Good morning, good night, Saddle Mountain

Sunshine is our wake-up call.

The Best Little Trailer has three big windows around the back.  In the morning sunlight creeps in and softly whispers for us to get up — A new day is here for you!

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Our goal is the saddle between two hills.  Not the saddle that gives Saddle Mountain its name.  A narrow, two-track road will take us to a lower saddle.  Sometimes we hike across untraveled ground, but rarely very far.  A narrow lane is better.

1-P1020870 - Copy (2)The raw ground is tougher on paws and there’s more chance of stepping on spiky pieces of the treacherous cholla.

What’s that saying?  “The cholla doesn’t fall far from the tree?”

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The air is cool and crisp with a slightly sweet aroma.

For the first time I hear birds singing the way they do in spring.  Someone has built a penthouse apartment high on a palo verde branch.

1-P1020874 - Copy  It must be like a ship at sea when the wind blows.

Most of the washes we cross are rocky.

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A wash can make an easy trail to hike, but not here. 

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These washes are blocked with debris driven by powerful water flows.

Spike’s a curious boy. 

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He hurries ahead of us to see what’s over the next rise.

The lane takes us up and over several small hills.  Bridget and Spike are happy hikers.  We walk for a long time, although the only sign of time passing is the slow rise of the sun.

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Bridget likes to stop for breaks.

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She looks at Spike and me with a face that says, “What’s the big hurry?  Let’s set a spell.”

I take out my monocular and survey the rocks above.

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Bird sounds drift down from rock ledges and crevices in the cliffs.

The saddle is up ahead.

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I notice Spike and Bridget are starting to pant.

Should we keep going?

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The saddle looks close, but distance in the desert is deceiving.  Spike slows and Bridget stops to rest a lot.

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I’d better not push them too hard.  It’s a long way back to camp (a lot longer than this photo indicates!)1-P1020852

“Okay, we had a good hike.  Now it’s time to go home.”

After a restful afternoon and an early supper, the crew and I walk a little way down the road to watch the sun set beyond a lone saguaro.

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The sun that gently stirred us awake this morning slips below the horizon in a silent adieu.

rvsue

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79 Responses to Good morning, good night, Saddle Mountain

  1. RJRVtravels says:

    Some great shots – Looks like you have found a nice spot to call home for awhile.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      And the weather today and yesterday is wonderful… in the eighties, low humidity… although rain is forecast for tomorrow. But that’s okay.

      Yes, this makes a nice home.

  2. Jan says:

    As always, happy to open your blog. Your little walk calmed me. Like I was there. Doing a great job with your postings.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Lovely lovely walk descriptions! Nice pic’s too! Thanks so much for sharing your life in this way Su! For me it is good to see AZ in what I have always considered it’s glory!
    Elizabeth aka E2/etwo still in S.E. NM @ The Original Ranch, Lakewood, NM

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello again, Elizabeth! It’s another beautiful day in the Southwest and I’m happy to share our part of it with you.

      Thanks for stating where you are… There’s another Elizabeth who comments here so that helps me know which one you are.

      • Elizabeth Evelyn aka E2/etwo says:

        Hi again Sue…. I am the “Elder Elizabeth” …. or aka E2/etwo because my initials are “EE”….
        A publisher I worked for early in my RV’ng days, credited his employees with their initials…on
        their publications, RV Park brochures….
        He said, “Oh, that’s just E squared, E2.” My response was, “Honey, there is NOTHING square
        about me, let’s just call it “E2/etwo.” That has been my “nicname” since….. ; – )

  4. Darlene says:

    I enjoy your adventures right along with you. Take care!

    • fossildreamer john says:

      Hi Sue, My laptop now has a new beautiful sunset pic as the background,, What a nice shot that one was..
      Bridget’s a smart lady she know’s saddleback will still be there after my break,,
      Safe travel’s Sue..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Nothing extreme going on here, just wandering around the desert in our own low-key adventure. Enjoy your day, Darlene.

  5. earthdancerimages says:

    What a beautiful new place to wake up in and explore! Thanks for taking us along! I’m with Bridget… what’s the hurry? Take a break once and awhile! Geri

  6. AZ Jim says:

    The sunset cactus shot forced me to remove another of your shots and replace it with it on my desktop. You have a real talent for spotting good shots and this from a former professional photographer (albeit Industrial with General Dynamics and News police/fire), back before digital.

  7. Mick says:

    Break out the Bubbly!
    Congrats on one half MILLION blog hits.

  8. placestheygo says:

    Love the sunset with a big beautiful saguaro!

  9. Rik Skelton says:

    HI Sue and crew. I really enjoy keeping up with you since I can’t be out there myself. I used to live as you are and miss the quiet peacefulness, You provide a wonderful service for folks such as me.

  10. Chuck says:

    Glad that Bridget decides when it’s far enough to hike. Notice she was turned around facing the BLT……Another posting of beautiful pictures. We’re expecting rain tonite and it is welcome. Coming to NM in future?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Rain may fall here, too, tonight. I won’t be over to NM in the near future. I need to take a northward route through AZ. The reason will become apparent in time.

  11. Virginia says:

    I would love to be walking those washes and mountain trails with you and the crew or by myself for that matter especially at this time of year. Love the smell of desert sage in that arid landscape. Bridge looks kinda pooped, plops herself right down. I imagine you have to take a little bit of water on those hikes for you and the crew. Spring is 2 weeks away, DLSTon Sunday, although I do not think AZ is onboard with DLST. Time seems to fly by these days. Gotta get on board with my dream of being a rambling road warrior. Love your photos.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Glad you enjoyed the pictures.

      Well, Virginia… I carry some water but Bridget and Spike won’t drink it. I guess they’re attached to their water dish (?) which I am NOT going to tote along on hikes.

      Time is precious. Live it how you want as soon as you can!

  12. katydid says:

    Everybody loves a nice hike, the crew and all of us followers too. Great photos.

    katydid, south of Chicago (where our ground is hidden under 10 inches of snow)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      As I was putting this post together, I thought about readers who are still living with snow. Here I am sitting with sandals on my feet and you’re dealing with boots. Not to rub it in or anything . . . 🙂

      Thanks for the compliment on the photos, Katy.

  13. cinandjules says:

    The cactus looks like a giant hand! Nice hike……..easier for us..than for you and the crew. Thanks for sharing.
    The washes look a bit eerie……..Love how Bridget side sits…what a cutie pie.
    E2 sounds like a hoot!

    Did you happen to check out Casita’s new Independence model? Upgraded the bathroom…can’t really tell if it’s an upgrade from the pictures. I personally don’t like the looks of their sink fixture. Speaking of….is the shower “really” functional (ie H20 pressure, space etc)?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No, I haven’t seen the Independence yet.

      The shower is functional as far as space goes, except for a big person. I don’t like using it because the water pressure isn’t what I like, although some people do fine with it. Also I waste water with a shower and that shortens the time I can boondock without going for water. I’d rather give myself a good scrubbing and rinse off the old fashioned way with poured water.

    • Dominick Bundy says:

      I called the Casita factory today. and talked to Harold, And was very pleased to hear that the new Independence is not going to replace the Liberty Deluxe in the future, Because they both are 2 different types of trailers , Somewhat similar to each other, But different in the aspect. The Liberty has more options with configurations. Where the Independence was solely made for the twin bed configuration only… I was happy to hear that.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Great news, Dominick! As you know, I prefer the Liberty because of its flexibility, and you do, too, right? I’d hate to see it disappear. I appreciate you giving us a report from the factory.

  14. rvsueandcrew says:

    Here’s a link to photos and a video of Saddle Mountain, including the wildflowers.
    http://www.rv-boondocking-adventure.com/saddle-mountain-sonoran-desert.html

  15. Kathy says:

    How do you like your monocular? I have binoculars but I really hate anything hanging around my neck. Seems like the monocular would be perfect. I live in Florida and wil be leaving here in June headed west for 3 or 4 months. I will be happy to leave the Florida summer behind. I love your blog and plan on staying in some of the same places you stayed last summer.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Kathy. . .

      I like my monocular. It’s strong enough for how I use it (anything stronger would require a steadier hand) and I like that it fits in a pocket. One day I was using some old heavy binoculars and I realized I felt more comfortable with one eye closed. Ta-dah! Get a monocular!

      Yes! Goodbye Florida heat and humidity! I’m tickled that you’ll be staying in some of the same places.

  16. Karen (Minnesota) says:

    Loved all the pictures, but the sunset was breathtaking. Thanks for sharing your adventures. Although I don’t comment often, we still are avid readers and love following your blog daily.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Nice to hear from you, Karen! I was surprised to see such a beautiful sunset, as the sky was mostly clear and it usually takes some interesting clouds. Thank you for reading my blog.

  17. Allen says:

    Nice work, if you can call it that.

  18. Gayle says:

    Rain on the way today for us, too, but a few days ago, Santa Monica looked like this: See the amazing Vimeo 61155597, thread the solar ferris wheel and breathe in the ocean air!

      • Connie & Mugsy says:

        If you highlight Vimeo xxxxx, and choose search on google on the left click, it will take you to the video.

      • Gayle says:

        Not smoking saguaros or anything else, just saying put in your browser bar Vimeo/61155597 for 60 sec. video entitled “St. Monica Airlines.” My neighbor sent his little remote controlled plane with mounted video camera from the shoreline, up and over the St. Monica Pier and threads plane between the spokes of our solar ferris wheel, down the roller coaster tracks and back to the sand. This is as close as I can get to the relaxation you enjoy every day!

  19. Debbie says:

    Sue: An unrelated question. If I use your Amazon link and purchase a Kindle book – – do you benefit from that as well? (I hope so). Let me know and I will use your link from now on! (Every little bit adds up!)

  20. Laurie from Southern Oregon says:

    Hi Sue, I drove by your place today headed to Gila Bend. Well not really that close. I was on I-10 and saw the mountains from your pics and knew you were somewhere around the saddle. When I drove by it was pretty windy and I kept seeing these dust clouds every where. You know whats really cool is that I know what a lot of the cacti and plants are that I see because of your blog.It’s fun! I’m glad you are having a good time in your new place. My Rv friend went ahead and got Coach Net roadside asst. and all new (4) tires so we should not have a repeat. If my trailer tire blows I will change it myself, since I still have Good Sams unless I’m in town. Happy Trails!
    I’m 500,578 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Laurie!

      I appreciate the report on you and your friend. I know when you passed Saddle Mountain. The wind kicked up for about 15 minutes, especially down by the interstate which I can see far in the distance from my camp. How did I know? There were dust devils (mini-tornadoes of dust) swirling through the creosote bushes.

      I got a chuckle out of you knowing cacti and desert plants because of my blog. It wasn’t long ago that I learned the names myself and there are lots more I don’t know.

      I hope you never have to change a tire. I wouldn’t attempt it because I don’t have the strength. I’ll use my air compressor or fix-a-flat (I carry two cans) or call Good Sam and hope someone comes out. . . or send Spikey for help. 🙂

      Happy Trails to you, Number 500,578!

  21. Marcia GB says:

    Wow, Sue! What an absolute beauty of a sunset picture. You’re becoming a photo artist.

  22. Dawn says:

    Really lovely…and I agree with Laurie, I learn so much from reading your blog! Love the photography too!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s fun learning things and then passing it on to readers in this blog. It makes me feel like I am all-knowing… Haha! Thanks for writing, Dawn.

  23. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    There is a GIANT who sleeps in the mountain of photo number one. His saddle is very near but where is his horse?

  24. Rita from Phoenix says:

    Once my sister, myself & kids were hiking a wash near Wickenburg, AZ, with the kids up ahead of us, I planted my trekking pole ahead of me and bam! I set off a huge animal trap someone had buried in the sand. OMG I was beside myself it scared me so….the kids had just been through there and thank heavens none were caught in the trap. Needless to say, we very carefully made a single file and I probe our route back to the truck. The picture of the wash reminded me of the trap incident. Glad to see you stayed on dirt road.

  25. Penny/Texas says:

    🙁 I want to be where you are now…..hopefully next year sometime it will finally happen! Hubs mentioned the retirement thing again the other day (oh yes, yes, yes!) and he added “in 2014” to his sentence. I’m holding him to that! No backing down now!
    Your photos are always beautiful but I will have to grab that fantastic sunset shot. I think you out did yourself with that one!
    Spike looks like the great explorer & Bridget reminds me of a little ol’ lady….Have Fun!

    P.S. Dropped you a few more quarters in your jukebox 😉

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, do hold him to that. Life is too short and retirement is too wonderful. Live the life of your dreams before it’s too late.

      Thanks for using my Amazon link,Penny.

  26. Beverly K says:

    Loved all of your photos and always the ones with the pups in them, but that last picture of the sunset was really an incredible one. It brought me back to our trips to the southwest. ahhhh….. Glad you have another nice spot to explore.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Beverly . . .

      I received several comments on that sunset photo. If I had DESIGNED the sun, the cactus, the colors and the light… then I would have created something spectacular. All I did was click! I happily accept your thank you on behalf of the real Artist. 🙂

  27. Lefty says:

    Hi Sue, I found your blog from the Escapees sight. I also will be on the road, full time, in late spring or early summer, when I get rid of my “stuff” In the ’80s, I live in a puck up slide on camper. I mostly boondocked since I was on a very limited budget. I was in that camper for five years. The only times that I used campgrounds was when I had visitors. Now I am ready to go again. I have a Safari Trek. It has all the comforts of home. In fact, it has more comfort than my present home.
    BTW, when I went out the first time, I had a 75# poodle with me that was a great companion as well as an excellent alarm. I am presently looking for another dog.
    Your blog has been help in that I have found many locations to settle into. My only concern at this time is the price of fuel, since my motorhome uses quite a bit of fuel. Oh well.
    Hope to see you out there.
    Lefty A.K.A. Vagabum

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lefty . . . Welcome to my blog! I’ll have to check the Escapees to see what was written that’s bringing folks over to me. Great to have you here . . .

      So now you’re “ready to go again.” Good for you! I’m glad my blog has given you more locations to call home. I love to collect free real estate! The more boondocks I discover, the better.

      I smile to think of the fortunate dog you will pick as your travel companion and best friend. I can’t imagine living this way of life without a dog (and some may say, without a cat).

      Yeah, fuel is the big bugaboo. I have a feeling you’ll use your past experience and have a rich life on the road. Hope to hear from you again, Lefty. Best wishes!

      • Elizabeth Evelyn aka E2/etwo says:

        Someone on the Escapees Discussion added your website to their post. That is how I found you Sue. Glad I did! If you have not yet joined the http://www.EscapeesRVclub.com, it is the best! Becoming an SKP was the second best thing I did for myself. Becoming a FT RV’r was first.
        Go to the website and check us out…. You can post on the discussion forum if you sign in on that.
        BTW… My FT RV life began in the Spring of 1984…out of Sedona, AZ. My SKP membership dates
        from Dec. 1985…. Boondocking was my favorite mode also…. no money except what I earned as I
        traveled….and checks from Mom now and then…. The first nine years was like that…. Then, Hooray, I was eligible for Social Security!!!
        Hang in there you younguns! It is well worth it!
        Hugs from Elizabeth aka E2

  28. Jim Melvin says:

    Your sunset pic was fabulous. You are so right when you say that distance in the desert is deceiving. Many times I thought I only had a short distance to a certain point and it turned out to be miles.

  29. Laurie from Southern Oregon says:

    Hi Sue,
    Is it windy there too? This is my first wind storm so I’m thinking I should stay put in Gila Bend until it blows over. They say it will storm today and tomorrow. I had planned to make it through Tuscon to Wilcox, Az. today.The wind seems pretty extreme,but having never drove with an Rv in windy conditions I have nothing to compare it to.I know you always stay put when windy,but do you consider this a stay put storm? I don’t want to end up in a wash or blown off the freeway.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s hard for me to tell you what you should do as I don’t know your ability-level, the state of your nerves (:)), or how you drive, and, of course, I can’t predict the weather. A good rule of thumb that I follow is this: When in doubt, stay put. If you have a very pressing need to be in Wilcox today, that’s one thing. Otherwise, why not wait out the storm? If it turns out to be nothing, no big loss.

      BTW, do you have stabilizer bar on your hitch?

      And yes, it’s windy here. Many windy days I’ve experienced in the Southwest have become windier as the day progresses.

      • Laurie from Southern Oregon says:

        I was just wondering if driving in the wind is really as bad as people say it is or is it like towing a trailer was suppose to be really hard,but for me isn’t. I will sit this out and yes I do have a sway and weight distribution. I’d rather have overkill and be safe than sorry. I’m headed to Jefferson,Tx my niece is having her first baby and I said I would be there around the 15th. The baby is due April 1st and I will stay a month then tool around the west. I decided to go back to work July 1st and work till Jan 1st and Rv the other 6 months in winter. Next winter Im going to Quartzsite and other RvSue destinations.By then I should have solar installed and ready to go. I decided to wait and just do parks this trip. This will be my tourist year as I see all the touristy things. I’m only 50 so I have a ways to go before SS.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          It’s not that driving in the wind is so bad. It can be done. It just isn’t fun. I try to plan travel days for calm, clear weather — overcast is okay. I want to be able to relax and take in the scenery when I’m on the road, rather than concentrate on keeping in the lane.

          You are smart … “overkill and be safe than sorry.” I also think you are wise to do parks in the beginning. Now’s the time to become familiar with your rig and such. Boondocking will come along soon enough. Last year was my “tourist year” in a way, even though I don’t go to tourist places much. I wanted to get a wide sweep of the West. So much fun!

          Isn’t it great that you can go camp near your niece and meet your baby grandniece!

          I’m glad you’re sitting this one out. Wind AND rain is not good. You can “make time” on another day.

  30. rvsueandcrew says:

    Hi Jim… Have I told you how happy I am to think of you zipping around in your new toad? Free to roam! Yay!

    We never did make it to the saddle!

    LATER.. I don’t know why this reply jumped to another place. Crazy computer!

  31. Bill & Ann says:

    Beautiful pictures, Sue. Bridget is so cute, so much, character wise, like Samantha. It is raining here today at Hovenweep. I guess we will stay a few more days. Take care.

  32. Mick says:

    How many emails per month constitutes “Friendship” ?

    Does a virtual relationship equal friendship?

    I think Amazon is treading in dangerous waters.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No way to know. It’s written in the terms of service and people suddenly discover that they don’t get credit for sales, while others don’t seem to have a problem. It’s all done by robot so there’s no tellin’ what triggers it.

      It’s like everything else in this world… A certain portion of the populace have to abuse a situation, in this case by jacking up their commission percentage by having real friends and family place a huge number of small purchases and then when the percentage is up near the end of the month, make all their huge purchases. Then rules (or laws) are put in place that affect everyone.

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