Canine fashion, creative crochet, and cowboy music

No, Bridget and Spike aren’t participating in a Renaissance Festival.

1-DSC01775-001These red outfits are their new coats!  I ordered them from Amazon a while back, around the time we were hit with a surprise snow at Glass Creek.  Remember this scene?

1-DSC00780That was our winter.  It lasted about three days which, in my opinion, is the optimum length for winter. Anyway . . . back to the crew’s coats.

The coats are way too big, but I don’t want to bother sending them back.  I safety-pin the part that wraps around the belly.  You can see the pin in the next photo which I post in order to show off how pretty Bridget is.


Spike, on the other hand, looks hung over.

The coats are lined and waterproof.  The most important feature is their pee-and-poop–ability.  In other words, both Spike and Bridget can relieve themselves without messing up the coat.

On cold nights when I’m too cheap to fire up the propane heater, Spike sleeps in his coat which is so big it’s like a blanket.  Then I don’t have to worry about accidentally kicking the covers off him in the night.  And you want to know all this, why?

Oh yeah, the rug! 

Okay, here’s the rug that Gil (kgdan) gave me when we were at Mittry Lake.


It’s made out of plastic bags.  Click this link to read instructions on “How to Crochet with Plastic Bags.

You can make tote bags, too.  Click on the thumbnail photo for a close-up of the stitch.

Me and my hat are inseparable.

It’s been so cold that I keep my hat on all day, whether inside or out.  You know my hat — It has a wide brim, kind of like a cowboy hat.  Well, last night I’m propped up with pillows in bed reading, keeping warm and cozy with Bridget at my side and Spike at my feet.  I reach up and turn off the light over my head.

“Well, that’s enough reading.  Goodnight, guys.”

I fluff the pillow and settle my head into it for the night.  “Wha?”  Oh for heaven’s sake.  I still have my hat on.  I know, not much of a punch line, but there you have it.  I guess you had to be here.

This afternoon the wind stops for about a half hour.

The crew and I sit outside on the sunny side of the Best Little Trailer.  Not long in the sun,  a guy in a red pick-up pulls up alongside my chair.  He smiles out his open window.

“Hello, Sue!”

The guy’s name is Les.  He’s a friend of a couple I met here last winter who told him about my blog.  He’s commented a time or two.  Les also camped here along Sidewinder Road last winter, but I didn’t get a chance to meet him then.

I learn something from him right away. 

He and I aren’t camped on BLM land.  This is “mineral rights land” and the guy who owns those rights doesn’t care about people camping on the land.  I ask Les how long he camps here.

“Until it gets hot,” he replies.

Then he looks at the Best Little Trailer and begins to tell a little story.

“I used to have a Scamp.  Bought it for a thousand dollars.  First time it rains, it leaks.  I call up the guy that sold it to me and he says, ‘never leaked for me.’  Guess he never had it in the rain,” Les laughs.

“I blew three tires on the thing ’til I figured out the axle was bent.  Put a new axle on it.  Jacked it up higher.  Made the tongue longer so I could mount my generator on it.  Made it handle better.”

Les is in full, story-telling mode so I keep my mouth shut and listen.

“Had it for a few years and sold it for three hundred.  That guy sold it to someone else for three hundred, and then I bought it back for three hundred.  Drug the thing up to Montana to my brother’s funeral.  He was fifteen years younger than me.  Kinda’ scares ya.'”

I nod in agreement.

“I stuffed so much into that little trailer the sides were about to burst.  Finally sold it to a guy for five hundred dollars.  He pulls up in an old Pontiac belching smoke, hooks up, and takes the thing to Mexico.  Adios, amigo! ”  Pause.

“Yep, I loved that Scamp.”

Les is Les Buffham, award-winning song lyricist. 

Les at the Western Music Association awards (2009)

Les at the Western Music Association awards (2009)

I repeat his name so I’ll remember it.  “Just think of polishing a pig,” he suggests helpfully.  You can read about him at his website. 

Click on this link,, to listen to some of the songs Les has written.

Les says he has to get going.  He’s on his way to the post office in Yuma.  I invite him to stop by again so we can talk some more, and he promises to do that.

(Photo from

Our campsite’s front yard . . .

1-DSC01773The photo above was taken from the BLT’s door.  The hummingbird feeder hangs from an ocotillo bush.  Behind it is a scraggly ironwood tree.  Only one hummingbird has come by so far.

Tomorrow the crew and I go into Yuma to pick up the satellite radio!



Thank you for entering Amazon from my blog.  I sincerely appreciate it.

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93 Responses to Canine fashion, creative crochet, and cowboy music

  1. Karen SC says:

    I just love Spike and Bridget’s new coats. They look very hip. Great idea to keep them warm in the BLT. You have sure met some interesting folks recently. Perhaps you are not as much of a loner as we have come to believe. I’m enjoying your wonderful stories of your adventures. Great job Sue and crew.

    • Karen SC says:

      Also wanted to say I’ve been doing all my Christmas shopping on Amazon through your website. I look at it as way of thanking you for all your sharing with us your travels.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Karen,

      I’m pleased you are enjoying my blog. Loners don’t hate people. They just like them in small doses… one or two at a time with some time in between. 🙂

      Another advantage of the new coats… Spike is easily seen. No more sneaking away in his desert camo fur.

  2. Bruce says:

    We do as well, Sue. It’s a pleasure being a contributor. We are waiting for the roads to clear off our mountain so we can head south again, can’t wait!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Bruce. It’s very thoughtful of you.

      I don’t know what mountain you live on, but here’s a wish for its roads to clear!

  3. AZ Jim says:

    Well now, I see you’re taking care of the hummers. I love watching our little crew. I have also been feeding a couple of beautiful mocking birds who have me trained. They perch on a chair back in the patio where they know I come out. I feed ’em raisins. I have to restrict my bird feeding to things the pigeons don’t eat otherwise they take over the place. Hope ya get your radio tomorrow. Take care Missy…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      I thought of you when I hung up the feeder. Another littler hummer showed up after I made this post. I’m not going to get involved with feeding the seed-eaters. I did that here last winter and the rodents took over like it was an all-you-can-eat buffet.

  4. mockturtle says:

    You do meet interesting people, Sue! But, come to think of it, so do I. 🙂

    Years ago I did crochet a tote bag out of blue Walmart bags. It turned out great but I didn’t really have a use for it so I tossed it. I think I like the rug idea better.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, you already have the skill. I tried to knit many years ago. The scarf came out in the shape of a trapezoid, not what I intended. I got frustrated with the needles and yarn and out it went. Never tried again.

      • Linda in TX says:

        My sister tried to teach me to crochet once, years and years ago. She tried very patiently, first by sitting across from me, then right next to me, then holding my hands. Finally, she threw the ball of thread across the room and screamed “You are SO STUPID!!”. We still laugh about it.

        Thanks for showing the rug. It is really neat!! Love the close-up photos of personable doggies!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Linda,

          You’re welcome.

          Funny story . . . Some of us just weren’t meant to crochet . . .

  5. Chuck Hajek says:

    54 degrees tonite, slight breeze, humidity 41%. Life is GOOD! At Manatee River State Park, Florida. daughters move done. Ahhhhhhh.

  6. Teri in SoCal says:

    I’m a loner as well, and sometimes people give me a hard time about it. I try to explain to them that I get overwhelmed easily if in a crowded place for too long, or in a noisy situation. I need to come home and just have silence for a bit, it’s like a battery recharge for me. It’s been this way since I was very little….and it’s nice to know that others may feel the same way.

    I love those cute red coats!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Teri,

      I don’t know why loners are made to feel like there’s something wrong with them. We’re different, that’s all. And non-loners are different from us.

      I have to be careful not to feel a bit superior… Barbara Streisand’s song should’ve gone “People who don’t need people are the luckiest people in the world.” Ha!

      So, dear Teri, revel in your lonerism! 🙂

      Yeah, aren’t Spike and Bridget good-looking in red!

      • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

        I’ve always wondered why it is that many people have trouble accepting differences. Whether it be because one is a loner, or single by choice, or doesn’t drink alcohol… or… or…

        • The sweet fur kids are just too cute in their new coats! LOL, nobody gonna know if you go to sleep in your desert woman hat, shhhh, we won’t tell. 😉

          I could never crochet either, yep tried once, maybe twice. Fine art it is.

          Oh my gosh, I’m on that boat with ya’ll, a loner. You just can’t see me off over here in the shadows “starin’ at the full moon like a lover”. (Quote from “Cool Change” by The Little River Band.)

          I bit Todd’s head off the other evening for being “too close”. “Just back off man!” He was helping me too but I didn’t ask for the help, was just bitching about something in my room, my room. (Dunno, how old am I? Whatever, it’s my room, like totally, OK ;).) He fixed it, (jackass) sigh. We’ve been on walks and I’d ask him to move over. And he’s my favorite person on this planet! By far, ever! I adore him. Probably too much information, sorry.

          You know, I’ve told people this through out my life, if I can’t hold my elbows straight out and spin around without hitting someone I’m not happy.

          Oh, and the noise! I hear ya Teri! Yes, must recharge the battery! It’s funny that I say the same thing, verbatim.

          Sue, I read most of your posts and love every single one, always. I’m always so compelled to comment, but I run out of time, silly time.

          Best to you and yours always.

  7. Bill & Ann says:

    Neat post Sue. I love the crochet mat. I downloaded the website. We really need to get our humming bird feeder out. We have the stand out, but we have been so busy we have done nothing else. It is also cold and windy here. I got out my heavy duty jacket and am wearing a fleece cap under my Fish & Game Hat.

    Hmmm…..Silence. Isn’t it wonderful? Sitting in the middle of the desert with no one around. Wonderful. Except that Bill is out rescueing someone up one of the canyons. Dead battery. I hope he gets back soon.

    Hope this post makes sense; it sort of runs together.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ann,

      It all makes sense. (For readers who don’t know, Bill and Ann are in Yuma for Kofa Wildlife volunteer training. At least that’s where they were the last I heard. 🙂 )

      Bill’s such a good guy, off on a rescue mission.

      You’re good with your hands so I’m sure you’ll crochet up a rug in no time.

      (Here’s Ann’s stained glass website: )

      You’ve done some beautiful work, Ann!

      Keep in touch.

  8. Sputnik says:

    I took a listen to Les’ CD…some really great music on that! I wonder which songs are him singing…

  9. Kitt says:

    What great coats! I’m always on the lookout for good coats for Riley as he doesn’t sport much fur. He sleeps in his on cold nights too.

    A trick we discovered this winter is to put his harness on over his coat. This allows you to hook up the leash if there isn’t a convenient opening to reach the ring. Four winters later we make this discovery…

    Here is the website for the rescue group where we adopted Riley. You can scroll down on this page to get to his picture. He is a cutie!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I burst out laughing when I found Riley on that website. What a dog! And what a mixture! You chose well, Kitt. He’s quite a guy!

      Good idea about the harnesses over the coats. These coats, BTW, do have a slit for a leash to go through. They also have two reflective strips and a pocket on the back. The collar can go up or down. The coat is lined and it’s stiff enough that it stays out of the way of potty activities.

      I put a link/ad in the sidebar for anyone who wants to take a closer look. The coat on the dog in the ad actually fits!

    • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

      I agree he is a cutie!! These crosses so often end up with weird hair!! Mine is half Pug and half Bichon… with wiry hair… that grows in all directions.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I always feel more comfortable in the presence of those with perpetually bad hair.

        • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

          What drives me crazy is everyone asking why I don’t have her trimmed. But she wouldn’t be half as cute… and then I wouldn’t have those big balls of longish hair all over my house.

          Actually she won’t allow herself to be trimmed. I tried a few groomers at first and they all said the same thing… we can’t do it because she doesn’t stop fighting it and they are afraid that they will hurt her.


  10. Marsha in MI says:

    Spike and Bridget look absolutely adorable in their little coats. Red really is their color!

  11. Rob says:

    Hummingbirds! I now have a hummingbird storý!
    We arrived here in south Texas mid October and the lady next to to us had several feeders out. There were a huge number of hummingbirds there, more than i’d ever seen at one time in one place.
    The next day they were gone, all of them. I asked& was told they’d all left for Mexico. Migrated south. Poof!

    (I’m doing this on the phone & it’s formatting really odd. I hope it comes out ok)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rob,

      Interesting! You apparently are in the migration path. It’s amazing what those little creatures can do.

  12. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts. VA says:

    Awww…I loved the new doggy frocks, they look so special. Maybe some stick on velcro will help with the size issue as well. And can’t beleive that rug is plastic bags, wow, it may also be waterproof. Nice gift. Les sounds like a talented man, hope you get to talk again and share with us. Take Care Sue and Crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Diane,

      Re: crew’s coats… Maybe I’ll work up some ambition to shorten the part that goes under the belly so the velcro strips, when put together, will snug up the coats. A little effort, some needle and thread, and I could make them fit.

  13. Roger in SoCal. says:

    Hi Sue,

    I know guys aren’t supposed to get emotional, but seeing your dogs brought back memories (good ones) of when I did Chihuahua rescue in Texas. The dogs ended up staying with my ex, although some have passed on. I of course miss them, and I am going to try and put a link to some of the dogs pics.
    Let me know if it works, the dog on the bridge was Dinky she was my favorite, the ponds I built to have a quiet place in the yard to go to after work and relax. The fish pic are the Koi I used to breed.
    hopefully if it works, you can click on the thumbnails…


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Roger,

      What a delightful environment you created for your dogs and Koi! Lovely . . . and, of course, the pups are adorable. Your rescue work brought a lot of happiness where there was none before. Dinky looking over her domain is a great pic!

      Thanks for sharing that link. It was a treat for me. Your photos reminded me of the quiet places I created at the houses I owned over the years.

      I disagree with your first line. Men are supposed to get emotional. Too many men are all about anger, domination, envy, aggression, violence, destruction, and other negative forces. The world could use more men of caring, loving, gentleness, cooperation, patience, compassion, and other positive forces. Your interests reveal that you are the latter kind of man.

  14. KansasSue says:

    Sue, I agree, you meet the most amazing people. I suspect it is because you are so amazing you draw them to you.
    Loners may be more prevalent than we realize, they just keep to themselves so most people tend to overlook them.
    I find being a loner is good. I find it easier to connect to people one-on-one and I find this way they will let me share in their awesome worlds. My issue is that I have a bit of trouble with that keep still and listen part. I am glad you have that skill and can share the experiences with us.

    Enjoy your warm weather, it was -6 degrees “real feel” here in Kansas night before last, last night a bit better, hoping for warm spell so can thaw out and head for Arizona myself!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sue,

      I think I meet interesting people because I go where interesting people go. . . people who travel, who know themselves, and who are eager for new experiences.

      I hope you get the warm spell you want. I was delighted to open the door of the BLT this morning to warm air with no wind! The sky is a beautiful blue with the most interesting cloud formations. No coats on the crew!

      You’re probably right about loners. Since we tend to go off by ourselves, we aren’t around to be counted. 🙂

  15. Sue, I think I must be a loner too, in a lot of ways! I really don’t need to be around crowds of people! Chuck and I were at an intersection in Bradenton waiting for a green light… I looked over at him and said, “you know, I think there are more people right here at this intersection than in all of Franklin County!”And I believe it was true! I LOVE FRANKLIN COUNTY! Crowds of people, crazy traffic… TOO much energy everywhere and it makes me feel physically ill to be around it for very long!
    I love where we are now, Myakka River State Park has a nice campground where we are not crammed in like sardines, HUGE oak trees and the tallest wild palm trees I have seen anywhere. Restores my equilibriam after Bradenton!
    I love the red winter coats on Bridget and Spikey! Red looks good on them!
    Now I am going back to listen to the links you provided re: Les. Interesting man!
    Stay warm and snuggle the crew from us!!! Love ya’ll!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri,

      I’m pleased to hear you are enjoying Myakka River State Park. It’s wonderful to get back to nature after the hustle and bustle of crowds and traffic . . .

      I recall two state parks that I enjoyed while living in Florida… Fort Desoto State Park and another one in the New Port Richey area.. forget the name. Both are on the Gulf shore. I don’t remember if they have campgrounds because I didn’t think camping in those days.

      People are introverted or extroverted in varying degrees. I know Chuck is an extrovert. I remember how he seemed to light up and become more alive when we all arrived at Dome Rock for the little Casita gathering. You are more the introvert… probably the most “balanced” of the three of us!

      It makes me happy to hear you are enjoying Florida . . . Love you, too!

  16. Oh! RvSue Bridget is absolutely gorgeous and yeh Spikey must have had a wild night! Are you a heavy sleeper? 🙂
    Next time you see Les ,tell him Shea from Snyder Hill BLM says “Hi”!
    He is a great cowboy poet…I have one of his Cd’s He is a good neighbor too.
    He helped me get unstuck from a bush that I happened to get stuck in …long story..ask him if he remembers..I love those doggie coats.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Shea,

      You know Les! I’ll mention you to him the next time I see him. His camp is not far from ours. He seems like the kind of person who would be happy to help someone with a problem.

      No, I’m usually a light sleeper.

      Yeah, Bridget is a doll in her red coat. She seems to get prettier every day.

  17. AZ Jim (babbling) says:

    The hat thing. I don’t know about you but I wear my cap all winter days because it holds the heat in my body. Here’s the rub. After a day of wearing my cap I can’t tell you if it’s on my head or not. It feels like it is all the time after I remove it. Now if this isn’t a waste of type, I don’t what is.
    Hi Sue and crew.

  18. Ron says:

    You might want to check the last three post in your solar drop down under batteries and controlers

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Ron. I cleared out the spam. I don’t know what’s going on with my spam filter these days. It’s been making mistakes. I appreciate you being my watchdog on this. 🙂

  19. Dexter says:

    Hi Sue. Dexter here. Gotta love those dog coats! I have a question for you. What’s you secret to storing items in the Casita? My closet space is very limited and when I eventually do hit the road, I just am perplexed as to where I am going to put clothing, bedding, shoes etc. I will be towing with a pick-up truck so I won’t have the advantage of storage in a van. Any ideas/suggestions would be very helpful. Thanks for the pictures and the blog-awesome!! Dex

    • Pen says:

      I’m not Sue, but just happened to read your post. I used to have a 13-foot fiberglass trailer, so I know what you mean about storage. I also used to drive a cargo-type van for work, so I bet I know what RVSue’s “secret” is. Cargo van! Or as boaters like to call their cars, an “MSU.” Because it’s not a car… .it’s a Mobile Storage Unit 😀

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dexter,

      Pen very nicely gave you an important part of my answer. Most of my stuff is stored in the Perfect Tow Vehicle.

      Okay, inside the Best Little Trailer . . . I have the Liberty Deluxe model of Casita. I put it in the twin-bed-on-either-side configuration with a small table at the rear under the window. Since I’m only one person, I removed the cushion on one of the twin beds and replaced it with two courses of plastic storage drawers. This provides me with 3 small drawers, 4 medium drawers, and 3 large drawers.

      Here’s what is in those drawers in the order I listed above: 1) personal care items/medicine 2) most often used hand tools and fix-it supplies 3) electronic gizmos (cords, chargers, USB cables, batteries, Kindle, etc. 4) kitchen utensils other than knives and flatware 5) canned goods (many more are stored in PTV), 6)socks & underwear 7) Benchmark atlases and forest maps, 8) clothing (tops, bottoms, pjs — more clothes hung in closet and stored in PTV). Ooops. I left out two: a drawer for kitchen towels, cleaning cloths, and facecloths and a drawer for the crew’s harnesses, coats, leashes, etc.

      I like this drawer set-up because stuff used frequently is handy and it also provides me with a long countertop.

      I hope this is helpful. Thanks for the compliment on my blog!

  20. Pen says:

    I just wanted to say “Hi” and thanks (as always) for the info you provide in your blog (along with the pleasant reading). I don’t know if you remember, because I don’t comment too often, but we’ve been leapfrogging around each other since last winter (I loved Navajo Monument!). Having been scrunched down into the SW corner by the weather (not that the SW corner is a bad thing!), I decided to try SW BLM-style boondocking for the first time after visiting a friend in SoCal. Rig is not really set up for it yet, but figured I’d give it a short try anyway. Funny thing is I had been thinking I would find something near Yuma. Then you post about Sidewinder Road. So…. I put that in my mapper and pulled in last night. Just knowing RV Sue was somewhere around made it feel a lot less “random,” if that makes sense. Lo and behold today I happened to look out the window just as a certain white van drove past. I had to laugh as it felt like a brush with celebrity 😀 Of course I was NOT going to be an unbecoming groupie and run out to hail you (bit of a hermit myself), but it did cross my mind (hee); if I see you or pups out and about I may wave 🙂

    Anyway, thanks for being such a good resource in addition to just plain fun reading.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pen,

      I do remember you thanking me for my blog making you aware of the Navajo Monument. I always get a kick out of helping other RVers get the most out of their travels.

      And it happened again! I hope your boondock experience at Sidewinder Road is good for you. Of all the places I’d recommend for a first try, Sidewinder wouldn’t be near the top of the list as far as beauty goes, but no matter. . . You’re boondockin’!

      If I’m out and about, please do more than wave. Feel free to come over. I’d do the same, but I don’t know what your rig looks like.

      This No Drop-In rule is my effort to keep from having too many unplanned visitors in a short period of time. Now that I know you’re here and who you are, you’re welcome to stop by. I’d love to hear about your travels.

      Thanks for the compliments and for being a faithful reader of my blog.

      • Pen says:

        Good to know, thanks. Since I am currently sans solar panels (darnit!), I need to cruise around a bit to charge things up anyway, so I will probably mosey further down the road just to see how the real boondockers live 😀 If I see you out and about, I may stop in. Otherwise I’ll just wave and then you’ll know me for a potential visit tomorrow or somewhere else in future.

        • kgdan says:

          Now you know how WE felt that day we first drove past RVSue at Dome Rock. I almost drove off the road I was so excited. Then when she stopped right in front of us I went crazy! 🙂

  21. AZ Jim says:

    71 degrees as I type her in Surprise AZ. Weather is perfect. And since I have nothing constructive to add to that I will quote a friend of mine…………….

    Bite me! *LOL*

  22. Mick says:

    Meteor shower tonight. Big bang and light show over Tucson last night. Have Fun.

  23. wa_desert_rat says:

    Reading through the archives. I like your writing style and especially like that you talk about the BLM dispersed sites enough informatin that people who are just starting out can find them. We spent years on a sailboat and became used to quiet anchorages with no neighbors so we’re looking forward to spending time in these BLM areas oursselves.

    If you ever get into central Washington again, there is a very interesting place north of Odessa, WA (about halfway between Moses Lake and Spokane along State route 28) called “Lakeview Ranch” ( The lake (Pacific Lake) no longer holds water as the aquifer has been more-or-less emptied by agricultural irrigation by pumping (although they are refilling it using water from the nearby Irrigation Project). Just a decade ago they were water skiing on the lake and the BLM campground still has a launch ramp with the docks pulled up on shore waiting for the water to return.

    The ranch itself is still there with all the buildings intact. It’s interesting to imagine what it might have been like with the family living and ranching there.

    Mountain bike or hiking trails head westward where there are real lakes (with water) and a Jeep trail runs WSW from a trail head just up the hill (north) of the ranch buildings. The Jeep trail goes about 5 miles back towards Odessa and dead-ends although you can bike or hike all the way into town. The rimrock is beautiful and there is a dry falls just east of the Jeep trail (with a closed road you can hike down).

    All free. With a nice little grocery in Odessa for supplies. We stay there often and love to bike the trails. Our crew (Jack Russell Terriers Teka and Ripley along with their bigger pal, Mindy) love to go camping there but you have to keep them from getting into trouble as there are rattlesnakes in the brush.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Craig…

      You had me sold on the place until the last four words! 🙂

      Seriously, thanks for the information for me and for my readers. It sounds like a great place.

      Aren’t terriers the most exasperating and wonderful creatures?

      • wa_desert_rat says:

        Yes, terriers are definitely a challenge. Our daughter has two of them plus a Husky; the Husky is easier. LOL

        There are rattlesnakes all throughout the desert west (and mountains, as well). Not especially a problem. Dogs can be vaccinated, by the way. I make so much noise when I walk (with a cane) that I never see them and I’m out in the desert all the time. I am very careful when riding a mountain bike because I suspect they could sneak up on one hiding under a sagebrush so I watch where I put my feet down on trails.

        Another old ranch taken over by the BLM is the Rock Creek/Escure Ranch east of Sprague, WA (south of Spokane). Also free camping but also has a wterfall with water in it. More information on the ranch (which is quite big) is here: It is a challenge to find and a big motor home could find the entrance road a challenge but for a truck and travel trailer it’s pretty easy.

        It’s fun to camp at one of these ranches and imagine how life might have been for the family “back in the day”. I have no idea how the government came to own them but I am grateful for the fact that we can access them for free.


  24. Ron says:

    I have an Sd 17 deluxe A dodge extended cab and then a fiberglass camper top.
    I have gone for 2 months at a time and had plenty of room.
    Oh and a question for MICK . i NOTICE A LOT OF YOUR BIGGER SOLAR PANELS ARE 24 VOLT opps cap locks on. Will a charge controler drop that down to 12 volts ?
    Thanks Ron

    • Mick says:

      Hello Ron, You have to buy the right controller but most of the new designs can handle high voltage panels. This is Sue’s controller (Note it will handle up to 36 volt panels but only 200 watts in a 12 volt system.):

      Bigger model:

      High voltage solar panels are good because their current is lower and loss in the cables is current squared times voltage. (I^2/R)

    • wa_desert_rat says:

      I am not Mick… but I also have 24volt panels and you need an MPPT charge controller. I have the Midnight Solar Classic 150 which is able to accept up to 150volts and convert that down to 12vdc. For me, it means that I can wire my panels in series (or series-parallel) which reduces the need to “match” panels since the voltages are simply additive.

      The real plus to wiring panels in series is that, since charging cannot begin until the panels reach a higher voltage than the battery bank they are supposed to charge, the series connections mean that the panels reach that voltage much sooner and hold that voltage much longer. So charging begins earlier and stops later.

      The Classic 150 is not the cheapest MPPT controller out there (more than $600) but it is extremely versatile and well worth the money. Even with my measly 600-watts.


    • rvsueandcrew says:


      Your comments include helpful questions and answers regarding solar power. I’ll leave the comments here temporarily so people new to this post will see them. Then I’ll move them to a page under Solar (accessed from header: Solar) so they’ll be a permanent resource for others. I love having readers build my blog’s pages for me!

  25. Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

    BTW… I hope it showed up on your Amazon list, but thank goodness I had placed the Energizer Headlight on my wish list. Awhile back I needed just that much in purchases to get the free shipping. Yesterday evening our power went off and oh boy was I glad that I had it. It sure makes it easy to walk the dog and do stuff outside the RV in deep blackness with it on your head. So much handier than a flashlight…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s great, Connie! I hadn’t thought how handy a headlamp would be in a power outage. I bet there are a lot of people who could’ve used one the past few days.

      Thanks for being an RVSue shopper and for giving us some feedback on one of your purchases.

      LATER . . . I put the headlamp in the sidebar in case anyone wants to go to Amazon to learn more about it. Great, inexpensive, Christmas gift!

  26. Jean wheatleyIn Molalla says:

    hi Sue,can’t live without your blog and Al’s. Bridget is a Collidoll in her red coat. My girls are shedding. Time for the groomers. she shaves them, and then they’re too ho, need coats. Its so cold Herr right now that the hummers feeders freeze,and we have to bring them inside to thaw. When he takes them back out, he gets buzzed the birds are depraved.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jean,

      I’m surprised the hummers hang around in such cold weather. If it were me, I’d fly my hummingbird self to some place warmer.

      Your dogs must feel naked after a trip to the groomers. The crew could manage without coats, but there are times when a coat makes the difference between bearing cold weather and enjoying it.

  27. Marcia GB says:

    Love those two crew members in their bright red coats. They do look a little Elizabeth I
    though 🙂

    We’ll be at Myakka River SP first 2 weeks in Feb. Third year there; love that place. Also, if you were thinking of Ft DeSoto south of St. Pete, it’s a county park. Has a good campground with big sites, although it’s hectic on weekends, AND has a dog beach, our Tanya loves that!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marcia,

      That’s the park I’m remembering. It wasn’t a busy place in the early eighties. Very serene.

      Chuck and Geri who comment here are at Myakka River SP right now. They like it, too.

  28. Jean/Southaven, MS says:

    I am going to try and make one of the rugs. I can do a single crochet, can’t do much else. Hopefully I can make it come out right. I have heard of a group of people down in Mississippi that crochet beds for homeless people in their area out of these plastic bags. A rug is much more doable. Love the crew in their coats.
    They look good.

  29. Ron Sears says:

    love the coats. I saw a lady the other day with boots like yours and I thought they were neat…Jury still out on the hat. Need a picture for that one!! Be safe..Ron

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I love the Bear Paw boots! The hat, not very much. It’s a one-size-fits-all and my head is too dang big. I feel like my head is in a vise. I need to wet it and stretch it (the hat, not my head). So far it has stayed in the drawer (again, the hat, not my head).

      You stay safe, too, Ron.

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