Smoke, wind, and cold! This is August?

Tuesday, August 14

I wake to the smell of smoke.  Oh yeah, the forest fire.  After our morning routine, the crew and I travel the seventeen miles north to Dillon.  The horizon in all directions is obscured by smoke.  At the laundromat I leave Bridget and Spike in the PTV while I throw a few loads of laundry in washers and dash across the street to the Ace Hardware store.  I buy some replacement clips for the exercise pen.  After the laundry is done, folded, and packed into the PTV, we stop at Safeway for groceries.  I buy food and four gallons of drinking water.  That campground water out of that humongous hand pump is horrible!   

Back at Clark Canyon Reservoir, I park at the top of the gravel ramp leading down to the campground.

I take this photo, similar to one I took previously.  The mountains are barely visible.

Tuesday, August 14, at noon

The wind picks up this afternoon which clears the air enough so we can go outside.  The three of us walk around the campground.  Bridget and Spike need more outdoors time, so I put them in their pen.  I sit next to them and read.

Around five o’clock the breeze is gone.

The smoke becomes unbearable, so we head inside.

The view of the reservoir can’t be seen because of the smoke.

Around seven Bridget and Spike insist on their nightly walk.  We don’t get far.  My throat is okay, probably because I haven’t had the need to talk much, but my nasal passages are irritated.  I detect a slight shortness of breath.  Worst of all, once back inside the BLT, I can hear Spike’s breathing is labored. 

What to do?

I could drive us out of this, but where do we go?  We’d have to go pretty far to escape it. The smoke covers a large area in all directions.  I certainly don’t want us in a forest campground somewhere with no internet coverage.  I have to be in Dillon around the 20th of this month in order to pick up the vehicle registration renewals at the post office.

It’s easy to complain about this, but I’m not going to. 

So many people are suffering with these fires and the smoke.  Thank God I don’t have respiratory problems.  I pity the people who do.  Now that Spike’s been inside for a while, he’s breathing normally again.  Sweet little boy is fast asleep.  Bridget, too, bless her heart.

The setting sun through clouds of smoke

If the smoke cover follows the pattern of the last 48 hours, it should be much clearer in the morning.  I hope so!

Wednesday, August 15 

The wind howls and rocks the BLT starting around 2 a.m. this morning.  This is a good thing.  I hear my camp chair hitting the picnic table.  At least the wind will clear the air.  The smoke is mostly gone when we emerge a little past daybreak.  Man, is it cold!  I wish I had my winter coat on.  Well, I guess this is Montana in August.  It’s freezing!  I wonder what it’s doing back in Georgia right now.

“C’mon, guys.  Do your business.  I can’t take much more of this!”


Canine Corner:  “Life Isn’t Fair” by Bridget

An early morning trespasser at our campsite!

“As you know, Spike got rvsue in trouble because he was over by the camp host’s trailer, sniffing around.  It’s not fair. I see canine campers off-leash all the time, and they get away with it.  They should get in trouble for that. 

Truth be told — and I always tell the truth because I’m a good girl — Spike really had no business going over there, but you can’t tell him that.  Oh, no.  Once Spike gets his mind set on something, there’s no changing it. 

I heard rvsue say once that Spike’s stubborn because he’s a terrier.  She said, “He’s got that terrier Ten Ass City.”  Well, I’m a terrier and I’ve never been to Ten Ass City.  I hope we never camp there.  It doesn’t sound like a very nice place!”


About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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46 Responses to Smoke, wind, and cold! This is August?

  1. gingerda says:

    LOL I am cracking up over Bridget’s post. She is so right!! Yikes, all that smoke. Does the smell get inside the BLT? I can’t imagine being cold in August. Here in the desert we don’t cool down really until late Sept or Oct.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s warmer this afternoon. All morning we had a biting wind. Yes, yesterday evening the smoke smell was inside, too. It was too warm then to keep all the windows closed. The weather is very changeable here. Still beautiful though.

  2. Oh, Bridget, you are too funny! Sue, you are good to see the other side of the picture with the smoke and haze. Always a joy to read your posts.

  3. hrumphhh! Grouchy old Geri would be walking over to that tresspassing dog’s owner with a poop bag in hand and inviting him/her to clean up his dog’s mess! Wow! That smoke is really bad! How far away are the fires??? Do you have an escape route planned in case you are forced to evacuate?? Of course, with wildfires, they aren’t too awfully predictable! Be safe!!! Love the Crew’s Point of View! Loved the “Ten Ass City” remark! Had me laughing so loud, Scotty had to come check me out!

  4. travlynshoes says:

    Hi rv sue and crew~ Been lurking for awhile learning from your experiences. Love your blog and pics.
    Hope to hit the road in the coming months, on a shoe string budget probably eating wish sandwiches lol. Take care.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m happy for you, travlynshoes! You are on your way to an exciting life! The shoestring budget can be doable. The best things are usually free anyway.

      A late welcome to you… Nice to hear from you. Good luck wrapping up your plans!

  5. Karen says:

    Hi, Sue, The fires that are burning are on the news every night. In Washington some 70 families have lost their homes. I do hope they are able to contain them soon. Apparently they’ve been started by lightening in the tinder dry regions.
    Bridget is quite the humorous girl. “Ten Ass City”,indeed! It must be a small town, Bridget. You probably won’t go there with Sue even though she loves to stay away from crowds.
    Even though we can’t see the mountains in the photos it is still interesting to see your camping area. Sorry to hear that the breathing is difficult for you all. I hope it clears soon for all concerned.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Karen! Today the air is much clearer. The wind is blowing steadily. Fortunately it has warmed up since this morning.

      How terrible it must be to see your home burned to the ground. That’s why I dare not complain about a little discomfort due to smoke.

  6. klbexplores says:

    Life in the Northwest…. The seasons are: Winter and Road Construction. At end of Road Construction Season are Forrest Fires but in between the scenery is wonderful! Nice how the fur kids get to say outrageous things ‘adults can’t get away with’ ! Their comments so suit there personalities!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I, of course, was aware that the West has a lot of forest fires. I never considered how much it impacts people living here. Vast areas shrouded in smoke, not to mention loss of property, livestock, and sometimes even human life.

  7. John says:

    Hi Sue, Remember where you are it has been known to snow in Aug. If I were you after you get your plate’s etc, I would be thinking about heading over to Portlandaround 500 miles, and than over to the coast and start heading down south.this time of year it’s great weather along the coast,,, That would put me in Q by Oct,, Just sharing my thinking,,Any way you go I know you will enjoy,,, safe travel’s

  8. Sherry says:

    I love the pictures of your site with no one around even if the views are smokey. Those cool temps sound great to those of us stuck in 90 degree Florida. But the smoke not so much. Does your Casita have AC that you could use to filter the air? Or not possible without an electric hook up?? So sorry about the fires for everyone including you and the crew. We had such a beautiful summer out there last year. BUT hopefully there are other summers to enjoy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, I’ve had a lot of beautiful summer, so these days are okay, spent reading books and online. The BLT has AC but it requires electric hook-up. We’re rescued from the smoke by the frequent winds. They seem to die down late in the afternoon so that’s when the smoke collects.

  9. Bob says:

    Sue, those fires are deadly serious. Be safe and well.

    Bridget, Ten Ass City is a bit of a misnomer. It’s actually one of the smallest towns in the whole country. Population ten. All its residents share the same family name after which the town was named. The 2010 census lists the occupations of every citizen. Big is a product tester for human growth hormones. Fat is a professional pie eater with aspiring olympic dreams. Smart is the infamous comedian recently featured on the Tonight Show. Dumb is an expiration date tester. Half is a porn star trying to overcome ADD. Bad is a bounty hunter. Candy runs a rodent rescue specializing in the ethical relocation of house mice. Lard is a pastry chef who suffers from OCD and takes his work home way too often. Hard is a body builder by day and male stripper nights and weekends. Lazy is unemployed. It’s no place for a good girl like you, Bridget. Don’t go there.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Very clever, Bob. I laughed the whole way through.

      I was curious which Bob you are, so I clicked on your name. You’re Kamper Bob! Nice to hear from you!

  10. Cathie Laurent says:

    Wow, that smoke looks ugly. Glad the wind was blowing in the right direction for you.
    Little did that dog know that his pooping was going to be forever in a blog to be seen by thousands!

  11. hobopals says:

    I think you’ll laugh at this. My brain has automatically assigned voices to Spikey and The Bridge. Spikey sounds like Jimmy Cagney and The Bridge like Betty White! It wasn’t something I thought about, it just happened as I was reading.

    I know you’re being very careful about the fires. I think I already told you that I stopped at ranger stations down through Idaho to get the go ahead to drive through. The last one I stopped at, the fella said, you can go but you have to leave right, now! He was right, the fire was right down to the road north of Stanley. Several days later when I was up around Bruce Meadows another had started, and the smoke made my throat a little scratchy. There was also a site that showed where the fires were. Keep an eye out because they move fast. I was amazed. Stay safe.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I think that’s wise to get the heads up on these fires before driving any distance. I’ll do that when I leave this area.

      That’s funny about the voices . . . your choices match their personalities, although Betty White is more worldly than little Miss Perfect, Bridget.

  12. Chinle says:

    Smoke down here too and it’s pretty bad (Moab, UT).

  13. john says:

    Well since you asked what it was like in Georgia, right now at 9.32 p.m. on 8/15/12 it is 74.1 with 91.1% humidity, we have had 0.63 inches of rain and hit a high of 88.8 degrees. This is all from the official UGA info ( As I am sure you remember, this is cool for GA in August I guess due to all the rains we have had. I sure with we could send some out west.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for the weather report, John. Yes, everything is relative . . . cool for GA is NOT cool in other places. I’m sure the firefighters would appreciate that rain coming this way.

  14. Sue, always enjoy your posts! The Canine Corner is so creative! Maybe you should consider writing a childrens book based on Bridget & Spike! Love those guys! Georgia could use some cool Montana weather! Yesterday the heat index was 100 in Savannah!! Be careful around the smoke!

  15. Marcia says:

    It’s mind-boggling to think about all these fires. This has been a very bad year for them and I’m sure very worrisome for many people out West, whether homeowners, who stand to lose the most, or campers, who if properly forewarned, can get the heck out of Dodge with their homes. Glad you are staying safe.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      These fires do give pause when considering buying a home or cabin in a remote part of a forest. Of course, the way these fires move so fast, towns and subdivisions are threatened, too.

  16. Bob says:

    Sue we have the smoke here in SW Colo also and the mtns 30 miles south (from Montrose) are virtually invisible now, doubt you can outrun it.

    We always have winter coats when camping in the mtns., makes no difference if August or not.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The fires are all around so, you’re right, there’s no outrunning the smoke. Even if I found an opening, the wind direction would turn! Right now (the 16th) we’re fine. It’s almost completely gone and the wind has stopped.

      One reason I tow with a van is I wanted my storage unit on wheels,too. I didn’t want the situation where I’m looking for my winter coat and then realizing it’s in a storage unit four states away!

  17. Connie & Mugsy says:

    We were darn cold today in North Dakota. It was only mid-60’s with wind gusts up to 35 mph and it kept threatening to rain, but didn’t. I couldn’t deal with the smoke though. I have a slight case of asthma and the one thing that bothers it is smoke.

    Saw two Casitas around town the last week or so. 🙂 Don’t know if they were passing through or if it is some of our hoards of migrating oil workers.

  18. cinandjules says:

    Hope the winds stay favorable for you regarding the smoke.

    Ah hah…trespasser caught in the act! He actually looks quite embarrased. Officer Spikey says….hhmmm trespassing, violation of the leash law, failure to pick up poop law..I have the where did that camp host go?

  19. cozygirl says:

    You may already know of these sites but nice mapping features that show disasters. Hoping those plates arrive soon and you can head out. May relief come soon for so many…we are faced with a drought in the Midwest…giving me a chance to practice my camper water usage for next year. No more leaving the faucet running to brush my teeth :O) and ~cozygirl

  20. bethers says:

    Does Spike have any magic words or phrases like “SNACK!” or “GO FOR A RIDE!”? A friend of mine has a pup that is prone to wander, but if she’s a reasonable distance away, she’ll come running when the magic word is spoken. I’ve also heard of someone who shows her dog a cookie, then says “BATH!” and the dog will go jump in the tub. Just a guess, but is Bridget’s favorite color PINK?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Your last question gave me a chuckle. I’m sure, if Bridget would share with me what her favorite color is, she would say pink!

      I’d be treading in dangerous territory if I said something like “Snack!” to get Spike to come, unless I came up with one! Actually he does have a word, it’s “Cheese!” and, believe me, when I say cheese, I make sure I have cheese for him.

    • hobopals says:

      Jack’s phrase for come is, “C’mere and let me see yor ears.” Strange but true. ::shrug::

  21. Mark says:

    Sue, I’m enjoying the Canine Corner. But I think “the truth be told” Miss goody two shoes sent Spike over to the camp host to check things out so she would not get in trouble. Poor Spike is just being taken advantage of by the women.

    Salina Ks

    • Chuck says:

      Mark, you have hit the nail on the paw with little Miss Hoity Toity. She gets poor Spike in more trouble but she is adorable….hopefully Sue won’t tell her, ’cause it’ll just go to her head. Hang in there Spike, the girls got you outnumbered, you can always come stay with us ! signed the Hound Herd

  22. Larry Graves says:

    Hey Sue,
    Always glad to get the notifier that there is a new post, gosh it’s one of my sanity savers to read about your adventures.. I am wondering if there is a way you could post the addresses of some of the other “full timers”?? We really enjoy keeping up with ALL Y’all but I’m having trouble finding some of the others you’ve mentioned in past posts..
    God Bless

  23. Mindy says:

    Oh Sue you and the crew will LOVE Oregon, there is so much to see be sure to give your self lots and lots of time. The list is sooooooo long of sites that are totally breath taking. I was born and raised in Oregon and miss it so much. A little green monster will be sitting on my shoulder as I follow you through my beloved Oregon. I hope to move home one day but got stuck in the crash and can’t unload my property. The day I do will be the day I buy my own Casita. Please email me if you want lots of stuff to do the the vast and vairied state of Oregon. You could spend years there and not see it all!

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