An admirable man of action

Salida East dispersed camping area is really too low to be comfortable when camping in July.

I buy a 6-inch, clip-onto-the-desk fan at the True Value in Salida.  That fan, plus our ceiling vent fan, helps us cope with the hottest part of the day.  Bridget, Reggie, and I also cool off in the Arkansas River, which is delightfully refreshing!

P1120847While at Salida East we take care of errands and go on short trips into the mountains.

One day I take us up to the Angel of Shavano trailhead.  Along the way I look for campsites but all I find are sites suitable for tents only.  We stop at the group campground and sit in the shade of the shelter to share a picnic lunch.

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P1120868From there we take a look at the the campground which is small, cramped, and full.

When I see the traffic and OHVs on trailers going further up the road, I decide to turn around and return to Salida.

“This is too crowded for us.  We’ll find something better.”

(Note:  “Angel of Shavano” refers to the angel shape that the snow forms on Mt. Shavano in the winter.)

P1120798The Best Little Trailer waits next to the Arkansas River at Salida East

More about Nemo and his family!

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I meet Nemo’s owner, Mitch.

He tells me about his situation relating to the wildfire south of Salida, the Hayden Pass Fire.  Last heard, the fire had consumed 16,350 acres and is expected to burn another three months.

Mitch (not his real name), along with Nemo and Annie (another rescue pup), were evacuated from their home.  The first night they sleep at the Super 8 in Salida.  The next day Mitch goes out and finds a used travel trailer.  He buys it and sets it up near us at Salida East dispersed camping area (BLM/free).

No more motel living at over $100 a night!

“Wow!  You’re a decisive man of action!” I remark as Mitch tells me his story.

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He gives me permission to take a photo (above) of his travel trailer.  It’s a lightweight, vintage Award model.

Okay, about Annie . . . .

That’s Annie in the photo (above).  Mitch took her off death row two years ago on the day she was scheduled to be killed.  He says she’s a wire terrier mix.  Her resemblance to Spike has me thinking she’s a rat terrier mix.  Who knows.

She could be any number of breeds!

Mitch loves dogs and, under his kindness and care, Annie has improved a great deal from the days when she was overly aggressive.  Even so, to be safe, Mitch decides to keep her separate from the crew, as she still has some issues.

Mitch and his canine crew are our neighbors for two days.

During that time I’m impressed by Mitch’s upbeat manner and also his calm demeanor while his house sits in a wildfire zone.  He explains that the fire burned both hillsides bordering the property of his 100-year-old home.

“Used to be green trees, now it’s all black stumps.  The house and the grounds are okay.”

On the third day Mitch takes off for the two hours that evacuees are allowed to visit their property.

He returns to camp very excited.

“I have lots of good news!” he exclaims.  “I had a contract on my house when this fire started.  This morning the realtor told me they still want to buy the place!  They’re a couple in their sixties and they really like it.  It has two trout streams with bridges over them and huge cottonwoods.  I also talked with State Farm and they’re gonna’ pay for the night in the motel and for the cost of staying at an RV park until we can go back to the house.  I’m taking the trailer to an RV park closer to my property.”

“That’s wonderful, Mitch!  Everything is working out for you.”

“I guess I’ll find out if the air conditioner on the trailer works,” Mitch adds, smiling.

There’s a lot more I could say about Mitch.

During the short time that he, Nemo, and Annie are our neighbors, I witness Mitch extend real help and generosity to a person in a precarious situation — recently out of work and living in a tent while traveling, hopefully, to a better future.  I’m not going to write anything more than that in order to respect that person’s privacy.  I bring it up only to point out the depth of character I saw in Mitch.

Think about it.

His house and belongings are jeopardized by wildfire.  His life is turned upside down by being evacuated. He may lose the buyers for his house. He has two dogs and they go to a motel.   Then he’s in a travel trailer and it’s hot, very hot!

While coping with all that, he gives generously of his time, energy, and money to help guide a person he’s just met out of one of life’s dark valleys.

And not for one moment do I hear or see any frustration or complaint! 

Not one word!  He chats with me and we laugh together while watching our dogs play (See previous post.)

P1120759Arkansas River at Salida East boat ramp area, view upstream to neighboring RV park

Next post . . . .

The crew and I look for campsites in San Isabel National Forest.

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93 Responses to An admirable man of action

  1. Corkerinna620 ( AL) says:

    1st?

  2. Cynthia Blaylock says:

    Second?

  3. Corkerinna620 ( AL) says:

    Man, Rusty, you have trigger fast fingers. Haha.

    • Well ,,,, to tell you the truth, I had a feeling Sue was going to post soon, so I just looked and yeahperey, ,, here it came, plus this Tablet is fast in hearing what I say,,,,,,,,,,,,, 🙂 Rusty

  4. Kitt, NW WA says:

    In the top 5?

  5. Annie in Oregon says:

    Oh well I’ll take #6. Now I will read the post?

  6. Pamelab says:

    Hi, Sue – what a positive experience! For you and everyone concerned. Best of luck with you search.
    Thank you.
    Pamelab in Missouri City, TX

  7. The Zoo says:

    He does seem like a great guy. I aspire to be like him. I dont make it but would love to be. Annies a ctie, im glad he took his time on her and Nemos darling with Bridget and Reggie

  8. Annie in Oregon says:

    Mitch is a special guy. How easy it is to be kind and generous when everything is going our way….but when life takes a turn and things are very difficult it takes a special person to step outside of their own situation and provide support (emotionally, financially, etc.)for another person in need. Thanks for sharing.
    And that Arkansas River looks so clear that Reggie is standing in. Lucky guy!?

  9. Deena in Peoria, AZ says:

    Sue, very glad to see your post today. You have a knack of finding the wonderment of humankind and sharing with us; the positive nature of Mitch is a prime example of your finds. I still think of Bill the Bike Rider when I travel to Yuma to visit my sister and her family.
    Miss Mollie and I are closer to moving by Aug 4th, in the final stages; found an apartment in Phoenix, closer to two of my eight sisters. Yesterday, the agent stated it was nice to see a daughter helping her mother; we both looked around then realized she was speaking about us. Told her we are sisters with 16 years difference in age. Still is nice to know that someone else sees the love between us is viable and happy.
    Saw the dog safety seat on your Amazon purchases and thought it would help Miss Mollie; took two days for her to accept it but is now jumping into the seat without pausing. I am overjoyed for her safety and her ability to look out at everyone and everything – yesterday she saw her 1st long-horned steer in a field near us – about had heart failure with her barking then just laughed and laughed when I saw what she was viewing.
    Glad you are going to a hopefully cooler location – probably there now. Rub your babies behind the ears and have a great day.

  10. So glad there is still good folks out there. Thank yu for the story. So much doom and gloom recently. Made my day better.

  11. Cynthia Blaylock says:

    Mitch sounds like a really caring, compassionate guy. Maybe because of what he’s going through he has a lot of empathy for others who are experiencing hard times, but I suspect his character is what it is and he’s always a good guy. Plus, IMHO most people who are willing to take rescue dogs, with their unknown histories and potential emotional and health issues, tend to be decent human beings. I’m glad you ran into him (not literally) and his pups.

  12. Lisa,Tommie, and Buddy in NJ says:

    Nice story. I had a pastor who said we are like toothpaste tubes, when we are squeezed whatever is inside us comes out. I am happy you met such a nice guy. Meanwhile, I continue enjoying time with my parents, helping around the house and tinkering with my trailer.

  13. Evelyn says:

    Hi Sue, Come on up to the Leadville area where it is nice and cool. there is boondocking in the Clear Creek area(no internet) and also west of Leadville(nice internet). Mom and I have been moving around up here for the past month. Very nice.

    • Marysia says:

      Is it possible for small class c to reach these boondocking areas? We always have trouble finding anything between Leadville and Salida.

      • Evelyn says:

        I have a 31′ C and there were several large A’s. Lots of room. Go to Leadville golf course, got to corner near Sugar Loafin’ rv park, see dirt road in between the two, CR48? Go down dirt road 1/4 mile on left is another dirt road. Pick a spot.

        • Marysia says:

          Thank you, Evelyn. We spent a lot of time in the area but never find anything. I am excited to follow your directions. Will visit there in few weeks.

  14. Maryanne Davis-Baldwin says:

    It’s heartwarming to hear a story about a kind giving person in these days of so much selfishness. Thanks for giving me a view of how life should be!!

  15. Retiredcajunlady 'n Louisiana says:

    As I read your post about “Mitch” the word GRACE kept coming to mind. To be under such stress of the unknown, and yet he offered to help others is truly a testament to his character. That is grace in the finest sense of the word. And you are blessed for having met him and spending time with him. We are blessed because you shared his story. We need stories of kindness and grace right now. Of all the many topics I dearly enjoy about your blog…and there are too many to count…these are the stories of the human heart that make me so glad to have found your blog.
    The pup pictures are just adorable. I am also a believer in adopting animals rather than shopping for them. What a better world for animals it would be if “each one adopted one” when searching for a pet. The day I met Willee, I was actually going to meet another dog named T’boug. T’boug ignored me completely, but Willee put his head on my shoulder when I picked him up. And I fell in love as he chose me.
    Reggie sure was enjoying that cool water! It does look like it was cool and so inviting!
    As always, thank you for sharing your adventure with us in words and pictures. Take care and have safe travels. Hugs, belly rubs, and prayers!

    • Julie says:

      Wow what a lovely response. Thanks for posting.

      • Hi Julie, how’s Jack? 🙂

        • Julie, Molly & gizmo (Idaho) says:

          ?? Must be thinking of another Julie. Hi rusty. Hope va is taking good care of you. Worked as rn in the system for 35 years.

          • Oh ya, , I remember you mentioning you worked as a nurse and yes I have you mixed up with another Julie, sorry my bad,,,, my leg is all healed up now and the VAMC at Prescott did give me the right salve to finish up the job, the scabs fell off last week and the infection is gone completely and no more swelling, ,, had me worried there for a while, but my favorite Dad did most of the worrying, Amend to him!,,,,,,,,,, 🙂

      • Retiredcajunlady 'n Louisiana says:

        Thank you, Julie! That was sweet of you. Have a wonderful day.

  16. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    Omgosh that is frightening… I am glad Mitch’s home is safe and the buyers still want it. Country living is marvelous, but precarious at times, that is for sure.

    Hugs to the pups!
    And Hugs to you!
    From Hoquiam,
    Barb

  17. We are near the San Isabel National Forest. If you scouted the area I’m thinking of, it is beautiful. I’m wishing you luck!

  18. Marysia says:

    I rarely comment but really enjoy reading your posts!

  19. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Wonderful post. Best wishes to Mitch, Nemo and Annie.

  20. Rover Ronda (WA) says:

    Great inspirational post! It’s wonderful to read about Mitch. His is a blessing to others may it come back to him so much more!

  21. Ladybug in Mid TN says:

    Hmmmm….is Mitch single????

    Now that it looks like Mitch has sold his house, maybe this is a sign he should go full-time!!

  22. It’s awfully bad what fires do, I have a friend who lost his house to a wildfire up in Lake Isabella, California and he lost a lot, but he was in LA at the time, so glad he wasn’t there when it burned, he’s a disabled Viet Nam Veteran, I pray that Mitch’s home is safe, ,,,,,, Rusty

  23. AZ Jim says:

    Missy, you seem to collect nice guys! Mitch sounds like he is great friend to have. Luck to him and his two little buddies. It goes without saying that I am pleased you are doing do well and seeing some nice places. Keep those wheels a turning….

  24. Rose in AR says:

    I don’t post often but read every day including comments. I enjoyed camping on the Arkansas River over the 4th…..would say I was just down river from you but a rather long way from CO to AR. I must say your part of the river is much clearer then mine was.

  25. Pookie in Todd Mission, tx says:

    great post…glad to see there are still folks helping other out…
    just finished watching the movie THE BOOK OF ELI
    I recommend it since it is a very good black & white movie…
    I see Rusty is on a roll….
    chuck

  26. Krystina ~ Sutton, Vermont says:

    Wonderful post RVSue 🙂 You do meet fantastic folks when you are on the road. Stay safe.

  27. MB from VA says:

    You know, I am with Anne Frank on the subject of people. I really do believe that most are good. Most people I encounter are like Mitch. They are doing their best and truly want to be of help where they can. My uncle is somewhat disabled and sits and watches the news all the time. He always says that the world is so awful and people are getting so bad. My response is always, “Only the ones who make the news.”. Unfortunately the Mitches of the world rarely make the headlines. But they are out there. These are the “real people”. Thanks for making sure at least one made “the headlines”! HOT/HUMID here. Pruning boxwoods (@ 100) and dreaming of being out there……Have a great day!

  28. Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

    Seems to me that Mitch must be the Angel of Shavano in this story. Yes, in spite of all the bad and negative press, there are still wonderful people in the world with good hearts, selfless in every way. What a wonderful opportunity you had Sue to cross paths with him, Nemo, and Annie.

  29. weather says:

    Nice opening with the Arkansas River and picture -both delightfully refreshing! You chose great photos to depict the equally refreshing story in this post, Sue. I focused on the one beneath “Next Post…..”. The placid scene gives no answer to what came before or will follow the current turns in the road. It fits with “Mitch’s” journey to me.

    Not knowing where he’s been, what he’s gone through,why he wanted to sell his place or where he’ll go next, I can guess through it walks a man with a mature mind. Maybe he’s upbeat, takes rough times in stride, and is quick to smile and help others because he derives happiness from that of those around him. Empathy seems to come easily to him, to draw him away from self-centered attention on only his own problems.

    Angel shape in snow goes well with much near Salida, I’m reminded of your feeling about something special happening there again. The firefighters saving homes, wonderful people and animals meeting, remembering, rescuing each other…I hope staying cool and enjoying today where you are now is part of it 🙂

  30. RfromMN says:

    Hello, Sue and Crew! I have been one of those quiet blogorinos– reading your blog, even the .com entries, almost obsessively, as I am dreaming of full-timing in about 2 years, when I retire on a limited budget. Your bold spirit is truly an inspiration, and the way you meet people on their terms and see the good in them is lovely and refreshing. You have helped me to believe that I can do this! Thank you and please, keep on keepin’ on!

  31. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts, VA says:

    This is a wonderful Posting today Sue. I loved the story of Mitch and his ability to help another amidst his own personal adversities. He is someone to look up to, and I wish him the best with his home and his animals.
    It must be very hot there as I look at the weather reports. Hope you can find relief from it.
    I look forward to your blogs and read them all, but do not always post. Thank you for them and , Take Care Sue and Crew!

  32. Carol in MT says:

    Reading your post sitting in my camper today, thanks to my antenna and Jetpack. Your blog has made boondocking more fun than ever for me! Later this month the flexible solar panel will be installed too! Thanks so much for leading the way and sharing.

    Looking forward to your future posts while I make my way through the archives.

  33. rvsueandcrew says:

    GOOD MORNING, BLOGORINOS!

    Congratulations to Rusty for placing first again! I chuckled at the competition to place in the top three. You guys are hilarious!

    A big WELCOME to R from MN! Thank you for your kind message. I know your fellow blogorinos join me in wishing you well as you pursue your dream. It’s a pleasure to help show the way!

    It’s always a pleasure to see the comments of long-time blogorinos, and it’s a special thrill to see those who don’t comment often.

    Something I’ve been wanting to say . . . . If you are new to comments and I neglected to welcome you, please forgive me. I appreciate every “new” person who joins us here. Five years of blogging and replying to thousands of comments have scrambled my brain, as far as keeping names straight. I may think you’ve commented before when actually this is your first visit. Know that YOU ARE WELCOME, TOO! 🙂

    How nice that y’all see what I saw in Mitch. Your responses and insights reveal who you are — good people! I believe Mitch and his canine crew are the reason I was directed to “take note what happens here” when we first drove into Salida.

    Thank you for your wishes that the crew and I are in a cooler camp. We are! It isn’t much cooler due to increase in elevation. Mostly the coolness comes from strong breezes coming down the mountains and from occasional, light rain. I hope you feel a cool breeze, too.

    Like the full moon that lit up the night last night, I hope goodness is reflected in you today and always, as Mitch has shown us.

    I’m staying out of comments for a while. I know this is a personal blog and all but I’m really weary of me, me, me all the time. Thanks for contributing something of yourself here. I love reading y’all talking and being friendly together.

    Bye for now,
    Sue

    • Retiredcajunlady 'n Louisiana says:

      Smiles….play right field for a while…watch the dandelions grow, Sue, and just enjoy what you set out to do. We will wait for you. Take care.

    • Sue,, here is a bunch of Rose’s to you, , @×@×@))–)—-, have a pleasant cool rest you 3,,,,,,,,,,, 🙂

    • Cynthia Blaylock says:

      Sue, I’d rather see you take little breaks like this occasionally than to start feeling so overly burdened and tired of keeping up with the blog on a daily basis that you just give it up entirely. I know I’m being selfish, but I think a lot of us feel the same way – we would lose a lot if we lost you and the blog. Sometimes I toy with the idea of starting a blog (because I have a big mouth and a lot to say – lol), but when I seriously consider what would really be required to keep it interesting and timely, I abandon the idea. It’s really pretty amazing that you’re able to plan your routes, find boondocks, shop for essentials, keep the BLT and PTV in working order, take care of Bridge, Reg, and yourself, take tons of stunning photographs, produce a regular blog, and correct our math homework. (Just kidding on that last one!) You deserve a good rest!

  34. I know the forest needs to burn sometimes to keep it healthy but to lose all that beauty is heartbreaking 🙁 Thanks for sharing your Mitch moments, always good to remember the world is mostly filled with really good people. And karma seems to be taking care of him in kind.

  35. Diann in MT says:

    Hi, Sue and Blogorinos,
    Mitch is indeed an inspirational man. Thanks, Sue, for giving his story the space and credit on your wonderful, far-reaching blog.
    Your story about Mitch reminds me of a local statement on a church marquee:
    “Opinions do not better the world; Actions do”
    I think we all need to be mindful of our presence among others, and choose to be respectful and caring.
    Have a calm and meaningful day, everyone.
    Love the math that comes with posting. And, please excuse my dear aunt Sally!
    Love you guys!

  36. Missy says:

    God Bless Mitch…….

  37. Ken in Queen Creek, AZ says:

    There are many people who put the “kind” in humankind – that most often go unnoticed. Thank you for sharing his story. It made my evening.

  38. Judy J. in upstate S.C. says:

    Many thanks for such a very inspiring post. I’ve also been encouraged to read each and every kind comment made by the blogorinos…what a wonderful group of people!

  39. I admire your blogging stamina. Your story about Mitch was a very pleasant piece of good writing about a good person. The news could use more of you these days.

  40. casitagirl says:

    I appreciate hearing about Mitch, who reminds me so much of my dad. He gets so much out of giving to others that he never seems burdened. It seems to be effortless for him, too. I strive to be like him.

    We’re at a new camp at Glacier National Park. We drove most of the day from Fort Peck, Montana, where we stayed at the Downstream Campground, a great camp. Can’t wait to start exploring tomorrow.

    Dogs aren’t allowed on trails because of the risk of bear and lion attacks, so our pups will need to stick around at camp. With other dogs around, there are great opportunities for sniff walks here, so all is not so bad for them!

  41. ApplegirlNY says:

    Sue, glad you feel good about taking a well deserved break. Relax and enjoy the moment. You’re so faithful to all of us.

    Great story about Mitch. Seems like he doesn’t even sweat the big stuff, which is maybe why he is free to help and encourage others. Thoughtful guy. It’s a happy thing that your paths crossed.

    I’ve been enjoying my garden and reading my kindle on the porch when I’m not working. Summertime, summertime.

  42. weather says:

    A campsite where strong breezes come down the mountains and blow through it is a treasure, especially during times with high temps. Really, whether it’s warm or cold, moving air or water can be so refreshing. Hopefully, after all of Tuesday’s circling the area to find where you wanted to settle in, you enjoyed doing just that yesterday. It was cool here for summertime. The breeze came through the jeep’s open windows while I was out getting a few things I needed to do taken care of.

    One of the sweet things about the few days with no wind here is being able to hear the smaller birds and other wildlife’s conversations. I imagine those near you like the light rains so they easily find water to drink as it pools on the plants or ground. I hope your coffee and morning are as satisfying, and that you have a wonderful day.

  43. Cat Lady in Tacoma says:

    “Mitch” sounds like a wonderful person, it is sure nice to meet people like that.
    He must believe in karma, all that paying it forward maybe saved his house from fire? Who knows, that’s just my theroy! You never know when you need some extra help from the universe!

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