Camping and hiking along a Colorado river!

Tuesday, June 7

P1110948Ranch north of Dolores, Colorado

The crew and I leave Bradfield Campground on the Dolores River and head for Cortez.  

Before we search for a new camp, we need to stock up on supplies!

For those of you who like to follow our route on your map . . . Road 16 takes us south to Route 491, where we head southeast to the Wal-Mart in Cortez.

Bridget and Reggie enjoy a brief walk-about in the parking lot.  As I’m loading them into the Perfect Tow Vehicle, a man approaches.

I know from his smile what he’s going to say.

“You must be RVSue!”

He tells me he and his wife are longtime readers of my blog.  They’re from Mesa, Arizona, and camp in a fifth wheel.

“You’ve inspired us,” he says warmly.

Later, upon my return to the PTV with a load of groceries, I find a note on my windshield.

Paranoia kicks in. 

Oh great, some busybody left a note . . . “It’s cruel to leave dogs in a vehicle. You should be ashamed of yourself.  I hope you rot in hell!”

I open the note which says,  “It was cool to finally meet you and the canine crew.  Happy trails.”

Well, isn’t that nice.

From Cortez the PTV takes us north on Route 145 to the lively town of Dolores.

My plan is to drive on 145 as it traces the Dolores River into San Juan National Forest.  I’ve heard there are boondocks along this road that goes to Rico, Colorado.  I don’t know how many miles we travel on this road, but we don’t arrive at a boondocking area before I begin to react to the altitude.

Although we’re within the boundary of the national forest, homes and ranches dominate the river valley.  All the private property makes boondock-hunting difficult.

Well, I don’t know how much further we have to climb to find boondocks.  Maybe they meant these pull-outs along the road.  We don’t do roadside camping.  I’d better not take us any further.  Bridget looks okay and I’d like to keep her that way . . .

We backtrack to Forest Road 535 which follows the West Dolores River.

I know from studying my Benchmark atlas that there are campgrounds along this road.   I choose Mavreeso Campground.

My first impression of the campground is less than positive.

P1110952Electric sites are side-by-side with no separation.   Yuck.

P1110966The camp host comes out to greet us.  He’s happy to answer my questions.

The camp fee is $19, half that price with the senior pass.  Electric is an additional $6.

He glances up at the solar panel on top of the PTV.

“I know the perfect site for you.  Go all the way to the end of the loop.  There’s a pull-through site, not electric, and you’re right by the river.  It’s the best site in the campground.  You’ll like it.”

“Okay, thanks!  I’ll take it!”

P1110953Wow!  It IS a beautiful site.

Our view of the campground is mostly blocked, giving the feeling that we are camped by ourselves.  Standing in the doorway of the Best Little Trailer, I see the river chugging by.

P1110965The water is high up the riverbank.  It makes a constant roar.  Lovely.

P1110954Shortly after I complete camp set-up, the host comes by with his clipboard.

“Thank you for sending us to this campsite.  It is beautiful,” I remark as I hand him a check for $19 for two nights.

“You have good timing.  This site is usually occupied,” he replies, smiling.

P1110955Bridget, Reggie, and I chow down on the rotisserie chicken purchased earlier.  I sit at the picnic table watching the river.  After lunch I turn to Bridget and Reggie with a suggestion.  A trail goes into the forest, alongside the river, starting at our campsite.

“C’mon, crew!  Let’s take a river walk!

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NOTE:  I’m not able to respond to comments at our present camp (I haven’t shown it to you yet) which is where the crew and I are going as soon as I finish this.  Please answer questions and welcome new people.  Thank you.

I’m excited!  I found a boondock up on this ridge near where I parked for internet connection.  It’s absolutely gorgeous and I should be able to go online, post and comment from this place.   Here’s hoping nobody grabs it before tomorrow morning when we leave our present campground (two camps after the one in this post).  I’ll be able to catch up this blog in a lovely, natural, quiet setting and we’ll be camping for free!  — Sue



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74 Responses to Camping and hiking along a Colorado river!

  1. eliza says:


  2. eliza says:

    Bridget did great climbing over that log…she must be feeling well. I hope you recover from the altitude sickness…

  3. Beautiful site…what luck. Enjoy

  4. Chris B in Southern California says:

    Do you know what your elevation is? I love green forests!

    Chris B

    • Cynthia in San Clemente says:

      Chris: I just looked up Sue’s campground and it says it’s at 7600 feet. That’s getting up there!!

      • Chris B in Southern California says:

        Thanks, Cynthia. The weather should be nice at that elevation.

  5. Marilu in Northern California says:

    Another beautiful site!

  6. Dawn in MI says:

    Another state I love – Colorado! Can’t wait to explore it with you. It’s got such amazing views!

  7. What a lovely place, you snagged a great campsite. How nice to be next to the river, the trail looks like fun! And maybe some more pine cones for Bridget?

  8. Cynthia in San Clemente says:

    Oh fiddle, if I hadn’t been giving the dogs their flea, tick, heartworm meds I would have been first!! Back to read now.

  9. Hi there…your camp site Angel held another lovely landing spot. Enjoy it as much as I do your blog. Cheers!

  10. Cynthia in San Clemente says:

    I’m not sure if Bridget will appreciate the shot of her hiney going over the log, but it is priceless!! She must be feeling pretty good to attempt that climb 🙂 The camp spot is really beautiful – I could stay there quite awhile. Do you know what plant that is with the little white buds? (7th photo from the bottom). I do hope you are able to acclimate to the altitude and maybe try again to head up on the 145.

  11. Awe!!! That is my kinda camping!!! So beautiful!!
    You and the crew surely have happy hearts…!!:)

  12. Suzette (TN) says:

    A beautiful site! I wish I could hear that little river. Loved Bridget making her way over the log. You’re really having a run of good luck with your camping spots.

  13. Retiredcajunlady says:

    Wow!! Gorgeous doesn’t seem to say how beautiful your new site is. So lush and green. And how sweet it was of the camp host to direct you to such a wonderful spot along the river. The pups were having a grand ole time that day; both look so happy and healthy. Bridget has been looking especially in good health lately–has she lost a pound or two? If so, I would love her dieting tips! Reggie-Man sure keeps an eye out while y’all are on walk abouts.

    That peaceful setting, hearing the river sounds as it flows, would have me napping under the tree in seconds. I hope you enjoyed your two night stay there. Not sure I could leave such an inviting place so soon. Take care and I hope the altitude doesn’t spoil your good attitude! Belly rubs and hugs for the pups and prayer for you all.

  14. weather says:

    Goodness, what a gorgeous place and great site you had there ! I love how springtime-like all the greens and flowering shrubs appear. Hearing the river so close to your great little home as you went to bed must have been wonderful…you and the crew likely slept well what after that, the move and river walk. Picturing that, you three sharing your chicken, your caution regarding altitude for Bridget’s sake and an appreciative reader’s warm gestures I’m sitting here smiling in happiness for all of you.

    Meanwhile, in real time, you’ve spent hours today away from your home-sitting in the PTV struggling to put together this beautiful post for us, thank you ever so much. I hope the rest of your evening and stay where you are now is relaxing and delightful.

    • weather says:

      Gee, I hope you were able to get the boondock spot on the ridge. It’s probably terrific seeing as much of Colorado’s mountain scenery as you have recently. Yet after being on the move so much in just a few days in search of the right place and a signal settling down for a bit might feel really good. Not just to be able to relax, catch the blog up and rest a touch more if you want to-to drop your concerns and just let it all sink in again-You’re seeing and doing something you’ve wanted to for so long, exploring another new to you state, living the dream…Enjoy, Lord knows you’ve earned it, have a wonderful day.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Thanks, weather. We haven’t moved yet. Crew sleeping. I’ll catch up on comments later today with faster connection. 🙂

        • weather says:

          Hostgator error 500 appears to interrupt access to your blog, and refreshing the page allows connection, replying attempts so far make the error warning appear again.

          • weather says:

            that one went through, good! the problem may be on my end, just wanted you to know in case it was your blog, I had no problem going to other sites. We had high winds here in central NY that felled trees, poles and power lines a few miles from my home.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Hi, weather,

              The problem with my blog is not at your end.

              Note to readers:

              Hostgator has placed a “restriction” on my blog due to “extreme CPU usage” recorded today. This happened once before. The cause was never discovered and the restriction was lifted with no explanation. I believe a bot of some sort crawled through my blog resulting in a spike in CPU. I have tried to resolve the issue with Hostgator but, at this point, I’ve been unable to establish communication “due to high volume.”

              In other news . . . The crew and I are in the sweet boondock that I found yesterday! Outside our window aspens are twinkling. 🙂

              Now that I have a strong enough signal up here on this ridge, this other issue blocks me from posting. Well, it will work out.

              Have a good evening everyone….

            • weather says:

              enjoy the sweet place, twinkling aspens, crew and yourself 🙂 this, too, will become a gift somehow. The stars are twinkling here.N’nite

            • weather says:

              Good morning 🙂 Does the restriction problem seem to be gone now making it easier for you to comment and post if you want to? Does your current campsite have merits you like besides a strong signal? I hope you and the crew are enjoying life whatever it’s like .

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Thank you and good morning, weather.

              I haven’t checked with Hostgator yet this morning. It’s not easy for me to explain the situation… The blog may be periodically cached until the issue is resolved. I haven’t tried building a post yet this morning, still waking up with a cup of coffee.

            • Good Morning Sue, did someone say coffee? Enjoy, while I read the rest of this post….

              Hi Weather 🙂

  15. Tom Moore says:

    Bridget looks so good climbing that log.
    Has she lost weight?
    I love rotisserie chicken but you guys are the rotisserie chicken eating champs.
    Great camp site.

  16. Pam N. says:

    Like the others, I too liked the shot of Bridget making her way over the log. Give her a hug from me:) And little Reggie too, of course.

  17. Reine in Plano says:

    I was expecting the guy in the parking lot to say “what a cute little trailer”.
    It’s so good to see Bridget crawling over logs and enjoying a hike. Wise choice to come down before the altitude bothered you.

  18. Colleen from Alabama says:

    Looks like a great area to camp, especially where your at. Picked up my Casita on Monday and now I’m back in Alabama. Love my traveling home. Couple of things I wish they told me about in orientation. 1. You can’t back up with stablizer bar. 2. That there were stablizing jacks on the rear. First 2 nights I spent at American RV outside Corsicana,Tx. The owner,
    Wayne was wonderful at helping a complete novice like me. He was used to helping first timers with their new Casita. I have an awning that won’t lock at one end….had to duck tape that. Of course that happened three nights later…..hopefully once I hear back from Casita they will have a quick fix. The biggest problem that I have right now us just backing the truck up to the ball…..maddening.
    A quick shout out to the nice ladies from Bend, Oregon who picked up their Casita the same day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Can’t type much. Yes, can back up with stabilizer bar. I do it all the time.

    • BadgerRickInWis says:

      Congrats on your new Casita Colleen. I’m sure that you will get the bugs worked out and hopefully as you grow more familiar with backing it will become natural. Also glad you found a friendly face to help you your first few nights out. Make lots of joyous memories and let us know how it’s going.

  19. Linda-NC says:

    Well isn’t that a pretty place. On my list! When Bridget climbs over the log it looks like Reggie is cheering her on. Go Bridget! Enjoy your stay there by the river and I bet that you will sleep well tonight. I showed the house today and the woman loved it. Fell in love with all of the flowers. Keeping my fingers crossed-and my toes:) Go have fun kid!

  20. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    Look at that Bridget girl climbing over that big tree! What a great site!!! LOVE the roaring river.
    Hugs from Hoquiam!

  21. Dawn from Camano Island says:

    Hi, Sue. What a gorgeous camp–the river us full!! Miss Bridget looks downright perky cruising down the trail. Reg looks quite content to be second.

    We’ve been busy here with company & now the3 grand kiddos are with us for the month of June. I have s renewed respect for what my Mom did every day to serve healthy good food to 7 people!! Jim & I sure sleep good these days!

    Take good care & happy trails to you & the crew.

  22. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    This campsite looks so relaxing and perfect for you and the crew. Too bad the internet connection wasn’t good. Reggie looks like he enjoys the water (previous post) almost as well as Spike. They both look happy at this site. This is the closest I have been to the top in quite a while. Hope you have a great weekend.

  23. You should drive 145 in the autumn if you get a chance. It’s ablaze with yellow leaves. And when you get to the summit (dispersed camping areas there), holy cow! Huge peaks covered with red, orange and gold.

  24. Geri says:

    Love it! Love it! Love it! Love the campsite, love the river, love Bridget climbing over the log, love the flowers, love all the wonderful photographs that tell your story with out words! Thank you for the wonderful visit!

  25. Laura - Illinois says:

    Hi Sue,

    Ya know I have been meaning to tell ya this, but I have a terrible back! Hurts when I sleep in bed, so mostly I sleep in a recliner in my bedroom, I start out in bed, then move to the recliner. One thing I do when going on trips is take along a portable recliner chair, just like you often park outside your Best Little Trailer! I even took it to Disney World and slept in it when I was in the hotel room. I love how easily it can be folded up and transported. I find it very comfy to sleep in when my back is acting up!

    I find it heartwarming to read everyone’s comments about Bridget climbing over the log with encouragement from Reggie. Not only are you blessed to have 2 fur babies who truly love to travel. We are blessed that you share their travels with us and that they have you as their private Chauffeur! Thanks for sharing a bit of your lives in your blog!

    Laura Ours

    • DesertGinger says:

      I sleep in my recliner and have slept on those lawn chairs too!

      • Laura - Illinois says:

        I do not know what I would do if I had not discovered those lawnchair/recliners! They have been a backsaver and they allow me to travel… going to be using one this week on a trip away with my sisters!

    • Geri says:

      Looks like alot of us sleep in our recliners! Ha!

  26. Elaine in Colorado says:

    As always love the pictures of Bridget and Reggie Man! Do you get a discount on the electric with Senior discount?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m not sure. He said it like it was an “add-on.” I was so anxious to see the site he recommended that I didn’t ask about that.

      • Renee from Idaho says:

        Electric is usually not discounted at campgrounds, only the CG fee. I’m assuming that the site the host directed her to, after looking at her solar, was not electric. Campgrounds like that usually have a mix of both. With solar, you can be flexible on sites.

  27. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    What a great site indeed. Listening to the water as it flows soothing!

    Bridgee babee! You go girl! On your tippy toe and over the log! Cute that Reg man is looking back…come on sis you can do it!

    Okay we’re excited too! Hope you get your boondocking spot!

  28. Kitt, NW WA says:

    Your last two posts have exuded a wonderful aura of contentment and happiness. It looks like Colorado is a wonderful place for the three of you to explore.
    Thanks again, for taking us along.

  29. AZ Jim says:

    I guess all us blogorinos think alike when it comes to Reggie and Bridget. That shot of our little lady climbing over the log also made me smile. You guys have fun, I’m thinking of ya….

  30. BadgerRickInWis says:

    Lovin’ this. You’re getting into one of my favorite corners of the entire world. I’ve made multiple trips to San Juan N.F and the Weminuche wilderness. Absolute heaven.

    But yes, very smart of you to take it slow and ease into the higher elevation. After all there’s no hurry. Safe and smart, that’s our Sue!!!

    Like everyone love the shots of the river walk and HRH gliding over that log as her brother cheered her on. That’s some family you got there Sue. Take care, hope you got your perfect site.

  31. Joannadanna says:

    You are an inspiration. I want to get a small rig and head out to see America before I pass. I’m giving myself a year to get it all together. Thanks for the great blog.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Welcome, joannadanna! Of course I think you’ve made a fantastic decision. Now that you’re a blogorino, feel free to join us as often as you wish, ask questions, share your progress, whatever. We’re with you!

  32. gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

    The note on your window reminds me of a photo I saw recently. There is a dog is sitting on the backseat of the car behind a sign on the window. The sign says: “Don’t break the window. The a/c is on, my dog has water and he’s listening to Steely Dan.”

  33. MelindaK (TX) says:

    Now, that’s camping! I can’t wait to see where you go next.

  34. Elizabeth in WA says:

    gorgeous spot!! Enjoy!!

  35. Rover Ronda (WA) says:

    What a wonderful site! I’m glad you had perfect timing to get it. I love river campsites. Sadly my favorite campground is still closed. Gold Basin Campground on the mountain loop hwy sustained damage winter 2014/2015 and they still haven’t reopened it. It’s on the inside of a horseshoe curve in the river so many sites with river front and I think every site can hear the river. When the water level is right you can put in on one end of the horseshoe float down to the other end walk across the narrow part of camp and do it all over again. I hope they reopen it. It’s less than 20 miles from my sticks n brick.

  36. Someone mentioned the frustration of lining up the tow vehicle with the trailer. Here’s a pretty good video of one solution, And here’s another video of another method, What I did when driving my dad’s small boat trailer was simply buy two extendable tiny-diameter curtain rods (or you could use radio antennas), then temporarily tape them (that was way before Velcro existed) to the trailer hitch and the tow bar, same as in the video .. no need to buy their fancy arrangement. I’d bet others here have similar or better methods.

  37. Renee from Idaho says:

    That’s the kind of host I like – knowledgeable and helpful. At one of our favorite FS CG’s, which is first come first serve, we always stop and find out which sites are open or coming open to fit our rig. Plus, with our solar, we are open to non electric sites and two of the biggest ones are pull throughs with a view of the river!

  38. Look at Bridgee! Walking, LEAPING over dead logs [well, in her own way] and leading the pack!

  39. Pookie in Todd Mission Tx says:

    GODS country is all I can say……………
    I took my 3 boys camping and fishing in Colorado for many, many summers and left mama home for a rest……..when they discovered girls then no more trips for that one.
    we always had monopoly, risk, old maid, chess, checkers, dominoes, sorry, life and other games we played while camping…..but we roamed all over colorado never having a destination in mind just camp a day or two and then find another camp somewhere else.
    thanks for bringing these memories back…..

  40. Virginia620 (Mobile AL) says:

    I was following your first paragraphs on Google Maps and actually found Mavresso Campground before I read your post saying you were there. It does look lovely. Love the ‘hiking’ photos of the pups. Enjoy!!

  41. A gal in Maple Valley, WA says:

    YAY!! Gremlins and bridge blocking trolls are gone! I was missing the blogerinos. Got my fix of photos again. I thought (for a tiny moment) that you may have been spying on me through my webcam and cut me off of my RVSue & Crew fix until I got my chores done. 🙂 😀 😉

    Really want to see that special spot. Whenever. Your comment/updates will keep us going until you can post.

    Happy ‘Tails’

  42. Well this was indeed a lovely site. The rivers are really up right now with all the late snow melt. Being able to camp beside one is such a treat. Love seeing Ms B making her way over a log, and Mr R enjoying a new trail. Hope you’re getting some of this wonderful afternoon rain.

  43. Nancy S. Indiana says:

    Oh my goodness, how precious Bridgett looked with her chubby little bottom climbing over the log. Big smile on my face. ??

  44. Donna 'N Girls says:

    I remember you had some repair work in Yuma and I’m trying to find the post to get the name. I can’t find it. I have friends in Yuma with a broken trailer spring. Do you remember the name of the shop?

  45. Good Morning Sue, the pictures of your camp are beautiful…and of course Bridget going over the log..PRICELESS!. AND don’t worry about losing any of us blogorinos, I think we are in it for the long least I am. Peanut butter toast for all! 🙂

    Love you guys….love, love, love. It will get us through. Prayers to Orlando!

  46. judy in east texas says:

    Good morning Sue and the crew. I’m kinda of late getting to this party, but wanted to say I just love that campsite. The crew get cuter every time you post pictures of them.

    Stay safe out there and rock on, judy

  47. Douglas C Knudson says:

    We just left the area (Dolores, CO) after spending 9 wonderful days at the Outpost RV Park. We loved every minute of the weather, the people and especially the owners! I was also the “man” who talked to you and left the note on your windshield. It really was fun to finally meet you and the current canine crew. Reggie is really cute and was fun to pet!
    Enjoy SW Colorado and maybe we will cross paths again sometime in Quartzsite in the winter! Douglas C Knudson, Mesa, AZ

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It was fun meeting you, too, Douglas. I thought you might get a kick out of reading about yourself on my blog. You are now a “character” in an RVSue story! Best wishes to you and your wife as you travel and enjoy this wonderful country…

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