Windy Hill Campground, cute dogs, and RVers who don’t dump

Wednesday, November 12 (continued)

Bridget and I leave the east entrance of the Apache Trail and take Route 188 southeast.  It parallels the shoreline of Theodore Roosevelt Lake, east of Phoenix.

1-P1010480 - CopyWe approach the sign for Windy Hill, another campground in Tonto National Recreation Area. 

This campground looks as large or larger than Cholla Campground.

Like at Cholla, a few of the loops are closed for the season.

1-P1010481We cruise around an open loop. 

Several campsites are just as attractive as the best ones at Cholla.

1-P1010482Windy Hill Campground has solar shower houses, too, and the rate is $6 regular/$3 with senior pass.

1-P1010484The situation at the campgrounds will change come January.

The word I’ve heard, secondhand from a camp host, is this . . . . .  Reservations will be taken for campsites at Cholla and Windy Hill.  This isn’t campground scuttlebutt.  Already the reservation posts have been installed.  It’s apparent that the best sites are on the by-reservation-only list.  Those of us who abhor making reservations will have the less attractive sites.

1-P1010486Call me a cynic, although I believe I’m a realist . . . .

I doubt very much that the campsite fee will remain $6 regular/$3 with senior pass.  My guess is double-digit fees starting January 2015.  I hope I’m wrong.

1-P1010495Bridget is anxious to get out of the Perfect Tow Vehicle.

I’ve learned my lesson!  Before pulling out onto Route 188, I stop and let her out.

“Well, that didn’t look very urgent,” I remark as I heft her into the PTV.  “How about we go to that picnic area now.”

Cottonwood Picnic Area is deserted.

Such a pretty little park and no one is here.  People don’t picnic the way they used to . . . .

1-P1010516While Bridget explores, I look for scenes to photograph.

My attention is drawn to a brittle bush in bloom, its yellow flowers hanging on as if in denial that summer is long gone. The other brittle bushes have no blooms.

1-P1010518I take several photos of a butterfly as it moves from flower to flower.

1-P1010505“Enjoy it while you can, little guy.  There aren’t many flowers left.”

I attempt a few photos of Bridget.  She ducks behind stumps and bushes.

“Okay, forget it.  I give up.”

Well, not really.  I do manage a sneaky shot when she’s not looking.

1-P1010511I retrieve my lunch from the PTV and sit at one of the tables under a large shelter.   I unwrap the egg salad sandwich I packed.

To hell with cholesterol.  This tastes good.  It’s very quiet here.  Only that raven and a few bees.  I should’ve brought a chair and my Paperwhite.  We could relax in the shade of those cottonwood trees.

1-P1010509Thursday, November 13

You know what?  I’m not sure I have these days right.  I’m typing this on Saturday and the previous days are running together in my memory.  Oh well, it doesn’t really matter.

1-P1010438 - CopyTeresa and Bruce walk over from their campsite in another loop at Cholla Campground.

With them are their two dogs, Callie and Orrie  (named for California and Oregon).

“We’ve had other dogs named for states,” Teresa says.  “Tex and Dakota.”

“What?  No Wisconsin or Nebraska?” I respond in a lame attempt at humor.

Bridget shows more interest in these guys than she usually does toward canine visitors.

“Maybe it’s because they’re similar to her,” I speculate.  “What breed are they?”

“Jack Russell-chihuahua mixes.  They’re brothers.”

1-P1010437 - CopyI’m beginning to think there isn’t a mixed-breed dog in the Southwest that doesn’t have a chihuahua somewhere in its family history.  These guys are cute as can be.  I watch them wistfully, wondering what the next member of the canine crew will be like.

“I’d steal one of your dogs, given half a chance,” I remark.

Teresa, Bruce and I gather at the picnic table and chat.   Somehow the conversation goes to dumping tanks — a common topic among RVers — and Bruce tells me they don’t go to dump stations.

“Huh?  You don’t?”

“We don’t have to.  We have a composting toilet.”

This revelation leads to an invitation for me to visit their campsite tomorrow in order to take a look at their toilet.

Of course, I accept.  How could I turn down an invitation like that?

rvsue

THANKS, RVSUE SHOPPERS!

I appreciate you shopping Amazon from my blog.  Here are a few examples of what people purchased recently:

Pokemon 6 Inch Plush – Pikachu
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Sealed With A Kiss Designs Lace Dress in White
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202 Responses to Windy Hill Campground, cute dogs, and RVers who don’t dump

  1. Cat Lady in Baton Rouge, LA says:

    Hi, Sue and Bridget

    We’re been waiting for you.

    Cat Lady

  2. Susie Rollyson says:

    I have been with your blog about 3 years….I have not found out what a senior pass is and how you get one. Thanks for all your posts and safe travels. I am coming from the east coast to AZ in Jan for a couple months. I have never been to Yuma and Quartzite, and i want to do that area.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Susie,

      Here’s a link that explains the “Interagency Senior Pass” that gives persons 62 years and older free entrance into national parks and half price fees for national forest campgrounds. It’s only $10 and is good for a lifetime, available from national forest offices and, I believe, online as well.

      If you want to read my old posts about Yuma and Quartzsite, do a google search (not my blog’s search) using the phrases”

      RVSue + Yuma

      or RVSue + Quartzsite

  3. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Hi Sue,

    All of these parks in this area are so nice. I am glad you and Bridget are enjoying your time in this area.

    I am convinced you will know your next crew member when you see it. After we lost our dog 4 years ago now, I didn’t know what we would end up with either. I knew we needed time to grieve but was also convinced that pets are good for us and one way or another we would have another one some day.

    I knew we wanted a dog we didn’t have to groom so that narrowed it some. Then I did a lot of research on breeds and we finally decided on the Boston Terrier breed. I looked for one that people didn’t want anymore and we got one that was 10 months old. He is the smartest, most loveable dog ever. Totally love this breed and will most likely never own a different breed from here on out.

    So when the time comes for you, I know you will know it and find just the right fit for you and Bridge.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jolene,

      I’m glad you found the perfect dog for you. Boston terriers are wonderful dogs.

      I agree. The right dog, destined to be a crew member, will be found. I’d like a dog that is small, but not tiny, short-haired, rugged, but not dainty, and photogenic, of course! Preferably not camera-shy!

  4. weather says:

    Your photos make me smile in peace all the time,yet even more so today.Reading the narrative left me with so many questions that I had to look at the pictures again to chill out enough not to make my comment read like a questionnaire for you to fill out.I’ll behave now and just say I found this post extremely interesting on many levels and look forward to the rest of the story .

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, come on! What are your questions? I won’t be able to “chill out” until you ask. 🙂

      I can’t answer any questions about the composting toilet though.

      Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet with Close Quarters Spider Handle Design

      • Idaho Gurl says:

        An egg salad sandwich sure sounds good right now… ; ) You might look at the C-Head composting toilet also. From the research I’ve done. I prefer it over the Nature’s head the C-Head is easier to maintain, I think it is more user friendly especially if you don’t have a male partner to do the dirty deed of maintaining it. With the C-Head you don’t have to tear the whole thing apart to empty it, and you use 1 gallon milk/water jugs for the liquids so if one gets full you always have a back up. You just cap one and install another. Really saves on the water for the boon-docking set. There are some videos on YouTube, and they have a website http://www.c-head.com. Old Bridge sure is a curmudgeon when it comes to the pictures… P-Nut isn’t too crazy about them either… You sure were in a beautiful spot so many nice photos… You’re always in my thoughts and prayers especially looking for that new crew member… You can’t go wrong with a Chihuahua… Hint… Hint… I l♥VE mine… : )

        • monica says:

          That’s cheaper! I’ll research this one. Thanks!!!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, IdahoGurl,

          Um, you need a man to maintain it? Let’s not perpetuate gender stereotyping. 🙂

        • Jordan says:

          Thanks for the ‘heads-up’ on this composting toilet. I have been researching these for weeks but never came across this one! I like this one much better & they make a “shorty” version just for me! 🙂 I am in the process of making my own since i can’t afford any if these yet, but if i can afford one down the road, this would be the one. Thanks for sharing.

      • monica says:

        Go look at gonewiththewynns composting toilet videos. They tell it all. I’m saving for one.

    • weather says:

      OK.What do you mean specifically by Bridget showing interest?Did she seem friendly,not intimidated,willing to approach and remain near one or both dogs,and which one moreso?

      This is what was different in her behavior…. She walked up to the dogs, instead of hanging back. She sniffed Callie (brown) who was closest to her and she did so without snarling. Later when we were seated, she was on my lap and Callie was on Bruce’s lap (again the closest dog), and she moved closer. It was Callie who snarled at her. What all this means, I don’t know.

      Do you believe that all forthcoming information about those parks reservations/fees/ways to arrange for those things won’t be available to the public until January?

      Excellent question! I hadn’t thought about the time needed PRIOR to reservations being in place in order for people to make the reservations. I don’t know the answer to this question. If one is planning to go to one of these campgrounds in January or later, I suggest looking at the campground’s website (by searching). My guess (and that’s all it is) is that the reservation system will be online sometime in January for campsite stays in January and beyond.

      Did the campground you visited tempt you to move there as it appeared emptier and so more private?

      Yes and no . . . Within these campgrounds, one can move into an area that seems private and in a minute or a day be jammed up with neighbors, because people come and go. Windy Hill and Cholla are pretty much the same environment.

      Did the butterflies seem plentiful and vigorous enough to last a while longer or do you think that may be your last sighting(or anyone’s) of them this year?Were you being ironic when you posted a photo of the sign”enjoy the parks” mid-narrative about the upcoming changes-as if to say-because we won’t be able to in the same way for much longer?

      I saw only one butterfly at the picnic area — the one in the pic — and he seemed vigorous. I’ve seen a few other butterflies over the past few weeks, in passing, that were hovering around the last, nearly dried up remnants of blossoms on rabbit brush.

      As for the “enjoy the parks” sign, yes, you got it… That sign is at the exit of Windy Hill and I saw the irony as I approached it.

      Has Bridge behaved like herself lately allowing you to believe her “smear” on the seat was simply a matter of too early a trip for her-meaning no chance for her usual potty run at home?If so ,you just mentioned letting her out above because you are sort of extra aware at the moment that her barking may not be griping at being left alone for a minute?

      I think Bridget had that accident because she didn’t have enough time to do her morning business before I put her in the PTV. Whenever she picks up the slightest signal that we are going somewhere, she becomes excited and totally focused on being put inside the PTV, hopping and squealing. As for her “griping at being left alone for a minute” — It wasn’t that. She started whining and fussing as I drove us out of the campground, not after I got out to take photos.

      Are you becoming excited about another crew member or only wistful when you see other dogs in pairs?

      A little bit of both… excited and wistful. I’m wistful when I see dogs that I would pick. I’m excited temporarily, that is until the memory of Spike supercedes any notion of a new crew member and I slip into missing HIM again.

      That’s more than enough,I’m sure!Now you see why I was hesitant to blurt all that out 🙂

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I enjoyed answering your “questionnaire” very much! (See italics above)

        Actually, when the blogorinos are in an inquisitive mood, they ask lots of questions and I love that.

        Thanks for asking, weather…. and good morning!

        • weather says:

          Good morning,indeed! , Sue 🙂 I really like the way that you did that-answering within the content ,use of italics-efficient and fun!It seems that both you and Bridget have experienced a great deal of healing re Spike’s passing,she is overcoming submissive/fearful reaction to at least one dog she feels companionable with and you first feel attraction toward a potential new companion and then begin feeling the sense of loss memory sparks.I’m glad you have not rushed into choices,this time is and has been needful- to allow you both such progress and to grow into readiness for what’s ahead.

          Ever the teacher,I think you’ve broken new ground on your blog(and possibly blogs in general) by getting this student to engage in the matters presented with an innovative format.Thanks,though I don’t expect to encounter it again,I’ve really enjoyed this-you started my day with happy grins-hope yours is great,weather

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            I’m glad you enjoyed this Q & A format!

            I like questions because it makes replying to a comment easier. Please always feel welcome to ask.

            Readers’ questions help me to know what points of interest I’ve left out of a blog post. I could have added depth to this post if I had included some of the answers you sought. You see, I learn from this, too!

  5. Barb George says:

    Hi Sue!
    Oh I keep meaning to get one of the Sr. Passes! My hubs qualifies… such a bargain. The WA State passes are going UP. They say to $50. And camping is going up too. I don’t know all the fee schedules yet, and am NOT a ‘happy camper’. Sad.

    Hope you are enjoying your week of weekends! 🙂

    Hugs from a blustery and COLD Hoquiam.
    Barb

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb,

      Bummer on the cold weather…

      I love Washington state. The state parks were a disappointment… I object to state parks that are clearly elitist, restricting their usage to those who are able to pay high fees. Cut out the fancy crap and make the parks reasonably affordable.

      Yeah, get the pass!

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        I would guess that part of that fee is to discourage maybe homeless?? Our area has SO MANY homeless folks (sleeping outside types)…well, I know you cannot believe all the signs they hold up…but it is a known problem. I wish there was a good solution. Have not heard of it yet and cannot think of one either!!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          If you’re homeless (as in addicted, mentally ill, depressed, unemployable, etc.), I would think $10 a night would be way too much to pay.

      • Sondra-SC says:

        …totally agree with fees too high only the wealthy ones can afford, and I really dont’ like that financially blessed individuals will reserve a spot on each side of them to afford privacy….which crowds the rest of us into the remaining sites. Just my opinion. So several of the Best sites you are speaking of could be reserved by one or two wealthy ones and no primo spots left for others..

    • Wickedlady of Shelton WA says:

      Barb: One of my good friends in high school was Bernice (Bunny) George. Any relation of your hubby?

  6. Make sure you take photos and get all the directions! I just don’t understand how they work!

  7. I’ve always been very curious about the composting toilet. What does one do with the liquid in the liquid separator? What does one do with the solids that are collected? If your friends don’t go to dump stations, what do they do with the contents of the gray tank? Inquiring minds want to know these things, and look forward to a full report.

  8. Jan in Montana says:

    Sue: another great informational blog about campgrounds. I think you are probably right about prices rising as someone will have to organize the ‘on site’ paper work. I once helped install a composting toilet in a home where the water table was too high for a standard drainfield. Those have a large outside bin for long term composting. Not sure that I would like a fan running–both the noise and power draw. Jan

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jan,

      You may have the correct reason for an increase in fees.

      Another reason may be what I’ve noticed over the years, as you probably have seen also — Whenever there is a change (such as putting a reservation system into place), that change is an opportunity to tack on additional, unpopular changes, such as an increase in fees.

      If increased fees do come, I hope they are for the on-season only. The campgrounds are far from capacity in the off-season. Several loops are closed and the ones that are open are approximately at half-capacity (I estimate).

      The very low level of the lake in the off-season discourages boaters and the fishing isn’t as good in winter. More reason to have an off-season rate!

      BTW, my usage of the terms on-season and off-season may not be appropriate, as who’s to say what the seasons are in the flip-flopped weather of Arizona?

      All this is hypothetical as I haven’t heard any definite word on increase in camping fees.

  9. Jan Johnson says:

    Beautiful place! Wow, I want to camp there someday. I’m glad you are thinking ahead to another canine crew member. I feel sad for people whose pet dies and they say they won’t get another as they just break your heart and it hurts too much. I’ve had my heart broken again and again through the years of my life, but the thing that helped the most was having another loving companion to make me feel better and see new life again. They are never a replacement, just a reminder that life goes on and is worth living and how can anyone live without a dog? Or a cat!? As my kids are nearing college age, I really appreciate my little fur children, who depend on me and give me unconditional love and will keep me from being unbearably lonely when my kids go out on their own.

    Do tell us about this composting toilet! I am curious!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jan,

      My parents’ dog died when they were in their sixties and they refused to have another because of the heartbreak. They both died about ten years later and I’ve often thought a dog would’ve made those years richer and better. Oh well, you can’t live other people’s lives for them…

      I hope you do camp here someday, Jan. 🙂

  10. Well Weather sure did let go with both barrels with the questions LOL I reckon you could intertwine a crime novel around the questions and answers with a touch of intrigue and maybe horror..LOL I am rambling here – glad you are still on the move and enjoying all you survey. PS composting toilets seem to be popular here in Ozz..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Leslie,

      It was fun answering weather’s questions. She made me think!

      Interesting that composting toilets are popular in Australia. Maybe not as many conveniently located dump stations as here in the U.S.?

  11. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    I love how we are all “trained” in regards to our fur kids!

    You sure have a sixth sense when it comes to beautiful spots! In regards to future reservations….I’m not sure if they, whoever “they” are will be able to apply their plan and enforce it!

    I’ve seen composting toilets in cabin life magazine.

    AO is scheduled to get spayed in two weeks. Her hormones are off the chain! Two menopausal women AND the dog…someone isn’t going to make it come spring! Hah!

    Have a great night!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      When the online reservation plan is in place, I have no doubt it will be enforced. As it is, a ranger comes around to make sure everyone is displaying the Tonto Pass for the day. Volunteer camp hosts are stationed at the loops. All they have to do is make a drive around the loop and check off the reservation list.

      If someone reserves a site and finds a camper in that site, the host or ranger will surely hear about it!

      Enjoy the next two weeks!

  12. Timber n' me says:

    Sue, those “Toilets” take up a lot of room, well, I saw them in a “Real Goods” catalogue a while back to put one in a log cabin up near Trout Lake, WA., the price is what changed my mind. But I think they are good for Earth. Your Photos are looking great. All the pooches look like they’re related. ,,,,Timber n’ me

    • BadgerRickInWis says:

      Happy Birthday Rusty!!!

    • Cat Lady in Baton Rouge, LA says:

      Belated Happy Birthday, Rusty. Was out of town and away from the computer yesterday but I thought about you. Hope you and Timber enjoyed your special day.

      Cat Lady

      • Timber n' me says:

        Thank you Cat Lady. We had a great day. and it’s been a good year, 45 more to go, unless God takes us home early, no worries. ,,,,us

    • Chaunte in West TN says:

      Happy Birthday, Rusty! I’m sorry it’s late. I, too was out of town with no computer access. You are a true inspiration and I love to read your insightful posts! I hope your day was absolutely fantastic! Here’s to many, many more!!!

  13. Maryanne Davis-Baldwin says:

    Our Caravan had a composting toilet which I avoided most of the time; my “new” camper has the old-fashioned water type. The composting one was large & high, had various things to turn, stuff to add, filters to combat odor (not always successfully) which I tried to keep up with when my husband died 3 years ago. Canadians always praised this type of toilet if I grumped about it, but I still believe I’ll be happier with the dump type. Maybe because I lived for several years at anchor on a 28′ sailboat with no toilet at all. (Don’t ask!) I was intrigued with the suggestion awhile back regarding propane water heaters-that when not needed soon, turn it off. We had an instant hot water heater at the Maine cottage which worked quite well but tho turn off/turn on would save propane & not cost a lot for replacing the current one with an instant on one .Sue I did purchase a heated mattress pad through your site-did it work, so to speak?

    • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

      Is it the 12v bunk size? (for truckers mainly) I love mine. Once the bed is heated up – with me in it – I turn it down almost to zero for the night and stay toasty warm. I’ve been using mine since 2011 – when I’m traveling in cold weather.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Connie,

        Your usage of the 12v warming blanket leads me to ask…

        What size solar panels do you have and what is your battery bank for storage of power? This would be relevant information for anyone relying on solar who may be interested in the blanket.

        • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

          I rarely boondock and thus haven’t added solar since I don’t need it. I only have my two batteries. At the lowest setting that I always use, these pads are probably 1 or at most 2 amps. They aren’t that large as they are for truck bunks.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Maryanne…

      I haven’t seen the heated mattress pad in the recent orders report. There is a 24 -48 hour delay in orders appearing in a report. It may show up tomorrow if you ordered it recently.

      If you ordered it weeks ago or more, I wouldn’t remember that.

      Whenever you ordered it, if you entered Amazon via any of my links, ads, or the Amazon search box, I’m confident I get credit for it. Unfortunately there isn’t a way for the customer to have the commission confirmed.

      Thank you very much for your purchase, Maryanne!

  14. Lynn Brooks says:

    Love reading everything!
    Thanks so much for letting me share your travels!

  15. Maryanne Davis-Baldwin says:

    Must proof read better-I meant turning off the heater in the camper when not needed would save the cost for replacing the water heater that came with it. I think I’m making things less clear–sorry.

  16. I can hardly wait to read your next blog about the composting toilet. We have a small rig, thus a small tank…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Betty,

      I wish I had more info and photos for you about composting toilets. (See why I don’t in my reply to Noelle below..)

      There’s information to read and see in other comments from readers and in the videos they mentioned.

  17. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Lovely spots you photographed….I would suppose you hope to camp someplace not designated a campground, by January then, Sue?

    And the doggies are really quite cute…no wonder Bridget was drawn to them. I wondered if the smaller one was somewhat growling….or just sniffing the air?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth,

      I don’t have a firm plan for the winter months. I do know I need solitude which isn’t found in a campground.

      The smaller dog — Orrie — has an under bite, very cute. He looks like he’s growling in the photos because his mouth is open revealing that lower row of teeth. I don’t remember him snarling at Bridget. He was curious.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Maybe Bridget will help you decide eventually, as to what dog to get next, or not. They seem to have their preferences too, just as we do with people. Our dogs have gotten along ok, but some were better friends and companions than were others. There are gobs of dogs in these parts here and often I laugh as you will see a big ole dog and tiny little one prancing along beside it.

  18. AlanOutandAbout says:

    Hi Sue. I don’t see all that much of an advantage to composting toilets. They only solve one issue, dumping of a black tank. But you still have to get rid of the compost on occasion but worst of all you have to do something with the urine. Yeah you can drop into a gas station toilet every few days or make like a trucker and pour it into a soda bottle and throw it out on the highway. But when boon docking you may not like having to drive to town to dump pee. You can’t throw it out on the ground, it is illegal. As for the grey tank, you still have to dump it and dump sites don’t care if you are only dumping one tank, the charge is the same. And no you can’t just dump it in the street or anywhere else. It is completely illegal too. I have put an on demand water heater in my unit and a household refrigerator both have turned out to be good decisions. The pluses and minuses of the composting toilet just don’t add up to be all that great an option.

    • AlanOutandAbout says:

      PS.
      However, if you have a rig that doesn’t have a toilet or are actually building your own then it makes sense as it will be cheaper than installing the whole black water system

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good points, Alan. I have been told by fellow campers in the desert that it is okay to dump grey water as long as you aren’t near a water source. I never have done that. It may be illegal, as you said. Just reporting that I’ve come across people who do dump grey tank water in the desert.

      Of course, people dump all sorts of things in the desert . . . from beer cans to bodies.

      • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

        I forget which site mentioned it, but some who use compost toilet combine grey and black using a overflow system thus increasing their grey capacity (since only grey is going in with the other stuff going into the compost toilet system.). Makes for longer boondocking they say. Me I really don’t think I want to deal with carrying jugs of urine or cleaning compost.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Velda,

          Like I said elsewhere, I don’t have any need to extend the time of my boondocks. Two weeks is long enough for me, and many times it’s too long. I like change.

      • BadgerRickInWis says:

        “from beer cans to bodies”

        Let’s hope that’s not the title of a future post. 🙂

  19. AlanOutandAbout says:

    Do you think Bridget may be getting lonely and that is why she is more tolerant of other dogs.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Alan,

      You could be right. It’s hard to say. I think she misses Spike. I suspect three things remind her of him . . . The empty bench seat in the PTV, the empty spot at the foot of the bed at night, and the missing partner alongside her when she’s on-leash. She used to give Spike a kiss when they walked on-leash together.

      Those male dogs were similar to Spike, although I don’t think she mistook either of them for Spike, dog senses being acute. Maybe there was a compatibility she sensed.

  20. Teresa from NC says:

    You should get one of those “clocks” that just tells you what day it is:-)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Teresa,

      I could look at my phone or computer to keep track of dates… instead I drift through the week like a leaf in a stream…

  21. BadgerRickInWis says:

    Like so much of the country old man winter along with snow, wind and single digit temps seems to be coming early here in American Siberia.

    What a joy to sit down tonight and see your wonderful pictures of sunshine, blue water, butterflies, and puppies. I have always enjoyed your photos but it seems as if your getting even better with the new camera.

    Speaking of new stuff did you ever start using your new computer? If you mentioned it I must have missed it. If so are you using Windows 8 now?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Rick, for the enthusiasm for my photos. I appreciate the encouragement!

      No, I haven’t even turned on my new Lenovo. Can you believe it? I’ve been wrangling with Hostgator and Verizon re: data usage. That takes up a lot of the time I’m willing to spend online… learning Windows 8, downloading Classic Shell, etc… can wait. I’ll let you know my experience with Lenovo/Windows 8 when the time comes.

      • Timber n' me says:

        Sue, I just read on Bing Tech News, that Microsoft is starting to release Windows 10 in late 2015 and it may be a free download. If you remember, I bought a HP 15.5 Notebook with Windows 8 and this past Spring/Summer I upgraded to 8.1, a free download also. Just thought I let you know running a better Windows may help you in the tasks you need to do. since I upgraded, my tasks, emails, security and the norm has been running great. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,me

      • Krystina at Mesa, AZ says:

        I just bought a Lenovo about 6 weeks ago and I HAD to get windows 8. Not having an issue with it so far. They told me when 10 comes out I get a free upgrade. The Geek guys told me that the guy who wrote Windows 8 got fired and ever since they have been constantly making improvements to 8 (?) Keep in mind that I barely know how to turn on a computer. I only have one so I can get RVSue’s Blog!!! LOL

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Krystina,

          If you get a free upgrade, then I’d better get a free upgrade!

          • Krystina at Mesa, AZ says:

            Did you buy it at Best Buy? About how long ago?

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I bought it at Amazon.com, of course!

              I’m still wary of Best Buy from a bad experience several years ago.

            • Elizabeth in WA says:

              Good choice on Best Buy. Earlier this year we went in to look at the paperwhites but no one was there to help…but one poor employee. The rest were busy chatting to each other. When we finally reached the one who waited on customers, he checked and they were out. So we came home, PAID FOR ONE FROM THEM online and waited to hear. Eventually we got an email that it was in the store awaiting pickup. We went to the store…nope, no banana. Not there…and they thought we should wait till another one came in (they obviously had sold it to someone else AFTER WE PAID FOR IT.) Well, ok, no problem, came home and arranged to get our money returned to our card. And told hubby no way we will ever shop there again. That was beyond bad business to do as they did to us. Apparently you must have had a similar type experience.

  22. DebsJourney says:

    Lovely photo’s and it is good to see Bridget enjoying company. I suggest a Chihuahua because I have Lily and she has been a blessing and so smart and easy to hold being only 5lbs. So easy to bring with and my other is a bichon/shitzu and she’s 15lbs of love. Nothing better than waking up with wagging tails and kisses every day. Helps keep me sane. I do look forward to taking off full time in spring. Lots to do to get ready.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deb,

      Chihuahuas are adorable and cute and easy to pack, yes. A chihuahua-mix would be okay. I’m not sure a pure chihuahua would fit into our lives.

      I’m afraid I would step on a 5 lb. dog in this small space. I’d worry about a predator grabbing a tiny dog, the way I let my dogs off-leash in boondock areas. I want a more rugged dog who can walk a rocky trail with Bridget and me.

      Being able to carry a new crew member is not a draw for me because we are approaching the day when Bridget will need carrying.

      I do like the way chihuahuas tend to stay close by. Bridget is part chihuahua, and although her clinginess gets on my nerves at times, I do appreciate that I don’t have to wonder where she’s run off to.

      • Sondra-SC says:

        I just rescued the cutest old doggie, he is part Doxie and maybe some Chihuahua I think…he was lost out on the road I put up Found posters etc but no one claimed him…I also put his photo on our local shelter Facebook page…nada
        he is the sweetest old fellow but still full of spunk, I actually took him along on my recent trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway…it’s much easier to travel with a small dog then my big girlz…although they will get to come along sometimes too Im sure! You would love this fellow…lots of small dogs in shelters are waiting for their forever home so I know you will find the one without any problems!

      • Chaunte in West TN says:

        Hi Sue! You make a couple of really good points here. First the possibility of stepping on them. Then, the possibility of a larger animal getting to them. These are new things I must now weigh in my adventure to full time. I have two Chi’s. Both full blooded and under 5 pounds each. I’m already used to them around in fairly small areas and have not stepped on them yet. Plus they are both so lazy, they sleep on the couch all day long. The only time they are up is to eat and potty. Lazy lazy lazy! I guess I will have to get that pet fence like you have and not let mine roam unless on a leash. Your talking about Bridgett’s clinginess, lol, I live where I work and am with mine all day every day. My only alone time is my office, with the door shut, and the potty. Heck, my Spike is asleep in my lap as I type this. Mine have always seemed to have an extra clinginess issue. I don’t mind though.

        Another great post! Looking forward to what the future brings in your travel adventures. Thanks again for allowing me to accompany you on this trip you’re on! I appreciate you opening your life up to all of us. I look forward to each new post with anticipation! As always, have safe and happy travels!!!

        Chaunte’, Shea, GiGi, and Spike aka BooBoo (because I caught him eating it on several occasions this past week….YUCK! GAG!)

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Chaunte,

          Chihuahuas have many good characteristics. I especially like their longevity!

          Thanks for the kind words about my posts.

      • Hi Sue! Our vet thinks Radar is a Chihuahua-papillion mix! He is 20 lbs of good lovin’ !

      • Hi Sue! Loved the sneaky peek at Bridget! She is getting really slim and trim! Wow! She is !ooking good!
        Your images of the Roosevelt Lake area really makes me wish I had made more of an effort to explore this corner of Arizona better!
        Thanks for the interesting blog post! As usual, it is always a good read and the comments from the blogerino’s are too good to miss!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Good to hear from you, Geri. There is a lot of interesting landscape to explore around here.. . the lowlands in the winter and the Rim in the warm months.

      • Mert says:

        I have been bitten 5 times in my life by a dog. And I have just about always had dogs… And have been around them all my life. Although chihuahuas are adorable, these are the 5 that bit me. And all 5 were different. ( not the same dog) so I am really Leary of them. The first time I was around 10 yrs. old. And it was my neighbors dog ” Mitzi”. And she loved me. Set in my lap and all any time she seen me. Just one day she turned on me. The second time. I was around 16 and I had been setting on my front porch. When I got up to go inside I put my hand on storm door to get up. The glass broke slicing my wrist open. I went inside to tell my mom. And next thing I know. A chihuahua that I didn’t know. Had jumped thru the broke glass came in our house and about ate me up. So apparently this breed doesn’t care for me. This is my experiences with it. Suprised me too as I am an animal lover. I prefer animals over people most of the time. And usually dogs can sense this. Strange. But don’t let my exp. make your decision. Maybe they just don’t like Indians. (3/4 Cherokee )
        Peace and happiness,
        Mert

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Gosh,Mert. I wouldn’t blame you for avoiding chihuahuas! That’s very interesting. I know certain small dogs can have a biting habit. Your experience is bizarre. Thanks for telling us.

          Peace and happiness to you, too, Mert.

          • Mert says:

            I hope I stepped on no ones toes. To me all dogs are great dogs. And I have never owned a one. And not every one I have been around have bit me. But a few have lol. I had a boston growing up her name was Bridget too. She was such a smart dog. And a wonderful personality. 😉

        • Elizabeth in WA says:

          Wow Mert….thanks for that information. We had a long haired one that had belonged to hubby’s mom and had agreed to take her when she died. She also bit someone but not me!! I love dogs too but we had a small dachund once…and NEVER AGAIN…was not house-trainable. I did not have a dog again for 8 years. Just did not have the courage after what that dog put me through. Our last dog was incredibly smart and just as obedient…I would not have the patience for any dog that was not that good…part of why we have not gotten another one yet (almost 4 years now). I doubt it has to do with your being Cherokee, Mert….I have some of that blood too though less (no one knows how much we have).

  23. Barb (snowbird from Wa) says:

    have a question 🙂 Have been reading your blog about where you camp etc. Are there any campgrounds in Arizona that you have seen (in the Phoenix area, like Tonto etc) where a rig that is very long can fit? we have a large motorhome with a cargo trailer. Have been meaning to ask you this for a long time 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb (snowbird from Wa),

      A big rig can fit in Cholla and Windy Hill… However, I say that with caution…

      There are a few long sites and a few park-along-the-campground-road sites (as opposed to pull-thru sites).

      I saw a big diesel, semi truck pulling a humongous fifth wheel with a quad and a motorcycle (All this is shown in a photo in a recent Lone Rock post… They moved from Lone Rock to Cholla a few days ago.)

      Keep in mind that there are more choices in November. Other times of the years are busier. I wish I could be specific as to when the campgrounds fill up.

      Maybe a reader will help with more info?

      There are RV parks in the area, too, although I suspect you’re not interested in those.

      As this is my first visit to this part of Arizona (east and southeast of Phoenix), I don’t have the knowledge to answer your question. Sorry!

  24. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts, VA says:

    Such a pretty place! Your shots are nice also Sue. Love Bridget’s little friends. This is good. Will be checking in to learn about the composting toilet, HA Interesting……I wonder how long it takes before they feed the flowers. Take Care Sue and Crewett.

  25. Pamela K. says:

    I am trying to have an open mind about the whole composing toilet thingy…
    I pretty much like the items that come from the Green Movement side but this just doesn’t strick me right somehow. I rather like, not enjoy, the idea of dumping at a dump station. It is not fun but once the task is done I am on my way to other things and I do not have to mess with any thing about it until next time to dump. We had one of those extra large Blue Boys with the power pump for dry camping needs. the one with the power pump and that worked well. I shall wait and hear more on this topic…but it just reminds me of a private cesspool, sort of. Yuk! Knobs to turn, etc., too much interaction for me. Anyway, I will listen, I could be completely wrong.

  26. Page says:

    We plan to put a Nature’s Head when we get into our Airstream. We have known several folks who have them and they all rave how wonderful they are. Having one will definitely extend the length of time one can boondock.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Page,

      Extending the length of time between boondocks isn’t a big deal for a solo camper with good-sized tanks. Dump stations are convenient to most areas, even the out-of-the-way camps I find because you have to get to them and on the way, you dump tanks, and then again when you leave.

      I can go two weeks or more without dumping. By the time dumping is necessary, I want to move anyway.

      Just thought I’d throw that info into any decision-making over whether to purchase a composting toilet.

      As for couples like Bruce and Teresa… I don’t know about that.

  27. Noelle says:

    Hi Sue – I’ve been fascinated for quite a while with the idea of getting a composting toilet in my future RV – the Wynn’s blogsite has lots of information, but u probably already know that. :). They also show that a composting toilet allows use of the black tank for grey water – doubling that capacity so that’s also a great benefit. Looking forward to hearing what u think.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Noelle,

      Okay. CONFESSION TIME!

      I won’t be sharing any information about composting toilets because I don’t know anything more about them. I don’t usually “spill the beans” about upcoming posts but I will now, since people are expecting to read more about composting toilets.

      The next day I went to Teresa’s and Bruce’s campsite but I did not find their Bounder. Thinking they might be on an errand, I went about my business and on returning to the campground, I checked again and could not find them.

      Teresa’s mother has a terminal illness. They stopped at Cholla on their way to her house in another state. I’m guessing that they decided not to stay any longer, perhaps needed to be with her mother sooner than expected? I don’t know.

      There you have it… Now readers are expecting photos and info on the toilet and I GOT NOTHING! 🙂

      As an alternative, you can take a look at the videos suggested by blogorinos above your comment.

      • Pamela K. says:

        I hope her mother is doing OK and that was not the reason for their quick leave, but it sounds like it may have been. You would think that they would have called or left a note or something to explain. First an invite and then a ditch,never good.

        Or maybe they had to find the nearest Dump Station to dispose of all that compose before heading out to mother’s house!
        I know, I’m such a Stinker about such a stinky topic.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Not for one second did I think this was “an invite and then a ditch,” give the circumstances.

          • Pamela K. says:

            Sue,
            Sorry, it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek humor. Nothing more than that. You know, the kids say they are ditched all the time when someone leaves without a goodbye…
            Even so, I would have left a note for you so you wouldn’t worry or plan for it later. That’s just me. Like you said, it left you not knowing and ~I GOT NOTHING 🙂 ~

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              My concern is that Theresa and Bruce read the comments. I see your apology below.

            • Pamela K. says:

              I made my apologies directly to them in a later post last evening. I don’t know what else I can do. It was unfortunate of me but was not meant to be calous in any way. I simply didn’t think it through before my posting. All this is new to me. I am learning still. Some interactions come easy for me, others do not. It’s not an excuse but rather a reason. I have been on the web since 1986. Made any a comments, mostly news related or military/police related. Those topics I understand at the base of me. Social media is new to me. There is a real learning curve and many here have followed you long enough to know where the lines are. In general I am not a warm and fuzzy type. I am a loyal-to-the-core type and leave very little room for grey areas in an otherwise strict view of things. It is that sort of thinking that made me very good at my job but is sometimes lacking in a more social setting. All I can do is press forward from here and wish Theresa and her family well. I shall rethink all of this… I may not be cut out for social media interactions over the web. It certainly does not come natural to me. In person I have little to no problems at all. Not sure why that is so different over the web but it would seem so.
              Again, deeply sorry for my flip comment and will think more wisely before hand.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              All is well, Pamela. Don’t give it another thought. Believe me, I’ve made comments on my own blog that I thought were neutral in tone only to discover later that I offended someone or started a verbal firestorm of disagreement. It happens!

              You say that social media does not come natural to you. I think that is true with a lot of us here. We stumble at times with an ill-chosen word, but an apology makes everything good again. 🙂

  28. AZ Jim says:

    I never in all my days on the road gave any thought to composting. I happen to believe it is far easier/cheaper in the long run as well as immediately to dump the black and grey tanks. Hook up the hose, pull the levers and yesterdays waste is gone. Back on the road with no regrets.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      You don’t regret leaving your sh*t behind? Neither does Missy! LOL!

      At first dumping tanks seems like a terrible, onerous chore. A little experience and it’s no big deal. Often at dumping stations there is an isolated spigot (away from the dump area) that is labeled “potable water.” Since I have to fill up the fresh water tank anyway, I might as well dump at the same time.

      Different strokes . . . . Teresa and Bruce seem quite pleased with their composting toilet.

  29. weather says:

    Wow,Sue!Watching,I’ve seen you devote two and a half hours to your blog this morning!Apart from your gifts ,it’s plain to me that your diligence and devotion to it and to your readers is why you are so successful at this.It may be close to Thanksgiving when the sitemeter reaches two million,you’ve EARNED it,and how neat to have that to include this for us all to be grateful for this year- 🙂 ! I’m finally shutting this off,it’s been fascinating to watch you at work,and see how you enjoy it despite all the effort involved,catch you later

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Many days I spend more than two and a half hours on this blog. If I put a post together later today, this will be one of those days. 🙂

  30. DesertGinger says:

    I don’t think I would care for a composting toilet; dumping tanks is not fun but not awful. Just another chore.
    Have housecleaning today and more homework. This class has a ton of homework. Yuck.
    I get my heart monitor on Monday which I will wear for 48 hours. After that I start on beta-blockers which will help my heart rate and blood pressure. Looking forward to that!
    Our weather is getting quite nippy at night. Get your coat out Sue for those early morning walks!

    • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

      Just want to say Hi DesertGinger. I have followed your story all along and back in August during some of your difficult times, I was hospitalized, though mine turned out to be much less serious, it started because they thought it was my heart. Cardiac stuff is always a worry and I’m glad they are taking you seriously and getting you tested and the right medicine. As I have been, I will keep you in thought and prayer. Take care.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ginger,

      Good to hear your health is being monitored and progress is being made.

      Windy here today and slightly cooler. I haven’t needed a coat yet; it hangs in the closet, ready when I need it.

  31. Nancy says:

    This issue of camping fees has been on my mind as I think about the cost of living as a full timer on a small income into the future. It seems inevitable that campground fees will increase, if not this year then eventually. What about areas in which you boondock, is it possible that there will ever be fees in those locations? It would seem from everyones description of these areas that there isn’t any system in place presently that could do that. Is there any kind of cap on the fees the governmental agencies that oversee these lands can charge? Thoughts anyone?

    • Pamela K. says:

      Excellent questions! I have been questioning the same things. It seems to me that generations have benefited by free lands and almost free parks for forever. Now that we, The Boomers, are finally ready to enjoy some of those same things we are either limited or price gouged. Not just at parks and campgrounds but at almost every level it occures. The new Grand Canyon maybe just be the one bewteen the ~haves~ and ~have nots~ 🙁

      • Pamela K. says:

        Oh! And I recently read where some parks and forests are making them in to ~walk in only~. No camping, no tents even. Might as well be closed for most except the very young and very fit crowd. I have a real problem with that! It is Land Banking by the states or the feds under the guise of still being public lands, forests or parks. I do fear that in the next 10 years there will be vast changes to the current systems.

        • Elizabeth in WA says:

          You make some good points, Pam….little by little things do seem to be changing…odd thing, it rarely seems change for the better.

        • Nancy says:

          Well, I guess with the increase in population and use of public lands there is probably a lot of pressure to keep a light, green, footprint on the land. You’re right though, if you can no longer comfortably carry a pack, and hike in it makes it very difficult doesn’t it? Aging in the U.S. is not for sissies that’s for sure. When I listen to younger politicians talking about the boomer’s receiving SS as if they were getting it unfairly it makes me wonder about how much longer it will last.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            I don’t know about the pressure to keep “a light, green, footprint on the land.” If that were the case, our public lands, wildlife habitat, and rare plants wouldn’t be destroyed every day by OHVs.

            I know two lovely boondocks that I will never return to because they’ve been torn up. I don’t know how many more have been vandalized by uncontrolled morons.

            • Nancy says:

              Sue,
              I was referring to the parks that Pamela K mentioned were being turned into “walk in” camping only, I would think that in those parks the “lighter, greener” would be the rational for doing that. I wasn’t referring to all parks.

              I have been reading your earlier blogs, one where you were in the Sawtooth Canyon campground where the OHV’s were ripping up the ground, creating noise pollution and turning the sky into a cloud of dust. It’s horrible. I don’t know why they allow that to be done on public lands when doing so effectively ruins those public lands for others. I see this disconnect from nature everywhere. Here in Maine you have the ATVer’s who do the same thing, destroying natural habitats and creating havoc, often drunk. Ironically, the ATVer’s think what they are doing is enjoying a day out in nature!

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I see now what you meant, Nancy. I misunderstood.

              It’s not only the natural habitats, it’s the destruction of roads at a time when funds are not allocated to restore them. People think they haven’t destroyed a road when they turn it to dust or when they play in big muddy sections, roaring to and fro, making the mud fly. What they don’t realize, or don’t care about, is their actions are the first step. Wind and rain come along afterward and the road is ruined, thus cutting off access to vast areas of public land for people who don’t travel via ATV/OHV.

              When I’m out and about on forest roads looking for a boondock, I wonder if I’m going to be trapped in an area where I can’t turn around because the OHVers have used it for a playground. I could go further with more examples. . . . Don’t get me started about OHVs scarring beaches or crushiing the sides of washes where desert plants hang on .. 🙂

            • Mert says:

              Is it just me? Or does everyone see this? My question is. Why does it sometimes go to 2 or 1 line for these messages? I can’t read it like that. Lol mert

          • Elizabeth in WA says:

            So agree, Aging here is not for sissies!! Been on SS now for 3 months…SS messed it up 2 times…HOW can that be? If the computer has it correct (and it did get here once on time) then how can it mess up?? Makes no sense to me. Yea, they like to make us feel we did not put money into the coffers but most certainly we did PLUS hubby was 6 years in submarines in Navy…not a cake walk, I assure you. Tis sad…

      • Nancy says:

        Sadly, I think that is true Pamela.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Nancy,

      I am not aware of any cap on fees. It’s what the market will bear, I assume. Anyone planning to live full-time in an RV on a small income would be wise to learn how to find boondocks on public land in the event that campground fees become too high.

      READERS: any additional thoughts in response to Nancy’s questions?

      • weather says:

        Actually,it had crossed my mind when I first thought of living in an RV, as opposed to a sticks and bricks home,that finances and circumstances can so easily change -whether temporarily or permanently.Mind you,at the time I didn’t know people did it,had never heard of full-timers.Those potentials for change were part of my initial searches for SMALL homes on wheels.I wanted then,and have since discovered something I could park in a regular parking space anywhere,or someone’s driveway,side lot-whatever-in case travel itself,or the costs involved became prohibitive.My point is that the Class C’s I’ve narrowed my search to,are suitable for boon docking,parks,public or private land.As no one cannot predict the future I want something that will feel like home,while being ready for adventure however things play out.I’d feel less prepared for that in something with less flexibility.

        • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

          Weather, which “C’s” are on your list. I so want to get rid of our 40 ft bus and get something a little bigger than my Leisure Travel B van. My problem is how little CCC (cargo carrying capacity) the C’s are rated for when it comes to three adults. So I’m always looking for others thoughts. Thanks

          • weather says:

            Hi,Velda,the Coachman Freelander 19CB has what I consider a large cargo capacity-you can do a google search and find sales videos on “you-tube” that will show the details of that.Good luck!

            • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

              Thanks Weather, it’s a nice looking coach. I was talking weight capacity, not cu ft, sorry if I was not clear. I do like the Coachmen brand.

            • Cinandjules (NY) says:

              Ummm…we had a 2001 Coachmen Catalina Classic 240 wb( wide body). Ford chasis V10.

              IMHO Coachmen’s look very nice but their craftsmanship is a bit on the eh side!

              Knowing this firsthand would I ever consider another Coachmen.. Nope!

            • Velda says:

              Thanks Cindy I appreciate the feedback. It’s one brand I have not been able to see in person yet.

            • Cinandjules (NY) says:

              Roseville….I have a dear friend who lives in Lincoln. I can’t believe the changes in Roseville in a year!

              Everyone has their opinions…so don’t be swayed by mine.

              We fell in love with it’s “cuteness” and should have researched the quality.

            • Velda says:

              We have been in Roseville CA since 1985. Population then 25,000. Population now, 125,000! Yep we have seen the changes. Some good, some not so much. Still a nice town though.

            • weather says:

              Hi Cinandjules-Glad I read through again-you sure got my attention with your bad experience with the brand-can you tell me what the problems were?

            • Cinandjules (NY) says:

              Off the top of my head:
              Ford=Found On Road Dead!
              The RV itself- interior:cheap substandard materials from the walls, linoleum, cabinets, upholstery. H20 pump & heater. Fridge was replaced 3 x.

              Exterior: windows leaked, rubber roof bubbled (UV protection treated every 3
              months). The seams of the rv itself separated. White caulking oozed from under the trim.

              Dual rear tires were impossible to fill unless valve extensions were installed.

              The person who did all the warranty work on it advised us to get rid of it.

            • weather says:

              E-gads!thank you very much,that’s all really good to know!Stay warm and safe,maybe by Monday we’ll get relief from these freaky storms.

            • Cinandjules (NY) says:

              Again….don’t let my opinion sway you! everyone has their own reasons when they make a decision on a rig!

              I googled your rig….its very nice! Like the different layouts. $70K??

              When you decide…haggle at the price. Tell them it’s a toy…NOT a necessity…this is what I’m willing to pay out the door…taxes, license and doc fees…warranty included. Hold your ground….you’ll get your price!

              Ours was 60K…My offer was 40…,he’s like…you are kidding! Nope…we don’t HAVE to have it! balls in your court!

              An hour later I was parking our new toy in our driveway!

              Good luck!

            • weather says:

              Thanks again-all great advice that I appreciate.I couldn’t agree more about not over-paying and “haggling” over price!Pay what they ask ?Ph-ht!Heck,I don’t pay full asking price for just about anything,and rarely even close to it.I don’t need to bluff and that shows-here’s my offer,take it or I’ll keep looking- 🙂 Have the warmest day that you can, As usual,I like your style.

        • Nancy says:

          Hi Weather,

          It’s funny how plans evolve over time. I had always wanted to travel around the country, stopping at places of interest along the way (more of a fantasy and with cushier finances), but I never thought about doing that full time until recently. For me this all came out of my research into small homes, homes on wheels too, and wanting something that gave me freedom, flexibility, and a lower cost of living (hopefully). I agree, you have to see how things play out (but it is my nature to try to cover all contingencies – impossible I know).

          What is the class C RV you decided on?

          • weather says:

            Hi Nancy.It sounds like we’ve thought about a lot of the same issues going forward.At the moment the Freelander 19′ is my probable choice,towing my jeep.As I’m the forever home to two dogs,two wee caged birds and a cat-they can’t be expected to travel in a tow vehicle,so a travel trailer would not work.The layout in the Freelander gives us each a place to be,moving or parked.As I own the jeep already,it won’t cost much more than buying a trailer and something to pull it would.I could whittle down expenses by not having such large critter family issues,but we’re a happy troupe-so that’s that 🙂

            • Nancy says:

              Hi weather,

              You’re a nomad with a tribe!

              The Freelander looks nice and roomy.

            • weather says:

              What a cool phrase “nomad with a tribe”-I just love that,Nancy,Ha! Yes,it should hold us well and keep me smiling,thanks for the note,see you on the next page or so 🙂

      • Nancy says:

        Sue, Do you think they will (or does their charter even allow) ever put a system in place to charge people who boondock? I imagine the lands are vast but they could put gates on the access roads with automatic payment booths I would think.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I don’t know how many access roads there are to BLM and National Forest lands. I would guess there are hundreds of thousands. The cost to install gates and automatic machines would be prohibitive.

          Also, if such a thing were to occur (which I doubt), boondockers would be outraged to the point of destroying payment booths, or at the very least, finding ways to drive into the forest without paying. I’d be one of them.

          Keeping undeveloped public lands accessible to all citizens, rich or poor, would be one populist uprising I’d participate in!

      • BadgerRickInWis says:

        I feel like I’m at risk of breaking the “no politics” rule but you did ask Sue so here’s my perspective.

        I think the greatest risk to our federal lands right now and in the future is that there as a segment of the population and a segment of our politicians who don’t feel that the federal govt should be taking care of large segments of public lands at all. Especially large tracts of land such as the BLM oversees. They would much rather see these resources sold for mineral rights or turned over to the local States to oversee.

        The idea of local control makes sense unless you understand a bit of the history of the conservation movement in the U.S.

        When Teddy Roosevelt declared the Grand Canyon a National Monument he had to do so through a blatant misuse of the antiquities act because the Arizona congressional delegation had fought off his attempt in Congress. You see the locals wanted to mine it. It wasn’t until 20 years later that President Wilson gave it the protection of a National Park.

        When the movement to protect Everglades National Park got underway no fewer than 4 consecutive Governors of Florida were elected with the campaign pledge to “drain the everglades.”

        When FDR created Grand Teton National Park the locals wanted to graze cattle in Jackson Hole. So the governor of Wyoming called out the state police and said that they would arrest any federal park ranger who attempted to take control of the new park. It was only when FDR threatened to call out the army that a compromise was reached declaring that no future National Parks can be created in the state of Wyoming.

        From Yosemite to Acadia, Denali to Key West time and again our most precious natural areas are protected today because dedicated people and brave politicians were able to see beyond the immediate economic gain of local interest and protect these lands for future generations.

        When I hear some of today’s politicians start to rant over Federal control of wild areas in makes my blood run cold and makes me fear for future generations. When blind adherence to an ideology is given priority over thinking of the future we are all in danger.

        Sorry if this is a bit of a rant but there are few topics dearer to my heart. Like I said Sue I know you try to make this a politics free zone and that is one of the many, many, things I love about this place. So if you think this post should be deleted feel free. I will completely understand. But like I said………..You asked.

        • Nancy says:

          Thanks for the historical overview, it’s not political, it’s factual.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Assuming your comment is historically accurate I let it stand. It has the ring of truth, given human nature. Thanks for writing, Rick.

  32. Theresa and Bruce says:

    Hi Sue, Sorry we missed you! We had to leave due to a down turn in my mothers condition. We came by but you were gone. I’m sure we will meet again somewhere down the road! Blessings to you! Bruce, Theresa and the Boys

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m sorry we didn’t get together. I understand completely that you had to leave. God bless you and your family.

      Oh, and I apologize for spelling your name without the h.

    • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

      Thoughts and prayers headed upward for your family.

  33. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hello, Sue!

    Gorgeous pictures! The opening picture with the cactus framing the shot is my favorite.

    Glad that you and Bridget were able to visit with new friends. Their pups are adorable! Are Callie and Orrie about the same size as Bridge? Sounds like Teresa and Bruce may have received some distressing family news and had to hit the road quickly. I hope all is ok.

    Thanks for answering weather’s questions. As I was reading your post, I had some of the same questions. Regarding more fees and regulations, I fear that both are coming. And it does not matter who is in office. A chance to raise revenue and micro-manage folks who don’t need it is just too appealing to Washington. Now, if they would just redirect their energy to existing problems that need attention! I just hope and pray that the BLM sites, and national and state park camping remains an affordable option for a long time….For you and others already out there, and for those of us who are still in the working, saving and dreaming phase.

    It has been a chilly, windy day here. It was “snowing” leaves earlier! I have a large pot of chili simmering on the stove; one and a half more hours to go. My recipe has to simmer for three hours in order to to temper the spices. I will be eating off of this batch all week, and will have more to freeze for a later. I wish I was closer to you…Gracie and I would make a stealth, late night delivery of a wide mouthed thermos filled to the brim with chili and a couple of homemade cornbread muffins. The care package would be left on your picnic table with a note to enjoy. 🙂

    Have a good evening, Sue! Hugs to you and Bridget from me and Gracie pup. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

  34. Wayne Scott says:

    When the time is right and the right one comes along, you will know almost instantly. We are still reeling from the loss of Toby (aka Mr. Big) Yesterday Rhonda was doing a little cleaning, noticed the floor really did not need much of a vacuuming felt a bit upbeat until she realized the reason it was not more dirty was Bigs was not here, then almost started crying. But those little guys sure are good looking ‘kids’. We had one big one come in Friday that almost stole Rhonda’s heart.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Wayne and Rhonda,

      You both have my sympathy for the loss of Mr. Big.

      Stabs of grief catch us unawares… triggered by the smallest things. I was cleaning the PTV and came upon a wad of hair and knew it was Spike’s. Washing the rug he lay on was another struggle.

      I’m sorry for the pain you and Rhonda carry. We will get through this!

  35. Pamela K. says:

    Theresa,

    I am in need to extend my apoligies to you. I made a flip, light hearted atempt at humor and I am finding that sometimes humor does not always come across as intended. I sincerely hope you find your mother’s condition to be improved or at the least stable again. I will keep her and your family in my thoughts.

    Oh, btw, did you used to be in banking by chance? If so, I think we know each other from our banking days! I ask because the spelling of your name with the h is not that common and her husband’s name was Bruce, if I remember correctly. The Theresa I knew did her Masters through Stonier School of Banking, Stonier College. Is that you?

  36. Cat Lady in Baton Rouge, LA says:

    For those folks interested in following in Sue’s footsteps, you might want to subscribe to blogs that will educate you on how to go about it. For instance, try http://www.doityourselfrv.com or http://www.CheapRVLiving.com These are excellent blogs that will give you a lot of information.

    Sue, I hope you don’t mind me recommending these two blogs. If you decide to delete this message, I won’t get my feelings hurt, lol.

    BTW, there’s no way in h*ll I’m going to fool with a composting toilet. I’ve got a perfectly good black tank and it don’t take but a few minutes to dump…besides, my s*it don’t stink, lol. I enjoy my Directv, microwave, electric skillet, slow cooker and have memberships to all these clubs so I’m going to enjoy them. I know me. I’m a creature of comfort so no boondocking for me. I’ll visit but I won’t stay. I love and enjoy your travels/pictures…it’s just not something I would strive to do. Yes, I’m basically lazy, lol. To each her own.

    Hugs to Miss Bridget. Let her enjoy being top dog for awhile and having you all to herself. You both need time to adjust to being without Spike. You’ll know when it’s time to get a new crew member. No need to rush it.

    Cat Lady

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cat Lady,

      Here’s a deal . . . How about going over to those links and sending their traffic to my blog? Where people end up is usually where they shop and I’d appreciate their business. 😉

      I’m glad you have found the type of RVing that suits you. You would probably hate my boondocks as much as I’d hate your membership camps. That’s the beauty of homes-on-wheels. We can take them where we are the happiest. Enjoy!

      On behalf of Miss Bridget, thanks for the hugs.

  37. weather says:

    Good morning,Sue-betcha the BLT’s cozier than my place at the moment-it’s a windy 32 0ut w/snow here!Guess you’re still drifting through the week like a leaf in a stream…love that phrase,I’m aware that it’s Monday because I need to remember to get the jeep to my mechanic so he can work on it first thing tomorrow.Hope your day is starting nicely,my troupe’s down for a nap around me-ah-h-coffee,peace -life is good 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, weather,

      The BLT has a chill this morning, too. Night temperatures are dropping. A clear, slate blue sky promises to warm us up, although I doubt we’ll be in the 80s like a short time ago.

      32 degrees with snow! By comparison we’re in a heat wave…

      There’s a special atmosphere in a room where pets are sleeping. The faint sound of breathing by a snoozing pet is my favorite background music!

      Good luck with your Jeep tomorrow.

      • weather says:

        🙂

      • weather says:

        Gee,Sue-bet all this talk about us dealing with winter like conditions before Thanksgiving is making you more pleased than ever about where you are now!What do you expect for a low temp this week?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I don’t know! I’ve been intending to look that up. Thanks for the reminder!

          LATER: Lows in the mid to high 40s with highs ranging from mid 60s to 72. I won’t complain!

      • Mert says:

        I hear snores and big sighs when I touch her and wake her up. Lol big spoiled baby. But she’s all mine! 🙂

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Good morning, Weather,

      Enjoy the beauty of the snow! Stay warm! Have a great day! 🙂

      • weather says:

        Hi,Denise-I hope the hours at work go by quickly for you,our snow changed to rain and left-now we’re expecting a high of 23 tomorrow.I think the beauty I’ll focus on for now will be on quilts,blankets and warm clothes 🙂 Stay warm and happy!

        • Denise - Richmond VA says:

          Hi, Weather,

          If you can, stay in tomorrow. All that rain will be the ideal setup for black ice. It has rained non-stop today….so glad that I made that huge pot of chili last night. I brought some to work today for lunch, and just had another bowl for dinner. Warmth for the insides! I hope you and the troupe have had a comfy, cozy day all snuggled up together! Sending you warm thoughts! 🙂

          • weather says:

            The jeep’s in the shop so I will stay in and won’t be driving,thanks,I wouldn’t on ice anyway.Your chili sounds good,I made a batch of angelhair pasta with meatsauce last night.We’re both set-with warm meals and warm thoughts 🙂

            • Denise - Richmond VA says:

              Mmmmm…your meat sauce sounds good, too! Glad you and the troupe will be tucked in tomorrow! 🙂

  38. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Good morning, Sue!

    Weather has snow, and you have a bit of a chill with blue skies. It is gray, cold and rainy here. But all is good…like most parts of the country, we need the rain. I’m just thankful it is not cold enough to make the roads and walkways slick with black ice.

    Hope you and Bridget enjoy your day! Back to work for me. It is Monday, but you have to go through a Monday to get to Friday! 🙂

    • Cinandjules(NY) says:

      Snow…….can we talk about snow? Just finished raking the roofs due to lake effect sludgy wet heavy snow! Huff…..puff…..I’m getting to old for this Sh!t!

      The FIRST storm is supposed to be here tonight….20-30 mph winds with 45 mph gusts…24-30 inches expected! 5 inches an hour with blizzard conditions!

      Heads up Denise! Thank heavens we made a run to town yesterday!

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:

        Hi, Cinandjules,

        Glad you all made a supply run to town before the blizzard hits. Sounds like you might be snowed in for a while. I had to read your expected snow totals twice – that is a buttload is snow for one storm! Please do not overdo…take lots of breaks. I know…the raking of the roofs need to be done to prevent damage. Be careful!

        Rainy and cold all day here. The rain will taper off tonight and then the temps will drop. Possibly enough for black ice – fun. I would rather deal with snow!

        Stay safe and keep warm! 🙂

        • Denise - Richmond VA says:

          …of snow….

        • Mert says:

          Black ice in Kentucky. And now snowing again on top of that. Cold cold cold. I am in bed heat cranked and my grandmothers home made triple layered flannel quilt. Weights about 100 lbs ;). But oh so warm!

      • DesertGinger says:

        My girlfriend in Wisconsin once told me she was on the roof clearing snow and I said “oh be careful! What if you fall?” And she responded…”are you kidding? The snow on the ground is 4 feet deep…if I fall ill just get cold…”. And I thought….”duh”.

  39. Mick'nTN says:

    Patricia Durkin > You have a message under “Internet Antenna”

  40. Shirlene says:

    Hi Sue, Hi Weather, just dropping in for a minute to say hi and that I miss our morning coffee together….lots of things happening here…my daughter is moving to Idaho, I am having some kidney issues which has me processing things..work is really busy and I miss my conversations with you all….Every one take care, but I have found the time to read the blog….especially the composting evaluation…No matter what you do with it, it is still S**t and a pain in the a**.

    • weather says:

      Hi Shirlene-Boy,it sounds as though your plate is full-and not of your favorite things.I hope and will pray that the kidney issues disappear!Hopefully work will slow down,too-bad timing for everything to seem to go on at once.I’m glad and grateful that you left a note,miss and care about you … 🙂

  41. Shirlene says:

    Hello Weather My Friend, thank you for your kind words..I have often thought of you while dealing with my diagnosis and felt inspired by your friendship….I will be traveling with my daughter and her husband up to Idaho in their very nice Ford Diesel Truck..we are traveling with their dogs in the back of the bed, in kennels, but I am worried about the cold weather…The kennels will be wrapped in blankets and a tarp…One is a yellow lab and the other an American Pit Bull…I will be leaving the day after Thanksgiving, and be back sometime around Dec 9…so don’t worry about me, but I will be reading the blog…maybe not being able to answer. Thank you for your friendship, I have missed talking to you in the morning…Take care.

    • weather says:

      We’ll hopefully chat before your trip,in case we don’t-try to let it be fun.I’m sure they know exactly how to keep those dogs safe and comfortable.She’s your child,remember-I’ve no doubt that you did good work 🙂 Thank you for being a friend -and for the itinerary,it’s really good not to be just wondering. ..’til later 🙂 hugs

  42. Frenchie says:

    Hi Sue and Bridget!
    I too was wondering about the whole composting toilet idea. The “liquid” part is what has me concerned though. I drink/pee a lot 🙂 And storing bunch of those containers until we can dispose of them seems like a pain and a spillage risk!
    On the other hand, remember our black tank mishap this summer? That was a “drag” and a major spill!!

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