Springtime challenge in Nevada

I love looking at a map.

I love to run my finger along a route through places of interest, across mountains, valleys, and national forests, over state lines, tracing rivers and scenic roads, pausing at possible boondocks and campgrounds, until arriving at a dream destination.   Lounge-chair route planning is a relaxing pastime and usually fun.

1-P1030477Photos in this post were taken at Pahranagat Lake Wildlife Refuge and didn’t make the first cut for previous posts.  They have nothing to do with what I’m writing about today.

However, planning a camp move is not always easy.

Ever so often in my travels I arrive at a time and place of indecision.   That’s where I am right now.

1-P1030553For the past few days I’ve studied the Nevada Benchmark atlas backwards and forwards, trying to determine the best route to take from here.

Nevada is a tricky state to cross!

By that I mean, gosh, there are whole pages in my atlas that don’t show one campground.  Some pages only show straight roads with a “town,” the name in such small print that it can’t be much more than a bump in the road.

Speaking of bumps in the road . . .

Elevation is important.  For instance, Bridget, Reggie and I are presently in Pahranagat Lake Campground a few miles south of Alamo, Nevada.

1-P1030503I want to go north or west from here.  Looking at a map, the area around Pioche, Nevada is north of here and about the distance I like to drive when moving camp.  Oh, this looks good.  We’ll go to Pioche.  I like the sound of that.

1-P1030518I check weather reports and elevations online.  Uh-oh.

Let’s use this coming Monday as an example. 

The high for Monday in Alamo, elevation 3,449 feet, is predicted to be 77 degrees, the low 48.  Nice.  A drive to Pioche, Nevada, is an easy, relaxed, hour-and-a-half from here.  A typical RVSue camp move.  Not very far and no stress.

1-P1030516I investigate and see that Pioche’s elevation is 6,060 feet, and the high is 65 with a low of 38.  Not horrible but too cold.  Not what makes for a pleasant potty run at 4 in the morning.

And it’s only March.  Where do we go from there?

Spring is a tricky month for full-timers who camp like I do.

The weather can be a heaven-sent angel one day and a demon from hell the next.  Temperatures go up and down.  Balmy and calm on Tuesday, windstorm on Wednesday, Armageddon on Thursday.

More so in a desert basin.

1-P1030383When you’re in the Great Basin of North America, each decision at a fork in the road has consequences that aren’t easily undone.  Turn left and face 200 miles of nothing or bad road or . . . Tonopah.

Turn right and camp in the road.

That’s because there aren’t any campgrounds and not even access to places to boondock.  The map tells me we’re dealing with flat sand or mountains of bare rock.  Abandoned mines and private ranches.

Or a route looks okay, but it ends up in . . . God help us, one and all . . .  Reno.

I hate Reno.

Sure, you say, just drive 200 miles each day for a couple days and get the heck outta’ there.  Well, I say, people who drive like that usually have another person with them to share the breaking of camp, the fixing of meals, and the sharing of set-up work at the end of the day’s trail.

1-P1030510I don’t do long hauls.  I don’t hurry.  I mosey.  And one needs a place to camp at the end of each day!

This sounds like whining.

Not so.  I’m exaggerating to explain the challenge of traveling and camping along the way in spring.  This is the stuff that makes living full-time on the road interesting!  Fulfilling!  Memorable!

1-P1030478Just imagine the engine dying on the loneliest road in America, for instance.  What?  Not on your bucket list?

Kidding!  I’m kidding.

One adjustment I’ve made is our destination.  Originally I was going for the big trees of California this spring.  I’ve decided to postpone that to our trek southward in the fall.

Searching my heart I realize where I truly want to go this travel season is . . .

1-P1030422The Pacific Northwest!

I want to return to where rivers run clear and cold and forests are dark and deep, where the ocean waves crash and foam and make me laugh for no reason, where the fruit is juicy sweet, bountiful, and absolutely divine.

1-P1030556Now . . .  to figure how I want to go there!

rvsue

NOTE:  This post is what is known as tongue-in-cheek.  I’m not looking to be bombarded with route suggestions from well-meaning readers.  It’s more fun if you don’t know how the road will go, right?   Enjoy riding along with us!

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307 Responses to Springtime challenge in Nevada

  1. JanisP in Ecuador says:

    First?? (maniacal laughter)

  2. John K - Mobile, AL says:

    Yes! PNW. I can’t wait to see where “we” are going. 😉

  3. Cynthia says:

    You are always welcome up here in the beautiful PNW! BC and Vancouver island are wonderful too!

  4. JanisP in Ecuador says:

    Route planning has gotta be tough; it’s a mystery to me how I’ll figure out my route to get the best weather and not backtrack too much. I guess I’ll have to figure it out as I go along but I really prefer to plan things out ahead of time. I’ll just have to get over it I guess.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Route planning … what little I do of it… can be fun as long as it doesn’t extend too far into the future or is too detailed. For me, too much planning, reservations, time schedules, etc. ruins the serendipity. I like to figure it out as we go along. It’s hard to do that in Nevada.

      A little experience on the road and you’ll loosen up. 🙂

      • JanisP in Ecuador says:

        I can’t wait! 25 more days and I’ll be back in the U.S. for good.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I wonder what you’ve missed the most.

          When I spent some time in Mexico, I missed American hamburgers. That was in the sixties before you can buy an American hamburger just about anywhere in the world.

  5. Lisa W says:

    I can’t wait until you decide on the route and start heading northwest. I recall the last time you were up there for the summer. We could tell how much you loved being there and the pleasure you and the crew had in the forests and near the ocean. It is going to be a great summer for you. Lovely pictures today, I really like the old cabin.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lisa W.,

      You remember our last visit to the PNW… I did love that time. I wanted to stay longer on the coast but that storm came along and I became nervous to be so far north in autumn.

      Thanks, re: the photos.

      • Lisa W says:

        Sue, I’m pretty sure that you were either on your way up to the PNW or had just arrived when we found your blog. From reading just a few times I went back and read from the beginning. It was like reading a great book!

    • Oh yeah, I could get real comfey in that old cabin!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I don’t know, Geri. It looks inviting in the photos. I opened the door and it looked like a snake and spider pit inside. Darn reality!

        • Elizabeth in WA says:

          Friends in Texas a few years ago retired from WA state and went back home…had to reclaim a house on the ranch that was snake infested…had to get professionals in to do it…YIKES!! I guess it won’t take long for an empty house to become infested with some kind of critter.

  6. Yep, if you’re going that far, keep Canada in mind. You get a 25% bonus on the dollar exchange just now…

  7. Shawna says:

    Love the photos, especially that last one of the lake and trees, with the sun peering through the trees. Can’t wait to hear what route you decide on.

  8. Calvin R (Ohio) says:

    I look forward to the Northwest! I’ve never been there, and first-person reports will tell me more of what I want to know than anything else.

    Based on those pictures, I’d be at Pahranagat as long as I could. Those are the “not good enough” ones?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Calvin R.,

      Oh my, what a wonderful time the crew and I had in late summer of 2013. We camped along the Tieton River, saw Mt. St. Helens, Mt. McKinley, Takhlakh and Mt. Adams, Rialto Beach, La Push, Port Angeles…. It was a dream come true!

      I laughed at your remark about the photos. 🙂

  9. Jan in Montana says:

    You have me hooked-as if I wasn’t already. This sounds like a continuation of my Hwy 93 comment from the last post. I am watching for your solution…..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jan,

      I may lose my reputation for finding beautiful camps as we travel Nevada. No offense to the Nevada people reading this… The state is not as boondocker friendly, when the mountains are too cold at this time of year.

  10. kgdan says:

    Hip, hip, hooray!!! You are aiming for our neck of the woods again! We will be right behind you. We are in the same predicament—- picking a route to go north. We know we want to get up to Clarkston, WA. to visit a cousin & her nursery on the way home, but how to get there from here. Weather a BIG factor— that’s why we have stayed a little long in Laughlin. Since we are about 2 weeks behind you, we will let you be the scout. Great, informative post!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, weather is difficult for me, having very little experience with it in this “neck of the woods.” I hope my routes don’t turn out to be where you don’t want to go!

  11. judy says:

    Yes to the PNW, that is where I live. There are so many places to be here you can’t go wrong. Love.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Judy,

      I could tell on our first trip to the PNW that there was a lot more to see and do. We never made it to Cape Flattery, for example.

  12. kgdan says:

    Btw . . . know you won’t but think you should . . . drop by this place I know where you can have a specially cooked for you dinner on a beautiful patio, dump those tanks, fill up with fresh water, take as many great showers as you want, do laundry, visit orchards, vineyards & fresh produce stands— all for free!!! Just sayin’

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, you’re sweet. You know I can’t do that. People are so nice I’d have more invitations and then I’d feel obligated and so it goes…

      Thank you.

      • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

        You could always stop there and forget to mention it here. Just sayin’. 🙂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Better not do that. Once I start being devious, the floodgates are open! 😉

          • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

            Sue quick request. I have clicked on both the shoe link and the cat quilt and both go to the shoes, or at least they do on my iPad. I was able to search amazon and find the quilt but want to be sure you are included if I decide I want it. Thanks have a beautiful day.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Thanks for letting me know, Velda. The cat quilt should come up now

            • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

              Yep works now, thanks. Cute quilt. Appropriate for our “cat house” of two who seem to run our show!

  13. Dawn in Mi says:

    As I’ve never been to the Pacific NW…and have always wanted to see it I can’t wait till we get there! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      It will be fun showing you photos. I, too, was like you… never went to the PNW even though I dreamed of it for years. I wasn’t disappointed when that dream came true!

  14. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Well, Sue, there is no more beautiful area than the NW in summer we think! Today is WINDY (oh how I love that part), cloudy, but some sun comes out here and there, white caps on the waves near the ferry landing, 52 degrees….about perfect in our estimation…we already took one walk. I wish I could tell you of places to boondock, but I would have no idea, of course. So hopefully you will find many or else many cheap places to stay and give us ideas maybe, in case we ever do get to have a little RV to live in. I hope you will get to spend some time in Idaho too…the northern part is very beautiful too…but it can get chilly at times there…well, I think that is the case wherever one goes in the NW. (Was told by a friend after we had been to Crater Lake, ORE that it can snow on the 4th of July even there…they were there once when that happened!!) We have reservations at a B&B in July to meet up with “our other son” as we call him (not really ours) and his wife in the Seaside area in Oregon for a couple days. They are coming out as they do each year, from Illinois. It should be fun! Looking forward to what you learn and what you do when you come!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth,

      Your plans to be with your “other son” sound like fun in a wonderful location. Yes, weather is unpredictable, no matter how hard the forecasters try. I’m sure we will wake up to snow again like we did in NM, UT, and CA.

      I hope to find camps that you’ll want to put on your dream list. 🙂

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Thanks for your work and in putting the information on here. I frankly do not know if we will be healthy enough to ever do this…but we can at least read here and on other RV blogs and enjoy it through all who share online!! At least that!!

  15. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Those photos didn’t make the cut? They are gorgeous!

    Those of us who travel with you by proxy may not realize what it takes to move from one location to another. The logistics are huge and the task is like a list of chores! Good chores that is!

    It was a “chore” for us and we stayed on a major intrastate, staying at predesignated campgrounds. I would take care of the outside “chores” and Jules was responsible for rearranging the inside into travel mode! I can’t imagine one trying to find a route off the beaten path, break camp, take care of the crew, yourself, drive to the destination and set up camp…pant pant pant….check the blog…pant pant pant….with only you as the worker bee! Good grief…where is that lounger at?

    How you get to your next destination…and when you get there under your timetable…we will ALL be here! Drooling at your newly discovered paradise!

    Safe travels. And most importantly thanks for letting us all ride along!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      I wonder sometimes if people realize what goes into this way of life. There’s a reason we stay camped in one place for several days while others move on. It’s not fun if one moves too fast, mainly because this is my life, not my vacation.

      I had to smile at the recent posts of a fellow blogger (whom I love and admire) who wrote about how he manages to blog every day. His explanations made sense and the posts were interesting.

      However, all the while I read those posts I was thinking… Sure, I’d blog every day if I had a WIFE who did the grocery shopping, cooked the food, cleaned up, took care of mechanical and technical things, made appointments, groomed the dog, decorated the living space, stocked the rig, cleaned the rig, etc. etc.! Maybe he or she will read this…. (Hint: A and K) This is written all in fun . . . 🙂

  16. AlanOutandAbout says:

    Perhaps you will miss the storm from hell this time. 🙂
    I can’t even begin to give you advice. I have no knowledge of where to camp in NV. I have always avoided it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Alan,

      Your avoidance may be wise. Typical me, I like to go where others don’t. Maybe it’s time I learned a lesson.

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Nevada is so barren….(on the interstate that is)…nothing from Elko to Winnemucca.

      Lots going on with my father who is on his way back to CA…long story. Someone asked if I was going to drive him back from Denver. Hmmmmm…..

      😉

      • AlanOutandAbout says:

        It is the same everywhere, nothing. Best part of NV is the border on the way out.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          OMG. What have I gotten myself into?

          • Cinandjules (NY) says:

            Traveling through Nevada the wind gusts were so bad…worse than Wyoming!

            The bright side of crossing Nevada was the casino in Wendover. 🙂

            The KOA was horrible! Nothing but a gravel pit!

            • Cinandjules (NY) says:

              Here’s something that will make you laugh!

              Mind you I drove the entire way to NY…and I was bored….Jules swears, SWEARS she saw a…..get this….a jack-a-lope running on the top of a berm somewhere along the highway in NV.

              I about peed I was laughing so hard.

              We get to Rawlins…as we totally drove thru Utah and she sees a postcard of a…you guessed it…a jack a lope!

              THAT’S what I saw…as she point to the postcard!

              The clerk thinks we are straight up crazy!

          • Elizabeth in WA says:

            Well, in all fairness, Sue and others here on this thread…there are a few places that are nice in Nevada…one was Virginia City. Went there with son and wife once…trouble is for me the altitude was so high, they practically had to DRAG me along in order to go from place to place. But it was fun, interesting and pretty. I was even allowed to play a few songs on the organ in the old church there…great fun!! But quite a trek getting there and hard to breath!! Also, I love how it is as you approach Lake Tahoe…that is one gorgeous lake area…but probably no boondock opportunities…however, I would not know…just that it is quite inhabited and touristy.

  17. DeAnne in TN says:

    I have always been drawn the the PNW and for some reason, most of my life has been dreaming of visiting Oregon for a time. I’m really happy that we’re going back so I can gather more information. 52 days left of school!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Countdown to summer! May those 52 days be trouble-free….

      You’re a dreamer of Oregon and the PNW, too? It is a special part of our amazing country. And, for me, such a contrast after a winter in the Southwest.

  18. Sidewinder Pen says:

    Fun post! Routes can be a bit tricky (in a fun way), can’t they?

    Last fall I headed from the Parker, AZ, area (I thought) up toward Zion. I wasn’t really sure where I wanted to go, but it was TOO HOT to stay where I was. I headed up 95 toward Las Vegas, still slightly undecided. At Las Vegas I decided, no what I really want to do is see 395 again, in the fall (and an errand/friend visit in Portland, OR, could then also be accomplished). Suddenly I knew that was the right plan, but now how to get across NV to 395?

    Google maps showed me a route I could see would be somewhat ridiculous (like one of those routes that innocent families get lured into…) but it brought me out near Lone Pine and I wanted to get the “full” 395 experience, so off I went. Hoo boy, glad I wasn’t towing over THOSE passes (not that there is anything wrong with towing over passes, but you know how it adds to the thing). Sometime I’ll have to check them out again in daylight 🙂 Nice thing was, no traffic at all (literally not one car), so I could just ease on down in 1st or 2nd gear.

    395 up and back were both just FABULOUS and I was so glad I had chosen it. Then on the way back, hmmm, the route over 58 through Barstow…. done that a bunch of times… not too thrilling… it’s late fall… how about Death Valley to get across?

    Not that I ever thought about Death Valley a lot, but if I had I would have pictured a long slow decline to a flat sandy place, and then the reverse on the other side. Erm, no. It was like the biggest, longest, curviest, narrow laniest descent on the western side. Amazing. And the whole thing just went ON and on. I got to the bottom and was climbing this crazy hill and pulled over to have lunch. That’s when a group of bicyclists went past. And I thought I was tired from pressing on the gas so much…

    Turned out they had been the *other way* across DV the day before – also on their bicycles. It was a fund-raising/charity ride. I donated generously right on the spot. These were amazing, tough (yet cheerful!) people (and they were not youngsters, either). One woman did mention that next year they were vacationing in Nebraska (flat). Hee.

    I feel the PNW calling me back this summer as well. Fun to hear you are heading that way 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Love your comment, Pen! Better than my post! I really enjoyed reading it. I need to make note of where not to go . . .

      What is it with you… driving at night! I remember you arrived at Sidewinder after dark. If I arrive at a new camp at 3 in the afternoon, I consider that late in the day. Ha!

      Death Valley scares me. The names don’t help. Furnace Creek. Devil’s Cornfield. Burned Wagons Point. Last Chance Range. Lost Man Spring. Dry Bone Canyon. Yikes.

      Thanks for the entertainment, Pen, and the heads up!

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        Sue: I think of you every time I pull into a camp after dark 😀 Yep, Sidewinder Road, my first desert/BLM boondocking experience…. pulled in after dark. Since I’m a night owl, I tend to get a later start, and plus I know that I’ll be wide awake during those later hours anyway… There is the “fun” of waking up to see if the spot you picked out the night before turned out to be ridiculous, heh.

        That said, I find that I *do* enjoy getting to a place earlier in the day, so I try to do that. I get inspiration from you 🙂 And it IS nice. But oftentimes it doesn’t work out that way for me (oh, to be a morning person). (But when I’m towing I do have a pretty firm policy to not drive after dark.)

        Also, I just love to drive! So when I get going I have to kind of force myself to stop. I did take 395 at a moseying (for me) pace though – I love that road.

        PNW ho!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          395 is a great road. I’m forcing myself to stay off it so that I’ll appreciate it when I do drive it again.

          It is nice being a morning person. When I had trouble with my solar back in the day, having no lights was no big deal. I went to sleep!

          Yes, practice your mosey!

          • Sidewinder Pen says:

            I think you may have coined my version of the inspirational wall plaques folks often have.

            “Practice your mosey”

            😀 😀 😀

            (And hey, no mention of getting up early ;))

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              PS: That’s one thing I love about being in Washington or British Columbia (coast) in summer: Even on MY schedule I can get to any campsite well before dark 😀

              I spent some time much further south one year — had never realized how much I love long twilights. And although it’s obvious once you think about it, it had never occurred to me that everyone doesn’t have them. Nope, you get down closer to the equator and the sun just goes down like a window shade.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              That’s true! I remember long twilights while in Montana in summer. I couldn’t handle 24-hours of daylight though.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Death Valley is hot enough in spring time!! We used to go some as kid with our folks and grandparents, to see the wild flowers and other sites and esp. Scotty’s Castle. Well, one night it blew a hurricane and I honestly thought our airstream trailer was going to take off and fly…I doubt anyone slept that night. We loved going to see Scotty’s Castle.

        My dad was a car repairman in Sacramento…supposedly someone knew of a man from NY who came out to CA. He asked someone for a shortcut home. They told him to go via Death Valley…IN THE SUMMERTIME!! Supposedly by the time he actually made it through there and into a town his tires had melted. We talked a lot about that when I was a kid…

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          I can’t imagine going through DV in summertime. Car breaks down…. it could be curtains. When I went through it was November, so the high was something like 80º. I figured it was “now or never” to see it (meaning that how many times would I be there at that time of year, etc.). I could see it has its charms, but for me….. once was probably just fine. It was unique to see the GPS showing something like 250′ below sea level!

          • Elizabeth in WA says:

            Well, 80 is not so bad there then…hope you saw some beauty, Pen. It is quite nice with all the wild flowers in spring (it may have been a very rainy year the couple times we went…my Grandma would have taken note of that as she loved going places to see the flowers). I have not cared to return either.

  19. Kim says:

    You make some good points. Especially the one about traveling solo – it’s a different ballgame, people.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kim,

      As you know, I love the full-time RV life. Traveling solo isn’t a problem if one doesn’t try to do too much in too short a time. Tasks can’t be done simultaneously, like “I’ll do this while you’re doing that.” There is the reward of self-reliance which I enjoy tremendously.

  20. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Good luck on planning the next leg of your adventure. Gracie pup and I are buckled in, seat belts snug, ready to see where you, Bridget, and Reggie take us!

    Hope you enjoy your day! It is around 60 degrees today; perfect to tackle some yard and garden Spring pruning and cleanup. 🙂

    I enjoyed the pictures of this post….even though they were pup-free!! 🙂 Hugs!!

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Let me correct myself…there was ONLY one picture of the cute crew!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise and Gracie pup,

      It’s good to read about people working in their yards, fussing with their gardens, and all that stuff. Much better than blizzard and black ice reports! Enjoy your weekend getting your hands dirty. 🙂

      Thanks re the photos. I thought I’d give y’all a break from cuteness.

  21. Dennis Keppner says:

    I think Kirchener(?) may fit the bill. About an hour or so up north on 318. Pit toilet that was a tad “ripe” but the area was peaceful. We were there in 2013 so memory needs a refresher. There is a review that says there’s a hot spring nearby but we never spotted it. After that off to the Ely area. We used one of the pull-outs for naps, not sure how that would sit for anything more than a pause in going.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dennis,

      Going 318 is fine. I’m not so sure about Ely. Temps are still going down into the high 20s at night. That’s spring for ya’!

  22. Betty Shea says:

    The last time I “knew” where I was going was 1996

  23. Glinda says:

    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing the process of moving. I will be anxious to hear where your next home will be.
    Give Reggie and Bridget a hug for me.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Glinda,

      I hoped this post would show the different factors and decisions involved in travel by camping. Also in the equation is my avoidance of RV parks and over-priced state parks. . .

      The crew is like the diapers… Huggies and Pampers. 🙂

  24. Nevada is a difficult state – there’s nothing out there! You’re right about spring. We just dumped our plans to go to Organ Pipe, it’s TOO HOT! We’re going to go somewhere else, higher. The GPNW is a beautiful place when it’s not raining. Should be a good trip.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Allison,

      I’ll never forget when someone commented on my blog (I think it was a young person) and wrote, “Boring! Go somewhere interesting, like Alaska!” It was winter!

      I hope you find that cool place… the Mogollon Rim maybe… You’ve probably been there already.

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        Too funny about the Alaska comment. (Of course Alaska is neat in wintertime, but obviously not for your/Casita lifestyle… duh!).

        Things sure did heat up in “lower” Arizona early this year. Seems around 15º above normal. I’m guessing that by the time it gets back to normal, the hotter temps *will* be normal so there will be no difference.

        I’m like Rusty in that I have a few things to finish up before heading north, but have temporarily de-camped to higher altitudes except for necessary trips “down.” Less convenient but a lot more comfortable. You’re right about spring – seems the least predictable, and can be windy too.

    • AlanOutandAbout says:

      Look up Hannagans Meadow in AZ. It is just south of Alpine on the NM border. It sits at 11,000 ft and is all alpine meadows with giant Blue Spruce trees. With trout streams every where. Nothing like it anywhere else for 1000 miles.

  25. First off, I gotta say I love Love LOVE the Bernie MeV shoes somebody ordered! Very wild and crazy, just my style! I love the way you travel Sue! That’s how I used to be, maybe even less prepared. I never looked for a space to camp before I left in the morning because chances were that I wouldn’t end up going where I had planned! An interesting town, or building, or landmark might need my attention, so that would be where I ended up! Hahahaha! Love the photos, hard to believe they were second choices, all were great! But I need some more face time with Reggie and Bridget! Happy Trails!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri,

      Those are wild and crazy shoes. It’s fun seeing what people buy.

      I think there are two big differences between the conditions of your travel and mine. You were in a truck camper. It’s stealthier than towing a Casita, allowing you to stop for the night in a town or off the road. I also think there are more rules and regulations about where people can camp these days. . . unfortunately.

      Although I can see you towing your Casita on a whim with no idea where you’ll spend the night! Love your spontaneity . . . .

      • DeAnne in TN says:

        I got curious about the shoes so I took a peek. I busted out laughing because I have a pair just like them. They are so comfy–like walking on pillows and great for teachers. Those colors really say a lot about my personality.

  26. Glinda says:

    Sue, I think it was you that mentioned reading the book Take Me With You by Catherine Hyde. Well, I finally got around to reading it…..it was great! Any more suggestions?
    Thanks!
    Have a wonderful day

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi again…

      Wasn’t that a great book? I’m glad you read it.

      Here’s another one. A classic of historical fiction.

      Jubilee Trail: A Novel

      You can click that link and read a sample to see if the style suits you. I liked the book because it was a “lazy read” meaning I could pick it up and put it down and when I went back to it, I hadn’t lost track and yet I became engaged again.

  27. DesertGinger says:

    It will be interesting to see your route. The PNW is beautiful in summer. Too bad about the rest of the year. I hope that by May I may be meandering that direction too, at least up to the Bay Area. Then I’ll go east over to Tulsa and .joplin to see friends then possibly Wisconsin and eventually NY. I hope. If I’m well enough and have enough money. I may get a tent and do some tent camping. I don’t think I want to spend the summer in Tucson. Too hot! I need to get some maps and more info and make a plan.

    How are the pupperdoodles today? Miss their smiling faces.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      One thing I like about you, Ginger, is you think BIG. That’s an ambitious itinerary! I hope you are well enough to go wherever you want to go.

      The pupperdoodles are snoozadoodles right now… finally! They were restless all morning. They wanted to go in the pen and then they wanted out of the pen, go for a walk, go inside, outside, eat, play . . . cute as can be when they’re asleep. 😉

      Reggie is almost sleeping through the night! I sound like a new mom.

      • DesertGinger says:

        You know Sue I love long-distance driving. I can easily drive for 3 or 4 hours without stopping, then just a quick bathroom break and gas an I’m off again. Don’t know why, I always loved it. That makes BIG plans a little easier!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I noticed that about you. You drove from Tucson to the California coast, I think it was, as if you were taking a little jaunt. I couldn’t believe it!

  28. If you travel to Oregon’s coast, check out Tillicum Beach, a National a Forest Campground. You will camp on the cliff over an empty beach on the Pacific. In expensive and beautiful!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Ramblin’ Rose. I may find myself there on the trip southward at the end of summer. I like “inexpensive and beautiful.” As long as reservations aren’t necessary… I don’t do reservations.

  29. DesertGinger says:

    Just ordered this book. Thanks!

  30. Frenchie says:

    “I want to return to where rivers run clear and cold and forests are dark and deep, where the ocean waves crash and foam and make me laugh for no reason, where the fruit is juicy sweet, bountiful, and absolutely divine.”

    Sue, you are such a poet! I totally went for a little dance in my head reading you just now. Thanks for taking us along when we are forced in stationary mode:) Good luck picking out the route to your new pastures!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Frenchie.

      Thanks for the good luck and compliment on my writing. I’m looking forward to having you along on our travels this year!

  31. Pam and Maya says:

    Gee Sue, I’m in exactly the same place. We are down near Ajo and the warmth feels so good I hate to go anywhere that is going to be cold. I think I just thawed out from spending half the winter in New York! I want to travel up through New Mexico but the places I look at still seem cold. I have my benchmark maps now but finding good free camping spots is still new to me. After pouring over maps and looking at weather I just decided to stay here a while longer.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pam and Maya,

      Nice hearing from you. I know what you mean about the warmth after NY winter weather. When I lived in NY state I didn’t feel truly warm again until mid-July.

      Isn’t Ajo wonderful… Love the Sonoran Desert. Here’s a suggestion… Try Roosevelt Lake, east of Phoenix. The highs are in the 80s this week. You can look at my posts . . . I don’t know if it’s crowded now or not.

      On the way there you’ll go to higher elevations but don’t let the cool air fool you. The lake is in a basin at low elevation, thus warm. I suggest it because you want to go to NM and Roosevelt Lake is in that direction. Check the weather, of course, before you go. I love the drive from Globe to Roosevelt.

      Staying where you are “a while longer” makes sense, too!

  32. Alison PNW says:

    The flowering trees and shrubs are absolutely amazing in the PNW in the spring. It’s already started! I will refrain from making suggestions; last time you found some of my favorite spots on your own!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I imagine spring in the PNW is lovely with all the fruit trees in bloom, against the greenery… Trouble is, getting there from here! 🙂

      I’ll work on that. Thanks for not making suggestions. I don’t know why I get a kick out of finding places on my own. Kind of like being an explorer (now that’s a stretch, isn’t it, Lewis and Clark.)

  33. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Sue and Ginger, was watching some reports on youtube…no idea that this would be there, but it is of an NBC investigation into….Ziffy Lube, yep, that one. To find it on youtube, just look for “Ziffy Lube Scam Caught on Tape.” I hope Ginger’s vehicle will be ok…with no damage…smoking engine is a scary thing….well, this is not on topic for this blog entry…but any rate in case anyone wanted to see what one report says…there it is.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Do you mean Jiffy Lube? I went to a Jiffy Lube several years ago. One time. The guys looked like they were on dope. I drove away.

    • DesertGinger says:

      I got an oil change at jiffy lube but took my car elsewhere for repairs. I’m done with jiffy lube

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Well, it is hard to know what to do, when we have to hire someone else to do these things. Hubby used to always do all that, but he cannot now. So trusting someone else is hard!!

  34. Rob, still in wwstern WA says:

    How to get the PNW?
    Head north and make a left (or south & make a right) at the next road you come to. Keep heading that way (towards the setting sun) until you come to the ocean, then make a right.
    Sooner or later you’ll find what you’re looking for!

    See, that wasn’t hard ! Have a good trip Sue.

  35. drpaddle says:

    We’re PNWers for the last 10 years (migrated from overcrowded California) and finally picked up a camper trailer a few months ago. Seems like there are hundreds and hundreds of great places to go and explore, and we’ve barely scratched the surface. Following your travels will be highly educational as well as fun! Thanks for all the time and effort you put into your posts.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, drpaddle. I hope to return to a few of the places we enjoyed in 2013 and also to find new campsites. You’re sure to have fun with your trailer around where you live. Nice hearing from you!

  36. Timber n' me says:

    Well,,,, That’s funny, I’m kicking around in my head, to go to Prescott national forest , north of Chino Valley till May, got things to finish first before hitting the circuit. Maybe mosey up and a round I- 15 to I-84 to Ontario and turn West on 20 to Bend and on up to Sisters and Three Fingers Jack at Round Lake , all the way camping and taking our time, Then head South down 97 and jump over to 395 as a way to leave the cold of early fall, or to heck with that and just head north and get away from the heat. I’ll just flip a coin or Lord which way is your way, Please tell me in a dream, Thanks,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Nice photos and say Hi to the pups and have a great day. ,,,,,,,,,,,us

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rusty,

      It’s fun dreaming and planning where to go each year as the seasons change. Those are some of your favorite places . . .

      Wherever you go, I wish you safe travels, good people along the way, and delightful camps. Hello, Timber!

  37. Sandy and Scott says:

    That’s the direction we are heading. Not to worry though, we’ll give you a wide berth.
    S&S

  38. weather says:

    Fruit that makes one savor each bite,the pulsing power of waves hitting shore,forests full of scents that make just breathing itself a pleasure, a river’s excited haste toward what’s next in it’s path-you’re being pulled to life forces of this earth-to resonate with what’s rushing through you again ,Sue.Beautiful rocky mountains,magnificent stone walls and desert sands can echo it back and reflect it,yet that’s not what you crave,you need creation to shout that it’s feeling it,too.My God ,just look at your writing and what you’re producing as posts!The gifts you have won’t be contained,and clearly neither will you.I swear I can feel your strength flex at times,I’ll bet your posture is noticeably different recently.Well,except for the hours when the crew has for the umpteenth time run you ragged 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      I thought of you today, wondering about the antique business on this Saturday. I hope you had a good day.

      Whatever it is that pulls me to the Pacific Northwest, I’m happy to go to that force. The dryness of the desert compels me to rest and reflect. Now I’m ready for all you described so well!

      Thank you for cheering me on, weather, and for your affirmation of who I am and what I’m doing. Will you resume shopping for an RV now that the weather is opening up?

      • weather says:

        Today was so much more pleasant than yesterday that returning home home I realized I was actually happy that I’d spent the past few hours matching antiques with folks they’d make happy. Quite honestly,every thought and conversation Friday, including the comment I posted last evening, was done with effort to feel gratitude.By this afternoon, unbidden,my Pollyanna hat was again part of my head.I’m not good with the whole heart break in a friend thing, plastic face for hours to hide that, or missing sunrise’s song…Any who-all better now,thank God!And,yes,I’m so-o looking forward to easier driving for finding the perfect troupe home on wheels !

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          My gosh, you are honest! I’m the same way. I’ve never admitted that until now, and do so only because you did. I thought I had a bit of sociopath lurking beneath my facade of semi-normalcy. Maybe I do. Nice to know you do, too! Haha!

          • weather says:

            Geesh,I startled the cat I was petting as I read your reply by laughing this hard!To be cautious for readers sake’s who may not understand so be offended I’ll refrain from stories that would make YOU roll on the floor laughing.Trust me,it’s not a symptom of being a sociopath ,in fact it stems from healthy aversions .Still,the oddity of makes it hilarious to share.Gotta luv this! 🙂

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              What I hate are the platitudes that come out of my mouth without warning and then they’re out and I can’t do anything about it except wince and hope that’s not noticed….

              That’s why I could never be a nurse…. I’d say, “Too bad. Get over it.” If I were a psychiatrist, I’d tell my clients, “Stop doing that. It’s crazy.” That’s about as far as I can go.

            • weather says:

              No doubt those folks were deeply comforted by your platitudes,after all,it’s the thought that counts.

              Spoof!NOT! I couldn’t resist ! OK,enough of that,gonna behave and turn in,n’nite

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              n’nite…

            • Elizabeth in WA says:

              Hmmm, sounds more like Asperger’s…and all of us have our strong and weak points. All with a purpose in life. I was raised with a kind of “well, buck up buddy” attitude towards how I felt. But then people with my coloring often do feel as I did, so I have found. Life toughens ya up however….indeed!

            • weather says:

              Hi,Elizabeth,choosing to assume saying it sounds like a deficiency was said in jest,I’m grinning at your wit.Really,it’s just that one facing sudden loss/trauma can’t be expected to cope or talk logically,so the less said then is usually best.To not add to or spread misery or allow others to manipulate us into joining into theirs,we learned early on instead stand beside them if expected to,yet quietly at first.So knowing the “right” thing to say just isn’t a practiced skill.I leave this note in hope that we end the thread, on a note that’s helpful and positive 🙂

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Yes, I’m just kidding here. Of course I care about people who are hurting. I hurt along with them. It’s being a comfort to anyone in pain that is a challenge for me, especially in real life, knowing what to say. I’m better if I can write my sympathy for another.

            • weather says:

              Was referring to the Asperger’s reference being made in jest,I knew last evening that the rest was

              🙂

            • Elizabeth in WA says:

              Yes, you understood Weather…no offense intended. Besides in using that, I feel free to as me and mine have parts of it…but in minor ways. Most engineers have it they say, in lesser degrees. It means to me, basically a different way of thinking and communicating. It helped me so much once I learned more about it (following the diagnosis 12 years ago for our grandson) as I realized my hubby no doubt has it and I was then able, understanding more, not to take offense at a lot of what he did and said. And just this winter, have been studying more on it and realize I too have it a bit…in the sensory area. Most problems, or maybe I should say differences in life, can actually lead us at times, to a blessing. If an earthquake comes (which they do at times here in the NW) I might awake before anyone else and thus be able to warn others. Hubby called me once in NC to tell me a very minor one had just occurred…I was awake, tho he thought I would be asleep….had felt it very much!! HA!

            • DesertGinger says:

              OMG I’m exactly the same. I had a friend tell me last year ‘I forgot you have no compassion’ when I got tired of hearing her talk about how everyone was victimizing her. Guess nursing isn’t my thing!

            • DesertGinger says:

              Sue, you have to watch this Bob Newhart clip…

              https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow0lr63y4Mw

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              There will never be another Bob Newhart. Ha! Thanks for the link, Ginger. I should’ve seen that punchline coming!

  39. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    PNW= dungenous crab and fresh fish! Beautiful green of the thick forest! Wet…moss…rain ..good sleeping weather!

    Oh this is gonna be fun!

  40. dancer says:

    I love the post today, felt like I was right there trying to figure it all out. lol.. I can empathize with being the one to do everything, as a single mom its left all up to me, and friends come on lets do this or lets go here, wait now no one is here to cook, clean, cut grass, snow blow etc.. its just me and two days off to get it all done.. so I totally understand. I take my son and a friend camping in our tent trailer at least two weeks every summer, and what a battle that is just to get everything ready, keep the house, find a sitter for the pets and we stay close to home just in case something happens.. so your journey inspires me more every day .. thank you .. your post help realize that although it looks like an easy life, consideration of everything has to be planned, organized.. great post sue and loved the pictures..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, dancer,

      I understand completely what you are going through. I went through all that, being sandwiched between the needs of a teenager, a disabled husband, and ill parents, plus the demands of full-time work. There aren’t enough hours in the day, or days in a weekend, to do what has to be done.

      When you come out on the other side of all this, having time for oneself is precious and sweet. Being able to rest when one is tired, and to go when the whim strikes you is the glory of retirement. Hang in there, ride along with us, your day will come!

      Thank you for the compliment on this post. I’m glad you wrote a comment. You sound like a good parent.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        You have surely earned the rest, Sue…even if all else was hunky dory…teaching school is not an easy job…never was I am sure, but especially not in our generation!!

  41. Sondra-SC says:

    I’ve been writing a book for several years! ITs taking way too long cause life keeps getting in the way of my make believe, but the location of my book is the area off hwy 95 near Searchlight…it was a lot of fun trying to figure out a location spot for my story to take place! There is this little hole in the road called Jim Camp and that’s where my heroine put up her camp…
    Its a book I know you will want to read once its finished Sue, it has everything in it, camping, photography, dogs, horses, Native Americans, DOA officers, poaching outlaws, geologists, the Grand Canyon, Upstate NY, a Psycho Killer, and a stripper! It’s so close to being done, I need about 3 good quiet weeks alone or maybe more now that I cant type with my left hand-!!
    The PNW is the one region of the US Ive never gotten to, so It’s tops on my list too!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sondra,

      Interesting about your book! It does have a lot of elements that I would like to read about. Funny…. Recently, when at a fork in the road at Las Vegas, I could’ve gone south to Searchlight and then east to camp along the Colorado River. I didn’t because of the heat wave. I may do that next winter.

      Good luck with your left hand and your book!

  42. Yeah, I’m dealing with this too. It’s starting to get too hot where I am, but it’s not warm enough yet at higher elevations or father north. I can bypass most of NV on my way to Oregon, but this was going to be the year I drove fewer miles.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Al,

      That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Too hot in the low lands, too cold in the mountains…. Hard to find in-between….

      I assume you have a home base in Oregon where you like to spend the summer. You may have told us that. I can’t trust my memory!

      • No, but one of my traveling buddies is from there and has access to a shop. He wants to revamp his trailer this May and I’m going to help. So we’re figuring out the best way to mosey up there from AZ.

  43. Jan Johnson says:

    Oh I am excited I get to armchair travel to the PNW! It sounds so wonderful there, like your description. I read two authors who live there and write great novels set there – Kristin Hannah and Sarah Jio. Sarah wrote one set on a houseboat in Washington. Her books are just delicious and make me want to go there so badly! Her (then) husband actually rented a houseboat for her to live in while she wrote so it would be more authentic. If I had any money, I’d be headed that way myself! Georgia is too hot for me! We’re already picking ticks off us and the dogs and sweating when we take a walk. I love that you can follow a good climate around, although it sounds like where you are now it is not too predictable!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jan,

      I’ll have to look up those authors on Amazon.

      Yes, Georgia is hot and humid beyond belief some days. I remember the nightly tick-checks on the dogs and on me. Fleas were a constant battle, too. I can’t remember seeing one flea on my crew since we came to the West.

      It’s not that the weather here is terribly unpredictable. It’s another variable to factor in when moving about. Spring everywhere can be very changeable, not so much in Georgia, the Sweat State, unless you count the occasional tornado. Can you tell I’m glad I left? Haha!

      Try to stay cool and we’ll take you for a ride to the Pacific Northwest. Nice hearing from you again! I hope I didn’t depress you!

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Well, fleas are one drawback to this part of the world (Seattle area). When we lived in Port Orchard (across from Seattle) years ago, we finally gave up our dog as we simply could not keep the fleas down and they bit us as well as the dog!!

      • DesertGinger says:

        Don’t read ?Kristin Hannah unless you feel like weeping,

  44. Judy E says:

    We moved from NV to the PNW, Oregon to be exact, last year. Been coming up here for years, so we knew the area quite well. (We lived in Eureka, CA among the beautiful Redwoods for 25 years before moving to NV, what a drastic change!) We’re now central to everywhere in OR and WA, and plans are being made now for our travels for the rest of this year. We love the area around Port Townsend, WA, over to Port Angeles in particular, as well as all the areas in the center of WA, Leavenworth, Wenatchee (although it can get quite warm there in the summer also). We also love the Anacortes area, and Whidbey island, there’s just so much to do in WA it’ll be hard to do everything you want to do when you see things.

    The eastern side of OR is beautiful, in early summer especially, the Wallowas are great. And of course, the coast is hard to beat.

    You can’t go wrong heading up here, enjoy your trip, and travel safely with your crew!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Judy E,

      Much of what you mention is what I love about Washington. I had no idea it is such a wonderful state until we went there in 2013. I hope to see some of what we missed that year and repeat some favorites. You sound very happy to be in Oregon, another super state. I’m glad for you!

      A counselor or psychiatrist would say that one can’t solve one’s problems with a change of location, that the problems will follow. Well, I say, if I’m gonna’ have problems, might as well have them in a great place!

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        I do believe, however, Sue, after having lived in just about all the climates there are…it is easier to stay optimistic when you live in beauty and especially when you live in a mostly perfect climate!! The years we lived in the desert (15) we found few nice people…I assumed the nasty climate and ugly scenery made them act the same….??

        • DesertGinger says:

          Hahaha. I live in the desert. I don’t think I’m nasty. Most of us who live here love this climate and find the desert very beautiful. I lived in Puyallup, WA for 3 years and hated it. Too wet, too gray except for a couple of months of summer. And too many trees. I feel claustrophobic in the middle of forests. I like to be able to see the horizon. I think your view of desert dwellers is really just YOUR view, possibly.

          • Elizabeth in WA says:

            I was not referring to Arizona, by the way, Ginger…been there but never lived there. I realize different people can be affected by different environments alright…good thing someone wants to live where it is very hot and dry!! And those of us who do not mind the wet and gray as much.

            • Elizabeth in WA says:

              By the way, Ginger, that was mostly tongue in cheek as to why those people in that community were such as they were…even if it very hot does not give anyone an excuse to be mean to others.

      • Judy E says:

        I agree, it’s nice to be in a great place! We have lived in a lot of places, and honestly, after 25 years on the northcoast of CA, in the Eureka area, we thought we wanted to get back to sunshine and dry air. I was amazed how quickly we missed all that wet, the fog, misty days, gray days when we moved to NV. There is no perfect place, of course, but that’s why we have an RV, we are making our home now near Portland, where we have 4 seasons, enough sunshine to make me happy, and plenty of lovely rain, but when we tire of it, we can get in the RV and travel to climate we are longing for at that time! And we would be living in WA, right now, if my kids were on that side of the river, but I have a horrible fear of bridges, so we’re on this side, near them. We do go over to WA and I close my eyes tight, and pray my husband gets us over whatever bridge we are using! HA! I have impressed myself with how I have found my way around my corner of the world, avoiding bridges!!

        Safe travels, good luck with your little family, and I forgot to mention, the new member of the crew looks to be fitting in beautifully!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Interesting account of your search for the perfect location and it sounds like you’ve found it with RV travel when you need a change.

          I’m sorry you have a fear of bridges. Thank you for the good wishes. I hope your have a wonderful springtime.

  45. Pat K, Bulverde, Texas says:

    Ha! That’s where we are going! Taking the Alaska Sawyer Glacier Cruise out of Seattle, Washington in June. We don’t know which route we are going from Texas… probably through NM, and Arizona first. Need to get busy making a plan. Our Travel Agent niece talked us into this, and we’ve heard rave reviews from those who’ve been.

    I love your blog. When I heard my phone “ding”, I looked and saw that it was a post from RV Sue, and said to myself, “Oh goody!” Really! 🙂 (I enjoy the blogarinos as much as your post…they add so much with their going back and forth) Usually I save it to read when I wake in the middle of the night. Tonight I couldn’t wait 🙂
    Happy travels. Pat K

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a charming comment, Pat. “Oh, goody!” I love that!

      Wow! An Alaska cruise out of Seattle plus a drive from Texas. You are going to have a memorable year! How nice to have a travel agent in the family. I was hoping for a billionaire but it never happened. 😉

      Yes, the blogorinos are fabulous! They have made my blog what it is today. It excites me what positive discussions take place and new people join in, or ones that have lurked a long time suddenly appear. I’m happy to see you here again, Pat.

      Thank you for writing a comment that has me smiling. “Oh, goody!” That’s priceless.

  46. Mel from TX (formerly NV) says:

    Thank you for the big out loud laugh tonight! Yes, now that I live in Texas, I can say that Reno, NV isn’t my favorite place on this earth either! Good luck finding your way out of NV.. And it shouldn’t be a suprise to you that we had many March and April SNOW storms during the 13yrs I lived in Carson City so beware and be careful!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mel,

      I thought of you guys when I wrote that line. I admit I haven’t seen much of Reno, just drove through it. The pressured driving kept me moving!

      You know, as I was walking the crew a few minutes ago, I was contemplating how I would feel if we were caught in snow again. It’s very likely to happen if I keep pushing north and northwest. A few days inside with the propane heater going is tolerable, although I don’t know what Edgy Reggie would be like…. bouncing off the walls, I guess.

      What isn’t tolerable for me is driving when it’s snowing or when the roads aren’t dry. Oh well, it makes for blog material.

      I hope you are glad you moved to Texas, in addition to being glad for moving away from Reno. 🙂

      • Mel from TX (formerly NV) says:

        We LOVE it here and nope don’t regret the move one bit…good to know you are keeping the unpredictable weather in mind…I think I would prefer the unusual spring heat wave vs the ugly spring blizzard…can’t wait to read about 2015 NW travel…will be totally new experience for Reggie…beach & ocean!

  47. Gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

    Your sentence that goes “I want to go to …” is POETRY! This is a good example of how your writing style makes your blog so wonderful (of course, accompanied by your fab photos)! PNW, yeah! Let’s have another storm-induced “shake n bake” like you had on that cliff in Oregon one night! Reggie has to be initiated into PNW weather!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Ha! Too funny, Gayle! That “shake n bake” was on a cliff overlooking Kalaloch Beach in Washington. On the Oregon coast we were fogged in so badly I had to listen for the hammering of a construction crew in order to find the way off the beach. Total white-out!

      And here I am wanting to go back!

      Thank you for the compliment on my blog. I never tire of compliments!

  48. Lynn Brooks says:

    I LOVED YOUR POST TODAY, Sue!!!
    Follow your heart!
    The Pacific Northwest is breathtakingly beautiful!!!
    And when RVing – it’s the journey, not the destination!!!!
    If one wants to get there in a hurry – take a plane!
    If, like me, one wants to “stop & smell the roses” CAMP!!!
    Can’t wait to hear what you decide to do!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Your travel philosophy is perfect, Lynn. I agree 100 percent!

      Thanks for the upbeat feedback on this post. As for what I decide to do, it may involve a grueling day or two pounding the asphalt with nights at less-than-lovely camps. Good to know you’ll be with us!

  49. Marilu from Northern California now near Bridgeport, Ca. says:

    The temps on 395 have been very nice this last week. The good thing about this route is that within an 1 1/2 hours drive you can vary elevation by 4000 feet. But, oh, the winds they blow!

    It will be a two down comforter tonight.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marilu,

      You make a good point about that location. I love 395… who doesn’t? I enjoyed taking photos at Glass Creek where it snowed on us and in the Owens Valley where the autumn light turned the grass to gold… Wonderful camps easy to find….

  50. Donna K says:

    It’s been a beautiful winter and spring in the PNW this year. Today the “official” temp was 62 in Eugene but it sure felt a lot warmer than that when we were working in the yard!! Much needed rain is forecast for the next couple of days but then supposed to be 72* on Thursday. Welcome to the wonderful Willamette Valley of Oregon!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Sounds delightful, Donna. I’m suffering from flower withdrawal. We haven’t camped in flowers yet this year. I bet it’s pretty where you are in springtime.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        It is very pretty right now, Sue…all those flowers on the trees and some on the ground too!! But there ought to be still things in bloom whenever you arrive too!!

  51. Jolene/Iowa says:

    This is going to be a fun summer!! I am glad to be along for the ride. I think the PNW is beautiful from the pictures I saw when I had went back and read from the beginning. I don’t even remember how long I have been reading the blog now, around a year I think but I have read you whole journey. This should be a great continuation of the saga of Sue and crew!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jolene,

      I “went back,” also and read a few posts… the ones about riding the ferry with Spike and Bridget. Wonderful memories of a special day with the crew . . .

      I’m glad you’re along for the ride, too!

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Riding the ferry is one of our favorite things to do too, Sue. We have kin we go to see as much as we can over in Port Orchard and thereabouts…we drive over as it is quicker than waiting to catch the ferry from this direction, then always take the ferry (Kingston to Edmonds) on the way home. Hubby tells me it costs lest going from Kingston to Edmonds too, rather than Edmonds to Kingston or a round trip. We usually go up on top to let the wind blow through our few remaining hairs!! ALWAYS take a jacket however as it can get really chilly even on a warm day. We have seen Mt. Rainier so much even this winter…which is probably not a good thing as it has not rained very much. But the views have been stupendous. I do hope you get to see some of them when you come.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I wasn’t charged anything as a walk-on going from Kingston to Edmonds, only on the return trip.

  52. Applegirl NY says:

    Pacific Northwest! I can’t wait to go along with you. What a great spring we’re going to have moving from the desert to the dark forests. Your voyages and writings are such a pleasure.

    Onward and Upward!

    It’s still cold and windy in NY, but the snow where I am is only a few inches deep now, so I’m able to walk my two critters in the woods and through the fields again. Thank goodness. Well, I’ve always said the first day of spring and the first spring day are two completely different things, and that’s certainly true this year.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Applegirl,

      It’s good to get out on a bright day after too many days indoors over the winter. I can imagine how happy your crew is to be roaming the fields and woods again. . . and being with you! 🙂

  53. Rand says:

    Motorcycle coast travel lesson: go East to camp. Lots of forest roads and above the fog. One memorable moonlit night was wolf? party-animal song fest. East side gets wild!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rand,

      I wanted to see the Pacific Ocean for the first time and, dang it, fog was in the way! 🙂

      The forest is kinder to the pocketbook, too. Sounds like you had a fun time…

  54. Nivrapa in AZ says:

    Hm-m-m, the PNW, huh? Well, okay. Where does the line form to sign up for this trip? I don’t want to be a cast off if there is limited seating for the ride. I was kind of hoping for a tour of Colorado this summer. You haven’t steered me wrong yet, so save me a seat! Guess I’m going to need to buy some new Benchmark maps in the near future.

    I finished Take Me With You this week and just loved it. What a great read! I’ve already downloaded Jubilee Trail to my Kindle from the library and know that I will enjoy that, too. A strong female lead and early Americana fiction are subjects that I enjoy. Love reading about the development of the West so I’m certain I’m in store a few late nights with a good book. Thanks for the recommendation–it came at a good time.

    As for the cuteness element of your blog…there can never be too much. It’s fun seeing HRH take the newest member of the crew and initiate him to life on the road. Seems that everyone is happy and adjusting well. Canine Corner was great the other day. Hope to see more posts from there.

    Be well, stay safe, and travel on!

    Audrey

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Audrey,

      I’m happy that you enjoyed the book and hope you like the next one. It gives you a sense of what it was like in the West back then.

      I’ll have to keep after the crew to write more Canine Corners. 😉

      I don’t know what it is about Colorado that we haven’t traveled there much. I hear the mountain wildflowers are splendid. We will go there, God willing.

      Always a treat to hear from you, Audrey!

  55. Sue CleanerGreenerVegas says:

    Sue, thanks for scouting out a few nice spots in Nevada to explore. I love the little town of Searchlight and the drive down the back of the mountain to to Lake Meade, but the campground there is usually crowded. (A hotel and marina as well). Your stay in Nevada was so short, but there’s a wide world out there to explore and one thing you can’t buy on Amazon is more hours in a year to see it all! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sue,

      I think you’re referring to Boulder Beach Campground (?)… That’s where the locals go and lots of tourists… too crowded and noisy. Las Vegas Bay was much better.

      We’re still in Nevada! I have to see this town of Searchlight … You’re the second reader to mention it. Maybe next winter…

  56. carol says:

    Yes! Yes! Washington is best! In the summer not a better place to be!
    And maybe you will see mt. Rainier this time

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Carol,

      I think you agree with my plans for this summer. 😉

      Mt. Ranier was in the distance when we drove Route 12 in 2013. I do hope to have a closer look this year, even though dogs aren’t allowed on the trails, if my memory is correct…

  57. I’m so glad you are going back to the PNW!! Yay!!! Perhaps if only for selfish reasons since I will be doing my first summer full-timing here in Florida. Who does Florida in the summer in an RV? But now, every other evening or so, I’ll get to live vicariously through your posts of the wonderful Northwest! Now, about that path you are thinking of taking – perhaps you should drive out to Hawaii first, then Alaska and finally come down to Washington! Obviously only kidding! However you get there is how you get there! And we will all be eagerly following you!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deborah,

      All these positive comments about going to the Pacific Northwest have me excited! That excitement is the fuel I need to drive across Nevada. 🙂

      RVing in Florida in the summer… I hope you can catch some ocean or gulf breezes along with your air conditioning… Beaches may be less crowded in summer. September is the best month of all!

      It’s good to know you’ll follow us to the PNW…

  58. UPCDebra says:

    My military family crisscrossed the country many times. Entertainment was looking at the map, wondering what was down every road. I still spend hours reading maps and planning routes. The Pacific NW is my favorite vacation place, I’ve been all over it many times, mostly for hiking and backpacking. Many fav places. Once I drove my mom and her sister (both in their 70’s) from FL to WA for a six week trip. We took the ferry from Anacortes to Orcas Island (camped) then on to Victoria. Usually, camped/backpacked at Mt Rainier, the most breath taking mountain scenery – love to sit in the rockers and put my achy feet on the Lodge rail. I was there last summer, with a friend who climbed the glacier. Olympic area is great too. Sol Duc, if you like hot springs. Haven’t read about your previous summer in the NW (dates please? I will read it). Only one other camper at Lake Ozette peak season. It is a 3 mile hike from the lake to the ocean, but worth every step. I drove hwy 93 and 6 from Boise to LV. Horrors! I thought it would never end! Hot, no shoulders, no people/cars/stores/gas/ beverages/ NOTHING for soooo many mile – scary! And really, the only good thing about Reno is that it is near Tahoe skiing 🙂 Waiting to hear??

  59. AZ Jim says:

    Well I won’t try to give you any suggestions. Most anywhere you go in the PNW this time of year will be nice. I had a great time around Wenatchee, WA when I was up that way. Whatever you choose to do will be interesting to me. I await your trip with bated breath and I’m sure it will be a fun trip. Remember we need the crews pictures along the way. Keep ’em flyin’ Missy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Will do, Jim! Plenty of crew photos, I promise . . . .

      You’re a sweetie — “Whatever you choose to do will be interesting to me.” I appreciate your faithfulness to me and my blog, Jim. Hello to Detta!

  60. Wheelingit says:

    spring is definitely fickle. We danced around the elevation changes and temps in NV last year too. That state has surprising changes! It’s pretty much all BLM though so lots of boondocking. We ended up on the Alien route, but I’m excited to see where you go. Soooo happy to hear you returning to the PNW.

    Nina

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Nina,

      Your statement about there being BLM land so lots of boondocking is encouraging. I see that on the map. However, BLM land I’ve seen in real life so far is not where one would camp. I’m hoping that changes . . . .

      I remember your alien highway post… cute!

  61. Pamela K. in GA says:

    Sue,
    Your photo of the flat roofed house has captured me. I simply ADORE it! I hope it was still lived in and enjoyed by someone, not left to fall to the elements. I could move into that place tomorrow and be super happy living in it. My kind of place to come home to after months of travels. Of course, my adult children would think that I had lost my mind, lol, but it sure is cute! I love tiny houses!
    Good luck and safe travels as you sort out your next route.
    I bet Washington State is truly awesome, mountains and ocean…awh

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pamela,

      That “flat roofed house” is known as the Petroglyph Cabin because petroglyphs are etched into the stones. It’s actually a pioneer cabin.

      If you haven’t seen my posts about Washington state, I encourage you to click on the links I posted in a reply a few comments above this one. Thanks for the good luck and safe travels wish!

      • Pamela K. in GA says:

        Sue,
        Really COOL history associated with that cabin, thanks for sharing it! It did seem like a place that somehow managed to stand out, now we know why 🙂
        Yep, will check out some of the Washington State links.

  62. Pamela K. in GA says:

    BTW…
    whoever bought the Cat Quilt made a fine choice!
    I was looking at it, and thinking maybe, for the bed in my Van. Not sure yet, but very fun pattern and colors, great price! I miss my cats when I travel solo. Most beaches public will not allow pets on them 🙁

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That is an unusual quilt, perfect for any cat lover! I don’t think Bridget would approve it in the BLT.

      • Pamela K. in GA says:

        Sue,
        LOL, Miss Bridge knows her realm and rules it well 😉
        My Bearness, our Golden, would not welcome it in the Airstream either. My travel van, however, is MY realm 😉
        ~Cat Quilts Welcome~ little Sadie would certainly approve!

  63. Reine in Plano says:

    Two thoughts:
    If I were a psychiatrist, I’d tell my clients, “Stop doing that. It’s crazy.” As the Mastercard commercial says – PRICELESS.

    The only directions I’m providing for your trek to the PNW are detailed and specific. Go WHERE you want, WHEN you want and ENJOY the JOURNEY when possible.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Reine. I promise to do what you recommend. 🙂 You never have failed me with your advice!

  64. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    Close to Alamo is Rachel NV, a tiny little spot on the map but a fun place to camp over night. You can camp practically anywhere you please. There is a little store and cafe where you can get your picture taken with Aliens from out of this world. There is a Flying Saucer hanging on a wrecker out front by Hwy 375. Get gas in Alamo as that is the last place for gas. No gas at Rachel. The people are so nice out there that I always just hate to leave. On the way there look for the famous white mail box all by itself on the left standing beside the highway. It has been repainted black now. This is where secret mail is delivered to Area 51 or at least it use to be before everyone got clued in 🙂 Keep a close eye on what time it is…see if you have any missing time. There are lots of stories you can listen to at the Cafe.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, Joe… Now I don’t want to disappoint you by taking another route. I know how you love the mysteries of the desert!

      Thanks for the hints on what to look for. I still haven’t decided where we are going….

  65. JazzLover WMa says:

    Your words after “The Pacific Northwest”, that caught Fenchies’ eye, set the hook in me. Any place that makes us laugh for no reason at all is a special place. Crashing ocean waves, oh yeah, I’d like to come along with you and the crew on this journey. I already have a picture of juice from some delicious piece of native fruit sliding down your chin and you with a huge smile on your face.
    Happy Trails,
    JazzLover

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, JazzLover,

      The fruit in Washington… I wasn’t exaggerating when I described it as divine. I love berries and, of course, pie… That cafe in Chimacum has a tower of pies from which to choose. Washington is calling me, “Come back, come baaaack.”

  66. Bob says:

    Love maps too ….

  67. MB says:

    Good morning Sue and Crew! The first part of your post made me absolutely long to be “out there” planning a route. When I visualize myself finally being able to leave here for as long as I like…..I see myself driving whatever type home I choose to the end of our road. And then choosing right or left…..knowing that each route would bring very different experiences and scenery on my way west. And knowing that the choice is allllll mine! Have fun with those choices. So many never get to make them. And the last part….about the Pacific NW brought a tear. Isn’t it amazing how a place can so get into your soul? How just thinking of it makes your whole being swell with longing and joy? Funny too, how it is different places for different people. I love the NW too. One day I will be there again….and leave the trail just enough to be out of sight and hearing….and just lay against one of those giant trees in that deep wood of which you spoke. Or maybe I’ll sit on the rim of a red rock canyon in the dry heat and just look at the beauty until dark. Ahhhh dreams. Trick is to make them come true. I’m workin’ in it.
    Safe journey Sue.
    Love from VA,
    MB

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, MB,

      “and knowing that choice is all mine”…. Yes! The many choices of this life make it exciting and ever-new….

      I like that you expect to be in the northwest again and that you’re working on making it happen, not depending upon dreaming to take you there. Great comment, MB. Thank you.

  68. weather says:

    Good morning,Sue,I hope today’s first romp with the crew was fun.My little pals seemed not to notice that it was 16 degrees out and wanted to play outside for half an hour!The bright skies here match our moods,yippee!It’s great not to be committed to do anything in particular today,to have all options “wide open”,isn’t it? I love the photo of the sun sparkling through the cottonwoods.Ours is doing that through the pines-it’s gorgeous!I won’t ask what your day’s plan is-enjoy whatever it holds,for now just having more coffee’s delightful enough for me 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Whoa! 16 degrees? Your “little pals” are equipped for that temperature… a Siberian husky, I remember, as one. How nice that you are under bright skies today and you can let the day play out naturally, with no obligations to interrupt its flow. I know you will savor it.

      Good afternoon, weather!

      • weather says:

        🙂 As the temps make staying in for the most part a cozy treat,I intend to use your Amazon link to refine my wish list of maps/atlas books needed besides those I got earlier.Fun!No reply needed as you’ve dedicated enough of your day already to those of us here, have a good rest of the day,Sue,thanks!

  69. Lolalo says:

    Hi Sue,
    Maps were a big part of my career, and my love of travel since the 70’s also contribute to my obsession of maps. While camped in Florida, we met a lady that had been fulltiming for about four years and getting ready to give it up for a while. She generously gifted us with nine (9) benchmark maps of the western states, all of which we will be traveling to for the next couple of years, if all goes as planned! We were so excited and have been browsing thru these maps, dreaming of our adventures to come.
    We began our fulltime journey on January 10, 2015 and will be staring on our westward trek next month. I have learned so much from you and fellow blogorinos. Such a great group!
    Although I have been to Washington a few times, it was always a quick week vacation, and always left wanting more. That is definitely a high priority state on our list and will love to take it in on a slower pace. I will be following you on your travels, as always.
    And I also love the little rustic house.
    I also like your newest addition to the crew! Reminds me of my childhood pup.
    Take care and catch you later…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a fantastic and generous gift, Lolalo! Nine Benchmarks. Very nice lady.

      My first Benchmark atlas was Oregon, given to me by my new friend at that time, Rusty. That gift put me on to Benchmarks and now I have them all. I attribute those atlases to my success in finding many beautiful boondocks and campgrounds in addition to scenic drives.

      Fulltiming since January…. I remember when you launched into this vagabond life. This year will be memorable for you, that’s for sure!

  70. Utah Bonnie says:

    I’m always happy to come across someone that makes decisions on a moment’s notice like me. No one week, one year or five year itinerary for me, but prefer to fly by the seat of my pants with my heart as my guide. I have faith that you and the crew will navigate the Nevada desert and nose out all the crew worthy sites as you go.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bonnie,

      Well, I don’t know how “crew worthy” our camps may be. I’ll do my best!

      Spontaneous confusion…. That’s me! Haha! I’m glad you appreciate the seat-of-the-pants way of travel.

  71. I spent a good part of yesterday “in the maps” and didn’t want to stop. We too will be in the PNW this summer after a crazy route from AZ to Spokane, catching up with friends from high school along the way. Got us tucked away in a little county park for the 4th of July weekend, but made no other reservations other than an ocean front stop the end of July in La Push. Many of the Canadian snowbirds are “in limbo” this year with the SW getting hot so early, and the North still getting snow storms….. And Pahranagat really gets the waves huh?!

  72. kgdan says:

    After getting advice from very knowledgeable source, think will follow your trail to Alamo, then north to Ely. Was told not to miss Cathedral Gorge (state park nearby). From Ely north to Wells, then Jackpot. Know you don’t enjoy casino camping but free and a way to get through the area. We will go west to Boise then north to Lewiston. Supposed to be a beautiful, scenic drive. From there it’s a nice drive west to the beautiful Yakima Valley.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s the route I’ve been considering. And you’re right, casino camping holds no appeal for me. There are two of you, so you can go farther in a day. I don’t see how I can avoid having a very cold night and day . . . Can’t have perfection! 🙂

      Timing has to be factored in. You have a house in Yakima where you can live through snowy weather. I don’t mind camping in snow for a short while, don’t want to be trapped for long!

      • kgdan says:

        Highly doubt there will be cold weather in that area by the time you get up in that region. They have had a very mild winter . Temps are now in 60’s & 70’s and will continue to warm. We plant tomatoes the first of May.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          No late snows in April?

          • kgdan says:

            Nope. Starting the asparagus harvest by end of April. Of course, there will be snow on the mountains about 70 miles to the west but the roads should be clear over the passes.

            • kgdan says:

              By the way, even though we are two, we travel like you. We mosy along . . . our goal is about 100 miles per day. What’s the hurry anyway?

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I don’t want to arrive there the first week of April…. the end of April would be better, eh?

            • Elizabeth in WA says:

              We went from here in Seattle area, over Snoqualmie in late January…virtually NO SNOW to be seen. I have not heard they ever got enough to open the ski resort this year (I think this has happened maybe a couple times in recorded history). We ourselves had never seen such in the years we have traveled over that pass. It may be that there is snow some south of it…I have no idea. But we really have not gotten much snow or rain this winter…for what it is worth, Sue…tho’ we can see a bit on the tops of mts from here.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Interesting about the snowfall, Elizabeth. I’ll get out my Washington atlas and find where Snoqualmie is. 🙂

  73. Monica-CA says:

    The only thing I know about Nevada is the Lake Tahoe area. I took a peek at the AAA map of Nevada. I never knew that Nevada has lots of high elevations. There are numerous scenic byways that are far away from the Reno area. I’m so looking forward to your travels and learning about Nevada. Safe travels!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Scenic byways in Nevada? Hmm… Maybe over by Reno…

      • Monica-CA says:

        Routes 376, 305, and 93. Sounds like you might be traveling up 93 to get to Ely. There’s your scenic byway of Nevada!

  74. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Tiny homes……did you all see the amazing tiny home built on 40 acres just outside Truckee CA? Handmade with a breathtaking view!

    I posted the article…the video is awesome.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3006116/Former-pro-snowboarder-built-isolated-cottage-mountains-lives-no-electricity-indoor-plumbing-hot-tub-40-acres-slopes-roam.html

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I got stuck on $170,000 a year as a pro snowboarder. Good golly. Beautiful little house. Now I know how he was able to build it!

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, Cindandjules! Thanks for sharing the article and video. What a cool house! I love all the detail he put into it..especially the moon and stars on the front door. Having the ability to open those windows out to his deck is so cool…. Wonder how often he goes into town to stock up on supplies. Not like he can store much (which is the point of a tiny house!). Hope you all will start to see some warmer temps and slow melting. Stay warm! 🙂

      • DesertGinger says:

        I wonder what he does to go to the bathroom or clean up. I’m thinking he must have a gym nearby that he frequents.

        • Denise - Richmond VA says:

          I remember seeing a toilet outside, with the lid up, just down the hill. Maybe it is a pit or compost toilet? He also has a setup to take a shower inside the house. I think he mentioned that early on in the video… saying that he takes a shower sitting on the rock area next to the stove.

          • Cinandjules (NY) says:

            Yep the toilet was outside! I would settle for a Porta potty inside. I can’t even imagine running out there in the winter or at night…not to mention pulling my drawers down!

            Must be a Gurl thang!

  75. Cheryl says:

    I’ll be looking for you and the crew! I am so excited because we are heading to the same area. Never been there and can’t wait! Safe travels wherever you head next!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cheryl,

      No need to look for us . . . . You might find me in one of my grumpy moods. 😉

      If you’re coming to Pahranagat you need to arrive early. This place fills up quickly and there aren’t many sites.

      Safe travels to you, too…

  76. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Hope you and the Crew have had a good day! I know you will find the right route to the PNW…the path will be made clear when you least expect it! 🙂 All the talk of berries and pies was making my mouth water!

    Today I spent a few hours working in the yard, picking up limbs and branches. I filled up a trash super can (can’t even close the lid), and still have more to do another day. My 5 -yr old neighbor exclaimed, “I think you picked up ten million sticks!” I had to agree with him! It sure felt like ten million! I fed and watered the birds and then Gracie pup and I sat in our swing to watch the world go by for a while….life is good! 🙂

    Have a great evening, Ms Pied Piper….we are ready to follow you and the Crew to the next installment of your wonderful adventure! Hugs to you, belly rubs to Bridget and Reggie! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      Thank you for the “great evening” wish. It worked! All three of us slept through the night peacefully.

      It’s a good feeling to accomplish the yard work. Five-year-olds say the cutest things!

  77. Mike says:

    I don’t know why you hate Reno, but if you do come through town on your way to the PNW I would recommend Hwy 395 to Susanville. Then Hwy 139 to the Oregon border where it becomes Hwy 39 to Klamath Falls. Take Hwy 97 to wherever your heart desires through beautiful country on the east side of the Cascades.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Been there, done that, Mike. Only in the reverse direction. Approached Susanville from Eagle Lake one year, from Grass Valley another year. Thanks for the suggestion. 🙂

  78. weather says:

    If this is moving day,I expect you’ll want to get an early start.If so,please don’t feel that you need to reply to this note,Sue.This past two weeks the crew has,of course ,had most of your attention.Now,as you may soon have a nighttime or so that’s downright cold,I hope you’ve considered your own needs.Maybe get a larger quilt and supplement warm clothing or,if not,at least make sure those you own are handy.Have fun exploring 🙂

  79. Maribeth says:

    RV Sue I need your help (or any comment posters here as well) My husband and I are not seasoned RV/campers. We have been camping since 2012 but only one weekends and such as I am still employed full time. We have always camped at designated campgrounds. Recently a stray dog showed up at our door and in our area dogs are not often adopted so we could not turn him over to the shelter, so we kept him. He is part border collie. Taking him to the campgrounds has been a problem since he is required to be on a leash at all times and there are so many obstructions at the sight that when we put him on a long lead he gets tangled up in everything. We thought maybe dispersed camping could be an option as there would be more possibilities of a clear space to place him on the lead. My husband is terrified to let him off a leash/lead even in our own yard as he would be devastated if the dog ran off, there is no way he will do it in the wilderness. Anyway, we have the benchmark atlas but we can not seem to figure out how to find dispersed camping areas. We like remote, but we would also like a fairly good road to get there as husband also worries about the effect of too rough a road will have on the rig. Any help would surely be appreciated. I can post my email if you would like to contact me directly. Thank you.

    Any by the way, congratulations. I have been away from your blog since just before you got Reggie. Work stressed have kept me from being able to visit you daily, but I had a chance this morning and went back and read forward, I love your adventures, and even if I can’t full time myself I find your travels bring me joy everyday.

    Maribeth

    • weather says:

      When I brought my first two dogs here,I hadn’t yet fenced in the property.I just slid a long clothesline in the opening above the top hinge of my back door with a knot on the end to prevent it’s being pulled through,attached the other end at equal height to an outbuilding here,clipped their leashes to it and let them run back and forth.They didn’t get tangled on the picnic table or bbq etc. because the leashes were above them ,not dragging,yet they were “free” to sit,play and exercise until I had better solutions..Guessing that could be done using car or RV windows/mirrors or doors and any tree or structure at your campsites ?

      • Bill & Ann, swamps of NC says:

        You could even keep a special tall pole to use as a second attachment for your overhead lead. It could be placed anywhere in your campsite to allow a free run for your dog when the other end of the overhead lead is attached to your trailer. The overhead run works well. You can even place a dog bed out to be used while your dog is on the lead.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Maribeth,

      As for decisions re your border collie, that’s up to you and your husband, of course. I can’t help you with that. I will try to help you find dispersed camping sites by explaining a little about the Benchmark maps.

      1) In the “Recreation” section find public lands, colored in green for national forests, tan for BLM, in the area you plan to travel. Be careful not to confuse BLM tan with the brown that indicates Indian Reservation.

      2) Next, consider elevation. In the “Landscape” section you will see the color code bar at the top. Notice that brown is for around 6,000 feet. Light green is lower elevation, white is higher elevation than 6,000 feet. Now look at the landscape map. See how the mountains are brown turning to white at their peaks? (You may have to do this with different pages to learn.) Valleys will be very light green. Get used to seeing this.

      Also elevations are listed next to mountain peaks and next to towns. When I’m looking for a campsite, I know what elevation is good because I check the weather forecast for the nearest town.

      3) Roads — Interstates are bold blue and obvious. Secondary roads are solid brown. Gravel/dirt roads are dashed brown lines. These roads are usually wide enough for two-way traffic, sometimes are washboard. I don’t know what state Benchmark you are using. My Idaho Benchmark says dashed lines are 4WD whereas other states there will be a box on the dashed line saying ‘4 WD’…. I know this is confusing. Stay with me. You have to evaluate the road further. I haven’t needed to go on any 4WD roads to find good camps.

      Is it gently winding or are there sharp twists and turns with a high elevation at the end? The latter could be treacherous or not something for your rig. (I don’t know what rig you have.) If you can’t determine the suitability of the road you can research it online (search the destination such as the name of the lake) or ask a local, “What’s that road like?”

      You can find established campsites along the dashed-line roads. However, I find most of my boondocks on the hair-like lines shown on the map. These are the very small, faint lines that squiggle around or go off at odd angles, that fork, etc. You can see them leading from a bigger road, heading into a national forest or criss-crossing and wandering across lower BLM land. These often are one lane “spur” roads and dirt/hard sand. They can be easy driving or they can be a big problem.

      Sometimes these roads have high centers or rocky ruts or places where a wash has been formed across them. A problem I’m running into more and more is a dirt road looks fine and then I can see where OHVs have come onto the road and turned it into very deep, loose sand. What to do? Walk a section of the road to make sure it’s okay, then drive it. You have to consider your ability to back up or the space you need to turn around. Again I don’t know the type or size of your rig. Also I don’t know your husband’s tolerance for less-than-ideal road surface.

      4) Research — The above may seem scary. To ease into finding boondocks, I suggest looking at sites like freecampsites.com or finding where others have boondocked by researching the area online. For example: “dispersed camping around Happyville” to see if anything comes up. Of course, there are the sites that I’ve posted on this blog that you can try.

      Conclusion: It sounds like the best situation for you, your rig, and the border collie is a wide open, expansive campsite by yourselves, but not too remote or hard to drive to. I could help you better if I knew your rig, its size, and where you want to camp, as specific as possible.

      Let me know if my explanation needs clarification. Hope this is helpful.

      • BadgerRickInWis says:

        What a fantastic reply. I found this fascinating. (Than again like a lot of folks here I’m a map geek) You could even make an entire blog post with this information and photos showing the different types of roads. Thank you so much,

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I wondered about making a blog post, “How I Find Great Boondocks.” I hesitate because it is so hard to explain! Especially to a readership of people who own different types of maps. Glad you appreciate my effort here, Rick.

          • Tina says:

            That is great detailed information Sue. I think others would enjoy reading a post about this. Honestly I don’t always read all the comments to find these tips.

            Take care,

            Tina
            Northern, CA

            • Maribeth says:

              Thank you so much. I am looking for sites in the Central New Mexico area, roughly between 2-3 hours around the ABQ metro area. I have a 29 ft Class C.

              Thank you for all your help

  80. Shirlene says:

    Good Morning Sue,

    Well I can tell you that Marilu was right, Mojave Desert near Ricardo Campground was in full bloom…The flowers were like a carpet between the catu, yellows, purples, orange, it felt like every step you took you had to watch your step because there were so many flowers….and of course, the wind, it blew at night, rocked the trailer like a baby crib…The weather was very mild, about 80 during the day and high 40’s to 50’s at night…On an earlier comment about how much there is to do to break camp and set up camp, I have to take my hat off to you…This weekend we used our awning for the FIRST time since we have had our trailer (10 years)…whew, it took two of us to put it back…I usually takes two of us an hour to break camp and put everything way, hook up and get ready to move…I was thinking while we were messing around with the awning, that you do this by yourself. I am not sure how you are going to get to the 395, but when you do, it is going to be beautiful…we will be up the 395 the last week in May, just so you know, I like to keep you updated on our travels so we do not have the appearance of stalking you..ha!. Where ever you go, go with our love and prayers…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Sounds absolutely wonderful, Shirlene! So glad your timing was good for the flowers, and the weather good, too. I’ll have to see those flowers someday. I don’t plan on going 395 this spring. I’ll do that next spring!

      Thanks for the kind words and the report. Very helpful for me and others, I’m sure, when planning. And fun to read!

      • Shirlene says:

        Thank you so much for the explanation above…I have printed it up because when it comes time that I need it again, I will probably not be able to find it, and I know that it took a considerable amount of time to write all the valuable information…

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I should perfect it and put it on a page from the header. I have to wait until all my readers have Benchmarks. 😉

  81. Gail says:

    Hi Sue,
    I can’t believe that you have the patience and interest to answer all the comments that your readers post! Almost 300 this time alone! I live in the PNW on the Olympic Peninsula, and long to be somewhere else ! Isn’t it interesting that we home bodies always want to go somewhere else even though we live in a perfectly beautiful area? I do agree, though, that Western Washington and Oregon are incredibly beautiful. Last spring in late April I went on a waterfall tour on the North Umpqua and Little Rivers, and it was spectacular. If you haven’t seen them, it’s worth a visit….only downside for RV’ers up here is the lack of boondocking places…. but I know you already know that. Hope you enjoy our area again!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gail,

      It’s understandable that you “long to be somewhere else.” New experiences, new places… I crave that, too.

      I try to reply to all the comments because I appreciate readers writing to me.

  82. Roger Kortes says:

    Hi Sue… I just happened upon your blog (RV.net referral) and I am truly enjoining the journey. I am uber impressed with your tenacity, frugal nature, and staying true to your mission of traveling and blogging. Your blog has opened up my eyes to many future adventures for my wife and I in our RV travels. Although I don’t see going as a full-time “traveler” in retirement, once I leave my job as a middle school teacher and my wife cuts her ties from nursing, we plan on hitting the road 6 to 8 months of the year during our 60s (at least).

    One point that struck home with me was your presentation of Internet Spoiler Syndrome (ISS). This is a topic of great “debate” (I’m being nice) between my wife and I when we travel. She likes to gather so much intelligence and information on places we are traveling to that I sometimes feel it greatly diminishes the need to go there. You brought this up on your visit to Goblin Valley. I, on the other hand, like to minimize my cyber journey so that I am surprised when we arrive. Did you coin “ISS”? …. Brilliant!! 🙂 We had fun chatting and laughing about it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Roger,

      I welcome you and your wife to my blog! I’m delighted that you took the time to introduce yourselves and to let me know you’re enjoying our travels. I don’t know if you picked up on the fact that I was a middle school teacher, too. 🙂

      It thrills me when a reader says my blog has opened their eyes or expanded their horizons or revealed a new way to enjoy life. That is very rewarding for me because I remember when I discovered this way of life and the possibilities it provides. Good luck with planning for your retirement.

      I don’t think I coined the term, Internet Spoiler Syndrome. I understand it though. One thing I don’t like is when readers suggest I go somewhere and they write all about it in a comment, maybe even posting a link to a video of the place, thus taking the “surprise” out of my future blog posts should I choose to go there. I’ve changed my itinerary based on that. Silly, I know. I want my readers to feel like they are riding along with me and therefore they aren’t supposed to know what’s around the bend in the road! 🙂

      I have to do a certain amount of online research in order to choose good boondocks. Once I find the info I need, then I stop looking. I guess you could say I’m in between you and your wife on that subject! Another thing re: ISS…. You could call it VCSS…. That’s Visitor Center Spoiler Syndrome. I usually wait a few days before going to the Visitor Center. Like here at Pahranagat… I want to be delighted by the surprise appearance of a bird, rather than know I could see one from the display at the Visitor Center and then go look for it.

      Anyway…. nice chatting with you, Roger. Regards to your wife…

      • Roger says:

        Thanks for the quick reply… it really is rather amazing that you make and take the time to respond to everyone. Thank you for that.

        Yes, I did read about your middle school teaching background which helps me understand and explains you having ninja like reactions to dealing with problems and adversity like the time you gracefully dealt with the guy who freaked out because you accidentally parked in a NOT so clearly marked handicap spot. There’s tough… and then there’s middle school teachers!

        I agree with the whole researching places to go and stay on the net. We have found many amazing places, mostly in the West, by poking around the net. I just don’t turn over every rock before we get there. My wife, Barbara, although a great traveler, is not one for surprises… ying and yang I guess.

  83. kgdan says:

    Hi, Sue,
    The weather in the Yakima Valley is pretty dependable from the end of April on. Fresh asparagus ready then through mid June. Cherries arrive toward end of June, then apricots, peaches. Fresh veggies emerge then as well. Mid summer is cantaloupe, watermelon, corn time. Apples in fall. If you see apples for sale in the summer they are coming out of cold storage. It usually gets very warm at the end of July, all of August & September. Of course the mountains are wonderful in the summer. I believe you experienced White Pass last trip. Suggest you try Ohanapacosh camping and a drive up to Paradise at Mt. Rainier. Hope it wouldn’t be too crowded for you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Now there’s information I can use! Thank you! I can plan accordingly. Travel by fruit. Ha! I think it was the crowds and the no-dogs-on-trails rule that kept me from Paradise last visit. Plus I enjoyed that camp on the Tieton so much that I was running out of time to tour the Olympic Peninsula and take the ferry and all that I wanted to do! Gee, I’m getting excited!

    • Barb (snowbird from Wa) says:

      seconding that!! Beautiful campground.

  84. weather says:

    May as well shoot for 300 again 🙂 Hi Sue!You seem to have that ask and ye shall receive something on here thing down pat-you mention a UK reader would be nice to include-hint hint-and get one.My turn.I’d like to know your(and anyone else that cares to answer’s)all time favorite water sighting and why .

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Can I say two?

      1) My first sight of the ocean as a child on the coast of Maine

      2) My first sight of the Rogue River in Oregon, a river I dreamed of camping beside one day. 🙂

      ALL TIME FAVORITE WATER SIGHTINGS? Anyone?

      BTW, I have a new post ready. When we reach 300 comments, I’ll hit the publish button.

      • weather says:

        Did your folks take the three sisters to Maine during your summer vacation from school?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Yes, my parents and my aunt and uncle with their two girls. That made five girl cousins. The aunt is the one who will turn 93 soon.

          I remember one trip to Maine. Sister Pauline says there were more.

          • weather says:

            Lord,some families,like ours back then, had it made compared to the next generation,living in

            the good ol’ days when Daddy’s really never went away ,promises were something people kept and not just words they’d say-

            from the Judd’s song

    • weather says:

      Mine’s kinda weird considering I’ve had so many-your reply about raising a teen,working,having the world on your shoulders brought it to mind.In San Diego,raising my own, I had the ocean whenever I wanted,but it took more time than I often could spare.I’d drive through Balboa Park while they were misting the jacaranda trees…that purple world would so take my soul where I needed to it be that carrying on was doable again for awhile.

  85. AZ Jim says:

    Rollin, rollin, rollin….Keep that Casita rollin……

  86. Shirlene says:

    Oh boy a game, I want to play….maybe I can make it 290 comments and then the rest will come….Water sighting, like in lake, Ocean, stream (ah, there’s my niche)…water spout, seen a few of those off Huntingon Beach, and of course that freak snow/hail storm that had the beach white, that was trippy…Anyway, I hope everyone has a good night.

    Weather, you are a hoot lately…stay warm, you are almost at the end of a great white journey and then off on many wonderful new roads.

    • weather says:

      Neat how you can have the ocean any old day,yet cover your world white and it’s a whole different one…

  87. rvsueandcrew says:

    We have reached 300 comments. Time for a new post! Thanks everyone for your participation! Love y’all . . . .

  88. Jenny J says:

    was hoping you might help me with Amazon Links — just started rewriting my blog. would you email me at elevenfootrv@gmail.com – would appreciate any assistance in setting it up–feel free to delete this post but this is the only way I knew to contact you
    Thanks much – I look forward to hearing from you.
    Jenny J

  89. Glinda says:

    That Reggie is too cute!
    He ‘s a lucky little fellow to have a sweet loving family.
    I bet he smiles in his sleep.

  90. Barb (snowbird from Wa) says:

    SO TRUE!! I love maps too. And, you said it GREAT it’s fun to plan, but not always easy. Well said. The Pacific Northwest. My home 🙂 We had an experience with elevation lol We WERE in Monument Valley and camped at Gooseneck Park. Went to a place near Monticello UT and it was about 6,000 ft elevation. C-c-c-c-OLD! we’re now closer to Moab and much warmer. You’d like it here except for now…and the next week when the yearly Jeep Safari started today hehehe We did NOT know this till we got to a visitor center and they told us “good luck findin a spot” yikes. We did find a great one with a view of a mountain with snow and it’s lower elevation and warm.

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