A boondock in the Chuckwalla Mountains Wilderness

Monday, February 23 (continued)

The previous post ends with Bridget and me heading east on Interstate 10 toward Blythe, at the California-Arizona border. We don’t go that far.  About ten miles east of Desert Center, we take exit 201 onto Chuckwalla Road.

We immediately approach a “Road Closed” sign.

Fortunately right before the barrier, Corn Springs Road goes off to the right (south), and that’s the road I want to take!

1-P1020896It’s a wide, gravel-and-dirt road in washboard condition (not terrible . . . We’ve been on worse!).  As you can see in the above photo that looks back toward the interstate, we are crossing flat desert, part of Chuckwalla Valley.

1-P1020897What the heck is a chuckwalla, you ask?

It’s a lizard, specifically  Sauromalus ater or Common Chuckwalla.  Their range is the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of southeastern California, southern Nevada and Utah, western Arizona and south to Sonora, Mexico and the mainland and islands of Baja.  

Click this link to learn more.

Bridget and I are on Corn Springs Road which takes us into the Chuckwalla Mountains Wilderness. 

My California Benchmark atlas shows a campground about ten miles from the interstate on this road.  Dark clouds hover over us, as well as over the mountains ahead of us.

1-P1020900The bumpy road agitates Bridget.

“Okay, honey.  Let’s stop for a minute and get our bearings.  You probably need a break.”

Sure enough.  I let her out and she’s relieved in more ways than one.  While Bridget wanders around, I check my Verizon air card for signal.

Hmm… 4G and two bars. 

1-P1020904-001Since we’re heading into a canyon, I want to know where the signal disappears. 

Then if there’s no signal at our camp, I’ll know how far out of the canyon I need to travel to get online.  I’m always thinking of my blog’s readers!

1-P1020894I like camping in a wilderness.

Vehicles are restricted to roads.  I pass a “No Hunting” sign.  As we enter the mountain area, the road curves along a wash and goes up and down and around.

I know we have reached the campground when palm trees come into view.

1-P1020906I researched the campground before setting out this morning. 

The BLM Corn Springs Campground site says there are petroglyphs and sixty palm trees.

1-P1020907Sadly several of the palms are dead or dying.

I’m not going to let this dark day and dead palms color my perception of the campground.  It is what it is . . . . .

I pull into the campground loop and park next to the vault toilet building.

“C’mon, Bridge.  No one is here.  Let’s walk around and see what we can see!”

1-P1020909She loves that idea! 

Instantaneously Bridget turns from passenger dog to Junior Camp Host.  She leads me to the different campsites.  This is a good one . . . .

1-P1020913The site below once had four palms around its picnic table and shelter.  Now they’re only poles.

1-P1020912We climb up a knoll for a wide view of the area. 

The campground is surrounded by mountains, near and far.  It’s quiet here, very pleasant.

1-P1020914The fee is $6 a night ($3 with Golden Age pass, the half-price discount for seniors over 62).

1-P1020915The campground has two vault toilets and nine sites, including a group site.  Picnic tables, fire pits, and grills.  A few sites have shelters.  Trash containers are here and there.  Also a hand pump for water, although a sign says water is limited.  Sites are back in.  We’d fit fine at our 34 feet.

1-P1020916-001I grab a bottle of water and the foot-long, turkey breast sub sandwich out of the PTV. 

I pick a table for our picnic and share the sandwich with Bridget.  While eating, I consider where we might camp.

1-P1020910We could camp here.  It’s nice enough and no one is here.  Of course, someone could pull in at any time and ruin the peace and quiet.  It’s not likely, but still . . . .  I saw that boondock on the way here . . . Gee, that was a great spot . . . .

I wrap up the remaining half of the sandwich and get up from the table.

“Let’s go.  You want to be a boondocker, Bridge?”

She answers by scampering around me and scurrying toward the PTV, stopping briefly to check on another tantalizing smell.

1-P1020911As soon as I pull into the boondock camp, I like it better than the campground. 

It’s located at the entrance to the mountains and feels less closed-in.  We’re in compliance with the camping rule, well within 100 feet from the center of the road at an established site as evidenced by a fire ring of rocks and a pull-through around some creosote bushes.

1-P1020927-001I appreciate the view from the back window of the Best Little Trailer.

1-P1020920-001Later, after dark, I’m at my laptop desk, writing a blog post. 

I peek through the curtains and see the tiny lights of vehicles on the interstate several miles away.  Wind rushes through the canyon.  The BLT rocks slightly.

When a calm day arrives, we’ll move to the next camp.  In the meantime, Bridget and I can hike, relax, and enjoy this place!

rvsue

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I appreciate every Amazon purchase you make from my blog.

1-P1020919-001Bridget in our front yard in the Chuckwalla Mountains Wilderness

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130 Responses to A boondock in the Chuckwalla Mountains Wilderness

  1. Lois Joy says:

    Been following you Sue for a couple years but have not posted-just enjoyed your ventures. I hope to be #1 this time even if I am an unknown. Keep up the wonderful blog.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lois Joy! Welcome to comments and congratulations on being Number One today! 🙂

      Thank you for following my blog all this time. I’m glad you’re with us.

  2. lindale says:

    That sure looks like a peaceful restful campground.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, lindale,

      It is peaceful. A bit neglected which isn’t unusual for a small, remote, undeveloped campground.

  3. Thor 'n Drew says:

    Congrats on the fine boondock! How slow do you drive on washboard roads?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Thor n’ Drew,

      It depends how bad the washboard is. I’ve never looked at my speed. I guess around 10-15 mph.

  4. JIM PETERSON says:

    ==========
    Perhaps #2 due to the late posting time?
    JIM & ANNIE ~ Boise, ID
    ==========

  5. Calvin R (Ohio) says:

    How about that? I like the view from the back window very much.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Calvin R,

      Me, too. I always appreciate having an expansive view. Maybe because I like to sit in my lounger, gaze out over the landscape, and dream.

  6. I’m going to assume you won’t be interested, but since in our old age the two of us are sports car racers, we are more than aware that there is a premier road racing facility within spitting distance from where you are staying…Chuckwalla Raceway. On one of your driveabouts, you might check it out. It’s on the north side of the 10. Not sure which side you are on.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ed,

      You assume correctly! No interest at all. Someone reading your comment may be interested though.

      We’re on the south side of Interstate 10.

  7. Julie says:

    Hello Sue,
    My daughter Tara introduced your blog to me about a month ago and your post today has inspired me to introduce myself. I’m enjoying the ride and looking forward to this new place. Sweet dreams to you and Bridget!

  8. mockturtle says:

    Nice spot, Sue! Hey, the wind is calming down, finally! BTW, next week I might need a few groceries and I seem to recall your shopping somewhere in Indio but can’t locate the post. Could you remind me what store it was? Thanks.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The store was Food 4 Less. It’s located at 82124 Us Highway 111. That’s where Highway 111 (Grapefruit Rd) meets Monroe Road. Coming from Coachella, it’s on the left side of the road. (Brush up on your Spanish! Haha!)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, it is calm tonight so far. I could see the dust blowing on the interstate today.

  9. debsjourney says:

    Hi Sue,
    I think you are so special. I do wish I felt similar to you when it comes to being away from people.and driving on rocky dirt roads and being out there just you in nature and of course Bridget. Wow! I’ve had a lot on my mind lately because I won’t be getting the veteran pension I thought I would get. I will have to learn to live on 1200 dollars a month Social Security and possibly sell some art doing craft shows or online. It would have been so nice to get that extra 1200 a month but nothing ever seems to work out exactly like you want it to. I’ve been fighting depression for the last couple weeks but
    I guess I just need to move forward put the house up for sale and move into my camper and take off hopefully before summer.getting rid of so much belongings is really not easy for me. I can’t believe how much stuff I have and what a small trailer I have to move into. you manage to live in the trailer even a bit smaller than mine but you manage so well.
    I guess I’ll learn how to deal with it in my own way or get a bigger trailer eventually. I sure am rambling tonight so I guess I will sign off I enjoy your pictures I enjoy your blog and know you are one special woman.Thanks for being you and sharing so much with me.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deb,

      Nothing wrong with rambling. I make a blog out of rambling! 🙂

      I’m sorry you are suffering from that setback. Twelve hundred a month is tight, but doable. You do have an advantage over me. I could never be a camp host. You are more sociable. Maybe workkamping is something you could try. It can mean a free campsite in a comfortable campground. It keeps you from driving all over creation, at least for the time you are there, and that’s a savings. I assume your house sale will give you a cushion for maintenance and repairs.

      You’ve taken on a lot, all by yourself, over the past few months. I hope you don’t push yourself more than you have to, as parting with some of your stuff will not be easy for you.

      Somehow I hope you will see your new trailer from the perspective of what it has, rather than what is doesn’t have. I’m not preaching at you, just wishing you well during this time of adjustment in your life. Thank you for your sweet message to me. I’m not special. I’m simply me. As you are you. Both in our own ways. 🙂

      • debsjourney says:

        Sue you make me smile. and you are so right about a lot of things. Selling my home which is a mobile home is going to be my cushion for as you said maintenance etc.I do try to think about how nice my trailer is and how it has anything I might need. I am so used to sitting here behind my comfortable desk in my easy desk chair that swivels and rocks, that I know I won’t have in the trailer. But I do also know this is a start of something that can change and grow. I just need to have faith that all things will work out.
        One thing I know when I am camping I am much more active physically walking the dogs moving doing things to keep things going around the camp so this is healthy for me I know this. Sometimes I find myself just sitting most of the day and not moving enough. I do want to be more active.
        Sweet dreams my friend, Deb

      • Reine in Plano says:

        Deb, I and many others have found that it’s easier to release possessions remind you of treasured memories if you take pictures. You keep the pictures as reminders of the memories and release the stuff to bless someone else’s life. It’s amazing how much better you feel when you think of how your downsizing is benefiting someone else.

        • DebsJourney says:

          Reine,
          You are right and taking pictures is a great idea. I know it will be a freeing feeling when it is all done.
          🙂

      • Gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

        To Deb, My advice is easier said than done, but you’ve been robbed of money, I hope you don’t get depressed because that means you have been robbed a second time — of your happiness! Nobody is entitled to take away your happiness!

    • Deb, keep fighting (depression)! It’s hard, all you’re doing. You can get through. If you want to sell online I can help, no charge.

      For me, I felt better when stuff was gone but I did have “seller’s remorse” once, with one thing. I cried like a baby. I hardly think about it now.

    • MB says:

      Hi Deb. Your post really touched me and so I wanted to let you know that someone in VA is thinking of you. I have had to do some “getting rid of things” myself. Many had great sentimental value. It’s hard at first but then more freeing. And the “trash” that I had accumulated…..oh my! I had no idea. Standing on the back of my truck chucking it into the dump was so empowering. Here’s hoping that there are wondrous things awaiting you “on the road” ahead. I know you’ll be fine. We single women are tough. We have to be. 🙂 MB from VA

    • Krystina at Wellton, AZ says:

      Oh Deb I am so sorry for your setback! I too am living on just SS and you do have to pay close attention. RVSue was right on with her response to you. When I sold my house in Vermont, I had 10 yard sales and also sold stuff on Ebay. When you set up your sale the trick is to clean up EVERYTHING, find the instruction books and make the yard sale inviting. I bought yard sale signs online that looked like campaign signs and were very colorful. They were made of plastic so if they got wet it was ok. When the customers arrived for the first sale, many folks said “I could tell the quality of your yard sale by your wonderful signs”. I didn’t have anything else to do while I waited for my home to sell (1.5 years) so why not take the time. Wish I was there…would LOVE to help you set it up Deb!!! Hang in there…you can do it!

      Krystina

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Deb,

      You have a goal and know the steps you want to take. With minor adjustments, with what life throws at you, people learn to live within their means and thrive.

      You are no different! Where there is a will…there is a way!

      Heads up, tits out and follow your dreams.

  10. Susan in Dallas says:

    Boondocking at its best! Our ice/sleet has mostly melted and now we are getting ready for snow. Good news is it won’t last because it’s going to warm up and hopefully the sun will get the message that it is forecasted to show up tomorrow.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Susan in Dallas,

      Your comment almost sounds like you’re trying to convince the weather — the sun in particular — to do what it’s supposed to do and SHOW UP AND WARM UP, GALL DARNIT! 🙂

      • Reine in Plano says:

        Here’s hoping our weather dudes are right and the sun shines tomorrow afternoon. I would be perfectly happy if the snow tracks a bit north and we just get rain. The ice and slush have kept us safely inside the last couple of day. (Plano is just a bit north of Dallas.) You KNOW you’re in trouble when someone from the Weather Channel is broadcasting live from your area like they were on Monday!

  11. Chris B says:

    Hi Sue! When I saw your post, it sparked a childhood memory. Chuckwalla! Of course I know what one is but it made me remember an old cowboy dance called the “Chuckwalla Swing.” I grew up in La Mirada which is close to Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA. With my dad flying for a living, he left my mom home with 4 kids to entertain. She would take us to Knott’s during the warm summer nights to the wagon train. It was an amphitheater with covered wagons around the perimeter and if you were really lucky and got there early enough you could secure one for your group. There was a huge bonfire with cowboy singers and dancers to entertain. Back then, this was FREE! Once of their songs was “Chuckwalla Swing.” So I looked it up on the internet because, of course, I still remember most of the words after seeing the show so many times and, lo and behold, there was an old cowboy movie made in 1950 called “Wagon Master” and they have the dance on YouTube! It was fun seeing them dance and sing the song in one of those old dirty realistic cowboy movies. Yep, doesn’t take much to entertain me! Thanks!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, I have to look that up on YouTube! Be back in a bit.

      You are the Chris of Chris, Clete, and Diego, right?

      OKAY… Here it is! “Chuckwalla Swing” by The Sons of the Pioneers.

      Oh my gosh, that is so funny!!! “We’ll dance til the floors and the rafters ring….” Nice fiddle interlude. 🙂

    • Krystina at Wellton, AZ says:

      Thank you, Chris B., for sharing your wonderful memories!

    • Tawanda says:

      Thanks Chris B for the reminder of some great memories, good ‘ol picnicking family time at Knott’s, wagon train, music, and all free, oh my!!! 🙂
      T~

    • Gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

      Chris B, Thanks for the Knott’s Berry Farm memory! I will never forget the cozy feeling I had watching the square dancers inside the circle of covered wagons and the big bonfire! It always made me feel as if I was living is as close as we in that era! No thrilling attractions created since could beat that memory!

      • Chris B says:

        Where did you grow up, Gayle? I loved Knott’s more than Disneyland or any other amusement park. It was Knott’s….the old berry farm where many of the historic buildings were moved to this small town from Calico, CA. You could watch the ladies in the striped uniforms roll ropes of candy that were handmade into large lollipops, see a beehive that was encased in glass where everybody would be huddled around it looking for the marked queen with the red spot on her back, eat at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant (where we still go on occasion), drive an old model-T type car at Henry’s livery stable. No track, no seatbelts just guardrails. Old McDonalds farm full of farm animals and a chicken that played a miniature piano for 5 cents! I could go on forever. Best place in the world to visit as a kid. Now…..not so much. Walter Knott would not like what they did with his old Berry Farm! Corporate America took over…. the end of a wonderful place where you could get lost in time.

  12. Lisa W says:

    I like the looks of your boondock site better than the campground. Looks like a nice and cozy place. Bridget seems to approve also. Like the pictures today.

  13. Dave Reed says:

    Years ago I stayed at Corn Springs and it was quiet. That is until a group of 20 year olds came in and turned on the car radio loud and long. The next morning they came over to ask a favor. Yes, I gave them a jump.
    Dave

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s just the thing that made me choose the boondock over the campground. The atmosphere can be changed in a few minutes if the wrong people show up.

  14. AZ Jim says:

    Wow! Two new Blogarinos, Lois Joy and Julie came out to say Hi. Good to see them both. Well, this spot is kinda mundane compared to so many of your boondocks but it will be a place to rest a bit and get your bearings. With the site being where it is and so little in the way of through traffic, I would keep an eye on Bridget as it’s a perfect place and time of year for rattlers. Enjoy your stay Missy….

  15. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Love the first picture of this camp…Bridget looks so content, like she is having a zen moment! Hope you find contentment, too! N’nite. Hugs from me and Gracie! 🙂

    PS – Sad to see the palms dead or dying. I wonder if it was drought or lightning that caused their demise….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      My guess is the drought, not lightning, because the dead ones are not all in one place.

    • Dave Reed says:

      About the palm trees, as I remember it was a fire that did them in.
      Dave

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Oh… Fire caused by lightning maybe? Or careless campers?

        Now that you mention it there were a lot of branches and fronds lying around that were black. I enlarged my screen and I see that the trunks are blackened, too.

  16. K & B in CO says:

    I am impressed by all the nice, uncrowded camp locations you are finding in California. The location sure looks like SE Cali, a bit bleak, very dry and dying of drought. Your photos really add to the story. None the less, the weather there sure beats the snow here.

    Enjoy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, K & B in CO,

      Your description of southeastern California is accurate!

      It’s difficult for me to show in photos and words what I enjoy about this “bleak, very dry and dying” locale. That’s probably because the senses other than visual give much of the enjoyment– the warmth and dryness of the air, the sounds of silence, the crunch of sand as I walk, being in an “uncrowded camp,” etc.

      For instance, photos and descriptions of a canyon can’t come close to actually being in a canyon. Just as your mention of the snow in Colorado can’t freeze my nose hairs and make my toes go numb! Haha!

      Thanks for writing. Stay warm!

  17. Wayne D says:

    Nights can cool down quickly, days warm up those rock tops so that if a den of rattlers are there, they can come out and sun themselves , not leaving the den. Once the sun leaves the area, they slide back into the den. So beware on any rock pile of that possibility. Yes, some will venture forth testing the area too. They really aren’t interested in you unless you come upon them. It’s that time of year.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s right, Wayne. I’ve never had an inclination to climb boulders and what you explain in your comment is a big reason why. I stay away from rock piles, especially the dark rocks that warm up quickly and hold heat.

      A fellow camper’s offhand comment taught me something about the desert. In 2011 we were camped in a large and popular campground at Elephant Butte Lake, NM. The campground is the kind with amenities, paved road, shelters, campsites close together, lots of vehicles coming and going, people all around . . .

      He pointed to a corner of my campsite a few feet from the concrete pad upon which my picnic table sat. “Last year when we were here, we saw a rattler right there.”

      The lesson? Be alert wherever you are. 🙂

  18. Teresa from NC says:

    I know Spike was (and still is) your copilot, but Bridget has come into her own with it also. Of course, in her own way:-) She sure lets you know when you’ve gone too far, and when she thinks it’s just far enough. Enjoy the peacefulness.
    Teresa

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Teresa,

      Watching Bridget “come into her own” has been a comfort that softens the pain of missing Spike.

      After a lifetime of tagging along with Spike, following his lead, now she is proud to do her own exploring and to show me where to walk and when to stop.

      Kind of like me, after a lifetime of following the wants of others, here I am, doing my own exploring! Ha! Life can be funny.

  19. Rand says:

    You are far from the maddening crowd!
    Drove around out there in a Honda Civic a dozen years ago.I don’t remember seeing another vehicle in that area.We came across the cabin that’s in this YouTube. It was in fine shape and got the wannabe archiologist imagination going. Not sure where it is though.
    petroglyphs and desert mines at corn springs, ca
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acyAknfeSTo

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rand,

      I saw some petroglyphs when we went to the campground… only a glimpse from the PTV. I wasn’t in a petroglyph state of mind then, wanting to find our camp instead. What petroglyphs I saw were defaced by people carving their names. I hope there are more that are in better condition.

      As for the cabin, I’ll probably mention that in the next post. Thanks for the link!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I watched the youtube slideshow…. Very interesting! I like that cabin. The presentation is dated November 2009. It shows the campground in use and in pretty good shape… also the petroglyphs. Wow! Lots of them. That old travel trailer is odd. It looks like a cross between an Airstream and other, more conventional trailers.

      Thanks again for the link, Rand. The music is good, too!

  20. PookieBoy in houston says:

    oh what a great campsite….I love it!! as usual I had to get the map out and looks up where you are…..
    you should live to a very old age camping in areas like that where there is nothing to do but read, eat, sleep and walk…..doesnt get any better than that…..
    chuck

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chuck,

      You get it! You understand the appeal of remote camps. I agree with you — How could life be any better than this!

  21. Hey Ms. Sue,

    Just checkin’ in and it looks like y’all are just fine as wine.

    Finally… “y’all” is in the dictionary http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/yall. ’bout time, yay!

    By the way, your last photo is my favorite. Wow. If I went on about how and why I love it we’d be here all day.

    You’re sweet Bridge pulls my heartstrings every time. Sweet. smart young’un (also in the dictionary) she is.

    Thank you as always Sue! (doggie kisses to Bridge)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Carrie,

      That last photo you like… I assume you mean the one of our camp and Bridget sitting in the yard… She looks like a ceramic gnome that folks put in their landscaping! Eyes on me, of course….

      Thanks for the warm message and for the dictionary link… I’ll take a look at it. “Y’all” is very handy!

  22. JanisP in Ecuador says:

    Your spirit of adventure is so inspiring! I can only hope that when I move back to the States in April, I’ll have half the gumption & bravery you’ve got in finding remote & cheap places to camp. I worry about camping completely alone. Though I’m very much a hermit, I think I’d like a few others around to give me at least the illusion of “safety in numbers”! I’ll be living full time in my ALiner Sport which is 6.5′ x 9’…gulp! Good that I’ve already disposed of pretty much everything I own in the States and will be returning with just 2 suitcases and a carry-on….mostly clothing, plus my coffee bean roaster and grinder, can’t do without those! My first adventure will be in Northern Mich. for the summer, to escape the SC heat. And I’ve found some nice dispersed campsites for only $4-5 a night! I am very excited about being able to camp again, I’ve really missed that these 2 years in Ecuador. Oh and speaking English will be really nice to, LOL.

    • Tara from Pac NW says:

      Thanks for sharing your plans Janis. I love hearing about Sue’s life on the road less traveled and its so great to hear from others on what they are planning to do. I looked up the A’Liner–looks pretty cool!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, JanisP,

      Good to see you here again! Reading about your plans to return to the States and live in your Aliner is exciting. I hope you will give us updates as you go along and as time and fun allow.

      You wrote that you worry about camping alone. What is there to worry about? The bad people are most likely to be in those “numbers” that give the illusion of safety. Rocks and bushes and palm trees aren’t going to rob you or assault you or try to hurt you in any of the many ways people do. . .

      Please forgive me for being strident. I don’t understand why being alone is difficult for so many people. It seems the opposite should be the case. Okay, I’ll quit… 🙂

      You are such an adventurous person and brave in your own way. I don’t know if I could leave the U.S. to live in another country with a different language and culture. You are the one who is inspiring!

      • JanisP in Ecuador says:

        Being alone is not the problem at all, it’s feeling vulnerable. Maybe I could do the thing with the huge doggy food dish and large men’s boots to make me feel better! Though lord knows, either a big dog or big man would fill my tiny camper to overflowing, LOL!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You are more powerful than a pair of large men’s boots. That hint has been going around for years and it is one of my pet peeves. I know you don’t mean it that way, but I find it condescending that the hint of a man’s presence is more intimidating than the real presence of a capable woman (like yourself). 🙂

  23. weather says:

    My favorite pic in this post is the one above “I appreciate the view…” . Both Bridget and the PTV show an attitude and stance that brook no intrusion.That “I’M here-so the rest of y’all-DON’T be!” no-nonsense look is part of why I drive,wear ,and choose the posture that I do.We’ve spoken on here before of how not looking like a victim helps a person not become one.

    That photo demonstrates that in ways,a type of fearless- this is how to go/boondock wherever you please or need to -message comes through at times on your blog.That whole own it way of taking charge of your life, that you try to empower people with, is often taught far better by example than any other method.We can encourage folks ,of course,in all the other ways,and do.Yet without the proof living it shows them,it doesn’t work.Great job,Sue-“ya done yerself proud agin” 😉 I’m proud of you,too.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, weather, and good morning!

      I scrolled up to look at that photo again, and, yes, I see what you mean about atttitude. Bridget has claimed “our” desert property (so cute!), and the PTV and BLT are the claim stakes! “We’ve struck gold here, it’s our claim, no trespassing!” 🙂

      You and many of the readers of this blog know the reasons I love living in places such as this. I like how you wrote “a type of fearless,” rather than simply “fearless.” One can be without fear due to a reckless nature, ignorance of danger, self-destructive urges, false sense of immortality, etc.

      Fear is okay when it is a natural reaction to an imminent threat or consequence. Any other type of fear keeps us from living life fully.

      You, with your exceptional ability to see things for what they are, identify the “type of fearless” that I hope to convey in my blog. . . . Fearlessness that is the product of a determined attitude.

      Being determined to live how I want knocks fear on its . . . um …. backside. You said that with “That whole own-it way of taking charge of your life.” That’s exactly what I mean!

      Thank you for putting into words what this journey has become.

      • weather says:

        You’re welcome,it’s a pleasure to be able to define a worthy and lofty purpose when it exists to be seen ,and good morning to you,too.I find snowstorms,like the one I awakened seeing today, -so beautiful that they’re almost unimaginable- to be delightful gifts .You are another one that this world and I are blessed with.

  24. We’ve wondered about that area, thanks for checking it out 🙂
    Are the boondock spots free ?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kelly,

      Yes, the boondocks are free. As I drove the ten miles from the interstate to the campground, I only saw two “established” boondock sites within 100 feet from the center of the road and ours is one of them.

      Maybe there are more closer to the freeway — I didn’t see them. I wasn’t looking closely for them because I didn’t want to camp on the flat plain where wind might be annoying and bring dust.

  25. Corn Spring is a party destination (or at least it was for years) for Spring Break for the kids from Blythe and Indio so you got there at a good time to be gone before that 🙂 There are some less used boondock areas north of Desert Center (you’d have to backtrack) near the Desert Lily Sanctuary. I think Al and Kelly stayed there one time. But for now you’re is a great spot – watching small storms come across that valley is such a treat! Yes, the snakes are out already. They’re slow this time of year and will be looking for a nice warm spot in the sun – more likely to be in the middle of the wash than under the bushes for now.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jodee,

      Spring break party destination… That would explain the signs of heavy use in a presently empty campground. If my timing were wrong and the party people were here, I would’ve driven away without stopping, wind or no wind.

      And if I had known about the boondock near Desert Lily Sanctuary, I might have gone there. Oh well, we’re happy here and maybe there’s a reason . . . .

    • R. (Western Colorado/now in Joshua Tree NP) says:

      Jodee in SoCa, I just mentioned the Desert Lily Sanctuary.
      BTW, all those years hiking in many different areas of deserts of CA, AZ, UT, CO, NV and not even once I heard or saw rattlesnake. There is a great a 15-16 mile long hike to Rattlesnake Arches near Fruita, CO. I did not see any rattlesnakes there but not too far from there are wildhorses. I see them every time I hike there.

      • Snakes prefer to avoid us, they’re not looking for trouble 🙂 In 30 years I’ve probably only seen five in the wild. Only the Mojave Green we encountered up near Mid Hills was aggressive (they really have an attitude!). Love wild horses – especially on a chilly morning when they’re feeling frisky and running around.

  26. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Another lovely place….in the middle of nowhere!

    Like I’ve said before…you never just settle for something okay….persistence or a sixth sense prevails and whaaaaaaalah….you’ve found paradise!

    Weird…a clump of Palm trees.

    Bridgeee babeeee, what a love! I see she is getting rather comfortable with your photo taking sessions! No more hiding….find Bridgee!

    Have a great day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      I always think of you and weather and Applegirl whenever I see the news about storms on their way to the northeast. I wonder how Applegirl is enjoying her trip to Florida. Methinks no news is good news. She’s enjoying her vacation!

      You have a great day, too. Don’t settle for less! 🙂

    • R. (Western Colorado/now in Joshua Tree NP) says:

      I think Bridget enjoys being Sue’s favorite and only dog.

  27. cc and canine (Eastern Missouri) says:

    Nice post! I especially liked the photo of the sign explaining the 100′ Wilderness Boundary rule. Is this the case in all of the Wilderness areas? I had assumed that one couldn’t boondock in these areas as motorized vehicles are prohibited, but this area allows it within the 100′ boundary. Nice to know! Thanks again for all your helpful info…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, cc and canine,

      I appreciate the feedback on the sign. I like to know what readers find interesting or enjoyable on my blog.

      Is the 100-feet rule the case in all wilderness areas? I’m not sure of that and I haven’t done the research. I’m guessing that there are areas where camping isn’t allowed, not even along a road. I hope so. There should be areas left pristine.

      I go by what the signs say, rather than following a general rule. If camping isn’t allowed or if camping is restricted to a certain area, there will be signs informing the public. Wherever I go, I see posts that indicate where vehicles are prohibited. There are several around here with symbols for OHVs and motorbikes with the line drawn through. Restricting OHV behavior also restricts camping in an RV there.

  28. R. (Western Colorado/now in Joshua Tree NP) says:

    Another great camp. I need to check it out. I had no idea about this place so thanks.
    If by any chance you decide to go back to the Desert Center exit and go north from there, I think that is rout 177, about 10 miles or so from I-10 there is Desert Lily sanctuary. It is almost unreal to see fields of these wildflowers. They look like they are from a greenhouse. Amazingly beautiful and so big. They should be blooming about now.

    I almost bought my RV, got a size and price I wanted and in a great shape but then I found out my 2012 Subaru Forester cannot be towed with four wheels flat. I definitely do not want to have it elevated and I have to have SUV so I can get to many trailheads sometime along rough roads. Any of your blogorinos have suggestions on what SUV should I look for?

    • Yes R. Here is a link to a list…that’ll get you started.

      http://rv-roadtrips.thefuntimesguide.com/2012/12/motorhome-towing.php

      I tow a Honda Element…almost all Honda Element can be towed 4-down. Also the CRV, and the Fit…but you want an SUV, right?

      Check the list…there’s lots of them.

      • R. (Western Colorado/now in Joshua Tree NP) says:

        Fantastic. Thank you Cindy. This what I’m looking for. Honda CRV is a small SUV but not smaller than Forester

        • You’re welcome R.,

          A lot of people use the CRV…WheelingIt has one…

          I like mine better though, because you can store stuff all the way to the floor…like a van, once the seats are folded up to the windows….yes they fold up to the windows, not down to the floor.

          Also, you can hose the Element out…at one time Honda marketed them as the “Dog Car,” and even had equipped them with dog necessities. Pretty cool!

          The other reason I won’t buy the CRV is the color…that’s a personal thing…but all my cars have to be available in “Cindy-Red.” I’m on my 6th red vehicle. The red must be like a fire engine…not that “Sedona Red,” or burgundy red…nothing doing. It must be Cindy-Red.
          When I bought my Class C and drove it to my Dad’s; he said I’m surprised it’s not red…LOL!

          Trouble is they stopped making the Element…you have to go all the way back to 2011 to get one. and the red only up to 2006.

          • AlanOutandAbout says:

            I also have an Element, 2010. Best vehicle I have ever owned.
            I have been told by a Honda sales rep that Honda is currently redesigning the Element for a future release. Got no date but they didn’t realize just how much people liked them.

            • Aha!! Thanks for the heads up, Alan!

              I’m sure I had a little to do with that! In true “Cindy fashion,” whenever I go into Honda for service….I be sure to tell them what complete bone heads they were for discontinuing the Element!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi again, R. ! 🙂

      I don’t think the lilies are blooming right now. The drought may have something to do with that. March would be a better time. I don’t know. Maybe someone will give us a report. I keep track of wildflowers at desertusa.com.

      READERS: What SUV do you suggest for use as a toad?

    • Shirlene says:

      Wow, so sorry you cannot tow your Subaru, they are such good cars…That was one of the reasons why I did not get one..So I went out and bought a Ford Escape after reading manufacturers website that said it could be towed 4 down…Six months later, Ford came out and said “oops”, no you cannot tow 4 down or you will ruin your transmission…So now I have a car I really like, light, can carry lots of stuff..So I have to either get another car, or put it on a Tow Dolly..investigated that also…Two wheels up, okay….some RVer’s say it gives you the opportunity to pull any vehicle you have and don’t have to spend $3000 to $4000 to buy Blue Ox and modify your only car…SO $1500 for tow dolly that can tow my Jeep or my Ford or anything else I might need to tow. Only concern is where to park it once I arrive at a site? Oh well, still thinking on this one…hope things go well for you…Let us know what you do? Also, any Jeep product and almost all Honda Products, four down without many modifications…Saturn’s also but they don’t make them anymore.

  29. Sherri D says:

    I can’t imagine the stars you must be able to see. I haven’t seen stars outside of city lights in ages. It will be a few years before I can even think about traveling the roads less traveled, but thank you for sharing your journey with us all!

    Have you ever had close calls with a wash, suddenly flooding? I recall reading lots of stories about the “Old West”, when I was a kid, and people would be swept away (dramatically) when it would rain miles and miles away, and a wall of water would come through a dried riverbed and surprise the people traveling in covered wagons.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sherri D.,

      Those “Old West” stories used flooding washes as a way to add drama. 🙂 Some of the things we learned from television and movies as children have very little basis. For instance, circling the wagons as a defensive measure against marauding Indians. The pioneers circled the wagons to keep the livestock penned in. It wouldn’t be good to have your team of oxen wander off in the night.

      Not that one shouldn’t be careful about washes! People have been killed in washes. I remember a couple years ago a family was hit by water while camping in a wash. I think that happened in Arkansas.

      I’ve only seen a flooded wash once (I posted a photo of it). That occurred at Kofa Wildlife Refuge. A small wash about four feet wide, rushing water for about 15-20 minutes after rain in the mountains.

      To answer your question, no, I’ve never had a close call. I never camp in a wash. I try to park in elevated places to avoid finding us in a puddle after a night of rain.. . or trapped by a very muddy road out.

      • AlanOutandAbout says:

        1. Never ever ever camp in a wash.
        2. Never ever ever go through water that is flowing over a desert road or any road for that mater.

        It may seem strange but even with all the plants and animals and such, water is the most dangerous thing in the desert. Too much or too little can be deadly.

        • AlanOutandAbout says:

          3. If you are walking up a dry wash and you come upon an area that has a wet section running along it for awhile. Be careful, many washes, thru the centuries, have had a channel cut thru them some up to 100′ deep. Most of the time these are filled with sand and no issue but sometimes after it has rained quicksand will form in sections and if you step in one of these areas you may be sucked down into the channel. On occasion one of these “slot” canyons will open up and with the right equipment one can go down in them. There are photographers in AZ that specialize in these places and special rigs on their jeeps for lowering down in to take pictures. Here is a link to some of the most famous slots. #14 is buckskin gulch in the Paria Wilderness, one of mt fav spots in the world.

  30. Velda in Roseville Ca says:

    This is ESP for those boondocking who may not be seeing daily news. Today’s headlines include a law suit against Purina for their Beneful dog food. Claim that it is sickening and even killing dogs. Supporting that are apparently over 3000 online complaints. Because our sweet Kallie kitty died during the last really large pet food scare I am pretty sensitive to this news. If you are using a Purina animal food, personally I would stop using it immediately. Hoping all my fellow Blogerinos and your pets stay happy and healthy today and have a peaceful day as Sue’s current spot is.
    We are off to day 29 of 42 radiation treatments for hubby. He is tired but hanging in there, resting each afternoon.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      God bless your husband, Velda. He deserves a medal (or better yet, the loving wife that you are) for keeping up with the radiation treatments. It will be such a happy day when he’s done with that!

      I’m sorry about Kallie. Thank you for the alert about Purina pet food.

      • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

        Thank you Sue. It’s my DNA to care for others. And I just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
        If I can save one person, one family, one pet, by my warning, then I have honored Kallie, who absolutely loved the very food that turned out to be contaminated with melamine and led to a horrible death and so much pain for us.

  31. Shirlene says:

    Good Morning Sue, I like your camp site, I have to admit, the campground pictures kind of gave me the creeps…good choice to move on…dead palm trees are sad for me to see. Enjoy your day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Shirlene,

      I looked at the photos again to measure the creepiness factor. I can see where they give a ghost town look to the campground. Maybe that’s something I sensed while there. As I wrote, I didn’t care for the “closed-in” feeling.

      I agree. . . This campsite is much better. It’s not one of my “glamour” camps, more a place to relax on the way to somewhere else.

  32. AZ Jim says:

    Missy, this has nothing whatsoever to do with RVing and you won’t offend if you wish to remove it.

    Just got to thinkin about my misspent youth. WW2 came to mind as a time that forged most of us here in America into a team. Many feel that war was fought only by men in the trenches in the European theater or fighting off mosquitoes on some island known only to God and the Japanese who at that time were one of our enemies. Not true at all.

    On the home front we all sacrificed. Instead of a boy in Los Angeles looking out the living room window at the yellow street lights, had he been able to see through the blackout shades he would have seen no streetlight at all as they were off due to an air raid drill or an actual alert.

    While both his parents worked in the defense industry, he went to his school, had his war bond quarters with him so he could get another stamp in his book which would eventually yield a War Bond. Those precious quarters were tied into the corner of a handkerchief so they wouldn’t be lost under the playground equipment. After school he might join a few friends and prowl the neighborhood alleys in search of scrap for the collection day pickup. We saved everything from twine to tinfoil. Most on our block had a victory garden in which we grew vegetables for the supper table. Now a days we hear of “exciting” ways to prepare and eat “Spam”. During the war you could usually not get meat in the cities and SPAM was its readily available alternate. To this day I can’t even look at a SPAM can once alone eat it.

    As a kid I just accepted that we couldn’t get some things that all kids love as a fact of life. Simple things like Fleer Bubble gum. Something in its recipe was a vital war time commodity used to make aircraft fuel tanks self-seal if hit by a bullet. Stick with me now to about 6 months after the war.

    Dad came home from work and summoned my younger brother and me with an announcement. He held out his hands and we each had the shock of a lifetime as he dropped two pieces of Bubble gum into our hands. We chewed that gum till it lost all flavor, saving it over the night to be chewed the next day. I still remember that as being the actual end of WW2 for me.

    • Shirlene says:

      AZ Jim, I think you are so “cool”…someday I hope our paths cross.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you for the excellent story, Jim.

      People during those times led their lives with a larger purpose in mind, a goal more important than personal gratification. Those war-time experiences made children grow up to be fine citizens and grateful people… people like you! 🙂

    • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

      Thanks for sharing such a great story.

    • AlanOutandAbout says:

      SPAM<SPAM<SPAM<SPAM. Good old Monty Python. But it reminds me. In 62 my father got transferred to Pearl Harbor for his last 2 years in the Navy. I learned at that time Spam was a delicacy to the locals. They were turned on to it in the war and it has become and still is a favorite food in the islands. Go figure.

    • A gal in Maple Valley, WA says:

      Anyone remember this song ……. “Does your bubble gum get stale on the bed post overnight”…..?

  33. weather says:

    Hi AZ Jim,”living on less and enjoying life more” being Sue’s premise to introduce joy/hope/happiness/contentment into people’s lives,with RVing as one avenue to do that,to me makes your story a perfect fit.That’s exactly what you were doing as you lived and told it.

  34. Lynn Brooks says:

    Looks great, Sue.
    May I ask – are you ever nervous or concerned about being all alone in the middle of nowhere?
    I would enjoy that alone time often, but not all the time.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lynn,

      “Are you ever nervous or concerned about being all alone in the middle of nowhere?”

      Never, quite the opposite, in fact. The further I remove myself from people, the more secure I feel, because I am.

  35. Timber n' me says:

    Sue, Did you get my emails?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Probably… I haven’t checked. I’ve been working on a post. I’ll write to you soon… promise!

  36. PookieBoy in houston says:

    Hi Sue
    Ive been going back to your first blog trying to catch up on your travels and all the while something has been eating inside me. Not being able to figure out what it is for days I finally got the answer.
    My wife picked me up 35 western paperback books written by Louis L’amour that I have been reading for about 6 months now and looking at the pictures you post on your blog I figure you must be Louis L’amours sister……HA
    here is a paragraph written in his book on the Sacketts that I am reading presently….

    “it was a high and lovely country . I rode through broken land crested and ridged with pines with beautiful meadows and streams that rushed over stones with a happy chuckling sound.”
    that sounds like some of your writing so Im getting the best of both worlds reading his and yours. they paint a vivid picture in my mind.
    thanks again for your blog
    chuck

  37. Pat in KS says:

    Wow! PookieBoy, that is mighty fine praise. My husband loves Louis L’Amour books. For him, that is one bunch of books he doesn’t mind reading over and over. You are right, however. Sue writes about her daily life in a way that makes it seem very romantic. Then when others contribute something like the recent reference to WWII and the bubblegum shortage, it makes that time period come alive vividly. Being a child then was very different from being a child today.

    Camping in the wilderness areas alone allows Sue to hear the silence, the wind, the birds and the insects. To not hear car alarms or honking horns must be such a treat. As for fear, I love that Sue experiences pleasure and not fear while enjoying her own company and that of Bridget. I doubt I will ever be healthy enough to travel in wilderness areas alone, but I can dream. Thanks Sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Pat. Lovely comment. It’s nice to be appreciated.

    • PookieBoy in houston says:

      Hi Pat….its good to see there are other Louis L’amour lovers out there. you are dead on about Sue and her writing…..plus the others giving us a history lesson or two….

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