Photo Essay: Where a spur road leads — Uinta Mountains of northern Utah

Wednesday, July 9

Spike and I come inside from greeting the morning around our camp.  I slide the covers off Bridget.

“What a grumpy face!  Wake up, you sleepy puppy!  It’s time for breakfast and then we’re going on a hike!”

1-DSC05371I don’t feel like moving camp.  We’ll do that tomorrow.  It’s another pretty day, perfect for exploring the forest.  We certainly could use the exercise.

Ashley National Forest is a maze of dirt roads that wind through aspens, sage, and grassy meadows on rolling hills.

1-DSC05396I like to drive very slowly, sometimes not much faster than a walk.  I see more that way.  A spotted fawn bounds ahead of us before turning into the woods.  Rabbits stop, stare, and hop into the bushes.  Chipmunks scurry across the road.

1-DSC05423Wild roses grow alongside the road.

I step out of the Perfect Tow Vehicle with my camera.  Bridget sticks her head out the driver’s window and barks in protest.  Spike doesn’t care.

1-DSC05402“Stop your fussing, Bridget.  Be patient.  You’ll have a chance to get out in a little while.”


The PTV moseys through the aspens into a clearing.

“Oh, what is that?”  A grouse?  There it goes!  It hurries across the road and into the grass and sage on the passenger side of the PTV.  I aim the camera through the open window.

1-DSC05383The quick movement of the bird requires a fast shot, no time for fiddling with lens adjustments!  Its excellent camouflage makes it hard for me to see it in the camera.

In situations like this, I point and shoot and hope for the best. 

There’s another one!

1-DSC05382-001 I watch the two birds disappear in the grass.  Then I flip through my Audubon field guide.  Later I confirm by examining the photos that these are sage grouse.  (Readers, correct me if I’m wrong.)


I park next to a corral made out of cedar posts.

“Okay, you can get out now!”  Bridget hops around, stepping on my hat and my purse,  squealing with delight.  Spike stands up on the bench seat and waits patiently.  I open the side door and the two of them bust out, anxious to explore new territory.

1-DSC05389Rather than one long and tiring hike, I park at the end of spur roads for short hikes.

1-DSC05386This gives the crew a chance to have a drink and a rest between hikes.  Spike can recoup his strength as he rides from one trail to the next.

I love how the crew becomes totally engrossed in the business of reading smells.  They often “work” an area together as a team.  While they explore, I look for photo opportunities!




We’re in an area offering panoramic vistas.  It’s still early morning, about eight o’clock, and the light keeps changing.  I take a few, distant landscape pictures.  Most are too hazy to show here.

1-DSC05379As usual, just as I “live small,” I tend to “see small.”  I soon tire of grand views.

I’m attracted to the little scenes and activities going on around me, like this . . . .

1-DSC05406When I come across nature’s creatures busy at what they are meant to do, I’m reminded of my good fortune to witness them.  One important decision I made about ten years ago led me and the crew to this place.  As I write this, I’ve had close to three wonderful years on the road.  That road takes me where I want to be.

What if I had tossed the idea of living full-time as a vagabond in favor of the perceived security of a stationary home?

What if I didn’t choose this spur road in my life?

1-DSC05405It is my wish to continue saying wholeheartedly, every single day that remains in my allotment of life, “There’s no place I’d rather be than right here, right now!”



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149 Responses to Photo Essay: Where a spur road leads — Uinta Mountains of northern Utah

  1. Linda says:

    Amazing butterfly photo! Amazing grumpy Bridget photo!

  2. It is my wish to be able to say wholeheartedly, every single day that remains in my allotment of life, “There’s no place I’d rather be than right here, right now!”

    Great wish. So my questions are, are you at that point right now? And if not, where would you rather be?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, no… Doesn’t it come across that I am where I want to be right now, because I did take that “spur road” to full-time vagabonding? Of course, I’m where I want to be right now!

      LATER… I edited the post to include these lines — “As I write this, I’ve had close to three wonderful years on the road. That road takes me where I want to be.” Hope that clarifies…

  3. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    What a precious face Bridget!

    Love the butterfly….grouse? I have to go look that one up!

    Enjoy the day….night and your surroundings!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You, too, Cinandjules. . . I hope the storm didn’t cause damage to your property.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        No damage….right now just the power internet cable and phone. They estimate 4 days!

        As long as our family is safe….everything else can be replaced…that’s our motto!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          True, very true… but FOUR days without internet, cable and phone? Mercy!

          • Cinandjules (NY) says:

            Remember that ipad my sister brought up from AZ so I could read your blog while I was in CA?

            I still have it….it has wifi…Verizon same as my cell.

            I’m sure our generator noise is pissing off the people who are getting buckets of water out of the lake to flush their toilets!

  4. kgdan says:

    How beautifully your photos today culminate a very poignant, special morning as we laid to rest my daughter-in-law’s mother early this morning in a traditional Native American ceremony high on a hill overlooking the Yakima valley. Precious spirits abound in your photos and our special day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That does sound like a “very poignant, special morning,” Kathy and Gil. What a beautiful send-off she was given.

  5. weather says:

    Gee whiz,what a great wish that is!! “There’s no place I’d rather be than right here,right now”, literally,my mouth fell open when I read that.Just before I saw that you had a new post,I’d been thinking about how I’ve always felt that I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else’s because of what I see.

    One of the nicest parts of seeing each new post is staring over and over at every photo.I often go back to favorite one’s I’ve bookmarked because they please me so.Gosh,that list has gotten long.

    That’s probably why Spike,more content lately to “just be”,would appear to be “letting go of this earth”. You’ve finally proven to him that he can always have what he needs to enjoy life.So now he’s relaxed enough to be casual about everything.

    The light changing is so obvious when your amid the beauty nature displays,hope you three enjoy it all- right now!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Happy and content in the life one leads is priceless. I spent too many years of my life wishing I were somewhere else, living a different life.

      Interesting about Spike… I also think that he, like most of us older folks, has come to a place where he’s not striving and seeking any more, rather he’s “happy and content in the life” he leads. Bless the sweet little guy. I love him so much!

      BTW, I finally did see your last comment under the previous post and replied to it, the comment relating to preparations for the storm. I can imagine your property is quite beautiful as you described it.

      I’m pleased you get enjoyment from my photos.

      • weather says:

        Having always seen pictures in nature,the grouse photos reminding you of old tapestries, being led to make so many choices designed to give you the priceless… that kind of vision,ever inside you ,found it’s expression by making you the creature busy at what you were meant to do.It’s my good fortune to witness you.

        Loving the crew so much makes you appreciate everything more,doesn’t it?As you can imagine this property is quite beautiful,yet without my troupe it wouldn’t be home to me.

        As you may not see this until tomorrow, instead of referencing a segment of time,I’ll just wish you good now.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I agree with you, weather, about what makes a home. My life revolves around the nutcakes, from the moment I awake to the moment I fall asleep every day. If I had nothing more than a shelter made of pine boughs, if the crew were with me, it would be home.

          Wishing you good, too. 🙂

          • weather says:

            That very realization,that nothing more than shelter to enclose those I love with me,had ever been a factor during the times I had felt at home in this world,is what first made me aware that an RV,anywhere,was more suited to my future than remaining here long.

            It seems that all but the birds and I are sleeping around here at the moment.Knowing most close by residents are really only at peace while asleep,I’m taken by the gift of being happiest fully awake.Smiling,morning light,coffee in hand,a day filled with options-ahhh

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              “only at peace while asleep”…. and maybe not even then! 🙁 How very different to be as your last line describes.

  6. Pleinguy says:

    I have to agree about appreciating the small views. It is wonderful to see the little things that many miss while searching for the big picture. Thanks for sharing.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Pleinguy. I’m not surprised — you being such an accomplished painter — that you appreciate “the little things.”

  7. Sure is great way to enjoy retirement, if you ask me:) Beautiful butterfly photos:)

  8. Teri in SoCal says:

    22nd!!!! (?)

    Just throwing that out there, because I can’t seem to read the post and get here quickly enough to be 1st. And being somewhere in the middle is ok, as long as I get to read about your travels and enjoy your photos.

    That butterfly is gorgeous, amazing color on it’s wings. I’m with you about the “see small” way of enjoying your surroundings.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi,Teri. . . Glad you like the photos. On my honor, the color you see in those butterfly wings is true to life. I don’t like to “enhance” my photos with color boosting and some of the other unrealistic photo editing techniques one often sees on the internet.

      • Teri in SoCal says:

        Oh I know you don’t enhance your photos! I think that’s why that butterfly is so amazing to me.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          What I did with those photos was crop them to improve composition and to bring them closer. I have my camera set on “vivid”, rather than natural, in order to compensate for the many times I take pics in bright sun which tends to bleed out the color. I do use a bit of color saturation in editing sometimes, and I did with the butterfly pics, again to bring the color back to reality (as the light washed it out). I try to keep my photos real, avoiding over-enhancing them.

  9. Susan in Dallas says:

    Oh my goodness, that blue/purple butterfly on the white flowers -how beautiful! For sure, big isn’t always better. Bridget’s expressions always make me laugh. I think she gave you the “stink eye” 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Susan . . . . I’ve never seen a living thing as slow as Little Miss Stink Eye is in getting up in the morning. She loves to stay under the covers and doze in the morning for as long as she can get away with it. Spike, on the other hand, opens his eyes and springs into action! Usually what gets Bridget out of bed is her breakfast plate placed on the floor.

      • Susan in Dallas says:

        LOL, Bridget would be a perfect dog for me – sounds like she is my “fur double”.

      • DesertGinger says:

        I used to be total sludge in the morning. Strangely, after I gave up caffeine I rise more easily. Plus the light down here in the sunbelt helps pull me out. On a rainy morning I can happily snooze and snuggle till noon.

  10. Pam says:

    Wonderful butterfly pics. Looking forward to more of your adventures on the road. Travel safe.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Pam. I sense you wish we’d “get a move on!” LOL!

      • Pam says:

        no, I too like to just sit some days and enjoy the view, its amazing what you can see if you just sit.

  11. DesertGinger says:

    Oh my gosh what lovely photos! The aspens are so ghostly and elegant against the bright green. And I love those small, white with pale lavender hue flowers. And that butterfly is almost most too much contrast. I doubt that something so bright can live long in nature, but isn’t it beautiful.

    I also wanted to take a moment to say how very moved I was by the wonderful comments and love and concern expressed by all the blogorinos. I felt like I had usurped your blog there yesterday, but I cannot deny how much I enjoyed the attention and care! I had one phone call from my son, and none from my brothers or other family throughout my ordeal, and only my friend Tabby and two others have reached out to me, so I have felt rather alone. But no, I have a wonderful family online! Thank you all so very much. Too many of you to mention by name, but each of you warmed my heart.

    Please don’t let me monopolize the blog again but just know that each of your messages was treasured. So happy I found this lovely blog with Sue’s wonderful, humorous writing, great photos and amazing family of blogorinos. And the nut cakes, of course. I do notice that Spike gets more grey every day, but he does look so content. You have given him a wonderful life Sue.

    Love to all!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Ginger… You did not monopolize my blog. I was happy to see the blogorinos welcoming you back here and wishing you well. I have all the room I need in the blog post section. The comments section is for you and your fellow readers (and, of course, I have to put in my 2-cents, too!). Never hesitate to comment. You always add good things to my blog by your sweet presence.

      Family can be very inconsiderate and disappointing. I’m sorry your family didn’t give the support you deserve during such a difficult time. Thank heaven for your friend, Tabby!

      I’m happy my photos entertained you. I’ve heard some colors, although bright, protect a small critter because the color is associated with a bad taste by predators. I don’t know if that’s true with the color blue.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Blogorinos always take care of each other…that’s what we do!

        RVSue and the crew’s blog is soothing and heartwarming. I’ve been in your shoes and always end up smiling.

        We are one happy Ohana!

        • Applegirl NY says:

          Hi Cinandjules (NY), What lake are you on? We have a little place in the ADK’s.

          • Cinandjules (NY) says:

            Brantingham it’s near Old Forge. You?

            • Applegirl NY says:

              Charlie Lake between Wells and Speculator. I love the Old Forge/Inlet area. Love these mountains.

            • Applegirl NY says:

              It’s actually Charley Lake. Is there any way to edit our posts? My goodness, I always notice the typos after I hit the button.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Unfortunately, no, readers can’t edit their comments. I can though and often do. Since you’ve mentioned your typo, I’ll leave the first spelling alone.

            • R. (Western Colorado) says:

              I thought that was Cortland Lake. LOL!
              My husband and I used to live in Lake Placid for many years. Got married on our property at the cabin. Loved those mountains and all hiking trails. I’m heading to the Adirondacks in September. For other readers, ADK = Adirondacks

            • R. (Western Colorado) says:

              Cinandjules and Applegirl, I apologize for adding my 2 cents. You did not ask. Sorry

            • Cinandjules (NY) says:


              I hear Lake Placid is beautiful. That’s a ways from here. One day we’ll venture up there.

              I absolutely fell in love with the ADK’s. Jules was born here.

              Enjoy your trip back…

            • Mick'nTN says:

              Hi Applegirl, Look what I found in my T-shirt collection.


            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Yeah, the t-shirt’s great. (Hey, blogorinos! Click the link and scroll down to see a little pic of Mick!)

            • Applegirl NY says:

              Mick’nTN – That shirt is so cool. Our place is two miles from the loop on the map.

              R. I can’t wait to visit Colorado sometime. On our list. We’re up in the Lake Placid area often, as we like to hike the High Peaks and surrounding area. Beautiful. It’s amazing how many kinds of natural beauty there are in this world.

    • weather says:

      Hi Ginger,
      You know.I went back and forth ,reading this comment and the one on the last post(about kindness) as I considered how to reply here.

      Sad for your hopes that your family would reach out to you having been dashed,I wanted to give you more of the consolation you’d felt in being welcomed back here.

      Family is a word we use to describe a concept often longed for yet seldom found in our lives.To be the offspring of parents held in common is far from a guaranty of that concept.

      It’s thoughtfulness,not kindness(treating you as though you are kin) that you needed.People offering kindness give whatever’s at hand to you,whether it will help you or not,and while they feel better for having done that,it’s unlikely to improve anything.

      The understanding on purpose,and- directed specifically to you- love, you receive here is fellowship.Being recognized for who you are and appreciated for it,included because of that, as you love us simultaneously ,is what you missed.

      We cannot feel someone else love us.We can surmise by their behavior that they do or don’t.We can only feel ourselves loving them.You felt that when you returned here,thank you for feeling that about us.

      • DesertGinger says:

        Such a good point Weather; you are correct….I did feel love. The people that come here and stick share my values….love of a simple, meaningful life, love of the world around us, interest and joy in their fellow humans and in the animal world. As I get older I understand ever more deeply that being happy is a choice, made very deliberately, to embrace all the simple blessings of my day and to be grateful for my opportunity to experience this beautiful life.

        Such a friendly, fun-loving and independent group we are! I am so fortunate to have found this place and all of you.

  12. Jean in Southaven, MS says:

    I love the pictures of the butterflies today. They colors are so pretty. I know Bridgett wishes that the camera had never been invented. I wonder what is going thru her mind when you are taking a picture? If only they could talk. We should probably be glad they can’t, we might not want to hear what they have to say. Although, I am sure your crew would say how happy they are and thank you for the adventures. I know I would if I were your dog. Please continue to enjoy your vagabond life and keep letting us share in a little of it with you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jean . . . I’ve lost all patience with Bridget’s camera-shy antics. She’s not always that way, only when she’s in one of her moods. Hey, that’s the price of being a canine celebrity, right? hee-hee. I don’t wish dogs could talk, I wish they’d understand what I’m telling them. Like, “cut out the nonsense, Bridget, and get out from under there so I can take your photo or NO SUPPER FOR YOU!!!”

  13. Lisa W says:

    Love the Sage Grouse photo. One of the reasons we are going full time (at least for me) is the opportunity to see more wonderful birds. We currently live in one of the best birding areas in the U.S., Southeastern Arizona. However, there are many birds in the U.S. I have never seen. Fulltiming will give me more opportunity to see them.
    As usual a wonderful glimpse into your day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You are so right, Lisa, about full-timing giving you a chance to see birds you’ve never seen before. It’s been true for me…

      I like the grouse photos, too. They remind me of old tapestries. Nice hearing from you!

    • R. (Western Colorado) says:

      Lisa W., my husband and I spent lots of time in Bisbee and Sierra Vista bird watching. It is definitely an exceptional area for birding. I know of a few others if you’re interested.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        R. (Western Colorado)… Re: Your apology a few comments above here. Adding your 2 cents is allowed here. (See? I’m doing it right now.) I’m sure Cinandjules and Applegirl don’t mind one bit!)

      • Lisa W says:

        R. – Always interested. I live between Sierra Vista and Bisbee. While I do love the desert the thing I will miss most about moving on (which I am highly anticipating) are the birds. The number and diversity here can’t be beat and the hummingbirds! Oh my, such a generous amount.

        • Ed says:

          If you live between Sierra Vista and Bisbee that would place you in Palominas, Hereford or Miracle Valley. I have cousins that live in that area with Dale Stoner, pastor of the Palominas First Assembly of God Church probably the most widely known.

          I grew up in Sulphur Springs Valley and attended Bisbee schools before graduating from Douglas HS. I’m a full timer but in the process of moving my domicle from Nevada to Sierra Vista; will be in Huachuca City Nov-Dec to get some more of that taken care of.

          • Lisa W says:

            Hi Ed,
            Yep. My legal address is Hereford, but the mailing address is Bisbee. I live off of Foudy Rd – you probably know where that is. I am hoping that I will be gone from here and full timing before December.

  14. ja says:

    Meant to introduce myself with my poop question! oops! I’ve been reading your archived posts for several days now and really enjoying the journeys you have shared! Love the adventures of the dogs and the pictures you share. Have learned a lot and been jealous even more!
    I have been a follower of the tiny house trend and wondered if could see yourself settling into such a abode if the time came for you to come off the road? I’ve seen a few that you can also pull behind a vehicle! I’m a minimalist and the small sizes of those houses and your casita appeal to me.
    So, thanks for allowing me to “follow along” in the adventures of RVSUE and her canine crew!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, ja..

      Poop first, introductions later! Haha! I like the tiny house concept, as I consider myself a minimalist also. In fact, I don’t think I could be comfortable in anything larger, after 3 years living in the BLT. Yes, (to answer your question) I can see myself living in a tiny house if I’m no longer on the road. I have to sell a few more Amazon items first!

      I’m glad you’ve learned while enjoying my blog. I hope you will drop in often!

      • ja says:

        :)! No tiny houses in my future alas! lol. Right now I’m trying to figure out how to get a bed into my CRV. That and my laptop and I’d be happy. Up to March 2013 in the archives!

    • DesertGinger says:

      I also wanted to go small, and I bought myself a 396 sq foot park model rv. I’m in a small mobile home/rv community just north of Tucson. I love my tiny house and am still working on getting it just right. Then my next goal is a rig similar to Sue’s, or smaller, so I can live on the road a few months of the year during summers. I do really like the tiny houses but don’t think it makes much sense to pull one behind a car. They weigh thousands of pounds more than a nice little trailer like Sue’s and it would drink up the gas to pull them. That’s why I went with a stationary small house. If I were just going to do one or the other, and I chose full-timing, I would do what Sue did. I think her setup is virtually perfect for full timing. Just my opinion.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I’ve read that the main reason tiny houses are built on a platform with wheels is to get around zoning restrictions that require a minimum amount of square footage for a permanent structure (more than tiny house people want!).

        You have a good set-up and a good plan, Ginger.

        • DesertGinger says:

          Yes, I think that’s true. And my park model does have wheels of course so it can be rated as an rv. But you really never move them…and they can’t be pulled behind a car…you need a big truck. But the true tiny houses can be pulled behind a car and some people do that…and that is what makes no sense to me. Why would I pull 12000 lbs of wood, floor tile, etc when I could have a lovely little casita or similar only weighing 3000 lbs or so? Crazy.

          • Cinandjules (NY) says:

            Tiny houses are adorable. The ones I’ve seen have a loft like bedroom…uses a ladder. very cute but a dog can’t climb a ladder.

            And if Jules drinks one too many Genny Lights she can’t either! hah!

            Your model doesn’t have a ladder does it?

            • DesertGinger says:

              Oh no….I’m on one floor. Living room with small dining area, kitchen, bath and bedroom/guest room. And a carport I use as a covered patio. What more could I possibly need?

            • Sondra-SC says:

              I lived in a New York City studio for 5 years it def qualify’s as small space living! Could have bought a huge class C for what I spent in rent~o:(

      • jonthebru says:

        I was going to interject about the weight issue with the tiny houses. The reason people build them on trailers is to get around size issues in zoning laws, they are cargo sheds in the eyes of the inspector. But pretty much every version I have seen on the internet would never hold up on the road for any period. They are very cool though and meet a need. It is amazing how many young people know about and would love to live in one.
        That said, it would be really neat if a manufacturer could build and sell a DIY travel trailer that individuals could make their own, I am not sure about the laws and regs but it would be neat.

  15. Sondra-SC says:

    I’m jealous of your Sage Grouse!! I’ve tic-d the Blue and the Sharp Tailed but not the Sage. Are you keeping a life list Sue? Its tons of fun…I have a cheap butterfly guide but I think with the white out-lining around the wings its a Common Blue, aka Spring Azure on your little flutterbys and a very pretty ones too!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sondra… You agree then that it is a Sage Grouse?

      No, I haven’t kept a life list of birds. I kind of wish I had started one years ago, since I’ve “lived” in different areas of the country (Northeast, South, Southwest, West, PNW) albeit short periods in some. The past few months would’ve added several to my list. I’m not a very good identifier, relying on field guides and the internet. My readers have to correct me often.

      • Lolalo says:

        RV Sue, Birding is one of the most fun hobbies to have. It is entertaining, educational, cheap, and you can do it anywhere! If I may make a suggestion for you – to consider purchasing a pair of binoculars and a bird identification book. I have a pair of Nikon Travelite III 9×25, and I love them. Many birders will scoff at these little binoculars, but I like them because they are very small, lightweight, and I still get very good views. You can get a pair through Amazon for around $100. I have compared these with the high dollar binoculars side by side and don’t see a $1000 or more difference.
        I also like the Peterson Field Guides by Roger Tory Peterson. There is a Western and an Eastern version. You can also pick these up on Amazon.
        You are out there. You enjoy taking pictures of birds. Why not take it to the next level? I think it would add another dimension of joy to your vagabond lifestyle!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Lolalo,

          I can tell already that birding is for me! I have a cheap monocular that works surprisingly well. If I get seriously into birding, I could go for something like you have.

          I’m familiar with Petersen’s, having owned the Eastern guide for many years. I found the Audubon Guide for Western Birds for a buck in a thrift shop and it serves me well. When I misidentify a bird, the fault is with me, not my field guide.

          Some people favor Sibley’s. I like Petersen’s, maybe because I’ve used it for so many years. Thanks for the encouragement. Sometimes I need a little nudge. 🙂

          • Lisa W says:

            Birding is a fantastic hobby. I sure wish I had come to it earlier in life. In my previous life, so to speak, I was in the Army for 22 years. When I think of the birds I could have seen as I traveled in Europe, Korea, Honduras, the east coast of the U.S., Somalia and Kuwait/Iraq – I missed so many. I am horrible at keeping a life list, but love to see new ones and old ones. Oh, I do think the bird in your photo is a Sage Grouse.

      • Sondra-SC says:

        Well I am 99.9% sure its a Sage.. I see nothing jumping out to make me think otherwise…I checked 2 field guides against your photo. I began serious birding in 1993! I’ve kept a life and state’s lists…so every state I go to I keep a list of birds seen. Its a wonderful Life Long “goal’ with ridiculous rewards– Like travel, meeting like minded people, being out in nature, and challenging yourself to really look at something and not just be observing but learning at the same time. Fantastic hobby you can do any where any time and it’s never to late to start!

  16. Applegirl NY says:

    Very inspiring blog today. I love your attitude. Photos are beautiful too. The butterflies could be on a poster or a greeting card. Thanks for sharing.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Applegirl NY . . . You’re welcome. Thanks for the compliments!

      • Applegirl NY says:

        Did you have training as a photographer or did you just get that good from practice. You have such a good eye. I always wonder when I look at your photos.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I haven’t had any training and I haven’t had any practice other than what I’ve done for this blog. I didn’t own a camera for most of my life (always had to scrimp!).

          I appreciate the compliment embedded in your comment. 🙂

          Now that I’ve given your question some thought, I’ve seen pictures (artful compositions) in nature since childhood. That probably helps my photography.

          • Applegirl NY says:

            Yes, you were born with a gift. We’re all so happy to be the recipients!

            We finally got our two Springer Spaniels to go into our Casita. They were very timid about it. I think it is the fact that they can see through the steps. I lured them with cheddar cheese! It was a tight squeeze with my husband and the two dogs. Don’t know how we’ll do it, but I can’t see traveling without them. We’ll figure it all out.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I like your attitude — “We’ll figure it all out.”

              If you think you’ll camp in campgrounds or RV parks where dogs have to be on a leash, you might find the foldable, exercise pens handy that I use with the crew in those situations. Then your crew can be outside without being constantly on-leash.

              Midwest Black E-Coat Exercise Pen

              You can order these pens as tall as 40 inches. I bought two which, when put together, makes a good-sized pen as you can see in previous blog posts. I didn’t buy a gate since one panel can be swung open.

            • DesertGinger says:

              I like this too. Do you have any idea how much the one you indicated would weigh?

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              The crew’s pen is 30 inches high, weighs 27 lbs. I don’t carry both pens at the same time (that would be 54 lbs.)

              If you click the link, choose the size appropriate for your dog, then scroll down to the details and find “shipping weight.”

              The trick is to not buy a higher pen than what you need.

            • Applegirl NY says:

              We’ll definitely check that out. Thanks!

            • Sondra-SC says:

              I def have to get something for my girls..they are both 65lb size tho! They love to go with me..but sometimes i’d like to know they are not going to choke themselves if I tie them out and they aren’t gonna take off after a squirrel while Im not watching all when camping of course at home they have a dog door and 3 acres to wander on and where ever I am is where they are!

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Here’s the post of May 18, 2011, entitled

              “Dog Exercise Pen.”

              The photos in that post will show how one pen was too confining for the crew. Two pens hooked together are perfect.

            • Cinandjules (NY) says:

              We have the same type of pen. Ours is two feet tall and was used like a portable yard for the RV. It can be configured into different shapes. We like octagon and use a clip to secure the panels together. We also have two and yes they weigh a lot.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Yeah, you can make different shapes. I’ve made the pen two panels wide and six panels long, or one panel wide like a run. I don’t know what Ginger’s lot is like. Maybe she could make a permanent pen in her yard. BTW, Ginger doesn’t have a “tiny house.” She has a park model home so I doubt it has a loft.

  17. Kay says:

    AWESOME photos! I love the forest/aspen one, it looks soooo peaceful.

    Tonight, we are in a hotel suite as the RIG is in the hospital. The EXTENDED warranty dear hubby talked me into has turned out pretty good. They are covering the repairs, less our deductible, and about $50 or $55. Basically, that covers the greasing misc things for the engine. The rig should be done by noon tomorrow and we’ll be on our way.

    My advice to anyone, if you have an RV with a motor, get yourself an extended warranty. I’m only out $550, could have been out $4815.00!

    So, the hotel we first went to, a couple from N. Carolina had a Tahoe and Uhaul. Back trailer and all up to their motel room door. Then, turn the front wheels cutting what is suppose to be our parking space off by 3 feet. NoT easy getting a wheelchair between the two spots. I called the front desk and asked the sweet desk clerk if she might call her other guest and ask that they move to the BIGGER parking area so we could at least park and get wheelchair out. Of course, she said. And, she did as we found out when the guys wife emerged from their motel room, cig in hand, mouth opened and the words “He’s moving it now you F******* B*******” and I walked right back to the front desk, told them we are checking out immediately. Gave reason. And left.

    Told hubby on the way out that sure hope those people are headed back to N Carolina and NOT headed out west! PEOPLE.

    So, to get online and see that forest picture was.. well, VERY RELAXING to my day. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Kay says:

      oops, and NOT headed out west…. my typos…. brains goes to fast sometimes. Now to find a Pepsi. Good night!

      • Applegirl NY says:

        So sorry that happened to you. Thank goodness we can unwind in Sue’s world! Hope your rig gets fixed quickly.

    • DesertGinger says:

      When I was crossing the country in my 16 foot moving van, towing my car, I would pull into a motel to get a room then ask where I could park and the clerk would invariably say ‘in front of your room’….then I would explain the overall imposing length of my rig (which they could usually see through the window) and they would still say ‘in front of your room’. I generally had to use my own devices and get creative to find a place to park where I was not in the way. Maybe those neighbors had similar issues? Not that it is an excuse for being hateful and rude to you. Next time though, I wouldn’t leave. So what if they are pissed? Let them move. If they are in your way, they are probably in everyone’s way.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I fixed your comment, Kay.

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      So sorry you had a nasty experience in that hotel…actually we lived nearly a decade in NC, and just recently came out to WA state for awhile. We found people to nearly always be polite there…they might not become a close friend ever, but they were polite. I can tell you a place in the desert region of WA state that you could nearly count on such behavior however. Maybe all the heat and ugly scenery there makes people nasty…we never figured it out…but when we finally were able to escape, we packed our bags and jogged out, let me tell you! I think you find nasty people probably in every location these days. I am not sure what happened to the mostly polite culture I grew up in anyway!! Hope the rest of your experiences will be much better!!!

  18. jonthebru says:

    Every post here is better than the last. A fantastic group of friends. Pictures, words, all superb.

  19. R. (Western Colorado) says:

    Hi Sue
    It’s so soothing to come back after a long and hot hike and see your cool photos. The second and third pictures remind me of birches in the northeast. You did really well taking pictures of a grouse and small butterflies. I know a little about wildflowers and birds but I’m not able to identify butterflies. Those flowers with butterflies are Buckwheat and you know that. Yellow flowers are Sulfur Buckwheat. Blue flowers should be Harbour’s Beardtongues.
    Have a cool evening.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      R., once again you amaze me! Thank you. When my connection is a little faster I’ll add labels to the pics.

      I saw lots of yarrow, buckwheat, and yellow stonecrop today. (I’m so proud of myself for knowing the names!)

      • R. (Western Colorado) says:

        You should be proud of yourself Sue. There is so much beauty all around us and you’re able not to only see it but to appreciate. That takes a very special talent. I’m proud of you!!
        I recall names of wildflowers by seeing them many times. I’m learning as I go. I know it is not in your plans but Alaska has some amazing wildflowers. Actually wherever we go there are wildflowers we just have to slow down, look and see them.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Alaska is a spectacularly beautiful place. Making a trip to Alaska does not appeal to me, however, mainly because of the 4 Ms. . . moisture, mud, mosquitoes, and miles!

  20. RachelDLS says:

    It is so wonderful that you are leading the life you want. The life you dreamed of for so long. I am so happy for you and the crew! :~)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a sweet thought, Rachel. Yes, it is wonderful. I hope it lasts!

      I think of you and Macha. I notice you didn’t link your blog to your name (above). I hope you are still blogging. You are a skillful writer.

      Are you and the little one well? Are you in Arizona?

  21. RachelDLS says:

    Hi Sue and Crew!

    I could not find my original note so I’m going to reply here. Macha and I are doing very well. We are staying at Scotts Reservoir which is near Lakeside Arizona.

    Thank you for your kind words about my writing. You will never know how much that means to me. I have not stopped blogging per say, but the monsoons are here so I do not have enough sunlight during the day to turn on my computer on for any length of time.

    The rain has been very good though, it cools things off and of course, it always smells so wonderful when it rains! :~)

  22. Shelley in California says:

    I ordered a 250 mens watch through your blog, finally get to give you a little pay back for all the fun I have reading your blog!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks a lot, Shelley! I saw a watch on the orders report this morning. I’ll check tomorrow to see if it’s the same one you ordered.

      It’s nice to be appreciated.

  23. Edie (OK) says:

    Hi Sue hope you are having a great evening (or morning depending on when u read this…)

  24. Edie (OK) says:

    Hmm. My comment is waiting moderation?

  25. Lynn Edmiston says:

    Just wanted to say that in 11 months I will be retired and am buying a trailer to live a life similar to yours. I just love nature and want to enjoy all the simple things that this world has to offer. Right now I live vicariously through you but cant wait to get out there. I have my Kindle so I’m ready to relax and have fun!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Welcome! Good to see you here, Lynn. Only 11 months to go! I’m excited for you …. You will have what’s important: a trailer, a kindle, and a heart yearning for a simple life. You can make your retirement what you want it to be. Best wishes as you plan and prepare. Do drop in again!

  26. Diann in MT says:

    Hi, Sue and Crew,
    If you should make it up to Montana, this link will explain the campsites in depth. For instance, I wish I had consulted it before camping at Limber Pine. Indeed it references the Hellroaring Creek Road for OHV’s.
    Here is the link to the Fishing Access Sites in the State. You can camp at most of them, too. They are usually small and offer dispersed sites. What’s neat is that they list the birds common to the site.
    Bridget: I would be absolutely terrified to encounter you in a dark alley. –the cornered rat.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Diane! Thanks for the links. I’ve seen the first one, but not the second. That looks like an excellent resource! I’m going to explore it right now.

      Fat chance Bridget would ever place her dainty paws in a dark alley…

      • Diann in MT says:

        Oh, cool, you got the links. On the first one, just type in Montana in the search box at the top left. I had no idea there were so many places to camp in this state!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I’ve been exploring the site with my Montana Benchmark in my lap. You know what’s really cool? When I’m in a particular area and I see the fish symbol on the map with the fishing access name next to it, I can go to the site you showed me, put in the name of the fishing access site, and have the info I need! Thanks. This is very helpful! Flipping through my Benchmark, I see lots of fish symbols. 🙂

  27. I saw this in Mother Earth Living:
    “Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need” Sarah Ban Breathnach

    It suits fulltimers!

  28. JodeeinSoCal says:

    Grouse medicine is quite powerful and your words show you definitely tapped into it. It is the medicine of the spiral dance, of spirit growing, of reflecting on what you have done before in anticipation of what is to come. You and the pups are doing it right I think – seeing every stop along the road as a new opportunity to witness the bounty of this earth. Whether through a nose or a camera lens, capturing the vistas, large and small, is all so worthwhile and rewarding. The delicacy of the butterflies and flowers made me tear up – so soft and vulnerable. Thank you so much for sharing these precious moments.

  29. Terri From Texas says:

    So many comments which spark interest. Bret and I were climbing a mountain in Yellowstone a few years ago and some grouse crossed our path. They were so cool!
    The butterfly picture is fabulous. I have gotten very interested in them as I am in birds. When my hubby and I moved from Houston I knew what a bluejay was and that was about it. Upon moving to the country, many of our ” neighbors” do a birding walk every year and I have learned so many more birds just by being with others who know more than I do! I have started a butterfly garden this Spring in what used to be our vegetable garden. I got sick of no rain for our veggies and it was easier to plant drought tolerant hummingbird and butterfly plants. So far, most of my butterflies are black with varying colors. I have seen one or two monarchs. I have to bone up on black butterflies as there are zillions of different kinds which are just black!
    Bridgets photo made me laugh! When I try to get my dog to come out of his kennel in the mornings, he takes one step every minute it seems. He doesn’t want to move!
    You have to feel sorry for people who are so unhappy they have to try and make others feel bad. That woman at the hotel is to be pitied-her life must be awful. On that note, best wishes to all who are retiring (we aren’t there yet) and are going off into the unknown to have adventures. Can’t wait to do it myself!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Terri,

      It’s probably smart to give in to Mother Nature and switch from vegetables to plants that can tolerate heat and drought. I’d guess your butterfly garden is a lot less work and it provides enjoyment.

      Butterflies are tough to learn and identify because they move a lot. That’s where a camera might allow you to get more out of your hobby. Take a photo of the butterfly and identify it later on your computer. Then, somewhat like a birder’s list, you can compile a collection of butterfly photos. Just a thought. Have fun!

      Enjoyed your comment, Terri. 🙂

  30. Terri From Texas says:

    Forgot to ask-
    Anyone seen “The Big Year” A great movie for birders! I love it!
    Owen Wilson, Jack Black, Steve Martin.

  31. Toni says:

    Hi Sue!!

    I came across this the other night in my relentless fantasizing about full timing. This guy customized his Casita for every possible boondocking scenario. I thought it was fascinating.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      A lot of Casita people are nuts for “mods,” (modifications). They get together in rallies and show what they’ve done to customize their Casita. You can see them on the Casita forum. I tried to open the link but it’s taking forever. I’ll try again when I have a faster connection.

  32. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Power is still out.

    Jules and I took cases of H20 to the elderly neighbors this morning. Why don’t people plan for these types of incidents I have no clue!

    Even though we have a generator…we stock, I. MEAN STOCK, enough H20 and freeze dried food to last for months.

    These folks don’t even have a gallon of H20.

    • weather says:

      What awesome neighbors you and Jules are,wow!People seem to have had history class at the time of day they needed a nap.The few who remained awake know tomorrow is unlikely to be the same as today,therefore are prepared for whatever.

      Good hint you might not enjoy a conversation with someone:their first time at a beach they walked down a hill to reach,looking surprised they whine “I have to go uphill to get back to the car?”

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Neighbors are great up here!

        An elderly lady, whose husband just died had a tree come down on her house and car! Neighbors were there with chain saws removing the debris and making arrangements for her.

        Everyone always checks on the shut-ins! Groceries, mail and dr appts and holiday gatherings. No one is left alone!

        The Amish are the same way….they will help erect a destroyed barn in a weekend.

        • weather says:

          Yep, country folk ,we were on the tail end of an icestorm/blizzard when my husband didn’t finish the night here,next thing I knew our big burly friends were pulling in their trucks and trailers,yanking out chain saws,snowblowers and loads of wood as they walked in filling the stove, giving their broad shoulders to lean on ’til I could breath again, keep things rolling for me to do the funeral,get ‘er done.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Such good people to come to your aid during a difficult and painful time. I know you will be forever grateful.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Nice of you to help them out. Maybe they’ll get the idea to stock supplies once things get back to normal

  33. Virginia says:

    Hi Sue:

    What internet service are you using now? I know this was covered in old posts but perhaps you have upgraded since you started out in 2011. I would like to get solar and mobile internet and I am sure you are the one to ask as you use the internet so much with your blog and also reading, etc.

    So happy to see you exploring such beautiful places.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Virginia,

      I’m still using the same internet service … Verizon jetpack Mifi, only I’ve increased from 4Gb to 8Gb. It costs me $74.28 a month. If you don’t blog, you would probably be fine with 4 Gb.

      I use a Wilson directional antenna to boost internet signal in weak connection areas. You can read about it on a page accessed from the header, “Internet Antenna.”

  34. Tawanda says:

    So enjoying your travels (and awesome pictures) on the eastern side of the state Sue spent many summers perusing the mountain roads of the Uintas..

    D. Ginger,
    Welcome back!!!! Many as you know have been concerned of your well being as have I. What an ordeal you have been thru, your attitude is inspiring and I look forward to hearing of your progress!! Bless your good friend to be there for you (as the saying goes “we can’t pick our family but thank goodness we can pick our friends”, or something like that)!

  35. Cathy P (KS) says:

    Lovely photos as always. This is very timely for us as I said to my husband last week, “If we don’t full-time, when we look back 10 years from now, will we regret it?” A most definite “Yes.” To me, security is a state of mind and any other sort isn’t attainable. We are very close to taking the leap!

  36. Linda says:

    Never commented before but have been reading you for a few months. Thank you so much for your blog and photos! You’re living my dream life — which I will get to when my child grows up (he’s 14). I take long road and camping trips now, but am looking forward to the day it becomes my permanent life! Thanks for sharing!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda,

      Welcome to my blog and comments! I’m glad that you have a vision for your life after your son leaves the nest. You have plenty of time to plan and make decisions, and also to ride along with me and my crew. Hope to hear from you again . . .

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