Camping by the ZigZag!

Monday morning, July 6 – Thursday morning, July 9

The crew and I are camped at Tollgate Campground ($21 regular/ $10.50 senior pass) on Route 26 in Mt. Hood National Forest.

P1050993Tollgate Campground, about a mile east of Rhododendron, Oregon

For those of you who like to track on a map, the crew and I leave Lazy Bend on Route 224, stop in Estacada for a few groceries, and then continue northward on 224.  At Eagle Creek (not far from where Edith lives), we take 211 to Sandy, then head east on Route 26 following along the Sandy River.  Zigzag is located at the confluence of the Sandy and Zigzag rivers.

I pull into the parking lot of the Zigzag Ranger District Office.

“We’re almost home!” I announce to Bridget and Reggie as I turn off the engine of the Perfect Tow Vehicle.  “You’ve been such good travelers today.  How about a walk-about?”

An excited scramble commences as I hook a leash to Reggie’s camo suit and another to Bridgie’s black suit.  I lift their squirmy bodies down to the pavement.

We stroll the shaded perimeter of the empty parking lot for RVs.

Two women approach us from the ranger building.  It’s Fran, a reader of this blog!  She introduces me to the woman with her (sorry, forgot the name!) who is a new full-timer.  Fran plans to become a full-time vagabonder, too, when she retires soon.

After a short chat I put the crew in the PTV and go inside the office.

I’m given a diagram of the Mt. Hood area and a list of rules for the forest.  I ask about internet signal — something I’ve been without for several days.  The ranger says “Mt. Hood is notorious for not having good signal.”

He suggests Green Canyons Campground or Tollgate. 

“You probably won’t have signal at Green Canyons but you could drive the four miles into Zigzag and get online at the coffee shop.  Tollgate might have a signal.”

I drive Salmon River Road to check Green Canyons.  I find that the sites along the river are occupied and several are too short anyway, better suited for short rigs like truck campers or for people camping with tents.  Back to Route 26, we go through Rhododendron and turn into Tollgate.

“This is nice.”

P1050999Tollgate (elevation 1700 feet) is shady and cool.

Now for the fun part . . . evaluating the campsites.

Hmm . . . only one other camper here.   The crew senses this will be home and beg to be let out.  Together we walk the best possibilities of the 15 campsites.  We look down the bank at the river.  How pretty! And you can get to the river from your campsite!  I like it here!

P1060029We complete the loop and I stop at the camp hosts’ site.

The camp host tells me that 14 out of the 15 sites are reservable sites.  Only one is non-reservable — site #11 — which means it’s available for 14 days, first come-first serve.  It’s an interior site and not on the river.

“There are some open sites on the river that you can have.  If you take one, realize that someone could reserve it for two days from now and you’d have to move.”

I state the situation calmly although it doesn’t sit well with me.

“Even though I’m here and sitting in the site, all set up, someone, say, 200 miles from here, can go online or make a phone call and grab the site right out from under me,” I reply.

I ran into the same thing at Lazy Bend.

We were lucky to grab the only first-come, first-serve RV site there.  Reservations are becoming a requirement at campgrounds traditionally first come-first serve.  This threatens the freedom of movement so precious to anyone who likes to live and travel according to whim, rather than by pre-arranged schedule.

I don’t want to make reservations for future camps.  I’ve had enough of a life lived according to appointments!

 “I know,” the host responds, ruefully shaking her head.  “That’s the way it’s done now.”

I choose site #5, a reservable site.

Well, at least we’re assured of two days.  This site is a pull-through, it’s on the river, and it’s the only site at Tollgate that picks up a signal for internet.  I pay $21 for two nights.

P1050998The blue mat is handier ever since it split and I cut it in half.

By the time I finish setting up camp, I want to get in the river!

P1050996-001The swimming hole down the bank from our campsite!

I hook the ends of the 20-foot tether to Bridget and Reggie and we make our way down the path.  A cool breeze from over the water is sufficient for the crew.

Not for me, I want in!

The water is cold, of course.  I manage to absorb the shock and stand in water up to my waist.  I really want to go in up to my shoulders.  However, I can’t force myself to do it, so I douse myself with handfuls of water.

“Don’t you want to come in the water?” I ask the crew.

The roar of the river rushing over boulders probably inhibits them from wading.  Bridget lies happily on the cool sand in the shade.  She serves as an anchor for the Reggie Man while he explores the riverbank and I play in the river.

P1060050Reggie zigzagging along the Zigzag.

A few minutes later I emerge from the river feeling like a new person!

While fixing lunch, Bridget and Reggie seem hungry.  I give them each a small bowl of kibble which they gobble.  They figure out that my lunch menu isn’t going to result in treats.  They sniff around the campsite while I eat.

P1060034Fresh corn on the cob with watermelon for desert.  Just right for an after-swim lunch!

I prepare a dishpan for the dirty dishes I’ve accumulated.

Then I take Bridget and Reggie for a walk around the campground.

Tollgate has vault toilets, trash bins, and water spigots.

P1060020Although Route 26 goes right by the campground, the sound of the river is white noise above any noise from the road.

The rest of the day I read, wash those dirty dishes, and relax.

P1060056I’m reading Ramage: Volume 1 (The Lord Ramage Novels).  As I type this I’m in Volume 3.  Exciting sea battles!  A daring, young commander of a British sailing vessel!  I love this series!

While at Tollgate we meet a couple from Sacramento.

P1060005They recently purchased a VW vanagon from a relative and this is their first time camping with it.   The woman (I’ve become hesitant about using names of people I meet) shows me how they’ve rigged up a screen for the side and back doors.  The screen is attached with velcro.

P1060002The two pieces allow entry and exit and the wide overlap makes sure the flying critters stay outside.


Years camping with a tent has taught this couple how to camp simply.  They agree that the living space is the outdoors.

P1060004The woman also shows me the old-timey Coleman stove that originally used oil that had to be pumped.

P1060009That black thing is a cooking grill held up at the right.

Using an adapter, they converted the stove to propane.  (Clicking on photos will enlarge them.)


Here’s another cooktop (below).  A grill from a hibachi is used with it.




“Most of our stuff comes from yard sales,” the woman states proudly.

Reggie scampers around their dog, Shiloh.

P1060012Reggie is a very sociable guy and Shiloh has the easy-going friendliness typical of a lab.

P1060014The couple invites me to sit with them.  They ask questions about my lifestyle.  They envision a similar retirement when the time comes.  I tell them about this blog and invite them to visit us here.

Time to wrap up this post!

While I’d love to show you all the photos I have of this lovely location in Mt. Hood National Forest, this post is long already.

P1060041 Gee, it’s great to have internet again . . . and another beautiful river!


NOTE:  We stay for three nights.  We could have stayed one more night.  Someone reserved our site for the weekend.


I appreciate you shopping Amazon from my blog.  Here’s a sample of items recently purchased by readers:

Amazon Echo
Instant Gazebo, 8 by 8-Feet, Blue
Pentax Papilio II 8.5×21 Binoculars
Snoozer Roll Around 4-in-1 Pet Carrier
Arterra 30 Amp Power Converter/Charger
Nikon COOLPIX P610 Digital Camera with 60x Optical Zoom

P1060054The swimming hole as seen from our campsite


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201 Responses to Camping by the ZigZag!

  1. Lee J in Northern California says:

    Wow, a huge post full of photos…we are rich!

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      • Linda in CO High country at 8500' says:

        Your blog is great as are your photos. What camera do you use and do you have an editing program? Thanks and may all of your days be fun.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Linda,

          My camera is a Panasonic Lumix 60X…. I use Picasa (free download) for editing.

          Thanks for the compliments!

  2. Lee J in Northern California says:

    First again, this is what happens when you have shingles and spend the day holding down a chair on the porch..ugh.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, that’s not fun. What a way to spend the summer, eh? 🙁

    • Comfrey root powder and golden seal made into a poultice applied and changed twice a day will relieve most of the simptoms. I treated my dad with this and it worked better than the prescription did. Most natural health food stores carry both. I hope it helps!

    • Marcia GB in MA says:

      I’m just getting over a bout of shingles. They are on the right side of my torso from back to front. VERY unpleasant but my PCP gave me Lidocaine patches which helped a lot with the pain and burning itch. Hope yours are gone very soon. I wouldn’t wish them on anyone – even Donald Trump! Sorry, that was inappropriate 🙁

  3. Calvin R (Ohio) says:

    The only way I can see to count on doing without reservations these days is to used dispersed camping. That looks like Plan A to me in general because it’s quieter.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re absolutely right, Calvin. However, dispersed camping isn’t always available/appealing or it’s terribly remote (which is okay occasionally but not every camp). Also camps along a river in some national forests aren’t always accessible with an RV unless you’re a local and know the few that are.

      I always prefer a boondock because they are quieter. In some places boondocking is not an attractive option. And there are times when one is going from point A to point B when one wants to pull off the road and camp without searching for a boondock. That’s why there are campgrounds along main roads, I imagine.

      Scuttlebutt has it that Mt. Hood might prohibit dispersed camping in the future to cut back on the number of forest fires.

      • You have some real points considering your goals and ideals. I hope you’ll be able to continue your travels pretty much as you like. You show me places I never thought to go and I enjoy your pictures. You’re sharp enough to discover whatever will be the best ways around your obstacles, so I can learn from that, too.

        I guess it’s a blessing that I am adaptable and do okay around people. I can camp almost anywhere when I’m en route, including truck stops and rest areas. I don’t plan to spend as much time in remote places as the bloggers I follow, and I will need towns because of 12-Step recovery. Plus, my experience is that I am happy using a minivan and adding a tent when it suits the situation. I’m sure we will both find much of our best life.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Yes, it is a slight “handicap” (for lack of a better word – what I can come up with at the moment) to not enjoy living in proximity to other people. It lessens one’s options when wanting to visit popular places like the Oregon coast.

          Our conversation illustrates how we can tailor our RVing to suit our wants and needs.

          I’m happy you find my blog enjoyable and informative. Congratulations, Calvin, on your commitment to recovery. I admire that! 🙂

  4. MollyLuvsRoadtrippin says:

    Hi Sue – Wonderful campground photos, and so refreshing to see the cold river and hear of your exhilarating dip. I am not familiar with the reservation system enough to know this detail, but do the camp hosts have a record of upcoming reservations to tell a drop in camper what is available and for how many days? And once you are there and a site is not yet reserved, can you get online and reserve it yourself for the number of days you want to stay right then? I know you like to be flexible and don’t always know when you will feel like moving on, but just wondering about this possibility for myself.

    I have been reading your blog from the beginning over the last few weeks and enjoying it as much as any book on my Kindle! A sincere thank you for sharing yourself and your travels – it has been great getting to spend time with you and the crew on your big and small daily vagabond adventures. Very informative, heart warming, eye popping, inspiring and relaxing. Love love love the Bridge – she’s a sweet star!!

    • R. now in WY says:

      About reservations. I learned my lesson while in Black Hills National Forest of SD. I really, really wanted to stay at the Horsethief Lake Campground 9 (site #23) so I made reservation through for three nights. There is a service fee charge of $9.00 per reservation besides campground fee which is $24/$12.00 per night). Then something came up and I had no choice but to cancel my reservation and this time the charge for cancelation was $19.00. Total service fee $28.00. I won’t be making any advance reservations again. There are other places to camp.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Yikes! That’s what is known as “highway robbery!” I’m sorry you were burned. Thanks for sharing that. Maybe you have saved someone else from being fleeced.

        “There are other places to camp.” Let’s hope the day doesn’t come when all campgrounds require reservations.

        On a happier note… You’re in a wonderful spot now!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Molly,

      Welcome to my blog! I’m very pleased that you’re reading the older posts. And what a compliment!

      Yes, the camp host frequently checks online to keep informed what reservations have been made. Some campgrounds have signs at each site telling you whether it’s a reservable site. All campgrounds I’ve seen the camp host puts a notice at the campsite when a reservation has been made and it shows the dates.

      Yes, I could take an open, reservable campsite and then reserve it for days beginning two days in the future. In other words, I arrive on a Monday. It’s open for two days (because reservations must be made two days in advance). On Tuesday I decide I want to stay more than two days. I can then make a reservation starting Thursday (and hope no one made a reservation late Monday for Wednesday).

      Of course I have to pay a $10, non-refundable fee, which grates my grits. And if there isn’t internet signal I have to drive somewhere in order to phone or go online to make the reservation. Are we having fun?

      See how UN-simple it is? I hate reservations.

      Thanks for writing… I enjoyed hearing from you!

      • Walt says:

        When I get to retire and full-time, I can certainly see where having access to first-come, first-serve campsites will be a blessing. As someone not yet able to full-time and someone who has limited opportunities (at the moment) to get out there, I also appreciate the ability to reserve and thereby guarantee myself a spot at the places I can and want to visit.

        I’m not a fan of the reservation fees or of the concessionaire operations increasingly found in Forest Service campgrounds. Both speak to me of the increasing privatization of our natural resources and of nature itself. Hopefully, when my time comes to get out on the road, there will still be open spaces available for dispersed camping.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Walt,

          You present both a balanced view of the reservation issue. I wish you many years of finding “open spaces” to enjoy. 🙂

  5. DebsJourney says:

    Beautiful camp Sue!
    Lovely place to stay… too bad about the reservation thing, that sucks.
    Everything is good here at my quiet little RVpark where I have a pool to myself pretty much. I decompressing after a very long long couple years. Things are beginning to flow in a new direction toward the journey at hand. hugs!

    Like you I’m a full timer.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deb!

      I’ve been wanting to congratulate you! I was very happy reading your comment about moving to the RV Park. And you have a pool! Relax and enjoy… You deserve it. I love your statement about things flowing in a new direction. 🙂

  6. Sherri D says:

    Is the blue rug made of a plastic type of ‘material’? We finally got our RV out of the shop (3 weeks and over $3000) and are working to get it outfitted for camping. We have some items and need more. One, must-have, is a rug. In the past we’ve used older house area rugs on top of a tarp. I recently saw the plastic woven rugs at a camping store. I wondered how easy they were to use, to clean, to fold up and store, and how they felt on bare feet?

    We’ve owned our RV for over two months now and have yet to get out anywhere. Again, I am living vicariously through your blog Sue. Thanks for posting! 😀

    • Cynthia from San Clemente, CA says:

      Hi Sherri: We use 2 of those large “plastic” rugs when we’re out with our RV. You can get them at camping stores and places like Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart. I think they feel fine under bare feet – just try to get any large pebbles out of the way before you lay them down or that will hurt! If it rains, water pretty much goes right thru them and they are easy to sweep. If you lay them on top of dirt they will, of course, get dirty on the bottom. I just fold mine up, one “crease” at a time, sweeping the underside as I fold. That way, when we load it back in our RV storage area, it’s relatively clean. Oh, and if you’re in an area with even a little wind, it helps to put a few objects (BBQ, chairs, rocks) around the perimeter so the rug doesn’t take flight 🙂 Hope you get out in your RV before too long and enjoy !!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Good info, Cynthia. I do want to caution anyone about putting objects at the corner. If your bifocals tend to slip, you might trip. I have and since then I stake the corners, driving the stakes flush to the ground… or I don’t stake at all if there’s no wind.

        Oh, and remember, you can get your mat at Amazon, too! 🙂

      • We also use the plastic type camping rugs and love them! The dirt shakes right out of the and you can roll the or fold them easily for storage. We tried using a regular house area rug but it was a pain to get the dirt out of and to store! With the plastic style rugs, the sand and dirt go right through them and not into your rig !

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Sherri D.

      Yes, my mat is plastic … poly-sumpthin-or-other. It’s easy to clean (I rarely do because dirt shakes off of it) and it’s easy to fold up — light and flexible. It dries quickly after a rain.

      It feels good with bare feet, too. I’ve had mine almost four years and it only snagged once — my fault when moving a chair. It’s starting to unravel on one edge.

      When the center fold line started to give out, I went ahead and cut it, making two equal-sized mats. This gives me several options… I can even have a wrap-around “porch!”

      I haven’t seen my rug’s brand anywhere. This one is comparable in size, construction, and price.

      Reversible Mat Brown & Beige Patio Mat Item No:119127 (9′ x 12′)

  7. R. now in WY says:

    Lovely spot and right on the river and very inspiring photos.
    I too camped last night by the river at the lovely campground (Big Game) west of Cody, WY. It is run by Shoshone National Forest. $10.00/$5.00 . There is no drinking water but there is trash collection and the host ( I think his name is George) keeps this campground in a great condition and keeps his small dog on a leash. Near by are other campgrounds where you can get as much water as you need.
    Sue, are there any wildflowers in the area?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, R.,

      Your spot sounds great! You remind me of the inexpensive campgrounds found in other states. I’ve encountered higher fees in Oregon. 🙁

      Yes, there are wildflowers… summer varieties like daisies, buttercups, wild roses, day lilies, etc… Many I don’t recognize– And the berry bushes are past flowering with fruit ready to ripen…

      I had planned to go to the Shoshone around Cody last year but Spike’s passing had me changing my mind. I look forward to going there as it seems like an area I would truly enjoy.

      I’m happy for you, R.! I think of you sometimes when I pass a trailhead. Lots of them in Mt. Hood NF.

  8. DeAnne in TN says:

    Read and in the top 10!

  9. Timber n' me says:

    Nice Camp and swimmin’ hole Sue,,,,, Timber says Hi to the pups,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, We went down the Flamin’ Gorge from Wy into Utah and been hit by rain almost every day and now we’re setttin’ in the Dixie NF south east of Brian Head just off Hwy 14 west of Hwy 89 and not far from the AZ border,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, me

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rusty..

      Gee, I’m sorry you ran into rain around Flaming Gorge. Ashley NF is such a pretty place to camp. I’m going to look in my atlas to see where you are now. Happy camping! Thanks for keeping in touch. Hi, Timber!

    • Cat Lady on the road in Panguitch, Utah says:

      Rusty, I think I’m not far from you and Timber. I’m at Paradise Rv Cg, Panguitch, Ut, on Hwy 89.

      Cat Lady

      • Timber n' me says:

        Hi Cat Lady, We’re southwest of you, ’bout 35 miles, as a Crow flies. ,,,, It’s cooler here at 7’700 ft.,, Boondockin’ for 16 days, we arrived here the 8th and to day it’s clear. We have a burnt cliff to our south, ’bout 30 ft. and a big meadow to the north on the other side of the forest road 062, as the Benchmark map shows, just pass Stout Canyon road 063 , ’bout a mile west…,,,,,,,, us

        • Timber n' me says:

          C/3, page 82,,,, we’re not far from you, Cat Lady,,,, have a great day,,,,,,,,,,,,, rusty

          • Cat Lady on the road in Panguitch, UT says:

            I don’t have the Benchmark maps, Rusty…sorry. My daughter and I were returning from Best Friends in Kanab Saturday and saw a large forest fire. Was that close to you?

            Would love to meet you and Timber some day. Take care.

            Cat Lady

            • Timber n' me says:

              Hi Cat Lady, the forest fires,, one is in Zion NP near Angels Flight, and there is a Fire near MT. Emma near the Grand Canyon,,,, I’m North of a area that had burned a few years ago, 2012 or 2013.,,, I always check for fires on a web site to be aware of what’s around us and where not to camp. ,,, this site shows where the fires are, maps, closers and which way the wind is blowing, one should not breath the smoke, it has fire retardant in it and can be a hazard to ones health.,,, ,,, We are goin’ to try and camp most of this month and August in Utah, then on to Flagstaff AZ area in September,,,,, I en joy meetin’ folks,,, rusty

  10. LoupGarou says:

    Regarding the reservation issue, can’t you reserve the site for additional nights once your there?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, you can…. two nights in the future. See my reply to Molly (above).

      When you’re a person who decides where she wants to camp only hours before making that camp, a two-day-in-advance reservation system (not to mention the additional fee) doesn’t work.

  11. Cynthia from San Clemente, CA says:

    Sue: In a situation like that, why can’t you just get on your phone immediately and call and make a reservation for the amount of time you want to stay? There is more than one way to skin a cat!! (What a disgusting expression, but you know what I mean …) I don’t know if that campground uses ReserveAmerica for its reservation system, but for those that do, I have a strong suspicion RA puts pressure on the governmental entity contracting with it to provide reservation services, to increase the number of site that are by reservation only. Since they get a service fee “per reservation” they make more money while those who are out on the road get screwed. Oh dear, it’s a beautiful Saturday morning and I’ve gotten myself all worked up over the frustrations of bureaucracies!!! I’m going to go breath deeply now.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cynthia,,,

      Your opening question…. Ah, there’s the rub! I don’t live like that. In other words I don’t know how long I want to stay two days in advance. If I go ahead and make a reservation on Monday that starts on Wednesday and goes through the weekend, you can bet the Generator From Hell or The Loudest Children Who Ever Camped or Radio Music Man or Lumberjack Who Chops Wood and Yells at his Wife will move into the site next to us. See what I mean?

      As for the number of first-come, first serve sites in a campground… The requirement is 10 percent. That means a campground with 15 sites has only one FCFS campsite. Makes the odds of finding a site without a reservation pretty poor during the on-season.

      And yes, there’s money being made with the additional reservation fee.

      Yes, go breathe deeply. Sorry to bring up this negative aspect, but it’s part of keeping y’all informed!

      • Cynthia from San Clemente, CA says:

        LMAO – “Generator From Hell or The Loudest Children Who Ever Camped or Radio Music Man or Lumberjack Who Chops Wood and Yells at his Wife” Gee, I think we’ve had some of the same neighbors!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Oh, I forgot The Guy Who Calls Me The F-Word” . . . . Ha!

          • Gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

            Calls you the f-word? You mean “fantastic”? 🙂

          • Nancy from South Georgia says:

            You make me laugh, Sue! I love the names which include characterizations, and yes, I’d be packing up and getting on out of there, too, before my temper got the best of me.

            That is the essence of RVing, right there. Have Wheels, Will Travel. Not like being stuck on a long-term basis beside an inconsiderate neighbor in a sticks-n-bricks.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              And, hopefully, moving away without forfeiting campground fees paid in advance with a reservation!

              Hi, Nancy… Hope you’re keeping cool in south Georgia and enjoying the summer.

  12. Barb from Hoquiam says:

    Tee heee. I am so excited, my Racy pup is coming today!!!! And my camp neighbors sold me a puppy play pen!!! He always get wrapped up in his tethers!

    Beautiful spot. Yep I have gotten very frustrated by the reservation system. It is not very easy to use either, in WA.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, no wonder you’re excited, Barb! And Racy will race around, excited, too! That’s nice that you have a puppy pen. They do come in handy.

      Hugs to you and Racy!

    • DesertGinger says:

      I used to live on 72nd street in Puyallup!

      • Hugs from Hoquiam/Orting says:

        Fun Ginger!
        It is a desert out here right now! No rain in months!!!

    • Krystina - In Longview, Oregon says:

      Holy cow Barb!!! At the moment I am in the Walmart parking lot on Meridian in Puyallup!! SMALL world I’d say. How far are you from me?

  13. John & BJ says:

    You’ve nailed the reason I dislike the reservation system. It works well for the weekenders but plays havoc with those of us that prefer flexibility. If they were to change the 2 day window to five days it would be better, but I don’t expect anything except seeing more campgrounds moving towards the reservation system.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I see the same thing, John & BJ. Up until this summer it didn’t affect us much. I’m hearing from camp hosts that “this is the first year we’ve been on a reservation system.” It’s spreading and, like you say, it’s fine for weekenders, not for those of us who like to wander or like to be able to change our minds to move with the weather, for example.

      Oregon campgrounds are very popular in the summer. The inland campgrounds are becoming like the coastal campgrounds… chock full of folks sitting on a reservation.

      Not a happy topic but the silver lining is it brought you here to the comments section. 🙂 Nice hearing from you!

  14. Geneva S. says:

    Hi Sue
    Welcome to my neck of the woods. I am currently in Gresham just down the road(west) of you.
    I retired in Feb after 28 years with a large hospital group and 40+ years in the nursing field.
    I currently am waiting until midweek when I sign the final papers on my house and can get back on the road.
    I sold my Explorer and bought a small class C rv. It is just under 25 feet so at this time I am choosing not to have a tow.
    I just returned from a 2 week road trip to Wisconsin to meet my first great grandson and am looking forward to being able to travel at a slower pace and to take my time (1st lesson learned)
    I have been reading your articles for about a year and find you are very much an inspiration to me for going solo. I find your blogs not only entertaining but also very insightful on aspects of camping. At this moment I do not have a 4 legged companion knowing that first I need to learn not only how to take care of myself but my rig. Next year I will start to visit animal shelters and see who chooses me.
    Safe travels

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Geneva! Welcome to my blog! Your comment makes your blogorino status official.

      Thanks for the compliment on my blog and for the interesting introduction. I know readers, including me, enjoy having a glimpse into other RVers lives, travels, choice of rig, plans for the future, etc. It’s fun!

      You sound like you know what you’re doing and where you are going. How nice that you met your great grandson. Safe travels to you, too….

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Welcome aboard, Geneva,

      I like the sounds of your rig and plans. Will be fun to see which “crew” chooses you 🙂

    • Krystina - Puyallup, WA says:

      Welcome Geneva. Love hearing about folks are just getting on the road!

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Welcome to Sue’s little on-line family, Geneva! 🙂

  15. weather says:

    It sounds as if the crew has contentedly settled back into being their usual great travelers and campers,no reports of their panting so I guess it’s been somewhat cooler for all of you,as well.Nice that you had wildflowers ,too,it makes a place so much prettier when those grow there.You are close to Washington’s border,even with the detours you’ve really made good time on this season’s trek north.I hope where you are now has internet access and that you aren’t in a hot vehicle posting this.Take good care of you three,nice to hear from you again 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      So much to write about I forgot to mention that we have internet at our newest camp. And yes, it is much cooler now. . . in the 80s. Since we left Tollgate, it has dropped into the 70s according to the weather widget in the sidebar.

      Yeah, that posting in the PTV was brutal. Oh well, small price to pay for wonderful camps!

      I’ve enjoyed your comments over the past days. . . . Sorry about keeping the “Dumb Things” post up for so long. That bothered me, too…

      Hope all is well at your “camp”…. Did you find anything that interests you when you went to look at rigs?

      • weather says:

        Cooler temps and typing in the comfort of your own home,what nice changes,I’m so glad for you.The post being up a while didn’t bother me because I knew you were alright,I’m just easily amused and a Pooh fan.I’ve seen several rigs that interested me ,nothing I was convinced was right in aspects and/or price however.A saving grace in life that’s held me in good stead is to admire readily while selecting rarely.All is wonderfully well here,thank you for hoping so.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          “to admire readily while selecting rarely”… Wow!

          I remember the moment when I became aware that I could enjoy things fully without owning them. The desire to “have” many things had slipped away.

          • weather says:

            Pair my phrase and your last paragraph and we could take pages and hours to discuss the topic and it’s applications in life-to mates,friends,Who to worship,material things,life styles,and yes,RVs.

            You likely moved yours again today,I searched the web for accessories to make one I’m considering work well and enjoyed seeing the country side while running errands.The fruit and vegetable stands are all open,this week I’ll pick blueberries because they’re ripe .It’s such a blessing to have our pick in so many areas…to be able to select,to choose.Don’t worry-I’m not going anywhere deep with this,Ha!I have a small watermelon fresh out of a nearby field I decided to save for tomorrow,because I chose to have a candy bar for dessert instead.Hope your dreams tonight are as sweet,n’ nite.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Good morning, weather. . .

              We are blessed with abundant food and in such variety! I think about that sometimes when shopping. Choosing a loaf of bread is a major project. Haha! Many people on this plant live on a diet of only a few different things for their entire lives…. We have the choice of thousands… maybe millions if you count all the brands!

              You had a candy bar and I had a piece of cake. When bakeries started packaging individual cake slices for purchase, I think they had me in mind. I really have a struggle avoiding cake!

              Enjoy your watermelon. May your entire day be sweet!

            • weather says:

              My only chance at winning a struggle with any sweets is found in not having them here,so I seldom buy them 🙂 Thanks,my day has been sweet.It was 90degrees while I got some work done outside,a cold water sponge bath afterwards was so welcome!I imagine that’s what your river dips after blogging in the sweltering PTV or after doing much of anything felt like while you had high temps.I’m very glad you got away from that.Do you drive with vents open in the BLT so it’s cool enough to be in when you get to a new camp?

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              No, I don’t drive with any vents open. When we arrive at a camp I open all the windows and vents. We stay outside almost all day anyway so it isn’t a problem waiting for the BLT to lose any accumulated heat. The ceiling fan works great for pumping hot air out or cool air in, depending upon how I set it.

  16. rhodium says:

    As always a wonderful post. I notice Amazon is making a big deal of sales this Wednesday, the 15th (only for Prime members, but I read one can join for free for a month, just be sure you know how to cancel if you don’t want it). We buy a lot from Amazon but we often forget to go via your blog, so you lose out. This Wednesday, in case I see something I want, I am going to make sure I use your link so you get the credit. I would encourage all the other blogorinos to do the same, so you have a tangible and quantifiable record of how much we appreciate all the work you do so we can follow your travels. That way we can turn Prime Day into RVSue Day. I’m not very good on living on less, but I do enjoy your writing more and more.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you very much, rhodium.

      Hey, if you’re aren’t very good at living on less, support those who are! Haha! 🙂

      Seriously… I’ll see if I can find an ad for the Wednesday deal for Prime members.

      Thanks for the compliment on this post and my writing. Happy shopping!

      UPDATE… I placed an ad about Prime in the sidebar. I appreciate you alerting us.

  17. The trees are HUGE in your photos! Wow! I don’t know that I have ever seen trees that tall! Beautiful campground! We are so glad to see you in cooler weather! Wish I had your swimming hole in my back yard! Glad to know you have internet too! Yay! Hug the pooches from us!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hugs to you, Chuck, Doogie, and Radar… Always makes me smile to see you here.

      Several of the photos, the trees are twice as tall as the photos indicate. The branches begin high up… makes a lovely shade.

      Hope things have settled down at your place… No more surprise windstorm-tornado thingies!

      • No, but that was last Sunday, then Tuesday our AC quit! It was 99+ inside the MotherShip! Chuck made us one of those home made evaporate cooler out of an ice chest, a small fan and a 5″ 93° sewer PVC elbow and a 20 lb bag of ice!! We found the directions on Facebook and I posted it also if anyone wants to look up the how to on making one! It took about 15 minutes to make and about 10 minutes actually start cool air coming out but within an hour the temp went down from 99° to a livable 85° and kept us cool for the rest of the day! Those darned things work great! We were thinking about you Sue, and the heat you were in! We were using our small DC fan, not electric, because it was all we had! Later on, Bubba, our neighbor, fixed our AC and changed it from analog to digital and it runs much cooler! Such an exciting and expensive week! LOL! If you want to see the directions for making this cooler, I am on FB as Geri Moore Hajek!

  18. Reservations make people comfortable and the fees are profit.
    Profits and structure seems to be the way our world is going.

    It was “nice” that there was a single spot for drop ins!

  19. Chris B - Southern California says:

    Hi Sue! I run into that reservation problem as well because we never make reservations. Heck, we are never 100% certain where we are going when we leave the house! When we went to Mammoth for a few days which was a detour because of roadwork at Rock Creek Lake along highway 395, I was told the same thing. I went back to my trailer, got online and reserved the site that I was in! I knew that we were going to stay there for three or four nights, so I reserved them. I also look for the non-reservations sites wherever we go. I was leery because I thought that they would be the bottom of the barrel sites but I have found that some of them are really good.

    Thanks for all the wonderful photos and for naming your locations. We will most likely be heading up the Oregon on our next trip. I just love those forests!

    Chris B

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Chris. . . . Yes, the forests are delightful and I love being near water.

      I’m glad the reservation worked out for you. It’s a crap shoot. Never know who is going to move in next to you.

      You’re right. Sometimes the non-reservable sites are good. When there’s only one though, I get a little peeved, missing not being able to choose my campsite (I like to live day-to-day, and not reserve). Picking a campsite is part of the fun! At Lazy Bend we were next to the highway, a site I would never choose, if given a choice. I was happy to get it though, since the holiday weekend was about to arrive.

  20. Leander Linda says:

    I ran into a similar situation with the reservations once in NM. The campground was empty, but to get my site, I had to reserve a spot online, even though I was standing next to the campground host. The cell signal was so weak I wasn’t sure we would be able to get on line. It was crazy. Luckily I got through, but for a while there I thought we would have to camp somewhere else. Even though there were plenty of available sites.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda,

      We are becoming increasingly tied to electronics. I can think of so many scenarios where the reservation system is in opposition to common sense and even safety. You’re driving along and the wind gusts increase to where you need to get off the road. You’re relieved to come to a campground and pull in. Can’t stay! The one non-reservable site is filled because that person wanted to get off the highway, too! And the reserved sites sit empty because people change their minds due to the turbulent weather but they don’t contact ReserveAmerica right away.

      I’m glad you were able to secure a campsite.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Being able to do things online can be great, but it’s a bit sad when you “can’t” go camping without making a reservation over the Internet. I wish the options for both ways were more even instead of being skewed so heavily toward Internet and reservations.

  21. kgdan says:

    Like Weather, I too have noticed that you are getting closer & closer to the WA. border. From this post you are about 162 miles from us & maybe even closer by now.
    Beautiful scenery. Sure would like to take the maiden trip with the new rig but just not doable right now. So we are ‘camping’ vicariously with you.

    We are taking advantage of lots of fresh produce. Since we have beaucoup zucchini, I have picked up one of those spiralizer gizmos and now we eat zucchini ‘noodles’ frequently. Very good and refreshing in the hot weather. We are seeing better temps this week –back to 80’s & 90’s—nice.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kathy,

      Love your solution to the zucchini bounty! Yes, it’s so nice to have the temperatures down . . . . You’re going to be surprised when I post about our present location. 🙂

  22. Gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

    That’s an especially handsome photo of your rig! Seems only thing I can pull with my V6 Town & Country is a pop-up tent camper, 1500 lbs. Do you or your blogerinos see many of them in the campgrounds? It wouldn’t be to live in full time, of course, better than sleeping on the ground or cooking in the rain. I hear that they do leak somewhat in the rain. Anybody have any opinions? Thx!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Gayle, regarding the photo of the BLT and PTV.

      Sure, I see pop-up tent campers. I don’t know anything about them other than what I see. I tend to favor hard-sided campers. Sleeping in a tent or in a pop-up in bear country isn’t for me!

      READERS: Any opinions, experiences, pros and cons about pop-up tent campers?

      • Jolene says:

        My son and daughter both have/had popups and my son now has a hybred which is the popout beds with a hard side camper. They both love their campers.

        Popups can leak if the canvas isn’t taken care of properly. Another thing to think about is security, the canvas is just snapped down and very easily undone.

        Many people enjoy many happy times in these types of campers, not a good option for fulltime unless you really have to and generally a starting point or stepping stone type unit for a hardsided camper.

        • Jolene says:

          Another thing is that a popup is cheaper and that is why many people who start in tents go to them next when money is a factor in their decision.

          • Gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

            Thx for input! I’m happier sleeping under lock and key in my minivan rather than in a tent. Not “brave” like RVSue! So, I think why tow something that I’m not secure sleeping in? Is it too crazy to hang out in the tent trailer all day and sleep in my van? Yes, RVSue, the bear consideration is alive and well! Pop-ups are banned in some nat’l parks with a heavy bear presence. Growl! Rip!

            • Carlene from NoCal says:

              Gayle, I’ve got a tent that attaches to the end of my dodge caravan. sleep in the van, the back lift gate can stay open to the tent but can be shut from the inside if needed. the tent has screens on 2 sides, a screen and door on a 3rd side and you can disconnect the tent from the van, zip it up and leave it at the campground like any other tent. It gives you a bit more living space, 9″x9′.
              I’ll be in it full time, oh my I’m so excited, around 7-25.
              Happy trails, thanks

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Gee, Carlene… You’re almost there! 🙂

            • Carlene from NoCal says:

              down to single digits on the house closing… then I can really breathe. Happy travels to everyone.

      • Pam and Maya says:

        I’m living full time in a pop-up camper and for the most part love it! It’s cooler than a trailer because of the large windows all around the cabin. Even in 90 degree weather I can keep it cool with a few fans as long as it is situated so the southern sun
        is not beaming down on it. I love the feeling of having the forest all around me. They are roomy with lots of storage space. The one down side is it takes about an hour and a half for one person to break down the trailer and an hour to set back up. But I’m used to it. One other plus is I tow it with my Subaru Forester and get great gas mileage.
        The new reservation systems are making my blood pressure go up, I hate them! Why can’t they compromise and have half and half?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Pam and Maya,

          “I love the feeling of the forest all around me.” Yes! I hadn’t thought about that re pop-ups. I get that feeling with the BLT being a Liberty Deluxe. The back half has three big windows. I enjoyed seeing water on three sides when camped on a little peninsula. It’s nice, isn’t it, sleeping with a breeze flowing over you, the scent of forest, whispering pine boughs. . . ahhhh… 🙂

      • Pamela K. in GA says:

        About pop-ups…

        We had a pop-up years ago, in the 1980s.
        They are fine for the casual campers but if you camp often they tend to get worn very easy. Fixing those worn areas is pretty expensive unless you use duck tape and bubblegum wire, lol.

        Pop-ups campers often limit your camping to lite seasonal camping. Not exactly hardy for winter camping options unless you run a lot of heat/propane and do it all night long. I would not suggest that as a good long-term option.

        Bears and other wildlife, no real protection from them. Snakes and critters can get in them easily too. We were surprised at how brazen Racoons are about getting into them if they smell food! Needless to say, our dogs went crazy!!! Sold it shortly after that.

        Rently, within the past two years, we have seen people have some real issues with them. I couple got their pop-up stuck in the almost up position, could not hand crank it down and had to wait several hours for an RV Repair person to come and fix it so they could, then, begin to camp. It was only 2 yrs old and they were not happy. The RV Repair bill was a pretty penny too.

        Another couple full-timed in their newer pop-up while they house was being built. We stayed in the same campground with them. They had a lightning strike strike their pop-up during a GA storm! No kidding! Everyone inside was safe, thank god, but even still… WOW! Theirs was the only camper the lightning hit…the campground was full that weekend. Just sayin’, again, no real protection from a lot of factors that can and do happen.

        For about the same money, a Teardrop, especially the fiberglass ones, might be a better option and a small car can tow them without any issues. Some even come with an inside galley option for inside cooking or you can cook inside with the 12V options when it rains or is colder (ie: crock pots, fry pans, hot pots, etc).

        All this is not to say that pop-up campers are not good. They are. Just know your many limits with them and choose your camp locations and camping times accordingly. IMHO, I personally would opt for hard-sides safety factor and forego the extra space factor. That said, many people swear by them and love them. It’s like everything else, camp your own camp 🙂

      • R. now in WY says:

        There are some campgrounds here in WY that allow camping only in hard sided campers. No tents or pup-ups. I talked to one couple who owns new pup-up camper and using on weekends only. They tried very hard to sell me their camper. They have a now plan to buy a hard sided RV in the spring.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      I can’t speak to a pop up as i have never had one, but another option might be a 13′ Scamp/Boler/Burro/Trillium etc. You would want to keep both the trailer and tow vehicle contents light, plus weigh to be sure you were where you thought you were, weight-wise but I have spent extensive time in a 13-er and found it very comfy. Of course that is subjective, but nothing you can tow will be a palace anyway.

      • Gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

        Thanks! I always wondered if the 13-ft was really comfortable or just cute! Now I know!

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          I actually found mine to be just super in terms of not only usable space, but the feel of efficiency and… not sure how to describe it, but… roundness. I mean, there is living space all around you, if that makes sense. Also, they are somewhat flexible in how you set them up. i.e. “two person” dinette in front (two single seats) plus “double” bed in back; or full time dinette in back “four person size” and ample single bed up front, etc. etc. I liked being able to rearrange sometimes to suit my purposes at the time.

          The thing you give up is a shower room and bathroom. There is a porta potti that slides into a cubby. However if you are solo, then that makes the whole rig a really roomy “bathroom” and if you can take a navy bath, you have tons of elbow room. Would work for two as well if someone went outside, but I mean as a solo you have that factor of privacy all the time. ‘course that’s all subjective as to what is comfortable and what is not.

          It is also quite possible to go over 1500# in a 13-er, but you can also keep them under if you just watch it a bit (mine was). You can also have brakes put on the trailer – highly recommended with a slightly marginal tow vehicle and not that expensive.

          I towed with a station wagon and there were one or two times I slept in the back of the car just because I felt like it (rest area, etc.). Best of both worlds in a way 🙂

          Anyway, I loved mine and it would be the first thing I would try for if I had a vehicle that would only tow 1500# (although as I mentioned, still realize you are cutting it close, weigh often, get brakes on the trailer, and drive conservatively). Within those guidelines I feel it is doable. Something to check on anyway 🙂

          • Pamela K. in GA says:

            You make great points, Pen! If they can tow a 13″ lite weight then that would be a clear answer for sure. 🙂 And the cuteness factor is off the charts, those little ones are just so darn cute!!! And you’re right about the roundness factor, cozy, comfy and doesn’t give that closed-in boxy feeling. I really notice that often when we go to someone else’s camper after being in our 19ft Airstream. Even the larger square shaped campers somehow *feel* smaller than ours. Both heat and air circulate well in the round shaped ones too! This last month WE were the only ones in the campground that didn’t go over the electric allotment budget! And we stayed very cool with the AC on most of the time, day and night…in Georgia’s humid temps! There’s a lot to be said for small and round, all good. 🙂

  23. Sandy says:

    As a person who has a VW van and who goes to camp outs with people who have VW vans, I appreciated the pictures you took of the Vanagon. The campsite you chose looks amazing. I love camping on the water every chance I can. I really appreciate your blog and look forward to new postings.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sandy,

      It’s my pleasure to show different kinds of rigs. I want readers to see the various ways one can camp, travel, and see the country.

      I was impressed with this couple. They appreciate nature and they understand the wisdom of slowing one’s pace to enjoy it fully. They know how to equip themselves for camping without throwing a lot of money at it. And it looks like they are having fun with their vanagon!

      Thank you for mentioning that you appreciate my blog. 🙂

    • Pamela K. in GA says:

      I really admire your VW rig! I wish the U.S. would embrace the VW campers like the EU countries do. They really seem to fully dress out their units and have many functions centering on their VW rigs. People even have built their Weddings around them and then honeymoon in them… How COOL is that?! Love the spunk that so many VW camper owners have. Camping should be that fun!

  24. Jolene says:

    Hi Sue, This is just a wonderful campground. I love the green, trees and water. This is my kind of place.

    The reservation system can be frustrating at times but like you said, for weekenders, it does work out well.

    Glad the temps are cooler for you now. That water looked so wonderful, I bet that felt great! Enjoy your stay, looking forward to the next campsite!! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jolene,

      I noticed something tenters do at Tollgate that I think is really neat. There are a couple of riverside sites that have a lower level reached by the path that goes to the river. Imagine pitching a tent on a natural, grassy terrace close to the wild water crashing over the rocks.

      I spoke with a woman whose tent was set up close to the river. I simply commented in passing, “You have a wonderful tent site!” She responded that she’s hoping to have a good night’s rest because her husband is a chronic snorer. “Maybe the sound of the river will be white noise so I can sleep!”

      Thanks for the nice note…

      • Jolene says:

        That is awesome Sue. I bet those tenters really enjoy that!!

      • BadgerRickInWis says:

        I hate to be the no-fun police but check out principal number 2.

        • BadgerRickInWis says:

          I also have to add that this is especially true in a high traffic area like a USFS campground. All it would take is one group a week to camp in an area like that to kill off the natural vegetation and open the area to increased erosion. Just sayin’.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Good point, Rick…. That’s usually true. I’m not so sure in this case… I can’t remember if the ground was hard-packed sand or whether there was vegetation being covered. I do see the results of what you are referring to when I stay in USFS campgrounds — campsites made 3 or 4 times as large as their original size by tents killing the ground cover.

  25. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Another pretty site on the river, with a refreshing swimming hole just for you. Little Reggie is certainly the explorer.
    I will be getting Carli tomorrow afternoon. She also likes to explore. Her foster mom sent me multiple pages on getting her acclimated to new surroundings, her habits, times of the day she does various activities, keeping up what she has learned to this point, etc. I am sooo excited and a little nervous too. Thank goodness she is not yappy or a barker.
    Can’t wait to hear about the new site. Oregon is such a beautiful state to camp. Too bad they are going to the reservation system. Not sure what TN does. Since I don’t have a camper yet, not too worried at this point.
    I am very thankful to you for all the time you take to put this blog together for our enjoyment.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Barbara,

      You must be so anxious for tomorrow to arrive! I’m guessing the foster mom is a bit attached to Carli… sending all that info, like a mother sending off a child. Yes, you are fortunate Carli’s not a barker! (Right, Reggie?)

      I hope you will tell us more about Carli after she’s home with you. No need to be nervous. You have what it takes to make her happy and to give her a good life, and dogs are very forgiving. 🙂

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Oh, how exciting! Little Carli will be coming home tomorrow!! 🙂

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      To-mo-rrow! Yay!

      Lucky you, and lucky Carli!

    • Krystina - Puyallup, WA says:

      As this IS Sunday you must be so excited! Can’t wait to hear how she is adapting to you and you to her 🙂

    • Pamela K. in GA says:

      Just now catching up for the weekend. So happy, happy, happy for you and Carli !!! Now’s Monday, so she has been in her new forever home a full first night…mondo cool! So, tell us, have you gone *girl shopping* for her yet? LOL! I always loved doing that for all my pups. So fun to find them toys, beds, bowls, blankets, and treats…lots of treats 🙂
      Super CONGRATS!

  26. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Oh, I forgot, I ordered a bunch of stuff for Carli through your site.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I saw all that stuff and wondered about the surge in dog product sales! Thank you, Barbara! 🙂

    • Pamela K. in GA says:

      LOL, see above. I just commented about the *girl shopping* for her. Didn’t read down to the next entry til now. Yep, knew ya would 🙂 🙂 🙂
      Good Pet-Momma!

  27. AZ Jim says:

    Missy, I saw something I have to share with you and the gang. Makes one think. Love where you were and looking forward to our next stop.

  28. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Nice campground with a swimming hole! Looks like you found a perfect spot, being able to have the PTV positioned to catch some sun for the solar. Bridget’s “sit” comes in handy for anchoring little motor man Reggie! Thanks for sharing other folks rig of choice and their cooking gear. It is always fun and educational to learn from you and others.

    Looking forward to seeing your new camp! Sending you and the Crew hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂 We are relaxing tonight, watching old Lawrence Welk show reruns on PBS. Takes me back to being a kid…. 🙂

    P.S. – I plan to take advantage of some hopefully good sales on Amazon’s big Prime Sale day…07/15. Amazon is touting the sales as better than Black Friday…we’ll see if it lives up to the hype! Fellow blogorinos…it might be a good time to do some early Christmas shopping! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Through Sue’s Amazon link, of course! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      I appreciate the feedback on topics I write about. It is “fun and educational” to see how others go RVing and what rigs and equipment they have. Thanks also for promoting Prime Sale Day. I hope Amazon gives great deals!

      Hugs to you and Gracie pup!

  29. Pookieboy in SE Texas says:

    great post, Sue……I felt like I was riding with you in the passenger seat
    and when you went into the cold water the hair on the back of my neck
    stood up as I have been in water like that….HA
    I have also been to campgrounds once that do what your camp does…
    what I did was find a campsite I wanted then I called and made reservations
    for that site….I was lucky that it hadnt been reserved yet by anyone else…
    keep up the good work, young lady………

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Whatever works for you, Chuck. I refuse to take part in the reservation system. Not that anyone would notice my absence…. Haha!

      Thanks for the positive reaction to this post. It enjoyed swimming with you. 😉

  30. Casitagirl from NY says:

    This is just an FYI re shopping from Amazon through RVSue. If you go to Amazon from her page and then bookmark that page you will always get to “her” Amazon without having to go to this blog first. Probably everybody knows this already, just passing on a tip!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Casitagirl. It’s a no-no for me to suggest that. Okay if you do! 🙂

  31. Lynn Brooks says:

    So glad you are enjoying the area!

  32. Rocky mtn Bob says:

    Hi Sue, been awhile since I’ve written, but you’re right about reservations. It used to be less than 50% of the sites here in Colorado were reservable, don’t know what it is now. If you are there on site it should be yours until you leave. I think there is”some payola” involved. With today’s “technology” there is no need for 2 day,(or 5 day) ahead time, 1st one there, (physically or electronic), gets the site, period!!!!
    Have been following your blog since day one and you are changing, keep up the reports, “good and bad”, none of that PC stuff.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rocky mtn Bob,

      Good to see you here again. Of course, I agree with you regarding occupancy of campsites.

      You threw me with “you are changing.” I’m not sure what you mean… I’ll assume it’s a good thing!

    • Pookieboy in SE Texas says:

      whats irritating to me is that the government reservation system is done by a private firm and they charge $9 to make reservations and also to cancel a reservation…. at one certain campground in Texas (national forest) you dont even get the full 50% senior discount….so I dont stay there anymore…..but in saying that when the fall gets here if you dont have a reservation you wont be camping there since this certain campground stays full for 3-4 months at a time….

  33. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Something to be said for a lovely setting like you share here…and brave woman, dipping in COLD water even!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth,

      Oh, not so brave when one is hot and sweaty on a summer day . . . . The water was cold but not to the point of pain. Ha! It’s the initial shock that’s tough. Then it’s divine. )

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        We used to get into the year-around stream on our place that came from some artesian wells, when I was a teen…wowee, sure felt good, but that cold was quite the shock…sure felt good for awhile upon getting out however!! It has cooled down here to more normal summer temps…NICE!!

  34. kris says:

    Site looks simply lovely! I’m curious, tho’ and this is a “soon to be fulltimer” question……
    Since you were there, and no one had reserved the site yet, couldn’t “you” have just reserved it on the spot, Sue?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, kris,

      Yes, I could have reserved it “on the spot” but in order to do that I would need to know if I wanted to be at that campground 2 days in the future and for how long after that. (Not to mention pay a reservation fee).

      That’s my point about reservations taking away the freedom to wander. I don’t want to commit to being in a place in a few days. Often when I camp I pay for one or two days at a time. A camp I thought I’d enjoy for a full 14 days I was ready to leave after 2 or 3 days. A camp I thought I’d use for an overnighter turned into a 14-day stay, because I fell in love with the place (and no one was able to rip the site out from under me by making a reservation from wherever).

      In other words, I want to live each day how I want, not be locked into a reservation. I want to decide where to spend each day as I go along. I consider that an important freedom.

  35. Jill Blythman says:

    Totally agree with you on the reservation deal. Spent our whole life by the calendar and don’t do it now. Money wise it is a total rip off. One time we got all set up and along come this guy who said he had reservations for the spot. Apparently someone took down the sign on post that said it was reserved. We had to pack up and move. However to move the camp hosts said we had to call reservations. They wanted $10 to move!!! We left the campground. What a crock of pooie!!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jill,

      Yeah… No more living by a calendar! I’m sorry you had that experience. I would’ve left, too.

  36. Susan in Dallas says:

    Your own private swimming pool and no upkeep! Score!

  37. Krystina - Puyallup, WA says:

    Gooooood Morning 🙂 I just LOVE your campsite and the river. Thank you for writing about the folks with the VW Vanagon…it brought back so many memories! My husband and I camped in my orange VW Van. Loved that thing. We actually slept in our tent but the van held a lot of equipment. We also had a VW square-back and went cross country from Vermont one summer in it…..sooooo small but we managed. When it rained and we were only somewhere for a night, we actually slept in it. My husband was 6’5″ !!! That was interesting. Yesterday I left Mt. Rainer National Park after being there 3 days. WOW!!! Not that easy to get a 27′ RV into a campsite there. Luckily, one of the Rangers took me around the 2 loops that were “first come, first served” in his little electric car so I could find a spot I could fit in. Nice guy. NO signal in the park! Almost lost my mind. Then I got lucky again and two women camped next to me. They invited me to go site seeing with them so I got to see EVERYTHING in the park. They were photographers so we stopped and took pics a lot. Of course the campsites were dark because of all the trees. I had a bit of a rough time because I couldn’t see that well. I have very tiny pupils so my eyes don’t let in as much light as “normal” people do. To make it worse it rained so it was even darker. Another lesson learned…don’t stay in a dark forest. Here’s a funny for you all….I went to an Arco gas station in Oregon before I left and they didn’t take credit cards!! What?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Krystina,

      Thanks for the update…. You know many of us are thinking of you… Your updates are like a mini-blog! Interesting and informative… I’m glad you met those women who took you siteseeing…. balances out the not-so-good stuff. Yeah, solar is tricky in these dense forests, especially when it’s rainy. I learned that on our first visit to the PNW. I’m glad you like the post about the VW van… Take care, be safe and happy!

  38. Jodee Gravel on the road in Florence, OR says:

    Glad you found a nice cool spot by the water – that dip in the pool sounds invigorating (or heart-stopping!). Traveling along the Pacific Coast in a larger rig during summer I knew we’d be making reservations the whole time. Once the kiddies return to school, temps cool inland, and we head for less “popular” locations, I look forward to more spontaneous travels plans. Love your neighbors’ innovative modifications for living their dream. Bet it’s cozy inside during a rain storm with the lab 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      How do you stand the crowds? I made a mistake coming to the coast during the summer. Well, at least I saw it and Bridget and Reggie had some beach time play. It’s better in September. Enjoy!

  39. Sondra-SC says:

    I’ve been mapping out some dream trips and Trillium Lake CG is on that list…I see that after labor day some campgrounds no longer accept reservations so FCFS may be easier after that. I use sheer curtains on spring loaded tension rod for my rear and side doors, I put magnets on the sides to keep them in place…I have 2 curtains on the side entry door so I just part with y hands and get in, I have one of those old pump up colemans, I need to look for this adapter you mentioned!

  40. DesertGinger says:

    So…I’m in my house, sort of camping in basement. Have two potential renters coming next week to see it. I did my first story last week on the shadow team. Once I have three good stories I can apply for publishing team. So I hope I get another writing assignment this week. I learn a bunch every time.
    Beyond that I’ve been lazing and resting. Pretty tired after my 6 weeks of school. I’ve also got a lot of personal business to catch up on.

    Geez Sue, Oregon is so expensive and crowded, maybe you should head somewhere else. Washington doesn’t sound much better. How about Idaho or ?Montana? Or back to Utah. Someplace without reservations!

  41. Hugs from Hoquiam/Orting says:

    I had reservations for five days at Silver Falls State Park. I missed getting out of town because of repairs… No problem, right? It was paid for… I just figured I would roll in the next day. My friends called in a panic. They were going to resell my spot! I had paid several months in advance for a rally… But would have been out seventeen miles out of any town, had my friends not called me! Just not right.

    Hugs everyone!

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      I have seen rules where if you reserve a site, you have to be there occupying it the first night. I wonder if that was the issue in your case? For what happened to you, it seems totally wrong; but I think the idea behind it is that otherwise a bunch of people reserve sites for, say, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but they never intend to come on Thursday at all, but maybe only arrive Friday night or even Saturday morning. So they are just “using” Thursday/Friday to get in ahead, and the site stays empty (granted they did pay for it, but still someone else who wanted to pay AND camp would be turned away). I think to combat that they came up with the rule that you have to stay in your site the first night of the reservation.

      Sometimes it’s hard to think of a fair way!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        It isn’t pleasant finding a campsite with no place for you and yet there are reserved sites sitting empty. I understand the importance of reservations for people on vacations and weekend camping, or for those who can’t bear to leave anything up to chance. You’re right… a fair solution is hard to find!

  42. Elizabeth in WA says:

    When there are some clouds in the sky, then is the time to head to the area for taking sunset photos, Sue…and we did just that…another unique awesome photo session!! It is actually getting CHILLY this evening…breeze off the water…we should have had our jackets with us. Much better than heat, in my opinion….hope you had a great day/sunset too!!

  43. Applegirl NY says:

    What a pretty campsite, Sue. As I write this you are already on your way someplace else. Rules and regulations often don’t make any sense to me, but they are what they are.

    We had a wonderful and full weekend with a family wedding – visiting old friends, and dancing the night away!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Applegirl . . . “Dancing the night away”… I’m glad you had a wonderful weekend!

  44. Chey says:

    Nice post Sue,
    Thanks for the generosity you give to every posting. Can’t wait to hear where you are headed.

  45. Pamela K. in GA says:

    About reservations…

    I am SO against them! I have read all the comments about them on here. And have read some comments about them on the web searches well. Almost all agree that we, campers in general, are being herded into the electronic systems and I don’t like that at all. The excuses given are do not seem to me to ring true either. I would venture to say it has more to do with being able to track who comes into the campgrounds. Electronic data systems provide much info, too much info IMHO, for stays that are so hart term. I don’t see the need. After 5 days or so, OK, then they might need to know more info about who is staying there longer. But having to sign into a private system with your service provider, ID, and all the other required info is just asking too much personal info on a No-Need-To-Know-Really basis. *I bite my lip*. And the whole thing about despaired camping being only, or mostly, pack-it-in restricts many of us older folks from even going there! Sites that we would respect and really enjoy are often off-limits to us for that reason. Really bums me. So sometimes I see an underlying current that is taking place on our federal, state, and local lands and it is somewhat frightening to think that WE can’t enjoy an easy camp without allowing Who-Knows-Who increased personal info about us that they really do not need and yet seem to be getting even MORE rights to require it from us. I’m fearful it is another Nanny-State requirement masked as a good economics for the parks. Yes, the money is good but when there are empty sites then how is that good for the parks? Nope, I DO think there is something else going on with the whole log-on-to reserve policies…personal info and electronic data tracks! Sorry, Big Brother at its best and I fear it will only get worst over time and with it higher costs on public lands. I’m not an alarmist, mind you, just saying it serves a not-so-transparent purpose. One that I am NOT a fan of.

  46. Pamela K. in GA says:

    I recently clicked on the subscribe button on your blog . Since then I have had much trouble reaching your site. My browsers say the certs are out of date and what to redirect me to your older .com site thru Word Press. I’m not getting any of the most recent comments and the dashboard delivery is only for Mondays. Does any of that make sense? Am I doing something wrong? Like that wasn’t enough, my anti-virus software has your site rated as a porn site!!! I kid you not!!! As best as I can tell, the browser IS going to without any redirects. Has anyone else had any of these problems? I found that if I log off and then come back in without logging on again – then and only then can I get here. Should I unsubscribe and then subscribe again or what? HELP Please. I do not seem to have these problems on any other web sites, not that I know of anyway. I am coming here from my personal yahoo site. Not from my commercial web site. I did a page source check and I’m not blocked so I have no clue why it is happening. And I’m not a member of Word Press anyway so a log on is not the problem. As for porn sites, I do have all porn sites blocked. I do not think for one minute that your site is a porn site or I wouldn’t be coming here. That said, I’m at a complete loss about whatever is going on. Any help or suggestions would be gladly received 🙂 It’s just so weird!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t have much charge left in my laptop. Have to make this short. Try deleting your cache, unsubscribe, and then subscribe again.

      READERS: Anyone having a similar problem?

      • Pamela K. in GA says:

        Will give those things a try. Hope they work, I missed ya lady.
        Hope your own repair issues work out well too.
        Like they say, “When it rains, it pours.”
        Oh well, we’ll both get through it 🙂

  47. rvsueandcrew says:

    Hi, Everyone!

    I apologize for the delay in posts… again. I’m dealing with some repair issues and a dead inverter and dead chargers. These things should be resolved soon. Thank you for your patience. 🙂


    • weather says:

      Hopefully it’s just a matter of purchasing replacements rather than having to study or implement new techniques/systems/programs.I rarely use my home air conditioner but yesterday’s heat had made the pups with their fur coats so warm they were panting.I turned the unit on-nothing-used the reset button and it worked,thank God,gotta love a simple fix!I hope your repairs and replacements are simple matters to resolve and you’re still able to enjoy life 🙂 “See you” when you can make it back,thank you for the update.

    • cc and canine (Eastern Missouri) says:

      So sorry to hear about your inverter/charger issues… we had those problems in the past, we thought we had just gotten cheap Wal-Mart batteries that wouldn’t last very long (only a couple of years, and we didn’t full time like you). It turns out , the converter was bad, and ruining the batteries before their time. (We only had the converter in the trailer, that charged the house batteries when plugged into AC, and when driving from the tow vehicle’s alternator.) Your setup is more complicated as you have the solar, and an inverter in addition to the BLT’s converter.

      I hope that you have been able to find someone competent who can precisely diagnose your issues, so that they can be properly resolved.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Good luck, Sue! Hope all the repairs go smoothly. 🙂

  48. Leon Webster says:


    My wife and I have been following your adventures for 3+ years now. We are a couple of your many “lurkers”. We enjoy finding out what happens to you, and we love Bridget and Reggie. We are a bit sorry you didn’t take Edith though — I thought she was cute. I admire your adventurous spirit, and your discipline in keeping up with the blog.

    We have a 21′ Escape trailer, and Lindy has decided she wants to get a reclining chair like you have. Could you remind us what kind of chair it is? Even better, provide a link to it on Amazon so that we can buy it through you.

    Thanks much


    • Jolene says:

      Hey Leon, so glad you came out of lurkdom to say hi. I just wanted to welcome you!!

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Welcome Leon and Lindy! By posting a comment, you are now official blogorinos! 🙂

      An Escape 21…I am so happy for you! I hope and dream for a 17B one day. I lurk on the Escape forum…I enjoy reading about everyone’s build sheets, mods, adventures, and drooling over build pictures. Did you all pick up your trailer or have it delivered? Happy travels!! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Leon and Lindy,

      Welcome to my blog! I’m delighted to see you here after 3+ years. 🙂

      Here’s a link to a chair like mine: Caravan Sports Infinity Zero Gravity Chair, Beige I appreciate you wanting to shop through my blog.

      These loungers also come in wider versions. Scroll down at that link and you’ll probably see them.

      Thanks for writing!

  49. BoxinTheCompass says:

    Hi Sue and crew,

    Lovely blog and great posting thanks so much… great pics!

    So many comments not sure you will see this one… but I see you are enjoying Ramage: Volume 1 (The Lord Ramage Novels), if you like that you should check out the Master and Commander series by Patrick O’Brian. Very historically authentic and entertaining. There are 20.5 novels (Mr O’Brian’s ship sadly sailed in the middle of his 20th novel) but I have re-read them a few times!

    After you are done with that, then you can do the Horatio Hornblower series.
    Take care,
    I have not read the Ramage, but now will have to !


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, BoxintheCompass,

      Welcome! And thanks for the compliment on my blog. I’m happy to see you here. Sorry I didn’t respond sooner. I’m still dealing with electronic charging issues, but I should have them resolved by the end of the day.

      Thanks for the tips on more series like The Lord Ramage. I definitely will try them. I had no idea how fascinating seamanship could be!

  50. cate walsh says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Just a big warm howdy to all. Sue’s photos of the river, swimming hole, big trees, and the refreshing greenery give me a mental and emotional escape from my office for a while. Its lovely to take this vicarious break and camp along with Sue and the pups.

    I won’t be on the road for another 1-2 years but read with interest the discussion and comments on campground reservations and the concerns about the internet system of booking. I wholeheartedly agree with Sue, Pamela, and all about the inconvenience, invasion of privacy, rip off fees, and unfairness of the reservation system. After a lifetime of schedules (work, appointments, etc.) I’m looking forward to FREEDOM and following my heart…not stressing about where I will find a place to camp come evening.

    Take care everyone,

  51. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Hi Sue and fellow dog-loving blogorinos, who had happy comments for me and the adoption of Carli. I am so sad to say that Carli did not work out and was returned to her foster today. Her current foster is the only home she has ever known and she became very sad and afraid when her foster mom left, the shelter owners, foster mom and I decided it would be best if Carli went back to her. They are going to work with her and foster her with others for a couple of months and see how she does. I may get another chance & I may not. If I find another dog in the meantime, I will get that one.
    The above purchased pet carrier was not mine. I ordered a crate, ss bowls, bed etc.

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Oh so sorry it did not work out!! One of the reasons getting a dog as a pup sometimes helps huh? Well, there are a lot of dogs out there, surely you will find just the right one ere too long!!

    • BadgerRickInWis says:

      So sorry Carli didn’t work out Barbara. But it’s of course best to find out sooner rather than later. After all it’s a lifetime commitment. Hang in there, I’m sure it’s disappointing, but I’m also sure that your perfect new companion is out there somewhere.

      • Jolene says:

        Sorry this didn’t work out Barbara. The right situation and dog will come along and it will be magic when it does!! 🙂

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Oh, Barbara…so sorry that things did not work out with Carli. There is another little one out there, just waiting for your paths to cross. Sending you a big hug.

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        Thanks everyone. It has been a heartbreaking day, but we want our pet to be happy in our home. I talked to her foster mom this evening and Carli has been asleep all afternoon. She is now considering adopting Carli for herself. I think that would be best for her.
        I will keep you posted on any developments.

        • Pamela K. in GA says:

          So sorry to hear that Carli didn’t work out for you.
          Clearly Carli has bonded with her foster mom and that bond seems to be the one Carli was looking for. So I guess I do hope her foster mom does adopt her for herself. We always like to think we choose our pups, but often it is them who choose us. That’s when it’s the *best fit*, when that happens 🙂 Your *best fit* is out there, just waiting to choose only you! 🙂

    • Krystina - Puyallup, WA says:

      Oh Barbara…how heartbreaking for you 🙁 I know how excited you were. I was so hoping Carli would be a great fit. As others have said here, you just haven’t yet met the honey bunny that will be just right for you…and them. Hang in there and keep looking. Remember, it took RVSue awhile before she found her handsome Reggie.

  52. Pamela K. in GA says:

    I went back and did do the unscrib thing, now it seems to be working fine again. I also changed up my browser so I’m sure that helped a lot too. Anyway, I’m coming here from my personal site so that should make it easier too. It keeps everything in the U.S. instead of international log-ins. As for the whole porn thing _ I have no clue what that was about. The new browser doesn’t show any problems -very relieved!!! I’m guessing it had to do with the international servers. So, all’s clear and good for now 🙂

  53. Pamela K. in GA says:

    Evening everyone!
    Thought I would share a *find* I discovered to today. There is a photographer, Andy Best, who does special projects for Timberline. Much of his photography work is done in Calf/Washington/Oregon/Idaho. His work is nothing short of AWESOME. He is a third generation photographer. As such he does use a lot of filters and computer enhancements but, all-in-all, he is super at what he does! He can be found on or on Instagram @andy_best. Thought some of you might enjoy seeing his work and knowing about him since many of us are wanting to explore those areas. Some of his work is in Canada for those interested in those areas. I couldn’t help but spend the entire day hanging on his works…
    Enjoy! 🙂

    • Pamela K. in GA says:

      Oh, BTW, when he travels for months at a time, he lives out of his SUV and his SUV’s Timberline Tree House Tent – it sits on top of his SUV. So, it makes it even more fun knowing he is a devoted Roadie!

    • Pamela K. in GA says:

      correction: not
      Should be: Treeline Outdoors. com

    • Pamela K. in GA says:

      correction: not
      Should be: Treeline Outdoors. com

  54. Laura says:

    I do not usually buy anything online. But recently became an Amazon Prime customer so I could watch movies and tv shows I want to watch… then recently found out that today (july 15th) they are having some big sales… so I went to their website to buy some things I need and then left the site because I remembered that you have a link on your blog and it helps you if I go through your blog to get to my Amazon…. so…. 🙂

  55. weather says:

    ” …after 3+ years…,… still dealing with electronic charging issues…” a few words from your replies above-Gee,how much has changed during that time,Sue.On this date in 2011 you were still in your house,having to postpone picking up the BLT instead of postponing a new post.Then you were being held from entering into your new life yet,now it’s just about entering a page on the internet.Just having a cup of coffee outside then seemed wonderful-it still is,hope you enjoyed this morning’s,Sue-and have been enjoying life 🙂

  56. Matt kuffel says:

    Hi sue! We were the ones who met you at Tollgate with the VAnagon. It was great to meet you and we wil have fun following your blog.

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