Let’s do something different in this post, okay?
Road between Ponderoasa Grove and Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, southern Utah
Most anyone who RVs will tell you how easy it is to meet interesting people in campgrounds.
Over the course of our camp at Ponderosa Grove Campground, west of Kanab, Utah, I uncharacteristically engage in conversation with several, fellow campers. Reggie makes friends, too. He always does that with everyone he meets.
In this post I introduce a few of the people and dogs that Reggie and I had the good fortune to encounter recently.
Rabbitbrush in bloom on a dune
~ ~ ~
Meet Jan . . .
Jan is a full-time, solo van dweller. She pulls into Ponderosa Grove Campground and parks her Pleasureway Class B RV in a nearby campsite. Soon we exchange hellos. I like her immediately.
“Solo” isn’t exactly correct. Jan travels with a pal named Chicken . . .
Chicken, the kestrel!
He’s a beauty! Jan explains that the male kestrel has bluish wings while the female’s are the same red as the body feathers.
Jan is a licensed falconer.
Although Chicken keeps an eye on me, he doesn’t show stress at my presence. Reggie barking from below does cause him to “talk back” by extending his wings and fanning his tail. Isn’t he gorgeous?
You can learn more about kestrels and listen to their sounds at the All About Birds website.
Jan has read this blog for a long time, so she knows me already. We share a lot in common, including enjoyment of simple living, love of nature, ability to entertain ourselves, and joy in the freedom to move whenever we feel like it.
Jan is also accompanied by two lovely Saluki hounds.
In the photo below, Summer is on the left and Jooba (or Jooma — Sorry, Jan, I don’t remember!) is on the right.
The hounds in their dignified maturity aren’t very interested in Reggie’s invitation to play.
This doesn’t stop the Reggie Man from trying!
~ ~ ~
Meet Kim . . .
Kim and her canine pal, Bella, share an apartment in St. Louis. Together they escape the city for months at a time, car camping around the west and into Mexico. Actually, they aren’t “car camping.” They camp in a pick-up truck with a topper over the truck bed.
Reggie falls head-over-paws for Bella!
Kim and I talk while Reggie puts the moves on Bella.
Kim is an avid tennis player. One day, while walking away from the court, she collapses.
From that point on, her life turns upside down and inside out.
Kim learns she has ovarian cancer — stage 2c. Far from home at the time, her doctor suggests she go home to be near family and friends.
Kim shares how panicked she was on that drive.
She goes through surgery and treatment, suffering the dreadful side effects.
“I decide I’m not going to let cancer stop me. I put the cancer out of my mind and go camping in Mexico for the winter! Call it denial. Whatever.”
She smiles and adds, “Denial works for me!”
I’m impressed by the positives Kim intersperses throughout her story. As she talks and answers my questions, she runs a hand through her beautiful, thick, brown hair. (It came back!)
“I’m approaching my five-year anniversary, cancer-free!” she announces proudly.
I’ll remember Kim’s inspiring story.
Most of all, I’ll remember how she glows with life.
The next morning is very cold — too cold for camping in a truck. Understandably Kim packs up, and she and Bella leave early, before Reggie and I have a chance to say goodbye.
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Meet Pauline . . .
This post introduces you to two fellow travelers, Jan and Kim. This next “traveler” is my sister, Pauline. She travels to our hometown in New York state every year, although she’s not an RVer. She’s also traveled some very “rough roads.”
Some of you are familiar with Pauline’s vibrant and loving personality through comments she has made on this blog over the past five years. Maybe you read my post of August 14, 2011, “Greetings from rural Mississippi,” where I wrote about my visit with Pauline and family.
Three years my elder and light years ahead of me in faith, Pauline is a breast cancer survivor. I bring Pauline into this post to congratulate her because October marks her five-year anniversary, cancer-free!
Hooray for Pauline!
“Corinth Today,” the local newspaper in northeast Mississippi, recently featured Pauline in an article titled, “Breast Cancer Did Not Steal Rienzi Woman’s Joy.”
(Note: Just so you know . . . . Pauline has beautiful hair. She doesn’t like the photos because they were taken before she could fix her hair after water aerobics class.)
“Happy Anniversary, Pauline! I love you!”
Coming up . . . .
I hope you enjoy these “snapshots” of fellow travelers, both human and canine. I’ll continue with more campers in a future post!
NOTE: My birthday yesterday was wonderful in a quiet, relaxed way. Thanks for the wishes. Reggie and I celebrated with a drive through Kanab Canyon, followed by a classic RVSue meal of rotisserie chicken, enjoyed at our picnic table under the pines.
Of course we had birthday cake, too — white with buttercream frosting — my favorite!
THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!
The desert has fall color, too!