Love is where you find it . . . Benson, AZ

Here’s a fresh and perky start to your day . . .

Try showering and washing your hair in a shower house with no heat when it’s about 30 degrees outside.  I’m stepping lively in the shower stall trying to thaw my shampoo and conditioner, which I very unwisely left overnight in my tote bag in the PTV.  The conditioner refuses to thaw.  I’m outta here!

It’s 10-clock sharp as the crew and I pull out of Caballo Lake State Park, NM,  and turn south on Interstate 25.  Taking the shortcut to Deming on Highway 26, we quickly arrive in the little town of Hatch.  No stopping at The Pepper Pot this morning!  I pull over at the post office for a few minutes and then we continue to Interstate 10 and turn west.

It’s a beautiful day for travel . .. cool, clear and sunny, and the traffic is light.

The mountain slopes are covered in snow.  We’re almost to Lordsburg before the ground is clear.   Bridget and Spike are excellent travelers now that they’ve got a few miles under their harnesses.  Immediately they settle down and I don’t hear anything from them for three hours of easy driving over mostly flat landscape with mountains on all sides.  I see some vineyards and groves of pecan and walnut trees near Bowie, Arizona.

At one o’clock I wake up the crew so we can take a break at a rest stop.  There’s a nice, dog exercise area and both Bridget and Spike make the necessary deposits.

"Rubber ducky, do you read me? This is the PTV . . . 10-4"

We're travellin' with the big boys now. Oh, yeah . . .

Back on the interstate, it’s only another two hours until we reach out destination.  We go through Texas Canyon with its strange rock formations and piles of boulders  that look like they will crash down onto the road at any moment!

What is our destination, one might ask?

Why it’s Love’s Truck Stop in Benson, Arizona.  The place to be . . . when you’re on your way to somewhere else.   It’s like a small village with a huge gas and diesel island, of course, and a Subway (no surprise there!), a pizza joint, and lots and lots of trucks!  We cruise around the huge parking area (I think I read online that there are 72 places to park.)  And I think all seventy-two places are on a slope.

The crew knows we’re quitting for the day, so they start The Canine Chorus.  I stop just anywhere, drop them out of the PTV, and walk them around on the pavement.  Once they have a chance to sniff around, they go back in the PTV and let me concentrate on finding a level spot.

Alas!  Here it is!  Our first camp since going solar!

Camped at Love's Truck Stop . . . the view from our window

Our neighbor in the next campsite . . . at least it's a flatbed and not a reefer (I talk trucker now.)

The solar panel makes no noise at all on the highway!

Some of you have expressed an interest in knowing how the numbers look on the remote meter.  I wish I could show it to you in a chart, but this will have to do.  . .

3:27 pm . . . Solar panel 25.62v . . . Batteries  12.79v and 48.20Ah  (Television on for 2 minutes, nothing but a Spanish station, so I turn it off.)

3:37 pm . . . Solar panel 25.78v . . . Batteries 12.72v and 48.80 Ah

3:47 pm . . . Solar panel 24.80v . . . Batteries 12.38v and 49.30 Ah

4:10 pm . . . Solar panel 25.09v . . . Batteries 12.21v and 50 Ah

4:40 pm . . . Solar panel 24.16v . . . Batteries 12.33v and 50.70 Ah  (Turned laptop on.)

5:10 pm . . . Solar panel  19.48v . . . Batteries12.23v and 50.80 Ah (Laptop still on.)

The Love Connection

Tomorrow the crew and I will continue west on I-10 and then follow a secondary road through Sells and Why in order to reach Ajo, the area in which Al and Kelly and their canines of http://thebayfieldbunch.com are boondocking.

Now I’m going to turn off this laptop, lie down for a while with the crew, and listen to the horns blowing, sirens screeching, engines revving, and truck brakes farting.   Not as good as listening to ocean waves or sandhill cranes, but, hey . . . it’s FREE!

rvsue

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48 Responses to Love is where you find it . . . Benson, AZ

  1. Pauline says:

    Rubber ducky!!!!!!!!! I am still laughing. What a great post!!!! Another town with 2 names and an AND in between. You know, you can always ask me about the trucks. I remember the time at one of the trucking companies I worked , some brilliant dockhand tried to put explosives on a heated van. Or when I was called out on to the dock because a box was BLEEDING….yes, real blood Lordy, those were the good ole days.

    Give the crew a hug for me
    Love you much!!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No, no, no! It’s not a town called Sells and Why . . . It’s two towns, one called Sells and the other called Why. Now you’ve got ME laughing!

      Yeah, I bet you’ve got a truckload of stories to tell . . .

  2. Teri says:

    “Truck brakes farting”….. laughed pretty hard at that! Have a wonderful night!

  3. Mike Leonard says:

    Glad to see your post today, I was wondering where you would turn up next! It sounds like the weather has improved. I don’t know if that is because of a change in your geography or just that the weather has improved. Either way, it must be nice! It is cold here in Battle Ground, Washington. We have a couple of little hummingbirds who linger even though it is freezing out. The problem is that their food freezes every night. It was frozen solid this morning and one of the little guys flew over and looked in our window as if to say “why aren’t you fixing this problem for me?” We put fresh liquid refreshment out for him after using warm water to rid the bottle of it’s frozen contents. Later on we saw him out there, happily sucking down his lunch.

    We are looking forward to warmer weather in a couple of weeks when we head down to Palm Springs with our Casita. We’ll be doing some camping before and after our stay at the RV park in Palm Springs where we have our reservations made. I certainly enjoy your blog and look for each new post that you make.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t know how those itty-bitty hummingbirds can stay alive on a warm day, let alone when it’s freezing . . . Good for you, providing for them like you do . .

  4. Geri says:

    hahahahaa! Another happy post! I was laughing out loud and reading it to Chuck! Man… those truck brake farts are wicked! Happy to hear you are headed to Ajo! We are so glad you had a good day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri!

      Your revamped blog looks great. I like it very much. The colors are more attractive and easy to read. The photos, of course, are outstanding. What I like best of all is the part where you talk about rvsue . . .

      Boy. your photo of Turtleback Mountain . . . it really got hammered with snow . . .

  5. Sherry says:

    Well that’s definitely some campsite you’ve got yourself there ma’m.

    Glad to see you are moving yourselves away from that snow. I’m loving following along on the solar shakedown.

    Sherry
    http://www.directionofourdreams.blogspot.com

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sherry!

      So you approve of our campsite! The crew and I walked over to Subway and got a sandwich. They let us walk in to order. The crew was great. I gave them the bacon off my sandwich.

      I’m parked under a huge light. It’s like daylight here with all the lights, which is a good thing. Glad you are enjoying the trip with us!

  6. cathieok says:

    Running with the big boys, is right! Love how your PTV and Casita fit right in with them. Everytime I see your Casita and PTV, I think to myself, yep, it is the perfect tow vehicle!

  7. Chuck says:

    Looks like solar working well. Assume the panel is flat. Drive careful and we’ll see ya’ when we see ya’!!!

  8. Stan Scott says:

    Hi Sue,
    I was hoping that you might be stopping in Tucson, it would be great to be able to say hi in person to someone whose blog I’ve been following since day one. Got any idea when you might be passing through here? I thought I’d stand by the freeway and wave as you went by.
    So, you’re exiting the freeway, 1-19, at Ajo Road and then heading west? I ask because I-8 doesn’t go to Ajo.
    I live 2 miles south of I-19 and Ajo Road if you’d like to camp in my front yard OR, if you prefer, you can have the second bedroom……as long as you like.
    Stan & Lani
    P.S. I cook a pretty mean breakfast.
    P.P.S. Spike and Bridget are more than welcome too!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Stan!

      As tempting as your invitation is, I think I’ll pass on it this time through here. I want to get over to the boondocking area near Ajo and onward to Yuma after that. Thanks. It’s kind of you to offer . . .

  9. Page says:

    Thank you, Sue!
    I read all of your posts today after following the link from RV-Dreams. All I can say is, “Wow!” – you have really inspired me. Hub and I plan to become full-time nomads in a few years and I’m chomping at the bit to get started. Getting rid of “stuff” already. Maybe we’ll meet up someday.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Page . . . You read all my posts? Now I’m inspired!

      Oh, how I remember chomping at the bit to get started fulltiming . . . Once the gate opened, I was out in a flash . . . I hope we do meet up someday.

  10. Sadie R says:

    RVSue,
    When overnighting at a truck stop it is more appropriate to park in the car parking area (if you can fit) rather than take up a space created for the big rigs. Parking for big rigs is always in short supply. It is usually safer and much less noise if you can take up two spaces in car parking. (I was an over the road driver in a “previous life”.) This is meant to be just a heads up, not a criticism. Sometimes there is a designated area for RV’s. I love your BLOG and especially the contributions of the “crew”.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sadie!

      When you drive into Love’s Truck Stop there is a huge sign with huge arrows. It says Truck and RV Parking. I looked over to the car area which is up against the store and it was full. I think I’m in the correct area, even though a car with a trailer isn’t always considered an RV. In this case, there’s only room for me in the Truck and RV Parking area. Thanks for letting me know about this. It’s something to keep in mind.

      I’m so glad you are enjoying my blog!

  11. Mick says:

    Ajo looks nice and should get some weather moderation from the Gulf of California. The batteries should come up quickly there with the panel tilted to 45 or so. Your batteries will last longer if you can keep them above 100 amp-hours; but you know all this stuff now.

  12. You’re cute, Sue. I like your writing style. You make me smile and laugh. Hope you are able to sleep well. Safe travels tomorrow! We plan to find the place out of Ajo that the Bayfield bunch is at too… but we will miss them by the time we arrive.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sheryl!

      We slept okay considering the noise. Bridget had some trouble settling down. She kept sitting up looking around. I guess because the interior of the Casita was so lit up due to the big, truck stop lighting.

      And then the lights tricked me, too. I woke up, saw light coming through the closed blinds, and got out of bed, feeling rested. I glanced at my phone and saw it was only 2:20 a.m.!

  13. So excited to you meet up with Al and Kelly!! Been following them for years and years.. plus he will have TONS of good ideas on boondocking!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Karen and Steve,

      I’m happy to share my excitement with you!

      I’m going to use this reply for the benefit of family and friends who aren’t part of the rv world in cyberspace. I’ve read Al’s blog for several years, where he shares his daily thoughts and activities. I do not plan to meet up with people I only know for a short while through the internet. Al and Kelly have established themselves as good people. So don’t worry!

      • Geri says:

        You met us as strangers… we worked out ok…. or I think we did! (of course we are a bit strange!) Of course we didn’t give you much choice just showing up like we did at your front door! I understand though about preferring to meet people who have established themselves as trustworthy in your mind and heart. Always the better choice!

  14. Hey there RV Sue, just noticed your heading our way. Not sure what time your rolling into our neighborhood but when you get to the stop sign in Why turn right. Drive about 10 miles and watch for the little green sign on your right that says Darby Wells road. Turn left and follow the dusty road. We are probably about 3 miles in and on your right. Can’t miss us because we are up on a hill and the only Motorhome, You wil see a big American and Canadian flag flying atop our rig. You can’t drive up because it’s a bit rough so just park on the road, If we knew what time you were coming we could watch for you or even meet you in Why, mousebanana@msn.com

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Al!

      I wanted so much to contact you last night and just as I was about to do so, the connection was dropped and I couldn’t get it back! Wow! I felt lost! Thank you for writing directions,. No need to meet me in Why … nice of you to offer though. I’d like to tell you when we will arrive but I have to take care of some things and I don’t know how long it will take.

      I need propane, fresh water, and groceries. The propane here at Love’s Truck Stop looks like you trade tanks or pump yourself (?) and I don’t want to do that. I’m going to search online for a grocery, etc. (Oh Walmart where are you?) . . . I’ll probably leave the truck stop around 10:00.

      I want to respect your privacy and the serenity that solitude provides … but I also want to learn to boondock at the feet of the master! I’ll email you later when i know more what I’m doing . .. Thanks again … Regards to Kelly and your canine crew.

  15. Lynne says:

    Wow that solar setup is really cranking! Did you get to try out your Wave3 last night?

    Your pics of the Casita next to the big rigs reminded me of my old T@B trailer days– we looked like little dwarfs in the land of giants! I remember those unheated bathhouse mornings too– thats when I’d start doing creative bathing in the T@B to stay warm– I’d heat water in a tea kettle and mix it in the sink or a dishpan to wash my hair, and sponge bath after that. Another lady used to bring along adult-sized baby wipes if the bath house was too cold or gross to use.

    Al’s posts and photos from Ajo look really neat– I’ve got to explore that area the next time I’m out there!

    If you happen to go back thru Benson or get down south towards Bisbee, there’s a fabulous (and free) place to see thousands of Sandhills near McNeal, AZ called Whitewater Draw. You can overnight there for free too!
    http://winnieviews.blogspot.com/2011/01/sleeping-with-sandhills.html

    Have fun soaking’ up the sun!
    Lynne

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Lynne!

      Yes, we had the Wave3 heater on last night. I kept the window by my face open which is my usual custom anyway.

      Thanks for the link. It sounds appealing. Someday I’d like to set up a page of links such as this one, and also links of where to get rv stuff, etc.

  16. JOAN LATRELL ROBERTS says:

    Enjoy Ajo. DO NOT CAMP AT ORGAN PIPE NAT’L MONUMENT! It is just before you get to Ajo. Beautiful place but there have been some unfortunate incidents there with the illegal border crosser situation. Just a word of warning. Can’t wait to hear of your progressions tomorrow. Glad the crew has adapted so well.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for the warning, Joan.

      The crew impresses everyone. This morning I went over to the store here to get a cup of coffee. The store lady offered to hold the crew’s leashes outside while I fixed my coffee and paid for it. When I came out, she was gushing over how good they are!

      Last night I took them into Subway (they were invited in) and they sat at my feet quietly, no tugging on leashes. So back at the Casita I took the bacon out of my sandwich and gave it to them. What a crew! They’re naturals! I gave them no training at all.

  17. Bill Kelleher says:

    Sue,
    A rest stop suggestion.

    When you pull in between two semi’s don’t pull all the way forward so a truck will see you before starting to pull in.

    Bill Kelleher

    PS Glad there was no wind noise. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bill!

      Okay. Good to know. I’ll remember that. Where I’m parked now, there isn’t a parking space on one side, just hardscape around a light pole.

      In other words, I’m out in plain view, lit up like we’re at a car dealership!

  18. Grace says:

    Hi Sue, Regarding that 30 degree shower… oh, man… I can’t imagine how awful that must have felt. I’ve learned through other RV blogs that there are ways to clean yourself without taking an actual shower. Cherie from Technomadia hasn’t washed her hair in years. She uses a dry shampoo method and tells about it here:
    http://www.technomadia.com/2009/07/two-years-shampoo-free/
    Also, wet wipes, I’m sure you could stand it for one day at least.
    Anything’s better than a 30 degree shower with frozen conditioner!
    I hope you enjoy your upcoming adventure… I’m sure we all will!
    Grace

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Grace!

      I was thinking the very same thing re washing my hair. . . . using one of my many dishpans. I don’t think I want to do the dry shampoo technique, not at this point anyway.

      I did manage to wash my hair . . . Thank God the water was hot!

  19. rvsueandcrew says:

    Hi, JoJo!

    Hallelujah! It’s getting warmer!

  20. rvsueandcrew says:

    Hi, Gerald!

    In earlier photos you don’t see the lock on the hitch lever when I’m parked and the PTV is unhooked.. It’s on the chain. Why I did that, I don’t know . . . I guess I wasn’t thinking theft whle in a campground. Last night I put the lock through the hitch mechanism. I’m going to do that every time now. It’s a good habit.

    I always have a lock on the hitch going down the road. I appreciate your concern . . .

  21. Chuck says:

    Hi Sue!!! Another quick tip. Try to NEVER get exchange bottles of propane. You never know what was transported in them before… meth ingredients is common. Always try to buy at higher altitudes from a small local company that delivers propane as part of their business. Reason being: higher concentration of propane (less butane) and if they have deliveries, they don’t want to go out lighting pilot lites on homes because of poor propane quality. One tank of crappy propane is a nightmare.
    Chuck

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good advice! I always watch them put the propane in my tanks for the very reason you mention. I don’t want switched tanks. Mine are brand new and the labels are still pretty.

  22. Deanna says:

    You go girl! Just one question–I thought you had a shower in the Casita?? I’m always surprised by the number of people I see in campgrounds using the public shower, when most of them have them in their RVs. Can someone enlighten me? I have read all your blogs, so maybe I missed the part where you mentioned that you didn’t have a shower…or maybe you’re using it for something else…like storage. (I’ve met people who use them for: cat litter box area, extra closet space, etc) Thanks! Happy Trails!
    Deanna

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deanna!

      Why shower inside your trailer and then have to go dump the tank? if a shower building is available, I’d much rather take a shower there and let the water run as long as I want instead of scrimping on water in my own shower. I use a lot of water to wash my hair as well as shower. I can do a better job at the public shower.

      My own shower will be used when boondocking.

  23. Welcome to the neighborhood Sue, Bridget & Spike ! Kelly & The Bunch

  24. Jo Wishnie says:

    The picture of you between the semis was hysterical. Love the way you travel. You’ve got guts learning all this stuff on your own. I enjoy your blog. Say hi to the Bayfield Bunch from the Wishnies.

  25. Todd says:

    Hi Sue

    Your trailer shore power hooks directly to the out put from the PTV inverter. Looks like a great solution. The confusion I had was I saw an outlet next to the seven pin and I thought it was what was being used.

    I read recently you need to tighten the solar panel bolts periodically. Maybe if you apply a drop of blue loctight to the threads they will stay tight for you. Happy trails

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