A chance meeting with a friend leads to a new camp!

Friday, March 21

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Look at all the arms on this one saguaro!

We three outbackers need to go to town!

Early in the morning the crew and I pull out of our campsite on Sore Finger Road.

I’m not in a hurry.  In fact, I’d be happy to stay here another week or so.  However, we need to go to a grocery store.

I drive about 15 mph with the windows down, savoring the experience, imprinting this beautiful environment on my memory.

The wide, dirt road hasn’t had a vehicle on it — other than ours — in over three days.

 

We’re on our way to Wickenburg which is about 60 miles east.

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A cave near the top of a tall hill along Sore Finger, shot with my camera’s zoom feature.

Heading north on Salome Road, we come to a tiny church.

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This one has the same sign at the road as another tiny church I photographed recently, “Pause, Rest, Worship”

I take Centennial Road, bypassing Salome.

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Notice the many dips in the road where water crosses when the washes fill up.  Dips shake up the waste tanks. The Best Little Trailer is hopping behind us!

Soon we’re on Highway 60, heading due east.

On the way I see a green sign, “Transfer Station.”  That’s where we’re going!

I’ve been carrying around two large kitchen trash bags of garbage and several items to be recycled.  It’s about two miles down a side road.  White Prickly Poppy grows along the roadside.

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White Prickly Poppy — The natives probably consider this a weed. I think they’re pretty.

That task completed, we return to Highway 60.

At the town of Aquila, I turn southward onto Eagle Eye Road to look for a camp for tonight.  I’d rather not backtrack, but I’m not sure I want to camp around bustling Wickenburg, and Eagle Eye Road is an intriguing name.

A long stretch of Highway 60 goes through state land as it approaches Wickenburg.  Eagle Eye Road, on the other hand, crosses BLM land on the east side of the Harquahala Mountains.

I drive about twelve miles. 

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The petals are like tissue paper. A bee does what a bee does. . .

Twice I stop, leaving the crew in the Perfect Tow Vehicle, in order to walk a spur road without having to keep Bridget and Spike from sticking their noses in possible snake hiding places.

Uh-oh.  Not good.  This ground looks like Wellton Quicksand.  I’ll never forget what that looks like!  (The PTV got stuck at Coyote Wash in Wellton, Arizona, recently).  Oh well, it’s a beautiful day for driving around and walking the desert.

Guess who I bump into at the Safeway in Wickenburg!

It’s Kelly of Travel with the Bayfield Bunch!

“I was going to ignore you, Kelly, but I figured if we talk now we won’t have to visit each other!”

She laughs.  We hug and chat next to our grocery carts.

“Gee, you guys have had a lot of visitors lately,” I remark.  “Didn’t I tell you your home would turn into a tourist stop?”

Al and Kelly will leave their home in Congress soon to return to their home in Ontario for six months, as Canadians do.

Kelly asks me where I plan to camp.

“Actually, I haven’t figured that out yet,” I reply.  Kelly suggests Vulture Mine Road.  I tell her I don’t want to be visible from the road where I might be recognized, and Vulture Mine is a popular boondocking area.

Kelly — bless her heart —  explains where I can find a road that will suit me fine.

And, boy, does it ever!

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“Thanks, Kelly! It’s beautiful here!”

The desert around here is like a garden!

Bridget, Spike, and I have been exploring and I’ve collected quite a few photos of desert flowers and plants.

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The campsites are picturesque. Three other campers are on this road, out of sight and hearing.

Our site overlooks a wide, curving wash where birds chortle and sing.  A pair of purple finches, male and female, alight delicately on a chain cholla in bud.

The cactus wrens survey the scene from, where else, the top of saguaros.  A phainopepla, recognized by his crest, sways in the breeze, clinging to the stalk of the ocotillo that’s in bloom right in front of our door.

At dusk Mr. and Mrs. Gambrel Quail take a stroll in front of my chair and the crew’s beds.  A curious curved bill thrasher sits on the fire ring and eyes me before flying off to a palo verde someone has adorned with halves of grapefruit and oranges.

Several cottontail rabbits  scamper around in frenetic chases in the wash below our camp.  It’s a lover’s playground down there!

And the flowers!  Oh, my!

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Photo taken when we arrived. I hadn’t put down the chocks or jacks or set up the antenna yet.

I’ll save those photos for the next post.

rvsue

NOTE:  Did you know it’s easy to access the comment section of my blog?  Simply click on the title of the post.  Do join us!

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Thank you.

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“Now where’d those two nutcakes go?”

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103 Responses to A chance meeting with a friend leads to a new camp!

  1. John K - Mobile, AL says:

    Nice campsite! Very pretty there. I guess being a popular blogger is a double edged sword huh? Do you cringe whenever you hear someone coming or can you relax and not worry about it? Going to get my AZ Benchie…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John,

      Sometimes I cringe when I hear someone driving up. I always cringe when someone writes “Hope to meet you when we come that way next week” or something similar. I hope that doesn’t make me sound ungrateful for the popularity of my blog.

      • John K - Mobile, AL says:

        I don’t think it does, but that is just my opinion. You are graciously allowing us to follow along with your adventures and us readers should agree to follow along from afar and not try to actually take part real time. You do still have a right to your privacy and we should respect that.

      • John says:

        Regarding “Hope to meet you when we come that way next week” and similar: as your posts, while very enjoyable reading, usually have no time urgency (at least for most people, who are not trying to find you physically), should things get more bothersome you might perhaps post less frequently for three or four weeks on matters that have nothing to do with where you are, at the same time writing and queuing your usual location-identifying posts, then just continue writing as before, but releasing the queued posts in order, always three or four weeks behind where you are.

        The writing wouldn’t feel any different; it would just be that when you finished a post, you’d queue it rather than send it, sending instead the oldest in the queue.

        • John K - Mobile, AL says:

          I was thinking along those same lines. Maybe 2 or 3 campsites behind. If for anything your safety.

          • Ed says:

            I suggested that some months ago and Sue replied that she did not want to post using delayed postings. She felt it took away the feeling that she was trying to impart in her writing.
            As for safety, Sue has said repeatedly that she feels safe IF she is away from people. She also has said more than once that she is very aware when anyone is approaching her ‘out of the way’ campsites. You are correct that a delayed posting would keep her safe from stalkers that are reading her blog but she does not want to live that way. Perhaps there is no perfect safety in this world and she has accepted that.

            • Sierra Foothill Mama says:

              Well said. I am glad Sue is so direct in stating her needs and desires. Most of the folks who suggest finding her to meet her and the pups are new to the RV Sue community. Sue sets them straight and the rest of the community backs her up when needed.

              Her gift to us is this blog, our payment is respecting her privacy.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              To John and John K., thank you for your concern. Very sweet of you!

              To Ed and Sierra Foothill Mama… Both your comments are excellent! Thanks for stating my position so well . . . better than I ever could. 🙂

            • Sierra Foothill Mama says:

              I would love to be half the writer you are Sue. I am only your back-up.

      • Nan says:

        If I had people stopping in to visit all the time, I’d go bonkers. I like people, but I also like my privacy…..

        • Cinandjules says:

          I’m with you Nan!

          Apparently people who live here think it’s okay just to walk into your house…unannounced. No calls no nothing!

          It drives me out of my mind! We keep our screen door and front door locked ALL the time to prevent this!

          I think it’s rude…they think I’m rude! Oh it must be a cultural thing! You know what? It’s my house damn it…I’ll do as I please! So don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out!

          ARGH!!!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Just imagine what it must be like for Al and Kelly. They had two separate drop-ins in one day! Their home is becoming a tourist destination. I can see the day coming when they no longer can enjoy their home and have to give it up in order to reclaim their lives. Al’s a loner and Kelly tires easily… Gosh! Do these sound like people who need to entertain drop-ins? They’re too nice to be anything but gracious.

          • Sue, I certainly respect your need and desire for privacy. At the same time, I selfishly hope our paths do cross one day because that will mean I have finally realized my dream and hit the road! 🙂

  2. Sharron says:

    The pretty white flowers looks like Milk Thistle….a great medicinal herb!

  3. Pauline from Mississippi says:

    That road looks like licorice ribbon candy!! Glad you found another perfect spot.
    Hugs to you and the crew

  4. Betty-shea says:

    Hello! Your new camp is beautifull !!!
    The picture of the empty pup beds gave me a chuckle :*)) !
    Your fur kids keep you on your toes!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Bridget and Spike are an endless source of amusement and aggravation, to be honest. Haha!

  5. Ladybug says:

    You tease! When I see a headline like ‘And the flowers! Oh my!’ I’m expecting the next pic to be FLOWERS, not the butt-end of the BLT and a cactus!! 😉

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Sorry about that, Ladybug! You don’t get to see the flowers until you’ve looked at the BLT’s butt. That’s just the way it is.

  6. Bruce and Sheila says:

    Really enjoying your travels. We have just been to many of the places you have been staying at. I so enjoy your photos of the flowers. We have only found a very few. But as we head towards Bisbee, I am sure will should be seeing lots of flowers. Thanks for sharing your adventures. It is because of you we are now full timers.
    Loving life to the fullest.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s because of me you are now fulltimers? Wow! Am I ever glad you are lovin’ it! Nice to hear from you . . .

  7. Bob says:

    Come on by this summer, I have a lot of those “so called flowers” you like.
    Rocky Mtn Bob

  8. Susan in Dallas says:

    It’s amazing how much the landscape changes within a few miles. That saguaro is magnificent and those white flowers are stunning. Spike standing up looking all around and Bridget sitting and looking at Spike. Yep, all is well!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right. I had no idea the desert was this varied. I always thought it was sand and rocks and cacti and blah. The crew and I went on a walk today and I was thoroughly enchanted.

      I love that photo of Spike and Bridget. It’s typical of them . . . Spike looking around, ready to get into something, and Bridget sitting on her butt, waiting to see what happens next.

  9. Elizabeth aka E2/etwo in S.E. NM says:

    I’ve just introduced you to a Granddaughter in WVA who expressed a desire to “travel”
    and see our beautiful country. Hopefully you will help me to encourage her to become
    an RV’r eventually…. You are certainly among the best examples of living the greatest
    life available…..

    Hugz from Elizabeth….aka E2 in S.E. NM

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a sweet compliment, Elizabeth. Thank you for that and also for sharing my blog with your granddaughter.

  10. weather says:

    Deciding to greet Kelly,despite your obvious affection for her,must have given you a momentary twinge of reluctance,not being an overly social person,and on a mission to find a camp as well.Your caring won out again,making you pause long enough to include someone,and one more time you are rewarded with something delightful-a site filled with life!
    It’s like a little picture story of this blog.Instead of only reveling in the freedom and privacy you’d earned and longed for,you shared your world with others,and look what it’s become for you.
    All who are involved with this blog derive such benefits from this,and chief among those,for me,is seeing how you are helped,by friends and strangers,by having a community,by receiving funds to assure better options for whatever.Again I see the hand of providence in your life as He demonstrates loving you through blessings.
    Each time I perceive a pause in your blogging, relieved to see a new post,with a sigh I become again a smiling reader

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      Your comment engaged me totally! You make me sound like the greatest thing on wheels. 🙂

      I am convinced that everything I enjoy each day is given to me out of His great love. Every little bird that pays me a visit is a love letter. Every flower a greeting card addressed to me. Some will think that corny; others will understand.

      Keep smiling!

      • Elizabeth says:

        Not corny at all…we all need to count our blessings more often. Maybe life would go easier if we would (after all, look at all the troubles in the Wilderness with Moses, eh?) Looks like you are in a very nice spot. Nice of Kelly to tell you how to find it.

      • weather says:

        Good,my intent is that you know being appreciated for what and who you are,wheels or no wheels.
        Throughout life we predominately encounter people so crippled by this problematic world that they have been reduced to a series of reflexes.Close proximity to them results in our being wounded by their lack of control over tongue,hand,reaction,behavior,etc.
        The strength needed to admire ourselves and others for the simple will to live despite the frailties and limitations scarring us is a gift used only with effort.Determination to outlast every trauma and obstacle by reaching for the beauty and happiness ahead takes faith-that it will be worth it if we just refuse to give up,and courage-to try knowing we risk injury and failure.
        For every situation and relationship that could have ruined my life and outlook,I choose to look at the condition everyone there was in and see the triumph of heroes overcoming to the degree that each could …hurting each other,forgiving us all,rinse,repeat…
        So as I look in my rear view mirror those scenes have lost the power to frighten,sicken or sadden me,and hopefully you too,we win!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You are very wise.

        • DesertGinger says:

          My personal philosophy is very different. When I went to see the movie E.T. With a girlfriend, I cried through the whole thing. She didn’t at all. I think that is because we each choose our own reactions to things. A man returns home from work to find his wife with another man. He might get very angry. She’s cheating! Then again, he might be pleased! Now he can get that divorce! Or, in some cases he might get excited. He’s a voyeur! We are all different. No matter how someone treats me, I choose whether or not to be bothered. I do not believe other’s can hurt me…physically perhaps…emotionally and spiritually, no. For me, to think otherwise is blame. I also don’t think others make me happy. I do it all; I create my emotional state at all times. I think Sue does a very nice job of upholding this philosophy…although I have no idea about your beliefs…but in the way you live. When you are feeling down, you retreat for a few days and take care of yourself. Otherwise, you go about creating a fun and interesting day for yourself. I really admire that. I am trying to do that myself, with my move to the desert and other steps I am taking. I want to create the best life I can for me, which is all about me and my choices.

  11. Virginia says:

    Your cactus flower photos are beautiful. Love the desert in the spring (once lived in Phoenix back in the 70s). Sure wish I was where you are now. It has been a winter from “H” this year in most parts of the country except AZ and Southern California and there are no signs of it letting up at this point. I am still looking for my PTV/BLT. There is just too much to choose from but when the time is right when I will find it. You are kind of becoming one of those solo ladies who blazes the trail for the rest of us. I think you have the best of both worlds, can pick up and go or stay put and you do a lot of both at your own free will and you have so many friends so you are never alone. Best wishes to you and crew for a great spring and summer season.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Virginia. I wish you the same.

      I wonder how many people have gone out of their minds trying to cope with this brutal, unending winter across the country. A normal winter in NY used to drive me bananas.

      Yes, there are a lot of choices for rigs. And every type and model can be seen on the internet…. mind-boggling. The decision is such an important one, too. It takes time to narrow down which one is the right one. Good luck!

  12. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts., VA says:

    Sue, “Weather” has said best…I agree.
    Looked forward to your posting today and also enjoyed the “weeds” HA, beautiful white flowers and your new camp site. Let’s see what joys await tomorrow. Take Care
    Sue and Crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You take care, too, Diane. I do enjoy sharing what I find in the desert. I may be a loner, but like most people, I like to shout, “Look! Look what I found!”

      BTW, I’d like to post earlier in the day. The internet signal is too weak for me to work on a post until late afternoon, so posts will appear about the same time as this one did today.

      • DesertGinger says:

        Did you know the Internet signal is affected by heat? At least that is what I have been told by a couple of Internet providers.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Never heard that… hmm… interesting.

          • Elizabeth aka E2/etwo in S.E. NM says:

            Have you seen that big yellow round thing that moves from horizon to horizon across the sky, that grows from a thin curved slice in about a month? It is called “SUN”…. It is the planet that provides “HEAT” to the planet we live on
            called “EARTH.”

  13. Cinandjules says:

    Is that a new feature (Clicking on the title) or am I prehistoric?

    The saguaro looks like a man dancing. Never have I ever seen so many arms.

    Is the road constructed that way? Jules would get car sick traveling on a road like that!

    Your knowledge of different birds is amazing. The “nut cakes” look great. Spike is smiling!

    In regards to “finding a spot not visible from the road”. ….how unfortunate that some still refuse to understand the meaning of “no”. How hard is it to respect someone’s privacy….especially when they’ve politely asked? (Shakes head).

    Enjoy your site and your night! How’s Spike doing with his potty runs?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      I think the roads are constructed to allow water from washes to flow across. Kind of a “can’t beat ’em, join ’em” strategy. Otherwise the water would get angry and mess up the road? I’m guessing here.

      No, clicking on the title isn’t a new feature. The blog is over 2 years old and I recently found out about clicking the title from Mick.

      Spike is doing great. No more bed wetting! Of course, he’s carried out twice every night by moi. Now Bridget is in on the act. She thinks SHE has to be carried out also. Sheesh. What a circus… and it never stops! 24/7!

      How about Annie Oakley?

      • Cinandjules says:

        Annie is now sleeping thru the night…no howling, nightlight or potty runs! Yay!!!!

        For some reason she isn’t chewing her food….inhales it. We’ve tried putting a ball in her bowl, flipping it upside down so the kibbles are in the groove, separating it in a cupcake pan, buster cube and a kong! Hand feeding each kibble. Nothing is working!

        Her kibble is really small. She is the runt and I don’t know if that has something to do with it.

        She was running figure eights in the snow…grunting the entire time….we were laughing so hard.

        Other than that…..she is a joy! Momma’s girl….my shadow!

        • Ed says:

          Don’t worry about how your dog is eating. Dogs ‘wolf’ their food, they are simply being dogs. You want to worry, then worry when the food is not ‘inhaled’ that means something is wrong.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Great news — You’ve passed a big milestone — Everyone gets to sleep through the night!

          As for us, well . . .

        • Lana in Phoenix says:

          Cinandjules, hi! Always enjoy your comments. My little guys scarfed down their food, also, and someone suggested putting a couple of ice cubes in their bowls when they eat. Worked like a charm, and they like gnawing on the ice cubes, too.

  14. DesertGinger says:

    60 years ago my parents drove us from Oklahoma to Los Angeles on Route 66. We did this several summers. The highway often had the same dips you show above. My understanding is that the road wasn’t built to allow the water, but that those washes were already there and the road was just laid down across the existing topography. Which really makes sense; Mother Nature did the design.

    Is it my imagination or have you become even more of a loner as time passes? I’ve been reading through the whole archive and it seems you used to stay in more state parks and other pay campgrounds, and there were more often other people in your blog. Now it seems it is mostly solo boondocking.

    I guess I’m not as much of a loner as you (although I have always thought of myself that way), because I think I would want a little conversation now and then. Although perhaps your blog fills your quota.

    Live te pics of the desert bloom. I’m getting more and more excited!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ginger,

      Your explanation of the road is better than mine.

      No, I’m not becoming more of a loner, although I can see why you’d think that.

      I didn’t have solar during the first few months so I stayed in state parks and campgrounds for hook-up which put me in proximity of people. It took a while to have solar and my Wave 3 heater installed.

      As I had never camped before, my first boondocking experiences were around people. I quickly learned how far generator noise and voices carry across the desert and sought to get away from it. As my boondocking skills and confidence grew, I became able to find camps that suit me better.

      You’ll see me camping in campgrounds more during the summer months as I travel in national forest areas which may put me near people. Also in summer, campgrounds can give me a good base from which to explore popular locales. There’s an ebb and flow to my style over the course of a year.

      As for your need for conversation, you can find it easily living the RV life!

  15. R. (Colorado) says:

    Enjoy your privacy in such beautiful spot. The wildflower is White Prickly Poppy. If you accidently break a stem you can see a yellow sap but plant is poisonous to animals. I’m not sure how human reacts and truly I wouldn’t want to conduct any personal experiments. Nonetheless plants are sometimes boiled and used in baths for the treatment of rheumatism.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, R.! You have proved to me that you are knowledgeable of plants. I appreciate the help.

      I wonder if Ed will agree that it’s White Prickly Poppy. 🙂

      • Ed says:

        Yes, I do agree. R. (Colorado) is far more knowledgeable about flowers than I. I do reasonably well with cactus identification but what little I know about wildflowers is all obtained through Google Search (I’m pretty good at that).

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Good! When my connection improves I’ll insert the ID under the photo. Thanks to you both!

  16. Trip and Lisa says:

    Hey Sue,when we say “we’ll be out that way next month,sorry we’ll miss you”,that’s code for saying “we won’t bother you”,lol,,,,,,as Trip holds up a freesh spit chicken on a log chain.Being private folks ourselves,we certainly understand your desire for privacy.
    This benchmark atlas and your comments have sure shown us some great areas for boondocking tho which we prefer.We have found many new areas we can extend our winter “free camping” that we were not aware of previously.
    So have a great week and watch out for the critters that bite.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Trip and Lisa,

      I’m glad to expand the possibilities for your winter camping. I like lots of choices, otherwise I’ll get the feeling I want to avoid — routine!

      You have a great week, too!

  17. Linda says:

    So where DID those two nut cakes go?

  18. Cari in North Texas says:

    Ah, the joys of exploring new territory and of finding a new (temporary) home for awhile. I have developed a whole new appreciation and picture of the desert through your blog. Like you, I always kinda pictured it as flat, empty, and boring. Your photos and descriptions have shown that it is indeed full of life and beauty. You just have to take the time to stop, get out, explore, and look for it.

    And you definitely depict the kind of person that fits the Texas State Parks motto – life is better outside! Hopefully our winter weather is over, and I can get outside and travel some as well. I’ve developed a bit of cabin fever this winter, even though I do get out when I’m working, and your blog inspires me to get out into the boonies.

    • Cari in North Texas says:

      Or at least out away from the concrete and hustle and bustle of the city!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Cari,

        I imagine there’s an epidemic of cabin fever across the continent!

        About taking the time to see the desert… Several times I’ve seen a vehicle drive across the desert and then turn around and drive back the way it came. I wonder how far the people drove to get here . . . I can almost hear their words of disappointment… “Well, nothing to see here.”

  19. Terri From Texas says:

    Hi Sue
    I was wondering if you had an idea of how tall that Saguaro was next to the church. It looked as tall if not taller than the building. Also, your bird identification is amazing. Unfamiliar birds to me. I enjoy your pics of the plants but if you could sneak in some bird pics ss well that would be amazing!
    Keep on keeping on!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Terri,

      How I’d love to include bird photos in my posts like other bloggers do who have tripods and super-duper lenses. I see birds up close because I stand or sit very still and the crew ignores birds. They are close enough for camera to make a clear photo but the simple movement of raising the camera usually sends them off. Or the birds are backlit or whatever…

      The easiest way to take good bird photos is to have a camera set on a tripod with settings ready and the lens trained on a bird feeder. I don’t put out birdseed any more because it attracts rodents and quail which draws coyotes in close.

      I wanted to include stock images of each bird but the internet connection was too slow for that.

      It’s a great suggestion… I’ll see what I can do.

      The height of the saguaro next to the church? Well, the church’s door is standard size and the saguaro is slightly more than two door’s high. 🙂

  20. Bill from NC says:

    Gmornin Sue n crew! I got behind on your blog but just enjoyed my coffee and caught up on your travels, adventures and best of all your history of how you became a full timer! Very good info and I like the way you mix the history and current events!

    Sadie n Bill

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sadie and Bill,

      Glad you’re caught up with us! Thanks for the positive feedback on the format I’m using. It makes the writing of my history easier when presented this way.

  21. Page says:

    Hope to bump into you in a Safeway someday! 😉

  22. DeAnne in TN says:

    Silly me–I’ve always clicked on the title to read the comments. I didn’t know there was another way!

    As I was reading this post I was planning a trip in my retirement rv…desert in the early spring for the desert blooms…then on to the north to Colorado and Montana to see the spring wildflowers bloom there and along the way. Stay for a little while and then head to northern Idaho or Montana or even over the Canadian border to catch the leaves beginning to show their fall colors. Back down south for the winter. Thanks for giving me an idea and a tangible dream, Sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, DeAnne,

      The dreaming never stops! You dream about the day you get your rig, your first camp in it, having solar installed, your first boondock, etc.

      And the dreaming continues every time you contemplate where to travel in the year to come. . . It’s wonderful.

  23. Dawn says:

    Love that last photo, even if the nutcases weren’t in it. It shows the intimacy of the campsite and the vastness of the desert all at the same time. Nice job.

  24. DeAnne in TN says:

    I’m a firm believer in things happening for a reason. We may not know the reason at the time, but there is a purpose. If Sue had gotten to the grocery store 15 minutes either earlier or later, she wouldn’t have found that little slice of paradise.

    Well, just a minute ago, I was on Facebook and I get daily motivational quotes. The one I got today completely made sense and even gave me some much needed encouragement. This is what it said:
    ‘If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you directly to your purpose.” Works for me!

  25. Dee Walter says:

    Thanks for the instruction to click on the title to find the comments.

    I’ve been reading your blog for at least a year (maybe more). I do have one question, do you see many snakes in your stay in the desert?

    We’re not boondockers but you’re blog is so fascinating and I love reading them. I promise not to look you up, but we’re coming out west for the first time this summer. It’s exciting and scary. Just way to desolate for our liking, but we have nine more states to visit to see all the USA.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dee,

      Thanks for reading my blog for several months.

      Snakes? I’ve seen three since vagabonding for nearly three years — all were harmless, two were alive, one dead in the road — and that’s living outdoors more than inside, walking around the desert a lot. I saw more snakes per year when I lived in a house in Georgia.

      The desert seems desolate when viewed from afar (not in person). If one sheds the conditioning of what is beauty based upon temperate landscapes and takes the time to truly see the desert, it is anything but desolate. I once thought the desert a boring and desolate environment, until I experienced it, and then… Wow! I’m continuing to find much at which to marvel.

      The desert is a collection of fascinating plants, animals, and geology — as well as spectacular sunrises and sunsets — that I hope you get to see. Give it a try at least once in your lifetime. Take the time to let it work its power on you.

      Best wishes for your first trip West. I’ll never forget mine!

  26. AZ Jim says:

    That what appears to be a shallow cave reminds me of one I ran into in a rocky hillside in a place called Conejo (rabbit) valley in far eastern San Diego county years ago. I was climbing up a sloping hill of outcroppings when I came upon this cave. It wasn’t deep I could tell but I couldn’t see clearly what was in it, if anything.
    I decided not to enter not knowing what it might contain. I went up the hill higher and sat down to rest and check out the view and as I looked back down I saw a mountain lion come out of the outcropping which from where I sat hid the cave entrance. The lion must have smelled or saw me when I was at the entrance and looked around and spotted me where I sat.

    The cat was at least a 100 pounds (maybe more). I didn’t know what to do so I sat and kept an eye on it for a moment, then it started down the hill toward a small creek there. Later in the day I once again saw it at the creek drinking. Again it looked at me but even though I was armed I decided the best course of action at the moment was to get in my truck, which I did. At no time did that lion seem disturbed at my presence, if anything it seemed curious.

    I stayed there two more days but always looked around frequently to ensure I was alone (I’ll never know if I was but if not it didn’t bother me.)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow, Jim, that’s quite a story! I can imagine the tension you felt and how riveted you must have been at the sight of a mountain lion in his/her habitat.

      Sounds like that lion was content… plenty of food and water available, and a cool cave in which to sleep and relax. Not desperate enough to take down a hiker. Yes, it’s best to leave wildlife alone, if not in imminent danger. Thanks for sharing!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow, Jim, that’s quite a story! I can imagine the tension you felt and how riveted you must have been at the sight of mountain lion in his/her habitat.

      Sounds like that lion was content… plenty of food and water available, and a cool cave in which to sleep and relax. Not desperate enough to take down a hiker. Yes, it’s best to leave wildlife alone, if not in imminent danger. Thanks for sharing!

      • AZ Jim says:

        I was close enough to see that cat’s eyes clearly but they say don’t lock eyes with one. Apparently they see it as either a challenge or threat and attack. I made sure not to do that but where I was did not afford any escape (and you can’t outrun one) so there was no thought of that. I just hoped I didn’t get attacked and it worked out. I tell ya though it was a scare.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Reminds me of coming face-to-face with a momma grizzly and her two cubs. We looked into each other’s eyes even though I knew I shouldn’t! Couldn’t resist! Of course I had the windshield between us (false sense of security)!

  27. Alan Rabe says:

    I know I have said it before but I will say it again. There is nothing like the desert in bloom. I hope the Palo Verdes and the other trees got enough water to coax them out. Rabbits and Quail, what a treat. I would bet there are ground squirrel around also. This could be your best campsite ever.
    I have always been of the opinion that when you see someone camping off to themselves they want to be alone so give them what they want. People camped in groups do so for a reason also. If you want to be around other people then look for the groups, otherwise find your own space. There is plenty of it out there.
    There is someone fairly close to where you are who is feeding the birds, hence the fruit in the trees. You might see them if you stick around there for long.
    As always Enjoy every day, and hug the pups for me, they are so lucky to have such a human looking over them.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Alan,

      The fruit in the trees was put there by previous campers in this campsite. That’s why the birds are very curious. They want me to provide! I did put up some more orange halves, and, against my better judgement, put out some slivered almonds I had in the cupboard. Boy, the curved bill thrashers love ’em!

      I’m looking for a palo verde in bloom, just for you, Alan. 🙂

      • Alan Rabe says:

        I always liked bringing a little food for the inhabitants of my campgrounds. After all it is their home and we are just guests, so be respectful. And it is so nice to have the creatures around, makes the experience more enjoyable. Of all the times I was out and about I only one “bad” experience with the wild ones. Bears, in the high sierras in Kearsarge pass north of MT. Whitney, took my food. It was my fault. Other than that I have come across coyote, javelina, cougars, wild sheep, and even a black bear in of all places, bear canyon, just north of Payson, even the occasional snake. They all didn’t really care if I was there or not, they just went along their own way with no issue. For the most part animals just don’t care about humans, if they do there is usually some reason. Usually young ones or illness.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You’re right. Mostly the animals don’t want to deal with humans. Shucks, I don’t want to deal with humans. LOL!

  28. Judi says:

    I don’t know why but the picture of Spike standing and Bridget sitting like a buddha (ess?) I find so funny. She cracks me up.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      She makes me laugh, too. Sometimes I get fed up with her psychological drama though. On our morning walk today, out of the blue she stages a sit down strike. We hadn’t gone far enough for her to be tired or overheated. It’s a power thing with her. Then Spike stops walking with me, too… goes back and wanders off the trail near Bridget. I go back, pick him up, and carry him further down the trail. Once we’re out of Bridget’s view, she decides she’ll walk after all. It’s that kind of nonsense, while may be cute the first time, gets to be irritating. “Um, is it all right if we go for a walk, Bridget? Like a normal person with two normal dogs?”

      Other times she’s extremely sensitive to my feelings, sweetly attentive and too huggable to resist.

  29. Cat Lady says:

    Hi, Sue and Crew,
    I just ordered my second Hamilton Beach 49983 2-Way FlexBrew Coffeemaker by Hamilton Beach from Amazon. I’ve enjoyed it so much that I’ve decided this one will stay in my motorhome for when I’m traveling. Brews a great K cup or 12-cup for company…the best of both worlds. I want to make sure you get credit for another HB coffeemaker sale…I just ordered it 3/23 around 3:55 DST.

    Take care. Hugs to fur kids.

    Cat Lady

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Cat Lady, for shopping through my blog. I’ll look for the coffeemaker when I check my Amazon orders report that’s issued each morning. It probably won’t show up for another day or two. Feel free to ask me again if I forget to come back here with confirmation.

  30. riley in nc says:

    Sue…
    I finally had to buy a buggy for my 14 y/old pug Henry, and his partner in crime Chipper a 14.5 y/old rat terrier. The pug just can’t walk very far anymore and the rat terrier is just lazy (what is it with them). I push them awhile then stop to let them explore and pee on everything then back in the stroller.
    I guess it’s quite an amusing spectacle to see us strolling on the hiking trails at the campground.
    The startled looks I get from people expecting to see a cute little baby, and a pug pops out!
    A buggy probably wouldn’t work out in the desert unless it’s 4wheel drive, but that stroller has saved my sanity.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Riley,

      We’re not at the stroller stage yet for which I am thankful. Bless you for giving your dogs such consideration. I know what you mean about the startled looks… I got some tsk-tsk looks from people when I pushed Bridget in a stroller (while she was recuperating from a leg injury) and Spike had to walk.

  31. Mike Leonard says:

    Sue, I have been reading your blog since you began. I enjoy it as much now as when you started. I am hoping we get back to the Southwest this year, maybe in November.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I hope you get back here, too. Thanks for reading my post all these many months (since April 2011). Great that you dropped in with a few lines!

  32. Your corner of the desert is absolutely lush with plants and birds! I love the White Prickly Poppy–such delicate petals. I wonder if there’s a Tiny Church Association of America, aka TCAA, & that’s why all the signs say the same thing? Love the dippy road–I wonder how often it has to be re-paved? Take good care; ear skritches to the crew!

  33. Michelle says:

    Do you ever come across rattlesnakes? How do you protect yourself and the crew from them?

  34. Kelly says:

    It was so neat to “re-connect” at Safeway !! I’m really pleased you found the site I mentioned.

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