Las Cienegas Conservation Area, Sonoita, and flying sand

Sunday, March 20

P1100143Our destination today – Las Cienegas!

Usually the crew and I make an early start on a day we move camp.

Today I write a blog post first, respond to comments, then hitch up and move out.  We motor through Arivaca again, and continue northeastward on the Arivaca Road.  The road surface is in good condition and the weather is ideal for driving on this beautiful Palm Sunday.

We meet several bikers going the opposite way on the Arivaca Road.

I imagine it’s fun riding a bike up and down and winding to the left and to the right in a continuous ribbon of curves and rolling hills.  The road from Arivaca to Arivaca Junction is too curvy for fast driving.  We go around 45 mph.

Besides, I don’t want to miss the scenery.

P1100134At Arivaca Junction I pull over and let the crew out for a break.

P1100084-001I consult the atlas again.  I want to take us to the eastern side of the Santa Rita Mountains.  To do that we go north on Route 19, past Green Valley, to Sahuarita.

Then we head due east.  New-looking subdivisions of houses in Arizona-tan stucco cluster along the perfectly paved roadway.

At the junction with Route 83 we turn south.

I look for mile marker 40.  Just past it I turn left onto Empire Ranch Road and we enter Cienegas National Conservation Area.

At a kiosk I study the map which indicates camping areas.

P1100147It states that you must camp within these areas.  While scouting for a site, we pass a group campsite occupied by Escapees of Tucson.  They have their rigs pulled into a circle.

Driving in the opposite direction,  I find to my liking the Cienequita Dispersed Camping Area.  It has 6 sites, widely spaced, and only two of them are occupied.  I choose a site out of hearing range of a rumbling generator and with no other campsite in our view.

P1100231I take the crew on a brief walk-about. 

It’s the hottest part of the afternoon so we postpone our long walk of the day until later, when it’s cooler.  Bridget and Reggie trot along on the soft, sandy road.

P1100156This being Sunday, weekenders are present, but not close by.

Someone is engaged in target practice and the gunshots bother Reggie.  We continue on our walk anyway.  He’s very relieved, however, when we return to camp.

“Home sweet home, Reggie Man.”

P1100233 He hurries inside and hops into bed.

As darkness falls the sounds of four-wheelers and guns fade away, leaving total silence at our camp under a full moon.

P1100226Well, this turned out great . . . .

Monday, March 21

After breakfast I unhitch the Perfect Tow Vehicle and the crew and I go to Sonoita, only about 5 miles to the south on Route 83.  I’m wanting some fresh groceries.  Yesterday I had to pass a Wal-Mart and a Safeway without stopping because it was too hot to leave Bridget and Reggie in the PTV.

Sonoita is such a lovely name for a town.

I admit I’m a bit disappointed.  The town doesn’t have a lot of character and charm (That’s my opinion.  Don’t hate me if it’s your hometown and your favorite place on earth.).  There is no grocery, just two convenience/tourist stores.  Route 82 blasts through.  A few restaurants look interesting.

A big feature at Sonoita is the the huge rodeo arena with its statue at the entrance.

P1100158I gas up the PTV at $2.19 a gallon.

On the return toward Las Cienegas, we make a left onto Coronado National Forest Road 92 which goes to Gardner Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains.  Along this road are several really nice boondocks!

Bridget, Reggie, and I spend the rest of the morning wandering around under the huge oak trees at these campsites.  Birds sing high above us.

We have a really nice morning together.

(More about Gardner Canyon boondocks and hiking trails in the next post.)

The rest of the day I read my Paperwhite, go online (good internet here!), and putter around camp with the crew.

P1100153Our last walk of the day reveals that only one other camper is still here.  Again, a quiet night at our cozy, grassland camp!

Tuesday, March 22

Yeah, it’s cozy, all right.  Pretty darn cozy with gale winds rocking our home and blowing  sand, keeping us cooped up inside.  That soft-on-paws sand is fine and the wind lifts it up easily. I close the ceiling vent and windows, leaving one open a few inches so we can breathe.

In comes the sand! 

Under the door, through the window, I do believe it penetrates through the walls.  I feel grit in my mouth.  Sand is everywhere. . . . all over the top of the bureaus and the table and every little thing that isn’t stored away.  I brush it out of the laptop’s keyboard.  Sand settles to the bottom of the crew’s water bowl.

I can write my name in sand on the top of my new storage drawers!

Bridget sleeps most of the day, bless her heart.  She’s smarter than Reg and me combined.  Reggie sneezes, jumps around, and pesters me for entertainment.  We play tug-of war with Sock Monkey until I can’t take it anymore.

Aha!  A lull in the wind! 

“C’mon, Reg!  We’re gonna’ run off your energy!”

Together the two of us take off up the road like we’re being chased by Border Patrol.  On the return we actually ARE being chased as the wind returns with a vengeance, like it’s making up for lost time and is really pissed that we’re outside.

Another lull and Bridget goes out for a quick potty run.  The crew has supper and eventually both of them are asleep for the night.

That’s when the wind stops.

rvsue

THANKS FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!

P1100212Next post:  Scouting for boondocks on the road to Gardner Canyon

CLICK LINK TO SHOP AMAZON NOW!

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128 Responses to Las Cienegas Conservation Area, Sonoita, and flying sand

  1. Larry in AR says:

    ?

  2. Linda Rose, Muffin, Murphy, Molly & Midgy in Carmichael, CA says:

    Boohoo 2nd?

  3. Larry in AR says:

    Well?

    • Linda Rose, Muffin, Murphy, Molly & Midgy in Carmichael, CA says:

      ,congratulations to us both Larry. Now ill go read the post. ;o)

  4. Jenny Johnson Manuel says:

    2 m iniuttes — I must be in the top 10!!!! Now to read

  5. Larry in AR says:

    Sorry, Linda. I was just bored and checking the news, etc., and when I came by here saw a new post. Wasn’t really trying to be first.

  6. Hi!! It should be fun finding a new sitel ! A gorgeous area there!! Hope the wind behaves itself :)…lovely photos!! Hugs to the Crew! Enjoy?!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Betty-Shea,

      The wind is gone. I heard this place can be very windy. Yep, it is. 🙂

  7. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    Hey Sue,
    Oh sand it icky!!! Hope the wind dies down for you!
    How did the drawers do? Have you figured out a fix? (ugh–not trying to bring up a sore subject… you can delete if you want 🙂 )

    Long day here.
    Hugs from Hoquiam
    Barb

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb,

      I expected someone to ask about the drawers. Before hitting the road, I removed the top drawers and placed them on the bed and floor. Also one of the 2nd row that had heavy stuff in it. I pushed the bureaus against the wall (only a few inches).

      Only one bureau fell forward — The one at the back, probably where the bouncing is most severe.

      This isn’t a perfect solution, but it’s tolerable until I can rig something better.

      You had a long day. I hope you have a restful, recuperative sleep tonight!

  8. Piper n' rusty / AZ says:

    Wow Sue, Looks like you’ve got great camp and the photos are great too!,,, got ta run and go for our walk,,,, I’ll be Back,,,,,,,,,,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Rusty! See ya’ later!

      • Piper n' rusty / AZ says:

        I’m Back,, Yes, That Wind was really rocken us last night, but did you see the partial Luna Eclipse this early morn?,,,,,,, Well we’re not going to Devils Tower N.P.,, we’re going to meet up somewhere on the Eastern slope of the Rocky’s in Colorado,, been lookin’ at dispersed camps near Denver,,,,, Sorry ’bout the sand,,, have a great weekend and hug them pups for us,,,,,,,,,,,, rusty

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          No I didn’t see the lunar eclipse. I always miss stuff like that. Hmm… eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains near Denver… Good luck finding dispersed camps!

          Blogorinos: Any ideas?

          • Pat (Freespirit)-in Texas says:

            Newbie question—what are dispersed camps?

            • Nivrapa in AZ says:

              Hi Pat! Dispersed camping is the term the US Forest Service uses to describe camping in a national forest but outside of a designated campground. It usually means camping without any services such as hookups, trash removal, or specific numbered sites. Sometimes, in more popular areas, you will find vault toilets and previously established campfire rings. Among many campers dispersed camping is known as boondocking or wild camping. Overnighting on the parking lot of a big box store, such as WalMart, Home Depot, or at a Cracker Barrel or a truck stop center (Pilot, Loves, etc) is known as dry camping. If you’re new to Sue’s blog, I welcome you! Hanging out with with us will teach you about many things–from how to find dispersed camping to interior decorating of a home with wheels. Lots of good people, fun topics, and a wealth of knowledge to be learned from this community.

  9. Larry in AR says:

    But seeing I might be first got me so excited I posted my full name instead of my usual blog name. Oh, well, guess you now know who I really am. I don’t post often because everyone usually says what I’d say anyway, but I read fairly regularly.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ll see if I can change it for you. Be back in a sec!

      LATER…. There you go. All fixed. The wonders of technology… 🙂

      Please keep posting. I don’t care if you say what others have said. It’s just nice to hear from you.

  10. Millie says:

    Beautiful photos Sue!!

  11. Linda Rose, Muffin, Murphy, Molly & Midgy in Carmichael, CA says:

    Ooh that moon picture is beeeyouteeful! I can almost feel the sand grit in my mouth and eyes as I read. Isn’t that just the way it goes? wind dies down just in time for bed. Or for those working folks, gorgeous weather during the week and then rain on the weekend. On my first post I had actually typed Woohoo 2nd but darned auto correct changed it to boohoo. Another fun little treat about your blog, the silly joy of being some of the first to comment.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Ha! I thought boo-hoo fit the situation… the disappointment of missing first place!

      Yeah, I remember those working days. Beautiful all week and then, crappy for the weekend. Gosh, it’s great being retired. My life belongs to ME!

      Lovey pats to the four Ms!

  12. Dawn from Camano Island says:

    We had sandy days too! Wind storms in both Quartzsite & Ajo… That grit-in-the-mouth feeling…nothing like it. Looking forward to hearing more about Gardner Canyon.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You had wind, too! I don’t think you had flying sand like this though. I hope you didn’t.

      This sand is hard-packed with a layer on top of powdery, red sand. I know I’ll be cleaning it out of this place for months!

  13. Robin B (Oregon) says:

    Avidly following your trail as we’ll be exploring that area in mid-to late April. Thanks for posting your adventures and your road explanations are a big help in determining our route.

    Rock on, but not necessarily from the wind!

    Robin

  14. edlfrey says:

    Sonoita is such a lovely name for a town, it is too bad that it doesn’t have a lot of character and charm.

    I ‘borrowed’ some of your phrasing and turned it into one of my own where I completely agree with you. Patagonia is a much more interesting town in my opinion although I would not describe it as having a lot of charm it does have some character.

    I recommend Red Mountain Foods there for your next shopping excursion. They have good produce and Greek God Yogurt – a little pricey, but what can you expect when you are in a small town miles from any Big Box Stores.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You agree with me! That makes my day, Ed! 🙂

      Greek God Yogurt… I wasn’t planning on going to Patagonia but, hey, this changes things. Thanks for the tip on Red Mountain Foods. I was thinking I’d have to drive all the way to your neighborhood.

  15. eliza says:

    I loved this post, Sue – very dynamic!

  16. Chey (WA coast) says:

    What a treat to get two posts in a row; made my day! Great photos;! My favorite is of the pups walking the soft sandy lane.
    About those drawers…I keep thinking gorilla glue and electric (battery) magnets somehow. No clue how, ha ha ha.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chey,

      I hope you had a good day, all things considered. Thanks re the photos. I’m glad you liked them. No… no gorilla glue or magnets . . . 🙂

      (Please everyone, no more suggestions.)

    • Piper n' rusty / AZ says:

      How bout Vel-cro or super lonnng bungie cords

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Nope, no room for Velcro and I tried bungees. This was discussed under a previous post.

    • DesertGinger says:

      Hi Chey! Hope you are feeling better. Hang in there!

  17. Just wanted to give you a little update — we came ‘home’ early as our two grandkids from Virginia were visiting the three who live here and we couldn’t miss that! One day we’ve got it made in the shade (of our 16′ patio awning) with high 80s on the BLM South of Lake Havasu City . . . two days later we’re at 6,760′ elevation with lows below freezing and snow on both sides of the road! We’re also back home to repair or replace the roof on the house we rent out (bad wind storm blew through on 3/21) so I guess that gives us two good reasons for coming home early. In the five months of “winter”, we only paid $70 to stay one week at Fountain of Youth RV Park on a special deal for newbies (our Christmas present to each other). This lifestyle has proven to be all I ever hoped it would be and more. We have so many *favorite* places already but the best of them seem to be on or near water. Once our work is done, we plan to visit friends and family in WA, OR, and Montana during the summer months and, after that, who knows? I really want to build a mini-houseboat we can tow behind our fifth wheel and overnight in from time to time but we’ll see how that plays out — plenty of places lakeside around here where we can BE during the summer months for FREE. Thanks for all your encouragement and inspiration while we were still slaving away at the J-O-B. I can hardly believe how absolutely stress-free our lives are these days . . . loving it! And as long as SS and PERSI keep sending those checks, we hope to keep doing this until it’s just not in the cards anymore. So far it has been pretty amazing — folks keep assuming we must be visiting our retired parents(!) — for as long as it lasts. :o)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Great report, Jim and Annie! It is such a pleasure to read how you have taken to retirement and camping…. and mostly for free! It is possible to go all winter without paying any “rent.” It’s nice that you treated yourself for Christmas. I’ve very happy for both of you. Thanks for the update. I’m sure your enthusiasm will encourage others who are waiting for their retirement to begin!

  18. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Blowing sand…ugh. Sounds like you had a sandstorm inside the BLT!
    Played tug of war until you couldn’t stand it anymore…was very funny! Closely followed by running up the hill like you were being chased by the BP!

    I have an idea about Reg and the gunshots! Use one of his favorite toys…and play tug of war! He hears the sound but is so occupied with his toy…he will learn to ignore it!

    Great to see Bridgee trotting on the soft sand! The photo of the moon…..rocks!

    Enjoy your evening!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      All is calm again and I have wiped down all the surfaces and stuff. I’m thankful our white curtains look okay — miraculous!

      I’ll try tug-of-war as a distraction from gunshots. Usually he doesn’t want to do anything when inside while shooting is going on. He curls up with a sad face and won’t move. If the shooting starts while we’re outside, I can take him on a walk. He never passes up a walk!

      You enjoy your evening, too! Thanks for the compliment on the moon photo.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        PS. Don’t forget your air filter!

        We found that with AO and the thunder….if we make a fuss about her shaking in her fur…she feeds off of it….if we act like nothing is out of the ordinary and keep her occupied..she’s fine!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You’re right. I act like I don’t hear the gunshots. Thanks for the reminder on the air filter. The engine area is dusty!

  19. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Nice secluded site. With luck the wind will stay gone. I hope all that sand didn’t get inside the drawers. We are bout to blow away here ourselves. Winds at 15-20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. We have a possibility of tornadoes tomorrow. Poor Reggie with the idiots at target practice.

    I forgot where I asked about your hobby. Did you decide to forego that for now? Thanks for sharing the nice camp photos, especially the crew. Well, I need to take Angel out for her bedtime potty run.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barbara,

      Don’t have any tornadoes, okay? Those winds with gusts are enough.

      No, there isn’t sand in the drawers. That would be terrible! I’ve put my hobby away for a while. Hugs to Angel — Have a good night!

  20. Mel from North Texas says:

    Remember I said 30 miles to the closest loaf of bread? That is about all there is in those 2 convenience stores at the junction… And they have the highest gas prices in the area! Sorry…I should have warned you about the lack of supplies. Everyone that lives out Hiway 83 cuts thru Fort Huachuca via Cimarron/Canelo Road and goes into Sierra Vista for shopping & gas (Walmart, Frys etc). A hike getting to SV going around via 82 tho. And a BIG thank you for the pic of the fairgrounds..I sent a link to this post to my mother and she wanted me to pass along a message – “thank you but make sure to return in September and head out Hiway 83 down to Parker Canyon Lake… You will not believe the difference in the topography- green and lush. ” My parents back property line backed up to the Coronado National Forest..much different out there as you head east.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mel,

      No problem re supplies… I’m used to dealing with situations like this. I was wondering if one could drive through Fort Huachuca on that road, so I appreciate you sharing information about it.

      You’re welcome re the fairgrounds photos. I’m happy your mother is seeing my blog. I’ve been looking at possible camps. I have to be careful with elevation though. Some of them have lows in the 30s right now. Tell you mom the next time I come to this area it will be during the month of September!

      • Mel from North Texas says:

        There is a gated entrance to the Fort that used to have guards, it is called the West Gate & there was some talk about a remote system with a camera to show your ID & they lift the gate…not sure if it was ever implemented. You exit the post at the main gate onto Buffalo Soldier Road in Sierra Vista.. Make sure you observe speed limits on post.. It is annoying SLOW between West Gate and the main Post buildings but it is due to PT exercises are on that road and they don’t want anyone to hit the soldiers running! Use your GPS, it is not intuitive on how to get from West Gate to Main Gate. So glad I could help out…
        p.s. I almost hit a family of Javelinas one night just before the gate – there are a lot of them in this area. Not dangerous, just dumb and ugly looking.. Plus there are bears at the higher elevations eastward.

      • edlfrey says:

        Sue,

        You are map savvy and will see this for yourself but Mel’s route through the Fort would be 48 miles to Fry’s from where you are. That is not the better route compared to the 36 miles along AZ82 & AZ 90. Now IF you were at Parker Canyon Lake that would be a good route.

        I am reasonable sure that the automated West Gate was implemented in 2013. The ‘automated’ part is a lack of personnel at the gate. IF you were to try to go through that gate you would show ID to a camera and the gate would then be opened from a remote location if they liked what you presented. To transit through the Fort may me a distance saver but I’m not sure about it being a time saver.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Ed,

          You’re right about the route to Sierra Vista through the Fort. It’s the preferred route if one is south of here.

  21. Dave Helgeson says:

    I can see lot’s of good boondocking sites up Gardener Canyon via Google Earth.

    Boondocked in Fish Canyon just north of there a number of years back. Nice area.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yep, there are a lot of good campsites up Gardner Canyon Road. I found them the old fashioned way. 🙂 Good hearing from you again!

  22. ValGal (westernWA) says:

    Very much enjoyed your pics of the area around Sonoita. Took me back to a happier time. I love it there – the grasslands and mountains in the distance.

    Keep that wind blown sand out if you can and enjoy yourself!

  23. Elaine in Colorado says:

    Gorgeous pictures Sue! Sorry to hear about the sand storms … sounds absolutely icky.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elaine,

      Oh, the windy day wasn’t so terrible. I have to ramp up the drama to keep folks coming here! 🙂 Thanks re the photos.

  24. Page says:

    Oh no. I can feel the grit in empathy. We are having a similar issue here, but it is sticky pollen that has taken over our rolling home. Ahhhchoo!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Page,

      Pollen can be more difficult than blown sand. I remember the suffering of people with allergies during pine pollen season in Georgia.

      I don’t know where “here” is…. I hope pollen season ends soon for you!

  25. Jan Z from MI, Zephyrhills, FL now. says:

    Sue,
    Loved the posts. We finally sold house and traveled to FL in January for the winter. Free at last.
    JanZ

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, JanZ,

      Zephyrhills! I remember that place. I used to live not far from there in Clearwater. Congratulations on the sale of your house and on your move south!

  26. Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

    By the time I saw the notification on the new post in my email inbox, it was 11pm and well past my bedtime. Since I had the luck of the Irish on being first last time, I thought I’d give it to someone else this time. 🙂

    So here I am, the morning following the new post and read it slowly absorbing every word. I laughed out loud at, “Together the two of us take off up the road like we’re being chased by Border Patrol.” I can just see you and Reggie high tailing it up the road to burn of pent up energy! You have a gift of the written word, definitely not my forte!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you for complimenting me on my writing, Renee. It’s a gift that is a pleasure to share, especially when it makes someone laugh. 🙂

  27. Jean in Southaven, MS says:

    I remember the soft sand out there. I loved walking in bare feet on it. Felt wonderful. We have alot of high wind here too, but thankfully we have no blowing sand to go with it. Love the pictures. Great to hear from you so often, enjoy the area and hope you find supplies that are not too expensive and not too far away. Give the pups a scratch for me.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Jean. Bare feet in the sand… a vivid memory for you. 🙂 I bet the crew likes the feel of it, too.

  28. weather says:

    What a full day you put in Sunday, I’m glad so much of it went well. The picture with the full moon is breath taking. Sonoita is a name that excites ones imagination. I also read rodeo and imagined cowboys on horses. Instead you only found what you did there and I found a photo of a statue, ha! I’m continually impressed by the compatibility and balance of Bridget’s and Reggie’s personalities and energy levels. She trots happily along ignoring the gunshots and takes a sand storm as an opportunity for extra sleep while he reacts to both with barely containable energy on full alert.

    Closing with “…the wind stops.” and a photo of the peaceful wonderful scenery there, really fits the journey in this post and the story you tell with your blog. Disappointments and times of being confined pass, there are vast expanses of sweet freedom and beauty to outweigh those- down the road or with a bit of time passing.

    • weather says:

      If the sun rose before I did I’d know by looking which birds were here and what’s going on. Though it’s not light enough to see , their voices answer the question I need answered before anything else. It’s more than the difference between dove and duck, gull and goose, wren and woodpecker-it’s the tone I listen for. I hear whether they’re eager, plaintiff, calling for help or to gather for a meal and know by that if there’s a problem or if all is well. They’ll be aware of a stranger or storm before I will and tell me where to look, or far more often thank God, indicate a peaceful time is what to expect as the colors begin to appear from east to west.

      Normally, when what interferes with how I want things to be is present ,I fix what I can and trust the rest to be made right or healed, in this world or in the next, so find no reason to complain or be upset. Knowing life and story would be a passionless dull existence if events didn’t make it an adventure, that we’d not be grateful for wonderful things if that’s all we knew as a never ending stream, I believe creation was made to be the way it is on purpose. So seeing the father of the kittens looking disheveled recently, and it’s bothering me, took me by surprise.

      Inside I railed against the injustice of a creature- so gentle that he’d go hungry to let his offspring eat before he would- having to struggle, or whatever else I imagined had made him look that way. In reality his favorite place to sleep ruffles his fur as he climbs out of it I discovered a while later. Thinking it through I realized what had upset me initially, and upset me view of everything after, was his voice. I’d never heard him wake up before I did twice that day, so didn’t know that questioning tone as he checked to see who or what would answer his announcing his location and finding that of others. His way of finding the answer to “is all well?”, his hope realized ,what a gift…

      That you carry that message Sue-by your life , attitude and blog, that all we go through is right now a part of all being well, no matter how it looks or feels is the hope people find here. When I read the posts from the beginning of your getting ready to full time until now, I read the comments, too. A few words or sentence here and there allowed me to glean a bit of the journey you had before you were RVSue. Perhaps it seems that being free and amid nature is primarily why you became happy and make readers feel that way. Your belief in hope, reaching for it began decades before your teaching others to, giving it to them . It’s the voice you were given, would have found and used some how. What a gift …

      • Amazing… I am such a fan. Thank you for the thought of the day. Have a good weekend Weather. 🙂

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Good morning, weather,

        For me to comment on your messages is superfluous. They stand by themselves, complete and not requiring remarks from me. Thank you again. Always a gift for me (and others) to read and to savor. I enjoy the feline developments. 🙂

        I have decided we will stay at Las Cienegas through the weekend. If Spring Break people should fill up this dispersed camping area, they won’t bother us because of the space between sites. Better for us to stay with what we know rather than move into the unknown when people are out and about with their toys. No gunshots since last Sunday.

        Plus this camp makes a good base from which to explore the area. I need to make a post about Gardner Canyon!

        I look forward to the day you take off in your home-on-wheels. I do hope you will write about that. What a treat for us to read!

        • weather says:

          Hopefully people have other things to do on Easter weekend than target practice and ride four wheelers, at least while you’re at or near home and not away exploring(I look forward to hearing about it!).You will be sure to hear about my doing that on the road, I have the same internet while traveling access that you do, Verizon wireless, and wouldn’t consider losing touch with you and all those that I care about on here 🙂 Aside from possible short, and at the moment unplanned trips, I don’t believe I’ll leave NY state until autumn begins, for several reasons, though. I mention that in case you were expecting me to launch out into the unknown quite soon. Have a lovely time with your lovable crew until we catch up with each other next time.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            I wondered if you’d be launching this spring. It’s nice to know you’ll be able to keep in touch with us and plan to do so.

            “Hopefully people have other things to do on Easter weekend than target practice and ride four-wheelers.” Two toy haulers pulled into this camping area within the past hour and they’ve roared past our site in their four-wheelers. Most likely they’re here for the weekend.

            • weather says:

              My grand daughter may be starting her first year at university in this state by September, if so I’d like to help her get settled in with someone familiar -to her and with how that happens most comfortably -before I leave. None of us will know for a few more weeks about which school, or in what state, that have accepted her is offering the most of what she wants and needs to pursue her field of interest. I also would do best selling much of what I have at an August event for antique collectors not far from here, and may as well see one more partial season of the glorious colors without having to travel to do that.

              Gosh, I’m sorry to hear about the loud crowd arriving and hope it doesn’t ruin your weekend’s peace and joy.

  29. Spent most of yesterday vacuuming all of the piles of sand from the window frames, the counters, the floors – it got into everything. Although we’re in an RV park it’s not gravel or paved and the dirt became dunes during Tuesday’s wind storm. We love the Sonoita area, not too far from all the services in Sierra Vista, and so pretty. Great moon shot!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Jodee. Sounds like most of Arizona was windy. Sand dunes in the RV park… 🙂

  30. casitagirl says:

    Hi Sue!

    I know what you mean about needing to get the dogs out for a walk, even if it’s not a great day for walking. Last fall, we had a period where it rained for 5 days straight–didn’t just rain, it POURED! My dogs were going stir crazy and finally we just snapped on their leashes and took a walk anyway. As soon as it hinted that it was going to stop, we ran outside, so happy to see the clouds slipping away!

    Of course, rain isn’t your issue out there, but not being able to go out does make you a little crazy, doesn’t it?

    Nice photos in today’s post. I especially like the moon photo!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, casitagirl,

      Being confined to the interior of the BLT is most difficult for Reggie. Bridget and I adapt better. Of course, we usually are confined for only a day or two, whether by rain, wind, or cold. The good thing about a sandstorm (yes, there is something good!) is No Mud. 🙂

      Thanks re the photos.

  31. Dawn in NC says:

    Oooohh. The sands sounds icky! The closest I get to sand is when I get to go to the beach in the summer. The weather has been beautiful in NC. It was in the 80s, but then cooled down again into the 30s at night for a few nights. A typical NC spring.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn in NC,

      You live in a beautiful state… from the mountains to the valleys to the shore . . . and in spring when trees are blossoming… lovely! Enjoy!

  32. Pamela K. says:

    Sue,
    Oh my! That sand.
    I’m not sure which is worse to deal with, sand or springtime pollen. I’m thinking sand would be — especially during the high winds. I was glad when the wind calmed down some. Was thinking about Bridget and her advancing age. It must be hard on her to breath even once the sand and winds have calmed down. Has she ever shown any signs of breathing distress during those times? I think the Easter Bunny outta leave wind googles for all of you in your *bunny baskets*. 🙂 No doubt Reggie would look ever-so trekker in his pair of googles! HRH would need to have a small crown on each side of the google frames — in keeping with her royal *styling* of course. And your’s would have to be embellished with cowgirl hats all around the frames. HA!
    Well, Sue, I don’t envy you having to clean up all that sand inside the BLT. Pollen is bad enough for me to deal with. Such is the way of Springtime — it sure can swing a good curve ball now and again.
    Stay safe and looking forward to seeing more of your wonderful camps.
    BTW, I know this might sound like a silly question BUT do you ever look online for a Drive-In Movie Theater near where you are camping? They allow pets and are fun once in awhile. Many are in tiny towns and some will let you overnight until in the morning, if you ask in advance. That’s a fun bonus we recently found out about. Just thought I’d pass it forward. It might be handy sometime and better than a Walmart lot if camp hunting came up dry somewhere.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pamela K.,

      I cleaned up the sand and by the next day, all surfaces were gritty from sand settling that was suspended in air. It looks like the air is clear now.

      No, I haven’t looked for drive-in movie places. I don’t think I’ve seen any in the 4+ years we’ve traveled the West. Not that they don’t exist. Maybe there are more drive-ins in the Southeast? Sitting in the PTV after dark watching a movie isn’t something that interests me. I like to be home after dark with Bridget and Reg tucked in for the night. 🙂

  33. Applegirl NY says:

    Great post. Yes, you’ll be cleaning up that sand for a long time. I’m reminded that I often find needles from our Christmas tree well into the summer months. Where do they hide?

    Glad peace returned to your camp after the winds and the target practice.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, it’s peaceful again. I’m counting us as very fortunate since this is the week of Spring Break! 🙂

      Thanks re the post.

  34. Nivrapa in AZ says:

    Hi Sue!! I’m happy to see that you’ve discovered one of my favorite escapes during the winter months. I go there to recharge my batteries and decompress from everyday life. I’m sorry that you had such terrible winds and now have dust in every nook and cranny conceivable. Been there, and done that, and it ain’t no fun!

    A fun fact for you–did you know that the vast outdoor scenes from the movie Oklahoma were filmed surrounding Sonoita? Film makers thought that the grasslands there looked more like Oklahoma’s prairie than the real stuff!

    Gardner Canyon is a delightful place to boondock. I you could continue in a westerly direction you would come out in Madera Canyon. I use to hunt for garnets in the canyon. Small stones were just lying on the surface of the trails, waiting to be discovered and picked up, It’s very pretty in the fall.

    Just want to give you a Heads Up about a wildfire that is burning in southeastern AZ . The Baker Fire started about a week ago and is still uncontrolled and growing quite large. It’s origin is 28 miles northeast of Douglas but it has expanded in all directions and yesterday it crossed over into Mexico. If you’re headed toward the Chiricahuas, you may want to check online or call the Douglas ranger station. You’re in no danger from the fire now but be cognizant of the fire hazards to your east. Yesterday’s winds blew ambers beyond the perimeters to start several new fires, all of which were quickly extinguished.

    I’m anxious to see what other discoveries you make in southeastern AZ. You do a great job of finding these gems on your own and don’t need any guide to show you where they are. Strong work and keep it up!

    Be safe and travel on! Love pats to the crew from me.—-Audrey

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Audrey,

      I appreciate the alert on grass fires in southeastern AZ. I’ll stay informed. Thank you.

      We came very close to going to Madera Canyon. I didn’t make a decision until we approached Green Valley and the sign for the canyon came into view. If we hadn’t made a late start on travel day, maybe we would be there right now. I didn’t want to chance driving to the canyon and finding no suitable place to camp, thus adding 28 miles onto our move as the day was becoming warm.

      I had read that Madera is one of the top four birding spots in the U.S. (or something like that), as well as the rock hounding…. This made me wonder if it would be popular during spring break. It’s an easy drive from Tucson, as you know. Thus I decided at the last moment to “save” it for another trip. Maybe it will be fall when we return to this part of the state.

      Thanks for the encouragement on my ability to find great places. Truth be known, they’re not that hard to find! 🙂

  35. DesertGinger says:

    Hi all. Sue, I just hate the wind! I know. Glad I missed that. Beyond that, I am just chomping at the bit to get out of here and on the road! I think I have to be here till mid-April and I’m going crazy! I guess that means I am feeling better, but I am so ready to Rock-n-roll….

    I need to somehow get my computer out of my car, but I don’t know how. If I could get my computer I could start working.

    Aaaaarrrrrgh…everything is frustrating right now. And I have started having sternum incision pain which is annoying.

    Hahaha, I guess I am never happy. At least I’m getting better, huh? Love to all.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, DesertGinger,

      Your incision pain make be a good sign…that you are healing. Slow and steady, girl….there IS light at the end of that tunnel! Sending you a big hug! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ginger,

      I hope you’re more comfortable today than yesterday. I see you have an idea of when you will be set free. That’s good. You know what you have to accept and can count down to the day.

      Yes, you ARE getting better. It wasn’t too long ago you wondered if you’d be here at all. 🙂

  36. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    I just caught up on the last few posts and blogorino family comments. Thank you for the link about the town of Arvica; I always enjoy learning more about a location, bird calls, etc. Isn’t it nice when you run across people who are happy and content? Their positive attitude is contagious! I bet you walked out of the store with a smile on your face! 🙂

    Glad to see Bridget enjoying walks on th sandy lane with you and Reg. You know, some people pay good money for dermabrasion treatments. You got the full body treatment for free with that sand storm! Whew! You will probably be finding tiny grains of sand for months…just like finding Christmas tree needles long after a real tree is taken down!

    I am taking a day off from work tomorrow – Whoo Hoo! A lawn/yard care company will be stopping by to give me an estimate on some work I need done, as well as a price for cutting the “grass” every other week when it needs it. Fingers crossed that his price will be reasonable.

    Tomorrow night, one of my sisters is coming to visit. I am looking forward to spending time together! No big plans…brunch Sarurday morning, and maybe popping into a couple of her favorite consignment shops. She has started collecting vintage Fenton glassware….the kind with the raised dots…the pattern name escapes me. I collected Fire King, Hazel Atlas, and Gay Fad kitchen glassware from the ’30’s – 60’s. I have pared down my collection to a few loved pieces.

    Thank you for sharing your travels, Sue! Armchair traveling with you and the Crew is better than “escaping” in a Calgon bath! RVSue, take me away! 🙂

    Sending you, Bridget, and Reggie hugs from me and Gracie pup! May you have a blessed Easter! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    To all the blogorinos and their families that are dealing with health issues…you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      P.S.: I LOVE the sunset picture…the sky color melded into each other like a watercolor! Oh, and the closing picture made me laugh! At first glance, it looks like a headless cow! Zooming in, I could see her sweet face staring at you! Cheese! Extra Sharp Cheddar for me, please!! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise and Gracie pup,

      Well, today you’re off from work and you have a sister visiting. I hope you have a wonderful time together. Also that you find a reliable service for your yard work. I remember how much I appreciated my friend Felix for the care he took with my yard in Georgia.

      Enjoy your day!

  37. Pamelab in Houston says:

    Hi, Sue – Lovely photos of your beautiful area. Lots of information, too. Is there anything that can be done around windows and doors to help keep out that fine sand? I remember a friend sending photos of the wind-blown sand on her windowsills when she lived in Minot, ND. Happy Trails to you and the pups.
    Pamelab

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pamelab,

      Probably there are things that can be done to prevent sand entering. If one were in a permanent, stationary home in a sandstorm area, that would be good to know. For people living in a home with wheels, it’s not important since we encounter it rarely.

  38. Geri says:

    Caught up on the few pasts I missed, loved them all! The full moon photograph is amazing, I love it! We have had strong winds here all day too and now in the middle of a severe thunderstorm! Lightning like crazy every few minutes and thunder growling all around, dang!
    I have been busy making my sun catchers, put Chuck to work drilling the glass for me! We gave them a name, Mermaid Tears! 3 shops carrying them have kept us busy! Sorry I haven’t always responded but I do read and I love hearing what’s going on with the Queen B, Reggie and MizSue! Take care and we love you!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri,

      “Mermaid tears”… I like it! And, wow! You have them in 3 shops! You always had a talent for creating beautiful things. No need to apologize. I know you and Chuck are very busy with your new endeavor. Love to you both and to your crew, too!

      • Hi Geri, remind me to buy one of those when I am in Florida at the end of the year! 🙂

        • Geri in the beautiful Florida panhandle says:

          I can also recommend a good rv resort right next to us if you might be interested!

          • Hi Geri, I would like to be right next to you, we would get along great, but our hearts are with our friends the manatee biologists and the manatees of Crystal River this year, but stopping by on the way in or out of Florida might be fun. We missed you last year. By the way, I took your advice and looked up Quail Roost, looks like a winner…I emailed them for availablity..I hope it works out, looks like just the kind of place and surroudings that make my heart sing…

            • Geri in the beautiful Florida panhandle says:

              I think you will like it! If you have a choice of sites, choose one a few rows off the street! Last year we were on that front row and it was noisy!

      • Geri in the beautiful Florida panhandle says:

        I am grinning at your reply Sue! I sent you an email with photos of the Mermaid tears.

  39. Betsy in PA says:

    Wonderful pictures . . . . blowing sand, not so much
    Can’t wait to see where you land next!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Betsy in PA,

      Thank you. The winds are gone; calm has returned! Have a good weekend!

  40. Hey Sue, you continue to traverse around that area that so draws me in. I hope that someday soon, I can get out that way…right now I am making plans to find a spot in Crystal River Florida to spend next Nov through Feb-Mar. I cannot believe we are actually doing this… we are now getting our home ready to sell, and moving our RV closer to home to start moving things in. Hope to be on the road by October-November. Whew! Still working, 5 days a week, but that only puts extra money in the bank for the adventure to come…fingers crossed. Have a good weekend, I am glad the wind is gone, it was blowing like they were squeezing the air out of the klneex boxes again here.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Shirlene,

      How exciting for you! “I can’t believe we are actually doing this.” That feeling doesn’t go away. . . . Almost five years for us and I still pause at can-this-be-real moments.

      You have a lot to do between now and the fall. The vision you have for your future will keep you motivated. Smart to keep working “for the adventure to come.”

      Crystal River, Florida, is an excellent choice for the beginning of a new phase in your lives… I’m very happy for you!

    • bess in oregon says:

      congratulations Shirlene, on getting close to launch date. each step you take gets you closer and all the consolidation of your things will be worth the effort. we are rooting for you.

    • Geri in the beautiful Florida panhandle says:

      Shirlene, for several years in a row we spent at least 3 months at a time in a very nice and clean campground that offered many activities and a very nice swimming pool. Quail Roost RV Park, quailroostrvpark.com to take a look. Best part is there is a good RV repair shop right across the street and around the corner a to die for fire cooked pizza place!

      • Wow Geri, that is exactly the kind of information that I am looking for. We were looking for something with not a lot of families, mostly 55+. Our little dogs would go crazy with kids running around. I will definitely give them a call, especially am grateful for that information. Good luck on your business venture..sounds like it is keeping you especially busy. I hope to see the results sometime at the end of the year. Stay well.

  41. Alane in Durango Colorado says:

    I so enjoy reading your blog. I haven’t commented in a long time but I read every post and most of the comments. I have 2 years left of working and love to dream about a life on the road after that. I teach at a college and in January I informed them in writing that I will retire after the Spring, 2018 semester. That was a big step! That seems like a long way off, but I know the next 2 years will be busy, getting rid of stuff, selling the house, buying my rig, making a plan. I have a document on my computer called “places I will go when I’m freeeee”, and it is already so full I know I will never be bored. I’m the one who wrote in a few months back, who is especially interested in traveling the music festival circuit. Thanks, as always, for keeping this dreamspace open for those who are waiting for the turning point to arrive for us!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome. I remember you, Alane… your pretty name and your interest in music. Good to hear from you again and to learn that you’re still reading my blog!

      Taking the big step — announcing one’s retirement — is a special moment. It’s the start of moving from dreams to reality.

      No, you won’t be bored. Quite the contrary! You will attend music festivals, meet and make friendships with musicians and music-lovers, and travel to places where your discoveries will “make your heart sing.”

      I like you calling my blog a “dreamspace.” 🙂 Good luck preparing for launch day!

    • Rose in AR says:

      Alane if you like the combination of music and camping you will LOVE the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. All types of music, lots of musicians and jam sessions almost every night of the week. A lot of the musicians go south with the snowbirds for the winter and are such nice people. If you play an instrument you will be welcomed at their jams. Blue grass, country, rock and roll, blues and cajun music, just take your pick!

  42. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    Oh Dreamspace is perfect! You can take a camping trip for a few minutes between crazy people calling or dropping by or people asking you stuff! And you might get to see the back end of a hawk!!! 😛

    Your recent updating… I nearly screamed at the store the other day “OH MY GOSH those are SUE’s NEW HOUSE DUDS!” I did get a silly grin on my face!
    My children hate going places with me… rarely a filter 🙂

    Hugs from Hoquiam, where Jimbo is rebuilding the drawers in my little vintage trailer… the duck tape was NOT holding any more… (you couldn’t see it, but ya KNEW it was there!).

    Barb

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s funny about you seeing “my” quilt and shams. My bedding is famous! Ha!

      How nice that you’re having your trailer fixed up right. I hope you can relax this evening. I have a post ready to publish in a short while.

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