Getting techie with a new friend and moving to a desert oasis

Saturday, November 23

One look at the dark sky this morning and I’m writing a check for a second night here at The Scenic Road RV Park in Quartzsite, Arizona.  Too cold and too drizzly for me to look for a new camp.

The crew and I stay inside the Best Little Trailer most of the day.

I look out the side window.  Hmm . . . Looks like we’ve got a neighbor pulling in.  A truck camper parks between our campsite and the shower house.

1-DSC01546A few moments later, while I’m outside, a smiling lady comes up to me and says, “Hi, Sue.”

Turns out my new neighbor is Janet Carter, a reader of this blog, a long-time full-timer, and a professional writer of RV-related articles.  If you’re a reader of Escapee and other RV print material, there’s a pretty good chance you read an article of Janet’s.

Janet travels with her feline co-pilot, Scamper.

1-DSC01552Here he is peeking through the screened window.

You know how it’s said there’s a first time for everything?  Well, for the first time ever someone asks ME for technical advice.

Yep, you read that right. . . RVSue, the technical consultant.

Janet and I set ourselves up inside the BLT.

I move my back table so it runs lengthwise in the aisle.  This allows Janet and me to sit on the bed, along with Bridget and Spike, of course, with a tabletop in front of us to share.  Janet has an iPad and I have my PC.

Well, I’ve never used an iPad or anything with a touch screen, for that matter.

Janet is building her own blog and I’m going to teach her some of the features of WordPress.  When I point to something on her iPad screen, I accidentally touch it and screw things up.  This happens repeatedly.  What a riot!  We laugh our way through my bumbling WordPress tutorial, and the afternoon passes quickly.

Sunday, November 24

1-DSC01547For me, walking Bridget and Spike around an RV park gets old very fast.  However, they enjoy meeting canine campers.

1-DSC01549I look to the sky and see a hint of blue.  Time to pack up and move on down the road . . .

1-DSC01548Janet and I hug and say our goodbyes.

“Where will you camp?” she asks.

“I don’t know.  I’m going to head toward Yuma and see if I can find something in the Kofa Wildlife Refuge.”

Highway 95 is a straight shot south to Yuma.

1-DSC01562We pass the Long Term Visitor Areas.  RVs are scattered all around.  The first road that goes into the Kofa Wildlife Refuge has a sign that says, “No camping beyond this point.”

1-DSC01561The next road going into Kofa is a wide dirt road which looks a little too muddy for me to chance it.  Meanwhile the sky overhead is a clear blue with cumulus clouds.  The darker clouds hang like veils over the mountains.


We keep going.

I turn right onto Imperial Dam Road and head west.

We pass the U.S. Army Proving Grounds.  A sign directs us to take a left turn toward Mittry Lake. The road is washboard and damp, but I see cars coming and going so I figure we’ll be okay.  The road follows alongside a canal.

1-DSC01567The scenery lures me forward.  Hey, it’s pretty here . . . I think I’m gonna’ like this.

1-DSC01564Over the course of five miles the Perfect Tow Vehicle bravely carries us through puddles across the road.  I am so glad I got those all-terrain tires!


Bridget and Spike wake up from their nap.

“We’ll be home soon, Bridget.  Just a little bit further, honey.”

1-DSC01573I’m glad we came this way.  It will be a treat to camp next to water again.

1-DSC01576Mittry Lake is surrounded by cattails, a perfect environment for birds and wildfowl.

1-DSC01580American coots are all over the place (the birds, not old guys).  I jump out of the PTV to grab this photo of a Great Egret.  What a nice welcome!


A wildlife refuge is a wonderful place to camp. 

The rules are more restrictive which means you don’t have to put up with a lot of stupid, human behaviors.  Camping here is limited to ten days in a calendar year.


I let Bridget and Spike out and we walk the road along the lake. 

I want them calmed down while I look for our camp.

We drive further and campsites appear!  They’re far apart and bordered by thick reeds, brush, and cattails.  Privacy!

1-DSC01591I find a site that isn’t muddy and has an open view of the lake!

First thing I do after basic set-up is put out my camp chair and a bed for Bridget at the water’s edge.

1-DSC01596(Spike is still sniffing the perimeter.  That guy’s work is never done!).

This is the view from our door and the BLT’s side window.  Our camp is on a lovely cove.


I’m starving! 

I grab a bag of potatoes and sit in my camp chair to peel a few for a late lunch/early supper.  I make a vegetable plate of potatoes, steamed zucchini, and corn with whole-berry cranberry sauce on the side.

1-DSC01597The photo above is dim because the sun is low in the sky.  We’ll stay a few days, so there will be plenty of time for a better photo.

That’s it for today’s post.  We’re going outside.  I hear coots calling!



Drinkwell Zen Steel Fountain
Olympian Wave-3 3000 BTU LP Gas Catalytic Heater
Waring 1300-Watt Portable Single Burner
100 Watt Soldering Iron- Stained Glass Supplies
Jenga Classic Refresh Game
Big & Tall Hiker Belt Made in USA By Thomas Bates



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72 Responses to Getting techie with a new friend and moving to a desert oasis

  1. Duke of Paducah says:

    I sense peace entering your soul once again.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Duke,

      I wanted to express that feeling in the post and ended up not saying it. Thanks for describing it exactly.

  2. Brian says:

    Water in the desert. Very nice.

  3. Trip and Lisa says:

    Dog gone it,number 3,but I’m gettin closer I tell ya.

    Beautiful boondockin spot there Sue.

    I’ll be back ,,,,,,earlier next time,lol

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Trip and Lisa,

      You give me the impression you’re online all day waiting for my next post. 🙂

      • Trip and Lisa says:

        We do spend alot of time on the PC as he makes some extra income with it.
        Probably spend more time on the internet than the TV for sure.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Me, too, even when I lived in a regular house with dish television. One of the many annoying things about tv is the sound.

  4. Marg says:

    I have eaten supper but you make it sound delicious all over again.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marg,

      A plate of taters and a few other veggies… filling and satisfying! I like simple food.

  5. Crystal says:

    Great photo of Bridget!

  6. kgdan says:

    You can imagine, of course, that Gil really got excited when he saw that lake. Do you know if fishing is allowed?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kathy,

      Yes, I saw some people fishing at the day use area. I raked our campsite and pulled up fishing line. I thought of you and Gil when I found this site. It looks like small boats and kayaks have been slid into the water from our campsite (right above Spike in the photo).

      Tell Gil to look at the “Where We Are Now” widget in the sidebar. If he enlarges the photo in satellite view, he’ll see eight “spits” going out into the lake. I think those are for fishing. Of course, with your boat you don’t need them. I might walk that way tomorrow and take a look. There are plenty of campsites here as I write this, so come on over.

    • Alan Rabe says:

      Mittry lake is actually part of the ending of the Colorado river. It just kinda meanders all over the place when it gets close to Yuma and produces a few wise spots. Great choice Sue for a campsite, Looks real nice. Looking forward to seeing Spikes first soak in a while. Scamper huh. My Abby is named scamper and he does it quite often.
      Well I am getting close. Wednesday I move into my RV for good. Going to OBX for Thanksgiving and then back to the campground to get the house sold and get the monster all tested out before hitting the road.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Alan,

        The Outer Banks for Thanksgiving… sounds wonderful. Best wishes on the sale of the house, and may The Monster prove to be your friend. 🙂

  7. Dawn in MI says:

    Another lovely spot. Glad you found it. The fur-kids should enjoy it too. Is it warm enough for a soak? I think the sandals look great…and thought..I should get some..then I remembered it’s snowing here. Forgot that for a bit as I read your blog and saw the desert.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      This is definitely an escape blog. No, it’s not quite warm enough for a soak. Spike walked into the water and then walked out.

      I probably won’t wear my KEEN sandals until next summer. I want to be ready!

  8. Phxkayaker says:

    I probably shouldn’t be posting this, but the first road to Kofa has a misleading sign. The first three miles are “No Camping” until you get to the Kofa border. About six miles back is a former campground that had several units scattered about when I spent a week in there last winter. The road was a bit rough which cut way down on the visitors. Pictures on my blog.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Phxkayaker,

      Of course you SHOULD be posting this information. Very helpful! Thank you very much!

      Just to make sure we’re talking about the same road into Kofa (there being more than one), the road I saw was either the northernmost road or the one just south of that. Do you know the name of the road? Maybe your link will tell me. I’ll go look.

      BTW, I couldn’t camp there now because it’s less than 30 miles from our last camp at Dome Rock.

      • Phxkayaker says:

        The road is called Blevens Rd but if I recall correctly doesn’t have a street sign at the highway. You can see exactly where I camped by clicking on the location link at the bottom of the post. BTW, if I understand the regs correctly, the 25 (perhaps now 30) mile limitation applies to the BLM 14 day areas. Since KOFA is not BLM, I don’t think the miles applies.

  9. Glenda in OZ! says:

    Yet another lovely campsite in another beautiful area. Love the range of colours in the vistas your camera brings us!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Glenda,

      When I saw those orange hues very similar to Owens Valley in California, I realized this was going to be a good camp. Hope all is well with you in your part of the world.

  10. georgeyates says:

    That is another nice area to enjoy, have you been to the Hot Springs BLM in Holtville?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, George,

      No, I haven’t. I’m not a hot springs person. I’ll look it up though. Always interested in what’s available.

      Nice to hear from you! I love all these comments from men. I was afraid this was turning into a chick blog.

  11. Glad you had FHU during the terrible weather. Love you new location!

    Keen’s are the best shoes ever. I have every color except purple. My favorite color Keen’s are my red ones. My next hiking boots are definitely going to be Keen’s!

  12. Cinandjules (temp in CA) says:

    Two days at a place that has showers ………err I mean hook ups!

    I have to admit using an ipad takes practice. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve clicked on something I didn’t mean to!

    Love your cove!

  13. mockturtle says:

    I like Mittry Lake, too. I used to kayak there and I like Squaw Lake even better, although there are usually more people there.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Late yesterday afternoon when the lake’s surface turned to “glass” I could see myself kayaking with the crew. The inflatable catches the wind too easily, which would make me uneasy if the wind blew us away from camp.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    Aw, the new spot looks peaceful and lovely!! And of course, always enjoy seeing what Spike and Bridget are up to!!

    Did you see this sweet story? What a young boy and dog have done for each other!!

    Love the shoes…actually quite cute…might even make my big feet look smaller!! Hm, have to think on these kind of shoes. I have been pretty much sticking to wearing mostly Clogs of late. Though wore Teva sandals all summer. But for messing about in camping areas, I think the covered toes make good sense.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth,

      Thanks for the link… I enjoyed it.

      I don’t know if these sandals would make your feet look smaller. What’s wrong with big feet anyway? These narrow concepts of what a woman should look like need to go the way of the girdle and hair rollers. Revel in your big-footedness! Consider yourself more highly evolved than us little-footed people . . .

      There is a sandal that Teva makes which I looked at for a water shoe… very few straps, very open. Yes, the covered toe of these KEENs is why I chose the Venice style.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Well, yea, we could add quite a few items to that list…part of what growing older does for us…for me at least…not much worry in general about how I LOOK…oh dear, in some ways maybe I SHOULD!! HA! I have not worn nylons in a good many years now…one thing nice about the south, being so hot so much etc, is that not too many back here wear nylons at any time. Sandals prevail most of the year. Just a couple of months too cold for them. THAT has been most welcome!! I don’t even bother with makeup anymore as hubby does not care (he would rather be able to go someplace “at the drop of a hat” and not wait for me to get presentable!!)

  15. Mick says:

    Yes, I noticed.

  16. Jean and Skip says:

    We stayed at Mittry Lake a couple of years ago, we really liked it. Enjoy!

  17. Gaelyn says:

    One of the first places I ever boondocked almost 15 years ago. Lovely.

  18. Bruce says:

    Hi, Sue! Sorry it’s been so long. We are going to be hitting the road in a few days, can’t wait. You are camping at the same place we were at in March, a beautiful place but no cell reception for ATT. Happy to see you doing so well. It was fun reading about your travels in the PNW, our stomping grounds. Happy travels to you and your crew!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bruce,

      I want to return to your stomping grounds. What a wonderful time we had in Washington!

      I hear ATT doesn’t pick up signal in as many areas as Verizon. I’m getting three bars here without my antenna, and five bars with it.

      I can tell you’re excited about getting on the road again. I wish you safe and happy travels!

  19. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts. VA says:

    Oh I love the Cove campsite! Enjoy, & watch out for old coots! HA!
    Nice Sandles! I am still trying to figure out the difference between IPads, surface, notebooks and lap tops myself. It was nice of you to share with a fellow writer.
    Yummy vegetarian meal, makes me wonder about you guys Thanksgiving.
    Hoping you have a nice one.
    Take Care you guys

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You take care, too, Diane.

      It’s morning and I opened up the laptop a few minutes ago. The mist is rising off the lake as the sunshine appears. No clouds and blue sky, so we’ll have “a nice one” today.

  20. Roger in SoCal. says:

    Hi sue,
    Thanks for the great photos, that area has a lot of memories for me. In the late 80’s and early nineties I worked at the Yuma Army Proving Grounds. We would drive by the Kofa Wildlife area each time from So. Cal., but I never could stop and see it. Stayed in Yuma for sometimes months at a time. I always hoped I could visit that area but never got the chance, so when I get a rig that place is on my list to see.
    Thank again for the great photos!
    You and the crew rock!


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Roger,

      Nice to know that me and the crew rock… 🙂 I hope you do make the chance to come to Mittry Lake and have the coots wake you up in the morning!

  21. Pam says:

    Hi Sue,
    I’m a little behind on this, but I wanted to tell you that I got a pair of Bear Paws boots and I agree, they are FANTASTIC! Usually if slippers are warm my feet eventually sweat…yuck! But not with these. And with the nice hard soles I can wear them outside to get the newspaper. Love love love them!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I knew you would, Pam. I like that they’re quick to put on. If I need a can of soup or a shirt or something that’s in the PTV, I slip on my Bear Paws and out I go! I put them on every evening and every morning.

  22. Dixie says:

    Hi Sue, I Love the picture of Bridget on her bed by the lake!! Such a cutie.She’s getting the hang of posing!! I actually saw you on thursday the 21st in Quartzsite!We were on the frontage road ( just east of the truck stop ) going east toward 95 to head back to Yuma.You were heading west toward the truck stop. I happened to look up and there you were in your darling hat driving your van past us!!! I scared my hubby when I yelled “That’s RV Sue!!!” (We had just eaten at the restaurant across the interstate from the truck stop.) I had never been to Quartzsite and wanted to see it.We had the day off in between dentist appointments in Algodones. My hubby thought it was very interesting!! We were in a “big white Sprinter van” Not that you would remember seeing it!! My hubby knew what I was talking about–I tell him about your blog all the time!!— I had a really GOOD experience at the dentist in Algodones!! I am very happy! Love your new camp site!! Hugs to the pups! Dixie

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Dixie and Dixie’s husband,

      If the solar panel isn’t proof enough, the hat confirms that it’s RVSue! Ha! No, I don’t remember your van. Funny how our paths cross again. Glad you had a good experience with the dentist in Algodones. I want to go, also, although I don’t know how I’ll handle the crew.

  23. Nan says:

    Yep, Sue has her mojo once again. Love that camping spot! Just might try it in February. Right now, just freezing our fannies off here in Indiana finishing up John’s doctor appointments.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Nan,

      I took some time to look at other blogs today, something I don’t always do. It seems like so many are in cold weather and here we are, soaking up the sun and warmth. Nice to hear from you again.

  24. Mister Ed says:

    Your solar tilting??? would u need to do that even if you were not on the computer
    Or is it needed for the computer power only???
    Did u ever think of adding a iPad (type) tablet and use the pc as a backup
    U would be useing less battery power by switching
    The tablets will upload your photos and Handel all your bloging needs and run for 8 or 9hrs untethered unlike a laptop at 3 or 4 hrs
    And less cumbersome and the pads don’t get hot on your lap

    IPads are a bit pricey new ,,but used 3th gen. 1/3 to 1/2 the price but the. Acer /google /? Are a lot lower$$ used acer 100$ / 130$ (mine was 85$ at a pawn shop)googles same
    With Apples after the short learning curve there fun
    With acer and the rest they have msn 7 starter witch is that much more then xp or vista
    Thay all take USB,s and plug in to a cigarette socket adaptor to charge
    Where u find so many ponds and lakes and streams
    U need to learn to do dry fly casting for fish (with out the hook but a 3in pece of yarn ) it’s fun to cast and watch em hit and it’s legal (no hook) but most of all sooo RELAXING and it’s a good hobby even if u do or don,t like fish
    Or Care to go fly a kite,, be the first on your block of desert

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mr. Ed,

      Lots of good reasons to get an iPad… Maybe I will someday.

      To answer your question about tilting the solar panel. I tilt the panel because the sun is low in the sky this time of year and tilting increases the effectiveness. It’s good to keep the batteries charged at 14v or higher. So I guess the answer is no, I don’t tilt because of the draw of the laptop.

      • Mister Ed says:

        Sorry I forgot to look at the su sd table your 715a to 515p
        However if a mountains in the way all bets are off I take it
        Cocoa fl Here is 653a to 538p The best we can do is hide behind a bunch of palm trees and hope for shade

  25. Linda says:

    Love the photo of Bridget camping in style. Looks like a great spot.

  26. AZ Jim says:

    Damn shame you don’t fish. Nothing like flour and cracker crumb with egg batter on fresh caught channel catfish or Bullheads. I would have my line in the water right there at your camp site.

    • AZ Jim says:

      PS Remember this oldie but goodie?

      “When you go fishin take your line
      When you go lovin, take your time?”

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      When I set my camp chair down on the bank I thought, “This photo is going to make the people who fish wish they could drop a line in here.” Not to be mean or anything. . .

  27. Bill & Ann says:

    Love your shoes.

    Mittry Lake is beautiful. We looked for a spot there last year and all the spaces were taken. We ended up at Fortuna Pond.

    KOFA Homesite
    Rules and regulations.

    We have seen people camping below Palm Canyon. Also check out Crystal Hill. Lots of disbursed campsites there.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Crystal Hill was the road I wanted to take… It looked like it would lead to good boondocking, but it was muddy and no one was coming in or out.

      Thanks for those links. I was hoping you two would show up here and offer some help. 🙂 Won’t be long now and you’ll be official Kofa volunteers!

  28. DeAnne in TN says:

    Ouch! Just saw the MSRP for the new Oliver. Now removed from my wish list.

  29. Marcia GB in MA says:

    You do find some great camps and meet some wonderful folks. I’m glad your spirits are a little lighter and wish you many serene days ahead.
    PS: those Keens are cool!

  30. Laurel says:

    Right here is the perfect site for anybody who wants to find out about this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject that’s been written about for many years. Great stuff, just great!

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