Up on the roof . . . . and revisiting our Big Wood River boondock, Idaho

Today’s post features a boondock along the Big Wood River in Sawtooth National Recreation Area, northwest of Ketchum, Idaho.  

Bridget, Reggie, and I camped there in August of 2016.  After a short stay, smoke from forest fires chased us out of the area.  (The last two photos show smoke on the mountains.)

At present the Best Little Trailer is parked in the back yard of our newly purchased house located in Arizona.  Reggie, Roger and I are camped in the house awaiting the arrival of my sister, Nancy, and her dog, Marg, sometime in mid-August.

Monday, July 9 in Arizona

Mike the roofer and his helper arrive at the house at 5:30 a.m. according to plan.  Usually Reggie has us up before 5:30.  Not this morning.  Therefore, the three of us are asleep and don’t hear the men arrive.  We awake to the sounds of Mike gathering his supplies and ladder from the other side of our bedroom wall.

Roger goes ballistic!

Reggie joins the alarm, leaping from our bed with a high-pitched scream-bark.  The two of them race to the back door, making an awful racket.  I open the sliding glass door and the boys shoot out, loaded for bear.  Mike squats to greet them and the boys switch from terrorizing to wiggling and pawing at him with delight.

A brief good-morning exchange — I’m glad I’m in my new nightie and not one of my old raggedy nightshirts! — and I retreat to the kitchen to put the coffee on.

The men work until approximately 10:30 when they come down off the roof and put the ladder and roof stuff away.  I happen to be on the patio at the time.

“We’re gonna’ quit now,” Mike tells me.

“That’s good,” I reply.  “It’s getting too hot to stay up there.”

Mike points to the southeastern sky.

“It’s not only that.  See that rain cloud over there?  The material needs about thirty minutes to set up.  I wanted to complete this layer — we’re almost done with it — but with that cloud . . . . ”

“Good idea.  Better to quit than to rush.”

As it turns out . . . .

It doesn’t rain until two o’clock and only for a short while. Still, it was wise of Mike to stop work when he did.

I don’t know much about summer rain in Arizona, but I do know how it can appear very quickly.  The day can go from sunny to heavy rain in an instant, which can be a fun surprise depending upon one’s circumstances.  Like the time the crew and I were caught in a sudden shower while up the street at the mailboxes.

Remember the photos of the green grape clusters?

The grapes were bee-bees then.  They’re slightly larger now, still hard as ammunition.  I do hope the cycle of daily afternoon rain, typical of monsoon season, begins soon.

The yard is burnt to a crisp with a patch of green weeds here and there where the mesquite trees throw shade.

It’s becoming increasingly apparent that I need to make a decision about lawn care.  Hire someone and pay onward for years?  Invest in a weed-whacker?  A lawn mower?

Oh my, here I am thinking about lawn maintenance again.

That reminds me of an old post from when I lived in a house in Georgia.  I wrote “I hoe and I hoe and I hoe and I mow and I mow and I mow.”

Soon thereafter I sold the house with the big garden and the big lawn and headed west with my original canine crew.  I never thought I’d be needing lawn maintenance equipment again!

Closing with song . . .

“Up On The Roof” — Lyrics by Gerry Goffin

“When this old world starts a getting me down
And people are just too much for me to face
I’ll climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space

“On the roof, it’s peaceful as can be
And there the world below don’t bother me, no, no

“So when I come home feeling tired and beat
I’ll go up where the air is fresh and sweet
I’ll get far away from the hustling crowd
And all the rat-race noise down in the street . . . . “


NOTE:  See more of our Sawtooth NRA camp at:  “Photo Essay: Boondock on the Big Wood River, Idaho!’


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94 Responses to Up on the roof . . . . and revisiting our Big Wood River boondock, Idaho

  1. Norman in San Diego says:


  2. milliehubbard says:

    Wow Norman, you are fast!!

  3. Pat in Rochester says:

    I was expecting the Christmas song – “up on the rooftop, reindeer feet….” Yours makes much more sense lol!

  4. milliehubbard says:

    Oh Sue, thanks so much for the Up on the Roof lyrics. Gerry Goffin and Carole King were a song writing powerhouse!!

    So the Crew was caught unawares this morning!! hehehe I can just picture the mayhem…love these stories of daily life 🙂

  5. Columbus Calvin says:

    I’m the last person to give advice on lawn maintenance. I can mow and trim if need be and if I’m advised where to avoid flowers. That’s it, though.

    What struck me about the pictures today is the difference between riparian (water corridor) habitat and the surrounding area. Those who study ecology sometimes make a study of riparian habitat and those pictures show the reason. Along the stream or around the lake life is very different from other parts of arid areas. Riparian places matter a great deal. I’ll ask blogorinos who camp, hike, bike, or otherwise enjoy those habitats to be very careful to preserve them.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Calvin,

      There are very few places along that section of Big Wood River where there is access to park a rig. The campsite we were in sees a lot of use. Locals go there during the week and set up tents to hold “their” spots for the weekend. At least the wear and tear is concentrated and not spread out along the riverbanks.

      The first photo captures the different habitats… mountain, grassland, riparian, all very different from each other.

  6. Joe in TN says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Anytime I can start my day with a Drifters tune, I’m happy!
    BTW, I ordered a nightgown for my wife off your previous post. It arrives today. She needed a treat for being a good nurse after my hip replacement surgery last Thursday. All is going well.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s great, Joe! I’m glad you have that surgery over and that you’re healing well. Very nice of you to reward your nurse. I hope she enjoys her new nightie.

      Thanks for thinking of me and the crew when you went shopping at Amazon. I see a couple of people ordered nighties. I assume one of them is your order. 🙂

  7. Barb in Florida says:

    Thanks Sue

  8. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    You made me laugh…..again!

    Did you get bombarded yesterday with the wind, dust storm(haboob),rain and hail?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Nope… Only a little bit of rain and a little bit of wind. We got rain during the night by the looks of things this morning. We slept through it.

  9. Janice says:

    What a nice pace to revisit the old boondocks/campgrounds. I’m sure your mind is wondering which one you’ll visit again when you are ready to take the crew out for an adventure. I know I’m enjoying it and updating my list!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Janice,

      When the day comes to hitch up and head out, the time of year will determine a lot. I’m interested in finding new camps as well as visiting old favorites.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying this format while we’re stationary.

  10. Pam says:

    Sounds like you have things under control. Would love to see more photos of the house…..as far as lawn care, I would go with desert landscaping. Less work. If you need grass, just put a small patch out back for the dogs and you can sit under the shade tree and water it……

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pam,

      I’m not interested in growing grass. None of my neighbors are either, which tells me it’s a fool’s project to do so. Desert gardening can be very creative. I think Nancy and I will have fun with it.

  11. EmilyO in NM says:

    I have a gravel/rock yard as well as a few of my neighbors. I do miss grass but not the work and have been toying with the idea of a small patch somewhere and small enough I could take my clippers to trim it or not. There are still weeds that come up but few enough they can be controlled by a quick tug. The only negative is that they do add heat making the temperature higher around the residence and get even so hot the doves and other birds walk very carefully and quickly on the hot rocks. The good side is no mowing, watering, fertilizing.

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      Yes, the rocks and gravel do store and reflect a lot of heat. Some desert gardens have wide, winding walkways of dirt, neatly edged, going around islands of plantings mulched with small stone or to sitting areas or to a fountain,bird bath, orsculpture. The dirt is hard-packed and swept clean. Sometimes stepping stones are added. You’ve probably seen what I’m talking about.

    • Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

      Hi Emily! You beat me to it! I was going to remind Sue of our gravel yardscape! You beat me to it! 💗
      I loved it! No mowing but still very attractive!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Yes, your former yard and now Emily’s is very pleasant. I enjoyed the time I sat on the bench talking with you and Chuck and viewing Black Mountain, or was it Turtle Mountain? Forget the name….

  12. Yep once upon a time when it use to rain every afternoon, we had grassy lawn. Now it’s desert brown. I refuse to put grass down. I did plant paloverde trees which flower in spring and throughout summer and fall. My big night blooming cactus died but I have other desert plants. I planted lavender and they are doing well. I also have a desert rose tree in back yard and not much else. The hollyhocks I planted sprouted but also died…even though I kept them moist by watering them gently. Maybe I planted too late in the season. I’ll try them in planters next time and see how they do.

    We finally had a haboob warning blast on our cell phones and rain but not enough to really soak the ground. Temps dropped big time and now it’s at 85 at 10:30 a.m. Woo hoo going to run errands….see ya later gater!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      This cooler weather is great! Seems like the humidity is up from last night’s rain.

      I’m depending upon Nancy’s green thumb to work some miracles on this property. Gee, I’m depending upon her for a lot! 🙂

  13. Pam and Maya says:

    Hi Sue and Crew! I like the way you are thinking when it comes to landscaping, I agree, no grass, no mowing!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, there will be mowing or weed-eating until the desert landscaping is in place, which may take a long while. Weeds have sprung up and are growing like weeds (of course!). I’m sure last night’s rain will give them another boost.

  14. Lisa, Dad, Tommie and Buddy in FL says:

    Hi Sue,
    Hmmm, surprise roofers and lawncare. Tommie got surprised by the mailman, bolted straight up from a nap in his favorite chair when the mailbox lid slammed shut. He was bristled and growly snarling, and a bit embarrassed I think.

    We have a small lot which I mow with an old fashioned reel mower. I love the exercise and the gas free mowing. Whatever you do, have fun!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lisa,

      Dogs do experience embarrassment. I don’t think a lot of people know that. You can see it sometimes when people dress up their dog for a parade or for Halloween or Christmas. Dogs have dignity, including Tommie. 🙂

      On the other hand, dogs know clothing that isn’t ridiculous. Bridget and Spike both enjoyed wearing sweaters. They wore them with pride. Reg and Rog like their fleece vests but I don’t think they feel special in them, not the way Bridget and Spike did.

  15. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Finally had a few minutes to check in. Gosh I am 3 posts behind. I did read them, but need to catch up on comments. The new furnishings look really nice. Wish I had some of Nancy’s talent.
    I am definitely not a good decorator. I do pretty good with colors and furnishings, but am terrible at accessorizing. I need my sister for that. She is coming up from Florida in the fall to help me paint the kitchen and the cabinets. That part of the house really needs refreshing. I have lived here 20 years, finally paid id off 7/1 and now I can start updating a little and pay as I go. Paint, countertop, sink, and flooring and hang my new light fixtures. I can’t afford to do a lot, but anything will help. Since I want to pay as I go, it will probably take me a year.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Congratulations, Barbara, on making the last payment on your house! A wonderful feeling, I’m sure. 🙂

      We’re both blessed with sisters with an eye and talent for decorating.

  16. Hi Sue & blogorinos! The Spring Fire burning in southern Colorado damaged a Charter Communications tower and knocked out Verizon cell as well as Chartet internet which the library and most businesses use here in Salida. Unfortunately the fire has also burned at least 132 homes. I didn’t have internet access during the outage so I’m just catching up on the posts since then.

    In the June 28th post I commented regarding my one year anniversary. Sue, you and some others offered congratulations. I wasn’t able to reply, so wanted to say thank you now!

    I loved reading about the boondock near Williams Reservoir. If I get down in that area I may check that out. The San Juans are my favorite! Sue, I noticed in the pics you had your cell antenna up. Did you have Verizon service there do you recall?

    Also loved the pics of the snowy campsite in CA. I’m missing snow a little bit. Maybe will hang around in CO long enough this year to see some 😀

    I’m enjoying the flashbacks to some of your previous camps 👍

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Debra,

      Too bad about the fire near Salida burning those homes. I hope everyone had insurance. There was a fire closing a road when we were there.

      At the time we camped on Trail Ridge, I was able to get Verizon signal up on the ridge. Near the lake (and another fine boondock we would have enjoyed), there is no internet. That’s why we stayed on the ridge, besides it being cool, pretty, and private.

      Thanks for the positive feedback on previous camps. Be careful maneuvering around fires and smoke!

      • Thanks Sue. I’m a little leery of being way up some forest service road and not having communications with the extreme fire danger this year. When I arrived in Colorado on May 31, I couldn’t believe how little snow there was in the mountains. Mountains that usually have snow into July were bare.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I fully understand your caution about camping in a forest during fire season. You may remember us racing out of Idaho from the Big Wood River camp. We kept moving until we reached southern Utah… all in an effort to be away from regions with smoke and fire. Over the years people have asked…Aren’t you afraid camping alone? Aren’t you afraid you’ll come across bears, rattlesnakes, whatever? Caution, yes, not fear.

          There’s one thing that I don’t want to be anywhere near: wildfire. Do be alert and careful, Debra.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Please stay safe, Debra. You are wise to be cautious, having access to communications while traveling in areas affected by the wildfires. Better safe than sorry!

  17. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Have you considered some artificial green turf? It would smother the weeds and give you some maintenance free green….rain or not. The last time I visited Las Vegas, I ventured to Boulder City. Many folks used the artificial turf along with desert rocks, cacti, and native plants. It looked really nice. This artificial turf is not the stuff those doormats of yesteryear were made of….you know – the scratchy green plastic with the requisite white daisies. A local nursery, Lowes or Home Depot probably can give you all some advice. Pay for it and put it down once and done. Whatever you and Nancy decide to do, keep it simple…maybe some elevated planters near the back door for herbs and mint. 🙂

    I really love the flashback pictures and posts of previous camps. Each new post, I can remember clearly when “we” were there. Time really flies! When I look at the camp/post date, it is hard to believe it was years ago! 🙂

    Have a nice evening, Sue! I have to figure out what I am going to make for dinner…something quick and easy. I refilled the bird baths when I got home from work tonight and watered a few plants. We have a slight chance of rain tomorrow. I hope we get some! It is getting a bit crispy here! Sending you, Reggie, and Roger lots of love and hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      No, I haven’t thought about green turf. Our lot is pretty big. I’ve seen green turf used in small spaces. Certainly does cut back the need for lawn care.

      One of the reasons we chose a house on a big lot was to have distance between us and neighbors. This has shown to be a good decision because I’m hardly aware that there are neighbors. I like that!

      We do have raised beds. Quite neglected, growing weeds and spearmint, at the moment. 🙂

      It’s nice to think of you and other readers of my blog enjoying flashbacks to former camps along with me reminiscing about our experiences there. I was thinking about that, how I can easily transport myself mentally to a camp simply by looking at a photo of it, right down to the smallest detail. That’s the benefit of settling into a camp and spending time there, rather than hopscotching hither and yon.

      I appreciate the love and hugs from you and Gracie pup. Sending you the same. May you get the rain you need!

      • Cinandjules 🌵 says:

        Driving across the USofA we arrive in Gallop NM…the LaQuinta…pet friendly. They have a dedicated pet zone…that is totally rocks. Annie wouldn’t pee or poop! Jules and I are thinking..uh does she know our entire yard is rocks?

        We looked into the fake grass..and found out…it gets way too hot for the dogs feet and it smells like pee..especially in the sun. They have chemicals to rinse it off the urine smell…ewwww!

        So we put in a peanut shaped patch of grass with pavers as the border..complete with its own irrigation system. She has never USED it…the jack rabbits keep it short…so short that we’ve never mowed it. AO much rather pee and poop on the rocks!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Annie is in charge! 🙂

          Hey, where can I get jackrabbits like yours? The kind who like weeds.

        • Denise - Richmond VA says:

          Ewww….it smells like pee? That is gross – I did not know that. Imagine that plus the doogie pee, too. Chemicals…. Yuck! Thanks, Cinandjules….I love how we learn things from each other here in Sue’s blogorino family. 🙂

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:

        xo 🙂

  18. AlanOutandAbout - in Truth or Consequences NM says:

    No lawn mower or irrigation system to keep it green. You have been the desert so much you should be able to create your own little piece of desert paradise all practically maintenance free. In Tuscon it is against the law to plant grass. It is the only rational decision for the southwest.

    Looks like everything is coming together for you, I hope it all works out.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Alan. I hope all is well with you and that you’re enjoying T or C.

      I didn’t know about grass being prohibited in Tucson. Smart!

    • Nivrapa in AZ says:

      Alan–Wow! As a Tucsonian and surrounding communities resident for nearly thirty years, I never knew that. It must be totally ignored as I see lots of apartment complexes, business parks, resorts, and even homes in the high rent districts of the city that have lawns that feature lush grass in their landscaping. My first house in Tucson had a grassy patch surrounding a bubbling water feature but I tore it out. It really bothers me as I see it as poor use of a gradually diminishing precious resource, our water. I can’t help but wonder who manages this law and where are they?—Audrey

  19. Rhodium in sw va says:

    A nice thing about a new house is planning gardens. I was surprised by all the different plants that grew in the desert. We were going to work on plants this year but the summer has been taken up with puppies. The 12 are now six weeks and two days old and have grown from around 15 ounces to 10 pounds. After our faces looking like we were in knife fights we have taught them to lick our faces not bite them. They will be sent off for adoption in about 2 weeks, which will be bittersweet.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rhodium,

      I’m repeatedly surprised also at the variety of plants that do well in this desert environment. Lots more than cacti! Folks in the neighborhood have several different varieties of trees and flowering bushes, as well as an abundance of roses.

      Twelve puppies –That’s a lot of biting and chewing! It will be tough letting them go, but I’m sure you’ll adopt them out to good homes.

  20. weather says:

    When I was reading the post about your wonderful boondock by the river I thought of how long you only needed a rake to remove stones that might wreck your outdoor rug, or to clean debris left by other campers. Nature does the landscaping for you when you are camping. Owning a house with big yards will take a lot of work, planning and money to make things the way you want them to be. I can understand the reluctance that has made you put off deciding how to begin at least dealing with the grass that is still growing there.

    Even when you have created dirt pathways, and planted more things that will grow well there, a weed-whacker would be helpful to keep everything looking neat. It would be a big job to use that to keep the grass short with though. It may take you and Nancy a couple of years or more to redo both the front and back yards. I might buy a lawn mower now, then see if I needed a weed-whacker later on if I were in your place.

    It’s good to know Mike is only working sensible hours now. I’m glad he didn’t catch you wearing an old raggedy nightshirt 😉 . I hope you get a little more rain soon. It’s been less hot and humid here recently. It’s great to leave my windows open overnight . Letting that coolness in keeps us comfortable throughout the day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      I, too, have thought about the days when the only yard tools needed were a rake for smoothing a place for the mat and a shovel for leveling the BLT and cleaning the perimeter of the campsite of dog doo-doo. It pains me at times to have to buy stuff to maintain the house. That’s when I remind myself of the wonderful benefit of sharing life with my sister and also having a place for my old age.

      I’ve made my decision and ordered what I need for keeping the weeds down in the immediate future. I’ll mention that in the next post.

      Sleeping with an open window… I’m glad you are enjoying that simple pleasure. 🙂

      • weather says:

        It’s nice that you think of that benefit and how long you will have your property. The yards of homes I’ve owned had lawns in place when I moved in. I made few alterations besides adding flowers. Your yard has a few plants, trees and features in place that you like. All the rest of the ground is a blank palette to make into whatever pleases you. What an wonderful opportunity to be creative you and Nancy have.

  21. Ladybug in Mid-Tenn says:

    I think you need to look into xeriscaping, and maybe container gardening to satisfy Nancy’s green thumb?

    Maybe search for the University of Arizona Extension Service Master Gardener program?

    • Renee still in Idaho says:

      Good point Ladybug on xeriscaping. There are a lot of drought tolerant plants and with well placed rocky or brick paths meandering among those desert plants, it would make a lovely backyard.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ladybug,

      Your use of the term xeriscaping sent me on a web search of images. Oh my, what interesting photos came up! Gorgeous and easy-care gardens….

      It is going to be a ton of fun researching, planning and designing, shopping, and creating with Nancy and enjoying the results together. 🙂

      • Renee still in Idaho says:

        Looks like a good early morning task! It’s in the 90’s here, soon to be in the 100’s. No lawn mowing till 9pm at night!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          It was in the 90s today here. Right now at 5:46 p.m., it’s in the high 70s. We’re having a cold snap!

          • Renee G says:

            I love cold snaps in the summer and camping at high elevation in the summer too – ahhh to wake up to 38 degree weather is heaven.

  22. Renee still in Idaho says:

    Hey Sue. I’ve been playing catch up on reading your past posts. Very clever of you to mix current events with memories of past boondocking and trips. Keeps us roadies at heart coming back for more! Ha! Love it. Then of course, here’s today’s post on the Big Wood River Valley of Idaho, close to home for us. Every year we take a two week trip, which is as long as we can afford while still working full time. This year we plan to travel central Idaho staying at various camps that are on our bucket list and travel the Sacajawea Scenic Byway up through Leadore and Tendoy, visiting the various Lewis & Clark historic places. Can’t wait. There is so much to see in our state.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Your plans sound like fun, Renee. I agree, Idaho has a lot to explore and to enjoy. I hope to visit it again.

      Have a wonderful two-weeks, learning and making memories. I hope you will share some of your experiences with us.

      • Renee still in Idaho says:

        Thank you, Sue!

        • Nivrapa in AZ says:

          Renee, have a great trip! I’ll be anxious for your report when you return. I wanted to explore Idaho this summer, but that’s not likely to happen now. I’ll be curious about gas prices and if you do any boondocking on your travels. I also have in interest in the route of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Travel safely!—Audrey

          • Renee G says:

            Hi Audrey. Our trip is in September and I’m researching camping spots now, dispersed, FS, and BLM. Sometimes what we do is to stay at a FS CG, then check out dispersed sites with our truck, then move if it works for us. As for Lewis and Clark, their routes are all over, but the pass near Tendoy, which is a backcountry byway, is particularly historic as it’s one of the highest points in Idaho they scaled and near a monument to Sacajawea.

  23. Linda Sand (Minnesota) says:

    I once built a raised bed driftwood garden. I loved the look. Unfortunately, the neighbors’ cats thought it made a great litter box. If your neighborhood has cats, you might want to think about them.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda,

      A driftwood garden. Hmm… I bet it was lovely. As for cats, yes, there are cats in the neighborhood. Someone down the street has a bunch of them. I notice they stay clear of our yard. I give credit to the crew for that. 🙂

  24. Cathy M Van Booven says:

    Round up kills pesky weeds and all. Grass is not reasonable in desert. So rocks cactus and maybe a bit of drip irrigation for some large potted plants.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cathy,

      A blogorino gave us a recipe for killing weeds and keeping them down that was made of kitchen type ingredients. I remember it has epsom salts… maybe vinegar? I meant to write it down. You reminded me to look for it.

      Elizabeth… Was that you?

      We have a few cacti at the house…. a big barrel cactus that has a couple blooms and a prickly pear.

      • Cinandjules🌵 says:

        Yep…one gallon of vinegar, epsom salt and dish soap!

        We use that up at the lake…

      • Elizabeth says:

        I was the one who just used vinegar but the use of other ingredients probably makes for better and longer success!! So nice other blogerinos to fill us in on better ways!!

  25. Hotel California says:

    We were camped in Flagstaff last night. We waved both north and south of the highway this morning on our way back to California. Did you see us?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, that was the cool breeze on my face! All the way from Flagstaff….. 🙂

      Have a good trip home, Hotel.

  26. Elizabeth says:

    You are not likely to run out of things to do or have done, for quite some time, Sue…we are in the midst of similar things here for our daughter. When you work full time with kids, there is little time to sleep anyway. We are slow…but we are free!! Today I actually did some of the chiseling away of wood on a door in order to install a new deadbolt…first time I did that…hubby did most of it…but I gave him some breaks from working on it. I rather like such kinds of activities. Hope you keep having fun with your repairs and all there…funny dogs…it is something when they are startled awake and have those scream barks…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You won’t run out of things to do either, Elizabeth. House projects are endless around here. That’s okay. Keeps us out of trouble, right? 🙂

  27. Nivrapa in AZ says:

    Howdy Everybody!

    It’ s here! It’s here! It has arrived! I’m talking about the monsoon at my house. Good grief, is has REALLY arrived, too. On Sunday eve we had our first serious storm that came complete with non stop lightening, loud cracks of thunder that had me ducking my head even though I was indoors, and winds that ripped out trees that have been standing for more than a century. My rain gauge showed more than two inches fell in less than two hours. During a good year we’ll get about six inches of rain during our monsoon or more than half of our annual rainfall. We had flash flooding and swift water rescues. It rained pretty steady until midnight and then mother nature conducted an encore performance, this time with power outages. All day Monday there were intermittent storms with outages and more damage and even a train derailment. Monday’s storms seemed to localize to the north of Tucson the city along the I-10 corridor. It was quite a wild 24 hours. Tuesday was cloudy and threatening and it took until about 4PM for another deluge to turn my yard into a temporary swamp with another near two inches to the tally. The rain came in sheets, sideways and visibility was down to about 25 feet. This only lasted about thirty minutes and the power only blinked off and on twice. It seems that much of Tucson’s suburbia missed out on Monday’s storms and only the northwest region was hit hard. I think it’s safe to say that monsoon 2018 has finally made it to my house. All these events are very typical of the monsoon here. Today’s forecast is for 60% chance of more storms. My computer is set to Tucson weather radar and I’m checking it frequently following any developments. I love this time of year! Weather that is something other than sunshine and heat is exciting.

    I had to stay offline much of the time during the severe storms so I got behind on Sue’s posts. It’s been quiet overnight so I was up late and caught up on all my daily checks. One of those checks is to follow the forest wildfires and closures in New Mexico and Colorado. So far it doesn’t look like much has changed. I did read that the Million Dollar Highway in the San Juan NF (US 550 in CO) is open again now that heavy fire equipment has been relocated. I take that as a good sign but I also read that many seasonal rangers and volunteers have been left go for the season so the potential for things to return to normal this year does not seem promising. I’m beginning to resign myself to the fact that I’ll be spending this summer at home and not camping in the boonies in Idaho or scratching Glacier National Park off my bucket list. Between the wildfires and rising gas prices, I think I am stuck here. Bummer. I suspect that the Sawtooth Range and Glacier will still be around next summer. Maybe Rocky Mountain National Park in the fall?

    Sue, your post about your childhood memories was so sweet and entertaining. I loved reading the blogorinos comments and sharing their memories. It was awesome to see Jim back and writing again and I’m so excited to know that Suzicruzi is picking up her new Casita this week. Oh, joyful day!

    Sue, I have my doubts that you would want to be tied to maintaining a yard at your house on the desert. It’s costly and time consuming. Go with what is natural for this area. Check your local library for books on desert landscaping. Any wood planters, fencing, or decor will attract termites, so be warned. I have a totally natural desert yard and keeping that manicured is enough to satisfy my needs to play in the dirt. Some colorful pottery with long lasting blooms strategically placed near the patio add nice color and ambiance. Summers when I’m around, I grow tomatoes and peppers in containers but nothing else seems suitable for the soil composition at my house. I love my little house and its yard–it’s totally southwest and just perfect for moi!

    Also, Sue, keep an eye on the BLT for an invasion of ants now that you have had some rain. I keep wanting to remind you of that and forgetting. Check frequently. I never have a problem until the monsoons arrive, but I’ve learned to be proactive after several trying years.

    I just came back inside from taking out my trash cans and holy moly is it ever humid out there. I checked the temperature and it’s 70 with the humidity at 76%. Just another side effect of the monsoons. Cooler air but also very heavy, wet air. Feels like the East coast out there.

    Time to get my act together and start the day’s activities. It’s cloudy and looks like it could rain at any minute. I want to get some errands done before the next storm arrives.

    Everybody have a great hump day!—Audrey

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, Audrey,

      If you all get too much rain, please send it my way! We need it! 🙂

    • Diann in MT says:

      Gosh. After living in the desert in Colorado for 20 years, I believe all your recommendations are right on the target. Way to go!!!

    • Diann in MT says:

      Oh, yes. What do you do about fire ants which are brutal reality.

  28. EmilyO in NM says:

    Couple desert plants I have come to love is the Desert Willow tree, Texas Sage and Winter Jasmine (not Forsythia). The Desert Willow tree has cute little orchid like flowers in the spring and come forth at the slightest little rain, the Texas Sage is very drought resistant and puts out little flowers (birds love) also at the slightest amount of rain or water and the Winter Jasmine sends out pretty little yellow flowers in late Dec/early Jan and then after the flowering season is over, then the leaves come forth. This one does require quite a bit of watering at first, then can slow down once established. It can be pruned or not.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      There are some desert willows in neighbors’ yards that I first noticed when they bloomed. A pretty tree!

  29. Lisa, Dad, Tommie and Buddy in FL says:

    Hi Sue,
    Xeriscaping is a great way to go for using less water and needing less work . I am not sure if these flowers are as heat tolerant as you need, but may I suggest you check out Rugosa Roses, and Portulaca. The roses are old fashioned and tough, growing into a thorny bush almost 5′ by 5′. These bushes would make a nice hedge if you wanted to keep critters out of the yard, oops….What am I thinking…You wouldn’t want that! The Portulaca are a drought resistant succulent that might work as a weed inhibiting ground cover with the bonus of flowers. Keep having fun!!

  30. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    After Nancy arrives, and you all have had a chance to settle, I have the perfect day trip for you all! Just outside of Las Vegas, in Henderson NV, is the Ethel M chocolate factory. They are the high end chocolate division of the M&M Mars brand. There is a short, self-guided factory tour with a free chocolate sample at the end. Of course they have a retail store to browse and tempt. If you buy chocolate, fear not! They wrap your chocolates in a freezer bag with ice packs that will keep cold for two days….even in triple digit temperatures. The absolutely BEST thing about Ethel M is that they have a beautiful cactus botanical garden just outside their front door. It is so lovely! I roamed happily through the garden for almost two hours, taking in the beauty and snapping tons of pictures. I know you and Nancy would love it! The plants have identification tags; you might get some ideas and inspiration for your yard. Admission to the factory and cactus garden is free. It is located in the middle of a residential area, Go early so you can beat the afternoon high temps. I have been meaning to mention Ethel M, but it kept slipping my mind. 🙂


    Sending you, Reggie, and Roger lots of love and hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

  31. Gloria in Prescott, Az. says:

    Hi Sue, Yes it’s a bit of a challenge to landscape without rocks (get hot) and fake grass (stinks and is hot). I screened all my “soil” probably 90% rock that I put in my garden beds. The screen is a 2×4 wood frame with 1/2 inch hardware cloth on it. My soil is becoming nicer all the time. A lot of the rocks got put in the walkways and I covered them all with wood chips that you can get free at the Transfer Station here. Don’t know if you have that option but I really like the wood chips because they give some cushion for walking on and the weeds are few. Not much maintenance, just a squirt of weed killer now and then. Anyway, it’s a thought. Love hearing about your home projects and seeing the boys run free!
    We had a beautiful rainbow in the dark clouds here this evening, very mysterious looking, now we are having a gentle rain, makes the garden jump for joy!

  32. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    On the Amazon list….Scrubba bag.
    Would like to know how it works out!

  33. Cinandjules: I know I saw a review on either that Scrubba bag or a similar one on a blog. Might have been TheFitRv a year or so back.

  34. Always smart to be off the roof even when weather is a “maybe”!

    I waffle between being happy I have no yard work, to occasionally missing having a small garden. For the long term I would probably go with a yard service 🙂

  35. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Hey Sue,
    I know you are not traveling right now, but you may want to check this out for future.

    Looks like it may be the kind of place you are interested in.

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