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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 3Q 2022
- 2Q 2022
- 1Q 2022
- 4Q 2021
- 3Q 2021
- 2Q 2021
- 1Q 2021
- 4Q 2020
- 3Q 2020
- 2Q 2020
- 1Q 2020
- 4Q 2019
- 3Q 2019
- 2Q 2019
- 1Q 2019
- 4Q 2018
- 3Q 2018
- 2Q 2018
- 1Q 2018
- 4Q 2017 (doubles as 3rd installment of our Amazon Camperforce write-up)
- 3Q 2017
- 2Q 2017
- 1Q 2017