Sunday, May 23, 2010


As we've mentioned before, we often get asked about what part of Oregon we hail from. Actually, we believe the most useless question nearly everyone asks is: "Where are you from?" Honestly, who cares? What difference does it make where one is "from?" It's far more instructive to find out the answers to these questions: "Where have you been?" and "Where are you going next?" Golly, if someone is from Albuquerque, that's fine, but if someone has just VISITED Albuquerque, then I want to know what they have seen there, is it worth my while to visit, how do you get there, and so forth.

As for "Where are you going next?" -- maybe I want to go there too, and maybe we can meet up, or at least exchange ideas on what to see when we get there!

But I digress.

The license plates on our car and on our motorhome are from Oregon, and we have to decide whether to renew them this year, or pick another "domicile." You understand "domicile," of course. Legally, "domicile" is kind of the place you might be "from," but certainly the place you expect to return to when you decide to return somewhere! Every RVer, whether full-time or part-time, can be "from" somewhere, will have just been "somewhere," and will be going "somewhere." Also, every RVer must have a domicile somewhere. It's a legality that a lot of us never think about.

For us right now, Oregon is our domicile. Why?

Initially for RVing purposes, we decided to establish Texas as our domicile, using the Escapees Mail Service as our Texas residence, all quite legal. However, when Suzy needed some medical stuff, we found that her Kaiser Health Plan coverage (she was under 65 at the time) didn't cover her anywhere except within Kaiser's coverage area.

We had never been really happy with Kaiser in California and decided to try the Pacific Northwest. I had been born in Portland, Oregon, we had spent a bunch of our honeymoon in Oregon, and we just enjoyed the beautiful state, so we began spending a lot of time in Oregon for Suzy's medical stuff. I found a great doctor there also, and we soon were regular visitors.

In fact, we stayed long enough at the Pheasant Ridge RV Park in Wilsonville, just off I-5 south of Portland, that we qualified to pay state income taxes in Oregon! And that established Oregon as our domicile.

Today we still pay income tax to Oregon, we vote (by mail, as everone in Oregon does), and we have Oregon license plates and Driver Licenses. If we were to show you a picture of our Driver Licenses (which, by the way, we aren't about to do!) you'd see our address: "Continuous Traveler, P.O. Box 190, Jefferson, OR 97352." That designation, "Continuous Traveler," is special to us, because it tells us that the State of Oregon values us as taxpayers and is willing to let us have Driver Licenses and vehicle licenses as long as we pay state income taxes. We don't even have to go to Oregon to renew our licenses! The Internet will be sufficient.

So, where are we from? We're "from" the last place we visited! We are "from" the last place we had a stick-built home. We are "from" the open road. These days we are "from" Benson, Arizona, where we have a winter site at the SKP Saguaro Co-op Park.

Where are YOU "from?"

We have gathered a bunch out of our many hundreds of pictures of Oregon in our web album. If you've got time, we invite you to visit "O! Oregon."We had so much fun picking out scenes to show you -- if you get a chance, please visit and enjoy. OR -- make a note to come back sometime when you need a change of scenery! Oregon used to advertise itself with this phrase -- "Relax, in a state of excitement!" Oregon has been a major part of ... Our Life on Wheels!


  1. Very nice blog. I've only been in eastern Oregon, and I haven't yet seen the beautiful sites pictured in your blog today. I thought eastern Oregon was beautiful as well, though.

    I think asking where a person is from is a way of establishing common ground. "Oh you are from Kentucky - so am I." Or "You are from Georgia - what part? I spent 3 months near Savannah this past year." It's just a way of initiating conversation in my opinion.

  2. Oregon is a beautiful place to be either "from" or "domiciled". Thanks for explaining how you come to have Oregon plates on your vehicles. Since you asked, we are "from" B.C. and "domiciled" in B.C. and that's not likely to change - but, we will be "going to" lots of other places both here in Canada and in the USA. Great pics, too.

  3. Loved your Oregon pictures! I wanted to take a picture of Mt. Hood when we were on I-84 on Friday, but it was rainy and cloudy and we couldn't see the mountain.

    We regularly camp at Champoeg State Park, so enjoyed that picture, too! Some day I'll have to learn how to use Picasa.

  4. Have never been to the State of Oregon but have heard so much about it over the years. Unless we go fulltiming some day or are ever able to break away from here for a few months in the summer it's not likely we'll ever get to Oregon. Just not weather compatable for the months we travel.

  5. I, too, used Oregon as my domicile when I first started full-time RVing. My late husband was born and raised in Pendleton, and many relatives still live in Oregon. We always enjoyed visiting the state, and I came to love it. My sis-in-law let me use her address in Portland, and she managed my mail for me. I was her 'silent roommate.' When she moved to NM, I changed my domicile to SD, where there's no state income tax. That decision has worked out pretty well for me, and now Don too.

    Thanks for the lovely photos from a state I also love!

  6. Great post today Jerry. It makes sense to me. Also the photos are greeeeat! Mt hood has always been one of my favorites and who knows someday we just might get to see it.

  7. Wonderful album of beautiful Oregon photos! Lived next door (in WA) most of my life but still haven't seen all of that gorgeous state. We hope to change that soon.

  8. Interesting post, Jerry. Your pics are beautiful.

    We are "from" Washington via California for over 40 years, and we keep our domicile in Washington. It works for us. I am always interested in where people are from as well as where they ve been. I'm just curious by nature.

  9. How do I answer the question "where am I from"...I was born in California, moved to Nevada after high school, met and married Ron who was in the Air Force and who was from Washington state. The Air Force moved us to the Netherlands and then back to Washington. We have resided in Washington since 1979. We are currently from Blaine, WA but right now are in Portland. Now wasn't that a mouthful.

    Loved your pictures. Have traveled both sides of the mountain and enjoy both sides.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures.


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