Northeast Nevada — cowboys, rodents, reservoirs

Thursday, April 16 (continued) — Cowboys!

1-P1040231The crew and I motor northward on the Elko-Hamilton Stage Road. This is a two-lane, paved road running parallel to the western side of the Ruby Mountains in northeastern Nevada.

We come upon a cattle round-up in progress!

I park the Perfect Tow Vehicle on the shoulder.

1-P1040236It’s entertaining watching the men use their horses to gather up strays and maneuver the herd.  These photos give an idea of the vastness of this valley.  The mountains in the background of the next photo are several miles and about 900 billion sage bushes away from the round-up.

1-P1040235Mountains, sage, cattle, horses, cowboys, open range . . . .

This is Nevada!

1-P1040232I start up the PTV and we continue on our way to a new camp. 

Such a fun ride this morning.  It’s nice to have an early start with a short distance to the next camp.  No pressure, just drifting along . . . .

The wild horses and cattle have excited the crew.

And then we come upon this big fella’ which throws Reggie into a conniption of jumping at the window, barking in his less-than-intimidating voice.

1-P1040240 - CopyThe bull, being a bull, is not impressed.

Okay, moving right along . . .

“We’ll be at our new camp soon, guys.  Just a little further.”

We’re headed for Jiggs-Zunino Reservoir and Campground.

I’m aware from my research that there isn’t any water in the reservoir. 

That’s okay.  I’m interested in a convenient overnight camp where I can check the blog, give Bridget and Reggie some exercise, and relax for the rest of the day.

“Here it is!”

Bridget and Reggie bark and jump around excitedly.  

I drive into the campground (BLM/$2 regular/$1 with senior discount) and pass a travel trailer that looks like it’s here for more than overnight.  Hmm . . . a camp host perhaps? 

No one is home and the campground is empty.

I find a place to park, open the side door, and Bridget and Reggie jump out.  I walk them around looking for a good site and then I take this next photo.

1-P1040241 - CopyThe picture gives the impression of a lovely campground.

Green grass, snow-capped mountains in the distance . . . .

What it doesn’t show is a messed-up landscape with dusty, dirt “roads” going every which way around the campsites and the dry lake bed.

Apparently this campground was allowed to be an OHV playground.

Signs are now in place that tell people to stay on designated roads and also that prohibit access to areas where people should know not to drive without being told.   Oh well, better late than never.  Anyway . . .  The place is torn up for the indefinite future.

And then there are the ground squirrels!

Hundreds of them, scurrying here and there, popping up out of the ground, casting dirty looks, being rodents.  I’ve got nothing against ground squirrels.  A few are fine.  However, hordes of rodents running around, helter-skelter, is really, very creepy.

1-P1040271“Let’s get out of here.  We’ll try the state park.”

Only about 20 miles further and I’m writing a check for $14 for a night at the state park.

1-P1040272I deposit the check at the self-pay station and drive toward the park’s campground.  I’m glad we’re here.  Oh, and there are showers!  Yay!

I’m about to turn into the campground when I see that dreaded sign hanging from a gate across the campground road . . .



I search for a place to turn around.  Then I drive back to the park office and find out that a pipe is broken.  I’m advised to drive to the other side of the reservoir where there is another campground (with no shower house).

Oh geez, that’s more gas and the needle is already near “empty.”

The photo below shows some of the homes scattered on the low hills around the reservoir.  There’s an atmosphere of suburbia which I try to ignore.  I also try to forget about that hot shower.

1-P1040270-001One has a choice of two small camping areas, one of which is called “Jet Ski Beach.”  Nope, not for us!

Here’s the site I choose.

It has a shelter and a picnic table and steps leading down to the reservoir.

1-P1040256 - CopyThere’s something about being near water that makes everything good again!

More about our camp at South Fork State Recreation Area in the next post.




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124 Responses to Northeast Nevada — cowboys, rodents, reservoirs

  1. Chaunte in West TN says:


  2. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    YAY! I was starting to worry!!! Glad you found a space. Get that old tank full soon 🙂

    It has been GORGEOUS here the last few days. My blueberry plants are loaded again. Very excited about that!

    Hugs from Hoquiam,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You have blueberries! I was going to put in some blueberry bushes at my house in Georgia and never did. I used to go to U-pick farms. It’s nice to have your own. I hope they do well for you, Barb.

  3. Utah Bonnie says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of bull! Thanks again for the cowboy visual again. I’m impressed with the fact that they don’t have halters under their bridles. A real horseman would never do that and the horses appear to be nicely broke and carrying their bridles well. I’m an old cowgirl so I notice those things.
    I also had a visual of your two terriers going to ground with all the rodents at the previous stop. Moving on was a good choice but Reggie could have really got his terrier chops there.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bonnie,

      I never would’ve noticed that the horses have no halters. I wonder if that’s a regional thing? or maybe the preference of that ranch?

      Yeah, I was hesitant to have Reggie around all those rodents. No telling what might have happened!

      • Don in Okla says:

        Yeah, you sure could have had some guests hitching a ride in your rigs!! Glad you are outa there!!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Oh, right! I forgot to mention that… It took forever to get rid of the mice that moved into the PTV… or kangaroo rats or whatever the heck they were… when we camped in Washington two years ago. It wasn’t fun driving around with rodents scratching around above my head!

          Nice to hear from you, Don.

    • Rita from Phoenix says:

      We never used a halter along with a bridle…we used halters mainly to lead or tie a horse to a post but used bridle only when riding.

      • Monica- CA says:

        You answered my question. The difference in use of a bridle and a halter. I had thought those things were all bridles.

  4. Bill & Ann, Wyoming says:

    Water and windmills. So pretty. They help to remove bad campsite aggravations. Ha!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s right… Fortunately we didn’t have to drive far to find another campground.

  5. weather says:

    Wow,you really do report the good and not so much as it comes!It doesn’t get much more real than that,now does it?Happily moseying along ,feeling no pressure -then going through three campgrounds to find one decent enough to stay in.I’m glad you didn’t run out of gas and got to see and share the cattle round up.”…being near water makes everything good again!”-Great way to close another great post.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      It was still a very good day that I’ll remember with fondness. There wasn’t much distance between the campgrounds so I didn’t feel hassled or stressed. It’s nice to be able to make choices. That’s another reason I try to keep my traveling within the morning hours. If we had arrived at Rodent Campground late in the day, it might have been necessary to camp there due to being worn out from driving. As it was, we kept on moseying!

      I do try to give a real picture of what my life is like. Lots of folks are deciding whether they want to live like I do and it would be wrong to gloss it over. I know you agree! Thanks for the words about my closing sentence. I thought of you and your lake when I wrote that. 🙂

      • weather says:

        Mornings,I so strongly agree,are the best time to get anything started that involves travel or searching.Not only because initial efforts may prove fruitless,also to allow time for meandering.It’s amazingly easy to let myself become sidetracked.I’ll pull off a highway to see a pretty tree,drive miles along small roads to track a beautiful scent coming through my window…then of course have to find my way back to where I first intended to be.Really,it’s a wonder that I make it to destinations at all,guess that explains sleeping in my vehicles in the oddest places 🙂

        That,in part,is why an RV first crossed my mind.Funny ,and nice,how a natural bent can lead one to so much good in life.Another of those is being curious.I’d wondered why a campground would become overrun with tiny varmints.Looking around I realized this place ,though rich in what wildlife enjoys,has enough varied species to make competing for food bring balance-a few of each instead of colonies-sweet!

        Another thing that I realize is this post is about last Thursday when you were looking for an overnight camp,by now you may be in another state.I hope that wherever you are ,the three of you have what you need,love and enjoy.We had a tremendous thundering rainstorm last night.As it was this season’s first,I put the thundershirt on my pup who’d forgotten how to remain calm during that.Within minutes she peacefully went to sleep.Thanks again for having made awareness and availability of that through your blog!What comfort it,and you,have given .

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Good morning, weather . . . I chuckle imagining you wandering the countryside following your nose and having to sleep in your vehicle because it’s such a long way back home. That is so you! Love it!

          As for the ground squirrels, my online research tells me it’s not only the campground that is overrun with them. It’s a problem (for humans) across the Great Desert Basin and parts of the Mojave, up into Idaho, too. The balance you mentioned apparently has been lost.

          The thundershirt works! I remember you mentioning it once before. What a great invention with a wonderful purpose…. to “hug” the fear out of pups who are afraid of storms. Just another way my readers help others by sharing their knowledge and experience here.

          Happy wondering and wandering today!

      • weather says:

        You got that my wandering brought new experiences,made the way pleasantly longer -not lost.That’s why you were able to leave your fenced in life-open the gate to a world of adventure Amazing how seeing things as different/new/good instead of allowing ones self to be frightened by them can make life wonderful.The first time I understood what people speaking English meant when they said lost had to do with people being defeated in a race or fight.Not familiar yet with where I am at times,yep,lost-not 🙂

        The pup’s just came in from playing in the rain-gotta love their way of keeping time-wake up time,play time,meal time,done-do it all again when you feel like it.I’ve about the same plan for the day though now it will include washing muddy things again,no big surprise there,huh?.Good morning,Sue,I won’t ask about yours as you often like to save news for a post.I hope you and the crew spend it pleasantly…

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Good morning, weather,

          Reggie insisted on a run around the campground after he finished his breakfast and as I was beginning to fix mine (oatmeal). Of course, out the door we go! I’ve never known a creature that awakes with such energy, enthusiasm, and cheerfulness at the beginning of each day. He opens his eyes and immediately commences to jump and kiss and wag his tail, urging Bridget and me to rise and shine!

          Playing in the mud instead of snow… Springtime!

          Your morning greetings contain gems of wisdom . . . “seeing things as different/new/good instead of allowing ones self to be frightened by them can make life wonderful.” Oh, yes!

  6. GB in norcal says:

    Glad that you found a suitable campsite so you can relax a bit. Nice scenery & looks like a nice spot by the lake.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, GB in norcal,

      Good to see you here! It is a nice spot by the water. I will admit, though, that I’m spoiled. I’ve been fortunate to have camped in many beautiful sites next to rivers, creeks, and lakes without any neighbors at all and for free. I do try to appreciate every camp for what it is and not be picky. It’s rare that I turn down an inexpensive campground. But a camp for a dollar is not a bargain if one doesn’t like it. 🙂

  7. R. now somewhere in UT says:

    How far are you from any town with a nice size grocery store, laundromat, gas station? I agree, there’s always something relaxing about being near water.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, R.,

      As it turned out the nearest gas station is less than 10 miles from the state rec area, but I didn’t know that at the time. I don’t like driving miles for the sole purpose of buying gas anyway… so wasteful! As for groceries and laundromat, one would go to Elko, about 20 miles up and over Elko Summit.

  8. Glinda says:

    Always anxious to hear about your day. You make it so interesting,
    I feel like I ‘m right there with you wondering if the gas is going to hold
    up and looking forward to that hot shower. Sorry about the shower.
    That Reggie looks like he has fit right in and couldn’t be happier.
    Take care and keep us posted

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Glinda,

      I’m still surprised after four years of blogging that people find my daily life interesting. Of course I find my life interesting. Ha! Thank you for the compliment on my writing… that you feel like you are right here with us. I like that! You take care, too, Glinda.

  9. Calvin R (Ohio) says:

    That picture of your PTV and BLT could be used to sell Casitas! Beautiful picture. I’m not really into cattle or cowboys, but it makes a great perspective for the mountains in the background. If one of those cows could run fast enough, she would have plenty of room to try to escape.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Calvin,

      Yeah, the rig does look good in front of the mountains. Thanks for noting that. It’s misleading because that was the only green patch of ground not pockmarked with ground squirrel holes.

      Well, if there’s a cow that can outrun a horse, it deserves to escape the round-up! 🙂

  10. Diane says:

    Hi Sue,
    I’m glad you didn’t camp at the prairie dog place. Just not a good location (maybe those little critters have diseases, as they do in the Sierra).

    Your blog is wonderful for those of us who don’t do much traveling.

    Take care.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Diane, for calling my blog “wonderful.” I agree about those ground squirrels. I imagined Reggie sticking his nose in a burrow and having it bitten. There are large sections of ground where you can’t walk without stepping in a hole or having a tunnel collapse under your foot. There were colonies everywhere. I read online that it’s a sport to go on ground squirrel hunts. Gosh, drop a couple dozen coyotes into that campground…

      • Gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

        The “Let’s get out of here” coupled with those Reggie-floppy ears is so funny! I was thinking this was a good opportunity for him to “man-up,” but there is a potential vet visit lurking in that situation. Good call, to go.

      • Bill & Ann, Wyoming says:

        Ditto Sue,
        My first thought was, “where are the coyotes?” The balance of nature lost.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Maybe it’s not as bad as it seems when standing in the midst of Rodent Village. You know how natural cycles go… one year a place is overrun with rabbits, a few years later, few rabbits and lots of foxes, then the foxes decline.. and so it goes. Then human activity — agriculture, ranching, recreational killing, pest control, etc. messes up the balance.

  11. Racheldls says:

    Hi Sue! Evidently I have missed a lot I did not know about Reggie. I am so happy that Bridget has a companion now. I have something new in my world too I have found a tiny little trailer. 🙂 It’s homemade, adorable, & I can live in it and that is wonderful!! I just did a post about the changes I made if you want to check it out. There have been a lot of changes in my life lately some of them have not been that easy. But I am doing well out here. Take care of yourself girl talk to you soon.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rachel! What a wonderful surprise to see you here. I know it isn’t always easy for you to go online and mess around with comments. I look forward to catching up with you and your life (which I’m going to do as soon as I finish this comment!).

      Congratulations on your new home!

      LATER: Wow! You’ve been a busy lady fixing up your trailer, making it work for you! Great job! Little Macha looks cute as ever. I love her muscle photo. Haha! Then I scrolled down to the post about the passing of your ex-husband and dear friend in January. I’m sorry for your sadness. That was a lovely tribute to him that you wrote.

      BTW, I like the new design and title of your blog. Very much YOU! Be well, dear one.

      • Racheldls says:

        Hi Sue!

        Thank you so much for taking the time to read through my blog. I have been blessed in extraordinary ways. My little trailer has just been one of a series of wonderful things that have happened in my life. Although that was a pretty big one!

        I’m so glad you like Macha’s muscle picture. She is adorable isn’t she. She has certainly been a blessing out here.

        About my husband, Mick, That has been something that has been very difficult to deal with. I had not realized how hard it would be to lose him. We were actually still married you know we were legally separated but we were still married and we were still friends. I do miss knowing he was there.

        I am delighted to see that you have a new friend and companion on the road. I look forward to more tails or do I mean tales, perhaps de-tails? Lol. More about what those two get up to. 😉

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      What a beautiful post, Rachel. I am sorry for your loss of your husband and hope that each passing day brings your more peace. You have done a wonderful job modifying your new home to suit you and Macha – you are an inspiration! 🙂

      • Racheldls says:

        Hello Denise,

        Thank you for your kind thoughts and words. Living out here on the road the way I do is probably the best place that I could be to ease the loss of his passing. Working on my little trailer and playing with my little girl keeps me busy and that’s a very good thing. 🙂

  12. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Mountains, water, cowboys, horses, and cattle, oh, my! Thank you for the eye candy! For us non- horse (rider) folks, what is the halter that Utah Bonnie noticed missing? I am not familiar with what that is….thanks! Glad you passed on the rodent infested site. I envisioned the Crew getting bitten or some of the vermin getting into the BLT or chewing wires on the PTV….don’t need any of that drama! Since you paid before you were able to enter the park, might they refund part of your fee since the shower facility is broken? Having gas and supplies nearby is a relief…you can enjoy the reservoir until you are ready to move on to the next camp. Reggie’s reaction to the bull made me chuckle…the bull had a look on his face that was amused boredom! Did Bridget raise a fuss, too, or was she rolling her eyes at her little brother? Hope you have a good night filled with dreams of cowboys in tight jeans!!! 🙂 Hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂 ‘Nite nite.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      I do believe this is the first time that anyone has ever wished me a “good night filled with dreams of cowboys in tight jeans.” You are too much! Haha!

      Okay, the halter is that thingy that horses wear on their heads. It doesn’t have a bit for the mouth. It goes across the nose and up the side of the head, around the ears… I think I’m getting this right. A horse person will correct me. See how the horses don’t have anything going across the bridge of their nose?

      The state park person offered to refund the $14 if I wanted to go elsewhere. I didn’t feel like going for compensation for no shower.

      I don’t think Bridget paid any attention to the bull. She sits on the bench seat where it isn’t as easy to see what she’s doing while I’m at the wheel.

      You have a good night, too, dreaming of cowboys in tight jeans or not. 😉

      Oh, and good night to Gracie pup!

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:

        Hehehe! 🙂 🙂

        Ok…now I see the missing halter. Thanks for the info.

        Yes, I hope to dream of cowboys in tight jeans….that would be so nice!!!

        Gracie will be dreaming about chasing bunnies…letting out her little guttural growl/cry in her sleep that always wakes me up! ‘Nite! 🙂

  13. Rita from Phoenix says:

    Love the cattle drive scene so beautiful. Wagonteamaster also photographed and blogged about cattle drives in Oregon where he lives. He took pictures of cowgirls and cowboys driving cattle to new pasture. I remember your blogs about cattle drives in Utah….I think one cowboy had his cat in saddle with him. I’ve traveled so many places with you I can actually see them LOL The log cabin that a father and son had built in the woods. I can see you living in a tiny log cabin somewhere remote looking out to wide open spaces… the future that is. Enjoy your travels with the crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rita,

      I like your vision of me living in a log cabin in the woods with open spaces… a perfect second retirement! That photo of a cowboy in Utah has a little girl sitting on the horse with him… precious. You do have a good memory for my blog posts. 🙂

    • BadgerRickInWis says:

      Ivey creek right? Definitely one of my 5 favorite camps. Not sure why, it just seemed to have everything.
      Except isn’t that where the PTV had her boo-boo?

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Yes, that round-up was between Ivey Creek and Salina, Utah. And yes, that’s where I gave the PTV a boo-boo. I realize in hindsight that I wasn’t quite myself, still off-balance from losing Spike. I did a lot of dumb things during that period.

  14. Robynn in Peoria az says:

    So glad you didn’t stay with the ground squirrels even if it cost more.
    My daughter had to replace lots of wiring in her car when they chewed them to make nests. Would hate for you to get stranded.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Robynn,

      Sorry your daughter had that experience. I’m not sure if ground squirrels chew wires. I know that there are types of rodents that do. In any case, I didn’t want to find out! I suppose the day will come when I’ll find the PTV’s wires chewed, what with all the country camping we do… Hope not!

  15. Pamela K. says:

    Hi Sue,
    Love all the cute cowboy pics. I believe it takes a very special kind of person, the right personality type, to be a working-cowboy. Those who do it seem to love every minute of the cowboy lifestyle. No dude ranch cowboys there, they were workin’ that herd!
    Sue, you know that ski-doo beach you passed? Often they will have a gas pump for rentals and for a small fee 😉 will let you get some gas enough to get you to a real gas station. It’s worth asking about. BTW, when you said you didn’t stay at Ruby because of the low gas for the PTV I got confused. Why would that cause you not to stay longer? The PTV doesn’t use it’s gas to power the BLT. Could you tell me more about that. I must have missed something early on. Do you sometimes need the truck to top off the solar or something? How do they relate?

    • Pamela K. says:

      All those rodents! Spookie indeed! One dollar is never a wise price for ,maybe, having a bunch of wild rodents chewing electrical wires! Talk about costly, that would do it! Glad you moved yourself and the crew. Wild rodents in a pack are like a gang when together. They will pack and jump small dogs if they are starved enough. They can be very aggressive!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pamela,

      I’m glad you asked the question about why we didn’t stay longer at Ruby Valley. I wasn’t clear. You’re right — It didn’t have anything to do with powering the BLT.

      During the days we were at South Ruby Campground the crew and I had enough good weather to walk the campground and the surrounding area.

      If the PTV had extra gas, we might have stayed at the campground and taken day excursions… maybe to the wild horse territory, take a picnic, and then come back to the campground. I might have driven out to various ponds and streams to walk the crew and to take photos of birds and any wildlife. We also passed many photo opportunities on the way to the campground that I might have returned to.

      Being able to drive around would have made staying at the campground for a few more days appealing. Being confined to the campground and its surrounds wasn’t enough to keep us there when there’s always something to discover and enjoy further up the road!

      You asked how the PTV relates to charging the batteries. On very rare occasions, like when we camped in heavy growth of Oregon or Washington, I couldn’t position the PTV in sunlight at our campsite. In that case driving the PTV allows the starter battery to charge the AGM batteries in the PTV (that store power from the solar panel).

      At an Oregon campground I drove us down to the day use area and parked the PTV in the sunny parking lot. Then later, when we returned to camp I plugged the PTV to the BLT and all the batteries equalized (starter battery, two AGM batteries in the PTV, and the house battery, also AGM, in the BLT). Nice.

      Back in 2011 when I wrote about wanting to put the solar panel on the roof of the PTV, I was told by a few folks that it wasn’t a good idea. It has worked beautifully for us and I’m glad I chose to have the panel on the PTV, rather than on the BLT which doesn’t have much flat roof space.

      • Pamela K. in GA says:

        Thanks for the detailed info! Now I understand 🙂
        Mainly because of the low gas in the PTV you couldn’t drive around as much to see everything and take more ops of the surrounding areas. That would do it for me too, not being one to stay in one place for very long, especially when it’s a new area to fully explore. Leaving out to get gas and moving on was a wise choice, you can always save the rest until next time 🙂

      • A gal in Maple Valley, WA says:

        Hi Sue,

        Your alternator charges both your vehicle battery and your house batteries when the engine is running. Your engine is actually a generator that drives your alternator and also moves the vehicle.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          That’s right, when the PTV and BLT are connected. When not connected, the vehicle battery charges the two storage batteries in the PTV. Then when connected, the house battery is charged,too!

  16. PookieBoy north of houston says:

    Sue, great pictures as usual…..I hunted for many years in Colorado above Rifle and used to see these cattle drives very often and as often as not had to sit and wait for the cattle to be driven off the roadway….I never minded the wait since I loved to see the cowboys work. We would come across these way stations that were way up in the mountains for the cowboys to stay in while rounding up their herds….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi,, Chuck,

      It is fun to watch the cowboys/cowgirls maneuver the cattle with their horses. I’ve always enjoyed watching people do what they do for a living, utilizing special training and skills. It’s especially interesting when it represents a way of life entirely different than anything I’m familiar with.

      I bet those cattle drives in Colorado were picturesque… You know I’d be taking photos!

  17. Karen - SC says:

    Wow!! you have such incredible tales to share. I love your pictures of the roundup. I would love to see some of this when I travel west. I like your idea of just moseying along to the next stop. I always camped with a specific destination and time limit. The trip I’m planning this summer will be extended and focuses more on the journey and not a specific destination. Happy trails. Karen

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Karen,

      I do hope you find a pleasurable pace for your summer trip. That’s hard to do when under time constraints, having to get back to a job on a certain day, for instance. The “deadline” influences how you spend each day, pushing you to fit everything in… and that’s the big difference between a vacation and this lifestyle. It sounds like you will have a long enough time to mosey along at a pace where you can really see and experience where you are. I’m happy for you!

  18. You have sure been busy while I was out playing with old high school pals! Love that you got to watch the storm come across the valley. “Going to see” a rodeo or a roundup is one thing, but to come across the real thing just calmly “happening” in the every day is so much better. Like a short glimpse of another world, another life story that you get to share on the way to somewhere else. Can you imagine how “different” your life must seem to ranchers? So glad you got out of the rodent village – give me snakes and coyotes over them any day! We will be in the Elko area in mid June. Hope it’s still as beautiful 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jodee,

      You’re right about seeing the real cowboys in action. That’s one of the pleasures of full-timing in a wandering mode… Repeatedly one views the lifestyle of others and that’s so interesting!

      What would ranchers and cowboys think of my way of life? That reminded me of the guy in Utah who started a conversation with me while I was parked next to a convenience store checking the blog. He was tethered to a farm and seemed wistful about living on the road.

      Only 44 more days… 🙂

      Oh, about “Elko in June”… I have no idea what that’s like. You could explore beautiful Lamouille Canyon, maybe camp in Thomas Campground. Too early in the year for us to do that.

  19. Good Morning Sue,

    I am having my coffee with you and enjoying the new post that appeared overnight. Funny, all I could think about was that the cows were going to market to become McDonald’s hamburgers. Took the joy right out of me…I have to do better..Where’s Weather when I need her..ha!

    The way you are parked in the last picture reminded me of Salton Sea, where one parks along the water front horizontally…Well, you said you were craving the beach, and looks like you found a mini beach….ask and you shall receive. I also had no ideas that rodents were such a menace in the Great Basin. I would think Red Tail Hawks would find it a wonderful home and could eat for months! I will spread the word to the Hawk nation..ha!

    Hello to all the fellow blogorinos having coffee with me this morning, you know who you are! Enjoy you day everybody! I will be lurking while working again.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Shirlene,

      Yeah, it’s not pleasant looking at the larger picture, i.e. cattle = hamburger. Compartmentalize and you can enjoy watching a cattle round-up! 🙂

      Rodents aren’t in great numbers everywhere in the Desert Basin…. in pocket areas, yes. I think the degradation of the campground (loss of grass and other ground cover, dirt turned to dust) might have contributed to the ground squirrels finding it prime real estate for home building.

      I don’t really know much about it other than what I saw in that location.

      Thanks for the wish for our day. I hope you enjoy yours, too, even while working!

    • weather says:

      Hi Shirlene,how was your drive in this morning?I’m guessing you didn’t stop for a meaty breakfast sandwich 🙂 Are you vegan?Someone must have long ago called the local Hawk nation elsewhere-they’ve been relatively rare here for decades.Was that someone you?

      • Hello my friend, well…..I usually count the Hawks on my way to work, it is not unusual for me to see 3 hawks sitting on poles along my route to work…Have not seen them lately, maybe the excessive building of new structures in the area is taking them away….But funny thing……I named one, it has been sitting in a tower about 3 miles from my home, “Weather” because she sat there overlooking everyone and keeping a good look out for all. She must be on vacation, because she has not been there…but it was fun to say hello to the beautiful Red Tail Hawk every morning while that was her territory…On the other hand, you have my favorite, Bald Eagles soaring around you and keeping a good eye out for the world below…I would gladly swap!

        Now as to my stopping for a meaty breakfast….I am not vegan, but do not often eat meat, mostly fish, shrimp, ocean stuff…go figure…and I usually have coffee and a rice cake with peanut butter for breakfast, not much imagination there…

        Enjoy your day, I hope you get some outside time.
        Love to you and your troupe, and yes even the feathery ones….I love birds of all kinds and if not for the mess, I would have one again.

        • weather says:

          Gee,I really enjoyed your hawk story.Long ago I met a wild rabbit with a nick in his ear that made him look as though he’d been in a barnyard scrape,so I named him Barnie.We kept track of each other and met up on occasion for a few years.I found that I missed him,when he was no longer around,more than all my other wildlife friends.I think it was because I named him,so since then I just say hello,friend to ones that don’t live inside my home.

          Seafood,when it’s fresh is wonderful-I’m glad you have varied proteins in your diet,healthy balance.Love to you and yours,too,off to be outside again 🙂

        • AlanOutandAbout says:

          So you prefer Mercury over Growth Hormones then. 🙂
          Just kidding but I don’t think there is any safe food anymore.

          • Yep, only thing safe is what you grow yourself, don’t you agree….chicken and eggs, I could live on them if I did not have to kill the chickens! I can make homemade egg nodules for chicken soup if needed….well, we all have an expiration date. I hope I am on the road for at least 10 years before mine catches up with me….I will just keep moving, hard to hit a moving target.

            • A gal in Maple Valley, WA says:


              Your hilarious typo shows you think about medical terminology too much. 🙂

              Did you get you car because it is a Thunder-BIRD? 😉 Perhaps it isn’t baby blue but instead Robin’s egg blue.

              With all the preservatives in most food, wonder why WE all don’t last longer? Haha.

  20. edlfrey says:

    ” …I motor northward on the Elko-Hamilton Stage Road. This is a two-lane, paved road running parallel to the eastern western side of the Ruby Mountains in northeastern Nevada.”

    I’ll now continue read.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hahaha! Oh my, Ed! This is too funny! You might not believe this, but I woke up in the middle of the night and thought of the blog. My east-west confusion jumped into my consciousness. Oh, darn, I put us on the eastern side of the mountains when we were on the western side. Then I thought, I’d better fix that first thing in the morning or Ed will be correcting me again.”

      I forgot to fix it and here you are! Damn, you’re good! Haha!

      (I’ll fix it.)

  21. Applegirl NY says:

    Cowboys…… that’s all I have to say!

  22. Good morning, Sue and all the Blogorinos!

    Those ears on Reggie are killing me! Always checking out the scene when you are out of the PTV. I also loved the pic of your “almost” camp…good thing you noticed the ground squirrels before you started to set up. That sure was a nice view, though, just don’t look down, right?

    I enjoyed my coffee with all who joined in 🙂

    Have a great Tuesday!! 🙂

  23. Wow Sue, sorry, this blog seems to be taking on a life of it’s own…that what you get when you leave us alone to fend for ourselves, we develop relationships…ha!

  24. Monica- CA says:

    Fearless Reggie to protect you from that nasty looking bull- too cute! I googled Jiggs-Zunino Reservoir and discovered this wonderful site, I spent sometime looking at the information that this person has compiled about Nevada, very impressive. I enjoyed reading about South Fork State Recreation Park,

    I’m learning lots about Nevada. I even bookmarked the Lamoille Canyon Scenic Byway as a place to visit as I one day travel around Nevada.

    The description of the pass, Harrison, over the Ruby Range was describe as a gravel road. That must of been slow going with spectacular views of the range. I’m so enjoying the path!

    • Nivrapa in AZ says:

      Monica, thanks for posting that link to Armchair Traveler. What a neat site with a wealth of information. I like that it includes so much about the lesser known areas in many western states, although not exclusive to just The West. I’m going to definitely include this site in my trip planning file. I am also becoming fascinated with Nevada and I can see that my plans to visit Great Basin National Park will extend into more of Nevada. Now, if I can just decide what time of year to make these visits….


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Monica… You saved me the trouble of posting a link about South Fork in the next post about our camp there. Thank you!

      The road through Harrison Pass seemed more dirt than gravel… Maybe the gravel had washed away over the winter months and will be replaced soon. You have to drive slowly because the road is narrow and winding. The wildlife officer warned me to be careful because people come around corners in the middle of the road, being that there is no shoulder or guard rail.

      At the summit you can see the broad expanse of Huntington Valley. I didn’t take a photo of it because I could tell the lens wouldn’t capture the scene well… too distant and hazy.

      • Monica- CA says:

        I hope you use a link since some folks may only read your blog and not the comments. Thanks about the information on the pass. I’ll file that information onto my index card about the Ruby Range. Safe travels!

  25. Ladybug in Mid-Tenn says:

    Two things that popped in my mind while reading….

    1. I’m impressed you counted all the sagebrush between the round-up and the mountains!! 😉

    2. Looks like Reggie has the same opinion about cattle that Spike did! 😀

  26. Ann says:

    I love the description of your decision making process and the awesome photos! I too plan to full-time in a Casita, but the Freedom model so that I can remove the chairs and table so there will be room for a litter box and cat tree. 🙂 You got so excited about the campground having a shower…..I am just curious as to why you wouldn’t just shower in your Casita? That is what I am planning to do.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ann,

      I think I used the shower in the BLT two times shortly after she became mine. I found it to be more annoying than effective.

      One has to be so careful about how much water one is using and the pressure wasn’t up and I didn’t want to fool with it. Then the bathroom is all wet afterward so that makes utilizing the space for storage problematic.

      I’d rather put hot water in a basin. I can tell exactly how much I’m using, I’m not wasting water, and I’ve found that a good scrubbing is effective. To each his own…

      Good plan for adapting the Freedom model to your situation.

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        I do the same as you. My “new” rig (new to me since I was at Sidewinder, I mean) has a bathroom/shower, but I still stand at the kitchen sink with a pot of hot water to do my bathing 😀 I prefer the wide-open space and I don’t like to have to squeegee a shower down (etc.) when I’m all nice and clean.

        Only thing a bit tricky is the hair wash, but for once my dry, straw-like hair is an advantage as it doesn’t even “want” to be washed every day. So I generally leave that for public facilities or outdoors.

        It’s funny, I used to hate the idea (and reality) of using public showers. Oftentimes there are not enough hooks, you have to cart your stuff there and back (not to mention being at a campground in the first place), etc. etc.

        But now I have grown to appreciate the usually large space, the amazing amount of water/pressure/temperature, and the lack of having to meticulously clean up afterward (I mean, I leave it as tidy as possible, but it’s not like I’m drying the walls and curtain).

        Now that I think about it, I always did enjoy reading about “bath day” in the “Little house” books. Shoot, now I bathe kind of like they did 😀

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You make a good point, Pen, about public showers. It’s interesting how our enjoyment (and appreciation) or lack of it is influenced by our attitude.

          As a frequent boondocker I get a thrill out of finding a spigot for drinking water. Never gave water much thought when I lived in a regular house. I like this way better.

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Follow your dreams!

      By the way……..What a neat tiny house!

    • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

      We have a “wet bath” in our LT van and both hubby and I have used it to shower and we don’t mind. We used to go to rallies with friends where we were gone a week and had access to a dump so every few days we would shower instead of basin wash up and then hubby would drive over and dump both tanks. And we have really small tanks on the van- 9 gallons black, 23 gallons grey, and 27 gallons fresh. We can manage a week almost if really careful. But then we were both sailors and knew how to take a Navy shower! 🙂

  27. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Hah hah….sweet dreams of cowboys in tight jeans! Good one Denise!

    Actually the first photo reminds me of the Marlboro Man. Ruggedly handsome persona.

    That bull looks intimidating! That’s one HUGE beast!

    Reggie s a cutie…love his semi wing tipped ear! Hang on tight to Reg with them ground squirrels! Jacks have been know to chase forever…..Bridgee baby doesn’t need to re aggravate her leg!

    Stay warm, enjoy your day and safe travels!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      Reggie is on-leash when not in the BLT. I also bought a tether line when in Ely, one that he can’t chew through. It’s 20 feet which, of course, gives him a 40 foot diameter circle to run around in. It’s working out very well. I move it around like one does a sprinkler for watering the grass… Ha!

      He likes the relative freedom it gives, except when it becomes caught on something and he can’t get it loose. Then he kicks his back legs in frustration, making the dirt and grass fly, and grumbles. That guy can’t do anything without looking cute about it.

      Bridgee Babee has been very lazy lately. I think it’s the balmy spring weather we’re currently experiencing. She likes to loll in the sun. Of course just watching Reggie hopping around is tiring, too!

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, Cindandjules!

      Hehehe!! 🙂

      The Marlboro Man came to my mind, too. Great minds think alike!!! Remember back in the 60’s or 70’s the billboards that would have the Marlboro Man “smoking”? I recall seeing them in downtown Chicago.

      Have a great night! 🙂

  28. BadgerRickInWis says:

    Undoubtedly a wise decision to move to another camp. But I just can’t get this image out of my mind of Lil’ Reggie Man pulling tight at the end of his leash. His tiny feet kicking up a great cloud of dust as he snarls, “Let me at em’, just let me at em’. 🙂

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      OrRVSue being dragged across the plains…….by Reg and Bridgee babeee!


      • rvsueandcrew says:

        You joke but it happens! This morning Reggie was so full of energy — this is before my second cup of coffee — that he had me running around the campground with him leading the way, like I was a carriage hooked to a runaway horse! Fortunately no one else is in this campground.

        • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

          Wish I was a cartoonist. That description just begs for a drawing of the crew with you in tow. Have a good Wednesday Sue and crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rick… Gee, I replied to Cinandjules above your comment and described how Reggie back-kicks and grumbles and then see you wrote almost the same thing. You must have a telepathic connection with the Reggie Man!

      I saw him jerking his head around, looking from one ground squirrel to another, in that intense way that terriers do.

  29. kgdan says:

    Well we departed wonderful Pahranagat campground at 6:45 am. We overstayed the limit by the encouragement of our host. Made several new friends & some guy got to fish everyday. We shared traveling tips, food, memories of bygone times to which seniors often return. Great, interesting folks & good times. Made use of the fresh water fill & dump at that Alamo fairgrounds for an ‘on your honor fee’of $5. Stopped at Shell station in Ash Springs; picked up another Benchmark & had a made-to-order breakfast in the mini-mart for $6.49 which included coffee. Then we were on our way.

    Navigator messed up & somehow we realized we didn’t take the road we intended, when we arrived at Caliente. So we continued on through spectacular scenery. Even saw wild horses. For today we have landed in Ely for one night.

    Love, love, love you recent photos. Our new friends are also new RV SUE followers.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kathy and Gil!

      Sounds like you had a great time at Pahranagat… made friends and good memories. I’m so pleased!

      You went the Caliente route… Lots of interesting history that way in addition to the scenery. Wild horses are always a bonus!

      I was going to suggest you stay at the Prospector Casino, Hotel and RV Park in Ely, if Ward Mountain Campground is not what you want…. You can walk into the casino and restaurant from your rig…

      Thanks for spreading the word about my blog and for loving my photos! Good weather the next few days, rain on the weekend maybe… Safe travels!

  30. Nivrapa in AZ says:

    Hi Sue,

    The area you’re in now is so rich with history of the American West. I have always loved the history of the West and your pics help bring those times into sharp focus. I feel like I’ve been transported back in time with your pictures of herding the cattle. Are you sure you’re not reliving the TV series Bonanza? The first four pics seem like they could be somewhere on The Ponderosa. I find it interesting that in this age of technology, some things haven’t changed in the past one hundred years, such as cowboys riding in cattle roundups. I’m convinced that in an earlier life I was part of some wagon train to the West eventually settling in the wide open spaces to build a life for myself on untamed territory. If that’s not the case, then I sure had a great dream the other night!

    Giddy-up and travel on!


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Gee, those photos do look like scenes from the Ponderosa ranch.

      The Bonanza tv series with Adam, Hoss, and Little Joe, plus Lorne Green as the patriarch of the Ponderosa made a big impact on our generation. I relate certain things I come across in the west with what I first saw on that show.

      You have the spirit of a pioneer… 🙂

  31. Chuck says:

    Pics are great as always. Ruby Valley is one of my favorite places. Came in from the north and it was beautiful and I stayed for about 3 weeks in a 64 VW Contempo van, no A/C but water and I have always wanted to go back. Thanks for the pix.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Chuck. Three weeks! You must know Ruby Valley very well.

      Oh, those VW vans of the 60s… 🙂

  32. Marie Watts says:

    I hope you got your $14 back! Great blog. I found it through cheaprvliving.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No, I didn’t ask for a refund because we did camp at the South Fork Rec Area, just in a different campground.

      Thanks for calling my blog great. I’m glad you found your way here, Marie!

  33. Pamela K. in GA says:

    I’m curious about the CLOSED Sign…
    You had already paid the $14.00 at the Pay Station, right? Then you drive and later saw the CLOSED Sign? Seems to me that they would at least put the CLOSED Sign up at the Pay Station so people would not pay for something they were not able to stay at. Doesn’t seem right some how, whether you wanted to stay the night or not. Do that happen often? $14.00 is almost the cost of two nights at some sites, with the Senior Pass of course. Anyway, did the office folks give you your $14.00 bucks back? The whole campground just struck me as odd…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pamela,

      To answer your question, no, this situation doesn’t happen often. This is the first time I’ve run into a state rec area where the campground was closed yet there was no sign indicating that at the fee booth at the rec area’s entrance.

      I did suggest to the person in the office that a sign at the entrance would be helpful. I tried to say it in a nice tone but it probably came across as criticism, which is what I truly felt.

      I wanted to point out to the person that letting people write a check or drop cash in the pay station for the campground means people will drive into the rec area a quarter-mile or so to find a closed sign across the campground, and then, if they have a big rig, have to drive further until they find a place where they can turn around.

      If the pipe had broken only moments before, that’s different. However, I questioned why someone was camping inside the closed campground and was told that was the repair person’s rig. Apparently the break occurred some time ago. The only other thing I could think to justify the lack of a closed sign at the entrance was the person was alone and wasn’t allowed to leave the office. I doubt that’s the case in this day of cell phones, and, again, the break happened a while ago.

      Anyway… I had the choice of a full refund or camping in the rec area’s campground on the other side of the reservoir. I chose the latter.

      Yes, it was a bit “odd.” The amateur paint job of the permanent entrance sign (see photo) was the first clue. It looks like it was done with a stencil set from Home Depot.

  34. Dawn in MI says:

    LOVE that first photo of the cowboy on his horse. Would make a great painting…great photo too. There should definitely be a sign out by where you pay that says closed, no shower.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Dawn, regarding the first cowboy photo. There is something compelling about the horse coming toward you through the sage and the way the cowboy’s head is turned.

      I agree about a sign. (See my reply to Pamela above your comment.)

  35. Good Morning Sue, I am sitting here with my first cup of coffee, waiting……….I know there must be something you have to tell us, some more pictures you HAVE to post…more adventures to share….in the mean time, me and my coffee cup will be here.

    Good Morning to the morning coffee crew who enjoys that first cup of Joe in the morning with me!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Shirlene… Good morning!

      I have to wait for Reggie to settle into his morning nap before I can attempt to write a post. Otherwise he paws at me and tries to tear my shirt, concerned because I’m staring at the computer screen and not paying attention to him!

      He and Bridget are curled up beside me… I’ll see what I can put together for a post…

      • No hurry Sue, I will be here all day….

        That little Reggie is a bugger…tell him you cannot afford for him to tear your shirts! There is just not a Mall close by for mamma to get new clothes.

        Have a good day with him and Ms. B, love those babies so.

  36. Jean in OR says:

    ground squirrels here are called Gay Doggers, one steamm up from rats I wouldn’t miss tour blog for nuttin, as long as you let me hitch you are so interesting to readif not for bad luck,I’d hbe right behind you first s stroke left me without the use off my left side.Thheen our fifth wheel burned, and took the machine shed onour farm with Ito.The insurance paid less than half the baue. go,baState

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      How terrible for you, Jean! I appreciate you making the effort to be a part of this group. I’m happy you are with us!

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