Last day at BLM boondock in Arizona, moving camp to New Mexico

Monday, April 18

P1100846Haekel Road BLM boondock

The crew and I ride into Safford to see about new tires for the Best Little Trailer.

 If Big O Tires has the right tires for the BLT, I’ll hitch ‘er up and bring ‘er in tomorrow.  I remember seeing a Big O place the day we drove through Safford on our way to this camp. . . . There it is . . . . 

Huh?  No vehicles?  What?  Oh, they must have moved . . . .

I pick up a few groceries at Safeway.

Pushing the cart toward the Perfect Tow Vehicle, I approach a trim, neat fellow of retirement age who is preparing to leave.

“Excuse me, sir.  Maybe you could help me.  Do you live around here?”

He replies that he does.

I ask where I might find Big O Tires.

“They went outta’ business not too long ago.  It was in the paper.”

He recommends another tire place, a local business.  However, with us traveling so much, I prefer to buy tires with a warranty honored at stores in more locations than Safford, Arizona.

~ ~ ~

Tuesday, April 19

P1100854Today is our last day at the Haekel Road boondock.

I take stock of our situation. 

The crew and I have camped here for eight days.  We’re low on water.  The waste tanks need to be emptied soon.  Propane is okay.  Groceries are good.  The weather is warmer, both here and in higher elevations.

P1100851And the BLT needs tires!

I putter around camp, research future camps, walk the crew, and watch Reggie tear into Armadillo.

P1100850P1100852At the hottest point of the afternoon, I stand watching swallows dip and dive above me, flashing white and yellow.  No one is around for several miles, except for a lone RV far away.

A wind sweeps across the desert.  I’m in shorts and a lightweight, camisole top.  Cool air washes over the back of me, from head to toe.

It feels wonderful!  It’s like standing in a refreshing waterfall on a hot day.

At dusk the three of us take a last look at the San Simon River behind and below our camp.

P1100901Tomorrow we leave . . . .

“You ready to hit the road again, Bridgie?”

P1100903Wednesday, April 20

I whisper a little prayer while the crew and I cross empty desert heading southeast on Route 70.

Dear God, I passed up a chance to replace the BLT’s tires.  Please let them last a while longer.

We travel about 70 miles, passing through Duncan, entering New Mexico, and arriving at the junction with Route 90.

We’re on our way to Silver City!

P1100908We don’t take Route 90.  Instead I drive into Lordsburg because we’re low on gas.  A fill-up at the Valero station ($1.99 a gal.) and we backtrack the few miles to the junction.

Soon Route 90 has us climbing the southeastern edge of the Burro Mountains.  This is Gila National Forest.  We cross the Continental Divide.

At Gold Gulch Road, I pull over and park.  The crew has a walk-about and we check the condition of the road, evaluating the possibility of a boondock.

Nope.  We could get stuck in this deep, loose sand.

We keep going toward Silver City, leaving the national forest.

Hey, an RV park.  A small one.   Out in the countryside.  This might be good for us right now . . . .

P1100917We turn in to investigate.

Next post:  Life happens!

The crew and I tackle a “speed bump of life” that derails us momentarily.


NOTE:  Thank you, blogorinos, for your patience and participation during the lull in posts.  I continue to need “time off” so I turn comments over to you.  Please welcome new folks, answer any questions, and generally enjoy the friendly company, good humor, and information made available by blogorinos.  As always, I’m grateful for you.  — Sue


P1100919Our campsite at Ridgepark RV


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73 Responses to Last day at BLM boondock in Arizona, moving camp to New Mexico

  1. Colleen from Alabama says:

    Always enjoy your post. Happy trails.

    • Dasher - Tampa Bay says:

      Ding Ding Ding… We have a winner ! On behalf of RVSue and the rest of the Blogorinos Congratulations on being FIRST ! Yay Colleen from Alabama !

  2. Rachel Smith says:

    Derailed? Lol. As long as it is just momentarily!

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      How are you and lil Macha?

      • bess in oregon says:

        number two!!!

      • Rachel Smith says:

        We are both doing well! Although, I believe I need to make a step into the bed a priority for my little Macha girl. She still looks like a little goat when she jumps into bed, but getting out of the bed seems to be getting a little harder for her. Of course, she is 10 years old now! 🙂

        I am doing really well too. I am hoping and praying that I can find enough locations in the Sonoita area for me to stay here all year round. I have found a little church that I can actually attend and not get sick because of all of the toxins you usually find in buildings. Evidently, there’s a lot of people there who are also Allergic to the 21st Century. So nobody wears perfume and they’re very careful about what kind of products they use to clean with. Of most importance, their beliefs, and their statement of faith lines up with what I believe! So I’m very excited!

        This area is so good for my health and I would really like to buy a piece of dirt down here, but with the cost of dirt in this area, that’s going to be a few years. Oh my!! In the meantime, I’m hoping to find enough camping spots, that I can stay in, that I can rotate around and stay here all year long. 🙂

        You can’t tell that I’m excited, can you?!? Lol.

  3. Dawn from Camano Island says:

    Love Silver City–hope you find tires. Looking forward to next post–take good care, Miss Sue.

  4. Dawn from Camano Island says:


  5. Sure hope yu find tires. Have yu checked walmart. We bought our tires for little Aliner there. They even balanced them.

  6. Pepe & Gigi, Tibbie & Ella (Bend, OR) says:

    We have had good tires from both Discount Tire and Les Schwab. Might be good options as there are many locations for both throughout the west.

  7. Velda says:

    You know how to leave us curious. May all be well. Take care…..

  8. eliza says:

    always love your posts, even those which hint at lurking “hurdles”. i think the best thing about being a wanderer is that there are no rails to run off of. but life is life….and as a blogorino approaching her first anniversary (May 10 – last year’s mother’s day!) of learning about your blog, i’d like to say thank you for keeping it going even when you sometimes don’t really want to. i know you have had your doubts all along about putting details of your life out there, but i am so glad you have.

  9. Calvin R (still in Ohio) says:

    It works to put in the quiet, beautiful part of the day. Reggie looks well and lively. Thanks for the picture of the RV park. One area that keeps coming up in my research is the southern part of New Mexico, and it’s nice to see that mountains are part of the area. I look forward to the next posting. I wouldn’t wish a “speed bump” on you, but you handle life well.

  10. I know you will make it up and over that speed bump ! Hugs to you and the crew!!

  11. Pookie in Todd Mission Tx says:

    great…….got a read for saturday morning…..

  12. Evelyn says:

    I’ve read bad things about trailer tires made in China hopefully you can find some made here in the USA. Good luck with your search.

  13. Lynn Brooks says:

    Can’t wait to hear what happens next!!!!
    Lynn B. (Baltimore, MD)

  14. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    That Sue! She sure knows how to leave us on a ‘cliff-hanger’! You’d think it was TV Sweeps month! 😛

    I hate hearing about companies closing… we have a lot of that here. I talk to people who would rather “drive the 50 miles to Olympia so I can save a few cents and get what I WANT” it makes me nuts… First of all, my time is worth a lot… to me. And driving 100 miles to save a few dollars is silly. I can get most everything I NEED locally–it may be a different brand than I am used to, or, it may be something totally unneeded. Anyway. Rant over.
    I hope you found your tires at a good price, and with a good warranty.

    We have had some 80 degree days up here in the PacNW. I have friends outside of Houston who have lakefront property now… never had it before 🙁 The longhorns are not happy.

    May the wind be with you, the sun out of your eyes but warming your soul.

    Hugs from Hoquiam!

    • Pookie in Todd Mission Tx says:

      news showed a buffalo swimming in high water to find some high water….a tiger was found walking around the streets of Conroe (north of Houston) with a collar and lease on…they said it was very tame….
      you never know whats gonna pop out of the flood waters….this is houstons 2nd flood in less than a year….I feel so sorry for all those homeowners that got flooded again…

      • Barb from Hoquiam! says:

        Hey there Chuck!
        I agree. We had flooding and landslides here last January–still recovering from that.
        Hope you are safe and dry!

  15. Suzette (TN) says:

    Thinking of you today, hoping you didn’t get thrown too far off the rails. Life does indeed have a way of handing us interesting challenges. You are one of the most capable people I know (Isn’t it interesting that it feels perfectly normal to use the word “know” in this situation?) I’m sure by now you have handled things and are back on top. Looking forward to seeing the next installment.

  16. Deena in Peoria, AZ says:

    Good morning Sue and Crew,
    Hopefully the speed bump is passed.
    Love your pictures today, Reggie is a hoot and the regal Bridget in her chariot is sweet. The view by the river is far reaching.
    I’ve been going through the house separating things for keeps, trashing and Goodwill; never realized how much stuff we’ve gathered over the years. Miss Mollie keeps pulling old doggie balls and pet toys out of the trash box, this from a dog that has never played with any of the items given her over the years. I’ll wait and see how the day goes and if any go with her for bed time. Funny Little Girl.
    Have a great weekend, see ya when you return.

    Deena and Miss Mollie

    • DesertGinger says:

      I don’t know if you know hut Goodwill does not benefit charitable causes in any way. The money from what they sell goes to the owner. Do you have a Salvation Army or other charitable organization?

      • Fulltimer Judy says:

        This is a rumor that has been circulating for years and based on inaccurate and outdated information. It does not have an “owner” and is a certified non-profit organization that provides job training and experiences for people who cannot get jobs. Check this out:

        • Pookie in Todd Mission Tx says:

          well I have lived in the Houston area for 50 plus years and my sister in law worked for
          them and I know they have an owner……and he gets the profits……you are correct in saying they hire handicap folks but thats as far as it goes……BTW, the owner lives in a million dollar house……:)

      • Fulltimer Judy says:

        Here is another source of correct information from a reputable source:

        And another one:

      • Deena in Peoria, AZ says:

        Thanks DG, I chose the Goodwill here in the Valley of the Sun after lots of researching. I like the fact that if something cannot be reused it is repurposed or its parts are repurposed thus keeping things out of the landfills. I also have relatives and friends that utilize the services provided and are satisified.
        I used to repurpose things my self but those days are gone and I need to move forward and see what the future holds.
        I hope you and Chole are doing well and thanks again for the words of caution.
        Deena and Miss Mollie

  17. Cat Lady in Tacoma says:

    We always look forward to your new posts! When you take time off, I get more done at work Lol! Safe travels.

  18. kgdan from Wapato, WA says:

    Ah, those speedbumps. Hope yours are being resolved without too much frustration.

    Our last morning out before arriving hoe, readying for travel, we pushed the ‘slide in’ button and heard some crunching noises we did not like. The slide closed & we came home. Gil was anxious to find out what happened but could not get RV in for diagnosis for 2 weeks. Well, this week the bad news rolled in. The slide motor mounting had come loose, (shoddy workmanship & inadequate screws) and motor ended up damaged. 2 week wait for parts and scheduling repairs will take us to the end of May. Pretty much the only option we have here in our area. Additionally, on way to repair shop, trailer blew a tire! So new tires are in our immediate future as well. Only good thing, it all happened at the end of our five month journey.

    On a sunnier note, weather here is gorgeous! Spent all week planting veggies & flowers, weeding and enjoying the yard & cats. Asparagus harvest in the valley going strong & we have had 2 great meals of it so far with many to come.

    Hope you are having better days, Sue, and are weathering the speedbumps in your neck of the desert. I know you are.

    • Barb from Hoquiam! says:

      Hi Kgdan,
      I have always wondered what happens if those slides get stuck open or closed… is there a manual way to secure them? I hope you can find someone! I know a couple of vintage folks who do repair and restoration… they might know somehthing. 1st of May! Gosh…

      Stay safe!

      • kgdan from Wapato, WA says:

        Yes, there is a manual gizmo to use if the motorized version does not work. Place we took it to is very reliable (but busy) so we trust it will turn out fine. We always plan for those ‘speedbumps’ and at our age take em as they come with a good attitude. We expect to be doing some great northwest camping by June.

        • Barb from Hoquiam! says:

          Good to know!

        • bess in oregon says:

          hey kgdan! where are you wanting to discover in the northwest? i am always on the lookout for new destinations. i am glad that you are able to get your repairs done locally and after your trip. bess

          • kgdan from Wapato, WA says:

            First trip planned for Taidnapam park run by Tacoma City, about 5 miles from Morton, WA. Beautiful park with a fishing bridge which G loves when fish biting. July trip to Oregon coast— would like to get into Sea & Sand at Depot Bay as it is one of few right on beach. Then north from here to Lake Bonaparte for more fishing; maybe Spectacle Lake as well.

    • Applegirl NY says:

      Fresh Asparagus, Yummy! That would make me happy to be home, too. I hope the repairs aren’t too terribly expensive. Glad you’re home safe and sound and not dealing with repairs on the road.

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

    Sorry to hear about the speed bump in the road of life, I hope it isn’t long til things smooth out a bit. I love the coziness of the BLT against the majestic mountain backdrop. Thanks for taking the time to post.

  20. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    So happy to see a new post. Hope all is well. Will read the whole post and comments shortly.

  21. Happy to see your post Sue. I was beginning to be a little concerned. Enjoying your photos of flora and fauna. Sending a little prayer for safety, joy and serenity for the whole crew. Vaya con Dios.

  22. Phyllis in Phoenix says:

    I wish you safe travels and best of luck with getting past your speed bump. We all need to take time off so I hope you never worry about doing that. I’ve never been to the area of New Mexico you are in so was happy to see pictures of the RV park.

  23. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Enjoyed hearing news from you. Hope your over the speed bump and have found BLT tires. Also hope the speed bump isn’t health related. Enjoyed the photos of Bridget & Reggie. That is a nice shot of the BLT & PTV at the Haekel Road Camp. The RV park looks like it is still under construction, so to speak.
    Take care, I look forward to the next post.

  24. KC says:

    I have found very good prices and service at Firestone/Bridgestone tire dealers. They do have locations in the cities in the West.

  25. Debra (CO) says:

    Quite a few years ago I went on a 7 day backpack trip in the Gila Wilderness. We flew into Tucson and then drove over thru Silver City and to the Catwalk trailhead where we started. During the trip we were in riparian zones, so didn’t have to carry water thankfully! I thought this was a very beautiful area and look forward to going there again in the future.

    Sue, glad you say you were derailed “momentarily”. Hope all is well now with you and the crew.

  26. DesertGinger says:

    Well, I somehow injured myself driving home, possibly lifting my oxygen apparatus in and out of car. Having been having a lot of right chest and shoulder pain. I’m starting physical therapy Tuesday and hoping that helps. I can hardly move! Still it is so good to be home!

    I have never been to Silver City. Another place I want to visit when I’m able. I really like New Mexico; it’s very beautiful.

    Sue, I like Big O ties too, but I also like Firestone and both are all over. I don’t think the BLT tires will necessarily fail because you are now thinking about it. But it probably feels like it. But just take your time and head to a shop.

    As for your cliff hanger…thumbs down. Not nice to leave us worrying! Please come back and lighten our load.

    • Applegirl NY says:

      Sorry about your injury DG. Heal up and take care of yourself. Still keeping you in my prayers.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, Desert Ginger,

      So happy that you are now home and can concentrate on healing and getting stronger on your own terms. I hope your shoulder pain/weakness is temporary and that the PT helps. Enjoy the rest of the weekend! **hugs** 🙂

  27. Karen LeMoine says:

    Wow! Cant believe Big O in Stafford closed! When I worked at the prison they did all the work on my Jeep. They also put tires on the 5th wheel. It was so easy to get an rv in and out. Plus a car wash. Love Big O. Now we we’re up in northernAz we go to the one in Show Low.

  28. weather says:

    Love your description of feeling cool air on a hot day.It looks like it’s hot outside in all the photos. A nice little RV park to be able to use your AC must have felt wonderful, too. I’m glad your tires lasted at least long enough to get you there safely, wonder if a problem with them is part of the “speed bump” you mentioned, and dearly hope it wasn’t. I’ve whispered many prayers for you recently. Whatever derailed you may have been significant if that’s why you continue to need time off. If so I suspect the effort it took for you to put this post together (and pressure you felt to)were equally significant. Thank you for doing it, in any case, it’s always great to hear from you, see the crew and where you’ve been or are.

    • bess in oregon says:

      yes weather, you have once again summed up what i was thinking and in an inspiring manner. thanks and i know Sue appreciates all of our thoughts and prayers.

  29. Renee from Idaho says:

    Oh no! A speed bump of life?! I sure everything is ok. Thinking good thoughts and sending them your way.

  30. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Uh oh! Big O went out of business….sad cuz they did have great tires and service. Just remind yourself, changing the tires on the BLT was preventative…not something that had to be done right now. You’ll be fine.

    Hope the pit stop at the little RV park was good for you and the crew. SHOWERS!!!!

    Cliff hanger for sure….derailed speed bump. The road traveled has peaks and valleys or errr dips and whathaveyous…I’m confident that you steered the PTV,BLT you and the crew through it!

    Have a great day!

  31. edlfrey says:

    That Big O that closed in Safford was actually in Thatcher but the two towns get lumped together and called Safford.

    I can not believe that Sue’s “speed bump of life” has anything to do with trailer tires. However it just happens that there is a Big O in Silver City, which I drove past yesterday morning before they opened, that I’m quite sure is still in business.

  32. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Hope all will be well, Sue…life holds plenty of difficult places. Experienced one of the not life threatening, nor earth shaking, but huge disappointment ones, last night myself. Oh well…we takes ourselves by the bootstraps and asks GOD for help and trucks one eh?

  33. ==========
    Our fifth wheel was stored under a roof-over for seven or eight years before we bought it. It’s 33′ long and supposedly weighs about 7,500 pounds empty (two axles). We knew the tires were old (learned later they are 11 years old!) but they had been shaded and looked like new, so we took a chance. That was 6,000 miles ago and maybe we’ve just been lucky but no issues so far. (We carry a spare just in case.) I had thought because these big beefy tires (Load Range E) were rated LT (Light Truck) that *that* was a good thing. Turns out that trailer tires are designed with stiffer side walls to minimize flex and make the trailer track straighter (less ‘tail wagging the dog’) with gusting side winds, etc. It’s sidewall flex which creates friction and generates the heat which destroys tires. For this reason, I try to keep our trailer tires (and the rear tires on the truck — also Load Range E) puffed up to the maximum 80 PSI which is embossed on the tire itself. Opinions vary but I’ve had great luck running what many would consider ‘marginal’ tires over the years so I think I’ll just keep doing as I have in the past. :o) Two things in our favor are our ‘old’ tires are rated for twice the weight we’re towing AND the fact that we’re snowbirds allows us to avoid completely the really brutal HOT summer roads which often spell d-e-a-t-h for marginal tires. As long as there is *some* flat spot when parked on a hard surface, the tires are not overinflated IMHO. We’ve also learned we can deflate to 50 PSI (on truck and trailer) when traveling over extremely rough and rocky roads (also improves traction) to soften the ride a bit but we make sure to puff ’em back up to 80 PSI before we do any high-speed Interstate/Highway travel.

  34. Geri in the beautiful Florida panhandle says:

    Hoping you cruised easily over your “speed bump” .
    Life is good in the Sunshine State, we just did our 2nd Farmers Market with our glass sun catchers. We also had a whirlwind visit from Maho, our friend from Japan that we met in NM when we were all workamping there! She came for only 3 days! Imagine!
    Give the pups hugs from us! We miss you Sue!

    • bess in oregon says:

      i can imagine your beautiful glass sun catchers creating and spreading light and love to all.

    • Applegirl NY says:

      Hi Geri, We’re booked on St. Joseph Peninsula for a week next winter. We’ve been all over Florida, but this is our first trip to the panhandle. Everyone says it’s beautiful. Can’t wait to see your part of the world next year. Hope you sun-catcher business grows and prospers.

  35. Judy says:

    Welcome to New Mexico-from a New Mexican. Hope you enjoy our state.

  36. Steve Kaeseman says:

    hey RV Sue, Bridget and Reggie, I know it has been a long time since I wrote. Life has been getting in the way a lot. I still keep up when I can and eagerly await the tie=mes I can read what you have written.
    Just wanted you to know that my in-laws live in Silver City along with my sister/brother-in-laws and theirs kids 1 girl and 3 boys. My wife graduated from Silver High and Western New Mexico University. We hope you enjoy/enjoyed your time there. Hope the “speed bump” was not a major one and it all worked out for the best.
    Our respect, prayers and well wishes go with you, Bridget and Reggie as you follow your heart in your travels. May we one day pass each other on our travels, that is if the “speed bumps” in our lives come fewer and further between. Especially since we still need to buy a BTL of our own.
    May you have Fair Winds and Following Seas.

    Steve Kaeseman, SK1(SW), USN(Ret)

  37. Dawn in MI says:

    uh oh. Now I’m going to worry. But she’s had speedbumps before and has always figured her way out. So I will try not to worry too much. Just a little worry. Hmmmm…..

    • bess in oregon says:

      hi dawn, yes just a little worry. and optimism too. i hope you are doing well in Michigan. we are busy with Spring here and have some beautiful puffy clouds. love you, bess

      • Dawn in Mi says:

        Hi Bess! We are doing great here in Michigan. Spring has finally arrived. Sunshine and 50’s yesterday! 🙂 🙂 Katie and I even went camping in the back yard 2 nights last week. A little chilly but still wonderful. Always good to be outside at night in the summer! OK. It’s not summer yet, we’re pushing the limits..but it’s still wonderful! Good to hear from you! Hope things are good in Oregon. (PS: Thank you Sue for letting us hijack your comments for a moment.)

  38. Pamelab in Houston says:

    Gorgeous views from where you were, and I’m sure you will find another one. Happy Trails to the three of you.

  39. Applegirl NY says:

    You’re killin us! What a cliff hanger. LOL! Take care, prayers with you, and anxiously anticipating, what we know will be another good story.

    Worked quite a bit in my garden this week. I love the smell of dirt (something I know other gardeners understand). We sure could use some rain, though. We never had our April Showers.

  40. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    Tee hee hee I feel like the teacher just left the room and us kids can raise hell for a short time. Dah ya know shootin spit balls at the blackboard doesn’t do it for me anymore. I know… I’ll tickle Mary Lou in front of me thats always good for a laugh. She’s not in the mood today darn it. I could set the metal waste can on fire but Frankie the fink would squeal on me for sure. Heck I sure wish Sue would come back, it so boring with out her…

  41. Geri says:

    Sue, I hope you don’t mind but I would like to add a quick post here about RiverBend Hot Springs in Truth or Consequences NM needing workampers for the summer! I just want to say that this was our first job workamping and by far our most favorite! Jake is a very good person to work for and with! Best part is unlimited soaks overlooking the Rio Grand River! T or C is a great, funky little town and just thought a few blogerino’s out there might be interested. Google River Bend Hot Springs if you are interested!

  42. casitagirl says:

    Little worried about your next post. Hope things are OK!

    Bridget looks so cozy all snuggled up with her plaid blanket in her new stroller. You are so good to your pups, Sue. 🙂

  43. Hi Sue we are doing fine with a new droid turbo 2. Have a great day stay safe, and hi to all the blogaroos.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rusty… I was thinking about you, wondering how you were. Good to know you’re okay. Thanks for letting us know. You and Piper be well.

  44. KEN & ANN CREED says:

    Hi Sue,
    We are new subscribers, enjoy your blog.
    We have a Casita 17 foot like yours. Can you tell us What kind of
    internet antenna you use for pickup.

    Ken & Ann

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Welcome to my blog, Ken and Ann! Thank you for subscribing.

      You can learn about my antenna by clicking “internet antenna” in the header.

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