Desert living

What I won’t do for my crew.

As I shared with you recently, Bridget and Spike are on a raw meat and bone diet, which is a royal pain in the a*% for me, their sole provider.  It’s easy enough to keep stocked with raw meat while camped near a Wal-Mart or other substantial grocery.  I have to visit a market more frequently with the crew on this diet because my fridge and freezer aren’t very big.

1-DSC02556

Spike hurries to catch up with me and the Bridge.

Quartzsite is a bust.

I check the markets in Q and find nothing in the meat cases suitable to purchase for the crew.  Bridget and Spike are great dogs but they are not getting pork roasts and t-bone steaks from me.

1-DSC02574

Nature makes lovely arrangements in color and form.  That’s a palo verde growing among saguaro.  An ocotillo stands at the right.  Green creosote bushes and silver grey-green bursage grow in abundance across the desert.

I have to do something!

We’re down to the last 16-ounce tube of ground turkey.  Well, I could haul butt up to Parker, about an hour’s worth of flat, straight driving through uninspiring desert north from Quartzsite.  Or I could take the interstate to Blythe, California, which is about a half-hour west of Quartzsite.

1-DSC02558

Bridget and Spike on their way to Palm Canyon Road. This photo shows the true difference in their coats.

Off we go to California for the crew’s groceries.

My loss of sanity is confirmed as I merge with the interstate traffic and zoom westward to buy groceries for the crew.  The Albertson’s in Blythe has ground turkey, chicken, and relatively cheap cuts of pork chops.  Sheesh.  Those two eat better than I do.

1-DSC02559

These days Bridget is the leader. I’m hoping Spike’s arthritic shoulders will show improvement soon.

I read other blogs, which may be a mistake. 

It’s hard not to get competitive.  I see one blogger touring a fabulous place, then another blogger camped with a spectacular view, and, oh, the photos are eye-popping and the posts are so dang interesting.

1-DSC02564

A lone saguaro surrounded by ocotillo

Well, I suppose I could pack up, hitch up, and seek adventure.  I could find an amazing boondock no one has ever posted about before, one that would wow my readers. 

I consider that for about two minutes.

That kind of thinking is not good.  The crew and I are enjoying our camp along Palm Canyon Road in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.

1-DSC02585

Bridget’s always the one who lets us know it’s time to rest in the shade.

The weather is sublime — hot in the mid-afternoon sun, but sublimely cool in the shade.  A soft breeze wafts over my lounger and no bothersome humidity, of course.

This warm spell may bring out some snakes, although we haven’t come across any.  They tend to be in rockier places than this.  A little salamander appeared and crawled under the outdoor mat.

It’s quiet here.

This morning I step outside and listen.  I hear absolutely nothing for a few moments.  Then a bird song, and, way over on Highway 95, the faint sound of a truck.  That’s it.

1-DSC02560

Spike investigates. Bridget’s thinking of the water dish at home.

I love quiet. 

Later today a convoy of fifteen little vehicles with flags a-flyin’ roll up the road to the canyon in a plume of dust.  A few lone vehicles go by from time to time.  None of that disturbs us because we’re far from the road.

1-DSC02519-001

The tall saguaro makes my antenna pole look puny.

Since we’re happy here, we’ll stay.

I vowed that once I retired I’d live my life MY way.  I will not let outside influences determine how I spend each day.  I’ll remain true to myself.

To take off for the purpose of fresh blog material is letting the blog rule my life.  Life before blog, not blog before life.  It would be easy for me to lose sight of that.

1-DSC02555

Buds on a beavertail cactus. There are several of these scattered around our camp.

Spike and I are turning into crusty ol’ desert creatures.

See the rough ground around that beavertail cactus?  That’s what my skin is beginning to look like. I scrub exposed skin with hot water and soak my feet in a basin of hot water.  I trowel on body lotion every day.  Bridget, on the other hand, seems to do okay in this dry environment.

1-DSC02586

I think this is a barrel cactus growing between two bursage bushes.

Spike’s back paws, however, have developed very dry pads about to crack. 

Several months ago I bought some “Vermont’s Original Bag Balm.”  Amazingly, Spike lets me massage it into his pads.  The bag balm makes the Best Little Trailer smell like my grandpa’s dairy barn way back when . . . .

1-DSC02546

The eastern sky and Signal Mountain are slightly tinged with pink from the sunset.

The sunsets the past two nights have been gorgeous.

I like to take my chair around to the back side of the BLT to read during the last hour of daylight.  That way I’m sure not to miss the sunset.

1-DSC02548

This photo only shows about half the color splashed across the sky.

If you’ve never seen an Arizona sunset in person, I can understand you thinking I enhanced these photos.  Scouts honor, this is the real deal.  Astonishing!

1-DSC02545

Swirls from a giant paintbrush . . .

rvsue

 THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!

This entry was posted in Simple living and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

227 Responses to Desert living

  1. Lacy says:

    First? doubt it – now I have to READ it!

    Don’t you DARE seek adventure simply for this blog – I’d have to come find you and FUSS! No ma’am, we won’t let you do THAT!

    And tell The Crew that they are indeed lucky to be ‘kept’ so well. Enjoy your gorgeous quiet scenery ;)

    hugs,
    Lacy

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You ARE first, Lacy. Congratulations!

      It is tempting to fall prey to searching for blog material instead of simply living my life. This blog has become very important to me and not only financially. It’s connected me with a lot of similar-thinking people. I care about the wannabes, the gonnabes, the newbies, the dreamers, and all.

      I am amazed that my readers keep coming back. I lap up the positive feedback and crave more! Thus the temptation to look for interesting things and places to blog about.

      Well, this is a reply to Lacy but it won’t indent like it’s supposed to. :(

      • Lacy says:

        Believe me when I tell you, I wasn’t TRYING to be first but it was too funny when I just happened to sit down from chores and hit your site and saw that it was ‘new’.

        I’m telling you Sue, you have something very special in this blog in that you live such a beautifully simple lifestyle – with both the ability to live alone and yet remain connected to ‘civilization’. I would hate to see you work to pursue adventure simply to bring interest to your pages. Just the thought of it sounds like a job and therefore would immediately ruin this good thing you have going on!

        It appears you’ve made so many friends here, we don’t expect you to entertain us…….what I wish for you is to continue living your happy days just the way you want and as always, will enjoy reading about them as you decide when and how to share.

        hugs,
        Lacy

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Lacy . . . You write such sweet words to me and then your comments keep getting pushed to the bottom. Not my doing!

          You’re right. It would become work, along with some pressure, to try to keep up with the more exciting blogs out there. I’ve always lived small and I’ve always looked at the small picture of life, if you know what I mean. In other words, I’m fascinated and entertained by simple, everyday things. I hope my readers will be that way also, because that’s pretty much my blog!

          Once in a while we hit it big during our summer travels though! It’s great talking with you, Lacy.

          • Lacy says:

            Haha – well I really could care less about ‘first’ – maybe I’m smack dab at the bottom because I commented before I fully read the blog. That’ll teach me!

            • Mary (MN) says:

              Lacy, Sorry about taking the first spot, I don’t know how I did it. I was sitting in a parking lot waiting for hubby while he got a haircut. Of course the only thing to do while waiting is to see if rvsue updated her blog. :) So I posted my comment from my phone, I don’t know how that would do it. Oh well, we know you were first. :)

              • Lacy says:

                Mary – that’s so funny. I often say to myself “what’s the BIG DEAL about being first?” when I see everyone’s comments here. Then today I JUST SO happened to post first. Again, no big deal – I was in shock that I opened her blog at just the right time. Believe me, I could care less… The only thing that I care about is that Sue keeps blogging ;) Thanks for chiming in, I’ll gladly forgo top honors, they’re all yours!

  2. Mary (MN) says:

    Sue being true to yourself IS interesting blog material as well as encouragement to your readers. There is hope, truly a retirement in which we can do what we want, when we want. Your outlook on life and entertaining writing style makes everything interesting. I encourage you to be true to Sue and let rvsue continue writing the informative and entertaining blog. :)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mary,

      I don’t know how you did that, but Lacy’s comment appeared first on my screen and then yours popped in above hers. Something wacky is going on! :)

      Seriously . . . I probably shouldn’t compare my blog with other RV blogs I read. We offer different things. I will try hard to follow your good advice.

      • Elizabeth aka E2/etwo says:

        Sue…. You’ve got it!

        “Be All YOU Are…. Be Yourself…. Everyone Else Is Taken!

        Thank you for the beautiful pictures of my home state! Maybe
        I’ve already written that I am an “Ancient Phoenician” wanting
        to be there in my waning days. Most of the places you have
        been visiting are very familiar…. Keep On Keepin On!

        Maybe I will look for a Class B…one big enough for my Awesome Arranger Keyboard, my music, my Clyde Cat and his
        box, etc. etc. etc…….

  3. casitagirl says:

    Bag Balm is pretty amazing stuff and does have an interesting smell, doesn’t it. It works well for dry skin and early skin breakdown.

    It’s good to be true to yourself. My husband and I just made the decision to simplify our lives. We are selling our house, getting rid of most of our possessions and buying a smaller house down in warm Florida. We will stay there in the winters and vagabond in our RV all summer and fall. No more -18 degree days. No more going to work in the dark and returning home in the dark. No more white knuckle drives on icy expressways. No more slogging through the day when you’re sick, tired or sick and tired. No more paying to store the RV instead of using it! Our poor lonely dog will get walks every day and loving companionship all day long. So far, we’ve found the house in Florida. We close on it on March 13 and are in the process of readying our house to put on the market in April. One thing is sure–it takes lots of planning and coordination to make this happen! Wish us luck, Sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I do wish you luck, casitagirl, although I don’t think you need my wishes. You are taking charge of your life and your future. You will carve out a good and satisfying life for yourselves and your dog won’t be lonely any more. How very wonderful!

      All your “no more” statements remind us of the daily struggles so many people go through. If you can escape that, go for it! Sure, it takes “lots of planning and coordination.” Once that’s over, you can fully enjoy each day.

      I think your plans are great! You WILL get there . . . Thanks for sharing!

  4. Rob says:

    We raised a large family on ground turkey, it was cheaper than hamburger. I find it amusing that you use it as dog food.
    It’s nice to have a world big enough for all these different things…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rob,

      Believe me, I think of the starving people of the world when I buy ground turkey for the nut cakes. I love Bridget and Spike so much and they are a large part of my happiness. I’m frugal about most things except when it comes to those I love.

      • Chuck says:

        Yep Sue, we have a pair that eats at least as good as we do!!! New treat they love is sliced carrots!!! Go figure!

        • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

          I have a number of friends who use carrots for dog treats!! I include carrots in my home made dog food. (and also use ground turkey – though I cook it and add in rice too)

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Well, I tried canned pumpkin and the two of them walked away. I’ve shared chicken soup with them in the past, the kind with big slices of carrots, and they ate it. I don’t know if they’ll eat uncooked carrots though.

            • SusanS says:

              When Juneau was young she loved apple and banana slices, baby carrots and pumpkin. As an adult she has lost her sweet tooth. Once in a while she’ll eat canned pumpkin. She still loves her zucchini slices, cooked corn (that goes right through), beans (from her own garden) and peas.

            • DesertGinger says:

              I don’t know if you are only doing raw, but something most dogs LOVE is artichoke hearts. Just plain, not marinated. My JRT daisy belle preferred them to steak. My make a good treat…very high in fiber which would be good for spikes bowels.

  5. Sandi Lierley says:

    thanks so much for such beautiful pix, the desert, mountains and sunsets and gorgeous, I had no idea. we have had 10 below 0 3 times this winter for a week at a time, and another on the way by the weekend, ugh, I want out of this cold so bad. My motorhome is in the yard covered with a tarp, husband sick all winter so just a matter of time but for now, you are keeping my hopes up with this blog, thnx again. Sandi North Eastern Wa state

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, Sandi, I feel your pain!

      I am honored that my blog and its photos give you hope to hang on through this winter until the time you and your husband can enjoy your motorhome. I wish good health for your husband and warm days ahead.

      Thank you for the compliments.

  6. Pen says:

    Hi Sue,

    I can identify with your thoughts about providing “good material” for your blog. I don’t have a blog, mind you, but still. I’m glad you are staying true to yourself. Funny thing is, I read plenty of blogs just like the ones you describe, and I enjoy them, but if yours and theirs update at the same time…. I read yours first. I guess I prefer reading about “boring,” day-to-day life (presuming it is well-written, which you do). I suppose maybe the big adventures *are* those other people’s day-to-day lives, but you probably know what I mean.

    Having only a small (non-propane) refrigerator, and having lived on boats with iceboxes only, I can imagine how fresh meat is “driving” you these days. You may not want the expense or space/power complications, but one option may be one of the “modern/good” 12-volt coolers, such as an Engel or Waeco. I think Truck Fridge may also have them. They are basically shaped like a well-insulated cooler, and are reasonably quiet and parsimonious with energy. Being top-opening, the cold tends to stay in when you open the lid. I won’t link to any product so that you can do that if/as you prefer. The ones I’m talking about aren’t just your every day “plug in to take a few cold drinks in the car” type coolers, but are “real” and long-lasting products that have worked well for quite a few people I know. I was thinking that perhaps you could have one in the PTV (you know, so the crew can live in the style to which they are accustomed; I think you should draw the line at a humidor or wine cooler though).

    Those unique, U-shaped “crags” shown behind the BLT are in my distant field of view from here. Kind of a friendly feeling but without disturbing anyone’s solitude :) (Although your site sounds a lot more peaceful – here there are generators running every night…. and I mean at midnight/1 a.m./2 a.m….. can you believe it?!)

    When I happen to comment early on one of your posts – such as today – I still always come back later to enjoy the commenter community you have :)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pen,

      It is tempting to buy that super-duper cooler you mention. I don’t have room for it and certainly don’t need to add more weight to the PTV or BLT. But, just the same, it’s good to know about that option.

      Maybe as time goes by I’ll do better stocking up for them. It really has become a challenge and I’m not even in full-out travel mode yet.

      I hate that you listen to generators at night. Or I should say, until the early morning hours. How inconsiderate can people be? They’re probably watching television. See, that’s why I don’t like being around people. They always end up doing stuff that irritates the socks off me. Just being open and honest here . . . but REALLY! GENERATORS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT?

      (That was me yelling on your behalf, Pen.)

      I like your phrase “commenter community.” Isn’t it grand? Thanks for reading me first. :)

      • Pen says:

        Thank you for the outrage on my behalf – much appreciated :D In anchorages I developed a special glare to help incoming boats “decide” not to come too close (I only slightly jest…)

        I understand about the expense, weight, and cost of the 12-volt cooler – not to mention the power drain. But like you say, just wanted to mention it as a possible option in case you hadn’t seen them. My mind roams to sailors’ solutions for meat (since there were traditionally no refrigerators aboard). None of them are really “raw” though – I was thinking of jerky (i.e. dried), home-canned meat, those pouches that do not require refrigeration, etc.

        One thing that pops to mind: Do raw eggs fit into the picture? I have not looked into the BARF type diet since I last had a dog (been a few years…. sniffle), so I can’t remember. At any rate, if they do, they are one thing that *can* be carried without refrigeration (I’ve done it on boats for years). The basic idea is to keep air from penetrating the shell, and there are a few different ways to do it. One is rotation, which is what I chose. Basically you let the egg itself maintain a coating on the inside of the shell, by turning them over every 2 days or so. I just kept them in cartons of a dozen apiece and turned the whole thing. Another way is to coat them in Vaseline; and a third is to boil them very, very briefly (cooked egg makes a thin skim on the inside and does the sealing). I think some also paint them with “water glass.” It really helps if the eggs have never been refrigerated, and another bonus is if they have not been washed (the natural coating helps). I have kept farm eggs for a month or more in the tropics (hot!) with turning. I found a farm that sold eggs and asked them to not wash or refrigerate X dozen for me and they were happy to oblige (cheap, too!) Store (refrigerated) ones will still keep, but not as long. Perhaps eggs are not suitable for the crew and I have rambled on… but maybe another egg-eating RV-er will find it useful.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Well, here we go again… Bridget won’t touch raw egg. Spike slurps it up!

          I have a supply of tuna fish and sardines, but I don’t want to feed them that every day.

          Thanks for the tutorial on keeping eggs fresh.

      • Chuck says:

        People, don’t buy those crappy cheapo generators and take them out camping…..you will make enemies…..leave them run all nite and…….. They are great for earthquakes, hurricanes or power outages but DON’T TAKE THEM CAMPING!!!!!!!!
        I seldom vent but……..

      • Barb in Washington state says:

        oh, my pet peeeeve!!!! Generators argh Haven’t heard any where I am, except for ours *blush* I use a CPAP so we charge the batteries at night for a bit while we watch tv. Have been watching the Olympics. I could do without TV, but my husband..that’s another story lol We have a Honda 2000 that’s pretty quiet and we put boards around it so it’s quieter. Even with CPAP, I can’t figure out why someone would have to run it all night….we have an inverter that gives us “shore power” and that powers my CPAP. We don’t use it unless we out in the boonies. We turn it off as quick as we can when we’re around people. One time, the first time to Quartzsite, we camped at Hi Jolly…oh.my.goodness!!! People packed right in there. A guy pulled up next to us, turned on the big ole construction generator and it ran till 11 pm. Another time, we were at the sand dunes (Glamis) and during the week, we were the only ones there, then the weekends would pack out. So, on one Wednesday, we came back from Brawley to find a small trailer right next to us. They had THOUSANDS of acres, and there were NO other rv’s anywhere…and they parked right next to us. I was livid…..

        • Barb in Washington state says:

          oh…forgot the last part lol

          we had just lit the campfire, and were sitting there, and he came out, turned on the generator, went back in and they went to bed. it ran all night. I think they were trying to use their heater, it was pretty cold. But still…I wish I had the nerve to say something to people, but I don’t. I’m with you Sue….people really get on your last nerve sometimes, don’t they?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Good for you, Barb, being considerate of others. I don’t blame you for being “livid” about someone parking next to you. You remind me of the time at Dome Rock when I responded to a rude guy with “Hey, I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t park right next to my campsite. It’s a great big desert out here!” Not that it helped any… Did make me feel better though. :)

          Weekends and holidays are very challenging for the sane.

      • stan watkins says:

        Here is what you need.My review on The YouTube.I bought mine from adventurerv.net. If this crosses any lines feel free to delete. I will take no offense.Haven’t read all the comments yet but have you tried booties for the crew? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHD6GYwx7RU

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Great job, Stan! A very helpful and thorough presentation! Thanks for putting the link here.

          Nope, the crew doesn’t have booties. My friends, Bill and Ann, here at Kofa, put booties on their beagle, Samantha who has sensitive pads.

          I think Spike will be fine if I give him a Bag Balm treatment at the first sign of dryness returning.

  7. Willow says:

    Hi Sue,
    Keep your blog Rvsueandcrew, it’s great the way it is, the everyday simple life is the best. I understand your need for quietness and solitude. Love to you and the crew and keep writing about your nice simple and happy life.

  8. Linda in TX says:

    Wonderful photos! Ahhhhh.

  9. jeff says:

    Sue, what a way to end any day, a good read and a beautiful sunset!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      And these sunsets have been spectacular! People must think I sit around all day and read . . . and they’re right! Haha! Nice hearing from you, Jeff.

  10. You (might?) want to give a head’s up to a butcher ….. if there’s on ‘anywhere on the premises’ and ask them to save you some scraps, bones, or trimmings, or ask them if they have any in their freezer, ….but I suspect you’ve already done that! I know I’ve bought meats for the grill in Quartszite, but I don’t know if the same places are still there, or if they are seasonal, or perhaps pre-butchered elsewhere.
    There have been ‘times like that’ when I have pulled out the Blue dogfood I order from Amazon. However, my pups are ‘reluctant’ with the dry food now that they’re spoiled, and I have to pour low sodium beef or chicken broth and raw eggs over it to encourage them. (admissions & confessions) I’ve even opened cooked meats in emergencies!!
    Blessings on you in your endeavors! I admire you, and the pups probably couldn’t love you more! After all, how many of our canine family members even ever manage to get out of their fences? Your pups are becoming ‘worldly’!! They know they’re not ”sittin’ on the porch, but instead are ‘running with the big dogs”!! Enjoy all of that beauty! ……..and remember those of us waiting on your next adventure.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, B Beck,

      Yes, I’ve asked the butchers. Sometimes they have it, most times they don’t. As long as we’re confessing here, I did buy some canned dog food for emergencies. I don’t think Bridget and Spike will touch kibble after having been to “Pareee!”

      Bridget and Spike spent the first half of their lives waiting for me to come home from work. They never went anywhere. We did the dog park for a while but that became a free-for-all mess, so we gave it up. What a different life they have now! To think some dogs spend their lives at the end of a chain and here these two roam around at will. It makes me happy to give them a good life, even though I gripe about the demands of their new diet.

      I was late with this last post. I wanted to write one yesterday but I woke up with a slight headache that lasted all day (sure, the ol’ headache excuse).

  11. Teri in SoCal says:

    Just reading about your days and nights, seeing your photos, and reading about the crew always makes me smile. It takes me away from this desk, and my worries. It makes me hope that someday I’ll be seeing these places firsthand. So enjoy your travels and thank you for taking me along.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Teri. Readers like yourself remind me how fortunate I am to be here in this beautiful, peaceful, and warm place. I’m happy to share it with you.

  12. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    You know that you’re on the subject….you know what you can change?

    ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING !

    Gotta be quick here! You blog is always interesting, informative, inspiring and a lot of fun! I wouldn’t miss a day!

    I believe you would walk across the desert, climb the highest mountain and swim an ocean for the crew!

    Gorgeous photos!

    Is Spike and Bridget’s bowls elevated? That may help with Spike’s shoulders…as his shoulders don’t have to spread to reach down for his food! A thick book or amazon box will do!

    Harvesting saguaro cactus requires a permit…and those are for the ones that have died! All other takers are poachers! You can tell by the “skeletons” the bottoms are chopped off! Buyers beware!!

    I love saguaro cactus! Love your front and backyard!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      Interesting idea about raising the crew’s bowls. I haven’t noticed Spike straining to reach his food. I’ll take a close look at the next meal. Gosh, they gobble up this raw meat so fast!

      Those saguaros I referred to in a photo caption were cut down during the heyday of mining, maybe over a hundred years ago. I’ll never forget the beautiful, tall saguaro that someone toppled with their ATV in the desert near Ajo. Sickening.

      Good to remind everyone of the permit, although I don’t think the people who need to hear that are people who read this blog (or who can read).

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        If they are gobblers then don’t use an elevated bowl!

        They may give themselves bloat aka turn stomach…..which is really really REALLY bad!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Spike already bloated. I rubbed his belly which gave him some relief and me a bad smell up my nose. Haha!

          • Cinandjules (NY) says:

            Spike did not fluff in your face!

            No seriously ..if they gobble don’t use an elevated bowl…ESPECIALLY if he’s got some gas going on!

            I’m dead serious!

            Turn that fantastic fan on …..girl!

    • Ed says:

      “Harvesting saguaro cactus requires a permit…and those are for the ones that have died!”

      This comment is correct with regard to a permit but they do not have to be dead. However, a permit is also required for the removal of a dead one. This is also true of many of the cactus that are found in Arizona not just the saguaro. So when you find that cute little cactus out in the desert don’t dig it up and take it home. Chances are you will not be caught but then again your neighbor may drop the dime on you because they payed big money for the one they got legally.

      “It is illegal under Arizona State law to move or transport any saguaro cactus from public or private land without a permit. Landowners have the right to sell or give away any plant growing on their land. However, no person may legally transport protected native plants for commercial sale from any land without first obtaining a permit from the Arizona Department of Agriculture. As a landowner, you have the right to destroy or remove any plant growing on your land, but if plants are going to be destroyed, notification must first be
      filed with the Arizona Department of Agriculture before the plan is initiated. “

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Whoa!!! I suspect there are many landowners clearing their land of cacti who aren’t aware of the requirement to notify the AZ Dept. of Agriculture first.

        People sell cacti at yard sales all the time. I wonder where those cacti came from and if there was a permit for transport. Maybe a yard sale doesn’t qualify as “commercial?”

        Thanks, once again, Ed, for adding relevant information to my post. I love learning, as well as having my blog inform others.

      • Alan Rabe says:

        Best true story I ever heard. Two hunters were out in the desert sitting around drinking and drunk as a skunk. Got bored and decided to shoot at a Saguaro. They used shot guns and blew the bottom out. The cactus fell forward and crushed both of them to death. There is justice after all.

        Sue, you keep it going just how you are doing. No other blog can hold a candle to yours. Their pictures are only better because they do major work in photo shop. I know because I see it all the time in the club I belong to. The color saturation that they have just doesn’t happen at that level in nature.

        Note: Those 12v super coolers only drop the temperature 30 or so degrees below the outside ambient temperature. There is no refrigerant involved. There are only good for drinks and sandwiches and such. Not good for long term storage.

        Something is going on out there. When I lived in Phoenix we almost never had the sunsets that you are showing. In 10 years I only have a few pictures with clouds because they just never existed unless it was monsoon season and it was raining. You are lucky.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Very interesting saguaro story, Alan. Can you imagine how well behaved people would become if plants always fought back? Gee. . . great premise for a horror story . . .

          That’s mysterious… The Arizona sky has changed? Well, you know I didn’t put the clouds there with photoshop. :)

          I agree about over-enhancement of photos. It’s like using fluorescent paint when painting a landscape. Too much!

        • Ed says:

          Sue,
          The advice that Pen gave you about the Engel or Waeco refrigerators/freezers is the ‘real deal’. He went on to say ” The ones I’m talking about aren’t just your every day “plug in to take a few cold drinks in the car” type coolers, but are “real” and long-lasting products that have worked well for quite a few people I know.” These are the ones that Alan is now warning you to stay away from. I know you will do your own due diligence but just wanted to side with Pen on this one and not let Alan scare you off the idea.

  13. klbexplores says:

    I love the quiet desert views. I always have been easily entertained which is why the RV life fits so easy for me. I was wondering if you still have your jumper box that you started with that has the air compressor. Since you no longer stay at campgrounds occasionally how do you charge it up? I was reading about them on line and that question came to my mind. I have been wondering if I should have one before heading out for Spring and Summer travels.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, klbexplores,

      Oh, yes, I still have my air compressor. I wouldn’t go anywhere without it! It’s a wonderful feeling of security knowing I can put air into a tire whenever I want. On the way to Zion in May 2012 the PTV developed a slow leak in one of her tires. I stopped and added air a couple of times on the way to camp and then again before leaving camp to go to a tire place.

      I don’t charge up the air compressor. It plugs into the dash of the PTV (cigarette lighter type outlet). I turn the PTV’s engine on and keep it running while I inflate the tire. It’s very important to check tire inflation regularly and adjust accordingly.

      I’ll put an ad in the sidebar. There are many kinds. Don’t know which one is the best. Mine’s a RoadPro, a model no longer made. I say, yes, you should have one before heading on down the road.

  14. Hi Sue. I’ve read every single one of your blog entries from the very first entry. The singular thing that continues to strike me is your strong intentionality. You haven’t seemed to do anything impulsive or without being full of thought. We all have different styles–in the way we live our lives, write our blogs, choose our camp sites…the list is endless. I so appreciate you for your honesty, openness, care, & independence! Make yourself happy & we’ll be happy for you & with you.

    I just discovered “Buddhist Boot Camp” by a wise man who calls himself Timber Hawkeye. In his short little piece called “The Big Picture” he has this quote from Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)–”I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I ended up where I needed to be.”

    Your inner voice is your best guide, Sue. It’s strong for you. Go with it.

    Dawn

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Great quote, Dawn. Also good advice in your statement “Make yourself happy and we’ll be happy for you and with you.” Thanks for that.

  15. Spike’s new nickname could be Brown Dog. An elevated bowl sounds like just the ticket for him.

  16. Ron Sears says:

    I get a lot of remarks about my little dog. I’m a 300# man and I have a 4.5# dog. I carry her around on my arm and for some reason some folks think I am odd… But you are right there is nothing I wouldn’t do for this little dog. They are family and should be treated as such. Great shots again tonight..be safe

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ron,

      You sound like my late uncle who was a very big guy with the tiniest poodle I’ve ever seen. Our pets deserve the very best. That’s what they give us.

      Thanks re pics.

  17. mockturtle says:

    Sue, I love your blog for the same reasons I enjoyed Tioga George’s: It’s about day-to-day life traveling with an RV, not going from one jaw-dropping POI to another. It’s the way I shall be living again starting this summer when I sell my house.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good for you! A great summer to look forward to.. .

      I felt the same way about Tioga George’s blog. I remember the little details, like one time he said driving around 45 mph put him in a peaceful zone where he appreciated the passing sights.

      I’m glad you love my blog the way it is.

  18. AZ Jim says:

    The crew is in charge. You work for them. Who am I kidding, all who take care of a beloved pet are the same way. They have the disadvantage of verbal language but those little looks and eyes and the way they cuddle up with you at night are all their little ways to say “thanks faithful servant, no wonder I love you”. Missy, you misunderstand the reason we have all come to love you and your blog. Oh the pictures are great (my desktop always is graced by one), the little stories of your adventures are fun but it’s the Susan that goes into each blog edition that makes you so special. I only read one blog and you know whose that is.

    • AZ Jim says:

      It doesn’t matter that this should be last, the sentiment is the same no matter where I end up on the page.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Gee, Jim, you’re choking me up with that sweet comment. I appreciate your and Detta’s loyalty to my blog.

      Yes, the crew pretty much runs the show around here. I don’t mind. Like you said, they give me plenty in return. Well, the Bridge does. Spike? He keeps me humble.

      You know Spike won’t give me one bit of affection? And he tries to hide that he enjoys belly rubs, but I can see a little up-curve of his lip that gives him away. I wish he’d drop the tough-guy act. I’d appreciate a little bit of snuggling from him once in a while. When I hold him in my arms, he grants me about a half-minute and then he’s wiggling to get free! It’s not right! And he’s three times the work of Bridget, he’s so dang demanding all the time . . .

  19. mary (in Colorado) says:

    I just love your sunset pictures today. The sunsets can’t help but make everyone feel calmer. Just keep on writing like you have been, Sue. It’s most enjoyable to read and see.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Aren’t the sunsets fantastic? You mention something interesting… Sunrises and sunsets do make a person feel calmer. What a marvelous world we live in . . .

      Thanks, Mary, re my writing and photos.

  20. Rita from Phoenix says:

    A while back I visited Deer Valley Rock Art….a very beautiful archaeological museum with lots of desert plants. They were roasting fruit from yucca plants so I decided to taste….very sweet like a ripe banana. I was thinking ‘well if I every get lost or stuck in the desert I can roast these and eat them.’ Anyway it never ceases to amaze me what I don’t know about AZ desert plants and which ones are edible. They were also teaching how to use a leather strap, put a rock in it, whirl it and fling the rock at a target…they said it was used long ago for hunting small game. I forget what they called that tool but it was interesting and decided I’m going back to learn how to fling rocks LOL! My grandmother was considered a medicine women on the REZ and she knew every plant in our area. She dried and hung herbal plants for healing in our cellar. She also made beef jerky in fall so we’d make meat in winter. Too bad I didn’t learn much…mostly because I was away in boarding school. Anyway I think it’s good to know plants. I find your blog interesting because you do tell us about plants and if you don’t know you ask your readers and so we all learn. Thank you for that and your blog!!

    • AZ Jim says:

      Rita, that is called a sling and if you are into bible stories it’s what David brought Goliath down with before slaying him with his own sword.

      • Rita from Phoenix says:

        Very cool…I forgot about David and Goliath and the sling. It was very hard to whirl the sling and try to let go at the right time to hit a target. I think I’m going back to the museum and buy a sling to practice out in the open spaces…my target a rock or a drawn circle in sand.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Sounds like a bola used by horsemen in Argentina. Click on the link and you’ll see what I mean.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rita,

      I can understand your regret at not learning more from your grandmother’s vast and practical knowledge. I wish I had asked my grandparents details about their lives at the beginning of the 1900s, and also my father and uncle about their experiences in WWII. Seems like we care once it’s too late.

      Of course, you have a reason… You were away at boarding school. I do enjoy learning about plants and then sharing what I learn with my readers… or learning FROM my readers.

      I wonder if yucca are related to banana plants. Hmm… something I can research.

  21. Maura says:

    I follow blogs of Y’all out in Arizona! I feel envious of your weather and beautiful sunsets! and I too experienced those amazing skies in the desert! The open panoramas…oh, so don’t feel that your blog posts get boring! Just spend a week/month in Atlanta Ga!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good heavens, Maura… Atlanta, Georgia? Now? I’ve been there, done that, and it ain’t pretty.

      It will be my pleasure to continue to bring Arizona to you!

  22. Bill & Ann says:

    Well, Sue. It wasn’t the Saguaro that was decimated, it was the Ironwood and Palo Verde. The trees were cut down to stoke the boilers at the mines. A Saguaro wouldn’t get the job done! Too much water in it. When you drive through King Valley you see very few large trees; the trees you see in that area are all second growth. The most beautiful and largest trees, Ironwood and Palo Verde, are located in the McPherson Pass area in some of the side canyons below Castle Dome. The vegetation in that area is amazing. Absolutely beautiful. Amazing Chuparosas over there.

    When you drive down 00 Road off of King Valley Rd. you will see a large pile of ash that was dumped on the east side of the road.

    • Bill & Ann says:

      Awesome blog, Sue. The pictures are amazing, and the stories great. Now all Bill and I have to do is discontinue volunteer work, which can be totally exhausting, now that we have figured out how to do this retirement thing. Be more like you. Keep up the good work!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh,, great… a big, honkin’ error in this blog post. And I put words in your mouth you never said! Sorry . . .

      I should have you proofread my posts before I publish them. I’ll take that error out of there. Thanks for all the good information. You would make a great docent. Heh-heh.

      • Bill & Ann says:

        Tours of Palm Canyon @ 1PM for the next two or three Saturdays. Ha! Led by yours truly. Sure hope it cools off! Five more weeks and then six months off! Hmm. I have too many exclamation marks in this paragraph!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Oh boy, you’re in the big time now! No such thing as too many exclamation points!!!!! BTW, the crew and I drove by your truck today (I think) on King Canyon Road.

  23. Barbara says:

    Trying to compete and outdo someone else would just add stress and would not be near as entertaining. I read about 20 different blogs, yet yours is the one I read first everyday. Sometimes I don’t even look at the others. YOu are the best, don’t ever change.
    The pics of the crew and the sunsets are great.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Barbara. I’m amazed at some of the blog posts and pics I read. I’m also amazed that mine is first pick for some people. I appreciate your encouragement.

  24. Penny (from Utah now in Baja) says:

    Hi Sue,
    You site is just right for me and lots of others. I’m down here at the tip of Baja in my little Casita watching whales and eating fresh caught fish every day. It may sound exotic but we are living a relatively simple life boondocking in the desert – getting our power from the sun and water from a nearby well. This year we have cell service and wifi. Because of this I can keep up with your blog – the only one I faithfully follow. I appreciate your low-key style and descriptions of everyday life. Your blog has evolved – you add things to make it relevant and amusing e.g. the crews corner, expenditures column. Keep on doing what you are doing. It looks like lots of people continue to follow your blog because they (and me) like it.
    Hasta Luego
    Penny

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Penny,

      First of all, thanks for identifying yourself as from Utah now in Baja… I would confuse you with the other Penny (Pen) otherwise.

      Your camp sounds idyllic. Boondocking in the desert AND near water… That’s perfect! And now you have cell and internet. What more could anyone want?

      Thanks for the kind words about my blog. I’m glad you are with us.

  25. Your comment on your kid’s raw diet reminded me to order more of the ‘BLUE Natural’ I keep in my emergency ‘canine’ food supply. I used to order the ‘duck’ and ‘venison’ in plastic sleeves (Natural Balance), but the 1st 4 ingredients are no longer ‘meat’, so I’ve quit them.
    Of course, I ordered it through your website here, so we can keep those pups eating off of the ‘raw cuisine’ menu!! HA HA

    One of my babies is a terrible gobbler, so I give them both ‘small bites’ as I’m preparing their foods, or ”from my lawn chair (my hand to their mouth)’. I think it helps to use a plate, and spread their food out into several small ‘piles’. I try hard to have some type of bone with each meal, giving them the bone first, slowing down their meal, then follow with any other ‘gobble-able’ foods. My tiny dogs can smell bigger and much worse than my larger ones ever did!

    I’ve never ordered from Amazon while ‘on the road’, but I am a prime member so I can read all the books. How do you order things from them while you are ‘on the road’? Are they willing to ship to any post office (or where) when you are on the road? How do you do that?

    I ‘check in’ on tons of blogs, …. and I’ve seen lots of these places in person,
    …… but it’s the little humming birds, the carefully chosen campsite, the behaviors observed, the collateral damage left by strangers, tires-in-the-sand, thought-provoking comments, the always-different sunsets, the perspectives from a different viewpoint, and the little salamanders scurrying under the mat that keep me coming back!

    Don’t dare look for blog fodder! (garbage in/garbage out can be found everywhere). Please don’t change things up, because it’s the little things that keep it REAL !!!

    <> Becky

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, Spike is the gobbler. Bridget, of course, minds her manners and eats in proper, ladylike fashion.

      You said cutting up the food into little bites helps. I’ve found the opposite to be true, at least with pork chops. Yesterday I cut the chop in bits and Spike gobbled. Today I handed him the chop, he took it out on the outdoor mat, and gnawed away, a much slower process. Another thing I’m doing is giving a small portion, waiting about ten minutes, then giving the rest. It seems to take the edge off him a bit, so he only wolfs down the first portion.

      He’s turning into a major glutton over this raw meat. He stands at the refrigerator door barking at me. When I turn my head to look at him, he quickly turns his head and looks elsewhere, like he wasn’t the one barking. I wait on a count of three and he steals a glance at me. What a character! He would eat a truckload of raw meat if I let him.

      What a nice description of my blog. . . I’ll try to keep it real, even when real is not much. :)

      • Ed says:

        Sue,
        Do not worry about Spike being a ‘gobbler’ that is the way dogs have eaten since there have been dogs. It is your sweet and fussy Bridget that is the problem child. Will not eat this will not eat that – give me a break!
        I suggest you exert some tough love. Try this for a month and see if she comes around.
        “For unenthusiastic eaters, offer a small amount of food, wait 10 minutes, and remove the uneaten portion. Allow nothing but water until the next regular mealtime. Repeat this 10-minute routine even if your pet eats nothing for several days. Your pet will learn that it must eat when food is provided or go hungry. Do not allow uneaten food to remain available after 10 minutes. And don’t supplement your dog’s diet with table scraps.”

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I feel the same way about Bridget… “Give me a break!”

          Oh, Ed, I don’t know if I have the discipline and fortitude to do that to the Bridge. A month? I’m too much of a softie around Baby Bridget.

          I have no doubt it would help her get over her finicky palate though.

          That part about “offer a small amount of food, wait 10 minutes . . .” etc… I can see Spike throwing a fit wanting to get at her plate. “Hey, if she ain’t gonna’ eat it, throw it my way!”

          We’re an exasperating threesome. . . “You can’t help those who won’t help themselves.” Haha!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I forgot to answer your question about ordering from Amazon while on the road.

      The best way is to use a UPS Customer Center (not a UPS store–too expensive), which is free, for your shipping address. I’ve had good luck doing that. Unfortunately they aren’t in small towns. They’re also called UPS “hubs.”

      For your shipping address, put Your Name, c/o UPS Customer Center, UPS address.

      You can use a post office address where you’ll be as your shipping address. Have it addressed to Your Name, General Delivery, Post Office address. That’s not as reliable because if Amazon ships via UPS it might not be accepted at the p.o. or the p.o. might be closed. Unfortunately Amazon doesn’t let the customer pick who they want to handle shipping.

      I’ve discussed this with Amazon several times, as have many, many customers. I’m hoping a better system is found soon. Again… My advice is go with the UPS Customer Center, like I did in Yuma.

      • Thanks so very much for this information. I’ve been RV-ing for a lifetime, but always coming back to ‘home base’ in TX in 8-10 weeks, having paid bills ahead of time to avoid worries. THIS summer is mine, ………..and afterwards, too. Having the Amazon info is priceless, because I’ve always shipped to my house or my kid’s homes. The last of my 4 children married this year, so I now feel free-to-be, and my little kids will go, too! I know I’d want something while I’m on-the-go, out of habit, and Amazon.com is the only habit I don’t want to leave behind!

        I feel like I know your babies personally! “The Lady & the Bomb!” HA!

        No need to answer this one, because I can see that tons of others are weighing in tonight!! Such a deal!! Sweet Dreams, my Friend!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You do know to set up your bills to be paid electronically straight from your bank, right? I haven’t mailed a bill payment in years. I also have it so my bank reminds me via email to authorize payments when they’re coming due.

          If you know where you’ll be traveling, you could look online and find where the UPS hubs are located along the way.

          Never too many comments to answer! Sweet Dreams to you, too …

      • Pen says:

        Side note: I have had one “ugh” problem when I had an order sent to a General Delivery post office address and the shipper used UPS (it was not Amazon in this case). The UPS shipping was free to me (I was enrolled in a program similar to prime; it was a specialty tool company), and the post office DID accept the deliveries. However…. when I went in to pick them up they wanted $15 for each box for a fee (it was three boxes!). I begged politely for mercy since I hadn’t known, but no such luck, so I ended up paying for one and refusing the other two – what a pain! I have been able to “force” USPS shipping from Amazon with a PO Box address (I had one where I used to live), but with general delivery you don’t have that. Also, that kind of negates Prime, since it’s slow.

        Another note is that on my last Amazon delivery (I have Prime), I had my order shipped to a local commercial shipping place. Their fee was a reasonable $3 per box (free is better, but I can handle $3 and they have to make a living too). Until…my 8 items (all ordered at the same time) were shipped in SIX individual boxes — so it was $18 to receive them, for Pete’s sake!

        So, count me in on the folks who would love to have a way to specify the shipping method (or at least know which one it will be, so I can react, even if I can’t choose – that would be fine). With companies I can contact, I’ve taken to calling and discussing it.

        I still love Amazon/Prime (two-day shipping… yay!), and order a lot through it, but….I hope they come up with a way to show what the shipping method will be so that those of us on the move can react with the right type of address. Until then, well, we are resourceful and will come up with workarounds :)

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Gosh, what a lot of hassle and unnecessary expense. Sorry you got caught that way.

          I’ve even had trouble when I used a commercial address in Quartzsite. The business accepted UPS packages for a dollar a box.

          Well, my KEEN shoes arrived, no problem (so happy!). The other two items made it as far as the Blythe post office (25 minutes away) and were returned to Amazon. Still haven’t figured that one out.

          • Pen says:

            I guess we can’t complain too much, since so many things are so easy these days (compared to days of yore; I remember when just making a phone call or trying to get mail/money was a huge, took-forever hassle). Well no wait… we’re curmudgeons, of *course* we can complain! (And your sympathy is appreciated.) And really, it’s something that could be improved. Even when I was living sticks & bricks, I had a problem with it because I needed to know whether a given package would be shipped USPS or other courier. I had plans in place for either occurrence, but just needed to know which address to use when I ordered (there were two different ones, depending).

            Until then… resourceful workarounds, we shall employ :D

  26. Ron says:

    Well Miss Sue if you dont believe it is working for most folks look at the counter.
    LOL
    RON

  27. JodeeinSoCal says:

    When I saw your last photos I thought “You did travel to get a better view afterall – all the way to the other side of the BLT!” Some bloggers travel to find beautiful sunsets but the sunsets come to you……you must be doing something right :-).

  28. bobg says:

    Everybody has their own favorite skin lotion. Mine is “Corn Husker’s Lotion”, which is cheap and can be had at Walmart. Been around since Moses was in diapers. Every now and then in the desert I get a case of Alligator Elbows, and I just rub on some of that stuff and it goes away. It doesn’t take much, it’s not waxy like some balms, and it soaks right in and disappears. Two or three applications, and cracks are gone, sometimes for weeks. Really good for sunburnt and peeling skin, and dry lips, too.

    If you run out of bag balm, give it a try.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ve seen that stuff, Bob. When I run out, I’ll try it. Now I’m going to go see if Amazon sells it and what they charge for it.

      Ha! “Alligator Elbows” … boy, do I know what you mean.

      LATER.. I put an ad for Cornhuskers in the sidebar.

  29. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts. VA says:

    Oh my goodness Sue…the photos are great! I love learning about the desert and the plants through you, (it is so foreign to me), so enlightning and beautiful!
    About the other Blogs…of course be true to yourself, that’s what we like.
    Thank you!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Diane,

      I’m happy you enjoyed the pics. It was a pretty morning for wandering around the desert taking photos.

  30. Deb from NJ says:

    WOW! Great sunsets! How lucky you are to be able to sit, read and watch the sun set.
    How lucky we are that you take us there too! I enjoy your blog and your adventures.

    I am dreaming of when I am gonnabe a newbie! (hahaha) In the meantime, I follow your blog and try to absorb everything that you write about not just the places you go to. Its the every day things that I love hearing about. I am learning through you and your commenters. Today was a reminder that I need to get an air compressor.

    Keep true to yourself and keep on blogging…….your way!

    Have a great day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deb,

      Isn’t it something the way comments give so much information? I can write a pretty ordinary post and then the comments are interesting and informative, making the post seem better. Sometimes readers say they don’t comment because everyone has said it already. But I’ve never read a comment that didn’t add something, if only another voice from another place.

      Yes, get the air compressor. I’m not saying that just to make a few dollars. I love mine. It’s good security. Also a couple containers of fix-a-flat are a great idea. Those things work!

  31. TJ says:

    Help for your dry skin. I use 1 squirt lotion and one drop of Olive Oil. Rub together with your hands and apply. You will be pleasantly surprised.

  32. Bill from NC says:

    Hello Sue. They make a paw treatment for hunting dogs that softens and helps heal dry cracks. My friends run foxhounds and they order it out of magazines for hound men. If you could find the name of it in a hound magazine I bet Amazon would have it too! Great sunsets!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, I put the Bag Balm on Spike about two hours ago. It all soaked in and his pads look great!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Bill. . . I took another look at your One-Legged Cowboy blog. You look like you’re having a great time! Your blog is put together very well.

      I am very envious of your trail ride, even if it was done in a group. :) You are resurrecting my dream of horseback riding, one I packed away a long time ago. Sigh.

  33. Edie says:

    I only read one blog. I have looked at others, but they just don’t hold my interest (no offense intended to anyone else who has a blog!) And I agree with all that you should not change one little thing!
    Thanks for the news and pictures. And good luck with the new doggie diet. The dogs are happy now for the logistics of keeping them in supply. lol

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Edie,

      If I’d known how difficult buying affordable meat would be, I might not have started the raw meat and bones diet. Then again, seeing how much Bridget and Spike enjoy their meals is priceless.

      I haven’t seen any physical evidence that raw meat is better for them. I wouldn’t expect to see any in such a short period of time. I assume I’ll get better at the supply side of this. The demand side is going great!

      Thank you for choosing to read my blog, Edie.

  34. Tanya says:

    Hi Sue.
    I love your blog. Do you think the bag balm has helped Spike’s pads? My dog also has dry, cracked pads.
    Thanks,
    Tanya

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Tanya,

      After only one application, Spike’s pads look better. Most of the dry part is healed. I think I may have missed a spot. I’ll give him another application when he settles down for a nap. I was surprised he didn’t lick off the balm. The guy will eat anything.

  35. Glenda in OZ! says:

    Seriously Sue, keep doing what you are doing. There is no better blog than yours no matter where you are. The amount of comments to each entry is testament to that. So love hearing your thoughts, seeing the crew and the wonderful photos…….love it all!!

  36. Janet says:

    Hi Sue; I’ve followed your blog for some time now. I love it! Not just the travel, not just the pictures, not just your life or the dogs, but all of it put together. You talk to us like we are your good friends and make us smile. I must confess though, that my husband is a little intimidated by your self reliance and independence. Not that he doesn’t like those same qualities in me but he jokes that you may be a bad influence on me. Especially when I start talking about downsizing from our 40′ MH to a small trailer and truck so we can travel to some of the small FS campgrounds you go to. I think you are suffering from a little hitch-itch like I do when I look at blogs of people who are visiting new and exciting places. Keep up the good writing. I enjoy all the blogs for different reasons.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m a bad influence! I love it! In this case, bad is good, you know . . . :)

      You bring up an important distinction for anyone buying their first rig. You can’t have everything. If you go big because you want the slide and the oven and the microwave and the big couch, etc, you are restricting yourself to newer campgrounds that you can fit into and RV parks.

      If you want to camp in national forest and BLM campgrounds, several of which are beautiful, inexpensive, and have been established for many years… If you want to go up to mountain camps or sneak away to a secluded camp via a rutted, narrow road . . . If you want the freedom of less rig and furnishings to maintain, clean, and repair, then go small. You will, however, have to give up the spaciousness, wow factor, and conveniences of a larger rig.

      It comes down to “Know thyself” and “Know how you’re gonna’ use the RV.”

      Best of luck resolving what rig is best for you both. Give hubby a hug for me.

      • Karen says:

        I love your blog. First time commenter and future full-time. We currently have a Nissan NV van we self transformed into a camper, but plan to switch to a fifth wheel when we retire and go full time. Do most national forests and BLM have length limits or is it more ability to get to the sites? I have been surprised some of the places we have been able to get to in our van which isn’t all-wheel or 4-wheel drive. Chaco canyon comes to mind. Stay true to your journey – I think that is the point of having the freedom that comes with this FT lifestyle. Many of us envy your great campsite choices. Thanks

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Karen,

          Welcome to the party! (Those are words I never thought I’d use) . . . I’m amazed you found your way through all these comments. Good to see you here!

          Your comment is very interesting. I enjoy reading other people’s plans and how they travel.

          To answer your question re fitting into NF and BLM sites . . . The older campgrounds were built before RVs grew so big. Hence, the campground road, turn-around, and individual sites may not accommodate a big rig. I’m not an expert, but I guess this is probably one of the main reasons people regret buying big. You’ve seen on this blog some of the lovely camps I’ve had in NF and BLM campgrounds.

          Of course, if you’re on NF or BLM land (not a campground) you’re more likely to have plenty of room for a big rig. The road getting in might not be suitable for a big rig. Many are okay though.

          Big rigs can come out and camp on Palm Canyon Road, for instance… either in Kofa or on the portion that goes through BLM.

  37. DeadEye says:

    Sue,

    Please don’t get competitive. There is no need to do so. You have a distinctly different life experience which appeals to all of us. Other blogs are……well…….just other blogs. They have their own experiences also. I really enjoy about 3 or 4 RV blogs. I find myself looking forward to only about 2 of them on a regular basis. You are one of those.

    Recently I ran across the Top 50 RV Blogs. You are not among them. You should be, but I am glad you aren’t, for the “competitive” reasons. I have checked out many of them and they have good material and good experiences but their following is not like yours because, I think, they just don’t relate everyday life like you do. A few are way over the hill in energy and content and are exhausting to follow. No fun. I like slow and easy.

    Thanks for sharing your life and thoughts and photography. Don’t you dare feel that you have to alter what you cherish to appeal to those of us who look forward to your adventures whatever they may be. Just be you,…………..please!

    Don

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Don,

      Thank you for taking the time to explain why you like my blog. I need to hold onto what is good about it, instead of being enamored with all the great attributes of other blogs.

      The Top 50 RV Blogs is a nice “pat on the back” for bloggers. It also is an impressive marketing tool by Florida Outdoors. All they had to do was make a list of links and a badge, bloggers proudly put the badge on their site, and “voila!”.. Florida Outdoors has free advertising and a link on up to 50 blogs that will bring lots of RV people to their site. It’s a win-win!

      Sometimes I find it hard to blog because I feel my day was too ordinary. These comments, including yours, Don, will be remembered. Maybe it will cure those occasional spells of writer’s block.

  38. LaneVids says:

    Gorgeous sunset!! Amazed at what you do for those two crew members!

  39. Doug Laning says:

    You have a great blog. Simple and down to earth. Love those sunset pics.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’ve got a pretty nice blog yourself, Doug. That desert around Ajo is beautiful, and your photos show it off very well. The text is easy to read, too. Good job!

  40. Libby Nester says:

    I love you blog just the way it is. It is always interesting. I love the descriptions of the people, places and events. It is always heart warming when you run into old friends – human and K9. I feel like they are my friends, also. I loved your trip to Washington State, but I was really happy when you got back to the beautiful desert. The desert is never boring and the adventures you and the crew have there is very interesting. Especially the bookstore guy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Haha! Okay, Libby… I’ll be sure to include a naked man once in a while in order to keep you interested.

      Just kiddin’ ya.’ Thank you for your sweet comment. The crew and I loved our trip to Washington state, too. . . I’m tempted to go back there this summer, but if I wait a year or two, it will make for a more exciting trip, I do believe.

  41. Joan Spivey says:

    Howdy Sue,
    First time posting, Long time reader :-)
    I had to smile and giggle, when I read “It’s hard not to get competitive”.
    Sue, because of Your Blog, Fabulous Places you takes us to, Spectacular Views, and Your Photos, which not only to me…. but to all your readers are eye-popping! The posts you write about that, You, Bridget and Spike are experiencing every day is so dang interesting to All of Us! With this said, because of you, our beautiful Casita, aka “Egg4Us” have been to Palm Canyon Road in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, the beginning of January.
    “Competitive”? Darlin Sue, the other bloggers are the ones who are trying to compete against you……… You are in a “League of Your Own!!!
    Wishes and Peace
    Joan from Casa Grande

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Joan,

      You’re a first-time poster? Your name looks very familiar. I thought we “talked” before . ..

      You came to Palm Canyon Road! I assume you enjoyed your visit here. I love the peacefulness of the place and all the greenery.

      Thank you for putting me in my own league… :) … and for joining the discussion here. Hope to hear from you again with more news where you’ve rolled your egg.

      • Joan says:

        Sue, you might have seen my name in the past on the Forum Board. Palm Canyon Road is a magical place, matter of fact when we came in Jan. we saw your rig, but we respected your privacy. We traveled up the short, and bumpy road to the base of the mountain, the last camp ground, on the right before the parking lot and stayed for a few nights/days. We met Bill ( I think) as he came over to chat with us and told us , he use to own a Casita. He admired the Pretty EYE’S on the front of our rig.
        We enjoyed out stay and will be back again!
        You are “A League On Your Own”. Don’t ever change.
        Wishes and Peace
        Joan

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thank you for respecting my privacy, Joan. I believe Bill and Ann mentioned you were here. I’m happy you found Palm Canyon to be “magical.”

          Not only does your name seem familiar, I think I’ve seen your rig with the eyes. :) Keep on rollin’!

          • Joan Spivey says:

            :-) Yep, The only pair of Blue Eyes with heart shape pupils, out there on the front under the Casita logo. :-) special tags on back, says it all “EGG 4 US”. :-)

  42. LeeJ says:

    I just had a thought, hard to believe, LOL.

    I wonder if Spike’s coat issues are a result of all the lakes and rivers and ponds he has soaked in over the summer. White coats tend to absorb color…and his coat seems like it sort of ‘stares’, is a little stiff and it separates rather than lays flat…
    I live in a hard water area, rural well, that tested extremely high in calcium carbonate and various salts…as a result I have to give my hair a vinegar rinse fairly often or my hair gets stiff and dull… and the water will stain my whites in the wash unless I do the vinegar rinse too. My hair isn’t white but I just bet I would find stains if I did.
    Bridget wasn’t a soaker so no problems! Just windmilling here…
    Loved your photos tonight, and the sunsets are stunning. Glad you share so much of your simply simply life.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You know, LeeJ, you may be on to something. Hard water could be the reason. I grew up in upstate NY where the water is hard. We always used vinegar for the final rinse of our hair. Creme rinse wasn’t a big deal back in those days. The vinegar really made our hair shine!

      Since the crew have self-cleaning coats, I don’t give them baths. I’m usually conserving water, too. I may try heating up some water to give Spike a bath in a basin to test your theory.

      The only thing that makes me doubt it will work is the fact that his coat is dingy all over, including the top of his neck and back, areas that rarely get wet when he soaks.

      I appreciate you sharing this with me. Glad you enjoyed the photos . . .

  43. KentW says:

    Sue
    Love your blog. It is so you. No need for exotic views. Judging by the number of comments, it appears many,many others find a lot if enjoyment too.
    Thanks for being here in cyberspace. You have given me some near ideas for future visits to southwest.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kent,

      Your blog is a perfect example of how various blogs appeal to various interests. Your photos are wonderful and you share many interesting topics. I love that photo of the upper falls in that canyon near Tucson.

      My friend (and a friend of this blog) is very interested in model railroading so I’m going to give him a shout . .

      MESSAGE TO RUSTY…. Click on the KentW link (above his message) and scroll down to his post about model railroads. Click on the photos to enlarge them. He shows some great lay-outs I know you would enjoy seeing!

      Thanks for writing, Kent.

      • KentW says:

        Sue
        Thanks Sue.

        If possible, Have Rusty contact me offline. There is an incredible, huge HO scale model railroad near Cottonwood. I can send him some info if he is interested.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          KentW…

          Can you post the information here? My list of followers is messed up and it’s hard for me to search for your address. I’m alerting Rusty by email to look here. Thanks.

        • Hello KentW, I was into HO when I was in school back in the 60s, but now I run 1:22.5, (G Scale ), Garden Railroadimg is better for me than HO, don’t get me wrong , I still like seeing HO Layouts, it’s just hard for me to handle HO be cause of it’s size and my hands. It would take me for ever to get those small trains back on the track. I’m High Ballin’ it on my C.V. Short Line Railroad. ALLL A Board !!!!! Toot Tooot ,,,,,,,,,,Rusty

  44. Elizabeth says:

    Well, judging by how many regular commentors you have, I think you have no reason to worry. And besides…most of us humans compare ourselves to others sometimes…but it can bring us trouble doing that. Go right on being you, Sue…who else is like Sue??

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right, Elizabeth. It’s not good to compare ourselves to others. If we must compare, we can look at what we were and what we want to be.

      Comparing seems automatic when I look at another blogger’s amazing, incredible, jaw-dropping photos and post. Gotta’ stop doing that! :)

  45. ruthiebee says:

    Sue, please don’t get all twisted up about impressing folks, your photos are great and your wry style is authentic and perfect. Some of the other blogs are a bit too egocentric for me, I like information, good photos and funny stories, call me simple. Seek peace and appreciate the beauty of the earth, read, enjoy your life. And if you run out of bag balm use petroleum jelly or even a bit of olive oil. If you have vitamin E capsules, those are good too. And put some fish oil caps in their food and yours, it helps your skin and your joints. HUGS to you and the crew from the still wintry mountains of NC!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, ruthiebee,

      Great to hear from you! Thanks for all those good, home remedies.

      All blogs are egocentric, including this one. Blogging has got to be the most egocentric activity, short of staring into a mirror all day. It’s all about ME, ME, and MORE ME! And if I’m not talking about ME, it’s all about MY dogs.

      Good advice. . . I shouldn’t “get all twisted up.”

      Okay, time for NC to warm up!

      • ruthiebee says:

        hmmm, i guess you are right about blogs being egocentric. I take offense at the preachy ones that tell me I ought to be following the path dictated by their not so humble opinions…one of the reasons i like yours is because you don’t imply your choice to travel is better than my choice to live in the woods and reside in an actual non-moving home. I like my woods, the mountains, our creatures. I love feeding the birds day after day and seeing the migrators come and go. We have the wandering bear, coyotes, deer and a whole tribe of wild turkeys lives right below us down by the river. I sometimes envy your freedom but appreciate our wonderful world here more all the time. You do the adventuring for us, we will follow along. And remember, don’t compare yourself to a galdern soul, you are SUE, RV SUE and her canine crew. THAT is ENOUGH and wondrous. I know you don’t like them but i am sending you a HUG!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Oh, I love hugs! Thanks! That was a good’un. :)

          Your place sounds divine. I can understand you loving it. It sounds like a wonderful, secure cocoon, which is how I feel about the Best Little Trailer. I think the link between you and me is our love of nature and our appreciation of the simple things.

          I’m happy that my blog comes across as accepting more than one way of living. Thanks for the kind and supportive message.

  46. Deborah says:

    Hi, Sue! Just a couple of things. First of all, in case you need something a bit stronger, you might want to try Musher’s Secret on the crew’s feet if necessary. Amazon carries it. My dog breeder friends tell me it is the best for dog pads and it doesn’t mess anything after putting it on. Some have even used it when dogs have to walk on the blacktop in the summer to keep their feet protected. I plan on getting some but haven’t needed it yet.

    Second, Picasso, my Havanese, started a raw diet just after your guys. You are partially responsible for that! It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for him for quite a while and finally felt the time was right. When you get to some of the slightly bigger towns that have a wholistic pet store, check out the frozen food section there. We are using food from a company called Blue Ridge Beef. They carry a huge variety of flavors besides beef like quail, venison, chicken, turkey and I think another one or two. They come in two pound sleeves, all antibiotic free, with ground bones for $5-6 for the two pounds, a price I think is pretty good. The store I went to also suggested getting some dehydrated veggies to mix into his food. Picasso, like Spike, is nuts for his food! He dances and prances until I give it to him. It requires a special effort to feed, but I think it is so worth it! Picasso has more energy and is just happier overall, although he is always happy. The only thing he isn’t as happy with is the face and ear wash after he eats. A couple of treats after his wash up seems to go a long way to ameliorate his unhappiness!

    Finally, if you need to be competitive, know that you beat the socks off of other blogs when it comes to interaction with your readers. Many people only get one or two responses. On a slow day you get vastly more than that! I think what we’ve all been saying is that we love ya just the way you are!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deborah,

      Funny you should mention Musher’s Secret. If you so to Shopping Links in the header and click on “For your crew,” you’ll see a link for Musher’s Secret way at the bottom, down my the dog bootie.

      Yes, Spike is nuts for his food! In fact, as I type this, he’s trying to get me to open up the refrigerator. Sheesh.

      I’ve never been in a “wholistic pet store” before. Thanks for the tips! I’m intrigued by the variety offered by Blue Ridge Beef.

  47. Beverly in NS says:

    Your sunset pics tonite are magnificent. We are in the middle of a three day cycle of snow, freezing rain,rain and do it all over again times three. It is nice to see your sights and sites and DREAM.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Beverly in NS,

      I assume NS stands for Nova Scotia, a beautiful location, for sure. I’m sorry you are dealing with snow, freezing rain, and all… I guess that’s the price you pay for those beautiful summers.

      I’m happy to provide the material for your dreams! Thanks for dropping in here.

  48. BuckeyePatti (Ohio/Florida) says:

    Wow, the sunset pictures are spectacular. I had no idea they would be this pretty in the west. We have temporarily escaped from the “winter that won’t end” and frozen subzero Ohio to Florida. We have enjoyed Florida for a few winters, but the tug to go west is getting stronger due to your blog! See what you have done? LOL I confess that I read your blog first, too. Hard to digest some of the fancy rigs and the high $$ places people go, since I don’t think that’ll be our style whenever we get out there :) Your simple life inspires many of us.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Patti,

      While talking with friends Bill and Ann recently, they reminded me that the purpose of my blog is “Living on less and enjoying life more.”

      When I first formed a vision of retiring to full-timing in the West, I couldn’t find any blogs or forums that spelled out exactly how much money it would require. The blogs featuring big rigs, expensive RV parks, and restaurant-hopping were discouraging (not criticizing that way of RVing… Live the way you want and can afford!). Nowhere could I find the information I needed to help me decide whether my income would support a life on the road. I made the leap anyway.

      It may seem crass or in bad form to publicly announce one’s earnings and expenditures. I’ve always kept that info private, as do most people. However, my desire to help other “dreamers of full-timing” overcame my reticence.

      I’m pleased when I learn the information I provide about my finances has given hope to someone on a limited income such as mine.

      The great thing is this — I don’t feel deprived by living small. I feel liberated!

      Always a pleasure to hear from you, Patti. Watch out! If you do come out West, you may never go back across the Mississippi again!

  49. Candace says:

    The real sunset shots are amazing-great job. I grew up in Florida, but moved to Arizona for a few years when I met my hubby so was always thrilled to see so many “calendar shots” I called them, since I had only seen sunsets like that in the The Keys.

    For softer skin for everyone, if you have olive oil in your pantry that is another option to use so that you do not have to purchase additional products. I am replacing butter as much as I can with EVOO. It’s EZ to find and fairly inexpensive. If you need an anti-bacterial or anti-septic, you can mix in some Tea Tree Oil, which is also EZ to find in most grocery stores. You can put it in their ears and on everyone’s skin/pads/etc.

    Thank you for staying true to your blog … I read it daily – and often recommend it to others, especially solo females who are wondering “Can I really do this by myself?” You are an inspiration to many :)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Candace,

      I get a lot of satisfaction every time I realize my blog has helped a solo female gain the confidence to follow her dream and to seek a life on the road. Thank you for spreading the word about my blog and way of life.

      Also, thanks for sharing good information for me and everyone who reads here. I love it when readers add value to my blog!

  50. Dawn says:

    Sue your life is entertaining just as it is. And we learn a lot. AND we get to see sunsets! Without getting out of our chair. No need to scurry around looking for excitement for us!

    Bit happy sigh from me.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi,, Dawn,

      Not only do you not have to get out of your chair, hardly do I! Haha!

      Your blog is very clever. Your Katie is beautiful. I love the pic of her snow-covered face . . .

  51. Diann in MT says:

    Thanks, Sue,
    For being you.
    Tweak the universe when it pleases you.
    And nobody else.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Diann
      My dear, sweet fan,
      For posting here
      Your words of cheer.

      I can hardly wait
      to revisit your state,
      where the cattle roam
      and everywhere is home.

  52. GypsyPurl says:

    Hello Sue and Crew
    I’m a long time reader and first time poster. I love everything about this blog; from when you started out up to Fruitcake-on-the Bike. Your pictures are refreshing; especially when you have “Cabin Fever” in areas of the country where you only have snow every 6 years but lately every 2 weeks. The crew is precious. Spike is my kinda buddy and Bridget reminds me of my Chihuahua. You adventures are educational, comical and touching. Sue, keep doing what you do because “Nobody Does It Better. ” Stay safe in your travels.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Sweet words, GypsyPurl. Thank you.

      And welcome to comments! Thanks for sticking with my blog and for breaking out of lurkdom!

      I don’t know what part of the country you are in, but I imagine it is tough to take all that snow when you’re not supposed to get that much. I’m guessing you’re somewhere in the South . .

      Hope to hear from you again. Remember ……. Spring is on its way!

  53. Barb George says:

    I too love your blog JUST THE WAY IT IS… the daily days…those where you are staying some place longer, help me to understand the space better…and when you move it is thrilling! So. My vote? Keep it how it is darlin’!
    I have no idea how you are able to do the fresh meat for the kiddos… those freezers are ennyteennnnny!

    Hugs from Hoquiam, where even I (a web-foot, rain lovin’ gal) wants some sunshine!
    Barb

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb…

      Hmm . . . Interesting comment — “help me to understand the space better.” I hadn’t thought of that.

      Re: my tiny freezer and the raw meat . . . I’m learning not to freeze too much when I bring meat home from the store. Raw meat, when bought fresh, will store for several days in the refrigerator section.

      Sorry you are having a lot of rain . . . so depressing. Maybe you’ll get some of the wind that Shirlene mentioned (above) and it’ll drive the rain away.

      I’m glad I drove through Hoquiam. I picture it every time you write. :)

  54. Jane Onken says:

    Sue,
    You don’t need to change a thing for a better blog. Isn’t it obvious to you? Not only do you provide entertainment and pleasure to lots of people, some of whom may not even get out much, but you inspire others to follow their own dreams, as well, (myself included). Plus, it has to be you first then the blog or it wouldn’t be so successful!
    I don’t usually write because you have so many notes to respond to, but I try to keep up.
    It always pleases me so that you try to do right by your charges. Anyone who is great to their pets has my admiration, hands down. Last Thur I put down my beloved 20 year old cat, Mackie, one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced. In the future after I sell this place, make some mods on my “98 SD sitting out on the parking and get on the road, I will rescue another little love to share life with. To that end, I’d best get to the next project!
    Continued good times,
    Jane — in Illinois

    • Teri in SoCal says:

      I’m so sorry about the loss of your kitty Jane. You must have been doing something right to have Mackie for that long!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Dear Jane . . . What a difficult time for you. I’m sorry you are going through this valley of grief. It will lessen with time, as you know, and you’ll be ready for a new bundle of fur to love.

      Your Mackie was a very fortunate cat to be so well-loved.

  55. Paula says:

    Don’t change your blog one bit, Sue — or go chasing after “the big story or picture of the day”. Those days come, but not every day! What you are doing is exactly what I love about your blog. When I tell people about your blog I say, “It’s like sitting down talking with a friend and just having them tell you about their day.” It has a wonderfully natural flow — easy reading. I love it! ~~~ Paula

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Paula, for sharing my blog with others and for the nifty way you describe it. I appreciate your encouragement.

      The Moose and the Caboose… how cute! From reading your blog I see you appreciate the same things I do. Good job and happy blogging!

      • Paula says:

        Sue,
        Please take it as a compliment that I chose your “style” for my own blog. I want my family and friends to feel a personal connection – a conversational style – to my effort at writing. You do it so-o-o-o-o well. My career included very technical writing so this is a real change for me. It’s fun!
        Paula

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You write your blog any way you want. If you use a style and format like mine, I’m flattered! The important thing is to use your own “voice” and to be true to yourself.

  56. Shirlene says:

    Well, yours is the first blog I read every morning…nuf said on that…what I did want to say is to hold on to your hat…we are getting strong winds here in Southern Cali and it looks like they are coming your way…Heads up or down whatever works and keep doing what you have been doing, the blog comments are not going down in number..that must tell you something…I will be ever faithful.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, noooooo!!! I do not like wind. Breeze is great, but wind? NO!

      I won’t drive or tow in wind, and the crew and I stay inside on windy days. Well, listen to me… complaining about wind when people are snowbound and frozen or dealing with interminable rain all over the country. I am very spoiled. I admit it.

      Still . . . I hate wind!

      Thank you, Shirlene, for your pledge to be “faithful” to my blog.

  57. I know several others have touched on this, but I’ll add my two cents. Those other blogs are useful for finding new and exciting places to visit – someday. As one who hopes to one day be on the road full-time, your blog gives me the day to day perspective of RV living that reminds me every day does not have to be about doing something or going somewhere.

    With regard to the portable refrigerator/freezer mentioned earlier, I know some people use them as a replacement for the refrigerator in their rigs, so that might be a consideration if/when the time comes. I personally like the idea of using one as a wine cooler. Since our plan is to hopefully buy a Class A, I see putting one in one of the storage bays. Then I would be able to say that my motorhome has a wine cellar. :)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Walt,

      Good point about “every day does not have to be about doing something or going somewhere.” I think that is a temptation when camped in interesting locations and when one’s home has wheels. I do enjoy simply hanging around camp.

      I’m relieved to see that many of my readers enjoy reading about my ordinary days.

      Your wine cellar idea gave me a smile. Pretty clever, Walt! I’m seeing an air-brush painting on your wine cellar’s door… a vineyard scene or maybe a cluster of grapes… :)

      Best of luck finding the Class A for you!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      BTW, Walt.. Your most recent post (2.17.14) on your blog “Out in Left Field” is excellent, very reflective. Your personality… at least your analysis of your lack of drive to “succeed” . . . seems much like mine. Great piece of writing!

      • Thank you, Sue. That is high praise indeed, and I appreciate the kind words. I guess I’ve always been big on dreams and short on actions. The dreams helped me through some rough patches in my childhood, when they were much preferable to the reality. There are some gaps in the blog, a testament to my lack of discipline when it comes to writing.

        As far as the Class A goes, my Chief Financial Officer (i.e., spouse) tells me we are looking at two-three years away. We have a pretty good idea of what we want in terms of brand and possible model. Now I have to be patient until she says we can pull the trigger. I think I can . . . I think I can . . . I think I can wait. Who am I kidding? I can’t really wait, but I guess I’ll have to. :)

  58. Julie says:

    Hi Sue,
    I was wondering if you had seen any improvement in Spike’s arthritis with the Cetyl M?
    Amazon also carries a product called Musher’s Secret that might help his pads. I’ve trained German shepherds for years for Schutzhund competition. To be certified to breed the dogs have to pass an examination after a 12 1/2 mile run, primarily to insure skeletal soundness. We trained for that with me riding a bike and the dog trotting along side on asphalt back roads. The dogs never got sore, but there were a few that wore their pads down smooth by the time we were ready for our Ausdauerprufung ( the run). Musher’s Secret will help protect against, sand and hot asphalt. I’ve used Tuf Foot too, but prefer Musher’s Secret.
    I am not suggesting you feed the crew freeze dried meat all the time (talk about expensive), but it takes up little space and weighs next to nothing to keep a couple of #10 cans around for back up. Emergency Essentials ( Mountain House brand) has it on sale this month. Walmart carries it by Auguson farms.
    Your blog is one of my favorites, partly your style, partly your reporting on the crews antics, but mostly because you are the genuine article. Please do not change a thing.
    thebossmare

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Julie,

      About Cetyl M and Spike’s arthritis… I can’t be sure if it’s helping. It hasn’t been 4-5 weeks, the time it takes for the full effect. He has had some very good days since taking the tablets. Then he’ll have a not-so-good day. It’s hard for me to tell whether those good days would’ve happened without Cetyl M.

      I’m still hopeful. Believe me, if I see a noticeable and steady improvement, I’ll be sharing the news!

      Freeze-dried meat? Never thought about that. Hmm . . .

      About the Musher’s Secret… See my reply to Deborah above. (I don’t expect all my readers to go through every comment when there are so many.)

      Thanks for thinking of Spikey and his dry pads, of sharing the hint on food supply, and for seeing me as “the genuine article.” :) Genuinely what is the question. Haha!

      • julie says:

        Cetyl M works best if you are double loading him the first month. Then you can go to the maintenance dose. I’ve been a veterinary technician since the mid 70′s when a dog with cancer was a rare thing. I have no published data to support my beliefs, but I think the preponderance of cancer in our pets and dying at younger ages for the most part is due to over vaccinating and the crap food diet of dried “kibble”. So kudos for feeding the crew real food. I have my dogs out in public, so vaccinations are important, but I have a titer test done first to be sure it is needed. When you have the time this is a thought provoking piece: http://k91training.tripod.com/id24.html
        thebossmare

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I’m giving Spike a double dose for 4 or 5 weeks. Your theory on cancer causes is interesting. I’ve stopped vaccinating the crew, and the kibble they were eating can’t be good for them.

          Thanks for the link. I’ll take a look at it.

          • Cinandjules says:

            There is evidence to support the vaccination claims. Cornell and Colorado school of Vet

            Canine- cancer. felines- renal failure.

            They say once a dog reaches adult stage…the only required vaccination is rabies. If you still want to vaccinate the with DHLPP series …then do it every three years.

            Most vets won’t tell you this because shots are a money maker for the business. Isn’t it always about money!

            The only loophole is if you want to kennel them or if they need surgery they must be current on their shots. (Unless your vet knows you are aware of this “study” and waives their protocol)

            Think about it….we get our human children shots when they are young….and it good for the rest of their lives.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              You give us lots to think about . . . The last shots the crew received were 3-year rabies shots. I wonder if this will be an issue if we want to cross the border into Canada.

              • Cinandjules says:

                Shouldn’t be a problem. A puppy will receive a rabies shot good for a year…thereafter the rabies shot is every three years. Same goes for felines!

              • Cinandjules says:

                I just looked it up for canada. The rabies tag that goes on the collar isn’t sufficient. You need the hard copy documentation that lists the brand, lot number and date of expiration…signed by the vet.

  59. Sue,
    I read several RV blogs. Many are loaded with breathtaking photos of scenery and landscape and the blogger’s exciting adventures are written in vivid detail. I never find myself wondering what those other folks are doing. On the other hand I often find myself wondering what RV Sue is up to. I think because you are so regular and approachable and you tell us all about your regular days in such an interesting way we feel a connection with you that we don’t with other bloggers. Your kindness brings me back as well. You have done so many wonderful things for so many people. That pure inner goodness just seems to be a part of you.

    I feel for you regarding feeding you fur kids. My dog is allergic to EVERYTHING. His symptoms range from tummy upset (in a big, bad way) to severe itching causing bleeding. His most recent diet is bison, fresh green beans and quinoa. This diet finally seems to be working. We’re spending about $200 a month to feel him.

    We are going to travel Alaska in a couple of months and I am really wondering how we are going to get bison when we need it. I’m going to cook as much as will fit in our little freezer and hope to find enough along the way to supplement the frozen. It did just occur to me that I might be able to can a bunch before we go.

    Ha! Canning buffalo for our dog in preparation for a trip to Alaska. Do you suppose that’s a first? The things we do to keep our “kids” healthy and happy are amazing, aren’t they.
    Juley

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Golly, Juley. . . You are one devoted dog-owner! I don’t know if I could go that far to provide for the crew. Quite admirable!

      A trip to Alaska! How exciting! I may do that someday as my horizons stretch out further and further. I wonder if your dog would do well with elk. Should be available in Alaska, I’m guessing. In the event I don’t get the chance before you leave on your Alaskan trip. . . Have safe travels and an incredible journey!

      I chuckled to read “I often find myself wondering what RVSue is up to.” That’s because you never can tell with me and the crew!

    • R. says:

      Hey Juley,
      My late husband and and I took four road trips to Alaska and after I read your statement about trying to take make plenty of dog food and take it with you I hope you already familiarized yourself what you’re allowed or not to take with you across the border to or from Canada. You’ll be crossing the border several times. There are strict restrictions on fruits, vegetables, meats, cheese and other dairy products, also on dog food and bear spray. You HAVE to declare what you have otherwise there could be up to $10,000 penalty and more severe consequences like jail time. We witnessed several times how customs officers go through cars or RVs. They do find everything. There is no way you’ll be allowed to take home made dog food with you unless you’re planning to take the ferry from Bellingham, WA all the way to Whittier, AK both ways. Finding moose, buffalo or reindeer meat is possible but not easy while traveling in Alaska. No elk meat.
      I don’t know when you’re traveling but this could be a fantastic trip if you extensively prepare yourself. We traveled in our sedan, no RV but we loved every moment of all four road trips and ten others to Alaska.

      • Oh, what a great comment about taking foods across the border. Many RVers I have known lost great steaks to the border check people. I know people who had a ‘authorized’ gun dealer send a gun to Alaska ahead of time, where they had the recipient dealer send it legally back to the USA for them to ‘collect’ it when they returned. Do some extensive research before encountering some types of intense disappointments! When I went to Alaska, I packed up some boxes and went to a hotel that had a ‘UPS’ hub. UPS send all of our souvenirs and dirty clothes back home ahead of time, so we avoided any issues!
        If you ‘cross’ the border close to a large town, you could probably just stock up after you cross the border, and try to judge how much you will need.
        Best Wishes with your endeavors.
        One question to ask is about taking ‘cooked’ foods sealed in jars, because it’s not raw meat. Maybe you’d get an answer that surprises you? Best Wishes!!

        • B Beck Roundtree,
          We use about 4 lb. of bison a week for Grant. We think our trip will be about 4 months. I’ll need about 65 lbs of bison for the trip. I would imagine I can find it in the larger towns in Alaska and in Canada along the way but I expect it to be hard to find in the more remote areas. I’ll have to do some careful planning after researching the boarder crossing situation. Thanks for your help and suggestions.
          Juley

      • Darci says:

        If a person googles the US border control website, and also Cdn one about dog food it is really informative. They tell what ingredients are allowed so there are no problems. They allow big bags as long as everything is for personal use. I went across with the brands GO and ACANA because my dogs are on a restricted diet, but I made sure I checked all the ingredients against the list they had on the website.

        • Darci says:

          I just looked at that website. It appears in the last year they have lightened up on the allowed ingredients, but reduced the bad size to 5 lbs. Anyway, may be easier to check and see how much Bison you can take into Canada and then just mix your ingredients once you are in Canada. I think they just want to see that everything is in its original packaging when you cross the border. May be wrong but I think if a person travels through Alberta too it may be easier to get bison because I think there is more bison farming in that area.

          • Wow Darci! The lists go on and on. I really had planned to do this research but I’m glad it happened sooner rather than later.
            Thanks to you for your comments and suggestions as well.
            Sorry to hijack your comments section Sue!
            Juley

      • R,
        Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I’ll check to see what the rules are. We started planning just a couple of weeks ago and hadn’t even gotten to the food rules. We are aware of firearms rules and have done that research. Our pup, Grant is allergic to chicken, duck, turkey, lamb, rice, potato, sweet potato, yams, eggs, yeast, oats, corn, soy and peas. These are the allergies we are aware of. You can see the trouble we might have finding food, even human food, he can eat. There are no dog foods he can eat without consequences. I’m sure it will all be a learning experience. We’ll be leaving at the beginning of May.
        Thanks again!
        Juley

        • Darci says:

          Another option you may consider if you are in staying in places with hookups. I found a tiny deep freezer at Future Shop that fits perfect in my trailer. It is about 18 inches by 18 inches, and 30 deep. I am able to load it up and it doesn’t unfreeze between stops. Anyway, just an idea. :-)

        • R. says:

          To make it easier on yourself, since there is no way you’ll be allowed to take homemade dog food through Canadian and the US customs, did you consider taking the ferry all the way to Alaska? It would cost you a fortune with RV and for such a long sailing you need to book a cabin but this way you avoid customs. Further while on the ferry your dog would have to stay in RV but three times a day if I recall correctly an official access 15 minute long to your pet is announced. You can walk your dog on a deck and have to clean up after when the ferry is on the way. In every port you can take your dog for a longer walk as long as you have your boarding pass and photo ID with you. There is one problem with walking a dog when the ferry makes stops sometimes those stops are on the middle of the night. To get on the ferry in Bellingham besides proof of rabies vaccination you need to have a health certificate for your dog issued no more than 30 days prior to travel. These documents are also required at the border. If you’re going to take the ferry from Bellingham to Haines only you still have to travel through Canada to get to Alaska. You can avoid travelling through Canada only you sail all the way to Whittier. That’s a very long, very expensive and could be very rough (between Juneau and Whittier) sailing. Now it is probably too late to book the ferry anyway. Any food which is allowed across the border has to have an official commercial label. As I mentioned before, my husband and I took four road trips to AK and I highly suggest do not try to hide anything or pretend you forgot about it. All customs officer were always very polite but we observed some interesting and sometimes sad occurrences. If you’re going to be in Alaska for four months before you ready to travel back your dog has to have renewed veterinary health certificate.

          It always took us a few months to plan each of our trips and we traveled without any pets. If I can be any help let me know.

  60. Barb in Washington state says:

    a couple of things stood out….I think it’s great that you want to not let the blog control what you do and where you go :) And, you took the words right outa my mouth about that sunset the other night (well, most nights are pretty in AZ) I told my husband…someone took a large paint brush and started painting. We’re in Scadden Wash and boy, it isn’t quiet next to I-10 lol We usually camp at Plomosa road away from everyone…most people stay a good distance from ya. Well, here people just pull up in sight. I’m bad at judging distance, but probably about a football field length. Till yesterday, a motorhome pulled up behind us about 100 feet away (maybe..as I said I’m bad at distances lol) He’s gone today, thank goodness. I hate sitting outside when they’re outside, I feel like I’m being watched lol We are pretty long with our RV so can’t pick as good of out of the way spots as smaller rigs. Next year, it’s Plomosa though. I’m getting claustrophobia…..I get the same view as you, but from a lot further away lol I still can’t get over the weather this year, last year I was in jeans and tennis shoes and coats lol well, I just wrote a book, so I’ll quit :D

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb,

      I’ve never camped at Scadden Wash (which is about 3.5 miles east of Quartzsite, for readers who don’t know…. and Plomosa is north of Quartzsite).

      I’ll never understand the mentality of people picking a campsite right next to someone else. Even if only staying overnight, why drive the other people inside for the evening because of your presence? I’m glad he left.

      I’ve passed up a lovely campsite more than once simply because another lovely campsite was nearby. I knew someone with rocks for brains would park next to us. Nice talk, eh? Heh-heh. :)

      This weather is surprising. Like you, the crew and I went through some bitter cold and windy days last winter. I had on my thick coat with hood for several days and the propane heater turned on at night. I like this weather better!

  61. Renee (from Datil) says:

    Never never NEVER apologize for your blog, Sue. Look at all the followers you have! You just keep gaining folks, not losing, so your blog is obviously not “boring.” We don’t do a lot of exciting things, either…Dave’s not a big tourist guy, so it’s a lot of work to get him to go to museums or things like that. I post a lot of photos on my FB page of grandkids & new locations when we go to them. You go a LOT more places than we do, and I love reading your adventures. It just might have to do with your writing style, too! You just keep on doin’ what you’re doin’ and we’ll keep followin’!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Renee,

      Hey, your husband has the right idea. I don’t like tourist places either. I can’t focus on what I came to experience when there’s a crowd around with the constant talking.

      Thank you for supporting my slo-mo style and continuing to follow my blog.

  62. Pat in KS says:

    I smiled when I read Ed’s comments on applying ToughLove to dogs. I used to do something similar to my sons when they were fussy at the table. If they chose not to eat, the food was removed. Then nothing but water would pass their lips for the next six hours. I assumed they might like the next meal better. Usually they did and ate with great gusto. They really were healthy, active little boys who ate almost anything.

    I had the opportunity to child sit a neighbor’s 18 month old once a week for the six weeks his mother attended a stretch and sew class. Her husband worked late the evening her class met. Having one little boy until his dad could pick him up was pretty simple. My husband was out playing golf with his co-workers and I served supper to all three boys. I put the little one into our high chair and served him a bowl of mac and cheese, some cut up hot dogs, and a bunch of well done green beans. That was a favorite meal for my boys and the little guest snarfed it up quickly too. When I told his dad what he had eaten, the man came very close to calling me a liar. He and his wife were tormented with the fear that the little angel might starve to death because he would not eat for them. He threw his food on the floor. He had not even thought to do that at my house. He had eaten every scrap and asked for more. My off the cuff remark was that if he’d thrown his food onto the floor he’d have followed it two seconds later. Dad did not like that. I asked him to look at the child’s thunder thighs. That child was not starving. I said that he ate at my house because I didn’t care if he ate or not. But at his house it was obviously of great importance, so he misbehaved because he could. Being fussy got lots of attention, so he did it repeatedly. Dad was a psychologist. The child was yanking his chain. It really was funny. Dad didn’t like the hot dog idea either because the little darling might choke.

    Mom wanted to repay me by watching my boys. I did not want that. I asked her to teach me to needle point. That was a great trade. I enjoyed learning and she was safe from my boys. The younger of them spent one afternoon with her. Mom was trying to change a poopy diaper on her boy while he danced in it. Mom had only one arm and it wasn’t easy to change an uncooperative child who wouldn’t like down on the changing table. My four year old watched this and calmly remarked that the baby “really was a pain in the ass”. When she reported this I curled up and shriveled inside. It might have been true, but I wished he hadn’t said it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hilarious stories, Pat! The kicker was Dad being a psychologist. I wonder where the finicky baby was getting his food. . . maybe sweet treats from his desperate parents? Thanks for one of the most engaging comments ever to appear on my blog!

  63. R. says:

    Be Yourself

    Don’t try to be me
    and I won’t try to be you
    there is only one of me
    and there is only one of you

    Don’t go around pretending to be
    somebody that you are not
    there real you is who you should
    let people see
    and not what you’ve got

    You don’t need to put on a false identity
    trying to look and act like a celebrity
    you are who you are with your own personality
    that’s the way it so just deal with reality

    Looking up to someone is nothing wrong
    but when you try to become that someone
    that’s where you don’t belong
    just be yourself and play it cool
    why pretend and make yourself look like a fool?

    I won’t try to be you
    so don’t try to be me
    if others can’t accept they way you are
    then just let them be
    ——-Paul Adolphus

  64. My tag line “a story from MY heart might just touch yours”, so blog from YOUR heart Sue. It makes for better writing…and better sleeping!
    Oh, and the olive oil…does wonders!

  65. Dee Walter says:

    You’re an amazing writer. I love following your blogs. You’re lifestyle on the road is opposite of ours so it’s highly interesting to us. People in Canada call us 50 amp cement people. We love to stay connected with TV and computers and are seldom outside. We’re on our fifth year full time and loving it. We’ll be traveling out west this year and not looking forward going across the desert to Oregon and Washington. There’s a lot of nothing till you get to something. Have fun. We’ll be following you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dee,

      There are as many ways to enjoy full-timing as there are people with RVs. Welcome to my blog!

      I checked to see what you are up to and yes, your “lifestyle on the road is opposite of ours.” :) You look like you’re having a wonderful time!

      What difference does it make if I’d run for the hills if caught in the same lifestyle as yours and you’d probably call 911 if caught in mine!

      Great to have you drop in here . . .

  66. Ron says:

    Wow
    This is going to get over 200 responses.
    Ron

  67. Bob's gotta bus! says:

    As a former speech writer, journalist and editor allow me to say that you have a unique written voice. What draws people to your blog is your writing style. The pictures help but your talent for telling stories in an authentic, clear presentation captivates us all.

    Please, please, don’t write for us. Write for you own enjoyment. That is all that matters.

    Pay no attention that I check back three or four times a day looking for new entries. I’m sure there is a pill for that. Thank you for sharing your gift.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>