Smokey the Bear, still working after all these years

 RVSue and her canine crew are boondocked at Kinney Flats, south of Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

P1130753-001View from Navajo River Road, Chromo, Colorado, south of our camp

Wednesday, August 24 (continued)

I’m sitting at my computer inside the Best Little Trailer when a woman holding a clipboard walks past the back window.

“What?”  I jump up and dash outside with the crew.  “Oh.  Hi!”

I learn the woman is the ranger from the Pagosa District of San Juan National Forest.  As we greet each other, a man comes around the back side of the BLT.  He wears a badge that indicates he’s a volunteer.  He records our license plate numbers on the clipboard, as well as my name, address, and phone number.

To indicate that I’m a rule-follower, I ask, “Is the limit 14 days here?” 

The ranger tells me it is.  I also ask where one can find a water spigot — for drinking water — in Pagosa Springs.  Both she and the volunteer suggest I buy my water at Wal-Mart because the water out of spigots in this area is smelly, like sulphur.  This surprises and disappoints me.

Gee, at a place called Pagosa Springs . . . .

Before leaving they hand me a goody bag!

Inside I find brochures, maps, pencils that say “Always watch your campfire,” erasers displaying Smokey the Bear’s face, a pencil sharpener, a ruler, even a Smokey the Bear coloring book!


Let’s see, what’s this?  Hmm. . . a bookmark.  The old-fashioned kind that goes in a book to mark a page, a page made out of paper.  How quaint!

What else?  Oh, a plastic, frizbee-type ring for dogs that says, “Help Smokey Prevent Forest Fires!”

“Look, Reg!  Something for you!”

I hold out the ring.

Reggie walks over and gives it a sniff.  No interest at all.

“Never mind, Reg.”


I am well equipped to do my part in helping Smokey!

P1130798Later I read the USDA Forest Service, Pagosa Ranger District, pamphlet on “Dispersed Camping.”  This paragraph tells me something I didn’t know . . .

“Recreational camping is limited to 14 consecutive days in the same location.  After the 14 days, campers must move at least 3 air miles away.  For recreational camping, there is a limit of a total of 28 days on the San Juan National Forest in a continuous 60 day period.”

Move “3 air miles away.”

Nice.  I’m used to rules stating something like 30 miles away.

Thursday, August 25

The crew and I take a leisurely drive up Navajo River Road (CR 382 ) out of Chromo, south of our camp at Kinney Flats.  The road takes us through ranches with beautiful homes situated to take advantage of stunning views, like the one shown in the first photo of this post.

The road, however, is crappy. 

All the more reason to drive slowly and catch glimpses of wildlife.  Wild turkeys cross the road in front of the Perfect Tow Vehicle.

(I miss the photo because the one car that passes us on this road arrives at that crucial moment!)

We come upon a small herd of deer.

P1130772I park and watch them for several minutes.

They don’t show any concern for our presence, continuing calmly to graze.  In fact, I had to move the PTV a few feet to grab their attention so they would lift their heads out of the grass.

Maybe deer photos don’t interest you.  Scroll on by, my friend!  Catch you later!


I love taking and posting deer photos!

Last one . . . .

P1130764Remember the photo of Reggie looking out the passenger window at the yellow flowers?  The one in the previous post?

Here’s the same shot with his noggin out of the way.

P1130751Another beautiful part of Colorado!

Friday, August 26

We are completely out of water!

Bridget, Reggie, and I take off for Wal-Mart which is on the west side of Pagosa Springs.  I buy several one-gallon jugs of water at 88 cents apiece.

I also pick up more delicious produce — avocadoes at 50 cents each, a cantaloupe from California at $1.88, a couple ears of olathe corn (15 cents an ear) which turns out to be the sweetest I’ve had this summer, blueberries, blackberries, and, of course, a rotisserie chicken, among other items.  I stay away from the peaches.  The last peaches I bought — don’t remember where — were mealy, tasteless, absolutely spit-it-out awful.

The big news around camp — cattle!


This bunch is part of a herd of about 30.  They visit our campsite daily and do what bovines over the ages have perfected to the level of performance art.

No, not pooping.

They stare.  For a long time.


In a return engagement, back by popular demand — The Red, White, and Black Trio!



And now it’s time for the soloist . . . “Mooooooooo!”

While the others stare.


Reggie interrupts the performance.  “Get the hook, Reggie Man!  Run ’em outta’ here!”



NOTE:  I wish I had photos of Bridget for this post.  I am under the Queen’s edict not to post any unflattering photos.  Her Royal Highness will make an appearance next time. — Sue


P1130780“Good job, little guy!”


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154 Responses to Smokey the Bear, still working after all these years

  1. milliehubbard says:


  2. Velda says:

    Morning Sue and crew!

  3. Darn math problems. I almost made it ?

  4. Peggy in Buckeye, AZ says:


  5. Lauri says:

    I love your stories!! Thanks so much for all the entertainment!

    • rvsueandcrew says:


    • Lauri in COS says:

      Hey Lauri! I’m a “Lauri” too! 🙂

      Sue, too bad you passed on the peaches. The Palisades, CO peaches are ripe now and so, so tasty! I just put up two lugs of them yesterday for using in my winter oatmeal, yum! Oh, and I 2nd Lauri’s comment, thanks for the entertainment!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        You’re welcome, Lauri! What is COS?

        I bought those peaches because I heard about how good Colorado peaches are. Then I was burned with duds…

        • Lauri in COS says:

          COS = Colorado Springs (in airport speak)

          Make sure the peaches you pick are not green near the stem area. That indicates they likely came from CA and were picked green to make the trip. You want peaches that are yellow or red around the stem and better yet advertised as Palisade Peaches! Hope you get good ones next time!

          • Don in Okla. says:

            Try to find some Cunningham Orchard Peaches. Delicious!! And BIG! They are from the Palisade area.

  6. milliehubbard says:

    I love the cow photos!! They crack me up with their “perfected stares”!! Nice post Sue, beauty and humor…great addition to our day, thank you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, millie. Thanks for the positive feedback.

    • milliehubbard says:

      And the Smokey the Bear goodies are cool. I remember getting Smokey stuff way back in elementary school…wonder if kids still get the message?

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I don’t know. What the heck am I gonna’ do with all this stuff…

        • Linda Sand (Minnesota) says:

          Find some geocaches and stuff it all in. Kids love to find such prizes.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Geocache? I don’t know why that just isn’t something I want to do. I’ll probably leave the bag at a laundromat. Kids are usually bored there.

  7. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    I LOVE SMOKEY! I have a stuffed smokey in Moosee along with a couple of small stuffed mooses. 🙂 I want a goodie bag!!! 🙂 So cute! And I miss the ‘give a hoot don’t pollute owl!

    Those cows are funny!
    Have to take the dogs in for shots today. 🙁 Weather change and Barb has a rotten ugly headache. NOT a happy mommy.

    Hugs from Hoquiam,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hope you feel better soon, Barb.

      “Give a hoot, don’t pollute” owl… I had forgotten all about that one. How cute that you have Smokey in your rig!

      I’d give you my goody bag if you were here. 🙂

  8. Adrienne in Carlsbad, CA says:


  9. Jean in Southaven says:

    Love the pictures. I just feel the breeze and smell the earth in these pictures. Love the cows, I guess they must enjoy watching you. Maybe cows get bored too and need a diversion sometimes. How lucky these cows are to get to watch you and the crew. It is good that the Rangers are keeping a watch. I have been reading on the internet of the trouble some of the places you have been this summer are having with what I would call a squatter. People who stay almost permanent and dump their tanks on the ground and don’t clean up around after themselves. This is such a beautiful place it would be a shame to loose the right to use it. Love your posts. Thank you for sharing.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jean,

      I never tire of reading that someone enjoys my photos.

      I’m 100% behind the work of forest rangers, and also the 14-day limit rule. It would be a shame if squatters spoil it for the rest of us. It’s maddening enough to come upon trash and stuff like toilet paper. Toilet waste?

      I always check out a campsite for possible dumps before settling in. Usually the trash is Bud Lite cans and empty shotgun shells…

  10. Cantaloupe for $1.88? Enjoy, enjoy! WE don’t even get cantaloupe that cheap! I need to get out of California ASAP. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I couldn’t help but chuckle at your last line, Shawna. Sorry. 🙂

      Yeah, that price for a canteloupe! I wanted to buy several, but, of course, that wouldn’t work for just me…

  11. Kat & Cookie Dog in NY says:

    Love all the bovine pictures again! And tell Bridget I totally understand not wanting her picture taken unless she is looking perfect. After all her mum doesn’t ever let anyone take her picture either…..LOL. I love all the beautiful wildflower pictures, please keep sharing them. Keep your Smokey the Bear stuff until you meet some nice kids and then share, they will love you forever for it. Oh and I never get tired of deer pictures either.
    Thank you for all your wonderful posts!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Kat & Cookie Dog,

      Funny that you mention “all the beautiful wildflower pictures,” because I have a collection that I considered putting in this post. Instead I’m saving them for another post. I appreciate feedback on what readers like to see on my blog. Thanks!

  12. Linda Rose, Muffin, Murphy, Molly & Midgy in Carmichael, CA says:

    I loved the deer photos. Such a beautiful area. Thanks again for sharing. It’s always a treat to find your posts in my inbox.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Linda Rose. Thanks for the compliment on the deer pics.

      I hope you and the 4 Ms are well and happy!

  13. Stephanie from Albany OR says:

    Love the post. But just how in heck does a guy (gender neutral guy) in an RV measure an air mile? That made me laugh. RV’g may be too technically difficult for me.

  14. Pat in Rochester says:

    When I was a little girl I saw the original Smokey at the DC zoo. yes, that old.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow! I didn’t even know there was an original, live Smokey. Too bad he lived at a zoo. 🙁

      • Velda in Roseville CA says:

        If I recall right he had been injured and or orphaned so best option for him was zoo where he lived a happy as that can be long life. I recall seeing photos of him when I was young.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I should’ve said, “Too bad he was injured.”

          • Linda Sand (Minnesota) says:

            The original Smokey Bear (no “the”) survived a wildfire without his mother. That’s why he wound up in a zoo. He needed someone to take care of him. “The” was added to his name by the person who wrote the song to make it fit the beat. See what a fount of useless information I am. 🙂

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Good info! I like the rhythm of Smokey the Bear. Smokey Bear doesn’t have it. These are important considerations.

              After all, I’m the one who coined “RVSue and her canine crew.” It has to roll off the tongue. Iambic pentameter and all that. 🙂 (Okay, Ed, tell me that isn’t iambic pentameter.)

            • Barb from Hoquiam! says:

              Sue and all,
              I have an early Smokey the Bear learning/comic book. YUP. He was a cub who lost his way in a fire. Pat that is awesome that you saw him!
              Sue do you remember when Ivan the gorilla came to Atlanta? He was kept in a small cage/container at a flea market in South Tacoma (WA) for many years… I remember standing there thinking how horrid it was for him (I was a kid) and then seeing him with Willie B at the Atlanta Zoo was amazing.
              The things we hold to from being a kiddo!

              Hugs from a rainy Hoquiam,

  15. Good Afternoon Sue, 🙂 I think I am finally well and my fiesty self again. Whew, that was quite a while away from the keyboard and away from the Blogorinos. I hope to be back here daily, at least for a while. The house goes on the market next week and we have the RV almost all packed with our belongings, ready to head for Harlingen Texas. We have reservations there on Nov 1. We will be attending and working the Rio Grande Birding Festival this year. Good for all us birders out there. Then we are on to Florida where we have resevations starting Dec. 1 to the end of March. Anyone in the area of Crystal River give a holler and lets meet for lunch or something! Yahoo! It is good to see you are still hanging around in Colorado, I saw on the new this morning that it was Hailing in Colorado Springs…glad you are out of all that. Safe travels when you move… Hi to the pups. Hi to Weather! 🙂

  16. AZ Jim says:

    Wow! I should have saved my cowboy poem for this post instead of the last one. Hope you are getting more sun. Nice pix. Hi to the crew…

  17. That is one moooverless, (marvellous), post ? Sue, love the photos of the Smokey Bear goodies and yes the National Forest will correct you on Smokies name, it is Smokey Bear, there is a story about how he got his name, a long time ago there was a bad fire and this Bear cub was found with some of his fur smoking and thus was named Smokey Bear, that happened back in the 40s as he became a reminder to be careful and Prevent Forest Fires, a icon for many years, ? ,,, have a great week and stay safe and give them babies of yours a huge hug from us, okay,,,,, Rusty n Piper ? ?

    • edlfrey says:

      Rusty has got it EXACTLY correct. There is NO ‘the’ in Smokey Bear.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Oh, poo! I’ve known him as Smokey the Bear since 1958. So Smokey the Bear he will always be to me. 🙂

        Just as the road from West Fork Campground to Pagosa Springs is FLAT, with FLAT fields on both sides! Ha!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Same to you, Rusty!

    • gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

      Yes, I remember it being Smokey Bear. RVSue, I think you are remembering the song that went along with Smokey’s fire prevention campaign. I can still hear it in my head: “Smokey the Bear, Smokey the Bear. Prowlin’ and a-growlin’ and a’sniffin’ the air. He can smell a fire before it starts to blaze. That’s why they call him Smokey the Bear.” Iambic pentameter be darned. Without the “the,” this song would have been a disaster.

  18. retiredcajunlady 'N Louisiana says:

    Beautiful post, Sue. Too funny how the ranger gave you a bag of goodies! Not sure I understand why the 14 day limit on one location thought. I realize it is a rule, but to make someone enjoying their stay move 3 miles “as the crow flies” doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. I am glad they told you about the water before you filled your jugs and found out through smell and/or taste.
    The cows and the deer look like they were posing for you, Sue! Take care and enjoy your day. Belly rubs and hugs for pups, and prayers for all.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Move 3 miles discourages squatters from constructing makeshift buildings and other messes. And after 14 days people start to get territorial and sloppy. It cuts down on wear-and-tear on the campsite, too. (just my guess.)

      • retiredcajunlady 'N Louisiana says:

        That makes a lot of sense. And those things would indeed ruin the areas for others.

    • BadgerRickInWis says:

      Huge fan of the 14 day limit. It prevents folks from “moving in” on land that belongs to everyone. But just as important it hopefully gives the area a chance to recover and return to the natural setting that draws us there to begin with. Even conscientious use for too long a period effects the wildlife (remember it’s their home not ours) and compresses the soil which discourages natural vegetation and encourages erosion.

  19. Marsha, currently in Montana says:

    We had cows visit our last campsite and they left their calling card near the picnic table.

    I never get tired of pictures of wildlife.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marsha,

      I’m pleased to report that the cattle stand back from our campsite; thus no messes … yet. Sorry you had that experience. I’ve dealt with cow plops before, too.

  20. Geri says:

    Hey and howdy everybody! Gotta tell you that I loved the deer photos! The area around that part of Colorado is really beautiful!
    I was thinking the same thing as Stephanie, how in the heck do you measure an air mile? Is that the same as “as the crow flies” in distance measurement?
    Well, we are getting ready for a tropical storm to hit here Thursday… goodie goodie!
    Sue, re: your taste buds for peaches have been spoiled by the always yummy Georgia peaches! Ya’ll take care and have fun!

    • edlfrey says:

      “…how in the heck do you measure an air mile?”
      Latitude and longitude! Yes, it is the same distance measurement “as the crow flies”, here is the long explanation:

      Degrees of latitude are parallel so the distance between each degree remains almost constant but since degrees of longitude are farthest apart at the equator and converge at the poles, their distance varies greatly.

      Each degree of latitude is approximately 69 miles (111 kilometers) apart. The range varies (due to the earth’s slightly ellipsoid shape) from 68.703 miles (110.567 km) at the equator to 69.407 (111.699 km) at the poles. This is convenient because each minute (1/60th of a degree) is approximately one mile.

      A degree of longitude is widest at the equator at 69.172 miles (111.321) and gradually shrinks to zero at the poles. At 40° north or south the distance between a degree of longitude is 53 miles (85 km).

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      How does one measure 3 air miles? With a ruler or compass and your Benchmark atlas!

      • Stephanie from Albany OR says:

        Like I said, this may be too technical for me! I’m inclined to think a homing pigeon equipped with a mileage meter might work best for me!

  21. Hi Sue and Crew, great pictures today. Reggie and the Cows is my favorite. 3 air miles? That is not much at all. Glad you are enjoying your stay at Kinney.

  22. casitagirl says:

    Hi Sue!

    We’re camped at Sonora, CA, in the middle of gold rush country, on our way to Yosemite today for a few days. We’re heading east now, and plan to head to Bryce or Zion over the next couple of weeks.

    Looks as though you found an entertaining camp!

  23. Suzan in Atlanta (for now) says:

    Colorado groundwater is polluted from years of mining, unfortunately. We collected some water from a CO spring and had it tested. Too many heavy metals for our taste. We love Colorado, but we don’t drink the water there unless we use our Berkey filter first. 🙂

    When we spent some time on the Idaho/WA border, I bought some local peaches in a Farmer’s Market, not expecting them to taste that great. I was shocked that they were the best I’d had in years, better than South Carolina or Georgia peaches!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ve tasted those peaches in Washington….oh my, they are good, as are the other fruits and berries from that state.

  24. Pam and Maya, Still in NY says:

    Hi Sue, Reggie, and Bridget, love those deer photos. The antlers with the velvet on them fascinates me, I wish I could touch one and see if it feels as soft as it looks. I always get a kick out of Ms. Bridget’s desire not to be photographed on certain days – Maya is the same way:)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pam and Maya,

      I think these are the first photos I’ve posted of deer with antlers. They were a lovely sight grazing on a slope. I tried for a group shot but it didn’t come out well.

  25. edlfrey says:

    ” Both she and the volunteer suggest I buy my water at Wal-Mart because the water out of spigots in this area is smelly, like sulphur. This surprises and disappoints me.
    Gee, at a place called Pagosa Springs . . . .”

    Pagosa Springs is a HOT water spring and they almost always have heavy metals and sulphur in the water.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Okay, I get that. I’m just saying a name like Pagosa Springs suggests water that is fresh and pure like spring water coming down out of a mountainside. Sheesh, I wasn’t referring to the hot springs, just making a word association. Springs=fresh and pure.

      This is not technical writing, Ed. It’s a stupid blog. 🙂

    • Geri says:

      The hot springs located in Truth or Consequences NM do NOT have that sulfur, mineral smell! They are wonderful! Our favorite 2 there are River Bend Hot Springs in the summer and Blackstone Springs (reserve The Wet Room) for the winter months!

  26. Mick'nTN says:

    I posted some pictures of a solar panel installation on a pickup cap. It is a 260 watt Kyocera.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Very informative illustrations, Mick. Thanks for the link to photos.

      • Mick'nTN says:

        Thanks, Sue; maybe it would be more helpful if you put the link in the Solar section of your header. It will just be lost here in the comments.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I’ll do that. Right now the connection times out when I try to move it. I’ll try later.

    • BadgerRickInWis says:

      Oh Mick, this is EXACTLY how I have imagined setting up my solar when I hit the road, but I’ve never before seen it detailed out like this. You have given vision to my dream. I can’t thank you enough.

      What do you think of a very similar setup but with a Yakama type air dam on the front? I figure it might cut down on “lift” on the panel plus reduce drag from the trailer. Maybe even help the panel stay a bit cleaner on dusty roads.

      Maybe my first trip should be to Tenn. To pay someone to get ‘er setup? Just kidding. (kinda)

      • Mick'nTN says:

        Hello BadgerRick, It is good to hear that the solar mount posting is helpful to you. The owner, Blogorino Lisa, and I discussed the air dam and she will be looking for a suitable part. The solar panel has only about 3 inches before the front of the cap so the air dam may have to be mounted on the PU cab, which should still work.
        If you know of a good welder / fabrication shop you could ask for an estimate from the Photobucket link. I have drawings that I could release under GPL. Some dimensions would change depending on your solar panel. >> mkent(at)blomand period net

    • Thanks for sharing Mick, this is exactly what I’ve thought about doing on a roof rack on my tow (Toyota FJ Cruiser). One question: do the vertical support (for tilting the panel) remove and stow when the panel is horizontal? I’d thought about hinging them, but these look like they’re removable.

      thanks again.

      • Mick'nTN says:

        Hi Steve, The “tilt arms” are removable. They are held in the clevis’s by 1/4 inch detent pins. In the “travel” position the pins secure the frame in the same clevis as when tilted. You store the two tilt arms. I this case they are 36 inch long, 3/4 inch square tubing with pin holes every 5 degrees from 15° to 50°.

  27. Beverly says:

    Hi Sue! Love your photos. I’m offering a friendly note. CO has an “open range” policy and as cute as Reggie is when he “moves” the cows, it can also be considered harassment by the rancher. Just saying…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Not to worry, Beverly. He only moved them about 50 feet. Then they turned around and stared. This was discussed once before when Reggie moved a small herd about 50 feet when we were camped in Utah. Reggie’s a steer harasser!

      Actually, another way to think about it, the rancher is a renter and I’m the landlord.

  28. Susan in Dallas says:

    Best. Post. EVER. You know I loved it – all those cattle staring pictures were the best! Loved that first photo too. How peaceful.

  29. Sherri D says:

    As I enjoyed your posting today I couldn’t help but guess at the breeds of cattle you were seeing. I know you post about different plants and birds and such. Do you ever do that with cattle and horses?
    If I were to venture a guess about that herd, there were Angus (all black), Black White Face (black with white faces), Hereford (brown with white faces, white lower legs, and white tail tips), Red Shorthorn (solid reddish-brown), and a Charolais (all cream or white colored). Most all appeared to be steers (castrated males), and were probably being raised for food.
    I don’t know why I was thinking of cattle breeds today. Hope you and the rest don’t mind me yammering on about them. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Interesting, Sherri. I know better than to guess cattle breeds, what with several readers being from cattle country. Yes, they’re all steers. Same with horses, I don’t know horse breeds.

  30. I picked up a free ruler at a NFS HQ, but didn’t see that kind of variety. Great haul!

    Is Reggie still always on leash, or can you let him wander like Spike did sometimes?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, kisstab-chick,

      Reggie is always on his tether — either 25 feet or 50 feet — when he goes outside. Unless, of course, he gets away from me, which rarely happens.

      I won’t risk losing him. He gets carried away chasing things, runs very fast without stopping, and could easily become disoriented. Not to mention the coyotes I heard yowling nearby early this morning…

      Spike tended to stay close and was more circumspect when walking from camp.

      • Spike was more mature, too. That makes a difference.

        To our amazement, people in our suburban neighborhood, long settled [our house is sixty years old] are losing small pets to bobcats, coyotes, owls and hawks. It seems like nature is doing what nature does–finding the easier prey as we take over their world. If you’re anywhere near a creek around here, you’re near their ‘roads’ from one area to another. We are not all that close, but close enough, it seems.

        We never let our Rocksy outside unless Bella is with her. We’re assuming the 35 pound dog would be enough to keep predators from looking at our yard as easy pickings. And we don’t leave them out for extended periods. Rocksy loves to find a sunny place and soak up rays, which is where she’d be most visible to a hawk!

        Animals aren’t getting snatched right and left, but we do hear reports of them disappearing without a trace, and people do see the wild critters from time to time, and a couple of weeks ago a neighbor a few blocks away found the remains of cat that had clearly been attacked and eaten.

        It’s so strange that for the first time in my life–and I am about your age, and have lived in this same house since 1980–we are having to take these precautions!

        We pet-lovers have to do everything we can to protect the wee beasties we love!

  31. Sue, let me give you a heads up about buying peaches and cantaloupe in Colorado. Don’t buy the ones from California, no offense to those of you from California, but if you have good peaches and cantaloupe there, my bet is you don’t send them here to Colorado. For good peaches, ya got to make sure they are Paladades peaches grown here in Colorado and Rocky Ford cantaloupe. Yes, I know Rocky Ford was in the news a few years back for a listeria outbreak it they have cleaned up their act and is still the best tasting cantaloupe around. Just remember to was the outside of the cantaloupe. The warm days and cool nights are awesome for growing fruit. I let the fruit ripen for a few days before I eat it. Ind the Olathe sweet corn ( also grown in Colorado) is awesome too.
    Now that I’ve done my part to promote Colorado produce, I’ll just say I’m enjoying your visit to our great state!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Edie,

      I haven’t tried the cantaloupe yet (from California). I notice the sticker on it says, “Scrub with clean water before cutting.” I wonder if that is in reaction to the listeria thing.

      • Holly says:

        Hi Edie and Sue,

        Though we do love the great state of Colorado as well, we want to share with you a bit of background on a program California cantaloupe farmers participate in which reinforces their commitment to food safety. California cantaloupes are produced under a mandatory food safety program that invites government auditors to inspect all aspects of farming, packing, and cooling operations. The details of this program and a list of certified members can be found at You can also find short, informative videos on how to safely handle cantaloupe at home. And of course, if you have any other questions, you’re always free to reach out and we’re happy to talk more about the cantaloupe our California farmers take pride in growing!

  32. Velda in Roseville CA says:

    Not just listeria. When you think about it, you have no idea who or what touched that melon before you set it in your cutting board. Cut through and you are carrying bacteria and dirt on skin right into flesh of melon. I keep a small brush by my sink and wash and brush just about anything fresh except lettuce which gets washed no brush ! You can use a water bath with a splash of white vinegar ( enough to smell it pretty good in water) and give fruit or veggies esp if to be eaten raw a quick bath. Vinegar kills a lot. Likewise vinegar in water in spray on counters followed or preceded ( does not matter in which order) on counters sanitizes very well.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right, Velda. In the Yuma area I’ve seen vegetables being processed in the field. Nearby are the portable toilets for the people handling the vegetables. Ick!

      Thanks for the advice.

  33. weather says:

    Your photo above your NOTE, of Reggie establishing a perimeter(I’m guessing it is anyplace just beyond reach of his 5o’ tether), is my favorite one in this post. I like all of them , that one just gives a great sense of what life looks like sometimes at that home.

    It’s nice the brochure with the 3 mile rule was part of the ranger goody bag, that’s not something I’d have guessed, either, as most places ask you to move much farther away . A trip for food would’ve had to be made whether or not you needed water. I’m glad they let you know you’d want to buy that. Imagine how disappointing it could have been otherwise- To have discovered the hard way that you couldn’t enjoy what comes out of spigots and have to make a trip just for that, or worse, not have any to make coffee in the morning when you thought you did, Ha!

    • weather says:

      Around this lake there’s just one campground (not the one I’m in) that allows bow hunting beginning on Labor Day, none permit gunfire . I don’t know if you are still at Kinney Flats or where you plan to spend the upcoming holiday weekend. I hope wherever your home is and will be is a peaceful place.

      Good morning, Sue. A white rabbit with a few small brown spots is my quiet and most frequent visitor, she and a robin take turns eating grass and seeds near my door. Along the water, of course, flocks of gulls and geese are nearby at sunrise and sunset. I wonder what you and the crew see living close to the BLT or along the areas where you go for walks. Wishing you a lovely day that holds beauty and feels wonderful to be in… 🙂

  34. ApplegirlNY says:

    The light reflecting off of the deer antlers made a beautiful picture, but of course the cattle stares take the cake.

    Thanks for such a cheerful post.

  35. Sooo I am stuck way back in May because I got way behind. Lol. I just read the post from Sand Island where you spotted an Outback T@B and Paha Que add-a-room and wanted to say there is another brand of tent room for the T@B made by Thermarest that’s no longer made. It is very sturdy, and used ones can be found from time to time. I have the Thermarest and love it. One side can be completely screen or solid, as well as 3/4ths of the front. The front can also be completely open and it acts as more of an awning. I can set mine up solo in about 10 minutes. It’s lived through some strong storms of wind and rain and is very durable. It makes a great bug-free living room, and is almost a must for two people in a T@B. You can click on my name and see mine although you may have to scroll down.

    Colorado is one of my favorite states. We sometimes visit family in Steamboat on the 4th of July. Love those hot springs!

  36. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hello, Sue!

    I have loved the past two posts! The first picture on the last post positively glowed with gorgeous color saturation due to the overcast skies. And on this post, the view that was previously blocked by Reggie’s noggin was breathtaking. I like how you managed to get some backlighting on the antler velvet of the deer. It almost looks like the antlers are surrounded by tiny halos! Very, very nice!! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    I am happy that you found your sweet spot waiting for you and the Crew. A lot can be said for appreciating a previous location. It is special that you now have two views and memories of this area. The previous visit, the camp was alive with wildflowers, now there are browning grasses and seed heads. Both lovely in their own right!

    On the drive home tonight, I noticed that some trees were starting to change to gold. Fall is just around the corner. Yesterday morning, there was a “kiss” of Fall in the air….hard to explain, but there was a crisp smell, with a slightly cool breeze – love it! I cannot wait for sweater weather! 🙂 Have the CO Aspens started to turn gold yet?

    I am looking forward to the holiday weekend; it will be nice to have a break from work. My plans are not terribly exciting, but that is just fine. I will continue to sort and purge, and get some plumbing work done (the plumbing items should have hit your sales report by now). Fortunately, I have a good plumber; he shows up early and gets the job done right at a fair price. I have put off these repairs for too long. When is there ever a good time to spend money on home maintenance? A necessary evil – it comes with the territory. I am blessed that I have a home, and thankful that I am able to take care of it. But…I think of you, not having to worry about such things, and I smile. 🙂 Don’t forget to get those seals looked at on the PTV….you want her to be able to continue to take those mountain passes with ease! 🙂

    Sending you wishes for a peaceful night, and love and hugs for you, Bridget, and Reggie from me and Gracie pup!! 🙂

    P.S. – I hope any hunters are far, far away from your camp. No close gunshots to distress our little guy. Reggie has to keep his wits about him to do his job: keeping those pesky bovines in check! 🙂

  37. Glenda in OZ! says:

    How beautiful Colorado is…………….just beautiful!

  38. Linda-NC says:

    Cows and Deer and Badges -OH MY! I have landed in the Land Of Sue!

  39. Cheryl Kline says:

    Thank you for sharing your travels!

    Cheryl, Tennessee

  40. BadgerRickInWis says:

    Hippity, skippity, how I love this post.

    I was a HUGH Smokey Bear fan when I was a kid and still am. In fact as I type this I am wearing my birthday present a Smokey Bear baseball cap with his likeness and the immortal words, “Only You.” I also own a Smokey Bear T-shirt and one from his buddy Woodsy Owl.

    Yes, there was a real Smokey Bear, (and please get over it, there is no THE in his name 🙂 ), He was rescued from a fire in the Captain mountains of central N.M. in 1950. The Forest Service was just coming into it’s own back then and he did a national tour which was huge promo for travel out west on those new interstate highways they were building. In fact he is the 2nd most recognized personality in the world behind Santa but beating out Mickey Mouse. (see no THE) 🙂

    Now I have to share this. If you remember I grew up right there in Pagosa Springs and when I was very little my mom would drive us into town and I would always wave at the large Smokey Bear sign on the side of the road that updated the current fire conditions. My family still teases me because Smokey came out of my toddler mouth as “Mokey.”

    So hanging on my wall today is a picture from Christmas when I must have been about 3 1/2. There I am in my footed flannel pajamas holding up the stuffed Smokey Bear doll that Santa had brought. I’ve got a smile on my face a mile wide and a look of pure joy. Literally a kid on Christmas morning. You can see the tree with it’s lights behind me and my older brother playing scientist with his chemistry set. I’m told I carried my “Mokey” Bear doll everywhere.

    Well that picture is one of the most precious things I own because we lost almost all our family photos in a fire several years later. My older brother died in Vietnam and never got to be a scientist but that is the only picture we have of him other than the ones from the military.

    So give Smokey some love, and remember “Only You.”

  41. Rover Ronda (WA) says:

    I like deer photos.

  42. Lisa, Tommie and Buddy in Tennessee says:

    Hi Sue,
    Such beautiful things you share. The deer are so fuzzy, clearly cold weather is coming. I wonder if the old timers in CO used to predict the severity of the coming winter by the thickness of the deer pelts. I do like the cow photos too, but never noticed how they do stare a lot. I guess their mamas never taught them that it is rude to stare, haha.
    We are winding our way north, testing our new solar panel and charger as we go. I never thought I would look forward to parking in the sun! The panel soaking up the sunshine and charging my batteries all day made the hot drive a bit more fun. Thanks for inspiring me by your example.

  43. Steve says:

    That’s a pretty cool photo of Reggie standing on his back legs protecting the campsite. … LOL

  44. Susan says:

    So Sue, I was just reading another full timers blog and they said how hard it is now days to find and peace and quiet and even to find quite boondocks.
    And a lot of people replied , agreeing with the writer.

    You seem to find a lot of quite and peaceful places to camp. And you have been out there for a few years.

    So, what do you think?

    I full timed for a couple years in mid 90’s and hope to by next summer find the right RV and hit the road once again. I know it will be different then it was 20 years ago , but I hope I can find some nice quite places like you do.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It takes more effort these days to find quiet camps. Noise is everywhere and roads cannot be trusted. I’ve noticed a difference in only 5 short years.

      Some of my favorite, peaceful camps, such as those on Badger Mountain in Utah, are no longer appealing to me as they once were due to the noise and destruction by motorized toys (OHVs, ATVs, dirt bikes, quads, four-wheelers, whatever!).

      I don’t want to discourage anyone. However, I don’t have any advice on how to get away from the noise, dust, and destruction. Go deeper into the forest and you’ll find them there or you can count on them finding you.

      On a positive note, when one does find a quiet camp, even if it only lasts a day, one appreciates every hour.

      • Susan says:

        Oh My. Yes, that is what the others on the blog I was reading had said . The fact that in the last few years it has become harder and harder. Still plan to make the jump because I Love to travel and see new places . I also love the peaceful camp. I will have to check on back issues of your blog as I go along because you are the Queen of boondocks and quite places.

  45. Pookie in Todd Mission, tx says:

    Im up at 3am this morning and find (pleasantly) I missed your post from yesterday….
    look at the velvet on those deer…… never ceases to amaze me……
    another great post with great pictures…….sigh…I never get enough of Colorado…

  46. MB from VA says:

    Two coming to look at the farm this week. One today and one on Friday. If one decides to buy…’s AZ this winter for me!!!! Stayed awake most of the night….excited, scared to death…..and telling myself not to get my hopes up…….. 😉 Beautiful pics! I love VA and there are several specific places in other states that I think are awesome. But it is the four corner states that I love the most. Have a great day!

    • MB from VA says:

      Annnnnnddddd…..just now as I was walking the dogs, a man came down the driveway and said he understood the farm was for sale. He is well known (not in a good way) for buying lots of land. He bought the farm next door and is in the process of timbering…raping….old growth hardwood. Makes me so super sad but I have no control. I just hope that he does not buy Edgewood. If he does, when I go through the gates….I will never return. But maybe that’s as it should be anyway. This place is not mine. Nor is the horse in my care. Nor is the little cottage where I live. But, I “care” for them very much….literally and emotionally. When I dream of the sale, I see someone who will love it and treat it with the respect it deserves. I will just have to hope that the dream comes true. It’s all I can do. BTW….I do have a home and 6 acres that is mine. But an elderly uncle lives there at no charge. I have someone who would buy Brookwood (my property) and love and care for it…..and whom I’ve known for over 40 years…..and who loved and was loved by my parents (who left me the property)…..but unless I take my uncle with me, I can’t sell it to her. That is actually my biggest challenge. I just keep telling myself….just keep doing what is right from a good heart, and things will work out. Please send good thoughts east. I know I am “oversharing” but sometimes it’s nice to say things to someone who is truly not involved at all. Thanks. 🙂

      • Deena in Phoenix, AZ says:

        MB, sending positive thoughts for a “Good” buyer for Edgewood.

        Deena and Miss Mollie

        • MB from VA says:

          Thank you so much! You have no idea how much that means to me today. She is a grand old place and was here eons before us…..and will be after us…..but is so very vulnerable to the whims of the humans who believe they
          “own” her. That last guy coming down the drive really messed with me. Knowing people are sending good thoughts really does help. So, thank you again. I hope you and Miss Mollie have a wonderful day out there in AZ!

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:

        Hi, MB,

        I am sending good wishes your way. It is so hard when others do not put the same value on beloved places and things. All will fall into place in due time. Hang in there! ***hugs**

      • BadgerRickInWis says:

        Sending you loving prayers that all works out for you MB. Yes, keep doing what is right from a good heart and all will be fine. You tell a remarkable tale of a caring, loving woman. Know that and keep doing what you’ve been doing. It’s working.

  47. Krystina ~ Sutton, Vermont says:

    Great post and photos RVSue!! Love, Love, Love the pictures of the cows all lined up watching you!! They must have been thinking “now here’s a female that has her shit together”! 🙂

  48. rvsueandcrew says:


    As always, I appreciate your comments. Thank you for taking the time to share something from your life, to inform, to help, and to encourage. I’m glad the photos of cattle, deer, and Reggie were enjoyed.

    A word about Smokey the Bear vs. Smokey Bear. I respect your memories. I’m not expecting you to alter your memories, specifically the words in which they are framed.

    As for me, this is my blog. I may not express everything perfectly, but it is MY voice you hear in the stories I tell. If I remember our beloved icon of the forests as The Bear Who Smokes Out His Ass, that’s how he will appear in my writing. (No offense to you, Smokey, or to any of your fans).

    Enough said. Let’s move on.

    Enjoy your day!


    • BadgerRickInWis says:

      Speaking for myself I think you always express yourself perfectly and I hope you realize that my tongue was firmly planted in my cheek and I was just trying for a chuckle. Sometimes it’s tough to convey that in written form.

    • Jan NH says:

      Well said.

      I for one respect how you write your blog and wish those with the tedious need to correct the minutia would keep those thoughts to themselves. 😉

      Thanks for all that you share with us! Jan

    • Rochelle in IN says:

      Oh my! I just laughed so hard reading this comment that it caught the attention of my husband. I tried several times to read it out loud to him, but the more I tried, the more I laughed. I finally choked it out and he enjoyed a hearty laugh as well. They say a good belly laugh is healthy exercise, so thanks for the fitness program. 🙂

  49. Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

    Whoa! I would’ve been startled too to find, what seems out in a remote location, two persons walking around my RV. I would’ve been suspicious at first too.

    For years, I didn’t buy peaches because of the awful “spit-it-out awful” as you said, but recently I bought two flats because they were so delicious. I don’t know if it’s a seasonal thing or a regional thing as to why they’re good or bad.

    Love the deer, were there more or just the two?

    I also love your description of what cows do best. Stare. They don’t see much of your kind around there! Good ‘ol Reggie being the guardian of the boondocking galaxy!

    Till next time.

  50. Can’t imagine too many deer photos – or cows! They’re all so pretty. And they get to live there all the time, very lucky too. Those are some old goody bags, although I don’t know what new ones would have instead….. The best peaches I’ve ever had were last summer in Washington. Worth going back for :-)) Love Reggie’s pic at the end – so brave!

  51. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Ahhh….thunder….and now the welcome, needed rain. Rain pinging in the metal chimney guard is such a wonderful sound! 🙂

    Hope all is well with you, Sue, and all of your blogorinos. Sending you and the Crew hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

  52. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Rain pinging ON…

    Damn iPad auto correct! ?

  53. That opening photo makes me want to dig out my canvas and paint again. Wow! And the cows always remind me of my childhood where cattle roamed right up to my grandmother’s windows. They frightened the bejeebers out of me with their curious stares and moos. For years I had nightmares of them staring through the bedroom windows. LOL!

  54. Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

    Me thinks Sue is on the move as we have not heard from her, nor have had a new post.

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