West Fork Campground and a plan emerges!

First things first.

I gather from the outpouring of opinions and advice in the comments under the previous post that the cliffhanger “Wolf Creek Pass — Yes or no?” stirred up some interest.

You sure got that right, RVSue.

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I’ll get to the cliffhanger in a minute. 

First we have some catching up to do on this here blog.

Bridget, Reggie, and I make our home at West Fork Campground, off Route 160, north of Pagosa Springs, Colorado from Monday, June 27 until the morning of Thursday, June 30.

The photos in this post were taken during our stay at West Fork.

P1120388West Fork is a San Juan National Forest Campground.

I choose it as our camp for the week leading up to the 4th of July because it has camp hosts.  We could set up a boondock camp alongside the West Fork of the San Juan River as the tenters (in the first photo) and others did.

However, experience from past holiday weekends teaches me that a campground with hosts provides insurance for a relatively quiet holiday.  Everyone has to behave.

P1120399Typical West Fork campsite. . . . The river is nearby, heard but not seen from the campground.

Camping fees at West Fork are $18 regular/$9 with senior discount. 

As usual I hesitate about making a long-term commitment and pay $27 for three nights only.  This turns out to be a good decision.

I talk with fellow campers who give me their perspective on driving Wolf Creek Pass and the crew makes a few canine acquaintances.

“Wolf Creek Pass — Yes or no?”

While writing the previous post, the crew and I are sitting in the Perfect Tow Vehicle parked in Pagosa Springs in order to pick up internet signal on my Verizon jetpack.  For a few days I’ve been chewing on whether or not to attempt the pass.

One minute I’m ready to conquer that mountain — “Yeah, we can do this!” —  and the next minute I’m shrinking from the prospect of altitude sickness for me and Bridget.  Those of you who have experienced it know that it is Not Fun.

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Unable to make up my mind, I do what I learned to do when befuddled.

Blog about it!

Hmm . . . I wonder what the blogorinos think I should do . . . .  

I write the previous post and hit the “publish” button.

“C’mon, crew.  Let’s go exploring!”

I fire up the PTV and we head out of Pagosa Springs. 

It’s a beautiful day for a drive.  Periodically I pull over and check the responses to the blog post.

P1120428Echo Canyon State Wildlife Area, Route 84, south of Pagosa Springs

As expected, many of you share what you would do and why.  

I read every comment, thoughtfully considering the reasoning in support of each one.

Opinions range from “Why risk making Bridget and yourself sick?” to “Go for it!  I went through the pass and it was easy!”

By the time the crew and I return to camp at West Fork, I’ve made my decision.

No, we won’t!  Yes, we will!

“Huh?” you ask.  “What kind of decision is that, RVSue?”

Let me explain.

While toodling around in the PTV, the pros and cons of driving the pass roll around in my head.  As serendipity would have it, the crew and I discover a boondock.

Not just any boondock.  This place is my idea of paradise!  Gorgeous!  Peaceful!  It has 4G with 2-3 bars internet signal!

And it’s in the opposite direction from Wolf Creek Pass.

Longtime readers of my blog know that I like to meet the challenges of the road with confidence while at the same time exercising common sense and reasonable caution.  I don’t want to wuss out and run away from high altitude.  Neither do I want to make us sick.

I know what we’ll do!

P1120571-002We will go south of Pagosa Springs on Route 84 (Benchmark map at left) and camp at the gorgeous boondock we found.

More about that in the next post!

When we leave the boondock, we will continue on Route 84 south to New Mexico and follow 84 as it curves eastward toward Chama (map below).

Then we will travel northeast on Route 17 which will take us through Chama and up and over Cumbres Pass!

P1120569-002Cumbres Pass is 10,006 feet, whereas Wolf Creek Pass is 10,810 feet.

That’s a difference of 804 feet.  It may not seem like much to you folks who’ve never “hit the wall” like Bridget and I did a few years ago on Badger Mountain in Utah at around 9,500 feet.

I’ve heard that Cumbres Pass doesn’t have a long, unrelenting, upward grade like Wolf Creek Pass.  That’s good news for the PTV who is perfect and also eleven years old.

By taking this route, the crew and I can work our way around, and, depending upon how we do, possibly sail through other passes in Colorado.  I’m not giving up on Wolf Creek Pass yet!

After all the ‘splainin,’ it’s time for photos!

Here are a few shots of canine campers met at West Fork Campground.

Meet Webster.  He cuts a fine figure for a seven-year-old.  Reggie is impressed!

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The owners of Copper don’t know his exact age.  He’s a handsome senior citizen.

P1120435Bridget conveys the “rules of engagement” and instantly Reggie makes a pal.

P1120443So, there you have it . . . . No more hanging on that cliff.

Well, there is the gorgeous boondock I’ve yet to show you.  That’s the topic for the next post!

rvsue

NOTE:  My heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped me make the right decision for us.  I also appreciate the many wishes for a peaceful holiday.  I’m writing this post Saturday afternoon and so far our camp has been peaceful.  I hope your weekend is all that you want it to be! — Sue

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P1120438

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148 Responses to West Fork Campground and a plan emerges!

  1. Dave Stewart (in missouri for now) says:

    First?

  2. Janet says:

    Hi RVSue enjoying your blog

  3. eliza says:

    first? or first-ish? my own kind of cliff-hanger. won’t know until I hit post…

  4. Cat Lady back home in Baton Rouge says:

    Woohoo! Sue and Crew’s back.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s good to be back, Cat Lady. I see you’re home again. 🙂

      West Fork Campground is okay but the lack of internet was tough. I’m glad we only stayed three nights.

  5. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Sounds like a great plan Sue. These pictures are awesome! Always love seeing the crew meet friends in the road!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jolene,

      It’s fun capturing the canine interactions. Thanks re the photos.

  6. Dawn in MI says:

    Well it’s always good to weigh your options. And meet new friends.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      There certainly was a lot of option-weighing done on this blog! All of it helpful…

  7. Pat from Mich. says:

    8th? LOL! You’ve been having a better time than me. I’ve been cleaning house.

  8. Marilyn Moore says:

    Happy 4th of July RVSue and your precious Crew. Enjoying your post with a glass of California red. Cheers!?

  9. Pat from Mich. says:

    I think you made the right decision. I’ve always told my kids, thee is one foolproof way to decide what you really truly WANT to do. Take a penny, dice heads this and tails that then flip the penny in the air. While it is spinning, you will realize which side you hope will come up. Always works. Hope you enjoy the new boondock. Wish I were there!

  10. Glad to hear you found a nice boondock for this weekend – at least I think you are staying through the weekend. Hopefully you will find the peace and quiet you and the crew deserve. Have a great 4th.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lisa W.,

      We definitely are staying here through the 4th, probably longer than that. It’s such a lovely spot and we have it all to ourselves….

      Happy 4th to you, too!

  11. I didn’t weigh in on the decision, but sounds like you made a great plan. Thanks for a great blog.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Martha, and thanks for agreeing with my plan. I feel good about it. Doing Wolf Creek Pass right now didn’t seem right and I don’t like to go against my intuition.

  12. A gal in Maple Valley, WA says:

    Hi Sue & Crew!

    Seems like a well thought out plan. Looking forward to the tour of this special boondock. Sounds like this year should allow easier travel as the wildfires are predicted to be fewer and smaller. La Nina seems to be following El Nino so from warmer and dryer we move to cooler and wetter conditions. Have you hit temps hot enough to get you in the water yet?

    Happy to meet the crew’s acquaintances. Always enjoy seeing diverse puppers out with nature.

    Happy ‘Tails’

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, MV gal,

      May you be correct about the wildfires. Terrible what the folks in southern Cal went through recently…

      We had a couple hot days at West Fork, although I didn’t feel the need to get in the water. I put the awning out in the morning and that kept us comfortable throughout the afternoon. Lots of reading…

      • A gal in Maple Valley, WA says:

        It’s like I’m talking to you live. I’m watching each reply after the comments appear and here you are!!! How fun!!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          It’s fun for me, too! I love it when my blog is “alive!”

        • A gal in Maple Valley, WA says:

          A meteorologist professor @ U of W, Cliff Mass, has a radio program on Fridays and explains what is forecasted for the week and why those conditions happen and the relation to the rest of the country. It’s like auditing a class. He also has information on the internet.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            I bet he communicates clearly which makes the subject enjoyable, rather than a chore.

          • A gal in Maple Valley, WA says:

            Perhaps you might spend the whole summer in Colorado at higher and higher altitudes. If that gradual adjustment happens, then ‘doing’ Wolf Pass on the way back towards winter will be no biggie. Or maybe next trip there another year.
            There are a LOT of passes to do …. or not. 🙂

  13. VictoriaEP says:

    Hi RvSue, crew, and blogorinos! I’ve been following this blog for a year but have never commented. Let me introduce myself. I’m Vicky and started full-timing 10 weeks ago. I’m still working, but my employer gave me permission to work from the road. How cool it that! I spent the last 12 years in Estes Park, Co, hence the EP in my screen name. I’m currently camped at Navajo State Park – south west of Pagosa Springs. Even though I’m in a state park with camp hosts and Rangers, it is not at all peaceful. It’s party-central. (sigh…..). I’ll be driving over Wolf Creek Pass on the 5th in my 26 ft moterhome, but I’m not towing anything. I’ll let you know how that goes!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, VictoriaEP!

      Welcome to comments and a belated welcome to my blog! Thank you for introducing yourself. You are now officially a blogorino, Vicky!

      Yes, “work from the road” is very cool! I’m sure there are readers who envy your situation. I’m sorry you’re in a party atmosphere for the holiday. State parks draw families/children for holiday vacations, more than any camp host or ranger can tamp down… nor should they, I suppose. Live and learn, right? It’s taken me 5 years to arrange a quiet 4th of July weekend.

      I look forward to hearing about your Wolf Creek Pass drive. Since you don’t mention altitude sickness and you lived 12 years at the altitude of Estes Park, I’m sure you will do fine.

      I almost forgot to mention…. Congratulations on 10 weeks of full-timing!

      • VictoriaEP says:

        Yes, I’ve driven high mountain roads for 35 or so years. I forgot to mention that I’m traveling with my dog Cecil, a corgi/chihuahua mix. Now that I think of it, though I’ve been at high altitudes many times, he has not. I’ll have to keep a close eye on him as I have no idea whether the altitude will bother him.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Yes, do watch him closely. When the crew and I went up past 9,500 feet Bridget was in the passenger seat. She lay on her belly with her head hanging straight down off the seat. I’m guessing either she was nauseous or had a killer headache.

          A corgi/chi mix… He has to be a cutie!

  14. Julie, Molly & gizmo (Idaho) says:

    I’m sure you would have conquered the pass but gut instinct, prior experience & love of your canine buddies is paramount. Plus you found a wonderful boondock so good choice. Happy 4th to you & fur babies!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Julie, Molly & gizmo,

      Yeah, it probably would’ve been okay. Who knows? Bridget and I could’ve had a miserable time, not to mention the PTV. I have a feeling we’ll do that pass someday. 🙂

      Enjoy the long weekend!

  15. weather says:

    It’s wise to look for an answer in the middle, to not just see the choices at either end of a spectrum and ignore all the options in between. Your plan and reasoning seem very sound . Reggie is such a sociable little guy,I’m glad when he gets to meet other dogs. Bridget with her “We are not amused” air always makes me smile. Good for you finding a boondock with internet. It’s always great to have you back!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you. It’s great to be back.

      Oh, you have me laughing, weather, with “We are not amused.” That fits Bridget perfectly!

      I appreciate you supporting my decision. With Cumbres Pass I think the ascent is more gradual and there probably with be turn-outs if I feel it best we turn around.

      • weather says:

        Good morning, Sue, I hope it’s wonderful out where you are. It’s gorgeous here today and I hope to get a bit more done on a project I’m in the middle of in a while . Before I get started I wanted to mention something that’s been on my mind.

        Another possible virtue of Bridget liking to pick pine cones apart occurred to me. You know exactly what signs to watch for in yourself and can identify them. With her you’ve guessed she may be nauseous or have a headache. Once someone mentioned it may be her ears bothering her during ascents and you thought it was a possibility.

        On planes or on wheels it’s recommended that people chew gum, the jaw movement can relieve and affects the pressure in the ears positively when that’s done. Any jaw opening , closing or wiggling helps me. I know you prefer the crew to chew bones and such outside yet an experiment with giving her a pine cone( both to distract her if she’s only in very mild distress and in case her ears are part of the problem) on a future climb in elevation may be worth a try.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Good morning, weather,

          An excellent suggestion… Yes, I’ll give her a pine cone when we move camp and travel up through the pass so she has that option. I did collect several cones before leaving piney Devil’s Canyon Campground in Utah. The pines surrounding our present camp offer up a plentiful supply although Bridget hasn’t taken any interest in chewing cones lately. She did enjoy working on a chew bone yesterday.

          The three of us celebrated an achievement of Bridget’s since camping here. She walked with Reggie and me for about 2 miles round trip. It was a clear day with cool air. We took our time, made frequent stops, followed a dirt lane through the pines and meadows. No hills to climb. Bridget enjoyed every minute, even let me take a few photos. Proudly she led us back to camp (which she sees as her responsibility), ate her supper, and crashed on the bed for a deep, peaceful sleep.

          Good luck with your project. Fixing up the house to sell maybe, eventually? I’m glad your day is “gorgeous.” It looks like it will be here, too. Reggie is anxious for the sun to warm up our world so he can do more exploring.

          Thanks for the concern for Bridget’s comfort…

        • weather says:

          Yay for Bridget, that’s terrific! Of the three of you , I’m sure it made you the happiest. Thank you for the happy sighs and smiles that added to my day.

          My project is fixing up a vintage camper to stay in when I’m in NY state in the future. My granddaughter recently chose the university closest to me for her four years of college. Towing the T@B across country every time I’ll want to visit her beyond her freshman year isn’t my idea of relaxed fulltiming. I’d rather meander around the country with my wee home in tow and fly out here for all the times I’ll spend time with her and my friends here. So-o, a place on the beach on this lake in a small year round rv park was available for a pittance.

          The cost to keep that all year is less than two weeks at a hotel would be. I’ll likely be here more than that, by far. It really only needed a serious cleaning on the outside, some paint inside and my antique rugs, curtains, table and chairs .It really hardly cost me anything. Now I’ll have a little place all set ,with kitchen , bathroom, bedroom and small living room.This is my solution for being where I want to be and/or am needed without postponing the dream, just adding to it.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Wow, weather! You’ve been putting plans into place!

            Your vintage trailer is a great solution to the cross-country visits. How fortunate that you found it and that there is an inexpensive, convenient place to store it at the lake. I bet you’ve worked hard on it and also had a bunch of fun fixing it up and furnishing it. 🙂

            I agree with your preference for meandering with the T@B when you full-time. Very creative problem-solving… Makes me think about a little trailer for a not-too-costly, tiny, home base.

            You are a wonderful grandma. No wonder both grands chose the college near you. 🙂

            I’m very happy for you, weather.

  16. Pookie in Todd Mission, tx says:

    you are in Gods country for sure………..
    thanks for them beautiful pictures…
    chuck

  17. Pookie in Todd Mission, tx says:

    I do know what its like not being used to the high altitude…
    first year we went hunting in colorado I had walked down
    into a canyon and when I started out it took me many hours
    to get out because I had to stop and catch my breath…by the
    time I was back at camp I felt terrible and proceeded to lay in
    my cot for the next 2 days…….all years after that taught me to
    take the first day I was there off and relax and get used to the
    altitude…looks you made the right decision…
    thanks
    chuck

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s what happens! Since you mentioned it, I’ll reveal that ever since we moved up in elevation, I’ve had to nap with the crew every single afternoon. Now one could say that’s laziness creeping up on me and maybe it is… but, gosh, I get sooooo sleepy!

      Thanks for seconding my decision, chuck!

      • Julie, Molly & gizmo (Idaho) says:

        When I first moved to Denver in the 90’s was told it takes 6 weeks to build hemoglobin up to tolerate change in altitude.

  18. Marcia GB in MA says:

    Glad you are enjoying the quiet place where you are now. Your plan sounds like the right one for all of you at this time. I have no doubt you’ll conquer Wolf Creek Pass at some future date!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I hope you are enjoying the weekend, Marcia… Thanks for the encouragement!

  19. Ken in Queen Creek, AZ says:

    I get the altitude headache too, Sue. I swore years ago that I would never camp above 10000 feet ever again. I have found, however that a trip over a pass really does not have sufficient time to get to me, although my wife says any amount of time at that altitude gets to her. Only you, I suppose, knows what 10000 feet does to you. One thing about that altitude though is that I bet you are enjoying some wonderfully cool weather!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ken,

      I remembered you this time. You’re the Ken who helped with the PTV at Painted Rock and you like how my photos pop up when you do a search of an area. Ha!

      Yes, higher altitude is wonderful for cool air in summer, just not too high. 🙂 The crew and I have enjoyed the weather at elevation between 7,500 – 8,500 feet. I’m not sure what the elevation of this boondock is… I’ll try to figure that out.

      I had to chuckle reading the different responses to the previous post. Those who know altitude sickness understood my reluctance and were clearly saying, No don’t go!

      • Ken in Queen Creek, AZ says:

        Hi Sue. I have a very old Casio watch that has a barometer and gives you an elevation read out. I have found it very useful over the years and it is fairly accurate + or – 500 ft. It is very useful in the west where elevation is key to your comfort. Love your blog. Ken

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I never thought about a watch like that. I’ve been using elevation figures of places nearby to estimate our altitude. Sometimes I can be so primitive. Gosh. I don’t even own a regular watch. I look at the gall darn sun. Pathetic!

  20. Adrienne in Carlsbad, CA says:

    It has taken me a lifetime to learn to listen to that nagging voice in the back of my head, the one that tells me not to do something…. Anyway, I’m happy with your decision. I was wondering how you we’re going to get Bridget to inhale the Boost oxygen in the can? Wishing you a pleasant and quiet 4th.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Adrienne,

      How nice to see you here again! Yes, listen to the “nagging voice!” I wonder how many times and in what ways our intuition (or heavenly guidance or whatever you choose) has kept us out of terrible situations or disaster of some sort.

      For Bridget to breathe the oxygen from a can I guess I’d have to hold her head and “puff” the oxygen in front of her nostrils. I’m sure she’d LOVE that. 🙁

      Taking a different route to avoid that pass is not a hardship. I’m curious to see all of the West and I’ve heard “Chama” and wondered what it is like there. The route is a completely new one for us. Even if it were a route we’ve traveled, there’s something new if one looks for it.

      Best wishes for Independence Day to you, too!

      • I’m sitting here laughing about the reaction you would get from Bridget if you sprayed “anything” in her face. Even people who have lived in CO their whole lives can become sensitive to 10,000′. But like you are doing, the best thing is to adjust gradually. You sure are in beautiful country over there. I’m glad you found a “perfect” boondock now. 🙂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thanks, JunieLou. This is a delightful camp. I’m happy to give you a laugh now and then. 🙂

  21. MollyLuvsRoadtrippin (WA) says:

    I love seeing the maps illustrate your new ideas and plans as they come together – excellent tool for your narrative. A beautiful boondock with internet and a great idea for a route – those naps are really working! Have a great weekend – may it be peaceful for you and the crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s it! The naps! I’m power-sleeping!

      Hi, Molly…. I hope your weekend is wonderful. Thanks for the feedback on the maps.

  22. Linda-NC says:

    I was so glad to see your post. I was a-wondering! That intuition works every time if we listen. You will go when you are ready to, until then you find such beautiful places to camp that you are an inspiration. Just wanted you to know:)) I always enjoy your posts as I am an aspiring Rver. I am done with all of this hard work, house maintenance, rising bills and ready to simplify my life. Maggie, my lab is 13 years old with a number of health issues and am worried that she might not make it with me. I have had her since she was 14 weeks and she has been with me through good and bad. We are going to the vet next week as she is not feeling well right now. The house sale is still up in the air for a couple of weeks, so it will be what it will be for now. I hope that someday you do Wolf Creek Pass and that you do it well. Only time will tell-Oh-we can all use another cliffhanger. Have a great holiday!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda,

      “I am done with all of this hard work, house maintenance, rising bills and ready to simplify my life.” Lots of us understand what you’re feeling! Again I wish you good luck with the house sale….

      I’m sorry about your Maggie. It’s heart-wrenching to watch the decline of a long-time, devoted companion. I hope the vet visit results in a way for you to give her relief. Hugs to you both. Wishing you a pleasant holiday together….

  23. edlfrey says:

    Chama has a BIG 4th of July fireworks display for being such a small town. You DO NOT want to be in the Little Creel Resort & RV Park during the July 4th Holiday. If you get into town early in the morning you will be able to see the The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Train while it is in the yard there building up steam. Doing so after the 4th would be a good idea but there will still be a LOT of tourist in town.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      News I can use! Thanks, Ed. You write with the authority that comes from personal experience.

      We won’t be moving out of this boondock soon. Maybe the tourists and hoopla will be diminished by the time we roll through Chama.

      I’d like to see the train. I saw a photo of the train as it rounds a bend, hugging the side of a mountain. Up until I saw that, the train ride had some appeal. Now I’m happy to see it at the station and no more than that!

      I read on you blog that you’re having rain in Dolores. Us, too…

      • Donna 'N Girls says:

        Hi Sue,
        I’m going to be in Chama on the 6th. I want to ride the train. I have friends who go there most summers, from Chandler, and sent me postcards while I was still working. There’s a doggie day care for train riders so the girls will have an adventure, too.
        I’m staying at an r v park, not Little Creel, although that is where my friends stay.
        I’m in Pinetop, AZ. for the holiday, lots of traffic and I noticed they raised gas prices .10 a gallon here and in Show Low for the weekend crowd.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Donna ‘N Girls,

          I hope you will let us know about your train ride out of Chama. It must be a great experience because it continues to be a popular attraction.

          Wishing you a good holiday!

  24. pjreads says:

    I get altitude sickness, too, not a good thing for someone who loves backpacking and skiing. I have a suggestion for a remedy that works for me and might work for you and Bridget, too, although Bridget is more problematic. When we head for the mountains (we’re 10 – 12 hours away) I start chugging water like there is no tomorrow. Like a quart every 2 hours on the way to Colorado from Kansas City. Yes, it necessitates more potty breaks – which many people try to avoid by drinking less water. Anyway, I have found that being fully hydrated keeps me from getting altitude sickness at all. It is something easy and cheap that you might give a try. Now making Bridget drink a lot of water – not sure how you can get a dog to do that, unless you give her unsalted broth or something. We never took our dog with us.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, pjreads, for posting that advice about being fully hydrated before going up into the higher elevations. It’s a good thing to know for all who travel the mountains of the West.

      I had heard that advice before and I admit that I forgot all about it. I appreciate the reminder.

  25. retiredcajunlady says:

    Living at an altitude of 10 ft, I knew better than to offer an opinion. I also knew that you would make the best decision for you and the pups. Bridget and Reggie look so small compared to the other dogs y’all met. Too cute! Have a wonderful boondocking weekend…and a quiet one too.

  26. Cari in Plano Texas says:

    Hi, Sue, it’s been a long time since I commented. I kinda went MIA from the blogorino world for awhile – no disasters, just lots of life stuff. I retired from full time work in Dec. 2014 and went very sedentary for about 3 months. I just enjoyed not having to get up and go to work every day, although I was a little anxious for a few weeks thinking I was forgetting something! LOL

    So not being one to just sit around for too long, I decided to start a dog sitting business part time, and I’ve been having a blast. I don’t have a dog currently, and my clients give me that canine ‘fix’ without the full time responsibility. I take one at a time so I can give them the love and attention they need, and I don’t have to worry about dogs getting into fights. I usually have a dog about every other week, which is perfect for me. I was very busy in April and May but it’s slowed down a bit now.

    Anyway, I tried to read your blog a few weeks ago and got a box requesting a login and password, which really threw me for a loop. I panicked thinking maybe something had happened to you and was sad to think we had lost you. Fortunately I was eventually able to get to your blog and read Bridget’s explanation of what happened. I’m loving your current journeys through Colorado – my mother and I visited the southwestern part many years ago and really enjoyed it. So I’m back now as an official blogorino and hope to stay connected more now. Have a Happy (and peaceful) Fourth of July, and give my love to Bridget and Reggie.

    • Cari in Plano Texas says:

      Whew, I didn’t mean to be so long winded! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      We’re delighted that you have returned, Cari. Very interesting update on your life since retirement. Isn’t it wonderful not having to go to work every day? Your dog-sitting business provides a valuable service. I’m sure your clients are very happy with the notion of a loving person taking care of their dog while they are away. I wish you continued success.

      I hope you are able to visit with us more often. Whenever you do, we will be glad to have you here! Enjoy the holiday weekend!

  27. EmilyO in NM says:

    Who knows, maybe as you climb to Cumbres Pass you might hear the shrill whistle of the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad climbing its way up to the Pass where the train stops and lunch is served to the riders. The last time I rode it, a couple was getting married at the Pass and all of us passengers were their guests at the wedding and for the reception that followed afterwards. That is a memory. My favorite scenic old-timey railroad.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, EmilyO,

      I hope all is well at your house. Always good to hear from you again…

      I love the wedding-at-the-Pass story. A memorable event for everyone!

  28. Sue
    Happy 4th of July and enjoy your new paradise.
    When you say you use your senior pass would that be America the Beautiful Senior Pass that is suppost to be used all over the U.S? I have asked a few campsite and they won’t honor it. thanks

    • Velda in Roseville CA says:

      The so called senior pass is only for federal places such as National Parks. We use ours to dump tanks on RV free at Folsom Lake near us which is a Federal Reservoir and recreation site.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sharon,

      As Velda points out, the pass is good for 50% off at federal facilities such as National Forest Service campgrounds, National Wildlife Refuges campgrounds, Bureau of Land Management campgrounds, Bureau of Reclamation sites, etc. It also is good for free entry into any of the National Parks.

      Happy Independence Day to you, too!

  29. Love you Sue and Crew!! Happy 4th. 🙂

  30. Nancy S. Indiana says:

    Wise decision. Why is it wise? Because it’s what’s right for you and the crew. You can’t get any better than that. Have fun!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Nancy. When a decision is right it “feels” right…. no more doubt, no more uneasiness.

      I hope you are enjoying the holiday weekend!

  31. Deena in Peoria says:

    Happy 4th of July and I’m glad you are safely enjoying a beautiful boondock.

    Deena and Miss Mollie

  32. BadgerRickInWis says:

    Glad (but not surprised) that you made a wise choice both for yourself and HRH.
    I hope your boondock is quiet and peaceful through the holiday. May your entire family feel safe and loved.

    I really like the new header photo and of course all the mountain shots. Also I’m really enjoying the photos of the maps.

    And I have to agree about how fun it was to read the variety of comments in the last post. I guess we learned one thing about this crowd. Give us a cliff hanger and we’ll drive right off it. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh my, Rick! The mental picture of happy blogorinos driving off a cliff on my behalf… good heavens! I admit I laughed. You are too much! 🙂

      Thanks for the kind wish for my family and also thanks for letting me know you appreciate the maps.

      May your Independence Day be joyful for the reason we celebrate it and also as a reminder that your personal “independence day” will arrive sooner than someday.

  33. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Glad you will drive a teeny bit lower elevation, Sue…argh…uh yea, altitude gets to me too!! I tried walking around Nevada City…I think it was…any rate very high for me…and my family took turns one on each arm, dragging me here and there until we left…was not a lot of fun for me frankly. And I don’t know a solution to not having that either. My Mom was the same way. Only she was impacted at lower altitudes than I have been. I was surprised at how badly I felt that one trip in the back way to Yosemite however. I thought if I was riding maybe I might not feel it. …but I surely did.

    Glad you found a place of relative quiet for the weekend. And a new pretty boondock soon too. This summer I have been praying more specifically for rain, windy or chilly weather if the crazies at the community center are going to be wild and loud. So far, so good. If the weather has been good, the crowd has been reasonable with noise. I am going to keep up praying over that for as long as we live in this rental. Never hurts. It was so hot at 3 PM today….and no clouds to speak of….hehe but by 7 PM VERY chilly, windy and very dark clouds. Have not heard rain…but not many party folks came outside either!!!

    Safe travels…and hope your engine does well!!

    • Velda in Roseville CA says:

      Nevada City in california is elevation 2200 ft. Perhaps you were thinking of Virginia City in Nevada which is over 6000 ft?

      • edlfrey says:

        Maybe Nevada City, MT which is at 5,761′. Neither it not Virginia City are what you would call high altitude.

        Most healthy individuals can go to 8,000′ with no discomfort at all. That is the level that commercial aircraft are pressurized to simulate. Altitude sickness at altitudes below 8,000′ is an indication that there is a contributing factor other than the altitude.

        • Elizabeth in WA says:

          YES…that is the one Velda!!

        • Elizabeth in WA says:

          Well likely so, Ed…but I am taking as many meds as I am willing to take!! Heh…I think I am maybe a bit healthier in some ways today…we walk up hills and down where we live…and I weigh a bit less too than I did then…all would be helpful no doubt. My mom had the same issue, years before any doctor figured out she had congestive heart disease…good chance I may have it too…but no worries on my part…I have lived long enough to not feel cheated.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth,

      It’s interesting how differently we react to changes in altitude. Sounds like you had a case of lead feet! I turn into the sleepy zombie with pins and needles…

      I’m glad the weather is keeping the party people away from your apartment. Isn’t it wonderful how we are given respite from the heat once the sun goes down? More than once when the heat of the afternoon has worn me down I hang on to the hope of sundown and the cool air it brings.

      Thanks for the wish for our safety (and for the PTV)… Best wishes to you and your husband for a relaxing, pleasant holiday.

  34. DesertGinger says:

    I’m glad you came up with a good solution. I knew you would. I can’t do high elevation at all.

    My news lately has been discouraging. I had a 6 minute walk test to test how my oxygen levels are when walking. I did very poorly. I cannot get off my 24/7 oxygen and they don’t know if I ever will. That really upsets me. I don’t want to be reliant on oxygen for the rest of my life. Then the other news. I have stage 3 kidney disease. I don’t know what that will mean…my first appointment in nephrology is July 21.

    I keep hoping I’m improving and instead I just get more bad news. I’m feeling pretty sad and trapped and I’m grieving my health. If you are healthy please don’t take it for granted.

    So that’s my news. I made some barbecue beef and potato salad for the weekend. I will be staying home, taking walks and doing Knife work. Maybe I’ll go see the fireworks Monday night.

    I hope everyone has a lovely 4th.

    • retiredcajunlady 'n Louisiana says:

      Ginger, I am so sorry to read of your health issues. I will pray the rosary for you and for your healing. Try to stay positive. Hugs.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That is discouraging. I can understand you feeling low, Ginger. I don’t know that there’s anything anyone can say to bring your spirits up. Thank you for reminding those of us with good health to be grateful. I am.

      In true Ginger fashion, you keep on keeping on… making holiday food, exercising, continuing with your work, and contemplating an outing to see the fireworks. That’s a fine example for all of us…. You have a lovely 4th, too. Thank you.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        DeGin

        Discouraging in your case is temporary because you always find a way to overcome obstacles!

        I have no doubt you will do it again!

    • Rover Ronda (WA) says:

      Sue is right. You “keep on keeping on”. I’m dealing with small stuff and you encourage me. Thank you for sharing. ❤️

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      So sorry to hear this Ginger…but I think your plan is good…keep doing what you can so long as you can. I hope you can build up a bit of strength with time. It has taken me quite awhile…but I can finally walk the fairly extreme hills near us now…without too much discomfort (unless it is hot)…and we try to walk at least a mile at a time. We are doing better than we were…so day by day…step by step. A friend of mine is dealing with cholesterol and kidney issues…she has gone vegetarian and at least it is definitely working on the cholesterol…and she is hopeful for the kidneys too…feels better too. I am working more veggies into our diets too…figure it never hurts.

  35. Pat (Freespirit)-in Texas says:

    Hi Sue & crew…glad you found such a great site for the holiday! Really enjoy your pics of the pups & new friends. Well…I made my first trip..still in Texas. Came to my daughters in the Hill Country. Enjoyed the 4th of July parade in Comfort! The trip here was enlightening, to say the least. GPS took me through San Antonio at rush hour..no more big cities for this country gal!! Next week I’ll be heading toward Florida..up the east coast for a bit..then to Tennessee..up to WI. Anybody have ideas for camping along those routes..free would be good. It is SO good to finally be on the road! Catch you later…Pat

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s an ambitious route you have planned!

      Blogorinos: Any suggestions for camps between Texas and Florida and up the east coast and over to Tennessee and then to Wisconsin?

  36. Happy 4th of July Sue and Crew! Hope your little slice of heaven continues to be peaceful and quiet. Your current site is so beautiful I can’t imagine some place else even better – but of course you’ll show us just that soon 🙂 The crew’s new pals are very handsome, glad Reggie has the opportunity to hang out with other furkids on occasion. Wolf Creek will still be there should the need arise to make that conquest – until then safe travels on the tamer roads ahead.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Jodee… Safe travels to you, too. I hope you find beautiful camps wherever you go.

  37. Barb from Hoquiam says:

    So fun to catch up on your adventures!
    Camping/Rally this weekend in Salem, OR aND along with about 90 vintage trailers there are about 700 Civil War reenactment folks. It has been fun and interesting. Lots of kids involved! Nice to see them with their parents and grandparents, learning history. They had a dance last night and included some of our group. I enjoy the morning things…the muskets and cannons were hard for me…
    We has a steady stream of people come and see our Moosee, and reconnected with old friends.

    Happy and SAFE 4TH!
    HUGS from near Salem,
    Barb

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb,

      You do live a life of people and activity! Wow! It sounds like an interesting and memorable weekend. You must be proud that your Moosee attracts attention. I’m sorry the loud noises give you trouble…. but I’m very glad you had a chance for time with friends. Take care, be well and safe, and feel hugged. 🙂

  38. Sue,
    Sounds like a great plan.
    Maybe you’ll see the Cumbres and Toltec steam train on the way over.
    Have a nice, and quiet! 4th.

  39. Penny in AR says:

    We were around the Tetons a few years ago and I just couldn’t eat much! I’d take a couple bites of my meal and was stuffed! Googled it and altitude can give you a feeling of fullness. I decided if I could live at a higher altitude for a while I would be skinny!?. Thought you might be interested to know that effect of altitude. Your camp is beautiful!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What? If anything, my appetite has increased. Not fair!

      I researched ways to prevent or lessen the effects of altitude and found that eating carbohydrates may help. Oh, yeah. That makes sense. I immediately whipped up a plate of pasta with pesto. For my health, you see. 🙂

  40. I think I have been through Chama Pass….I was sitting in the back seat. It’s still a climb and winding as I remember…I tried to video tape the drive but couldn’t. We were on our way to Wisconsin when we drove from Farmington, NM through the pass. It’s a beautiful drive. I often wondered if folks who get altitude sickness can tolerate airplane travel? I normally don’t have trouble but this last trip to Alaska I had a slight uncomfortable feeling…even my feet swelled which usually doesn’t happen. I stood up and pumped my legs up and down to get circulation going. I’m enjoying your travels and the wonderful camping sites. Happy 4th!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Happy 4th to you, too, Rita!

      I don’t know if I’ll be able to take many photos or any at all of the Pass. If I can and all three of us are fine, I will. Maybe pics I post will bring back memories of your trip…

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Well, flying these days is anything but pleasant, but yes, I am ok with altitude in the planes. I do move my feet and ankles a lot and usually get up about every hour to use the restroom and walk a bit…seems to help…plus helps my achy arthritic spine etc.

  41. Cat Lady back home in Baton Rouge says:

    Sue, over on RV.net, there’s an article on altitude sickness you might want to check out. http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/28939543.cfm
    As you know, this condition is not to be taken lightly. Thought I’d send this thread so you and your blogerinos could get more input on this condition and what to do.

    I’m home because TN was hotter than Baton Rouge. Points west where I wanted to go were either hotter than TN or La.; were burning; or were having monsoons. It’s a helluva note when I have to stay in La. in the summertime. God willing I’ll head out when the temp starts cooling off, maybe late September/early October.

    Hugs to the fur babies. Safe travels, Sue, and have a good Fourth.

    Cat Lady

    • retiredcajunlady 'n Louisiana says:

      Houma has been hot too. My oldest sister and her hubby are up in Driggs, Idaho, for the summer. Their days have been in the high 80’s too. Of course, leaving Dallas, TX (where they lived most of the year) it is cooler up yonder! They arrived on the first to bear warnings. Here’s hoping we don’t have hurricanes this year. Have a great Independence Day!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Cat Lady. I clicked the link and read the conversation very carefully, learned a lot!

      Try to keep cool and enjoy the holiday!

  42. Kathy (NC) says:

    And the ‘prize’ for following intuition and gut feeling? – your ‘idea of paradise’ for the holiday weekend!! So glad you have a peaceful place to enjoy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Kathy. This camp has been ideal. I look forward to sharing it with you.

  43. Virginia620 (Mobile AL) says:

    Hot & humid in Mobile. Love my AC!!
    Sure love your pics & posts. Missed you. Wore tablwt out logging on & checking for new post. You don’t disappoint.
    Happy 4th ALL!!!

  44. Dawn from Camano Island says:

    Hi Sue! It’s quiet here this morning–the grands went to other Gramp’s home. Jim & I miss them!

    One of my cousins lives in Pagosa & the last time we visited them, we went over Cumbers Pass It’s gorgeous & the vistas at the top are stunning.

    Thank you for including Benchmark notes and photos–Jim & I found your Nevada blog posts very helpful last spring when we drove home via Nevada. What a gorgeous place!

    Happy 4th of July to you & the crew. If you have access to wi-fi, I highly recommend the video of a woman singing the Star-Spangled Banner at the Lincoln Memorial. Best rendition I’ve ever heard!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      Nevada is underrated. What I’ve seen of the state is beautiful. I’m glad you were able to appreciate it on your way home.

      I’m encouraged about Cumbres Pass. There’s another one beyond it a few miles, La Manga Pass, 10,230 ft.

      I’ve been listening to patriotic songs online, too! 🙂

      • A gal in Maple Valley, WA says:

        Hey Sue,

        I was looking at my map book and noticed that other pass, too. Did that make you hesitate, it being just a couple of miles apart? Looks like there are a lot of campgrounds with lakes and rivers around there, but they look to be quite high up as well.

        With all the recommendations for you to drink lots of water I keep having to go in the water closet. 🙂 Almost like the bag of rice. However, I was thinking on the science of how/why that works. One reason for that would be that it gets extra oxygen in to your system. But one must weigh spending the extra time at altitude because of ‘pit’ stops. Tee Hee. Would puppy pee-pads work for people? :0

        I enjoy the planned and forewarned modest pyrotechnics that the local technician does. Perhaps a cocktail or two first. But it’s the sneakers in the back yards in the week before that give my pubococcygeus a workout. I made an insulated crate for my cat. Perhaps I’ll join him in there.

        On the Colorado license plates, are the mountains on the top green or white this year?

        Happy Sunday!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          “I enjoy the planned and forewarned modest pyrotechnics that the local technician does. Perhaps a cocktail or two first. But it’s the sneakers in the back yards in the week before that give my pubococcygeus a workout. I made an insulated crate for my cat. Perhaps I’ll join him in there.”

          What the heck are you talking about?

      • Dawn from Camano Island says:

        Good morning! There was an interesting segment yesterday on NPR about how few patriotic songs people are singing these days. The interviewee was of the opinion that if we began singing them again, we might foster a sense of cohesiveness & patriotism that seems to be missing now. I love “America the Beautiful” (even if it is a British melody), “My Country Tis of Thee,” “Yankee Doodle,” This Is My Country” (we sang this one a lot when I was a kid), “I’m A Yankee Doodle Dandy,” “This Land is Your Land”) (thank you, Woodie!) & “You’re A Grand Old Flag.”

        Cumbers Pass doesn’t seem that high–and I’ve been over Wolf Creek Pass with my cousin & it seemed hIIIgh!

        Happy 4th to you & the crew, Sue!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Good morning, Dawn,

          I think there’s a resurgence of patriotism in the U.S. and I’m glad for that. I see patriotism as a form of gratitude, and when people are sincerely grateful, they have a pretty good chance at happiness. 🙂

          Love your selection of songs. As we’ve traveled the West and camped in beautiful places, often a line of lyric from America the Beautiful will come to mind. “amber waves of grain” at Las Ciegnas Wildlife Refuge, for instance, and “purple mountain majesties” while viewing the Tetons and other magnificent peaks.

          The approach to Cumbres Pass is only a grade of 4%. Maybe that’s why it didn’t seem very high. We will find out soon! Happy 4th to you, too, Dawn!

  45. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    Hi Sue….Although I didn’t comment on your last post, I knew what my decision would be as soon as I read it. Glad you made the decision you did. I liked seeing the maps. I was able to go into my mobile map app on this IPad….key in Wolf Creek pass & drag that little orange guy down to actually feel like I was there on the road. It must have been filmed in colder weather because there was snow. Still neat though. Doesn’t work for all the places.
    Enjoyed the pups meet & greet pics. So cute when they meet other dogs. We had Canada Day on Friday, so cottagers were still lighting fireworks last night. My poor dog
    gets so upset…..I have a pheromone spray from the vet that is supposed to have a calming effect similar to what the mother dog would give off to her pups. I will try it next thunderstorm or next weekend when the fireworks start up again.
    Love the look of your camp area…..Wishing you & crew a Happy & peaceful July 4th

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I hope the spray helps your dog cope with loud noises. Poor thing. I sometimes wonder what terror is inflicted on animals, domesticated and wild, by the noises of humans.

      It’s interesting to me how people take my blog and find ways to enjoy it beyond what I imagine when putting a post together. . . . using Google Earth, mobile map apps, researching the topics that come up, whether it’s identifying a bird or learning about altitude sickness or figuring out how much air to put in one’s tire or finding the lyrics of a song and so on and so on. It really is neat!

      Peaceful, happy 4th to you, too, Val!

  46. Terri From Texas says:

    Glad to hear the end of the cliff hanger! Tell me, do you know what the dog Webster is- Great Dane and Lab mix? Unusual looking! I have been on the Cumbres and Toltec railroad. Not scary but beautiful!
    Been looking at small motorhomes-anyone have any
    faves? Here is hoping your fourth is QUIET! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Terri. This has been the quietest, most peaceful 4th of July weekend I’ve experienced in several years. I hope yours is great!

      No, I didn’t ask about Webster.

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Webster looks just like my sisters dog Pit/Border collie
      Pit- head Border collie-white spot on chest and tips of the feet. Phoebe has a wonderful disposition!

  47. Nice camp your at, glad to hear that you changed your mind ‘ bout going over the Pass. Reggie sure has a way in making friends and HRH Bridget makes sure that they know the rules, ,,,,,, we are near Flagstaff, to be closer to the VAMC, just in case my leg starts acting up again, the swelling is down to normal and the redness is gone, just the scabs are present and they are getting smaller too! We left Utah Friday and arrived at this camp at 5:30pm Friday evening, leg did great.
    Have a great weekend and be safe,,,,,,. Piper and Rusty

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rusty,

      Great news about your leg! That was a very scary and difficult situation…

      I hope you and Piper are staying cool at your present camp near Flagstaff. It’s comforting knowing medical help is available if you need it. I hope you don’t!

      Wishing you both a happy Independence Day!

    • BadgerRickInWis says:

      Glad to hear that you’re feeling better Rusty. Now keep being smart and take it easy. Hope you and the lady have a wonderful holiday.

  48. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Wolf creek pass…….maybe next time….maybe not!

    I like when a river or stream is part or near your site! The geese are having swimming lessons for their young! Isn’t funny how they travel in a line…mom in the front and dad bring up the rear! AO is mesmerized by them.

    Hope your holiday stays calm…

  49. I’m doing the math, but it seems that WordPress wants to keep us in Utah and fill our box with comments, sometimes I only get a signal on the Droid Turbo 2 when I cannot get a signal on the Samsung Galaxy Tab E tablet, I think maybe I need a Jet Pack just to get here with the tablet, it’s just so hard to type on the smartphone and to see on it, man, I wish I could find a salesperson to help and not to make a sale,,,, I miss my flip phone,,,, sorry for my bad day, have a greater day Sue,,,,,,,,,,,, Rusty n Piper

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I miss my flip phone, too. Simple is better. I have a SmartPhone and I don’t know how to use most of its features because I don’t have the patience to figure out how. People get excited over SmartPhones. I get irritated. 🙂

      I’m not sure what you mean in your first sentence. That little math problem pops up because I installed it, following the advice of my webmaster (not WordPress). My blog had over 72,000 automatic sign-ups! That math problem will protect my blog from that. I hope everyone gets used to the way one enters comments and it doesn’t keep anyone away.

      What is it that you would ask a salesperson? Maybe someone here can help.

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