RVing or at home, changes appear

Sunday, June 3

If you’ve read my blog for a while you know that one of the things I love about full-time RVing is the necessity to move from camp to camp.  Most of the year our camps change every fourteen days or less.  The exception is in the winter when we take advantage of the benefits and rest that a Long Term Visitor Area provides.

The cycle of spring-summer-fall traveling in a loop around the western states of the U.S. with winter in the warmest areas of southern Arizona and California, well, that’s been disrupted.

No, not disrupted . . . 

That denotes a negative action.  The cycle has been revised.  Temporarily.  This spring-summer-fall the crew and I are “camped” inside our newly purchased house that we will share with my younger sister ,Nancy, starting with her arrival in mid-August.

The Best Little Trailer takes a rest in the back yard.

(BTW, that metal structure in the next photo is one of a pair.  They’re supports for clotheslines.)

Getting back to moving camp . . .

I love the rhythm of change that is part of the vagabond life.

Two weeks here, two weeks there, a different landscape, a new town, a winding road up a mountain, a straight shot through the sage, piney woods to creosote plain to golden grassland, riverside to desert wash, the screeching of magpies to a roadrunner’s coo, lupines to lilies, sunrise across the water, sunset beyond the ironwood tree, on and on and on . . .  as changeable and wondrous as a newly unwrapped kaleidoscope in the hands of a kid on Christmas morning!

It’s great!  

It’s so great that it’s addictive.  Readers sense this and wonder if I’ll go bonkers staying at a house for three seasons and maybe more, while I putter on house projects and the crew and I fall into a daily routine with Nancy and her dog, Marg.

Without the annual loop through the west, camping both in familiar and new sites, will I become restless and bored?  Will you?

As always, nature comes to the rescue.

Any urge to pack up, hitch up, and head out shrivels to nothing when temperatures are reaching toward 100 degrees Fahrenheit!

And as always, nature provides change right where we’re at.

The grapevines are fruiting up nicely.  

The grapes are the only plants I’m watering these days.   I don’t know if these hard beads will ever turn into luscious, juice-filled fruit, what with the intense heat, no rain (yet), and the way the sparrows are already picking at them.

I imagine that when the grapes ripen a bird bacchanalia will break out with much gorging and singing of avian bar room ditties.

“Ninety-nine clusters of grapes on the wall, ninety-nine clusters of grapes . . . . Take one down and strip it bare . . . Ninety-eight clusters of grapes on the wall . . . . ”

We do have a lot of grape clusters hanging on the lattice.

If they ripen well, maybe there will be plenty, both for the sparrows and for me.

For the first time I see yucca in bloom.  

Formerly, while boondocking, I often saw the dried-up stage but never the fresh glow and lushness of new blossoms.

They’re quite beautiful accented with leaves of mesquite and against an Arizona blue sky!

The clusters, like that in the next photos, crown the top of stalks five feet tall or more that shoot up from the yucca fans below.  This creates perches for birds, while in bloom or afterwards when dried.  (In previous posts I showed a few pics of birds in yucca clusters.)

The cluster below is about three feet from its top to its bottom.  

As exquisite as any bride’s bouquet!

~ ~ ~

It’s tempting to remove the “old” stalks.  

Eventually I probably will take a few out from the plants in the front yard to neaten our face to the street. After all, we ARE in a neighborhood.  For now, they stay.

One yucca in the back yard has four old stalks next to the new one.

~ ~ ~

The birds use them as look-out points and sun-bathing stations.  It’s relaxing to sit on the porch and watch the birds on the gently swaying stalks.

~ ~ ~

The mesquite flowers fade and green pods appear!

As a homeowner I’m supposed to groan at the prospect of raking all the dead pods that inevitably will litter the ground.  I don’t care about that.  I’m more interested to see if any creatures find them delicious.  I suspect the beans are very fortifying, if not toxic. I’ve never heard of people eating them.

Hmm. . . more stuff to research . . .  Change is good for the ol’ brain cells.

.

You see what I mean? 

Nature brings change to our little plot of land in southern Arizona.  From what readers and locals tell me, there’s plenty more to come, especially if we get lots of rain in the imminent monsoon season.

I look forward to those changes, just as I anticipated new camps in diverse places.

And I’ll be sure to share them here!

rvsue

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87 Responses to RVing or at home, changes appear

  1. Cat Lady says:

    first?

  2. chas anderson says:

    1st

  3. chas anderson says:

    If you have never had a grape crop let them fall and ferment on the ground.The birds eat them after they produce alcohol and stumble around.Every year a flock of grackles stumbled around drunk in my previous yard.Better than a circus ticket.

  4. Teri from TX says:

    The following comment came in near the bottom of yesterday’s long thread of comments. I repost it here for those of you who probably missed it.

    Teri asks questions that I think we will enjoy answering. For that reason I’m separating them for your replies. I look forward to your comments! (Please reply under the question you’re answering. Thanks!) — Sue

    Well I, for one, enjoy ALL your stories, and have ever since your first year on the road! I have enjoyed your travel tales and now look forward to your tales of AZ! Bret and I are on the brink of retirement and are looking to move out of Texas to get much closer to where we want to travel. I am also tired of the awful humidity we have to endure most of the year. We may just move back to my hometown of San Antonio-except it isn’t a “town” anymore. So, I read that many retirees move to AZ.

    Is the heat endurable cause its so dry there? Or do people have to go North in the summer?

    • Columbus Calvin says:

      I want to chime in that I’ll be following this question closely. I can measure my well-being my the humidity (dew-point), but I’ve never been in hundred-degree weather or monsoon.

    • Tesaje says:

      It depends on you. I’ve lived on the east coast humid summers and the hotter than Hades central California but dry. I don’t like it hot either way. Humid is worse but in 100s is brutal for me. It enervates me. But other people love it. So it depends on you. My dream is cool summers in the 60s and 70s.

    • Nivrapa in AZ says:

      I’ll offer my thoughts on AZ summers. I’m a transplant from southeast PA and have been either in Tucson, the metropolitan area, or on the deserts surrounding these areas for nearly thirty years, so I feel somewhat qualified to offer some insight to living in the southwest during our brutal summers. Let me preface my thoughts by saying that I love it here, but I hate, hate,hate the summers which is why I try to escape the heat and head for the high country.

      The heat can certainly be endured but that doesn’t mean it’s comfortable. Absolutely NOT. I’ll liken it to winters in northern Minnesota. They are endurable but hardly comfortable. Winters in MN mean much more indoor time, high heating costs, driving dangers, and other inconveniences. Summers in AZ mean days confined in the A/C, high cooling costs, and dangerous driving conditions due to winds and blowing dust during the shoulder seasons and flash flooding during monsoons. Six of one and half a dozen of the other but both can be endured with our modern comforts.

      It amazes me that folks think that AZ only has a “dry heat” and thus temps of 110+ are tolerable. June is our most brutal month because the monsoon has not traveled north far enough, coming from Mexico and the Gulf. So we see humidity and dew points in the single digits. That’s not exactly pleasant. Skin becomes dry and itchy, mucous membranes dry out and crack becoming painful, eyes feel like they have potato chips in them from decreased moisture, and unless you’re proactive about staying hydrated you’ll experience a frequent mild headache and/or mild nausea. Once those clouds start to arrive and bring the longed for moisture the dewpoint and humidity climb. During the monsoon season daily humidity starts out at 35-40% and continues to rise throughout the day until the clouds release their moisture and then you’re looking at 90% plus humidity and the high temps of 100 degrees or more. Nothing pleasant about that , IMO. Google Tucson’s weather history on WeatherUnderground and look at the daily highs and lows and the dewpoints and humidity. Yesterday, 6/3/18 our high was 106 and the humidity was 3%. Very, very hot and not pleasant to be out in for more than a dash from the car’s A/C to the house with A/C. Endured, but far from comfortable. Today’s forecast is more of the same with a poor air quality alert thrown in.

      The best solution to surviving the southern AZ summers is to leave them behind and go up in elevation. Many folks do exactly that and head for the Mogollon Rim or Flagstaff. The population in Tucson is noticeably diminished. Less traffic, shops close for the season, and fewer outdoor activities/entertainment. Come October things start to swell and start up again. My old neighborhood in Metro Tucson became a ghost town by Memorial Day. Only those of us who worked full time jobs in the region were left behind and you rarely saw anyone unless they were coming or going in their cars. Folks with respiratory problems left the confines of their home only for necessities and hired others to do their yard work, grocery shopping, and run errands for them. Between the high temps and high dewpoints they were unable to tolerate the summer and became incapacitated physically. EMS is just as busy during the summer even though there is a less dense population.

      Despite the brutal summers, southern AZ in a wonderful place to have a home. Seven to eight months a year it’s just delightful to be here. It’s not a perfect climate, but where does one find that in the US? —Audrey

      • Columbus Calvin says:

        Thank you very much for that clear and complete answer. Your experience has value to me well beyond the facts and figures I can dig out of the Internet. In my case, I have respiratory issues and am a “car-free” person, at least at present. I have spent a couple of months in Tucson, so I know that dry air in its own right (even really dry air) helps with my respiratory issues and doesn’t cause me significant trouble otherwise. The high temperatures might be an issue, though, and the monsoon combination is definitely worth considering. I follow several places on Weather Underground and a couple other weather/climate sites. I have studied the charts and things, but understanding the impact requires talking to people with your experience. (I’m from and in Central Ohio, so your perspective coming originally from southwestern Pennsylvania is especially valuable.) My bottom line is that I may not be able to thrive in the Great Lakes combination of heat and humidity. The question of where I go if I must in order to do better is still open. I’m also looking at Las Cruces and Albuquerque, New Mexico, and maybe even Pueblo, Colorado. Flagstaff has winter (not for me) and Prescott is out of my price range.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Calvin… One of the great things about Arizona is the variations in elevation and even in climate. For instance, southern AZ may be ideal for you for 8 months out of the year. For those other months, hunker down with trips to the nearby mountains or leave for those higher elevations for a few months, not a lot of driving required.

        • Gingerita says:

          Hopefully you don’t mind my chiming in. My husband and I lived in Tucson for a couple of years. Not a long time I admit. We are both from north central PA. I loved the heat. I felt so much better in the desert, even in the summer. Aches and pains were gone, depression was gone, constant post nasal drip and frequent ear infections all gone. My husband was just the opposite. He hated the heat and developed allergies. So we moved. I am sharing this because I feel that living in the desert and tolerating the heat is very specific to each person.

          An area that may be worth a look is Sierra Vista and Huachuca City in AZ. Not quite as hot as Tucson but still very tolerable winters.

          I hope you all find just the right spot:)

          • Columbus Calvin says:

            I got results like yours in the winter in Tucson, including most of the ailments you mentioned. On top of that, I already know I like Tucson, whereas I never lived in the other places I mentioned. Hmmmm

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Thanks, Audrey. I plan to document my feelings and comfort level throughout the summer. So far I’m enjoying it very much as the temps go into 3 digits. I do outdoor stuff between 6 and 9 am or after 6 p.m. and do not participate in strenuous outdoor activity at any time.

        I’m used to planning my day according to temp. fluctuations so this hasn’t been a hardship or even a big adjustment.

        I love stepping outside of the cool house into that wall of dry heat and sunshine. Reggie likes it, too, as daily I find him sitting on the warmed-up, bare dirt soaking up the heat. I’ve had locals tell me that summer is their favorite time of year around here (we’re not in the city of Tucson).

        On the less pleasant side, today I developed a cough and scratchy throat while shopping. I think it’s because I drove into town with the windows down. My coughing was so bad that I grabbed a bag of lemon Horehound candies. Those lemon drops stopped the cough. Lots of plants, including trees, are blooming right now. Maybe something blooming triggered the cough, maybe it was dust in the air, or maybe simply the dry air.

        I do drink a lot of water and I’m eating watermelon every day.

        Maybe I’ll tire of the heat before June is gone. At this point, I’m happy. It helps to have a house that stays cool and also that I have no interest in hiking or other outdoor, physical activities at this time.

        Like I say, I’ll report my reactions to the summer weather as it unfolds.

  5. Teri from TX says:

    Anyone know of any really nice retirement, mobile home or not, communities?

    Also love the idea of a xeriscaped lawn! Any stories, or tidbits of info. is appreciated!

    • Nora now in Cicero IN says:

      I think the nicest I have seen is the Escapees co-op in Benson AZ. Landscaped beautifully because they have a garden committee to take care of it. Nice clubhouse. No pool, however. Pretty empty in the summer since it is mostly snowbirds.

    • Cinandjules 🌵 says:

      Being a full time zonie transplant I can give my perspective of AZ. The temp during the summer is hot…dry hot. There is no difference between 100 and 120…hot is hot. No humidity! Depending on your wants or needs…northern AZ is a lot cooler but north means snow in the winter. Leaving for the summer months is a personal choice…I don’t mind the heat..Jules hasn’t spent a full summer here…so she doesn’t know yet.

      There are a zillion retirement communities…55+. We live in a Del Webb community, (north west of Phoenix) they are in many states. With that each community has their own HOA ..restrictions and fees are different. It’s really personal preference as to what a community offers that best suits your wants and needs.

      Traffic out here in Sun City West, Surprise and Peoria is really mild compared to Phoenix. While there are fulltimers here..there is a huge “snowbird” population. Phoenix Sky Harbor airport is about an hour away. We love it “out here” far enough away from the ratrace but close to the stores, restaurants, hospitals etc.

      If you google 55+ retirement communities you can get an idea of what is out there…by state and location. Then check the “reviews”.

      There are also mobile home communities and RV communities.

      Hope this helps.

  6. Nora now in Cicero IN says:

    Can’t believe I’m one of the first! Yes, changes are interesting. This is the first time in a long time I’ll be spending a summer in southern Michigan and I know it has changed as well as I have. And I’m sure my two brothers have also.

    Glad you’re enjoying settling in. As always, hugs to the pups.

  7. Chris B and Diego says:

    Whether on the road or at your home, I don’t think that I will ever get tired of reading your thoughts and hearing about your adventures.

  8. Alice says:

    You could become a wine maker with the grapes! Very cool pics. Thanks

  9. Gingerita says:

    Mesquite pods are edible with some work. The flour is supposed to be quite healthy. A tipsy flock of birds is amusing to contemplate. I love the pic of the yucca with mesquite against the blue sky. Reggie sure looks intent on whatever he is investigating . Change can be good and seems to me you will have the best of both worlds. A place to rest ,recharge and just be and the opportunity for adventure when the mood strikes. I enjoy reading about both and look forward to what the future brings for you.

  10. Joe in TN says:

    Hi Sue,
    Again, you demonstrate how you are able to “Bloom where you are planted”. Enjoy summer in your new home.

  11. Terri in Tx. says:

    Thank you, RvSue, for re-posting my comment and questions! And again, a beautiful post!

  12. JoanneG from San Rafael says:

    Love reading about the exciting changes in your life. There are many changes afoot for the bloggers I have followed for a while now. Wishing you continued happiness in your new home!

  13. ValGal (westernWA) says:

    Yes, I wondered how you would do without changing spots frequently and all the focus that entails. It’s a huge change. Of course, you are adapting more or less beautifully.

    I, for one, will continue to read your blog as I love your writing, how you notice and describe things, and the escapades of the crew.

    AZ has incredible thunderstorms in the monsoon season with dramatic clouds, spectacular lightening shows, and awesome rainbows.

    I suspect your grapes will produce well if they receive sufficient water. Wine country in CA and WA is hot as heck, frequently in the low 100’s.

    Got any pics of Spigot Lizard and the other one (forgot the name) or are they camera shy?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I haven’t seen Spigot Lizard or Horned Toad/Lizard, mostly because I’m indoors more due to the heat. I do hope to get a photo of Lattice Lizard. He’s a sneaky guy who taunts Roger to chase him, and boy, is he fast!

  14. PNW Alison says:

    After so many years of reading about you creating life in the road, it’s so interesting to now read about leaving the “on the road” life and creating your next stage of life in a house in a community. It’s your observations and insights that keep me coming back for so many years!

  15. PNW alison says:

    Oh and, it looks like you’ve found a pretty great place to put down roots. Grapes, yucca, mesquite and a house that stays cool. Great choice!

  16. weather says:

    Wow, I love this post, Sue! I didn’t think you would become bored while staying at your house at all. (Though I can easily imagine your wanting to take off in the BLT to parts unknown or familiar camps that you especially like after you have spent your first few seasons at the home you and Nancy will be sharing. ) Primarily because you aren’t the type of person that needs to be entertained by anything except the sweet and beautiful things around you. You have your crew, changes you want to see and make around and inside of your home, nature’s ever changing gifts- that seems like all it’s ever taken to keep you content and joyful. This delightful post shows how true that still is.

    The yucca in bloom is beautiful! I wonder if instead of just removing some plants from your front yard you might want to transplant them into somewhere in your backyard. I’m guessing you’ll at least keep enough foliage in your front yard to be able to hear and watch birds if you have coffee or tea while sitting on your front porch.

    It’s good to know you aren’t rushing to remove any pods or stalks that creatures may want to eat or enjoy perching in. I think those mesquite pods are great looking right now, and hope the birds leave enough ripe grapes for you to have some 🙂 . I’ve had to be really quick to get any berries before the birds pick the bushes clean. I also wonder if Reggie and Roger still like to sit and play on your blue outdoor mat, and if you’ve used the BLT’s awning for extra coolness or shade on it since you moved there and… and…Ha! Okay, I’ll just contain my excitement and wait for you to tell more about everything in time.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      A quick reply before I go, regarding transplanting yucca.

      At the base the yucca has long, stiff leaves that are swordlike. I don’t know how one would transplant mature yucca without a front-end loader or something like that. Anyway, the yuccas in the front are placed perfectly to accentuate the house. That photo with the birds on the stalks? That’s a yucca in front of the front porch. I love having it there. 🙂

      Thanks for your response to this post!

  17. Marilyn says:

    Sue, I think you can make walking sticks out of those Yucca stalks

  18. JazzLover says:

    What is Reggie checking out in the second picture? Clothes lines are things of beauty especially when you put the sun dried clothes on or get into bed! Are Rogers hind feet on the small log in the first picture? Love the new header. Be Well.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Reggie is patrolling, sniffing as he goes. Roger is standing on rocks that are part of a fire ring. The ring was here when we bought the place. You be well, too, JazzLover!

  19. rvsueandcrew says:

    Good afternoon, blogorinos!

    Loving your comments, as always. Thank you. Yesterday I spent a great deal of the day working on the blog and replying to comments. Reggie and Roger were patient enough, however, I don’t want to give them another day like that.

    I’ll read every comment and I’ll come back later to answer questions. Please continue without me!

    I’m going to add another comment that came in late under the previous post and then devote some time with my boys.

    Sue

  20. Dawn in NC 🐈 says:

    “…bird bacchanalia will break out with much gorging and singing of avian bar room ditties.” I LOVE your descriptions! They had me seriously cracking up! Thank you for the beautiful pictures and observations around your home. This is the reason I look forward to your blogs!

  21. A gal and a cat in Florida says:

    Here’s part of a comment from A gal and a cat in Florida that came in at the end of yesterday’s conversations. It’s interesting (and quite possibly encouraging to many) to read about the changes in her life, not all of them planned, yet wonderful. Opportunities do appear in unexpected ways and places!

    I love it when the comment section fills up with mini-blogs such as the one below. — Sue

    “WOW big changes. GO SUE.

    “I am not gone as you mentioned some are. Just traveling and super busy, I took a couple months off from reading my favorite blog. I had gotten to the point in April or whenever you had something to tell us.

    “Have to admit I am surprised. But very happy for you. In reality, you did what you wanted for years. There are few places you missed, gorgeous sunsets,nature adventures and solitude. Family is so important and as we get older it sinks in more. Still having the BLT just makes it seem right. There for when you want.

    “I am so glad you *change*was for the good. You gals will have fun catching up and you can show her around your beloved desert areas you know so well. How wonderful for you!

    “My life has changed too and I’m really enjoying it. I have a small tt,smaller than your Casita and SUV I have traveled the west with, my 3rd summer now. Don’t do Florida in summer!

    “This year I am in far north Montana my favorite state just outside west entrance to Glacier park. Doing reservations a few hrs a week for a gorgeous park. Love the area, the wildlife and most of all the great people I *work* for if you call it that. Get to meet so many happy people but have a lot of time to myself.

    “Being mostly a solitary person, I surprise myself with the need to chat, wave etc with others. I must have missed it. I still take off for hours to explore the back country alone.

    “Oh and my bosses provided me with a much bigger travel trailer with all the conveniences including bath and kitchen. Just because. Incredible. Loving every minute of this amazing different summer. We (my old kitty and I) have a beautiful prime spot in the back under 2 trees,lots of privacy. Life is good . . . .”

    • Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

      Gal with a cat 🐱 in Florida,

      Chuck and I enjoyed many years of workamping . Saw much of the country that way! Sounds like you are enjoying it as much as we did! Life can be filled with smiles and new friends at each new location! We agree, the Florida humidity can be unbearable somedays!
      Enjoy your Montana camp!

  22. Suzicruzi from The 'Couve says:

    Hi Sue!
    Interesting transition; for you, for us, the bloggerinos. What I’ve always enjoyed about your blog was your willingness to share your life, in a real, down to earth way, unlike many bloggers who were worried about Instagram worthy photos. Your photos are every bit as worthy, yet very unpretentious. I am very happy to be reading your blog about everyday life, in your little Mayberry town. If we ever cross paths I’ll probably say my usual greeting to strangers as I pass; “howzit goin’ ?” accompanied by a casual wave of sorts, and keep walking. I smile my little smile if there’s eye contact, and try to make someone’s day. If I never meet you, that’s okay too, because I feel I’ve already met you anyway, even though not in person. Your security and privacy is safe with me!! I’m kind of the same anyway- I don’t like much attention, or unannounced “neighbors” dropping by.

    I wanted to also pick your brain, if I may, about Pagosa Springs, CO. Seems Larry has mapped out our passing through there on the way to Rice,Tx. I can’t remember where it was that you mentioned you saw some nice places (it looked like) to tent camp, where there were no big rigs or a lot going on. A local fishing spot perhaps? Please jog my memory. We are only in and out for a night’s sleep, then back on our way. If you can’t remember, that’s okay too. Maybe one of your readers know of a free or cheap place to pitch a tent for a night? Pretty would be nice- but quiet would be more impt. Thanks in advance!
    Have a great rest of your Sunday! 😄
    Suzi, Larry, & Kitty *25 more days! 9 more till retirement!!

    • Barbara from Camano Island says:

      If you go to the side bar on the right side of the post, you can type in “Pagosa Springs” and it will take you to Sue’s post about it. Good luck! I have used that feature often.

      • SuziCruzi says:

        😊 Thanks! Still hoping Sue will chime in. Maybe she developed a favorite spot there that would be suitable for a tent? The one in Kinney Flats looks like it could be over-run with Bovine, and Bovine Pie. Not the best for tent camping! 😉🤣😂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Not true. Kinney Flats is a large area with many spots suitable for tenting, and the bovine population is small. While I haven’t been at Kinney Flats recently, it should be fine and lovely for tenting.

          I’m not sure I understand your request. Did you have a particular tenting spot in mind that I mentioned and you can’t remember that specific place? Or are you asking for suggestions where to tent in the Pagosa Springs area?

          I’m going offline now. I’ll check back here in the morning.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Since I haven’t heard from you and I need to go to town soon, I suggest looking at the Kinney Flats posts. You can start with “Led to a peaceful camp at Kinney Flats.”

          The road in is shown. When you come to a choice of turning on a road off to the right, stay on the road you’re on which goes through the open fields. Then the road goes through an area of trees. Shady campsites for tents are on both sides. They were somewhat overgrown when we were there (a good thing! not over-used!).

          There’s another post somewhere that shows these campsites on that road.

          If it looks like you face a very hot evening…. instead of turning into Kinney Flats, continue south and turn left onto another road. It goes up the mountain and there are pretty campsites up there. I showed them in another post. Find the post, consult your map for a winding road up a mountain, and you’ll learn how to get there.

          The higher elevation will be cooler. Of course, I can’t guarantee any road is open or other variables, since I haven’t been there recently.

          If interested in the above and you can’t find the posts on your own, let me know and I’ll research more. At this point I don’t know if you’re interested in Kinney Flats or the higher elevation camps nearby.

          • Suzicruzi from The 'Couve says:

            Hi Sue, thanks for the replies. I’m not sure we are wanting something much more than a couple miles in, off a main road, due to being “in and out” and can’t stay to enjoy the whole area this time around. However I’m liking your options mentioned and I’ll research further. It is going to be the 4th of July “week” and I feel sort of “dismal” about it being what it is. We can’t make the effort to hold out somewhere until the busy week passes. I’m expecting lots of filled up places, except the on road ones, or maybe the undesirables. We will of course “take what can” under the circumstances. We are good sports, although by then, probably weary Van + Kitty travelers. (And the heat no doubt). I like your suggestion about heading higher up. I haven’t been able to just sit down, relax, and plan the over-nights, as we’ve been so busy getting out of the house, etc. So many details to this type of “move”. Larry is still working on the solar, and we are both still working our jobs. I don’t know where the days go? But, by 8pm we head to the bed for our wind down period.

            I went back and started looking at the PS posts you wrote, last night, and promptly fell asleep. Lol. I’ll try to start browsing a bit earlier before I get so sleepy. I did find the road out of town you posted taking, on my Benchmark map, but that’s about all she wrote.

            Just keep in mind, we just need an overnight place to sleep, (preferably free, but cheap with senior pass works too). I realize we won’t get the joy of being way back in, like you got, just due to time constraints. I was just looking for anything you remember that sounds like it will suit our needs. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction! I’ll keep reading your posts- as there are several from June 2016. 🙂. Thanks again, mostly for your willingness to be so helpful. 👌🏼😄

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            What route will you be on? Will you approach Pagosa Springs from the west or from the north? And what route will you take out of Pagosa Springs? When I have these answers, I’ll be able to give you suggestions.

            • suzicruzi from the 'Couve says:

              Coming from the West on 160, and heading South on 84. We were thinking that we are flexible, and won’t drive more than about 300mi a day, starting early in the morning while it’s cool. We don’t have to camp anywhere in particular, as we only have estimates of where we will land for the day. We want to do a certain amount of wandering, and poking around each day, and not feel rushed. We are used to taking good size road trips, for days on end, so we think the 300 miles(ish) is a good ballpark of how it will go. So actually anywhere around the PS area is just fine with us.
              I know you are taking a break from the blog right now, as I read today’s post. I feel bad about that situation for you. People can be so thoughtless! I think I’d be so pi$$ed if someone did that to me! I’d think, “boy, they sure have a gall!”. Well meaning or not, it was still quite thoughtless. I’m sorry.
              If you don’t get back to me, that’s okay, and I totally understand! Just take care of yourself Sue – you and your precious boys. Get out in the yard, and put your hands in the dirt. I always have said putting my hands in the dirt is very therapeutic to me.
              Do take good care!!! I know we will all miss you, but know that your blogerinos want what’s best for you Sue. xo

  23. Janice Lee says:

    Bored with your blog after the move to a house? No. Your life in S. AZ is as exotic to me as your western ramblings, speaking as someone firmly planted in the middle of the Midwest. I enjoy seeing & learning about the different flora & fauna, your daily doings, and, most definitely, the doggie doings.

  24. Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

    Sue, I want to thank you for mentioning your grape tomatoes a few weeks ago! 💗. I bought a tiny single plant that same week and stuck it in a 5 gallon bucket of dirt! It is now 4′ tall and producing more tomatoes than I can eat! 😊 Yummy tomatoes! And that came from your new back yard campsite! So I am still learning from you even when you are not being a gypsy! Thank you! I had never heard of grape tomatoes until your mention!💗
    Thundering loudly here, but no rain yet!
    Keep an eye on those grapes!
    Hug the boys from us!

  25. Yuccas are amazing. We were in Tucson until mid-May and saw them bloom as well as some other late bloomers. Cactus are just amazing in their ability to produce such a beautiful flower.

  26. The mesquite pods are eatable as well as the ‘banana’ that from the yucca plant. After the flowers die you’ll see a yucca fruit develop. I’ve taken cooking classes at Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve. We buried & baked the yucca fruit in hot coals. The fruit is surprisingly sweet and delicious. I didn’t try cooking the mesquite tree pods. I’ll have to go back and learn how to prepare them. It’s good to know edible plants. Have to be careful though. Look alike plants do sometimes confuse which may be poisonous. Prickly pear are also edible. You can bake, steam or fry them. The prickly pear fruit is sweet and delicious when they ripen. I ate them as a kid and still do. Some restaurants in AZ offer & serve these desert edible plants in their menu. Some are made into chili jelly or jams or candy.

    The bird bacchanalia ditty sure made me laugh as well as a comment about drunken birds in Chas Anderson’s yard.

  27. RachelDLS says:

    If you were talking about the Mesquite beans then, yes. I believe that the Native Americans grind them and use them as a flour for making bread. I think our good friends to the South of the Border also use them that way.

    About Change? Change is the only constant in the universe! 🙂

    Change is also a wonderful thing. I know that so many people are afraid of change, but it’s going on around us all the time. Embrace the change in your life. Find joy no matter where your at. It’s the only way to fly!

  28. Connie says:

    Hello Sue and crew,

    I always raked the mesquite tree pods immediately and took them to the dump or gave them to people who made flour.

    I wanted to share this information from living in and around Sierra Vista for over thirty years.
    Native Americans harvested the mesquite tree seeds and made flower. Some people still do. Many desert creatures love eating them. Rodents (to include very large rats) eat them and will nest nearby to include the BLT and the house because food and water are accessable. The rodents will draw in snakes. It is nature’s way. We had our RV parked in our driveway for awhile before we set out full timing.

    To protect my dogs I hired a man from Tucson to train them to run from Rattle snakes. My Boxer had been bitten 4 times (he was not the brightest but I loved him tremendously).

    The rodents nested every where in the RV to include the engine. I eventually had to protect my house, vehicles and RV by putting out all kind of traps. The most effective was electric. I set about 15 traps out at night and collected them in the morning. Rinse and repeat everday. I know this is a bit morbid and I apologise. We did feed the birds which contributed to the perfect rodent and snake storm.

    I loved living in the desert and we did live out in the country so you will probably not have such an extreme situation if you are in a developed area.

    I do not mean for this to be negative, I just wanted to pass on my experience and what I learned about living in the desert in a permanent location.

    We love your blog, Connie

  29. Barbara from Camano Island says:

    Hi! Haven’t written for a long time as I’ve been on my adventure in my new van, leaving Camano Island about the 17 of April. Yesterday I drove through Rogerson and waved and said hi to Roger’s old stomping ground. It gave my heart a little thrill to know he was adopted by such a loving and giving person. He is so lucky, as are you and Reggie.

    Spent one night at Ward Mountain south of Ely, NV, and two nights at David Deacon (sp??) Campgrounds, both places you wrote about. There were a number of fishermen at David Deacon and they brought me fresh caught and fried fish one night. A really nice experience! The second loop at Ward Mountain was almost empty.

    I have had a wonderful trip so far. The biggest learning curve has been pacing myself so I don’t get too tired. I was able to take two weeks off from traveling in Incline Village, (Lake Tahoe) and dogsit my “grand dog.” I needed that. I’ll be leaving Buhl, I’d, tomorrow on my way north into the Sawtooth Mountains. Then over to Richland, WA to be with my brother who was just diagnosed with extensive cancer. Life throws some hard ones at us. I’m just glad our relationship was finally in a good place.

    And for those of you who worry about being too old to do this, I turn 76 in seven days.

    Thanks for all your wonderful stories, Sue.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Sending you early Happy Birthday wishes, Barbara! 🎂 🎉

      Sounds like you are enjoying your traveling adventure in your new van! 🙂
      Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Barbara,

      I’m sorry your brother has cancer. I bet he’ll be happy to see you. It’s wonderful that you have the mobility to go to him. I wish your relationship strengthened and deepened by sharing the trials to come!

      Thank you for reporting on your recent camps. Ward Mountain was probably chilly in April, but it’s pretty there and the campground is nice. It thrills me that you camped in places where I’ve camped with my crew and blogged about.

      Dave Deacon… oh my, did you go to the hot springs? What a treat…. isolated, no one around, lovely… Yeah, Dave Deacon is popular with fisherpeople. There’s not an abundance of streams, lakes and fishing holes in that part of Nevada. Fresh fish, freshly fried, delivered to you. Nice!

      Yes, pacing is important…

      76! I think by ending your report with your age might just give some other folks the gumption to get going.

      Wishing you a wonderful birthday!

      • Barbara from Camano Island says:

        Yes, I went to the hot springs and enjoyed a soak up river from the main pool as it was filled with children. However I’m one of those people who prefer the scalding waters of a hot springs rather than bath water temperature but how beautiful it was! I loved being at this camp ground. Thanks so much for the suggestions.

  30. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    I always enjoyed your post about traveling but I am really enjoying these posts also.
    It is interesting how you are finding interesting things right there in your backyard. So glad you are enjoying your new home. I know that when Nancy arrives, the 2 of you will begin another exciting chapter to your lives.
    Sending lots of love and big hugs!!!!

  31. Mary Kellogg says:

    Very excited about your home purchase and look forward to how this change will alter your blog.

  32. Sharon says:

    My mother always made mesquite bean jelly and it was so good. Tasted like honey.

  33. Mary Burt says:

    You make flour out of the mesquite beans and make tortillas with it. There is a man in Arazpnia who has a youtube on it.

  34. Chey (WA coast) says:

    Just popped in to say hi. This summer I’m planning a camp trip to a “designated dark sky” at Pine Mountain Observatory in the Deshutes National Forest. I haven’t seen the Milky Way since, well since childhood!
    I’m still showing my gratitude for your blog by shopping Amazon through your blog.
    BOLO for Pro Pac grain free dog food 😀 🐾🐾
    Will you be taking Nancy camping?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m happy for you, Chey! Sounds like you’re going to enjoy this summer.

      Thank you for shopping Amazon.

      Nancy and Marg will always be welcome to go camping with me and my crew. Whether she will be interested, I don’t know. 🙂

  35. Harriet says:

    Ok is my phobia showing or do I see something in the grass in the photo of Reggie, above his head to the right?
    Enjoy you new digs! You guys will find new and different things but this time they will come to you and the other way around.
    Great photos!

  36. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    A hot week coming up!
    Stuff dries up with a quickness here…stuff you would even imagine. You may already know this…but in case you don’t:
    The BLT…you may want to cover the tires to block the sidewalks from the UV rays. Since you are on dirt you won’t have to worry about flat spots. Also the gasket in the toilet will dry up…so make sure the bowl has water and put Saran Wrap over the bowl…to prevent evaporation. Just don’t forget it’s there when you use it for the first time. 😩
    In the house…make sure water is in the p-traps.

    Your grapes look yummy! RVSue vineyards! Hmmmm.

    How is your fence mend doing? Does Reg/Rog sleep on your cushion/bed with you?
    That would be funny..I imagine Reg has to touch…whereas Rog doesn’t.

    Have a great day! Stay cool!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Cinandjules, for the tips about the BLT in Arizona sun and heat! I hadn’t thought of any of that. I will take care of it today.

      Now I’m wondering about the fresh water tank, the gray water tank, and the sinks. Do I need to keep water in those?

      About “In the house … make sure water is in the p-traps.” What is a p-trap?

      The fence mend is almost done. Two holes remain that are blocked with rocks and they’re doing the job nicely. There are so many other jobs around here that are more fun to do, like painting the railing (done!), various minor repairs, and yard clean-up (almost done!), that I haven’t gone back to that project.

      • The p-trap is the curve tube thing under the sink

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thanks, rita. I thought that might be what she was referring to. Funny to be called a p-trap when it looks more like a c or an s.

          Anyway, I guess I keep water in it by turning on the faucet regularly.

          • Lisa in San Diego says:

            exactly right

          • Cinandjules 🌵 says:

            Yes running the water will keep the p trap filled..keeps the gases and critters from coming in!

            The water in the fresh tank, gray and black should be fine without doing anything. The sensor may get stuck. There is no harm in keeping a little water inside…but dump or sanitize the fresh before you use it.

            As for the house…any toilet, shower drain, sink drain…flush or run water.

            If you have the BLT is closed up tight…crack the roof vent. It will keep everything from cooking inside. And lastly your new fridge in the BLT..door closed..baking soda inside or the seal will dry up. P-traps in the BLT- both sinks and shower drain.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I still have questions.

              There are no sensors on my tanks.

              If water evaporates so quickly, how do I make sure the p-traps have water? Do I run water every day? Do I leave a faucet dripping? I’m sorry to belabor this but I need specifics regarding how much, how often.

        • weather says:

          In response to your last reply, Sue- A p-trap is designed to keep itself filled with water, that’s why it’s shaped the way it is. So as long as you run a few cups worth of water from each tap like once every other day it will be okay. The trick is to remember to do that with every faucet in the house – sinks, showers, tubs- not just the ones you would normally use a lot such as the one for a kitchen sink. The only time you may want to leave every one dripping a little is if you were planning to be gone away from the house for a week or more .

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Thanks, weather. That makes sense.

            • Cinandjules says:

              Yes what weather said! Water will evaporate even with the Saran Wrap.

              Casitas don’t have a gauge..tells you how much is in your holding tanks….normally where the water pump switch is. If not…don’t worry!

            • Lisa in San Diego says:

              imagine how long it would take a cup or two of water to evaporate in your weather, and that’s how often you should refill the p-trap

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Ha! Sounds reasonable, but I’m an AZ newbie and haven’t a clue how long it takes inside a pipe! 🙂

  37. Laura Ours says:

    Howdy!

    I do not write often as I might want to. But I want to say this, I am so happy for you and this point in your journeys. When I first read that you were setting up in one spot for a while in this new home. I became a wee bit concerned that you might not continue your blog and I am so happy to see that this is not the case! I love hearing about your adventures and of course about your “crew”! Stay cool!

    Huggles,
    Laura O.

  38. Nivrapa in AZ says:

    Audrey’s comment (below) was delayed by a detour into the spam bin. Don’t know why that happened! –Sue

    Greetings from the southern AZ blast furnace and land of prickly, thorny stuff!

    As one who has a strong dislike (to put it politely) of southern AZ summers, I am only barely tolerating this month. June is just brutal as our temps soar and being outside for any length of time is unfit for man or beast, IMO. So why am I still here? Well, my best friend is getting married this month and I am honored to be her witness at the happy event. It’s a second marriage and a small intimate ceremony in the living room of her fiance’s ranch home. Afterwards, there will be a much larger reception in the barn on the property. The entire affair has a western theme and is simply done. As her witness I will wear a denim skirt, western white shirt, red cowgirl boots and of course my Lady Stetson. It’s an evening affair and I only hope that the temperatures fall out of the triple digits as the sun sets. I have some anxiety about being among so many other folks but I know most and have shared other celebratory occasions among them and enjoyed myself. I’m hoping this is one evening I don’t prefer my own company more than others. Once the wedding is over, I can make my escape for cooler temperatures in the higher country. I hope this month flies by.

    Sue, you do want to protect the BLT from the sun’s rays. It will oxidize quickly and terribly if you don’t. No need to keep water in any tanks–it will only evaporate. But do keep your rubber seals lubricated to prevent them from drying and cracking. I always use plain old Vaseline. Rodents, spiders, etc can become problematic if the BLT just sits for a season so inspect it often for signs of trouble. Also, if you have the BLT parked under any trees, be aware of dripping sap. That stuff hardens into a resin-like substance, causing cracking in the gel coat–another reason to cover the BLT. I keep my Scamp in my garage but I still take necessary precautions to avoid future problems. Have you thought about battery maintenance? Keep the charge up. The heat can really do a number and drain them quickly. I think you still have the originals, no?

    Sue I hope you have a comfortable seat facing south-southeast that is under a patio. I spend hours watching the monsoons develop and roll in. It’s so fascinating and cheap entertainment. My dog would be outside with me and she learned to never be afraid of the lightening or thunder. She generally would sleep on the shaded concrete in the cool of the evenings, dreaming of chasing lizards. You may want to bring up NOAA on your ‘puter. Search for the radar reflectivity of Tucson and you can watch as the storms travel across New Mexico and into AZ. Really cool stuff! NOAA’s radar for southern AZ becomes my homepage during the summer monsoons. It keeps you aware of impending storms and their severity. Monsoon season is so neat and interesting. You will love it! Just be prepared for some serious rainfall with flash floods and wild winds. Tie down everything unless you want to search the neighborhood afterwards.

    Another tip if you have a TV. Over the air broadcast stations in southern AZ should be fairly easy to view with no antenna or just the simplest of all receivers. You should be able to pull in major stations from Tucson and at least get the news and more importantly, weather alerts. I used a coat hanger and aluminum foil for years and it worked great. I still don’t have cable or sat TV but have improved my receiver to cheap rabbit ears from the thrift shop.

    I have several mesquite trees on my property and I hate it when the pods start to fall. Ants seem to be attracted to the dried pods on the ground and unless I rake often I have an ant invasion that becomes monumental. It’s easier to just rake each morning.

    All your discoveries remind me of my first year in southern AZ. So very different from the East Coast living I experienced most of my life. Lots of new to learn about. I had experienced the desert many times prior to moving here. But as we all know, until you actually live someplace for a while, you really don’t know it very well. These are exciting times for you and while I really miss your nomadic life, it’s fun to see you make a new life for yourself and The Crew.—Audrey

  39. Cynthia in San Clemente says:

    Your post reminded me that happiness is often based more on one’s attitude and state of mind than it is on one’s physical location. When I was growing up, my widowed mother could not afford the time or cost of taking us on the camping trips many of my friends took with their parents. But she did buy us a tent and sleeping bags, which my brother and I would set up in the back yard on summer nights. After mom cooked us hamburgers and s’mores over a little Webster BBQ, she would tuck us into the tent, and my brother and I were sure that the shadowy figures of the trees back lit by the moon were really bears. We were as excited and scared as if we were in a real forest.

  40. carol says:

    If you end up with a bounty of grapes, you can freeze them and eat them later. Just rinse a cluster and pop them in a freezer bag. Later, eat them one at a time. They are so sweet and yummy that way.

  41. Ozarkjoy says:

    Learned a lot about mesquite I didn’t know. The yucca grow wild here in the Ozarks too we loved them in the yard when we were kids. My grandmother loved the blooms and the stiff leaves became medieval swords for long hours of sword fighting. I remember the green fruit pods but can’t remember ever doing any thing with them. The roots are gathered for something medicinal so have to look hard to find a big patch here any more as the gatherers dig and sell them. Although they also dig the mullion and witchhazel is the biggest wild crop here. ginseng is the most lucrative

  42. After many years of changing locations, it will be fun to stay and see the seasons change around you. I look forward to watching it through your eyes as we love that area and want to see how it changes through the months! The flowers are so beautiful.

  43. Terri in Tx. says:

    Thanks to all for perspectives on living in AZ! I enjoyed everybody’s comments very much!
    Terri

  44. Rover Ronda (WA) says:

    Oh I’m glad you’re leaving the stocks for bird perches.

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