The creative art of doing nothing

Bridget and I step outside of the Best Little Trailer for some fresh air.

Spike is still in bed, fast asleep.  With his poor hearing, he’s unaware of our departure.  I don’t intend to go far, just wander around the campsite and look at the creek with my camera, ready for anything that catches my interest.  I leave the door open for Spike to join us when he wakes up.


Well, first thing you know, Bridget and I are on our way up Dandelion Hill.

I bring my camp chair.   I still don’t have much stamina, which may be the altitude.  I don’t know.   Even if it is the altitude, we’re staying.  We like it here.


Further up the hill I see what look like white stars low to the ground and waving in the breeze.

“Hey, Bridge.  Let’s check that out.”

I plod further up the hill with Bridget right behind me.


I discover, much to my delight, white columbine flowers.  Up to this point, I’ve only seen them in books.  They’re larger than I imagined, about 3-4 inches across.


I see some more, we go take a look . . . I see some more, we go over there.  You get the picture.  I zig-zag all over, same as the day I went nuts looking for red cactus blooms.


Satisfied I’ve got the photos I want, I go back to the chair and plop down.

A cloud of dust hovers above the road that climbs the mountain.  A rumble and the beep-beep of a back-up signal reveals road work in progress.


Well, I was going to take a drive up that way today, but I think I’ll wait until the road is fixed.

As I’m sitting in the chair among the dandelions, watching the front-end loader repeatedly scrape the road and dump its load, I hear a strange cry, like a whimper, only louder, if that’s possible.

What IS that?  I strain my ear to that direction.


I grab my chair and hustle on down the hill.

Bridget quickly takes the lead.  What in the world could be wrong?  I follow the sound to inside the BLT.  Spike rushes to meet us at the door.

“Spikey!  What’s wrong, little boy?”  I make a visual scan. He looks fine.  “Did you miss us?”

Bridget hops into the BLT.

She gives Spike happy kisses on his face, prancing around, tail spinning.  I love it when she does that!  I pat, scratch, and rub Spike’s body, sending loud words of love into his ear.

Spike cheerfully barks for his breakfast.

Well, that was odd.  Usually he doesn’t give a hoot where we are, how we’re doing, or whether we ever come back.  There’s a tender heart underneath that aloof manner.  Or maybe he’s just hungry . . .

This is the first overcast day since we arrived last Monday.

I’m keeping an eye of the sky in the event storm clouds move in.  Take a look at all the dry timber on the mountain behind our camp.  Yikes.


You can bet, if we have an electrical storm here, I’ll interrupt my napping to be on the look-out for any hint of fire.  Just another responsibility of the safety-conscious boondocker!  Dang, I bet dead fir trees burn very quickly.

Location, location, location!

All I’m doing these days is sleeping, eating, drinking, hovering over a laptop, and stumbling around with a camera in hand.  Doing nothing is enough for me when the doing occurs in a beautiful, peaceful, natural setting like this.



A big THANK YOU for every purchase, large or small, made through my blog!  Here’s a look at what readers have bought through my links to Amazon.

Corelle Kobe Square 16-Piece Dinnerware Set
Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Scanner for PC and Mac
Twin Window Fan with Remote Control
Seven Men
Fresh Cab Mouse Pouch Rodent Repellent – 4 Pk
24-Inch Digital HDTV, LED AC / DC TV with DVD Player Full HD


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78 Responses to The creative art of doing nothing

  1. rvsueandcrew says:

    I apologize if you wanted to comment earlier and couldn’t. The comments feature was off. I had to do a system restore to get it back on.

  2. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Are you there???????? Ollie Ollie oxen free!

    The art of doing nothing is called………… on less and enjoying life more.

    Ah..nothing is more refreshing than a morning walk. Bridget always knows her way home! She’s a doll!

    Love the little Christmas tree and the white columbine flowers. Your camera captures such vivid colored pictures.

    Poor Spike probably woke up…and freaked when you and Bridget weren’t there. Then he played it off and asked for his breakfast.

    In the picture with the BLT…why does it look like some of the trees are bare?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Finally got the comments thing fixed. It must have rebelled against having to work so hard!

      The trees are bare because they’re dead. That’s why I’m going to be on the look-out for fire if there’s an electrical storm. I don’t know why they died. The trees on the other peaks around us are fine.

  3. Connie & Mugsy says:

    I wonder if the trees are dead from a previous fire…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      They don’t look charred. The best I can tell from a distance, they still have their limbs. I would get my monocular and take a closer look, only right now it’s raining.

      • Rita from Phoenix says:

        We had infestation of bark beetles for about five years now killing pine trees. They say it’s due to warm temp. & drought and the trees not making as much sap to help ward off disease/infestation.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Interesting. I wonder what eats bark beetles.

          • CT says:

            We’ve had a terrible bark beetle infestation for years in the Colorado mountains. Apparently there’s no effective way to kill them, they don’t have any natural predators here. It’s sad to see so many dead trees & they really are a fire hazard. You have to watch carefully for lightening strikes & smoke.

  4. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Dead fir trees….I got it…. duh!

    I was thinking that also……but the others are untouched…so my guess would be some disease or bug is chomping away.

  5. Dawn says:

    Sounds lovely to me. Here I was worried Spike would wander away while you were taking pictures of the beautiful white columbine! He’s too smart for that, I know…but I was still worried. Yep, good to stay vigilant. Forest fires are scary. Sure is beautiful there though!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It is beautiful here. It seems like every day we discover a new wildflower which is a big treat for me as most of them are new to me.

  6. Chris says:

    Sue, just for grins I have tried to spot that little white pumping station and the bridge on Google Maps/Earth, by looking at the spots where the road crosses over Cottonwood Creek. Have you by chance found your spot on Google Maps?


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      HI Chris . . . Yes, I found our spot but not to the degree that I can see the pump house becaue I haven’t downloaded Google Earth. What I looked at was an online topo map as I was curious about the mountains around here. I could see Cottonwood Creek. I pinpointed our location by elevation and the road.

      Oh, there are just so many ways to have fun with rvsue and her canine crew!

      • Chris says:

        May I ask what online topo map you use?


        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Oh gosh, I don’t know what it was, Chris. I think I was curious how far it is from here to Mt. Pleasant (potentially the area of our next camp) so I did a search and the map popped up. I don’t have a regular online map I use. I rely mostly on my atlas.

  7. tinycamper says:

    Sue, where you are now is the most beautiful place you’ve ever stayed to me. I get lost in your photos!

    Poor Spikey. My little Sunny is going blind. It’s hard to watch them age, isn’t it?

    But wow! What a long way Bridget has come. I am so impressed with her.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m sorry about Sunny. Yes, it is hard to see age creep up on Spike. I don’t have a clue how to prepare myself for the day he’s gone. He’s such a big part of every day, as you know.

      Yeah, the Bridge is quite a gal. She’s no longer the nervous little baby.

      • AZ Jim says:

        I have suffered through the loss of many pets both dogs and cats over the years. The last three died as I held them in my arms. I am not a weak man but I cried like a baby. It took weeks before I could even speak of them without tearing up. I still see them in my mind and love them. A friend of mine sent me this when I lost my Annie…..I like to think it is true…

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Crying for those we love is never a sign of weakness. Thank you for the link, Jim.

          • cinandjules (NY) says:

            Az Jim..I’m sure your feelings are the same as many here.

            Honestly.. without sounding callous..we have cried harder at the lost of our pets than our two legged friends.

            We have so many waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge.

            There is no way to prepare oneself for when that day happens. I think about it now and my SaraAnn is only 10.

            • AZ Jim says:

              I understand. They become so dear to us. When I meet them all at Rainbow Bridge, it will be a mob scene of wet tongues of my dogs and legs being rubbed by one or all of my lost kitties. I am an old man so it won’t be all that long. I have always had a pet or many at one time. I don’t now because I will not strand one here without me to continue to spoil them.

            • cinandjules (NY) says:

              Oh my god ya’ll made me get all choked up.

              One, even at a young age, has to make arrangements for our “kids” in case something happens.

              If you don’t have family available and you want to get another for company…I will gladly take care of him/her when that time comes. My sister lives in PHX.

              Think about it….seriously.

  8. Becky says:

    What a beautiful site!! I love the peace and solitude of the area. You have a gift/talent to find the most wonderful sites! Bridget and Spike seem like such wonderful traveling companions. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m learning that there are a lot of wonderful, peaceful, and private places to camp in our national forests. The people at the national forest offices are an important resource. I appreciate them suggesting this place for me.

  9. Ron says:

    When I use to hunt in the mountains it took at least three days to get use to the thin air.
    Great camp spot.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s what I’m hoping, Ron… that by tomorrow or the next day I’ll be back to normal. What threw me off the altitude sickness were the body aches like one gets with the flu. The aching is gone, so maybe now it’s just a matter of becoming acclimated to this elevation.

      • EmilyO of KS says:

        It use to be, in the recent past, when I was at high altitudes of over 6,000 feet and had a lot of aches, I learned it was due to lack of oxygen in my system. I learned to take it slow and do lots of deep breathing periodically. My body seems to adjust real fast to the 5-6000 foot range. I haven’t been to that high an elevation since I got my pacemaker, so am anxious to learn how I do now with a “helper” getting oxygen into my system at what would be a faster rate. Love your serenity.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi Emily,

          I guess I haven’t taken this altitude and its effects on the body that seriously. I appreciate you telling me about deep breathing. I’m going to do that regularly throughout the day and whenever I camp in mountains again.

  10. Don in Okla. says:

    I would imagine the dead trees are caused by the mountain pine beetle infestation. That is part of the reason for the terrible fires in the forests of several states. Please keep tuned to the local news for reports of fires in your area.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for your concern, Don. I always evaluate the pros and cons of a boondock. This one offers solitude and quiet among other things. It also provides easy access to a good, wide exit road in the event evacuation were necessary. I’m glad I’m parked where the fire trucks get their water and next to the main road up the mountain, rather than way off in the woods on a spur road.

  11. AZ Jim says:

    I did come here earlier and saw the no comments sign and I thought maybe you were taking a sabbatical from us. Glad you’re back though. Sure like your location and looks like the furry ones do too. Take care Sue….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, I’d never block my good readers like that! And when I realized it was off I knew that’s the impression it gave so I scrambled to fix it. You take care, too, Jim.

  12. Donna D. (stickhouse in CT) says:

    Awww, poor puppy Spike. He was all confused.

    I just had a thought, I wonder if the change in altitude affects the pets too? So glad you are getting back to normal. I was doing some research and apparently it’s similar to getting the bends for divers.

    Not enough people know or understand the art of doing nothing and taking the time to just BE. Being able to do that, at least occasionally, enhances life immeasurably!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s hard to say if the altitude bothers the crew. Bridget is as frisky and bright-eyed as always. Spike is more like me. He’s taking more naps and for longer periods of time.

      Doing nothing in this place allows my spirit to absorb the peacefulness of nature. If I had been up to par the past few days, I would have been outside more “doing nothing”. I need that in order to maintain my equilibrium.

  13. Elizabeth aka E2/etwo says:

    What a lovely little family you are with your canine crew! Sometimes I wish I had
    trained my big orange & white Maine Coon Cat to a leash. Clyde weighs about 13 – 14 lbs. He is just over 6 years old now and pretty mellow…. the kitten has grown into a
    big mature King Clyde of our lives!
    I suppose I could still get him to go outside on a leash…. Right now it is very hot here in S.E. NM… last few days and the next few…. well over 100*…. The A.C. is up & running by noon and off again a bit before midnight….

    I love the silence when weather permits….. also love playing my awesome Arranger Keyboard at Happy Hour every afternoon, and at home while Clyde is stretched out under my chair with his tail keeping good time with the music! This is a good little R.V. Community… It is good to be with others who are aging and might need some help now and then. Probably my days of traveling like you do are over. It has been a good run of nearing 30 years living the RV life. From 1983 till 2000, I did what you are doing as much as possible….
    I loved the boondocking out by myself in the beauty and the silence….. Thanks Sue for sharing your lovely life with all of us who have grown to love you and your little furkids…..
    Elizabeth aka E2/etwo

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      E2, you sound like a person who’s going to get the most out of your life, no matter the circumstances. Good for you! How wonderful to have the musical talent and skill and also the willingness to share it. You bring fun and merriment to other people.

      Over 100 degrees? I lose track of the seasons as you probably remember experiencing yourself. I bet Clyde enjoys the A/C as much as you do!

      Great to see you here, Elizabeth.

  14. Mary Ann (Pontotoc, MS) says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Elizabeth–you and the crew are a wonderful little family! I’m glad the body aches are gone and that you’re giving yourself time to rest. Everything else can wait, and I’m sure the crew are glad to have a little extra nap time. Bridget is such a good girl comforting Spike–it probably made her feel important 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Bridget is a highly-sensitive soul. She knows my moods and adjusts her behavior in reaction. Sometimes when I’m intense at typing, Bridget sits next to me, leaning against me, eyes radiating tenderness.

      She looks after Spike with tenderness, too. She’s happy when he’s happy, and sometimes she scolds his behavior with snarls. Ha!

      A thoughtful comment, Mary Ann. I appreciate you dropping by.

  15. Laura says:

    I stumbled upon your site quite by accident but, I have enjoyed reading your thoughts. Thank you!!

    My K9 family(2 big labs), husband and I just spent two weeks in Fort Collins Colorado. We were all vacationing in our RV. After being at altitude for over a week my biggest fairy boy started to look a little car sick and threw up. I didn’t realize what was going on until the next morning and I woke up hot, cold, sweating and nauseous. We were both experiencing altitude sickness….:-( After rehydrating and spending one day “Down for the count” we were both back to 100%. I guess you never know when but it will get you.

    I’m wishing you a healthy, happy and safe journeys…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Welcome to my blog, Laura!

      I’m surprised to learn one can get altitude sickness after a week. I need to keep a close eye on Spike and Bridget. Too bad your vacation included sickness, but it’s good to know you bounced back so quickly.

      Thanks for writing. I hope you drop in again!

  16. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    While driving up into the mountains you need to stop the PTV every so often, get out and take a walk. This will acclimate you to the higher altitude. I use to get a rip roaring headache that would not go away until I went down in elevation or learned this secret. This secret can be given away and shared to all 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I promise to practice that method from now on, Joe. I may be going into town in a day or so. There are places where I can stop and get out to walk around on the way back up here. I’ll let the crew out so they can walk, too.

  17. Ladybug says:

    Sue, I don’t remember….are you before or after the Joes Valley Reservoir?? (sorry, don’t have the Google Earth to play with! LOL)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Joe’s Valley Reservoir is to the east of our camp, on the other side of the Wasatch Plateau.

  18. Nivrapa in AZ says:

    Hi Sue,

    What a great location you have! Such a pretty, cool, and isolated spot you’ve claimed for you and the crew. I laughed out loud at your sleeping in flannel PJs in June. Now, that’s my kind of country!

    I have experienced altitude sickness on several occasions and know that it sure can slow you down until you’re adjusted. I think that your recent trip into Ephraim and back into the altitude may be causing you some lingering effects. When you first navigated up the mountain to locate a new campsite, you were probably going more slowly as you were looking for a site that met all your criteria. You even stopped off at Lake Hill Campground for a time before deciding to keep on going. By the time you discovered your precious gem of a site, enough time had elapsed to begin the adjustment to 9,000 feet or so. Your recent trip back down to the WalMart you probably made in a lot less time and came right back up to your site. You made several altitude changes in a brief amount of time not allowing yourself (or the crew) to make any adjustments. That payback is the muscle aches, malaise, headache one experiences until the body can make the adjustments of dealing with less oxygen than it’s accustomed to. Sleep, Tylenol, and hydration will help get you through the adjustment. You will, however, continue to tire easily due to the decreased oxygen at your altitude. Eventually, your body learns how to compensate but that transition needs a few weeks to occur. Your mileage may vary (YMMV). Mean while, just take it slow and easy and you’ll do well.

    BTW, I’m able to see your location on Google earth, right down to the little creek and pump house. Your blog provides me with so much entertainment! Reading your posts is a bright spot in my days. Thanks for sharing!


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Audrey… So good to see you here again!

      Your explanation about the quick change in altitude makes a lot of sense. You’re right. The first trip up the mountain was slow and with a break at Lake Hill Campground. On the way back from Wally World, I didn’t make any stops, wanting to get the groceries in the fridge and I drove faster because I wasn’t towing and looking for a camp.

      You see the pump house? I bet you also see some pretty steep terrain, too.

      I’m glad my blog provides you with good, positive entertainment!

      • Nivrapa in AZ says:

        Yep, I can see the pump house on “your” creek using the street view on Google Earth. It was the landmark I used to identify your site–that and the little U-turn pull off on a creek with a slot for a fire truck to park. Or, in your case the BLT. I see plenty of steep incline and some significant switchbacks on Ephraim Canyon road. That’s the type of adventure I love. Gorgeous country in ‘dem dar hills! LOL

        Love Google Earth and maps of all kinds. Use them to find my own spot out in the boonies with my 13’ Scamp. Don’t own a GPS but it’s on my wish list. When I make the splurge, you can bet you britches that it will be through you and Amazon. It’s the least I can do to say “thanks” for all the work you do on your blog.

        Get yourself a soft, collapsible cooler to store your provisions in when you make a run for supplies. Mine is always in my truck and comes in handy just out ‘n about in town, too. Keeps things chilled nicely, even in the 110* heat coming home from grocery shopping.


  19. Chuck and I made it back from Datil Well campground yesterday! The Silver wildfire smoke is about to turn us around and head us back to Datil. Heard this morning they are considering closing part of I-25 because of the smoke! Wish we were up in the clear air with all the aspens and columbine where you are!

  20. Rebecca says:

    Wow, I didn’t even know you could get men on Amazon, but somebody bought SEVEN of them!

    (Curious about the commission on that order …)


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      They’re even cheaper by the dozen!

      • Teri in SoCal says:

        Wait…you can buy MEN on Amazon? Hope they have overnight shipping on that item.

        • cinandjules (NY) says:

          Too funny indeed.

          Alright………which one of us women here is still looking for Mr Right?

          Fess up!

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            I’m not, but if anyone reading this is, be sure to use one of my links to look for him!

            • Teri in SoCal says:

              I gave up on that about 11 years ago, now at 48 I feel too old. Wish I would have known that I could have ordered them on Amazon! Darn.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I remember thinking 48 was old. Now it seems young.

              BTW, free shipping with Prime Amazon. 🙂

    • gingerda says:

      LOL that is too funny.

      • Donna in CT says:

        I definitely don’t want seven of them! Just one that has learned the lessons life gave him.

        • Timber n' Rusty says:

          Well, I gave up looking for the right lady, so I asked God if He’ll find one that loves him and show me where that lady is, I can wait, a good old fashion type of a lady. ,,,,,,,,,

  21. Mark says:

    Sue, a quick question. We just got back from a trip to the east coast. For the first time in camping I got the van stuck in the mud. Had to wait a couple days for things to dry out. Have you ever been stuck? What precautions do you take when picking a camp?

    Salina ks,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No, I’ve never been stuck (knock on fiberglass). Precautions? Well, I hardly ever camp where no one has camped before. The national forests frown on that. It’s a good practice anyway. The campsites usually are compacted ground.

      Since I hit the road in 2011 I’ve camped in places (and time of year) where I rarely encountered heavy rain (or mud). At Ash Fork, AZ in 2012 I saw a heavy rainstorm brewing. I didn’t like the looks of the ruts at my camp that were made from deep mud that dried. That’s when I asked Rusty for advice. He helped me set up camp a short distance up the road where the chance of getting stuck was less.

      I picked up a clue from your comment . . . “to the east coast.” East coast=Rain. Rain=Mud. 🙂

      I’m particularly careful about driving on sand. Again, I usually can find previous tracks for when I need to turn around, for instance. Sometimes I get out and walk the sand to see if it’s porous and soft. Again, I try to camp on established sites.

      Sorry you had to deal with being stuck, Mark. My day will probably come.

  22. Rob says:

    That first photo with bridge, the road & all the different shades of green was great!

  23. AZ Jim says:

    Gawd, I love this blog. It takes me back on the road as I did when younger and healthier. I had missed it all till I found Sue and her blog . I now travel with my three friends Sue, Spike and Bridget. Thanks for the adventure Sue….

    • cinandjules (NY) says:

      In case you don’t see it…………I left you an important message up there ^^^^^

      • AZ Jim says:

        I did see your message and the sweet offer but I will have to decline at this time. I do feed and water dozens of wild birds including a family of quail. This time of year here the water alone is such a necessity to the doves and all the little birds. I also feed humming birds. Thanks so much for your kind offer. I really appreciate it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Jim. I’m so glad you’re with us.

  24. Joy A. - No. Ca says:

    Wow, someone purchased Seven Men. I might like to have 7 men. Hum, a couple hunks, couple nerds for the electronic stuff and I don’t know maybe the others could just be good fun loving guys.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You sure you don’t want to throw one in there who will cook, clean, and wait on you? This is like the three wishes question . . . need to be very careful what you wish for. 🙂

  25. cinandjules (NY) says:

    That model was discontinued……………… 🙂

  26. DesertHawk - Las Cruces, New Mexico says:

    Wow! Those Columbine flowers are something. Don’t believe we’ve seen any in the Wild either.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The stems are narrow and a color of green that “disappears” which makes the blooms look like floating stars.

  27. Marilu says:

    Hi RV Sue,
    I’m so enjoying your posts from this area. When I was in high school I attended Wasatch Academy, a boarding school in Mt. Pleasant, just a bit up the road from Ephram. Once every fall, on a school day, we would be surprised with an announcement of SCHOOL PICNIC. We would all load up into buses and trucks and head up into the mountains. Ephram Canyon was one of the best picnic spots. I love seeing the pictures of this time of year because I had only seen it in the fall. It is stunning cloaked in golds and reds, by the way. I can’t wait to see where you head next. So many of these Utah sights are like a memory walk through my childhood. Thank you for sharing.
    Northern California

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Marilu,

      It must be absolutely gorgeous here in the fall. How nice that our camps in this area bring back your happy childhood memories. I hadn’t given much thought that the crew and I are often walking down someone’s “memory lane.” I enjoyed reading your comment. You inspire me to take more photos!

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