Goodbye to another delightful camp!

Wednesday, May 28

1-DSC04513-001In the morning, the crew and I drive seven miles east on Interstate 70. 

I want to take a look at Gooseberry Road.  We go down the ramp and then about a quarter-mile further east on the frontage road to a national forest campground.

I discover it’s pretty basic — picnic tables and a vault toilet — and not very attractive.

1-DSC04524Gooseberry Creek runs alongside and right now it resembles a muddy-water ditch.  Efforts to remove tamarisk trees have messed up the banks temporarily.

This condition, however, does not deter Spike!

1-DSC04527The campground needs mowing.

The dreaded foxtail grass is prevalent.  Also the dreaded OHV activity is to be expected, as this is a trailhead for the so-called Great Western  Trail.

1-DSC04525One could use this campground for a quick overnight stop as it’s conveniently near the interstate ramp.  Though I doubt we ever will.

We head up Gooseberry Road.

Del told me about a few places to camp off this road.  Immediately we encounter a “road closed” sign which stops our research.  (Later, I learn from Del that the sign refers to the snow areas of the upper road.)

It turns hot in the afternoon.

I don’t feel like doing anything productive.  The crew and I stay cool in the shade of the Best Little Trailer’s awning and down by the creek.  The cold water feels great!

1-DSC04517I track my Amazon packages online.

Delivered!  Yay!  The UPS Customer Center in Salina opens at 4:30 p.m.  The crew and I arrive shortly thereafter.  The cheerful lady-clerk hands me two boxes.  In the PTV I try on my new Keen sandals and they fit!

Next we motor through Salina to Del’s house.

Del had invited me to visit and to see his koi pond.  I park along the sidewalk and come across the pond before knocking on Del’s door.  The pond is right beside the front steps.

1-DSC04528We step inside Del’s lovely home and chat. 

He tells me he read my blog posts (the comments, too!), including the one about his brother-in-law’s cattle drive.

“I talked with my daughter in Rochester on the phone and I told her to look at your blog.”  He laughs.

“I told her — We’re famous!”  

Del introduces me to more members of his family, as we stand in front of a display of framed photos on the wall over the couch.  He points to a group of several smiling adults and children.   Del and his late wife are positioned proudly in the center.

“That was taken a month before my wife passed.”

He points to grandchildren grown tall.  “My daughter had twin girls and then within a year she had a son,” Del tells me, smiling at the recollection.

It’s time to say goodbye.

I thank him for inviting me to his home, for being a good neighbor, for giving me a tour of the cabin . . . .

We stand next to the koi pond by the front steps.

Del tosses a handful of food into the pond and a humongous fish rushes to the surface, too quickly for me to grab a good photo.

As I turn to go with a promise to return to my favorite campsite, Del blurts out, “I’ll know where you are!” referring to this blog.

1-DSC04518Thursday, May 29

I’ve learned a lot since taking to a life on the road.  One thing I’ve learned is, dang, turkeys can run fast!

I wake to turkeys clucking. 

Without disturbing the crew, I grab the camera, slip into my new slide sandals, and in my nightshirt and with a head of bed-hair sticking out like turkey feathers, I sneak outside, closing the door behind me.

Six hens!  They sprint down the lane at top speed, across the road, and into the sage and rabbit brush.  Gosh, I couldn’t even zoom the lens.  A moment later I do catch a photo of a hesitant hen.  Then out of the brush appears Big Tom in slow, but determined pursuit!


I zoom my camera’s lens and take these photos before the turkeys disappear across the road.

Walking back to the BLT . . . 

1-DSC04486I imprint my memory with that which has become familiar to me over the past two weeks . . .

The lush, green valley, the graceful slopes of the juniper-dotted mountains beyond, the red cliffs towering over the campground, the dainty yellow flowers among the sage along the lane, the squirrel on the rock flitting his tail, the constant rush of the creek’s waterfalls, the birds, the morning light through the leaves. . .

Gee, here I am again, reluctant to leave another beautiful camp! 




1-DSC04507 - Copy

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78 Responses to Goodbye to another delightful camp!

  1. weather says:


    • weather says:

      It looks like you saved the best photography of the creek for this post,the way we see our friends in the best possible light…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      First! 🙂 It’s almost impossible to take a bad photo of the creek. I love how every camp has its own personality and its own sounds.

      • weather says:

        Your use of words has it’s own sounds that I love.
        flitting it’s tail,the larder is looking poorly-expressions you might expect to hear in another era or between the hard covers of a good author’s book,not on a blog post 🙂

  2. John K - Mobile, AL says:

    Wow, what a great place to camp. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

  3. Barb George says:

    I am third! Yay!

    Can’t wait to find out where Sue and the Crew are going to be next!

    Hugs from HOQUIAM!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb,

      We’re at our new camp. Even though you’ve sent me loads and loads of hugs and because of that I’m tempted, but I’m not telling our location until tomorrow’s (Friday’s) post!

  4. Pam says:

    Sure have enjoyed your stay at this beautiful spot. I didn’t know the name of type of construction on the cabin but my Great Grandfather built a home the same way in the Pacific Northwest and I always thought it was cool. So I learned something new today and that’s always a good thing. Travel safe to your next spot.

  5. Ladybug in Mid-Tenn says:

    Well, darn! Now we have to wait to see where you landed. LOL

    I have to admit, that part of the country looks more like my part of the country. I could probably handle living there, except for the winter!

    As to the cabin, I heard about that method years ago; might even still have some books around the house on it. I thought about building one myself until I realized how labor-intensive it is! I’m learning I prefer the easy way out in my old age. 😉

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ladybug,

      Del told me he, his son, and his two grandsons — who are high-school age (one graduated last week) — built it from the ground up, little-by-little, packing the concrete around the logs.

  6. Alan Rabe says:

    Great place, wish I was there. And I wouldn’t stay there a year, A month during each season will do, maybe not summer, too hot and not all that interesting.
    So where to next, will she make it out of Utah, inquiring minds want to know.

    • Marilu says:

      I bet she goes back to Ephriam Canyon, a beatiful site from last year. 😀

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Alan,

      You know we aren’t out of Utah yet. We don’t travel that far in a single day!

      Del said his favorite time of year at the cordwood cabin is winter when snow is on the ground. The creek doesn’t freeze and the inside of the cabin is cozy with a fire going in the wood stove.

  7. Marilu says:

    I’m sad to see you leave but excited to see where you land next. Having gone to high school at Wasatch Academy, near there, I can tell you the winters are COLD but the springs, and falls are beyond compare.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marilu,

      I do plan to return to this valley. I’d like to make our next visit in autumn.

  8. Marcia GB in MA says:

    Great photos, as usual. Happy Trails to you!

  9. Susan Smith says:

    I think meeting Del was a wonderful can learn so much from the people who live there! thanks for the update & all the pictures. Feel like we are right there with you, exploring the countryside!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Susan,

      It was a special bonus of this beautiful camp… meeting Del and his son Reg and, of course, watching the family drive cattle up the highway.

  10. Bethers says:

    Hi Sue,
    Just wanted to recommend this great documentary called “My Life as a Turkey.”

    A little intro:
    “After a local farmer left a bowl of eggs on Joe Hutto’s front porch, his life was forever changed. Hutto, possessing a broad background in the natural sciences and an interest in imprinting young animals, incubated the eggs and waited for them to hatch. As the chicks emerged from their shells, they locked eyes with an unusual but dedicated mother. One man’s remarkable experience of raising a group of wild turkey hatchlings to adulthood.”

  11. Cat Lady says:

    Did Del and his son ever find out what was getting their chickens? Maybe a hawk or some raptor at night?

    Hugs to the fur babies.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, CatLady,

      No, they didn’t find out for certain. Probably not a hawk or raptor because the chickens were killed inside the coop. I think Del is probably right… a weasel or ferret.

      • Karen from Canada says:

        Possibly, if you find a bird dead inside an enclosure with its head and crop missing, your troublemaker was likely a raccoon. If the head and back of the neck are missing, you might suspect a weasel or a mink. If the head and neck are missing, and feathers are scattered outside, the likely culprit could be a great horned owl.

  12. Karen says:

    I enjoyed reading about your visit with Del at his home and his friendly hospitality. Safe travels as you journey on. Your blog reflects a happy and ‘free spirit’.

    Karen from Canada

    • Karen says:

      It’s always nice to read about a father and son helping one another in this day and age.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Karen in Canada (Thanks for the location!),

      I appreciate specific, positive feedback on what I write. It seems readers enjoy posts that have some dialog. Thanks for the compliment.

      Father and son helping each other … as it should be.

  13. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    On to another adventure. This site and the friends that you made will forever hold a warm place in your heart. 🙂

    Safe travels, Sue and Crew!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      That is so true. I will feel especially welcome the next time I drive down that straight road that cuts through green fields as it heads to the mountain and the creek.

  14. AZ Jim says:

    Del!!! *shouting here*….Thank you for your help and kindness to our Sue. Sign up and post to Sue when you can. Best wishes….

  15. DesertGinger says:

    That little koi pond won’t hold all those fish for long…Koi can get quite large.

    Wanted to thank Weather for her research on my behalf. I will be calling that community group tomorrow. Today I am just getting ready to attend my knee replacement class. I have made some progress. I found a vet with boarding who is willing to take Chloe without vaccinations…a little pricey, but at least I have one option. I also found that one of the possible physical therapy centers, that accepts my insurance!, is only 3 blocks away. I believe my new friend here in the park will be willing to take me 3 blocks. And honestly..,even without official permission, I bet I could manage to drive myself 3 blocks. It’s my left knee and I have an automatic. So I’m moving ahead with plans. Looks like my surgery will be June 10th. My next week will e spent finishing up chores…getting my house in order, stocking up groceries, getting my hair cut short,etc.
    Of course today the travel coordinator from Newport beach finally called me back and is going to try to intercede with some of the docs there. Isn’t that always the way…you wait and wait….but then when it rains, it pours. We’ll see what that turns up. I can always switch plans at the last minute.
    So you got the shoes. Are they comfy? Do they stay on your foot? I still may be interested.
    I’m so curious to see your next camp. Hard to beat that last one.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      DesertGinger….Glad to hear that you have your surgery scheduled. I have been through 2 knee reconstruction surgeries and can sympathize with you. In preparation, move any objects that will get in the way of your walker. Loop a lightweight bag over one handle….you can put your cordless phone, a list of contact #s, meds, bottled water, a book or whatever else you might need to transfer. Do you have a shower or a tub/shower combo? A friend of mine had double partial knee replacement surgery a couple months ago. She has the t/s combo…a bath transfer chair was/is a lifesaver for her. Remember, you will be going through major surgery….so be extra careful. Keeping you in my prayers for a successful surgery and smooth recovery. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, Ginger, it looks like you have made things happen. Everything is coming together. Isn’t it great how my readers jump in with helpful suggestions? It makes me very proud of my blog.

      The Keen slides do fit! The soles are exactly the right length. The elastic panel under the decorative leather is snug enough to keep the shoes from sliding off, and even if it “gives” a little over time, they still should serve me well. I’ve already used them on Spike’s midnight potty run and to chase turkeys first thing in the morning.

      I bet you are feeling a lot better now that plans are being made.

      My uncle had both knees replaced. I couldn’t believe — and neither could he — how easy the surgery and recuperation period was.

    • weather says:

      Ginger I was so glad to hear that solutions are finally beginning to appear for you!
      Hope everything keeps turning out well,I’ll be interested to know if NEVO is indeed helpful,and whatever news you get on all fronts.I replied here though there’s a new post,in case you looked here first 🙂

  16. Marilu says:

    WooHoo! I love my Keens! I have shoes like RV Sue 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I laughed when I came across your comment, Marilu. I’m very glad you love your Keens, too!

  17. Gayle says:

    Your fab Tom Turkey photo reminds me of something I just read:

    “All a girl wants to find is one man that proves that all men aren’t the same.”
    Marilyn Monroe

    “All a turkey hen wants is to find one Tom Turkey that proves that all Tom Turkeys aren’t the same.”
    A Turkey Hen

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Too funny, Gayle. I never gave it much thought that hen turkeys might be discriminating in choosing their tom.

      • Gayle says:

        I’ll never forget that once at the San Diego Zoo, I told the zookeeper that I think all penguins look alike.

        “Not to them!” he said. 🙂

  18. Cinandjules(NY) says:

    What a great day!

    Del’s koi pond was lovely as was his hospitality! You’re ability to attract good hearted people is amazing.

    Rock on desert woman!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, cinandjules,

      It was a great day, and so is today. I’m very happy with our new camp.

      Rock on Adirondack Woman!

      • Gayle says:

        Is anybody concerned that some creature will fish out the koi during the night at Del’s fishpond? Maybe I’m just paranoid since a raccoon ate $75-worth of my Trader Joe groceries one night!

        • Gayle says:

          P.S. I was camping. He didn’t come in my house, but would have, I’m sure, if he could.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Del’s home is in the center of Salina, not out in the country. Maybe a cat will roam by? Apparently he isn’t having trouble with losses.

            Your loss teaches all of us… It’s best not to leave food out at night, especially if it comes from Trader Joe.

            • Gayle says:

              That’s for sure. Our food was in an ice chest, for heaven’s sake. I didn’t know raccoons have fingers. So bye-bye dozen eggs, chicken apple sausage, even dragged away a whole loaf of french bread!

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              That’s not nice. 🙁

        • Alan Rabe says:

          My mother had a Koi pond that I took care of. We didn’t have an issue with cats, but Heron and Egrets wiped us out twice. We had to put a net over it to keep them out. We tried several options but nothing worked but the net.

  19. Deb from NJ says:

    Sue… are so fortunate. You live a grand life. You answer to noone but yourself….oh and of course Spike and Bridgett. lol You get to meet the most interesting people and go to the most wonderful places. And of course you take all of us along with you too!

    It was a pleasure to hear about Del, his family, the cabin and even the chickens! I know that we will see him here again in your travels. I hope that he starts to follow your blog and look forward to him adding to the comments. Hope he lets us know what happened to those chickens…..and how he gets the water up in those containers. (If I missed how he does that….sorry for repeat)

    Hope your having a great day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deb,

      You describe me life with the crew very well. I realize every day that I am very fortunate.

      Darn! I forgot to ask Del how he puts the water in the containers!

      DEL? Tell us please. . . . 🙂

      Have a great weekend, Deb!

  20. Kay says:

    hummm. I was thinking… you remember that soap opera way back (I am aging myself I think) I am thinking it was called something like “As the World Turns” it was on in 60’s or 70’s… anywho… I think your blog is like a long running movie, and WE ALL tune in to see the adventures and how RVSue and Crew lived today. I LOVE IT!!!!! I can say one thing for sure… This blog is BETTER than any soap opera.

    Think I will lounge around the rest of today, and maybe go find a full hookup space to dump, fill water, clean RV and do laundry, grocery shop and then set the cruise control for 55MPH and ride along to the next unknown destination.

    I’ll can’t wait to tune in to see the next location. Although, I might have to wander over to this last campsite of yours sometime just to experience that creek!

  21. Elizabeth in WA says:

    It must be hard leaving such a gorgeous spot…but you seem to find a great lot of those…so more to come eh?? Besides if you end up in the great NW again…you gotta get coming this way again eh?? SO far this year is cooler and wetter than was last summer…but that one was about the best one of decades for beautiful weather.

    Wow… Del has a lot of fish!! In Hawaii raising those was a big deal…people made some big money on the ones that were extra pretty, extra large, etc. Most shopping centers had them as well as many private people. Was always fun to watch them feed and see all the different kinds.

    Still thinking about YOUR sandals…I love sandals…maybe I need to find a store that carries them so I could try some one for size. Of course, I love book shopping…heh…you probably figured that out. And we are always on the lookout for one thing or another. Esp. with our coming out here with just a few suitcases. Thrift shopping is fun but they do not have everything we need!! We have now completed our work on daughter’s house and it goes on the market this weekend. THEN onto helping build a shed and a few other projects at the “new” house!! Plus we want to take some little excursions about to see what is fun to do…and also try to find some RV shows to attend and get ideas for what we MIGHT do ere too many months…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Gee, Elizabeth… You sure do know how to keep yourself occupied. 🙂

      Del told me koi live to be 100 years old. He has a few that are huge!

      You’re still thinking about getting an RV? Have fun at the RV shows. That’s a good place to go to see all the features you don’t need. Haha!

  22. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Did you see this report? Something to be cautious about when in those areas….ha…not that I think you were planning to take any, Sue:

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The part that struck me was how much petrified wood is taken out of Arizona parks by tourists. 🙁

      • Elizabeth says:

        Who would have thought that many people WANTED it? I admit I enjoy LOOKING at such things…but no desire at all to have any of it!!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I never understood the urge for souvenirs. I don’t recall every buying a tee-shirt with a tourist destination written on it. I think the only souvenir I’ve ever bought is the hat at Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary.

          And one should never take anything away from a park, wildlife area, or national forest!

  23. EmilyO in NM says:

    Dang, hope we have another creek to enjoy. Hot here and can smell the rain but no rain here; so, give us another creek or body of water (for Spike too).

  24. bonnie and charlie (tent living/from TX) says:

    Utah is much prettier than I had imagined…may have to find my way there
    when I get back on the road…
    Some changes have taken place in the last month for me, so I will be staying here
    in texas for a while to start my vagabond life over, by myself this time…
    Am changing my name here to reflect the new me…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bonnie (or Charlie?),

      Good to hear from you again. It’s been a while. Thanks for dropping by with a few words and hope to see the new you here again soon!

  25. Pat in KS says:

    I am amazed to learn that koi have such long lives. I live in a town of over 200,000 and we have herons who raid koi ponds. My neighbor has had to resort to the net over the top and then snakes get stuck in her net. She’s kinder than I am and rescues them. I knew I cou;d never own a parrot because it would outlive me and I can’t swear that either of my children would be willing to adopt it. Now I can’t even buy a fish!

    I, too, wondered about Del and Reg’s water tanks. First, what are they sitting upon? Then, how do they get the water up there. See, Del, Sue’s readers have inquiring minds and are nosy buggers. The creek is lovely and you have a little bit of heaven there.

    Sue, I got my sandals, but they have to go back. My feet are wrong. Shucks! I had selected the purple and really wanted to be able to wear them.

    Good luck to Desert Ginger. I have two replacement knees and it was the best thing I’ve ever done. I left the hospital with less pain than I had before I went in and my therapist was a hoot. For a couple of weeks one came to my house and she was wonderful too. Having a shower chair is a wonderful idea and I liked a raised toilet seat too. Probably TMI.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Never too much information when you’re trying to help one deal with surgery.

      Gee, nets and snakes and herons… The koi pond sounds like too much!

      I don’t know how Del gets the water up there. I wish I remembered to ask. Apparently he’s not going to comment here. I do know they are sitting on a storage container. He keeps the quad inside.

  26. Pat in Rochester (NY) says:

    Hi Sue! In which Rochester does Del’s daughter live? (Wondering how the small the world is today.) About the petrified wood – when I lived in AZ I found wind chimes made from it. I’m still kicking myself for not buying them. They sounded lovely, and such a unique thing. Then again, I’d hate to drive neighbors batty with chimes. Sometimes the sound is just intrusive. But still…. kinda wish I’d bought them!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, well… Maybe you would have encouraged more poaching if you had bought them. One rarely knows . . .

      Rochester, NY! In fact, Del mentioned that he saw I have a reader from Rochester. 🙂

  27. Gary Wood says:

    That was a great site Sue, I really enjoy your pictures. I just came through that valley last Tuesday, landing near Lake Utah. It’s definitely not as pretty as your site, a commercial one and pretty close quarters. I have yet to do any boondocking, as I don’t have a generator or solar yet. Question, have you been bothered by mosquitoes or any other pests staying so close to the stream?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gary,

      Thanks for dropping by with a comment! I haven’t been bothered by any flying insects in a long time. There were mosquitoes at Brooks Lake, WY, during the early summer of 2012. We were there about a week, if I remember correctly. That’s all… one week using bug repellant!

      I recently posted an updated page showing the approximate cost of going solar. Look in the header below the photo. Click on Solar and you should see a page with prices of solar components… the panel, batteries, etc.

      If you don’t like close neighbors and you love nature, boondocking is the way to go and solar is a great investment! Feel free to ask questions and comment as you consider becoming a boondocker. You can learn a lot by following my blog and by going back to earlier posts to read what I learned as I went along.

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