On to a new camp in the Uinta National Forest!

Sunday, July 7 (continued)

It’s about noontime when the crew and I leave Brien and Desiree at their shop.  I drive back across the highway to Wal-Mart.  One of the cotter pins that holds the sway bar on the hitch has disappeared in the landfill that is the back of the PTV.  I don’t like to tow without the sway bar, even on a calm day. 

The PTV handles better with the sway bar on.

The guy in the hardware department shows me what they’ve got – hitch pins.  They look like they might fit and for less than a dollar, I’ll give them a try.  After picking up a few items like another rotisserie chicken, I go out to the parking lot and put on the sway bar.  The pin will work fine on one end, the original cotter pin on the other.

Off we go, on the road again!

The plan is to drive northwesterly on Route 132 through Moroni and Fountain Green to Nephi, a short trip of 40 miles, give or take.   At Nephi I can dump tanks, fill the fresh water tank, and buy propane.  Then I’ll backtrack six miles and turn left onto the Nebo Loop National Scenic Byway (Forest Road 048).  The road goes to Ponderosa Campground, but if I can find a boondock on the way through the Uinta National Forest, I’ll take it.

Somewhere between Moroni and Fountain Green, the air conditioner quits.

Absolutely dead.  No fan.  No cold air.  Am I bothered by this?  Not a bit.  I’m so dang happy that we aren’t stuck in the Wal-Mart parking lot back in Ephraim, another repair is just something to take care of another day.  I bring down the windows.  The rush of air heightens my sense of adventure.

Off to the left dark clouds hover over the Sanpitch Mountains.

A shroud of heavy rain covers the slopes.  Our drive, however, is clear sailing under blue skies.  Route 132 carries us toward a divide in the mountains.  By the time I see the divide, the dark thunderclouds have shifted to lie in wait for our approach like an demon resting on its haunches.  I realize in a few miles we’ll drive right into a thunderstorm. 

Hmm . . . change of plans.  To heck with going to Nephi.  We’ll take the Nebo Loop into the Uinta National Forest and find our camp for the night.

Rain pounds on the PTV in sheets.

I can hardly see the road.  Once on the Nebo Loop, I stop by the side of the road.  Spike and Bridget look at me with questioning eyes.  “Nothing to worry about, guys.  Just a little rainstorm.  We’ll sit here and wait it out.”  I turn on the radio.  The first station I find is NPR which, along with the drumming of the rain, immediately calms the crew into a stupor.

The rain lets up for a few minutes.

I make a mad dash to the BLT, cut off some of the rotisserie chicken onto a plate, and run back to the PTV.  The three of us devour the chicken while the windows steam up and the music plays.  After a while I pull back onto the road.

Another change of plans . . .

Even though I see several campers tucked under trees along a creek and there are a few private places where we could camp, I decide against it.  No sense risking getting stuck in mud and I don’t want to deal with eight muddy paws.

By the time we reach Ponderosa Campground the storm has passed.

It’s a shady, woodsy place in pines and cottonwoods.


Salt Creek flows on one side of the campground.


The campground road and parking pads are paved.  I find a pull-through site with no other site nearby or in view. 


First thing I do is walk Bridget and Spike around the campground.  They sniff the markers left on trunks of pine trees.


I imagine they’re thinking . . . Gee, it’s good to be on blacktop again!


Then I set up their pen, put them in it with a bowl of water and their beds . . .


Spike dozes off.  Bridget’s eyes follow my every move.


I pull out my camp chair, and relax in the dappled shade with a cool drink.

“Well, we made it, guys.  What a day!”


NOTE:  I usually put a thank you to RVSue shoppers here, along with links to recent purchases.  I have to skip the links today.  It takes a long time. The crew and I are getting very warm sitting in the PTV with no air conditioning.  We had to drive into town in order to pick up a strong enough signal to post.

I send a sincere thanks for every reader who uses my links to go to Amazon . . .

Now go shopping!


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55 Responses to On to a new camp in the Uinta National Forest!

  1. CT says:

    Looks like a lovely, shady spot to relax in. Hope your AC fix is not a big deal!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi CT!

      This is a cool and quiet campground. To tell the truth, I wasn’t in the mood to search for a boondock, even if it weren’t raining. Sometimes it’s easier to just drive to a campground I find on the map.

  2. Donna in CT says:

    With the fan and the cooling of the ac both gone at once, hopefully it’s just a fuse. You certainly had quite the day. I’m willing to bet the next couple of days got better. Plus, a bad day doing what you love is better than any day in a bad job or situation.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Donna!

      And when I look back on this day I’ll remember the kindness of Kay, Brien, and Desiree, the “picnic” I shared with the crew in the PTV during the thunderstorm, and the peaceful relaxation under the Ponderosa pines. The day got off to a bad start but it turned into a good memory!

  3. Larry from Milton, FL says:

    My wife Lois and I are so glad that you and the crew got off the montain safely are now settled in at ournew campsite. Your recent rapid decent off the Ephiram mountain must have been a thrill you’d have preferred to avoid. Remember that you can go all the way down to first gear when you need a bit more descent control (we’ve often had to go into first gear while pulling our 17 ft Casita Sprit Deluxe with our Jeep Liberty in Utah, and I wish we were there right now). So don’t be afraid to drop into that lowest gear if your brakes seem to be a bit weak, but go real slow if you do so (below 15 mph or so).
    We shop often on Amazon often and always make sure you get some Amazon points by starting out at your site. We’re not full-timing in our Casita, but reading your wonderful blog almost feels like we are.
    Right now we’re sweating here in NW Florida but in two months we’ll head west to the mountains and some cool temps for a couple of months. I can’t wait! Keep up the excellent work and know that we love your out here and your earn an A++ grade every day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Lois and Larry! Always a pleasure to welcome Casita people to my blog! I hope you continue to enjoy travels with me and the crew.

      I’ll remember that about first gear. This mountain road was so steep, I couldn’t keep it below 15 mph.

      Thank you for shopping Amazon from my blog. I appreciate every purchase!

      I remember sweating in Florida at this time of year. (I lived there for several years — Clearwater.) Soak up the A/C for two months and then come on out here to enjoy the natural cool of the mountains.

      Thanks for writing and for giving me an excellent grade!

  4. Brian says:

    Don’t forget you have Brien with an e phone number.
    Even if he can’t work on the PTV he can give you honest sage advice concerning your AC.

    Stay cool!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Brian!

      I would go to Five Star Automotive for work on the PTV. However, I have this terrible urge to keep pushing northward, rather than backtracking.

  5. AZ Jim says:

    Nice looking spot Sue. I spent about 3 hours today watching the memorial for our 19 hero hotshots who perished trying to save the town of Yarnell AZ. It was wonderful. We had firefighters from all over the nation and world there. Great Briton, Germany, Canada and many many others. The Los Angeles FD sent 130 firemen and FDNY was there as well as tiny and large locations throughout America. I have a real soft spot for these guys from way back when I covered police/fire beat as a photographer in San Diego. That was *mumbling and hoping it’s not heard* 54 years ago. They have a very tough job from the time they arrive for their shift till it’s end. For these 19 men, they have reached their end of shift. Tears flowed in Arizona today and some of them were mine.

    • Eileen P. says:

      I watched most of the memorial service today too, Jim. It was indeed a very moving tribute to not only the 19 firefighters, but also to the surviving Hot Shot crew member and all the families, whose lives were changed forever. The tears were flowing in my home as well.

      • Timber n' Rusty says:

        Ahh yes, AZ Jim, We listened too, on the FM radio and caught that hay fever, my eyes was a watering when that presentation was on KNAU-NPR, here near Flagstaff and I think the whole state has that same hay fever, God Bless them All, ,,,,,,,;)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Jim… That must have been a very moving experience. I’m out of touch without television or radio. How touching that the service included firefighters from all over. I can understand your tears. I would’ve cried along with you had I witnessed the service. The loss is hard to comprehend, it is so huge.

  6. Dawb says:

    Enjoy your evening in that lovely campsite! You deserve a rest!

  7. cinandjules (NY) says:

    I agree with Donna in CT…if the fan doesn’t work it’s probably a fuse. That’s an easy fix. Misc spare fuses are good to keep in your tool box.

    Love the walkway! And that’s ten muddy paws!

    Sad day in the Adirondacks….as the population at the Rainbow Bridge has increased by one. Rest in peace my little buddy Adirondack aka Addie.

    • Mick says:

      So sorry for your loss of Addie, cinandjules

      • Tawanda says:

        So very sorry for your loss cinandjules …

        Thank you Sue for sharing the travels to your new camp and the adventure you had getting there, nice place you found as you always do, good idea to not take a chance on getting stuck in mud, the afternoon storms we get this time of yr are fast n furious…

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, cinandjules… I’m sorry that you had to say goodbye to your dear friend, Addie. Our pets are the best friends of all… Why can’t they live longer! The pain when they go cuts so deep. I hope the good times overcome your sadness in time.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You’re welcome, Tawanda.

    • Mary Ann (Pontotoc MS)) says:

      Cinandjules, my thoughts are with you tonight. I’m sorry about your friend Addie.

    • Eileen P. says:

      So sorry. It is so hard to lose our furry friends.
      Eileen in Phoenix

    • AZ Jim says:

      I am so sorry. It’s a pain I know well that you are feeling. I wish I could think of a comforting thing to say but, alas there really are none.

    • cinandjules (NY) says:

      Thanks for the sincere words.

      Back when Spike soaked in the Salton Sea and had a green ring around his body I posted this:

      Driving/moving across the US in our 24 ft Class C. We get to a place called Waukee Iowa….pouring down rainstorm/thunderstorm. Sara has to go potty….so I take her out. In a nanosecond she has rolled in something dead….goo of an unknown animal is on her neck and collar!
      We don’t want it inside the rv….too confined to begin with. So I give her a bath outside…using her water dish. Our next door neighbors are hearing me saying…”momma hates you!” (not really but I was frustrated).
      Meanwhile, Adirondack, our cat, is scared of the t-storms and proceeds to have diarrhea. Can’t have that in the confined space either. Well he gets some on his paws. Yikes. Can’t have that tracked around! Jules is making dinner and doesn’t have an extra hand to help. So I scoop him and his now clubbed foot ….up…and run to the bathroom to wash it off. Mind you he doesn’t like water. He proceeds to struggle….steps on the cup holding our toothbrushes which flies off the counter…and knocks the tp into the toilet. The tp that disentegrates in your hand stuff.
      Needless to say dinner is on hold….because I’m now covered in poo…….I remove my clothes….throw them away..take a shower. Ah…nice, clean and warm.
      Guess what??? Sara has to go potty again……..I look at her and say,”Don’t you dare!”

      That was one of our most “memorable moments” traveling in our RV! Memories last forever.

    • Losing a loved one is never easy, even when you know they are going to meet lots of other friends on the other side. So sorry Addie is no longer at your side!

    • Cari in North Texas says:

      I’m so sad to hear about your Addie. I know the heartbreak of losing a pet, and I’m sending prayers that your grief will be tempered with fond memories. Addie will join my Bandit at the Rainbow Bridge, and I know they’ll be good friends.

  8. Cheryl Ann says:

    What a lovely, lovely spot you’ve found, Sue! You know that I’m living vicariously through your posts. In the meantime, I’m stuck here at home in the sweltering 108 degree heat of the desert…ugh…no fun. However, our mountains did have a nice thunderstorm this afternoon. Lots of rain and, well…thunder! A tropical storm from Mexico and Arizona is heading our way, so I’m hoping to get some nice thunderhead photos in the next couple of days.
    Cheryl Ann

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Cheryl Ann… I hope by the time you read this rain is pounding on your window pane!

  9. Pleinguy says:

    A very nice camp you’ve chosen Sue. At that elevation you should stay cool. Hope you get the AC fixed soon; the summer is still long.

  10. Barbara B says:

    Sue, My request was in an email from Al (Bayfield Bunch) This should make it easier to find. Thanks.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Barbara!

      Yes, you will be able to send gift cards (Wal-Mart, Amazon, etc.) to Rusty and Timber for their house-warming. Rusty thought he’d be in the house by now, but as these things usually go, there have been delays.

      Once Rusty gets the okay, he will purchase a post office box and I’ll let you know what is. When the big day comes (probably by the end of this month), don’t worry… You won’t miss it. I’ll be so happy and excited that I’ll devote a blog post to the big event.

      Thanks for asking. I’m sorry it took this long for you to get the answer to your question.

  11. Pauline says:

    Looks like a great spot. Hope you have some restful days.
    Love you!!

  12. Mary Ann (Pontotoc, MS) says:

    That’s such a nice set-up for the crew–sometimes concrete is a blessing!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The pen is an essential piece of canine equipment when in a campground. People walk by and comment on it all the time.

  13. John fossildreamer says:

    Cinandjules,, So sorry for your loss, my thoughts are with you.

    Sue, I think spike is dreaming about, when are we going to the stream ..
    enjoy your new camp it looks great, trees, water, shade, sun ,can’t ask for more..
    safe travels….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wel, John… I CAN ask for more . . . Why can’t I have internet, too? Darn it! 🙂

  14. Tom Rasor says:

    What a great blog, Sue. I just stumbled across it while looking for boon-docking info for a Casita. Very helpful words in a very interesting format! I just bought a 17′ Independence to be picked up August 6 in Rice. I am a backpacker/tent camper and have no experience with a trailer, thus somewhat apprehensive. I’ve been pretty much all over the West, but with nothing in tow! Looking at your experiences gives me hope that my pup and I will be able to handle it. Keep up the good work!

    • Cari in North Texas says:

      Sue’s blog is chock full of info about Casita and trailer life, Tom, be sure to go back and read old entries. She gives good advice, based on her experiences. It sounds like you are embarking on another interesting, fun chapter in your life. I go by the Rice plant every month as part of my work route and drool over the trailers in the lot. Welcome to the party!

      • Tom Rasor says:

        Thanks Cari, I’ll do that. I’m a little worried that my tow vehicle is on the small side. I will try my Toyota FJ Cruiser as I want to be able to set up a base camp and explore the 4WD back country, such as Stoney and Cinnamon Passes and around Great Sand Dunes National Monument in Colorado. I’m definitely on the upslope of the learning curve with the trailer, though!

        If you drive by Rice on the 6th and see a guy with a big smile on his face, that will be me!

        • Chuck Hajek says:

          Hi Tom! Congrats on your Casita.I think you will LOVE IT!!! I know a fellowthat has an Oliver that pulls it with a Toyota FJ and loves the combo. You can see it on the Oliver blog. We had 2 Casitas and an Oliver(a customizeable Casita). Miss the size and parkability of the Casitas…our 31′ fifth wheel has been put in a lot of places it shudn’t have fit in ever since!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Congratulations on the Casita Independence! I picked up my Liberty in August of 2011. I hope it isn’t as hot for you as it was that day. Not that I noticed… I was so excited and happy!

      Also… Welcome to my blog, Tom! I’m glad you like it. You say you’re apprehensive. You have a heckuva lot more going for you than I did. I didn’t know the West, I had never camped before except in childhood, and I never towed a travel trailer before. It was all new, but it all came together, including the crew. Bridget and Spike were fenced-in-backyard dogs all their lives until we became vagabonds.

      You’ll do great and have loads of fun! Your pup will, too!

      • Tom Rasor says:

        Thanks for the encouragement! You really have MUCH going for you now! You have a great site here, RVS&C!!!!

  15. Cari in North Texas says:

    Sue, could you send some of that rain to Texas? 🙂 The whole state is still suffering in drought conditions, and it’s getting really hot again. We probably won’t see the 80’s again till October.

    Another lovely campsite! And water nearby for dear Spike to soak in! I hope your A/C problem is just minor and can be fixed easily/cheaply.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Cari! I wish I could help you out with the rain. It had been a long time since we’ve experienced a heavy downpour. Texans would dance in the streets if they got rain like that.

  16. rvsueandcrew says:

    Hi Jool!

    I threw this post together so fast while sitting in the PTV that I didn’t realize I had that funny segue… I took another look and had to laugh. You see, Bridget doesn’t have enough cushion on her behind, so she has to sit on the edge of her bed. (sheesh)

    Nice to hear from you .. .

  17. Donna D. (stickhouse in CT) says:

    I love how all of us followers just carried on while you were internet-less. LOL Still think that someday there should be a Fans of RVSue and Crew rally.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Donna!

      Well, you guys go ahead and have your rally. I’ll do my hermit thing and hide in the forest somewhere, okay?

      I guess y’all carried on just fine while I was without internet. Lots of shopping going on. 🙂 Boy, I should disappear more often!

  18. Ron says:

    Folks have there way to check out their trailers before moving, the last thing I do is start rolling forward and then hit my brake controller by hand, if you cant stop the trailer that way it is time to get out and check the plug ins.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hmm. . . Interesting, Ron. I’m not sure I understand how you do that. You hit the brake controller without using the tow vehicle pedal? Never tried that. My controller has a green light when it’s on and a red light that lights up when the trailer brakes are applied.

  19. Trip and Lisa says:

    Trip bets you a rotiserie chicken that it’s the heater blower motor,,,,,,,,,,,gosh I hope you win,just to shut him up,lol.
    And he wants to know what kind of cold beverage you were drinking.

    Aweful nosey I’m thinkin,lol.
    Perfect as usual Sue,have a great weekend

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