Austin, TX: Crash Landing & Tiny Video Tours

Austin, TX: Crash Landing & Tiny Video Tours
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Tiny House Gj in Texas

Tiny House Crashing Landing in Austin

We arrived at Chicon Collective at 8pm on Saturday night, tired from the 377 mile drive from Lafayette. Jack, our host, met us there. We had reached out for parking only a few days prior, and Jack graciously offered the Collective. The three of us scouted the location and agreed that the only possible parking spot was located behind the building, in a small lot with a steep driveway.

Ignoring our gut instincts, we backed the house slowly up the steep incline. I watched apprehensively as a crowd started to gather. Guillaume reversed the house slowly uphill, the trailer creaking loudly as it inched backwards.

“For the record, I don’t think this is a good idea,” I said, as the tongue of the trailer scrapped across the pavement. And then we heard a sickening CRUNCH, as our water heater exhaust pipe broke apart underneath our trailer.

So, we gave up and rolled away with our tail between our legs. But the hellish night didn’t end there.

We drove to the nearest campground. FULL. The next nearest. FULL. The time was now 10:30pm, and we were emotionally drained. Guillaume and I drove to Wal-Mart and parked in the back of the lot. We didn’t have electricity, but it didn’t matter. We threw ourselves into our loft, letting our stress melt into the mattress.

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Eddie & Lacey’s Tiny House Tour

The following morning we drove thirty minutes north to park near another tiny house in Georgetown, Texas. Eddie and Lacey’s tiny house isn’t quite finished. They still need a bathroom and kitchen, but they are already living in it, utilizing the campground‘s facilities. Recently they got engaged, so I guess tiny house living has brought them closer together (in more ways than one)!

A quick lunch out with Lacey at Eats on 8th cheered us some, but later that evening an icy rain froze our plans of venturing into Austin. Our porch was covered with a thick layer of slippery glass and was so dangerous I couldn’t step outside without risking a disastrous fall. For the first time, I wished we had a porch post or railing to steady myself.

On top of everything else, Guillaume became sick with a nasty cold. Sadly we had no choice but to huddle inside until our open house the following day. Skipping a night out in Austin, yet again.

The open house went well.  Jack had a keg of beer donated from a local brewery, and about forty attendees bundled up and braved the weather to tour our house. After that, we had to leave Austin and continue west to keep our schedule.

Two Epic Tree House Tours

On our way out of town, we stopped at Cypress Valley Canopy Tours just outside of Austin. Cypress Valley offers zipline tours and tree houses designed by Will Beilharz of ArtisTree available for overnight lodging. The tree houses are absolutely incredible. Well designed, luxurious and unique!

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“The Nest” at Cypress Valley

“The Nest” Tree House

The Nest is a multi-level tree house with a kitchen, butterfly hatchery, outdoor shower, roof garden and so much more! The inspiration behind this tree house came from the Swiss Family Robinson tree house. Can you see it? 

Will designed “The Nest” around a group of Cypress trees, but unfortunately the trees recently perished in a wild fire. Instead of tearing down the dead trees and “The Nest” tree house, Will decided to preserve the cypress tree trunks. He engineered a metal arch with support cables over the cypress trunks and coated the wood with a protective oil to reduce rot and insect damage. In the spring time, the metal arch will support a living canopy made from local plants, re-creating the lush canopy that was once present before the wild fire.

“The Lofthaven” Tree House

Next, The Lofthaven. An elevated yurt-style tree house with a wrap around porch and a huge bald cypress acting as the centerpiece. The tree house was actually built to grow with the tree; now that’s respecting nature. To construct this beautiful yurt in the sky, Will had to zip-line materials into the tree, one by one!

Will is building two more tree houses on the property at Cypress Valley. These new tree houses will be shaped like the leaves from a local tree. Make sure you keep checking ArisTree‘s website to see these new structures.

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Opie’s BBQ

Texas Barbecue

As we headed west, Guillaume and I stopped off at Opie’s BBQ for lunch. We wanted the “Texas Barbecue” experience, and we got it! We choose our meat from a heated barrel, then we picked our sides and sat down at a table with parchment paper for plates.

It was hands down the best barbecue I’ve ever had in my life. How is it I’ve never had Texas BBQ before??? I suppose I’ve thought the same thing dozens of times on this journey so far…

Before this trip, I thought I’d traveled. I thought I knew this country. But I was wrong. 

Up next: We visit a ghostly desert

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28 Comments

  1. Bek
    March 12, 2015 / 1:03 am

    You guys are awesome! I wish I could do the tiny house thing – a husband and two kids make it difficult – maybe one day! I really enjoy hearing of your adventures! Look forward to hearing more! Thanks so much all the way from Australia!

  2. March 11, 2015 / 2:48 am

    Hi there, I came from Hong Kong, your news were introduced by network which interesting me lot. Can’t stop in reading your story, it is something I long look forward to. Photos are amazing and your articles warm my heart too. For sure, I will keep tracing you. Have a fantastic journey.

  3. Suzanne
    March 9, 2015 / 7:11 am

    Hi there, I’m just getting familiar with the tiny house movement and exploring what it involves. How easy is it to get plates for a house? Does it cost a fortune in gas to haul it around? In general do you need special permissions to use roads, ie. Do you clear electrical wires? Is your house generallly accepted in campgrounds? I took note of your Amazon link and will use it next time I shop. Enjoy the journey!

    • March 9, 2015 / 7:50 am

      Thank you, that’s nice of you to do.
      Your DMV experience will vary from state to state honestly, even from one office to another. Our house has recreational trailer plates. We get 10mpg at 50mph. We don’t need permissions and we clear all legal height cables. The house is street legal. And we have never been turned away by an RV park, though we never stay long.

  4. March 9, 2015 / 5:09 am

    Good morning
    Just came across your blog and I love it! We live on Prince Edward Island, Canada and built a similar structure to live in after buying a piece of land, with plans to build a permanent house later on. Plans changed slightly but we still have very fond memories of the times we spent in our ‘bunky’. It’s since been moved to our new location and serves as a guest house. If you plan to visit the island during the travels we’d love to host you to a place to park as well as a wonderful dinner. We’d love to hear all about your adventures

  5. Stephanie
    March 9, 2015 / 2:19 am

    My husband and I were actually behind you guys (and took pictures, sorry) when you were passing through Arizona traveling on Grand Ave headed to Las Vegas! We were wondering what was on the back of your house (or front?) near your sign….I said a doorbell he said a bottle opener….please enlighten us!

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