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4th quarter 2022: WheRVe we been?

We went up, up and away in Albuquerque, and then traveled back in time in Sedona, before landing at our winter home base near San Antonio.

Come on. I’ll take you.

Dawn patrol rising at the 50th annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Not so much time on the road this quarter.
In Road Island (truck camper), we completed the big loop we’d started in April,
driving from Albuquerque to Sedona to Boerne (1470-ish miles),
where we promptly moved back into Tex (5th wheel) on our friends’ property a few days before Halloween.
Other than a Christmas week gathering with RV friends in Georgetown, we’ve been parked here ever since.

Albuquerque NM – Sept. 27 to Oct. 11

Balloon Fiesta hadn’t been on our bucket list. If I’m to be honest, I’d say it held a firm place on our “Oh my god too many people let’s just watch videos online because I wouldn’t even go if you paid me ” list.

Turns out that after being convinced by friends we trust — who also happened to be co-coordinators of this year’s Escapees Boomers Balloon Fiesta Volunteer Crew — we paid them to go (the Balloon Fiesta organization, not the Boomers), and $50.00/night for dry camping at that.

And you know what? Totally worth it. In fact, we got off cheap for the scope and breadth of experience we absorbed, simply by attending mandatory crew training and learning some new skills — oh, and by volunteering to use those skills after walking more than a mile to the launch field at ungodly dark & early hours every day, and then sometimes doing it again the same evening.

We knew before we arrived that being offered a flight was not guaranteed, and we adjusted our expectations accordingly. But each of us got to go up! In fact, our pilot didn’t even have the question all the way out of his mouth that first morning, before I had one leg inside the basket.

We worked hard, lost sleep, learned a lot, made new friends, witnessed jaw-dropping visual spectacles, and enjoyed all kinds of crew perks as we became immersed in ballooning culture. As with other sports and activities, especially those that are more on the fringe, the community is passionate and close-knit, and eager to welcome more enthusiasts to the fold.

Up I went!
The biggest shock is that I didn’t puke.
Nothing like a thrill so unexpected and so intense it makes you completely forget you’ve suffered
from motion sickness all your damn life.
I know that for me it’s as much a mental issue as a physical one, and right here is proof of what happens
(or doesn’t happen)
if I don’t have the luxury of over-thinking it first.

Sedona AZ – Oct. 16 to Oct. 21

We’d first heard about HistoriCorps in the summer of 2021, and immediately signed up for a project in Oregon that October. Unfortunately, it was canceled due to wildfire smoke, and we couldn’t find a project that fit our travel timeline again for an entire year.

When we got to Sedona, we literally parked beneath a rainbow, met the rest of our Week 1 crew, and got to work helping to restore historic buildings at Crescent Moon Ranch, which dates back to the 1880s.

I’ll post some of my own pics in a slide show, and for a better summary of the work HistoriCorps did, I’ll also embed a brief local news video below. We’re not in it, as it must have been filmed during the 2nd or 3rd work week, but we definitely recognize staffers Pete and Sarah — and every structure shown.

Boerne TX – Oct 26 to present

It’s our second winter in a row on our friends’ property, which is a great place to get work done — both theirs and ours, working together. For us, it’s mostly RV maintenance (2 x RV = 4 x work). For them? Well, you just never know what might come up. Or drive by. Or moo at you.

It’s also in a convenient location for visiting friends, family, doctors and dentists everywhere from San Antonio to Austin and into the Texas Hill Country, and we’ve done a lot of that too.

Look at me learning a new trick like a big girl.

Where to next?

A long string of pesky dental and medical follow-ups has us staying put here in TX through at least mid-February. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. We’ll always take pesky over serious, and this situation allows us more time to catch up with family, friends, the aforementioned RV maintenance, etc.

We’ve also thought about making a return trip to Mexico, but this time it would be a short visit to a single location, not a repeat of our 2-month tour in Feb/March of 2022.

Around April, we’ll start moving toward WA to stage ourselves for a summer touring Alaska in Road Island. So far we’ve made precisely one reservation for precisely one week.

We also plan to register for Escapees Hangouts in Fairbanks, Seward and Valdez, so that will cover another 3 weeks, but mostly we’ll wing it like we typically do.

We’ve got you covered, 4th of July weekend.

Alaska will be our 50th state since we started full-time RVing in 2015. No, we did not RV to Hawaii, smartass. We stashed the 5th wheel at a military campground near ATL and flew there during Year 4.

Checking off the last state doesn’t mean we’re done roaming, but it does open up some space for recalculating and reevaluating our priorities for whatever comes after — and I won’t lie, we’re doing that.

There’s a specific plan percolating, but whether or not it happens is not under our control. Nope, we’re not buying a house or land. Yep, I’ll be able to share the news in our next quarterly update if it’s a go, and if you’re one of the few who’ve heard us talk about it in person, hush.

Until then, Happy New Year, and be sure to check in with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for brief updates, random thoughts, stuff I’m cooking, stuff Tim’s repairing, and occasional selfies with animals.


We started full-timing in August of 2015, but I didn’t think to do an annual review until the end of 2016, and it was just a listing on Facebook of places we’d visited. After that, I started using a quarterly format.

3rd quarter 2022: WheRVe we been?

Remember that time we left Maine in August and drove all the way to southern California for our pumpkin patch jobs that started in September? That was in 2019, and although the line on the map below makes it look like we’d perhaps forgotten that 3-week endurance test, we most definitely had not.

This year we made a similar diagonal, from Nova Scotia to New Mexico, but took closer to 6 weeks to do it.

We is smarter.

Being a little more pressed for time than usual, I’ll jump right into the maps and a quick sampler of our 3rd quarter travels. We’re currently in Albuquerque for the 50th Annual International Balloon Fiesta, volunteering with the Escapees Boomers, and our training/crewing schedule is going to have us keeping unusual hours. Hello to 4:00 a.m. wake-ups, afternoon naps, evening glows, and the sights & camaraderie that will make it all worthwhile.
From July to September, we racked up 8 US states, 5 Canadian provinces, and 6019 miles — only as measured directly between overnight stops, not all of which are on the map — on a jaunt that took us from MA, NH, ME to NB, NS, PEI, QC, ON to MI, WI, OK, NM.
We put way more miles than that on the truck, sometimes with the camper on, sometimes without, as we ran errands and visited people at each location.
(Map does not reflect actual routing.)
Just for giggles, I also made this very rough map of the counterclockwise loop we’ll have completed by the time we get back to San Antonio next month. We took off in Road Island in late April, and will return almost exactly 6 months later. It’s been a lot — in a good way.

Slide Show 1: NH & ME

Slide Show 2: NS-PEI-ON Canada

Slide Show 3: MI-WI-OK

Where to next?

After our gig here at Balloon Fiesta, we’ll head toward Sedona, AZ, for a week of volunteer preservation work with HistoriCorps at Crescent Moon Ranch. We’d first heard about this organization last summer, and immediately signed on for an October 2021 project in Oregon, but it was canceled on short notice due to excessive wildfire smoke. When the Sedona project popped up for this fall, it took all of two minutes to decide that the detour would be worth delaying our return to Home Base San Antonio by another week.

So yes, after that, we’re back in central Texas for the winter, for the usual visits with family & friends, all the winter holidays, and the doctor-and-dentist-go-round. We’ll also move out of Road Island (~150sf) and back into Tex (~320sf), and won’t that feel all kinds of extravagantly spacious!


We started full-timing in August of 2015, but I didn’t think to do an annual review until the end of 2016, and it was just a listing on Facebook of places we’d visited. After that, I started using a quarterly format.