Mountainside camping and the fish are jumpin’ in Lake Hill reservoir

Tuesday, June 3

1-DSC04724After breakfast the crew and I board the Perfect Tow Vehicle and head down Badger Mountain.

We’re on our way to explore the area around Lake Hill campground and the nearby reservoir.  It’s not far, a few miles and about 500 feet lower in elevation from our Bluebell Camp.

That 500-foot drop makes a big difference.

The aspens are in full leaf, gloriously back-lit to a yellow-green glow by the bright morning sunshine.  The spruce and fir trees provide vivid contrast.

1-DSC04684 - Copy Lake Hill Campground (8,400 feet) is utilized mostly by fishermen and can accommodate small rigs only in its single sites ($10/$5 with pass).  There are two group sites, vault toilets, and water available.  The reservoir is a short walk from the campsites.

While waiting as Spike soaks, several good-sized fish jump and splash.  My previous research tells me these are rainbow trout.

A dark area in the water draws my curiosity.

It’s about 15 feet long and 5 feet wide.  I figure it’s a tangle of water plants, maybe a glob of algae, right under the surface.  Not so!  The dark area moves.  It’s a school of trout! 

A few separate from the group and swim near where I stand on the bank.  I estimate the size of these trout at 8-10 inches, although determining size through water isn’t always accurate.  At any rate, this very small reservoir does have fish!

The photos in today’s post are from our walk on a two-track trail.

1-DSC04690 - CopyThe trail leads away from the reservoir through open woods and small clearings.  The first photo of this post is actually the end of our little hike, because Spike likes to soak after walking far.  This is the longest hike we’ve had in several weeks and in thin, mountain air, too.  I’m very proud of the crew!

Wildflowers, vines and bushes are in bloom.

1-DSC04692 - CopyI discover many different varieties of wildflowers.

Most are in the budding stage.  I also see several brambles that are either wild roses or berry plants.  These are plentiful.  This trail must be even more beautiful in late June and July.

1-DSC04687 - CopyWe pause in a little meadow.

Bridget and Spike take a breather while I photograph a few flowers.






The town of Ephraim is visible through a break in the trees. 

It lies in the valley which is about 3,860 feet below us.

1-DSC04694-001We continue following the trail at our usual, leisurely pace.

Well, leisurely for me, but not for those with shorter legs!  I’m delighted to see how Spike is keeping up with Bridget and me.  I slow down to let him lead the way and to give me a chance to take the next photo.

1-DSC04693 - CopyI’d like to camp at this lower elevation.

I’ve looked for a campsite in this area, but I haven’t found one suitable for us.

I checked the 10-day weather forecast for Ephraim.  Temperatures in the 80s with clear, sunny skies and no precipitation are predicted.  Of course, on the mountain it will be slightly cooler which means perfect weather for several days ahead.

This morning it’s in the low 70s, just right for hiking.

1-DSC04703By the time we return to camp, Bridget and Spike are pooped!

They crash on the bed in the Best Little Trailer and in only a few seconds they drop off to dreamland.  I can tell when they’re in a good, deep sleep.  Spike sounds like a threshing machine and Bridget makes faint, high-pitched, yippy sounds like she’s having an animated conversation.  Cute!

They sleep on either side of me as I go online and work on the money report for March.

I’m very pleased with the response to these reports.  Do feel free to ask me questions about the reports or anything you’d like to know more about (well, almost anything!).


As usual, at dusk the deer appear on the grassy slope.

Spike protests their appearance with a spate of barks.  The deer look at him like, “There he goes again” and go back to the business of grazing.  (The aspens look weird because I had to photo-edit to show the deer better.  This was taken right before dark.)

1-DSC04671Spike crawls under the BLT and lies down facing them, keeping an eye on their activities.  Which is pretty much… look…. eat grass…. look…. eat grass.

Our first day here there was one deer grazing, now we’re up to seven.  That’s one reason why I like to stay in a boondock for several days.  The wildlife — animals and birds — become accustomed to our presence and go about their daily activities around us.

Of course, sometimes that’s disturbed by other people.

A man brings two young boys up the mountain and parks in the road in front of our campsite.  The boys take out what I guess are BB guns and shoot into the ravine where the creek rushes through.  They do this for about a half-hour and then they leave.  It’s always more fun for the boys to shoot a gun in front of someone’s campsite, right, Dad?

I enjoy zooming in with my camera on animals far away.

Where the deer graze is too distant for me to see detail with my eyes.  My camera can’t make a perfectly clear shot, but it does well enough for me (and I hope for you!).

1-DSC04674I also like to sit in my camp chair and survey the facing slope of meadow and trees, using my monocular to pick out detail.  I’ve seen a few deer over there, too, and no bears.

Water still pours down the mountain in quantities that amaze me.

The loop that is our campsite is drying out, making it possible for Spike to wander around without getting muddy.  Possible but not probable.

Later . . .

I transfer several ebooks from the Kindle website, most of them free, a few for 99-cents each.  Lately I stay online in the evenings, surfing the web or playing computer games in between answering comments.  Tonight I shut the laptop and settle in bed with the crew and my Paperwhite.

Before closing and locking the door for the night, I step outside and take this photo.

1-DSC04668Nightfall on Badger Mountain

It’s not a particularly good photo.

I post it to let you imagine what it’s like to stand outside your camper on a mountain in June, at the close of another peaceful day, surrounded by dark forest, listening to water relentlessly hastening to the valley below, while you inhale sweet, brisk air and watch the sun disappear behind aspens and firs.



Click the links to see some recent purchases from Amazon:

APC BE350G UPS System
Urban Expressions Dakota (Blue)
Honeywell Fresh Breeze Tower Fan with Remote Control
Midland 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio
Keurig, Green Mountain Coffee, Half-Caff, 50 K-Cup Packs
10 Tire RV Cap Sensor Tire Pressure Monitoring System

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121 Responses to Mountainside camping and the fish are jumpin’ in Lake Hill reservoir

  1. Phil Kelley says:

    First AGAIN?

    • Phil Kelley says:

      And it’s my birthday!

      Beautiful pictures as always Sue. Four more years (gotta be 62 you know) and my wife and I will be joining the full-timing lifestyle. Can’t wait!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Happy Birthday, Phil! I’ll try to entertain you during the next four years . . .

  2. weather says:

    Those photos bring any tension in my body down a notch,gonna stare at them until I feel like I’m floating.Then I’ll be in the right frame of mind to write.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Okay. Take your time. 🙂

      • weather says:

        There,that’s better!The nightfall photo has the colors used in dear Christmas cards,like Thomas Kinkade art,they’re meant to portray peace and take you to distant slower times.
        It’s precious how our animal families make us proud.My troupe includes several that live inside with me and many more that became accustomed to my presence in their world without walls.Probably to the dismay of all the local homeowners who’ve paved,deforested and poured endless concrete wherever they could,my place is crowded with whatever and whoever lives and grows naturally here undisturbed.At times their perseverance through so much awes me,as though they survive just for the pleasure I get in having them near me each time.
        You mentioned wishing that you had become a forest ranger.No path except the one you had would have resulted in the wonderful Sue you are right now.Counselors would have had me in fields suited to my I.Q.instead of my heart,it’s their job to read indicators that while accurate are shallow.The mind is a wonderful tool but a terrible master.Providence knew what would hold the most value for us ultimately,we are the result of such gifts…

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Your comments are treats for me, weather. I always gain a deeper understanding of you, me, or providence or all of the above! 🙂

          That seems to be the goal in many neighborhoods… Pave the ground, cover it with pebbles, do anything to obliterate what occurs on that ground naturally. Dirt is the enemy! Any plant not from the garden center is a weed! That’s okay for some, but for a person like yourself, how fake and dull and dead!

          I’m reflecting on your last paragraph. I reluctantly agree. But, gee, it would’ve been SO NEAT to be a forest ranger!!

          • weather says:

            You crack me up !O.K. l’il kid,here’s how it probably would’ve played out.Your boss would have you in the office for reprimands so often he’d make the crapheads in your past look sweet by comparison.Uniform-must always be uncomfortably tight and pressed,interesting citizens are to be “dealt with”,not enjoyed.Truck is to always appear pristine and taken only to spots designated by an itinerary written by your superiors.When encountering the wealthiest people,the discussions should be centered around flattery of their good taste in pedicures,not your distaste of noise!Add as many of these neat details as you can imagine.The result of countless verbal and written warnings would result in your transfer to sheer ice cliff locations all winter and summers at locations whose blistering heat had long ago killed all life forms except the poisonous insects imbedded in the endless stretches of bare colorless rock.Hanging on until retirement,your isolation and disillusionment turns you into one of those people happily attending every get together in the city you and your many constant companions hope never to leave…
            Yee boy howdie,sounds like fun Ranger R…..

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Ok, very funny! You made your point.

              Ranger R……? Where did you get that??

            • weather says:

              Glad you found it funny,I was laughing and thought,geesh, Ranger R….. sounds like a good cartoon ending,memories of Rusty’s news story must have put that in my head.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Your insights into who I am often make me wonder if we’ve met. I feel like you know me. That’s why I asked. 🙂

              I did a search for Thomas Kincaide paintings and looked at several of them. What a magical world he created!

            • weather says:

              We’ve never met,I’m just perceptive, attentive to what I find worthy, have much in common with you and use these things to illustrate caring messages I feel led to share with you.

            • weather says:

              Belated P.S.Please feel free to graciously erase my clumsy inclusion of a cartoon nickname and all subsequent references to it if you choose to, to keep your boundaries intact, alleviate my profound regret for my lack of consideration in using it,or both.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              No problem. Don’t give it another thought. 🙂

  3. Regina Lee says:

    Here’s a question for you. What type of camera and image editing do you use? I sure do enjoy reading your blog.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      My camera is a SONY cybershot, 30X optical zoom, 20.4 megapixels. I use Picassa to edit.

      I’m glad you enjoy my blog, Regina Lee!

  4. Beautiful pictures. The cool mountain air sounds wonderful. Heating up here in Kanab.

  5. Susan in Dallas says:

    Just the break I needed after a few hours of yard work in the Texas sun. Lovely, restful, and cool!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s my pleasure to help you cool down and relax, Susan, after doing yard work.

  6. Ron Sears says:

    A very nice place. Sooooooooooooo much better than where you were all winter! Great shots.. Be safe.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ron,

      Not a fair comparison, Ron! Where we were all winter was sunny and warm while this mountain was freezing cold and covered in ice and snow.

      Thanks re: the pics.

  7. Angie2B says:

    Seventh? Wahoo!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I like how you set reasonable goals for yourself, Angie. Congratulations, Number Seven!

  8. Diann in MT says:

    Rainbow trout! A huge school! Good pan-sized. I’ve got to see this place! Thanks for the pictures of Heaven on Earth! May your days remain so tranquil and private, Sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a nice blessing, Diann. Same to you . . .

      Ha! I knew I’d get a fisherperson excited with this post!

      • Patsy from Ontario Canada - North says:

        I have marked this area on my maps, I love trout best darn fish to eat 🙂 Beautiful pictures and like so many comments already, its a nice refresher after a long day at work, thank you for sharing them with us. Watch for ticks with the dogs here the deer carry ticks, and its awful to watch an animal suffer from ticks Yuck.. pulled a few from my son and my dog last year, and we were in deer area. Relax and enjoy the tranquility of the area, its so beautiful and so glad Spike was able to find a place to take a soak.. Happy Trails and adventures.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Patsy,

          Yeah, trout is tasty!

          Thanks for the compliment on the photos.

          Oh, I have experience with ticks. Georgia is The Tick Capital Of The World. Every night we’d have Tick-Check Time. . . My foster dogs loved the special attention as I examined them.

          I’d pull ticks off the dogs, my grandchildren, myself… Yuck!

          I haven’t seen any evidence of ticks around here. My hands are on the crew all the time so I would know pretty quickly if they picked one up. I do appreciate the reminder though to keep vigilant.

  9. Jool says:

    Sue, My folks took us camping while we were growing up. I always imagined I could camp fulltime. My question here is, did you address in your recap (when you revisited how you came to be a fulltime Casita dweller) how in the world you actually decided to travel and camp when you had never camped before? To what do you attribute this? Personality-wise I mean. When at home did you enjoy getting out and driving around? Were you NOT a homebody? What attributes do you feel made you know in your heart of hearts that living the ‘vagabond life’ was perfect for you?
    I guess I’m trying to get some confirmation here. I’m a homebody but also LOVE camping and exploring. So many decisions!!! 🙂 You are an inspiration, and I can see that the Universe (God) has blessed you in this completely correct decision you made. I know this post is too long, I do look forward to your response and/or that of your readers. Wags and woofs,
    Jool in North Texas

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jool,

      Wow! You’ve given me a lot to think about. How did my personality make the full-timing decision right for me? Hmmm. . .

      Yes, I’ve always been “a homebody.” In other words I derive enjoyment from the surroundings of my living space. That part fits. When I camp somewhere, I stay pretty close to my home and campsite. I explore with the crew the immediate area. I don’t drive 100 miles or more from my camp to see something, like some folks do.

      Another personality trait… I like change. My life choices were not good. They put me in situations that were static and mind-numbing. Full-timing is the opposite — always something new around the next bend. I love that!

      I like to be alone. A home-on-wheels makes it possible for me to get away from people and enjoy the solitude I prefer.

      I’m curious about things. When the idea of living in an RV was first presented to me (seeing Tioga George’s blog), I saw a way to satisfy my lifelong curiosity about the western states of the U.S. in a way I could afford.

      I like being independent. You know one of the things that bothered me about being married? This sounds so silly, but it’s the truth. I hated always being a passenger in the car while my husband drove! I felt like I was a sack of something being carted around. I have a get-behind-the-wheel kind of personality. Took me a long time to figure out that part of my nature. Full-timing by myself puts me in charge of every aspect of my life. Fantastic!

      I like road travel. I like to travel but I don’t like flying to a destination. It’s the journeying that appeals to me, not being dropped out of the sky. Again, full-timing is perfect! I get to go places and enjoy the anticipation of a journey!

      It’s true I had no camping experience. However, I’ve always loved nature and felt secure and comfortable alone in the woods. I spent many happy days alone in the woods during my childhood. I yearned to experience that peacefulness and connectedness with nature again. This lifestyle provides that!

      Lastly, I was weary of the place where I lived prior to retirement. I wanted to get away and that’s what I did! YippEEEE!

  10. James Miller says:

    Hey RVSue, this is Jim Miller again. We “chatted” before about my book, Howling Across Bridges, and you said to stay in touch until you get to a more permanent site for me to send you the book. I noticed from your blog that you have Kindle access. My book is available on Kindle for just 99 cents, so you might want to give it a look. I think you would appreciate the dog in my book and the main character’s journey across North America.
    It’s 106 here in AZ, so I’m envious of your cool, mountain air. Take care, Jim

  11. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Beautiful spot!! Would be so lovely to spend time there I think. Sorry about more rude people bothering you…it is plain silly isn’t it?? All this wide open country and they have to come pester someone (heh, bet they would not have enjoyed having you photograph them without permission however…funny how that usually works too…)

    Glad the doggies were up to the walk too.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth,

      They didn’t bother me much. They reminded me why I boondock on a mountain or in the desert — because it’s a lot better than being around people and guns.

      That man and the two boys with guns did me a favor because, after they left, I greatly enjoyed their absence. Haha!

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Well, folks usually fall into 2 catagories right? Those who make you happy by coming and those who make you happy by leaving!! Heh…

  12. Caroline near Seattle says:

    I’ve often wondered, so I might as well ask ….. since your dogs are off-leash much of the time don’t you worry about them chasing off after wildlife ? My dogs are much larger than yours and I have a hard time controlling them ON a leash with all the bunnies in my neighborhood. As a matter of fact, I’ve had to start walking them one at a time.
    When I see the photos of your dogs walking along a path, I realize my dogs would need to be leashed at all times …. they wouldn’t be content to walk down a path, they’d need to be in the woods sniffing. And if they came across wildlife, they’d run until they couldn’t run anymore. What would your dogs do if you came across a deer, rabbit, even a wild turkey on one of your strolls?
    And please don’t think I’m criticizing … just wondering why your guys haven’t bolted, (other than Sparkys wanderings that one evening.) Is it just there nature, to stand and bark rather than chase? Thx, carol

    • Thor ’n Drew says:

      I was about to comment similarly. Thor (8 month old Chow) would not have barked at the deer, but he would have given chase. He obeys most of the time, but goes completely deaf when he sees certain critters…definitely in the on-leash tribe.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Caroline and Thor ‘n Drew,

      It’s the breed. Bridget is part chihuahua and rat terrier, I think, and Spike is also a rat terrier mix. They don’t chase. Maybe it’s because rat terriers were bred to dig for rodents, not hunt. But then they don’t dig either! I don’t know. . . There’s a reason I call them nutcakes. Haha!

      “What would your dogs do if you came across a deer, rabbit, even a wild turkey on one of your strolls?” When a lot younger, I saw Spike chase a rabbit once until it was trapped in the corner of a chain-link fence. Spike stopped with his little tail wagging, wanting to make friends!

      I’ve seen both Bridget and Spike watch a rabbit hop across our big lawn at my former residence and not even get up on their feet. They barked at the turkeys at Ivie Creek, never attempted a chase. The short answer to your questions: The crew doesn’t chase; they bark or ignore.

      • Caroline near Seattle says:

        Thanks Sue. I was afraid it was breed specific but I thought terriers liked to chase. Have to admit I don’t know much about small breeds tho. In all my yrs of fostering I always asked for large dogs.
        My boys are a chow/shepherd 9yrs, and a cattledog/border collie 5yrs. My travelling is still 4 yrs off so I expect the oldest dog won’t be around :>( We enjoy our nutcakes, regardless of their quirks.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Some terriers do like to chase. Mine like to eat and sleep.

          You have herding breeds. . . intelligent ones which is in your favor for their training.

          • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

            All of you dog lovers and owners out there might want to spend a bit of time reading a great website that a Facebook friend connected me up with. Since links bog things up, it is called Terrierman’s Daily Dose. He focuses on Jack Russells, but his posts are on a range of topics. Everyone should read his post on “knowing what not to do in a dog fight.” It tells you how to stop it without getting bit… common sense stuff. We RVers often have our dogs meeting strange dogs and fights can happen.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Thanks, Connie. I love it when readers add something educational and helpful to my blog. Lots of the blogorinos are dog owners.

  13. BuckeyePatti says:

    Spectacular pictures. You are getting to be quite the professional there, chickie.

    Much to comment about, but when you put up the Money 2014 tab…it struck me that you will have been traveling for what, almost 3 full years now? Sure went fast!

    ::HUGS:: to You and the Crew 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Patti,

      Yeah, the time has gone quickly. I started this blog in April 2011 and I picked up the BLT and hit the road in mid-August 2011. With all that the crew and I have seen and done since then, it’s funny that it went by so fast.

      Thank you for the compliment on my photos.

  14. That last paragraph was just so wonderful, beautifully written, a joy to read! Who wouldn’t envy you this life and that moment.

  15. Alan Rabe says:

    Looks like a great spot. The area looks beautiful. I would love to shoot that water cascading down the mountain in winter with snow and ice in B&W. It would be spectacular as well as the Aspens. They just never look white enough and with enough contrast in color to bring out the detail of the bark.
    It is great that the pups enjoy themselves as much they do. Not all animals can handle the constant changing of “Homes”. I have two cats, one couldn’t care less, the other gets paranoid at any change. It took her two months to come out of the RV when I moved to the campground. She would sit on the steps and look out and on occasion would actually extend a leg out like she wanted to go out but would chicken out and go back inside. But now she goes out all the time.
    Anyway, Sweet dreams and Enjoy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Alan,

      I bet it is lovely here in the winter with the ground white, sparkling icicles on the spruce and firs, dark shadows of the aspens across the snow . . . yes, you’d have a great time with your camera!

      That’s interesting about your cat that didn’t dare go outside. Good that she finally made the adjustment. . .

  16. Gloria Brooks says:

    What a beautiful place, Sue! I really felt like I was there through your photos and how you describe it. May there be no more folks shooting BB guns near your camp! For you and for the poor animals!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gloria,

      I always like it when a reader writes that they felt like they were “there” in my posts. Thank you!

      No more shooters, but, dang, in the past hour there have been four cars that turned around here and a quad that drove right under our window. I need to set up a toll both!

      Hope all is going well for you . . . .

  17. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Lovely lovely lovely!

    Rainbow trout….my favorite! Catch and release fishing is soothing…ya ought to try it!

    The crew did well on their walk. Is the water really green or is that the reflection? Algae bloom will give the crew the poops! Don’t want that in your house!

    I’m with Pauline…the aspen trees look like white birch….unless it is white birch!

    All dogs can walk off leash (well maybe not retired racing greyhounds) it’s all a matter of training….sure they might react to the chase but a stern LEAVE IT….should stop any further movement. This also works for them eating things found on the trail.

    It’s simple to teach…put the treat in front of their nose….say “LEAVE IT”or in Bridget’s case whisper “leave it” 🙂 as soon as they look away or let go of the treat…reward them! This works while on leash to get their attention to you rather than the wildlife. They soon learn to ignore whatever they are fixated on. It’s as easy to teach as “sit” and they all know sit!

    Enjoy your evening Desert woman!

    PS. The package is currently in SLC. Should be there tomorrow..I’ll let you know.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      When I fished salt water, I always ate what I caught unless it was some awful, bony, oily fish. Then I released it. The problem is… I’m not skilled enough to do catch-and-release. I set the hook too deeply sometimes. People think fish live when they release them. Some do, but then some don’t.

      Good advice on the dog training. I’ve always been bad about that, letting my dogs “be themselves” to their detriment and mine and the world at large. If one has impulsive dogs that like to chase or run off, training would be imperative, especially living like we do.

      I’m about ready to take a little trip into town, so the timing of the package’s arrival is great!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, forgot to answer your question… The green water is due to a reflection of the trees. The lake has some algae but not much. I gave the crew a drink prior to reaching the reservoir.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        With all the area available they chose to be on the road right in front of your campsite? Ignorance being handed down a generation.

        Although hunting is allowed. Manti La Sal NF park rules:
        F. Shooting is not allowed within 150 yards of campsites, roads, or lakes.

  18. DesertGinger says:

    The pictures are soothing and cooling. It’s 111 here in Marana. I’m hoping it starts to go down soon, as I am driving over to Irvine, CA tonight. Taking Chloe to my girlfriend’s house, where Chloe will stay for the month while I am incapacitated. Then driving back tomorrow night.

    Of course the clinic doing my pre-op physical called to reschedule me to the 13th. I don’t think so! I went down and had blood work and an echocardiogram today. All in prep for surgery on the 10th. Now I m awaiting a callback on ‘whether they can squeeze me in’. I will be super angry if my surgery gets postponed due to this.

    I used to fish nd release when I was younger, but I don’t feel okay about it now. But the lake is beautiful.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ginger,

      Where is Marana? Somewhere hot, I know that much!

      Oh, I hate that … All psyched and prepared, arrangements all made, and then a postponement. I hope you don’t have a delay.

      Little Chloe is going on a vacation. We will hold you up in our prayers, Ginger, for everything to go smoothly for you the next few weeks.

      • Nivrapa in AZ says:

        Howdy Ranger R……

        FYI–Marana is a ‘burb of Tucson, AZ, if such a thing can be associated with Tucson. Hot, dry, and dusty in dem dar parts. Made it up to 111 degrees this afternoon on my patio and I’m so hoping that when I flip my calendar to the new month it will say October. That means I will have survived another desert summer. I’m so glad I live north of the big city where it’s always cooler (it’s all relative, ya know). Send cooling breezes, ple-e-e-e-e-eze.


        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Audrey…. Thanks. I figured it was a suburb of Tucson. Just like to include all my readers who may not be familiar with the southwest.

          Hey, I’ll try to send some cool breezes but southern Arizona needs more than I can give!

          I removed my last name. I don’t know why, but it bothers me to see my last name printed in my blog on the internet. Some weirdo gets mad at something I write… A creepy guy gets obsessed ….. I know my full name is accessible, but I don’t want to make it easy. Hope you don’t mind. I like the false sense of anonymity of being simply, RVSue. 🙂

      • DesertGinger says:

        Marana is a tiny town 10 miles north of Tucson. After I posted I was able to reach a nurse in the clinic, instead of just a front desk person, and she rescheduled me for 2:45 Friday, so everything should be ok. I have spent hours onthe phone every day to get everything arranged.
        I so appreciate your kind thoughts. I’m glad you are someplace cool and dreamy; it is inspiring. My hope is that by next summer I will be healthy enough in body and pocketbook to spend the hot summer months traveling. Meanwhile I get to tag along with you guys!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Well, that’s a relief! Everything is going to work out fine, Ginger. I like the idea of you enjoying cool breezes next summer with new knees!

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

    I feel like I was on that walk also, I could sense the spring and enjoyed the flowers and budding trees. I love the contrasting new growth. Have never seen a large school of fish in a lake other than fingerlings, wow how exciting. Trout are good eating besides being beautiful. I have been wanting to learn to fly fish, have my Dad’s pole and have read about them. It is very exspensive to fish legally in the National Forest here and only last a year for most people. Will practice next time I go camping.
    Kinda rude to stop and shoot in front of you when they had all the outdoors to wander in. Glad they left.
    What a great day! Thank you, Take Care.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Diane. I’m pleased that you enjoyed this post.

      I was surprised to see that school of large trout. It’s a very small reservoir and the Dept. of Natural Resources probably supply the fish (Can’t think of the right word for that).

      Fly-fishing can be a very absorbing sport, including tying flies that are both realistic and beautiful. Some see it as an art form. Good luck with it!

      Yeah, the shooters… What dopes. They have numerous places to shoot on this mountain.

      Have a great evening!

  20. Frenchie says:

    Hi Sue!
    Thank you for posting the money links. I can do this, I can do this:)
    We’ll be a couple hours south of you next week….can’t wait! Your pictures are a treat, you keep me smiling until I can hit the road again.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Frenchie. I love that my blog can show like-minded people their possibilities. I look forward to hearing about your travels!

  21. kgdan says:

    Lovely, lovely photos, Sue! Want to give you a heads-up regarding care of your awning; especially in gusty weather. While camped east of San Diego a few weeks back we had to awning out when we heard a huge gust of Santa Ana wind coming. Gil rushed to retract the awning & I opened to door to go out and help him. In the process a small (2 “) white plastic tube which is attached to the frame into which the arm retracts, broke. With the help of Casita we contacted the manufacturer who sent us a parts list. The part we needed was not listed and we discovered the part we need cannot be purchased. It is part of the assembly and we have to buy a whole new arm assembly at a cost of approx. $700 before installation. We didn’t stop there but have continued to ask for help to no avail. The latest is that Gil contacted a machinist in Yakima who is going to try to fabricate the part we need. The moral of the story is—Be VERY careful with the awning! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Noooo! That’s awful! What a pain. I’m sorry that happened.

      The next time I crank out the awning I’ll see if I can identify that part. I’m very leery of putting out my awning. It can be the calmest day and then a wind gust comes along. From the stories I hear, like yours, I’m at the point where I sit under my awning while it’s out or I crank it back up.

      Reine (She’s the person who, with her husband, Paul, helped me with my first camp) gave me straps and poles to use in securing the awning. I need to use them more often.

      I hope the machinist can provide you with what you need. Thanks for sharing this here for my benefit and for the benefit of all the blogorinos. At least you have time before your next travel season, although that’s little consolation, I’m sure.

      Let us know how it all turns out . . . .

      • kgdan says:

        Ordinarily the awning is very sturdy. We always anchor the awning very securely when it is extended. It has withstood some very strong gusts and has held steady. This time we think it was a fluke as the door bumped into it just as it was being retracted. The aggravation is that such a little, seemingly insignificant piece cannot be replaced at a reasonable cost. Will post results.

  22. Ladybug in Mid-Tenn says:

    The bear is about 120 miles north of you: Actually, now that I think about it, I’m not sure where they released her. She could be next door to you by now. 😀

    As for the trout……where’s my net?!?! 😉

    • Ed says:

      The linked article claims that the female bear was released in Spanish Fork Canyon . That would be some 60-70 miles from where Sue is currently. Let us not start one of those mass hysteria posting about Sue’s safety from the bear. Everything is cool; the bear is fine, the man is fine and Sue is fine. Move along now there is nothing to see here.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Now, Ed… Ladybug put a smiley face at the end of that report.

        You did make me laugh though, especially your last line! Hilarious!

      • Ladybug in Mid-Tenn says:

        I figger she ought to be ok as long as she doesn’t put the peanut welcome mat out…..;) 😉

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Interesting, Ladybug. Thanks for the link.

  23. As Time Goes.....Bye says:

    Oh Sue, I just I just love the way you captured the contrast of the trees with the water in the foreground. It could be in a nature calendar. I can see why you like that area so much. And how nice to have deer right outside your door. Lucky you!

  24. Mick'nTN says:

    Is it still too wet to move to where you were last year?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Do you mean the campsite further up the mountain where my lounge chair collapsed? If so, it’s not too muddy. I didn’t camp there because it was occupied and it still is.

      • Mick'nTN says:

        I thought you were on a spur just off the loop where you are now?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Oh, I see what you meant. That campsite near to where we are now is almost completely dry, but it’s too close to the creek which continues to rage. I’m afraid Spike might walk too close, slip on the long grass at the edge, fall in, and be swept away. We’re happy here, now that we’ve settled in.

  25. Edie (OK) says:

    Great post Sue! Have a good evening! 🙂

  26. Elizabeth says:

    I was thinking…that lake with the trout…the higher altitude lakes produce the best tasting and I think maybe safest fish to eat…we got fish from a neighbor some years back…caught in the high altitude lake not too far from us…and it did not make me sick, as does most fish (I suspect it is the mercury…and from mercury in my teeth, since removed, I learned it had poisoned me…you get rid of it gradually over time, but won’t live long enough to get rid of it all doc told me)…but that fish was very good I think. Maybe you don’t fish anymore however…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It makes sense that higher altitude fish would live in a cleaner environment and thus not have troublesome amounts of mercury in their tissues. No, I don’t fish. I never was very good at fresh water fishing anyway. Did okay with salt water though.

  27. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Ahhh….cool mountain breezes, wildflowers galore, a calm, peaceful reservoir….yes, Sue, you took me there with your wonderful descriptions and pictures. I did not have to try very hard to imagine that I was there.

    I love the picture of the new growth pine/ fir needles contrasted against the aspen trunk. The new needles sparkle in the sunlight.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts behind your decision to full-time. You took a leap of faith and it has turned out beautifully for you and the Crew. Being able to commune with nature, not having to rush, and making your itinerary as you go is priceless. I enjoy being along for the ride. 😀

    Sweet dreams!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Sweet dreams to you, too, Denise. I can tell from your comment that you really look at my photos, not just glance at them. That pleases me very much. You see with eyes that appreciate the small delights in nature.

      I’m glad you’re with us!

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:

        You have a great eye, Sue! I am a photobug, too. I converted to digital about 10 yrs ago, but still prefer the look of prints from 35mm film…just old school, I guess. 🙂

        I love to take pictures of everything, however, my favorite subject is nature. Landscapes, flowers, animals, oh my! We have been given so much beauty to enjoy. On my “to do list” is to learn how to take star trail and Milky Way shots. The SW offers so many areas to take in the beautiful, dark night skies. Add some moonlit rock formations – heavenly!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          The night sky here is very clear. Lots of stars… I guess because we’re so high up, we’re closer. 😉

  28. Elizabeth says:

    Surfing some other RVers blogs tonight…came across one that gave me a chuckle. These people are not keen on folks camping on top of them either….evidently one can play the bongos…so when folks get too close, out come the bongos…peace and aloneness reign again. I was thinking if one perhaps got a little violin and commenced TRYING to learn how to play it…that might conveniently move those clingers on out too…heh!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Bongos! Love that solution to the problem!

      I admit that in the past I’ve let Spike and Bridget bark their heads off when someone drove up to our campsite looking for a place to park their RV.

      “Good job, crew! There they go!”

      • Elizabeth says:

        Heh…yea, I don’t see anything wrong with letting them bark…we taught our last dog to bark when we made a quiet “ssssssssssssss” sound…heh….pretty funny sometimes!!

  29. AZ Jim says:

    Whew! I am relieved. At first when you started talking about that dark object in the water moving I thought…Damn! Maybe somehow “Jaws” had managed to learn to live in fresh water and had made it’s way to your lake!!
    Sounds like fish and game may have just stocked the lake, they do congregate like that when they are just off the tank truck and in a new home. Either that, or maybe a union meeting….who knows trout might just do anything.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      I admit when I saw that black, underwater mass move the first thing I thought of was the Loch Ness Monster. . . only this would be the Lake Hill Monster.

      I remember fishing salt water in Florida when I saw something similar only the school of fish was silvery-white. I figured I’d hit a bonanza. Put my line out several times. The only action on the line was when a fish bumped into it.

      Turns out it was a school of mullet. To catch them, people snag-fish. Not something I’d want to do.

  30. B Beck says:

    I’m glad to see that going through your website is working with Amazon! That new “Urban Expressions Dakota (Blue)” is my new purse!! LOL Glad you post things people buy, …… and it’s fun to see what others wanted, too!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, you’re the one with the great taste in purses! 🙂 That is a nice one. I want the same one in brown. Thanks for the order, B. Beck.

  31. suzago says:

    Hi Sue,
    This is just to thank you for all you do. Your travels, your willingness to be an example, your writing about it in the way you do, your openness and honesty about the nitty gritty details — and your clear but pleasant boundaries around things you don’t want to share — all that is so helpful in ways you would never imagine. I am a little over three weeks away from my new life. It won’t be a trailer this year, and maybe not even next — but it is definitely the next step I want to take. Thanks to your guidance, I am more able to move into the life I want to live.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, suzago,

      That’s a lovely compliment. It’s gratifying for me to think that my blog and what goes on here guides another person to step out of the “usual” and venture into something new. I wish you much success and happiness in the next chapter of your life, beginning in three weeks. 🙂

      It’s very nice to see you here! I hope you will stop by again . . .

  32. Dawn in MI says:

    Thanks for the lovely hike on Badger mountain (my maiden name!) and the peaceful evening light and the deer. We have deer in our back yard, my dog barks at the too and they just look at her and continue to eat things out of my garden. She gets so frustrated. I can almost imagine what it would be like to be on a mountain in the woods listening to the trees and the water and the birds…lovely.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Dawn,

      Now you have me wondering if this mountain was named after a person or family, rather than the ferocious little badger. I haven’t see a badger around here yet.

      Your dog gets the … look…eat…look…eat… behavior from deer, too! It’s terrible to be ignored!

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Badger ….mountain …..was it AZ Central that mistakenly referred to Bridget as??

        Bridget see girl you’re famous!

        You, Desert Woman have mail! Ck your email first…the updated one.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Okay! 🙂

          LATER: I went to the post office and picked up the package… It’s so cool! I’ll blog all about it.

          The clerk said the envelope had not arrived. I’ll check again, probably on Monday.

  33. Reine says:

    Just thought you might like to know about kudos to you on another blog. is the blog of a fairly new Casita owner, Micky. Her topic of May 31 was “A Blog About a Blog” where she gives you credit for inspiring her to hang in there and pursue her goal of full-timing. She and I have been corresponding for a while via email (sound familiar) and we plan to meet her in October at the Pine Knot rally in Texas.

    Thought you might like to know that the time and trouble you put in creating RVSue and Crew is helping other folks create and achieve their dreams.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Reine,

      I immediately went to Micky’s blog. What a sweet thing for her to do! It’s the first time I’ve ever received a thank you note in the form of a blog entry!

      What a great tow vehicle she has and, of course, a super little trailer, too! Thanks for alerting me to her gracious gesture.

      Micky’s retiring in two months so by the time you two get together at Pine Knot in October, she’ll have her own stories of the road to share.

  34. Terri says:

    I love it – “Spike likes to take a soak after our walks” – he’s so awesome!! I also love listening to the sound of my animals when they are deeply asleep. Some of my most peaceful moments come from when I am sitting and doing work, or reading, and I look around me and they are all asleep, peaceful.

    I especially appreciate your last paragraph – you made me feel like I was right there, outside my (future) motorhome and enjoying the peace and quiet that I am working so hard to get to at this point, saving up my $ for my motorhome. It’ll be me and my animals, just like you. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Terri,

      That’s why I wrote that last paragraph. I wanted people like yourself who yearn for the freedom and adventure of the open road, who are saving toward the precious rig (your magic carpet!), who are waiting for their working days to be over for good . . . I wanted you to experience for a moment what it will be like for you to step outside your rig at sunset while camping on a mountain.

      All the work and scrimping and saving and preparation are worth it!

  35. rvsueandcrew says:


    The money reports for the first four months of this year are posted (See header)! Since I pay my income tax in April, I reported my Amazon earnings for 2013 and the taxes paid on those earnings in the April 2014 report (at the bottom of the page).

  36. Jolene/Iowa says:

    I am just loving this! I told you a few days ago that I just found your blog. When I have had a chance to read I am catching up from the beginning while keeping current now. I am in Feb. of 2012 with the back reading. I read about Quartzside and thought of Canton TX, First Monday Trade Days and Trader’s Village in one of the suburbs of DFW area in TX, I love those types of places.

    Since I have not read your whole blog yet, I don’t know where all you have been. I want to tell you not to forget the Midwest. So much to see and do in Iowa. I remember you talking about watching a lot of movies. Winterset, IA area is home to covered bridges and things with the Bridges of Madison County movie. They are also building a John Wayne museum there. The Grotto of the Redemption in northern Iowa and the beautiful bluffs along the Mississippi River in northeast Iowa.

    Wherever you go, I am following along with you!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jolene,

      It tickles me that you are enjoying my blog so much. If you’re in Feb. 2012, the “adventure” has just begun. The summer of 2012 was incredible. I shake my head in wonder at the places we went, the things we saw…

      Since picking up the BLT in Texas in 2011, I’ve kept my travels west of the Mississippi. For several years I wanted to explore the West. When I’ve done that sufficiently, I’ll branch out to places like Iowa. 🙂

      I’m glad you’ll be with me and the crew wherever the road takes us. Thanks for writing, Jolene. You gave me a smile.

  37. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Oh, and I forgot to tell you that I am a fifty something, avid fly fisherwomen, is that a word? lol. So your adventures around the mountains talking about all the rainbow trout and you setting up camp around all these lakes and rivers is so awesome!! Love it!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ll remember that! I like to mention the fish that can be caught whenever we camp near water.

  38. Barrie says:

    Hi Sue,
    Having wildlife at your site is wonderful. I have been camped at Loon’s Haven Campground in Naples, ME for the last month on a lakefront site and have had my bird feeder up since day one. The bird’s and squirrels tend to spread the seeds around the ground and yesterday a mother duck brought her 5 ducklings along for a meal twice cleaning up the seeds on the ground; how cute. I continue to enjoy your blog much.
    All the best,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      All the best to you, too, Barrie. I’m happy to hear from you again … . from the beautiful state of Maine!

      It sounds like you found yourself a lovely place to camp. The moments we can watch animals as they behave naturally and without fear are special. What a treat to have mama duck and family visit your campsite!

  39. Cinandjules (NY) says:


    Good for you! Rock on Amazon Desert Woman!

  40. I’m curious, how to you get started making money with amazon? I’ve spent plenty of money with them so it would be nice to get some in return.

    Your mountain site looks perfect to me.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda,

      After six months online, one is eligible to become an Amazon Associate. There is a short application form to fill out (available by searching online). If approved, Amazon gives you your unique code which is embedded in the links, ads, and search box you put on your site. You agree to Amazon’s operating terms such as the requirement that you state clearly on your site that you are an Amazon Associate (see sidebar). That’s all there is to it!

  41. Norine says:

    The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

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