Photo Essay: Boondock on the Big Wood River, Idaho!

Sunday, August 16 – Tuesday, August 18

Bridget, Reggie, and I leave Murdock Campground.  It’s time to go boondocking!

P1060753Big Wood River in Sawtooth National Forest, north of Ketchum, Idaho

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P1060742The forest road from Route 75 to our boondock

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P1060746An unoccupied trailer (above) holds a spot for the owner’s next visit to the river

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P1060767 - CopyWe cross a dry river bed to our new camp!

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P1060768 - CopyAnother claim.  This one next to a small beach.  No one there during the week.

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P1060759 - CopyOur campsite (photo taken from the river bank)

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P1060775A picturesque reading room and the crew’s playroom

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P1060758 - CopyEarly morning sunlight on the river at our camp

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P1060756 - CopyReggie’s first duty of the day:  patrolling the campsite!

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P1060761 - CopyDownstream from our camp

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P1060749Late afternoon walk (photo taken before forest fire smoke arrived)

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P1060747Fragile grassland, verdant riverside, majestic mountains

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P1060764 - CopyThe smoky view from the beach (photo taken the next day)

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P1060766 - CopyThe  mountains farthest away to the north (at left in photo) are completely obscured.

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P1060745The morning the crew and I leave this beautiful place, nothing but smoke is visible beyond the line of green trees (photo taken previously).

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P1060755 - CopyA brief, relaxing, and memorable camp along the Big Wood River!

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Next post:

The crew and I make a dash for cleaner air and we meet an interesting person along the way!

rvsue

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P1060743-001On Sunday the owner of this tent invited us to camp here.  He was leaving and planning to return mid-week.  Staking claim to a campsite is common practice.

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127 Responses to Photo Essay: Boondock on the Big Wood River, Idaho!

  1. Cat Lady on the road in Westminster, CO says:

    Good a.m., Sue and Crew.

  2. So people just leave their trailers out in the middle of nowhere. That’s trusting! And kind of cheeky no? I love the riverside campsite though. Beautiful, too bad about the forest fires…… It is dry out there. Stay safe!

  3. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    Morning!

  4. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    TeeHee I am number 3! Now I will write you!

    Don’t know if you have heard–they are bringing in volunteers and also folks from Australia and New Zealand to help fight the fires at the point. My niece Mimi is an EMT in Bend and has been working round the clock. STAY SAFE.

    Just want to send hugs from Hoquiam. I am worn out-lost another of our support group last night and I am worn out. Too sad.

    Love the sight of the river. I am ready to just bolt.

    Hugs,
    Barb

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m sorry for your sadness, Barb. A loss like that must drain you.

      It’s a pleasure to share the river with you.

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      No idea what your support group is, Barb, but so sorry you lost someone significant to you!! I have not found many in life to be a support…they are precious indeed!!

      • Barb from Hoquiam! says:

        Thank you Elizabeth,
        I am a brain injury survivor and lead the group in Grays Harbor County. This is the third member of our group who has passed away.
        🙁
        Thank you again,
        Barb

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      So sorry for your loss, Barb. Take good care of yourself – sending you a hug.

  5. Alice says:

    You are quite the photographer! Looks so nice. Still really hot down here can hardly get to work on the rv. Be safe, those fires look very scary. Pray for rain. Glad the kids are good.

  6. Tina says:

    Good Morning Sue 🙂

    I was close to being first. That looks like a great place to camp.

    Tina
    Northern CA

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Tina. In many ways that was a great camp. There were drawbacks… mostly too many people, in and around that area. I was warned it turns into a party-place on Saturday nights. No chance of us being there then!

  7. K&B in Colorado says:

    Smoke haze has invaded northern Colorado. In the past few days, I cannot see the foothills 3 miles from my home. There are no significant fires in Colorado, I think all this haze is coming from the west coast states. It may be a reasonable drive to where the air quality is acceptable, but it may be a long drive to get away from the smoke haze.

    Take care, Kevin

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kevin,

      It is surprising to me how far the smoke from these fires has spread. You’re right. We couldn’t completely run away from the smoke. We are out of the worst of it. Now we wait for wind and rain to clear up the rest. Hope your foothills reappear soon!

  8. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Good morning Sue, You and the crew found a lovely campsite along the Big Wood River.
    It is a real shame the fires and smoke are making you move so quickly. This camp looked so peaceful and inviting. Is Bridget still doing okay? Of course, Reggie will be Reggie, the early morning explorer. I can relate to that. Angel wants to walk further and further each morning. 3 days a week that is nixed due to my exercise classes, so we
    do our longer walk at dusk on those days. My little social butterfly has forced me to meet a lot of neighbors that I didn’t know before. Of course, I just love meeting folks as soon as I get out of bed!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Barabara,

      Bridget is fine. Nice of you to ask. We returned from a walk a few minutes ago and she kept up with Reggie and me.

      A dog will give you a lot of acquaintances! Angel sounds like such a sweetheart.

  9. John Hussey says:

    On my bucket list is to one day visit the cemetery at Ketchum, Idaho, and pay my respects to Ernest Hemingway, who is buried there. And, to think, you could do it today, if you just knew he was there. If you get the chance, go there, and share with us all a photo or two of his grave-site. He is one of my favorite authors. I read “The Old Man and the Sea” first as a pre-teen and I am 72 now and I still remember the novel to this day. He was a powerful writer and a famous American.

    Go and visit if you can.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John,

      The crew and I left the Ketchum area last Wednesday. You may not be aware that while we were there Hemingway’s house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

      Certain books read early in life have such an impact that they stay with us always.

      “If you just knew he was there…” You must think I’m totally clueless! Ha!

      As for visiting his home or grave, I have zero interest. Not because I don’t admire his works . . . If he (or any other celebrity, for that matter), were having a book-signing or meet-and-greet a mile away, I wouldn’t attend. I don’t understand celebrity.

      Probably maddening for you to read that when I was right there! 🙂

      • John Hussey says:

        Maddening, with a smiley face, no, just disappointed.

      • edlfrey says:

        I agree and disagree.

        I would not go out of my way to visit the grave of any celebrity/famous person. I have been in Ketchum and had no interest in hunting for, nor visiting, Hemingway’s house or grave.

        I will, and have, made an effort to meet a couple of authors that I have enjoyed reading.

        Stopped in Archer City, TX and went through the used books store that was owned by Larry McMurtry. He was also in town that same day but I did not meet him.

        Went to a book promotion talk by J. A . Jance where I did get to meet her and talk for a few minutes.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Well, Ed, it’s like this. . . .

          You’re closer to normal than I am. Neither of us are quite there though. . .

        • Val R. Lakefield On says:

          Always enjoyed reading books by Larry McMurtry.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Me, too!

            • Elizabeth in WA says:

              Reading books is one thing and meeting the authors another…I am also in the camp of not meeting authors. But a few times I have written to one. She, wrote the most comforting book I ever read after the drunk driver took out my brother. It is called Song For Sarah. Lovely book. She wrote me the nicest note which I still have…spoke so much in a few words.

      • Suzette says:

        I hear you, Sue. I did tour Hemmingway’s home in Key West. Mostly to see the cats! 🙂 I live in a Memphis suburb, and recently when BB King died, there was a big parade and celebration of his life downtown. Everybody was all abuzz and taking off work. When asked if I was going, I replied, “No…we weren’t close.” I got the strangest response. I think I lost some standing in our little crowd. Celebrity is a strange beast, indeed.

        • Pamela K says:

          I lived in Germantown for three years. Went to visit Beale St once and saw Rufus play, purely by accident. Never went to Sun Records or Graceland, had no interest to me. I loved wadding in the Mississippi River scale at Mud Island with the kids though 🙂 That was fun, and floating toy boats down the river scale. Much more my speed and my interests 🙂 Cruised on the Memphis Belle once, that was nice. I liked Greater Memphis.

      • Pookieboy in SE Texas says:

        I couldnt agree with you more, Sue…..
        great pictures and looking forward to your
        next post…..
        chuck

    • Jenny Johnson Manuel says:

      Hemmingway’s memorial in Sun Valley is very interesting – A plaque which reads “Best of all, He loved the fall” as the leaves from the cottonwood trees come floating down the river — It was very thought provoking and quite interesting – no fan fare

  10. weather says:

    Thank you,Sue, for the additional pictures of that area,when you posted a bit about it before I had so hoped that you had at least “just one more…”. The one with morning’s sunlight and the one with the van parked show exactly what I’d expected one could find there-like a visible blending of earth and heaven.To me,ordinarily mountains overwhelm a place with their proportion and effect on limiting the types of vegetation able to flourish nearby.Those enhance as part of instead.Beautiful photos,wow!I knew you’d capture the place more truly than others on the web had.It’s not your eye for a great shot that allows that ,it’s your seeing more…I often know anyone else at your camp would miss most of what you see,because you experience a place with a unique type of appreciation rather than only being there and using it.

    The chance to be there,brief as it was,was an opportunity you’d have once thought out of your reach.Should you want to return I’m sure you’ll be able to and I’m so pleased for you getting to at that time-before it became completely overtaken by smoke.The crew appeared to be at home and as fit and adorable as usual.I guess they were affected by being with you and not by the problems that were approaching,perfect!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      Thank you for the many compliments in your comment!

      I know what you mean about mountains overwhelming a scene. This area in which we camped is remarkable for the collage of different environments one can view while standing in one spot. . . . from the fragile blades of dry grass to riverside to a background of bold mountainsides.

      Yeah, the crew enjoyed that camp. Bridget liked walking the paths through the tall grass. Reggie liked exploring the river bank.

  11. Shawna says:

    Beautiful spot! Enjoy.

  12. Linda Rose, Muffin, Murphy, Molly & Midgy says:

    This looked like a great spot without the smoke. I appreciate it when you show pictures of the roads. Good reference for me to know whether my little Roadtrek could do it. I’m certainly praying for you to avoid the fires and the smoke.

  13. L.P. n' me says:

    Nice photos of your camp and the area,, to bad about the smoke,,, I see that you got Bridget in a photo with Reggie,,, Have great day you 3 at your next camp spot,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, L. P. n’ me

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Rusty. Our next camp after this one was really nice, too, but in a totally different way. Actually we have made three more camps since this camp at Big Wood River. …. moving away from the smoke.

      Hope you and Lady Piper have a wonderful day!

  14. Terri From Texas says:

    A wooden wine glass?? Interesting purchase! Been out this morning washing the Airstream getting her ready-but hubby was not amused when I picked up the spray nozzle and accidentally sprayed him in the face. OOPS! Anyway, we got her done. Wonderful views of mountain and grass. I hope you manage to outrun the smoke soon! Take care!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Terri,

      I’m guessing the most recent heat wave has passed if you’re outside washing the Airstream. I’m sure it’s a good feeling to have that task taken care of.

      You take care, too!

  15. Terri From Texas says:

    Love that grassland shot!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Terri. I have another grassland shot taken the morning we left which I’ll use to open the next post.

  16. AZ Jim says:

    Those fires are horrible. I saw a active fire map last night on TV and the Northwest is just covered with them. I know you are capable of making the right decisions while the situation is as it is, just be safe…..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Okay, Jim. I appreciate your confidence in me. We are in a safe place.

      I haven’t seen any tv reports of the fires and the online news seems inadequate to me. Mostly I’ve kept track of the fires on the weather and fire websites. I was completely unaware of how fires in the west affect such a large number of people and vast acreage. 12,000 evacuated in California? Where the heck do they go? Not everyone has an RV!

      • edlfrey says:

        If you are dodging fires there are three good web sites for wildfire information: National Interagency Fire Center, Active Fire Mapping Program & InciWeb – Incident Information System. I like the Interagency Fire Center as a first look with the Mapping Program providing a quick map view. The InciWeb site offers a lot more information on a lot more fires and also has Announcements and Closure information.

        As of the 22 August 2015 report from the Fire Center ‘large fires’ are burning in Arizona (2), California (14), Idaho (14), Louisiana (1), Montana (13), New Mexico (2), Oregon (11), Texas (2) & Washington (11). There are no ‘large fires’ in Utah and the Solitude Fire is the only one shown by InciWeb. I think Colorado is the only western state that does not have an Active Fire listed by InciWeb – there and Utah are now the place to be.

  17. kgdan in WA. says:

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful there! Temps are coming down here —feels nice. Still lots of smoke. We continue working on our chores; mainly keeping the weeds at bay while we clean, clean and clean & repair the rental out back. Hoping our son/daughter-in-law will move there when we are done. That will solve many issues for us and will allow us to get on the road as hoped. Peace of mind with them in charge here will make for happier travels for us.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kathy and Gil,

      Having your son and DIL on the premises will allow you to enjoy your travels. Great solution! I’m glad it’s a bit cooler for you as you work around the property.

  18. Chuck Hajek says:

    Great pics as usual! The kids look well. Been watching the fires on TV and hoping you stay safe! We be HOT here in FL. Still not used to this humidity.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chuck,

      Thanks re: the photos and for thinking of us as you watch the news reports.

      You’re not used to Florida humidity? Is it humanly possible? I lived in the South for over 30 years (FL and GA) and I never got used to it!

  19. Wonderful photographs! Not sure if you read my comment yesterday, but my friend Manny, from Monument Valley posted a beautiful but smokey image of some rock formations near his home. They are saying smoke is from Idaho! That is along way for smoke to travel! There are a couple of smaller fires from AZ and NM that might be causing his smoke!
    Be safe! Give a few extra behind the ear scratches to the crew!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, I did see your comments under the previous post. I don’t do Facebook but I can imagine there are photo opportunities galore with smoke in Monument Valley. The smoke makes for vivid sunsets…. always a silver lining, right? 🙂

    • Pookieboy in SE Texas says:

      with a good wind smoke can go a long way as we see
      in the western states….Houston, Tx suffers from smoke
      that comes from Louisiana burning sugar cane fields..
      happens every year and it gets very thick in some areas…
      chuck

  20. Having no idea where you are at present, I would just say you will probably be dealing with smoke until you move south, maybe significantly far south. Just within the last two hours, I heard on Fox News that there are now over 100 fires in the west, mostly Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California. Maybe other states as well. Three firefighters killed within the last 72 hours or so. Military and civilian volunteer assets being brought to the effort.

    Be safe.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ed,

      Thanks for the wish for our safety. I appreciate the update. What a shame to lose more firefighters. They seem to be the “cream of the crop” type people, too.

      As I drove and drove and drove it became apparent that there’s no out-running the smoke. Instead we are where the smoke is not as thick and camped among oxygen-giving, filtering trees.

      • MollyLuvsRoadtrippin says:

        Oxygen giving filtering trees – that is very good advice in your always sound vagabond strategy. I hope you get to settle wherever you are now for a nice spell – the imperative of darting along must make you miss slowly absorbing every inch of beauty your favorite camps have to offer. In putting myself in your Keens, I think I would have made tracks to Utah – I love the beauty of that state and they seem fire free, plus some nice elevations to get out of the heat. I also want to explore NM and see the impact of the drought oasis they are finally enjoying this year. Can’t wait to hear about where you have landed…

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Molly,

          Racing across states is not my style of vagabonding, that’s for sure! Yes, Utah is beautiful in so many ways. I love Utah! New Mexico is interesting, too. It’s been a while since we’ve camped there.

          We have settled and will stay here for two weeks.

  21. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Beautiful photos and site! Too bad about the smoke.

    I can’t believe people just leave their belongings there unattended!

    Have a great day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      People leave all kinds of stuff to hold “their” spot. The woman who owns the van in the photo left a propane cooker under that table. She is very proprietary– Left a pink lounger on the beach and further along stuck a pink, plastic flamingo in the sand. The wood on the beach is her collection.

      While I was there people came to the beach at the river and there’s her stuff spread all over the place. I wonder if she used to jump ahead in the cafeteria line in middle school. Ha!

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Hmm…not sure if I would be comfortable leaving my stuff out like that. Why not put your stuff INSIDE your van?

        Wonder if BadgerRick spied her Coleman stove on top of the pile!

        • L.P. n' me says:

          Or the Propane tank,,,,,,,,,,,, look mommy, there’s a pink skinny bird, can I have it, can I, can I please?????

        • BadgerRickInWis says:

          Your too funny. Yea, I spotted it, I will also admit to a bit of lust for that Westfalia VW camper as well. Those are getting more rare every year and I’ve considered one for my life on the road but I can just imagine having to sit someplace for weeks waiting for parts every time it breaks down. (and I’ve owned several VW’s they WILL break down)

          It just hits me as weird and a bit wrong that people will leave their stuff out to claim a spot like that. Especially in an area that’s known as a “party spot” come Saturday night.

          I mean, you go there to get in touch with nature but then it doesn’t feel wild because every Tom, Dick and Harriet has already parked their rig in every available spot. I realize that these folks are local. But these are still public lands. Other than the authorities are spread too thin to care what gives them the right? In some ways it strikes me as worse than the reservation system in the established campgrounds.

          Just my 2 cents from a long way away and not being familiar with the local customs.

          • Cinandjules (NY) says:

            I don’t get it either…it should be…you have to occupy your rig . It seems to take away from the traveling boondocker.

            Westie eh? You see a lot of them in Berkeley CA.

            VW too bad…I feel in love with the Rialtas back in the day…but VW wouldn’t even work on their engines.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            It is kind of annoying to explore a river bank, come round a curve and find someone’s tent set up on the sandy beach, obviously not being used. I left out a lot of my feelings about this area of Idaho in order not to have a post full of grumbles. However . . . . since you give me an opening here… 🙂

            There are so many people and so many rigs and tents scattered around the landscape that it felt like Disneyworld Meets The Wilderness. If Snow White cruised by on a float with the seven dwarfs gathered ’round her, she wouldn’t have looked out of place!

            That forest road in the photo? When I drove down it looking for a boondock, there were people on bikes, kids running around, cars coming and going. Hey, I thought this was a forest road, not a city park. First chance I could, I began to turn around. That’s when the man with the tent said everyone was leaving and I could have the spot.

            The morning we drove away, cars were heading northward in long streams of traffic, two lanes of it…. and that’s when the smoke was bad. What’s it like in optimum conditions? When I saw a sign, “Recreation crossings next 12 miles” I groaned. I can’t imagine what it is like up at Redfish Lake.

            This growing practice of claiming campsites for future use is making it tough to travel as a boondocker. The locals grab the great spots. The woman with the van, pink flamingo, pink lounger and other belongings spread around ruined the beauty of the beach for other visitors and for photographers.

            I agree with you, Rick. These are public lands. People are overstepping their right to those lands…. Instead of buying a summer home, drop an RV and leave it! I fear it will lead to harassment/more regulations from the forest service.

            • BadgerRickInWis says:

              I’m not sure that “harassment / more regulations would necessarily be a bad things. And they don’t need more regulations, just enforce what’s already on the books. There is a reason that there is a 14 day limit. A natural area can only take so much impact and then it needs time to recover. By keeping a rig parked somewhere of months at a time they beat down the vegetation, compact the dirt and leave the area open to erosion. Especially along a river come the spring melt. Thinking of a beautiful areas being ruined by thoughtless morons thinking they are above reasonable regulations makes my blood boil!

              Of course at the moment I’m sure that every USFS employee has more important things to do just trying to keep everyone alive. Many prayers to the rangers, firefighters, and everyone fighting these blazes. God bless and protect them all.

            • BadgerRickInWis says:

              Sorry about the typos. Guess I can blame it on the boiling blood.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              When I saw this practice in Ashley NF, Utah, and talked with a local about it, he said that people bring their rig to the forest on a Friday and leave it there for 16 days which means they pick it up on a Sunday and have had 3 weekends at that spot. I suspect another convenience for these folks is when they do visit their trailer or fifth wheel, they can use their truck to haul up a trailer load of quads. This is when the big damage occurs. Imagine a fifth wheel, a big diesel truck, a flat bed trailer, the wife’s car, and four quads, all in a campsite. The quads, the flat bed, and the wife’s car are parked on the grass. It isn’t long before the charming, little campsite is a large, dirt (or mud) parking lot.

              It comes down to “ya’ can’t control stupid.” I can look out my window here and see several trees with serious wounds from people chopping on them with axes. I guess it’s more fun to strip the bark off a living tree than chop a log. Up the road a field of wildflowers, not yet gone to seed, was torn up by a quad/OHV that came through here yesterday. Then there’s the toilet paper, beer cans, campfires left glowing, on and on and on. If you think about it too much your blood will boil out of your ears!

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Ugh. People.

  22. Linda Hughes says:

    Beautiful pics in a beautiful place! I check your site daily and love it. We are planning our future of traveling and boondocking in the near future and your site has helped us so much! Thank you for taking time to share your adventures…….they make my day!! Safe travels, God bless!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      And a big thanks to you, Linda, for taking your time to write this cheerful comment. I’m glad my blog has helped you and continues to hold your interest. Have fun planning . . .

      Blessings to you, too!

      • Linda Hughes says:

        Thank you! Your blog of adventures have been my inspiration, your travels have given me insight that travels can be safe and exciting! I am a person that loves solitude and quiet, away from everything….I like people but I like being a loner much better!! Gives me time to enjoy real life! Do you still love what you do as much as when you started? Have a blessed week!!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Yes, I still love it! The only thing that has dampened my enthusiasm has been the loss of privacy due to this blog. I don’t always mention the times I’ve felt it necessary to move camp in order to get away from people cruising past my home, eyes searching, faces grinning. Kinda’ creepy. I don’t think I can enjoy some of my desert camps any more.

          But that’s my problem, not yours! You can find plenty of places to satisfy your yearning for solitude and quiet.

          • Linda Hughes says:

            So sorry for the disturbing by people looking at you and your camp and giving you no privacy……but yes, you are RVSue and your blog is something many of us look forward to reading and looking at your pics….I have read it for a long, long time and never commented until recently. If I see you along the way, will make sure to give you your space and privacy and will pray for you that other’s will do the same. Have a blessed week!!

          • weather says:

            It seems no matter how often or passionately one explains their preferences to maintain a particular amount of privacy ,and why,individuals seem incapable of understanding that their actions -even when taken due to genuine admiration or affection-can in reality be unkind.”Surely a photo,meet up,answer to this one request for some detail I’m curious about,my chance to see them in person-give them something I just know they’ll love or need is alright to ask for or expect-after all ,it’s just me-one special person-one time.”-the nicest people think.And each adds up ,unbeknownst to them,in fact as a series of reasons our life is altered in a way we wouldn’t have to choose if they could only understand-“Yes,I’m sorry -this means even you.I have a valid reason why I need to ask you to keep a distance in certain ways.Not because I couldn’t like or love you as a friend were things different,or that I want to deprive you of the momentary fun of a closer look,etc.This my quality and style of life I’m trying to protect.”

            Having your enthusiasm dampened is an effect I’m sure no one intended or foresaw as their innocent-to-them approach caused it.I’m sorry a cost of becoming well known such as that has become part of your experience,Sue.I hope you will continue to enjoy all of your desert camps!I note that over time people learn to be sensitive to a pet’s small signals,nature’s quiet sounds and soft scents,each others needs and differences

            That capacity may yet bloom into awareness of how a touch through your blog ,photos and replies is enough for them-may the goodness in folks and life go on being a delightful surprise…

            Good morning from another kid trying to keep the wind from blowing off her Pollyanna hat 🙂

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Good morning, weather,

              My actions contradict my need for personal space. I bring this on myself. I want my blog to be popular. I want to share our travels and great camps. I want to help the timid to step out, to see what can be done without a lot of money. I enjoy the connection with people, their ideas, suggestions, feelings, hopes, ups and downs. I like the creative outlet of writing and the positive feedback generously given me in return. My photography is fun because I can share my photos on this blog. I do care for the blogorinos!

              I can’t change who I am, nor do I want to. Even when someone writes they hope our paths cross someday — a friendly, innocent remark — I automatically recoil. When I’m out and about with the crew and I feel someone watching me, I turn and yes, there they are. My reaction isn’t just at that moment. Paranoia is too strong a word, so is self-consciousness. However, a bit of both takes over my mood and cloaks the rest of my day. If it happens more than once in the area of a camp, the effect is longer and I have to pack up and leave in order to feel a secure ring of privacy around me.

              It happened on the Oregon Coast. I stopped to have lunch at a viewing area and got sneaky peeks as I ate my salad. Also at Oak Flat, at Roosevelt Lake, at Ajo, at Painted Rock, at Ogilby Road, at Kofa Wildlife Refuge, and several other places.

              What to do? Like I said before, I’m not going to change. The problem is greatest when camping in the desert because it’s difficult to hide and there is such a large concentration of RVers there during winter. I considered keeping a few places secret, but I know from experience that all it takes is one person to announce it online . . . . The longtime blogorinos understand. The appearance of new readers — for which I’m grateful — makes it necessary for me to harp on and on that, yes, I really do mean No Visitors, No Photos, No Drop-Ins. I suppose I could add No Stalking, No Gawking.

              Oh well, more than enough said on that topic . . . On with the Pollyanna hat, face to the wind! 🙂

              I appreciate you writing a reminder for readers on my behalf. I’m in a Catch-22! I love my readers and am thrilled to “see” them here!

            • weather says:

              thrilled to “see” you,too-may the Catch-22 turn into twenty two times you see the light catch a scene perfect to be taken in wonder by …

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Whenever in the future I think of or hear the term “catch-22,” I’ll remember to catch the Light twenty-two times. 🙂

            • weather says:

              🙂 !

          • Linda Hughes says:

            RVSue, sorry but I have to comment one more time…..I feel bad that people give you little privacy when they realize who you are but, well, you are someone for us to look up to. You are a woman living your dream of freedom and experiencing all of life that you can and I, among others, think that is great. You are helping other’s step out and live theirs, me included. Your blog is great to read and the information is so helpful, thanks again for taking time to talk with us and help us along the way, safe travels to you and the crew!! Do you ever get to Montana? Wondered what that area is like.

  23. Hi, Sue and Crew!
    Love that campsite with your reading room right up close and personal to the river! Such a wonderful way to relax! I’m wondering if the smoke is bothering you at all? Having been near a fire or two like that I know for me the smoke is a coughing fit waiting to happen. I’m hoping all three of you are managing with it and can find a place to call home for a while without the smoke.

    In a little more than a week I’ll finally be moving around with my RV rather than staying stationary! It has been six months in the nasty hot, humid, buggy place called Florida in the summer! Although this is my 4th summer in Florida, it is the first in an RV and all I can say is I’m extremely grateful for air conditioning and bug repellent!!! There’d be no survival for me without either!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deborah,

      No, the smoke didn’t bother me much. I experienced a bit of scratchiness in my throat, coughed a few times, and watery eyes. No smoke smell. We’re in a good place now, none of those symptoms.

      I’m sorry not to know… You’ve commented under this name before. Are you the same person as Deb who makes videos? I know she’s been at an RV park in Florida for a few months. ( I’m not on the admin page to research your names.)

      As for RVing in Florida, I wouldn’t be able to camp the way I like. I’d have to go from electric hookup to electric hookup and stay inside all day.

      Best wishes for the “moving around” you’ll be doing…

      LATER… OOPS… Two different Deborahs… both recently moved into RVs and both in Florida. 🙂

      • Deborah says:

        Yeah, we just want to make sure you’re on your toes!

        My choice would be not to be here in Florida at all but since my mom’s here in a nursing home it seems appropriate to kind of hang out here. At this point I’m happy to get on the road!

  24. Hope you find non-smoky air. Here at Red Rock Lake, on the Montana/Idaho border, we no longer have a red alert for fire but we still have plenty of smoke. This is the 8th day of it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It does get old, doesn’t it, Marilyn. I hope your air clears up soon.

    • Kristi & Daisie says:

      Red Rock Lake? Beautiful Centennial Valley–one of my favorite places on earth. Hope you get up to Elk Lake too while you’re there, Marilyn. 🙂

  25. Val R. Lakefield On says:

    really enjoyed your photo essay, lovely pictures. Hope you can get away from the smoke. So terrible all those fires burning, I can’t help but think of the poor wildlife and sad to hear about firefighters lives being lost.
    Not as humid here in Ontario now, still swimming weather though. Just got back from visiting at the long term care home, now maybe a swim.
    Looking forward to your next post.

  26. Hello Sue and Crew,

    Really like the photo essay today. Looks like a very nice boondocking site, nice reading, relaxing and doggie area. Also good to see that Reggie is taking his duties seriously. 😉 Stay safe up in fire area.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Lisa. I’m glad you liked the photos. I was looking forward to driving up Galena Summit, a popular place for photographers. However, there wasn’t any point in going as the view surely was obscured. Same with Redfish Lake. I think of all the people with reservations at those campgrounds . . . . pffftt!

  27. Elizabeth in WA says:

    How nice you were invited to stay in that spot claimed by another, Sue!! THAT is what a true Idahoan would behave like (not all there in Idaho these days are that way…but the old timers we found back in 1966 when we first arrived there, to be that way…would do ANYTHING for you…nice folks!!) When we moved from CA to Northern Idaho, in a few weeks I felt I had arrived in Heaven!! No lie!! I grieved far worse a year later, when we moved to Southern Idaho (even though I knew that was the plan from day 1) than in leaving CA, where I was born and lived the first 14 years. A place CAN make all the difference in a person’s life. Truly. Glad you were able to get some peace and rest till the smoky air arrived. Today we have it too…argh!! Hope the ocean breezes begin again soon and take it all away!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I agree with you, Elizabeth. Once, when planning a move, I was told that a change in geography will not make my problems go away. That may be true to a certain extent but a fresh start can’t hurt!

      I’m glad you have those memories of good people…

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        There are some special places on earth I think, with some of the nicest folk…and sometimes we will find ourselves in those places…and there are also some just the opposite…so I agree with you in that to an extent wherever you go, your problems go too…still living among some great people sure makes a lot of them go far, far away!! 🙂

  28. DeAnne in TN says:

    Oh why can’t my budget catch up with my dream? This little camper has ME written all over it!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It is cute…..and it’s aqua!!!! It’s fun to dream . . .

      However, when it comes time to make decisions, remember that cute doesn’t serve any necessary function other than possibly to hide deficiencies. (I know, I’m a spoil-sport.)

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        It is a really cute trailer DeAnne. I love it. Good Luck. I didn’t realize until your site that Gulf Stream had made that model.

    • Suzette says:

      Oh, wow! What a cute little rig! I’ve bookmarked that baby.

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      WOW…I hope your dream comes true, DeAnne…very cute indeed!!!

      • DeAnne in TN says:

        Thanks! I still have five more years until I can full-time, so love looking at all possibilities and trying to figure out what is going to be right for me. In my five years of looking, this is the first time I have said, “This looks like something I would enjoy.” My mind may change 50 million times before my turn, but I love a lot of things about this trailer. And, it is cute–I love the floor plan with the dinette on the side.

  29. DeAnne in TN says:

    Help me Sue–I created a website for my name by accident! 🙂

    This is what I meant to publish–my dream camper!

  30. Judy J. in upstate S.C. says:

    We share a mutual love of reading on the river. Even more relaxing: sitting in a chair IN the river. What is it about flowing water that makes us just “let go”?! Hoping you three soon enjoy smokeless/ non-fire areas and you continue to find wonderful books to read. I recently discovered M.C. Beaton, her Agatha Raisin series. They’re mysteries: light/humorous and she’s mischievous…a great combo!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Judy J.,

      I usually do plunk a chair in a stream of river. The only chairs I have are too good for that. My cheap chair fell apart.

  31. This might be a useful website to figure what areas are smoke free. Of course, it will probably change almost hourly.

    http://viewer.smoke.airfire.org/run/standard/PNW-4km/2015082100/

  32. Road 409, just south of Galena Lodge, runs northeast into some nice boondocking areas. Your choice of meadow or forest.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re killin’ me, Al! We had to leave! 🙂

    • edlfrey says:

      Good call Sue – not so good Al.

      About 2,250 residences near Hailey and Ketchum have been evacuated. Ketchum and Sun Valley remain under pre-evacuation warning. At St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center, a 25-bed hospital 2 miles south of Ketchum, patients were evacuated to a Twin Falls care facility and only the emergency room was open. The Beaver Creek Fire has destroyed only two structures but it remains a threat along a 20-mile stretch of Idaho Highway 75, the two-lane road that’s the state’s main north-south artery from the Nevada border to southwest Montana.

  33. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    I love the pictures of this post! My favorites are of the afternoon walk, with Miss Bridge leading the way, and the one under it (fragile grasslands). So many gorgeous textures and layers! Glad that you all were able to enjoy another waterside camp! Reggie and Bridget looked like they were happy to be there! Was the water warm enough to soak in, or at least dip your toes?

    I had an enjoyable day! One of my nephews stopped by this afternoon to introduce me to his girlfriend, help me out with a few chores, and then take us out for a Mexican dinner. His girlfriend is very nice. They are a good fit! Seeing him (and her!) happy and so obviously loved fills my heart with joy! Gracie even approves – she hopped right up onto her lap and smothered her with kisses!

    I hope you all are now in a spot where you can relax for a while. You have to be worn out, traveling so often and far, just to ensure you safety. Sending you and the Crew hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise and Gracie pup,

      How nice of your nephew to come by with his girlfriend and take you out for dinner! And to see him loved by a good person must give you joy. 🙂

      Thank you for commenting on my photos. I’m glad you like them. The water was fine for wading. I could sit on the bank and soak my feet.

      Yes, we are able to relax now. I’ve had enough of long drives for a while.

      Have a good evening!

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:

        Rest.Relax.Read.Explore.Eat.Sleep.Repeat! 🙂

        Hope you have a good evening, too! 🙂

  34. Pamela K says:

    Sue,
    As I was looking at the photos and reading about the places I was so happy for you…then the photos of the smoke came and I knew you and the crew would have to move again and my heart sunk. Such a beautiful place to have to leave it! I know you will find another great spot but that one sure was a dandy, my kind of camp. Sue, you know that your current photos are history-in-the-making, don’t you? All those areas and all that smoke, captures of before and after shots. Really amazing to think about capturing history like that!
    Safe travels to you and the crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pamela K.,

      I didn’t think about recording history. Very cool. I did think that maybe folks in other parts of the country and world might appreciate photos showing what it’s like in the West during a highly active fire season.

      Sweet of you to be happy for us . . . . We’ve already enjoyed more wonderful experiences in beautiful places than many have in a lifetime. Yes, we did find another great spot for which I’m grateful.

      Time for me to edit photos and start writing! I have to time my writing around Reggie’s demands for attention and walks. Bridgie always accommodates my need for time to write. Spike was oblivious, like Reggie. I wonder if it’s a guy thing. 🙂

      Take care, keep cool, be well . . .

  35. RVDebs Journey says:

    Hi Sue and all,
    Well it’s been a while since I posted here… sorry I have been so busy getting it together here and also my my youtube channel is doing great. I have over 1ooo subscribers! Plan is I’m heading out of hot florida between Sept 10th and 15th for Texas. Where I will spend winter and have hernia surgery 🙁
    Sue you are such a pro now it is amazing how you move around so much. I hope I can be as flexible and competent as you someday.
    My truck goes to the shop for tires and checking brakes etc and now my a/c is not cooling like it should Money just goes so fast! It is a worry for sure.
    You do so well with amazon and that sure must help you feel comfortable in that way.
    I can’t wait to camp in the northwest next summer.
    When the 3 dogs attacked Bridget it really scared me…. my two dogs are small and they just have no clue. lol
    hugs and love you you,
    Deb

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I appreciate the update, Deb! It’s fun to read what you’re up to. Congratulations on the continued success of your youtube channel!

      Thanks for the compliments. I can see you doing very well now and into the future. Take care…Good luck getting the truck in tip-top shape.

    • Pookieboy in SE Texas says:

      Hi RVDeb….hate to tell ya its just as hot if not hotter in Texas and the humidity
      is a killer…..but we welcome you to the great state of Texas…
      chuck

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