Hot, hot, hot in Zion

A few evenings ago I thought I heard the sound of horses’ hooves on the other side of the creek.

Early this morning the crew and I set out to explore.  When Bridget and Spike see me adjusting my walking stick, they hop around with excitement.  Spike and I ford the creek easily.  I look back and see Bridget is still on the other side.  She stands on the opposite bank staring at us.  I’ve played this staring game with her before.  Bridget always wins.

So back across the stream I go, pick her up, and carry the little princess across the terrible, raging waters.

Right away I see evidence of horses.  I take some photos of the creek from this side, as if it’s that much different!  I’m slapping the earth with my walking stick as we go.  Never hurts to give the ol’ snaky-poos some vibe that we’re coming through.  We discover a beautiful, trumpet-type flower with blooms about four inches in diameter.  I also notice wavy lines in the sand.  Hmm . . .  snake or rodent tails?  No horses are seen anywhere.

The day heats up early so I know we’re in for a scorcher.

On the way back, following the creek, Spike suddenly sprints ahead and makes a sharp right turn.  I know what he’s doing!  He ran to the opening in the trees and brush where he can shoot down the bank and run into the creek.  Bridget and I eventually catch up.  “You’re on your own, Bridget.  If you want to go home, you’re gonna have to figure out a way to get across.”

She studies the creek, walking downstream until she finds the shallowest area, and steps in.

I take photos as she goes.  She’s devised a route across the creek where she soon can place her dainty paws up on the rocks and hop from one to the next to make it the rest of the way.  Bridget may be, frankly, a bit strange, but she’s a very smart dog.

By afternoon it’s a hundred degrees.

Going anywhere is out of the question because I cannot leave the crew in the PTV.  All afternoon the three of us rotate between sitting in the shade of our trees where a slight breeze comes through, lolling in the cool of the creek, or lying inside the BLT in front of the fan.   Bridget and Spike like the cool sand underneath the BLT, too.

I’ve been here a week and haven’t turned on the television once.

I’m not optimistic about getting any channels as we are camped in a valley between two pretty high peaks.  Surprise!  Two channels!  I watch the news for the first time in several weeks and, another surprise . . .  Nothing’s changed!  I study maps to plot possible routes we might take this summer.

The crew and I will camp at higher elevations now that summer is here.

I want to hike Zion with Chuck on Monday, his day off.   After that, the crew and I will have to leave for a cooler camp!

Zion Creekside Camp — Exploring the Other Side of the Creek[slideshow]

rvsue

5/21/12 . . . $8.50 campground fee (DeMotte)
5/22/12 . . . $70.16 for 16.83 gal. gas @ 4.16 per gal., $17.40 for 4.3 gal. propane @ $3.79 per gal., $16.00 campground fee (Coral Pink Sand Dunes SP), $22.57 groceries
5/23/12 . . . $0
5/24/12 . . . $0
5/25/12 . . . $0
5/26/12 . . . $0
5/27/12 . . . $0
5/28/12 . . . $0
5/29/12 . . . $66.41 for tire repair, rotation, and balancing, plus a new air filter, $46.51 groceries, $11.28 dog food, $5.39 sundries
5/30/12 . . . $10 dinner at Wildcat Willie’s
5/31/12 . . . $0
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58 Responses to Hot, hot, hot in Zion

  1. hobopals says:

    Sue, I love how dogs make us laugh. They all have very different personalities. Bridget’s “crossing” cracked me up. Heat: Don’t know if this would work for you on solar, BUT I carry a big box fan (I know, space but it’s worth it) and plug it in outside the trailer when I’m sitting outside. If you have a problem with bugs, it will help. You can put it on the ground to keep the crew cooler. I think we talked before about the Endless Breeze Fan (12 volt). I keep that in my truck so it’s with me at all times, but it would work outside, too. You’ve probably already thought of all this, and if that’s the case feel free to address me as knucklehead in your response. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you for the ideas! I haven’t thought about putting the fan outside. There’s usually a bit of breeze so sitting in the shade is some relief. Trouble is, I’m pulled into the BLT to slave over a hot laptop!

      The crew and I love our 12v box fan!

      • cathieok says:

        Sue, can you not get a wireless “do-hickey” ( love my technical terms) so you could sit outside with your computer?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I do have the wireless “do-hickey.” It’s the glare on the screen that drives me and the laptop back inside.

          • cathieok says:

            If I had my thinking ap on I would have realized you, of course, have wireless. Guess broken ankle and being bed bound makes one stupid! :)).

    • Kim says:

      Great idea for a fan outside to deter insects!

  2. Reine says:

    Welcome to June! We’ve had some rain and a “cold” front here in north Texas and the high is supposed to be around 87 today – we’re enjoying the cool weather for a bit cause summer’s already shown up with no signs of letting up for several months.
    Monthly expenses are looking good.
    Total controllable costs for May are $635.01 for an average daily cost of $20.48
    Adding in the fixed costs (insurance, internet, phone, etc) of $282.77 brings the monthly total to $917.78 for a daily average of (DRUMROLL PLEASE) $29.61. You’re doing a FANTASTIC job of living on less and enjoying life more. I’m guessing the diet may have increased your food costs a bit but it’s totally worth it for the the improvement in your health. Stay cool.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right, Reine. The diet did increase my food costs. When I decided to start the Dukan diet, I still had perishables in the fridge that I wasn’t allowed to eat, plus bread. These items were wasted. Then I went out and bought a lot of lean meat and Greek yogurt which isn’t as cheap. No more eating pasta and PB&Js!

      Another thing that boosted May’s expenses, of course, besides driving more than usual, is the high-priced gas and propane I bought at Jacob Lake. As time goes by I’ll become better at planning to avoid buying in expensive places.

      If I can keep my monthly total under $1,000 per month, including budgeting for auto maintenance,and medical for all of us, I’ll be very pleased. Living on $12,000 a year while seeing the country is attainable, I believe, barring any catastrophes, of course.

      Thank you, Reine. At the end of June (six months), I’ll take your figures and elaborate on my finances.

  3. Lacy says:

    I get the biggest kick out of your crew!

    I was wondering, since you’re keeping track of expenses……have you ever added everything up from the beginning (not including the PTV and BLT), how much you’ve spent and divided it by the number of days you’re been on the road? To get a rough figure of how much it’s costing you on a daily basis to live? I know you’ve bought odds and ends here and there – the solar panels, etc – a hat, etc. But all that is part of your ‘living’ expense……. Then again, you’ll figure it out and tell me and I’ll cry when I compare it to my sticks and bricks!

    • Reine says:

      Lacy, I’m keeping a spreadsheet of the expenses that Sue reports. The info in my reply above is accurate. It doesn’t include the PTV, BLT, solar, Wave 3 or other things that were purchased before 1-1-12. But the numbers do include the controllable expenses and the monthly fixed expenses. Although not listed above, the year to day daily average is $29.14. We can all cry when we compare that to sticks and bricks – and the view out her window changes at will!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I didn’t keep a record of my expenses. I didn’t see the relevance of it at the time since I was making one-time, large purchases (like solar which is shown on the “solar power” pages from header above), and I was living in campgrounds exclusively. Those numbers would throw off the average daily expense that Reine is so kindly calculating for us. My main interest is discovering how little it costs to live a primarily boondocking lifestyle. Anyone can add on campground fees, if they want.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Lacy, I think the numbers Reine is providing for us give the best picture of my costs for my style of living and traveling. Prior to Jan. 2012 I had campground fees and one-time purchases that can be added on to Reine’s figures, according to a person’s preferences for campgrounds and equipment.

  4. cathieok says:

    Time to hitch up and head for cooler ground! But so glad you are going to do the narrows. Just hope it doesn’t rain. No hiking if it is going to. Very dangerous. Enjoy your cool little stream. It looks perfect. Would love to put my broken, swollen ankle in it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      So sorry you are suffering with a broken ankle. That’s not fun at all. Slim chance of rain on Monday. The report is for sunny and more sunny.

      • Chuck says:

        We or me is not planning on going into the very coolish water of the narrows. We will do the trail up TO the narrows and maybe stick in a very COLD toe! This aboot(lotta Canadians around) a 2- 2.5 hr walk. The sane folk walk the narrows ( HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) in late July, September and after according to water temp and storms. Other hikes avail at Sues (and My) abilities!!!! Lookin forward to it.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You’re the guide, Chuck. Whatever you say is fine with me! I’m happy for the chance to leave the crew behind and see some more of Zion.

  5. Marcia says:

    Love Bridget’s solution for crossing the creek! I really admire how you keep your expenses down, too. Stay cool and have a great hike.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Marcia! I hope people reading how I live from day to day, as well as seeing my average daily spending, will be helped to see if they could do this, too. Someone who likes fast food and restaurants, and doesn’t want to give that up, can easily see that a daily outlay of less than $30 is not going to cover that.

  6. Lacy says:

    I know it’s like comparing apples to oranges, but oh how I would love to only spend $30/day!!!! Way to go Sue & Crew!

  7. Kim says:

    No homeowner’s insurance, property tax; lawn maintenance; cable, electric, water, garbage collection, or gas bills; pest control…. I’m sure I’m leaving lotsa stuff off the list.

    P.S. You go, Bridget!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Another expense I don’t have,, which is related to retirement and my extremely “casual” way of life, is dressy clothing and shoes!

  8. rvsueandcrew says:

    I’m glad, Harriet, that my info on daily spending and Reine’s calculations are helpful for you. I assume you are correct that running around on stop-n-go trips with a Class C would take more gas than driving a tow vehicle.

    I keep my speed around 55-60 when towing, not only to save gas, but also for the benefit of my tires. It’s sometimes hard to do on two-lane roads with tailgaters. I pull over a lot!

    I mean to figure the PTV’s mpg and then I forget. I’ll do that and post the number.

    I don’t even want to THINK about Bridget talking. She drives me nuts as it is.

    • Margie says:

      ‘Wonder what Bridget would do here in northern Minnesota; I have a 13 yr old beagle named Chloe, who will walk/run on three legs when she is in the snow during the winter (alternates which three they are too,which is probably the funniest part to watch!)

  9. Reine says:

    Here are a few numbers to consider when thinking of changing to an RV lifestyle. If you choose a 17′ Casita and purchase NEW, plan to spend between $17,000 and $20,000 by the time you get the trailer and the associated “stuff” you will want to go with it. The difference is which options you choose and what you do or have done after pickup. Casitas last a long time and you can buy a “gently loved” Casitas for less. Paul and I have a 2000 that we purchased in 2008 and have about $10,000 invested so far between purchase price and modifications that we chose to do. The cost of the tow vehicle depends on what type, how new it is, and how well you can bargain. We started towing with a Chevy S10 and upgraded when we had saved the money to pay cash. We paid about $24000 in 2009 for a 2008 low mileage Avalanche and get between 11 and 13 mpg towing. The real key is to do what Sue did. Make a plan (even if it IS a 7 year plan), stick to the plan and then enjoy the rewards.

    And just a suggestion. If you’re talking to RV salesfolks and they say do or don’t get this option – ask them how many nights they’ve spent camping in that type of RV. Surprisingly, some of them just SELL RVs, they don’t use them. For usage info, follow blogs or forums to help you make informed decisions about what you need. That’s what Sue did and it’s worked great for her.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    So glad you are near the cool creek!! I cannot imagine how you could stay cool enough when it is so hot!! Always enjoy seeing the puppies, doing what they do!!

  11. Sherry says:

    That sure is a beautiful neighborhood you’ve got there. I’d sure like to be your neighbor although maybe in the fall when it’s cooler????

    Another thought about your lifestyle and costs is that like me, you don’t drive a lot. You stay put a great deal. That saves a bundle on gasoline and other auto/rv maintenance costs.

    • Sherry says:

      PS Tell Bridget thanks for the laughs. I really needed them and she, on her very careful tippy toe walk provided them.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You point out an important way to keep costs down which I will now paraphrase . . . “Don’t run around so much! Slow down and smell the roses! What’s the big hurry!” My plan is to stay put as long as possible in the winter to cover the extra expenses of traveling in the warm months.

  12. Geri says:

    Sue, I am pretty sure that white flower is called “datura”….. you didn’t show much of the leaves so I’m not positive!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The leaves are a dark blue-grey-green and I think they are a very narrow heart shape. It grows in a clump of leaves about a foot high with the flowers nestled in it (not held high on a stem).

  13. earthdancerimages says:

    What??? WordPress is letting me use Geri again with a link to our blog??? Will wonders ever cease ???? hahahaha

  14. Ed Smith says:

    Hi Sue, you are right. I was at Zion yesterday and it was hot. We didn’t try the Narrows trail in that heat. Maybe with an early morning start it would be ok. We had been to Zion before but never took the trolley. What a deal, with the interagency pass total cost $ 0.00.
    We’re staying in Duck Creek campground, $7.50 with pass. One of the top FS campgrounds I’ve been in I highly recommend campsite 52. If you see a Casita 17 pulled by a brown Land Cruiser it’s us. We’ve been within a few miles of you the last three days. Have a wonderful summer.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ed!

      I researched Duck Creek Campground. You may not have full hookups but the elevation makes it cool up there. You lucky ducks! (Couldn’t resist that). It’s another hot day today. I’m hoping it cools down some by Monday for our hike. I hear the water is cool there.

      I want to take the trolley! I love that sort of thing. I don’t think the crew would be welcome on it though. I appreciate you posting all this good information. You have a wonderful summer, too. I’ll keep an eye out for you in your Land Cruiser!

  15. Doris says:

    I’ve been lurking on your site since the beginning. You are such an inspiration, thanks for sharing your journey. I would like to inquire about your walking stick. I seem to remenber you saying that a camera can be attached to the top, if so, what is the name of the stick?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Doris! Glad you’re with us!

      The walking stick is a SLIK Pro Pod 600.(SBH-60 … whatever that means). Yes a camera can be attached and the angle adjusted. It’s nice.

  16. Robert says:

    Yes Zion is “starting” to warm up. For the real hot experience come back in about six weeks or so.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I wouldn’t dare! My little weather widget in the righthand column read 109 degrees today. Usually that thing is far from reality. Today I think it got it right!

  17. Linda a. says:

    Oh, Sue….not trying to be wet blanket…..but, maybe you should move out of that area
    before your little guys meet a mean ole snake! Worried for you. :))

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Don’t be worried. I remember when I was camped at Ash Fork, AZ, I heard on the news about someone bitten by a rattlesnake. His location? Phoenix! Thank you for your concern.

  18. geogypsy2u says:

    The crew has you well trained. After walking the Narrows it will surely be time to head to cooler country. Was a lovely mid-70s today under the pines.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Chuck is working (camp host) at the River Resort this weekend. That’s why our hike isn’t until Monday. Plus I’m waiting for packages to arrive. Then I’m definitely moving to higher ground!

  19. Chuck says:

    Hope you got above msg about chilly to cold water conditins…suggest up TO the narrows and plan a couple of easy hikes (for me / to complete the day. Geri said she’ll take us to town to get shuttle to Zion Park Visitors Center and we’ll meet her wherever in Springdale…Meet a Zion River Resort at 9 am ish????

  20. RVingFT says:

    Are those little round blue things WILD BLUEBERRIES?!?

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