The trek south begins and how I find Slate Creek Camp

Saturday, September 13

After nine days of campground living, I’m looking forward to a private boondock!

Bridget and I pull out of Popo Agie Campground in Sinks Canyon State Park, Lander, Wyoming, making one more crossing of the Popo Agie.  Almost all the snow has melted.

1-P1000214I gas up the Perfect Tow Vehicle at the Maverick station in Lander.

We begin our annual migration south on Route 789.  

This route, along with Route 28, will take us around the southeastern tip of the Wind River Range and over the Continental Divide.

Not long after leaving the lively town of Lander, the homes and ranches become widely spaced, and then there are no more.  Bridget settles down into a nap on the bench seat as we begin the long climb to Atlantic City, so named because it’s on the Atlantic side of the Divide.

I give the PTV a break at the Red Canyon overlook.

1-P1000316“Time for a potty break, Bridge.  It’s now or wait until we’re at our new home.”

1-P1000320Bridget runs around, does her business, and we’re back on the road.  Today’s journey is short.  For this I am glad because most of the drive is upward.  I think this climb is the longest we’ve ever attempted.

We drive past the turn to Atlantic City.

It’s a ghost town turned tourist attraction and I’m not interested in doing that today.  Two campgrounds are accessed from that road —  Atlantic City Campground and Big Atlantic Gulch Campground.  My online research previously informed me that I should skip the campgrounds.

Instead we’re going to boondock.

Not far past the Atlantic City area, we make the right turn onto Louis Lake Road.  This is Shoshone National Forest.  (I know this from studying my Benchmark atlas.)

The gravel road goes over a small hill. 

Immediately on the left are two campsites which are occupied.  I wouldn’t camp there if they were empty.  Too worn out from overuse.  Also, all the traffic on Louis Lake Road goes by here.

We continue up the road a short distance and discover the third campsite.  It’s also on the left.  I park and walk to investigate.

A large area under the pine trees has been worn to bare ground. 

All undergrowth is gone.  Fire rings are smashed.  Trees are scarred.  Broken limbs are scattered about.  Typical lets-play-ring-around-the-pine-trees destruction by OHVs.  Nope, not staying here!

We continue further and the road forks in a grassy area.

To the left I see three big fifth-wheels tucked into the edge of the woods.  No, that’s not for us either.

You might be thinking I’m becoming discouraged at this point.  Not so!

This is where the real adventure begins!  

Once past the places where OHVers and big rigs park in the forest, the really good boondocks may be found.

Note:  When Bridget and I arrive it’s sunny and bright.  By late afternoon the landscape is burnished gold by the sun.  Unfortunately I didn’t take photos then!  The photos that follow were taken early the next morning when the light was dim.  I post them anyway so I’ll have a record of the boondock’s location and to help anyone who would like to camp here.

1-P1000334The road sweeps down a hill, curves at the base, and crosses a meadow before disappearing into the forest.  Before descending the hill, I get out to survey the situation.  I don’t want to drive deep into the forest for a one-night camp, and I also want to be sure I can turn around, if necessary.

Hmm . . .   Looks like there’s a stream going across the meadow, what with all those willows (barely visible in the above photo).

1-P1000333Sure enough, there’s a small bridge at the base of the hill.  I bet there’s a forest road along the stream . . . . 

Bridge is awake and excited.

“It won’t be long now.  If my guess is right, our home is down this little hill.”

Sure enough there is a forest road!  I drive it and come upon a campsite next to the stream.  Pine trees give light shade.  Willows grow around the site.  It’s a level pull-through.  Perfect!

Except for one thing. . . .

Someone has parked their truck in the campsite!  Gee, I wish day-use people wouldn’t do that!  It’s probably a fisherman or a hiker.

Not one to give up, I get out and walk down a path into the willows at the stream, hollering, “Helloooo?  Helloooo?”

A fifty-ish couple appears, apparently hikers.  I ask about the campsite.  No, they aren’t spending the night and they’re leaving now.  Good!

I pull in, set up, and take a break in the lounger by the little stream.

1-P1000330Later Bridget and I enjoy a long walk across the meadow.

We follow the dirt road along the border of the meadow.  Right before the road goes into the thick forest are two good campsites.  We climb a small hill and at the top we sit on a rock for a rest before heading back to camp.

A sign at the bridge says “Slate Creek.”  The creek is much wider at the bridge than at our camp where it is a narrow, softly gurgling stream (below).

1-P1000328I’ll call this boondock “Slate Creek Camp.” 

1-P1000325(In the photo above, those aren’t fumes coming from the PTV.  That’s warm air from the muffler meeting the cooler air of morning.)

Sunday, September 14

After a good night’s sleep camped in the silent forest (overnight temperatures in the low 40s), Bridget and I are up and moving early.  Since I didn’t unhitch or set up a full camp, we are back on the road by eight o’clock.

1-P1000337

I drive southwest past South Pass City, across the desert, and through the town of Farson, where we turn south onto Route 191 toward Rock Springs.

By mid-afternoon Bridget and I are settled into one of the prettiest and most private boondocks of our vagabond life!

rvsue

NOTE:  I went into a lot of detail about how I found Slate Creek Camp for those readers who want to know how to find their own private camps.

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157 Responses to The trek south begins and how I find Slate Creek Camp

  1. Pickett Huffines says:

    Thank you for your posts!

  2. John K - Mobile, AL says:

    Nice find again boondocking queen! I really should have my Benchmark out and making notes.

    On the home front, I ordered my solar panels for the trailer. I opted to go with a portable 150 watt system so I can park the trailer in the shade and setup the solar to maximize exposure to the sun.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good idea, John K.! That’s one reason why I have the solar panel on the PTV. There are times when one wants both sun and shade.

    • Sharron says:

      Hi John K,
      I too am interested in a portable solar system. Can you tell me what brand and where did you buy. Have you used it yet?
      Thanks, Sharron

      • John K - Mobile, AL says:

        I bought it from Overland Solar. After talking to Brian on the phone (he called me on Sunday) I was convinced his 150 watt system would be perfect for us. It just shipped today so won’t see it until next week.

  3. Lee J in Northern California says:

    You fixed it! I actually got an email notification of your new post, yippie!

    Thank you so much for taking us along on your adventure and sharing all the lovely photos. I love the one of your blue chair by the little creek, what a perfect place, hope yup get lots of time to enjoy it!

  4. Elizabeth in S.E. NM says:

    Sue ……
    It is Soooo good to see your name again and read your wonderful blog!
    Welcome back to you and Bridget!!!!!
    Love & Hugz….

  5. katydid in Chicago says:

    I love your lounge chair location by the “softly gurgling” Slate Creek. It looks so peaceful. I appreciate how you have detailed how to find those choice boondock sites.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, katydid,

      Thanks for the feedback on the details for finding boondocks. You can see from this post that it’s easy to settle for less (worn-out sites, clustering/clinging with other RVers), but if you go beyond “the pack,” you’re likely to find a good camp.

  6. Peggy In Buckeye, Az says:

    2nd….woo hoo!

  7. Peggy In Buckeye, Az says:

    Oops! Took too long to type!!

  8. Jean in Southaven, MS says:

    I got this post thru my email again. YEA!!! Beautiful part of the country you are in and cannot wait until you get back in the Yuma and Ajo area. I love the camps by the streams with the rocks, but there is just something about Ajo and the cute houses and the man you seem to meet with the sweet blue house that I love. Take care

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jean,

      Good to hear that someone likes to read my blog when we’re in Yuma! Yes, Ajo is a pleasant area… small town with conveniences set in a beautiful part of the Sonoran Desert. I think you’re referring to Chuy in the blue house… not in Ajo though. That was Lone Pine, California where the Alabama Hills are located.

  9. Lee J in Northern California says:

    Oh, a question, what kind and size TV do you have in your sweet abode? I am shopping for one and it is hard to get through all the static online to pick just one! I am thinking a nineteen inch with a DVD player that runs ac/dc …and will purchase it from amazon!
    Maybe some of your blogorinos have a suggestion too.
    Can’t wait to hear about your newest and best campsite!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The BLT came equipped with a 15-inch, 12-volt television, COBY brand. (I plug it into a 12-volt socket next to it.) It plays DVDs, too. It was part of the entertainment option (antenna and cable hook-up) so I don’t have details on where to purchase it. If my connection were a little faster, I’d see what Amazon has to offer.

      This campsite we’re in now would make a great illustration for primo boondocking. In fact, Bridget and I are going outside to enjoy it because the weather is perfect and the scenery spectacular! (I’m such a tease.)

      Good luck finding the right tv and if you can find it at Amazon, that’s great!

  10. Reine says:

    Yep, it’s mid-September and the temps are getting cooler. Time to mosey south. I’m glad you had the restful time in the campground and that it was sparsely populated while you were there. We actually got part of the cold front that snowed on you so it’s been in the 70s for the last couple of days. I needed a jacket on the way to church yesterday. But this is north Texas and the temps are climbing back up although it looks like just up in the 80s for a while. After the 101 last Wednesday, I’m ready for the cooler temps.

    I actually got a notification also. It’s good to know you got that fixed, hopefully without too much trouble. Enjoy your meander south.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Reine,

      I keep hearing how this winter is going to be a doozy. You may get plenty of those “cooler temps” you’re wanting.

      • Reine says:

        If the number of acorns on the oak trees are any indication, it will definitely be a doozy. But then although last winter wasn’t extremely cold, when we went camping in January we headed to south east Texas so it would be a reasonable temperature – and had snow and ice 25 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico! I expect this winter to be interesting.

  11. phoneguy1212 says:

    Another adventure. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Wannabe from Indiana

  12. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    You never settle for less than perfect! I did laugh at the sight of your recliner. Is that the same one? Oh I didn’t recognize it without the snow! Hahhhh!

    Your details and descriptions……make your blog! Bridget’s facial expression is like peeewwwww Sue….cough cough! I know you’re making it nice and toasty for our ride!

    Stay warm and enjoy your day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      Yep, that’s the same recliner. It looks a lot more inviting without the snow.

      I read the discussion under the previous post about your feral cats. You are good to take care of them.

      You stay warm! As for Bridget and me, we’re in a sunny and warm place with the awning out.

  13. Sharron says:

    So glad the email notification is fixed….Thanks Sue! It is always such a nice surprise when I get your blog. Love the ‘ongoing’ stories and beautiful pictures. I too love the beautiful pines and streams, but the Arizona dessert draws me (at least when it is not too hot). Thanks for sharing and will anxiously await your and Bridget’s next adventure…..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Sharron. There will be plenty of Arizona desert posts, coming up this winter . . .

  14. weather says:

    This post is among the most beautifully illustrated ones you’ve done- your words,phrasing,photography ,choice of matter,composition and flow of story all show pure inspiration and talent more impressive than ever.

    “I think this climb is the longest we’ve ever attempted….you might be thinking I’m becoming discouraged at this point.Not so!This is where the real adventure begins!”

    Your lifelong practice of climbing out of valleys,the steel within you that’s made that possible-had prepared you for recent events-and the way all that rent your being to the core.The measure of your climb shows you’re again- letting those crests and waves just propel you -into atmosphere’s He made just for you.

    In awe and appreciation ,I bless every step you take- in this path of dreams your on-and thank you for showing and sharing it’s beauty -to and with me

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      Thank you for the great compliments. You uplift me.

      We all have valleys out of which we climb to higher places. As always, you see beneath the surface of my text and beautifully transform the vision into words.

      Blessings upon you, too, and regards to the ladybug youngster you met earlier. 🙂

      • weather says:

        Your thoughtful and warm response pleases me very much,I’m off to enjoy ,and give your regards to,whoever comes with me outside,and perhaps squeeze in a quick visit or two with human nearby friends,until later then 🙂

  15. Kay says:

    Ah, Boondock Queen, it fits you perfectly!

    Lovely photos. Still working away here. Ended up with REMODELING the kitchen. Long story, not one I care to talk about as it just makes me disgusted as to how people cook and clean to serve the public. Who the hell wants to eat a burger from place that is so dirty, not me. And, I believe if ANY ONE is going to pay someone for any kind of food, it should be food prepared in a SPOT LESS freaking kitchen. Nuff said.

    Hubby, bless his heart. He’s replacing and installing goodies in the kitchen. Oregon is on my mind today, not sure why. It just is. Granddaughter might have something to do with it, she faced me this morning with her hair out of sorts and informed me, Minnie Mouse is at her house and going to take a bath because she’s very “exceptionally” dirty. So, with that laugh she gave me, I got out of bed. She goes through days of BIG words, and makes me laugh.

    I have to confess. The little girl loves stickers. Did you all know, they sell sticker books? You all know what happens when Grandma’s buy little girls sticker books? He-He, her mommy is busy as a beaver, go-gone spray in one hand, wash rag in other hand, and trotting right behind granddaughter. Ah, least I know mommy is getting exercising in on a daily bases. YEP! Granddaughter has 10 sticker books to decorate with.

    Off to more painting. I am burned out already.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kay!

      Also enjoy your updates! Good to know you’re keeping hubby busy. I wouldn’t want him to get a moment’s rest. (Haha! Just kidding!!)

      I’m sorry you faced a dirty kitchen. It’s amazing how low some people’s standards will drop. How can one serve food to people from a dirty kitchen! Oh well . . . .

      Yes, every little girl in America must have a sticker book… or ten. What fun to know your granddaughter is keeping your daughter fit with lots of exercise. Sweet justice, right?

      • Kay says:

        The SWEETEST justice~ LOL

        • Jean in Southaven, MS says:

          I have bought all my grandchildren, including boys, sticker books. M daughter and daughter-in-law and myself have had the happy occasion to get them off of everything in the house. But the kids are happy and can usually be persuaded to help get the stickers off also. All my grandkids are getting too big for sticker books now though.

  16. Marilu from Northern California says:

    I commented at the end of the last post but I suspect it won’t be seen with a new post today. I want Blogorinos in Baja and the Southwest to know you are in my thoughts. With the hurricane doing that much damage to the modern resorts, I can only imagine what it has done in the neighborhoods. With the storm spinning up the Gulf of California it looks like more flooding is on the way for the Southwest. Please stay high, dry and safe.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marilu,

      I’m not aware of the hurricane track. I need to read some weather news! Kind of you to wish safety for those folks.

  17. Barb George says:

    Hey there Sue!
    What a perty spot you found!!! 🙂

    Gosh I look forward to some rain… they said tomorrow…now they say WED. I think we are going to dry up. It has been forever! So much for that wet WA everyone talks about!!! LOL

    Our neighbor, who lost his partner of 45 years was in hospital over the weekend. Got him home and settled in. Gosh that scares me. He is the frail one… and Roy passed suddenly. So hard. So so hard.

    Hope you and Bridget have a wonderful afternoon in the lounge. My mind is spinning with stuff I need to get done, but all I want to do is sit with my kindle and sip some coffee. 🙂

    Who will win? Should I choose practical or pleasent? What would RV SUE do??? LOL

    Hugs from Hoquiam (where we are at-yes- 87 degrees, and I have turned into the Wicked Witch of the WEST! 🙂
    Barb

    • Alan Rabe says:

      Never do today what you can put off till tomorrow. Never make a decision before you have to, it might take care of itself and you won’t have to do anything.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re a good person, Barb. Life can be awfully difficult at times. Having someone step in and give needed help can make a huge difference. Your friend is in a very deep and wide valley.

      I can tell you what RVSue would do. She’d read the kindle! There are plenty of chores waiting for my attention around this little house. They’re gonna’ wait until I’m done doing fun stuff!

      You? A wicked witch? Impossible!

  18. Alan Rabe says:

    Heading south, here I am heading to SD, But it has to be.
    I am liking your camera more and more, even what you call low light has good color and shadow details, a sign of a good sensor. Hint: The UV filter will make the snow white instead of blue, just one of its uses.
    I am still on the road. Had a small issue with my car in tow and it is in the shop to get new front tires at a shop in Jamestown OH. I had no choice as to where, I had to call Good Sam and that is where they took me, I had no say in the matter. Still Good Sam was great and helped immensely. So I am sitting here in the TA truck stop at the intersection of US35 and I71 waiting till tomorrow. Anyway while I was here I went ahead and got new steer tires for the monster. The old ones where 9 years and 3 months old, and looked pretty bad, I was more that a little concerned about driving on them. The new ones roll much better, they should for $900 and they were the cheapest they had.
    Looking forward to your journey south. Think Paria. 🙂

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Peace of mind Alan.

      Our tires only had 2500 miles on them but were 11 years old. We changed them before we started our voyage. No sense getting stuck in BFE or worse having a blowout and no control!

      Safe travels my friend.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        What is BFE?

        • Alan Rabe says:

          Bum F__K, Egypt

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            ewww… not a nice place I presume.

            • BuckeyePatti (Ohio) says:

              BFE = out in the middle of nowhere. Cindajules, I got a kick you used that term. We say that at work when we d0 long distance deliveries & I thought were the ones that made it up! LOL Come to think of it, most of the places Sue stays are BFE 🙂

      • Alan Rabe says:

        My feelings exactly.
        I hope you manage to get your kitties inside. My best friend when I was a toddler in Coronado CA. was our neighbors cat. It is probably why I love cats the way I do.

        • Cinandjules (NY) says:

          Must be West Coast terminology! ;). Sue you kill me! I was trying to mind my manners! Ummm …how about up a creek with no paddle!

          Coronado eh? Military?

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            “Coronado eh? Military?” … You lost me again. I do know “up a creek with no paddle” though.

            • Cari in Plano Texas says:

              Coronado, CA, has a Navy base. It’s just across the bridge from San Diego, the headquarters for the West Coast Navy fleet.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Thanks… Which, I’m guessing, is where Cinandjules learned such things as BFE … a place where one does not want to be stationed. 🙂

          • Alan Rabe says:

            Yep, I was born in the old North Island Navy hospital, it is on my birth certificate, not many people can say that. We left there when I was 2.

            • Cinandjules (NY) says:

              Cinandjules, as my mom would say, have worked with the guys too long. Hence the “potty mouth”.

              Coronado is actually an affluent resort community. Very nice place.

          • Denise - Richmond VA says:

            I first heard the term BFE when I moved to VA from the Midwest eons ago. I had to ask what it meant, too! BFE is such an appropriate description at times!! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Alan,

      I’m glad you got those new tires. Not good that you were at the mercy of your location, but, hey, that stuff happens. You deal with it and move on.

      Thanks for the comment on the photos. I want to kick myself for not taking photos the day we arrived at that camp. You know that heavenly golden light of late afternoon in autumn, the yellow and russet willows aglow… *sigh*

      • Alan Rabe says:

        I know the feeling well, I have missed so many. Sometimes saying I will get it next time and then never get back.

  19. Thanks for the details on how you found that camp. Really pretty one too. Nothing better than a gurgling stream to sit by if even for only one night. Safe travels to you and Bridget.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Sherry.

      Whoa! Our beautiful, warm, and sunny day is undergoing sudden change… Wind and rain from a passing storm! White caps on the water!

      Stay safe on the road in Kansas . . .

  20. Cari in Plano Texas says:

    So nice to see the email notification in my inbox today! Very small in the grand scheme of things, but don’t you get aggravated when things stop working the way you are accustomed to? And I don’t deal well with change 🙂

    Thank you for detailing how you found your overnight boondock. Good information for the future! And it sounds like the boondocking gods are smiling on you – this overnight and the teasing hints about your new site.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cari,

      I’m glad the email notification feature is back, too. I hate receiving emails about blogs and comments, but apparently a lot of people like them.

      I hope this post is helpful for those who want to boondock. Ya’ gotta’ find that perfect spot, right? There’s a lot more to boondocking than a free place to camp.

  21. Cherie from OH says:

    Hi Sue. What a pretty little overnight campsite. I can’t wait to hear all about this new site you found too. You seem to have a sixth sense where to find beautiful campsites, or does some little birdie tell you where to find them? I’m a bit depressed as we had planned to take our first trip west this month but health problems arose to prevent it again. Even if I never get to see the west for myself, I’m awfully glad I get to see it through your eyes. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us. And I do believe Bridget is looking thinner. Good job!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, Cherie, I’m so sorry your trip has been delayed… and due to health problems. That’s a double-whammy. I hope this is a short setback for you.

      Yes, Bridget is losing fat off her rear! This morning we went on a very long walk and she didn’t slow down at all. I’m impressed with her stamina.

      You won’t believe where we are camped now. I’m dying to tell everyone!

  22. I was wondering if that forest road along the creek was on your atlas?
    I know it’s hard to pull out a map & look when you’ve just crossed a ridge and are wondering about the valley down below.

    Someone asked about this winter? This was on one of the lists this morning-

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rob,
      Yes, the Slate Creek Camp’s forest road is on the Benchmark, although I didn’t notice it until I read your comment and looked for it.

      If you or anyone wants to look, the forest road goes from the junction of Slate Creek and Louis Lake Road to the second “s” in “South PaSs Snowpark.” Ha!

  23. lindale says:

    Glad the email is fixed. I can get my Sue fix now. I read your posts in the morning with my coffee and I feel like we are sharing the morning.

  24. Shirlene says:

    Good Day Sue!….So glad to see these pictures and see you posting again, somebody say withdrawl? LOL. Can’t wait to see “one of the prettiest and most private boondocks of our vagabond life!”…..The blogorinos kept busy while you were traveling and we kept each other company, but glad to see your pictures and hear your inner voice again…Love to “our” Bridget.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Shirlene,

      As soon as I was connected, I read all the comments under the previous post. I had to chuckle at all the topics being discussed. You blogorinos were having a grand time without me and Bridge! 🙂

      I’m thinking… Gee, I hate to interrupt with a blog post . …

      Thanks for the welcoming comment!

  25. DebsJourney says:

    You’ve become such expert boondocker now. That one night stand looked so peaceful and very pretty. I am learning so much from you!
    Today I actually started a new part time job at Nielson the TV ratings company and so far it’s very nice, huge and extra modern. I think I can do this for awhile until I sell the house and get going. Nielson also has facilities in Tx and other states so maybe it will work out to something… who knows at this point.. but, it gets me out of the house 4 days a week 4 hrs a day. not bad.
    Today I got the email notification for your blog.. yippy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Congratulations on the new job, Deb! That’s great to have while waiting for your house to sell . . . .

      You’re right… The schedule’s “not bad” at all. Some extra $$ is good, too!

  26. AZ Jim says:

    More nice pics Missy. I’ve missed you. We limped along without ya but it isn’t the same. You ARE this blog.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Aww, you’re so sweet to me, Jim. Thank you. I missed you, too!

      Slate Creek Camp is charming, but no internet had us outta’ there after one night. Gotta’ see what the blogorinos are up to!

  27. Applegirl NY says:

    Yeah! You’re back. I’m so excited to see where you’ll be going next. It seems like you were just heading north for the summer, and here you are going back south again.

    I love those burnished late afternoon suns. It seems like here in the Northeast they are especially beautiful in June and September. The sun is low enough in the late afternoon to push that gold through the trees at a slant and cast long shadows between the bright colors. I also find this time of year we have skies that remind me of a Maxfield Parrish painting.

    Bridget is looking fit and trim. What a lady!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s good to be back, Applegirl! You remind me of my favorite time of year from my childhood in northern New York state.

      • Applegirl NY says:

        September and October are glorious here. But you know what comes next……. and it’s longer every year, I swear! You’re a wise woman to be where you are. Hoping we will be doing that more and more as time goes by.

  28. Pauline from Mississippi says:

    Fall…..my favorite time of the year!!! Love the cooler temps, the colors, the smells, the pumpkins, the mums, the hay bales, the cider, the donuts, butternut squash, falling leaves, Yep…. this is when I really miss UPSTATE New York and Vermont.

  29. cluelesscampers and canine (Eastern Missouri) says:

    We can’t wait to see where your next campsite is….. but you are approaching our all time favorite campground…. Firehole campground in Flaming Gorge….I’ll bet that you are somewhere down that a ways!!! We enjoy your travels, and missed your updates while we were camping in the San Luis Valley in Colorado. We’re glad you’re back after a necessary hiatus after Spike’s passing. Our pets are our family, we love them dearly.

  30. dave says:

    Yep..you and Tioga George, king and queen of boondocking!

  31. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    I have a question regarding your heater…do you leave a vent cracked or a window ajar?

    Does it have a thermostat that regulates the heat or just on and off?

    And lastly do you run it when you sleep?

    Thanks

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, when using the propane heater I have two vents for air circulation. I open the ceiling vent about two inches and I open the bathroom window so that it makes a 4″ x 4″ opening. Then I prop the bathroom door open about a third of the way open.

      I don’t sleep with the heater on. The trick with a catalytic heater like mine is to anticipate the cold and turn it on before you need it really badly. This is to avoid all the hard surfaces (and there are a lot of those in a Casita) from becoming cold. Once they’re cold it takes a long time to warm up the interior.

      I run it a few hours before bedtime and turn it on again in the morning… or not.

      No it doesn’t have a thermostat like the electric heater (heatstrips on the a/c) does. It has low, medium, and high. I always keep it on high.

      I didn’t have it on but three hours the night it snowed in Sinks Canyon.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Thanks again!

        Something about sleeping with the heater on gives me the heebeegeebees!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Me, too!

          • Reine says:

            And us three. We stay warm at night with covers. We have a Wave 3 and keep it on when we’re awake but the last one to bed shuts it off. But when we wake up we open the vents, turn on the stove to heat water for coffee and turn on the Wave 3 and the Casita is up to 65 in about 30 minutes or less.

  32. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Love the new camp! They are all good but I love the ones by water. I am always excited to see where your new camp takes us. I am just amazed at all the beautiful free camps that are out there. I had no idea about boondocking before your blog.

    I was also thrilled to see the email notification again.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jolene,

      I like camps by water, too. Every camp needs to have at least one attractive feature.

      The Field of Flowers Camp in Ashley National Forest is a good example. It didn’t have water next to it, but it did have wildflowers, butterflies, and birds galore, as well as elk grazing and playing in a meadow. It also had a Wal-Mart within a reasonable driving distance, Flaming Gorge and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep nearby . . . . and a bear!

      I’m glad my blog has shown you the variety of boondocks that can be found.

  33. ZenOnWheels says:

    Hooray for the return of email notifications! 🙂

    Thank you for sharing the tale of finding the good boondock camp…it offers really helpful insights for us newbies. Sue, I so appreciate your openness and generosity with us. I know you’ve helped me a bunch. On more than one occasion I’ve faced a little challenge or something unknown, and while in that initial perplexed state have asked myself “so, what would Sue do?” Truthfully, that mindset has helped steer me away from getting spooked or frustrated and toward confidence and a re-focus on problem solving. It helps!

    I also want to thank your blogarinos…in the comment section from an earlier post they provided some excellent tips on keeping the RV warm in a cold climate. I now have some good leads on things to research and, perhaps, purchase.

    Wishing you a happy day!

    –Michael

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks. I wish you a happy evening, Michael!

      It’s gratifying to learn that my blog has been helpful. Two things that have helped me through the rough spots in the road and for finding good camps… patience and perseverance.

      The blogorinos are a gold mine of good information. Many are full-timers and/or have camped for many years.

      As for keeping warm… My best advice is don’t go to cold climates. 🙂

      • Good advice! I’m in Bend, OR this week. The daytime is glorious (70-80 degrees) but the night time is getting really chilly (30s).

        I’ve learned to button up the camper while the air inside is still warm…the insulation carries me partway through the night.

        I also figured out that I needed more layers to my bedding so that I could have more flexibility for temperature control at night. I’d had just one blanket and comforter. It turns out I really needed two blankets and the comforter to get maximum temp control in the bed. Luckily there was a Walmart in Bend that had good blankets for only $5!

        I’m also learning not to be so stingy with my propane. My frugal nature was getting the better of me and, as I’ve been reminded recently “propane is cheap”. I’m finding that it is worth it to spend a bit of propane to be comfortable and warm.

        I’m staying in an Oregon State Park (La Pine) right now. I really love Oregon State Parks…they have electrified their campgrounds. This is my second stay in one and I’m really impressed with their facilities. It’s only 20 amp service at my site, but that’s plenty for running the furnace! Now I’m toasty warm and ready to start my day.

        Well, I’m off for a hike later to see the Deschutes River and something on the map labeled “Big Tree”…gee, I wonder what that will be? 🙂

        • Cinandjules (NY) says:

          In our rv we used a lightweight down comforter…in a duvet cover…to keep it clean.

          We also opened the blinds during the day as the sunlight heated up the interior. We actually do that now…the front of the house(bedrooms) faces west.

          Pendleton blankets are nice also…no taxes up there in Oregon.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I dress warmly for bed… layers work well. Sometimes I wear two pajama bottoms and three tops, also two pairs of socks. I want my feet warm!

          • Cinandjules (NY) says:

            I’d strangle myself!

            I’d can send you some 30 below socks! Got some for my mom…she loved them! She took em with her!

  34. BuckeyePatti (Ohio) says:

    You so deserve the title of Boondocking Queen!! Thank you for taking the time to give us wannabees/newbies an education on how to find those special places. I’m still stuck on the range of lengths that would fit. You have a 17′ Casita plus, I dunno, perhaps a 15′ long van? Would you think 32′ or shorter is a safe bet? I know Nina from Wheeling It has mentioned how they couldn’t fit into some spaces because they are 40′ long.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Patti,

      It depends upon what type rig you’re considering… a Class A, Class B, Class C, travel trailer….

      The PTV is also 17 feet so together with the BLT it’s 34 feet. That’s 34 feet with a small turning radius and it bends in the middle. The latter is important to avoid getting hung up in the middle where neither the front nor rear wheels have traction. Height and width are also factors when choosing a rig for boondocking, as well as lift off the ground. Some fifth wheels ride awfully high.

      To make it simple, think of it this way… The bigger the rig, the fewer the boondocks. It’s my opinion for anyone serious about boondocking in out-of-the-way places…. Get as small a rig in which you will be comfortable and no bigger than that.

      It’s not only size that matters. Think expense. I haul the BLT over some pretty rough roads. If I were driving an expensive rig that is costly to repair, I wouldn’t take it down those roads.

      Life, as you know, is compromise. I wish I could give you a definite, specific answer.

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        I agree with everything Sue said – it’s true that it’s not just length, but also how it “bends,” and width and height. Plus how reluctant you are to potentially scratch or break something.

        Also there is state of mind. Because I have seen some folks get some really huge rigs into some small places. But I know that I wouldn’t *feel* nimble with one of those rigs. I would be more reluctant to try things, to go down smaller roads, etc. Each person is different that way (and some scout ahead with a toad), but if you *can* be comfortable in a smaller rig, I bet you will get off the beaten path more. As Sue said, there is no “right” answer as it’s all a matter of degree and compromise.

        Of course it’s still great fun to talk about, so bring on the discussion 🙂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Well said, Pen. Like that point about feeling nimble… 🙂

          • BuckeyePatti says:

            Thanks to both of you for bringing up some very good points. Nothing better than getting ideas and thoughts from those who have forged ahead of me! 🙂

  35. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    You found a gorgeous spot for an overnight rest. Your comment about not settling for a lesser site made me smile. Why settle unless there are absolutely no other option. Talk about saving the best (site) for last!

    Fall is just around the corner! The leaves are not starting to change here yet. I am looking forward to nature’s color show. 🙂

    Great photos! Is that a board in the crook of the tree at your site? Try not to stress about missing photo ops. You will always have them in your memory and your descriptions always take our mind’s eye there. I could “see” that golden lit morning!

    Looking forward to seeing your new site. Please do check out the weather channel. There is a huge storm with potential flash flooding that will be affecting the Southwest. We don’t want you and Miss Bridge to get swept away to BFE!! 🙂

    Love and hugs!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      Thanks for complimenting my photos. Yes, that is a board. The tree trunk grew with a right angle in it and someone nailed a board to it making a little shelf.

      I appreciate the reminder to keep an eye on the weather. I will check it more frequently.

  36. Edie (OK) says:

    Sue,

    I echo the thanks for the description on “how to” find the best boondocking!

    Hope the storms are missing you and you have another beautiful day tomorrow. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Edie.

      We are having beautiful, warm weather and each day so far includes an afternoon shower on the mountains. At our camp it means a spate of wind and dark clouds, but it passes over us in less than an hour.

      Thanks for wishing us another beautiful day. The same for you, Edie!

  37. gingerd says:

    You always find the most beautiful spots to camp in. Great picture of the Red Canyon overlook.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, gingerd. I’ll be curious to know your reaction to the camp we’re in now which I’ll write about and show in the next post.

  38. EmilyO in NM says:

    Glad you are heading southward as just saw my first skein of geese flying southward this morning. Hummingbirds are scarce too. And, I am a whole lotta miles south of you. Take heed.

  39. Sondra-SC says:

    I see fall in those shots up there!! Great looking if that’s your view I am with envy…I was back at the hospital today after a 3 day break…now we have hard times ahead dealing with the fall out of having a family member committed to a facility..so far its horrifying…I don’t wish to grow old graciously any longer I want to drop dead suddenly and without warning!! Later than sooner but with my faculties and my body still working. If you’re traveling again today…safe travels!

    • Shirlene says:

      Amen Sondra…If I drop, leave me alone because that is what was meant to happen, but then again someone needs to remind my daughters…Bless Joan Rivers daughter.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sondra,

      I don’t envy you with what you are going through right now. Difficult decisions and each one giving rise to all sorts of emotions in everyone involved. . . . And none of the options are good. Take care of yourself. You need to be strong.

      No, we didn’t travel today, nor will we tomorrow. Thanks for the wish for our safety.

  40. Shirlene says:

    Hi Sue, leaving you a post to see if my notifications works, sort of a test…but also anxious for next post of where you are….100 degrees when I left work today in Orange, Cali…at least I live at the beach, only 87 when I got home 20 minutes later….whewwwww..got any more snow pictures I can sleep with…..love to you and Bridget, sleep tight.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Shirlene,

      It’s good you live at the beach and not some city apartment. I hope there are breezes coming in off the ocean. Sleep well . . . .

  41. Elizabeth in WA says:

    It is nice of you, to share so much about your boondocking places….exact locations even….not so sure everyone would do that. And explanations will help many who have not yet tried it out, too, I am sure. Blessings, Sue, on you and Bridget and your travels!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Elizabeth.

      The way I look at sharing boondocks is this — I don’t own them. It’s public land. Why get territorial over something that belongs to all of us!

  42. Kay says:

    So, I am bored. YES, with so much to do I am bored. It’s that time of year again, I can’t sleep – until 2PM until 6PM and then I am up for the night. Happens EVERY darn September, so tired of it.

    I think about RV Sue sleeping in that NICE, QUIET forest. Then, I think about the “hidden valley” part of the route from Molalla OR to Lincoln City, OR. Oh how peace in the valley really comes to mind. I would love to camp right smack in the middle of that beautiful grape vineyard I so much admire.

    STICKER UP DATE: Rowdy is now wearing several of them. He lays there for the granddaughter to sticker up. Her mommy informed me “NO MORE STICKERS” apparently, she’s had one heck of a “trotting day” and all I could say was “look at the bright side of it, your walls got washed.” Then, a few seconds later I heard “if you’d like to make a call.”

    I tried the bubbles, the stickers, next…. will be… PLAY-DOOH!!!!! Shhhhh

    You all have a great night, sleep well, and ENJOY what little time we have left before OLD MAN WINTER moves in and takes up our grounds.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kay,

      I hope you had a good night’s rest. We did.

      I had to laugh when I came to the word PLAY-DOH! Your daughter will recall stickers with fondness once play-doh is introduced. Haha!

      • Cat Lady (on the road in Bradyville, TN) says:

        Drums…drums should be next.

        Cat Lady

        • Kay says:

          She got drums already from her other grandparents, she got them before age 1 if I recall. Between them and I, we have purchased every learning toy that takes batteries. Twice a year, the little girl gets a box of batteries from all grandparents. I have to say, its really joy watching her take EACH toy to her mommy for battery replacement. Mommy sits for several hours with screw driver in hand! But, now little princess knows how to take screw driver and get batteries out her self! There is no time for mommy to do the things she wants to do, trust me. Little Princess keeps her on the move. The little girl loves bread, but not just any bread. She loves bread that comes out of my bread machine. So, for Christmas, I was thinking…. she needs her own bread machine. This will keep her mommy in the kitchen for several weeks!

  43. Rita from Phoenix says:

    Beautiful photos of you & Bridge’s travels…I love wide open spaces. Yes, Phoenix flooded last week…lots of schools and businesses closed down for a day. I couldn’t get out my neighborhood, my yard, streets, freeways were flood and closed. Saw pictures of a dozen or more vehicles window high in water stuck on the freeway. We have another storm on the way and predicted to arrive tomorrow evening. On the bright side, we discover our little Ralphie is a water dog. He loved the rain and water…ran around in circles splashing through water. Next day, knee deep water was still standing in the park across the street from me and again Ralphie enjoyed playing in the water. Ralphie is a short haired terrier mix white w/brown spots…he’s three years old next month.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rita,

      It’s good to see you here. I hope you are doing okay, sweetie.

      Another terrier water-dog! The way you describe Ralphie he sounds like a rat terrier. Some of them are white and brown. I can see him having a great time in the water. Dogs really know how to have fun!

  44. Teresa from NC says:

    Beautiful and peaceful. Thanks for sharing. I love what you’re doing with the new camera!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Teresa. When I was a kid I loved finding the “magical” places in the woods, little alcoves that seemed like the home of leprechauns or other mythical creatures. More than half a century later, I’m still looking for those places in the woods and delighted when I find them!

  45. Sidewinder Pen says:

    A few people have mentioned the hurricane in Mexico (Cabo San Lucas area) and the resulting rain and etc. that will be heading northeast from there. Here is a good article/synopsis with graphics of the predicted rainfall in Mexico and the SW US.

    I will mention that there is some graphic text (not images, text) describing the storm (but you could skip over that part, as it’s obvious).

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2799

    BTW, the link is to Jeff Masters’ blog. I believe he founded Weather Underground and is (to me) a great combination: A weather geek who can write so that regular folks can understand and follow along. Always plenty of charts, too.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow! That was an exciting account of “weathering” a storm! How terrifying! Thanks for the link, Pen.

    • Reine says:

      I’ve also checked Jeff Masters’ blog when weather is “interesting” or threatening. I find he writes reasonably and without the scare excessive drama that many weather folks use. If he says it’s dangerous, it’s DANGEROUS. Hopefully the rains headed to Arizona won’t cause too much damage.

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        I like the way he writes too. You feel almost as if he’s a professor giving a reasonable, realistic, yet entertaining presentation. And of course you can tell he loves his subject. I have learned a lot about weather from reading his blog (both before and after events).

  46. JodeeinSoCal says:

    Loved the little bent tree with the table top 🙂

  47. weather says:

    Oak leaves hung in clusters,still heavy from last night’s rain.I waited with them.As the wind freed them they waved,danced and wiggled on their stems-so did I.Shafts of light made them glisten and me grin-the hours until that had been filled with ordinary miracles and worth every second it had taken.

    Quiet beside me for much of the time,the troupe patient ,yet always ready, springs up happy each time the party begins.They have breakfast as early as I have coffee and like spending the pause with me -no matter how long.Part of this morning’s was spent amid soft yellow winged insects that look like mosquitoes ,but aren’t-beautiful things to watch

    Now that bird song and my clicking these keys are the only sounds in here- the fur babies all are asleep.It’s delightful how we seem to perform our tasks around their needs and they adapt to the flow of our days-with the choreography of a ballet.

    With another day at your home before you relocate,I hope Bridget explores a new spot for you to find together,leading you around until she’s tired.I get such a kick out of her settling in for naps when you two are on the road.That joyful balance in choices is what most families on earth need-I think we’re so blessed to have it.Sorry I missed you on line this morning,Sue.Until we catch up with each other here again,may the strength of excitement accompany the planning of whatever pleases you next

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, weather,

      I’m late responding. This has been a fun-filled morning. Bridget and I had a wonderful walk with spectacular views and warm companionship. As you wished, she served as leader until worn out.

      I had more fun editing the photos I took on our walk and putting together the next blog post which I’ll publish in a few moments.

      As always, your description of the world around you… from damp oak leaves to snoozing pals… transports me to a place much different from here, but similar in many ways, too. Thank you!

      • weather says:

        Yippee for the walk and rest being what I’d hoped and more,a new post coming,too!It was and is my pleasure,ah-…to those similar ways

  48. Shirlene says:

    Yep, what she said…

  49. Shirlene says:

    Good Morning Sue, hope you slept well…I am following your trip South down the 191 on Google Maps, quite fun to follow the winding road you are taking and I mean that in the broadest sense…Had my morning coffee and kept up with the postings….Good Morning to Weather also, cannot start my day without a post from you Weather..Everyone have a good day…Hugs to Bridget and have a good walk.

  50. DesertGinger says:

    I love that Wunderground blog! What an exciting and scary description of the storm, but better him than me!
    Ahhh Sue another great spot. And you are headed south! Can’t wait for you to get back to your winter home and show me more of the places nearby that I may hope to visit soon. I so want to experience much more of AZ this winter.
    I am still battling with my INR levels, and am back to injections in belly twice a day to protect from strokes. My INR was too high Friday, too low Monday. I wonder if it will ever stabilize. Today I’m not feeling well; spending a lot of time in bathroom. But it is a cool morning with some rain, which is nice. Chloe and I heading out for a walk soon.
    Glad to hear from all my blogorino neighbors today; everyone sounds good.

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