Wildlife and boondockers

Monday, March 5

Sunday sunrise seen from our camp near Blythe, southeastern California 

You boondockers probably already know this . . . .

If you leave your pet’s water dish outside over night, especially when camped in the desert, you’re inviting night creatures to visit your camp.  Even without me tempting animals with a water source, they do roam around our home at night.

Yes, we do have night visitors. Every morning we find a few “droppings” on the mat.

Rarely do I see them.

I don’t leave my outside light on at night and I hope you know better than to do that, too.

If Roger sounds his barking alarm, announcing that “something is out there,” I hold my flashlight up to the window glass and scan the area.   So far this shows no visitors.  Roger hears sounds made far from our home.

Anyway . . . 

About leaving a bowl of water or food outside at night . . . .

Del tells me his crew made a fuss the other night.  The moon was full which allowed him to catch a glimpse of a furry animal drinking from the bowl sitting outside by the motorhome.

“It had a long tail, very bushy, not a coyote . . . .”

From his description we determine it probably was a kitfox.

P1020022Photo taken at Painted Rock Campground, Gila Bend, Arizona — Winter of 2015

I suspect the kitfox I was able to photograph (above) was becoming used to the presence of people at the campground.

Maybe you want desert creatures to have access to water at your camp.

That’s your choice.  Generally speaking, I try not to introduce things into the lives of wildlife.  (I’m talking about wildlife “in the wild” and at campgrounds, that is, in places where we camp.  I am NOT talking about backyard feeders, waterers, and birdbaths where there’s a critical need.)

Sure, I’ve hung hummingbird feeders and put up bird feeders and at one camp I provided a plate of water for bees (to keep them away from the crew’s water!).

Well, what are the pros and cons of providing wildlife with water and food from your camp?

What do you have to say about that?

Sunday sunset seen from our camp

Interesting comments under the previous post!

Blogorinos answered the call for suggestions for healthy recipes, such as for kidney health. A discussion regarding the benefits and legality of CBD aka cannabidiol sparked interest. Feel free to continue talking about these subjects or introduce new ones.  Your questions on just about anything are welcome, too.  As always, we love to read about your dreams and plans!

View to the north at sunset

The crew and I were able to spend some time outside today.

It wasn’t as windy as this past weekend.  I used my griddle to make a chicken-and-rice quesadilla.  The highlight of the day for Reggie and Roger was a visit to Del’s campsite where they ran around off-leash and played with their friends.

rvsue

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125 Responses to Wildlife and boondockers

  1. Renee still in Idaho says:

    Yipee!

  2. Pat in Rochester says:

    Why shouldn’t one leave a light on at night? Boondocking, that is?

    • Ed says:

      Sue will have an answer but I offer up mine.

      A burning outdoor light could be interpreted by would-be thieves that there is no one home and therefore an easy break-in target. Although thieves do not usually roam around boondocking areas looking for targets providing you take other security measures you should be fine.

      Now my rant! I hate having a neighbor that leaves his outdoor light on all night and pollutes the night sky. Or anyone along my early morning walking route that kills my night vision when walking in the dark.

      • Linda from Oregon says:

        Totally agree about neighbors that leave their light on all night. We like to go out to enjoy the night sky not remember the city lights. We just say, “guess the dark is to scary for them city folks”. Plus when you boondock it puts a draw on the battery.

        • Renee still in Idaho says:

          That’s also why we turn off ours – to not pollute the night sky. The main beauty of boondocking is peace, solitude, and free or almost free camping.

      • Cinandjules 🌵 says:

        Totally agree with the outside lights on…we lived IN the woods…where if you went outside at night you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. No such thing as a street light. At night you could hear critters stepping on the leaves or on fallen branches..and always kind of felt the woods had eyes so to speak. The coy dogs would howl. We used to run home from our neighbors…saying…last one gets eaten by the bear! Stars were plentiful……..then the citidiots started moving in..all of sudden the lake is lite up with LED spotlights & floodlights ….wanting to bring the city up to the woods.
        Argh!

    • Jolene/Iowa says:

      Ok, you all are going to laugh at me on this one. One time when my kids were younger but old enough to fish and enjoy it. I took just my two kids and myself and maybe a tent and stuff to overnight about 4 hours from home to take them trout fishing in the beautiful streams of northeast Iowa.

      Well the place I went had no electricity. I don’t recall if I knew that or not before I went but here we are getting there, fished a little bit and it is getting dark. I mean the place is called Yellow River Forest for a reason, there was a forest of trees. Lots of trees. Did I mention that it was really, REALLY dark!

      Well, we got scared, all of us were scared. I packed us back up and we drove 4 hours home that night. I couldn’t stay in the DARK, REALLY DARK place by myself. We kept saying, “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!”

      In the light of day, beautiful place, love it but not sure I am made for boondocking by myself!

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:

        That is one fishing trip you and your kids will never forget, Jolene! 🙂

      • Diann in MT says:

        Great story. We visited that part of Iowa a couple of years back. My grandmother was born and raised at Harpers Ferry (?). I remember her fascination with “pearl” buttons as she was a seamstress. Seems the pearl buttons were actually clam shells that were shaped into buttons on the eastern side of the Mississippi in Lacrosse. The Northeastern Iowa Mississippi area is a fascinating place and I would love to return some day and explore the ancient mounds. We stopped briefly at the monument on our way south.
        Your husband’s choice is courageous. For both of you. God bless.

        • Jolene/Iowa says:

          I absolutely love that part of the state. Probably my favorite area to be honest. Yes, Harpers Ferry is right outside of the Little Paint Unit of Yellow River Forest where these trout streams are.

          I have never heard of those pearl buttons, interesting!

          I have been up in the area many times over the years and have never been to Effigy Mounds yet myself. I guess my focus has been more fishing directed every time I have been there.

          It is pretty neat history too.
          https://www.nps.gov/efmo/index.htm

          • John Abert says:

            This is sort of off topic, but since you are talking about NE Iowa, you may be interested in a mystery author from there. I ran across her by accident, and have since read most of her books. Her name is Karen Musser Nortman (you can Google it). She writes a series of books (Frannie Shoemaker Campground series) based around an RVing couple, a retired schoolteacher and her husband, a retired police officer. Most of her mystery stories take place in the state parks in Iowa, and at the end of each book, she tells what park or area it was based on, and even gives recipes that were used in the telling of her stories. Her books are available on Kindle. If you sign up for her email updates from her site, she often announces released books at no cost for a day or a weekend. I have found all of them to be well-written and very entertaining. Enjoy!

  3. Reine in Plano (when not camping) says:

    Thanks for doing your part to “keep wildlife wild”.

  4. Joy says:

    Beautiful sky

  5. Karen LeMoine says:

    Top 5!

  6. Renee still in Idaho says:

    Hi Sue, We too don’t leave our dog’s food or water out at night, in fact they both stay inside. I would be afraid of 1) virus or illness spread by wildlife to my pets and 2) wildlife getting accustomed to being fed then they become used to humans and begin to wander closer and closer possibly jeopardizing you and your pets safety. As for the light, we leave ours off at night. I prefer to be able to look out using natural moonlight to guide me and if we have to walk the dogs in the middle of the night, or hubby, the porch light comes one for his guidance. The Kit Fox is cute!

    BTW – I made chocolate Chia pudding last night. Delicious! I topped it with sliced bananas.

  7. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Hi Sue,
    Stunning pictures! You could publish a book with all of your pictures and it would do very well!

    About feeding critters, I don’t like to do it because then they become dependent on it.

    I also want to thank all the blogorino’s who visited my website from the link in my name here and checked it out and ordered the CBD oil as well. I am so thankful. I also hope that those of you trying it out will have great results like so many do that have tried it. I truly believe this is part of the future of health going forward. Just too many things to ignore with this.

    We used it again today with our dog Harley to help him because it was raining and he gets terrified and shakes. Give him a couple of drops and within about 10 minutes usually he is calmed down. This is going to be life changing for him this storm and fireworks season!

    Rick did decide for sure he is not doing the ICD implant at this time. Just can’t do it. I don’t blame him and understand his choice in this and actually do agree with his thinking on this.

    If you are having wind, I suspect it will be heading our way next. They said it will be windy here all week.

    Have a great day everyone!

    • Seana in AZ says:

      Hi Jolene! Just have to say, my fiancee has been battling ptsd and physical pain due to shrapnel in his lower back for 6yrs now, we’re going to order oil from you in couple weeks from now and i have such high hopes that he will find that beautiful peace that we all hope for… I will keep you updated on how your oil affects him. Many blessings your way, peace be the journey.

      • Jolene/Iowa says:

        Thank you Seana! You can find my contact information on my website when you click on my name here. It leads you to my website and once you sign in you can find the contact Jolene tab.

        When you click on that you will find my email address in the information as well as my facebook group link for lots of information.

        I am hopeful for all of you trying it. I have a some great videos I can share that I made as well as some the company owners have made. So if you are interested in more information be sure to email me or join my group! I look forward to hearing from you!

    • Laura says:

      I don’t often read this part of Sue’s blog, so I am wondering what CBD oil is.
      And also can you leave me a link to your web site.
      Thanks

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        In case Jolene doesn’t see your request. . . .

        Touch or click on Jolene’s name at the top of her comment and it will take you to the company she represents, Hempworx. CBD is explained in detail at that site.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Laura… Your name is shared by other blogorinos, so I looked up your previous comments to figure out which Laura you are. I saw your sweet messages at the time of Spike’s passing and also when Bridget left us, and how my losses coincided with yours.

        It’s good to hear from you again! (I understand your eyesight keeps you from delving into this section of my blog.) Best wishes…

      • Jolene/Iowa says:

        Hi Laura, yes, read my response above about clicking on my name and getting to my website and how to contact me through my website. CBD oil is changing lives as people are trying this amazing natural plant oil that is extracted from the hemp plant. It is a low/trace thc product that you will not get high from but with the high CBD’s your body benefits from it.

        Lots of information on my website including how to contact me and then I can get videos to you to really explain this well as well as my website as a lot of information including how my company farms, extracts and processes this oil and lab documentation on the oil.

        Contact me and I will be happy to help answer your questions and if I don’t know an answer I will find someone who does. 🙂

    • Jesse (El Paso, Tx.) says:

      Hi Jolene, will the oil help with pain in your neck. I have chronic neck pain due to arthritis and pinched nerve from spinal stenosis. And, does this show up when tested for drugs for lets say employment?

      • Jolene/Iowa says:

        Hi Jesse, we have many testimonials about how it is helping with pain. Many kinds of pain.

        This is a low/trace thc cbd oil extracted from the industrial hemp plant. My company uses a full spectrum plant product for reasons I explain in detail in some videos I made as well as some from the company. Due to it being a full spectrum product, although most people do test negative on drug tests, that is not something I can promise you because every person metabolizes things differently and the sophistication of the drug test.

        If you click on my name and go to my website, sign in and contact me either via email and or if on Facebook, ask to join my FB group, I can give you a lot more details, answer questions and be the first to tell you at the point we have a completely 0 THC product that the company is working on right now.

        This company is top notch and does things right and won’t release it until it is right.

        Thanks for asking Jerry. I can’t make promises on anything but what I am hearing from Drs., research, studies and actual people testimonials, this is going to be another aspect of health and well-being for people to use to help them live a better quality of life and possibly age healthier.

  8. ValGal (westernWA) says:

    I love the kitfox pic and laughed at the crows on the wires as blogorinos.

    One thing to be aware of when leaving water or food for wild critters is you might get creatures you’d rather not have around. Rodents are drawn to them and may spread disease. If you do leave a bowl of, wash it before you allow your pups to use it.

    I had to stop putting out birdfood at one place I lived due to this issue.

    Hope blogorinos everywhere are having a good night.

  9. Calvin Rittenhouse says:

    Those sunrise and sunset pictures are nice!

    I would not introduce anything into the natural environment needlessly. There’s plenty for the animals and plants to cope with if I and my vehicle intrude. On top of that, I suppose it’s possible to bring danger or nuisance factors on myself by bringing animals in to feed and drink. I would not leave a light on because the sky is one of the great features of places away from people.

    In the “other topics” department, I again own a motor vehicle after more than four years. I bought a small pickup with a commercial cap. (Think of something a plumber or electrician might use. I’m expecting people who see it parked in towns to do that.) The “conversion,” for the most part, will be minimalist and easy. So far, the hardest question is exactly how to put a backup camera on it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Congratulations on the pickup, Calvin! Sounds perfect for stealth camping. 🙂

  10. Susan in south central WA says:

    We can always tell when new neighbors leave dog food and/or water outside – we get visited by bandits (raccoons). Saw another person purchased a griddle! Have you noticed the hit to your propane consumption or are the griddles pretty frugal in propane usage?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Susan,

      The griddle doesn’t seem to use any more propane than what would be used with my kitchen stove. The griddle may save a small amount of propane in that all food to be heated or cooked goes on the griddle top, not requiring different pans or skillets be heated first.

  11. Joe in TN says:

    Hi Sue,

    In the last post we chatted about cornbread in a cast iron skillet. You probably didn’t see my second reply so forgive me and I’ll repeat it here.
    Since you have a griddle, you should try hoe-cakes (fried cornbread). I prepare the batter for cornbread and add some extra buttermilk to thin it a tad. Then I spoon about a quarter cup on the griddle and make pancakes. If I have enough for leftovers, I put them in a ziplock and use them to make grilled cheese/hoe-cake sandwiches on the griddle.

    Loved the kit fox.

    • Linda not in NC says:

      Hey Joe, that is a great idea! I think I will try that one myself. Thanks!
      I prefer to cook outside anyway and can do it in my cast iron pan on the side burner.

  12. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Beautiful sunset photos. I so envy your lifestyle. Reg & Rog are so funny running over to play with their friends.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I got a kick out of your description of Angel and her performance each day with her Greenie treat. 🙂

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        Glad you got a laugh from my fur baby.
        Her newest romp is in the evening when it is time for her heart med. I put it in a small piece of hot dog (weiney). Now between 8-8:30 she come over to my chair and begs for me to get up to get her weiney and evening food. As soon as I get up she makes this little leap and makes a mad dash for the kitchen. If you get in her way she will just about knock you down. Sometimes we race, but she always wins. Imagine that!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Methinks you love that little dog with all your heart. 🙂

          • Barbara (Nashville) says:

            Her antics really help in these times of dealing with DH’s health. I do love her, she is such a joy, 99% of the time.

  13. Linda not in NC says:

    Enjoyed the photo of the kit fox! Cute as a bug! The sunset photos are pretty also.
    Another week at least on repairs and then I will be free again.
    I have always fed the birds wherever I live and even brought a feeder with me, but fear of inviting rats, mice or other critters close to my rig, I haven’t put it up.

  14. Cynthia from San Clemente says:

    We have not boondocked; we’ve only stayed in RV parks, where I have left water out. However, after reading Renee’s comment, I can see why that wouldn’t be a good idea if there are critters around who have viruses or other communicable diseases. Last year, we were camping at the beach with friends – us in our RV and them in their tent. Apparently, someone left a bag of M&Ms on the picnic table and raccoons came during the night and had a party right outside the tent. We will probably do some boondocking in our new RV, since it has larger tank capacities, so I’m glad this topic came up. Now I know not to leave M&Ms OR water out!!!

    There was an interesting survey in Motorhome magazine this month on the topic of exterior/decorative lights that people put up around their campsites at state and national parks, as well as private parks. There was a nearly universal opinion that just as there is a “quiet time” when generators are supposed to go off, there should also be a “light out time” when exterior lights are turned off. Most of us enjoy the dark night skies when we camp, and brightly lit flamingos and flashing palm trees can really ruin it!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Cynthia! Love your “stories” and newsy comment. Your punchline made me laugh: “brightly lit flamingos and flashing palm trees can really ruin it!!”

  15. Peggy says:

    We almost always turn our outdoor lights on the RV off at night but We were advised at a state park in southern New Mexico to put rope lights around the bottom of the RV at night to discourage the pack rats! We didn’t have a problem doing that for sure!

  16. Linda Sand (Minnesota) says:

    Our neighbors who were having an ant infestation finally discovered it was because of the pet food they were putting outside.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes! That happens very easily. Sometimes we get ants on the blue mat. It doesn’t take much to lure them in. Something as mindless as sweeping the house debris out through the door (putting kibble crumbs on the mat) or giving the boys treats while they’re standing on the mat is the same as announcing: “Ladies and Gentlemen Ants: The buffet is now open!”

      🙂

  17. Don in Alaska says:

    Wildlife can carry rabies. We take great care to do nothing to lure wildlife to our camp.

    Then again, we worry about bears in the camp as well.

    We’ve been “lucky” but saw a neighboring camp where 3 black bears were playing football with the cooler that was left out. I don’t need to add stupidly, the campers were lucky that only their tent get shredded and the food eaten. They came back to find the mess.

    After reporting this to the authorities, we packed up and hauled out.

    Once wildlife gets used to easy picking…. no one is safe.

  18. Virginia620 (AL) says:

    Love the sunrise/sunset pics for sure. Made first reservation for my first extended trip. Heading to DC area, then south to Savanah, and sights along the way, first of April. It’s time.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s an ambitious first “extended” trip, Virginia. I’m happy that you are not hesitating to fill your life with rich experiences….

      It’s good to read your words, “It’s time.”

      • Virginia620 AL says:

        So many bucket lists to check off. Have another trip in store the 3rd week of September going to a Festival for pickleball at KC, MO. Over 300 players coming together to hang out, meet, greet and PLAY pickleball. (I’m more into the play part)

        Maybe head on up to see some Amish country after that. We’ll see. The road is open at the end.

  19. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    Gorgeous photos!
    Glad it was a nice day for you and the boys!
    As for the waterbowl….no way would I leave a waterbowl out overnight. Wild is wild and they need to always rely on their own instincts to survive…natures course! Who knows what disease(s) they may have and for sure I’m not letting them share a bowl with Annie Oakley! AO used to have a H20 bowl on the porch in NY…every night we would dump it out and turn the bowl upside down to dry. Same here..as we have coyotes, bobcats, rabbits and they say javalinas.
    As for the lights…..keeping them on at night is kind of obnoxiously inconsiderate.

    Enjoy your evening.

  20. Suzicruzi from The 'Couve says:

    Hi Sue,
    Good Morning! ☕️🌅
    Thank you for your reply to my post. I’ll try to get on here sooner rather than later, in order to take your advice about asking questions. 👌🏼 Hopefully I’ll be successful one of these days! I always seem to check my emails sporadically, thus chiming in at the tail end. Lol. And, I do really love your blog from a reality standpoint. Other blogs tend to sugarcoat things quite a bit, and that’s a bit misleading.

    I just got back from my “other home” in Hawaii. It was cloudy, very windy, and rainy the entire 7 days. There were brief periods of blue sky and rays of sunshine, but not much! I posted photos of the clouds and rain, and a selfie of my hair blowing straight up off the top of my head! I didn’t hide the fact that I waited all these months to go “home” to warm up, swim in the ocean, BBQ with family, and hike in the warmth of the sun and under blue skies for a change, and mostly all it did was pour torrents of rain. Lol.. “oh well”.

    So when I say I “love your blog”, I really mean it in more ways than one.

    Here’s to our cuppa together in the morning, and Smooches to the precious boys!
    Suzi ~

  21. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Love the gorgeous sunrise and sunset photos! The birds on the wire photo had me chuckling…a bunch of crows gathering to gossip! 🙂

    I agree with you regarding not leaving food or water out when camping. Wild animals are wild animals…leaving food/water out makes them too comfortable around civilization, which then becomes a threat to people and their pets. Leaving the lights off, other than those to keep away pack rats is the right thing to do. Dark night sky is one of the many reasons folks camp away from communities with light pollution.

    Have a good day, Sue! Sending you, Reggie, and Roger love and hugs from me and Gracie pup! ,-)

  22. Visited a campground on Whidbey Island here in the State of Washington recently where there were so many rabbits that you had to shoo them out of your way in order to drive in! People who frequented that campground told me that kids especially, but adults too, can’t seem to stop feeding them and petting them … and that a number of children and adults have gotten sick because of it. Like others here have commented, it also means that the wild animals hang around the campground and can also harm your own pets. Let the wild animals be wild. And let the dark of night be dark. 🙂

  23. Krystina says:

    Good Morning! When I comment and I check the “notify me” box for future comments and I am not getting them. This has been going on for quite some time. Any idea of what is happening? I do not comment a lot these days but I am right here with you all the time. I am missing the road BIG TIME.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Krystina,

      I’m very pleased that you didn’t drop my blog when you bought your house and left “the road.” Like in the photo, there’s plenty of room for us birds to get together and enjoy each other’s company.

      Out of the hundreds of folks who have signed up for comment notification, you are the only one reporting that the emails are not coming. This has me thinking the block is on your end. Check your spam folder and also the settings for your device to see if the emails are being caught by a filter or firewall.

      I have found that the frequent updates on my laptop can mess up my settings. Things go wonky and I haven’t done anything to cause it.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, Krystina! 🙂

  24. Diann in MT says:

    Thank you for the picture of the kit fox. How did you get so close to take that photo? The winter in southcentral Montana has been brutal. It seems like the snowstorms and subzero temperatures will never cease. I confess that I have fed carrots to a small herd of deer with late fawns in tow most of this season. It wasn’t until yesterday that I sensed a shift in the weather. The sun emerged and the piles of snow settled a bit. It’s still deep out there, and very cold at night. I can taper the carrots and be finished with it by the end of the week. A couple of tiny “skin and bones” fawns have maintained the strength to learn to graze with the herd. I have no regrets. They are still as wild as can be. Bottom line: wildlife prefer the company of themselves.
    Must say that while camping, I would take all precautions to never leave attractants outside. An outside light should only be used briefly, as the need requires. Never left on. Would run the battery down for sure.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Diann,

      That kitfox popped out of the ground right next to the driver’s side of the PTV as we entered the campground. Quite a pleasant welcome to a new camp!

      Your carrots for the deer during a harsh winter is in a different category than what we are talking about. I see your actions as similar to the water tanks that are set up across desert public lands, such as at Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge.

      You have a permanent home in the area where you’re assisting wildlife to make it through a tough winter and, unlike many RVers and campers, you will not leave and abruptly remove the support. You act with thought for the animals, not for yourself, and with respect for the importance of wild staying wild. 🙂

      • Diann in MT says:

        You are so forgiving, Sue! I put my comments out there with a great deal of trepidation. Your remarks, as usual, are so “right on.” Have a wonderful day in the desert!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thank you. No forgiveness necessary! You’re a wise woman of Montana country. Carry on… and keep yourself warm and safe.

  25. Mary says:

    I heard what all of you had to say about lights at nite, however all who go to the wild also have the right to have light for safty if they feel they need it. Please respect their rights also.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mary,

      In city and towns, lights are for safety. The reverse is true in the wild. Darkness is for safety. Lights on a rig at night tell the world that you are out there by yourself. If there is a safety consideration we’re not thinking of, please share.

      • Kathy from MI says:

        Hey, all,

        I love my headlamp for navigating at night. Often use the red filter option to keep wildlife from getting spooked. Love night sky viewing and really dislike camp lights for that reason. Because, as Mary mentioned, light is important for safety….for me it’s navigating my way to the camper and back at night. HEADLAMP….the way to go. Mine has a USB charger,

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          The headlamp doesn’t need to be very strong either in order to light up one’s way effectively. My little clip-on light shows where I’m going. No more than that is necessary. I appreciate you bringing that up, Kathy.

          NOTE: Again, yes, “light is important for safety” to see where you are placing your feet. Lights that can be seen from RV to RV across the empty desert landscape are NOT safety items, they are anti-fear items. It’s the fear that needs to be eradicated, not the darkness. If I’m wrong on that, someone explain how.

          • JazzLover says:

            If people go camping in the boondocks and are so afraid that they have to leave a light on all night perhaps they should just stay in a campground with others around so they can feel more secure. Just a thought.

  26. Life is wild, out on the road.
    I was down on Sidewinder Road the winter, and was awoken. I thought Geordie was bouncing about the trailer, but I saw he was sleeping on the floor. Then something bounced the steps outside. I got the flashlight out and opened the blinds to see a Grey Fox. You see I keep a rope attached to the steps to allow Geordie outside, so he won’t wander off. Sure enough, that fox was playing tug-o-war with the rope, and since it was clipped to the steps he was bouncing the steps up and down. I yelled and off he went. I too keep a bowl out the my dog. I have no doubt that’s what drew in the fox. He just made a game out of it.
    In the morning I found the little bugger had chewed through the rope.
    I suppose your story, Sue, of a bear trying to push in your window is the best. Not at that moment of course!
    They’re out there, sometimes you get a glimpse, sometimes you don’t.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Was the fox playing? Or was he trying to accomplish something? Fascinating story, Robert, and what a treat to see a Grey Fox up close and “in action!”

      One of the reasons Del and I think the animal at his camp was a kitfox (Del had never seen one before) is the sad discovery the following day. On the way into town, as he drove onto the main road in front of this area where we are camped, he found vultures feasting on roadkill. He took a photo and showed it to me which I identified as a kitfox. Beautiful animal.

      • I have no doubt the fox smelled Geordie’s scent on the rope and was probably sending a signal. He was really giving the rope a good yank.
        I hate to see something so beautiful killed by a vehicle. But, the wheel of life must turn.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Aha! Geordie’s scent… of course! Thanks for the reply.

          Yeah, the turning wheel… And, as the old saying goes, “there’s always two sides to a story.”

          The kitfox is beautiful and so is the vulture as one can see in my post from April 2016: “A desert boondock with beauty all around

  27. Dawn in NC says:

    Hi Sue! Thanks for the food for thought. As I long to get out and boondock, I have never actually done it. So, I never considered the problem of leaving lights on or water out. Now I know to keep the lights out! As for the wildlife, I wouldn’t leave water out because of reasons already mentioned. I used to live in an apartment complex that had a lot of feral cats. I would leave food and water out for them on my back porch. The racoons came to be such a nuisance that they would challenge me and keep me from using my back porch. Needless to say, I started taking the food up at night. Didn’t mind the racoons sharing, but challenging me was another matter.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Dawn!

      Your experience is an excellent illustration of unintended consequences. Thanks for writing it here. Raccoons can be feisty!

  28. I left a brand new collapsible full 5 gallon water container out
    one night to have more room inside.
    (Roosevelt Lake Az)
    Next morning either the rats or the raccoons chewed on it making it unusable. Even water containers not good to leave out. And I was close to the lake.!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jan!

      I was using the PTV as a pantry until I found a plastic “jar” of olive oil with a chewed hole and the oil all over the canned goods.

  29. karen waskow says:

    Hey hi Sue, yes when I first arrived here I found some long skinny poos on my front door mat as well. Of course Jack promptly ate one before I was quick enough to pull him away:).

    I am getting ready to try and leave here in the next few days and have discovered that this is very difficult to do. It’s been so much my dream to be this far away from everything and now here I am I really don’t want to leave it. But I have obligations and deadlines and things to take care of at home and I drive very slowly and it takes me forever to get somewhere so if I don’t make a start I’ll never make it home.

    And it wouldn’t surprise me if other people who are just starting out full timing which I’m not necessarily doing at this point in time, as well as people who have just retired, have some degree of struggle coming to terms with a new life.

    That would be me. I had just retired before I left so had not really established my new retirement life. I’m just loving and appreciating being in my rig It Feels Like Home to me and everything I need is here. So lots of thoughts swirling around and actually no need to make any decisions now but feeling very pulled in many directions.

    I follow a group of people full timing or wanting to be full timing on Facebook. I often notice people just really diving in and selling their houses and everything they own and moving into very often a very large 5th wheels for some reason. Only recently has one person started to write about really taking your time considering emotional implications that it’s a really big deal to leave your house and your family and connections and other things behind.

    Anyway that’s kind of fresh on my mind as I go about figuring out next steps.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Excellent reminder, Karen, about the enormity of the decisions that can lead up to launching into full-time RVing. I add a reminder of my own: I considered, researched, self-evaluated, and planned for several years before committing to this lifestyle. Although I felt sure that this was the retirement life for me, it wasn’t a hasty decision.

      Maybe above all else, when trying to determine whether to sell the house or any of the other big decisions, it is important to “Know Thyself.”

  30. weather says:

    All of your photos in this post are so-o good, the one of the kit fox is a special treat, wow! My favorite among those at your current camp is the one taken at sunset. I love the way the air and soil takes on the hues of the sky and lighting in the desert sometimes.

    One reason I don’t leave food and water for wildlife while camping and in a few other situations is their normal levels of wariness and caution is often lessened when they are eating and drinking. I’ve seen birds, fox, rabbits and other creatures become prey for predators (human and animal) because of that. It’s no kindness to offer them something that results in their losing their life.

    Another problem with artificial lighting at nighttime that I’ve experienced while camping with someone using a lantern was it’s attracting many flying insects. I understand the need to see a path while walking yet find a flashlight works well enough for that, and just haven’t had a good reason for illuminating the whole campsite.

    Your chicken and rice quesadilla sounds really good. I like fried rice and hadn’t thought of using your griddle for that before. I sometimes make a breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, salsa and even meat inside. I hope Roger has continued to be a happy and calm passenger since his first time being that way a while ago.

    Shout out to Elizabeth in Washington:

    I hope you and your family are doing well. I haven’t seen a comment from you since January 2nd.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, weather,

      Excellent point about wildlife becoming more vulnerable to predators when eating or drinking our hand-outs. Also the fact that lights bring flying insects.

      For the quesadilla I put rice I had cooked previously on the lightly oiled griddle while finely chopped onions grilled alongside. I also heated on the griddle a few chopped vegetables out of a frozen pack (carrots, peas, corn, etc.)… just for the fun of it… The chicken was what I’d pulled off a rotisserie chicken. I added salsa so all of the above wouldn’t be dry, plus a little cheese.

      Cooking on my griddle reminds me of play-cooking as a child. 🙂

      Thank you for noting the photos. Anyone not familiar with the desert sky might not realize that those colors are real, not a product of editing. Our surroundings do turn pink, including the clouds, especially delightful against a blue sky.

      Elizabeth does leave here at times, according to the needs of her family, I think. However, you’re right — She’s been gone longer than usual. Thank you for calling out to her. I, too, would love to hear from her.

      You’re a very kind and attentive person, weather. Of course, we all knew that. 🙂

      • weather says:

        Sending hugs to you, Reggie, and Roger with hopes for you to have a wonderful day. It’s sunny out so I’m off to run errands and see what new wildlife has arrived in anticipation of springtime. Just to remind you in case it affects any plans you may make, Sunday March 11th our clocks go forward an hour. Sunrise and sunset will come later for a while then.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Thanks for asking Weather and Sue,
        Things have been terribly hard for me/us for a long time now. I have no idea when things will be settled for our daughter…nor do I have a lot of hope for the best situation for the grandkids…not in this state at least. But we are praying for a miracle…that money will not have the say in the matter. I cannot really share more than that. I may have to go to court with my daughter to testify at some point…which is something I totally dread…for the expected reasons plus I have never enjoyed being up in front of people. Meanwhile, the battles with health issues for most of us here, the continuing work on recipe development for our needs, regular life stuff, continues. And I lost a very close friend to cancer in Dec. and another very close friend, also to cancer and old age, in Jan. and just heard a couple weeks ago that another lady friend I was most fond of, also died of cancer in Dec. So that is a lot of loss in a short time. I value my friends highly. I guess we are in the age where one has losses right along…I know we are not alone in that. But meanwhile, on a bit of hope, I have been studying up on Hygge and also on Lykke (look up books on that if you are interested)…the Danes being the happiest people on earth they say…and trying to do what I can to set our little duplex up more in such a manner…and also help my daughter do the same at her place…we try every day between the 3 of us adults, to make that day one that is good and to be grateful…even if just for a cloudless sky which came today midday…and stayed till nightfall. I do come here a little…but not too much on comments as I have much to do, more than perhaps most retired folks. And I do not really like to be a “downer”…not really… I hope things are well for everyone here…I miss reading more of the comments…maybe eventually life will slow down again… Thank you again for asking of me…and I just happened to look into the comments tonight.

        • weather says:

          Hi, Elizabeth,
          It’s good to hear from you! I so wish your life was easier, you’ve had a lot of loss and concerns recently. One simple definition of hygge I found described it as pursuing and recognizing the joys in life. I pray those joys continually increase for you and your family.

          Thank you for taking the time to comment and tell us what’s been going on in your life. Love you, sweet lady, hugs and blessings, weather

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I understand why you aren’t commenting like you used to. We’re here for you, Elizabeth, whenever you want to join in. Sending you love and hugs… (No need to reply.)

        • Jolene/Iowa says:

          Elizabeth I am sorry to hear of all you are going through. I can sure relate. One thing I have learned to do is no matter what is going on at some point during that day to write down in a journal 3 things I am grateful for that day. It helps me to see there is good in every day.

          RV Sue and this blog and all the blogorinos is sure on my list many days! Even days I may not be able to comment, this blog makes me smile and keep me going! I will be praying for you and everything you and your family are going through!

          • Barbara (Nashville) says:

            Sorry for the loss of some dear friends and all the adjustments you are having to make. I can certainly relate to the latter. Take care of yourself and try to drop us a note occasionally.

        • Denise - Richmond VA says:

          Sending you a hug, Elizabeth. Take good care of yourself.

      • Brad in MN says:

        RVSue, I would like more info on your griddle. I regularly cook on a griddle at home, and would like to continue when we start RVing. Thanks!

        • weather says:

          If you type- Griddling fun – into the To search blog box (top of this page in the column on the right side) you’ll find a post with photos of the griddle and an Amazon link to it. The post following that one shows a photo with it connected to the hose and adapter needed to attach it to a propane tank, the Amazon link to it is there, too.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Thank you, weather, for helping! The crew and I are at a rest stop off the interstate. It’s a travel day! 🙂

          • Brad in MN says:

            Thanks!

            • Brad in MN says:

              I had time to look at the link, and the griddle looks promising. Thanks Weather & RVSue. My wife and I are still 16 months out. Lot’s of decisions to make. Thanks!

            • weather says:

              You and your wife have a lot to look forward to, I hope your planning and the results all turn out wonderfully 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I forgot to respond to your hope for Roger!

      Just yesterday as we drove into town I became aware that Roger has stopped whining in the PTV altogether! He likes to sit close to me, either with his chin resting in the crook of my elbow or simply looking up at me. That grin and his sparkling eyes make me laugh! I give him a one-armed, head-crunch hug now and then and he keeps on grinning. What a happy nut.

  31. Dennis says:

    Doesn’t anyone ever leave a solar light under their tow vehicle at night to keep pack rats or squinties from chewing up the vehicle wiring? If you’ve had your vehicle wiring chewed up, as we have, you know it’s an expensive fix. After 6 years of boon docking it works for us, Some will say to leave the hood up but with two torn rotator cuffs and two failed surgeries it’s a huge effort to raise the hood. Besides the solar light string is under the vehicle so little light escapes to the night sky.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dennis,

      Over the years some of this blog’s readers have mentioned lights on their vehicle’s engine to keep the wires from being chewed. I admit I’m lax about that.

      I’m not saying never have lights, if there is a valid reason for it such as you mention. Also when the lights are not obnoxious. Gee, I’ve had an RVer not close (You know how I try to be away from everyone) with a light so bright my curtains couldn’t block it!

      I like your method of using solar powered lights. Thanks for the reminder about protecting one’s wires.

  32. Kathy from MI says:

    Hi, Sue,

    I just love that Roger found….and you found….what gives him his happy feel in the PTV. That is sooo totally cute. I want to see a photo, if possible.

    What I got back on to ask you is this: I need clothing advice for boondocking in AZ. FINALLY, I hope to leave Grand Rapids, MI for the west next week. Now I’m all about getting my gear together. FIRST OUT WEST BOONDOCK!!!! Anyhow, right now I’m wondering what the best clothes are to pack…for the most part. I know to bring layers, pack some clothes for temp. and weather extremes, but what is most worn/indispensible for you? Thanks, sooo much, in advance and I only need your basics thoughts.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ll be happy to answer your question, Kathy. Right now I need to take care of a few things. I’ll be back later. 🙂

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Have fun on your trip, Kathy! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi again,

      I’m not sure what I wear has much relevance to your lifestyle. I don’t go to sit-down restaurants and rarely to other public places where nice dress is expected. I also go inside at dark so I don’t dress for outdoors in the cold nighttime.

      At this time of year in Blythe, CA my typical attire is long pants, camp shirt (long or short sleeved) and hiking shoes. In a month or so I’ll be breaking out the shorts and sandals. I could’ve worn shorts this afternoon, but I didn’t for this reason: If you’ve never been in a dry climate such as where we are now, you’d be amazed how much cooler the shade is contrasted with unshaded places. It’s still too cool for me to wear shorts when in the shade. Del had his shorts on today and a sleeveless t-shirt.

      Clothes you can layer is a good idea. I don’t know where or at what elevation “out west” you will camp. For instance, I needed a coat in May when I camped on a mountain and it snowed, whereas in other places it was shorts and sandals weather.

      More important, IMO, than the above is the type of clothing. Sturdy clothing works best for me. I hardly ever buy tops meant for women because they are made for appearance rather than comfort, the fabric is usually flimsy, and they don’t last as long as men’s clothing, plus the latter is often less expensive. Sturdy clothes, rugged shoes with good tread, and don’t forget you need a hat!

      At the moment I have on a pair of fleece pants with a men’s thermal shirt. That’s my sleepwear during winter.

      I always have at least a month’s worth of underwear (panties) in case I don’t get to a laundromat. Now that I’ve given you Too Much Information, I’ll stop here with a wish for your happy planning and travels!

      • Kathy from MI says:

        Hi Sue (and Denise),

        Thank you so much for all of the good advice for clothing. As I read your response to my question, it suddenly hit me…you were describing my all weather “yard work wardrobe”. Ir’s complete with assorted layers, both top and bottom, to accomodate ANY weather. It’s all sturdy, servicable, easily layered, it can all be bleached, comes with two hats and a variety of gloves. AND, best of all, it’s all on the row of hooks and the window ledge at my back door. Yippee, that’s all set.

        Really good advice on the underpants. I’ll have to order some more stat. Have my Arizona Benchmark on the kitchen table and got my camper propane tanks filled today. I plan on staying mostly in AZ and not covering too much ground in one trip. Including my travel time, I can’t stay longer that 5 1/2 wks. and I’m not pushing myself to hit everything on my wish list in one trip.

        Also, thanks for the elevation reminder playing such a large role in wardrobe and temp changes. I was so interested to learn about how cool it can be in the shade, as opposed to full sun, in the dry western climate.

        You’re the best and thanks a ton. And once I hit send, I’ll think of something I forgot.

  33. Gal and a cat in Fl says:

    I understand about leaving things out and attracting wildlife. Much as I love it we don’t get to pick and choose what visitors we get! You are so lucky to be out there and get to see so much. I am a little guilty at home putting out stale cereal and old mush salad for the bunnies. They show up every late afternoon now. But of course that means other critters that want to eat them might catch on. I know I shouldn’t…. Maybe just stick to my birdfeeders and bath which attracts more than birds. I’m not a boondocker much, although I long for more of it. My small rig is more of a road tripper type suited more to campgrounds. Leaving Fl this month for the NW California redwoods for the summer. Can’t wait. Love this blog and you and your stories and the pics. Just wonderful and a sincere thanks.

  34. Harriet says:

    Years ago when my grandson was about 8, I decided we needed to go camping instead of staying in motels all the time. We were discovering Arkansas and were traveling in a van loaded with our camping gear. Buffalo State Park is where we camped. We cook our food on a Coleman stove and setup tent (one of those you just insert the rods and ta da it’s a tent). He walked in the little stream while fix our meal. Such a grand time we were having, then it was time to bed down. We climbed in our tent and listen to all the scurrying things meandering around just outside our heads. No worries , I told him we had a little 4” TV, battery operated. We only received one channel and the news was on, so we settled down and listened. We listened to the news guy talk about the escape mental patient in county such and such. Well, I had no idea what county we were in at the time. I felt like I was in a Freddie Kruger movie! I switched off the TV. We lay there about 20 minutes, when I asked , “Are you sleeping? He said no! Our next move was to grab our sleeping bags and head for the van. Needless to say this was our last camping experience!

  35. Cinandjules🌵 says:

    Hmmm…no cell service or eloped😳………no cell service! 😘😘

  36. rvsueandcrew says:

    HELLO!

    For those wondering why I haven’t posted or appeared in comments lately….

    The past three days have been jammed with things to get done in addition to hours of travel. I’m exhausted. I hope to sleep well tonight and write a post tomorrow.

    At this time I’d rather not write about personal business due to the impact it would have on another individual. Eventually I’ll be more forthcoming.

    Reggie, Roger, and I are perfectly fine. We’re in good health (no medical issues). Nothing bad has happened, just have stuff to take care of.

    We’re happily camped by ourselves in a nice boondock. Photos coming soon!

    Best wishes,
    Bye for now,
    Sue

  37. Cynthia from San Clemente says:

    Thanks for letting us know Sue. You know I always start to worry when we don’t hear from you for a few days. Rest well, take care, and we will all be waiting for you.

  38. Jolene/Iowa says:

    I was wondering also Sue. Glad you are ok. Get a good night’s sleep! I was just telling someone about your air horn for bears and other things in my RV group tonight on a Facebook live and after I got done sent her a link about it. You never know when your old blogs are going to help someone and this gal was thrilled tonight for the info!

  39. Kitt NW WA says:

    Sue,
    Glad to hear that life is moving along at a busy but normal pace! It is a little unsettling when you suddenly go “dark” for a few days. Those of us who follow every day begin to get a bit antsy. Looking forward to seeing your new surroundings. Enjoy your new peaceful camp!
    Kitt

  40. Jo in OR says:

    I was just telling my husband I was worried about you and the Crew. Rest up. I’ve loved your recent posts and pictures. The comments have been really great. Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

  41. weather says:

    Good morning, Sue,

    How considerate of you to leave us a note yesterday. I hope you did sleep well last night. It sounds as though you could use a bit of time to just relax with no pressure to get anything done. I think we all have times when being busy can exhaust us, and so can understand if you don’t post again right away.

    As long as we know you and the crew are alright, hopefully all of us will contentedly wait for whatever you decide to share with us next. I do understand how much everyone looks forward to a new post, because I always do, too. Yet, speaking just for myself, I’d rather have you not post at the expense of what free time you have to rest when you need to.

    Wishing you a wonderful day, however you spend your time 🙂 !

  42. Seana in AZ says:

    Hi rvsue. Thank you for commenting on your status. It feels a lot longer than a few days since your last post and I find myself hoping for your wellbeing even while I’m crazy busy at work! Hopefully you can settle your thoughts, rest your spirit and find peace through your nomadic life and tiny crew 🙂 and maybe an extra tasty griddled quesadilla!

  43. rvsueandcrew says:

    Y’all are very kind!

    The crew and I did sleep well last night. It’s quiet here. The only sound I heard overnight was the distant wail of a train at sun-up. Because of that train I didn’t miss a lovely sunrise peeking over the mountains. 🙂

    I was about to start a new post this morning when I noticed that the travel trailer on a far away ridge was pulling away. Since I plan on us staying here for 14 days, I jumped into action to move us over there.

    We’re in the new campsite. I like it because we’re on a short spur road that puts us up and away from the main road. It took a while to figure out how to position the Best Little Trailer. The site is sloped and, if you know me, you know I fuss around until the sun, shade, and view are perfect for our home. 🙂

    The boys were excited and needed to walk in all directions to get a sense of where they are. At the moment they’re asleep beside me on the bed.

    Thanks again,
    Sue

  44. AZ Jim says:

    I felt kinda like the mailman must feel when mail piles up in a customers mailbox. Wondered where Missy had gone. I am taking you at your word that you and the boys are ok. Ya know we Blogorinos are kinda attached to ya…

  45. Barb in Florida says:

    I just figured somebody got nosey and ran you outta there – maybe had to get ahead of the posts again. Thanks for joining us in the comments to let us know you all are fine. I’m good, the weather’s cool and dry & had a great day at the farmer’s market.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb,

      No, we weren’t run out of our camp. There are people at Midland who read my blog, so I want to make it clear that they have nothing to do with our leaving.

      Enjoy your weekend!

Comments are closed.