Last day at Horse Creek Camp, Dubois, Wyoming

Tuesday, September 2

1-DSC07379Horse Creek Camp, Shoshone National Forest, Dubois, Wyoming

Tomorrow Bridget and I leave Horse Creek Camp. 

We have reached the 16-day limit, so we need to find a new camp.  Even though this is the camp where we buried Spike, I have positive feelings about it.  It’s been a good camp.  Spike liked it here.

Bridget and I have gone on several walks, every one of them like entering a postcard.

1-DSC07324The thick grass that grows near Horse Creek and the many ponds has turned a vivid yellow-green as shown in the photo above.  That pic hasn’t been enhanced.  I don’t know what the flowers are in the foreground.  They are one of the first plants to herald the coming of fall.

1-DSC07337Tomorrow I’ll hitch up the Best Little Trailer and we’ll head southeast to Riverton.

I want to go to the Wal-Mart there.  It’s been a long time since I’ve cruised those aisles.  I’m also looking forward to picking up my Amazon packages, especially the new laptop and new camera!

1-DSC07343We will come back to Shoshone National Forest someday.  I want to visit Spike’s grave, of course, and also to take the photos I couldn’t capture with my damaged camera this trip.

1-DSC07347Oh, you wouldn’t believe the shots I’ve missed.

I’m also waiting for the stickers to arrive for the plates on the Perfect Tow Vehicle and the Best Little Trailer.  I screwed up badly.  With all my concern for Spike during his last days and then the grief during the days after his passing, I neglected to arrange for the renewal of the registrations.

They expired two days ago!

1-DSC06793Yes, that’s right.  I’m driving around illegally.  Labor Day weekend didn’t help, what with the post office being closed for three days.

Last Friday I contemplated my predicament . . .

“Oh, shoot!  I’m being pulled over.”

“Ma’am.  I need to see your license and registration.”

“Here’s my license, officer.  About the registration, see, I was about to have it renewed and then my dog died last week and — ”

“Ma’am.  Step out of the car.”

Well, that’s not going to fly . . . .  It’s like the dog eating the homework story.

I come up with an alternate plan.

I drive to the library in Dubois and use one of the computers there to go online, renew the registrations, and print out the email that says the registrations will be mailed.  Hmm. . . Maybe showing the email will be better than the dog-dying excuse.

1-DSC07272“Ma’am.  I need to see your license and registration.”

“Here’s my license, officer.  About the registration, see, I took care of it online and paid with my credit card . . . .”  I hand him the copy of the email.  “And as you can see, the stickers are in the mail, but with Labor Day weekend and all, and you know how slow snail mail — ”

“Ma’am.  Step out of the car.”

If y’all could pray for the Riverton police patrolling the roadways in the next few days, I’d appreciate it.  Pray that they are in exceptionally good spirits and willing to forgive, especially an old lady in a hat driving with expired tags.

1-DSC06967-001There’s something special about Dubois that I’ll miss.

Hot showers!  There are two places in the Dubois area where a vagabond such as myself can take a shower.  One is the Lava Mountain Lodge a few miles northwest of town and the other is the laundromat located right in town.

1-DSC07299I’ve partook — partaken? — whatever — in the glories of hot, streaming water a few times lately.  The water pressure isn’t so great at the laundromat’s showers (It’s better at Lava Mountain Lodge), but who am I to be fussy.  For about $2.50 worth of quarters I can wash my hair, get clean, and feel like a new woman!

I have something to add to Spike’s story.

First let me say . . . I’m the kind of nature-lover that cringes at the thought of defacing a tree.  Initials and “I love so-and-so” are fun to see, but it’s not really my thing.  I got over that for the sake of Spike.

The thought of Spike’s grave going unmarked bothered me.  However, I didn’t want to draw the attention of anyone passing by to his final resting place.  What I did was walk around to the other side of the aspen tree, the side that faces the woods, and, using Rusty’s pocket knife that he gave me last spring, I carved Spike’s name.


Spike’s grave is on the other side of those small aspens.

The date, “8-21-14” is lower on the tree.

Have you ever touched the trunk of an aspen?

When I finished carving, I brushed away the shavings and then placed my hands over Spike’s name.  The bark is smooth.  Strange as it sounds, the bark feels cool and warm at the same time.  That’s sounds impossible, I know, but the next time you’re around aspens, take the time to touch one.  Hold on to one.  You’ll see what I mean.

While I stood there with my hands on the tree, an unusual thing happened.

A hummingbird buzzed around my head and settled on a branch within an arm’s length of me.  He sat there for a a minute or two and we looked at each other.  Then he flew off.

All my life, since childhood, I’ve been conscious of what the birds are doing around me.  Other people may be having a great time doing stuff, but still, I know what those feathered creatures are up to. I’m aware of the English sparrow picking at a discarded McDonald’s wrapper in the parking lot.  I notice the swallows making a nest in the eaves before entering a building.  I hear the song of an oriole as I drive by with the window open.  I don’t know why I do that.

I just do it.

Maybe you do that, too.

However, in all my almost 65 years or so of having this awareness of birds, I have never had a hummingbird sit on a branch in front of my face and look at me for that length of time.  Not like that.  I don’t know what to make of it.  Maybe it’s not necessary to understand.  It just is.

But it’s kind of nice, don’t you think?


NOTE:  Tomorrow will be a busy day.  I won’t reply to comments.  Could you pretend to be me and make sure everyone gets a reply, welcome, an answer to their question, etc.  If enough blogorinos reply to a couple of comments, everyone will be a part of the conversation.  I don’t know if that will work, but we could try it.   Our community has grown to a size where I can’t keep up with it after every post.  I don’t want those folks who came out of lurkdom to disappear forever.  Thank you!


1-DSC07297“Hey, RVSue!  You smell good!”

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209 Responses to Last day at Horse Creek Camp, Dubois, Wyoming

  1. Patsy Ontario says:

    What a lovely post. What a lovely way to mark Spikes grave and to see a humming bird. Showers always feel the best glad you were able to enjoy one. As for the trooper, only doing his job, but sometimes they have a heart to. Did he fine you .. I assume he did but you never said. Love the pictures, you are right they look like postcards. Take care Sue and Bridget we are thinking of you here. Hugs

    • Jolene/Iowa says:

      Hi Patsy,

      I loved Spike’s tree too! Thanks for the kind words and thoughts for Sue. I know she appreciates it.

    • Cherie from OH says:

      Patsy, Sue wasn’t stopped by the police. She was just imagining it. Let’s all hope and pray it doesn’t really happen!

      • Buckeye Patti (Ohio) says:

        I agree! Sue deserves a break.

      • Patsy Ontario says:

        See she writes so well that I though it was real lol.. I am so glad that did not happen.. Poor Sue. Yes I think a lot of us feel her pain, I look at my zoo and think why did I do this I have buried and lost so many of my fuzzy friends, but then the pain is memories and I see one that belongs in my home to share my love.. and then I think oh no I am going to have to say good bye one day. But memories and the love shared the companionship out weighs the lose. So I have a zoo and love it… 🙂 So I know how Sue and many of us feel. Love has no boundaries or conditions. Sue hope all is well and that you got your new laptop and camera and I am so excited to see where you will take us next. HUGS

  2. DeadEye says:

    Sue, you had a great camp there. Spike’s final resting place will welcome you back time and time again. And, what a beautiful place to visit and remember.


    • Jolene/Iowa says:

      It sure is beautiful isn’t it Don! Sue did a great job but she always takes good care of her nutcakes, right to the very end and even then some.

  3. Glenda in OZ! says:

    So glad to see you back, you have been in my thoughts the last week and the lump is still in my throat whenever I think of you, Bridget and dear Spike. Your photos are beautiful and what a lovely resting spot for Spike. It could not be better and to leave his name on that Aspen tree, how appropriate and not wrong at all. I so hope you get back there one day to visit him. Take care Sue and Bridget as we follow on with your travels leaving Spike behind, forever in your heart and ours XX

    • Jolene/Iowa says:

      Thanks Glenda for stopping by. I know Sue appreciates it. You’re right, Spike will forever be in our hearts!

  4. Barb George says:

    Hi Sue! I love the idea of SPIKE’s tree. Plus that idea or thought that people will wonder… isn’t that sort of interesting? I am glad he is where you know you can go back to.

    Oh a hot shower! Whew! One of lifes simple, basic and lovely pleasures.

    Sending you continued,
    Hugs From Hoquiam!

    • Lisa W says:

      Barb, it was a great idea wasn’t it. And placing it on the other side of the tree was an inspiration.

      • Patsy Ontario says:

        Hi Lisa and Barb
        I thought the same, it was such a beautiful gesture for spike to be remembered.. I am looking for an aspen to touch and hold to feel the cold / warmth at the same time… hmm I don’t think we have them up here in Ontario lol..

  5. Eileen P says:

    Sometimes we encounter those times in life where we have to choose between following the rules and doing the right thing. Leaving an homage to Spike on the Aspen feels like a “do the right thing” moment. It sounds and looks lovely.

    • Lisa W says:

      I agree, Eileen. It definitely feels like it was the right thing to do.

      • Cheryl Ann says:

        I agree. Sometimes one has to bend the rules and I think Sue was entirely within her rights to do so…Spike now has a lovely tree to mark his memorial. Our son’s best friend lost his dog, Thor, and he planted a tree over his grave. We all need something to remember our furry friends and companions.

  6. Kelley in SoCal says:

    Once again, such a beautiful post. Safe travels for you and The Bridge. Goodbye Spikey. We love you and will miss you!

    • Teri in SoCal says:

      Hey Kelley!! I agree with you, we all love Spike. It’s amazing how much love a person can have for a wonderful doggie they never met.

  7. Marilu in Northern California says:

    Hi Sue,
    I’ve been in the mountains for two weeks. Most of the time I couldn’t get internet. When I finally read of Spike’s passing I went down to the lake’s edge, sat down with my feet in the water and cried. I cried for Spikey, for all the wonderful dogs that have passed through my life and, of course, for you and Bridgette. You have given Spike a life most dogs could only dream of. You memorialized him so well in this blog and with his burial in a place he would have loved. Hugs to you and Bridgette.

    • Jolene/Iowa says:

      Hi Marilu,

      I know that Sue appreciates your thoughts and hugs. Spike touched so many of us and we have shed buckets of tears for Spike, Sue and Bridget. I hope you had a great time in the mountains! One of my favorite places to be!

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Hi Marylu,

        Many of us here feel just as you do!! Guess it is how us doggie lover people are…and maybe how anyone is who has had a beloved pet!!

    • Hi Marilu,

      I have a thought like you. She memorialized Spike so well in this blog.
      I imagine that this is a very difficult thing in the situation placed her.

      • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

        Wow… a poster from Japan!! I may have missed you before as we readers are sometimes on the road too and can’t read every post from Sue’s readers. I just wanted to say welcome and hope to see you here again.

        • Thank you for reply, Connie & Mugsy.
          I am Japanese, living in Japan. In addition, maybe an
          only Japanese who comments in this blog as far as I know.
          I am a part-time RVer in Japan and hanker for fulltimer. I am sometimes on the road in US too! ,
          as a “rental RV”er. 🙂

      • Marilu in Northern California says:

        Hello Fuji-maru,
        All the way from Japan! What a worldwide group of readers Sue has. I haven’t noticed your name in the comments section before. If you are new th this blog I want to welcome you.

        • Thx, Marilu.
          A few days ago I finally came out from long-long time of lurkdom with my feeling that I couldn’t help but to comment this great blog. Wanting to encourage RVSue from another side.

          • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

            So happy that you have started to post here. Do you have one of those tiny cute little RVs in Japan? They make Sue’s Casita look big. LOL Or do you rent in Japan too? I visited Japan some years ago and loved the experience.

            OMG… I just looked at your blog and you were in North Dakota? I am from Minot. You have seen up close how the oil business is destroying my old home state. 🙁

            • Hi, Connie & Mugsy. Thx for visiting to Japan.
              I own a 25ft Class C Motorhome made in US.
              Please refer to this site.
              It’s too big in Japan to drive around urban area. High consumption of gasoline is a real headache to me. About $7 per gallon in Japan!
              Of course, many small(or micro) RVs exist fitting for Japan.

              Last October we went Williston, ND to see oil shale bubble. I know Minot too, about 140 miles east of Williston. US oil shale boom puts big squeeze on small towns.

            • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

              I’m glad that you visited my state and I enjoyed your photos. It is always fun to see what foreign tourists find the most interesting. Hope to see you again here on Sue’s journeys.

  8. EmilyO in NM says:

    The hummingbird is the messenger of hope and jubilation. The fluttering of the wings moves in the pattern of the infinity symbol, solidifying their symbolism of eternity, continuity, and infinity – Spike.

  9. Taranis says:

    You have a lovely camp – reminds me of my time growing up in Colorado when the season just begins to turn to fall. Beautiful.

    There are many Native American meanings to the hummingbird as a spiritual symbol. In summary, the hummingbird symbolizes the enjoyment of life, the lightness of being. Those who have the totem are invited to enjoy the sweetness of life, to lift up from negativity and express love more fully every day. To be more present, independent and playful in the enjoyment of life, and to be resilient and flexible in the face of change.

    Something to think about!

  10. Judithcamper says:

    EmilyO in NM you are so right about the hummers. I love their quickness and their wing movements. They bring a joyful feeling to my soul when I see them at my feeders and in my flower beds. I marvel at how such tiny birds can make the journey that they do each year.

  11. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Hi Sue, This place is so beautiful. Spike has such a nice resting place. I love you carving his name in the tree.

    I am kind of worried about how Bridget is going to do now by herself when you do your short Walmart trips and stuff without Spike. I know how attached animals can get to each other when they live together like Bridget and Spike have all these years.

    I think if you get stopped by anyone because of your expired plates that your email will be ok.

    Something is still messed up that I am not getting notifications of posts and I don’t even see the boxes to check to get them now when I comment.

    Looking forward to seeing your next “home.”

    • JodeeinSoCal says:

      I thought about Bridge when Sue has to do her human stuff too, and then saw that picture of her actually looking at the camera in this post…….she seems to be channeling her “inner Spike” so perhaps we have nothing to worry about 🙂

  12. Sally Browning says:

    Sue, you did it just right …..and to have peace in your heart about it, that is the main thing….the letters you carved were perfect…..I am sure that was not easy with a pocket knife but it looks like you used wood working tools…..well done. You and Bridget can travel on knowing Spike is in a spot he liked.
    Don’t worry about the cops, I feel like you will get the sticker in place before an eagle eye spots you….. Good vibes !!!
    You two have been under a lot of stress lately, to say the least, rest up and take it easy for a bit….. That may have been the Humming Bird message !!! Never really saw one slow down, perch, and then look eye to eye for a time ……that was special !!!

    • Sally, hummingbirds are real characters! Put a feeder out (1 cup sugar to 4 cups water) and watch them gather around! And yes, if you let their feeder get empty, they will fly right up to your face and with angry little squeaks scold you for being so neglectful!
      Sue, I am very interested in what you new computer will be. I need a new one too…
      Sue, I loved seeing Spikes name on the Aspen tree! It kind of gave me closure, along with a few more final tears. Hugs and love to you and Bridget from the crew of The MotherShip.

  13. Mert says:

    Sue, March 1,2014, my best friend of 35 years passed away, and was very unexpected. Prior to her passing ( a month before) I was talking to her on the phone when a sparrow flew in my door while I was holding it open. To say the least, it freaked me out.. I screamed like a little school yard girl. My friend laughed hysterically at me. The bird flew in, landed on my curtain rod, looked at me, then flew back out. Then the day after my best friend passed away, I had taken Asia Mae outside, later I went back out to get her. She and I were setting in my living room 10-15 mins went by and I noticed a bird chirping. And I thought to myself ” dang that birds awfully loud” I look over at my dog Asia and she is staring at my clock on the wall. I look up at clock, and there sets a sparrow, just looking at me. Of course being the sissy I am, I freak. After what seemed like hours. But was really only about 30 mins. We finally got the bird out, but not before it went back to the same curtain rod as the one a month before did and stared at me. Them flew out the door and was gone. After much thought and a little research as well, I believe that the second bird was my friend saying goodbye to me and letting me know she was ok. I believe the first one was a warning of what was to come. This is only my beliefs, but in reading about the hummingbird. My thoughts is, that was spike. Giving you love and well wishes and letting you know that he was ok. I wish you well and safe travels. Still in my thoughts and prayers in Kentucky much love, mert and Asia Mae.

    • Barb George says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. I love the sparrow gave you a startle, a giggle and a reminder of a good friend.

    • Illinois Jane says:

      My sympathy to you. We are each handed our own challenges in this life, to be sure.
      You had the sparrow. I’ve had peculiar little things happen after a loved one passed, too. I like them.

  14. Willow (AZ) says:

    I think the hummingbird was a little gift to you… Your post was perfect a lovely way to say good bye to Horse Greek Camp, I smiled at the picture of Bridget she almost looked like she was posing. Sue, you know we will be traveling with you, stay encouraged and don’t worry about the the expired tags, it will all work out.

  15. Rob says:

    Can’t keep up with the remarks… it seems success does have a price.

    • AZ Jim says:

      But her blog posts alone are always worthwhile even without her replies.

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      ??? Don’t know how to “read” that one.

      Given the circumstances of the recent events…responding to 400+ posts is a daunting task for anyone.

      I’m gonna leave it at that!

      • Teri in SoCal says:

        I’m with you on that one, I had a tough time keeping up with reading them, let alone answering every one.

  16. Steve Kaeseman says:

    RV Sue and Bridget, Our hearts and prayers go out to you both for the loss of a great companion. We will miss hearing about Spike and the many soaks he loved to take. We know in our hearts he has plenty of wonderful places to soak until the day he once walks in love with you both again. Fair Winds and Following Seas Spike.
    Can’t wait to read about the continuing adventures of RV Sue and her pretty girl crew.
    With Great Respect,
    Steve, SK1(SW) , USN (Ret) and Bridgett

  17. Cari in Plano Texas says:

    I don’t know about Wyoming, but in my neck of the woods in Texas the cops are pretty lenient when it comes to registration and inspection sticker dates. I went for 6 months one time when I was out of work and couldn’t afford them 🙂

    And I think your carving is a very fitting tribute to your little nutcake. After some of the stuff I’ve seen carved in trees, that’s very tame, so I wouldn’t worry about it.

    And I am still not getting notices of new posts, nor do I see the boxes at the bottom to notify me of the new comments or new posts. I’ve rebooted my computer, so I don’t think it’s on my end. Bummer, I just have to remember to click on my bookmark to see if there is a new post/comment.

    • Jolene/Iowa says:

      Cari, I agree with you. I think she will be ok if she is stopped. I am not getting notices either, so you are not alone.

  18. Wayne Scott says:

    Hang in there and make your camps rather close together if you can. Probably not a great time to be driving long runs. Looks like a great spot for Spike.

  19. Debra Larson says:

    Spikes name on the tree was a great idea.

  20. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts., VA says:

    So glad you carved Spike on the Aspen Tree, Sue. And the Humming bird, I think is symbolic. Of what I do not know, but I have known for some time now that there are happenings in nature that cause us to pause…the reasons, well, I do not know…But natural experiences have happened to me. Recently, the bear incident. Too powerful not to matter. Take note of these occurances, they are locked in your memories…ponder.
    Take Care Sue & Crewet

  21. AZ Jim says:

    Spikes earthly remains have lovely place there by his Aspen but remember as Mary Elisabeth Frye wrote:

    Do not stand at my grave and weep
    I am not there. I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow.
    I am the diamond glints on snow.
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you awaken in the morning’s hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the soft stars that shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry;
    I am not there. I did not die.

    Or just maybe a Hummingbird at the moment??????????????

  22. Deborah says:

    Love that Spike has his own little grave marker! What a bittersweet departure from this campsite.

    I cannot wait for you to get your new camera and then to see your photos! And a new laptop, too! Fun!

  23. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Loved your post, per usual, Sue….you know, sometimes unusual things seem to occur after we loose a pet…at least some things happened to both hubby and myself and my daughter over the first 18 months after our beloved Ebbie passed on. Can we prove anything? Nope. But to me it was reassuring. There is so much we truly do not know about dying, either for us humans or our pets I believe.

    Lost one of my closest friends this past February…have had 2 unusual dreams about her….one about a year before she died, but during the time her mind was going….and then just last week, I saw her again…it seemed so real. Have had only a few such dreams in my life. I do not worry about it…but one wonders of course. I figure it is is something important, it will come again. Someday (if I remember them) perhaps after this life is over for me, I will know just what was meant by these things. I do believe that close ties remain….forever. But again, I cannot prove it at this point.

    Safe travels and hope your next spot will be extra special too. (PS…I personally do not see anything wrong with marking Spike’s grave that way…it is not like you carve on tress everywhere).

    • weather says:

      To believe close ties remain forever is a wonderful thing.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Hi Weather,

        Well, for me, most of those who have loved me the most are already gone ahead…so I do find it helpful to believe that the closer ties last forever. Seems a good way to think in this life anyway.

        • weather says:


        • Pam N. says:

          Me too, Weather-everyone who really knew me and loved me has gone ahead, so I try to be alert to anything that might be a message, a sign or just a bittersweet reminder. It’s better than having nothing to believe in.

  24. Lisa W says:

    I like that you carved Spike’s name on the Aspen. I think the hummingbird is symbolic of Spike flying in the wind, yet waiting for when you will see him at the Rainbow Bridge.
    Safe travels to both you and the Bridge.

    • Jolene/Iowa says:

      Cari, I agree with you. I think she will be ok if she is stopped. I am not getting notices either, so you are not alone.

  25. Lyn in San Diego says:

    Sue, in 2009 we lost our furkid Zach (a standard dachshund) from complications of Cushings disease. Two days after he passed, my husband was out in our backyard and a hummingbird flew up within a foot of his face and just hovered there, looking at him and making eye contact. It was such deliberate, prolonged eye contact that my husband was startled. After talking about it, we came to believe that it was a message from Zach telling us that he was ok. I think you received a message from Spike at that aspen tree. There are so many mysteries in this universe that we know nothing about. Safe travels to you and Bridget tomorrow.

    • weather says:

      Hi Lyn,nice to see you back again,enjoy pondering those mysteries of the universe in San Diego,I just love that place!

    • Anne says:

      I agree, Lyn.

      I thought it was a reassurance from Spike when Sue wrote it. Many of us have had an unusual encounter after the passing of a loved one. Those of us who have, do not doubt what it meant.

      Thank you.


  26. Mitchell says:

    RVSue, you get an A+ in penmanship. Seriously. What a beautiful job you did carving Spike’s name on that Aspen… and with a pocket knife! Very, very well done! And a beautiful touch.

  27. Sue says:

    Oh so touching. Love Spikes name on the Aspen tree !!!
    I had a very special , special needs kitty who died at 2 years old. Being outdoors allways makes me feel better so I went for a nice long walk the next day and I had 2 butterflies join me at one point , circling around me for a bit. I belive it was that kitty Flower and another kitty who I also lost way to young to disease , named Brownie . They came to lift me up in spirits , letting me know all was good with them and it did lift me up. I felt so much better after having these two spirits visit me. I also do believe that Spikes spirit was sent in that little Hummingbird body if even just temporarily thru the body of the Hummingbird to let you know that all is all right with him !

  28. NorCalJohn says:

    So sorry that Spike is gone. My heart goes out to you. It’s only fitting to leave a mark near his resting place. Sue, you did right by Spike, all the way.
    Bless You.


  29. Donna in CT. says:

    Sue, Thank you for sharing Spike with us. I have enjoyed every story, especially those about the shenanigans that went on. I am so sorry for your loss but also grateful for your sake that it was peaceful and so full of love. The hummingbird was definitely a sign from Spike telling you that everything is good. The following is from a Spirit Animal guide : If a hummingbird appears :

    You need to be very flexible with the twists and turns your life will take in the next days. Put more emotional sweetness in your life—you need it. You’re going through some very heart-opening kinds of experiences, and you’ll quite naturally draw more and more love into your life. Openly express the love you have and feel for those important people in your life. Give yourself the gift of as many flowers as you can, spread them around your home, and enjoy their sight and fragrance throughout the days to come.

    • Jolene/Iowa says:

      Hi Donna, I know Sue appreciates your kind words. Thank-you for sharing about the hummingbirds, interesting.

  30. Toni says:

    Well, that hummingbird was Spike – letting you know that he’s free as a bird now.

    As far as the registration goes – that happened to me over the just before the Memorial Day holiday weekend. We don’t have stickers here – they use scanners. The cop was really nice and didn’t tow my car (although he certainly could have). He told me that if the lapse was under 30 days it wouldn’t have been considered “unregistered” but mine expired in April. I don’t know what the laws are where you are but maybe you’ll be “safe” if you get pulled over. I hope not, though.

  31. Marie taylor says:

    Nothing moves as freely as a hummingbird. That hummer you saw had to be spike showing you how free he is now, unfettered by his failing body.
    You did a great job on the aspen tree! Perfect spot for Spike. Hang in there sue.

  32. Hi Sue,
    Not to worry, Sue. If they haul you in, one of the nearby blogerinos will come bail you out! Spike’s ‘marker’ is beautiful–well done! One of my favorite books is ‘Animal Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small’ by Ted Andrews. It is full of information about animals & what they symbolize in their world & in ours. It’s a perfect resource for choosing your totem animal if you don’t have one yet. I believe that if we see an animal, especially if we have multiple sightings during a short period of time, we have something to learn from the animal. Their presence is such a gift to us.

    Anywho, the ‘keynote’ of the hummingbird is “tireless joy & the nectar of life.” The book goes on to say that the humming that comes from the hummingbird’s wings “creates an internal message, restoring health and balance. This the hummingbird reminds us to do. It reminds us to find joy in what we do and to sing it out. The hummingbird is a symbol for accomplishing that which seems impossible. It will teach you how to find the miracle of joyful living from your own life circumstances.” I love that–“sing it out”! And you have certainly accomplished that which seems impossible since Spike’s death. You also have that ‘joyful living’ down pat too.

    Continue to travel slow until you get your tabs…but you’ve got that down pat too. Take good care…

  33. Millie says:

    a friend who just lost her furbaby posted this pic and it made me think of Spike

  34. Applegirl NY says:

    Hi Sue, Another great post. I watch birds also (although I’m not a bird-watcher – if that makes any sense at all). I’ve had black capped chickadees eating out of my hands. So cool.

    That hummingbird sure does remind us of His beautiful creation, and the ministry and balm it can be. He created a wondrous world for us to enjoy. Be encouraged.


    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, Applegirl,

      Did you train the chickadees to eat out of your hands? If so, how long did it take to gain their trust? How cool!!

      • Pat in Rochester says:

        No training involved. The little guys can be very friendly and brave. A park around here is famous for trails where you can stop and feed chickadees like this.

      • Applegirl NY says:

        You just need to go out and be quiet with a handful of seeds. It may take a few days, but once they’re used to you they’ll come right up. Sometimes it’s even sooner.

        They are one of my favorite birds. So pretty and friendly.

  35. weather says:

    Dear Sue,
    Thank you for the monumental effort you have put into posting and replying when you could during the time we’ve all been at this camp with you.You gave us the much needed warmth of a campfire to gather together around.As the cold effects of partings touched our hearts,like starlight overhead-so much that is good was brought here to illuminate what would have been too dark a night without it.

    The endless connections love’s beauty touches everything with continue-in this post so well illustrated.Rusty had thought he wouldn’t have Timber again,his gift helped you profess to Spike and all that listen-the eternality of love-it’s promise that distance and time apart are temporary parts of our journey.

    May the sightings of birds and flowers, He’s ever sent you as Valentine’s,render sweet joy -to this day and all others -in your brave explorations on the path of dreams coming true

  36. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Gulp! Allergies are acting up right now! 😉

    Beautiful….I wondered if you and Bridget would return. The hummingbird was definitely a sign.

    See ya soon Spikey. We’ll be back!

    PS: WOW….. you carve like a typewriter!

  37. Rod KC, KS says:

    The humming bird was sent by God to tell you that Spike was with him now and not to worry….

  38. Deb from NJ says:

    In the years to come as you visit this site and see Spikes name on that Aspen tree you will know it was the right thing to do. It just touches the heart and brings tears. I am so glad that you can write about him and include us in your thoughts. Thank you for this.

    Gotta love those hot showers!! They are the best ever after traveling around and just washing up. Makes you feel like a new woman!

    Hoping you don’t get stopped with expired tags. Would be a bummer. But you do have some great stories to tell them. I am sure they would be amused with them and just let you go on your merry way. Then to pick up that new camera and computer. Can’t wait for photos of your new campsite!

    Happy Trails!

  39. Illinois Jane says:

    The lone pictures of Bridget brought tears to my eyes then you made me laugh at your cop scenario. Thanks!

    It sounds to me like the hummingbird gifted you. Apparently, you have a special connection to birds so it would make sense that a message would come via that pathway. It rings true to me. You were given a very special message, I believe, and it seems your intuition was telling you so.

    What a beautiful area and great job on the carving. Are you sure you haven’t had practice? When I get out west, if I see “Sue, Bridget and Spike were here”, I’m tellin’!I’m glad you left the marker. Hope to visit it one day.

    Enjoy your new toys. You need some fun.

  40. Gail in Buckeye says:

    Sue I know how hard it must have been to leave Spike there, I am so glad you carved his name in the tree. Its a Beautiful Resting Place.

  41. WTXCal says:

    Hi Sue,
    Carving Spike’s name on the aspen tree was a wonderful idea. I strongly agree the hummingbird was a message meaning “I’m free as a bird”.
    Sue, please don’t stress over answering the blog posts. Every post doesn”t need an answer. You and Bridget just relax.
    Thank you for being such a caring person for your pets. Give Bridget an extra treat from me!

  42. Out of curiosity, I looked for symbolic meanings of the aspen tree and found several that seem to fit here. The first is overcoming fear, in this case fear of dying and/or fear of letting go. Another symbolic meaning for the aspen is that of community, or in this case, the blogorinos who have become almost as much a part of Sue’s blog as Sue herself. :). The third symbolic meaning was also the first one I came across and may be the most apt of all. The aspen also symbolizes transformation, specifically Spike’s transformation into spirit as he moves into the next phase of his journey. For some of us, it might also symbolize our hoped-for transformation one day into full-time RVers.

  43. Cindy says:

    Sue: You did a beautiful job carving Spike’s name in the aspen tree and I love that you did it with a knife that Rusty gave you – there’s something poetic about that after all you did to help him and Timber. I pray for safe travels for you and Bridget.

  44. Patricia O says:

    Dear Sue, coming out one last time out of lurkdom… as many people, as many reasons to comment… or not. And not all comments deserve a reply, OMHO.
    I have been following and enjoying your blog since a very long time and it is my choosing to rarely comment. As a matter of fact, it is also my choosing to not read the comment section.
    Spike’s passing affected me, of course. I have become attached to the little guy and wanted to show you and Bridget my support in this difficult moment.
    Please, believe that -even if I don’t show up- I think your blog is a breeze of fresh air and authenticity in an overall boring blogosphere.
    Wishing you and Bridget the best in your adventures! Fair winds and following roads…

    • weather says:

      very nice compliments to her blog,and sentiments to her and Bridget

    • Patsy Ontario says:

      Totally agree that this blog is a breeze of fresh air and authentic, but you can tell its written with passion and love, and Sue brings out the good in people as well demonstrated over and over in this blog. She is a gift and we are so lucky to be able to wander with her in her adventures. 🙂

  45. Bev says:

    Sue…when my daughter was in ICU, a Respiratory Therapist gave me a book, Angel Wisdom, to get me through losing my daughter. The book is a collection of 365 meditations and insights. This is from October 11: “Mother Nature has the angels tell the birds to go check on the humans to make sure they are okay. The birds tell the angels if we are in danger. That’s why birds fly over your car and why you see birds everywhere.”

    My husband likes to prospect in AZ and you would be amazed at how many “graves” he stumbles upon. We also found mounds when we hiked.

  46. Alan Rabe says:

    Great, We will have something to look for on our pilgrimages to Spikes resting place. Bridget looks so lonely walking all by herself, it brought yet another tear to my eye.
    I wouldn’t worry about your stickers. Unless you get to SD no one will probably notice, unless they pull you over for something else entirely. 🙂

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Spikey o caching!

      In regards to expired reg…….that is enough PC to make the stop! Highway Patrol may be more inclined to conduct one…generates revenue…being that one will probably just pay it instead of fighting it.

      Meh? I would stop her just to meet her and Bridget…. damn it! Give her a hug ….Then send her on her merry way! No ticket…no warning…just a stern “Live that dash”!

      Yes the reason for the lapse would fly in my book!

  47. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue and Bridget,

    Your marker for Spike is a perfect, just perfect! I truly believe that the hummingbird was a messenger for Spike….he wanted to let you know he was just fine….and to let you know that it was ok for you and Miss Bridge to move on to you next adventure.

    I, too, have always had a special bond with animals. Spending lots of time in my yard, weeding flower beds, watering, cleaning and filling bird feeders and baths and just sitting on the patio swing with Gracie pup watching the world go by is a blessing. The chickadees and cardinals let me know when their food is low….flitting and “talking” to me from the crape myrtles, just inches above my head. A pair of bunnies enjoy the clover, just off the patio and do not budge when Gracie is on a potty break, barking at them, wishing she was not leashed so she could chase them. They trust that Gracie and I will not hurt them, so they continue to calmly munch as we are within two feet of them. Strange as it sounds, I always “know” when my birds or animals are in the yard. What a cool 6th sense to be blessed with!

    Wishing you safe travels, free of registration checking cops!! I am looking forward to seeing your new site and hearing all about your new camera! Hugs!! 🙂

    DESERTGINGER: Happy belated Birthday! So glad that each day you are feeling a little stronger both in body and spirit!! 🙂

    • DesertGinger says:

      Thanks Denise! Going home tomorrow. Hugs.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Wonderful news Ginger…so glad to hear this!! Rest well…grow strong. I read today that one reason us older folks sometimes grow weaker is we are not eating enough protein. I am wondering if that is what in part has happened to my husband. So going to be working on getting more protein down him!!

  48. Dawn in MI says:

    You know that humming bird was sent by Spike to let you know he’s OK.

  49. DesertGinger says:

    8-21-14…on the night Spike lay dying, I was laying on the floor paralyzed. It was an important day. Spike moved to his new ethereal body and is leaping through the clouds, and I moved into this new life I am inhabiting.

    I think that driving away from there may be a little sad. Maybe a trooper will help you out…take your mind off your sadness.

    Howdy ma’am, can I see your license and regist……are you RVSue? My wife follows your blog. She’ll be so excited I met you! Could I get a pic with you with my iPhone? And hey, it looks like your registration may be expired.

    Sue pulls out her email and story.

    That’s fine. Maybe I can help you? Can I give you an escort somewhere?

    Another page in the life of Sue and crew.

    September is a new beginning, we are leaving summer difficulties and sadnesses behind. One of my oldest and dearest friends died this morning. She had cancer and we knew it was coming. I had hoped to get back to see her in time, but it want to be. We met when we were 20. She’s gone to a better place; she’s starting new as well.

    Losses are hard to bear, but not loving people and animals would be much harder.

    • weather says:

      Raising my glass of cool water to those new beginnings

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      SO sorry you lost your long time friend, Ginger…it must make things even a bit harder for you!! I know loosing a long time friend is so hard. We need newer friends of course, but no one takes the place of an old one either.

  50. Buckeye Patti (Ohio) says:

    We all knew that Spike’s final resting spot would be beautiful. Thanks for sharing, I think it will help us blogorino’s with some closure, too. I am glad you didn’t have him cremated (really none of my business), but I have buried my 2 deceased dogs on my parents’ property and it has always been a comfort to know where they are.

    I can only imagine how difficult it will be to leave this beautiful place, yet rest assured you will be back someday.

    You are so humble in apologizing in advance for not responding to each & every e-mail, however with you doing that simple act, you’ve made us all feel “special”. (dern you..LOL) You must have been an excellent teacher. We will keep things going, while you re-group with your now new beginning.

    • suzago says:

      I agree about the excellent teaching — and Sue is still leading the way. Once a teacher, always a teacher. And I’m loving this class!

    • Idaho Gurl says:

      I cremated my Tigger, Bingo (dogs) and Butterbean (the cat), I keep them all in there little urns. And when the rest of my critters pass before me I will keep them too… When I go there are instructions to mix us all together. Take us up to the North Fork of the Clearwater River where most of my relatives have been sprinkled and let us fly… I’m not leaving this world without my critters… lol…

  51. Whine Country Leslie says:

    So, do we get to call you “Outlaw Sue and Bridget Too?”

  52. Pat in Rochester says:

    Sue, Once again I saw your photos and thought “oh, she got her new camera!” You might have missed some wonderful shots, but you still managed to snap a bunch of beautiful ones. Testament to your skill and “eye”.

    I love that you used a knife you got from Rusty.

    And if you DO get stopped and a ticket, get that news on here straightaway. Then the Corps of Blogorinos can send our support for you via emails to the judge or courthouse or wherever! “Free RVSue and her Crew!”

  53. Jenny Waters says:

    I think the tree carving is a lovely honor for Spike. Aspen have always been one of my favorite trees. I love the peaceful sound the leaves make in the wind. It is sad but I look forward to the happy times ahead.

  54. Paula says:

    I just love Spike’s Tree. I have a feeling over time his name will dark against the white tree trunk. Having spent decades in the Rocky Mountains, I’ve seen many Aspen tree scars turn black. I’m not sure how many years it will take, but it will only become more beautiful over time.

  55. DesertGinger says:

    Oh…I meant to mention that aspen groves are actually one large organism with a single root system. So I think it is appropriate to bury Spike in another actual colony, much like our virtual colony here of blogorinos, united by this single root system of Sue and Crew, and our caring for each other.

    • suzago says:

      Hi Desert Ginger – I’ve been reading your comments and sending healing thoughts your way. Hope you’re able to get some nourishment from this incredible root system.

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:


      Sending you positive thoughts for tomorrow.

      • DesertGinger says:

        Thanks Cindy…I’m happy and nervous. My INR isn’t where it needs to be, eventhe docs are nervous. A nurse is coming to my house on fri and mon to check on me and test my INR so I hope that wil be enough.

        No more strokes!

        • Cinandjules (NY) says:

          I believe you’ve had MORE than your fair share of medical issues… Ya know?

          You will conquer whatever lies ahead! No problem!

          don’t be nervous…I know easier said than done…no sense in adding more stress…with something you have no control of…..right?

          Have a great day! hugs to you and Chloe!

  56. Sondra-SC says:

    Spike has a great marker for his resting place! Safe travels.

  57. MarciainPA says:

    When my mother had passed during a harsh winter snow storm years ago, my sister was crying, looking out the window at her kitchen sink when a stunning red Cardinal flew down in front of her. More recently when I was having a hard time dealing with the passing of my Porkchop, I had a dream that a large owl had swooped down close over my head, so silent, then flew away. I knew he was telling me that he was free. In my humble opinion, I think Spike was telling you that he is ok, to keep on exploring and living in nature.
    You, he and Bridget were so in-tune with each other by living as you have for the last few years. He’ll be with you for every step of the trail, and won’t pass up a nice soak when he can grab it. And eventually you all will be together on the other side, celebrating three lives well lived.

  58. Ed H says:

    So, continuing the dialogue…

    “Ma’m, I’m going have to ask you to step out of the car”
    “You say your dog died. What was it’s name?”

    “His name was Spike.”

    “Spike!” “That’s the second “Spike” I’ve heard about in the last 24 hours”.
    “Hey, Ranger Bill, didn’t say you ran across a tree out at Horse Creek Camp that had been recently defaced with the word “Spike”?

    “Ma’m, please spread your legs and place your hands behind your back”

  59. Kay says:

    Oh Lord.

    I have been busy, we leave this Friday to go pick up our mobile Kitchen. Gosh, I wish I had the abilities that “I Dream of Jeannie” once had.

    After reading this post, I cannot help but wonder… How in the hell RVSUE’s school is getting along without her? I mean, I would have loved for her to be my daughter’s teacher. I think some children in Georgia are really missing out on one of the best teachers they ever had. However, I am really happy RVSUE decided to ditch those snotty brats and take on all of us.

    We APPRECIATE RVSUE and her delightful stories, which if you listen to her words, are often lessons. The pictures, beautiful, awesome and simply the kind that just… melts us right into the beauty of all the places she takes us.

    Just imagine, if we all started driving down the highway behind her, I mean, all of us RVSUE AND CREW FOLLOWERS! Heck, she would make the news in every city, state, and most likely, the world.

    • Kay – how are things coming along at the new RV Park. Can you remind everyone where it is? I hope you are able to arrange the RVSue rally! Sounds like a blast.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hmmmm… RVSue convoy….what a sight that would be!!

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, Miss Energizer Bunny,

      Wishing you and your dear husband safe travels. I have a feeling that you will find a second “wind”!!! 🙂

      • Kay says:

        Thank you, Denise.

        The wind was knocked out of me when we lost our beloved Spikey. To be honest, I’ve just poked around while hubby and the rest of the crew has been working their butts off.

        This small town has SPOILED me pretty bad. I mean, I kind of don’t like/enjoying getting in the car and driving anywhere anymore. Strange, I think.

        However, I have a 1000 mile trip one way to Minneapolis area to make to pickup our mobile kitchen, and to check on and clean out one storage unit that we still have there. Ugh, the thought just wears me out.

        The RV Park… we decided to focus on a Spring opening for now. We will have the Snack Shack open by October 1, of this year.

        Anyone, who may be traveling by Kimball, NE that needs an overnight spot in the dark, quiet, and a half mile from Interstate 80, you are sure welcome to pull in off the road and park and sleep for the night. We really can’t offer electricity right now, but we can offer you a place to dump and offer water.

        I suspect we will likely have to Telephone hooked up within the month, then I will post the number in case anyone would like to call ahead.

        We do have a spot or two, (can’t keep up with hubby on this) that do have full hook ups now.

        If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask away. Oh, and by the way, YES, we are still planning on the “RVSUE and CREW” meet up/convention next September. And, we still plan to have the Doggie SPAW, complete with a soak pool in honor of our beloved Spikey.

        Now, off to painting I shall go… Have a great day, Everyone.

        • Marilu in Northern California says:

          Kay, you are a whirlwind of energy and creativity. You deserve to take a little break now and then. Be safe on your drive to Minnesota.

  60. Idaho Gurl says:

    Dang it… I’m still crying… I think I loved Spike as much as you did only I had never had the chance to pet his sweet head… That “yellow flower” in the foreground looks like Rubber Rabbit Brush… It’s a weed… Nasty stuff… I’m allergic as heck to it… I do believe when someone we love passes that there is always a sign that they crossed over to a better place… Maybe Spike was the hummingbird saying “Look Ma, I can fly!… Thank you for sharing your life with me… I enjoy each and every story and adventure… May the creator keep you close and heal your broken heart… Much love to you and “Bridge” from Me, Rootie Tootie, P-Nut, Tinky Winky and Handsome (The Cat)

  61. PJ Crim says:

    Deep condolences on the loss of Spike. I’m so happy you three enjoyed his last campsite. Please don’t feel like you have to respond to every comment going forward – you really didn’t have to do so in the past. In fact, I was shocked when you did. It is the opportunity to enjoy your travels vicariously and learn from them that your readers enjoy – we don’t ever want the reading and responding to comments to become a drag. Just comment on the ones you really want to and enjoy your life!

  62. C.W. says:

    I was wondering if you were going to do the tree thing.

    I think all of the photos look great.
    And who cares about the registrations , your retired.
    And besides most states have a grace period of a week.

    Also I would like to think that SPIKE has been reincarnated as a hummingbird, and he stopped by to let you know that he’s O.K. , and he can follow from place to place now that he’s got his wings.

  63. Well Ma’am, I’m sure glad you haven’t lost your sense of humor! 😀

    I couldn’t bring myself to read the comments from your last posts. I did read your posts and cried and cried again, and again… I searched your name, rvsueandcrew, to find you were having tech problems. Thank you for commenting to let us know you and Bridget were OK. I know you felt bad about us all crying but it’s all part of life and we laugh with you more than we cry with you. I hope you never regret that again! We’re here no matter what.

    Super cool experience with the hummingbird. I love them. When I worked in the office with a big window they would come and stare at me. I’d feel something and there s/he was. I’d talk to her/him through the glass… “well hello, aren’t you pretty.. how are you today…” They would stay for so long and my boss didn’t mind as long as I got my work done. I swear it’s like they are trying to tell you something… like “it’ll be alright”. Yeah, it will be all right. 🙂

    Love you Sue and Bridget! Blogerinos too, though I won’t be able to keep up with the comments – conversations.

    Ya’ll take care now ya hear?

    (((Sue))) Hugs Ms. RVSue and Bridget!

  64. Dear RVSue,

    In some cases, birds are recognized the spiritual creatures in Japan, also in Asia. It’s said that birds have had a connection with the dead in ancient Japan.
    Torii” is bird perches that been laid at the entrance of or within a shrine. ”Tori” means bird and ”i” means place in the literal sense of the word.
    It is usually a large gate. Also a small one which has a shape somewhat similar to a ranch arch in US, two massive timbers with crossed bars. Needless to say that “Torii” is never attached any made of fancy metal work.

    I guess hummingbird would have liked to hand something to you, so you do get unconsciously.
    Please restart safe travel with sweet Bridget and the soul of Dear Spike.


  65. Pauline from Mississippi says:

    Thanks again to all of you for your support of my sister. Spike’s name on the aspen tree broke my heart yet lifted my spirits. Susan took her time to make that carving just perfect. I can picture her talking to Spike and Bridget as she did it.
    The comments on this page are a wonderful tribute to Susan and her crew and I appreciate that. Love to all of you.

    • weather says:

      Hi Pauline,
      Having a sister -you want to reach out to in love- faraway is by now,I imagine, something you are used to.Some people think that’s true of most families and friends more often than in decades gone by.Yet history tells us life has ever held reasons closeness needed to be felt from a distance.I don’t think of prayer as all we can do,or “She’s in God’s hands now” a statement of my helplessness.Those two things are all the power that’s needed to assure me that someday- even this- will make us smile.I’m glad this community makes you happy for Sue,for yourself and your family ,too.You make me happy-by your loving your sister,all God’s creatures,and Him-may you and yours find joy this good day

  66. I’m sure you will be very excited to get the new camera and get back to actually knowing what your photo was suppose to be:)

    Love Spike’s name in the tree…wonderful idea:)

  67. Dear Sue, I’m late but just want to chime in and say how much I love the marker you created for Spike. It just seems so perfect and beautiful for it to be a part of nature, which the 3 of you enjoyed together these past few years. And I do believe the hummingbird was some sort of a messenger to let you know that all is well with Spike.

  68. Ross says:

    Right away I am going away to do my breakfast, after having my
    breakfast coming again to read other news.

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