Hiking a ridge above Flaming Gorge Reservoir

Friday, September 19

I awake to the cry of loons.  The first time I heard them, which was a few days ago, I couldn’t believe my ears.

1-P1000585My Audubon bird guide says loons don’t go to Utah.  Well, not in those words.    Do I know what a loon sounds like?  I’ve only heard them a few times in movies.

I try to get a good look as the pair fly by our camp. 

They hang out around the island I’ve named Tamarisk Island.  That’s too far for me to identify them by eye.

Hmm. . . maybe I’ll see their markings through my monocular.  I try it.  No good.  Aha… the camera!

I zoom in for a shot and then enlarge and lighten it in Picasa editing.

This is the result.  Fuzzy but it’s good enough to see the markings.

1-P1000492Looks like a loon to me! 

Another mystery are the ten duck-type birds who visit the little cove next to our camp.  They feed there every morning before sunup and every evening after sundown.  It’s always too dark to see what they are.  Even photographing them and editing doesn’t reveal their identity.

This morning I look out the window and get a break.

Ten mystery birds swim in a line around the point of our camp’s peninsula.  They stop at the water’s edge in front of our door-side window.  I guess last night’s storm prompted a change in behavior.  They’re very busy grooming themselves.

I set my camera on “through glass” and take this shot through the window.

1-P1000527I’m am going to figure out what these ducks are!  I do the same as I did for the loon.  Of course, they will not stay still for a milli-second.  I finally get a shot good enough to make an identification.

Okay, birdmeisters . . .

1-P1000542 - CopyMergansers, right?  Am I right?  Sometimes their head feathers stick out in back like they’re trying to be punk.

Now that we have the waterfowl out of the way . . .

Bridget doesn’t want to get up this morning.

1-P1000548It stormed last night and neither of us slept well.

“C’mon, Bridgie-baby, time to get up!”

I know what springs her into action… breakfast.  When we’re both finished eating (ground beef for her, oatmeal for me), we head out for a walk.  The air is fresh and cool, a gift of the storm.

It turns out to be our best hike ever!

We follow a pronghorn trail that takes us to the top of a ridge.  We follow the two-track, stopping here and there for me to take pictures.

1-P1000568It’s higher than these photos indicate.  An invigorating breeze blows.  Water everywhere!

1-P1000576 - CopyFrom up here we can see the roads we walked on previous hikes.

1-P1000559This really is an exceptionally fine place to be . . . .

1-P1000564The next photo shows a few of the numerous coves along the Reservoir.

1-P1000581Bridget is loving this hike and rarely stops to rest. 

We could go all the way out to the end of the ridge.  I’d like to see what it’s like on that spit of land (next photo)I think a road goes out there.  Maybe there’s a campsite.

1-P1000570A few more yards and over a rise we come to a quick halt.

Oh, the pronghorns!  The herd grazes peacefully below us.  A few sentries on higher ground spot us.

1-P1000454On a previous walk we unintentionally disturbed them.  I regretted that happened.  They ran off at high speed across the slopes — about forty of them.

1-P1000468I don’t want to bother them again. 

“Let’s go back, Bridge, and let them be.”

1-P1000572 - CopyThe remaining photos in this post complete our hike home.

What else have we been doing?

I take advantage of having lake water nearby.  I fill a basin with lake water and carry it up to a table outside the Best Little Trailer.   I add some dish soap and a small amount of bleach, put in the dirty dishes and utensils, and sit outside in my camp chair, washing and drying.  The gulls and magpies provide entertainment.

1-P1000574 - CopyI also wash my hair in the lake.

First I dip a basin into the lake to fill it.  Then I put it on a little table I’ve set up at the water’s edge with my shampoo.  I wade out and wet my hair.  I get out of the lake and add shampoo and suds up.  I walk away from the lake and squeeze out the suds.  Then I rinse my hair in the basin.  I wring my hair really well before wading out in the lake for a final rinse.

The basin is always dumped far from shore.

1-P1000579Maybe tomorrow I’ll wash the mud splatters off the Best Little Trailer.

Or maybe not.  It was three days before I implemented my plan to wash the floor.

1-P1000575 - CopyI know Bridget and I will sleep well tonight!

She’s already conked out beside me on the bed.

I don’t know how much longer we will stay at our peninsula camp.  I think I lied once and said I never get bored.  Well, for the most part, that’s true.  Except for one thing.


My present supply of food bores me to no end.  I’ve run out of fresh veggies and peanut butter and cheese and a lot of other standbys I like to eat.

I can manage with what I have for a few more days. 

If I were forced, I could probably survive for a month, if I didn’t die from BOREDOM or go nuts with cravings.

Gosh, I’d love a piece of cake right now . . . or an eclair.  Yeah, an eclair, the kind with creme filling . . .




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263 Responses to Hiking a ridge above Flaming Gorge Reservoir

  1. B Beck says:

    Ahh the memories!! I feel like I’m seeing it again through your eyes and a different perspective! Thanks!!

  2. Another great post Sue! I really appreciate the details on ordinary tasks like washing dishes and washing hair using a lake a source water (while being careful not to pollute it with shampoo!). Your experience is benefitting us all!

    I really liked those bird photos. I haven’t yet gotten into birdwatching or researching the differences between them, but suspect I will in time. I’m finding that as I travel to more spots that my interest in the local animal life is growing. This is a good thing.

    And thank you for the hike photos…you really have found a wonderful spot.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Michael!

      I don’t know what it is about human nature that makes many of us want to know what name has been given for what we see . . . . I enjoy trying to identify what I find in nature in my travels.

      As an Easterner traveling in the West for the first time in my life, I have lots of opportunities to learn. Many times I have to rely on blogorinos for help, especially with birds, wildflowers, and trees. It’s a relaxing hobby and fun. Eventually you’ll be wanting a field guide or two or three . . .

      There are several good sites on the web that one can use, but there’s something about sitting in a camp chair watching birds with a field guide book in one’s hands. . . oh, and a monocular or binoculars and a camera, too!

      • Ever since you first mentioned your monocular in a post I have been craving one.

        Do you have any recommendations? How do you like yours? (would you buy it again or go with something different?)

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          This is the monocular I have. For under $11 it’s a good buy. It serves me well. I keep it in the slot of my lounge chair side-table most of the time to have it handy.

          I’d buy it again.

  3. G says:

    Chocolate eclair. That brought back some memories! And yay I’m the first to comment!

  4. Glenda in OZ! says:

    Now I want an éclair too!! Seriously some wonderful photos and it would be only food that would drive me out of there!! Hi Bridget…..seems you are doing well…..love you little dog!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Glenda,

      In public schools in the U.S. we are taught that Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. This is a big deal because of the effect it had on the economy and society of the South.

      But we never learned who invented the eclair! That’s the person whose name I want to know and thank whenever I sink my teeth into that luscious goodness. What an inventer! The perfect pastry, put a hole in it, fill it with melt-in-the-mouth sweetness…

      Did he/she stop there? No! Lathe on the chocolate. Absolutely brilliant!

      The eclair is The Father of The Twinkie. That accomplishment deserves recognition.

  5. Reine says:

    How about brownies fresh from the oven? Yeah, I know those don’t happen in a Casita very often but the thought is great. Glad you are having fun even if the chow has gotten to the boring phase. Just think about all the fun meals you can plan for after you buy groceries again!

    • Taranis says:

      No brownie is complete without a topping of fresh crunchy peanut butter! Or vanilla ice cream…..

      Crap, there went my belt buckle….again.

      Now I want brownies!

    • Dedra says:

      I bought me a little oven that I placed in my Casita.
      Well, it was a great idea until, RVSUE boondocks and has no electric.
      You could always use a Dutch oven I’ve done that before.
      Had no electricity was getting sick of sandwiches got out my Dutch oven and had the best meatloaf ever with really good potatoes.
      Great now I’m hungry!

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        I actually have an oven in my wee RV, but it does take up a fair bit of space that could be put to good use. Now (to free up storage space), and in the past (when I had no oven), I have thought of simply getting one of the folding Coleman camping ovens. They start out as a completely flat pile of metal panels (something like 12″ x 12″ x 2″) and make up into a box that is an oven, complete with little thermometer. You just set it on a burner and away you go (after all, a “real” oven is really just a box on a burner). Then when you are not baking it stows away folded up. Here is a link to one on Amazon (there are also used ones on “certain auction sites” for those who won’t be buying new through this site).

        Anyone looking can just go to Amazon and search “Coleman camp oven.”

        They are around $30

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Pen…. I did remove the link because it would take me a long time to replace it with one of mine that has my code embedded in it (slow connection).

          Doing a search in the Amazon box in the sidebar will work! Thanks for your understanding.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Dedra,

        I slipped right past your comment. Sorry about that!

        Since I don’t eat much meat and I’m only one person and I don’t need to be baking bread and brownies and biscuits and apple brown betty and all the other stuff I LOVE, it’s better that I don’t have an oven.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Reine,

      I’m making a list and salivating over it.

  6. klbexplores says:

    Spread some chocolate on top of that eclair for me…. I’ll be right there!

    • Pauline from Mississippi says:

      Ok…I got this far in the comments and am craving all sorts of sweets!! And it is 8 AM!!! A brownie with vanilla ice cream, fudge sauce and some melted peanut butter sounds so good!!! With an chocolate éclair on the side.

  7. Lee J says:

    That whole tale might seem like just a story..but to me it was pure bliss!
    What a fantastic storyteller you are my dear, it is a delight to share your walks and hair washing. I would love to wash my hair in that fresh water, did your hair smell like fresh laundry that has been hanging on the line?

    Hey, planning such a big enterprise such as washing the ptv takes time..you must get the steps sorted out, make all,the plans, towel dry or air dry, bucket or pan of water, squeegee the windows or a towel…morning or afternoon? Great work taks time!

    Miss Bridget looks so sweet all tucked I her covers, give her a snuggle from me and my two fur balls Arlo and Zoe!
    Sweet dreams.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lee J.,

      Thanks for the wonderful compliment! My hair smells like shampoo and is very fluffy. Lake or river water conditions hair better than any precious, expensive hair treatment from a bottle or tube.

      Snuggles to Arlo and Zoe from Bridget . . .

  8. Cari in Plano Texas says:

    Beautiful photos – the first one of the sunrise (sunset?) is breathtaking, and little Bridget under the covers is precious. I’ve been amazed that your crew behaves so well off-leash – the two dogs that I’ve had would have taken off for parts unknown without their tether to me!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cari,

      I never trained Bridget or Spike to stay close by. (Spike would take off sometimes when he was young.) The key is the breed.

      When I had a regular house, I took care of dogs before they were adopted. I loved the hunting dogs, pointers in particular. What a beautiful sight when they run across open ground! I wouldn’t want one, however, for a vagabond pal.

      When I get another dog, I will try to find one that won’t be tempted by its breeding to run off . . .

      • Cari in Plano Texas says:

        That’s good to know. Something to definitely take into consideration if I ever get another pet.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          It isn’t essential, just easier. All breeds can be vagabonds. 🙂

          • Sidewinder Pen says:

            Along the same lines, before I got my pup (21 years ago now, man time flies) I read a very interesting book. It had to do with purebreds, and I knew I would probably get a mutt, but of course you can still usually get a pretty good idea of their lineage/combination. Anyway, this book talked about different breeds and rated them on a number of interesting scales. For example, intelligence and obedience were *not* the same scale. Neither were “watch dog” and “guard dog.” They also rated for “activity level outdoors” and “activity level indoors” separately. This was useful to me as I wanted a dog that would love being active outdoors, but really, I would prefer them just to lie on their tuffets in the house 😀

            At any rate, my guy was a “blend,” but he did very closely match the mixture one would have expected after reading the book. And he was a perfect “combo” for me and our lifestyle. Well shoot, now I can’t find the book, but it was something like “Which Breed For Me?” (Maybe I will look around more later when I have more juice for the laptop.)

            PS: Funny story: One time I was in a parking lot and there was this elegantly dressed woman walking a big, beautiful dog. I was pretty sure it was not a purebred, but could not tell what it was. I approached and asked if I could give it a pat. Then I said something like “Gorgeous dog, is it a mutt?” Well the look she gave me could have frozen molten lava. She then explained, “He’s not a mutt (pronouncing mutt as if it were dead fish); he’s a *mixed breed*” (apparently a mixed breed is a mix of two breeds, vs. a mutt which is three or more. Who knew?) It did strike me sort of funny (of course I didn’t even mentally chuckle until I was out of earshot).

            • Elizabeth in WA says:

              I am curious as to what breeds make up your dog because you say he is 21 years old!! That is a great old age for a dog!!

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Great story, Pen! I wonder if that woman realizes she herself would qualify as a mutt. Hahahaha!

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Ha, good point! I thought it was funny how she clung to the idea that *her* [mutt] was a grade above the usual since it only had two breeds mixed, LOL.

              My pup passed on in 2009; he did make it the ripe old age of 16 though. He was a Golden Retriever/Collie mix, with perhaps a touch of springer (a mutt! horrors! ;D). But he was smaller (42#), so maybe there was something else mixed in. Basically, imagine the shape/fur/etc. of a golden but the colors of a collie.

            • Elizabeth in WA says:

              That really was a goodly age to get that size dog to. Our border collie/blue heeler mix lived to 16.5 yrs. We talk of what kind of dog to get…but no place for one now.

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              I’m replying to you, Elizabeth, but had to put it here. Anyway, I hear you on thinking about another dog. I go back and forth. I so, so miss my pup, but then too, it’s a long responsibility. Part of me does enjoy the freedom (since I live alone, there is no one else to go home early to let the pup out, take care of him if I shop on a hot day, etc.) I also still worry that I’d “compare” and that wouldn’t be right. But…. on the other hand…. it would be so sweet to have another pup.

            • Elizabeth in WA says:

              It is a difficult thing to figure out when we are in some stages of life. If we knew much ahead at all, maybe we could make a choice about having a dog again. Meanwhile, we pet all those walking by that let us!!

  9. What a great place. I think I would sacrifice interesting food to stay a little longer.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Allison,

      That’s what I’m doing in order to stay a few more days. This place feeds the soul!

  10. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    She is so precious looking out from under the quilt!

    What a lovely day! Bridget’s stamina is like the energizer bunny! You go Desert Dog! She’s got a pace going on and you want her to take a picture? How funny is that?

    And how was the temperature of the water? You know ….if everybody was as respectful of the land as you are….the land could be enjoyed for generations! Mother Earth thanks you…and I believe Chuck and Geri who also pick up other folks garbage.

    Sleep well!

    • I agree, sweet Bridge is so adorable!

      I was wondering about the temp of the water too!

      What an innovative way to wash your hair, you go RVSue! 🙂

      It’s 4:15 in the morning and I finally have to wash the dishes after working all day, sigh… here in the camper so I don’t mind, yay!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      The water temperature is pleasant, slightly cool. It’s definitely a good temperature for swimming.

      I guess my body knows it’s September because, even though we’ve had some hot afternoons, I haven’t had the urge to swim, like I did when we were on the other side of the Reservoir, camped on the Anvil Draw peninsula. Wading is enjoyable enough.

      We did sleep well. The magpies had to peck on the roof and flutter against the window this morning to get us out of bed!

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Better the magpies than a bear!

        Did you get your email fixed?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Yes, I did some time ago. I had to answer a ton of questions to prove that I yam who I yam before Microsoft would give me access. Now I’m at the mercy of Microsoft mutants, I suppose . . .

  11. DebsJourney says:

    Loved your post and those pictures are beautiful and I’m using the sunset one as my desktop pic. You capture things so well. Glad to hear about how you wash in the water there. Interesting. I would have to go to get groceries as soon as I ran out of peanut butter and cheese. lol Pick up some sweets.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deb,

      I’m glad you enjoyed this post and its photos. Thanks for the compliment.

      I have nothing for snacks except popcorn. How much popcorn can a person eat?! Between the walking and the boring food choices, I’d better be losing weight and inches, gall durnit!

  12. Pleinguy says:

    The next time I go to Flaming Gorge, I will explore the east side. Thanks for sharing. Oh my eclairs with creme filling, yummy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Whichever side you visit, Pleinguy, east or west, there are beautiful campsites. Off-season is best, avoid Pioneer Day in late July, if you can!

  13. John K - Mobile, AL says:

    You could probably scare up a snickers bar nearby.

    Great pictures, that zoom really does well. I wish I didn’t already have so many cameras!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John K.,

      I can hear that Snickers bar snickering all the way from the little store in Dutch John up the road!

      I could go there and replenish my food supply. I haven’t unhitched. If I unhitch to go to the store, then I’ll be tempted to drive all over this peninsula in the PTV until I’m stuck in the sand. I won’t walk as much, either.

      I have to do things that will compensate for my lack of self-control. 🙂

  14. Lynn Brooks says:

    Love it!
    Thank you!!!!

  15. Taranis says:

    I would not survive a day without peanut butter! You are stronger than I, Ms. Sue. The best? Waffles with it mixed in the batter and home made maple syrup! Remember the kind you could get back in the northeast? That. No preservatives or artificial coloring. Just pure sweet goodness that makes your teeth ache.

    Oh dang it. Popped another button.


    I sometimes wish I could think of diet food and get abs. Instead I do *this* and gain 20 lbs.

    If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the corner with my carrot, weeping softly.

  16. Wendy in Thailand says:

    Oh my, that first photo is beautiful!!!
    Take care lovely ladies.

  17. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Lovely Fall….breezes…great walking weather and with a doggie too…enjoyed what you wrote, Sue. We went to Port Orchard, over by Bremerton, today to see hubby’s cousin….lovely time and such gorgeous scenery. We have missed it ever since we left there about 1983….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth,

      Oh, the Pacific Northwest. Although we didn’t make it to Port Orchard, I can imagine the scenery from walking along the harbor at Poulsboro. I’m looking forward to going back your way.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        There is really nothing quite like this area for summer, in my opinion!!

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          It is wonderful – I love it up there! I just left the PNW a few days ago snuggled into a jacket: Now I’m sweltering on the southern reaches of 395 (beautiful, but HOT). (I’m on my way somewhere though, hence I will have to put up with the heat for a few days.)

  18. Hey Sue!

    Great photos as always. I’m so happy you and sweet Bridget are doing well on that beautiful peace of land.

    You still “tell” me things I’d never thought of… those birds… washing hair like that… you’ll always be a teacher and make people think outside the box. That’s amazing! 🙂

    • Hi, Carrie
      I’m Japanese living in Japan and not good at English, sorry.
      My wife and I have been to Elkhart,IN last November.
      Because there is a RV manufacturer that made our Class C motorhome.
      We visited “RV/MH Hall of Fame” too.

      • Hi Fuji-maru!
        I think your English is very good! I wish I could speak Japanese!
        You probably saw more of Elkhart than we will, just working here for a little while, and working a lot. We’re from Tennessee but loved the weather in the summer and just being up north. We would love to go to Japan! Maybe someday. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Carrie, for the compliment on the photos and for your kind words toward me and Bridget.

      • You’re welcome always.

        I just read your latest post “A blog is like a play” (I’m a little behind) and you know with all my heart, I’m with you. No one expects you to be humorous or anything right now if they have a soul. You still do an amazing job keeping up and moving on for the bloggerinos and help people. You always help people (and some lucky doggies too).

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… you’re truly a gift. Not just a gift but the greatest gift!

  19. Good morning, RVSue
    I’m not a birdmeister, sorry, but meister of Japanese. LOL
    Your post reminds me of “The Seven Principles of Leave No Trace” that I have learned before I moved into boondocking travel in the US.
    I saw a sign that says
    “Please take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but foot prints”
    . This is a nice phrase!

    Please enjoy your stay and eclairs with sweet bridget. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Fuji-maru!

      I wish everyone would learn the seven principles and apply them. Thanks for the links. I like the sign!

      Also, I thank you for your wish for our enjoyment. Have a wonderful day in Japan!

    • DesertGinger says:

      Fuji-Mara, I am so impressed! You are clearly super smart…your English gets better every day. And you confirm something I learned before. When I was in college, I was a taxi driver. I told everyone that my favorite taxi fares were the Japanese tourists because they have the best sense of humor and were the most fun. And here you are, proving that again.

  20. Donna P says:

    Ah, the loons are my favorite part of your post today!! I grew up without loons and always wanted to see them. I loved teaching Thoreau, and one of my favorite parts of his essays was when he talked about playing checkers (or was it chess?) with them on Walden pond. They’d dive deep and he’d try to guess where they would come up. My students even bought me a little Audubon loon because I liked them so much. I FINALLY got to see them on my long awaited trip to New Hampshire last fall. They sound even better in “person “!! So glad you go to see/hear them!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m a loony, too, Donna! I’ve always wanted to see and hear loons. That’s why it was such a treat to hear them over by Tamarisk Island.

      Range cattle came by yesterday and Bridget went nuts barking at them. That stirred up the loons. They joined in with her barking… All the loon calls has me thinking there might be more than one pair around here. You’re right. They do sound better in person.

  21. Cat Lady (on the road in Bradyville, TN) says:

    I posted “I just ordered the Char-Broil TRU Infrared Electric Patio Bistro 180 Grill from Amazon thru you…” on your Sept. 16 post. Did you get credit for that sale? I started to post it to the thread you have going about Recipes From Readers (upper right side of blog) but figured you might not see it. Can’t wait to get it.

    To other blogerinos: if you haven’t checked out the Recipes, you might want to take a look. Good suggestions for recipes as well as products thru Sue’s Amazon account.

    Hugs to Bridget.

    Cat Lady

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cat Lady,

      Yes! I see your order for the grill. It’s on today’s order report. Thank you! It looks like a very nice item. I wish you many tasty meals from it.

      Thanks also for reminding readers about the recipes and cooking products we discussed in the comments under that post (see sidebar for link).

  22. Sidewinder Pen says:

    Ah, there is nothing like the sound of loons (Minnesotan here :D). I heard a few in the PNW a few weeks ago (unusual I believe). I would guess the reason for yours is that they are migrating south. In your photo it looks like they are partway between summer and winter plumage. Many years ago, I wondered why no-one in the south ever made a big deal about loons? I knew they went south for the winter, but you only heard about the loon mystique up north. Well as it turns out (now I have not Googled this as this was all way pre-Internet) that they lose their dramatic plumage in winter and apparently do not do their special loon calls either. So they are more or less just another bird.

    I had always lived on/near small lakes, and there were many loons. Then I moved to the shores of a big lake (Superior…. huge) and … no loons. Or not very often anyway (a few hunting calls from time to time). I either read or asked someone about it (dark ages of no Internet yet ;)) and they said that as a part of what makes loons such amazing swimmers and especially divers, their legs are located very far back on their bodies. Hence they are not very good at walking on land (picture stubbing your chest…). So they nest right on the water’s edge. That requires smaller lakes that don’t have big waves (or tides) so that the nests aren’t destroyed regularly.

    Here is a link to a page with simple sound files that will explain and play the typical loon calls. Each one is used for a different type of situation:


    The “punk” bird is a red-crested merganser.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow, Pen! You really know loons!

      I found all the information you shared very interesting. The details about bird behavior are fascinating. They know exactly what body of water is best for nesting along the shoreline. I didn’t know that.

      I’m anxious to hear the loon calls from the link you posted. Then I’ll know what calls I’m hearing.

      I’m going to respond to comments and then go on a hike with Bridget before it becomes too warm. Then I’ll have fun listening to the different loon calls at that link. Thanks.

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        It’s fun that you are interested in them. I don’t know if it’s just that they were a part of my summers in youth, or that there really is something extra-special about them, but even just playing the sound files now I get a lump in my throat.

        Another thing I remember is when I was a young adult, I got a field guide by Roger Tory Peterson (prior to that we just relied on Mom, who seemed to know them all). I loved that book, and kept it and a pair of binoculars at my morning table. One thing I remember is Peterson’s description of the call of the Common Loon – it used to make me laugh because it was so….descriptive! He describes it thusly:

        “In breeding season, falsetto wails, weird yodeling, maniacal quavering laughter; at night, a tremulous ha-oo-oo. In flight, a barking kwuk. Usually silent in non-breeding season.”

        Of course this was before sound files existed.

        If you don’t have a field guide to birds, I bet you would really enjoy one. I always liked the Roger Tory Peterson guides. They have hand-drawn illustrations instead of photographs. When the photograph guides first came out, I thought I should get modern and switch. But then I talked to a bird expert and she said she actually prefers the drawings. I asked her way, and she said it’s because they can actually show a combination of features that might not quite exist in a photograph, but are very useful in identifying a given bird. Also, there is something about the hand-done drawings that I just like. So I’ve stuck with the Peterson guides. Which reminds me, I need to get one for west of the Mississippi! (Off to Amazon from here…)

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I have the Peterson for east of the Mississippi and Audubon for west of the Mississippi. I don’t know which I prefer!

          • Sidewinder Pen says:

            As it turned out I stopped into a Forest Service type office today (to buy an Interagency pass) and they had a Sibley Guide to Birds of Western North America in the gift shop. I spontaneously picked it up and bought it. It has illustrations (vs. photos). So, we’ll see how it compares to my good old RTP (eastern).

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              PS: Looked at the loon, and they do start changing plumage in September. It also noted that they nest on wooded lakes (summer) but winter on open lakes, bays, and ocean. I guess that makes sense — maybe they don’t have nests then since no young, so they don’t have such stringent requirements for sheltered shoreline.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I met some ladies who were birders and they were devoted Sibleyians!

  23. Good morning! Bridget, you look so sweet peeking out from under your blankie. Loved the bird photos, Sue; I’m impressed that your camera has a “through glass’ setting. Perfect for boondocking. Love the antelope–they are beautiful, graceful animals.

    On to the mundane–what’s your routine for washing dishes, Sue? I noticed you said ‘washing & drying’. I’m definitely going to have to alter my dishwashing-at-home routine when we’re boondocking–now, I use too much soap & too much water.

    Take good care & enjoy your day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      I’ll probably use that “through glass” setting often. I wish the camera had a “wash the glass” setting, too. LOL!

      I’ve adjusted to less water and soap for washing dishes. The key is to dry thoroughly with a dish towel. I always used a lot of water to rinse. It’s not necessary if you dry carefully. I like to let the dishes and silverware sit on the table in the sun for a while before putting everything away.

      I don’t do dishes after every meal. Often I let them collect in a dishpan for 2 or 3 days and then wash them all at once. Doing that saves a lot of water.

  24. Laurie in NC says:

    This boondocking spot is beautiful and looks so relaxing! I would want to stay longer, too! I really love reading how you handle day to day activities. My husband and I want to travel out West when we retire, camping, and sightseeing. I never thought I would like to boondock until I started reading your blog! I have learned a lot from you!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Laurie,

      I’m thrilled that it was my blog that introduced you to boondocking. It’s not for everyone, but if you enjoy beautiful, natural surroundings (as opposed to looking at the side of a neighbor’s RV) and privacy, along with some adventure thrown in, it’s the way to camp!

    • Hi Sue,
      So you don’t rinse because you dry carefully? If so, I’m glad to hear that. Makes less soap even more important. Thank you for the tip!

      Bridget certainly knows her mind, doesn’t she? It’s so good that she’s your tour guide. I think she must relish this role.

  25. kgdan says:

    Ok, here’s a conundrum. We are heading to Flaming Gorge – due in large part to RV Sue’s awesome photos & descriptions with the very real possibility of some fishing opportunities. We are loaded with our garden’s last bounty: butternut squash, zucchini, tomatoes; enough to share with Sue & any other campers nearby. We could easily add some bakery goodies. We are about 3 days away. Problem: there’s a “no drop ins” policy and we have always respected that request (even when camped nearby). Sooo, if we arrive in her vicinity, we will hope she will see us from afar and be enticed to visit us. Boy, we will ply her with goodies if that scenario comes to reality

    • YAY! Hope Sue sees your post soon, I really like camping here!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kathy and Dan!

      I was thinking of leaving here Monday or Tuesday, again only because of the food situation. I’ll try to stick it out until you get here.

      Some practical info…

      Rain is forecasted for Monday afternoon. I don’t think the roads will turn treacherous as I didn’t notice mud-ruts when I drove in.

      I know you like campfires. You won’t be able to gather much wood here. However, someone left a nice stack of split firewood here at this campsite. Bring more if you plan on staying several days.

      An easy way to find the main road that goes the length of the big peninsula (FR 319 which I don’t recall being marked at the turn from Route 191), is to go to the Antelope Flat Overlook first. Then drive north and take the first left turn (it’s within walking distance of the overlook, not far at all).

      Do not take the first spur to the left. I’m pretty sure FR #619 is the second spur. Once you’re on 619 you’ll be able to find our little peninsula to the left, especially since I’ve posted so many photos of it!

      If you become confused, simply take 319 all the way to its end, (that was the first site I looked at), turn around and take the first right on the return. That will put you on 619.

      You can slide your port-o-boat into the water from this site and also from several other sites around here.

      You are very welcome to have this site as I think it’s the best. Before you arrive, I’ll move to the campsite near here that I’ve had my eye on. (It’s on a bluff so wouldn’t be good for your boat.)

      Don’t hurry… Stay safe on the roads and enjoy the journey. I’d love to see you again. If I have to leave before you arrive… well, I’m sure our paths will cross again.

      • kgdan says:

        We Will arrive either late Mon or early Tues. Gil says send us a list of anything else you need & we Will bring. You can send it via our email if you like. Hope to see you soon.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thanks, but no need to bring me groceries. I’ll be fine and Bridget, too. I have a family pack of chicken in the freezer. I’ll have chicken in mustard tomorrow for lunch, chicken in ranch dressing tomorrow for supper, chicken in parmesan for . . . .

          No, I’m not having chicken in ketchup. I won’t stoop to that low level!

          I’ll stay until Wednesday. Be safe.

  26. R. (Western Colorado/now in Saratoga Springs, NY) says:

    Hi Sue,
    Maybe loons are migrating right now and this is why they are in places where they usually don’t breed. I too heard a loon a few days ago while camping near Blue Mountain Lake. When I heard its cry it had a special meaning since my husband loved loons and this trip to the Adirondacks is in his memory. Leaves are beginning to change and will be in this area for at least a couple more weeks.

    Where is the closest place near you to get food? How far is Walmart from where you’re right now?

    • Pauline from Mississippi says:

      R. Got friends in Saratoga!…Love the track. Susan and I and sister Nancy are from Cambridge in Washington County.
      Daughter Tawnya, Granddaughters Taylor Beth and Elly and I are heading to St. Louis MO in about 3 hours. A nephew got us free tickets to the Cowboys/Rams game. Being avid Cowboy fans, how could we refuse?
      I love the spot you are camping at! Bridget looks so cute peeking out from underneath the blanket.
      Of course, as usual, the pictures are great. I love bird watching and was glad you identified the mystery ducks.
      Love you…Sending lots of love and Big Hugs!!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        You’ve left for Missouri by the time you see this. If you check in here . . . Have a great time with Tawnya and the girls!

        You know I wouldn’t cross the road to go to any kind of ball game (um… Cowboys… that’s football, right?)…

        But I know y’all will love it! Give a yell for me!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, R.,

      What a tender, poignant remembrance of your husband — the call of the loon. It must have been bittersweet for you.

      The little crossroads/town of Dutch John is only about 10 miles from here. They aren’t 10 quick miles. One has to bumble over 5 miles of the peninsula road and then dip and climb and dip to Dutch John. A small tourist shop is there and gas pumps. I don’t want to unhitch for that (see reply above to John K.).

      Wal-Mart is on the far side of Vernal which is about 55-60 miles from our campsite. It’s not practical to go there and come back. It’s not a quick trip, hills and a long, downward grade with several switchbacks, curves to slow down for . . . I’d rather stick it out here for a while and then move camp closer to Vernal.

  27. Carol, Auburn says:

    I am absolutely loving my vicarious camping adventure. Thank you, Sue and Bridge!

  28. Sue, go see kdan ASAP ! Food abounds at her camp! Maybe sweets too!
    I love this camp and not quite ready to leave yet! Love the pronghorn there, the birds, the water, the nice morning walks… Yep, need a few more days here! 🙂
    Raining here again! Got about 10 campers here this weekend! Rain and all, still they come and about half are tenters!
    Bridget peeking out from her quilt is how I feel… Not quite ready to wake up yet! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri!

      I need to get going with Bridget on our morning walk or it’ll be our afternoon walk!

      Talk to ya’ later!

      LATER: We had a great walk, went all the way across the peninsula. There are several campsites over there, none better than what we have here though! It doesn’t get any better than this. 🙂

      More rain? I hope it doesn’t last.

  29. Crystal says:

    I’m behind in my reading again after having family home for three weeks. I commented on your September 9th post about how I love my T@B “standie” teardrop. I have an interior kitchen instead of the clamshell in your photo, which was also a T@B. Click on my name for photos 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Crystal,

      I’m glad you mentioned your comment on that old post. I tried to open your album to see the photos through the link of your name… Right now I can’t open it because of the slow connection that “times out” or drops after a few minutes. There probably are readers who will appreciate seeing your T@B.

      I’m happy you have a rig you love!

    • DesertGinger says:

      Hi Crystal…I don’t know where/why but I have looked at your pics before. Your little mustard colored T@b, decked out with Greenbay Packers decorations, is too cute. I see lots of photos with pics of several people on your trips. How do you fit so many in that tiny trailer?

      • Crystal says:

        Desert Ginger, we won a Packers photo contest with our T@B and that may be where you saw it, or maybe through clicking on my name. I also attend several Sister on the Fly events each year as well as T@B gatherings where photos are posted. We have a larger-than-queen bed in that little trailer, and one of our grown children have slept inside with us before. We also have an add-a-room and can sleep 4 to 5 easily. However, people in our photos may have been staying in their own T@B…depends on which photo! Lol. Next month I’m going on a T@B beach caravan where our group will visit four beaches and stay three nights at each. I’m so excited! I camp solo a lot, and love that I can do what I want, when I want, and how I want. Tee hee hee

  30. Casitagirl from NY says:

    Your hair-wash story reminds me – years ago on a canoe camping trip, far out on an Adirondack lake in the early morning I was washing my hair the same way as you. Standing on the bank, hands in sudsy hair, stark naked – I heard a sudden “good morning” from chuckling fisherman gliding by. Just had to laugh, what else could I do?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, that’s a classic caught-naked story! Yeah, you might as well laugh… running to hide would be worse! 🙂

  31. Teri in SoCal says:

    Hi Bridget! Just had to tell you how beautiful you look in the photos from today’s post. I could just kiss your sweet face.

    And could you please tell Sue that since she mentioned yummy sweet things, now I have a craving for a big piece of cake. Darn it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Teri,

      RVSue doesn’t listen to me when I tell her what not to write. She writes stuff about me that I wish she wouldn’t and I’ve given up trying to make her stop!

      Thanks for the compliment and the air-kiss,

  32. weather says:

    Awakening to a loon’s cry carrying across the water -after having slept surrounded by the waves,really-few things on earth can come close to that beauty!Good morning Sue,how delightful to see such great pictures appear on this screen!

    Having been up for hours,I’m posting this late because I couldn’t pull myself away-from the warm summer breeze that’s making this place too beautiful to leave for a moment-once again.That’s why I can relate so well-to your being torn between hunkering down with what ever is at hand or leaving it to get things more enjoyable to eat,that dilemma is familiar to me.

    You would think being here would be “old hat” by now,but every hour is different completely!The colors,the feel,the smells,the sounds…tasting food drops on the scale quite often.If it weren’t for replenishing the pups food,I’d often not have left here for months,making meals out of ridiculous things- while savoring all the rest more each day.

    What beautifully curved paths and small hills you’ve been on,walking with Bridget near your home.Camp of wonders fits so many places you go,that this one doesn’t surprise me at all,yet I’m thrilled for you -that it’s gifts, coming at just the right time,add another perfect part on the journey you’re taking.Thanks for letting me come along 🙂

    • weather says:

      P’S.Just finding food boring isn’t the same as being bored,at least I don’t think so.To not be bored,as a lifelong trait, comes with a certain capacity of perception-that whatever comes next can be fascinating-if you’ll just really notice what’s here…

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        First time this city girl heard a loon I thought it was a coy dog!

        • weather says:

          Phhhhtttt!-me trying not to spit my coffee on the keyboard from laughing-coy dog?!!You must have learned about those in ADK? I can’t imagine you saw/heard them on patrol in a city.

          • Cinandjules (NY) says:

            Oh no that was when we first got here!

            Never heard of a coy dog prior to that! I’m like WTH is a coy dog?

            • Cinandjules (NY) says:

              I heard the sound during the day…I’m like oh sh!t what are the coy dogs doing out now? Jules about pee’d on herself!

              That is when she pointed to the bird in the water!

            • weather says:

              Jules must have fun pointing out a lot of stuff ,in the water and all around there,to the city girl part of you!It’d be like seeing a kid open presents(even funnier when they’re not the kind you like,Hah!)

              Thanks for the chat-it’s been fun!

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Now I’d like to know!?

            • Cinandjules (NY) says:

              Like to know?

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              What a coy dog is, I think is the question . . .

              LATER… I believe it’s a coyote-dog hybrid.

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              That’s it, Sue…. am I the only one who doesn’t know?

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Aha, thanks. So it likely rhymes with “sky dog.” Here I was thinking “Coy? That’s not typically dog behavior.”

            • Cinandjules (NY) says:

              Yep that’s right! Mange ridden and they avoid people. You can hear them at night….especially when they’ve got something cornered!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      I’m very late today! Like you being held by the summer breeze, I’m pulled by the delight I find in walking with Bridget over this peninsula. I understand how you continue to find wonders where you are. One doesn’t have to roam to see change. Nature provides a never-ending show for an eager audience.

      The craving for food variety is only one thing urging me to move from this camp that I love, this camp with the loons, mergansers, gulls, magpies, pronghorns, chipmunks, jumping fish, range cattle, ever-changing sky and colors of rocks and water!

      At this time of year I become very conscious of the passage of time and the unpredictability of the weather. Well, one thing is predictable… Cold weather will come! Several camps ahead beckon me. . .

      I also like to leave a camp when I still want to stay. It’s a twist on what Mother used to advise, “Leave ’em wanting more.”

      I enjoyed your chat with Cinandjules. 🙂

      • weather says:

        Sounds like your mother and I would’ve had more in common than just being happy that you came along 🙂

        “Leave ’em wanting more” is a phrase I,too,consider good advise,for reasons that apply to more than leaving camp…

        If you have enough oatmeal on hand to spare a little,tomorrow(or right now)-try making it with coffee as the liquid you cook it with-that makes it a whole different experience-one I don’t find boring at all!

        A woman pulled by delight-love it!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I’ll try making oatmeal with coffee. I never tire of coffee!

          Actually I make my hot oatmeal with oat bran and ground flax seed, the latter only because I have it on hand, the remnants of one of my periodic attacks of health-consciousness.

          • Elizabeth in WA says:

            any kind of nutbutters, or nuts are good with oatmeal…and generally I just add some 100% fruit jam (apricot) and a bit of butter…YUMMY! Chocolate and some sweetener of some sort would make it like dessert!!

  33. Sondra-SC says:

    Today you got your bird id’s down pat! Loon, & the common merganser female, tip for future..the little crook on the end of the beak, great for snagging fish–Love the photos..the sunrise or set (?) shot is awesome…once Amazon begins to deliver goods by drone you can have food airlifted to your location…imagine that!! Today we have a cool cloudless sky…Finally!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh my gosh, what a vision I’m having! Eclairs floating down to me from the sky! I reach up and grab one and pop it in my mouth. . . .

      Wow, do these loons and mergansers know how to fish! The mergansers tend to fish along the shore, probably looking for little creatures of the frog/crayfish/minnow variety. The loons, however, dive in deep water and they swim underwater for an awfully long time. They’re amazing!

    • DesertGinger says:

      Your comment makes me think of the Hunger Games when the goodies would float down from the sky in little metal containers.

  34. Ginny says:

    I had an eclair yesterday……..it was wonderful!!
    Got another one……maybe tonight for 8PM treat!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Now I’m living vicariously through YOU! Enjoy that eclair, don’t rush it, savor every bite . . . 🙂

    • Mert says:

      I am 5 mins. From the grocery store, yet to lazy to get up and go. So I lay here in bed, with my 90 plus pound big red fur ball Asia Mae next to me ( actually, she’s pushing me out of bed) and I just ate half of a crunch oats and honey granola bar that was what I imagine eating tree bark would be like, only sweetened.afraid if I eat the other half a trip to my dentist will be priority. Wow… One hard granola bar!!

      • Mert says:

        Ps. I am in north eastern ky. In a tiny little town with one red light. I have my windows open and can hear the crickets and the creek running out back. Plus an occasional train heading out. So peaceful.

  35. Teresa from NC says:

    Awesome pictures! I’ve said before that I’m really loving the long hikes. Selfishly, you two exercising is simply a byproduct of my getting to fall in love with this “simple living” more and more. That for bringing me along.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Teresa.

      Simple living with simple entertainments… no reservations needed, no traffic to get there, no long lines that make your feet hurt, no crowds . . . .

  36. AZ Jim says:

    You never fail me. Just as I think I have found the perfect desktop photo from the vast array I have collected from your posts, another pops up that I just have to have. Such is the case today with your opening shot. It is perfect and it now resides on ole Jim’s desktop as well as a member of my “Sue Shots” file. I sure hope you never stop shooting what you see Missy.

    Next time you shop, pick up 6-8 Hershey bars and stash ’em so when ya gotta have a chocolate treat you can break off a few sections and let each little piece slowly melt in your mouth. Takes away the urge, gives you energy and some say a feeling of peace. Either way it’s just damn good.

    Still a little too warm down here but it won’t be long and it will be wonderful as you know. No one shovels sunshine in the high 60′ and low 70’s in our December weather.

    • AZ Jim says:

      Another thought, when I was a kid and wanted “something” in the evening to satisfy Grandma would put a piece of bread in the oven and when it came out she buttered it, sprinkled a mixture of cinnamon and sugar on it and gave it to a favored Grandson (that would be me, of course).

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      I’ve tried doing that “treat stash” thing, but the problem is they never stop calling to me and I can’t get a moment’s peace until I eat them!

      My mom was the opposite: You’d visit crave a snack and after thinking about it, she’d remember some fudge (or etc.) that she had stashed away months ago. I want to know how she was able to ever forget it?!

      • Val R. Lakefield On. says:

        Your post reminds me of years ago in Toronto. My mother lived two houses down the street & I would know she had a large chocolate Easter rabbit in her deep freeze…It drove me crazy until I talked her into getting some….we hacked at it frozen. I still cannot have goodies in the house for long.

        • Sidewinder Pen says:


        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Well, Val, I have a chocolate story, too. I was having a bad week at the school where I taught. A fellow teacher gave me one of those giant Hershey bars to cheer me up. I put it in my desk drawer for whenever I needed a bit of sugar.

          Of course, I couldn’t leave it alone. I ate the whole dang bar before school let out that day!

          • Val R. Lakefield On. says:


          • Elizabeth in WA says:

            But you probably FELT a lot happier when you left too!! Heh, when I knew hubby had a real bad day at work, I would whip up some boxed chocolate brownies (kept the Ghiradelli brand on hand…to die for in taste!!) and have them ready when he walked in the door. You have no idea how many fights that probably saved me from!!! HA!! I am a strong believer in chocolate as medicine!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      I have the same photo on my monitor now.

      6-8 Hershey bars? Are you kidding me? I’m like Pen… I wouldn’t be able to resist. They probably wouldn’t last 24 hours.

      I used to have that same thing as a kid… butter with cinnamon and sugar on bread! We didn’t bother putting the bread in the oven. I had forgotten all about that… Well, no bread here ….

      Come December, you know we will be in Arizona!

      • Cari in Plano Texas says:

        For the last few years I’ve been doing the cinnamon-and-sugar topping on toasted English muffins for a snack. Gives me the sugar and the crunch that I crave. Now I’m hungry – is it dinnertime yet? 🙂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Yeah, English muffins sound good.

          You can make a shaker of cinnamon and sugar. You knew that already.

  37. Marsha/ MI says:

    Every time someone mentions loons or I hear a loon, I always remember backpacking on Isle Royale National Park, listening to the loons at Lane Cove and the next morning the people a couple campsites over asked if we heard the wolves howling all night. While there are wolves on Isle Royale, it was the loons they heard.

    I love the association of certain birds with memorable camping experiences or memories from the past. Whippoorwills remind me of the summers we stayed with my grandmother in northern Wisconsin; loons remind me of lovely lakeside camps; and the sound of the hermit thrush reminds me of a cozy, woodsy camp.

    Right now the finches are fighting at the bird feeder over who gets to be on the perches to dine and they’re pretty noisy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, Marsha! It’s true… There’s something about birds… It’s like they are the “autograph” of a camp. Now I’m having fun remembering . . . .

      yellow warbler (?) at Sand Island, Bluff, Utah
      cactus wren and phaenopepla at Ajo, Arizona
      pelican at Eagle Lake, Susanville, California
      yellow-headed blackbird at Bear Butte, South Dakota
      heron at Burro Creek, Wikieup, Arizona
      magpie at Dillon, Montana
      sage grouse at Boulder Lake, Wyoming
      American dipper at the Tieton River, Washington
      bluebird on Badger Mountain, Ephraim, Utah
      killdeer at Florence, Oregon
      sandhill crane at Caballo, New Mexico
      roadrunner at Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
      hummingbird at many places, including Dubois, Wyoming
      great egret at Mittry Lake, Arizona

      I could go on and on… Oh, and loons and mergansers at Flaming Gorge!

  38. Pamela K. says:

    I have tried to find another place on your blog to email to you direct but could not find one. Forgive me if this is not the place to ask this question but I really want to help support your travels through Amazon purchases. My question is this; Does Amazon allow for phone orders instead of online? I ask this because I am former law enforcement and I currently do not do online transactions but do phone ordering instead. This is NOT to say that online purchasing is a bad thing at all. Just not my personal choice as the phone ordering laws are often much different from the online ordering laws in many states. Mainly because phone ordering has been around for so many more years and have had more time to be refined to a degree. Anyway, as I expand my hiking, camping, RV, and travel plans I will be making a few purchases. I would like for you to be able to get credit for them to add to your 2014 income. Is there a way that this could be done other than online purchasing? You are most welcome to email me directly with any options or suggestions. I have become quite the fan of your blog and want to help out anyway I can. Now would be a great time as my husband and I are soon to be moving forward with our own travels and have several travel related needs to purchase. Please let me know. I may not be the only one out there in cyber-land that would like to help you and while going another route other than the online way. You are such a gemstone among the many rocks you walk over during your walks with Bridge! Safe trails to you both!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pamela,

      Thank you for your desire to support my blog by purchasing from Amazon. I’m very pleased that you are a “fan” of my blog.

      I don’t know if Amazon takes phone orders and I’ve never heard anything about Amazon Associates receiving commissions from phone orders. I doubt it very much.

      Thank you for your wish for our “safe trails!” Best wishes to you and your husband as you plan and prepare for your own travels.

      NOTE: If you’re a reader who knows about Amazon phone orders, please inform us.

    • Mick'nTN says:

      When you buy via the internet your credit card is handled without human intervention. Anyone that has access to the credit card numbers would be cleared and would leave an electronic trail of any access. This is not true of phone orders; a human can write your number down when you call. I think your fears are unfounded and perhaps misguided.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Wow Mick….
        I didn’t know about the camera making noise and didn’t really pay attention to online vs on the phone transactions! Seriously …this blog is a gold mine of knowledge!

        Pamela- you can always get a prepaid Visa. Issuing credit card agencies don’t hold you liable for unauthorized charges.

        Great question! I hope you find the answer and it works out for you. We takes steps to fly under the radar…no people search / zabasearch or Google search inquiries will lead to our physical address.

  39. Pat in Rochester says:

    It’s fun trying to figure out birds. And interesting how they change from east to west, even those with the same name. Loons have a wonderful song. When I was a kid we spent some summers on a lake in Maine, and the loons called mornings and evenings. so lovely.

    So you fostered dogs! I fostered three different little labs this past winter, through a local rescue. All, ahem, mixed labs, I should say. What a bunch of hooie, “mixed” vs designer vs mutt. lol! I have a houseful now, my daughter and 4 year old granddaughter recently moved in with me along with their cat. With my own cat and dog, it’s a little too crazy right now to foster!

    Love the pics of Bridget. She can speak volumes with those eyes.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You certainly do have a housefull!

      Fostering dogs was very gratifying. I used to groom and primp the dogs for the adoption day at a local shopping center. The dogs knew it was a big deal. It was a delight when a family and a dog experienced “love at first sight.” Then the family would go home with the promise they’d be contacted after their references checked, a home visit made, and so forth.

      I’d deliver the dog and when it realized “Oh, THIS is the family that belongs to me now,” the dog would become ecstatic with joy. People often asked me, “How can you take care of a dog for weeks and then give it up?” That’s why. To take a mess of a dog from death row, bring it to glowing health and cleanliness, all the way to that moment of bonding and joy . . . Wow!

      • Teri in SoCal says:

        When people foster, it allows rescues to pull more animals from the shelters. Saves a lot of lives.

        Thank you for that, Sue.

  40. wildflower in prescott says:

    Thank you for writing about how you take “leave no trace” so seriously. There are still people who do not understand what it means and through your examples you will educate them. In girl scouts back in the 50s and 60s we were taught to leave a campsite cleaner than we found it.

    The life you have created for yourself seems so interesting and stimulating but I do understand the “Boring” parts of food cravings. 😉

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, wildflower in prescott,

      Nice to see you here! Yes, the scouts do teach Leave No Trace to this day. Maybe someday most of the people will know better than to foul up our public land and waters. Until then, it’s up to the rest of us to clean up after them, like surrogate mommies.

  41. Willow (AZ) says:

    I have a print of a loon on my wall that I have enjoyed for about thirty years. My husband and I used to go up to Loon Lake in B.C. Canada every year to fish, eat and relax on the beautiful lake and listen to the Loons, it was magical. I’m happy you are able to enjoy them also.
    The scenery where you are is so beautiful I can see why you are reluctant leave, plus it looks like Bridget is getting some serious relaxing time also. The pictures of her are so cute. I’m so glad you found this beautiful site to boondock.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you for your sweet message, Willow.

      How fortunate you were to be able to hear loons at a beautiful lake… Loon Lake!… for several years with your husband.

      It being Saturday a boat pulling a water skier roared around the bay most of the afternoon. I haven’t heard the loons since then. I hope they didn’t leave, or that others will take their place. It’s such a treat to hear them and to watch them dive for fish.

  42. Wow! What happy, peaceful days you’re both enjoying! Ahhh! The respite of nature! What an incredible camp! Yes, I believe you have the Common Loon with you on that lake. I teach a birds class online to homeschoolers, actually. I’m still nowhere near being an expert but we sure enjoy studying all kinds of species together. Perhaps you know about Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Here’s a great link about the Common Loon: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/common_loon/id

    Heres my Birds class website I use with my students, if you want to check it out:

    I’m adding to it continually (along with my other 9 websites for my other classes). Wishing you both continued joy and peaceful solitude!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gloria,

      Thanks for sharing your websites with us! I look forward to seeing what you offer (when I have a faster connection). I’m sure there are readers who will enjoy the sites, too.

      I used to do a unit on birds as part of environmental studies when I taught 4th and 5th grade students. They loved it.

  43. Cherie from OH says:

    I’ve only heard the call of the loon in movies too. I love it so much I bought a tape of them that I still play when I’m relaxing. I don’t know what I’ll do when my tape player breaks.

    With all the talk above about dogs, I’m curious now…just what kind of dogs would be best for the RV life?

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      I can’t think of a single answer. Partly because there are so many different types of “RV Life.” I mean, imagine one of those small dogs who basically lives on the dashboard of a Class A vs. a dog that goes hiking every day. Etc. etc.

      When I looked for my pup, I knew there were certain things that would work out great. I got some but not all of them. Each person’s list would be different, but some of mine:

      1) Easy going personality to accept changes in scene without barking/getting nervous, etc.

      2) Active outside but calm in the house.

      3) Not a super alpha type because I am not good at (nor do I want to) strategize for dominance.

      4) Friendly looking so that when I’m out walking people are not overly intimidated and/or there are not issues if I go to a campground or whatever (whether it is correct or not, certain breeds are discriminated against).

      5) Not an excessive barker, but OTOH a good watch dog.

      6) Not a shedder.

      7) Hopefully not prone to medical issues – at least as much as possible.

      8) Medium sized (because I like big dogs, but a small dog would be handier).

      Of course I ended up with a wonderful dog and I loved him to bits even though he did not fit all of the above (although he did admirably in most of the categories – especially in adapting to whatever came along without a hint of nerves or agitation). He did shed, and wasn’t a barker but also was absolutely useless as a watch dog – I swear he would have put on coffee for thieves. And at the very end, he did have medical issues – we just took them in stride and I adapted as necessary.

      You might have completely different ideas (maybe you have cats, like tiny dogs, or whatever).

      • weather says:

        IMHO-whichever one that you can rescue next…

      • BadgerRickInWis says:

        OK consider my curiosity peaked. From that list what kind of dog did you end up with?

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          weather: Yes, whichever one you can rescue is a good thing, but I also knew that if a dog couldn’t do well with my lifestyle it would be a long 18 years (maybe more for the dog than me!). So I figured there are likely plenty of pups that need rescue that *do* more or less fit my list (and indeed there were).

          BadgerRick: At first I had my heart set on a black German Shepherd Dog that was at the rescue. No, it didn’t fit many of my “parameters,” but… I fell in love with it! It was at the vet getting medical treatment, and I went every day and walked it (until it could be released to me). Well, sadly, one day I went in and they said “we are going to have to put the dog to sleep, it has terminal… [I forget now… kidney disease?]. But you can still walk it one more time today if you want to.” Of course I did, but what a sad walk on my part. “Take your time and sniff everything!” Oh too sad!

          Next I went to look at another rescue dog that was fostering at a woman’s house (small town, so no shelter but rather foster rescue families). It was young but not too young (around 4 months old as it turns out). They let me take him on a ride while I did some errands. He was super mellow in the truck, and I just had a great feeling about him. As you may be able to guess, we bonded, and the next 16 years were fantastic as we did everything together. The first few long car rides he got car sick…. between the front seats… ergh… but luckily he grew out of it.

          Anyway, he was a golden retriever/collie mix, but smaller than you would expect at around 42#. Picture the shape, head, expression, and most of the personality of a golden with a slightly pointier nose and the colors of a collie. He was quite a guy 🙂 Super mellow and friendly. He wouldn’t even deign to notice a ball or a stick on land, but throw something in the water and he’d swim steadfastly out to get it. Over, and over, and over. Whee! Even if it was practically a tree (I’m sure others here have dogs like that too – they come swimming in with a huge trunk and their head sort of sideways, but happy as a clam).

          • weather says:

            Pen,I agree with you! 🙂

            Adopting if the outcome is likely to make life unhappy for you both isn’t rescuing-it’s imprisonment!

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Thanks for letting me know you understand — I started to worry that I sounded too picky when there were lives to save! But it’s like you said: I knew my lifestyle and situation and hoped for a dog that would enjoy it (and luckily I found one, and he did need rescue – had been found on the side of the road as a starved, skin-and-bones puppy that was fostered until I adopted him at around four months of age).

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Unfortunately there are so many homeless pets that one can easily find whatever breed one feels is best for their home.

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Exactly. It’s sad and unfortunate that there is such a “selection” to choose from 🙁

            • As Sue knows, both Radar and DoogieBowser are adopted rescues. We were camped in Tetonia, Idaho when I saw Radar’s photo on FaceBook! He was at the Humane Society in my hometown of Eastpoint FL. I was in love! This dog was mine! When I called for more information I was told he had heartworms and nobody had adopted him because treatment was so expensive. I called the local vet there and was told that if Radar survived, I would have the sweetest dog ever! Long story short, Radar was my $400 pound puppy and doc was so right… He is the sweetest dog ever and the perfect camping dog anyone could want. It was 5 weeks before I could meet Radar… He is the best investment I could have ever made!

          • BadgerRickInWis says:

            Thanks for sharing that Pen. I’m not sure which line had me smile more. Where these two forever friends bonded in the truck or the story of him swimming back to shore with a redwood in his mouth. Sounds like one hell of a dog.

      • Cherie from OH says:

        That’s a good list, Pen. I don’t imagine it’s easy to know for sure what a dog’s personality will be like until you’ve spent a great deal of time with them. Guess you just have to trust your instinct then, as you did.

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          I think you can try to stack the odds in your favor (certain breeds do have certain tendencies) but you’re right in that you never really know for sure. I lucked out (but too, the breed mix suggested the outcome).

          I found so much of interest in the book I mentioned above. Seems obvious now but I had never thought of it. Things like how the types of breeds that directly follow a human’s cues in their traditional working life (say, retrievers) pay more attention to following “their” human; whereas those that led humans in their traditional working lives (say, hounds) tend to run on ahead and expect you to follow. These are generalizations, and with a mix you have to do a bit of guessing (and you still never know for sure), but I still found them interesting (and they seem to have some validity).

    • Applegirl NY says:

      We’re going to be travelling with two Springers in a 17′ Casita. That ought to be an experience. We’ll try it out for 4-6 weeks this winter. Thankfully, the camper will be just a place to sleep, because we won’t be able to move around much. We’ll have a screen house for hanging out in.

  44. Gayle says:

    After a trip to Minnesota, I learned that loons mate for life and take care of their babies well. Gotta love the loons! I thought I was married to a loon, but apparently not!

  45. DesertGinger says:

    Bird day; very cool. Love birds. I am lying around getting frustrated….it seems my lump isn’t getting much attention. Not sure what they are going to do. Anyway just checking in to say hi!

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, DesertGinger,

      Glad to see your post. You are an amazing person, staying so strong despite setbacks. We are keeping you in our prayers.

      Ok, girl, go back a few posts and look at some of those cowboys in the tight jeans….let your mind wander. Eye (and mind) candy always helps to make one feel a little better! Sending you healing wishes and hugs! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      We appreciate the update, Ginger. Not knowing the course of treatment is not good for your state of mind… Nab a doctor/nurse and insist on some answers (which you probably have already done). Sheesh.

      Oh well, this too shall pass. Love ya!

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Hey DeGin,

        Maybe they are waiting to see if the antibiotics will take care of it! Then you don’t have to have it lanced, a drain or anesthesia.

        Keep your head up!

  46. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    Hi Sue, Your current camp looks wonderful. That is a beautiful picture of Bridget.
    I just returned from a few days in the new trailer. Our little dog really did well in it. We were at a familiar house, so she had no strangers to bark at. Back to elder care again for now, but must say I am lucky, because I see and hear loons on our lake for about five months a year. Helps with my current stress level.
    For anyone interested in dogs, I just put a new dog picture on our shelter web site….it is some kind of mix that hasn’t quite been determined. His ears are huge, short little legs, maybe Basset mix. Such an odd little guy that he is cute.
    lakefieldanimalwelfare.org. Then go to adopt. His name is Jackson, he is two years
    Hope you get to enjoy some goodies soon.

    • weather says:

      Found Jackson’s picture,if I were anywhere near there,I’d go see if he and the troupe acted like they wanted to be together,and if so-snatch him up in a second-what a doll!

      • Val R. Lakefield On. says:

        I wish you could see his body…he is like Basset or Corgi & has spots like a Springer….but those ears, LOL. So big

        • weather says:

          With 3 b/w members already-A long hair manx mix cat-One French Springer spaniel and one Siberian /Springer mix ,as part of this troupe,gosh a too cute black and white Springer-like-spotted pal might fit in so-o nicely!!!

          The reason the distance from here matters -is that I recommend and try- to introduce one’s that might make us home to the others here, before going further-insuring the peaceful safe life we all deserve.Some places let you test that once or twice on their premises,or if close by,even try a short visit at home.Of course in emergency “cases” I’ve found-they just come here period and we love each other through whatever happens ’til it’s calm.It would be wonderful if we could see a photo of him with his new human,sigh

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Jackson is adorable! He has soulful eyes. I hope he finds a forever home soon!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi,, Val R.,

      Good news about your dog doing well in the trailer! I hope your time off from your responsibilities was relaxing and fun for you.

  47. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Your pictures are so lovely. That sunrise or sunset shot is spectacular! Miss Bridget is a cutie!

    Eclairs, waffles, real maple syrup, maple leaf candies and chocolate – oh, my! Made my mouth water! I am still trying to work on the “butt challenge”….veggie omelet for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and I plan to steam some zucchini and sweet onion for dinner. Why is what is good for us so boring at times?! I’m with you, Sue, regarding chocolate. If I buy more than one bar, it will be inhaled….if one is good, a whole bag is even better! When a craving hits, I TRY to buy just one bar and enjoy it….multiples are dangerous! 🙂

    Gracie pup and I enjoyed vicariously joining you and Bridget on your hike – thanks for sharing! Hope you all have a great evening!

    PS – I don’t think I have ever heard a loon. That has been added to my bucket list!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      The butt challenge continues here, too. I started on the Dukan diet again before we returned to Flaming Gorge. It jump-starts weight loss for me. Then I couldn’t replenish my supply of Greek yogurt and, well, there you go…

      Everyone needs to hear a loon at least once in their life. It’s a requirement.

      I hope you and Gracie have a good evening, too!

  48. Applegirl NY says:

    What a great group of posts today. Love the variety of conversation.
    I love loons. We listen to them when we’re in the mountains. They lift my spirit.

    I also love the picture of Bridget under the covers. She cracks me up.

    Sue, I didn’t know you were from Cambridge. I love Washington County. It’s right in our back yard. Beautiful country up there.

  49. Chas anderson says:

    Love the loons. We own a summer spot on a lake in the Adirondacks and have been trailering there for a month.There are a half dozen loons there and when they talk to each other it really gets loony.In the spring the babies sometimes ride on the mothers back.Also, when they dive they can surface 200 feet away.Never expected to see that they are in Utah.

    • Applegirl NY says:

      Where’s your place? There seem to be a of of us connected to the ADKs.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Charles,

      I read in my Audubon field guide that loons can dive 200 feet deep, as fishermen have caught them in nets that far down. Their bones are almost solid, unlike other birds, and their specific gravity is close to that of water, allowing them ease of diving. Fascinating creatures!

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        I was at an aquarium once – maybe it was Monterey, CA? – where they had an area that was a pond, but there was a glass wall, and where the people were on the outside the normal surface of the water was overhead. I’m not explaining this well, but it’s like the glass wall allowed you to be underwater and see a “cutaway” view (only you were not underwater…)

        At any rate, there were loons in the pond (I grew up seeing them but only on the surface), and to watch them dive…. it was simply amazing! The crazy speed and sharp angle they could dive on… you could barely move your eyes fast enough to keep them in view.

        They may “stub their chests” when they walk on land, but in the water… amazing!

  50. Ginny says:

    I lived on a lake, in Minnesota, growing up so heard the loons often!!
    Have been in Arizona many years and this morning heard the Canadian geese,
    winter is coming!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ginny,

      I remember Canada geese flying in V formation over our house in upstate New York every fall. My mother always got excited over that event.

  51. Ron Sears says:

    I like that picture of Bridget with that “Lets sleep in look” on her face! Be safe.

  52. Kay says:

    I’m with Bridget…. stay under cover….

    Shampooing the RV today…..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m glad to hear you’re keeping busy, Kay. 😉

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        Yeah, really. Enough lolling around, Kay….

        (Heh, heh)

        • Kay says:

          Yeah, I’ve been in one of my grumpy moods lately. One which I need to place myself in time out! I get this way only when I have to do the “thinking” for others.

          It’s like…
          Shoes untied walking and carrying crap – TIE your shoes before you fall and break yourself or the glasses you are carrying. OR when I have to remind the others, KAY needs SPACE, do not pile up crap in KAYS SPACE! Or, as my daughter tells it “moms in her mood, that means make sure everything is spotless and perfect especially that damn kitchen. Don’t leave clothes on the floor, you loose them. Don’t walk on carpet with shoes or barefoot, you won’t like to wear surgical slippers!

          Yep, daughter knows my mood which comes along after a while of others being SLOPPY!

          Now, off to the stores to see if I can handle mobs of people or not, today.

          Everyone have a good day….

  53. edlfrey says:

    Your timing was just right to catch the fall migration.

    Mid-continental loon breeding populations found in areas such as central and northern Saskatchewan use a migration route that crosses the Rocky Mountains in Montana and remains east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, using lakes such as Walker and Pyramid in Nevada and Flaming Gorge Reservoir on the Utah-Wyoming border for both spring and fall staging areas.

  54. Lolalo says:

    Sue, You have identified the ‘ducks’ correctly. Common Loon and Common Mergansers. Great find. And you are right – once you hear a loon, it is easy to recognize them later. Usually you hear them before you see them.
    Beautiful scenery.
    I happen to be tent camping by a cool running stream tonight in Western North Carolina. Nice and cool after the sun has gone down. I will have a good night’s sleep tonight after a mostly sleepless night last night, hearing the water tumble over the rocks nonstop. Aaahhhh.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Sounds like a lovely camp, Lolalo. Tumbling water is a great sleep inducer. Nightie-night! Wake to a glorious North Carolina morning!

  55. weather says:

    It may be too late for anyone to see this,yet as tomorrow I’ve plans to have a small group birthday lobster lunch w/friends(finally) I’m leaving a catch all sign off.Pen,you did a great job with your forever friend!Ginger,as always- you’re doing a great job,love ya,I’m impressed!Everyone-what a lovely group you are.Sue,with so many of us jumping in everywhere,we made you miss saying Hi to Val.Tee Hee ,have a sweet bedtime with Bridget,N’nite

  56. R. (Western Colorado/now in Saratoga Springs, NY) says:

    I’m on the way to NH for a few days of hiking Presidential Range. I’ll be spending my birthday alone. Alone doesn’t mean lonely. Just the way I want. Then back to Lake Placid to enjoy fall foliage in the Adirondacks and to eat more Cortland apples. Cortland apples, beautiful fall colors, real maple syrup, loons, lake, mountains, hiking. What else a person needs?

    Sue, did you see wildhorses in WY?

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Safe travels R. Enjoy your birthday……the area and the cortland apples!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Warm wishes for your birthday, R.!

      No, I didn’t see any wild horses in WY. I drove by the BLM wild horse viewing area and the wild horse tour road TWICE… If I could’ve found a good camp around Rock Springs I would’ve stayed overnight in order to see the horses.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Have a wonderful Birthday, R!

  57. katydidmom in Chicago says:

    I was kayaking on a lake in northern Wisconsin one late summer day when I stopped to re-adjust my hat. I was quite surprised when a parent loon and younger loon popped up right next to me, less than two feet away from the center of the kayak. I watched as the parent dove back down while the youngster stayed on the surface. Mom (or dad) popped back up to the surface with a mussel in its beak. The adult fed the mussel to the young one. I watched the young loon swallow it, shell and all in one huge gulp. Then they swam away.

    I was astounded by my luck in seeing this as well as with what I had seen!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow! That’s a priceless experience! I would’ve been astounded, too.

      I haven’t heard the loons since a motorboat and waterskier roared around this bay several times yesterday. I miss them!

  58. Susie A. says:

    So, is the lake water extraordinarily cold? Could one swim in this “loch”?☺️

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No, the water isn’t cold, unless you go out where it’s deep. It’s cool. There’s that initial shock to get used to. For me the air isn’t warm enough for swimming. Today is chilly, cloudy, and it rained a few minutes ago.

  59. suzago says:

    Not saying you have an undue influence on me, but I just went to the freezer and thawed 3 “mini” eclairs I keep in there for company. I’m moving into my new teensy apartment and after reading your blog, I decided I’m my first guest!

  60. Cat Lady (on the road in Bradyville, TN) says:

    Sue, you might want to put the monocular in the Shopping Links. You know someone’s going to want the info somewhere down the line and you’ll have to look it up for them. Just a suggestion. Hugs and belly rubs to Bridget.

    Cat Lady

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Another good idea from you, Cat Lady. Thank you! If I remember correctly, you suggested I put my camera on the Shopping Links page, too. I haven’t attempted it because of this slow connection. It is agonizingly slooooowwww. It took all morning to put today’s post together and that didn’t include loading and editing the photos.

      As soon as I have fast internet I have several tasks to complete… Your great ideas about the Shopping Links, the maps of our travels that edlfrey offered to help me with, and the dadgum money reports that I haven’t done since April! I’m a pretty sorry excuse for a blogger! LOL!

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