WheRVe we been? Our travels, 4th quarter 2021

December sunset on our friend’s property near Boerne, TX, our current home

As the sun sets on this year, we are looking toward a 2022 in which we will not be full-time RVers.

Eyebrows down. It’s really not as dramatic as all that.

We’re not coming off the road; we’re just exploring it via alternate means for a couple of months, and I’ll get to that in the “Where to next” section, I promise. No clickbait here — just a little suspense.

Let’s start like we usually do, with a map of our travels since the last quarterly update.

We spent the first few nights of October dry camping at a nondescript county fairgrounds complex in OR, just killing time until our next reservation.
From there, we traveled to UT, then NM, then TX, where we’ve been since Nov. 1.
RV miles traveled this quarter: about 2360  
(Map does not reflect exact routing.)

Utah/Virginia ~ October 4-14

Tim and the RV babysat each other at Hill AFB, while I flew to coastal VA for my 27th (mostly) annual girlfriends’ weekend — at which no babysitters are allowed even though there is no actual adult in charge. We eat, drink, and spend too much, don’t sleep enough, laugh until we pee, and regret nothing.

Hobbs, NM ~ October 18 to November 1

The minute registration opened for the Escapees Habitat for Humanity Hangout back in June, my fingers were on the keyboard. Two weeks of construction work for the greater good? Sign us the hell up and take our money.

There were two main projects at the affiliate in Hobbs. Not only did Hangout attendees get the home building experience that everyone pictures when they think of Habitat for Humanity, but we also helped move the ball significantly forward on renovating a recently purchased church building into their new multi-purpose headquarters (offices, meeting spaces, and a ReStore) — all of which will help further their mission and benefit the Hobbs community.

Many of us learned entirely new skills: tiling, mudding & taping, hanging drywall, reading blueprints, framing and standing up walls, and more. We also had a team of kitchen volunteers who prepared and served hearty hot lunches, the cost of which was budgeted into our Hangout fees, on most work days.

It was emotional, exhausting, and gratifying, and in addition to bonding with so many new friends, we all have an open invitation to return to Hobbs on our own, park our RVs, and raise our hammers any time we want to put in a few days or weeks of work.

Our friend, Dan, created this clever trailer-style video to capture the feel of the Hangout in one perfect minute.

Texas ~ November 1 to present

We spent a week at one of the crown jewels of the Texas State Parks system, Palo Duro Canyon, which is near Amarillo. But… the black tank valve got stuck, necessitating a multi-day, messy and expensive repair effort, leaving us with only one day to go on a hike, on which we got separated, and Tim spent an hour searching for me because I thought he’d know I’d return to the truck, but it turns out he didn’t know that at all. We are almost to the someday of “someday we’ll look back at this and laugh.”

After that, we rolled onto a friend’s ranch property near charming Boerne, TX, and other than two brief side trips, we’ve been here ever since. From here, it takes us only 40-60 minutes to get where we need to go in San Antonio to visit family, doctors and dentists, plus we get scenic views and quiet nights, with almost no traffic on our little ranch road.

We really hadn’t expected to be here this long (our original plan involved spending more of this winter boondocking in the desert), but lengthy gaps between follow-up appointments are keeping us anchored to San Antonio through January. Thankfully, the issues are merely pesky and not serious, and we’re near tons of family, friends, tacos and margaritas, so what’s not to love?

Have to admit it. That man I married looks pretty damn happy with ranch life.

And then there were the dogs

As I was reviewing photos for this post, I realized we got to give lots of ear scruffles and lap snuggles over the past three months. Here. You can meet them all too.

Where to next?

Did you think I’d forgotten that thing I said up there about not being full-time RVers in 2022? It’s true. We’re leaving the truck and RV here on the ranch and flying to Mexico for two months — at least, that is the plan unless things become utterly f*cked by the continuing pandemic, in which case I might not be writing the quarterly update I expect to write come April 1.

But if it happens, we’ll be spending February on the mainland near Guadalajara, and March on the Baja near Cabo. I’d love to tell you more, but in our typical “meh, it’ll all work out” fashion, all we’ve got locked in so far are our one-way tickets to Guadalajara on Feb. 1, which leaves me with just one thing left to say.

Hasta la vista. Maybe?


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.

More True Tales from the Laundromat: 2021 edition

If you remember giggle-snorting over my 2018 compilation of Top 20 True Tales from the Laundromat, you are not alone. It has endured as one of my most popular posts, clinging to the top of the list like an acrylic sock to a fleece jacket.

And guess what. I’ve continued to collect these stories since then, and I’m giving you a quarter’s worth more — no scrounging for actual coins required!

To recap:

One of many “You Do You” facets of RV life is that some folks go for the in-coach washer and dryer, and others don’t. Although we’ve got dedicated hookups for them in our bedroom closet, we opted against installing our own machines, and here’s why: We didn’t want to sacrifice the storage space, weight allowance, or power & water usage, when we can do our laundry elsewhere — in a facility that someone else has to maintain and repair.

Top 20 True Tales from the Laundromat, OwnLessDoMore.us, November 2018

Wondering about the cost comparison? Well, we’ve been on the road for 6+ years, paying to do laundry nearly every week. Sometimes a nearby friend offers up their machines, or we get free facilities as part of a workamping gig, but we still probably average about $6/week.

A new RV washer-dryer combo would have paid for itself by now, with enough green left over for new wardrobes for both of us. We do not care. The entertainment value alone is worth it to this girl, and since Tim only does laundry if he absolutely has to (like if I’ve recently given birth, or had cancer surgery, or happen to be located several hundred miles away), he does not get a vote. We like this system. It works for us. End of discussion.

But one more thing before I get to the final spin: you cannot force True Tales from the Laundromat. They must rise organically from the lint trap, and reveal themselves like a stain you forgot to pre-treat on your favorite hoodie.

So are you ready to get sudsy? I’m starting with the one and only heart-warming story, and then you should prepare for the load to become a little more… unbalanced.

1
“Here. Let me buy you some dryer time.”
“You guys too. Here’s some dryer time.”
“Have some dryer time, on me.”
A man just walked around the room depositing little stacks of quarters into smiling people’s hands, and explaining that he’d found some cash on the ground, didn’t know whether or not it had fallen out of his own pocket, and nobody nearby had claimed it, so he decided to put it in the change machine and pay it forward.
I’m gonna pay mine forward too.
How unexpectedly fun is this???

(January 2020, Apache Junction AZ)
2
Today you get a tail from the laundromat.
Sorry.

#justsaynotocrack

(December 2018, Kerrville TX)
3
I’ve enjoyed unfettered access this week to our friends’ laundry room and its mega-sized washer and dryer.
I think I could wash every item of clothing and bedding we own in 2 loads. Three, tops.
Is it possible to have a crush on a washing machine?
Ack.
This time I’m the weirdo with the detergent.

(January 2019, Pensacola FL)
4
Wow. I don’t know why they’ve put a phone in this brand new facility at all, but you definitely know you’re doing laundry on a military base.

#looselipssinkships
#opsecaf

(February 2019, Barksdale AFB LA)
5
If I ever forget what part of the country we’re in, I can usually count on the laundromat bulletin board to offer up a clue.

(February 2019, Sturgis MI)
6
They were the same size when they went into the dryer.

(February 2019, Sturgis MI)
7
I literally walked uphill.
Through the snow.

(March 2019, Clarksburg MD)
8

(February 2019, Manassas VA)
9
My first thought was not, “Wait. Is this here because they’ve had problems with snakes? Inside this laundry room???”
It was, “Heh. MiSNAKEn identity would have been better.”
I sometimes miss the important part of the message.

(April 2019, Elmendorf TX)
10
Never — no matter how hungry you are — eat cookies that have been abandoned on a folding table.
The dude who left these behind admitted out loud to nobody in particular that they were terrible.
He had also recently informed his companion that he expected to be arrested tonight.
He did not elaborate.

(April 2019, Kerrville TX)
11
In a room the size of a large storage unit: 21 signs
Nine of them deal with pet bedding.
These humans, under close supervision of their dog, put their laundry in the only machine available, which is the one designated pet-free for allergy sufferers.
Dogs are terrible at reading signs.

(July 2019, Hanscom AFB MA)
12
I don’t always judge the amount of laundry a gal tries to cram into a dryer, but when I do, it’s because I’ve had to pull out every single abandoned piece in order to use that dryer myself.
I dried and folded my two loads, and there was still no sign of her when I left — other than the mountain of laundry, of course.
Someone has an affinity for neon mesh undies.

(August 2019, Hanscom AFB MA)
13
Ohmigaw, I love these things!
I was just in here on Monday, and either it’s been installed since then, or I failed to notice it because that was the day I was apparently and inexplicably giving off some sort of “Hey, everybody, please come talk to me” vibe.
Two perpetrators were representatives of my usual gray geezer fan club.
The younger of the two watched me try to rebalance the load in my thunking washer no fewer than three times before informing me that I shouldn’t feel bad because it’s the one that always does that.
The older one, at 86, is still working 16-hour days, says he’s found the secret to longevity, and I can ask anyone in Alamogordo how to find him if I want to talk more about it.
There was also an old Asian woman who didn’t speak quite enough English for me to understand her, so I just smiled and nodded until she left.
It later occurred to me that she might have been saying some version of, “You just put your stuff in the washing machine that always thunks through the spin cycle, unbalanced load or not.”
The fourth and final one was a grandmotherly woman who leaned over toward me as she was walking by, and confided in a low voice, “I know you told that gentleman that you don’t usually talk to men in laundromats, but I met my second husband that way.”
I bet none of those books contains shit like this. Not one.

(January 2020, Alamogordo NM)
14
I bet he likes pinna coladas.

(March 2020, Borrego Springs CA)
15
Your mother doesn’t work here.
Left you a note though.

(August 2020, Kanab UT)
16

(October 2020, Seguin TX)
17
Wearing the pants you can’t figure out how to wash, fluff and fold on laundry day?
You have to admire that boy’s sense of logic.
Maybe try a car wash for those?

(April 2021, Sturgis MI)
18

(April 2021, St. Croix Falls WI)
19
Ew.
It’s one of the dirtiest I’ve patronized, but at least the name is amusing.
Note to self: check dates of last tetanus and hepatitis shots. Maybe google “cholera symptoms” too.
Sandra Dee would not approve.

(April 2021, Wagoner OK)
20
Why the quotation marks?
Why is it not emblazoned over the sink?
Wouldn’t “Wipe your butt —seriously” be a better option in this location?
I have so many questions.

(June 2021, Lake Dallas TX)
21
Teen photo shoot in the laundromat.
Can somebody please help me find my eyeballs?
They’ve rolled out of my head and under a washing machine.
Sheesus.

(July 2021, Coeur d’Alene ID)
22
Threw our stuff into an empty dryer.
Hit start.
Opened it five minutes later to pull out a couple of shirts. (I don’t iron.)
This bright green pet bed jumped out like a Muppet freed from captivity.
We do not have a pet.
I did not put the furry thing in there.
Guess it had been clinging to the top of the drum like Tom Cruise doing some stunt in Mission: Impossible.

(August 2021, Chimacum WA)
23
When the laundromat is attached to the bar…

(September 2021, Bend OR)
24
Based on where we are, I know that they mean the greasy clothing worn by local oil field workers.
But I still couldn’t help wondering who would stuff Danny Zuko — or any other T-Birds for that matter — into a top loader.
And don’t even get me started on the apostrophe.

(October 2021, Hobbs NM)
25
Although it sounds contrary to my posts over the last six years, there really is no drama in laundromat.
Spelling matters.
That is all.
(September 2021, Garibaldi OR)

Author’s note: Just like last time, these posts came from my personal Facebook account. I don’t think it’s plagiarism if I copy & paste my own work, but I thought I’d better explain myself to those of you who are thinking, “Hmmmm. I’m pretty sure I’ve read this before…”