Joshua Tree National Park and Buddy finds a home!

Wednesday, November 14

I get a lighthearted feeling when the crew and I leave a camp in search of a new adventure.  Before leaving Sawtooth Canyon Campground, Ranger Jim tells me that Buddy, the pit bull of Owl Canyon, has found a home with the military service people of Ft. Irwin, north of Barstow.  They took him with them when they left the campground.  What good news!  Have a wonderful life, Buddy!

An early start has us in Joshua Tree National Park by noon.

After a stop in Twenty-nine Palms for gas and groceries and another stop at the Oasis Visitor Center (north entrance to Joshua Tree), we make our camp at Belle Campground ($10 regular, $5 senior pass), one of the park’s smaller campgrounds, which is why I choose it.

Turns out it’s very scenic and quiet, just how I like a camp.  The rocks remind me of Alabama Hills.  The crew and I reacquaint ourselves with familiar desert plants, including, of course, the Joshua Tree.

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  (The slideshow photos are scenes within Belle Campground and the road to it from the north entrance of the park.)

Thursday, November 15

This morning Spike, Bridget, and I are up early at 5:30.  We wait until our closest neighbor is up and about before going on a walk.  The park rules prohibit dogs from the trails, other than 100 feet from a campground.  We break camp and board the PTV.

It’s an overcast morning as we mosey through the park.

I keep our speed at 25-35 mph the entire way, enjoying the changing desert landscape.  A coyote runs across the road in front of us. I make a brief stop at the Cholla Garden.  Palo verde trees feather the roadside.  I’d like to come back here in springtime.

I’m posting this entry along the road at the south entrance of the park where I can pick up an internet connection.  I’m curious to see where we’ll camp next!



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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63 Responses to Joshua Tree National Park and Buddy finds a home!

  1. Mary Ann says:

    Postcard worthy photographs! Thank God Buddy has his very own people now 🙂

  2. Kim says:

    Yay Buddy! Yay Sue & Crew!

  3. Wow !
    What a beautiful location..
    Glad to hear that Buddy got a home. Any news on his scruffy little friend?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No news on Scruffy. I seem to be the only person who saw him at the campground. I suspect he may belong to a trailer set back in the desert from the road that leads to the campground. He has been seen in that area.

  4. Pat says:

    Glad Buddy has a good home. Is Salton Sea your next stop? I did the reverse of your 395 journey in June. Loved Joshua Tree. Safe travels…..

  5. John says:

    Hi Sue, Boy that looked like a nice campsite,, It’s great how you can leave a nice site, have no Idea
    where you are really going, and out of no where up pops another even nicer, ,,

    most of the time…. safe travels

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s what makes this way of life so much fun! Even if the next stop doesn’t turn out to be as nice… it’s different. And there’s another one up the road . . .

  6. geogypsy2u says:

    Glad to hear Buddy found a home.

    I could spend weeks at Joshua Tree.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I think if the Alabama Hills weren’t a recent experience, I would’ve been more inclined to stay another day or two. Since the crew and I couldn’t take hikes due to the 100 ft. rule, our activity was limited. I did see a gorgeous sunrise which I didn’t catch in time to photograph, and the long, scenic drive was memorable. It was fun to stroll the paths leading away from the campground, seeing the different vegetation, and, of course, snapping photos.

  7. Rita says:

    Good to hear Buddy found a home 🙂 Yes, do come back in spring….you’ll find valley after valley of kaleidoscopic of wild desert flowers including blooming trees & shrubs. We traveled thru Joshua Tree & Death Valley to see the wild flowers….breath taking!!

  8. cozygirl says:

    That camp site is ridiculously beautiful! Just when you think you’ve seen heaven…there you land another beautie!! Those trees remind me of aloe…wondering if they have any healing attibutes…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I did a search and found Joshua Tree Healing Salve, a skin softener. Joshua Trees are yucca. Yes, the campsites are pretty. That’s why I included some in the slideshow. They are close, but you don’t realize it because the big boulders separate the sites.

  9. Gayle Cooper says:

    I learned a good life lesson from you today. The unknown doesn’t have to be scary. It can be fun and interesting!

  10. Barbara says:

    Wow, great campsite, I can see myself there already, (if only we were already retired 😦 ).
    Great news about Buddy too, you, THE CREW ARE THE BEST, thanks for caring…
    Woofs n Paws

  11. jean says:

    You have such a good eye for photography. That campgound looked like somthing out a movie set.

  12. Dedra says:

    How do you find such Beautiful sites, at a low price?
    I plan on going to New Mexico in the spring and would
    love to find sites like that, is it hard?
    You and your crew are great!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Dedra,

      No, I don’t find it hard in the West to find good, low-priced or free campsites. I’d give you some suggestions for New Mexico except when I explored that state I didn’t have solar power yet and I was a very new newbie. I bought the annual pass and camped in state parks with hook-ups for an additional $4. I hopscotched from state park to state park which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was an easy transition from stationary home owner to frequent boondocker. I think New Mexico is a fascinating place. Have fun!

  13. earthdancerimages says:

    WoW! Looks like a great place to camp! We might zigzag over there on our way to of rfrom Quartzite this year! Buddy is so blessed to have found a home! I just hope it is his forever home!
    Photos were great, loved them! Belly rubs for the crew from us! Geri

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      A few of the readers here recommend Jumbo Rocks, too, which is another campground in the park, a lot larger than Belle. Being a photographer, you’d have plenty to do!

  14. Judie says:

    Thanks so much for the wonderful news about Buddy! Prayers for Scruffy. I agree with the comments above, u have a talent for finding the best campgrounds at an affordable price….and such beauty. Money could not buy what u r showing us. Continued safe travels to u and the crew!

  15. Sherry says:

    That’s a fabulous looking campsite. So sorry you can’t stay and stay to enjoy that perfect spot. The photographs are amazing. You and the crew are on a rescue roll. Bet all lost dogs wish they could run into you two and have the luck of Timber and Buddy rub off on them.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Sherry,

      I could’ve stayed at Belle Campground a long time. I’m not in a hurry. Like I wrote to another reader, we were recently at Alabama Hills (rocks) and dogs can’t take hikes more than 100 ft. from a campground in Joshua Tree NP. Plus no internet! Aaack! I have to blog!

  16. cinandjules says:

    Great news on Buddy. So glad it worked out. Should someone let Eldad know that Buddy was adopted….I’m sure it would be a relief to him.

    Stunning photos…I bet seeing it in person is absolutely gorgeous.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The camp hosts at Owl Canyon exchanged phone numbers with Eldad and promised to let him know.

      About seeing in person . . . I was thinking the same thing on our scenic drive through the park… No way I could capture the feeling in a photo, especially the expansive views at the south end as you drop in elevation.

  17. Jeff says:

    Sue, That might be the most beautiful neatest campground / spot I have ever seen. I love it. Thanks for always doing a great job with the story telling and pictures.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Jeff,

      You’re welcome. I appreciate the compliment.

      Belle Campground is very pretty, but I still hold Brooks Lake’s Pinnacle Campground (western Wyoming) as the most beautiful I’ve seen so far.

  18. Carol says:

    Ihave been waiting for final Newark on Buddy, so happy for brother -in-law worked Ft Irwin, while My sis was teaching in Barstow.
    lots of good stuff from the “Rez” there at the pawn inBarstow, and on the Base.

  19. Barb says:

    Wonderful News! YAY BUDDY!!! YAY PTV TEAM!!!!! Your photos and dialogue are great! I love it! Thanks so much!!!

  20. Thank you for sharing the update on Buddy. I’m so glad he came into your life to guide him to a new life.
    Beautiful location. Enjoy!!!!

  21. gingerda says:

    I am going to repeat what everyone else has said, you find the best campsites!! I probably wouldn’t even know where to start looking.
    So happy Buddy found a home. It makes me think he might not of been out there long, cause he was so sweet, someone else would of picked him up. (I hope I said that right).

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Ginger!

      I didn’t know much about finding campsites when I started out with the BLT. It’s the kind of thing you learn as you go. The internet is essential. I don’t know how people did this before.

  22. mockturtle says:

    Great news about Buddy! Bless you for being instrumental in finding him a home. 🙂 Joshua Tree looks a place I would love but haven’t seen so far. It’s on my list!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The weather is perfect this time of year. Warm enough to wear shorts, although not necessary (high 70s to mid 80s) and cool enough at night for good sleeping (high 40s to low 50s).

  23. Dave says:

    Glad your enjoying JT. I stayed at the same campground in January a couple of years ago. I’ve stayed at Jumbo Rocks before but this last time I couldn’t believe how cold the wind chill was. I couldn’t wear enough to keep warm when outside. Stayed only one night while on my way to Quartzsite.

  24. Edie says:

    I visited Joshua Tree last Spring…….my son-in-law was stationed at 29 Palms Marine base. I spent a week with him, my daughter and grand daughter. Beautiful area! Loved the National Park, unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. We visited the Oasis Visitor’s center also, I’m going to attempt to copy the copper Joshua Trees that a local artist has for sale there, very cool! My favorite part of the park was the Keys View……got to see the Salton Sea in the distance, and the San Andreas fault. Very impressive! Would have loved to have camped, but that’s hard to do with my Glamper still back in Indiana! Love your blog……nice break from my busy life. Thanks!

  25. Hazel says:

    Incredible rock formations and such an unusual campsite! You are sure finding more interesting camping than staying in cookie-cutter RV parks.

    Sue, we’ve finally started on our 5 1/2 month winter snowbird trip! Day 1 from Ontario to Pennsylvania and WREN towed well, although I know I packed too much. I was wondering if you could tell us your typical/average gas mileage? The price of gas is high and expected to go higher this winter. Thanks.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ve only calculated mpg during a short period when we went across southeastern Wyoming. I think I came up with 3 mpg figures. They ranged from 12 mpg. to 15 mpg. which I consider good, as that was towing the BLT in various conditions from stop-n-go to mountain grade to easy, flat interstate. The specs on a 2005 Chevy Express 1500 are 15-17 mpg, which is probably in optimum conditions without towing a trailer.

  26. Wayne Scott says:

    Another great looking camp. And super pictures, thanks.
    Great news about/for Buddy.

  27. Penny says:

    What a perfect spot to spend a week or so. Beautiful sky, interesting “trees”, looks very peaceful. Great slideshow! So glad to hear that Buddy has a home now and not munching off the campers at the park. 🙂

  28. LuAnn says:

    We really enjoyed Joshua Tree NP. Great slideshow and wonderful news about Buddy. I know this has been weighing on your mind.

  29. Gabrielle Becker says:

    Hi, Sue: I love the campsite; it made me think of Bedrock and I expected to see Fred and Barney drive up in their rock mobile! Your site was a perfect “pre-historic” plot; all you needed was the sabre toothed tiger to put out for the night. And a dinosaur or two.
    The vegetation there is awsome; I can just imagine what it would be like in the spring. Can’t wait for the next pictures; with winter beginning here and me with my first cold of the season, I look forward to scenes from a nice warm climate.
    Gabrielle and Penny

  30. Rita says:

    Thought I’d let you know….after missing a couple of blog entries by Wagonteamster, I began to worry cuz he was driving up Highway 95 which is very dangerous. There was no way to warn him of the danger cuz he left no space for comments. Sure enough, today he let us know he was in a fender-bender. Thank heavens horses & rider are okay. Damages to the wagon and trailer tho. The team is ending their journey. Arizona highways are dangerous because they have no shoulder or very little shoulder and the traffic moves at a fast pace…we have lots of crazy drivers.

  31. Jack says:

    I know this area, its beautiful and most of the time very quiet. Hard to believe it was used by horse thieves to hide their goods.

  32. Rob says:

    So glad buddy has found a home. U have a caring heart. Love your blog and photos.
    Cheers rob

  33. libertatemamo says:

    AWESOME news about Buddy. Lovely new campsite you found too. Love Joshua Tree!

  34. Nan says:

    If you go over the interstate at the South end and continue south on that road, there seems to be some really cool boondocking sites. When we were there in 2010, I wanted to have a look-see, but we were always on our way either to the grocery store or Anza Borrego or something else like that!

  35. Elizabeth says:

    So glad the dog found a home!! It should be a good ending for such a friendly dog!!

  36. Cari says:

    Thanks for letting us know about Buddy – I’m happy for him! I’ve never been to this part of California, and I enjoyed your slideshow. Another spot to add to my ‘list.’ Stay safe, Sue, and thank you again for taking us along with you!

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