From Arizona grassland to a lakeside camp

Monday, March 28

If you’ve read my blog regularly and have been paying attention like you should, you know I avoid towing in wind.  Not that my Perfect Tow Vehicle with Best Little Trailer combo can’t handle wind.  That’s not it.  With the anti-sway bar on the hitch, we roll along fine, even in strong crosswinds.

But it ain’t fun.

Today, the crew and I scoff in the face of forecasters and their ominous prediction of “50 mph wind gusts.”

Ha!  Scoff-scoff.  We’re breaking camp and heading on down the highway!

“Outta’ our way, cows!  We’re comin’ through!”

P1100280-001Las Cienegas National Conservation Area, Senoita, Arizona

“Yeah, cows!  Do like RVSue says!  Scram!” 

P1100281No, we really didn’t say that.  I’m kidding here.  Well, Reggie did bark.

Such a beautiful morning . . . .

No wind so far!  A roadrunner sprints across the road.  Two deer disappear into a mess of mesquite trees.  We turn to cruise the final leg out of the conservation area.

That’s when I see it.

“Oh, my.  Will you look at that.”

A herd of 30-40 deer spills over the crest of a small hill on the right, streaming  toward the road ahead of us.  Gorgeous!  I’m spellbound.  I stop the PTV and lift my camera.

I point it toward the place where the perfect photo will appear.

Anyone who enjoys taking photos knows what I’m talking about. . . . when things in motion approach a flash in time when all elements come together in a perfect arrangement — the road leading the eye toward a majestic mountain in the background, the slope of grassy hill on each side of the road, the morning light, the gentle shadows, a few deer crossing the road in clear silhouette, a deer behind them floating through the air from the embankment, the others following, flowing down the hillside . . .

In a split second the magic will take place My finger is poised . . . almost . . . almost . . .


Where the hell did that CAR come from? 

A silver SUV has whipped around the PTV and slowed between us and the deer.  It continues toward the place where the deer are headed.  Panic erupts!  A few deer jump, make it across the road, one is confused, turns, darts along the ditch, others up on the embankment scramble to change course . . .

“For crying out loud!  You couldn’t wait half a minute?”

P1100283-001The SUV doesn’t stop, just keeps on going right through the herd which splits it into three groups running in different directions.

Of course, I hate that I missed the photo. 

Much more than that, I hate the havoc brought to the deer due to the SELF-CENTERED IDIOT in the SUV.  And, no, he’s not in a big hurry.

There he goes, rolling along, oblivious that I very much want to give him a good smack upside the head.  Growl.

The next few miles I struggle to regain a pleasant frame of mind.

P1100286-001Okay, you Benchmarkers!  Get out your atlases!

Bridget, Reggie, and I motor south on Route 83 to Sonoita.  We turn east on Route 82 and at the junction with Route 90, head north to Benson and Interstate 10.

Before boarding I-10 east, we stop at Love’s for gas @ $1.99 gal.

The crew isn’t restless yet, so we don’t bother with a walk-around.  Wind is coming through here and most likely it will worsen as the day progresses.

At this point I’m not sure where we will camp.

Maybe in the Dragoon Mountains?  Cochise Stronghold?  When we come to the exit for the above, I drive us down the ramp and park in a place where trucks park.

P1100288-001The crew has a potty run while I contemplate the Dragoon Mountains off in the distance.

Do I want to take us there today?  Do I? 

By the time I pop the crew into the PTV I’m resolved to keep going on the interstate.  I can’t form a reason why, not anything better than “well, it seems right to keep going.”

I have a destination in mind.

Past Wilcox we exit the interstate and take Route 191 north.

The wind is strong, but not terribly so.  Flowers of purple and yellow line the roadway for about five miles.  It’s an enjoyable drive.

P1100290-001Shortly before the town of Safford, we take the turn for Roper Lake State Park.

We made it!  And the wind wasn’t bad at all.

P1100306More about Roper Lake State Park in the next post.  We stay over one night and the next morning, we move camp again!



I appreciate you entering Amazon from my blog.

Here’s a sample of what readers recently purchased:

Battery Tender
White Vent Cover
Portable Chair with Side Table
Henschel Men’s Mesh Breezer Hat
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P1100310Campsite at Roper Lake State Park; Pinaleno Mountains in background


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156 Responses to From Arizona grassland to a lakeside camp

  1. rvsueandcrew says:

    Congratulations to Monica in CA and Nivrapa in AZ (Audrey) for correctly identifying the location of the mystery photo at the end of the previous post!

  2. Kristi and Daisie (Nampa) says:

    Love the purple flowers. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re first today, Kristi and Daisie! CONGRATULATIONS! 🙂

      • Kristi and Daisie (Nampa) says:

        Thank you! And I read the post too. I loved Benson, AZ when I stayed there in February. Would love to travel your route one of these days.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You know, it’s impossible to “see it all” when traveling. Your comment reminds me of that. We breezed right past Benson. Maybe someday we will take the time to look around.

  3. Dave Stewart (in missouri for now) says:

    1st ?

  4. Robin B (Oregon) says:

    I reported earlier but wanted to say again how much I’m enjoying your trip to SE Arizona. We’ll be there in about 3 weeks and while I was anxious to see the countryside, I’m even more anxious after reading your blogs. Unfortunately, we won’t be RV’ing but will be scouting out sites for possible RV camping next year. Thanks again for your great spirit of adventure and spot-on reporting and photos. And I always enjoy hearing about the canine crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Robin B. It’s a privilege to be able to share what we find in our travels and possibly help others enjoy this beautiful country. Thanks for letting me know you appreciate my blog.

  5. Colleen from Alabama says:

    I wondered how a Casita would hold up in high winds….Glad to hear you say it does well. How about hail? Lightening? I would think with the amount of time that you’ve been traveling you have run into every kind of weather. So far the sand sounded the worse.

    Love the pics. Dang those people in the SUV……

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Colleen. I’m pleased you like the pics.

      The shape of a Casita allows wind and air currents (while it’s being towed) to flow over and around very smoothly. Casitas tow easily. I’ve seen other trailers fishtailing on the highway. The BLT doesn’t do that!

      Oh yeah, we’ve had hail a few times. Bounces off the fiberglass without leaving any marks. In lightning storms I unplug everything, of course. So far, no problems.

      I admit, I dramatized the “sandstorm” a tad. I imagine a real, full-scale sandstorm would strip the paint off the PTV. We suffered no ill effects other than clean-up…

  6. Lynn Brooks says:

    So sorry about your missed photo op!!
    What a moron!!! I don’t understand how people can be so self-centered & single minded!!! REALLY??? Couldn’t wait 60″ for he deer to pass!!! GRRRR!!!
    Lynn B. (Baltimore, MD)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lynn,

      It’s kind of funny how I come upon situations that make me gripe and then a few days later I have people across the country (maybe even the world) griping, too! Hahaha!

  7. Marilu now in Arizona says:

    Hi Sue,
    We spent a week in Prescott because we didn’t want to drive in the wind anymore. Between Picacho Peak and Phoenix there was so much blowing dust we couldn’t see a half mile. Now we are at a beautiful boondock on a bluff above Lake Mead. It’s 73 degrees with a gentle breeze. By the looks of the sky the sunset will be spectacular.
    I hope you enjoy the rest of your time in Arizona. I’m curious where you’ll head this year when the weather heats up in southern Arizona.
    Safe travels and ear scratches to the crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marilu,

      I’m curioius, too, where we will “head this year when the weather heats up in southern Arizona.” I can’t quite nail it down. 🙂

      Yeah, there were some strong winds and there’s a lot of loose dust in that area. I’m glad you found a nice boondock at Lake Mead. I was going to try that place just north of Las Vegas Campground– can’t think of the name right now, I took photos of it from across what once was Las Vegas Bay– but the adoption of Reggie changed my plans.

      • Marilu now in Arizona says:

        We are at Stewart’s Point. I learned about it on Wheelin it blog.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Well, dang. We drove into Stewart’s Point and it was closed for restoration, if I’m remembering correctly. Again… timing is everything!

      • AlanOutandAbout - Pahrump says:

        Hannagan Meadow, your are only 100 miles away and it is at 11 000 ft elevation. Take 191 thru Morenci and head north. You won’t be sorry. It is an alpine paradise of Blue Spruce forests and alpine meadows with trout streams running through them. You truly won’t believe you are in Az.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I remember you mentioning Hannagan Meadow last year. It’s tough to plan a visit there because of the high elevation in a state that turns very warm in surrounding areas. Today Hannagan Meadow has a high of 54 degrees and a low of 23 degrees. That’s snow and ice weather… Yikes! Also Bridget and I have altitude sickness problems at 10,000 feet and above. Maybe a reader will find their way to that “alpine paradise” and enjoy its delights! 🙂

        • MollyLuvsRoadtrippin (Seattle) says:

          I’m going to add that one to my list Alan!

  8. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Some people Sue, wow, I can’t believe they had to scare those poor deer!

    This camp looks really nice. I am looking forward to seeing where you take us next!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jolene,

      Yeah, that fool drove through the herd like he was scattering leaves off the roadway.

      You’re looking forward to seeing the next camp and I haven’t finished showing you this one. Ha! You’re a traveling kind of gal! 🙂

  9. Marilyn says:

    Well, almost! Came in for a drink of water and just check email…Happy to see your post.

  10. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Some folks are just ignorant in regards to nature and its creatures!

    I do believe someone mentioned Roper Lake in the previous comment section.

    What a lovely smile Bridgee babee! Reg man staring at the cows…silly boy!

    What’s for dinner?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      I congratulated the two people who guessed Roper Lake at the end of the previous comments section and at the beginning of this one. You must have scrolled down really fast!

      Hmm… What’s for dinner? Let me look. Okay… I have a package of Chinese vegetables in the freezer. I also have a package of four — get this — “Vegetarian Grain Meat Sausages, Italian, with eggplant, fennel, fresh garlic, & red pepper.” That’s what the label says.

      I’ll cut one of the sausages into medallions, brown them in a bit of olive oil and toss in the vegetables, too…. Voila! Chinese-Italian supper! Not something one encounters often!

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        I was just amazed! Remember I’m the one who has trouble figuring out if I’m walking IN the wash or not!

  11. Jo in San Diego says:

    Hello to you all, I have been reading your blog (past and present posts) since November and caught up last week. I feel the need to finally come out of the shadows and become a blogorino because today my home of 24 years went on the market. After months of hard work getting it spruced up and hauling most of my belongings to my daughter’s new home in the high desert I am ready for a quick sale. My new home will be ready for pick up in Texas May 11th. Yes! It is a Casita. My 13 year old coonhound boy, three year old dobie mix girl and I can’t wait to see San Diego in our rear view mirror. Having been an avid tent camper my entire life, my new home on wheels will take some getting use to, but I am looking forward to the adventures we will have. I really want to thank you RV Sue for being both my practical and spiritual guide through this transition. Unbeknownst to you, you have been a vital source of inspiation, knowledge and I relate entirely to your ‘can do’ attitude. Thank you 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Jo, so very welcome. I’m thrilled for you!

      Congratulations on your downsizing accomplishments, on putting your home on the market, and on having made a great choice of rig — a new Casita! I don’t think it will be much of an adjustment. You’ll love it!

      Thank you for taking the time to tell us where you are in your plans. I especially thank you for giving me credit for what you are doing for yourself, your pups, and your future together on the road. Someday I hope to read about your new way of life.

      Yes, we can do! 🙂

    • June from CO says:

      Jo, I’m very happy for you. I do hope you have or start a blog about your downsizing and adventures when you travel. I too read rvsue’s blog from the beginning and enjoyed it very much and still do. My traveling days are over but I sure do enjoy reading everyone else’s blogs. Here’s hoping your house sells quickly. 🙂

    • Krystina ~ Sutton, Vermont says:

      Welcome to Bloggerino land Jo!!

    • MB from VA says:

      Welcome! And best of luck for a quick sale of your house! 🙂

    • AZ Jim says:

      Good for you Jo. Adventure in your immediate future. I left San Diego in ’91 due to it’s growth and costs of goods and services. I lived there beginning in ’45. I don’t miss anything but the weather.

  12. Monica-CA says:

    Sweet! I guessed correctly! Thanks to internet images I was able to make my guess. I have never been there or even heard of the place. I just studied your photo of the mountain range behind the lake, and then I hunted places with lakes within a 2 hour drive of Patagonia that looked similar to the mountain range in your photo. Now I get to learn about another pretty spot off of I-10. Thanks! 🙂

  13. Linda from Oregon says:

    The saddest part about not getting that photo is that the guy will never know just how much of life’s beauty he is missing by charging through instead of slowing down to appreciate the wonders around him.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Very true, Linda, even moreso. He is at a lower level than someone who doesn’t slow down to appreciate. Not only is he clueless about “life’s beauty” he actively and unnecessarily disrupted wildlife.

      I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but if I have one reader who does stuff like this, I’d love it if this blog post helps that person live life more sensitively.

      • Krystina ~ Sutton, Vermont says:

        Would not have been a good thing if one of the deer (or more) hadn’t moved fast enough!!!

  14. Pat (Freespirit)-in Texas says:

    Hi Sue,
    Most of all I enjoyed the anticipation you built up before the jerk in the SUV showed up!
    Your writing is absolutely awesome..I was right there with you. The new camp looks great too, and I am learning SO much from you & the Blogorinos! Thank you very much for sharing your wisdom.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a thrill for me to read that you are learning from my blog and the blogorinos! We have a great group here. They’ve taught me a lot, kept us from making big mistakes, helped us over the rough spots . . . .

      Thanks for the feedback on my writing. I’m pleased that you were “right there” with us. That’s where I want you to be, Pat!

    • Sue CleanerGreenerVegas) says:

      I loved a comment from Sue’s sister once,”Susan can write about paint drying and make it interesting!”

  15. Susan in Dallas says:

    Go, Reggie, you tell those cows! Lovely view from your campsite. We’re experiencing lovely spring weather after a round of storms. Gotta love Texas weather.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Susan,

      Funny how Bridget doesn’t pay any attention to cows, yet Reggie (like his predecessor) has to give them a piece of his mind!

      Yeah, live in Texas, love that big Texas weather…. I’m glad you’re enjoying spring weather.

  16. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Your description of Patagonia was perfect – it looks like a colorful, eclectic place! Roper Lake State Park looks like it might be a nice place to spend some time. If you find a spot that is almost perfect, will you stay a while or continue to head towards higher, cooler elevations? If I am right, you have a jello (flexible) plan that can be adjusted as necessary. Trying to guess what type of weather Mother Nature is planning to throw at us is a challenge at best this year! In the past 10 days, I had to turn on the A/C, then the heat, back to A/C. Crazy weather! It is always nice to see Reggie giving a piece of his mind to the neighbors and Bridget’s sweet smiling face! 🙂

    Have you done your taxes yet?! I usually have mine done the week I get my W-2. This year, I have yet to do them. Procrastinating does not make the chore go away! Actually, my taxes are pretty straight forward. I work them up manually and then go back over everything several times to make sure I did not make any errors or write something on the wrong line of a form. Yes….I am a dinosaur and work up my itemized tax returns by hand on paper forms, and even mail them in. 🙂

    I have to send a big “THANK YOU” to Cinandjules, and other current or former police officers, military, FBI, HSA, SWAT, and any other folks or their families who help to protect our freedom and keep us safe. At 2:45 EST today, the Devil paid a visit to Richmond. Richmond Police, VA State Police, FBI and other multiple federal agencies were wrapping up a drug training session at our local Greyhound Bus station. Having completed their training, officers were greeting bus patrons. A man walked up to a VA State trooper as if he was going to shake his hand and shot him point blank in his chest, critically wounding him. Last I checked, it was not clear if the trooper was still fighting for his life or had passed away. Two bystanders were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The shooter was taken out by fellow officers and is dead. No answers so far as to why….we may never know. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the folks who put their lives on the line for us daily. Sometimes when harms way is obvious, others when it is not.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      I read the report on the shooting. The one I read said the officer died, in addition to the shooter. These senseless killings are heart-breaking for us who don’t know the victims, and shocking for those who live in the area. I can’t imagine what it is like for family and friends. Yes, thank you to all those who risk their lives for us!

      On a lighter note… Every spring I’m tempted to move north and it’s a struggle to hold myself back. I’m learning patience. As long as we’re comfortable in Arizona, we will stay here, although I don’t think we will stay long enough to need to climb its mountains.

      Timing in coordination with weather tells us when to move north. Right now we’re in weather we enjoy, so no need to move, right?

      Ugh, taxes. No I haven’t done mine. Congratulations on finishing yours!

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:

        Hi, Sue,

        Enjoy being a “zonie” ….you cannot beat those spectacular sunsets! 🙂

        Have a peaceful night! Sending you and the Crew hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

      • Velda in Roseville CA says:

        Turbo tax and I are in the final stages of wrapping up 2015 taxes. Funny how I resent having to pay more fed tax because our house is almost paid off and therefore we no longer have the big interest deduction, I should be happy to pay Uncle Sam less than we were paying in interest but somehow that big check to write irks me. Hubby is finally feeling well enough that he has actually promised to help begin the house starting with years of paperwork to be sorted and shredded and a few set aside to keep, labeled to shred when their day comes.

        • Denise - Richmond VA says:

          Glad that your husband is feeling better, Velda! 🙂

          Taxes are a necessary evil. It is a good thing having your house almost paid for, but seeing that interest deductible shrink then disappear is truly painful!

    • Applegirl NY says:

      Well said. Thank you to all who have served in so many ways.

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        Hi Denise,
        great minds must run alike. Taxes are finished and sent off today. For the first time in about 10 years, I am actually getting a small refund this year. Yay!!!

        Middle Tennessee is getting some nasty weather today. We have had constant weather reporting since early afternoon. I’ll be glad when they pass as Angel likes to bark at the Thunder. I never got her a Thunder shirt as we don’t have the these severe storms too often.

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:


  17. weather says:

    “Gorgeous! I’m spellbound.” Those are the moments that will hopefully remain etched in your memory. I’ve been among a herd that size and it’s hard to imagine someone so oblivious to that beauty, much less the feelings of those creatures, that they drive on as though it’s nothing to them. Odd how we feel led to change directions sometimes without knowing exactly why, isn’t it? Trusting that has always worked out well so I’m glad you did again.I intend to go to Cochise Stronghold , if you haven’t by then I’ll tell you what it’s like from my point of view. I love this posts photos, Bridget looks beautiful!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      Thank you for the compliment for Bridget. She’s a sweet girl.

      I think I passed up Cochise Stronghold because I felt a pull toward water after months in the desert (Turtle Mtns. Wilderness, Blythe, Why, Tonopah, etc.) and then weeks in grasslands of Buenos Aires NWA and Las Ciegenas NCA.

      When the purple and yellow flowers appeared in long swaths by the roadside, along with lots of green on the palo verde and mesquite, I knew I’d made the right decision. There’s still plenty for us to experience when we return someday to SE Arizona. Maybe you will tell me about it first! 🙂

      • weather says:

        That is a long time to be away from bodies of water, fresh delicate flowers, buds and green leaves. I understand your opting to choose those and am happy for your being free to. I was glad to see the comments below from Audrey, Bill and Anne. They each had details I hadn’t found elsewhere.A combination of paying for a couple of nights then boon docking nearby with more sun now seems like a better way to visit Cochise Stronghold during late winter or early spring. It’s appeal to me is in large part it’s central location among the sky islands. I’d love to see the tops of those appear at sunrise when it’s cool enough for fog and clouds to form.

        This morning it was sixty five degrees when I went outside. By Tuesday morning it will be down to eighteen at that hour. I hope it’s just right where you and the crew are at the moment. Have a wonderful day 🙂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I hope you are having a wonderful day, too, weather. Yes, it’s good to be among flowers and greenery again. I just wasn’t in the mood for bumping around in the Dragoons. When I’m not enthused about visiting a place I’d rather not go — Save it for a time when I’m in the mood and able to get the most out of it. I’m sure you will when you go there. 🙂

  18. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    Reggie looking at the cows, so cute. ..made me smile.
    Sorry you missed out on your photo, How one could race through instead of enjoying the sight of all those dear is beyond me. I feel privileged if I get to view wildlife
    here where I live. I don’t see much though, one fox this winter & a bald eagle and I was thrilled at both sightings. Should be hearing the call of the loon any day now.
    Your camp looks great.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Val,

      A fox and a bald eagle… hey, that is a thrill! As for the call of the loon — lucky you! I’ve only been in one place where I heard a loon and the memory of that sound stays with me. How nice that you live where you can expect to hear it soon…

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        Speaking of Loons, I actually have a nature CD of the Loons and one of jungle type music. I got them at Opryland Hotel a few years ago. I think they are really cool and love playing them in the car. My last job I was in a construction office by myself so I listened to all the music I like.

        • Val R. Lakefield On. says:

          Just reading a local paper today about the four different
          calls of the loon and what each means. She says if you
          Google “common Loon calls” you actually hear the four calls. I’m going to try it.

  19. Applegirl NY says:

    Sue, Funny post. You’re so feisty in this one – right from the beginning. I think the rude driver added to your feistyness, so while a big drag for you and the herd, it made for an interesting post.

    Great picture of Bridget. It’s one of the best. Of course, Reg is adorable as ever – gotta love those ears so perked up. Looks like he’s ready for anything.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for the compliments in your comment, Applegirl. I happily accept those on behalf of the crew. 🙂

      Reggie is a big shot when he’s high up in the passenger seat. Back at the camp he ran inside the BLT at a lone “moo” from far away! As for Bridget, every photo is precious to me; she parses them out now and then.

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Yep she did have a bit of feistyness in her….too funny!

      I left you another preventative product for ticks on the previous post….and it’s available thru Amazon.

      • Applegirl NY says:

        Thanks. I ordered my next round of Frontline Plus as well as the spray you recommended. Through Sue’s Amazon link, of course! The Frontline is much cheaper on Amazon, and it saved me an errand too. So, thanks again, CinandJules.

        • Cinandjules (NY) says:

          You are most welcome.

          Some vets are apprehensive about the Lyme vaccination because of the effectiveness of it and side effects associated with the vaccine. Like the flu shot…one still may get the flu…because of the many strains.

          So preventative measures might be the best all around scenario. Don’t forget to protect yourself.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Okay, here’s another anti-tick and anti-flea method… guinea hens! No kidding!

          I raised 5 guineas and let them loose on my property. Once a day they would come up to the house for their daily ration of corn. They brought the tick and flea population way down. Only drawback, they can be noisy at times. Fun to watch. They roost in the trees.

          • Denise - Richmond VA says:

            I had thought of that idea – but I think I would just be providing easy meals for the hawk that likes to live and hunt in my backyard!

  20. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    I loved the post, such a beautiful camp. Disappointing about the deer photo. Seeing the herds is spectacular. On our last trip to Texas, we returned via I-40 and came up the Natchez Trace out of Jackson, MS. It was late and we were almost home, but had to change drivers anyway. Just after we resumed our travels, we came on a whole herd standing in the middle of the road and on both sides. Talk about “Deer In the Headlights!” Wow what an awesome sight that was. since we were the lone car in the middle of nowhere, we just sat and watched them for about 10 minutes. Finally we were able to move on.

    • Krystina ~ Sutton, Vermont says:

      Morning Barbara! I absolutely LOVED the Natchez Trace. It was so peaceful. Just about no cars on it and the beautiful green grass and trees were a site to see.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barbara and Krystina,

      I’ve driven part of the Natchez Trace. I agree… a lovely drive.

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        We love driving on the Trace. We are close to the terminus, so drive it quite often, just for a nice peaceful and relaxing drive. We took it to Hohenwald to see the Oliver Trailers, drive down to Waynesboro area and go to David Crockett State Park or take it as a short cut over to Dickson,TN. DH & I love it.

  21. Renee says:

    Hello Sue, Bridget, and Reggie. I love road trips and exciting new destinations! Since we both still work full time, I’m finding satisfaction in reading your many adventures.

    I felt sad for the herd of deer and the unnecessary frenzied confusion they had to go through. Poor things!

    We don’t like the wind either. We’ve been in places that were so windy, we had to bring our slides in. Wind is not a friend to the RV’er.

    Looking forward to reading more about your current spot.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Renee,

      I’m happy my blog gives you a break from the workaday world. I don’t mind wind for a day or two. The dust/sand storms keep me and the crew inside and that’s tough, mostly for the Reginator.

  22. Linda-NC says:

    Really? A lost “one of those moments shots.” Hate when that happens. That guy in the SUV needs a rvsue tune-up. Some people just can’t slow down and enjoy. Well, it is his loss. That was a pretty drive and the new camp looks nice. Enjoy! I love the shots of Reggie looking out the window. He must be the assistant navigator.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      “an rvsue tune-up!” Ha! That’s a good one, Linda.

      About Reggie looking out the window of the PTV… We left the tan landscape of grass where we lived for a few weeks…. Reg sat in the passenger seat watching the vivid green flash by. I wonder what he thinks of his new life with its changing homes…

      I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

  23. Nivrapa in AZ says:

    Finally!! The big reveal! Thank you for the disclosure of the mystery camp before bedtime. Such a quizzical photo would be preying on my mind and interfering with my beauty sleep. Now, knowing the location, I can find a peaceful slumber. Yeah, I know, I need to get a life, huh?

    I hope that your next trip through southern AZ you do discover the campground at Cochise Stronghold in the Dragoon Mts. During the week it sees only very light use. It’s a delightful oasis on the high desert and makes a pleasant overnight stop. The legend and lore surrounding the campground is quite interesting. Not the best place for solar panels, however. Heavy shade and tall canyon walls prevent all but a few hours of good, direct sunlight. Between the shade and an elevation of 5k feet, it stays cool during all but the hottest of the desert days. No water, vault toilets, no dump and the dust is kept to a minimum by paved roads and pads within the campground. This is not a place for big rigs—too many trees making turns tight. Better suited for tents, truck campers, and small RV’s less than 18′. The fee is $10 to camp–$5 with the senior pass. Not so much a destination campground, but rather a quiet stop along the way.

    Temperatures on the rise next week. Weather guessers are calling for 90 next week in Tucson. Hope you can find just the right elevation to stay comfortable in the week ahead.

    Love pats to each of the crew from me. Travel on!—-Audrey

    • Bill & Ann - Bend, OR says:

      There is a boondock area on the right side of the road just after you pass the park entry sign and trash cans. Before you get to the official campground. It is busy on weekends, guite nice during the week. There are some spots that have great solar exposure. Another choice would be to camp on the west side of the Stronghold. Great spots over there out a bumpy Middlemarch Road just North of Tombstone.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Audrey, and Bill & Ann….

      We will explore that area on our next trip through SE Arizona.

  24. Julie, Molly & gizmo (Idaho) says:

    Hello sue
    Love your travels thru spaces I haven’t been. Just wondered if anyone is waiting in anticipation for escape sales tomorrow. Have had my ’89 scamp for 3 years & traveled some amazing miles in western USA. Now am making plunge to purchase a new escape 17′. Scary but exciting. BTW snow geese are migrating by the thousands thru Idaho now. Safe travels.

  25. Pepe & Gigi, Tibbie & Ella (Bend, OR) says:

    Hi Sue. We checked out Roper Lake SP just before you were there and continued on to T Roosevelt Lake for eight nights. Now at Fool Hollow SP to enjoy a few amenities. Enjoy your blog and look forward to learning more about wifi from remote areas. Sorry you missed the deer herd.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ll try to remember to include the WiFi connection strength at our camps. If you see the BLT in a photo and there’s no antenna pole, that means the internet signal for Verizon is very strong and the antenna isn’t needed.

  26. BadgerRickInWis says:

    LOVE that last shot of HRH, such a sweetheart.
    But than I always was a sucker for big sparkling brown eyes.

  27. MB from VA says:

    Good morning! I loved the purple flowers. I love all flowers but wildflowers most of all. Some of the tiniest ones have the most detail. Notice how I began with a greeting and something nice? When….I really wanted to say….”What a self centered so & so!”……couldn’t wait and actually enjoy watching what was going on around him? SHESH! Actually, when things like that happen, I get angry at first. But then sad. How can they not see it? And then so thankful that for whatever reason…..I usually do. I’ve sat for a good while as a flock of turkeys jumped over the fence on one side of the drive….then the one on the other….to get to the woods on that side. One…..after…..the….other…….Made me smile and sometimes laugh out loud. Have a great day, wherever you roam!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I can see those turkeys through your description and can understand why you laughed. I always chuckle when a roadrunner runs across the road or quail scurry with topknots bobbing. Yes, we’re fortunate to be able to enjoy the natural world.

  28. Maryanne Davis-Baldwin-CT says:

    Your photos are so crisp & composed so well; it’s interesting that you planned in a split second a photo of deer crossing the road–even though it was short-circuited by a one track minded driver. Somehow people forget what damage large animals can do to a car, never mind the damage to the animals! After spending the winter in one spot, due to booked up state parks, I’ll be moving across Florida to visit friends & then heading back to Connecticut. The winter here has been very wet, at first chilly & now hot & humid. But I love the birds; flocks of white ibis rather than robins on the grass, grumpy great blue herons, flighty snowy egrets, solitary great white egrets, & the several pairs of sandhill cranes stalking across the campground roads. Hitching up Sunday will seem almost new, it’s been so long; but I have a list on my cell phone to follow. Though my moves are small, I love following your blog & “traveling” with you & the crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I enjoyed your descriptions of bird sightings in Florida. It sounds like you appreciate what Florida has to offer, regardless of the weather.

      Thank you, Maryanne, regarding my photos. I’m glad you love following my blog and riding along with me and my crew.

  29. Geri in the beautiful Florida panhandle says:

    Dear Sue! We love Roper Lake State Park! Camped there several times! Dang, if we had known that is where you were headed we could have revealed Saffords best ever Mexican Restaurant, Los Man….oh heck….I can’t spell Mexican !!! hahahaha anyhows it is a turn left out of the park, turn right at the highway, drive into Safford and at the first main highway intersection is the restaurant on your left! Next time you roll through there, you gotta try it!
    Loved the post and photos. Damn those inconsiderate drivers who have never held a camera waiting for the photo to compose itself! grrrrrrr! Love the pic of Reggie and the cows! Hugs to the Crew and you too! We are in for more bad storms today and tomorrow! YUCK!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri,

      We did drive by that restaurant, I’m sure. Safford is a bustling town, seems to have a wide variety of stores and businesses, and *sigh* the backdrop of mountains, some with patches of snow, beautiful sight to enjoy each day…

      Be careful walking your crew in stormy weather. Hang on… Florida sunshine will return!

      • Chuck Hajek says:

        Hi Sue! The restaurant is famous for it’s Sour Cream Enchiladas. The name was Las Mananas as I remember and on the road from Roper and the main drag, gas station on the corner. Chjps n salsa also 1st class. Ms B be looking good and Reggie is a treat! Safe travels!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Chuck,

          Sour cream enchiladas… What a treat that would be!

          You stay safe, too… storm coming through your part of Florida today.

  30. kgdan from Wapato, WA says:

    Revisiting a discussion topic posted awhile back: major vehicle repairs on the road. Our experience leads us to believe that there are certainly no absolutes.

    Last year we bought a new-to-us tow vehicle sight unseen but with trusted recommendation. When we got home we had our longtime “trusted” mechanic examine it; asking to have all systems checked. Vehicle had 125,000 miles. He advised replacing fuel pump which we had him do. He told us everything else looked good.

    Well . . . after we had been here in Laughlin awhile, my husband discovered gas coming out of the truck as fast as he was pumping it in. Took it to mechanic here & found that the new fuel pump had been installed incorrectly! So 2 fuel pumps this year.

    This week, in preparation for departure for home, Gil scheduled an oil change/lube at local Chevy dealer for about $69.00. He also asked for visual exam for anything amiss. Result was there was a leak in one side of one axle. Spark plugs were the originals— vehicle needed tune-up. All fluids were black so replaced all fluids in all systems. In the end we received a 3 page bill of all repairs at a price of $1400.00. Since we had the work done at a Chevy dealer all work is guaranteed and if we have trouble with any of those items, they will be replaced/repaired at any authorized Chevy service department at no cost.

    Not fun to put out that kind of $ but we plan accordingly and have funds on hand for things like this that pop up. Tomorrow we will leave Laughlin and head home through the desert with peace of mind. Hope this helps someone out there.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Kathy, for sharing your repairs and their costs here. You remind us to be prepared for the “rainy day” expenses. I also give you credit for being willing to reveal these details. Lots of folks share about RV travels and make it seem like it’s a Dream Tour with nothing but exciting activities, great food, and spectacular scenery. Not so! There are practical considerations, things that have to be dealt with, and a big part of that is keeping the rig/tow vehicle in good working order.

      I’m sorry you had the misfortune of an improperly installed fuel pump and all those other expenses. May you experience a very long stretch of smooth travel without repairs or big bills!

      Have a safe trip home…

  31. Dawn in NC says:

    Good afternoon Sue! Spring has truly sprung in NC. There are riots of colors everywhere. The red buds are in full bloom, the white and pink dogwoods are to die for, purple creeping phlox is in bloom, the azaleas are spectacular in their purples and whites and pinks and finally, my favorite, the purple wisteria is out in full force. (Not to mention all of the different shades of green of new growth!) The temperature is perfect for open windows. The only thing that is missing would be a body of water. I hope that you are having an excellent day. It is Friday, so no matter how my days goes, it will end well!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Dawn,

      You are experiencing the very best time of year in North Carolina, in my opinion. Your writing has me standing next to those “open windows.” 🙂

      Thanks for the springtime report . . . Enjoy the weekend!

  32. Cynthia in San Clemente says:

    I’m glad the idiot who drove around you didn’t hit the deer; they are pretty skittish animals. A few years ago, I was with three other motorcycle riders on a beautiful road near Yosemite, with an open meadow on one side of us and an embankment leading up to a forested area on the other side of us. I was in the rear and noticed a group of deer in the meadow, although they were not near the road. Unfortunately, the sound of our motorcycles must have startled them and they began bounding toward the road, probably headed for what they thought was the safety of the trees on the other side of the road. The rider in the front of our group didn’t see the deer in his peripheral vision as they ran toward the road and I felt helpless as I watched what seemed like a slow-motion, inevitable result; the fastest deer ran right in front of our first rider, clipping his front wheel, and causing the rider to lay down his bike on the pavement. The rest of us saw the group of deer and slowed down enough to avoid them. I will never forget the vision of the deer who was hit as he struggled to get up the embankment, his rear left leg dragging at an awkward angle behind him. My husband got off his motorcycle, got his gun out, climbed up the embankment, and we eventually heard a gunshot. It was a terrible experience – the beauty of the nature around us and the horror of the mortally injured deer. But as someone who has always lived in the suburbs and is unfamiliar with open range conditions, it taught me a valuable lesson – I now slow way down whenever I’m in an area where there could be wildlife adjacent to the roadway. I wish everyone did the same.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cynthia,

      What a horrible thing to happen . . . to the deer, of course, and for your husband and you and anyone else who was there and cares about wildlife.

      At the end of your comment you mention the “valuable lesson” you learned — to slow down. That reminds me of a time long ago when I sat on a bench with young people nearby, twenty-somethings. They were comparing the “wrecks” (car accidents) that they had. Each of them spoke about their accidents in the plural! I remember thinking, gosh, maybe there’s a lesson to be learned about how you drive . . . .

      On a happier note… It’s spring! I hope you are enjoying the weekend. Thanks for writing, Cynthia.

  33. Elaine in Colorado says:

    Hi Sue!

    As always I enjoy reading your blog and seeing your fabulous pictures. I’m learning so much from you about “full-timing”! Hoping that by September, I’ll be “full-timing” too!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elaine,

      A September launch date, maybe sooner! Wonderful!

      May you continue to enjoy and learn from my blog as you prepare for and anticipate a new lifestyle. I look forward to reading about your experiences on the road. (hint-hint).

      Have a great weekend!

      • Elaine in Colorado says:

        Hi Sue!

        I do have a blog set up already but haven’t written in it yet. As time gets closer, I’ll know more. I have an idea of what type trailer I want although I must admit that I’ve only looked online at several different ones. I’m wondering about stabilizer bars and whether I should get them so that electronically they will do their job or is manually better. Such concerns! Then it’s the vehicle I’ll need to tow it. Truck, cargo van … so many options. I’m thinking more on cargo van as I would do something as you have done with the plastic storage drawer units. BTW, did you ever get them attached?

        Another day is starting here and I’ve have crochet orders to fill …. have a great day!

  34. Corkerinna620 (Mobile AL) says:

    #93!! Haha. I have finally caught up with myself and you. Read full blog (but not all the comments). Took a while as I’m caregiver to hubs who has IPF diagnosis. We’re still looking for clinical trials, but really coming to term with this hand he’s been dealt. Your blog & blogerinos absolutely take me away for a much needed respite. Thank you soooo much!!

    • MollyLuvsRoadtrippin (Seattle) says:

      Welcome Corkerinna! Best to you and your hubs.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Corker,

      You and your husband are on a “road” with lots of big rocks, ruts, and bumps, to say the least. I truly wish it weren’t so.

      I’m pleased that the blogorinos and my blog give you a break. Do take care of yourself. Best wishes to both of you…. and thank you for reading my blog from the beginning. Keep in touch when you can!

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      You and your husband are in my thoughts and prayers. Remember to take care of yourself. **hugs**

  35. Pamela K. says:

    Nice to see all the green and the water. While I do like the desert tans and golds it is the water that I would miss most after an extended desert stay. After months in the desert it must be a fresh change-up for you and the crew. As the temps get hotter I hope we see more of Oregon from you this year. It sure was a beautiful place from your last year’s photos. It sure would be nice to see it again. That said, I’m sure you will find beauty where ever you go — each state has their own wonders to showcase 🙂 .
    BTW, how IS the diet going? I noticed you took a break from it with that big *sammie* in your last post –organic or not. HA! As for me, i’m still stickin’ with my smoothies. This morning was the first time I had a smoothie I *didn’t* like. Made of four fresh carrots, one med size green pepper, sunflower seeds, almond/coconut milk and water. It was bad tasting — won’t be having that one again. Poured it down the sink and reached for the nearest red grapefruit I could find! Broke out steamer and made an egg with spinach. That did the trick and so I’m back on the fruit and green smoothies again — lesson learned. I must say, I LOVE that Nutri Ninja 900. Hard to think I did without one for so long. Would give it a 5 star for sure — for anyone out there looking to buy at Amazon from Sue’s link. Nutri Ninja 900 (the one *without* auto smart) with two cups and two to-go lids at a great price too. It is a smaller unit, doesn’t take up much counter space. So, there ya have it, lol, maybe someone might want to take a look at getting that one. I sure LOVE it!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pamela K.,

      I don’t plan on visiting Oregon this summer. Of course, my plans don’t always have any resemblance to what we end up doing!

      The Nutri Ninja does sound like a great appliance. I’d buy one if I had the storage space for lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. As it is, I eat ’em up really fast…

      As for the diet… I have eliminated most of the starchy foods from my diet — rice, pasta, bread, etc. I don’t keep that stuff in my pantry. When we’re out and I need lunch, I eat what is handy and good, and that often means bread. Makes for a nice treat.

      The main thing I’ve accomplished is the reduction of salt. I’ve been a saltaholic for a long time. Not that I put lots of salt on my meals… just too much salty popcorn and snacks which kept me craving salt all the time. I’m past that now. I read labels carefully and don’t buy stuff with high sodium content.

      Thanks for reminding folks to shop Amazon here.

      Enjoy your fruit and green smoothies! No doubt you are doing your body a big favor. Have a great weekend!

  36. Always nice when an expected wind doesn’t happen – or sideline your plans. So glad the idiot SUV didn’t hit any of the deer! There are so many reasons to slow down and enjoy the view – I’m afraid I didn’t always appreciate that myself 🙁 Sounds like Roper was calling you back from afar. Hope you enjoyed it!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jodee,

      Actually, the wind came later, after the crew and I went to bed. Roper wasn’t calling me “back” because this was our first visit to Safford, AZ.

      Williams, AZ… brrrrr!

  37. Hi Sue, we are near Cold Falls, off of 395, And it’s not bad as cold goes,,,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good to hear from you, Rusty, as you travel away from your usual spring camps. I’ll look up Cold Falls in my atlas to find out where it is. I hope the weather stays mild for you and Piper, although your girl probably likes cooler temperatures. 🙂

  38. Mel from Texas says:

    Good Morning, a message from my mother who just read this post: Roper Lake is very pretty – she is sure you enjoyed your stay there.. used to do picnic lunch at the lake. And she totally related to your story about the trying to take the picture of the deer.. on a sunday drive in the same area a few years ago, my dad & mother came up on a similiar scene.. a large herd of deer on a hill near the road…he said what a great picture, started to take to get the camera out and a car came zooming around them and scattered the herd, obvlious to the consequences of his actions.. she said to tell you —“maybe it was the SAME IDIOT”!!
    My mother is 83 – your recent posts & pictures of southeast AZ are bringing up warm memories of fun times with my dad and people/places she hasn’t thought about for a long time since he passed away & she moved here to Texas… thank you again- you have made an wonderful lady very happy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Mel, and good morning to your dear mother,

      The remark “maybe it was the SAME IDIOT!” gave me a chuckle over my coffee. 🙂 Reading about Mom’s enjoyment, I’m wishing I had driven to the Parker Canyon Lake area, if only to post more photos for Mom. I’m very pleased that the Roper Lake post brought back sweet memories. The next post will include more photos taken at Roper.

      Warm wishes for a pleasant day, and thank you for making mine more so!

      • Reina and Arrow says:

        Good morning! I’m so glad you got to visit Roper lake. I take day trips there often. I looked at the RV camping spots the last time I was there and thought everyone seemed really close together. However, the spot you got looks nice… I love looking up to Mt. Graham… Did you try out the hot spring?

        If I remember correctly, Park Lake’s RV park is not really close to the water which is really disappointing. I bet there are good boondocking spots that I haven’t explored…. You always seem to find the best spots wherever you travel!

        Have a wonderful day!!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Good morning, Reina and Arrow,

          Your comment is a preview of the next post! Rather than write about it here, I’ll put my Roper report in a post.

          You have a wonderful day, too!

    • Sue CleanerGreenerVegas) says:

      Great story, Mel

  39. rhodium, RI says:

    One of the many nice things about this blog is that the blogorinos are able to identify the species of birds or plants or animals in your pictures when you are stumped. As for me, I am lucky to correctly identify a robin. I just learned about a web page that can identify birds from photos; search “cornell labs merlin beta” to find it. They have an app you can get, too. So its a way to get identifications without the collective intelligence of the crowd. It would be nice to have one for plants, too. I don’t mean to hijack your content, feel free to trash this if inappropriate.

    • Sue CleanerGreenerVegas) says:

      I love that site!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I often link to the Cornell “All About Birds” site. I like that it includes recordings of bird sounds along with the other info like range, habitat, behaviors, etc.

      For plants I go to DesertUSA. That site has helped me several times. Usually I depend on the blogorinos though!

      Thanks, rhodium. I did a search and several URLs came up, not sure which one is correct.

  40. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Good evening, Sue!

    Spring Update: My Bradford and Cleveland Pear trees, and Yoshino cherry tree have lost most of their flowers and are starting to leaf out. The Persian Lilac is blooming; the scent is absolutely heavenly! This morning, the hot pink azaleas planted in front of my white garden shed were starting to bloom! I love this time of year! 🙂

    Have a good evening! Sending you and the Crew hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      I just had my first red-headed woodpecker sighting this year! He was on one of the birdfeeders in my backyard. That made my heart smile!! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good evening, Denise and Gracie pup! Your home must be gorgeous!

  41. Andrea in Glendale AZ says:

    Wow!! To see a group of these beautiful animals is so exciting- don’t understand how some people are so oblivious to a moment like that . Take care Sue,Bridge and Reggie

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Andrea,

      There’s another facet to the situation that irked me. The SUV saw me parked in the road. Uh, why is that van parked in the road? Could it be the driver is watching something? Maybe going to take a photo? Maybe I should WAIT a few seconds?

      Ha! Takes all kinds… You have a good evening!

  42. Gal and a Cat in Fl says:

    I can’t believe anyone wouldn’t stop for the deer! Just to see them and more important not to hit one. Sheesh.
    I have so many questions, I guess too many to ask. getting ready to leave Fl mid May if weather is ok and head west. Not sure where, no time limit, just want to go! I realize without much in the way of wifi access out on the road, I am kind of at a loss. Laugh if u will I don’t have a smart phone or know about *apps*. I just have a tracfone that has worked very well for many years. Do they not make a paper map anymore of campgrounds? Like all across the country? Or do you have to float a loan and buy all the different benchmark maps for every state? My first time out and towing, sure wish I knew someone else braving it off west to caravan with. I’ll probably have more to ask but for now the maps would be great so I can at least have a plan! Thanks in advance to any help. 🙂
    Happy Trails Sue, I love Arizona north in the spring winter and late fall.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Paper maps for campgrounds all across the country? Well, you can buy a book of national forest campgrounds and a book of Corps of Engineers campgrounds and a book for Southwest RV parks and maybe there’s a book for BLM campgrounds… and then you’d still need maps to see the roads and to plan your travels. That’s a lot to buy which is why the Benchmarks are a bargain if you want to camp for little money.

      If you don’t want to lay out the money for Benchmarks, you could stop at Visitor Centers when entering a state. They used to give out free maps. However, you may not encounter a Visitor Center on the route you take.

      Here’s a suggestion: You have a month before you go. Write to the tourism council or chamber of commerce of the states you are interested in and ask that they send you info on the state’s campgrounds. You might receive a bunch of good maps and campground info that way, although they tend to push state parks.

      If you belong to AAA (the auto club), they hand out maps from their offices.

      The reason there isn’t a map for all the campgrounds across the country is because there are too many campgrounds for that. The map would have to be huge. That’s why the handiest form is an atlas.

      You can do fine with a Tracfone. I only recently bought a Smartphone and it was a waste of money because I never use it.

      Feel free to ask questions. It would be better to ask under the most recent post. That way other readers will see it and they often have better answers than I can give.

    • Elaine in Colorado says:

      That would be a wonderful idea to caravan or convoy! For the first couple of stops I’d like that …. you know, just in case.

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