A reminder of the precious gift of life — Kershaw-Ryan Garden

Tuesday, May 9

The Perfect Tow Vehicle carries Reggie and me from the campground at Kershaw-Ryan State Park in Caliente, Nevada, a short distance up the road to the park’s garden.


Jubilant children swarm the garden.  A school bus confirms that this is Field Trip Day for elementary school kids.  Glimpses of teachers supervising the happy chaos bring flashbacks.

I shudder.


“We’ll come back later after the kids clear out.”

~ ~ ~

The torrent of children and intermittent rain showers postpone our visit to the garden until late afternoon.

We find the garden deserted.

“This is more like it!”

Reggie is delighted with the opportunity to explore a new environment, and, most likely, he’s relieved to be away from The Popping Monster (see previous post).

“A grand staircase for you!”

“Uh, Reg, you’d better not go in there.”

He’d lift a leg on the walls . . . .

Coming down the steps, Reggie wanders into one of the flower beds.  From a dog’s point of view:

Well, why not?

Good thing no one is around to see this.  Hmm . . . Nice setting for a photo.

“Hold that pose, Reg . . . Great!  Now get outta’ there.”

A heart-twinge.  

Dear Bridget, my sweet girl and guest blogger, would guide us on a tour through this garden in her unique style.   

She’s in her stroller.  Her head turns.  That look . . . . KER-shaw-RIE-in.  


~ ~ ~

“Oh, it’s a koi pond!”

I’m not sure if these are koi.  They might be goldfish, which can grow to be a foot long like these are.

Koi have two barbels hanging from their lip and goldfish don’t.  (I learned this from Wikipedia.  If you follow this link and scroll down, you’ll be amazed at the number of decorative varieties of koi!)

I wonder if they were treated with PB & J earlier today.

Next, the small wading pool.

It was packed with kids this morning.  

What a great time they had!  I bet those teachers are exhausted.

“Hurry up, Reg.  It looks like more rain and I want to get photos.”

The path takes us to a dark area, shaded by a very tall cliff.  A tangled mass of black, woody, leafless vines — wild grapes, I believe — add a sinister atmosphere.

Click.  Click.  Click-click.

What IS that sound?

 I turn my head, puzzled.  I look left.  I look right.  

What could it be?

Then I look UP.


Tiny pieces of rock are falling off the cliff above our heads and the click sound is impact with the woody vines.  The cause of the falling pebbles is a small boulder about two feet in diameter.  It is rolling down the cliff, breaking off rock as it goes.

Rolling down the cliff toward us!

“Good God!”

I sprint out of the line of its trajectory, anticipating the boulder’s final, fateful bounce off a ledge about 30 feet up.

But it doesn’t bounce off.  It comes to rest.  A few small rocks clatter down the cliff in a fitting denouement to a coulda’-been horror story.


NOTE:  All of the above episode occurred in less time than it took for you to read about it. I didn’t even have time to pick up Reggie.  He was further away anyway.  

~ ~ ~

Reggie finds soft, thick grass for running and romping.

Life can be beautiful one second and then, in an instant, all can be changed.

Gee, he sure is enjoying this little outing.

I smell rain.

Well, there weren’t many flowers.  Too early for all these roses, I guess.  That’s okay.  I’ve seen plenty of flowers this spring.

We return to the Perfect Tow Vehicle as the first drops fall.

“Did you have fun, little guy?”



“Samuel and Hannah Kershaw first moved to the nearby Meadow Valley Wash in 1873 and soon planted an orchard and garden where the park wading pool and fruit trees now sit.  Rich with prolific springs and seeps, covered with wild grapes, Gambel oak and roses, it is easy to see why the park was historically named the “Kershaw Gardens” by local residents.

“Kershaw-Ryan became a full service park in 1961, with the addition of a campground and modern shower and restroom facilities, and became a popular camping destination for the next 20 years.  But in August of 1984 disaster struck.  Flash flood waters destroyed much of the park, including the campground and the stone cabin.  All that remained was the wading pool, restrooms and an apple tree planted by the Kershaws.

“With years of extensive redesign and reconstruction, Kershaw-Ryan was once again open for business in July of 1997.  Today this scenically beautiful park is popular for weddings, family reunions, special events and for just relaxing by the pool.”  — parks.nv.gov


Your purchases are always appreciated.  These links take you to a few of the items recently ordered by RVSue shoppers:

Camp Sleeping Pad
Reverse RV Flush Valve
Mini Monocular Pocket Scope
Men’s Woodsman Shirt Jacket
Cinnabon Classic K-Cup Coffee
Organic Alfalfa Sprouting Seeds


This entry was posted in Nevada and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to A reminder of the precious gift of life — Kershaw-Ryan Garden

  1. Cynthia from San Clemente says:

    Yippee!! First?

  2. Angie Sipe says:

    Look like fun!!

  3. Claudia says:

    Good afternoon Sue and Reggie!

  4. Kat and Cookie Dog in NYState says:

    Reggie always has fun I suspect,

  5. Cynthia from San Clemente says:

    What an oasis – isn’t it amazing the difference water makes? I knew Reggie would love that thick green grass. Does he ever lay on his back and roll in it? The boulder episode would have left me spooked – thank heavens you aren’t like some people, walking around with their headphones or earbuds on – you would never have heard the warning pebbles!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Gosh, I never thought about headphones and earbuds. You make a good point, Cynthia!

      No, Reggie doesn’t roll in the grass often. I don’t know why that is. Maybe because he’s always going somewhere? Go, go, go… That’s Reggie!

  6. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    OMG I am glad you are spry!

    Beautiful space! Hugs from Hoquiam!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for the hugs, Barb. I can never get enough of them! 🙂


  7. Rob says:

    This thrills with the landslide, cheap thrills are the best kind.. Glad to see the both of you are safe.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Rob. Those “cheap thrills”… like when rocks tumble into the road in front of you. Gee, I love the West… lots of surprises!

  8. Nancy in California says:

    Ah, Bridget, who i never knew. That heart twinge really never goes away does it? A glimpse of some old place we explored together, a sudden memory, a forgotten toy under some overgrown bushes in the yard. If God made any mistake in his creation (as if He could), it was that our pets live such relatively short lives…..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Nancy,

      I knew many of my readers would relate to the heart-twinge. Every dog leaves behind something of himself or herself. With Spike it’s still, shallow water, perfect for a canine soak.

      Maybe dogs are God’s way of teaching us to cherish every moment.

    • Cinandjules (🌵) says:

      If you have the time…may I suggest you go back and meet both Spike and Bridget….and Rusty’s Timber! You certainly won’t be disappointed as they are near and dear to all blogorinos!
      You’ll understand… she’s in her stroller…her head turns THAT LOOK and says
      KER-Shaw RIE In.. (will make you smile)

  9. Pat Hall, Santa Rosa Lake says:

    Great pics!!!!! Next year Nevada is the state I’m going to explore.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Pat! I hope you like Santa Rosa Lake. When we were there, the water level was way down.

      Yeah, come to Nevada! 🙂

  10. Judy in East Texas says:

    Sue and Reggie….wow what a beautiful park you found. I would love to just lay in the grass and rest.
    Looks like you guys are still having fun, wish I could join you…..but also work calls….back to reality I go.

    Stay safe out there my friend, judy

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Judy. You stay safe, too.

      I’m happy to provide you an escape from reality with my blog. 🙂

  11. Jean in Southaven, MS says:

    A really nice post. Something for everyone in this post, beauty, suspense, laughter and tears. Well done!
    PS I miss Bridgett too. Spikey too.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you for that nice description of this post. And also for missing the original canine crew!

  12. Lisa, Tommie and Buddy in NJ says:

    Good job boulder dodging. You and Reggie are a good match at quickness. Thanks for the beautiful pictures and your continued posts. They mean so much more while I am off the road caring for my Mom.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Lisa. Warm wishes to you and your mother for this day and always.

  13. Gumo says:

    I taught junior high for 35 years so I can relate to your u-turn. Now that I’m retired, if I even see a school bus, I immediately turn around. Sometimes I get PTSD from just the sight of a yellow school bus. 😀

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You have it, too, Gumo? Oh, my! I hesitated to admit all that you describe, but I’ll fess up now… I feel the same way! I taught 4th and 5th grade “remedial” students for a year, then 5th grade, and then moved to middle school students (frying pan to the fire). 🙂

      When I drive by a school, I keep my eyes on the road. I don’t feel like such a terrible person knowing you share my horror, Gumo. Ha!

      • Gumo says:

        I think we both agree we loved our jobs and enjoyed our careers but now: been there, done that!

        God bless those teachers you saw today because field trips were great for the kids but very stressful for the teachers.

        I enjoy your blog very much! Thank you for sharing.

  14. Beverly says:

    If you ever get to Wenatchee WA and you like gardens, visit the Ohme Gardens. The story is very interesting.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hmm… a mystery for us.

      Hi, Beverly… If we return to Washington and are in the area of Wenatchee, I hope you’re still in the back seat, ready to remind us of the gardens. 🙂

  15. Betty-Shea says:

    Such a beautiful park!!!
    And an action packed post !!! Enjoy your stay..hugs to you both(( )) 🌸❗

  16. Susan in Dallas says:

    Oh, Bridget would have given us such a tour! What a beautiful park and it looked so well kept up. After 30 years in the classroom I share your thoughts on the kiddos on the field trip. I enjoyed it but have no desire to go back. Some of my friends still ask me if I ever think about substituting. Ummm……no. (And that’s the polite answer!)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Susan,

      It’s surprising to me that anyone would want to be a substitute teacher after decades as a teacher, if only for the simple reason that it’s time to do something different. But I do know teachers who did that and I suppose they were happy.

      Not me! I couldn’t wait to get outside of the building and have new experiences.

  17. ValGal (westernWA) says:

    What a lovely place! I love these desert oasis type places.

    And we know how much Reggie loves grass. Nice and soft under his little feet.

    I’m so glad the boulder was stopped by the ledge. What a fright!

    Hope you both are having a great day. It’s cold and rainy here in the PNW.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, ValGal!

      “It’s cold and rainy here in the PNW.” As Gomer Pyle used to say, “Surprise, surprise.”

      Beautiful part of the world though, rainy or not.

      Thank you for wishing us a great day. Light rain, off and on, here. Reggie is napping next to me. Enjoy your day!

  18. Karen from Ft. Wayne says:

    Hi Sue,
    What a beautiful park, thanks for the tour. I’m loving all the pictures you’ve been posting of Caliente. It’s definitely marked for my trip out west soon. Can’t wait to see where you’re off to next.
    Take care,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Karen. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the posts and photos of the Caliente area. You know I didn’t show all the main attractions such as Echo Canyon State Park, Spring Valley State Park, Beaver Dam State Park… all interesting and lovely places to visit. The failure of the BLT’s 12volt sockets urged me to move out of the area.

      I hope to catch up the blog to real time soon. Lots to show and tell!

  19. weather says:

    It’s wonderful that you and Reggie were able to explore that lovely place while it was deserted by all others. Even without roses or other things being in bloom, it really is beautiful. I wonder if they designed it with the ledge deliberately to catch falling boulders and rocks. In any case, it’s always good to be reminded of the precious gift of life.

    That look…Bridget’s face turned toward you with love and gratitude so well expressed…thank God you have Reggie to hold and enjoy after moments like the one remembering your sweet girl. I keep many posts with special photos and stories about her in my favorites file, and often still look at them. She captured my heart in a way few creatures have been able to.

    Some times are so precious I deliberately take time to memorize them. Yesterday after a day spent watching the results of decades of planning and striving unfold around me, I walked to the lake’s edge, knowing my kitties were moments away from purring as I’d stroke their soft faces…and said aloud my life really is a bit of heaven on earth.

    You, Sue, and your sharing your own bits of heaven on earth, are a large part of why my life is so rich and filled with gratitude. Thank you for the tour, photos of Reggie and the garden, and sweet-thoughts provoking post.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, weather. The greater part of happiness is gratitude. It’s easy for you and me to be happy because we have much for which to be thankful.

      That ledge wasn’t designed by humans. It was part of the cliff face. Even so, Whoever designed it may have had that same intent. 🙂

      It’s a pleasure to know your long-time efforts and devotion are being rewarded with the achievements of those you love. Thanks for writing another thoughtful comment here.

    • Dawn in NC says:

      Wow Weather, your words are so lyrical! Have you ever thought about writing a daily devotion guide?

      • weather says:

        Thank you, Dawn. No, I hadn’t thought about writing one until you mentioned it . I really like that idea, and may try it. If only as a personal journal, it would be a wonderful way to begin each day.

  20. Dawn in MI says:

    Katie-girl and I were in a park last week and I thought of Bridget. And now here she is for a moment. Never really far away, either of them.

  21. rvsueandcrew says:

    A message to Applegirl NY . . . . I want you to know you are thought of today, you, your family, and your precious canine crew, during this difficult time of letting go.

    • Cinandjules (🌵) says:

      Uh oh!
      I looked for an update on your ailing buddy! This must be about him…
      We all know 😥….hugs to you and his faithful buddy.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Cinandjules,

        No, I haven’t heard anything new from Applegirl.

        I want you to know I appreciate the comment you wrote under a previous post about your friend from Texas being inspired by my blog. Thank you. I wish her much happiness and success in whatever she chooses to do.

  22. Dawn in NC says:

    Hi Sue, thanks so much for the blog and the reminder of wonderful Bridgette. I do miss her as guest blogger. I had a delightful weekend visiting with a trio of 10 week old Pug puppies. My mom is going to adopt one. She was so happy that she cried when she saw them. One should be released to her in the next few weeks. They were so adorable and full of cuteness and energy. I forgot what pooing and peeing machines they are as well. 😉

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      What a wonderful Mother’s Day for your mom! I had to laugh at your forgetting the poo and pee part of puppydom. 🙂

      I’m glad you two shared “a delightful weekend.”

  23. Shawna says:

    FIRST??? Ha, ha kidding!! I’m taking a break from the on-going downsizing … Gorgeous area, Sue, thanks so much for sharing. That boulder episode makes me shudder; so glad you two didn’t get hurt!

  24. DawnfromCamanoIsland says:

    Thank you for the wonderful memories of Kershaw-Ryan, Sue. Ari rolled in the grass for Reg–it’s one of her favorite things to do. Part of our backyard is sloped & on any nice sunny day, you may see her out there rolling on her back down the slope. It’s something to see!

    Close call…so glad it was just that. Take good care & happy trails. The two of you are on our minds here in the great Northwet (not a typo!). We’re hopping spring finally comes sometime later this week. The ark is on back order! ;o)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Dawn.

      I was trying to recall who it was that has been to Kershaw-Ryan and commented about the gardens. So Ari liked rolling in that grass… I can imagine him rolling down hill. 🙂

      I hope the sun comes out soon for you PNW folks!

  25. Dawn in Asheville says:

    So glad you didn’t get squooshed!! I was just thinking “what a little oasis and paradise”, then that! My heart also ached for you missing Bridget 🙁

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Dawn. It’s okay. All of us who love our pets go through the same heart-twinges.

  26. Cinandjules (🌵) says:

    Koi ponds are lovely!
    We too would have made that same uturn!
    KER shaw RIE in…..😇
    Good grief!!!!! Run!!!!!

  27. Thank you for the showing the ‘new’ (and much better) KR park.

    As always, my visit here was rewarded with excellent photos and a sketch of local history. It really is a nice area.

    BTW – many of the photos to be found on the whole of web covering some of the more remote parks /campgrounds are almost all exclusively from RVSue and Crew. Not only a good read, but a wonderful service to all who seek the remote places….

    Thank you again.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Don, and thank you for your supportive and encouraging words about by posts and photos.

      You remind me of something funny that happened to me recently. I was browsing online images and one particular photo caught my eye. I enlarged it for a better look. It was a photo of a handsome horse with a beautiful coat. After staring at it, enjoying the image, I looked for its source. What a surprise! The source was ME! It was then I remembered the time and place of that photo.

      Of course, there’s no surprise in me liking my own pics! 🙂

      Don, I also appreciate the feedback on the historical tidbits I add to my posts. Thanks for letting me know.

  28. AZ Jim says:

    First I thought it was a lip slip when Bridget popped on the page (I should have known better). I frequently think of those two babies who had the honor of loving you and you loving them in return. I don’t type it but when I see shallow water Spikey comes to mind. As we lost each of them most of us felt a personal loss, a deep personal loss. The only consolation we have is you gave them each a life that most of their canines would give up much of their meager possessions to have. Remember and smile at the memory.

    I have such wonderful neighbors. They have really been top notch. Getting prescriptions, work in my yard and daily checks to see what we might need. I love ’em all for their help which I would have been in real trouble without. Detta cannot drive anymore due to her eyes which get worse as time goes by.

    Thanks for your spot on photos in this post….very interesting and I could tell that little Reggie had a great time on that outing. Always look forward to your posts Missy…Big ole Hug…J

    • weather says:

      Hi, Jim, it’s always a treat to see a comment from you on here 🙂 ! I’d wondered how you were getting tasks done, and hoped you and Detta had all you’ve needed available. I’m very glad, and not surprised, that your neighbors want to help you. You are such a nice guy that caring about you is a natural part of knowing you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Jim,

      Ditto on what weather wrote. Her last line is so very true!

      Thank you for the tenderness in your recollection of Spike and Bridget. Also for your words of consolation. I do “smile at the memory.”

      Your presence here brightens my day! Hugs to you and Detta!

Comments are closed.