Then and now

Spike’s got his energy and can-do spirit back.

He barks and hops and fake-growls at me until I grab the black suits and leashes.  “Spike!  We already went on a long hike this morning!”  He insists.   I guess he wants to catch up on what he missed on his sick day.  Bridget and I follow Spike’s lead.   He takes off like we’re on an expedition, holding his nose high and trotting along with great confidence and purpose. 

The three of us explore the rocks, ridges and ravines.

Itty-bitty flowers of purple, yellow, and white look like miniature replicas of full-size flowers sold in garden shops. It’s a time like this that I wish my camera had a more powerful lens. 

I step carefully to avoid crushing the flowers.  I notice Bridget’s habit of stepping daintily serves her well in the rocky desert. 

Blades of grass are sprouting all over.  Grass?  In the desert?  I never would have thought I’d see so much grass. 

Stopping to rest, I’m reminded of childhood days of long ago.

Many hours at a time I roamed the woods and fields around our house in northern New York State. 

Usually I fantasized I was an explorer or pioneer, living by my wits, reading animal tracks, fording streams, looking for signs of hostile Indians, (I read Last of the Mohicans several times.), recording new plants, and so on.  I remember building a hut out of pine boughs, packing the walls with the damp sod of the woods. 

For hours I sat inside peering out, not making a sound, waiting for a close-up look at wildlife. 

Of course, the landscape here in the Sonoran Desert is entirely different from the verdant valley in which I grew up.  The anticipation of discoveries is the same.

What's this? A giant squid in the desert?

 I loved it then and I love it now.

How peaceful to be standing in the desert with no one in sight, no evidence of human presence!  What a gorgeous day!

“This was a good idea, Spikey!”

Some days I think about moving on, and then I change my mind.

Why move just for the sake of moving?  It’s warm and sunny here.  The crew and I aren’t done exploring the land around our camp. 

I enjoy the gentle rhythm of each day, whether it’s washing the Casita or hanging out laundry or cooking with the door open wide behind me.  Every evening I watch a new sunset. 

Shall I make a campfire, watch television, read a book, go online? 

When the weather improves elsewhere, I’ll go looking for elsewhere.  For now I’ll keep enjoying now, here.



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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66 Responses to Then and now

  1. Emily says:

    Your last line is the best!

  2. Donna Parker says:

    I knew you were courageous, but I have never known anyone courageous enough to read Last of the Mohicans THREE times!!! Love it!! And I envy you the sunsets mostly. The West is gorgeous at that time of day.

  3. Barbara Goodman says:

    Oh, to be in your shoes,,, I wish, I dream, one day not soon enough….

  4. Jim Sathe says:

    I am glad Spike is back to normal.

  5. Judy Douglass says:

    Your giant desert squid is actually a dead Ocotillo plant. Watch the living Ocotillo after it rains, they have the loveliest red blooms and bright green leaves.

    Glad Spike is feeling up to par today.


  6. kcgaz says:

    Glad to hear Spike is back…did he eat his kibble or hold out for the omelet? 🙂

  7. So glad to hear that spike is doing well. Don’t you wish he could talk and tell you what is wrong?You make it all sound so enticing, we can hardly wait to get out there and start exploring.

  8. Gaelyn says:

    Oh boy, nothing like a walk in the desert to lift the spirits. All around discoveries, large and small, alive or dead. Enjoy the Now.

  9. shadowmoss says:

    I was checking all day to see that Spike is ok. Glad for the good news.

  10. I envy your travels. We have made it as far as the Texas Hill Country and I believe we are going to stay put . I had great hopes of continuing onward but I shall be happy seeing the desert through your words.

    Just BS! (Bob and Sue)

  11. RVingFT says:

    I am so glad I stumbled on your blog. Have really been enjoying the posts.

    Have you ever thought about writing a book?
    You have a gift with words, and photos too. After a teaser like todays post, am sure you would sell Kindle versions. I am quickly becoming a fan!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, RVingFT!

      And I am so glad you are enjoying my blog. I did, at one time, plan on becoming a writer. I think I was nine at the time.

      Thanks for the compliment!

  12. Chuck says:

    See Sue, Geri and I aren’t the only ones who think you are great writer!!! Glad Spike is back to normal. Miss ya’ kid!

  13. longdog2 says:

    Glad to hear Spike is recovered. We all have an “off” day once in a while. The desert can provide some beautiful flowers after a rain. I hear the snakes are waking up early due to the warm weather. Nothing to panic about, just keep your eyes and ears open when you walk. They don’t want to meet you and the furkids either.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I appreciate the warning, and your interest in Spike. It hasn’t rained in a while so when it does, I’ll be anxious to see what new blooms appear. Spring in February . .. nice!

  14. Wilf Blakey says:

    I enjoy your blog, especially comments about the dogs. We have a young kitten and are enjoying him just like a young child.
    Have fun with your camping, we have known Al and Kelly for a few years now and like kidding back and forth with Al.
    I wanted to be a follower but am not sure how to sign up for that.
    Wilf and Elizabeth Blakey
    Kirkland Lake,Ontario,Canada

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Wilf! Good to see your comment here. It’s been a while since I’ve had a kitten around. They are such fun to watch.

      To be a follower click on the box that says “Sign Me Up.” I assume there are instructions that pop up. I haven’t seen it as I don’t want to follow me! If you still have trouble, comment again and maybe another reader will help.

      Wanting to follow my blog is a nice compliment. Thank you!

  15. Geri says:

    So glad that Spike is feeling better, Bridgette is happy and you are at peace with the world. As it should be! Keep on keepin’ on!

  16. Sherry says:

    Another wonderful blog about boondocking in the desert. Just beautiful! You are going to have everyone full timing looking for their own spot. Or maybe that’s just me. 🙂


  17. Page says:

    Once again, you’ve made me quite envious. Glad to read that Spike is back to being top dog.

  18. butterbean carpenter says:

    Howdy sue & crew,
    I told you he was just jerking your leg; to get that omelet!!! Why move if itz a spot you like; stay there until your time iz up!!! Thatz what those hosts do; check when your time iz up and tell you
    to go somewhere else for a week.. Then come back!!! Although you do have a lot of energetic
    thought processing to do each day where you are; sleep, nap, walk, eat, sunrise, sunset, take a pic, pet the pups: Man, thatz a lot of cojutating there!!! Enuff, my head aches!! Hug the pupz!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Butterbean!

      This sounds crazy, but sometimes I feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day for all I want to do . . . and I haven’t left the campsite in days!

      No hosts around checking on us yet . . .

  19. Shar Pei Mom says:

    Aww Sue…so great to hear Spike is himself again!
    Had to run our baby almost 400 miles round trip to see our vet…yeast ear infection and an intestinal bug! Hate it when they are feeling poorly, thats when I wish they could talk!!!

  20. bearwise2010 says:

    Like the rest of your readers, couldn’t wait to get that email to say that you posted, and to see if Spike was ok. So happy to hear that he is doing better. And I have to agree with the majority you are a wonderful writer, and the pics are just beautiful. I to envy your journey, and hope some day when retirement comes that this type of opportunity is available to me, something I would love to do. A home on wheels, furry companionship, a good lap top, and a great camera and hit the road. take care Sue, and again glad to hear all is well. 🙂

  21. Loved your post! Thank you for allowing this blind woman the ability to see and feel the desert! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Robin!

      Thank you! I wonder if you would be tricked by a phainopepla (sp?) the way I was yesterday. I thought someone was whistling for their dog, and then I realized it was the bird making that sound!

      • Geri says:

        That sound most probably came from the boat tail grackle! They have an odd whistling call. When we first arrived in NM, it took me forever to figure it out. Finally, my boss Jake at Riverbend Hot Springs pointed one out to me and sure enough, in just a few minutes of watching, I saw him give that whistle!

  22. Hazel says:

    Hello Sue…I’m new to your blog and just introduced myself on the ‘rvsue’ section. As a Casita owner wannabe and a 60 something, I’ll be reading your blog every day from now on. You are such an inspiration! And you’re right…we all need to ‘enjoy NOW HERE’ wherever that may be.

  23. Bill says:

    Sue- I know that opinions vary but pet issues rank way up there on the ‘oh my God what do I do” now list. You remember our little visit with the local Vet with Holly. But what comes out of this generally is that you are going out live your kids (pets). I look at it this way. It’s enevitable that some day these precious bundles of joy go to pet heaven! Your priviledge is to care and enjoy them. Love ya kid and the blog…BR K and kids say HI!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bill!

      I didn’t know which Bill until you mentioned Holly! I know three Bills now.

      Hope your two “bundles of joy” are well. Pets can make us sick with worry, but you’re right. . . They’re precious and they add so much to each day. Like right now, Spike is sneaking up to Rick’s place so I have to go run up the lane to catch him while my coffee gets cold. How adorable is that? LOL

  24. Lynne says:

    Hey Sue–
    I just rolled onto Darby Wells Rd tonight to take a boondocking retreat from Tucson for a few days. Are you still out here? Millie and I will get out to explore tomorrow a bit. Sure is quiet and pretty here!

  25. Pam Perry says:

    Even if you don’t have a powerful lens, you caught the sunlight back lighting the (Joshua?) tree. So glad Spike is back to himself.

  26. Francy says:

    awesome pic of that sun set!

  27. Renee says:

    Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog & your writing style. You’re in an area I SO want to spend some time at (The Bayfield Bunch’s blog makes my mouth water!), but probably won’t get to again this year. We enjoyed reading of your NM stay…we have property south of Datil where we spent 2 months this fall, during the time you were bouncing between Elephant Butte, Percha Dam, & Caballo State Parks. We LOVE New Mexico!
    Keep up your wonderful writing…oh, and I’m SO glad Spike seems to be okey-dokey. What a scare for you…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Renee!

      Aren’t Al’s photos absolutely stunning? I try not to go directly from his blog to mine because it makes me wince to see the difference.

      What a lovely part of the world to have property. It must be beautiful in the fall.

      Thanks for your kind words . . .

  28. Jim Melvin says:

    No sense in spending gas money when you don’t have to. It looks like you are really in a great place. Glad to hear that spike is back to his old self.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Jim!

      I figure the less money I spend on gas now, the more I’ll have for roaming around other places when the warmer months are here. But you knew that already . . .

  29. Bill and Ann says:

    Beautiful pictures Sue. Wish we were still exploring with you. And yes; you should write a book! A blog developed into a book. We are heading to meet our daughter at the coast this morning. Half Moon Bay State Park.

    Miss you. Samantha & Julie miss their playmates Spike and Bridget.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello Bill and Ann!

      We hiked past your old campsite the other day. I’d love it if you were still here.

      Enjoy your time with your daughter. I hope the weather is good.

      And thanks for the encouragement on my writing . . .

  30. Todd says:


    I see that you build campfires. No restrictions given the dry area etc?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Todd!

      I haven’t heard about any fire restrictions in this area. People have campfires in fire rings. With all the rocks and gravel between cactus and green plants, I guess the fire danger is low.

  31. Maribeth says:

    Sue, I agree, stay put if you are still enjoying it. That is what it is all about. Glad to hear Spike is better, I had tears reading your previous post.

  32. akwoman says:

    I’ve been stalking your blog for a couple of months now and thoroughly enjoy it! My perfect life would be my cabin in the summer and a boondockin’ RV’er in the desert in the winter! Your pictures are a beautiful antidote to the Alaskan weather and your writing is a pleasure to read. So glad to hear that Spike is doing OK!!

  33. Judy says:

    It warms my heart to know there is another who roamed the great outdoors as a child, imagining wild adventures. I had private paths worn in the wooded hills of my childhood in S. OH…I read about Daniel Boone as well as Jim Bridger and all the men who explored the western mtns.

    I’m still plotting/planning my escape to fulltiming in my van. It was lovely to meet you in Quartzsite. Hopefully one day our paths will cross again when we have more time to visit one on one. You are such an inspiration.

  34. Virginia says:

    So glad to hear Spike is back! Have been reading your blog for a few months and you have the right idea to just enjoy the moment and keep it simple. Spring is around the corner and the desert bloom in April is spectacular if you have never seen it.

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