The things one sees on the way to Hovenweep

Sunday, April 20

The crew and I travel north from Bluff, Utah, on Highway 191 and take a right onto Highway 282.  It’s a beautiful Easter Sunday, an ideal day for a leisurely drive to Hovenweep National Monument.

I’m not much interested in the monument.

I know I should be.  It’s a special place.  I could pretend that I’m interested, but to be honest, I’m living too much in the present these days.  I’m interested in the landscape and what I see along the way.  Hovenweep gives us a destination.

The route takes us through the sagebrush of McCracken Mesa.

Oh, a herd of horses . . . what beauties!

1-DSC03759 - CopyI love taking photos of horses.

1-DSC03758 - CopyThere’s a foal with pretty stockings!

1-DSC03763 - CopyMomma watches me while baby has a little snack.

1-DSC03756 - CopySpeaking of snack . . .

I packed a sandwich of pepper jack cheese with spicy mustard on rye.  Not a traditional Easter dinner, but I’m happy with it!

More sage, lovely view, more sage . . .

Hmm . . . What’s that up ahead by the side of the road?


1-DSC03774A bell hangs on the neck of one of the sheep and clangs with every move.

Is this a fun ride or what?

We reach Hatch Trading Post.

This amounts to a few buildings and several head of black cattle in pens. Further along, at a small cluster of homes, these two curious pups race out to the road.

1-DSC03783I stop, bring down the window, take their photo, and scold, “What are you two devils doing out here?  Are you in charge of this road?”

The landscape changes dramatically as we drop down into Steer Canyon.

1-DSC03781One thing I enjoy while traveling is seeing how people live.

Here’s a home with a view and no close neighbors.

1-DSC03782My 4th edition (rev.) Benchmark map for Utah shows a stretch of dirt road.  Apparently it’s been paved since that edition.  Only about two-tenths of a mile is unpaved, making the drive to Hovenweep an easy one.

If you’re not familiar with Hovenweep . . . 

Here is a description from the website:

“Hovenweep National Monument protects six prehistoric, Puebloan-era villages spread over a twenty-mile expanse of mesa tops and canyons along the Utah-Colorado border. Multi-storied towers perched on canyon rims and balanced on boulders lead visitors to marvel at the skill and motivation of their builders.”

1-DSC03779By now it’s around noon and hot.

In order to view the ruins one must hike.  I look at Bridget and Spike.

“We don’t want to hike, do we, guys.”  Spike continues sleeping; Bridget stares.

“I’ll take that as a no.”

I drive around the campground. 

There are 31 campsites, most of them suitable for tents with a few large enough for rigs up to 36 feet.  The fee is $10 regular/$5 with senior pass.  Host on duty; water and flush toilets available.

1-DSC03778I’m often amazed at the size of campgrounds compared with the surrounding area.

Here in this vast landscape — so vast it’s incomprehensible — sits this squished-together little campground with sites practically on top of one another.  Kick off your shoes here and you’re liable to hit your neighbor’s tent.

Several happy campers stand around sweating in fashionable hiking outfits.

“Do I want to stop at the Visitor’s Center on this gorgeous day?  Noooo.”

Later, back at Sand Island Campground, it’s near dusk . . .

This is our last night at Sand Island.  We should take a walk on the other side of the boat launch.  See if we can find the other petroglyph panel.  Maybe there’s a place for Spike to soak.

“C’mere, nutcakes.  Get in your suits!”

We find the petroglyphs.

1-DSC03786The path is not near the river.  As we walk along I try to locate a way to reach it.

At the point where I figure it’s time to go back before the crew runs out of steam, I see an opening through the thicket of willows.

It’s narrow, probably made by animals.

We work our way through the brush.

Spike lags behind. 

Once through the thicket I see that there’s a cutbank on this side of the river.  No good.  And it’s muddy.  I spy a beach further upstream.  That looks really nice!  A gradual slope into the water, round river rocks, no mud . . .  .

I turn around . . .

Too late!  He slid down the bank!

1-DSC03787“Spike!  What are you doing down there?”  I laugh.  “What a crazy boy!”

1-DSC03788“You pick the ickiest place!”

1-DSC03790“Hey, mud-puppy!  How are you going to get back up here?”

Bridget and I walk along the river toward the rocky”beach” upstream. 

Spike follows in the mud below.  When we meet, I try to wash him off in the river.  The mud sticks like glue.  Bridget waits patiently on shore, perfectly clean.

1-DSC03793“Well, Spikey, you got your first soak of the season!”


Canine Corner:  “Opposites attract” by Spike and Bridget

1-DSC03796-001“That was so cool, Bridge.  Ya’ shoulda’ come in with me.  I feel great!”

“Are you kidding me, Spike?  That mud is disgusting.  You’re lucky RVSue didn’t get mad at you.”

“Aww . . . She was laughin.’  She loves it when I do stuff.  Ya’ know, crazy stuff.  She calls it livin’ life to the fullest.”

“More like living life to the dirtiest.  Shove over.  You’ll get mud on me.”

“Doncha want a lil’ cuddle, babe. . . heh-heh.”

“Spike! Get away from me, you dirty dog!”


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96 Responses to The things one sees on the way to Hovenweep

  1. rollininclover says:

    Wow…I just finished reading all three years of your blog. It took several months, but it was a great ride with you and the pups. I had considered this lifestyle before, and now am pretty much sure I will move this preparation to the top priority slot. Thanks for the ride. You even got me through one horrendous bit of surgery along the way!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You have me smiling! It’s a privilege to help someone get through surgery. Thanks for letting me know. Also for reading all my posts… quite an undertaking!

      Love the name — rollininclover.

  2. lindale says:

    How long did it take to get all that mud off of the puppies? But it sure looks like fun.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, Bridget didn’t have a drop of mud on her.

      The good thing about rat terriers is they are self-cleaning. I wiped as much mud off of Spike as I could. Then we sat outside until dark. In this low-humidity evaporation is quick. Once the mud dried, I could brush most of it out. I didn’t let him in the bed. He slept on the shaggy throw rug which he sometimes prefers anyway.

    • kgdan says:

      Hi! Just wanted you to know we start north tomorrow from Bahia Concepcion – sigh. . . Will be fun to be able to follow RV Sue on a daily basis again 🙂 Will take us about 3 days or so to get back to U.S.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Wow! I bet you have wonderful tales to tell around the campfire. Your comments here have me wanting to go there! Have an easy, safe trip.

  3. WTXCal says:

    Hi Sue,

    The rear end shot of Spike (muddy) and Bridget ( a glamorous white) cracks me up. Thanks for sharing your great descriptions of the parks and places you camp. How much do a NM and AZ pass cost for out of stater’s? I’m planning on doing alot more rving very soon. Your site is great!
    Have a great Earth Day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, WTXCal,

      I love that butt shot, too!

      NM pass for out-of-staters (last I knew) is $225 annually and it goes from date of purchase to the end of the month a year later. I don’t know anything about an AZ pass.

      Glad you like my blog. I didn’t know today is Earth Day. Happy Earth!

      • Ed says:

        Arizona has two Annual Passes that I think are the same price for residents and non-residents. The Standard Pass excludes some named Colorado River parks is good for day use only and costs $75 with a $5 Handling Fee(?). The Premium Pass is good for ALL state parks day use only for $200 with a $5 Handling Fee. Camping fees are all extra above and beyond the Annual Pass.

        The New Mexico Annual Camping Pass is $180 for a resident or $100 for an old (62) resident and $225 for a non-resident with no apparent discount for being old. There is an additional charge for each day that you are camped and the price will vary depending on the services used ie water, electric, sewer.

      • Geri Moore says:

        I agree with WTXcal! Those rear end shot of the crew were ao funny! Had me laughing out loud for sure!

  4. First? and I even read your post!

  5. Diann in MT says:

    Thanks for the ride-along, Sue! “Oh the places you’ll see!” Love the photos. Just like being in the passenger seat with you and the crew!
    Spike got his way! LOL
    Love their little “mutterings” at the end! Thanks for brightening my day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Diann.

      Even though Spike causes a lot of work, I’m happy to see him enjoying life to the dirtiest!

  6. Yuck! Spike sure did pick a bad spot to soak. Love that last photo…sure sums up these two:)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The crew is like two children in the same family, one always clean and tidy, the other picking up dirt when standing still.

  7. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    What cute horses….love the foal!

    Spike!!! Is that foam?? Oh dear! At least you were able to get most of it off! Was the water cold? Happy first soak…..with many more to come!

    Canine corner has returned! Yay!! The pic of their butts….funny. Spike is a grunge mess including his leash. Ms Bridget is pure white and her leash looks new.

    Thanks for letting us join you on the journey! Enjoy your evening.

    PS. Ummm snow is in the forecast tonight!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      Snow again. I’m thinkin’ you’ll be making a Fourth of July snowman. 🙂

  8. Terri From Texas says:

    We were at Hovenweep a couple of years ago and hiked a few of the trails. It really takes you back when you see the ancient ruins-very cool!
    Very beautiful, too.
    Glad to see Spike getting his first soak, albeit a muddy one! And what a great way to spend Easter-right in one of Gods unique creations.
    Take care!

    • Bill & Ann says:

      We also hiked the trails at Hovenweep. Last year in fact. The are pretty easy and almost all paved; unless you hike the trail into the canyon. Nice campground!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Bill and Ann,

        The crew didn’t want to hike and I didn’t need much encouragement to stay in the cool and comfy PTV. I wouldn’t have taken an escalator at that point. LOL!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Terri. . . I could see the ruins in the distance. It wasn’t the right time of day and I wasn’t in the mood. Durn air conditioning ruins me for anything involving effort in the middle of the day.

  9. Timber n' Rusty says:

    Hey Spike, just how cool was it? Betcha it was cold, but it felt good huh, Hey Bridget, how’er you doing girl? ,,,,,,,,,,,,,oh,,rusty says hi to Sue. ,,,,,,,Timber

  10. Kitt, NW WA says:


    I found this quote by Winston Churchill a while back and thought of you:

    “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”

    (I’m sure it means “man” as in mankind.:)

    Love your horse photos. It would be nice for you to find a home among them for awhile. I remember a year or so ago, when you did.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kitt,

      That was a delightful surprise, finding a herd of horses grazing next to our camp. The serendipity of full-time vagabonding!

  11. Timber n' Rusty says:

    ps,,, Rusty’s wondering if you got his e mail ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Timber

  12. Barbara (from Nashville) says:

    I loved the horses. What a beautiful foal and mama. Those little puppies on the road were cute also. Spike, though, he takes the cake. The rear end shot was just too funny. your narration makes it even more hilarious.
    Thought maybe I should add the Nashville part.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barbara . . . Thanks for posting your location. I like having an idea where readers are and I need reminding.

      I’m happy you enjoyed this post. Hope all is well with you!

  13. weather says:

    First I was sighing and gushing over the horses,then ooohing about the sheep and landscapes, laughing with delight about the crew,and going back for my fourth look at those curious puppies.You are a tower of strength-that’s obvious,in many ways.
    About those puppies,I’m pretty sure I’d have pulled over,nonchalantly checking for collars,nearby homes or any signs of ownership.That would take enough time for the
    nearest people to see me,being friendly would be the excuse for making sure they’re
    wanted ,hopefully finding out that big time dog lovers were happy to own them already.
    The rusty orange one’s effect on me explains why I’ve lived with a menagerie around me all of my life.I, also,am a tower of strength,admittedly however,with an Achilles heel or two.
    It pleases me very much that you had such a wonderful Easter,even enjoying one
    of my favorite sandwiches as your lunch,blessed with the joy of laughter the crew gives you and so much more….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather. . .

      As I was writing this post, I knew it was going to be a long one so I didn’t explain the puppy situation.

      For anyone concerned regarding their safety:

      Their home is set way back from the road along with two or three other homes in a canyon. The road descends as you approach their area. Very few cars go by in a day. I watched the puppies run from their house across a field to the road to watch us go by. A third puppy stayed behind at the house.

      All three obviously lived there and were probably from the same litter. I was glad to see they weren’t car chasers, just curious. They didn’t go into the road.

      This is very rural living, a world of its own. I can’t imagine those pups being hit by a vehicle in that setting. There’s so much space that one can see not only what is in the road, but also anything approaching the road, just like the sheep and the horses ranging free. They’re a well-fed and happy trio!

      • weather says:

        So-o,you were “checking” on them too,tee hee.
        In all your posts, concern for the earth and all who live on it
        comes through,if you see help is needed,it’s given.So,honestly, that wasn’t my expressing concern,it was taking a round about way to say”What an adorable dog,I surely wouldn’t mind if she/he needed to become part of our little troupe.”
        Thanks for telling their cool story.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You’re welcome, weather. I figured you weren’t concerned. I often use replies as a chance to add information for all my readers that I didn’t have space for in the post.

  14. Ha ha, Spike, what a funny pup! Reminds me recently of my pup Rochelle when we recently visited Mono Lake. Have you been there? Remarkable place, indeed. Now, Rochelle isn’t a fan of soaking like Spike, but, she doesn’t mind getting ankle deep in water. However, I wasn’t a fan of her testing out the alkaline waters of Mono so I kept her close on leash (which dogs are supposed to be leashed anyway).

    I wanted to get some close up shots of some of the lake’s tufa formations, but, I had to let go of the leash to get them. Boy, I got some great shots. I turn around to pick up the leash and there I see muddy ankled dog with a wet shag beard. She had tried to get a drink from the lake water! Yuck! Poor thing must have received the surprise drink of her life! Thankfully, no ill effects. But, goodness! That lake water and mud are one of a kind. She had dragged the leash into the water and upon drying it stiffened into a board. When I tried rinsing the mud from the leash, after drying, my skin felt so dry and crackly minutes later. Amazing place though! Soon I will post a new blog about it and other travels! I’m only going as far north as Reno, NV this year. I’m in Carson City now boondocking. Great shopping up here!

    It’s sure fun to see regular blogs from you, Sue! Your adventures are filled humorous daily life stories. Love it!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi,, Gloria,

      I can imagine the mess Rochelle got herself into. You described it very well. Spike would be right there with her!

      Yes, the crew and I have been to Mono Lake twice, although we didn’t go tufa hunting. That area is beautiful.

      Great to hear from you as you travel from one region to another. There’s plenty to discover from Reno southward. Enjoy every day and keep in touch!

  15. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi Sue…Your post made me laugh out Spike is the mischief maker and Bridget is little Miss Prim and Proper! Glad that Spike had his first soak of the season. Loved that last picture of your two little furry faced angels….two peas in a pod! Your Easter dinner sounded wonderful…some of the best savory foodstuffs combined – yum! Have a good evening!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You have a good evening, too, Denise. Leave it to Spike to give us a laugh. What a character!

  16. Glenda in OZ! says:

    Too funny Spike…………..and well done Bridget for keeping clean. One dirty dog is better than two dirty dogs, not that you Mum seems to mind too much………love you both!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Glenda. . . I don’t think I could handle two dirty dogs. Spike is high maintenance — sneaking away, yelling for his supper, getting messy and dirty at every opportunity. Bridget may be a little nuts but at least she’s obedient and keeps clean. LOL!

  17. R. (Western Colorado) says:

    It looks like you know how to enjoy your surroundings. Your own unique way because you live the life YOU want to live.

    Happy Earth Day.
    Mahatma Gandhi

    • R. (Western Colorado) says:

      “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed!” – Mahatma Gandhi

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s right, R. I live the way I want. Just because the sign says “Trail” doesn’t mean I have to hike it. I’m not sure that’s a Gandhi frame of mind, but it works for me!

  18. jeff says:

    I love to see spike’s soaker pic”s. The last pic of them walking together is great!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jeff. . . That’s a classic photo of my crew. . . A pure white rump and a muddy behind… It’s not hard to tell to whom they belong!

  19. Bea says:

    Spikes mud adventure made my day! What a hilarious photo of the rear ends of these to guys!!!
    He has a face as if to say: “Come on, mom. Didn’t you know that some pay big bucks to get into a spa and take a mud bath???? It is said that it is good for the skin! ”
    What fun these two are!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi,, Bea…. I was chuckling myself as I walked behind the crew on the return to our campsite. I can’t be mad at Spike. He knows what he likes and he goes for it!

  20. Dawn in MI says:

    When I was a teenager in the mid 70’s my family was traveling through this area in a pickup camper. Six of us in a tiny space, but we never noticed how small. ANYWAY…we stopped in Hatch, Mom went into a little grocery store and bought a box of Special K cereal. We had it for breakfast the next morning. As I was eating mine a worm crawled up the spoon. EWWWW….we threw out my cereal and the whole box, which was saying something in my frugal family. The rest of their lives my folks would tease me about Hatch and the cereal we bought that hatched in my bowl. I can’t eat Special K to this day.

    Love the horse pictures, especially the 3 of them, with the little foal. And of course love Spike soaking and the two of them discussing it on the way back. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Oh geez, funny, Dawn! I don’t think I can eat Special K now either! 😀

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      That’s traumatic! I had a similar experience with ramen soup, only as an adult. Like you and Special K, I’ll never eat ramen again. And thank God Almighty, I don’t have to!

      • I am the same way with ramen. We ate it for dinner seven nights in a row when I was growing up. Finally tried it again a year of so back. Still as disgusting as I remembered it. I have the same aversion to Jim Beam whiskey. Forced to drink it once as a child and can barely stand to look at a bottle 50 years later.

  21. Sherry says:

    Sounds like a wonderful Easter to me. Everybody got just what they wanted. Spike is soaking and dirty, Bridget is clean and Sue is laughing. On another note, do you use both Benchmark Atlases and their maps? On Amazon I see that the Utah Atlas is 2008, Edition 4. 6 years old. That seems pretty out of date. You said in this post that you have the 7th edition. Amazon doesn’t have a 7th edition of the map or atlas for Utah. Where did you get yours?

    • Ed says:

      On the Benchmark website the Utah Road & Recreation Atlas is described as follows:
      This Utah atlas is designed to help residents and visitors make the most of the wealth of attractions that Utah has to offer. You’ll find hundreds of recreation sites, fishing spots, and hunting areas as well as a myriad of other things to do. The Landscape Maps show all drivable Utah roads, classed by surface and purpose, and thousands of campgrounds along with other destinations.
      They also claim it to be their 5th Edition 2012.

      I personally would not worry too much about which edition I had. There may be a few campgrounds that have opened or closed but I doubt seriously that any of the recreation sites, fishing spots, hunting areas or drivable roads have moved within the past 6 years (I will grant you that some of the road surfaces may have changed however).

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Sherry and Ed . . . I made an error in my post which I corrected. I was thinking of my Arizona atlas.

      My Utah Benchmark atlas is the 4th edition, revised in 2011 and purchased from Amazon.

      Considering the comprehensive nature of the Benchmarks, 3 years “old” is almost new. Even 6 years is not very long when one takes into account the hours of compilation and field-testing that an atlas of this scope requires.
      The atlases show roads down to two-track dirt of which there are a gazillion curving and branching in Utah alone. I’ve found the conditions of these roads to be very accurately reported. This is amazing, what with the deterioration caused by the proliferation of quads and other vehicles that some people use to damage back roads and the quick erosion they cause.

      It’s important to me to be able to trust the conditions reported by my atlas, given my tendency to seek out-of-the-way camps. The road to Hovenweep is the first I’ve encountered that isn’t as reported in the atlas… and that’s because of an improvement made since my edition was revised.

      Sherry… I only use Benchmark atlases which are sufficient for me. I haven’t seen the maps you refer to.

      Ed… Thank you for the additional information you posted. Good point regarding editions.

  22. Krystina McMorrow says:

    I laughed myself silly when I saw the last pic of the “kids”! What a pair they are. HAPPY to see Canine Corner again 🙂 The pics of the horses were beautiful..the foal a little doll baby. My first thougt of the sheep photo was that they all put there heads together (except for the guard) and said “if we can’t see her then she can’t see us”! Great photos as always.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Krystina… About the flock of sheep… Notice there always seems to be a black one. 🙂

      I appreciate the feedback I’m getting on the horse pics. I love taking them so I’m glad readers enjoy seeing them.

  23. Hey Sue!
    I just had to check in and what a treat, as always!
    Petroglyphs, absolutely amazing!
    So glad Spike got a soak, lol.
    That last pic had me trying not to laugh out loud, well some got out. I don’t think I woke the Bear. (In cyberspace bwahhhaahahaaaaa haaaa hee haa hee!) A picture is worth thousand words.
    I can’t believe we’re in the same state! We’re pullin’ out Thursday, heading back east. I think sometime our paths will cross and I’ll be the idiot hangin’ out the window waving!
    Wishing you and the crew the most happiness and safe travels always. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Carrie. . . Thank you for your kind wishes for me and the crew.

      About the petroglyphs… I found it interesting that the most recent “petroglyph” was the name DEAN which is almost completely eroded away (upper left in photo — click to enlarge). Apparently the quality of rock “art” has deteriorated in these modern times. 🙂

      Have an enjoyable and safe trip eastward! Always good to hear from you . ..

  24. Spike takes his first soak of the year on Earth Day. There’s perfection in that as well as your photos, especially the foal and her momma & the nutcakes walking home. All is well in the world.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn…

      A regular day in the life of “rvsue and her canine crew” . . .

      Fastidious Bridget and Spike the Slob with RVSue cleaning up after. . .

  25. weather says:

    Being that it’s Wednesday afternoon and Easter was going to be your last night at that site,I imagine you’ve been busy with tanks,grocers and hopefully unhitching and putting down the rug at a gorgeous site with lots of privacy found on a beautiful drive.
    Just wanted to check in,and to share a smile-
    A close friend called to tell me that the vet we go to examined her dog and yippee,said
    he’s in better shape than we expected,there’ll be no goodbyes,take that cute dog home!
    It’s always good to hear another happy ending isn’t it?

    • rvsueanis dcrew says:

      Yes, that is great news for your friend. We are at a new camp and I hope to put together a post about in the morning (Utah time… 🙂 )

  26. Susan in Dallas says:

    Canine corner finished up a great post. I was wondering if I was the only one who thought there was a non-white sheep in the group! Couldn’t see its head but it was noticeable. As always, Spike and Bridget stole the show, especially with that photo of them that said it all.

  27. R. (Western Colorado) says:

    I already put my 2 cents yesterday but returned today to read new comments and have to add that the last picture of your crew is priceless so thank you Sue and crew for brightening my sad day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      R. (Colorado)… Your “sad day?” Are you okay?

      I pray your sadness isn’t over something serious and passes quickly. Please keep in touch.

  28. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts., VA says:

    Oh Sue, I loved seeing the petroglyths! The “opposites atract” and Spike is just too funny.Thanks for making my day brighter.
    Question for you…I just got back from camping in 26 degree Mountain nights. I have a newly installed Wave 3 heater in my little camper. It has to be vented, so I opened up the upper vent and cracked a window and froze. How do you vent for your heater?
    Just curious.
    Have a great new adventure! Take Care.

    • Gayle says:

      “Cracked a vent and froze…” Story of my life! Can’t wait for your answer, RVSue.

    • Ed says:

      “It has to be vented, so I opened up the upper vent and cracked a window and froze. ”

      Heat rises so by cracking the window and opening the vent in the roof you created a great chimney and all the heat went out the vent. A much better venting would be to open two windows only enough that you have about 10 square inches open.
      I certainly don’t advise what I have done but this is what I did in my 24′ Class C. I had the factory forced air furnace completely removed but the outside vent has remained. I then pulled out all the heat ducts which opened up a 5-6″ hole under my floor and into the bottom of my cabinets. I never have my Wave 6 in operation if I’m sleeping and while I am up I never open anything else for venting. I do get some condensation but have never felt any ill effects.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Diane and Gayle,

      When I tried my new Wave 3 heater for the first time, I cracked open two windows a few inches. It wasn’t long before the alarm sounded! I went online and read on a forum (probably casita forum) to crack the ceiling vent a few inches and the bathroom window a few inches leaving the bathroom door propped (halfway works).

      Even though heat rises and I probably lose some heat, this set-up causes the air to flow well,(I assume it flows from the bathroom into the main room and up the vent), and I don’t feel a draft. My heater is positioned below the vent about two feet further toward the back.

      I’ve found the secret to warming a Casita is to turn the heater on in anticipation of cold. In other words, turn the heater on in the late afternoon or early evening BEFORE the temperature drops. The idea is to give the surfaces time to warm up. If you wait until the trailer is already cold, the heater has to warm all those cold surfaces such as fiberglass and it cannot do that quickly.

      Like Ed, I do not sleep with the heater on. I warm up the BLT and leave it on until I’m ready to turn in for the night. I turn off the heater, close up the vent and window, and crawl under the covers. First thing in the morning I turn it on again if I feel the need.

      A Casita isn’t designed to hold heat in below-freezing temperatures. I try to camp where the overnight low doesn’t go below the mid-30s. When I’m caught somewhere colder, I rely on layers of clothing (I’ve slept in my coat before) as well as lots of covers and, of course, I snuggle the crew!

      Ed’s system is excellent. But if your home isn’t adapted like his, my method — although not perfect– will get you through the night.

  29. Joannie Barnett says:

    Sue, this is my first post. Can’t believe it’s taken me so long to post. I’ve been following you for about 2yrs. The first pic of mr. Spike is priceless I’m rolling in the floor. Priceless ! He is the typical male and little Miss Bridget is the perfect lady. Your trip today was just beautiful. Keep posting and know that so many of us live our dreams thru u. Joannie Barnett

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Joannie, girl! Where have you been? 🙂

      Leave it to Spike to break your silence! Yes, he is a typical male. In fact, his behaviors remind me why I don’t want to remarry. Haha!

      Thank you for following me and the crew. I hope we hear from you again (and don’t wait another 2 years!).

  30. Tawanda says:

    Welcome back to Utah, “Life Elevated” is the official slogan at least since 2006.

    So great to see Spike getting to soak again, love how he just made a bee line for the water he’s quite the lil’ water dowser 🙂
    The crew look great even from behind!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi,, Tawanda,

      Thanks for the welcome.

      The photo doesn’t show the steepness of the slope. It was so steep that I didn’t think Spike would attempt it when he caught up with Bridget and me. What he must have done was slide down the bank on the tall grass, right into the mud! Spike is part otter!

  31. Geri Moore says:

    Great blog! So much fun! Spike is a real character! Bridget is such a diva, her dirty? Never! The horse photos were great! I loved the apaloosy looking one! I tend to go to the loudest and brightest horses! Chuck always makes fun of me! The pups in the road looked well fed and satisfied! But the last photo of the rear rumps of Spike and Bridget were soooo adorable… now my wallpaper on my ‘puter! Can’t wait to see where you are now! Please hug the crew from us!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Ewww… You have Spike’s dirty behind as your wallpaper? Even I wouldn’t do that and he’s my dog!

      Love your enthusiasm, Geri. I did take a photo of the appaloosa as well as others, but I can’t show them all, although I’d love to.

      Hugs to Doogie Bowzer and Radar!

  32. riley in nc says:

    My little guys love going in the river on a hot day too.
    It makes them so happy i don’t even mind the smell of wet dog on the ride home.

    Dogs get it don’t they?
    Live in the moment, enjoy the simple things in life, love with all of your heart.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      So true, riley, so true.

      I share your feelings. What’s a little mud if it makes my guy happy? Spike is being Spike. Everything he does, he does fully. He hops up and down and barks for his dinner. He noisily gobbles his food and slurps his drink, leaving a puddle on the floor by the dish. He hogs the heater. He greets new dogs and people with energy and enthusiasm. He burps and farts with abandon. He barks and howls in his dreams, paws kicking. His only reticence is in showing affection. I like to think he loves me too deeply to express it! (Not!)

  33. Pleinguy says:

    Love the pix of the critters, and of Spike the Mud Dog. Nice review of the area too. My plans put me there sometime in the fall. Take care.

  34. John says:


    I drove from Sand Island to Hovenweep, after circling the campground several times I left for Valley of the Gods, BLM lands, AHHH.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John,

      Wide-open BLM lands are the way to go! I can’t see squeezing into a campground unless you need the restroom facilities. Valley of the Gods is well-named. It’s one of my favorite places.

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