Return to a favorite forest and blue sky

Thursday, August 20 (continued)

“Nephi!  We finally made it!”

The crew and I scramble out of the Perfect Tow Vehicle which is parked next to a vacant lot.  Bridget and Reggie are hysterical, wanting out NOW for a potty break.  There was no stopping while crossing Salt Lake City on the interstate!

“Okay, okay . . . .”  Suited up, on leash, they hit the grass and do their business.

I walk them up and down a side street of Nephi. 

Then I make my own potty run to the Best Little Trailer.

Gee, I’m starving!

I spy an Arby’s and pull up to the menu at the drive-through.

I order a chicken with swiss cheese sandwich for me and a junior roast beef sandwich for the crew to share (after tossing the bun).

I move the PTV to a shady spot, we eat our lunch, and I check the blog online.

“Now to find a place to camp for the rest of the day.”

P1060798San Pitch Mountains in smoke

Route 132 takes us east to the Nebo Loop Road.

I don’t want to camp in an RV park.  I’m familiar with the area because the crew and I boondocked along a creek by this road and also camped at Ponderosa Campground.

P1060797Nebo Loop Road, Nephi, Utah

Ponderosa Campground is shady which makes it my first choice.

I drive in and a woman comes out to greet me.  I don’t remember if it was in her first breath or second when she speaks the words I hate to hear and that I’m hearing more and more often.

“Do you have a reservation?”

Long story short, I drive the two loops and find that the first come, first serve sites are the crappy ones.  This irritates me.

I drive out of the campground. 

No thank you!

Okay, it’s hot and it’s going to stay hot all afternoon.  We’ll be okay.  In the morning we’ll continue our trek away from smoke.

Several boondock sites are claimed with unoccupied rigs.  I keep looking.

I find a boondock with no neighbors and set up camp.

P1060801The creek behind our camp is almost dried up.  Spike once soaked in that creek.

I put out the awning, open all the windows, turn on the ceiling vent fan, and grab my rake out of the back of the PTV.  There’s evidence that cows have been through here.  I clean up the area and put down the blue mat.  A camp chair and a bottle of water and I’m done!  Whew!

P1060799Bridget chooses to stay cool under the BLT.  Reggie has to patrol our property.

With the awning out and the fan blowing air out of the BLT, the interior is bearable.  The crew, however, wants to be outside.  I can’t blame them after all the time they’ve been in the PTV.

I sit in my camp chair with a bottle of water and relax. 

I’m too tired and punchy from driving and it’s too hot to do anything more!

P1060800Across the road in the bushes on the hillside, a flock of turkeys gobble.

Reggie is stunned. 

“You’ve never heard anything like that before, have you, Reg?”

At dusk when the air is cooler, I push Bridget in her stroller on the paved road as Reggie trots along with us.  I roll up the awning.  By bedtime the temperature has dropped significantly and the three of us sleep well.

Friday, August 21

We sleep late.  Three young guys on bicycles come by while I’m sitting outside drinking coffee and trying to drum up some ambition.

“Do you have any water?”

As I set them up with ice and water in their plastic sip-containers, Reggie barks furiously.

“It’s your black suits,” I explain.  “You look menacing to him.”  (Those bicycle suits look menacing to me, too, but I hold my tongue.)

On the road to our next camp!

We take Nebo Loop Road to Route 132.

P1060802Nebo Loop Road looking southwestward

Route 132 is a pleasant drive and takes us through Fountain Green and Moroni. 

In spite of road construction, it’s less than an hour when we arrive at Ephraim.  I run into Wal-Mart for some water and groceries.  We cruise through town, turn left at the sign for access to Manti-La Sal Forest, and start the climb.

We return to Badger Mountain!

ViewOfEphraimView of Ephraim, Utah, from halfway up Badger Mountain (photo taken June, 2013)

If you’ve read old posts on this blog, you know the crew and I camped on Badger Mountain twice at a boondock I refer to as Bluebell Camp (dandelions, bluebells, and columbine!) and another I dubbed Aspen Camp (where my lounger hit the dirt with me in it!).  Those camps were in spring and early summer.

Bluebell doesn’t have much shade and Aspen Camp presently has an unoccupied fifth wheel in it.  I remember from our explorations of the forest in previous years that there’s a forest road with campsites not far from Bluebell!

P1060805We follow the forest road and it takes us to a pretty and shady campsite surrounded by aspens and evergreens.  Oh, I like this!

P1060821It’s an established campsite as indicated by a fire ring and a depression that someone dug to make the site level.

I back the BLT between the aspens so its right tire drops into that low spot. 

I check the level, side-to-side.  Perfect! 

Later I unhitch so that the BLT is level, front-to-back, as well.  I move the PTV forward to put her solar panel in the sun.

P1060819We’re at almost 9,000 feet here. 

The air is fresh and the breeze that’s twinkling the aspen leaves is delightfully cool.   I’m so tickled to have finally found a nice, cool place to camp that’s out of the smoke that I giggle as I set up camp.  Bridget and Reggie catch my enthusiasm and are obviously happy with our new camp.

Together we walk further up the forest road.

P1060864“Isn’t it beautiful here?  And we can stay for sixteen days.  Oh, look!  The sky is BLUE!”



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183 Responses to Return to a favorite forest and blue sky

  1. Deb D says:

    Beautiful place to end your day and blue sky. Looks like a perfect campsite.
    Enjoy ! Beautiful pictures !

  2. Calvin R says:

    Finally out of the smoke! That’s worth a giggle. The camp site looks nice, too.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Calvin,

      It’s such fun finding the right campsite, one that’s comfortable, private, and pretty,too.

  3. Gail from Buckeye AZ says:

    Glad you found a nice cool shady spot! Its HOT here in Buckeye AZ.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gail,

      I’m not surprised it’s hot in Buckeye. It’s hot in Ephraim also. But not up at this altitude (hee-hee).

  4. Teri in SoCal says:

    How beautiful! What a lovely place to call home. Hugs to the crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Teri,

      The crew is hugged and in bed already…. They go to bed too early! Yes, I’m happy to call this camp home.

  5. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    I am 5th, wow!

  6. Chris B - Southern California says:

    That certainly looks like it was worth the drive. I feel cooler just looking at it!

    Have fun!

    Chris B

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It was worth it, Chris. I came here ready for cool forest after desert and interstate driving. And I never expected to see so many wildflowers in August!

  7. Marilu from Northern California says:

    Yes! the beautiful Utah high country?. It looks like this area got some rain and snow so it isn’t so much of a tinder box. Since I went to high school at Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant your posts from this area bring back wonderful memories. Thank you!

  8. Cinandjules (NY) says:


    Love your backyard! Bridge babee is so photogenic….when she wants to be! Enjoy your stay! Rest up and breath the fresh air.

    Love the flowers. Special hugs for you and the crew.

  9. Michelle from Salt Lake,UT says:

    Nice site!

  10. Jenny Johnson Manuel says:

    YAY — I must be first — or at least close!!

  11. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    The new camp is beautiful. I think this bluebell/aspen area of Utah is my very favorite. Seems like no matter what the season, it always peaceful and lovely there. I am just drawn to those Aspen trees, they are so majestic looking. Glad you and the crew finally got some relief from the smoke and constant moving. You deserve a rest for a couple of weeks. Thanks for sharing adventures.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Barbara.

      I’m convinced it is always lovely on Badger Mountain. Right now there are yellow, white, and purple wildflowers. Earlier there must have been wild roses in bloom. I’ve seen several rose plants. And there’s a field of what I think are sunflowers that have gone to seed, plus another flower I can’t identify.

      In other words it’s a kaleidescope of flowers and then the aspens turn to gold, followed by snow!

  12. Jolene says:

    This is wonderful!! Loved this area before and still love it. We are back home as of yesterday from what turned out to be a 2 week camping trip. Some of it with my mom, and our adult kids and some of the grandkids.

    We really enjoyed our time and Harley has healed well from his surgery. I have finally gotten all caught up with your posts while I was gone and looking forward to where we go with you as you try to stay ahead of the smoke. Enjoy your time in this wonderful area!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Jolene. I’m happy you had what sounds like a wonderful camping trip with family. I’m glad Harley is healing.

  13. Linda Hughes says:

    OMGoodness! What a beautiful site, the pics are great! Do you feel fairly safe when you are boondocking? I love the idea of being out in the aspen’s and forest….Is it difficult to find the boondocking sites on forest service roads? That’s the way we plan to rv, we love seeing wildlife and being in nature. You are a blessed lady! Thanks for sharing your pics, they are great!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Linda. It’s fun sharing my photos on my blog.

      Yes, I am blessed! You asked if it’s difficult to find boodocking sites on forest service roads. It depends upon the area. Some places there are none, particularly where lumbering operations are taking place. Other places — like Ashley NF south of Flaming Gorge, for instance — boondocks are fairly easy to find. After a while you get a feeling when coming into a forest whether there will be good boondocks. Some are wrecked from too many OHVs and such, others are still in pretty good shape. You learn to anlayze the conditions of the forest roads….

      Some folks use Google maps to look for boondocks. You could try that.

      Your other question …. I always feel safe when boondocking. It doesn’t occur to me to be afraid. Not bragging. Just the reality. 🙂

  14. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Sue, Hope your time there will be restful, peaceful and smoke free!!! A beautiful place!! The smoke here is finally leaving…may be a twinge left, but most is gone from our area now and we are so grateful…soon we will have hotter days…but today has been just perfect…breezy and cool!! MY FAVORITE!!! Yippee!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Great news about your smoke leaving, Elizabeth! How nice that you had a perfect day. I wish you many more!

  15. Mick'nTN says:

    I remember you were happy there in 2013. You’re 1.7 miles high so don’t forget the altitude problem. Enjoy the good air!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mick,

      We are enjoying the good air, when not short of breath due to the altitude. Just as in previous visits this high on the mountain, we’ve been sleepy, taking naps, going to bed early. I plan to go up higher on the mountain. I’ll wait until we’re acclimated to this elevation first.

      • Cate W says:

        Hi Sue,

        What a relief that you have found a beautiful, cool, smoke-free place to camp for a couple weeks. I was exhausted just helping you search for it. HAHA.

        Your response to Mick answered my question about the altitude. I became a little short of breath at 8,000 ft so not sure how I would do at 9,000 ft. You don’t seem to mind. Do you get headaches or dizzy up there? And you plan to go even higher.

        Enjoy what must be a very welcome break from the road.

        Hugs to the fur faces and one big one for Sue too,

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          During a previous camp on Badger Mountain, I attempted to drive up to the top of the mountain with the crew. When I began to experience symptoms of altitude sickness (and when Bridget looked like she had a headache), I turned around and returned us to our camp. I had a tingling feeling in arms and legs, slight headache, maybe shortness of breath (can’t remember exactly.) That is why I didn’t haul us up there right away this visit. I’ll wait until our second week here.

          I do notice my stamina isn’t that great when we walk uphill and my energy dissipates more quickly than usual (I’ve never been a high-energy person.)

          No headaches or dizziness at camp. I accept that whenever we camp on Badger Mountain the first three days are going to be sleepy ones.

          • Cate W says:

            Well sleepy doesn’t sound like a bad thing. Who can’t use a few more naps and early to beds at “our” stage of life.
            Sounds like you are comfortable with how you acclimate to the altitude.
            Its a truly lovely spot…wish I was there too. (Just not next door to ya!!:) )
            Be well,

  16. Betty -Shea says:

    So happy for you and the crew!!!
    Relax and enjoy that beautiful camp!!!

  17. Ladybug in Mid-Tenn says:

    Badger, badger, badger…..

  18. NV Teacher says:

    I know that area well. My mother was born and raised in Fountain Green. Her father had sheep and they lived in the mountains all summer with the sheep herd. It’s gorgeous there. Today was my 26th first day of school. I love my job but your blog is giving me ideas.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, NV Teacher,

      How interesting! There still are sheep around Fountain Green and Ephraim. I’ll be showing some in a future post.

      Congratulations on 26 first days! You must be better suited to teaching than I was or you have a better school climate in which to teach. I lasted 11 years … barely. I wish you and your students a successful year!

  19. Sharon in MO says:

    What a beautiful camp! We are on the road now headed east with our Casita. Missouri today, Indiana tomorrow. Temps are dropping nicely this evening. Glad you are enjoying a cool shady spot with the pups.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sharon,

      Have a fun, safe trip! I imagine it’s a different kind of camping in the east than what I’m used to. I hope the weather stays nice for you throughout your trip.

  20. Piper says:

    Glad you are out of the smoke. Beautiful country! You and your sweet crew relax and enjoy your home.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Piper. We are taking it easy. We have everything we need… plenty of food, propane, reading material, and water is available at a campground part of the way down the hill. We’ve been here three days, staying close to camp.

      I hope you are enjoying your summer, too!

  21. Shawna says:

    Beautiful camp spot! I am so glad you guys are out of the smoke. ENJOY!

  22. Anne Henderson says:

    After all the wildfire smoke, blue sky is lovely isn’t it!

    Portland OR got so much smoke over the weekend that the air quality was labeled ‘downright unhealthy’. And I’m sure it was better than what the firefighters and folks living around the fires are experiencing.

    Glad you’re out of the smoke and found another lovely campsite!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Anne,

      I do appreciate the blue sky more than ever! Today it was even bluer with puffy white clouds. I also appreciate good air!

      It must be tough for people who live in Portland and have respiratory problems.

  23. Marcia GB in MA says:

    Just keep moving until you find blue sky and shade. Good choice! So glad you and the pups have landed in a beautiful place with clean air. Enjoy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marcia,

      I think there’s been some rain on the fires that brought smoke to this area. That may be why it seems much clearer. Every night since we set up camp on Badger Mountain, it has rained. Nothing heavy. I see in the sidebar weather widget that thunderstorms are predicted.

  24. Laura says:

    Hi there Sue!

    I think I know… but I am not sure… does Boondocking mean you are camping on an established campsite within the national forest, but there are no fee’s and no water, bathroom or electricity? If that is not what it means… please tell me again if you have told me before? I forget easily!

    Glad to see you found such a beautiful place to stay away from the smoke and people!



    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Laura,

      There are different usages for the term boondocking. How you describe it is correct, although not limited to national forests. You can boondock in some (not all) national wildlife refuges and on Bureau of Land Management land…. any of our public lands that don’t have a specific restriction against it.

      By an established campsite, this means the place has been used as a campsite over time. There usually is no campsite marker (although I’ve come across areas where markers are in place in an effort to restrict abuse of land, i.e. making new sites).

      It is no longer allowed for campers to make new sites on public lands (In the desert this isn’t as strict a rule, although one should try to abide by it.) You use sites that have been created in the past.

      For instance, when I drive down a forest road or BLM road, I look for a place that obviously has seen some wear from a vehicle and where there is a fire ring. If I want to use that site, I do my best to keep within the area of previous wear, making as small a “footprint” as possible, since some sites have been made bigger than they need be (by people hauling in lots of “toys” or riding their motorbikes or OHVs in circles around the campsite or selecting previously unused areas around the site to pitch their tent, or using rugs and mats that smother the vegetation, and so forth.)

      The term boondocking infers that one is out in the boondocks. No facilities at all, away from residential areas.

      Thank you for asking. It’s a term I use often and I don’t want to confuse readers with it.

  25. Glenda in OZ! says:

    Beautiful camp and what about that scenery on the way……………shows how long I have been following along……….I actually recognise names of places. Love it all!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That makes me smile, Glenda…. It really is like you’ve been to those places with us! And now we’re back in one of OUR favorite camps. Pretty neat! I love that. 🙂

  26. Lisa W says:

    Glad you and the crew found a nice, cool, beautiful location to spend some time. Looks well worth the trip to get there.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lisa,

      It was worth the trip! Your comment made me think of something…. All the people who read my blog who go ahead and adopt the vagabond life in a similar style as mine…. Those people will find (I hope) special places of their own to which they will be drawn at times when refreshment of mind, body, or soul is needed.

      That’s why I insert little details about how I find camps. It’s far better for people to know how to find their own special places than only to seek out the ones I post.

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        I’ve always liked how you “teach folks to fish” in the way you describe finding camps. The first time I boondocked in this way (as you know) I chose a (large) area that you had given pretty specific directions to; but since then, I’ve tried to use the tips you give to mostly find my own spots (although I have stopped at a couple that you’ve mentioned, but not at times you were there – they were generally ones in areas with a lack of many spots – such as Navajo National Monument when crossing the reservation in that area).

        Anyway, thanks for all you do to help others learn to find good spots of their own!

        Utah mountains certainly are looking lovely. Ahhhhhh, blue skies, puffy clouds, clean air, wildflowers, and privacy – fantastic 🙂

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

    Yay! You found a cool and smoke free spot. I’m happy for you three!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s a nice message, Linda Rose. Thank you! I hope you and the Four Ms are cool and breathing clean air.

  28. Jan Johnson says:

    Your photos of Idaho are just blowing me away! I had no idea it was so beautiful there! I wanna go!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, Jan, I didn’t even “scratch the surface” of all the beauty there is in the state of Idaho. I’m sure there are readers who have explored Idaho who would agree. Maybe someday the crew and I (and I hope you, too!) will see some of Idaho’s gorgeous alpine lakes.

      Thanks for mentioning my photos. I’m glad you like them!

  29. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Badger Mountain – yippee!!! One of my favorite places that we have been with you and the Crew. Mountain air, aspen, evergreens, clear, blue skies and clean air….it doesn’t get much better, does it?! 🙂

    Reggie is adorable, inspecting the campsite, and Bridget is awfully cute, allowing her portrait to be captured!

    Glad you survived SLC! Hope you have a chance to decompress and recharge your batteries. Enjoy! Sending you and the Crew hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      It seems like all the blogorinos agree that Badger Mountain camps are favorites! It’s worth the drive here and it’s worth the drive up the mountain, which is a challenge.

      I need to lighten the PTV’s load since adding some heavy items like my new folding table. The other two years that the PTV pulled the BLT up this mountain, she did it in 2nd gear. This time I had to put her in 1st gear.

      And I was thinking…. Gollee, I did this when I was a newbie! It’s steep and winding for a long way with no level spots.

      Good morning to you and Gracie pup! 🙂

  30. Chaunte in West Tennessee says:

    Hi Sue,
    You sure know how to pick em! Kudos on another beautiful home!
    As always, have very safe and happy adventures!

    Hugs- Chaunte, Shea, and the chihuahuas

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chaunte, Shea, and the chihuahuas,

      I appreciate the cheers! This is a beautiful place, very green with many flowers and the white bark of the aspens add to the beauty. Now that I’ve seen Badger Mountain in spring, early summer, and late summer, I’m curious how it looks at the peak of aspen color in autumn. It must be quite a sight!

  31. Nancy from South Georgia says:

    Beautiful pictures. Reminds me of an old John Denver song…”Cool & green & shady..” can’t remember all the lyrics but another part was “…find yourself a piece of grassy ground, lie down, close your eyes…”

    All those beautiful trees will scrub that air clean and give a rest to all of your lungs. And the flowers are just gorgeous.

    I have to laugh with the phrase “Reggie has to patrol….” Makes me think of elementary school and the volunteers who wore the orange reflective vests to get us across the walkway; they were called “Patrols” and everyone wanted a chance to do that. “Patrols” got a few perks for doing the job through wind, rain, and heat.

    Bridget is loving her walks with Mom & The Stroller, I’m sure. She is so adorable.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Nancy,

      Oh, John Denver, what a good soul. A few months ago I was in a grocery store somewhere and one of his songs was playing… I think it was “Country Roads, Take Me Home” and I was struck with sadness recalling his life cut short.

      There’s an excellent biography of John Denver written by Jason Ankeny. Very interesting life. Did you know that Denver played for the Chernobyl victims?

      “One of the most popular recording artists of the 1970s, country-folk singer/songwriter John Denver’s gentle, environmentally conscious music established him among the most beloved entertainers of his era; wholesome and clean-cut, his appeal extended to fans of all ages and backgrounds, and led to parallel careers as both an actor and a humanitarian.” — Jason Ankeny

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I found it!

      “Cool An’ Green An’ Shady”

      Saturdays, holidays, easy afternoons,
      lazy days, sunny days, nothing much to do.
      Rainy days are better days for hanging out inside.
      Grainy days and city ways make me want to hide
      someplace cool and green and shady.

      Find yourself a piece of grassy ground, lay down close your eyes.
      Find yourself and maybe lose yourself while your free spirit flies.

      August skies, and lullabies, promises to keep,
      dandelions and twisting vines, clover at your feet.
      Memories of aspen leaves trembling on the wind,
      honey bees and fantasies, where to start again,
      someplace cool and green and shady. Cool and green and shady.
      Cool and green and shady. Cool and green and shady

      The lyrics are perfect for us…. “August skies”….. “aspen leaves”…. Thank you for the gift, Nancy!

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        We love listening to him also…soothing mellow music.

        We were camping in Pacific Grove, CA when his plane went down off the coast. 🙁

      • Pamela K says:

        What wonderful, perfect words to use in recalling the great John Denver. Such a sad event to have lost him so young. If there is any comfort in his passing it is knowing he died doing something he truly loved…flying his plane. He was Klemper’s most favorite songwriter/singer/poet. Sue, you wrote, “Did you know that Denver played for the Chernobyl victims?” No I didn’t know that! I MUST tell Klemper that tonight! See, I’m writing this through heavy tears… Klemper and I lost a dear friend to cancer from the Chernobyl melt down. His name was Mitch. Was in the USAF and part of the front team sent in to clean up after the melt down. All who were part of his team knew that they would be fallen with cancers over time from it. It is what they volunteered to do, to go in. He was so young then and we lost him in his early forties. He was one of the kindest souls one could ever expect to know, a man of true honor. Both Klemper and I speak of Mitch often, especially when camping as he loved being out in nature. So Sue, it is only fitting that John Denver would have done that for the Chernobyl victims. I’m sure Klemper will find that fact both pleasant and sad alike… as we remember our friend Mitch. Sue, my tears are not mourning tears for Mitch, he is at peace now and for that I am grateful. Thank you, Sue, for writing that about John Denver — he was a very special soul — and the beauty that surrounded him was befitting of such a person.
        Both he and Mitch are greatly missed.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Oh dear, now I have tears…. One never knows how their words will travel and touch another…

          Hugs to you and Klemper. Your friend Mitch was and is an angel.

          • Pamela K says:

            Oh my, two strong women in tears. We are quite the pair today, are we not? Well, enjoy your sweet camp and later tonight look up into that clear sky and spot three bright stars…they will be John, and Mitch, and our boy Spike. I’m sure of it.

          • Jolene says:

            I read that book about John Denver, very good book. I loved John Denver and had pretty much all of his music and saw him countless times in concert when he came to the Des Moines, IA area.

        • Nancy from South Georgia says:

          Pamela K,

          So very sorry to hear about your and your husband’s friend Mitch and the Chernobyl incident. When young people sign up for the military they are looking for a way to make a living and find a career. They give their life’s time and sometimes their lives in this endeavor. When Memorial Day comes every year we should all truly stop and think about the often very profound sacrifices demanded of them and of their loved ones and families.

          I recently came across an article about those who served in the US Navy on the USS Ronald Reagan which was sent in March of 2011 to the Fukushima nuclear meltdown area in Japan. A significant number of the sailors are coming down with cancer and the government is trying to tell them they’re non-related incidents.

          • Pamela K says:

            Nancy from South Georgia,
            Thank you so much for your sweet words. I, too, have heard the many stories of both the qiuck deaths and the slow deaths *illnesses* related to severing our great nation. I have, for many years, worked in support of both our Blue Star and Gold Star families through my buttons works. It is the In Memory And Honor buttons that make me the proudest. Those families have shared many memories with me and through my buttons they are able to showcase their Fallen Hero with honor every day. A quick run to the local grocery store or to the local fast food joint has someone always asking about their Fallen Hero from the buttons they wear. Those who Step-Up to serve our freedoms are most special indeed, past and current members serving. As for me, it is my life’s work. I came from a family who served, USN. Married my husband who served, USAF, my son served, US Army, and I served at the local level as a Police 911 Dispatcher. It was and is a part of who we are. Please thank your friend and tell him my heart is with him and his service related illness. So sad when the help is long or never coming during those illnesses. Too often, we say we are a greatful nation, that we will not forget. But sadly we do forget, often in three months or less. Bless those who are greatful and do remember. I wish more people would walk-the-walk instead of only talk-the-talk. Please tell your friend I will help in any way I can if he needs letters or anything to help with his illness claims. Has he talked to, met with his Congressman and Senators? If not, please encourage him to do so. Tell him to never give up, Mitch didn’t give up and he did get much of the help he needed. Tell him I try to understand it all but I have not had to bare those burdens personally. It is sad that some step-up to fight for our freedoms only to have to fight, again, for the benefits they were assured they were get.

      • Nancy from South Georgia says:

        You are so welcome, Sue. Thank you for finding and printing those lyrics; I can hear him singing it right now.

        I had an 8-track album and that was one of the songs on the Greatest Hits album, I believe it was. That one and “Annie’s Song” were two of my favorites.

        Brings back memories of me driving down the road in my old Toyota with that song playing and my dog hanging his head out the window. (Maybe he was trying to escape my singing?)

  32. Pookieboy in SE Texas says:

    I went to bed at 8pm and up at 1am and look what I found….
    Sue and her pups have found clear blue skies…YEE HAW!
    congratulations young lady…I knew you would find it….
    love the post and the pictures and many thanks for posting,
    you made my day…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What fun to surprise you at one in the morning, Chuck! I hope my post put you to sleep again. Hahaha!

      Thanks for the sweet note.

  33. Laurie in NC says:

    Beautiful area, looks very relaxing! I can related to Reggie having to patrol your campsite. I have a Yorkie that has to patrol comstantly. She wants to walk any perimeter especially if we are camping. She has to do it as soon as we arrive and with each walk! Looking forward to seeing more pictures of Badger Mountain!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s unusual, Laurie, for a female to be compelled to patrol the perimeter of camps. I thought it was a male “thing” to do that. Your Yorkie has a very responsible, protective personality, I guess. What a love!

  34. Krystina ~ Victory, Vermont says:

    So HAPPY you and the crew are out of the smoke, have blue sky and Wildflowers!! Your boondock is perfect. I hope you stay there long enough to recover from the “great escape” from the smoke. Kids are looking content and happy…which is everything.

    I never told you all that the problem with my urine never cleared up and there was never a diagnosis. BUT, when I got shingles and got the meds for that….they cleared it up!!! I went to my primary care Doc yesterday and she said that the shingles virus must have been active all that time but had not appeared on the skin yet. Hummmm, too bad the Drs at the hospital in OR didn’t know that. Stay happy and safe RVSue. xxoo

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Krystina,

      All that worry and effort to find what the problem was and with no help for it! What a relief it must be for you to know the urine situation was a symptom of shingles. That alone is worth the trip from the west coast to Vermont.

      And the shingles meds cleared it up …. Fantastic! Thanks for letting us know, Krystina. I know you’ve been in the minds and prayers of many folks, including mine.

      I hope all is well with you and your family. Do keep in touch and be happy!

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Thanks for the update and glad you are ok, Krystina!! Never heard of something like that before…but it is good to share as who knows whom might need to know that in their future too!! SO often we have to sorta be our own doctors…at least not let them quit on us!!

      • Krystina ~ Victory, Vermont says:

        Hi Elizabeth 🙂 Kinda what I thought so I shared it with all you guys!!

        • Shirlene (Huntington Beach, Ca) says:

          Hi Krystina, glad you are feeling better. I am sorry but I must have missed the post where you left for Vermont. Did you drive yourself out there? And are you planning to leave there before the next snowflake falls or are you staying put to be with family for the Holidays. Sorry for so many questions. Been following you for a while now and always concerned for your health situation. Looks like all good news anyway. Stay well.

          • Pamela K says:

            WONDERFUL NEWS! You must be so relieved! We are relieved for you, sweet lady 🙂 It sure was a wild ride for you but that bronco couldn’t buck you, you rode it like a real Pro.
            Hugs and Happy! Happy!

          • Krystina ~ Victory, Vermont says:

            Hi Shirlene 🙂 When my shingles were better my friend Casey in Vermont said he wanted to fly out to WA and drive back with me…he is a great friend. I did all the driving because I know I would have driven him crazy if he drove…you’re too this you’re too that…on and on. I wanted to preserve our relationship!!! Hee hee…he was good about it. I have not thought about anything AT ALL! Just relaxing looking at his pond and watching the rain, reading, etc. I will be meeting my grand daughter soon for the first time!!!! She is 7 months old and I cannot wait!

            • Shirlene (Huntington Beach, Ca) says:

              Krystina, so nice for you to be home and around family and a new 7 month old granddaughter….enjoy yourself to the fullest. I will be looking forward to your comments on here also. By the way, how long did it take to you drive to Vermont?

            • Krystina ~ Victory, Vermont says:

              It took us 10 days to get home which included 3 nights in a motel while ordering and having 6 new tires put on the RV. I mostly drove 65, sometimes 60 if the speed limit was lower.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Fantastic, Krystina! Babies are so cute at 7 months!

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, Krystina,

      So glad to hear that you are feeling better, and that the meds for the shingles cleared up the other issue, too. I know you are relieved to know that shingles was the cause.

      Have fun with your family, especially your new little granddaughter. Enjoy your time with Casey and his family, too! To be surrounded with all that love, you will be good as gold before you know it! Please continue to take good care of yourself! Sending you a hug! 🙂

      • Krystina ~ Victory, Vermont says:

        Thanks Denise! I am enjoying myself relaxing and haven’t looked at a Benchmark in a month! Casey has a huge family. We went to one of his family reunions and it was unbelievable…a zillion relatives. It was so much fun.

  35. weather says:

    Nice,Sue!Once again you prove that blue skies can be found above if one looks up instead of giving up 🙂 ! Are you three acclimating a bit better to the elevation than you did the first two days there?The exertion those guys on bikes were going through made your giving them ice water a God-send.I trust your days are being spent more wisely by letting all that beauty and this respite rejuvenate instead of exhaust you.Twinkling aspen leaves again-delightful!I’m so glad for you that something you always enjoy is a part of where your home now is ,and is on my screen to see,thanks for adding another gift to my morning.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, weather. So good to see you here!

      Yes, the three of us are acclimating well, thank you. Of course we older girls — Bridget and me — took longer than Reggie did.

      You used a perfect word for this place … It is rejuvenating to be here among the aspens again. I lie back in my lounger looking up at their leaves a-flutter. It’s like they give a soul massage!

      Those young men on bikes were going to pedal all the way back to the town of Nephi because of their lack of water. Instead they were able to continue further up the Nebo Loop which is a very scenic road. I was happy and blessed to be given the opportunity for a good deed and before I finished my morning coffee, too. I was still in my sleeping clothes. 🙂

      I hope whatever you’ve been involved in recently was a success, a pleasure, a worthwhile pursuit, a good thing, all you wanted it to be …. Have a wonderful day, weather!

      • weather says:

        Thanks,Sue,for your lovely list of hopes for me.I’ve just been busy coordinating things to move forward.As it involved several people, a few hundred miles of driving and a long list of details my free time has been limited.The troupe is contentedly asleep around me as I type,it’s a sunny wonderful day that I needn’t rush through or do anything in that I don’t enjoy…happy sigh…

        In a reply above I saw that the PTV seemed burdened,I wonder if perhaps weeks amid or near smoke has made replacing the air filter again something worth considering.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I’m glad you have a “sunny wonderful day” to enjoy.

          Funny about the air filter suggestion…. This morning I was making a mental list of items to pick up at the Wal-Mart in Ephraim and I put “air filter” on it!

          We’re connecting…. 🙂

      • BadgerRickInWis says:

        Aspen leaves giving a soul massage. I love that.

      • Marilyn, Dania Beach, Fl says:

        Being a cyclist I want to thank you for helping the riders with water. They should have been better prepared but one can use up their water sooner than expected sometimes.

        Marilyn in Dania Beach

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Marilyn,

          Gee, it must be karma or something. I do a good deed for the cyclists and my reward is seeing YOU here! How nice of you to write that message to me….

          I suspect the scenic Nebo Loop Road lured them to go farther than they had planned. Young people are easily tempted to live on the edge. 🙂

          They seemed like good guys. Very polite.

  36. chas anderson says:

    Utah is our favorite state.The north and south are so different, like two different states.There is more diverse scenery,solditude and things to do outside than any other state, in my opinion.Alas, the beer is 3.2% near beer.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chas,

      I agree with you about Utah! You described it well. If I were a songwriter (like John Denver, see above), I’d write a song and the title would be, “I Wish I Were In Utah Again.” I love that state.

    • edlfrey says:

      You are not totally restricted to what you call “near beer” however. The liquor laws in UT have become much less restrictive since the Winter Olympics in 2002 and reforms in 2009.

      Current Utah law sets a limit of 3.2 percent alcohol by weight (4 percent by volume) in beer sold at grocery and convenience stores and at establishments operating under a “beer only” type license, such as taverns, beer bars and some restaurants. Beer over 3.2 percent by weight (4 percent by volume) is available in State Liquor Stores and Package Agencies and at clubs and restaurants licensed to sell liquor.

  37. Suzette says:

    OK, now…this post has made me seriously envious. Envy’s a sin, isn’t it? Oh well…so is gluttony, sloth, etc., etc., etc., I think I’ve already made my place in The Hereafter. So, I’ll just be jealous. I’m no closer to following in your footsteps, but I sure can dream. Looks like you’ve landed in a lovely place. Hope you’re able to enjoy it for a few days. I just ordered a Kindle book after clicking on your link. I sure hope you get credit for Kindle purchases, as I make quite a few over the course of the year.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Suzette,

      Yes, you can dream… No sin in that! 🙂

      I do get credit for Kindle books…. in two ways. Of course, there’s a commission, for the number of sales my blog generates that’s about 7.5% or 8%. The second way I get credit is the additional number of sales. As one’s number of sales increases within a month, the commission rate goes higher through levels. So, yes, kindle purchases are very much appreciated by moi. 🙂

      Thanks, Suzette! Enjoy your reading!

      • Suzette says:

        Oh, yay! I was hoping that was the case. The fact that you can have a little piece of my pie is so fun! I would buy those things anyway. I don’t buy much that’s big – but I buy lots of littles. I hate shopping in real stores, and with Amazon Prime I can get most of what I need at reasonable prices without having to deal with parking lots and frustrating clerks. I’m glad to be able to contribute my little bits.

  38. Pamela K says:

    The ever dreaded words, “Do you have a Reservation?” I. too, believe those words are becoming more and more common. I was reading a *short* about how wildfires mean *big money* to the BLM, USFS, and National Parks…seems when national budget times come around AFTER wildfires the congress gets misty-eyed and increases the dollar alotments for those services and approves added Rangers and Staff. While that sounds good on the surface, it concerns me that many more *improvements* will be made and the prices even higher…requiring what you ask? RESERVATIONS, of course. Well, the Reserve-thing is one thing but the higher costs and more full hook-ups are not good either. Sadly, I fear a page being taken out of the for-fee campground handbook. I hope I’m wrong but it sure looks that way and with the latest mega-wildfires it may well be very soon coming.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pamela K.,

      I really do hate all this stuff that’s happening to camping… It’s such a shame. Maybe some of it is necessary, reservations because of the high demand for popular campgrounds and such. And the pressures for money to protect and maintain public lands and campgrounds and all…

      I’m probably naive… I want people to be able to wander about with their camping gear, whether a backpack or a big rig, following their whims from day to day, being welcomed into a campground that doesn’t take the fun out of camping because of its high fee… I feel like a second-class camper when I hear “Do you have a reservation?” even though the person saying it certainly doesn’t intend that. They’re just doing their jobs. Oh well…

      And then there’s the culture clash among campers — those who want to keep it simple (like me) and those who want full hook-ups everywhere with all the “trimmings.” Ugh. I don’t like to think about this stuff.

      I appreciate “watchdogs” like you, Pamela. I don’t have the stamina for it.

    • BadgerRickInWis says:

      I think that’s a sword with two edges Pamela. Increased spending and more Rangers can also mean the ability to enforce 14 day limits, keep OHV’s out of endangered areas that have been closed to their use, and enforce fire bans for those folks who think the rules don’t apply to them because they are “special.”

      It all depends on the focus coming from the Forest Supervisor and the Secretary of the Interior. Which depends on who in the public they are hearing from. Are folks like you and I speaking up to our Representatives? Are they hearing from groups that want to keep wild lands wild. Or are they hearing from the OHV manufactures and local chambers of commerce. So Pamela, to quote the great Smokey Bear “Only You.”

      • Pamela K says:

        There was a day, a time, that I would have spoken up loudly. Protested on the issue even. Not now, after 9-11 it is just too easy to find yourself on some watch list. At 60 plus I don’t need that, lol. I trust that corporations like REI, Outfitters, and others will make my voice heard in a formal way. I do blog about it though and the news people do read the blogs and write even more about the topics. I think the White House views are pretty much set on the fit and young crowd as the future of the uses for the federal lands. As for Smokey Bear…he has had his own share of scandals over the years…I don’t think he would be listening to me, sorry.

    • Nancy says:

      Pamela, I think you are wrong in your assessement of the fires: re USFS and BLM funding. The last several years have seen almost their entire budgets used just to fight fires and they have little left to use for fire prevention and maintenance. Many of the fires in the remote areas, like here in Idaho aren’t being fought aggressively because all the fire fighters/equipment is being used on the more ‘urban’ wildfires: the ones threatening towns, houses and other structures. They are trying to get FEMA to take over funding for wildfires–as they do for other natural disasters–so that the USFS can use what little funds they do have on prevention, trail maintenance, taking care of campgrounds, etc.
      And on the reservation issue. I, too, hate to make reservations–and don’t–but I am retired. For those 9 to 5ers out there, if they couldn’t make reservations in popular/populated areas, they would never be able to camp. Where Sue is now is near the large urban complex that is SLC/Provo, so I understand that some campgrounds need a reservation system.

      • Pamela K says:

        The fire fighting budgets are a separate budget item in the way the monies are spent. You are correct that those dollars have been used up and not much has been replaced in their funding. Saddly, too, is the fact that the very chemicals that are dropped on those fires cause the new future fires to burn even hotter! It is a very real problem, both the money and the fighting of those fires over time. About the weekend users… Camping is a lot of work. The planning, packing, travel to, the unpacking, setting up camp and then with any toys to load, haul and such. At the higher fees many just forego the whole thing — the cost, time, factor for the weekenders is just too great for many mid-income families to do it often enough to make any real difference in the budget dollars. Campgrounds remain vacant or closed because of the lack of use — or abuse — often by the younger crowds with *toys*. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not down on the *young ones*. There are many who are more apt than I am at fully exploring and caring for the wilds. I just simply want the wilds to be there and affordable to ALL, not just the ones who’s incomes can take a hit for the weekends-camper, full service hook-up prices. And there is talk, much talk, of federal lands being ran by the states now. If that happens will the states honor the “Geezer Passes”? If not, then for many of us camping as we know it now will slow to a hault for many. I wish I knew the answers, I do not. But higher fees from a few vs lower fees from many seems to me to be the best approach, now and long term. But I do see your point, you bring up some good points.

        • Pamela K says:

          The firefighting budgets are a separate budget item in the monies from congress for the parks, and lands, for that use. Those funds are way under funded and have been for decades, saddly.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Nancy, Pamela, and Rick…

      I just have to say how very appreciative I am at the mature tone used by each of you in this discussion. The internet is rife with inappropriate, unnecessary hothead comments that it is a pleasure to see none of that here.

      Of course you wouldn’t write like that. You’re not that kind of people. Even so, I’m compelled to say….

      Thank you!

    • Marilu from Northern California says:

      I can see a need for a reservation system since many families don’t have the flexibility that we retired folks have but wouldn’t it be good to reserve a third of the campsites for first-come, first-served? We’ve run into some parks with a version of that plan and we love it.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        A third left for first come-first serve would be great!

        The camp host at a NF campground in Oregon told me they are required to provide 10% for first come-first serve. Which works out to 1 campsite in a small campground. I’m not against reservations for the reasons readers have stated here. However, I do not like seeing all the first come-first serve sites in a campground being crummy — without shade, near the main road, in the center of the campground, away from the river or lake, unlevel and unusable by anyone other than a tenter, too short for a rig over 14 feet, etc. I’ve seen too much of that in various places.

        That’s my gripe, not the existence of reservations. First thing you know we have a class system….The reservation people are elite; the no-reservation people are transients.

        • Pamela K says:

          Exactly. Like *no-reservation people* are somehow less than the others. It makes me feel like they are keeping us close-in to be *watched* more closely. As if being a free spirit makes us less fit to be there on the same equal footing as the others. Like our same dollars do not afford us the nicer things others get to enjoy. You’re right, it is not right.

  39. Jodee Gravel on the road in Fall City, WA says:

    Back to a spot with Internet ourselves and able to get caught up. You’ve really been on the move! We’ve been so lucky to avoid the smoke in the West this summer, but it caught up with us here just east of Seattle for a couple days. Blue and beautiful today and hoping they get help from rain expected this weekend as we head to Spokane for Labor Day. Love your spot on Badger Mountain although it’s sad that the smoke pushed you through those pretty areas in Idaho 🙁 Hope you’re able to hang out for the full 16 days with no more than a couple thirsty riders to share it with. They may stop by on their way back 🙂 Enjoy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jodee,

      It’s always good to see you here! I’m glad your summer has been mostly smoke-free.

      Well, those bike riders will have a lot of uphill pedaling to do if they’re going to drive by our camp on Badger Mountain! Thanks for the wish for us to enjoy our 16 days here.

  40. Shirlene (Huntington Beach, Ca) says:

    Good Morning Sue, I am having my coffee and reading the blog and feeling more like a normal day in the life of RVSue and crew. It has been a minute. I cannot believe you are in that beautiful spot and still have internet, isn’t the world a marvelous place. Alone, but able to reach out an touch someone when you just darn feel like it. I am so grateful that you feel like it so very often. Enjoy your stay under and with the Aspens, they are one of my favorite gifts from nature to share. Hello and hugs to the crew, that Reggie is going to have quite a fan club someday because of how well he takes care of you and Bridget…so small yet so mighty.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Shirlene,

      It is beyond anything I could’ve wished for…. to camp on a mountain by myself with two canine pals in a beautiful site with the capability of sharing my thoughts and feelings with people around the world, to read what they express in return, and to hold little conversations like this one. If twenty years ago someone had told me I’d be doing this, I would have laughed and said, “You’re kidding!”

      Reggie has had a few adventures lately that I’m looking forward to writing about. He’s quite a guy, all 9 pounds of him! And dang, he’s so cute! 🙂

      Enjoy your day, Shirlene. Thanks for adding enjoyment to mine.

  41. I didn’t take time to read the responses because I am on the way to my chiropractor, but I just had to tell you how happy I am that you are out of the smoke and in such a lovely place to call home for as long as you want! YAY!
    I’ll read the rest when I get back! Hug the babies from me!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri….. I hope your visit to the chiropractor brings you good results! Talk to ya’ later!

      • Shirlene (Huntington Beach, Ca) says:

        Let me slip in here >>>> Hi Geri 🙂 I hope the Chiro brings good things.

    • I have a very good chiropractic doctor! She is tiny, maybe 5’3″ and about 125 lbs! Yet she is the very best chiropractor I have ever let touch me! She has worked miracles with my back and I no longer need a cane to walk. I was truly crippled when we arrived here in March! Within a month I was pretty much pain free and now I am walking much better! Thank you both for your kind thoughts!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Wow! Good thing you found her!

      • weather says:

        Geri,that’s wonderful!You replied once that you saw a wheel chair in your future-my immediate reaction was to pray that not become a necessary part of your life.May your walking and miracles continually get better!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Amen to that!

        • Thank you for your prayers weather! I still see that wheelchair, but only when walking further than a block or so becomes necessary! Not for constant use. If I walk to far, or stand in one place talking to someone to long ( and I do love to talk!) my lower back seizes up into cramps ! Owie! But with Zoe, my chiropractor, I have learned to pace myself and I am doing so much better! I really do appreciate the prayers! Love you too Sue!?

  42. Ahhhhh… Lovely, clear blue skies!! There have been fires here recently in the Mammoth Lakes area where we are but it is starting to clear, thank goodness. We are definitely keeping an eye on the fires though!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Shelly,

      Mammoth Lakes is such a pretty area. For those who don’t know, the lakes are located in east-central California south of Mono Lake.

      Yes, keep watch on the fires and stay safe!

  43. Rob says:

    Nice post & I need to mention how much I enjoy seeing what other people are buying. Weird I know, but from time to time I do see something that is totally outside my circle of experience.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rob,

      Well, we’re weird together because I enjoy seeing what people buy, too. Like you, I become aware of things I didn’t know existed.

      I have a tough time choosing what links to post!

      Thanks for the compliment on the post and for the helpful feedback. I’ll keep that feature going…

      • Joy Sutton says:

        Lol. Me too. I didn’t know wooden wine glasses existed. Not even tempted but wondered why?

  44. Cynthia from San Clemente, CA says:

    What a difference in photos … from the “smoky”mountains to the beautiful aspens and blue sky. I’m so glad you found a beautiful, safe spot where you and the crew can stay and relax awhile without having to run from the fires.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cynthia,

      Thanks for the friendly message.

      I wondered how much people compared the first photos (smoky) with the last photos (clear). The difference is remarkable in reality, too!

  45. Alison PNW says:

    When all else fails, go to Utah!

  46. BadgerRickInWis says:

    Well, you KNOW I approve of another trip to Badger Mountain. Definitely on my must visit list. So glad that you are all safe and content in a peaceful camp.

    So now that you have had a few more boondock camps and seemingly a good internet signal I have been shopping tables and have a question about your “new” folding table. Do you like the size? Is it hard to get level? For the amount you have used it do you think it takes up too much space in the PTV? Are you happy with the height or do you wish it was adjustable? Thanks.

    Like I said I really love this camp, I hope you all adjust to the altitude smoothly and can enjoy some clear skies and cooler weather. As always “from all of us to all of you” hugs and love, with an special extra one for HRH today just cuz I love that last shot so much.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rick,

      I’m perfectly happy with my new folding table. It is kind of heavy and does take up precious space in the PTV. Even so, it’s worth it. I anticipate I’ll use it a lot more during winter when boondocking in the desert where there isn’t a picnic table provided. I’m using it at this camp for the same reason.

      It’s easy to set up and to take down. It has 3 heights, all of which are convenient… a height to pull up a chair to, a height for standing at (at least good for me at 5’5″), and a higher, countertop height or a good standing height for tall people. I use the middle height the most.

      It’s also easy to change the heights if you use common sense (not like some of the reviewers. Where do these people come from?).

      Other blogorinos have stated that they are very pleased with this table also. It’s well constructed and made to last. It is not hard to get level and it is very stable.

      I’m pleased you love the camp we’re in right now. It makes it all the more fun to share it with you!

      HRH gives you a royal wave. 🙂

      • Penny in AR says:

        I was in a Lowe’s today and saw several styles of these folding tables with a light brown tabletop, which I really liked. I have two different styles with white tops, but think these brownish ones wouldn’t show dirt/marks as bad. They had several to choose from.

        • Penny in AR says:

          Oops… Amazon has that color available, too! Wasn’t thinking to take business away!!

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            You’re forgiven, Penny. 🙂

            Yes, I found brown folding tables on Amazon. I like white better. Gives you a reason to put a pretty tablecloth on it. 🙂

  47. Lisa and Tommie in SoFL says:

    Hi Sue,
    I did it! I caught you, yeah…..not that you were running away or, oh forget it! I changed my sign in name to commemorate the event. I have now read your blog from the beginning, some folks read novels. I am so glad you are away from smoke and heat in your refuge on the mountain.

    Thanks so much for sharing your life, yourself and your travels. By reading your posts I
    am convinced I can do the same in the future. It’s a huge stress reliever to read of your success(es). I am taking my next step and traveling next month to retrieve my fiberglass trailer, meander home and start the renovation of my little 13foot Boler.

    You share many times about leveling your Casita, but I see from your photos you don’t use any jacks to stabilize your camper, and don’t unhitch. If you don’t mind, could you share more about how you level and stabilize your camper at a site, and what you use to block your wheels? I thought it was necessary to unhitch whenever the trailer was parked….just trying to learn from your experience and make the process simple but effective. Thanks. I am looking forward to where you go next.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lisa and Tommie in SoFL,

      I very much appreciate your new name with a location included. Very helpful for my old brain!

      I’m thrilled that my blog convinces you that you can do this! And thank you for reading my blog from the beginning.

      Okay, about unhitching. I do unhitch often! It may seem like I don’t and here’s why:

      When I set up in a new camp I don’t unhitch until the next day. I try to park the BLT on the level in order to stay hitched for a day. The reason I hold off is to make sure I want to stay at that camp. In the first 12-24 hours, “deal-breakers” show up. Things like annoying noises, people, neighbors… During that period of remaining hitched is often when I take photos for this blog. Therefore, I give the impression that I don’t unhitch much. Follow me?

      To give you a direct answer — No, it is not necessary to unhitch at every camp. I remember meeting a woman with a Casita, just briefly, and I suspect she never unhitches. Crazy! Why have a trailer?

      If I know I’m only going to camp in a spot overnight, I don’t unhitch because I’m going to stay at my camp (I pick up groceries, etc. on the way to camp).

      Okay… This part is important. If it’s only an overnight stop I have to park the BLT on level ground, both side-to-side and front-to-back, OR make the BLT level by putting down my plastic levelers or my wood ones which are thicker.

      About stability…. I put chocks on both of the BLT’s wheels. For some reason I don’t understand, I neglected to do that recently. It’s something I’ve always done otherwise.

      You need 4 chocks, front and behind both tires.

      As for the jacks, I’m notorious for not putting them down. This is bad. Do not be like me with your jacks. Of course, if there’s wind, I’m running my fanny out the door to put the jacks down.

      If there were a man in this house, jacks wouldn’t be as easy to ignore. The crew and I don’t make the BLT wobble the way a bigger person would. Even so, I should put the dang things down! I will try to do better, I promise!

      Does that answer your questions? If not, ask more!

      • edlfrey says:

        If you can level your trailer without the jacks/stabilizers then I see no reason why you should feel bad about not using them. I had rear stabilizers on my first Teardrop and found that I almost never used them. I did not have any put on the second trailer I had built and never missed them.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Gosh, I feel better. All this time and little did I know I was seeking your approval, Ed. Haha!

          Seriously, thanks. That’s good to know.

  48. L.P. n' Me says:

    I had a idea that you would find a ol’ good spot near Ephrane, One can only take so much fire smoke and then it takes over ones lungs, eyes and health.. ,,,,,,, I’m glad that you 3 found a great camp,,,,,, Sorry ‘ bout missing posts, but I’ve been re-establishing Windows 8 and giving Microsoft a peace of my mind, and getting a break from AT&T,,,,,,,,,, all is well with us now ,,,,,, have a great time at your camp and give those babies a big hug from us,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, L. P. n’ Me

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rusty,

      Technology can be so frustrating! I haven’t downloaded Windows 10 yet. Some people don’t have any trouble with it, and others do. We shall see . . .

      I’m happy to read “all is well with us now.”

      Hugs to you and the Lady!

  49. Pamela K says:

    I had to go back, once again, and view your stunning landscape photos from today’s post. WOW, each one looks like it would be perfect for the cover shot of a beautiful puzzle. That second photo is a *dream shot* to me! Those *leading lines* into the mountains…PERFECT to my eye. Really defines what beauty living on the road holds for those that take up the lifestyle.

  50. Rand says:

    Looks like you’ve found a smokeless corner of the west! These NASA photos are shocking.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rand,

      How ya’ been? Whoa…. Those NASA photos are unreal! Help me out here… I couldn’t figure out locations. What is that body of water on the righthand side? If I knew that I could get my bearings on the photo….

      Thanks for the link. Fascinating!

  51. Applegirl NY says:

    Wow, I’m all caught up. I was experiencing RVSue withdrawal. So busy with other stuff.

    It’s interesting when you read several posts in a row instead of one each day, how different the effect is.

    So just today I learn about Bridget’s close call, the escape from the smoky mountains, the nice riverside camp, an 80 yr old who looks 60, and then on to cool and green and shady – reminiscing about John Denver – who I absolutely still love to listen to. It’s nice to hear soothing beautiful music that is positive in nature.

    Thank you, once again Sue, and blogorinos, for enriching my day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Applegirl,

      I hadn’t given any thought to the experience of reading several consecutive posts in one day. The way you mentioned the recent posts I can see how you never know what you’re gonna’ get!

  52. Daniel says:

    Do you have to take any Med’s? If so how and where do you get them traveling all the time? Love little Reg! He is a little spitball.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Daniel,

      No, I don’t take any prescription medication for which I am grateful! I’ve heard that people make arrangements with their primary physician to enable them to renew prescriptions while on the road. Wal-Mart Pharmacy is very good about working with people who travel all the time.

      You love Reggie! 🙂

    • Krystina ~ Victory, Vermont says:

      Good Morning Daniel 🙂 I always get my meds at Walmart…they are everywhere so it is pretty easy.

      • Daniel says:

        Just got back from a boondocking trip in my Casita LD and saw your replies on the Med’s. Thank you Sue and Krystina for the info. Happy safe trails!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You’re welcome, Daniel. I wondered if you saw it. I hope you had some super boondocking!

  53. Kay Dattilio says:

    Sue and Crew…

    I love your pictures and your new campsite, but I have to say…..sometimes I feel like I’m worrying about one of my kids! You aren’t worried, but I always hope you find the perfect place, then I worry about the smoke, then I worry about Bridget, then I worry about crazy dogs and people, then I worry that you’re going to have enough water and food. Gosh…what’s up with this! I’ve had the empty nest syndrome (also known as parents on the loose syndrome) for a couple of years,but I get a little nervous when things don’t go well for you, but you make it work! I’m proud of you! Stay safe!

    Kay from KC!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Dear, dear Kay! Don’t worry about us! As my mother used to say, “Everything has a way of working out.” And she was right. They always do! 🙂

      How very kind and compassionate of you. Really though. Don’t worry. Put that energy into something for yourself.

    • Gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

      Kay, I do the same thing! Like the night when the car drove around RVSue’s trailer and the man said he was just looking for his dog! Yeah, right, I thought! Doesn’t everyone drive around in total darkness looking for their dog! But it all works out! I think her secret is sending out vibes of “damsel, and you be da—–, rather than damsel in distress!

  54. Lisa and Tommie in SoFL says:

    Thanks for all that info, it really helps. I do have one more thing to ask, if you had a set of BAL jacks that fit your tires, would you prefer them to your current set up? I’m not really sure how they work, and since you couldn’t use them on your rig, maybe this is an unfair question. Thanks for however you can help.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I had BAL levelers and I didn’t like them at all. They are cumbersome, heavy, and oddly shaped which means they take up a lot of storage space. And they don’t work well with 15-inch tires. I gave mine away.

      It’s difficult to explain how they work. You slide the thing toward the tire so it’s grabbed on both sides, then you crank it up. I don’t recommend buying one. It’s easier, in my opinion, to simply put down a piece of wood or level blocks and drive your rig’s wheel(s) onto them.

  55. Ron in Tx says:

    Love that country you are in.
    Just a little suggestion , never camp in mature aspens , In the last twenty years hunting in the mountains Ive seen an aspen crush a truck another time it flattened a tent ,luckly no one was in it at the time, and two four wheels got crushed another time . Just be careful.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Now that you mention that, Ron, I have seen several mature aspens lying on the ground. Another concern is the dying aspens, caused by amateur lumberjacks playing with axes, stripping the bark.

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