Desert living

The crew and I stop at the plaza in downtown Ajo.  

I’ve filled up the water jugs at the spigot in front of the Chamber of Commerce and now I want to check my mail.  

The post office is tucked in alongside the deli and various shops.  I’m happily surprised when the post lady brings out not only a package from friend Geri, but also part of my Amazon order of painting supplies.

It’s a beautiful day.  Finally, a day without wind!

I take some photos of the plaza and browse the shops.

The plaza at Ajo, Arizona

Then we tool on over to NAPA at the far side of town to arrange for the PTV’s oil pressure gauge check-up.  The earliest appointment we could get is for next Tuesday.   

Practically across the road sits the IGA grocery.  I buy a lot because I need to restock several items.  I had considered driving to Casa Grande, some 90 miles one way, in order to go to Wal-Mart and my bank, and for the heck of it.   Any savings, however, would be wiped out by the cost of gas and then the oil pressure situation made the trip out of the question.

The crew deserves a hike.

On the way home I drive past our lane and go deeper into the Darby Well area.

Motorhomes are nestled among the saguaro.

Bridget and Spike scramble out of the PTV.   We’re on a mission to find new campsites.  This requires us to walk because I don’t want to take the PTV up unfamiliar trails that could have deep washes across them with no place to turn around.  Plus it’s fun to hike with a purpose.  The next time we come here I want to camp in a spot that’s more secluded and with a different view.

An arrangement of cholla branches

  We walk up a dirt lane and find a beautiful spot not far from Cow Plop Mountain. 

Yeah, that's a cow plop. A very big cow plop.

Its only drawback is a big hole nearby (abandoned mine? animal den?).  Once the PTV is back to normal we’ll look some more.  Spike and Bridget love these explorations!

"When we get home, Bridget, I'm going to take a nap."

I get out our little charcoal grill. 

The crew guards supper.

It’s difficult to do a good job with chicken on this grill as the distance of the chicken from the briquettes cannot be adjusted very much.  Just the same, you get what you pay for and I’m glad I got it.

The chicken legs have the skin on which gets burned, of course.  Oh well, I don’t want to eat the skin anyway and underneath the meat is tender and good.   

I also put on a hot dog which I love to eat burned, and the last, thankfully, two turkey burgers from a box of the frozen patties. 

One “burger” is for the crew to share and the other is for me. 

They really are terrible. 

"I love you more than Bridget does."

The crew thinks the hockey-puck burgers are wonderful and, judging from their eyes, they cannot believe I’m giving them each such a big piece. 

I should have given them mine, too!

We share some chicken and I put the rest in a zip-loc for tomorrow.

After our feast and clean-up, we watch the setting sun together.

We also watch a gang of mourning doves devour all the birdseed I’ve put out.  Every day more show up.  We’re up to eighteen at a time.  Bridget gets annoyed with them and walks around the ironwood tree, sending them off in a flurry of wings.  A half-minute later they’re back.  After they’ve stuffed themselves at our all-you-can-eat buffet, they finally leave.   

I put out more for the sparrows who dine most daintily, shelling each seed before picking another.  It’s funny how you can see human behavior mirrored in the actions of birds and animals. 

Later in the evening I get in pajamas and cozy up with the crew.

I want to look at the brochures about Utah that Geri sent.  I love not knowing where we will be in the coming months!  I’ve learned not to set an exact itinerary, just acquaint myself with areas I want us to see, set out in that direction, and then let the journeys unfold. 

Bridget and Spike are dreaming, too, fast asleep. 

Bridget opens her eyes momentarily as I turn on the television.  Oh boy.  Here we go.  The choices are how to plane a chair leg by hand (always good to know!), men trying to injure or kill themselves being daredevils (narrated in Spanish), or PBS being so. . . so . . . PBS.    

I turn it off and wrap up the day the same way I started it — reading the latest comments from blog readers!


 P.S.  Did you hover your cursor over the photos?

2/10/12 . . . $15.10 Amazon order (amount over points redeemed)
2/11/12 . . . $0
2/12/12 . . . $0
2/13/12 . . . $0
2/14/12 . . . $0
2/15/12 . . . $93.46 groceries, including $7.29 for birdseed

About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
This entry was posted in Simple living and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

63 Responses to Desert living

  1. Page says:

    Yes, I hovered. I enjoy the photo comments.

    The area you are prospecting looks promising for a move. I hope you find the right neighborhood.

  2. cathieok says:

    Love the hidden messages! A secret message! Brings back my Nancy Drew days.

  3. Bob Wells says:

    I love your blog and can’t believe there is someone else out there that thinks so much like me–must be something seriously wrong with you!! I truly love the Red Rock country of Utah, be glad to share what I know about it. I’m going there in the spring on the way to the first annual summertime Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in Colorado.Bob

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I hope you share your Utah info here when the crew and I go north this spring. I’d appreciate it.

      I’m glad you are enjoying my blog and our like-minded thoughts.

  4. Jean Burke says:

    I love your blog

    Maybe instead of cow it should be dinosaur poop

  5. butterbean carpenter says:

    Howdy sue & crew,
    Thank you, for staying on the ‘party-line’!!! WalMarting is good if you don’t have to DRIVE very far, but ‘push-water’ is adding to the grocery bill.. We have a WM 40 miles away and the prices are actually lower in our local store.. Do you paint from the pics or from the scene?? Looks like the Darby Wells RVrs don’t pile up like Al B gripes about in CA.. All of that desert and they have to make it an RV Resort; 6′ between!!! I think thatz a pretty arrangement of chollas; at least the
    photographer’s arrangement is!! THAT LOOKS LIKE A BEAR’S DEN!!! Spike can handle it though!! Poor Spikey, mama being mean to him!! If he’ll eat that stuff let’im!! Itz a wonder Bridget does!! (sigh; HOME AT LAST!!
    We were looking at Southern Utah just the other day and how one park runs into the next one
    with all of the wonderful scenery !! But wait until it warms up some!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Butterbean!

      You sure can pack a lot into a comment! Always good to hear from you . . .

      I haven’t the faintest idea what push-water is. To answer your question about painting, I paint from the scene, from a photo, or from neither. I don’t know if that hole in the ground is a mine or a den and I don’t want to find out. I think the only reason the rvs aren’t piled up here is the cactus and arroyos get in the way. Lots of people love neighbors! And Spike and Bridget get enough to eat . . . in addition to turkey burger and chicken, they got homemade dog cookies sent from Geri in New Mexico!

  6. Chuck says:

    Pushwater is gas or diesel. Holes in the ground can get bigger and bigger. Get the oil sender prob fixed before driving too far, please. Yes, I hovered…cool. Glad you like your little BBQ, love ours. Bye, Chuck

  7. Donna P says:

    I especially zeroed in on your comments about feeding the birds (and the cost of birdseed). Feeding and watching the birds is one of my pleasures too, but I’m concerned about how much I’ll be spending on my soon-to-be-limited retirement income. And once they start coming, they won’t stop–plus they bring their friends and relatives. I guess I’ll just have to set myself a budget for birdseed each month and ration them!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      If the doves weren’t such bullies, I could put out a certain amount of feed and let it be first come, first serve. But the doves push out the other birds until they’ve stuffed themselves and all the seed is gone, leaving the sparrows with nothing if I didn’t throw some more seed around.

      • Marsha says:

        Doves are usually ground feeders. Get yourself something you can hang.

        • Darlene says:

          The doves here in my yard aren’t bullies, they seem to be the most gental and shy birds.
          They do clean up under the hanging feeders.
          I Wish there was spell check on the blog site, I think spelling is one of the first things to go.
          Great pictures as usual.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            The doves I fed in Georgia and Florida weren’t as aggressive as these doves. Maybe their food supply is harder to come by here?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Yes, doves are ground feeders. I’ve got a hanging feeder. I get more sparrows with seeds on the ground. They’re more fun to watch on the ground!

  8. Gaelyn says:

    I’m always surprised by how many RVs are parked out in the desert. Which is fine, as long as they don’t park right on top of me.

    Dinner looks good.

  9. Hazel says:

    Ahhh…the simple life and simple pleasures. Less is more. Watching the birds, going for a nature walk, getting chores and errands done, exploring, taking photos, and then cozying up at the end of the day…what more do we really need? Your life in the desert sounds idyllic, Sue.

    PS After having the hitch and brake controller installed tomorrow, we’ll be ready to pick up MEGG next Tuesday. I am over the moon!!! Remember how you felt, Sue? 😉

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I remember it well, Hazel! Such an exciting time for you . . . You’ll remember Tuesday forever!

  10. Nan says:

    Your killin me! Takes me back to this time last year that sold us on going full time this year…. once we get the remodeling done and the house sold. It is soooo hard to be home this year, but we know we have many years ahead of us. Thanks for the blog and the photos.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Nan. The waiting makes the fulltiming so sweet!

      • Jay says:

        Hi Sue and crew,
        glad that things are going well and I love your pictures, Thanks.
        Sue, I don’t know if you have thought about Spring break coming up in March ? some areas can be a magnet for Spring breakers and can get noise ,rowdy and crowded with drinking .
        You may want to check with the rangers or your friends who know were you can go that the party people don’t go. Jay

  11. Chris says:

    Hi Sue
    I am Chris from My wife Caron(the other C) are just down the road from you on Darby Well Rd and wondered if you wanted to get together for a coffee tomorrow or whenever. We are a short-time reader of your blog and longtime reader of the Bayfield Bunch blog and have been trying to meet up with them for awhile with no luck. We were drawn here by Al’s description of the area and plan to stay for awhile. If I figured right, we are about half mile south of you on the road slightly opposite the Cemetery Rd.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ll have to see what kind of day it is tomorrow. If it’s rainy and cold like today, I’ll be staying home. If the weather improves the crew and I will walk up that way in the morning. Don’t sit around waiting for us if you have somewhere to go . . . . Thanks for the invitation. We’ll see you if it’s a nice day.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Caron and Chris . . . It was nice meeting you and Dixie and very thoughtful of you to stop by later to see if I needed anything. Enjoy your last days here and have a great trip to Florida!

  12. tinycamper says:

    Sue, I used to think the desert was one of the most god-forsaken, desolate, ugly places on earth. And when you first started posting pictures, I was appalled at the barrenness and ugliness of your surroundings. It was one place I knew that I NEVER wanted to go.

    But over time, studying your pictures, and pictures from the Bayfield Bunch and other RVers who photograph the desert, my eyes are opening to the exquisite beauty that is there. Now I am actually envying those who can boondock there!

    I can see where drawing and painting your surroundings would be immensely rewarding and satisfying.

    Cow Plop Mountain is a hoot, though!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Part of the desert’s appeal is its atmosphere . .. dry air, subtle colors, and wonderful quiet. I’m glad you are seeing its beauty.

  13. just john says:

    well I have finally made it to the current date, I am caught up with you and the crew. It has really been an adventure and I have enjoyed every minute of it. Now I am wishing my next 7 to 12 years will fly by so I can join the likes of you and Rick. But then again I will have a lot going on in the next several years and I don’t want to rush by a thing. Thanks for all your info, I have enjoyed learning with you.
    Oh, one question I am dying to know is what is your are average monthly costs to date. I know you said earlier as long as the out go was less then the income it was ok. But ever the planner, I am trying to evaluate if my retirement will afford me the luxury you are enjoying. Have you taken you total to date expenditures and devided by the time you have been gone?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, just john!

      First I need to congratulate you on making it all the way through my blog to now from its beginning last April. I’m happy to hear you enjoyed it.

      You are fortunate to have the fulltiming dream in your future while still not wanting to miss the intervening years.

      I haven’t calculated the average costs for two big reasons: I didn’t keep very good records … too caught up in the experiences! and I spent a lot (to me) on items that are not ongoing and are personal preferences, such as solar equipment and the catalytic heater. Maybe your comment will give me the push I need to do a better job of it. I’ve been meaning to figure out what January cost me. I’ll do it! I will!

      • just john says:

        I understand what you are saying about the start-up costs, etc., but those are real cost those of us just starting out will probably have also. And we are talking about an average cost so it all plays out. Anyway, looking forward to reading more of the crews continuing adventures. Take care and enjoy your weather. As I write this down in SE Ga. it is 60 degree overcast with rain predicted.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Oh, do I HAVE to do my homework?

          • just john says:

            haha, no Ma’am! You just continue to enjoy your self and keep writing your interesting tails. I appologive if I came across in anyway demanding. I sure didn’t mean too!

  14. bearwise2010 says:

    As always, a wonderful blog, pictures are amazing and the light hearted writing makes us all wish we were you. I love the pictures of the crew, especially of Spike right up by the food. When I am in my kitchen on the cats and of course my dog are always under foot asking – begging for treats or watching for something to fall from the counter, they are very displeased when its just a piece of lettuce, ha ha… I love the dessert, been to Vegas and took the tour of the grand canyon, driving there the dessert was so appealing.. looking forward to reading and seeing more of your adventure. your northern reader in Ontario. take care and treats to the crew

  15. bearwise2010 says:

    sorry for the typos was in a car accident not long ago and have numbness in my left hand – tend to make errors but all is good…

  16. bearwise2010 says:

    Sue in one of your blogs you posted something about someone travelling with cats, and they had made something in their trailer for the cats, you put a link to it on the blog, but I can’t find it now, would you be able to post it again. Might give me some ideas for future planning. Thanks and stay warm and in the sunshine..

  17. Sherry says:

    Just have to laugh out loud at Cow Plop Mountain. You have to take that campsite so you can type that all the time. What a great address that would be.

    Ok how do you keep the crew from eating that meat right off the grille. My beagles would have made that history before you could take the picture.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sherry!

      I don’t know why the crew doesn’t steal the meat off the grill …. I guess they don’t like pain . .. . from the heat and from the emotional agony I would inflict on them.

  18. Marsha says:

    I’ve never been to the SW before, but next week we’ll be flying in to AZ for an extended weekend, so I’m looking forward to seeing in person what I’ve only seen in the pictures you’ve shared with your readers. I can hardly wait! Thanks for sharing and feeding my love of all things nature, in whatever form they take (including the prickly ones).

  19. Bob Giddings says:

    I am curious. This is a town called Garlic. Does it smell like that?

    Bob, who hasn’t seen you mention any vampires.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good question, Bob. No, Ajo doesn’t smell like garlic, but it’s winter now . .. maybe in the spring? I read somewhere that “the name comes from the wild garlic that grows on the hills.”

      I haven’t seen any around here, but like wild onions, wild garlic can spring up out of the ground pretty quickly.

      I also read that in 1926 some people wanted to change the name to Greenway. I’m glad they didn’t.

      • Bob Giddings says:

        It would be like naming that large ice bound island north of Halifax Greenland.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Maybe they wanted to point out how green the Sonoran is. It is green, but nothing like the green in, say, the Pacific NW or New England in summer.

          They definitely qualify as “glass half full” people!

  20. Ed says:


    Ajo, AZ does not smell like garlic. That would be Gilroy, CA that you are think of.

    The naming of places, especially when translated from one language to another, yields some very strange names. I offer as my example: Terlingua, TX which translates as being Three Tongues, TX ; make some sense out of that one!

  21. Chinle says:

    Hi Sue,

    Just want to say if you’re planning on visitng Utah’s canyon country, you might want to come a little early this year. It’s already in the low 50s in Moab and feels more like mid or late March than mid-Feb. I have a feeling it’s going to get hot early, and that’s hard on the dogs (and you) unless you have AC – and then there’s the no see ums and gnats…

    Enjoying your blog, Chinle

  22. Sue and little buddies, I have been following your blog almost from the beginning. Love it!! It makes me itch to get on the road myself. The information I have received from your blog is priceless. And the pictures. . . Oh man. I will never have a dog, (cat person here), but should I change my mind, I want a best buddy like Spike with a Briget to keep him in line. Thank you so very much for sharing your journey with us and please continue . It took me a few reads to understand there were mystery messages on the pictures. As I usually use my Ipad to read blogs, I couldn’t figure out the hovering comments. Changed to my laptop today and now I had a few smiles and chuckles. Looks like I will be using my laptop more often. On my way back to check out your previous posts and hover over the pictures. Again thank you. Lessie

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lessie,

      I’m puzzled when a reader says my blog has given them a lot of information. I’m curious what kind of information readers are looking for. Happy to hear it’s been helpful and enjoyable for you.

      Some photos don’t have hidden messages . . . Those were the slow-loading-photo days. I resize my photos now to make them load faster.

      I like your description of Spike and Bridget!

  23. Geri says:

    Everything you say makes me grin! 🙂

  24. Kentster says:

    Sue – Love the hidden picture notes. great addition. been reading your blog since last fall. we are back in Tucson area preparing to for a trip to Big Bend Park and gulf coast of Texas next week. then back through, hopefully, southern Utan in April. as chinle says, it might get warm which we are mainly hoping it won’t be snowing and super cold like New Mexico last December.

  25. Lessie says:

    Sue, to unpuzzle you, ::grins:: Info on the solar situation, the desSue, to unpuzzle you. . . Info I have received from your blog. . . Solar panels, problems and solutions. Pets and the desert animals. Decisions of where to travel, when to go and when to stay and why (or why not). Decisions of privacy or meeting people. Things for the rv to make life easier. And mostly, the idea of fulltiming is possible and enjoyable.

Comments are closed.