is going to be a game changer.”

Thanks Capt. Mike and we’ll be sure to get some killer shots of giant northern pike destroying “the duckling.”

We’ll be posting more updates on the upcoming film on this blog, so please check back.

 

 

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