Cooped up in Coconino

Thursday morning, April 26th

The crew goes out before the rain starts.   Bridget and Spike eat breakfast and do what they do best — crawl under the covers.

Of course, the first thing I do is make a cup of coffee and turn on the laptop.  I hear the rain gently patting the roof.  Before long I notice the room feels damp.  I kneel down in front of the catalytic heater and start ‘er up.  Back at the laptop, I pull up the blinds and begin to read and type.

I love replying to comments.

I especially like it when I’m answering a question for someone who wants to live fulltime on the road like us.  I visit some other blogs and make a few comments, something I’d like to do more often, but never seem to do enough.  I write and answer a few emails.  It’s a cozy morning.  I find a can of Progresso chicken noodle soup and heat it up on the stove.  What a perfect day for a soup lunch.

I look out the window and I’m shocked by what I see.

Snow!  Big, fat flakes coming down fast.  Snow? Again?  Well, what do you expect at this altitude?  I open the door and take a photo.  By the time I get back to writing this, the snow has turned to sleet.

The pine boughs keep snow off the ground outside our door.

Thursday afternoon

The snow turns to sleet, the sleet turns to tiny hail, and the hail turns to wind.  Last and best of all, the sun comes back through the clouds and the pines.  The crew wakes up from their long nap.

We need some exercise!

It’s four o’clock and still a bit cold.  I’ve got on my fleece pullover and my quilted vest over that.  I bring the walking stick on our short walk.  More and more I’m using it as a monopod for my little digital camera.  I screw on the camera to the top of the stick and walk with it that way.  When I see something I want to photograph, I can steady the camera by holding the stick with one hand and the crew’s leashes with the other.

It’s still a dark day, but I see some blue sky behind the clouds.

I haven’t figured out how to make a blog entry that has photos inserted in the text and then ends with a slideshow.  When I make the slideshow, the other photos appear in it, too.  So you see them twice.  I took a picture of Gail’s motorhome which shows the distance between our campsites.  Forgive me for including so many photos of Bridget and Spike.  This is a record of our lives, and, as you certainly know by now, they are a big part of my life.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Maybe tomorrow will be sunny!

Once the muddy road dries out, I’ll put the crew in the PTV and we’ll do some galavantin.’



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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65 Responses to Cooped up in Coconino

  1. Pat says:

    You are so lucky, not even rain in Tucson….just wind.

  2. Angie2B says:

    Sue, I have been following your adventures since you posted about your blog on the fiberglassrv site. My husband had a stroke inOctober and my life is really stressful right now. I wanted to let you know I look forward to your posts everyday, they are mini vacations to me. Thanks for sharing the life I have always dreamed about with us.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Dear Angie,, your comment brings tears to my eyes. I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s misfortune, and it is your misfortune, too. It’s terrible to have a stressful life. I am very glad my little blog can bring you some escape. I love having you along for mini-vacations!

      I am grateful I can share my life with you. God bless you both.

  3. azpatriciao says:

    Hi Sue! if I may ask a newbie question… I would guess your solar panels are not working when you have such a rainy weather. Is it correct? Do you have a generator? do you pass on electricity all together and use only propane appliances? I really like the concept of solar panels and am wondering if they can replace a generator. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Patricia,

      Of course the voltage in on a day like this is low. Right now my inverter reads 11.9 volts in. Usually it’s up over 14 volts in at this time of day (2:00 p.m.). The only power I’ve used so far today is to power my laptop and the electronics on the fridge. It’s not really the solar panels working. It’s the power stored in the batteries.

      No, I don’t have a generator. Some people tell me I should get one. I really don’t see myself firing up a generator. I’m more of the type that goes without. It is possible to live without electricity. I’ve got propane heat, stove and fridge.

      Stay with me and we’ll see if solar panels are enough!

      • azpatriciao says:

        Thanks, Sue!

        Tomorrow we are having our hitch installed, so that takes us a step closer 😉 We are escaping years of noisy and inconsiderate neighbors, so a campground is not really how we see our new free life. Boondocking’r us!!! But the sound of a generator -even a quiet one- is not something that fits on our postcard of peaceful nature and stargazing.

        Sure, I’ll stick with you to see how solar panels can be enough. I really admire how you are resourceful to manage to do what you want without being tied up to using (and paying) a lot of resources.


        • rvsueandcrew says:

          It’s turning out to be less expensive than I expected. I realize a catastrophe could change everything. The daily living costs are minimal.

          I’ve had my share of inconsiderate neighbors,too. Other than living on a deserted island, this is the only way I know to get away from them without spending a fortune.

  4. Tia says:

    Computers are great communication and education tools. GPS can get you there most times. But to me, there is nothing better than spending time mulling over maps. I grew up being the co-pilot on family camping trips. Always had control of the map. Even number roads run east to west. Odd number roads run north to south. I have gone to states Dept of Tourism web site and requested maps. I have quite a collection. When you or other blogger post where they are, I like to look it up on a map and see what else is near you. Today I see Sedona South of you. Love your blog. Keep sharing…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Reading your comment about your love of maps, reminds me of what I’ve heard many people say about kindles, nooks, etc. There’s something about holding a book in your hand, or a paper map. I love the road atlas Rusty gave me. It’s a book of dreams.

      I’m glad you love my blog. Thanks for telling me.

      • Chuck says:

        That atlas that Rusty gave you is GREAT!!!! We love ours. Like Tia, I love maps. I have Microsofts Streets and Maps and its GPS but I still LOVE MAPS!

        • Karen says:

          I find that when using a navigational system I really don’t pay attention to what’s around us, just follow directions that spew from the dashboard. Our first RV trip from MN to Florida I downloaded software to the laptop so navigating would be “easy”. Halfway through the first day I put the laptop away and started using my trusty atlas. It made me feel much more in control and like I was contributing to our experience. It was so much more fun and interesting. Yay for maps!!!

  5. Micky says:

    Hi Sue,
    I’ve been reading your blog from the beginning,and most all the comments, looking up websites, making notes….wow, you’ve been keeping me busy! But I’ve been learning so much! Once a teacher, always a teacher, I’m thinking… thank you! It all helps keep me sane as I make plans for a couple of years down the line, (when I plan to retire) and my intention is to start a similar lifestyle, with my 2 dogs, Joy and Shiloh.
    I’m thinking that your readers don’t find your writing boring at all, because YOU aren’t bored or boring! Living your dream of peace and beauty, simplicity and adventure from day to day with your pups, is downright delicious! Our eyes are hungry to read these things, and experience them with you vicariously. Thanks for letting me come along for the ride….till I can start my own ride:-)

    • Micky says:

      Oops. Forgot to ask my burning question…..have you been able to use your crockpot on solar power?

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        What a wonderful comment on my blog and my life! Thank you very much, Micky.

        I know what you mean about having “hungry eyes’ to read about fulltiming adventures. I devoured everything I could find on the subject before I could experience for real.

        No I haven’t tried using the crockpot on solar. I’m doubtful it could handle it. I don’t want to risk the disappointment of it not cooking my recipe and me not being able to get online! Maybe I should try it the next time I have electric hook-ups for a back-up. Whenever that will be!

        • Chinle says:

          Sue, When I had my Casita with about the same solar power you have, I used a small crockpot with no problems. It was small, though, about right for one, and would take a long time to cook anything. I finally decided it wasn’t worth it.

        • Ed says:

          A Thermal Cooker uses your stove top propane burner and will use far less energy to cook a crock pot meal than the electric crock pot. I can not recommend a Thermal Cooker strongly enough for a boondocker.

  6. Marsha says:

    Yesterday when you mentioned snuggling up in the BLT I was envious, but then I thought – we can do that even though it’s just sitting in our backyard! We haven’t gotten out camping yet, we still have frost at night and we’re back to cooler weather here in Michigan, but soon, very soon we’ll get out there and enjoy our Casita.

    In the meantime, I’m with you there in Coconino in spirit. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Spirit_Moves says:

    Hi Sue, loving your blog, welcome to the weather in the West..LOL. Presently I live in DurangoCo wish you were heading my way..Your Blog has been so helpful to me as I intend to go full-timing this year and it is quite possible that it maybe a Casita too! Keep smiling the snow will melt shortly it always does..Safe journeys

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      More and more I’m hearing that my blog is helpful, that people are learning from it. I think that’s wonderful. I realize it’s not me and the crew doing the teaching, but all of us discussing things here. I learn a lot, too.

      It is going to be a thrill when you go fulltime. I still have moments when I can hardly believe what I’m doing.

    • hobopals says:

      Spirit, you live in a great town. I’ve spent probably several months over the years in and around the Durango/Silverton/Ouray/Bayfield area–and, it is such a wonderful place. I have pictures of Jack swimming at Lemon in my 2010 trip blog and I found the Pura Vida Cafe quite by accident right on the lake after Jack shook water all over my picnic lunch. It was the most ideal day, weather wise, and being an old Parrothead, I couldn’t have enjoyed my time there, more. You are so lucky. Love the San Juans.

  8. cathieok says:

    Now I did not expect to see snow! Much rather snow than sleet. Glad you three are snug as a bug!

  9. Francy says:

    We are already sweating here in Green Country, hi 80’s going on, however, I would not care for snow now that the garden is growing.

    Those pups of yours have a the good life going on!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Your mention of your garden reminded me of the white flowers growing all over around here. I don’t know what they are. They look like nosegays, so dainty, and yet you’d never know they were snowed upon today.

      Oh, the crew . . . they do have a fine life. Spike was lying in his doggie bed on the floor in front of the heater with his head dangling over the soft edge, eating kibble off the floor without lifting his head. Disgusting doggie decadence . . .

    • cathieok says:

      France, just saw you live in Green Country! Me, too. Nice to know that fellow Okies love to follow Sue!

  10. Snow and Sleet! Uck! Its in the high 80’s here. I forget what its like and I want to forget what its like. Stay warm. Hopefully the weather will improve. As usual I love reading your bog and everything people have to say. I would go without food before i could go without my laptop. lol
    Going out of town tomorrow. Staying at a friends home while she and her husband go to St.Augustine, Fl for a weeks get away. She has two very small dogs that I love! I have been their nannie since they arrived. I wish we could share pictures on here so I could show you what they looked like. I’m taking my laptop of course, so I will be online. Sharon from Fl.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wouldn’t it be great to share photos here? Then the comments section would be its own blog, which it’s trying to do anyway. Enjoy the change in surroundings and dog company. Oh yeah, gotta have that laptop . . .

  11. geogypsy2u says:

    All we got was rain today, yet still a great reason to stay indoors.

  12. I love the pictures of your babies. One reason I like your blog so much. See right now I can’t have a dog. 2 many hours at work but Im saving hard so I can escape in a few years. 1st thing to do …go adopt a pooch..or 2. I don’t find it amazing that you can fit 2 dogs in there, they really don’t need much room cause most dogs just eat and sleep at home!!! LOL.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right about dogs not needing much room. As long as you can get past them in the aisle of your rv! You’re smart to save now so you can set yourself up right. I hope you will adopt out of a shelter, not that it’s any of my business.

  13. NO NO its all right. Def. a shelter …all my dogs were strays I found on the street. So maybe I will find one again that way again that needs a home.

  14. Rod Ivers says:

    We had some serious rain down here in Mesa along with some wind for a while. But we never got lower than the high 60s in temperatures, so sleet or snow was out of the question. The forest does sound very beautiful though……

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Gee, Rod! Thank you SOOOOO much for commenting. I was beginning to think I offended my male readers. You and Chuck are manning the blog today. Wind with rain isn’t fun, but, as you know, the state needs the rain.

  15. Llanos says:

    I agree with others who say they like pictures of Spike and Bridget. I have two little Rat Terrier/Chihuahua sisters. Yes, they were from the pound. They are so much company aren’t they? They also demand so little for unconditional love.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      First, let me say I’m happy to hear you like seeing pictures of Spike and Bridget because I can’t stop posting them. I think Bridget is a Rat Terrier-Chihuahua mix. She stays close by me like a chihuahua and has those round eyes. Many a day throughout my life, dogs have kept me sane. They are great company.

  16. Karen Osmon says:

    First time to comment but have been following your blog for a while now. It makes me happy just to read about your life as I am housebound with my DH. He had a stroke and now all our plans are for naught. I too live vicariously thru your and other RV blogs, helps keep me sane!

    Now a question for you, are your fur-babies Rat Terriers? I have 2 and love the breed. Also what kind of harness do you have for them? I like the looks of them, don’t like collars for this breed of dog.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I am so sorry to hear your husband had a stroke. God bless both of you. It pains me to hear that bad health or misfortune gets in the way of anyone’s plans.

      I’m glad you enjoy my blog. Both Bridget and Spike are rat-terrier mixes. You’re right. Regular collars and harnesses don’t work well on ratties. Click on Readers’ RVing Resources at the top of the page and scroll down. There are some harnesses very similar to what the crew wears. They’re made of fabric mesh and are much more comfortable.

      I bought the crew’s in a pet store. Usually pet stores carry small sizes in pink. You could ask them to order you a larger size if you don’t want to order online.

  17. just john says:

    I am still loving following the “crew” and your activites. I admit I haven’t blogged in a while, I was afraid I insulted you a while back. I just wanted to say, being a GA boy, I have enjoyed seeing all the new sites. But there is no denying that there is something comforting about see the pines.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Apparently you didn’t insult me, John, because I have no memory of it, and believe me, I don’t forget an insult. Ha! Seriously, I rarely take offense at what is written because it is so easy to misinterpret what a person meant. So we’re cool . . .

      Georgia pines are nice. The only thing wrong with Georgia pines is they are surrounded by humidity!

      Keep on loving following the crew. I will, too.

  18. Sherry says:

    That sure is a great part of where you are, that the weather changes and you get the gift surprise of a “snuggle up day”. I’m missing those here where it’s nothing but warm.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good point, Sherry. We have had a lot of weather variety. I remember living in Florida, nice, nice, nice and more nice weather got monotonous sometimes.

  19. Bill and Ann says:

    Keep posting pictures of Bridget and Spike. We love seeing their pictures. So…..cute! I loved the pictures yesterday of Spikey at the pond. Samantha and Julie would have loved being out exploring with them.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      All the dogs together . . . .That would have been fun to see. I hope you and your family are all doing fine. It seems like ages ago that we were in the Sonoran together.

      • Bill and Ann says:

        House is on the market. We start a Volunteer Host Position on Tuesday at Collier Memorial State Park for one month and then on to La Pine State Park for three months. Both in Oregon. Our lives are changing fast. Ajo in October? I hope so.

  20. Elizabeth in NC says:

    Aw, those little puppies are so cute!! Love seeing them in all sorts of poses.
    We are planning to go RV looking this seekend!! Should be fun…we probably won’t buy yet, but you have to look first!!

    Recently the HUGE HUGE HUGE male dog across the street was outside my garage and would not let me leave…I just wanted to go get my mail at the mail box out at the street…I am ready to leave this expensive neighborhood…no reason to pay big bucks FOR THIS!!! Have not been able to get the people by phone either…we have not had trouble with them, but I have seen her the last couple months, letting him go potty in other people’s yards, mine included. NOT NICE!! And of course, he THINKS where he marks is his, right?? DUH!!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Irritating, to say the least. One thing I discovered during home ownership is this .. . no matter how diplomatic and tolerant you try to be, when a problem arises, any attempt to resolve it will lead to resentment, and sometimes hostility. I sold homes and moved several times when neighbor behaviour became intolerable. Now I can move the same day! I wish you well, Elizabeth, with your home and your rv shopping.

  21. kellyceallaigh says:

    Love the pictures of the dogs in the flowers. They look so sweet! And your current scenery is gorgeous. It would be wonderful to be in a similar situation myself right now. Some day, I believe! I so enjoy looking up on Google Earth the area where you are. You mentioned going to Flagstaff Walmart. Did you see a place called the Riordan House nearby? It looks like it would be fascinating to take a tour of that.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, I saw the Riordan House on the map. I don’t usually go to places like that because I have the crew with me. Life’s a trade-off sometimes.

      I happy you enjoy the photos of the dogs. I thought the flowers complement them very well!

  22. RVingFT says:

    You DID it! Pictures in the text and a slideshow too. Now I have to see if I can pull it off on my WordPress blog. I hope I can figure it out in less than our 4 day weekend. Sometimes I get really frustrated with it…

    Enjoy the cool pines while you can ….summer IS coming 😀

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What I can’t figure out is how to have pictures in the text and then make a slideshow without including those same pictures. Not a big problem in the overall scheme of things. . .

  23. Susan says:

    Dear Sue: No matter how your pictures are entered onto your blog, they are great! Love to see the puppies. You are camped at such a beautiful spot. Can’t figure out your walking stick with the camera on top. It looks a little wonky in my head. Would you mind taking a picture of it? Thank you for sharing your adventure with us who are stuck in our sticks and bricks and the JOB!! (not complaining, just feeling a tiny little bit of envy 😉 Maybe someday I will be out and about, too.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Susan!

      I can’t take a photo of the camera on the stick because I only have one camera. There’s simply a threaded piece sticking up out of the top of the stick (a male ). The camera has a place (female) to match.

  24. Dominick Bundy says:

    Hi, Sue, I just stumbled across your web site. posted on And have skimmed into some of your interesting blogs you posted.. But i have one question for you. I have taken a interest in the Casita trailer.. for various reasons. And would like to know between the 3 different floor plans the 17 footer has to offer. . What made you choose the liberty deluxe one by comparison to the spirit deluxe and freedom deluxe (both with side dinnettes) Sorry if you have already explained this before And I may have over looked that blog.. I’ll be looking forward to reading about your adventures. Take care Dominick

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dominick,

      I chose the Liberty Deluxe because it has a more “open” feel and the floor plan is more flexible. You can have a regular bed, king size, or twin beds. The bed is not next to the stove, something I don’t like. There isn’t a partition sticking out of the wall. The dinette takes up too much room. Why does one person need a seat opposite? Space is too important to give up for a dinette seat with cushions falling off. It looks cute, yes. But the way I have my Liberty set up, I have a bed on one side, storage drawers on the other side, and at the back window I have a table that two people can sit at, across from each other. If I didn’t have a Liberty, the floor space would be less, which means the dog bed would be in the way on the floor. Like I said . . openness and flexibility.

      Having said that, I am sure Spirit and Freedom owners could give as many reasons for choosing their model. If you go with a Casita, I wish you luck choosing the right plan for you. I’m extremely happy with my choice.

      One last thing . . . I think when you buy a small trailer to live in fulltime, the flexibility and storage factors become immensely important.

  25. Carol says:

    I finally retires and we got the farm leased, out, and then I hafd

    D a stroke, and our 5th wheel bur Ned, took the shop with it. Fire marshal Said it was the inverter,.

    Kate, on Chohula Red, gives instr for a solar cooker.
    cR is a Lazyd aze, C class.

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