A lesson in finding a boondock

We’re on our way to the mountains!

To get to the Tushar Mountains from Otter Creek Reservoir we motor westward on Route 62 through Kingston Canyon.  The East Fork of the Sevier River adds to the beauty of this drive.  Golden bullrushes and willows line its banks.  They glow in the rays of afternoon sun and the river sparkles as it meanders through the canyon.

P1070398Route 62 ends at Route 89.  We could go north a few miles to Junction or south a few miles to Circleville.

I turn the PTV northward to Junction.

Okay.  Let’s step aside here.  I’ve learned from the comments of several readers over the past few weeks that there is an interest in learning how to find boondocks.

Our next camp gives a good illustration of things to consider when looking at a map in search of a free, secluded, and special camp.  If you have a Utah Benchmark atlas like I use, great!  If not, you may be able to follow along with me using whatever map you have.

First locate Junction.

See how a solid line runs west into the mountains?  That’s one of the things I look for —  A good road running between town and potential camp.  This one is direct and has no switchbacks. (A solid line on the map means it’s a paved road.)

Another good thing is the road traces the course of a creek — in this instance, City Creek.  When we drive into the forest, which is the green area on the map, I’ll look for sites along the creek.

How does one know when entering public land? 

Usually there is a sign along the road indicating the boundary of a national forest.

P1070553Back to the map . . . .

At the end of the paved road is a campground, shown by a tent symbol and labeled City Creek (campground).  This is ideal!

The campground serves as a kind of insurance in case a good boondock isn’t found.  (I look up the campground online and discover it’s recommended for rigs 24 feet or less.  We’re 34 feet altogether.  Still, it’s a possibility.  The short length of parking at sites and the amenities limited to vault toilet and water spigots tells me this is an older, rustic campground.)

Another good thing about this area that one can see on the map are the dashed lines indicting gravel/dirt roads leading away from the campground and from the end of the paved road.  These could lead to boondocks.

Okay, we’re ready to check it out!

Here’s the paved road leaving Junction and going to the mountains . . . as expected, easy driving with a steady uphill grade.

P1070405-002We enter the forest and my anticipation grows! 

Vibrant yellow blooms of rabbit brush adorn both sides of the road.

P1070406All the way I look for campsites and also for spur roads.

We pass a dirt road going off to the left and I make mental note of it in case we need to come back and explore it for a site.

Ooh, that looked like a campsite! 

P1070534We’ve already passed it before I realize it’s a campsite.  Rather than turn around, we keep going.  We can always come back . . . .

The paved road turns to gravel beyond a sign warning of steep grades and sharp curves “not recommended for trailers.”  At that same place a gravel road goes off to the right to the campground.  (The campground sign is turned facing the other way.)

We haven’t gone far when . . .

Uh-oh.  Is that water in the road up ahead?

I stop the PTV and get out to take a closer look. 

Water is indeed streaming across the road, a few inches deep.  It’s a spillway, with the waterfall to the right in the next photo.

P1070475The PTV splashes her way through!

Immediately past the water, on the right side of the road, there’s a campsite! 

Inspecting the site on foot with the crew, I find it has the obligatory fire ring, is fairly level, and has a pleasant atmosphere with tall trees for shade, thick grass for the crew to roll in, and a roaring creek for background music.

“Isn’t this nice, guys?  I think you’ll like it here.”

I back us in and we’re home!

P1070412City Creek rushes noisily past the site (on right beyond bushes in above photo).

P1070414We only camp in this site for one night because we find another site we consider as even better!

Within the next few days someone camps overnight in this spot with their cute R-pod trailer.

P1070555Although it’s a relatively small campsite, after the R-pod moves out, two big travel trailers move in and sit side-by-side, giving proof that big rigs can be accommodated here.

I hope this shows you how easy it can be to find a lovely, free campsite.

We found this one before reaching City Creek Campground and Recreation Area.  Little did we know what was further up the road . . . .


CANINE CORNER:  “Kibble Picnic” by Bridget and Reggie

“Boy, this kibble tastes great!  Munch-munch.  RVSue is right.  Food tastes better outside.  Aren’t you hungry, Miss B?”

P1070419“No, Reg, I don’t feel like eating right now.  I’m a bit dyspeptic from the long drive.  I’ll eat mine later.”

“That’s a swell idea!  I’ll save mine to eat later, too!  I’m gonna’ look around our new boondock.  This place is so cool  . . . . See ya’ later, Miss B . . . ”

“Okey-dokey, Reggie.”

A few minutes later . . .

P1070420RVSue is right.  Food does taste better when eaten outside.  And, I might add, also when it’s in someone else’s dish.   Munch-munch...


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Windproof Camping Stove (Red)
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137 Responses to A lesson in finding a boondock

  1. Linda Hughes North Carolina says:

    MADE IT!

  2. Liz Boise ID says:

    I’m second??
    What a wonderful campsite!

  3. Pookieboy in SE Texas says:

    uh..number 3?

  4. Linda Hughes North Carolina says:

    I love the new campsite! The drive to it is beautiful and it makes me want to be there so much! It is good to hear from you and know you are doing well. Reggie has to eat his food asap, after all he is in ALL the action when it happens and he needs the energy! The stream is so refreshing looking, does Ms. Bridgett always get in the water wherever you go? She is one cool chick! Take care Ms. Sue and enjoy the new site, have a blessed weekend!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Bridget doesn’t always go into the water, not like Spike did. She goes wading when I wade and partly because she wants to make me happy.

      I hope you are enjoying the blessings of this weekend, too!

  5. Pookieboy in SE Texas says:

    HA….that Bridget…..she’s a hoot aint she…
    any possiblity of having a flash flood camping next to a stream
    like that?
    cant wait for your next post but thanks for this one!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chuck… You’re welcome!

      Not much chance of a flash flood at this camp. The stream is small and at the bottom of a very deep ditch. I suppose it’s possible in the spring with the run-off from snowmelt although I didn’t see any evidence of a flood happening in the past. Further upstream there is a contraption that blocks the stream. I don’t know how that helps, but there it is.

      We camped for several days on that road beyond the spillway. Every time we walked there I checked the water level based on a rock I had placed at the edge of the water. If there were any noticeable increase, I would’ve packed up, hitched up, and moved out! 🙂

      • Chey (WA coast) says:

        “every time we walked there I checked the water level based on a rock I had placed at the edge of the water.”

        Brilliant! Reminds me of being a “tomboy”, building rafts, docks, and dams for swimming pools. I still love discovery and invention, @65. And still a tomboy! LOL
        Sue, thanks so much for this blog!

  6. We also use google maps on satellite view to scope things out ahead of time. We’re hitting the road next month for a two week border to border boondocking jaunt from Canada to Mexico. Our free camping motto… “there is *always* somewhere better than a Walmart”…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kevin and Ruth,

      I agree! The camps are there… at least in the West! On rare occasions, very rare, I’ve camped in a Wal-Mart… maybe once or twice in four years, mainly because I didn’t have the energy to look for boondocks, having no one sharing the driving and other tasks.

      Your border to border trip sounds exciting! Have a wonderful journey…

  7. Carlene in southern New Mexico says:

    Wow great timely info. Heading north from Deming into the forest. Just received the NM benchmark great map book.
    Visiting my bro & SIL. They fulltime down here. It’s way too hot down here and I miss the trees and also the coast.
    So your posting is so helpful, again. And great action on Bridget’s food challenge lol. Another lesson she’s teaching him.

    Happy and safe travels.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Happy and safe travels to you, too, Carlene.

      Yes, it is kinda’ hot in the lowland desert of New Mexico these days. I hope you find the NM Benchmark a handy resource. I haven’t used mine yet, but I plan to!

  8. Marcia GB in MA says:

    Looks like a great spot as long as the creek don’t rise! Bridget munching on Reggies’s food when her own bowl is still full cracks me up ?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marcia,

      I was leery of that water streaming across the road at first. After a while I didn’t think much about it. Complacency, I guess. Ha! The locals drive through it without a second’s hesitation.

      Yes, Bridget does things her way…

  9. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    “And she just backs the Perfect Little Trailer into the spot”

    Famous. Last. Words.


    Grumbling… (in Hoquiam)
    who has NOT perfected this action one iota! 😛

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb,

      Sorry. About. That. 🙂

      I don’t know why backing up is easy for me. I wish I had a secret to pass on…

      • Barb from Hoquiam! says:

        I think it is a born and bred thing… just sayin’. I am glad you are good at it!


        • Marilyn, Dania Beach, Fl says:

          I believe I read somewhere to put your hands on the bottom of the steering wheel and it will be easier. I haven’t tried it myself. Good luck, Barb.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Marilyn is right about that. I use that trick always and it works… You’re turning the steering wheel in the direction you want the trailer to go. And another important thing is to go slowly.

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              I heartily agree on the slowly. If (generic) you aren’t going fast, nothing will happen fast. I find that like sailing, it’s good to make *small* corrections and give them a moment to take effect before piling on more.

              I tend to “steer the hitch” (as opposed to hands on the bottom of the wheel), but I think it’s one of those “whatever works for you” things.

              I find the #1 issue is an audience when learning, at least for me. I went far far away to practice!

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I didn’t go far away. I told the watchers to go far away. 🙂

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Ha, I love that about you, Sue. Rock on!

            • Marilyn, Dania Beach, Fl says:

              Steer the hitch. That is interesting. I will try it if my brain will allow.

  10. Suzette (TN) says:

    I so enjoy the pups’ contributions. Now, back to read the rest of the post…

  11. Kay Dattilio says:

    Sue and Crew! Miss Bridget, you are too much, but you are right, sometimes food tastes better off of someone elses plate. Beautiful site…….I try to follow you with my regular atlas, but usually get lost! Thank you for letting me see areas I may never get too! Stay safe and enjoy!

    Kay from KC!

  12. Jeannie/SW WA says:

    Hi, this is a comment for whoever bought the Renogy 100W folding solar panel. Have had mine about 2 years and love it. I can camp in deep shade and still put the panel in the sun to keep battery charged; very useful. Hope you enjoy yours too.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I love it when blogorinos share helpful information like this! A product review that’s authentic from a trusted source. Thanks, Jeannie. I’m glad the solar suitcase is working well for you.

      And being able to put the panel in the sun while your home is in the shade is an important benefit…

      • kgdan from Wapato, WA says:

        We have three 100 watt flexible panels which Gil lays out on the hood of the tow vehicle. Not unusual for him to re-position the TV during the day to catch the best sun.

    • Mick'nTN says:

      The Renogy 100W folding solar panel is a smart, quick and inexpensive solution to solar RV’n. A lot of pluses: simple installation, great protection when stored, ability to aim at the sun for better efficiency.
      The cons might be theft and trip cord,
      The Amazon rating is very high and there is a great question and answer section.
      It sure gets the Mick’nTN blessing.

  13. Jenny Johnson Manuel says:

    #19 —-Movin’ On Up!!!!

  14. Peggy says:

    Thanks so much for the information. Looking forward to boondocking in the future. Your posts give me much more courage as a single female travelling alone.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Peggy. It’s my pleasure to share what I’ve learned as a vagabond, and I’m delighted if my posts give you more confidence.

      I like to think of it as “traveling on my own,” instead of “traveling alone.” 🙂

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        Good way to look at it. (And of course you have the crew too!)


        I cruise solo most of the time, and occasionally I get a bit nervous. You know, “what’s that noise,” “Oh gee I’m all alone out here,” “Gosh but it’s dark…” I think it’s mostly a combination of “campfire stories” from my youth, plus social conditioning (I find that my guy friends in the same situation are almost never nervous at all).

        What I do then is just imagine myself enjoying the campsite the next morning or afternoon – sun out, gentle breeze, birdsong, I’m doing the dishes and going about my routine, etc. Next thing you know… I am!

  15. Thanks for the lesson! But don’t you worry about getting in a tight spot on those little roads and not being able to turn the rig around?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No, I don’t, Janis… not much anyway. As I go along I take note of turn-around places. Then I don’t drive further than I’m willing to back up. At that point I’ll get out and walk with the crew to see what’s further up the road.

      In this case I knew there was a campground on that road so I also knew I’d be able to turn around.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:


      When I see your moniker now it makes me chuckle, because I’m thinking, “No, the UP is *not* Ecuador!”

      Looking forward to sharing the SW with you this winter 😀

  16. kgdan from Wapato, WA says:

    You keep those gorgeous photos coming, Sue! They are a facet of the events which are daily building our excitement for the road. Lots of easier jobs to finish up the rental BUT , and this is HUGE—– yesterday we found our new renters! Yesterday when I was lunching with a good Friend of the Buena Library, with whom I worked for 11 years to actually raise $ to build the new library, I learned that one of my library customers needed a place. I was totally shocked to learn that this June HS graduate was married! To another June HS graduate! Now, one would think these two might not be viable candidates as renters, but would be soooo wrong. They are both extremely responsible (I can affirm as I have known her for 4 years), hardworking and goal oriented. They have all their parents’ and pastor’s blessing for their marriage. They both LOVE our rental and we already love them. They even volunteered to help Gil with whatever he needs!

    One step closer to hitching up!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow! How wonderful is that? They do sound like good renters… stable, known in the community… You must be so relieved as well as happy for the young couple…

      You’ll be on your way soon! Things are really turning in your favor!

    • DesertGinger says:

      I have a friend who is 20. Known her since she was 10. She is one of the most responsible adult people I know.

  17. Dawn from Camano Island says:

    Love this post, Sue! I got out the Utah Benchmark & your route was very clear–thank you. Your photos are gorgeous–it’s definitely fall there. Bridget, sorry to hear you’re dyspeptic after a long drive. You’re such a wise dog–glad Reg has you around to help him figure things out.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      “Dyspeptic?” I think not! Ha!

      It’s fun to think of readers following along with their Benchmarks. Thanks for the positive feedback (and you’re welcome!).

  18. weather says:

    If the convenient location and beauty of the drive to get there hadn’t sold me “a roaring creek for background music” would have by itself.Another great find and post by you you,Sue,thanks.You are so organized with the maps and steps you employ during a search – great way to show folks that want to learn how it’s done!A most excellent lesson again,Teacher Ma’am

    Canine Corner was delightful this time,Ha!I’ve yet to meet a dog that didn’t prefer food belonging to someone else,for once it wasn’t yours 😉

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      As always, I enjoy your comments, weather. This one has the greatest punch line ever! “for once it wasn’t yours”… Hahaha! So true!

      Thanks for the compliment on this post. It was fun showing off my strategies…

    • weather says:

      Just cool enough to make me glad I’d worn a robe,too,instead of going out in my jammies like I often do this morning was even nicer than a lot of recent ones.A few more bird songs to hear,no boats in the lake yet,perfect light and pretty clouds drifting overhead,only one guy quietly looking at something at the water’s edge far down the cove.Nothing was there to interrupt the beauty and peace.Good morning ,Sue(and blogorinos)you know how precious such times are, how one hopes they’ll remain that way for at least a while longer …

      My pup was on her tether and we both saw the scene on the old wooden deck I sit on for sunrise at the same time.I quietly said “no,baby,don’t” knowing she’d want to investigate from a much closer distance.As she sweetly found something else to do I slowly walked over and sat near mama cat ,her kittens had stopped nursing and scampered away.Still curled up on the cushion she’s obviously now claimed as their bed she rested undisturbed by my being near,in fact I can tell she feels safer when I am.I’d once more been given my “a while longer”.

      Remembering that you told me to be careful or my troupe might get bigger I’ll mention that isn’t my intent at this point at all.It’s just a lot to expect the cat to keep having to find a safe place often while hunting for food and water when her babies depend on her for their milk.So for right now the deck,a bowl of cat food and one of water is only making life nicer for all of us.I have a couple of neighbors that have yet to resist one small pretty cat,or a kitten or two just old enough to eat kitten chow.People just don’t like a whole brood on their place for a lot of reasons.

      So that’s the morning wildlife report around here.Have you seen or heard some where you are now?

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Good morning, weather,

        You paint a warm picture of you, your pup, and the feline family that has come under your protection. You know how animals can detect whether a creature is a protector or a destroyer. It’s sweet to read that mama cat feels safe and can devote herself to nursing her babies, rather than constantly searching for food and being on the alert to defend her family.

        I meant that once you feed a cat, she/he is yours! In your case you have others who can take over for you.

        I shared your early morning quiet time as I read your lovely description, and, yes, I’ve asked that it remain “a while longer.” In answer to your question…. No, we didn’t see much wildlife at the “charming camp.” This surprised me, what with the plentiful forage and water and all the walking we did. I didn’t even see any tracks for deer, which usually are the most common. There’s a rod-and-gun club in town. Maybe the deer and other wildlife have moved away or been killed. On the positive side, no mice to get into the PTV! Never saw a chipmunk at that camp, and only one gray squirrel crossing the road. The birds were mostly raptors (hence no mice?), doves, juncos and stellar jays (the jays with blue body and black head).

        Thanks for the wildlife report from NY!

  19. Howdy! Great write-up about boondock site finding. We’re still working on getting the hang of it, using and still trying to figure out the Benchmarks. We passed thru Circleville about 3 weeks ago. Wound up in Colorado and just left Durango today. Now back in Utah, Monument Valley area. We’re roam’n. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ed,

      Missed you! It’s been a while…. Good to know you’re out there enjoying this beautiful country. Southern Utah, Monument Valley, Bluff, Valley of the Gods, Goosenecks, Sand Island… oh, that’s a great place to be (I assume you have air conditioning!)…. Enjoy, travel safe and happy.

      • Hi Sue! Boy HAVE WE been enjoying this beautiful country. At least the Utah and Colorado portion. And we have boondocked several times. Will do it more in the future. One of the things we have realized is boondocking often means no internet. That’s essentially why you have not heard from us. And why our own blog is in arrears. Several draft posts written, but not posted as yet. But we will catch up.

        I know meeting folks and socializing when boondocking is not necessarily your thing. And to a large extent, it is not mine either. But we did meet some nice folks while boondocking. Two couples actually. Liked them right away. Even though they’re Texans. 🙂 We all went to dinner in Silverton, Colorado of all places. 9,000 feet of gorgeous. Woohoo!

        And, yes, we have AC. 🙂

  20. Jodee Gravel on the road in Susanville, CA says:

    Looks like a great spot – and a popular one that gets used by all sizes! The crews’ expressions and your captions in the previous post had me rolling 🙂 When we finally get to boondock after our solar install this winter I look forward to the hunt as much as the treasure!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jodee,

      My post does make it seem like a popular campsite. It was vacant more than it was occupied while we were in the area. Of course, it may be filled all the time during the on-season.

      I like the way you put that… looking forward to the hunt as much as the treasure. I agree with you.. The hunt is fun!

  21. Cynthia from San Clemente, CA says:

    I would love to have seen Little Big Man’s face when he came back and discovered the divine Miss B had eaten his kibble!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cynthia,

      “Little Big Man”… cute! I may use that someday. 🙂

      Probably Reggie came back and thought “Oh boy, I get to eat Miss B’s kibble!”

  22. Kate in Iowa says:

    Thanks for the orienting details! So much fun to follow you on my Delorme maps. I’ve been slammed at work and with school and family obligations. It’s just so nice to take a 5-10 minute break and enjoy your blog. Mini vacation at its finest!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kate,

      Ooh, it does sound like your time is filled! I appreciate the feedback… that you can follow on your Delorme maps. I have no way of knowing.

  23. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Thanks for teaching us how & what to look for in a good boondock, as well as, reading the benchmark atlas.

    No new Angel antics, per se to, report today. We were out last evening, when it started raining, she takes her time doing her business, while I am standing under the umbrella. She hates walking in the wet grass, but has no qualms about getting the rest of her soaking wet.

    Oh, I forgot to tell you, while we were down by the lake we saw 5 deer, which ran into the wooded area on seeing one of our other neighbors, but as we got down there, 2 young ones ran out and up the other hill like they were playing tag. Angel was so excited, her little tail was wagging to beat the band. It was an awesome sight!

    Bridget was funny sneaking into Reggie’s food bowl. Canine Corner is always fun.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The two young deer playing must have been a delight to watch. What’s a delight for me is picturing you “down by the lake” with Angel at your side. 🙂

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        Thank you for that. She is always with me, except when I go to the “Y.” Of course, she would probably love nothing more than meeting the class, since she is my social butterfly.

        This morning we saw our favorite walkers (couple) and she could not wait to get to Mike, who always loves on her. Then we walked with them the rest of the way home and she was just strutting her stuff. Too funny!

  24. Linda Hughes North Carolina says:

    Forgot to thank you for telling about how you find a good site…….I follow your instructions on my map and that helped so much…..thanks so much for that!

  25. Lisa, Tommie and Buddy in NH says:

    Hi gang, I have been traveling new England without a cell signal. These last posts of yours Sue are beautiful! I love the pair of pure white horses at Grass valley. You mentioned changing scenery, I was thinking just that as we headed north from NJ, into VT and down to NH. I have retrieved my precious FBRV and am happily camping in a friends driveway for the weekend. I am very happy to say that after three new tires, my old egg is rolling with all systems go. I cleaned out the mouse nests and mold easily. All the lights and the fridge work!!! Yipeeee!!! I am looking forward to traveling south. The colder temps encourage this southern girl to follow the geese we have heard honking as they migrate overheard. I have been blessed with safe travels on mountain roads and a ceramic heater for the cold nights. I will point the rig south next week after the truck has a once over by a local garage my friend uses. There is no greater joy than to head down the highway with your own home in tow, comfy bed and simple kitchen always secure and handy. Now I have to catch up with all the other comments. Chow for now.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      I was wondering how your trailer quest trip was going. Great to hear! The little fiberglass trailers make magical nests (for you, not mice!).

      • Lisa, Tommie and Buddy in NH says:

        Thanks Pen, I’ll fill in more as I get more towing experience. Smile s for you thinking of me.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lisa, Tommie, & Buddy,

      Good to hear the latest from you, Lisa! Your exuberance for travel with “your own home in tow” is delightful. The great thing about fiberglass eggs is they can be brought back to life without having to deal with damage from leaks. It’s obvious from your comment that you are having a fantastic time…. I’m very happy for you!

      Thanks for the fun and interesting update…

  26. Dawn in MI says:

    Ah Bridget you crack me up. You are so sneaky! Did Reggie-man even notice you helped yourself?

    Tell RVSue thanks for the information, that was really helpful!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Dawn. Sometimes Bridget isn’t so sneaky. She will walk up to Reggie while he’s eating, nudge him to the side, and take up position in front of his bowl. Reggie, being the smart little guy that he is, goes over to her bowl without a fuss and continues eating. This is why they are fed the same food. I can’t keep up with their antics!

  27. Nancy from South Georgia says:

    Bridget getting into Reggie’s bowl is so cute! That was the deal with mine when I had two; must be a duo thing. So it really must be true that it just tastes better when it comes out of someone else’s bowl.

    Sue, I am on a trip of my own. Have been gone for two weeks visiting friends and family and will be on this trip through the first week of November, when it starts getting too cold to be this far north.

    Left Georgia and made it up to Cherokee NC for a week to visit family who live right off the reservation and their house backs up to a strong, rippling creek with lots of boulders in the rushing water. Fascinating trip – I was reunited with a long-lost cousin so it was a very long overdue reunion.

    Left there and came up to Michigan to visit my son and his family and am staying at a city park campground here. Lots of families with kids galore, but it’s very convenient to family for visiting purposes. When I leave here I’m stopping at an Amish town, Shipshewana, Indiana, for a bit of their culture (I’m a quilt fanatic) and to look at some of their exquisite hand-made furniture. Then it’s back home.

    Thank you for this most excellent boondocking tutorial and for always being a source of information and entertainment to me. Always enjoy reading about your adventures and seeing the beautiful photos.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Nancy,

      Your trip plans sound wonderful! As I read where you have been, where you are, and where you plan to go, the image of someone plucking grapes came to mind. “Let’s see… I’ll take this one and next I’ll take that one and then I’ll take another one over here and . . . .”

      I love how you’re going to feed your “obsession” by visiting an Amish town. What fun for you! Thanks for sharing with us….

    • You might also enjoy a brief stay in Brown County, IN, on your way south since you enjoy Shipshewana.

  28. You are AWESOME! That is exactly the info that I was looking for 🙂 Now hopefully it actually is that easy…. We’ve all seen those Pinterest fails, haha!. Go Bridget go! Food is always better from someone else’s dish 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jill,

      I’ll be truthful… Finding boondocks can be very easy or not so much. It depends upon the area. Some forest roads offer up many campsites. Then another forest road will be bordered by deep ditches or rocks, or it will be ugly and unappealing, or nice enough but with no established campsites.

      Anyway…. I think it’s accurate to say that finding boondocks isn’t as difficult as a lot of folks think it is… I’m glad you found info here that interests you!

  29. AZ Jim says:

    Methinks Reggie and Bridget consider all food dished up as community property. They sure are looking good. Having Reggie man has been good for Bridget, she looks younger and happier than she did for awhile. Good to see you having a good time Missy. Take care of you and the crew….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      You’re right. Reggie has been good for Bridget, even though she sometimes sees him as a pest, like right now when she isn’t fully awake and Reggie is playing “Demon Dog Attacks,” jumping on her with claws out.

      We’ve run into a bit of an inconvenience (more about that in a future post), but we’re still happy and “having a good time.”

      You and Detta have a great day!

  30. “Dyspeptic” – that’s an awfully big word for a relatively small dog! It’s really nice to read how you find a good boondock site. It’ll probably be quite a while before I’ll be needing that info since I’m in the eastern states and there really aren’t that many boondock areas here so I remain living vicariously through you!

    My car is back in the shop again so this nomad has totally gotten her wings clipped. Adding insult to injury, the tow truck driver hooked up the tow lines incorrectly to my car, using the pieces the safety chains would normally go into, and broke one off. So after my car finally has the clutch master cylinder repaired (warranty! Yay!) it will need to get the face plate replaced, something that will cost someone (not me; probably their insurance company) $1000. In the meantime, my plans to see family are up in the air in the moment. Plans sure can change!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deborah,

      Yes, plans do change, even when we don’t want them to. I’m sorry you’re going through a time of repairs when you want to be visiting family. I hope everything is taken care of quickly and done right and you are able to “fly” again soon.

      You’re right… The information in this post applies in the West.

      Thanks for dropping in, Deborah!

  31. Laurie in NC says:

    Great information about boondocking! Also, good to get the link for the portable solar panels. We are interested in something portable that will power a couple of lights and the laptop. We love camping in National Forests and Seashores, but some times they don’t have electrical hookup. We can easily do without water and sewer, but have not camped without power yet. Your blog has been so informative and has really helped my husband and I with our future planning!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Laurie,

      Once you “cut the cord” from electric hookups you will be able to enjoy many more campgrounds and enjoy lower fees and free camping. If your power needs are the laptop and running a few lights (LED), you will be all set with a portable solar panel. I’m glad my blog has helped you and your husband make plans.

  32. wkay says:

    Sooo,,,Is this the “Charming Boondock”?

  33. Suzette (TN) says:

    Love all these boondocking details! I tried to follow along for the first time today and found that Google maps and Rand McNally aren’t really up to the task. For instance, I couldn’t find City Creek at all. Campground, yes. Creek…nope. I guess it’s time I got me some Benchmark atlases. I did get one for Yellowstone/Grand Tetons because that’s our next Big Vacation. So, I can see how they will be much more useful and informative. I’m enjoying traveling vicariously. Such fun!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Suzette,

      Good to know about Google maps and Rand McNally maps. Not only do the Benchmark maps show the creeks, they also indicate whether the creeks are intermittent (dashed blue lines) or not.

      I saw that someone ordered a Yellowstone/Grand Tetons maps. If that was you, I thank you! Enjoy your Big Vacation!

    • edlfrey says:

      “…Google maps and Rand McNally aren’t really up to the task. For instance, I couldn’t find City Creek at all. Campground, yes. Creek…nope.”

      If you found the Campground then Google Maps shows the City Creek flowing from the Campground toward the right and Junction. It is at the Campground that the South Fork City Creek joins with the North Fork which continues on then as City Creek.

      I’m not suggesting that Google Maps is as detailed as the Benchmark maps but it is “up to the task” of following Sue almost to her campsite. She does not want you at her camp so that is much detail as you really need. There are other good reasons to get the Benchmark maps however and I’m not putting them down – just giving Google Maps credit where credit is due.

  34. Applegirl NY says:

    What nice pictures of the sunny flowers along the roadside. So cheerful. I’m always interested in how you find these boondocks. Thanks for sharing.

    We just towed our Casita down from the mountains, where we used it as a spare room for when we have a campful. Now, we’ll be waiting for our winter trip down to Florida if February. Someday we’ll be taking several months each year to see the southwest. In the meantime, I store up all of the valuable information you share, Sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Applegirl,

      A Casita would make a lovely spare room, complete with mini-kitchen and bathroom. What guest wouldn’t enjoy having their own facilities!

      I’m still salivating over the vision of your apple pies…. I like mine with mushy apples, too…. and Cortlands are my favorite!

      • R. in Pinedale, WY says:

        “and Cortlands are my favorite” I too love Cortlands and it is impossible to get them anywhere in the west.

  35. Garth Bacon says:

    The free app “US Public Lands” lets you know precisely when you are on public lands.
    Boondocker’s rock

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Garth,

      Thanks for telling us about that app. I wasn’t aware of it and I’m sure there are readers who will want to have it. I assume it uses GPS coordinates. Gosh, there’s an app for everything!

  36. Kim says:

    Stayed in Fishlake NF outside Capitol Reef NP last night. Great site with magnificent views of the mountains and the red rock formations.

  37. Lisa, Tommie and Buddy in NH says:

    Hi Sue, crew and all,
    We are taking a lazy Sunday to catch up with everyone. What fun to see how your crew and you handle all that happens each day. As I drove to our current camp, with a big grin on my face, I realized how great fulltiming will be next year.
    On other topics, I use an app called Oh, Ranger to find campgrounds. I will have to try the other. Learning as I tow, after my truck hasca once over, I hope to find a large lot and practice. The advice about small corrections is noted.
    Sue, was wondering if you could help connect me and Rusty, I would like to make him a vest for Lady P per my message……….
    Hey Rusty, hope you get this, I train service dogs and would love to outfit your lady with a vest. I will poss again on a newer post by Sue, if you get this maybe Sue can connect us by email. I won’t be home till mid October, but could get on it then. Could help with training too…long distance.., if you like.

    Thanks Sue for this great community of friends I never met.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome!

      That’s a thoughtful and generous offer, Lisa. Let’s give Rusty a chance to see your message here. If he doesn’t respond, we can bring it up again the next time he comments, since you won’t be home until mid-October. He reads the comments regularly….

  38. AZ Jim says:

    With your permission Missy…..
    We all like dogs so here’s a little video about a man and his rescue dogs. Be sure to listen to the narration.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Darn. I couldn’t get it to play the video, but I did read the text. I’ll try again later. Thanks for the link, Jim.

  39. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Thanks for the lesson. Are spur roads marked or is it just a road off of a main road? You make it seem so easy….

    Here is me…make a left at the pine tree…follow road to the wash…take the spur road…cross the cattle guard…..Equals me lost somewhere on the Benchmark map!

    Bridgee……you are a character! ?

    Have a great day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      No, spur roads are not marked when you drive up to them. Usually they are one lane, sometimes just two tracks with grass growing in the middle, other times totally ruined by OHVs and subsequent erosion.

      They are shown on Benchmark maps as very thin, hairlike, red lines going off dashed lines (gravel/dirt roads) or off of solid lines (paved roads). Sometimes, looking at the map, I see those hairlike lines going around a small lake or reservoir which indicates the possibility of finding a waterfront boondock.

      Notice how Bridget eats lying down? You’re right… what a character!

  40. Maggie says:

    Hi Sue,

    We’re new to the RV world and came across your blog. Such great information! We were wondering why you haven’t posted “Money 2015″ and left off posting about this in August 2014. No doubt you’ve probably mentioned this somewhere in your blog however we haven’t been able to find it yet. Do you plan to post ‘Money 2015”? We’re interested in seeing this year’s expenses as we are making plans to full time and want a good handle on what the costs are. Thanks ever so much, Maggie

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Maggie,

      Welcome to my blog! I’m always thrilled to see a new name here!

      I don’t know what to do about the Money section of my blog. As my blog has grown in popularity and as my life has changed (as Cinandjules explains below), I haven’t kept up with posting my income and expenses. I don’t plan to post any more reports like those. I will from time to time make note of how much it costs annually to live like I do or other pertinent information. Of course, I’m happy to answer questions you may have.

      As Cinandjules pointed out, your expenses won’t match mine. There are two of you and it’s doubtful you will live exactly as I do. Having a different rig than mine will affect your expenses, for one thing.

      This past year included big expenditures…. I had to have the PTV’s rear door replaced, for example. To give you a rough estimate, it takes about $14,000 a year, living frugally, boondocking most of the time, and with a cushion for large expenditures like tires and emergencies, as well as a fund for future upgrades such as replacing the tow vehicle.

      Again, I’m happy to see you here! I wish you and your husband much fun and success as you plan for a new lifestyle…

      • Maggie says:

        Thank you, this is all good information. We found it so helpful to read your itemized expenses. It gives us a rough idea of things to consider. I’ve learned so much already! I’m so sorry you lost Spike. I do hope you’re coping and have found ways to carry on. Thank you again, Maggie

  41. David Greybeard says:

    Another great resource for finding boondocks in the National Forests is Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) published by the Forest Service. They show all of the forest roads in an area and often show which ones require 4WD or high clearance. They show all of the roads where dispersed camping is allowed. Remember that just because camping is allowed on a certain road, you might not find a good spot. As Sue will tell you, be flexible!
    Many of the maps are available online on the Forest Service website for that National Forest. You can often pick up a free printed copy at the nearest ranger station, but remember that they cost (taxpayer) money to print so only take what you will use. I found that that they are sometimes out, so plan ahead. I would definitely recommend using a Benchmark Atlas (or the other one) in conjunction with the Forest Service maps.

    • Marilyn, Dania Beach, Fl says:

      Here is a link to the website mentioned by David.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, the MUVMs are very helpful. I do caution people about one aspect of those maps however.

      When you look at an MUVM the places where camping is allowed are indicated by dots along the road lines. You will see roads with lots of dots. This gives the impression that there are loads of campsites. However, when you drive these roads that the MUVM says camping is allowed, you may find there are no established campsites and to get off the road is next to impossible due to boulders, cliffs, ditches, trees, etc. I found this very frustrating while using an MUVM in a certain forest service district in AZ that is known for making it tough for boondockers.

      What I just explained may not be the case in many places and the MUVMs may work very well for you, as apparently they do for David. I don’t have a lot of experience using them.

      Thank you, David, for mentioning these maps. I don’t mean to cast a negative spell over all of them. You’re right… They can be downloaded in the form of a PDF and will show which forest roads are good for camping and which ones aren’t. You can also tell where the OHV trails are.

      Thanks also for pointing out the importance of having a map showing public lands, like the Benchmarks.

      • David Greybeard says:

        Yes, I agree about that serious limitation of the MVUMs. There were plenty of times when I found a road that “allowed” dispersed camping, but all I found for miles and miles was solid trees, boulders, or cliffs. This is very likely in the mountains, where everything off the road is either straight uphill or a sheer drop. Or all of the acceptable sites are occupied. I like your approach, Sue: arrive earlier in the day and make the search for a good boondock part of the pleasure. If I arrive at my target area late in the day, I would always prefer to hit a campground, even a WalMart for one night so I can get an early start on finding the perfect spot.

  42. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Welcome Maggie,

    You will find this blog fun, entertaining and filled with a wealth of information.

    Sue has posted roughly two and a half years of her monthly expenditures. In August of last year she was very busy tending to Spike, a dear part of her crew and this blog. who passed away. Time was spent comforting Bridget and dealing with her own grief. Fast forward to Reg man….the newest addition….getting him acclimated to the lifestyle.

    I’m sure Sue has the paperwork noting her expenditures…but that takes time to compile and inputting with less than four bars is sometimes a task.

    I’ll go out on a limb and say….it’s probably safe to say her monthly reoccurring expenses are the same. Items such as food and gasoline varies with the economy. Of course, your lifestyle may be different which may also affect your expenditures.

    Follow your dreams and best wishes on the decision you make.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for helping me welcome Maggie and for explaining why I’ve discontinued writing money reports.

    • Maggie says:

      Thank you Cinandjules for the information, I had no idea and I appreciate your thoughtfulness in letting me know. So much to think about! 🙂

  43. Monica-CA says:

    Excellent informative post! I enjoyed the photos and the ride to the location. Your campsite in the previous post is beautiful and so peaceful looking. Enjoy your remaining days in the mountains. I have been hearing the ducks and geese flying over my house daily. They are busy making their travels south. And my dog got her winter coat in earlier this year, which is thicker this year from last year. I’m praying for rain for California, SF Bay Area. I love your fall travels! Wishing you safe travels.

  44. Glenda in OZ! says:

    Loved the end of this post…………..dogs……….never a dull moment!

  45. Michelle from Salt Lake,UT says:

    Sue, thank so much for adding sites that are wheelchair accessible sites!
    We are making a list of places we can go. We tried Utah Lake State Park this weekend. Nice sites but the Provo airport is right there.. Nothing like a big plane taking off at midnight…
    Ps. Really loves all the pictures!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Michelle,

      I am trying to remember to note the wheelchair accessible sites. I should point out that Otter Creek Reservoir, although it has the accessible sites at Tamarisk Beach, is not a good option. The reservoir is so low that one could not fish from a wheelchair.

      I’m sorry Utah Lake State Park didn’t turn out as you hoped. But, hey, you’re out there! You’ll learn your favorite places and what to watch out for…

    • Sidewinder Pen says:


      Not to chase you away from this blog (as if I could!), but I have read a few blogs over the years (not ones I follow regularly, but maybe I checked them out a time or two) that are published by folks traveling “on wheels” (i.e. they use a wheelchair). If you hooked up with one you enjoyed reading, you might find some good tips for places you’d enjoy. (If you’ve already done this… never mind!).

  46. Julie, Molly & gizmo (Idaho) says:

    Hi sue & gang. Have been off Grid for 10 days & am catching up on your wonderful posts as you head southward. I just explored n. Idaho & really enjoyed benewa cg in heyburn sp. then to Powell cg on lochsa/hwy 12. Went over lolo pass & enjoyed the beauty of Montana on 93. Came down 93 to salmon/challis area. Finally camped @ casino cg then home. Just a heads up for future reference. Take care friend.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Julie, Molly & gizmo,

      Sounds like you had a wonderful time in northern Idaho! Part of your trip was what I had hoped to see and then the smoke changed my plans. And you experienced all that in ten days! Beautiful country… We will try again another year.

      Good to have you here!

  47. Joyce Sutton says:

    Old Hunter has crossed the rainbow bridge. So hard for my husband 20 yrs of companionship and many rabbits.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, Joyce… I am so sorry. You and your husband must feel a hole in your hearts.

      For twenty years a good, reliable friend. I expect your husband will see “the bending of the grass” for a long time, recalling Hunter chasing rabbits. My sympathy to you both.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Awww, so sorry to hear this. I can tell Old Hunter was a real pal.

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