“Free at last! Thank God Almighty . . . free at last!”

Friday, February 7 (continued)

“Hello!  Yes, I need a tow!” I answer emphatically.

I step down out of the Best Little Trailer.  Before me stands a man with a round, open face and kind eyes.  A description I once heard my father use immediately comes to my mind.  “He’s built like a brick sh#thouse.”  In other words, it doesn’t look like he could be knocked over easily.

Two young adults are with him.  Bridget and Spike make the acquaintance of their two small dogs.

The man gets right to the point. 

“I’ll go get my Jeep and pull you out of there.”

“That would be wonderful!  My name is Sue, by the way,” I say, holding out my hand.

He takes my hand and replies, “I’m Byron. . . and this here is my granddaughter, Melanie, and that’s my grandson, Tyler.”

I say “nice to meet you” to all of them. 

“Are you sure you can pull me out with your Jeep?” I ask.

“Oh, it’ll pull it out.”  I stare at him dumbly.  “I’m sorry,”  I mumble.  “I’m still in a state of shock that you appeared on my doorstep.”

Byron chuckles. 

Lord Byron

The notorious Romantic poet, Lord Byron (1788-1824)

“We’ll be right back.”

Hmm . . . Byron.  Not anything like Lord Byron, that’s for sure.  What a misnomer. . .

(I later learn that Byron is from Oregon and did sheet metal work.  “Anything having to do with metal,” he explained.)

I can’t believe this!  I didn’t have to do a thing and this guy shows up.

I go back inside, shaking my head, dumbfounded by my good fortune.

Byron, Melanie, and Tyler return in the Jeep.

Soon another gentleman appears.

His name is Joe.  Later I learn he’s a former crane operator from Detroit who’s been full-timing for 32 years.  He’s an avid fisherman, a genius with anything mechanical, and lives and travels in a customized van tucked in a copse of palo verde.

The men go straight to work with shovel, jack, boards, and chain. 

Byron jacks up the rear end of the Perfect Tow Vehicle so boards can be placed under the tires.  Joe and Byron shovel sand.

I put the seat back so Joe can fit his long legs under the steering wheel of the PTV.  Joe is going to put the PTV in drive and give only the slightest assist to the hoped-for forward motion.  Tyler stands back to relay information to Byron at the wheel of the Jeep.


I admit that I’m fearful the Jeep will sink also.

Byron eases the Jeep forward, the chain goes taut, and the PTV refuses to budge.

Byron backs up and moves the jeep to a different spot.  Adjustments are made with the chain and boards.  Another try fails.

By this time, another gentleman has joined us. 

His name is Chuck, a sinewy, fit-looking fellow, whom I later learn is from Idaho, retired from a career in computers, and loves wind-surfing, mostly where the Hood River flows into the Columbia River.  He’s been full-timing for 30 years and lives and travels in a Class A motorhome parked up the lane with the others.


That’s Joe on the right.  That’s Tyler on the other side of the PTV.

By now the PTV is up to her rear axle in sand.  Joe unearths the buried muffler and digs around one tire, while Byron digs around the other tire.

Byron and Joe engage in some discussion.

They make the decision to pull the PTV out backwards.

This is Byron cranking his new Harbor Freight jack.

This is Byron cranking his new Harbor Freight jack.

I point out that the hitch extension is going to shove right into the dirt as the PTV is pulled back.

Byron moves the jack so it catches the hitch extension at the optimum location.  He places a board underneath the jack to keep the jack from sinking into the soft sand.  Cranking the jack is difficult.

“I just bought this thing at Harbor Freight,” he remarks, taking a break from cranking.  “It works hard because it’s brand new.”

I hurry and open up the PTV’s passenger-side door. 

I keep a can of WD-40 there which I use often to help the coupler slide over the hitch ball.  Byron squirts the jack several times and cranking becomes much easier.

The sand is dug out again from around the tires and also from under and in the path of the hitch extension to keep it from catching as the PTV is pulled backwards.

“Now I need to get the trailer out of here,” Byron states to no one in particular.

“Is your hitch ball going to fit?” I ask.

“Yeah, it will.  Maybe not exactly .  . . ” Byron replies, his focus on the situation at hand.

Soon Byron’s Jeep is pulling the BLT to the other side of the lane, out of the problem area.

By this time an additional four or five guys are standing in a group watching.

I greet them all and we joke about being necessary supervisors.  Byron, Tyler and Joe get ready for the next big pull.

Byron slides into his Jeep.  All the spectators stop talking and stare with anticipation.  Oh, please, please, move!

Bryon starts the engine.

The chain goes taut, and . . . the PTV moves backward and upward and out of the sand!

Amid the chorus of “yays,” Byron steps out of his Jeep, not saying a word, but with a satisfied expression on his face.

I trot over to him, place one hand on his shoulder and the other in his hand.

“Byron,” I announce with enthusiasm, squeezing his hand and smiling broadly into his face . . .

“You da’ MAN!”


The PTV and BLT, resting on firm ground once more.



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162 Responses to “Free at last! Thank God Almighty . . . free at last!”

  1. Phil Kelley (in SoFla) says:

    First again! That’s it I’m getting a 4×4 Tow Vehicle!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Phil…

      Not so fast! If you can afford the extra for a 4×4, go for it. Remember though, I haven’t needed one in my two and a half years on the road (and off it), so you can do without it.

      • Nancy Klune says:

        And now you have met several new helpful friends too!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          They are a great bunch of guys!

          • Phil Kelley (in SoFla) says:

            My desire for getting a 4×4 vehicle is twofold. One is so I don’t get stuck. And two, is so I can be the one to help unstuck such nice people as yourself.

            • Phil Kelley (in SoFla) says:

              And by the way Deb from NJ I did read the whole post before commenting :-).

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Well, then, Phil… Get that 4X4! Can never have too many rescuers roaming around!

              Seriously… When I compiled my list of requirements for a tow vehicle, it came down to: What do I need more — 4-wheel drive or cargo space? As you know, the PTV’s cargo space is very important when living full-time in a Casita which has very little storage space.

            • DesertGinger says:

              When I started considering a tt and tv for traveling during summers, the first vehicle I looked at was the Chevy express. Have you had good luck with it?

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Yes, I’m VERY happy with my PTV. If I had to start all over again, I’d get a Chevy Express for my tow vehicle.

  2. Deb from NJ says:

    Yay! What a great story! What wonderful people coming to your rescue. Glad every thing went well and you are unstuck. How great to know that there are people out there to help out …..and without even being asked to. To Byron, Joe, Tyler and anyone else that helped get Sue and The Crew get unstuck…..a great big ……Thank You!

    • Deb from NJ says:

      Oh My!….I am #2….and I read the whole post!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Those guys turned a potentially miserable experience into a demonstration of kindness and willingness to help a stranger.

      • Geri Moore says:

        Sue, it is called Karma! I can think of several people who have appeared in your life with potentially miserable life experiences and you unselfishly gave of yourself and turned their lives around! What goes around comes around and it was your turn girlie!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Kind words. Thank you, Geri. I hope you are enjoying the boondocking seminar. I look forward to hearing about it!

  3. Don in Okla. says:

    Hip Hooray!!! Another job well done and no one injured and nothing bent. A win, win all around!!
    Best wishes for safe travels.
    Don in Okla.

  4. JodeeinSoCal says:

    Wow Sue – you’re a dude-magnet!! How wonderful to get help so quickly and so enthusiastically. Just proves that given the opportunity we humans take pretty good care of each other. Really glad the little mishap turned out well and all the tires are back on solid ground.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      When the excitement died down, I talked with the gentlemen standing around. I had to remark, “Gee, it’s been a long time since I had this many men smiling at me!”

      • Gayle says:

        Speaking of dude magnet, did you cry out for help or walk around seeking help or were they watching you from afar and just showed up? How did they know you were spinning your wheels? Could they hear you spinning, not cursing, (but then again…) I’d conclude that people in other camps must pay some attention to others of you.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          The area where most of the RVs are parked (shown in photos in previous post) is slightly elevated from where I got stuck.

          All they had to do was look down my way and see the angle of the PTV’s roof. I didn’t do any spinning of the wheels, but if I had, there’s no sound in that soft sand (imagine pudding).

          Some of the guys take morning walks through here, since it’s very pretty with washes and natural trails.

  5. Marg says:

    I got excited over a $500+ water bill I had just obtained from my mailbox on the main road. I backed right into a ditch. Still agitated I did not know what to do. I got out of the truck and there were two trucks stopped before I got out of my door. They had me pulled out instantly. Oh my, the kindness of strangers. I like being an older woman sometimes, makes me look sorta helpless. They didn’t know I was so angry I could have picked it up out of the ditch by myself. I sure was thankful for those fellows though. (We had a water main break earlier in the month, so something larger than usual was expected, but not this large).

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Five hundred dollars! I got a laugh out of you being so agitated you could pick up your truck and toss it out of the ditch. You must’ve been as stunned as I was to have help arrive so suddenly.

  6. Pauline from Mississippi says:

    DUDE MAGNET!!! Yes, I agree. I am so thankful they came along to help. So glad all is well!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, a message to all ladies . . . If you want male attention, get your vehicle stuck in the sand!

      . . . preferably over at Coyote Wash. heh-heh

  7. Ladybug says:

    Gotta love boondocking….free campsites and free entertainment provided by other campers who get themselves into predicaments! LOL

    • Ladybug says:

      Oh, and what did Spike and Bridget think about all the company? Or did you keep them cooped up in the BLT?

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Frankly, I don’t know what Bridget and Spike were doing. I was too involved in the drama playing out before me with the PTV and BLT. I guess they were sniffing around their two canine guests or exploring the area.

  8. AZ Jim says:

    Ok….Glad you are out Missy. I have nothing but admiration for the “guardians” that are out there waiting to lend a hand. My wife and I had were on a mountain trail up in the mountains of Idaho. Where we were no one goes. It’s totally isolated. It was dusk and after about 10 miles we ran into a downed tree blocking the road. Like an idiot I thought maybe my Cherokee could maybe move it far enough to the side to make it by it. I had a heavy frame mounted guard on the front so I eased up to this monster and put the Jeep in low and pushed, I made no progress on moving that log but I had enough torque that the Jeep jumped up on the log and balanced there. As I said it was late and we were in bear country so I told Detta we were going to have to walk out. I knew we were only about 2 miles from a house in front of us so we set off.
    After awhile I saw a motorcycle up ahead and I waved and yelled as loud as I could and as luck would have it, he heard me.
    He asked the problem, I told him he said “stay right here and I’ll be right back”. We waited no more than 5 minutes and here he comes in a heavy duty tow truck. He said he lived up in the house we knew to be there from a previous trip. He hooked up my Jeep pulled it off and wished us well. I thanked him and followed him up the road to his house and hailed him to stop. He did and I slipped all the cash I had to him. It was 2 $20’s. He tried to refuse but I stuck it in his shirt pocket and thanked him again before leaving for our cabin.

    There are some great people out there and this one saved my bacon….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Fantastic story, Jim! The timing was perfect. Makes you wonder when that happens. I admire a man who admits his mistakes. Thanks for sharing your misadventure with us.

      • AZ Jim says:

        I forgot to mention that he told me he was going back up there and pull that tree off the road so others wouldn’t get stuck there. This road was narrow with a cliff on one side and a slope downhill on the other so if you got caught there, you were stuck.

  9. BARB GEORGE says:

    Yay! I love humans!

    Hugs from Hoquiam

  10. Anne H says:

    Always refreshing to hear a story about good folks helping out where needed!

    It’s fortunate that guys like tools, usually have a bunch of them on hand, and are looking for an excuse to use them. Happens every snowstorm in the northwest – young men station themselves at the base of icy hills and either push or tow cars that get stuck – all for a wave and a heartfelt “thank you!”.

    I did wonder how the BLT was going to be retrieved after you got the PTV moved. Did the jeep come in and hook up at an angle? Away from the soft sand?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, Byron was able to back the Jeep in at an angle to make contact with the BLT’s coupler. It helped that the BLT was angled away from the rear of the PTV. The soft sand wasn’t a problem for the Jeep and since the BLT hadn’t sunk down into the sand, it was easily towed away from that spot.

  11. Phyllis says:

    I can hardly wait to get stuck in the sand, after all I am single. RVSue makes it sound so delicious.

    Phyllis in Oklahoma

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Phyllis,

      Actually it’s a shame all that attention came my way, since I’m not interested in snagging a man. LOL!

  12. Bob says:

    I’m just somewhat amazed at the number of years some of these guys have been full timing. Wow.
    Glad to see you were extricated.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I had the same reaction, Bob. And they’re in great shape… Dwayne and Chuck are wind-surfers which takes a good amount of flexibility, strength, and stamina, I imagine.

      I’d guess that all the men are above 65 years of age. Joe, incredibly, is 80 years old. He could pass for 60 easily.

  13. Bea says:

    Your story kept me on the edge of my stair! Wonderful end of the adventure. Thanks for the good samaritan.

  14. Colleen in Tehachapi says:

    Wonderful outcome! I love how you handled your predicament. Things usually look better in the morning! It sounds like it worked out perfectly. Thanks for not making us wait very long for part 2!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Colleen. Sometimes I don’t have any choice when I write the next post… the words come or they don’t. Nice to hear from you!

  15. Well that makes me feel good it was a little 2 door Jeep Wrangler that got you out of there. I’m gonna go outside right now & give our little 2 door Jeep Wrangler an extra pat on her hard working & fine looking little pa-tootie fender…………

  16. Eileen P. says:

    I may have posted about it last year, but I got my Class B stuck in some soft earth right in Quartzsite (at the far end of the Scadden Wash area). It was the Sunday afternoon of Super Bowl 2013. I dug and dug…and dug some more. I was taking a break, genuinely believing that I was close to being able to get out, when two car/truck loads of lovely gentlemen came along and helped me out. They tried pushing me out, but then ended up towing my rig out backwards, just like your approach. First time that has ever happened (and I hope the last).

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s a good place to get stuck, Eileen. No shortage of men around willing to help a damsel in distress. Yes, I hope neither of us have to deal with being stuck ever again! Thanks for telling your tale . . .

  17. Judy E says:

    Great ending, Sue! I had my husband read this, he has not been on your site before, so when he read “PLEASE, NO DROP IN VISITS. THANK YOU!”, he said you need to add, “Except if I am stuck!”.

  18. Boy, it was your lucky day:) So glad you had all that help. You certainly seemed very calm. A Great Day!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Nothing to get upset about. I knew somehow that I wasn’t going to have to spend the rest of my life stuck in Coyote Wash.

  19. Lacy says:

    WHEW! Somehow I knew you’d get out but in the meantime, I was wondering – as you and the Crew went for your nice long stroll…..and curled up for a good nights’ rest – I wondered what your thoughts were, had you made some sort of plan for the next day? Or were you Miss Cool Under Pressure, let’s just enjoy this quandary and worry about it later????? As for having strangers appear at your door and come to your rescue, it’s no surprise to me – all the good you’ve done in your life (and my guess is you’ve done PLENTY) is all coming back to reward you. IMHO, couldn’t happen to a nicer person. SIDE NOTE: no offense to Byron, but I was really pulling for it to be Sam Elliot!

    Now, off topic for a moment…….this thought pops thru my head often and I forget to mention it to you. I just want to tell you how much it means, as a reader of your blog, to see you respond to so many comments. I would think not EVERYONE expects a reply EVERY TIME, but you certainly do reply to many and speaking for myself, it means alot. I enjoy reading several blogs and I don’t always comment on every entry but I do try to occasionally say something, particularly when I feel a connection or interest in the writing. There are some writers that NEVER respond and it makes me wonder why do they bother to share all that information and open it up to comments only to NEVER say anything in reply? Anyway, THANK YOU for sharing your incredible experiences for those dreaming of possibly joining your lifestyle someday or those who may never get the chance but can still enjoy along side you. The way you respond and connect to your readers makes your writings all the better (if possible).

    As always, I’m looking forward to whatever you have in store for us next!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lacy,

      The only thought I gave my stuck problem, once I gave up for the day, was that I’d make a phone call and get a tow truck out. Then I put it out of my mind. A few years ago, don’t know exactly when, I became acutely aware of how precious each day, each hour, each moment is. From that point on I haven’t let stuff worry me. Sure I have concern for loved ones who are sick and that sort of thing, but I no longer panic or fret. Life is too short.

      Thank you for acknowledging and thanking me for my responses. Please don’t be too hard on my fellow bloggers. We all pick and choose where we will put our energies concerning our blogs. I emphasize replying to comments (and making money from Amazon). Another blogger might keep and maintain an extensive blog roll which I don’t. A lot of bloggers post an email so they can be privately contacted. I don’t. Those are a few examples… We’re all different with different blogs offering different things.

      I’m pleased at the large number of people who find my blog enjoyable and worth reading . . . and also worth commenting on! Thanks for writing, Lacy. I get a kick out of connecting with you and all the readers who show up here.

      • Lacy says:

        I get ya. I don’t mean to sound harsh…..I often wonder how folks manage to maintain blogs as well as they do but am grateful that they take the time, I’ve learned so much over the years. Your blog ‘feels’ so much more personal and enjoyable all because you take yet another moment of your time to reply. Yes, a little thing, but as a reader I just want you to know it’s appreciated.

        As for my awareness, I’ll try to channel you in the future and not spend precious time on worrying. I admit it’s my Achilles heel and I NEED to work harder on letting go. You have the right attitude!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I didn’t think you were harsh. I hope you will let go of worry. It surprises me how time fixes most problems.

  20. Brian says:

    I love a story with a happy ending!

  21. Teri in SoCal says:

    How lovely that so many people were willing to step in and help a stranger. This blog entry really made me think about how amazing some people are. I hope that something nice happens for all of them.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I wish that, too, Teri. Now that I think about them and what I do know about them… They’ve enjoyed nice lives, at least during retirement — full-timing and in good health and with friends. Several of them have camped next to each other at Coyote Wash for years.

  22. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts. VA says:

    Loved this story, Da Man and His Men were Great! It’s the “Pay it forward” thing campers seem to be aware of… I am so glad it all worked out. I am sure Byron was waxing poetic afterwords. HA! Job well done. Your calmness was admired, also.
    I would never suspect the desert sand was so soft, wow. Take Care Sue & Crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yeah, that soft desert sand was a surprise to me. All I’d experienced up until then was hard-packed, gritty sand.

      As for Byron, he is now “Lord Byron” to me! Haha!

  23. Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

    RVers tend to be helpful people. Full timers especially. I have always told women who asked me about how I dealt with things since I am generally non-mechanical and am not terrible strong, that there are always guys around who enjoy helping and are generous with their time and skills. (not to mention lots of supervision!!) It helps that most of us tend to be retired, so our time is our own.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Connie,

      You’re right about retired people being willing to help. Byron and his wife have a home in Wellton as well as in Oregon. When they come south to Wellton, they leave all their projects behind which results in them sometimes looking for stuff to do.

      I said to him, “So this (pointing to the stuck PTV) is one of your projects!”

  24. Rita from Phoenix says:

    So glad you had help getting out of sand 🙂 We brown women sometimes it works and sometime it doesn’t work to have a passing gentleman stop to help. So, being a pessimist I try to be prepared and not always am I prepared. While traveling alone, I try to stay on busier highways knowing, if all else fails, someone might stop to help or at least call the highway patrol. Generally, most people are kind and willing to help but there are a few who can’t be trusted….horrible stories I read or hear in the news. But, if you keep your wits about you like you have everything generally turns out okay. The ground does appear to be sandy from the pictures posted of the area. I know you’ve been in sandy areas in Utah but the ground was probably packed in camping areas. Makes me wonder what you would have done if you were totally off by your self somewhere in a remote area. Be careful and safe travels.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rita,

      I wonder what the news would be like if the press jumped on every kind act toward strangers. The populace would be a lot calmer and feel more secure, I’m sure.

      If I had been off by myself I would’ve called for a tow truck. If I couldn’t get a cell signal, I’d have walked to get one. . . . and prayed that I’d meet someone to save a lot of walking!

    • Rita from Phoenix says:

      P.S. Remember when Tioga George got Ms. Tioga stuck in mud in some remote forest lake in northern California? Someone reading his blog called the nearest towing company to get him out. I thought that was amazing. I mean George was in the middle of nowhere….thank heavens for the internet!!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Oh, I remember George getting stuck in loose gravel near a river or lake… don’t know if that was the same time you’re thinking of.

        Yeah, if I had internet connection and nothing else, was stuck in “the middle of nowhere,” I would type HELP! to all my readers. 🙂

    • Ed says:

      ” While traveling alone, I try to stay on busier highways knowing, if all else fails, someone might stop to help or at least call the highway patrol.”

      My experience has been that the busier the highway the LESS chance of anyone stopping, but I’m a man and the chances improve for women. There is however a better chance that some law enforcement personnel will come by.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Good point, Ed. And from a woman’s point of view, I would guess there’s a better chance that someone stopping for a woman along a busy highway wouldn’t be stopping with helping in mind. 🙁

  25. Love it! Years ago Rob and I, my daughter and her friend got stuck in the snow way up in the mountains. We were in our 4WD vehicle but got high centered. We thought we were in real trouble but suddenly people started appearing to help. By the end there were several digging and more watching. It was so nice of them to help us out that way. Maybe there is hope for mankind after all.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Juley,

      I almost “high centered” the other day myself. I need to be more careful. Glad you had a similar experience with the kindness of strangers.

      • Gayle says:

        What is high centering? I don’t want to do it.

        • Pen says:

          It’s when the middle of the undercarriage of the vehicle is on something “too high” such that the wheels no longer can do their job. Picture yourself putting your hands under a dog or cat’s stomach and lifting up a few inches so that their legs can’t touch the ground.

          Either it can be something “raised,” such as a hump, rock or log that’s under the middle of the vehicle, or the ground under the wheels can “go away,” as in Sue’s case, so that the middle ends up high-centered simply because the ends went away.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Excellent explanation, Pen. I risked high centering when I returned to Coyote Wash Camp from a grocery run into Wellton. I entered the lane from the other end. Years of road scraping had built a high ridge of dirt and rocks. I took it at an angle and made it over. It would’ve been embarrassing if Byron had to rescue me again, the day after the first time!

            • Gayle says:

              Thanks, Pen. Oh, I HAVE done that. Front carriage up on an unseen boulder at a campsite. I called that by every name under the sun, except high-centering.

  26. LaneVids says:

    Wow!! What a story!! You didn’t have just 1 guardian angel, you had an entire crowd of angels watching over you! Glad to see you got unstuck! I wish one of the spectators would have gotten some video of this! That would’ve been great, at least I think so because I’m a video kind of guy … That’s why I make YouTube videos every day!

    Can’t wait to see where you’re headed to next!

  27. LeeJ says:

    What a wonderful story, it reaffirms my love for my fellow man and woman…I know they felt as good about offering help and getting the PTV on solid ground as you did having it back to normal footing!
    I really wonder if something had gone mining under the ground where your wheels were, it looks like the other wheeled things were fine..just when you hit that particular area, down the wheels went..what an adventure, great to talk about later, not so good to experience.
    Great story as usual…thanks so much for sharing with us your adventures.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Lee.

      The other “wheeled things” don’t carry the weight of the PTV and BLT. I rode around with Chuck one day in his car and he was driving over the same type of ground with no problem.

      I agree . . . I think the guys enjoyed the challenge, trying to figure out what to do… Byron got to use his new, red jack. The spectators got a show. And I got unstuck and met some really nice guys. A good time was had by all!

  28. klbexplores says:

    I knew there was plenty of time left before you needed to panic!! When I first started traveling and dealing with backing up issues (translation, didn’t know what I was doing but I was doing it all wrong) I reported it in a blog and received comments from long time fellow bloggers that they love to crack a beer and grab their chairs and enjoy the entertainment!! Glad you were able to get out AND keep your sense of humor. Oh the life lessons the road has to teach us!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ve found out that I’m not the first person on earth to make the mistakes I make. Even here in this comment section, others have shared similar experiences getting stuck. A person who makes fun of another person’s mistakes is a jerk, so who cares what makes them laugh. Not I!

      I was fortunate to be in the company of several men, all who empathized with me.

  29. You must be living right. Only you would have the right guy( s ) arrive at the right time, LOL! Just like when you got the solar installed. Take good care of that angel on your shoulder and keep it close.

  30. Timber n' Rusty says:

    I was going to say that you need a winch on the front of the BTV, but thar aint no strong trees out in the desert. I got the green turtle stuck and with my shovel and a come a long, I managed to get the ol’ gal out, but it took two days and a whole lot of cursing, sorry lord, Timber hid thinking I was mad at him, I assured him that it wasn’t his fault. ,,,,,,,,:~( ,,,,,,lol ,,,,,Rusty in Chino Valley, AZ. ,,,Dun Romin

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Timber and Rusty,

      Yeah, a winch isn’t going to do much good without something to winch it to! Two days of shoveling…not fun. I was sick of it after an hour.

  31. Trip and Lisa says:

    Most commonly called a “high lift” jack and I have had one for years.Used to go 4 wheeling when I was a kid and everyone carried one.We would use them like a poor mans winch cause you can hook one end to an inanimate object and the other to the vehicle and altho it takes some time and muscle,it always worked and we would get into places where even a wrecker ( over priced it seems sometimes ) couldn’t get to.

    Absolutely one of the best tools for the money I have ever had,and you will always find one in my truck or 5er.Probably got em on Amazon as well.I’m thinking the last one I bought was in the 40 to 60 bucks range. We also bought a cheap 12 volt winch that you hook to your hitch ball and if you get the also cheap snatch block to go with it,it doubles the pulling power and saves your arm muscles.They are in the 100 bucks range.

    Oh,you can jack up a vehicle with the high lift too Sue,lol or tighten a loose fence strand or,or.

    Oh and congrats Sue,,now I am not the only one who has ever driven into the soft sand,LOL,and I did it not far from where you are back in the 80’s.

    Glad that help was close by for you and hoping your having a wonderful rest of the week.That post sure brought back some interesting memories for me,lol.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      In your first paragraph you write “you can hook one end to an inanimate object.” How would you do that in the desert? Or didn’t you use it in the desert?

      I’m seeing that lots of people have had their turn at getting stuck in the sand. I admit I wondered why people drove into it. Now I know how easily one can be fooled.

      Thanks for the kind wishes. Yes, the crew and I are enjoying life!

      • Trip and Lisa says:

        I hate to admit it but I actually drove right into that wash.Saw it,knew it and still drove right into it.We attached my strap and chains to a tree that had to be at least 50 feet away and there was a small group of illegals that walked up and we all took turns jacking on that “high lift” and finally got her out,but it did take awhile and sure have been more careful ever since.But we have a diesel 4×4 now and still carry the jack and el cheapo winch and straps.Haven’t been stuck ( knock wood ) since and have pulled a few folks out over the years.
        Many years ago on the beach down at Padre Island Texas I asked a fellow what good a winch was when there wasn’t anything to attach it to and he told me that many experienced beach folks would carry the kind of boat anchor that digs in with them and attach their winch cable to that and throw it on the hard packed sand.
        I learned something new that day too.
        Yep,you have had a pretty exciting week I’d say Sue.

  32. kristine barr says:

    In addition your unsticking, the thing I loved the most was here, in the comments. All your favorite bloggers responded with thanksgiving for you. The guys (and gals) were all interested in how the removal was done too– in case it happens to them. Loved your telling of the tale.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good to know you liked this post. It’s gratifying for me to turn my bumbles into learning, not only for myself, but for my dear readers. I love it when readers contribute their own experiences and knowledge to my blog, or simply give encouragement or thanks that everything turned out okay.

  33. I got stuck once and was not so lucky. The ground looked a lot firmer than it turned out to be.The first towing company managed to snap a tow chain trying to pull me out and nearly got one of its three trucks stuck. Nine hours and $900 later, they had managed to turn my truck and still hitched fifth-wheel 90-degrees. (They “cut me a break” on the towing charge because they couldn’t get me out.) One week later, a second company managed to get me out after three hours. All told, my misadventure did a combined $16,000 damage to truck and trailer. Thankfully, I had insurance, which covered most of that. Needless to say, I have not been back to that area since.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, Walt, I think your story tops all others! The PTV’s predicament is like a stubbed toe compared with your rig’s injuries. $16,000 plus all that towing expense! Plus the time and consternation!

      “The ground looked a lot firmer than it turned out to be.” — I certainly know what you mean with that statement!

  34. Jan Johnson says:

    When I used to go camping with my family years ago we always met the nicest people who were always willing to help out if we needed it. I am pleased to see that is still true! What a nice thing those guys offered to help without even being asked. I can’t imagine how relieved you were!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Actually, Jan, I felt like I was being taken care of by a Power greater than myself. I get stuck, I sleep on it, I get up and make myself breakast, I find a rescuer at my door, problem gone!

      I told the guys about this blog and a few of them said they’d look for it. I hope they do see all the praise for them, as well as my story.

  35. Sandy Douglas says:

    And that’s why I love men ( I may be biased, I have 3 gorgeous sons). They will step in and fix a problem without any drama. How cool those men just happened along when they were needed.
    Sandy in N.Z.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You make a good point. Women tend to fuss around. Men tend to get working on the problem.

      Sandy in N.Z. . . . New Zealand? Gee, I wish I could drive the PTV there. 🙂 Beautiful country.

  36. MB says:

    Hi Sue! So glad you are OK. You said that you didn’t have to do anything and help arrived. Well, here’s how I look at it. You already did something. You are always willing to lend a helping hand whenever you see an opportunity….from a vet with a dog to a young man on a bike……Sooooo……when you needed help….there it was. (-: Have a great day! We have a foot of snow here in central VA and it’s still coming down. I would love to be parked up the lane from you right now!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you for the kind words.

      Driving out to Coyote Wash at Wellton I retraced where I took Dale and dropped him off. I sorely wish I would hear from him. The direction he headed is across some barren, unpopulated desert and I don’t know if he realized entirely what he was facing.

      I look at the photos online of the weather in other parts of the country. It’s hard to imagine states like VA, the Carolinas, GA, MS… etc… enduring such wintry weather. And the northern states are having an awful time of it. I wonder if this winter will result in increased migration to the warm and sunny Southwest and Florida.

  37. chas anderson says:

    I carry a 20 foot tow chain in my truck box.Probably have pulled a dozen people out of snow,ditches,sand,etc. I need a 4 x 4 because of my own stupidity.Head first without a helmet.Have a diesel Ram and once pulled a class A out of a dirt road in Death Valley.Arguably, they are the only people dumber than me.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The way you concluded your comment gave me a laugh. Love self-deprecating humor. 🙂

      “Head first without a helmet” . . . That would make a great line for a blog header, like my “Living on less and enjoying life more.”

  38. Wheeling it says:

    What am amazing story…and some pretty amazing folks who helped you out! Very happy it all worked out. Can’t believe some of this guys have been full timing for over 30 years! Wonder if we’ll end up that way?
    P.S. Really enjoyed your Mexico review too. Sorry about the crew getting so anxious while you were gone.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Will we end up with 30 years of full-timing? You and Paul will, I bet! I’d love to full-time it for another 28 years which would put me in my 90s. The guys with all those years started full-timing before they retired.

      Thanks for the remark about my Mexico posts. No margaritas, like you, but, all in all, a good day . . .

  39. Ed says:

    You are getting a lot of advice regarding what you need to carry around with you just in case this ever happens again. All of said advice being given with the best of intentions. I know that you appreciate all of it but also believe that you will ignore it all and continue to live the way you have been. I strongly support that thinking!

    First, you have been on the road for some time now and have only been stuck so bad that you needed help this one time. Second, you gained EXPERIENCE. Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions. This one time bad decision simply improves your chances that future ones will be good decisions.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ed,

      From reading your blog and the comments you’ve made here, I respect greatly your opinion and advice. Yes, you’re right. I’ll continue on the way I have been, and I’ll be wiser for having had this experience.

      I appreciate the positive message concerning my future.

  40. Lori says:

    Good morning Sue, I just found your blog. I am heading up the coast leaving frim Yuma today. Any suggestions on boondocking the California coast? Thank you .

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lori and welcome to my blog!

      I wish I could give you suggestions. I haven’t traveled the California coast yet. I wouldn’t count on there being a lot of boondocking there.

      Maybe a reader will offer some suggestions. Sorry I can’t be helpful.

      I wish you safe and wondrous travel today and for many years to come! I hope you will drop in here again.

  41. Cinandjules (NY) says:


    There is a comraderie with folks in the RV community. Everyone is always looking out for each other…whether it be road/weather conditions, forgotten item at the store, helping fix something on your rig or digging thru the misc box looking for an extra part.

    If you had a flat tire on the side of the road….I have no doubt that a fellow “traveler” would stop and offer assistance.

    It was obvious that you were stuck when Byron, Melanie and Tyler walked by. More help is better than not enough…so they rounded up the posse. Complete strangers looking to lend a hand.

    Thanks guys for all your help! Meh thinks you’ll have them reading your blog! More is better!

    I, like Rusty thought about a winch on front of your PTV. But then I laughed…thinking about a saguaro cactus and it’s shallow roots.

    In regards to a comment made on your previous post…..it has NOTHING to do with the request to respect your privacy. Oh how that strikes your nerve! It twangs MY nerves!
    I have to remind myself….be nice, be patient..Sue will address it..it’s her blog and MOST importantly…her life!

    (How was that last paragraph …..for warm and fluffy)

    Have a great day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Before I left Georgia to pick up the BLT, a few of my friends and colleagues were horrified that I planned to roam around camping here and there. I guess they envisioned marauders and banditos and serial killers congregating at my doorstep. I hope my blog has shown that one is more likely to encounter good-intentioned people willing to help when needed.

      Byron didn’t round up the other guys. They appeared like bees to honey. Yeah, a winch would’ve been useless in this situation.

      I think people tease me about the No Drop-in Visitors message because they don’t understand why it’s a touchy subject for me. I love my life right now and I love my blog and its readers. Nothing I foresee, other than a possible illness or accident, is more likely to make it all come to an end than too many visitors. Who wants to read a blog about people sitting around yakking every day? Not very many. And I certainly don’t want to live that way.

      I know you and many others understand this. I’ve certainly gone on and on about it enough!

      You are a protector and rescuer by nature. 🙂 Thanks for always watching my back! How’s Annie Oakley’s potty training coming along?

  42. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    As I’ve always said….live your dash!

    We pick up Annie Oakley early Tuesday morning! SA never made one mistake…we’re confident that AO will follow in her footsteps!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, I thought Annie had been home for a few days already. Goldens are not stubborn (like a certain breed I know) so she’ll probably do great!

      • DeAnne in TN says:

        Just sitting here chuckling about your comments about Annie Oakley and “accidents.” I had a Boston terrier, Roxie, for 11 years. Not a single accident. Ever. I adopted my newest Boston, Peggy, at Christmas. If she has hit the potty pad, that would be the accident! She definitely did not take after her dear “sister” and has been so stubborn about potty training. Good luck, Cinandjules!

  43. Bob G says:

    Sue, I’m having a little trouble imagining how Byron got your trailer out of the way. I see how he jacked the hitch off the ball, but with the van right there how did he get another TV in there close enough to hitch up?

    I’m guessing your hitch weight is about 350 lb. Did Byron and the others just manhandle it around?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I can understand why you don’t see the Jeep squeezing into position.

      The hitch ball on the Jeep lined up, however, with the BLT coupler. It was close (not as tight as it looks in the photo) and I, too, wondered if there was room for the Jeep to back into position. The jockeying of the PTV, trying to move her forward, gave a little space between the PTV and the BLT.

      So, no, there was no manhandling necessary. Byron backed up, Joe directed him precisely into place, the coupler slid down, and away she went!

      In hindsight, my tight turn which angled the BLT away from the rear of the PTV was a fortuitous move . . .

      • Bob G says:

        “In hindsight, my tight turn which angled the BLT away from the rear of the PTV was a fortuitous move . . .”

        OTOH, it may have been what got you stuck.

        You seem to have the same sort of luck I do. It doesn’t keep me out of trouble, but things usually work out in the end.

        I admire your energy and dedication in replying to so many people, day after day. Don’t know as I could manage it. Thanks.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You’re welcome, Bob. Some of that angle was brought about by my initial success (short-lived) in backing the PTV, which I didn’t include in the story in the interest of moving the “plot” along. Upon moving backward, the BLT jack-knifed (because I didn’t want to sharply turn the wheels) and the hitch extension was driven into the dirt.

          Thanks for acknowledging my maintenance of this blog.

  44. Ron says:

    I understand the guys and why they were helpful just like Sue is helpful in her own way.
    I had a stroke and had to retire ,thank goodness it was a mild one an no really bad lasting effects. When I retired I couldn’t sit still so I started delivering new RV’s out of Elkart all over the USA and Can and Alaska.
    I am not a little ole boy ,6ft and 22o# , sort of rough around the edges. My ex used to laugh when I talked and tell me my voice was so deep I made Johnny Cash sound like a girl. My point is I am not one that walks up and make folks comfortable on first appearances.
    Thats all just back ground leading up to this , I use to catch flack from the other drivers because I could not drive by someone in trouble and just leave them on the side of the road, so I always stopped and helped anyway I could , folks are funny some thanked you some tried to give you money and some never said a word and just drove off. My buddies gave the handle of road angel ( dam I would have been an ugly angel)
    One ask me one day why it didnt seem to bother me that some folks were so rude. I told him I didnt do it for them I did what I thought was right for me.
    In all my days running around this country I have never been in a bind that folks didnt stop and help me out , like they say PAY BACKS , I think this bunch of guys and Sue sort of dance to the same drummer I did and somebody always watches over us.
    Oh a winch and a small boat anchor will pull you out of sugar sand

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Admirable philosophy of life, Ron. I do believe you’re on to something. 😉

      Too many people run around trying to make sure no one takes from them, when a better life is found when one makes sure to give more than take. Reminds one of a certain Bible verse . . . “It is better to . . . ”

      What a wonderful world this would be if everyone went around looking for ways to help others. Of all the things you’ve done in your life, Ron — and, of course, I have very little idea what those things are — your kindnesses to strangers may turn out to have been your greatest gift to humanity.

      Carry on, good man.

    • Alan Rabe says:

      Exactly, When I had my Bronco 2 in Az, I had a Warn wench on the front and carried a small anchor will a large bite, called it a sand anchor. If you get stuck you go out 50 feet dig a hole and drop the anchor in. Pulled me out every time.

  45. Alan Rabe says:

    Boy you have had some great adventures lately. This probably explains why people like to be some what close to other people. Stuff happens and people need help. I have always felt that the RV world is full of people are just looking for some way to help each other. They have all been in the same situations and are just carrying the good deed forward. I’d bet all those guys were tickled pink just to have something to do other than sit around all day and drink beer, they loved the excitement and the challenge. Kind of a guy thing.
    As for the weather, Va. Beach was just on the edge, got a little snow but the warm front came in and it rained all night and now it is just mud. But that is normal for this time of year.
    Keep the sunny side up and enjoy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Alan,

      Good to hear you aren’t freezing over there at Virginia Beach..

      Yes, the guys enjoyed my little problem. They’re a very active group of individuals, not the kind who sit around all day drinking beer. Maybe I’ll elaborate on that in the next post.

  46. Cindy says:

    Love it when good men prove there are still good men!

  47. Diann in MT says:

    Glad you made it out, Sue. Thank Goodness for gallant guys! I am always in awe!

  48. AZ Jim says:

    Rita’s comment about brown women reminded me of an experience in Pukwana, South Dakota. It was in the dead of winter and Detta and I owned a home there that was for sale at the time. We lived elsewhere in South Dakota but came by to check the place. I was driving a new Chevy Malibu at the time and as luck would have it I stuck it in fairly deep snow by misjudging where the driveway was. I was just off the highway and I had tried in vain to get the car out but no go. Several cars went by but in spite of my obvious situation no one was stopping. I was getting ready to start walking to get help when a dilapidated old farm truck stopped and the young man driving asked if I needed help. Of course I answered in the affirmative and out jumps the driver and passenger. They crawled down in the snow and put a steel tow rope on my axle and hooking it up to the truck almost instantly pulled me out. I thanked both those fellas profusely and they assured me they were glad to help. Both were brown men (native Americans). Of all who passed me by, these guardians were the ones who stopped to help.

  49. Pat K. says:

    Charmed! Absolutely charmed. I don’t know how you do it 🙂 They need to make a movie of your adventures! Pat K

  50. Bill from NC says:

    Sue I am reminded of a saying. You aint gotta be good if you are lucky! You are so lucky to have such qualified folks show up on your doorstep! Glad it worked so well!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Bill. If I keep having such good fortune, I’m liable to wake up one day believing I can fly. 🙂

  51. stan watkins says:

    You are truly blessed.

  52. Chuck says:

    Sue, I have the feeling you were a great teacher and all your students are watching out for you ’cause it can’t all be luck!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chuck,

      I was a math teacher and my students learned math. Whether my students loved me or not . .. well? Math teachers are rarely the “favorite” teacher.

  53. Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

    When I opened the blog today and saw that picture on the top, I thought… OMG… someone stole the BLT and kidnapped the crew!! 🙂

  54. Gayle says:

    Thought I was going to meet you today when walking to the UCLA Dental Clinic. On the parking deck were a row of 10 white Chevy Express vans. But, figured out pretty quickly that it wasn’t you (and crew) because each van was, well, LEVEL!!! LOL!!!

  55. Greg says:

    It is good to be around people….most are kind

  56. Edie says:

    Glad everything worked out ok. I think it is good mojo from all of the entertainment and knowledge on this blog!

  57. Madeline says:

    Afraid I am being a pest (you are getting SO MANY COMMENTS on all your posts 🙂

    But I really wanted to re read all the posting you did a while back about how easy it is to set up and haul the Casita..can’t find it in the search area even using the words that other gal gave me to look it up.Hints?

    Thanks for sharing so much of your adventures with us!!

  58. TexasTom says:

    The ratio of good people is much bigger than bad. We sometimes forget that. Every friend you make on the road makes you much safer and them too. I love this blog for all it teaches me.

  59. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Greetings from once again snowy NY! I tell you that Punxsutawney Phil is in SERIOUS trouble!

    Bridget and Spike would like to know if you want to be their Valentine?

    Enjoy your day~

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I saw some photos of NY state online. Phil is on the no-fly list!

      Happy Valentine’s Day to you and everyone!

  60. Glenda in OZ! says:

    HURRAY!! Held my breath and let it out at the end of your post………….they all came out of the woodwork to help and with eventual success……woo hoo!!!! So glad you are on solid ground now and it has to be remembered that this is the first time it has happened so you have done very well………so proud of you and not without a lump in my throat at the end of your post!

  61. Jean/Southaven, MS says:

    You are getting so many comments now I have a hard time reading all of them. I don’t want to miss any though, because I learn so much. Glad you got out of your predicament and glad you wrote about it. Still out here reading everyday.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Nice to know you’re still with us, Jean. I’m almost ready to put up my next post. Gotta’ start a new list of comments!

  62. Mark says:

    Sue, what a great ending to your predicament. I had got stuck this summer while in New York. It took a couple of days of sunshine and a trip to Harbor Freight for a trailer dolly to get out. I ended up moving the camper by hand with the dolly and much help. Then jacking the whole van up and placing boards under the wheels. I remember at the time thinking what would RvSue do if she got stuck out in the dessert. I was where I had help and I still felt stranded. I even asked you if you ever had problems getting stuck. Getting stuck really bothered me because I want to boondock some day in the desert and I realized I was not prepared for getting stuck, and was not sure what I was going to do to get out of the mess. The end of your story left me with a warm feeling. With all the help you received it takes away some of the worries of being stranded.

    Salina ks

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mark,

      You had to do so much WORK to get unstuck. Good for you… You did it!

      I think we both have learned that prevention is better. I’m going to be very careful about sand in the future.

      We can’t be prepared for everything that might befall us. When we get in a jam, we deal with it, right? Always good to hear from you, Mark.

  63. Hi Sue,

    As a subscriber to RV Pro magazine, I came across something new that you need. Jrprvinc(dotcom) has a new product that will get you unstuck on your own. They are a pair of grip mats, 29-1/2 inches long, 10 inches wide, and a half-inch thick, that look like course tire treads on both sides. Whether it be sand, mud, or snow, they will grip the ground on the bottom, as well as your tires on the top, and give you the traction you need to drive right out of most situations. As one who also will be driving a 2WD van pulling a small trailer, and hitting many of the same areas you have, I will definitely be putting these on my want list before we head out west next year. I don’t have an affiliate connection with them yet, but I will definitely be looking for one, to add them to my own blog.

    Stay well, and travel safe.

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