Challenges leaving a favorite boondock for a new camp!

Thursday, September 3

I’m  awakened by the squirms of the Reggie Man.  As usual he starts up a game of “Bite the Hand that Feeds You.” This is a surefire way to get me going and busy doling out breakfast.

I sit up in bed and pull back the curtain to peer out at the forest. 

“Oh, a deer!”

P1070022-002Badger Mountain, Manti La Sal National Forest, Ephraim, Utah

I tuck Reggie under my arm, pick up my camera, and sneak out the door.  Reggie wiggles in my armpit while I try to focus the lens on the deer.  I snap the photo above.

Reggie stops squirming for a moment, allowing me to zoom in and take the next photo.

P1070023-002Oh, I hate to leave . . . 

Usually hitching up the Best Little Trailer to the Perfect Tow Vehicle is not difficult. 

I’ve done it so many times that it’s something I do on automatic pilot.  Not this time though.

When I set up this camp, backing into a lovely spot among aspens, I knew I would face a challenge to hitch up again.

Here’s why . . . .

I backed the BLT between the aspens so that the door-side tire settled into a depression a previous boondocker had dug.  This made the BLT perfectly level from side to side.  However, when I proceeded to unhitch, I had to crank the coupler up as far as it would go in order to make it high enough for me to drive the PTV forward, moving the hitch ball out from under the coupler.

If you aren’t picturing what that last sentence is describing, read it again or skip this part.

Okay . . . . When I pulled forward an inch or two to bring the hitch ball free from the coupler, the hitch ball popped up a few inches!  Why?  I got out and discovered a root making a ridge that the PTV’s back tires drove up and over.  Uh-oh. . . .   How am I going to back up and slide the hitch ball under the couple when it’s time to hitch?  The coupler won’t crank any higher. 

Oh well.

I put it out of my mind.

Well, this morning I have to face the problem.  I hate using jacks.  It’s a pain to get the PTV’s jack out of its compartment and then I have to set it up only to find I don’t have enough strength to jack the thing up high enough.

I figure another way.

Can you guess?

P1070016Since the root doesn’t go all the way across from tire to tire, I back up the PTV at a sharp angle to the BLT, lining up the hitch ball to within a few inches of the coupler.  The sharp angle puts the PTV’s tires away from the big root.

I dig a hole behind both tires!

Then, before hopping into the PTV to back up, I spray 3-in-1 oil on the hitch ball and make sure the BLT’s wheel chocks are securely in place.

I ease the PTV back until the hitch ball touches the edge of the coupler.

Hmm…  If I back up a teensy bit further the edge of the coupler should slide up the curve of the hitch ball to the top and drop down over the ball.

Long story short, a bit of a jolt and it works!  We’re on our way!

Not so fast.

The PTV tows the BLT over the deep ruts and rocks of the forest road.  The last section of the road, going up to the main road, is a very steep 60-80 feet.  I knew going in that this would be a big pull upward.  A “running start” is prevented by the ruts and sharp rocks.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure the PTV with her powerful engine can do it!

We get to that section and up we go.  Something doesn’t feel right!  Within 10 feet of the main road the PTV stops towing.  Her tires — those nice ATV tires — lose traction.

What is going on?

I let off the gas and touch the brake.

We slide backward about 3 feet. 

Oh my gosh, this isn’t good.  What the heck is wrong with this road?  It feels like we’re on top of a rock slide! 

I study the road ahead.  Loose gravel.  Not the typical layer of loose gravel over a hard surface.  A LOT of loose gravel.  DEEP gravel.

The road scraper!  It went up the main road this morning!  And it pushed all this gravel onto the forest road….  Sonuva . . .

I determine that I have to back up slowly, bit by bit.  Put her in reverse, creep back a few feet, gently apply the brakes, slide a few feet on loose gravel.  Repeat.  To roll backward in neutral is out of the question as it could cause the BLT to jack-knife.

Another long story, not so short.

I turn the wheel so that the PTV ends up with her left wheels on the edge of the road where it is hard-packed with no loose gravel.   We don’t have to turn right.  If we can go to the left, I’ll turn around up the road.  We just have to get onto the main road!

“Well, here we go, guys.  This better work.”

It does.

Whew!  This has been a challenging morning so far!

On the way down the mountain we come upon the wild turkeys again, a sight which makes me smile.

The deer and the turkeys give us a nice send-off . . .

P1070025-001The view of Sanpete Valley is clearer than usual. 

I stop for a moment and take another photo of a favorite scene.

P1070027-001 A quick trip across Ephraim to Walmart to exchange the cheap pocket radio that doesn’t work and then we head south on Route 89, back through town.

It’s good to be on the open road again.

We pass the Mormon Temple in Manti.

P1070030As we continue southward, I relax, drinking an orange juice. The valley hasn’t warmed up too much yet.  Bridget and Reggie are asleep.

P1070031It’s a pleasant drive.  I’m enjoying the anticipation of finding a new camp!

P1070032At the sign for Palisades State Park, I slow and turn left.

This wakes up the crew.  On the way to the park, I stop at a field of horses and mules.  Reggie barks out the window as I snap this photo.

P1070033The state park is practically empty!

I’m surprised because Labor Day Weekend is about to begin.  Must be because the reservoir is very low.

P1070035I drive up to the check-in building and a woman takes my four dollars for the use of the dump station.

P1070034Before leaving I fill up a few water jugs and notice sites reserved to the weekend.  They’ll be pouring in here tonight . . . .

The landscape changes dramatically as we approach Gunnison.

Dang, wires!

P1070036Approaching Salina memories come to mind of previous visits to this area and the photos I took then.

The crew is resting as we pass Butch Cassidy RV Park (“Hi, Ed!”) and board I-70 east.  The rocks along this stretch of interstate are spectacular!

P1070039The photos make the hills seem smaller than they actually are.

P1070038About 8 miles from Salina, we take exit 63 and follow Gooseberry Road into Fishlake National Forest.

P1070051Are these gooseberries?

Another 10 miles and we enter Gooseberry Campground!

“Wake up, punkinheads.  We’re home!”


NOTE:  Our present camp in Fishlake National Forest has no internet signal at all.  This post was written and put together in the parking lot of the Maverick Station in Salina.  Please excuse any errors.

Obviously I won’t be able to reply to comments.  Carry on in your usual, friendly ways.

Tomorrow, September 6th, my sister Pauline and our friend Mick have birthdays.  Pauline and Mick, I won’t be able to send you an email so here’s my wish that both of you have very happy birthdays!

And a Happy Labor Day Weekend to everyone!


P1070062More about our Gooseberry camp in the next post!


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119 Responses to Challenges leaving a favorite boondock for a new camp!

  1. Norman in San Diego says:

    Happy Labor Day Weekend

  2. Wow. I am so impressed. As a person who is a bit of a nervous driver, you are Super Woman. Definitely something to work towards. Happy Long Weekend.

  3. Barb A (Phoenix) says:

    Nice site…Have a great stay.

  4. wow, so glad you made it up tithe gravel and found a nice spot for the weekend. What better way to wake up than the unconditional love of a pup? None, that I know of. I love the 5th picture. The view is stupendous.

  5. Renee Galligher says:

    Boy oh boy, what a tough beginning to your day. Glad it worked out!

  6. Calvin R (Ohio) says:

    I’m glad you had the skill to get out of that site and onto the road. I understood the description, and I’m glad it wasn’t me.

    Those hills around Salina are interesting. In the East, geology is harder to appreciate, but formations like those get my attention right away.

    I’m torn between hoping your have a nice, restful camp and wishing you had Internet. Either way, enjoy!

  7. Marilyn, Dania Beach, Fl says:

    You have a great weekend after all that thinking.

  8. Me n' Lady Piper says:

    Happy Birthday Pauline and Mick,,,,,,,, And To All The Blogerooo’s, have a GOOD n’ SAFE, Labor Day Weekend,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, me n’ L. P.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      You stay safe, too, Rusty! Enjoy the holiday weekend with Lady Piper! 🙂

      • Me n' Lady Piper says:

        Thanks Denise, and you stay safe and have a good one.,,,,,,,,, We’re staying in today watching the rain,,,,,,,,,,

    • Have a safe and happy Labor Day Rusty !!! Please give Lady Piper a belly rub from Geri and Chuck! How does she like the life of being a boondocking dog???

      • Me n' Lady Piper says:

        I guess she likes it , Geri ,, she has a different big yard to play in with all the new smells, but most of all, she likes her walks, her toys and the love I give her… and those belly rubs,,,,, rusty

  9. AZ Jim says:

    Missy, I’m kinda tired from trying to figure what to do to get you going there. Luckily for my stress level, you made it out just fine! I used to carry about three pieces of 4×4 and a bottle jack for those hitch height situations. You are a good patient problem solver. Well, no net or not you enjoy your stop….At least we need not worry about that pesky black water tank for awhile!!!

  10. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    I understood what you were conveying; digging to accommodate the tires had to be much easier than messing with the PTV’s jack. Where there is a will, there is a way!

    Gorgeous pictures on this post! That black beauty of a horse seems to be saying, “He–lloooo Thar!” to the Reginator. Miss B must be hiding or out of frame on the picture of your current camp. She was not in her usual hiding spot under the BLT! 🙂

    It was sad to leave that boondock, but Gooseberry campground looks nice and cozy in a different way. I am sending you wishes for a peaceful Labor Day weekend. Love and hugs to you and the Crew from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

    Happy, Happy Birthday wishes go out to Pauline and Mick!! Enjoy your special day tomorrow! 🙂

    Wishing everyone a safe, Happy Labor Day weekend! I will be staying home, grilling some steaks….tube steaks (hot dogs), that is! A nice, quiet, low-key weekend! Perfect!

  11. Shawna says:

    Impressive solution to your dilemma Sue! And I’m talking both the hitch and the road. YOU ROCK! Enjoy the holiday weekend.

  12. edlfrey says:

    Hi Sue, Bye Sue – twice!

    I know how you are so I will not invite you to stop the next time you drive past Butch Cassiday Campground. I will mention that I’ll be having breakfast at Mom’s Cafe on 10 August (Thursday) at about 7:00 am. I will then get out of your neighborhood on 14 August!

  13. Are they still in Oregon? (addressing the crowd in general)

  14. Alice (So. Fla) says:

    I could understand what you were describing. You are my hero. Wow, hope you had your coffee before all that. Glad it wasn’t me, I only have to deal with dead batteries and trying to figure that out. Your pictures are gorgeous as always.

    Wishing a wonderful labor day weekend. Gooseberries are good !!

  15. DesertGinger says:

    Hey I’m back in the top 20. That’s unusual.

    So, to inform folks from posts yesterday…

    The company is The Knife of Aristotle (because he is the father of logical thought). We have a beta website, which you can join, but it’s not really ‘there’ yet. We take existing international news stories and analyze them and present our analysis. I just did a story on Protests at Budapest train station, which was about Syrian refugees not being allowed to board trains in Budapest. Today I worked on story about the picture of the toddler drowned in Turkey, attempting to escape from Syria. Our analysis includes spin (words like ‘heart-rending’ and ‘horror’ that are too subjective to have any useful meaning for a news story), slant (which means when they criticize the EU for not doing enough, they should also mention that Germany will take in approximately 800,000 refugees this year alone…but they don’t), logic (which means a single photograph of a drowned toddler is not in fact the cause of people suddenly speaking out and being concerned about the refugee problem…they knew about the refugee problem long before this event but just didn’t pay attention. The photo may be a trigger, but is not the cause. The cause of people’s beliefs and actions is them…they are the cause, not the photo.) and data…(we analyze data to see how many stories use the same pieces of data, how much is fact, and how much opinion, etc). Then we write stuff. We write a context section to give background. A timeline. We write raw data…just the actual facts. Then we write a discussion about the spin, the slant, the logic, the data. We create graphs and compare articles to say which article had better scores, etc. any news you want to know, you can get a much clearer picture from The Knife.

    As for my stories, no, I am still on the ‘shadow’ team, which means I am still practicing and learning and am not yet certified for the publishing team. But I hope I’m getting close. Maybe in a month or two. However, if you are interested, write to me at and I will send you a story or two.

    Soon we will do our official launch of our ‘real’ website and I will inform everyone. It will be quite awesome and a good way to get the news, if you are a news person.

    So that is all about that!

    • Applegirl NY says:

      What an interesting post, Ginger. I look forward to checking out the web site.

    • BadgerRickInWis says:

      From someone who has been a total “news junkie” since I was a kid that’s just flat out cool!!! You Rock!!!
      But I guess we knew that already. 🙂

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      The writing you and the team are doing is awesome! Fact based…a breath of fresh air! Just this morning, I read that Germany and Austria are welcoming refugees. I will be dropping you an e-mail! Keep up the great work, DesertGinger! 🙂

      How did you find out about this group? It sounds so cool! I am a news junkie, too, but sometimes get disgusted with the “spin” that is put in things.

      Hope you and little Chloe enjoy the weekend! 🙂

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:

        …spin put ON things…

      • DesertGinger says:

        One of my friends is from Mexico. Her family owns most of the newspapers in Mexico. She is über wealthy. She is sponsoring this venture. So that is how I heard. Latest news…I submitted three ‘slant’ analysis for consideration and just found out today I had good ‘validity’…meaning my analysis agreed with the analysis of two publishing writers. My next step is to do a test analysis of a selected story, and if I pass that, I will be certified for slant. Woohoo! I think I will be able to do the spin certification process in about a week or so. I’m hoping to get certified on as much as possible before I leave here. As soon as I’m certified I can start working on publishing stories in those capacities in which I’m certified…which means earning money! Which is a big part of why I’m doing this. So I’m making progress!

        • Denise - Richmond VA says:

          Whoo-Hoo!! Go for it!! 🙂

        • Pamela K. says:

          I’m confused now. Are you saying you will be doing (writing) news stories that include slant and spin on them? Or will you be doing straight news stories without any slant or spin on them? Is the whole idea of this group to write news stories without any spin or slant and just to convey the core facts as best on can as the events occur? I’m interested but help me to understand this better. I’m a news junkie but I like news stories that have little to no spin or slant so I can decide what I think about that news story and how it applies as a whole.

          • DesertGinger says:

            No, as I said, we take existing international news stories from a total of 37 sources. We usually use 4 of the total, then we do an analysis of those stories for slant, spin, logic and data. Then we write raw data (just the facts that were used in the articles) and we write about our analysis results, with ratings and grapes to illustrate which stories used more or less spin, slant, poor logic, or had more opinion and less data. We do not write original stories at this point, although that is a future goal.

          • DesertGinger says:

            Incidentally we haven’t found any news outlets that use little to no spin and slant on a consistent basis.

  16. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    Whew! Sue and Crew you just keep givin’ us some nail-biting escapades!

    I hate gravel. HATE it. Can’t wait to hear about the new site and how the holiday went. I just got home from Tacoma (traffic on I-5 was awful) and am tuckered. Spent 3 days with my older daughter and her family which is FUN. We baked for a garage sale like crazy people!

    Happy Birthday to all the birthday folks!
    Hugs from Hoquiam,

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      WHEN is traffic ever NOT horrid on I5…to me it always is!! Glad you got home safe…we always are grateful to get home ok. We have to drive either that or 405 which is only marginally better!! However, some of the new roadwork…the exit to Woodinville for example seems to really be helpful…way less stress…though still not a walk in the park!!

      Used to live in Central Park, by the way, but hubby’s job went away and our youngest was so ill living in the “rainforest” so we went inland. Helped the health some…but oh my, what trials and tribulations we endured there!! I could write a book…but never fear…won’t cause to this day there is no good ending!! We still live with the effects in our family from our sojourn there…

      How fun…baking for a garage sale…I bet you are exhausted!! I hope it sold very well for you all!!

      • Barb from Hoquiam! says:

        Hi Elizabeth!
        Oh gosh, I am sorry you found Grays Harbor tough… it has been the opposite for me-the salt air and more stable barometric pressure helps my head pain… I can’t remember where you are now… The area has had many ‘hits’ in the economy… which is rough on so many…

        That I-5 is something I am used to having lived in GA for many years, but wowzers. The cycle riders that pop wheelies always get my nerves up… And the people who think they are sooooooooooooo important… I just sit back, listen to the tunes and try to keep lots of distance… so far so good 🙂

        Hugs from Hoquiam, where the weather is drippy, and the 7th St Theater is showing a matinee this afternoon of ” The Public Enemy” with James Cagney and Jean Harlow! I cannot WAIT! 1920’s restored theater three blocks from home? Hand me that fresh popcorn!


        • Denise - Richmond VA says:

          Enjoy the movie, Barb! I love TCM, and the “old” movies. Seeing a classic movie on the big screen of a vintage theater is super special! In Richmond, we have The Byrd theater, which is over 100 years old! It is home to $1.99 movies, which are usually newer releases. Christmas Eve they have two showings of “It’s a Wonderful Life”, with an Christmas carol sing along led by the original pipe organ that rises up out of the floor! Magical! The Byrd has the best popcorn in town, covered with “butter” poured from a pitcher for a vey reasonable price! The seats have not been renovated yet, so the trick is finding one that is not too bad, or bringing a seat cushion! 🙂

        • Elizabeth in WA says:

          Hi Barb…Grays Harbor was just tough on the health of especially our youngest one. Everything else was sweet there…we did love our life there aside from illness. We currently live on the farest northern edge of Seattle area. But with daughter living in Kirkland, and some of hubby’s kin living over in Port Orchard area and some down past Olympia…we get enough I5 and 405 driving!! I think both the texting and bonging going down the road (incredible how the passengers can even see out the windows in that smoky environment, not to speak of what is not happening inside their heads!!)…are why it is so much more dangerous driving these days. I used to feel that for a large population area, Seattle was the nicest ever to drive in…even a couple years ago, we were never scared or had close calls…but then that was before texting and bonging took over. I so wish also that like in Germany at least, trucks had their own highways and were not allowed to mix with the cars…though for us we have been able to use HOV lanes…well, that is changing soon in certain hours…which I think will mean even more lane changing going on and more wreck possibilities too!! ARGH!!! Hugs back at you…enjoy the movie!! Nothing quite like some of the old ones!!

  17. Nora says:

    That’s one of the things I like and also dislike about rving. There are always challenges and it requires a quick mind (and sometimes a little muscle) to solve them. You do well!!

  18. Teri in SoCal says:

    Well, looks like another beautiful camp. I wish with all of my heart that I was there, instead of here STILL trying to find a job. Hey employers…I am a GREAT employee!! Give me a chance, you’ll be glad that you did. 🙂

    And a Happy Birthday shout out to Pauline and to Mick. Hope that you both have a great day.

  19. Linda Hughes North Carolina says:

    Love all the pics, so glad you made it out and found another private site!

  20. Sidewinder Pen says:

    I like the look of your new camp 🙂 I had a nice campsite once near Beaver, UT, at one of those sweet little FS campgrounds in the Fishlake NF. Delightful little stream burbling by, and Beaver was a nice little town to drive into for town tasks.

    I like how you handled the morning’s challenges. I hate that sliding backwards on gravel when you brake feeling, but you got through it, ahhh.

    I don’t know if this tip would work in a similar situation, but my boat trailer sometimes reaches the end of its jack really close to where I need it to be. When that happens what I do (before unhitching) is to put one, two, or three Lynx Blocks under the nose wheel. Secondary benefit is that they have a little well in the center that holds the wheel (or maybe you have a metal base not a wheel – think it would still work). Anyway…. this gives more “high range” to the nose jack.

    Happy Labor Day weekend! Hope it’s a quiet one 🙂

    • MollyLuvsRoadtrippin (Seattle) says:

      What a great tip Pen – I just added Lynx Blocks to my outfitting list and once I look up what they actually are I will buy some. 😉

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        Ha, on putting them on your list and then figuring out what they are 😀

        Well they are orange plastic stacking blocks that come ten to a zippered nylon carrying case. They are available on Amazon as “Lynx Levelers.” The primary purpose is for leveling a rig that doesn’t have any built in levelers when a site puts you at a slant. You can put one down and drive up on it to give that wheel (or wheels) a boost; or you can stack them in pyramid fashion to make more height if the slant requires more build up on the low side. They can also be used as traction aids (somewhat), and for nose wheel blocks (as mentioned). They are lightweight, which is nice for carrying along, and interlock somewhat which helps when you go to drive up on them (although they can still skid a bit) (not that that’s a big deal, but sometimes you have to re-position them).

        The Lynx do have some disadvantages: Once you start needing to go up high, you need a lot of blocks due to having to stack them in pyramid fashion, plus the interconnected feature means subsequent layers aren’t as high, effectively. If they break, you have to pick up bits of orange plastic (although that has not happened to me, a friend with a heavier rig has experienced it).

        You can also use blocks of wood with a bevel on the ends. You could cut a circle out of the middle of one wooden block and that would do the “nest the jack wheel” trick. OTOH, wood is heavier and doesn’t interlock or “grip.”

        But either can work 🙂

        PS: I haven’t used the yellow Camco blocks, but my sense is that the orange Lynx ones work better (from reading/talking to folks).

        I always try to make it so I don’t need levelers, but sometimes that’s not possible.

        A tip: Don’t try to place them and then “find them” and drive up on them (three guesses who tried that). Instead, pull up near them, then place them right in front of the wheels and centered, and then slowly but with a bit of gusto, drive up onto them.

  21. Cynthia from San Clemente, CA says:

    Whew!! I was exhausted just reading about your morning! Glad to know I’m reading on Saturday and that was Thursday and you are now at a nice new boondock. I hate gravel too – it is deadly when I’m on my motorcycle. I hope everyone has a relaxing, safe Labor Day weekend wherever you are!

    • Pamela K. says:

      You ride bike? How did I miss that before?! What kind of cycle do you have? I’m trying to find one that fits me right but is still a dual sport. Most are too high for me…short gal at 5’3″ so I’ve mainly stuck to cruise only. I seriously want to dual-sport. Agree, gravel is even worse than strong winds or strong rains!
      Ride Safe, we are always Invisible ya know 🙂

      • Cynthia from San Clemente, CA says:

        Hi Pamela: I’m not sure I mentioned my bike riding before, so you probably didn’t miss anything :). I’ve always ridden Harleys – I started on a Softail Deluxe, went up to a Street Glide (which was a bit hard for me to handle with the big heavy fairing up front), and now I’m on a Softail CVO, which I love. I’m too old for the dual-sport stuff – lol – at 62. We do a lot of long trips that include open roads and twisties, but at cruising speeds. Have been to Sturgis twice (crazy!!!) and all over the West. Yes, I know what you mean about being invisible. It’s one reason I like my Harleys – I’ve got Vance & Hines pipes and if I rev my throttle, the boneheads will hear me coming. I hope. You ride safe too 🙂

        • Pamela K. says:

          I must say I have always loved the styling and ride of a softtail. If I ever do a Harley, that would be the one I would look to buy. Dual Sport…I’m older than you are HA! I mainly want a dual for the option of riding on forest trails. When it comes to sudden soft mud you can never have too much fire-power, lol. I know this sounds a bit odd but I even considered a Ruckus!!! Those little guys handle really well on dirt and rock trails! Trails I would like to ride but would never take my sweet Vespa scooter or my fine Aprilia on.
          Sturgis (Crazy!!!) Yep but it’s like a right of passage, one has to go there once, right? Hubby and I attened the Harley 95th Anni in Milwaukee but haven’t been back in that area again to attend the more recent ones. Now I go to Panama City…it’s almost that time again too 🙂 I will be heading out and camp for 10 days there with the Aprilia. Attend the swaps, see some sites, just hang and enjoy taking it all in. Always fun, and yes, CRAZY, lol. I guess someday i’ll slow down…maybe at 103 🙂 Until then it’s all about the RIDE. Speaking of the ride, did you see the movie Why We Ride? Some of my ride club, WOW, were featured in it 🙂 Always fun to see a positive movie about Women On Wheeles. There are alot of us who solo ride now…thimes are a changin’ 🙂

  22. edlfrey says:

    Are these gooseberries?

    No one has taken a stab at answering your question so I’ll give it a shot. All the gooseberries that I have ever seen came out of a can and they were green. I checked the Web and there are some red ones but they are not common. The other reason for thinking they are not gooseberries is they are not growing where you would normally find them – they would have had to have been planted.

    My guess – they are chokecherries.

    • Joy Sutton says:

      I never liked gooseberries as they green and sour because that was when they were traditionally picked. In later yrs my MIL made a gooseberry pie out of ripened onew and I loved it. They ripen yes and are purple and quite good. Someone else picked them so I don’t know what they look like , too many yrs can’t remember how they grew, in clusters?

    • PJ Crim says:

      They are definitely not gooseberries – we live in MO and pick them for pies and jelly all the time – wrong leaves and shape. Gooseberries do turn dark purple and then black, with less sourness, but they lose their distinctive taste then, too. We usually put a couple of the colored one in a pie or jelly for coloring – but mostly pick them green and use lots of sugar.

    • NV Teacher says:

      Ed got it right. They are chokecherries. They make delicious jelly.

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        Agreed! We used to pick chokecherries when I was a kid (all forms of berrypicking were cherished rituals) and my mom and I would make jelly from them. Of course each year I had to try one or two “raw” as we picked because, with a name like “chokecherry” – plus they are pretty and jewel-like – what kid could resist? They are very sour, plus have a sort of “sandpaper like” residue effect. Easy to see how they got their name. We also picked pin cherries, although now I could not separately identify them without looking it up (they look somewhat similar as I remember).

  23. Sharon in MO says:

    That looks like a beautiful campsite, Sue. We are camped south of Quebec City and heading east in the morning. We almost didn’t get to stay here because of Labor Day reservations but then they found us another site without sewer, so we are good. Quebec is certainly a beautiful city, and we also enjoyed Montmorency Falls.

  24. Lisa and Tommie in SoFL says:

    What a pretty girl to greet you in the morning, oh wait, I think there were antlers, lol. Well, it was pretty anyway. Yes, I see how it would be hard to leave that place. And you handled that tricky slide well. I remember sliding in snow without a trailer, and that was bad enough.

    Happy Holiday weekend and Happy Birthday to Pauline and Mick. We have been dodging rain drops and thunderbolts today in the SoFlo tropics. I am trying to get organized for my trip north, but am a sequential person. Sometimes not being able to do step one louses me up. Hopefully I can leave for parts north in an organized fashion on Tuesday. I am taking my lead from RV Sue and waiting for weekenders to clear out.

  25. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Something like this Sue, would have put me in tears (and verbal prayers!!), glad you were safely out of there!! But the sadness of leaving a gorgeous quiet place…hard I know. Looks like your new spot is pretty too however…trees are a comfort to me (well, except in high winds…argh!)

  26. Pookieboy in SE Texas says:

    bottleneck jacks are good to have when ya need a little jacking….:)
    several short 2×4’s are helpful too but ya cant carry everything….
    I was kinda looking for a post from you and sure nuff you did! after
    3 or 4 days I have withdrawal pains from not getting to read your posts…
    good reading and good pictures my dear…keep up the good work…

  27. Elizabeth in WA says:

    And wishes for good birthdays to Pauline and Mick too!!! Hope you both have a really fun day!! With yummy foods!!

  28. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Ummm….you rolled the BLT onto those yellow building levelers which made it the right height?

    You are amazing….you studied the problem task ahead and figured it out! Then came the loose gravel obstacle….no problem…piece of cake. Rock on desert woman!

    Love the photo….the top of Reg man’s head…what are we looking at RVSue? So cute.

    Hope your weekend is serene.

    Happy Birthday Pauline and St Mick! Enjoy your day!

  29. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    What a morning you had, just to leave camp. Glad you figured everything out and arrived at the new camp safely. I love the photos of the animals. It is a fantastic sight seeing deer first thing in the morning. We see them behind the condo quite often. In the summer, they eat the plums off the lower branches of my tree, in the front yard. When I purchased that tree, it said it was a decorative plum. It is decorative alright, plums falling everywhere, when they get ripe. Between, myself, my neighbor, the deer and the squirrels, we get most of them before they are a big mess.

  30. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes to Pauline and Mick. May your birthdays be special.

  31. Linda in NE says:

    The berries aren’t gooseberries. They look more like chokecherries.

    You did a slick job of getting out of your previous campsite. You’re obviously a good problem solver.

  32. Libby Nester says:

    RVSue has got this under control. She has boocoos of experience. She knows not to panic and come up with a plan.

    I enjoyed the picture of the mule? I loved the ears. And, the turkey was awesome.

  33. Diann in MT says:

    Sue, you are just amazing! To me, you are the ultimate example of the self-actualized grown-up woman. Your tales of courageous problem solving are enough to keep my resolve going each day. Thanks!

  34. Krystina ~ Victory, Vermont says:

    Have a great birthday Mick and Pauline 🙂

  35. weather says:

    Another benefit of your camping on “a road less traveled” came to mind as I read this post.Vehicles and people near or behind you would have made the hitching and gravel situations more trying .You clearly knew how to best handle both and needed no one else giving suggestions or being in your way,especially while backing down and driving up again while on the steep part .It’s not a place I’d suggest to most folks as they and/or their rigs couldn’t handle it, yet I’m very glad you stayed there and got to enjoy the nicest parts of it.The deer you zoomed in on is a wonderful example of that.Wow,what a gorgeous face!Gooseberry Campground looks pretty,too.I hope you three are having a good time there,Sue,thanks for using part of it to let us know what it took to get there .

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Not to “challenge” what you are saying in a negative way (which I mention because maybe it sounds like I am?), but actually because it is true: Having people around often does result in a sort of pressure, perhaps moreso when one is female (because, little lady, etc.). I feel it even though I try to let it roll off (and so as you say, much better when there isn’t that sort of audience). But, since it’s often present, I find it helps me to prepare in advance so I’m ready with some effective scripts. “Thanks, I just need to take my time and work it out on my own, but will let you know if I need help.” etc. etc. Otherwise it is so easy to do something you don’t want to (follow someone else’s directions, which then mess things up, etc.).

      In the second case, I would differ on saying that most folks shouldn’t go to a place like that. Now granted, many people have no interest, and that is fine. But for those who do, I encourage them to delve in as they are comfortable, and learn to work out the problems and judge the capabilities of themselves and their rig. Rather than a “on no, don’t try that!” feeling. Sort of like learning to drive in snow.

    • weather says:

      If my comment came across as fear mongering I’m sorry,that wasn’t my intent.

    • Weather, I’m so behind in my reading that I just now read that you purchased a sweet little T@B. I wanted to jump ahead to say that I’m dreaming you have as many joyful days in your home on wheels as I have mine. I’m in my sixth season with “Daisy”, and she’s the only large purchase I made without hesitation and any buyer’s remorse. I also tow with a Jeep, but mine is a Liberty with sky slider roof. It’s usually me and my shih tzu, and sometimes daughter’s lab. Hubby comes along rarely. I’m going on a second annual 20-day beach caravan next month. Can’t wait. More later….

  36. weather says:

    🙂 HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO PAULINE AND MICK!! I hope you each something that’s a real treat to you to help you celebrate it.

  37. Krystina ~ Victory, Vermont says:

    You done good RVSue!!!! Yep, using your (really good) brain to get yourself out of a situation. No surprise there 🙂 Fabulous photos too. As always…love the horses, great views and your site looks great. Have a peaceful holiday. Give the kids hugs from me.

  38. Applegirl NY says:

    An exciting and interesting post, Sue. So resourceful in a difficult situation. Love the picture of the Reg man looking out at the horse.

    Stellar morning here in the Adirondacks. Crisp blue sky behind the pines, and the sparkling lake peeking through. Another day to float our troubles away in the the tubes. I often think how blessed we are to have this little slice of heaven at our disposal.

    Happy Labor Day, everyone, and Happy Birthday Pauline and Mick.

  39. Eileen Dykeman says:

    Sue, I really admire your tenacity and problem-solving skills; you’re an inspiration. I love the photos of the deer; I very much DISLIKE the hunters who kill the wildlife, even if in the name of “population control.”

    • edlfrey says:

      When I drove from Monticello, UT to Blanding, UT (21 miles) I saw a portable programmable message board that said there had been 237 deer/automobile accidents up to that date (15 Aug) during 2015. I assume that all, or almost all, of the deer did not survive those accidents. I hope you have the same DISLIKE for the drivers who kill the wildlife as you do for the hunters.

      I was a hunter at one time, have not done so for many years now, and did so in the name of FOOD. There are still hunters that do it for that same reason and I would bet that most hunters do it for that reason.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Can’t say that our kin were too successful at deer hunting…but others gave us deer meat from time to time…and it is so yummy!! I do not see any difference myself between eating deer, or buffalo, or beef…I do not agree with hunting for sport…though tis fine in my opinion to have some fun while hunting…but in order to eat, or diversify the diet. Deer meat has some qualities for health issues we have never found in beef and buffalo I will say…most definitely. Which says there must be something in it either in larger quantity or else something the others do not have.

  40. Pamela K. says:

    Pauline and Mick,
    Happy B’day! Hope your special day(s) are filled with *all things wonderful* including dancing balloons all around 🙂
    Happy Labor Day too!

    • Pauline in Mississippi says:

      Thanks Pamela K….there weren’t any dancing balloons in Mississippi…maybe in Tennessee with Mick

  41. Pamela K. says:

    Glad all went well with the PTV and BLT!
    Love all the photos today. Especially loved the one of the horse and Reggie Man’s head! The back of his head always looks like one of those cute Hand Puppets! 🙂 He always looks so animated, even when standing still…which is almost never!
    Enjoy your new camp. After that little work out, you deserve every peaceful minute of that new camp 🙂
    Happy Labor Day and give the crew a big smooch and hug from Klemper and me.

  42. judy in beautiful east texas says:

    Just wanted to say how very much I enjoy reading your blog. Safe travels sue.

  43. Val R. Lakefield On says:

    Love the way you meet those challenges head on. Glad you got out and on the way to a new camp. That deer close up is beautiful. I had to slow for wild turkeys this week, but no deer sightings lately. I am enjoying this daily ritual of the geese though. Every evening just after dark, the they fly in their V formation up the lake. They are very low and honking all while. It is such a lovely sight. They must spend the night up there.
    Well tomorrow will be the day the cottagers leave and take their #%** fireworks with them. I expect to hear them on special holidays, but not every weekend. Our dogs is so afraid of the sound.
    Happy Birthday to Pauline & Mick ?

  44. BadgerRickInWis says:

    One too high and one too low. Dig a hole.
    Can’t go right. Than go left.

    You tell your story in such a way that it seems like “of course that’s what you would do.” But these are lessons that many here will take with them into their lives. Never doubt that you, the crew and this little blog are changing lives for the better every day.

    Happy Birthday Pauline and Mick, many, many happy returns.

    And on this Labor day weekend, I want to give thanks to all of those brave forgotten workers who risked so much to insure that we all have this and all weekends to look forward to. Just like Memorial day there is more to this than just an extra day off work.

  45. Velda in Roseville CA says:

    And you think your RV gets lousy fuel economy. We were watching tv and caught a segment on tractor pulling contests. Those tractors get 20 feet per gallon of fuel which calculates to 264 gallons to the mile. Now, don’t you feel better about filing up that RV to go visit nature??!!

  46. Lee J in Northern California says:

    You, Miss Sue, are the queen of problem solving.
    I once was pulling my truck, camper on the bed, hooked up to my two horse trailer . We were camped at Sam McDonald Park in San Mateo, at the horse camp. It rained. The road into the camp was dirt and one part was pretty steep, so I decided to leave for home a day early as I didn’t like the looks of that steep part…slick!
    I drove up and slid back down, surprised myself that I kept the truck and trailer straight! No substitute for experience.
    I ended up unloading the horses and tying them to trees, driving up the hill empty, then walking back down to the horses and rode bareback up to the trailer. Those horses four foot drive was way better than my loaded down truck making it up the hill! My friends that stayed ended up having to get hauled out with a tow truck, simply looking at the situation, listening to the weather report, more rain coming….saved my bacon!
    So you saved your bacon, as Jules says. Well done Desert Woman!

  47. DesertGinger says:

    ??? Happy Birthday Pauline and Mick! ???

  48. Chris B - Southern California says:

    Hi Sue!
    The sliding backwards thing is so scary. When we first got our Casita, Clete was driving a Ford pickup with a rebuilt transmission (as in AAMCO piece of junk) that didn’t have the oomph to get us up some of the hills that he chose to climb. The bad thing is that it always happened while I was driving! Very nerve wracking situation! As you have found out, you need to keep calm and not panic and just figure it out. So far so good! You have come a long way from that green traveler that I first met who was traveling with Chuck and Geri! 🙂

    We just got back from 5 nights in the eastern Sierra off Highway 395. We escaped the heat at the 9,000 foot elevation. It was beautiful, no smoke from the local fires and with perfect temperatures that required a light jacket at times.

    There are lots of bear problems in the area due to the drought (and dumb people). There was a poster taped to the restroom door stating that if a particular bear got into trouble one more time that he would have to be destroyed. So sad when much of the problems are due to negligent people. He did break into an RV, a standard vehicle and tent but the charges for stealing food off a picnic table and a ransacking the tent and cooler should be counted as fair game! That’s what bear boxes are for!

    While on a hike to Rock Creek Lake, we ran into a mama bear and her cub on the trail. They meandered off into the woods when they saw us coming, so that was a good thing. The black bears generally aren’t aggressive if you keep your distance, especially from the mama with cubs.

    Can’t wait to see your new campsite!
    Chris B

    • Krystina ~ Victory, Vermont says:

      Wow Chris B!!! I used to be a buyer at AAMCO Transmissions 48 years ago!!! LOL

      • Chris B - Southern California says:

        Didn’t mean to offend you! 🙂 It’s just that they changed something in the tranny that made it powerless. We had some thrillseeker moments getting stuck going up with a trailer behind us!

        Chris B

  49. Lacy says:

    Getting out of the rut? And climbing up the mountain on loose gravel? Let me say that when I speak for all of us, we say “WHEW”!!!!!

  50. Sondra-SC says:

    Hey Sue, I’m in Rifle visiting my family, both sisters have homes in this area… spent the day hiking up on Grand Mesa yesterday it was cold..freezing rain fell for a while! Today its a rainy Labor Day. Thursday I plan to head north/west for some solo travel. Hope it was a quiet labor day for you..

  51. Mick'nTN says:

    Thank-you my dear virtual blogorino Friends for your gracious birthday wishes.

  52. kgdan says:

    Just finished a very good début novel: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.

    Weather is cooling here. Working feverishly to get our rental finished and rented so we can LEAVE! Still working on house-sitting solutions.

  53. Norman Kawut says:

    I haven’t viewed your site in quite some time. We met in Quartzsite about a year and a half ago when you needed a battery.
    We’ll things have changed for both of us. While in Utah this spring, I met some folks who needed to give on of their dogs away. They had adopted her six months earlier but she was terrorizing their other dog who is 14 years old, deaf and blond. So now I have80 plus pound Betty and 11 pound Lucy. BTW Lucy is a rat terrier. What an experience!

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