What exactly do you mean by a “scenic” drive?

The crew and I are camped on Bureau of Land Management land on Haekel Road off Route 70, east of Safford and Solomon, Arizona.

P1100895A cactus tries to snare the Perfect Tow Vehicle!

P1100869The PTV cannot be held back!  She escapes with nary a scratch!

P1100863Bridget, Reggie, and I are on a little outing into the Pinaleno Mountains.

Stowed in our picnic satchel is a cheese sandwich which we will enjoy somewhere along scenic Route 366.   Hikers take this road in order to trek to Mt. Graham (10,720 ft.).

P1100857The weather is perfect for a scenic drive.

“Oh, look!  A cactus in bloom!”

I stop the PTV , jump out, and take the photos you see at the beginning of this post.

We go a little further. 

“Just a minute . . . . I want to get a shot of those California poppies.”

(Correction:  A reader informs me it’s more likely they are Mexican gold poppies.)

P1100890You can guess what happens.

First thing ya’ know the crew and I are searching all around for wildflowers!

These are very tiny . . . .

P1100859The next flower is probably considered a weed.  Who cares?

(Note:  Readers inform me the flower in the next photo is the poisonous jimsonweed.)

It is what it is and it’s lovely!

P1100887I forget all about the scenic drive into the mountains!

P1100883 “Oh look over here!”

P1100888~ ~ ~

There’s something I’ve been meaning to discuss with you.

As you travel around the west, the opportunity to drive a scenic highway or scenic byway frequently presents itself.   You come to a road sign that announces, “Scenic Byway.”  It has an arrow directing you to take the road.  Before automatically turning the wheel, remember what I’m about to tell you.

The word scenic does not always mean scenic. 

I’ve discovered it’s often a euphemism.  For horrifying.  Trust me.  I know of which I speak.  Think about it.  Does the Chamber of Commerce want one of their roads to be known as the horrifying highway?  No, of course not.

“I know!  Let’s call it The Scenic Highway!”

Chamber of Commerce brochure, under Things To Do:

“Drive the scenic highway to regal stands of aspen encircling open mountain meadows, lush with wildflowers and grasses.  Park at one of many overlooks to enjoy a picnic lunch, blah, blah, blah . . . . ”

Reality version:

“Drive the horrifying highway that encircles sheer cliffs while your vehicle rolls along a crumbling precipice above open mountain meadows, lush with wildflowers and the remains of tourist vehicles.  Park at one of the many overlooks, get out and vomit on your new hiking shoes . . . .”

P1100882-001Here’s a true story to illustrate my point . . . .

Shortly after we set up camp on Haekel Road, a BLM ranger stops by.

After a brief chat which includes the usual interrogation, he hands me a free brochure about Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area.  Later I read the brochure.  Referring to my map I see there’s a campground called Riverview, located alongside the meandering Gila River, within the conservation area.

Hmm . . .  I’d like to check that out.  Maybe we’ll camp there . . .

I don’t pay attention to the fact that in the brochure the road through Gila Box is described as . . .  yep, you guessed it . . .

A scenic drive!

It’s late afternoon when the crew and I head out in the PTV.  The west entrance to Gila Box is not far from our camp.

This should make a nice, leisurely drive.

At first everything is okay.  It isn’t long though before the PTV carries us on a one-lane road resembling the track of a roller coaster.  You know how the roller coaster goes way up and slows at the crest?  You’re given a millisecond to consider your own mortality while looking straight down.  The track drops below you and turns sharply at the bottom, and, good God in heaven, you Have To Get Off Of This Thing Right Now!

But you can’t get off the roller coaster and you sure as heck can’t get off the scenic road!

There’s no shoulder, just air.  You must go forward.  And then up goes the road again, up a suicide hill and down and over . . . .

At last we reach an overlook.  Oxygen-deprived from holding my breath too long, I stagger to the side door and let out the crew.

Oblivious to their recent brush with death, Bridget and Reggie scamper about with delight.

P1100809-001“Isn’t this fun?” I say to the crew.

They miss my sarcasm and keep on sniffing, having a great ol’ time, bless their hearts.

The Gila River is below us.

I take a few photos in the waning light.

P1100810Gazing at the slow moving river calms my nerves.

P1100813Somewhere up that way is the campground.  I bet this road originally was a mountain goat trail or bighorn sheep maybe.  There it goes up and around . . . .  I couldn’t care less about seeing the dadburn campground.  There’s no way I’d bring the Best Little Trailer on this road anyway.  Oh, yuck, I have to backtrack to get us outta’ here . . . .

“Come on, guys.  We have a scenic drive to do before it gets dark.”

Okay.  One reason I told you all that was for you to understand why Bridget, Reggie, and I never do drive up into the Pinaleno Mountains.

Instead we enjoy our picnic lunch among wildflowers along the low-country road.

rvsue

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207 Responses to What exactly do you mean by a “scenic” drive?

  1. Karen LeMoine says:

    1st first?!?!?!

  2. Mary in CO says:

    I respectfully disagree. Those roads are some of my favorites! In the jeep with my trust worthy husband driving, and me holding on!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      THIRD PLACE IS MARY!

      Of course there are scenic highways that are wonderful. I’m not saying you shouldn’t drive scenic roads. I’m joking!

  3. Karen LeMoine says:

    I use to work up at the prison on Mt Graham! A lot of people aren’t even aware of it. Its beautiful up there! There is an rv area for staff!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s right. We drove past the federal prison… oops, the “correctional institution.” 🙂

      You know that this post is tongue-in-cheek, right? I don’t doubt the drive into the mountains is beautiful. I have to be in the mood for that though.

  4. Renee Galligher says:

    Woo-hoo!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Woo-hoo! Fifth place! 🙂

      • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

        I got a chuckle out of your response! Woo-hoo Fifth place! I’ll take it! I enjoyed coming back and reading the suspenseful essay. Wow. Those little dawgies trust you completely because their little pea pickin hearts aren’t aware of the many dangers out there because their mama takes care of it all!

  5. Rachel Smith says:

    Oh my! I have gotten in more trouble out here from listening to the words, “Oh it’s beautiful! You should go see it.” than anything other advice I’ve listened too! Now I know what to ask. “Is it a scenic drive?” If the answer is an enthusiastic “Yes”, I will run in the other direction! Lol

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Ha! I’ve also learned that one person’s idea of what HAS to be seen, isn’t necessarily mine… Good to see you here again, Rachel.

  6. Lynn Brooks says:

    Beautiful flowers!!!
    Cautionary Tale!!!
    Thanks for sharing!!!!
    Lynn B. (Baltimore, MD)

  7. milliehubbard says:

    OMG Sue!! I truly felt like I was on a roller coaster while reading your Scenic Drive description. I had similar thoughts will driving the Beartooth Highway on Montana, towing our little Teardrop camper…elevation – 11,000 feet…way up above the clouds. Beautiful for sure, but a white knuckle ride almost the entire way. Way WORTH it though…but most likely a once in a lifetime trek.

    Beautiful wildflower photos…some of the prettiest flowers are indeed considered “weeds”. Queen Anne’s Lace happens to be my favorite “flower”, meanwhile everyone rips them out of their yards!! Sadly, my HOA will not allow me to plant them in my garden 🙁

    Thanks again for a ray of sunshine in my Inbox!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, millie,

      I’ve heard about the Beartooth Highway. I bet it is gorgeous. I know we will never go there. That elevation is too high… pins and needles, heart palpitations..Bridget gets a headache. I’d rather watch a youtube video than drive with white knuckles anyway. You have some fortitude, lady!

      • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

        It is beautiful on the Bear Tooth Highway. Some people tow over it, but we haven’t. Between the entrance to Yellowstone and the pass are some very nice campgrounds that you can easily get to and return to Yellowstone without having to go over the pass.

  8. judy in east texas says:

    Good afternoon Sue and Crew…..you never fail to entertain me in the middle of a dreary day. I love your pictures. Wildflowers are my favorite things to look at and always make me smile.

    Stay safe out there and rock on my friend, judy

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Judy,

      It’s a treat for me to read that my blog has added some entertainment and sunshine to someone’s dreary day. Glad to make you smile!

  9. Calvin R (still waiting in Ohio) says:

    I’m glad you landed without any damage. There’s no way to really know if a route is “scenic” if you can’t take your eyes off the road.

    I enjoyed all the pictures. The longer shots show what I think of as the desert, sparse and beautiful. The flowers are still beautiful too. I like all of them.

    We have scenic routes in the East, too. Ohio has designated State Route 7 as a State Scenic Route. It’s not hazardous to drive, but the Ohio River is a real example of an industrial waterway, but that’s not “scenic” to me.

    • Calvin R (still waiting in Ohio) says:

      I was distracted, and my last paragraph is confusing. State Route 7 runs along the Ohio River all the way along its run in the State. There are smokestacks and barge traffic all the way.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I got it… Not confusing… I thought of sections of the Hudson River in New York state 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You make a great point, Calvin. When you’re the driver and you have to keep your eyes on a challenging road, where’s the “scenic” in that?

      For me, I like to stop and take photos along a drive. When there’s no shoulder and the road is treacherous, I don’t get to do that.

      Sounds like somone said, “I know! Let’s make it a scenic route!” when they had State Route 7 in mind.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. Thanks for telling me.

  10. Kay from KC! says:

    Dear Sue and Crew,

    I will never be first or fifth…..sigh………oh, well, I still love to read everything! Beautiful pictures of the flowers and a very descriptive tour on the roller coaster! Enjoy!

    Kay from KC!

  11. Lol…we love those kinds of scenic drives. They’re even more fun in a motorhome!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, I bet! 🙂 This road has a sign saying no vehicles longer than 40 feet.

      • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

        Sue, have you driven the Moki Dugway near Monument Valley? Yikes!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          No, someone warned me!

          • Geri in the beautiful Florida panhandle says:

            LOL !!!

          • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

            We’ve driven it but not towed as it’s not advised. At the top, between the end of the Mogi Dugway and the turn off to Natural Bridges National Monument is an overflow camping lot for the CG at the monument. It’s better than the actual CG.

  12. rvsueandcrew says:

    Okay, blogorinos . . . The comments are all yours! The crew and I are taking the very flat road into town. Bye!

    Sue

    • Chey (WA coast) says:

      Hi Sue,
      Loved this post. I get vertigo in glass elevators that reduce me to the floor, so your advice will be heeded. I will probably consult the benchmark map before I committed.
      I see you got credit for the Reebok purchase. My new leg will be ready in two weeks and they want new shoes with wide soles and curved toes. Two weeks, then the real work begins!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        You are a remarkable person, Chey. You keep on keeping on… I admire you very much. I hope you will be able to leave the nursing home soon, if you haven’t already. Keep in touch!

  13. Gingerita in NE Indiana ( for now) says:

    Thanks for the mountain and flower photos. So beautiful! I enjoyed your description of “scenic” by ways. Sometimes you just want to kiss the ground when it’s over! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Elaine Mari says:

    ha ha, sooo funny, I’ve been on many a scenic drive. All were worth it, but I prefer to be the driver rather than the passenger on those drives, control issues. :). Here is an example near Horseshoe Bend on highway 40, close to Lillooet BC. http://bit.ly/1pbXBmj

  15. Tom says:

    Your white flower is Jimson weed, a member of the night shade family and poisonous. Georgia Okeeffe painted it and it was recently sold to Crystal Bridges for big bucks

    http://observer.com/2015/03/worlds-most-expensive-painting-by-a-woman-goes-on-display-in-arkansas/

    • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

      Thank you for the information on the weed, Tom. We had one in the yard of a house we used to live in and I never knew the name of it!

  16. Lee in Northern California says:

    Oh my dear, you had me laughing out loud..your description of a scenic drive is priceless .

    Love the photos of the wild flowers did you know the large white with pink edges is a jimson weed? Aka loco weed….have you seen the fantastic painting Georgia OKeefe did of a jimson weed flower? One of my all time favorite paintings….thanks for the fun ride today!

  17. Ladybug in Mid-Tenn says:

    Yep, learned long ago that ‘scenic road’ means scenic for passengers only! Me as the driver is too busy navigating the treacherous roadway to be able to enjoy anything but the engineering marvel that created the road in the first place.

  18. Retiredcajunlady LA says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful pictures and your sense of humor with all of us.

  19. Pam and Maya, Still in NY says:

    Hi Sue and Crew! I also love the Jimson weed photo, I’ve done a few water colors of them. I don’t know what it is about the west, they seem to have very few guardrails. I’m terrified of heights and somehow the rail makes me feel more secure. When I was at Glacier National Park I really wanted to take the road that goes over the pass by the glaciers. It took me 3 days, going a little further each day. I was proud when I finally made it to the top even though it was all fogged in and I couldn’t see a thing!

    • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

      Good for you Pam and Maya! Years ago, my husband and I were touring Rocky Mountain National Park and up at the pass, we pulled over and we were having a picnic lunch on the tailgate of our truck, when two women pulled up. They were terrified of heights and asked if they could stop and visit with us for awhile to calm down. My husband is so nice that he said, well of course, but would they like to continue the tour with us in our truck? They were thrilled to be able to come along and at the end of the day when we returned to their car, my husband drove their car back down the mountain to their hotel for them while I followed with them in the truck. We made lifelong friends with them till they both passed on. We’ll never forget Nancy Roller and Jane Russell. Rest in peace.

  20. Kerry On (UT) says:

    I know what you mean by scenic/horrifying! Has anyone ever been on Hwy 261 in Utah, between Natural Bridges National Monument and Mexican Hat? On the dirt switchbacks that traverse Cedar Mesa? When we were tent camping a couple of years ago, on our way south on Hwy 261, we couldn’t understand why our GPS kept telling us to turn around, when the map clearly showed a road. And then we came to the edge of the cliff. The road made a sharp left turn onto a dirt ledge, and at that point there was no going back. Talk about terrifying! As we made our way down, I was looking over the edge seeing the remains of vehicles, and I started to think the GPS was right in wanting to take us 100 miles out of our way! Even in our 4×4, that was one hair-raising, wild ride! Later I found out that, years before, my dad and his brothers had taken that same “road,” but going up the dirt switchbacks…..in a Class A motorhome…….and………(wait for it)………towing a boat!

    • Kerry On (UT) says:

      Renee Galligher – Idaho, you had the name right, Moki Dugway. Thanks, I didn’t know the official name of this lovely scenic drive!

      • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

        Oh yes. Quite the ride, but a beautiful area. We too passed some Class C’s – rentals – the day we drove it. My DH – darling husband – is quite brave, but said with the loose gravel road, he would not risk our lives towing up it.

  21. Jean in Southaven, MS says:

    I am still lurking out here. I haven’t commented in a few posts. Love the pictures of the flowers, even the Morning Glory weed that I fight in my home garden. I guess I am #40 or at least close.

  22. Applegirl NY says:

    LOL! Been on many of those “scenic highways.” High blood pressure and white knuckles all the way. When I’m in the driver’s seat I’m a wreck and when I’m a passenger you have to peel me off the floorboards.

  23. bess in oregon says:

    when i am in a new area, i ask the storekeepers or forest rangers if the road ahead has cliffs. when they say, “not too bad….most people are okay.”, i ask are there guardrails, sheer drop-offs and lots of other questions. even then, i mostly refuse to go. i am getting better at not feeling soooo scared, but i say, why bother?

    one road that was similar to Sue’s road is FishKill Road to Tortilla Flats and Apache Lake going East from Scotsdale into the Superstition Mountains. the map made it look like a shortcut to the Lake.

    the surface was loose dusty dirt, no rails, car wrecks at the bottom of the cliffs, 1 1/2 lanes wide in some places and mostly 1 lane for many miles. Yikes.

    of course it maybe has been improved since we rode it in 1981 in our 1955 Chevy pickup.

  24. Joe from Homestead,FL says:

    Well I’ve retired from my job at the electric utility, and I’m getting antsy to hit the road.
    Still camping in my pop up camper but not full time. I’ve starting rereading your .com posts to refresh my memory, appease my anxiety, and feed my wanderlust… lol. My financial planner said , what are you waiting for! So I started shopping for a newer tow vehicle (my 1999 F150 is wearing out) and finally decide on a trailer choice. I was almost enticed by motorhomes , but thanks to pop up camping, realized I like the flexability of a trailer and truck combo. Sorry for the long reply, just excited. Thank you so much for sharing so much on your blog especially the expenses. Helped me to realize I can do it as well.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Congratulations, Joe, on your retirement! I read your comment with great interest. I’m glad my blog is helping you control your hitch itch!

      Others may disagree, but I think you are very smart to go with the trailer-truck combo. And you used the right term, the word that supports the decision — flexibility!

      This post is a joke about driving scenic roads that turn out to be scary. Many scenic roads take one on spectacular rides where stunning views may be enjoyed. With a truck (or a van like the PTV) you are more likely to seek these experiences, hop in the truck and make a quick run into town, just toodle around for the fun of it, etc. There’s a reason turtles move slowly and don’t climb mountains. Ha!

      One of the things I really enjoy is dropping the BLT somewhere and taking off in the PTV.

      You must be so excited about what is ahead for you. Yes, you can do this and you’re gonna’ have the time of your life! Thanks for writing… (and yours wasn’t a” long reply;” I could’ve read more.) 🙂

      • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

        I agree with you too on the flexibility of the TV and trailer combo. Although DH and I have said that when we get too old to hitch up we may get a Class C with toad, or a big pickup camper.

        On your turtle comment – I wholeheartedly agree. The motto of the Mountain Directory West regarding mountain passes is “you can never go down a mountain pass too slow, but only once too fast.”

  25. bess in oregon says:

    another thing i just discovered to use to see if a road is “cliffy and scary”is to use google images. i find the town nearest the “scenic road” and start my virtual trip. by dragging and zooming i can see the terrain in all directions.

    i did this recently for my trip to Yellowstone and see that most of the roads there are fairly flat. you can get in real close to the road by continuing to zoom.

    another place to watch for cliffs is at south Lake Tahoe. we left Sacramento heading East toward Placerville. we kept climbing in elevation and then saw a extremely HUGE highway sign that said “cliffs next 6 miles and 6 % downgrade. the freeway had been carved out of the solid rock (no trees) and when you saw the boats on the lake they were tiny dots.

    also the road to Emerald Bay on Lake Tahoe is also scary when approached from the south. i had to turn around. both of these road have guardrails in places but it isn’t enough to make me go back.

    also, watch the highways that cross the Sierra Nevada’s south of Lake Tahoe.

    • edlfrey says:

      Please do not let what Bess has said about the roads south of Lake Tahoe scare you off. From her description she was on US 50 through Placerville to South Lake Tahoe which is a fine road. I have driven every cross Sierra road there is, I think, and none of them are to be feared.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        I agree with Ed. The road to Tahoe including So Lake Tahoe to Emerald Bay are beautiful and easy to drive.

        Guard rails are your friend! It’s the sheer cliffs (HWY 1 CA) that may cause you grief. Or the road to Apache Junction and Show Low.

        As with any road, as long as you keep it between the lines and watch your speed for the present conditions…all is good.

        Weird as it may seem but wherever you look is the direction your vehicle will travel!

        • Cinandjules (NY) says:

          Bess,
          Do the cliffs and scary roads only affect you when you drive or are you okay being a passenger? Maybe you can try NOT looking over or down the cliffs.

          I hate heights…took me a year to climb on the roof of my rv. Then one day I climbed up there…didn’t look down while I was up there scrubbing away. Soon it wasn’t a big deal..

          Best wishes

      • bess in oregon says:

        i guess i wasn’t clear about why i said that about Lake Tahoe. i prefer no cliffs. it is my preference. if someone had warned me, i would have gone up that way via Truckee.

        to each their own as far as what a good road is and how scary.

        i have been on some lovely “scenic byways”.

        i was writing only about my experiences and i wanted to let people know that they can check out roads for themselves by using Google Images and zooming.

        sorry for the misunderstanding. i never meant to “scare” anyone else from exploring any of the roads in the West.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You and me both, bess. This post and your comment has to do with personal preference re what we want to do and what we’d rather not. 🙂

        • Cinandjules (NY) says:

          great idea about Google imaging!

          I prefer no heights…Jules also. Ever see the walkway that extends over the Grand Canyon? Both Jules and I would be “low crawling” across that thing.

          • bess in oregon says:

            thank you sue for understanding. it really means a lot that you took the time to connect with me and my experiences.

  26. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    I especially love the purple blooms on the cacti, since that is my favorite color. Sure wish I was out there to see those lovely blooms in person. I keep working on DH. He’s been doing so good with his BP, the cardiologist extended his checkups to once yearly.
    Now if his other doctors would do that, he may start reconsidering. If he does change his mind, he wants a 5th wheel. since I would be doing the driving, I think I would insist on the Escape TA5.0 That way we would not be too long or too tall.

    I was getting tickled at the real description of the scenic drive. We have had a few of them in our travels over the years too. At least they could say if these are suitable for travel trailers. Like you, I would hate the get on a road like that while towing something.

    Got to get with the program, enjoy the new camp.

    • Mary in CO says:

      You can’t go wrong with an Escape. Go to the Escape forum and read all about what the owners say.

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        I have checked and read all the forums for fiberglass trailers. If I can’t get DH to go along, I won’t be going anywhere as he is semi- disabled. I think anything smaller would be too much. Should something happen to him, I was thinking an Oliver, but they are too expensive, then the Casita Liberty Deluxe. I like the Escape, but difficult to find in the eastern half of the US and would like to see it first. In the end, it all boils down to my age, and health

  27. heidi says:

    Reminds of the scene with Ricky and Lucy in The Long Long Trailer where they’re climbing a narrow mountain road hauling their trailer. Hilarious.

    I’ve driven the 1 north from LA to Carmel CA and that’s some white knuckle driving as well. I cant drive it south because I’d be on the cliff side and be too freaked out. Its beautiful though!

  28. Pam N. says:

    This post definitely qualifies as a Public Service Announcement. Thanks for the reminder of the horrors that can lurk behind benign, pastoral descriptions. You definitely handled it!

  29. Patsy (nothern ontario) says:

    that is one of my fear’s, like the old “I love lucy” where they drive with all those rocks in the trailer… Sue and Crew wow I was saying a prayer for you. We have some bad roads up North here but not like that …. what beautiful flowers, and the river was nice, but not to take a chance on a road like that. I have a question to the person who bought the portable shower, do you put it in a bucket of hot / cold water. Looking for something to put in my portable outhouse when we camp. Sometimes the camp grounds showers are disgusting or full of spiders, and up North here they can get pretty big and ugly. great post Sue and Crew. Hugs

    • bess in oregon says:

      some people use a “heavy black plastic bag”, which holds several gallons of water, and they bought at REI or Cabela’s that is heated by hanging it up high. when it is heated from the sun, you just use the sprayer. amazon might have something like this….

      other people on this blog have mentioned buying a brand-new (not an old used one that has been used for pesticides or weed-killers, neither of which i use ever) garden sprayer and essentially doing the same thing as the above, heat the water in the sun.

      neither of these options comes with a structure that would give you privacy, but you already have the portable outhouse so you would be good to go, in a manner of speaking. 😉

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Remember Amazon please…. 🙂

        Here are two I found:

        Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower

        Wealers 5 Gallon Solar Shower Bag with On/ Off Nozzle

        • Deb says:

          We have the Coleman solar shower as a back up. It works great!

        • Patsy (nothern ontario) says:

          thanks for the advise, i have one of those but the kids say it gets to hot. Sue i am from Canada so i order from Amazon in Canada, with the exchange rate right now it is to expensive, can you do the Canada site to and get commission off it? thanks again. yes i have my portable outhouse, made it from pvc pipes, kids love it. although still outside its better than walking back and forth to washrooms in the middle of the night 🙂

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            I don’t know if Amazon Affiliates in the U.S. receive a commission for purchases made through Amazon in Canada.

      • Elaine in Colorado says:

        Love the solar bags for hot water showering! Used one while spending 2 weeks boating around Lake Ontario!

    • Lee J in Northern California says:

      Hi Patsy, I didn’t order the shower but can answer, yes you drop the pump end into a bucket of bath temperature water. I have a unit I got from Amazon called a Zodi hot tap shower that is worth a look. It heats the water with a portable propane bottle, pumps the water from the bucket out of the shower head! Keeps me from heating water on the stove! I have a Casita trailer but when boon-docking I like to use this little gem outdoors in a shower tent. I can wash my hair and shower in about four gallons of water, by turning it off while soaping up!

        • Patsy (nothern ontario) says:

          lol on the canadian site its 400 dollars, on the american site its 150 what a difference, and then i have to pay hst and shipping, maybe i will look at exchange rate etc first. seems like a great companion to my portable outhouse 🙂 .. I have a pop up so no washroom, if i can ever afford it a real trailer that my van can pull on day 🙂

        • Steve says:

          Still catching up comments and discussions (I’m jumping back and forth been .net and .com) and I can heartily endorse the zodi–it’s fantastic!

    • Kerry On (UT) says:

      We have an AquaCube portable shower that’s heated and pressurized. It’s made by Mr. Heater, and I’m sure Sue can provide the link to it for Amazon. It’s a bit pricey, but we’ve never regretted spending the money for it. We’ve had it for about a year, and we absolutely love it! We just drop the pump into a 6-gallon jug of water, and we have a nice and hot every time, no matter the time of day! Those solar showers are warmest (relative term) in the middle of the day when you’re away from camp, and there’s nothing like a hot shower at the end of the day to rinse off the grime before crawling into bed.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Mr. Heater BOSS-XCW20 Basecamp Battery Operated Shower System

        AquaCube? Are you mixing up with bluetooth speakers?

        • Kerry On (UT) says:

          Well that one is very similar to our AquaCube. I found ours yesterday on Amazon (Basecamp by Mr. Heater Aquacube Digital Shower), but it’s not there now, looks like it’s currently out of stock.

          I think the propane ones are all pretty similar – water heated by propane, pump powered by rechargeable battery. We were wooed to one that, with a cheap adapter, you could hook up to a large propane tank, instead of having to use the little disposable ones.

  30. Mel from North Texas says:

    There are many reasons why I read this blog religiously ….however, the LAUGH OUT LOUD reactions I get from RVSue’s narrative some days definitely ranks up there in the top 3!! And today was one of those postings that has my husband, Gary, calling out to me..”what are doing & why are you laughing ??!!!”… Read him the post and…yep…He laughs out loud too! Thank you RVSue for brightening our day and bringing joy & laughter to our lives….so so appreciate you and the crew.

  31. edlfrey says:

    Tom and a couple others have provided you with the name for your weed – Jimson Weed.

    What I want to dispute is your naming of the flower as a California Poppy. I believe it to be a Mexican Gold Poppy.

    Once considered a separate species, Mexican gold poppy is now recognized as a desert-inhabiting subspecies of California poppy (E. californica or E. californica ssp. californica). The two subspecies are exceedingly similar, but Mexican gold poppy is native to the desert southwest, while California poppy is native to inland valleys of that state. Although California poppy always displays a prominent ring or rim underneath its flower, this structure may be inconspicuous in Mexican gold poppy. (NOTE: I can not see this last qualifier in your pictures but you might look for it to prove me wrong)

  32. Alice Scheibelhofer says:

    Re: the Jimson weed — could this also be the Desert Morning Glory? http://www.desertsurvivors.org/why-we-cant-sell-native.html

  33. Toni says:

    Your trip to (I think) Coyote Creek or something like that came to mind when I read this.

    Anyway, don’t remember what I posted last but I had surgery on my tongue to remove the cancerous tumor. 42 lymph nodes were taken and tested and no signs of cancer anywhere.

    I’m slowly increasing things I can eat. No real chewing can be done yet, but I’m getting creative on how I can eat healthy food and not just stuff from a can.

    • bess in oregon says:

      congratulations on this good news Toni! soon you will re-discover the joys of eating solid foods again and in the meantime, happy explorations!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s fantastic, Toni…. “No signs of cancer” and “getting creative on how I can eat healthy food.” Best wishes to you!

      • Toni says:

        I’ve read that a time or two! Will you ever go back? I remember once you got there it was really nice and I think the road is repaired now.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I don’t think you’re thinking of the same road that we were on. It wasn’t a matter of it needing repair so much as where it was situated…. on the edge of a cliff (dirt, one lane, no shoulder possible).

          If I go to Coyote Creek SP again I will use a different road, not the one the GPS directed me to take. After that incident I rarely used my GPS again. . . once or twice in the past three years and probably NEVER again.

          • Toni says:

            As I recall, the “real” road was a washout or something like that and you took another road that turned out to be a nightmare. I was referring to the real road when I said it was repaired. I think your gps was trying to turn you in the right direction but the road wasn’t there. Anyway, that’s how I remembered it. I haven’t gone back to read it again yet.

          • Toni says:

            Is that link you posted supposed to get me to the blog about it? Nothing happens if I click on it. What month and year? Maybe I can search for it.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              No need to do that. Thanks anyway. I trust your memory of it more than I trust mine! (I fixed the link.)

      • Barbara from Camano Island says:

        I was able to access this blog. Great description of a harrowing experience.

    • Velda in Roseville CA says:

      Blessings Toni! My hubby is nearing 3 years from palate removal and almost 8 months from radical neck for the lymph nodes, 2 of his 48 were spread of his original tumor. Radiation both times and so far he is in the clear. We use our VitaMix for his mostly puréed meals. It can be done if you get creative as you said. He esp likes roasted veggies with a protein such as chicken or beef. The healthier you eat, the faster you heal. Why doctors push stuff like Ensure and other pre packaged icky meals I’ll never know when making your own is really no big deal. All the best to you as you continue recovery.

      • Toni says:

        Last week I was craving something healthy like greens. So I bought some kale, tore it into tiny pieces and sauteed it with garlic and olive oil until the kale was a tiny bit crispy. Then I mixed it into a blend of brown, red, and wild rice with quinoi. It was great!!

        Thank you all for the encouraging comments.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Great news Toni!

        Velda
        Recent findings on Ensure isn’t very good….AT ALL!

        My moms oncologist “highly” recommended it and even gave us coupons. Wish I would have known better…..sorry mom! ?

        Mel is so fortunate that you know what’s up!

        • Velda in Roseville CA says:

          The strange thing I learned from the family of another patient while Mel was in UCD last fall was, there is a pretty good, all organic tube feeding formula available, but doctors refuse to order it because it isn’t on the hospital “formulary”!!! Much better than Ensure but they still order the junk most likely influenced by the company who makes it! We figured out how to feed Mel – we had them order a dental soft ( puréed real food) diet and 2 pitchers of hot chicken broth per tray. He was able to mix the puréed real food to his consistency and eat or drink it. The nurses thought we were smart. He got stuff like green beans or broccoli and potato and a protein such as chicken or beef each meal.

  34. Linda Hughes- North Carolina says:

    OMGoodness! I laughed at this blog until I cried! Love it and the pics are great showing the river and mtns far away. Great blog post, so funny, take care. That “scenic ” road sounds like the road to hell! Take care, safe travels!

  35. Pat (Freespirit)-in Texas says:

    Hi Sue. Thoroughly enjoyed the pics of the flowers, river, and the crew. I drove that whole “scenic” ride with you..and I mean the whole thing. I had already decided that I will not be driving any roads with dots…or “scenic signs”. I’d end up stopping on the road and either waiting for someone to shove me over the edge or drive my vehicle while I walked!! I’m deathly afraid of heights. Folks said I tried to jump out of a ferris wheel when I was three. Funny though, as a teenager I loved roller coasters. Go figure! Do all the really hairy ones have dots & signs??
    P.S. closing on property tomorrow (yippee)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Congratulations on sealing the deal, Pat! Please don’t limit your explorations on account of this post. I was kidding when I wrote about avoiding roads that have a sign about being scenic. There are probably some that you would enjoy without having your fear of heights kick in. Bess gave a good idea… Look at the terrain the road goes over using Google satellite maps.

  36. Donna 'N Girls says:

    Oh man, glad you made it safely. The worst scenic drive I’ve ever done is the road to Hana on the island of Maui. I had a rented Jeep with steering problems, darn thing seemed to have a bent frame.
    The road is built on the side of a mountain, one lane most of the way with turnouts to let on coming traffic pass. Lots blind turns. I was traveling with three friends and believe me, it was a very quiet ride.
    We should have known something was up by the smirk on the rental agents face.

  37. mockturtle says:

    I, too, have been on more than a few ‘scenic routes’. Most are worth it, though. What freaks me out the most is the thought of meeting another vehicle [with my RV] on a really narrow, hovering-over-a-dropoff road and being on the outside track. When [and if] you complete the route, it does fill you with a pleasant exhilaration, though. At least, it does me. 🙂

  38. DeAnne in TN says:

    I read the entire post and the only thing that caught my attention was, “Sue, you call a cheese sandwich a picnic?” hahaha

  39. Deb says:

    I laughed out loud at your description of driving the scenic highways. Had a similar experience going to the Gila Cliff Dwellings. Never again!

  40. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Hi Sue,

    We have been super busy but I have been reading. Love Bridget’s new wheels! I bet she loves it and it has to be so much easier for you.

    I am laughing at this post. Been there, done that! I hate heights, I hate roads with sheer drops off the sides. I am glad you made it back safely to write about it!

    Hugs to you all and hi to all the blogorinos!

  41. Karen LeMoine says:

    Off topic. As anyone heard from Rusty/Piper lately? Haven’t seen any of his postings. Just curious how he is doing.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Rusty and Piper are fine. Under the previous post, Melanie Murphy commented that she’s been in contact with Rusty. Through her, Rusty sent a message to us that he will be off-line for a while due to computer/internet problems that are too expensive to be repaired right now.

      • MB from VA says:

        Glad to hear that they are alright. Thanks for asking, Karen. I had been wondering myself. 🙂

  42. Andrea in Glendale AZ says:

    Lol…boy did you describe “scenic drives” to a T. White knuckle driving is not my thing, but you usually don’t realize what the drive will be like til there’s no turning around… Thanks for the good story.

  43. Gail on the Olympic Peninsula says:

    Lots of good laughs, Sue, and beautiful flowers too. My worst experience with a “scenic drive” was as a passenger on the “Million Dollar Highway” between Ouray and Silverton, Colorado. Steep cliffs, no guardrails, and no shoulders along the road (many of them have crumbled away right up to the white line along the lane ! Beautiful scenery, but I would not want to drive it again – can you believe people even drive it in the icy Colorado winters ?

  44. DesertGinger says:

    Just wanted to check in and let everyone know I’m home. And my oxygen converter was delivered tonight. I stopp Ed on the way home for a few days groceries. So I think I’m set. I am so tired; I’m weak as a kitten. Plus my right chest muscles and shoulder are really sore. I think my incision is not fully recovered. I see my primary care doc Wednesday to start getting my local medical care set up.

    But we are here. For the next couple days I’m just going to rest. Then get started on your chores. Ta-ta!

    • Wendy in Thailand says:

      Nice to know your home, don’t over do things till your incision is fully healed.
      Best wishes,

    • Applegirl NY says:

      So glad you’re home, Desert Ginger. Please do rest. You need it.

    • MB from VA says:

      Great news! I know you are so happy to be home.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No wonder you’re tired, Ginger. Writing a comment here at midnight!!!

      I know you’re a night person. However, I’m going to give you a good talkin-to.

      Pretend you are 7 years old again and have go to bed every night at 8 o’clock. No arguments. Get in that bed! Even if you can’t sleep. No iPad, no TV, no excuses…. Remember, you’re only 7 years old and you have to go to bed at bedtime. You have no say in the matter. Your bedtime is 8 o’clock, little girl!

      Seriously. Rest will make you stronger. Hugs.

    • weather says:

      You’re finally home! Oh, Ginger, I’m so happy for you. I know being that weak when one is as strong as you normally are feels awful. When you’re rested enough- to just relax and really notice where you are- you and Chloe are going find being there, and together, more wonderful than ever. Gosh I’ve so looked forward to hearing that you made it , thanks for letting us know.

    • DesertGinger says:

      Hahaha. Sue, I’m sorry. I just read your rule and it is already after 9pm. I’ll be in bed soon. Thanks for all the kind thought! And today I had a sourdough English muffin toasted with mustard and cheddar cheese. I had a big juicy orange. I had a small ice cream float with orange sherbet/vanilla swirl ice cream and 7up. And I had two bean tacos made with refried beans in corn tortillas with Frank’s hot sauce (the best!) and shredded cheddar. Yummy! All my faves. So it has been a good day. Also got my air conditioner fixed for $275, which I thought was reasonable. And my housekeeper is coming at 9am tomorrow. So things are going well!! Love to all.

      • Velda in Roseville CA says:

        Hooray! So nice to hear things turning up!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        What? You were up past 9 o’clock last night? You know the bedtime rule, young lady. Now you are grounded until further notice!

        🙂

    • Marilu from Northern California says:

      Yay! It’s so good to hear that you’re home. Just rest and regain your strength. Chores can wait. {{{DG}}}

  45. MB from VA says:

    LOL! I know what you mean! Four friends and I were in the area where ID, WY and MT come together. WE thought it would be a great idea to go on one of those scenic drives to “Hidden Lake”. Well, it was a beautiful drive…..for awhile. Then all we were looking for was a place to turn around! We finally did that with all of us on every side as spotters so that the van didn’t bust an oil pan or slide into the precipice! 🙂 We drove back down to the flats…..and gave thanks as we had our picnic near a crystal clear stream……and Hidden Lake kept it’s secret…..hidden. 😉 But, my friend who lived out there and should have been a “mountain man” says things like that make a better story….if you live! LOL! Glad you guys made it safely back. Love the flower photos! Have a great day! MB

  46. edlfrey says:

    With all the horror stories that have been posted about Scenic Highways I thought some clarification might be in order. there are ‘scenic roads’ and then there are 150 distinct and diverse roads designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation as America’s Byways which include the National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads.

    These are selected premier driving roads in the United States that are so designated based on their archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities. America’s Byways are a distinctive collection of American roads and treasured places with unique qualities and stories. Do NOT avoid them, drive them all if possible and see the real US of A. You will not see it driving the Interstate Highways.

    If you have a fear of ‘scenic roads’ enter ‘National Scenic Byways’ as a Internet search term or go to http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/byways/ and select the state that you are interested in to read about the Byway that you are considering. There are also maps available that can the help you do the ‘cliff’ search that has been suggested. However, most of the National Scenic Byways are quite tame with lots of guardrails and all the other safety requirement demanded by the US Department of Transportation.

    • bess in oregon says:

      i agree that lots of scenic byways are very enjoyable and beautiful. and i like the idea that the natural world has been saved from development so that travelers can see for themselves the wonders of waterfalls, open vistas, and forests stretching as far as you can see. your suggestion about searching out Google ahead of time is good and i will use that idea when planning my trips.

      i like to be spontaneous in our explorations and some pre-planning is good. thanks!

    • Calvin R (still waiting in Ohio) says:

      Those are not the only roads designated “scenic.” States may also designate scenic routes. Quality varies.

  47. Sharon in MO says:

    Your scenic road story reminds me of the time years ago that my family first visited Colorado, where my husband’s cousin lives. My husband said he wanted to go up Pike’s Peak, and his cousin had a better idea. He drove us in his 4-wheel drive Jeep up the mountain next to Pike’s Peak on a narrow gravel road. How narrow? So narrow that when we met a motorcycle coming down, the motorcyclist had to back up to a slightly wider spot where he leaned his bike up against the mountain while we eased by with treetops just down to our right. Memorable! And we had a nice picnic at the top with no one else around.

  48. weather says:

    So I’m guessing you won’t have many Chambers of Commerce asking you to write their brochures for them, Ha! Here are a few words from the real Graham County one: Discover for yourself the charm …, where life is the way it ought to be…some of the most beautiful terrain in the entire Southwest…popular among those in the know.

    Beautiful flowers and photos of them, that part of day and having a picnic must have been fun. I wonder how many other people have used that overlook as a place to turn around. If the road really does have that roller coaster feel and shape, I think I would have, too.

    • weather says:

      Hi, Sue, I hope the things you’ve needed to deal with have/are going well, and that your NM camp is a pleasant one. I was glad to read below that you and the crew are okay. Just wanted to stop in and wish you some happiness between and maybe even during your tasks.

  49. bess in oregon says:

    Cinjules asked me if i had trouble with heights when i was just the driver or if it also was there when i was a passenger. it is worse when i am driving because i really slow down and hold up traffic which makes me nervous.

    my husband Barry has no problem with driving on cliffs and it has been hard for him to be driving and to deal with my reactions. he is very compassionate towards my situation and i have gotten much better at monitoring my reactions since he told me about some relaxation techniques to use at the first sign of a cliff.

    i have really looked at my internal experience of cliffs. and i discovered something about my brain. if i am walking up to an overlook or am in a skyscraper, i can look over the edge just fine. i can get on the roof and am fine. it isn’t the height that is hard for me. it is being in a moving vehicle while at a height.

    i have dyslexia and i learned that one side-effect is to have a hard time getting on moving objects like escalators and glass covered elevators. i have trouble in my brain finding a solid, non-moving horizon to get stabilized. inside my brain, it feels like my awareness is circling around, seeking a steady spot. i don’t get dizzy exactly, just speeding up. also after a short time my stomach is swirling too.

    if i am on a road that has a steep drop-off and Trees, i am okay. the trees block out the drop. on the Oregon Coast near here, we have lots of cliffs where all you see is sky and the drop-off. even with guard rails, inside my head starts to swirl seeking a stable spot to focus on.

    it doesn’t work at all to shut my eyes because by the time i react to the cliff, my stomach is already swirling. it does help a little to look at the mountain side of the road but not much.

    if i know a cliff is coming, i begin my relaxation breathing. keeping my eyes open, i put my hand up and block out all of the sky that i see. then i concentrate on the pavement and the lines. the swirling doesn’t happen so much then and whether i am driving or a passenger i can manage to get through the cliff area.

    all of this is to say, i like to be forewarned about cliffs.

  50. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Great that you’ve come up with scenarios to help you get thru the cliff sections. Whatever it takes…for you to feel comfortable.

    Don’t ever feel that you have to drive at a speed that is uncomfortable for you if for some reason you find yourself in a cliff section. I am a firm believer that I will always drive “safe for me” and if drivers behind you want to go around me…have at it.

    Yesterday as a matter of fact, while driving to town…a p/u truck decided he was going to pass, using the oncoming traffic lane…to get in front of me. He didn’t care that cars were approaching…guess what? We all ended up stopped at the same traffic signal.

    I didn’t mean to jump on you in regards to the Tahoe roads…I understand what happens to you on cliff roads….my apologizes.

    • bess in oregon says:

      thanks for the sweet reply. we are all in this together, sharing and learning and supporting each other. best wishes sent your way.

      i have noticed that about the drivers in a hurry too. we usually wind up at the same spot at the same time. (that sort of sounds like something Winnie the Pooh would say…)

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Absolutely….

        I would love to hear how you are doing (only if you are comfortable of course).

  51. Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

    Just a note for all – most highways and side roads are listed in the Mountain Directory publications. We have the Mountain Directory West that lists all states in the West and there is also a Mountain Directory East for the East. It’s very helpful and provides excellent feedback on main roads so that you can at least expect what’s around the bend. What we’ve found in most cases is that the publication description is worse than reality, but better to be prepared than surprised. I bet you can find it on Amazon so that Sue benefits from the sale. This is a must that we always carry with us.

  52. Terri From Texas says:

    This was so funny! it reminded me of my Mom’s story of driving up to Big Bend Natl. Park one dark night in the fifties with my Dad and another couple. They decided they would just drive up to the lodge and spend the night. That of course was in the days when you could just do that and not have to make reservations 6 months in advance! Anyway, the drive up to the “basin” in Big Bend is vertical and winding. My mom and her friend got so scared they jumped out of the car when it was stopped…and landed in their stockinged feet in fresh asphalt where they had just paved the road. They did make it to the lodge, but with black feet! My Dad was a good driver, but he did tend to point out things while driving with one hand on “scenic” roads!

  53. MollyLuvsRoadtrippin (Seattle) says:

    Just love your comedic take on scenic drives. I didn’t have time to comment but your last post about the new camp in a very different kind of desert from the previous camp was so interesting. I have been absolutely wowed by your blooming desert descriptions and pictures of the beautiful Roosevelt Lake area, so when you rolled into the harsh conditions of your current area I thought it was going to be a tough adaptation. But immediately you found the positives and the beauty in those differences demonstrating how your appreciation for your lifestyle, freedom and the changing scenery of your camp choices is a real constant in your retirement. Great example for us all Sue – thank you!!

    • MollyLuvsRoadtrippin (Seattle) says:

      …PS – in the spirit of checking on blogorinos, Where Oh Where is Sidewinder Pen? I have been missing her comments too!!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I miss her, too, Molly. I think of her often and wonder. I even emailed her, asking if she’s okay. No response.

        If anyone hears anything about Sidewinder Pen, like on Facebook which I don’t do, please let us know. Thank you.

  54. Leesa (IA) says:

    Your description of the drive reminded me of the “old” mountain highway we took coming back from Myrtle Beach SC. Decided not to take the interstate so we could see more of SC, VA, and WV but it’s hard to see the countryside with your eyes closed!! Very scary and then there was the tunnel – still makes me shutter!! Lovely pictures of the flowers/weeds 🙂

  55. Sandi Stewart says:

    OMG i was in stitches. Hope you made it out before dark ……bless you Sue

  56. Chuck Hajek says:

    As always, gorgeous pix on last 2 blogs even though no horses! The pups do make up for that though!!!! Travel safe kiddo and treats to the crew.

  57. MelindaK (TX) says:

    Hi Sue,

    Your lastest post made me laugh out loud like so many of your posts do. Like the one when you were in New Mexico (your first year) and stopped on the dirt road and the old man told you to keep going. I was rolling on that one as it reminded me of the time I drove from Eagles Nest back to Panderies RV park through Mora. On that road when you came to a blind curve the road was barely wide enough for one vehicle….think Russian roulette. I think we passed the camp ground where you camped at as I remember noticing a camp ground thinking it would be a nice place to camp. Our trip was a year or two before your trip.

    Your blog is the first blog I have read, become hooked on, and commented. I stumbled across it on a forum when I was searching for monthly costs on full timing a few months back. I started reading from the beginning and reading the comments too; not done yet. You and your friends provide a lot of valuable information. If you ever decided to write a book it would be a best seller, but I totally get why you don’t….it’s called retirement.

    Thank you for taking the time to share so much of yourself and your photos as it gives us an idea of the possibilities and that life full timing can truly be a dream come true.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, MelindaK!

      Your laughter and loyalty to my blog is my reward. 🙂 I’m glad you found your way here and decided to keep coming back. Welcome to the land of blogorinos!

      Thanks for your kind and encouraging message.

  58. AZ Jim says:

    Hi Missy, I just had a thought about “scenic routes”. In some cases I think the designation may refer to the distant view instead of right at the road . You must admit you had some majestic mountains in the distant view. I’m sure enjoying this years trip. Take care….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      You’re right about the view. Here’s an idea: Instead of “scenic highway,” it would be more accurate to say “horrifying highway with scenic view.” 🙂

      Glad to have you with us on this trip…

  59. DesertGinger says:

    Let’s talk about embarrassment. Today I was in my back bedroom and without thinking I sat down on the bed, which is basically two mattresses stacked on the floor. Then I couldn’t get up…no armrests, nothing to hold on to. So then I thought I’ll just sit here n the floor and scoot over to the bathroom door and use the door handle to pull me up. Nope. Forgot I have no upper body strength yet after surgery. So I called my neighbor Hallie and she said to call 911. I would never have thought of that. So I did. I told the dispatcher I was ok and just needed help to get up. She was very nice. Then I scooted into the living room and collected Chloe so she wouldn’t get in the way. Minutes later a fire truck pulls up and four really big, handsome firefighters walk in. Was my face red! I told them I just needed help getting up. So they put me on my feet like it was nothing. Who would have thought that was part of their job? God I was so embarrassed. I have to get stronger soon!

    • Velda in Roseville CA says:

      You had me at 4 handsome firemen! I think I feel weak! 🙂

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Why is it….that firemen are so handsome?

      98% of service calls for the fire dept is medical and vehicle accidents. They actually get “hyped” when they finally see smoke!

      At least they didn’t come sirens a blaring!

      • Well, what a nice welcome home by 4 handsome men… 🙂 next time have cookies! Oh and maybe time to get a bed frame or bricks…I had my bed on the floor for many years so my dogs and cats could not crawl under it. Works to keep away dust bunnie too.

  60. Jim from Rockford IL says:

    OMG ! Sue I feel for you! I know the sheer terror of Scenic drives also! In Washington State. Never Again!

  61. Good Morning Sue! I just finished my coffee, no toast or peanut butter, I am trying to cut down…but sure miss it. We have been moving some of our things into our Motorhome recently, going through this, pile for taking, pile for giving away, pile for throw out…what a job. I know there are other blogorinos out there doing the same thing! See ya’ll on the road… give us strength! 🙂

    • Mick'nTN says:

      Hi Shirlene & Blogorinos, I found a peanut butter substitute that may be healthier. It is called “Wowbutter” from Canada. It is a soy product and does not have the hydrogenated oils that are used to make regular peanut butter creamy and clog your arteries. The taste is a bit different but I like it.

      • Thanks Mick, thanks for the tip, I will put that on my list. Where is it available, Supermarkets or health food stores or on-line?

      • Velda in Roseville CA says:

        I googled Wowbutter and it’s mainly toasted soy beans, soy oil, sugar and salt. Says its non GMO sourced, but with so much cross contamination by GMO, one should question that. Also the mono diglycerides in the mix. It’s ok as a substitute if allergic but nothing wrong with peanut butter if you aren’t. Several NON hydrogenated additive peanut butters on market that are nothing but peanuts and salt. Two ingredients is better to me. If you look at peanut butter labels which have hydrogenated oils, that’s not all that’s bad in them! I grind and buy both fresh peanut butter and almond butter at my local natural food store that is nothing but toasted nuts! No added salt even.

        • Mick'nTN says:

          My blender was not happy about making peanut butter. Adding a little olive oil helped but the blender still got hot.

          • Velda in Roseville CA says:

            Note I said I grind AT the local health food store. They have this neat machine they keep filled, one with peanuts, one with almonds, you take a clean plastic tub or bring your own and they net weigh first, and put it under spigot and flip switch. Makes this wonderful fresh nut butter. Always fresh because this place has rapid turnover of product. No added oils. I can make in Vitamix, but why bother. We also have a heavy duty Green Star juicer which has a nut butter attachment but haven’t tried yet. The health food store is only a mile from here so I get it there. All organic nuts too!

            • Mick'nTN says:

              The difference between CA and TN is far and wide. I have lived in both. I have heard that Nashville has a health food store.

            • Velda in Roseville CA says:

              Yes, Mick, I feel very lucky to have really good stores close by. Even the big grocery just blocks away carries half the big produce area as organic and part of the non organic is locally grown within 100 miles. Believe me I’m grateful esp after I visit Oklahoma where sister in law is and they don’t even have Costco! I’m spoiled and happy about it! Ha ha

            • Cinandjules NY says:

              Hellooooo St Mick!

              Hah…the difference from CA and NY is even wider!

              Health food store? …I’m just searching for a decent …..don’t laugh……….avacado!

    • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

      Hi Shirlene. Try almond butter. It’s much healthier for you and has a great taste. I use it even to make flourless, sugarless brownies. The guys at my office love them and can’t believe they have no flour or sugar.

  62. Terri From Texas says:

    In the community in which I live, we decided to create our own volunteer fire dept because all the fire stations are at least 30 minutes away-and that’s on a good day! So, we did. I think the youngest one is in his mid-fifties-that would probably be my husband! Ha! But, they have all gone to training, and fire schools and have been a huge blessing. They have not only assisted with life flights and medical calls, but assist area fire departments with fires in our county. We are the only dept. in the county to actually have an auxiliary which assists firefighters at fire scenes. Seniors Rock!!
    Oh, and yeah, my handsome husband got even MORE handsome when he became a First Responder!
    Ha!
    Terri

  63. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Do be careful these days, Sue…in Phoenix anyway, the 2 brothers who killed a couple near here were recently seen…they have not been caught as of this AM anyway. Their dad told police even if he did know where his sons were, he would not tell them…

    Otherwise enjoy the nice weather while it lasts!! Already rather warm for April here…but I would think it will cool off again ere long. Flowers are the best ever this year here!!

  64. casitagirl says:

    Oh Sue! I know what you mean about those ‘scenic’ drives! I sat in the back seat of the van with my coat over my head as my husband drove down the Mount Washington Road in New Hampshire.

    We tried to a ‘scenic’ drive on a narrow road on the north shore of Maui once…. No guard rail and cliff straight down to the Pacific running the entire length of the road. After a mile or so, we turned around. Both of us weren’t breathing.

    The cactus flower photos are pretty! We just took a hike at Jonathan Dickenson State Park near Jupiter, Fla. The cactus there are also in bloom with beautiful yellow flowers.

    Thanks for sharing!

  65. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    If you think the highways and roads are bad today you should have been in the old Concord stagecoaches that use to travel the ups and downs out west. Mark Twain rode in one across the deserts and had to sleep on the mail sacks with another paying customer they both had so many aches and pains they complained to the Whip. He promptly emptied the mail sacks and made a smooth bed of mail for them to sleep on. But bouncing around was so awful they complained again. So the Whip just dumped the mail out in the middle of nowhere and that was that. I think the name of the book was Roughing It by Samuel Clemmons.

    • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

      Interesting Rattlesnake Joe. Yes, I agree. There are a lot of historic stage routes here in Idaho that are forest service roads too. We’ve taken them in our Jeep or truck and it’s hard to imagine riding in a stagecoach on that rough of a road but that’s how it was done.

  66. Lisa and her pack in SoFl (for now) says:

    Oh my Goodness Sue, this post was a LOL that I really needed today. I had a run in with someone in the hardware store. He claimed all Service Dogs were fake, esp if the handler had and “attitude” I didn’t have his aforementioned attitude and had simply asked him not to pet my dog because he was working. I definitely had an attitude for him AFTER he said that. I know I should not let stupid people like that get under my skin. Ignorant people I can educate and we usually have a pleasant conversation. The others, well…….

    Any way thanks for making me laugh out loud several times. I remember driving a road last fall that just seemed to keep going up and around and around on my way to a National Forest, of course it was gravel, narrow and getting to the twilight hour. I was glad I wasn’t towing!! I won’t be able to say that much longer with 10 days to take off. I have been working hard on trailer renovations. Mick and I are going back and forth on Solar electricity details. He is a wealth of information and help, something I wouldn’t have without your blog. Thank you. I promise once I have done all my homework, literally working on my home, I will post the outcome so others may learn.

    I have to shift into high gear, the thrift store truck is coming Saturday. I think the deadline will make decisions easier, no time to waver, in or out! It’s really getting to be fun, planning how to put a spice rack in my kitchen, where to hide the litter pan, and many other details and customized features. I decided I am going to faux paint my floor, all 9 sq ft, maybe wood paneling or river stones or a Koi pond (haha). Any one have some fun ideas? Most of the interior is white with pine panels and doors. What ever I do it will be unique and fun. Thanks Sue for making this process FUN!

    • Velda in Roseville CA says:

      Lisa, you probably said and I missed it, but what is your rig?

      • Lisa and her pack in SoFl (for now) says:

        Velda,
        I have a 1998 Chevy S10 pickup with a cap and I tow a Boler 1300. That’s a 13′ long fiberglass camper. Thanks for asking.

    • Penny in AR says:

      Have you seen a paper bag floor? They’re cool. You tear up heavy brown paper or grocery sacks in irregular shapes, glue down with Elmer’s then coat with three coats of polyurethane. Kind of looks like rock or tile. I saw one and loved it. You could google instructions.

      • Lisa and her pack in SoFl (for now) says:

        Penny,
        I was looking at paper bag floors and saw one that looked like wooden boards. My trailer will have a lot of pine and red tones on the “furniture”. Brown would go well with that, I was thinking of doing something with paper in a lighter tone…maybe white paper with a gray design to look like bleached wood. I could always just go with paint. My Granny had a painted floor in her farmhouse all her life, blue with red and yellow blotches made with crumpled paper. So many choices!

    • Mick'nTN says:

      Oh, your Lisa 🙂

  67. BadgerRickInWis says:

    Around here a scenic drive sign just means that the local government ran out of road repair funds.

    Pretty sure you can buy them on Amazon by the dozen.

  68. Rayn says:

    I’m a long time lurker who had to come out of hiding…because we had just the same experience with Gila Box a few weeks ago! Some friends who pull a long trailer ensured us that the road was “good and paved most of the way”, and that we would have no trouble getting to the campground. I looked at the Google Maps view, and it looked curvy but OK. So, we plunged in with our 27′ motorhome, pulling a car. Once we realized how bad it was, there was no place to pull over and unhitch, so we had to just keep going. The worst was when we would meet a car as we were coming up one of those hills…we had to keep our momentum going, and there wasn’t enough space for us and them. We just plowed through, and bullied some cars into backing up. We were in a very bad mood when we finally got to the campground.

    However, it was a very peaceful and clean campground, and a great place to hide out over the Easter weekend. I posted a positive review on Campendium, and strongly suggested that only confident drivers with good brakes and transmissions should attempt that road!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Welcome, Rayn! Thank you for sharing your experience on that road. What the heck? Your friends encouraged you to take your 27 foot motorhome with toad on that road? No wonder you arrived grumpy!

    • edlfrey says:

      This is the second Comment under this posting that has had something to say about meeting another vehicle on a narrow road and going uphill/downhill.

      The car going UPHILL has the right-of-way, so the guy going downhill–SHOULD do the backup, cause he has better control of his vehicle. However, what should happen and what happens are not always the same. Sort of like cars at a 4 way stop – most drivers do not have a clue what they should do.

  69. bess in oregon says:

    FYI Blogerinos:

    i just realized yesterday that i use Google Earth Images, not google images as i stated previously.

    Earth Images let you see the trees and roads and towns. i just used it for Highway 21 in Idaho to see if there were steep cliffs. i just zoomed in and proceeded to “drive” down the road. it was great. there are some inclines but there are trees so i will do fine.

    this is a great tool! bess

    • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

      Hi Bess, what part of Hwy 21? If you mean between Idaho City and Lowman, I’d suggest you go around unless you don’t mind hairpins, one right after another, and steep drop offs.

      • bess in oregon says:

        yes, someone said it was beautiful. and Google Earth didn’t really show the drop-offs. Wow am i grateful to you, Renee, for altering me.

        i guess my new discovery of Google Earth doesn’t work that well. thanks for looking out for me! you are a peach!

  70. Shirlene (Huntington Beach, Ca) says:

    Am I the only one wondering where Sue is? Do you think she took another scenic drive? Yooohooo!

  71. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    I am a little late to the party….just read your post and will catch up on the blogorino comments later.

    The photos of the cacti and wildflowers and even the poisonous plant are just lovely! I can relate to what you were saying regarding discovering more flowers to enjoy and take pictures of….all in a small area. I tend to do the same thing….oooohing and aaaahing over the littlest wildflower that had deemed a barren patch of stony earth a perfect home; a tiny beauty living against all odds in an unlikely area. Thank you for sharing the pictures! 🙂

    Your description of that ride on the scenic drive had me shaking in my shoes! Yikes! What a terrible feeling, not having an out….having to get to the end, only to have to experience it again! My stomach would have been in knots, too! I am glad that you and the Crew made it through such a harrowing ordeal. Did you even eat your sandwich or were you too shook up to enjoy it?! Bridget and Reggie were good co-pilots….if they had been upset or scared, could you imagine the crying (their WalMart duet) that you would have to listen to while trying to concentrate and not lose your cookies?! Good pups! 🙂

    I hope you and the Crew have a good evening! I am hoping that we get some much needed rain tonight and/or tomorrow. We need it, and it will help knock down the pollen counts a bit. The counts have been extremely high this year. Almost everyone is having issues of some sort. Even Gracie has been sneezing her little head off at times…yeah…I know, what does a headless Gracie look like?! 🙂 LOL!

    Sending you, Bridget, and Reggie warm hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂 xxxooo

  72. A gal in Maple Valley, WA says:

    Finally made it on the Amazon list! Not sure how much ‘play’ my cat will be doing, but at least he will be outside and have SOME safety and security. Now to figure out a passageway in and out of the RV window…….. I don’t trust him with the keys to the rig …. yet. ; )

  73. Krystina ~ Sutton, Vermont says:

    A little late to the party here 🙂 Busy, busy! My Daughter, Grand Daughter and I took a trip to visit my Stepmother Diantha in CT. LOVE going there. She fell totally in love with Nora (granddaughter)!!

    I was able to actually go outside and do some work in my garage for one whole day!! It was 18 degrees here last night and the wind is blowing big time. UGH. I had to start cleaning out the small garage so I could put my riding lawn mower in there. Hard to do because there is soooo much stuff in there (it all came with the house). Mission accomplished. I continue to go out when it is warm enough. Anyway, the pictures are so beautiful in this post RVSue!!! You have done a great job with them. I seriously laughed totally out loud with the description of the “Scenic Byway”!!! I was on one of those roads once and somehow lived through it. Terrifying!!!! I don’t like heights either. Also, LOVE Bridget’s new car. I can see her happy little face in it. Have a great day.

  74. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts, VA says:

    Well Sue…Laughed so hard I had to cry on this one. You made my day. And Zodi is what I use to shower, it’s great! Take Care Sue and Crew.

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