The cool mornings here in the high desert of south-central Oregon have the crew and me reluctant to come out from under the covers.
Bridget, however, has an urgent need to go. I go out first and lift her out. Being a good girl, she does her business and we’re both back inside in a flash. It’s about six a.m.
About an hour later Spike has to go.
Since we’ve been camped at Williamson River National Forest Campground, it’s been nearly empty. One reason I like that is I can let the crew out to do their first-potty-of-the-day without having to stand out there with them. I watch through the window. Well, this morning I let Spike out . . .
You know what’s next.
He nonchalantly strolls where I can’t see him from the window. Uh-oh. He’s up to something. I throw on my jacket, slip into my sandals, and jump out of the BLT. Sure enough, I see Spike sprinting down the campground lane toward the tenters who are camped almost half-way around the loop.
“Oh, for crying out loud, Spike!” I mutter under my breath.
I chase after him. My pajama bottoms are a little long, causing me to hobble to keep from tripping. Wild bed hair adds to my look.
I can’t call Spike to stop. One, because he doesn’t hear well. Two, because he wouldn’t mind me if he could hear me, and Three, because it’s only seven o’clock and the tenters aren’t up yet.
By the time I catch up with Spike, he’s sniffing the outside of their tent.
He looks at me as if to say, “What are YOU doing here?” I grab the little trespassing criminal and carry him back home. My feet are freezing. No going back to bed now. I dump Spike into the BLT and start to fix the percolator for coffee.
Spike begins to bark that bark I know so well.
Translation: “Stop what you’re doing this very instant and serve me.”
Bridget’s sleepy face appears from under the covers. I place her on the floor and pour out some kibble.
“Well, good morning, guys. I guess another day has begun.”
P.S. Here’s the photos I promised in yesterday’s post about the Williamson River float. The really good pics were taken by Bill (the ones that are date-stamped). I’m including some of mine, too.
Williamson River Float
I SO enjoy reading about your travels. You are such a great writer! Quite envious of all the great campsites you’ve found. I’m still one year away from being a snow bird, but until then, I can live vicariously through your blog. Hope our paths cross someday!
Nice to hear from you, Barb! Thanks for the compliment on my writing. People remark how good I am at finding great campsites. Actually it isn’t difficult at all because there are so many wonderful places to camp. I’m happy to share our travels with you.
I enjoyed your blog post and the pictures were wonderful. What program did you use to make the slide show? There is no better thing to do in life than follow your dream and live free.
WordPress has a slideshow feature. Thank you for the compliment on my blog and photos, Bea.
Looks like ya’ll are having the time of your lives! THAT is what life is all about! Loved the slide show! Great photographs !!!
Sue, You must be having a GREAT time, your smile is ear to ear!!!!! Great pix and the ‘Adventures of Spikey’ or should it be misadventures ??? Chuck
That float was a lot of fun. I love being around water.
Ha that Spike knows when he can take advantage. Clever guy but none too fun for you in the early morning. Excellent rendition of the story, I could just see it all, having been through similar episodes camping with beagles who liked to run off and pretend they couldn’t hear.
GREAT pictures of Bridge and Spike…and of you all too of course. How in the world is Sammy holding onto her spot not inside but on top of the kayak? Gotta love those beagles. Sure looks like a fantastic day for you 7!
Hi Sherry… Sammy can stand on the kayak because of the “dry-deck” that Bill and Ann put on it. I’m not sure what it’s called or how it’s spelled. People put it on their shower floors… some kind of rubber-grip mat. Glad you liked the photos.
posted earlier, but I think got buried….
Thanks, Sue. Have been reading all of your blogs over the last week or so. I am 51, and also a teacher. I am sadly estranged from my daughter and grandchildren. I am counting the days until my full-time rv life. Thank you for the inspiration, guidance, wisdom and courage to know that it will work out. Kisses to Spike and Bridget from my Roxie, the Boston terrier.
I apologize for your comment going into moderation. I didn’t see it right away.
I’m sorry you experience the pain of losing family. It takes time to adjust, but it can be done. Life is too short to lament what could’ve been or should’ve been. I hope you can move forward and live your life free and happy.
Thanks, Sue. You may think your blog is just day to day chatter and unimportant, but for some it is much, much more. I still have to teach for eight more years, but your “little journal” brings a smile to my face every day and gets me one step closer. As teachers we are told that we never know when we might inspire and make a difference; sometimes it is the smallest gestures. You have helped me. I still don’t know if I could live in a 17 footer though…. 🙂
I’m glad you have Roxie. I don’t know what I’d do without my crew. Thanks for writing. I appreciate your sincerity.
Aw, 17-feet is plenty of room! I say that as I sit here looking at my laundry basket practically in my face!
DeAnne, Read your remarks to Hubby…just want to let you know that we are in a similar situation…no war going on, just a lot of distance. We are trying to go on with our lives. Hubby retired earlier this year and we may end up living in an RV next year sometime. We wonder if there is not a lot of folks in our same situation too…there is no reason to be any place or another, at least not long term. And we certainly do not want to be a bother to our children or any kin for that matter. I think of this part of our lives as “our next life”, in a sense. We have some goals we want to accomplish (learn a new language…supposed to forestall Alzheimers…heh, hope it works!!) So in a couple weeks we are headed for the next half year or so anyway, to a place that has classes reasonable. Then we shall see what happens next.
Thanks Elizabeth. No war here either–just no contact in over a year. I have a grandson I’ve never met. Life’s been a little rough for me the last 3-4 years–divorce after 23 years and in bankruptcy due to that. But, I know there is a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, and it does involve an rv!
Nice to see some photos of you having fun. Spike the trespasser….hah that was funny. Spike taking advantage of the situation. For some reason…they ALL forget their names when they are up to no good!
How Bridget’s leg doing?
Bridget is doing remarkably well. She puts weight on her leg. I even caught her kicking backwards with it, you know, how dogs do after they poop. She hops on three legs occasionally and has a slight limp which I hope disappears with time. If it doesn’t, I don’t think she cares. Nice of you to ask . . .
Hah….we call that the backhoe maneuver….which is better than the dreaded choo choo maneuver! Good I’m glad it’s working itself out! Give her a hug!
How funny,my female rattie has always done that and we call it “wiping your hinney”! She sure can stir up a dust cloud when it’s as dry as it’s been here lately.
Great Post!!! I love to kayak and am getting a smaller one so that I can take it on the road… I have always on lakes only as I am terrified of rivers and what lays beyond my view. How do you know if the river is safe…. Any hints to pass on? These pictures point out what I have been missing. I am so glad you aren’t missing them!
I asked Bill and Ann how they knew that section of the Williamson was safe and they said they walked it on land first. I guess you could ask locals, too. I want a kayak like theirs.
I’m happy you enjoyed the post.
Spike’s adventure of sneaking off down to the tent people reminds me of our doberman, Rocky, years ago when we were camping. We had tent people close by us, partying until the early hours of the morning and no camp host to shut them up. While we were packing up to move on, Rocky snuck off and went over to their campsite and lifted his leg and marked his spot all over their tent and back packs.(they were still sleeping) I felt bad for about half a second. Pay Back!!
Loved the pictures.
Way to go, Rocky! Glad you enjoyed the photos, Ginger.
Hi Sue, I am becoming an avid follower of yours. I look forward to seeing rvsueandcrew in my inbox. I am a kayaker and found your blow up float very interesting. I don’t think my two labs, Bella and Riley, could fit without sinking us all. I copied a couple of your photos to send on to the gals in my kayaking group, to show them your float and how Rocky stands on top of your friend’s yak. The Williamson River is just beautiful. Someday I hope I get a chance to paddle it. I too, have posted a couple of times prior to this one. I love how you write. My Mom lives with us, and now she and I read your posts together! Thanks for sharing.
What a nice comment!
My inflatable is good for up to 500 lbs, including gear.
Thank you for “becoming an avid follower’ and for sharing my blog with your mother. “Hi, Mom!”
I wish I was there. I just started following you a while back and I love traveling with you (in my mind) Love the float trip and that your dogs get to go with you. Thanks for sharing.
You’re welcome, Nancy. It’s great that you are following along with the crew and me. We’re headed for the desert for winter so there aren’t many, if any, more floats in our near future…. but next summer we’re sure to get out there again! Especially now that Spike knows the program.
Where in the desert are you headed? I live in the high desert of So Cal. We head to Quartzsite Az after the first of the year for the Rock and Gem shows. I use to lead historical 4×4 trips in the East Mojave. I know quite a bit about most of the deserts around us including the low desert, Salton Sea, Niland, Slab City…I could go on but………
Will he remember next summer you think?? Heehee…older dogs sometimes are forgetful like old people!!
Do you have life jackets for Spike and Bridget? Or was the water shallow enough not to worry about? I know dogs can swim but not for long periods of time and I always worried about me Ratties!
Hi, Karen… Yes, both Spike and Bridget have life jackets. In fact you can see them in the boat in some of the pictures. Bridget’s is red and Spike’s is yellow. Bridget likes hers okay but Spike acts paralyzed when I put his on him. The nut.
We didn’t put PDFs on the dogs because the water was shallow enough that we could do a rescue if necessary and the river isn’t very wide, so they could swim to shore . . . as Spike did.
From your past comments I can just see Spike swimming to shore, he seems to be a regular water dog!
Love the kayak pictures. We would love to get one.
As for that rascal Spike, have you considered getting a light weight rope or chain to hook him to for those early morning outings? Might be a good idea for his safety and your feet!
Spike can back out of any collar or harness I’ve ever seen, so tying him out would never work. The head on a rat terrier is smaller than the circumference of their neck making it easy for them to slip out. I have to watch him all the time, unless he’s in the pen.
I love the kayak pictures, too. It was so much fun… hope you get one.
U and the crew bring joy to my heart and a smile to my face! Enjoy ur posts so much. And those 2 sweet angels u have as traveling companions are something else. I know u probably get tired of hearing it but thx again for letting us “come along”. For health reasons I won’t get to make it to Oregon but I feel as if I’ve been there by reading ur posts and enjoying ur videos and pics. Give those 2 little darlings a pat from me and Killer.
It’s a pleasure to hear you enjoy coming along with us. I never tire of that!
Spike may be a handful but, I agree, I have two sweet angels. Once they relaxed on the float, they got very relaxed. It was funny looking at their sleepy faces resting on the sides of the Blue Blob as we drifted along.
I’m sorry you won’t make it to Oregon. I wish you good health, Judie. Thanks for writing. Regards to Killer!
To Spikey: Doesn’t Sue realize that all you’re doing is getting her xtra xercize in the morning???
To Bridget: Glad you’re leg is getting better. We almost apologize for thinking it was an act, but bein’ as one of us may use sometime…..the Hound Herd
Spikey: Sometimes rvsue just doesn’t get it.
Bridget: That’s okay. I’m cool.
Hi, Sue: love the comment about the Dobe marking. We camped this summer in a commercial campground; first two days there were parties going on a few sites down until well past 1 am. Even the kids were still running around at that time. Never thought to let the dogs out in the early morning to run around their campsite and bark!! Some people can be so inconsiderate. The camp “warden” got so many complaints that they moved them, but not after they had ruined two nights of our four night camp. I know now why you pick such wonderful remote sites. Sometimes I wondered what you do all day?? No neighbours to talk to? Now I know that wonderful peace and quiet in God’s great wilderness is the perfect place to be. Soon, soon, I will be there too! Not too close, though!! Gotta have our “space”.
Gabrielle and Penny (future full-timers)
You’re a nicer person than I am, Gabrielle. I wouldn’t have made it past 11 p.m. without asking them to lower the noise. And if they didn’t, I’d make them miserable… I’m thinking garbage can lids at 5 a.m. maybe….
BTW, just this morning I was thinking there never seems to be enough hours in the day to do all the things I want to do! I wish you and Penny the best . . . for now and for the future as fulltimers.
Wonderful photos of your paddle on the Williamson. Question… why are two of the boats tied together? I’m in Eastern Colorado hoping to get into Kansas tonight and tomorrow find a place to kayak… number 41 of the lower 48 states. Nice to be back on the road again but the wind is really being annoying and I feel a nap coming on. Almost lost my bike awhile back.. when it jumped off the bike rack… but saved it. Paddle on everyone.
Ooh, what a close call with your bike! The kayaks are tied together because it was too much work paddling the Blue Blob upstream with Bridget sitting in the back with me, which made the front lift up. So Ann’s paddling gave me a boost. Also I was sitting much lower in the water than Bill and Ann. The river is shallow. Sometimes I’d get stuck on a bar of river stones.. Ann would pull on the rope to get me over the bar. You’re very observant!
Once the crew were in the front and we were going downstream, the rope wasn’t needed.
Ahhh. Well, probably only another kayaker would notice. I’ve only had a rope on mine once, when I needed a tow to get back to shore after paddling over seven, maybe eight miles with no rest. I thought it was about 3 miles… so a boater offered to tow me the last mile, mile 1/2. I was SO SO glad. But glad you got that worked out and were with others. I may kayak Kansas today.
I have been reading your blog for about a year now and I thoroughly enjoy it. It’s like an ongoing novel! My husband and I started living full time in our 23′ TT in May 2011. We hope to head out west in a couple of years.
I’m so glad you enjoy my blog. You’re gonna love the West. My blog doesn’t do it justice. It’s incredible!
I lost my job last December. After 6 months of not being able to get out of my chair I rallyed and got to work packing up my 3200 square foot house in the North East Kingdom in Vermont. With no job I have to sell my beautiful house with the beautiful view. 😦 Then it came to me!! It was now time to become a full timer! Since that time I have been online LEARNING and reading your blog has been a big help. Your pictures are fantastic! Unfortunately I cannot do anything until my house sells so I wait, and wait and wait…not a good waiter…AT ALL! But it does give me time to learn about buying an RV (was always a tent camper). For 20 years now I have threatened to run away in my “Chinook” and now I can do it….bad news is there are not many Chinooks for sale! So I am learning something new every day. Next week I am going RV shopping so I can pick the sales person’s brain about what to look for in the Used RV. Thank you soooo much for your inspiration Sue.
Good for you, Krystina! You’re making lemonade! Your comment made me think of the old saying, When one door closes, another door opens. Wow! Once you get your RV and hit the road, your whole life is going to open up into something you never can imagine… something wonderful! Thank you for writing. May that house sell soon so you can get out on the road. Best wishes.
Love lemonade! When I first lost my job everyone said “everything happens for a reason” which I could not imaine at the time. Now I know that I lost my job so I could FINALLY get on the road and no longer be tied to anything….wow….it is a good feeling to finally know what my plan B will be. Thanks for your encouragement Sue.
Krystina… good luck with your “transformation.” Most of the people I’ve met on the road with a yearning to travel… are not good at “waiting” but I believe the things worth waiting for are just the very best. Sue is right about “another door opening” and I too sense you are going to really love this lifestyle. (There are things that happen out here that hurt you… like my son having surgery tomorrow in the Northwest and me heading the opposite direction – but I’ve spent too much time living my life for others and will continue southeastward and be true to myself and my dreams.) Best wishes. Here is a thought… you don’t have to “buy” in Vermont. You could fly to the southwest and rent a small RV and come to Quartzsite in the winter to check out lots of other options and meet other vandwellers, etc.
Thank you for your encouraging words Charlene. Tell me how your son is doing….it must be hard to be that far away. You are so right about buying in Vermont I am in the Northeast Kingdom and there is only one dealer anywhere near here. When the time comes to buy, I think your suggestion would be perfect. Any ideas on how to get rid of ALL your “stuff”….I have a 3200 sq ft house, a three car garage and a small barn. Overwhelming! Thanks Charlene.
1) I would set a small space aside – empty a bedroom and then put in there everything you think you want to keep with you on the road. Begin living out of that space.
2) If you have things to give away to family/kids/friends, set a date and tell them to pick the stuff up by that date.
3) Collect all trash and haul it away or get someone else to.
4) Hire an auctioneer for a % and let him do the rest.
Then you go back and tweak #1. Load up and take off.
My son is fine, thanks. Had him up walking today and so far he is very happy with results… but then he is on pain meds so what does he know?
Oh, you might also have some things you want to keep, like photos, etc. My plan was to scan all that this summer. So much for plans.
Thanks Charlene!! Never thought about hoeing out in the way you have just suggested. One room at at time! It seems to make it manageable. Yeah…today I have a showing…praying that the house will sell!!! Thanks again for your suggestions. Glad to hear you son is doing ok.
You are welcome Krystina. Sometimes it is easier to explain it after you have gone through it, but I sure remember what a mess it was in my brain while “going through it.” I’m in AR now at Beaver Lake getting ready to put in. Stopped at Cabelo’s this morning and replaced my kayaking gloves which had shrunk so much they were cutting off my circulation. Sun came out this morning and that makes me feel happy. From here I’ll head up to MO and kayak there next and maybe catch a show at Branson… and from their directly s.e. to panhandle of FL, kayaking AL and MS on the way. Folks, that will leave 4 states to paddle… AL, MS, LA and TX. Countdown with me 4… 3…2….1…. I just can’t fricking believe this. (of course, not counting AK and HI right now). I’m getting really excited about this. So today, it’s exploring cliffs and caves along the Beaver Lake shoreline. http://swankiewheels.blogspot.com/2012/10/oklahoma42nd-state-paddle-oct-6-2012.html
Beautiful photos Sue !! the doggys look either bored or tired by it all ! LOL…