Sunshine and play among the saguaros

Monday, January 22

Boondock near Why in southern Arizona

Our second day here I unhitch the Best Little Trailer.

In our typical fashion, we don’t go anywhere during our first full day at a new camp.  We have important things to do around home.  (See photos below.)

It isn’t often that Roger lets Reggie be the tough-guy.  Usually Reggie is the one “pinned.” I suspect the warm sunshine after a cold morning has put Big Rog in a lazy mood.

Reggie isn’t a very tough tough-guy.  

What he is doing in these photos is giving Roger some “nibboes.”  In case you aren’t familiar with the term, nibboes are pretend bites applied softly to the neck.  (See illustration below.)

Nibboes are a canine gesture of affection.  (What people do with them is another topic to which we will not go.)

Apparently from the expression on Rog’s face (above) and the result (below), nibboes are very relaxing.

“Well done, Reggie man!”

The above scenario plays out while I’m nearby at the outdoor kitchen. I alternate between handling the griddle spatula and pointing the camera.

Gotta’ keep the peppers from burning and gotta’ capture the crew at play.

In retrospect I see the danger in such a situation.  Fortunately I didn’t aim the spatula at the crew and turn the peppers with my camera.

Tuesday, January  23

The crew and I set out in the Perfect Tow Vehicle and ride the ten miles from Why to Ajo. We don’t have any pressing need to go to town.  Our larder is well-stocked and we have propane and water.

I do have a purpose in mind, however.

A person I know is thinking of relocating to Arizona and asked that I scout out the housing market in Ajo, including a few properties listed online.

The crew and I roll up and down neighborhood streets and stop at houses we find with a “for sale” sign out front.  I’m surprised by how many houses are available!

Readers wonder why we left Midland LTVA (Blythe, CA) so soon.

Part of the reason, besides the house thing, is to camp in the Ajo area again, something we’ve done every year since first boondocking here, with one exception.  Last winter we skipped Ajo.  It’s nice to be back!

Another reason is Skeeter.

That little pup was becoming very attached to the crew.

I figured the longer we made those daily visits, the more difficult it would be for Skeeter (and, to a lesser extent, Roger and Reggie) when the inevitable separation occurred.

~ ~ ~

Later, back at camp . . . .

The boys and I discover signs of wildlife.  

Tracks and scat reveal a band of coyotes passed by our camp, probably last night.  Also we come across rabbit scat.  A rabbit of the cottontail type confirms this as it bounds across the road in front of us.  Roger goes nuts.

We also find tracks of an animal with split hooves.  During a previous camp at this location, I looked out the window of the BLT and saw a couple javelina.  I’ve never seen deer or pronghorns around here, so my guess for those tracks is javelina.  I’d love to get a pic!

Wednesday, January 24

Reg, Rog and I jump into the PTV and go a short distance in order to walk a different road. This is a great adventure for the boys.  I enjoy a walk on a different route, too.  I’m also looking for potential camps for the future.

I find two secluded sites that, although not preferred to the one we’re in now, could serve as back-up choices should we come here and find our present site occupied.

On the return to the PTV, we pause for play.

Again Reggie is the Terminator!

The recent cold winds are gone.

The boys go to bed so early last night that they wake me up for a potty break around two in the morning.  I put them in their harnesses, hook on their leashes, and we step out into the balmy, night air.  The sky is clear of clouds.

Stars shine brightly.

Another reason to visit southern Arizona  . . . . for the sight of a saguaro reaching for a starry sky.



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77 Responses to Sunshine and play among the saguaros

  1. LOVE it out there, and so glad the boys have each other to play with! Your sunshine looks awfully nice. We haven’t had any in a long time here in Michigan.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      I’ve never been to Michigan. From what I hear it sounds a lot like northern New York state.


      • Michigan is very different depending on what part you’re in. In the UP it’s hilly, like upstate NY. The middle of the lower peninsula is flat open farm land. And lower, toward the border with Ohio and Indiana it’s more forested. Except for Detroit of course.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I didn’t know that about the areas of Michigan.

        • Calvin R. says:

          When I read Sue’s comment about northern New York State, I thought of the “lake effect” that we in Ohio have in common with them and with Michigan.

          • Judy J. from S.C. says:

            Makes me think of Dick Goddard, the long-term weatherman from Cleveland. We watched from Canton.

  2. Hi Sue and Crew,
    Roger is so nice to let Reggie be the top dog for a few minutes. It is always so nice to see pictures of them playing together. I’m glad you have found a nice, peaceful, quiet spot to set up in.
    And how nice of you to look at the housing market in a Ajo for someone.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lisa,

      Isn’t it a beautiful day? The lounger is calling my name.

      Roger and Reggie have developed a great relationship. They are very simpatico. 🙂

    • mrdsee in Riverside says:

      Those two go together like peas and carrots.

  3. Pat McClain says:

    Hi everybody! Top 5??

  4. Dawn in NC says:

    Hi Sue! I had to restrain myself in responding to the blog, since I had some work that I had to finish up first! Work done, now we can visit! Your new camp looks really nice, with lots of wild life around. I would love to see a javelina as well. Heck, I’m excited when I see hawks in the sky or chipmunks on the ground. I don’t understand the antipathy some folks have for squirrels and chipmunks. Personally, I love them! My neighbor has this phobia that they will run into her house one day…for what reason I can’t imagine. So, she poisons the ground by putting mothballs all over her front area, and mine. I have decided to pick my battles with her. So, I say nothing, but gag at the smell of moth balls in the summer. I guess that’s how I know that I’m home! The lovely smell of mothballs…LOL 😉

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello again, Dawn!

      Gosh, you’re more tolerant that I’ll ever be. I understand about choosing one’s battle but that neighbor putting out moth balls? That would put me in a fightin’ mood! Reminds me of a neighbor I had — this was an in-town neighborhood — who shot squirrels out of the trees around his house, not far from my kitchen window. The battles I could’ve waged with that pair would’ve overwhelmed my life. I moved.

      Our world would be diminished if there were no squirrels or chipmunks. Okay, they can wreak havoc in one’s attic… I know that. Still, I like ’em!

      • Da says:

        Yeah…my limit was when she kept cutting down my bushes (cutting off ALL green leaves) without asking me. Then, we had a talk!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I can relate! I had a neighbor instruct her landscaper to cut down the hedge that blocked her view of my back yard. And it was my hedge on my property! That was the first day I took occupancy — a sign of what I would deal with as time passed. Neighbors!

    • Lisa, Tommie and Buddy in NJ says:

      well you could always spread a few peanuts on her property…

  5. Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

    Wow….top ten! Hi Sue!

    • Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

      You really are in one of my favorite places! Love seeing the saguaro cactus everywhere! Do you remember where Chuck and I camped? Down in the wash in front of us was a rusty old Radio Flyer wagon! Chuck has mentioned more than once that we should have brought that back to T or C with us for a lawn ornament planted with flowers! 😁 It would have been perfect there, but not here! Enjoy your perfect desert getaway! Wish we were there! Belly rubs to the boys and hugs to you Sue!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Geri,

        We all have those times, I think, when we wish we’d taken an opportunity, even the small ones like a discarded wagon for flowers. As a photographer, I bet you can recall shots you wish you hadn’t missed I know I can!

        I wish you were here, too. You haven’t mentioned Chuck’s pneumonia so I assume he’s rid of it. Hope so!

        • Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

          No, Chuck still is not fully recovered. It really got a hold on him! Just hope no more hospital but Doc Doris,says IV meds would get rid of it quicker! So I am for that! I’ll keep you up to date.

  6. John McDonald in Duluth MN says:

    Hi Sue, My wife and I are camped at Coyote Howls East. Cheers John

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The little ol’ town of Why is popular this time of year. You two enjoy this gorgeous day!

  7. Debbie from So. Cal. says:

    Sue it is so sweet of you to put Skeeter’s reaction to the separation over what would be easier for you. You are truly an example of an animal lover, from little abandoned chihuahua to nervous mama sheep. I’m sending you a appreciative hug.

  8. ReneeG from Idaho says:

    Well, not quite first, but in the top ten again. Now to read.

    • ReneeG from Idaho says:

      Aww, I really enjoyed this one (wait. . . who am I kidding, I enjoy all of them!), but I did! The Nibboes! I once had a dog that would do that to me! Sign of affection for sure. It felt like he was chewing gently. That poor Skeeter, he looks so sad in that photo and it goes so well with your description of why you left. He will never forget Reg and Rog and they won’t either in turn!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Renee,

        This past year I’ve learned how quickly and totally chihuahuas and chihuahua-mixes bond with each other. When Del and I saw it happen with Skeeter and Roger (mostly), I told him he needed to get another chihuahua (His other dogs are old.). He has a very large family who could take over their care, should his dogs outlive him.

        I expect we will see Skeeter again. Both Del and I enjoy winters at Midland LTVA.

        • ReneeG from Idaho says:

          Sue, thank you for the comment on Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes. Someday we will get another dog and the young one we have is a terrier/Chihuahua mix, so another would work out.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Good plan, Renee. I don’t have experience with all breeds, of course, but I do have some with several. I’ve never seen dogs quite like chihuahuas, the way they respond and connect with members of their own breed.

          • Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

            Radar is Chihuahua/papillion mix and what a sweetheart! Tater is a Chihuahua/pug mix and he is one amazing old man! Can’t recommend a mixed breed more if 1/2 or 1/4_of the mix is Chihuahua!

  9. Stephanie Turner OR says:

    Enjoyed the pics. That vicarious travel thing again. Your mention of looking at houses in Ajo piqued my curiosity so I went on line to see what the area looked like. I love house shopping. Some great prices. And then Why. Found on a map but no houses on Is Why residential? I almost moved to AZ a few years back but went in the summer and the heat beat me up. Oregon has a lot of rain but at least no heat stroke! I hope you enjoy your new camp. I’m confident the story of Skeeter, Reg and Roger is not done yet so look forward to next meeting. Take care.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Stephanie,

      Why is such a tiny “town” that I put the word in quotation marks. 🙂 There are no residential neighborhoods as one would expect in a town, other than RV parks and a small cluster of mobile homes. Basically it’s an intersection in practically empty desert. It has a gas station/convenience store, a community center, a cafe, a border patrol station and those RV parks. I probably left something out — others can correct me.

  10. Deena in Phoenix says:

    Hi Sue, ya got me wondering so this is what I found:

    Why, Arizona From Wikipedia

    Why (O’odham: Ban Hi:nk) is a tiny unincorporated rural community in Pima County, Arizona, United States. It lies near the western border of the Tohono O’Odham Indian Reservation and due north of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Southern Arizona. It is approximately 30 miles (48 km) north of the Mexican border where Lukeville, Arizona, and Sonoita, Sonora, Mexico, border each other, and ten miles south of Ajo, Arizona.

    The population in Why at the 2000 census was approximately 116.[

    The town derives its name from the fact that the two major highways, State Routes 85 and 86, originally intersected in a Y-intersection. At the time of its naming, Arizona law required all city names to have at least three letters, so the town’s founders named the town “Why” as opposed to simply calling it “Y.” The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) later removed the old Y-intersection for traffic safety reasons and built the two highways in a conventional T-intersection south of the original intersection.

    It has frequently been noted on lists of unusual place names.

    Isn’t learning wonderful…I like the explanation of Why, I always thought it was a question of “WHY” are we Here? The real truth is more interesting.

    I have always felt this was a great place to get away though I have never been there…your stories have made this neighbor with lots of grand Saguaros and many trails for the Four Paws a delightful place in my mind when I might be getting stressed…it allows me to smile, dream and chill out…What am I says, your blog, pictures and all of the blogorinos give me such joy and happiness. Have a wonderful day Everyone…

    Take Care RVSue and Crew

  11. Fred McMurray says:

    Sue, I have watched the real estate market in Ajo for about 25 years. There have always been a lot of homes on the market. When the Mine shut down, the town started to decline and has every year a little more. The Art Colony concept never took off like it should have. the last recession had a lot to do with that. The town has never Incorporated, this may have hindered goals and direction for the community. Its a great place to spend the winter, very hot in the summer.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for the insight, Fred. I have detected a slight decline in the few years I’ve visited Ajo. The charm is still here, although it could use some dusting off.

  12. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    Sweet Nibboes!
    How nice of you to scope out the neighborhood!
    Do Rog and Reg get up for a pee run in the middle of the night cuz they can’t hold it…or that’s just what they are used to?
    Skeeter…what a sweetie pie.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      To answer your question about middle of the night pee pee runs — I think it’s both. I notice there’s always a night run during the first night at a new camp. One of them wakes up and decides it would be good to make a camp security check. That’s my boys! 🙂

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        Angel never has middle of the night pee runs. It might be different if we were on the road. As it is, I take her out at 10:30 and we go to bed. The little sleepy head doesn’t get out of our bed until DH gets up, usually around 8:00am. I get up earlier than that.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Aha! Angel stays up a lot later than Reggie and Roger. My boys go to bed as early as 6:30 sometimes so it’s not surprising they don’t always make it until morning. I’m up between 6 and 7 these days. They get up then or a little later.

  13. Calvin R says:

    My first comment didn’t go on the sub-thread where it should have, and the first time I tried, it gave me stress about the captcha. I don’t mind the arithmetic a bit, though. The “regular” captcha graphics are illegible to me.

    It looks as if R & R feel totally at home. I’m glad and the pictures are fun. I’ll use “nibboes” in another context one of these days. Of course, I enjoy every picture of the saguaros. As best I understand, night photography is more difficult (that’s all I know), but if you get the right chance, the saguaro against a night sky would be beautiful.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Calvin,

      I hear ya’ about the Captcha pictures– Check all the boxes that contain a window. I’m twisting my head sideways — Is that a window? Sheesh.

      Math rocks! 🙂

      I might try a photo of saguaro with starry sky. My camera is set on auto most of the time. Remember the cow photo? In reality it was much darker. My camera added light to “help.” 🙂 I’ll have to fiddle around and set it for a night shot.

      I saw your skip over the nibboes reference. Ha! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I moved your other comment where I think you wanted it placed.

  14. Chuck says:

    Hi Sue! We get nibboes on fingers,toes,etc from our two. Don’t give them to each!! Just their humans! Pix makes miss not being on the road, loved Ajo area! Give those 2 cuties a hug and a treat from Radar and ‘Tater. With the cold here, Radar looks like a Koala bear!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I bet Tater is like a hot potato on a cold winter’s night. Hugs to all… and nibboes, too! 🙂

  15. rvsueandcrew says:

    Message to Rusty n’ Piper . . . .

    How are you? Drop us a line or two, okay?

  16. Yes, it’s good that you didn’t confuse the duties while cooking and clicking! The pics are adorable.

    Deja vu as you and the Bayfield Bunch are once again boondocking in the area.

    Wild pigs make me more nervous than any other critters but it would be fun to get a pic of one – from a distance!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jodee,

      Yeah, I thought about facing down a herd of javelina while we walked a wash with high sides. Not a pleasant picture. I can see me posting a photo of a javelina charge straight at the camera. 🙁

  17. Ed says:

    When I stayed at Ajo Heights RV Park the winter of 2011-2012 I saw a lot of javalina near the park and the wash south of Olsens. Always in the twilight of morning, before sunrise.

    I have never seen any while staying at Hickiwan Trails but most of my morning walks have been along highway AZ 86. A few donkey sightings there however and had a regular coyote visitor for a week or two.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I suppose the javelina are attracted to garbage in town. Plenty of coyotes around our camp. They yip and howl shortly after sunset and before dawn. We come across burrows they’ve dug up, their tracks and scat.

  18. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Such sweet photos of Reg & Rog loving and playing. I really like that Saguaro reaching to the sky with the mountain as a back drop. Don’t have time to read the comments right now, but will check back tomorrow for them.

  19. Claire says:

    Really, really like your blog. Just found you and couldn’t be happier.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Welcome, Claire! I’m always excited to see someone new come through the door. Visit often!

  20. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    You had me laughing…”turn the peppers with my camera…”. Ha! 🙂

    Nibboes…my previous little girl Westie loved to lie on me, her nose presssed into the side of my neck and snuggle. She would then give my earlobe a quick nibble..her love bite. She would fall asleep, snuggled so close, snoring softly…some of my best memories of my sweetheart. Gracie pup is a cuddler, too. She demands her “mommy time”, where she is snuggled on either my lap (mandatory petting, of course!) or legs if I am lying down. Gracie is very loving, too, and is generous with her kisses. She is my little shadow, has to be at my side all the time. I love her dearly! 🙂

    Have a good night, Sue! Sending you, Reggie, and Roger love and hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

  21. MB from VA says:

    Hi Sue,
    This is off topic but maybe a subject for another post sometime……

    I was cleaning my tiny home this morning….like REALLY cleaning it…..actually moving things instead of dusting around them. 😉 I started thinking about the “special” things I had kept…..things that has passed allllll the steps of downsizing I had taken. Some things are no brainers…..some were a little strange but when I thought about it, I understood why I kept them.

    That thought process made me think about your readers who are, either already living the full-time or tiny lifestyle….or are in the process of downsizing. I wondered what things got to the final phase with them. I have several but the ones that stand out are two handmade dolls, a family picture that I wouldn’t take a million dollars for….though no one would offer! LOL! And my dad’s Christmas sweater. That man loved Christmas.

    And along those lines, I wondered how other people who are “living tiny” make their space “personal” with the limited space.

    Your post was awesome as usual.
    Have a great day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, MB,

      First off, there’s no “off topic” here. 🙂 The short answer to your question about things you can’t or don’t want to part with — I gave that stuff to family members. If a family member has it in safe-keeping, can visit the precious item when you visit them. Of course, not everyone has family.

      When this question has been asked in the past, blogorinos suggested taking photos of treasured items before handing them to someone else, including putting old photos on CDs. For a few items. like your Dad’s Christmas sweater — take them with you! If two handmade dolls or whatever become, over time, “in the way,” you can make a decision later what to do with them.

      It’s difficult for me to address your last paragraph’s topic about making a space personal. I don’t bother with that, other than hanging a calendar on the wall that I picked up at Family Dollar. Ha! Really… My home becomes “personal” by the memories that are stored within it.

      Your comment is near the end of this post’s conversation so there might not be much of a response. I’ll ask anyway…

      Blogorinos: What to do with treasured items? How do you make your tiny space personal?

      • Dawn in NC says:

        I’d love to have a good strategies for this as well. I am not in the process of downsizing yet, but have filled my small space as much as I want to with heirlooms and momentos. Right now what I have started doing is to not accept things that have no value to me…silverware, store made dolls, etc. I try to focus on what carries the most memories. It doesn’t help that I have lots of stuff still aiming to come my way. I’d be really interested in what others have to say!

        • MB from VA says:

          Hi Dawn!

          Yes…as the oldest granddaughter, many things came to me even before my grandparents’ and parents’ death. But I have no one to give most of the things to….so I sold some. I gave some to friends or extended family. I gave some to Goodwill type organizations and threw some away. What I’m left with are not the “valuable” things at all. But they do bring a smile. 🙂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Good strategy, Dawn, “to not accept things that have no value to me.”

          I’ll try to remember to bring up this topic in a future post… Maybe not the next one, but soon, so we can gather suggestions. 🙂

      • MB from VA says:

        I remember reading about taking pictures of things you’ve let go but for me that doesn’t work well. I gave away, sold and threw away many things while downsizing…..some made friends’ jaws drop. But, for me, when it’s gone, it’s gone. But I see how it would be great for others.

        When I think of you…..I remember how much fun you had when you got the new comforter and things that had the same color schemes….it’s most often the small things that make us happy if we’ll let them. 😉

        Take care Sue and enjoy your day!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thanks, MB. You enjoy your day, too.

          “it’s most often the small things that make us happy.. . .” so true!

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, MB,

      I am not “living tiny” but have been working on downsizing my stuff. It is amazing what one can collect over time! Much of my process has been like yours….keep what speaks to my heart, pass items on to family or friends, donate, sell, or pitch. Books, CDs, games, LPs, and DVDs were sold to 2nd and Charles for store credit the year before last….that store credit was used to purchase Christmas gifts. Sorted through my clothes, linens, and kitchen. I am in the process of sorting through more stuff with the goal of having a yard sale the first Sat of March. I have even inspired my best friend to do the same….she will join me with her stuff; whatever does not sell, we will donate to a thrift store. I agree with Dawn about not accepting things that she does not treasure….I have recently turned down the opportunity to take several family heirlooms. One of my sisters was shocked that I did not want the items. Regarding your Dad’s sweater…..I understand. One of my Dad’s shirts sits folded on the top of my dresser. Being able to hug the shirt as needed gives me comfort…may sound crazy to anyone else, but that does not matter! 🙂

  22. weather says:

    It must be such fun for Reggie to pin Roger sometimes, though his sunny disposition allows him to enjoy all playtime. It would be neat for you to see javelina again, and nice if you got the chance to get that in a photo. It wouldn’t surprise me if that happens at some point in time, you really have had some amazing sightings and experiences with animals!

    Your place there has such a nice setting, I like how you’re tucked in among those saguaros. In the first photo the BLT really looks at home there.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, weather,

      I had to smile at your mention of the BLT looking at home among the saguaros. I think maybe that is a characteristic of the BLT that attracted me. The roundness and small size can be tucked into places which results in our home being embraced by the natural surroundings.

      Javelina come through here at night. I see fresh tracks in the morning. I’m tempted to put fruit out to lure them (although I’d probably bring coyotes instead), but it is NEVER a good idea to feed wild animals for the idle purpose of seeing them. I know you know that. It’s better anyway to live quietly with awareness until . . . “Oh, wow! There they are!” 🙂

      I can say the same to you . . . “Your place there has such a nice setting.” Blessings to you, weather…

  23. Rover Ronda (WA) says:

    I think that’s my Fitbit! Spent my 🎄Christmas $$😃

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