No ordinary days in an extraordinary place

Monday, November 3

1-P1010371Roosevelt Lake, Arizona

Bridget and I leave Cholla Campground to take a drive along the lake. 

1-P1010354The lake level is very low. Two campgrounds are closed.  No wonder.  One has a name ending in “cove” and the other has a name ending in “bay.”  The cove and the bay are gone.

1-P1010360More evidence of low lake level is obvious at the bridge. 

That’s a lotta’ bridge over very little water!

1-P1010362I take advantage of every pull-out in order to take photos.

Bridget wants out but our stops are too dangerously close to the road.

“You’ll have a chance later, Bridge.”

While standing at an overlook enjoying the view, I notice movement on a far away spit of land.  Oh, two deer getting a drink out of the lake!

By the time I zoom in on them and remember to remove the lens cap — golly, how long will it take for me to remember that? — the deer are moving up the rocky shore.  One pauses and looks in my direction.

1-P1010374I watch them until they disappear beyond my view.

1-P1010358We stop at Vineyard Canyon Picnic Area.

Such nice facilities and no one is here.  I lift Bridget out of the PTV.   She explores while I kick myself.  I should’ve brought a dang picnic!  All this jumping in and out of the PTV to take photos has me hungry.  When the heck did I eat last anyway ?

1-P1010355I realize it’s mid-afternoon and the last time I ate was this morning — a cup of coffee and a hard-boiled egg.

“Okay, Bridge.  You’ve had your little exploration.  I need some food!”

I drive us past the north end of the lake to Tonto Basin.

1-P1010382I park the PTV and hurry into the Butcher Hook Restaurant.

I slide into a booth and scan the menu.

At this point I could EAT the menu!

Fortunately the waitress quickly appears.  I order a grilled chicken sandwich, mostly because I don’t want to take the time to find something more interesting.

The sandwich is huge! 

It looks like half a chicken ran through a bun.  Plus there’s lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles.  Three, long slices of green chilies lie in the mass of melted cheese that covers the slab of grilled chicken.  Good heavens!  I can’t even pick this thing up! 

I dig into the “sandwich” with a knife and fork.

And, darn, if I don’t eat the whole dadburn mess!  And the french fries, too!

1-P1010366Tuesday, November 4

Aaaaarrrggghhh!  Headache!  Nausea! 

I awake feeling terrible.  Funny thing about migraines.  I’ve had enough of them that I can envision the cause with certainty.   It was all that cheese!   (I can eat fake cheese and a little of the real stuff, but there was a lot of good cheese on that sandwich.)

By late morning I’m well enough to get up.

I sit in the lounger in a shady spot by the picnic table.

Cheri appears!  I drag a camp chair over for her and we commence getting to know each other.  As it turns out, we already met and didn’t know it!

1-P1010369In early 2012, the crew and I camped with a few other Casita people at Dome Rock.

(Dome Rock is a BLM dispersed camping area west of Quartzsite, Arizona.)  While there, one of the Rubber Tramp van dwellers group sent me an online invitation to visit them, as the Rubber Tramps were camped at Dome Rock also.

I spotted them closer to the dome and walked up the lane with Bridget and Spike.  Men were chewing the fat over by a pick-up truck.  One of them directed me to a circle of women nearby.  At a pause in their discussion, I introduced myself and gave a brief hello to the lady who invited me and another one of my followers who was there (can’t remember names!).

The leader of the discussion that day was Cheri!

1-P1010372“That was you?” she exclaims. 

As Cheri and I talk I become aware that all traces of my headache and nausea are gone.

Cheri recently returned to the road after 13 months with her daughter and new grandson in Astoria, Oregon.  She has a son in Chandler, Arizona.  We talk about the special appeal and benefits of living in a van, especially a van one has transformed into a unique home.

Cheri hadn’t intended to sit and visit when she came over.

1-P1010357“I just wanted to check on you and see if you needed anything,” she explains.

Tony, her Yorkie, waits for her in the van.  Bridget and I walk Cheri part of the way back to her campsite.  I don’t want Bridget to overdo it as she still favors that back leg.

Before parting for our respective campsites, I make a suggestion to Cheri.

“Krystina (another follower in the campground, see previous post) says I can take a photo of her rig.  I’d like to take a photo of your van, too . . . . for the blog . . . if you don’t mind.”

1-P1010361Cheri says, “Sure, come on over any time!”

rvsue

I APPRECIATE YOU SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!

Thank you very much.

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191 Responses to No ordinary days in an extraordinary place

  1. FLKamper says:

    and I had given up on #1!

  2. Calvin R says:

    Nice, huh?

  3. Linda says:

    Do you know whether, when following the link from your blog to Amazon, if a shopper puts items in the shopping cart and then does not buy them immediately, Amazon “remembers” the link? Or does going back and buying later negate the fact of having gotten there from your blog originally?

    (I will say the clauses in this sentence really threw me for a loop — and I write for a living. I hope this question makes sense.)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda,

      Once you enter Amazon from one of my links, ads, or the Amazon search box, you are remembered for 24 hours. In other words, any shopping you do for the next 24 hours is credited to me, even if you leave and enter Amazon another way…. unless you go to another Amazon Associate site/blog and enter from there.

      Going to Amazon a second time from my blog does not negate anything for me. I hope I understood your question correctly and answered it clearly. If not, feel free to ask again.

      Thank you very much for wanting me to earn some $ from your purchases. Sales have been down lately, so I’m especially appreciative!

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        I’m not sure if this was Linda’s question, but it might have been and is something I have wondered as well. Oftentimes I will put something in my Amazon cart but then not buy it for days or even weeks (usually because I’m waiting to be in a good receiving location).

        So let’s say I put something in my cart today (through your portal) and then don’t buy it for two weeks (but it has stayed in my cart all that time). Do you still get credit?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Probably not.

          If I may be so bold to ask… If you want me to receive credit, why don’t you enter through my blog when you’re ready to purchase? I would get credit if you did that.

          • Cat Lady in Baton Rouge, LA says:

            Sue, I ordered 2 Strike Hold Sprays this a.m. thru your blog but another vendor is the actual seller. Do you still get credit for the sale?

            Cat Lady

          • Sidewinder Pen says:

            Hi Sue,

            Now, not that I *couldn’t* do that, but you were asking why I wouldn’t do it that way all else being equal. Reason is this: Say I see something today that I want, but I’m not going to place the order for a few weeks. I put it in my cart and then I no longer have to remember what it was or that I wanted it. It’s there waiting for me at my convenience. Of course if you are not getting credit that way, then I have motivation to change my methods.

            I can also move things to my “saved for later” area, and then move them into my cart. Slightly less convenient, but not by much. So I wonder if I put something in my cart today, then went and put it in my “saved for later” area, and THEN a month from now went into Amazon through your blog and moved it to my cart, what would happen?

            I’m not trying to be difficult, but just trying to manage my shopping and keeping track of things when I can’t always “buy now” due to maybe I’m not in a location where I can receive something. But too, I don’t want to “lose” your credit either, so just want to understand the rules.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I understand why you’re asking questions and I’m happy that you want to send commissions my way.

              I think I would lose the commission if you put something in your cart and then entered Amazon, let’s say, a month later by simply going to Amazon.com by putting the URL in the address bar.

              I’d get the commission if you went to Amazon through my blog and finalized your purchases from the items you placed in your cart previously.

            • Timber n' me says:

              Sue, how does one order to receive a package at a Post office other than your own, say I was in Flagstaff, az., and to far to drive back to Lake Havasu City? ,,,rusty

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Hi Rusty,

              I don’t know if you are asking specifically about Amazon or in general, so I’ll say what I have experienced on both counts:

              1) In general, anything sent to you via USPS can be addressed as follows:

              Art Veeyer
              c/o General Delivery
              123 Rip Street
              Anytown, USA 23333

              (123 Rip street being address of post office)

              That works unless it is a large city and then sometimes only one post office accepts GD, so it can be a pain. Hence I used smaller towns and/or call ahead.

              2) For Amazon

              Back when I had my own PO Box, if I just used my PO Box address as the shipping address, it “forced” Amazon to send via USPS. However I have not found that to work with general delivery (they ship any number of ways and then things get all messed up).

              Actually, that is my one problem with Amazon. They don’t tell you how they are going to ship. I have found it to be about 80% UPS, but when I (say) address it to me “hold for pickup” at UPS Customer Service Center in XYZ town (which you would think would tip them off) they can still ship via FedEx or other method. Sometimes I can run around town and get my package; other times it is sent back (although Amazon has worked with me to re-order in those cases).

              The other way to go with Amazon is to have it sent to a UPS Store or other “mailing store.” They will accept packages from anyone (USPS, FedEx, UPS) but there is a fee per package ($2 to as much as $10 or more). That can hurt if you order nine items and it comes in six boxes! But if you have to be sure, it does work.

              I tend to take my chances with the UPS Customer Center (i.e. hub), but it backfires occasionally.

              The joys of being on the road 😀 (not that I would trade it!)

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              PS: “Art Veeyer” being a substitute for your name (realized it might not have been that obvious).

              PPS: Or sometimes I find a business or person who will accept a package – then all worry about how it’s coming is out the door! Then I spend too much money of course 😀

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              “I’d get the commission if you went to Amazon through my blog and finalized your purchases from the items you placed in your cart previously.”

              Oh well that’s perfect then. I can continue with my easy habit of “saving things up” in my cart, but also generate your commission by going through here when it’s time to buy.

              (Of course I would likely also have gone though here when I first put the items in my cart, but doing so again at the time of finalizing the purchases will apparently “refresh” the connection.)

            • Timber n' me says:

              kaint touch that ,Timber

            • Timber n' me says:

              As the lady says on SNL, never mind ,,me

          • Linda says:

            ah, I see. Thanks Sue, I think I understand. yes, like Sidewinder, I tend to leave items in my cart for a while. But if I re-enter thru your blog link, that would work.

  4. Susan in Dallas says:

    Glad you’re feeling better. I can only imagine what a migraine must feel like. FANTASTIC photo of the rock with the “fluffy” grass in front of it. So restful and picturesque.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Susan, for appreciating a “small” view — easy to overlook with grand views everywhere!

  5. Applegirl NY says:

    Wow, I don’t check in for a day or so and you’ve been all around, visiting, site-seeing and recovering from a migraine. Glad you’re feeling better. You’re a busy camper! It sounds like you’re a regular social butterfly this week!

    I suffer from occasional migraines, also. No where near as bad or as frequent as they used to be. I know they used to be hormonal. Now I can generally track them back to foods. Cheese can be a trigger for me too.

    Glad Bridget is on the mend, smart of you not to let her overdo it. Enjoy your lovely new campsite and friendly visits!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Applegirl,

      I’m glad you don’t have as many migraines as you used to have. I do believe a lot of people who have them don’t realize certain foods are the cause. It took me years before I realized it, mainly because I wasn’t tracking what I ate back far enough. It usually takes about 16-18 hours after the trigger food is eaten before the headache starts.

      • Mert says:

        I have a rare disease. Inter cranial hypertension. I have a shunt in my head to drain spinal fluid off and into my stomach. I can sure relate to migraines. Some days I can’t even lift my head. ( today is one of those days) my doc prescribed fiorcet (sp) for me It is a wonder pill for sure.
        Beautiful pictures. Safe travels to you all. Am glad Bridget’s leg is healing. Peace love and good health
        Mert and Asia

        • Elizabeth in WA says:

          So sorry to hear this Mert…hope you will feel better soon!!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Dear, dear Mert . . . My headaches are probably nothing compared with yours. I’m counting my blessings. Peace,love and good health to you, too.

          • Mert says:

            Thanks sue. I don’t think any headache is good. Lol. Today was a good day. Other than the call at 6:30 am that my mom had fell last night and hit her head. I rushed up to check on her. Other than a pump knot ( small) on forehead. She seems to be ok. I on the other hand am none to happy. Considering there were supposedly two aids assisting her to the rest room when she allegedly slipped and hit her head on the wall. I tell you. It is tough having someone in a facility caring for your loved one. Plus dad’s having some issues as well. Calgon, take me away. Or better yet. Highway take me away! 😉

            • Elizabeth in WA says:

              Tis a very bad position you are in too…it is not easy to find good help these days, wherever one goes!! So sorry…the end of life is not easy.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Good heavens, Mert! TWO aides couldn’t do the job of one? I don’t blame you.. . I’d be livid! I’m sorry that happened.

              I don’t know what to say other than… Hang in there!

  6. Barb George says:

    Make new friends, but keep the old!!
    One is silver and the other gold.

    Naw… All golden in my mind!
    Hugs from Hoquiam!
    Barb

  7. S. Kaeseman says:

    Sue, Sorry you had another bad migraine. My wife suffers from them and we share your
    pain. Not sure if you have checked up on it but they are now doing a type of Botox treatment. My wife has had a few of the shots and they have helped some. Just pray you don’t have another one for months and months. Love to always see the many beautiful
    pictures and hear about yours and Bridge’s (that is what I call my wife since her name is Bridgett also). adventures. We continue to live vicariously through you and Bridge. In time we hope to full time in our own BLT and PTV. We have had a big setback in the last year, our retirement home flooded in August of 2013 and the rebuild just got finished early this October 2014. But one day God Willing, we hope to live in tranquility in some of the great parts of America you have shown us over the last couple of years and hopefully continue to show us for many many more.
    Respectfully,
    S. Kaeseman, SK1 (SW), USN (Ret)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, S. Kaeseman,

      Nice to see you here again. Regards to your wife. I hope she never has another migraine! As for the shots, I don’t have headaches often enough to warrant getting shots. I simply need to be more careful what I eat.

      I’m pleased that you enjoy my photos and our activities (small though they may be!).

      So sorry about your retirement home… What a terrible thing to happen! I hope the “rebuild” makes it better than before….

      Isn’t this a great country? There is so much to see and enjoy. I do hope you and Mrs. Kaeseman (Hi, Bridge!) someday “live in tranquility in some of the great parts of America.” It’s my pleasure to show what I’ve found.

  8. weather says:

    Each time you post a photo depicting scenery or details of that area I see more it’s beauty.It’s easy to understand that in the excitement ( about seeing and photographing more) bringing lunch with you would be overlooked.Is the place where you had the culprit called a sandwich the same Butcher Hook with daily passes for your campground,a saloon,fish bait,and fuel?If so I’d love to know if you bought more day passes.Guess I’ll know as the story is told…

    It’s terrific and fascinating that over the course of time you’ve shown so many people’s rigs- with set ups individual to each one.I’m excited that those of two more blogorino’s are “Coming soon to a screen near you”-this is way more fun than the “regular” theaters 🙂 Thanks!

    • Shirlene says:

      I agree, I like seeing rigs…shopping from home…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, weather,

      Yes, that’s the same place… One-stop shopping… hardware and auto parts, too. Good thing, because there isn’t much else around here in the way of stores.

      I agree… Let the “story” play itself out. 🙂

  9. Shirlene says:

    Hey Weather, sorry to hear about the tree business, but thankful that everything is okay…that is really foreign to me since the weather here today is 88 degrees and blue skies…what a wide, wide world we live in…please take care, your friendship is very valuable to me.

    Sue, can I be gold too! You are platinum to me…I will settle for gold with Barb..lol

    • weather says:

      Thanks ,Shirlene,I value our friendship as well,and am warmly touched by your saying that.The short wind storm last night came while the temperature was above fifty degrees with barely any rain.It’s the topography of this place that causes “straight line winds” to go through it.The lake is lower than a large plateau that abruptly ends here on my cliff.That meteorological expression describes something only seen a few places in the country and it’s effects can range from “mild” to catastrophic.I’m safe in my home and all the places here I spend the most time in.In fact probably safer than when my home was in San Diego-we both know how earthquakes can rock our world 🙂

      • Shirlene says:

        When I transfer all my wordly goods to my Motorhome, if something rocks my world, my worldly goods will move…isn’t that the beauty of nomad life…I have one of my income properties up for sale as of this week, come on buyer, make my day…anyone want a multifamily property in Long Beach CA?

        • weather says:

          Shirlene I know those new to the comment section might read your reply thinking they wish they had such”high class problems”,unaware that life for you isn’t all bliss.At least that sometimes happens with me.I consider your having mentioned divorce,cushings ,your job,adult children and know life hasn’t been and isn’t now a bed of roses for you.This isn’t what you signed up for when you set out on life’s journey,you’ve shouldered more than you ever thought you’d have to,carry weight on your heart you try not to show or let stop you from reaching new dreams.

          May whatever you need to be free of go quickly-may only what you want,need,deserve and long for replace it.Face forward in the jeep friend,the wind is carrying blessings your way

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, weather,

        I read your comment under the previous post with great interest and awe. I had a similar thing happen right before I left my house for good — maybe you read that post. Two trees fell, both narrowly missing the house. I read that as signs it was time to leave. 🙂

        I’m glad your tree event turned into a blessing!

        • weather says:

          Yes,Sue,isn’t it interesting that we have that in common?It most certainly doesn’t happen that way often.I’m laughing at your having read it as signs to leave-You were so ready for your new life to begin I bet you would have read just about anything as saying the same thing,and been right! The storm hasn’t been invented that’ll determine the course of my dream chasing 😉 or yours.Wait it out,ride it out,just keep going…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, Shirlene…. You are a precious gem! 🙂

      • Jean in Southaven, MS says:

        I live in the Memphis area and we have straight-line winds. We had a really bad straight-line wind incident we call Hurrican Elvis that happened July 22, 2004. Just about the whole metro area that includes Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee was without power for days. Of course the only place in the whole area that had power was a area that I worked in. My boss was the last person in the whole city to get his power back on. We kidded him he made someone mad at City Hall. We have had some problems since, but nothing like the first time.

        • weather says:

          Hi Jean-then you surely know what they’re like, I’m glad you haven’t gone through terribly severe problems because of them either.One of Sue’s followers wrote a while back – telling about how he lined his trailer up with the straight-line wind instead of letting it hit him sideways .While a lot of places around him sustained damage he came through unscathed,too!Stay safe and happy.

  10. Sidewinder Pen says:

    It’ll be fun to see the rigs. I especially enjoy seeing other “non-huge” rigs. They tend to be creative, and well, I just like smallish 🙂

    Kind of wish I were there too! Thanks for bringing us along, as always.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Pen. I’m going over to both campsites — Krystina’s and Cheri’s — in a little while, camera at the ready.

  11. Shirlene says:

    Hi Penn, thanks for the comment yesterday..I appreciate you taking the time.

  12. DesertGinger says:

    Can’t wait to see the van. I’ve been thinking about a van. I even reached out to Wade! I figure if I get a van, then when I get a trailer I can pull it. In the meantime I can just camp in the van.

    Off to see an attorney today about the money that was stolen from me in 2010 in Ponzi scheme. 220K. Don’t want to pay taxes on it!

    Other than that, trying to get caught up with my homework.

    Hope everyone is having a lovely day! Glad you are feeling better Sue.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      That’s not a bad plan. A van is a handy thing! Another thing to consider: For me, if I were going to be traveling out and back from a home base (which maybe you are?), I would likely just have kept my camper van and nothing else. Of course to each their own.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        When I think about the day that I might have to give up full-timing (curse the thought!), if I could still get away for short trips, a van would be my choice, too.

        • Sondra-SC says:

          Hi Sue hope that headache is gone for good…
          I enjoy traveling and camping in my van it is not a camper but I have all i need to enjoy myself on the road its easy to pack and go in a moments notice, and its easy to park.
          Of course I would give my right eye tooth for a nice Casita to pull behind it in case the Universe is dealing me a new hand today *w*.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Here’s hoping you get the tax situation cleared up, Ginger!

      • DesertGinger says:

        Met with the attorney and good news! He thinks I won’t have to pay anything, I will get all the taxes I paid that year refunded and will have carryover loss for future years. Woohoo!

        • Elizabeth in WA says:

          SO HAPPY for you Ginger!! How nice to come at this time when just getting well has taken so much from you!!

  13. susan says:

    We have been in Strawberry over the last few days – with a trip to Globe/Miami which took us past Roosevelt Lake. It is sad to see the lake so far down. Hoping this winter’s storms will bring it back up, a little at least. Still, several people were camped along the lake’s edge. We stopped to let our dogs, Pepper & Baxter, explore the lake. Bax is a puppy and has never seen a swimming pool that big!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Susan,

      Yes, I noticed on the way to the Butcher Hook that the beach was lined with RVs. If Spike were still with us, I would take him down there for a soak. I bet Pepper and Baxter had fun . . .

  14. Pleinguy says:

    That looks like a nice camp even with the low water. It is interesting how other RV folks show up. Love the cactus pic.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pleinguy,

      Ah, an artist’s eye for color, form, light/shade, and texture. I guess that’s prickly pear cactus. There are also many saguaro around here. I want to take a photo to show how densely they grow on the hillsides. Seems like the light is always wrong for a photo . . . .

  15. Karyn says:

    Migraines are no fun, I get them from the cheese too.
    Glad yours seemed like it was short, be careful out there!

    I wonder if they will lower the bridge now… 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Karyn,

      That bridge design reminds me of the one I photographed at Dutch John/Flaming Gorge. If the lake level drops much further, that inlet could be filled in and a road made across it.

      Beware of cheese!

  16. Shirlene says:

    Hey Sue, hoping you look this site up and when or if you do, pick something out you like so I can send you something.

  17. Pauline from Mississippi says:

    So glad the migraine left!!! I feel so blessed that I haven’t had those. I have seen people really suffer with them. And you think it was the cheese?….that would definitely cramp my style. I love my Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar.
    The pictures are beautiful. What water that IS there is so blue.
    Take care of yourself….give Bridget a big hugs
    And of course, Big Hugs to you
    Love you

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pauline,

      Isn’t the blue pretty? I didn’t play around with the photos. That’s what came out of the camera.

      I love cheese,too. If I don’t eat any for about 6 mos. to a year and then I try some again, I’m okay. However, slowly the “allergy” or whatever it should be called comes back and I’m hit with a migraine. Same with chocolate…

      Like the song goes . …”These are a few of my favorite things …”

      Love you lots.

      • AZ Jim says:

        Life without cheese is flawed. I love it. Lots of nights it helps me get to sleep. Melatonin promotes sleep.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I agree, Jim! There are so many types of cheeses and ways to eat it and cook with it! I love cheese enough to risk migraines when I can no longer resist it. Of course, I regret it later . . . .

      • Marsha/MI says:

        Cabot’s Seriously Sharp Cheddar – my fave! I had previously thought only Wisconsin made the best cheese (being originally from there I might be a bit prejudiced), but one year when we were out east I discovered Cabot’s and there was no looking back.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      The Cabot’s ES cheddar is my favorite “I can find it in many grocery stores” cheese. So many so-called sharps are actually fairly “dull” but not that one. (Of course in a specialty cheese shop all bets are off!)

      I think I’d weigh about 50 pounds if I had to stop eating dairy products – I joke that I should start towing a cow! (In reality, I suppose I would just deal with it, as one does).

  18. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    WOW that water level is way down!

    Glad your company helped with the effects of the migraine. Cheese eh? Eating too much cheese is quite binding if I must admit! Cabots sharp…Jules makes homemade Mac and cheese with that! They have this cheese up here called squeaky cheese…it’s cheese curd! The fresher it is the more it squeaks when you chew it! We get it at a local dairy farm!

    How is HRH Bridget’s leg coming along?

    Can’t wait to see the rigs! Thanks again for allowing us to be a part of your journey!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      Bridget’s leg seems to be better, then it seems to be worse, and I don’t know what to think! I can say she isn’t in any pain.

      Oh my. Jules’ mac n’ cheese must be divine. Talk about comfort food. . . .

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      I had a great aunt who used to say, when something suddenly shed more light on a subject, or made it suddenly more significant (imagine a single, raised eyebrow): “Well, *that* makes the cheese more binding.”

      I love old sayings like that.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Oh loved that one Pen!! Heh…my dear mom had lots of funny sayings too…laughter is good medicine too!! And you lady, deserve the “making peace” award too!! I like reading what you write also!!

  19. DeAnne in TN says:

    Hello Sue and Blogorinos! Time for my monthly/bimonthly visit from lurkdom. I am home from school today with an ulcer on my eye–I’ve had three children with no pain meds and this has brought me to my knees. I get very few migraines, but when I do my migraine triggers are cooked onions or semisoft cheese like Brie. Funny how food chemicals react to your own body make-up. Beautiful home you have there, Sue. Don’t laugh, but I calculated–only 2399 days until retirement. For some reason sounds sooner than almost seven years-hahaha! Take care everyone

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      DeAnne! An ulcer on your eye! What the heck is that all about? I never heard of that. It sounds terrible. Is your eye going to be okay?

      Cooked onions trigger your migraines… Poor baby… I love cooked onions. 🙂

      How does 84 months until retirement sound? 🙂 Hope your eye heals well and soon.

  20. kgdan says:

    Anybody fishing there?—Gil wants to know 🙂 What are the temps like there now? Sure is a beautiful area.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kathy,

      Tell Gil that I saw two guys out in a boat after sunset, fishing by the light of the full moon. There arent very many people around here in general, but, yes, I’ve seen a few fishing. I don’t know if they’re catching anything.

      The temperature has been in the low 80s during the day and at night the temperature has been sleep-with-the window-open-comfortable. We’ve had days when the air is absolutely still and some, like today, where a soft breeze blows. Cool in the shade. Nice!

  21. AZ Jim says:

    Hi Missy and Bridget. Your lake pix are wonderful. I bet the air there is fresh and clean. I just got back from Patagonia where we spent a couple of days at a super little place that has just 4 cottages they rent. It was great. I read this posting and would like to be considered for membership in the “Golden Friends Club”. Take care and keep on bringing the places I can no longer see to us.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi again, Jim,

      Wonderful! I was hoping you and Detta would enjoy your getaway at Patagonia.

      Of course you both are members of the Golden Friends Club! Thanks for the compliment on the photos. Yes, the air is good here, little humidity and perfect temperature.

  22. Timber n' me says:

    Cheeze wiz, Sue, I love cheese so much that we eat it like a candy bar, real quick , a whole block in one setting, I try to save it, really, but, between Timber n’ my cravings we eat it up any way. It’s like our ice cream, can’t wait to get home, the hell with dinner and cream cheese with chives, OOO yummy, eat it up, yay ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Well with that out of the way, emm, I got my wave 3 and hose hook up with a regulator setting in my mail box, I need to get a air tight box with a door, vent for the 20 pounder tank next week, then I’ll put in the dinette in, on the left side and move the sink between the tank and the stove on the right side. She is glassed on the cab over and over the weak seams and resined on the roof. and to day I finished painting the camper all over with a enamel-gloss, light Almond to match the truck. and now my back hurts, but no worries , I have a remedy for that. Timber says hi to the RH, miss Bridget,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, me

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow, Rusty! You’ve been busy and you have more projects to keep you that way!

      Please… Do not hook up any propane until you have a carbon monoxide detector with fresh batteries mounted inside your camper. You can get a good one at Wal-Mart for about $12, if I remember correctly.

      When I first saw your truck/camper in the photos you emailed me, I thought, “Gee, it’s nice. It would be even nicer with the camper painted to match the truck.” I’m glad you did that. I bet it looks great!

      I hope your back is okay. Hi to Timber from the Bridge…

  23. Kay says:

    UGH…. Dairy intolerance… just hate those headaches… but, when it comes to Tillamook Ice Cream and Cheese, headache or not… I am eating them!

    LOL… I was envisioning a chicken, who crawled into a hoagie bun …and landed on the table for RVSue’s lunch instead. It must have been good to eat the whole thing, plus the fries… or you are starving yourself!!!

    • Kay, I’m all in on the Tillamook cheese–all heavenly! And how ’bout their ice cream too? Sue, loved your photos, especially the one of the cactus. My Mom, the artist, would take a photo like that & then paint from the photo. So sad that the water level is down so much in the lake. I’m glad there are folks enjoying the area despite that. Looking forward to seeing your van photos, Sue. There are so many creative people out there! Super glad your migraine went away–it’s so cool knowing people that can take your pain away!

      Your description of the breeze took me right to the desert. Thank you. Enjoy your day.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Dawn,

        You’ve probably read on this blog that I am devoted to Tillamook ice cream. I resist it as long as I can. My favorite is “White Chocolate Raspberry Yum.” The white chocolate doesn’t give me a headache. 🙂

        Thanks for mentioning my photos. I’ll put up photos of rigs in the next post.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kay,

      It wasn’t even a hoagie bun. It was a regular, round, sesame seed bun and here’s this thick slab of chicken, more outside the bun than in it! It was grilled nicely and very tasty with the melted cheese and green chilies. Gosh, I can’t remember when I’ve been that hungry.

  24. Joan says:

    Sue, It was a beautiful day to be in AZ!!!
    Glad your back, you are in a really neat area. We have not taken Egg 4 Us on the Apache Trail, but have been in the “Blonda” aka Blue Honda, all around in that area, it is so beautiful. It is sad to see in your photo’s of how low the water is. 🙁

    You really have some interesting land to explore, this winter season while passing through AZ. Anything New on the map?

    Have ya ever been to Pepper Sauce, near Oracle?
    Happy Trails from Casa Grande 🙂

    Now, enjoy, rest your head

  25. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Having migraines is a misery, Sue…but it is good that you maybe know why and how to avoid them. I ate some DARK chocolate the other night…and wowee….not too long and I had a headache. I rarely get them anymore and I do not think this last one was bad enough to call a migraine…but odd I felt that it came so soon after eating the chocolate. I know it can trigger it for others. Wishing you all migraine-free days!! And nights too, of course.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth,

      That’s interesting that dark chocolate gave you a headache and so soon after eating it. For me, milk chocolate is the culprit and it takes over 12 hours to turn into a headache.

      Thanks for the wish for migraine-free days!

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Hmmmmm, milk chocolate and cheese trigger yours?? Those are both milk products too….could the milk used be part of that? Of course, with cheese it might be the mold process too. Ate some yummy chocolate pudding at a restaurant today (hubby ate about half so I only had maybe 3 tablespoons worth)…and oh dear, my gut has been most unhappy. So not fun having food problems…but one thing, no chance I will starve to death….oh no, not even close. I guess that at least is one good thing maybe?? Heehee…. I am grateful to see more and more GOOD products hitting the shelves, and that is something else to be grateful for. Even a couple years ago, there was not much selection like today. Sure has been helpful. Been working on some gluten free recipes to help with daughter and esp. the 5 yr old grandson, for taking to school. He is thinner than a rail and will not eat very much. But he does like cookies and muffins. Heh…little does he know the ones he ate yesterday and today are simply packed with nutrition. One thing I learned on this latest recipe experiment is that using ground cashews from Trader Joe’s makes the recipe taste incredibly much sweeter…and how good is that?? A much safer way to sweeten than many others. I am so glad for how GOD directs even small events like this…kind of my unpaid job, if you will. I no longer believe in coincidence…it may appear so to us humans…but I think there is more “help” than we know.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          It could be the milk in the products that causes headaches. With cheese I do believe it has something to do with the aging of the cheese. That’s why the higher quality cheese gives me a headache. I’m also allergic to penicillin, sour dough bread, and sulfa drugs…

          • Elizabeth in WA says:

            That is an interesting list Sue…all of which are on my “no” list too. The bread due to the wheat…gluten….

            I was told about the sulfa however that everyone becomes allergic to that…it is just a different point for each person…they get away with giving it to you for awhile…but eventually you no longer can use it. I think it was the 2nd time I had it that I was in trouble.

            • Elizabeth in WA says:

              I have an egg allergy too…wonder if there is some kind of connection with the sulfa allergy from that??

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I believe mold is the culprit… sourdough, penicillin, cheese…

            • weather says:

              My experiences with various mold issues causing occasional bouts of a variety of discomforts in life had me trace the connecting thread ,so to speak,among them.To make a long story short-I altered my intake of it by eliminating corn and most of it’s derivatives and adding natural anti fungal substances to combat it’s effects.The result was a large and noticeable improvement in my health, weight,youthfulness and moods.There is much more I could do in that restriction life style but won’t,as I enjoy what my pleasurable treats add to life,balance let’s me feel carefree.I don’t like to take much too seriously ,as long as I’m not having “body storms”,it’s all good in my world.Meaning if I get a rash,etc. I’ll put whatever on it,thank God for healing and go on with my day,don’t sweat the small stuff,or really anything.Just thought I’d mention this as it was an easy and overdue fix for me 🙂

  26. Velda in Roseville Ca says:

    Checking in for the first time. Have been talking to you all ( in my head) as I played catch up from day 1 of your blog. Took a few months to read through as I help my husband as he prepares for round two of cancer treatment ( battle 1 was a palate tumor with surgery and radiation; battle 2 is anti hormone treatment and radiation for prostate, beginning in a week.). He can only eat puréed food so life holds challenges , so we have not used either of our two RVs in a while. We own a 05 Leisure Travel Van and a 76 GMC bus conversion. That van sure was handy during the 8 days he was hospitalized in June 13. Anyhow, we love to RV when we can. Our two kitties are great travelers and love walking in their walking jackets. Thanks for letting me join in. By the way, that “Make new friends” is a song sung as a round I learned many years ago at Girl Scout Camp, way before I joined the LDS (Mormon) church. Have a great Thursday all.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Velda,

      Welcome to the world of blogorinos! You are officially a member. 🙂

      Yes, “life holds challenges.” It sounds like you and your husband are dealing with your latest challenge with determination and a positive attitude. I wish your husband well with much RVing for you both in the future, along with your feline crew!

      You reminded me of where I learned that song — in Girl Scouts many years ago. Thanks for dropping in, Velda.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I forgot to thank you for reading all my old posts. I take that as a great compliment.

  27. Lynn Brooks says:

    Love it!!!
    So glad you were able to overcome your migraine – ALL the women in my family suffer from migraines!!!

    Mine, fortunately have been fewer & fewer since I retired (no stress in working everyday for 42 years

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lynn,

      You deserve to be retired with no headaches after 42 years of work! What a plague headaches are, so debilitating.

  28. The weather in Florida has been wonderful also! Last Sunday it went down to 39 here in Myakka! It has been high 70s low 80s everyday since!
    The lake scenes are beautiful! Only God can create that shade of blue! Seems you have found a really nice space to sit back and enjoy life for awhile!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri,

      Good to hear you’re enjoying some good weather! Your daytime temps sound very close to what we have here, maybe a little cooler.

  29. Paula says:

    Hi Sue,

    Sorry to hear about the migraine, but glad it’s in the past now. I rarely get even a faint headache and feel blessed to not have that burden to deal with. The gooey cheese sounds fabulous – but what a price to pay.

    We are considering spending a few days at Roosevelt Lake in mid-November. I’m curious about the “solar hot water showers”. Are they HOT? We had solar bathrooms at Oliver Lee SP in NM and my showers were always cold. It’s next to impossible to shave your legs when you have goose bumps! Oh my – the struggles in life!!!!

    Paula

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Paula,

      You don’t have to be concerned about the temperature of these showers. They range from very hot to super hot!

      There isn’t a way to regulate the temperature. After a period when the showers weren’t working, I went to take a shower and at first I couldn’t stand under the stream, the water was that hot. After a minute or two it cooled enough so I could take my shower.

      Ever since then the water has been just right . . . .hot, but not too hot and it stays hot throughout your shower. Of course, the output is timed. If the water shuts off, the button is handy. Push it and the water is back.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        So are the showers free too, then, Sue?? I am so glad you are where you can shower….one of the most lovely of comforts I find!!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          There isn’t an extra charge for showers. 🙂 That’s part of what you get for $3 (with senior pass) or $6 (without the pass).

          • Elizabeth in WA says:

            Oh lovely, lovely, lovely….some days I take 2 showers a day. My mother-in-law used to call when I was taking a bath or shower years ago and told me: “I declare you are either the cleanest person around or the dirtiest.” Heehee….depended upon the day and what I was doing. Old farm girls are not afraid to get their hands dirty!!

  30. JodeeinSoCal says:

    You really capture the beauty of the area in your photos – nice catch on the deer 🙂 I’d love to crawl up on that flat rock and soak up the AZ sunshine for a couple hours! Ah cheese – so many uncomfortable side effects for some of us, and yet still nearly impossible to resist 🙁

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jodee,

      It was fun “catching” that deer. Nice that you appreciated the results! Thank you.

      Perfect weather in Arizona right now… I have my window open day and night.

      • Timber n' me says:

        Hi Sue, can you tell me on how You receive packages, I asked above and got confused by Pens answer,,,,,

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I have my packages sent to a UPS Customer Center. Do you want the packages sent to you while in the Lake Havasu City area? Once I know the area where you want to receive your packages, I can look up the info for you.

          • Sidewinder Pen says:

            Sorry I was confusing, Rusty. I thought you wanted to receive them specifically at a post office, hence the style of my reply. But if you ask again I will try to clarify. I’ve received a ton of packages in LHC 🙂

            One note: Do not have anything sent general delivery to the post office on London Bridge Road on the north end of town. That is only a postal “agent” (a convenience store) and they do not accept mail. But when you look it up on Google it looks like it is a real one. Instead, use the one on McCulloch, which is the real PO.

            There is also a UPS Customer center (hub) (Acoma St.) and a FedEx customer center (Kiowa St.) in town. These are free to pick up at but only accept from their own trucks, usually (so UPS truck coming to FedEx is a problem and vice-versa).

            It can be slightly problematic if you don’t know how something is shipping.

            In that case, if you need to be SURE there will be no mix up, you can use a UPS Store (not hub or customer center). They will accept from any “brand” of delivery truck (Not just UPS) but you have to pay a fee per package. There is one in the mini-mall in town just east of London Bridge (it has a Starbucks in it too which is easier to see).

            Sorry I was confusing before! Please ask again if I can clarify. Before I thought you wanted to know how to use general delivery (post office).

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              One last note for now: I’ve found that to LHC, Amazon ships UPS about 80% of the time. So if you have to guess, and it’s not absolutely critical that you get the package on the first go ’round, then I’d shoot for the UPS Customer Center on W. Acoma Blvd. Around 20% of the time Amazon will choose to ship FedEx, and about half of those packages will he refused (sent back to Amazon) if you had them going to the UPS hub (I guess it somewhat depends on the driver/day of week/phase of moon or something!). In other words, if you have it addressed to the UPS hub, and they choose to send it FedEx, you may have an issue. Amazon will work with you to re-send it, but that takes time (if you need it THIS time for sure). But since you have to guess, I would say UPS is your best bet in hubs in LHC for Amazon (in different states/areas, Amazon uses various carriers, but this is from my experience in LHC).

              I hope it’s not too confusing, but …. the problem is it is slightly confusing in real life! It took me a couple months to figure out the ropes there 🙂

            • Timber n' me says:

              We we’re asking Sue

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Oh, sorry for horning in then. I’ll pay attention to that in future.

          • Timber n' me says:

            While we’re camped in the area around L.H.C., I can receive packages n’ mail at my mail box, ( my box is at a UPS Store). I came to a idea, I’ll order stuff, have it sent to my box, then call up the folks at the UPS Store and have them send or forward to where I’m at or near. ,,,,,I already bought 2 detectors, 1 for fire and 1 for carbon monoxide when I placed my order, thanks for your concern, Sue. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,me

            • Timber n' me says:

              Sidewonder’er Pen, we don’t have any problems with the Nice folks at L.H.C. a Positive Attitude keeps all WELL, see ya ,,,,,

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              I see I stepped in when you were only asking Sue. Sorry I interrupted. And you are right, folks in LHC are very nice – I have found that as well.

              Only issue can be when the “other” shipping company tries to deliver to the “other” company’s hub, but everyone is still very nice.

              Sorry I horned in. Was trying to help but clearly didn’t do so well.

  31. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Morning Desert Women x 2,

    Hope your night was good!

    I have a question for you…..do you find the flicker of a candle soothing?

  32. Jan says:

    Just wondering how old you are? You are brave to be out on your own. I have a 27 ft. Motorhome and am a widow. At 68 I have less confidence in being alone but have been a few times camping with people meeting up later but not far away. I have a little dog also. Good luck and I will enjoy your posts.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jan,

      I celebrated my 66th birthday last month.

      As for camping, do what you feel comfortable doing and enjoy yourself!

  33. weather says:

    Good morning ,Sue,hope Bridget’s enjoying her enforced rest’s benefit of being even more coddled than usual,and you do as much for yourself today.I pampered myself by staying outside an extra hour.The distant rumble of a generator let me know someone didn’t fare as well as I did from that storm,they must have had wires pulled down .Dawn brought me another benefit from it instead.More wildlife has come here,guess their prior digs got messed up,this place is hopping-literally.Cardinals,goldfinches,eagles and squirrels have been hopping on branches more than ever today.If this keeps up I’ll buy food for them,this property doesn’t have enough foliage and natural resources to sustain that population.What a great thing to add to my Christmas gifts lists !Amazon sells most of what I’d need,I’ve put it in my cart through here already. Gee,I’m so easy to please,just give me paradise to play in and I’m in a good mood,Tee Hee, hope you both are ,too!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, weather,

      “This place is hopping.” I can see those cardinals, goldfinches, and eagles, the squirrels leaping from branch to branch… I can hear the twitter and skitter of birds and squirrels… 🙂 You are in Paradise.

      It’s fun to put out food for the birds. I enjoy that very much, but I don’t do that any more. Here in the desert and in a campground, it’s not a good idea. The seed and corn bring the ground birds and rabbits and then the coyotes arrive soon after. Not that I want coyotes to go hungry. I don’t want them grabbing tiny dogs and cats for lunch. Thanks for buying your supplies from Amazon here. This little birdie appreciates that! 🙂

      If there isn’t much commotion around my camp, I am blessed with the company of birds. I was reading in my lounge chair yesterday when a covey of quail came along, scratching and pecking the ground, yipping contentedly the way quail do… Also the ravens. How majestic and graceful they are in the sky! Too bad their sinister looks have given them a bad rep.

      • Nancy says:

        Good Morning Sue,

        My last house which was on a small river so it attracted many different types of wildlife. One day I walked out my front door and there was a snowshoe hare eating clover (when the skunks dug up grubs and left divots in the ground I put clover seeds in the holes – pretty soon the whole open area was clover!), in the sky overhead was a hawk, at the end of my garden munching the new maple leaves was a doe, and a woodchuck was climbing the bank with an eye to my garden no doubt. I loved having all the wildlife which I have learned the hard way is much better off fending for themselves since whenever I left food for some critter it always had repercussions that I hadn’t anticipated or wanted. I love the ravens, the world without crows and ravens there to clean up would be a nasty place. I love listening to them, sometimes I almost think I can understand what they are saying. You hardly ever see ravens around here unless you go to wilderness areas, they are very shy of people. Happy watching!

      • weather says:

        It’s wonderful that you feel blessed- see majesty and grace in what most consider sinister,and probably why they grace you with their visits.As always,you forego pleasure to ensure Bridge’s safety and comfort-so the enjoyment of having birds nearby is given to you without the coyote risks your having put food out would bring…no need to reply ,it just pleased me to note that.bye little birdie for now 🙂

        • weather says:

          P’S.In some situations,Nancy is correct,letting nature take it’s course is best.I’m blessed to be so familiar with critters’ that rescuing,sheltering or helping ,temporarily or permanently,is something I confidant about being able to do without repercussions.I appreciate her including that sentence very much for the sake of those less experienced in such areas. 🙂

          • Nancy says:

            Hi Weather,

            I have rescued animals too, wild and domestic. In those situations something (often a human action) has endangered a creature that you can assist to regain it’s health and freedom. That is quite different than unintentionally creating a situation. For example, when I was walking I found the body of a brown fox someone had shot. When I looked around I found the den with young cubs, over a weeks time I caught them all in Haveaheart traps and brought them to a rescue center where they were reunited and would be released back into the wild at some point, I don’t see that as having any possible negative side affects. The bad result scenario – I love to feed the birds, the sunflower seeds attracted the wild turkeys, which got used to coming in groups to dirt bathe in the driveway and have a sunflower seed snack. There were some of the “Bubba” type hunters around who illegally shot the turkeys from the road in my driveway, I felt as though I had some responsibility for them being there and worse that they felt so safe on my property. So now I just enjoy them being themselves and don’t try to interfere. I think every situation is different.

            • weather says:

              Oh my gosh,Nancy,that’s really awful about the turkeys,I can imagine your sadly being upset,on many levels and details in that situation!I’m so sorry it happened.

            • Nancy says:

              Thanks weather, I really angst about that for awhile, but it was instructive, it seems like a good thing to do, feeding wildlife, but it often creates an unnatural predator cycle, whether the predators are human or animal. Live and learn

            • Elizabeth in WA says:

              I am sure that did make you feel bad, Nancy, but we have had people in one location years ago, come on our private property and shoot my dad’s domestic ducks…they are so plump they cannot hardly even fly. People so stupid they did not know the difference between a domestic and wild one. There really is no way to avoid all the ways stupid people will do things sometimes. Often these so-called hunters (and by no means am I against hunting game animals for food but far away from homes) often shot towards my dad’s shop and house too…not even caring where stray bullets might go. One time they came right about dawn and shot from right under my son’s window ON OUR LAND, of course, and towards my folks house. Of course, we called the sheriff. Can you imagine what that did to our son’s nervous system (he was about 2 years old then)?? I was one VERY ANGRY mom, let me tell you!! VERY!!

            • Nancy says:

              Ugh! Yes, I can imagine unfortunately! There are many responsible hunters who eat what they hunt and are grateful to the animals for their food. BUT there seem to be an increasing number of the hunters who kill for fun and know that it is highly unlikely that they will be caught in the act (which they have to be to be prosecuted in Maine)and so don’t care that they are on your property. It’s awful, I’m sorry that happened to you.

  34. Nancy says:

    Hi Sue and Folks,

    Sue, so glad you’re feeling better and out exploring, thanks for taking us along with the great photos.

    Cheese – ummmm…..the higher the fat content the better (actually it is better for you – just read a book entitled The Big Fat Surprise, if you don’t want to read the whole thing go to the Conclusions chapter), those triple cremes like St. Andre, Brillat Savarin, Explorator, and really sharp rat cheese (cheddar) , YUM.

    People with camper van comments – could you mention some camper vans that you think are particularly good on maintenance, MPG, layout?

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      I can chime in on camper vans. I’ll presume for now you don’t want to tow a heavy trailer (but if you do, just let me know).

      ” could you mention some camper vans that you think are particularly good on maintenance, MPG, layout?”

      I’m going to have to give a non-answer again 😉

      Maintenance: It really depends on the individual van, age, and care. If there were one that beat them all, no-one would drive anything else! So basically you have Ford, Chevy, Dodge (old school) and Sprinter in full sized vans.

      Ford: The most common (although Sprinter is coming on now). In Ford, 1997 and newer will have modern engine, two airbags, etc. Not that older isn’t okay too, but that’s a dividing line. My previous camper Ford camper van with a 5.4 V8 got 16-18 mpg highway, which is fantastic (12-13 in town/mixed). They have been made forever so there is a huge selection of ages/types/etc. All budget categories.

      Chevy: Also good from what I know, but much less common in camper type vans. Not that that means there is anything wrong with them! I think maybe in the past, Ford had an edge in capacity for larger cutaways maybe, so they got more popular? But I would definitely consider one. Drive and try for ergonomics on any van. I have Ford and would not want to be any shorter in stature! So if you are shorter….

      In either Ford or Chevy mpg will be somewhat dependent on engine choice and overall weight plus height. I had a smaller V8 in my Ford mentioned above and it was also not “high.” They make diesels in Ford, but I wouldn’t want one “in my lap” as vans are. Others love them.

      Also, each brand has “things” they are good and bad in. Like I said above, if one was clearly best the others would not still be around.

      Sprinter: They seem fantastic but price of entry is much higher. Ergonomic, good mileage, high tops, all great. Initial cost higher and service likely more expensive. In RV form (not just camper van) they have lower towing limits. They are all diesel (but apparently quiet and fantastic). Not sure how service would be in small town America (?). Maybe fine.

      Layouts: You can find all kinds in all brands, and they are each “someone’s” favorite. Two main categories are an “aisle” layout and a Westfalia type layout. In aisle you have a nappable couch at all times, access to rear from inside and can carry long items. In Westfalia type you have a charming, square open room by the sliding door, but the daytime couch is short (runs across van) so is only lie-downable-on when pulled out into a full bed. Rear is mostly accessed via rear doors. There are ardent fans of both.

      Another consideration is, if it has a pop top or slides: How will it function when buttoned up for the road, such as if you pull into a rest area or Wal-Mart? If that matters to you.

      Porta potti or full on bathroom with tanks? Former is easy and uncomplicated, takes little space. Latter is more “like at home,” more complicated, has to be winterized, takes more space.

      Type of fridge? Propane is easy to power, but can’t be run on a slant and needs vents cut into body (can leak). Electric only needs a way to supply power (solar, generator, driving, or plug in), but if you have that covered it has no problem on hills and no vents in outside of body, typically.

      How much tankage? Fresh, black, and grey (if you have all the systems; my camper van had fresh and grey, then just porta potti so no black). Typically you’d want more grey than black capacity – say twice as much. Sometimes they don’t give you that. Fresh tank inside the rig is nice for colder weather.

      Okay, you get the idea. There is no right answer, but once you know more what you want, there will be right van(s) for you. I was happy with my Ford 17′ van with 5.4 V8. Great mileage, very reliable, simple systems. Obviously Sue loves her Chevy (although hers is not a camper van). We’d probably both love a Sprinter if someone gave us one 😀 (And of course they will get more economical to buy as time goes by.)

      As you can tell, we all love talking rigs 🙂

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        One other thing on van layout: Often the passenger seat swivels around and can become a “living room chair.” In some layouts, the couch is nearby; in others, the kitchen/bathroom come next and couch is at the rear. This means that “living room chair” may be near the couch or separated. You may prefer one or the other for various reasons, but it’s just something to think about since that chair isn’t moving to anywhere else 🙂

        Also: Are you more of a bulk/tub storage kind of person? Or do you like dedicated cubbies for everything? Do you immediately unpack your duffel bags in a motel and put everything in the dresser drawers?

        I’m the tub type (I have a tub for this type of gear, a tub for that type of gear, etc.), but my previous camper van had the cubbies for everything. That took a bit of getting used to, and for me I still think I would prefer just tub space. But you rarely find that in a “pre-made” camper van (more common in “home huilds”). Most people probably prefer the dedicated cubbies (drawers, compartments, etc.) so there is that. You can find either of course.

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          Last note for now, and this is more just a “gut” thing, but I am a stickler for a clean interior. And although there can be an exception to every rule, I’ve rarely found a vehicle with a pristine interior (or exterior) that is not well maintained. If there are a bunch of “little things that would only take five minutes to fix” red flags go up for me. First of all, if they were so little, why didn’t “you” fix them? Second of all, show me any repair in real life that takes five minutes….

          This somewhat doesn’t apply to vehicles at dealers, because they clean them up no matter what (so you can’t always tell how they were in “real life”). I typically buy from private owners, so that’s my experience base.

          If you can find something that was garaged, you have a head start on exterior deterioration/maintenance.

          Also of course check on previous smoking/pets, if that is a concern for you. Maintenance records are always a plus.

          • Nancy says:

            Whew Sidewinder! What a trove of information there! I am pretty sure I want to get an Escape 17’B camper, and then will have to figure out what I can buy used that will tow the camper, I’m thinking to be on the “cushioned” side I would want something that can tow 5,000 lb., and that I can store things in that I am not currently using like tools, clothes, bulk food and so on. I am more of a tub person too, each tub has a kind of category specific to my personal uses. Anyway, although I think the tow vehicle/camper is the way I will go I still want to look at all the other options, like a camper van which wouldn’t take all my resources to buy. Thanks for all the info. I am 5’2”, or I used to be, probably a little shrinkage now. There are some trucks I find difficult to drive because of my size. Many years ago a drove a school bus for a year. Everyone said ” If you see a school bus coming down the road and no one is driving it, it must be Nancy”. HATE old food smells, cigarette smoke and grime – ugh. I agree, it’s more likely that people who take care of the interiors will also maintain the engines.

            • Cinandjules (NY) says:

              Where are you locate Nancy?

              There is an Escape owner map…where you can see one in person.

              I can’t decide between the layout of a Freedom Deluxe and the Escape 17B. I love the interior of the 17B. I haven’t seen the FD in person to see if the aisle space between the chairs/kitchen is ample.

            • BadgerRickInWis says:

              I’ve always been curious how comfortable those captain chairs are? Hard to tell from the pictures.

            • Nancy says:

              Hi CinandJules, The closest one to me is in Arrowsic, Maine so I am going to look at theirs tomorrow. The Escape folks gave me a few names to contact in Maine. The people have a 19′ , and I too am looking at the 17’B Escape, but it will give me an idea anyway. He was so nice on the phone with many suggestions of places to stay, mostly on the east coast in the Army Corps of Engineer sites, he had many good things to say about them and the rates, although not free, were reasonable, particularly if you are a senior. The folks at Escape Industries are open to all kinds of customizing which I like because I always have to tweak something to suit me, and especially if it’s going to be my only home!

          • Timber n' me says:

            I can always fix it, but before I buy it, a car or what ever, I pull the dip sticks, smell them, look for fine ground up metal and best of all, taste it. In tasting the oil, it will tell you if gas is passing the rings or valve guides, then start it up, after starting it up, listin’ to the motor, it should run smooth, different sounds mean it runs ok or it needs internal work. I could go on n’ on, but I wont. Daylights a burnin’, have things to do, irons in th’ fire ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,us

  35. AZ Jim says:

    What’s in YOUR wallet?
    We left home on Monday morning this week and we journeyed to a small four cottage location in Patagonia AZ.. All went well until 7PM Monday night and the the fickle finger of fate struck. I reached for my wallet and it was not in my hip pocket. I thought maybe I left it in the car so I went out and there was no wallet in my chariot either. Now, panic began to set in. I was concerned about the credit cards, drivers license, gas cards, Medicare card, Supplemental insurance ID, even my Cremation Members card and of less importance the $85 or so in cash.
    We tore that cottage apart, I went out with flashlight and searched every inch of ground I had earlier tramped. Nothing. Try to go to bed and sleep after that. Maybe the arms of morpheus held me two hours that night. No more than that. I kept watching the window for daylight so I could once again do a outside search and at 5AM I was crunching my way through frosty grass all around the premises. Nothing. I called my credit card company and cancelled my credit card and Debit card.
    Detta and I were just sick. I went out to the car for one more check and once again looked under seats, on seats, glove compartment and then I once again opened the center console and after removing all contents my hand hit something standing upright at the very back of the console, YES, my wallet.
    I now have a list of all contents, numbers etc. of the contents and am whole again.
    So imagine the feelings both of the loss and the find and let me once again ask———-what’s in YOUR wallet?

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      AZ Jim,

      Glad you found your wallet! The unknown surely ran through your mind all night!

      My mom panicked EVERY time we went to Costco with her membership credit card! She would rifle through everything…only to say…I’ve lost it! Knowing EVERYTIME it was on her person somewhere…I reassured her…relax and systematically go through every pocket you’ll find it! Sure enough….she found it…until the next trip to Costco!

      As a heads up to all Blogorinos….your SS card shouldn’t be carried in your wallet or purse. No one asks you to produce it! If it is lost along with your DL…identity thieves will run amok!

      If I’m not mistaken…medicare/medical no longer has your SS number printed on the card!

      • AZ Jim says:

        SS# is on my Medicare card. I never carry my ss card but anyone gets my Medicare card gets my ss #.

      • Gayle says:

        Great and true advice. I wish the government would stop calling SS an “entitlement program.” It makes it sound as if we think we are entitled to a handout. SS is OUR MONEY! And, BTW, while on this rant, SS was never intended by FDR to be for refugee immigrant aid or special ed student aid.

        • Elizabeth in WA says:

          All so true, Gayle. My grandpa who died back in about 1960 believed that SS would be part of the downfall of this nation at some point. One wonders…

          And wow AZ Jim…what a story…SO SO SO happy you found it!! Hubby lost our checkbook one year in December no less and we with small kids and one a chronically ill child. He did not tell me for 2 weeks. I then got it cancelled and learned nothing was gone from it fortunately. AND went out and got my own account and began transferring enough for the bills each month so at least I knew that would be taken care of. After cancelling out that account, yep he found it…at home. Sigh…but oh well, I learned to be more inquisitive and always aware of when he took it someplace. And checked where it was when he got home with it. It is hard as we get older however…and in our case, moving about fairly often too….makes it harder to remember where things are!!

        • Nancy says:

          Remember what happened to our huge SS surplus during Bush senior’s term as President in the ’90’s? They used it to fix the S&P loan swindle, and none of those executives were ever indicted.

          • Elizabeth in WA says:

            Sometimes ignorance is bliss…I think if we REALLY knew what all they were up to….well, no telling what would happen. Maddening it is. Growing up my mom always told us, “It is not what you know, it is WHO you know.” SO TRUE!!

    • Timber n' me says:

      AZ Jim , my wallet is next to my heart when out in about and under my head when sleeping. ,,,me

  36. Velda in Roseville Ca says:

    I can speak to anyone with Sprinter questions or can try. Bought my Leisure Travel van on Sprinter in spring of 2005 and still using it when I can. LOVE driving it and have dry camped as long as a week with it with careful planning, one dump during, and the 180 watt solar panel up top. Small black tank of 9 gallons is at times limiting but 23 gallons grey and 27 gallons fresh water will do us the week if we take basin baths, not shower. Maintenance on the Sprinter is only every 10,000 miles so that makes the higher cost of service less painful. Oil change was easy for husband as he did not even have to put on ramps and everything is reachable. We get around 16 mpg diesel in city and between 21 and 28 mpg on the road and do keep speeds to 60 mph. Our Sprinter has the older 5 cylinder which does not need the DEF fluid those built 08 and later do which have 6 cylinder and are slightly more powerful. Ours is rated for 5000 lb tow but it’s small enough that we just don’t feel need to tow but if we did we would choose a much lower than 5000 lb to tow!
    Sue on the migraines. I used to have them but they went away after my hormones quit bouncing. However I have done more recent research on magnesium and how so many of us are low. I read about magnesium deficiency sometimes contributing to migraine. Recommended it to a young friend with a migraine and when she took a dose her migraine disappeared faster than anytime before. I take magnesium both to help sleep and help calcium protect my bones. I use Ionic Fizz powder in a cup of warm water before bedtime. Works for me. Amazon has it I’m sure. On the other hand avoiding something you have a known sensitivity too is often a better solution as you have learned. Hard to give up foods we love though. Have a good rest of your day.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Good to have a Sprinter owner chime in – I have never had one (or even driven one) so I can’t say much. Except I bet I would like it 🙂

      I wanted to stay lower in purchase expenditure, plus I tow a fairly heavy trailer at times, so I stuck with the domestic vans (Ford in my case) for now, but…. I think I would love a Sprinter!

      • Gayle says:

        I’ve got a friend with a Sprinter van. They don’t feel very stealth in that due to the high profile. Inside, the floor is recessed, so it limits movement inside. And it rides like a truck! IMHO

        • Gayle says:

          Oops, if this printer of which you speak, is the chassis for a Leisure Van, then cancel above opinion!

  37. Velda in Roseville Ca says:

    Forgot to mention. Sue, you and I are both really close to same age. I turned 66 in mid Sept. so I have come to say, class of 66 is now 66! our Moms had a warm uncomfortable summer of 48! Lol

  38. Shirlene says:

    POP!….I just thought I would pop in and say Hi….missed coffee with you and weather this morning…hope everything is going great for you and Bridget..can’t wait to see pictures on next post….TTFN….tata for now….

  39. Dawn in MI says:

    I”m interested in the van too…I think small is the way to go..you can get into more places and have an easier time getting into gas stations and grocery stores! On the other hand…could I live that small? hmmmm…..

    • Nancy says:

      There are many advantages to both towing a camper and to just having a more manageable van. I’m thinking that if I am going to do this for years I might want more space than a tow vehicle/ camper would provide, and when you want to go do things in a regular vehicle you can detach the camper, it’s a flexible combo, or the other hand it’s more money up front even if you buy used unless you already have a vehicle that can tow the size camper you want. The van seems ideal if you are camping for shorter periods. I have been wondering what you do when you want to go to a town or city for shopping or entertainment. I wouldn’t want to maneuver downtown in a camper rig, so where can you safely leave the camper?

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Nancy,

        I’ve left the BLT in all sorts of secluded camps as well as a few in the presence of other campers. After doing this many, many times, I still have the BLT and my camp has never been disturbed. Of course I have a hitch lock on the BLT’s coupler. So security, IMHO, is a moot point when deciding whether to buy a travel trailer or not.

        Maneuverability is an issue with larger rigs. I have heard owners of big rigs mention that it can be a pain having to drive one’s home to shop at a grocery store with a crowded parking lot. I personally enjoy being able to leave my home behind in order to sight-see. And I like coming home to my home rather than a camp chair.

        As for cost… I bought the PTV for about $8,500 and the BLT (New with lots of options!) for about $18,000.

        As for needing more space, that’s an individual requirement for you to determine, although I don’t know what kind of rig would have more space than a van with travel trailer.

        • Nancy says:

          Hi Sue,

          I really need to proof read my posts before I send them off – I wrote “more space than a tow vehicle/ camper would provide” I meant to write “that” rather than than. Yes, I don’t have experience but it would seem that combination allows for room and flexibility as you said.
          Really, you are making this all so much easier Sue, like a RV mentor, or maybe RVangel (-:
          So I’ll need a hitch lock to be on the safe side when leaving the camper. Good to know you have never had a problem, it feels like the nomad community has a good code of ethics, well, certainly your blogoinos do!

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Your travel trailer is likely to come with a hitch lock already. Mine did.

            Yeah, I haven’t encountered any thieves. Of course, if I were a thief, I don’t think I’d break into a Casita when there are “bigger fish to fry.”

  40. Hi Sue, I’m so glad to see you at Roosevelt Lake. My husband and I have spent many camping/fishing trips there and at Apache Lake (just E. of where you are) also. Beautiful place. I wanted to share a story with you.

    Many years ago, the water level was really low like it is now. Then, one year it filled way up — above the bathtub ring. It was so intriguing that we had to go up and see it for ourselves. We boated around the shoreline and couldn’t get over seeing the tops of trees peaking out of the water and the saguaro that was totally healthy and beautiful on top but washed away, only skeleton at the base. We didn’t get close to the cliffs because they were dangerous and would just cave in from the wave action.

    We sold our boat so haven’t been up there for several years. Nice to experience it again through your photos.

    Apache Lake is even more beautiful. It would make a lovely day trip if you are so inclined. Enjoy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Grace,

      That must have been fascinating! I’d love to see the water level high again.

      No, I won’t be going to Apache Lake this year. I don’t feel like driving the washboard road. I’m happy here and have lots to do. Maybe next year!

  41. Sorry, Apache Lake is WEST of where you are — on the other side of the dam.

    Grace

  42. Candace says:

    Hi Sue and your Bloggers
    I have been following your blog for some time and did post some months back.
    I have enjoyed your adventures and all there is to see through the lower states.
    I wanted to comment on this migraine issue as I have treated them for 25 years in my clinic. I am a Advanced Applied kiniesologist who has a practice in Canada (soon to be a full timer woman on the road) 🙂
    It has been my experience that migraines stem from our ci, occipital ridge joint being out of place and certain foods trigger the nerves that are pinched that react into migraines.
    I have had a 98% success rate in treating this issue with no recurring problems. This problem also seems to bring on symptoms of Vertigo ,eye disorders, hearing issues and sinutitus.
    Hope this helps.
    keep blogging…
    Candace

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Very interesting, Candace! I do appreciate you posting this information.

      What you describe does have the ring of truth for me. I have had neck issues due to many years of phone work and I did go through a period of vertigo.

      I regret that your comment appears after so many others. . . I hope those who could benefit from the information see it here.

      Thanks for writing and also for continuing to follow my blog!

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