A Drone’s Perspective – 2017 Trippin’ Year In Review

ColoradoA Drone’s Perspective – 2017 Trippin’ Year In Review

2017 was a crazy year.  Living in an RV and being retired allows us the flexibility to do the unplanned!  Join us with a look at where we traveled this past year.  Check out or blog at RVBuiltForTwo.com or our YouTube channel Trippin Engles for more videos on our travels.  We linked to some of the Blog/Video posts in the underlined links below.

Happy Holidays

The Year In Review – A Drone’s Perspective

Florida

January saw Christine holding down the ‘fort’ in central Florida while Jeff flew to Eugene to attend his dad’s funeral.  Then in late January we trekked down to Lake Okeechobee to stay a month in South Central Florida.  When we arrived at our campsite in Moore Haven Florida, our DJI Mavic Drone (Eyes of Lola) was waiting for us allowing us to capture airborne video for the rest of the year’s wanderings!

March: Heading West – Escapade in Tucson

Next we made our way west to the Escapee Escapade RV rally in Tucson spending time in Texas at a couple of Thousand Trails campgrounds Lake Tawakoni and Lake Whitney and visiting good friends of ours in Arlington,Texas.

The Escapee Escapade in March was a great experience in Tucson – even if Jeff had to get some dental work done and we had to get our slide-out repaired at La Mesa RV while we were at the rally.

April: Visiting in Sacramento

We made it to the Sacramento area in April, staying at Thousand Trails Lake Minden and visiting our two daughters and their families who live in the area.

May and June: Eugene Oregon

May and June were months we dedicated to fixing up my dad’s house to get it ready to sell, and a trip up to La Conner Washington for a family vacation.  We got some great video of Deception Pass Bridge, Whale Watching from Friday Harbor and a video essay on Lone Tree Point at La Conner.

July – September: Sacramento

July, August and most of September were spent fixing up a real fixer-upper we came across in the Sacramento Area.  Something that was not on the radar earlier in the year, but we decided to take advantage of a chance to get a house to fix up and sell.

October: Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Towards the end of September we head off to the Escapee HOP in Albuquerque, New Mexico – heading straight east through Nevada stopping in Fernley and Winnemucca first.  Read about getting new tires on the toad in Winnemucca in that post!  Next we head through the Bonneville Salt Flats, Salt Lake and stay 3 days at Scofield State Park exploring dinosaur and mammoth bones at the Wasatch Plateau. We even got snow on the 1st of October.

Cortez, Colorado was the last stop before getting to Albuquerque and we have to come back for more!  The Canyons of the Ancients and Mesa Verde along with horses on the Ute Mountain Reservation gave us a preview of what we can explore in this area.  While in Cortez we got Lola’s engine computer updated at Cortez Diesel.  Check our Cortez post.

Bucket List!  Yes, the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is everything it is claimed to be.  We had perfect weather each day.  From exploring old town Albuquerque, the Pueblo Indian Cultural Center, Santa Fe to the wonders of Balloons from 4:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.  What a blast!  This was our first Escapee sponsored mini-rally or HOP.  Check out Day 0 and 1 when we get set up and enjoy our first morning Balloon Sunrise.  Day two – more Balloons (of course) and the Petroglyph National Monument.  Day 3 – Balloons, Sante Fe and the Kuaua Pueblo at the Coronado State Historic Park.  Days 4 and 5 wrap up the Balloon Fiesta with a trip to the Pueblo Cultural Center and Sandia Tram.  Lots to see along with all the Balloon Fiesta Activities.

October: Loreto BCS Baja Mexico

We left Lola in California and flew to Baja California to enjoy the sun of Loreto at the Villa Del Palmar with some friends.

The last part of the year was spent continuing to fix-up our fixer upper.  We hope to be finished by late spring and back on the road to explore the Mountain States and the Dakotas.

Happy Trails and See you on the road in 2018

Jeff and Christine

Happy Trails and see you on the road in 2018!

Jeff and Christine

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Lone Tree Point and Hope Island

Thousand Trails La Conner

Lone Tree Point and Hope Island

The Swinomish Indians share some of their land with the Thousand Trails La Conner Preserve in Washington.  La Conner Thousand Trails  is on the Puget Sound just north of Seattle.  Lone Tree Point is a sacred spot for the natives in the area.

Here’s a map of the area, compliments of the Swinomish Indian Tribe

 

20100901 Usfws Twg Map E1 498x644
Swinomish Indian Reservation

And an aerial view of the point:

2017-06 Lone Tree point
Lone Tree

On the point of land is a single lone tree.  Over the years, storms have ravaged the tree, and it is smaller than it was when we were last here in 2006.  The tribe is growing seedlings from the seeds of the Lone Tree to eventually replace the old tree.  The Swinomish tribe has established a marine interpretive center primarily focused on the clam re-seeding program.  There are several informative signs explaining what the tribe is doing.  They are experimenting with raising clam varieties that are better suited for eating than the invasive non-native pacific clams.

From Lone Tree Point, out in the sound is a large floating nest of pens where salmon are farm raised.  These do not belong to the Swinomish Indians and the tribe has erected a sign explaining the amount of pollution created by these pens.

Getting Some Pictures

Great weather continued during our visit to thousand Trails La Conner, and I spent a couple of hours out on Lone Tree Point enjoying the sea breeze.  On a couple of visits I flew the DJI Mavic Drone to capture the beautiful scenery.

Here’s the flight path on one of the flights (using Air Data):

Hope Island Flight
Hope Island Flight

I have been experimenting with using D-Log and the GC-Heron LUT (Look Up Table) for color adjustment from RTH Studios (non-paid reference).  I have found it a challenge to dial in the drone camera settings and the right post production settings.  More drone photography experiments to come!  {Updated Video with Corrected Color Grading}

 

Back to Oregon

As I mentioned in a previous post about our arrival in La Conner, in May and June we were in the middle of getting my dad’s house  ready for sale.  Fortunately my brother was able to maintain the house and get a new roof up prior to Christine and I arriving to get it ready for sale.  We remodeled the kitchen and bathrooms, put new siding on the house and painted it inside and out.  Thank goodness my younger daughter and her husband were able to take some time off from their busy schedule or we would probably still be up in Oregon getting it fixed up.  Thank you!

Anchor
Dad’s house

What’s next?

As a retired couple full-timing in their RV, life is a breeze, eh?  Not!  We purchased a true fixer-upper close by our daughters in the Sacramento area and are currently busy ripping out carpets, remodeling bathrooms and the kitchen and hauling trash away!  Almost feels like work.  Good thing we have Lola to live in during these crazy times.

We are headed to Albuquerque for the Balloon Festival and are busy planning our winter visit to Arizona and South Texas.  Stay tuned!   We will explore more of Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico on our way to the festival.

Balloon Trip
New Mexico here we come

In the meantime I want to do some reviews of tools we have been using successfully and NOT over the past full year of full-timing in Lola.

Jeff and Christine

 

Happy Trails