Photo Essay: An alpine meadow of wildflowers

Thursday, June 5

“Let’s go up the mountain!” I announce to the crew.  Bridget and Spike jump out the door of the Best Little Trailer and wait expectantly at the side door of the Perfect Tow Vehicle.  I toss them in and soon we leave camp and head up Badger Mountain.

1-DSC04786I’d like to see that alpine meadow again.  It was beautiful last year in late June.

1-DSC04787On the way to the meadow, I let the crew out at a pull-out.

“C’mon.  We’ll take a walk here.”

1-DSC04742-001We wander around patches of snow and follow the sound to a creek.  Gee, lots of dead trees in this area.   Ooh, I smell mint . . . . mixed with fir and spruce . . . nice.

1-DSC04734-001Too much mud here and not very picturesque. We’ll go up to the meadow.

The higher we go, the more snow, of course.

“There it is!  There’s the meadow.  Look at all the yellow flowers!”

We climb out of the PTV.  I hurry ahead so I can take this next photo of the crew’s first look at the meadow since last June.

1-DSC04763Kneeling on the ground, I recognize the yellow flowers, having looked at photos of them in my field guide. Yellow columbine!  Never seen them before . . . 

Tiny white flowers with a faint blush of purple-pink are interspersed with the yellow flowers.  Hmm. . . I’ll have to look those up later.   Gee, flowers everywhere!

(NOTE:  It turns out that I still haven’t seen yellow columbine.  Readers corrected me in the comment section.  The yellow flowers are called glacier lilies or trout lilies.  The tiny white flowers are spring beauties.)






The crew and I walk across the meadow. 

The columbine (no, trout lilies or glacier lilies!) grow so thickly together that I watch my every step to avoid crushing them.

1-DSC04756If you’ve read my previous posts, you may remember this next scene.  There’s a lot more water pouring through the spillway now.

1-DSC04759“Let’s go further upstream, Spikey, where you can take a soak.  The stream moves too fast for you here.”

1-DSC04769I remember these flowers from last year.  They like to grow along the creek, anywhere they can keep their “feet” wet.

(NOTE:  I’m told these flowers are marsh marigolds.)







Like someone else I know . . . .

“This looks like a good spot, Spike, if you don’t go in where it’s deep.  Whatcha think?”

1-DSC04768Gosh, that water must be cold!  It was snow a short while ago . . . .  Poor guy.  I hate that damn arthritis!

1-DSC04764He seems to be having a great time in spite of it.  What a tough guy . . .

The three of us wander around the meadow for a while.

Satisfied I have the photos I need for the blog, I call the crew.

For Bridget, I holler, “C’mon, Bridgey Baby, time to go!”  For Spike, I make come-along-now arm movements that he can see from across the meadow.

Together we head back to the PTV.

Once we’re in our seats, I turn around and face Spike and Bridget to tell them what’s next.

“I think we’ll go up to 10,000 feet.  All the way up!  To SNOW COUNTRY!  Great plan, huh, guys?  Won’t that be FUN?”

1-DSC04733-001To be continued . . .


NOTE:  As I type this, the money reports for the first four months of 2014 are posted.  These can be accessed through “Money 2014” under the header photo.  Amazon income and taxes for 2013 can be seen by scrolling down the report for April 2014.


I appreciate every order.  These are a few of the items recently purchased through my blog:

BirdBerry Jelly
Battery Tender 10W Solar Charger
Fire Sense Cocktail Table Fire Pit
OPTIFAST 800 Chocolate Ready to Drink Shake 1 Case (27 Cartons)
WIFI Wireless Car Diagnostic Reader for Iphone iPad iOS PC
WILSON ELECTRONICS Dual-Band Roof Mount RV Trucker Antenna



The nutcakes do Rialto Beach, Washington, September 2013

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142 Responses to Photo Essay: An alpine meadow of wildflowers

  1. Janis Harrison says:

    first ??

  2. DeAnne in TN says:


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hey, DeAnne! Summer, at last, eh?

      • DeAnne in TN says:

        Yessiree. Had a great cruise to start it off, and now just vegetating. It’s amazing how teachers who are so full of energy and disciplined can become such slugs within a week’s time. of course, I would give anything to be where you are right now, but I take solace in knowing that I will be one day.

  3. Jean/Southaven, MS says:

    What fun for everyone. Still out here, still enjoying. So glad you and the crew are doing well. Love the pictures. Especially love the picture of the crew in the van seat looking at you. Could just reach out and give them a good rub.

  4. Diann in MT says:

    Aren’t the mountains just splendid, Sue?!
    Happy days to you and the crew!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Same to you, Diann! It’s hot in the valley these days. Love the cool temperatures on the mountain.

  5. Tawanda says:

    So beautiful, columbine are one of our favs and our backyard has many, seeing them wild is breath taking!!!
    Those streams make me want to get my fly pole and head for the mountains (I wish), not much for lake fishing but love watching them feed on lakes jumping out of the water to catch those bugs!!
    Awesome pictures captured of the crew, the scenery is breath taking and can’t wait to see what was in store for you at the TOP 😉
    Thanks for sharing, as always it’s almost like being right there with you…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Tawanda,

      Last year I photographed the larger blooms of white columbine on the slope behind our present camp. I think they will appear in about two weeks.

      How nice that you have the yellow ones in your backyard. I can’t remember where you are… Colorado?

      • Tawanda (Utah) says:

        Just N. of you in the burbs of Salt Lake county..
        Yes I recall last years white ones too, beautiful!
        We’ve xeri-scaped our yards (water wise) with native plantings, it is amazing how many colorful native plants there are in this state, obviously not all are so water wise but worth a bit more water to enjoy!! 😉 Our front lawn is Vinca minor with the purple flowers a great ground cover among the bushes and trees, and by mowing it a few times in the growing season keeps it in ck as well as coming back with more flowers…

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I think you’ve had to tell me your location more than once. I’ll try to remember! Your yard sounds beautiful.

          • Tawanda (Utah) says:

            No, my bad, I should have been putting my state at least, you certainly have many from far and wide that travel along and comment.. 🙂
            Enjoy your day in the beautiful surroundings that is your current home, so tranquil, being one with nature = heaven in my mind!!

  6. Chas anderson says:

    Love to see the dog photos.They are amazing creatures.My dog Juice had an inch of her jawbone and 6 teeth removed yesterday due to a cancerous tumor.Today she is eating,wagging her tail and jogging around the yard.Tough cookie. Prognosis is good.

    If any readers need complicated dog surgery the Cornell University Veterinary School Hospital is the place to go.Can’t even tell she had surgery at first glance.

    Will give her a couple weeks to recover then she is a road dog again.The main reason for buying our camper was so we could travel with the dogs.They love it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Holy cow, Charles! Juice went through some major surgery!

      She was fortunate to have the resources of Cornell University Vet School Hospital. I’m very glad she is doing well. Animals are incredible… what they can tolerate and come out with tail a-wagging.

      You’ve been through a major scare. May Juice heal well in the next few weeks. The road is waiting for y’all!

    • Willow says:

      Kisses and prayers for Juice.

      • Chas anderson says:

        Thanks! She is doing well.Today she started chasing chipmunks around my rock walls .I couldn’t see a human being running around a couple of days after having part of their jawbone removed.

  7. Wendy says:

    I think the yellow flowers are trout lilies. The small white ones, I believe, are spring beauties. I don’t know the ones almost in the water.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, darnnit! You’re right! I looked up trout lilies. I’ll have to make a note in this post. Sheesh… For once I thought I knew what I was talking about. 🙂

      Thanks for setting me straight, Wendy. You may be right about the spring beauties,too.

  8. Sue, would you mind making the url available for the hat picture you wear in your picture so it’ll be a clicky on your Amazon site? Was that clear? Maybe not. Try again. Sue, I want to buy a hat like the one you’re wearing in your picture. Did you get it from Amazon? Yeah? Good. How about posting it as a clicky so I can buy it from Amazon and you can get the credit. Better? Sometimes I don’t explain stuff too good the first time out.

    Hugs to the fur balls.

    Cat Lady

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’d be happy to do that, Cat Lady. I’m not sure which hat you mean. However, it doesn’t matter because I’m unable to provide an URL for any of them.

      The first hat I’m shown wearing on this blog (off-white) was given to me. The second hat (dark brown) was purchased by me from a booth in Quartzsite. The third hat (dark green) was purchased at a truck stop convenience store, heaven knows where.

      I’m flattered that you want a hat like mine!

      • Marilu says:

        I’m imagining all the Blogorinos traveling around the west in RV Sue look alike hats and Keens :D. What a picture!

  9. Terri Dingley says:

    As weird as it seems Spike is very lucky to have that ice cold water to soak in for his arthritis. Sitting here in 90 degree weather makes me want to soak right along with him! Loved the photos today!

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Fun excursion!! Lovely photos…one can smell the fresh air…though probably a little thin, at that altitude!! Glad you and the pups are having fun!!

  11. DEBRA from the Ozarks says:

    Hi Sue, I have followed you for a year now, read all post,I admire you and the dogs so much,photo’s are wonderful! I go to Rice this Wed. and pick up my Casita(Baby girl),I can hardly wait.You have inspired so much.i will be ordering from amazon from your sight,you are a wonderful person, and a good cause.

    • Debra, hope you gave RVSue’s name as a reference so she could get a commission. So happy for you, Debra! Hope you enjoy yours as much as Sue and Crew. Will you have a blog we can follow?

      Cat Lady

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Debra! How exciting!

      You will forever remember the day you picked up your Baby Girl. 🙂 I wish you many happy miles and cozy moments in wonderful camps. You will love looking up through your window at night, as you lie in bed, with the stars twinkling above.

      Thank you for planning to order Amazon through my blog. I appreciate that!

      I hope you will keep in touch and tell us how much you love your new home-on-wheels.

  12. Pauline from Mississippi says:

    I love the picture of the crew in the van!!! Did they investigate the patches of snow? The meadows of flowers must be spectacular…ohhhhh, I love the pictures you share!!

    Love you…big hugs to the crew

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pauline,

      I thought Spike might like to stand in snow since he likes standing in ice water. Previously, I had set him down in snow and he immediately got out of it. No sense trying Bridget… She doesn’t like strange, new experiences much. She always acts like I’m trying to pull a mean trick on her. *sigh*

      Glad you like the photos. It’s fun taking pictures on this mountain. Hope you and everyone are keeping cool.

      Love you, too!

  13. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Love the pic of the crew in the meadow….and of course Spike soaking in the cold cold water!

    I remember that scene…we were trying to figure out what it was. I believe we decided on some sort of weather equipment due to the red/rust looking contraption. Actually I think it was Mick who figured it out.

    Precious photo of the crew sitting in the PTV. If they would only pose like that during Christmas!

    Received my Amazon purchase today. One of the cushion bags can be a body bag…it will be too cumbersome when all the cushions are in it. I’m returning it and ordering two more of the smaller ones.

    Enjoy your weekend. Stay warm. Is the altitude affecting you or the crew?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, cinandjules,

      I took a look at that cushion bag. Too bad it’s too large. It’s a pain sending things back.

      No, the crew seems to have adjusted to the altitude. They slept a lot the first two days (more than the lot they usually sleep!).

      Have you ever noticed how other people’s dogs look like they’re smiling in photos? Not these two nutcakes. They look like I’m going to drop them off along the side of the road and leave them there. Sheesh… What morose faces!!

      Have a good weekend, too.

      • Susan in Dallas says:

        I was wondering why I couldn’t see the “enthusiasm” in the crews faces. Looked to me they were uttering that ultimate unenthusiastic response of, “Whatever”. But they look so cute anyway!

  14. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi Sue,

    Love the pictures of the Crew. Glad that Spike got to soak his little bones. The cold water must help numb his arthritis pain…he really is a brave boy!

    Were your ears burning this afternoon? I was sharing your travels with one of my friends at work. He and his wife have camped for years. They currently have a 5th wheel. They both are on countdown….less than a year before they retire. They plan to take extended trips…2-3 mos at a time – your style…no set itinerary and taking their time to enjoy…not having to rush back to work.

    Ah….the weekend is finally here – yeah! I plan to decompress by playing in the dirt in my flower beds and spending lots of quality time on the patio swing with my pup Gracie. It is warm here, but we are getting an unusual break from the humidity for the weekend, so I plan to be outside as much as possible.

    Have a great evening, Sue. Looking forward to seeing the top of Badger Mountain. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You have a great evening, too, Denise. Playing in your flower beds and swinging with Gracie on the patio. Sounds delightful!

      No, my ears weren’t burning. It still amazes me, though, that people were talking about me across the country in Virginia!

      • Sondra says:

        Make that SC too! I was telling my friend that you had your plan in place for 7 yrs…I was in the 2nd yr of my plan when I fell and broke both my arms…then I couldn’t work and continue to save and get my “start up money” so now its plan B…and that hasn’t been worked out as yet, but you inspire me to continue..and not give up hope or give up dreaming!!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          BOTH your arms? You broke BOTH your arms? Oh, Sondra… How devastating. I am so sorry you’ve suffered such a setback.

          It must be difficult, but do hold on to your dream, Sondra. No one likes to hear this… Maybe the timing was wrong and you’ll understand why someday. I hope when your dream becomes real that it far exceeds anything you imagined!

          And you can burn my ears any time you want…. 🙂

          • DeAnne in TN says:

            I was talking about you today too with a friend in TN. You had quite the day!

            • And I was talking about you also Sue, with my co-workers last evening. I told them how you have been a big part of my inspiration for my upcoming plans of full-time RVing. A lot of folks are of the opinion that a woman alone can’t manage this kind of lifestyle. I tell them ‘fiddle-dee-dee, let me tell you a story about RVSue….!’

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              The next time a woman reveals she thinks a woman can’t or shouldn’t dare to travel alone, ask her what part of the male anatomy is necessary in order to do so.

              Good heavens. Are we in the Middle Ages?

              Thank you, Micky, for thinking of me in such positive terms.

            • Krystina McMorrow says:

              I talk about you to folks EVERYday…my inspiration…thank you RVSue!

  15. Judi says:

    Our dog was a rescue, too, and I think that memory is always with some dogs. Speckles acts like I am abandoning him whenever I go out the door without him. He stands there with his plush bunny in his mouth. I know he goes right asleep as soon as he can and wakes up and must have to go quickly and find his bunny so he can get that “look” right when I come through the door.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s cute, Judi. Who knows what goes through the minds of our furry friends. I do know one thing for sure… They know how to manipulate us. I bet that bunny in the mouth “look” immediately melts your heart, no matter what your mood. Bless you for rescuing Speckles!

  16. John L. says:

    Goodness, such beautiful pictures!! Feel like I am right there…….keep them coming!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I will keep them coming, John L. Great to see you here. If I haven’t done so already, welcome!

      Thank you for the compliment on my photos.

  17. weather says:

    Until I read” there are so many dead trees” I’d mistaken the ones in your top photo for some light purple/grey exotic specimen that made the scene look garden like.Then I read your reply to Cindy about the crew looking morose,when seeing them on the quilt with those cute faces had made me think ,How sweet,they have their” We’re ready for our nap now” faces on. Obviously,I have my Pollyanna hat on way too tight again.
    Hope your consideration in not stepping on the trout lilies brings your best flower encounter ever soon as your reward.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather….

      Oh, I make a big deal out of their faces for the fun of it. You’re right. They were ready for a nap after all the exercise and fresh, brisk air in their lungs.

      It made me laugh to write that those faces were a reaction to driving up to 10,000 feet and snow country! Spike looks stunned and Bridget looks like she’s thinking, “Oh no, here we go again!” Haha!

      More wildflowers! I’d love that!

      • weather says:

        Good morning Sue!
        Cheryl mentioned tamarack trees to explain those in the photo I’d seen as His once again making natural landscapes garden like.I googled it and she was right.yippee.
        Now I’m so way in my happy place!You see,after I wrote my first comment I’d tried to loosen,tug at or cover my Pollyanna hat and realized I must have been born with it as it’s an actual part of my head.So reading that the pups WERE sweetly content to have the napping quilt you provide under them and the trees ARE fully alive adding just the right color for the season,I giggled and clapped until the troupe all excitedly played along.Hope your coffee was as good as mine today 🙂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Oh weather, you are an extraordinary person.

          You’re convinced they’re tamarack? It sure does answer the mystery of why so many trees look dead here.

          Actually my first cup of coffee was lousy. It was left-over from yesterday. I arose from bed very early this morning and didn’t want to disturb the crew making a new pot. I’m going to make a fresh pot right now!

          • weather says:

            My search was a bit time consuming as I was trying to find info and photos to confirm the likelihood of their height,appearance and stage of development in your location.The details I read and saw,and that I was led to the right sites to find them,was convincing.
            Good decision to start with a fresh pot,sacrificing for the comfort of those we love should always include a healthy measure of our own.Enjoy,I’m toasting you with my mug right now 🙂

  18. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Wow and God bless you!! Since I couldn’t comment on the old blog post I am reading I am commenting on this one. The story of Rusty/Three Feathers was amazing. What a story. I am so glad you helped him. He is a blessing to the peoples lives he has touched and you blessed him! Your past adventures continue for me in April of 2012!

  19. Ladybug in Mid-Tenn says:

    Personally, I find it odd that Spike likes the cold for his arthritis. I have arthritis in both my shoulders (worse in the right shoulder) and I’ve noticed in the summer the car’s a/c blows right on it and makes it hurt like the dickens! To the point I’m going to carry a small fleece throw in the car to put over my shoulder while driving. But whatever works to make the pain go away!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I think it’s odd, too. I knew a woman back in Georgia who had arthritis at a fairly young age. She always wore a shawl in church and had to pick a seat that wasn’t going to be in the path of the cold air from the a/c.

      Maybe because dogs are covered in fur, it works differently. Whatever the reason, Spike seems happier with opportunities for soaks!

      I’m sorry you have arthritis, Ladybug.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Sue and Lady, We had thought that heat was best too, for our arthritic pain…but of late, hubby has been using ice packs more…maybe it depends on where it is?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Or “surface chill” from a/c, as opposed to “deep chill” from ice packs? The former aggravating, the latter comforting?

  20. AZ Jim says:

    Let’s talk about dogs. Last weekend in Arizona at 12 Shelter locations here was a free adoption day. This was made possible by a Grant from an couple who lost their dog companion of many years. The goal was to adopt out to qualified good homes 1500 animals. Guess how many were adopted? You guessed all 1500 you guessed right. As a matter of fact after the program closed one little female pitbull mix was left. The local news ran the story about that little lady and two people came down and filled out the paperwork to take her home ( you should have seen her dance for her humans and harnessed for energy the tail wagging could have lit up a city.) The best dog or cat you can own is one you rescue and the feeling of saving a life and providing love and a home to a hapless little dog who through no fault of their own, find themselves behind bars cannot be beat..They will pay ya back in spades…
    Sue’s love for her little family, Bridget and Spike are one of the reasons I think so much of her. She also takes some “Purty” pictures ta boot.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Your sweet, closing paragraph brought tears to my eyes, Jim. Thank you. I do love my crew.

      And thank you for telling us about the successful rescue drive. That’s wonderful! What a fantastic thing for that couple to do…. a very good use of their money that will reap benefits for all the dogs and adopters for many years to come.

      Well, Spike just walked in tracking mud all over the floor . . . .

  21. Love the flowers! I am not sure the crew agrees with you:)

  22. CheryLyn(Oregon) says:

    Love the pictures of the high mtn meadows. Can’t tell from the pictures but could the dead looking trees be tamarack trees? They are the only “evergreen” tree to lose their needles in the falls and do look truly dead in the spring. At that elevation they may not be budding out yet. I haven’t been up high yet this year here to see what ours are doing.
    I see the melting snow and think it is time to go mushrooming! I won’t this year, to much to do. Fell and broke my wrist, so frustrating with so much to finish. I’m finding it impossible to hire anyone for these smaller jobs so should be interesting to see how my tiling goes this weekend could be on funniest videos. I have to say reading your blog and viewing the beautiful pictures is keeping me going. Thanks!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You broke your wrist and now you’re going to tile? You are a determined lady! Sorry about your fall. I hope you are mending well.

      You may be right, CheryLyn, about the dead-looking trees being tamarack. The photos of tamarack that I pulled up on the web show much broader trees but those specimens stood alone. These are crowded together in dense stands, making them tall and narrow. I probably won’t ever confirm whether they are dead trees or live tamarack, as we’ll leave here soon. I hope they are tamarack. Otherwise there’s an awful lot of dead timber around here to catch fire.

      Gosh, I learn so much on this blog! Thank you. Good luck with the tiling!

  23. Diann in MT says:

    Hi Sue.
    Do you check you and the crew for wood tics after romps in the woods?
    I went up -country this past weekend and found one in my truck and a bite on the back of my head. Ooyee aweful. Just a “heads up “!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Diann,

      I don’t always check them specifically for wood tics or any tics at all. I haven’t found a tic on Bridget or Spike since we crossed the Mississippi in late summer of 2011, and I would know if they picked up a tic. I’m looking at and touching these guys all the time. I agree, they are awful.

  24. Paris Winchell says:

    Sue, I keep meaning to tell you about some stuff for his arthritis. I give my dogs Duralactin chewable tablets. ( you can get it on amazon). I know several people who swear by it. Also look up an injection called Adequan. It is used for arthritis also, but would need a vet. Paris

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Paris,

      Thanks for the suggestions for Spike’s arthritis. I’ve had him on Glucosomine and Cetyl-M and neither seemed to help, the latter making him very thirsty to the point where I took him off it after a two-month trial period.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Do you think Glucosomine would cause humans to be extra thirsty too?? Hubby is on that as of late….we already have diabetes, but this seems more…

  25. Gayle says:

    “Are you done talking about me yet?” and “Won’t that be fun?” coupled with the looks on their faces is absolutely the funniest thing I’ve read anywhere in weeks and weeks! So droll!

    The hills are alive with the sound of music!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gayle . . . You got some laughs out of that? Great! I was beginning to think I was the only one who thought that was funny. I laugh every time I look at the crew’s expressions as I announced we’re going to snow country. They give me these looks all the time, like they’re dealing with an unpredictable, crazy person.

  26. DesertGinger says:

    Aaaaahhhh.more restful pictures! Perfect. I need that to cool down. I just made a round trip drive from Tucson to LA and back…900 miles. I spent the afternoon and evening with my friends. Still…two 450 mile drives across the blazing desert in 36 hours. Chloe is safely delivered to my friend, who will bring her back to me on July 4 weekend. So the dog problem is resolved. Now I just need to clean my house and sone other last minute chores and..I’m ready! I had a weird experience. My oil light flashed twice, so I thought I should stop and get the oil checked because it might be low. It was bone dry! Where did my oil go and why did the light just today flash twice…and then quit. Did the oil all fall out at once? I have no oil spot where I park my car. Is my light defective? Scared meto death. I I filled it of course. I hope my car wasn’t damaged.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t know how you did that, Ginger. 45o miles and then turn around and drive another 450 miles. .. and with bum knees! It must’ve been tough to drive away, leaving Chloe behind.

      That’s scary about your oil disappearing. Maybe it’s been leaking for some time… When did you check it last? I know you will keep an eye on the oil level… Just what you need right now, eh?

      Well, I’m glad that trip to CA is over. Thanks for keeping us updated on your ongoing saga from NY to AZ to CA to AZ to new knees!

  27. DesertGinger says:

    Oh…I almost forgot…there is a Facebook page for Schoep and John. Schoep, now deceased, was a 19 year old dog with severe arthritis. 18 months ago a photographer snapped a pic of John holding Schoep in his arms in Lake Superior. She posted the pic and they became quite famous. People sent money and John used the money to pay for laser therapy for Schoep. So…two things. John took Schoep in the lake because the cold soothed his pain so much it was the only time he could really relax and sleep. I suspect Spike lives the cold feeling. And two…the laser treatments had amazing results. Schoep totally regained his ability to walk and spent his last year comfy and happy. I don’t knw what it is called but could find out.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I remember hearing about the guy holding his dog in the lake. I don’t think laser treatments are feasible for Spike. I don’t imagine you can walk into any vet’s office and have that done.

    • weather says:

      Ginger,thanks for posting that,I just read the article,how touching!With your appointment on the 10th being so close now and missing Chloe your feelings must be all over the board!Just thought I’d remind you of the MANY years you’ll now spend comfy and happy and congratulate you on all the good moves and decisions you make,hang in there,you’re doing great!

      • DesertGinger says:

        Weather, thank you for your kind comments. Yes, I miss Chloe already, but I thought it would be much nicer for her to be with someone that can give her nice walks. Plus she has a dog and cat to play with. And I am scared; they told us in my class that knee replacement is supposed to be the most painful surgery. And I don’t do well with pain meds. So I’m scared but committed. I will get through the pain and then be much better off. Can’t wait to be able to walk and dance again! I was thinking so much about Spike because I know how he feels…I know the aching and stiffness. But dogs are better than us at being happy even when they have pain, and he has such a nice life! It’s so great Sue is attentive to his health and gives him little walks that e can handle, and takes him to streams where he can soak. I don’t think a dog can et a much better life than the nut cakes have! When I die I want to reincarnate as a nut cake!

        • weather says:

          You need to take into account the length of time you have been living with increasing pain,you have become accustomed to life with it and done everything you needed to PLUS stayed interesting,upbeat and kind enough to be such a great part of this blog.
          This shows that your capacity for enduring pain is greater than you’re giving yourself credit for.They just need to make sure you make arrangements to be relatively inactive afterwards to ensure correct healing,so they emphasize the potential pain!I expect to hear how well it actually went for you soon.I’m sorry you feel scared and wish I could help you focus on your strength,missing Chloe is just feeling the distance your love for each other must travel right now.peace,dear…

  28. DesertGinger says:

    Oh…one more thing! You can make a great ice pack by filling a ziplock with a 1 to 3 ratio of rubbing alcohol and water, then freezing. One part alcohol. If you did this in a gallon zip lock and put in freezer, you could put this down with a towel over and give Spike a helpful cold pack. I’m surviving with ice packs on my knee right now…which is loaded with arthritis.

  29. R. (Western Colorado) says:

    Isn’t this great to see something new, something so beautiful every day?
    Your pictures and words inspire me.

    To confuse you even more with wildflowers those yellow gorgeous flowers are Glacier Lilies which grow in alpine meadows when snow starts melting. There can be whole fields thickly covered in Glacier Lilies. Your reader is also right since these wildflowers can sometimes be called Dogtooth Violet, Adders Tongue, Fawn Lily and Trout Lily. The name used by botanists and park/forest rangers for these wildflowers in alpine meadows is Glacier Lily.
    I agree about small white Springbeauties which are almost first flowers blooming when snow is just melting. They can be white, pink or some colors in between.
    Those white wildflowers with their “feet” wet are Marsh Marigolds. If you take a closer look you can see the buds are blue and soon they open to beautiful big white flowers.
    Enjoy such amazing show designed by Nature.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, R.!

      Thanks to you and Wendy I have the correct flower names to go with the photos in this post. It’s next to impossible to remember the names when one only has seen them in the field guide. I’ll never forget that meadow of yellow flowers called glacier lilies or trout lilies, because I walked among them and took photos of them.

      I love the marsh marigolds! The blooms are arranged perfectly in each mound. In a few weeks they will completely line both sides of the narrow streams. There are large sections of muddy areas where the marsh marigolds grow about six inches apart as if laid out in a grid. I took pics but they didn’t make it into the post. Can’t show everything!

      Yes, it was a delight to find such an “amazing show.” I was expecting to see a brown, muddy field with snow patches and not much more.

      As for the spring beauties, there are just as many of them as the glacier lilies. They don’t show up in photos because they are tiny. You know, finding wildflowers in an alpine meadow was something I used to dream about, and here I am, living that dream!

      Thanks again for the help, R.

  30. Ken Hanson says:

    Great photos Sue. Those are glacier lilies not trout lilies. They appear at the edge of snow melt.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks. I’m glad you like the photos, Ken. Since writing the post I looked up glacier lilies and trout lilies… The scientific name for both is Erythronium. There are several other common names for them, too.

      One thing is certain… They aren’t yellow columbine! Haha!

  31. Applegirl NY says:

    Hi RV Sue, I’ve been reading your blog for months (went all the way back to the beginning, and I look forward to your posts each morning. My husband and I purchased a Casita this spring and plan to use it mostly for winter road-tripping, so your posts are invaluable and fun. Love the mountain meadow this morning. Your recent pics have been especially beautiful with the oncoming spring colors.

    I also appreciate your monthly expense reports. My favorite part of the reports is your recap of your locations. You do get around, and I forget where you’ve been.

    We have two springers, and I can’t get them to come into the trailer. I think they’re afraid of the steps. We’ll work on it.

    Thanks so much for all of your sharing. I love your posts!!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Applegirl NY,

      Welcome to my blog! I’m very happy you wrote us a message this morning. Every time a reader comes out of lurkdom and introduces themselves, it enhances my blog, and it’s fun getting to know each other here!

      Thank you for the compliments on my posts and photos and for reading my blog from the beginning. I also appreciate the positive feedback on the travel synopses included in the money reports. Sometimes they help me, too… I forget where we’ve been . . . and I sure as heck don’t have a clue where we’re going. Haha!

      Congratulations on your new Casita! I hope your canine crew soon gets over their reluctance to use the steps. It is tricky to coordinate four legs on that narrow step. Sometimes Bridget and Spike make a few false attempts before the brain and the legs are in sync.

      I love NY apples, especially MacIntosh and Cortlands. Don’t see them much in the South and the West . . . Nice hearing from you!

      • R. (Western Colorado) says:

        Did you say Cortland? How I wish I could find an apple orchard here in CO and pick them. My husband and I used to pick them in Applejack Orchard in Peru, NY. So my plan is when I’m in the Adirondacks in October I’m going to pick a whole bushel or maybe ten. Thy are the best tasting juicy apples and when I found them once in my local store here in CO they were price at $2.49 per pound but they came from NY. Anyway, $2.49 that’s definitely more than I ever want to pay for 2 apples. You know there are many apple orchard here in our area of CO and when I called last year and asked if they have Cortland they didn’t even know about them. So I’m going to the Adirondacks. You want some Cortland apples?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Do I want some Cortland apples… YES!!! When I lived in NY I bought them by the bushel. The stores in the South and West are flooded with these New Zealand apples.. braeburn and gala. Boring. Fuji from Japan are just as bad. Delicious apples are anything but… bland and mealy. The best apples in the world are Cortlands, developed in NY and grown in NY. A close second are MacIntosh . ..

          • Ed says:

            The Fuji apple is an apple hybrid developed by growers at the Tohoku Research Station in Fujisaki, Aomori, Japan, in the late 1930s. It originated as a cross between two American apple varieties—the Red Delicious and old Virginia Ralls Genet (sometimes cited as “Rawls Jennet”) apples.

            I did a train tour through that northern part of Honshu which is a very large apple growing region in Japan.

            I think most Fuji apples that are available in the US are now grown in the US with most of the imports coming from Chile, few are imported from Japan. I am a big fan of Fuji’s and don’t care for McIntosh.

            • R. (Western Colorado) says:

              From my own experience I know that ANY apples bought in any supermarket never taste as heavenly like those you pick with your own hands at an apple orchard. The same goes for blueberries, cherries, strawberries.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Ed . . . . Have you had a MacIntosh fresh from the tree? They don’t “travel” well. Have you had a Cortland?

              I can’t believe anyone would prefer a Fuji. I suppose it’s possible . . . 😉 The first time I bit into one, I thought … You gotta’ be kidding.

            • Applegirl NY says:

              Cortlands are the best.Perfecty white flesh, super crisp and sweet. We have an apple orchard 1 mile from our house. The trick with Cortlands and Macs is that they are best right off the tree. If you don’t eat them right away they taste like supermarket apples. NY apples are great! Warm days and cold nights.

            • Geri Moore says:

              Do you remember that little apple orchard on the way to Zion from your campsite? Those were Fuji Apples!

          • DesertGinger says:

            Well, in the West we have Pink Lady. If you haven’t tried it, you haven’t lived. They usually have them all over the west…grown in Washington.

  32. Susan (MO Ozarks) Smith says:

    Sue, thought I would put our whereabouts in the name frame..later will take out my last name..
    You do a nice job with your income/expense breakdown…enjoy seeing how reasonable ($) fulltime RVing can be. Also the list of items purchased from Amazon l at the end of your daily entry intrigues me..can’t help but click on them to see what I “need.”
    Thanks for all the information you give us! Travel routes, finances, photography, flora/fauna!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Susan. I try to present a little something for everyone. Re: the list of links of Amazon purchases… I, too, enjoy seeing what people order (of course, I don’t see who orders what). I’ve seen products that I didn’t know existed.

      Thanks for the compliment on my money reports. It’s a pretty rudimentary format in this age of spreadsheets and budget software, but it works for me.

      I appreciate it when readers put their location. It makes readers seem more real and then when they write about their weather or any statement containing the word “here,” I and others get a better picture, rather than being frustrated wondering where “here” is.

  33. R. (Western Colorado) says:

    Thank you for posting your April budget and expenses. These are very inspiring numbers. Don’t you feel lucky to have so many Amazon shoppers?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, R. Yes, I am very fortunate that my readers shop Amazon here!

  34. Willow (AZ) says:

    Your blog pictures are beautiful, I can almost feel the the chill in the air in the meadow.
    It feels pretty good after these past 107 degree days we’re experiencing here. Lol. I still love Arizona though even in the heat.
    It warms my heart to hear of all the love and kindness your readers share about their animals. Mine have always brought me great joy and even the ones that are just a sweet memory are forever in my heart. My children and I still laugh about the antics of ‘The Boo’ a terrier mix, who has been gone twenty years.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Willow…. I know what you mean about remembering The Boo. We had a dog named Sparky for many years who was quite memorable, too.

  35. zil says:

    Thank you for all the photos!
    And for this chance to impart my useless knowledge. That spill way is known as a triangle weir. Used to measure water flow. The height of the water behind the weir gives a very accurate rate of flow.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Not useless information… far from it, zil! I like learning the correct terms for what I come across in my travels and report here. Thank you.

  36. WTXCal says:

    I have to throw in my 2 cents worth on the subject of fleas and tics on animals. Give your puppies 1/8 tsp. Garlic (minced) with there food once a day. It will take 2-3 weeks to build in their systems. No more fleas or tics! Those little suckers, excuse the pun, don’t like garlic. Dogs love it with their food. Any vets reading this won’t like me cause they can’t sell their overpriced preventatives! Give it a try. Happy travels.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, WTXCal,

      Fortunately the crew doesn’t need it as they haven’t picked up a flea or tic going on 3 years. I can’t explain why. It’s true though. They had plenty of both when we lived in Georgia.

  37. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Garlic is controversial. Some say it is like onions….toxic to dogs and cats!

    • R. (Western Colorado) says:

      That’s what my neighbor says as well. The same neighbor used to eat lots of garlic, it suppose to be good for your health but she smelled bad every time she opened her mouth.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Also, R., garlic is good for you if you wear it around your neck or hang it above your front door. 😉

    • Ed says:

      I’m sure there is controversy about garlic for dogs and it is like onions which CAN be toxic. A complete article can be read by searching for “Natural Dog Health Remedies”. Here is a summary of what is said about garlic.

      However, recently, the safety of garlic on dogs (and cats) has come under close scrutiny due to its properties as a member of the Allium genus, a branch of the lily family, along with onions and shallots. A compound found in onions (and in lesser amount in garlic) called n-propyldisulfide can, in large doses, cause oxidative damage to red blood cells, creating Heinz bodies and triggering the body to reject these cells from the bloodstream. If large doses of this compound are ingested on a regular basis, the process can lead to Heinz-body anemia and even death.

      Does that mean garlic is unsafe for dogs? Not quite. The key to safe use of garlic on dogs is the dosage level and frequency of use. For a dog to develop Heinz-body anemia, he would have to eat over 0.5% of his body weight in onions to even begin the oxidative process. It means a healthy 60-pound dog would have to eat a whole 5-oz onion, or several cloves of garlic, to start the Heinz-body process. Since red blood cells are constantly regenerated from the bone marrow, a dog would likely need to ingest this much amount of onion or garlic on a repeated basis to cause permanent harm.

      I would not suggest this is the same as Water Intoxication (drinking too much water) which can kill a person but I think the same principle applies – all things in moderation.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Cornell University College of Vet Medicine:


        Description Clinical signs have been reported in dogs and cats that ingested ALLIUM spp. (onions, garlic, chives). Anemia might not develop until a few days after ALLIUM consumption.

        Species Canine, Feline

        Signs Abnormal breath odor, Anorexia, Ataxia, Colic, Diarrhea, Dullness, Dysmetria, Dyspnea, Exercise intolerance, Generalized weakness, Hematuria, Hemoglobinuria or myoglobinuria, Hepatosplenomegaly, Icterus, Increased respiratory rate, Pain on external abdominal pressure, Pale, Polydipsia, Red or brown urine, Seizures or syncope, Tachycardia, Vomiting or regurgitation.

  38. Robert says:

    WOW im like a 120th……………yey for me!

    Have fun kiddo

  39. AnnieB says:

    Love that picture of the nut cakes at Rialto Beach! Sue, a large part of the reason I read your blog is the charming way your portray your dogs, and the way you love them too. Kudos to you!

  40. Lana in Phoenix says:

    Hi, RVSue! Love your blog and love your lifestyle! I usually read a couple of days behind your posts as I enjoy reading the comments and replys almost as much as I like reading your posts, and don’t want to miss any. I don’t know what the last couple of posts were about so this comment is probably off topic. Having only seen Casita floor plans on their website, I have often wondered how you live in the tiny Casita without going “stir crazy.” On my way home from work, I drive by several RV sales lots and yesterday I saw a Casita for sale on one of the lots. Today I just had to see it, and I must admit, I was amazed at how much room there is in the Casita. It was the Liberty model. After a lot of research (and knowing my personality) I believe that the Class C model is my choice of RV, but the amount of room in a Casita would definitely work for me!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lana,

      Every time I hear someone (especially a woman) is going to purchase a Class C , I flinch. Here’s why. .

      Imagine yourself camped at Lower Gray Canyon Campground where the crew and I camped recently. That’s the campground along the Green River in Utah, where there was a beach and rock monuments all around. Do you remember how the crew and I went to San Rafael Bridge in the PTV to see the pictographs? Our frequent trips into the town of Green River? Our drive up the Lower Gray Canyon? If I were camping in a Class C, I wouldn’t have done those things.

      Remember when we went to Hovenweep? Our camp was west of Bluff, UT. I wouldn’t have gone if I had to drive a Class C out there, and not only because of the cost of gas.

      If I were driving a Class C, when I found a boondock and set up camp, I wouldn’t be inclined to go anywhere non-essential, like our recent wanderings to the reservoir down the mountain or to the alpine meadow up the mountain.

      How do you “hold” a dispersed camped site? Leaving a camp chair sitting in your site (like Class C people do in campgrounds when they leave for the day) isn’t always going to work. It would look like the chair was forgotten.

      Lana…I don’t know if you plan to full-time, so what I write here may not apply to you. Many people have Class Cs and are very happy with them. Your statement “Love your lifestyle” prompted me to write this because a Class C will result in a lifestyle different that mine. You’ve done a lot of research. Maybe you know that already and a Class C will still work perfectly for you.

      For anyone reading this, my message is simple — If you invest in a Class C for your full-time vagabond life, do not expect to live the way I do. Your choice of rig will influence where you go (and don’t go).

      Thanks, Lana, for opening up an opportunity for me to make this point.

      • Ed says:

        I live full time in a Class C and totally agree with Sue’s statement “If you invest in a Class C for your full-time vagabond life, do not expect to live the way I [Sue] do”.
        I will go even a bit farther than that and say if you invest in a Casita for your full-time life, do not expect to live the way Sue does. Everyone lives their life differently.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You’re correct, Ed. However, if one intends to live a lifestyle SIMILAR to mine, the choice of a Class C puts one into a different lifestyle from the get-go.

          In general there is no right or wrong way to RV. If there is a right way, it is the way that is right for the individual. . . and that’s where the choice of rig is paramount.

          • Crystal says:

            I’m commenting on this late in the game, but wanted to add my two cents. My mom owned a Class C because she didn’t want to pull a trailer. It really inhibited what we could do. It was fine and great while on the road, but we couldn’t go anywhere or do anything after arriving at camp. We ended up bringing a second vehicle or renting a car, which turned out to be a big pain. Later on, the maintenance on another engine became a pain. If you drive it every other day it’s much easier to maintain than if you drive it monthly or less…and that became her problem.

  41. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Well said!

    Having had a class C….because we thought that’s what we wanted….we found ourselves “stuck to the house”. No sightseeing, dragging it to the store etc.

    After traveling cross country, with three cats and a dog…we didn’t wait to put it in “park” before that for sale sign went up! We didn’t see any part of the US except for the highway and where we stopped to sleep!

    Hindsight is 20/20….we’re now hooked on a trailer. Everyone has their own reasons and needs.

    It works for some……it didn’t work for us!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Your experience confirms what I’ve concluded from my observations of where Class C’s go and where they don’t.

      They are very appealing (cute, homey, the so-called, erroneous “quick get-away,” etc.) while sitting in the lot — much more so than a Casita, for instance — but it is function that matters most when living full-time on the road.

      One needs to ask and reflect carefully, “How do I want my rig to function for me?” If a Class C gives you the lifestyle you want, great. Just know what that lifestyle will be, including its limitations.

      • Lana in Phoenix says:

        Thanks for the replys – really appreciate it. I have a Honda CRV (paid for!) and I had planned on towing it with tha Class C. However, the thought of having to maintain two engines doesn’t appeal to me a lot. I will start exploring other options again. I have time before I can hit the road!

        • Cinandjules (NY) says:

          Insurance, registration, reduced gas mileage while towing…

          On the flip side…people have “toads” on their 40 foot luxury class A’s.

          At least you’re planning ahead. There are pros and cons to everything…whatever fits your lifestyle. Go for it!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You’re a smart one, Lana. Two engines and 10 tires (not counting spares) are something to consider carefully.

  42. JodeeinSoCal says:

    Just getting caught up with you after a week away in Lake County. The drought in CA is bad and yet the meadow flowers still find their way to bloom in late May/early June here as well. They all seem so delicate to fight through the harshness of both snow and dry, cracked earth! Looks like you and the crew are enjoying your new spot with perfect weather.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I was thinking the same thing about delicate flowers, Jodee, just the other day. I see them growing in the harsh conditions. They aren’t as fragile as they look.

  43. Jolene/Iowa says:

    RvSue, You are so right about the rig you have. Although I am not out fulltiming, I did live fulltime in an RV in an RV park for 6 years. I can’t imagine traveling some of the places you have been going towing the 37 1/2′ fifth wheel that we lived in. We could have still unhooked it and went but it sure wouldn’t be easy to travel some of those mountain roads towing that big of a rig. I can also share that during the time I lived in this one RV park for 6 years, I also worked there for them. We would have people call us with RV’s bigger than our park could handle. So that is a consideration also for people considering this lifestyle.

    Now Sue, as I am reading your past blog posts, (up to July 2012 now) something occurred to me, the fisherwoman. I would have an expense that some other people wouldn’t, I would have to buy an out of state fishing license for just about every state I traveled through because there is no way I could be camped by these beautiful fishing lakes and rivers and not fish. I have traveled a few times to Colorado and fished up in the Rockies around Estes Park and Grand Lake area and discovered it is actually almost cheaper to buy it by the year than to just get a few days. You also never know if during that year, especially if you are out on the road full time that you won’t get back there again during that year. I guess that would depend on how that state does their license, whether it starts in January each year of from when you buy it. Just another thing for people like me who love to fish to consider.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You make some important points about rigs, Jolene.

      I’m glad you brought up fishing licenses. Wannabes can look at how I spend my money and then use that as a springboard for figuring out how much they will spend. For instance, someone like yourself would have to add on the cost of fishing licenses.

      As a full-timer, you may find that you like concentrating on one state for most of a year. Fish all over the state. One could happily explore Utah for a year (minus three months to go to a warmer place in winter) and it would provide enough variety, spectacular scenery, different elevations for different air temperatures, fishing spots, etc. The next year do AZ and OR… and so on.

      That’s what’s great about living in a home-on-wheels… flexibility! You can work out a pace and a plan that suits you perfectly.

  44. Linda says:

    Love that portrait of faithful Spike and the soulful Bridget.

  45. Jolene/Iowa says:

    I just love this place and I love your dogs! Who cares if Bridget is pudgy, and if Spike likes mud! This is their life and they are living and enjoying it with you taking great care of them!

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