Finding paradise on the east side of Flaming Gorge, Utah

 

1-P1000483Flaming Gorge, Utah — September 2014

When Bridget and I pull out of our Slate Creek Camp in the mountains of the Wind River Range on the morning of Sunday, September 14th, I’m not sure where we will spend the night.  It’s the time of year when we begin our journey southward to the warm winter boondocks in Arizona.

I do intend to camp somewhere on the east side of Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

You may recall that when we camped in the Field of Flowers Camp near the Gorge in July that the crew and I took a look at Antelope Flat Campground.  You can read about that day and see photos of this area in the post, “A big rock aflame at Antelope Flat.

While on the peninsula where the campground is located, I looked north and saw another peninsula across a bay.

That tweaked my curiosity.

Checking my Utah Benchmark atlas (which I always carry on the Perfect Tow Vehicle), I discovered one long road goes all the way to the point of this intriguing peninsula, starting from Route 191 (the route that extends north-south from Rock Springs to Dutch John all the way south to Vernal, Utah).

Hmm . . . I saw that road from the kiosk at Antelope Flat Overlook on Route 191 . . .  

1-P1000343Forest Road #319 cuts across a drab, arid landscape — view from kiosk on Rte 191

At that time I made a note to look for a camp on that peninsula whenever we travel the east side of the Reservoir.

Well, that’s one option for today’s camp! 

My research also revealed a campground about midway along the length of the Reservoir — Firehole Canyon Campground.   That will make a good alternative if I run out of energy before reaching the peninsula further on.  Less likely to have internet in a canyon though.

The early start has us breezing by the turn to the campground.

I turn onto Forest Road #319.  The road has a firmly packed, dirt surface in fairly smooth condition.  It cuts through dusty sagebrush, dry prairie grass, and the mustard color of rabbitbrush in bloom.   I like an unappealing entrance.  It keeps people away!

About four miles in, the road turns to washboard and Bridget and I jounce along in the PTV.   Bridget has learned when the PTV vibrates, we’re almost at our new home!

Another mile or so I drive over a knoll and this is what appears.

1-P1000345The approach to one of the many bays of Flaming Gorge Reservoir

“Oh, this looks good, Bridge.  Very good indeed!”  My anticipation increases with each turn of the PTV’s wheels.

1-P1000346The road ends at a pretty, white, pebbly beach on a cove.

I survey the area for boondocking suitability.  That’s when I spy a patch of white through the tamarisk trees. 

Oh, darn it!  Someone is camped on the beach!  I hear the rumble of a truck’s diesel engine.  What luck!  They must have arrived a few minutes ago . . .

1-P1000348A peaceful cove under a cloudy sky

I let Bridget out to run off her excitement and to take care of any business.  Just then the truck appears from behind the trees.  It’s hauling a big fifth wheel. Three men are in the truck.

I head toward the driver.

“Hi!  Are you leaving because something’s wrong here or are you just leaving?”  (Never pass up an opportunity to gain good info.)

“We’re going,” he replies amiably.  “It’s a good spot.  We’ve been here all weekend and haven’t seen anyone.”

“Nobody at all?  That’s great!”

He grins and with an “Enjoy!” off they go.

I toss Bridget into the PTV and pull the Best Little Trailer out onto the beach.

1-P1000350I get out to further evaluate the area — the location of the sun, the slope of the ground, possible dangers to Bridget, etc.

Gosh, it’s hot here!  Here it is an overcast day and these white stones are giving off so much heat!  No breeze at all.  Too much rock . . . . It may be pretty but this is an oven . . .

1-P1000349Another day this would be a lovely campsite.  Timing is important when boondocking.

I wander around, continuing my investigation.

I come upon scattered garbage.  From those three men.  Rotten tomatoes, corn cobs, bones . . . . Well, isn’t that nice.  A rotting smell draws me to the water’s edge.  Oh, great!  They killed a rabbit, partially skinned it, and left the carcass to rot in the sun. What else did they do?

I imagine three men in an isolated place.  I bet they urinated wherever they happened to be standing when the urge hit . . .  “Yuck!”

I climb back into the PTV and start the engine.

“We’re outta’ here!”

I backtrack about a quarter-mile and take Forest Road #619 (There’s a post with the number on it.)  The road forks.  I don’t know why I choose the left fork.  It curves around a lagoon and leads us to the prettiest spot on the peninsula, a spit of land that makes a perfect campsite!

1-P1000362Mission accomplished!

Bridget and I have been camped on the little peninsula for four days as I write this.  Here are a few more photos from those days.

1-P1000401Bridget enjoys leading me on explorations of her design.

1-P1000478The view from a nearby hill.  No photo enhancement — Often the water is that blue!

1-P1000412Our view to the southwest — The water and rock outcrop change color.

1-P1000490Bridget leads the way into the early morning sun . . .

1-P1000491. . . to our home surrounded by sparkling diamonds!

rvsue

NOTE:  In the last post I stated this campsite is free which is misleading.  Our site is within Flaming Gorge Recreation Area.  Daily passes are $5.  A pass for seven consecutive days is $15.  A pass for one calendar year is $35.  However, if you have a Senior Pass, as I do, there is no fee!

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Here are a few recent purchases made by RVSue shoppers:

Camco Mini Dish Pan
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Dehumidifier with built-in drain pump, front bucket and continuous drain

1-P1000471

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201 Responses to Finding paradise on the east side of Flaming Gorge, Utah

  1. Jenny Waters says:

    Wow, another gorgeous campsite. I was a bit disappointed when you wrote about the garbage and the rabbit. I don’t understand why anyone would do that. I am glad you found another spot, though. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jenny,

      Disappointing human behavior is a common sight when boondocking. I sigh and move on. Usually I clean up after people but I wasn’t up to digging a hole and burying their garbage.

  2. Shirlene says:

    Hi Sue, good that you moved on…especially the rabbit business and the voiding issue…you are probably right about three men left to their own devices. Bridget is so cute leading the way like she knows exactly what you want from her…When are you planning to leave? Cannot wait to follow your next leg of your trip South.

  3. John K - Mobile, AL says:

    Why? Because we can! LOL….

    • John K - Mobile, AL says:

      So glad the email notifications are working again.

      Great pics but I wish the larger ones were there when you click on the images. I wonder what happened to that.

      • weather says:

        Try clicking on the photo that you’d like expanded.Simultaneously press control,shift and +keys,repeat until you achieve full screen,than hit back one page key to resume reading rest.

        • John K - Mobile, AL says:

          Thanks weather, that zooms in on the small picture, but isn’t quite the same as seeing the larger one before wordpress makes it small for the post.

          • BadgerRickInWis says:

            I’m sure Sue will respond for herself but remember that she makes these posts without broadband and with a monthly data cap. Smaller pics mean she needs less bandwidth.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              That’s right, Rick. I also try to consider the loading time and data usage of readers (even though it doesn’t seem that way due to all the pics I post!).

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, John… WE can, too, but we DON’T. 🙂

  4. Cindy says:

    Sue: I hate to lecture a grown woman, especially one as self-sufficient and careful as you, but your description of the three men and your brief encounter with them scared me. I do tend to be especially cautious, as my husband is retired law enforcement, but it concerns me that those men – or any strangers you encounter – might be able to conclude you are a woman boondocking alone. Would you consider saying something like, “My husband and I are looking for a quiet spot …” or something similar, so that you aren’t letting the wrong people know that you and Bridget are out in remote areas alone? Most people are good, but it pays to be careful. ‘Nuff said and I hope you don’t take offense.

    • Shirlene says:

      I read about a solo woman who would put a big bowl of water outside her trailer with mens boots outside also so that anyone coming around would hopefully assume she had a BIG dog and a Big Man residing there…I plan on using that little trick when I am out there…made me laugh anyway.

      • Cindy says:

        Shirlene: What a great idea!! Add a NRA bumper sticker and the bad guys should steer clear of you!

        • Gayle says:

          I’ve heard that those NRA bumper stickers backfire (pun, ha!). State troopers like to shake down vehicles with NRA bumper stickers hoping to find arsenals, no permits, blah-blah.

      • BadgerRickInWis says:

        Here is a link to another blog I follow with some great boondocking tips.

        http://www.simplelivingandsimpletravel.com/2014/07/3-week-hard-wall-camping-stints-off.html

        About half way down he details how he makes his camp seem occupied when he makes a town run. Interesting stuff.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Interesting! Especially the part about leaving a note that indicates one could return at any time.

          Maybe I’m a cynic but . . . . My feeling is if anyone is determined to bother my camp or me, they aren’t going to be persuaded otherwise by a note or a pair of boots. They’re already “off the chain” and have to be dealt with accordingly.

          Thanks for the link though. Those little suggestions can’t hurt. I learned a lot from Sebastian’s blog… back in the day when I read a lot of blogs in preparation for full-timing.

          • BadgerRickInWis says:

            For anyone who might come back and reread these comments. I want to mention the one thing I LOVE about Sebastian’s blog. He is one of the few who has taken the “leave no trace” camping philosophy that we taught in NOLS school and applied it to RV living. As detailed by Sue’s experience above the world would be a better place if more people followed his example.

            • Cinandjules (NY) says:

              I reread posts continuously until a new one is posted.

              Ya never know what type of vital information one can gain if ya don’t!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        My apologies to everyone who has commented here on the topic of a woman camping alone. Okay? So don’t take offense.

        Personally, I find it insulting (although I know no one meant it to be) that a woman is assumed to be unable to defend herself. Those days are GONE!

        I am capable of being more intimidating that a pair of men’s boots! I’m not a wilting flower just off the veranda…. Nor are other women who live like I do!

        Anyone coming around with the idea of hurting me is going to wish he/she hadn’t! And I’m not going to be hitting them over the head with a pair of men’s boots. 🙂

        • Cindy says:

          Sue: I didn’t assume that you couldn’t defend yourself. I read your bog with a great deal of pride (as a woman) that another woman (you) goes out and lives a lifestyle that is daring and brave and fearless. I sincerely hope you are never in a position where you have to defend yourself. I was just making a suggestion to minimize the likelihood of you having to defend yourself – much like leaving lights and music on at home to make would-be burglars think someone is inside. I have a boatload of weapons I can use if anyone ever breaches my front door, and I’m trained to use them, but I’d rather prevent that type of confrontation, if possible. I am glad to hear you have something better than a pair of men’s boots 🙂

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            I know you meant well, Cindy, and I appreciate you taking the time to give me some suggestions.

            It’s the gender thing… I’ve heard that “leave a pair of men’s boots by the door” tip many times, but I’ve never heard “leave a pair of women’s boots by the door.” It irks me because I try very hard with my blog to undo the lifetime of indoctrination of females that keeps them indoors or unable to do all that they want and should be able to do.

            You’re right… avoidance of confrontation is best, and all the examples you give are wise. Thank you for sharing them here.

            I just have this “thing” about women and the freedom to do things on their own. 🙂

        • Cinandjules (NY) says:

          Amen to that Desert Woman! It’s all about how you appear to others. If you have that timid aura about you..they will sense it! And you my dear…. Do not come off as timid! More like bring it on baby! 🙂

          We are both retired Law Enforcement Officers. Our dept utilizes solo occupant patrol cars. On many occasions the person who called for service expects a male to arrive.

          One call, a burly male called at 2am after hearing someone in the backyard attempting to gain access thru a window. Jules happened to be the 2nd car dispatched. He’s like “they sent TWO women? I want a male to go check.” I replied…Ummm you’re the only male present so go ahead and check it out yourself! He quickly said,” I ain’t going back there!”

          I said to myself I thought so…AH! He locked the door behind us as we went to check the backyard. Found the screen pried…but no peep! Advised him of the findings….are you sure he’s gone? Yep! Don’t be AFRAID to call us again if you hear something.

          We still laugh at him! The manly man…scared of the dark and noises! Go hide in your man-cave!

          • weather says:

            Love that,your humor is always something I enjoy more than almost anyone’s,and today I needed a laugh-thanks!Hm-m,still up at two a.m.,totally unprepared and inadequate to patrol his own perimeter,not smart enough to respect and trust trained armed personnel ready to help him=VICTIM HERE sign painted on the guy in my book,too!Hope he ended up with lots of stronger housemates,hopefully that would at least keep him safer- while at home….

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            That’s a great story! It shows that fear/courage isn’t determined by one’s gender.

        • Sondra-SC says:

          AIM ONCE SHOOT TWICE!

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          I, too, have mixed feelings about people’s suggestions. But I know everyone means well, so please don’t think I’m dissing you. But what bothers me is the assumption/suggestion/”common knowledge” that a woman needs to hide that she is alone, by making up fake husbands, putting out big boots, etc.

          Now, if someone wants to do that, more power to them. But what gets to me is just the idea that it’s a universal good idea. It depresses me because it perpetuates the idea that we need to fake it. And then of course no-one knows women are alone (because they are hiding it) and so it self-perpetuates.

          On the other hand, I fills me with joy that Sue doesn’t hide that she’s alone. Not that she flaunts it, but she doesn’t hide it. And through this example, we see that there are capable women out alone, and maybe it will start to seem more normal. And people will get the idea that women alone are capable.

          The funny thing is that if I imagine scary/violent people out in the woods (and I’m sure they do exist), I can’t see why I would be less scared if I were a man alone (or for that matter, two people). I’d be darned scared if I ran into one of those people no matter what gender I was. (Yet men alone are not expected to hide the fact, or to have “fake wives” along for security.)

          Scary violent people are scary. Luckily they are few and far between.

          Again, I’m not suggesting that people not do whatever makes them comfortable. Just saying how I feel when I read the “solutions” of setting up fake “I have a man along” situations.

          I don’t think I’d want to run afoul of even half a Sue 😀

          • Cindy says:

            I feel compelled to respond to Sidewinder and similar comments because I am the person who started this thread, recommending to Sue that she refrain from letting a group of men know that she might be alone. I come from this background: my husband spent 35 years as a police officer; I am an attorney who spent over 30 years as a prosecutor, many of those years prosecuting poor excuse for humans who preyed on (yes!) men, women and children. So perhaps I am overly cynical and cautious. Yes, it helps to have a confident attitude to discourage certain types of predators. But attitude and self-confidence will not protect a woman (or anyone for that matter) from other types of determined, sociopathic and psychopathic predators. And if you think those predators are few and far between, you are naive. The idea that Sue or any other strong, confident woman can show that “capable” women are the norm will only work when you are dealing with rational, teachable human beings. Predators are not rational or teachable. I do not say these things to scare Sue or any other woman out there. My original intent was only to suggest that when one does not know who one is dealing with, it is best not to give them to much information that could be used against you.

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Fair enough, and I tend to be rather private myself. But I think I would act the same (and be pretty much equally vulnerable to real/actual malicious people) if I were male. I guess I just wish that I didn’t only seem to hear the concern for solo females (I have a male friend who solo RV’s and is not at all aggressive or armed and yet I have never heard anyone suggest he put out fake boots or indicate a partner or etc.).

              I do understand that there are real baddies in the world (I used to work at a Police Department), and I have some fear of them. I also don’t want other blogorinos to feel picked on by me – I really don’t mean it that way (but I can see where it might sound like it).

            • Cinandjules (NY) says:

              I believe Sue only asked if they were leaving. She didn’t offer any other info.

              Unless her “husband” is in the trunk it is obvious that she is traveling alone. That statement alone reeks insecurity to which there is none.

              Yes, in this world we unfortunately coexist with predators sociopaths and psychos. When they snap, there is no reasoning. So plan b is to be prepared or don’t engage.

              Tomorrow is never a guarantee…you choose the lifestyle that you are comfortable with….where living on less and enjoying life more is a reality!

              Or you can regret not living your dash!

              Regards

            • Cinandjules (NY) says:

              It’s a pet peeve. There are two standards….depending on ones gender.

              Would someone give the same suggestion to Tioga George? I don’t think so!

            • Agreed! I travelled the SW in my slide-in truck camper 1981 to 1986 before boondocking was a word! I lived in forests of Arizona, New Mexico etc etc etc and I felt safe. However, I travelled with a 120lb black dog that secured that safety. BUT, the only time he really saved me from possible harm… We were not in camp. We were in town!

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Just a note regarding “the idea that Sue . . can show that ‘capable’ women are the norm will only work when you are dealing with rational teachable human beings. Predators are not rational or teachable.”

              I need to clarify an early statement that might have led to the above quote.

              I’m not trying to teach predators anything. You’re right, Cindy. They aren’t teachable.

              I’m trying to teach women to live full lives, to get past the lifelong indoctrination that they are lesser beings than men, that they are not capable of defending themselves, that they must always walk in pairs, put boots outside their door, get big dogs, etc.

              This indoctrination continues from generation to generation. It saddens me when I drive through small towns and suburbs and see boys out exploring, fishing, playing ball at the park, hanging out at the skateboard park, walking down the street, riding bikes here and there….. AND NO GIRLS! WHERE ARE THEY? WHY AREN’T THEY OUT HAVING FUN!

              Good heavens… We haven’t progressed much further from the days when girls had two choices for entertainment — read a book of poems or embroider.

            • Cindy says:

              Great point Sue, about teaching women to live full lives – thanks for the clarification. BTW, I think you are doing a wonderful job of doing just that! I do see improvement in opportunities for girls and young women. When I was growing up there was just Little League for the boys. Now I see girls playing on soccer and baseball teams and there were two girls on one of my grandson’s flag football team. I see girls at the local skateboard park. I see more female police officers, attorneys, doctors, and vets. When I was growing up, I only saw men in those jobs. This has been a great discussion among your blogarinos – I just wish we were all sitting around a campfire, having a glass of wine, sharing our thoughts and opinions 🙂

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              That *would* be fun!

      • weather says:

        Just adding a bit here to mention-I’ve never found a lie to be a wise choice-for any situation’s best outcome ,period.Confidence and the willingness and ability to back that up is all I’ve ever needed to stay free-anywhere.And I’ve been where many would fear to tread.Just sayin’-careful can be defined as full of worry,choosing hope that it’s not needed results in making that come true.

  5. BadgerRickInWis says:

    So amazing how a seemingly disappointing moment can actually lead us to infinitely better possibilities. Well done, yet again you teach me lessons that go well beyond camping.

    Thanks for sharing the process and the link back to July’s recon trip. I had forgotten the details how you found this spot. So interesting to see how doing your homework and always being on the lookout can lead to such splendid results.

    I wonder if Bridge realizes that her refusal to look towards the dreaded camera means that a weekly update on her disappearing butt is going to be broadcast into cyberspace. 🙂 So glad to see that she seems to be happy and enjoying her route finding responsibilities.

    One question though:
    “I get out to further evaluate the area — the location of the sun, the slope of the ground, possible dangers to Bridget, etc.”
    The first two are obvious to me, but what do you look for regarding possible canine dangers?

    As always thanks for letting us come along. Take care, give the Bridge a squeeze for me.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m always on the look-out for new boondocks! Even when I’m camped in a great site, before I leave I usually scout out the area. That way, when I come back someday and find the site occupied, I’ll know about an alternative.

      Remember Slate Creek Camp? I found two more really good campsites across that meadow. If I ever travel toward Lander again or use that route on a return southward, I know of three good camps near Atlantic City! And now you do, too. 🙂

      Possible canine dangers? Broken beer bottles where Bridget might cut her paws, cacti with hairlike thorns that tend to blow off and aren’t easily seen nor avoided, cooked bones lying about which splinter (Spike was a master at finding those!), kibble that a previous camper dumped (not a danger, but I don’t want her eating stuff like that) . . . Those are a few examples.

      In other environments I’ve skipped camps with steep, sudden drop-offs. Bridget doesn’t get herself into dangerous situations the way Spike did. His poor vision and adventuresome spirit, not to mention voracious appetite, sometimes led him into trouble.

      • Shirlene says:

        Bridget is one lucky dog to have so much care and love coming her way and she returning it with making sure you get back to camp.

      • Jenny Waters says:

        Those are good pointers, Sue. My husband and I are familiar with checking for “canine dangers,” as our dogs are only 3 and 6 pound chihuahuas. We look for birds overhead, as they are small enough for a hawk to come after. It is something that I think might be tricky when we start full-timing.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Also… I forgot to mention … fish hooks. I look for fishing line and then pull it to find the hook.

          • Sondra-SC says:

            …and so many water fowl and other birds get tangled and die or lose a leg to left behind fishing line, I always pick it up and take it away its not good stuff to leave laying about!

  6. This was a really good insight: “I like an unappealing entrance. It keeps people away!”…I wouldn’t have thought of that.

    I agree with the sentiments of BadgerRickInWis – it’s nice how sometimes a bad experience (i.e. a trashed campsite) can nudge us toward a good and better experience (your pretty peninsula). This is why I try to remember to embrace the bad with the good. It’s difficult sometimes, but some of the best experiences can come following a disappointment.

    So glad to hear you are enjoying your stay there.

    I love how Bridget takes you for walks instead of the other way around. It’s very charming.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Early on in my boondocking someone made a statement — can’t remember who it was — something like, “The dirt road eliminates a lot of the people.” Since then I’ve come to appreciate a crappy road with ruts and rocks and washboard, the narrow road with branches sticking out, the big mud puddles to cross, and so forth…

      I think Bridget likes being in control for a change. When you think about it, she has to go where I take her to live, eat what I set out for her, wait in the PTV at my convenience, etc. No wonder she likes to tell me where to go!

  7. Linda says:

    It seems like a great site. I’m glad Bridget is enjoying it too.

  8. weather says:

    My two favorite photos among all the beautiful ones above are the ones seen when you came over the knoll.That first shaft of light crossing the road -approached -entered -to reach within and beyond it,Wow! To find and apprehend paradise just follow the Light-it’s no wonder you knew enough to turn left…

    You’re so right about white rocks,unless they’re perfect quartz,rather then reflect sunlight and color,they just sit there-absorbing heat,offering you more of what’s unwanted.Almost every other rock is so beautiful to see,changing with whatever the sky and day brings to us.From the southern states’ deserts to your recent home you record what I’ve chased all my life-air and earth shimmering with everything within them-making everything new all the time.

    We’ve come a long way since those days of lunches in woods near the homes our parents had chosen.Those, my rock collecting wagon and your Cinderella book held hints of where we’d be found today.Thanks ever so,again,for sharing every colorful outcrop the light and shadow on the path has revealed.May diamonds in water or starlight ever be found strewn about near you,you deserve every one and more.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi again, weather,

      Those white rocks on the beach did give off a lot of heat. I suppose that could be a good thing at a different time of year, maybe in the chill of early spring. There is a wall of light-colored rock at that site that blocks the breeze and reflects more heat. Without air conditioning I want some breeze!

      My father used to say, “Everything that happens in your life will come to good use someday.” Not always in those exact words, but he often expressed that idea. Little did I know as a girl wandering in the woods that I was gaining a comfortable ease with nature that would delight me all my life and eventually serve me well as I look for secluded camps and live in them.

      I’m sure you know what I mean from your own experiences.

      Ah, the diamonds . . . I like the kind on water . . . never was much interested in the kind one wears.

      Thank you for another wish for a beautiful life.

      • weather says:

        The stones that are found nearer the earth’s surface hold more appeal-worn or not-for me ,too.Your occasional mentions of your father are so nice-“I ate those tomatoes like grapes” comes to mind.You must have enjoyed his conversations-him-to speak so admiringly about him.That’s too seldom heard these days.Your welcome for the wishes…

  9. DebsJourney says:

    Another beautiful peaceful camp! Bravo!!

  10. fossildreamer says:

    Hi Sue,,, I have to say you did it again with this beautiful site,,
    I know that you and bridget are enjoying it…
    Always Safe travels Sue….

  11. Marcia GB in MA says:

    I love your new campsite. One of the best yet, I think. Of course, the terrain you visit is so varied that many of your spots are unique and each is noteworthy in it’s own way.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marcia,

      One thing I like about this camp are the many different routes Bridget and I can take for walks. Some camps are pretty and have many great features, but there aren’t many choices for walks. (I learned my lesson not to go off a path into the woods.) Here there are many paths and spur roads, open land with hills to climb, shoreline to investigate. Makes it fun to get some exercise!

      • Marcia GB in MA says:

        Having places to walk is a must for me and Tanya, my 15 year old Norwegian Elkhound/Aussie mix. She loves to explore but can’t do strenuous hikes anymore. A place like this is perfect for her. I’m glad you and Bridget are enjoying some new territory together.

  12. Shirlene says:

    Wow, boots, who knew!

  13. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Trash, a half skinned rabbit and man pee? Oh no!

    Bridget’s bum is so dainty looking! Glad you found another site! True to your character you never settle for less!

  14. GypsyPurl says:

    Hi Sue. Beautiful camp, as always. I miss The Spikester so much, can’t help but think of him when I see the water and how much he loved his soaks. Bridget looks great. Take care and Happy Travels.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, GypsyPurl,

      Spike was such a character, it’s hard not to miss him. I try not to play out my grief in my posts — the initial story I told of the pain of losing him is enough. For that reason I didn’t include in this post my reaction when I walked to the water’s edge.

      In the excitement of finding a new camp, I let down my guard. I looked at that clear water and could see Spike lying there. I imagined framing him in a photo with the beautiful scenery in the distance. That’s when I fell apart. How he would’ve loved that water!

      I was glad Bridget was in the PTV at the time. I guess I needed another good cry.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Crying is a form of healing…..it’s bad to keep sadness inside.

        Having a “Spike moment” is tough on the heart! You can chalk the memories up to him saying….you found a perfect spot again Sue….I approve….and more so I’m here with you!

        Hugs to you both!

      • Cari in Plano Texas says:

        Don’t be surprised if this happens again. I still tear up occasionally when reminded of my Bandit, and he’s been gone almost 8 years. Spike was a very important part of your life, and his memory will always be with you.

      • I feel your thoughts and feelings even if there are no words in your post.

      • BadgerRickInWis says:

        I know it’s not in any way the same but for what it’s worth while I have rejoiced at the beauty of these past two camps I and I’m sure many here have had a tug at the heartstrings when seeing the water pics.

        All of this of course just means that Spike is and always will be with you and a part of you. And due to your amazing gift in sharing your life through words and images he will also be with all of us. Not a bad legacy for an amazing little guy. Hang in there, and with every little reminder may you also remember how truly loved you are by all of us here.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Such a tender, kind message. Thank you, Rick. I will remember.

        • DesertGinger says:

          Rick, I have to say that you do say the nicest things. I’m so glad you are with us in our travels.

          • BadgerRickInWis says:

            And I’m glad to be here and feel honored to hang will all of y’all.

            I learn about the dangers of fishing line and get awe struck by two of the strongest women I have ever met. 🙂

    • Spikey has forever become embedded in our thoughts. It was your love for him Sue, that put him there. He was one amazing little pal!

  15. Cari in Plano Texas says:

    Thanks for taking us with you on the journey to find a new camping spot. I’m always interested to find out how people get from point A to point B, whether it’s scouting a boondocking site or making decisions in their lives to make changes.

    Lovely location, as always. I wonder – in warmer weather is it acceptable to swim there? The reservoir, and especially your spot, looks like a great place to get into the water.

    And the discussion over safety and single women – you’ve been in lots more secluded spots than this. And the fact that you’ve been on the road for, what, 3 years now and never had a ‘scary’ encounter (ok, maybe the bear incident, but no two-legged varieties) speaks volumes. I follow a few other blogs of single women who fulltime and boondock, and I don’t think any of them have ever been in that type situation either.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cari,

      Sure, you can swim here. I’ve seen people swimming in the Reservoir. I’ve done it myself.

      I’m surprised by the clarity of the water. One day we had an hour or so of strong wind. The waves were kicked up quite a bit. I was amazed when I went to the water after the wind abated and found the water clear. I expected silt making it cloudy. The bottom is mostly tiny pebbles out about 10 feet, than it’s earth bottom.

      Predators go after prey. Single women “who fulltime and boondock” don’t give out prey signals and they don’t go where predators are on the hunt.

      If I had stayed in the PTV, locked the doors, and sat with a fearful look on my face, it would’ve sent the message, “Hey, look how vulnerable I am!” Not that they would’ve responded. They were just three guys who’d been camping in a fifth wheel.

  16. Sure looks like a beautiful home! I love the blue water and red rocks:)

  17. Taranis says:

    I am a kid in a candy store. This is about how it goes for this Blogorino:

    “A new post!”

    Readreadreadread.

    Re-read, re-read, re-read.

    (Pictures!)

    *** sigh ***

    What’s left to say?

    I need to be adopted. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re funny, Taranis. I’m still surprised after blogging for about three and a half years that anyone is interested in my day.

  18. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    We’re supposed to be in the 20’s tonight! All the fur kids are in front of the fireplace insert! Geeze Louise it’s still September! We’re already dressing like nanook of the north!

    Enjoy your evening.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Add another quilt to two to the bed….kinda like the Princess and the Pea! 🙂

      Have the leaves started to change yet in your neck of the woods?

      Have a great evening – stay warm!

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:

        Quilt OR two!

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        The leaves turned ……about three weeks ago. The ferns are dying….also a tell tale sign of the “W” word!

        Geese left toward Syracuse last week! Hah!

        We use a light weight down comforter….in the dead of winter… As we both get hot flashes you know that menopause crap one minute you’re cold the next ya want to strip down naked. Of course it isn’t at the same time!

        How about the leaves where you are?

        • Denise- Richmond VA says:

          Where in NY do you all live? It seems like winter is coming early for many parts of the country; Fall got skipped!

          Menopause….Ugh!! I know that feeling…nice and cozy under the covers one minute, and then the next minute kicking them off! Between the hot flashes and sleep disturbances, just shoot me! I was shopping with one of my nephews at Target when a huge hot flash washed over me. I asked him if he thought that they would comp our purchases if I stripped naked and went running through the store screaming!!! Warning – Warning! Parents, please cover your children’s eyes!! He just laughed at his crazy auntie! Men just have NO idea! With both of you dealing with the big M, at least you can sympathize with each other! 🙂

          The leaves have just started to change here…just the edges of the maple leaves. I have a tree in my backyard that has one branch with about 8 leaves on it that are brilliant yellow; the rest of the tree is still green. I am in Central VA – located about 2 1/2 hrs south of Washington, DC, 2 1/2 hrs east of the Blue Ridge, mountains, and about the same distance from the Atlantic Ocean. 🙂

          • Cinandjules (NY) says:

            We are on the western side of the Adirondacks. 2 hours NE of Syracuse and about 1 hour S of Canada.

            If menopause affected males there would be a cure for it by now! Hah. Nope they just get the wrath!

            Sympathize? Oh there are times we wake up growling at each other for no apparent reason! Then again…there doesn’t have to be a reason right? Yes dear!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Time for AO to start earning her keep! She would make an excellent bed warmer, I’m sure!

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Oh no we will not start that!

        She tries to sneak up in the morning. She climbs the log bed frame like a ladder. She immediately lays down..closes her eyes and pretends she’s asleep!

        A stern “off” and she returns to her bed and let’s out a sigh!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Oh, that’s so cute. I wouldn’t be able to send her away. No discipline at all in this home!

          • Cinandjules (NY) says:

            She’s going to be 50+ lbs when she is full grown. We have to think ahead…not to mention she doesn’t retract her legs when she sleeps!

            We try to discipline her but she’s STILL at the incorrigible stage

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I’m such a softie, it wouldn’t be long before she’d have my spot in the bed and I’d be in her dog bed sighing.

            • BadgerRickInWis says:

              That’s too funny. Just last week I was complaing at work about how I didn’t sleep well because my 9 lbs. rat/chi has started sleeping in bed with us. My office manager who has 3 large dogs just laughed and said that he as actually gotten out of bed and slept on the couch when his dogs take over the bed.

  19. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Thank you for sharing your journey of finding the Flaming Gorge waterfront site. I love the blue water and red rock light show that is there for you enjoy. I bet that rock formation just glows at times! Diamonds in the sunlight and the moonlight….along with the gentle sound of lapping water and birdsong….oh, so heavenly!

    I miss Spike, too. I halfway expect to see him soaking. He is always with you and Bridget, helping to guide you.

    Miss Bridget is turning into a mini version of herself! Those long walks are really making a difference! Go Bridget! Glad she is having so much fun taking on the lead scout role!

    Amen to your comments about traveling solo. Not addressing any fellow blogorinos….some of my family and friends think I am nuts to travel solo. When I went to Philly several years ago, a friend was convinced I would be mugged or worse. Umm…we live in metro Richmond and work downtown. Our city has a high crime rate…we could get jumped walking to work from our parking deck. “Stuff” can happen anywhere. The fact that I hope to eventually get a TT and explore more of our country, boondocking to be part of the experience really gets them “concerned”. To make things easier on myself I have begun to censor who I discuss my dreams with. We cannot be afraid of the “what ifs”…..life is too short! That being said, I am grateful that I have folks in my life who “worry” about me! Thanks again, Sue, for being an inspiration and role model!

    As Cinandjules reminds us – Gotta live our dash! I had never heard of that before…thank you for sharing! 🙂

    Have a great night, Sue! Hugs to you and Miss Bridge from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

    Oh…the leaves here are just beginning to start their color show! Yippee!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      I guess it’s a case of people being afraid of what they don’t know. You’ll be much safer once you get that travel trailer and start camping by yourself.

      You speak wisdom — “We cannot be afraid of the ‘what ifs’ … life is too short!” The only “what if” I think of is “What if I never did this?”

      I enjoyed your comment. It’s like you dropped in for a nice chat. You and Gracie have a good night!

  20. Timber n' me says:

    That’s a fine spot you n’ Bridget have there Sue, I most likely would not also camp where those three uncaring, unresponceable for life n’ beauty in the land men camped.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rusty,

      It’s too bad there are people like that. I didn’t get a happy feeling about that place. When I saw this spot, I knew it was good.

  21. Nothing is more exciting than the scenery which appeared in the photo of “The approach to one of the many bays of Flaming Gorge Reservoir”.
    It seems like leading to boondock heavens. Lucky you!!!

  22. lynbr says:

    AWESOME!!! Simply AWESOME!!
    I love everything you do & ESPECIALLY YOUR WRITING!!!
    It’s like I’m right there with you & Bridget!!! I am living vicariously through you & I’m LOVING IT!!
    THANK YOU!!!

  23. DeAnne in TN says:

    Gorgeous photos, Sue. You know I don’t post much because I feel like everyone else has already said what I’m thinking–and far more eloquently. Today’s photos help to take me out of my reality and think about my dream for a little while. Escapism from middle school at its best!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, DeAnne,

      It’s so good to see you here again! I’ve missed you!

      Eloquence is optional here, so drop in anytime, even if you’re in a very un-eloquent mood. 🙂

      It’s a pleasure to provide you with some escapism from middle school. September can be a tough month in the classroom. Students have lost their resolve to do better than last year. The new school year honeymoon is over! They’ve relaxed, formed their cliques, and are geared up to make teachers’ lives miserable. I speak the truth! I know of which I write!

      One more day ’til the weekend!

  24. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    I miss seeing your posts DeAnne!

    It doesn’t matter if everyone wrote the same thought 1000 times. How many times can we all recommend rice to fix a soggy camera? Turns out rice is bad because of the dust! Oh well…not like we didn’t try to help. Some folks are very eloquent….others like me….shoot straight from the hip….and Sue hasn’t sent me to detention yet!

    Don’t be a stranger! You have so much in common. I’ve teaching and the desire to get on that road!

    RICE. RICE. RICE. RICE. RICE RICE. 🙂

  25. Reine says:

    You may want to wander over to blogorino Micky’s blog, http://onewanderingspirit.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/my-first-boon-dock-aka-cow-pie-camp/
    She found a great spot and had her FIRST boondock and an “interesting” day.

  26. weather says:

    does the moon make a trail of light on the water that you can see through the window,or is it in it’s new phase,growing to only be seen easily in full autumn when seeing it’s done wearing coats or blankets every time?Whether it,the kindle or your laptop’s glow is the soft light you see before closing your eyes-I hope you drift into restful hours of sleep and awaken feeling wonderful,n’night

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, weather,

      I could not find the moon last night. A storm blew in and we were inside early for the night.

      This morning the rising sun announced the day with an intense yellow and orange glow which got my attention. I grabbed the camera and ran outside in my nightie.

      A “trail of light” reached toward me across the satiny ripples of water, and the dark storm clouds of the previous night were almost gone, being pacified to pink.

      Magnificent morning! I hope yours is, too!

      • weather says:

        Hadn’t seen your reply until I posted what’s below here.Standing in your nightie amidst the yellow orange glow with clouds being pacified to pink…-we were having an magnificent experience so similar it’s remarkable.If you hadn’t taken the time to use those exact words I’d have missed it….incredible day,friend,wow

    • weather says:

      Switch to morning-the new phase that matters just a few hours later belongs to the sun.It’s changed it’s approach recently.Coming up later,it’s gentler here now,treating everything differently.There’s no harshness or glaring,so the cloud cover now disperses slowly as it quietly gives way to more light.

      It’s like the sky is behaving with the soft politeness -so gracious is it’s treatment of all it sees.Yesterday among all the sweet,exciting,sad or funny happenings of a few of us living on this road,I had a phone call come in from a friend.

      We’d worked together for years ,and my not returning when my life changed has been hard on her.She talked about what it’s like to be among harshness not softened by what we had.She finally joined a group of much older women who gather once a week for an hour.Schooled in the arts of love from a Book they read,they’ve shown her a haven she needed all along.

      This time when we talked is the first time she understood -my explanation of why I’m content,at peace,without pain-in fact truly happy,about everything that’s changed .Those gracious wind tattered women gave us back some of the harmony that we were used to,their sweetness carries further than they know.

      It reminds me of things that happen on your blog ,Sue.Whatever affections or gifts we offer each other,so many more receive.I’d have loved all this if we were the only one’s getting them,seeing the bigger picture is just an enormous added bonus I felt like reminding you of today.Hope you find the breeze you’ve been missing-the Wind’s blowing everywhere we go

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Good morning, weather,

        I’m reflecting on the many layers of your message as I spoon hot oatmeal and sip coffee. You always give me something to think about. Your friend reached a place where she could understand your peace and contentment, brought there by “gracious wind tattered women” who remind me of Champ the butterfly, grounded with torn wings, still beautiful, with memories of flight perhaps?

        People share parts of themselves when they write here and those parts join together to create something bigger than all of us put together. And it doesn’t stop there as the community grows like warmth radiating from a cozy fire. Thank you for reminding me.

        The bird population on this bay continues to increase. A flock of ten have settled at the water’s edge in front of my window. They’ve completed their morning grooming, they’ve stopped wiggling their red heads under wings and tail feathers, and presently relax in the rays of the sun, soaking up the warmth after a stormy night. I’ve taken photos, of course . . .

        And so, another gift is unwrapped!

        • weather says:

          Precise memory-of Champ-that I was alluding to,glad you made the connection.Butterflies have made the transition from one body to the next-and KNOW it made their new life beautiful-always remember flight comes next-so do I.Until later,here’s to unwrapping gifts 🙂

  27. DesertGinger says:

    Strangely, reading Cindy’s comments about NY weather, I find myself missing autumn there. I do love autumn…it was just knowing what was coming soon that bothered me.

    Well, our promised rains didn’t materialize; just another warm, humid day. We expect more heat next week, in the 90s. I hope it is ‘autumn’ here soon.

    I started working on my mail, filing, etc today. Got my new cable box from Comcast and my neighbor just took me to buy a modem. Unfortunately I am beat so will try to hook everything up tomorrow. If I get setup I’m going to sign up for Hulu Plus and start watching HGTV episodes! Yippee! And start my online classes. And be able to cruise the net and see things! Pages will load. So exciting.

    That’s my news for today.

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Take it easy girl! Don’t wear yourself down!

      Do you know Apple has a device that streams shows with just an Internet connection?

      Humidity is awful. Have a great night!

  28. Mert says:

    Simply gorgeous!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s even more gorgeous in reality… The magpies and gulls are having a grand time this morning after a stormy night. Fun to watch!

      Have a great day, Mert! Nice to see you here . . . .

  29. Nan says:

    Bridgett may be leading, but her ears are tilted toward you to make sure you are following. She is a sweetie.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Nan,

      When Bridget leads she turns her head frequently and gives me a glance to make sure I’m following. I bet she’d enjoy holding the end of my leash.

  30. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Interesting comments…I wanted to add that how I feel about safety probably has something to do with having grown up with 3 brothers and no sisters. I do know that in dealing with males, one needs to appear stronger rather than weaker. And I learned too that sometimes bluffing is helpful….pretending to be very angry and not really angry inside at all….to get them to back off. But I have always figured that there are some things people can do so as to insure a bit of “insurance” to keep trouble maybe away. And like was mentioned above I think leaving something about the camp that maybe makes others wonder if a big dog was there…or just even signs that maybe there are 2 adults there (like 2 lounge chairs outside)….never hurts. But I do not enjoy fighting…some people indeed do….I am related to some of those….so they will take more chances than I ever would. And I have to admit as hubby and I have gotten a lot weaker with age…we are not quite as brave either.

    I liked a couple of the photos very much….hubby is beginning a new class with our daughter and her mother-in-law and it is in oil painting. I hope he will do some for fun on his own even after the class. I was thinking that the colors are quite incredible….almost do not look real (like that sapphire blue….so gorgeous!!) You might even be able to make some money with some great photos you take, Sue…or if you paint…in painting some to sell even!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth,

      I grew up with sisters and no brothers, not even some male cousins around. I’m sure you have many insights into male behavior that I don’t have.

      The conversation above about safety and being confident and psychopaths, etc. is very interesting. I can’t enjoy this way of life if my focus is on defending myself against evil. My enjoyment comes from openness to life and the expectation of goodness. I take one very important and effective precaution… I live away from people.

      I hope your husband will be inspired to continue his painting long after the class. . . as long as he enjoys it. I send him best wishes for his class.

      Thanks for the suggestion, Elizabeth, but I don’t want to take on any money-making ventures. As long as blogorinos continue to shop Amazon through my blog, I’m happy with that!

      • DesertGinger says:

        I was just chatting with my nurse. She told me that many years ago she was married to a psychopath, and I thought ‘so was I’. Spent 5 years getting hit and lied to and degraded. The truth is that women are vulnerable. Men are bigger and stronger than us. All the time, anywhere. If you go shopping, what keeps you safe is that the men practice restraint. Sue may be out there alone, but she also has greatly decreased odds of running into anyone violent. And I think she has some means of defending herself. Really, those of us in cities are more at risk…we just have an illusion of safety. In my opinion.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You are entirely correct, Ginger.

          “Men are bigger and stronger than us” — That’s often true, but we are smart and there are ways to even the field.

          • DesertGinger says:

            A man who is smaller than a woman can probably still overpower her, as their bodies are built different than ours. They are just stronger. However, I do think it is possible to level the playing field. Possibly not without getting arrested. But my point is that it is silly to worry about it, in terms of women boondocking, when there are far more dangers in cities and populated areas. If I get well enough to get out there I will probably get a handgun and learn to use it, and possibly also mace or bear repellant or some such thing, and go on my merry way. I’ve lived in NYC, riding subways. No way a national forest is more dangerous than that.

            • Elizabeth in WA says:

              You are right in all of this, Ginger. So sorry for what you suffered!! And it is true, that women are not safer in cities…or towns anymore either. Trust is not a gift, though a lot of people seem to think so in our society…we can extend grace to anyone and that is a gift. Folks need to understand the difference. I probably survived in part with my brothers because I was the oldest and the one next younger with whom I fought…we became friends and united against our common foe (our very violent dad) when we were teens. I am glad I was a friend from that point on…but the lessons I learned from him have proved helpful in my life! And yes, I would fight to the death if the occasion merited and when we fight? There is no such thing as a fair fight…so you fight to win. But I am not keen on such and try to avoid any confrontations in life. I will if pushed into a corner and I do not know why it is, but for me in my life, most people I have had to set up some kind of “fence” at some point…beyond which I refused to be pushed farther. We have a strange culture…

        • weather says:

          OMG Ginger! I’m so sorry all that happened to you!!!That’s so horrible and wrong!You’ve since learned how to get away from some stuff,moving traveler that you are.

          My days of being a victim stopped far earlier.When I was little one of my brothers(8 yrs. older than I)knew I was having trouble with someone,and said”If they can’t move,they can’t hurt you.” I got it.

          Knowing he’d not always be close by enough to protect me,with three words he made sure I’d never need him,or anyone else,to do that for me.

          Whenever,from then to this minute,anyone or thing tries to make me a victim-I fight back with everything I have.Whether it’s intelligence,words,strategy,love,fists or guns-I use what it takes to stop them.

          The truth is that no others’ size or strength makes me vulnerable.I’m the one practicing restraint!!! It’d be quicker and easier to go full bore every time.

          The reason I don’t,is that I prefer just to establish, and if need be prove,that we’re on equal footing,and then choose to leave or …

          Stay -if they’re worth it- to gain their trust be being kind.I’ve made friends out of enemies and helped outcasts join communities by knowing they were just scared or hurting,too.

          May you never forget how strong you’ve become,how loving,intelligent,kind…your ultimate freedom and safety’s no illusion-it’s a dream that will keep coming true.

  31. Ron in Tx says:

    Hot flashes , menopause,hormones midol
    Yall are scaring the hell out of me.
    Ron

  32. Noelle says:

    Sue – I so enjoy and appreciate your posts that walk through your process of finding boondocking sites. I’ve camped lots in National Forests type secluded and empty wilderness areas, but they were still actual established campgrounds. I really have no clue how to find and select boondocking sites and these posts r a great tutorial!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Noelle,

      Camping in a site you discover on your own is easier than it seems. If you’ve camped in national forest campgrounds you probably drove right past spur roads to wonderful boondocks.

      Thank you for letting me know you appreciate the how-I-found-this-camp posts. I will continue to do that periodically. I think this post illustrates that finding secluded, private camps is mostly a state of mind, more than technique. Be on the look-out for possibilities and they appear!

  33. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Happy Friday, everyone!!! Last day of the work week for me – yipee!!!

    Sending wishes for a great day and wonderful weekend to all!! 🙂

  34. Shirlene says:

    Good Morning Sue,

    I am sitting at my desk, sipping my coffee, and reading the posts that I missed last night. Great conversations. I also looked at Micky’s post and marked to to follow…but be assured you are the Queen and I am your loyal follower..Enjoy you day. Greeting to all your loyal blogorino’s, I love this site. Good Morning to Weather, enjoy your coffee also.

  35. Kay says:

    SICK! Just sick that people abuse our free areas. I have thought about this for months, I think all of us RVer’s should start taking license numbers and photos and maybe post them on “social media” to get the word out, but, then again, it might cause the lovely, GOV to start doing a better job with an easier one by simply closing these areas off. Which would really suck. Don’t know that answer, but it just makes me mad that some people are so LAZY and UNCONCERNED.

    At any rate, Sue, you have found yet another wonderful, peaceful spot to call home. Good job.

    Bridget, your butt is getting smaller! You are so cute.

    Well, off to a long couple of days doing manual labor come Sunday. Oh, that’s right we have been doing those days since July, huh.

    We’re going to try to get some things done before Mr. Winter arrives for his several month stay. I told hubby last night, if Mr. Winter gets too darn nasty, we are going to fire up the RV and head on down to the SW for a few months, then resume in the spring. They are predicting a bad winter this year, so we will see.

    Back to doing laundry, YUCK.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kay,

      One thing we can do is to leave every place we go better than how we found it.

      Bridget and I have been hiking all over the larger peninsula from which our little peninsula sticks out. I know where the trash is. Before we leave we’ll take another hike with a garbage bag and I’ll collect the beer cans, soda cans, Capri Sun pouches, lost shoes, etc. and haul it away.

      When the destruction is wanton, such as I saw at Delmoe Lake (OHVers smashing picnic tables, making tracks on the beach, etc.), that’s when photographs can be taken and sent to the National Forest Service office. I was told by the NFS that 911 can be used to report vandalism in progress.

      You and your husband have worked very hard this summer. Some relaxation in Arizona sounds like a good idea!

  36. So that thunder I heard rumbling in the distance last night
    was over by you. I peered out the window and I could still see the amazing display of stars so I went back to sleep.
    It was my first night of boon docking and I must admit I thought I heard sounds outside but my thoughts were of a bear, not a man. 🙂 never did see a bear, probably more likely a cow, as they are our closest neighbors.
    People keep telling me to get a big pair of man boots but honestly I wouldn’t have anywhere to put them if I did want them. Storage space is precious. I do have various forms of protection though. Friends say ‘oh you are so brave’, but I don’t feel particularly brave…I just feel like I’m living my dream, loving nature and getting closer to it, and finding some peace.
    Thank you Sue for helping me on this journey!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Micky,

      Yes, it was stormy over here, although the lightning was even further past us to the north.

      “Friends say ‘oh you are so brave’, but I don’t feel particularly brave…I just feel like I’m living my dream, loving nature and getting closer to it, and finding some peace.” Gosh, Micky, that sounds like ME!

      Don’t let conversations about “protection” taint your beginning boondocking days. You’re probably safer now than you have been in years. Keep on “boondocking like you mean it!” 🙂

  37. R. (Western Colorado/now in the Adirondacks, NY) says:

    What a lovely place Sue. You do have an unique talent for finding many amazing places. I do lots of camping lately and I see what’s going on. I also see many RVers from Canada who set up so much stuff it looks like a whole house besides trailers. I don’t think these are just Canadians but many campers like huge trailers. I mean they are really huge. I tried to find campsites which give me as much privacy as possible but it is almost impossible in some places and in the Adirondacks there is no place for boondocking. Camping is allowed only in designated areas. Full service campgrounds are $20.00 for the residence of NY and 27.75 for out of state visitors. That’s an expensive deal. I’ll be glad to camp for free or $5 -6 in the southwest in a couple months. I had my first Cortland apple yesterday.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, R.,

      I was thinking of you last night, wondering if you were in NY state eating Cortlands. *sigh*

      I would love to visit northern NY as that’s where my hometown is located and many happy memories were created there. I probably never will go for the reason you described… Too difficult to find inexpensive camping or to get away from the apartments-on-wheels. I’m too spoiled with all the free camping on public lands, easily found.

      Regardless of all that, I hope you make good memories from your experiences in that beautiful part of the world. You’re a little early for peak color…although it seems the seasonal calendar is out of whack these past few years.

      No matter how good your trip turns out to be, on the whole, I do believe you’re going to appreciate coming home. Thanks for the update.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        You both are welcome set up on our property anytime! There is an outside plug if need be!

        Not many people around at the moment. The lake is clear as glass. Oh I do have to mention….it was 30 degrees this am!

        R….are you on the Lake George side or Old Forge…I cant remember!

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      R…

      DEC has issued a moose alert for the ADK’s. Head on a swivel when driving. I believe they walk by themselves….as opposed to the deer that travel in many numbers!

  38. AZ Jim says:

    All I have to say is, if I feel threatened, I’m running for Sue to protect me. Actually, if you ask for trouble you can usually find it. Nice give and take today punctuated by some laughs. Teri’s “body chalk mark and Midol” completely cracked me up. Teri, you might also ask the butcher for some meat blood to add to the message.

  39. Lolalo says:

    Back in Utah! Love it.
    Speaking of solo…
    Back in the late 90’s, I flew to Washington state and camped alone for about a week. Years later, my boss at the time was so impressed that I did this, he promoted me to a supervisor job – supervising all men. He said that if I could go across the country, camp alone in an unknown to me location, and enjoy it, that I would have no problem handling the men in my department. And he was right. Mostly.
    I encourage women to be strong. Don’t be intimidated. You can do anything you think you can do. You will be proud of what you can accomplish. You, Sue, are a great example, a mentor.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Love that story, Lolalo. A wise supervisor who overlooked gender to see your capabilities! Thanks for adding your voice to those of us encouraging men and women to reach for their dreams.

  40. Kathleen says:

    Hi Sue I sure enjoyed the commentary on this day’s blog. I too cringed when you said you talked with the men leaving. Even more when you said how they behaved at the camp, trashing it. But after reading I find it is my own insecurity. Mine comes from my disability (my back) and my inability to run, climb like I used too lol. Makes me feel more vulnerable for sure. I was so uplifted reading you response to the fear we presented you. You are such an inspiration for women! All of us have the ability to keep safe but it is the strong, confident woman like yourself who tells us fear not. I have a question. I know you rise very early to enjoy sunrises and begin your day early. Do you ever stay out at night in the dark. I have always loved the dark, the moonlight, and the sounds of night. The stars like diamonds in the sky twinkling too. And also do you enjoy an evening fire? I never hear you speak about a fire at your boondock. Love ya Sue. Keep living your fun and adventure and I only wish I was there too. I would feel so safe with you and your confidence. But I do need to find it for myself I know 🙂

    • DesertGinger says:

      Sue has mentioned many times that she isn’t into campfires, and that she is in her trailer by dark. I think lots of reasons…Mosquitos out at night, she likes to be up early, etc. I think she used to take Spike out for late constitutional but I don’t know if Bridget requires that. My impression is that Sue really likes to see her surroundings, and take pictures of it, so maybe that is why night doesn’t appeal?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kathleen,

      DesertGinger answered for me very well (Thanks, DG!).

      I’ll recap . . . We go inside at dark for several reasons… avoid the flying insects, Bridget wants to go to bed and whines if I stay outside, and I’m not interested in sitting at a campfire by myself. Also, I’m aware of snakes being active at night and being attracted to heat (body heat, mine and Bridget’s). And, yes, I’m an early to bed-early to rise type. I usually read in bed in the evening or do blog stuff.

      You wrote “I have always loved the dark, the moonlight, and the sounds of night. The stars like diamonds in the sky twinkling too.”

      I enjoy those things every night! The interior of a Casita is so small that when the curtains are pulled back from all three windows that wrap around the back, one doesn’t feel blocked off from the outside. Especially if the windows are open.

      At night I hear the lapping of the waves here, or the sound of a gurgling creek like at Slate Creek Camp, or the steady roar of a river like at Popo Agie or Green River, the whispering of wind in the pines at forest camps, also the soft hooting of owls, the cackling and howling of coyotes, the cry of loons, and other night sounds.

      As I lie in my bed with my head on my pillow, I look up at the stars and often see the moon, too. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I gaze at the stars until I fall back to sleep.

      As for confidence, it is acquired most readily by stretching oneself beyond what is comfortable and then looking back at what one has accomplished.

  41. Karen from SC says:

    These posts about safety and women solo camping remind me of my first solo camping night. I had a trip planned to meet some friends. As it was a long trip I thought why not stop somewhere midway and camp. It was my first time solo camping. I had a pull through site at a state park. Sometime before midnight I see truck lights stop on the road near my trailer. They just seemed to stay there. I knew the campsite next to me was empty. Well the truck with the lights finally left and I peered out to see just a motorcyle parked in the campsite. I was sure scared and prayed that I would make it through the night. Well I woke up to a glorious sunny morning and was thrilled to be safe and alive. I peered out and saw the motorcyle but no tent. I thought where did this person sleep. It is surely amazing what your mind can think of. Now I camp all the time alone and not worry. Of course I am at state parks or army corp campgrounds. I have found campers to be very friendly and helpful. My family and friends still worry about my journeys and it is nice to have people concerned about me. I love the solitude of being out in nature. I like the off season when no one is really around. Sue you are so brave to go out alone boondocking. I know you are wise and cautious and more experienced now. I’m sure those first months when you began your journey were a challenge. I so love to follow your travels. Be safe and enjoy!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Karen. I admire you for doing what you enjoy, even though there are family and friends worrying. Yes, off-season is best of all!

  42. DesertGinger says:

    We’ll, my luck is holding up. I had hematomas on the left side of my abdomen from Lovenox injections back in August, before my stroke. Those hematomas have gotten infected and now I have a baseball sized abscess in my abdomen that is incredibly painful. I’m here at urgent care, awaiting ambulance that will take me to hospital where I will be admitted for IV antibiotics and surgery to drain abscess, and put a drain in it. I could just cry. I don’t know when this will end. I can’t have anesthesia for 6 months after stroke, so don’t know how they will do this. I just want to get better. Why does it feel like everything is against me?
    Ok…sorry for the pity party. Enough of that. I’m sure it will be fine, but all your good thoughts will help. Hugs to all.

    • Mick'nTN says:

      Oh Dear DeGin, I’m putting you on triple prayers until you get better; soon I hope.

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Hang in there girlfriend!

      Thank God you grab your ipad…to keep us posted. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers!

      Don’t you worry!

    • Cari in Plano Texas says:

      Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about this new complication. I’m praying that things will get better for you soon.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Dear, dear Ginger… I hate that you have another hurdle! May God give you strength and healing. I know many blogorinos join me in praying for you to get better soon. And please, no need ever to apologize for sharing here. Love and hugs . . .

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Oh mercy, Ginger….this is too much…but DO NOT GIVE UP!! And the rest of us will pray and hope for you!!

    • BadgerRickInWis says:

      “Pity party” !!!!! Are you kidding?
      Anyone who has had to endure what you have faced the past few months would be railing against the injustice. But yet again you amaze me with your strength and resolve. You are an incredible woman.
      Yes, you are in my prayers and thoughts. Take care.

    • DesertGinger, I think you are incredibly strong! You have withstood against awful odds and come thru with dignity and sense of humor intact! I admire you for that! When I read your post to Chuck, he said ,”I hope she has hired good lawyers!”. He feels, as do I, that those folks who delayed the info about your existing health problems AFTER the surgery that never should have happened, should be and deserved to be sued! We wish you well and NEVER GIVE UP! Thank you for keeping us informed!

  43. Cari in Plano Texas says:

    Well, I’ve done it now. I stopped by the Casita factory today and did some serious shopping. Spent some time talking with Harald the sales coordinator, and he gave me some good advice and insight into the various models that they have. I fell in love with the 16′ Spirit Deluxe! The only thing I didn’t like about the 17′ is that the bed takes up so much space in the back when you put it together (does that make sense?), and I can’t sleep on a twin size. The best part is I don’t need a truck to pull it! I had gone to an RV show last weekend and saw some 24-30′ travel trailers I liked, but they needed a big truck to pull them with.

    So now I need to crunch the numbers again to see when I can afford to get the Spirit and a tow vehicle. I still want to retire (aka quit working) by the end of the year!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      How exciting for you! It’s such fun when a vision of what’s right for you starts to come together.

      I had the same reaction as you after looking at the longer travel trailers. The initial expense goes way up because of the need for a truck.

      Get crunching those numbers! I’m really happy to see your dream coming closer to your grasp, Cari.

      • Cari in Plano Texas says:

        I appreciate your encouragement, Sue. After the work week I’ve had, I am so ready to hang up my cleaning cloths and join those of you whose time is their own. I’ve been doing this job now for almost 6 years, and it’s time to go do something different.

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          Exciting times, Cari!

          Now, I don’t want to sound like a downer, but I do want to mention one thing: Don’t blindly trust weight estimates from RV manufacturers. I have found them to nearly always be “optimistic” if not downright… well.. really optimistic. Best thing to do is weigh at a scale once you are loaded up so you are working with a real number.

          Of course, that doesn’t help you to select a tow vehicle before you have bought the trailer. And I’m not one who thinks you have to have a Mack Truck to tow anything safely. (I did tow my small, bare-bones 13′ trailer with a capable car.) It just depends on the numbers (weight). But it would be a bummer to have to re-buy a tow vehicle if it turned out too light.

          Also, if brakes are an option (and not standard) I would highly recommend them (on the trailer axles).

          Happy shopping!
          (I happen to love the Liberty layout – feels boat like to me :))

          • Cari in Plano Texas says:

            Thanks for the advice, Pen! I will be waiting until early next year to actually purchase the tow vehicle and the Casita, so I will be doing much more research. I would most likely err on the side of more towing capacity re weight of trailer than less just to be on the safe side.

  44. Maryanne Davis-Baldwin says:

    About traveling alone as a “woman”-I lived aboard a wooden boat for several years moving from north to south with the seasons & never had anyone bother me though I mostly anchored out; not in a marina due to cost. Now I have a new-to-me 19′ trailer & a Tundra which was my late husband’s & hope to get out west soon; maybe rent my house as I did before for income. Though people always say “you’re so brave” I feel not brave but adventurous, no kudos for me. My dog travels with me always, a rescue Border Collie whose is NOT a guard dog at all. I’ve ordered stuff from Amazon & hope I did it properly so that you, Sue, get credit for the purchases. I love the website & try to check it every few days– for inspiration!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Maryanne,

      I’m pleased to hear from you!

      I know what you mean… When people call us brave… Adventurous is the word! People can conjure up all sorts of things to be fearful about, when the reality is very different than their imaginings.

      You’ve led and continue to lead an interesting and full life because you don’t let fear of the unknown dictate what you do or don’t do.

      Thank you very much for ordering Amazon through my blog! If you went to Amazon from here, I automatically receive a commission. I appreciate you thinking of me.

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