Return to a beautiful desert camp

Sunday, February 9

Before leaving Coyote Wash I shovel sand into the two trenches made by the Perfect Tow Vehicle and smooth over the ruts made by Byron’s Jeep.  I rake over the area, doing my best to restore the surface.  Rain will remove any trace of my stuck-in-the-sand incident.

Brittlebush in bloom

Brittlebush in bloom

On the way out I stop to say goodbye to Chuck and Joe. 

Byron doesn’t have an RV here. He’s a winter resident of Wellton, owning a home nearby.  He got involved in rescuing the PTV because he takes his morning walks on the lane where we camped.  I regret not being able to say goodbye to him, as I missed seeing him on his walk this morning.

I stop at the stop sign before pulling out onto the main road.

A Jeep pulls alongside my driver’s side and comes to a halt.  It’s Byron!  We chat a little bit, I thank him again and say goodbye, and . . .

The crew and I hit the road!

Against my better judgement, I buy propane in Wellton at a painful $3.50 a gallon.  We’re on Interstate 8 again, backtracking westward.  I pull into Fry’s grocery story at Fortuna for supplies.  Shoulda’ bought the propane somewhere around here . . . Woulda’ been a lot cheaper!

I pick up Highway 95 going north.

I turn northeast onto the road to Castle Dome.

I’ve never been up this road in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.  It’s a long, bumpy ride.  At last I see an area good for boondocking.  However, there are few sites and they’re occupied.

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My photos of the dome didn’t come out well. At least I got this record of our camp and a nasty looking cholla (right).

Oh well, I don’t feel like driving that bumpy road out of here this afternoon.  We’ll camp here overnight, I won’t unhitch, and I’ll decide what to do tomorrow.  Maybe someone will leave and we can take their spot.

Monday, February 10

By 10 o’clock it’s apparent that Castle Dome is not where I want us to stay.  Our camp is close to a road and there’s a lot of jeep and dune buggy traffic.  The better campsites are still occupied.  I walk the crew and then we take off for Palm Canyon Road.

By noon we’re set up on BLM land.

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Spike has to patrol around our campsite.

When we were here before, the crew and I camped within the wildlife refuge.  Camped on BLM land bordering Kofa, the crew can run around off-leash.  Friends Bill and Ann are just up the road a bit.  I told them we would return some time this month.

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I like the empty spaces around this camp. It’s easy to keep an eye on Bridget and Spike.

Tuesday, February 11

Bill and Ann, along with their canine crew, Samantha and Julie, come over for a visit.  I work on this blog, editing photos and writing.

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Quite a few ocotillo grow here (view looking west toward Highway 95).

  Wednesday, February 12 – Saturday, February 15

This winter I’ve met a lot of new people and socialized much more than usual.  I’m pleased to see there aren’t many RVers on Palm Canyon Road.

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Signal Mountain and Palm Canyon are in the background.

It’s a treat for me to have this alone time with Bridget and Spike in this pretty desert location.  We’re far enough away from the road to be assured of a quiet, peaceful camp.

The afternoon highs are in the eighties.

I read a couple books, work on this blog, and putter around camp.  The crew and I take walks in the cool of morning and at dusk.  I take photos.  We make one trip into Quartzsite for groceries and gas.

Soon we will be on the move again. 

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Another lovely ending of a day in the desert Southwest

These days of relaxation and solitude are just what I need before setting off on our travels for 2014!

rvsue

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Every day I’m pleased and amazed at the continuing support given my blog.

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107 Responses to Return to a beautiful desert camp

  1. kristine barr says:

    Are the ocotillos the whitish or the green plants? Photos are excellent.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Look at the fourth photo. The ocotillo is the spindly, tall plant in the center of the photo. Its red blossoms appear at the tips of those branches. The dark green plants in these photos are creosote bushes. I don’t know the name of the silvery-grey (“whitish”) plants, nor of the light tan grass.

      • Bill & Ann says:

        I just went out the door and looked at plants. There are three smaller bushes in the photo. Creosote, as Sue listed, the silvery grey Bursage and the darker bush which is Range Ratanay. The Ratany has a sort of maroon color to it when you examine it closely. Then there is the tan colored grass. Don’t know what that is called.

  2. R. says:

    Thank you for a great photo of brittlebush. I agree, your photos are great. Ocotillos are those thin and very tall “sticks.” It always amazes me to see how quickly they can become covered with green leaves right after a short rain.
    I also like your pictures of all those empty spaces with no distraction. What a place to enjoy life, contemplate, read, walk, meditate, be grateful or simply not do much. That would explain smile on Spike’s face. Thank you again.

  3. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts. VA says:

    Good Camp Sue! I loved the shots of the vast empty spaces! I am happy you came back to this place and have a chance to visit with part of your camper family. It was very respectful of you to clean up your stuck/tracks. I have often wished people would do that on the beach after their children have dug deep holes and built beautiful castles. Enjoy your new camp!

  4. LaneVids says:

    Looks like you found some solitude! Glad you didn’t get stuck again or have any nasty “neighbors” telling you to get off of “their land”. Enjoy your peacefulness! The pics are great! Can’t wait until the day ill be on the road. Maybe one day we’ll see you on the road!

  5. AZ Jim says:

    I hope you’re not thinking of leaving us soon? It was 86 officially at Phoenix today (about the same here in Surprise) breaking a record of 83 from 1977 I heard on the news. They said we have a return to lower temps coming. Not anything like most of the country but apparently lower 70’s and maybe even upper 60’s. Brrrrrrrrrrr. I look at the national weather and think how lucky we are to be where we are this time of year. Of course mid summer is a challenge but I just put in a new 4 Ton AC so that and 400+ channels of HD big screen TV I am good to go. Right now where ever I go I see out of state license plates and they will virtually disappear when summer arrives, but for now…….HEAVEN!! Tell me you intend to stay 2-3 more months….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, we won’t leave Arizona for a while yet. I’m like you… I don’t want to be cold! There’s still a lot of this state we haven’t yet explored.

      I know people make a big deal about Arizona’s high summer temps. So you have to stay indoors for a couple months in the a/c. Big deal, right? Not much different than being snowbound in the north… only you don’t have to shovel sunshine. 🙂

  6. Bill from NC says:

    Just thinking about you Sue when you left on the start of your RVing adventure and how scared you were for the crew to get cactus thorns! Did they learn to stay away?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Boy, that seems like an awfully long time ago. I smile to think of it.

      Bridget and Spike learned quickly. They never have been stuck badly with thorns. Never have picked up a cholla ball of thorns. I notice they walk around cholla on the ground. It helps that they aren’t the type dogs that go bounding around.

      Once in a while one of them will step on a goatshead or pick up a tiny, hair-thin thorn. Fortunately they both know, when that happens, to stop walking and stand with the paw up. I pull it out and off we go!

      • Elizabeth says:

        WOW…how impressive that the doggies stop and hold up a paw if they step on a thorn!! I am impressed!!! Smart little turkeys aren’t they?

        • Bill from NC says:

          We have a sand spur here, its a little ball the size of a pea with incredible sharp pins that stick.in Sadie Maes paws. She comes to me carrying a paw and I pull it out. The funny part is when I put her down she doesnt know which paw to limp on and keeps switching them! LOL I hope she does good with the cactus out there!

  7. Bruce says:

    Hi, Sue! Funny how we have been crossing each other’s paths lately. We left the Kofa last week and have been camping out here on American Girl Mine road very close to the spot you were located by the look of your photo. It looks like you are within a quarter mile of our location in the Kofa. We are headed for Painted Rock and the petroglyphs tomorrow, then on to Apache Junction to explore the Trail. We are planning on reaching Carlsbad NM by the first week of May. Happy travels!

  8. Susan in Dallas says:

    I’ve been lurking through all your latest adventures and been enjoying ALL the comments. Won’t be long until that next million. The photos on this post have such depth to them that they almost look 3-D!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Susan . . . I do enjoy bringing out the beauty of the desert with my camera. I’m pleased you like the photos.

      I agree . . . The comments are fantastic. I’m very glad I decided from the beginning of my blog to turn comments into conversation.

      • Pen says:

        Me too! It’s a big highlight. Love the additional “crew” in the comments 😀 (And the fact that you comment in addition to posting the main text.)

  9. Ladybug says:

    Wow, a whole week in one post! And I love the new header photo, even though the crew aren’t visible.

    I had noticed that it’s getting warmer there and was going to ask if you had any idea when you might ‘hit the road’ but your response to AZ Jim’s comment kinda took care of that. Of course, if I wasn’t so lazy I could go back to last year’s posts and see about when that was….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ladybug,

      For anyone not familiar with Arizona, it may seem odd that the crew and I are staying such a long time in the southwest corner. While it’s in the 80s here, it’s usually colder in several large areas of the state, even as south as we are. The reason, as you may know, is elevation. A great deal of eastern Arizona is 4,000 ft. and higher…. brrrrr!

      Yuma, for example is 138 feet above sea level. Sierra Vista, also near the border with Mexico but at a more southerly latitude, is around 4,600 feet above sea level. Right now Sierra Vista is experiencing excellent weather (highs in the 70s). We should’ve motored on over there! We’re having a heat wave here. I need to research to see how cold it will get in other parts of the state once this spate of warm temperatures passes.

      I tried moving northward too soon in 2012 (I think it was). We were caught in a snowstorm in north-central Arizona in March. It worked out well last spring when we made it to southern Utah in May.

      • Pen says:

        We’ve accidentally nearly crossed paths again 🙂 I came over to this general (Q) area a few days ago, intending to look up Palm Canyon Road, but then – since I’m thinking of heading in a northerly direction – decided to turn around (probably just before reaching it – I was winging it) and stop in one of the “simple” BLM areas where I had been before. Not one of my better spots (have awakened to the drone of other people’s generators each morning), but a convenient pit-stop type of place.

        I, too, was looking at the elevation map to see about getting someplace a bit cooler, but then it looks like the “heat wave” will end soon anyway.

        Do you ever use the NOAA graphical forecast? It’s my favorite way to get “the big picture” (or the small one, for that matter). Here I will link to the main (“CONUS”) map. You will see that if you hover your cursor over various things to the left, the map will reflect them (highs, lows, wind, gusts, cloud cover, humidity, etc.). If you click on one area of the map, it will zoom in on a region, then on a state, and eventually on an area the size of a few counties. The same information will be available on the left menu. It will give you a progression in 12 hour increments out around five days, and then with less detail a bit further.

        At any rate, I mention it now because if you look at the “highs” for, say, Arizona, it gives a good graphical representation (which of course – as you say – reflects altitude, for the most part here in AZ).

        http://graphical.weather.gov/sectors/conus.php

        • Pen says:

          PS: Now that I take my own advice and look at the NOAA graphical, I see that it’s not going to cool down as soon as I remembered. (Complaining about the heat in February…LOL.) By the way, for anyone who finds the graphical forecast useful, as I do, note that there is a link at the top to a proposed replacement (natch) and for comments on it. I didn’t find the proposed replacement useful, so I commented with my hope that they keep the existing format.

          I also wanted to echo someone else’s thanks above for the times you show a plant or shrub and identify it. Much appreciated!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thanks, Pen. No, I haven’t used the NOAA forecast. I’ll give it a try. I appreciate you giving us all this information along with the link.

          For me, part of the fun of this way of life is making decisions where and when to go places. I can tell you are well-suited for vagabonding!

      • Elizabeth says:

        One of my friends has a sister and hubby who relocated upon retirement to Sierra Vista and LOVE it…hmmm, interesting thought…have you been in that area yet?

      • Alan Rabe says:

        One of the more fascinating parts of AZ. is the Hannigan Meadows area in the eastern part of the state. It is at or above 11,000 feet in elevation and is all Blue Spruce forests and alpine meadows with trout streams running thru everything. It is the most atypical part of the state. But it is a June thru September type of place. The snow is tremendous. Alpine is the nearest town.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I’d like to see that, Alan. I guess I’ll save it for a time when I don’t travel as much. The way the crew and I travel now, we aren’t in AZ during those months.

  10. Dawn on Camano Island says:

    You so deserve this lovely place of solitude and quiet, Sue! Enjoy your time here. Loved the sunset photo!

  11. Geri Moore says:

    Beautiful Photography! You show the love you have for the desert with such amazing photographs! If you end up near the NE corner of AZ, in Chinle… please go visit Canyon de Chelly! Cottonwood campground there is a boondocking camp and plenty of room between campsites. I know you don’t like campgrounds…. but the drive out to Spider Rock is worth he one night! It hasn’t become as popular as Monument Valley so you don’t have the crowds! Oh… under no circumstances stay at the last campground near Spider Rock! Shifty sands, nothing level, ok for tent campers tho. Drive safe and keep that angel on your shoulder!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri,

      The crew and I will get over that way one of these years, maybe soon. I appreciate you sharing that information. “Know before you go” can prevent disappointment!

      It was such fun spending time with you and Chuck last year in Bluff. Wish I could share a Navajo pizza with you again!

  12. Sure looks like a perfect spot. We are looking forwarding to spending a lot of time in the Kofa National Wildlife Preserve. Al and Kelly from the Bayfield Bunch did some great Jeep trips and hikes while there recently. Enjoy your quiet time in wonderful surroundings:)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It was fun being with them while they were here. Al and Kelly do love to Jeep and hike and climb on rocks. The crew and I aren’t as adventurous. I go on hikes with the Bayfield Bunch via internet. 🙂

  13. Dawn from MI says:

    Enjoy your peace Sue…we’re doing the same with a weekend away to the AL cabin. Sure is nice to just unwind.

  14. Timber n' Rusty says:

    Well howdy and welcome to the quiet side of AZ. Glad you got free. Timber says hi too :~)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rusty,

      I almost emailed you last night to see how you’re doing, but never did … got busy doing something else and forgot. Good to see you here. Hi to Timber, too!

  15. Ron Sears says:

    Sure seems like you’ve been on the move more than normal lately. I am getting tired of living in my little space and hope to have my new to me house by the middle of next week. They towed the motorhome off this week and it was sad to see her go, but I am ready to move on and have bought a 2 bedroom home to have for home base. I should be settled in just in time to leave out for the TC rally in Kerrville, Tx the first week in April. You never know, I might slip over to that God forsaken place and hunt you up..Have a great day and be safe…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I have moved a few times, but they were very short jaunts. The crew and I have bounced around the southwest part of the state, staying warm.

      Congratulations on your new home! I wish you much happiness in it. What does TC stand for?

      Ackkkk! Please don’t write the words “hunt you up” ever again! I don’t want to become a human geocache. Hmm. . . what would that be? an rvsuecache? Horrors!!!

      You have a great day, too, Ron . . .

  16. DeadEye says:

    Beautiful pictures. Lush desert. A peaceful oxymoron.

    Enjoy your seclusion. I would imagine less secluded days are ahead.

    Don

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Don,

      As the year progresses to summer, I’ll look for seclusion on mountains. I love to camp among aspens and wildflowers when the grass is fresh with new growth.

      Thanks for the compliment on my photos.

  17. Hi Sue! I’ve been following along quietly, it was very interesting to read your Mexico experiences. After the bad vibes at your last camp, I’m happy you found this beautiful peaceful place to enjoy. I sure look forward to the time when I can explore these places myself. I especially like the last photo with the sunset and purple hills in the distance. Nice header photo too!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Linda. I like the way the BLT is snuggled in a desert garden in the header photo. That’s our present camp (2/16/2013). Anyone reading this comment in the future won’t know what I’m talking about because I’ll surely change the header from time to time.

      The “bad vibe” at Coyote Wash was momentary and eclipsed by the positive energy of a swell group of guys. 🙂 That’s what I’ll remember best.

      Nice to know you’re still following along .. .

  18. Bill & Ann says:

    It cooled off this morning. Yes! We met one of your blog followers last night at the Moonlight Hike. Arch and Anne. What nice people. Glad the weekends almost over. The ATVers will slow down.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yeah, I saw the ATVers roaring by. I guess the weekend won’t be over until Tuesday.

      What’s with the Moonlight Hike? Did you lead it?

      I appreciate Anne and Arch respecting my privacy. Of course, I’m assuming they would want to meet me. (What an ego!) 🙂

      • Bill & Ann says:

        Katrina, the Refuge Intern led the hike. We were just the healers making sure no one was left behind. Ha!

  19. Pleinguy says:

    A good rest in a peaceful location is always welcome. Hope you get refreshed for your next adventure. I’m looking forward to following your journey.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ve been trying to decide if I want to take us to the coast this summer or concentrate on the mountains of Wyoming and Montana. One of these summers I’d like to go back to New Mexico. We weren’t boondockers (no solar) when we were there in late 2011.

      So many choices! Great that you plan to follow along with us . . .

  20. Rita from Phoenix says:

    ‘…for purple mountain majesty above the painted plain….’ is a good description of AZ. Once had a friend comment ‘So this is what they meant ‘for purple mountains’….always wondered about that.’ We were driving down highway 95 to Yuma to work for a few weeks near the border. She was from back east and had never been to AZ. She loved AZ and made a dental appointment in San Luis. Had the best Mexican food in a hole-in-the-wall of a place in San Luis….it was so good one of our male co-worker ordered two different items off the menu….homemade tortilla, beans and cheese and green chili was sooooo delish!! Probably no longer exist now it’s been so long ago when I was young and still working. The desert is one of the most beautiful places to visit/camp. You capture it well in photos.

  21. Nivrapa in AZ says:

    Hi Sue!

    Wow! You’ve had quite the adventures recently! You are now a full fledged desert boondocker having successfully become stuck in the sand. You passed the initiation process with flying colors. Congratulations, nicely done, and welcome to my world!

    If you are considering moving across southern AZ to the east, I have a suggestion for you. The Las Cienegas National Conservation Preserve outside of Sonoita, AZ. The grassland environment is different from where you are camping now but has equally spectacular scenery in every direction. It’s isolated and the solitude is wonderful. It’s unique in that it’s a national preserve but is very dog friendly. Wonderful boondocking opportunities for a rig your size and roads are firm but “wash boardy”. Just take it slow and you’ll have no problems. I’ve been there during the week for several nights and never saw another camper and only a rare vehicle driving through the preserve. Water is available at the Empire Ranch which is on site of the preserve. I appreciate the criteria you use in looking for a great camp and also look for the same characteristics of a primitive camp, solitude, natural beauty, and free boondocking. This place is a favorite winter get away of mine when I need to recharge the batteries of my being and leave the urban mania behind for a few days.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences across the border. I’ve been shopping for the day at border towns in Mexico but have never taken advantage of any health care opportunities there. You’ve helped allay some of my concerns.

    Glad you’re enjoying the great weather. This part of AZ is certainly the place to be at this time of year. Love it now. Summers, not so much.

    Keep up the great work with your blog and photography. I enjoy the antics of the crew and your adventures and wouldn’t miss an entry. Travel safely and be well!

    Audrey

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Audrey,

      This is valuable information for me and others interested in boondocking in southeast Arizona. I’m looking at my atlas and seriously considering a trip there. Thanks for taking the time to describe it. Very helpful!

      I always enjoy hearing from you. I appreciate the encouragement on my blog and photos. Take care!

  22. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Lovely pictures and camp site. So much more peaceful and serene!

    Hmmm the coast, Montana err did you say windy Wyoming? Wherever your destination is…..you always seem to find beauty.

    Have a great day!

  23. Kitt, NW WA says:

    Ahh… tranquility.

    Absolutely lovely photographs!

    Spike’s coat looks whiter and brighter in his photo – are you seeing a difference? My daughter has fed a raw food diet to her dogs for 13+ years and they have been, and continue to be, very healthy and happy dogs.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, Kitt…. Spike’s coat is slightly better, not as much as I’d like. The whiteness you see in the photo is mostly an illusion. I’m still feeding the crew raw meat and Spike gets salmon oil. I think I have to come out of denial and accept that Spike’s an old guy. Nice of you to ask about him.

  24. Deb from NJ says:

    How wonderful that you have found a peaceful place to rest. Love the new cover photo….makes me want to crawl through my computer and join you. Ahhhh…..spring is in the air with the flowers starting to bloom in your area. Each of your photos has me dreaming of warmer weather. Here in NJ….we have more snow than we know what to do with. I swear the kids will be going to school until July at this rate.

    Excited to hear about your plans for the summer and where the next adventure will take you and the crew. Thanks for taking us along with you!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Deb… As welcome as days off from school may be, it’s going to be tough making up that time when the weather is nice.

      I remember living in the northeast. The snow lying around in February and March is a dirty mess, not the picture-postcard look we associate with winter in those parts. Spring WILL come again . . . even to New Jersey. 🙂

      • Pen says:

        And all the detritus that you didn’t get put away in time (rakes, hoses, etc.) comes back to haunt you, now covered in snowmelt grit. Ah, the good old days 😉

        Actually, if I “had” to go back up north, it’s not the bitter cold middle of winter I would mind the most. Not that I love the cold, but at least then you have pristine blankets of white snow, sparkling icy branches, cornflower blue skies,, and that special bright light reflected from the snow and coming in the windows. Plus you can do things, such as snowshoeing and skiing). No, what I would most want to avoid is the long, dark dreary days after the pretty fall, but before it really snows; and then those long, LONG last days of winter/early spring, where you have the dirty, layered snow, mud, and those confounded hoses and rakes coming back at you. (Then of course the real spring is wonderful, if you’ve lasted that long!)

        But hey, I’m not fussy. Just as long as it’s sunny and 72º – 75º every day and 45º – 50º at night. 😉

  25. Diann in MT says:

    Hi, Sue,
    Gosh. You speak of aspens and wildflowers. That image conjures up Northern New Mexico mountain passes and Colorado high country. Nothing like either one of them!
    Glad you are comfortable and safe.
    Diann

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Diann . . . I was thinking of the mountains of Utah, a delightful surprise for me last summer. There were bluebells and dandelions and columbine… ahhh… I’d put my camp chair in that sloped field of flowers every morning and the crew and I soaked up the sunshine.

  26. Tina says:

    Hi Sue and Crew,
    I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while, but this is my first post! We have a winter home in Yuma (full hook ups and dog friendly if you ever want a break from boon docking). We also RV in a 45′ Renegade, towing a Jeep Rubicon. I noticed something at one of the RV “sell it yourself” lots in the Yuma Foothills I thought might be of interest to you and/or your readers.

    There is a 2000 Casita for sale for about $9K on one of the lots on Foothills Blvd. On a very quick inspection, it looks to be in good shape. Not sure about length, it has a “wet bathroom” in the front, then a little dinette, and a bed/sofa crosswise at the back end of the trailer.

    Just thought you or a reader might want to know in case they are Casita shopping.

    I enjoy your blog–we are dog people too–we have 3 rescues plus my husband just received his second guide dog–so we are definitely a “crew” too!

    All the best,
    Tina and another crew

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Tina… Welcome to the wonderful world of comments! 😉

      It’s nice of you to post that information about a Casita for sale. I bet it won’t be on the market for long. They’re grabbed very quickly. I believe that is a Spirit model. It must seem tiny to you compared with your 45-foot RV.

      Thank you for the invitation! You are fortunate to have a home in the warmth of southwest Arizona.

      Best wishes to you, your husband, and your canine crew!

      • Tina says:

        Thanks Sue! Perhaps we’ll meet up one day.

        We’ve actually been considering putting our home into VRBO as a vacation rental. It’s quite unique and new visitors always say it looks and feels like a resort. But we miss having more travel time.

        Yep, you’re right–that casita looked “muy poquito” but very sweet. We need as much room as we can get with four dogs that each weigh between 60 and 70 pounds–that’s a lotta fur and feet to fit! 🙂

        We have taken down the dinette to install three dog crates in the space, so 3 can be in at a time as needed. We are also thinking about adding a stacker trailer to the mix, to give us a rolling storage unit that also houses the Jeep during travel.

        Before this I towed a 40′ fifth wheel with a Freightliner Sport Chassis, and towed the Jeep behind all of that–so we were looonnnggg. Always a search for the best solution!

        I work online, plus of course I am the driver, so there’s only so many hours in a day as you well know. We are thinking of returning to fulltime RV life–but it’s a terrible time to sell here if you have a higher end home–so we may think outside the box and find a way to offset the expense of the home while we travel more.

        Hope to cross paths some day–but don’t worry–we won’t crowd you.

        All the best to you and the crew,
        Tina and company

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Very interesting, Tina. I love hearing how people adjust to suit their circumstances and such things as family size, in order to get the most out of life.

  27. Renee (from Datil) says:

    Hey, Sue! Just wanted to let you know how lucky you are — I’d LOVE to be paying $3.50/gal for propane. We’ve been “told” there’s a propane shortage in TX & OK, so prices went up here at the end of January…to $5.00/gal. AARRGGHH!!!! And it’s been cold here! Finally getting up in the 60s the past few days; now THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about! Missing the southwest…thanks for the photos!

    • Mary (MN) says:

      Renee, So the propane ‘shortage’ is down there too. Here in MN we are being told that the shortage is just in the midwest. With 60 days this winter with below zero you know what that shortage is doing to the family budgets. The prices are coming down a bit but still over $4.00 a gallon. Stay warm.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Renee and Mary,

      I’ve wondered about the price of propane ever since I heard there would be a shortage. Didn’t know if that was just another “scare” promoted by the media. What a hardship for many people … Now $3.50 a gal. doesn’t seem so bad.

  28. Ed says:

    The place for propane in Yuma is Cactus Propane on Frontage Rd just a little west of Fry’s. They had the cheapest propane in town last winter, not as cheap now but they are probably the lowest available.

    I have been near Sierra Vista since 6 February and it has been wonderful! In the low 80s the past 2-3 days with nice cool (low 40s) mornings. If it would stay this way year around you wouldn’t have room to turn around because of all the people.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ed,

      Somebody mentioned Cactus Propane a while back. I flew past it on the way out to Coyote Wash and should have stopped. I get my mind set on a destination and once I’m on the interstate barreling toward it, I don’t want to stop until I’m there. It looked like I’d have to exit and backtrack on a frontage road.

      I’ve been reading your blog posts. I bet if I go there, a cold snap will arrive with me! I’m glad you and Patches are enjoying perfect weather.

  29. LeeJ says:

    I just drove up to Klamath Falls to visit my son and his family, and was remembering that you were in this beautiful area last summer.

    I woke up to a dusting of snow this morning, brr…but the sun is bright and the sky is stunning blue. I have a plan to bring my Casita up next summer and take the grand kids to the area you spoke so eloquently about.. inspiring wordsmith that you are.

    You always seem to bloom where ever you are planted! The true path to happiness.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, LeeJ,

      The drive to Klamath Falls from any direction is lovely. I wish you and your grandchildren a memorable visit!

  30. Robin in Central Coast California says:

    Beautiful photos, as always. It took me 15 days, but I’ve now read your entire blog. I’ve been worried about the propane shortage and its effect on you, especially if it gets chilly enough for the propane heater. I hope you’re loving your Paperwhite. Thanks for all you write.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Robin,

      Sweet of you to think of me and the crew regarding the availability of propane. I haven’t wanted to turn on the heater since last fall, can’t remember exactly when. I’ve depended upon wheels instead. 🙂

      Yes, I do love my Paperwhite. I haven’t used it much because people give me paperbacks and, although I try to trade off books I’ve read, I still have a supply. It’s nice to know I have access to as many books as I want when the paperbacks run out.

  31. John Lamb says:

    Sue,
    You do take some great pics! Sometimes, I feel like I’m right there where you are…..especially where you are now, as have been there, will be there again at some as yet unknown future time…..for the moment, will continue living vicariously thru your blog posts!

    I have been following you almost since you started, and the thing that drew me to your blog was something you said in your very beginning—“I relish solitude”…..this was important to me as I also enjoy my alone time!! When I go camping, I WANT, I NEED to be alone most of the time.

    But, I have noticed the last few months, you seem to be spending more time around people….are you suddenly finding yourself lonely?? Has your outlook on solitude changed?? I mean, people walking up to your campsite, and knocking on your door a couple years ago would have not been acceptable……just saying……

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John,

      Good questions. I’m going to answer even though I may offend people. Nothing personal is meant toward anyone, but here goes.

      “Are you suddenly finding yourself lonely?” No. I don’t know what lonely is, but I’m certain I don’t feel it.

      “Has your outlook on solitude changed?” No, I still prefer to be alone.

      You wrote: “I mean, people walking up to your campsite, and knocking on your door a couple years ago would have not been acceptable . . . ”

      Well, it still isn’t acceptable, but what am I supposed to do? Become one of those recluses who sends a shotgun blast when someone ventures near? It’s the price of having a popular blog, I guess.

      Thanks for the nice words about my photos. I’m happy to hear you are still keeping up with me and the crew!

      • Dominick Bundy says:

        Hi sue and crew, . Just wondering, Do you think you may feel loneliness if you were all by yourself and didn’t have the crew?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Gee, Dominick, I don’t know. I’ve always had a dog and/or cat, ever since my earliest memory. Maybe that’s why I’ve never experienced loneliness.

          My guess is I’d become depressed, rather than lonely. In other words, I wouldn’t ache for people. And if I couldn’t have a dog, I’d become reclusive.

  32. Terri From Texas says:

    Just paid 2.92 a gallon for propane for our house. If there is a shortage, its because the greedy oil companies continue to export most of the propane and flare off (instead of capturing it) the rest. We just got back from a weekend at Matagorda Bay near Bay City, Texas. A bit nippy, in the sixties, but there was some lovely beachcombing and lots of redwing blackbirds, pelicans, and roseate spoonbills to look at! Our dog loved the dunes, not too sure about the giant bath! (the ocean). It was his first trip to the sea, but we all enjoyed it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That sounds like a great time, Terri. And your dog added to the fun, I’m sure. One thing I miss when camping in the desert… There aren’t a lot of birds to watch.

      Maybe you get a discount for volume when buying propane for a house tank? I don’t know… never had a regular house heated by propane.

  33. Chinle says:

    Hey Sue,

    I clicked on your name when you commented on my blog and it took me to your old site:

    http://rvsueandcrew.com/

    Just FYI as you might want to update that.

    Enjoying your blog, as usual. Hope our paths cross one of these days.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chinle,

      I know it does that. However, WordPress on these reply boxes won’t accept the fact that I’m dot-net. It sees it as an error and my efforts to fix that haven’t worked. That’s why I keep that page directing to my correct address.

      Thanks for trying to straighten me out. I may wander up Moab way this year… don’t know yet.

  34. Maggie Evans says:

    Hi Sue –

    I have followed your blog for awhile now, and really enjoyed your travels vicariously! I am preparing to hit the road in April and am very excited as the day finally draws near. I am in the midst of installing my solar system – Thank you for the link to Handy BOB! Wow! That guy was a godsend to me in helping finally understand solar power!

    I wonder if I may ask you a question about how you approach personal safety? I too will be soloing and like yourself, love boondocking, far from neighbors. Being out in the wild feels like my church…. I am pretty intuitive and trust my instincts. When a situation feels “spooky” I pay attention. And I try to keep my footprint soft and small so I usually get by okay in this world.

    But I wonder how you feel out there on your own. Especially near the border and fairly real possibility of crossing paths with drug smugglers. I know carrying a gun is a very personal decision for people, and to be honest, I don’t know that I could – too Canadian in that regard I suppose… 🙂 How do you approach this issue?

    Thanks for any thoughts you can share on this subject?

    And Happy Trails to you!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Maggie,

      I’m happy that you decided to write! Thank you for reading my blog.

      How do I approach the issue of security? I live and travel how and where I want which keeps me away from crime centers and in a positive frame of mind. I don’t give security much thought at all. My door usually hangs wide open. I close it and lock it when I go to bed for the night or when I leave it unattended.

      You mentioned when “a situation ‘feels’ spooky” . . . I haven’t run into one “spooky” situation since I hit the road in August 2011! If you get on the road and find yourself feeling spooked, one of two things is happening. 1) You’re going where you shouldn’t go (not likely) … or 2) the spookiness is a product of your imagination and conditioning.

      Fear is reinforced in women at every turn… books, movies, tv, news, boyfriends, husbands, fathers, other fearful women . . . If you want to live with some freedom you have to silence those voices of fear that are part of the conditioning you’ve experienced all your life. Once you do, you are free to enjoy this lifestyle to the fullest! That’s my opinion.

      Enjoy a wonderful and exciting new chapter of your life! I wish you much happiness and adventure. Good luck with your solar set-up!

  35. TexasTom says:

    What would I do today if I was not afraid? That is a starting point for most of us.

    Sue in just a few years you have developed wide circle of friends that care about your welfare and if you don’t post when we know you are due we will call out the Calvary. Your blog is a great security apparatus. You keep posting and letting us know where you are and we do our best to have your back.

    I bet you can’t go anywhere without you and crew being recognized and that makes you safer out there on the road.

    I tell to my wife about your life style and blog and how they are tied together even with income coming in from it. She is less fearful about our coming lifestyle change because of your blog.

    Like I’ve told her if something happened to me she will have twice the space and 60% less washing and cleaning to do and more money.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Love your last line, Tom. Gave me a chuckle!

      I am aware of the kind concern of many people, most of whom I’ve never met. I really am blessed. However, I did embark on this full-time life before my blog became popular. My point being that one doesn’t need a blog following to feel safe and be safe.

      Thanks for having my back.

  36. Angie2B says:

    All the questions about security reminded me of a conversation I had recently with a friend. In these days of radio, TV, movies, and internet we hear and see so much violence. Can you imagine how peaceful the lives of people were before all of this news and entertainment invaded our lives? Imagine what a pioneer’s thought processes must have been like with little knowledge of the terrible things that our society has been exposed to. I bet people back then had such a feeling of peace. Just a thought.

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