“I’ve lost my wife!”

Saturday, April 30

The rain has stopped!  After breakfast the crew and I head out for our morning walk.

Brrr… It’s cold!  Hurry up, sun, and warm us up!

P1110026Reggie backhoes at another campsite at Apache Creek Campground in New Mexico

A car comes up Cox Canyon Road.

It turns into the campground and approaches us.  The grey-haired man driving calls out to me.

“Have you seen a woman walking by herself?”

His face is expressionless.  What is this?  A deadpan jokester attempting a hello?

“What?” I reply, confused.  “Do you mean ME?”

“No!  My WIFE!  I’ve lost my wife!”

I hurry over to his window.

“We were sleeping and she got up, saying she was going to the restroom.”

“How long ago was that?” I ask.

“I don’t know.  Like I say, I was sleeping.  About an hour ago, I guess.  I checked the restroom.  She’s not there.”

“Does she have dementia?” I ask bluntly.  This is no time to soft-pedal words.

“No, but she was in a very bad car accident and . . . . ”  He trails off, then resumes,  “If you see her, let me know.  She’s wearing a grey sweatshirt that zips up.”

He takes off down the road.

P1110028The crew and I walk the perimeter of the campground. 

All the while I scan the area, 360 degrees, around us.

Where could she be?  On that side there’s a hill.  Over there is the road into the canyon.  The man is checking that way.  If she followed this other lane, she’d go onto private land and come upon a house.  Apache Creek would block her from going that other way. That leaves the road out of the campground, the road that leads to the main road.

The man returns from his search of Cox Canyon Road.

“I don’t know where she could have gone,” he states in exasperation.  Obviously the man is not the type to show emotion, yet I hear the fear behind his words.

“Have you talked with the two women with the child over there?” I ask.  “Maybe she ‘s talking with them.”

“I checked with them.  They haven’t seen her.”

I ask where his rig is located.

“We don’t have a rig.  We sleep in the car.  Our campsite is way in the back, over there,” he points out.

“Okay.  Well, I’m going to unhitch my van and drive around, too.”

“Thanks.  I’m going out to the main road.”

He takes off again.

While I’m unhitching, I see him return.  No passenger in his car.  This is bad.  He heads down the canyon road again.

The crew and I drive out to the main road.

Maybe if I drive south on the main road and look at the campground from a different vantage point, I’ll see her.

This seems like a good plan until we’re actually on the main road looking across the field at the campground.

This is dumb.  She’d have to climb over a fence and ford Apache Creek for me to see her from here.  Gosh, she must be cold.  Well, at least the day is ahead of us and it’s starting to warm up.

I turn us around and we go back to the campground road.

If he hasn’t found her by now, it’s time to call the ranger station . . . .

As we cross the bridge over Apache Creek, I see her!  She’s slip-sliding on an embankment above the road!

P1110073Photo taken the next day

I park the PTV and jump out.

“Ma’am?” I call up to her.  “Hello, ma’am?”

“Oh, hi.”

“Your husband is looking for you.”

“Good!  I’ve been looking for him, too!”

“Come on down and I’ll take you to him.”

As she makes her way down the slope, I see her feet.  Oh, dear, no shoes!  And only one sock on . . . . She must be freezing! 

In her hand she carries a muddy sock.

“Be careful!  Don’t fall!”

I help her into the passenger seat. 

I’m glad I have the heater on full blast.  The warmth must feel good for her.

“I’ll take you to your campsite.  Maybe your husband will meet us there.”

“Okay.”  A pause and then she adds quietly, “I’m so embarrassed.”

“Oh, don’t be embarrassed.  It’s easy to become lost.  I was lost once and it was at a campground, too.  Once your head is turned around and you lose your sense of direction, everything looks the same in a forest.”

“There he is!” she bursts out, pointing.

The husband stands by their car watching our approach. 

He has the same deadpan expression which conceals his relief at seeing his wife again.

Hurriedly he asks where I found her, thanks me, and then turns his attention to his wife.  As she makes her way around the front of the PTV, he notices her feet.

“Where are your shoes?” he exclaims, aghast.

I drive away, leaving them to debrief, to let the fear-induced adrenaline dissipate, to sigh with relief together . . . .

Thank God this turned out well.

“You know, crew?  I could go for a second cup of coffee.”


NOTE ABOUT THIS POST:  I hesitated to post this incident on the internet, for fear of bringing embarrassment to the couple involved.  I decided to go ahead, doing my best to keep their identities unknown, in hopes the story will perform a good service to readers.  After all, becoming confused and lost isn’t something for which one should feel embarrassed.  — Sue


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214 Responses to “I’ve lost my wife!”

  1. Martha in PA says:

    Finally! I’ve been waiting for this post for hours! Thanks Sue.

  2. cc and canine ( now in Damascus, Oregon) says:

    Number 1???

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      • cc and canine ( now in Damascus, Oregon) says:

        Bless you for helping (and finding!!) that lady….A cold night and no shoes…..she’s so lucky you helped. Way to go Sue!

  3. Norman in San Diego says:

    Hi Sue

    Am I first today?


  4. Dang! Missed again! Now to get back to the drama ….. what is going on??

    • rvsueandcrew says:


    • Oh gosh, so glad this turned out well! I am one of those directionally dysfunctional people, so I know how she feels. Good on you, Sue, for helping and finding her!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I empathized with her, too. Gosh, I can’t imagine walking around without shoes on that wet ground on such a cold morning.

        • Toni says:

          Since the husband said she was in a car crash, my guess is that she sustained a traumatic brain injury. That can be extremely difficult on caregivers and I’m sure the poor guy has his hands full trying to take care of her.

          There are services available for them and I hope they can take advantage of them.

          Sue, bless you for caring. So many people don’t.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Hi, Toni,

            You’re probably right about the TBI. It’s a shame their camping was marred by this experience, although it may lead to a good outcome in the long run.

  5. Martha in PA says:

    You did a very good deed Sue. That poor woman. She is lucky you were around.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Martha… Anyone would’ve done the same. BTW, you’re also in third place today. Wow! 🙂

  6. OMG! I hope they are okay! So glad she was found. Ya know everyone has their way of life and who are we to judge. At least they are together and he is doing his best to take care if her.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sandra,

      I got the impression they were traveling between two points, like maybe went to visit family or something, and didn’t want to stay in motels. Or maybe they just like to camp without bothering with a tent. They didn’t seem to be scraping by, is what I mean…

      • gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

        Partner and I have three campsite rules:
        1. Always leave vehicle pointed to the road out, nothing blocking it.
        2. Put car keys where we both know where they are.

        3. Never leave the campsite without telling the other where you are going and when you will be back — no matter if the other is sleeping.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Great rules, Gayle! Although, I admit, I don’t always follow the first one. I guess I figure if I ever have to leave in a hurry (hasn’t happened yet), I’ll just fire up the mighty PTV and mow down whatever is in the way! 🙂

  7. Pam N. says:

    Wow, you were a hero that day, Sue. Good job keeping your wits about you. Had to be an unsettling experience in the moment.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pam,

      Unsettling, yes…. for everyone! I can’t imagine how the husband felt as he drove through the canyon looking for her.

  8. Pat McClain says:

    Gotta say something. This is the frst time I’ve been this close to first, lol. You were really good to help Sue. A lot of people would have looked around, said they didn’t see her and go back inside.


    • Maggie in MA says:

      Sue, thank you for making the world a better place.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pat . . . . You’ll be first one of these days. 🙂

      I hate to think there are people who wouldn’t bother to help look for a lost person, but you’re right. There are.

  9. Jean in Southaven, MS says:

    Just my kind of story, suspense and a happy ending. When I worked with the Boy Scouts we were always trying to make sure they paid attention to what was around them, even looking behind constantly so you would know what it looked like. It is a scary feeling to be lost and alone. I remember you were once with the crew. You were lucky you had a good sense of direction and where you were. It was still scary I bet.
    Thank goodness you found her. Us women have to stay together.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You never will know how those lessons you taught the boy scouts might have led or will lead to someone being found…. or not becoming lost in the first place. Good of you to do that.

  10. AZ Jim says:

    A Happy ending Missy, thanks to you. Who knows how long he would have been in the wrong spot to see her. I award you a rescue merit badge. This was a nice surprise and much more interesting than the Al Capone vault caper of years ago. I was in suspense thanks for not letting me hang there on that cliff long.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The husband did exactly that — He was “in the wrong spot to see her.” He drove down the road past the embankment where she was. I didn’t include the part where she said, “I was looking for you! I saw you and was waving my arms but you didn’t see me!”

      He couldn’t see her because of the angle. He would’ve had to look through the roof up at her. I saw her because I approached perpendicularly from a distance. My “dumb” plan worked! Ha!

  11. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Whoo-Hoo!! #19!! 🙂

  12. Calvin R (still in Ohio) says:

    Good story, well told. I’m glad for the happy (relatively) ending.

  13. Pookie in Todd Mission Tx says:

    yup, been waiting on this report……now to go back and read…..
    yee haw

  14. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    Oh boy… car accident… lost. I hope he gets her checked out–I deal with this stuff all the time. I hope they are OK.
    SO glad you were able to help! It could have been oh so much worse… obviously.

    Whew. Now I NEED another cup of coffee! 😛

    Always a good reminder!

    Hugs from us here in lovely downtown Hoquiam!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I thought of you and the work you do helping others when I wrote this post. I asked myself, “What would Barb from Hoquiam think of this?”

      I think the incident alarmed the husband enough to realize she needs closer attention.

      Hugs to you, too!

      • Barb from Hoquiam! says:

        AWE Thanks Sue! <3 You made me smile!!! Bless her heart, I hope they can get it worked out… I know I get turned around in nature (really–trees all look alike) so I have to stay within eye sight of my camp! To me you are so so brave to go down dirt roads… livin' vicariously here! 🙂

        I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited. I bought my home from a Baptist church that had used it as offices/parsonage… the church next door was sold to someone else (they built a new church). Well, a hoarder bought it… It was stuffed to the rafters. IT HAS BEEN SOLD and will become a COMMUNITY CENTER! You have no idea how enthused I am. 😛 A community garden will be in the back, three small homes will be rented out (they were classrooms at one point) to support meeting rooms and events at the building. I came up with the name! 🙂 It is really going to be awesome! Kickin' my heals up on J St!

        Hugs from a Sunny and warm, Hoquiam,

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Wow! That is exciting, Barb! You are going to meet people and have all sorts of events to choose from right next door. I’m very happy for you! I bet this will have a very positive influence on your life. 🙂

  15. Kat says:

    I am glad you posted this Sue and crew. Doing such a kindness might have saved that woman’s life. It’s very easy to get confused out in the wild (heck in a city too). It’s especially upsetting for those that love the lost person. Hopefully your post reminds all of us to take the time to help another human being-next time it could be us who needs the help.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kat,

      Sometimes I think it is more difficult to assess another person when you live with them and love them. I cared for my father as he went through stages of dementia. “Things” kept happening that would shake me out of my denial and tell me to adjust my care for him for his safety. Maybe this scary experience will do the same for the husband.

      • CherylL from Thumb area, MI says:

        Wow, what a lucky coincidence; to be at the right angle to see her! My DH and I just watched a movie last night called “Away From You”. It was filmed in Ontario, it had Julie Christie, Olympia Dukakis, and a guy whom we’ve never seen and I can’t recall his name…but I digress…It was about a woman who had the beginning of Alzheimer’s(Sp.??). It was very well done, but it ended with a lot of ways that it could go. Kind of left us hanging, but it lead us into a long conversation about what we would do in the same situation. It just seems so much more difficult for the caregiver than the patient. So sad that a disease exists that can tear so many people down. I wish for a magic wand to wave over those afflicted and give them back their lives and memories. Sorry to get so sad, but it just hit home and then reading your post…just wanted to share a bit. 🙂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          No need to apologize, Cheryl… Your comment adds interest to my blog. 🙂

  16. Sue,
    I feel for both of them. It is easy to get disoriented and confused especially if you have medical issues from an accident, illness or aging. I am so glad you were able to help, and that everything worked out.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lisa,

      I’m glad, too, that I was able to help. She seemed like a very nice person.

  17. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Oh, Sue,

    I am so relieved that there was a happy ending. You were their guardian angel – being led to the right place at the right time – what a blessing!

    Have a good night – keep warm! Sending hugs to you and the Crew from me and Gracie pup!! 🙂

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Do you think your blogorino family was anxiously waiting for this post? I could not believe the number of comments between my first Whoo-Hoo comment and this one! 🙂

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Haha! I love it when the blogorinos are eager to post a comment! Makes the work worth it! You two have a good night, too.

        • Denise - Richmond VA says:

          I have to admit that I was relieved when I saw the title of your post. I was worried that our little Reggie may have decided to explore on his own. I am sorry that that couple had such a scare, but glad that our Crew is ok! 🙂

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            I never thought of that! No wonder so many readers were anxious for this post to appear. Gee, I do have a talent for making folks miserable. haha!

  18. Oh I am so glad you were there to help and for the good outcome. She is so lucky.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Judy….. I bet the woman was glad to see her husband and to get something warm and dry on her feet!

  19. Donna 'N Girls says:

    Oh my goodness. Thank heavens you found her. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I got lost in a r v park. It was a big park on two levels in the woods. I got there late in the day and after I set up I took the girls for a walk, forgot to check my landmarks, big mistake. We wandered around for awhile, it was getting dark and I could not find my rig. I just walked up to a couple and told them I couldn’t find my rig. He put us in his golf cart and drove us around until we found our home. Geez was that ever embarrassing. It is the Hondah rv park in Show Low. In my defense it’s a 2 tiered park and our site was tucked up in a corner behind some trees.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Donna n Girls,

      It can happen! It’s not hard to do when in a strange place where there isn’t much differentiation, like an RV park. All those RVs in a row, it becoming dark… Gee, getting lost is easy!

      Yeah, embarrassing, but the important thing — You asked for help and you soon were home again. How nice that you didn’t have to walk either!

  20. Steve says:

    Glad she’s ok, I wonder how she ended up so far from the bathhouse and campsite? I’m not surprised when people get lost when hiking, but this sounds like she really wandered far afield. My sister got lost when she was about six in a wildlife park down in Florida (called something like “The Monkey Jungle”), and I was scared spitless when I passed the alligator pond looking for her–I was sure she’d been gobbled up. Turns out she was fine, but she got her scare when they announced her name over the loudspeakers and said “come to the office, your Mother’s waiting for you.” She was sure she was in trouble–we were all just relieved to see her.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, dear God, Steve… the alligator pond. What a horrible fright for everyone involved. I bet that’s a story that’s been told for many years. A very thankful mother that night, I’m sure!

      How did the woman get so far from the restroom? Well, she had over an hour to walk in the wrong direction, following the road away from the restroom and from her campsite. I don’t know why she went up onto the hillside. Maybe to look around from a higher point . . . .

    • Pat McClain says:

      Easy to get lost. She probably came out of the restroom and turned the wrong way. From there, she just wandered, looking. I came out of a dog show once on a gray, slightly foggy day and turned left instead of right. I think I drove 10 miles before I realized something was wrong, lol!

  21. Lee J in Northern California says:

    I just sat down to have a break, saw the next installment was here…wow, now I need to take a walk to get rid of the rush I just felt!

    That is quite a story, so glad you are the loving careing person you are, you very well may have saved that lady from serious harm.

    I love your campground, beautiful! Can’t wait to see where you go next.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lee J.,

      Always a compliment to have one’s writing bring about a reaction, whatever it may be…. 🙂

      We didn’t stay at Apache Creek long, due to the lack of internet, so the next camp is coming up soon.

  22. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    Good Job Sue….glad you found her.

  23. Kim in TX says:

    Hi Sue,
    This is the kind of story that makes me worry about camping or boondocking on my own. I suspect it might be difficult to objectively evaluate one’s own mental state as we age. I wonder if you or any of your readers are concerned about this. Kind of a downer thought but I’m a classic worrier.

    • Kim in TX says:

      PS! I’m not saying that ‘mental state’ was the issue in this case, but rather that the story makes me think of it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I hear what you’re saying, Kim. This is how I look at it. If my mental state is going to deteriorate, I don’t want to sit around unhappy waiting for it to happen. I want to do what I want to do and trust that someone will be around to help me if I need it. Not a fail-safe plan, actually not a plan at all, but it’s the one I’ve adopted.

      Good question! Thoughts on this, anyone?

      • weather says:

        Perhaps trust first that our mental state, and all of our other ones, won’t deteriorate , then should an incident occur that we need help getting beyond trust someone will help

      • Steve says:

        I agree with your take Sue. My parents went on a package tour of the Amazon a few years ago (Dad was about 75 at the time), and considered adding Machu Pichu. Some people ended up talking them out of it, saying “what if something happens, you could die down there!” My attitude was “how can you pass it up, everyone dies some time, what a fabulous place for it to happen?” He died 4 years ago never having seen it.

        Life’s too short, go for it.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I’m glad he went on the Amazon tour instead of staying at home. Thanks for sharing that personal story, Steve.

      • Gingerita in NE Indiana ( for now) says:

        I have thought about this, the possibility of mental or physical decline while full time rving. It’s important to me to live life to the fullest, in a way that I enjoy, with whatever time I have left on this earth. I am trusting that my kids or friends, or some kind stranger will step in and take appropriate measures when or if problems arise.

        In my opinion, there isn’t really any difference if I have health or mental problems while on the road or safely tucked away in a more conventional residence. Either way someone will need to step in.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You express your point of view very well, and you make a lot of sense to me.

      • Toni says:

        I am totally aware of my “mental” health at this stage of my life. With my health concerns, I can’t help it.

        I moved into my own apartment and after 15 years of wanting to escape my marriage, I’m second guessing myself. I don’t feel like I belong here and frankly, I don’t know where I belong anymore. I feel like I don’t know much at this point. I really believe that I was traumatized by the cancer diagnosis, surgery and now recovery.

        I’m praying I can find my way soon. This is really hard.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Gee, Toni, it sounds like you’ve been hit with several life “adjustments” simultaneously. It’s no wonder you are reeling from all that.

          I don’t know how one brings back a feeling of belonging. No doubt I’m the worst to address that subject since I don’t belong anywhere and it doesn’t bother me. Maybe all you need is time. Focus on what you are doing each day, rather than evaluating from a big picture standpoint (2nd guessing).

          If you can find something good in the day that you’re in and do the same the next day and so on . . . . I don’t know. Prayer is good.

          Your equilibrium is off from all the shock and changes. It will return in time. Hang in there…

          • Toni says:

            You’re right Sue. I just find it so crazy that all I’ve ever wanted for the past fifteen years was to be alone in my own place and here I am, scared to death. Go figure.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Talk to yourself. Isolate the specifics that scare you. You’ll find they aren’t so scary when looked at individually.

              You can do this!

            • DesertGinger says:

              Maybe being in your own place isn’t what you needed, but that doesn’t mean you should have stayed with him. Maybe you need a roommate situation. Do you have a spare room you can put out to look for a roommate? Or maybe some other group situation., I don’t know your age. Are you too young for assisted living? Too old to join the service? Be creative and think of other options. Maybe there is another way to skin this cat.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Good advice, Ginger . . . .Or maybe let time do its work with no more big changes.

    • Cat Lady still stuck in Central, La. says:

      Kim in TX,

      If you have an iPhone (don’t know about Android), there’s an app called “WhereAmIAt?” You can get the info needed easily and Share it with a trusted friend or relative of your choice. Don’t allow fear of the unknown to rule your life and stop you from trying new things. Just use sound judgment to make decisions. You’re an intelligent lady. Trust yourself.

      • Steve says:

        Sue, it just occurred to me that your blog is your locator beacon–the blogerinos would turn out the State Patrol and Sheriff’s offices if you ever dropped offline for too long. We can’t help everyone, but we’ve got your back!

  24. Lynn Brooks says:

    So glad you could help this couple.
    Well done!!!
    Lynn B. (Baltimore)

  25. Jules MN says:

    So glad you found her Sue!

  26. Marilu from Northern California says:

    What a relief for everyone! I, too, have been waiting for this post. I had guessed that the child who wanted to meet Reggie was lost. At least it was an adult. Thank goodness you found her, Sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh yeah, the child. I didn’t think of her. I set you up for that thought without even realizing it. Yes, I’m glad it wasn’t her.

      • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

        Oh yes, I thought it was going to be about the child too. Such a sad story, but it turned out so well and thanks to you Sue. Clearly, the husband was in a controlled panic, if that makes any sense and he was probably not thinking clearly too. Your being there was one of those “in the right place at the right time” kind of things. When you are isolated like that, it helps to even have one person around to help out. We’ve been in similar situations, not getting lost, but boondocking and had a strange situation, but after it was over, our distant boondocking neighbor came over and told us he was keeping an eye on us and had his rifle ready to help if needed. It was that kind of a situation! We have been forever grateful that it didn’t escalate and that our “neighbor”, unbeknownst to us, was watching our back. We’ve been back to camp in the same spot, but have never seen that guardian angel again.

        So sad for the elderly couple, but hopefully he will, and she, will realize that something isn’t right. What caught my attention more than anything is the fact that she didn’t have shoes. Wandering off is one thing, but wandering off without shoes is a “red flag” per se.

        God Bless you Sue for being their guardian angel that day!

  27. KC says:

    Good rescue Sue! Sometimes we forget the little things that can make a real difference such as having a whistle in a pocket to call for help when lost or injured. SOS signal will bring help in most cases even if the person who hears it was not looking for you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good suggestion, KC, although the person would need to wear it to bed, too, in case they had to get up in the night and shuffle on over to the restroom.

  28. Gingerita in NE Indiana ( for now) says:

    Such a happy ending! It is easy enough to get turned around and disoriented, especially in the dark. It is so difficult, sometimes, to admit to ourselves that a loved one is starting to need more care and guidance with normal, daily activities. It is a painful process. So glad you were there to help. You were definitely in the right place at the right time.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gingerita,

      When I wrote this post I wondered what sort of reaction it would elicit. The blogorinos are a caring group. Every comment has been sensitive, empathetic, and understanding of the situation. Thank you for adding your thoughts to the discussion, Gingerita.

  29. weather says:

    As with today’s earlier post , and many others, I’m struck with the precise timing of much in your journey and those around you being so right …Providential more than coincidental often comes to mind. That you helped pleases yet doesn’t surprise me because I know what you’re like. That she was cold yet unharmed otherwise (thanks largely to you) is wonderful!

    In a reply above you asked for thoughts on a subject. I’d like to know yours on one. There have been situations throughout my own life that raised the question “Should I become involved and take action or not?” It’s answer always comes down to : if I have the opportunity to do right and don’t , I’ve done wrong , at least in the sense that I’ve missed the mark if being the best person I can be is the goal . Do you find that to be sound reasoning , something you agree with entirely or in part, or flawed as a whole? Mind you I honestly won’t be offended or hurt by whatever thoughts you are willing to share. I genuinely would like input on the subject as it’s influenced every decision that’s been significant to me.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Interesting and important question, weather. I’m thinking it over very carefully and yet trying not to over-think it.

      Do I find this to be sound reasoning? Yes, of course.

      However, knowing exactly what is “doing right” as opposed to interfering with a person’s goals or needs or the design of Providence, well, that’s the difficult part and takes skill in discernment.

      There are situations where “doing right” is obvious, like jumping into the water to save a person. Others, not so much.

      I ask myself when in a situation where it isn’t obvious whether it’s right to take action: Is my help really needed or am I going to do this to make myself feel good for being “helpful?” I put the word helpful in quotation marks because there are times when the best help you can give a person in a struggle of some sort is to step back and be available, but let them work it out by themselves or let them come to a point where they reach out in faith for divine help.

      To not do right is to do wrong. There are times when knowing what is the right thing to do (or whether to do anything at all) is difficult.

      If I haven’t answered your question — if I didn’t understand the question — please let me know.

      • weather says:

        Yes, you thoroughly answered my question ,and included insights that show it’s something you’ve given considerable thought to, as well.Thank you very much. I agree with and appreciate your point of view.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thank you for bringing that up. Your wisdom has been revealed many times on this blog. By explaining this strategy, you’ve given us a glimpse of how you’ve obtained it. 🙂

    • Applegirl NY says:

      This is a really interesting topic. We are dealing with aging parents. With my mom, we pretty much have to make all decisions for her, and she is relieved and grateful, with my in-laws we make suggestions and are available, but try not to take over their situation.

      With others, we often make ourselves available, and offer suggestions only when someone may be in way over their heads, otherwise we give folks the respect and privacy they deserve. It can be really tricky, and we don’t always get it right, but I’d rather err on the side of helpfulness.

    • DesertGinger says:

      Sue’s answer is very close to mine. What is right for you may not be for other people, even when we have the best intent. And we may not know whether our action was right till much later. I took my daughter to rehab, trying to do the right thing, and that is where she met the person who taught her about heroin, which ultimately killed her. So was my action right? I don’t know if it is possible to decide the right thing to do in advance as you can’t know the outcome of your action, but I think it is possible to use good intent to be the best people we can be when we make our decisions. There really is no ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, in my opinion…just trying to do your best is all there is.

      • Sue CleanerGreenerVegas says:

        Wow, that is, no doubt , a crossroads of life that you wish she had not arrived “on time” to make that fatal personal connection. I’m sure you’vebeen told numerous times it wasn’t your fault, but as a parent one would wish to push REWIND on that moment in time and exert some control on the outcome. Thanks for sharing.

  30. Linda Hughes- North Carolina says:

    Great post RVSue! The search and rescue turned out really good! Bless her heart and you were there for a reason, the right place at the right time. Thanks for sharing a feel-good story, it sure lifted my day. Thanks for sharing it with us. Take care, safe travels.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Linda. Whatever caused your day to need “lifting,” I hope it passes soon. Have a good night and thanks for letting me know you think the post is great.

  31. retiredcajunlady says:

    Thanks for the posts today, Sue. I can imagine being in an unfamiliar area and getting turned around would be confusing. Thank God you were there to help the gentleman find his wife. I know they are both grateful for your kindness. This is a lovely area you are visiting. Thanks for the pictures. I can almost smell the pines!! Take care and enjoy your stay.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, retiredcajunlady. Apache Creek and the Gila National Forest are not the typical picture folks have in mind when they think of New Mexico, at least not in the minds of those who’ve never been this way. I was curious to see the other side of the mountains after camping in the Elephant Butte/Truth or Consequences area in 2011.

  32. jo in San Diego says:

    For some reason, your story reminded me of Buddy the pitbull who you helped find a forever home, or your facilitating the reunion with Rusty and Timber to name but a few of your good deeds. Wonderful story <3

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m glad you liked the story, Jo. You have a good memory of my posts (Buddy the pitbull!)…

      • jo in San Diego says:

        Buddy stole my heart.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I like to think of Buddy as the resident mascot and good companion to the service people at the base near Barstow. He’s a sponge for affection…

          • jo in San Diego says:

            When I was in the Army stationed far from home, I missed canine companionship most of all. I’m happy Buddy and the men and women stationed there found each other. And I applaud your kindness and effort making it happen. Proud to ‘know’ you, Sue <3

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Thank you, Jo, for giving of yourself for our nation.

            • jo in San Diego says:

              Sue, sorry to change the subject, but would appreciate your advice. I have a decision I am trying to work through about carrying protection when I start full-timing (only 10 more days!). From your early posts, you explained your personal decision, but I am struggling to decide. I’ve carried a can of bear spray- which thankfully I’ve never used- when camping alone in the past, but my father recently offered me his handgun. Initially I accepted pending a gun safety class and obtaining a license, but after letting the idea rest in my head and heart for a while and reading many rvers’ opinions, etc., I am leaning toward carrying only bear spray. So I am wondering please, after your many years full-timing, would you tell me whether you would still make the same choice? And why? Maybe the question is too personal, and if so, I apologize. Thank you either way 🙂

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I’d probably make the same choice, but not for the same reason. I thought I’d need some sort of “protection.” I’ve discovered through 5 years of travel and camping in various places, often in secluded places, that I don’t need it.

              So why would I make the same choice? Knowing I could defend myself gave me confidence in the early days of boondocking. It still does, even though I doubt I’ll ever have cause to defend myself. However, it’s reassuring to know I can if necessary.

              It’s a personal choice. My short answer is — no, you don’t NEED a gun.

              (Please everyone… Let’s not have a thread about pros and cons of guns. I’m almost ready to publish the next post. Thank you.)

  33. Marcia GB in MA says:

    Thank goodness you found the woman and get her back to her husband. I was so distressed that she had no shoes. I wonder if she lost them or just didn’t have them on when she left the campsite? Not sure why that bothered me, but it did.

    Also, in response to weather’s question: once I had an opportunity to “do right” for someone else and I didn’t take it because I was afraid it would result in harm to the other person or to myself. The situation ended badly and I’ve been haunted by it for close to 40 years. I’ve tried to make up for it by helping others whenever I see a way to do that. That aside, your answer was a sensitive and thoughtful one. One we all should take it to heart.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh dear, I hope you can let that memory go… The situation may have ended badly anyway or there might have been a further good as a result of the “bad” for which you feel responsible. Life is complicated. Life paths take mysterious turns. We only see what is visible from a very narrow perspective of time and place.

      I was bothered by the lack of shoes, too! I don’t know if she took off the shoes and left them somewhere or if she walked to the restroom without them. It was appropriate for me to leave them alone after he thanked me, even though I was curious!

      • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

        You did the right thing, Sue, in leaving them alone. I would’ve done the same. I’m a “live and let live” type of person that also “lets go” to let others take care of things as they should. This does not equate to not caring or not doing when necessary such as jumping in and helping.

    • Applegirl NY says:

      Marcia, We can only make the best decision at the time. It sounds like you considered the situation and made the best decision. Sometimes a problem is beyond our ability to repair.

    • DesertGinger says:

      You cannot know what the outcome would have been had you taken the opportunity to “do right”. Maybe it would have turned out for the worse. You tried to do the best you could and that is All you can do.

  34. Linda-NC says:

    Good job Sue! I am sure that they were both scared. And she rides to the rescue! You sure have interesting adventures. A good read because she was found.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I was shaking my head as I sat down with that second cup of coffee. The things that happen while living “on the road!” Never expected anything like this…

      • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

        . . . and yet it could’ve turned out so different . . . and tragic. Your second cup of coffee could’ve been a very sad one, or you may not have had the stomach for the second cup.

  35. Marilyn - NW AZ says:

    Good Evening Sue…Wow, let the adventures…

  36. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Just saw this post before bedtime. Sorry I am so slow. Wow this was an edge of your seat suspense!. That poor lady, so glad you found her and all turned out well.
    I’m beat so will comment more tomorrow.

  37. Cynthia in San Clemente says:

    Boy, so many things that could have gone wrong … Thank God you were willing to help the husband and were sharp-eyed enough to spot the wife. And thank God she was willing to get in the van with you. You didn’t say if Bridge and Reggie were with you or if you put them in the Casita – I assume they were with you. I just wondered how/if she interacted with the dogs. I do hope he gets her checked out medically to make sure there isn’t anything more serious wrong with her.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Cynthia,

      You reminded me of something — I meant to include when I said to the woman as I held the door of the PTV open for her, “Just push Reggie out of the seat. He won’t mind.” She didn’t pay any attention to the crew which is understandable. She’d been through a lot, was cold, and, no doubt, anxious to be reunited with her husband.

      It is very, very rare for me to leave the crew in the BLT while I drive away. I can’t recall ever doing that. Where I go, they go.

  38. Judy J. in upstate S.C. says:

    So, the story had a good ending, though my overactive imagination is adding extra chapters. You were meant to be exactly where you were at the time, and handled a sensitive situation so wisely.

  39. BadgerRickInWis says:

    This story reminds me of just awhile back when we were all sitting around here counting our blessings regarding Kyle, the Angel with the screwdriver. A man who went out of his way to help a fellow traveler in need.

    Now, something tells me that those folks are sitting around (hopefully somewhere warm) telling the story of the incredibly sweet Angel in a white van who descended down from the mountain and offered her help when they needed it most.

    I suppose their situation was a bit scarier in the moment. In fact it’s more than a little disconcerting that she would leave the car even to just go the the bathroom with no shoes. But still, I just love karma.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh yeah, Kyle — the angel with the screwdriver — who got the PTV started for me at Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge. What a great guy, a Godsend!

      Ha, your description made me chuckle, Rick… The PTV, all white and flying through the air with wings, coming to the rescue. It’s a bird, it’s a plane, noooo, it’s the PTV! Hilarious.

      I don’t know if she went to the restroom without her shoes or if, when lost, she took them off because she stepped in water or for whatever reason. It had rained during the night. Notice how my stories always seem to have “loose ends?”

  40. Hi, Sue! As everyone has already stated so eloquently – I’m so glad you were able to find her and facilitate the grand reunion.

    The fear they both must have felt followed by the relief of being reunited. But I cannot help but wonder what it was like for them afterwards. The adrenaline of the moment has worn off and they are now both left with their frazzled nerves and then, I imagine, the real feelings kick in as they begin to deal with a new reality. The fear she would feel when the realization of her diminished capacity creeps in. The fear he would feel when he realizes that his wife is no longer the woman she was prior to the accident and now he needs to do more to care for her so he doesn’t end up losing her forever. Yes, “I’ve lost my wife” seems all too appropriate a title. I’m so very sorry for them and glad you were able to help them in such a calming manner. I suspect you may have helped them way more than you would initially realize.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Deborah,

      Your comment is one I’ve been hoping would appear!

      When I wrote this post I included a paragraph at the end which expressed what you have written here. I took it out because it didn’t fit the style of the writing that preceded it.

      I told myself, “It’s enough to tell what happened. A reader will explain the deeper ramifications of this incident — how it will impact the lives of the man and woman and possibly bring about adjustments in their daily life together.”

      So thank you, Deborah! Your paragraph is better than the one I wrote and erased. 🙂

  41. You did good work here.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Allison … Thank you.

      Seeing you here reminds me to alert Pat (Freespirit) in TX…

      Pat: You received replies to your situation regarding the water hose being connected to your black water flush. I hope you see them.

      I also wanted to add this suggestion: You wanted to know what the ramifications are from this accident. Copying and pasting your comment in a forum such as at rv.net will give it exposure to more people and possibly provide you with more responses. With a blog, comments are covered up with new posts.

      Good luck!

  42. Elizabeth in WA says:

    So often in life we are in a spot to help someone else…sometimes we notice and take action and perhaps sometimes not. So glad that all ended ok. It does sound like this couple really needs to find a different living situation…but freedom is not easy to give up!! I am sure you must feel very good right now, Sue and rightfully so!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Elizabeth,

      I don’t think the couple are full-timers. They struck me as being campers or maybe folks on a road trip. They had a new shade house with new, matching camp chairs, giving the appearance of not being on the road long. I’m glad I was able to help. If I hadn’t been outside walking with the crew, I might not have known the woman was lost.

      • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

        For most of us here who road trip, we are prepared with a rig (as you asked the gentleman), but my parents traveled the country in a van and it wasn’t a Class B that was self-contained, it was just a van. They had a cooler for their food, blankets to sleep on the bench seats that folded down, and they would use public restrooms. They looked like vagabonds and I mean that in a negative sense, but it was “normal” to them. When my husband and I bought our first RV, which was a 19′ TT, my mother was in awe at the amenities! She loved it. Oh how I wish she were alive today, I’d take her on road trips in what we now have – a 35′ FW.

        • rvsueandcrew says:


          I admire people like your parents who make the most out of life, who get “out there,” happy to travel with what they’ve got, rather than sitting back saying “Gee, if we had an RV we could travel and go camping.”

          They traveled the country anyway. Kudos to them! Van camping has a lot of advantages.

          • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

            You’re right Sue. It is because of my mother that I have this love of the open road. She would pack us all up, a frying pan and steak in the cooler with tomatoes from the garden, and we would take off for the hills. Our picnic was a fried steak and sliced tomatoes in the middle of a sagebrush plain! She definitely was very adventurous.

  43. Jim from Rockford IL says:

    Wow what a great ending! I would have been a nervous wreck after that! maybe an espresso for me, or something stronger. Wow!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      Good to hear from you again! Yeah, that second cup of coffee tasted pretty good. I use a percolator on my propane stove to make my coffee. I use a lot of coffee grounds and I perk it mercilessly until it’s black. I need to tone it down a bit or I’ll have hair growing on my chest. Eww.

  44. Krystina ~ Sutton, Vermont says:

    You never cease to amaze me RVSue!!! You are really a great woman. So happy the story had a happy ending.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Krystina,

      Aw, shucks…. All I did was drive around a little. I guess Spring has arrived in Vermont. I imagine you’ll be outside picking dandelions in the sunshine with Nora and doing other stuff that little girls that age love to do ….

  45. Steve says:

    Hi Sue, I have an off the wall question for you: I’m sold on the casita brand (someday), but in reading your previous posts (it’s March 2012 in my world) you never seem to post pictures of the BLT with the awning extended. If you were buying your trailer today, would you still get the awning? Did I just miss those days you used it?

    Apologies if you’ve already written this post and I haven’t seen it yet, but would you do anything differently if you bought a new BLT today?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m happy to answer this question again. When a question is asked more than once over the 5-year span of my blog, it must be a great question, right?

      Here is a quote from my post of July 29, 2014: “Omigosh, I did it again — Another boondock with a beach!

      “It is surprising though how putting out the awning and the patio mat (which now is two mats), a chair, and a pallet for the crew transforms a plain piece of ground into a pleasant home.”

      If you follow that link and scroll down, you will see a treeless campsite on a very sunny day in Wyoming. The awning is out, making the campsite comfortable.

      To answer your question directly: Yes, I would get the awning if ordering the BLT today. I don’t use the awning often, but there are times when we really need that shade and I’m very glad I have the awning to create it. We wouldn’t have enjoyed Boulder Lake nearly as much without it, possibly cutting short our stay there. That’s where we had sage grouse visit our camp and I took photos of Bovine Beach! Ah, the memories…

      Would I do anything differently if I bought a new BLT today?

      Well, if I were to eliminate an option it would be the outside shower, although it’s nice I have it. It didn’t add much to the purchase price. Who knows? Maybe I’ll sell the BLT someday (egaads!) and the buyer will want the outside shower.

      • Steve says:

        Do you use your inside shower much? When Amy and I first started looking at trailers (just to satisfy my daydreaming) I had thought that an indoor bath with shower was a requirement for her, since she doesn’t like to camp long without bathing, but she seemed ambivalent. We got to tour a friend’s Casita when they came through town, and I was surprised at how roomy the bath was, but I wonder how often you (and others) really use them?


        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I never use mine, preferring to sponge bathe using basins of hot water.

          Blogorinos: Do you use your inside shower much?

        • weather says:

          Good morning, Sue 🙂 Did you once use the wet bath shower before deciding that you preferred not to? Was the water pressure, room to move within, need to dry everything afterward an issue? If I decide at some point to trade up in the T@B line the wet bath would be a factor for why, so I’m very interested in yours and others experience with them.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Good morning, weather.

            Yes, I tried the shower twice. I didn’t like having the entire room wet when done (make sure the toilet paper doesn’t get wet, swab down the room). Also the water pressure was an issue. When I tried to increase the water pressure, it blew the hose off at the connection on the wall. With decreased pressure, the water was more annoying than helpful.

            Then there’s the need to keep filling up the water tank because of the use of the shower.

            But that’s me. Others like their marine shower.

            • DesertGinger says:

              Sue, how do you wash your hair? I have thin, fine hair that gets oily in just 2 or 3 days, causing me to wash it often.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              If I don’t have access to a shower, I pour warm water into two basins, one for shampooing, the other for rinsing. Stick my head in and pour water over my hair. I usually do this outside, but can do it inside if need be.

        • Applegirl NY says:

          We never use the shower in our Casita. Sponge baths or showers at the campgrounds. If we were boondocking for any length of time, we would probably take an occasional outside shower. Remember also, that using the shower inside will fill that gray tank quickly – but some folks use theirs all the time and really like the option.

        • BadgerRickInWis says:

          Steve, I don’t have first hand experience with the shower question but I will pass on info from a larger sample size. This question has been asked at fiberglassrv.com many times and it always seems to come back more or less 50/50.

          Like so many things it depends on how you might use your trailer. Folks that spend time in campgrounds with full hookups can’t imagine living without it. Folks that mostly boondock and need to refill the water tank every couple of days use it less.

          But before you order a trailer without it I would consider how it effects the resale value. Many shoppers will not consider a trailer without a shower option. Same goes for AC. Hope this helps.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Great advice, Rick. I second that!

          • Sue CleanerGreenerVegas says:

            I learned to take quick showers last spring and summer when the temp of the water was what came out of the tap. Now we have 4 glorious gallons of hot water on tap— such a luxury! Funny…at Lake Meade Calville Bay we paid $1.50 for a four minute shower, but it seemed way too long, and I got out and had to let the shower run out its time without ME!!

      • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

        I feel the same about the outside shower. Every one of our RVs have had them and we have never used any of them. Yet, we love our awning and now that ours is electric, we use it so much more because of the ease in putting it out and bringing it back in.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          It isn’t the cranking of the awning that cuts down on my usage of the awning; it’s the concern that a sudden wind gust will tear it away. If there’s any chance of that, I don’t put the awning out. I know me. I’d forget about it until it was flapping loose in the wind.

          • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

            Same with us. I’m super careful of the wind coming up and ripping it off.

  46. Kay from KC! says:

    Sue! Thank you for being there when that family needed you. The world would be a better place if everyone would just help others! Again, your blog made me gasp, put my hand over my heart and whisper to myself…….

    Kay from KC!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Kay,

      I love the picture of you gasping with your hand over your heart, whispering as you read my post. 🙂 That’s reader engagement! Makes me proud….

  47. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts, VA says:

    You did the “Right Thing”, I am so proud of you! You are of good character. Unfortunately, a lot of people just sit back as it’s “not their problem”. Glad this woman is Okay. Well done, Sue.
    WOW the adventures keep coming…
    Take Care Sue and Crew!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Diane,

      Isn’t it something how things keep happening on the road, enough to keep me well supplied with stories to tell? Of course, I’d make a story out of anything! 🙂

  48. chas anderson says:

    Easy to get confused.Once I drove to work and took the train home-

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh my gosh, chas! That strikes me as so funny! I’m laughing into my coffee! The way you told it with so few words. Oh, my sides hurt. …

      Sorry to laugh… I’m sure it wasn’t funny for you at the time..

  49. Eileen Dykeman says:

    Very scary, sounds like the wife does have dementia as common logic would dictate at least wearing shoes. So glad you found her!

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      I would guess the wife has some sort of TBI….due to the accident. Hard to say not knowing all the details. Hopefully this is an eye opener for the husband to initiate steps to prevent it from happening again…whatever her medical issue may be.

      They were both fortunate…this time around. Sometimes you don’t get another chance.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I think you’re right, Cinandjules. The man was about to explain that to me and stopped, not wanting to waste time while she was still lost.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Eileen!

  50. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Oh my god you made me laugh with the …”you mean ME” and the “no time to soft-pedal words”. Just the facts sir. I was wondering why you didn’t get her name so you could call out…then it made sense…respecting their privacy.

    Being at the right place at the right time! What a scary situation for all involved. Glad it worked out. Good job!

    Thankfully Bridgee babee always knows the way back to the BLT.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Actually I was going to ask the man her name so I could call out, but both times he ended our conversation abruptly, taking off in a rush to look some more. The campground, which really is a large open area loosely defined, was nearly empty… only me and the crew, the couple, and the two women with the child… so I could’ve called for her. Looking back on it, I wonder why we weren’t hollering her name… Oh well, it worked out.

      Yes, I can always count on the Bridge to show us the way home. She’s equipped with an incredible honing device.

  51. Linda in TX says:

    Thanks for being someone willing to step up and help. Glad she is safe today, and hope everything is okay there.

    I wanted to say, too, that this is an especially beautiful campsite!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Linda…

      Yes, it is beautiful in a quiet, peaceful way. Not spectacular as in eye-poppingly gorgeous. Just nice, open forest. Magnificent trees.

  52. edlfrey says:


    I your reply to my comment in your previous posting you said that you were going to have a story about some wild weather. I think I know where you were and what the weather was but will not spoil the story.

    I do wonder if you have had any contact with any of the Continental Divide Trail thru-hikers? It would not surprise me that you have not been sharing a camping area, not a camp site however, with some of them.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ed,

      No, I haven’t come across any Continental Divide Trail hikers, although I think we crossed the Divide a couple of times. I’m not sure I get the meaning/inference of your last sentence “It would not surprise me that you have not been sharing a camping area . . . with some of them.”

      Yeah, you know what weather I mean. Thanks for holding your tongue. 🙂

      • edlfrey says:

        I was attempting to not disclose where your camp was/had been but at the same time say that you were camped in an area that would also be used by Continental Divide Trail thru-hikers.

        I need to take lessons from the politicians on how to obfuscate my writing and speech yet convey the meaning to those that are in the ‘know’.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Okay. Now I get it. The problem was with the “hearer,” not the “speaker.”

          No, don’t take lessons from politicians. I’d hate to have to ban you from my blog. (joke)

  53. rvsueandcrew says:

    Shirlene! I’m missing you! I hope you are all better now. . . .

    • weather says:

      Guessing by now Shirlene’s on the vacation she mentioned in her comment on Parking it in Patagonia, AZ , March 30th post about a May trip involving 2 states, family and friends, so I wouldn’t worry or expect her back or on here for a while.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Thanks, weather. I remember now.

        • Shirlene says:

          Hi Sue..I am here in Vancouver Washington..been trying to leave comments but don’t know if they are showing up..getting better now..thanks for missing me…Thanks Weather for the reminder..?

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            What? You guys are talking behind the scenes?

            Thanks for commenting. This is the second one I’ve seen since you went on a trip.

  54. Change passwords everyone. Big hack of Google, Microsoft and others. If this is not appropriate here Sue, just delete. More info at kimkomando.com website.

  55. casitagirl says:

    Whew! I felt so relieved reading that you found her, Sue!

    I understand what it’s like to get disoriented like that. Once I lost my car in a parking structure at work–we had at least 7 of them scattered over our hospital’s campus. I was working late and was really tired and forgot where I parked. After walking for miles and over an hour, I ended up calling our Security Dept. to help me out. Where was it? On a separate rooftop on the first structure I went to… Aargh.

    • casitagirl says:

      Sue–If she has a TBI, he may want to consider getting a door alarm to alert him when she leaves the vehicle.

      These are handy to use with people who wander due to dementia too.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      This is funny… I replied to Applegirl below before I saw your comment and I brought up parking garages at hospitals, too.

      I had a similar experience at a hospital in southern Florida… I think it was Jackson Memorial. It had two structures (or towers) and I was searching up and down the parking garage adjacent to the wrong structure. Hospital visits are often traumatic enough to begin with!

  56. Applegirl NY says:

    Sue. So glad you were there to help. It’s amazing how just coming from a different direction really gives a different view. Very scary for both of them.

    A woman walked into our campsite this year and was very lost. She pulled in at night and had gone to the restroom and exited in the opposite direction (often state park campground restrooms have entrances from both sides of the loop). I walked her back to her campsite, but went via the restroom so she could get her bearings. It’s so easy to take a wrong turn, especially if you’ve pulled in in the dark and haven’t had a chance to get the “lay of the land” and it doesn’t take but 5 minutes to be far away from where you think you should be.

    Once again, Sue, great story telling with several layers of things to think about.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Applegirl,

      That was especially nice of you to think to orient her by taking her by the restroom again. Your story reminds me of another situation where it is easy to become disoriented — coming out of an elevator in a parking garage, especially those elevators that have doors on their opposite walls.

      Hospitals are the worst! One loses all sense of direction making one’s way through the maze of corridors, then all the elevators look alike. If you remember what floor you parked your car on, you still have to orient yourself coming out the elevator doors. Remembering the row and space number helps but not always!

      Yes, it’s easy to become confused. We travel so much that I’ve wondered, upon waking in the morning, where the heck we were camped. Ha!

  57. Good job Sue. Thanks for helping them. You know a young lady was lost in the Grand Canyon, and has not yet been found. I think it’s been over a month. And a young man was hiking alone up near where I was hiking and he got lost. I had search parties passing me several times as I was hiking. He was missing over a week and was finally found. They have not yet determined the cause of death… but it well could have just been hypothermia… they said he was an inexperienced hiker. I am so very glad you found her… and that the day was warming.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Charlene,

      Those kinds of stories are terrible. We’ve said it already here, but I’ll say it again. It is very easy to become lost!

  58. Janet says:

    Thank you Sue. Some people would have just gone back to their camp for an other cup of coffee and said ” Not my problem”. Thank you again

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Janet,

      I like to think that those “not my problem” people are few. The rest of us would do what we could to help.

  59. All’s well that ends with her being found – whew! I’m sure they’re both glad he stopped and asked you about her. Another blogger posted a couple years ago that a man had gone missing in a park in Florida and was still being searched for when they left. I followed up on Google several months later and he never was found. So – maybe embarrassing, but still so very scary for both of them. I agree I couldn’t have sat there and not gone looking as well.

  60. Judy Bailey says:

    Just a personal lessons learned: 1) Never leave your RV in a campground without taking along a small flashlight, no matter how much daylight is left, and 2) Always leave an outside light on and maybe a couple of inside lights with drapes open. I once spent more time doing laundry at Wahweap Campground near Lake Powell, and got lost trying to find my motorhome. Even though the roads and sites in the campground are paved, it is NOT lit. so after dark at a time when there were few other campers, I wandered around for over half an hour, walking into dead end campsites, etc. My motorhome was dark because I had not left any lights on inside or out, so it was really scary. I could barely see the pavement, let alone my vehicle. Nearly all campgrounds are incredibly dark!!

    Walmarts has small flashlights for $1 each, and I now buy a bunch and tuck one into my purse, fanny pack, and backpack, just in case. Ditto for one in my pocket if I go for a long walk, even in broad daylight. If I ever fell and injured myself, having that flashlight could save my life.

  61. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Wow Sue! I have not had time to read all the comments and I will go back and read them but what a scary experience. So thankful she was found.

    It is tough when you get turned around. I remember once I went mushroom hunting, morel mushrooms are a big thing in Iowa in the spring. Anyway, I got turned around in the timber and I was by myself. I was suppose to be going to pick up my kids from school soon an I was lost in the woods. No cell phone then but I did wear a whistle. I was just about to start blowing it and I made it out of the woods but a long ways from where I should have been.

    This looks like a beautiful place though despite what happened to this woman. Glad it turned out ok.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That lost feeling is terrible… and when children are waiting at school for you to show up… It’s such a relief when you realize you’ve found your way back.

  62. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    There is an electronic gadget called “Spot” that people carry in case they get lost at sea or out in the wilds. It transmits a signal that alerts the spot headquarters that someone is lost. I think this is all done by satellite. It costs about a hundred bucks but it could mean the difference between life or death so it may be good insurance. Oh this gadget is about the size of your palm and weights only ounces, and it is ORANGE so if you drop it you can find it again on the forest floor. I buy a bunch of those one dollar flashlights at Walmart and give them to homeless people as presents, along with a tiny Swiss Army knife that also only costs a dollar.

  63. Utah Bonnie says:

    It’s easy to get disoriented even without a TBI. I’m staying in the Seattle area for a while and took my dog to what appears to be the worlds largest dog park. When I got back to the parking lot I couldn’t find my car and started to panic. I asked a young man if there was another parking lot and he pointed me to a path that led to the parking lot where I found my car patiently waiting for me. Alzheimer’s runs in my family so I often have “oh crap!” moments which has made me hesitate about going full timing alone.
    I’m glad you found the woman in time and helped her avoid a disaster.

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