Queen of Kofa to Ten Ewe Canyon

Friday, December 27

My second hike at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Arizona is to Ten Ewe Canyon.  Ann, Bill, and I decide to leave our canine crews at home.  They did enough hiking yesterday.

1-DSC02002Bill drives us up the bumpety-scumpety-rumpety-doo road known as Queen of Kofa Road, casually known by me as the Mother of All Kofa Road.   It’s a teeth-rattler and kidney-twister!

1-DSC02003You’ve seen ads for four-wheel drive vehicles climbing boulders and crossing washes.  Well, Bill can scoff at those ads!

1-DSC02011Of course, we have to stop at The Skull Cave.  To give you an idea of the scale . . . I stand in the “mouth” of the cave with a few feet of space above me.  The walls are blackened from campfires.

1-DSC02015From here Bill, Ann, and I proceed on foot.  As we walk around Signal Peak, the vegetation changes.  Ann and Bill help me identify desert plants with names like Mormon tea, cereus cactus, and jojoba (pronounced hohoba),

1-DSC02018We wonder at the name of this grass growing in a lichen-painted rock.

1-DSC02020Of course, we hope to see Kofa wildlife such as bighorn sheep, kitfoxes, mule deer, and bobcats, but don’t have any luck.  One is more likely to see these animals very early in the morning or right before dark.  The desert tortoises are in hibernation now.

Ann and Bill have seen a bighorn sheep since camping here.  It walked on a narrow ledge along the face of a cliff as if it were strolling on a boulevard.

1-DSC02029The three of us climb up a big boulder.  Bill inches his way further up the rock with my camera and takes this great shot of light through the “window.”

1-DSC02025This next photo, from left to right, shows jojoba (small green leaves and brown berries), a relatively young saguaro, beavertail cactus, and a leafless ocotillo in the background.

Ann’s Native American friend told her that when she was a child she wore sandals with soles made from the beavertail.


A few times during the hike I feel a pang of concern for Bridget and Spike. 

The three of us are always together, so I know it’s hard on them to be without me.  As we drove away, I could hear them howling and, thinking of them, I can hear the howls again.

1-DSC02042By the time Ann, Bill, and I walk into Ten Ewe Canyon, the light is fading, so I don’t have photos.  We don’t venture far because it’s always a good idea to allow plenty of daylight for the trip home.

And, oh, what a homecoming!

1-DSC02043I open the door to the Best Little Trailer and out fly Bridget and Spike, jumping and twirling, bursting with happiness at the sight of me.  They run around me in circles, come in for drive-by kisses, scamper away, and repeat.

My two pups, how dear they are.  They’re ecstatic simply because I’ve come home.  They offer me no recriminations for leaving them behind, only pure and boundless joy that we’re together again.


NOTE:  “RVSue and her canine crew” received its one-millionth visit today, December 28, 2013, since the first entry was posted on April 21, 2011. 

Thank you for being part of that number!


I appreciate every order.  These links show examples of the variety of Amazon products purchased from my blog:

Pet Parade No-Tangle Dual Leash
South Shore Savannah Collection Door Chest
RC Pet Products Dog Socks, Black Sneakers
Ankle/Foot Active Wrap, Hot & Cold Therapy
Wave® Music System III – Titanium Silver
Fishing, Cabin, Lodge, Canoe Twin Comforter Set


Less than four months into our vagabond life, the crew and I are surprised by New Mexico weather:

“Camping in the snow!”

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82 Responses to Queen of Kofa to Ten Ewe Canyon

  1. Casitagirl says:

    Am I first? Wow!

  2. Laurie in Oregon says:

    Congrats Sue on your one millionth visit 🙂 I kind of cheated to figure out the day,because I clicked on the site meter and figured the average daily visits ,subtracted the current visits from 1 mil and then divided to get the amount of days. Heheheh
    You deserve it Sue your a great blogger and the numbers don’t lie. I hope you will keep blogging for a long time to come.

  3. DeAnne in TN says:

    What an interesting hike–full of wonders that I definitely don’t see around here. Your explanations help so much too–we have a tour guide! I was wondering about the Bridge and Spike being left alone; I don’t remember a single blog of them being left behind in the BLT. Our dogs and their unconditional love.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, DeAnne,

      I’m “paying it forward” with the desert information I’m learning from Ann and Bill. Funny how we humans want to know the names of things we see.

      Yeah, Bridget and Spike have invisible tethers to my hip. I’ve left them alone about three times in the past three years.

  4. Ladybug says:

    Hmmm…well, since we don’t know the name of that grass, then we can make up our own name, can’t we? I mean, that’s what the early explorers did. I nominate the name of ‘punk grass’, since it reminds me of a punker’s spiked hair!

  5. Gayle says:

    If the desert tortoises are in hibernation, where exactly are the snakes?

  6. Jean Fox says:

    Sue, thank you so much for all the great information you give us. I have been following you all along and have read back to the beginning of your adventure. Since I am just starting on mine, it have been an invaluable wealth of knowledge. I plan to set out in mid Jan. Headed for Fl. To see my brother, then head for NM. I have my Bench mark map I purchased via your site from Amazon. I have to get solar panels installed somewhere along the way. Any advice, suggestions from you and your followers would be helpful. Safe travels to you and the crew….and a happy, healthy New Year too. You can follow me on jeaniesrvtravels@blogspot.com

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jean,

      I appreciate you reading my blog and going back to the beginning. I hope it has been helpful and fun for you. Thank you for purchasing your Benchmark from Amazon through my blog.

      My friends, Chuck and Geri, are camping in Florida right now. They usually check my blog every post, so I’m sure they’ll have some suggestions for camping spots.

      Maybe readers can help you find a good solar installer in Florida and camping tips for your trip to FL to NM and beyond. Best of luck to you! It’s nice hearing from you.

      BTW, you don’t need to sign off with your blog’s URL as clicking on your name takes us to your blog… which is coming along very nicely!

      • Hi Jean, our current blog is on Myakka River State Park! We love Florida State Parks, don’t ever think twice about camping at one. All have nice roomy spaces and most provide natural privacy from your neighbor! As you enter Florida there are many State Park campgrounds to choose from. Our 2 favorite beach campgrounds are 1.) near Port St. Joe… St. Joseph Peninsula State Park on Cape San Blas and 2.) St. George Island State Park near Apalachicola! Keep in touch… our blog link is in our name above! Good Luck! Geri

        • Phyllis says:

          A question Ms. Gerri, what about getting reservations, any tricks? I would like to stay at Fort Pickens March 16 for about 5 days and the website says no sites available. Any suggestions or alternatives, close to the beach.

          Phyllis in Oklahoma

          • Phyllis, are you sure Fort Pickens is a Florida State Park??? I can’t find that name listed anywhere in my State Park books. Ohhh just looked it up… it’s not a state park it is a national park… national seashore park! Try this phone number and see if this helps 850-934-2656 !
            My email address is: earthdancerimages@yahoo.com if you have more questions! Geri

          • Chuck Hajek says:

            Phyllis in OK. You are in PRIME SNOWBIRD season and spaces are REALLY limited. These folks make their res months in advance so don’t be too disappointed. You may be able to get a ‘drive up’ site which are kept for people that show with no res. Get there EARLY! Geris phone # might help. In the atea is a great FL State Park, TopSail, Cape San Blas, St Joseph Peninsula and St George Island SP as you move east ward. If you can’t get a res, go to http://www.RVParkReviews.com and enter state and city of public and private parks with phone #s. Hope this helps.

  7. Willow says:

    I really laughed at Spike & Bridget reception…there is nothing sweeter than Being welcomed home by lonesome pets… I always used to get a warm feeling that someone was so happy I came home. A hug to Spike and Bridget, and you too.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Willow,

      You’d think I returned from a long, around-the-world sea voyage. They went nuts! (Which is pretty crazy because they’re already nuts.) Spike got into the trash bag that I thought I’d hung high enough out of his reach. Fortunately it was only onion skins, paper scraps and bits of plastic. I imagine it was dogs-gone-wild in the BLT while I was away.

      • DeAnne in TN says:

        If you were gone more, wouldn’t it be fun to install a nanny cam? When I come home from work and see my comforter completely pulled off the bed, I would love to know what kind of parties go on while mommy’s away.

  8. Don in Okla. says:

    Hi Sue
    Congratulations on such a milestone!!! You have a wonderful blog enjoyed daily by so very many. Thank you very much for your hard work in preparing it for us.
    Take care and Happy Travels!!
    Don in Okla.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Don. You know, when I started this blog I figured a few family members and friends would read it for a few weeks and then it would pretty much die out and I’d be writing only to myself. I never dreamed it would be this popular!

      • Don in Okla. says:

        I am still reading your entries from back in 2011 and really enjoying it!!
        As an aside, there are many, many RVs headed west through the Okla. Panhandle on US 54 Highway, coming your way!! The post Christmas migration is on!! So good to see folks headed to their winter locations.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Oh, man, Don… If you’re reading 2011, I can assure you . . . . You’ll be amazed at all the gorgeous camps and beautiful places we’ve been since then.

          I knew full-timing was right for me, that I would love “living small” and simply, but I had no idea how wonderful it would be. I hope you continue to enjoy reading about it!

          I never thought about a westward migration. I’ve always thought of winter visitors coming from the north. Of course! Winter can be pretty miserable in Oklahoma, too.

  9. Cinandjules says:

    A formal congrats to you ma’dam desert woman!

    Absolutely gorgeous pictures! Love the colors and the terrain. Oh dear …do caves mean bats?

    I had to laugh at the crew…so excited to see you…running in circles with their drive by kisses….like you left them for hours upon hours….KNOWING damn well all they did was sleep as soon as you drove away!

    Guilt! Enjoy your evening

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      Oh yes, there are bats in the caves. I didn’t see any in the skull cave. It draws human bats instead.

      When Spike shows me affection, I know he really means it, because usually he becomes shy whenever I try to be lovey with him. Bridget was so cute. She’d give me a kiss and then scoot away like the kiss powered her feet to dance. I should leave them more often so I can get some appreciation for all I do for the two wackos.

      Thanks for the congratulations! You are an important part of that number.

  10. Caroline nr Seattle says:

    Congrats on the big milestone! I’m enjoying your winter adventures and photographs but generally lurk.
    I have a question or 2 ….. what software do you use to download your photos? And do you store them in another site then transfer a few to this blog? Thanks

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Caroline,

      I use Picasa for loading and editing my photos. They are stored on my computer in files which I save on flash drives and memory sticks. Then I delete the files off my computer. I believe Hostgator backs up the blog in the cloud.

      Happy to see you out from the cover of lurkdom! 🙂

  11. AZ Jim says:

    1,000,861 Please note the 1. Hey I am first in the 860’s!!!! Congrats on the Million and thanks for the fun…

  12. Roger in SoCal. says:

    Hi congratulations on the million mark! I was way off on my prediction…figures, math was my worst subject.
    The big difference between man and dog, dogs always give unconditional love no matter what.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Roger,

      Thank you for the congrats. I used to teach math and I loved it in college, but, to tell the truth, I avoid it now. I guess I “did the math” too much! I didn’t have a prediction of my own. 🙂

  13. Congratulations on hitting the one million mark!!!! Look forward each day to reading your blog

  14. Edie says:

    Congratulations RVSue on your 1,000,000!!!
    There are many reasons for this. You really should write a novel…
    We love your style. You write, and we are right there with you. Awesome style, and I read a LOT of authors!!

    Did all of my Christmas shopping through your amazon link. 🙂

    Thanks again from a humble reader.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Edie,

      You did ALL your Christmas shopping from here? How thoughtful of you! Thanks so much.

      Your encouragement to write is noted. I’ve come to the realization that I can’t have adventures with the crew, keep up with this blog, and handle another writing project without a negative effect. Maybe a book will happen some time in the future when I’m not so busy having fun.

      Thanks for the great compliments!

  15. gingerda says:

    Great post!! I always love your pictures and the commentary that you put with them.
    Congrats on your popular blog hitting the one million mark.
    Ginger, Las Vegas

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Ginger. It may sound like false humility, but I continue to be amazed at the number of people who want to read about me and the crew.

  16. Ladybug says:

    I just got finished reading Al’s blog…talk about a time warp! And no mention of them being along for the Palm hike from you, missy!! Not even a pic with the Phebes in it. Sneaky! LOL

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ladybug,

      I didn’t mention Al, Kelly, and Pheebs because they weren’t with us on the hike into Palm Canyon. They went at a different time. Or maybe you’re kidding with me . . . ?

      See “Message to Readers” below.

      • Ladybug says:

        Ok, now that makes more sense! Yours was posted as Thursday, and his as Saturday, so I was totally confuzzled. Was beginning to wonder if someone had some time loss due to an alien abduction….

        Oh, and there’s some nice pics of you, Spike, and Bridge there, too! 😉 You definitely need to ‘steal’ that one of Spike all by his lonesome on that rise.

  17. Dawn in MI says:

    WordPress has a photo challenge they put out each Friday is “joy” so I found it interesting that you used that word to describe the crew and their response to your return. I have a Katie-girl (sheltie) that is the same when I come home from work. Haven’t worked out quite yet how to capture that response in a photo…but it’s definitely a joyful experience!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      I never have time to look at what WordPress is up to, so I’m unaware of their photo challenge. I guess I picked up the joy with my psychic powers!

      I bet your Katie is a doll. Shelties are wonderful dogs.

  18. Barrie says:

    Hi Sue,
    You’ll think I’m a stalker now… writing twice in one week. 🙂 I just have to pass congratulations on hitting the one million visits on you counter. You provide a wonderful mix of quality writing with interesting content. Thanks for sharing.

    All the best,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you very much, Barrie. No, my frequent commenters aren’t stalkers, they’re companions! Enjoy the day . . . 🙂

  19. Pat Kitchen says:

    Oh, Sue. I just don’t have words to express how much I look forward to and enjoy reading your blog…
    Thanks for all the time and energy you put into it. You give such pleasure and vicarious fun to so many. Pat K

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Pat. What a nice compliment! Love the positive feedback. It fires me up for more writing!

  20. WoW! ONE MILLION HITS !!!! Lottery time! hahahahaa! Congrats! I was excited too when I hit the 100,000 number and I have been blogging longer than you! But I am not nearly as clever with words as you are! LOL I am soooo happy for you! What an honor! The hikes have been very interesting! Ann and Bill are such wonderful people to have as camping neighbors and hiking pals! Then to have the Bayfield Bunch drop in… what a fun group!
    We know what you mean about the coming home routine…. Radar and DoogieBowser have it down to a fine art! Hahaha! You would think we left them home alone for a week the way they act when they see our happy faces 30 mintes later! LOL! Our dogs love us all, unconditionally! Everybody should have at least one! GRIN………..

  21. Mary says:

    You kid’s response to you coming home, is why I love my pets over humans. They love me no matter what. Oh did I mention I am not perfect. ha ha

  22. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts. VA says:

    Oh I loved this one! The caves, rocks, plants, just everything! Thanks!
    I know how you felt leaving behind your crying little dogs and could see them rejoice upon your return, HA! Take Care.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Diane,

      Glad this post had something you enjoyed. As for the crew, I should leave them by themselves more often, get a little appreciation around here… 😉

  23. Congrats…You put a smile on faces one million times! !!!!Yay….!
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful adventures.!

  24. rvsueandcrew says:


    The day after I hiked with Bill and Ann to Ten Ewe Canyon, the three of us took off again on another hike, this time with Al, Kelly, and all the canine crews.

    Al did a super job narrating in words and pictures our hike to Four Palms Canyon. Go take a look! The photo of Spike alone is worth a click on this link . . . Travel with the Bayfield Bunch, 12/28/13

  25. DeAnne in TN says:

    Al’s pictures are gorgeous! The picture of Spike should be framed or on a magazine cover! The last shot of your campsite with the mountains in the background…reinforced my goal when I retire. Thanks Sue and Al!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Those photos of Al’s are treasures! About five minutes into the hike, I gave up taking photos. I could see Al getting all these great shots, so I figured it was a good time for me to put away my camera and enjoy the hike. He wrote an interesting account to go with the photos, too. I love that last photo, too.

      Hey, I know when I’m out of my league. LOL!

      • DeAnne in TN says:

        I’m beginning to think a photography class might be a good investment of my time before I hit the road. I love black and white photography also. Of course, my Nikon uses film so I guess I need to catch up with the times. My digital is just a Canon Sure Shot and I don’t even know what half of the settings are for.

  26. george, in n.c. says:

    Hi Sue & crew
    Congrats, on your million hits,
    Since i’m such a lurker, I didn’t help out much.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, George,

      This is one time when merely showing up is enough to help! You are part of my first one million.

      It is nice to have you drop in here with a few words though. 🙂

  27. Alan Rabe says:

    Yes, Kofa is a very nice place. All kinds of neat things to see. It is my favorite part of Az. It is great you have someone with you who knows the place who can guide you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right, Alan. Bill and Ann make the experience much richer. . . not to mention they have a four-wheel-drive vehicle! It’s nice to have the excuse to be a passenger for a change. 🙂

      • Sierra Foothill Mama says:

        A while back you were confronted with rude and disrespectful (to others and the environment) off roaders. I am glad that Bill and Ann were able to introduce you to the kind of off road adventure we enjoy in the desert.

        Congratulations on your 1,000,000 milestone. Looking forward to your next million,

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Sierra Foothill Mama,

          Thank you!

          When I referred to rude off-roaders, I meant the idjits who use their quads/atvs/ohvs/motorbikes to tear up the desert. I never meant people with 4-wheel drive vehicles to be lumped in with them.

          Bill and Ann, by the way, only drive on roads. The road we were on is the Queen of Kofa Road. To go off-road at Kofa Wildlife Refuge is absolutely prohibited. I never want to ride in a vehicle over undisturbed ground, desert, plants, etc. I wish no one else would either, unless for an important purpose, but that’s me.

          • Sierra Foothill Mama says:

            If a respectful person does their research (Benchmark map and forest service or BLM map) they can find numerous interesting roads and trails to travel. Tearing up the environment is not the goal. Four wheeling can take you to many places and people with disabilities are able to go places to beautiful remote places.

  28. Deb from NJ says:

    Congratulations on the being in the Millions!!! I continue to read about your adventures while I dream about what mine will be in the future. You have inspired so many of us. Thank you and the crew for bringing us along with you!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Deb! I enjoy my readers, like you, very much. Somehow, knowing I’ll be sharing the day with you, makes it even more fun.

  29. Hmm. Trying to figure out the appropriate place to ask this. I couldn’t find the comment area on the latest blog, so hear goes. I’m heading up to Quartzsite for Bob’s RTR….just this once…ha ha! Would it be possible to meet for a short visit? Tea? Dog walk? I have a very lovable pooch named Rochelle Claire. She’s a fox terrier mix and is a good girl. I’m planning to stop by Mittry Lake (tomorrow and New Year’s), then Kofa by Thursday or Friday before heading to Quartzsite. If not, no problem and happy trails! I’m with you on not just showing up in camp unannounced and uninvited. Gloria

  30. Hey fella, really awesome guide!

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