A cool, piney boondock in the Coconino National Forest

Friday, April 11 (continued)

Before leaving Chino Valley, I stop at Ace Hardware on the south side of town.  I remember from last spring that Ace has a dump station and sells propane ($2.79 gal.).  The cashier tells me that Ace charges $7.50 to dump, unless more than $5.00 of propane is purchased.  I spend $20.38 on propane (includes $1.91 sales tax) so I pay nothing for the dump station.

I point the Perfect Tow Vehicle northward.

At Safeway I buy $55.38 of gas ($3.39 gal.) and pick up some meat for the crew and fresh vegetables for me.

1-DSC03586Now we’re all set… We’ve got groceries, a full tank of gas, a full tank of water, drinking water jugs filled, empty waste tanks, trash dumped, both propane tanks full, and clear sailing ahead to our next camp!

From Chino Valley we go north on Highway 89. 

Memories surface as I pass two previous camps — Camp Drake where Rusty and I camped last spring and Camp Ash Fork, where I first met Rusty in 2012.

1-DSC03587-001At Ash Fork we roll up the ramp onto Interstate 40.

We proceed eastward to Williams, bypassing the exit to the Grand Canyon, and continuing all the way to Flagstaff.

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Bridget and Spike, being seasoned travelers who happen to have bellies stuffed with their favorite breakfast — stewed chicken thighs — sleep the entire trip.

From Chino Valley to Flagstaff is approximately 90 miles, the last leg of the journey going uphill.  About 12 miles north of Flagstaff we cross the median to return to one of our favorite camps in the Coconino National Forest.  You may remember this piney camp situated on a bluff with a view of the Painted Desert.  We’ve camped here twice before.  It’s across Highway 89 from Sunset Crater.

Go ahead and laugh that I call 90 miles a “journey.” 

For me 90-100 miles is a perfect amount of driving from one camp to another.  I take forest road #418 (only one other camper is here– someone with a tent) to forest road #9125F.  Pine trees line the wide and dusty road.  Anticipation mounts!  That’s such a primo spot.  I hope it isn’t occupied.

We climb over a small hill and the campsite is empty!

I park according to the no-more-than-50-feet-from-the-road rule, even though it’s obvious others are still parking wherever they want.

1-DSC03591The crew and I jump out to take in the surroundings. 

First thing I notice is the marvelous aroma of pine.  We walk over to the big tree (above) and look beyond the treetops toward the Painted Desert (mostly obscured by haze in the photo below).  The breeze through the trees in the valley below makes a soft, steady “whoosh” sound.

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“Hey, you little boondockers. Do you remember this place?” 

Bridget and Spike are all over, sniffing the clumps of green grass and scattered pine needles.  We climb a small hill together.  Then I set about chocking the wheels.  (I always chock the wheels whether I unhitch or not.)  I put the Best Little Trailer’s interior in order. By now it’s early afternoon and I’m starving!

1-DSC03590-001I peel a few potatoes and snap a handful of green beans for a boiled vegetable lunch. 

A bottle of full-strength cranberry juice perks up the palate.  (I’ll say!  Have you ever downed 8 ounces of pure cranberry juice?  It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s great for urinary tract health!)

Why are we here?  Well, I finally have a plan!  More about that later . . .

Saturday, April 12

Note:  Big rigs can access this campsite.  There are several to choose from in the Coconino National Forest across the road from Sunset Crater National Monument.

1-DSC03594 - Copy

We awake to a blue-sky day after a good night’s sleep.

“Let’s go for a walk before breakfast!”  Bridget and Spike are happy to oblige as they’re as excited as I am to be in an environment that differs greatly from the camps of this past winter.

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I expected it to be a lot cooler at this elevation (approximately 7,000 feet).  Air currents from the San Francisco Peaks make this a breezy camp.  It’s cool, but not uncomfortably so due to the warmth of the sunshine.

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I’m always cheered to see Spike starting his day with energy and a minimum of lameness.

He obviously enjoys our little pre-breakfast walk.  Bridget is happier when Spike keeps up with her, trotting along side-by-side.  She gives Spike a slight nip on the nose.

“Did you just kiss Spikey?” I ask as she scampers ahead of us, turns, and comes back to Spike.

 Okay, here’s the plan.

I tossed around a gazillion ideas how we will travel this summer.  My poor Benchmarks are tattered and worn from all the perusing I’ve done over the winter months.  This past week I finally make a decision.  That decision, of course, can change in a flash, but at least I know our direction.

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I’d like to retrace the route we took last spring. 

From Flagstaff, go to Tuba City and cross the Navajo rez to Kayenta with a stop-over at Navajo National Monument.  Bypass Monument Valley and zip straight up Highway 191 to Bluff, Utah.

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Moving right along, we’ll skip Goosenecks State Park and Valley of the Gods, even though they both are magnificent.  We were there last year and maybe we can visit those places in another year.

I don’t want to lollygag just yet. 

I want to move us north to the Moab area, possibly camp along the Colorado, visit Arches National Park and/or Canyonlands.  I rarely keep to plan, but this is our main goal — Get ourselves up through Utah and Flaming Gorge, camping at new-to-us sites along the way.

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Bridget likes to pick apart pine cones with her teeth.  She does not appreciate, however, being photographed while doing so.

A low in the mid-thirties is forecast for tonight in Flagstaff.  Although only twelve miles north, we’re higher up and near the Peaks.  It may be a very chilly night.

I shut the window and door right before sundown to hold in the heat.  Heating up supper and donning layers of bedclothes — not to mention snuggling with two canine bed-warmers — ought to ensure a comfy night’s rest.

Gusty winds in the 25-35 mph range are in the picture for tomorrow (Sunday) across the Painted Desert and the possibility of rain up Navajo Monument way.

 

Monday will be a better day for driving.

This is a good, private place to hole up for the weekend.  After a winter of temperatures in the 70s and 80s, the crew and I can tolerate a few chilly nights!

rvsue

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64 Responses to A cool, piney boondock in the Coconino National Forest

  1. Ladybug says:

    Yay! Back to the piney woods!

    BTW, Sue, don’t forget that this Friday is Good Friday (Easter this coming Sunday), so you’re coming up on a long holiday weekend.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, that’s next weekend. Easter is April 20th. Thanks for the reminder, Ladybug. I’ll try to have us settled somewhere by Friday.

  2. Kay says:

    OMGosh… did I just come in SECOND? Hi RVSue and Crew…. So happy to see you all met up with Rusty and Timber. NEATO!!!

    Take your time heading north, 6 to 8 inches forecasted in Wyoming, 3 to 4 in Colorado front range. I do think this winter will NEVER go home.

    Enjoy, and thanks for the many laughs – I need them!

    Kay

    • Ladybug says:

      I blame it on that Phil fellow (you know, the one that saw his shadow). Someone needs to be making groundhog stew…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good advice, Kay. I want to get us to the Moab area and then hang around there for a while. We’ll be hit with snow, no doubt, while in Utah. I want to get this show on the road!

      It’s not fair that we have the best, warmest winter yet while the rest of the country can’t get out from under snow and cold.

  3. Susan in Dallas says:

    Beautiful camp site, a big change from the desert. The sky is so blue! It’s good to have a plan and it’s good to change if you want. That’s one part of retirement that never gets old.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Susan…

      When taking the photos for this post I thought, “People aren’t going to believe the color of this sky is real.”

      You can count on us going off the plan!

  4. Barbara says:

    I love when you go to a new camp. Just picturing myself wandering around the beautiful western USA, someday, hopefully. I am so glad you have a carefree retirement and take us along for the ride.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barbara. . . If wandering the West is your dream, I urge you to make it happen. I haven’t regretted for one second all the effort it took to bring us here.

      This morning as I was stirring oatmeal, I stood at the stove and was hit with an awareness of the “here and now.” My mind had gone back to when all this was a dream and then returned to the present — “I’m doing it! I’m actually living that dream!”

      Best wishes as always . . .

  5. Timber n' Rusty says:

    Wow Sue, I know right where you are, it’s a big change in night time temps from here to there, huh. shur looks great as all ways. Glad that Spike is doing better. Timber is still wondering where did every one go, he looks all around for you and the crew. Have a great safe trip and we’ll see ya next spring ,,,,,,,,,,Rusty

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, poor Timber. He did love having company. It took him two days to calm down, he was so excited.

      I look forward to seeing the garden railroad (and you and Timber) the next time we come through Chino Valley! Take care . . .

  6. Chris B says:

    Those blue skies and green pines make me want to get up to the mountains. Your new camp looks so clear and beautiful and, most of all, quiet. Another month or so and I’m heading up to the Sierras. I can’t wait! Keep warm!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chris… You and Clete have a pretty good life. . . Beautiful coast and beautiful mountains, rolling that egg wherever you want to go . . .

  7. Glenda in OZ! says:

    Love the change in scenery not that I didn’t like the desert scenes which were just wonderful. Excited with your plans of your summer travels………..Ill be along for the ride!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      And I’m happy you plan to ride along with us, Glenda!

      You touched on what is so very wonderful about this life — the easy change of surroundings. You can live in the desert in sunshine and warmth during the winter and then go to other places the rest of the year, depending upon your interests and whims and the weather you prefer.

  8. Linda May says:

    Sue,
    I want to post the alert for oneleggedcowboy William (Bill) Davidson last know location Box Wash, Wickenburg, AZ. Bill’s rig is light silver F150, North Carolina license plate BOW-1471, with a Heritage cab over camper, white with yellow and orange stripes. He travels with his Pug dog Sadie Mae.
    Bill post on his blog almost every day and there hasn’t been anything since April 3rd. I emailed him 3 days ago and he usually gets right back. Bill post he is diabetic. He is an avid rock hound. I fear for him.
    If you are in the area please look for him.
    We look out for each other here.
    Thank you, Linda May

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I so love being in pine trees…the smell is incredible. We are beginning to get the pollen from them here, which can really bother some people. It will look like yellow rain ere long. But all part of what one must put up with if living in pines…

    We are in our teeny apt now and it seems it will be a peaceful enough place to live. I suppose when summer gets here we will know for sure.
    Blessings on your travels,
    Elizabeth in WA

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Elizabeth… God bless you, too, in your new apartment in view of Puget Sound. I hope you enjoy living there. I certainly enjoyed crossing the Sound with the crew!

  10. weather says:

    Seeing the next part of your path as you choose the direction according to what you want to see next season…how exciting that can be!
    As I read through sipping coffee,imagining your state of mind takes hold-
    “make sure the water jugs don’t freeze at night-the pines scent is so nice
    with the colder temps,glad I’ve kept my tire gauge handy-that is the bluest sky
    ooh-h-h the views we’re going to see-can hardly wait to get going-this is gonna be go-o-od!!Glad we’re here right now though,love this camp,
    I’m going to read a book for a while,it’s been a busy few days…”
    Sue,you make it fun to” travel with”you,thanks,again.
    This morning was the first day this year that the lake I live on was thawed enough for the waves to return.That change in the environment is like a painting of my life right now…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, you live on a lake! I remember envying those fortunate to have a lakeside home, especially in summer.

      You captured my thoughts well. This short trip from Chino Valley to Flagstaff was a dreamy ride. All the tasks were completed, traffic was light, the light showing clearly the fields, forests, and mountains, the crew fast asleep, and a familiar, favorite camp ahead with pine trees and mountain breeze. . .

      I’m glad you travel with us!

      • weather says:

        A lakeside home- one of many bright chapters in my life acquired by relentlessly pursuing what “appeared” unattainable.
        .As we drove along this lake one day many summers ago,the man who would soon become my husband said “I’ve wanted to live on that lake since I was a kid.”I knew that to him it had seemed like a caterpillar wishing it could become an eagle.
        My first thought was”hear that,God?”
        All I said out loud was “tell me all about that dream.”
        Proving that we could have the life of our dreams became an
        adventure in love few can imagine.
        This home served a purpose that’s passed now.I have a solo
        adventure to prepare for.
        Fortunate to have,as in bought with inherited wealth,no.
        Blessed with faith,hard at work while laughing
        at our own struggles,yes.
        Hope and faith undiminished,I expect this next run at my horizon will also be precious in ways yet to be seen.
        It pleased me that you said you remember envying,past tense.
        Your life may be envied by most as well.I know the decades of hard jobs,sacrifice and emotional depths you endured to get what you have now.I don’t envy you,I’m thrilled for you.
        A life that includes being understood,instead of envied,is rich indeed.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          How blessed you have been, weather! You and your husband shared dreams, laughs, faith, and hope. Such a precious thing. And how blessed you will continue to be as you go forth solo!

          I always gain much from your messages. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

  11. Sue, your words and photos took me right out to the woods! I could even hear the wind! Thank you so much–safe travels & ear skritches for the crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn . . . You’re welcome! One of the things I like about this camp is looking across the tree tops on the slopes and valley below this bluff. I watched a raptor (some kind of bird of prey) drifting at equal height, not above as is usually how we see them.

      A Stellar’s Jay flitted around the pines… I’ve only seen those a few times before. They look like a black bird with a crest until the light hits the body revealing a deep blue. Quite handsome.

  12. Cat Lady says:

    Sue, I really like your (pictured) chair above with the attached holder. If you’ll give me the clicky, I’ll order one. BTW, I pre-ordered two Christine Feehan books: one is due out in early May; the other, in September. I don’t know how that’ll affect you but you should get credit.

    I’m receiving my blog updates. Don’t want to miss those.

    Safe travels. Hugs to the furbabies.

    Cat Lady

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cat Lady… I do like those chairs (I have two.) I bought them from a vendor at Quartzsite. The brand is EEZ RV Products. Right now my connection is slow and I want to reply to comments. Later I’ll see what I can find on Amazon and post a link for you here.

      Thanks for ordering the books through my blog! It’s good to know you’re getting blog updates again. Have a great day . . .

      LATER… Mine isn’t available from Amazon. This one is similar and I paid about that much:

      You can use the Amazon search box in the sidebar using “camp directors folding chair with side table” for more results.

  13. Cheryl Ann says:

    Oh, that’s beautiful country! One time hubby and I drove out Schultz Pass Road, from the western side of Flagstaff out to near Sunset Crater, if I remember correctly. Beautiful road! Yes, next weekend is a 3 day weekend. I get Friday off…whoo, whoo! 🙂
    Cheryl Ann

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cheryl Ann . . . I didn’t include in this post a brief detour I took down Schultz Pass Road. There’s a sign that says it is “not maintained for passenger cars.” It deteriorated quickly the further I drove, so I turned around and went up toward Lockett Meadow to this camp. Now that I’m here, I wonder why I looked elsewhere (except it’s higher here and probably colder).

      Enjoy your three-day weekend!

  14. Roland says:

    Argh, looking at those pictures I want to hit the road now! instead of late next year.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Roland . . . Sorry for being such a big tease! You can forgive me though because I’ve said — no, yelled — plenty of my own ARRRGGGHHS!

      I recall jumping up from my computer after reading an RVers blog, jamming the top of my head into the wall, and arghing at high volume. I felt like I could jump out of my own skin, I wanted to be on the road that badly!

      Your time will arrive and it will be oh-so- sweet. 🙂

  15. Linda May says:

    Dear Sue,
    oneleggedcowboy is OK. SwankyWheels made contact with someone close to him. He is in an area with a bad connection but will be posting soon.
    I almost feel silly for getting so worried. On the other hand what if he did need help and we did nothing.
    My Mother Hen syndrome can be quiet now.
    My heartfelt thanks to all.
    Your Friend, Linda May

    • Deb from NJ says:

      Linda, so glad to hear that your friend is okay. It’s a frightening thing not knowing and unable to do anything about it. He is lucky to have a good friend like you watching out for him. No need to feel silly.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Deb is right, Linda. It was good of you to care enough to spring into action with an alert. I want readers to feel welcome to post concerns here.

      READERS: This is a good time for me to point out that I may encounter the same situation (no internet signal), although not as likely now that I have the Wilson antenna.

      No need to become concerned about me and the crew until you haven’t heard from us in 5 or 6 days, okay? I’ll keep that in mind and travel to find a signal before a week goes by.

    • DesertGinger says:

      Your instinct is good….better safe than sorry. I think it is a good thing, especially for us boomers, to have friends who check in with you and keep track. Otherwise you could fall and not get up!

  16. Linda May says:

    Dear RVSue,
    We are in the same area again. When I was in Fernley, NV you were close. Iwas in Cottonwood you were at Rusty’s. Now we’re both in Flagstaff the gap is closing. Following the beautiful weather Arizona has to offer.
    I leave her the 15th to go to Sherwin Creek Campground in Mammoth Lakes, CA. Where I will be camphosting until September. Livivg the dream.
    Your Friend, Linda

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a beautiful area in which to reside until September! I’m going to look up Sherwin Creek . . . I bet it is a popular campground. Have a safe, enjoyable trip and best wishes as you get settled in your new home and begin hosting!

      I hope you will let us know how your summer progresses and anything you’d like to share about your camp hosting experiences. I’m sure I have readers who are interested in learning more about workkamping.

  17. Deb from NJ says:

    Just through your photos I can hear the breeze through the pines and smell the pine aroma. Ahhhh! Wishing I were there.

    Love Arches and Canyonlands! I have camped at Canyonlands, Arches and Dead Horse State Park. Even hiked to Delicate Arch. I visited the area frequently while living in Colorado. One thing I will tell you is to check out the Calendar of Events for Moab during the time you want to go there. They get real busy and crowded! So much that I have spent nights at the rest area because there was no where to camp. Of course at the time I did not know about boon docking, but I am sure that a lot of people that go there know about it. For a small town they get real crowded during their events. I met someone at the rest area that slept in his SUV there during the week so he could work….then go home during the weekend and he did this during the winter too. He told me that one time the town was so crowded that people pitched their tents at the rest area and in the morning the water sprinklers came on…. must have been a sight to see!

    Excited to follow along on your journey!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deb,

      I’ve heard Moab can be very crowded, but I needed that reminder. Good advice about checking for events. The number of campgrounds in that area tells me how popular it must be.

      I’ll try to find private boondocks away from the crowds. One reason I’m moving right along to get there is to beat the crush, although a million other people probably are doing the same thing! I’ll be happy to get a “taste” of the area, away from the usual tourist sites. Even if I don’t see one arch, that’s okay. I’ve already seen numerous photos of the arches there!

      It will be a challenge. That can be fun, especially if a primo boondock is found… pretty and private… while the masses bump into each other elsewhere.

      Since one cannot boondock on tribal lands, I’ll be in Bluff soon. From there I can time our visit to Moab, and try to avoid “events.” Thanks again, Deb.

  18. beautiful campsite! and you’re right about the cranberries but I prefer dried over the juice…easier to carry around in the rig, weighs less and makes for a nice treat any time of day

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Dried cranberries are tasty. I like to put them on cereal. I got a good buy on the juice. It’s not a regular purchase — too tart!

  19. Sounds like a great camp. We will look for it when we are in that area.
    Good plan for summer, looking forward to your new places adventure.

  20. Pleinguy says:

    Wow! We were camped only a few miles apart on the same day. I was on the other side of US-89 by the Wupatki ruins. Then headed up 89A to Navajo Bridge and passed the Vermilion Cliffs. I’ll be visiting Zion NP next. So sorry I missed meeting you and the crew Sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s okay, Pleinguy… We can meet here regularly. 😉

      Navajo Bridge and the Vermillion Cliffs are unforgettable! Also Zion, of course. You are on the route the crew and I did in 2012. If you drive past Virgin on the west side of Zion and continuing westward, there is a place for smaller rigs to boondock next to the North Fork of the Virgin River. You turn right onto the Kolob Reservoir Road and a few miles up that road, you’ll see sandy lanes going down to the river.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I should have looked for a camp out by the ruins… lower altitude. Didn’t think of it! Oh well, it’s nice here, too.

  21. Jane says:

    Wow, what great colors in those photos! The sky is just beautiful.
    Will look forward to your travels, Sue. It sounds wonderful.
    Jane in Illinois

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jane . ..The photos are real. In other words, no “saturating” or enhancement was done in photo editing.

  22. Rita from Phoenix says:

    I was remembering my trip back from Glacier Nat’l Park a couple of years ago….we traveled through some beautiful country with trout streams and big mountains. The rivers were icy cold…like Spike I always have to stick my feet in water. We saw lots of fishermen here and there and mosquito too LOL. This year we are headed to New Orleans…never been there. The trip will be kinda boring but I did note some places to visit on the way from Butterflies & Heart Songs’ blog. Mary Pat traveled through that area. This fall hopefully will travel up highway 395 to Crater Lake and back down the coast. Can’t wait to see new places you will boon dock and what you’ll see. Utah was my fav from last year’s travel and also Washington. Happy trails to you and crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rita,

      Your fall trip up Highway 395 to Crater Lake and down the coast will be delightful. I hope you see Owens Valley in the fullness of autumn color. What fun I had taking photos there!

      Your trip to New Orleans may surprise you and turn out to be interesting in its own way.

      Yes, the crew and I had a great time and camped in lovely places in both Utah and Washington. If we don’t go to Washington this year, I definitely plan to go back next year.

      Happy trails to you, too, Rita!

  23. Cinandjules says:

    What a deal on the dump station!

    Beautiful scenery….I can smell the pines!

    90 miles is a journey! We did 200 miles a day, but there was two of us..Jules was in charge of breaking down camp inside and I had the outside!

    Boiled lunch sounds great!

    Glad to hear Spikey is doing good! Did Rusty fix your screen door? Sagging you say? Maybe once a month tighten the screws on the hinges..preventative maintenance.

    Ohhhhh I can’t wait for you to get to Moab and the Arches. I told Jules we need to see them in person.

    Enjoy the rest of your day/evening!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      If I had another adult along, we’d probably drive further distances. It’s enough for me to break camp, navigate and drive, set up camp, cook, mind the crew, etc. when the distance is 100 miles or less. I’ve driven longer in one day, of course, but it isn’t the pace I enjoy. I like to be off the road by noon or mid-afternoon at the latest.

      Rusty did fix my door. It wasn’t a matter of tightening the screws on the hinges. The actual hinges themselves, which are L-shaped, opened up. In other words, the metal un-bent the L shape.

      Rusty took a board, pressed it up against the metal hinges at top and middle and tapped with the mallet until the L was brought back to original shape. Obviously I’m having a hard time explaining it!

      Anyway… Now the door is aligned with the frame and closes smoothly.

      Have a good night!

      • Cinandjules says:

        Moving day is a task in itself…especially by yourself!

        We traveled between 10am -2pm…to avoid the rat race. So many people in a hurry nowadays… Traveling is safer at your own pace and if you don’t feel like it…you don’t have to!

        You explained it perfectly. I’m glad it’s fixed!

        70 degrees here…can you believe it? We’re breaking down snow banks! Never a dull moment. AO is asleep in my lap… Too much fresh air.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Aww… Fresh air makes a puppy sleepy. 🙂

          Midday driving makes sense in more populated areas. I rarely have to contend with rush hours. I like to do my driving in the early part of the day. Then if there’s a problem, I have hours of daylight ahead to solve the problem.

          Seventy degrees! It’s a heat wave! Get out the shorts and tank tops!

  24. Pauline from Mississippi says:

    Like the rest, I love the pictures….could feel the breeze and smell the pine!! A beautiful camp site. Looking forward to “riding along”, as other have said, on your summer trips. I can’t help but smile as I read your post and “hear” the joy and excitement in your words. How truly at peace and happy you sound. I am so proud of you and so pleased that you are living your dream.
    Love you and travel safely

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pauline . . . I know you aren’t a big fan of the desert. This piney forest is close to what you have in northern Mississippi, only it isn’t at all flat here!

      Yes, I’m happy and at peace, just as you are with your totally different lifestyle. Some things never change, eh? 🙂 Love you, as always . . .

  25. R. (Colorado) says:

    It looks like you returned to very lovely and peaceful place. If you decide to travel to Arches I highly recommend stopping at the Needles sections of Canyonlands (south of Moab). I would skip the town of Moab but the Arches park is fantastic. If you need a dog sitter when you want to visit Arches, Canyonlands (Needles and Island in the Sky) you just let me know and I’ll be there. I won’t be following or try to find you. You could visit these parks while you having a crew sitter/walker. I could let you know where to camp and where the best wildflowers are at that time. It is only a short drive to Arches from my place. I’m planning to do some hiking in that area next week and then a week later camping in Flaming Gorge. So much to see around here but stay where you are. It is windy and cold. We have rain and I saw snow flying although it is not staying on a ground. Two days ago we had 77 degrees. Rain means more wildflowers. Cold means they won’t finish blooming too soon. 77 degrees is so perfect for hiking and any other outdoor activities like doing dishes outside.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi R (Colorado),

      I’ll skip Moab unless I need to go there for supplies. Thank you for your very thoughtful and generous offers. We shall see. In most cases I don’t want to go anywhere that I can’t bring the crew with me. We’re attached at the hip.

      Good info on the weather. Timing is everything. I’m trying to have us poised on the edge of cold weather so as soon as it breaks, we can let the adventures begin!

      I may ask for tips on camping locations once we get close to that area.

  26. Cari in North Texas says:

    What a beautiful view from your camp chair! I can just smell the pine in the air and feel the breeze blowing. And I can certainly relate to planning but then deviating from the plan – that’s how a lot of my vacation trips have been. Lots of options, that’s what I like!

    I had to laugh when I read about your plan to skip Goosenecks State Park. Wasn’t that where you were parked right on or near the edge of the cliff? I’ll have to look back through your posts, but there was one picture of the BLT and PTV that made them look like they were only a few feet from the edge.

    Arches National Park (along with most of the other NP) is on my list of places to travel once I have more time, aka fully retired. I’ll be interested to read and see your experiences.

  27. You have to stay in Bluff long enough to have blue corn pancakes and a Navajo Pizza!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Last May the crew and I were in Bluff. I had a stack of blue corn pancakes and shared Navajo pizza with friends. Pancakes were pricey… Pizza was great!

  28. Sue, thanks for including the side note about the area being accessible for big rigs. Even though we are not yet on the road, it is nice to know there are such secluded locations available for the day we do get on the road so that we can get off the road.

  29. GypsyPurl says:

    Sue, you’ve got quite a caravan going on now with so many of us going for the ride! Love those camps and the scenery. My husband keeps telling me “only seven more years” and I can’t hardly wait! I think we’ll just part-time, but at least I’ll get some of that built-up wanderlust out of my system. Pats and a Hello to the Crew! Stay Safe!

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