Our second boondock along the Tieton River

Yes, we’re still boondocking along the Tieton River in south-central Washington!

1-P1060833The crew and I sit in the Perfect Tow Vehicle which is parked along Route 12.  We’re here to pick up internet signal and I’m online to post on this blog.  We hear two very loud cracks of lightning.

On our way back to camp, a helicopter drops down behind the trees that line the banks of the Tieton River.  Soon it lifts again with its red bucket filled with water.  (Sorry about the poor quality photos.  Don’t tell anyone, but I took the next two pics while driving.)

1-P1060765A mile or so up the road, the helicopter’s destination comes into view.

1-P1060767-001For the rest of the day the helicopter rumbles overhead.  It continues making trips after dark.  I fall asleep listening to it.

1-P1060780In the middle of the night I awake to the soft drumming of rain on the roof.  Well, what a blessed sound.  The firefighters must be grateful for the help. 

The rain is not heavy, but it continues for over an hour.

The next morning everything is more vivid due to the rain.  The greens are greener!

The crew and I are in a new camp!

Danny suggested I move over to the area where he moved in order to get out of the way of incoming floaters, kayakers, and the commercial outfits setting up business.

Yesterday (Thursday, August 22) I hitch up and relocate us to this site.

1-P1060846It’s lightly shaded and pleasant, if not spectacular.  I like the way the ground is covered in pine needles all around the Best Little Trailer.  I also like that it’s not a popular camping area, probably due to the devil of a drop-off from the main road in order to get in here . . . also the fact that the sites are not on the river.

My reason for staying in this area downstream from the Rimrock dam is to watch the floaters and kayakers tomorrow (Saturday).

Danny took off for Lost Lake to fish, so the crew and I have the place to ourselves.  I think that’s where he said he was going.  Anyway . . .

Bridget, Spike, and I walk the two-track lane to the river.

1-P1060779On the way I see photos all over the place!

1-P1060794A creek tumbles over rocks on its way to join the Tieton . . .

1-P1060773Nearby a pool remains quiet and still.

1-P1060775The lane leads to a small campsite, the only one by the river in this area.

1-P1060785We could’ve camped here, but it would’ve required some tight maneuvering and I didn’t feel like bothering with it.  There’s something to be said for having a gorgeous river destination for a walk with the crew.

I’d also have to keep a close eye on Spike because he could easily end up floating the Tieton without a float!  It’s a powerful river.

This morning I take the camp chair and set it up on a little peninsula.

1-P1060797Look closely at the photo above.  See the rock and the short stump in front of the chair?  Well, I know I posted a photo of a dipper in a recent post, but I have to show you some more.  This little dipper (below) perched on that stump about eight feet away from me.

1-P1060817He kept still so I could take these pictures.


After singing — actually it was more like chit-chatting — he flew over to a rock barely sticking out of the waves where he did what he’s meant to do . . . dip!

What a glorious morning!

From this vantage point one can see the bridge.  Our previous camp was upstream from this bridge.  One thing that makes the Tieton River fun to photograph is the way it changes color depending upon the changing light and the time of day.  Sometimes it’s a soft green, other times it’s a cold, dark blue.  Now it’s a bold blue . . .

1-P1060796Here’s pretty much the same section of river about twenty minutes later.  See what I mean?

1-P1060834After the dipper poses for its photo shoot, robins fly from one side of the river to the other.  A raptor (some kind of bird of prey I can’t identify) appears from downstream and flies up the river, past me, over the bridge, and out of sight.

Huge trees lie along the river with rocks embedded in their roots. 

Danny told me very strong winds whip through here.  He didn’t say, but I guess that happens in the Spring.

1-P1060783 Instead of the lane, we take the narrow path which is a shortcut home.  Bridget leads the way.  Spike dawdles behind.

1-P1060827I leave the camp chair at the river bank.  We’ll come back in the afternoon.  Spike needs his daily soak!

You knew it was coming . . .

1-P1060802Aren’t you glad you persevered all the way to the end?





Here are some of the products recently purchased through my links:
Camp Chef Dutch Oven Lid Lifter
LexMod Ribbed Mid Back Office Chair in Genuine Leather
Bubble Bath Mat
Lamaze Octotunes Musical Toy
Compressed Gas Duster
Walkfit Platinum Orthotics
Canon Digital Camera with 35x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom

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60 Responses to Our second boondock along the Tieton River

  1. rvsueandcrew says:

    I have internet signal at our new camp! This Wilson antenna is absolutely amazing! The air card showed zero signal. I hooked it up to the antenna and bingo! Four bars and 1x (84% RSSI, -78dBm).

    Now I’ll be able to reply to comments. If you asked a question lately that went unanswered, I hope you will ask it again. I’d like to answer your question here, so it can be read by other readers, too.

    Wow! Some crazy comments while I left you “unsupervised!” 🙂

    BTW, thank you for the many kind words and compliments sent my way . . .

  2. Donna in CT says:

    Apparently you can’t leave us unsupervised for very long. Lol. Great photos as usual! That water looks beautiful but cold! The area you are in looks a lot like where I live with the river, hills and vegetation. Luckily no fires here though. We do have a constant stream of kayaks, canoes, and tubes going by every weekend in good weather and fly fisherman nearly all year round. I’ve even seen them in the river with ice chunks floating by. Crazy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Donna! Glad you liked the photos . . .

      I hadn’t thought about it, but now that you mention it, this part of Washington does look a bit like Connecticut.

  3. Mick says:

    I got busy for a couple days and missed the solar discussion.
    From CinandJules:

    “95watt solar panel with dual 6 volt battery”

    Dual 6 volt batteries= 90 ah-110 ah (20 hours)
    25% discharge rate a day is no less than 877-1072 watts
    95 watt solar panel recharge: 50 watts x 8 hours =400 watt hours/day

    Is this a doable formula for a part time boondocker? LED lights/fan/occasional waterpump/laptop.

    two 6 volt batteries @ 100 ah is 1200 watt-hours.
    25% discharge would be 300 watt-hours (usage per day)
    The panel would provide 400 watt-hours per day recharge.
    This is a reasonable balance.
    The question is can you live with 300 t0 400 watt-hours per day.
    Lights > 20 watts x 4 hours = 80 watt-hours.
    Fan > 30 watts? x 2 hours = 60 wh.
    Laptop > 80 w? x 4hr = 320 wh
    Water pump > 100 w x 1/2 hr = 50 wh

    So 510 watt-hours and we busted the budget.

    Sue can probably address the usage issue better than I can but I don’t think she has a lot of extra with the 200 watt panel.

    This is a bit of a guessing game but I would say your on the light side.
    But your math is OK except the 25% usage number is high?

    RVsue – You can reply in the antenna section but not the solar section??
    Sweet Dreams, Mick

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I thought I had removed comments from all pages other than the main post and the housewarming page. I took that feature off because I kept missing the comments. I’ll put it back if you prefer.

      • Mick says:

        It is just that having the technical information in one place makes it easier to find. The link Alan posted is very good and would be best under the solar banner, but you da Boss.

    • Alan Rabe says:

      Yes, it is a bit of a crap shoot. Also it is highly unlikely you will get 8 hours of full power from your solar cells. Unless you are aiming them at the sun all the time, 6 is about all you will get. And if there is any haze or overcast all bets are off. And quite frankly solar cell panels aren’t all that expensive anymore. So an extra one shouldn’t be that bad. Sue has even said she had to connect her batteries to the van to recharge them after several days of minimum light. But the freedom is worth it.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Actually, to be accurate, I didn’t have to “connect” the batteries to the van… They are always connected to the van.

        I agree, Alan, re: inconvenience…. “the freedom is worth it”!

    • cinandjules (NY) says:

      Thanks Mick… I appreciate you explaining it.

      For the amount of time I spend reading this blog….looks like I need another panel/batteries. 😉

  4. Gayle says:

    Isn’t there a saying that there are no stupid questions, only stupid people? Well, if so, here’s one now: Can you use the Wilson antenna with your cellphone to boost its signal or does it just boost your internet signal? (You said ask our questions again, so here I be. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Gayle… I’m glad you asked. When I was a teacher I used to tell my math students… If you have a question, ask it because you aren’t the only one who has that question in mind.

      No, the antenna is for internet, not cell phone. Maybe there is a way to adapt it for phone. I’ve never looked into that because I rarely use my phone.

    • Mick says:

      Some cell phones have an antenna port but not many. The Wilson antenna that RVsue has will work with cell phones that have an antenna port if you get the right adapter cable.

      Sue, You said that the antenna plugged into another gadget you have, didn’t you?

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Yes, it plugs into my kindle but I think the kindle picks up signal when the air card has a signal anyway and that’s without being connected (wirelessly).

      • Tesaje says:

        It is all radio signals so if it can be attached, the antenna will boost both the voice and data in a cell phone. Just to clarify what Mick correctly said. The receiver part of the cell phone or data card parses out which you can use.

  5. Alan Rabe says:

    Hi Sue, glad to here you have reception. In the photo world we refer to pictures taken from a car as “Drive By Shootings” 🙂
    Love the stream, one of my favorite things to do is to actually walk up the streams in the water, usually there is no path, and look for nice shots. Sometimes you get pools other times little falls, you never know. It is a little adventure in a big one.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I like that phrase…”a little adventure in a big one.” That’s how I live… looking for the little adventures.

  6. Hi Sue, glad you found a nice new river campsite with a good place for Spike to soak. You got some great captures of the dragonfly and the bird! I really enjoy your photos and sharing your adventures. Have a great weekend watching the floaters!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Linda . . . It’s good you enjoy the photos because I love taking them and posting them here!

      Thank you… Yes, it will be fun to watch the river action this weekend.

  7. cinandjules (NY) says:

    When the cats away da mice will play! or is it chipmunks!

    Oh geeze….was that fire caused by a lightning strike? This fire situation all over is crazy. Haven’t read the news yet, because I come here first, but the Yosemite fire is awful. A lot of my co-retirees live at Pine Mountain Lake near Groveland…they all have evacuated. Scary Mary crap for sure!

    One photo I always anticipate on is Spike soaking! You can see how soothing it is for him. Glad you found peace……………and Danny!

    Enjoy your day. Be safe!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yep, that fire was caused by the lightning. The quick response via helicopter is comforting. This area is being watched because of the bigger fire southwest of here that caused the closing of the campgrounds on the other side of Rimrock Lake.

      I didn’t know about Yosemite until yesterday when I was able to get online here at camp. What a shame. It must be terrifying, as well as inconvenient, for the folks who live in that area.

      I’ve developed the habit of scanning the mountainsides as I drive from camp to camp or as I’m on my way to town. Forest fires start so easily.

  8. rhodium says:

    It is nice to see the Amazon list back. One thing that Barry Ritholz’s blog The Big Picture does is from time to time list books bought by readers (as a pie chart). In part its a way to remind people about his book, I guess. Which bring up the idea of using Amazon’s technology to make a book or yearbook of your own. Have you considered making collection of your posts into a book or series? Readers may enjoy having a year’s journey all in one place.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi rhodium… Great to see you here again.

      Yes, I often think of putting a book together at the suggestion of several readers. I hesitate because of the time involved (definitely a winter project!) and I don’t want to sell something that doesn’t provide good value. I can’t get past “Why sell something people can get for free?”

      I’d hate to be one of those authors who get reviews like “What a rip-off! She regurgitates what she’s already written (on the blog) to make a buck!” LOL

      • Connie & Mugsy (ND/MN/AZ) says:

        Yes, but blogs can disappear for a variety of reasons, including your taking it down at some time in the future. I have purchased blog summary books in the past merely to be able to give the writer some money for all the hard work involved. And a book would be nice for yourself when that day comes that you can’t be on the road anymore.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I hadn’t thought of those reasons, Connie.

          BTW, thank you for shopping Amazon from my links so I get some moolah. I appreciate it.

  9. mockturtle says:

    You have a knack for seeing beauty, Sue, and it’s such a pleasure to share it with you. And I never, ever get tired of seeing Spike soaking. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi mockturtle . . . And Spike never gets tired of soaking!

      My visual sense is more developed than the others. I don’t listen to music very often, I don’t understand going to spas, and gourmet food is wasted on me.

      • Connie & Mugsy (ND/MN/AZ) says:

        There are times when you describe yourself… that I am positive that you are talking about me. LOL I am pretty anti-social too, but full-time boondocking isn’t really all that appealing to me (so we aren’t twins with different parents).

  10. Patricia Durkin says:

    With the threat of wildfire there, I am glad you have internet service to keep you up to date. Gotta keep Sue and crew safe! P.S. Totally enjoy your blog.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Patricia . . . I get a dose of happy every time someone tells me they enjoy my blog. Thanks!

      Re: fires . . . As you turn off Route 12 onto the paved road that leads to the forest roads, a tent-type bulletin board is set up alongside the road. It says, “FIRE INFORMATION.” The status of area fires is posted there, including topo/road maps.

  11. Brian says:

    Phew! I was starting to get nervous there.
    Glad I persevered to see a good soaking. ; )

  12. AZ Jim says:

    Speaking of wildfires, as you most likely remember we lost 19 firefighters in our Yarnell fire fairly recently. Yesterday it was announced that so far a total from the three organizations that raised donations has reached 8 million dollars. A committee has been formed to allocate the funds. The next decision is do they allocate a equal share for each survivor family or do they base it upon number of children and any special needs. No money can replace those husbands, fathers and sons but it will sure help survive without them to provide. Great pics Sue as usual. I hope you are saving them all on SD cards.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim . . . No, money can’t replace loved ones. However, it can replace a small portion of their earnings. That tragedy will be long remembered, especially by Arizonians.

      Yes, I’m saving photos on some flash drives I have left over from my teaching days. You remind me to get the latest ones saved.

      • AZ Jim says:

        By all means you never know about the future, maybe a children’s book featuring your “furry kids”. If nothing else, they’ll make for great recollections as time goes by.

    • Mick says:

      Thanks for the report on the “Hotshot” loss Jim. .00125% is my money so I am concerned about a fair distribution to the families.
      I second about saving on photos on memory card and in full resolution. Memory cards are cheap now.
      I am a proud owner of a “Surprise” T shirt.

      • AZ Jim says:

        Hi Mick! Like you I too contributed to the fund and feel I have an interest in it’s distribution. The committee is made up of some firefighters, family member representatives and representatives of the three collecting organizations. They expect to make distribution before the end of this year but say it could go into the beginning of 2013. In the meantime they are seeing to “immediate” needs of concerned families.

        Congrats on the “Surprise” Tee. It’s a neat little city, we love it here.

  13. It’s good when you have enough bandwidth to post what people have purchased recently. That camera is looking veeery interesting with that huge zoom; as if I need another camera. Beautiful pictures of that part of the state. We’ve not spent any time there, should probably go one of these days.

  14. Tesaje says:

    Another beautiful spot. Does Spike ever actually swim or is he just a soaker dog?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Tesaje… Strictly a soaker dog. Spike swims only when he needs to in order to survive, like when he jumped out of the kayak into the 5-foot deep (and ice-cold) water of the Williamson River.

      Spike says, “Swimming is for those crazy dogs that chase sticks. Idiots.”

      • Tesaje says:

        My dog is one of those crazy stick chasing and swimming dogs. 🙂 She says Spike doesn’t know what he is missing. My sister’s standard poodle cannot swim but loves to soak like Spike. Good that Spike can swim if he needs to.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Well, you know how it is with dogs. Swimming is just walking really, really fast . . . in water.

          • Tesaje says:

            It really is. That’s why it is so weird the poodle can’t. He won’t move his hind legs, tries to stand up and just splashes the top of the water with his front paws. Very comical but he would drown if not helped out. My dog just runs in the water, quite fast.

  15. Ruth (TN) says:

    Sometimes I find myself hurrying through the blog for a picture of Spike soaking. That is “sick” on my part but he never disappoints. He just looks so content, a great way to be. You take such good care of your furry kids. Max’s morning was filled with chasing chipmunks and digging for ground moles so he is sacked out while I read your blog. Beautiful camp setting.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ruth . . . Sounds like Max is living ‘the good life’ too… canine style.

      If everyone, every single day, could get into Spike’s soaking zone, we’d have world peace. 🙂

  16. R. says:

    I never get enough pictures of Spike soaking. Maybe it is not only love of water but it is helping with some aches he might have? Did you see a photo of a dog falling in sleep in his owner’s arms when floating in Lake Superior? The owner took his dog to the lake to help him with his aging arthritic bones.

    (Link removed. See below)

    I enjoy not only reading about all adventures and your everyday life but every single picture you post. Thank you Sue, Spike and Bridget.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, I did see that!

      I do think Spike has aches and pains and the water relieves that. Some days he’s frisky as a pup, other days not so much. He’s also obsessive-compulsive, so once he does something in a certain setting or situation, he’s compelled to repeat the action whenever the setting reappears or the situation arises again. Oh well, that’s what makes Spike, Spike. 🙂

      Thank you for telling me you enjoy all my, often repetitive, photos and stories of our daily life.

  17. BuckeyePatti says:

    Well, your first & second pictures worried me. After you said you fell asleep to the helicopter noise, I’m thinking: Why isn’t she getting the heck outta there? Okay, so it must’ve been far enough away not to be a worry.
    “You knew it was coming” And yes, I’m glad I perserved to the end! Too funny. Love the soaks of Spike and your new campsite. Hope the fires stop!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Patti… The fire was somewhat close… I saw it from approximately six miles down the road from our camp. However, I figured if I needed to move out, I’d be told. As often as helicopters pass overhead, my presence must be known.

      As for Spike’s soaking photo. . . I saved the best ’til last!

  18. Barb says:

    Hey Sue!
    LOVE this campsite! So enjoying your photos and sharing. Can’t seem to find my way around getting back to see the days added comments, but Oh Well.
    Enjoy your weekend!
    Hugs from Hoquiam!

  19. Rev. Mary says:

    tried the link you posted of the dog soaking with RA, it shut my pc down twice and I had to use virus remover.

  20. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Rev. Mary,

    Google “Schoep and John” and you can see the story/pictures. They also have a facebook page that John used for updates. Get your Kleenex box!

  21. PNW alison says:

    Sue, I love your photo of the Water Ouzel! I’ve seen them quite a few times but have never been able to get a good shot of one, they move so fast. What a delightful bird they are. Thanks for sharing your photos, not to mention your life and observations. I really enjoy reading the blog!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Alison… It was fun taking that photo. That little bird was very relaxed in my presence which made it possible for me to get the pic. I guess he hadn’t been spooked by people. That’s a benefit of camping by oneself in a secluded place.

      I’m happy you enjoy reading my blog. Your words are my reward!

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