Wednesday, October 24, 2012



Our happy caravan settled in at the Sandia Casino, along with 300 other RVers, as day breaks over the Sandia Mountains to the East.

By the time I can make coffee, a few hundred balloons rise in the air.  This is the first day of the world's largest balloon fiesta.  Here's the view from my front window.  Keep in mind that we all are parking free while a stone's throw away others are paying $250 or more.

Looking left, a few hundred more are visible. 
They stay up about 2 hours---drifting every which way.  Different elevations have different directioned winds.  This one came right over me 
Every single balloon pilot must find a safe place to land.  Apparantly it's not a difficult task.  All 600 or so balloons landed without incident. 
Afterwards I walk around checking out the rigs.  Could you guess that this monster was German made?
We invited readers and friends from around the nation to visit us here.  Meet CB---from Georgia. He had two motives for coming here---connecting with us and-----
Connecting with his new friend ----a superwoman---local businesswoman---more about her later
A reader from Texas---meet Terry---who stopped by to say hello.  Was enroute to mysterious Chaco Canyon.
Jim rode in from Colorado Springs.  We had a great exchange of ideas.  Sell that house Jim and join us on the road.
Four guest at once ---a near record for me. Left to right: CB, Laurie, Tish and new friend Carol.
And guess who's parked down the way?  Recognize Chris---Queen of the road---doing her morning exercises.
And who should roar in from Illinois but my old friend Ron. That's his "humble" rig.
Laurie arranges for all of us to enjoy lunch buffet for only $5 each. The gentleman to my right is Bob--PHD grad from Harvard. (Biology) who was terrifically entertaining.
Darkness comes and fireworks begin.  We line up our chairs outside and enjoy a terrific show.
A glance inside the hosting Casino.  I embrace Laurie as Queen of Navigation----Splendid settings like this do not intimidate her.  She moves with a confidence that makes flunkies stand aside and nod respectfully---and give her whatever she asks for.  She led us to the exclusive top floor for an "on high"  viewing of the fireworks show---into the swimming pool &  hot tub many times---onto the dance floor----into two weddings and a trade show.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  Ah sweet people---I've only scratched the surface.  In addition to free parking, balloon show and fireworks,  we enjoyed the following courtesy of the Casino:
 1. Half priced giant cheesburgers---$2
2. Free soft drinks, hot chocolate, OJ, and coffee
3. Free popcorn
4. $25 free money to gamble with---you can keep all your winnings.
5. Gasoline at $3.35 per gal
6. Free water and trash service.
The loners around us looked with envy at our connection.
I think to make this lifestyle enjoyable, three things are necessary:



klbexplores said...

Looks like everyone had a grand time! Fireworks and balloons and connection....sounds wonderful!

Rustedgranny said...

Perfect, or as near to it as humans can stand. I think you've hit upon something very special.

heyduke50 said...

hey, that looks like the place to be during the balloon fest...

Gracie said...

You might like my post, About Mormons, in my blog
Glad your experiment is going so well. Aren't balloons fun?

bethers said...

Oh Chris! Good on ya for doing your exercises! It's so important to keep up the cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training as we age. I love to work out. In addition to walking/biking, I like to pop in a yoga, Pilates, or weight training dvd into the portable player.

AndyD said...

Sandia was a wonderful place to be! So nice to meet you, Randy. I love all the tales of the road that you and Chris have to offer. I'm looking forward to more Blog offerings.. (from Andy, Chris' Vt/Az friend)

Laurie said...

Randy, I'm resonating with this blog because embracing 'meaning, mobility and connection' is what "The Quest for Community Caravan" was created for.

Our experiment in living, loving and learning on the road has been an evocative encounter in discovering how transformational it can be when a group of kindred spirits come together to share camaraderie, the willingness to be authentic and the intention of championing one another to live our best lives while traveling as an intentional community on wheels.

With the conclusion of this summer's successful expedition exploring the New Mexico Parks, I look forward to the next segment of our journey this winter with the next group of individuals on wheels who will be able to join us to explore life with "The Quest for Community Caravan".

This will be an opportunity for those people who were unable to travel with us during the summer to get in on the 'ground floor' for this Winter's exploratory journey.

We hope to connect with many of our friends and kindred spirits who have traveled with us and who would like to have the opportunity to travel with us for the winter at the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in Quartzite beginning Jan 7, 2013 which is where the caravan was given birth to last year.

Travelers are also welcome to connect with us at the places we will be camping before then.

Right now the caravan is in Truth or Consequences.

As for me, I'm still enjoying the delights of Sandia Casino.

So it seems that 'I can get the casino out of the woman but how do you get the woman out of the casino'!

I had a very friendly visit from security yesterday inquiring to when I would like to leave which was mighty neighborly of him considering I've been here for over 3 weeks!

So as soon as I finish up my lunch of chicken satay and strawberry tarts courtesy of a convention I was invited to attend, play a hand or two of No limit poker, organize my rig for travel, have one last $2 charbroiled burger with grilled onions and soak in the hot tub by the light of the approaching full moon for my last time you will be seeing me at the save me a spot! (huge grin and hearty laugh)

Until then...I just want to express my sincere thanks to the Sandia Casino and Resort for the opportunity to share the Balloon fest with all the kindred spirits 'The Quest for Community Caravan' met here and especially to those who have chosen to continue their travels with us.

I feel such gratitude to the 'family of friends' we have created and continue to create where "the line connects but the point stays free".

With much appreciation to each of you for the love and support we've shared and that you've given me through the triumphs and the trials of this summer while always and in all ways championing me to live my best life now.

I love you!

Laurie aka

sewa mobil jakarta said...

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Anonymous said...

Randy, It looks like you have shed a few pounds!

Anonymous said...

My 15 seconds of fame! Thanks again to everyone for the great welcome that day. -Jim

more info said...

I feel such gratitude to the 'family of friends' we have created and continue to create where "the line connects but the point stays free".