A new forest and friends at camp near Sunset Crater, AZ

Spike is back!

I don’t want to push him too much because he’s coming off his pain meds.  Spike hasn’t had a pill since yesterday noon and he doesn’t seem to be in any pain, as you’ll see in the slideshow below.  The wound area is slightly swollen.  The wound itself is closing up.

Campfires are not allowed.

Our camp in the Coconino National Forest on the west side of Highway 89 across from Sunset Crater is beautiful.  However, evidences of fire cannot be missed.  Many of the trees are burned about halfway up their trunks, and some are totally burned and dead.

As the crew and I explore off the forest road, I look for traces of animal life. 

I see hardly any.  As Ken says, “Gee, this forest is like a morgue.”  I don’t know that I’d go that far, because the forest is coming back to life.  Grass and flowers grow over the volcanic rocks and new pines are everywhere.   I don’t see any animal tracks or scat, and rodent burrows are scarce.  Even the birds are less in number than any other place we’ve camped.  It’s a natural cycle, even if the fire is caused by a careless human.  A clean forest is emerging.

When we return from our morning hike, I find a surprise in my inbox.

Beck and Diane, whom I met at Burro Creek Recreation Area (near Wikieup, AZ), are boondocking nearby!  We’re going to get together before they leave for a new camp soon.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

About slideshows . . .

I wish I could make the captions larger and bolder.  If you increase your monitor’s zoom by 125% or 150% to full screen size, it will be easier to read the captions and see the photos.  In fact, this will make the entire blog more comfortable to read, especially if you find the font size too small for your eyes.

Out-of-pocket expenditures . . .

As you can see below, the crew and I have been “living on less and enjoying life more” during the first ten days of the month of May.  Tomorrow the PTV is going in for an oil change.  Other than that, I don’t anticipate any unusual expenditures this month.  Well, I could get a haircut.  Now that would REALLY be unusual.  Geez.


5/1/12 . . . $0
5/2/12 . . . $26.93 sundries including $9.50 for charcoal briquets, $30.52 groceries, $11.28 dog food, $5.98 rawhide bones, $2.64 bottled water
5/3/12 . . . $0
5/4/12 . . . $0
5/5/12 . . . $0
5/6/12 . . . $0
5/7/12 . . . $0
5/8/12 . . . $0
5/9/12 . . . $5.67 groceries (convenience store drink, snack, and milk)
5/10/12 . . -$29.03 refund for monocular and RV equipment (cancelled order)

About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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53 Responses to A new forest and friends at camp near Sunset Crater, AZ

  1. strawberrypolly says:

    Love these pictures. I think they are so encouraging…there is life after the fire. Great to see Spike up and about, looking like his old self. Looks like I am going to have trouble posting this.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Pauline . . . I wish you could use your own name! Darn WordPress had to go and mess with the log in . . . It’s something to do with Gravatar. Nice to hear from you here.

  2. My last day of school (teacher) is May 23rd, and I officially retire July 1st. Presently, I have a 1985 Toyota Dolphin with a solar panel (sans TV), and I belong to an RV group called the WIN’s. Like you I travel with my dog (you dogs), but I’m somewhat leery of camping alone in a secluded spot. You seem to do well though. Does it ever make you nervous?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello Cheryl!

      Congratulations for your soon-to-be retirement! If I remember correctly, a Toyota Dolphin is a Class C motorhome. To answer your question . . . No, I have never felt nervous. Not for one minute. I have been nervous walking down a city street, but not so far boondocking.

      • Bill says:

        Hi Cheryl- You ask an interesting question…does one feel safe camping alone? Always remember, you make the choice where you camp. If you avoid populated areas where certain ‘elements’ present a concern, you can walk. Dogs are a plus as they alert you to so many things, not just other people. Camping in remote settings usually mean peace and quiet! Get use to that and you’ve got it made! cheers, BR

  3. We just passed by there yesterday. Check on rawhide bones. Worse thing a dog can have. Leather… it gets lodged in their intestines. Some Vets won’t even treat them if they known. Stay well.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ara. . . Nice to hear from you again. I heard rawhide bones from China are bad. Hmmm… I don’t think I’m going to buy any more. The last ones I bought they are ignoring anyway. Thanks for letting me know. Regards to sweet Spirit.

      • Sue, I agree with Ara, I have a terrier-mix (probably with a poodle) and every time I’ve given her rawhide chews her stomach has gotten upset. I learned the hard way through two vet visits (and bills). She’s a voracious chewer, but seems content with a Kong filled with a little peanut butter or aerosol cheese.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I’m sorry your dog went through that. I am warned. Thank you.

          • Lisa says:

            Ok, gotta chime in on this one. My dog’s fave chew is dried sweet potatoes! You can buy them in packages – kinda pricey, but sometimes I can find them cheap and then I stock up. He loves them and I know it’s digestible!!

            Take care – Lisa

  4. Pat says:

    Looks like a great spot. Wonderful pics!!!!! I am glad Spike is recovering. It always hurts moms went their babies are in pain.

  5. Tammy says:

    Good to see Spike back to his old self…

  6. Elizabeth says:

    In the photos, it is not easy to see that the forest burned. Still looks very pretty actually. But glad it is recovering, at least enough for you to enjoy your stay!!

    The warning about rawhide is very true, so we learned with our dogs. Bones (cooked anyway) are bad too, we also learned that the hard way (and we knew not to let them have fish or poultry bones). They just have to be happy with other chewie type stuff. We found different kinds of “dog cookies” seemed to bring them pleasure as well as that dried liver stuff. And of course, tidbits of people food….heh, but that tends to put on weight. Both of the last dogs we had never got fat however, even with food in front of them at all times. Guess dogs are like people, some of us are fat, others thin…

  7. Chuck says:

    Our 3 dogs love the DentaStix for after dinner snacks or Beggin Strips bacon flavor but the DentaStix really helped the old dogs breath so we go more for them. Nice pix, glad Spikeys better!

  8. Sherry says:

    Thanks for the slide show info. Just another reason I wish I’d done Word Press. I am just so tired of having to reinvent the wheel. If someone would stand over my shoulder and show me how to move my blog from blogspot to wordpress, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Or even better yet, if someone would just do it for me………………..ahhhhh. Am I beginning to sound like Bridget?? 🙂

    Your ability to live such a great life on so little money is truly inspiring. I just love those zero spent days. I call them BND – Buy Nothing Days.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sherry,

      Have you gone to WordPress.com and found a tutorial on how to switch over?

      I love those “zero spent” days, too. It’s nice to see my bank account increasing, even though my retirement money is small compared to many. I have to save for a rainy day.

  9. 101butterbean says:

    Howdy rvsue & crew,
    Rawhide chews are deathly, I don’t know why they let them be sold, there are other ‘chew-type’ treats, even at WallyWorld.. My sis has raised working dogs for years, and gives hers chew-treats
    from WW.. We give Charlie Laws, our Australian Red Heeler, Dog Food and sometimes a wienie!! Spike looks pretty well ‘mended’ and his old sweet self..There were a lot of fires in that area last year.. Like the slide show!!! We enjoy being in the forests and mountains.. Thanx..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m glad you liked the slide show, Butterbean! I don’t know why I never heard how dangerous rawhide bones are. I’m convinced they are bad and I’m not going to get them anymore. Australian Red Heeler, huh? I’m going to look them up so I know what your Charlie looks like.

      LATER… I looked up Australian Red Heelers and they look like Australian cattle dogs. Maybe they’re the same thing.

  10. Linda a. says:

    Happy, happy, that macho Spike is doing well.
    Sounds like your a calm gal, Sue. I most likely would have rushed off to the vet, all in a
    dither. Having a doggie emergency kit is great idea.
    All’s well that ends well, as my mom always said !

  11. Francy says:

    Beggin strips will have your pups doing back flips! My babies love the bacon flavor.

    Your pics rawk as usual…so enjoy lookin in on your life.

    Thanks for sharing :o)

  12. cathieok says:

    Bridget is my kind of girl. Don’t know that I would climb it, either. No matter the fire, the scenery is still so interesting.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It was funny. Bridget took one look at that hill and turned around and went home. That photo with her on the patio mat was how Spike and I found her.

  13. Chuck says:

    Hey Sue, I had an idea….maybe Bridget doesn’t like the lava on her paws……she IS carrying more pounds per sq inch than Spike…..foot pads needed????

  14. geogypsy2u says:

    Spike sure is a quick healer. And Ken sure is kind of a downer. There is life all around you. In fact most of those forest photos show a very healthy ponderosa pine forest. Yet it is unfortunate that fire was caused by careless campers. Mix that with the low snow pack and it’s no wonder there’s no campfires allowed. Still you have beautiful views.

  15. earthdancerimages says:

    An easy way to enlarge what is on your screen, be it slide show or writing, hold down the control button and click the plus button (usually next to the backspace button) as many times as you need to make your image large enough to be viewable by you. Then when finished, hold down the control button and push “zero” button and screen will be back to normal size!

    Back to pet snacks, another brand our vet says to stay away from is Waggon Tails from China sold in WalMart. Supposedly animal vets are supposed to be warning dogs owners all over to dispose of Waggon Tails ASAP because of the immediate liver damage they are causing in dogs! So to be safe, Doc Fulmer says to just stay away from all treats made in China!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Considering that China has had quite a few tainted foods to sell us the last few years, we read labels and simply don’t buy anything from there (why chance it with our own health??). It seems maybe enough people are trying not to buy products from there to maybe have a slight improvement on our economy now too…maybe. Some companies are relocating from there to here again!! We SHOULD try to buy as locally as we can!!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I agree with you, Elizabeth. Enough with China already!

        • cathieok says:

          I am so glad someone commented about the chicken treats from China. Read the labels carefully. We stay away from food with lots of wheat, and other grains, as cocker spaniels tend to have allergies. This is one reason we love carrots and green beans for treats. They are crazy about carrots. I had to quit eating them with my lunch. As soon as they heard one crunch they were there staring at me.

          • Elizabeth says:

            Corn is another NO NO…very bad, well, probably not the best food for us humans either really. Also, a friend who always researches stuff to the nth degree alerted us not to buy any dog food that had chicken by-products in it (they grind up bones and FEATHERS even…come on, nothing I know of benefits from eating FEATHERS!!) Our beloved dog of over 16 years was so allergic to most every food. We thought we would have to have her put down…but we eventually found a pure food for her, just chicken, rice and vitamins and minerals…and we gave her tidbits of people food too, esp. meat (and we tried to eat mostly organic or natural meat).. (Avoid grapes, chocolate, etc).

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Geri, for letting people know the old control-button-and-plus-button trick.

  16. Sue says:

    I read your blog from a 4 x 6 inch tablet, most of the time, and I can read your captions just fine. I am so glad Spike is better.

  17. CeCe says:

    Great slide show and so glad Mr. Spike is mending well. Regarding the dog treats, my gang of three stick their noses in the air an harumph at Beggin Strips, however, they do love Pup-peroni Bacon Flavor. They will tolerate the beef flavor if I can’t get the bacon, but bacon definately wins. Greenies are another good treat, but again, expensive. I picked up a bag of chicken and sweet potato strips in Costco the other day..yea, not cheap, but the dogs seem to enjoy them and there is a lot in the bag. Just a thought if you are a member and ever wander near a Costco (yea, I can see you buying in bulk as you tour the backroads in your rambling home,,.. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Happy you liked the slide show, CeCe. Sometimes I do buy in bulk and store it in the PTV, my cupboard, closet, and tool shed on wheels! The crew doesn’t get store bought treats. They get skinless, boneless chicken breasts grilled over charcoal. (I know, spoiled)

  18. Bill and Ann says:

    Beautiful pictures Sue. The picture of spike running down the road is wonderful. Remember Samantha in the lava rock. She had to wear booties. The baby socks worked well, with a piece of velcro to keep them up; or….don’t walk on the lava rock. Ha! We are located in an area very similar to yours. Much of the same vegetation. The only difference is in the lowlands with lots of marshland. We have many areas with beautiful kayaking in the Winema Forest. Lots of variation.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’d love to see Oregon, its forests, mountains, rivers, and, of course, the coast. I love that photo of Spike running, too. It captures who he is, a real man of action! Usually I do keep them off the lava rock, but a nearby peak overlooking the desert view pulled me up and up. Bridget had more sense than Spike and me and didn’t go!

      I’m hoping I’ll see you both again next winter in the Sonoran!

  19. Ron says:

    You and your blog continue to amaze me,it just keeps getting better, You list your expenses,do an entertaining blog very well written lot of information,and the interaction you have with the folks in the comment section is great.
    Your nu 1 in my book.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a nice compliment, Ron. Everyone should be number one in somebody’s book. Thank you. I never expected my blog to have such a wonderful comments section. That’s where the great information is! I’m grateful for all the things I’ve learned from people writing comments.

  20. I love, love, love your blog. Thanks for being so diligent with it. I look forward to it every day. The pictures are great and so is the content. Yippee for Spike! I so wish I were out there with you guys. Love the blue mat too. Bridget gave it that final “home” touch. 😉

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