Dolphins in a sea of grass and mesquite

Wednesday, April 4

Our backyard at Las Cienegas National Conservation Area, Sonoita, Arizona

There’s no putting it off any longer.

I toss dirty laundry out the door of the Best Little Trailer onto the mat while Reggie and Roger watch with astonishment.  Or maybe that’s boredom on they faces.  Either way, they watch.

I sort.

I load the rugs and laundry basket into the Perfect Tow Vehicle, lob the boys into the front, and together we roll across the grassy plains.  Route 82 takes us due east to Whetstone, then Route 90 straight-lines due north to Interstate 10, where we go east again to the laundromat in Benson.

I understand that there are folks who walk into another room in order to do their laundry. I drive over 30 miles.

One way.

The lowest point in the laundry process is getting started.  The experience always improves from that point on until I’m loading up the PTV with clean, fresh, folded (shirts go on hangers) laundry.

I drive away feeling renewed, ready for another spin cycle of life.

Before leaving civilization, I run into Safeway.

Literally “run” because this day is turning hot and the boys have to wait in the PTV.  A short while later we’re zooming down the highway with windows down, refreshed by the wind created by moving at 65 mph.

Roger stands beside me with paws on the edge of my seat.

He insists that I wrap my right arm around his neck in a perpetual hug, all the way home.  During a previous ride I made the mistake of hugging him like this, he loved it, and now the Canine Rule of Repeats is well established and must be followed.

You’d think I’d learn.

By the time I unload laundry, groceries, and the boys, putting all in their places, the afternoon is hot.  Not brutally hot the way Arizona can be, but hot enough when moving around.

The logical thing to do is not move around.  After lunch we take a nap in the breeze of the desk fan.

Nice.

Later . . .

I snap the boys onto the tether and we walk the lane that goes further across the grasslands from the main road.

Side note:

Recently a couple moved their Roadtrek into a spot not far from us, not so close as to be intrusive, but close enough that Reggie and Roger would, no doubt, feel compelled to go over there and piss all over their camp chairs.

Boys.

Anyway . . . .

We walk the lane with Reg and Rog tetherized.  I like to delay walking until the cool of evening, but, since the crew makes the rules around here, we’re walking in the pre-cool of late afternoon.  An occasional breeze wafts by making the experience pleasant enough. Reggie pants but that doesn’t cramp his style.  He chugs right along.

Speaking of style . . . 

Roger does the funniest thing.  He’s walking along at a happy pace, facing front, legs pumping frontward.  Then, for no apparent reason, without changing the direction of his face and legs, he goes sideways.  One moment he’s full steam ahead, then he’s drifting to the side.  It’s so strange.  Hilarious.  I burst out laughing every time he does that.

“What is this, Rog?  You doin’ the Chihuahuan Sideways Moon Walk?”

Okay, so we’re walking along . . .

I don’t have my camera with me because it’s kinda’ hot to wear that thing around my neck and I already have plenty of cute hiney shots for this blog and, well, there’s grass and mesquite, grass and mesquite, grass and mesquite.

I give my camera a rest. (These photos of our walk were taken at another time.  Just pretend they weren’t.)

Of course, you know what no camera means.

We’re walking along and I’m daydreaming, not paying much attention to the grass and mesquite.  The boys trot in front of me.  All of a sudden I wake from my dreams at the sight of black forms rising out of the blond grass on the other side of the wash!

I stop in my tracks and stare.

From where we stand, the ground slopes downward and then levels out into a plain of grass and mesquite (of course) spread out to the gentle mounds of small hills.

A deep wash cuts through the grass, making a gash somewhat parallel to our lane.  (I suppose, if you want to get technical, the lane probably came after the wash cut through the grass, but when have I ever been technical?)

At first I think the black forms are angus cattle.

They’re too small for cattle —

“Oh, javelina!”

About 8 to 10 javelina jump to their hooves and take off through the grass.  Their mode of escape surprises me.  A few times when I’ve been out walking with my crew in different places, we’ve startled a herd of pronghorns.

I never want to do that, but it happens.  

Pronghorns and javelina use different  get-away techniques.  The pronghorn relies on its speed, agility, and numbers to flee from a threat.  It’s a treat to watch a graceful ribbon of pronghorns ascend a hill.

Javelina aren’t as speedy nor as agile.  Instead of racing away in a group, the javelina scatter.  I guess the reasoning (huh? javelina reason?) is they cut their losses by fleeing separately, kind of like outlaws of the Old West temporarily disbanding to meet up later.

That’s my theory.

Two javelina drop into the wash and soon disappear.  

The others fan out across the plain, their snouts and backs lifting out of the sea of pale tan grass like dolphins.  I only see them for a few seconds — probably wouldn’t have caught them with the camera anyway — and they’re gone.

Wow, that was sumpthin’ to see . . . .

We turn toward home.

This is one of those moments.

This is one of hundreds of moments when I’m reminded that leaving my house, furniture, garden, accumulation of stuff, and former, stationary, and predictable way of life was one of the best decisions ever.

It may have been THE best decision of all.

rvsue

NOTE:  What decision have you made that was one of your best?  (Open up comments by tapping the title of this post.)  Have a question, some news, an update? We’d love to hear from you!  — Sue

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101 Responses to Dolphins in a sea of grass and mesquite

  1. Dawn in NC says:

    first?!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Aww, second place! Next time skip putting on the sunglasses and you’ll probably be first! 🙂

      Hi, Piper and Rusty! Any decision about your eye yet?

      • We are going tomorrow ’bout 3 pm, after I see the Heart Doctors, the scheduling people are sure that I can have 2 appointments real close together and be on time, 1st appointment is at 2:20pm and eye appointment is at 3pm, I understand the office’s are right next to each other, but we will be going up in bad Weather, leaving Early, like 11:30am, Louaville is in Eastern time zone and we are in Central time zone, ,, I’m taking my Thyroid pills,( Methimazole, 10 mg tab ), and my Tremors are slowing down and I’m sleeping real good, like I miss my Radio Alarm and it’s set to loud, so now I have bigger Speakers and I’m just starting to hear it, it’s set to 05:30 and I get up at 0600 to let Piper out,, if I miss it, Piper wakes me up with a nudge and a howooll ooo oooooo,, she’s so sweet,,, Lol,,,, have a pleasant weekend and give the Boys a huge hug from us,,, 🐾👣👣

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Good news, Rusty! Tremors not as bad, sleeping better, appointments put close together on the same day…. Your life is on an upswing!

          Thank you. You and Piper have a pleasant weekend, too, and have a safe and easy trip tomorrow.

  2. Colorado Sue says:

    First or second?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Almost! Hi, Colorado Sue!

      • TexasSue says:

        Hi RvSue & Colorado Sue!
        Have a great weekend! RvSue love your posts! You are a great story-teller, I can feel the fresh air & sunshine. Colorado Sue, I don’t know you but love your name! LOL

  3. Renee from Idaho says:

    Holy cow you guys are fast!

  4. Kathy in GR, MI says:

    It is just so funny, I woke up wondering about laundry and how far you drive to do a load or two! I have to get up to Why to do it maybe tomorrow. Do you bring your laundry back to your Camp base to dry on a clothesline? I’m sure it would dry fast out here and I’m thinking of doing it. Advice?

    I’m still thoroughly enjoying Organ Pipe and had to teach Le how to lay in the shade and move with the Sun. She was not a desert dog before this trip but she now knows the score!

    It was so fun to read your blog today! For sure! Just full of the little news’s of your days. One thing I wanted to ask you, also, are there any tent Stakes that are good for hammering into this Rocky hard ground out here?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kathy,

      In the early years on the road, once in a while I’d hang wet clothes up to dry, usually after I hand washed. I don’t bring wet clothes home from the laundromat. I like to bring them home all dried and folded, rather than face another task. Besides there’s often a shortage of trees from which to string a line.

      Best tent stakes for rocky hard ground? Metal ones. I don’t know which are best. I use these:

      6 Piece Out-Door Patio Rug Stakes (Pack Of 6)

      There are longer stakes but I don’t like them because I need to be able to drive the stake completely into the ground. If a little bit sticks up, the tether is going to get caught on it.

      Yeah, the inevitable laundry…. Enjoy! 🙂

    • MaryanneDavis-Baldwin says:

      I use the really BIG nails from HD

      • Kathy in GR, MI says:

        Oooh, I wondered if those would work. Thanks for that hot tip!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Rusty used the big nails, too. He bought washers to go with them to help hold the mat and keep it from tearing loose in strong, gusty wind.

          • Yep, to get them out , I had a friend cut a notch in the top of my shovel blade and use the handle to lift them out like a pry bar and a 32 oz Carpenters Hammer to put them in the ground, I liked the long ones for every type of ground, being Sand or Mud or just plane Dirt, they worked great holding down a 1750 28in Wall , Eastern English tent that stood 7ft tall with Awning, 24 nails to hold er’ down in a good Wind, the tent was made of 10 oz Sunforger canvas with a floor,,,, 🐾👣👣

            • Kathy in GR, MI says:

              Oh Rusty, that was a really good story. I’m going to have to pick up some of those big long nails. I’m just a little concerned about getting them out of the ground. I have a couple pry bars at home that might do the trick. but that’s for next time out.

              Your stories are the best… Well I mean almost as good as Sue’s haha! I wish you the best of luck with your appointments. And I’m very glad to see the pictures of your home and now know who Rusty and Piper are.

            • Kathy,, all my stories are from my life, just different times, mostly the times when I walked around with 2 Donkeys, dressed and living like a Early 1800s Rocky Mountain Man , 24/7/365, 31 years and Loved it, I miss them times, I was a shining,, Hoo Raa,,,,,,,, 😃

  5. Joe in TN says:

    Best decision was to enter the Army after college. I grew up and learned that there was a great, big world out there that needed to be explored. I’ve never regretted the decision and it gave me the travel bug that I’ve had ever since. Thanks for asking.

  6. Renee from Idaho says:

    Awww, cute Roger and his Canine Rule of Repeats!

    A decision I made that was the best? The first thing that comes to mind is ending an abusive relationship and finding out what true love really is. The rest follows naturally.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow, Renee. That is a great response to my question. I’m glad you had the strength and gumption to make that life-changing decision.

      • Renee still in Idaho says:

        Thank you for your kind response. I actually hesitated in submitting it, but I am grateful every day for having the courage to say that enough was enough.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You never know when sharing an experience might help someone else in a similar situation. Yes, you were brave.

  7. Paula Lucas says:

    Oh Sue I have a pisser to he thinks he has to mark everything even though he has nothing left. Thank you once again for sharing I have enjoyed your blogs immensely. I have two dogs Ted age 14 and Tara age 13 they are both Pomeranians. I set up merchandise at vfw’s all around the nation to sell to our veterans. Currently I am setting up in Parker Arizona and Quartzsite Arizona at to VFWs. I take my pups with me and we are barely handling the heat now so after 3 weeks it will be time to head north. Not many do what I do nor do they do what you do. With that said you are an inspiring mentor who helps me keep going following the Bliss of my life as Joseph Campbell States in one of his books. Please continue to share and I appreciate your interest spective sharing of the wildlife you encounter. Also I appreciate your sharing of the frugalness but also the splurgng when you find a good deal such as roasted chicken or your watermelons. As a road traveler friend I will now sign off and continue my project getting ready for a session tomorrow at the VFW Paula Lucas

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Paula! I’m delighted to hear from you!

      Pomeranians are great, spunky dogs.

      I bet the heat was tough on Ted and Tara, as well as you selling your products. I talked with my friend, Del, recently who was my neighbor at Midland LTVA near Blythe. He stayed there until recently when the temperature soared to 100 degrees. I hope you and your crew can keep comfortable.

      You sound like an independent and capable woman, Paula. I hope you will keep in touch.

      What a nice comment about my blog! I appreciate feedback from readers regarding what they like to read. Thank you.

      Best wishes for a successful session tomorrow!

  8. Suzicruzi from The 'Couve says:

    Hi y’all, especially you Sue! Well, it is your blog after all, even though it seems to pretty much run even when you are taking a break.

    After talking to you for nearly a year, maybe more, about getting a Casita and hitting the road, the time is drawing near. We been getting the condo ready to sell and we are so close now. It will be officially listed next week. Our Casita will be ready for pick-up July 9th. What do you think will be the chances it will all mesh the way it’s supposed to? Ha Ha! I just hope it meshes, period. That works! I still have a few pieces of furniture to sell- the hardest pieces because they are antiques and my most favorite. Funny how life goes; you work all your life to accumulate things, only to get rid of them one day. I wonder if I’ll miss them? Oh well, I really don’t plan to look back at all. Forward we go!

    It won’t be long and you’ll be heading North for cooler climes. It’s about time for that yearly migration, isn’t it?

    Cheers to you!
    Suzi

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Cheers to you, too, Suzi!

      You’ve made some huge decisions. That’s what it takes to reach one’s dreams. I smiled at the date you pick up your Casita. If that’s going to happen in Rice, Texas, you can count on it being 110 degrees when you get there. Ha! I’m kidding, although it could turn out that way. Spike, Bridget, and I were at the factory in another Texas heat wave in August of 2011. That was my first lesson in the importance of elevation. 🙂

      How exciting and a bit scary to take these big steps. Good attitude about looking forward because that’s where the fun is!

      I’ve learned that the best time for our northerly migration is reaching the northern border of AZ around the first week in May. It’s hard to “hold my horses” . . . .

      • suzicruzi from the 'Couve says:

        I’m smiling too, but it’s a crooked smile Sue. I KNOW about the heat, and it is going to “kill” me. We will suck it up, spend 2 nights, make sure everything works (pray it does! so we can dig out) and make our way asap to higher ground, and North to SD to register the Casita. We already have our address and plates from America’s Mailbox, for our Van we purchased as our TV.

        Yes, we’ve made some huge steps! You very well know this. Larry was a bit of a hard sell as he’s a bit older than I, so the “fear of the unknown” has hung him up a little. We’ve both had a lesson in “over-consumerism”; mostly clothes, shoes, and unneeded kitchen stuff. NEVER AGAIN! We’ve done a good deed and donated so much to our local Humane Society, which I’ve been a part of for 9 years now, walking dogs, and what not, weekly. We have very nicely run, all volunteer thrift shop, and it’s very popular in Vancouver. I feel very, very good about where most of our things are going!

        I’m nervous as we are signing listing agreements tomorrow! OMG, the time has come. I think I’ve been “talking” to you, for about 18 months now – something like that, and read every blog post of yours. When I sent my deposit check in for our Casita in February, and got a VIN number a week or so later, it hit me; “this is finally becoming real”. But now I feel like selling the condo really seals the deal. It’s very exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time!

        I know only you are going to see this, and that’s great actually. It’s just a little message to you, in response to your reply back to me, to let you know I appreciate your blog, and all that you share with your readers. Especially in your early days, when you were just getting started; all the trials and errors, and all that you gained from them, has helped me quite a bit. I’ve told you once, I like the fact you share the “real deal”, and not all glitz and glamour about being on the road, full-time. I know the road will have it’s bumps! (And I plan to take precautions not to let those bumps dislodge heavy things in my refrigerator, and break those plastic door cubbies. Ha Ha!) *I do pay attention, lol.

        Anyway, thanks Sue. You are a breath of fresh air for me (us). We are really, really excited!! (And I’m having hot flashes thinking about Texas in July!!!) We could have waited until the Fall, but then Larry would want to work another year…. (School bus driver) “blah blah blah”. So it goes, and we are going for it!!!
        TTYL…. Suzi xo

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You’re welcome, Suzi! I wish you both many safe miles and happy camps.

          One thing… I don’t remember having to go to SD to register the BLT. America’s Mailbox took care of that and registration and plate came in the mail.

          • suzicruzi from the 'Couve says:

            Hmmm…. I guess that would be true, since we got set up with our mailbox, and got the van registered through the mail too, just recently, and we still “live” in WA State currently. Makes sense. However, we need driver’s licenses, so we do have to make a trip up there, and may as well get it over with. I believe you did the same, correct? Question, did you pay sales tax on the Casita purchase when you signed paperwork in TX? I think I forgot to ask Carla that, and just assumed “no” since we were getting it registered and plated in SD. I should ask Carla just the same, but wondered how you might have did that part? Thanks for all your help! 😉

  9. AZ Jim says:

    8th. Hi gang…Been having breathing problems here for awhile. Due to my worsening COPD. I am no on oxygen full time. It’s inconvenient at times but panting for air is a VERY grim thing. I haven’t missed a post but I have been remiss in checking in with you. Missy, great post as usual.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, Jim… I’m sorry you have to deal with that. I sensed you were having troubles over the past weeks. You know you’re one of my favorite people, both you and Detta.

      Keep your chin up. You’re not being “remiss.” We understand if you don’t feel like commenting.

      Missy loves you!

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        Hi Jim, sorry to here your COPD is getting worse. Hang in there. Have they increased your medication? Missed seeing your comments, take care, we’ll keep you in our prayers.

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:

        Hi, Jim and Detta,

        Keeping you both in my prayers. I hope being on oxygen full-time helps. **hugs for both of you**

    • Cynthia from San Clemente says:

      Hi Jim: So sorry the COPD is getting you down. It’s a tough condition to deal with. Maybe being on oxygen full-time will help you stabilize a bit, and feel better too. I’ll hope and pray for that 🙂

    • Renee still in Idaho says:

      Hi AZ Jim, I’m sorry to hear that you are struggling right now with your COPD. I have a co-worker that uses two different inhalers several times a day and since she switched to a different med, the current one, she’s improved immensely. I have asthma, controlled, but I have a risk of getting COPD too. I use Flovent daily and all is well right now.

      • Dam, COPD?, Jim, have you seen that little 2 1/2 lb enogien Air Maker on the TV? HOPE you get one and get free of the Tank, take your time , Joe, Go slow till ya get better,,,, 🐾👣👣

        • AZ Jim says:

          I have the larger inogen G-3. A little heaver but has increased battery time. I use it on AC most of the time though. Very pricey…Got tired of the Medicare run- around so I forked over the cash.

  10. Diann in MT says:

    Hi, Sue. Lucky Roger who knows that he has finally accomplished bliss, although that was not in the cards when he came onto earth. You are a wonderful Mom, Sue!
    So much in this post… I wonder each time that you post if you have spotted the beloved desert lilies. I am sure we would have been treated to photos if you had.
    Your Grannie instincts are still working, huh. Move north when you feel it’s safe. For one thing, most places north of you are inundated with either cold rain or snow. It’s been a very prolonged snow season here.
    Been spending the winter with one of my favorite authors, Tom McGuane. Truly a remarkable writer who can put down what’s magical about Montana like no one else I have found. He’s not native, but from Northern Michigan. If there are any reading fly fishermen/women, here’s an anthology you might like. “The Longest Silence: A life in fishing”.
    God Bless all Blogerinos suffering from irreconcilable health issues. A salute to you, AZ Jim! My sister struggles as well.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Diann,

      Thanks for that recommendation for a good read about the wonderful state of Montana. Here’s a link for anyone interested: The Longest Silence: A Life in Fishing

      The desert lilies. I’ve looked for them and I’ve only seen a few, skinny sprouts whereas at this time of year last year they were blooming all over. I guess the big blooms come in cycles as rain and other weather conditions come in cycles. Now I know how fortunate I was to be there when they bloomed and to share them with you.

      Thank you for the compliment on my mothering of Roger. He’s quite a guy. Drives me crazy at times, but he has a tender heart.

      God bless you, too, Diann.

      • AZ Jim says:

        Roger has the kind of life every doggie deserves. When I think of his background, no wonder he want’s Mom’s arm around his neck when you travel. He, like Reggie grabbed the magic star of happiness and knows the difference. Bless you Missy…

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thanks, Jim. Yeah, that’s what’s great about rescue dogs or homeless dogs. They know when they finally get a good life. Roger still expresses gratitude after he eats.

          • Julie, Molly & gizmo (Idaho) says:

            I passed Roberson today & thought of you all. Roger is a lucky doggie.

  11. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    For once I got in fairly early on the post. I have been reading along, but work wise I have been filling in for a month or so for my friend while she attends to her DH who fell and broke his neck. He is in rehab, but keeps getting up with out the brace. Then, he falls again. They said if he re-injures he neck, he will be paralyzed. Then depending on how he does or doesn’t, they may have to move as all the bedrooms are upstairs. They are both in their early 80’s. I am really busy with work and my DH’s issues so commenting will be limited for awhile. Miss you all, but am still reading.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for letting us know, Barbara. Your friend is blessed to have your help.

      Take care, please don’t overdo if you can help it. I know that can be easier said than done when there are people around you needing help.

  12. Jan NH says:

    I love that Roger seeks hugs from you while driving AND that he is still thanking you for his meals…I’m touched by those things. I miss more than ever having my dogs but after losing my Max last May, I decided to wait until after I finished school and after winter ends (I usually adopt older dogs so easier to train them to use the doggy door when the weather warms up). Now I’m thinking I should wait until after my trip to Italy this summer since I’ll be gone for two weeks…not sure I will be able to hold out that long tho :).

    My best decision (so far) is really more than one and is every time I adopt a new rescue. I am often told I am crazy for adopting older dogs and it is sometimes difficult that they aren’t always with me for as long as I’d like but senior dogs are need to be loved also and to me they are so special.

    Thanks for another great post, Sue and Crew

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Jan, you are a special woman. Your decisions are based on what would be best for the dog you adopt, rather than your urge to have another pet. And to be an adopter of senior dogs… You have my admiration! That is truly a gift of unselfish love, knowing an older dog most likely will bring health issues and grief sooner. You’re right, senior dogs need to be loved and they may have heartaches that could use some soothing. I’m glad you are willing to offer that. Bless you, Jan.

      • Jan NH says:

        Thank you for your kind words, Sue.
        It just breaks my heart to see those seniors left behind. And yes, sometimes they are gone too soon and my heart gets broken more times than I care to think about but it makes me happy to know I can give a few older dogs a happy place for whatever time they have left. And sometimes they surprise you. My Little Man, Tate was in rough shape when I rescued him. My vet thought I’d lost my mind and didn’t think he’d make it more than a few weeks. I told him, that would be OK, at least he would know happiness in his final days. Well, he was sure a fighter. We estimated his age at 8 years and he was with me until he was 16…sometimes the right kind of love (and the right diet) can make a world of difference. He was a serious little man and once I taught him it was OK to bark (which he rarely did), he was pretty happy right up to the end.

  13. Sands says:

    Hola Sue;
    I was born and raised in Elgin. My maternal grandparents homesteaded not too far from where you are camped, then later moved to Elgin. Just a few local historical bits: The area around Sonoita/Elgin has been a popular one for movies; mostly westerns (big surprise). The movie ‘Monte Walsh’ with Lee Marvin was partially filmed just a couple of miles from your current campsite. One of my brothers and I helped build a small clapboard house for that movie. Parts of John Wayne’s Red River; Winchester 76 with Jimmy Stewart; Oklahoma; and many more old movies were filmed there as well. There have also been some less expected movies shooting scenes there, like Night of the Lepus (if you haven’t seen it don’t bother, unless you like mutant rabbits). Of passing interest the mutant rabbits are featured in a mural on the side of a bakery in Ajo, where many scenes were also filmed. The bakery makes the best apple fritters in the world. Ok, no more groaning, I’ll stop now!

    It’s beautiful country, enjoy!

    Sands
    PS:
    My wife and I have camped in the exact spot you’re currently using. You and the crew be careful around the numerous prairie dog and gopher mounds; they are a good place to encounter rattlesnakes!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sands!

      Thank you for a very interesting comment! I saw some old western buildings off Mescal Road where movies were filmed. I wanted to go closer for photos but visitors are not allowed.

      On the day we went to Benson we passed the turn for Elgin. I will heed your warning about rattlesnakes near prairie dog and gopher mounds, seeing as you’re a native of the area and know more about that than I do.

      I agree — This is beautiful country (and a nice campsite). Hello to your wife!

  14. Cynthia from San Clemente says:

    Even though I have a washer and dryer I sometimes take large items to the laundromat in town. I always enjoy those trips because I can sit and read without feeling guilty while the load goes round and round. When I do the laundry at home, I always feel like I should be doing other chores at the same time.

    Love Jan NH’s comments about senior dogs. They are the ones who get left the longest in shelters and they so deserve a loving home at the end of their lives.

    If Roger just started doing the sideways thing (called crabbing), you might want to keep an eye on him. Sometimes it means nothing and sometimes it can be an inner ear problem.

    My best decision? When I was dating my husband (42 years ago), I was dating another guy at the same time. They both asked me to marry them within a week of each other and I felt like I was in love with both of them. I took out a sheet of paper, folded it down the middle and wrote their respective names on each side. Under each name I listed all the qualities I thought would make that person a good husband. One of them had about 11 or 12 qualities under his name; the other had about 3 or 4 qualities under his name. I said “yes” to the one who had the most qualities listed, but the night I walked down the aisle my emotions got the better of me and I was afraid I had made the wrong decision. (One was steady and dependable; the other was the life-of-the-party and a “player.”) Mr. Steady and Dependable and I had our 40th wedding anniversary last November and I know I made the right decision. Sometimes good men are a little boring – LOL!!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cynthia,

      You know, I never thought about crabbing. I was aware of that symptom but never applied it to Roger’s sideways maneuver. He doesn’t exhibit any other behaviors indicating an ear problem (head shaking, head tilt, nausea, etc.) so I’m not concerned. Thanks for the reminder.

      Cute story about the two suitors and how you evaluated their husband potential! Too often it’s the life-of-the-party who wins the girl, while the steady (and less exciting) guy is turned down. You were smart at a young age!

  15. Li says:

    Roger knows multi tasking is the way to get things done. Sweet boys, as always.

  16. Rob, Oklahoma tonight. says:

    I don’t mean to sound rude but if it’s not on film…. 🙂
    I saw a small herd of Javeline down at Big Bend, this was at a campground and they didn’t run off. Way used to people I’d guess.

    The Javalina running away… when they scatter all they have to do is just be faster than one of them (that one needs to be faster than what scared them).

    Decision… getting married again.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rob,

      I guess there are city javelina and country javelina. 🙂 I’m glad for you and your wife that you think getting married again was a good decision. I wish you many happy years together!

  17. KG Dan from Wapato says:

    I’ll take some of that heat, Sue. We are on the road northbound from Laughlin home to central Washington. Oh, how I’d like to still be basking in the Laughlin sun! But medical issues call us back and really it is time for us to return to the homestead. Trying to adjust to the bite in the air!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kathy and Dan! I hope the medical issues are resolved easily and soon so you both can enjoy your home and family. Thanks for the update. Safe travels!

  18. Ed says:

    Best decision was when I decided to start riding a bicycle at age 42 to combat what was probably mid-life crisis. It was life changing!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You started in your 40s, Ed? Wow! And the places you have gone on a bike. Impressive!

  19. Harriet Mayeaux says:

    Hi Sue,
    My best decision was to stop thinking and just do it.
    For years, I worked and worked and when I finally retired, I said now what? My plan was to travel like you I was so excited but stuff happens. I had secure a part time job to get the money I needed to by my rig and the unthinkable happened. I fell, not just a little fall but the worst fall I ever experienced. Walking across my office my foot got stuck, for some unknown reason and I went flying. Broken right femur, right knee and left shoulder, this put a major hitch in my giddy-up. It took a long time to recuperate. I am back on my feet with the help of a cane. I am walking again it has taken two years to get to this point.
    Then the question arose again, Now What? I have always been interested in art and have painted whenever time and circumstances allowed. Now, I have re-discovered my passion for drawing and painting. Your blog has been an inspiration to me in many ways the traveling escapes and the wonderful canines but also the beautiful photos you post. Thank for you for your generosity in allowing me to use you photos as models for some of my paintings. I am on fire and have been painting and selecting subjects like crazy. If you care to view some of my work go to halmaygalleries.blogspot.com .

    Thank you Sue, you are so much appreciated. The best to you and the boys. My guys send their love also, XOXO from Valentino and Vito, my Italian Greyhounds.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Harriet,

      What a wonderful collection! You are very talented and skilled with a brush. You answered the question of “Now what?” very well! I like all your work… I particularly like “Emery” and “A & P Corner Bar”and “Orchid.”

      As terrible as your fall and the aftermath must have been for you, look where it led! There’s nothing quite like the joy of being “on fire” for what stirs you. Continue to heal!

      Thank you for your kind words to me and my crew. I wish the best for you and your boys. Thanks also for sharing your art and your wise decision to “stop thinking and just do it.”

  20. Elizabeth in WA says:

    I think the best thing we have done is downsize…most all items of what we would want to pass down are now passed…but we HAVE accumulated a larger bit than we should I think…so we will again need to pare down more I am sure…but at least the big job was done and completed finally last Fall. So we hope our kids will not inherit the messes our parents left behind!! We are aged 65 and 68…not so old but twas for the best. It has enabled us to help our daughter and kids here…which they badly needed help.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Very thoughtful of you, Elizabeth, to take care of the stuff, and to give a helping hand to those you love. No, you’re not very old! 🙂

  21. Janis in Oregon says:

    I am not one to write much but I want you to know how much I enjoy reading your posts. It always brings a smile and laugh. Your crew are the best. Enjoy the sunshine. It is cold and rainy in Oregon!

    I have lived, a bit over a year, in my 22’ Arctic Fox. Currently I live on my son’s 5 acres and will start traveling in another year. You are an inspiration to me. Thank-you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Janis. You have a nice rig. I’ve always admired the Arctic Fox. It’s a pleasure for me to know my posts bring a smile or a laugh. Thanks for writing!

  22. Mush says:

    I hate doing laundry too but it is closely approaching that time again. Gads! Has it really been 6 weeks? Can I go another week? Yeah, maybe.

    Crazy thought process of a full time solo gal, huh?

    Guess it is also time to think about heading to higher ground. Yep. Gonna see mid90s this week. It’s time

    Love your blog and have for years! Thanks!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Mush. Thank you for reading my blog all these years.

      Yeah, the desert is warming up fast.

      You sound like you procrastinate like I do. “Can I go another week?” That’s me when it comes to dumping waste tanks, going for propane, doing laundry, etc. Too many times I’ve put off a task until it’s crisis time.

      Have a safe journey to higher ground!

  23. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    Once again…late to the party…but better late than never!

    Laundry day Yipeeee! We used to drive to town to do AO’s bedding..golden retriever hair is like a favorite color…goes with everything! Didn’t want it in our septic tank or getting the leech field drain plugged and the town was on a regular sewer system. It was a weekly jaunt..so it didn’t accumulate much.

    You didn’t write “piss” did you? Made me laugh! Boys and their marking!

    Darling photo of Reg man! javalinas OMG….

    Living on less and enjoying life more is a great decision..so glad you are living the life.

    Best decision…hmmmm….retiring at 49. Times were starting to change…time to get out with our lives and start a new chapter. Get out of the rat race and become a country bumpkin! Learn a whole new vocabulary…liquid manure, sugar shacks, roof rakes and marvel at how the Amish live.

    News: Uncle Frannie made it back to NY where it was snowing and wind gust 60mph. A 120 ft white pine (breaky not bendy like red pines) fell on Jules parents house at 3am this morning. Hit it at an angle ..just right..bent the metal roof peak. Structural damage to be determined but they are alive. Our place is fine..we took out 28 white pines within 120 ft of the house. Rotisserie chicken from Costco was tonight’s dinner..of course we were thinking about you!

    Enjoy the evening!

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      I am glad your Uncle Frankie made it home ok, despite the weather. Thank goodness that Jules parents are ok….shook up, I am sure, but the roof can be fixed. You all clearing the white pines close to your cabin was good insurance. The original owners of my home planted tulip poplars within 12’ of the front and side of the house. They grow upwards of 100’ tall with a wide spread, and are very soft wood, prone to dropping limbs. Had them removed…better to pay upfront than deal with future damage to my home. Snuggles for AO! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Cinandjules. We did enjoy the evening. I hope this is a good day for you two and crew.

      Tree falling on the house — scary, even traumatic. It must have given the Jules’ parents an awful shock. Wise of you to remove those trees. Remember right before I hit the road with the crew? Two trees were blown down next to the house which I took as a sign to get outta’ Dodge. 🙂

      Rotisserie chicken to the rescue!

      What a wonderful decision, retirement at 49. Wow. 🙂

  24. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Thank you for sharing another day in the life of RVSue and Crew! This post was jam packed: walks to explore, napping, a run to town for groceries and to do laundry….a busy day! How thrilling to have stumbled upon the javelinas! Is this your closest encounter? I recall you finding hoove prints in previous camps, and seeing some from the PTV. Your description of the dreamy walk among the tall grass and mesquite made me feel like Gracie pup and I were right there with you and the boys! 🙂 I love the header picture….two best chums, side by side, heading home after a walk. So cute! 🙂

    Have a peaceful night, Sue! Sending you, Reggie, and Roger love and hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

    One of my best decisions: researching RVs, and stumbling upon your blog. 🙂 N’nite!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      The boys and I did have a peaceful night. Thanks for the wish!

      Our walks are more enjoyable knowing that soon afterward I’ll have you accompanying us as we re-walk it on this blog. Yes, I’ve come upon javelinas before. Well, more accurately, they arrived at our boondock near Why, AZ. I was at my laptop in the BLT and saw a couple of them out our window. I’ve seen them elsewhere but I can’t recall where that was right now. Our camps over the last 7 years are running together in my memory. I look at an old photo and ponder where I took it!

      I hope your Friday is rolling along splendidly. You and Gracie pup have the weekend you most enjoy! Thanks for the sweet message.

  25. Linda Sand (Minnesota) says:

    Best decision? Getting married at age 19 knowing my husband would be spending our first anniversary in Viet Nam. Fifty-one years later we still enjoy the same sense of humor.

    Hitting the road in an RV for a few years would be second.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, Linda, those Vietnam era days were tough on young lovers. Fifty-one years and still counting — Congratulations!

  26. Don in Alaska says:

    Good day to you Sue!

    My best decision?
    Waaaay back in the day, while on active duty with the USAF, I was on an extended Temporary Duty trip throughout the western US. That trip took the crew to a tiny, little, out in the middle of nowhere town. You’ve been there. Delta UT. It was a lot smaller then, not even a stop light in town.

    Met a nice lady and one thing led to another. Over a year later, we wed. That was 43 years and three kiddos ago. Much happier now than when we started on our journey together.

    Worst decision?
    Selling my sailboat.

    I don’t know about you, Sue, but Javalina scare the living bejezzes out of me. A group with young is even scarier. I’ve seen up close and personal what they are capable of, they can shed a full grown Pitt bull in nothing flat.

    As always,, love the photos. Lovely area to hike, camp and watch the stars.

    Stay safe, look forward to your next posting.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Don,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the photos.

      Nice story about meeting the woman who would be your wife, written with love peeking through your words. 🙂 Thanks for sharing it here.

      Yeah, when seeing that herd of javelina, I was appreciative of the deep wash between us and them. They do have a prehistoric scariness about them. They can present a real danger.

  27. Stanley Watkins says:

    You might be long gone from the area but I can’t recommend the Chiricawa National Monument enough . It’s an amazing place .

  28. weather says:

    It must have been wonderful to see the javelina running through the grass. I know you wouldn’t startle any creatures on purpose, sometimes that’s just a part of living with others we share this earth with. Those moments that remind us to be glad about our decisions are precious.

    For many years I often worked both day and evening, and was often still tired when it was time to get up, so my mornings had lost the joy they had always held before that.Once I had been saving my paid vacation time and chose to take several weeks off in a row. At that time I decided that whenever it was possible I would begin going to bed early enough to be able to truly enjoy sunrises again. That one decision has continued to contribute to the happiness in my life for almost three decades now.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Deciding to do what it takes to be up early enough for sunrise is a wise decision, if you’re able to do so. There’s something about seeing the sunrise that sets you up for a good day or, at the very least, prepare you for a difficult day. Our sunrise today was a colorful one which I watched through the back window. I went out for a photo and missed capturing the most brilliant part. It was unbelievably colorful. I did catch the subtler colors and will probably use that pic in a post.

      Those days and nights of hard work, being tired upon waking, having to push through another week with little time or energy to appreciate the natural world — How did we ever do it! To be retired and in control of one’s days is wonderful. Enjoy your day, weather.

  29. Columbus Calvin (Rittenhouse) says:

    Hi, Sue! I’m late, too. I was visiting a friend and testing equipment. I think the inverter will be fine, but I need to learn a smidgen more. More seriously, the map/GPS feature is on my cell phone, and it lost the signal pretty close to the towns, at least on a Western scale. I wanted a paper map and could not buy one at a convenience store or dollar store near my route when I missed a couple of turns.

    I’ve always like laundromats, as someone mentioned because they give me time to relax.

    I have yet to see javelina. They are an interesting creature, but I already know to be cautious in their territory.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Calvin,

      You encountered the problem with cell phones. They’re great if they have signal. It’s always a good idea to have a paper map/atlas because they work wherever you go. 🙂

      I hope everything passes the test!

      • Columbus Calvin (Rittenhouse) says:

        I’m sure the inverter will be fine. It’s a matter of me learning which USB port does what. The cell phone losing contact is not a surprise, but it confirms the need for good paper maps.

  30. Mary Batt says:

    Hi Sue et al!

    Sue, you are truly funny, entertaining, real (really important!), and I love your writing style. It is so easy to follow along with your thoughts, range of feelings, impressions, observations, whether you are thrilled, aghast, concerned, curious, pleased, intrigued or self-satisfied. Photography shares more of your appreciation for your world. A couple of blogs ago you produced a pic that was memorable with the ‘long’ light making long shadows of the leafless (mesquite?) on the prairie grasses. Add that one to your best! The pups antics, routines and ‘being’ dogs that they are(!) are sweet and lovable. All their sleeping, running, playing, yipping, exploring, watching the world from the PTV windows. Gotta love dogs!
    Best decisions? Recognizing that at 16 I had stumbled on what could be future husband-he was clueless-and 5 years later explaining to him that I wanted to get married or I was going to follow my family back up north since they had moved away. (His best decision is quite possibly marrying me after my proposal.) Trying out for a solo part in a play that took me from a pathologically shy 9 year old to a person with discovered core confidence. Moving back to Louisiana to be close to our son to become more comfortably part of his life in place of compressed “fly-bys”. Downsizing from the beach house we built in Florida to a Louisiana 2-bedroom on 1/2 acre. Quitting my job of 14 years to go to school and upgrade from an LPN to an RN so I could make more money and only work part time to be home with our teenager! Buying our first pop-up camper despite my hubby’s position “Why?” Starting yoga classes years after a doctors suggestion. Not in chronological order! Am writing off the cuff and too lazy to re-order the random thoughts.
    Oh, and God bless you for not asking for my WORST decisions. We all have the human factor! I enjoy what a legion of your readers over these years also enjoy.So,
    I think I will start a new ‘book’- reading from your first blog to now. This will take time; I want to savor what I read. Also, BTW, we will start our first lengthy 7 week (baby steps) camping trip in our Lil’ Snoozy in May. From Louisiana to Maine and back! So much to see! Acadia, White Mts, Adirondacks, rolling hills, peaceful twilight, old friends and cousins, Gettysburg, Shenandoah Valley, Smokey Mts spring/summer. Next trip-west of the Mississippi!

    MB

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Love your comment, Mary! Life is a series of decisions and it looks like you’ve made several wise ones. Thank you for telling us about them.

      I hope you will let us know about your trip from Louisiana to Maine and back. Readers have expressed an interest in traveling the East and that’s a topic I’m not able to address. Please feel free to share what you learn and see and experience.

  31. Columbus Calvin (Rittenhouse) says:

    I forgot my best decision, maybe because everyone around me knows it. I finally decided to seek help in various 12-Step recovery fellowships. I have no doubt that’s the best thing I ever did.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good for you, Calvin! And good for everyone around you, too! That definitely is a “best thing.” 🙂

  32. barry says:

    We have not cut the string. I am retired and do some work from boat and Minnie Winnie. We just purchased new 26 ft. Minnie. We also cruise on 36 Trawler to Gulf of Mexico and nearby rivers. We will experience the southwest later this year, like winter. Our decision was to downsize home to condo and continue travels. You have been an inspiration.

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