“Grraaannnkk!”

Wednesday, January 10

The photos in this post were taken at our campsite at Midland LTVA, Blythe, California, during the day of the double rainbows (See previous post).

After a morning of blogging and walking with the crew, I slap a turkey burger on the griddle along with some chopped onion and chunks of boiled, red potatoes.

After lunch Reggie, Roger and I take off for the laundromat.

Only two washer loads of laundry this time.

I want all my clothes and towels clean when we move camp tomorrow.  Once I have the washers chugging away, I return to the crew in the Perfect Tow Vehicle and we motor over to the drinking water vending machine.

That task completed, I turn the key to start the PTV.

“GRRAANNNKKKK!!!!”

Sonuva gun.  What was that?  The starter?  I thought I replaced that not long ago . . . .

I try again and the engine turns over with no graannkkking.  A couple blocks up the street is Juan’s Auto Repair Shop.  We go straight there.

I leave the engine running.

“Oh, Juan just left for lunch.  He’ll be back in about an hour.”

Darn!

We return to the laundromat.  

I keep the engine running while I move the wet laundry to the dryers.  I give the boys their obligatory walk-about, I remove the dry clothes, and we roll back to Juan’s Auto Repair Shop.

He’s not back yet.  I leave the engine running.  We wait and we wait and we wait.  It’s mid-afternoon and the sun is hot.  Roger whines.  Reggie wears his Most Very Saddest Face Of All.

I make a mistake.

I say, “Oh, I’m sorry, guys.  I know this is when you usually see Skeeter.”

At the sound of “Skeeter,” Roger whips his head around and bugs out his eyes about six inches from mine.

“Oops.”

I walk over to Cosme’s Propane next door and ask the woman if she would be so kind as to call Juan (Juan rents the auto bays from Cosme’s.). She places the call and reports that Juan is at the bank and will arrive in ten minutes.

Turns out the problem IS the starter.

Well, actually the bendix and the gear slipping (fly wheel). . .

I whine about having replaced the starter about a year ago.

“If you didn’t have it done at a dealer, it probably was a reman.”  (Reman means rebuilt.)

He continues, “Sometimes they only last six months.”

Change of plans!

The Perfect Tow Vehicle needs attention before we hit the road for a new camp.  I’m thankful the starter started complaining while we’re here in Blythe.

As for Reg and Rog, they don’t mind the delay!

rvsue

~ ~ ~

NEED TO KNOW INFORMATION:   As soon as we arrive home, I set the boys on the ground and they run like the wind to play with Skeeter and the rest of their friends.  “All’s well that ends well.”

Also, see comments for information about changes affecting boondockers in Arizona and the entrance fees to national parks. — Sue

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107 Responses to “Grraaannnkk!”

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      CONGRATULATIONS, TAMRA! FIRST TODAY!

    • Ms. T says:

      Hi, Sue. I have followed you for several years and have lived vicariously through your blog. Started to RV with a friend a couple of years ago but that fell through. So…to make a long story short, is any age too “old” to start full time RVing? In good health and got to put together a plan.

      Anyone out there approaching 70 and still going? HELP, ADVICE WELCOME.

      • Ms T .. go for it! I’ll be 70 this year. My thought was that, if I didn’t do this, I would only look back and regret not trying. There are lots of options for education and help out there, especially online. There are also lots of clubs where you can meet people and learn a lot in a short period of time, then drop out of the club if you want and just go RVing. Women in particular are concerned about strength … there are all manner of tools and tricks available to help with RV chores. Look online, read every blog you can find, read books, ask your state park employees for help, etc, but just do it! 🙂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          And I’ll add… RVers are more than willing to help. All you have to do is ask and sometimes you don’t even have to ask. Ms. T –> See conversation with “Bob” down thread.

          Great reply, Ann.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Ms. T! Welcome and thank you for following me and my crew over the years. It’s a pleasure to hear from you !

        About age and RVing:

        There are people in their 50s and younger who would never consider living on the road and wouldn’t be happy. And there are people in their 80s who are full-timers and loving it. “Is any age too old…?” It’s not a matter of years. It’s a combination of health and finances (to equip), freedom from obligations and responsibilities, willingness to let go of what one’s used to, and a desire for travel, having new experiences, meeting new people, the thrill of entering into the unknown, ability to see risk as challenge, and all the rest I’ve shown on this blog.

        I’ll be 70 next October. 🙂

  1. milliehubbard says:

    Once again, you guys are FAST!! Congrats!

    • milliehubbard says:

      Oh Sue! Thanks goodness for “good” timing…better to have engine trouble when near a repair shop – obviously! Hope the repair doesn’t take too long or cost too much – and that Reggie & Roger gets to see their buddy Skeeter soon!

  2. Wendy - Thailand says:

    Near the top?
    Have a great day!

  3. rvsueandcrew says:

    NEWS ABOUT PRIMITIVE CAMPING AREAS IN ARIZONA AND ALSO PRICE HIKES AT NATIONAL PARKS:

    This comment comes to us from “Nivrapa in AZ” also known as Audrey. It appeared under the previous post shortly before this new post was published. I copied part of it and pasted it here to bring it to the attention of more readers. Thanks again, Audrey.

    “On a similar note of JD’s comment, there are other popular boondocks in AZ that are being considered for restrictions. The few that immediately come to mind are Loy Butte Road between Sedona and Cottonwood.

    “Another is in the Coconino NF surrounding Flagstaff. I want to say A-1 Mountain Road, but I can’t remember for sure. And then there is Forest Road 302 in Kaibab NF within walking distance of Tusayan at the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. Overuse causing destruction of the natural surroundings is the reason for the restrictions.

    “I’m not sure when this goes into effect but it is only a matter of time until these boondocks are no longer available. I get a number of newsfeeds from the national forests in AZ and I think that is where I read it. Then again, it may have been in my quarterly newsletter from the National Parks Service.

    “One thing I know for certain is that the NPS is proposing a rate hike during peak seasons of seventeen of the most popular national parks in the US. Congress has had nothing to do with this proposal but it is coming from the NPS directly. Think parks of the West like Yellowstone, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Tetons, Bryce, Zion, etc. and Shenandoah, Acadia, in the East. Entrance rates will significantly increase.

    “Grand Canyon, for example, will go from an entrance fee of $30 to $75. The additional revenue will go toward the badly needed repairs of the deteriorating infrastructure such as road and bridge improvements, updated campground facilities, modern restrooms, new waterlines, and more serviceable visitor centers to handle the increased volume of people experiencing the national parks.

    “The lifetime senior park pass will not be effected by the increased entrance fees. Some rate increases may take place as early as June 1, 2018. More details can be read at the NPS Office of Communications or nps.gov under the News headline.—Audrey”

    • Diann in MT says:

      Thanks, Audrey. I am not a fan of National Parks. Just a bit jaded. When I was young, our mother took us to Yellowstone. What I remember was roads lined with cars, bumper to bumper and restaurants and gift shops overrun by what seemed to be tourists, elbow to elbow. I have returned once and that was during a free weekend. Nothing had changed. I feel for the animals along the roads and the park employees and volunteers. They put up with a lot of human contact in a place where beauty should overwhelm the visitor to respect and silence. Not so. I say hike the daily rate to YP. It just might cut down on the number of folks who come to chalk one more park off their list, and increase revenue to patch up the years of disuse by the public. Just my opinion.

    • Calvin Rittenhouse says:

      That area around Flagstaff is popular with many because of its combination of quiet places and proximity to all the “stuff” in Flagstaff. If limits are placed on locations like that, it will have a major effect on vandwellers and other boondockers.

      • Calvin Rittenhouse says:

        PS: I’m having trouble locating the specific information for National Forests and/or BLM land on those sites. Could you give me any pointers?

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I’m not finding much either, Calvin. Maybe Audrey will come back and help us.

        • weather says:

          try a web search using :
          National Park Service proposes targeted fee increases,

          that has an nps.gov article with some information, and several articles written by others concerning the topic

          • Calvin Rittenhouse says:

            Right. That gives me info on the National Parks entrance fee changes, which are getting considerable attention from vacationers. Those are basically “day use” charges. Supposedly, the increased fees would cover the maintenance backlog. (The “logic” here does not account for decreases in visitors.) Either way, I could get an “Access Pass” that would cover me to go look at things.

            I’m more concerned with dispersed camping. So far, I cannot find information on the changes Audrey mentioned to dispersed camping on National Forest or BLM lands that really concern me.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Thank you for sharing, Audrey and Sue.

      The steep price hikes will turn some away. On one hand, I know that is what is needed to preserve over-visited areas, where roads and trails need repairs due to the high volume of visitors. On the other hand, many folks on limited budgets will now be priced out of visiting the NPs.

  4. AZ Jim says:

    Holy cow! I haven’t been in this early in years. I even read the post FIRST! R&R are happy for your need to stay awhile, not to mention Skeeter.

  5. Linda, Molly and Midgy in Carmichael, CA (no 4 m's any more) says:

    Everybody is pretty quick this morning. I’m wondering where I would find the information regarding boondocking in Arizona?

    I’m happy that you had your starter troubles somewhere you’d be able to get it fixed fairly easily. You must have a guardian angel too. I think I do because after 2000 miles on the road one trip (a lot of it in the middle of nothing) I was fortunate enough to break down in Jackson, MS where they had a 24 hr. 365 days a year tire and truck repair place.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh Linda, I’m so sorry for your loss. This must be a very difficult time for you, Molly and Midgy.

      See Audrey’s comment above where to find more information about boondocking in AZ.

      • Linda, Molly and Midgy in Carmichael, CA says:

        Thanks Sue. Muffin was sick for a long time and I did my best to keep her with me as long as possible. I do realize that I’m not as sad as I’d thought I would be because I’d shed so many tears watching her deteriorate that it’s almost a relief that her struggle and mind is over. She was only 12 1/2 and I was hoping for more.
        The AZ info wasn’t showing up when I first posted.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I understand. It’s okay to feel relief and accept the inevitable. Take care…

        • ApplegirlNY says:

          Hi Linda, I’m sorry for your loss as well. We’re down to just one of our beloved critters. I watch my beautiful Springer deteriorate each day. We lost his brother early last summer. I wonder if we kept him around too long, because it was so hard to say “goodbye.” Although many tears were shed, it was a relief when the day finally came because we knew the inevitable was, well, inevitable. I hope we’re not making the same mistake with this old guy now. So hard to decide what to do, it’s so stressful. It’s never easy, because we love them so much.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      I am so very sorry for your loss, Linda. *hugs*

  6. Dawn in NC 🐕 says:

    It’s funny how many words our animals can learn! Just the name Skeeter gets Roger excited. It reminds me of when my dog Charlie was alive. Before going on a walk I would always ask him “ Do you want to go for a walk?” It got so that I would only have to say, walk or do you or to go for, and he would get so excited! Ahhh those are good memories. He was such a good boy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I know what you mean, Dawn. Back in the day of living in a regular house in Georgia, I used to take Spike and Bridget to the dog park often. It got so Spike would jump out of his favorite chair and head for the door if I said the word “park.”

      Bridget had too much dignity to act like that.

      Yeah, good memories

    • Linda Sand (Minnesota) says:

      My Mom taught her dog to say, “out.” Mom would go to the door and say, “Do you want to go out?” Eventually, the dog would go to the door and say, “Ow?”

    • Cari from Plano TX says:

      I had to laugh at this. My first dog Bandit knew the words walk, car, and school (boarding facility). I could not say any of those words until and unless I was ready to go at that exact moment. He loved riding in the car so I tried to take him wherever I went as much as possible. Yes, good memories, hard to believe he’s been gone 10 years now.

  7. Larry M says:

    Years ago I was having my Toyota car’s starter go out every 18 months. I had been taking the car to my Toyota Dealer. After the third one went out, I took my car to an independent mechanic, and discovered that instead of installing genuine Toyota parts as I expected, they were installing Chinese junk. The independent dealer installed a new Bosch starter, and the problem was solved. Dealers are no guarantee you won’t get ripped off. From my experience, quite the contrary.

  8. weather says:

    You really were fortunate to be that close to a mechanic when the starter problem became evident. I have had a rebuilt one not last long, too. At least you got more time with it working than most folks using rebuilt ones do. Of course, ideally, you wouldn’t ever need repairs on anything, that’s just not how things go in real life though. I am sorry you need to deal with the trouble and expense involved 🙁

    Roger looking for Skeeter when you spoke his name lets you know not to do that when you do move. That all involved will miss each other is a given, it probably won’t help things be reminded of it by hearing their names. Are you disappointed because you couldn’t move yet, and know when you may be able to? Did Juan order a newly built starter and give you an appointment to get the work done?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      I’ll be sure not to ever mention Skeeter again once we leave here. I’m not disappointed that we’re staying longer. Being able to catch a problem with the PTV and have it taken care of is way more important.

      See my comment below. I’ll write about the installation in the next post. Juan directed me to buy a new starter.

  9. rvsueandcrew says:

    Blogorinos:

    I bought a Duralast Gold starter with a lifetime guaranty. It’s new, NOT a reman. Any experience with this one?

    • Brian Smith says:

      It’s a good choice since Autozone has stores in many states. You know the drill about recording everything when lifetime warranties are involved. Too many exclusions can get in the way.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Brian,

        I’ll keep the receipt. When the old starter is removed, I’ll put it in the box the new one came in, go back to Autozone and get the $14 core fee promised. I watched the woman behind the counter enter my information and purchase information in to computer so that the warranty is registered.

        Thanks for writing. I appreciate the reassurance of “good choice.” 🙂

    • kerry says:

      Sue, unfortunately, a lifetime warranty is pretty meaningless in the car parts game, when it comes to low cost, remanufactured and house brands from the big parts stores. A failed part like a starter frequently involves a tow, labor to replace, and the cost of the replacement starter. Meaning that the actual starter might only be 1/3rd of the bill. So your starter is “free” IF you happen to get lucky enough to have a Duralast starter fail, and you are close to an Autozone, they give you a new low quality part. I no longer buy anything that’s a “private label” part from O’reillys, Autozone, Advance, etc…. since most of it is crap.

      Your best defense is to ask the mechanic what he recommends, as in “would you put this part in YOUR Mom’s car?”. Most are competent enough to know what parts are good and what is crap. I have friends in the business who are so tired of dealing with low quality non-OEM parts for many applications that they refuse to do some jobs unless the customer wants to spend the money for a new factory part. As in, “we have had nothing but problems with aftermarket radiators for your car, and will not do the job unless you are willing to pay for a factory new part. The job will probably be $200 more than the guy down the street will quote you, but we have had cases where we put three inexpensive aftermarket radiators in a car like yours, before we found one that lasts for more than a few weeks”.

      Typically, factory parts, or really high quality, name brand aftermarket stuff (Bosch, Moog, Bendix, Raybestos, etc….) are the way to go. As for the story about getting low end parts at a dealer……….. pretty unlikely at most dealers. They have agreements with the manufacturer, and it’s a giant problem for them if they are caught using junk parts from the local discount store, instead of OEM. They won’t risk losing a lucrative franchise to make fifty bucks more by using a junk part.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, kerry,

        Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience on the subject of starters. I plan to bring the new (not remanufactured) Duralast starter to the mechanic and ask his opinion before I have the thing installed. I wish I’d known about those brands you mentioned before I bought this one.

  10. Joe in TN says:

    I gonna miss Skeeter…probably because I really love the name. Good luck with the next move and looking forward to finding out where it is. Safe travels!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Joe,

      The name Skeeter really fits him. We won’t leave here until the middle of next week. Of course, any time I predict what we will do, we don’t.

  11. Pat McClain says:

    My Allie (long gone , but still in my heart) recognized several words, but ‘car ride’ was her favorite. We eventually took to spelling it and she learned that too! Your boys are very smart – don’t be surprised at anything they learn!

  12. I don’t know anything about starters, but I’m sure glad it gave you notice while you were in town! The boys are going to miss their friend…but they’ll have fun exploring a new place. Safe travels whenever that can happen!

  13. ReneeG from Idaho says:

    Hey Sue! Love your “sonuva gun” comment! Things happen especially to mechanical things. When you keep your cars and RV’s maintenance and wear and tear occurs and you’re right. Better it happened here than later on the road somewhere else.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Sonova gun is the mild version. 🙂

      I’m glad the starter went out in Blythe, too. I am fortunate. The flat tire occurred within walking distance of the auto shop in Overton. The PTV with BLT got stuck in sand a few years back and a guy knocks on my door offering to pull us out. The serpentine belt breaks on the interstate right before we reach an exit and we make it to a side road, only 8 miles from a shop. Stuff like that happens a lot and I’m thankful!

  14. Cynthia from San Clemente says:

    So sorry your starter went bad, but very happy for you that it happened in Blythe where you have access to parts and service. And, that R&R get to stay and play longer with shhhhhh … Skeeter …. shhhhh! I think I read somewhere that dogs can learn up to 60 words, altho none of my ding dongs have ever shown such brilliance. Boz the Wonder Wheaten knew car, bye-bye, walk, and night-night (he would run and burrow in our covers at the end of the bed). Lucy, my little terrier, knows “Where’s Bubba?” – she goes and finds the big dumb pitbull, who knows only “treat?”

    It is beautiful here in San Clemente today so I’m guessing it must be nice in Blythe. Enjoy your time there!

  15. Rhodium in Va says:

    It’s funny how dogs learn words. It seems if it’s something they like, such as outside, they learn quickly. Or if it’s bad, like bath, that is easy to learn too. But for our Bella, mostly border terrier, when she hears come, she puts “if you feel like it” in front of the word.

  16. ApplegirlNY says:

    So glad your car trouble happened while you were in town and you could control the situation. Guardian angel – job well done! Those boys are going to miss Skeeter big time. I love the pictures of them all playing together.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Applegirl,

      I can tell you’ve lost some of your oompf, which is understandable with the losses of this past year. It takes a while.

      I appreciate you still appearing here as I always enjoy hearing from you. Yeah, I should take more pics of the boys at play.

  17. Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

    That Guardian Angel is still riding on your shoulder! I am grateful that you were in a town where getting the starter replaced was just a minimum of hassle. PTV has served you well, breaking down near nearby help is a talent not all vehicles possess! I know the boys are happy to have a few more days with Skeeter and Del!
    Keep smiling! Tell Del and his crew goodbye from us! We have enjoyed the visits with them! Wondering where you are headed next?

  18. ValGal (westernWA) says:

    Wow, lots to comment on today! So, how was that turkey burger? Did it meet your expectations?

    Sorry about the starter. Bummer. But I’m glad you are getting it fixed there before you head out. Speaking of heading out…why are you leaving so early? Too many people around with all the goings on in Quartzite? Poor Rog and Reg. They are going to miss Skeeter and the pack so badly. Hopefully, they can get distracted.

    Hope all you Blogorinos are doing well and staying healthy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, ValGal. Good health to you, too. 🙂

      Why move camp? I’m feeling restless. We can come back any time before it’s too hot (April).

  19. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Glad the starter troubles are taken care of and it happened near a repair shop.
    I haven’t had chance to read Audrey’s comment in the previous post, but is doesn’t sound
    good for retirees who are full-timing, living on fixed income and dependent on these places to make ends meet. However I do understand the need for upgrades and repairs to keep the areas nice.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Sometimes a change like this (closing a popular primitive camping area) will spur people out of their comfort zone to try new camps and discover other places to enjoy.

      You can see Audrey’s comment by scrolling upward on this page. It’s included in a comment I made.

  20. Stephanie Turner OR says:

    Hi Sue. I get feeling restless. Why I move houses every few years. Also why I thought RV lifestyle would suit me. But that bad fall I took, from which I’m still recovering, would have been a disaster on the road if I’d been alone with no one nearby. So maybe divine intervention in that decision making process? One thing about well adjusted dogs is tho they may miss Skeeter, they will adjust. Your boys are adorable. How could new people not fall in like with them? Wherever your wheels may take you, God speed and I’ll look forward to hearing about new adventures.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Stephanie,

      When I read where you wrote that your fall would’ve been a disaster on the road, I thought, yes, probably so. Another thing I thought was if you were on the road, maybe you wouldn’t have fallen. We have no way of knowing what lies beyond each fork in the road of life or why things happen the way they do.

      I wish you steady and complete recovery and no more falls! 🙂

      Good reminder about the crew adjusting after we leave here. I think Skeeter is the one who will be the saddest.

  21. Nivrapa in AZ says:

    Okay Blogerinos, back to the topic of hikes in entrance fees of some national parks and possible changes to popular boondocking spots in AZ. I elected to start a new comment because I wasn’t sure where to put it in reply to Sue and Calvin’s responses.

    I followed my own advice and went to nps.gov and looked under headlines for the news about entrance fee increases. Darn if I could find anything there. It must be buried in the archives someplace. I googled “entrance fee increases to National Parks 2018” and got dozens of hits. So, Google is your friend to learn more about the entrance fees to national parks.

    As for the changes in boondocking sites, I didn’t think there were any just yet, but considerations were being made. I’m speaking only for my home state of AZ, here, and only areas managed by the NFS and not BLM. I know I read it someplace–probably in the form of a news feed that I subscribe to from an AZ National Forest. I don’t keep those news feeds as many don’t interest me or are dry and boring.

    I researched dispersed camping by going to each National Forest website to see if I could locate the info. I had some success with that. I could not find a “blanket statement” that listed any potential changes to AZ boondocking sites but needed to dedicate my searches to a specific national forest and go from there.
    I learned that the boondocking restrictions are all ready in place in Red Rock Country (Sedona region) as per FO-04-99-02k. It states ” Because of intense use of Red Rock Country, the area around Sedona is closed to camping.” Paraphrasing here–for overnight use you must stay in a designated, developed campground….. I found this on the Coconino National Forest website under Dispersed Camping guidelines and specifically under “Forest Orders”. This is where the Motor Vehicle Use Map makes things much simpler. The new maps come out each year in mid-April and clearly show where camping is allowed. They are free from any Ranger Station or NF District office and simplify travel on the secondary NF roads. Eventually, there are signs posted to declare illegal camping in an area but they sometimes “disappear”.

    As for the other areas I mentioned, I could not find anything in print but that may be because there is nothing official decided. Or perhaps it’s because Flagstaff is buried under tons of snow and boondocking is not foremost on the minds of NF personnel. Or maybe it was because I was seeing double and missed it. If or when changes are made, I’m certain the news will get out.

    AZ boondocking opportunities are vast and nearly infinite. This is clearly evident in the Flagstaff area. I doubt very much that closing a popular spot would have any impact on users or the economy of Flagstaff. And if that’s what must be done to preserve the natural environment for future generations, so be it, IMO.

    If I caused any doubt or confusion on this topic, I really do apologize. Sure hope this comment clears things up. If I learn of changes in the use of our public lands, I’ll pass along the info to the Blogorinos.—Audrey

  22. Ruthie in Fontana says:

    I was chuckling all thru the blog regarding dogs and words they know! We live in the back smaller house. I have three dogs, two poms and one aust. shep. and my son and daughter in law live in the front house and have two poms. The dogs get to go to either house (there are doggie doors). The two poms in the front house like to eat breakfast and supper in the back house. So I have all five to feed. They all sit and wait while I dish out the five bowls. Then I call out “Oliver”, “Toby”, “Rudy”, “Bailey”, “Gracie” and I have to place their bowls in the same place every time. If I go out of order there is mass confusion, if I put the bowls in the wrong place there is mass confusion! It used to take longer to feed them all but now with this routine it takes two minutes and there is no fighting or stealing.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      You set a doggie buffet, Ruthie! I can picture all five of them patiently (or not) waiting for their name to be called! Too cute! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a well-ordered pack! Everyone knows their place and the proper procedure. Thanks for sharing, Ruthie. I got a kick out of that!

  23. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Sorry to hear about the bum starter, but am so glad that it happened while you were in town. May th pet repair be quick and not too expensive.

    We just had a freaky thunder storm roll through. Very heavy rain and extremely strong winds….scary strong (as I cower under my quilt!). Hopefully the worst is past.

    Have a good night, Sue. I am looking forward to see where you take us next! Sending you, Reggie, and Roger love and hugs from me and Gracie pup! I am being paged for a potty run…. 🙂

  24. Linda in NC says:

    Hi Sue- I can sympathize with you about the bad starter. I have had to fix too many things on my rv and when they are $$finally done, something else goes wrong. Of course there is the procrastination factor there that I will get that done when I get a good recommendation on where to take the beast for repairs. It seems like I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Right now, everything is working. Probably shouldn’t have written that…I just knocked on wood:)
    Beautiful sunsets, Hannah in the passenger seat, sunny vistas, mountains and cliffs all make up for those repair days. Now if I could just get paid for my photos I could have a repair fund! There ya go!! LOL.
    As always, enjoy your blog and the boys antics.
    How was that turkey burger anyway?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Linda,

      A bunch of repairs is discouraging. I’m glad you moved to a beautiful place that you and Hannah enjoy.

      The turkey burger wasn’t very good. I made the mistake of buying the low-fat kind which translates into the dry kind. Live and learn!

  25. Linda in NC says:

    Post Script- Headed east now. Decided Quartzsite was not the place for me. I am in NM and had the most beautiful drive today from Alamogordo to Artesia on 82 East. Steep, long, saw snow, and beautiful scenery.

  26. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    Uh oh! Glad you were in a place where the problem could be diagnosed and replaced.
    Only two loads of laundry….well that’s no fun!

    We have to spell out words in this household…especially Uncle F-R-A-N-N-I-E! Or call him by his last name.

    Have a great long weekend!

  27. Marshie says:

    Are you at the RTR?

  28. Jo in Utah says:

    5 years ago, we decided to chase an eclipse, and try to get out from under the clouds where we were. We ended up on several hundred miles of dirt roads with our Subaru pulling a telescope trailer. It was a great adventure, and we landed in a perfect spot to see the eclipse. Five days later, we were running a few “last minute” errands before packing our bags for the “trip of a lifetime”, three weeks in China! A long story, but with a daughter and son-in-law headed there, we took advantage of the opportunity and all of us had a fantastic experience over several areas of China (sans tour guides!) Anyway… While running our errands, our car’s timing chain failed, and we ended up having to be towed to our mechanics, and then overseeing the repair while in China, via e-mail. It was our only car, but how much do you invest in a car with 180K miles? (About 5K, was the answer…). Anyway, we counted ourselves as the luckiest people on earth, because if that belt had blown while we were on the backwater dirt roads we used to see the eclipse, we might have sat for a week before anyone found us. No cell phone signal, of course, and these roads were seriously backwater roads, rutted out and two feet lower than the surrounding land. And definitely no way to pass another car going the other way! Just two ruts! So, sometimes, the fates give you a gift, and expensive one, but still a gift.

    I don’t comment often, but I sure enjoy living vicariously through your blog! Thank you for keeping at it!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome….Well, I gotta’ say, I’ve never had a story like that appear here and I doubt I ever will again! Talk about poor timing (on the part of your car’s timing!). 🙂

      Nice to hear from you, Jo. Hope you will stop by again.

  29. weather says:

    Ya know, Sue, all the discussion about where, and for how long, camping will be available makes me think of how to find information as needed before going somewhere only to be disappointed with one finds.

    There are a lot of reasons besides letting land recuperate to close access to a camp or the roads used to get there. On the news recently they showed highways being closed in California, Mississippi to Maine- causes from mudslides to ice , fire, floods, or what have you.

    Here on Oneida Lake in N.Y. state a state park has a waterfront campground, several county parks and privately owned campgrounds line the lakeshore, too. They are open even during winter months because they are popular with fans of ice fishing and snowmobiling.We had a couple of rainy days with 60 degree January thaw after weeks of heavy snowfalls. The melting caused floods and folks needed to be evacuated and rescued from two parks that flooded, so for now those are temporarily closed.

    Even if I read that you had no problems where you are today, two weeks from now there’s no guarantee that I’d find the same conditions you have described there. I noticed on the Campendium website that for Midland LTVA they list the phone number for the BLM station in Palm Springs. That website always lists the phone number (to get current information from a ranger station, owner or whoever can be of help and know local news) for the location being sought. I mention it because -I have used it for access to the phone numbers to check conditions and when places are open( besides finding free camps nationwide)and would again, -and so you and readers know it’s available.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      Yes, there are many reasons for closing primitive camping areas…. hazards, weather-related conditions, restoration, repair, educational uses, forestry management, wildlife management, and probably many more that I can’t think of right now.

      I don’t know if Compendium is a site for which you have to register or not. As an alternative to obtain contact numbers, go to the BLM contact page. The URL is http://www.blm.gov\contact\add here the state name.

      http://www.blm.gov/contact/California A page will open with addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers, and email addresses.

      You love research, weather! Thanks for the reminder about conditions changing. This has been made clear to me (and probably readers who RV) when I return to a boondock that once was quite lovely to find it has deteriorated or the road is closed or something like that.

  30. Sandy says:

    I don’t mean to sound illiterate, but how do I link your link to my Amazon acct when I order something? Thanks

    • weather says:

      In case you want to shop before Sue can answer, Sandy, I’ll give the short version. If you enter Amazon by clicking on any of their products she has listed above, then search for what you want, put it in your cart and buy it, a code with Sue’s information will be applied to that sale.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for asking, Sandy,

      Good question. You enter Amazon using any of the links I post. When the page opens use the search box at the top to go to the product you’re interested in. Shop as usual. Anything you purchase within 24 hours earns a commission for RVSue and her canine crew. (You will not see any evidence of this happening.)

  31. Bob says:

    If you need a ride into town because of your starter problem just let me know, will be around for about another week. I don’t usually read all the comments above mine so if it’s fixed or you have a ride just ignore. Bob .. PS: I subscribed to the comments so I will know.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Bob. That’s kind of you. We didn’t go into town yesterday by choice. I don’t know if Juan’s shop is open on Monday. I’m going to take the starter to his shop and see about having him install it, if not Monday, soon thereafter.

      Another beautiful morning! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I should have mentioned that Del has offered me a ride into town, too. 🙂

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