Camped in the aspens of Ashley National Forest

Tuesday, July 1

The crew and I are on our way out of East Park Campground to search for boondocks.  Spike and Bridget are settled on the bench seat for their afternoon naps, worn out from playing at the lake and walking around the campground.  The photos tell the story . . . beginning with morning sun on the water.


1-DSC05263A man hails us at the fee station.

1-DSC05287“Have you got change for a twenty?” he asks as he hurries over to my window.

“I don’t think I do,” I reply, pulling my wallet out of my purse.  I don’t have the change so I give him the $4 which will take care of one night.  (Later he pays me back.)

We chat for a few minutes.  He and his wife are going to stay at the campground for a few days.  They live in Vernal where it’s very hot right now.  They come up to the mountains frequently in the summer.

“We’re the only ones here,” I remark.  “What will it be like over the weekend?”

“Crazy.  It gets pretty crazy here over Fourth of July weekend.”

Well, that does it.  We won’t stay another night.  I’ll find some boondock possibilities today and then we’ll leave the campground in the morning.

It’s easy to find nice campsites.

Several forest service roads branch off of the main road.  RVs are scattered all over.  Many of them have no vehicle, no sign of life.

1-DSC05259I suspect the locals drop off their fifth wheel or travel trailer, go home to the job, and then come up here on weekends.

1-DSC05260I find an empty site along the same road as the ones shown above.  It’s a beauty!  I hope no one takes it between now and tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 2

One last walk around the campground loop for the crew and I toss them into the Perfect Tow Vehicle while I hitch up.

1-DSC05273“Goodby, East Park!  It’s been fun!”

1-DSC05262We take Red Cloud Loop toward Highway 191.  On the way a doe leaps out into the road ahead of us, her youngster following behind her.  The doe makes it to the other side of the road, but the fawn is startled by the PTV, turns around, and disappears in the woods from where they came.

I stop the PTV and wait.

1-DSC05283-001The doe sees that I’ve stopped, goes back across the road in graceful bounds. She leaps up the bank and into the woods to catch up with her fawn.

Gosh, I love it here!

Before reaching Highway 191, we turn onto the road that goes to Iron Springs Campground.

1-DSC05294-001Then we make another turn onto the forest road where I found the pretty campsite.  Ooh, please be empty . . .

“YES!  We got it!  We have a new home, guys!”

Whenever I say the word “home” in an excited voice, the crew goes nuts.  As soon as I’ve backed  the Best Little Trailer between the aspens, I let Spike and Bridget out the side door.  They do a manic sniff-around.  I take this photo.

1-DSC05277“Isn’t this a pretty place?  A big area to roam where I can watch you.  Soft grass to roll in.  You’re gonna’ love it here!”

1-DSC05278Soon I have the blue mat staked on the ground.  I place my camp chair and little table on it.  After the interior of the BLT is back in order, I put the lounger in a shady spot directly behind the BLT.  This is my reading “room.”  Nice, eh?

1-DSC05280I read my Paperwhite most of the afternoon.  After supper Spike, Bridget, and I take a long walk across the large meadow in front of our camp.  The lane takes us up to a ridge where several varieties of wildflowers grow.

Why no photos of Flaming Gorge?

We’re camped several miles south of the gorge and having a wonderful time exploring the forest roads, walking short trails, and relaxing around our camp.  We aren’t in any hurry and the gorge isn’t going anywhere.  We will see the gorge after the Fourth of July crowd leaves.

1-DSC05276I hope my Canadian readers enjoyed Canada Day.  Tomorrow is Independence Day in the U.S..  Since I probably won’t be online, here’s my wish for you . . .

“Happy Fourth of July!”



As I’ve written many times before, I sincerely appreciate every Amazon purchase made through my blog, no matter how small.  I do mean that.  I was concerned that my absence from my blog would mean a drop in Amazon revenue (hey, money is nice).  When I opened up the Amazon earnings report today, my eyes bugged out of my face!
Yamaha EF6300iSDE 6,300 Watt 357cc OHV 4-Stroke Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator With Electric Start (CARB Compliant)

I take back every bad word I’ve ever said about generators.

Thanks again to all RVSue shoppers!

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82 Responses to Camped in the aspens of Ashley National Forest

  1. AJ says:

    Someone bought a “Stair Climbing Appliance Dolly’ through my blog @ $1400.00.
    I understand the bug eyes…..

    Enjoy your Fourth, hiding in the trees!

    May you duck the crowd….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, AJ,

      That’s exactly what I’m doing… “hiding in the trees!”

      Somehow I’ve picked up internet connection here at our camp! It’s very weak and drops frequently. Don’t know if I can reply to comments, but I’m going to try!

  2. Barb George says:

    I caught this before leaving for Brain Injury Support Group! Gives me a chance to get out of my head and into a bit of PEACE. Thank You Sue and CREW!

    My Racy is looking more and more like Spike as he ages… except he is (supposed to be) a Mini Chihuahua. He is 8 lbs now… waddle waddle… Same colors though. He needs to MOVE more! LOL How old are the kids? I don’t remember. Racy is 12.

    Off to group, wishing I was camping! My hubs will spend the 4th evening on the Lady Washington, a remake of the original… I will stay home, snuggle with a book and try to not crawl out of my skin with the fireworks…and keep the critters comfy.

    Happy Days!~
    Hugs from Hoquiam

    • weather says:

      As is the case with many rescue pets,it seems hard to nail down exact ages for the crew, best guess-old enough to be trusted not to chew your Keen shoes,and too young to droop!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb,

      I hope your support group meeting went well. I’m writing this on the 4th and doing what you’re doing… snuggling with a book and the crew most of this rainy afternoon.

      Hugs to you, too!

  3. Chas anderson says:

    Numero uno?

  4. BadgerRickInWis says:

    Wait a sec, am I first again? I promise I DID read the post first this time. 🙂

    Also I wouldn’t worry about being “out of contact” for a bit in this great new site. These folks seem to do a pretty good job keeping the conversation going.

    So enjoy your new home it might be nice to be away from blogging responsibilities for awhile…………..
    Wait a minute. Does this mean that your on vacation? It’s so hard to tell. 🙂

    Seriously, enjoy your holiday, when you think about it you have embraced Independence Day as a lifestyle! Way cool!

  5. Shelia says:

    I so love reading about your journey. I was on Pinterest this morning looking for “patriotic dogs” and I ran across a girl that I thought was Bridget, but upon closer inspection of Bridget, I see that the patriotic girl doesn’t have a white stripe down her nose. Plus I thought that was awfully strange if that was Bridget, sitting there so nicely, posing for a photo. I did search and find several pins for rvsue and her canine crew. A happy and private/peaceful Independence Day to you and the crew!

  6. Jean/Southaven, MS says:

    I read and am still first or close. Happy 4th Sue and Crew

  7. Ed says:


    I have not been this way but if I were where you are now and planned on continuing north to Rock Springs, WY I would take UT44 to UT 43/WY530. This route has you closer to Flaming Gorge for much of the way and I would guess there are more spectacular views. I have been on US191 and that route is scenic but you see little of the Gorge.

    Which ever choice you make I think you will enjoy the views.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I was thinking the same thing, Ed, even though that route looks like ribbon candy on my map. No matter! Ha! I scoff at switchbacks! With the PTV, the crew and I can climb any mountain and descend on any grade! .

  8. weather says:

    A reading room under aspens to enjoy over a holiday weekend,oh,yippee for you again!What a nice purchase bonus,too,I hope whoever bought that is well served by it! Now you can sketch in a tall corner window… to let more sunlight and breezes into your wee place that’s far from today but close to what’s wild…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      I’ve been enjoying my outdoor reading room. Not so much today as many people have moved in around us with their noise machines and then it rained. It’s cozy reading inside the BLT. I was glad to see the rain . . .

      Hope you enjoy the weekend!

      • weather says:

        To restore peace around you,the rain descended like a curtain- shutting out unwelcome sounds and halting the unintentionally insensitive activities of too close by neighbors – it made the BLT all the cozier to be in….No wonder you were glad to see it.

        There are times when it’s great to be with people,and times that make you just wish they’d stay quiet and a bit farther away…

        Racing dark clouds and winds have often swept intrusions away for me,too.People, finally ,disappear from outdoor environments to escape nature’s intensity. So since childhood I’ve found the refuge of being alone by choosing… as they run inside I do the opposite-I run out -and experience the sights and sounds of creations wild secrets so needed…

        Hope you end up delighted with whatever unfolds today 🙂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Boy, you “hit the nail on the head,” weather, with your comment about the rain. What a blessing! The constant drone of motors almost brought me to tears. And then the rain came!

          A bunch of RVs arrived yesterday and camped on the other side of the big meadow. They brought with them several children who have their own motorized toys to ride on. Instead of having the children roar up and down the lane in front of their campsites, they send them over to the other side of the meadow where we’re camped so the kids can roar up and down the road in front of us. That way they see their kids, but don’t hear them. Lovely.

          So far I’ve had two motorbikes and an OHV drive up our short lane into our campsite. This is definitely a lesson in tolerance and patience.

          It’s quieter this morning. (Maybe the children are playing video games?) So yes, I’m “delighted with whatever unfolds today.” Best of all, I can read and reply to comments from camp! Hope your day is grand, weather.

          • weather says:

            Your camp’s become a picture of what year round life must be like for their neighbors at home!Egads- what some people consider alright as long as it makes them happy.Like counting down switchbacks-34 hours before they leave-29 more ’til they’re gone-alright-you can do this without blowing a gasket! 🙂

        • weather says:

          P.S.Thinking of holiday travelers reminded me of something.The 4th of July weekend was when Chloe was supposed to be brought home to Ginger.Wouldn’t it be nice to hear a report of that happy reunion?

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            It certainly would! I can’t help but wonder what happened to Ginger. Maybe daily life is too difficult or complicated right now for her to give us an update. I trust she is doing well.

  9. Your location looks much prettier than where we’ll be. However, we’ll be out with the trailer, and that is always a good thing!

  10. Look like the perfect place for the fourth with crowds most places. Hope it is quiet for you:) Love seeing Spike in his soaking position:)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John and Pam,

      I admit I’m surprised by the number of RVs that have appeared in what I thought was a secluded area. The forest is like a racetrack this weekend!

      Oh well, let them have their fun. I can wait for them to leave… (heh-heh. Retirement is wonderful.)

  11. Yay another beautiful home!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      And YAY to you, too, Geri and Chuck, on your new and beautiful home at Hillsborough State Park!

  12. Barbara (from Nashville) says:

    What an awesome campsite! My only shady spot is under the plum tree. guess I could read and have a plum drop on my head. The local squirrel likes to hang upside down by his tail and eat the plums. He is pretty entertaining.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barbara,

      Well, to tell the truth, I’d rather watch squirrels hang upside down from my seat under a plum tree than be at “NASCAR in the forest.” I have a feeling this weekend is going to be very long…… I feel like I’m in the city again!

      Nice hearing from you…. Have a great weekend.

  13. Michael in CA (AKA ZenOnWheels) says:

    Oh, what a beautiful boondock campsite! I hope you are getting nice cool weather up where you’ve camped. It looks like it is going to be a very hot weekend all across the west.

    I promised you an update on my first RV trip, so here it is: so far it has been wonderful!

    I know that you will understand when I say that the first drive with the RV was an exhilarating and transformative experience. I was afraid at first. It started out as “can I DO this?” As I pulled onto the highway I gave myself a little pep talk: “I think I can do this.” Thirty minutes late I hit the summit of my first hill (Altamont Pass…it’s a puny 1,000 feet) and I declared with glee “I CAN DO THIS! I CAN DO THIS!”

    Fear is such a funny thing, isn’t it? It can unhelpfully keep us from trying things that we are, in fact, capable of doing. I am hoping that this lesson stays with me for a long time.

    Today I am camping high up in the Sierra Nevada at a full hookup site learning practicing with all of my systems. It’s a blast. No mishaps yet and I am learning a lot. Having read through your blog, and a few others, I’ve picked up many handy tips that I am putting into practice. I’m still taking baby steps, but this is so darned exciting.

    P.S. I’ve decided to give myself the handle “ZenOnWheels”. You helped to inspire that. Your tales have such a zen-like perspective to them, particularly when something doesn’t go quite as planned. Knowing that I am going to run into many scenarios that do not unfold as I expect them to, a zen approach seemed like a wise attitude to adopt from the start. You inspire me!


    • weather says:

      Hi Michael,
      First trip in the new RV including a 1000 ft. summit isn’t puny,it’s awesome!Plenty of folks feel great about going around the block to practice in a parking lot!Glad to hear you’re having a blast!

    • Michael, you can do anything. Don’t worry about the “mishaps.” That’s why you’ve got insurance and why there’s erasers on pencils. Just wipe that bad boy out and redo…you’ll get it. I’m proud of you.

      Hope you have many, many years of camping enjoyment.

      Cat Lady

      • Michael in CA (AKA ZenOnWheels) says:

        Indeed I will! I had my first oopsie this morning with the sewer hose. I made the same mistake so many have made before me…I unhooked from the RV and then let the open end fall to the ground before holding it up high to shake the remaining fluid down the drain. Instead of freaking out I just laughed it off, cleaned it up and moved on. What else is there to do!

        It was a good lesson and reminder to go slow. I knew the steps, but was rushing a bit to get out and explore for the day and ended up skipping that important step. I keep reminding myself: slow down, stay in the moment, remain mindful. It works!

        • Yay Michael, how exciting….you are doing it! In a little over a month I’ll be doing it too, as I retire July 31 and start full timing August 10. I must remember your advice about going slow and staying in the moment. A short while back I wrote in my blog about ‘Zen Things’ and the first ‘thing’ was to ‘do one thing at a time’. I’m really working on that one because right now there are so many loose ends to tie up before this new lifestyle gets underway. So I guess the idea is to tie up one loose end at a time, tie it slowly, tie it well, and savor doing it. Even if the loose end is a sewer hose. 🙂

          • Michael in CA (AKA ZenOnWheels) says:

            Micky – Congratulations on your retirement! Having just gone through that transition myself, I know what an exciting time this probably is for you. Savor it. Perhaps our paths will cross on the road sometime!

            I’ve subscribed to your blog and look forward to reading about your full-time adventures.


    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Your maiden voyage on the 4th of July! Yippee at least you have a lot of help if needed.

      The Altamont can be very windy…hence the wind towers on all sides! Have fun!

    • Jolene/Iowa says:

      Yeah Michael! Enjoy yourself it sounds like you are having a great time!!

    • Krystina McMorrow says:

      Happy 4th of July and your first campsite!!! I was soooooo excited when I finally was all tucked in to my first site. I spent the first 5 days organizing and reorganizing on and on. Great fun. I would sit in my chair often and look around my Buggy and get chills I was so happy. Happy to hear things are going well for you…mostly 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Congratulations, Michael!

      YES, I do “understand when I say that the first drive with the RV was an exhilarating and transformative experience…” It’s absolutely thrilling! I’m very happy for you.

      I remember my “I CAN DO THIS!” moment, too. It was when I first pulled into a gas station towing the BLT, pumped the gas, and made it back onto the highway. Seems silly now, but then it was a triumph.

      Zen on Wheels is perfect! I love how you are loving this adventure . . . No more robot living for you! I agree wholeheartedly — “This is so darned exciting.” Thanks for the update. You can see the support you have from your fellow blogorinos!

  14. Jool says:

    When I see the Soaking Spike pictures above (mud and all) it reminds me of a friend from a few years back. She was new in the States, from Scotland, and we worked together. If I ever got a stain on my blouse (which is a frequent occurrence for me) she would come over and say, in her Scots brogue, “ACH! Ye look like a wee mucky pup!”
    That has always stuck with me, and every time I see Spike after a muddy soak, I think “ACH! He is a wee mucky pup!”
    Jool – in North Texas

  15. Well, Sue, I just finished reading thru your May 31, 2012, blogs. I enjoy reading folks comments…lot of interaction between you and your blogerinos…probably why your blog is so popular. I forwarded the blog we received today to hubby and now he’s reading about your adventures. I know he’ll be signing up for your blog updates.

    Can’t wait to see what y’all were up to in June, 2012. I’m thoroughly enjoying the reads. Thanks, Sue and Crew. Hugs and squeezes to the nut cakes.

    Cat Lady

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cat Lady,

      I’m tickled that you are enjoying the interactions of the blogorinos! Thanks for sharing my blog with your husband. I welcome him here . . ..

      Let’s see… June 2012… Oh, that was a very good month!

  16. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Once again…..stunning! Nice pics.

    Generators can be tolerated…if people practice camp etiquette. Kind of like the stigma against pit bulls….most are gentle sweet dogs…it all depends on the owner.

    Does the crew get spooked by fireworks?

    Have a peaceful day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      The crew hasn’t experienced fireworks close enough to react. Our place in Georgia was surrounded by horse farms and residences where fireworks weren’t played with. Of course, Spike wouldn’t hear a Roman candle if it were right next to him.

      Thanks for the compliment on the photos. They aren’t great. I edited them in the PTV in the middle of the day and could hardly see what I was doing.

      Hope you are enjoying the lake next to your home this holiday weekend . . .

  17. Jolene/Iowa says:

    I am loving this camp! I love seeing the green grass and trees! I am learning to appreciate the desert more from your adventure but I am still a green grass and tree person at heart I guess.

    Am still reading the past posts. I am up to April 1st of this year now. I am learning so much. I love this journey with you and the crew!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jolene,

      Your enthusiastic responses to my blog posts are a delight for me!

      I think one has to experience the desert to appreciate it fully. A lot of its appeal, at least for me, is the air, the light, the stillness, and the openness — things not perceived from photos.

  18. Pauline from Mississippi says:

    You pick a great place for us to relax with you. I will set up my chair near you and we both can read our Kindles. LOL!!!! Hope you have a nice 4th of July weekend.
    Love you

    • weather says:

      when you two smell the lunch I silently left near you,wave as you see the crew walking me out(just wanted you to be more comfortable when the fresh air and reading made you nap)


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pauline,

      I hope you and family are having a great holiday weekend!

      BTW, I’m no longer using my hotmail email address. It’s messed up and I can’t open it. I have a new address, same as the old one, except it’s If you sent an email recently, I didn’t see it.

  19. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi Sue,

    What a nice surprise that Amazon earnings report was – you truly are having Christmas in July! I love the picture of the blue wildflower…absolutely beautiful! You found another lovely spot! Such a perfect reading room!

    Fellow readers….have you noticed the big grins on the nutcakes faces? Bridget is actually smiling in the pic of her in the lupines (previous post)! And, she does not seem to be giving Sue the stink eye on today’s pics, just sitting pretty! Spike has a content little smile on his face, too. Must be all that nice mountain air, soak time and quality time with their Mom. 🙂

    Happy Fourth of July to all – stay safe!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      It was quite a wonderful surprise to see the commission on that generator purchase. Made my day! It really is thoughtful for people to choose a blog through which to shop Amazon. I’m very appreciative.

      Glad you liked the lupine pic. Yes, Bridget and Spike are happy here. I think the last day at Pelican Lake, when it turned hot, set them up for loving this cool forest environment. Oh, the nutcakes get lots of “quality time with their Mom.” !!!

      Have a great holiday weekend, Denise.

  20. Pleinguy says:

    Looks like a very serene spot for the holiday weekend. Hope you have a relaxing good ole time. Take care.

  21. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    Sue, your reading room is so inviting. I certainly could use a respite day there. Spike is as cute as ever in his soaker pic. Love your camps in the tree settings. I wish Canadians could have a seniors pass, those camp site prices are so reasonable.
    Could I ask a favour? If you do go to Rock Springs and are able to, would you snap a pic of the Rock Springs sign and a couple of the area. In the 70’s, my mother took the bus from Toronto to Rock Springs and spent six months there and just loved it. She is 93 now and while her short term memory is gone, I do believe she remembers those happy days. We survived Canada Day. Between thunderstorms and the cottagers lighting fireworks, my poor dog was a wreck. Happy Fourth of July to You & the crew.
    Happy Fourth of July…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Val,

      If we go to Rock Springs, I’ll be happy to take some pics for you and your mother. Best wishes to you both . . .

  22. Ron Sears says:

    My kind of country. Great spot to relax, Be safe.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Ron. This country reminds me of Utah’s slogan.. “Life elevated.”

  23. Anne H says:

    What a beautiful site! Hope you’re having a peaceful holiday weekend!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Anne…. I can’t say it’s “peaceful” here, but I can say the crew and I are happy. Holiday weekends are what they are….. Monday the peace will return! Have a great weekend….

  24. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts., VA says:

    Happy 4th of July Sue & Crew! What a beautiful home you have found in Ashley NF
    I was there 40 years ago and remember. Have a framed picture of the white barked trees with their gold leaves in fall, wispy green grass under them… Peaceful place, enjoy. Take Care.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Diane,

      I hope you are enjoying the holiday weekend. No wonder you remember Ashley NF… It must be lovely in the fall.

  25. Such a beautiful place Sue. Again I say, I hope I will develop your kind of wisdom for finding such fine places to stay. SO excited to soon be starting this new lifestyle!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I share your excitement, Micky! You will find your own special places. Use your map skills, be ready to explore, keep your eyes open, see the possibilities . . . .

  26. Patricia from Florida says:

    Michael, the ZEN on Wheels.
    I had a good laugh when I read your experience with the sewer hose. I think many of us have had similar experiences starting out. When I first started camping, I forgot to close the inside valve to my black tank. When at the dump station, I opened the outside valve to put on the sewer hose and ……… After a few choice words, I cleaned up. It happens. Good Luck with your new adventures Zen Man.

  27. Patricia from Florida says:

    To GeriMoore-Hajek
    Thanks for the invite to Hillsborough State Park. Chances are slim but still possible that I may come up to that SP to camp. If that happens, will definitely look you up. I did check out its website and it looks to be a very nice park. Hope you enjoy your time there. BTW, how long will you be there?

  28. Jolene/Iowa says:

    I have a question about the Amazon earnings. Is there any way to take any kind of deductions to help offset some of that income for you?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jolene,

      Do you mean business expenses? There probably are some deductions I could take in addition to blog costs which I do deduct (which are minimal). I don’t want to venture into iffy territory re taxes… Some might say I could deduct the cost of my laptop and internet security and travel expenses and such, but I’d have those expenses anyway, if I weren’t making money off this blog.

      I’m happy with the income my blogorinos provide. 🙂

      • Jolene/Iowa says:

        Yes, that is what I wondered. I understand about not wanting to get into the iffy areas with taxes also.

  29. AZ Jim says:

    Hi Sue…

    Catching up on comments. Two things to report. Unless something new develops, Detta and my mini vacation from the valley to the mountains is still on. The fire is 20 miles from where we are going and 80 % contained. I spoke to the cabin owner and was told you wouldn’t know there was a fire up there, no smoke and clear clean sky. My second thing is not so nice, the one thing all computer owners fear happened. I had a major crash and had to completely reinstall my operating system, everything. I did have my original Win 7 discs (Thank God) and backup so all was not lost but I did lose all my bookmarks, etc. Anyhow, here I am a happy man once again….Hi Crew….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      That’s great news on the vacation! Bummer on the computer crash. 🙁

      “All’s well that ends well” right? Thanks for the update. I know several readers felt your pain when it looked like your vacation was nixed. I hope you and Detta have a wonderful time.

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