Happy Birthday, blog!

Indecision makes me cranky.

Now that I’ve decided to put off a trip to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim, I can return to living in the moment.   I feel good.  However, I need to empty the waste tanks.   I cannot believe I went from April 5th to April 21st without dumping!

This morning I hitch the PTV to the BLT for the drive down to Chino Valley.

I call Primrose RV Park which I found online.

“Do you have a dump station?” I ask.

“No, but Ace Hardware does,” the man replies.

I call Ace Hardware and they confirm that they have a dump station and it costs $7.50.

Before the crew and I leave, Rusty comes over. 

I suspect he wants to check to see that I’ve hitched up properly.  It’s a hot day and I need to cool down a bit, so I invite Rusty to have a seat.

After a few minutes, I get up.  “I’m going to make myself a smoked turkey sandwich.  Would you like one?”

We eat our sandwiches in the shade of the BLT.  I explain to Rusty that I’m going down to Chino Valley to dump tanks.  Then I’ll come back here.

Ace Hardware is on Highway 89 on the south end of the town of Chino Valley.

I pull the BLT into the parking lot and a young man waves me over.

“What do you want?  Propane or dump tanks?” he asks.

“Both!  Just show me where you want me to park.”

He’s a pleasant young man named Dan.  Like most people who see my plates, he asks where in South Dakota I’m from.  That question leads to my explanation that I have no permanent address.   I tell him a little bit about my lifestyle, as he’s pumping the propane.  He’s very interested, and he thinks it’s “cool.”

I’m surprised when he helps me with the dumping process.

I’ve never had that kind of service before.  Not only that, when I suggest we use the water hose to flush the tank, he doesn’t hesitate to run over to grab the hose for me, and go back to turn on the water.  Oh, if everyone were this agreeable!  Dan gives me the ticket for the propane and adds, “Since you bought so much propane, we won’t charge you for the dump.”  I thank him and give him a five-dollar tip.

I take the ticket inside and pay. 

What a busy place!  No wonder it’s busy.  These people know customer service.  I hurry back outside because the PTV is parked in the sun.  I pour a bowl of water for Bridget and Spike which they drink inside the PTV.  This quiets them down.  I pull over to the water dispensing machine and buy six gallons of drinking water.  

Now we’re all set for a while. 

We’ve got two full tanks of propane, empty waste tanks, plenty of fresh, clean water, clean clothes and bedding, and the refrigerator and cupboards well-stocked with groceries.  I love it when it all comes together!

The drive back to camp confirms it was the right decision to skip the South Rim.

It’s Saturday and cars, motorhomes, and fifth wheels are racing northward.   They follow too closely because I refuse to drive 70 miles per hour up and down hills.  I get off the road at a pull-out and let them go by.

As I approach the turn to go over the cattle guard into the National Forest land, I turn on my right directional. 

I give plenty of notice of my intentions.  The driver of a huge truck pulling a fifth wheel cannot accept that I might want to slow down in order to turn off the highway.  I have to make a sharp turn.  This cannot be done at top speed.  My brake lights come on and he lays on the horn.  Boy, am I glad I’m not going where you’re going, buddy.  It must be so much fun for your family to have their lives depend on you.

I’m back at Ash Fork Fields in a new camp next to a juniper tree. 

It’s a peaceful, quiet, shady spot.  I’m happy — so happy — to be far from the maddening crowd.

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P.S.  The blog, rvsue and her canine crew, is one year old today! 

244 entries, over 8,000 comments, 311 followers, sitemeter over 158,770 . . .   Thank you.


About rvsueandcrew

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

85 Responses to Happy Birthday, blog!

  1. Tina says:

    Happy Birthday RV Sue and Crew!!!! Many more wonderful blogs to come I’m sure.

    Northern CA

  2. Jim Melvin says:


  3. The Great American Southwest says:

    Well, Congratulations on your 1 year Fulltimer Anniversary! So happy for you and I am glad everything is working out.

  4. Karen Blaine says:

    ♥ HaPpY BiRthDaY to YoU♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ HApPy BirThDAy to ★ yOu♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪
    ‎*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆♥ HApPy BirThDAy to Rv SuE and cRew ★ ☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆¸¸.♥ HApPy BirThDAy to YOu★ •*¨*•♫♪ ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸………and many more!

  5. hobopals says:

    Well, not unique, but Happy Birthday Sue and Crew!

  6. rvsueandcrew says:

    YOU’RE unique! Thank you!

  7. Rick says:

    Nice tree at your new camp. The dogs like it, too.

  8. Pat says:

    I wish I was farther north, I can’t get out of Tucson for about a month. Where do you plan on spending the summer? Happy birthday, I have been sitting inside with the ac on reading your blog all day……….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pat! For the summer I’ll be in southern Utah, part of Colorado, and I’d love to make it to Show Low area (Ponderosa forests!) that Jeanne and Bill offered to show me.

      Thanks for the “blogday” wish, and for reading my blog!

      • Pat says:

        Show Low is great, I haven’t camped in that area but I have stayed at a cabin in Herber area. I have also camped in the forest east of Payson, it gets crowded in the summer. Everyone from PHX goes there for the cool weather. Enjoy your travels!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • earthdancerimages says:

          We also love the forested areas of Strawberry and Pine AZ! Lots of beautiful forest roads to explore there…. lots of boondocking available!

  9. julieinoregon says:

    Happy Birthday Sue and Crew! I was just curious to see if you added up what you spent in the last year? How cheap was it? LOL

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No I haven’t added it up because it would bring me pain . . . Ha! The first six months I bought a lot of stuff, including solar. I’m not going to think about that. My tallying will be for 2012. I’ve been very frugal this calendar year.

      • earthdancerimages says:

        Sue, why would that cost bring you pain??? That cost bought you your freedom and should be bringing you joy!

  10. geogypsy2u says:

    Happy Birthday, and many more. I like your big juniper, and Rusty’s too.

    How happily surprising to get help dumping.

    This is National Park Week with free entry to I”m not surprised the road north was busy. Of course that’s no reason to be rude.

    The weather is so wonderful here on the North Rim right now, high 60s and low 40s. Way to early for this. But we will probably see snow again before June.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m glad you’re having good weather. It’s triple digit here for the weekend, and then rain is expected around Tuesday. Yeah, National Park Week . . . no thank you. Thanks for the blogday wish. You’re observant to notice Rusty’s camp!

  11. Barbara Goodman says:


  12. Susie says:

    Big one year old birthday wishes to you and the crew! I’m glad you decided to go to the grand canyon another time. It got way to stressful. Cook you a special birthday treat and let us know what it is Your blog is loved by so many people, especially me.

  13. Carla says:

    Happy anniversary! What a difference a year makes! I started reading your blog about 10 months ago and it’s been fun to see all the changes. Guess I should start thinking about changing my blog as I downsize, move and start the search for a Casita. I love my GMC but I sure do like the idea of a van as a TV.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Another van convert? I can tell you, Carla, I’ve never regretted getting a Casita or a van to tow it with. Not for one minute! It’s a winning combination! Yeah, anniversary makes more sense than birthday. Oh well. Thank you!

    • earthdancerimages says:

      We just saw an older model Casita for sale in somebody’s front yard in Hurricane UT, looks well cared for from what we saw!

  14. earthdancerimages says:

    Happy Blog-A-Birthday! I am so happy that things have worked out so well for you Sue! You have written more blogs in one year than I have in 4 years! hahaha! I love the way you write and your blogs are always fun and informative! Stay Happy Girlie!

  15. Chinle says:

    Happy blog birthday, Sue. Here’s to many more!

  16. RVingFT says:

    Happy Blog-day Sue … I’m a new-ish follower, but sure do enjoy your style. Anytime I run into a female wannabe, I point them to your blog. You are an inspiration. I can only imagine how your students feel …maybe one of these days you’ll be an RV speaker at a rally. I can wish, can’t I ?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’ll wish for a long time. Ha! I’m not a public speaker. In fact, there are days when I don’t speak at all. I’m glad to hear you enjoy my blog. Thank you!

      And thank you for telling others about my blog. I appreciate that.

  17. Elizabeth in NC says:

    WOW a whole year already!! Congratulations!!
    SO glad you were not injured by that crazy driver…people seem to loose all sense behind the wheel. Though it was 2008 when I was hit by a Mack truck, and my hips injured and I cannot say what I feel is pain exactly…I am uncomfortable a lot of the time and my body has not gone back to the way it was before. Minor injury for the wreck I was in, but how can we get across to people that you can have hurts that never completely heal?? I doubt I will live to be as old as my grandmother, but you know if I do, that is over 30 more years of discomfort (and pain at times)!! It is so not worth it to be in a hurry…so you are a couple minutes late someplace..or even a day or a month…so what!! I am just so relieved that you are ok!! One thing that does concern me about our going on the RV path is how can we avoid the crazies out there?? I like the idea that some have, like you, of staying put for awhile in places…at least that is less time on the road to chance these encounters. (We try to always pray and ask for protection before leaving to go places, and rejoice when we return and THANK our FATHER for HIS care!!)

    Once again I am impressed with your water useage (so little)!! And the ideas you presented in how you use your dish water!! GREAT!! Keep telling us HOW you do things please!
    Elizabeth in NC

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Elizabeth . . . I hate that you were injured and now have the aftermath to carry with you. I will not let crazy drivers bully me into driving too fast. My tires are not meant for racing. I like to keep the speed between 55 and 60. I pull over if I get a few tag-alongs behind me. You’re right. What’s the big hurry? Even when I commuted almost an hour to work each day, I got up really early so I wouldn’t have to rush. Again, I’m sorry to hear you have that discomfort in your daily life.

      Everyone who takes to the road finds the style that suits them best. As you’ve gathered, I don’t like tourist places. The crew keeps me from restaurants and sightseeing. I’d rather be home at my camp, rather than going hither and yon. That’s why the success of my blog surprises me so much. I don’t do anything exciting. A big day for me is dumping my waste tanks! You’ll find what suits you, as long as you are true to yourselves

      • Elizabeth in NC says:

        It is ok Sue, really. I realize I am probably the least injured of anyone who has ever gone through what I did…but it makes me feel weak in the knees just thinking of anyone else dealing with this sort of thing and especially people I like, like you!! And it is now one of my pet peeves as to why people take risks not only with the lives of themselves and loved ones in their vehicle, but with complete strangers. Who knows, that stranger you hit and maim, might even be someone who you might badly need THEIR help later on in life…people just do not stop to ponder the whole picture sometimes I think…being hurt gives you plenty of time to think for awhile, I learned…

  18. Rod Ivers says:

    Happy Blog Birth,,,,,,,uh Anniversary, or what ever it should be. You have a nice and easy story telling approach to blogging and have attracted many followers, just like us……. So keep up the good work, Rod and Loyce

  19. Francy says:

    Happy Blogerversary!!!

  20. Margie Wateland says:

    Congratulations to you, Sue! You know, you describe your day to day, but you notice the special parts and people that occupy each of them. Bet your thoughts regarding the exceptional care that young man provided at Chino Valley will return to him somehow and that is a great thing in itself. I enjoy the pictures you paint, both verbally and visually. I wonder if you would have been one of those who chronicled those fascinating journals a hundred years ago… truly appreciate your letting us “come along”…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Margie. The behavior of the helpful young man contrasts with the impatient driver honking his horn at me.

      I’m glad you enjoy my blog.

  21. Lisa says:

    Ooo, I was nervous just reading about all those crazy drivers! So glad nobody bumped you guys, lol! Thanks for your blog. Since I’m still just pulling together our plans, you’re an inspiration!

    – Lisa and Trotters

  22. Hotel California says:

    I told you we’d come along for the ride and we’ve been there every day so far.

  23. Happy Blog birthday Sue.
    I think people like reading your blog because of how simple your life is !! a lot of people wish for that. And of course allways fun to see photos of the crew !!

  24. Pam Perry says:

    Happy Blog Birthday – And I certainly commiserate over the inconsiderate driver. It’s happened to me too. He will get some kind of payback for rudeness – it travels full circle.

  25. Al from The Bayfield Bunch says:

    Been through Chino Valley twice & stopped at McDonald’s both times. Once in 07 & again a few weeks ago on our way back to Canada. Nice feeling to have that one year Blogging anniversary under your belt & I like your Juniper Tree. Good plan to avoid the South Rim of the Grand Canyon at this time of year. That place can be a real mad house of people & confusing traffic jams. The North Rim is much quieter. You are going to love the beauty of Utah:))

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Al . . . The thought of sitting in a traffic jam, staring at the back end of a vehicle while Bridget and Spike bark “I want OUT!” . . . not something I want to do. My problem is everywhere I camp, I fall in love with it and want to stay! Some problem, eh?

      Hi to Kelly, too.

  26. I just tensed up and gritted my teeth reading about the tailgater…. LOVED your encounter with the young man who offered such great service. We need more of that nowadays! Kinda like the days of old Mayberry with Goober and Gomer at the gas station?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I guess that big Ace store in Chino Valley has so much business they can have Dan standing in the parking lot (temps in the high 90s) waiting to help people load up their car or get propane or dump tanks. He took his time making sure the propane tanks were securely bolted down and the cover strapped securely. I’m pleased you enjoyed reading about him.

      In contrast, there’s a woman at the Shell station in Ajo who has an uncanny ability to spoil your morning with her disagreeable attitude. She rolled her eyes at me when I asked her an honest question . . . Twice I bought propane there and she was disrespectful both times. Now that’s how to have a miserable life!

      • Elizabeth in NC says:

        Heh, regarding the woman at the Shell station….that is the sort of misery one often has in the working world…no reason to go back, if there is a single other alternative, is there? So nice to know about the Ace Hardware…would not have thought of looking for especially a place to dump THERE!! But maybe in areas that RVers often go, one can look at many other unusual places of business for things.

  27. Llanos says:

    You had me so nervous describing the tailgater! You have a wonderful style of writing. As another commented, I too enjoy following your simple lifestyle. I think most of us secretly yearn for a simpler life. You are living our dream. Thanks for sharing Sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for the compliment, Llanos. I enjoy sharing my “simple lifestyle” with people who can appreciate its value. I guess people like the tailgater make us appreciate the simple, quiet, unhurried life all the more.

  28. Sherry says:

    Happy Blog Birthday Sue! Those really are some Stats for one year. You’ve obviously struck a cord with a lot of folks, who tell other folks and we all enjoy hearing about the days of you and the crew. Long happy life to all of you……..Sue, crew and blog!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Long, happy life to you and yours, Sherry. Thanks for your frequent comments and the blog birthday wish.

      I know it looks like bragging (looks? hey, it IS bragging!) for me to put those stats at the end of the blog entry. I want to have a record of where the blog is after one year. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

  29. Marcia says:

    Happy blog birthday to you and the crew! Sounds like you had a good day, except for the crazed drivers. Like the looks of your new site, too.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Marcia. Overall people on the road are smart enough to “cut a little slack” around someone towing a trailer. It’s when the herd is on its way to some event or special destination that crazy driving occurs. Glad you enjoy the blog!

  30. Sue says:

    Happy birthday to your wonderful blog. I just found you a few weeks ago but I have enjoy this blog very much.

  31. Karen says:

    Happy Anniversary, Sue and Furry Kids. Through your blogs many people have become conviced that a simple, uncomplicated approach to everyday living is achievable and rewarding. Hubby is reading your blogs now. He just came and told me what was in your blog as I was reading it. I love that he’s now a big fan. Thanks for the many hours of entertainment. Your writing is wonderful. I hate that you were almost run off the road by someone who doesn’t understand (or care) how dangerous their actions are. Have a great day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I love that he’s a big fan! And you, too, of course! Thanks for the happy wish and the compliments.

      I almost didn’t include the pushy driver in this blog entry. I went ahead and put him in it, because I want to be realistic with my writing. Stuff like that happens along with the good.

      It’s difficult for people who go to a job everyday or who have a large load of responsibilities to lead a simple life. I know it was hard for me to do so, even when I knew that’s what I needed to be happy. Whatever a person’s circumstances, it’s best to weed out the unnecessary from life. We tend to do things that aren’t worth the time and effort.

      Look at me . .. getting off on a little blog entry right here! You have a great day, too, Karen.

  32. Donna P says:

    Sue, your blog entries have become something I open my email to check for every day. I have realized that one of the things I enjoy most is how positively you view the things and people you encounter. Many of us were a bit fearful of you interacting with Rusty, for example, and look what a friend he has become. Your kindness toward him is quite touching. You see beauty in the clouds and flowers and baby horses and birds. You make me look forward to my retirement next month so that I can enjoy observe and enjoy just those kinds of simple pleasures in my new mountain home in Western North Carolina. I do hope to write about my life there, and if I can keep my observations as interesting as yours, I’ll be thrilled!
    Happy anniversary/Birthday!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Donna! Wonderful comment full of very nice compliments . . . my favorite kind of comment!

      The key to a successful blog is don’t do anything special and make a big deal out of it! Ha! Just kidding . . . Best wishes in your retirement. I almost moved to western North Carolina once. That song about Carolina in the morning is so true. I stepped out of the motel in the morning and the freshness of the air was unlike anything I had ever experienced. Thanks again for your kind words.

    • carol says:

      I have read every one of your entries, and look for more each day. when I was driving to work, on the freeway every day, and got a truck tailgating , I just slowed down, for a car Isignaled to change lanes.I f I’m gonna getrun over by a truck ,I’d rather it be at20 Mph

      Thank you!!!,Sue, Jean

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        When driving my Honda Odyssey I used to come to a complete stop when someone tailgated (if I could do so safely). The person would sit in their car or truck behind me totally confused. Sometimes, after they passed me, they wouldn’t drive fast. If was like they were afraid to be the leader going down the road. Nuts.

  33. joe says:

    Wow,,, a year already seems like yesterday you were selling the house and heading to the factory to pick up the BLT,,,,
    Thank you for the enjoyment I receive each time you post……

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Joe . . . Yes, it does seem like yesterday . . . I was so thrilled to find the PTV and retirement day and visiting my sisters after so many years and seeing the BLT for the first time . .. and driving across Texas into New Mexico and beyond . . . quite a year. I’m glad you’re a part of it!

  34. cece says:

    Happy Birth-aversary!

  35. Emily says:

    To take a quote of the ’60’s: “You’ve come a long way baby [I like lady better]”, more in the contrast of your living style; but feel the persona we see in you – is you. Congrats.

  36. Pauline says:

    Congratulations on the milestone!!!! I love your new spot…that tree makes it look so comfortable and homey.
    Isn’t it amazing how much we appreciate good service and a little respect for the customer. That used to be the norm, not it is the exception.
    Love you

  37. Darlene says:

    Sue, to bad we can’t make you a cake for you and the doggie pals and Rusty.(remembering you all liked cake) That would be a small thank you for all the intersting blog and pictures. Sure would love to meet you sometime and be able to repay you somehow. So congratulations on your milestone, hope you have many many more great times on your travels.

  38. ct says:

    Happy Blog Annibirthday!! I always enjoy reading about women who are pursuing their dreams. And as a fulltimer also, I’m always interested in other FTer blogs. Keep up the great writing!

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