Rusty and Timber in the news again! and what a trip across eastern Washington . . .

The Arizona Republic reports on the new home and housewarming!

Click here to read all about it and watch the video!

A photo slideshow accompanies the article!

USA Today also picked up the story!

If you’re unfamiliar with my blog, you can read about the house-warming given by the generous readers of this blog.  Simply open the page “Housewarming for Rusty and Timber” accessed from the header above or through the link in the sidebar.  Feel free to participate in the house-warming!

Okay . . . Now for a regular blog post . . .

Tuesday, August 13

Goodbye Bumblebee Meadows, Idaho!  The crew and I get back on I-90 West.  The PTV, with the BLT tagging behind, glides like a big, white bird past Lake Coeur d’Alene and across Spokane, Washington, landing at a rest stop. 

I go online to blog.

Off we go again, across the vast prairie or desert or whatever the heck it is that stretches for a gazillion monotonous miles in all directions.  It’s hot, we’ve no air conditioning, and no clear destination. 

Enormous fields of tan grass reach to the horizon all around us.  The barbed wire fencing along the interstate is the most intriguing sight along the way, until somewhere beyond hell and Ritzville, dust devils catch my eye.

(I apologize for poor quality photos today.  Several were taken through a dirty windshield and/or while driving.)

1-P1060594Oh.  Wow.  Agriculture.

We stop at every rest stop.

We stop because a rest stop is Shangri-la compared to thousands of acres of tan grass.  I go online and try to find a place to stay for the night.  I even consider private RV parks.  Nothing seems right.  We push on.  Tan grass is replaced by alfalfa, peas, wheat, timothy and corn.  Fields of green provide the hope needed to carry us the last, long miles of our journey.

There’s the Columbia River!

1-P1060597The bridge leads us to the Promised Land!


I hope.

Bridget and Spike are angels the entire trip.  They enjoy the routine of nap, rest stop, nap, rest stop, but eventually all the highway miles wear out even the best crew.

1-P1060530Suppertime arrives and they want out! 

Flying J appears like a flying nun to the rescue.  We exit the interstate and circle the parking lot.  The parking spaces at the front by the store are filled.  I drive to the back lot and park where the truckers park.

Soon trucks grumble, beep, and fart their way into the spaces on both sides of the BLT.

1-P1060607Let me tell you . . . It’s very weird to stand naked with a soapy washcloth and a basin of water when strange truckers are only yards away.  However, I need to freshen up.   The crew consumes a kibble supper and I finish a Subway sandwich bought earlier at a gas stop.  We walk out of the Flying J lot and stroll down a side road.  The sun has dropped behind the hills and the air is mercifully cool.  Black cattle look up, stare at us briefly as we walk by, and resume grazing.

When we return, I see a place to park near the front.

Trucks are coming in, one right after another, and the back lot is filling up quickly.  I throw the crew in the PTV, secure the inside of the BLT, and relocate our home to the front. 

Later I lie in bed chuckling.

The cacophony of noise in this truck stop is unbelievable!  As I marvel at the bombardment of sounds, a train goes by about 50 feet from my head, whistle wailing!  Well, maybe more than 50 feet, but, man, is it ever loud as it roars on down the line with hardly more than the width of a road between its thunder and our bed. 

I burst out laughing. 

I’m driven bonkers by a generator in Bumblebee Meadows, but I’m okay with this.  Well, no one is being rude or inconsiderate.  What I hear are the vibrant sounds of healthy commerce, that’s all.  Without any difficulty I fall asleep, happy knowing the crew and I accomplished what we set out to do — journey across The Great Land of Dry Grass, otherwise known as eastern Washington.

I awake to the sounds of trucks idling and pulling out.  Another sound, a rustling and scratching close by, grabs my attention. 

What IS that?

I sit up, pull down a slat in the blinds, and peek out.  I’m face-to-face with a . . . horse?

1-P1060609Well, good morning to you, too!

And so another day begins, Wednesday, August 14.   

I make breakfast, give the crew a walk-around, and get us back on the interstate.  We backtrack to the next exit, turn south onto Highway 82.  We go up a 5-mile long, winding grade and down the other side only to go up another long grade and down again.

Another drive-by, through-the-dirty-windshield photo . . .  pretty dreary landscape . . .

1-P1060610I’m not sure where this scene is.  This journey across eastern Washington is a blur.

1-P1060603At last Yakima comes into view.  Supposedly Mt. Ranier can be seen from here but it’s hidden in heavy haze.


 It’s beginning to look like Washington!

Apple trees, pear trees, cherry trees . . .

1-P1060615We turn onto Route 12 westward. 

1-P1060614I stop at the Elk Feeding Station so I can pretend to see an elk.  While there I chat with a man geocaching.

Further down the road, without letting Spike know, I stop along the Tieton River.

It’s lively, wide river. Such a welcome sight after the parched fields of yesterday!

1-P1060623Route 12 is a scenic, yet busy, road.  Drivers are in a big hurry.  Several times I pull into turn-outs to let vehicles pass by.  While it’s yet morning, I find our next camp.

1-P1060647Camping alongside the Tieton River sure beats Flying J!




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73 Responses to Rusty and Timber in the news again! and what a trip across eastern Washington . . .

  1. Alan Rabe says:

    Oh Goody, “Fruit Antiques”. How old does fruit have to be to be an antique?
    I know it is against your principles but you could have used the showers at the J. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s what I wanted to do, Alan. This was a small Flying J and old. Although it said online they have showers, they don’t.

      • Alan Rabe says:

        In the Fruit Antique photo they advertised Aplets and Cotlets. Having never heard of either I had to search. Aplets are apple and walnut concoctions while cotlets are apricot and walnut. They were invented by Armenian immigrants in the area you are in. I wonder what they are like.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Interesting! I was in find-a-camp mode when we drove by that sign.

        • Judie Ashford says:

          Aplets and Cotlets were formerly (30 years ago) delicious confections, but a recent experience with them shows that they are now almost totally bereft of actual fruit/nuts, and taste like a thick, sweet, gelled paste. I used to mail order them to my home in Florida, where, of course, they were totally non-existent. Another disappointment from the world of “what used to be good, but has now been downsized in quality for the sake of profits”.

    • Ladybug says:

      The ‘fruit antiques’ is the wine!!! 😀

  2. rvsueandcrew says:

    Help please… Are the 3 links in this post working? I can’t check due to a poor connection. They aren’t working for me. Are they working for you? One answer is sufficient. Thanks.

  3. Dominick Bundy says:

    Hi Sue and crew , Sounds like your day was very long , and tiring. But I was wondering each time you leave to go to another destination, do you limit your road time and mileage? I know a few fuller timers that never drive more than 150 miles per day (max) or more than 2 and a half hours on the road . When moving from place to place. They claim by fulling timing one has all the time in the world so why drive all day for hours.. Just curious if you have a certain time limit after driving for a while before you just crash somewhere even if it’s for a one niter. That’s all stay safe and healthy. Cheers, Dominick

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Dominick,

      I try to drive less than 3 hours. Sometimes I only drive for an hour or less. This trip had to be long. If you look in an atlas or map of some kind, you will see there’s a whole lot of nothing between Spokane and Ellensburg. I didn’t want to search for a camp at Lake Coeur d’Alene… would have been time-consuming, mostly private land around there.

      Sometimes… fortunately rarely . . . one has to bite the bullet and put the miles in the rear view mirror.

  4. Marilu says:

    Hi Sue,
    The first two links worked for me but not the USAToday link. Nice campsite after two grueling days of driving. Enjoy.

  5. Ray McGehee says:

    I can’t wait to read about your Washington state adventures. We used to live in Seattle but didn’t buy our Casita until we moved to Georgia. We are often imagining camping in the Casita at our favorite sites in WA. Safe travels!

  6. Eddie says:

    There is a special place in Heaven reserved for folks like you! i am not worthy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Um… This is the same person who lost her cool over a generator? Thanks for the thought, Eddie.

  7. cinandjules (ny) says:

    It’s also in the Coloradoan…..Daisy and Jay’s home state.

    Great article about Rusty and Timber. A gallon of ice cream in the freezer for them to share. Love the metal “Reed” sign too! The comforts of home. I am so glad they are both adjusting well. Hey Rusty….stand up tall! As you already know….thanks to Sue…you have so many people behind you and Timber.

    Hats off to you too, Sue. A task well done!

    Geeze Louise….seems like you traveled across the US. That was a lot of catching up. Spike is so silly with that look on his face….I’m getting squashed! Bridget looks serious!

    The horse looks like he’s ready to hold up the Flying J store! Flying J’s/Pilot were very nice for pit stops…dump stations/gas/food/propane and some have showers.

    Enjoy your evening. It should be relatively quiet tonight at your site.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You enjoy your evening, too. I can hardly wait to tell you and show you our new river campsites…. In reality I’m two campsites ahead of this blog! I will say… both are quiet, along a river, and gorgeous… of course!

  8. EmilyO in KS says:

    Be sure and try a Washington aplet and a cotlet made with Washington apples and apricots. My mom loved them so every trip to her hometown, we stocked up on aplets. I soon learned to love them too.

  9. rvsueandcrew says:

    Gee, I’d love to stay online and chit-chat with y’all but my butt is sore from sitting in the PTV alongside the road with this laptop cramping me. We’ve been here for hours!

    The crew is bound to wake up soon, so I’m heading back to my internet-less, but beautiful, camp! Carry on without me! I’ll check in tomorrow with another post and to read your comments.

    If new visitors comment with a question, feel free to answer for me.

  10. Yikes, glad you got that monotonous drive behind you. Now a new river to explore! Looking forward to hearing about your Washington adventures.

    Nice pic of the crew, they do look like good little travelers. And how about that, waking up face to face with a horse! 🙂

    Super job on the article and video for Rusty and Timber! He can stand tall now! And have ice cream!

  11. mockturtle says:

    Loved reading the story about Rusty & Timber! Heartwarming!

    I camp on the Tieton River quite often. It’s beautiful and quite peaceful when there aren’t river rafting excursions going on.

    Even though much of eastern WA is flat and dry [and boring], NE WA is very scenic. If you’ve never been up there [I lived in that part of the state for quite a few years, on the Pend Oreille River] you might consider taking SR 20 from the North Cascades east to the PO River. Very pretty route. [right now, 20 is closed from mudslides]. Much of the highway in the Cascades closes for the winter by October. The trip along the PO River, near Idaho, is very pretty, too [20/31].

    • mockturtle says:

      The average closing date for the North Cascades Highway is actually November. Opens some times in either April or May, depending.

      • PNW Alison says:

        Highway 20 has had a landslide near Rainy Pass. If coming from the east though, there’s lots to see. But you can’t get all the across.

    • PNW Alison says:

      I love the far NE corner and Pend Oreille! So quiet and beautiful!

  12. Rob says:

    Some nice country along 12 heading to the wet side of the state, a lot of NF as I recall. Have a nice time.

  13. Dawn says:

    Wonderful story about Rusty. Glad it’s working out for him!

  14. Rita from Phoenix says:

    Okay, another story from me. While driving across monotonous western Oregon with miles of empty highway, a trans-am sports car zooms by us. I come wide awake and decide to pace the sports car to get miles behind me. A couple of miles of pacing, I see the driver flashing lights i.e. tail lights blink on/off. I tell sista to look around and see if anything unusual with our car… we continue. The car slows and moves into the lane next to me and lo and behold it’s an unmarked police officer!! He wags his index finger back and forth at us like ‘no-no’ and drives on. OMG, I tell sista that was a cop we were pacing…needless to say we drop to highway speed limit.

    • Rita from Phoenix says:

      I meant unmarked police car and a police officer inside.

      • Steve says:

        That’s a familiar story for me…all too common….lol

        Indiana not only has unmarked state police cars….but SUV’s and in different colors … none of that is fair … lol

  15. Glenda says:

    Sue , I am looking forward to seeing something of Washington. Have actually visited parts myself……………have a pen pal who comes from Yakima and works in Seattle…….now resides in Bellingham. I visited her while she was living south of Vancouver. My dear friend has also visited me while I was living in Queensland. What a joy it is to have friends on overseas places. I can remember seeing Mt Rainier in the distance!
    Thanks for the horse fix today…………..what a beauty…………….no other horse fix for me today. The weather is the worse imaginable this weekend in our hills. Gale forces winds and driving rain. Why does it have to happen on the weekends and we have fine weather during the week.
    Loved you photos of course………….had no idea that the east of Washington would be so dry………………have a great day!!

  16. Hotel California says:

    “Let me tell you . . . It’s very weird to stand naked with a soapy washcloth and a basin of water when strange truckers are only yards away.”

    Perhaps it would not have been quite so weird if you had done it inside of your trailer.

  17. Steve says:

    I can relate to your drive through eastern Washington. I use to make “mad dashes” from Whidbey Island to Boise Idaho, more times than I want to think about. I don’t know what your Washington plans are but since you are in the ‘area’….cruise up north of Seattle and take Hwy20 West off of I-5 and head to Whidbey Island. Or you if you are on the Olympic Peninsula, you can take a ferry (van, trailer and dogs included) to Whidbey Island. If you have a lot of time on your hands, don’t miss the ferry up through the San Juan Islands from Anacortes to Friday’s Harbor….round trip in one day….awesome scenery through the islands.

    • Judie Ashford says:

      Ditto on spending time on the Olympic Peninsula. We managed to find things to do for four months straight! Never let your camera leave your wrist!

  18. Mindy Reed says:

    I loved the article and photos of Rusty and Timber, looks like they are settling in.

    That same drive across central and eastern Oregon is a bit different…lots of sites to see like the painted hills, ghost towns, Malheur national wildlife refuge, mustang herds including the famous Kiger herd, then there’s the Mountain ranges too. OK so I love Oregon and miss it. I do hope you get down their one day in your travels. Yes we do have the high plains/deserts with huge ranges and ranches but there’s also stuff to see and do!

  19. Janell says:

    I so enjoy your blog, but being from Eastern Washington I feel I must let you know it is all not dry grass and desert. The Palouse has some of the most productive farm ground in the U.S. , mostly wheat, oats, barley and lentlils? Also Grand Coulee Dam has made it possible to irrigate thousands of acres in the Columbia Basin, potato’s, corn, sugar beets, apples, pears, peaches and beans. Just to name a few of the crops made possible by a good supply of water. I have farmed a dryland wheat ranch for over 40 years and wouldn’t wish for any other place to live.

    What you have helped provide for Rusty and Timber is something to be proud of. 🙂

  20. Renee (from Datil) says:

    Geez, Sue, I can’t even get to the regular blog entry because I’m sitting here crying like a baby about Rusty & Timber. Truly a miracle, and one that would never have happened with out Angel Sue.

  21. Now that is just fantastic! Wow, you made the newspaper in addition to helping Rusty and Timber. You live a charmed life (most of the time).


  22. Gayle says:

    To Linda in Austin, TX: “…waking up face-to-face with a horse” ! Now THAT’S an opener for a lot of good lines!!! (Just amusing myself while RV Sue is offline!)

  23. Carla says:

    I was so excited when I was reading the news early this morning and read the article about Rusty and Timber! That was a really nice article

    Loved the horse neighbor too.

  24. Huh by read me the newspaper article about Rusty and Timber (you might not remember, but I’m blind) Good thing I had Kleenex around! What a beautiful story! What a beautiful soul! Sue, words cannot express how wonderful you are for getting involved and giving this story a happy ending! May God continue to bless you all!

  25. Bill & Ann says:

    How nice to wake up with a horse next to you. Nice picture.

  26. Carole in AZ says:

    Found you as a result of the Rusty and Timber story in the Az Republic…look forward to following your adventures…and catching up on your past travels. Have you ever been to Marble Canyon, AZ?

  27. Glenda says:

    Oh Sue I meant to mention how appropriate it was to see the video report on Rusty and Timber today, as today in Australia is Vietnam Vet Day and the memorial day for the Battle of Long Tan. Wonderful to see Rusty getting all he deserves!! Timber too!!

  28. Libby Nester says:

    Oh my goodness! I was so happy to see Rusty and Timber in their new home. What a blessing. And, ice cream on top of all that. The reporter did an awesome account. I’m thrilled for them.

    I loved seeing the pic of the horse at Flying J. It was styling with its head covering. Just another one of your wonderful surprises. Actually, I enjoy all of the pictures. Your canine crew is awesome.

    Take care and enjoy the beautiful State of Washington.

  29. Loved this. I’ve done that boring drive far too many times. But, what a treat waking up to a horse in a silly fly mask!

  30. Beverly says:

    I read the USA Today every night on my Kindle, as I lay in bed.

    Last night (Friday), I turned on my Kindle and the story of Rusty and Timber popped up immediately. I was so excited that I wanted to jump up, turn on my computer and write you a post saying you were mentioned in the USA Today.

    But, I was too tired to move.

    Try not to sign too many autographs out there in the boonies. You’re getting to be a tad bit famous.

  31. Dorothy says:

    Love that horse picture. Bet you were relieved that was all it was.

    Your post brought back memories Sue. I just made that trip except I stayed at 3 Thousand Trails Preserves across the state to break it up a bit. Then I headed down I5 to Longview and took the bridge across the Columbia to Hwy 30 and headed for the coast where I will be the rest of the summer. Love the Oregon coast.

    Enjoy Hwy 12 as it is the best part of the trip. I assume you will need to be heading south soon.

  32. Barb says:

    Oh you went by us 🙂 I-90 in the dusty dry part lol I wish I had paid attention to where you were, closer, I would have told you there’s a very scenic road (Canyon Road) instead of 82. Canyon Road follows the Yakima river. Are you going to go to the coast? The Olympic Peninsula is pretty spectacular 🙂

  33. Ladybug says:

    Read the article about Rusty and Timber…electric trains! Rusty, if you haven’t already, stop in Hobby Lobby in Prescott Valley when you get a chance. And they often run coupons printed in the paper (actually printed in the paper, not inserts) or you can print them off online for 40% off. Closed on Sundays (Christian family-run business).

    • Timber n' Rusty says:

      Hobby lobby? Wow, I hope they have “G” scale , as in Garden Railroad, R/C with miniature plants, bridges, waterfalls, and small towns of the western ol’ timey steam aura, late 1800’s, but Timber’s Yard comes First so he can Runnn!

  34. Hi Sue,
    Can’t wait to see your pictures at your new campsite in Washington. I live through your blogs. I read everyday although I have not responded for quite a while due to traveling myself to New England by car. I still don’t have my conversion van. I have not given up. Maybe 2014. Just wanted to let you know how much your articles mean to me. I have been with you for over a year now and everyday it is a job when I see a new post.
    Thankyou. Stay safe and enjoy!
    Sharon from Florida

  35. Cindy Kingma says:

    Hi Sue! You just whizzed past close to where I live. I waved! 🙂 I agree about the miles and miles of I-5 scenery…dull. We live off Hwy 395 in Orient, on the Kettle River.
    Stevens Pass is better for scenery if you come back this way. Enjoy the campsite!

  36. PNW Alison says:

    It’s also nice over by the American River (410) and Bumping River / Goose Peairie area, if you haven’t headed further west already.

  37. PNW Alison says:

    Oh, and also Skate Creek Road (FR 52) north of Packwood! Sometimes lots of yahoos on weekends though. There are tons of boondocks around, but many are on pretty rugged roads, so I hesitate to recommend them.

  38. ronaldesears says:

    truck stops don’t bother me either. When I stop I am tired and the noise of the trucks running is not going to keep me awake either. I went to the stock car races this weekend and spent the weekend in the middle of about 400 or so campers. One generator brought your comment to mind. It was the loudest thing you ever heard and I have a onboard gen. that’s not quiet by any means. Oh well you have to take the good with the bad.. I wish they would come of with a old fart national fishing lic. and I would be out that way in a flash. Great shots…really enjoyed..

  39. Judie Ashford says:

    If you feel awkward bathing in the nude . . . don’t. Keep a loose, sleeveless muu-muu on hand to wear at such times, and just wash around underneath it. Great for donning when you are returning from a public shower, too. Let’s you get covered up quickly while still in the public area, and will allow your skin to dry off a bit before trying to put on clean clothes.

  40. Linda Meiers says:

    Today, the 22nd of August, I read the article on Life With Dogs on facebook about Rusty and Timber. Ok, that was 2 hours ago and I am still fixated on this story. Like some of your other followers and readers, I cried happy tears for the both of them and all the love and gifts that the readers have given. Love the story, love to hear about the generosity of people from all over that has stepped up to help. Thank God for all the good people that made all of this possible. I live close enough to Chino Valley to be able to help is some way and will see what might be needed now. Sue you are just a marvelous person, love your Blog!!!!

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