Small town living in southern Arizona

For today’s post we go back to last week.  I have some catching up to do!

“We love it here.”

Those are the words of the woman ringing up my groceries at Arivaca Mercantile.

P1100124Arivaca (approx. population: 700, elevation: 3,643 ft.), Pima County, southern Arizona

As best I can tell, she’s near-retirement age. 

Her thick, silver hair is tied at the nape of her neck into a ponytail that extends down her back to her waist.

Although petite, her strong frame and tanned skin suggests someone who knows physical work and doesn’t shy from it.  She exudes youthful vitality.

“How long have you lived here?” I ask.

She readily responds, her eyes smiling.

“Four years.  We’re farmers.  And then I was fortunate to get this job.”

I want to find out more but another customer is behind me and our conversation is cut short.

~ ~ ~

I always try to include something special for the crew when we go somewhere in the PTV.

P1100114Bridget and Reggie on a trail in a riparian zone along the Arivaca-Sasabe Road

We enjoy a short hike.  That was last Thursday . . . .

Saturday, March 19

I’m out of milk.  The crew and I take off for Arivaca.  A short distance before town, I stop at the waste disposal station and dump our trash.

Arivaca is lively this morning!

The farmer’s market is set up and is attracting customers.  A sign indicates the chili cook-off is also today.  I park at the grocery store across from the farmer’s market, leaving the crew in the Perfect Tow Vehicle, of course.

P1100118Entering the store I’m greeted with a cheery “Hello!” 

Great!  The same woman is working today.

I pull a quart of milk from the cooler.  Hmm . . . No one else in the store . . . .

“I’ve been thinking about you,” I begin, setting down the milk container.  “You said you were farmers and this doesn’t look like farm country.  I’m curious.  What kind of farmers?”

“Organic fruits and vegetables,” she replies proudly, ringing up my purchase.

She proceeds to rattle off several terms that define how they operate their farm.  I get the gist that they practice responsible stewardship of the land, conserve water, do not use pesticides or artificial fertilizer, etc.

“You CAN grow vegetables here,” she adds.

“You said you’ve been here four years.  Where were you before?”

“Michigan, originally.”

“Oh, wow!  Quite a change!”

“Yes.  My husband’s plant closed and around the same time I was offered early retirement.  We bought a farm in Alabama.  Then when we found out we had a grandchild on the way — in Tucson — we looked to move closer.  Every time we searched for a property, our farm came up.  Every time!  We like it here.  It’s a great little town.

“I can tell there’s a strong feeling of community here.”

“Yes, there is!”

She asks if I’m thinking of moving here, and, while we complete my transaction, I explain how I live and that I’m passing through the area.

She continues . . .

P1100120-001“We have people come in here (meaning Arivaca) . . .

You usually can tell the ones that will last about a year, the ones who won’t fit in.  We are a mix of people.  Sure, we have some weird ones.  You have to be tolerant.”

She shrugs, smiling.

“I like the isolation.  We drive into Tucson once a week, go shopping, visit our family.”

A woman rushes in the door.

She obviously has news to share with her friend.  With a quick “It was nice talking with you,” I step outside into the bright sunshine.

An organic farmer from Michigan who works in the Arivaca grocery, contented and happy . . .

Part of the fun of full-time living on the road is meeting people in different locales and learning the shape of their lives.

~ ~ ~

The farmer’s market is more like a yard sale.

March isn’t harvest season?  As I’m backing out of the parking lot, a helicopter descends and disappears behind trees at the rear of Arivaca Mercantile.  Ah, probably a news copter for the chili cook-off. 

I’m not interested in attending.  Instead the crew and I motor around the side streets and roads of Arivaca before returning to camp.

To read about “quaint and quirky” Arivaca, including its history, follow this link.

Sunday, March 20

After writing a post about Reggie and his Limey toy, I pack up and hitch up.

“Ready, crew?  We’re off to a new camp!”

Next post — Las Cienegas National Conservation Area!

P1100154-001Las Cienegas National Conservation Area, north of Sonoita, Arizona

rvsue

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106 Responses to Small town living in southern Arizona

  1. Renee Galligher says:

    Hello sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Renee! CONGRATULATIONS! You’re first!

      • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

        Thank you, Sue! If it were last week, I’d say it was the “luck of the Irish!” to be so fortunate to see your new post!

  2. Renee Galligher says:

    I’ll be back. I’m getting ready for a meeting and saw your new post.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      A meeting… what fun! 🙂

      • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

        Well, I’m out and doing my follow-up paperwork, but I wanted to finish reading your post today. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I always find it fascinating to visit the local grocery stores where we travel and meet the locals. My husband and I often wonder “gee, what people do for a living here?”, and you asked! Well, sort of. Very interesting nonetheless and such a content response too.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It is fun figuring out how people make a living in places one visits. Or simply by asking a local. I thought the woman’s upbeat attitude described Arivaca best of all that she said about the place.

  3. Kim says:

    Hello Sue too!

  4. Jenny Johnson Manuel says:

    Does this mean I am close to 1st?????? Glad to hear you and the crew are having so much fun…..

  5. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Neat to visit with pleasant folks!

    So many are engulfed with their own rat race and are oblivious to their surroundings. Sounds like a neat little town.

    “You can tell the ones who won’t fit in”….love it!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      Arivaca is not for everyone. I liked the friendliness. I don’t think one person walked past me without smiling or saying something pleasant. Definitely not an upscale community, unless you’re measuring with “the friendly scale.” 🙂

  6. Dave Stewart (in missouri for now) says:

    Interesting post, about a town I never knew existed. is on my list for next winter. like that pic of the crew on the trail. I am curious to see where you end up next.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dave,

      We’re at Las Cienegas National Conservation Area as shown in the last, big photo. More about that coming up soon.

  7. Arivaca sounds like a great little town! I missed something somewhere…are you camped on BLM land?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The setting for this post is Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge and nearby Arivaca. We camped for over a week at the refuge, free, of course.

      This post takes place prior to our most recent move to a camp at Las Cienegas National Conservation Area, which is BLM.

  8. SecondLife says:

    What a neat little town. Thanks for writing about it. It will be on my list of interesting places to visit.

  9. Lynn Brooks says:

    So interesting!!!
    If I were 40 years younger, I would have been a farmer!!!!
    Lynn B. (Baltimore, MD)

  10. Great little Town and People Sue, have a great day you 3,,,,,,,, me

  11. Hi Sue, I am loving that whole area and the last picture looks like another home for me I would like to spend time in….I was just reading about a California Condor release in Vermillion Cliffs…so if you head back up to that-a-way, keep your eye on the skies, there are at least one mating pair there. They just finished trapping and tagging condor in the area. Great news…I would love to see that. There is a condor rescue in Boise, Idaho, huh Renee.. Great Raptor facility, but they specialize in California Condors. Ok enough of the “and one more thing”. Have a good time at your new camp…belly rubs to the crew. When do you start heading North?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Shirlene,

      When do we go north? I don’t know. It’s tempting to rush it … Do that and be caught in snow, like we seem to do every year. 🙂

      On our way out of Lee’s Ferry, condors were released in the area between Lee’s Ferry and the Vermillion Cliffs. I walked into a small store and the people exclaimed, “Did you see the condor?” The release has taken place a few moments before we arrived and we missed it!

  12. casitagirl says:

    Wow Sue, that looks like the kind of town I’d like to visit! Maybe we’ll swing by when we’re in the area next fall. I’m an organic lover from Michigan too!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, casitagirl,

      Swinging by Arivaca takes a bit of effort. Combining it with exploration of the wildlife refuge is a good plan. 🙂 Thanks for the positive feedback!

      • casitagirl says:

        🙂 Rob and I have been following you for quite a while now, nearly since you started on your adventure. We’ve been learning from your experience. We’re now living our dream, but had to get there one step at a time. I’m hoping that by sharing our experience too, we’ll help others.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thank you both for being long-time readers of my blog. I’m happy to know you are “now living our dream.” Sharing what you’ve learned and what you experience as full-timers on the road will surely help others who want to do the same.

  13. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    Ahh… that sounds a lot like how I feel about Hoquiam. 🙂 I love people who know there are ‘things to be tolerant about’ but also sing the praises! <3 that!

    Sunny here today — OOPS the weather man was wrong again!!! Sky looks as though it could open up at any time… I have been out scrubbing green slime from my white picket fence. I am going to use extra glossy paint this next time I paint… maybe THAT will cut down on the slime 😛 LOL

    Working on things for our upcoming (2 months!) Different-Abilites Walk, Roll and Stroll. So much to do. They are also beginning a Sunday Market here in June and July–trying to catch some of the traffic from the beach on the way home. I hope it successful. Astoria has been an insanely positive thing for them… Fingers X'd!

    Well, I am tuckered. Hugs to you and the crew from ~
    Hoquiam!
    Barb 😛

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You are such a good person, Barb. I know the work you are doing is tiring and can, at times, take a lot out of you, yet you keep soldiering on. Best wishes with this latest endeavor…

      Also with removing the green slime! Thanks for taking the time to share here… Get some rest!

    • Lisa and her pack in SoFl (for now) says:

      Hey Barb, that’s a lot of work, re painting….Have you considered adding a mold treatment to your paint. The last time I used it, the little pouch was 7$ and treated a gallon of paint. I am sure it costs more now, but it might help prevent future greenings of the fence. Cheers

  14. kgdan from Wapato, WA says:

    Yesterday, hubby Gil turned 68! He would like new binoculars for his gift. Any recommendations?

    Re phone service: we have been using Straight Talk for several years now & generally are happy with it. As point of info however, it does not use Verizon towers everywhere. We have found that it uses AT&T towers in most western states but in Wyoming uses Verizon. We bought it in Arizona where it uses AT&T and later bought a Straight Talk hotspot in Wyoming & learned the hard way. However we now have both working fine for us. However it does not work at all in Mexico. As we are considering another trip to Baja next year, we will be checking into TMobile and AT&T for plans that work there.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Happy Birthday a day late, Gil!

      I can’t help you, Kathy, on choosing binoculars.

      Blogorinos: What binoculars do you recommend?

    • Hi Kathy…..Vortex are a good binocular for the money…can get on Amazon also…Optics are good and they are light to carry…focus fast…Mine are Eagle but they make Vortex…they would be my choice if you cannot pay 1500.00 to 3,000 for Zeiss or Swarovski..and then again, those are for bird watching..I guess you need to determine what they will be used for…but for all around..Vortex by Eagle Optics gets my vote. 8 x 32 or 10 x 42 for the best view and field of view.. okay TMI. sorry, birder here.

    • Larry in AR says:

      Canon 10 x 30 IS (Image Stabilization) II. Currently $469.79 on Amazon Prime. Best mid-grade pair I’ve ever owned. The Image Stabilization is awesome for shaky old hands like mine.

  15. Dan (Michigan) says:

    Hi Sue!

    I haven’t been around so I’ll have to catch up with everyone’s comments! Looks like a really DRY place. I would love to know how they do the farming – exotic hydroponics or old fashioned plow and planting.
    Will the page on expenses be updated in the future? I had heard it was a valuable resource for people considering the life style.
    Thanks again for posting so much!
    bye for now.
    Dan

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Dan,

      The woman rattled off a bunch of phrases about their farming methods as she was reaching under the counter for bags and I didn’t hear it all. I’m sorry I missed the details. I doubt they use traditional plowing methods, as scarce as water is.

      Oh, gee, the financials. I do need to get that done. . . and my taxes . . . 🙁

      Good hearing from you again. I hope you will become “a regular!”

    • edlfrey says:

      DRY is a relative term in AZ. Sonoita, near Las Cienegas National Conservation Area receives about 12″ or rain per year. Just east and south of Sonoita is the Southern Arizona Wine Country comparable to some of the Central Valley wine growing areas in California.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        You’re getting ahead of me, Ed. 🙂 Yes, there are vineyards around Sonoita. If I weren’t conscious of using up my data, I’d research to see if any of the wineries allow RVers to camp. I’ve heard that some do, in other places I can’t recall.

        Oops, you were replying to Dan… Sorry about that. It isn’t obvious on my admin page.

  16. Pam and Maya, Still in NY says:

    Hi Sue and Crew! Thanks for including the link for Arivaca, it has some really interesting stuff, including the organization – No More Deaths. I also checked out the link to local artists and saw some great work. I think I should visit that town some day! I’m getting caught up on your posts and loved the Reggie and Limey post too!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Pam and Maya… I appreciate knowing someone clicked that link and found it informative and interesting. Thanks regarding the Limey post. 🙂

  17. Dawn in MI says:

    Seems like a nice town. Love that photo of the grasses!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      Every late afternoon I look for a golden hour to occur. It doesn’t happen every day, requires special conditions. Today it is very windy! Our new camp is in a sandy spot and the blue mat is half buried with sand. I closed the windward window in an effort to keep sand off our new quilt and the sleeping crewbies.

  18. Pat (Freespirit)-in Texas says:

    What a neat little town! Like one of the ones I “might” someday want to live near. Am putting that town on my agenda. I was a farmer for the 20 years that I was married…hard, hard work. I love your blog Sue, and your fur babies!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pat (Freespirit)-in Texas…

      Have I welcomed you? I’m sorry if I haven’t. Here goes…. WELCOME, PAT! I’m glad you are with us and enjoying my blog. 🙂

      Yes, farmers are some of the hardest working people. What would we do without them!

  19. Elaine in Colorado says:

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you for sharing your adventures in small towns who I’m sure many of us never heard of.

  20. AZ Jim says:

    Am I first? Hahahaha just kiddin…call me “tail end charlie”. You never mentioned the border patrol situation Missy. Any info on that? I wondered how the unrest of a few years ago resolved itself. Nice post and pics. You take care of you and the little ones.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for reminding me, Jim. I might mention this in the next post. On our drive to our present camp we went through a checkpoint. Just beyond the checkpoint was a sign “Arivaca (and several other towns in the area were listed also) appreciate the Border Patrol.”

      I hope you and Detta are well. Very windy here right now. I have one window open for ventilation. I look up and there’s sand all over our new bureaus! It’s so deep I can write my name in it. And, of course, I have all this stuff sitting out… Even had to brush off this keyboard. Ah, it’s the little things that make full-timing interesting. 🙂

  21. weather says:

    “I always try to include something special for the crew when we go somewhere in the PTV.”, one small part of each trip that makes for one great life for them. The photo of that walk shows them enjoying a lovely area . I’ve noticed at other times they’ve found it a treat to be taken to a patch of grass with a bush in it by a parking lot, any place for a few minutes to let them take a break and explore. Between laundromat visits, grocery and errand runs, trips to see what’s near you and moving camps by now there have been hundreds of those “something special” walks since you began full timing. That you, on purpose, add happiness to every part of the lives of those entrusted into your care speaks volumes.

    Gosh, that town is interesting, I used the link you provided, and some of the links on that site, too. The thread that stood out to me was that many residents have a passion for something-art, volunteering, providing healthy food or homemade products, humanitarian causes-that don’t make one wealthy in the money sense of the word. I imagine though that they are rich in deeper ways and would make a great community to get to know and/or be part of. I wonder if the ones that only last a year place more value on material things and appearance and prefer the society of those with similar tastes . With those as a goal, not getting them might feel like broken dreams…I tried to choose a favorite photo and couldn’t, I really liked each of them and this post!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      I’m sure you do for yours as I do for mine. It’s a joy to make our loved ones happy and content. 🙂

      Your last paragraph gives a more thorough description of Arivaca. Thanks for adding that! I wanted to include more photos of Arivaca. I didn’t because many of the homes are modest to poor. I didn’t want it to look like I was being critical of their homes or setting them up for criticism here. It’s harder to make a living (a generalization, of course) in a small, isolated, desert town. I imagine people depend upon each other more, are more willing to lend a helping hand, than in communities where people are secure (and isolated) in their wealth.

      I always appreciate your insights, weather.

  22. Colleen from Alabama says:

    Great post. I love the small town feel. I was wondering, as I will be a newly soon on the road do you or anyone else out there have any suggestions where a good place to go for my first winter?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What kind of camping/RVing do you want to do? RV parks with hook-ups? Boondocking? Do you want to be where there are activities? Or do you want solitude? Do you have solar power? Do you want to move around a lot or perhaps stay in one place for a month or more? Your answers will help blogorinos give you suggestions that are likely to suit you.

      • Colleen says:

        I will be in my Casita. I want to do more boondocking than RV parks. Solitude. Places to hike near by. Stay put for a few days, see an area and move on. I will have solar power. Thanks.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          The kind of camping you prefer is very similar to what I do, since many of the places where I camp in the winter include hiking opportunities, even though I don’t hike. (I don’t know if you’ve read my entire blog.) I have become aware that there is a limited number of places in southern AZ and southern CA where one can be warm, “stay put for a few days, see an area and move on.”

          Look at a map that shows elevation and you will find that the southwestern corner of AZ and the southeastern corner of CA are where it’s the warmest (and also where you can boondock with some solitude). I mention this so that you’ll understand if you don’t receive many suggestions other than areas I’ve already blogged about.

          • Colleen says:

            Thank you. I will do some studying of the areas you mentioned. I’m fairly new to your blog and appreciate any suggestion. I will go back to the beginning of your blog.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Blogorinos: What are your suggestions for boondocking in the winter?

          • Lisa and her pack in SoFl (for now) says:

            I know nothing about boondocks in that area (or anywhere else yet), but here’s a suggestion. I was recently looking at WWOOFERS, which stands for Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms. They have a website where you can search over 2,000 farms in the USA. You go and work, usually 4-5 hours a day for free “room and board” You can also learn stuff done on each farm. I thought it might be a way to stretch my $$ by exchanging some sweat for free camping and good food.

    • DesertGinger says:

      Well, right away I think of the place Krystina spent her first winter, an rv park just 30 miles east of Yuma. Forgot the name of the little town. She had a blast there.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Wellton, AZ.

      • Krystina ~ Sutton, Vermont says:

        Good Morning Desert Ginger! Hope you are feeling a bit better every day. Yes, the RV Park I stayed in was Tier Drop in Wellton, AZ. Only $295/mo. plus electric. FABULOUS place. Every activity you can think of and wonderful folks. I just talked to everyone I was friends with on Sunday. I miss everyone there.

  23. Dawn from Camano Island says:

    Small towns are full of interesting people. Moving from Michigan to small-town Arizona is quite a change. We found people in Ajo growing all kinds of vegetables & folks who are attempting to grow tree fruits also. Farmers are a very dedicated group of people.

    Yay–Las Cienegas! Very much looking forward to your next post!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      An understanding of plant requirements for sun, soil, temperature, water, and fertilization, as well as plant varieties suitable for same, makes gardening possible in places where the natural conditions aren’t favorable. It takes dedication, like you say!

  24. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    I enjoyed this post and the conversation with the cashier. She sounds like a lovely person. Interesting that she & her husband are farmers. I am going to go back and read the link, but my computer is running out of juice, so I have to do it later.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barbara,

      I’m pleased you enjoyed this post. Yes, I was impressed with the warmth, vitality, and cheerfulness of the woman I met at the store.

  25. Mel from North Texas says:

    OMG – I can’t believe where you are!! My parents lived about 25miles SW of Sonoita off Hiway 83 for 35yrs,, between Canelo and Parker Canyon Lake.. My daughter went to grammar school in Elgin and one of the best Steak Houses in southern AZ is in Sonoita…My mother used to work the Santa Cruz County Fair every year at the fairgrounds there..we moved my mother here to Texas last year…a 3000sq ft house on 5acres 35 miles from the nearest loaf a bread is a bit much for an 81yr old but she mowed at least an acre every summer (we gave her a self propelled/electric start lawn mower for Christmas one year!) and she managed for 6yrs on her own before the move… I had to chuckle about your description of the grocery clerk,,, ladies in that part of southern AZ are really “spunky” – my mother and her widowed friends still there included!! FYI -The best time of year in this area is September after the summer monsoons, everything is sooo green and pretty, maybe you can arrange to swing back by and check it out.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mel,

      Small world, isn’t it! 🙂 Your mother is an impressive woman! Strong, capable, independent . . . .

      Yes, I’m finding out what it is like to live far from a source of groceries! Not everyone can live in areas where the only stores are miles and miles away. It does help to have a big freezer and refrigerator.

      I’m guessing you’re right about Sept. being a good month to come here. Right now the trees are black sticks. The difference in elevation has the leafing-out slightly behind Arivaca/Buenos Aires NWR. It was turning green and we left!

      Nice hearing from you again…

  26. Marco says:

    Hi Sue, I read your blog regularly.
    I’m heading out of Glendale, Az in a couple of weeks, with my 25′ C,…Full timing!
    I’ve been towing cars and trailers around for about 50 years, but not this time. Had enough of towing things. Just a little street legal dirt bike on the back rack.
    Anyway, just curious as to how you line yourself up to your trailer all the time, being out there alone all the time.
    Thanks,
    Marco
    Safe travels.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marco,

      I think you’re new here… Welcome! Great hearing from you and CONGRATULATIONS on your launch into full-timing!

      How do I line up the hitch and coupler by myself? I do that by using my driver’s side mirror, lining up the side of the PTV with the side of the BLT. I know how they should look in the mirror when lined up correctly for hitching.

      I also back up in small increments, frequently getting out to check how I’m doing. Sometimes I can hitch up by backing up only 2 or 3 times. Other times it takes several tries.

      It’s not difficult if one is patient and calm about the task. The key is to learn how to hitch up without “helpful” people around making you nervous, self-conscious, or confused. I always refuse help when hitching.

      • Marco says:

        Ha..Kinda how I’ve always done it too .It was just a little harder to jump in and out of the driver’s door in my old Class A.
        We’re not in a hurry anymore, right?
        I knew you had a system. My question was really for helping those who are new to towing. Sometimes I’ll scratch a line or two in the dirt where left side tow vehicle’s wheels are. Then just hang out the door a bit ,and line up to them.That is, if I’m coming right back.
        There is a more creative way of fabricating a couple of flags that plug into your coupler, and your hitch bar, that you can see out of your back window of a truck or van. I doubt I could explain that any further without drawing a diagram, but just food for thought for those who like to tinker with stuff.
        Anyway, it sounds like you are traveling around exactly where I’ll be next year at this time..But for now, I’m heading up to the Oregon Coast, via US 395 and the Sierra Nevadas.
        Catch you on the flip flop. LOL
        M

  27. Santhosh says:

    good post

  28. Laurie in NC says:

    A great post highlighting an interesting little town! I too love small towns! When we camp near a small town, we like to support any local businesses. I especially love to check out small grocery and hardware stores. We moved from a larger city to a small town a couple of years ago and love it!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Laurie in NC,

      That’s nice that you support locally owned, small businesses. In my travels I’ve seen scads of closed-up businesses in small towns. Not only is it a loss for the owner, it’s also a loss for the community and surrounding area.

      The town of Grass Valley comes to mind. The closing of the grocery store has made life more difficult for many of the residents.

  29. MB from VA says:

    Hi Sue and crew! I loved this post! Truly, what you wrote about the woman in the store is my favorite part of traveling. When I begin full-timing, I think I would like to write a blog too. I would love for it to be about the small, out of the way places some people would never know about or think to visit. And the people….I have such fond memories of people I have met once and will never see again….but who, in that one exchange, became a part of my life and memories forever. The woman in OK who told me that if the wind stopped blowing they would all fall down! The man in the wheelchair at Little Big Horn….who so wanted to go to the top of the hill but his wife couldn’t push him. So, I did. We laughed and talked all the way…..and then she and I became the brakes on the way back down….People who were there at the “right time” to tell me a “better way to get there”. And my favorite little store in the world…..in the desert floor….in the middle of nowhere……on the way north from The Grand Canyon…..that had ice and cold drinks…..uh…..and a bathroom! 🙂 Stories like the one you told in this post make me so excited to get out there! Thanks! Have a great day! Love from VA!

    • Krystina ~ Sutton, Vermont says:

      I so agree MB. Meeting people and hearing their stories was the best part of being on the road! Thanks for posting this.

      • MB from VA says:

        Yes, sometimes it’s the natural beauty of the place that makes it special. But many times it’s the people there that make it beautiful. Sometimes it’s both. Like when my dad and I were walking near Jenny Lake (Grand Tetons) and saw a bear…..just strolling up the path behind us. We let him pass and then started back the other way. About the time we got on the path, a couple came from the direction the bear had gone. Didn’t take us long to know that we did not speak the same language. But also didn’t take long for us to totally understand each other….we had ALL seen the bear! LOL! Have a great day in Vermont. It is a beautiful state as well.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I agree, MB! Your stories about people you’ve met are very interesting and fun to read.

          I don’t blog about all the people I meet. If you do write a blog, keep in mind the impact your writing may have on those you write about. For instance, I asked myself, “How will the cashier feel when readers of this blog walk into her store and say — I KNOW YOU! I READ ABOUT YOU ONLINE! — ?”

          Because people tend to do this, I don’t take photos of faces and I now limit character sketches to outgoing people. There aren’t any photos of the farmer’s market in this post because I couldn’t take a photo without people looking at the camera.

          Still…To those who want to blog about their travels… It is fun writing about the places one discovers while on the road, and also the people… just be very aware of the impact it may have.

          • MB from VA says:

            Thank you Sue! And I had thought about it a lot. I thought I’d ask the owner/worker at the “little store” and never post pictures of “faces walking the streets”…..and quite possibly, only mention it as a “tiny place off the beaten path in AZ”….Because the aim would not be to expose individuals but to allow the readers to see how connected we really are. And, because I have learned from you….I probably would never say where I am till I’ve moved on. I would write kind of what I did above….the store in the middle of the desert……the couple at LBH……but never share pictures without permission. Thank you for the reminder. 🙂

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Not sharing where you are until you’ve moved on works sometimes and for some blogs. It’s difficult with my type of blog, especially if I stay in one place for 14 days. Good luck!

            • MB from VA says:

              LOL! Yep…I’m expecting it to be like the other things I’ve tried….from teaching to running a boarding stable to managing the whole farm……trial and error….and a whole lot of “GEE! I really thought that would work!” Thanks for the good luck. You are one of my inspirations. 🙂

  30. Marsha / MI says:

    The farmer’s market sounds like the “Octoberfest” held in Hohenwald, TN when we were there last fall. It was more like a county-wide yard sale.

    Love small town America. We usually try to take the road less traveled to experience that.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marsha,

      Yes, the road less traveled is the way to go…. unless you want to get to the next camp that’s on the far side of nowhere-to-camp. 🙂

      I remember when I first started blogging… I drove from southern NM to northern NM on the interstate. A reader criticized me for not taking a “blue road.”

      Well, a “blue road” would’ve meant the same scenery (grass and an occasional cow with no towns or people) as the scenery from the interstate and would’ve taken hours longer. 🙂

      I agree… Interstates have a purpose and I’m glad to have them. But it is so sweet to take “the road less traveled” when it meanders through places like Arivaca.

  31. Reina and Arrow (Tucson, AZ) says:

    Hi RVSue! I don’t live very far from this area and I take drives down there often. I usually go to Parker Lake vs. Patagonia Lake because it’s a smaller lake. I love that area and I’m so glad that you’ve been able to see it!! The down side is I have seen illegals often in that area and I know ranchers who have a problem with vandalism and trash. I know you’re careful; so you should not have any problems…. It is a beautiful area!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Reina… Always important to be aware of one’s surroundings… Thanks for the reminder.

  32. rita says:

    Nice area you camped and visited. Oh by the way, I bought Tellimook mountain huckleberry ice cream 1/2 gallon….omg it was soooo good! We toured the factory in Oregon one year….you could smell the cheese several miles away from the factory LOL when I eat my ice cream, I always put a little milk in it….so good!! Have you let Reggie off leach yet? Seems he’s got a lot of pent up energy….second thought he might disappear into the brush and get lost…yikes!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, rita,

      Oh, yes, that Tillamook mountain huckleberry is good! My favorite is “White Chocolate Raspberry Yum” (or something like that).

      No, Reggie is not allowed off the tether. Not only is there a chance he would run away and become lost, there are predatory animals/birds in the area. He’s a happy boy who never has “pent up energy” for long. He walks and runs and jumps and plays fetch throughout each day. Keeps me going!

  33. Lisa and her pack in SoFl (for now) says:

    Sue,
    another post about a lovely place that I will visit, God willing, someday. I especially love the things you share about the people you meet and the things you discover in small towns. In particular, I like to hear about the unique details of small towns and farmers markets. It has two effects on me, I want to visit even more, but feel like if my path doesn’t cross that particular spot, I have cybervisited. Thank you for sharing while being so considerate of the potential effects on those you write about. Perhaps all of us blogerinos could extend our respectful practice/policy of not disturbing you to those you mention in your blog. We can still visit and enjoy each place without mentioning all the details we read online, hmmmmm? What do you think?

    I read a comment about hitching a trailer solo and I want to share something I discovered and plan to use. It’s called an EZ Hitch, at least I think so. Anyway, it’s a v-shaped piece of metal that guides the hitch onto the ball as you back up. It looks like an easy hookup every time, so I have it on my “buy for the Boler” list. I have also used rocks to help line up when hitching, here’s how it works. When arriving at a camp, before unhitching, place rocks beside and behind the rear wheel of your TV on the drivers side. This “L” will guide you back to within an inch of your hook up point when it’s time to pull out. Well there’s my four cents worth (inflation increases the cost of everything) . Stay well everybody.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lisa,

      What do I think about encouraging readers to not rush up to people I’ve written about with an “I KNOW YOU!” ??

      I don’t think I’d be very effective. People say things without thinking.

      As for the various items sold for making hitching easier… magnetic things, tennis balls on poles that line up, etc. … Some folks like them.

      I’d rather “Just Do It.” No rocks to move around, nothing to buy, no items to set up, just back the tow vehicle up to the hitch and git ‘er done. I don’t like being dependent upon anybody or anything, if I can help it. But that’s me. As with most topics, I say “do what suits you best!”

      Thanks for sharing your suggestions, Lisa!

  34. Pamela K. says:

    “Organic fruits and vegetables,” she replies proudly, ringing up my purchase.

    Ya know, I’m loving how she had that special kick in her step and that pride in her manner. I think many organic farmers are are the keepers of healthy bodies, minds and temperaments. Surely they eat much of what they grow. I am a huge fan of raw, fresh, organic veggies and fruits. They balance out so many of the otherwise *evils* in canned and processed foods. Klemper’s family were farmers in Germany and later came to the US via Ellis Island and then to Minnesota. The climate in Germany and in Minnesota were much the same for their family farming needs. Nothing better than fresh crudites, and fresh fruits — being one that has “Green Smoothie” every morning for breakfast and a fresh fruits -n- berries smoothie for lunch. I suppose I know about six people from Michigan — all of them are very food/diet aware and I have learned a lot from them over the past year or so. Needless to say, I LOVED this post!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pamela K.,

      This woman sure did look healthy and vibrant! I’m glad you liked the post. It was fun writing it.

  35. We love talking with happy locals – and there are usually several of them in the little towns we visit. And the more weird people the better for us 🙂 Great pic of the crew on the green trail.

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