Finding campsites in San Juan National Forest and treading lightly

Turkeys!

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A flock of seven turkeys frequently visits the watering hole in view from our campsite.

Fortunately the pond is far enough away that Bridget and Reggie don’t notice when the turkeys come out of the woods to drink and cool off.   The turkeys are almost out of range of what my camera, hand-held and through the window glass, can handle.

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Even so, I’m posting the best of what I was able to photograph.

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Sometimes the turkeys, curious about our camp, sneak past in the woods, concealed by brush.  I hear their gobbles while I’m washing dishes outside.

One day a guy in a pick-up drives by, and, up on the ridge, he practices shooting.

Reggie isn’t happy about that.  He does better than usual though.  I look forward to the day when he can ignore gunshots.

I bring it up to tell you about the raven.

There are several of those big, black birds around here.  It seems one or two appear whenever I step outside, circling above and making a gravelly call.

I like to sit in my lounger and watch as they ride air currents.  One uses the top of a snag as his command center.  From that height he “talks” to the lowly, earthbound creatures like me and the crew.

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Immediately after the first gunshots, here comes Mr. Raven, swooping up and down the meadow at the forest line, squawking a distress call.

It’s remarkable how he effectively alerts the meadow’s community with a public service announcement that cannot be misunderstood or ignored.

How about we look at some campsites at Kenney Flats?

Bridget, Reggie, and I walk the lane through meadows and forest every morning, the best time of the day. As usual, this morning the air is brisk, the light is lovely, and the birds are excited about the start of another day.

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There aren’t many campsites along the roads at Kenney Flats.

The road forks shortly after one drives in from Route 84 (south of Pagosa Springs).  At the fork is the first campsite, which Bridget shows you in the next photo.

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It’s an easy pull-through, large and very convenient. 

However, I’ve seen this spot occupied by a utility trailer for 4-wheelers (I assume; it was empty at the time) and another day by a horse trailer.  If you camp in this site, expect company!

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Bearing to the left at the fork, one eventually comes to our campsite. 

(See previous posts.)  Beyond our site the road goes up onto a ridge and soon deteriorates, becoming narrow and deeply rutted.  I drove up there soon after we arrived at Kenney Flats and found one site, after too much trouble getting to it.  ( I neglected to take a photo of it.)

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I’m under the impression our campsite is the only one along our road. 

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It’s a surprise when on our walk we discover there are three more!

The campsites are easy to miss because they aren’t used much, the vegetation has grown around the fire rings, and the sites don’t have a “driveway.”

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See the fire ring in the photo below?

(It’s in the center of the photo.)  Okay, so there’s a fire ring.  Does that mean one should drive a camper, a travel trailer, fifth wheel, or motor home over to the fire ring and set up camp?

What do you think?  What would you do?

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I wouldn’t camp in these sites with the Best Little Trailer.  I think they’re better suited for the smallest of “footprints.”

Like this . . . .

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That’s my opinion.  I’m not saying that someday I won’t park the Best Little Trailer in a campsite like the one above, but it would be out of desperation for a place to spend the night.

Okay, as I was saying . . . .

Bearing to the right, one takes Forest Road 006A which meanders through open forest with views of meadows.  In the next photo the crew shows you the condition of the road.

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It has a few ruts, not bad, but it isn’t a wide thoroughfare like the main road through Kenney Flats.

Bridget, Reggie, and I go quite far before coming upon a campsite.

This one is suitable for a rig such as the Best Little Trailer.  Large rigs would fit here.  I’m not sure about the road in.  Walk it first or drive in with your toad to decide.

P1120523On the left side of the photo, see the bare ground?

That’s the pull-through lane that curves around a clump of gambel oak.  This is a pleasant campsite.  I’d move us here if I didn’t love our present campsite as much as I do.

Always need to find a fire ring to make sure it’s a campsite . . . .

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The crew and I walk uphill from the campsite.

At the top of the ridge I look down to another meadow valley.  There may be a campsite or two down that way.  I don’t check it because it’s too far for us to walk.

Remember that Kenney Flats has few campsites. 

I point this out because readers mention in comments how they plan to come here.  They’ve added this boondock to the list they are compiling from my blog posts.  That’s fine.  I understand the eagerness.  It is gorgeous here, at least at this time of year.

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I’m just sayin’ . . . . If you are thinking of camping in this area, be aware of the scarcity of campsites on Forest Road #006 and its spur roads.  Also remember the vulnerability of the plants and wildlife in this area.

Please tread lightly . . . .

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Don’t despair! 

Between Pagosa Springs and Chromo are National Forest roads for you to explore.  You can find great campsites.  This whole region is beautiful.

Look for the brown signs along Route 84 that say “Forest Access.”

If you do come to the San Juan Forest, please leave it as you find it.  

Don’t drive off the road — not even a foot!  That’s where wildflowers grow.

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.And if it has rained recently, well, look at the damage your vehicle can do.

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(Not meaning to insult those of you who wouldn’t dream of doing damage.  I’m writing to the idiot who may be reading this, assuming he CAN read, and who has a big pick-up and takes it onto a forest road when it’s muddy in order to  feel really, really masculine driving back into town in a truck with mud splatters on it.  *rolls eyes.*)

When I see disregard for our forests, I go haywire!

Since I don’t have a bundle of haywire to photograph, the plant in the next photo will have to do.

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Let’s look at another flower, shall we?

(Calm down, RVSue.)

The classic . . .  a wild rose with dew drops.

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See how I snuck that rose into this post?  I’ve been trying to find a place for it all week!

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“This is the longest walk we’ve taken since I don’t know when!  You two ready to go home?”

rvsue

NOTE:  Please continue with your updates and stories of life where you are, your plans for the rest of the summer, and anything else you want to talk about or questions you’d like to ask. If you asked a question under the previous post and would like to ask it again under this one for blogorino input, feel free to do so.

Join us and write something!  It’s fun reading comments!  — Sue

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120 Responses to Finding campsites in San Juan National Forest and treading lightly

  1. retiredcajunlady 'n Louisiana says:

    First??? Nah, can’t be!

  2. Mary Iowa says:

    Hi Sue!
    Never been on before

  3. Jerry says:

    No way I’m first?

  4. Susie Rollyson says:

    I love the way you inject plants to tell us your emotions. The barbed wire was just great since you had to use a flower.

  5. Such a gorgeous area …love the searching for campsites!!! And the turkeys and the wildflowers,lovely!!!

  6. Jerry says:

    Now I feel special, and not in the head kind of way. I just happened to be sitting here when I received the notification of a new post. I even read the post first before claiming my prize. LOL Thanks Sue and crew, always a pleasure to read your post and look for them daily. Have a question about the fire rings. Why couldn’t a person just make a fire ring. I know that the forest people say only camp in settled camp sites but do you think they know each and every site? Just a thought is all.

  7. retiredcajunlady 'n Louisiana says:

    Shakes my head @ the forest road ruts!! Even duct tape can’t fix stupid.
    The wildflowers are just beautiful, Sue. Thanks for posting them and sharing the beauty with us all. And the wild turkeys…they reminded me just who the forest truly belongs to. All the wildlife that truly call the forest “home” just really share it with people. The Crew is looking so good!! Reggie stopped and posed for you in the road with pinecones photo…too cute!! And HRH Bridget is looking so healthy and happy lately, and seems to be walking well. You may not have found a new campsite to park, but you sure had a day of beauty to enjoy.
    Willee and I enjoyed our cold supper while reading your post and enjoying the wonderful photos. Thank you, Sue.

    • Someone did that to the alley behind our house after a heavy rain last weekend, and the ruts are so deep, we can’t get our trailer out until the city grades it. I am so frustrated right now.

  8. Hi Sue,
    I’ll add my plans. I’m up near Steamboat Springs, Co right now. One of my August Colorado food favorites start rolling in about August. Which is why I’ll be heading south about then.
    The first is Olathe Corn. Oh, the sweetness of this corn from Olathe, Co is fantastic.
    Soon after is the Palisade, Co peaches. When my brother’s daughter was born I nicknamed her Peaches, since she was born just when they came in season.
    Lastly, for those who love southwest cooking. The New Mexican Green Chile harvest begins about the end of August. You can find them with your nose, when the roasters are out and the chiles are roasting. You can find mild, medium, and hot, chiles.
    What are they used for, you may ask? Fantastic in scrambled eggs, breakfast burritos, put one on a burger with cheddar, and of course chile rellenos.
    So, I’ll be heading south in August and filling the freezer.
    Sue, that is a great camp find. Any camp with wildlife is a winner to me.
    Good luck, if you’re going to cross the divide.
    When was the last time you were on the Atlantic watershed
    side of the country?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      In 2011, before we left Georgia to begin a new life. 🙂

      • edlfrey says:

        Sue,

        I’m sorry that I need to correct to again but someone needs to keep you honest. You crossed over into the Atlantic watershed the day that you drove into Silver City, NM and got tires for the BLT. I didn’t look it up but that was in late April or early May or this year 2015.
        You are now camped only a few miles west of the divide and will cross it on the way into Chama which is on the Atlantic side.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          OOps! I skipped right over the word “watershed” and was thinking only of the Atlantic. Thanks for the correction, Ed.

        • BadgerRickInWis says:

          Damn you’re good Ed. Sometimes I think you keep better track of this blog than the woman who lives it and writes it. I mean that sincerely your memory is impressive.

          BUT. You can’t fool me my friend you’re not really sorry. 🙂

          • edlfrey says:

            Not so good . I got most of the details correct but typed the wrong year. I should have said …in late April or early May of this year 2016.

            It is not that my memory is so great it is just that Sue has been traveling through parts of the country that I know fairly well. I was also in Silver City when she got her tires so that helped as a memory jogger.

            You can fool some of the people some of the time …. HA

      • R. on Colorado Trail says:

        So it’s going to be five years soon?
        Five years on the road and you’re still enjoying it. I remember how much Spike loved water and now Reggie likes to run and run around while Bridget usually jwatches or hides. I too ejoy riding along.
        I’m near Mt. Princeton on Colorado Trail.

  9. cc and canine ( now in Clackamas, Oregon) says:

    I’ve been gone for a while and am confused by the math problem….the problem was easy, I put in the answer, and hit post comment…..and nothing happened….what do the little arrows in a circle mean? should I click on them??

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t see what you see on my screen, since I’m the administrator.

      I’m guessing the circle with the arrows is what you click when you want a different problem.

      • Cari in Plano Texas says:

        Sue, you are correct. Click that little icon if you want a different problem. And cc, Sue had to add that when trolls started signing up for her blog and causing software type problems.

      • Velda in Roseville CA says:

        Sue again tonight my iPad one won’t do the captcha. If you see this then the new iPad Pro will. So maybe her difficulty is similar to mine and will clear eventually. Really love the flower photos.

  10. rvsueandcrew says:

    Reggie is on the floor giving me the sad face and making pathetic squeaky sounds. Time for the last walk of the day. 🙂

    I turn comments over to you! Have fun!

    Sue

  11. Enjoying your posts while we dream of hitting the road in October. Ben will finish his last big job as a contractor next week. I’m at home, back of the hand to my forehead, figuring out what to do with 23 years worth of detritus, along with my mother’s things (she died at age 101 and kept her high school annual from 1926, along with other things like that).
    My 33-year-old son arrives tomorrow to look at nine boxes he asked me to store in our 10×15 storage unit. No, son, no. I will store photos, the stories you wrote in elementary school, the special books I read to you, but not the high school band hat, not the Lincoln Logs, sheets of music, your juggling batons. I was sorry I got got rid of the wooden rocking horse his grandma gave him when he was two. He was sad and said, “I just liked knowing it was there!” Oh dear. I had no idea…letting it go was symbolic of me letting go of my dream of having a grand baby.
    That’s where I’m at, but I still make time to follow your adventures with Reggie and Bridget. Taz, our active Australian Shepherd, is in for a surprise come October. Not only are we not leaving her home as she clearly fears, but she will be leashed a lot more than she’s been used to. Big adjustment.
    Question: Do you have a post where you talk about staying safe. You seem fairly relaxed as a solo traveler.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Martha,

      I don’t remember writing a post specifically about staying safe. Ever so often I run a little tirade in comments about women cowering due to society’s conditioning. I point out how fear is completely irrelevant to life on the road. One does not face any more danger — most likely a lot less! — than when living in a regular house.

      Almost 5 years on the road and I have never had a problem or sensed there was danger lurking. Fling that conditioning aside and live life to the fullest is my advice to all women. Many of us women are out here having a blast… Why should men be the only ones having this kind of fun?

      Thanks for writing… I’m going behind the curtain again. 🙂

    • Rover Ronda (WA) says:

      Search her blog with the word “Tooter”. It’s an air horn she installed outside with a panic switch wired inside. I’m sure Sue will have advice for you when she gets back. In the meantime you can read about the Tooter.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Click “Air Horn” in the line beneath the header which will open a page about it. 🙂

      • BadgerRickInWis says:

        Ronda, I was going to ask you a question about your comment on the last post. You said you were installing solar with your 97′ Bigfoot so I’m wondering if you are planning on installing it on the trailer roof?

        I ask because as I look at Bigfoot trailers they seem to have a lot of “stuff” on the roof, or at least more than most fiberglass trailers. The ones I have seen have 2 vents for the tanks, vent for the fridge, sky light, 2 fantastic fans and if you have A/C that’s up there too. Doesn’t seem like there would be much space for a good size panel. Thanks.

        • Rover Ronda (WA says:

          There is quite a bit up there; all you mentioned plus a radio antenna. We have measured n remeasured. Believe it or not we have space for 2 150 watt panels on top and 2 100 watt panels on the front slope roof. We hope to power our fridge even on a less than perfect sunny day. Also we won’t be able to tilt them since we are going to adhere flexible panels. We don’t want to drill holes in our fiberglass. If you get flexible panels my husbands research suggests ones with ETFE are better/safer than the older technology with PET

        • Rover Ronda (WA says:

          Oh one correction, our model doesn’t have a sky light or A/C. Just 3 vents, 2 fantastic fans, and antenna.

          Our solar panels made the “sample of items recently purchased by readers ” list on this post if you care to see them.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Thank you, Ronda. That was a big purchase and brought a nice commission to me and the crew. I appreciate you thinking of us.

            • Rover Ronda (WA says:

              You’re welcome, though as always it made no difference in our price. Glad it can help you and the crew.

    • susan from Pasadena says:

      getting rid of stuff….see if the high school librarian wants the old year book….take photos of other stuff and then give it away…tell your children they have two months to come and get it and then toss it… you are not a museum….let your children deal with what they want and toss the rest…

  12. Barbara says:

    Hi Sue, I’ll call myself “BarbaraJ.” to be different from the other Barbara’s you mentioned. I absolutely love your posts, your dogs, your love for nature and for life. I am three weeks away from leaving with my own dogs and parrot, and know that I’ll love my new life wandering in beautiful places.

    I’ll be starting my own blog, as soon as I can figure it out that is…..

    You write such heartfelt posts, and the love for your dogs shines through. Thanks for sharing your adventures, and special places you find.

    take care
    BarbaraJ

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Or put the initials of your state behind your name. That makes your name easier to remember and we can relate to your location.

  13. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Very informative on finding a place to stay! Is the rule, one vehicle per fire ring?

    Love the flower right under “please tread lightly”…except I have no idea what it is. Beautiful!

    Oh my word! That tire gouge is awful! Packed mud will take a long time to even back out! Looks like the road is wide enough that the mud puddle could have been avoided! You forgot to add the “balls” hanging off the trailer hitch. Not so sure of the meaning behind that.

    Isn’t it neat how if you take a moment to listen and watch, wildlife have their own “alert” signals. The geese while on land will stand guard as their young pick through the grass. One honk and they all start running for the water! Works the same in the water, snappers (turtle) are waiting to grab one…one honk and the entire line changes direction.

    Have a wonderful evening!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t know about the rules for multiple vehicles at one campsite in the forest. Maybe someone will elaborate on that.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Do you know what the white flower is?

        • BadgerRickInWis says:

          I’m guessing it’s some kind of wild orchid. Hard to be more specific because there’s about a million varieties of orchid. Plus the photo doesn’t really show the leaves. Whatever it is it’s magnificent.

          • BadgerRickInWis says:

            OK, a little more research tells me NOT an orchid at least not one native to Colorado.

            And Ann I thought Trillium as well but don’t Trilliums have more pointed petals as these are rounded? But I think you may be right.

        • Ann of Tacoma says:

          Looks like wild trillium. Yes, no?
          What a beautiful world!

  14. Pat from Mich. says:

    Warm and rainy in Mich. today. Wish I were walking in a forest in Co!

  15. Rover Ronda (WA) says:

    Awesome flowers! Thank you for the reminder to stay on the road. Even if the flowers aren’t blooming then their fragile plants are or they’ve reseeded themselves and the seeds are best not disturbed. We like to 4×4. There is no need to literally go “off road”. There are plenty of roads or trails to be found and enjoyed.

  16. I truly agree with you on the matter of keeping the camps and our Forest looking the same when one has found it, to leave it in the same condition, ,,,, on sites that have over growth, even if there is a fire ring, I pass it by,, the Forest Service will talk to you about the reclaiming growth of the forest and might ask one to move,,,, on the mud ruts, , some like you said likes to get their rigs dirty, but it’s wise not to, my advice is to go around with out tailoring the road wider, or back up or like you said, get out and go for walks to see what’s up ahead,,,,,, ,,,, now what happened with the gun shots or was that a small sernario? Great learning tool Sue and the Wild Rose is great, as is all your photos, ,,,,,, have a greater evening and a great weekend, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 😉 Rusty n Piper

  17. Steve Nevison says:

    Hi Sue,

    A long time ago you provided a link to a group who were camping off the grid for various reasons. I believe they were in California. I was wondering if after all this time you could tell me what the month/year was that you posted it so I can look it up.

    Please give the crew a pet for me.

    The only time I’m first is when they need someone to blame.

    Thank you.

    Steve.

  18. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Hi Sue and everyone!
    Loved the pictures and I know you just have to be loving it here. So pretty and peaceful.

    We are very busy with work this summer and are just trying to squeeze in some camping when we can get it.

    I want to share an article that came up in some of the groups I follow and I also shared it in our RV group. Please help take care of these special public lands where you boondock and camp. (Saying this for those that need a reminder. Sue, I know you do and I am sure most of the blogerinos do also.)

    http://www.durangoherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?aid=%2F20160616%2FNEWS01%2F160619673&template=mobileart

  19. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    What a great tour of a wonderful looking camping area. The wildflowers are so pretty. The white one looks so delicate. This is really a great campsite. Love the cover picture!!! Reggie and his eyes!!
    As always…sending much love

  20. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Lovely scenery at this location. I do still think the campsite you chose is the prettiest. It just seems peaceful there.

  21. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    Lovely camp area, I enjoyed the tour. Wrote a long comment last post, got the math question, but could not get into the comments. Something about a Captcha error. I googled & asked what that was. Seems I may be lacking some plug in on the IPad. A link was provided to download it.

    • Val R. Lakefield On. says:

      That was strange….nothing has changed but I got in this time.
      Very hot here making me thankful to live at the lake. Summer plans are written in Jello, we do most things spur of the moment. Sister-in -Law ended up in hospital for a month just before we were all to leave for the Wisconsin wedding so we cancelled and found a Provincial Park 25 min drive from the hospital. Had a lovely relaxing week in the trailer while we stayed close to her. I loved spending my days in camp & then after a hospital visit coming back to our trailer looking so cute. I think I mentioned RV Sue every day while there. Once the parks are less crowded we will take ten days to tour northern Ontario. Have to visit my 94 yr old mom a couple times a week also so time goes by very quickly. I came up from the lake yesterday to see a fawn walking by our place. My husband saw it the day before that. I called the wildlife centre to ask about its chance of survival on its own. They said it might meet up with other deer if it doesn’t reunite with mom. So that is about it for my summer…oh & I will continue my small jobs with the animal shelter also.
      Hope it fairs ok….it can eat all my host as if it wants…:-)

  22. Rhodium in RI says:

    I wonder what causes meadows, or the low woody plant density in your area? It is so park like. Time to look stuff up!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      In some areas cattle are grazed on the land and I assume that keeps brush and small trees from taking hold, causing a meadow. There are cattle guards on the roads here. I also notice that the meadows are lower than the pine forests around them and they seem to have more moisture. Also maybe the pH of the soil?

      I don’t know why there isn’t an understory in Ponderosa forests, other than perhaps the lack of sunlight and thick layer of pine needles on the ground, smothering new growth. I’m guessing…

  23. Is looking for a fire ring a requirement that the forest service has, so that you will be in trouble if you camp where there isn’t a fire ring?

    Or is looking for a fire ring a matter of ‘treading lightly’ and not necessarily a law or rule?

    I am very much a believer in treading lightly and leaving a place better than I found it, so am not planning to stay in places without fire rings. I just wanted to make sure I understand the issue. Thank you for your wonderful information, as always!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The forest service requires camping be in “established campsites only.” This is a rule; you can be fined if you don’t follow it. Established campsites are identified by a clear piece of ground on which to park and a fire ring is present.

      There are also restrictions that differ according to district regarding how far from the road you can camp. For instance, the crew and I were camped at an established campsite in Coconino NF, Arizona, when the “no camping more than 300 ft. from the road” rule went into effect. Our established campground was more than 300 ft. so I moved camp to another established campsite nearby that was within 300 feet.

  24. Pookie in Todd Mission, tx says:

    its almost 11 pm here in texas and Ive been watching the protests
    for most of the day then this shooting of the Dallas police officers
    and then I find your new report……..what a relief….
    what is this world coming to?
    thanks for your post, Sue
    chuck

  25. MelindaK (TX) says:

    Another great post. I appreciate the details you give as I am familiar with the area and my dream is to boondock in the area some day. I usually travel with my mother and she does not want to boondock. I am more into nature than she is. How I would love to be in that area no right now. It’s a little warm in Texas. 🙂

  26. DesertGinger says:

    Hey guys, I have GOOD news for a change. Today, after battling for over a year, the IRS finally informed me they have cleared me of owing taxes on the $220 K that was stolen from me. Hallelujah! Now if I can get all the rest sorted out with them….

    What else? Love these campsites; they are really pretty. too bad they are at such elevation. But it looks cool, something we don’t have here in Tucson. Oh well, summer is passing quickly.

    Ta-Ta for now.

  27. weather says:

    It’s nice to know more about your camp-the turkeys, ravens and how pretty it looks at different times of the day. You have such good photos of it, I like the wild rose, too, and am glad you fit it in the story. Whether or not I would use the sites in question would depend on factors I’d discern by closer examination were I there.

    The clear spot to park that you’re on may not have been clear 3 months ago, for instance, and may have looked like the ones full of plants at that time. A lot depends on the specific vegetation, if it’s growing through old dried up thatches and clumps of what grew there last year for example. Whether or not I saw established colonies and nests belonging to insects and small animals, you know, things that explain more than pictures can.

    My Wrangler and T@B combined weigh over 3000 lbs. less than what you travel and live in, so leave a smaller and more shallow mark. Even so, with other places nearby that are clearly less of a disturbance to the land and what lives on it being available at the moment , why not stay on them?

    Reggie reacting less to gunfire is terrific. I know it’s an awful feeling for you both when he gets shook up and frightened. It really is amazing how well both he and Bridget have adapted to living in different places and the rides to everywhere. All that you’ve done to make them secure and feel at home in new situations certainly works , great job, Sue. Do you have enough groceries and all you need to stay a few more days there?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, weather,

      The crew and I have plenty of groceries. We went into town a few days ago and I replenished our supply of fruits, vegetables, and other perishables. That was the day traffic was backed up a couple miles out of town.

      I see what you mean about requiring closer inspection to make a decision whether to camp in sites that are being reclaimed by nature with plants, flowers, and animal homes. If you were here you would see that the site we’re in now evidently has been used for many years. The bare ground is tamped hard as the road. I think it is a popular spot for hunters, ATVers and equestrians to park/camp in the fall. I tried to convey what you stated more clearly… If there’s a choice, choose the sites that are already cleared.

      • weather says:

        If your route south during autumn took you through that area I imagine the site with the lane curving around gambel oak would be gorgeous. By then, instead of swaths of yellow from the meadows’ flowers, the grass would have more the appearance of amber waves of grain. The oak and shrubbery’s leaves would have shades of orange , red and gold. I think I’ll file that image and location in my mind for times when I’m away from NY state and long for Kinkade painting atmospheres.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Undoubtedly Kenney Flats is lovely at any time of the year in different ways. I noticed yesterday the colors of the meadows are fading.

          I wouldn’t camp here during hunting season.

          • weather says:

            Hunters being there during autumn occurred to me just as I clicked on post. What grace that you found, arrived at and have been there at the perfect time for you to have the meadows’ colors at their peak, peaceful holiday, and all that you’ve had.

          • milliehubbard says:

            This post made me really nervous for the safety of you and the crew…even if it is not hunting season, do you wear any blaze orange? And some on the pups, maybe an orange collar for each of them, or an orange vest for the Reggie Man and a blaze on Bridgie’s “car”. Not to be a worry wart but the “shooting” gave me a chill…I’m not anti-gun, just pro-safety…you and the crew in particular.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Thank you, Millie, for caring about our safety. The guy was target shooting. He had to pass our camp to go up on the ridge so he knew we were present.

  28. Carol in the Finger Lakes says:

    Hi Sue and blogorinos!

    Finally caught up with all the posts and comments, and thank you to everyone for all the wonderful tips.

    It’s a great relief to be caught up, back in the present. I have been reading a couple of posts and their comments each day, and found myself a little confused over what time of year it was (until I looked out the window). RV Sue even became a character in one of my dreams….

    Well, now I have to get back to work getting rid of stuff and getting my house ready for sale. Overwhelming.

    On a completely different subject–I have been mulling over Sue’s problem with the new drawer units that come open and fall over during travel. I asked myself whether they came open because they fell over, or fell over because they came open, and I concluded the latter was the case. (For a thought experiment, what happens if you open all the drawers of your file cabinet? You say you would never do that? Right!)

    So the answer could be as simple as keeping the drawers from opening when moving to a new campsite. I would experiment with one set of drawers, perhaps just tie a piece of clothesline or such around it to hold the drawers closed, and if that works, invent something more permanent (always fun). It seems to me that if the drawers stayed closed, it would take quite a violent event to make them fall over.

    Love all the pictures of the tiny details of living.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I appreciate you wanting to help, but there is no way to wrap anything around the drawers. They are snug from side to side. We discussed this earlier. The cabinets do not fall over. It’s easier to place the drawers on the floor than it is store lines and rig them up at every move. The tension would have to be tremendous to hold these big drawers in place and I don’t want to drill into the walls. Thanks anyway for the suggestion and for reading my blog’s archives.

      • Carol in the Finger Lakes says:

        Thanks for your response, Sue–and quite so (about the space). So often the simplest solution (put the stuff on the floor) is the best.

        Just planting the thought about the drawers opening causing the problem.

  29. Ken wink says:

    Love reading your posts. Makes us want to get back in our rig and boondock again. Got back last night from 9,815 mile Roadtrek tour of Southern US. Seattle, New Mex, Florida, Carolinas , SD, Yellowstone, home at Seattle. Hi light was the “needles hwy ” Blk Hills, SD.?

  30. Mary says:

    Hi RV Sue and the Crew. My husband and myself avidly follow your blog and have done for a couple of years now. We purchased a 35′ motorhome over a year ago and tow our car behind it. We had planned on traveling to Oregon starting in our home town of Houston, TX at the end of Nov 2015 and going west to Arizona and then up the eastern side of California etc. etc. Around that time my 93 year old mother fell & broke her leg. She also lived in Houston, so we helped care for her delaying our planned trip but during that time we were able to install 4 solar panels on the MH roof and of course see my mother every day. Eventually though, Mother’s health declined and unfortunately she passed in April. We almost have the estate sorted enough so that we can leave on our much delayed trip in mid August but due to the summer heat we feel we have to change our destination plans. We knew you had started your maiden trip not far north of us up in Corsicana, TX and you’d started that trip in August a very hot time in TX (2011 was a very hot summer indeed!) so that gave us heart and a sort of loose plan and a rough route to get out of TX and away from the heat as quickly as possible. We think we can only make it to SW Colorado though this year and then when it gets colder make a slow beeline for SW Arizona then Oregon in 2017!

    We were wondering if you’d seen any boondocking campsites in your general area that are large enough for a 35′ MH with a toad. We’d rather not drive 100’s of miles to that area and find that we have to stay in a private campsite and suffer all that comes with it because there are no other choices. We would consider staying in COLORADO state parks but they seem to be very busy so it’s hard to find any reservations at this time of year plus we don’t want to be locked into very specific dates. Our plan is to stay cool in August/Sept. etc. without running our generator and enjoy lots of green, peace and quiet, plus appreciate all of the nature surrounding us.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mary,

      My condolences on the death of your mother. It was good that you stayed with her for her last months.

      Boondocks for 35 feet plus toad in a high enough elevation to be cool in August and September in SW Colorado… I’m not well qualified to help you because I’ve only been in CO a short time and I’ve never driven a big rig (don’t know turning radius, how much “head room” it requires, how wide, how comfortable you are with brush scratching the sides, etc.)

      For those reasons in the parentheses, I suggest National Forest campgrounds. I assume you have the senior discount pass which would put your daily fee around $9-10. You could go to Cortez, CO, continue northward to Dolores and take 145 along the Dolores River all the way past Rico to Cayton Campground. Nina and Paul of Wheeling It blog camped there in 2011 and give it high marks. Nina wrote a very detailed report with photos. Click here. Scroll down the page where she explains where to find boondocks for big rigs in the area (there are a few).

      The elevation at Cayton is 9,400 feet which would be cool in late summer. Maybe you could get a spot at Cayton and use your toad to explore and find a big boondock site, using the information provided at Wheeling It.

      You would need to make a reservation for Cayton, probably only weekdays available, or take a chance a first come-first serve is available on a weekday. I’m sorry I’m not more helpful.

      BLOGORINOS:

      ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR BOONDOCKS, SW COLORADO, AUG. & SEPT.?

      • MelindaK (TX) says:

        Hi Mary, you can find some sites in the Rio Grande National forest above Creede Colorado that should accommodate your rig. For example, Marshall Park Campground. Be aware the elevation is around 8800 ft. Also, there is Lathrop State Park outside of Walsenburg off Hwy 160. They do not take reservations any more it’s first come first serve. I have never seen that park full. I usually visit it in August.

        • Reine in Plano (when not camping) says:

          It won’t help with Colorado but if your route to Colorado from Houston goes through Amarillo and then on to Dumas north of Amarillo, there’s a great FREE overnight camping spot at Texoma City Park in Dumas. It’s a parking lot with electric poles and is for one night only but the electric means you can have the AC on which is a must most nights in Texas in the summer and early fall.

  31. Virginia620 (Mobile AL) says:

    Sue, I’m very curious do you ever “feel” threatened, either by humans or animals, especially on your walks away from camp? Do you “carry” anything other than a camera? Sorry to be so personal. Just wondering.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s not too personal, Virginia. No, I don’t carry anything more than a camera and Reggie’s tether. I do not wander around in woods when in bear country, stay on the roads mostly or in the campground. In the desert I sometimes carry a walking stick for balance but not so much since I have Reggie to manage.

      No, I have never felt threatened by humans or animals.

  32. Terri in Texas says:

    Hi RVSue-
    I wrote a really long message, did the math and then hit post. Then it told me I needed to input my name and email which I thought was already saved-except that yesterday here at work I deleted all saved cookies in the computer! Oops. Anyway, I went back to do it, and of course the post was gone. Man, I better go get my calculator-those equations are hard! 🙂 Oh well-I spent yesterday catching up on comments and the last three posts. I am babysitting the business while my boss is on vacation and it is incredibly slow here with not much to do. Summer is always slow in the plaque and trophy making business. Anyway, I love your campsites and glad you made it to Colorado this year. I bet the weather will be lovely. And your crew is cute, too, as usual. Glad you and everyone else had a good fourth of July! Ours was quiet and I made one of the best briskets ever-so tender it fell off the fork. Yum! Peace to everyone!
    Terri

  33. Cari in Plano Texas says:

    Your beautiful photos and narrative of your tour around the area help bring relief vicariously from the Texas heat which has now started in earnest. The heat index here in the Dallas area has been over 100 the past week or so, with no real relief in sight.

    I don’t have any solid plans for the summer. I usually don’t go anywhere between June and September because of the weather, and this year my calendar is filling up with dog sitting clients. Yes, it’s a choice I make to accept them, but I love have them around! I’ve had some things come up that I need the extra money to pay for, so there is another reason.

    I appreciate your gentle reminder to tread lightly on Mother Earth. I just shake my head at the thoughtlessness of those who tear up the road surfaces, trash campsites, and generally make things worse for future visitors.

  34. deadeye, Boerne, Texas says:

    Great photos of a very secluded forest. I would think you ARE in bear country. No?

    Don

  35. Teri Live Oak Fl says:

    We just returned from Colorado. We found the most beautiful camps in the San Juan Mtns. Wildlife and cool weather. Now I know the joy of finding a dumpster. LOL

  36. AZ Jim says:

    A word about driving over brush when off the roadway. Vehicles now have catalytic converters which in doing their job get very hot. If you drive over brush high enough to come in contact with your converter, you can cause a fire. Here is a link discussing the potential.

    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/fire-227738-catalytic-converter.html

  37. ==========
    We’re in Eatonville, WA right now — just finished building strong shelves in my brother’s garage for several days. All three walls of his garage are now lined with beefy shelves which are 16 and 24″ deep. Next week we’re headed to Eugene, OR to see James Taylor in concert — spendy but it’s on Annie’s bucket list. I’ve already seen him — twice — :o) We plan to hang out with my daughter in Portland for a while, then it’s back to Mom’s house in Shelton, WA to finish pressure washing moss off her roof. Then we’ll mosey up to Port Orchard for a while before heading East to South Dakota. My long-time best friend (originally from Havre, MT) lives there. We have to be back in Boise by Sep 12th for one of the grandkid’s birthdays — hate to miss any of those! There’s another birthday in early Nov and then we’ll be headed towards the great Southwest once again. It’s great to have this freedom to help out family and friends and still always have our own house with us — loving it more every day!

  38. Leesa (IA) says:

    Your campsite looks so inviting and cool – it’s been sooo very hot/humid here. I am spending my time tending the garden, looking after grandbabies. I have taken to reading them your blog in the afternoons they like hearing about your adventures and looking at the photos. It has been a great imagination starter for play later in the day.
    On the days you don’t blog I just read some of your older posts. Still have work to do on the Airstream slow and steady wins the race, but the grandbabies were getting tired of waiting to go camping so I set up some tents in the yard.

  39. Rick & Brock the dog in WA says:

    Hi Sue,
    Brock is drooling over the wonderful meadows and all the smells that must be there!! So of course we’ll have to go camping again this weekend 🙂 Concerning the rutted roads…I especially don’t like it when people do that because despite the fact I have a 4×4 it makes traveling on them that much rougher. Brock and I only camp in established boondocking sites. We love being off in places like you are seeing and want them preserved so next time we come it’s just as nice. Unfortunately I spend some of my time picking up other peoples trash that don’t feel that way. Makes me sad. Anyway, only nine more months until our Escape 17B is delivered! Blessings and safe travels to you and the crew.

  40. Reine in Plano (when we're not camping) says:

    Hi all,
    We’re currently on a trip and have found a couple of great campgrounds. If you’re visiting the Custer, SD-Mount Rushmore area, the campground at Wind Cave National Park if really nice and according to the ranger has never been full. $18 per night – $9 with geezer pass. No hookups but water in the area and restrooms but no showers but you can’t beat the price. We were there the last week of June and it was up to 85 during the day but nice breeze and dropped to 55-60 at night so great sleeping.

    Near the west entrance to Glacier National Park, the Emery Bay Forest Service campground has nice sites, no hookups but $14 ($7) a night and they take reservations. Not nearly as busy as the Glacier National Park campgrounds.

    Then on Hiway 83 in Montana going south from the west entrance to Glacier, the Forest Service Lake Alva Campground is REALLY nice. Paved roads and paved trailer pads. Good separation between sites. No hookups but restrooms and water available. $10($5) per night. No reservations but it wasn’t full last night.

    Hope this helps someone traveling in these areas.
    FYI, Glacier was great although a bit cold and rainy.

  41. Lovely walk in the forest and such pretty wildflowers. I share your disgust with irresponsible idiots. Love the haywire :-)))

  42. R. on Colorado Trail says:

    Great post and love those pictures especially Mariposa Lilly.
    I’m hiking on Colorado Trail near Princeton Mountain right now.

  43. R. on Colorado Trail says:

    Forgot to add your haywire looks like Fairyduster.

  44. Joyce Sutton says:

    Did a test post last time did not make it. Let’s see if this will. No blog in email anymore glad I can read on line. Didn’t post much but like the thought I could do I would feel like part of the conversation. I don’t need to talk much.

  45. rvsueandcrew says:

    HELLO? ANYBODY HERE?

    I’m ready to put up a new post. I see that no one has commented since early this morning and it is now afternoon.

    Someone PLEASE comment so I know everything is okay.

    Sue

  46. edlfrey says:

    Everything is OK.

  47. Love the new blog banner photo. And those turkeys! WOW!

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