Oh, deer!

Wednesday, July 9 (continued)

At dusk I walk down the driveway of our campsite and gaze across the meadow at the shallow pond.  The water is almost gone, replaced with fresh grass.

1-DSC05437This is our last night at our camp off Iron Springs Road in Ashley National Forest, Utah.

Dusk is the time of day when animals are active.  I wait for deer to appear.  Eventually I walk back to the campsite where Bridget and Spike wait for me at the doorstep of the Best Little Trailer.

“Go back inside, guys.  Nothing going on out here.”

About twenty minutes later I step outside again to put something in the Perfect Tow Vehicle.  I glance in the direction of the pond and see dark spots — moving.

The deer have come! 

I grab my camera out of the BLT, shut the screen door behind me — “Be right back, guys!” —  and trot down the driveway.  I wonder if my camera can pick up anything at this distance and in this poor light.

Wow!  I count about 20-25 deer.  They’re running, jumping, and chasing each other in what looks like play or maybe courtship or males . . .  acting male.  I can’t tell because they are very far away.  I snap several photos with the zoom fully extended.

I’m happy with the results.

1-DSC05427-001Recently I wrote that I avoid super-editing to enhance photos.  Instead I try to present photos that are a close representation of reality.  I broke away from that with these photos.

I pulled out all the stops when editing in order to make the photos visible because they came out very dark.

Remember, I don’t have a big ol’ honkin’ camera with a foot-long lens.  I have a Sony Cyber-shot with 30X optical zoom.  I’m surprised I got anything at all.  The results are fuzzy, but I don’t care.  I like the ethereal look!

1-DSC05429After about ten minutes, the excitement is over and the deer walk through the sagebrush toward the forest.

1-DSC05430This next photo is my favorite shot of this group.

1-DSC05435Well, that was a memorable goodbye!


(Added the day after this post was published.)  Readers in the comments section of this blog tell me what I saw in the meadow were not deer, but ELK!  This is a discovery of mammoth proportions because up until this day, elk did not exist!  How very exciting!  Mythical creatures appear at the campsite of RVSue and her canine crew!  Gosh, from now on I’m keeping an eye out for unicorns and leprechauns. . . .

(I wrote about the elusive elk in “Rattlesnakes and Unicorns” while camped in the Black Hills of South Dakota in late June of 2012.)

Thursday, July 10

Off to a new camp!  The crew and I are up early and by eight o’clock we’re packed up, hitched up, and on our way.  By 9:30 we’re set up in our new camp, only about ten miles further north on Highway 191.  This camp will be our base to explore the southern rim of Flaming Gorge.

I noticed this area of boondocks on my recent trips to obtain internet signal.

The forest road cuts across a slope with the sites on the high side.  I drive up the road and pass a few RVs with no vehicles and no people.  It’s quite common for people to leave their rigs in the forest during the week.

I’m thrilled to find a vacant site overlooking another large and pretty meadow.

The crew and I get out to analyze the site.  Hmm . . . Only one thing wrong with it.  I have to be careful not to drive over the wildflowers! 

The site is in a field sprinkled with blue, white, and yellow wildflowers.  I notice the tracks of an RV here previously and carefully back the BLT onto the same tracks.

1-DSC05451-002From our camp I can see vehicles on Highway 191 going to the Gorge to the north or Vernal to the south.

1-DSC05447Once unhitched, I move the PTV so the solar panel will be in the sun.  The BLT remains in the shade.

1-DSC05455Shortly after noon the sky darkens and we have a good, steady rain. 

Later, after the rain, I’m inside sitting at my laptop with Bridget and Spike napping beside me on the bed.  I look up and see we have a visitor standing about twenty feet from the window!

1-DSC05478Although aware of my presence, the deer continues to graze at a safe distance.  A few minutes of me snapping photos from my doorway and the deer decides enough is enough.

1-DSC05473What a lovely welcome to our new camp.  I like it here!

1-DSC05471A few miles up the road there are several, very nice campgrounds. 

Some have paved sites with picnic tables and fire rings and water spigots and rest rooms and boat ramps nearby.   Our campsite has none of that.

1-DSC05468But it does have one helluva front yard!



1-DSC05474My kind of neighbor!

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154 Responses to Oh, deer!

  1. Where are all the other comments? It is midnight EST so surely I couldn’t be first. Something must be wrong with the comments!

    Anyway, hi Sue from Florida!

    • Oh, my! It looks like I really was first! I wasn’t even trying but seeing an opportunity I couldn’t help but take it!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Deborah,

        Yes, you’re first! Congratulations! I like a person who takes an opportunity when she sees one! 🙂

  2. Reine says:

    What great shots and a very fun and relaxing campsite. Enjoy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Reine. After the crew and I were settled into our new home, I took a break in my camp chair positioned by the front door. A few feet away and spreading across the field and down the slope toward the vast green meadow was a wave of purple lupines and various white flowers and yellow flowers. A cool breeze was blowing the scent from the pines and causing the flowers and grass to be in constant motion.

      At that moment Jesus’ words popped into my consciousness: “In my Father’s house, there are many mansions.”

      Then I thought — This must be what one of those mansions is like! 🙂 Have a great day, Reine.

  3. Laura says:

    Absolutely lovely, Sue! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I agree, Laura. This camp is actually prettier than the photos show. The flowers are not as visible in the pics as they are in reality. I feel like we’re living in a garden!

  4. judithcamper says:

    Hi Sue,
    The deer seem to pose for your camera. Looks as if you have another lovely camp site.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, judithcamper,

      I hope all is well with you! Yes, the deer posed nicely for the camera. 😉 Very curious, as was I!

  5. Bev says:

    The romping animals in your first photos are elk…majestic and my favorite animal. What a great sight! They are very playful, especially the youngsters. You are indeed fortunate!

    • Jool says:

      Bev, I’m so glad you said this! I was thinking elk too, because of their coloring and size, but didn’t want to say anything. It has been years since I’ve seen an elk. So Sue got to see a BUNCH uv vem. (my boys used to say “uvvem”).
      Sue, this is yet another campsite I want to say is the Prettiest Campsite Ever. Of course, you’ve had lots uv vem since you started out 3 years ago!
      Jool in North Texas

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Jool,

        Many times at many different camps I’ve said to myself (and sometimes out loud), “This is the prettiest camp of all.” It’s fun finding another beautiful camp and making it our home.

        BTW, never hesitate to correct RVSue. She often gets things wrong and appreciates learning from her mistakes!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Congratulations, Bev! You are the first to set me straight about the elk! And they WERE playful, chasing each other around like dogs.

      I remember thinking as I watched them… Gee, I’ve never seen deer act like that before! That should’ve given me a clue.

  6. Nancy in Idaho says:

    SUE! THOSE ARE ELK!!!! not deer. No wonder you think you have never seen an elk–you have them confused with deer. LOL Seriously, the last several close up shots are of deer–notice the difference?

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      I agree with Nancy…those are elk!! And bigger than they seem…heh!!

      • Sondra-SC says:

        Sue…before its all said and done you will be the “best damned naturalist in the west!” The “muff” on the rear is one way to discern elk from deer..and what is called the ewe neck…NO Matter!! ALL GORGEOUS shots awesome action and the sweet interaction between you and the young deer buck in the last photos was awesome. I see he’s is getting his velvet and soon it will be time for the Rut. I’m just so thrilled I can come to a blog where the Elk are not laying dead by a fat man with a big rifle posing it as if its still alive. Your new camp is to die for…those meadows call for exploration!! Enjoy it for me I’m driving upstate to the blue ridge foothills for the weekend to visit my sister we plan to attend a minor league ball game in Greenville I love baseball!! It looks like rain today I’ll be zooming up I-26 white knuckles with 18-wheeler’s going 80 mph all over me! Wish us luck. (me Mom and the mutts)

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Sondra in SC,

          I do wish you a safe journey to the “blue ridge foothills,” a lovely destination. Enjoy the ball game. Hope the rain clears up so you can.

          I agree with you– I’ve never understood how a murdered animal can be called a “trophy.”

          (No comments please about the importance of thinning the herd, blah, blah. I’m referring to the pleasure and sense of importance some people, mostly men, get from taking the life of an animal.)

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Elizabeth,

        I didn’t realize how big they are. They were much further away than the photos indicate… not much more than dots against the green grass. No wonder I was so entranced by the scene. I was seeing elk for the first time!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Nancy,

      Yep, this Easterner was totally fooled! I was convinced I’d never see an elk so that when I did, I mistook what I was looking at! Shows how our preconceived notions influence us. I see the difference now and it is quite striking.

      I edited the post to insert AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT… Nothing like making a big boo-boo in front of a large crowd! Haha!

      • Gayle says:

        Well, this boo-boo isn’t as bad as Roseanne Barr singing the national anthem. Things could always be worse.

  7. Bev says:

    My hubby tells me that the Uinta Mtns are the only mountains that lie in an East and West direction.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s right! I had heard that at one time and forgot it. These are special mountains . . . Nice to hear from you, Bev! Hello to hubby!

  8. Rand says:

    Oh Elk… me thinks. No antlers so maybe the bulls were shooting the bull in the trees.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rand,

      I don’t understand antlers. Since I’ve already displayed my ignorance on the internet, I’ll throw these questions out to readers and look even more ignorant. Ha!

      Do female deer/elk have antlers or only the males? Don’t the antlers fall off and if they do, when does that happen? Do the “points” on antlers tell the age and how does that work?

      Anybody feel like enlightening me? Now that I know what an elk looks like and deer are coming to my window, these are things I want to know!

      I could google the answers but it would take me too long with my slow connection.

      • Rand says:

        I don’t hunt so when I see wildlife its a visual treat.
        As a young teen i rode with cousins and uncles for two days in the eastern Canadian Rockies dropping salt licks for cattle.
        That experience led to providing salt for deer, moose and elk etc.at camps like yours.
        Elk lick salt for the same reason we eat vitamins. They get the minerals they need in their diet that plants can’t provide.
        (Like eating salad without dressing)
        The easiest, cheapest is a large bag of course salt from Walmart or a feed/grain store.
        Here’s an apple flavored one!

        Mighty Deer Lick 4 lb. Sweet Apple Block

        Thanks for the idea and the link, Rand. I replaced your Amazon link with one of mine. Sue

  9. Sally Browning says:

    You’re right, that front yard is a beauty !!!! You and the crew will have a terrific time there and that million dollar view ….. The neighbor a nice addition as well !!! Looks like a good time will be had by all ….. ENJOY and THANKS FOR SHARING !!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Sally,

      It’s great to see you here! I hope you will come back (and let us know what state you are writing from when you do). I like to get to know my readers and where they come from.

      If you click on the “My kind of neighbor” photo, it will enlarge it.

      Thanks for the enthusiastic comment toward me and the new camp we’re in!

  10. Wickedlady of Shelton WA says:

    Yup, elk.

  11. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Wasn’t it Elk, Sue, that you had not seen anyplace yet? Well, we saw them SILENTLY traipsing through one place we lived in the mts for a spell…they make no noise. And it was a very large herd migrating south for summer. They came another day and we did not happen to see them, but a neighbor did. It seems that deer are more comfortable with people. Elk are very prone to stay far away.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth,

      You’re right… These are my first elk. I added a paragraph to this post since the time you read it (AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT)… In that announcement is a link to my silly post about elk and other “mythical” creatures.

      That’s interesting about the difference between deer and elk. For the amount of activity and play that was going on with 20+ elk, they were very quiet. It was quite a surprise to discover that many of them. I want to see them again!

      • Bev says:

        When we had our home in ID, the elk came up to our wrap-around deck and grazed under our windows. They are a very curious animal. We had over 30+ head in a herd that had doubled when we sold our home. They came into our yard every six days. I understand they make about a 20-25 mile radius when they roam. They communicate with different tones that is fascinating to hear. We have elk on the property where we stay during the summer however these are a little more elusive. I think it is so exciting that you were able to see a herd.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Gee, you must be quite accustomed to seeing elk. Such a regular sight, right at your home!

          For me, it’s a new thrill.

        • Elizabeth in WA says:

          We lived in Dayton, WA when we saw the elk…near Bluewood Ski resort….but they never came close…though if the deer would have let us, they came close enough to touch through an open window. I have not heard of them coming so close to the house as you describe. Interesting!!

  12. You have an amazing knack for finding the best places. Really nice.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Allison. I don’t know if I have an “amazing knack” or not. It may be that there are many beautiful places and when one has a rig that can go to out-of-the way places, it’s not hard to find them.

      This camp, however, can be accessed by any rig! The sites are large with plenty of turn-around room. The only thing that might deter some people with big rigs is the road is dirt.

      I’ve forgotten where Issaquah is and when I clicked the link it took too long to open. (Remember, my readers are across the nation and in other countries.)

      Nice hearing from you!

  13. Joe says:

    Hi Sue, Really nice photos as usual. Thanks…HoboJoe

  14. Robert says:

    Dead on, their Elk! Wait till she’s see’s her first Moose………..her eyes are gonna get real big.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Robert (whichever Robert you happen to be!),

      My eyes DID get real big! I saw a mama moose and her baby while the crew and I camped at Brooks Lake, WY.

      You can see the photo at the July 2012 post, “Horses, hail, and happenstance.”

      At the bottom of the post is a slideshow which includes a photo of the moose and baby, also photos of a herd of running horses, and the most beautiful campsite view I have ever experienced. (It’s worth waiting for the slideshow to load, even though the photo quality isn’t great.)

      It was also in the area of Brooks Lake that a mama grizzly and two cubs looked at me through the windshield of the PTV! Unfortunately my camera needed charging and I didn’t get a photo!

    • Gayle says:

      A moose is a horse put together by the Santa Monica City Council at the direction of the greedy real estate developers here who say, “Don’t worry about its design, just make it big!” (Gee, I feel so much better now.)

  15. DesertGinger says:

    I love that first, stylized looking photo of large animals (elk or deer) romping. Because of whatever you did, it has the look of a primitive painting almost. Very cool. I am really impressed with your ever improving photo skills. You might want to consider selling some of your shots on the Internet….just make yourself a market page. Try d oing a few signed prints, and maybe even mounted and signed prints. I would buy one.

    Went to an Anonymous meeting tonight and picked up my 24 year chip. Quite gratifying AND I remembered how much I like meetings, and what nice people you meet there. I don’t go often anymore….once a year or less. But I’m thinking perhaps I will start attending a meeting or two in Tucson when I get home. It will be a good way to start to build a community there. Had I been involved before my surgery I would have had visitors and people who cared. Duh.

    • JodeeinSoCal says:

      Congratulations on your 24! Definitely something to be proud of. Know what you mean about “community”. Lovely when you have it, but it does take a while to grow (except in Sue’s Comment section of course). Glad you’re getting out and about!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I also extend a big CONGRATULATIONS to you, Ginger, on your 24th year! That is something to be very proud of.

      You see the “primitive painting” look of the photo! That’s what I thought, too. I have a few others that I didn’t post that have that look.

      It’s flattering that you think I could sell my photos and that you would buy one. My technical expertise isn’t at the level where I would feel comfortable placing my photos for sale. I’m happy enough to share them here and receive your compliments!

      Remember, we (the blogorinos and me) are rooting for you to heal quickly and well! Please keep in touch . ..

      • DesertGinger says:

        Well I totally do not want to push you beyond your comfort zone, though I will say I’m not sure your ‘technical skills’ matter if you are able to produce pictures that people want. I just paid $75 for a photo taken on an iPhone…I doubt that took much technical skill.

        So I’ll just place my Order now for an 8×10 of the leaping elk cows, and an 8×10 of the mustang in front of that beautiful multi-colored striated bluff, signed of course. Then when you feel your skills are up to snuff, you can sell me those prints of those early unskilled shots. I’m serious. Whenever you get there.

        • DesertGinger says:

          I don’t like the way my last message sounds! It is meant to be tribute so let me restate:

          I would be so thrilled and honored to purchase those two photos mentioned above. They would look so beautiful in my new Arizona tiny home (which is why I want 8×10…small), and really add to the look I’m going for. So if you are ever ready, I’m ready too!

          That better expresses my feeling.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Very nice. 🙂

            What do people do who sell their photos? Do they have their pictures printed on photo stock, have them matted, and then send them through regular mail?

            • DesertGinger says:

              Yeah….pretty much. And sign them. I would pay at least $20 or $30 above your cost for each one.

  16. R. (Western Colorado) says:

    I’m getting ready for my hike but before I leave I want to agree with others. These are ELK in your first four photos. You always wanted to see them and you even thought at some point that they don’t exist. They are not unicorn. They really exist and you had so many of them right in front of you. These are ELK. Finally. Lucky you. Congratulations!!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, R. (Western Colorado)!

      You remember that old post! Ha! I inserted an announcement underneath the ELK photos and included a link to that post about not believing in the existence of elk.

      I hope you have a wonderful hike! You’re frequent hiking amazes me . . .

  17. Ron in TX says:

    Elk for sure, this time of the year the males ( bulls)go to the high country in bachelor groups

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ron in TX!

      Are you saying all the elk I saw were males? Oh my gosh, the most beautiful birds, a pair, just circled over the wildflowers outside my window… blue and grey.. . I love this place!

  18. Paula says:

    Okay, I guess it’s settled — their ELK not deer! Perhaps you’ve seen many elk in the past and just didn’t realize it. Now, with the assistance of all your readers you will never mistake an elk for a deer again. Your photos are fantastic! What a fun experience to have the herd in the meadow near your campsite. Doesn’t it make you so happy to be sitting right there — right now!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Paula, for the compliment on my photos. YES, I am very happy to be where I am right now. Why? Because the field and pine trees around the BLT are alive with birds and squirrels. It rained yesterday and last night. Everything is fresh. What a great camp this is!

      Not only that… When I raised my head off the pillow this morning and peered out the window over my bed, two deer were grazing on the knoll behind our camp!

  19. kristine barr says:

    Man what photos! But, I’m most impressed with your ability to BACK the trailer in the previous ruts. I can’t even back a car in previous ruts.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You gave me a chuckle with your comment, Kristine. I was surprised in the early days of owning the BLT how easy it is to position it, even in reverse.

      This is what I did when backing into this site…. I got out some brightly colored items from the back of the PTV and placed them near the ruts so I could see where I wanted to back.

      Another tricky aspect of this back-in… I wanted to place the left tire of the BLT in a depression someone had made previously, in order that the BLT would be level. I put the pink cone for the jack next to it and dropped that tire perfectly. Voila! Level! (I love these little challenges!)

      • WOW! You are awful smart for an old lady!!!! LOL! Really, great hints for backing up into ruts! The only thing I have been backing into lately is trees! Chuck has had to replace both of my tail lights this year thanks to my backing up skills! hahaha!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          My backing up skills improved greatly when there was no longer someone around to replace tail lights for me. 🙂

  20. Krystina in Wisconsin says:

    What a fabulous spot! I wanna be where you are. Fantastic photos of the deer/elk. I never gave your description a second thought. I better buy a book on wild animals with BIG pictures and descriptions under them. On my way to SD to get my drivers license. Have a super day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Krystina in Wisconsin,

      On your way to South Dakota…. Good for you! Be sure to visit Custer State Park, my favorite state park so far. Maybe you read my post about our visit… bison, pronghorns, burros, a dreamy drive through lovely country… Have fun!

      Stick with me, kid, and learn about animals along with me. 😉 The blogorinos will help us!

      You have a super day, too.

  21. Diann in MT says:

    The majesty of elk!
    You struck gold, Sue!
    Nice, nice photography!

  22. Gene in Ohio says:

    Technically elk are deer, they are in the deer family.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Gene. That’s why I called them deer. 😉

      • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

        Yeah… right… we all buy that.

        BTW… I’m so jealous. I’ve been driving through elk country twice a year for 10 years and still never seen one.

        • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

          BTW2… I immediately knew that they were elk and was thinking… dang… she beats me to it and doesn’t even know. But I figured that your readers would correct you and sure enough there it was at the end of the post.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Oh,so I haven’t been the only one who thought they’d never see an elk. Well, see, Connie? There’s hope!

  23. Dawn says:

    I’m so glad you take the time to blog and post photos. Living vicariously though you! I always read your new posts just as soon as I can in the morning after I get my “work” communications out of the way.

    I agree with Sondra – it’s so nice to see someone shooting with a camera. My dad is one of those she refers to (facepalm) and I have to be very carefully opening my emails from that side of the family so I don’t see anything I’d rather not.

    • Dawn says:

      PS I have seen elk up close when I lived in Colorado – but all I remember are the racks so I just thought they were mule deer which I’ve seen from afar and remember the rumps – and never questioned it! Don’t feel too bad!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Dawn,

        Your comment reminds me to keep taking photos and to keep blogging, not only for my own enjoyment, but for those who appreciate it as you do. Thank you for being a loyal reader!

  24. Sue (Alabama) says:

    Well I have to say I looked at the picture of the”deer” and never doubted that they weren’t!! The pictures were beautiful! I love the new campsite! I want to bring my chair and book and relax right there!! To wake up with the fur babies, my coffee and walk out to that view, spectacular! I love your life, Sue. Enjoy

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sue (Alabama),

      You know I love my life, too! I plan to take some photos of my new “reading room” under the pine by the BLT’s door. . . so you can join me there!

      Nice to hear from you, Sue. I do appreciate it when people include their location. Thanks!

  25. JodeeinSoCal says:

    The elusive elk at last.

  26. Mary Alice says:

    In June, after traveling in New Mexico for 3 weeks, I mentioned that I had seen one cow elk and calf and red ants …. no other wildlife. Thirty min. later up popped a herd of 65 elk (all cows and young.) I kept thinking they must be in a game fence but not so. Beautiful sight as you got to observe. Your deer will be so sleek in a week when the winter hair is gone. Pretty awesome with his velvet antlers.
    Great photos and description of the meadow. Enjoy for all of us.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow! Sixty-five elk! What a grand sight that must have been, Mary Alice. You’ll remember that forever. Were the elk in NM or wherever you are now?

      Thanks for the compliment. Yes, I will “enjoy for all of us.” In a few minutes I’m going outside to take more photos. I’m waiting for the sky to clear before going to the Gorge. It’s still a bit grey.

      Have a wonderful day!

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

    Elk! Female! Nice to see them. Your front yard was a great place to shoot Deer and Elk, even got a Spike posing. His antlers are in velvet. Here they, (White Tail) mate in late Sept, November and give birth in early June. Rarely see the big bucks. Nice camp for photo ops Sue. Thanks for sharing and Take Care.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome!

      Well, Diane, you’re better than I am at figuring out male or female elk or deer. You’re saying the elk are females while Ron in TX says they’re a bunch of males. Hmm . . . . How can you tell (other than the obvious way which isn’t apparent in the photos)?

      Anyone know the answer to that question?

      • Ron in TX says:

        NO NO NO
        Those are cows ( females).
        I probably said it wrong but the reason you dont see any with horns is the males leave the females and summer in the high country in bachelor groups .
        They are in velvet this time of the year and growing there horns
        Females never have horns in the elk species.

  28. weather says:

    Hi Sue,
    The morning got away from me today,gee I don’t like missing first coffee with you! Hope you and the crew are feeling great and enjoying such a delightful new yard.It pleases me so to picture your home encircled with a thick wildflower cover,it must be amazing to step into as you open the BLT’s door in the morning.

    What a life it is when encounters with wildlife are so commonplace you’re unaware of having a dream come true as you live it!

    Animals everywhere are some of my best times ,too.Close to wolverines,bobcats and badgers I was so caught up in wonder and pleasure,that only later, finding out what they were,did I realize the gift they offered by presenting themselves so peacefully to me.

    It always impresses me how people can identify flora and fauna so easily.I often still call things sweetheart,pretty or gorgeous. I love the sounds of the names I learn here.And finding out elk are small enough to be taken for deer at a distance 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, weather!

      It’s okay we missed first coffee together. I’m heating up my second cup right now!

      Oh, I am aware of living a dream come true, believe me. I often have flashbacks to the days, the many days, my heart ached to be a full-time boondocker, experiencing nature every day instead of the inside of a classroom or office.

      “Wolverines, bobcats, and badgers!” Wow! Your place above a cliff and lake in New York provides you with extraordinary experiences, wondrous and awe-inspiring, some pleasant and maybe others — like the storm — not so much.

      I love learning the names, too! I realized on our recent hike what a pleasure it was to be able to say, “Oh, there’s a yellow groundsell!” It’s a unique characteristic of humans to want a name for everything. 🙂 (Well, that’s an assumption. Maybe animals name things, too, in their own way.)

      Your last sentence about the size of elk . . . I studied the photo of the two elk approaching the fence before reaching the stand of aspens. The size of the elk in relation to the height of the fence shows how big the elk are.

      As always, a pleasure talking with you, weather. Blessings on your day!

      • weather says:

        What timing after all,I was readying another cup as I saw your reply,too,how fun is that?

        Before I was school age, that- having wildlife come to me,allow me to touch or just be near- had started.Glad to share the only place that remains here with the natural tall thick vegetation and elevations they need,we still enjoy visiting as we find refuge together .

        Moving from to one state to the next,along the way Sue,you and I both kept reaching out for more..The costs we’ve each paid- for our experiences and travels- is part of why we get overtaken with gratitude …at having His “many mansions” most wait for the next life to see.

        Thank you for the blessing,mine to you includes that you and the crew’s meals be enjoyed more than ever …”they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart”.Acts2:46NKJV

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Re: that quotation from Acts…

          This morning I fried up boneless chicken thighs for Bridget and Spike. They were on sale and I was nervous about feeding them raw to the crew.

          I cut the cooked chicken into small pieces and put them on their plates. Boy, did they love that chicken! Spike was making a noise I call “schnorkeling.” Bridget put one paw on her plate so she could hold it still and lick it clean. Then she went over to Spike’s empty plate and did the same thing.

          They definitely “ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart.”


          • weather says:

            Finding out that some cameras are magical and deer “turn into”elk if things are high enough, mentions of unicorns,leprechauns,wishing moons – photos seeming to be from a different time or realm in comments popping up all over the place-dreamers,one and all, with visions imaginary and real-this place just gets curiouser and curiouser in the most wonderful way!!!

  29. rhodium says:

    Wonderful, wonderful pictures. It is so much more enjoyable seeing the real thing than doing what we are doing a lot of right now, watching various animal webcams (like the Decorah eagles or the Katmai bears). But since we just put a deposit on a trailer we will be joining you in a few months (and by “you” I mean the traveling lifestyle and not the campsite next to you).
    Since you are now so experienced, have you found a few smaller things (other than the Wilson antenna, the satellite radio, etc.) that make life easier? There are lots of lists out there, but you are a good role model, and if it can be bought on Amazon so much the better.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Congratulations, rhodium, on placing a deposit on your new home-on-wheels! It’s an important, big step leading to a new life . .

      I love your question. What are the smaller things that make life easier? I’ll include some things that make life more fun, too.

      Here goes in no special order other than the order they pop into my head:

      –camp toaster
      –duct tape
      –a good hat and comfortable shoes
      –a little rake
      –the table that attaches to my lounger
      –clips to hold bags closed so I can get rid of the boxes (like cereal) and save space in my cupboard
      –field guides
      –a small colander (mine cost $1 at Wal-Mart) to rinse fruit and such
      –needle-nosed pliers
      –bag balm (for me and the crew… and for my dry skin, not for my bags!)
      –lots of underwear and socks… Lots!!!
      –Spike’s night light on his collar
      –tire pressure gauge
      –pieces of wood to level and to make an “Allen Party” sign 🙂
      –plenty of washcloths (Wal-Mart sells them in bundles)
      –several dishpans (designated for dishes, sponge baths, feet-soaking, corralling counter stuff when preparing to move, organizing, and much more.)
      –hooks to hang stuff
      –rubber mallet

      I’m sure I’ll think of more as time goes by.

      • DesertGinger says:

        Waterproof keen sandals with great soles that you can hike in and wade rivers in

        Your great quartzite chair

        Your fabulous maps

    • Jolene/Iowa says:

      One thing I have found for storage in my camper refridg. is that buying ziplock bags and the things that I can bag for leftovers take up less room in the refridg. than storage bowls.

      If you would have the room, a tabletop ice maker that you can make some ice cubes is a great added thing to a camper. Saves on buying ice for cubes and especially in the summer when you use more ice, these are great things to have.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I agree, Jolene. Zip-loc bags are a lot better than storage bowls. As for an ice maker… I don’t need one. Several years ago when I had sensitive teeth problems, I learned to enjoy drinks without ice. Since that time I never put ice in my drinks.

        • Jolene/Iowa says:

          I am sorry about your sensitive teeth issues. I was also just kind of adding to the list for others also. Our tabletop icemaker quit and we just haven’t had the extra money to replace it yet. I really miss it. I could see for those who are in dispersed camping and wanting to stay awhile that having the ability to run an icemaker for an hour or so to get some ice made for the freezer in a bag would take up less precious freezer room. It makes ice fast and you can plug it in just when you need it and you are good to go for awhile.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Good idea. I’m glad you thought to add it here! (BTW, no more sensitive teeth issues.)

            I’m sorry… Your reply was to rhodium. I hate the admin page I’m using. I can’t tell where the comments are placed in relation to each other!

  30. Patricia from Florida says:

    R ( Colorado)
    I am quite impressed also with all the hiking you do. And not short hikes at that. I wish I could be in your shoes. I have a bum knee just as Desert Ginger had and will follow in Her steps in the future. I used to live on Mt. Desert Island in Maine for four years and spent many a day hiking at Acadia National Park which is an awesome place to hike.
    Sue, I can just visualize the field of flowers you are in. Having a cup of coffee in hand and with that view in front of you sounds beautiful! Keep on keeping on!!

    • DesertGinger says:

      All the evidence points to me not going down a good path; you may wish to follow someone else’s footsteps. Most people have a much easier time than me. Many people only spend 1 or 2 nights in hospital, and many people are up walking on day 2. And no heart attacks or other ailments! I think the big key is the surgeon. Keep searching till you find one that you like who has lots of referrals/endorsements.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Ginger, I’ve been wanting to apologize for my somewhat cavalier attitude about your upcoming knee surgery. The folks I know who have had that surgery were as you describe… up and walking in a few days with no complications. I thought you’d have the same, somewhat easy, experience. I was very shocked and saddened to learn of all the trouble you had/are having. I never imagined you’d end up with damage to your heart! Kidney failure! Pneumonia! Good heavens!

        • DesertGinger says:

          You know what’s funny Sue…I think most people have become rather cavalier about this surgery because it often is so successful and easy. I was cavalier myself, going in. However, since then no less than 3 docs have told me that the two most difficult surgeries for the human body to tolerate, in terms of shock to the system, pain, etc., are open heart surgery and knee replacement. It is actually one of the most major surgeries you can have. On the other hand there have been indications that my main problem may have had to do with the way my case was handled…and no one could have guessed that. Which is why I say research your surgeon! Due to my complacency I basically picked a surgeon randomly from the Internet. Big mistake.

          But apology not needed; your heart was in a good place and I think your complacency came from optimism for me and wanting it to go well.

          And now I am on that path with all going well.

          Big hugs

          • Jolene/Iowa says:

            Ginger, I hope you continue now on the healing path you are on. What an ordeal you have been through. I am sending you healing hugs and prayers.

      • weather says:

        To Sue and Ginger

        Ginger,I read Sue’s reply and realized by OVER reacting,I had missed the mark too.Remembering details in comments about COPD and needing CPAP at night,I freaked out thinking “Crap,the hospital staff screws up at all and she’ll be left unable to breathe!”

        So I sent you on wild goose chases for services you ended up not needing at all.All riled up I imagined the other end of the spectrum.

        During your absence here I only found peace by reading Sue calmly and optimistically reassuring everyone that you would be back when things fell into place, thank God she’s like that,and once again,she was right!

        I think it’s miraculous that we do as well as we do, all trying to figure out what’s really going on with each other !! 🙂

        • DesertGinger says:

          Actually…it’s funny. My breathing was a big issue and, as I mentioned, I have oxygen at home now (not before). In any case, I knew all your advice was well meant and offered with love and caring. I appreciated it.

      • Patricia Durkin says:

        Desert Ginger
        Will follow your advice and not your experience hopefully. Keep moving girl!

    • R. (Western Colorado) says:

      “I wish I could be in your shoes.” I think you mean boots, hiking boots. LOL! I’ll be thinking about your words during my hike tomorrow. I remember sunsets in Acadia. Didn’t do much hiking in this picturesque park during our only one visit there but we ate lobsters in the area. My husband and I spent a week or two every summer when we lived in the Adirondacks and hiked in White Mountains in NH. Since my husband’s death I hike more than before. It is my escape and slow restoration of my broken dreams.

      About 14 years ago when I went back to graduate school I spent so much time sitting at my desk my knees became fragile, noisy and painful. My physician said I should get ready for knee replacements in a few years. It seemed so silly at my age at that time. It was my husband who encouraged me to start moving more. I did. I started with painful and slow ½ mile walks, and then gradually increased length of my walks and walks became hikes. They also became more challenging. Today I hiked 14 miles. My hikes are now often between 12-14 miles and these are not easy hikes in a desert. I am a slower hiker during those hot desert days but I forgot I ever had issues with my knees. Perhaps my case is unique. I don’t want you to think I’m suggesting my approach would work for you or anyone else. Sometimes surgeries or other medical approaches are the only solutions. For me physical activity improved my health and redeveloped my old passion for hiking. I feel so lucky I don’t have any physical challenges so I can keep on hiking. When hiking I stop often for views, unique clouds, wildlife, birds, rock formations. Yesterday I saw baby Common Nighthawk very close for the first time. My other important activity after I return from my hikes or sometimes before is reading RVSue’s blog.

      • Patricia from Florida says:

        R. (Western Colorado)
        I am in awe on the length of your hikes. My hikes were more on the tune of 4-6 miles. Ha! Hopefully my future holds quite a few hikes as does yours!

        • R. (Western Colorado) says:

          Well, tomorrow (Saturday) it is going to be much shorter hike. Need to take care of some paper work. I hope too our future is going to include lots of hiking. They don’t have to be long to enjoy them and surroundings.

  31. ZenOnWheels says:

    Oh, what a beautiful camp! How neat that you got to observe a herd and witness some of their group behaviors. Very cool. I really love your knack for finding gorgeous sites.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, it was neat to see that herd. You know, ZenOnWheels, you will develop the same knack. It’s good to start in campgrounds or RV parks until you have a thorough understanding of your rig and then, in good time and if you have the desire, venture into secluded places. With a bit of daring paired with good sense and an observant eye, great boondocks will appear all over!

      I’m happy you are keeping in touch . . .

      Oh, it’s raining again. I guess the Gorge will have to wait even longer!

    • Hi Michael

      I signed up for you blog updates and hope that Yahoo allows them to come thru. I’ve been having trouble with those yahoos not allowing blogger updates.

      I’m so happy for you.

      Cat Lady

  32. Pam says:

    Wow what a front yard!!! Hope you enjoy your time there, your pics are wonderful as usual.
    Glad you saw elk for the first time in a natural setting, my first was in a wild life park, nothing compares to nature.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yeah, It’s better to see animals being natural in their natural habitat without human interference. I’m glad you like the pics and our new front yard. 🙂

  33. Larry M from the Pacific NW says:

    As always Sue, I love your blog! I’ve been away, often without internet, for a month. I’m sure you’ve gotten your Shingles Vaccine! Right? 🙂 Personally, I’m betting you’re a procrastinator!!! 🙂 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You win your bet, Larry M.! No shingles shot yet. I did try a couple of times but hit an obstacle each time… appointment necessary too far in the future, new insurance card hadn’t arrived yet… etc. Oh I have a passel of excuses!

      Thanks for brightening an already bright day by telling me you love my blog. Gee, a whole month without internet. I can’t imagine!

  34. Tawanda (Ut) says:

    I almost gasped seeing the Elk pictures, what majestic beauty you were able to capture despite the need to work a lil’ magic on lighting etc., how wondrous watching them must have been even if thinking they were deer…
    Your new neighbor greeting was pretty awesome too!!
    I would have to google for answers on the antler questions, but know they shed and regrow them just not the frequency, don’t believe females have them in these 2 species… The why, well you know ‘guys n size’ guess it runs pretty much in all of nature 😉

    What a great way to enjoy the morning cuppa today, do believe your thinking on “many mansions” could be right on Sue, doesn’t make sense spending a life time waiting to die to enjoy ‘life’ and all the beauty there is in all aspects!!! “Perception” comes to my mind upon thinking about that….

    As always you have found another ‘Best Backyard Ever’, thank you for sharing, look forward to seeing more of your neighbors and beautiful surroundings!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Tawanda,

      I love your reaction to the elk photos! To think I almost didn’t post those photos because I did that much tampering with them. I expect I’ll see the deer frequently here, that is if the crew doesn’t bark at them. So far they’ve been unaware of the presence of deer. This morning I woke to two deer grazing in back of our campsite. I didn’t try to take a photo, being afraid the crew would follow me out and scare them.

      As has been said before, this world is a prelude to the next! I plan on enjoying both. 🙂

  35. Ron in TX says:

    Elk and deer both grow there antlers in the summer and they are soft with a skin covering (in velvet) , In Sept they will start rubbing and cleaning them as they harden. The breeding season for elk will start in Sept. In feb they will start dropping there antlers and the yearly cycle starts all over.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Ron. I’m sure I’m not the only one who knows little about antlers. What about those huge racks with several points…. Are they grown in only one year?

      • Ron in TX says:

        Yep they are all grown and lost in one year. One reason they go to the high open country when in velvet is if the horns are scratched they bleed and seem to be very tender so they stay to open country .
        The little buck in your pictures is fixing to put on more points ,you can see where his horns are flating out where they will grow

  36. Applegirl NY says:

    What a beautiful sight, those elk! I love to see deer in the wild. They lose their charm in my garden! Your new campsite looks wonderful. Thanks for the great pics, again!

  37. Mick'nTN says:

    Remember that “Elk” comment you made to me? LOL

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No . . . What did I say? I hope it wasn’t something bad. 🙂

      • Mick'nTN says:

        Oh something about me not knowing the difference between a Mule deer and an Elk. I can’t find the post.

        • Mick'nTN says:

          rvsueandcrew says:
          May 3, 2014 at 7:54 pm
          Hi, Mick . . Elk? You’re kidding me, right? You know those are pronghorns . .
          Mick’nTN says:
          May 4, 2014 at 7:19 pm
          I used a “?”. Just asking the wild , wondrous woman wanderer of the wild west for a bit of her wisdom. LOL

  38. Bob's gotta bus! says:

    A short story: An old fashioned, narrow gauge, railroad runs between Durango and Silverton, Colorado. Stewards on board serve drinks and snacks. During a slow moment, a passenger asks the chief steward what is the most unusual question that passengers have asked in the past. The chief does not hesitate: “We get this question so often that all the stewards put their extensive knowledge together and came up with an answer. The question: at what altitude do deer turn into elk? The answer: 7,219 feet above sea level.”

    So the question to Sue is: At what altitude were you camping? The answer determines whether you saw deer or elk. The railroad guys are not to be doubted.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bob’s gotta bus!

      Ha! Well, I’m not sure of our altitude. I’m guessing between 8,000 and 9,000 feet. A reservoir near here (Oak Park) is shown on my Benchmark atlas as having an elevation of 9,278 feet.

      • Bob's gotta bus! says:

        Then, what you saw were elk. Scientific fact. You are loved for the contribution you make to our lives. Thank you.

  39. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    She finally sees not one but a herd of elk!

    I was looking at the picture thinking…….their head/neck are two tone. Hmmm….

    Love your little nook camp site!

    The power is back on……..finally. My mom’s “other” house in CA sold in a week! Trying to find a Notary is like trying to find an elk!

    Cross that off the ole list! AND you got pics to prove it! Enjoy!

  40. Jool says:

    I’m thinkin’ you are going to need to re-title this blog entry
    “Well, Elk.”

    Jool in N. Texas

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I was going to change the title, Jool, after being told those are elk. I didn’t because that would be “spilling the beans.” I think it’s fun for readers to question the photos, too, before I they are told I made a mistake.

  41. Jolene/Iowa says:

    This is a really beautiful camp. Should be nice for you and the crew!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jolene..

      It is very nice. We will stay here a long time if I can make it through the weekends. A truck went by a few minutes ago hauling four ATVs. Two toy-haulers also went by. I’m bracing myself! I hope they only stay for the weekend.

      • Jolene/Iowa says:

        Ugh, ATV’s. I pray that they don’t bother you. I hate that they allow them in those forests like that. Personally I don’t feel it is the place for them.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          It’s like most things… It has to reach a point where much damage has been done before action is taken. It shouldn’t be long at the rate it’s going. Three boys about age 12 just roared by. Now anyone with a brain knows that 3 boys on motorized vehicles with absolutely no supervision are going to try stuff they shouldn’t.

  42. Yay Sue, you finally got to see elk!! And lots of ’em! How exciting 🙂 Thanks for sharing all your lovely photos and stories of your travels, your blog is always a treat.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Linda. I get a lot of enjoyment out of making “treats” for you!

  43. jonthebru says:

    Very nice. On my list and marked on the map!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, jonthebru,

      I was late putting the location in the sidebar’s “Where We Are Now” widget. Our camp is Forest Road #008, a branch of Forest Road #062, which is on the west side of Hwy 191, the main road between Vernal and Flaming Gorge, UT.

      The Uinta Highline Trailhead is on Forest Road #062.

  44. Well Sue, you have done it again! Another favorite camp with an amazing view and elk too!
    WoW! Loved all the photos and keep your camera handy, those elk will be back… curious about that “white egg” up on the hill… and same for the deer!
    What fun!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri,

      Isn’t it a great view! You would love it here. Well, we’re not at the same meadow, but at dusk I’ll look for another herd or the same one to appear. (We’re two hills over from our previous camp.)

      There are ponds at the bottom of the sloping meadow. Unfortunately Hwy 191 is close to the ponds which may keep wildlife from venturing over there.

  45. Ladybug in Mid-Tenn says:

    Sue….now that we’ve found out the ‘deer’ are the elusive elk, I think it’s appropriate the photos have an ethereal quality for those magical beasts!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yeah, that’s right, Ladybug!

      Not only are the elk magical, so is this little camera of mine. I’m amazed it was able to produce photos at that distance and with that poor lighting.

  46. Patsy from Ontario Canada - North says:

    I love elk, when I was married they were at our mobile home their sound of their bugle could be heard and it was an awesome sound, they are amazing creatures, thanks Sue for sharing this with us.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Patsy. I heard a very eery, loud, animal sound while camped along the Snake River in Wyoming. I didn’t know what it was at the time. I suspect it was an elk!

  47. Ed says:

    I think all your questions about antlers have been answered. I do have a bit of trivia or “I didn’t know that”.

    If a bull elk from North America is sent to a zoo in the Southern Hemisphere after he has lost his antlers ie in December he will not grow new ones in June as he would normally. He will go antler-less for an entire year until the following December ie late spring in the Southern Hemisphere when he will then grow some more. He will then loose his antlers in June and that will be his new cycle.

    I discovered this when visiting the zoo in Melbourne Australia and saw an elk with antlers in velvet and asked one of the zoo keepers about this strange phenomenon.

  48. Diann in MT says:

    Hi, Sue,
    Just a Wish Upon a Full Moon Alert: Tomorrow Night’s Moon is a Super Moon, according to NASA.
    Happy Moon Wishing, Everybody!

Comments are closed.