Three categories of camps

We arrive at Oak Flat on Sunday afternoon, November 30th.

As usual, I take advantage of stores and services that are available en route to a new camp.  In this case, Bridget and I stop at the Wal-Mart in Claypool, Arizona (near Globe).  Then we head west on Route 60.  Also as usual, I’m excited about a new camp!

This is a big copper mining area.

Route 60 is called the Gila Pinal Scenic Highway.  I guess it got that title due to the big mountains of boulders on both sides, or maybe the rocky cliffs that the road slices through, or maybe the humongous holes in the ground due to mining operations.

We climb to a summit named “Top of the World” where a tiny, tumble-down town sits and can’t be more than 6,000 feet if it’s a foot.  I give the town credit for putting a positive slant on what they have.

On the other side of the mountain, we descend.

Of course, what else would we do?  Fly?

Anyway . . . .

1-P1010648We soon arrive at the turn for Tonto National Forest’s hidden gem, Oak Flat Campground.

1-P1010642Uh-oh.  This does not look promising.

Okay, let’s pause here for a moment of reflection.

I want to talk about camps.  There are camps and then there are camps.  Know what I mean?

There are what I think of as “glamour camps.”  These are in campgrounds or boondocks where the scenery pops your eyes out.  I’ve shown you lots of them over the past 3+ years.  Our camp in 2013 near the Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California, is an example.

1-Alabama HillsOur front door view of Lone Peak

Then there are camps that are small in scope, but big on atmosphere.  Cozy camps.  Pretty camps.  An example is the camp we made along the Tieton River in Washington in 2013.

1-TietonRiverA peaceful place for morning coffee

Sometimes a camp is desirable because it’s convenient.  Any beauty found there is a bonus. I call those Handy-Dandy Camps.  Quartz Flat along Interstate 90 near Superior, Montana, is a good example.

1-Quartz FlatIt was a long drive that hot day in 2013.  The crew is worn out.

Those are the three categories of camps:  Eye-popping Scenic, Cozy-Pretty, and Handy-Dandy.

In what category shall we place Oak Flat Campground?

Oak Flat Campground is . . . er . . . rustic.  Let’s face it.  The campground is old and has seen better days.  To be blunt and maybe unfair — I’m giving you my first impression — it has an atmosphere of Shanty Town.  Tarps are big here.  Radios, too.   Also groups of large, barking dogs, apparently the result of neglecting to spay/neuter.  Campsites look tired and worn.

For those reasons, I choose to camp outside of the campground in a large, flat clearing.

I wouldn’t say this camp is Eye-Popping Scenic.

1-P1010649I like that I found a site away from boulders (rattlesnake homes) and the campground.

Can’t say it fits in the Cozy-Pretty category.

1-P1010646The site is spacious for Bridget’s wanderings though.  (Photo taken at dusk.)

I guess it fits best in the Handy-Dandy category.

Even though there’s a mountain between here and Globe where the auto body shop is located, the drive is less than 30 minutes.

Speaking of the body shop . . .

1-P1010647Cobre Valley Motors Body Shop, Globe, Arizona

The Imperfect Tow Vehicle remains imperfect as I type this. Whereas the first replacement door (silver) turned out to have rust, the second replacement door (red) turns out to be dented on the inside.

I say to Duane, “What is it with the colored doors?  I drive around and see all these Chevy Express vans and every one of them is white.”

He chuckles at this. 

“I think that rusty door came from the East somewhere.”

“Gee, you’d think the salvage yard would look at the door before sending it,” I remark.

Oh well.  As with anything involving a chain of people, all it takes to lower quality (or to cause delay) is one weak link.  It’s okay.  I can wait and return when the time is right.

Maybe there’s a reason for the delay . . .

Like seeing spectacular sunrises from our camp outside Oak Flat.

1-P1010651Every camp has something to make it memorable! (No photo enhancement)


NOTE:  The money reports (see header) for the months of May, June, and July of 2014 are posted!


1-P1010652The Best Little Trailer is pretty in pink at sunrise.

 Click here to shop Amazon now!

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197 Responses to Three categories of camps

  1. Marilu from Northern California says:

    Could I be first?

  2. Diann in MT says:

    Gorgeous sunrise shots, Sue! And, for this you are truly blessed, girl! You too, Bridget!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Diann,

      This morning I woke up and saw that my white curtains were glowing pink! I grabbed the camera and ran outside. The pink clouds lasted less than a minute after I took those shots.

      Yes, we are blessed.

  3. Jean in Southaven, MS says:

    Find at least 5 good things everyday, that is my moto. Looks like you found at least two good things about your new camp. It is close to Globe and the sunrise is beautiful. I bet it is quite and the weather is good. There I have found four good things about your new camp. Now all you have to do is find one more good thing.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right, Jean. It is quiet here at night when I have all the windows closed. Bridget and I sleep well. The weather is good.

      I know the tone of this post is a bit critical… Trying to put a little edge on. 🙂

      Oh, the fifth, good thing… I found a pretty bush with red bark I’m going to try to photograph and post.

  4. Marsha/MI says:

    Gorgeous sunrise shots. Some times I’ve hemmed and hawed over whether or not to get up to get a beautiful sunrise shot and I end up with “you snooze, you lose.”

  5. Marilu from Northern California says:

    Now I’ve gathered my coffee and actually read the post 🙂 I’m sorry about the disappointment of another imperfect door. You have such a great attitude about these things. Maybe by remaining in the area you are destined to meet someone who will be important in your journey, a Rusty, a Dale, or even a new crew member. Who knows what may happen if you are open to possibilities.

    We are getting rain in California!!! It has rained off and on for a week and it is forecast to continue for another week. We bought a big tank to capture rainwater and it’s already a third full! Just hope it continues.

    Your sunset photo is breathtaking. It reminds me of the sunsets we saw in Cottonwood Arizona.Happy Trails to both of you. I’ll be waiting to see the next installment.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marilu,

      Wow! Two weeks of rain in California… I hope so! You are wise to get a rain barrel. I remember my auntie had a rain barrel when I was a kid. She used the water to wash hair, among other things. Made hair soft.

      Re: sunrise photo… What a way to start a day, eh? We shall see what this delay allows to happen. 🙂

  6. john fossildreamer says:

    Hi Sue,, Just a big Hi,, And that’s a beautiful sunset,, one of the, well two of
    the things I have missed most about not fulltiming is sunrise, and sunset..
    come to think of it I could lay awake at night for hours looking out my window
    counting stars, Now with the many camp sites that you take me to, I can just sit
    and visualize them and they look great,,,, Safe Travels Sue,,,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, John… I know what you mean. Sunrises, sunsets, and the stars… “These are a few of my favorite things…”

  7. Phxkayaker says:

    Love the boulders around Top of the World and Oak Flat! Hope you end up with a usable door soon! – John

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John,

      I was going to mention that this is a popular area for “bouldering.” I’m not interested in that, but if I were, Oak Flat would be the place!

  8. AZ Jim says:

    Well, Missy….two doors down, number three will be a winnah!!! Look at the current site as just a place to park and you will be less disappointed. Hi Bridget!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      I’m not really disappointed. I just want to describe camps as I find them. Not every camp is going to be “ooh-aah” … Some are plain, utilitarian, and handy. Yes, this third door will be the right one. It will, it will. . .

      • Sondra-SC says:

        I have camped there! It was like you say not exactly memorable but we need a place to pitch a tent for a NIGHT and it was perfect for that…we did do some boulder hopping that was fun….hope you get your door soon. IT was 68 and beautiful here today Im back in my shorts at least for a day!! Enjoy your stay at Oak Flats!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Sondra,

          Sounds like you agree with my description of the campground. This is THE place for climbing boulders. I’m glad you had some short pants weather. 🙂

  9. DebsJourney says:

    Hi Sue,
    I just wrote on your last post a few times. Oh well.
    I think I’ll start out camping either the handy dandy close to the highway camps to get where I’m heading and then I’ll stay in the kind of RV park that has all the amenities while I am learning this camp routine. Although I’m wanting to get solar put on eventually. Perhaps I’ll do some boondocking after I get used to this.
    I also got my pet enclosure and tomorrow my zero gravity longer via your amazon link. Hope you can see that.
    Hope you have a very pleasant week in the new camp.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I saw your comments and replied.

      Thanks for ordering the dog pen and lounger. I hope both serve you well. I probably saw the orders… It’s hard for me to tell whether they are your orders or someone else’s without knowing when you placed the order.

      Your plan for camps is great!

  10. Linda Rose, Muffin, Murphy, Molly and Midgy says:

    Sue and Bridget, I am so loving hitting the road with you. I couldn’t full time tho. Right now I’m hunkered down in front of my new to me sewing machine making Christmas gifts. I couldn’t fit this massive machine and all my other “stuff” I enjoy so much inside of my imperfect little Roadtrek and I’m not interested in traveling around in anything bigger. Your sunrise picture makes that pretty desolate campsite look pretty darned good. It’s finally raining here in northern California (thank God) and it’s causing me to want to nestle in with Christmas music and a blanket over my legs in the recliner with a couple of dogs piled on for good measure! I hope you get your door all fixed and it can be the PTV once again. Stay safe, and enjoy!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda Rose and the 4 Ms,

      Thanks you for telling me you love riding along with us. I understand you wanting to stay in your home with your sewing machine and crafts. Whatever makes you happy, right?

      So glad you’re getting some rain. It looks like this part of Arizona will have some, too. Today is very grey and cloudy. I think I can smell rain.

  11. Looking forward to finding our own boondocking “glamour” camps when we make it to Arizona in January! Maybe we’ll be able to share the perfect spot with each other…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Ach… “share the perfect spot together…” I love ya, Kevin and Ruth, but . . . . 🙂

  12. Rod says:

    Your about 15 miles from me over here in Apache Junction/Mesa…. But no I won’t come search you out… Sorry our camps aren’t all that good, but that is kind of the poor part of the miner town… Go see the Boyce Thompson Arboretum while you are so close….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rod,

      No need to apologize. I do notice several businesses closed and several cars with doors that don’t match. The town of Miami looks very poor. I drove to Superior today. From here to there, spectacular rocks! Now I see why Route 60 is called a scenic highway. Thanks for the tip on the arboretum.

  13. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hello, Sue!

    “…what else would we do? Fly?” That line made me laugh out loud…imagining the BLT sprouting wings! He-he! 🙂

    I liked your definition of the different types of camps. Even though your surroundings in this camp are on the plain, sparse side, you cannot beat that beautiful, pink, morning light. I love the photo of the sunrise reflected on the BLT. At the end of the day, a safe, quiet place where you are comfortable is the perfect place for the moment.

    Two van doors with problems….maybe the third will be the charm. My hope is that not only will it be defect-free, but that it is white as well! How perfect would that be?

    Wishing you and Bridget a good afternoon and peaceful evening. Hugs to you both from me and Gracie pup. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise and Gracie,

      I would save a tidy sum if the replacement door were white. Yes, a quiet comfortable place is “the perfect place for the moment.”

      Wishing you a good evening, too!

  14. weather says:

    “is spacious for Bridget’s wanderings” makes the site perfect,a exceptionally great reason for a delay,a profound blessing,and a treasure of enormous magnitude the way that I see it!Guess it’s kind of obvious that I’m a loving fan of hers 🙂 Copper is one of my favorite things,hopefully those holes will soon enough have life growing among them,I’ve seen that happen (after what seemed only destructive at the time) often in life.Thank you for all the beautiful photos ,after the last post’s ones I needed that!In case I haven’t mentioned it lately,I really luv and appreciate you and your blog,weather

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      A large campsite with no obstructions makes for a good sniffing ground for the Bridge. She likes to be able to see me at all times.

      Thank you for the kind words. Have a wonderful evening with the troupe!

  15. Monica says:

    When the sky is as beautiful as that, they say the angels are baking Christmas cookies. Red sky in morning sailor take warning, red sky at night sailor delight. SF Bay area is finally getting that badly needed rain. Yeah for CA! There is a huge front coming up from Mexico which is making Southern CA soggy. That beautiful red sky in morning is mostly likely a warning of what could come your way. Hopefully not since CA needs all that rain. Beauty is to be found in even rough places (rustic to pretty a word for your spot). Someone once told me, there is no such thing as a loss…and the angels are baking cookies to entertain you. Safe travels!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Monica,

      I never heard that one… Angels baking cookies… I’ll remember. 🙂

      If the rain comes tomorrow, I have plenty to do inside the BLT. I could work on more money reports. I’m so proud that I finished three yesterday. It only took me half a year to get busy on them!

      Yes, rain, rain, come this way and come again another day! Glad for you Californians…

  16. Patricia from Florida says:

    Thank you Sue for putting that Amazon link at end of posts. I make some purchases thru my cell phone and I was having a tough time finding or getting to your Amazon link at top of post. I just made a nice purchase that should give u a nice commission. Luv ur site, as always.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Patricia,

      I wish I’d known earlier that it wasn’t easy to go to Amazon when using a cell phone. Thanks for the “nice purchase.” The jump in orders at this time of year makes my season bright. 🙂

  17. Jean in Southaven, MS says:

    I ordered two American Girl dolls in a set yesterday and I ordered the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” today. Hope that little bit helps.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I saw those! Thanks, Jean.

    • Gayle says:

      After seeing the price of American Girl dolls, tea parties at the American Girl dolls store, etc., I WISHED I WERE an American Girl doll! They have everything!! Who are the lucky girls who get the American Girl dolls?

      • Jean in Southaven, MS says:

        I have a granddaughter that is 11. She is getting the dolls. They are a set of what is called Mini-dolls that are retired from 1974. They were not anywhere near as expensive as one regular 18″ American Girl doll. She read the books and now wants a doll. Could not afford a new one for her.

  18. Richard C Dorr says:

    Just down the hill towards Phoenix here is a nice campground in Kearny off rt 177 that is run by the town .Should be private and maybe $5 a night for elec and water…check it out.Also you may want to spend some time a Boyce Thompsom Arboretum also just down the hill,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Richard,

      Nice to see you here!

      Yes, Rod mentioned the arborteum. I do plan on going there. I’m waiting for a day with better light in order to take photos of the plants. It’s a dark day today and rain is expected tomorrow.

      I wasn’t aware of the Kearny campground. Thanks for the tip. I’ll see if I can find it on my Arizona Benchmark map.

  19. Jan in Montana says:

    My new kindle and I are getting along. Hope that you have as much good luck with a new door. Keep finding great photos for us to enjoy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jan,

      Glad you like your kindle, Jan. It’s a good companion for long, winter nights. 🙂

  20. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    I can just picture Bridget flying her ears on the down side of the mountain! Actually…I think she sleeps until she feels the PTV slow down and come to a halt!

    Your descriptions……made me laugh!

    Shanty town complete with tarps and lots of dogs! Yikes!

    Sunrise is absolutely gorgeous!

    Too bad about the door! The third will be a charm! You know I’ve ONLY seen white Chevy express vans!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      Ever since the beginning of The Saga of the Doors began, I’ve looked for Chevy Express vans on the road and all I see are white ones.

      Yeah, there are dogs that are pets and then there are yard dogs… in this case, campground dogs. 🙂

  21. Willow (AZ) says:

    One of the beautiful things about Arizona is the beautiful sky…..amethyst, blue, pink, gold, Scarlett, sometimes it’s just amazing. I often sit outside in the evening and just watch the sky change colors.
    Im sorry you are having such a time with your van door, you are dealing with it very patiently, it will all work out in the end, and it will be the best little tow vehicle again, I know it’s aggravating for you.
    Take care of yourself and miss briget too.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Willow,

      The great thing (among many) about Arizona is, no matter whether you live in an expensive home, a broken-down shack, a travel trailer, whatever, you still can enjoy spectacular sunrises and sunsets. I’ve done like you — positioned my chair westward and settled in to enjoy the light show.

  22. Sidewinder Pen says:

    Hi Sue,

    Today I tried something we had talked about in the past, and I’d be interested to know if it worked (if not, I’ll find another way!).

    1) I had a bunch of stuff in my Amazon cart that I had been building up for awhile (planning a project, and put things in as I went along).

    2) Today, before finalizing the order, I came here to your blog and copied your link. I used that link to open a new Amazon page. I did see the tag in the URL that showed your ID.

    3) Then I went to my cart and made the order. I know that it never shows to me that you got credit, but I would like to know if you did. Reason is this is the most convenient way for me to compile my Amazon orders and have them shipped when I’m in a good spot to do so. So if it works this way, win/win. If it didn’t work (i.e. give you credit), I’ll go to another method.

    I don’t know whether you see orders in a “lump” of items or if you just see individual items, but it was mostly electrical supplies, plus some Annie’s shells (gotta have my comfort food!).


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pen,

      First off, thank you for the effort you put forth to make sure I get credit for your Amazon purchases.

      I’m confused by item 2). Why did you copy my link? Why didn’t you simply click the link and go straight to Amazon?

      Okay, I tried to check for the items you ordered. It’s hard to do this without knowing when you placed the order. Was it yesterday or a week ago? If you placed it yesterday or today, it might not show up until tomorrow or the next day, what with the heavy shopping going on.

      I don’t see Annie’s shells. I see some electrical stuff, but I wouldn’t think you’d call them “supplies.” I didn’t go back more than two days. I’m trying to conserve data. Let me know when you ordered please. A specific electrical item would help, too.

      If you put items in a cart and then entered Amazon directly through any of my links by clicking on them, I’ll get credit. You shouldn’t be putting an URL in an address bar or anything like that.

      I don’t see the items of a person’s order grouped together on my reports. All orders made in a time period are shown according to category, grouped under Toys, Automotive, Sports, Electronics, etc.

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        Hi Sue,

        I thought you might wonder why I copied the link, but I tend to put too much information forth, and so I decided to leave out a sub-explanation of that. Anyway, for various reasons, I have Safari set up as the browser my feed reader opens to, so when I read your posts I am in Safari.

        Yet, I prefer to use Firefox for Amazon orders. So I copied the Amazon URL from your post (which I had open in Safari) and pasted it into the URL bar in Firefox, where I do my Amazon business. I made sure that the reference dealie did display your identifier. In other words, in the gobbledy-good that comprised the URL, was the rvsue phrase, so I knew that part was working. Where I was unsure was whether that for sure “transferred” to when I actually went to my cart and purchased.

        I made this order late yesterday, so it did not ship until today (Wednesday, Dec 3). A “recognizable” item would be the Annie’s shells, and… let me pick some other things out of the order… okay, fuse, AC panel, bus bar. They are shipping in four different boxes, if that matters (and yes, groan, two to UPS and two to FedEx – luckily I have made friends with the FedEx folks here and they will hold refused UPS packages for me so it all works out [UPS will only randomly/sometimes accept packages from FedEx]. It’s good to have flexible people at the local facilities! They do understand that we cannot always know how things will ship).

        Anyway, if I find out that these items were credited, then I can stick to my routine and know it’s working. If not, I’ll figure out another way. You certainly “deserve” credit since I read your blog regularly, get a lot from it, and even get “ideas” of what to buy from Amazon from it (as if I need more!).

        Speaking of which: A few people asked about the Paperwhite vs. the new Voyag(er?). I have had a Paperwhite for awhile now, and recently ordered the Voyag(er?) (always forget which name it is). I have not used the “V” yet, but I did open it and handle it. My only complaint about the Paperwhite (not that it is a huge thing) is that I like to read while holding the “book” up in my arm sometimes, and my former Nook was more comfortable to hold. I think it may have been a bit lighter, and it also had little finger grooves on the back (but I gave it up as Amazon presents their book information in a much better format, to my mind). I read that the “V” was a bit smaller and lighter (and I have a cranky shoulder, so it matters). Well, the specs sounded like it was a really minor difference, but a review said “yeah, but it really FEELS lighter.” So I ordered one. It DOES feel quite bit lighter/smaller to me, even though the specs are not that much better. So if that is important to someone, they may prefer the “V.” That said, I have not actually used it yet (I buy tech stuff and then get intimidated and don’t use it until it has sat around for awhile – silly but true).

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          PS: Don’t tell anyone the ridiculous number of shells I ordered (oink, oink) 🙂

          Thing is, I had ordered some in the past, and then when I finally used them up, I found the price had doubled! So I kept an eye out and now it went back down, so I pounced on a “lifetime” supply (ha, no, they won’t last that long). They are my comfort food that is easy, keeps forever, and stows tidily.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Okay, I think I understand what you did. Why didn’t you open my blog in Firefox and then click a link, go to your cart, go to check-out, and bingo, I get the credit? Why open my blog with Safari and then switch?

          I’ll be surprised if I get credit from the pasted URL.

          I hope I’m wrong because it sounds like a significant order (greedy-greedy). Not that all orders aren’t significant. I’ll check tomorrow to see if any of the items appear.

          Thanks for sharing about the Paperwhite and Voyager.

          LATER… PEN, YOUR ORDER DOES NOT APPEAR IN THE 12/4 ORDERS REPORT. If I don’t see it in the 12/5 report, then it didn’t work.

          • Sidewinder Pen says:

            Hi Sue,

            Well if it turns out that opening your blog in Firefox is the key to it working, then I will do that in future. As to why I don’t now, it’s just that I have my commenting ID set up in Safari, and that is the default for blogs that come in through my feed reader, so it’s the most automatic and natural. Hence if it works, I’d prefer it. If it does not work, I’ll do a different way.

            Another popular blogger (with whom you are friends) made a post talking about affiliate links (and she linked to yours as one of her regular choices :)), and she said she just does it by bookmarks. She also said as long as the ID is in the header it would work (as a double check). So I couldn’t see why pasting would not be similar, and I did see your ID in the header. Of course who knows what goes on behind the web scenes (not me!), so that’s why I’m asking whether or not it did work. Some stuff still hasn’t shipped yet, btw, but should sometime today.

            But as I said, if we find out it didn’t work, I’ll adapt. I just hate adapting without knowing if the original way would have (did) work anyway!

            ‘course now I’m going to be “forced” to buy more things if that order didn’t “take” 😀 🙂 You meanie, you! 😉

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              You are good, Pen, to figure this out. I’m totally unaware what this “ID in the header” is all about. (By “header” I assume you mean the address bar.) Let’s see if the order shows up. If it does, then whatever you’re doing works and I don’t have to figure it out. Haha!

              Gee, what friend-blogger was this? I should say thank you.

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              I didn’t want to post another blog to draw traffic away, but it was Nina 🙂 Her most recent post.

              Yup, if it works, nothing more to figure out, and perhaps the info would be handy for others, who like me keep a “running cart.” Let’s see if it works before I start explaining more about how I did it 😀

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Thanks, Pen. I figured it was Nina.

              I don’t mind links to other blogs, as a rule. I love comments, if they are sincere, not self-promotions. I want to keep our discussions real.

              Just to clarify for everyone about the Amazon shopping cart… There is no problem with using the cart to shop Amazon and have the blogger get credit. Pen’s situation is different because she changes browsers during the process.

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Glad all is good so far 🙂 And yes, there were two “things” with my test procedure. One is that I had loaded up my cart on previous Amazon visits, not all of which were “through” your blog portal. Two is that I used a different browser and just pasted in your link. If all does not come out properly on your end, I’ll separate the variables and continue testing. Guess I’ll have to stock up on more shells, darnitall 😉 😀

  23. cluelesscampers and canine (Eastern Missouri) says:

    My new Kindle Paperwhite arrived today!! Hopefully you got credit for it…I ordered a red case along with it. Naturally I see your comment about your purple case, bees, and hummingbirds too late!! Oh well, the hummers will be welcome, but not the bees! Getting to know how to use it will be exciting for me, the technologically challenged. For you to get credit for kindle books, should I order on my laptop through your blog?? I guess ordering on the kindle itself probably wouldn’t help you out..

    Hopefully the third time will be the charm on your door.

    Thanks for helping keep our dream of full timing alive through your blog. Eventually we will be free from responsibility and able to travel more. Arizona looks to have it all–mountains, big lakes, warm weather in winter. You lucky girl!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, cc and c,

      I do appreciate you ordering through my blog! I know you will enjoy the Paperwhite. May you meet many hummers as you read. 🙂

      I don’t see the purple case and, of course, I can’t tell which Paperwhite is yours on my orders report. If you ordered the purple case a few days ago, I probably got credit for it. I remember cases on reports, don’t remember colors.

      It’s easier, in my opinion, to order kindle books from the laptop. You can scroll down to read reviews and even read a sample. You’ll figure out what works best for you.

      Thanks again!

      • cluelesscampers and canine (Eastern Missouri) says:

        Thanks for the answer….I ordered a red case….so it should attract more hummers than the purple one that you have. I placed my order on 11/28, and it came yesterday. It’s a christmas gift for myself, but I just had to try it out when it came. I got an e-book through the kindle, and it wasn’t until I read your blog last night that I realized my boo-boo. I’ll order future books through your link. I guess when you do that the book you order goes onto your “cloud”(??) until the next time you open the kindle?? This is all so new and confusing to me!

        I’m a RVSue wannabe. I can just picture lounging in a zero gravity chair reading my kindle! (And to think I was going to give those chairs away because they’re so big and heavy!)

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          When you order an ebook for your kindle, whether you do so on your kindle or from your laptop, the book will appear within seconds on your kindle’s home page.

          If you aren’t on your kindle’s home page, simply tap the upper lefthand corner of your kindle (I think that’s right–I’m more familiar with Paperwhites) and you’ll go to the home page.

          I hope this helps.

  24. Lynn Brooks says:

    Dear Sue,
    I love how you’ve described the various types of campgrounds! I agree!
    When I was full timing w/Lady, I didn’t have the flexibility that you do – my mh was 40′! I could not get into most State & Nationak parks!
    Next time will be different! Smaller, easier to maneuver & fit into smaller spaces!
    I’m sorry your “new” door didn’t work out – again! I often there is method to this kind of madness – although we don’t see it all until it’s way behind us!
    Your sunrise photo is perfect! So beautiful! Worth everything just to see that!
    Enjoy your stay &, as always, thank you for letting us share your adventures!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lynn,

      Thank you for the compliment on the sunrise photo. I’m glad you enjoyed it, as well as my camp categories.

      You will appreciate having a smaller rig. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a big rig lumber through a campground and watched it leave because of its size.

      A good rule of thumb, in my opinion, is get a rig that’s big enough for you, but not any bigger than that. In other words, go as small as you can and still be happy. You’ll save a bundle of bucks in the long run and gain many wonderful camps!

      You know all this and I’m happy for you, Lynn.

  25. Gayle says:

    I must admit that I feel stabbed in the heart when I see former posts that include Spike. Quantum physics insists that there is no death, only a change of matter into another vibratory level that we cannot perceive within our present vibratory level. I’ll go with that! Spike is not gone, he’s just out of sight!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gayle,

      I know what you mean about those stabs to the heart. I still haven’t updated Spike’s page. It’s too difficult.

      While looking for photos of former camps for this post, I came across many memories and photos of Spike. After this interval since his death, looking back has made me realize what a very special guy he was. I always knew that, of course, but I didn’t really know how much. No wonder people who never met him in real life fell in love with him!

      Thank you for your words of comfort.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        I too saw Spike lying down in the picture….my thoughts were two fold! Happy to see him…as he was so much a part of your life and sad that he is missed!

        Hugs to both!

  26. Mert says:

    Good evening sue,
    I think the best part of that camp area ( and all that you visit) is walking out the door to that gorgeous sunset. However rain I imagine beats walking in the door to a classroom full of kids 😉
    I hate that door # 2 was a clunker. Hopefully #3 will be the one. And yes I feel there is always a reason for the madness 🙂
    Day #3 of cold dark sky’s with all day rain here in NE Kentucky 🙁 Winter is not my buddy lol
    My paper white arrived yesterday, it is a gift .. However, I feel that ms. Mert needs one too. 🙂
    Happy trails, hugs to bridge & peace,health and happiness to all!
    Mert and Asia Mae.
    Ps doesn’t care for the rain but she LOVES the cold weather. She wears about 4 fur coats though 😉

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mert,

      Anything beats walking in the door to a classroom full of kids!

      Yes, Mert deserves to treat herself. I hope you will give yourself a Paperwhite.

      It’s good to know that Asia Mae is well prepared for cold weather and does so in style… fur coats indeed!

      Hope you both stay warm and dry today!

  27. DesertHawk - Las Cruces, New Mexico says:

    Looking at your photo of the door, I’m wondering if someone couldn’t pull the bent “flap” out to make it “kind of” straight. Not as a permanent solution, but to allow the door to closed without the bungee cord until a replacement door can be found????

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Adrian,

      I thought the same thing at first. If I were around garage people whom I’d known for years, people from whom I could ask a favor, then I might have gone that route. I’d hate for the door to be pulled back in shape and then the latch stick where I can’t open the back doors at all.

      I asked at two body shops and both said, no, the door has to be replaced. Even if they could pull it out in order for it to latch, I’d have to make arrangements for that and… well, I’d rather get the dang thing exchanged and be done with it. The bungee is doing the job okay. Thanks for thinking of me..

  28. Edie, OK says:


    The Amazon link at the bottom was a good idea. It’s the only Amazon link I can see on the phone! Useful!

    Started using the iPhone instead of the iPad and the links were very hard to find.

    Hope you have a great day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Weren’t you the one who made me aware of the problem? If so, I do appreciate you bringing it to my attention!

  29. Edie, OK says:

    To explain further, on a phone there are no side panels (no weather widget, locator etc.)

    The text and comments are the only thing I can see. Without the Amazon link you put at the bottom I don’t know how you would ever get to Amazon from your blog on a phone. Not a good thing! The new link is a very good thing.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s interesting. Here I am encouraging people to shop Amazon from my blog and then I make it difficult! Thanks, Edie.

      • Mert says:

        Sue, I use my iPhone for internet. And I have no issues with finding amazon. However, just recently the side bar has disappeared. Or Atleast for me. It is all gone. I can still access amazon, but weather widget,search, all of that is now gone. And I only noticed all if it gone in the past week or so.

        • Edie, OK says:

          Mine is an iPhone also and the only way I can see to get to Amazon is the link Sue just added. Not sure why.

  30. BadgerRickInWis says:

    It’s barely December and we have already overnight lows below zero. I think that camp sounds about perfect.

    If nothing else it certainly is the perfect spot to chill for a bit and wait for the perfect tow vehicle to become perfectly perfect once again. Speaking of perfect I hope Bridget’s leg is continuing to mend this camp looks convenient but not so stroller friendly. Do let her know that I have been praying for her continued speedy recovery.

    Like always I love this post. But I’m on my way to bed now and find I can’t get the image out of my mind of Monty Hall asking. “What’s it going to be RVSue? Door number one? Door number two? Or door number three? 🙂

    Which ever you end up with I’m sure it will be perfect.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rick,

      Well, Monty, I pick DOOR NUMBER THREE!!!

      Bridget doesn’t suffer without the stroller. We take shorter walks… I’m the one who doesn’t get enough exercise when I can’t push her in a stroller.

  31. Elizabeth in WA says:

    So sorry about the delay, Sue, and hope the next one is a good one!! Tis often hard to wait for something.

    Seems a good thing that Bridget prefers to stay close enough to see you!! Hope it will be safe for you both, wherever you stay. I would be like you, trying to avoid disturbing any snakes!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth,

      Bridget’s clinginess gets on my nerves at times, yet it is a good thing. I never have to worry about sneaking off.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        That was one trait I LOVED about our last dog…she would NOT leave us, not even if someone left open the gate to the backyard and it was not noticed for days….never left. We only kept her on a leash so others would not be worried…she would not leave us. I loved not having to worry about that!! When she was a pup, with so much energy, we would take her a couple blocks away during off hours at a school yard and take her off leash….let one of us run aways ahead, then turn her loose and tell her to go catch the other!! She loved that game and it helped get rid of some of that border collie energy!! She could run like the wind. But of course, it was not a very long time till it was made illegal to take a dog to the empty school grounds. Sigh. Our tax dollars at work. One day they will outlaw breathing.

      • Mert says:

        Asia stays glued to me too. If I stop real fast , her head rams into the rear of me. Lol I have a very small bathroom and she goes there with me too. I agree , sometimes it is annoying. But god love there hearts. 😉

        • Elizabeth in WA says:

          Well, I pretty much drew the line at coming into the bathroom too much…but she would lay outside the door and wait. Yea, I still miss that darling dog!! Do I ever. One reason I am afraid to get another….I would expect too much I am afraid.

  32. Reine says:

    Since we mostly camp in state and national parks rather than boondocking our categories are a bit different. We have some that are labeled “one nighters”, a good place to stay between here and there but that’s all. Some are “once is enough”, places we’re either glad or sorry we went to but don’t really want to return. Our favorite category is the “fun to go back to”, ones with good campsites, good trails, good geocaching, good scenery, etc. Unfortunately we’ve also found a few that are “no way”, places we drove into and right back out of for one reason or another.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Reine,

      I like your categories, too…. You learn where the good places are and what to avoid.

      Isn’t it amazing, I finally put together the money reports for May, June, and July! I have one month to finish the remaining five months to have them all done before the new year.

      • Lolalo says:

        You have been busy, busy, busy putting these reports together. It amazes me that you can go back with accuracy. I’m not that organized.
        I started this month keeping up with every dollar spent, to become accustomed to doing this when we become fulltimers, which will be January 2015! Yeah! We are so excited! Our first trip will be to Florida for at least a month and we plan to work our way west. We plan to spend time at National Wildlife Refuges and smaller campgrounds, but who knows what opportunity may bring our way?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Lolalo,

          The way I keep track of my spending is very old-fashioned. No apps. 🙂 I try to use a credit card for everything, stash the receipts in my purse, and add them up at the end of the month. When I procrastinate (which is pretty much all the time), I put the receipts in an envelope at the end of the month until I get around to tallying them up.

          Good idea to start the habit of recording your expenses! Oh boy, no wonder you are becoming excited… Your January launch is not far off… I’m very happy for you!

  33. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    Love the campsite categories! I know the Eye-popping Scenic, Cozy-Pretty, have out-numbered the Handy-Dandy campsites. You have shown us some beautiful scenes around your camp sites. And what a beautiful sunrise in this post!
    Hope you get the door situation taken care of soon!!
    Sending lots of love and big hugs to you and Bridget.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pauline,

      I had no idea when we spent the weekend at your house that we’d find so many beautiful places to camp. I was ready to camp just about anywhere in order to keep within my budget. I’ve become very picky!

      Love and hugs to you and Jerold and everyone… with an especially big hug for Tawnya for the love she sent me for Thanksgiving! 🙂

  34. Whenever I picture you at a site, it’s always one of the cozy-pretty ones. The BLT makes it possible for you to find those little hideaways that the bigger rigs don’t even know are there. There must be something you’re supposed to do in that area before moving on. Hope you find it soon or those doors are going to just keep showing up with problems. Not that’s it’s a bad place to hang around with skies like that!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jodee,

      Many of our camps are cozy-pretty ones while also being eyeball-popping scenic or handy-dandy. On rare occasions we’ve had a camp that’s all three. That’s like hitting the jackpot.

      We’re enjoying this camp. Yes, it’s plain and yes, the days are cloudy.. I’m finding plenty to do inside.

  35. weather says:

    The intricacies of bare or nearly leafless tree shapes aren’t something I remember being fascinated with until I began drawing as a child,neither were swans necks gracefully curving as they preen-though water rippling away from them in ever enlarging circles always has.Overnight all that became visible as the temperature climbed,the twinkling snow I had walked through passing Christmas lit homes was gone by this morning’s sunrise.

    The timing of beauty appearing and being replaced by more-entirely different-so quickly is among autumn’s best traits.With just eighteen days of it left to celebrate this year I’m especially glad I awakened early enough to enjoy this one’s gifts.Two trees in particular made me consider pulling out art supplies to capture their perfection.One ,a natural oval with hundreds of shapes within it made by ash brown twigs,the gnarled maroon branches of the other reached all in one direction from years of withstanding wind. I’ll leave the pastels and art pad where they are for today,remembering to bring them along to use in places I may only visit once.Good morning,Sue,I hope the sparseness of vegetation close to your home is a treat for Bridget and you again while you’re there.Amazing how even that holds benefits when we look for them,isn’t it?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, weather,

      We are surrounded by the good and beautiful. It’s up to us to learn to recognize it and to take the time to see it. Your comment reveals you have mastered this!

      Our plain camp is becoming home. It’s peaceful here. We sleep well at night. No one bothers us. And, of course, there’s always the sky and stars . . . .

      We may have to move before the weekend. Our spacious campsite is great for Bridget, but it does look like a convenient parking lot for people who might come this weekend to climb boulders. Haven’t decided what to do… It will all work out. It always does!

      Enjoy the last days of capricious Autumn . . .

      • weather says:

        Thanks,Sue 🙂 Whether you find a different camp, choose to move soon or not ,I know we’ll both enjoy and make the most of the rest of the season.Good job getting money reports done and off your plate,between that and sleeping well you must feel renewed.

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      This has been such a beautiful Fall…sorta hate to see it go too…but I remember how much pleasure winter brought too….just that I have to be way more careful than I used to when younger…not to fall on the icy areas. When I can stay home and just enjoy looking out, it is a real joy to see snow however!! Now if we only had a real wood burner!! Oh that hot dry heat feels so awfully nice in cold weather!! We can still have wishes eh? 😉 So are you still drawing, painting, etc Weather?

      • weather says:

        You remind me,dear Elizabeth,to be grateful for all I’ve been given.Wood and a stove to burn it in(currently,I’m saving that to heat with in case of power failures when neither the infra-red heaters I’m primarily using or the oil furnace only needed on extremely cold days would work)-boots with non-slip deep tread soles I wear while literally watching my steps amid ice-are among Providence’s graces that make winter easier to love and enjoy.

        Recently I haven’t painted much at all.I find certain creative activities stir up ways of thinking and feeling that aren’t always wise to indulge in at times.At other times they wonderfully enhance living.Glad to hear from you and that you’re finding the season beautiful,too!

  36. Terri From Texas says:

    HI RvSue!
    Not to be negative, but couldn’t that body shop actually request a white door for you? But then, of course, it would probably have to be repainted anyway to match your van. And hopefully the Salvage yard will fire the BLIND guy who keeps picking the doors out for you!! Heres hoping! Oops! I ordered the purple case I think, for my paperwhite! Oh well, I like hummingbirds and bees. (As long as they aren’t killer hummingbirds and bees) When we were at Big Bend we had bats come and fly around us every night as we stargazed. I love the way you take lemons and make lemonade in your travels. What an inspiration you are! Thanks!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Teri,

      I thought the same thing about ordering a white door. That seems the obvious solution, but maybe not the most expedient. Of course, the salvage yard people might not have learned colors yet. 🙂

      As for making lemonade…. It’s much easier to “make lemonade” out of the lemons encountered in life when you’re retired. When you’re in the rat race you often don’t have the time, energy or choices to let you make lemonade so you end up sucking lemons.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Well, maybe…just maybe there are not near so many wrecked white vehicles to get parts from you know!! Think about it….what color do you notice when driving down the road? I have thought a great lot about this after being hit by a mack truck….well our car was not only a low rider but was nearly the color of the roadbed too!! So the rule since is: it has to be some version of red, white, or yellow/orange. Even though none of those colors are my favorites. We have a darkish red, but still bright enough to be seen well, car at this point. Still have our low rider too, but back in NC so not used a great lot. I propose that it is difficult to find a white door, simply because white is a safer color to drive!!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You make an interesting point. I remember one time several years ago (and I’m thankful it was only once), I came close to pulling out in front of a car painted Pavement Grey.

  37. Terri From Texas says:

    Hi again,
    I have to tell this story. Your van door got me to thinking about the 3 month trip my family took back in 1980. We were in our 1970 Dodge Polara Station Wagon pulling our hard sided Apache Pop Up trailer. During the course of that trip my Mom broke off a side mirror on a pine tree in a campground, my Dad lost the muffler driving down a mountain on a very rough forest road, our container on the top of the car opened up while we were driving down the highway and spread all our blankets and quilts all over the road, my brother took pictures of Mt. Ranier on one of the few cloudless days and then lost them, and I almost took my thumb off with an ax while chopping wood in our campground. There was probably more, but that was all in 3 months!! You’ve done great! Ha!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hilarious, Terri! I’m eating a salad as I read your comment and I almost choke! You’re lucky YOU weren’t lost along the way.

      Your story reminds me of Chevy Chase and the movie “Family Vacation,” I think it was. Remember that scene where he falls asleep driving and the station wagon goes bumping and clanking off the road into the desert?

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      WOW…did your family decide at some point that maybe “roughing it was a bit too much roughing it”? A lot of calamaties in a few days there!!

  38. DesertGinger says:

    Morning Sue, Bridge and blogorinos! Had my second, and hopefully last, sleep study last night. Slept really badly….bed hurt my back. Today I have a full day of homework. Next week is last week of school. I waited late to apply for job. I hope I get one. Would be really crappy to take all these classes and not get a job!

    The sunsets in AZ are fabulous too. Absolutely love the sunsets.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ginger,

      Do you do the sleep study at home or at a clinic?

      Well, there’s the light at the end of the tunnel… You will get a job. I should think the school that offers the classes would see that you were hired.

      • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

        Sleep studies can be either home or at sleep center, though some places insist on at sleep center. I suspect that since she said her back hurt it was at a center which does not “get” that to have a valid sleep study you need to be comfortable in the bed. I had a horrid one on a terrible mattress and when I complained they shrugged their shoulders and said, oh we have a egg crate foam pad but a parent is using it while their child has a study. So a patients comfort thus making the study valid is not as important as a parent?! Next study at a different place mattress was wonderful and I got a more valid study which proved apnea. Home studies are not as good in that they can’t come in and try you on Cpap during night or adjust pressures if you are on one during night from their office as the home study involves a recording machine they then read later. That’s fine for screening but not so much for determining how to fix it or if the solution is working. I’ve been on Cpap for nearly 9 years now but periodically have to have new study to see if need pressure change.

      • DesertGinger says:

        Study done in sleep lab. It was a sleep number bed but still not comfy. Thank god it’s over.

        I hope you are right about job. Class is offered by hrblock, then they are supposed to give you jobs but I was told I waited too long with my app and hiring is done. But they said they are looking and it is ‘likely’ I’ll get a job.

        • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

          I took HR Block tax preparer course a few years ago. Seems if you get a high grade they offer you a job as they always needed bodies back when I took it. However what they offered I did not want. Minimum wage and scattered hours, like a hour here and an hour there, which meant driving back and forth multiple times a day. I said no thanks as I was running our sharpening business and making way more than they offered! I got a 107% on the final ( up included extra credit points) and they really wanted me. Hope you do well and get hours you want Ginger.

  39. R. (Western Colorado/now in Joshua Tree NP) says:

    Amazing photos Sue. Please remind me what camera you have now. Are you happy with it? You know I met some people who have very expensive cameras but take less than exciting pictures. You definitely have a special eye. Are you planning to travel west of Yuma this winter?
    I wish I could read all comments but my access to internet is so limited when I camp.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, R.!

      Good to see you again and to know you are camping. If I travel west of Yuma this winter it will be close to spring when I do. I really don’t know what I’m doing. I didn’t think I’d be in the east-Phoenix area this long.

      My camera is a Panasonic LUMIX 60X zoom FZ70. Thank you for the compliment on my photographic “eye.”

      Enjoy Joshua Tree!

    • Hi R,

      If you don’t mind me asking, is Joshua tree crowded right now? Are their areas that are less crowded than others? I’m heading in that direction, maybe stopping at Owl Canyon first….

  40. Applegirl NY says:

    Hi Sue, Beautiful sky, as many others have remarked.
    I also placed a large amazon order, laptop, kindle 7hdx, some books, backpack, video game. Don’t remember what else.

    Have a great day, I hope the next door is the right door!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Applegirl,

      Thank you very much! I saw a laptop, Kindle… I remember the backpack,too. I’m sure your complete order is in the report.

      I’m saving my Amazon earnings for my second retirement which I hope never comes. By that I mean, at this point I want to vagabond forever, but it might not work out that way. I’d love to someday have a home base made possible by RVSue shoppers. Hey, it’s a dream…

  41. Okay…I’m ready for a new header photo now. 🙂

  42. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Good evening, Sue!

    I just wanted to pop in to say “hello”. Gracie is snuggled on my lap and we are watching the lighting of the tree at Rockefeller Center on NBC. Not too impressed with the musical entertainment so far. Mariah Carey was straining, not able to hit her high notes…hopefully, she is just sick and it is a temporary condition. Tony Bennett was his usual smooth self, but was paired with Lady Gaga…eh…”plain” Tony is much better!

    Thanks for posting the money reports. It is always interesting to see how economical your travels are. Thank you for sharing!

    Hope you and Bridget have a great evening! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      We did have a great evening! Right now it’s very early morning, still dark outside, rain on the roof. Bridget is asleep beside me.

      I appreciate the feedback on the money reports. Have a wonderful Thursday, Denise. Hugs to Gracie…

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:

        Good morning, Sue,

        Hope you have a good Thursday, too. Sounds like you will have a day of reading and puttering around the BLT.

        It is sunny and chilly here…in the 40s. 🙂

  43. Mert says:

    Sue, I just commented about the side bars are gone. I also just found that at the very bottom of the blog it says ” view full site” when I click on that it takes me to internet site. There I can access all of the side bars.

  44. Mert says:

    I am still reading back blogs. I have laughed so hard at spike’s antics. Wow!! I am on you chasing him, while he chases a porkupine. Boy, some days you had your hands full 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yeah, Spike lived HIS way which is why I loved him. You do me good, Mert, reminding me of the laughs he gave and continues to give.

      • Mert says:

        That’s good Sue, after sending that message
        I was concerned that maybe I shouldn’t have, I feared maybe too soon. He’s quite the character… Had to be on your toes that’s for sure…. And Bridge chewing through leads. Haha, my dog I had many years ago use to chew through leads, once I was sun bathing in back yard and had her chained up under a shade tree so I could have a little peace… All of a sudden a big wet kiss, from my chin to my forehead…. Startled me as I knew there was no way she got off that big thick chain… Wrong!!! Broke it in half someway and there she was… All smiles. “Hi momma, now what u got” lol
        Got to love them!! She (and all my babies) have and are inside animals. But this particular one , I at the time didn’t have a fence. And she was a ” bolter or visitor” wouldn’t stay home. Lol

  45. Timber n' me says:

    # 111. Well I’ll be, Duh, ,,,,well they are all your camps you’ve camped in and I liked them all, except the ones with CLINGERS Sue, I’m a praying you get a good White door soon or you n’ Bridget might be taking up a resident’s soon,. It’s been raining here along the River and it’s supposed to clear up totally by next week, I hope, Dads got some work to do on the ol’ girl, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Give the HRH a Big HUG ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Timber

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Raining here, too, Rusty. I hope it doesn’t let up until it’s done.

      Thanks for the prayers. The shop will notify me when they have another door and I haven’t heard anything yet. If they don’t receive a good door today, the repair won’t be scheduled until next week because it takes a day to sand and paint the door. That puts us here through the weekend… unless, of course, I move us. 🙂

      No need to be impatient… Whatever work you need to do will wait for you. I hope it isn’t anything making you uncomfortable. Hugs to Timber…

  46. Gerald D Heinrich says:

    Hello Sue:

    I have been reading your blog for the last couple of months and when I looked at your expense report, I was shocked to see that you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan. As a Medicare Insurance Specialist, I must tell you that this is the worst possible healthcare coverage that you can have for your lifestyle. It is very important that you contact me so I can explain the problem with your coverage.

    This isn’t a solicitation but I feel that it is important that you realize the problem with your coverage.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I appreciate your concern Gerald. Please explain here why it is the “worst possible coverage” for my lifestyle. Many of my followers have a similar lifestyle, and I’d like them to have the benefit of your knowledge on the subject.

      Thank you!

      • Gerald D Heinrich says:

        Medicare Advantage is “privatized” Medicare. When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan your healthcare coverage is no longer paid by Medicare but by a private insurance company. The worst part about this is that the plans are “regional specific”. “Regional Specific” means you may only receive healthcare in the geographic area in which the plan operates unless you go “out of network” in which case you pay more for the services and in most plans you are responsible for 100% of the cost of “out of network” services unless it is an emergency. Most Medicare Advantage plans only allow you to receive emergency treatment outside of their service area. As a full time RVer this can be catastrophic should you need treatment while traveling outside the service area of the plan (which is probably most of the time).

        As a full time RVer, you should keep “Original Medicare” A & B which allows you to receive treatment at any doctor or hospital in the United States that is Medicare qualified. You can then add to this a Medicare Supplement and a Part D stand alone Prescription Drug Plan. Now you have total “freedom of choice” for service providers anywhere in the US.

        There are Medicare Supplement Plans that are very inexpensive that will protect you from very large Medical claims. A combination of Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement, gives you total freedom of choice of health providers anywhere in the United States where Medicare Advantage Plan only provides emergency treatment outside of their service area.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thank you very much for explaining this, Gerald. You made a confusing topic much clearer.

          The plan I have is through the Georgia state employees plan I had when I was a teacher. I may have misnamed it a Medicare Advantage plan when putting the money report together. I’ll check this, especially to see if it has any value in the areas I travel.

          I have Medicare A, B, and D and was pleased to find out my shingles shot was only $45 with Part D, instead of five times that much. Thanks again for helping me with this and for sharing the information here for my readers.

    • Randy says:

      I will be 65 8/2015 so I have been researching if I should enroll in Plan B. I am a federal civil service retiree and I have BCBS standard option, which pays pretty well. What I’ve thought of doing is changing to the BCBS basic option which costs less and pays less. In your opinion would this be a good route to go for me? I save about $65.00 per month on the premium which will then help towards the $105. Plan B premium.
      I hope I have made myself clear.

  47. Rattlesnake Joe SW USA says:

    I use to be a paint mixer and white is one of the hardest colors to match unless you use a formula. So it probably makes no differance what color door you get it will still have to be painted. I hope Mr. Murphy is sleeping with his CPAP machine on and leaves you alone for a while 🙂

  48. BadgerRickInWis says:

    It would be remiss of me not to give my thanks for the financial info. I’m sure that this is one of your more mundane tasks that you tackle to keep this blog running but it means so much to me.

    First by reading the recaps of where you camped in a given month it’s like taking a little trip back in time. But more importantly its looking at the numbers you post and comparing them to the modest figures that I’m projecting for my own retirement that makes me think I can really do this. While my style of camping would not be 100% like yours my dream mirrors your life so closely that I KNOW I can make it happen.

    I’ve said this before but I can’t tell you how inspiring it is to come here as I go through the “conserve and payoff debt to get where I want to be” phase of the journey. Thanks

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The money reports are kind of tedious for me, mostly because I procrastinate. That’s why I appreciate your feedback. It encourages me to keep posting them and maybe I’ll not get so far behind (yeah, right).

      The first two years it was a more interesting project for me because I was very curious to see if we were living within our means. I found it very satisfying to learn we could experience wonderful travels and without paying camping fees. Wow! I had no idea we could live this well and save money, too!

      You are smart to live frugally now and rid yourself of debt. It can be difficult to say “no” to yourself when others around you spend freely. I used to tell myself, whenever I denied myself something in order to save (and that happened a lot… I bought NOTHING that wasn’t absolutely necessary), “Well, this brings me a little closer to my dream.” People say they wouldn’t stoop to pick up a penny. I did and I saved every one of them. Ha!

      Good luck, Rick. I’m happy that my blog has helped shape your dream and given you a vision that can be realized.

      • I just paid the balance on my car off this morning! By living very frugally the past year (getting in practice for retirement), I paid my car off 2 years early, paid my school loan off 12 years early & am going into retirement with no debt of my own.

        I have found that living frugally isn’t restrictive at all–quite the opposite, actually. The burden of overspending & debt keeps a person awake at night. Living within your means, even if it means doing without, is like being sprinkled with fairy dust when it comes time to sleep!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          CONGRATULATIONS, DAWN! Your message knocks my socks off! Lots of wisdom in that last paragraph… I know exactly what you mean about living frugally not being restrictive. I remember the thrill of becoming debt-free. Hallelujah!

        • Lolalo says:

          Good for you Dawn from Camano Island! It sure feels good to get things paid off early. And I also love your last paragraph. Wish I could get some people to understand this.

  49. weather says:

    Hope you and Bridget are cozying in, well supplied to wait out the rain in comfort.My troupe slept so close to me we woke up tangled together in the blankets.Guess stretching instead of much walking is what you and I should do somedays anyway 🙂 It’s one bonus our bodies’ probably will be better off with in the long run,here’s a toast to making lemonade (or at least enjoyable coffee time) out of what a day brings!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      Tangled up in love… That’s you and your troupe, and what a delightful start for another day together.

      Bridget sleeps like plaster against me. Lately she’s preferred a position that puts her fanny towards my face. Oh my! We have a code phrase that rectifies this (ooh, did I say rectifies?).

      I say, “Bridget, be my bunny rabbit.” She knows “bunny rabbit” means to place her head on my arm to cuddle and sleep. I’ll take doggie breath over the other.

      Gee, you mentioned coffee. I need to go heat up the pot! Hot coffee and the sound of rain on the roof… This is living!

      • weather says:

        What a great idea teaching her to do that was!These fur balls don’t seem to remember that different species are wary,at best,of each other-so they form a nose to nose knot-dog,human,cat,dog-by the time the canary finch songs a few feet away awaken me we’re all blinking hair out of our eyes,not sure of who’s it is!You are so-o-o right -delightful starts,sounds,coffee,company -this is living! 🙂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          The bunny rabbit cue developed by accident. She was in that position one time and I happened to call her my bunny rabbit. From then on she associated placing her head on my arm with those words. She’s a very smart girl!

          • weather says:

            Her intelligence is obvious in many of her ways,this is about the cutest one,your many pet names for those you love shows how precious they are to you…happy sigh

      • BadgerRickInWis says:

        You may not see this as you posted another entry. But “Bridget be my bunny rabbit.” just might be the cutest thing I have ever heard.

  50. Boots says:

    I have just been referred to your blog by a friend. I love your light writing style. I am waiting patiently for my “new” (old) travel trailer to come home from the shop so we can hit the road. For some reason, after dreaming about it for 4-5 years – now I have it and I have developed a fear of towing it – I did haul it 300 miles to my daughter’s house so they could check it out for me – white knuckles – then it got better – but now, I’m back at the same place worrying about the towing- the plan is to take the long way to New Mexico – through Salt Lake City and Phoenix to Hwy 10 to get there – fewest amount of mountains. I’m quite sure that by the time I get back in the spring, I’ll feel like an old hand – It’s just getting from here to there.

    Your blog is an inspiration and I can hardly wait to get on the road.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Boots,

      Welcome to my blog! You’ll find this is a friendly place where people are helpful and kind and sometimes silly and often smart… well, you’ll see! I’m glad you’re with us.

      I think I understand about your fear turning up. I’ve had that happen about things I know I can do and that I’ve done before. I force myself to go ahead and then look back and wonder why I made a big deal out of it.

      In your case, your trip is an ambitious one. I still get white knuckles driving the interstate through places like SLC and Phoenix. A suggestion? If at all possible, make your daily driving short, only a few hours or less. This avoids that pressured feeling that leads to frayed nerves.

      A sentence in your comment jumps out at me… “white knuckles — then it got better.” It’s the beginning of a daunting task that is the scariest. Once you get on the open road, relax those knuckles, talk yourself into some confidence, (I can do this!), and soon it won’t be the scary beginning any more.

      Best wishes… Your eager sign-off will take you far — “I can hardly wait to get on the road.”

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        I hope it’s okay if I respond too. I have towed various trailers – both for work and for run – and I still get nervous about it. Here is a summary of my thoughts on it:

        1) Nervous is not a bad thing necessarily, because towing IS different than not towing, and it’s not good to be non-chalant about it. Since I am at various times towing and not towing, when I start out towing I chant to myself (out loud, but no-one needs to know that ;)). “I’m towing. Towing! This rig has a trailer in tow!” This is just to put me in the proper mindset so I don’t “forget” that I am towing. I’m not saying it is fun to be nervous (or that it won’t reduce – it likely will) but just that I try to sort of “embrace” it in order to stay aware.

        2) Another kind of nervous is if I think/worry that there is something not quite up to snuff with the rig. To me this is the worst kind. Plus it can be dangerous to me or other people. If I feel this I go through it all with a fine-toothed comb and beef up things as necessary.

        3) A third cause of nerves I identified was worrying about the tow rig. By this I mean: Was I on the verge of overheating? Was the transmission too hot? The standard gauges in my rig didn’t really keep me abreast of these things. They were more like “oh, you just overheated” type of needles (um, yeah, I’d be able to see the steam by then). To alleviate that I got a Scangauge II. This is a device that simply plugs into the OBD II port on a 1996-or-newer vehicle and reads out the real facts. I now see my temperature in degrees, so I can not only see that I am not overheating now, but I can see exactly where I stand. I know the auxilliary cooling fan will (should) come on at around 195º on my rig, so when it fires up I’m not surprised. I can see exactly what the transmission temperature is, so I know it’s fine (or if it weren’t I would know before damage could occur). It’s useful for more things too, but these are the main two. For me, this data makes me much more comfortable. I got this halfway through my initial trip with my current trailer (cross-country, natch) and my stress level went way down.

        4) Another thing was just the vague dread I can sometimes feel before a trip. What could happen? So many others cars I can’t control, etc. Of course this just “is,” but I find that once I get out there I’m only dealing with THIS moment, and THESE other cars, and THIS road, not all of the possibilities. For some reason this helps my particular brain. If I’m nervous about a long trip I tell myself, “I’m not really driving cross country; I’m just going to go to (X town not too far away) and at that point I will re-evaluate. Well of course 99% of the time once I get to X town I decide to continue on – clearly just my little mind game with myself 😀 But it works for me.

        5) I’d say “lastly,” but I’m sure I will think of more 😀 Anyway, another thing I like to do is to run through the various scenarios before I leave, to see how I would handle them and make sure I have any tools, numbers, etc. I need. Examples:

        a) How would I jack up the trailer (or tow rig) to change a tire? Do I have the right wrenches? Jack? Torque value?

        b) If I plan to call road service, I give them a test call in advance, to see if I need certain numbers, etc.

        c) Can I check the oil and transmission fluid, and do I have the right fluids to add? (tow vehicle)

        d) If I have trailer brakes, are they working, is the fluid topped up, etc.

        e) Do I have triangles to put out to warn others of my presence if I’m at the side of the road? Are they easily accessible?

        f) Have I made sure my coupler is adjusted correctly, and do I know how to adjust it/have the tools (by this I mean the little “forks” that grab the hitch ball and keep the coupler from lifting off the ball).

        g) Are wheel bearings in good shape?

        h) Do I have spare bulbs for the lights

        I’m sure you get the idea. Point is, while you will probably figure out a way to get through whatever happens, for me it helps my mindset to feel prepared ahead of time, so I think about some of these things. We’re all different of course.

        Lastly, I always try to fill up the tow vehicle (fuel) before I hitch up at the beginning of a longer trip. Oftentimes I’m “in town” which means that gas stations are more cramped and it’s easier to fill without the trailer attached. Once out on the road it’s a bit easier to find bigger stations. If you have a diesel tow rig, then I’m envious of the usually-huge fueling lanes! 😀

        Main thing is, you CAN do it. Towing is just a learned skill, like any other type of driving. For me it is never quite the same/fun as not towing, but then I like the things my trailer brings along 🙂

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          One thing I meant to add: Even if you know darned well you will never be doing a specific thing (changing a tire; repacking wheel bearings), I find that it still helps to know exactly how you *would* do it. All mechanics and techs you will encounter are not equally skilled, and this way you will have a good idea whether or not they are doing a good job. (For example, if they say “torque?” with a blank look as they are about to install your tires… yes, this happened to me!). Also, there is the occasional “less than trustworthy” person (although most are wonderful), and they are less likely to succeed in taking advantage of a customer who knows the basic concepts, even if said customer has no intention of doing the work themselves.

          • What an awesome list, Pen! You make me want to go out, hitch the TT & hit the road. But I’d be alone, because Jim would have a heart attack! Hahaha!

            We have a detailed checklist that we’ve put together–use it before every departure. If we’re interrupted for some reason, we start again from the top. It feels great knowing that when we jump in the truck, all systems are “GO”!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Oh my gosh, Pen… You have ME nervous now! Ha! You just listed a lot of stuff to worry about!

          I appreciate your helpful hints… They are good to know… but it’s a bit intimidating to see all that at once.

          Boots… I’ve never needed to change a tire in my entire life and I don’t intend to do so ever… What I know about engines and brakes, etc. you could put in an eye-dropper. I depend on my judge of character and find an honest shop to do the work for me.

          Pen doesn’t have to rely on others like I do. We all find our way.

          • Sidewinder Pen says:

            Sorry – I did wonder after posting if I might actually have done more harm than good. But there was no way to change what I posted. I have been trying to keep my thoughts to myself a bit more, but… I guess I slipped.

            Anyway, please feel free to ignore what I said. Sorry if it causes any worry.

          • Boots says:

            Thanks for the comment – changing a tire has never been a big concern – I carry great road side assistance coverage for both truck and trailer. By the way, my “Miss Daisy” has been released from the shop – I’ll be picking her up Monday and hitting the road – I expect to be in the Phoenix area by end of the week – then on to NM – so I don’t have much more time to worry about it.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Be sure to keep in touch with us when you can, Boots! We enjoy sharing adventures here!

              Bon voyage… 🙂

        • Boots says:

          Sidewinder Pen!
          Hm-m-m I don’t have a check list at this time – guess that needs to be my very first chore – before I leave on Monday.
          I don’t mind driving long distances, rather enjoy it as a matter of fact – I don’t like city driving, though. On the route I’m taking – I only have to suffer around Salt Lake City – and that’s only 38 miles north to south – so I’ll get through it counting off the miles. Thank you for all the tips.

    • Boots, you’re in the right spot to learn a lot about camping, travel & having fun out there! My guess is that you’ve been successful overcoming fear in the past & you’ll do it again! Happy Trails!

      • Boots says:

        Thanks for the encouragement. I know I will be fine – and it’s good to know I can turn for help when needed. I have over-come fear in the past – not just my own, but my friends on the East coast when I first came up with the “hairbrained” idea to drive around the country – It’s just the actual act of towing that’s bothering me and that will pass quickly – Two of my children have flat out told me I wasn’t capable of towing (even though I towed their horses around when they were young) and that I’m much too old to be doing this – My middle daughter just said “You Go, Girl”

    • Holly Fox says:

      Glad to see you on here! I know you will get a lot of help and info from all these great people.
      I know what you have gone through to get to this point You can do this!

      • Boots says:

        Hi Holly – thanks for referring me to this blog – I think it is written just for me – one of my concerns is whether or not I can do it – budget wise – now I know I can. I’m pretty sure that by the time I get to New Mexico, I’ll be comfortable with the towing.

  51. Cinandjules(NY) says:


    It’s all cute and cuddly……until the fur kids start HOGGING! Then one must rearrange and try NOT to disturb them! 🙂

    I woke up feeling/looking like a human question mark!

    Have a wonderful day!

    • weather says:

      Exactly!Left without enough space to get comfortable,we end up poorly rested and stiff!Good thing their antics make us smile enough to be in a good mood -it will be a wonderful day 🙂 !

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        What was it about last night that made the critters super-snugglers! 🙂

        • Cinandjules(NY) says:

          Whatdayaaaa mean last night? AO is receiving telepathic encouragement from YOU! hah hah

          She’s testing those big brown eyes and shifting eyebrows at bedtime!

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Give up! You’re fighting a losing battle!

            • Cinandjules (NY) says:

              very funny.

              Last night as a matter of fact, I was thinking about you…and Bridget….AS I WAS FIGHTING for my down comforter! AO can you move over just a little bit? You know what her reply was? A sigh!


            • weather says:

              Sue’s probably right,you may as well give up,hearing those sighs can be addictive!All it took was one night of hearing that as they fell asleep next to me for it to become something I no longer wanted to fall asleep until I heard…

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Some of my fondest memories of Spike are of his mumbles, grumbles, snores, kicks and farts while asleep in bed. 🙂

  52. Joe Soon To Leave Utah says:

    Enjoyed your thoughts about categories of camps. As you freely share, there are many considerations in choosing a camping spot.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Joe Soon To Leave Utah,

      Good to hear from you… If I haven’t told you before — Welcome!

  53. Jim and Vickie Rauch says:

    Hi Sue, my wife and I enjoy your blog. We are going to get into boondocking next year and have some questions about internet and cell reception. We have consumer cellular phones that are capable of internet and wi-fi, what would we need to make sure we get good enough service to make them work? Consumer cellular told me we would need three bars or higher. Would the antenna you show do the trick, along with whatever cabel’s to connect? We would use Amazon for any items needed,thanks for any help you can provide.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim and Vickie,

      Welcome! I can’t tell you much about cell phones while boondocking because I rarely turn mine on. Maybe a reader can share their experiences with boosting cell phone signal.

      The system I use for internet consists of a Verizon jetpack (one with a port), a Wilson antenna with adapter cord, and a laptop.

      I communicate by email and need to keep my blog going so internet is extremely important. Most places where I boondock I can pick up a bar or two of signal. Then the Wilson antenna (see header for Internet Antenna) will boost that signal a bar or two more, enough for me to blog and email.

      Of course, not being able to foresee where you will boondock, I cannot guarantee anything. I avoid setting up camp in a deep canyon (meaning close, high sides) because a directional antenna can’t help a signal go through solid rock. 🙂

      On the other hand, I’ve pulled up into a spot where I’m almost certain there is no signal due to mountains with no tower on them, turned on my jetpack (MiFi “air card”), no bars showing on the little screen, and yet the Wilson antenna boosted the trace of signal to where I could go online (not steady connection but better than nothing!).

      Getting back to phones, since that’s what you use for internet… I haven’t investigated attaching a phone to a Wilson antenna. I don’t know anything about that. I’m sorry I’m not more helpful.


      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        I use a Jetpack (mi-fi) for getting online and a phone for … well, phoning. I have a Wilson Sleek cradle signal booster and use that for either. In other words, both the phone and the jetpack fit into the cradle of the booster (one at a time). One thing to know about the booster is that it has to be plugged in at all times in order for it to work (in other words, there is no battery in it; it can be connected to a 12-volt power source though, so that helps).

        I’m guessing the “big” antenna Sue has might boost more, although I don’t know the details. But the Wilson Sleek cradle seems to do pretty well. It does have an antenna, but it’s not a tall/flag type like Sue’s booster. It’s a small magnetic nubbin antenna. If your rig has a metal roof you can stick it to that. I have a fiberglass roof, so I have a 12″ square piece of metal I stick it to (flashing). It needs to be on metal to work. I have seen people bond a square of metal to the roof for this purpose; I have mine freestanding and just put it on the dashboard when I need it (which is not that often).

        The main thing I have found is which carrier: Verizon has historically been king for mobile folks, although I hear that AT&T is catching up. The app “Coverage?” is a handy way to overlay the various carriers’ coverage maps onto a map of where you might be going. I use Verizon and am amazed at the places I have coverage (even with no antenna being used).

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          PS: To clarify, both the jetpack and the phone use a cellular signal to get service. Since I use Verizon for both, I could technically use either for Internet: Tether the phone or use the Jetpack. I pay a little extra for the Jetpack because for me it is a lot handier than tethering, and I think a bit more energy efficient (than having the phone in use) as well.

          • Jim and Vickie Rauch says:

            Thanks for your input, we’ll check things out as far as our options with Consumer Cellular.

      • Jim and Vickie Rauch says:

        Thanks Sue, read where some of your followers replied. We’ll have to check out our options.

    • Mick'nTN says:

      There has been much discussion about cell phones and external antenna ports on the Internet.
      The quick answer is most cell phone do not have antenna ports and those that do are difficult to use.
      My advice would be an air card with external antenna port and Verizon for Internet. I will not recommend the inductively coupled “cradles”.

      • Mick'nTN says:

        If you want to try ATT, H2O is a real bargain.

        • BadgerRickInWis says:

          Mick, am I reading this right? $54.00/mo for unlimited data? That’s way cheaper than anything I have seen post Millenicom.

        • Phxkayaker says:

          Use caution on the H2O option. Only 2 gig of the $60 plan with “unlimited” data are “full speed.” – It’s cheap, but …

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        Presuming the Wilson Sleek cradle is inductive, why do you not recommend them? I don’t use mine often, but do have one and use it occasionally (when I have a poor signal and want a good one instead), so I’m curious.

        • Mick'nTN says:

          There is a loss with the inductive coupling that has to be made up for with an amplifier. All amplifiers add some noise to the signal. A direct wire connection (if clean) adds no noise. So with the inductively coupled signal you may have more bars but will have a poorer signal to noise ratio. The lowest noise method of obtaining a signal boost is with a high gain antenna because the antenna does not add any noise. An electronic amplifier will always add noise. It can be very low with good design (expensive)

  54. Cindy says:

    Sigh…..that’s AZ for you!

    I love that shot by the side of the river. Would love to go to THAT camp, and stay a REALLY long time 🙂

    BTW, thanks for the great pics! They are very nice to feast the eyes on!

  55. BuckeyePatti (Ohio) says:

    Oh no, I thought you had the door fixed 3 doors ago. HA Loved you classification of camps.

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