Moving to a new camp in California

Sunday, December 8

I love leaving a camp as much as I love arriving at one!  Mittry Lake has been a delight, so much so, that I lost track of the days.  We overstayed the ten-day limit. (Message to trolls:  Bite me.)

Not that anyone seems to be watching.  Campers who were here when we arrived are still here as we leave.

The crew and I get on Interstate 8 and motor toward Ogilby Road on the California side of Yuma.

A twinge of apprehension strikes me as I see the sign, “Inspection Station Ahead.”  Darn!  I’ve got peppers, onions, squash, avocados, and bananas.  I don’t want to give them up!  I want to eat them!   

It’s Sunday and the inspection station is closed.  Whew!  Soon the Ogilby Road exit appears.

We head north toward the Cargo Muchacho Mountains. 

1-DSC01762Over the railroad tracks I take an immediate right turn onto Sidewinder Road.  The crew and I camped here last winter.  It’s a large, flat, BLM area where you can camp by yourself, not be hassled, and easily drive into Yuma.  Reader Laura sent the XM radio kit to Yuma and I’m anxious to pick it up at the Yuma post office.

The PTV pulls the BLT all over the place.

I’m like a dog circling before settling down.  While I wander around in the PTV, looking for the perfect real estate in which to camp, a man with a big, red dog approaches.

“Hi, Sue!  It’s Bob.  Fortuna Bob,” he announces, coming over to my window.  (I first met Bob at Fortuna Pond, Yuma.  I gave him the handle of Fortuna Bob to help me keep my Bob readers straight in my mind.)

“Fortuna Bob?” I respond in surprise.  “Well, hello!  I wondered who belonged to that Casita over there.  How are you?”

We chat for only a few minutes because it’s cold and I have a campsite to find.  Here’s a photo of Bob’s camp.

1-DSC01767After dragging the BLT all over the place, I realize the best spot is where we camped last year.  The PTV snuggles the BLT next to an ocotillo growing alongside an ironwood tree. I make sure the PTV’s solar panel faces the midpoint of the sun’s daily arc across the sky.  A shallow wash makes the eastern border of our camp. 

Good!  No one nearby.  No hiding places for Spike.  Not too inconvenient to Sidewinder Road.  Not a whole lot of shelter from wind, but there isn’t much of that to be had anyway.  Good cell signal. 

Bridget and Spike hop out and run around.

I unhitch and set out chairs and the crew’s beds.  It’s mid-afternoon and we haven’t had lunch.  Leftover rotisserie chicken makes a happy, homecoming party for the three of us.

Here’s a photo of our camp taken when the sun was low in the sky.


Monday, December 9

I wake around 2 a.m. to the sound of wind.   The crew and I are warm inside the BLT without turning on the propane heater.  I’m wearing two layers of pajama bottoms, three layers of tops, and socks.  Bridget and Spike are under the quilts with me.

Boy, that Bridget sure can throw off some heat.  Her chubby body keeps us warm and toasty the whole night through.  I keep my Bear Paws by the bed and put them on before my feet hit the floor.

This cold and blustery day will keep us inside.

Poor Spike is an active guy and days like this are tough on him.  I’m relieved that he’s sleeping soundly as I type this.  Bridget could loll in bed all day, no problem.

1-DSC01763 I promised I’d show a photo of the rug given to me by Gil and Kathy.  I haven’t forgotten!

By the way, thanks to those who did their Christmas shopping through my blog.  You chose some wonderful gifts!

I consider you shopping here a gift to me, okay?



Below are links to items recently purchased by readers of this blog:

Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 HS 12.1 MP Wi-Fi Enabled CMOS Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom 24mm Wide-Angle Lens and 1080p Full HD Video (Black) + 8GB Memory Card + Kit
Conair Waterfall Foot Spa with Lights, Bubbles, and Heat
Hoover SteamVac Carpet Washer with Clean Surge
NewAir Electric Oil Filled Radiator Space Heater
Portable Keyring Breath Alcohol Detector
My Friendship Bracelet Maker Traveler


Click the link to watch the slideshow, “Highlights of 2012,” that I posted New Year’s Day 2013.

“2012 . . . What a year!”

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62 Responses to Moving to a new camp in California

  1. Vicky in MN says:

    First one here and first time to comment. I love your blog!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Vicki!

      Congratulations, Number One… You almost didn’t make it. My spam filter keeps grabbing legitimate comments.

      I’m happy you love my blog. Thanks.

  2. Mick says:

    Wishing happiness to you and the crew. Dense fog on the Cumberland Plateau.

  3. Sally B says:

    Don’t leave many messages but enjoy your site and photos ….
    Always fun following you three …. I fill, Duke, my Golden in on
    Bridget and Spike’s adventures …. Keep having FUN !!!
    Lots of chuckles and enjoyment reading the comments ….. You sure
    are blessed with great followers ….. Thanks for sharing, Sue !!!

  4. Jane Onken says:

    Hey Sue!
    I understand your no-gift request — so little storage. Plus linking to Amazon is a gift in itself to be sure. The best, hands down.
    Alas, my reason for writing; are you in freezing temps? How do you protect pipes, etc.?
    …and while I’m here, can’t you take produce across state lines?
    Janie O

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jane,

      Actually I didn’t mean that as a “no-gift request.” (Don’t want Gil, Linda, Gerry, and Laura to think I’m unappreciative of their gifts!)

      I just want people to know that every morning when I open up the daily report from Amazon I feel like I’m receiving gifts from friends. How nice is that!

      You can take produce across state lines. California –because agriculture, specifically produce, is such a big industry — tries to keep pests and plant diseases out of the state. I assume that’s the reason. If anyone knows otherwise, chime in here. The inspector has a clipboard with the list of produce to confiscate.

      It isn’t freezing here as you can see from the weather widget in the sidebar. The crew and I are rarely in freeze weather. If the temps go below freezing… as they did when we were in New Mexico… it’s not long enough or a “hard” enough freeze to cause problems.

      I wouldn’t camp in an area prone to freezes on purpose. The Casita isn’t designed to handle that.

      Nor am I.

  5. AZ Jim says:

    Cold snap is still with us. Next week it gets better. So, California huh? I hope you plan on returning to Arizona soon. California is much more expensive all the way around. Gas much more out there. That’s one reason I’m a Zonie. Look forward to see where you land on the next leg. BTW the BLM is not really concerned about overstays in the rural land areas but they have that regulation to prevent permanent Gypsy camps from springing up. At least a BLM employee told me that years ago and I think it still hold true. Have fun Sue and Crew…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Jim,

      I’m not here because I want to be in California. I’m here to stay close to Yuma.

      Remember when I stayed 15 days in the camp next to a stream in Utah because I didn’t want to look for a new camp on Father’s Day Sunday? A few readers (trolls) brought that up like I’m an outlaw or something. Sheesh.

      You’re right about the BLM people. They don’t care as long as you don’t make your camp into a homestead. That’s why I don’t make a habit of hanging out laundry or building lean-to’s up against the BLT. LOL!

      • AZ Jim says:

        I remember the incident very well. I made a comment directed to the trolls at the time. Anytime you have a public medium you have the inevitable jerks who want to rain on the parade. It’s like literary graffiti. Peace upon them all.

  6. Pauline says:

    Cold here in Mississippi. I laughed at the message to the trolls… but if anyone bites you…they will have me to answer to!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good word….trolls.
    Love you!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pauline,

      I know I can depend on you to fight my battles!. . .

      It’s cold here, too, maybe not as cold as Mississippi, but the dang wind cuts right through ya.’ When Spike doesn’t want to go outside, now that’s cold.

      Love to all my Mississippi family!

  7. Colleen says:

    It is cold and blustery here in Tehachapi! Suppose to be down to 15 degrees tonight, we would love to be down in the desert about now. I haven’t left the house for 4 days. We are trying to decide if the road is safe to drive on yet. We had about 4 inches of snow on Saturday and we still have a lot of ice up on our mountain roads.

    It is probably too cold for those trolls to come out! Stay warm!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Where in the world is Tehachapi?

      Hi, Colleen! Here I am complaining about the cold in Yuma and you’ve been holed up for 4 days and facing 15 degrees. You stay warm, too!

      I’m sure glad I have Bridget’s big butt to keep me and Spike warm.

      • Laurie in Oregon says:

        Tehachapi california on hwy 58 between Bakerfield and Barstow

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thanks, Laurie!

          • Colleen says:

            Exactly right! Our house is at 4300 feet on a mountain overlooking the Tehachapi Valley. We made it off the mountain today but it was a bit dicey we slid sideways for a few feet. I am glad it is warming up, made it into the 40’s today!!

  8. Kitt says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Well, I am up to April 2012 in your blogs. At first I figured it would only take me a couple of days to catch up, hah, I had no idea of what I was getting myself into. They are addictive, I plan to stop, then I read just one more, and another, and another. I am loving it, you are such a good writer and photographer. So much information is included in each blog as well as the comments, it is wonderful. Of course I have to keep up with your daily entries as well!

    We are just coming out of the deep freeze here in northwestern Washington. We have had temps in the teens and twenties with the wind out of Canada’s Frazier River Valley at 20 to 30 mph. Now that makes for a nippy wind chill. Chilly rain is predicted towards the end of the week. Sunshine and warmth sounds good to us. Even Riley, our rescue dog, yearns for warmer weather. I look at Spike and Bridget sprawled out in the sunshine and know that our guy would be right there with them, given the chance. We are thinking we will hook up the Casita and head south towards the Joshua Tree NP area sometime early this spring. We haven’t been to that area so it will be an adventure.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kitt!

      Joshua NP in the spring will be wonderful! Flowers in bloom and warm enough to rid you of the chill in your bones. Riley will love it, too.

      I enjoyed reading about your addiction to my blog. When you take the time to read the comments below each post, you’re taking on quite a lot of reading. But, like you said, there’s a lot of information.

      Thank you for writing. Every comment adds to the enjoyment people get from my blog.

      The wind chill you describe must be horrendous. You SO deserve some warm desert time with your Casita!

  9. Alice Scheibelhofer says:

    Besides a thank you for all the great posts Sue, a little note for Kitt — it’s not FRAZIER as in Joe, the boxer, but FRASER as in Simon, the explorer. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      And thanks to Kitt for mixing it up…. because she brought Alice here.

      Nice to hear from you again, Alice!

  10. I am just as excited that you are getting an XM gift from Laura !!! Make sure you tell us all about it. Chuck and I have been talking about it… nothing serious yet, but it’s been tickling our thoughts for awhile! We have been so lucky to miss all that bad weather! We had enough cold weather our last few days in NM and more cold days in N FL. But since we have been here, in Bradenton, south of Tampa our days have been mid 70’s low 80’s and I am lovin’ it! Love your “word to the trolls” LOL! I’m with Pauline… we got your back!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri,

      I’ll be sure to tell you about the radio. Last night was the longest night of the year for me. The crew and I had been inside all day because of the biting wind and then it got dark at 4:30, or maybe it was 3:30. It was early. I zipped through a Louis L’Amour book and halfway through a William W. Johnstone. I’ll be having dreams of shoot-outs for weeks! LOL!

      Anyway . . . After 16 hours of sleep and with a stiff back, I had to get up. It was still dark. Turned on the lights and killed some more gunslingers! I REALLY will appreciate that radio.

      So, yes, you better believe I’ll be telling you all about it . . .

      Warm weather comes back to Yuma on Friday according to wunderground… Enjoy sunny Florida!

  11. Ruth(Tennessee) says:

    Stay warm. I, too, am on the Cumberland Plateau and the temperature is dropping. Expecting ice or snow or both tonight. I see Mick mentioned the plateau.

    Bridget must have bounced back from her fling. Hugs to the crew!

  12. Ladybug says:

    I believe Tehachapi is in California (at least the one I know is!), on Highway 58 about 35 miles east of Bakersfield. About 4000′ foot in elevation. Tehachapi Pass is hated by truck drivers. 4-6% grade for 14 miles.

  13. Ladybug says:

    Oh, and I meant to mention….Sue, looks like you’re getting a bit rebellious in your old age. Overstaying the regulations, telling trolls to bite you, and then wanting to stick it to the California ‘man’ and carry contraband into the state!! 😉

  14. Reine in Plano says:

    Here in north Texas we’re finally beginning to come out of the deep freeze. we’ve been iced in since Friday morning. Paul and I ventured out for dinner tonight and the roads in our area are almost clear. There have been some nightmares in the Fort Worth Area and north in Denton – as in folks stuck on the I35 for 24 HOURS because of ice on the roads. It will be a couple of days before our trees loose all the ice. Glad you’re warm in the BLT. Hope the wind dies down so you can enjoy wandering over the desert.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Reine,

      It’s good to see you here. Your last comment was grabbed by my spam filter for some unknown reason. I saw it, approved it, and replied, but you probably didn’t see that.

      24 hours stuck on the interstate in a vehicle. I can’t think of anyone on earth with whom I’d want to spend 24 continuous hours in a closed environment. Well, maybe the crew. Now that I think about it, I just DID spend 24 hours in a closed environment with these two nutcakes!

      It must have been grand to final get out of the house for a restaurant meal with Paul.

      Gee, it’s tough having winter start early for so many people across the nation. April flowers are going to seem awfully far away come January.

  15. Cherylyn says:

    I so look forward to your posts and pictures it helps me keep focused on where I intend to be this time next year. I really NEED those sunny pics it was -27 degrees here last night!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Cherylyn… Tell us where here is! Negative 27 degrees? It’s none of my business, but You Need To Move. 🙂

      • Cherylyn i says:

        I’m in Eastern Oregon about 2 hrs Northwest of Boise, ID on I-84
        Not usually this cold this early. I don’t think it even got below zero all last winter. Definitely ready to be some place warmer.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          That gives me a pretty good idea where you are. Thanks. The weather has been and is crazy this year.

  16. Angie2B says:

    Egads RvSue………isn’t sidewinder slang for a snake? Eeekk. Do you see many snakes or scorpions in your desert travels?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Angie,

      Yep, a sidewinder is a snake, so named because of the way it moves. See the lovely photo.

      I haven’t seen one poisonous snake or scorpion in the 2+ years the crew and I have been on the road.

      • Marilu, Northern Ca. says:

        The snakes are all scared into hiding by the Spiker!

      • AZ Jim says:

        Scorpions are all over the desert but you won’t see them during the day. They hide in crevices of rocks, etc. If you want to see them, take a blue light out at night and shine it in likely places and when you see one it will glow florescent. During the winter they will come into a house if they find a way to get warm. It only takes a crack less than a 1/4″ for them to enter. I spray all around my house outside and at the doors inside. Their sting is very painful.

  17. Roger in SoCal. says:

    Hi Sue,
    I think you will love the XM, I have had it since I bought my car in 2008. I almost had to give it up when I was unemployed for an extended period of time. The XM people called me to renew, and I told them my situation and they discounted the rate so much, it was an offer I could not refuse. It has been really fantastic when I was traveling between Cali. and Texas and never lost the signal ( always line of site from a satellite wherever you are.)
    It’s now all I ever listen to, love the 60’s,70’s, 80’s and classic rock station and of course news stations.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Roger,

      With me, it’s all or nothing. Never camped a day, now I camp every day. No radio, then I go straight to XM satellite 24/7…. Yay!

      That discount was a great gesture by XM. I’m happy to give them some publicity on my little blog.

  18. cinandjules (JFK airport) says:

    Top of the morning to you!

    You know you’re addicted to this blog when you access it from the airport.

    You are too funny……circling like a dog trying to find the right spot. Oh now you’re in CAleeefornia. Oh no not the dreaded fruit police…..heh heh! Hmmm “bite me”??
    You silly girl!

    Stay warm and enjoy your day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I do believe yours is the first comment from an airport. You’ll probably be in your cozy, warm home when you read this. . . with a very happy SaraAnn by your side.

  19. Another nice area that we enjoy, we will be at Pilot Knob resort in a week or so for Christmas.

  20. Ruth(Tennessee) says:

    Looks like I am going to be short on the 1 million visitors count. Pretty close to that mark though. When you think of it, post a picture of the gift rug. We are getting a dusting of snow this morning.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I definitely will post a picture of the rug. I forgot to take the photo before I downloaded all the other photos and started writing.

      Mick chose Dec. 28, I believe, for the 1 millionth visitor. If I know Mick, he made accurate mathematical calculations from which to project the date . . . .

  21. BuckeyePatti in Ohio says:

    Don’t you just love those little doggie “heaters” under the covers? Bandit, our beagle, loves to burrow under blankets and during winters in Ohio, my husband & I fight over who he should cuddle with! I tell Bandit, “this makes up for anything bad you’ve done this week”. LOL Lucky you, you have a dual set, and look at all the propane you’re saving.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Patti,

      I know I’d have that heater going if it weren’t for my two portable heaters. 🙂 Spike doesn’t give off much warmth, but Bridget is one hot girl! Even when it’s cold, she gets overheated under the quilt and kicks it off for a while. There’s a reason we girls were given a tendency toward fat . . .

      Maybe you need another Bandit so you and your husband won’t have to share!

  22. Sam in Eureka Springs says:

    Thank you for your posts. We have a lot in common. I have a 21′ box type TT and two friends, Cassie and Sparky.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sam,

      Great to see a new name here! And thanks for posting your location.

      So you have a canine crew also… I once had a scruffy terrier named Sparky. Great little dog.

  23. mary (in Colorado) says:

    In looking at your current campsite, I get a lonesome feeling. Does it bother you to be in the middle of nowhere; or does the picture just give that impression? I’d rather have a tree close to my home, or some bushes, or rocks.
    And after a low of 12 degrees with a wind chill temp of minus 20 last night here in Colorado, maybe the desert wouldn’t be too lonely after all.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mary,

      No, it doesn’t bother me to “be in the middle of nowhere.” It feels nice to me. You can’t see them in the photos I posted, but right outside my door and in view through my side window are an ocotillo bush with one bloom on it and an ironwood tree. Creosote bushes are out the back window.

      Now a wind chill of minus 20 degrees… that doesn’t sound nice to me. 🙂

  24. kgdan says:

    Just came out to get water. We are still at Mittry Lake–still cold and bluster. Have to hurry back cuz left Gil sitting by his boat! Soooo enjoyed our visit 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kathy,

      And I enjoyed our visit, too. I don’t think there’s any place nearby that will get you out of the “cold and bluster.” Same deal over here.

      Gil loves his boat. I guess the wind is keeping him off the water. I’m glad he had a chance to go out in it the other day. He looked happy in it.

  25. AZ Jim says:

    Sue, you may not hit a million visitors before 2o14, but you probably will break a record of some kind for your consumption of rotisserie chicken. You funny girl, you….BTW loved your “bite me” to the potential troll(s).

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Gee, when you don’t have an oven, a roasted chicken cooked by someone else for $4.89 looks and tastes pretty darn good.

  26. Crystal says:

    Last Thursday Mother Nature dumped 15.5″ of snow on southern Illinois. We got an additional 2.5″ last night. With temps hanging in the teens and low 20s for the high, it’s bound to hang around for awhile. Before you know it, we’ll be complaining about temps hanging around 100 and high humidity. We’re never satisfied! If only spring and fall were longer seasons….

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