The ones that got away . . . and a faithful geyser

Friday, July 27

On the way out of The Falls Campground I stop at the water spigot to fill up my eight water jugs.  I decide to take a photo of this mundane task to include in the blog, but my rechargeable batteries are dead, even though I charged them up recently.  Oh well, not exactly a must-have photo!

You know what always happens when the camera isn’t working.

About four miles up Highway 26 I come over a rise to see cars parked along the road.  Hmmm . . . What’s this all about?  A young woman is halfway out of her sunroof, pointing a camera at a meadow below the road.  I rubberneck in that direction, but I can’t see anything unusual.  I keep on driving, very slowly.  As I go on past the parked cars, I look to the left, and there, trotting alongside the road on the shoulder, is a very big grizzly bear followed by two cubs!  Holy cow . . . er . . . bear!

We move along, keeping pace with each other, until I get over the shock of such a unexpected, marvelous sight.

I can see Mama Grizzly wants to cross the road.  I stop and she does just that, about ten feet in front of the PTV’s hood.  She hesitates, turns her head, and gives me a brief glance, which her two cubs imitate.  What a photo!  Three grizzlies giving me the eye!  Darn, darn, darn!

She’s much bigger than the grizzly that I repeatedly saw at the Brooks Lake campground.  She fits the description of a larger grizzly that Larry saw . . . light brown fur, older, and big.  It may be the same one.

Do I have all the luck or what?

Saturday, July 28

After a quiet night at Grassy Lake Road Camp, the crew and I pull out early.  I stop at Flagg Ranch to gas up before getting on the main road to Yellowstone.  A fiftyish couple approach.  Their eyes are on the Best Little Trailer.  “That’s a nice trailer you’ve got,” the man comments.

“Oh yes, it is,” I respond.  “I love it!”   They ask me several questions which I proudly answer, my spirits lifted by the admiration given my little home-on-wheels.

The south entrance of Yellowstone is only about two miles up the highway.

I get out my National Park Pass (Senior Pass) and my new South Dakota driver’s license as I drive up to the entrance booth.

“Good morning!” the attendant calls out.  I hand him my cards.  “How do you like your Casita?”

I smile.  Gee, I must have done a bang-up job cleaning the BLT. She’s turning heads today.  “I love it!  I absolutely love it!”

“You know,” the attendant remarks, “Everybody who drives up here with a Casita or one of those Scamps tells me they love their trailer.”  He asks a few questions which I answer, glancing in my side mirror to see if anyone is pulling up behind me.  This attendant is so friendly and talkative!  He’d make a great camp host.  Before I drive off, he sums up our mutual opinion of little fiberglass trailers.  “Why haul around more than you need?”

“That’s right!”  Wow! Two testimonials and it’s not even nine o’clock!

I settle into a relaxed speed of 45 mph as we proceed northward through the park.  Bridget and Spike fall asleep.  I turn off the main road at the Grant Village sign.  Blog readers Kevin and Robin invited me via the comments section of my blog to stop by the store so we can meet.

I leave the crew in the PTV and enter the gift shop. 

I wander around, looking over several t-shirts and sweatshirts with YELLOWSTONE emblazoned across the chest.  Well, these are nice, but do I want strangers coming up to me to chat about Yellowstone?  I think I’ll pass.  I’m not the souvenir t-shirt type.  I ask a man working the restaurant counter where I might find a guy named Kevin who works there.  “He’s right over there,” he tells me, pointing back toward the gift shop area.

I’m wearing one of my dopey hats so I’ll be recognizable.

“Hey!  You’re Sue, right?”  Kevin greets me with a smile.  We shake hands.  “That’s my wife Robin over there.” He gestures toward the lady working the cash register.  She’s very busy with customers.  “There are so many people at the Park this year.”

After we talk for a few moments, I mention I’d better get outside because I left the crew in the PTV.

“Well, I’m on my break, so let’s go,” Kevin offers.

“You’ve got a real good set-up here.  The PTV has doors on both sides,” he remarks approvingly.  I consider opening up the back doors of the PTV to show Kevin the interior, but then I decide against it, given he’s not wearing any protective gear against the inevitable avalanche.  (I tried a new arrangement of my stuff behind the bench seat and it was a bad idea.)

I warn Kevin to step back before I open the side door of the PTV.  Bridget and Spike explode out the door with their usual enthusiasm for a new place.  They’re all wiggles around Kevin’s feet as he recognizes them by name and gives them some attention.

This rving and blogging life is funny.

I can walk up to someone I’ve never met and instantly we’re talking as if we’ve been pals for years.  Believe me, it’s not my winning personality.  Kevin and Robin, commenters on my blog and bloggers themselves,, work at Yellowstone’s Grant Village three days a week, earning some money and benefits, while enjoying the summer in this beautiful location.  This winter they’ll workkamp in the San Antonio-Big Bend area of Texas, not far from their Austin home.

It’s time for Kevin to go back inside. 

We exchange goodbyes.  “Say hi to Robin for me!”

Not far from Grants Village, I make the turn toward West Yellowstone.  Soon I see the sign toreduce speed. A right turn goes to Old Faithful.  No, thank you.  I’m not entering that mess again.

Then the unexpected happens . . . another rvsue moment!

I glance to my right, and at that moment, through a gap in the trees, past the roofs of the buildings clustered near the geyser, steam flies high into the air.   “Hey, rvsue!  Look over here!  It’s me!  Old Faithful!  Thought you’d drive by without seeing me, didn’t you!”

I recall reading that the interval between eruptions of the geyser may be as long as 126 minutes.

I shake my head with amazement, laugh, and keep on driving.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow includes some more photos taken at The Falls Campground and the Grassy Lake Road Camp.  Please forgive me for so many pics of Spike in the water.  I want a record of his happy times.  Next post I’ll include some photos of Yellowstone, although few in number, due to batteries that keep failing.  Gee, we can send a man to the moon . . . .




About rvsueandcrew

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

27 Responses to The ones that got away . . . and a faithful geyser

  1. Pat says:

    Where to now? How do you pick your next adventure? Love your pics and writing.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Pat! I don’t have much of a system. Mountains sometimes get in the way. I try to stay in higher elevations to keep cool. I use maps, advice from locals, internet research. Lately I haven’t had internet much so I’m relying more on serendipity.

      Glad you enjoy my blog . . .

  2. cathieok says:

    Old Faithful definitely wanted to be included in your blog! Something definitely needs to be done about that camera. We are missing too many of your “special moments”, though you are a very good descriptive writer. :))

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Cathie…. In a way I’m glad I saw the grizzlies with my eyes directly, rather than through a lens. (selfish me)

      I’m losing Verizon signal….Gotta get back on the road. I’ll read every comment written here and maybe I’ll be able to respond at a later date. I love how discussion takes place, even when I’m not online . . .

  3. GingerDa says:

    How exciting on the bears crossing the road right in front of you, glad they decided to keep going and not join you. lol. It is beautiful in that part of the US, wish I was there right now, it looks so cool. (temp). I love it that you were able to meet Kevin and Robin in person. Small world at times.
    Sorry your battery was dead in the camera, but I enjoyed seeing the pictures you posted.

  4. John and Kona says:

    Greetings RVSue and Crew ~~~

    This questions has been haunting me for weeks. How in the world do you keep the outside of your Casita looking soooooooo nice and clean?

    I gave up on re-charge batteries ~ same issue that you’re having.

    Also, how can I send you a photo of Kona and some of our river adventures?

    John and Kona

    • Connie & Mugsy says:

      Let me add that I did the same thing. The rechargeables were always dead – totally SUCKed. Regular batteries last for ages and you can have back-up in your pocket.

      • hobopals says:

        I keep a back up of the chargeable battery on me and an extra card. I also keep this nifty little item as well as iPod, computer charging adapters in my truck. I think I’ll put this in Sue’s resource file. It really comes in handy. The charger for my camera is very small, but 110 so just in case…

      • mockturtle says:

        Hi, Connie! Didn’t want to hijack the last thread by responding to you so I thought I’d do it in this thread, LOL! 😉

  5. cozygirl says:

    So glad you got to see OF blow! Spike ever had a big huge trout swim past his feet? I feel so cooled down and can almost feel the chilly water on his belly. So cute!

    Can’t wait to be a proud Casita owner driving down the road…some of the family got a peek at it today. They were so tickled. ~ cozygirl

    PS – read a post on another blog and they said they have the scouts tie tiny bells to their belts to warn the bears on your hike…a thought :O)

  6. John says:

    Sue – is there any chance your new campus has a built-in GPS? They’ll suck a battery flat very quickly. Just a thought.

  7. mockturtle says:

    Sue, do you have a cigarette lighter in your van? I have a small 100W inverter that will plug into the cig. lighter socket to which I can plug a small AC device. You could charge your camera while driving or, as I have done, take photos from your van with the camera plugged in. Limited range but better than nothing. 😉

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I can charge batteries from sockets in the PTV using an inverter. My rechargeables must be getting old. They don’t hold a charge like they used to.

  8. Vicki says:

    Hi rvsue and crew
    just finished reading up to here. All I can say is WOW!!! You go girl – as my girls would say.
    I am jealous of where your at, it’s one of our favorite places to go. Hubby and I hope to be there for a visit next summer. We have to find our BLT first. Sold our fifth cause we wanted to go smaller since its just the two of us, and smaller makes it easier to park in our kids driveway when we visit 🙂 when I read your comment about the music when you saw the Tetons we were in total agreement, our God is so awesome.
    Be safe

    • Reine says:

      Vicki, if you and hubby are outdoor campers, the type that use the BLT for sleeping and shelter and enjoy doing stuff outdoors most of the rest of the time, then check out Casitas. Casitas are NOT for folks that get to a site and disappear into the trailer until the next morning. And before you buy a trailer specifically to park in the kids driveway when you visit, be sure to check any HOA regulations in their area. Lots of places don’t allow that. Our Casita is just right for the two of us but can feel really small if we’re stuck inside for several days because of bad weather, which includes temps over 100 like we experienced several weeks ago when it was too hot to even sit outside under the awning.

      • Vicki says:

        we like to be outside 🙂 and I have looked at Casitas. The one issue we have is my husband is 6 ft. and the interior height is 5’10”. He wants to stand up straight in our next one. That’s the first thing he does in all the ones we look at…lol…..see if he can stand tall.
        We’ve told our kids if they don’t want us staying in their house when we come visit the grandkids and 🙂 them then we have to be able to park in their driveway or have a campground nearby.

        • tinycamper says:

          Vicki, the 16′ Casitas are 5’10” inside. The 17′ Casitas are 6’2″ inside. So take another look at them. I think Scamps are maybe an inch higher inside, too. And if you aren’t on a budget, check out the Escapes. 🙂

  9. geogypsy2u says:

    Wow, grizzles and Old Faithful too.

    I recommend using lithium batteries for the camera. Not rechargeable but last a long time. Especially if you turn the camera off between uses.

  10. Angie2B says:

    Your posts make me happy.

  11. Cari says:

    Seeing your photos makes me feel cooler – today it was 105 and triple digits are predicted for the next 2 weeks 😦

    That’s funny that Old Faithful wouldn’t let you leave the park without seeing at least part of it.

  12. Bill and Ann says:

    Hey Sue, Thinking of you often in the last couple of days. Can’t wait to get to the desert again. The pictures the last few weeks have been so beautiful. Wish we were there. Taking it easy. Enjoying the views, the animals and the the people. I am so jealous. You have seen grizzlies and moose. Is that plural? Our Park Director, Joe, spent last week in the Tetons and Yellowstone. He said his trip was way too short. Take care.

  13. Sherry says:

    You are so right Sue, you guys have tons of luck. Amazing what you saw today without even intending to. Wish you had a battery charger though so you could just charge your camera batteries every night and they’d be ready to go.

    Your luck goes clear back to the PTV. I’m thinking seriously about copying your set up and am looking for a van to pull a Casita. I love that yours has windows all around. And I think you’ve said that it has a 2nd bench seat behind the driver’s and passenger seats?? AND that it has doors on both sides into the cargo area?? I’d love to know its details. Can you drop me a note at I don’t see a way to drop you one.

    Many thanks,

  14. Chancy and Mumsy says:

    Gorgeous scenery in the slide show. Looks like the dogs found the perfect place to cool off…cute pictures. Hugs and nose kisses

  15. Ron says:

    Sue must be out of internet service and having a blast.

  16. Nan says:

    Rechargeable batteries last only so long and then they need to be replaced. Considering how many photos you take…..’nuff said.

    So glad thad Old Faithful greeted you. And the Bear family, how cool

  17. Teri says:

    Your battery charger may not be compatible with your inverter.

  18. Kevin says:

    Hi Sue – Had trouble with my internet service and lost my comment. Sure was fun meeting you at Grant Village. Wish we had had more time to visit.

    Take care and we’ll be keeping a lookout for the PTV and the crew. I bet we cross paths again. Keep up the good work with your blog. It gives me something to aspire to.

    — Kevin

Comments are closed.