Seeking the sun in Colorado

Monday, August 22

The crew and I wake to another cold, damp morning at Park Creek Campground, south of South Fork, Colorado.  Bridget doesn’t seem to mind the cold very much.  Reggie and I, however, are shivering.

“C’mon, honey.  Let’s go outside and find us a sunbeam.”

I stand in the sun, holding his little body close until warm.

Although our campsite is a paradise on a sunny day, it’s not so great during this spate of rain in Colorado.  Due to the many trees, it’s almost noon before sunshine hits the Best Little Trailer.

We have an hour — two at the most — in the afternoon when it’s pleasant to be at our beach, soaking up some rays.  Then the rain and/or hail comes.  The ground and vegetation don”t have a chance to dry out.

“You know what?  This is ridiculous!  The forecast is for more of the same.  We need to go someplace warmer and drier!  I need sunshine!”

Tuesday, August 23

P1130701  Route 160, heading east/southeast toward Wolf Creek Pass!

With the Perfect Tow Vehicle’s heater set on high, Bridget, Reggie, and I leave Park Creek Campground and board Route 160.  The Best Little Trailer tags along behind.

We are going to ride out of this darkness into the light!  I want to lie back in my lounger and bake my bones!

Wolf Creek Pass, here we come!

P1130706Tunnel before the climb up to the Pass

I considered making a run for it toward Montrose and Delta, Colorado, which are at a lower elevation than the South Fork area.  It would’ve meant driving through mountains, spending another night in mountains, and doing so without internet.  I just don’t have the gumption for that right now.

I discover an easier way.

Happy with my decision, I shift into 2nd gear and we begin the climb.

The PTV performs beautifully even when we are brought to a halt halfway up the pass by a flagman at road repair.  We wait and then the flagman lets us through.  From a standstill on an uphill grade, the PTV roars to life and pulls us mightily all the way to the Continental Divide (10,857 ft.).

What a workhorse! 


People say it’s a more difficult climb from the other direction, from the west.

I agree.  It does seem much steeper and longer on the Pagosa Springs side of the pass.  Of course, I can’t take many photos while driving us around curves and a few switchbacks.

I’m glad I didn’t put the PTV through the climb from the west, when we were camped at West Fork Campground.  You may remember we went round-about through the gentler Cumbres Pass instead.

P1130715The fog makes the mountains look like cut-outs in a collage.

I glance at Bridget and Reggie.  Both are doing fine at this altitude.  It’s foggy up here.  Rain starts and stops as we continue downward.

P1130713No point in stopping at “scenic overlooks” in the rain, mist, and fog.

On flat land again!

To the beat of windshield wipers, we motor through one of my favorite stretches of road.  No sign today of the red fox hunting in a field that I saw on a sunny day earlier this summer.

When we come to the sign indicating left for Chama, I make the turn onto Route 84 south.  We don’t bother to go into the town of Pagosa Springs.

I’m anxious to set up camp.

Return to Kinney Flats!

The sky is blue as we make our way up the familiar lane.  Saying a prayer that the campsite is empty, we round the last curve and there it is!

P1130723Returning to Kinney Flats feels like coming home.

Looking at the photo above you may think, “What’s so great about that?  It’s a field and some trees.  Pretty ordinary.  Blah.”

It’s hard to explain.

When the crew and I make our home in a place where there are few people, when we camp in solitude and peace for several days, becoming familiar with our surroundings — the plants, trees, and flowers, birds, wildlife, the stars as seen through the pine branches, the light across the field of grass at daybreak, the scent of pines, the serendipity of discovering turkeys gobbling through our front yard — an attachment is formed.

I do feel affection for this camp.

P1130734“Blue skies up above . . . Everyone’s in love!”

I guess that’s why, when we were in the damp cold and I asked myself, “Where would I rather be?” —  Kinney Flats immediately came to mind.


Bridget and Reggie like this camp, too. 

They recognize their former home and are happy to be here again.  Later we walk the lane and cross into the pines on a slope overlooking the watering hole.  A white-tailed squirrel chatters from a tree limb.

Hmm . . . I wonder if that’s the fat squirrel I photographed before.

Wednesday, August 24

I awake and peek out the window over our bed.  Two nuthatches clutch the bark of the pine tree while upside down and circling the trunk for their high-protein breakfast.

I step outside and catch sight of a deer as it slips into the woods across the field from our home.

P1130737Early morning at Kinney Flats — Warmer and drier air

The crew and I follow our habit of staying at camp the first day.

Our walks reveal subtle changes. 

The swaths of bright yellow flowers and flowing waves of vivid green and gold I photographed in early July have been replaced with more subdued hues.


The various grasses offer a bounty of seeds for the birds.  The birds know it!  When not eating seeds, the birds swoop and play in the shrinking mud puddle in our driveway or perch on high branches, enjoying the warmth of the sun.

No more purple thistle blooms.  Instead brown pods are about to open.

P1130738Soon to release winged seeds to float on the breeze.

“Hey!  When did YOU move into the neighborhood?”

P1130727I think they’re asking the same question of us!

“Reggie?  Oh, Reggie?  You have a job to do, Reg.”


NOTE:  Some of this blog’s readers are in the area of Pagosa Springs or will be soon.  I ask that you do not drive out to Kinney Flats for the purpose of seeing our camp.  I’m happy to share our lives online.  Please let that be enough.  Thank you.  — Sue


Follow any of the links or ads you see on my blog and your Amazon purchases will send a commission to “RVSue and her canine crew.”

Here are a few of the items recently ordered by readers:

Oxo Mini Salad Spinner
Cute Animal Camping Socks
Nikon Camera with Lens Bundle
Amazon eGift Card – Birdy Birthday
Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven Broiler
Spa Relaxation Machine with 6 Nature Sounds

P1130775“Still some summer flowers left!” — Navajo River Road, Chromo, south of Kinney Flats, Colorado


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137 Responses to Seeking the sun in Colorado

  1. Kat & Cookie Dog in NY says:


    • rvsueandcrew says:


      • Kat & Cookie Dog in NY says:

        Thanks Sue, didn’t think I would ever get in first three posts again. Feel like I won a prize. Just reading your post is a prize any time you post one of your fun blog stories. Cookie Dog and I really love keeping up with Bridget and Reggie’s antics. And Cookie is hopeful he will get a buggy like Bridget’s someday for the times his back legs hurt too much to walk. Have a great day (or week) until your next post arrives to keep us feeling like we are out there on the road with you.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I recommend the “car” that Bridget has. It really gives her a smooth ride on bumpy roads. Cookie Dog will love it!

    • Kat & Cookie Dog in NY says:

      It must feel like returning home when you get back to an area you enjoyed once before. Your weather temperatures there are so much nicer than the hot, humid weather we have been having here this summer. Enjoy the peace and quiet, and say hi to the beefers for me. My dad raised them and seeing them in the picture reminded me of my childhood. Thanks again, I love your blog!

  2. denimlady in DSM says:

    Love the Reggie pic; the back of his head is so photogenic! ;o)

  3. Lee J in Northern California says:

    Good morning, you popped in while I was folding towels!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Lee J!

      Gotta’ go… Be back later. The crew’s patience is growing thin. Walkie-time!

  4. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    YAY for the sunshine! Glad you found it!
    Hugs from Hoquiam! Barb

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Barb. I felt like we were in the Pacific Northwest only without the ocean.

      • Rover Ronda (WA) says:

        That’s kind of what I was thinking. If you’re going to put up with cold and damp you should at least have an ocean to listen to and a beach to comb.

  5. Corkerinna620 ( AL) says:


  6. You’re killing me! Again! I can just smell the air and feel the breeze. I’m imagining the wildlife. It makes me happy that you appreciate and enjoy all the riches around you. You’re a very lucky woman. Of course, “luck” had very little to do with where you are. You planned and studied and worked toward this goal. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  7. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Ah hah! Check Wolf Creek Pass off that bucket list!

    Glad you found a warmer site! Three bovines giving you the stink eye! Have a great day!

  8. Pat at Newport, Oregon says:

    Great pics….I going to do the same thing in a few days… It has been a cool summer on the Oregon coast and I need to thaw out. The last few days have been damp and I know it will only get worst. Enjoy the sun, but save some for me.

  9. Stephanie says:

    Beautiful setting. I’ve been busy reading blogs from prior months/years. Better than a novel! Thank you for sharing.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Stephanie. Thanks for reading the old posts. I’m happy you are enjoying them.

  10. I think your “field with some trees” is a beautiful campsite! And I like your bovine visitors, though they do make walking more of an adventure….watch what you step in!
    p.s. having to do math before posting always makes me nervous, LOL!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, JanisP,

      On the way into Kinney Flats, I saw the cattle in the fields and hoped I wouldn’t find plops in the campsite. None. Yay!

  11. Deena in Phoenix, AZ says:

    You found the sun again and warmth. Love the place and what it does to make ya’ll feel better. Thanks for sharing, it makes us feel better.

    Deena and Miss Mollie

  12. AlanOutandAbout - Alpine AZ. says:

    I want to extend my thanks to all who responded to my notice of my cat Cleo’s passing. It is much appreciated and heartfelt. She was greatly loved and will be sorely missed.
    Now my task is to get my Scamper back down to an acceptable weight. He looks like a Pug and for an Aby that isn’t a good look.

    Sue, so nice that you are enjoying Colorado, it is a beautiful state with all kinds of neat places to visit. But it will be getting cold soon and time to move to warmer climes. It is already getting chilly here in Alpine and my time here is coming close to an end.
    Best to you and yours.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      On behalf of all of us, you’re welcome, Alan.

      The thought came to me, as I read your message here, that Cleo rests in one of your favorite locations. Alpine will always be a special place for you.

      Good luck with Scamper’s weight loss program!

  13. Pookie in Todd Mission, tx says:

    i can relate to you getting back in the flatlands………
    every summer for 10 years I took our boys camping for a week in Colorado
    and coming out of New Mexico on the way home I hit the flatlands around
    Lubbock, Tx where you didnt see a tree for 100 miles nor a bump in the road…
    I love the mountains but not for driving…..I could live there if I had to…
    thanks for your post….keeps my memories going…..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, chuck,

      When you’re used to living in the desert and other flat places, mountain driving isn’t as relaxed.

      It was fun being in the mountains, once I got over my nervousness with heights and Bridget and I got over the altitude problems. I realize now I had very little idea what Colorado is like.

      This has been a good summer and made better by having you along, chuck. Reading your memories of camping in this state and your desire to return has made me appreciate it more.

    • edlfrey says:

      I love it! RVSue writes that she is back in the ‘flat lands’ and blogarinos believe her. The Park Creek camp was at about 8,500′ elevation and Kenney Flats is at 7,800′ plus/minus depending on where she may be camped. I guess having the word ‘Flats’ in the name is what makes this true.

      In spite of the name I have been in that part of Colorado and New Mexico and it is certainly NOT flat. She is also within about 25 miles of the Continental Divide which is not flat in that part of Colorado and New Mexico although it can be in other parts of its length.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Aw gee, Ed. I guess what we’re saying is … the roads are flat, compared to what’s north of here. Much easier driving. Yes, there are mountains around us here and Kinney/Kenney Flats is, well, flat.

      • BadgerRickInWis says:

        Have I ever told you how much I love your posts Ed?

  14. Geri says:

    WOW! I really enjoyed all your photos of the journey to a warmer, more welcoming place that feels like home! Welcome home. I have a few posts to go back and catch up on. sorry I missed them. My cousin and her husband and a best friend came up for a week long visit and we had a great time showing them around!
    I am loving your travels!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You and Chuck have been having fun! Blog reading can wait when you have company to enjoy. 🙂

  15. Larry in AR says:

    When you first posted about Wolf Creek Pass on June 29th, I said I thought you would do it…even if it took two months. 🙂

    I’ll doing the same in about ten days, but Kinney Flats is not on my schedule.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I remember when you wrote that, Larry, and I smiled because I had hoped to loop around through the mountains and return this way, through Wolf Creek Pass from the easier approach. I don’t like to back down from a reasonable challenge!

      I hope you have a clearer day when you travel through the pass.

  16. Duke of Paducah says:

    No worries, Sue! I have been in this area for 2 months (mostly Madden Peak Rd booneying – is that a word?) and I would NEVER infringe on your solitude – as I like it the same). Peace.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Duke, for respecting my privacy as I respect yours. This is beautiful country around here. I’m glad you found a spot from which you can enjoy it. Peace to you, too, fellow boondocker!

    • Cynthia Blaylock says:

      Duke, my mother and father were born in Paducah and my aunt and uncle both taught at Tilman High. It’s a wonderful town.

  17. Velda in Roseville CA says:

    I thought of you yesterday! Son and I were entering the Costco/Walmart parking lot in Citrus Heights Ca on Auburn Blvd, when up ahead I spy a familiar shape, son says, what is that? I answer with a big grin, that’s a Casita! A Sue house! He asks what is a Sue house? I said, its a small trailer just like Sue from RV Sue and her Canine Carew live in as they travel the west! It was parked across two parking places, towed by a pickup trick and sitting patiently waiting for its owner. Still there when we finished at Walmart but gone when we finished at Costco. Wishing them happy travels but sure wish I had seen them to say HI and ask if they know Sues blog! Made my day have a few more smiles!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s a cute story, Velda. 🙂 I’m still amazed how people from different parts of the world think of me during their daily lives…. when seeing rotisserie chicken in the store, noticing a dog that looks like Bridget or Reggie, coming upon a Casita, whatever.

      I like how you’re ready to publicize my blog with a stranger. Ha!

      Keep smilin’!

  18. I’m laughing , Sue, because I had the same reaction when I first came to Colorado. That wasn’t fog you were experiencing, at that altitude you were driving through a cloud!

  19. Norman in San Diego says:

    Hi Sue,

    Awesome camping sites as always. When my times comes I am really leaning towards Arizona in the winter and Colorado in the summer. Two of my favorite places.
    I went to Los Algodones yesterday to the dentist and it was nice, warm, and very sunny there. The 8 freeway is all torn up close to Yuma as new concrete is being poured. It will a nice new freeway when the work is done.
    Thanks for sharing all the wonderful sites you find in Colorado. I am adding them to my list. Have a wonderful week.


    • edlfrey says:

      “…Algodones yesterday to the dentist and it was nice, warm, and very sunny there.”
      I would say it is warm and very sunny I’m not so sure I would agree with the ‘nice’ part. Today is expected to be 105°, tomorrow 110° and Tuesday 113° – enjoy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Norman,

      The Arizona-Colorado combo is a good one. I’ve run into a couple of RVers who do that, or, like the woman that Reggie tied up, they go to Colorado to cool off when their home base (TX) becomes too hot.

      Good to see you appear here again. I appreciate your report of Los Algodones and the work being done on Interstate 8. Boy, must be hot work for the people fixing the highway.

      You have a wonderful week, too, Norman.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Ha! Speaking of RVers who do AZ in the winter and CO in the summer and Ed (edlfrey) appears! That’s what he does (with NM in the mix, too.)

        Hi, Ed!

  20. Pam and Maya, Still in NY says:

    Hi Sue and Crew! Glad you found the sunshine again! I’ve been feeling down because my knee is deteriorating quickly, to the point where it’s difficult to walk. I wanted to wait till I was on Medicare to have the surgery but don’t know if I can. But I found my dream trailer and even went to look at it, a Riverside Retro. Now I feel hopeful again that this too shall pass and one day I’ll be back on the road. Until then, I’m with you and the crew in spirit!

    • Norman in San Diego says:

      I like the Riverside Retro 155 XL. They are nice trailers.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        What a cute trailer!

        Riverside Retro 155 XL

        • Geri says:

          I really like this little trailer too! I love that it has a room A/C unit installed rather than the roof unit! We just replaced our roof unit which stopped working AGAIN with a window unit! This trailer gets a thumbs up from me!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I’ve never seen seat covers like these before in a travel trailer. Gives a nice look, rather than the usual, godawful upholstery patterns.

      • Pookie in Todd Mission, tx says:

        Norman, I like this trailer too…..but I dont see any mention of propane or propane tanks…..any ideas?

        • Norman in San Diego says:

          They come with a small LP tank but I don’t think they are put on the trailer until it is sold. The one I looked at had the spare tire and LP tank under the bed waiting to be installed. Also with the arctic insulation package the trailer was very cool sitting in the hot January Yuma sun. I sat at the kitchen table for a long time and felt I could live in one very easily. Just the right size in my opinion.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            “arctic insulation package”…. Oh, my, I’m drooling!

          • My only concern is the black water dumping part sticking out of the side that far, could be placed on the back, it looks like it could be broken by something passing to close on the side,,,, ? just a thought,, but other than that, its looks sweet and small ?,,,,, Rusty

            • Cinandjules (NY) says:

              That is a weird place for it….

              I do like the retro look.

            • Norman in San Diego says:

              Hi Rusty,

              I totally agree on the black water valve. You would have to be very careful backing up with this trailer. I wish they could come up with a better design for the dump valves.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pam,

      I’m sorry about your knee. I can understand it affecting your mood. I pray you get some relief from the pain.

      I posted a link above…. I can see why that trailer (or one similar to it) is your dream.

      Yes, I join you in hoping and believing that “this too will pass” and better days lie ahead. Do stay with us, Pam. Hugs to you and Maya…

      • Pam and Maya, Still in NY says:

        Thanks Sue, and to all who commented on the trailer! Some good food for thought!

  21. 😉 ,,, hi there Sue and your crew too, great to hear that you’re down and out of the cold rain and back at an old but good camp,, love the post and the Beautiful photos,,,,, have a great week and stay safe and give them babies of yours a huge hug from us,,,,, Rusty n Piper

  22. carlene back in NoCal says:

    Hi there Sue and Crew,
    You have kicked up memories for me and I just love your pics. I love the Chama area, I spent 5 days at Heron Lake St campground last October.

    I bought a hand saw at the hardware store in the grocery store. The guy behind the counter said it was a good one, he’d built a cabinet with one like it… My step at the front door and new “smaller” dinette table came out just fine… still working out great for me. I built them while staying at Heron Lake, which at that time was 85% empty because of the draw on it from Albuquerque.

    I’ll be getting solar on the Gamer Babe this winter, a Christmas present from my sons who install residential solar. And I hope to spend next summer in the Cascades of Oregon and Washington, searching for those out of the way, quiet campgrounds. Having spent this summer at Haystack Rock with the masses I surely need quiet.

    Have a wonderful and safe Labor Day weekend.
    Carlene aka Waianaegal and Corky says hi to the CREW!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Carlene and Corky,

      How nice to have sons who install solar! A boondocker’s dream! Ha! Great Christmas present. I’m sure there are many who read your comment and wished they would come by with a panel or two for their Christmas stocking. 🙂

      Cascades of Oregon and Washington…. great plan! I want to go that way, too!

      Thanks for the wish for our Labor Day weekend. Holidays are such a challenge for those of us who prefer peaceful solitude. Oh well, it’s only three or four days.

      Oh, I almost forgot… Congratulations on the work on the dinette and step!

  23. Susan in Dallas says:

    Yay, cattle! I thought that’s what they were when the brown and black little “squares” appeared in that field. And they look pretty nosey too! Bet Reggie did his job and set them on their way.

  24. Leesa says:

    I remember reading that you wonder about readers who don’t comment anymore so I’ll take this minute to say again how informative and entertaining you blog is and how my family has enjoyed it. That being said I will truly miss reading about your adventures but some unfortunate happenings have made having internet service a luxury we will have to do without. We all send blessings your way for continued health and safe travels.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you. I’m so sorry you face austere times ahead, Leesa. How very kind of you to think to write an explanation for me. I truly appreciate it and hope you will be back with us soon. God bless you and your family.

    • Dawn in MI says:

      Leesa, you can probably read RVSue’s blog at your local public library if you can get to one near you. That would be free.

  25. catew says:

    I can do the math but the system doesn’t let me in to talk with you.
    Boo hoo, CateW

  26. Renee from Idaho says:

    I understand completely how you can get attached to a boondocking site and upon return, feel like you are “home” again. It’s this feeling that we return to the same sites year after year and what an excited feeling we get when we round the bend to find “our” site is not taken! Enjoy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I wondered if anyone would relate to that “coming home” feeling when finding a boondock waiting for one’s arrival. I’ve been thinking about this and came to the conclusion that these camps that feel like home can replace what some wannabes fear they will miss, once they give up their home for a life on the road.

      Some RVers camp in the same place for months at a time and intersperse that with travels. Or they spend the winter, say, in a favorite spot in southern Arizona, year after year.

  27. catew says:

    Well…call me a liar…it worked this time! Still reading and riding along, just too overwhelmed at work and life to post. Thanks for continuing your blog and brightening my days (I know, I know its not about me)! Loved the cute hineys post including the punch line about not including your own. OMG…I laughed loud and long.
    Be well, safe travels everyone,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, catew,

      I’m glad it worked for you and let you in! It’s a day-brightener for me when I hear my blog gave someone a laugh. If I showed my hiney on this blog, I’d get a comment, “Not cute, RVSue.”


  28. weather says:

    Hurray for the powerful PTV! Finishing the climb from a standstill really is impressive. “Where would I rather be?” turning into “It’s ours again!”, your wish and prayer answered is delightful to read about, I’m happy for you and the crew. I find the more subdued colors there as attractive as more green and flowers were. All the birds being around and more active is a bonus. Driving through a cloud to have gotten there , wow! I love watching dreams come true, thanks for how real your photos and prose make sharing that with you again.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, weather,

      BTW, thank you for the good morning comment under the previous post. I want you to know I did see it and enjoyed reading about your family and plans.

      “Driving through a cloud to reach a dream”…. Wonderful image! If I’d been more alert and aware, that would’ve been something to include when describing our climb up to and through the pass.

      Lots of birds here! Night hawks in great numbers make circles in the sky as they catch their dinner. I appreciate them very much because we have not been annoyed by any flying insects. As I was writing this post, I looked out the back window to see a hawk land in the pine tree. And there’s the ever-present, big, black, crow-type bird that crisscrosses our camp, cawing. It’s good to be back!

  29. Pookie in Todd Mission, tx says:

    Sue I just placed an order for some pee-pads for my furbabies thru
    your website….if you dont see them come thru let me know and I’ll
    reorder…….it was just a $20 buy but Im sure you can use all you
    can get, huh?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I see the order for pee-pads, Chuck. Someone else must have ordered some also because the total comes to way more than $20.

      I thank you for thinking of me when thinking of pads to be peed upon. Haha!

      Yes, I can use every bit that comes my way… Maybe someday I’ll settle down again. 🙂

  30. Paula in Indiana says:

    The cows crack me up. One white, one black, one brown but with identical expressions! I d0 wonder what they are thinking.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You know what’s even funnier, Paula? One of the bulls (they’re all bulls here) looks like it’s wearing a hair extension! It’s a black bull and on top of its head, between its ears is a mop of red fur.

      I took photos of it for the blog but they didn’t come out because grass was in the way. If I see him again, I’ll try again. Too funny!

      • Kat & Cookie Dog in NY says:

        Sue, the bull with the red hair extension is like that because one of his parents was a Hereford (in your picture that’s the bull that is red and white) and his other parent was a black angus (pure black). When the two are bred they produce one like the black one with the white face, and their colors blend even more with each generation, so he got that red hair from his Hereford side of his ancestry. Ok, so I grew up on a hobby farm. Black angus and Herefords are my favorite types of bovine. I LOVE seeing pictures of them on your website and hope someday to camp in that part of the country where farmers/ranchers can use public lands for grazing their livestock.

      • Paula in Indiana says:

        Ha! I would like to see that 🙂

  31. I can’t imagine ‘cold.’ It’s still like an oven in Phoenix. I can only work outside in my yard an hour at a time. We usually experience the cool down at end of October…two more months! I’m hearing reports of rain at our rez home and cold at night…just a few hours away.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rita,

      I’d say, “Be careful about working in the yard when it’s hot,” but you know that already.

  32. Dawn in MI says:

    As soon as I read “Wolfcreek Pass” I remembered a song that was popular when I was growing up in the early 70’s. Maybe late 60’s. Here’s a link to the lyrics.

    Even mentions Pagosa Springs. Made me smile.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      I think that song is what spooked me about Wolf Creek Pass. Thanks for the link!

  33. kgdan from Wapato, WA says:

    Hi, Sue!
    We are back home today and back to civilized services. I did miss my internet, cell phone & TV while we camped for 3 weeks at Bonaparte Lake. However, it was great to see a contented man head out to spend the morning fishing everyday. Then in for lunch, nap and out again for evening fishing. He stated that he felt it was heaven on earth for him. Meanwhile I read six books, did my Sudoku and got involved with a needlework project. We had only the sounds of loons, bluejays, chipmunks, ducks and a variety of other birds for our music.

    Arrived home to a yard full of weeds and unharvested vegetables. I believe our minds are evolving to wistful feelings of full timing as we started brainstorming options to get to that end.

    One more month here and then we will start south; just a few medical things to clear first. Will be happy to get back on the road again.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a great report! You both must feel very rested after three weeks of idle fun in nature, doing the things you enjoy in a beautiful setting. Quite a contrast between your camping trip and the work awaiting you at your house. Not a good time to make a major decision…. Wait until the house and property are neat and lovely again… 🙂

      Best wishes with the medical stuff. Thanks for the update. I always enjoy them.

  34. MollyLuvsRoadtrippin (WA) says:

    Chasing the sun is an excellent plan and so great that it wasn’t several days away to find it. I can’t wait to have those homey feelings about favorite camp sites. Just returned from Oregon and made my own weather change of plan to get away from some stifling heat in Waterloo. We left a final reserved night unused and headed to the coast!

    I thought of you often – using my Benchmark and remembering NFS campgrounds are first come, we took a chance on a Thursday and got a fine site. Driving into the campground I knew it looked very familiar but I had never been to Hebo Lake. But actually I had been there through your blog! It was fun rereading that post while enjoying the location for myself.

    I am also proud to report we continued to enjoy the OR coast with no Friday reservations by being brave enough to just trust that a great site would reveal itself (and worst case there is Walmart!). Fortunately I can still put that parking lot rescue off because just following a hunch along a forest road revealed a perfectly fine boondock – my first! I thank you Sue for sharing your approach and tools and instincts through your engaging stories. I am so happy to be a Casita camper in my own right now. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Congratulations, Molly! Your first boondock discovery! I love the way you explained how you found it, by “just following a hunch along a forest road.”

      Several times I’ve tried to teach readers how to find boondocks. What you mention is something that cannot be taught in words. Once you follow a hunch and discover a site, you know how true that is. The more boondocks you find, the easier it becomes to find more. I’m so proud of you!

      To clarify one thing…. National Forest campgrounds are often first-come, first served but more and more I find them run by concessionares with a reseration system. Even so, in those instances, a few sites are set aside as non-reservable.

      I love your last line!

  35. Mick'nTN says:

    I would be happy to make you new tilt arms. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        For the solar panels?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Why? I already have tilt arms. Is he talking to me? Unclear.

          • Mick'nTN says:

            I thought you lost them and were too embarrassed to admit it. I never see the panel tilted?

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              It’s summer. I don’t even tilt the panel in winter much anymore because I no longer watch television. The panel provides enough when lying flat . . . for my laptop, an LED light briefly in the evening (I read Paperwhite in the dark), the electronic board on the fridge, and charging a few electronic devices. Thanks for the offer anyway.

  36. MelindaK (TX) says:

    Hi Sue,
    I thought of you the other day while camping above Dolores at Priest Gulch Campground off Hwy 145. About 6 miles North of there on the left is a nice dry camping area right on the Dolores River in the San Juan National forest it’s free. Across the highway from there is a nice stand of Aspen trees. I can relate to finding sunshine as it rain most of the time we were in that area. Moved over to Durango yesterday with hopes of a little sunshine. By the way, a heads up hunting season open this weekend according to the forest ranger I spoke with the other day.

    Loved the post and photos.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Melinda,

      You experienced the same weather pattern as we did near South Fork. I hope you found sunshine!

      Yes, hunting season is starting up. I saw a truck go by with a fake deer (target) in the back and also heard some gun shots. Our boondocking will be severely curtailed starting this weekend. Darn.

  37. MB from VA says:

    Good morning! Loved this post. The pictures were beautiful as always but it was the subject matter that I loved. When people who hear of my intended lifestyle change ask questions meant to deter me from my goals, one of their favorites goes something like this….”Well what would you do if there was a fire nearby? Snow coming? Bad wind or rain forecast? Questionable neighbors?……..To which I respond…..”Uhhhh…..move. Something that is not an option for you.” 🙂 Have a wonderful day! MB, Wyndy and Bella

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, MB,

      People accustomed to seeing the world in a certain way require time to adjust their thinking, to open their minds to broader realities, and to accept that what they have pursued for many years and what they are proud to own aren’t necessary for a happy, satisfying life, and, in fact, may be preventing it.

      I enjoyed your comment and I’m glad this post spoke to you. Hugs to Wyndy and Bella…

      • MB from VA says:

        Aaaaaand I can’t wait to “come home” to a camp. I’ve often thought about that. If you (or I) were to camp in the same place…say in spring going north…..and then in fall….coming south……things would look the same…..but different, as with the thistles. But it would have that familiar feeling to it. Sometimes you want to have things be unfamiliar for awhile….like me right now. But I can imagine there would be times when “familiar” would make you smile sooooooo big! W & B say thanks for the hugs. 🙂

  38. Hi Sue
    Great post. We so love seeing your vegetation shots when you go up north. However, it’s looking like you will be heading south back to the desert in the not too distant future. Fall and the cold nights will be approaching soon.
    Will you miss the trees and flowers when you get back in the desert? I usually love getting back to the greenery when we head back east from our winter escape in the desert.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, NovaScotiaSue,

      Will I miss the trees and flowers when I get back to the desert? No, not until spring. Like in summer I don’t miss the desert. Both environments exert an equal draw on me.

      All my life I’ve heard “Live life to the fullest” and never really knew what that meant until a few years ago. This is how I interpret it. To live life fully one must live in the moment. That means letting the present overwhelm any longing for the past or for the future. Fully experiencing where you are now.

      I’m sure you do that, and then as winter closes, you yearn for the greenery of home.

      While in the mountains and forests, I experience the mountains and forests. While in the desert, I revel in what I find there and enjoy rediscovering what I’ve come to love about it.

      Sometimes people turn up their noses at the desert — it’s boring, dull, drab, empty, etc. They aren’t seeing what the desert IS. Instead they are seeing what it isn’t. It’s like saying you don’t like pie because it’s not cake. That’s the opposite of living life in the fullest.

      Okay, enough preaching. You know all that…. I just like to express it in writing. 🙂

      • Great insights Sue!
        You got it right, I am very happy to be in the desert, soaking up the warm days and the scenic vistas. And then, as we start heading back east, I get quite excited when we start seeing the blossoms on the trees and signs of spring. I wish we could enjoy the spring in the desert though, because I know the flowers are lovely at that time of the year (in the desert).

      • MollyLuvsRoadtrippin (WA) says:

        A philosophy so well stated! We may all know it but always a good reminder to live it.

      • MB from VA says:

        Preach on sista! I needed that. In my circumstance, I tend to live way too much in the future. I am in a beautiful place “now”. My lifestyle has more freedom than all my “still working” friends right “now”. I need to acknowledge that and appreciate it every day. I do most days but sometimes……well, I miss what is right there in front of me. I’m trying……I really am…………

  39. Nice job on getting over the pass so easily – I do love it when we’re back on flat ground though! We’re having a grand adventure seeing a part of the country we’ve never been to, but are already looking forward to our return to familiar locales in the west next summer. Glad your home space was available again. It looks wonderful. And you have the right kind of visitors!

  40. Pat (Ky) says:

    Greetings Sue,
    Yesterday was my trip to Nashville to look at a Casita. The easy part of the story is to say that yes, I did stop at Mammoth Cave and get my senior discount pass. The rest of the story is hard to put into words.

    We met at the storage facility where the Casita is kept. As we’re walking back, I’m looking at the line of vehicles lined up in outside storage trying to see it. He says, “I found a place to plug it in. It’s right here.” I look to my left and there it sits. He has the awning out and the a/c is running. I can’t find the words to describe my first sight of the Casita. It is incredible. I’m usually fairly reserved, but this made me feel like a kid in a candy store, as the old saying goes. It made me happy just seeing it…it was even better than I expected.

    We spent 2 hours talking and looking it over. Thank goodness for the a/c. We were in and out to cool off. Temps continue to be in the 90’s with high heat index.

    From seeing your photo the other day that showed your ball mount, I decided to look again at what I needed. I went to a local hitch/trailer repair place. The lady at the counter really knew her stuff. I got another ball mount.

    We hooked the Casita up to my van and it looks like its okay considering the van is empty. Also got to see that the new 7 pin wiring plug worked, as did the brake controller.

    It didn’t take too long to agree on a price. The only bad news is that he wants a cashier’s check, which I can certainly understand. I left him with a nonrefundable earnest check. So tomorrow evening I make the 6 hour round trip drive to Nashville again. The drive itself is not bad, but getting through Nashville where all those interstates come together is a bit nerve racking. It will be worth it, if by Tuesday night she is mine and home safe.

    So that’s the story from this almost, another Casita owner.

    • Cynthia from San Clemente says:

      Congratulations Pat! How exciting!!

    • MollyLuvsRoadtrippin (WA) says:

      Yay Pat!!! I can tell by your first reaction that you will be as happy with your choice as I am (delivered last Nov). It only gets better when you get to put your own touches on the interior, configuring it to your needs a little more each time you go out. I can also share that I always dreaded the tank dumping chore when considering owning an RV in the past. Honestly now all it makes me think of is how cool it is having a fully self contained little house to take off the grid anytime I want!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wonderful report, Pat! How exciting for you! I related to the way you reacted when you first saw the Casita. It’s like magic!

      Thanks for writing this for us.

    • Velda in Roseville CA says:

      Excited for you. Looking forward to the rest of the story in months and years to come.

    • BadgerRickInWis says:

      Congrats Pat, I’m sure you and your Casita will make lots of happy memories together.

    • Pat (Ky) says:

      Thanks everyone for sharing in my excitement. I appreciate your comments.

  41. Cynthia from San Clemente says:

    I’m just catching up reading a few days of blogs and comments – we had a big anniversary celebration at church yesterday and I was in charge of preparing 1200 fruit cups. We spent 3 days washing and drying 100 pounds each of strawberries and blueberries and 80 pounds of grapes. If I never see another strawberry, blueberry or grape again I’ll die a happy woman!!

    I love the way you describe coming back to a familiar campsite and happy for you that it was empty. When you said the crew “recognized” their former home it reminded me how our dogs process information differently than we humans. In that wonderful book, “Inside of Dog” by Alexandra Horowitz, she says “as we see the world, the dog smells it.” Our noses have about 6 million sensory receptors; the dog (depending on breed) has up to 300 million sensory receptors in their nose. When I learned this, it really helped me to be more patient when I’m walking my dogs, who want to stop and smell every petal, every leaf, every moving or dead bug, every “pee mail” left by another canine, and the hineys of every dog they encounter. I realized our walks are the most wonderful smelly part of their day and I slowed down so they can enjoy it. Bridget and Reggie are very blessed to have so many smelly excursions on their adventures with you – I’m sure just as you have pictures of favorite campsites in your visual memory, they have stored memories of favorite and remembered places in their olfactory memories.

  42. AZ Jim says:

    hi Missy, saw those cows and thought about a little verse I wrote some time ago. I may have already posted it, my memory is at times faulty. Maybe if I did, some of the newer folks might like it. Cheers…

    Just a cowboy
    by AZ Jim
    I went out like the others
    Full of breakfast knowing
    From now on for two weeks
    I had to survive on Cookies food

    Mornings came early, too early
    The ground was hard but I slept
    The day was long and the sun hot

    The saddle get to a man in a painful
    Way after sittin in it all day and
    Riding hard. But on we rode, all of

    These cattle had to make it to
    Market and it was we who got
    ’em there. Counted, put in pens
    The cattle, not us.

    Now many of those cows are in
    Your grocery store, under plastic
    Put there by folks who didn’t really
    Know about them like we do.
    Butchered, put on grills, served
    To laughing friends with beer,
    I didn’t put ’em there….

    I was just one of the cowboys…

  43. retiredcajunlady 'N Louisiana says:

    I was feeding my Willee the meat off a rotisserie chicken leg and thought of you and your pups! Great pictures! Nothing like returning to a spot that you all enjoyed. I had to laugh at your “flat land” comment. Flat is SE Louisiana, Girl! It is a lovely spot. And those temps were getting up there. Rain and chilly goes right through me. Take care and thanks for another great post. Belly rubs and hugs for the four legged crew,and prayers for you all.

  44. retiredcajunlady 'N Louisiana says:

    I took another look at the wonderful pictures and thought of this: I always love, love, love when you shoot pictures out of the passenger side of PTV with the back of Reggie’s head as he gazes out at the scene. I realized why I am always drawn to those shots….they make me feel as though I too am gazing out at the vistas! He is so stinkin’ cute! Makes me wonder what he is thinking and if he can appreciate the beauty he sees. Thanks again for sharing.

  45. Donna 'N Girls says:

    Hi Sue and Crew,
    I hear ya with the rain, I left Pinetop, AZ. early because we got tired of the rain. I just came home to Chandler.

    We had a good summer, Pintop, Chama, Dolores, Co., Oklahoma City then back to Pinetop. Oklahoma City was a side trip to see a Matisse exhibition, only North America venue, well worth it.
    We’re happy to be home, too.

    Enjoy the sunshine, I know the girls and I are, it’s a little snug here but that won’t last long.

    Take care, Sue, have a safe trip back to Az. In a few weeks.

    Donna, Bailey and Lily.

  46. BadgerRickInWis says:

    And than Goldilocks found a campsite that was juuuuust right. 🙂

    You even had three bovine bears come and visit.

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