You never can tell what you might see in the desert

Sunday, November 22

“What the heck is THAT?”

Bridget, Reggie, and I are lounging around our campsite at Midland LTVA near Blythe, California, when a gray cloud puffs up from the other side of the Big Maria Mountains.

P1080556I sniff the air and don’t detect any odor like smoke or chemicals burning. 

A plume spreads about 150 degrees in an arc along the horizon.  I try to photograph it using the panoramic feature on my camera, but I’m not happy with the results.  The next photo shows the portion immediately to the right of the scene in the first photo.

P1080557Distance is very difficult to estimate visually in the desert. 

I have no idea where the dark “cloud” is.  All I know is it is directly east of us.  I whip out my California Benchmark.  Hmm. . . the Colorado River Indian Reservation is east of us.  Unless it’s coming from within the mountains . . . .

Later we go to town!

“Up you go!”  I toss Bridget and Reggie into the Perfect Tow Vehicle.

It’s only ten miles to Blythe from our camp at Midland Long Term Visitors Area.

P1080572We leave the desert scrub behind and roll through green fields irrigated from canals.

P1080575Starlings in great number perch on the poles and wires along the road.  Hundreds of them!  Each bird claims his or her space, much like RVers do.

P1080576Less community minded, a lone bird peers from his/her own, personal viewing platform.  I know, I know, sounds like RVSue!

P1080580Can you identify this bird of prey from these photos?

P1080578-001Beyond the fields we pass neighborhoods accented with tall palms and plants turned autumn gold.

P1080583-001We’re on our way to the park in Blythe. 

We follow Lovekin Boulevard south of Hobson Way, go under the interstate, and find the park on the left.  Miller Park has three drinking water spigots conveniently positioned along one side of a paved parking lot.

P1080568I have nine one-gallon jugs to fill.

P1080569I imagine someone reading this post might think, “Why not camp in a campground with water hook-ups and then you don’t have to drive to a public park and mess around filling jugs from a spigot?”

Well, If I did that I would’ve missed the green fields, starlings, lone predator, palm trees, golden bushes  . . . .  These regular tasks give rhythm to my life.  I actually enjoy them!

That task completed I drive us around Blythe to familiarize myself with the town.

Blythe is easy to navigate. even though Interstate 10 plows right through it on the way to Quartzsite.  Streets are wide and straight.   I don’t come across one-way streets.  I hate towns/cities that rely on one-ways to manage traffic.  Everything seems logically arranged in Blythe.

I wouldn’t describe Blythe as picturesque.

Blythe may not be a cute, quaint, sophisticated, trendy (insert any adjective describing stuff that’s not important).  What it has are stores and services one needs, and a variety of restaurants.  This is good to know if you plan on spending seven months out at Midland LTVA and if you like to eat out.  Red Cactus Bar and Grill looks interesting . . . .

And there’s a Starbucks for those of you addicted to lattes!

P1080584I find the post office. 

I have an Amazon shipment coming in soon.  That pretty, multi-colored rug that I’ve been wanting isn’t in this shipment though.  Because I made the shipping address “P.O. Box General Delivery,” my packages are certain to be sent to the post office and I guess the rug is too big for a postal box delivery.

At the time I placed the order online, a message popped up for the rug, something like “not deliverable to this address.”  It is the most elusive rug!

The crew and I head back to camp.

As you come into Midland LTVA, a small monument sits on the left.  I park the PTV and get out to investigate.

“It will only take a minute.  I’ll be right back,” I assure the crew.

P1080546The inscription is titled Desert Strike. 

Here are excerpts.

“In May 1964, U.S. Strike Command (STRICOM) launched the largest military war game since World War II.  Known as Joint Exercise Desert Strike, this two-week training exercise simulated a nuclear air and ground battle between the mythical governments of Nezona and Calonia over water rights within the Colorado River watershed south of Las Vegas. . . .

“This training maneuver took place on more than 13 million acres of public and private lands in the California, Nevada and Arizona deserts at a cost of 54 million dollars, or 540 dollars per man . . . .

“This monument is dedicated to the Cold War Veterans who served here and especially for the thirty-two warriors who gave their lives during this exercise which in itself contributed to the end of the Cold War.”

To read the complete inscription which gives more details of the training exercise, click here.

~ ~ ~

By late afternoon the black “cloud” of unknown substance has dispersed somewhat.

It’s not as dense, having spread itself over a large area of sky low to the horizon.

P1080563That evening the setting sun is undaunted by the darkness humans have wrought and throws pink and violet across the sky, as if to make certain we understand, “Beauty reigns above ugliness. So there!”


NOTE:  A reader provided this link to a ABC Channel 3 News story which reveals that more than 320 acres burned in a fire which started at the Colorado River Indian Reservation.


When you click on any of the Amazon ads or links presented on my blog, anything you purchase at Amazon within the subsequent 24 hours earns me a commission.  You do not pay anything more.  I appreciate every item ordered, large or small.  Here is a sample of items recently purchased:

Keurig Brewing System
ArthriSoothe Soft Chew for Pets
LensPen DSLR Camera Cleaning Kit
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Leather Cover
Vera Bradley Zip ID Case in Tutti Frutti
Seed Out 60 Second Pomegranate Deseeder

P1080579And the identity of our mystery bird is?

Red-tailed hawk — Click to hear one scream!


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165 Responses to You never can tell what you might see in the desert

  1. Linda Hughes North Carolina says:


  2. Chey (WA coast) says:


  3. David Ainley in Houston, TX. says:

    well here we go again

  4. Peregrine Falcon? Nice pictures !!!! Wow.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Jill. I don’t know what it is. We will see what the consensus is among those who know birds of prey.

  5. Nice. So the PO Box General Delivery trick is working on most items…?

  6. First? Wow! And I read cthe post too! ?love all the critters around your camp area! Big dark cloud was probably a dusr cloud, the seem to be happening out West about now! Phoenix had a good sized one recently!
    Have a good thanksgiving !!!

    • Shucks! I just should have cheated and claimed first place then gone back to read it!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri,

      It seemed too black to be a dust cloud. The sand out here is tan to almost white. It looked like the kind of smoke that comes from burning tires. Of course, that’s not what it was, much too big to be that.

      I’ll be making thanksgiving wishes on Thanksgiving Day… Don’t want to start now or I’ll be typing them for two days. (Have a good day, too, Geri and Chuck).

  7. David Ainley in Houston, TX. says:

    I’d guess that’s a Red Tailed Hawk. Beautiful pics as usual Sue and I really admire the way you write.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, David, for those words that make me smile.

      Okay, we have Jill saying it’s a peregrine falcon and you say red-tailed hawk. I have no idea. 🙂

  8. Where's Chris? (PDX is Home) says:

    Thanks for explaining the Amazon link. I don’t buy many things online BUT when I do now I will start with your blog link. It’s the least I can do in repayment for such a good read!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Wendy and thank you! I appreciate you intending to shop Amazon from here. My Amazon earnings frequently motivate me to get out of the dang lounger and get blogging!

      • Chey (WA coast) says:

        I just ordered a full sz 6′” memory foam mattress to dream my RV dream upon, while I wait on a health issue. Also, just being practical…It’ll be in my rolling home someday soon. Now you can see me in a loin cloth with a cane the relaxing on a fine bed. lol

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Haha! It sounds like a tableau worthy of the finest artist!

          Oh my…. Yes! I saw that foam mattress on my Amazon report. Thank you, Chey. I remember it because I would like one for my bed but they don’t make them that narrow.

          I pray a speedy, good resolution of your health issue so you can get rolling soon!

          • Chey (WA coast) says:

            I ‘m imagining in what order I might add to my Amazon purchases. Underwear, walking stick, memory foam mattress…I think a Kindle
            Thanks for your blessing and care: it means a lot.
            best and blessings

          • MollyLuvsRoadtrippin (Seattle) says:

            Hi Sue – I purchased a memory foam for my Casita bed and used an electric knife ($20 at Walmart) to trim it to fit perfectly, corners and all. I put the cushion on it as a template and dotted a sharpie line along the curve and just trimmed off the excess – super easy, so you could narrow down a twin size if you want some extra cush. Now I have to also report that I had a major neck and back ache after sleeping on it, so there is that….

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              I’ve done that with foam too – and it does work, as you say. My previous wee trailer had very rounded corners so I had to nip them off the foam I bought.

              I bought an electric “turkey knife” at a thrift store. Of course I had 110 power then, but I think one could run off a small inverter, or there is always one night of hookups and do it on the picnic table 🙂

              I find memory foam too soft (dreams of climbing out of a steep valley all night), too “hot,” and too chemically smelling but other people love it, so I guess it varies.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I’ve wondered about memory foam, if I’d like its softness. I do think you can buy various thicknesses and the thinner ones aren’t as soft. I’ll have to do something. I’m waking up in the night uncomfortable. Good idea to look for a turkey knife at the thrift store. Of course this is the worst time of year to be looking for one. 🙂

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Well there ought to be a glut come Monday or so 😀

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Molly …. I assume you dumped the memory foam if it gave you neck and back ache. I appreciate the instructions on how to customize it. Gosh, I hate buying something that I don’t know I’m going to like.

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Me too! I went back and forth for AGES trying to decide whether to buy a latex mattress. Theoretically, I like everything about them. But they are expensive (although they last forever). I just kept waffling. And too, even if I had decided to get one for sure, there were nine million different firmnesses, types, etc. Argh!

              Then I got a chance to try one and found they were much too “resilient” for me. To me it felt “alive,” and my back hates mattresses that move whenever I do. I guess it tenses up to try to hold still or something. so anyway, that ruled it out for me.

              I’d already tried memory foam and it wasn’t to my liking (just a 2″ topper, but still too hot, soft, and chemically. I can see where some folks would love it, but the way it molds to a person drove me nuts.

              Yes, princess and the pea here!

              Once I figured out that the self-inflating camping pad worked for me … whew!

              Of course there is still what to put under it. Here is what I did:

              I got high density (which is high quality) standard type foam, BUT, when it came to firmness, I built in some adjustability. Okay, probably this is much more than anyone wants to know, but… there are two numbers that “count” in foam. The first one is density. This equates to heaviness and quality. Denser foam (more pounds per square inch) basically has more “foam in the foam.” Lasts longer and is just nicer.

              But that doesn’t mean anything about firmness. Firmess is measured in ILD (something like indentation load deflection, IIRC). So something with like an 18 ILD is really soft, and something like a 50 ILD is really firm. And there are all steps in between.

              When I bought foam, it was no difference in price to buy, say, 5″ of one ILD or five separate 1″ pieces of a variety. I can’t remember exactly what I got, but it was something like 2″ of 45 ILD, 1″ of 35 ILD, 1″ of 25 ILD, and 1″ of 18 ILD. The foam sticks to itself quite well, so you can therefore move the layers around to somewhat adjust the way it feels. I can’t remember what density I got, but maybe around 2.5# for square inch. It was good to better type quality.

              That worked great and I did adjust the layers to suit. I got it through the Internet with free shipping – came rolled up and compressed (whee! When you open it).

              That said, now I just have the couch that came in the rig (which luckily is firm and “dead,” just how I like it), plus the camping pad which is adjustable “cush,” and that’s good too.

              Okay, all that to say, yeah, it’s so hard to choose! And even if you were to lie on something for ten minutes in a store, well shoot, concrete is probably fine for ten minutes. Seems like it’s usually only after a couple of hours that your back starts to ache or whatever.

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Oh my gosh, that’s ridiculously long! I’m sorry about that. Typing in the little window I knew it was long, but not THAT long. Feel free to delete!

            • Patricia K says:

              Actually, I was spell bound 🙂
              I’ve had similar issues with these mattresses. Thanks for your experiences.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hooray for Dave! You solved the mystery for us!

      I searched the internet for news about the black “cloud” and came up with nothing. Thank you. I will insert that link into the post at the bottom.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      To help readers… Dave is not David Ainley in Houston (above). This is another Dave.

  9. I saw the smoke from Quartzsite and wondered what it was. Burning off some field stubble? Lou and I were in Blythe Saturday to get T-day supplies. He went to Miller Park to dump trash and get water. No, Blythe isn’t very scenic, but it has things you can’t get without going to Parker.

    • Oh, and great Mexican food at the hole-in-the-wall joint La Paloma, toward the east side of town. And a Smart & Final Extra!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I haven’t gone into the Smart & Final yet. Never heard of that store name before. Thanks re La Paloma. I might try it!

        • For a long time, Smart & Final was sort of a supplier for caterers, parties, events, mom & pop restaurants and such. You can still get all that stuff, but they started carrying fresh produce, turning them into something more like a full service grocery.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Yes, the camp host told me it used to be a buy-in-bulk store. I plan to stop in there on my next grocery trip.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Al… See the link Dave posted for us.

      Ah, you did the Miller Park thing, too! Yeah, I don’t care if a town is cute when I’m running out of water. 🙂

  10. Linda Hughes North Carolina says:

    Hey there RV Sue!
    Great post, I have a question for you, how did you know there was a park there and that it had water for you there? Or had you been there in the past and remembered it? I just wondered how you find dump stations and drinking water wherever you do, that’s important information for people wanting to gather information to full time rv. The sunset pic with all the colors and shades is great, I really love that one. The mystery of the smoke…will that be in a future post? Just asking, have a most blessed Thanksgiving and know that you are someone we are all thankful to know!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda,

      The black “cloud” was smoke from a fire in the rez. It’s been dubbed the “Highway Fire.” Dave shared a link to the news story. No cause for the fire is given in the article.

      How did I know to go to Miller Park for water? I’m happy to share one of the best methods I’ve found to locate services. Ask a local. Remember Henry a few posts back? I asked him where to get water and he gave me excellent directions. Camp hosts are also great resources, if you don’t happen to meet a Henry.

      I’m pleased you like the sunset photo. I’m thankful for you, too, Linda.

      • Rand says:

        Spent some time in Blythe replacing the trailer axle last year.
        The water is very good, rare in the desert. The “locals” filling 55gal drums said its best on Monday or Thursday becuz the storage tank gets chlorine on Friday and Tues.
        Steak and Cakes is home cook’n on the east end.
        Used book store was getting stocked up.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I filled those jugs on a Sunday. I wasn’t far off from the best times.

          If the weather stays cool like it was today, I might be able to have lunch at a real restaurant where you sit down at a table and everything. When it’s hot at lunchtime I can’t do that because of the crew waiting in the PTV.

  11. Piper n' Rusty / Az. says:

    Thanks Sue, for the Tour of Blythe,,,,,,,,,, That bird of prey looks like a Sparrow Hawk,,,,,,,,, MMM , Mining maybe caused the smoke,, Or there was just a bunch of Clouds coming, like the ones that came over us with a cold wind,,,,,,, Nice photos though,,,,,,,, rusty

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Rusty. It was my pleasure to take you on a tour of Blythe.

      Okay… We have peregrine falcon, red-tailed hawk, and now sparrow hawk. This is interesting. I wonder which it is!

      Dave (above) posted a link about the smoke… There was a fire at the rez.

    • MB from VA says:

      Have a Happy Thanksgiving Rusty!

      • Piper n' Rusty / Az. says:

        Hi M B,, Thanks a bunch,,, You and Yours have a Beautiful Blest Happy Thanks Giving,,,, and a Safe one Too,,,,, Piper n’ rusty

    • Piper n' Rusty / Az. says:

      Now that my glass’s are cleaner + expanding the photo I agree with everyone else that is a Red Tail Hawk,,,,,,,,,

  12. Jenny Johnson Manuel says:

    Dang!! and I was watching too. Foiled again!! Familiarizing yourself with a town is good….I love your descriptions of the small things –sometimes we are in too big of a hurry to notice all the things that surround us.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jenny,

      It’s good that you enjoy my accounts of “the small things” because I’m not into doing many big things. Ha! A jaunt to fill water jugs at the town park and you’d think I toured the Grand Canyon!

  13. edlfrey says:

    I vote for red tailed hawk: NOT a sparrow hawk but is some kind of hawk.

    Not a peregrine falcon: chest coloring is all wrong, no yellow at top of beak.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ed,

      Okay, two votes for red tailed hawk. At first I didn’t think it could be. Another look and I see the reddish feathers on its tail in the first photo.

      Can anyone disprove Ed’s identification that it’s a red-tailed hawk?

      I’m enjoying your “adventure” 🙂 into Mexico…

      • edlfrey says:

        Thanks! I also thank you for sending blogerinos to read my site. I never get many visitors but you always drive up my count. Some of them may even come back. HA

        • Piper n' Rusty / Az. says:

          Happy thanks giving , Ed,,,,,,,,,,

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Well, Ed, you’ll probably cringe at what I’m going to write next.

          Your blog posts start off similarly to mine. You give a plain and simple description of your morning, your walks with Patches, and your toodling around whatever town you’re in. I read it every day.

          • edlfrey says:

            Why would I cringe? I thank you for reading and for your comments in the Shoutbox – please keep coming back!

            As for the similarity in our blogs – what you say is true, I think that has to do with us living as Fulltimers. However, there is a lot of dis-similarity with your focus (pun intended) on pictures and mine skewed toward comments on politics, the media, ‘other’ News and book reviews.

  14. Kate in Iowa says:

    That’s got to be a red-tailed hawk. They’re all over Iowa; I see at least 1-2 a day when I drive into work near the Iowa river. I guess that’s why everyone in Iowa City says, “go hawks!”
    Ugh. That wasn’t even funny.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Kate in Iowa,

      Your “ugh” was funny. Ha! And I never would’ve made the connection with “go hawks!” if you hadn’t mentioned it.

      Three votes for red-tailed hawk… I’m convinced that’s what it is, unless someone can make a good case for it being something else.

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

    Add another vote for Red Tail Hawk.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Gee, this is a night for Daves! You’re the third one to appear and I’m glad you did. Okay… You sealed it. We’re going with Red Tail Hawk!

  16. Definitely a Red-tailed Hawk. The belly band is distinctive, as is the reddish tone to the tail in the first photo. AND very nice pictures of it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Lisa W. I love the zoom on my camera.

      • Cheryl O. (WA state) says:

        I like your camera zoom, too. I love zooming into wild birds. It’s a way to be up close with them. Your simple day is what I yearn for. Looking at what’s around you. I tend to watch the starlings fly when they are in a mass following each other. So cool.

        I’ll be watching for my Amazon order tomorrow. I’ll be cooking turkey in my Charbroil oiless turkey fryer, which I plan to bring when I go rv’ing… runs off of propane. The igrill thermometer will come in handy.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Ooh, so you’re the lucky lady who has the fryer and grill thermometer. You surely will have a delicious Thanksgiving meal. Thank you for thinking of me when you went shopping at Amazon!

          It’s sad how many of us during our working years are so wound up in what has to be done that there’s little time, nor the calmness of mind, to enjoy — to even see — simple delights. I feel like I spent my life inside a box. What a difference retirement makes! You will love it, Cheryl.

  17. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Its a ……..Mr “don’t mess with me” hawk!

    Glad you found out what that cloud was! Thanks for the tour of town and bringing our attention to the Joint Exercise Desert Strike monument.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Cinandjules. I remember back in the sixties hearing about military stuff going on in the desert. Never thought I’d be here someday.

      Always a shame when the lives of service people are lost.

  18. Ron in Tx says:

    Thanks for taking us along for the ride. I hope you and yours and all the readers here have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

  19. Lindale says:

    Count me in for Red Tail Hawk. Great birds to watch unless they swoop down and grab one of the 14 babies of a quail family you have been watching.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, nature can be harsh. Not something I’d want to see either! Quail babies are adorable little things…

  20. weather says:

    Nice when running errands can be done along streets that are easily traversed and you get a view of birds that aren’t ones you see everyday . Of course, you look for things like that, and bonus for us we get to see the , too. I did a quick web search and agree with the red tailed hawk votes. Their sound can be heard on the all about birds site 🙂

    The dark cloud did make the scenery dramatic, beautiful in a way . I hope if folks or critters lived on the acreage that was burnt they escaped with no harm. What a pretty sunset-loved your last line in this post about that!

    I love your last line in the post!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi weather,

      I forgot about the All About Birds sound . . . I think I’ll put a link into the post. Thanks!

      Isn’t it remarkable how nature can take some of the ugliest things and transform them into something beautiful? It happens all around us, all the time. No, I don’t believe any people were hurt by the fire, although most likely some critters were. . . horned toads come to mind.

    • weather says:

      Thanks for putting the link in, Sue. There’s so much about birds that draws me to them, especially their voices. In recent decades NY state had few trumpeter swans and trying to track the population was hard because they can be mistaken for a smaller type, tundra swans, by many. Their call is unique though. I’ve tried in my own ways for years to get the few that would on a rare occasion visit my cove to return. Today the largest flock I’ve seen anywhere was gliding on the water here making that beautiful sound until sunset when I came inside. To me that’s a gift that was worth waiting for all this time. Maybe the horned toads made it out, and all that lived there will return eventually. Things changing can seldom be reversed yet can really bring renewal…I hope all’s well, that your sunset was pretty and sunrise will be more so.

  21. Lynn Edmiston says:

    I’ve been following you for some time but this is my first post. I believe it’s a Red tailed Hawk. I just started full time RV ing in September and have learned much from your posts, thanks so much for sharing your adventure!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Congratulations, Lynn, on venturing into the full-time vagabond life! Although you’ve been reading a while, I welcome you here. I’m glad you have found my blog helpful.

      Yes, I’m going with red-tailed hawk. I put a link at the bottom of the post. It’s neat to hear the hawk (scroll down on the page).

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Welcome, Lynn! Blogorino Lynn, that is 😀

  22. John McDonald says:

    From the Monument: “This monument is dedicated to the Cold War Veterans who served here and especially for the thirty-two warriors who gave their lives during this exercise which in itself, contributed to the end of the Cold War.”
    Does this mean what I think it means? During a training exercise, 32 people lost their lives! Am I reading this wrong? I hope so.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John,

      You are reading the inscription correctly. I don’t know the details, what caused the people to lose their lives. No doubt the training exercises were very dangerous.

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      I read further…several aircrafts crashed, drownings and veh vs ped accidents.
      Simulated training……yikes.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        How terrible and sad… Those people could have been enjoying retirement right now.

      • Pamela K. says:

        Yes, many are lost to live ammo and training exercises. Each year we lose about 4,500 military to training related exercises. Very little press for those lost except for the local press at the point of the incident. The same could be said with LEOs who fall during training…On Duty vs Line Of Duty losses.
        It was nice of the town to honor them in that way…lest we forget.

        Tradition commands for General Shooters and an *old cheap cigar* (because it is bitter tasting) Salute is in order.

  23. AZ Jim says:

    Wow Missy, not much of a break for you. I thought we would have to suffer through 3 or 4 days at least. You just can’t live without us, can ya? You might as well forget that rug for awhile it seems. Freight deliveries are rough under your circumstances. Oh well it’s gonna be nice and warm this winter and ya can’t have it all can you? Hi Bridge and Reg.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      I can’t resist commenting when people ask questions . . . and I feel like I need to earn the Amazon commissions that are coming my way during the holiday shopping season.

      You’re promising me a warm winter, eh? I hope so, although we really can’t complain. A cold winter in AZ beats a lot of other places!

      • AZ Jim says:

        Nights will be cool but you have two little bed warmers in there with you so you’ll be cozy. Like you said better than many other places. No need to shovel sunshine. Take care Missy.

  24. Sidewinder Pen says:

    Well, shoot, now I have to wait on the “rug report.” Life can be rough! 😉 😀 I do have it in my cart though, and I saw it go down to $48 a few days ago. Ooh, I almost clicked, but in addition to wanting to hear what you think of it, I’m letting my budget “plump up” a bit, which it needs.

    I liked the photo of the oh-so-green fields. I’ve been through the Yuma area a few times (briefly) and the green of those irrigated fields is just intoxicating after some period of time spend in the desert.

    Was fun to read of your water run. I do the same with the jugs. Simple pleasures 🙂 Good to know of the park.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Forgot to mention that I enjoyed the Starbucks photo. Why? Well because it never fails to “amaze” me when I see things that to me are ordinary, boring, and basically unaesthetic things I have seen for years, but… They Have Palm Trees Next To Them (!!) Suddenly they look so special and different! Like they’re on a tropical isle or something. I can still remember my first trip to San Diego and seeing things like McDonalds restaurants wherein ALL the tables were outdoors. Zero indoor dining. What?! There are places with weather that allows this level of confidence? It still seems hard to believe sometimes. Starbucks with palm trees next to them… what will they think of next? 😀

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I know what you mean, Pen. I saw a Publix in Boca Raton that was landscaped to perfection with palm trees, bougainvillea, and other tropical plants that made it look like the parking area for a country club or fine hotel. It even had valet parking!

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          I can just imagine that the way you write it. Whitewashed tree trunks and valets with white gloves 😀 You can do even more with that sort of landscaping when the climate is humid and lush (not that I miss humid, no, not at all).

          I first shopped at a Publix in Georgia – I have to say it was a pretty nice grocery store! No special landscaping though.

  25. DesertGinger says:

    I was in Blythe briefly a few months ago, mainly on hwy 10. I didn’t see much, certainly no stores I needed. I guess the good stuff is off the highway. I’m heading out tomorrow to go visit my friend in Irvine, CA for a few weeks. I have mixed feelings. In some ways I would just like to stay put, but I promised I would come months ago. And I like to keep my word. Then home again and not moving for a few months! At least.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Funny you mention that, Ginger. The first time I went to Blythe, I dropped off the interstate, bought groceries, and went back to Arizona. I thought the same thing… meh. Now that I’m here and temporarily dependent on this town, I see what is good about it.

      You go from Tucson to Irvine like you’re cruising to the next town… 🙂 It’s not surprising that you feel like staying home. You’ve covered a lot of miles recently. Have a safe trip and enjoy your friend. And then, yes, rest and relax at home. Happy Thanksgiving, Ginger!

  26. Chris B - Southern California says:

    Hi Sue – Have you read the book titled “Big Maria” by Johnny Shaw? It is, by far, the craziest book that I’ve ever red. Clete told me that I should read it. It’s one of those strange books that takes awhile to get into, then you get hooked on it because it is so far fetched. Then you can’t stop because you wonder what the heck is going to happen next.

    I’m anxious to see the new rug. Don’t forget to post a photo when it arrives.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    Chris and Diego

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Chris B,

      Someone skipped a post and her name starts with a C and sounds like Chris! Caught you! 🙂

      I’ve read all the Johnny Shaw books and I wrote about them on this blog. A few readers bought and enjoyed them.

      Big Maria
      Plaster City (A Jimmy Veeder Fiasco)
      Dove Season (A Jimmy Veeder Fiasco)
      The Snickerdoodle Kerfuffle (A Short Story)

      If you haven’t read his other books, you’re missing out! Plaster City and Dove Season both take place in CA’s Imperial Valley.

      P.S. You’re forgiven. Happy Thanksgiving!

      • Chris B - Southern California says:

        What? I’m busted??? LOL! When was this? Recently?

        Then, on top of the embarrassment, I just noticed that I skipped the “A” in read!

        I’m melting…….

        Chris B

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You’re not the Wicked Witch of the West (“I’m mellllttiinng!”)

          I think I talked about Big Maria when we were at Salton Sea last February. I don’t remember when. You’re forgiven. As penance read Dove Season. It’s just as good, if not better!

    • DesertGinger says:

      Yep, I read Big Maria based on Sue’s review. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

  27. Robert NE oregon says:

    Ohhh boy. Im somewhere around 79th, wooooopie! That and $ 1.79 will get me cup of coffee at Dennys! LMAO

  28. Robert NE oregon says:

    You early risers need to post something neat, it’s not a contest, come on girls and guys, most of you have personal talents and really cool stuff to share. If it’s gonna be a long post then give a link, But never never stop reading this woman’s adventures.
    Example: simple bread recipe made in a dutch oven over a campfire, oh by the way Sue the picts posted on the I/net always come out as just average no matter how you tweek them. True photo buffs still use 35mm cameras, filters, telephoto, yada yada for the perfect photo, they study natural lighting and sometimes wait days for the perfect conditions if not months, hell it’s their hobby or their living.
    Your photos are fine if not perfect to transmit VISION to what your writing, just don’t stop taking them, now if they can only include them with smell.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right, Robert. The purpose of my photos is to tell my story as I introduced it in the first post of this blog — the story of a woman and her two dogs traveling and living in a 17-foot trailer. I don’t aspire to become a great photographer with super-quality photos. I’ve brought my photos (actually the camera has) to a level where I’m happy with them. They do the job with a touch of artistry. Beyond that, I don’t have any interest in perfecting them.

      Thanks for understanding this! I like your description very much — the photos “transmit VISION to what you’re writing.” Perfect!

      • Pamela K. says:

        I, too, love that your photos are real, have that raw quality to them. They make me see the land and wildlife as I would see them if I were standing there. It makes choosing places a delight since you can know it will look like that once you arrive there. Glamourized shots of landscapes and such will often disappoint you once arriving at the same place the photo was taken. People feel let down because they expected to see that same level of glamour that wasn’t *real* in the first place. Sad when that happens especially when big money has been spent to arrive at certain places. Nice that your photos *real* do not disappoint! 🙂
        It’s part of your Keepin’ It Real journey for us.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thanks, Pamela. I detest glamourized photos. It’s like the photographer thinks nature isn’t good enough.

  29. chas anderson says:

    The military monument made me think of something my father said to me 60 years ago.He said that Albert Einstein was asked what World War III would be like.He supposedly said that he did not know but he was sure that WW IV would be fought with sticks and rocks defending a water hole.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Einstein had a way of bringing a complex issue down to its essence!

      • Pamela K. says:

        Profound what he said.
        I think it is so telling that we do not take care to nurture our fresh water supplies. History has shown us that the single main difference between a powerful nation and a third-world nation is their having quality fresh water or not.

  30. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    You have such a talent for writing and picture taking Always love reading for your adventures and non-adventures.
    I want to wish you, the crew and all the blogerinos a Very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving. I know me and the others who follow you, count you as one of their precious blessings and are so grateful for this blog.
    Sending Big Hugs and Lots of Love

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Pauline! Thank you for what you bring to my blog and for being the best big sister anyone could ever hope for. Love to you, Jerold, and the entire bunch of Mississippi family!

  31. Rita from Phoenix says:

    At first I thought the dark cloud might have something to do with the nuclear power plant west of Phoenix but I see the desert has been on fire. I once saw a hawk bring its kill to the 16th floor window ledge to eat it….I had a desk next to the window but quickly vacated the work cubical to a temporary spot.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Ooh, a little too close for comfort…

      • Kitt, NW WA says:

        One time my husband and I were having dinner when we looked out to see an eagle having its dinner just above our bird feeder! It took him/her around a half and hour to consume its furry dinner. Needless to say, we kept out eyes focused on what we were eating.

        We got to see one up close when our niece was in vet school and gave us a tour of the raptors in their care. An incredible experience, they are so big. What magnificent birds!

        Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  32. MB from VA says:

    Good morning from Virginia and Happy (day before) Thanksgiving! I hope you have a beautiful, peaceful day. I will be walking in “The Drumstick Dash”….a walk for a soup kitchen in Roanoke. Then….who knows? My holidays all centered around my grandparents and parents…..and smaller cousins. Well, the elders are gone and the little cousins…..aren’t anymore. 🙂 So I spend most of the day thinking of those times and smiling. Not depressing at all….as some wrongly assume. What is depressing is trying to pretend that things are “the same”. They aren’t. They’re not supposed to be. Change is a natural thing. Would I love to be at that big table with them all one more time? Sure! That’s what is so wonderful about “memories”. ANYway……I really wrote to comment about your task of getting water. I have often asked myself questions like….”OK, so what if you were in the middle of the desert all by yourself? What would you do to make things interesting?” I have the computer job. I like to read. I like to walk and hike. I like learning new things. I like making things from natural/found items….. But, I also think that it would be the little everyday tasks, like going to get water that would make life fun and interesting….as well as leading to beautiful things along the way. Have a great day Sue & Crew! MB from VA

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Lovely picture you “painted” for us, MB, titled “Everyday Life in the Desert.” 🙂

      I’ve had times when I stopped what I was doing and said to myself, “How come I have nothing to do, all the time to do what I want, and I still have more that I want to do, and the day is over already?” Ha! And people think they’d be bored camped by themselves in the desert… 🙂

      Enjoyed your comment very much, very wise about “change is a natural thing”… Thanks for writing.

  33. Applegirl NY says:

    Wishing everyone a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving. Whether you’re spending it in quiet contemplation, or surrounded by the chaos of family and friends, take a moment to find a blessing and give thanks.

    One thing I give thanks for is the community of blogorinos here, that Sue has created. God bless all of you. Special blessings to you, Sue and Bridget and Spike.

  34. Susan in South Central WA says:

    Wait a dog-gone minute. There are NO photos of Bridget and Reggie!!!! I come here to read about back-hoeing and pup snuggling. (BIG GRIN). Have a blissful holiday outside of Blythe!!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      🙂 You have a wonderful holiday, too, Susan. I wondered when someone would mention the absence of the crew from this post!

      Ha! a “dog-gone” minute”… clever!

  35. Well I definitely need to get back over that way now – if just to see the Desert Strike monument. I was a little girl during that “event” and watched tanks and other military equipment doing maneuvers nearby for several weeks. It was the green triangles vs. the blue squares, and their uniforms and vehicles were all marked accordingly. Our moms would make fresh salads and baked goods to take out to the troops on Sundays, and some would sneak in to use the swimming pool at Iron Mountain at night, although it was considered “off limits”. The camp near us was about 25 miles from Midland.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:


      That’s so interesting to read. You recount detail that bring it right to life and with such a different perspective than when just reading a monument.

      Wouldn’t it be neat if historical monuments included the notes of kids who were neighbors to whatever took place?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You have such interesting memories from your childhood, Jodee. Someone passing through would think you grew up “in the middle of nowhere” and where nothing happened much. Love this little story from the past…

  36. Lisa, Tommie and Buddy in SoFlo (for now) says:

    Hi Sue, I know you aren’t saying till tomorrow but I will be busy so Happy Thanksgiving to you and your crew a little early. I think your pictures are getting better and better. I love them and learn things too! A win-win that I really enjoy.
    I think your mystery bird of prey is definitely a red tailed hawk. The tail and stipled feathers on the breast are my clues. I also liked your hummer visitor, such a pretty flying jewel, and then they sing, wow. I used to put out a feeder every summer in Vermont and lingered over my morning coffee. Sitting on my deck with Ruby throated males dive bombing one another, and a few pure iridescent green boys, just spectacular. I would hear them chirp, but no “songs” . The link you posted is super. I think I will enjoy bird watching when I am fulltiming.
    On another note,, I got my percolator, unfortunately it would not perk, and leaked around the bottom seam, so back it went! I ordered another one. A steel red enameled coffee “boiler” so we will see. I think it’s going to be a big one, but I figured I can use it for other things too, as long as the enamel holds up. Or just perk a pot once a week, LOL. I find such things entertaining, but that’s me, simple fun with a simple life.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lisa,

      A percolator that leaked and would not perk? I wonder what brand it was. I’ve never heard of such a thing. Oh, quality control, where are you? I’m sorry you had that inconvenience.

      You don’t have to make a full pot with your big enamel one. I make a pot of coffee every other day and heat up the leftover every other day.

      Thanks for the compliment on my photos. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  37. eliza says:

    Happy happy thanksgiving! I am so grateful I came across your blog – you have given me many hours of enjoyment and education. Thank you….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, eliza. Having you join us here is one of the special gifts I’ve received this year. Happy Thanksgiving!

  38. BadgerRickInWis says:

    So clingers are starlings, and boondockers are hawks. Yep, sounds about right.

  39. AZ Jim says:

    Lest I miss the chance to catch most of you before your time is spent in the kitchen or at the dinner table, I will take this opportunity to wish all of you, my fellow Missy Sue fans as well as Sue and her little on the road family, Bridget and Reggie a very Happy Thanksgiving!!! Long sentence huh, Teach?

  40. Cheryl O. says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you Sue, Reggie and Bridget and to all blogarinos all over the world. I’m thankful for this blog to bring clarity in my life and in the future.

  41. Judy J. in upstate S.C. says:

    Have a blessed day with the pups. Also, Happy Thanksgiving to all the blogorinos who help make this so fun, interesting and even educational! I always read but seem to find myself “tongue-tied” whenever I think of responding. Thankful that you help me to remember the most important things are the simple pleasures of life.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Judy,

      And one of my simple pleasures is reading a message from you. Untie your tongue and jump right in anytime!

      Thanks for the sweet note. Have a wonderful holiday…

  42. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    I thought the smokey sunset photo was beautiful, since those pinks, purples, lavenders are some of my favorite colors. I took my little Angel outside around 6:15 and just stood out there admiring the beautiful full moon on this clear and warm evening before Thanksgiving.
    She is enjoying dilly dallying around outside now that the terrorizing dogs have moved out of the neighborhood. The Shepard folks moved and the boxer/pit bull mix was a foster and she has been adopted.
    I will be busy with Thanksgiving cooking, etc. tomorrow, but wanted to to wish you, Bridget & Reggie and the rest of the blogorino family a Very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Barbara. I’m thankful your neighborhood has become more Angel-friendly. 🙂

  43. Robert NE oregon says:

    Everyone have a super Thanksgiving!

  44. Pamela K. says:

    Sue, Crew and Everyone,
    Happy Thanksgiving Eve 🙂

    Here’s hoping and wishing the joys of the holiday are at their best.
    This year, I am not cooking…heresy I say! Nope, Klemper and I are going out to eat. He says I deserve a cooking day off and I jumped on that before he had time to think about no leftovers. HA! Of course I will cook large over the extended weekend…four glorious days off for Klemper 🙂

    Sue, about that bird…
    Yep, it’s a Red Hawk alright. I printed that photo, flipped it over and sure enough it has a red tail 🙂 🙂 😉

  45. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, all!

    I am thankful I stumbled across you blog a couple years ago, Sue. You are a treasure to share your adventures and experiences with us – thank you! 🙂

    And thank you to the blogorino family that meets here to share their knowledge, and support and encourage each other – a fine bunch of folks! 🙂

  46. Pookie in SE Texas says:

    it amazes me how cold it gets in the desert….
    hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving day whether
    its being alone in the middle of a desert or having a
    houseful of company…..I have about 5 pies to eat today!

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