Fiery sunset at Usery

Fabulously fiery sunset at Usery

Desert views at Usery

Desert views from the Pass Mountain trail

So it’s been socializing galore for me here at Usery Mountain Regional Park. Over the past few days I’ve been gathering with friends both old and new, meeting folks right here at the park as well as taking a few excursions to other Maricopa parks around Phoenix. In addition to being a fun experience it’s added to my ever-expanding view of the very cool RV community. The more we live this lifestyle the more we realize there are SO MANY different ways to approach it. What started out as a solitary adventure for the two of us 3 years ago has yielded a ton of social experiences and an appreciation of the wide variety of people on the road….man I love this part of the journey!

The two families at our morning coffee

The two families at our morning coffee

And the kids...from both families

And the kids…from both families

With that said I’m going to start with the new, for both you and I. Before I arrived at Usery I’d heard that a fulltime family  boyinks4adventure were hosting here. Think life is tough with teenagers? How about fulltime RVing in a 30-foot 5th wheel with teenagers? Turn back the wheels a bit and how about getting laid off from a secure job with kids & a mortgage and THEN deciding to start your own business, change your life around, leave your home town and go fulltiming? Well, that’s exactly what Mike, Crissy, Harrison & Storybird (her blog name) did. And guess what? They are a well-balanced, cohesive family with cool kids and a great outlook on life.

Mike actually came over to say “hi” my first day here and subsequently invited me to a breakfast with another fulltime family the UnpredictablePerries (check out that enormous truck!! And how about those cute twins?) who were also hanging at Usery. I’ve known (for a while) that there is a growing sub-culture of fulltime RV families, but this is actually the first time I’ve met any of them. It tickles me no end of joy to see families like this take the plunge out of the norm and raise balanced and beautiful kids. We had a great morning hanging at their camphost site, sharing a campfire and chatting about life.

Lu poses on the Pass Mountain Trail at Usery

Lu poses on the Pass Mountain Trail at Usery

And as for the old? I’ve been knocking around town, taking a trip up to Cave Creek to see our old buddies Lu&Terry, plus look-in on Ingrid&Al. Lu also drove down to Usery and tackled the rather epic ~7.5 mile Pass Mountain hike with me and pooch (lots o’cactus folks). Then this morning I shot up to McDowell Mountain (my FAV county park in the whole area) to hang with Alex&Ellen as well as go for a doggie play & a lounge with Dave&Sue in the big white Beluga.

Shadow of the superstition mountains from the Pass Mountain trail

Shadow of the superstition mountains from the Pass Mountain trail

Call it solo-Dane gone wild, but clearly the party is HERE and we’re rocking in the most civilized manner. Only a few more days of this debauchery left before hubby comes home….phew! In the meantime, I leave you with a few more cactus shots…

P.S. For those interested in more fulltime RV family resources check out FulltimeFamilies.com as well as FamiliesOnTheRoad.com. Lots of cool info here both for aspiring fulltimers and homeschoolers on the road.

Yours truly poses by a massive Saguaro on the Pass Mountain trail

Yours truly on the Pass Mountain trail

Polly on the trail

Polly on the trail

And a cactus sunset

A cactus sunset

A cactus view

And a final cactus view

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43 Responses to Friends & FullTime RV Families

  1. Lee and Shelia says:

    :-)…….

  2. You photos just keep getting better and better!
    Don’t know if you share the same weather but we just had 4″ of snow down here in Green Valley AZ. Rain is melting it away now.
    I’m soloing Valentine’s eve at Kristofers in Amado and spinning Tango CDs for a dance group after. (BTW, speaking of Danes-gone-wild, my main squeeze is from Copenhagen.)

    • libertatemamo says:

      Thanks David! We got a really cold spell here, but no snow at these elevations. The mountains got a lovely top dusting tho’!
      And I approve of your choice in main squeeze…can’t go wrong with a good Dane :)
      Nina

  3. placestheygo says:

    So glad you are having a great time while waiting for Paul to return. Sounds like you’ll be needing a rest!!

    You do meet some amazing people living this lifestyle. Glad you are having fun meeting old and new friends:)

    Thanks for adding more beautiful sunset pictures!

  4. jil mohr says:

    I am with you….I love meeting the people and this lifestyle certainly allows one to do that and meet all kinds of people you would never meet not in this lifestyle (hope that makes sense)

  5. Marsha says:

    Once we met a family of 5 who lived in their 40 motor home and did mission work all over the US. I just couldn’t get over how organized they were. Mom home schooled them. We saw the teenagers each day doing their homework outside. Remarkable how little we actually need to be a happy, healthy, God loving family.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yup, it’s amazing what families on the road do. I can honestly say I think it’s a great experience for the kids. I had a lucky childhood in that my parents lived abroad and took us all over the world…I think it was a wonderful foundation.
      Nina

  6. I completely concur.. when I first hit the road, I thought it would be about visiting places and reforging existing friendships. At first I thought it might be lack of community that tempted me to settled down.

    But wow, there’s such a community out ‘here’ (here being… well.. there, here, everywhere) – that I suspect it will be community that keeps me on the road! The places have definitely become more of a backdrop than I anticipated.

    So glad you’ve gotten to meetup with the Boyinks! We had the pleasure of meeting Mike at SXSW before they hit the road about 3 years ago. It’s awesome to see them still thriving in this lifestyle. Tell them hi for us!

    • libertatemamo says:

      How cool that you guys met Boyinks too! They’ve definitely settled down nicely here in Usery and are camphosting pros.
      And totally agree on the strong sense of community…what a wonderful surprise it’s been.
      Nina

  7. rjrvtravels says:

    Sorry I missed you. I left yesterday before you came over. But I did get a chance to meet Dave and Sue as well as Alex and Ellen.

    • libertatemamo says:

      I heard through the “RV grapevine” that you guys had been in the area. Sorry we missed ya too, but really happy you got to meet some of our other good buddies up at McDowell.
      Nina

  8. Marci says:

    We’re another family travelling with teenagers, and finding that this life is great! We haven’t crossed paths with the Boyinks yet, but hope to at some point . . . both being from MI, we’ve conversed via email a few times. I love seeing your photos . . . we can’t wait to spend some time out west!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Outstanding!! So lovely to “meet” you on the blog. And definitely get that RV of yours pointed west…clearly the party is happening out here :)
      Nina

  9. connie says:

    Will be heading to the Davis Mountains tomorrow and further west after that. What type of weather are you having in Arizona?

    • libertatemamo says:

      Brilliant weather all-in-all here. We’ve had a couple of really cold spells, but then it goes back to good, sunny, cool days. The SE of AZ is higher elevation and will get colder than Phoenix/Tuscon area.
      Nina

  10. Karen says:

    I love your blog, but especially enjoy all the ways you link us to others. I start of reading you, click in a link, and then end up wasting an hour reading and dreaming! Thanks for being so generous with your links.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Thanks for the compliments. I enjoy getting all the links out and spreading the word. It’s always fun for me (and others) to see how big this community is.
      Nina

  11. Boyink says:

    What happens when bloggers meet? Same kid-pictures from different angles on 3 blogs..;) I just told Harrison he was “internet famous” today..:)

    Glad you could make it over – I didn’t realize we were the first full-timing families you’ve connected with! I’m guessing as a group we’re less likely to be out boondocking.

    @Cherie – I’ve been keeping up with you guys as well via FB and blog. Thanks as always for your in-depth reviews on internet connectivity. I was all set to go the 4G route until we got here and found that with the Verizon “cell-auro” located in the park our 3G speeds are pretty good.

    @Marci – we’ll probably be back in MI for the summer. Probably. Gotta make that decision here pretty quick..;)

    Oh – Nina I also wanted to mention http://topfamilytravelblogs.com – a resource I recently put together that aggregates blog content from all the traveling families out there.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yes, you were my “first” fulltime family (good intro!) and I have to admit the kids were VERY patient will all us paparazzi photographers getting that pic….they’re bloggin’ photo-posing pros at this point. So great to meet you all and thanks for posting the additional links.
      Nina

  12. Ingrid says:

    When we enbarked on this journey, we never anticipated the social aspect….and we’re loving it. Clarity has set in and we’ll be heading back to CO knowing what we need to do. Thanks for the visit, although short. I’m sure we’ll run into each other again when our life is less “complex”….lol

  13. Love following your blog. We have made life time friends with people from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine, and all over Canada.

  14. How long will you be at Usery? We’re staying at Lost Dutchman 2/24-3/8 and then moving over to Usery. Would love to catch up and maybe take the dogs for a stroll.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Heya,
      We JUST booked Catalina State Park for 10 nights (in their overflow/dry-camping area) starting 2/16 to 2/26. You guys still in Tuscon during that time?
      Nina

      • Tucson area from the 16th to the 26th? Must be a way we can get together. Green Valley is only 20 minutes South of Tucson. I’ve loads of gigs coming up including the 20th at Wisdoms, the best Mexican restaurant in the County.

  15. The 16th will be our last night here at Catalina and then we’re moving back to Gilbert Ray for a week. Guess we’ll see you then!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Hmmm…let’s see if we can arrange a get-together in Tuscon then. We just changed our plans (again), but we’ll keep in touch.
      Nina

  16. Bob Nuttmann says:

    Nina, so no plans at any point for a place with a view of the ocean in, say Solana Beach? Don’t get me wrong I have loved RVing since my first long motor home trip in 1980, but, where do I put my 60″ high JBL speakers I listened to my 1945 Cole trio record on an hour ago. Where do I put my 8 huge albums of stamps going back to 1849? I have thousands of stamps from places that don’t exist any more. We did just spend a long weekend at the beach in our motor home with 19 other rigs from our club, but now I am back fixing up my web site and playing old records. Seems like only having what you can carry in an RV is restrictive.

    • libertatemamo says:

      No plans right now, but you never know. I’ve never really had much attachment to “stuff” so can’t say there is anything I particularly miss about having a house. But, I do know it’s a concern for many folks. And of course there’s nothing wrong w/ part-time RVing….it can be the perfect answer for lots of people!
      Nina

  17. I love to read your posts. The photography is very motivational to get out there and travel!

    We’re a new fulltiming family, and are planning to set out this year and travel the country. You can check out more here if you’d like http://TheDigitalHippies.com.

    One thing is for sure though, your photography really inspires, and I’ll be browsing your blog in the future when looking for locations to travel to.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Happy I can give you guys a bit of inspiration. Congrats on the upcoming fulltiming! It’s going to be a wild adventure and a great experiece for you all. By the way, neat website…really nice layout!
      Nina

      • Thanks Nina! Happy Belated Valentines Day & 16th anniversary. We’re not quite finished with our site, but I appreciate the comments. I’m a web developer by trade, so please let me know if you need anything.

  18. Jeff and Cheryl says:

    Catlina State Park, Wonderful!! Try the farmers market in Catlina. IIRC it is every Saturday morning, this time of year.

  19. LuAnn says:

    You are one social butterfly girl. Loved catching up with you and seeing Polly again. Look forward to seeing you and Paul one more time at Usery.

  20. jnealy says:

    Add us to the list of new RVers! We’ve been following your blog for awhile and my husband has commented quite a bit (Deas/Big Canoe), and we finally bought our RV last week!!! We’re in Florida now, but we’re headed west this summer, and we’d love to meet you somewhere along the way. Just started our blog too (nealyfied.wordpress.com). This post made me even more excited about our trip – in addition to all the things we’re going to see, I can’t wait to meet all the people we’re going to meet!

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