From winter to summer in one day

Wednesday, June 18

1-DSC05031The crew and I wake refreshed from a good night’s sleep.

The Wave 3 heater warmed the Best Little Trailer in the hours before bedtime.  I turned it off before going to sleep.  We were cozy all night.

After breakfast we walk around Tinney Flat Campground.

1-DSC05027It’s still quite cold, but I can tell from the brightness of the morning that the snow will melt quickly.

1-DSC05032I remember from camping here last year that a creek runs through the campground over by the group campsites.

1-DSC05051The water is too cold for Spike.  He doesn’t go near it!  I hurry us back to our campsite.  I want to break camp and roll down to the valley.

1-DSC05048-001On the way out of the campground, I stop to remove some branches in the road.

I hope we don’t encounter big limbs in the road on our way down the mountain.

1-DSC05040The road is clear all the way to the valley.

The drop in altitude is obvious when we pass a grove of cherry trees on the outskirts of Santaquin.

1-DSC05056I drive to the Maverick station and buy a cup of coffee. 

It’s very busy this morning with people rushing to begin their workday.  I find a place to park out of the way of vehicles coming and going.  I bring down the windows of the Perfect Tow Vehicle, buzz my seat back, and open my laptop.  My air card picks up a strong, steady connection and I go online.

1-DSC05057As I blog and drink coffee, a nice-looking pick-up truck parks nearby. 

A man talks briefly on a cellphone, and then, instead of going on his way, he gets out of the truck and walks over to me.

“Hi,” he greets me as he scans the PTV and BLT.   “Where’d you pick up that snow?”

“Oh, hi,” I respond, looking up from the laptop.  “I camped up at Tinney Flat last night.”

From there we engage in conversation as he stands next to my open window. 

I learn his name is Roy.

Of course, he asks me where I’m going, curious about the travel trailer and so forth.  After I give him a brief explanation of how I’m living and enjoying retirement, a wave of sadness rolls across his eyes.

“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to retire,” he says.  “I’m 60 now.”

I note the sun-weathering of Roy’s tanned face. 

I ask him what line of work he’s in.

“Farmer.  I have a camper, but it’s hard to get away from the farm.  Ties you down, you know.  Always something needing to be done.”

“What kind of farming do you do?”

“Peaches and apples, but alfalfa mostly.  No animals.”

I ask him where his farm is located and he points to a distant hill. 

“Right over that hill, on the other side.  Used to have 400 acres in peaches and apples.  Can’t make money with fruit.  Don’t make anything at all, and some years, less than that.”

He pauses and I wait for him to continue his story.

“Alfalfa is better.  Can get four cuttings a year.  Just finished a cutting and then it got rained on.”

“Oh, that’s terrible!”

“Well, I’ll be able to sell it.  Instead of $7, I’ll get $5.  It won’t be as green.  Even so, alfalfa’s still better than fruit.  I only have 20 acres in fruit now.”

The conversation returns to retirement.

I ask a bold question.  “Ever think about selling the farm?”

“Aw, I don’t know.  I suppose I could. . . in a few years.”  Roy’s tone tells me that isn’t likely to happen.

We talk some more. 

This man is tired and worn down.  Tired of working and who knows what else.  He wants to tell me something . . . .

Instead he says, “Well, I’d better get going.  You travel safe.  It was nice talking with you, Sue.”

“Same here, Roy.  I wish you a good retirement.”

I finish the blog post, consult my map, and head north.

I take two-lane Highway 198 to Payson and then Spanish Fork.

1-DSC05061Snow-capped peaks float like a mirage above green fields.  I’m reminded of Roy and his alfalfa.  Why did he start up a conversation with me?  Why do I feel like something should have been said and wasn’t?

At Spanish Fork I stop at a Stokes store.

I pick up some groceries along with a few pieces of cooked chicken from the deli which I share with the crew.

1-DSC05060A quick walk-around and we head east on Highway 6. 

I’m getting us away from all these people and traffic and developments . . .

I drive all the way to Price, bringing us full-circle.  (Price is where I drove to Wal-Mart when we camped at Lower Grey Canyon Campground, the one with the beach, at Green River.)

I intended to stop at a campground about half the way to Price but it didn’t work out.  I also wasted a good deal of energy and time investigating some BLM land along the way.  That didn’t pan out either.

By the time we reach Price, I’m very tired.

On my Utah Benchmark atlas I see Mountain View RV Park.  It’s in Wellington, only a few miles past Price.   Mountain View is attached to a motel/restaurant operation.  The grass — what grass there is — needs mowing, but overall it’s fine for $12 (“tent” site, no hookups) plus $5.00 for a shower. Total:  $18.01 including tax.  Only four other RVs are in the park.

1-DSC05066Was it this morning we were in snow?  Seems like weeks ago!



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101 Responses to From winter to summer in one day

  1. Tina says:

    Wow that is crazy to be in snow weather in June, coming from California that is just odd.

    Have a great weekend,


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You have a great weekend, too, Tinabeane!

    • Gayle says:

      Coming from California, too, in my childhood, snow was a status symbol. If you had snow piled on the big chrome bumpers of your auto, it meant that you were affluent enough to have a car with gasoline and chains to drive 2 hours to the mountains, pack on some snow, and drive around your neighborhood showing it off!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Gayle,

        I did attract attention at the Maverick station with the snow on the PTV and BLT. People were pointing and talking about it.

        Ah, California. . . . Never considered snow a status symbol until now. 🙂

  2. Gloria Brooks says:

    I just LOVE your snow photos! I LOVE snow too! Interesting conversation with the farmer. I was hoping you ran into him again and he’d say what he seemed to want to say. Maybe you’ll bump into him again!

    You’ll never guess where I am now! I decided to travel the Oregon coastline! Route 101! I’ve been traveling and boondocking through small towns and bigger coast cities. I’ve been camping the casinos. Heh heh! Heh, heh….more like grrrr and sometimes ug. Casinos can be down right annoying! It’s basically RV park camping with a revolving door of neighbors. Sometimes good, quiet ones, sometimes louder, rowdy ones.

    But, I always seem to find the “sweet” spot in a parking lot….the farthest away from the hub-bub. But, unfortunately, the hub-bub still seems to reach me, even in the farthest corner in both casino experiences thus far. Oh, well. I wanted to see the coast, so, this is the “price” I pay for free overnight parking. I was really hoping the National Forests would be my salvation, but, there was nil Internet, even near the highway, at least between Florence and Yachats! Couldn’t believe it. I had a sweet spot I found on Google Maps where I could have camped in a rainforest-like forest and crossed the highway to walk the shore everyday in solitude. But, alack and alas, NOT a lick of an Internet signal!

    I tried city boondocking (rather small town). I like that better because I can scout out some nice neighborhoods where the neighbors are quieter, but, then I have to move everyday and I need to save on gas. We’ll, I’m stretching my tolerance with this leg of the journey.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gloria,

      Wow! You are receiving an education as you move around and try new kinds of camp spots. I’m glad you are touring the Pacific Coast of Oregon. I enjoyed the area of Florence very much. We stayed at Sutton Campground… could have saved some bucks by staying at the casino across the river. I didn’t realize it was there until we were ready to leave.

      Internet signal . . . I know it’s important for your classes. Someday this searching for signal will be archaic…. like phone booths.

      Thanks for keeping in touch. I enjoy learning where you are… You get around, girl!!

  3. Marilu says:

    I’m suprised you didnt find good boondocking near Price. When we drove through last year it was interesting to see the bands of coal in the cut-away cliffs. I’m glad you found a spot to rest. I can’t wait to see where you’ll go next.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marilu,

      A lot of the land around Price is either private or inaccessible rock formations. I was too tired by the time we arrived at Price to scout out boondocks. I needed a place to park and quit for the day!

  4. Chas anderson says:

    I don’t regret retiring when I did at 55.Took a smaller pension but it is enough to snowbird it.People are afraid to try something different.Life is too short.My Dad died at age 42.I learned that lesson early.He never took a vacation in his life.I also have lots of friends who want to retire, and can, yet are afraid to do it.

    Farmers have a tough life.Sometimes that can wear them down and make them think
    that they have no options.If he has alfalfa fields, he can likely lease them and squeak by in all likelihood.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chas,

      I agree with you about retiring early, as early as one can afford to.

      As for the farmer, who knows what the situation is. There may be joint ownership of the farm with siblings, he may have elderly parents refusing to sell, the lease option might not cover the debts of previous bad years. He could be boxed in by any number of complications. Seemed like a nice guy.

  5. Tawanda (Ut) says:

    Excellent and knowing it’s just a taste of much more it’s going to be hard to wait 🙂
    Perhaps just your words “have you ever thought of selling the farm” may be what Roy needed to hear from you, hard life farming of any kind. You cross paths with some really neat people Sue…
    Love these mountains we have, awesome picture you captured of them and your words “Snow-capped peaks float like a mirage above green fields” wow, gave me chills…

    Rest well Sue and Crew where ever you are now 🙂 …

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Tawanda,

      Your comment is very thoughtful. You may be right. Maybe Rob heard what he needed to hear. I hope so.

      Thank you for the compliment on my writing. Those mountains do look like they’re floating!

      Sweet dreams to you . ..

      • Crystal says:

        Sue, if you’re still keeping up with comments from 5 days ago, you missed the name change in this one. Feel free to delete this comment after you catch it 🙂

  6. Rand says:

    I remember meeting up a few years ago. You know how to listen. My rat terrier and yours were on the same wave. The fact that someone heard you listen is most important. Why do dogs know so easily?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rand,

      Yes, I remember you crawling under the BLT to look at the waste tank and going… “WHOA!” You made me very proud of my waste tanks. Haha!

      I’m touched by your phrase “someone heard you listen.” I like that.

      Rat terriers are on the same wave because they are alien creatures sharing a different frequency from other living things. 😉 It’s the Nutcake Frequency.

  7. Barb George says:

    I think you have bravely shown many who ‘didn’t think it could be possible’ that it IS possible and even better than possible! Maybe, just maybe, your conversation was a starter for him… does he know about your blog?
    Each of us has a need to make choices. Some for reasons we will never know or understand. Learning from others (such as reading your blog and peeking into your financials as well as the wonder of your days…) helps us all.
    Hugs from Sunny and Calm Hoquiam,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb,

      “Sunny and Calm Hoquiam”….. great! I’m happy for you!

      No, I didn’t tell Roy about my blog. I didn’t want to steer the conversation toward me. I wanted to hear what he had to say.

      I hope my blog is helpful, as you describe. I know it helps me in many ways. Have a good evening, Barb.

  8. Leslie from Australia says:

    Hi Sue – just to let you know I am still engrossed in your serial – I Have worked out why I am addicted:-1- EMOTIONS (happy-sad-scary-funny etc. .. 2. INFORMATIVE (Sites-solar-internet access & a host of other stuff) supplied by yourself & hoards of followers. ….I have just finished reading about Mexico border and illegal folk – WOW that was putting the cat among the pigeons!! Interesting for an aussie – we are an island & now have “boat people” & they are setting off a similar debate. So hope you & crew keep on road testing happiness for yourselves & following crowds…..cheers from Aus.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Leslie,

      Your comment tickles me. I LOVE that you’re addicted to my blog and that you show up here with enthusiasm. We need the Aussie point of view! I have one other Australian reader whom I also enjoy hearing from.

      You must be referring to the question I posed about what to do if an illegal immigrant knocks on your door, thirsty and hungry. So you have a similar situation, too…

      Cheers back to you, Leslie!

  9. Elizabeth in WA says:

    One sure thing, Sue, your life is anything but boring!! I imagine your friendly face and encouragement meant a lot to the man. Life can really wear us down. We never know the burdens others carry…and a kind word can do a lot. Nice you were there at just that moment. Glad the snow nite went well and you were warm and safe. I imagine a nice warm shower felt awfully good too. At $5 I hope you take a really long one!!! That is the part that most amazes me about how you can live without using the shower often…that is one of the joys of life I love the most!! (And one reason we could not boonedock so well as you do!!)

    Happy trails…and looking forward to all the other travels you make!!
    Elizabeth in WA (still loving the sea breezes ablowing though our teeny apt most days!!)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth,

      “We never know the burdens others carry” — how true!

      If we were camped near each other, I gladly would’ve pulled up a camp chair for him and let him talk as long as he needed to. It’s my guess he had a lot on his mind that he needed to mull over or was at a turning point in his life or worry was weighing heavily on his spirit. Whatever the situation, I hope he can work his way through it.

      The shower was great! Hot water, good pressure … 🙂 You’d be surprised, Elizabeth, how refreshing a bath can be when done the old fashioned way.. . A basin of hot water and a good scrubbing!

      Enjoy those sea breezes!

      • Sondra-SC says:

        OH the best shower of my life…was on the Appalachian Trail! We had backpacked 8 miles that day in Northern GA in June it was humid…we were mosquito eaten and nasty! That night we set up camp by a rushing stream so we had ample water to do anything!! IT was too shallow and had lots of slippery butt-busting rocks …we couldn’t get in the stream…so we put all our towels up on the clothes line and made a makeshift privacy stall…took turns bringing a water bag filled to the brim with ICE COLD water we soaped lathered slathered to our hearts content…OMG-talk about refreshing.

  10. Teresa from NC says:

    Interesting conversations and places. Experiencing all the seasons in one day, and all that driving…no wonder you’re so tired!

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of people like Roy in the world, and quite a few that I know. Thanks to you and your furry crew; however, there are probably quite a few who can see options and another way to truly LIVE and enjoy it.

    I’ve wanted to do something similar as you for so long, and following along with your journey helps me remember that dreams can become reality if I keep my eyes open and continue looking for the options and opportunities to reach my goals of doing it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Teresa,

      I’m glad the stories I write of my daily life with the crew as we roam the western states are helpful to you and others.

      In my case, I had to wait for the timing to be right (retirement age for pension and SS). Other than that, I didn’t wait for opportunities. I made them happen! (which is probably what you meant in your comment).

      Like the alcoholic who hits “rock bottom” before making a life change, I hit a low level of desperation (total unhappiness with my life) that gave me the power to take large leaps of faith — faith that all would work out (buying trailer sight unseen, driving down unfamiliar roads to find a place to camp for the night, etc.).

      I suspect some people live such measured and careful lives that they never jump over an abyss to reach a better place on the other side. That’s okay, I suppose, as long as one knows the price being paid for a predictable and “safe” life.

      Sometimes all it takes is seeing someone else living the life meant for you. Thanks for writing, Teresa. I wish you well as you work toward your goal!

      • Teresa from NC says:

        You are totally right about this and so many other things. At the age of 44, I will have to wait a long time for SS, so that’s out of the equation. Also, it’s not just myself in this endeavor, so making sure the steps are being taken to ensure answers are true to the questions and fears is a biggie. We made the decision to sell our house (step 1). We came to the conclusion that, while a house with a white picket fence is the American dream for most, for us it has become an anchor. What path is taken after is a huge leap of faith, and I am more excited by that with each passing day. While we can’t follow your blueprint, you and your blogorinos have given us so much to go on (reoccurring expenses, advice, tips and of course most excellent adventures to read about).

        Anyway, sorry for the rambling. Enjoy your day and thanks, again!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          No need to apologize! “Rambling” is a large part of my blog. 🙂

          Enjoy your day, Teresa.

  11. Mick'nTN says:

    RvSue is certainly a very nice person. How different could SueR be? Makes me wish I had taken a hike down the tracks 60 years ago and said “Hi cute one with the red hair, what is your name?”

    I enjoy every blog entry, the photos and the Blogorino’s chatter.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mick’nTN,

      If you had hiked down the tracks, you wouldn’t have had any problem finding me. I used to play on the tracks a lot. 🙂 Can you imagine a little girl doing that these days? If she were allowed, which is highly unlikely, she’d be required to wear knee pads and a helmet.

      Bless the blogorinos. They — including you — make my day!

  12. MB says:

    Hi Sue! Just wanted to say that sometimes what a person needs is just someone to listen. And the question about the farm? Well, maybe he was just waiting for someone to ask. It’s a funny thing about land. We humans will give up a lot to keep it. Sometimes it’s worth it, sometimes not. It’s for him to decide. But, knowing that the lady with the trailer thinks it’s an option may just get him to ask himself some important questions. It has been like that with me since my parents died. I am an only child, not married, no kids. I should be free to go where I please, when I please for as long as I please. But, one family member who needs me, some “stuff” and a mistake have kept that from happening. The one thing that helps me is when someone says, “Well, have you thought about this?” It may have been in my thoughts but I dismissed it as impossible, or selfish…. But just having someone say it out loud makes me take another look. I’ll bet that’s what you did for him. I am making small steps toward living the vagabond life. Hopefully, soon I will make big ones. 🙂 Till then, please know that I look for your blog first thing every morning. You help me keep the dream alive. Happy trails. Hope to meet you out there one day soon. MB in VA

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, MB in VA,

      I’ve read your comment several times. Lots of wisdom! Maybe seeing what I’m doing and the conversation we shared will help Rob recognize the value in moving away from life-as-usual.

      I don’t know the culture of being a farmer in Utah, how restrictive it may be, the expectations, the obligations, the assigned roles . . . . It may not be easy to “break out of the mold.”

      “Having someone say it out loud makes me take another look.” That is very true, isn’t it.

      Thank you for the thought-provoking message, MB, including the reminder that my blog helps keep dreams alive. Best wishes as you work toward making your dream come true!

  13. R. (Western Colorado) says:

    Just a quick look at your blog this morning before going on my hike and I’m already 21st? Have a great Sunday.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You have a great Sunday, too . . . as well as a great Saturday!

      • R. (Western Colorado) says:

        That’s funny. In this case have a great Saturday evening and Sunday too and every day after that. On Sunday morning I’m leaving for South Dakota. BTW, if you want one month of free mail service just let me know.

  14. Susan (MS) says:

    Our youngest son is a Marine, he was deployed to Afghanistan; my husband and I were stressed and worried more than usual during his deployment, we prayed and just needed confirmation that he was alright, we had gone to Walmart, that particular day there a a youth group from a church doing a scavenger hunt; on their list of items was to find a man wearing bluejeans, a green sweatshirt and a cap that was camo design; they came up to us and told us about their hunt; next item on their list was to tell that person that everything was alright and to give then a scripture to read and pray with them. What are the chances of everyone visiting this store at this particular day and time that my husband was the only one they could find in the store and parking lot wearing bluejeans, green sweatshirt and a marine camo cover (cap). Needless to say we got the answer to our prayer, and if that wasn’t enough when we left to get in our truck, there on a license plate of a car next to us was another scripture; we looked it up and read it and got a second confirmation that everything would be alright.

    We often have times when we are troubled about something and pray for an answer; and find that The Almighty sends us answers by placing us where we need to be at the right time and place we need to be.

    Love the snow pictures; safe travels to you and the crew.

    • MB says:

      Amen sister! 🙂 I hope your son is home safe and sound very soon. My dad was a Marine. I love all our military men and women but have a very special place in my heart for Marines.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Susan,

      Thank you for writing about the way you received reassurance that your son was okay. I also thank you for what you give/gave to this country.

      We are getting better at recognizing the service and sacrifices of our veterans. We also need to recognize the sacrifices made by parents. I can’t imagine what it is like to have a son or daughter in a dangerous place like Afghanistan. Wondering about and worrying over a grown child’s safety must require incredible strength.

      Thanks to you and your husband!

      • Susan (MS) says:

        @Sue – The strength we draw on is of the Lords; we surely couldn’t do it without Him. My husband retired from the Navy, so I was aware of the sacrifice of a wife; but it seemed different somehow when it is your child.

        @MB – My son served two tours in Afghanistan, the same thing happened on his second deployment also, both times we had found out that he had been on a mission and was under fire at the time of our worry. He made it home safely both time.

        Another coincidence: Tom (husband) was off the coast of Lebanon when the Marine barracks was blown up; little did we know that 26 years later we would have a son that would be a Marine serving in that same Battalion.

        To all the Veterans, their wives, their children and their parents; THANK YOU and may God Bless You All.

        • Willow (AZ) says:

          Please thank your husband, son and you for serving our country.

        • Crystal says:

          Susan, thanks for sharing! Sometimes we think He isn’t communicating with us, but our focus is off much of the time. Sometimes we need only look around for the answers. Although not in the danger your son was in, our middle child serves as a missionary in a “closed” country. At times communication is very limited, and then is being monitored by government. I know a little of your fear of waiting and wondering.

  15. JodeeinSoCal says:

    After reading all the comments it occurs to me that perhaps the “things yet to be said” that you were feeling weren’t from Roy – or at least not “just” from him. Sharing your conversation with Roy here opened up more sharing from your readers, even some more from you. Just like he needed a good “listening-to”, many of us need a good “relating-to” from time-to-time. He was drawn to your window, just as we are drawn to your blog, because there he/we find an opportunity to glimpse the possibilities of a life only dreamed of.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good point, Jodee! You remind me of the “ripples in a pond” analogy. A conversation between two strangers in Utah may touch the life of a third, fourth, fifth . . . .

      Your last line . . . very well said!

  16. Dixie(MN.-AZ.) says:

    Hi Sue!! I’m So enjoying your Utah travels! I follow you every day–just so busy here in northern MN. downsizing and selling off the excess!! Hubby and I can’t wait to return to Tucson in the Fall. Love all your photography and experiences!! (The pix of the horses on the trail ride were Supurb!!) Love Horses!! We plan to “mosey” our way back to Az. through Utah and spend some time enjoying that state. Your “blog” just gets better and better!! Safe travels and “Hugs to the Pups!!” Dixie

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dixie,

      Great hearing from you again! Your excitement about traveling to Utah and Arizona is contagious. Such fun!

      I can see why you’re enjoying reading my posts about Utah. I’m discovering things about this state that I didn’t know existed.

      Thanks for the compliments on my photos and posts. Good luck with the downsizing!

  17. Sondra-SC says:

    We are all in different boats on the same ocean…each will take the plunge when we see that door open…it sometimes takes more planning or just making a sink or swim decision!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sondra,

      Boy, can I relate to “sink or swim decision!”

      Many of my readers came of age in the 60s. Oh, what big ideas we had back then! We were going to be different than our parents. We were going to be free! Unconventional!

      And look what happened. Life has a way of piling on responsibilities . . . jobs, kids, mortgages, etc.

      It’s time for a second childhood! Flower power! Freedom!

      Have a great day, Sondra. Keep cool . . . .

      • Sondra-SC says:

        100% Flower Child sitting here!! My sis is on her way back to Greenville after an awesome visit…so I’m kicked back in my reclining chair got the ac on Full Blast and Steve McQueen’s movie Bullitt (1968) is on the tube! No work for me this afternoon!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          That’s the spirit, Sondra! I’m glad you and your sister had a good visit with each other. Enjoy your a/c and movie!

  18. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Wow…what a change in temp and scenery.

    Sometimes no words are needed to convey a message! I’m sure Roy was inspired by your lifestyle. Farmers are the hardest working folks around. So much of their livelihood depends on the weather. Mother Nature is mad about something with all this weird weather everywhere. I can’t imagine the stress of the unpredictability involved.

    Everyone we meet is fighting a battle we know nothing about. Your paths crossing had meaning…but one might never know how influential that meeting was! Best wishes to Rob.

    Playing ON the train tracks when you were a youngen? Red hair to boot! I’m sure she was a handful back then. Let’s ask Pauline. Mick…ya might have bitten off more than you could chew! 😉 Very cute I must say!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      I agree. Farmers work very hard. They are the backbone of America.

      Not only did I play on the railroad tracks, I used to walk the tracks, cross a trestle that went over a creek, climbed down the rocks to that creek, and played with the snapping turtles! Sure beat paper dolls and Suzy-Bake Oven!

      No need to ask Pauline. I was a very good child, always wanting to please… especially my father. As long as I could be by myself for long periods of time, in my room, the woods, or fields, I wasn’t a problem. 🙂

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        There it is……played with snapping turtles! Hmmm..a bit of a tomboy?

        My mom bought me a Barbie…I proceeded to pull her head off..too fu fu for me….I was much happier with a GIJoe and his footlocker.

        No Suzy homemaker stuff for me either…can’t remember the name but we used to make rubber spiders and bugs in some small oven.

        Back in the day parents were stuck on gender specific toys…..Oh well ….we turned out okay.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Girls did ride bikes all over the place, back in the day. I know I did. Just had to make sure the bike was a “girl’s bike.”

          In our travels over the past three years, I’ve seen boys riding bikes, having a great time, exploring, going places. No girls. I don’t think I’ve seen one girl riding a bike, other than supervised in a driveway. Sad. Girls are brought up to live in fear due to the sickos.

  19. kgdan says:

    Have been so interested in the places you are visiting in Utah and FINALLY my Utah Benchmark arrived! Thanks to you I am now the proud owner of 4 states worth of Benchmarks. Working my way along :). We are really enjoying the beautiful weather and bountiful Yakima valley this first day of summer. The flowers and vegs are wonderful and we are glad we came home for the summer. I picked 4 kinds of lettuce, 2 varieties of radishes, spinach and basil this morning with the help of now 4 cats (a new little kitten walked in and made herself at home). Flowers are gorgeous (would like to send you pics but don’t know how to get them to you).

    One interesting thing we have noted is that our having been gone 6+ months seems to have fostered some kind of change in our son. He seems to have had an attitude adjustment in that he willingly and without petition has taken on much more responsibility here: mowing, cat care, housecleaning, cooking, etc.. He is uncharacteristically appreciative of everything we do; we are not quite sure how to respond to this 🙂

    So, we are looking forward to fall departure with uncertain return but we know it is a lot of fun here in the spring and summer. And now I will be following your trail a little bit closer thanks to my Utah BM.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yay, you have your Utah Benchmark! You’ll notice in future posts how I write for the sake of those who like to follow along in their Benchmarks.

      That’s wonderful news about your son! Sounds like a big leap in maturity and responsibility. . . and he’s “appreciative!” Boy, there are a lot of parents who would like some appreciation . . . Enjoy it. I’m sure you’ve earned it!

      Nothing like fresh vegetables and herbs from the garden. You do have the best of two worlds.

      Always a pleasure to hear from you!

  20. Pauline from Mississippi says:

    I can’t believe the snow!!! It is in the mid 90’s here. Then you go from the snow to the fruit on the trees. Amazing. Roy is like a lot of farmers. They are so tired…working so hard almost 24/7/365 for so little money. They have such a connection with the land, they hate to leave it or sell it, especially family land. I remember Grampa Sutherland always had to be back in time for “milking”….and that was EVERY day.
    The pictures are wonderful as always….Travel safely
    Love you

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pauline,

      The snow is especially amazing to a flatlander whose weather changes are more in line with the seasons. Here you go up for temps to go down… very convenient for someone like myself.

      Every time I speak with a farmer, I relate to Grampa and the hard work in his life, not to mention Gramma getting up at 3 in the morning to IRON SHEETS. I’m annoyed having to get up at 3 to go to the bathroom. Haha!

      Mississippi in the 90s . . . . Time to jump in the pool, eh?

      Love you, too!

  21. rvsueandcrew says:

    Hello, weather! I replied to your comment under the previous post. 🙂 I’m going outside with the crew for a while. I’ll check back here later.

    • weather says:

      Thanks,Sue,for this note and for that reply.I was really glad to find and answer it.

      .Hope there was something nice to explore out there today.My little one’s all conked out earlier.That gave me another chance to sit beneath trees rustling with warm breezes,alternately reading and noticing everything that moves closer when emboldened by the absence of excitable dogs.

      A bird I can’t yet identify is apparently considering making the back porch home.I admire the determination to not let our traffic through it’s turf dissuade it.Those doors are left open year round in case lack of shelter makes life too hard for any.No damage that a cleaning and patching couldn’t fix has ever been caused by my doing that,and it makes me rest easier,ya know?

      About Roy,I think Cinandjules nailed it in saying everyone we meet is fighting a battle we know nothing about.In a ver-ry broad generalization,when a guy gets out of his truck deliberately to begin a conversation with a woman,some type of bluster or flirtation often ensues.The genuineness of your demeanor prompted him to tell you a bit about his secret battle.He was probably surprised to hear himself say as much as he did,and so didn’t know if he wanted to add anymore,thank you or what!

      sending up a prayer to have confidence.wisdom,strength,ideas and peace given to him,and all who need it,like the parents of today’s young girls who should be free to safely enjoy lunch in the woods like we did…

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        That is good of you, weather, to leave the porch open for any critter needing shelter. Your bird sounds like a house wren or a barn swallow… Those are my two guesses, although there are several possibilities.

        Ah yes, lunch (peanut butter and jelly sandwich) in the woods… one of the delights of childhood, no longer available to young girls today..

        I’ve been reading a lot today, too. It’s warm at this camp, but the breeze is nice. We did a little exploring this morning, enough to wear out the crew, so like yours, they are napping.

        Re Roy…. I hope all the readers thinking about him, wishing him well, and praying for him will result in a happy retirement for him.

        • weather says:

          Good Morning Sue,
          It’s a black-capped chickadee!I did a search online until I found it’s song ,played it and the little guy sang back!When I did it again all the ones outside chimed in.There’s one spot here with seven kinds of trees that I’m always in,so they’re used to me,they gather to eat but sleep separately,which is why I’ve met him alone on my way out around sunrise.Could this be any more totally cool?!!

          Doesn’t stuff like this just make ya wanna sing?
          Summertime,and Sue makes it look easy,Spike is soakin’,and the cottonwood’s nigh….
          Today was summer’s first sunrise here,Joplin and coffee -life is good

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Chickadees are adorable! What fun they are to watch. I love them. Sounds like you have the perfect place for them.

            Your Summertime lyric gave me a chuckle. We do happen to be camped under a cottonwood as I type this. Now I want a second cup of coffee! 🙂

  22. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Good afternoon Sue,

    Happy 1st Day of Summer! 🙂

    It sounds like the farmer wanted to tell you more, but did not want to burden a stranger. I am glad that your paths crossed. You may have given him some hope regarding options for his future. You have touched so many people, both in person and through your blog and we thank you for that. 🙂

    Selling stuff: Any suggestions on the best way to go about this? I have been successful with yard sales years past, however the last one was not worth the effort. Did you use EBay? I need to get rid of excess, good “stuff”. Anything that does not sell will get donated. I have been trying to get some neighbors on board…having several families involved would probably drum up more traffic and potential sales.

    I saw a cute commercial on TV the other night. A man is pulling a boat on a trailer at night through a forest. He notices something is not quite right, so he pulls over to check his rig. He sees that his chains were dragging….meanwhile, the camera is panning to a ridge, then looking down on the man. He is being watched, The man stands up after re-attaching the chains and senses someone/something is standing next to him. Lo and behold, it is Smoky (sp?) the Bear….all 9 ft of him! At first the man is scared, then Smoky reaches out to give him a big bear hug to thank him. The voice over reminds folks pulling trailers that dragging chains can cause a spark and result in a fire. Great reminder!

    Have a great day, Sue. Enjoy! -:D

    PS – DesertGinger…keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That Smoky the Bear ad is cute! Love it!

      I didn’t have much success with yard sales. I didn’t do Ebay or any online selling. Mostly I gave my things away. I didn’t have much to begin with since I let things like furniture and appliances wear out without replacing them during my 7 years of dreaming, planning, and saving. I never collected stuff, mostly lived a minimalist lifestyle.

      Yes, I hope we hear from Ginger soon!

      Oh, and a Happy First Day of Summer to you, too, Denise!

    • Ed says:

      Selling ‘stuff’ – estate sale companies. Check out Estate Sales dot Net.

  23. katydid in Chicago says:

    Hi Sue, I still enjoy following along as one of your bloggorinos.

    I don’t think Roy owns that farm. I think the farm owns him. So many of us are owned by our possessions. We feel a responsibility to those “things.” Perhaps he saw in you and your lifestyle the possibility of changing all that. Maybe your example (and other things which are bound to happen) will help open him to new horizons.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, katydid,

      Glad to see you’re still a blogorino!

      You’re right. Possessions can become a big PITA! Much of what is bought is designed to make our lives easier, more comfortable. Ha! Then you have to maintain it, repair it, store it, dust it, and eventually drop it off at the thrift store.

  24. jonthebru says:

    I get your feeling that the farmer dude had something else to say… I was in the radio business for years, years ago. When I did interviews I tried to get people, politicians, celebrities whomever to open up about what they really thought and really wanted to talk about (A boring interview is some politician sticking to his or her talking points or reciting their stump speech.). A guy like that would spill his thoughts out if triggered correctly, it could do him good. Possibly he has no one to share his true feelings with in his area. Sometimes it catches people off guard to ask them “What are you really thinking?” Beautiful June snow photos.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, jonthebru,

      Interesting. I may ask that question someday. It probably is more appropriate in the setting you described, where you have someone “captive” in a radio program and the interviewee knows you’re “just doing your job” by trying to dig deeper, below the superficial.

      It’s tricky with a stranger met casually, who could be put off easily, who might interpret the question as an invasion (too personal) and who could respond by walking away. Sometimes a passive approach — waiting and listening — is the only good choice.

      I will remember that question. It may be the right thing to say in a future situation.

  25. AZ Jim says:

    I envy you Sue. You get up at 3 am to go the bathroom. I get up at least twice and sometimes three times for the same reason. I guess we’re lucky we can get up though. Hot here now 104 now headed up to 111 next week. Enjoy your cool temps.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      I can’t imagine 111 degrees. I’m sure you know the dangers and will stay inside, drink plenty of water, and soak up the a/c. . . .

  26. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    And I forgot to mention the shower…………bout time you cleaned up your act! Hah!

  27. Hotel California says:

    So….we got a new fifth wheel and a new truck to pull it with and headed out a week ago for our maiden voyage. Camped (in luxury) in Graeagle in northeast California.

    I look out the window and see a couple walking their two black and white doggies. Run outside and say, “Those are rat terriers, aren’t they?”

    “How did you know that? Most folks think they are Jack Russels.

    So I says, “Let me tell you how I know. There’s this lady named RV Sue…..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Heh-heh… Spoken like a true blogorino!

      Congratulations on the new fifth wheel and truck. . . .

  28. That’s what I like, a bit of variety in a day. Your camp was WAY up in the SKY. It IS kind of strange when those encounters happen like with Roy. Seems like there could have/maybe should have been a lot more conversation…. somewhat spooky.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It didn’t seem spooky. I picked up on his weariness and, of course, wish I could’ve alleviated it.

  29. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    How is Spike’s beacon working? Did you try the strobe function?

    The No-see-ums are still annoying so I ordered a bottle of Skin so soft bug stuff…thanks to a blogorino’s recommendation. Jules snores like a bear…got her a wedge pillow and a aerobed pakmat in case the wedge doesn’t work. She can sleep outside with the real bears! hah!

    That should cover the “stems” on your Maxxis tires! 😉

    I’m bored!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi again!

      No, I haven’t tried the strobe on Spike. It’s funny enough watching that red light wander around in the dark! I laugh every time. . .

      Thanks for the Amazon orders! Hey, those stems are important!

  30. R. (Western Colorado) says:

    That’s a very fascinating story of a farmer. You do have a talent of listening. Sometimes all we need is someone to listen. After my husband died I really needed my friends to listen, to cry with me and listen again. Instead of a couple of them told me what I HAVE to do, where I need to move, where to travel, where to volunteer, where I have to buy a condo, when to sell some items, when to get rid of my husband’s clothes, and on and on. I couldn’t even think clearly at that time so how could I process any ideas of my future. I lost one now ex-friend who just couldn’t resist telling me what I have to do.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You know how people remark that they don’t know what to say to the bereaved?

      Well, there’s a reason for that . . . It’s because you SHOULDN’T SAY ANYTHING, JUST SHUT UP AND LISTEN!

      Your grief probably made your friends uncomfortable. They wanted to “fix” you. There’s no fixing someone in the pain of losing someone they love. Maybe someday they will know grief and understand that.

      • MB says:

        Absolutely right. Sue, you and I seem to be very much alike. I mean that as a compliment to both of us. 🙂

  31. Rachel Smith says:

    Conversations like that, the one you had with Bob can be almost melancholy, can’t they.

    I wanted to stop by and say hello and I saw your post pop up and I had to read it. I have not had a working computer for quite some time now so it’s been difficult to get around online. I hope you and the crew are doing well and that someday you find out what Bob wanted to tell you. Macha says “Hello” to the crew with lots of tail wags. 🙂

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Hi Rachel,

      I was thinking about you and Macha yesterday. Hope all is well!

      • Rachel Smith says:

        Hi! :). Macha is doing great. She is doing so very well in our new life on the road. Can you tell that I’m proud of her? Maybe just a little bit, right. 🙂 It is hard to believe but as of July 14th, I believe, it will be one year since we started road living. Been crazy, wild and wonderful!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Rachel,

          It’s wonderful to see you here! I think of you and Macha often and wonder how you are. Your blog writing is topnotch. I really mean that!

          Congratulations on your one year anniversary on the road. You have every reason to be proud of that accomplishment!

          • Rachel Smith says:

            Sue! Hi! it has not been quite a year yet but I’m getting very close it doesn’t seem possible that it has been almost a year.

            Thank you so much for your kind words about my writing I don’t get to do as much as I would like but I do enjoy it so much. I am hoping that a new phone, which I should get in a few days, will help to resolve the computer issues that I’ve had. I use my phone as a hotspot and the little phone that I had is just not working right.

            It is always such a pleasure to read what’s going on in your life and of course the lives of the Crew!

        • Mick'nTN says:

          Rachel, you and RvSue now have “Van in the Sand” in common.

          • Rachel Smith says:

            Hi Mick,

            Uh oh! this is the first time I’ve been able to come out here and look at RVSue’s site in quite sometime. Have I missed a thrilling episode! Sue! Did you think you had a Sherman Tank too?

  32. For those who don’t know, the first mountain photo above is of Timpanogos. They claim it looks like a sleeping maiden (head to the south).

  33. Big says:

    Your conversation with the farmer reminded me of my Dad who passed away 3 years ago at the age of 83. He bought 8 acres of land with a run-down shack on it in 1976 and spent the rest of his life pouring every cent he made as a general contractor in fixing up the house and dreaming of developing the land. He loved us kids and our own children but he loved his “ranch” just a little bit more. My pastor says “If you want to know where a man’s heart is, look at his checkbook.” My dad’s checkbook was full of entries for lumber, pipes, drywall, and cement and very little else. We didn’t see much of him because he was always tearing out a room or putting on a new roof or digging a new footing for something or other.

    Anyways, my Dad like the farmer was tied to his land and there really was always “something to do”. If we suggested an outing, he had to work on the house; if we suggested a vacation, he had to work on the house; if we asked him to come over for dinner, he had to work on the house. And so it went up until he died of lung cancer in his house.

    Epilogue? Due to his prowess with building and desire to save money, he rarely got building permits. After he died, we couldn’t sell the house because the city couldn’t reconcile his improvements with what they had on record. It went into foreclosure, then about 6 months ago the bank (unable to sell it either) had it bulldozed. I went there 2 months ago and there is absolutely nothing left — not one stone on top of another. All that time, all that money, all the potential family memories that never happened hauled away in a few dump trucks over the course of an afternoon.

    I don’t know if everyone needs to buy a trailer and do what you are doing but I do know that things like houses and land and businesses and projects can easily become idols that take us away from what should be our real priorities — God, family, and friends. It’s important to hold things in an open hand because they can be gone in an afternoon and what is your legacy but a scraped building pad with a few bits of broken tile and cement to show there was ever anything there at all?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Dear Big,

      Your comment broke my heart. What a very sad, sad story. There must have been many times when you pondered “what could’ve been.” I hope that your father was happy doing what he devoted himself to all those years. That would be some consolation, I guess. Maybe he just wasn’t cut out to be a family person. I’m sad for you and the rest of your family.

      Your comment contains a powerful message. It’s too bad it’s buried here and not in the most recent post. However, I trust that those who need to read your message will find it and be changed. Thanks for writing, Big.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Big… I decided to post your comment where it will be read by more of my readers. You can find your comment and the responses to it under “Eastward to a new camp.” Thanks again.

      • Big says:

        I’m honored that my little post would command such interest! I enjoy reading your blog by the way. I WILL be purchasing a Liberty Deluxe in the next few years and traveling with my wife and our own Rat Terrier to see what is out there!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Ha! You have a rattie! And you’re going to buy a Casita. Gee, your name is Big. I hope a Casita will give you enough room!

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