Everyone wins under the Ponderosa pines

Tuesday, July 11

Today is our sixteenth day at Quartz Flat Campground, which is the camping limit in Lolo National Forest, Montana.  The crew and I will break camp tomorrow morning.

As has become our habit, we walk in the Ponderosa forest behind the campground.  Knowing our stay is coming to an end makes this morning’s walk special.

This area of pines and low shrubs was going to be another campground.

For some reason I don’t know — This is back in the sixties — work on the new campground stopped.

The paved loop and parking spurs left behind are still here in good condition. Much of the pavement is under pine needles and pine cones.

It’s a pleasant park for walks!

Reggie is a slow-starter this morning.

I offered him the usual small plate of chopped chicken, but he didn’t want it.  His tummy may be reacting to the heat.  (Shortly after this photo, Reggie perks up and his appetite returns.)

Roger, as regular readers of this blog know, likes to sniff flowers.

I don’t know the identity of the flowering plant.  It’s a low-growing bush found along the frontage road to the campground, as well as lining a few of the were-gonna’-be parking pads.

Roger stands on back legs to watch a prairie dog (or whatever) disappear into its home in a decaying stump.

After morning walk, I set up the “play station,” heat up a second cup of coffee, and settle in to listen to the birds, smell the scent of pines, and watch the antics of the crew.

Several days ago I moved the Best Little Trailer.

I wanted a campsite without the full sun hitting our home during the hottest part of the day.  This one is a lot better.


Now trains go past our big, back window.  This is a good thing.  Maybe I feel that way because I grew up in a house next to the tracks.  Reggie and Roger ignore the trains.

On this blog I skipped over several days of our camp at Quartz Flat.

Besides our visits to Trout Creek to cool off and the appointments at the auto repair shop, I read a lot.

The crew and I go into town for groceries.

I hand-wash clothes.  The campsite shown above allows me to hang up clothes on hangers on the awning without them being seen by other campers.

Not that there are many people here . . .Most folks only stay overnight.

Our exercise routine is cut back due to the heat.  We do hike the interpretive trail at Quartz Flat one morning in addition to strolling in the Ponderosa pine park every day.

A burst of energy sets me to cleaning.

I go over the interior of our home, top to bottom.  I wipe all hard surfaces and give the floor a thorough cleaning.

I air out the quilt and comforter.  I put the bed cushions on the picnic table and give the vinyl undersides a scrubbing as well as time in the sun to prevent mold from forming in this hot, humid weather.  I reorganize.

It’s always a good feeling to have a clean and tidy home!

What about the crew?  What do Reggie and Roger do . . .

. . . when they aren’t entreating me to come outside and sit next to them? (Photo taken from doorway)

Tug-of-war is popular.  

It starts when one has an object and the other one wants it, too.

Like a special stick.

Or Reggie’s favorite toy, Your Baby.

Most of the time, Reg and Rog stage pretend battles in which no one is wounded and both sides win.



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53 Responses to Everyone wins under the Ponderosa pines

  1. LeeJ in Northern California says:

    Good morning!

  2. Dawn in MI says:

    What a beautiful spot. A good spot to argue over a stick. Like there aren’t more than enough for both of them. But just any old stick won’t do of course.

    • Rover Ronda (WA) says:

      I agree there does seem to be a thing called the perfect stick (or toy). Apparently the number one criteria is the stick your brother has.
      Oddly my best teacher of this principle was my dog who rarely played with toys. Whenever Reilly was in Murphy’s favorite spot on the couch. Murphy would grab whatever the closest toy was. Chew the toy in front of Reilly for about 20 seconds or less then fumble n drop it. Reilly would jump up n snag the toy. It worked EVERY time. It was a brilliant Win Win scenario. Reilly won the perfect toy he would continue to chew for quite a while. Murphy won the perfect couch spot.

  3. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    Another happy day ahead!

    Tug of war just means another chief of staff surgery when the weather forces inside activities!

    Enjoy your day

  4. Pat from Mich. says:


  5. Deena in Phoenix says:

    Good morning Sue, today, I am waiting on an Amazon order with 1)Power Systems Heavy Resistance Water Dumbbell 2) Olympia Luggage 22″ 8 Pocket Rolling Duffel Bag, 3) Clover 1055/L Amour Crochet Hook, Size L/8.0mm, 4) Texere Women’s Spa Wrap Set and 5) Wired Neckband Running Earphone Outdoor Sports Headphone. Joined a Gym and getting ready for water aerobics and a training with a trainer…will lose weight this year. Been at their pool walking, like it because it is inside and out of the heat and no kids to observe misbehaving…Of course, I ordered through your Amazon link…thank you for the great story telling and allowing me to share in your life…luv, luv the playing Pups…Joy is created when I hear the chime of an arriving blog!


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you for your thoughtfulness, Deena, in shopping Amazon from the links on my blog. I see the items on my report. Sweet!

      Best wishes for great success with your weight loss/health program!

  6. Donna Hight says:

    While you are in that great little area, you should ask garage owner who might be able to fix your propane leak…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Donna,

      Thank you for the suggestion. I haven’t gone into detail on the propane heater situation. I’m rethinking my approach and will write about it. I was told by a professional RV service place that they would not work on the Wave 3 because the Olympian company will not send parts. The heater has to be sent to the company. This may be a policy based on safety concerns (I don’t know).

      Even if I could have the heater fixed locally, I’m not inclined to do so. With the heat knocking us down in the afternoon and having had three shop appts., I don’t want to give up another cool morning for the dang heater. 🙂

      • Linda in NE says:

        Amazon carries the Wave 3 for $250 & free shipping. If there are safety concerns about getting it fixed it might be the way to go. Sometimes when things have to be sent in to the company it can take a long time to get them back. Once Fall approaches that might be an issue too. Say Hi! to the pups for me.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You guessed my plan, Linda! The heater is in its sixth year. The pad certainly isn’t as clean as when new. I need to wait until I’m in a place where I can receive large packages and will be there for a substantial period of time in case there is a delay.

  7. Renee from Idaho says:

    Woo hoo! Top Ten again!

    • Renee from Idaho says:

      I looked up Quartz Flat Campground on Campendium, but the pictures don’t do it justice. The lone reviewer stated that it’s a good overnight place. Could be that others read this review and think the same, but by your photos, Sue, it looks like my kind of place – empty. Did you have to go through the tunnel for loop C? That would not work for our fifth wheel. Great report on the “boys”. They make me happy with the photos.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Renee… If one is going east, there’s no need to go through the tunnel. Just exit at the rest stop and drive behind it following the signs.

        If one is going west, exit at that rest stop, drive behind it and follow the road through the tunnel which has a clearance of 14 feet.

        BTW, Quartz Flat on the north side of the interstate has Loop A and Loop B. Inexplicably the south side where we spent most of our stay is called Loop G.

        I think it’s safe to say that most people don’t give a place time to reveal what it has to offer. No, QF is not a tourist destination, but it’s a pleasant place for those who aren’t in a hurry to go somewhere else or return to a job.

  8. Jenny Johnson says:

    Here i am in the top ten — you are in a beautiful spot near and dear to my heart — Have fun !!!!

  9. Chris B and Diego says:

    That campground looks so peaceful that I feel like taking a nap.

    The boys and their battles…. They always make me laugh. 🙂

  10. Jean in Southaven, MS says:

    I have noticed that you are staying longer and longer in one spot. You did not used to stay but a few days in one spot. So glad you are enjoying all this beauty. I love the way Roger loves to smell the flowers. I have never seen a dog do that.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Several reasons for staying longer in our camps… No sense driving in the cool of morning (and wasting it) to sit somewhere else in the heat. Also we waited out the long holiday weekend in a place with no craziness. Plus auto shop appointments.

  11. rvsueandcrew says:

    Hi, Blogorinos,

    I’m reading every comment, but I’m only commenting here and there due to having to run the PTV’s engine to keep the air card and laptop charged. I don’t mean to slight anyone.

    I encourage folks to write comments for all of us to enjoy! Thanks for being a part of my blog.


  12. Sounds like a nice relaxing time (well except for the cleaning). It is so nice to see R&R getting along so well. And as in all families, especially with boys, roughhousing will occasionally go to far.

  13. Sharron says:

    Love that Roger and his flower sniffing!:)

    • Barb from Hoquiam! says:

      He seems to be so HAPPY! And his flower sniffing! What a sweet bit of JOY that Roger is… And REGGIE! Gosh is he too cute!?

  14. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Lovely spot, Sue!! A few trains here and there is not so bad…people noise is far worse in my opinion. Here we have car noise…but not a lot after midnight…and I rarely go to sleep before then anyway…so doing ok.

    Ah, A nice clean place to live…always a good thing!! I am not all that perfect in that dept…but today we cleaned and I mopped floors and cleaned up the bathroom. Then when we get back from a couple days away in a few days, it will be nice to step into!!

  15. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Hi Sue, this has been a beautiful camp from what I have seen. Looking forward to where you take us next.

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      I don’t do Facebook. A friend who does told me about your husband having a heart attack. I’m glad that he’s improved enough to be home and I wish him continued progress in his recovery.

  16. pookie and chuck in Todd Mission, tx says:

    im still here….just taking some time off from this computer
    which as you know can be a drag when you get too much of
    it…..i read everything you write sometimes 2 or 3 times…
    thanks for your postings
    chuck and pookie

    • Rover Ronda (WA) says:

      I’m glad you are still here. Like you I often re-read the blogs. Sometimes I read too fast and miss things and like looking at the pictures. Especially the ones of Reggie & Roger. Sometimes I read between the lines, which is not good. Because now I’m trying hard not to be worried about Reggies health. Every once in a rare while my Peanut refused his breakfast and he’s fine. I’m trusting Reggie is fine too. Sue was just sharing with us how the heat affects all of us. Right?

  17. Gal and a cat in Fl says:

    Looks like a lovely place in the pines. I loved Montana best of all the states I visited in my little tt. Idaho second. Seems like they make rv parks near campgrounds or is it the other way around? lol. Either way they don’t bother me either. Better them than screamin kids or atv’s. Can’t wait to see where you find next in my favorite state!
    On another note (observation) you finally gave us a shot of Rog’s little (well…..) hiney! Agree, it is rather, um, well, different for such a small doggie. LOL. But he is still adorable and the perfect companion to you and especially Reggie. Happy trails and keep us having fun.

    • Rover Ronda (WA) says:

      Lol. I didn’t even notice. But then I’ve mostly had big dogs, as if that means anything. I guess I need to read the definition of proportionate.

  18. suzicruzi from Van, WA. says:

    Hi Sue and Crew,
    Lovely post, thanks. Ponderosas are my favorite pine as I’m absolutely smitten with their smell in the warm summer months! I can’t get enough. This is one of the reasons I love the Camp Sherman area of Oregon; loaded up with Ponderosas and the warm summer sun just intensifies the smell! Not to mention they are majestic and beautiful!
    Last day of a perfect spot I’d say. Enjoy each moment. 🙂
    Thinking of you, although I haven’t been commenting lately.
    Suzicruzi xo

  19. Diann in MT says:

    Hi, Sue,
    I had to chuckle. Roger was sidling up to dogbane, a poisonous plant. Pretty, but well named. It has a slight and pleasant scent. Not to worry, it would take a lot of dogbane to influence Rog.
    The flowers on your marquee are Arnica montana. A beneficial that is harvested by wild harvesters for its medicinal values.
    I am glad you enjoyed Montana. I am pleased and honored you stayed here for as long as you did. You experienced some positive encounters, too.
    As you and the crew move on, Thank you for being here.

  20. Rover Ronda (WA) says:

    Ah I missed y’all yesterday. This post didn’t automatically open for me. But I’m here now I’ll go read.

  21. Rover Ronda (WA) says:

    Uh-oh Your Baby may need a trip to the urgent care center. 😲When you reorganized I hope you kept your sewing kit handy.

  22. Kat and Cookie Dog in NYState says:

    I love how Roger likes to smell flowers. Don’t think I have ever seen a dog that likes to smell flowers they way Roger does. Sounds like you liked your time camping there, even though it is so hot. Hope all the repairs got made to your vehicle and home. Going camping for a week myself finally. Can’t wait to get on the road long term. CookieDog hasn’t been doing too well, his age and the hot humid weather haven’t been good for him. Hopefully he will enjoy camping, he normally loves it. When I return I will love catching up on where you and the crew have been next.

  23. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Good morning, Sue, Reggie, and Roger!

    I hope you have a worryfree morning when breaking camp, and find a new site that offers some cool shade or a wading pool! Every time I see Roger smelling the flowers, it makes me smile. A reminder that we all should stop to smell the flowers! That is just one more way that he is enjoying your adventure. So many new, pretty flowers to sniff! 🙂 I hope Reggie is feeling ok this morning, and that he did not have any tummy issues from the heat. Kisses on the head for the boys!

    For the past week or so, we have had high temps with high humidity….the “feels like” temp has been 105. It just zaps your energy. I have to run a couple errands this morning, and then I will be back home in the lovely A/C, taking care of the weekend chores.

    I am glad that the PTV is fixed. She should serve you well for many years. Now to find an open appt for the repairs needed for the BLT. Maybe with the vacation season winding down, it will be easier to find an opening. Fingers crossed!

    Enjoy the weekend! Sending love and hugs to you, Reggie, and Roger from me and Gracie pup! Gracie says she wishes she could play with the zoom-zoom brothers! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Denise and Gracie!

      Thank you for the nice wishes for us. We aren’t breaking camp this morning (The post is about what happened a couple days ago.) We did find that “cool shade” you hoped for us. The afternoons are hot though. Like you well know, the heat zaps one’s energy. If we want to get anything done, it has to be taken care of in the morning!

      I hope you and Gracie pup are enjoying your weekend. A special bark-out to Gracie from “the zoom-zoom brothers!” :

  24. Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

    I have enjoyed this camp and the antics of Reggie and Roger! Funny how Reggie seems complete somehow since Roger joined the crew! He just seems so happy to have a BFF to tug of war, to mock battle, to walk with and just be a dog with. Not sure if what I said makes sense, but Reggie just seems so happy now! I am sure he was happy with you too when it was just the two of you. Roger just added so much happiness to the both of you AND to the Blogerinos as well! Makes me happy to see all the smiles around here!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I do know what you mean, Geri. Reggie used to spend way too much time waiting for me to give him attention. Now he ignores me for long stretches while he plays or just hangs out with Roger. With only me as a companion, well, it wasn’t healthy, dog-wise. Plus I could never burn up all his energy the way Roger does!

      Yes, Roger adds a lot to our lives. He’s a sweet boy. In the next post I’ll be including a photo of Rog looking out the window of the PTV at the river. To me it represents how Roger’s life has changed for the better.

      Thanks, Geri, for your cheery comment. 🙂

  25. Suzette in TN says:

    Responding to Kat and Cookie Dog – Have you heard of or read a book called “Following Atticus?” It’s a warm and wonderful tale of a guy and his miniature schnauzer who explored the mountains of (if I remember correctly) New Hampshire. He ended up doing a blog of the same name that I have followed for years. Anyway, they welcomed an elderly dog into their home. Will was pretty much deaf and blind and in really bad shape. But, he had his sense of smell. And he loved smelling flowers. So much so that regular readers sent him flowers all the time. There’s now a second book called “Will’s Red Coat” which tells his special story. Both are good reads and worth the time if you’re looking for such. I think of Will every time I see Roger’s nose in the flowers! 🙂

  26. Marcia GB in MA says:

    I love that Roger likes to sniff the flowers!

  27. weather says:

    As I sat here, looking back at your time at Quartz Flat, I thought of all the reasons your being there had been fortuitous. -How convenient being close to a good mechanic, store, and creek had been, internet signal being available, the pine scented privacy, lack of holiday madness, what a gift having cool water from the campground’s spigot during the heat wave was,- all came to mind. All in all it offered a lot for the small fee.

    While there you dealt with the day the serpentine belt broke, hot afternoons, charging your laptop in the PTV, repairs, realizing that Roger’s transformation into a model child will take longer than you’d hoped- just life’s events. One copes and takes pleasure wherever it’s found.

    For some reason I kept hearing the underlying rhythm of the trains rolling through my thoughts. It reminds me of Polly’s purring during our “time outs” together. I’ll sit mentally reviewing the day and that sound settles me. Without fail I end up grateful for all the blessings and gifts the previous hours have held. I’m glad you were close to the tracks for a couple of weeks. Sweet memories of childhood, your original crew, and your recent 16 days…I imagine I understand why you found your last morning’s walk there special.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a beautiful and thoughtful reflection on our Quartz Flat camp! You have a way of setting our lives to music with your words. And you even included the reason why God created purring! 🙂

      Readers tell me that my blog helps them to slow down, notice their surroundings, and appreciate the “little things.” For two weeks I saw people coming into the campground late in the afternoon or even after dark which doesn’t happen until 10 p.m. or so… and then they scurried to pack up and leave first thing in the morning. I know they have valid reasons for doing so. Yet I compare their experience with Quartz Flat with our experience that you have summarized here so well …. What a difference!

      I’m glad you were given your precious kitty. 🙂

  28. Such a pretty spot among the trees, glad you were able to enjoy a couple weeks there.

    There is no better stick than the one “he” has! Days of reading under the canopy sounds divine.

  29. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hello Sue and fellow Blogorinos –

    If you have a Kroger grocery store in your area, tomorrow is National Ice Cream Day. They will have their Kroger Deluxe Ice Cream or Dairy Dessert (48 fl. oz.), or Kroger Ice Cream Sandwiches (12 ct. – select varieties) are just 99 cents with your Kroger card!

    Since it is hot in most of the USA right now, the calories do not count…they will evaporate on the way home from the store. Enjoy guilt free!! 😉

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