“Life elevated” at Utah’s Lower Gray Canyon

Tuesday, September 19

As is our custom, the crew and I stay at camp during our first day at Lower Gray Canyon Campground (Swasey’s Beach) on the Green River near the town of the same name.

When we arrived yesterday, immediately I set up a wrap-around outdoor room, utilizing my 9′ x 12′ mat for a sitting area at the rear of the Best Little Trailer.

On the door side I put down the remnant of our first mat to make another sitting area.

Cutting that original mat in half produced a handy 4.5 ‘ x 12’ mat.  You can see in the next photo it’s kind of worn and raggedy.

That doesn’t matter. 

A mat is an essential item because it helps to keep sand, grit, and mud from being tracked inside.  Plus it turns a piece of ground into home.

I’m happy to spend our first full day at camp.

It’s enough to relax in the lounger, reading or simply watching the river and listening to its constant rush and roar (Photo taken later in the day).

It’s the kind of day where the sunshine comes and goes as clouds drift across the sky. Occasionally a breeze tickles the leaves of the cottonwood tree.

Oh, it feels good to warm my bones in the sun!

After days of being confined to the Perfect Tow Vehicle during our race from the cold, the crew enjoys the warmth, too.  When not sunning themselves or snoozing, they investigate our campsite and play in the sand.

It’s hard for me to remember “The Days Before Roger,” when it was just Reg and me.  He and Reggie have bonded so well.

Best buddies, they are.

When they squabble over something, usually food, soon they are nose to nose checking that their friendship is intact.

People could learn from them!

The crew and I don’t go to the beach because there are too many people, even on a Tuesday.  Mostly they are day use people —  floaters and those who watch them.

I’d rather wait for a day when we have the beach to ourselves.

Behind our campsite we have our own little, sandy beach with rocks for the boys to climb on.

Roger attacks Reggie for a spirited, fighting game on the soft sand.  It’s great fun until the sand flies into their eyes and I put a stop to their rough-housing.

The lengthening shadows of late afternoon cue the crew.

They stare at me until I get the message.

“Okay, I know.  It’s time for the last walk of the day.  Let’s go up the canyon road.”

I like a camp that has several options for walks.  Also where you can walk as far as you like.

That’s the way it is here.

And all around stand these grand, soul-stirring cathedrals!

In the light of dawn or the glow of sunset, the monoliths seem lit from within.

These scenes remind me of Utah’s slogan, “Life elevated.”

Reggie, Roger and I walk a long way.  

The exercise feels good.

After a while shadow falls across our way and we turn toward home.  

Once again, we’re  “leaving while wanting more.”

“Whatayasay, guys, how ’bout we make this a daily walk?”


NOTE:  If you signed up to be notified by email whenever a new post is published, be advised that I had to remove that feature in order to eliminate problems the plug-in was causing.  I apologize for the inconvenience and hope you will check regularly for new posts. — Sue


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90 Responses to “Life elevated” at Utah’s Lower Gray Canyon

  1. Jack Spratter says:

    Hi Sue:

    Another great post.

  2. Kellee says:

    There is no way I am first!

  3. Joy says:

    Gorgeous views

  4. Kristi (Nampa, ID) says:

    Beautiful scenery. Sounds like you are due for some downtime and a longer stay. <3

  5. Robin B (Oregon & Arizona) says:


  6. Joy says:

    Way to go, Jack and Kellee. Tied for first.

    • Kellee says:

      I have been following RV Sue and her crew since inception and FINALLY I hit first – I felt like I had won the lottery. 🙂

  7. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Nice camp Sue! I would be very content there for sure!

  8. Calvin R says:

    I could bask in that scenery for a good, long while.

  9. Debra & Misty in SD says:

    Hi Sue! Love the photos with the late afternoon light on the canyon walls, so beautiful! I remember when you camped here before. I wanted to camp there when I passed thru Utah in July but the 100 deg temps dissuaded me. Ended up in a rv Park in Green River. But looking forward to camping here another time. How wonderful to be right on the river with those gorgeous canyon walls – and free!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Debra & Misty,

      There’s also a state park in Green River… with showers and shade and green grass. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The campground isn’t free, but it’s not expensive. I’m sitting outside as I type this and don’t recall the camp fee. I’ll include it in a future post.

      There are places to boondock for free along the river, further up the canyon. I didn’t consider doing that because I knew I wouldn’t get internet signal. At the campground I could go online long enough to check things but it drops frequently making it hard to blog. I drove toward the town of Green River and parked on the side of the road in order to blog.

      • Debra & Misty in SD says:

        Yep, I just checked it is $10 (so I guess $5 with the pass) 🙂 I look at so many places I forget the details! This is one of my favorite camps that you have stayed at though. It is beautiful and would be worth the fee.

  10. milliehubbard says:

    Lovely site Sue, I can almost hear the river rushing by. Love to hear how bonded the boys are…they sure are lucky pups! Enjoy the warm sunshine!

  11. Susan in Dallas says:

    What stunning photos, especially those towards the end of the post. I loved that one with the tree framed by the rock. Gorgeous. I guess your private sandy beach will be a great place for the daily “Bite me if you can” activity.

  12. Pat in Rochester says:

    What a gorgeous place.

  13. Diann in MT says:


  14. Jean in Southaven says:

    This is sure a wonderful camp. Makes me want to sit there and just watch the birds and the water. Thank you so much for sharing. I am glad the boys love each other. I hope they include you in their family sometimes. I have been through this area many times, but it has been 40 years ago. So glad to see it again.

  15. Archae says:

    Looks like a wonderful camp! I am in New Mexico at Oasis State Campground, between Clovis and Portales. It’s a great little campground for anyone heading west. If you only want water, sites are $10 per night, $14 with electrical hookup. Showers are clean.

    I always enjoy your photos, and your stories. Thank you for sharing.

    • Kristi (Nampa, ID) says:

      I lived in Clovis from 1989-1993. We were stationed at Cannon AFB. My first job was in Portales. Back then, Curry County was an “almost dry” county with like only six liquor licenses. No beer served at the Pizza Hut because it didn’t have a license. We did all our major shopping at Lubbock because there wasn’t much in Clovis at the time.

      • Archae says:

        Hi Kristi (Nampa, ID)
        Was there a McDonald’s in Portales by then? I lived there from 73-77. We went to Clovis to shop! I believe there wasn’t even one liquor store in Portales. The population wasn’t large enough for McDonalds to locate there (in spite of the university population). We did go to Lubbock for the optometrist.

        I took my daughter to Clovis to the movies for her birthday. It happened to be the first release of Star Wars. Major theater chains wouldn’t run it because they didn’t think it was good enough, so Star Wars opened in little town theaters across the country. It happened to be showing in Clovis that summer. I have fond memories of Portales and Clovis.

        Thanks for reminding me.

        • Kristi & Daisie (currently in Nampa, ID) says:

          Please don’t ask me to remember that far back! Whew! I remember there being a very good butcher shop, but we did most of our grocery shopping on base. I remember feeling lost on a cloudy day because I couldn’t tell which way was east, west, etc. This Idaho girl needs her mountain landmarks. 🙂

          • Archae says:

            I hear ya about getting lost on cloudy days in eastern New Mexico. I grew up in Colorado and had the mountains on the west.

  16. Dawn in NC says:

    Hi Sue! I hope that you were able to stay at this camp for a while and refresh!

  17. It does look like a fantastic camp for you and the boys. Great photos of the cliffs and the river. Dogs could teach us all about getting along, and forgetting the little squabbles. Hope you enjoy the rest of the time at this camp.

  18. What a beautiful camp!
    Love that photo of the rock “castle” with the trees in the foreground in silhouette. Absolutely stunning.
    It’s amazing how our fur babies get used to a routine and boy they never let you forget! My crew are now used to the van being home, only the back yard changes. They really look forward to the new ground to investigate when arriving at a new stop, but the van is home.

  19. Dawn in MI says:

    Boy I’d stay there as long as possible. Simply beautiful! Just turned the laptop around to show my husband and said…we HAVE to go someday!

  20. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    This camp is so beautiful. Really glad it is warm there and you can get rejuvenated. The boys seem to already be rejuvenated, which seems to take them about 5 minutes. Ha!
    I would so enjoy sitting there reading and listening to the river flow by, enjoying the sun and relaxing. Of course, I would then be falling asleep. I am still looking forward and dreaming of my travels. I so appreciate your sharing your life and this blog, inspiring me to keep my dreams alive.
    I look at RV info and units everyday, keeping an eye for pricing etc. and forever looking at the pictures. Would you have ever considered a used unit? The new ones are so affordable, is it even worth it?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barbara,

      When I first started shopping for a rig, I looked for used ones. Soon it became apparent I’d never grab a Casita fast enough, as I was working and the ones for sale weren’t near my home in GA. I’m glad I sacrificed and saved for those years leading up to retirement so that I could afford to buy from the factory. Not everyone can do that or wants to do that, but it was the best way to go for me.

  21. Helen says:

    isn’t it funny how our furry friends are as much of a creature of habit as we are. My Norman is used to breakfast at 5:30 every morning. So on the weekends he wakes me up for breakfast. I love that Reg and Roger have become so close.

  22. Mary in CO says:

    Have to bookmark this campsite. We were in Utah in Sept, overin Kane Gulch area and found a lot to like! We plan to come back in May and do more exploring there. Support Bear Ears and Escalante Grandstaircase!

  23. Kevin in CO says:

    Hi Sue, great post. I love camping in Utah, but do not get there often enough. Good to see that you do. In hopes of getting out soon, I was up on the roof of my camper working on the solar panel brackets. Now, they are set up for easy tilting, which is nice in January when we are camped in AZ.

  24. Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

    Those beautiful rock monuments are simply breath taking! Utah is our favorite state because of the awesome
    towering rocks! The photographs with the late afternoon sun are gorgeous! Loved all the photos, even Reg & Roger at play brought smiles! Thank you Sue! You are the best!!
    We got the glass room up and running today! After 6 weeks I was all fumble fingers, but it means I gotta stay busy!

  25. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    Wow! Your backyard is gorgeous! The photo three down from ” their long shadows” is amazing!

    Glad you have made it to warmer weather. Best buddies living life!

  26. Mndreamer says:

    Your writing certainly does justice to the surrounding beauty, Sue. It’s such a pleasure to read while enjoying your beautiful photographs. You’ve got the gift!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a nice compliment, Mndreamer. If I haven’t ever told you… Welcome! I can’t remember readers’ names as there are so many over the years. A wonderful problem for a blogger! 🙂

  27. ReneeG from Idaho says:

    So happy to hear the boys have bonded well and yes, we can all learn from dogs!

    The bluffs remind me of Zion and Capitol Reef! Beautiful!

    Sue, if I click on “Enter Amazon Here”, will you get credit for purchases? I did just that a few days ago.

  28. Pam from Wisconsin says:

    Great vibe to this post and photos, very peaceful and philosophical:) Love to the crew from my pack.

  29. Terry says:

    Hi Sue, It’s Terry. I’ve followed your blog for a long time 1+ years now but have only recently started to leave a comment. I enjoy and anticipate your posts. I live vicariously through your adventures and hope to have my own adventures in the future. I love your puppies. Thank you so much you make my day!

  30. Anna from NC says:

    Ahhh…..your location looks so relaxing and nothing better than listening to water. I love to be near water, just not IN the water!
    I have two pups and I really love having two. (One is 14 years, the other 8. The older one is 9 pounds and THE BOSS of the younger 25 pounds!)

  31. weather says:

    Sue, are you trying to modify your header information? When I open your blog a series of warnings that it cannot be done appears on a red background at the top above your header photo and the post.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I see that for the first time right now. Good heavens, I don’t know what the heck it is. I haven’t done anything with the header.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        It has something to do with Post Notification. I deactivated it and that removed the stuff above the header. When I activate it again, the stuff reappears.

        Oh well…. I’m going to be hit with complaints, but I don’t know what else to do.

        • weather says:

          It doesn’t interfere with anything, it’s just there. I used both my laptop and my smart phone to make sure everything readers want to see is still viewable. Until you find a solution guaranteed not to shut the blog down or cause problems it’s likely best to do nothing. Folks may mention it, yet I can’t think of a reason to complain about it.

        • weather says:

          It’s gone. All set?

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Remember when I warned readers my blog might be shut down temporarily? I had received a notice from Hostgator regarding high CPU (excessive demand on a shared server). Usually that’s the fault of a plug-in. Now the Post Notification plug-in caused this stuff to appear at the top… Hmm… Might be the cause of the high CPU, too.

            Readers will have to go without emails notifying them of new posts until I can come up with some other way to provide it.

          • weather says:

            Okay, perhaps when I see a new post, if I use the prior post to mention it’s been published (in a reply to the first comment,and again in a comment at the bottom), maybe folks will see that.

            You will likely leave a note in a post to alert readers not to expect an email , I just am offering to do whatever might help.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I put a note at the bottom of this post. Thanks for giving me the idea and for your help. Maybe some will see it.

  32. AZ Jim says:

    Missy, you can disregard my email regarding the header info. Jim

  33. Joe Bruner says:

    I have only been to Utah to ski and had no idea it was so beautiful. Hope you’re able to enjoy that spot for a few days.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      We stayed 11 days at that campground. Oh yes, Joe, Utah has a lot more to offer than skiing. 🙂

  34. Ruthie in Fontana says:

    Hi Sue and good day crew,

    Just a little hello to keep things going. Kinda busy these days, I am the sole caregiver to my Father and just these past few weeks now to my husband. But I always have a minute to view the blog. I am determined to say hi for each and every blog that comes my way. Enjoy the camp, and keep on keeping on.

  35. Pat from Mich. says:

    Mine comes through fine with no extra stuff.

  36. Linda in NC says:

    Hello Sue and crew. Well those scenes just put my mind at rest. So peaceful and it’s almost like the canyon walls are kind of like guardians for all who enter their wonder.
    Thanks for that! Be warm and happy.

  37. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Gorgeous views and pictures! One of my favorites is #10. I love how the trees are almost black against the lighter cathedral rock and blue sky. Stunning! And of course, the photo (#5) of the boys playing in the sand. They truly are two little peas in a pod – best buds! I love the beautiful pink wildflowers in your sitting room. With the ever changing light show on the rocks and water, every walk is unique and special. 🙂

    Have a good night, Sue. I hope you are in an enjoyable, peaceful camp. Sending you, Reggie, and Roger love and hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

    The header title: “Go Boys, Go!!!” 🙂

  38. Carolyn H in AZ says:

    Looks like a wonderful campsite. The river close by to lull you to sleep at night! Beautiful photos as usual.

  39. I must be number 35 haha. Love the post. Yes, I’m so glad you have Roger too along with Reggie. They both seem happy. Our new dog Izzy has gotten use to us and races around to play with our other dogs. She loves to play chase and catch, hide and seek. I hide behind a door and she finds me and gets so excited when she does.

  40. Linda from oregon says:

    I got an email about this post and when I clicked on it the page seemed normal. I went back and checked again and everything is normal. If I hadn’t read that things were different I would never know.

    • Barbara from Camano Is. says:

      Me too.

      I just love the spot you are in. And your pictures are just wonderful. I’m ready to go again! Just spent the last hour looking at vans on the internet.

      How sweet Roger and Reggie look. It is so good they have each other.

  41. BadgerRickInWis says:

    What a great camp. So glad you found a nice warm place to chill for awhile. (Somehow that sentence doesn’t seem to make sense but you know what I mean.)

    I just love that silhouetted tree against the mesa 10th pic down. You really have developed a fantastic eye for capturing the feeling of a place with the simplest of forms and light. The sign of a true artist.

    Funny how the crew has so much in common and yet they take to travel so differently. Does Roger ever relax and just lay down after awhile or is he just so intent to see what’s next that he co-pilots out the passenger window the whole way?

    So happy to see you happy. As always thanks for letting me tag along.

  42. Laurie in NC says:

    I really love this campground! I asked my husband to put it on our list for when we journey out west! It seems very relaxing, but also has stunning scenery!

  43. Steve says:

    Yes, those “pre-walk” stares are pretty convincing … I have the same stare at me here in ‘the tropics’. Nice pictures and looks like a great place to camp. The hounds and I have been in the Green River area in June 2015 … in fact drove right through the middle of town heading out our boondocking spot.

  44. Becky in NJ says:

    It is a wonderful thing, the way Reggie and Roger have bonded. They both seemed to know it from the first time they met! It has made both of their lives more fulfilled.

  45. chas anderson says:

    Utah is the best.My favorite state.Let us hope they leave Grand Staircase Escalante as it is.

  46. weather says:

    It really is wonderful that the boys have bonded so well. The three of you being together satisfies wants and needs each of you had before you “just happened to” find each other… 😉 I wonder if that site is ” the prettiest one”, away from the beach and bathrooms you were able to move to during your first stay at that campground.It’s hard to tell from the few photos and descriptions of your camp you’ve shared so far. I looked at your older posts about it to compare the photos, and still can’t tell, it looks similar in so many ways.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I do think this campsite is the prettiest of all the sites and it is the one we camped in previously. It seems to me that something is different about it, maybe rocks were moved, or plants grew… I don’t know. I never figured out what it was. I do know the level of water in the river is lower.

      I’ve been struggling all day to put a post together. Almost done! 🙂

      • weather says:

        Yippee, you got it done! I didn’t even try to check for an email, just checked in here now and again. A few minutes after I saw the new post , I checked my email and found that I had received a notification. I’m guessing if you have the same plug in you turned it on to send emails , then right back off again. Anyway, thanks for all you go through to keep this going.

  47. Suzette (TN) says:

    Lovely! Looking forward to seeing more of this spot. It looks perfect for you and the boys.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Suzette,

      It is nice to return to a camp we’ve enjoyed in the past. Always good to hear from you!

  48. LeeJ in Northern California says:

    Good morning! Hope you are continuing your pleasant progress to warmer places. I’ve been loving our weather after a really hot summer. Time to count blessings, too many folks have woes right now…
    My big plan for the day is to wash my Casita! Camping plans in the works.
    Pet the boys for me, and have a wonderful day my dear!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good afternoon, LeeJ! I finally had a chance to open up the news and read about the destruction from fires in CA. Terrible!

      I should wash the BLT. I wish you a wonderful day, too!

  49. Sarvi in OR (but currently in MI) says:

    OMGosh that’s a beautiful camp! One for my bucket list for sure!

    I haven’t commented much lately… my camping season got cut short this year. I had some fall camps planned, but I recently found out my mom has stage 4 pancreatic cancer, so I pretty much dropped everything and headed to Michigan to be with her. I’ll be back and forth between Michigan and Oregon for a while. I’m still reading this blog, and still dreaming of the day that i can be a full-timer!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sarvi,

      Thanks for getting in touch again. I’m sorry about the news of your mother. You are good to put aside your own plans in order to be with her. God bless you both.

  50. Judy Johnson in upstate S.C. says:

    Just thinking that you are truly a woman of great wealth, Sue. You have many beautiful places to live, two sweet babies who love you unconditionally, good books to read, freedom to go when and wherever you choose and good health to enjoy all these blessings. Yes, you are wealthy beyond compare and we’re all so happy for your good fortune! You teach us so much of what’s important in life.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, I’m a wealthy woman, Judy. In addition to what you mention, I also have a comfortable home and all the wonderful blogorinos who write me nice messages such as yours.

      I’m not bragging, just counting blessings. I’m thankful for everything and know things could change from one day to the next.

  51. weather says:


  52. After reading this blog post, I want to visit this place…..just beautiful. So glad to see the pupsters and hear of their antics……Happy Tails……err I mean Trails to you, Sue and Crew

  53. Rover Ronda (WA) says:


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