“Better not” or “Can do”

Thursday, August 11  (continued)

Having finished our lunch, Bridget, Reggie, and I leave the shade of cottonwoods at Russell Lakes State Wildlife Area (south of Saguache, Colorado) and resume our journey southward on Route 285.

After 15 miles or so, we turn onto Route 112 for a shortcut to Del Norte.

I have propane on my mind.  One tank is empty and the other is near-empty.

Sometimes I’ll research online to find where propane tanks are filled in a town unfamiliar to me.  More and more, I skip that research.

Full-time vagabonders know to scan a new town when first driving through it.

We look for likely dump stations and water spigots (RV parks, city parks, and government facilities), public trash bins, recycling centers, a grocery, a laundromat, maybe the post office and library, and a place that dispenses propane.

Driving through the west end of Del Norte, I find no big, white propane tanks.  I’d better stop at this Conoco station and ask . . .

After pumping gas, I enter the convenience store.

Two male cashiers, one busy, the other not.  I ask the latter about propane and he gives me directions to a place in town a few blocks away.

Then, following my rule of never passing up an opportunity to ask a local about camping spots, I mention my desire to camp on Los Pinos Road.  He confirms that there are campsites “up there.”

I follow his directions to the propane store. 

As I was told to expect, no one is there but a phone number is posted.  I call the number and a man tells me where the tanks are at the east end of town and that he will meet me there in a few minutes.

I find the place easily and unhook the tanks.

P1130387 One of my propane tanks (lower right) — The littlest one!

Propane Man arrives quickly, as promised.

He’s in his thirties, maybe early forties.  Cheerful and an easy talker.  I tell him I want to find a campsite on Los Pinos Road.

“Have you ever camped up there?” I ask.  “What’s it like?”

He says he has camped there and then he cautions, “We’ve had a lot of rain lately.  The road might be really slick.  You’d be better off going somewhere like Collier (State Wildlife Area) past South Fork.  There’s a campground up that way, too.”

YOU’d be better off, he said.  Red flag!  Red flag!

Okay.  Time out.

What I’m about to write is directed at boondockers older than, say, 65, and also at female boondockers of any age.  As you know, I fall into both categories.

P1130386Bridget hurries to hide under the PTV.  “Too late!  Gotcha!”

Here’s what to look out for . . . .

When a person who doesn’t know you — let’s say a local like Propane Man — starts cautioning you about the difficulties and dangers of a particular course of action, perhaps suggesting “easier” or “safer” alternatives, it’s important to realize that you may be receiving filtered information.  His advice might be based on preconceived notions of what “old people” and women cannot or should not do.  He probably isn’t even aware that’s what he’s doing.

In this type of situation, in order to gain the information I need for making a decision, I turn the situation around by asking . . . .

“What would YOU do?”

Propane Man chuckles and responds without hesitation, “I’d camp on Pinos.  (Pronounced Pinnus).  It’s beautiful up there.  I’d be real careful because of the slick and the turns, but yeah, I’d camp on Pinos.”

See the difference?

What was first a NO is now a YES.

P1130388Paved portion of Los Pinos Road out of Del Norte, Colorado

As Propane Man described, Los Pinos Road is paved for about ten miles while it traverses “the flats.”  Then it becomes a winding, dirt road (entering Rio Grande National Forest) that climbs to the top of a ridge.  A deep, river gorge is off the left side of the road.

The Perfect Tow Vehicle carefully pulls us and the Best Little Trailer in second gear.  Up the dirt road (which isn’t muddy or slick!) we go!

Raindrops appear on the windshield.

This isn’t a time to be fussy.  We’ll take the first campsite we come across.  Hey, there’s a break in the trees . . . .  A road!

I pull into the road and park.  The rain stops.

“C’mon!  Let’s see where this road goes!”

P1130389“I hope there’s a campsite for us, Reg!”

P1130390 Bridget hangs back because of my camera.  “Oh, sweetie, never mind that.  Let’s go!”

P1130391“Oh, my . . . This is it!  We’ve found our camp and it couldn’t be nicer!”

P1130392The ashes in the fire ring have been cleaned out.  No litter anywhere!

P1130397Beyond the fire ring, the land drops to the river below.  We’re around 9,000 feet here.  (Del Norte’s elevation is 7,784 feet.)

P1130394I find a level spot for the Best Little Trailer and set out my camp chair.

P1130405The crew and I walk further up the lane and take a shortcut back to camp.  My favorite kind of forest — a mix of various evergreen trees, including Ponderosas, and aspens with a variety of plants in the understory

P1130409Does Reggie rest after a walk?  No, it’s time for Joyful Zoomies!  (Note the camp chair.)

P1130410Bridget and I are joyful, too, as we watch our Reggie Man run in circles.

P1130411-001Next . . . a game of Fetch Froggy!

P1130415After a few fetches, the game of Fetch Froggy gets ugly!

After supper the crew and I follow the lane to Los Pinos Road.

Across the road is another river gorge with a peak in the distance.  You can see on a map that our camp sits on a ridge that extends between East Fork of Los Pinos Creek and Burro Creek on one side and West Fork of the Los Pinos on the other side.

P1130424That’s either the north end of Hogback Mesa or it’s Del Norte Mountain (elev. 12,400 ft.)

As darkness falls I savor the quiet of the forest.

The birds have settled down. The air is fresh and cool with no breeze.

Then . . . What’s that?

I listen to an animal — deer? elk? — make periodic grunts (low-pitch exhalations) as it walks in an arc around our campsite  I estimate it’s about 50 yards away.  After a while, the forest stillness returns.

A truck came up Los Pinos Road earlier and then drove down the ridge later.  That’s the only human activity we’ve seen here.

The crew settles in for a good night’s sleep, wrapped in the comforter.

I’m glad I chose to venture up Los Pinos Road!

rvsue

Happy Birthday, Best Little Trailer!

As I type this, it was five years ago today — August 16, 2011 —  that the BLT held onto the Perfect Tow Vehicle for the first time and began life as the home-on-wheels for RVSue and her canine crew!  Thanks, BLT.  And thank YOU, longtime readers. It’s been a fantastic five years!

THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!

P1130416“Froggy accepts defeat, Reg.”

CLICK LINK TO SHOP AMAZON NOW!

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141 Responses to “Better not” or “Can do”

  1. Virginia620 (Mobile AL) says:

    1st?

    • Virginia620 (Mobile AL) says:

      Happy anniversary & Birthday!! Love Reggie Man zooming and the beautiful Vistas.

    • weather says:

      Yes, Virginia, you were first 🙂 !

    • Fuji-maru says:

      Hi!,Virginia620,

      I wish I could send you a prize for #1, but… 🙂
      Would you mind if I asked you about a sooo local topic in Mobile.

      I’ve been to the ‘Express Truck Wash & Fuel’ at 2600 West Interstate 65 Service Rd N, Mobile, AL. But it was taken over by a Love’s Travel Stop recently.

      I just want to know that reason.
      Financial issue of the former gas station? Did they have a bad reputation? Were they unpopular with the local people.

      Any information would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  2. Pat, sacramento says:

    Top 5

    • Jolene/Iowa says:

      Wow, I love this camp! Has it really been 5 years? The adventures you have taken us on. The highs and the lows. You have shared it all. So thankful for you sharing your journey with us.

      Love seeing the pups so happy! The life you give them is so awesome!

    • weather says:

      Jolene and eliza tie for third 🙂

  3. eliza says:

    what a fabulous start to the next 5!

  4. Wow!!! 5 beautiful years !!! Happy Camperversary!!!
    Beautiful campsite!!! and I always love photos of the sweet Crew!!!

  5. Cynthia (& Scout) says:

    Happy anniversary, it’s been a joy and inspiration following you from the beginning!

  6. Pat from Mich. says:

    In the top ten! HB BLT!

  7. DianeJ says:

    Happy Birthday BLT !!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  8. Pookie in Todd Mission, tx says:

    yea another post! now to go back and read.
    thanks sue
    chuck

  9. Deb D says:

    Happy Anniversary on your great journey. Great location to camp. Love
    The pics and the pups look so pleased.

  10. Martha says:

    Wow. The campsite and views are incredible. And like the advice about scanning the town as you drive on and the advice about how to turn the conversation to a yes.

    Love the fetch froggie pics. And happy birthday. Have only been following you for less than eight weeks but one of the highlights of our week.

  11. Dave Stewart (in missouri for now) says:

    Good looking campsite, also the crew is looking well, (except for froggie.)

    Like your advice about how you asked, what would you do. little does he know but you You probably camp 360 days more a year , than he does!
    Hope you are enjoying the heights, now that you have acclimated.
    Dave

  12. Kristi & Daisie (Nampa, ID) says:

    Congrats on five wonderful years! As for advice from men for women, I had a propane man in Texas tell me about a “beautiful drive” to take. I ended up on a 8% grade with frequent switchbacks that had me inching up to the top of a hill and then doing the same back down while pulling a 35′ fifth wheel. Probably wasn’t longer than a three mile stretch, but it had me gritting my teeth and putting my truck in first gear to get up the hill at a slow speed. It wasn’t so much the grade, but the frequent and tight switchbacks that were the issue. Little country road that wasn’t terribly wide. It even had warning lights right before you started climbing that said if you’re going faster than 15mph then you needed to slow down. That should have been my first warning, but there weren’t many places for turning around anyway. Just added it to my list of stories to tell. 😀

  13. Dave R says:

    I wonder if there is a blog out there in internet land that starts outsomething like this: So today I was pulling my trailer full of hay when the truck started acting up. I stopped and had a nice chat with a woman the lives full time in a small trailer. We had a nice conversation……..etc. Ha.

    Dave R

  14. Happy Birthday to the BLT AND happy 5th Anniversary for fulltiming for you! Wow, that is so great and you have a fantastic place to celebrate with peace and quiet. Gotta watch that Reggie man, he could drag that camp chair through the mud!

  15. Judith camper says:

    Happy 5 more !

  16. Rochelle in IN says:

    Love the action shots of Reggie zooming. His joie-de-vivre comes through so clearly it makes me laugh – even while I sit here at a computer in the payroll dept. of a midwestern university. 🙂

  17. Millie says:

    Happiest Anniversary to you and the Crew. The PTV and BLT have served you well on your journey. Here’s to many more miles down the road!!

  18. Well Sue looks like you got some rain there just like us, nice photos and post, have a great week and stay safe and give them babies of yours a huge hug from us,,,,, Rusty n Piper

  19. Kellee says:

    Happy 5th anniversary to you and the BLT! I can’t believe it has been 5 years – thanks for all the fun your blog brings into your readers lives.

  20. I read your blog every time — don’t always wade through all the comments. :o) We’ve been out here 9-1/2 months now and the only time we’ve paid to camp was a special one-week deal at a hot-rod resort for $70 total — which became our Christmas present to each other. We’re currently visiting an old friend I haven’t seen in far too long who lives in Rapid City, SD. This area is MUCH more scenic than I ever imagined it would be! We have to be back in Boise, ID by Sep 9th to see our youngest granddaughter turn 4. Then we’ll hang out in the area until Nov 4th (another grandson’s birthday!) before we head South for our 2nd winter.
    ==========
    So, FREE camping has kinda’ become our deal. We’re currently camped at Railroad Butte which is about 23 miles East of Rapid City . . . and will be scoping out the four or so FREE campgrounds in the Bad Lands area for this weekend. It’s very quiet and dark at night here — our kinda’ place! Big thanks to campendium.com for showing us were many of the FREE spots are . . . we’ve also become huge fans of Boondockers Welcome. We haven’t signed up for Harvest Hosts yet but that will likely be our next move. It has been fun following your adventure thus far. May good health and long life favor you & the crew for many, many more good years to come.

  21. weather says:

    What an enormous amount of knowledge and skills you’ve added to those you had five years ago, wow! I’m not surprised by Propane Man’s low estimation of those being so far from the truth. Besides believing that it might be too difficult for you to get to that campsite he likely thought you’d rather have people nearby(both to socialize with and for “safety”.

    It looks like you had an entire area on the ridge besides the site all to yourselves, what a great find! Did you have any inkling when you started full-timing and blogging of the tremendous success you’d have doing those? Congratulations and may both continue to bring joy to you and us!

  22. Marcia GB in MA says:

    I was thinking it must be close to your 5th anniversary. Happy, happy and many more! What a great spot. My husband was a Seabee in Vietnam. He would always choose “can do”. ☺️

  23. Brenda in Texas says:

    Hi Y’all, geeze has it really been 5 years? Seems like only yesterday you and the crew set out on your teavels, and I have enjoyed every one of them. Wishing you and the Crew many more years of fun and adventure. Love to Y’all
    Brenda in Texas

  24. MollyLuvsRoadtrippin (WA) says:

    Happy BLT Bday!! I just love the high ridge camping in this post – and I am thinking ahead to having my Casita solar set up for next summer which will take me right up those forest roads too. Just returned from a beautiful week camping in the Methow Valley and explored Mt. Baldy pass which had some excellent free sites for future reference. I kept seeing fire rings and saying – that’s a campsite! – and I learned that here on your excellent informative fun friendly blog. I am so glad you are living the life you want while sharing it with your devoted blogorinos.

  25. rvsueandcrew says:

    HI, BLOGORINOS!

    I need your help. My computer is terribly slow today. I started this post early in the morning around eight and didn’t finish until afternoon. I need a break from the computer. I feel like poor Froggy! Ha!

    Please do me a favor — congratulate the first, second, and third place winners, give a warm welcome to new blogorinos, ask and answer any questions, keep the discussion going by contributing your comments, and, well, be your usual, friendly selves. 🙂 Thank you!

    And thanks for the congratulations on our reaching the 5 year mark of full-timing. I’m happy you’re riding along with me and the crew!

    Bye for now,
    Sue

    P.S. This is a good time to talk about yourselves….

  26. Rachel Smith says:

    Hi Sue and Crew!

    Five years! That is wonderful. I just realized yesterday, that my three year anniversary on the road, came and went last month, with out me noticing. But it has been a bit hectic in my little world lately. Great pics of your Crew having fun. I will have to get some cute pics of my little Macha in my little blog next time so you can see her silly side. So good to know you’re still having fun. 🙂

    Take care!

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Hey Rachel!

      Your ears must have been ringing as I thought about you last post! Someone wanted to know about dumping a porta potty in a rv dump tank.

      Hope all is well with you and Macha! Great to hear from you again!

      • Rachel Smith says:

        Hi Cinandjules,

        Lol! Funny you should mention RV dump tanks. Yea, I have a connector that hooks to my Thetford, that the swivel pipe from my privy just fits into the other end. It’s a two inch end on that side. It makes for easier dumping, with less mess! My 12 gallon Thetford allows me to stay out in the wilds longer. The funny part is, I just had to buy a new one. I ran over the old one. Yes. You read that right. Ran right down the middle of it! Thank goodness it was empty at that point!

  27. R. on Colorado Trail says:

    RVSue, again I’m not too far away. in creed. No verizon cell reception here.

  28. Jan NH says:

    Happy 5th Anniversary, Sue! What a beautiful spot you found for this milestone!

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. I as well as I’m sure many others have gained so much knowledge, helpful information and beautiful insights from your travels (not to mention all of the blogerinio contributions). I struggle to find the right words to express my gratitude for your graciousness in sharing your experiences as I anticipate and prepare to make my own journey in the next few years. You have been an inspiration!

    Wishing you, your crew and your home on wheels many more exciting experiences, interesting people and beautiful locations on the road in the years to come!
    Jan

  29. Gingerita in NE Indiana ( for now) says:

    Happy Bltaversary!! Congrats on 5 years of living the life that is best for you. Love the action shots of Reggie and the more dignified shots of Miss Bridget. I wish you many more years of happy travels:)

  30. retiredcajunlady 'n Louisiana says:

    Congratulations on your five year anniversary of living your life on your terms!! And what a fabulous ride you have had! Thank you so much for sharing your adventures with us all.
    Great advice about scoping out new towns for what is available and where. Perhaps with time, all vagabonds would figure this out; but by sharing what you have learned, you give many others great ideas as to know where to get what they need.
    Before reading your blog and asking questions, I would have thought just as Propane Man did…caution the nice older lady about possible road conditions. I loved the way you handled him. And you got a chuckle from him too. The Los Pinos Road is lovely…so green and fresh looking, quiet in the natural setting way, and a perfect Sue/Crew spot! Heavenly.
    Oh my gosh, that Reggie Man! Dog of Action. Able to leap camp chairs. Attacks Froggie into submission. The last picture of Reggie and Froggie looks like the cartoon bubble over his head reads, “Don’t mess with me! You could be next!” LOL Too cute and funny.
    As always, enjoy your stay. Belly rubs and hugs for pups, and prayers for you all.

  31. Marilu in Northern California says:

    Wow! It’s hard to believe you’ve been doing this for five years. I’ve been riding along for about three years. I’ve learned so much and been so inspired. Thank you, Sue and Blogorinos who add so much to this big family of RVers, wannabes, usetobes, freedom lovers and dog lovers.

    Life got busy for awhile and I didn’t read all the comments on every post. I’m wondering if Desert Ginger is still riding along. I don’t remember hearing from her lately.

    Enjoy your break, RV Sue.

  32. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Happy Anniversary! Wow that was quick! How time flies…….

  33. Pam N in Wisconsin says:

    And happy 5 year anniversary to you, too. It’s been a heck of a ride and we look forward to many more miles with you.

  34. Alice (So. Fla) says:

    Happy Anniversary !! beautiful spot, as usual. Love the pic of Reggie, he is such a cutie. Stay safe.

  35. Patricia says:

    Sue and Crew,
    Happy Anniversary!
    I’m not sure when I started reading your blog, but it was early on. I always enjoy your posts even though I’ve only commented a couple of times. I appreciate your courage and sense of adventure.
    Keep on keepin’ on!

  36. rhodium, RI says:

    Thank you so much for five years of wonderful writing and photos.

  37. Fuji-maru says:

    Hi! RVSue and Crew
    “Better not” or “Can do”, now I start to read! 🙂
    Have a nice Evening!

  38. MnDreamer says:

    Happy anniversary, Sue and Crew! It’s such a pleasure to follow your vagabond lives!

  39. AZ Jim 'n Detta says:

    I have been on the road with you through some great times and some bad times. I have seen many things through your eyes that I haven’t seen with mine. I have loved reading the “visit” each time you post and enjoyed little Spike and his soaks, Bridget with her regal bearing and of course little Reggie with his youthful enthusiasm. One never knows when the journey of life ends and I hope I have my little daily visits with you Missy for as long as I have left. I plan on living a long time so I’ll be traveling with you for a long time. Detta and I send our hugs and thanks for being you and being here….

  40. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    Happy Anniversary Sue. I have been enjoying following your travels for al least four years now. I have learned a lot and hope to follow you for many years to come.

  41. Katy in NH says:

    Happy Anniversary – we’ve been “camping” with you since before you picked up the BLT- and greatly enjoyed it all! Thanks for bringing us along!
    Katy in NH

  42. Cynthia from San Clemente says:

    Wow, I have lots to write today! We were gone on a motorcycle trip from San Clemente up to the Mammoth area for three days, so I’m catching up on posts and comments. I’m proud to say I rode my Harley across the Sonora Pass (elevation 9600 feet – the second highest pass in the Sierra Nevadas) and back, through lots of very tight and twisty turns. I am over 60, not quite 65. Sixty-three to be exact and, last time I looked, female. I was glad I was riding with 3 guys, because if my bike went down, or if I had a mechanical emergency, it would have been helpful to have them around. I’ve gone on long inter-state rides with female friends, but we had each other to look out for one another. The point I’m trying to make is I think you were a little hard on Propane Man and his ilk. Yes, he made an assumption about what he thought you could do (or couldn’t do), but that I think that assumption was more likely based on the fact you were alone and not the fact that you are over 60 and a female. I think it’s entirely possible he may have said the same thing to a man out boondocking alone. Remember the time a tree fell across your path and someone had to help you move it? (I may not recall all the details correctly, but I’m sure you recall the event). Since your photos in this post show puddles of water, Propane Man could have been concerned you might become stuck in mud and be unable to get out without help. He lives in the area and would more likely know how to avoid problematic areas, or have resources nearby who could help him get out. Just sayin’ Sue ….

    As for Hay Man in your last post .. I too have thought how I’d like to get to know some strangers better. They seem especially interesting or engaging or whatever. I agree there seems to be some invisible line over which you just don’t step with strangers, as if the brevity of the moment doesn’t allow the intimacy that develops in relationships that have the luxury of time to mature and blossom. But I do believe God brings those people into your life for a reason (and you into theirs), if only for a word of appreciation such as you gave Hay Man, telling him his work is important.

    Love the zooming Reggie photos!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t see how I was hard on Propane Man. I mentioned that he probably didn’t realize the “filter” he was looking through, just like all of us do in certain situations. I don’t fault him for that at all. He was very kind. If I were a man, I doubt he would’ve suggested going to a campground when I said I was interested in boondocking on Pinos Road.

      If he would camp on Pinos Road, why couldn’t I? He could get stuck. Once I turned the question around, he realized, hey, she can go up Pinos Road, too.

      I don’t let “what if I need help” kind of thinking keep me from doing what I want to do, within reason of course. Otherwise I’d do nothing! And because I needed help with that downed tree, does that mean I stay away from trees? Of course not…

      Thank you for the insightful words about people we meet, such as Hay Man.

      I’m glad you had an exciting weekend on your bike! You’re braver than I… Motorcycles are something I’ve never felt comfortable around.

      • Cynthia from San Clemente says:

        You make good points Sue. I’m not braver than you. You drive your own PTV with the BLT behind. I can drive a big 900 lb. Harley on curvy mountain roads, but I’m too afraid to drive our Class A and always let my husband do it, even though you and others have cautioned me that I should be able to drive it in case of emergencies. We all have different thresholds, different abilities, and different fears.

  43. Michelle Wilson says:

    I’m a 72 year old adventurous woman and am just in the planning stages of FT rv living. Lacking money so it’s taking creative thinking. I’ve read back to the beginning of your blog and am thankful for all your info. I get discouraged at my lack of funds and angry at how I squandered so much $$ on “things”, but then look at your fantastic photos and get re-invigorated. My sons and brother think I’m crazy for even considering this life change. And I get scared too. But you give me courage, Sue. Rock on!2

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Maybe your sons and brother are looking at you and your fulltiming idea through a “filter” such as this post points out. 🙂

    • Lisa,Tommie, and Buddy in Tennessee says:

      Hi Michelle,
      A friendly suggestion from a new full timer is to go small and travel light. A teardrop can be towed by a car, and so can a Boler. Some can be had used for not much money, and some have bathrooms and self contained tanks like larger rvs. Someone I met once said to get the smallest camper you could live in and the biggest truck you could afford. Good luck with your search.

    • Oh good for you, Michelle. I’m not going solo, but I’m 70 with fears about what we are undertaking for various reasons. But we’ll never know unless we try it. Fortunately my son is supportive, although he did say, “You are letting go of your only asset.” The house and garden and a shop for hubs! But we figure the Casita and our truck will be enough assets for now with a little money tucked away for emergencies. We figure that once we’re on the road, we’ll figure out the extra funds we need while at the same time lowering our overhead. I wish you well on your journey. We get stronger when we try new things, right? Otherwise, what are we going to do, sit there and get old?? NO!

  44. Martha in PA says:

    Wow Sue! Five fabulous and fun years on the road! Congratulations on this milestone and thanks so much for opening up new worlds for us sedentary folks. Love your blog.

  45. Glad you asked the second question when the red flag came out. You’re likely right that he didn’t realize he was seeing you through that filter. Your spot is wonderful, hope it’s cool up there! Tessa’s zoomies keep us laughing as well – even when she gets going inside the motorhome 🙂
    Congrats on five years – what a grand adventure.

  46. Tom Moore says:

    I am finally about to go out on the road.
    Sadly alone. I recently lost the love of my life and best friend to cancer after 50 years of marriage.
    My new home will be a 21 ft. Micro Minnie by Winnebago and a 2016 F 150 crew cab twin turbo six for pulling.
    I want to do some blogging but don’t know where to start.
    What is everyone’s recommendation for the best blog software?

    How about this for a blog name?

    RVing in the Yellow Rose
    with two barkers and the Fat Man.

    • Rochelle in IN says:

      I am so sorry to read of your recent loss. But what a blessing and tremendous accomplishment 50 years of marriage is! I admire you for hitting the road on your own anyway. As for the blog name, I know next to nothing about that, but it seems a little long to me. Best wishes to you on your adventure!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Tom,

      I’m very sorry to hear of the passing of your sweetheart and best friend. I wish I could give you a hug.

      About the blog….Cute name! I suggest WordPress, of course, because that’s what I use. Lots of folks use Blogger (by Google, which I avoid in all its forms) and I read about them complaining about it. That doesn’t necessarily mean anything though. WP and Blogger are free as long as you don’t monetize. Maybe you want to self-host from the start which is kind of like jumping in the deep end. Readers may have suggestions for you.

      For WP or Blogger, simply do a search for either, go to the site and there will be a step-by-step guide taking you through the design (template) to completing the set up and writing your first post. Good luck!

      BTW, your rig sounds great. Not too big and plenty of power for towing. Again I’m sorry for your loss, Tom. It’s good that you are looking ahead. Take care.

      • Tom Moore says:

        Congratulation on the 5 year mark.

        Five years reading your blog. Is that possible?

        You and the crew are my inspiration to do what I’m about to do.

        I will look at WordPress. Thank you so much for the direction. Coming from a person with your creds in the rv blogs it is the best information I could get. That is why I ask here and only here.

        I hope I run into you on the trail in the future.

    • AZ Jim says:

      I am so sorry Tom. It won’t be the same for you now. I have no idea how to cope. I can only wish you strength and healing.

      • Tom Moore says:

        Thank you Jim,

        We had time to say goodby and make some promises that I will do my best to keep.

        We knew this would happen to one of us first and had talked about it.

        If I was not surrounded by my sisters and nieces it would have been unbearable. I call them the “Cast Iron Magnolias.” They are all well seasoned and nothing I say in anger sticks to them.

        So many blessing come with something like this if you let them happen.

        • Beautifully said, Tom. Your wife must have been a remarkable woman to help you make the promises you are about to keep. You will find friends and adventure on the road that will feed your soul. I wish you the best.

    • Fuji-maru says:

      Hi, Tom,
      I feel very sorry to hear about your loss. Wishing you miles of smiles back through your future RVing.

      ‘RVing in the Yellow Rose with two barkers and the Fat Man.’ sounds good!
      But don’t understand ‘the Yellow Rose’ for me, Japanese. Related to fraternity, companionship or texas?
      ‘RVing with two barkers and the Fat Man’ sounds better for me.

      • Tom Moore says:

        The Yellow Rose refers to an old song called the “Yellow Rose of Texas”. I’m working on a rapping the back of the Minne with a large yellow rose with the Texas flag as the background. I am not a native Texan but I got here as soon as I could.

        Thanks for speaking to my loss. I promised a great lady I would go forward and be as productive and happy as I can be. To do less would not be true to the 50 years she gave to me.

    • Krystina ~ Sutton, Vermont says:

      So sorry to hear about your loss Tom. Try to stay positive and good luck on your new adventure.

    • Barb from Hoquiam! says:

      Tom, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Take care of yourself!

    • Rachel Smith says:

      My deepest sympathies for your loss Tom, but I am so grateful to know you had 50 wonderful years together and that you were able to say goodbye. Both of those are blessings that not many people get to have. It helps to know that kind of love still exists in the crazy world we live in. I know that you will find the blessings in the new life you are starting. This traveling life has been an incredible blessing to me in so many ways. Take care of yourself, allow yourself the time to grieve, and the time to smile, knowing you are fulfilling promises to both you and you beloved!

  47. katydid in Chicago says:

    Happy Birthday BLT and congratulations RV Sue, on your 5 years of adventuring!

    I don’t reply often now because we are so busy getting ready for our own start on the road. Yesterday was my husband’s first day as a retiree. I’ll be done working in my part-time job before the end of the month. We hope to be on the road by early October.

    I love your time-out alert. There is such a fine line between concerned care for others (i.e. women) and over-protectiveness. I’m tickled by your keen awareness in figuring out the difference at the right time.

    Thank you for all your inspiration!

  48. PNW Alison says:

    Congratulations Sue, on 5 years living your dream! I’ve been with you nearly from the start, although I don’t often comment. Thanks for all you’ve done to share your life and inspire the rest of us!

  49. Denise -Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Happy, Happy Anniversary!! Five years of “Can Do”!! You have taught us so much: how to read maps, find free camps, and even how to empty a black tank successfully. Not only that, you have brought together a wonderful family of blogorinos! Thank you for your generosity!! Wishing you many, many more years of wandering adventure!! 🙂

    Sending you and the Crew hugs from me and Gracie pup!!! 🙂

  50. Linda Esoll says:

    Happy Anniversary! Love your blog- wonderful pictures, easy to read font, and headers as well as great content. Thank you!

  51. Bruce Johnston says:

    I wondered if you were going to remember. Happy anniversary & Birthday!! I went back to the beginning of the blog. It’s taken me 4 days just to get to the second year and I read very fast. Lol. It’s interesting how the blog has changed from when you first began. I keep getting stuck on the comments and links. So much good information. I’m a very recent reader but I look forward to each post.

    Thanks for sharing your travels.

    Bruce Johnston

  52. Happy 5th BLT anniversary! Looking forward to 5 more!

  53. Fuji-maru says:

    Letters written on the signboard above your tiny propane tanks, looks so funny to me Japanese.

    “OFF ice” sounds “Stay away from ice”.

    I feel that a police van with letters of ‘Pol ice’ divided by its dooredge must be a ice cream truck from Poland (in Europe).

  54. Linda-NC says:

    Happy FIVE years! WOW! I am thinking Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese frosting and Chicken Pot Pie for the Crew. Sending it in my thoughts anyway. I put the vision there now enjoy! HA! Blog on, Ride on and I will keep reading.

  55. Hi Sue…Happy Aniversery….I miss you but will be back soon…Feeling better everyday.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I miss you, Shirlene! Think of you every day, hoping you were on the August trip you planned. I’m sorry you’re still sick, but glad you’re on the mend. Thanks for the update, dear one.

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        This was a terrific post. Great photos, sweet Bridget and wild Reggie. Happy full-timer anniversary. You would think I could remember the anniversary date, since it’s only 2 days after my birthday. Glad you went to Los Pinos also.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Welcome, Bruce! Thanks for reading from the beginning. Glad to have you with us…. Speak up anytime! 🙂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Happy Birthday to you, Barbara! A little late… May the entire month be a celebration for you!

    • Fuji-maru says:

      Hi, Shirlene,
      Wishing you a speeding recovery!

      Hi,Barbara,
      Sending you my belated Happy Birthday Wishes!

  56. Patricia Leonhardt says:

    Happy Birthday BLT!! And happy five years of adventures Sue and crew! I started reading your blog before you got the BLT,selling your house in Georgia, and wishing the whole time that I could be doing the same! I guess even if I cannot go, I get miles of adventures along with you! Happy trails Patti in Co

  57. Fuji-maru says:

    I read again your ancient post ‘Picking up my new Casita and orientation!‘.

    You are all smiles with Bridget and Spike in front of your brand-new BLT. All your smiles have been forever!

    Happy 5th anniversary to the BLT and you!

    • Fuji-maru says:

      Please delete the title of your article and HTML LINK above and this comment if there are any inconveniences.

      Sorry for my being forward under your slow internet connection.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        No problem exists, Fuji-maru. I was pleased when I saw you had included a link. Very thoughtful of you! Thank you.

  58. Kathy (NC) says:

    Happy anniversary and wishes for many more happy times for you and the crew. Following along with you is so very interesting, instructive and inspiring. So many beautiful photos as well. Many, many thanks for all you do for us.

  59. Deena in Phoenix, AZ says:

    Happy Anniversary Sue and Happy Birthday to the BLT. I started reading you to Partner shortly after you started blogging, I was looking for info about Rat Terriers and Spike and Bridget appeared. I’ll never forget that day, the Blog was about Julio, Janie and Jumbo Kitty. Partner thought the world of Felix and the harmony that was given to you and Crew when he wanted the house and the pets. We added Felix and Julio to our prayers. I didn’t realized that there were comments for another two weeks and then we started at the beginning reading EVERYTHING including comments. It has been a pleasure reading you out loud for over four years. Thank you, you are precious to us Blogorinos. Have a great time along the Los Pinos Road.

    Deena and Miss Mollie

  60. Don in Okla. says:

    Those pictures of Reggie are just GREAT!! So good to see pictures of happy pups! And thanks so much for the 5 years. I’ve really enjoyed riding along.

  61. Carolyn H in AZ says:

    Happy BLT Anniversary! Love all your photos. Reggie sure is a bundle of energy just like my Chihuaha.

  62. Reine in Plano (when not camping) says:

    I remember that HOT day 5 years ago – Hot but fun. And just so the blogorinos know – from the very first Sue insisted on doing everything herself as today’s post shows.

    Thanks for the “what would YOU do?” tip. Look at the beautiful PEACEFUL campsite you would have missed out on if you hadn’t asked the follow through question. If it gets muddy, slippy, slidey later on, you can just enjoy the quiet and wait till it dries out a bit to move.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I remember I was so excited I forgot to drink water and almost collapsed. You came running with a glass of water and saved me, Reine!

  63. A gal in Maple Valley, WA says:

    Happy 5 ~ 5 ~ 5 ~ 5 ~ 5 ~ 5 ~ 5 !!! Great Job! Wow! Sending you wishes for many, many more. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  64. Rover Ronda (WA) says:

    Happy Birthday BLT❗️?Time for cake??

    Great job finding a site! That’s good practice for anyone. When someone says no to something you want to do, ask more questions.

    Peanut also has a beloved froggy he is currently shredding ?He commandeered Maggie’s similar pink piggy too so I have the same frog waiting in the cupboard for when the time comes. I can’t wait to see his expression when he sees a “restored” froggy.

  65. gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

    Mid-air Reggie with Froggie is a prizewinning photo!

    In last photo, “Froggie accepts defeat … ” did Froggie croak?!

    Ha-ha! By 11:00 pm, I become insufferably witty (or not)!

  66. Velda in Roseville CA says:

    Happy Anniversary Sue and Crew!

  67. Heda says:

    Happy birthday BLT and many equally happy returns.

  68. Gal and a cat in FL says:

    How I love this blog! Just returned from a 13,000 mile trip across the country (alone teeny pull behind teardrop). being a lowlander I had great difficulty at anything over 7000 feet. In fact much more comfy lower. I avoided Colorado for that reason. You mentioned canned O2 earlier and also in the past hard time with altitude. Now you are ok and Bridgie too at high altitude? Did you guys adjust or what? Got a little bigger teardrop this time and itching to go again before winter. Just dreading that exhausting heart racing feeling at higher altitude. Fill us in. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t know which helped Bridget and me more… the oxygen in a can or gradual moves to higher altitude. I think mostly the latter.

  69. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY ~ HAPPY ANNIVERSARY ~ HAPPY ANNNNNNNIVVVVVVVVVVER~SARYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! :p

    Feels silly, how much I look forward to your blog showing up in my email box… but it is true. Living vicariously and enjoying your day to day is joyous.
    I wonder how many of us
    A) See this as a mini-vaca for ourselves ( 🙂 )
    B) Think “well if SUE can do it maybe I can too!”
    C) Think of the ‘crew’ every time they smell or see rotisserie chicken 🙂
    D) Wave at Casita trailers now EVERY time and then think “awe, she is Arizona or Colorado or???? ”
    E) Look forward to the next adventure!

    PS F) have to really think for the silly math problems 🙂

    Hugs from Hoquiam and my own motley crew.
    Barb

  70. Mick'nTN says:

    Congrats on Five Years! I remember sharing your excitement on day one.

  71. Terri From Texas says:

    Happy 5 years, RvSue! And many more!

  72. Lisa,Tommie, and Buddy in Tennessee says:

    Hello to all and HappyCamperversary to Sue and crew!!! I wonder just how many of us have taken to life on the road because of what Sue has shared. Count me as one! I am joyfully fulltiming now since June and grateful I did so as soon as I could. I have truly never been happier.
    I tried to post on “Stranger Talk” but Foxfire stopped on me. Thanks for the invitation to talk about myself. Since June I have traveled the length of the east coast and more, visiting family and friends in several states as well as a lovely large chunk of time with my parents. It has been a blessing to do “a whole bunch of nothing” as we all adjust to life without my brother. I have always found nature and the quiet there to be healing, rebalancing.
    I am still adjusting and downsizing as I go. Recently the upper cabinet in my kitchen fell down. It had been coming loose, and renovation was in my plans, just not last weekend, chuckle. So I bought a bin, stacked the contents of the cupboards, and burned the cabinets in a campfire. The pile of coals that was left cooked a tasty supper and turned a mishap into a party of sorts, at least I got a chuckle out of my ‘kitchen fire’.
    We are currently relaxing as we await the install of a custom stainless steel rack to hold a solar panel on my truck courtesy of the famous Mick in Tennessee. A super guy and new friend I would not have in my life without RVSue crossing our paths. I have many other renovations to go on my tiny trailer, but have the basics and can enjoy making it my own as I go down the road.

  73. rvsueandcrew says:

    THANK YOU!

    Your messages regarding our “camperversary” have been fun to read, touching and sweet, poignant and encouraging. I wanted to reply to each and every one. I tried and then stopped when I realized I should work on the next post.

    I’ve worked on the post most of this morning, squeezing in a walk for the crew. It will be a while before it is ready for you. Although it would be nice if photos would load faster and if the writing were quicker, however, it’s a rainy day, so I don’t mind. Bridget and Reggie do a lot of napping on rainy days.

    Again, thank you for caring about me, the crew, and this blog, enough to write us a note of congratulations on passing this milestone.

    When I started teaching, I asked for 10 good years and was given 11. When I began this lifestyle with my crew, I again asked for 10 good years. It never occurred to me to ask for all these passengers. I’m glad you ride with us!

    You have enriched these past 5 years beyond measure. I am truly grateful.

    Okay, back to writing the next post!

    Sue

  74. Crystal the T@B owner says:

    Hey, Happy Campers! I am still around, I am just waaaaay behind in reading. I am on April 4, and saw that I was mentioned as one of the blogerinos that’s labelled “missing”. lol Soooo, what does any respectable blogerino do? You jump ahead and let everyone know all is A-Ok in my world. I still work full-time, and as mentioned by some, Pamela K, Larry, and Barbara (Nashville), I stay busy as an admin on the T@B Camping Trailers Facebook page, T@B events/gatherings, Packer games/events (GO PACK GO), and attend an annual “Coastal Caravan” where we beach hop on the east coast, and…..the biggest event of all…..(drum roll, please)…..we became grandparents on May 5 to the sweetest, cutest, smartest grandson on God’s green earth. I “may” be biased 🙂 We welcomed Jeremiah with a trip to Beijing to stay with them. Yes, sadly they don’t live in the States, and that makes it very difficult on this first-time grandma and grandpa. Thanks to technology we are able to FaceTime every week or so, and we all purchased iPhones so we can use an International app to text and share video/photos. We were country folk with “dumb phones”, haha, but the presence of a grandson changed that.

    Hopefully I can dig into the blog and catch up! Until then, you can find me back in April.

  75. Sharon in MO says:

    Congratulations on 5 years, RV Sue! We have owned our BLT for 10 years now and are getting ready to head to Utah for a couple weeks visiting some of the National Parks there. We don’t boondock, but I enjoy reading about your adventures.

  76. Hudson says:

    <3 Love this post!

  77. Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

    Ah youth! Reggie sure has it. I love that last photo of him over froggy. Such an expressive face! The face of victory!

    Your camping spot is perfect and just the type we like but that lane looks too narrow for us to get down.

    Happy Anniversary!!!

  78. Linda says:

    Enjoyed your pictures so much…Glad I found your blog.

  79. JazzLoverWMa says:

    Happy Anniversary Sue. Didn’t find you at the start but so happy I did find you and the crew. What a travel log you have provided us with these past 5 years and how your writing and photography have evolved as time has gone on has been wonderful to watch and benefit from. Hope you keep on doing this for as long as it is fun and rewarding for you because it certainly is for us but you do all of the heavy work so take care of you and take breaks when you feel the need cause we’ll be here. As I said before, you are the sunshine in my day and I thank you for that.
    Be Well,
    JazzLover

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, and thank you for the anniversary wish, JazzLover, as well as the hope for many more. These past five years have been incredible, beyond anything I could have imagined, and a big part of that is having people like you along for the ride.

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