Our last few days at a favorite camp in Utah

Tuesday, May 12

1-DSC04125 - CopyBridget, Spike, and I laze around our camp.

After breakfast we walk over to Swasey’s Beach.  No one is here but us!

1-DSC04130-001The rest of the day tiptoes by. 

I read, sweep sand off the blue mat, listen to the radio while responding to blog comments, cook up a pot of potatoes, carrots, and green beans, walk over to a neighboring campsite and watch the river from a picnic table, wave to people riding a raft, stroll around the empty campground . . .

1-DSC04221I chase after Spike, cuddle Bridget, sit in my camp chair and read about the pair of Western Tanagers who frequent our campsite, study the Utah atlas, dream about where we will go next, warm up meat for the crew, read news and emails online, edit photos and write a blog post, drink a cup of Yerbe Mate, reply to more comments, walk with the crew along the river’s edge at sunset, pick up pretty pebbles . . .

Wednesday, May 13

It’s mid-morning.  I hear a man’s voice.

“Hello?  Hello?”  I jump up from my laptop at the rear table and go to the door.  I’m surprised because I didn’t think anyone was nearby.  A young man looks up at me.

“Hi.  I was wondering if you wouldn’t mine giving me a jump start? he asks.

“Oh, is that you over at the dumpster?” I respond.

“Yeah, that’s us.  My girlfriend and I were camping up in the canyon.  Last night we stopped to dump trash and then it wouldn’t start.  So we put up our tent and spent the night here.”

“I thought it was weird that someone would camp next to the trash bin.  Well, I was about to leave to go into town anyway.  I’ll drive over in a few minutes, okay?”

I pull up to his tired-looking, navy blue car with its nose pointed at the dumpster.

I tell the young man I’m Sue and he says his name is Chad.  “And over there is my girlfriend, Victoria.”  He tells me they’re from Salt Lake City.

“I hope it starts,” he mumbles as he leans over his battery with the cable clamps in hand.  Once the cable is attached, he looks at me from his cloud of concern. “If it doesn’t start, would you let my girlfriend ride into town with you to get a tow?”

“Sure.”

I get in the Perfect Tow Vehicle, say a little prayer, and start ‘er up. 

Chad turns his key and the old car’s engine comes to life!  He grins and pumps his fist.  His worried face is transformed as it relaxes with relief.  He gets out and thanks me.

“You have a safe trip,” and I drive away.  Well, it was a good thing we didn’t leave a few days ago like we were supposed to. 

The crew and I go to Green River and turn east.

Then we turn south.  We’re on our way to Crystal Geyser which is less than five miles from town.  It’s a beautiful day for a drive and this should make a nice, little excursion.

Oh, really?

I expect this local attraction to be a non-event.  I read that in recent years the geyser has lost its oomph.  Whereas it once spouted several feet in the air, now it’s lucky to hit three feet.  Why?  Over the years people impatient for the geyser to blow threw rocks down the pipe to stir it into action and now the geyser is pretty much blocked.  Oh well, it’s an excuse to take a short drive and see some more countryside.

A little background . . .

Crystal Geyser was formed in 1935 when somebody drilled a well hoping to find oil.  Instead, a saturation of carbon dioxide forced water up the pipe and into the air.  It continued to do so for decades at periodic intervals each day, reaching heights of forty feet or so, as late as 2005.   Then the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging mutants came along and . . . .

It isn’t long into this little adventure that things start to go downhill.

Literally.

Shoot.  I shoulda’ taken the other road.  We wind down a steep section and enter some badlands.  Dang potholes!

The photo is misleading.

1-DSC04225This place is bad-ass ugly!

Nothing grows here except an occasional, valiant, yellow flower along the road.  In some places the ground is green.  Not your lush, spring-is-here-let’s-have-a-picnic green.  This is LIME green.

What IS this place . . . Where chemists go to die? 

We drive by a section of white ground.  Next AQUAMARINE.  This is awful!   It looks like the earth threw up on itself.  I forge ahead.  Where IS that damn geyser?

I become aware that Bridget is whining.

Not her usual Spike-won’t-let-me-sit-on-the-bench-seat whine.  This is very faint, emitted with every breath.

“What’s the matter, Bridge?” I ask, glancing over at her in the passenger seat.

I hit the brakes. 

Bridget lies across the seat with her head hanging over the side.  She lifts her head in response to my question and looks at me sadly, continuing to whine.

Dear God, something’s wrong!  Her eyes are glazed, her lower eyelids are sagging . . .  I place my palm on her head.  It’s hot! 

“To heck with Crystal F*#king Geyser!  We’re getting outta’ here!”

Of course, there isn’t a place to turn around, not here nor in the near future.  I turn us anyway, executing a jerky, eight-point turn.  I hit the gas and we fly through the weirdly-colored, forbidding land..

Bridget coughs. 

Damn, she’s probably nauseous, too.  I yell at the windshield, “I HATE THIS PLACE!”

We rumble over washboard.  We dodge potholes.  I bring down Bridget’s window for cool air to blow on her face.

At last we return to the land of the living.

In a few minutes, Bridget perks up and is her old self again.

“I’m so sorry I put you through that, Bridge.”

Later, that evening . . .

Moonlight through the curtains beckons me outside.  I sneak out, careful not to wake the crew.

1-DSC04228Well, I guess we should leave tomorrow.  Warm weekend ahead.  Hordes of weekenders and rafters will come.

Gosh, I love this camp.  The constant roar of the river.  The soft sand of the beach.  The birds in the cottonwood tree.  The magnificent monuments all around.  The peacefulness and solitude . . .  This has been one of the best camps ever!

  I hate to leave, but it’s time.

rvsue

I LOVE RVSUE SHOPPERS!

Thanks for going to Amazon from my blog.

tanager

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97 Responses to Our last few days at a favorite camp in Utah

  1. Lee J says:

    My iPad just dinged at me that there was a new post, wow, am I first?

  2. Ron in TX says:

    That last pic is awesome.
    There is an old saying that you pic your friends and dont have much choice about your kinfolks.
    Ron

  3. Lee J says:

    I just went back and read your post, what a terrible
    place that was! I wonder if sweet Bridget was getting sick from some sort of nasty dust..who know what noxious chemical produced all that color and if nothing will grow there…ugh!

    Sorry you feel you must leave your beautiful camp, but you do have a knack of finding another, and another beautiful place to live!

    • Susan (MS) says:

      Or Ms. B was in her own way sensing danger/trouble ahead and was warning you to turn back. Pets sense things that we have no clue about. Just gotta love them (more than we already do).

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Susan,

        It might have been a really bad headache. That’s what it looked like . . . but who knows?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lee,

      Probably another person, one with an interest in geology or chemistry, would think that was a great place to visit. Not me!

      It’s good to leave a camp wanting more. I look forward to returning to it, maybe when the leaves are yellow.

  4. Donna from Texas says:

    Sue and crew
    Just had to let you know that in Harper, Tx where my inlaws live I have no towers for Verizon, got my Wilson through your blog (love the blog!) now I have 3bars. Thanks for all of your’s and Mick’s info. Now if I could just convince my husband to down size and live off the grid. Again…love the blog and pic’s, went back to day one of your blog when we were sitting in Augusta, Ga. & look forward to each and every day you post as many of us do!
    Donna

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Donna,

      I’m thrilled to hear the Wilson antenna is as good to you as it has been to me. Several of my posts would’ve never appeared if it weren’t for that antenna.

      Now, about that husband of yours… I wish I offered a product that would change the minds of spouses who haven’t caught the off-grid fever. Alas, this blog will have to do . . .

      Thanks for reading my blog from the beginning and for your upbeat comment.

    • Ed says:

      “Harper, Tx where my inlaws live I have no towers for Verizon, got my Wilson through your blog (love the blog!) now I have 3bars. ”

      I want to add a word of caution about what was written above.

      First, the Wilson antenna can not amplify a signal if one does not exist. It makes the signal stronger but it can not create 3bars or any bars if there is no signal.
      Second, Verizon does offer Data Coverage to Harper, TX. They do have a tower and their Coverage Map claims that they have “Extended 1X Data Coverage”, which is very poor and a Wilson antenna would certainly help.
      Third, the number of bars is an indication of signal strength NOT an indication of data up or download speed. You can have a strong signal but very limited bandwidth and it will take forever to open a page.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Thanks for elaborating on this topic, Ed.

        I think Donna might have meant “no bars” instead of “no towers.” I’ve had that occur (going from no bars to 3 bars) with the Wilson antenna, although there must’ve been some signal to begin with.

        Right now at our present camp I’m dealing with 1x and 2 bars… slow, but at least I can get online!

  5. Deb from NJ says:

    Poor Bridgette! I looked this up and discovered….”While a dog’s brain is only one-tenth the size of a human brain, the part that controls smell is 40 times larger than in humans. A dog’s sense of smell is about 1,000 to 10,000,000 times more sensitive than a human’s (depending on the breed). A human has about 5 million scent glands, compared to a dog, who has anywhere from 125 million to 300 million (depending on the breed). Ever wonder why your dog’s nose is wet? The mucus on a dog’s nose actually helps it smell by capturing scent particles.”

    Perhaps Bridget was smelling some chemicals in the air that were undetected by you.
    I am so happy that she was better when you left the area.

    It was a good thing that you were still in the area to help that young guy out with a jump start. Sue to the rescue!

    Love, Love, Love the photo of the moonlit river! Perfect end to a perfect campsite!

    Enjoy the rest of the day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deb,

      I hope you are enjoying your day. Yes, Bridget picked up smells or inhaled fumes. It obviously was something in that strange environment because she was fine as soon as we were away from it. Makes one wonder what we breathe that we’re unaware of, yet dogs sense it.

      That guy was so relieved. I suspect a tow truck bill would put a serious dent in their wallets. I remember having to rely on an old junker in my younger years. It’s always something and at the worst times.

      I guess that moon photo is a hit. I almost didn’t include it.

      • Gayle says:

        Did you set your camera setting for the moon shot or was it a point and shoot shot made wonderful by your wonderful camera?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Gayle,

          I took about seven shots of the moon, trying different settings, so I can’t tell you which one this is. I think it’s either the setting “landscape’ or “low light w/o a tripod” setting. See how technical I am>? LOL!

  6. Rob says:

    That last shot of the moon & the river wins the prize!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Rob! That’s the kind of photo that, although not perfect, makes you feel like you’re there.

  7. mockturtle says:

    No A/C in your PTV? You ARE brave! 😉

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, mockturtle,

      Don’t need to be brave. I can honestly say there hasn’t been more than a few days in the past two years that I would’ve turned it on. Love dry heat! Usually we camp at higher elevations during the summer, the BLT repels heat well, and there are those wonderful breezes . . .

      Oops! I thought you were talking about the BLT… sorry.

      I have AC in the PTV. I opened the window because, when I have had headaches, it felt good to have a blast of cool air in the face. The AC doesn’t blow air that hard.

  8. So funny! The earth threw up on itself. LOL! Poor pup – it was so ugly there it made her sick.

  9. weather says:

    So,that cold wind hadn’t carried your orange and black friend and his mate too far away for return visits,yippee!I know how that affinity enriches your life.
    Even fumes spewing out of hades’ portal are no match for your vigilance of the well being of the crew,thank God Bridget’s OK, kudos pack leader.
    That beautiful night time photo with the moon shows that you were loving having your own private beach right through the end of your recent stay there.
    I dearly hope you do return to it …when the cottonwoods are yellow-gold…Having coined that beautiful phrase you should tuck it in your file of possible titles for your book,tee hee,no pressure mind you. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      I did love having a private beach. For years I envied those with waterfront property. Now I have that whenever I want. 🙂

      The male and female tanagers were a delight. At first flash I thought they were orioles. Then they came back and I had plenty of opportunity to look at them closely. There was a branch at the back window. I’d be at the computer and the male tanager would perch there in all his resplendent glory.

      I added a stock photo of a male Western Tanager at the bottom of this post for the benefit of readers who have never had the good fortune to see one.

      • weather says:

        Too cool!Now if I scroll just right the moon and tanager photos both fit on my monitor’s screen,like a picture story of your nights and days Valentine’s from Him there.
        Since you hung our wishes on the moon for us, have you felt the quickened pace of comments about houses be cleared out,rv ‘s chosen,trips planned or taken,time lines clarified…

  10. Pauline from Mississippi says:

    Poor Bridget!!! It had to be the chemicals in the landscape. So glad she is better. I agree with the others….beautiful picture of the moon.
    A big hug to you, Spike and Bridget.

  11. Chris B says:

    “Mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging mutants”
    I love it! And there are no curse words in it!!!! I hope that I can remember that one! Actually, I have a post on facebook showing how the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging mutants are destroying the redwoods in Northern California by cutting out huge sections of wood from the base of the large living trees to get the burled wood. I’m going to go back to my post and add this description!
    Thanks, Sue!

    Chris
    ps Diego says “hi” to Spikey and the Bridge

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chris….

      Well, I try to keep the curse words out of my blog, but there are times when they perfectly express how I feel. Know what I mean?

      Yeah, the redwood burl poachers… definitely mutants. (And don’t anybody tell me they’re just trying to feed their hungry children. If they have children, it’s best they not be fed. Haha!).

      “Hey there” to Diego and Clete . . . Great hearing from you Chris. Hope the fires aren’t in your neighborhood.

    • Gayle says:

      I posted on this very problem vis-a-vis how rangers are trying to guard the redwoods and it’s somewhat working. Because this is happening in the Pacific Northwest, you need to change your description to “knuckle-dragging, mouth- breathing, STARBUCKS SLURPING mutants.”

  12. Gloria Brooks says:

    Oh, so cool! You drink Yerba matte too! I got a box of it at Trader’s Joe’s some months ago and LOVE it! I like to throw in a bag of green or white tea with it too. Quite nice. And I’m in the habit of saying, “Now that’s a nice brew” anytime I make up tea, since it’s such a pain for me to cook/brew anything these days.

    Ya see, I’m afraid to cook with the Coleman in my van with the 20 lb tank. I could do the one pounder propane, but what a waste of money! So, then I went out and invested in the Irish’s Kelly Kettle thinking that it’s light weightedness would coerce me to enjoy cooking outdoors more. We’ll turns out that it’s a pain too because the mess it makes and having to clean it all up, plus dragging stuff in and out (I don’t like to leave anything outside my camp worth salvaging in case I need a quick getaway). But, I feel safer with the kettle then cooking with the giant 20 lb propane tank. I really prefer cooking with my solar using a 12-volt plug-in connected to my battery inside but, that went kaput about a month ago (got too hot when I used too appliance back-to-back, I think). So, my cooking choices are both pretty high maintainance until I can get an Anderson Connector 12-volt system put in or made myself (gulp) recommended by Bob. I assume you cook indoors but with a 20 lb propane tank outside of your rig?

    We’re still here at Carson City. I’m liking my current camp and it’s allowing me to get tons of class work done. So, trying to work myself to the bone before heading over to Tahoe to see what exists for dispersed camping. It’s a tough place at Tahoe, being so popular. I anticipate driving around the entire lake looking.

    I also have a new friend, Jill, coming to meet up and camp. So, trying to work hard now to earn some time off for when she comes. She has a little Schnauzer named Ruthie. So, it will be Ruthie and Rochelle dog pals, we hope ha ha! Looking forward to reading about your next adventures!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gloria,

      I’m glad you are enjoying your camp near Carson City and you are getting some work done. Why move when everything comes together and you’re happy? I would’ve stayed at the riverside camp if it weren’t for the crowd coming in.

      Yes, I have two, honking propane tanks sitting on the tongue which provide propane for the stove, fridge, and hot water tank. I hope you get your cooking situation resolved soon. Too many complicated tasks can spoil the fun!

      Speaking of fun…. Enjoy the visit of your friend and her dog. I hope this good weather continues for you and for us!

  13. Penny from Utah (and Baja) says:

    That Crystal Geyser used to be a fun place to visit. Rich and I took a lot of 3-day canoe trips – putting in at Green River State Park, traveling through Labrinth Canyon, and taking out at Mineral Bottom. We always stopped at the Geyser. I’m sorry the fumes affected Bridget. Hope she’s ok

    I just adopted a 9 week old kitten from Best Friends to replace Diva (whom we had to leave buried in Baja this winter.) She is trying to help me type this.

    Penny

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi,, Penny,

      It was nice to meet you and Rich at the campground. I’m sorry you happened to camp there during the weekend when it was so crowded. It’s a different place during the week.

      I know you both were hurting over the loss of your precious Diva. Sounds like the kitten is doing her best to fill the void. 🙂

  14. Ed says:

    A different, and more positive, view of Crystal Geyser can be had at Spotted Dog Ranch in a blog posted Monday, October 26, 2009 title Not Really in Hot Water.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Like I said in my reply to Lee, “Probably another person, one with an interest in geology or chemistry, would think that was a great place to visit.” Chinle is interested and educated in geology. I’m neither. 🙂

  15. Tawanda~ says:

    If you were more West ‘area 51’ would have come to mind, amazed how sensitive 4 legged s are…. Glad Bridgett improved once leaving the area…
    Bummer on the “Mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging mutants” messing with the land..

    Lost a very close wonderful friend a week ago, sudden, peaceful, too young only 65, less than one yr retired educator… Still hard to believe!! Never to be forgotten by so many!! We never know…

    Yep heat is coming on in Utah, hope you have found some higher cooler grounds with wild flowers lots of fresh air and running water with that soothing sound, another “best camp ” 😉
    Enjoy…
    T~

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Tawanda,

      Yes, we have found such a place… You describe it perfectly!

      I’m sorry about the sudden loss of your friend. You remind us that, if we really want to do something, we need to go ahead and do it while we can.

  16. DesertGinger says:

    Geez, thank goodness you had Bridget to be your ‘canary’ …. Who knows what sort of stuff you were breathing as well. If you had stayed, maybe you would have been sick too. Can’t wait to see your next camp.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Bridget is the most sensitive of the three of us. It was amazing how quickly she recovered once we were away from that area.

  17. AZ Jim says:

    I love words, expressions in writing. Some people (YOU) can literally paint with words. In this episode you used “The rest of the day tiptoes by” which was great and then in a little more colorful way you described a location like “This place is bad-ass ugly”. Your ability to do this in your writing is a gift and one you use effectively. Some can create full understanding with spoken words. Detta and I had a friend, gone now sadly, who when very frustrated would say “S**T” so effectively that you almost looked around to be sure you didn’t step in it. Great read as usual Missy…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      I’m so very happy to hear from you again. Thanks for the compliments.

      You made me chuckle when you described the effect of your late friend’s word. My father never shied from “colorful” language, but he also could see and hear poetry in words and in life. It was natural for him, not something he was taught. In normal conversation he would say things like, “I ate those tomatoes like grapes” which was more fun to hear than “I ate a lot of those tomatoes.”

      I learned from him that there are times when a curse word says it quickest and best. Plus it makes one feel a heckuva lot better!

  18. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    “It looks like the earth threw up on itself.” Your description took my mind’s eye there and made me laugh out loud! So glad that Bridget is ok!

    Loved the moonlit river shot. Have a great evening!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      I appreciate the good feedback. BTW, I finally got around to reading and responding to comments that came in at the end of the previous post, including yours. I don’t want you to think I ignored what you shared.

      You have a great evening, too. 🙂

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:

        Hi Sue,

        I am so excited – I just placed my first Amazon order through your blog! Be on the lookout for commission on an eclectic order: Deer Scram (also helps to keep Mr Bunnykins out of the flower beds), a couple of paperbacks (mysteries), and a supply of slim CD cases.

        For anyone looking for a good, light-hearted mystery (no blood, guts or nightmare inducing scenes) set in current time, check out the author Katherine Hall Page. All of her mysteries are titled “The Body In The _______”. The setting is usually in the New England area. A perfect summer read!

        I did see your response, Sue – thank you so much. 🙂

  19. Marsha (MI) says:

    Sue and fellow readers – Just a quick note to let you know I finished the book “The Kindness of Strangers.” Very good, quick read. I was in a bit of a reading slump, so it was great to have something that kept me somewhat riveted.

  20. CheryLyn(Oregon) says:

    Be careful picking up “pebbles” that’s how it starts. I now have tons of “pebbles” (obsidian, petrified wood, jasper, agates) and I do mean tons. Talk about the challenge of downsizing.
    Does Bridget get car sick? Glad she is better. Had a Border Collie that would only get sick if the roads were too rough.
    I want to say thank you for the posts of your day to day routine you write about from time to time. I’ve worked so many years 12-14 hrs days 6-7 days a week that initially it was difficult to imagine days in a rv and not working. I am sooo looking forward to the new adventure.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, CheryLyn,

      You may be on to something re Bridget and carsickness. The road was washboard in sections and I hit a few potholes. That couldn’t have helped her.

      Every time I see a variety of stones I get this creative urge to make something out of them. That would be dumb. Carry around a load of stones . . .

      Oh dear, you have worked hard. I think you’ll have no trouble keeping yourself occupied and enjoying full days once you are retired and in an rv. I don’t know where the days go sometimes. Not that I waste them. There are so many things I want to do in between relaxing, which cannot be skipped!

  21. Hi Sue, just have to say that is a fabulous moonlight picture! Happy for you and the pups having such a lovely camp to enjoy. 🙂

  22. Donna from Texas says:

    To Sue and Ed
    Yes Sue you are correct, my mistake I had 1bar in and out on Extended Network, I spoke to Verizon several times and they told me they had no plans to put a Verizon tower out here…so my options were to get the Wilson Antenna and was very happy to do so through Sue’s blog. I can now read the blog sitting in Harper, Tx and open pages as well as I do in Dallas,Tx Augusta,Ga, Hardyville, SC or any other location my husband is sent to install equipment in SBC, or Verizon offices.
    Did not want to miss lead anyone, just letting Sue know how happy we are with our antenna.
    Again Thank You Sue and Crew!

  23. Marg says:

    Honestly Sue, you are getting as interesting to read as Edward Abbey. I am using your quote below your picture, and I am using your picture on my Facebook this morning. I am giving you the credit though. (The moon shot). I enjoyed today’s post very much. I have been ill since the last time I posted, hospital and all. Not asking for pity. You help give me hope to get that Class C and hit the road. So see, sometimes medicine is not always the answer. Determination helps. Thanks again.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Marg. Good to hear from you again. I’m sorry you were sick, but glad now that you are out of the hospital and as determined as ever. Keep your eye on the prize!

      Thank you for the compliment on my blog and photo. I’m pleased that you want to include the moon pic on your Facebook!

  24. AZ Jim says:

    Your Moon picture is on my desktop. It’s a goodie Miss Sue. Thanks

  25. Rita from Phoenix says:

    Beautiful pics as usual. I’d love to tent camp there one summer…maybe next year 🙂 Oh, Bridget prob sensed your uneasiness when driving that road and sympathize with you hence the whining. My sister’s mellow dog Sparky went crazy the morning of 9/11 running around in circles, crying like he’s hurt and dashing out the door. She said she was shocked at his behavior and a few minutes later the disaster happened. Another time, she was driving to rez home in thunderstorm at night, when she got to a small wash she was going to gun her truck and dash across so she wouldn’t get stuck when Sparky started barking and licking her face in nervous state. So, she let him out & they walked to the wash and found a huge drop off …she would have never made it across. My grandma always use to say to have a dog with us (especially at night) cuz they can hear, smell, and sense things we can’t and will give warning. She might have been right.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rita,

      I agree with you that dogs are more sensitive or perceptive to the environment than we are and they will alert us to dangers. Horses will do that, too.

      In Bridget’s case, she may have been trying to warn me, but she definitely was not feeling well. Her head was burning up and her eyes had that headache-y glaze.

  26. “Where chemists go to die”….LOL well actually laughing so hard I’m almost crying. Leave it to you to hit the nail right on the head. Oh would I love a private beach and that great moon over the water. Nice camp is right!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sherry,

      Maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad if I’d taken the shorter road. I can only take so much ugly.

      Happy to have you LSHIAC! 🙂

  27. Cindy says:

    There must have been some toxic/caustic chemical fumes in the area and Bridget was especially sensitive to it. Dogs can smell so much better than us – she was warning you. Spike? He’s just a guy and what do guys know?? Just kidding – don’t everyone go all gender defensive on me!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cindy,

      The thing with Spike . . . If he knows something, he ain’t tellin.’ I’ve never met a dog with so little concern for the welfare of others. LOL!

      His attitude is “Give me my dinner and let me sleep. You’re on your own.”

  28. rhodium says:

    I don’t know about dying, but it looks like a fine place to do photochemistry. Actually, chemists are jealous of the geologists a bit. They can take people to cool areas like where you are staying in central Utah, but where can we take people- Exit 12 off the NJ Turnpike?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Okay, I’ll bite. What the heck is at Exit 12 off the NJ Turnpike?

      • Ed says:

        Exit 12 will put you in Carteret a borough in Middlesex County, New Jersey where part of the borough is an Urban Enterprise Zone*. I think the question is a sly disparagement of Carteret not requiring an answer.
        *An Urban Enterprise Zone is an area in which policies to encourage economic growth and development are in place, usually because it is a blighted part of the community.

      • Rhodium says:

        I thought that was an exit for the refineries, but perhaps not.

  29. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Sure sounds like you have your canary in the mine there with Bridget!! Good thing…and good you went no further…might have been bad for all of you. Seems they ought to keep people out of there if there is something bad there…strange? Dogs are often well worth their keep!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth . . . .It probably isn’t anything bad. I’m allergic to chocolate but I wouldn’t want it banned.

  30. Cinandjules (Temp in CA) says:

    That is by far …..one of the best pics of the moon and landscape!

    Those temporarily stranded campers were oh so lucky! Good deed!

    Poor Bridget …..thank god she didn’t Puke in the PTV! Sulphur maybe?

    I am beat! Sis left at 4 AM decided to rent a SUV and drive her “mementos” back to AZ.
    She is dragging back two antique Mills slot machines. We put 1964 Kennedy half dollars in one and buffalo nickels in the other…courtesy of my dad’s coin collection. We had a great two weeks! I finished finished FINISHED up with the second house.

    Haven’t booked a flight yet. Can’t keep my eyes open nor can i think to type…until tomorrow…have a wonderful evening.

    It just dawned on me that these iPads have a dictation function….but it probably can’t understand my chinese accent! Hah

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      Well, I’m glad that you had your sister with you to help and now the job is done! Annie Oakley will be so happy to see you again. Sleep well . . .

  31. Cinandjules (Temp in CA) says:

    Good night Sue. Oh this is fun!

  32. R. (Western Colorado) says:

    “What IS this place . . . Where chemists go to die?”
    That hurts.

    I very seldom share details of my private life but this statement brought back so much pain.

    My husband, a chemist, died recently. He died in our bed when I held his hand. In those last moments I kept telling him we were going to be OK. He knew and I knew we won’t be together much longer. There was just too much pain. At this point he wasn’t able to communicate verbally or visually any longer. But I told him as many times as I could how much I love him. I told him I wish I did more for him. There was so much guilt on my part. I wish I did some things differently, I wish I could ease his pain, comfort him more. I asked him if he still loves me and this was a moment when tears came from under his closed eyelids, his lips moved but words didn’t come out. So many emotions from my incredible husband and the chemist. Soon he was gone but I still held his hand. This PhD chemist died in our bed right beside me and not any dismal place. I miss him every second of my life.

    These were last moments of my husband’s life. He was always so proud to be a chemist. He loved his job as a chemist and sadly not many people love what they do. He knew he wanted to be a chemist since he was 7 or 8 year old when he got his chemistry set.

    I follow you long enough, RVSue, and I know you would never wanted to upset one of your fans but this statement refreshed all.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, dear God, I NEVER meant to hurt you with that remark. It was something that popped in my mind as I drove through that place, and when I write about something I experienced, I include my thoughts. A while back you told me your late husband was a chemist. I completely forgot.

      From what you’ve told us here, your husband was a remarkable man and you loved him with all your heart. It is good that he had you with him at the end, holding his hand and telling him you loved him.

      I am terribly sorry that my blog caused your pain to resurface. I offer you my deepest and sincerest apology, R. I am very, very sorry. Sue

      • R. (Western Colorado) says:

        I knew that. I guess I just want to share what thoughts came through my head after reading your statement. Thank you for understanding. What I love about your blog that you show your own feelings and emotions and you’re brave enough to share them. I hope you will never stop yourself from expressing your own thoughts even if that means sometimes bringing reactions like mine. Once in a while I think if I did not feel pain of missing my husband I would never focus on all great things we had together and how easy my life used to be. Meanwhile, my hikes and your blog help me overcome sadness which seems so overwhelming. But I’ll be OK. Thank you helping me focus my attention somewhere else when reading your blog and comments of your readers. You have some faithful and interesting fans.

        • weather says:

          Dear R.,
          What an amazing mind you have,
          to remind you of how good you were to your husband your brain said-HEY!
          …”not all chemist’s die in a dismal place,my chemist died in bed, being told he was loved, as I held his hand!!”.
          By your example- of hiking to find peace,
          -sharing knowledge of flowers,places and life
          you add much to this blog.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Dear R.,

          After I replied to your hurt–filled message, I was so annoyed with myself and my foot in my mouth that I turned off the computer and went for a walk with the crew and didn’t go back online.

          I thought of you several times during the night, wondering if I’d ever hear from you again. I recalled all the great hiking suggestions you’ve shared, the identification of flowers, and your travels around Utah this spring. I remembered the kind things you’ve written about me and my blog.

          I tried to think of some way to make it up to you, but, of course, there isn’t a way to be found.

          It was with trepidation that I opened up my laptop this morning. What do I find? Your sweet message, conveying appreciation TO ME! What a relief! Thank you, R., for giving me a second chance.

          I look forward to us sharing many happy messages to each other!

          • R. (Western Colorado) says:

            Sue, thank you so much for your kind and comforting words. During my hike today I thought of my life with my husband and cried I won’t have that any longer. I also thought about you and concluded you have a special writing talent. Your writing is thought provoking. That’s definitely a very special talent. Please do not change anything. I want to read your posts for long time.

  33. Willow says:

    Dear Sue and Crew,
    Loved, loved, loved the picture of the moonlight on the river, so beautiful. I’m so happy Brigett recovered so quickly after inhaling those fumes you guys are a team.. you’ve had some unexpected difficult periods lately and I admire how you have handled each and every one with grace and courage. I love your blog, please give the crew a big pet from me and a hug for you. My elderly cat Willow passed away and I think this is the first time in my life I have been without a pet to greet me at the door.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Willow. I’m glad you enjoy my blog.

      I’m sorry your sweet pal is no longer with you. Our pets become such a part of our daily routine and a comfort in good times and bad that their passing leaves a big, empty space in our lives. I hope you get past the hurt soon.

      • Tawanda says:

        Soo sorry for your loss of Willow!! Even knowing how much shorter their life spans are than we’d like it is worth every min. we have them in our lives!!

        • Willow says:

          Your’e right Tawanda, they are worth every heartache and chewed up shoe, for all the joy and comfort they bring us.

  34. Ron in TX says:

    A lesson in not waiting do go for your dream and another that went for hers.
    Today I lost two folks that were close to me ,an aunt that was 92 and until the last few years was a goer and a doer and my coffee buddy 53 years old.
    Please go for it while you can.
    Ron

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, Ron, two arrows to the heart in the same day. How terrible for you! You can expect someone in their nineties to be close to passing, but it still is tough to have them go. And then your friend, your dear “coffee buddy,” and at such a young age. I send you sincere condolences. A time will come when remembering the good times will not be as painful.

      Thank you for reminding us that we must not waste our days.

  35. Ron in TX says:

    I didnt mean to put a damper on the comments, I just felt like I needed to share this with some of your readers that were on the fence. You need to go for your dreams whatever they are today because tomorrow is a maybe.
    Thanks for your condolences
    Ron

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