Boondocking in the green desert — Peace and quiet restored

The dust settles over the desert.

I have a brighter outlook on this camp than on the day we arrived.  The OHVers are gone.  The crew and I have this place across from Sawtooth Canyon (south of Barstow, California), all to ourselves.

1-DSC01319Of course, my better mood is due to the peace and quiet.  The comments on this blog helped, too.  After a group vent, who wouldn’t feel better?

The crew and I sequester ourselves in the Best Little Trailer until the weekenders leave.  Now we’re ready to get out and explore the area around our camp!

1-DSC01325Unlike “Camp Desert Retreat,” our previous camp, this is a green desert.

1-DSC01293I don’t know what that reddish plant is, but it’s all around here, setting off the deep green of the creosote buses.

1-DSC01301Bridget and Spike enjoy the freedom of no leashes.

I look up and notice a rock garden above us.  (Added later after a reader’s comment . . . Do you see an animal in the lower left-hand corner of the photo below?  A cougar perhaps?)

1-DSC01309The photo below shows our campsite’s road crossing Highway 247 and continuing over to Sawtooth Canyon and the campground of that name.

1-DSC01321It’s fun discovering nature’s little treasures, like this blue-flowered plant.  What a  poignant picture it makes, so colorful and cheerful, living precariously among tire tracks.

1-DSC01313

Yesterday afternoon a pick-up truck pulls up to park near our campsite.

I’m outside with the crew.  Of course, Bridget and Spike run at the truck, barking.

A retirement-age couple get out and walk toward me.  I meet them halfway.  Hmm . . . probably readers of my blog.  They look kind of serious though.

“Hello!”  The man is wearing a shirt with a running-horses design across the chest.  “Have you seen two dogs around here?”

“A black one and a white one,” his wife adds.

1-DSC01310“No, I’m sorry.  I haven’t.  I haven’t seen any dog tracks either, other than those of my own dogs. When did you last see them?”

“Oh, it was this morning when we let them out,” the woman explains.  “They didn’t come home for their supper when we called.”

That’s strange.  It’s not even five o’clock and they’re worried already.  Wait a minute . . .

“I remember your dogs!” I exclaim.  “I saw them last year when I camped here.  They were running around together on that road down there.”  I point toward the campground.  “Where do you live?”

“Over there in the mobile home,” the man answers, thumbing toward a white rectangle in the desert near Sawtooth Canyon.  “Well, thanks anyway.”

They turn to go.

1-DSC01316“Wait . . . How about leaving your cell phone number in case I do see them?”  I suggest.

The man goes to the truck.

He returns with a slip of paper with the number on it.  I tell them I’ll keep an eye out for the dogs, they thank me, and I wish them luck.

Before they get into their truck, both of them turn and make a profuse effort to let me know I can call them if I need anything, if I have a flat tire or something.

Sweet and thoughtful as the offer is, it tells me a lot about how they see me — a woman alone, camping in the desert, vulnerable.

1-DSC01327Like I’ll be totally helpless if something like a flat tire should occur.  This isn’t the first time I’ve come across that assumption.

I smile and thank them, and they leave.

Something doesn’t ring true.  I bet they used the dogs as an excuse to drive up here to see who is camping in the white trailer.  Nice people — no doubt about that — and curious.

1-DSC01317

I take each day as it comes. 

At this point I’m not in a hurry to leave.  There are more walks and photos to take.  I have a book to read, a blog to hover over, food to eat, and stars to gaze at from my pillow.  I don’t feel like going anywhere.  Bridget and Spike are happy.  I’m content.

1-DSC01314I’m glad I waited for peace and quiet to return.

rvsue

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A look back to May 18, 2013 . . .

“Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park and Sunglow”

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117 Responses to Boondocking in the green desert — Peace and quiet restored

  1. Dedra says:

    Beautiful flower!
    Great pictures!
    Tell the crew Hi.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Now Dedra . . . I hope you read the post before making your comment. Haha!

      Congratulations… You’re number one!

  2. Reine in Plano says:

    Maybe I’ll be first today. Glad the peace and quiet have returned.

  3. Roger says:

    I hope your not sick of hearing it, but you have an amazing eye for photography.
    Beautiful pics…
    Saw a saying today that made me think immediately of you…
    Whoever said that diamonds are a girls best friend…never owned a dog.
    -unknown author

    Roger

  4. Phyllis says:

    RVSuey:

    I have this vision of you in a hat and large sunglasses fighting your way through the paparazzi. Oh will you end up like Lindsay Lohan or Justin Bieber?

    Good stuff
    Phyllis back in Oklahoma

  5. Mick in TN says:

    My projection for One MILLION RvSue&Crew hit is December 28th at 9PM.

  6. Rita from Phoenix says:

    Wow the endless space from camp looks peaceful. Love the rock art as well as the brilliant blue flower. I hate to say this but sometimes I’m like Mrs. Cravits? the nosy neighbor of Samantha the witch. One time I peeked out the front window cuz I heard talking close to my front yard, I saw a couple of young men (I thought) changing a tire but something told me otherwise. When they started to take of the second tire (while the first tire rim was put on blocks) I called crime stop. Two police cars arrived and nabbed the young men. Turns out they were stripping the car in broad daylight. I live on the out skirts of town (cotton fields south of me and a public park west of me) and we’ve had numerous abandon cars left next to park. We use to have a quiet neighborhood until they built apartments across a major street east of us and they also added a truck stop right off the freeway about a mile north of me. We are starting to see a lot of riff raff hanging around the park. We’ve ask our neighborhood officer cruise the park every so often even late at night. This seemed to help but things still crop up. For some odd reason the retired couple reminded me of me being nosy sometimes…don’t know if that’s good or bad.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rita,

      I don’t blame you for being nosy when your neighborhood has deteriorated. I’m sorry you are having to live in the midst of all that.

      I remember when I looked out of my house window and saw what looked like another drug deal going on in the street. Car would stop, the young man would run out of the house, lean in the car window with something, car would move on. We were thinking about selling anyway . . .

  7. Ruth(Tennessee) says:

    Love today’s pictures and the vast expanse of your “front yard” or is it the back.

    I think Mick TN is off a little. I predict you will hit your million by December 10th. What do you think?

    Hugs to the crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ruth,

      Thanks re photos. It’s hard to capture how big and wide the desert is as seen from our campsite. I love a camp with a view.

      What do I think about my numbers? I dare not predict. I still find the popularity of my blog hard to believe.

      Okay… Mick has Dec. 28th and Ruth has Dec. 10th. 🙂

  8. Cinandjules (temp in CA) says:

    Love the flowers, rock garden and restored peace. What a difference a day makes!

    Any woman with a set up like yours (PTV & BLT ) who camps in the middle of the desert…alone…….is one bad ass mamma jamma! 🙂

    Hmmmm….She wouldn’t be out here if she didn’t know what she was doing AND obviously she isn’t scared to be by herself. Vulnerable?

    I would tend to say admiration….at least that’s my assumption from this side of my laptop. Now if our road ever crossed … I would offer any service you might need cuz that’s the way I am…..drive away smiling…….thinking….how neat is that….You go girl!

    Enjoy you peace.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      I’ll be replacing the spare tire cover one of these days. Maybe I should have a custom cover made that says “one bad ass mamma jamma and her canine crew.” You are too funny!

  9. rand says:

    Parry’s Phacelia —
    The blue flower, very common in San Diego chaparral foothills, especially in burned areas. Nice photo showing the hairs that make them itchy.
    The red stalked plants under the creosote are common there also.
    Looks like the desert has appreciated some rain.
    The yellows are Brittlebush, Encelia farinosa.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, rand,

      I’m off to look up images of flowers . . . Be back later!

      Yes, it’s definitely Parry’s Phacelia. I read that it often stands alone in disturbed ground. It’s “disturbed ground” around here, for sure!

      I’m not convinced about brittlebush. There are a few brittlebush around here (small) and they aren’t blooming. I’ll take another look at the yellow flowers and the leaves. Maybe I can photograph a close-up view.

  10. Aren’t you so glad that those four wheelers have jobs that take them away after the weekend! Sure makes for a totally different world come Monday. Good to hear things have settled down for you and the crew.

    Wow! I love all the color, especially that rock garden.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John and Pam,

      It bothers me to think that the number of places where people can boondock is shrinking. I remember OHVs and motorbikes roaring up and down that lovely mountain where we camped (UT) next to a stream, where the dandelions, bluebells, and columbine bloomed in great swatches of color.

  11. Ladybug says:

    I got to thinking…you might want to start hunting a new place tomorrow; this is going to be a long holiday weekend (Veterans’ Day).

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s good advice, Ladybug. We will probably leave tomorrow (Thursday). Our next camp won’t be in an OHV accessible area.

  12. Marcia GB says:

    Photos, lovely. Peace and quiet, priceless!

  13. Elizabeth aka E2/etwo says:

    Hi Su & Furkidz…..Way back in the Spring of 1984 when I began my FT RV life…. there were many free boondock places…. in the western states particularly.

    Like you, I too was a loner…. no pet in the early years….then got a cat. Like you, I wanted to be ALONE (All One) to enjoy the solitude, quiet, & beauty. Most places,
    no OHV’s were permitted. Once in awhile a sweet little old lady would appear.
    With deep quivering sympathy in her voice, she would touch my wrist and say, “Are
    you alone dear?” I put on my biggest grin and with great enthusiasm….say, “YES”….

    One of my first group gatherings a lady of 82 appeared in a nice big motor home! She
    was alone, no pet….. Her face and motorhome have been pictures in my mind as the
    best example of a great RV’er.

    Once in awhile, a man would appear…. “Let me do that for you, little lady,” he would say while reaching for whatever tool I was holding. “Thanks” I would respond “…if you will do exactly what I say, when I say.” Usually they would look dumb-founded and walk away…..

    Now I am the 82 yr old FT RV’er! Keep on Keepin On Su & Crew! You are setting an
    awesome example for all those great women out there who are following!

    Hugs from Elizabeth aka E2/etwo

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      E2! You’re back! I worried about you ever since I learned about the flooding of your park. Thank God, you’re all right.

      I love your story. I know some of the men who offer help do so because that’s the way they were reared… that it’s the gentlemanly thing to do. Times have changed, however.

      Women are not delicate flowers who wilt at the sight of a flat tire ( or run hysterically to the nearest man). There are still men who don’t realize how condescending it feels to be assumed incompetent and helpless. And, I need to add, there are too many women walking around promoting that assumption by their dependent behavior. There! I’ve said it!

      YOU are the “awesome example,” Elizabeth! Great response to the “little lady” remark… I may use that someday.

      I hope your day is everything you want it to be! Thanks for dropping in here.

      • Elizabeth aka E2/etwo says:

        Thanks for the nice comments Su! It is good that “time’s are a-changing”…..so are the people, especially the women and the roles they choose for themselves for their lives!

        The examples that are set in one generation keep on giving to
        those who follow. Those little old ladies who felt sorry for my
        being alone are no more. Those of us who have been all we can
        be through making our own choices are gathering together and
        making glorious changes…. Let us continue in our convictions!

        Your Blog Su is a great tool to reach many who admire all that
        you choose to share with your followers….. Thank you so much.
        Your contributions are reaching women and men, all around our planet! Your pictures are an added pleasure as are your
        cute little furkidz…..
        Hugs from Elizabeth aka E2/etwo

        P.S. Everyone in our Escapees Park has survived our 100 year flood. Working together and with wonderful help from neighbors in near communities brought us all through a very difficult time….

  14. I loved the rock garden! Every image evoked the quiet tranquility you found after the noisemakers left! Good job! hugs to the crew! Today Chuck gets his haircut! OMG! He is donating his hair to “locks of love” and getting a crew cut! OMG! OMG! OMG!

  15. Here’s what I get – anytime someone offers advice about our RV, generally mechanical, they turn toward my husband. Guess what? He’s an intellect without equal, but he’s all thumbs when it comes to anything mechanical. I’m the mechanical one! I’m the one that maintains our vehicle, negotiates for repairs and handles all purchases. It’s gotten to where I just walk away rather than try and redirect the comments to myself.

    My dear hubby is very good at washing our rig and keeping the tires at max air pressure, both of which I sincerely appreciate though. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Tamara,

      It certainly does take a long time for attitudes to change. Although I have limited knowledge when it comes to mechanical things (I refuse to accept that I am unable to learn it), I can empathize with your frustration. Sometimes it’s more effort than it’s worth and you have to walk away.

      I can imagine your husband’s eyes glazing over having to listen to mechanical stuff when it’s not his interest. You sound like a good match!

      I’ve been thinking about E2’s comment above. Imagine going up to a man, reaching for the wrench in his hand, and saying, “Let me do that for you, little man.” LOL!

    • Elizabeth aka E2/etwo says:

      Tamara in So.Cal……

      Oh yes, how well I recall growing up with an amazing Mom who could handle
      any tool and “man’s job.” My Dad and my bro stood by and watched Mom and me too get those job’s done quickly and correctly! My hubby #1 was a
      vehicle mechanic…. Airplanes and auto’s….. Helping a neighbor, hubby asked
      the neighbor guy to hand him a “Phillip’s”….. The neighbor looked into the
      tool box and then at me….. with questioning eyes. I chose the Phillips and
      gave it to the man to give to my hubby….. His smile for me was awesome!

  16. AZ Jim says:

    Sometimes you independent ladies are silly. Has it occurred to you that some of us old guys like to feel needed and helpful? You know we grew up when men were men and the ladies let us be men. You may be fiercely independent and capable but that doesn’t mean you need to always try to prove it. Sometimes being a little dependent has it’s rewards. *Lecture off*

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Sometimes you independent men are silly. Try being a little dependent … It has its rewards. 🙂

      • AZ Jim says:

        I come from the “door holding”, “seat offering” generation. The old days when we men were being drafted to go into combat, be the cops, firemen…..Women are capable, but you are, by definition, the fairer sex, generally weaker than us.. You have some weightlifters, some wrestlers, some great fighters, but in most cases men are built to do the “heavy lifting”….it’s ok…but hey, who am I to suggest the way it was is a perfect pattern for the way it should be. Be all that you can be…..But if I see you standing by a roadway with your hood up, mind if I offer a hand?

      • Gayle says:

        AZ Jim: When I was much younger and “being a little dependent,” I discovered, much to my amazement, it was the MAN who expected “a reward”!

        Today, for me, Bob Dylan’s lyrics say it all: “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”

        • AZ Jim says:

          All men are not like that Gayle. Some of us just like to help with no strings attached. But, I hear ya….;)

          • Gayle says:

            I think the “three little words” lots of us women would like to hear are “I hear ya”! Thanks AZ Jim for your reply.

    • Mary says:

      Jim, it has occurred to me that guys like to feel needed and helpful.

      Here’s the thing though – it is not MY responsibility to fill your needs.

      I shouldn’t have to sacrifice my wants and needs in my life so you can feel good about yourself. Find another means of developing some self esteem.

      If I need or want help I will ask for it.

      • AZ Jim says:

        Fair enough.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Like I said, you’re a gentleman, Jim. 🙂

        • Mary says:

          Jim, Sorry I was so blunt since that is not usually my style. That day I had another encounter with a ‘here little lady let me do that for you.’ Which of course brought out a lot of frustration. I am of the generation of women that had to fight for everything, including the right to have a job. I can’t tell you the number of times I was told I should quit so that a man could have my job. Combine that with 38 years of always having to do more, be faster and more efficient just to earn less then any male in the place. But hey, I stayed until retirement. I wish there were more “gentle men” in the world. Again sorry for the bluntness. Mary

  17. Ron says:

    OH YA,LL ARE GOING TO HATE ME
    I am one of those ole Texas boys that still says yes mam and no mam ,but I also say yes sir and no sir to men. ( this is just out of respect to another human and isnt determined by where the humps and bumps are on there bodies)
    I still open doors for ladies ( now I have to admit there is an ulterior motive here by being able to watch a lady walk in front of you with out being caught staring)
    Pull out chairs in restaurants ( just a gesture of respect ,hell I know you can pull out a chair)
    Offer to help them if they are having a problem with something ( I will do the same to a man that weighs 300 lbs and has a wart on the end of his nose)

    Watch my language around them ( treat women like ladies till they prove otherwise to me) heard some words come out of some womens mouths that I had to get explained to me.

    You gals are confusing , an example , growing up I had a girl that we were buddies and still are. She was an exceptionally pretty and well built women and was well endowed up top. She wore the tightest sweaters ,a lot of cleavage showing . She would have an old boy walk up to her and if he ever glanced down the next words out of her mouth were ” hey my face is up here” . I would fall out laughing and give her a hard time asking her why she showed them of if she didn,t want guys to look. she would blush tell me to shut up and walk off.Like I said ya,ll are confusing.
    Now after this little post I hope Sue will still let me read her blog.
    Ron

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, Ron, you can always read my blog. I think your upbringing is wonderful. Those gentlemanly behaviors are not demeaning to women.

      Please (talking to all men here) don’t treat women based on the pathetic behavior of young women who value themselves primarily as a sex object.

      It’s not confusing. Psychologically and emotionally healthy women want to be considered capable and confident. I know we women can take a lot of the blame for being thought of as incompetent, foolish, timid, etc., because a lot of women still see themselves that way.

      You guys could help the situation by always treating us like we have abilities and brains, even though some women try very hard to appear that they don’t. It’s the assumption that a woman is helpless that’s not gentlemanly. That kind of thinking should go the way of the side saddle.

      Hoo-boy. I need a nap.

    • mockturtle says:

      Ron, you touched on a particular pet peeve of mine. I don’t show my cleavage or wear skin-tight clothes but I do often wear a little makeup and style my hair. I don’t do it to attract men, nor do I dress for their sake. I adorn myself in a way that pleases me. Period. It is only a type of egotistical sexism that makes men assume that women dress for them.

      But I certainly don’t object to your manners. I don’t mind having a door opened for me. I would open a door for you, too. 🙂

      • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

        Many, if not most, men would be surprised to learn that women dress up for each other… not the men. Most of us have figured out that men don’t really care or even notice what we wear most of the time. 🙂

  18. Cinandjules ( temp in CA) says:

    You are too cute AZ Jim!

    I would like to think that things have changed from back in the day. When I was in school…women weren’t allowed to take “men” classes like auto shop, print shop, wood shop, ROTC or traffic crossing guards. On the other side, men weren’t allowed to take home economics..for all of you men that missed out and have NO idea what I’m talking about….cooking, sewing and house cleaning.

    If the courses were mandatory for all….everyone would be well rounded aka independent in tasks that are used in everyday life.

    But it’s also nice to know that gentlemen still exist!

    Your reply made me smile. How’s your kitty?

    • AZ Jim says:

      I just get confused I guess. If a woman is trying to lift something heavy or that kind of thing……I feel responsible to help her. I hate to think she feels its demeaning to let me.

      • Cinandjules (temp in CA) says:

        You were brought up with etiquette and instilled on how you should assist others. IMHO There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

        In your scenario….Do you need some help? Rather than let me do that! I guess it’s all in the manner on how it is presented and preceived.

        Guess it all depends on the person….some play helpless.

        Hmm……damn if you do…damed if ya don’t! Don’t know what to tell ya!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        No, Jim, that’s not demeaning. When it’s obvious that a woman doesn’t have the strength to do something, it’s entirely appropriate to offer to help. I often ask for help when I know I’m not strong enough physically, and I’m grateful for a man’s help.

  19. Diann Ogren says:

    Hi, Sue,
    The quality of your photography since May 18, 2013 has sure increased! Blame it on the new camera; blame it on the improved skills of the photographer! (Notice the semicolons: the mark of a former English teacher!) LOL
    You were kind and gentle toward the concerned retirees. I would never put them down nor their values for offering help to someone who is alone in a rather rugged environment. I think they have seen some hard times and want to share their gratitude for surviving those times with others who might need help. Lord knows that the supply of kind and concerned strangers has diminished.
    I, for one, would really appreciate a complete stranger expressing helpful concern, albeit while satisfying their curiosity…
    On the other hand, I really resent nosey fuddy-duddies. –A real dilemma for those of us who are left most of time, alone and figuring out the remedies.
    You and E2 are a special breed. You are the women most of us would like to be. I admire you both immensely. You are bigger than life although you don’t really consider that so. You intrigue us ladies who neither have had the opportunity to live so freely nor the courage to seek your lifestyle. You are our real life action heroines. The blog entries and the replies may be like the old serial stories that appeared in magazines around the turn of the 20th century. Your adventures and observations and your terrific writing style hold our attention, blog entry after blog entry. The fact that you care enough to respond to most of our replies, makes it even more appealing.
    Lastly, I need to say that I am grateful for the “manly men” in my life. I am not made of the same stuff you and E2 are. Fact. I depend on the “other half” to help me out when backed against a crawl space wall while crawly spiders lurk in the shadows and my husband changes out the sump pump each fall!!!LOL I am a chicken at heart; grew up being a chicken at heart; but I can make a mean apple pie!
    Love you Sue!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Diann,

      I appreciate the compliments you’ve showered upon me. You’re very kind. Thank you. I’m fortunate to have loyal readers like you!

      I guess what I’m trying to say is… Why am I so special? If I were a man, no one would say in shocked tones… “all by yourself?” I bet you aren’t “a chicken at heart.” You aren’t forced to face things like crawly spiders, that’s all. You’d do it if you had no other choice.

      A real-life action hero… too funny! Thanks for writing, Diann.

      • Gayle says:

        Why so special, RVSue? One answer is in my memory of reading about the first female taxi driver in my town. When the reporter said, “What are you trying to prove as the first woman taxi driver?” She replied, “That I’m a taxi driver, not an easy target.” I think you inadvertently accomplish the same thing just by being out there!”

  20. Ruth (Tennessee) says:

    Sue you can really get the controversy going! Loved E2’s comments. I used to own and fly my own plane, sold it to buy my first motorcycle and have been riding ever since. I belong to a women’s organization, all women riders, where there are several women over 80 actively riding. One in particular is 88 and planning a coast to coast ride on her Harley for her 90th birthday and I am sure she will do it. She lives in NJ and puts a lot of miles on that bike every year. I will receive my Master Tour Rider number from GWRRA (Goldwing motorcycle) on the 23rd. What you do and E2 and other RVers will keep us going and enjoying life. My goal is to go until I run out of gas or something really large crosses my path and stops me. No sitting on the front porch for me.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ruth,

      I really didn’t mean to start a controversy. It’s not a big deal . . . the whole equality thing is a dying horse. Time will fix things.

      Yes, E2 is a great person. It comes through in every comment she makes here.

      You’re no slouch yourself, Ruth. Ride on, girl, into the wind… 🙂

  21. Alan Rabe says:

    From OHV rants to Male chauvinist pig rants, this place is always LOL.

    Sue, In your rock garden pic above did you notice there is what looks like a cougar sitting in the rocks in the bottom left corner. The face is hidden behind an outcropping but you can see the body including its white tipped tail at the bottom left.

    • Alan Rabe says:

      Actually the pointed ears and tail looks more like a coyote, but it is definitely some type of animal.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Holy cow, Alan! You have great vision… How did you ever notice that? I’m not sure what it is. It could be an animal or not. I’m going to go to the original photo in Picasa and fool with the settings to see if I can get a better look at it.

        To me it looks more catlike than coyote.

        In the morning I’ll go back there and stand in the same spot as before and see what it looks like.

        • Alan Rabe says:

          You can only enlarge it so far before it loses its focus but it is fur. The ears are laid back against its head. It is the tail that has me stumped. It is white tipped, so not really a cougar or coyote and too long for a deer so ??????

        • Alan Rabe says:

          Back in the late 80’s when I lived in Phx. There was story about a family on a picnic in one of the campgrounds in the Superstitious Mtns. They had their picnic and took pictures and all and had a great time. After they were home and had the pictures developed they noticed in one shot of the children sitting at the table that 15 ft away crouched in the tall grass was a full grown mountain lion. You just don’t know what is out there.

          • Cinandjules (temp in CA) says:

            Wow Alan!

            The ear position is similar to the Star Wars character Yoda. I think the rest is the back of its head.

            Cougar…..(a four legged one!). 😉 Mountain lion or lynx would make sense! Yikes!

        • I mean I really had to look at that photograph several times thinking you 2 were bonkers because I darn sure didn’t see any panther or coyote in the lower left corner! Then all of a sudden…. there it was, plain as day!
          Good eye Alan!

          • Cinandjules ( says:

            I have to fess up also…it was like looking for Waldo! Hmm Alan said left corner…let’s see..enlarge the picture! Nope still can’t see it…finally I found it! Cripes if it was a cat and I was there I would have probably walked up on it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, no, Alan… No one here is a “male chauvinist pig.” Jim and Ron are gentlemen in the best sense of the word. I’m pretty sure you are, too!

      • Cinandjules (temp in CA) says:

        All the men here are wonderful!

        Actually I don’t think anyone with a chauvinistic(sp) attitude male or female would last here for very long!

        How was your nap mamma jamma? 😉

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          No nap. I was kidding. All that pontificating wore me out!

          Yeah, the guys here are great. I hope I haven’t sent too many of them packin’ . . .

  22. Ron Sears says:

    Hi Sue, I meantt to ask you a while back if you knew a Ann or Carol Huff in Athens. Ann would be in her 80s and Carol would be in her 60s.. Ron

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, but I can’t place her… Carol. Is she a librarian? A teacher? I did know a Carol Huff.

      • Ron Sears says:

        I don’t know what she does.. Huff was her maiden name and I haven’t seen her since about 1965. We were childhood sweethearts…her great uncle was sheriff back in that time is all I remember..doesn’t really matter, just thought I would ask, you never know anymore who knows who…have a great day..

  23. Mindy Reed says:

    Love the photos as usual, I had to laugh at the couple “looking for their dogs” and the speculation as to why.

    I’ve always been independent, as a young girl I hid my hair under my Bball cap and tried out and won a place on a little league team until I got caught, it didn’t stop me at all even after being chastised by my parents and my independent ways have continued. Once the real estate market comes back and I can sell the farm I will join the growing group of solo woman full timers without a backward glance. I so enjoy your blog Sue, it inspires me every day.

    I’m still working out what to keep, I’ve lived small before, my biggest issue is my books and my DVD’s. My Samsung tablet has solve much of my book problem, however, some of my books have not made it to kindle yet. My M.M. Kaye books are an example and I do re-read them and love them dearly. BTW, Sue a book recommendation; I’m sure you’ve read Pearl S. Buck and I’ve just started re-reading her, many of her books are about strong woman, I had forgotten just how great an author she was! As to the DVD’s…sigh, there are many that I can live without but some I will watch over and over…right now I’m taking a break from Casablanca to nip in and read your latest on your blog.

    I can’t wait for your next installment on you life adventure! The beauty of the remote areas you find to stay in make me homesick for the west and the wide open spaces and vast beauty you so wonderfully demonstrate with your photo diaries call to me every day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mindy,

      I remember those hard decisions… what to keep, what to give away. As it turned out, the few things I thought I had to keep have diminished in their value to me, now that I’m living my dream.

      I guess I still don’t realize the effect my blog has on people. To me it’s a simple account of my daily life with my two best buddies with some silliness and griping thrown in. I’m very happy to think my writing and photos stir memories and fire up dreams.

      Always a pleasure to hear from you, Mindy. I really enjoyed reading about your independent spirit. Best wishes moving through the obstacles between you and a life on the road.

    • Rebecca says:

      Mindy, there’s a brand-new Pearl S. Buck book just out — a lost manuscript. I can’t wait to read it!

  24. Lacombe, Serge says:

    I believe these «Good Samaritans» are right about it. I do not intend to offend you, but: You are vulnerable! This has nothing to do with the sex and its a reality that you should consider with respect and be very careful about it. When I read your blog, I often think: Would I have the courage to do the same. You have a lot of courage. Honestly,!
    I’ve been rving alone for three years but never slept in the middle of no where like you do. Boondocking in the desert is something I’m discovering reading your blog.

    I wish you good luck.

    Sergio

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sergio,

      Yes, I agree. I am vulnerable. Not because I might have a flat tire and fall apart about it. But because every one of us is vulnerable, no matter where we live or where we sleep or where we go.

      When I lived in a regular house in Georgia, a tornado touched down just up the road. Shortly before I sold my house and started out for Texas to pick up the BLT, a storm blew two trees over next to my house. A tree could’ve fallen on my bedroom while I slept. A fatal crash occurred on the road to my place of employment. It could’ve been me.

      It’s flattering to have someone say I have a lot of courage. I don’t know that I’m so brave. What I do have is an absence of fear. How that happened, I don’t know. Maybe a lifetime of not being able to do what I want, like boondock in a desert, makes me able to enjoy my new life without worry or fear.

      Yes, the couple is very kind to offer their help to me. If something happened that I couldn’t handle myself, I would take them up on their offer.

      I hope you are enjoying rving. You don’t have to sleep in the “middle of nowhere” to live a great life on wheels! Thanks for writing, and good luck to you, too.

      • Lacombe, Serge says:

        I’m not rving for now… I’ve been treating a cancer but I plan to go back to this life next year. In a lot smaller rig and boondocking if I have the guts… to save money and hopefully be part of the community. For now I only dream about it.

        Keep on blogging, there’s Frenchman reading about your kind of life every evening… and its appealing.

        Sergio

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I’m thrilled to have a Frenchman following me. Haha!

          Seriously… I wish you well as you deal with the cancer and as you save for a small rig. As for boondocking, start out with baby steps like I did. You have a great evening, Sergio.

  25. Ruth(Tennessee) says:

    I don’t see how independent capable woman translates to male chauvinist pig. Most of the men I know are great guys. (I stay away from the rest.) Your blog obviously has some concerned caring men. You, Sue, attract capable caring men and women. You inspire and from what I read, motivate people. Blog on, I can’t wait for the next instalment.

  26. Karen says:

    I’ve been following your blog for a year and have enjoyed every entry. I forward it to my husband and daughter. I want them to know how inspiring your are. I began camping 3 years ago with a 13ft vintage camper. I outgrew that fairly quickly as I just loved being outdoors. Once I made my first solo trip there was no stopping me. I then moved up to a 34ft motorhome but that became to big and needed to find something just for me. So recently I bought a 17ft Grey Wolf trailer. It is just perfect for me. It has a sofa dinette, full bed with single bunk over it. So my daughter and grandchildren can camp with and also my husband can make trips. But now I primarily camp solo and go to State parks, National parks and Army Corp. I absolutely do not go to private campgrounds only with my daughter and grandchildren. I also like solitude and listening to nature. I travel with my bike, fishing pole and Siamese cat named Coco Puff. My husband is so proud of me and tells everyone he knows about my Rving. I like to take care of things myself but wouldn’t hesitate to have a kind gentlemen help me out when needed. I’ve met the most wonderful people during all my camping trips. Next year I plan I traveling longer and further from. I’m so glad you are enjoying your time on the road. Your blog is so meaningful to me. Keep up the great job you are doing.

  27. Ron says:

    Ok Ladies here is a question for ya,ll.
    I am driving along and see a lady trying to change a flat ,I stop and ask if she is ok . She is having trouble breaking the lugs loose but struggling along , now here is my dilemma do I as here if she needs help changing the tire or just sit back and watch and make her ask for help if she hits one that is to tight.

    If I were a man, no one would say in shocked tones… “all by yourself?” I get this all the time when I go hunting in the mountain of Colo for a week by myself, so men get the same thing. I sure am not dainty , 6 ft +230 lbs and pretty rough looking guy.
    Ron

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ron,

      The reason you get “all by yourself?” when you go hunting alone is because it is common knowledge that it is not wise to go hunting alone. It doesn’t have anything to do with the fact you are a man.

      Camping, however, does not require two people. Therefore, to say to a woman “all by yourself?” is tantamount to saying “You are not capable of camping alone because you are a woman.”

      As for helping anyone (male or female), one should evaluate the situation (Does this person need help? Is it safe to offer it?) as opposed to assuming a person needs help because that person is a woman.

      Quite frankly, in this day and age of cell phones, internet, fix-a-flat, gun ownership, GPS, etc., it’s less likely a woman needs help. I, for one, would not want a man to stop (for obvious reasons) if I were broken down on the road after dark. I would rather it be a woman.

      Strength has nothing to do with what I’ve tried to say. Obviously the stronger should help the weaker. To bring that into the discussion only clouds the issue.

      What I brought up with this blog post is this… A woman doesn’t deserve to be considered incompetent and helpless based on the fact she is a woman.

  28. Ruth(Tennessee) says:

    Ron, you need to be cautious even if you are a large man maybe even more so because you are. There are a growing number of women who carry (properly permitted weapons) I do for one. The only place I have encountered problems was at a gas stop. I got a lecture about “ladies” shouldn’t ride motorcycles alone. I’m just saying take care out there. I would be happy for you to assist me as long as you say you are an RV Sue and crew follower!!!!!

    • Ron says:

      Ruth
      I am an instructor for chl permits so I realize what you are saying. I found when approaching anyone as long as you keep some distance from them you seldom have a problem.
      Ron

  29. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    Whats with the equality between men and women? Men are usually bigger and stronger. Men are to protect the lady and the kids. Or fight for her hand, that is why they are bigger and stronger. Nature at her best made it so. It’s been like this ever since Darwin invented evolution or Adam chased Eve around the tree. The problem now days is “political correctness” but I can’t say nothin ’bout that. But maybe I should mention that God didn’t make all men equel, Colonel Sam Colt did. So are we now all gonna start packin? Last man or woman still standing on Main Street after the gunsmoke has cleared is the winner? Say maybe this is what Darwin meant by his Natural Selection, to cull the stampede of over population? Or in Gods great wisdom this is the Great Battle of Armageedon?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Joe,

      Read what I wrote to Ron (above) to understand what I meant when I introduced this topic.

  30. That is such a good question Ron. The only absolute never, never, never is “sit back and watch”.

    Here’s the big problem for you… it could all be a set up. There are women now with flat tires on purpose just to get a guy to stop so they can rob him. I tell my Todd not to help women on the side of the road anymore because it isn’t safe, but he does it sometimes anyway. I’m not his Mama, hehehe.

    In this situation before when someone asks if they can help or whatever I say, “thank you, I’m fine, AAA is on the way”.

    But there was one time out in the country, many years ago, fairly close to where I lived, on a very dark, narrow two lane road, my car overheated and steam was spewing out from the front (typical) and out beside the passenger front tire. There were ditches on both sides of the road so I was broken down in the road, pulled off to the side as far as possible. Put the hazards on and I know to get away from the car because someone might hit it. I go to the back of the car and no lights, no hazards flashing, nothing from the back. I’m outside, in the pitch dark, no cell signal, scratchin’ my fool head. A little later a truck pulls in behind my car and my blood runs cold just outside of his headlight beams. A kind, friendly voice asked “are you OK?”. I don’t know if it was the gentle sound /tone of his voice combined with the time I’d been there, maybe just vibes, but I said “not really”. The silhouette turned into a big black man approaching and I rattled off what was going on and he said “I’ve got my hazards on”. He looked at the front and side where some steam was still apparent. I told him I have coolant, just waiting for the engine to cool off. He asked if I had a rag, “yes”. “I think it’s still too hot”, I said. He took off the radiator cap and it gave quite a hiss, put coolant and water in because I had both, of course. He said “it doesn’t look good but it could be enough to get you home”. “Oh my gosh, thank you so much.” We knew the same people, my neighbors were his family, turns out. Then he asked if I’d like him to follow me home to make sure I got there and I replied, yes, please, if you wouldn’t mind”. He did, I turned on the lights and waved, he gave a quick honk and drove off. Thank you again Clarence. I never saw him again.

    I love this whole conversation and the way RVSue explained the difference between chauvinist and gentleman. I think all of you here are the best!

  31. Marilu, Northern Ca. says:

    What interesting conversations you provoke, Sue. I think this posting has inspired the longest and most thoughtful comments yet. When my husband and I both went to the DMV to take the written test to allow us to pull our heavy trailer, the clerk, a woman, said, “Oh, I think it is so sweet the you’re going to get a license to drive in an emergency.” Sitting behind the wheel steering a truck and trailer down the road doesn’t take brute strength, just extra caution and properly adjusted mirrors. Why the assumption that I would only drive in an emergency? Maybe the “so sweet” part was the most grating. The reality is that among our rving friends, most of the women do not drive and some say they don’t even care to learn how to hook up their rigs. Now that would make me feel very vulnerable!
    Marilu

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marilu,

      You hit on a point that is very important. In my opinion, too many women are unnecessarily dependent upon their spouses. I believe this, more than anything else, perpetuates the attitude that women are helpless in the face of a problem or “man’s job.”

      I hear women respond with “But I appreciate my husband doing the driving (or whatever). He’s a nice guy and he wants to help and he doesn’t want me to have to do it.” All that may be true. . .

      However, to encourage an adult human being with full capabilities to function in a childlike state is NOT helpful. A woman who has taken on the role of dependency can find herself in an instant having to do everything by herself and without any preparation for it. I’m not blaming men here. Both parties allow this parent-child relationship to develop over the years.

      That woman’s remark would’ve grated on my nerves, too. We women are “our own worst enemy” when it comes to being regarded as capable, independent people.

  32. AZ Jim says:

    I’m going to say one final thing on the subject of helping a woman who needs help. My wife is now a fragile old lady. I keep a cell phone in the car and have shown her how to use it for emergencies. However the few times she goes out in the car alone, I always worry but hope if she get’s in trouble some good guy will come along and help her. You can think you are so independent all you want but having lived a long time and seen a lot of things when I worked police beat reporting in California, I can assure you you are vulnerable, now more than then. Speaking of my wife and I we have adapted to our roles in our lives. She does all our bookkeeping and cooking, much of the housework we split and I do all maintenance repair, car upkeep and heavy tasks. Joe has it right, we are bigger generally, stronger and in most cases, not all much more mechanically inclined. You can disagree with me should you choose, it’s your right.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      One thing that I read between the lines of your comment, Jim, more than anything else, is that you love and respect your wife. God bless you both.

      • AZ Jim says:

        Thank you Sue. Now this is only introduced to induce smiles, nothing more so please take it in that vane. I was reading on a forum sometime ago the comment’s to the question: “Should a man give up his seat on a bus to a woman?” There were many serious answers everything from the extreme feminist who was indignant that anyone would offer her a seat explaining she was as able as anyone to stand to those who simply felt it a courteous thing to do. One guy, and he’s a clown, said “why should I give up my seat when she could sit on my lap, and I could hope for a bumpy road.” Now, I know that raises the hair on the back of some ladies neck, but my response is, lighten up and enjoy. It’s too short a life to take everything as a problem to tackle, some things are just “there” kinda like a breeze or sunshine. Enjoy or ignore ’em.

  33. AZ Jim says:

    Sue go out to your “rock garden” and find out what kind of animal that “thing” is!!!! I blew it up as high as it’s resolution would allow and agree it is an animal, it may be a dead one placed there by a cougar to feast on at leisure or ??? I would think about the crew while there though….Caution.

  34. Ruth (Tennessee) says:

    Sue, your comments to Marilu were so perfect. Kudos and with that I will be quiet.

  35. Deb from NJ says:

    Hi Sue. So glad that you found your peace and quiet out there, but the comments section is anything but that. LOL! Great comments by everyone. Love reading all the comments. Loving all the pictures. The rock garden is very interesting and that sure is an animal of some kind. Sometimes I take photos of the same area but just a little different angle. Do you have any other photos of the same area that you can go back and look at? I hope someone figures it out. Please be careful.
    Still loving your blog and read everyday.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deb,

      No, I don’t have any other photos that cover the same area. I think it will remain one of the many mysteries of RVSue and her canine crew.

      Thank you for being a loyal reader and for dropping in with a comment.

  36. pat gabriel says:

    Hi Sue,
    I don’t know if you remember me, but I followed your adventures from the very beginning. My email use to be “glacebay@verizon.net”, if that jogs your memory. I haven’t checked in in a long time because I’m on my own adventure. The opposite of yours in many ways. We sold our house and rent a 500 sq foot house in NH with a barn and I’m starting my mini farm. I built a chicken coop from Chicken Coops for Dummies and have 3 chickens. No eggs yet, they’re too young. I’m putting up woven wire fencing (ever heard of a comealong and fence stretcher? Neither had I). As soon as that’s done, I’m getting 2 sheep, a ram and a pregnant ewe. I’m learning about composting and self sufficient living. So, I wanted to see how things were going with you and was so amazed at how much your site has grown! Congratulations! I will be following you again now. Pat

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Of course, I remember you, Pat!

      You’re on an adventure, for sure! I did something similar. . . chickens, composting, garden, etc. and yes, I did the come-along and stretcher bit. I had visions of that come-along coming loose somehow and flying back to behead me! My chickens were very productive. I was running the eggs down to the women’s shelter.

      Good luck with your self-sufficient living. It’s a lot of hard work but can be very rewarding. I’m happy to hear you’ll be following along with us again.

  37. Angie2B says:

    I don’t think that is a cat, I think it is an illusion from the inside of a rock. There are similar looking rocks up above. jmho

  38. Marcia GB says:

    I read every post. What a spirited exchange! Won’t add my two cents because it seems like every side has been covered. It’s time we all realized that we’re people first, with all our skills and talents, as well as our challenges. Whether we are male or female takes a back seat to our fundamental humanity. Oops, I guess that WAS my two cents 🙂

    Carry on!

  39. Pamela K. says:

    Sue,
    I was going back and reading up on some of your prior blog postings and came across this one. I read about the possible cougar so, of course, I had to take a closer look. Ya know, that couple that had the two missing dogs…one white and one black? Well, look at the photo again. There appears to be a black-brown leg, back and part of a head on the other side of the rock where the cougar? is located. I believe that may indeed be the black dog they were looking for. And if you look really close at the cougar’s tail, just next to it, there is what may be a white-ish looking back of a little animal, may be their other dog! If so, then their dogs have have had a cougar encounter and couldn’t get home for dinner. Anyway, I showed the photo to Klemper and he sees what I saw, we think those are the two dogs in your photo! Look at your photo really close and let me know what you think, do you see them also?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pamela,

      I enlarged the photo and examined it carefully. I can see what you describe as the two dogs. Having seen the lost dogs which were quite big, I’m not sure what we’re looking at are those dogs. I’m not even sure if that’s a cougar or an illusion created by the rocks. I guess we’ll never know!

      One thing… If there were two dogs and a cougar on those rocks, I should think I would’ve seen some movement while taking the photo. Not that things don’t get past me… 🙂

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