Tinnemaha Campground, Big Pine, CA

Wednesday, October 16

1-DSC00922Tinnemaha is a few miles southwest of Big Pine, California, which is about fifteen miles south of Bishop.  The photo above shows our second campsite here.  Yesterday a big fifth wheel pulled out of this spot. Within a few minutes we moved in!  I like this site because we have a whole section to ourselves.

Tinnemaha has an unusual feature. 

A paved road, which fortunately has almost no traffic, runs into the campground and out the other end.  The crew and I are on this side of the road.  Everyone else — two fifth wheels and two trailers — are on the other side of the road.  Bridget and Spike can wander around a big open area and I can easily keep an eye on them.

1-DSC00933When I sit at the picnic table or in my camp chair I can look at the Sierra Nevada brushed with snow.  A creek flows behind our campsite.

I need something to read.

1-DSC00921My kindle broke and I’ve read all my books.  What to do?  I walk over to the fifth wheels parked close together.  Two couples are hanging out together.   Earlier I saw one of the women reading.

“Excuse me.  I’m out of books and my kindle is broken.  I’m about to go crazy (a little exaggeration doesn’t hurt!).  Do you happen to have any books to trade?  I have two Sue Grafton mysteries.”

I walk away with Peachtree Road by Anne Rivers Siddons!  That’s what I read most of the day, yesterday.

Which reminds me . . .

Yesterday was my birthday.  Thanks again for your wishes for my happiness.  I am very blessed to have you in my life, and, yes, I had a very happy birthday!

I haven’t picked up my presents to myself yet.

Online I track the deliveries.  Everything is sitting up at the UPS facility in Bishop except the trail shoes, wheel chocks, and the crew’s coats.  The hat I ordered is waiting at the Bishop post office.

I forgot to tell you about The Hat.

Every time I think of that hat the less I like it.  First off, it reminds me of the hat worn by that skinny-necked creature on the cover of the Dr. Seuss book, The Cat in the Hat. . . or an overturned chamber pot.
Secondly, I chose the worst color — grey!

What ever was I thinking?  I’m going to look like a BUM in that hat.  (Click on the hat to see a close-up and details.)

1-DSC00924

Talk about dumb . . .

I’ve never been what one would call tidy.  Housework is not a regular part of every day.  When the clutter exceeds my tolerance level, which, I admit, is pretty high, I suddenly see the mess as if for the first time.  Then I’m filled with disgust and swing into action.

I’m in a cleaning and tidying frenzy. 

I’ve got my spritz bottle and my cleaning rag and I’m going full-throttle. I’m multi-tasking because I know this spurt of cleaning energy will not last and I want to get as much done as possible before I drift outside with a book and settle into my camp chair.  I know me.

Spritz, spritz, wipe, wipe, put that away, straighten that up, spritz, wipe, spritz, wipe, that goes in the laundry, that goes in the drawer, turn off the burner, pour a cup of coffee, throw in some sweetener . . .  huh? 

What did I just do?

1-DSC00341-001

When multi-tasking runs amok

Oh, for heaven’s sake!  I burst with laughter.

Floating on the surface of the coffee, like a green paper raft, is the packet of sweetener.

It’s taking on coffee and sinking fast!

Bail!  Bail!

Things aren’t always as they seem . . .

Reading this blog one would think the crew and I never have a bad moment.  I admit we have it pretty darn good.

1-DSC00926However, sometimes things get a little — how shall I say? — strained.

If you’ve ever lived in close quarters with someone else, you probably can relate to what I’m talking about.  Sometimes Bridget and Spike get on my last nerve.  It usually happens when I’m in the middle of posting on this blog and trying to insert photos.  One or the other has to be let outside or wants me to add water to the dish or insists on being lifted up onto the bed.

Other times it’s Bridget and Spike who need some personal space.  

Bridget:  Disgusted with Spike's behavior  Spike:  Guilty as charged

Bridget: Disgusted with Spike’s behavior                            Spike: Guilty as charged

This is a recent photo taken upon arrival at Crescent Lake, Washington.  Pretty much says it all.

Help me solve this mystery please.

Last night I wake with a start.  What was that?  I lift my head from the pillow and listen intently.  Nothing.  Gee, I could’ve sworn something bumped the BLT.

There it is again!  I listen.  Nothing.  Spike rolls himself over by kicking the wall.  Oh, it must’ve been Spike.  I go back to sleep.

This morning I step outside.

I want to take a picture of the early light on the mountains.   Usually the mountains are shades of grey.

1-DSC00935While outside I discover this!

1-DSC00938Footprints all over the propane tanks cover!  These are not small, kitty-cat prints.  That print in the lower left is four inches from middle toe to the bottom edge of the palm.  A cat jumping on the propane tanks cover wouldn’t wake me up out of a sound sleep.  Cats are stealthy and quiet.

What the heck?

The same type prints are on the hood of the PTV.  I open the passenger door so I can stand on the step to look at the roof.  Prints all over the roof!

Any ideas?

The crew and I are content here at Tinnemaha Campground.

CatintheHatWe have privacy and great scenery.  The weather is good, a little chilly in the morning, but it’s getting warmer every day.

I can cough up ten bucks a day until all my packages arrive.  Then I’ll zip over to Bishop and pick them up.

The following day we’ll continue our trek southward.

rvsue

THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AMAZON THROUGH MY LINKS!

Here’s a sample of orders recently placed by my readers:

Toshiba Satellite 17-Inch Notebook Laptop
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“REAR VIEW MIRROR”

July 6, 2011 the three-canine crew and I travel from our home in Georgia to Boca Raton, Florida, to visit my younger sister.  We haven’t seen each other in twenty years!  Plus the “backyard” canines walk on-leash for the first time!

“Our first trip is a success!”

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172 Responses to Tinnemaha Campground, Big Pine, CA

  1. Caroline near Seattle says:

    Yikes to things that go bump in the night!
    Other than that, looks like you’ve found another idyllic campsite. Lovely fall colors.
    Is that a roadrunner on the fencepost ?
    I’m always amazed by the fact that you had never camped before, let alone pulled a travel trailer, yet you quickly got the knack of backing up the BLT. I don’t see any damage to the BLT so it looks like your attempts have always been succesful :>) Was it as easy to learn as it seems? Do you have one of those little mirrors attached to your side mirrors? Even when I back up my little CRV I have a hard time judging the distance…. I think I’m about to hit a wall but I when I get out and look, I’m about 3ft away. What’s your secret? Thx.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Caroline,

      Yes, that’s a roadrunner.

      No secret to backing up. Hold the steering wheel at the bottom. Turn left to go left, turn right to go right. Don’t be in a big hurry. No, I don’t have “those little mirrors.”

      It is difficult to judge distance when backing up. I back up, get out and look, back up some more, and repeat until I’m where I want to be. No rule says everything has to be done in one try!

  2. Eddie says:

    If you can post a clearer image of one of the prints I will identify it for you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Eddie,

      I don’t think I can do any better than what is posted here. It does appear like the animal was recently in water as the prints look muddy.

  3. jeff says:

    don’t know what it was but glad you didn’t step outside at that time or one of the dogs had to go.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jeff,

      If I had known it was wildlife outside and not Spike waking me up, I probably would’ve taken a peek out the door . . . my curiosity being what it is.

  4. Linda says:

    Love the photo of Bridget and Spike. Can’t help you with the pawprints.

  5. Joy A. No. Cal. Sierra Foothills says:

    Looks like a Racoon was checking you out.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Joy,

      Big, honkin’ raccoon!

    • Nancy1340 says:

      Racoon it is. I was camped in Big Bend one time and the guy next to me had his hard saddle bag lid ripped off his Goldwing by one of those suckers. They climed all over my little 650 Nighthawk and left scratches on the gass tank.

  6. Kay says:

    Bear Prints???? Ohhhhhh… be careful, whatever it is… likely could do some damage on the rig. Scary…. I’m such a chicken at times, I think I would be zipping over to the Bishop area real quick.

    Camera ready for night time action? I can picture you sitting and being on the look out for that uninvited visitor…

  7. Laurie in South Dakota from oregon says:

    Hi Sue, We need a better pic and one of front foot and back, but raccoon,skunks,possums,and porcupines all have five toes. Definitely not a bobcat or mt lion. Have seen plenty of those.Looks like it could be a marmot . We have them here in SD. They get kind of big and they have them there too. Interesting to see what people guess.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Laurie,

      Tonight I’ll ask him/her to be sure and leave both front and back prints. 🙂

  8. Linda Sand says:

    Do raccoons get that big? I know they get that adventurous.

    Sue Grafton for Anne Rivers Siddons sound like a decent trade to me. At least, I like both those authors. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda,

      Everything says raccoon to me, except the size of the print.

      Being from Georgia I’m familiar with the streets of Atlanta that Siddons mentions in this book. I’m enjoying it.

  9. DeAnne in TN says:

    I love the hat! I think you will look rather fetching. (Or, I would!) Try it on before you return, and let me know where you got it–I might want one. Maybe I need to knit you a green hat!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, DeAnne,

      Oh, I won’t return it. I’ll wear the dang thing, if only for the warmth. Maybe it will look okay.

      It’s from Amazon, of course. You can see it by doing a search for Scala Wool Cloche Hat by Dorfman Pacific

  10. Donna in CT says:

    I was going to suggest lynx or bobcat but they only have 4 toes not 5. In looking around I found this: “If the track has five toes each on the front and back feet it’s from a raccoon or a member of the weasel family (weasel, badger, mink, skunk, otter) or it’s a bear, beaver, opossum.”

    But many of those have claws though they claws may not have shown up on the slick surfaces of your tank and van. Also, four inches is a fairly good sized paw, so that let’s out many of those. I’m guessing a small bear.

    Hopefully there is an expert out there who can let us know the answer. (Happy Belated Birthday!)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Donna,

      Thanks. I had a great birthday!

      It must be a raccoon. I can’t imagine a small bear coming down out of the mountains and across the sagebrush plain to roam around the campground.

      • Gayle says:

        I can. Campgrounds are where the food is at. (And a preposition is something you never end a sentence with.)

  11. BJ says:

    My vote is for the Racoon, they are nocturnal and very curious —- we raised a couple of babies on the farm (their mom was killed by a car) and they were a stitch.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, BJ,

      I’m going to clean off the tank cover and the hood of the PTV. Maybe I’ll get clearer prints tonight.

  12. Rosemary in PA says:

    Well, as a fellow pet owner (cat), I can tell you that their priorities differ from ours, like that is newz… I had a cat who would scoff at sitting on my lap until I picked up the newspaper (remember those???) and started to read it. Said cat would immediately climb up on my lap and sit right in the middle of the paper.

    My current cat takes great offense to me answering the phone or changing the channel on the TV when she is sitting with me. I get the evil eye. It is so obviously HER time for my attention.

    But we love them just the same…

  13. Tawanda says:

    I’m going to guess it could be a ‘Ringtail or Fisher Cat’ maybe Raccoon ? Curious to know what the bird is?

    Great early morning shot of the mountain… -lol- on the floating sweetener packet in coffee moment.

    No, the hat does not resemble the ‘ Cat in the Hat’ hat nor an over turned chamber pot 🙂 but it is grey, personal preference on that one, something must have attracted you to it, maybe once you’ve tried it on you’ll know for sure, but we can all vote on it too if you want our opinions as well on how you look in it 😉
    T~

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Tawanda,

      I think I was influenced by customer reviews on Amazon. It was a cold day when I placed that order and I was thinking warmth, I guess, rather than looks. We shall see . . .

  14. texastom says:

    Time to have a heart to heart with the crew about what their responsibilities are. :c) Tracks like that need a lot of barking as a wake up call.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, texastom,

      Trouble is, the crew needs someone to wake them up! They slept through it all.

      • Gayle says:

        They slept through the mouse that ran in and stole their food. But that’s okay, because they are RAT terriers not MOUSE terriers!

  15. Linda in NE says:

    When I saw the picture of the tracks my first thought was bear. When you said they were also on the roof of the van I thought coon. Still, they’re mighty big tracks for a coon. As long as it stays on the outside and doesn’t do any damage it’ll be OK.

  16. Eddie says:

    Definitely not a raccoon. Possibly a ringtail.

  17. Shelley says:

    I vote for a raccoon, they have the “thumb” that your prints have. I have camped in California a lot and always have them going through my site at night even opening ice chests. Surprised they got on top of the car though I haven’t had them do that.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Shelley,

      If you look closely at the hood of the PTV, it’s not that easy to climb on it. It’s short and sharply angled. This night marauder is a good climber!

  18. Carol in Olympia, Wa says:

    I’m voting for raccoon/or similar smaller nocturnal curious animal. I think the bird is a roadrunner sunning his damp dewy feathers in the sun.
    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=raccoon+paw+prints&qpvt=raccoon+paw+prints&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=F8EA97DC2CB17BD6D5BDF7A97B8B8B395C52D8BD&selectedIndex=42

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Carol,

      Yes, it’s a roadrunner. Yesterday, late afternoon, two of them came out from the brush. This one hopped up on the post and was picking at or preening his feathers. That’s why they’re sticking up.

      I looked at the link. The prints on the tank cover don’t have the long toes, but that may be because they’re on a tank cover and not in dirt or mud.

  19. AZ Jim says:

    Alas I am busted! I wore my raccoon suit and tried to be stealthy. *shoulders slump, head lowered, walking away*……I failed. I might as well sell my next costume, wonder who would by a bear outfit?

  20. PNW Alison says:

    It’s a conundrum. Size wise, cougar – except that fifth paw print. Could be bear – but their tracks usually show the claw. Plus i dont think they’d quietly and gracefully get up on your roof without waking the crew.

  21. Rand says:

    I vote skunk.

    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/711093-ID-a-skunk-track-from-a-possum-or-raccoon-s

    Camped east of Big Pine last November and a very large skunk searched around the entire area. Very interesting movement zigzagging with tail flying high. There was no moon and for some moments it would just vanish in its camo shadow. I was surprised the Rat Terrier didn’t go ballistic –maybe he knew it was a skunk and decided to play possum.

    • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

      I can’t imagine a skunk climbing up onto things like this creature did. They tend to be rather chunky little animals who waddle around. I still think raccoon…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rand,

      Great to see you here again! Well, if it was a skunk, it was a big’un.

      Bridget and Spike are a disgrace to rat terriers everywhere. There, I’ve said it. I’ve thought it for a long time.

  22. Diann in MT says:

    It’s a raccoon coming to visit! I camp among these things often in the Montana mountains. They are harmless unless you inadvertently leave food around, then they will be return time and again. Evidently, you are camped in a space these critters have found food. Endure… They just come at night. Thank your lucky stars it was not a bear; they tend to tear doors off cars and shake the hard sided “tents”. You have found a lovely, lovey space.
    I couldn’t help but admire your photo of the rabbit brush “bush”. Made me nostalgic. I used to live in southeastern Colorado, and the area where you are camped seems similar. I miss that kind of climate in early autumn. In contrast, Montana is so “wintery” already.
    Well, the national forest campgrounds should be open soon as the House of Representatives are voting on stopping the government shutdown tonight. I believe it’s a sure deal they will vote to put all this nonsense beyond us. May you benefit, rvsue.
    The raccoon and sometimes skunks will leave before dawn. Have an enjoyable time!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Diann,

      I’m not going to get my hopes up about the campgrounds opening. I’ll believe it when I see it. I don’t have a lot of confidence in the people in Washington.

      The yellow-gold of the brush is beautiful. It’s all over.

      The dumpsters were very full last night which may have drawn the critter into the campground. The truck came and emptied the dumpsters this morning.

  23. Diann in MT says:

    Bird is Road Runner… I miss them, too. Good photo, sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yeah, it’s a road runner. The photo would’ve been better if he weren’t back-lit but he wouldn’t follow my instructions.

  24. Ladybug says:

    Sasquatch.

  25. Cheryl Champlin says:

    I ordered a craft kit for my grandaughter called a Poof Slinky Fuzzoodles on Sept 6 2013 through the Amazon link on your web site but have not seen that listed yet on recently placed orders. Maybe I just missed it but I want to make sure you are getting the credit for things I order through your web site as I will be placing another order (for coffee) this weekend. Love your blog ! The photos are great !

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cheryl,

      I got credit for the craft kit. Thanks so much for using my links to shop, and caring that I get credit.

      The list you see at the end of a post represents a small percentage of the total orders placed through my blog. For instance, in the first half of October 306 items were ordered.

  26. Angie2B says:

    I think you should wear your hat when the “Finding Bigfoot” crew comes to interview you.

  27. Reba Johnson Cargile says:

    Back many moons ago I had to go out and shoot this thing that our dog, Freckles, had treed before the school bus run. That thing hopped on up that tree and I yelled “Mamma, Mamma its a bear”. I only had (1) 22 shell and here she came with some more shells. I had wasted my one shell which is the one that made the “bear” hop further up the tree. Killed that critter with the next shot and it was a huge raccoon. Well long story short, Freckles would keep something treed until he died from exhaustion so don’t get mad at me for killing the raccoon. Where I live now, way out in the boonies of Arkansas, something has been walking on my van, even sliding down the windshield. Those prints you photographed are just like the ones on my van…..it”s a raccoon…..that’s my two cents worth….Reba

  28. Rick Morgan says:

    Hi Sue,

    Happy Belated Birthday! I would also guess a raccoon – I will keep a look out tonight – we are camped across the creek from you… Class A Winnebago Adventurer and Silver Honda Fit.

  29. Eddie says:

    The print is not from a raccoon. They have with long “fingers” that look almost like hands so they can grasp things. Those are not coon prints.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Eddie,

      You’re right about that. The link that Carol posted above shows the long “fingers” on a coon print.

  30. Bill & Ann says:

    Another Happy Belated Birthday, Sue! And….grey is my favorite color. The hat will look wonderful on you! I was hoping you still had the Sue Grafton books when we met up with you next. Darn. Beautiful picture of the mountain.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bill and Ann,

      Sorry about the book. If I knew what letter you’re up to, I’d pick up some more as I graze through used books stores.

    • Dominick Bundy says:

      One very seldom hears of Grey being a favorite color, But it’s mine as well. All shades of grey.

  31. Tina says:

    Hi Sue,

    Happy Belated Birthday to you! Mine was on the 13th and I have many friends birthdays to celebrate in October.

    I would guess that was a racoons who left those prints.

    The Bishop area is so nice and pretty, I was there the end of last month.

    Enjoy your blog posts and those pictures of Bridget and Spike so show their personalities! Gives me a good laugh.

    Have a great week,

    Tina

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Tina,

      A belated Happy Birthday to you, too, Tina. I never met an October birthday person I didn’t like. 🙂

      You have a great week, too.

  32. Rand says:

    Sue– Maybe Kindle doesn’t know its your birthday? I’ve had 3 replacements and 1 repair advice from Amazon that worked out well. Tell them you’ve mentioned Kindle 486 times and 1,874,222 eyeballs have read it in your blog.
    Bishop has a second hand store near the Galen Rowell- Mountain Light Gallery with an interesting selection of books. East Side Books is a block from there, lots of great used books.. I have a habit of buying a John Muir book after going through the gallery and only being able to afford some cards.

  33. Angie2B says:

    Well it looks like some thing small that struggled and slipped a little to get up. I think it is an opossum.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Angie,

      But do opossums have such big feet? Whatever it was couldn’t get any traction on the fiberglass shell and didn’t go any higher than the propane tanks cover.

  34. Marilu says:

    The best print looks like the hind foot of a raccoon. I suspect the long fingered front prints are smeared. The behavior is very raccoon like. They come onto my deck and play in the fountain leaving muddy footprints all over. The males can get quite large.
    Marilu
    PS. I bet the hat will look great. Post a picture and we’ll vote. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marilu,

      Excellent point about the front and back feet. That may solve the mystery… a large raccoon. The clear prints are back feet.

  35. mary strasser says:

    Voting for raccoon. They will use those sharp claws to slice a dog’s leg tendons if a dog corners them, so beware crew, and don’t corner those critters!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mary,

      We’ll be careful. I never corner anything . . . or anybody, for that matter. 🙂

  36. Looks like racoon. They are very curious and oportunistic. Chances are if there is no reward (food) he will soon move on or at least stop crawling all over you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t know what his motivation would be to come back. Which would make it very weird if he did!

  37. Lynda says:

    I’m going for Fisher. They’re in California and the size of the 5-toed track is up to 4.5 inches long: http://support.mspca.org/images/lww/wildlifehelp/animals/what_fisher.gif
    and http://www.wildthingsultd.org/publications/about-rare-carnivors/fisher/

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lynda,

      Ooh, those fishercats are scary-looking!

      • Donna in CT says:

        Fisher! That’s the name of the animal I was trying to think of before. I bet that is what it was. Raccoon’s do not have four inch paws.

  38. I love the hat!!! Remember hat shopping in Chloride NM ??? I ended up with the hat!
    I don’t know much about paw prints, but reading all the comments from folks who think they do was a real hoot! I was laughing so much, Chuck had to get on his computer and see what was going on with Sue! I vote BigFoot! 🙂
    We are all hooked up and ready to head out tomorrow! YaY! Hope all your birthday presents arrive soon!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri,

      Well, at long last . . . tomorrow is the big day! How exciting! Have a wonderful trip and stay safe. I’m looking forward to seeing pics of your new digs on your blog once you’ve settled in.

    • Ladybug says:

      See, I know of which I speak! And everyone’s saying that if it’s a raccoon, it’s got ‘big feet’. I’m vindicated!! 😉

      Sue, just a thought…..if you don’t get new/clear set of prints tonight, maybe wander over to the creekbank. Obviously it’s been in the mud; you might get a clear set that way. And raccoons have a tendency to dip their food in water before eating it.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Yes, Ladybug… You may be right and the big prints are the back feet. But then Eddie and Rand say no . . .

        I looked around while the crew and I walked the creekbank. All I saw was what I think is coyote scat.

  39. Rita from Phoenix says:

    Love the camp and pics. Gray hat is fabulous..I love hats but don’t have opportunities to wear in Phoenix very often. I’ve cleaned and hidden things from myself to find the lost/hidden item months or even years later LOL Not sure about the critter prints but I’m with you on a stake out 🙂 Might have to sit in PTV and spy critters moving around at night.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi,, Rita,

      Lots of votes on the mystery critter…. now I’m getting votes on the hat. Hahaha!

  40. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    Hi Sue,
    Belated Happy Birthday…love the pics. Just checking prints in my Audubon guide,
    The prints on the BLT are similar to those of a fisher and also a ringtail according to this. Watch the crew if it is a fisher…one got my mothers cat a few years ago.
    I envy you and your great camp site….wish I was there:-)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Val,

      I’m assuming that whatever it was, it’s nocturnal and the crew is put to bed once the sun goes down. If Spike has to make an emergency run in the night, I’ll go with him. We’ll be careful.

  41. Dawn says:

    Love Siddons! Enjoy!

    You clean like I clean….when it gets bad enough to be noticed by me which is usually pretty bad.

    I’m sure I’d be keeping the crew inside at night now…those prints are HUGE!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      Unfortunately I can’t see the propane tank area nor the PTV from inside the BLT. I doubt I’ll have a chance to see this critter again. Another mystery in the life of RVSue and her canine crew!

      I don’t know why it took me so long to discover Siddons. I love it when I try and like a new author. It gives me another list of books to look for.

  42. Mindy Reed says:

    Love the photos, looks like a good place to hang for a while…a belated happy birth day! Mine was the 11th and I’ve turned 29 for the 34th time (snicker).

    Based on the fact that the campground is populated and there was food around it would be a large raccoon they tend to be bold, but I wouldn’t rule out a ringtail or fisher. – Stay safe!

    Your housekeeping skills sound about like mine…hate to cook and hate house work.

    I LOOOOOOVE the photo of Bridget being PO’d at Spike and his obvious “who me” stance…LOL. They both seemed to have flunked out of “Rat Terrier” school…LOL

    You’ll love that hat when it’s cold, I have a similar one and love it good color too to hide dirt!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mindy,

      Bridget is a master at expressing disgust. She throws that look around quite often.

      Yeah, if the hat’s warm I’ll be happy enough with it. It’s not like I’m a style-setter.

  43. Mindy Reed says:

    Forgot to add, campgrounds etc. should be open soon looks like the fools in DC are doing something as I type.

  44. Rick says:

    I think you should consider treating yourself to a new 3G paperwhite Kindle. It as a built in light and lots of battery power. I’ve enjoyed mine.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rick,

      I’ve been pondering those paperwhites. They do look good to me. I’ll call about my old kindle. If it’s not fixable, I’ll probably order a paperwhite.

      • Jean/Southaven, MS says:

        Our boys gave my husband a paperwhite for his birthday last year. He reads it all the time and loves it.

  45. Dixie says:

    Greetings Sue!! Happy belated Birthday!! We just arrived back in Tucson for the winter. I’ve so enjoyed following your adventures this summer! Thanks for all the gorgeous photography and stories! Dixie

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dixie!

      You’re welcome. I’m happy you enjoyed our summer travels. I know I did.

      Hmm . . . I wonder if you’re the one who left the dog food and dog bones on Rusty’s doorstep recently.

  46. Nivrapa in AZ says:

    My vote is for a raccoon. Once while tenting in Maine’s back country I awoke to a big critter checking out the rocks surrounding the fire pit. At first, I thought it was a bear cub but then with better light I realized it was a coon. He sure was a big guy–bold, too. Took his time leaving, as though he was there first. Well, yeah, I guess he was!

    My cleaning philosophy is to clean once every six months–whether it needs it or not. Works for me!

    Audrey

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Audrey,

      Every six months whether it needs it or not? You’re so regulated! I wish I could be that way . . .

  47. Marcia GB in MA says:

    I think “the hat” will look smashing with perhaps a scarf or old tie wrapped around it, or a fabulous brooch from a thrift shop or perhaps a funky feather!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Me? Wear a brooch? I can’t remember the last time I wore a piece of jewelry. Your comment makes me think you’d be better suited for the hat! Sounds like you know how to “work it.”

  48. Eileen P. says:

    Regarding the HAT. A work colleague has a woven bowl that has a very “hat-like” shape. She keeps some wonderful peppermint candies in it that are sold in giant containers at Costco. We call it the “candy hat”. She swears that it’s really a bowl — but I swear back that it started life as a hat. Soo, if it doesn’t work out as a hat…maybe a kibble bowl for Spike and Bridget? 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Eileen!

      Ha! A kibble bowl. What’s that? Spike and Bridget get their meals served on a plate, the easier to kick the kibble onto the floor before eating. Seriously. That’s what they do. No table manners whatsoever.

  49. Debra Larson says:

    I like that hat and I bet it will look very good on you. Not a bit like the Cat in the Hat. Those look like raccoon prints and I have seen some pretty big ones.

  50. Jean wheatleyIn Molalla says:

    you’re stylin Sue,isn’t it just like queen mums hat?.”..hers all look like overturned pots, just the same color as her dress. Maybe cans of spray paint in colors to match your shirts!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jean,

      My shirts are generally drab like the hat so it already matches. Gee, I’m going to look like the queen mum? I don’t know if I like that. Could be an improvement, I suppose. 🙂

  51. Timber n' Rusty says:

    Oh nooo, I missed your Birthday, well I’ll be a,, Well, Have a belated Happy Birthday from Timber n’ me :~)

  52. Gayle says:

    The photo of Spike & Bridget at Crescent Lake just tolerating each other reminds me of the famous photo of Prince Charles and Princess Diana in Korea — the photo that announced to the world that they were totally done with one another — Prince Charles staring down glumly and Princess Diana gazing over her shoulder in the opposite direction. Bet you never thought Spike & Bridget would remind us of royalty, did ya?!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gayle,

      I remember that photo. Who could forget it? What a sad story.

      Well, Spike and Bridget can be a royal PITA!

  53. LdB says:

    First, glad you had a great buff day, doing ‘zactly as you please

    Second, I LOVE dah hat!

    Lastly, my $ is on a big nosey raccoon.

    Blessings as you travel.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Another vote for The Hat! Hi, LdB!

      Doing “‘zactly as you please” is what I love about retirement.

      Blessings to you, too.

  54. Glenda in OZ! says:

    Oh Sue I missed wishing you a Happy Birthday………..hope the day was an especially happy one and that you get all your gifts made to yourself very soon……..by the way I liked the hat!! Oh the expression on Bridget’s face…………..priceless!! Have seen that look on Coco’s face many times when she is less than tolerant with her “sister” Chanel!! The moment I saw those prints I thought “Racoon” and I live in OZ and we don’t have them here of course…………there’s another cleaning job for you !!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Glenda,

      Another yes vote for The Hat! I’ll give it a try. I do like cloche hats, so maybe it’s just the photo that makes it look like a stovepipe.

      I’ve never had a dog who could roll her eyes the way Bridget does. Her expression reminds me of those I’ve seen on exasperated wives. And the husband (Spike) looks like, “What’d I do?”

  55. Cinandjules (temp in CA) says:

    Don’t know what it could have been! Thank god whatever it was …..it stayed on the outside of the BLT.

    We have a track and scat identifier that we often use living in the woods! When it rains we can see footprints of some animal that has claws and is creeping around the feral cat house.

    Opossums have rat like feet. Fishers are mean critters.

    Love the pic of the crew!

    Caroline in Seattle….a trick to backing up…try using the shadow to determine the distance.

  56. Chuck Dick says:

    As a very old, (cough), and experienced backwoods camper from the northwoods, I’m almost certain it’s a young black bear. I’ve seen them many times tent camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota. They can smell food, (or garbage) miles away and can easily climb atop the PTV. I’m surprised one would be in that area, however.

    Keep your food and garbage inside, keep doors locked and you’ll be fine. Also…loud noise scares them….if they get too bothersome.

    Follow your website all the time. Love your observations and writing ability.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chuck Dick! Great to see you commenting here!

      Although the paw print said “bear” to me immediately, I have a hard time imaging a bear roaming around this sage desert and treeless foothills. It’s possible, I suppose. There certainly are a lot of black bears north of here where we last camped.

      I follow your suggestion about food and garbage. At first I thought the animal wanted to get near the roof vent, smelling cooking odors. But I didn’t cook anything except oatmeal in the morning. I have an air horn that was given to me as a “going away” gift by a friend. Sometimes I carry it in my vest pocket to scare away critters.

      I’m very pleased to have you following my website. Thank you for your appreciative words. I hope you drop by with a comment again. 🙂

  57. Cheryl Ann says:

    Don’t think it was a raccoon…they have long, very narrow prints. I see them all the time in our local mountains and that doesn’t look like any raccoon footprint I’ve ever seen…hmmmm….now you’ve got me wondering! BTW, a belated happy birthday! I’m thinking, yes, maybe a small bear? You are in bear country!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cheryl Ann,

      I’m writing this the following day from the above post. Our night visitor, not surprisingly, did not return, so this is another mystery on my blog that it’s unlikely we will solve.

  58. Diane says:

    Happy Belated Birthday Sue! You and I are the same age, with that comes Mounds of mail soliciting for your healthcare, life Ins. and burial ins. dollars…HA!
    Your photos are increasingly better and better. I loved the Mts covered in snow on your previous posts and the early morning light on the Sierra Mts in this post.
    My guess on your night visitor is a Racoon.
    I have been camping so had to catch up on your posts…Curious about what type of heater you use, catalytic? I usually boonedock but with the “shi… down” had to camp in an area with electric hook up…duh…I blew the breaker in my camper when I turned on a small electric heater… I know you probably have propane heater that was factory in the Casita, anything else? Sorry my comments are late, it’s the time difference thing. Thanks Sue, enjoy your Blog so much. Take Care, Diane

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Diane,

      Thanks for the birthday wish and also for the compliment on my photos.

      I use an Olympian Wave3 catalytic (propane) heater. I did not order the factory heater because it takes up the space in the under-sink cabinet. I also heard that they are noisy. The Wave3 is absolutely quiet. (To see a Wave3 heater go to header, click on Shopping Links, then click For your RV and Home.)

      No such thing as a late comment! I’m glad you enjoy my blog.

      (Do me a favor… When you comment in the future, give an indication of where you are or anything to distinguish you from the other Dianes that comment. Thanks.)

      • Diane, Mtn Child says:

        Okay, maybe say, Diane Mtn Child, I love the poem “Mountain Child” as it relates to the child born in the Mountains and they are inside of you no matter where you are. When I leave them and finally see the first ones on the return home trip, My heart leaps.

        • Diane, Blue Ridge Mts. VA says:

          Sue, changed mind, I’ll sign in as Diane, Blue Ridge Mts VA. Duhhh…

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Anything will help. It can be very confusing from where I sit. Thanks, Diane of the Blue Ridge!

            • Diane, Blue Ridge Mts. VA says:

              Sue, have been researching the tracks on your propane tanks, my conclusion is a “FISHER” five toes and vicious. I have never seen one in our woods. wow they are one of the few animals that can succesfully attack a porcupine. Member of the weasal family and can get quite large. Interesting.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Yeah, the photos I’ve seen of fishers… whoa! They LOOK vicious.

  59. Sue,
    Do you have Kindle software on your computer? It’s available for download on Amazon’s site. That’s what I use when I’m without my Kindle or iPad.

    I vote for raccoon. I’ve had some mighty big ones on my back porch looking to steal dog food. They’re pretty bold when there’s a possibility of a free meal!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      I’m hesitant to download software and to read books online because of the power drain and the increased usage on my air card (I have to pay when I exceed my limit).

  60. Betty -Shea says:

    Bridge and Spikey just need their “dreamtime”! My dogs would invite the darn critter inside …they are always bringing “new friends” back with them. Scary!!:)
    Loved reading about your first trip.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Betty-Shea,

      That first trip is one my favorite memories. Seeing my sister again, watching the canines adapt to travel, and having the PTV run great. I could see us having success on the road!

      I appreciate the feedback.

  61. Louise says:

    Happy belated birthday!!!

    If you put the Kindle ap on your laptop, you can download books to the laptop and read them offline, just as you do to the Kindle itself. Unfortunately, my laptop screen is lousy for reading outdoors. Maybe yours is better!

    The library just phoned — they have the loan I requested — ‘W is for Wasted’! Guess where I’m going this afternoon? Hurrah! I do love libraries . . .

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Louise,

      You don’t have the library send you Sue Grafton to your laptop? I’ve heard you can set that up.

      Thanks for the tip on reading offline. My laptop is terrible outside, too.

      • Louise says:

        Yes, they can loan me an ebook — but I wanted the new Grafton, so I put my name down on both lists. The print copy reached my name first. 😉 I should cancel the ebook request now. That’s just fine — I still enjoy reading paper books.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I see what you’re saying, Jason. It looks like black bear. Interesting.

      • My first thought when I saw the paw prints was bear… but what else could have bumped the BLT hard enough to wake you up? A raccoon… ??? Doubtful! But the how would a bear climb to the top of the PTV ??? Maybe a cub ???? Still got my vote in for BigFoot!

  62. gingerda says:

    I love the early morning picture of the mountain. It’s really unusual.
    Happy Birthday!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ginger,

      I remember last year when we camped a short distance south of here at Alabama Hills, the early morning sun would transform the mountains to that warm color. Thanks for the birthday message.

  63. Evelyn says:

    Hi Sue, I’m another single 60 something women reader. In our area the Library’s offer free internet connections. Years ago all you had to do was park near the building, now you need to go in and get a password. Still free though. I too have the Kindle app. on my laptop and then sic laptop to iPhone to read books. Happy birthday to you too. Great pics. You missed my neck of the woods as I live near the 101 in Mendocino county, Ca. but maybe some day you’ll come this way. Thank you for your blog.

  64. Pat says:

    Hi Sue,

    Someone beat me to the comment I wanted to make about the broach on the hat. I think the hat is cute and will be warm. I collect silly pins of critters. You may not be a big jewelry person, but a large glass “jool” spider or a grasshopper or cactus would be really smart and might amuse people you meet in the library or grocery store. I have a large sunflower pin that is appropriate since I live in KS. I put them on purses, hats, and handbags just for fun. I don’t expect that Spike or Bridget will even notice.
    Pat in Kansas

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pat,

      Somehow that doesn’t seem like me. Hmm . . . Your suggestion does give me something to hunt for in thrift stores. I love the hunt! Maybe I’ll find something I like.

  65. Jean/Southaven, MS says:

    WOW RvSue. You have 142 comments today. It took my whole lunch just to read the comments. I vote for the stovepipe hat, it does look sort of like a stovepipe, but it looks warm and I bet you will like it. I am not much of a housekeeper or cook either, that is why I would love to be a vagabond. I do not want to spend my retirement cleaning house and mowing grass all the time. Of course I will still have to eat so some cooking. stay safte

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jean,

      Ha! Cook enough to stay alive!

      I know women who feel sorry for themselves because they don’t have a husband or live-in companion. I say, “Revel in your singlehood!” I certainly do!

      Married or single, there are advantages to both.

  66. Alan Rabe says:

    Sue, If the government gets back in business before you leave the Big Pine area try and pay a visit to the Ancient Bristle Cone Pine Forest. Just east of Big Pine. The 1000 + year old trees make for some interesting images.
    Love the hat, I’d wear it in a heart beat.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Alan,

      Yes, I see the signs pointing that way. Maybe I’ll see it in a year when I don’t travel much. When you’re on the road as much as I am, a 60-mile round-trip, mountain road, day excursion isn’t appealing. At this point I’m satisfied by what I experience along my journey.

      You love the hat? You and some others do, too. Maybe it’s not so bad after all.

  67. Shelley says:

    The black bear makes a bit more sense as far as being on the car I don’t recall a raccoon ever doing that. Especially if there was food stored in the car.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Shelley,

      No food in the van. And no food odors coming from the BLT. Must have been a very curious animal who maybe had some experience finding food around campers.

  68. Mindy Reed says:

    OK so here’s a bit of 6 degrees of separation trivia. I clicked on your link all about your first trip and started reading and read about your house closing problems and started to laugh…before ’08 I was a real estate title examiner and actually worked for that law firm….LOL. Your title would have been done PDQ but often they have to wait on papers from the bank. Also, the lawyer you mentioned didn’t work there when I did but and this is another funny her father is an old sailboat racing friend or should I say competitor…This little old lady Kicked butt big time and the boys didn’t like it too much…anyway I got a real laugh and I hope you do to…world shrinkage..snort.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mindy,

      Oh my, it is a small world! I’m relieved I didn’t insult you!

      I have to be careful what I write because this blog is becoming more and more popular. It’s easy to step on toes!

  69. stan watkins says:

    I like the hat but if you think it dull you could jazz it up with some pins. I second Bristle cone pine forest. Leave the BLT,pack a lunch and go. Probably an hour and a half trip oneway. I vote Snipe for footprints.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Stan,

      Like I wrote to Alan above, I travel so much that a three-hour drive into mountains and back isn’t very appealing. Because the West is still new to me and because of my natural fascination with every-day sights and experiences, I’m happy enough going from camp to camp without driving somewhere else.

      Another vote for the hat! And pins! 🙂

  70. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    I vote for a raccoon. They like to get in the water for food hense the muddy paw prints. There was nothing for the rascal to get a hold of so he stretched his toes out some to get a bite, thats why the prints look like a bear. It’s not a Sasquatch as they live up in Canada…might be a Big Foot as they live in the USA [they arn’t allowed to cross the border]. If I didn’t know better I would swear those prints look like a Tazmanian Devil [probably brought into the country by visiting Aussies]. If it was a bear, sasquatch or big foot the PTV would have BIG dents in it I think. If you get on Amazon I’ll betcha you would find a Sportsmans Trail Camera that you could set up to take a picture of this mystery monster.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Joe,

      I’m sure those motion-activated night cameras are fun. I’d probably be amazed what lurks around the BLT at night.

      Apparently, whatever it was, has lost interest. No sign or sound of him since.

  71. Lois says:

    I love the pic of the of mountains! Just beautiful! You’re in one of my favorite parts of California 🙂

    I vote for raccoon, as well. I had two of them visit me last night here in Oregon while I was sitting by my campfire (I guess I was sitting so still, they didn’t see me as a threat and they came up to me, right next to my chair!) – they weren’t as big as your pawprints suggest but I’ve seen some mighty big raccoons over the years.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lois,

      I guess we’ll never know for sure what it was. You can see a lot of wildlife by sitting still, as happened to you.

  72. Hmmm, raccoons? Maybe. My friend broke up a fight on her Marin County, CA deck between a raccoon and her little Shih Tzu. Results: a raccoon bite and rabies treatment; so be careful to give them space.
    As for the hat, I personally think you may be surprised – it could be areal winner. And gray. Well, now, how about a sprig of holly or spruce or ? to ornament it. Wool, warm for those chilly morns.
    I’m just about ready to start a William Johnstone …. thanks for the suggestion.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mary-Pat…

      Gee, hope you haven’t thanked me too soon on the Johnstone book.

      That’s a pretty good suggestion… a sprig of holly . . . hmm.

  73. Hi Sue:
    I was surfing around the web today when suddenly I remembered a book I’d read several months ago – you know, the ones you pick up at exchange paperback sites in campgrounds!
    It’s “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared,” by Jonas Jonasson
    It wouldn’t normally be something I’d pick up but somebody there said, “You’ve got to read this!” So, I did and really enjoyed it. I don’t even want to give you the story line; it’s more fun to discover it yourself. I do know it’s on Kindle; can you download Kindle books to your computer? Of course it’s also available in paperback and maybe even audible. A thought for you.
    I’ve just started another by David Baldacci; this one, “Split Second” appears to be a page-turner. I’ll let you know. ‘Hi’ to the kids …. mary-pat

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