Leaving Idaho’s mountains, fleeing smoke!

Wednesday, August 19

I stop the Perfect Tow Vehicle on the forest road leading away from our Big Wood River boondock of the past few days.

“Ooh, look at the light on the grass!  Hang on, guys.  Let me take a few more pictures.”

P1060778The crew and I are making an early morning start as we leave Sawtooth National Forest north of Ketchum, Idaho, in order to find a camp away from the smoke of forest fires.

P1060779There are mountains up ahead completely hidden in smoke.  I wonder if the light coming through the smoke is why the grass is this beautiful gold this morning . . . .

Bridget and Reggie settle into their travel positions to nap.

We head southward on Route 75.

Ketchum, Hailey, Bellevue, Shoshone, Jerome . . . Shortly before reaching Interstate 84 we stop at a KOA for propane.

A man walks up, looks admiringly at the PTV and BLT, and says, “Pretty nice set-up you have.”  He’s curious and then surprised when he finds out that I’ve been living in my rig and traveling the West for four years.

Interstate 84 takes us east past Twin Falls.

We pass the exit for Burley and Heyburn.  By this time I’m convinced we shouldn’t take the next exit in order to camp in the Albion Mountains south of here.   A curtain of smoke hangs over the mountains.

At the fork with Interstate 86, we stay on 84, going southeast.

The Cotterel Mountains, the Black Pine Mountains . . . all are pastel blue-grey cut-outs against a white sky.  As we cross the unpopulated and sage-strewn Curlew Valley, Bridget and Reggie wake up.

“Guess what, sleepy-heads.  We’re in Utah!”

It’s around noontime.  Not hot, but getting warm, climbing toward 90.

“Hang tight.  It won’t be much longer.”

We ride over a hill and the town of Snowville comes into view.

Smoketown would be an apt name for it today.  I follow the signs to Lottie-Dell RV Park.  This looks good.  Nobody here this early in the day. (A Class A pulls in about an hour later.)

A man appears and gives me a friendly hello.  His name is Delbert.  He’s a tanned and sinewy guy, average height, looks to be in his 60s.  He tells me sites are $30 a night with electric and water hook-up. There are rest room, shower, and laundry facilities.

“You’re the owner here?” I ask.

“I am until September,” he replies.  “I sold the place.”

As we leave the office together I notice a bulletin board covered with handwritten notes.

“Wow!  Lots of memories here,” I remark as I scan the board.

Delbert nods.  “Yeah, it’s going to be hard to leave all that.”

I choose a site with shade.

P1060796I hook us up to 30 amp power.

P1060784Now for a note to newbies:

Always make sure the power switch at the pole is in the “off” position.  Plug in before pushing the switch up to “on.”

Then you can turn on your big loads, like the air conditioner.  Do not turn them on before you turn on the power switch at the pole!

(Lottie-Dell Campground doesn’t have 50-amp.)

 I make myself a turkey sandwich which I share with the crew. 

I put Bridget into her suit and the three of us walk around the park, passing the golf range.  Then we relax outside.

“It’s nice here, isn’t it, sweetie.”

P1060782“Well, finally I can do some laundry!”

I tote the brimming basket over to the laundry house, holding onto Reggie’s tether.  

I can count on Bridget to walk alongside me.  She’s a good girl and no one here is going to mind her being off-leash.

P1060786The machines work great.  A few trips back and forth and soon I have three loads of clean, folded laundry to haul back to the Best Little Trailer.

P1060785I meet Delbert on the way back to the BLT.

“You’ve done a lot of work around here,” I remark.

“Yes, I have.  And I did it all by myself,” he says, looking around proudly.

I mention his imminent retirement. 

“I plan to do what you’re doing,” Delbert says.  Then he adds, “I’m 80 years old.”

“WHAT?” I exclaim.  “You’re kidding me!  I thought you were in your 60s, just reaching retirement age!”

Delbert grins, enjoying my shock. 

“You know what?  I have over one hundred descendants.”

“You DO?  One hundred?  How many children do you have?”

“Eleven.”  He pauses.  “I’ve had six wives.”

With an amazing lack of tact I blurt out, “Not all at once!”  (After all, this IS Utah.)

To my relief, Delbert laughs. 

“No, one at a time.”

P1060781There goes Delbert.  I wonder how many times he’s driven around his park in the past 29 years that he’s owned and maintained it.

I leave the crew inside the BLT with the air conditioner on.

I sprint over to the shower house.  The rest of the day I take advantage of the 4G internet signal (the park doesn’t have WiFi) or I’m outside with Bridget and Reggie.  The smoke doesn’t bother us, although I’m sure we’re breathing it.

By early evening eleven more RVs are in the park. — Ten Class As and one Class C.   The park is far enough away from the interstate to allow for a quiet night of good sleep.

Thursday, August 20

We wake to the sound of a rooster crowing.

Back on the interstate and heading toward – I must be crazy – Salt Lake City!

Actually I want to get out of smoke fast and I don’t dare take a long drive across empty desert and risk the heat becoming too much for us with no place to find relief.  Look at a map and you’ll see what I mean.

For those of you who like to follow on a map, here’s the route we take:

Through Rattlesnake Pass to Tremonton, then on to Brigham City.

From there it’s insane city-interstate-multi-lane driving through smog and smoke . . . Ogden, Clearfield, Layton, Farmington, Bountiful, Salt Lake City (exit after exit!), Murray, Midvale, Sandy, Lehi, American Fork, Pleasant Grove, Orem, Provo, Spanish Fork . . .  one, big, stretched out metropolis!

By Payson the traffic lets up a bit.  Have I been holding my breath the entire way?

I push on.

I’ll make this brief.  We survived.  It was a nightmare.  Somewhere, as we crossed Salt Lake City, a long, box-type utility trailer swerved into our lane when we were sandwiched by a semi in the other lane.  I thought for sure I’d lose the side mirror or our lives.

Next post . . .

The crew and I search for a camp for the night and the flight from smoke continues!



P1060791“Feels good, doesn’t it, Reggie!”


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161 Responses to Leaving Idaho’s mountains, fleeing smoke!

  1. Linda Rose & the 4 M's says:

    maybe first?

  2. Linda Rose & the 4 M's says:

    I was just checking email when I saw your post come up. Now I can go back and read.

  3. Calvin R says:

    I read through that. The fires are more and more of a concern. I didn’t get my wish to head back to the Southwest this year, and I’m beginning to think that was a blessing. I hope you and yours have escaped the smoke by now. Obviously, I’m glad you escaped the freeway.

    Delbert sounds like a fascinating man. I bet he’ll be a good addition to the ranks of full timers.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Calvin,

      Delbert is an interesting guy. I admire people who work hard, making an honest living and are happy with their way of life. He’s more interesting than this post describes but I didn’t want to reveal too much personal information.

      A disappointment might be a blessing in disguise. I hope you can make your trip to the Southwest sometime in the future.

  4. Linda Rose & the 4 M's says:

    At least if you have to pay $30 for a place for the night you had showers and laundry and water, etc. I didn’t realize that your 4 years living in the BLT have all been in the west. Don’t you ever head east? What’s the furthest you’ve gone? The grass certainly did look golden..probably the same reason we’ve had such amazing sunsets. They really glow with all this smoke. Bright red most of the time. Can’t wait for that “El Nino” they are predicting so we can get some RAIN!! Take care give the furkids a smooch for us.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda Rose,

      No, I never go to the East. I’m familiar with it from Maine to Florida. I was born in VT, grew up in NY, owned houses in FL and GA. I’ve fallen in love with the West and don’t plan on going back.

      Since picking up the BLT from the factory in Texas in August 2011, the crew and I have visited, TX, NM, WY, SD, MT, ID, UT, NV, AZ, CA, OR, WA and a little bit of CO. Wonderful memories and I hope to make many more, Lord willing!

      Your amazing sunsets… You’re in AZ or NM?

      • Linda Rose, Muffin, Murphy, Molly & Midgy says:

        I’m in the valley of northern California near Sacramento.

  5. Cat Lady on the road in Westminster, CO says:

    That second to last paragraph grabbed my attention. Glad your all okay.

    Cat Lady

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Cat Lady.

      Gee, I’d rather grab your attention with the first line. I’ll have to work on that! 😉

  6. Mary in CO says:

    I doubt you can get away from all the smoke. We live in south central Colorado at 9000 feet and our skies have been hazy with smoke all week. These fires are so devastating!

  7. Claudia Sutherland says:

    Sue ,

    I don’t know how you managed that SLC traffic! Glad you made it safe and hope you find a perfect place to stay soon.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Claudia,

      I don’t know how I managed that traffic either… and I didn’t mention the road construction smack dab in the middle of SLC. Funny thing how one forgets how bad that kind of driving is if away from it for a few years. It wasn’t long before I was asking myself, “What did I get myself into?”

      At one point I said out loud, “I’m going to keep pushing through this mess until it ends, if I have to drive to Mexico!” Haha!

  8. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    WHEW! Um… Sue, do you think you were being interviewed as Wife #7? 😛

    So glad you made it through. Our own beaches are smoggy and sooty. You can smell just a tinge.

    That ole ReggieMan sure is a sweetie. Bridget looks so peaceful–yep, keepin’ RVSue busy with laundry!

    Hugs from Hoquiam,
    Stay SAFE!

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      heehee…my thinking too, Barb!! On Sue being “looked over”…heehee…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb,

      I just finished reading an article about the fire in northern Washington and the deaths of three firefighters. What a shame!

      Hope your air quality improves soon… Of course, that may mean the smoke has moved into someone else’s back yard.

  9. Ray Fleming says:

    Stay safe!! Just spent a great week, in the camper, with my daughter chasing the rock band Incubus across Texas. Great times!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ray,

      What fun for you both! Isn’t it wonderful what times can be had when one has a home-on-wheels…. I’m happy for you.

  10. Deb D says:

    Great pictures . Prayers for some rain for the west. Glad you and your crew
    Are staying safe. Always enjoy where you are next.

    Eye to the sky. Hugs to the crew too ..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Deb D. Rain is in the forecast for Wednesday, although I don’t think it will be widespread. We’ve had light rain two nights in a row and it was such a pleasure to hear it.

      Have a good evening!

  11. Lee J in Northern California says:

    Running from smoke has lead you to places perhaps you would not have seen before..wow! Nice meeting Delbert, hope he has a wonderful time in retirement…it is so cool that you share your adventures…..thank you my dear!

    The photos of light playing across the grass were beautiful. We so often miss opportunities to appreciate the small things that enrich our lives, thank you for reminding me to slow down and just …look….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Lee J. That grass was beautiful, both when a light tan and when spun gold. 🙂

      You’re right about our run from smoke taking us to places we haven’t seen before. I doubt we would have driven to Snowville which could qualify for the description, “the middle of nowhere.” Nice town, appealing restaurants, and at least one good person I know of. 🙂

      This past week I had to give up a lot of slowing down to look…. One really misses a lot.

  12. Pam and Maya says:

    Oh dear, I’m on the Oregon coast trying to find a way East. I did find this web site which at least helps you not drive into these areas blind – http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/
    I have been following you and crew. It seems really tricky right now. I know the pop- up doesn’t pack up and go very quickly in case of emergency. Actually thinking of some long drives and motel stays in between!
    Stay safe guys!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pam and Maya,

      Yes, that’s the go-to website for fire info. I’ve wondered about the travelers on the coast who need to come eastward. It definitely is tricky business right now. I read today that the Willamette Valley is very smoky and people are urged to limit physical activity and stay indoors.

      If you use that inciweb website as you go, you should be able to stay away from fires. It may mean some big detours though. I never thought about the emergency pack-up-and-go time it takes with a pop-up. I only considered the time it takes to set up.

      Best wishes for safe and comfortable travel! Keep in touch . . .

  13. Shelly says:

    We were at the Lottie-Dell on July 4! The owner was very nice. Glad to see he got the place sold and will get to retire. ?. Safe travels! You’re an inspiration to us!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Shelly.

      The sale is a big relief for Delbert. Soon he will be able to enjoy the money he’s put into the place over the past three decades.

      We should’ve been at Lottie-Dell on July 4th. I’m sure it was calmer than our campground on the Clackamas River in Oregon…

  14. Shawna says:

    Oh Sue, it’s a good thing you left; Delbert might have been after YOU next!
    Hoping you get far away from the smoke and the cities. I don’t have my Benchmark for Utah yet dang it. I love following you on the map.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Map activities are fun! I used to teach map skills while teaching math to middle schoolers. I guess that’s why I think of readers and their maps when writing posts.

      I appreciate the feedback, Shawna. I’ll keep reporting on the routes we take from camp to camp.

  15. cc and canine (Eastern Missouri) says:

    Wow– What a close call you had driving through the Salt Lake City area! We’ve done it a few times, and that is enough….our least favorite stretch of road. At least you are still in one piece, and headed to familiar fire-free terrain.

    Thanks for the review of the Lottie-Dell RV Park in Snowville. We actually had our worst night camping ever north of there at Curlew National Grassland. We were in a tent, and it was the Sat. night of Memorial Day weekend, and the folks camped in the group area were extremely boisterous. Fortunately, we had our earplugs….but we did dodge vomit on the road the next morning while walking Guinness. I told my hubby…”this is exactly what RV Sue is trying to avoid.” Fortunately we didn’t spend the weekend there, and we kept moving on the next day.

    Looking forward to find out where you’ve landed. I’ve heard that New Mexico is no longer in drought, but has had a wet year. (You did always say it is at higher elevation than Arizona…)

    Happy t(r)ails to you!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, cc,

      In a tent near a group camp on a holiday weekend — not good!

      You bet I try to avoid the party people during those long weekends. I’m not always successful though. Funny that people talk about me as they step around vomit. Haha!

      Well, I towed the BLT through Salt Lake City and we survived. I’ve come a long way from feeling timid when I drove out of the parking lot of Casita Travel Trailers in Corsicana, Texas, four years ago!

      • cc and canine (Eastern Missouri) says:

        All the campsites were full, so the host said we could pitch our tent by the boat ramp. The idiots should have had their campfire inside the “ring” of their rigs, but picked a spot on the other side of the boat ramp from us…Lucky us!!!

  16. I’m in Raton, NM on the Colorado border. This morning all around the sky was hazy with smoke. No fires near me, so I am assuming the smoke is coming from farther west. This is the first day in a month since I have been here that the sky has been this way. I fear you will have to drive a far piece to get out of the smoke. But I will say this, I don’t smell it much… and I am very sensitive to smoke. Good luck.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Charlene,

      Now New Mexico, too! Thanks for the good luck wish. I hope you have clean air again soon.

  17. shirlene says:

    Wow again!…we are really traveling now…I love Utah!..some of your prettiest camps have been there. We’ll I signed up to travel with you so off we go…….heads up, move um out! Love you guys 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Shirlene,

      Utah is a special place. I happened across some photos of a few of our Utah camps. I was surprised all over again at how beautiful the scenery is. . . and varied. I’m glad it’s located where it is. We can travel through it easily going north to south or south to north according to the seasons.

      I’m glad I didn’t lose you somewhere in traffic in Salt Lake City! Hold on! zoom-zoom-zoom . . .

  18. Michelle from Salt Lake,UT says:

    WOW, that is one long drive. I believe all of Utah is coved in the smoke.
    We will have to check out the RV park it looks like a nice place to relax.

    Hope you find clean air soon. Just love the pictures. .

    We leave Wednesday to start our trek to Yellowstone. (Taking your advise and only going 150 miles a day). Also the pole information, I had wondered about turning that off when I plugged in.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Michelle,

      I bet you drive through SLC like it’s a cruise in the country. 🙂 I hope by the time you reach Yellowstone the air is clear for you. The summer crowds should be less now.

      I wish you and your husband a safe, enjoyable trip and a fun stay at the park!

      • Michelle SLC,UT says:

        Thank you. because of your blog and all the information I have gathered from you and your readers, I know we can do this!

        This will be our first trip, where I can’t turn around and be home in a hour.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I know you can do this, too! I’m a bit concerned about the smoke though. I hope it is gone by the time you arrive. I want your first trip to be perfect and wonderful. You both deserve that!

  19. Lynn Brooks says:

    WHEW!!! I’ve been there!!!
    Driving through SLC IS A CHALLENGE!!!
    Glad you made it through safety!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Lynn. I wish there were some way to move Salt Lake City out of the way! (Sorry, SLC lovers… )

      • NV Teacher says:

        There are ways around SLC but it involves a lot of twisty mountain roads. Unfortunately the smoke is here in southern Nevada too. I don’t know where you can go to get away from it.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, NV Teacher,

          I considered those mountains for about one minute because they make for slow progress and I wanted to “make tracks” as Rick said above . . . .

          Southern NV has smoke, too? You know, as I was driving across the empty, somewhat desolate landscape on the way to Snowville, and the smoke was thick all around, I was given a very strong appreciation for clean air, more than ever before in my life. May we never have this air pollution as a permanent condition!

  20. edlfrey says:

    My guess is you stopped for the night of the 20th in Nephi. Probably still smokey from a fire that was burning southwest of Salt Lake City plus the Solitude fire southwest of me. Maybe you can get away from it in the high county east of Ephraim – Bluebell may be calling you.

  21. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Sounds like a hectic day of travel. Battery is running down. Will comment later.

  22. Janis Harrison says:

    I sure enjoyed your post today. So glad you have such super driving skills to avoid the mishaps.Sue ,do you get regular Dr.checkups? None of my business of course but with what I am facing I pray for your (and all women)health. Higgs grandjan

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Janis,

      No, I don’t get regular check-ups. I hope you are doing well with your course of treatment.

      I’m glad you got some enjoyment out of this post. I enjoyed sharing it with you!

  23. BadgerRickInWis says:

    Girl, when you make tracks you make tracks! When was the last time you had multiple 200 mile days in the span of a week? But it’s interesting to see how you make a bad situation into one where you are so open to meeting new people and seeing new things. There’s a lesson in that.

    Good luck getting out of the smoke. They issued a air quality warning for Madison today and we are 1600 miles from where you started this post. But of course you’re headed south not east.

    Bridgett looks so cute standing guard at the laundry. And that last shot of Reggie well all I can say is “Awwwwwwwwwwwww.” 🙂 Take care, give that crew a hug from us.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Smoke all the way to Madison? Good heavens…. What is this? Nuclear winter?

      It’s been a long time, Rick, since I’ve pushed myself like that. No way I was going to stop for the day before putting all that city mess behind us. It turned out very nicely. . . . green grass for the crew to squiggle and relax in, laundry and shower for me and steady internet, too… not to mention a rooster’s crow in the morning!

      The crew is hugged and sleeping. They’re a bit off schedule. These mountains we’re in mean sunrise is late and sunset is early. I try to keep them up, but when they’re ready for bed, the clock doesn’t matter.

      I like your last words . . . “from us.” 🙂

      • BadgerRickInWis says:

        “From all of us to all of you”
        Isn’t that how the Mickey Mouse club used to sign off every day? 🙂

  24. Judith camper says:

    Glad you made the drive safely. We have even had smoke here in central Nebraska from Western fires. Hope Mother Nature helps those brave fire fighters soon.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Judith camper,

      I’m sure many join us in hoping the firefighters receive the help needed to deal with these fires…. Mother Nature, trained residents, National Guard, whomever…

  25. Marsha says:

    We’ve been in smoky campgrounds since we were in the Tetons last week. They closed US-2 by East Glacier NP due to wildfires and now you can only go east or west from West Glacier to East Glacier with a pilot car. The smoke is pretty bad in some places, as I’m sure you’ve experienced.

    Best of luck in finding a campsite with clean air.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marsha,

      Wherever you are now, I hope the air is clear. I wonder how backed up the traffic is behind that pilot car. At one point I considered going into Wyoming by the Tetons, then the fires and smoke headed that way and going southward was the best option.

  26. Yikes Sue, glad yall made it through all the traffic intact! Delbert sounds like an interesting fellow, hope he has a long and happy retirement. Hopefully you and the crew have made it to a pleasant, peaceful, smoke-free area now!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda,

      I hope, too, that Delbert has a wonderful retirement. I asked him about his longevity. He said he never goes to doctors. He pays attention to his body. If he doesn’t feel right, he asks himself, “Now what did I eat yesterday?” I’m sure good genes help, too, and all the exercise and attention his rv park demanded.

      I’m not advising people to avoid doctors… Just thought his response was interesting.

  27. Ilse says:

    Hi Due,
    Hope you can find a smoke free area. Should have come to beautiful Sequim. No smoke here, just beautiful sunshine and temps in the 70s!

    • Ilse says:

      Nice typo, but I know you know your name:)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dilse… 🙂

      Shoulda’, coulda’, woulda,’ …. This summer it has been impossible to know where to go. . . . between the crowds and then the holiday revelers and fires and smoke…

      Sequim does appeal to me. I hope to visit it one day. Cheers to you, too!

  28. Robin B says:

    We are planning a September trip to Utah and will be watching your adventures with the smoke closely. It’s terrible here in the Portland/Willamette Valley today (and was yesterday). Thanks for posting great details about your travels; I’m addicted. 🙂


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Robin B. I’m pleased that you are a faithful reader of my blog!

      I apologize for your comment being held by my blog’s spam filter. I don’t know why that happened. Fortunately I saw both your comments there and immediately approved them.

      I read about the smoke conditions in your area. The Cascades could hold it back only so long . . .. I hope it clears up soon.

  29. Suzette says:

    I will be so glad when this fiery summer is over. So worried about the three of you but I do know you’re smart enough to stay out of harm’s way. I’m just sorry you have to deal with it. Thanks for introducing us to Delbert. It makes me happy to see us “mature” folk taking to the road and enjoying it all.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Suzette,

      Thank you for your sweet note of concern for me and my crew. Yes, this summer has brought a lot of stress (and worse) to many people. I’m fortunate — I’ve only been inconvenienced and disappointed. Not a big deal compared with what some have gone through and what they face in the future.

      I’m pleased that you enjoyed this post!

  30. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    Glad you are keeping ahead of the fires but breathing that smoke can’t be good. Always anxious to see where you are going to be next. Delbert, 6 wives and 100 descendants!!! WOW! I laughed at your outburst…Not all at once!!
    Your Great Niece Taylor Beth is now on a college basketball team!! She was asked by the Northeast Mississippi Community College coach to try out and she made it!! So proud of her. She will be there 2 years and then on to Mississippi State.
    Stay safe Dear Sister!!!
    Sending lots of love and big hugs

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pauline,

      Way to go, Taylor Beth! I’m not surprised she made the team, what with her high school basketball record. Same goes for Ellie. Is she going to play this year, too? I know you (and the ‘rents) are very proud of the girls, as you should be. Hard to believe that TB is in college now and Ellie is right behind her! Where’d the time go, eh?

      Love y’all!

  31. weather says:

    Wonderful photos and gripping narrative in this post Sue.I have pressing engagements so am not able to leave an appropriately appreciative comment at the moment and may be away from the laptop tomorrow as well.I’m happy that currently you and crew are safely settled into a place you enjoy and hope that until we catch up next time life feels good 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, weather. Whatever you do,wherever you go, may it go well and you return here happy. 🙂

  32. Brenda says:

    Hi Sue…..WOW , I so admire your courage and spunk. I’m still riding with ya on your journey. I always save your Blog to read last. Cuz it’s the best and it always leaves me inspired. Love to you and the crew…… Stay safe and try to keep outta that smoke.

    • Pookieboy in SE Texas says:

      Brenda, your so right about Sue’s blog being the best
      one on the internet….she really gives good descriptions
      of where she is not to mention the great photos….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good to know you’re still with us, Brenda. I smiled to read that you save my blog ’til last. That’s a really nice compliment, like my blog is dessert. 🙂 I thank you and Chuck, too!

      I don’t know where you are right now… I hope you are safe, happy, and breathing clean air!

  33. wildflower in prescott says:

    Sue, come on down to the beautiful high country here in Arizona. We have been ground zero for so many mega fires there’s nothing left to burn! (You know i’m Just kidding). It’s raining and thundering here now. Not much smoke the past few days but we have had some beautiful sunsets. Highs in the upper 80s here and lower 80s in flagstaff. Lows in the 60s. Rainfall has been about average this year so our forests feel normal and well nourished. Funny how these weather patterns work.

    • Robin B says:

      “wildflower in prescott” – visited your city for the first time (that and Cottwonwood) in late July and fell in love. Gorgeous country and nice people.

    • Pookieboy in SE Texas says:

      Wildflower I would love to be in Flagstaff right now
      my fondest memory was on a driving trip to Las Vegas
      and coming home we stopped in Flagstaff and there was
      snow on the ground…..HA…had to get our coats on.
      what a surprise that was!
      this was May as I remember it since we alway took vacation
      right before school was out….

      • wildflower in prescott says:

        Average snowfall for Flagstaff, arizona = 100.7 inches
        Buffalo new York = 94.7 inches
        Source : Wikipedia, of course

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I never would have guessed that Flagstaff receives more snow than Buffalo! Very surprising!

          • Brenda says:

            LOL it seems as though Buffalo gets theirs all at once. That is a most surprising fact though.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, wildflower,

      Rainfall has been average in Arizona this year? That’s good news, much better than it has been.

      I do hope for the time when we can travel around the country and find our lakes, streams, and reservoirs brimming with precious, clean water and the landscapes healthy with vigorous plants and lush forage for animals.

    • cate walsh says:

      Hello Wildflower…

      I’ll be in Flagstaff in October for my first visit and really look forward to seeing your corner of “heaven” on earth. Very glad to hear that you have had rain and are doing well compared to the west in general.


  34. Pookieboy in SE Texas says:

    your little experience on the interstate reminded me of my trip I took
    Friday to San Antonio for a reunion….I usually take I-10 there but
    decided to go a different route and take Hwy 290 to I-35 at Austin
    then down to San Antonio…..
    now anyone thats ever driven I-35 will tell you these folks are crazy…
    you gotta drive 80 to keep from getting run over…..
    and I was doing 80 in the middle lane and I look over in my left rear view
    mirror and see one of the little Smart Cars fixin to pass me……!!!!!!
    now tell me the person driving that thing wasnt an idiot……
    I figured you would end up in Utah after looking at the map…..
    keep it up you will get out of the smoke….
    BTW, I came home today via I-10

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chuck,

      That person IS an idiot. I saw similar stuff on I-84 coming through Salt Lake City. One guy drove about 6 inches from the BLT’s spare tire! I could not believe it!

      I drove almost the entire mega-city without changing a lane while others changed five or six times or more in front of me, weaving in and out. They must think they’re invincible.

      I’m glad you made it home safely, Chuck.

  35. John says:

    I try to figure where you might go for smoke relief but when I woke up today in north central New Mexico we are also thick with smoke from the north west, that’s a long way! Hope you find clear air.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, John. I had to lower my expectations from clean air to air that wouldn’t give me a sore throat and watery eyes. As it turned out, we are in a good spot with plenty of mountain breeze and, so far, rain at night. The sky is blue, too!

      I’m sorry the smoke found you! I hope it leaves you soon.

  36. We went through SLC mid-June at 9 in the morning, heading north. It was just HORRIBLE. The construction had narrowed the lanes and there were people everywhere. Glad you’re through it and it’s behind you. We are hoping to not have to do that again for a few years.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Allison,

      The construction is still going on. Traffic funneled down to one lane. Actually I was grateful for the lowered speed limit. I usually drive at 58-60 mph which is optimum for the BLT’s tires. I found myself forced to drive at 65 mph, keeping over to the righthand lane, of course. It’s stressful having big trucks passing you, one right after another, but I’m not going to go any faster than that. I can feel instability from wind gusts if I drive too fast.

      Yes, may you not have to drive through SLC any time soon!

  37. Betty -Shea says:

    Beautiful pictures Sue!!!!Stay safe out there….head for AZ.
    No smoke here!!!!
    Hugs to you and the sweet crew!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Betty-Shea,

      You Zonies love to point out how great your state is! Ha! Well, it’s true, right?

      Hugs to you, too!

  38. L.P. n' me says:

    Be safe and I’m praying that you and the crew find a cool and fire smoke free camp, maybe Manti- La Sal, Fish lake, Dixie National Forest, somewhere safe,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, me

  39. Elizabeth in WA says:

    These fires giving us pause to consider a lot of the “writings” of the ancient past…beyond belief really!! Glad your guardian angels were working overtime in that traffic situation…and that you are to a safer place now!! Better travels ahead for you hopefully!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Elizabeth, for your caring note. If I ever meet my guardian angels, I hope I remember to say, “Hey, that time the crew and I drove through Salt Lake City? I want to thank you for all your help!” 🙂

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Truly!! Heh, driving with the nutcakes around here I frequently say aloud, and truthfully: “THANK YOU Father that they missed us!!” Man, does this ever burn the adrenals…I much prefer slow and lazy going about…argh!! Maybe I belong in a horse and carriage…heh, without any cars about though!!

  40. wildflower in prescott says:

    Clean folded laundry AND a shower. Definitely worth $30.

  41. Mark Watson says:

    Wish you luck on getting out of the smoke…. friends tell me SW Colorado as well as Denver are experiencing the smoke smell from the fires in the NW of the country.

  42. Gene in Ohio says:

    Use this site to help you. There are no fires in Colorado.

  43. carlene says:

    Sue… I’m on your tail…heading out of Idaho. I came up from Sierraville, Cottonwood Creek, Ghost Town aka campground. No one there. I was checking out a camp host position west of Boise which turned out to be not right for me. Heading east on 84 thru Boise on a Sunday afternoon I thought would be good… not! but made it to Hagerman RV Village, 8 miles south of 84. Nice as far as I can tell being a real newbe, having my class c for just 6 days, 2 nite at the kids, 2 nite at USFS and 1 nite in the parking lot of the Lyon Hall in Jordan Valley.
    I’ve got 4g lte 4-5 bars and I’m listening to the San Francisco Giants baseball game from Pittsburg. It’s what I miss the most. My baseball.

    Sue… I have always been a planner, with a plan in place, a place to go and knowing when, where and how to get there.
    Can you tell me if the unknown of the future “home” campsite unsettling feeling will ever change? I love the travel, the driving and just going but the not knowing where I will be tonight is something I’ve yet to settle into, I’m guessing time will help. Also knowing areas of certain states helps a lot… I’ve got a ton of maps and my tablet is wonderful with judging distances. I’ve been driving long days, like into Jordan Valley hoping to find a place and then being in a parking lot.

    OK… I’ve stolen your blog enough. Any incite into this is much appreciated. I’m into my sisters in SaltLakeCity tomorrow. Parking is plentiful. There are a few things I want to add to the class C aka The Gamer Babe.

    One good thing, Corky is a tremendous traveler… such a good co-pilot!

    Thanks, Safe Travels and HUGS to the Crew!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Carlene,

      Wow! You have had a busy and interesting, first six days in your Class C! I bet you’ve learned a lot already, skills and awareness that will serve you well from now on.

      You did GREAT finding a place to park in Jordan Valley! You can be proud of that!

      About the unsettling feeling not knowing where you will camp for the night. . . .I’m sure time will help with that. Plus doing plenty of research the day before, if possible. I like to have a back-up plan if I should arrive at a campground that is full or ugly or if a boondocking area is a disappointment.

      Here’s what works for me: I keep my moves as short as I can while still going where I want to go. (Of course, recent moves are an exception. Very little normal lately!)

      When you plan to arrive at your destination sometime around noon or even before noon, you can feel secure knowing you’ll have several hours of daylight to find a camp. You’ll also be looking for that camp when you still have plenty of energy, rather than when tired and freaking out.

      Of course, you’ve had commitments this past week and had to move right along. It doesn’t help having smoke drive you down the highway either!

      Hooray for Corky! Isn’t it heartwarming the way our little pals adapt to what we expect from them? Bridget has always been a laid-back girl. Reggie, on the other hand, is a powerball. That’s why I’m touched to see him riding along quietly in the PTV, patiently waiting for us to get off the road where he can run around. He has no idea why I torture him like that and yet he loves me anyway.

      There’s no limit on questions to ask here…. It’s a pleasure for me to feel like I’m helping. Good luck and safe travels on the road tomorrow!

  44. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Delbert sounds like a hoot! Your blurt absolutely made me laugh!

    All caught up on laundry chores and a shower. Safe travels as you find a smoke free area.

    When we drove across…driving thru SLC was a bit confusing. Glad you made it through the holy crap moment!

    Have a wonderful evening.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      Yes, that was a tactless thing for me to say. I would’ve died on the spot if he had replied, “Yes, all six wives at the same time. What’s it to YOU?”

      Years ago I never thought I’d get such a big thrill out of doing laundry. I tell you, this washing out by hand doesn’t cut it!

      Hugs to Annie O…. You have a nice evening, too!

  45. Glenda in OZ! says:

    6 wives………..yikes! What an interesting character……..bet he has some stories to tell. The fires over there look terrible and making the news in Australia. On the weekend Fire fighters from Australia and New Zealand are on their way to help. Hope you get out of the smoke soon Sue…………..I like that you are in Utah….such an interesting state.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Glenda,

      We (meaning all who care) are grateful to the firefighters from Australia and New Zealand for interrupting their lives and possibly risking their lives to help combat these fires. I hope our U.S. firefighters never have cause to return the favor, but I’m sure they would if they were needed.

      I like that we’re in Utah, too! Always a pleasure hearing from you, Glenda…

    • wildflower in prescott says:

      Glenda, some firefighters from Australia came to Prescott, AZ in 2013 for the memorial service for our 19 Hot shots who lost their lives in the Yarnell Hill fire. We felt honored that they came to our town from such a distance. I know that wildland firefighters from USA traveled to Australia to help battle some fires there. When it is fire season here, it is not there.?

      • Glenda in OZ! says:

        That’s right Wildflower in Prescott………….I can recall a few occasions when the US guys have been over here to help out. Sometimes resources need a boost especially when the fires go on for a long extended time. When you consider that all country fire fighters here are volunteers….its great to get the help.

  46. Jamie says:

    I just ran accross your blog and I am enjoying it a lot!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      YAY! That’s the kind of news I LOVE to hear!

      I welcome you, Jamie, and proclaim that now you are a blogorino! Thanks for stopping by . . .

  47. Kellee says:

    Hi Sue – I know that SLC drive – it is ugly. Cedar City is nice, so is St George if you are going that far south. I have to tell you about some beer I bought in Cedar City once – it was called Poligamy Porter and its slogan was “Bring some home to the wives!”.

    My husband and I just returned from moving our daughter to TX for graduate school and we made a stop (I called it a pilgrimage) to Casita in Rice – it was AWESOME! I about drove my husband nuts with all I have learned about Casitas. Needless to say – he really liked them and I see us in one within the next 2 years. We will make sure you get referral credit.

    • edlfrey says:

      Oh Yes, St. George 23 August 2015 7:23 PM 102 °F with the 10 Day Forecast high temperatures to be 105 °F to 95 °F with most days at 100 °F plus or minus a degree.

      I would not go there yet Sue!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Ed….

        Elevation of Salina where you are… 5,148 feet. Whereas St. George is 2,860 and further south.

        Um… I think we’re both detail people, even though mine are frequently WRONG… We talk in numbers. Ha!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kellee,

      What a great comment! Fun to read . . .

      The crew and I have driven past Cedar City and have camped near St George in the Hurricane/Virgin area west of Zion. We may visit St. George this year, later on as Ed advises.

      Oh, you went to the Casita factory! What fun! I’m happy that both you and your husband like Casitas. Aren’t they the sweetest thing?

      I didn’t have the opportunity to see or step inside a Casita before placing my order. It was quite a wonderful thrill to finally see one on the day I picked up the BLT.

      You’re going to have fun deciding what options you want and what model suits you best. Thank you for planning to name me as your referrer. It’s very thoughtful of you and I appreciate it!

      “Within the next 2 years”… Good times ahead!

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Wow, bought without even seeing one!! THAT takes a lot of faith! I am happy it all worked out so well, Sue!!

  48. It makes me so sad to read of all the smoke and damage the fires are creating. I’m glad that you can pick up and drive away from the smoke but worry about all the land that is being decimated and people’s lives being so effected. I hope you guys are able to find a good place to land.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deborah,

      Yes, we’re fine. Thanks for thinking of us.

      I’m somewhat removed from the sad events and tragedies of this summer since I don’t watch tv nor listen to radio. I imagine the scenes on television are shocking, and also frightening for those near the fires, with loved ones near the fires, or with loved ones involved in fighting the fires. May it end soon.

      • Pookieboy in SE Texas says:

        all this reading about smoke in the air reminded me about
        todays date: the eruption of Mount vesuvius that covered
        Pompeii in dust and pollen and then lava…..that had to
        be a horrible day for those folks….

  49. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Finally read all the comments now that my computer is recharged. The photos of the the camp were really nice. I bet Delbert is a real character. I can just imagine what he will be like in other campgrounds. The crew looks cute in the laundry room. I love that picture of the golden grass. You caught the light just right.

    The last photo of Reggie rolling around in grass looked real familiar. I was cleaning the car interior and windows this afternoon in the garage and had Angel tethered to my DH’s chair. She was rolling around and scratching her back on the aggregate driveway “My Little Funny Girl.” She was also doing that in the road earlier in the week, while I was chatting with one of the neighbors. Nobody freak out, she was not in harms way. She was on the side at the stop sign on a small dead end street.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barbara,

      I do enjoy these little stories about Angel. Keep ’em comin’! 🙂

      I wonder what percentage of the readers of my blog also read the comments.

      Thanks regarding the grass photo. Those moments when the light transforms a scene are special and a delight for anyone holding a camera.

      You have a good evening, Barbara. Cuddles to Angel!

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        Thanks Sue. I for one always read the comments usually before I
        comment myself, unless I’m close to the top of the list. I do not type very fast, so I usually lose a couple of places even doing that.

      • Pookieboy in SE Texas says:

        I try to read all the comments because they are
        so entertaining…..

  50. Linda in NE says:

    Sounds like the only way to get away from the smoke is to head east, not south. It’s pretty nice in Nebraska right now. 🙂 No smoke, cooler, sunny for now, supposed to be more rainy days next month. We had the smoke from the Saskatchewan fires earlier, as amazing as that may sound.

  51. JIM PETERSON says:

    If you ever go that way again, make the time to maneuver East of those mountains which define the toxic haze corridor through Ogden, SLC, etc. It’s Hwy 189 and if you’re rolling South to North (as we were), keep glancing back over your left shoulder at the view across the lake there at Deer Creek State Park. Going the *wrong* way, I nearly missed it but there is one view of the mountains there more beautiful than any other mountains I’ve ever seen. (Even better than views of the mountains in Stanley which have long been my favorites.) No smog, no big trucks, but — of course — you can’t be in a hurry.
    I turned East on Hwy 40 (IIRC) looking for a FREE place to spend the night. It was late winter (?early spring?) and the whole area was definitely off season — cold but nary a soul to be seen. Somebody was telling us the main road there was typically closed for weeks at a time every winter. Serenely quiet and we had the whole campground to ourselves. All those small towns are perfectly maintained (high percentage of LDS I’m sure) but beautiful homes obviously designed and built to last forever.
    JIM & ANNIE ~ 8 weeks & 4 days to go!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim & Annie,

      Another reader quite some time ago mentioned how beautiful it is at Deer Creek Lake. I do intend to go there, don’t know when. “toxic haze corridor” — a perfect phrase to describe where we drove! It’s very weird when the sky looks like mud.

      I appreciate the neatness and cleanliness of Utah towns. It is a pleasure to see the well-kept homes with lovely yards with flowers. No litter, no peeling paint, no graffiti, no neglect. Many have large families yet they do keep their homes in good condition and the homes are huge!

      Your experience with having the campground all to yourselves in the off-season reminds me of our stay at Ward Mountain near Ely, NV,… by ourselves in the snow.

      The countdown continues! 🙂

      • JIM PETERSON says:

        Thanks for your response! Speaking of Ely, NV, I ended up driving South through that Eastern sliver of NV — seemed like straight South with this continuous ridge of mountains to my immediate right. It was late Feb or early May and we were headed to Moab, UT — one of my favorite places in the world.
        The road was newly repaved and smooth as glass but what I noticed most was this continuous stream of RVs headed North. At the time, I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Now I know they were snowbirds — on their spring/early summer migration North. We’ll be joining those 100,000 fulltimers who winter over in the LTVAs our first “winter” and who knows what the future holds beyond that? I always know that I’m going the “right” way when it seems that everyone else is going the other way. :o) Once we got to Ely, we turned due East to make our way to Moab . . . and we’ve been going that way ever since . . . circumventing wholesale the madness of the “toxic haze corridor”. Even without the smoke, air pollution alone most often obscures a proper view of the mountains to the East. I had no idea SLC had grown to the metropolis it is today until I was driving around the tail end of the airport (to visit my budding-engineer son prior to the Winter Olympics — whatever year that was) and I could see FIVE commercial airliners staged at different elevations preparing to land. I got the impression early on that law enforcement did not care how fast anyone drives through there. They just want you to get through and be gone already. :o) SLC definitely has a culture all its own. I was doing some work on my son’s car which involved a few trips to the parts store — felt like I was in a foreign country! We didn’t speak the same language . . . not sure I would ever ‘fit in’ there; not sure I’ll ever want to. :o)
        JIM & ANNIE

  52. Captain K (Utah) says:

    Hi Sue — you just rolled through my back yard! We weren’t home though, we were up to Bear Lake. Lots of smoke from the ID fires hovering. Wishing you safe travels!

  53. Sam in the Ozarks says:

    Be safe. No smoke in the Ozarks. Low of 60 and high of 80.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sam,

      I don’t think that can be beat! You can sit back and breathe deeply … 🙂

  54. Gene in Ohio says:

    I am carefully watching your reports on the smoke. I am planning to head to Arches, Moab, and Ridgeway, Colorado in three weeks. I want clean air since I can barely handle campfire smoke.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      My reports aren’t very reliable because they are days old. Besides using the inciweb site, I do a search like “current fires in ____” or “smoke from fires in _____” and that often brings up local reports or at least specific reports of an area. I’m sure you know to check the air quality index, too.

      I hope everything is clear for you in three weeks, Gene.

  55. barb snowbird from Washington state says:

    our state is totally smoky even on
    the west side now. we are in eastern wa and it smells like a campfire right outside my door it will be this way for a longtime…probably not the time to be travellling here. just had shoulder surgery typing one fingered lol im out

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, barb snowbird from Washington state,

      Great to see you here again! I hope your shoulder doesn’t give you pain and it heals quickly. Good of you to make the effort to type a message here. I appreciate the report of eastern Washington. You are a lot closer to a fire than we have been if your smelling it. Stay safe!

  56. AlanOutandAbout says:

    The practice of putting out every fire that springs up has been proven time and time again to be a big waste of time, money, and lives. It has been shown that, unless residences are being threatened, fires should be left to do their thing. Fire is natures way of cleaning house and revitalizing the forests. Yes things look a little black for a while but it allows new growth to start. The reason these fires tend to be so bad is that they always try to put them out. This allows for thick undergrowth to get worse so when a fire does start there is so much fuel that the fire is uncontrollable.
    I know it is a sore point for everyone to see blackened forest, but I also hate to see a forest that you can’t walk in because of all the thickets and other undergrowth that prevents anything from moving and prevents new trees from growing.

    • Shirlene (Huntington Beach, Ca) says:

      I hear that Alan. It is a shame, but it gives the forest a clean pallet to start again. There is always a bright side after all. I only hope the air quality gets better for those affected with lung problems.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right about the positive effect of fires for the health of the forest. Some of these fires are not being put out, rather they are left to burn while being monitored. Wish I could tell you which ones… I read that at inciweb I believe.

  57. Diane says:

    Hi Sue,
    Sorry you are encountering smoke. There’s a website: airnow.gov that shows air quality and smoke. It’s pretty bad in so many places right now.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Diane, for the website. I didn’t know about it.

    • Calvin R says:

      One notable thing based on that site is the advantage of a mobile lifestyle. I have a friend who has a beautiful house in Spokane. The air there is in that red “unhealthy” color. Sue can get out of such places with all the stuff she needs. Ordinary people cannot do that.

  58. AZ Jim says:

    Whoa! SIX wives in his 80 years. Damn that’s a Liz Taylor kinda guy. It does look like a good overnight camp. Reggie is loving that cool green grass. Keep the rubber on the road Missy…..

    • edlfrey says:

      Liz had 8 marriages but only 7 husbands – Richard Burton twice. Only 4 children with one of them adopted.

      The better comparison is to Mickey Rooney, he had 8 wives but only 8 children or 9 if you count a step child.

      Delbert has something going for him to live until he is 80. I can not think that it was the six wives and 11 children – but that is just me.

  59. Cynthia from San Clemente, CA says:

    The photo of the grass was beautiful. Fires often do make for wonderful photo effects – I wonder if the microscopic ash in the air reduces light refraction. Ha – it sounds like I’m talking as if I know something about photography and I haven’t a clue. My family never lets me take photos of them because they always turn out terrible. Salt Lake City traffic is terrible; we did it on motorcycles and it was nerve-racking. Can’t imagine doing it in the RV. I hope you find somewhere safe, with good air, for you and the crew. It seems like you’re being chased by these fires!

  60. L.P. n' Me says:

    jus to let all know,,,,,,, Windows 10 has a bunch of bugs and steals your stuff and looses items and use’s a lot of data,,,,, so we are all the way back to windows 8,,, I’ll wait till I get a new laptop with W-10 ,, when they get the bugs out. Had to restore and loose all my Apps, photos and music,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, me

  61. Lois Joy (AZ) says:

    Just left Colorado–could not see Pike’s Peak at all. The smoke is all over our country. Hoping they get control of it. I was in MN for the last 2 months–I drove back to AZ alone with 3 night stop in Colorado. MN didn’t have smoke–have you ever ventured to that part of our country? Now I can go back and read all the comments.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Could not see Pike’s Peak… Wow.

      I’ve been to Colorado twice, brief visits, didn’t see much.

  62. Sue, may we offer an invite if you are in the neighborhood of the Red Canyon Visitor Center? We will be volunteering up there beginning the 1st of September and there is always a glass of wine and a nibbledy bit for the Bridge and Reg.

    aka NadaThing

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you for the invitation, Dennis and Chris! I wish you a good gig at the visitor center. 🙂

  63. Sandi says:

    ! Be safe Sue. Wa state is mess, we are in Northport, wa. More wind coming today.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sandi,

      Gee, I’m not sure what you mean by a “mess”… I haven’t seen weather news today. Lots of rain and wind? You stay safe!

Comments are closed.