Eastward to a new camp!

Friday, June 20

1-DSC05079It’s a beautiful morning.  I’m tempted to stay at our camp next to a park in Duchesne, Utah.  However, I don’t want to push my luck with the hospitality of this fair city.  We hit the road and head east.

Highway 191 becomes Highway 40.

It’s a two-lane road running along the Duchesne River.  Being the only decent road running east-west in this part of Utah, it’s a thoroughfare for trucks.  The speed limit is 65 mph which means 75 mph to many drivers (mostly the non-truckers).  I refuse to tow faster than 60 mph.  I pull over periodically to let the drivers on a mission fly by.

We drive through Roosevelt and go past the turn that takes one to Ft. Duchesne.

At the junction of Highway 88, I park in a large, flat parking area of dirt.  While the crew wanders around, I contemplate my options.

Hmm . . . We could continue onward to Vernal.  It’s not far.  Go north toward the mountains and Flaming Gorge. 

Or we could take Highway 88 to Pelican Lake.  It’s only about 15 miles.  At 4,800 it might be awfully hot.  And then there are the biting flies I read about on a fishing website . . . .

I look southward across the barren land of the arid Uinta Basin.

Well, the Audubon Society does call it “an important bird area.”  Pelican Lake . . .  Oh heck.  It’s only 12 miles or so.   Might as well check it out.  I’m not in the mood for more mountain climbing anyway and, who knows, we might hit the jackpot. . .

1-DSC05090As we motor along, the parched brown landscape suddenly turns bright green, the result of irrigation from the lake.  Well, this looks better . . . . 

Pelican Lake comes into view.

1-DSC05094Following the directions taken previously from a website, I drive around the lake to the south side, passing a few pelicans on the lake (too far away for me to photograph).  I read that there’s a primitive campground (BLM, free) and a boat dock on the south side.

We arrive first at the campground on the right.

It consists of shelters on concrete pads with picnic tables.  No shade except for one site by a few cottonwood trees.  Going further, a short lane cuts over to the lake on the left.  Fire rings and a few wooden picnic tables tell me people camp there, too.

1-DSC05106Pelican Lake is bordered by reeds.

Lots of reeds.  That means great fishing.  It also means flying insects.  Not a good idea to camp near the lake.  If we’re going to get away from bugs at all, the campground is our best bet.  Let the people who fish have those lakeside sites . . . .

1-DSC05103I drive over to the campground site with cottonwood trees.

Gee, between these trees and the shelter would be a nice place to park.   Oh, the ground is too uneven.   I take a moment to figure out the points of the compass, not readily apparent at high noon.  Finding a level spot where the afternoon shade will fall, I position the Best Little Trailer.  This will be good!

I hurry to open up the side door of the Perfect Tow Vehicle.

“Okay, guys!  You can get out now!  We’re home!”

At least I THINK we’re home.  Hmm. . . no bugs so far . . .  We have the campground to ourselves . . . . Nice breeze . . . .  It’s pleasant under this shelter . . . I could read and relax .


This may work out very well!



I appreciate every order.

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117 Responses to Eastward to a new camp!

  1. Marcia GB in MA says:

    It looks like I’m first today. Never thought I’d make it!

  2. Thor 'n Drew says:

    First again?! Hope the site worked as well as you expected on Friday.

  3. Marcia GB in MA says:

    The camp looks good, so I hope the bite-y bugs stay away!

  4. Jolene/Iowa says:

    I am continuing to love this journey with you. Currently I am about 10 1/2 months behind you in May of 2013 catching up. You were in Monument Valley, also in Utah then.

    I have a question about the Amazon thing. Is it anything I order on Amazon? I sometime buy a few books on there throughout the year and if I can help you by buying them through you, I will follow your link to Amazon.

    I am also excited to find out about Rusty’s house, it should be coming up in the past blog posts soon.

    I was also sad to read recently about another blog follower of yours who also blogs and the loss of his dog, Homer.

    Can’t wait to see the new adventures of Spike and Bridget!! Have fun!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jolene,

      It always makes me smile to read someone is interested enough to read my prior posts. Thanks for telling me.

      Yes! Anything you buy on Amazon gives me a commission. Every order is important, even those kindle books for 99 cents or less because my commission rate is based on number of orders for the month. Thanks for asking and for intending to use my blog as a portal to Amazon.

      I was saddened also to learn that Bob of cheaprvliving had to say goodbye to his sweet dog, Homer. The crew and I met Homer when Bob and I camped at Saddleback Mountain, Tonopah, Arizona. A great dog and a wonderful companion for Bob.

      Hope you’re keeping cool in Iowa and enjoying summer!

      • Jolene/Iowa says:

        Hey Sue, I am back tracking again. In a post I am reading now, someone asked you about unhooking and leaving your BLT when you go sightseeing and things. You said you did. By chance do you have a padlock that you can lock your tongue with? We have done that with work trailers as well as a travel trailer before.

        • Jolene/Iowa says:

          I guess what I am referring to is a hitch lock or a tongue lock. I don’t know for sure what it is called.

  5. klbexplores says:

    I am lucky to have happened on to this post. My Feedly news feed is not working and only one blog comes up at a time….and you were it. Heaven to find a new home. QUESTION FOR YOUR READERS WHO USE FEEDLY FOR THEIR NEWS FEED. Are any of you having trouble with feedly only showing one post….when you click on show more, nothing happens. Or have I screwed something up? Help!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      READERS? Can you help? I don’t know anything about Feedly.

    • Sondra-SC says:

      It’s not just Feedly….Blogger is doing the same! I am getting one update on the list…and then it stays up until one more updates! Only showing one at a time! Many have reported it so I guess now we have to wait for the brain-i-acs to get ‘er done!

      Keep your fly swat handy Sue! Today it was not quite as hot as it has been here in the Southeast, it was only 96 <:0) Little Spike getting his daily soak? He's my new super-hero.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Okay, so the problem isn’t with my settings then…

        More about Spike’s soaks in the next post. 🙂

  6. Lee J in Northern California says:

    That lake looks a lot like Woodward Reservoir that is about 25miles from me just outside Oakdale, which is where I was born, yep a native California, we are rare, mostly imported folks here.

    I love visiting Woodward Reservoir, it has so many neat birds to watch, I hope you have a similar experience and have a binocular handy and your camera so we can share!

    About to order a new iron on Amazon, hope it shows up!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lee J,

      Pelican Reservoir does have a lot of birds! I keep my monocular handy next to my lounger which is set up under the shelter and faces the “tree of birds.”

      Yay! A new iron for you, money for me! Thanks. 🙂

  7. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Looks like a great spot! Very considerate of you to pass on the lake sites…to accomodate the fisher people. Yum a trout sounds good right about now!

    Enjoy your day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      Me, considerate? My motivation was 90% I don’t want bugs and 10% let the fisher people have the campsites.

      Nope, no trout here. Here’s a quote from utahfishinginfo.com.

      Pelican Lake is a natural lake in the Uinta Basin southwest of Vernal. Historically, it is noted as a world class bluegill fishery. In 1983 it produced the state record, a two pound, three ounce bluegill. Old timers claim that it was one of the “little ones”.

      That’s pretty old news. They were pulling bass out of the lake yesterday when we were down at the dock. Also, I don’t know how “natural” a lake it is, as there’s a dam which I’m pretty sure is the work of humans.

      • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

        Little Bluegills are delicious. My grandmother would filet the little things (she was a VERY good fish fileter) and fry them up. Along with sunfish and little perch that they had in the lake they retired onto in Wisconsin. Yum… I am actually not a big fan of fish, but I loved these.

  8. Timber n' Rusty says:

    Looks like you have good spot there Sue. east ward to Vernal, on Hwy.. 40 is pretty level, but I am unable to remember if there’s a climb to Hwy. 80 thru the Flaming Gorge or not, We went thru coming from 80 back in 1996. And once you’re up past the Gorge, you will love heading north towards the east slope of the beginning of the lower Grand Tee Tons and Alpine. Nice camping along Gray’s river and well ,,,just an idea of course,,,,,,,,,,enjoy your day and say hi to th’ pups ,,,,,,,,,,rusty n’ Timber

    • Timber n' Rusty says:

      Oh, I forgot to mention , from north of Alpine it should be a easy drive over to Idaho on Hwy. 26., there will be camping just north of Alpine passed the dam , and it’s the flattest way west, on that road is 2 n’ 4 lanes to Idaho Falls. I know this because of the Mountain man Rendezvouses that are in the area ,,Rusty

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Gee, Rusty . . . I appreciate your ideas very much! I got out my Wyoming Benchmark and looked up Grey’s River in the index. I see where it is. A road follows close to the riverbank for quite a long way and there are a few campgrounds, too, although I’ll look for those sweet boondocks.

      Thanks! That may be a very handy place for us to camp. I appreciate the info on a “flat way” to get to Idaho Falls on Hwy 26. Very helpful, Rusty!

      I am also grateful for the first Benchmark atlas I ever saw or owned — Oregon, the one you gave me. I probably wouldn’t be finding such good camps if it weren’t for that gift. I own them all now and use them almost every day. My Utah Benchmark is a tattered mess! Haha!

      I hope you enjoy what’s left of this day. Love to you and Timber . . .

  9. EmilyO in NM says:

    I read on another blog sight, that gives the Amazon shopping option thru their site, that the blogger does not get credit for items ordered – thru your site – that are on the shopper’s wish list. Is this so?

    • Thor 'n Drew says:

      I always assumed this is how it worked. After all, Amazon would rather not pay a referral fee. Their margins are small enough as it is. So if I want to give the referral to someone, I remove the item from my wish list and use the referral link to search for the item before adding it to my cart.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I really don’t know, Emily. I like Thor ‘n Drew’s solution! 🙂

      • Barb Brady from Spokane WA says:

        I would like to know, also, if you get credit for orders I already have on my wish list, Sue. I just placed an order from your portal this morning for a drop hitch for $169, so please let me know if it shows on your commission list. If it doesn’t, then I will remove items from my wish list before I order through your site from now on.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thanks, Barb! I hoped someone would give me a way to check it. Orders take a day or two to show up on my reports. I’ll look for it. If I don’t mention it, please remind me.

          And thanks also for wanting to help my Amazon endeavor!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I see it on the orders report! Thank you!

          This tells us that credit is given to the blogger, even when the item is on a wish list. (You still have to enter Amazon from the blog when you put the item in your “cart.”)

          • Thor ’n Drew says:

            “… credit is given to the blogger, even when the item is on a wish list. (You still have to enter Amazon from the blog when you put the item in your “cart.”)”

            Thanks! This is very good to know.

  10. Ed says:


    You have got yourself turned around. If you drove from Duchesne thru Roosevelt toward Vernal and the turned south to Pelican Lake you were going East not West. Rusty understood which direction you were going when he said “Looks like you have good spot there Sue. east ward to Vernal,..”

    I do think Westward has a better ‘ring’ to it than Eastward however that is not the direction you were going.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, Ed . . . What is the matter with me? I know where east and west is, but for some reason I switch them! Maybe because I’m obsessed with the west? Who knows. . .

      This is the second time I’ve mixed them up on this blog. It’s not easy clearing up my mistakes. I’m very glad you’re “on the job!” Feel free anytime to inform me in what direction I’m going. 🙂

      • Barb Brady from Spokane WA says:

        Ok, I’m relieved I’m not the only one mixing up east and west. I blame it on my having grown up in Florida where the “ocean” is to the east. For the last 30 years, I’ve lived in Washington State where the “ocean” is to the west. You would think that 30 years is long enough to change a habit?

  11. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi Sue,

    Looks like you found a nice spot! Hope you see lots of birds and that the bugs stay by the lake! 🙂

  12. weather says:

    🙂 I swear those cottonwoods look downright happy!- to have finally been made an important part of a good home, because you chose to stay near them.
    Whatever surrounds them from now on , that event has fulfilled a part of their purpose.
    Pelican Lake really seems worth finding,deep greens and water so close to desert-like scenery.Nice hunting as usual.
    Mick’s comment on the last post about air cleaners affecting gas delivery explained a lot, that at least I needed to know. Him and Walmart to the rescue again!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, weather, for alerting me to Mick’s comment under the previous post. I also saw yours and responded to both. I’ve been having so much fun outside that I haven’t been careful about this blog.

      All the new electronics that appear . . . I’m not much interested in most of them. What I want is a laptop that I can see and blog on while sitting at a picnic table or in my lounger! That’s one thing I presently do not like about blogging — It has to be done inside.

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        Doesn’t your laptop have a battery backup? I have never known of one that didn’t. Depending on the size and model, it should be able to operate for 2-5 hours outside. You will have to remember to plug it back in when it runs low. It should also warn you when the battery get low.

        • Ed says:

          The problem with trying to blog outdoors has nothing to do with being plugged in or operating on battery power. You can not see anything on the screen in bright daylight. You may be able to use the laptop outdoors IF you can get under enough shade to see the screen but that is iffy.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Ed explained what I meant.

      • weather says:

        Ha Ha I’m terrible,I read that about wanting the laptop outside,ran a quick mental scan about the wire vs. router potentials for an answer and BLAM I had it!Let’s get Mick to figure it out!Maybe I’ll leave a big fat hint about it in a tiny little reply to thank him for the air cleaner info I’ll be using.

        Thank you very much for everything in your reply last post,I did get a chance to read it,more than once in fact.I can honestly say you made a very difficult day balance with the happiness that gave me.

        Very perceptive of you to know the netherworld role is done only from profound love.The ridiculous amount of trivia I retain actually pays off there as I spew information that fascinates people happy to spend money on prestige.Gliding among them, kindly remarking about their tasteful glamor as we admire each others wardrobes, on occasion,I help my friend afford her vet bills.Then I lock up,climb in the jeep and get real the second I hit my own turf.

        Shallow or noble of thought,rich or poor,gracefully behaved or onerous -people need what kindness they’re capable of receiving.
        I’ll play to whatever level the day presents as Light dances ahead.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          If Mick can come up with a non-glare screen on a laptop and present it to the public at a reasonable price, he will be a very rich man. 🙂

          Such wisdom and tolerance in your last paragraph . . . .

          • weather says:

            typed what you might want into your amazon search box

            ginovo anti glare screen protector guard film cover for laptop $5.99 popped up,worth trying before you replace your trusty ol’ laptop with some high dollar replacement that makes you transfer everything you use …

            • weather says:

              also saw island shade clamp on umbrella in green$21.94-for lounge,camp chair or picnic table-chosen to match the duct tape on your phone

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Thanks, weather. I’ve tried using my laptop with a blanket over it and me. It doesn’t work.

            • weather says:

              Hi,well,since being cheap or re-inventing the wheel are unproductive,I’d bite the bullet and slap the money down for Mick’s idea.Spending time indoors with creation you’ve done everything to reach sitting just out side your door seems ludicrous.So much of your world is wrapped up in nature and your blog that to lessen precious time spent blending both seems a regrettable choice…I’d forego some future imagined need for those funds in favor of a great year now,trusting that my future will have it’s own Provision,but that’s just me.
              Hope you just get the most out of this great morning,no answers need to be found right now. I’m going to have my second cup looking for colors…. 🙂

      • Mick'nTN says:

        Panasonic and others make “sunlignt readable” laptops. They use a different type of LCD display called “Transreflective”. This is the type of display used by Garmin in their portable GPS units.


        Search Google for “Sunlight readable laptops” Make sure your wallet is fat!

        • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

          Yikes!! It is like paying laptop prices from 5-10 years ago!! LOL If everyone buys one, Sue can buy one with her commission money!!

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            $1,299 pre-tax price!!!

            • Mick'nTN says:

              The Panasonic “Tougbhbook” is a extra tough laptop and was originally designed for military use. You may be able to find a cheaper one. At least I didn’t point you to this Dell:


            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Good heavens! For that money, I’ll blog inside, thank you.

            • Thor ’n Drew says:

              I just tested my 2013 model MacBook Air in bright California summer sun (no shade or cloud cover) and was able to read your blog clearly. There was some reflection on the glossy display, but I had no problems reading even small text.

              This 13” laptop weighs in at 3 lbs. and costs $799 for an Apple refurbished model with the full 1 yr. warranty. It uses 128 GB non-spinning flash storage. Battery life is 12 hrs. under normal usage, but that will be shorter if brightness is maxed out. I assume there’s a Windows (if that is your preference) equivalent at a similar price.

              The screen is one of the easiest corners to cut for cheaper laptops. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find details like brightness (measured in nits), viewing angles, etc. But it’s probably a safe bet that most sub-$500 laptops won’t have a screen bright or clear enough to be used outdoors.

              If you consider a minimum life span of 4 yrs. (1,460 days) for a laptop, even a $400 premium for a better screen costs roughly a 25¢/day or $8/month. As usual it all depends on your budget and how you value time spent on a laptop. Price/value calculations are always subjective.

  13. Jolene/Iowa says:

    I am back tracking one more time in these comments because I am reading past posts and have a question. Probably others of you than Sue knows the answer to this also.

    On the BLM land where there has been cattle, I have seen tags on them. If this is controlled by the feds, how are people able to graze cattle on this land? I guess I don’t understand how this all works. Thanks in advance for educating me on this.

    • Ed says:

      Go to U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management then search for Grazing. You should find “Fact Sheet on the BLM’s Management of Livestock Grazing -Grazing on Public Lands” that will school you on this topic that was much in the News about Bundy the rancher near Las Vegas.

      • Jolene/Iowa says:

        Thank-you, I will check it out. Not living in the western states I guess I just haven’t really paid much attention to it over the years.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Thanks, Ed. Your advice is much better than the stuff I put together.

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:


        You are a fountain of knowledge! Thanks you for your suggestion the other day regarding selling stuff.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good question. I don’t know the answers for certain, but I have some assumptions based on what I’ve seen while camping on BLM land where cattle roamed. Readers can correct me where I’m wrong.

      The tags identify each individual calf/heifer/cow/bull for the owner. The cattle owner leases the use of BLM land, giving him/her permission to place cattle on it. The tags are often bright colors. I imagine there are times and places where different herds of cattle roaming freely on large ranges and being owned by two separate parties, intermingle. Then cowboys/cowgirls separate the herds during round-up for the feedlot and slaughterhouse or for sale. The bright tags would be easier to see than brands.

      To get to the heart of your question: How are people able to graze cattle on this (public land administered federally) land? The cattle owners pay for the privilege. The BLM makes money for its budget. Perhaps this helps pay for the low-fee and free BLM campgrounds. 🙂

  14. Jolene/Iowa says:

    I find this really interesting and I really didn’t know for sure where to look for the answers at. I appreciate Ed giving me some direction. I found this great BLM sheet on it. I will post the link but if you need to remove the link, I understand. http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/grazing.html

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Interesting! Thanks for the link, Jolene.

    • Ed says:


      That link is exactly where I wanted you to go. I didn’t want to provide the link because I wanted you to do a little bit of work to find it. It also gives you some practice using Search. I don’t know much but I do know how to use Search! HA

  15. rvsueandcrew says:

    MESSAGE TO READERS: The following comment was written today by Big under a previous post. The story he told of his father is very powerful. His message deserves to be read by a larger audience, so I’m posting it again here.

    “Your conversation with the farmer reminded me of my Dad who passed away 3 years ago at the age of 83. He bought 8 acres of land with a run-down shack on it in 1976 and spent the rest of his life pouring every cent he made as a general contractor in fixing up the house and dreaming of developing the land. He loved us kids and our own children but he loved his “ranch” just a little bit more. My pastor says “If you want to know where a man’s heart is, look at his checkbook.” My dad’s checkbook was full of entries for lumber, pipes, drywall, and cement and very little else. We didn’t see much of him because he was always tearing out a room or putting on a new roof or digging a new footing for something or other.

    Anyways, my Dad like the farmer was tied to his land and there really was always “something to do”. If we suggested an outing, he had to work on the house; if we suggested a vacation, he had to work on the house; if we asked him to come over for dinner, he had to work on the house. And so it went up until he died of lung cancer in his house.

    Epilogue? Due to his prowess with building and desire to save money, he rarely got building permits. After he died, we couldn’t sell the house because the city couldn’t reconcile his improvements with what they had on record. It went into foreclosure, then about 6 months ago the bank (unable to sell it either) had it bulldozed. I went there 2 months ago and there is absolutely nothing left — not one stone on top of another. All that time, all that money, all the potential family memories that never happened hauled away in a few dump trucks over the course of an afternoon.

    I don’t know if everyone needs to buy a trailer and do what you are doing but I do know that things like houses and land and businesses and projects can easily become idols that take us away from what should be our real priorities — God, family, and friends. It’s important to hold things in an open hand because they can be gone in an afternoon and what is your legacy but a scraped building pad with a few bits of broken tile and cement to show there was ever anything there at all?”

    NOTE: “Your conversation with the farmer” that Big mentions in the first sentence can be found in the blog post “From winter to summer in one day.”

    • Jolene/Iowa says:

      Wow, this is a powerful story. This is the kind of story that needs to go viral on Facebook. Everybody needs to read this message! Thanks for sharing. I would love to share it with other people.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I don’t think Big would mind you doing so.

        • Jolene/Iowa says:

          Thank-you. I just shared it on my facebook. I put the link to your blog from today on the post also so that they know where I got it. It is a message that everyone needs to read.

          • Big says:

            Yes, I don’t mind. Feel free if you think it would do good.

            • Jolene/Iowa says:

              Thanks Big! I shared it. Whether people do anything with it or not is their choice but I think it is a story that many people need to hear. Thank-you for sharing it. I am sure it was a hard time for your family and I am sorry for your loss.

            • Crystal says:

              Before I saw your comment about Facebook, that was exactly my thought. Many need to read that story. I think we’ve all known someone who fits that description. So sorry to Big in the loss of a father who was still alive but not living.

    • Barb Brady from Spokane WA says:

      Big, thanks for sharing that heartfelt story, and Sue, thanks for re-posting it. I didn’t see it the first time. It sounds like Big’s Dad was another person who treasured his “alone-ness” and his homebuilding project was a good excuse not to participate in social or family gatherings.

      At the very beginning of Sue’s blogging adventure, she mentioned a book, Party of One: The Loners’ Manifesto that does a pretty good job of explaining persons of his type, (I’m one).

      Another great book is The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron. It goes into depth about how emotionally and physically draining being in the presence of others can be. Big, if you read this book, I think you’ll see your father in a different light. It certainly changed my perspective on my parents and 8 siblings who are all like that.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Have not read these books…so no opinion on that. My dad was a lot like this too, except his thing was cars. All our lives, we had to wait and wait and wait on him to appear for dinner. When we were all grown, my brother grew tired of it after many years of his wife having to hold dinner on him. (He only lived a mile away…country too, so not the worst of traffic). Finally my brother decided enough. Told his wife they would go ahead without him, and if he walked in at dessert, he could have that, or whatever was being eaten at the time he arrived. Somehow after that, he would be on time. With our dad it was being a control freak. Making good memories with your nearest kin is not a priority with all people.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Interesting that your father was able to be on time once he realized he’d miss dinner if he wasn’t. Sounds like he was “enabled” far too long.

          When I was a kid, my mother put dinner on the table at 5:30. We three girls all knew that dinner would not be “held” for us. If we wanted to eat, we’d better show up at 5:30 before the food was all gone!

          • Elizabeth in WA says:

            Yea, my hubby tried that on me after we were married…heh, I called two times. After that? Sat down and ate…heh, yesm somehow he managed to make it to the table when it was ready after that too. My mom did not dare to cross my dad in any way. She had no choice, except to leave. So she stayed. Put up with lots of abuse, in many forms. But yes, amazing how he could manage when my brother put his foot down, isn’t it? He died in 2010. I do not miss him. Sadly.

      • Big says:

        I appreciate the sentiments, however, my father was not a loner. He enjoyed the company of his friends, children, and grandkids. But as I stated in the initial post, he loved his place just a little bit more. He loved his house, his land, loved working on it, and loved dreaming up what else he could do with it, given the time and money.

        RVSue really nailed it in a later response when she said the following:,

        “However, when one starts a family, ideally one takes on the responsibilities that go with parenthood. Most of those responsibilities require one’s presence, both physically and emotionally, at least until the child reaches majority. (I know there are circumstances where the ideal is not possible.)

        Being a man is not an excuse. Neither is being a loner. ”

        I am not a bitter man towards my Dad — none of his kids are. I don’t blame him for anything and I know he always loved us. But we are sad that he chose to exchange the experience and, more importantly, the legacy of family bonding and memories for what in the end became a pile of shattered lumber and masonry that is now sitting in a landfill. It’s not that I have bad memories of my Dad — it’s that I don’t really have many memories of him at all, and his grandkids have even fewer, and we don’t even have the house anymore to “remember” him by. It’s tragic really, and I wrote it so that others — like RVSue’s farmer acquaintance or perhaps someone who is reading this — might pause to consider what is most important and what sort of legacy they will leave. Thanks for reading.

        • Elizabeth in WA says:

          So well written Big. I think these type people really had no concept of what they missed either. So sad that in the end all that was left was a pile of rubble. My brother had several acres of old cars and parts to dispense with. He sold all he could, the rest went to the “smasher”…metal recycle places, etc. and the dumps. Even had had an old Mitchell, old time car, that was driven into his shop…but it never left, except in pieces.

        • Diann in MT says:

          Could it have been that your dad had a “dream house” and because of life’s circumstances, his soul realized he would never “get there”?

    • Reine says:

      Sue, this story brought tears to my eyes. Tears of sadness for the pain I hear from Big and so many in similar situations with loved ones who put things ahead of people. But also tears of joy for the loving family and friends we have been blessed with who truly DO care about us and are willing to put relationships ahead of stuff.
      Thanks for re-posting it.

    • Sondra-SC says:

      I have mixed emotions about this subject…I too am a loner, I use lots of excuses to NOT be in the company of others…the value of ones legacy should not be tagged by what they leave behind, its what they take with them. I’m sure when Big’s Dad worked on his place he felt good, he was in the present, he was not living someone else’s life he was living his own. It is hard to juggle all the aspects of modern day life, I think he decided he would rather not learn how to juggle. I know his family needed and wanted him but just maybe he didn’t have that same need….just my thoughts on it.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        You make an excellent point, Sondra. The father may have been happily obsessed with his property and dreaded family get-togethers.

        However, when one starts a family, ideally one takes on the responsibilities that go with parenthood. Most of those responsibilities require one’s presence, both physically and emotionally, at least until the child reaches majority. (I know there are circumstances where the ideal is not possible.)

        Being a man is not an excuse. Neither is being a loner.

        “Just my thoughts on it,” too. Thanks for sharing another perspective.

        • weather says:

          Just my take on a so called recluse or loner…

          During Mama’s latter decades she practiced very discerning taste when choosing who to offer her genuine self to.The projects she spent time on appeared as odd little stacks of paper to my siblings on their rare visits to this woman they’d never understood or shared much with.

          Several times each week ,as she and I sat together at her table,she’d go to the fridge pulling out something for us to enjoy together,…while up she’d say “Get that list,or envelope we need out.” I always knew right where it was, you see,I’d always participated in her world,not mine,for the sake of the immense treasure our friendship was to us both.

          If anyone had bothered to find out,they would have discovered the methods using ads,coupons,newspapers, and mailings she employed to give the less fortunate so much of her income that she lived like a pauper.Little stacks of paper…heart as big as the universe itself.

          So proud of her mind,beauty and passionate personality -I often brought a new friend with me to meet her.Without fail,she’d feed them and find out what their life was like as she questioned,listened,packed a bag of groceries to take with them and tucked money in their hand(just something so you don’t worry about the bills).

          Content without the company of most,she’d leave that house only to fly across the country to visit me in the years I was living elsewhere, I never stayed far away too long though,so we resumed our regular excursions to my house,pretty drives, funerals,restaurants and stores buying things for her mainly to give away.

          It was not her or my responsibility to tend to our relationship,it was our privilege and joy.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            How fortunate you’ve been to share such a relationship with your mother. She was an exceptionally good person.

            By responsibility, I meant that one needs to give a relationship (parent-child) the opportunity to flourish into something both can enjoy.

            I got the impression Big’s father made the decision that a relationship with his children was not important. Therefore he cut off any chance of he and his children finding the”joy” in each other that you relished with your mother.

            • Big says:

              Indeed, that is the case. Weather’s mother left a meaningful legacy — she really helped others. I would be delighted if my Dad had done what her mother had done! But where she was serving others, my Dad was worshipping an idol, essentially. He was a charming, pleasant man and we all had a cordial yet shallow relationship with him. His motivation was never to help others but to fulfill himself. I know friends whose parents would drive hundreds of miles on zero notice to just babysit or help plant a garden. I know of grandparents who doted on their grandkids and sacrificed their nest-egg to see them through college. My father had MANY opportunities to step up like those people did/do and he never did.

              Please don’t think I’m whining because I’m not. I always had plenty to eat and I got an education and I made my own way. I admire what my Dad could and did do. I’m just sad that for what could have been.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Big… Nowhere here have I “heard” any whining, only anguish at what could have been. Thank you again for writing about this very personal topic on my blog.

            • weather says:


            • Elizabeth in WA says:

              Amen too!!

            • weather says:

              Now I see what you mean-great point about giving the opportunity to flourish!
              You’re right,without that the chance for enjoying each other would simply not exist.
              A truly sad story of so much wasted all the way around.

  16. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts., VA says:

    Beautiful little lake! I like it. Nice sites with a shelter and all. Luxurious. I think I would have bathed in bug spray just to see the lake in the morning.
    Sue I had a lengthy experience with a bear weekend before last while tent camping, alone. I am going back this week to see if I can get a shot with my camera. Just got my little fiberglass camper out of the shop so I will be sleeping in that, or my car. Will catch up with your wonderful posts when I return. I so love your blog and the little numbnuts. Take Care.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Um. . . Did the bear say it would wait for you to get your camera? 😉 I’m relieved to read you will be in a hard-sided camper. Have fun and you take care also!

      I can see the lake from my front door.

      • Diane, Blue Ridge Mts., VA says:

        Sue, I am packing up now but read the story writen by Big about his father, wow, very powerful message, “Cat’s in the Cradle” huh.
        I am hoping the bear will come back through so I can get a good pic but also hoping he does not. While he exhibited very aggresive behavior, he is wild and not a “Park Bear” may have been establishing territorial rights to his feeding ground. They do not relocate here, if he causes harm they will kill him. I do not want to see that happen if possible.

  17. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    I like range cows roaming all over BLM land except when I step in something they left behind. They make good trails, much better than the deer. Their ” lays ” open up the brush and give us hikers some room. I guess the ear tags are easier than branding and probably doesn’t hurt them as much because they sure do bellow when scorched with a branding iron.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Joe,

      The cows keep the land “open’ with their grazing. I don’t mind having them around, as long as they don’t show up at our campsite by the hundreds and poop all over. Spike would like the BLM to halt all leasing of land to cattle owners immediately.

  18. WTXCal says:

    Big’s story really puts things in a true perspective. I needed that this morning. Another nice gift from your great readers. Rusty really knows his routes through Utah and Idaho. You would’nt need your atlases if he were along. Does he know the entire West that well? Great travels to you and the crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Rusty knows the west. He knows Oregon “like the back of his hand” and he’s lived a lot in California and Arizona.

  19. Sue, I just started April 2012 of your earlier blog. I’m gradually catching up but, I admit, it’s slow going. You mentioned a Resource page but I can’t find it. Did you decide to take it down? Also, when I put my cursor over a picture, I get a hidden note but not on your present pictures. Did you stop that?

    Take care. Hugs to the furballs.

    Cat Lady

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cat Lady,

      The Resource Page was renamed Shopping Links when I started my association with Amazon.

      I loved the WordPress feature that allowed me to write hidden captions in photos. My blog doesn’t have that feature any more because it is self-hosted, a requirement of WP once a blog is monetized. I do use the WP platform but I don’t have access to all the features I once had, like hidden captions and slideshows.

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      If you are going back to the beginning of my blog and you aren’t seeing the photos and slideshows, it’s because you are viewing them at my present URL of rvsueandcrew.net.

      The older posts were published when this was a WordPress-hosted blog. To see the photos and slideshows, you need to view them at rvsueandcrew.com. (Note the difference in endings on the URLs.)

      This is explained in the sidebar as well, with links to help you navigate.

  20. Dick Savage says:

    Talked to Roy who you met at the Maverick in Sanaquin yesterday. He said he came over your vehicle because he thought you looked lonely. I told him he was metined in your blog but didn’t give him the address. Not sure he is into reading blogs anyway. Small world. I knew who you were talking about but didn’t see him till yesterday to confirm it. Sorry you didn’t like your trip out of Price. There are some nice spots to camp near the top of the pass, but I suspect you were in no mood to find a spot there. Travel safe.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh dear, I hope he wasn’t embarrassed! How in the world did you identify him? Is he a friend of yours? I guess I need to start changing the names of people I write about. I feel terrible about this!

      I probably looked lonely because I had my head down, peering at my laptop, blogging.

      If you’re talking about the area of Antaquin, no, I wasn’t interested in camping there…. too far from any services

      LATER: I’m changing his name to Roy.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        No worries……

        Sounds like Roy was concerned about your “welfare” and opened up a little about his farming life.

        Nowadays most folks are too wrapped up with their rat race and are oblivious to their surroundings. What a pleasant meeting where two strangers took a minute to care about someone else.

      • Dick Savage says:

        I would have known who you were talking about even with a different name. The peaches and alfalfa were the keys. No harm done we just told him he was famous because he was talked about on the internet. He remembered talking to you. He is a friendly guy. I enjoy following your blog because I also camp in a Casita. Always nice to get ideas on campsites. A few years ago inhad all my kids and their families at the group site where you were above Sanaquin. Stay safe

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Your gathering at Tinney Flat must have been very nice. The group sites are right by the creek.

  21. AZ Jim says:

    Reading about Bigs relationship with his dad brings a need to share my little story. I have always be conflicted about my loving my Dad much more than my Mom, but as the years rushed by I have been able to feel comfortable in that feeling. By way of explanation, my Dad was always the one who was there for me and my brother. He died at 52 and my brother and I partially supported Mom until she passed at 80. But Dad was so special. He bought Moms clothing, the groceries, if a trip to school for a son’s screwup was required it was up to Dad to go. He took us to movies when we were young, he t00k us to doctors when we were sick. He did all the things while making a living for the family.
    An example of my Dads caring for his sons was when Mom decided we should go to a Military Academy. We went but it was tough on kids who were 11 (me) and 9 (my brother). We were allowed to go home once a month if we were good (demerits meant no monthly week end off). My Dad would park at the back of our barracks and sneak in to see us and bring little goodies. When I grew older and went into the service, it was Dad who would send a little note and a $20 bill while I was in Basic Training. It meant the world to me, not the money, the thought.
    When Dad died, part of me did too. Sorry for the rant……

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      That’s not a rant, that’s a testimony of the love between you and your father. He made you the man you are today, a man who lovingly stands by his wife through the bad times as well as the good. That’s part of your father’s legacy.

      I appreciate you telling us your story, Jim. Thank you.

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Thanks for sharing how a good dad did things too!! He sounds a lot like my loving grandpa. It sure helped to have a great grandpa. One reason hubby and I try so hard to be good grandparents. They CAN make a difference!!

  22. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    I recently came upon this saying:

    “No matter what relationship you have with your parents…you’ll miss them when they are gone”

    My mom has been gone almost 6 months to the day! Not a day passes without thinking about her. They say moms are the hardest…I’m starting to believe that.

    I was my dad’s favorite ……we have not spoken since my mom passed…as I don’t understand his “ways” and find our relationship quite toxic. Am I just as stubborn as he? Will I regret it when he’s gone?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t know, Cindy. I think it’s common to feel regret when a family member dies. We look back and wonder what we could have done better.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Maybe in some situations there might be regret. Probably depends upon the severity of things. I have grieved for what “should have been”…but once my dad died, after in a sense grieving for the what I longed for, from the time I was aged 4 or 5 until he died, some over 50 years beyond that…frankly, it was a relief as I no longer had to worry about him calling and what sort of verbal abuse he might dish out, I no longer had to worry about how I could honor him (as I do try to obey the Scripture)…it was no longer something I had to deal with. I did not wish him dead; I wished him changed. Some prayers are not answered in this life, I trust they will be in the next. We all in our family, did all we could to be kind to him, help him, honor him. There was nothing more we could do. I feel he had mental issues. And not being GOD, there is no way I or any other human could fix him. He was not totally bad, he was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde….one never knew which one would be there to deal with. But my peace comes from GOD…no where else. I do miss my darling mother and have ever since she died in 2001…anyone in their right mind would miss HER!! Hubby and I as we are aging and having health issues, are talking more about our lives, etc. As he says, we all must die, at some point in time. It is not an option. Part of what we humans must face. And those left behind too. You have to forgive the sins committed against you. But forgetting in this life may not be possible…tho’ most fade with time…we only have a few brief days in this life…and I think that is one thing we all admire in you, Sue…you are making the very best of your days…to be happy and also to be kind and helpful to others. What more can anyone do?? Thanks for sharing your life here with the rest of us!!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          And thank you, Elizabeth, for telling us your personal story of pain and disappointment and how you dealt with it.

        • Cinandjules (NY) says:

          Thank you for sharing. Your explanation makes it easier to understand that it’s not in our hands.

    • weather says:

      Dear Cinandjules,
      You know what I think would be regrettable?If you didn’t take into account what the past year of your life has held.Heartbreaking losses,much travel full of hard work done to deal with tragedy so hard to bear.This season has pummeled you enough.Exposing yourself to what feels toxic may well have been your ruination.
      Your playfulness,generosity,wit,sharp mind and good heart give enough to this world everyday.It’s easy to see what made you Dad’s favorite.

      Hope you take it easy on yourself for a while.Rescuing things (like a relationship)in dangerous environments is one of your skills perhaps best left to rest until your gut tells you your ready again.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Very kind and sincere…thank you.

        My character traits are all from my mom.

        I was my dad’s tomboy who followed HIS sister’s footsteps into a career he so desired but didn’t have the temperament.

        The advice is well taken..

        • weather says:

          Even tomboys miss their moms…people they love…When you wrote about ripping the head off your doll I burst out laughing.My folks gave me doll carriage!I used pliers to rip the top half off,stuck a box to the frame and wheels that I did like,and dragged it down dirt roads collecting rocks I liked.

          109 lbs.of twisted blue steel,I’m as tough as they come,and cry like a little girl when missing hits like a tidal wave…I practice not letting anyone take a swing at me when life makes me feel like I’m on the ropes.I made sure nothing would further injure me this year by keeping some people out of my life.Survive,heal,come back stronger than ever.It’s working for me,hope it works for you ,too 🙂

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