Outta’ the fryin’ pan, outta’ the fire

Thursday, August 13

Seeing that today will be another hot day, the crew and I leave Vale Trails RV park early in the morning.  I dump tanks at the park’s dump station before pulling out.

The road from Vale to Ontario slices through huge fields of onions.

As we motor along, a dark, yellow-green cloud hovers over the landscape to the northwest.  That’s smoke from the fire near Baker City and the wind is coming this way. We need to make tracks!

P1060683At Ontario we board Interstate 84.

My original plan was to explore the mountains north of Boise — the Cascade Lake and Sawtooth Mountain regions.  Fire activity nixes that plan.

As the Perfect Tow Vehicle carries us through road construction and past the six exits of Boise, a smoky haze cloaks the mountains to the north.  Nope, not a place we want to go.

About ten miles outside of Boise, we stop at a rest area.

I walk the crew in the pet area.  This will set them up for the big push to our destination.

Once I commit to driving the interstate past Boise, there’s no stopping until we reach Mountain Home.  It’s mostly unpopulated, arid country all the way.  The horizon is a haze of smoke.  My throat becomes scratchy.  My eyes water.  I glance-check Bridget and Reggie.  Good, they’re asleep.

I notice the Sawtooth Mountains. 

They do look like the teeth of a monster emerging from the earth.  Oh well.  Maybe we’ll see you up close another time . . . .

By the time we exit the interstate, it’s 106 degrees (I discover this later online, along with information on the shocking proliferation of forest fires across Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho.)

The first RV park we come to is Mountain Home RV Resort.

Well, we may have to pay extra for that word “resort.”  I don’t care.  I’m not going any further.  We need relief now!

The entrance road is flanked by a tidy grass lawn, white plastic fence, and a rose garden.

The office is ensconced in a large white building designed to impress.

P1060678View looking at the entrance from within the park

I park the PTV/BLT in front, go inside, and secure a site. 

The clerk welcomes me to use the showers, laundry room, WiFi, swimming pool, cable TV, dump station, on and on.  I barely hear him being uber-conscious of Bridget and Reggie waiting outside in the heat.

The daily rate is $35.oo for full hook-ups.  I pay $31.50 with Good Sam discount, plus Idaho sales tax of $1.89 and hotel tax of $0.63, making a total of $34.02.  Great, now show me the site!

As I hop into the PTV, a man pulls up in a golf cart.

He says, “Follow me” and takes off.  I chuckle to myself as he “helps” me position the BLT on the concrete pad.

P1060677It’s very nice at this RV “resort,” and apparently many folks like to stay here for a month at a time ($350 plus electric).  There are a couple of rows of humongous, shiny and bright Class As lined up like new toys on a giant’s shelf.

Everything is in immaculate condition. 

The place is so perfect that I feel I should tip-toe when walking the crew. Everyone is inside their RV.

Oh, Bridget, I know you like to poop in the middle of the road.  Please hold it, honey, ’til we get to the pet area.  She does her best but doesn’t make it that far and poops on the grass of an empty site.   Quickly I scoop it up with a pooper bag while imagining scowls from behind tinted windows . . . .

The only facilities I use are the showers and the electric. 

I don’t bother to hook up to water, sewer, or cable television.  We sleep well in the air conditioning.

It’s kind of weird, at least for me.  I’m used to looking up at the stars from my bedside window.  I’m not used to having a street light at my campsite!  (Every site has its own street light.)

If you like this kind of living, Mountain Home RV Resort does it well.

Friday,  August 14

Another early start, another hot day.  By 8:30 a.m. I’m coming out of the nearby Wal-Mart.  My purchases besides groceries include a box of instant cold compresses recommended by a reader for emergencies.

I can’t face another day on the interstate.  We take Route 20 which turns out to be a very interesting drive through brown, mostly treeless hills, the road going up and down, giving the PTV a good work-out which she performs with ease.

P1060681An interesting drive, that is, until the road straightens out.  By the time we pass Fairfield the succession of flat fields has become monotonous. The sun is high.  There’s no place to stop as the road disappears at the horizon like an endless airport runway.

Past the dried-up Magic Reservoir, I see a clump of trees ahead!

A sign says, “sportsman access.” I pull in to give the three of us a chance to stretch our legs and have lunch — a Subway sandwich bought this morning.

P1060688Route 75 takes us through Ketchum (near Sun Valley), bustling with vacationers. 

It’s been a long drive for us.  I keep pushing until, finally, we’re in mountains with trees!

Later that evening, as I lie in bed under an open window. . .

Aaah . . . Nature’s air conditioning is the best.  Look at all those stars.

rvsue

THANKS, RVSUE SHOPPERS!

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202 Responses to Outta’ the fryin’ pan, outta’ the fire

  1. Lisa W says:

    Glad you were finally able to get some respite from the heat and smoke. Looks like you and the crew found a quiet place to land.

  2. PCTWhereIsChris says:

    Trees, stars, outside air at night. How wonderful! Thanks for sharing your adventures.

  3. Jill says:

    We took a similar route just a few weeks ago. We enjoyed the National Forest camping up in Stanley. Not much of a town, but relaxing.

    • JIM PETERSON says:

      ==========
      If you make it to Stanley again, you gotta’ check out the Lodge at Redfish Lake. The water is crystal clear and they have live music most summer weekend evenings. You can pay for a boat ride to the far end of the lake which is a trailhead — some folks start their hikes there & some end their hikes there and take the boat back to the Lodge. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can hike the ridge (about 4-1/2 miles one way) back to the Lodge. (I’ve done it three times so far.)
      ==========
      Either way you simply *must* explore the campground and the nearby trails where the boat stops. The *only* way to access or see any of this is by boat or hiking and it’s so beautiful there, it has become my personal Garden of Eden until I find something better. Idaho has many treasures but they are all (IMHO) north of Boise. Anything South of Boise I call North Utah :o)
      ==========
      JIM & ANNIE ~ 9 weeks & 3 days to go!
      ==========

      • Jill says:

        We were there! Beautiful – kayaked on the lake and listened to the music.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I recently heard it’s crowded right now. I can see from my present campsite that the area to the north of us is thick with smoke.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jill,

      I had intended to visit Redfish Lake, maybe camp at Petit Lake, boondock on the river near Stanley, head up to Challis… Having to revise those plans!

  4. Ooooo, I like the last picture. Looks like paradise 🙂

  5. Pat says:

    Glad you got out of the heat….the coast is still nice and cool. I’m looking forward to heading south this winter. Want to do some boondocking in the desert under the stars.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pat,

      Glad you’re enjoying cool weather on the coast… not sure where along the coast you are, must be Oregon or Washington… ??

      Yes, the desert showcases the stars!

  6. Marcia GB in MA says:

    Sounds like a long journey to get where you wanted to be, but how nice it is to be there now. I know the feeling!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marcia,

      Yes, it has been a long journey for us, necessitated by the threat of smoke and fire. A large area of potential boondocks is off-limits for us. I will try my best not to camp where we would be evacuated or trapped. It’s part of the vagabond life. 🙂

  7. Lady Piper and Rusty says:

    YAAAAYYYY for you 3, Sue, glad you 3 are in a cool and fire free spot,,, nice photos and L.P says hi too,,,,,,,,,,,,,, rusty.

    • AZ Jim says:

      Hey Rusty! How are you doin these days and is Lady Piper treating you ok? You need to keep us informed pal!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Rusty wrote some replies under the previous post about exercising his hand. Maybe you missed them?

    • Dawn in MI says:

      Hi Rusty and Lady P! Glad to see you here in the comments, hope you’re keeping cool! And hope the hand gets better soon!

  8. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Home at last! Glad you found a cool, smoke free spot out in nature. Looks very peaceful – enjoy!

    Sending you and the cute Crew hugs from me and my cute Gracie pup! 🙂

  9. Ladybug in Mid-Tenn says:

    ‘…slices through huge fields of onions….’

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! *slaps knee*

  10. Janis harrison says:

    Ahhh Sue this post made me glad to be home LOL . I rarely use a resort type campground unless traveling with my friend who loves them. She is a great travel companyon so i try and accomidate her sometimes. Luckly my little grandsons like boondocking which is my favorite way to camp. Thank you for posting.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Janis,

      How fortunate you are to have little boondockin’ grandsons. 🙂 Enjoy…

  11. Shirlene (Huntington Beach, Ca) says:

    Hi Sue, Wow, that was some traveling you did. I followed you on Goggle map. At least it is cooler, but the fires are all North of you. You may have to drag your feet a while and take it slow. I hope you have safe travels and I am praying for relief from the forrest fires for everyone. Pets and hugs to the puppies.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for the good hope for us. It doesn’t look like we will be able to “take it slow.” More smoke coming our way . . .

  12. I’m glad you escaped the fire area. Mother Nature is wonderful and giving, but she does not always cater to humans. We still have to respect her power as well as enjoying her beauty.

    Boy, those commercial RV pens are not for me. The street light at every site stunned me. Whatever they’re doing there, it doesn’t involve enjoying nature.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Calvin,

      Yes, RV resort living is a different mind set. It’s more like apartment living on wheels. I suppose it’s a very convenient and comfortable way to visit family who live nearby or to explore an area’s attractions/entertainments. For a temporary stay, it was good for us. The neatness would soon drive me nuts.

  13. Linda Rose & the 4 M's says:

    oh good! I’m glad to hear you and the crew are finally out of this heat. I was supposed to be off this week with a friend up in the mountains near Lake Tahoe. The temperatures and the possibility of more fires has kept me home….in the AC. How high did you have to get before it cooled off? Stay well. Give the kids a smooch from us.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      We aren’t terribly high… Don’t know the exact elevation. The forest (and river nearby) supplies cool air.

  14. Liz says:

    Hi Sue, Bridget & Reggie,
    Glad you made it back through Idaho, sorry about the fires. Northern Idaho is gorgeous. Not sure if you’re headed east, but there is/was a fire burning over by, I think the Twin Falls area. I wouldn’t head north of Sun Valley, as there is a fire burning up by Challis. If you have internet, this website might help with the fires: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/state/13/0/ There is also a tab that you can click on for a map that would probably be more useful. Safe travels.
    Liz
    Boise, ID

    • Shirlene (Huntington Beach, Ca) says:

      Yeah, what Liz said! Don’t go North yet….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That website is the one I’ve relied on these past few weeks. It’s very good. Thanks for the link so others will become familiar with it.

      Can’t go north, fire. Can’t go east, fire. Can’t go south, low elevation. Can’t go west, desert and fire. Ah, the challenges . . . 🙂

      • Lady Piper and Rusty says:

        there are no fires in the mountains south of Delco , which is south east of Burley, Idaho,, where we camped at Bennett C G, in the lower part of the state, west of city of rocks and free,,, and you’d be at 7’000 ft. and be in the cooler and near a creek too, check it out on your Idaho Benchmark map book,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, me

        • Lady Piper and Rusty says:

          east of the city of rocks, my bad,,,,,,,,, me

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Thanks, Rusty. I thought about that…. It’s a hot drive to get there and to go away from there, toward places I don’t want to go. I’ll figure it out.

  15. Jean/Southaven, MS says:

    I can just feel the heat and taste the dust. I remember those days. Utah was in a drought when I was out the in ’75 thru ’80. Weather man said this weekend that El Nina was building and the west should be wetter than normal this winter.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, one thing we can all say, wherever we are, the weather is gonna’ be whatever it’s gonna’ be and there ain’t much we can do about it. 🙂

  16. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    Whew that spot was sure perty–and $350 is not bad for a month! I was at $455+electric /month and there was NO break between trailers at all… If I wanted to I could hear the guys conversation on the phone! And I am sure he could hear mine… anyway… Glad you are safe and sound and in a good spot!

    No local fires but sure is dry. We had such a fun time last week–some Rollin Oldie friends were in the area so we all got together and went to lunch. Nothing like New/Old friends to make your day! They went on to the rally (see below) on Thursday, but we couldn’t. I just happened to be roaming town as they drove through, so I got to say bye!

    We had to cancel our last rally trip as the Moose Mobile has had a ‘restructuring of her innards’. One of the improvements with newer trailers is that the, well… the ‘delicate removal system’ is easy to hook up and does not get ‘stuck in the hose’ as easily as they used to… In other words, the pooer works more efficiently 🙂 WELL. Let me tell ya, that rv spot I was at was not good… and well, Moosee has now been updated in that respect. AND she got her floor soft spot fixed! We had a near hole situation in the bath room… No more. For $350.00 all is well… I tell people the trailer went in for some spa treatments. 🙂

    Be safe. The weather looks ominous for the future… I am frightened of the flood we had in January, as our hillsides have had NO recovery–nothing would have grown if it had been planted. As it is there are still several homes that look to have been twisted with Dorothy and Oz… Not fun. But, we will hope for the best and be ready for — whatever comes!

    Hugs From Hoquiam!
    Barb

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb,

      I thought $350 a month plus the cost of the electric you use is a reasonable rate for what is provided there. When I drove in, I expected the overnight rate to be $45, maybe higher.

      Wow! You have accomplished a lot for your Moosee, and only $350? Not bad at all. I’m glad you had fun with your Rollin Oldie friends.

      Gee, should someone check that hillside — the County or whatever — for stability? You’re gonna’ have more rain. Maybe it’s not as close to your house as I’m imagining…

      • Barb from Hoquiam! says:

        We have access roads on the highway as you leave Aberdeen that are compromised. I don’t get it. There are trees up there that are ready to just slide down–they are dead, and headed towards the road. It truly could be devastating. In our part of Hoquiam, there is an entire neighborhood that is in question–two actually. One at the bottom of the cliff. The other on the edge of the cliff. It is very much like a tornado zone. One home untouched, the next looks like Auntie Em’s in Kansas.
        I remember when we lost the entire neighborhood near us in the Tilly Mill area of Dunwoody (GA). It was horrid. It is scary!

        Haven’t been online for a few days, so hope all is well… going to check the last of the posts and see how you all are doing, then head out for the day.

        Hugs from Hoquiam!
        Barb

  17. Lynn Brooks says:

    WOW!!!
    What an adventure!!!
    So glad you ended up in a nice space!

  18. Boy, you were a busy blogger all weekend long….I had 3 new posts to read today to catch up!! Thank you, Sue!! 🙂

    Glad you made it to a cooler, smoke-free area…looks to be BEAU-TI-FUL!! Can’t wait to get the low down on this spot!

    Hugs!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marla,

      Yeah, I’m trying to get the blog caught up to real time. It’s kind of weird having discussions about a place we’ve left and trying not to reveal too much about where we are presently… save it for the next post!

  19. We stayed at that Mountain Home RV park on the way to Issaquah. For us it was just delightful. The sites were level and long, and the power was clean. Mother Nature is certainly making negotiating the west difficult at this point. The number of fires is just tragic. If you get west of the Cascade Mountains in WA state, the air is pretty good, if you decide to come this far north.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Allison,

      We won’t be going to Washington. In order to get there we would have to make a huge detour to go around the fire areas….

      I would stay at Mountain Home RV Park again, for an overnight. It’s in a good location to cut up that long drive across Idaho and everything about it is topnotch. I do prefer Three Island State Park though.

  20. We spent 3 very long years stationed at Mountain Home AFB 1980-83! High desert is not my favorite. The 50 miles between Boise and Mtn. Home are dismal. My least favorite assignment in25 years of Air Force life….nice to know there’s been some improvements! ?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cathy,

      I didn’t see much of the town of Mountain Home. It seemed “upscale” on the interstate end. You’re right, the drive between Boise and Mountain Home is drab and especially dismal on a hot day.

  21. Sondra-SC says:

    Delighted to know you’re safe n sound and back in the arms of Mother Nature!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Sondra.

      I think this is the third time I’ve replied to you…. My replies keep disappearing!

  22. Piper says:

    Mountains, trees and cooler air! Nothing better! Glad you 3 are enjoying natures air conditioner. Stay cool

  23. Kerry O'Brien says:

    Yep, the smoke sucks. Not to mention that forest fires suck. I saw the smoke going north on NV 93 (91?). Smokey in Twin Falls and Idaho Falls as well. Sadly a number of horses were lost in the Soda fire as well as other wildlife and they still may have to do an emergency gather. Been in touch with their Public Affairs office to volunteer. They have enough forage for a couple of weeks, so they’re not sure what they’re going to do yet. Stay safe!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kerry,

      These fires are tragic. Terrible about the horses and wildlife.

      For the benefit of readers across the country and beyond, I believe the Soda fire is the one near Baker City in northeastern Oregon. Correct me if I’m wrong, readers. I can’t look it up with this slow connection.

      Good of you to offer to help, Kerry…..

      • Liz says:

        Hi Sue,
        The Soda Fire is in Idaho in the southwestern part in Owyhee County. This is the fire that burned close to 184,000 acres (as of Tuesday). The fire is 90% contained.

        Liz
        Boise, ID

  24. weather says:

    Life has surely been stressing the venture part of being an adventuress for you lately …”the wind is coming this way.We need to make tracks!” could be the chorus playing in the background.Your taking it all in stride confirms that you were meant to be doing this.Not just finding the right routes through unfamiliar territory,keeping you three safe,entertained,well cared for and at times in wonderful settings in nature’s lovely havens,I mean add to that telling us all the story on here for our enjoyment and education.

    Throughout this all you’ve put the pressing parts aside as you respond to your blogorinos -ordinary sharing about our lives and yours,conversations,a word of sympathy here,encouragement there,concern for,happiness for,interest in and affection towards pouring out of you to each as it fits the occasion,-amazing.

    Your post points out how relatively close danger,destruction or discomfort can be to the posh environment of an upscale RV park with all of it’s amenities available if ones home is on wheels.Lovely of you to take us just beyond that-to imagine you,and ourselves,in a starlit night scene,ah-h… nice wrap on a thoroughly engaging episode!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, weather. There are times I wonder if the crew and I are presented with situations for the purpose of me writing about them later, which, in turn, impacts someone in cyberspace. This fire-smoke-heat wave combination has us moving a lot, going in directions unplanned, putting safety and healthful breathing above the search for beautiful camps. Even so, we’ve found a few.

      A wall of smoke obscures the mountains north of us. Lots of breeze today which doesn’t help firefighters. Breeze is toward us. We probably will move again soon!

      You write such nice things about me, I can’t think of how to respond…

      • weather says:

        Providence allowing challenges to enter the lives of those that can be trusted to use them to give the world what it needs is a pattern,you’re right.We also receive delightful things as part of the package though,for instance I’m convinced that the Cascade Lake and Sawtooth Mountains don’t yet have in place the gifts you’re meant to experience there,yet will when the time is right and you’re ready and right there…

        nice things should simply be worn and enjoyed if they fit 😉

  25. Nancy says:

    Not to be picky, but it is Sun VALLEY, not Sun CITY (that is a retirement community in AZ).

  26. Pookieboy in SE Texas says:

    OH, dont stop now……HA…just when I was getting all interested in where you
    were gonna end up for the nite…..
    street lites….ARGH! I have several neighbors that have those things and even tho
    the may be a mile or 2 away they still brighten up the sky…..those folks should
    stay in the city if they want street lites….
    I know what you mean about them endless roads that stretch past the horizon…
    on my trips from houston to colorado years ago from Abilene to Lubbock to
    amarillo really sucked….
    keep up the good work young lady and you and the furbabies stay cool…
    chuck

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I understand your reaction to the neighbors’ lights. I lived through a similar situation only it was a huge floodlight pointing at my screened-in porch and bedroom window. No wheels under that house so I sold it.

      Always enjoy hearing from you, Chuck.

  27. Rod says:

    That RV park in Mountain Home is hands down the nicest RV facility I have ever stayed at in years of running around in the motor home…… And they let you wash your RV too.. The grass is watered with the underground sprinkler system so they figure a little water from washing your rig won’t hurt nothing…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Like I wrote, it’s an RV resort and they do a great job. I thought the price was reasonable, too. Of course, we didn’t stay long enough for me to become aware of things like you mention. I recommend it to anyone interested in that type of RVing.

  28. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    So glad you made it out of the fire zone safely, albeit a long tiring drive. Cool places, mother nature and stars make it all worthwhile. Stay safe Sue and Crew. Can’t wait to hear about this new site.

  29. Pookieboy in SE Texas says:

    just looked up Ketchum on the map….havent followed you on the map for a week or two so was surprised to see you were so far into Idaho but the word Boise should have given me a clue…..
    do you do any videos of some of these great areas you are visiting?
    chuck

  30. Sharon in MO says:

    Your current site looks and sounds great! I hope you can stay several days and don’t have to flee any more fires. Happy camping to you and the pups.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sharon,

      We moved from that site for other reasons. Our present site is even better… and the smoke is moving in on us. We are enjoying it while we can!

      • kgdan says:

        I’m hoping you are still moving, I’m watching national news— way too many fires popping up all over pnw. I told Gil that I was thinking your best path is east and south. Stay safe.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I’m thinking east at this point and then I’ll check to see about south. There’s too much lightning to try to dodge the fires and smoke. Better to leave, a few more long driving days, and get out of here.

          • kgdan says:

            You are right on with your plan to skedaddle out of the PNW. The map shows almost a solid mass of fires. The National Guard has been called into Chelan to the north of us. The smoke haze here is so thick we cannot see the hills that are 10 miles away. That and we have no fires in our vicinity — yet.

  31. carlene says:

    So glad you are at least finding a way away from the fires. I had plans of heading up the Sierras in No Cal and into the east side of the Cascades then head east until the Dakotas. Well not gonna happen with all the fires up there. I dispatched fire and medical for a living prior to retirement… not going there, too much ptsd from that.

    I will head into the Sierras just north of Truckee for a test run starting Wednessay because today I picked up my Minnie Winnie. Oh my, just need some time to acclimate. Then head east ending up in the Dakota’s sometime in September after Labor day. Tent camping was just something this ole’ gal couldn’t do, lol. Even the dog knew it wasn’t good. They are so smart!
    Thanks Sue and Crew, knowing your experience all will be well for you and your pooches.
    Safe Travels…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      CONGRATULATIONS ON BRINGING YOUR MINNIE WINNIE HOME!!

      You got your rig almost 4 years exactly after I picked up the BLT. I can understand you wanting to get her out for a maiden run… It’s a good idea to have a short shakedown cruise before your trip to the Dakotas.

      Wishing you many happy miles, beautiful camps, exciting experiences, all in safety and good health!

      • carlene says:

        Thanks Sue and Crew, wishing you all safe travels and just getting out of the smoke will be an improvement but that heat is just nasty, 105 here east of Sacramento today. It will be somewhat cooler up in the Sierras but still in the 90s during the day. And they yes you have to be on the look out for fires, there are thunder storms forming over the mountains now which brings the lightening. Just so scary.
        Corky has approved his passenger seat, a little tether from the seat to his harness with enough room to turn around in his bed. Gotta keep the furbaby happy.
        Safe Travels!

      • carlene says:

        Sue I can only hope that the next 4 years for me are as great as the last have been for you and your crew in the BLT. I have enjoyed reading and seeing pictures all about your meanderings around our country, especially the wonderful west.
        Thanks for all that you do for those of us dreamers out here in cyber land, the encouragement that Yes you can do it too is greatly appreciated.
        Safe Travels! Carlene and Corky

  32. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Whew! As long as you and the crew are safe…that seemed like a long journey.

    Glad you found a nice spot/site.

    What a deal…$350 a month….wonder how they figure out electric. I can see how, if you had a rig…RV park jumping…would be a whole lot cheaper than renting a stick house. Get tired of the scenery…move to the next RV park.

    Scowls are for those dog owners that look the other way when their dog poops!

    Hot and humid here….AO spent the day inside with the AC on. I spent the day fixing the door to the root cellar.

    Have a wonderful evening.

    • AlanOutandAbout says:

      $350 is insane for what you get. That place is better than the $700 plus elec that is here in Grand Junction. Each site has a meter for the electric. Too bad it is up north, no winter camping.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Uhh…I guess I’m a California girl at heart…born and raised. Use to paying up the whaaa-zoo for everything!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        $350 plus electric is quite a deal. And the park isn’t located in an inconvenient place. Wal-Mart and a shopping center are right up the road, plus fast food places and, if I remember right, a Pilot station.

        Click link for photos and more info — Mountain Home RV Park

  33. Julie says:

    Sue
    Welcome to smokey Idaho. Just spent 4 days in the sawtooths near Stanley. Much lest smokey than Boise. I 2nd the notion of city of rocks near declo Idaho. Beautiful place. Castle rocks state park nearby via almo. Good luck. Lots of good places near galena summit outside Ketchum.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Julie,

      I was planning to boondock near Galena Summit which is north of here. Right now I can’t see the mountains for the smoke in that direction. I bet that glorious view from the summit is a blurry haze. I know I sound negative… It’s the reality I’m seeing from here. The smoke moved in yesterday, after you left, I believe.

      As for Castle Rocks, sounds good, maybe I’ll visit it someday… but if we go there now (temps in 80s and 90s, ok)… where would we go from there? It being located in south-central Idaho… The terrain drops… hmm… I have to look beyond the next few camps. Thanks for the ideas though. I appreciate it.

      • Chey says:

        Love your cool thinking as you got/get away from the fires. You should teach! Oh right, retired teacher, lol Well, thanks; you’re still teaching. Belly scratches to the crew.

  34. Glad you didn’t get any closer to the fires. I ended up running from smoke in Montana while camping this weekend. Then the smoke followed me back home – currently Red Rock Lakes NWR.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Marilyn,

      I looked at Montana fire map a few minutes ago. I see what you mean! I hope your home air clears up soon.

  35. Elizabeth in WA says:

    SO SO sad to hear how much of the West is burning up!!! It takes simply years for these forests to recover…and now with the drought, wondering how much it will impact water too, in years to come!! Stay safe…I would be doing what you are, Sue…clean air and cooler temps are so important!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, I definitely want clean air. It isn’t bad here… When you’re in the smoke you don’t see it in front of you. You do see it all around at a distance, far away things look out of focus and it isn’t time for new glasses!
      I detect a slight scratchiness in my throat… that’s how I know we’re in smoke. I made up a bottle of emergen-C (for lack of anything else) and it helped. I wonder how folks are doing who live in this for months at a time.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Well, probably most years are not near THIS bad as this one has been!! Oh you should have been here to see the sunset tonight…beyond description…we figure it is due in part to smoke in the air…we can smell it a tad…but we think it is not close to where we are…but winds do carry…

  36. Donna 'N Girls says:

    Sue,

    I’m going the opposite direction of you. I left a park east of delco Saturday. The park was right on the snake river and not a bad price with good sam. Anyway it was great until the day I left, the place was covered in smoke and I drove though smoke all the way to caldwell. Smoke there, too. I’m in Boardman oregon on the columbia river, but smoke here. You can’t escape it. Be careful, these fires are moving fast. I know you don’t like parks, but at times like this they’re a safr haven. I use rvparky it’s an app, free, just put in town and it shows campgrounds and r v parks in the area and prices. Fyi. Be safe.

  37. CheryLyn(Oregon) says:

    Glad you got out of the worst of the fires here in Oregon. You mentioned the Soda fire which is in southeast Oregon/Idaho at 250,000+ acres so far. In Baker County we have about 150,000 acres burning so far. So many homes, livestock, wildlife and habitat lost. Worst fires ever and fire season is get getting started.
    You reminded me of a question I had. How are you liking your smartphone? Do you still use your jet-pack for internet?
    Safe travels.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, CheryLyn,

      I like the smartphone okay. I hardly ever use it. I’m not any happier with it than I was with my old flip phone which self-destructed. Don’t take what I’m saying as a criticism of smartphones. I just don’t care much about any of them.

      Yes, I still use the Verizon jet-pack for internet.

  38. Marilu from Northern California says:

    Hi Sue, Bridget and Reggie,
    Wow, what a month you’ve had dodging noisy neighbors, heat, smoke and fires. At least you have wheels and can move to better conditions. We plan to be in the Sawtooth Mountains in mid-September so I’m really interested to hear what you find there. I haven’t heard much about fires in Utah. Maybe the high country of central Utah would be better this year.
    Stay safe and thanks again for sharing your journey with us.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marilu,

      The crew and I are not going into the Sawtooth Mountains this year. Even if we did, our experience would be myopic, not reliable enough upon which to base your travel decision in regards to the threat of fire and smoke.

      If you decide to go ahead with your plans, do check the fire situation right up to your departure and also while you are there. Liz (above) provided a good website, also you can search “active fires in Idaho” or something similar.

      There isn’t much fire activity in Utah as I type this.

      Good luck, whatever you decide to do!

      • edlfrey says:

        I am getting a lot of smoke this morning from the Solitude Fire near Richfield, UT. This is the first day since I have been here that the smoke has filled the Sevier Valley. It is all dependent on which way, and how hard, the wind blows.
        There are two other fires now active in Utah; the Berry and Pole Canyon Fires. Not too bad compared to other parts of the West.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          And I was thinking, gee, Ed was smart to camp in Utah this summer. Well, you’re still smart, Ed. We all know that. Darn! I’m getting the impression no matter where I run, there’s smoke in our near future…

          I hope you are blessed with a healthy respiratory system. Gotta’ get out and walk Patches!

  39. Hyla Mess says:

    Love reading about your travels. But I have a question. With all of the heat you have been traveling through, why doesn’t your PTV have air conditioning? Sure would make you three much more comfortable while on the hunt for trees, streams, and privacy. Makes me feel bad for you in the heat. We have been having 80’s and 90’s here in New York state the past few days.
    Also, how far East do you ever travel?
    Love reading your blog….keep it going. Give a hug to the fur babies for me.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Hyla,

      So nice to see you here! I’m pleased that you love reading my blog.

      Why don’t I have air conditioning in the PTV? Because in four years of using it for our tow vehicle, I’ve rarely had need for it. I had it fixed once or twice — I can’t remember for sure — but I do remember that it didn’t last. I didn’t bother to have it repaired again because it wasn’t a great need.

      This is the way I look at it — I estimate we are comfortable in the PTV more than 98 percent of the time. This has been an unusual summer. Normally I wouldn’t drive on hot days at low elevation. We would be camped high up and stayed cool. That changed with the fire and smoke. We had to move and take the highways (which are low elevation) away from the mountains.

      I’ve thrown money at air conditioning repair in used vehicles, only to have it not work shortly thereafter. The PTV is ten years old. Most of the time I like driving with the windows half-down and that keeps us comfortable. This, too, will pass….. and we really didn’t suffer very long. 🙂

      I appreciate your concern.

      I hope you will read my blog from the beginning. I’ve been an Easterner all my life, several years in the Deep South… I have no intention of crossing the Mississippi again to go back East. The only exception I know of would be to visit family.

      • Chuck Hajek says:

        Hi Sue!!!
        If you do come east, Panhandle has some of your friends located there! Hope we could meet up again as we’re prolly not moving very far again. Share a rotisserie chicken with Bridg n Reggie! Stay safe.

      • Vicki M. From MI now TN says:

        Haha I was going to suggest this might be a good time to visit the U.P. Of Michigan. There is a town there called Paradise and somewhere up there ? can’t remember and to lazy to look up lol is a Blueberry Festival going on – ? tempted yet? If you stay to the north in Wisconsin and Michigan it’s not to crowded. But since you don’t want to cross the Mississippi ?
        We are headed west this spring, Lord willing, and travel for a couple of months re-seeing and seeing new places too. I do so enjoy seeing your pictures of places I’ve been and hope to see this trip. We took a month back in Michigan and found a couple of things we need to change to make living in our little camper for that long more comfortable. Haha some got fixed on the road already.
        Safe travels and don’t breath in to much smoke.

  40. Pamela K says:

    Sue,
    What ever the next larger town is…would they have the parts needed to fix your AC in the PTV? I ask because some on-the-road AC is better than none about now. You wouldn’t want to run it all the time but a few short doses of relief might go a long way when traveling out of those fire areas. And whatever the cost of repairs, well, it is the cost of keeping ones freedoms and ones health in good stay, imho, of course 🙂 I won’t go there about a gas or diesel generator, I know, but having one would have come in mighty handy to just pull off and cool in the AC of the BLT plugged into a generator for a short time. Not often, but sometimes they have their place and are worth their weight in gold.
    Certainly hope you and the crew get to someplace cooler and clear of smokie air! And sure glad you bought some of those cold packs!!! BTW, do any of your batteries require water? Have plenty if they need it? I would guess you took on extra water for your latest travels. BTW, I’m curious, does there seem to be any panic on the part of the locals in those towns about the fires and/or the smoke clouds? I was in a fire in Bermuda many years back, not something you ever forget!!! The locals there paniced, even the taxi drivers paniced and they have the rights to go almost anywhere on the island. That remembered…Having your home on wheels is a GOOD THING and safer than most! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pamela K.,

      I appreciate you caring enough about me and my crew to write these suggestions.

      I won’t own a generator. They’re obnoxious. I can’t stand the noise. I don’t want to fool with the fuel. I wouldn’t run one even when camped with no one around in a 50 mile radius because that noise disturbs wildlife, too. In short, a generator is the antithesis of what my life is about.

      (Gee, make a suggestion and get a harangue. 🙂 )

      As for repairs, I could arrange to have the a/c fixed in the PTV. At this point I don’t see the need. (See my reply to Hyla above). It’s sweet of you to mention our health… We will be fine.

      I have AGM batteries — the kind that require no water, no maintenance.

      Yes, I put water in the tank at Wetmore and I fill the empty drinking water jugs whenever we’re camped with access to good water. I filled a few at the last RV park.

      Your fire experience must have been terrifying! No, I haven’t picked up any sense of panic among locals. I’ve only talked to one. There aren’t any fires close to this camp. The smoke I mentioned covers a wide area.

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        A generator hold-out. Yeah!! 😀 Glad to read it 🙂

        • Pamela K says:

          LOL, Pen, I could feel your hears burning at the thought of Sue running a generator!
          Hope all is going good in your travels, no fires and all.

      • Pamela K says:

        Sue, Yep, I kinda thought the generator thing was out-of-the-question for ya. I do understand. I was thinking more out-side-of-the-norm being the heat and the smoke and all. That “loud” gen is certainly better than a heat stroke was my thinking, especailly since you or me are getting any younger. Heat stroke come on so fast, usually ten minutes or less if not dealt with. So glad you got the cold packs to help fend off any heat related issues! The rest of it is just mechanical stuff…you’re much better at that than I am…was just thinking to cover any of the bases for ya 🙂 I also forget at times that your blog is not in *real time* now. No doubt you have figured it all out and are at a nice new camp safely tucked in 🙂
        Pen says, “A generator hold-out, Yeah!!” LOL, I guess and an AC hold-out until the last second! I call that *conviction to ones core principals, that’s for sure! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Pamela K says:

        Sue, yes, much panic from the locals. 8 people were killed by the smoke in our hotel. We were in Bermuda as part of a group. The fire made national news back here in the states. At the time Sen. Bob Byrd called over there to check on us. They hung up on him! No joke! Told him they were busy taking head counts…
        Of course we didn’t know any of this until we were back in the states again. Bob was a friend of my ex-mother-in-law. So yes, fires are a weak point with me.

  41. Debbie says:

    Sue & Crew, so relieved to hear you are moving east. We were heading to Oregon on Friday but plans have changed, too much smoke for me. We’ll head for the Redwoods and then the Oregon coast. A few years ago we were evacuating on a two lane road when the winds shifted, the firefighters had us turn off the propane, wet towels to put over our mouth and nose. We could hear the fire crackling but we could not see a thing until after the fire jumped the road. It was one of the the scariest times of our camping life and that fire was not nearly as large as the ones raging this month all over the west.
    Do the pups get nervous when they smell the smoke? You three take care and be careful.
    Debbie

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Debbie,

      Whoa! You were too close to that fire! God bless our firefighters and other responders… I don’t know how they can face that kind of work.

      I haven’t seen any indication of nervousness from the crew regarding smoke. See, we’re around smoke a lot. It’s a rare campground that doesn’t have someone with a campfire. And some folks don’t have a lot of sense or awareness or whatever when it comes to campfires…

      Recently someone had everyone in the campground breathing really acrid smoke… Either they were burning green wood or they burned a log the night before and then couldn’t put it out with water so it smouldered most of the day.

      So, what I’m saying, is…. the pups are used to smoke!

  42. Joy Sutton says:

    The bitter roots down the neck of ID my favorite. Hate to think of them burning

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I know what you mean, Joy. The aftermath of forest fire is pretty ugly. Nature will restore and a vigorous forest will appear in time.

  43. Jillian says:

    Hi All, armchair traveler here. Sue, you probably know this already, but the airnow.gov website is a great reference for air quality. On their home page, towards the top right, there’s a link to a U.S. map with all the fires and smokey areas–it’s very sobering to see what’s happening. Here in North Dakota we’ve had lots of smokey days….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jillian,

      Thank you…. I did not know about that website, and, most likely, there are readers who haven’t either. This summer in the Northwest must be hard of folks with asthma and other respiratory issues. Again… I’m counting my blessings.

      I didn’t realize you were experiencing smoke in ND. I hope it clears out soon.

  44. weather says:

    It’s been a butterflies in sunbeams morning here in NY state.I do feel badly for all those struggling through worse conditions,and pray that all are safe and remain so.Good morning,Sue,I hope your air quality and the sounds within it contributed to a good night’s sleep and nice morning so far.Are you going to drive further east today ?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, weather,

      I’m not sure yet what the air quality is today. It’s too early to distinguish morning fog and mist hanging on the mountains from what might be smoke. I noticed yesterday that the smoke accumulated as the day progressed, after a fairly clear start.

      I’m not going outside to check because Bridget and Reggie are sleeping and I don’t want to wake them. When the Reggie Man wakes, he’s going to pester me for a walk.

      No, we aren’t moving today. I need another day to build up some ambition for a long drive. I’ll do some chores and enjoy the river one last day.

      “Butterflies in sunbeams”…. Three words that took me back to being a child in New York state. Thank you. I bet you’ve been playing house in your new T@B. It’s the perfect place for dreaming. . .

  45. Shirlene (Huntington Beach, Ca) says:

    Good Morning Sue, Hi Weather. I was just looking at the air quality camera from Boise, Idaho. Well they are really under a cover of smoke now. My daughter was telling me that her lungs are hurting her after moving all weekend. They just bought a house and had to move this weekend and be out in the smoke. I usually check the air quality camera everyday I talk to her to see how it looks as far as weather is concerned…But today, really smoky. I hope those mountains are keeping the smoke away from your side of the mountain. Wow talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place. At least your home is on wheels and you can move, although not many places to go right now. We are keeping an eye on things with you, as I know you are very aware of what is going on around you. I am grateful that you are so capable and bright. Teachers rule!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Shirlene,

      Moving to a new house is a lot of physical exertion. Your daughter breathed too much smoke. I hope her lungs feel better soon.

      Thanks for the confidence you have in me. If I’d been really smart, I would’ve stayed away from these dadburn mountains! (A whole new layer of meaning for the term “dadburn!”)

  46. Alison PNW says:

    I am curious, since I don’t know much about solar panels. It seems like they don’t give you enough power to run your AC? And the battery doesn’t either?
    These fires are truly terrifying. God bless the heroic firefighters.

    • AlanOutandAbout says:

      First. Solar panels do not generate the electricity to run your 115 volt systems. They only charge the batteries, that is all they do. There is an invertor that runs off the batteries that converts 12v to 115v which is connected to your power panel. But you are right, trying to run AC off of the batteries will deplete them in a very short time and your solar panels will never be able to keep the batteries charged. If you want AC off the grid you have to run your generator.

      • Alison PNW says:

        Thanks Alan! you explained that really clearly.

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        “Solar panels…only charge the batteries, that is all they do.”

        Although, and this is sort of the same thing, but just to elaborate for those who want to understand it better prior to going solar… the solar panels have the potential for excess DC power which you can use during the day. Yes, it still goes through the same wiring and the batteries, so technically you are correct. I get that. But just saying this to explain to folks who aren’t using solar yet.

        Examples: It is a sunny day at noon and my batteries are 100% charged. Great. Now, if I don’t demand any power, then even though the panels could put out power all afternoon, they won’t. Because it has nowhere to go (the glass is full so the pitcher doesn’t pour, so to speak).

        However, if at 1 p.m. I plug in my laptop, a 12 volt charger for my AA and AAA Eneloop batteries, and my phone, that available solar power WILL come in. It will technically go “through” my batteries (the wiring does, so it has to), but my batteries will remain at 100% as long as my demand doesn’t exceed what the panels can put out during this time (the examples wouldn’t). So this power is “free.” and would otherwise go to waste.

        I didn’t charge these things during this day, that solar power would just “go to waste” because if nothing is asking for it (batteries 100% charged, no demand), then it just “stays in the solar panels” (if you will).

        On the other hand, if I waited, and did do this same charging in the evening or at night, I would lose charge in the batteries (it would go to the computer, AA and AAA batteries, and phone) and have to make it up another day.

        So there is a sort of “free bonus time” during the day when your batteries are already charged and there is still potential solar power. It will come in if you “ask” for it, but not if you don’t. Just another way of looking at the same thing happening, not disputing you.

        (There is another thing called Load, where you can actually wire up something like a water heater to specifically take excess solar power, but I’m simply talking about managing it yourself by when you choose to charge laptops, etc. Load settings are used more by folks in off-grid houses and the like.)

        ****
        And on the Air-con topic, yes, unless you have a HUGE solar array and battery bank (much larger than any of us could possibly have on a modest sized rig), then there is no way to run the typical 110 Air-conditioner from solar power. It’s either generator or plug in to a “hookup.” Maybe some day.

        The wheels do work well though, most of the time 😀 I find that the few times they don’t (because I have to be somewhere or etc.), it just makes me appreciate the other 98% of the time even more.

  47. cate walsh says:

    Hi Sue,

    Please tell me which of the early posts (year/date)tells what you chose for the Casita’s optionals. I’ve been checking dates until I’m a little dizzy and haven’t found that post yet.I also tried the search feature..no luck.

    thanks,
    CateW

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m not sure whether I wrote a post about options. I can tell you here…

      Options I got:
      high lift axle with 15 inch “D” tires, the largest tanks offered for the Liberty Deluxe model (see casitatraveltrailers.com), entertainment package (meh, I do watch tv a few times a year), outside shower (never use it) . . .

      Options I didn’t get:
      furnace, electric jack (no regrets regarding either)

      The air conditioner comes standard with the 17′ Liberty Deluxe. If I’ve forgotten to include all the options… I know I got them all except the two I’ve listed above.

      • wildflower in prescott says:

        Thanks Sue for this information. Also did you get additional electrical outlets, and if not, do you wish had them for recharging electronics? How many are standard?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I can’t remember if the outlets I have came standard or were options. I’d check the specs for the Liberty Deluxe at the casita website but this connection is terrible, keeps dropping, so slow. I have two 12-volt (cigarette-type) outlets along with the regular outlets. I use one of the 12-volt outlets for my 400 W inverter in which I plug in a multi-outlet thingamajig for charging Paperwhite, phone, jetpack, computer, camera battery, etc. simultaneously. I also use the 12-volt socket when I plug in my 12-volt TV that was one of the options from Casita. I used to plug in my 12-volt fan there, too, before I gave it away.

          Do look at the specs page for the 17 foot Liberty Deluxe, if you haven’t already.

          Of course, I only use the 115 volt outlets when we have electric hook-up.

          • weather says:

            Knowing you’re having a hard time replying I’ll try to make this question answerable with just a yes or no .Did you find that the fan only moved air,which your overhead fan does adequately,without additionally cooling you and crew?

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              It added more breeze and we needed it before I became better at finding high elevation camps. It was something more to store and an odd-shape to fit in the PTV mess.

              You know I can’t give a one-word answer! 🙂

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              I’ll throw in my two cents on the same topic, since I have a good connection and am procrastinating on a task I should be doing 😀

              I have the Fantastic Roof vent fan, and I find it works well for exchanging the air in the rig. I can put it on exhaust, and crack one other window, and that draws in cool air (when it’s cooler outside, such as in the late evening/early night). If that one window is by my bed, I get cooling air in the window.

              On the other hand, sometimes I just want a little fan blowing right on me. Maybe it’s hot outside too, or maybe I don’t want a window open for some reason (noise, security, rain, etc.). This fan can be very small and draw very little. I use a marine type fan (Hella Turbo fan) that draws only .2 amps on low !). I have mounted on the underside of a cabinet at the foot of the bed. It’s aimable so although it doesn’t move as much air as a larger fan, it’s very effective. I can also run it pointed away from me if I just want white noise.

              I like having both, and the marine fans are very small (~6″ in diameter) and unobtrusive providing you have a good mounting place. They can be hard-wired or use a cigarette plug.

              On the Fantastic Vents, there is a dramatic difference in draw between models. The “regular” ones with the three speed fan and manual knob to open the lid draw nearly 2 amps, even on low (and the low is a bit “high” for my taste). The super fancy ones with a remote control have 13 speeds, and the low speed is much lower and draws under an amp, but then you have a fancy fan that you can only open with the remote control (or a somewhat goofy emergency manual mode). I wish they would make one with the more speeds, lower low speed, and low draw that was not a fancy remote control one, but they don’t, at least at this point.

              Anyway, while I wouldn’t carry a larger box type fan, I do quite like having the power-sipping marine fan along with the roof vent fan (roof vent fan came with the rig).

              Congrats on your new T@b, btw. I want to see it!! I was lusting after one of those back when I was towing with a car, but it couldn’t handle the weight, so I had a 13′ version of Sue’s trailer. I liked that trailer a lot, but the T@b…. droooool 😀 I especially liked how they avoided the typical “RV decor” that is always at least twenty years out of date (mauve and dark oak, anyone?).

      • AlanOutandAbout says:

        I seem to remember you taking an outside shower while parked at a truck stop awhile ago.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          An outside shower at a truck stop! Hahahaha! Oh my, I wonder if that would give me a discount on gas. Haha!

          • Sidewinder Pen says:

            Ha, that is an image, isn’t it? (I mean, not because it’s you specifically, but just… anyone taking an outside shower at a truck stop, heh.)

            I guess it’s 50/50 on whether one would get a discount or be asked never to come back, LOL. Don’t think I’ll try to find out.

      • cate walsh says:

        Thanks so much Sue. Very helpful.
        CateW

  48. Karen says:

    Seems like the whole west is on fire right now or is under threat of igniting at any second. Hope the weather forecast for the west brings the El Nino conditions they are predicting this winter. We need rain so bad.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Karen,

      We had a little rain here a few days ago and along with it, lightning! That may be the “storm” that started the fire near Challis.

      Yes, pray for rain. I vow to never complain about rain ever again!

    • carlene says:

      just found your blog, i’m a few weeks behind you, starting tomorrow, I’ve bookmarked your blog in my “new blogs to read” so as to catch up especially with the “lessons to learn”. I just love all this stuff… Thanks again Sue for providing the community for the hopefuls!

  49. edlfrey says:

    Sue,

    This has nothing to do with where you are now but you may be interested as well may some of your blogarinos. If you do not think it an appropriate subject (ie too political, then I will not be offended if you delete this Comment).
    This is a follow up to your posting “A visit to Kearny Lake and a controversy at our camp” of 8 Dec 2014.
    The full story about what happened on Friday, August 14, when Arizona Senator John McCain was confronted several times by Native activists and elders while visiting the Navajo Nation can be read by using this link http://theantimedia.org/native-american-activists-chase-john-mccain-off-navajo-land/

    McCain has recently received criticism for his role in passing the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange bill as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015. The law allows for the sale of the Oak Flat campground to international mining company, Rio Tinto. Oak Flat is historically important to the San Carlos Apache.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ed,

      Thank you for graciously stating that I could delete your comment due to its political content. I’m leaving it here because it relates to the topic of the post I wrote while camped at Oak Flat, and, in fact, gives us an important update. The outcome of this controversy is no big surprise.

      On an entirely different subject, hey! You’re in one of my favorite towns! Salina, Utah. You know, when we were last in Salina, I drove by the RV park and thought, “Gee, I oughta’ suggest this to Ed” and then I rethunk it, “Well, he doesn’t need me telling him where to camp, what with all his travel experience.”

      And now, there you are! I’m trying to remember if Barrett’s has the selection that your linners require. 🙂 I’m reading your blog faithfully to see if you eat at Mom’s Cafe…

      • edlfrey says:

        Well, by now you should have read what I had to say about Mom’s and Barrett’s in my posting of today’s date. Salina is my kind of town but the RV Park is only so-so.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Ooh. Ooh. I have to get over there and read your post for today!

          BTW, is Butch Cassidy RV Park the only park in Salina? I’m guessing it is…

          • edlfrey says:

            There is one other that has received TERRIBLE reviews. Then there is Maple Grove, the US Forest Service campground that you know well, but it is not in Salina.

  50. cate walsh says:

    Hi “Family” at Sue’s place,

    Its summer, its HOT, and I’ve been wondering what experiences and advice folks have about how to deal with the “helpful buttinskis” who are too quick to break into vehicles or call the police when dogs are left alone in vehicles. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am only too aware of the dangers to animals and children if they are left in a parked vehicle on a hot day. However, say we need to run into a store or pay for gas, or register at a park and we have to leave the dogs in vehicle for just a few moments…how do we prevent hassles from the well intentioned?

    thanks,
    CateW

    • Cinanjules (NY) says:

      I don’t think you’ll have a problem…at all!

      The problem arises when an animal is “showing signs of distress” after being left in a vehicle with the combination of too long of a period with no adequate precautions to keep the animals body temp from rising.

      What you described doesn’t even necessitate drawing attention toward you or your pets.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      I’ve had this situation two ways. At one point in time I had a large topper on a pickup truck. It was more like a small camper in that it had wooden walls with insulation, windows with curtains and screens, and a roof vent.

      I would often leave my dog in there while I was on a work shift out of town (in the shady parking lot, just outside the door). He had a queen sized bed to lounge on, curtains open on the north side, air circulation galore, food and water, and it was only around 70º outside anyway. It did not get even remotely hot in there at all. On lunch and after work we’d go walking 🙂

      One time I got “reported” by someone for leaving my dog in a vehicle. I’m sure it was someone well meaning, but they didn’t understand the difference between this rig and a car. In reality, this was not much different than a doghouse (or a people house, for that matter) in the shade.

      On the other hand, in later years I was back to being just a person with a regular car, and I lived in a super hot climate. NO WAY could I leave pup in the car even for a few minutes. Well, maybe on a cool day with deep shade, but most parking lots didn’t have that and there were few cool days in summer. Due to my pup’s health issues as he aged, leaving him at home wasn’t an option. So I had a few choices:

      1) Shop at night, when it was safe to have him in the car (but that wouldn’t be terribly convenient while camping).

      2) Go to a store that allowed dogs in (although they are limited, and I wouldn’t bring him in a grocery store in any case).

      3) Park on the outskirts of a given store’s parking lot, where I could tie him to the front of the car in such a way that he could not reach any areas where other cars could get to (there are often spots like this along the far edge of a parking lot. Preferably with trees/shade. I would leave water out as well. Obviously this had to be in a place where I felt comfortable leaving him. And even then I’d keep it short. (I saw someone do this near the front/busy part of a parking lot last week, and it would have been so easy for that dog to be accidentally run over by someone else using the parking lot).

      It’s a bit of a challenge, but then so are babies (though they let them in stores ;))

    • DesertGinger says:

      In NY I was going into a local karaoke bar…well actually I was going to sit outside in front ofvthevplace where they had tables on the sidewalk. It was 10pm at night. I was leaving the dog in the car with a dish of water and windows down, and the police came by and told me I couldn’t do that. Dog would be too hot they said. It was in the 80s but it was night. I was going to sit outside. The dog would have been just as cool as I was. But no. At least the police cared.

      • Pamela K says:

        Gin,
        Kind of a bummer that you couldn’t leave them when the temp conditions were fine to do so. Several towns have taken the *ZERO* approach with animals left in completely closed cars. In some towns it’s already the law now, no matter what the temps are.

    • Lee J in Northern California says:

      When I leave my dog while I register, or do short time things, I leave my windows down. My dogs ride in harnesses that are attached to my seat belts I. The back seat of my truck. I lock the doors but leave the windows down….

      The dogs would bark at anyone reaching into their space and since I would just be steps away I have never had a problem.

      I usually don’t have to resort to this, but it has worked the couple of times I did it.
      Interesting question!

  51. Terri From Texas says:

    Hi
    I think in Texas at least that if the police are called either they or the fire dept. will check the temp of the interior of your car with a gadget they gave.
    If it is over 90 they will break in and be justified. This is what my spouse, who is a Vol. Fire Fighter and first responder told me.

    guess. I don’t think I would leave my pets in the car unless it was very low eightie

  52. Terri From Texas says:

    Wow did my comment get messed up! Just saying-use common sense cause people will do what they are gonna do! I, personally, would leave the car running with air on if it was over 80 or so outside! Remember the greenhouse effect!

    • AZ Jim says:

      Even at 80 degrees it is extremely dangerous. This chart is put out by American Veterinarian assoc. Read it and consider what your pet means to you and remember they cannot let themselves out.

      Estimated Vehicle Interior Air Temperature v. Elapsed Time
      Elapsed time Outside Air Temperature (F)
      70 75 80 85 90 95
      0 minutes 70 75 80 85 90 95
      10 minutes 89 94 99 104 109 114
      20 minutes 99 104 109 114 119 124
      30 minutes 104 109 114 119 124 129
      40 minutes 108 113 118 123 128 133
      50 minutes 111 116 121 126 131 136
      60 minutes 113 118 123 128 133 138
      > 1 hour 115 120 125 130 135 140

  53. cate walsh says:

    Thanks Terri and cinanjules. CateW

  54. Ron says:

    Sue,
    I would like to thank you for showing the folks all over the country our great state of Oregon. Sure, you did run into some uncouth people, but I hope the good people out weighed the bad ones. You painted some lovely pictures of our state through your lens, from the beaches with Reggie running wild to the lakes and rivers in the Cascade Mts. I am sorry that the fires have kept you from really good camping, but that’s Mother Nature. Come back again next year to see those special spots that you missed this time. Safe travels and good health to you and the “Crew”.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a lovely message, Ron. The good of Oregon far outweighs the not-so-good and, yes, the crew and I will return. Thank you for the invitation.

  55. Linda Hughes says:

    Hi Rv Sue, love reading your adventures everyday, you have such a great life and the photos are great!! Thank you so much for sharing with us. Your babies are so cute and they love the traveling life!! Take care and enjoy every day!! God bless you !!

  56. Dawn in MI says:

    Just stay safe Sue and crew. Seems dangerous where you are now, in almost every direction! It’s going to be in the 70’s and 80’s here in Michigan rest of the week…just saying…..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      Move Michigan this way a bit and I’ll give it a try! 🙂

      You’re sweet to comment on our safety. Drove all morning through smoke, still in smoke. We’re camped for the rest of the day. I’ll drive tomorrow and keep going until we can breathe clean air again!

    • Pookieboy in SE Texas says:

      Dawn, tell us how you got your picture in your post?
      inquiring minds want to know…
      thanks
      chuck

  57. DC says:

    This may sound like a stupid question, so please forgive me. But I’m really curious why you don’t run the a/c in the ptv?

  58. eliza says:

    Has anyone heard from/about Krystina? I hope she is okay….

    • weather says:

      Krystina has been cheerfully replying here and there to folks on this blog for several days,most recently yesterday the 18th,without specifically mentioning being “okay” she’s left several 🙂 ‘s,and a note with “It does feel like that”,about Vermont where she is now near friends and family being right for her at the moment.

  59. weather says:

    Hi,Sue,I hope the long drive you mentioned goes well and is taken in comfort for you three,and that you arrive at your next destination thinking”that was easier than I expected it to be!”May you be met by something lovely at each turn and may every stop along the way be refreshing-especially the one with your next campsite.

    • Shirlene (Huntington Beach, Ca) says:

      Sweet! 🙂 ….yeah Sue, what she said.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      weather and Shirlene…. Yes, it was easier than I expected! Of course, I don’t push myself very hard. We pulled off the road at noon, another RV park to get us toward smoke-free country!

      Thanks for the wish… not a lot of “lovely” but it’s lovely to be safe, settled in a camp for the rest of the day, and cool with my crew.

  60. Lady Piper and Rusty says:

    Well, Sue,, I finely did it,,,, upgraded to Windows 10 Home and now I have Roll-over Data and unlimited Minutes with AT&T,,, Windows 10 was free and it’s like Windows 7 and is fast, Once you download it for almost 5 hrs + installation and set up,, And AT&T upgrade only cost me a penny, (.01) more than the last plan,,,,,,, L.P. is doing great,, we’ve been playing and she is a fast learner,,, this morn, about 05:30, she jumped up on the bed and gave me a morning kiss, then went to her hookup tether and with a light woof, told me she needed to go out to do her morning potty,,, I hooked her up,opened the door and out she went, as I said “good girl” and after she did her potty, I rewarded her with a treat and a hug and said “good girl,, Lady Piper”, That’s my Baby girl,,, We are bonding more and more each day,,,,,,,,,,, rusty,,,,,,,,, oh,, my wrist is healing nicely, I can hold her leash with it,,, she doesn’t pull me,,, she ether is at my side or 2-4 ft, in front of me when we go exploreing,,,,,,,,,,,,, have a great day and give Bridget and Reggie man a hug from us,, will ya?,,,,,,,,,,,,,, L.P. N’ me

    • Shirlene (Huntington Beach, Ca) says:

      Oh Rusty, so good to hear that your wrist and your L.P are cooperating with you so well. As far as window 10, I need to upgrade, I hate windows 8. Good to hear it works well. I may need a few tips from you when I get it upgraded. Also, keep in touch regarding the present I promised to send you. Happy trails Rusty and LP! Stay safe and cool.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rusty,

      It’s wonderful how Lady Piper is learning and adapting to your routines and travels. I’m very happy for you both! Good to hear the wrist is coming along fine… still be careful with it, please..

      I reconsidered your suggestion about Bennett Springs and also the suggestion made to try City of Rocks… Almost went there, but both places are covered in smoke. You were smart to go to AZ and stay there!

      • Lady Piper and Rusty says:

        Thanks Sue, we’ve many N.F.’s to go to here in the Zone, but we will not camp in Kaibab NF, there is a F.S. Cop there that thinks if one doesn’t pay to camp that they are homeless and he gives a 250.00 to 500.00 ticket on the spot,, I found this out by a camper from Boston, Mass, this fellow was camping on forest road 71, off hwy 64, and the word is out on K.N.F. to not boondock their,,, I was camped up the road where I fell and he came to me to give help loadin’ my camper so I could get to the VAMC early,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Sue,, please stay safe from the fires n’ smoke and get to a cool spot, you 3.,,,,,,,, and I’m takin’ it eazy with my wrist,,,,,, oh,, oh,, a fire truck just went by,,,,, we’re on 420 near flagstaff, on the northeast side and don’t have to move till the 31st.,,,,,,,,, us

        • Stay safe! Belly rubs for Lady Piper!

          • Lady Piper and Rusty says:

            ok Geri,,,, L.P. loves her belly rubbed and she likes being brushed too!,,,,,,,,,,, rusty

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          That Kaibob forest district needs to have the rules of the public forest explained to them. They aren’t supposed to harass people who are enjoying the forest and following the 14-day limit. That really annoys me. Well, keep your head low… as you do… and avoid the forest “police.”

          I do like hearing from you, Rusty, as do many of the blogorinos. I know you stay alert to your surroundings and keep informed of fires and weather.

          The crew and I are safe. Thanks for thinking of us and for keeping us informed. Hugs to the lady…

    • BadgerRickInWis says:

      What a good girl. Gotta love, the love. You two take care.

  61. edlfrey says:

    Where’s Waldo (or Sue)?

    I think this would be suitable for her next stop: Goodenough Creek Campground.

    I have this feeling that she is headed for the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. High, Cool and nothing burning at this time. Beginning 10 August, the Forest Service lifted its ban on open fires in all national forests in Utah, including the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache, Ashley, Fish Lake, Dixie and Manti-La Sal National Forests.

    • weather says:

      sounds like a good enough idea to me,better than hearing she’s lost (creek) or in hades-a couple names seen scrolling through campgrounds in that forest 😉

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Ha! Some campground names aren’t very appealing… my favorite is Gnat Creek Campground. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, Ed, I’d like to tell you but, you know, I have to keep the suspense going. I don’t want this to be like watching movie previews — “Oh, now I know the plot, so why bother with it!”

      Hope Salina’s air quality is good…

      • edlfrey says:

        Not so good. I can not see the mountains on the west side of the valley. I don’t smell smoke but it has to be here on the east side also.

  62. Julie says:

    Here’s a thought for getting out of nw smoke. Angel lake outside wells nv. Don’t see any fires that way. Or Thomas creek in lamoille cyn. (Outside of elko). Sounds like you are headed towards Montana though.

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