Big wheel keep on turnin’ . . . rolling on the river

Saturday, August 24

It’s a another beautiful day at our boondock in Wenatchee National Forest along the Tieton River in Washington.  (Yes, that’s Bridget hiding under the BLT.  She’s in one of her moods again.)

1-P1060760Around noon I put Bridget and Spike in their little black suits and toss them into the Perfect Tow Vehicle.  We go east on Route 12 to Willows Campground where we camped a week ago.

Such a pretty little campground and its half-full on a Saturday.

People would rather cram in on top of each other at the much bigger Hause Creek Campground, a few miles up the road.  What is it with people and groups?  Anyway . . .

I use the hand pump to fill two water jugs. The dang thing is so hard to pump I nearly rip the muscles in my side.  I would’ve filled more jugs if it weren’t an Olympic event.

After that episode the crew and I go to Wild Rose Day-Use Area.

1-P1060871-001It looks like nothing but a bathroom and some picnic tables when viewed from the road.  For that reason I think it’s ignored except for people who use it for a pit stop.

I hang my day-use pass on the rear view mirror (Thanks again, Harold and Candy!), and open the side door for the crew.

Since Wild Rose is on the bank of the Tieton, it gives us a new place to watch the floaters and kayakers on the river.

We walk down a paved path to a surprise.

1-P1060859A pier sticks out over the rapids!  The river is loud!  Boy, the Tieton lives up to its Indian name. (It means “roaring water.”)

1-P1060857 Bridget and Spike aren’t too thrilled about walking over the noisy water.

1-P1060853The sound of the river at these rapids is thunderous!  I coax Spike and Bridget out to the end, but they act like I’m making them walk the plank.  They pull on their leashes to return to land.

“Okay, guys, you don’t have to do this.  It is kind of scary.”

1-P1060863I walk them around some more on the path to set them up for a nap.   Of course, every little thing, every smell, has to be thoroughly investigated.  Okay.  Okay.  We’re losing daylight . . .

1-P1060858-001FINALLY we’re back at the PTV.  I throw them in and return to the pier to wait for the floaters and kayakers.

1-P1060854About fifteen minutes later . . . Here they come!

And, darn-it-all, the camera doesn’t work!

“Aackk!”  I push the “on” button and nothing.   “NOOOOOO!”  I love my camera!   Three rafts of excited people dip and dive and careen over the waves, hootin’ and hollerin.’

And I get nothing.

Soon they’re downstream, out of sight.

1-P1060861I have to leave.  I can’t take this.  I’ve been taking photos of our daily lives for more than two years.  It’s at the point now that I see photos everywhere I look.  Without a working camera, I agonize over every “lost” shot.  I tell you . . . This blog will be the ruination of me.

I drive us back to camp.

I ruminate on the situation all the way home.  It probably isn’t a dead battery because I checked before we left and it’s fully charged.  Darn!  There’s no place to go camera-shopping around here.  Errgggh! 


Inside the BLT I do some delicate camera repair work.

(Message to reader Mick who gave me this camera.  It may be best for you to skip this paragraph.)  I check the battery charge again.  It’s good.  I alternate between pressing on the telescope part and whacking the camera against my palm a few times.  I turn it on.  I turn it off.  I turn it on.  It works!

I’m so happy that I have to eat.

Food is joy!  I pour out some kibble for the crew.  I put together a veggie plate of left-over potatoes, some English peas, and corn outta’ the can for me.  Comfort food!  By the time I’m done stuffing my face, I don’t feel like driving back to the pier.  After all, this was a traumatizing experience.  We’ll go again tomorrow.  Sunday should be a good day for it.

Sunday, August 25

1-P1060855We return to Wild Rose and it starts to rain!  I do manage to take a few photos before the rain begins, the ones I’ve posted here.  Not one pic of floaters or kayakers!  It was kind of a bust anyway. . . not the happy hordes that were expected.

In case you’re wondering . . .

1-P1060844Why aren’t we moving more quickly to the Pacific Coast?

Well, sometimes a full-time vagabond has to take care of mundane tasks, like vehicle registrations.  I made arrangements for the registrations to be sent to the post office in Morton, Washington, which is west of here on the other side of White Pass and the town of Packwood.

I’m waiting for the registrations to arrive from South Dakota.  Yes, I procrastinated about sending the money order.  I wanted to make sure I knew where we would be so I’d know where to have them sent.  Or some excuse like that.

My current registrations expire Saturday, August 31.  If the new ones don’t show up at the Morton post office by this weekend, I guess Wenatchee National Forest will become the permanent home of rvsue and her canine crew!  Maybe you could arrange for a helicopter to drop food?





“Okay, everybody! Here I am!”

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70 Responses to Big wheel keep on turnin’ . . . rolling on the river

  1. Pleinguy says:

    You find the neatest places. So glad you share all the details. Hope to be doing similar camps when I finally make it out west. Thanks for sharing.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Pleinguy. Nice to hear from you again. I’m glad “all the details” don’t bore you! I hope you make it west soon.

  2. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Those are some serious rapids! Yikes!

    You had me laughing at the newest Olympic event- the hand pump! Glad you got the camera to work…and were able to coax Bridget out from under the BLT with a smile!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The Tieton is dangerous. People drown here. Floats get caught in dead trees in the water. Sometimes people get caught in a “strainer” which is a tree with branches lying in the current “straining” the water… in other words, the water flows through it and drags floats into it. Big rocks are all over, some submerged, others not. I’d be nervous in a raft, even with an experienced helmsman.

      Bridget is weird.

  3. Ladybug says:

    I love the way all these photos are lying about in the wilderness, just waiting for you to come along and collect them.

    (puts on innocent Spike face)

  4. Gayle says:

    My favorite words: “some excuse like that”!

    Hang on now; this will become relevant to you any moment: I cut the cord, no more Time Warner for me! Doing pretty good with PBS and Netflix. However, Netflix is a bit stale, IMHO. O.D.’d on the Netflix quirky documentary genre. And at Red Box, everything blows up — the movie plots — not the Red Box. Soooooooooooo…

    Thinking of paying per movie on the Amazon Instant Thang. I’d rather pay $2.99 for something I really want to see than $114 a month for 200 things I don’t want to see. My question to you is: Do you get credit for my Amazon movie downloads or just for merchandise? If I can see a Brad Pitt movie and S&B can get extra kibble than this Amazon idea is a win-win!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re funny, Gayle.

      Yes, I’ll get credit for your movie downloads. Nice of you to want to know! S&B appreciate it!

      I had Netflix for a couple of years. At the end I was watching movies made in Indonesia and Lord knows where else. $114 a month… I assume that was for TV not for Netflix . . .

      • Gayle says:

        Made in Indonesia movies!!! Laughed til I cried!!! Things are so stale with Netflix, I just might fly to Jakarta myself and pick out a couple of DVDs! Jeez!

        (Reminds me of the 18 yr old T.A. working in my special ed class, who was selling PIRATED DVDs DURING class time! Double jeez.
        Thanks, Donna, Amazon Prime, I’m right on it.

    • Donna in CT says:

      Gayle, Check into amazon prime if you don’t already have it. There are a lot of free movies and tv shows along with free two day shipping for a yearly fee. I like it much better than netflix or hulu plus.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Oh, yes, do that, Gayle. . . because I get a special bonus from Amazon if you do! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!

        • Donna in W. Texas says:

          I have Amazon Prime and it is worth it to me just for the free shipping. I also like the fact that I can get English telly series on it.

          • Walt says:

            We actually have both Amazon Prime and Netflix. Haven’t run out of things to watch yet on Netflix, but the combination only runs about $15 a month, a much better deal than cable or satellite as far as we are concerned.

  5. Mick says:

    Your pictures are a joy and such an important part of your blog, not to take anything away from you verbal skills, that the camera glitch merits some concern. I would take an old toothbrush, tip the camera upside down and carefully brush the groves around the switches. You probably just got a speck of dirt under the switch. You might consider asking at a good camera shop about the cost of a cleaning. Banging is neanderthal.

  6. kgdan says:

    There are two beautiful but fee based campgrounds between where you are now and Morton. Just before Packwood is Ohanepekosh (Mt. Rainier Nat’l Park); not far off hwy. 5 miles before Morton there is Taednapam (Tacoma City Light Park) which is beautiful with a fishing bridge over the Cowlitz River. It has a Sr. discount. Beautiful where you are now as well. Love your posts! We are just south of Yakima so know where you are and love the photos you are getting.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Ohanepekosh is in the National Park which means the crew can only walk in the parking lots and on roads, no trails. I looked up the campground anyway… 188 sites. It’s probably a beautiful location but I don’t think we’d do well there.

      I looked up Taednapam and the website says . . .
      “Reserve nine months in advance for dates between May 15 and Sept. 15.
      Sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis the rest of the year.”

      Oh well . . . Thanks for the suggestions.

      I’m happy you enjoy my photos!

  7. Cari in North Texas says:

    Oh, what lovely photos of the rushing water! It’s back up in the 100 degree range here this week, so that water looks very inviting! Oh, wait, rapids, drowning…maybe not LOL

    I got tickled at your method of fixing your camera, sounds like something I would do. My motto, developed years ago, is always “If at first you don’t succeed, get a bigger hammer.”

    I hope your registration arrives on time – I’d hate to see you stuck in one spot for so long (she says, tongue in cheek). But what a lovely spot to be stuck in.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yeah… what a hardship, right? Stuck alongside a beautiful river in a national forest . . .

      100 degrees? So sorry for you, Cari!

      I wore a long-sleeved shirt yesterday . . . ooh, how unkind to mention that . . . 🙂

  8. Donna in CT says:

    You fixed your camera the way I did mine awhile ago. Lol I think the rapids are a little rougher than in “my” river though we had two drownings this summer. Both were preventable and caused from people just not using their heads. Hope you get your registration okay and soon. I don’t think you’d like staying in one place very long!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Donna . . . This river is scary even where there are no rapids. Most of the bank is very steep. Often the steep incline continues into the water so that one step out into it and you’re up to your neck in raging water.

      Spike gave me a terrible scare (again!). The three of us were on the riverbank path at our first Tieton River camp. Spike trailed behind, as usual. I turn around and he’s off the path at the very edge of a 8-foot drop to the river. And what is he doing?

      He’s on his back squiggling around with no clue! Apparently something stinky on the ground that he just had to roll in. With each squiggle he inched closer to the edge. I screamed (which had no effect) and ran to him, scooping him up as he slid on the grass . . . well, it was a close call. Gosh, I have to watch him every second!

      Some people act the same way. I read about people going down this river without life jackets. Gee, what a downer of a reply to your comment! LOL!

      • Donna D. (stickhouse in CT) says:

        Not a downer, just part of life. I’m so glad you were able to grab Spike okay! That must have been scary.

        No life jacket? Yikes! Lots of people just don’t have common sense. I put it down to Darwin’s survival of the fittest.

  9. Rob says:

    My camera had a problem, the viewing screen had a huge blotch on it (covered 90%) but it still took pictures. I bought a new one…Photographs are important & point -n-shoot cameras are (relatively) cheap.

    Labor Day weekend is Packwood’s second big town wide flea-market day (Aug 31-Sept 2). We’d go to shop (spend the weekend) but you really don’t seem to like the crowds. Just thought I’d mention it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I appreciate you mentioning the flea-market, Rob. It might be fun, although I don’t have room or need for stuff.

      I can stand crowds once in a while, as long as I can get away at the end of the day. Which has me wondering if the boondocking areas are going to be full of clingers. Now THAT would drive me nuts.

      I probably should buy a back-up camera or try to get my old cheapie to work again. It really pulls the rug out from under me to be without a working camera!

  10. Barb says:

    Sue, so you are headed to Morton to pick up your tabs? Listen, I am in Hoquiam (well duh) and work for DOL. If there is anything I can do to help, let me KNOW. You have my email. You can purchase a 3/day trip permit but that is 30 bucks… Any DOL office can sell you this… It is cheaper than the ticket at least 🙂

    Hugs from Hoquiam

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Hoaquiam Barb . . .

      Great offer! Thanks! I didn’t know about the three-day permit. I’ll probably wait until Friday morning to go to the post office to see if it arrived. I hate that these registrations are always due in August when the crew and I are moving a lot through new-to-us country. Makes it hard to predict where we will be. It would be so much better if the renewal month was in winter.

      • Barb says:

        Sue, next time you might be able to renew for 18 mos… depends on the state. I do this all the time with snow-birds, and it simplifies it a lot!

        Good Luck! We nearly settled in Morton. Pretty area there!

  11. Barb says:

    from another Barb lol (I live in Ephrata)
    Loving seeing all the photos and hearing your experiences in our state 🙂

    Ditto on Ohanapacosh campground. It’s a beautiful one. Will you be seeing Mt. St. Helens AND Mt. Rainier? Sure hope so.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ephrata Barb . . .

      Probably won’t go to Ohanapacosh due to NP regulations re: dogs. You can’t take them on trails and you can’t leave them behind.

      I’ll be happy enough to see both mountains. Thanks for letting me know you are enjoying this Washington trip!

  12. mockturtle says:

    If you have an America the Beautiful pass it will also serve as a day pass for NFS parks. I have used mine for parking at trail heads, kayaking, etc.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, the senior pass got me into Yellowstone . . . And now I have the Annual Forest Pass that Washington requires at trailheads and day-use areas . . . The only other one I might need is the Discover Pass which is required at some locations and state attractions.

  13. mockturtle says:

    PS: I was planning on Ohanapecosh some time in September before it closes. Never been there but I hear it’s very nice. Eager to try the trails.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Ooh… you’re killin’ me! Have fun on those trails… As for me? If the crew can’t go, I can’t go!

      • mockturtle says:

        Oh, that’s right! National Parks=no pets on trails. I may have to reconsider this. I don’t leave Bucky behind, either.

        What I was getting at regarding the ATB pass is that it works for NFS as well as NPS parks, trailheads and other parking areas. I use mine a lot in NF areas.

  14. Oh! I performed Whack Therapy® on my camera recently, too. Now I’m a believer. Such a relief, am I right?

    This is why I can’t camp by water. I go for some peace and quiet, and thoughtless water just babbles all night long. When it’s not rushing or roaring.

  15. Pauline says:

    Susan, as our Dad would do….if you can’t fix it with electrical tape then try a hammer….or just thump it. LOL. Love the water but I agree with the crew, I wouldn’t want to go over a foot bridge with that roaring, rushing water beneath it. Great pictures. Love you

  16. Reine in Plano says:

    If you can’t stay where you are until the middle of next week then I’d get moving on Wednesday or Thursday at the latest since next Monday is Labor Day. You don’t want to be changing camps on the Friday before Labor Day if you can avoid it. Hopefully you can find a nice “cling free” site that close enough to Morton for a trip in on Friday and again on Saturday or Tuesday if necessary. Personally, I’d try to find something close enough that I could check on Wednesday or Thursday and hopefully avoid the holiday traffic.

    We’ll say a prayer that everything you’ve been waiting for is there when you get to the post office. We don’t want it “in the mail” we want it “ready for pick up”. Great pictures as usual.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Labor Day Weekend is, yet again, a PITA! I’m working on finding a place to hide until it’s over.

      Nice comment, Reine.

  17. PNW Alison says:

    Youre right to be careful near the Tieton, Sue. The rivers that come down out of the Cascade Mtns are all like that. They crash down from melting glaciers in spring and bring a lot of boulders and debris. Strainers are a serious problem. And they are freezing cold even in late summer. Every year there are deaths, usually the first hot weekend in may.
    Look for with wide shallow flat areas, the White River east of Enumclaw has some, these spots can be delightful.

  18. PNW Alison says:

    Youve alteady found what we locals lnow to be the best boondocking in that area, but Gifford Pinchot Nat Forest does have lots of other boondocking areas. The ones I’ve been to we’re on very rugged roads so I won’t recommend, but I do know I saw plenty of spots that were on more accessible roads. Both small NF Campgrounds as well as pulloffs for boondocking.

    Maps show a real maze in there but it’s more obvious when you’re driving there. Several of the FS roads are very well maintained or even paved.

    There are FS Ranger stations in both Packwood and Randle where they can advise you. You can also find out where the best huckleberries (our local blueberry variant) are!

  19. Wow, rushing waters and serene woodlands and an ouch tempermental camera! You do lead an exciting life! I don’t blame Bridget and Spike for not wanting to walk out over the rapids…. the noise would scare me a bit too! Good luck getting your paperwork all together and getting legal!

  20. Marcia GB says:

    What a beauty of a spot. I don’t blame the crew for being a bit anxious though. Those are serious rapids. Hope your registration comes soon so you can be on the way to your next adventure but if it doesn’t, we’ll send you some food from Amazon and you’ll get the credit 😉

  21. Rita from Phoenix says:

    I had to chuckle a few times reading the back blogs…’dress more like a derelict’ bah ha ha!! to gain a pass. It’s good to be home from my vacation on Maui, HI. Beautiful island. Everything has it’s beauty i.e. the Washington forest, rivers, etc. or Spike, Bridget, ducks, birds…. I’m glad to be home among my own family. What a wonderful trip I’m taking reading your blog. I definitely will have to try aplets and cotlets!

  22. Diann in MT says:

    Hi, Sue,
    You definitely have to try the Cotlets and Aplets of WA state. A warm cup of tea and a Cotlet on a chilly eve, perhaps next winter, will spark pleasant memories of WA campgrounds. Cotlets are sold by the small box, therefore making them very transportable. Bon apetit!

  23. Brian says:

    If our paths ever cross Sue I would love to help
    you with your camera/photography problems.


  24. Timber n' Rusty says:

    Or Sue you could try Peterson Prairie out by Indian Haven just northwest of Trout Lake, and Trout Lake has a PO, a General Store, a gas station , a county park you can camp in, a hardware store and M.A.R.S.,( Mt. Adams Ranger Station), all with in 2 miles, oh ya there is Elk Meadows RV Park just up from M.A.R.S. and the famous Trout Lake Country Inn. And 2 eating spots on each side of the gas station. To the South is BZ Corner, White Salmon, and The Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean .

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m taking note of Trout Lake, Rusty. I’m several miles from there right now but I might go there on the trip out of Washington.

  25. RE: Fixing the Camera

    I’m retired from the computer industry. There’s an old joke about the customer who had a computer technician come to his office to fix his computer. The customer explained the problem with the machine in exquisite detail. The technician then walked around the machine, looking at it from all angles. He thought for a moment, then reached over and hit the machine with the palm of his hand. The computer suddenly started working.

    The tech turned to the customer and said, “that will be $110.00. Our company will bill you.”
    The customer shot back, “$110.00 for hitting my computer?”
    “No”, replied the tech. “It only costs $10.00 for me to hit your computer. It costs $100.00 for knowing where.”

    Wayne from PA

    • Reine in Plano says:

      Wayne, you hit that nail on the head. It’s the know-how that counts.
      I also suggest removing and reinstalling any batteries (maybe a couple of times). The friction can clean microscopic corrosion.

  26. Donna in CT says:

    Forgot to mention I love the title you gave this post. Whenever I see it Tina starts up in my head.

  27. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Good evening ma’mm,

    Do you know why I stopped you? License, registration and proof of insurance please.

    The reason why I stopped you….is your registration seems to be expiring…but the real reason is I want to see the inside of your egg!

    You need to attach your registration to your plate…..What? You’re coming from the PO and you just got it? I heard that soooo many times. What lovely dogs…..he’s cute…..but why is she giving me the evil eye?

    Have a nice day. 😉

    All that for…..I hope you got your mail!

  28. AZ Jim says:

    Speaking of water noise. When I was a kid I lived on Santa Clara Pt. San Diego. My room was on the west side one block from the ocean. At night you could lay in bed and hear the breakers. I think back on my youth and consider that to be probably the best place I lived. That was in the 40’s and things have changed but Gawd those were good times.

  29. Jean wheatleyIn Molalla says:

    If I can find my account number and remember my password, I’m dying to order on Amazon binoculars, hemiwalker, and any Johnny Depp films that I find

  30. SquawkingGoose says:

    Hi Sue
    The photo’s and narratives almost daily are mesmerizing. I so much enjoy reading of
    your exploits. How are you managing to keep away from all the threats, especially
    the fires. Are you alerted while on the road? How?

    Made a purchase from Amazon today

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Squawking Goose, for your order!

      How am I alerted? I mosey along without a care in the world. If there’s a fire in the area someone tells me or an alert is posted along the road. That’s when I don’t have internet. If I have internet, I read the area news.

      I hope you continue to be “mesmerized” by rvsue and her canine crew!

  31. Jean/Southaven, MS says:

    Glad you are taking a break from trying to come up with a new blog everyday. Love the colors of the water in these photos. I live on the Mississippi River and all it ever is is brown, brown or, wait for it, brown. My best to you and yours.

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