Two Casitas, friends, food, and flexible solar panels

Monday, September 22

“Oh, Bridget?  We have a situation out here . . . ”

1-P1000614 - Copy“There’s a cow in our campsite, honey.  Uh, make that cows.  You’d better get out here.”

1-P1000618 - Copy“Bridget?  I see you peeking out the door.  Come help me shoo these cows.”

1-P1000615 - Copy“Don’t be nervous.  All you have to do is look ’em in the eye and bark really loud like you mean business.  Aww, come out from under there, sweetheart.  You can do it.”

1-P1000617 - Copy“No?  Well, okay.  Never mind, I’ll take care of them. . . . All right, ladies.  Move it, move it.  Nothing to see here.  And no pooping on your way out.”

1-P1000619 - CopyLater we move the Best Little Trailer to a neighboring campsite.

Kathy and Gil from Washington state arrive tomorrow.  I want them to have the best campsite on the peninsula which is the one Bridget and I have occupied for about a week.

I keep watch for potential intruders of the bovine kind.

“No!  You can’t come over and poop on this campsite!  Go away!”

1-P1000511“Don’t look at me like that.  You have plenty of places to graze.  You don’t need to come over here.”

1-P1000451“Scram!”

Tuesday, September 23

Shortly past noon, Kathy and Gil drive up!

1-P1000633Their Chevy Trailblazer V6  pulls a Casita Spirit Deluxe.  Last winter Kathy and Gil took their Casita 600 miles down the Baja Peninsula and camped on the beach.  They enjoy winters in Mexico.

1-P1000634We hug hello, happy to see each other again. 

I step back with Bridget in my arms and let Kathy and Gil discuss the advantages and disadvantages of several possible ways to place the Casita.   As soon as they  have their trailer positioned and leveled, Gil pulls out their flexible solar panels, opens them up like a giant menu, and places them on the hood of the Trailblazer.

1-P1000635“Each panel is 100 watts, so we have 300 watts altogether.  And we have two AGM batteries inside the SUV,” Gil proudly explains.

“Gee, 300 watts is great!  And it’s so easy to store,”  I remark, looking at the thin, lightweight panels.

1-P1000636Gil secures the solar panels with bungee cords.  That’s a flannel-backed vinyl tablecloth underneath the panels.  In only a few minutes and with little effort, the solar is all set up!

Both Kathy and Gil are avid and accomplished gardeners at their home near Yakima, Washington.

“You want some zucchini?” Gil asks with a big smile.  “We’ve got plenty!”

1-P1000637“Sure!”

“We also brought some butternut for you,” Kathy adds as they stack the squash on top of the propane tank cover.

“Gee, I love butternut squash, but I don’t have an oven,” I respond.

Kathy pipes up with a solution. 

“Peel it like an apple, cut it up in small chunks, put about an inch of water in the bottom of a pot, and steam ’em.  You can mash them with some butter.  They’re so good!”

“Yeah, and I have brown sugar to put on top,” I add with a grin.

Squash talk over, Gil and Kathy pull out camp chairs and a mat and we continue talking while Gil brings out the awning over our heads.  It’s a bright, sunny day and warm.  The awning makes a big difference.

After an enjoyable visit . . .

“We need to go so you can finish setting up!  C’mon, Bridget.  Time to go home.”

“Gil might make a campfire later, so if you want, come back and sit with us.”

Later, when the sun is low, Bridget and I go on our second walk of the day.

I want to go up one of the hills to take a photo of our two camps.  At the base of the hill Bridget sits down in the familiar my-rear-is-glued-to-the-ground position.

1-P1000645-001I know what her problem is. 

The second walk of the day is supposed to be an easy walk.  Climbing a hill isn’t part of the program.  Bridget is boss of the exercise program.

“Okay.  I’ll only walk part-way up the hill and take a few pictures.  Then we’ll go straight home.”

I take a pic of Gil’s and Kathy’s camp . . .

Notice how they’ve positioned their Casita.  I put the big back window of the Best Little Trailer (a Liberty Deluxe) facing The Rock.  With their Spirit Deluxe the side window over the dinette is the best window for views.

1-P1000646Friends and neighbors . . . not too close, not too far . . .

1-P1000644I put the lens cap on the camera and walk down the hill. 

“See?  That didn’t take long.  We can go home now.”

1-P1000640Bridget, happy that the program is back on track, leads the way, stopping frequently to make sure I don’t wander off on any detours.

1-P1000650Kathy brings over an assortment of fruits and vegetables. 

I eat the Honey Crisp apple right away.  Boy, is it good!

Some time passes and Gil shows up with a bowl of Kathy’s salad and a bottle of raspberry dressing.  The salad is the best I’ve ever eaten!  Let’s see . . .  chicken, walnuts previously sauteed in honey, lettuce, shredded Pecorino Romano cheese, and some other good stuff, all chopped in small pieces so the raspberry dressing coats it all . . . Oh, gosh, I knew there is a heaven and this salad proves it! 

Both Kathy and Gil are excellent, inventive cooks.  Gil invites me to breakfast tomorrow to try his newest recipe.

“I’ll be there!”

Right before dark Bridget and I walk over to Gil’s and Kathy’s campsite.

Gil prepares a campfire and we gather our camp chairs around.  Can you guess what we do?

Well, talk, of course.  But guess what else . . .

1-P1000652We eat ECLAIRS!

rvsue

THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!

Here are a few recent purchases made by RVSue shoppers:

Mr. Herzher’s Smart Ramp
Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder
Bright Starts Clack and Slide Activity Ball
Camco Zero Gravity Padded Recliner
RoadPro 10′ Universal ThermoElectric 12V Power Cord
Char-Broil TRU Infrared Electric Patio Bistro 180 Grill

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222 Responses to Two Casitas, friends, food, and flexible solar panels

  1. Shirlene says:

    Yipee, been waiting…I hope I am first to brighten your morning Sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You have brightened my morning, Shirlene! I appreciate the energy you add to my blog and the enthusiasm you share with fellow blogorinos. 🙂

  2. Shirlene says:

    Ok back now, had to read the post….it sure was worth the wait. Eclairs? Wow, I am sooooo glad you got one, with all that walking you need not worry, you probably walked it off just going up the hill to take that great picture perspective of how you set up your new camp and Kathy and Gil’s camp. Love the pictures and cannot wait to see where you land next…This is sooo much fun…the blog is transforming into a life of it’s own, which if I remember right, that is what you wished for and what we wish for you. Good day to you and Bridget.

  3. ZenOnWheels says:

    Cows in camp! I haven’t had that experience yet, but I think I’d like to just for the novelty. 🙂

    How wonderful to have friends nearby, but not too nearby. “Just right” is such a nice arrangement, isn’t it?

    I’m really intrigued with the flexible solar panel solution. That seems pretty versatile in how it can be deployed. So far, my little panel on the roof is doing fine on its own, but I imagine a backup flexible array might be nice, particularly if it was difficult to get the one on the roof (which cannot be moved) in the right spot for charging. Sometimes I have to choose between being level and having a good sun spot. Something like these would be a good alternative. Hmmmmm, must look into it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Michael,

      Like my set-up with the panel on the roof of the PTV, Gil and Kathy can move their Traiblazer to have the hood and panels in the sun while their Casita is in the shade and/or where it’s level.

      If you boondock on public land you’ll eventually have cows in camp!

  4. Sue (Alabama) says:

    Wahoo, what could be better, caring loving friends, campfire, a beautiful lake, stars shinning and eclairs!! So jealous!

  5. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Your new site is nice, too. “Friends and neighbors… not to close….not to far…” Just perfect!

    You made my mouth water describing your salad with chicken. And eclairs…oh, my!! As I am typing this, I am on my lunch break, enjoying canned chicken and watermelon. Not quite as delicious as your dinner was, but it will do!

    Love your pictures of the area and Miss Bridget. She really is the boss of the walks!! 🙂

    Enjoy your day and your visit with Kathy and Gil! Love and hugs to you and Bridget from Gracie pup and me! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The new site has a view of the bay. The beach is sloped more but it’s easy to walk down to the water. I didn’t take a close-up of the BLT in the site because it would’ve looked plain… just grass and tamarisk trees. I parked there because it was level, not for beauty. I didn’t put down the mat because I knew we weren’t staying much longer.

  6. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    I forgot to add….

    Looking forward to seeing where you take us next! Gracie pup and I have our seatbelts on and our snack trays in the upright position! 🙂

  7. Caroline near Seattle says:

    Great photos as always. How nice to have grocery delivery service out in the boonies! And fresh produce to boot!
    The salad sounds delicious ( minus the chicken since I don’t eat meat)

    I’m curious about the flexible panels. Are they heavy ? flimsy? do they store them in the trailer while travelling?
    Also, do they have a specific destination for staying in Mexico ? I’m not a big fan of Mexico so I’m intrigued by the notion of wintering there in a camper.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Caroline,

      I didn’t lift the panels myself. I could tell from the way Gil handled them that they are lightweight. Are they flimsy? I’m trying to think of something similar that would tell you. The only thing I can come up with is vinyl flooring. If you held the same size piece, I think it would have the same flexibility and sturdiness. I think the panels are stored in the back of their SUV. I may be wrong; I don’t recall. I was too involved talking with Kathy.

      I believe Kathy and Gil have camped in more than one place in Mexico. They don’t have a good internet connection at their camp right now or I’m sure they’d respond to your questions (Bridget and I have moved to a new camp so I can’t ask them). They plan to stay on the peninsula for approximately a week.

      I do know they have a wonderful time on the Baja. Gil goes fishing, they’ve met some very friendly, wonderful Mexican people, the food is fantastic, they haven’t had a bit of trouble, never feel threatened or nervous, the beach is sandy, the sun is warm… If it weren’t for the language, I’d go there, too!

      • Caroline near Seattle says:

        Trust you to come up with the perfect analogy … I know exactly what that translates to! Light enough to easily handle but not so light to blow over in the slightest breeze. Something to look into.
        Thx for the info. And enjoy your new camp !

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      It looks as though the panels Kathy and Gil have are a bit more flexible, but I just last week bought a flexible panel to try out (for a small boat). It was not flexible enough to “drape” at the corners as it looks like Kathy and Gil’s do, but was not totally rigid either (obviously). I can’t think what to compare it to, but anyway I guess there is a continuum of rigidity between various flexible panels.

      As it turns out, I returned the flexible panel for various reasons (had not used it yet, so return was pre-approved). I think they are probably the wave of the future, but for now I ended up going with a rigid panel for that specific application. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to go for the RV (which will have multiple panels).

      But back to the flexible panel and why I decided not to go with it, just in case this helps others to decide:

      1) Nothing “wrong” with the panel, per se, more just my situation/details.

      2) It sat so nice and flat on the boat roof that it almost disappeared, that was nice!

      3) However, at the edges, it juuust covered a handrail that I need to be able to use, so that wasn’t good (and you can’t exactly trim them – I long for the day you can custom order any size solar panel you want!). I thought of propping up the ends with little posts, but then there would have been an unsupported area, so I would have needed to make a plywood base… well next thing you know I have a rigid panel with the “worst of both worlds.”

      4) Also, the roof of the boat is not insulated, so a black/hot panel sitting on it would probably have heated up the interior (and panels like ventilation too if possible).

      5) And from what I know they are not quite as efficient/durable as rigid panels (they have plastic top surface vs. glass).

      6) The wiring is right on top of the panel, vs. being somewhat hidden in the frame area of a rigid panel (underneath). This wouldn’t matter in many situations, but did in this case (not a big thing, but just another minor reason that added up).

      So ultimately, even though the flexible panel was really “cool,” I somewhat reluctantly decided it wasn’t the way to go for this particular application, and I got a same-sized rigid panel instead (will sit up on a small rack, with airspace between it and the roof, the wiring will run underneath, and I won’t have to worry as much about scratching the top when I put a kayak up there. But not as cute for sure.

      On the RV I am still torn. I love the idea of being able to park in the shade and have the panels elsewhere in the sun, but since I have a Class C, I don’t have a separate tow vehicle roof or long hood to set them on. I also like to be mobile and since I don’t have a separate vehicle, even if I stay at one site for awhile, I tend to take the rig into town or off exploring (and not sure about leaving solar panels just sitting out, even though I’m pretty trusting about most things). Too, I don’t know where I would store even thin, flexible panels when on the road (they are still around 2′ x 4′ even though very thin and light (3-4# IIRC). Also, due to odd roof size/space, they will overhang an edge along one side, so flexible ones would be unsupported and I have would have to make a plywood or etc. support — so again if they are going to be permanent up there, the rigid ones look better for similar reasons as I noted above.

      So I may end up with rigid panels on the roof of the RV in a more “fit it and forget it” way. But darnit, I want to be modern and cool with those thin panels! 😀 So I don’t know… still thinking about it on the RV side of things. Probably the best way to go in my situation is for rigid panels on the roof, and just have enough of them that fewer hours of sun in a day will do the trick, so even if I park in part shade they will do what I need (and then nothing to pack up or set out).

      But if I had a different rig or different travel style….

      • Alan Out and About says:

        I don’t know how flexible, flexible solar panels are, but my optimum concept is to replace the awning canvas with a giant solar panel say 8 x 16 feet, probably over 1000 watts. Just orient the RV with the side facing south and roll out the awning thus providing shade and power. Maybe some day.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          That idea has positives and negatives. There’s much more to consider when positioning your rig than simply orienting it according to the compass. Which way do you want your door to face? What view do you want out your best viewing window? In what position is the rig most level? Where’s the fire ring in relation to your rig? Is the wind going to turn gusty and liable to get under the awning and flip it? Is the campground parking pad oriented so the awning/solar side is on the south side?

          If you want to see flexible panels that are rolled up rather than folded, click on “Solar” in the header and then choose “Flexible Solar Panels.” There’s some good information in the comments on that page, including a YouTube video made by Greg East who has roll-up panels on his work truck. He points out a potential problem with putting rolled-up, flexible panels on the side of an RV.

          I hope you find it helpful.

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          First a caveat: I have not looked into the really big/inefficient flexible panels as I don’t have that kind of roof space (maybe on a big Class A). So my experience is with something like a Renogy or Grape (what I tried) 100-watt panel. I also looked into the relatively very expensive Aurinco or Solbian panels (many boaters use these and attach them to the top of existing Sunbrella fabric shade structures).

          The Aurincos wouldn’t actually take much of a bend, so they were out for me (although US/local company made them attractive). The Solbian are extremely expensive and weren’t the right size anyway. They do recommend that they not be placed on canvas that will “flap” at all because the constant “working” will damage the panel/shorten its life. Thus I’m not sure they would be suitable for making an awning out of . Given how little I use my awning (will the wind come up, can I leave it unattended, is that side of the rig already shaded due to other site considerations so I don’t even need to put it out, etc.) I don’t see that working for me on my RV. If I did I would really want to look into whether the constant movement (when they are deployed) would be an issue.

          Folks on boats do mount these on canvas biminis (like an awning but straight overhead), but they are generally already well supported by fixed stainless tubing, so there is not much movement and the cloth is actually a pretty firm/rigid foundation (stretched tightly).

          I probably sound all negative, but I don’t mean to be. It’s always good to consider “outside the box” solutions (which will probably be SOP some day). I like to think things like this over 🙂

          I did see photos of a Born Free Class C wherein the owner had mounted panels to the sides of the rig (they looked like dark windows at first) and “wings them out” to a horizontal position when parked. I think they were rigid panels (or if flexible, supported by plywood or something). For me I think if they are going to be on the vehicle (vs. free standing or on a tow vehicle) I’d just as soon have them on the roof and “fit and forget” them.

          The Grape flexible panel I had was fairly stiff, in a good way. Maybe like a sheet of thin acrylic or polycarbonate (in fact that may have been the base material). It would not roll up, but conversely, would not “flop all over” if you were trying to store two or three of them standing on edge (would that I had such a space!)

          • weather says:

            Hard to imagine achieving the stability/rigidity achievable on a bimini translating well to a roof,considering the higher speed used while driving,which may also result in a noise factor that Mike’s mount design was able to avoid.Note-no poetry

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Heh, that is the first time! Most of your posts make me feel like a stalwart clod in the imagery department (I mean that in a fun way, not that I’m really hurt or anything).

              I was guessing Alan meant to stow the panels (along with the awning) when driving, but yeah, I don’t see how it could work… yet – at least with any panels I know of.

              Eventually though…

            • weather says:

              A lot of people talk about stowing panels,yet with space always being at such a premium and a couple other factors, the only one’s I’ve considered were the one’s that roll up.Now if someone would come out with an awning that had mounts available on three sides of the trailer or Class B or C -I’d start getting more serious about solar selection.Perhaps Mick(or God forbid even I) should consider designing that.Imagine the flexibility that would offer us in small sites!

          • Alan Out and About says:

            I agree, the panels don’t exist yet for such a concept. But maybe someday it will. I too plan on using 4 solid panels on the roof totaling 560 watts. Already got 4 trogan 105s’ for batts and a 1300 invertor, so adding solar to the mix will be fairly straight forward.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Very interesting, excellent analysis, Pen. By sharing your experience and reasoning regarding flexible vs. hard panels, you help others who are investigating solar, too.

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          I’m glad to hear that as I always wonder if I’m coming off too boring/detail-ey/know-it-ally/etc. I read comments such as weather’s and start to feel that I really could stand to be a bit more poetic! 😀

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            No, you are perfect the way you are, Pen. We bring different dishes to the table and everyone enjoys a good, interesting, and satisfying meal.

            Notice how I’m into food analogies these days…

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              I did notice that! Possibly because my larder is also trending into the boring zone (i.e. plenty of food, but nothing “interesting”). ‘course partly that’s because if I do get anything interesting, I eat it pretty much right away. I hear some people have self control. I guess I do too: I simply separate myself from the good stuff by enough distance/effort that I’m too lazy to go fetch it (far away store, etc.) 🙂

            • Denise - Richmond VA says:

              Like a fabulous pot luck dinner!

      • Mick'nTN says:

        A solar panel size vs wattage comparison:
        RvSue’s panel > 16.3 square feet > 200 watts
        Uni-solar flex panel > 23.2 sq.ft. > 136 watts

        You can get a 300 watt rigid panel today that is the same size as RvSue’s

        If you have a RV that has basement storage you could store rigid panels and a fold-able mounting rack. The setup time and trip wire to the RV might be a pain?

        • Sondra-SC says:

          Wow with that comparison I can see why the rigid is actually much more efficient, how about cost are the flexible ones cheaper? I have a conversion van, it has weird curved shapes all over it…cant find a flat surface nowhere….the flexible could easily lay there and be corded down I reckon..MY dream system has also not been invented yet! It
          s a solar system complete with battery, controller, inverter, and all with one wire to a universal plug that outlets can be added in line—and its small the size of an overnight bag!
          Its not necessarily square its more like a Bucky
          Ball…it rotates slowly like a rotisserie so each panel gets its share of sunlight. Studying fractals helped me to understand how important triangles are as opposed to linear shapes, like the antenna in cellphones…shaped more like tree limbs…

          • Sidewinder Pen says:

            Sondra,

            Love your ideas: rotisserie solar panels!

            Back to current tech: Actually, the flexible panel I tried was nearly as efficient as a rigid one. That’s because it is monocrystalline (like the rigid one I am getting), not amorphous such as the UniSolars. So I think they are in the same ballpark, efficiency wise. However…

            The hotter the panels are the less well they work, as I understand it. Rigid framed panels, by their nature, have some air space under the frame, plus are often mounted with additional air space under them. The flexible ones, if laid right on the roof, wouldn’t have that, so I tend to wonder if that would affect them negatively. Also, depending on your roof insulation, they could heat up the van.

            The rigid panels have glass tops, which are pretty durable and scratch resistant. The flexible ones have plastic, which is tough (i.e. not brittle) but I think more prone to scratches. Not necessarily an issue (for me I am going to be resting an inflatable kayak on them sometimes, so it is an issue), but possibly when cleaning them, or over a long time period.

            If you need the flexible for a given installation, then it is a no-brainer; but if you have the choice, then there is stuff to check into.

            Note that even with a swoopy roof, you may be able to attach rigid panels — I say that as they only need four feet to rest on, and “legs” don’t have to all be the same. Also fiberglass is pretty fabbable. That said, I haven’t see HOW swoopy your roof is.

            The flexible ones I was looking at (Renogy and Grape) were about the same price as the rigid ones I was looking at (although I’m sure you can find variation).

      • Mick'nTN says:

        This discussion points to the importance of RV choice. How sweet is a full sized van with a flat roof. The van can be parked in the sun with a cord running to the shaded RV.
        Sue, how many times have you tripped on the power cord between the PTV and BLT?

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          Oh absolutely! If I didn’t have something I need to tow with the RV from time to time, I would strongly consider going back to a trailer/tow rig. Then run the panels as Sue does.

          Since I do tow a (non-camper) trailer with the RV sometimes, I have a small Class C (used to have a B). It has a roof with various jigs and jogs, so that makes it a bit of a challenge (but doable). I do envy the huge A’s their miles of flat roof (and their underbay storage!), but not some of their other features).

          One option for potentially gaining RV roof space (and losing a shadowmaker) is to remove a roof top AC. That’s not for everyone, obviously, but I did remove mine (it can always be put back). I rarely plug in (and even then never used it), and could not run it while boondocking without the generator running as well. So far there has not been any temperature that would drive me to have BOTH of those running at once – UGH (that I could not either tolerate or drive away from). Again, clearly not a mainstream choice, but then we’re not all mainstream folks 😀

        • AZ Jim says:

          Actually Mick, I have had occasions where I had a temporary antenna cable lying on the ground (at field day for instance, I am a Ham Operator) and I put an old rug or carpet remnant on the foot traffic area to prevent that very thing. Works great though I am not active on the air anymore I do the same thing with electric lines around here when I am temporarily using an extension cord. Works better than cones or signs in my opinion.

    • Alan Out and About says:

      Baja, is and isn’t Mexico. My brother, when he lived in Dana Pt. CA. used to go down there with his buddies to surf. It is so isolated that all the issues that come with the rest of Mexico just don’t exist. There is only one road down the middle with little spurs off to the coast and only a few little towns along the way. The road is barely maintained and the spurs maybe not at all. So true 4×4 is a must. If you get stuck it may be a long time before anyone comes along that may help. So bring lots of water and food if you go. But the reward is beaches that are totally deserted and at times you can see whales cavorting and mating in the coves along the pacific side. And lots of fishing.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Yes, this is primitive camping. You have to bring what you need. Kathy and Gil went out in a small boat and the whales greeted them. The guy running the boat told them to pet the whales… They came that close! Even a baby whale…

        Gil caught a yellowfin and the Mexican people camping next to them helped him clean it and cook it.

        You have to be open to new experiences and willing to adjust as necessary in order to get the most out of this kind of camping.

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        Most of what you wrote sounded like what I would expect (from friends who have traveled there by boat), but I was surprised to read that one would need true 4 x 4. Granted I’m sure it would help for exploring, and there are doubtless many place where it is a must — but do you need it just to stay on the main roads or do limited/careful exploring?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I don’t know if Gil’s and Kathy’s Trailblazer is 4×4. They did say the roads are rough and narrow with hardly any shoulder.

        • Alan Out and About says:

          Things may have improved since my brother went there about 20 years ago but that part of Mexico doesn’t get much from the government, there is nothing there but a few fishing towns. There is really only 1 road, highway 1. Look at google maps. You could probably do it in a high clearance vehicle but I personally wouldn’t go there without a 4×4, any rain and you could find yourself stranded. My brother and his friends had a Toyota 4-runner I think and they said it was rough going in places.

          • AZ Jim says:

            I lived in San Diego from 1945 till I retired in 1991. I used to go down to San Quintín, Santo Thomas, and other unnamed places on the pacific side. In 1958 you could buy a huge Lobster, cooked and handed to you for $1. Places all along the coast with palm thatched roofs selling fresh seafood. I had a 56 Ford 150 and a homemade camper, camped on the beaches and never had a problem. We spent as much as three weeks at a time there. Later, Banditos began harassing and robbing touristas. My first wife spoke fluent Spanish so we could talk our way past the 60 mile roadblock . That was then, I don’t know about now.

          • edlfrey says:

            Baja Hwy 1 was completed in 1973 and completely paved to La Paz by 1975 when I drove there. I then rode a bicycle the length of Baja to Cabo San Lucas in 1986. The last time I drove any part of it was in 2009 when I went only to San Ignacio (about 1/2 way down the peninsula).

            There has been a LOT of development since 1976. There is no need of a 4×4 or high clearance vehicle to drive Hwy 1. To leave it on some/most of the dirt side roads is something altogether different. However, most of the ‘locals’ do not drive 4×4 vehicles and they manage fine.

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Thanks, ed!

              I know there are places where 4 x 4 is genuinely needed (in any country), but I always question it just because I come from steep snow country where people (now) say you simply must have 4WD or AWD. Thing is, I drove it for 30+ winters and only had a two-wheel drive/rear-wheel drive pickup truck or car. I just had to be mindful and know my limitations.

              Anyway, probably not heading down to Baja this winter, but… you never know.

    • Our only experience in RV camping Baja was to Mulege, about 800 miles south of Tijuana, on the Sea of Cortez (east) side of Baja. We caravaned down with six other rigs and had a beach with off-site islands all to ourself. It was beautiful but primitive camping, rigs literally parked sideways right on the beach, which was more like a cove. Bring your own shade and porta-potty. One of our group members taught workshop. He had his class build a project, a two-holer porta-potty. Men’s and Women’s. It was carted down with us. Some assembly required, AFTER digging a latrine. Fond memories of the entire trip. Mexico is quite different in Baja once you get below the border. And Baja is quite different than mainland Mexico.

  8. Alan Out and About says:

    LOL, love the cows. Now that is a zucchini. Looks like a lot of fun.
    Love the photos and Bridget is as usual in full control. Funny how she can’t be bothered by the cows while other dogs would consider them intruders and sound the alert.
    Love Gils solution to Solar power, very easy to setup and store for travel.
    Well I am sitting here working and surrounded by corn. It should all be harvested in a couple of days.
    Be Happy and Enjoy.
    Yeah, I changed my moniker to something more descriptive of my new status.

    • Alan Out and About says:

      PS. I know you are not ready yet. But I can just see a little pup running around Bridget tormenting her to death the way little dogs do looking for attention. I can only wonder as to her reaction. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for revealing your identity, Alan (formerly posting as Alan Rabe). At first I didn’t realize it was you!

      I think Bridget is afraid of cows. (See her little face peering out the door.)

      Enjoy some fresh corn on the cob, although that corn around you is probably field variety.

  9. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Just checked Google maps. Looks like your new site is nicely tucked away in a grove of trees. 🙂

  10. Pauline from Mississippi says:

    Butternut squash!!!! Mmmmmmmmmm…..love it with butter and maple syrup. I get lazy and peel it, cut it up…nuke in the microwave…mash it! To me it tastes the best in the fall!!
    Have a great time with your friends and watch out for the cow plops.
    Love you

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You put maple syrup on your butternut? I thought you were raised to put brown sugar on it. That’s the way I like it!

      Love you, too, Pauline. Hope you enjoyed the trip to the Cowboys game in Missouri.

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Thanks for the idea of maple syrup on the butternut squash, Pauline…yum…and maple syrup is probably a bit healthier too! Though my mom used to cook our squash slow, low heat, for a good part of a day in the oven and with butter and brown sugar…no wonder we loved it so!!

  11. Terri From Texas says:

    I don’t think you have lost your sense of humor at all, RvSue! Yesterdays post was excellent, very thought provoking. This one is very funny! Hope you liked the ECLAIRS! Sounds like you did! Please post that salad recipe-it sounds delicious!
    Take care.
    Terri

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Teri, for your encouraging words. I’ve never met an eclair I didn’t like.

      Maybe we can talk Kathy into posting her salad recipe. Look for it in comments in the future. Right now they don’t have internet and Bridget and I have moved to a new camp.

  12. weather says:

    Bridget you’re so smart!Being lead dog’s only fun when herds are out of your way.The only part of those cows worth your having would be the cheese you might get as a treat!

    Kathy and Gil really know how to enjoy life!Winters in Mexico,garden at home producing watermelon sized zucchini,delicious meals on great trips,campfire light for eclair night meals with RVSue!You have great taste in friends,Sue,so do they-good hearts,choices,minds-it’s obvious you were meant to meet back when…

    Thanks for letting me peek at your home and times there-I enjoyed it as much as Bridget did from the door-seeing you chase away whatever might ruin it-…now like the smart cows I’ll leave and let you be for a while

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      You are a master at making connections. I see cows potentially stinking up a campsite and you see cheese for Bridget’s treats.

      Yes, Kathy and Gil have carved out an interesting, varied life for themselves. You described their life very well. In addition they have family near their home.
      They enjoy hobbies, too . . . Gil loves to fish and to cook. He wove me a pretty mat/rug out of plastic trash bags. Kathy loves to cook also, plus she reads a lot and is a competent Sudoku solver. Like Kathy said while we sat together at their camp, “Every day is glorious!”

  13. Paula says:

    Eclairs! You make me want to drive into town and stuff my face with some myself. Delicious!
    Great pics — as usual. Enjoy the company of your good friends — and all their wonderful fresh fruits and veggies.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Paula,

      Their garden was bountiful this year. They had ten butternut squash with them. They came from plants that were “volunteers,” springing up from the previous year’s seeds that were tossed in the compost pile.

      Well, I’ve eaten my last eclair for a long, long time. The craving has been satisfied and Bridget and I are continuing our exercise/healthy eating program.

  14. Lee J in Northern California says:

    That salad sounded wonderful, now I can’t wait to hear what the breakfast was! Can you imagine…someone that actually makes the breakfast FOR you? Don’t know when that happened last!

    The only problem with running cows out of camp, is they are encouraged to leave calling cards, durn critters anyway.

    I think you have to be one of the most thoughtful people ever, moving camp so your friends can have the best spot, you are a friend indeed, my dear!

    We are enjoying our first rain of the season, hopefully it will help put out some of the forest fires that are plaguing our whole state…I love rain!

    Love the photos, another day in paradise!

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      “now I can’t wait to hear what the breakfast was! Can you imagine…someone that actually makes the breakfast FOR you? Don’t know when that happened last!”

      I was thinking the same! Sue isn’t enamored of “drop ins,” but maybe Kathy and Gil are…. heh, heh 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lee J.,

      You are very perceptive! It was such a treat to have someone cook breakfast for me. Like many women, I’ve spent a lifetime cooking breakfast for others. (Hint to husbands… Have you cooked for HER lately?)

      The breakfast Gil made was the best I’ve ever had! I know I said something similar about Kathy’s salad. It’s true in both cases. They are excellent cooks.

      I’m glad you’re having rain, as long as it doesn’t mean mudslides. The forest fires in California keep popping up.

      Nice talking with you!

      • Marsha ( MI) being a leaf peeper in the U.P. says:

        When we camp, Ed always makes breakfast. I love it, except I usually clean up 🙁

  15. Monica says:

    Sweet, Eclairs! Your day and dinner sounds outstanding, even with cute Bridget not wanting to take that second climb of the day. I’m very intrigued with those flexible solar panels, great idea! The picture of the camping setup is beautiful.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Monica,

      The time spent with Kathy and Gil was outstanding. I hope they have a fantastic stay at Loon Lagoon.

      Pen shared her thoughts about solar panels which you may find helpful.

  16. Pleinguy says:

    Good friends, good food, a camp fire and eclairs. You just can’t get any better than that!

  17. Barb George says:

    What fun! A great guy who comes around and photographs our vintage trailers — he isn’t into vintage so he has a Casita. I felt very smug knowing so much about them! Of COURSE I told him of your blog — and how you increase your internet ability. He was intrigued.

    LOTS of people are getting solar! I want some… We have actually a decent amount of light here in Hoquiam, and between light and wind I bet I could take care of my house most of the time!!! LOL I want some for our Moosee though ( the trailer).

    Hope you have a wonderful visit! No cows though!!! 🙂

    Hugs from Hoquiam,
    Barb

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb,

      Thanks for sharing my blog with the photographer. Yes, anyone who reads my blog will soon be conversant in Casita-speak!

      Always great to hear from you, Barb, and to feel those hugs . . .

  18. Teri in SoCal says:

    That salad sounds heavenly! I do hope at sometime that we can see a recipe.

    I think I need to call you “The Cow Whisperer”

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t think the cows would agree, Teri. 🙂 I didn’t want them messing up the campsite, so I herded several of them down the road, not with whispers, with loud “Hey-Boss, Hey-Boss,” like my grandpa taught me many years ago.

  19. AZJim says:

    Wow! Just great! I’m glad to see you with good friends and chats. As much as you enjoy your solitude it is nice occasionally to visit with nice folks like you are now. Looks like they came prepared to spoil you Missy. Good food, good friends and a wonderful place to be, what more could one ask for? I bet Bridget was kind of happy to have visitors too, huh? You go ahead and eat that salad in front of me but it’s cruel. Now, I have to go make a more humble one for me. I love those panels Gil has, very easy to use it appears. Keep on truckin Missy…. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      They did hope the offer of produce would win them a spot on the peninsula. That wasn’t necessary. Their company is enough without all the goodies.

      Well, I’m back to humble salads, too. I woke up this morning wishing Gil was around to fix me breakfast. *sigh*

      • AZ Jim says:

        I did just have a nice garden salad Detta made for me after I told her how your salad talk got me yearning for one.

  20. Timber n' me says:

    Hi Sue, Is Kathy camera shy like Bridget ? And did you get my E mail, we sent this morning, Please don’t write it up yet. Timber says hi too! ,,,me

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rusty,

      Thanks for alerting me to your email. I haven’t been able to read emails since camped on the peninsula. I wanted to email you but I couldn’t do that either. Now we are at a new camp with better signal.

      I was able to read your email. I haven’t been able to send a reply. It won’t send for some reason. Sorry about that . . . .I’ll try again later.

      It sounds like you have things under control. I’m glad you have friends to help. Best wishes to you and Timber! I’ll get in touch as soon as I can.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Sorry, Mick. I couldn’t open it. . . . I did see the words “3 eclairs… oh, RVSue”

      Well, I didn’t eat them all at one time! I ate one, then I spread out the other two, one on my left hip and the other on my right hip.

      • Mick'nTN says:

        I guess it was too subtle? The rvsue letters increase in size from start to end. Yes from a corny geek! LOL

        • weather says:

          OK-now even I get it,good one,Ha 🙂 ,and it makes Sue’s reply even funnier!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Oh, that WAS the joke! I thought it hadn’t opened because I got a message that I needed to download a media player.

          Now I get it!

    • weather says:

      Couldn’t open it either,but I did just see this reply,Sue,and that made me laugh out loud!Well,lookie here,apparently a good dose of sugary chocolate’s one way to stir your sense of humor 😉

  21. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    I called it perfect!

    Good time with great friends and eclairs to boot! I can see your smile from 3k miles away!

    Before I scrolled down….I’m thinking….Ummm campfire equals s’mores……then in the biggest font I see the word. ECLAIRS!

    Your smile made me smile!

  22. Kay says:

    Nice pics, Sue. Happy to see your friends arrived. The squash, well… in my younger years, I’d wrinkle my nose but, I have sort of been eating some steamed with butter.

    Remember back in July, Kay and ALL the RV problems? Yesterday was DUE DAY to get it fixed. So I moseyed along 25 miles an hour to Cheyenne CAT service center off I80.

    From 11AM to 3PM they worked on finding the problem. They found it all right, and they fixed it. $1000 later, I was on my way down the road at 75MPH without a problem.

    Now why that Missoula MT Western Star shop could not PROPERLY FIX this RV is beyond my scope of thinking, they charged over 7K for what they did do and it did not solve the problem.

    Missoula Western Star gets an F- Grade.
    Wyoming Machinery Company (CAT Service Center) gets a A+++++++ rating.

    Now time to call insurance and complain that they made me pay the deductible twice.

    Everyone, have a great day!

    • Kay says:

      Well, one phone call and explained the ordeal, and a 5 min wait on hold, and my $500 deductible was promptly refunded to me. Got to love that Good Sam’s Extended warranty.

      Ah, now for a bowl of ice cream…. it’s a good day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow! That’s a Big Owee on the RV repair! Your repair bill almost matches what I paid for the PTV.

      Everyone, take note. If you plan on riding in a big rig, plan also for the big repair bills. I’m glad you have insurance, Kay!

      • Kay says:

        Yes, I HIGHLY recommend taking out the EXTENDED warranty plans on your travel vehicles. The nice things about Good Sam’s is that they will do vehicles as well. Not just the RVs.

        I have doubled my one year premium and then some with just this ONE issue, folks. It is well worth it.

        Now, hubby as ordered the parts for my G20 Van and they are in, so we will fetch them tmmrw and head over to the storage and he will fix that! The AC compressor went out, and we ordered a new one from Napa. Under $200 and hubby can fix it. Guess those 40 plus years in the mechanic world does pay off.

  23. Dawn in MI says:

    Such a happy post! Company like this is just what you needed. Not to mention the culinary treats!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It was good to have some diversion. . . . as well as some decent food. For lunch the day before they arrived I had a can of corn mixed with a can of peas for a meal. Blah.

      • Dawn in MI says:

        Yuck. doesn’t sound good at all..but I guess it was nutritious!

      • Sondra-SC says:

        Sue did my mom teach you how to cook?,,,She’s the Queen of Canned Food Meals..but I gotta say it beats the alternative–me having to cook!

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          When I was out sailing, away from all refrigeration and markets, I started to feel like I had gone back to the 50’s! All of a sudden I was making all these weird desserts from combinations of canned products, plus eating canned beans, canned corn, canned fruit….etc.

  24. AZ Jim says:

    Kay,

    Good luck with the insurance co.. They are so sweet when they sell the policy and then in mere moments they turn into A**H***S.

  25. DebsJourney says:

    Well what a enjoyable visit you are having and yummy meals too!
    Wow I would love sharing the fire and eating eclairs. Yum!
    Really giggled at the site of the cows surrounding your space. Too funny!
    I just got home from work and in my usual order removed my bra and shoes let out a sigh of relief, then clicked on the laptop read your post then I ordered a dual leash on Amazon from here and I’m happy to report that to you. I have had a difficult time walking my two pups so this will be so much easier.
    hope you have a beautiful sunset, cyber hug, Deb

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deb,

      Thank you very much for ordering the leash through my blog. I hope it works well for you and your crew!

  26. Okay… Now that you have devoured your eclair… Gotta tell ya, I couldn’t wait. I was in Publix and HAD to go past the bakery and as soon as I saw the eclairs… Well you know that danged thing jumped into my cart before I had time for better judgement! I was thinking of you with each guilty bite!
    I love squash… Prefer it cut in small chunks, steamed, drenched in butter and a tad of dark brown sugar! Bliss! Gil is my kinda cook! So glad you had a good visit!
    Can’t wait to see where you are now! Hugs to you and Bridget!
    PS. Radar is in heaven here… Lotsa lizards here that need chasing’ 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri,

      Actually Gil AND Kathy are your kind of cooks. They both know how to put food together . . .

      I can see Radar having a grand time chasing lizards. 🙂

  27. Susan in Dallas says:

    Yay, COWS! Love your conversation with them. Hope they followed your orders. Good friends and good food and eclairs for dessert. Ain’t life grand!

  28. Diann in MT says:

    I enjoy making up camping food recipes. I guess it comes from embellishing those freeze dried wonders you pack into the mountains on backpack trips. Space and weight were the factors, not necessarily flavor and presentation appeal.
    Now, the challenge is: Eclairs that weigh little (easy!) but pack the caloric content to make them irresistible! LOL

  29. DeAnne in TN says:

    That solar setup looks just like something I have been imagining. I like the idea of portable panels also. Thanks for sharing with us, Sue. Some of us need more options/visuals than others. 🙂

  30. Idaho Gurl says:

    Hi Sue! You sure did need a little “perker upper” with a visit from friends and some new ” haute cuisine”! That salad sure beats peanut butter and cheese… And as for eclairs… Well… What more needs to be said… You needed a little spoiling… I’ve been keeping up with the adventures of RVSAHCC via my iPhone as I have been on the road… I just arrived back home from a 3600 round trip journey to pick up my new to me 2000 24′ Gulf Stream Conquest motorhome. I drove from Nevada to Minneapolis, MN. Was gone almost two weeks. Just got home yesterday. Gee, it was a great and exhausting trip. I did a lot of soul searching and taking inventory on my life. I thought about you and Bridgette a lot. I want to do what you are doing but have those doubts and fears but, know I would do okay… Buts… The trip was more for business and a bit of pleasure. Just took enough to get by for a few days and did okay I towed the Jeep back with the MH… Gee, it’s a QT… Has a tiny slide with w/a hide-a-bed both very unusual in a “camper” that size. Has a little rear kitchen and a booth for a table and of course the penthouse sleeping area up top front. It also has a very pleasing color scheme in for the interior. The floor plan is a lot like Barbara’s of “Me My Dog and My RV”… I am totally in love with mine… Only 17500 miles on it. Even had the original tires which I immediately had a new set put on. It ran like a champ on the way home. On the return trip, at a rest area, I saw a woman and her big black Lab of retirement age hop out of her pick-up truck towing a (guess what?) CASITA!!! So, I had to ask her how she liked her egg, she loves it and she said it was her second one. The first was one of the very tiny ones with no “ladies room”. This one is a 1996? I think she said. She bought a Toyota pick-up to tow it with. Her name was Nancy and she had just retired as a school teacher somewhere in Colorado. Colorado Springs I think. She was on her way up to the Tetons to visit her kids and was quite gracious and lovely to talk to. I told her to check out your wonderful blog. We visited a few and wished each other luck and said our farewells. I saw 4 Casitas total on the whole round trip but she was the only one I “caught” parked. I’m so exited and totally in love with the new camper and ” you old loner” I’m happy you have some company for a few days… The weather is changing and getting cooler here since I’ve been gone. I hope to be out of here before winter next year. My crew loves you and always have you in our prayers… Enjoy your company and the food… ; )

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Congratulations on your new RV, Idaho Gurl! I am excited for you!

      • Idaho Gurl says:

        Thanks bunches, Denise! I really have my job cut out for me getting rid of all the things that are holding me down taking away all my time and energy. Sue sure shows us how simply we can live on very little with such a big reward… I can’t hardly wait to say goodbye to my old life…

        • You need to start your own blog and tell us your day to day preparation for your new life! Maybe we can even pass on hints to you! Congrats on your new motorhome and your new life.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Cool! Great to hear of your trip to get your new-to-you rig.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Idaho Gurl,

      Congratulations on the new rig! It sounds like you found yourself a fine rig and with less than 18,000 miles on it. Wow! And now with new tires, you have a gem! You must be very happy and relieved to have it home after that trip.

      Your comment illustrates how two people can have two very different rigs… one a Class C and the other a fiberglass trailer “egg” . . . and both of you are delighted with what you have. Thank you for telling the Casita lady about my blog.

      And also, thanks for sharing this thrilling event in your life. It’s a delight to read “I’m so excited and totally in love with the new camper.” Good for you!! I wish you many, many wonderful camps and safe, enjoyable miles on the road.

  31. Cari in Plano Texas says:

    I can’t believe the size of the zucchini they brought you – those put the ones I find in my grocery store to shame. But I bet they were all some good eating, I love all kinds of squash.

    Yeah, you had me going at the end – I thought sure you were going to roast marshmallows and have your second (?) s’more. But eclairs are just as good! 🙂

    Glad to hear you had a good visit with your friends.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cari. . . Grocery store zucchini are babies. I’ve had a zucchini grow so big I had a hard time carrying it!

  32. BadgerRickInWis says:

    Now why on earth would Bridgette come out and start barking madly at a bunch of dumb cows?

    Especially since it must be MUCH more fun to safely sit under the BLT and watch you run around swinging your hat and screaming “Hey – Boss” over and over again. That is of course assuming that you have already sauted her chicken liver, kissed her head, followed her marching orders on your morning walk and promply returned to tuck her back in for her post hike nap followed by one more kiss on the head. 🙂

    • BadgerRickInWis says:

      So glad you had a nice time with Kathy and Gill. They sound like great folks that have really carved out a nice life for themselves.

      You on the other hand spent a week in paradise at a beach side resort and then had a couple of angels descend with eclairs and fresh vegies. Not bad.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right, Rick. Bridget calls the shots around here. I did win one though. Because I used to lift Spike into the BLT those last few weeks, she got the idea that she should be lifted, too. Well, that had to stop. She sat outside the door whining to be lifted in and I refused to come to the door. That stubborn little girl whined and whined. Finally she couldn’t stand it anymore and she hopped up the step and inside.

      Of course, I made a big deal out of her “accomplishment.” We danced around (as much as you can inside a 17-ft. trailer), I praised and patted her, rolled her around on the bed, “oh, what a big girl!” etc. I suppose every time she comes inside on her own she’s going to expect a ticker-tape celebration.

      • BadgerRickInWis says:

        As it should be.

      • weather says:

        LOVE that happy dance!!!-A party every time-that’s a great idea!

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        Ha ha. This reminds me of a one-panel cartoon I once read . It showed a dog squatting down doing its business, and the human praising it lavishly. There was a “thought bubble” from the dog: and the dog, “Lady, I’m just cr-pping here, what’s the big deal.” I often thought of that and chuckled when I praised my pup for what is essentially just a basic bodily function (but hey, when you take them outside on a -20ºF night, or in the pouring rain, you DO praise them for going!).

  33. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Good evening, Sue,

    Hope you and Bridget had a good day!

    Tonight one of my nephews came over for dinner. As usual, we had a wonderful visit! We had a salad of baby greens, steamed zucchini and sweet onions, a nice whole grain baguette, and penne pasta with a meat sauce that I simmered for hours last night. On the way home from work, I stopped at Kroger to pick up something for dessert. I found Huckleberry Pie ice cream. Huckleberry ice cream with ribbons of cinnamon and pieces of buttery streusel. Yummy! The ice cream made me think of you and your Tillamook ice cream! Thank goodness I bought the pint size…much less to tempt one!

    Sending you wishes for a restful night. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow! That meal sounds perfect, Denise! How nice to share a meal with your nephew . . .

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:

        Hi, Sue,

        I am close with all of my nephews, but especially this one – the oldest. It makes my heart sing with joy that he cherishes our relationship as much as I do! Not all nephews will drive over an hour, just to spend time with their Auntie. We usually get together every 4-6 weeks.

        If you and Bridget were in the area, you would have been invited to join us! 🙂

  34. DesertGinger says:

    Hello everyone! You all sound fabulous. I’m eager to see where we are camping next.

    My INR is down, and I’m on for surgery tomorrow Afternoon. I imagine I will be here a couple days after that, then home. Miss my Chloe. I am so hopeful that all will go well and I’ll get stronger and have my sleep study in October and get my new CPAP and just get better and better.

    I have a roommate here, Sonja, who is having a tough time. She had half her stomach removed because it wasn’t functioning, and then got ecoli infection. They have been treating her for that, and they may take the rest of her stomach. Don’t know how she will eat after that. Her doctor is the same doctor who will do my gastric sleeve next spring. Assuming I get well enough for the surgery. She and I have been here a week already…we’re the regulars in this joint.

    In my perfect world I will get over this abscess, my INR will stabilize, I can get more and more active and be able to start doing some work in the new year….probably work for H&R block during tax season, then have my gastric sleeve around March or April and be recovered enough by June to hit the road in the summer. That’s my plan. I hope my body surprises me and cooperates.

    I like chocolate eclaire but my fave is profiteroles…like tiny eclairs. And my other fVe is coca cola cake at Crackerbarrel. Yum.

    And I have to agree…if I were Bridget it would be way more fun to watch Sue chasing cows. Duh.

    Love to all.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Profiteroles, mmmm!

      Glad to hear your update, and wishing you the best for tomorrow. We’ll be thinking of you.

    • Cari in Plano Texas says:

      Still praying for your complete recovery, DG. You are so patient with all your recent troubles.

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Will continue praying you do well, Ginger!! So sorry you have to suffer. I once told a doc…”You know what I just hate about you doctors? You have to HURT us first to make us well!!” He laughed…

      My hubby is doing well after his back surgery. I am so grateful he was not left paralyzed…and is actually getting a twinge better….they told him to expect up to 2 years to see how much he recovers. We are grateful that the PAIN is gone!!

      Having hope for the future is a good thing…glad you have some!!

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Good morning, DesertGinger,

      So happy to see your post and update. I know thing will go well for your today and you will be back on track soon! While you are recouperating, you will have time to research and plan out your line of attack for your future. 🙂

      Sending you healing thoughts, positive energy, and lots of hugs!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ginger,

      Today is your day for surgery. I’m wishing you well, using your own words, “just get better and better.”

      Thanks for keeping us updated on your progress.

    • Patricia from Florida says:

      Good to hear from you Desert Ginger. I love your plan for the next year…
      You Go Girl*****

    • Teri in SoCal says:

      DesertGinger,

      I’ll be thinking of you today, and hoping that your surgery goes VERY well!

    • BadgerRickInWis says:

      Hey Ginger, as I read this your probably just about being prepped for your surgery so I am sending you many loving thoughts and prayers that all goes well. You always amaze me how you keep up your spirits and keep moving forward. You are an inspiration.

      I think I am however officially changing my Desert Ginger mantra. “NO MORE STROKES” just sounds a bit too negative for a woman as powerful and positive as you. From now on my official Desert Ginger mantra shall be: “BETTER AND BETTER, EVERY DAY.”

      Hang in there, I hope all went well.

    • DG, hope all went well with your surgery & you’re recovering nicely! Your plan sounds very achievable! Be strong, drink plenty of water, stay rested & thank you for the update.

  35. Donna in CT. says:

    Hi there. Sounds like a couple of great days. I didn’t read all the comments so forgive me if someone already said this. Peeling butternut squash is difficult. At least I think so. So I wash it really well then I cut up the squash, take out the seeds and cut off the stem ends and cook it with the skin attached. It’s much easier to get the skin off after it’s cooked.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right. Peeling butternut before cooking is tough. I used to cut it in chunks, bake it with brown sugar, and when done, I’d let it cool enough to take off the skin. Then I’d mash it and reheat if needed.

      • So glad you had company! There’s nothing better than seeing friends, especially eclair-bearing friends!

        Bridget is such a funny little pup! Her little face peering around the door is so charming. On your walks, it seems as if she wants to be leader of your pack but when it comes to cows. “Nope. No way. This is your department, Sue!” Do you call yourself ‘Mom’ with her? Jim & I call ourselves Mom & Dad with Ari. I’ve met others who do the same. We’re fortunate the kids don’t mind!

        You’re right, Sue! Peeling squash is a pain. I peel after cooking too. That is one fierce zuke–it’s been a great summer here in the Northwest for gardens, orchards & even the salmon runs have been good. Jim is itchin’ to get down to the state park so he can fish for Coho salmon from the beach. In our household, we watch the salmon run with the interest & intensity most folks give the Seahawks.

        All this talk of zucchini & butternut makes me wonder if a fall recipe roundup might be fun. The advent of soup weather is cause for celebration & maybe sharing?

        Enjoy your day with Miss Bridget!

  36. Glenda in OZ! says:

    So glad you have some company for a change…………….your photos from the previous entry were stunning and I loved the commentary with them…so descriptive and beautiful. Enjoy the company and the éclairs!!

  37. Jordan says:

    I love cows. Their sweet dreamy eyes, wet slimey noses & long scatchy tongues – what’s not to love?? 🙂 I know you’re going to say cow pies, but they can be your friend! Next time you’re at Wally World get some gold spray paint, collect up some dried cow pies & paint them. Then when you have some clingers to rid yourself of, sneak out in the middle of the night & deposit your little golden clinger bombs around their rig. They’ll never hear you since they will most likely have their generator running. Then sit back & enjoy the morning show.

    I also love butternut squash. I had a recipe for a more savory take on it which i loved. I don’t have access to it now but it’s basically butter & parmesan cheese (fresh grated or shredded is best). It’s a yummy way to go if you don’t want sweet.

    Glad you got to spend some time with good friends & delicious food. Both are great remedies for whatever ails you. 🙂

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Golden cow pies – how funny!!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Um… And what do I say if I’m caught spray-painting cow plops to turn them into gold? “Well, Ranger, you know, I, um, I like things to look good, and so I bought this gold paint, well…. No, I feel just fine, everything’s okay….”

      • Sondra-SC says:

        …as a child growing up in TN at my grandma’s farm we used to stomp in cow pies and let is squish up between our toes, then race to the pond and see who could get their feet clean first. If the grass was high the cow pie would stain our feet green!!

  38. Elizabeth in WA says:

    So glad to hear of your fine visit with friends, yummy food…ECLAIRS even!! WOW!! Thanks for sharing it all, Sue. One thought…have no idea if it would work…but I wonder if one of those powerful water squirt guns would help chase off the cows?? They get spooked by anything unusual…and yea, leave calling cards behind, but it might keep them away for awhile too. And it won’t hurt them. They are more curious than cats!! But for a rancher, who checks on them regularly, that trait is helpful. You can always know at a glance if there is something amiss with them…due to their curiosity. Maybe the next dog you will want to test with cows? To see if it will chase?? ha… What about your airhorn?? They don’t appreciate loud noises either you know….heh!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth,

      I’ve found that range cattle behave differently than the dairy cows of my childhood. Range cattle are curious like dairy cows, but they are skittish around people. In other words, it’s very easy to make them scram. I didn’t need to say anything. Simply walking toward them can start a stampede!

  39. JodeeinSoCal says:

    There have been several days when I wish Bridget had her own camera………
    After a lovely salad and the promise of several meals of squash, I believe the eclairs are the perfect balance 🙂 Chocolate is health food for the mind.
    Chris and Cherie over at Technomadia are field testing several flexible solar panels and will be posting the results as well as their install on the bus – I’m keeping an eye on that one!

  40. Teresa from NC says:

    I just have to say, Sue, all of you guys (blogorinos) crack me up. I loved the post and comments, as usual. Your storytelling of the cows and your “conversations” with them and Bridget had me smiling so widely. You should know by now that Bridget’s not going to do for you what she know you’re perfectly capable of doing for yourself, so go “Hey-Boss,” yourself 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Teresa,

      You have Bridget figured out. She peeked out the door of the BLT (after much urging on my part), looks at the cows . . .. “Are you kidding me? Why would I want to have anything to do with THEM? You take care of it.”

  41. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Good morning, all!

    Wishing everyone a wonderful Friday! 🙂

  42. weather says:

    In the middle of a fog globe-willing the mist to stay-muting every sound,I hear it leaving before I see it as long notes become sharp edged whistles.In focus the world offers beauty if I but seek it.Without focus beautiful things come to me.That royal treatment is what deep peace inside ever gives me.Where the songs,stories and true things appear- unbidden…they awaken the desire to rejoin the eternal adventure every day

    This one will start like many others in ordinary routine-yet the promised warm temperatures won’t let it end that way.Like the cliff shed it’s fog to make way for the colors,I’ll shed layers of clothing to make way-for the wind to blow against me as I drive .Possible destinations -roads that have none…-when the pups get up in a while I’ll choose.For now this coffee and laptop are fun to explore.Hi,Sue-wish you could have seen that fog.yet I know near you are things I’d love as much.May beauty chase and capture you today.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, weather,

      My fog globe is different than your fog globe, but just as inspiring. You remind me of the clear morning on the peninsula when I stood looking across Loon Lagoon. The Rock was part of a mystical, foggy world very unlike the world in which I stood. The fog wrapped around the peak of The Rock in layers, appearing like scarves blown full-out by wind.

      We’re no longer at Loon Lagoon. I hope to write another post soon. Sometimes the words flow, other times not.

      Enjoy your roads with no destinations . . . I know you will!

      • weather says:

        Because you write posts for much vaster an audience than we two,I understand your not writing one right now.The sentence with the scarves shows you gaze into dimensions that have a different flow.I hope you have food packed with protein handy,I use it’s strength often -to stand or rest with power, Truth and hope -only

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, Weather,

      Hope you enjoy that road trip…no matter where it takes you! Have a great day! 🙂

      • weather says:

        Having noticed that cat and bird food supplies soon need replenishing- I’ve decided one destination will include a store,that if I take the longest way to will be reached in a couple hours or so,and returned from in under fifteen minutes.Thanks, Denise-I expect to enjoy it a lot,and hope your day’s great in every way,too!

  43. Shirlene says:

    Happy Friday Everyone, Weather you are a hard act to follow…no fog today here at the Left Coast, just clear blue skies…Driving to work in the dawn hour I see the wonderful L.A. Basin, surrounded by mountains that are so clear you can touch them, and bordered by the deep blue sea…it is beautiful. You can stand on the pier at the ocean and see the snow on the mountains during the winter. One weekend after spending time in Palm Springs, I drove home through the mountains and had dinner on the pier at the beach…wow, try doing that in some other part of the country. It is truly a wonderful country we live in. I cannot watch the weather report in the morning without noting the weather where Sue is traveling, I keep an eye out for bad weather, as if I could do anything for her and Bridget, but it concerns me nonetheless. Safe travels to those on the roads this weekend, it is going to be glorious here.

    • weather says:

      Hi Shirlene ,you show that coast’s and state’s allure-what makes us keep returning to it.I once began an hour in the snow at Palm Springs-rode the tram to the bottom-and was diving into a sun heated pool before the same hour ended.That rush-of being able to have and feel it all-I think is the call of travel in part.Tell the poodles they’re gorgeous for me sometime in your glorious weekend

      • Shirlene says:

        Thank you Weather, I will remind my poodles how glorious they are to me, and remind them that they have someone far away that sends glorious greeting and rememberings. Enjoy your Jeep trip with your triplets also.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Shirlene,

      You do live in one of the most scenic areas of the country… such variety and contrasts.

      I’m late responding to your comment because of a technical problem this morning. I was all set to post a reply when a very scary message popped up about “can’t connect to data” or some such. Rather than ruin my day, I closed up the laptop and put it out of my mind. I open it tonight and problem gone! 🙂

      I hope any difficulties you may face are solved as easily! Have a good evening. . .

  44. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hope you enjoy your Friday, too, Shirlene. 🙂

  45. Tawanda (Ut) says:

    Hang on for a weather filled few days Sue and Bridget, at least according to those who make the predictions, seems some torrential liquid sunshine is promised for most of tonight and tomorrow. Fall has ushered in far too soon (as always) for my liking!

    D.Ginger you are in our thot’s with many positive healing energies sent your way, onward to good health, healing and living your dreams!!!
    T~

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Tawanda,

      Thanks for the “heads up” about the weather. My weather widget says we might have a thundershower on Sunday and Monday.

  46. Audrey says:

    Wonderful!

  47. Debra says:

    Love reading about your adventures. I started my own late July. So far been flying around US and Mexico visiting family and friends. But, my little home on wheels awaits me. By mid October I will be in it headed East from Tucson, unless a better plan presents itself. Still need a few things to make it home — solar. Would like to know what items you both are running with your solar panels and batteries. New here, so please direct me if you have posted the info in a post. Thanks for the peek into your lovely life.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Ooh, new rig. Fun! I wish you wonderful (and snug) travels in it. Maybe we will cross paths in AZ this winter (now don’t ask me how we would know that, but…)

      I don’t have the solar rigged up on my RV yet, but have had it on boats in the past. Generally, you can run anything you want that doesn’t draw a huge amount, but unlike a normal house, you always have to be conscious of things.

      Also, you generally aren’t running things “on” solar, but rather on your batteries, which are your power stores. They are then being re-charged by solar. The size of your battery bank and solar panels will somewhat determine what you can run, but it’s generally somewhat reduced as compared to a “normal” house. Certain things just won’t work (Air conditioning, for example), and others would have to be very limited (microwave oven). As a rule of thumb, any electrical appliance that is meant to make heat will draw a lot: Microwave, electric heater, toaster, hair dryer, etc. They have to be avoided or used judiciously (depending on your system). Other things can be used as the charge level of your batteries allows (you don’t want to run the batteries down past around 50% charge level for longest life). These would be things like laptops, lights, fans, stereo, etc. The latter are what I spend most of my power running.

      If you have a 12-volt compressor refrigerator (i.e. does not work on propane ever), then that will likely be your largest draw by far. But many RV’s have propane refrigerators, in which case they only use a tiny, tiny amount of electricity when running on propane (though they are very inefficient power hogs when run on electricity, since that is not their “native” way).

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        PS: I would highly recommend fitting a battery monitor. This is like a “gas gauge” for your batteries, and without it you are kind of guessing where you stand.

      • Debra says:

        Ohh, Pen, did I say “new?” Haha, I wish! No, honestly, rather convert my 1990 Econoline extended hightop luxury (mostly ripped out now) into the Ultra Petita Casita of my dreams. I am big on idesa and short on abilities to get er done and life has detoured me since I bought it Feb 2013. Last year, before doing any checking on what I really needed, I impulsively bought a cute little new fridge/freezer. Was hoping you would say I could keep it. I know, but I like fresh food. Should be able to unload it in my University town. Plus, laptop, phn, camera, fan etc. It’s the ects that really drain the batteries. Oh, I do know that I can’t just plug into the solar panel and make ice, LOL. Thanks for all the good info, I have read now read much of the solar info, but will probably have ??? when I get closer to instalation (that sounds so promising).

        Maybe, we will meet up in AZ, looking forwarded to gathering with other vagabonds like me. I have promised my almost 80 year old aunt (sister to my mom who died last Sept, big part of detour) that she could ride with me east. That was the plan, but she may have to ride a different direction.

    • Mick'nTN says:

      See the Solar heading on the top of this blog for some info.

      • Debra says:

        I am so humbled that God in His wisdom has wired people for a purpose. I know my purpose, it ain’t anything to do with bolts and wires (although, I was on a 3 person crew that “wired” the Geek Squad in every Best Buy store across the NW. Took 4 months- CO, ID,UT,NCA, OR,WA,WY,MT,SD, NV,ND. YEAH, I’m laughing too. Bless you for sharing your abilities.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Debra,

      Pen has done a fine job outlining the use of the power stored in our batteries. I run my inverter which runs my laptop, radio, chargers, the refrigerator electronic panel, and Verizon jetpack (for internet). The Best Little Trailer has two 12 volt sockets. I have a 12 volt television/DVD player that I plug into one of those sockets… also the inverter and the “tooter” air horns.

      My refrigerator runs on propane, and, of course, I cook and heat with propane.

      • Debra says:

        Somehow, I stumbled onto your blog last week, went to beginning and read through for awhile. When I peeked ahead to current posts, I see that you and Bridget no longer have your Spike buddy traveling along. Oh my, what pain and grief. Yes, grief hurts the body, mind and spirit, it’s exhausting. It’s inevitable when you LOVE. So glad you have a sweet community of followers to help you along.

        You have encouraged me so much to get my blog going. I keep waiting for just the right time, when I get off this detour. But, I find that detour js my life and I like it that way. Full of surprises. Hope to meet up with you and all the really nice folks on the road.

        So many have contributed to your boondocking experience, thanks for sharing.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You’re welcome, Debra! Welcome to my blog! I’m happy that you find encouragement here for starting your own blog. As you know, I started mine before I had the PTV or the BLT. People considering the full-time vagabond lifestyle find the dreaming/planning/preparation stage very interesting and informative. I found it was helpful to already be confident in handling WordPress and having a routine for blogging before we began living in the BLT.

          Thank you for your sympathy regarding our loss of Spike. One of these days I’ll revise Spike’s page to inform new readers of his passing. I’m not ready to face that yet.

          Nice hearing from you … I hope you will stop by again!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          BTW, a lot of Debs, Debras, Deborahs, comment here. I need help keeping my readers straight in my mind. Please add something to your name… location is good, like Debra (CA) or wherever you are or whatever you want. Thanks a lot. I like to get to know my followers. We’re a community.

          • UPCDebra says:

            I was just thinking on that very thing. At least 3 Deb….s in every class in school. Soooo from here on out, I am UPCDebra as in Ultra Petita Casita Debra.

  48. BTW, some visitors to your camp contacted me and asked me to forward a message to you…cause they can’t work the keyboard. They seemed angry. Their message VERBATIM, is as follows:

    MOOOOOOO!!! Moo! Moo! Moooo! Moo! Moo and Moo!

    They said you’d know what they meant. 🙂

  49. Applegirl NY says:

    Hi RV Sue, Something for everyone today…. Wonderful pictures, delicious foods, technical solar panel discussion, Bridget peeking out, info on Baja and, cows of course! What more could us blogorinos ask for?

  50. Cinandjules(NY) says:

    Good evening Sue and Bridget,

    Hope you had a wonderful day. Did Bridget take you on a hike to walk off the eclair? Hmm did Bridget get a lick of the creme filling?

    I laughed at her not being bothered by the cows! Funny girl!

    Thinking about DGin, Chloe and 3 feathers.

    Did you happen to read about the UAE’s first female fighter pilot who led the strikes on ISIS! What an inspiration to the little girls in that country and all over the world.

    Slowly the barriers are being broken…….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good evening, Cinandjules,

      Bridget and I are sticking to our exercise program. I haven’t read the news in a couple of days. We’ve been on the move . . . I’m going to try to write a post tonight. Previous attempts have failed!

  51. Pingback: » Photovoltaic Panels Hope Cove

  52. Suzette says:

    Even though it’s nearly a year since this post was published, I just had to comment and let you know how much I appreciated it. I’m thinking a lot about following in your footsteps. But, my situation is a little bit different. I’m married. While my husband enjoys camping, he’s not in the frame of mind to consider full-timing. And, our tow vehicle is his daily mode of transportation. I’ve never imagined he would agree to install solar panels on his truck. But, I do want to boondock! What to do? What to do? Why, of course! We can totally do what Gil and Kathy have done! They (you) have given me so much to think about! Thanks for the inspiration.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re very welcome, Suzette! That’s one of the joys of having this blog. Hearing about people who see how they can make it work for them. Thanks for letting me know.

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