It’s not too late to try

Thursday, January 15

“How ’bout we take a little ride into town?”

Bridget replies by disappearing out the door of the Best Little Trailer to hop, wiggle, prance in circles, and yip excitedly at the side door of the Perfect Tow Vehicle.

“I’ll take that as a yes.”  I open the door and toss her inside.  We leave our Sonoran Desert camp in southern Arizona.

1-P1020206It’s ten miles from Why to Ajo.

We pass the Border Patrol Station.

1-P1020205It’s another beautiful day in the desert.

1-P1020201Approaching Ajo, the huge copper mine comes into view.

We pass the school, the Chamber of Commerce, the Spanish-style church building, and the businesses of the town square.  Not being in the mood to walk around town with my camera, I take a few, quick, drive-by photos and let it go at that for today.

If you’ve never been to Ajo, it’s a charming, little town that manages to have an artsy flavor while maintaining a normal desert town atmosphere. . . in spite of seasonal visitors like me.

1-P1020202The Christmas tree is still up in the plaza. . . .

I don’t remember seeing this when we were here last . . . .

I agree.  Ajo rocks!

1-P1020196It isn’t until I load the next photo onto my computer that I notice the for-sale sign in the window of Sue’s Trading Post.

1-P1020197Bridget is restless to get out.

“Okay, okay.  Let me find a good place for you.”  I pull around an empty building and park in the back.  Bridget is a good girl, quickly taking care of business in the bushes and returning to the PTV’s side door.

“You’re all set now.  No need to fuss when I go in for groceries, right?”

Olsen’s Market is on the far side of town.

Whoa… This place is busy today…

1-P1020200Olsen’s is a great market. 

Olsen’s proves a store doesn’t have to be humongous to be good.  People sit at cafe-style tables set between the cash registers and produce, enjoying Mexican fare and treats from the deli.  I ask for a container of cole slaw.  (I know. Boring.)

Here’s something I notice about Olsen’s . . .

You know how people often behave in a crowded grocery store, impatient for you to get out of their way and their presence being equally annoying as well?

At Olsen’s people act like they came for a grocery shopping experience.  There’s a high percentage of couples today with both parties interested in the shopping, casually discussing the avocados, the sale on broccoli, and whatnot, drifting around, perusing the spices, exclaiming to the butcher about a cut of meat handed over the case . . . .  Shoppers seem to be in a mellow mood.  And somehow, even though the store is small and very busy, everyone has elbow room.

I pick up a few fruits and vegetables.

On impulse I buy a bunch of swiss chard in memory of my mother. 

My mother and father both died on January 17th, one year apart, about 25 years ago.  My mother loved swiss chard.  I haven’t eaten it since the one mouthful I tried and rejected during childhood.  Maybe I’ll like it now . . .  Funny the things one remembers . . . .  I can hear her urging me and my sisters, “Try it!  It’s GOOD!”  

She also said that about rhubarb without success.  I still resent rhubarb for ruining her strawberry pies.

After this brief sojourn into society, I’m ready to return to the desert.

I let a few cars pass us in order to enjoy a lazy drift home.  I like having a travel trailer for our home-on-wheels for many reasons.  One big reason is being able to come home to it.

1-P1020207I always experience a happy feeling rolling into our “driveway,” wherever it may be. 

There’s our home waiting for us . . . .  “We’re home, Bridge!”

The stones around the saguaro and creosote bush aren’t merely decorative.  They warn when one drives too closely, preventing tragic side-swipes.  These saguaros are precious treasures.  Sorry, creosote… You’re just a young’un.  (Maybe I’m wrong about the creosote.  See note at end of post.)

1-P1020209Friday, January 16

I sit in the lounger reading my Paperwhite, absently brushing away a flying insect.  This goes on for a while until suddenly I become aware of the buzzing.  It’s a bee!

“Go away, darn it,” I wave impatiently.  More buzzing . . . .

Oh my, what in the world? 

A swarm of bees is inside the BLT!

“What is going on?” I ask out loud, getting up to investigate.  “Why all the bees?”

A glance at Bridget’s water dish by the doorway gives me the answer. 

Six or seven yellow bees float in the water.  A few more crawl on the edge of the dish.  Even more hover above.  They don’t seem aggravated or hostile.  I walk through them, open the cupboard, and pull out a bright, coral-colored plate.

I pick up Bridget’s water dish and address the bees.

“C’mon, everybody.  Out you go.”

At the edge of the campsite I place the plate on the ground and pour the water and some bees into it.  I return to the remaining bees who fly in confused circles in the doorway of the BLT.  I step inside, pick up the throw rug, and use it to herd the bees outside, quickly shutting the screen door behind me.

In only a few minutes all the bees have found the new watering “hole” and I go back to reading.  Bridget will let me know when she wants to go inside for a drink.

1-P1020194Later I make a turkey sandwich with a bowl of cooked swiss chard on the side.

Weird combination, but who’s to judge?  I put a dab of butter and a sprinkle of salt on the chard.

Mmm…. not bad, Mother, not bad.


NOTE:   I’ve since learned that creosote can live a long time.

“In a few areas of the Mojave Desert clonal creosote rings have been found that are several yards in diameter.  Near Lucerne Valley, “King Clone” has an average diameter of 45 feet!  Using radiocarbon dating and known growth rates of creosote, scientists have estimated the age of “King Clone” as 11,700 years. Some of these common residents have been here continuously since the last ice age.”  Harold DeLisle, PhD.,



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177 Responses to It’s not too late to try

  1. John K - Mobile, AL says:

    The view from your backyard is sooo much better than mine! I saw that copper mine from Google earth, it is huge!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John K.,

      You can take a tour of the mine. I haven’t done so. Big holes in the ground give me the creeps!

      How was the Airstream rally in Florida?

      • John K - Mobile, AL says:

        It was a lot of fun. We normally don’t go in for large group settings like this but we met a lot of great people and got to see a lot of different trailers. We did have one morning where the temperature was 21 degrees…that wasn’t too pleasant. In all, there were 103 Airstreams in the park.

  2. Dawn in MI says:

    Love swiss chard. Don’t cook it too much, add butter and a touch of vinegar. Amazing. Glad you liked it better than when you were growing up! Your mom was right! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      I cooked it just enough to soften it. I wish I’d thought of the vinegar. I like vinegar on cooked cabbage. I was brought up on plain, country food.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        When we lived in NC and I served I think it was Kale to some friends there, they asked me to serve vinegar too…that in order to properly digest greens you need vinegar….maybe so…Hope you enjoyed the Chard, Sue…I think it is one of the tastier greens.

        • Toni says:

          I love greens. I either put it in soup or saute with olive oil and garlic. Funny how I really didn’t care for them as a child, now I love my veggies.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            The best to saute in oil and garlic is broccoli… Cook it until browned. Start with a lot of it because it cooks down.

            • Toni says:

              Yum! I like roasted brussel sprouts too. Roasted until the leaves are crispy.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              By roasted, you mean in an oven? Or sauteed like broccoli? I’m a big fan of Brussels sprouts.

            • Toni says:

              Yes in the oven. I usually cut them in half, coat them in olive oil, salt and pepper and put them in a hot oven, 400-450 about 30 minutes or more until the outer leaves get crispy. So delicious.

            • DesertGinger says:

              You might want to try halving, then frying till crisp then tossing in finely grated Parmesan, Super good!

            • weather says:

              HI GINGER!! -It’s so great to see you here!Gosh, You sure have been thought about,prayed for and missed a lot.How are you?Boy am I ever happy and grateful that you left a note.Hope you will be writing more soon,love you,weather,hugs

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              That does sound yummy!

      • Lucy says:

        HI Sue, how in heavens did the bees enter the BLT, don’t U have screens on the windows ?
        I surely be spooked to have bees on my surroundings I’m allergic to bee-stings.

        Happy trails. Lucy.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          How did the bees get in? Simple. Through the open door. I didn’t have the screen door closed. I rarely do. It saves being doorperson for Bridget. Rarely is the open doorway a problem.

  3. Lee J in Northern California says:

    love the bee story…
    And the photos!

    The store in Ajo reminds me of Harvest Market in Fort Bragg, (California), they have the most kick back style..and they have everything you need, plus some things you didn’t know you needed!
    Great story today, thanks…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Lee J. Glad you enjoyed the post and photos.

    • Marilu from Northern California says:

      You’re right, Lee. It does sound like Harvest Market! Do you live in Ft. Bragg?
      I’m right over the hill in Willits.

      • Lee J in Northern California says:

        My sister owns the Pizza Factory in Fort Bragg, and my mom lived in Willits many years…so I have visited up there for 20 the area!
        I live south of Stockton in the country.

        • Norm (in TN) says:

          We have eaten at both the Pizza Factory and Harvest Market in Ft. Bragg on several occasions. Love and miss ’em both. Good memories. 🙂

      • Evelyn says:

        Hi Marilu, I live south of Willits and have been to Harvest Market many times. I was wishing that they would come to Willits but no.

        Sue, mom and I love the Ajo/Why area and that is where we will be heading in a few weeks. Can’t wait to get there. Love your pictures.

  4. JanisP says:

    What an awesome campsite! I love it!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, JanisP,

      This one’s a lot better than the first one I took due to the rain. Bridget and I found this one and the sky cleared, sunny the rest of the day. 🙂

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Howdy Howdy Sue & Miss Bridget! Great pics as usual! Ajo does look like a neat little
    AZ town…. I have no recollection of ever being there…. I know you will enjoy your stay
    The sky is totally blue here and the weather guessers tell us our temp will go up to 63*
    today! Whoopie! One of our park “gurus” got my computer changed from Yahoo to
    Firefox recently…It is no small chore to get everything transferred ….I am beginning
    to see more light everyday!
    Look’s like I am first to respond to this post? I doubt it!
    Have a great time in your new spot!
    Elizabeth aka E2… & Beautiful Big Clyde Cat….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Howdy, E2!

      We share the same blue sky and the same beautiful day. I bet Clyde will find a sunny spot in which to take a nap! 🙂

  6. I know Sue, it’s SO hard to love food that’s good for you!

    I’m glad you enjoyed your mother’s memory in such a great way 🙂

    The pics are great, and I hope to visit that store, someday!

    P.S. Love your bee handling method!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cindy the pet sitter in Mesa,

      I hope your pet sitting business is going well.

      Ah, the bees. I ran into a bee situation similar to this when camped at Owl Canyon near Barstow, CA. The water spigot was covered with them. While at Painted Rock Campground recently, a bee was determined to have some of the pink grapefruit I was eating at the picnic table. I kept brushing him away until my brain finally clicked into gear. I tore off a piece of a grapefruit section, set it on the table, and we enjoyed lunch together!

      • Gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

        My son is attending a bee keeper seminar on Sunday. He is planning to return to his house with a couple of bee hives in order to repopulate his neighborhood with bees. To hear you tell it, I think the bees will be in his swimming pool floating around in tiny inner tubes, maybe!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Water is scarce for the bees where we are. I don’t think he will have a bee swimming party. 🙂

      • Ah……I love the way you tune into nature! That is my favorite thing about you!
        Perhaps your blog can inspire others to have “brain clicks,” too!

  7. Cari in Plano Texas says:

    Yes, blue skies have returned to North Texas, along with warmer temperatures, although not as warm as where you are. Although I don’t hold hope for long. There’s another storm system coming down from Alaska, and they are predicting winter precip by Thursday. But I’m enjoying it while it lasts!

    The saguaro cactus at your campsite look like fenceposts, almost, marking your ‘property’. And I like the stones around them, so that folks won’t drive into or over them. And I like your comments on ‘coming home’ to the BLT; I feel that way about my house when I’ve been traveling too.

    The first thing I thought of when I saw the picture of Sue’s Trading Post and the For Sale sign is – this might be a good venture for our Sue if she gets tired of traveling. But them I remembered you don’t like being around lots of people LOL

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cari,

      Well, it’s good to hear you have some warm weather to enjoy! Thanks for all the positive feedback on this post. No, I wouldn’t make a very good retailer!

  8. Ilse says:

    Every picture makes me a little homesick. A year ago I was sharing the desert with you and many others. I have made up my mind: by next winter I will be healthy enough to be out there again. Period!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ilse,

      I didn’t know you aren’t well. I’m sorry to hear that. I thought of you the other day with your new canine crew. It must be fun watching the poodles play.

      Get well soon, girl! I want you able to roll that pretty Lazy Daze down the highway soon.

  9. weather says:

    “enjoy a lazy drift home”…that speaks volumes about the way you so enjoy life,Sue.What a thoroughly lovely way you have of weaving time into story.I often find evidence of certain times holding windows to reach Heaven more widely open,how beautiful that your parents followed each other through the same one…How touching and so fitting that being pleasantly surprised while enjoying a meal helped you celebrate and honor that.

    Reading about your shopping experience felt like visiting a farmer’s market,thank you.It’s wonderful that your being so at peace with creation allowed the bee encounter to not disturb the beauty there.Your photos and words make the joy of coming home with darling Bridget so palpable that I smiled and sighed ,glad for your pleasure and mine- that your sharing it brought into my day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You know, weather, there are times when I read what you write and I feel like crying. I don’t know why… It’s not sadness… Poignancy maybe? Gratitude for blessings? For you? For what you give to me? It’s good to have a catch in the throat, a tear on the cheek, once in a while.

      My parents’ lives are a sweet love story. My father used to deliver kerosene to rural homes, all by himself at the age of 13 before going to school, during the harsh winters of upstate NY. My mother’s family was one of his customers. My grandmother must have seen something good in my father; she served him apple pie in her kitchen.

      My mother and father fell in love at age 13. They married during WWII in San Diego, my country bumpkin mother traveling across the country by train to be his bride during his short leave from the war. Their marriage had rough spots, but they stayed together.

      My mother died of cancer at age 71. My father was lost without her. I couldn’t get him to eat. As if he couldn’t bear another year without her, he died on the anniversary of her passing. Today, Jan. 17th, is another anniversary of that day.

      Don’t mean to make anyone sad… I tell the story in honor of the loving bond they shared. I appreciate your thoughts about it, weather.

      • weather says:

        You often evoke the same feelings in me,friend,and have from time I first came here.We’ve been able to use our gifts to help each other through profound grief and shared great happiness while doing it. The relief and resonance of being understood by one so remarkably similar is something I’ve seldom encountered and doubt that you have either.I guess that’s why it’s not easier for us to describe the feeling and express “you and your words to me touch and please me deeply”…

        It’s very gracious of you to tell what you do about yourself and your parents. I find sharing love stories noble hope giving parts of life’s adventure!My own doesn’t even make me sad,it makes me feel incredibly honored and privileged to be part of.

        My husband’s move to Heaven was on a January 12th in what seems like a lifetime ago already.The exquisite beauty, ongoing love,memories and realization of miraculous healing that gave Monday is current and wonderful to combine with the blessing today’s sharing with you is.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        What a sweet story of your parents, Sue. Thanks for sharing this. May you be comforted during this time of remembrance of them. I understand getting food that reminds you of them. I am prone to such too.

      • DesertGinger says:

        That’s a lovely story Sue. One of my dear old friends was born on January 17.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thanks, Ginger. YOU’RE BACK!!! It’s so good to hear from you! Rest up and give us a report when you feel up to it, not sooner. We wish you well!

    • Kay Dattilio says:

      Weather, we live north of Kansas City in the country on 7 acres and have had a burn pile for 10 years and have never burned anything!! It’s getting wider instead of taller. It is now a haven for rabbits and mice. One of our cats hang out there a lot and bring us presents which I prefer not to watch as he eats it. But that’s nature!

      Kay from KC!

      • weather says:

        What a great gift and (sometimes 😉 ) shelter for wildlife and critters in your family you’ve made,I love it!

  10. Susan in Dallas says:

    What a neat, clean little store from the outside, colorful too. The sun is out for the second day in a row so I’m going for a walk. Not crazy about the temperature here but being from Chicago I know what real cold is! Saw Cari’s post about the weather going to get colder next week. Hope they are wrong about that forecast! Swiss chard is supposed to be the new Kale. And from what I’ve read, there are lot’s of different kinds. Have to put that on my list to try.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Susan in Dallas,

      Some people call swiss chard “spinach-chard.” It does resemble and taste similar to spinach. The red stalks add more texture.

      I’ve never been to Chicago but the winters and wind-chill are legendary. Enjoy your walk and the warmth in Texas!

  11. Chris says:

    Regarding the bees, don’t you have a screen door on the Casita? Will you be sharing your boondock locations after you move on to a new location?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Chris,

      Yes, I have a screen door. I often leave both doors open so Bridget can go in and out at will and because I’m often in and out. I like the trailer trash ambiance. Ha!

      I haven’t decided whether to continue to share every single boondock I find. I fear the day will come when I won’t be able to find a warm, winter place off by myself.

  12. Ozark Sam on Darby Well Road says:

    Well, this is as close as I will ever be to #1. It’s sure nice here with no wind. I was here at this time last year and there must have been 50 campers. I only count six now. I think this is about the nicest place in the desert and none of those nasty cactus.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ozark Sam on Darby Well Road,

      Maybe you were there last year around the time of the fiddlers festival. They used to camp in droves where you are. And, of course, the fence has kept campers away. I’m glad you found a spot you like. As for the “nasty cactus,” it’s a small price to pay in order to have privacy.

      No wind here either. We did have some in the morning yesterday.

  13. JIM PETERSON says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a short while. Will you post a link to the affiliate program you use with Amazon? (Or feel free to Email it to me.) Annie & I will be hitting the road this year on my 62nd birthday (10/27) with our two large cats, a 2000 F350 (with the beloved 7.3 diesel), and an older (’89) 28.5′ fifth wheel. We might tow Annie’s ’08 Mazda CX7 or sell it and buy a smaller 4WD we can drag behind the fifth wheel ‘four wheels down’. We’ll have my early SS (five years out for hers!) and my state pension after 15 l-o-n-g years (smiles) but a little more income might be nice. I know it takes time to build traffic to a site and you do a much better job of it than most!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      Thank you for reading my blog and for introducing yourself, Annie, your feline crew, and your plans for hitting the road.

      Rather than make a link here to the Amazon program, which may mess up by going to MY affiliate, I suggest you do this. Google “Amazon Affiliate” and choose the URL that goes to Amazon. That’s what I did when I first became curious about the program. You can find the info and application there.

      Remember that I had been blogging almost 2 years, I think, before I monetized my blog. You’re aware that it takes time to build traffic. I’m reminding anyone reading this that making money with Amazon isn’t something one achieves quickly.

      I send you best wishes as you plan for a happy retirement. And good luck with your eventual enterprise with Amazon!

      • JIM PETERSON says:

        Thanks Sue and Velda in Roseville Ca for your information and comments. I have a few *free* blogs already but I use them mainly as a place to store intel on some of my low-cost building projects for future reference. I’m *very* active on my LittleHouses yahoo group (and have been for many years) . . . I’ll just need to change my focus and tone a little I suspect :o)
        Thanks again!
        JIM P. ~ BOISE, ID

    • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

      Perhaps think about starting your blog now, covering your planning and prep stage as Sue did to begin to find your style and build a readership? I so enjoyed reading Sues writing about how she prepared, and of course I stayed!

  14. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Wow …sounds like a fun couple of days!

    Olsens market sounds like a quaint little place…friendly folks and a nice experience! Sure beats road rage in the p-lot, and having to sharpen your elbows..and dealing with the grumps!

    What are the chances of your mom and dad passing on the same date…a year apart? Hmm…I’ve never had Swiss chard! Ummm…I’ll pass this time!

    Yikes…bees inside? Does Bridge try and snap at them when they are buzzing around? Oh I forgot….we’re talking HRH…she probably glances over at you…so YOU can put your book down, get up and swat them away!

    I love your home!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      You know the Bridge well. She does not involve herself in petty problems. That’s what she has me for!

      I’ve often thought about the significance of January 17th. Did Dad waste away, loosening his grip on this earthly realm, in order to grasp my mother’s hand from heaven and be guided home? It’s a comforting thought for me.

      I love this home, too! Hope all is well in your “neck of the woods.”

      Funny thing about Olsen’s… Other stores try for that comfortable feel… indoor cafe, exotic foods, smiling employees, and they don’t succeed. I wonder why that is.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Hah! That’s what I thought! HRH living life as the Queen Bee!

        It’s not uncommon that those who have been together for so long..want to be reunited!

        We are freezing here…but all the snow chores are done!

        As for Olsens sometimes it’s just “word of mouth” and reputation…same for the little auto mechanic shops that compete against the huge corporations that are cheaper but don’t care about quality!

        We’d rather do business with the mom and pop businesses!

      • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

        My Mom died just two days before what would have been Dad’s birthday (6 years later) and I always like to say she left on Dec 19 so she had time to bake his birthday cake for the 21st.

      • PookieBoy says:

        Sue, my wife and I celebrated 50 years of marriage last May and I cannot imagine being without her….Im sure she will outlive me since she is still young and beautiful but if she goes before I do I suspect I’ll be right behind her…its comforting to read your comments about your parents….my dad left when I was 3 and mom raised 3 boys by herself so I was on a mission to make my marriage work….keep up the good work on your writing and camping. I love reading about your travels…

  15. Betty Shea says:

    Ya know…I have never had swiss chard -think I’ll try some

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Betty-Shea,

      This is what I found on the web: “Swiss chard is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, vitamin E, and iron.”

      As Mother used to say, “Try it! It’s GOOD!” 🙂

      • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

        I like it when I sauté some onion and garlic then add the cut Swiss chard and a bit of chicken broth, just enough to get it steaming. I too add a splash of vinegar. Yum. I do kale and collards the same way and could almost make a meal of any of them and I am decidedly not a southerner unless you count my being born in Southern Ca(Lancaster). Having an Okie hubby helped me try some dishes I had not tried growing up.
        And then your mention of rhubarb got my memories going too. I LOVE rhubarb sauce ( basically stewed rhubarb) and grew up often eating a bowl plus a piece of toast for breakfast before school.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You sound like a natural cook, Velda. Thanks for the idea for cooking chard.

          • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

            Thank you Sue. I do prefer just looking at what I have and putting together a meal rather than using a complicated recipe.

  16. Betty Shea says:

    Sorry about the 2nd post comment…I can only get one sentence out …???

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t know why that happened, Betty-Shea. I was going to suggest that your keyboard is extra-sensitive, but you apparently only have that problem here.


  17. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    What a nice day running errands….you made it sound stress free and actually enjoyable! That market and area sounds so nice and laid back…I wonder how many folks shopping were locals vs snowbirds.

    It’s hard not to smile when seeing your adorable BLT! It is so cute, and being in such beautiful surroundings is a bonus! Glad that the bees were just thirsty and not aggressive.

    Thanks for sharing the sweet history of your folks. I bet they both were smiling down on you as you enjoyed the Swiss chard! “See, I told you it would be good!”

    Hope you and Bridget enjoy the day! Hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise and Gracie,

      Such a sweet comment… I think the BLT is pretty darn cute, too. I like your suggestion of my parents watching me eat swiss chard. 🙂

      I hope you have a good evening!

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:


      • PookieBoy says:

        Sue, any problems with illegals camping that close to Mexico? Ive often wondered about camping down close to the border…

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I don’t know of any “problems” for campers. I have heard from friends and fellow campers of finding people in the desert or knocking on the RVwho were crying in Spanish for water.

          I avoid boondocking in the “drug corridor” that goes north from the border and west of Tucson and Phoenix. Of course, tactics and trails change frequently, I’d guess, so one needs to be alert wherever one goes.

  18. Applegirl NY says:

    Wonderful the picture of the PTV and the cactus with the ring of stones around it. You’ve got some sky, some mountains, some nice foreground, and of course the PTV.

    I love swiss chard, and all greens. Grew up with an Italian grandmother and it was beans and greens all summer long (Spinach, chard, escarole, dandelion greens, kale, you name it!). Yummy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Applegirl NY,

      This has been a tough camp to photograph. Between the long shadows of the winter sun and the sitting area of the BLT facing north (and shaded), I’ve struggled to take a decent pic. Thanks for the positive feedback on this one!

      An Italian granny… I bet she made escarole soup.

      • Applegirl NY says:

        Yes she did! And pizza and bread out of a stone oven in her garden. Simple, beautiful life – although she was a world traveller. I have a picture of her on a camel in Africa in the late 1960’s!

    • Judy Johnson...S.C. says:

      I seldom post but faithfully read. Love getting to know you all from afar. Praying for DesertGinger and will be glad when we hear some news. Camping around Florida and want to say thanks for the tips on leaving our Casita alone, as safely as possible. when we take day trips. Leaving a radio on might also help.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Judy,

        Thank you for being a faithful reader of my blog. I’m happy to see you here!

        I’m trusting we will hear from Ginger in a few days. You are kind to pray for her.

  19. AZ Jim says:

    See Missy, Mother really does know best. Nice post. Here is a National Geographic video I think you will enjoy. Hopefully others will too.

    • Gary Wood says:

      Nice video AZ Jim, Nature is a miracle.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m sorry, Jim. It’s taking too long to load. I have to be careful anyway about using up data. I’ve stopped looking at some of the pseudo-news sites because they show so many photos and when I click on an article I want to read, a video starts, like people don’t know how to read, and there goes my data.

      Thanks for the link though. I’m sure there are readers who will enjoy it. — Missy

      • edlfrey says:

        I put a stop to almost all of those videos playing when I open a site by disabling Shockwave Flash which was playing them. This is using FireFox but whatever browser you use should have a similar ability to not play them unless you actively tell it to do so.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I remember you saying that, Ed, and I did disable Adobe Flash (I think that’s the one) after I read your comment. I notice when Windows forces me to update several of my settings are messed up and have to be redone.

          My main problem is thinking I’m opening a text article when I click and up comes the page with a video loading. I’ll check my settings again.

    • Absolutely wonderful video! Thank you for sharing!

  20. edlfrey says:

    I was in Olsen’s on Thursday also but I get in and out soon after they open to avoid any crowds. When I do that however what I find is that they have not finished stocking and I need to ask them go in the back and get what I want. Or, what I want is sitting in the aisle in an unopened box and they have to find it. They always do so with a smile even when I had to send the produce stocker to the back twice.

  21. Gary Wood says:

    Hi Sue, I can relate to your comment about returning home to your BLT. Even though my coach is a fifth wheel and I live a slightly altered existence compared to you, I feel the same way returning “home” no matter where it happens to be parked. I was down in your area last February to explore the petroglyphs. Pretty desolate, but it has a peaceful feeling. I have learned to enjoy the desert more than I ever thought I would. Maybe it’s because I get out of dodge when the weather is due to heat up. Safe travels… Gary

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gary,

      By “down in your area” do you mean Painted Rock petroglyphs? That portion of desert it different than here, not the variety of plants.

      The desert does have a way of winning one over. Nice hearing from you… Safe travels for you, too!

  22. mockturtle says:

    Mmmm. Swiss chard! Love it! And Olsen’s IGA at Ajo is a great market! They sell the best chicken thighs I’ve ever found anywhere. And the ACE Hardware section has a handy variety of items, too.

    It’s almost 80 here at Squaw Lake today. So blessed to be able to enjoy the sunshine and warmth in January! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Squaw Lake is pretty. I don’t know if we’ve made it up to 80 here or not. I should buy a thermometer, for heaven’s sake!

  23. Monica-CA says:

    Beautiful, simply beautiful! I wish I could be camping right now in such a serene desert location with the abundance and variety of desert natives similar to what surrounds your camp. I’m reading a couple of other RV blogs that are posting about Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. That region looks like a wonderful place to explore in the winter. Thanks again for taking me to a place that I never even knew existed. And one day I’ll travel there too.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I like your last sentence best of all. You don’t write that you “hope to travel” but, rather, that “I’ll travel there, too.” Keep set on your goal and you will, Monica.

      Thank you for your comment. It is beautiful here.

  24. Pamela K. says:

    Sue and everyone with tiny camper trailers…
    I thought I would pass along a very wise suggestion I read from a news story today regarding tiny homes.
    According to the news story, tiny homes are being stolen from around the county of late. It would seem that the high cost of owning and renting, and the current economy, has caused a rise in tiny campers being hitched up and taken during day-time and night-time. While this is nothing new, it seems to be on-the-rise and is occuring in places not usually seen before. Snowbird spots and deserts were mentioned, not just tourist areas. The writer suggested both a ball cap lock AND a tire boot lock for the best defense. Oh, and they mentioned that many of today’s tiny campers can be towed with most any car, as well as small trucks, so the profile of a large truck taking off with a camper is no longer valid. This is not to put fear into anyone, just to be aware and take measures so you are not a target for this type of thief while you go out-and-about shopping or exploring. Our own 19 ft Airstream is very light weight and we have never used a tire boot on it but I think I will do so now that I read this news. We have always used a ball lock, of course, and I always close my drapes before leaving out, even just to do grocery shopping.
    Anyway… I found this to be a good time to post this info since ~Coming Home Again~ is one of those really good feelings after any outing, especially in Winter. It just seems so cozy to be back home again. Sadly, there are those who would seek to rob you of that feeling along with all your belongings. Depending on how long you are away from your tiny camper can give way to many hours of head-way to any thief too. So just a reminder for me and everyone else that camper trailer thiefs are on the rise everywhere. I hope this story tip helps all of us. It served to remind me of the ever present possiblity as I had become laxed about it.

    • edlfrey says:

      I have not read the article. However, I would think the thief that comes prepared to cut off the ball cap lock may also be prepared to remove a wheel lock or the wheel if locked with one of the cheaper wheel locks.

      If I were considering a wheel lock I think I would buy a length of chain that would go thru the wheel on one side of the trailer and thru the wheel on the other side and then lock it with a good quality master lock. The difference between what that would cost I could then use to buy theft insurance on the trailer. A trailer, even if it is ‘home’, is subject to theft and Acts of God which you can do only so much to protect against that is why insurance was invented.

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Good information…heads up!

      From my experience….if they truly WANT it…they are going to get it!

      Any device will surely act as a deterrent or slow them down! Remember the device called the kryptonite lock for bikes? “They” found a way to defeat it in seconds!

      • Pamela K. says:

        True enough on all counts. I think it would be of help to mainly deter the ones who are looking for Quick, Easy, Low Risk trailer targets. I think maybe that is why they are targeting the smaller, lighter trailers in the first place. I know that the little teardrop trailers have been targets for years. Small scooters always fall in the same vain too. It is just another thing to be minful about and try to prepare for.

      • AlanOutandAbout says:

        I think a hidden GPS tracking device may be the best answer. I am sure Mick could rig up a solution. Amazon sells several different models starting at $40.

        • Pamela K. says:

          Umm, you have a very good suggestion there! You see, I have been considering a tiny teardrop trailer for fun weekend outings next year. Mainly event driven outings, i.e. Savannah, Ga, St.Patty’s Parade, Beach Music weekend in Panama City Beach and that sort of stuff through out the prime summer months. Boondocking at Wally World, Cracker Barrel, and maybe if needed a Love’s Truck Stop. Mainly anywhere somewhat safe that is not a campground but with that always comes more people of all kinds. So maybe a hidden GPS is a very good idea 🙂 If I do get a Teardrop it will mainly be mine for ~me time~ trips. Outherwise hubby and I would take the Airstream and just camp in a campground or park. I was thinking the Teardrop would be fun for just me, a day drive down, then stay for a day and head back kinda thing. There are some cool local events around the south that I have read about but have never been to before…bucket-list items to see and do. Stuff like that keeps me young-at-heart and most of a full day would keep me away from the tiny trailer so the GPS could indeed work!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for the information on the article, Pamela. We were discussing trailer theft (I think it was before you joined us here) … I thought a tracking sensor would be the best thing, mainly because once you install it, you don’t have to do anything more. Of course that doesn’t prevent theft, just makes it easier for the trailer to be recovered and the thieves caught.

      I remember reading several years ago, back when I was researching this lifestyle, a blog written by Sebastian called Simple Living, Simple Travel. He used to put a lock on the axle of the Casita he had at that time.

      I don’t see me fooling with a lock or crawling under the BLT with heavy chains or whatever every time I leave camp. Maybe I carry remnants of my Presbyterian predestination past when I make decisions of this nature… I tend to think, “If it’s gonna’ happen, it’s gonna’ happen.” In other words, thieves will find a way. Silly, I know. and lazy! But also, keeping negative apprehension out of my daily life…

      The essence of my life on the road is stepping into the unknown and taking risks. There are many disasters that could befall me. Someday I may regret not being more safety-conscious. On the other hand, that attitude has taken me places others have not and will not go.

      At any rate, I appreciate the reminder for me and for everyone.

      • Pamela K. says:

        Thanks for your valued insight about this topic. I can see why you hold the views you do about it and they make great sense, especially for your style of camps. For me, I tend to go more in to the cities and enjoy the special events, parades, ball games, etc. That is mostly when I become concerned about theft, although theft can occur at any time – anywhere. And counter to popular belief most thefts or break-ins occur during the daylight hours between 10am-3pm, primetime for many of those events and shopping times. Here’s hoping none of us ever have to experience any of it. Of course being well insured helps but I would really miss all my stuff as much as my camper.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You’re right, Pamela. I’d have an entirely different outlook on this topic if I were taking the BLT into populated areas and then going off somewhere. I figure the further away from people we go, the less problems we have.

  25. Hi Sue! Jim is our cruise director & he says we’ll be in Ajo one of these weeks–will definitely check out Olsen’s while we’re there. You tell the story of your parents in such a loving way. Foods–even swiss chard–can be so evocative of people and life. Glad you got the bees out–we keep Ari’s water inside & now I’m glad we do. Have fun, you two!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      I’m trying to remember to shut the screen door behind me to keep the bees out of Bridget’s water dish. Yesterday a bee came to the door to remind me to add water to the dish that I put at the edge of our campsite for the bees. I bet other critters are drinking from it, too.

      Olsen’s is the only choice in town… which makes it all the more important that it’s a good store. You’ll enjoy Ajo. I’m not much of a shopper — surprise, surprise — You may like browsing the shops around the plaza and on the main streets.

  26. Terri from Texas says:

    My parents loved mustard greens, turnip greens, cornbread and buttermilk. When they cooked that I headed out for pizza! I can’t get past the smell OR look!
    When my mother in law first served bread stuffing at my first Thanksgiving with them I had to make myself eat it to be polite! Now 21 years later they know I can’t stand it! But they did introduce me to asparagus!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Okay, Terri, I can see not liking cooked greens, but Thanksgiving bread stuffing? With celery, onions, apples and other good stuff? 🙂

      My mother loved oysters in her Thanksgiving stuffing. She’d stuff the neck cavity with oyster stuffing and leave the body cavity stuffing edible for the rest of the family.

  27. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Hi Sue,

    There are lots of things I have tried as an adult that I would never have liked as a kid. lol. Continue to love the desert area where you are at. So peaceful!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jolene,

      Oh yeah, we could make a long list. It takes time for our tastes to mature. I remember when Pres. Bush said he hated broccoli, I wondered if he’d given it another try since childhood.

  28. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    DesertGinger….Just wanted to let you know that you have been in my thoughts. **Hugs!**

  29. Norm (in TN) says:

    Loved the pics, especially the “coming home” to the BLT one. Must add Ajo to my bucket list for a future AZ trip. Oh, yes, the mention of strawberry-rhubarb pie made my mouth water! lol. (Just pass your piece this way, please.) Thanks for continuing to share your journey.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You know, Norm…. I haven’t tried strawberry-rhubarb pie since I refused to eat it as a child. Maybe that’s another thing I’ll find I like. Now where can I find some . . . .hmm….

      I’m happy you liked the photos. Thank you.

  30. Lisa W says:

    Another great view of your day, Sue. It was nice to hear of Bridget getting so excited to go for a ride to town. And the words you used to describe the market, I was right there with you.
    You can tell your love for your parents by your remembering the date they died, and again the words you used in describing their story to weather showed more of the story.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lisa W,

      Good to see you here…. I can tell you appreciated my post. Thanks for the feedback…

  31. Utah Bonnie says:

    Thank you for the lovely tour through Ajo and I will happily take your share of strawberry rhubarb pie. Swiss chard is over rated in my book though.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Utah Bonnie,

      Well, you do make a good point. I doubt I’ll wake up in the middle of the night with a craving for swiss chard!

  32. Lynn Brooks says:

    Your posts are chock full of beautiful word pictures painted so clearly, I feel as though I’m right there with you!!
    Thank you!!!

  33. Rhonda says:

    Please tell me what kind of camera you use. I thought I made note of it when you got it, but alas can not find it. You take terrific pictures & I need a new camera. Thank you. Still enjoying your writings. Hugs to Bridget.

  34. wa_desert_rat says:

    I promise to be more respectful of creosote bushes from now on.


  35. Jim says:

    When I was a little boy my grandfather used to read a “big little book” about Popeye the sailor man to me. As a result of all that positive reinforcement about spinach I was probably the only kid in Iowa who liked spinach. That’s a long roundabout way to come to the point, but my family always ate spinach with vinegar. I still like it that way. Never had spinach with cabbage though. I’ll have to try it. Love your blog.
    PS: I love Ajo too. John m

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      What a great memory… grandad reading Popeye The Sailor Man to you.

      I’ve never had spinach with cabbage either. Don’t do it! It sounds terrible! Ha!

      When I mentioned cabbage with vinegar I was thinking of the cabbage that was part of my mother’s “Boiled Dinner.”

  36. Jim says:

    Drat! Auto correct strikes again, my signature should have been Jim.

  37. Nomadic1 says:


    A quick question if I may (I could not find another venue for it)
    I saw your blog referenced from the perspective of financial management (You do a great job BTW) I am also a full timer, and when I’m boondocking (which I do 1/2 the year or more) I use about (3) 30 pound propane canisters a month. (Largely to keep my fridge/freezer cold.)
    I’ve checked and found this is in line with what it’s consumption should be.
    But you use much less. I couldn’t find any reference to you NOT using a fridge/freezer, and it doesn’t appear you have enough solar to use that… so please share your secret!
    Thank you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Novadic1,

      Welcome to my blog! Great to see you here and with a question for me. I love answering questions. 🙂

      I don’t do anything special to conserve propane. I don’t hesitate to use it for the burners on my stove. As for my fridge, it’s 4.0 cubic feet with a small freezer, the standard unit that comes with a Casita.

      Maybe your refrigerator and freezer are bigger with a greater draw? I’m sure you’ve checked for propane leaks. I thought about dust in the compartment where the ignition takes place, causing more starts, but that wouldn’t make a big difference. Even putting a lot of warm items in the unit . . . . I really don’t know….

      • Nomadic1 says:

        Thank you… I’ve got a larger Fridge.

        I’m happy with it, I’m a Cajun and when we cook, we cook in VOLUME!

        Thank you, Happy Trails.

    • A gal in Maple Valley, WA says:


      Do you also use propane for hot water, oven and/or furnace? If so, those may be factors.

      • Nomadic1 says:

        The numbers I quoted were with no other usage (Hot out, so cold showers, cooking in a dutch oven, etc.)

  38. It was probably the combination of parental memories and grocery stores that got me thinking about a certain market from my youth. It had this wonderful smell that I can’t specifically place but included fresh vegetables and clean, well-worn wood plank floors. I think it was Guadalupe’s Market in Parker, AZ, which I know is no longer there so I can’t confirm. My dad always bought meat there as they had an on-site butcher who apparently knew his trade. It was very small but still had a couple chairs by the front window where I could hang out while Dad perused the two or three aisles. I’m quite sure there was never any chard added to our meat purchases, more likely potatoes and green beans 🙂
    Thanks for that wonderful memory Sue, makes me smile.

    • Kay Dattilio says:


      Isn’t it amazing how certain smells or music bring up different memories? When I spell Pine Sol, it reminds me of the nursing home my Grandma owned. I loved hanging out there when I was a kid….when I smell hay or leather, it reminds me of my other Grandparents farm and how I would spend summers there riding horses there with my friends. When I hear a song from my high school years (Michael Jackson, Beatles, The Carpenters) it makes me think of old boyfriends and no responsibilities….and fun times!

      Kay from KC!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jodee,

      That’s interesting about the market you frequented as a child with your father. Smells do trigger memories… I remember the old-timey drugstore in my hometown. As a young girl I snuck down an aisle… can see the wood floor to this day… in order to sneak a sniff of lily-of-the-valley cologne. (Those were the days when stuff wasn’t under lock and key.) We also had lily-of-the-valley growing in our yard.

      The scent of those little white flowers means immediate time-travel for me!

      I’m glad my post brought back a good memory and made you smile.

  39. weather says:

    Some bring a shanty,more bring covered sleds,a few walk in silence and carry just one pole and a thermos of coffee-fishermen love sunrise as much as I do.Conversation,if any,holds only hushed tones of welcome.In what seems like mutual respect sunrise brings only soft colors with it today.

    Last evening a new resident finished moving into a house nearby that had been empty for a while.Gratefully I saw no sign of their being early risers.I’ve been up for hours,the only close by movements that accompany morning song are those of trees,wings,paws and light.Knowing each morning will still hold that perfect gift makes it lovely to anticipate the house becoming a home.Imagining their happiness about being there I’m excited for them already.

    For those living in urban environments this may be an every day occurrence,barely noticed if at all.To me it’s rarity gives it the significance of a family being graced with a newborn child. I’ll try to act at least a little grown up when I meet them,better wait a few more hours.Good morning Sue,I’ll bet the wildlife that see you pull in are just as curious when you arrive in their little world.Hope some new ones let you discover them today.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, weather…

      Your description of the ice fishermen has me imagining how Norman Rockwell would paint such a scene… The ruddy faces, the quiet camaraderie, the focus on the line,the worn, much-used fishing paraphernalia, the early morning light glinting on the ice… Maybe a young boy crouched on the ice, peeking into the hole, chin on his mittens … 🙂

      Your home is an endless source of delight for you and, because you share it so well. it’s a delight for the rest of us here. Thank you.

      Enjoy meeting your new neighbors!

    • weather says:

      Thanks for hoping I’d enjoy meeting my new neighbors, the day brought results I hadn’t expected.The same two trucks entered and left that driveway in a series of four times by the time I saw that the for sale or rent sign hasn’t been moved.I guess the owner is trying a new strategy,furnishing and staging it,because it’s been unsold and unoccupied for several months.

      So this morning I just knew there’d be someone to be happy for,now I know it’s me.My privacy remains intact more than during mornings and the hours that follow,now starlit nights will stay in the package!I celebrated by watching Winnie the Pooh rescue Piglet from a flood while having honey on a slice of bread.

      One truck they used was a small u-haul.The ones I used each time I moved from coast to coast were huge in comparison.The winter roads here made that a good call despite the extra time involved.I enjoyed seeing the ease with which they maneuvered that into the space.Though I’m an very experienced driver I know even I’d have struggled to get anything larger between the trees and snow banks.I mention it to point out my gladness about your choices,and my own.

      The only thing I’m expanding is the breadth of my search.Canada has sales prices enhanced by 20 percent at times because of dollars fluctuating in value.It’s at least worth considering(the import inspection issues and fee are minimal) because the border is so close.Two purchases I would have shown interest in were available in other states.I’m unwilling to leave the troupe in anyone’s care but my own,so passed on both.Having more options adds to the fun in the hunt.Bonus!

      Should springtime come early I may drive us across in the jeep ,roughing it again along the way to San Diego, and enlist my sons family to shorten the search.Five sets of eyes on licensed drivers- pack-disperse- run,Ha!Hope you are having a nice evening with Bridget.All my little ones are already asleep 🙂 sending you one of my spare happy sighs and a blessing…

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hello again!

        I’m laughing at the thought of you watching Winnie the Pooh while eating honey on bread. You crack me up!

        Your ideas about searching for a rig illustrate how you “think outside the box.” It’s fun, isn’t it? Every possibility brings up more imaginings of what life would be like . . . .

        Ah, a cross-country road trip, jeeping along, traveling light… such dreams you evoke.

        Bridget is under the covers for the night. She pawed at me a few minutes ago to cover her up. G’night, weather…

        • weather says:

          we’ve been running into the hundred acre wood one way or another all of our lives 😉 thanks for enjoying the laughs,fun and dreams with me,n’nite

        • weather says:

          At evening time of bygone times people gently said to those dear to them”Nightie Night”,as having a nightgown to change into at bedtime was something not everyone could afford.To say that was the understood equivalent of wishing another the blessing of sleeping within the luxury of being loved,protected,and provided for by God and others.Just wanted you to know my saying n’nite holds more than a simple child’s habit.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Interesting! I had no idea! Love it!

            My parents used to say, “Nightie night, Don’t let the bedbugs bite.”

            Not exactly sleep-inducing . . .

            • weather says:

              🙂 akin to singing Rock-a-bye Baby-“when the bough breaks the cradle will fall…”

              sweet none-the -less by virtue of the love conveyed through their being so dearly well-intentioned toward a child they truly loved…

  40. Marilu from Northern California says:

    Hello Desert Ginger,
    Lots of us are thinking about you and wishing you a good day.

  41. Terri from Texas says:

    Hi Sue,
    I said I hated Bread Stuffing, but I love Southern Cornbread stuffing. My inlaws are yankees and some of the stuff they eat is weird! 🙂

  42. Judie Ashford says:

    Chard is something of a newcomer to my palate as well. It can be beautiful as well as delicious and nutritious. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of this bunch of it.

    Virtual hugs,


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow, Judie…. That photo is an eye-popper! Nature is incredible. Who would think a lowly vegetable could be so beautiful. Thanks for the link.

  43. debsjourney says:

    Hiya Sue,
    This camp is absolutely beautiful. The photos are exquisite and I really enjoyed the post.
    You are so brave with those bees. you reacted the right way not like me, lol.
    Good for you regarding trying the Swiss chard and liking it. My mom used to cook tongue and I won’t go buy some and try it again.
    I will have to get some chard and try it. Is it like spinach or collared greens?
    Sometimes I read your blog out loud to my best friend and now she told me she is subscribing to your blog now. Makes my heart smile. You bring so much joy to so many.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deb,

      I think chard is closer to spinach than collard greens. The big difference between spinach and chard is the red stalks.

      You read my blog out loud to your friend? I love that! Thank you for bringing her into our little community here. HELLO, DEB’S FRIEND! WELCOME! (Yes, I’m shouting so she’ll hear me.) 🙂

      I appreciate the good comment about our camp, the photos, and the post. You have a good evening, Deb.

  44. Rand says:

    u r loved lady… we felt the love in the mass of rv romers in Quartzsite – thought it would be crazy but found a great park and didnt buy anything except at cool hat.

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