A flying dog house under a full moon

Our little home-on-wheels is struck by strong wind in the early hours of Christmas Day.

No damage, thank God.  I had no idea such winds were on the way, so I leave outside the camp chair, dog bed, and canine condo.  Around two o’clock Christmas morning, Spike wakes up and looks out the back window from his spot on the bed.  The full moon illuminates the desert, so I take a look, too.

At that moment, the canine condo becomes airborne!

Quickly I jump into my shoes and out the door.  By this time, the condo has a pretty good head start on me.  The dang thing is repeatedly bouncing about ten feet in the air, end over end, as it flies across the flat, barren desert that stretches toward the railroad tracks.

I take off after it!

Spike inspects the canine condo for damage.

Spike inspects the canine condo for damage.

Right when I realize I’m not gaining on the speeding dog house, it catches on a lone bush.  I sprint toward it.  Gotcha!

Leaning into the wind that wants to rip the condo out of my hands, I head back toward home. The full moon smiles down on me and the stars twinkle as if holding back giggles.

I open the PTV’s side door and throw the runaway dog house onto the bench seat, along with the camp chair.

The antenna pole sways in the wind!

The wind howls and the BLT rocks.  I can’t sleep.  Instead my eyes are riveted on the PVC pole outside the back window.  I never would’ve thought PVC could bend that much without breaking.  Twice I go outside and make sure the bumper mount is holding it securely.  By morning “all is bright, all is calm.”  I find the dog bed in a wash nearby.

1-P1010916  So that’s how RVSue and her canine crew usher in Christmas Day 2012!

The crew and I will move again soon, maybe tomorrow.

1-P1010919It all depends on my mood and ambition level when we roll out of bed.  We won’t be going to Ajo right away.  Online weather sites forecast overnight lows in the 30s for Ajo.  In the Yuma area, where we are now, the overnight lows are in the 40s.

I haven’t turned on our Wave3 catalytic heater yet this season!  I always close up the BLT right before sundown to keep the day’s heat inside.  Casitas are pretty snug little trailers.

Our next camp will still be somewhere around Yuma.

(I’m not telling yet!)  Yuma seems to be the warmest place in proximity.  All this free camping and hanging around the BLT really helps the budget!

The sunny side of life with the crew

The sunny side of life with the crew

It’s fun to sit on the sunny side of the BLT with Bridget and Spike, a Benchmark atlas in my lap, dreaming of the places we’ll go in the warmer months of 2013.


Canine Corner:  “You can have my fifteen minutes” by Bridget

Bridget hides from the cameraI’m not a publicity hound like Spike.  When RVSue gets out her camera, you can count on Spike to walk in front of her.  You ever notice how he’s usually in the photos that have nothing to do with him?

Take this post, for instance.  RVSue’s talking about the dog bed in the wash.  There’s no reason for Spike to be in that photo, but, sure enough, there he is.  What an ego that boy has.  I think he sneaks away a lot so he can get his face on a milk carton.  Really.

As for me, I don’t seek the limelight.  I think it’s unbecoming!


About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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84 Responses to A flying dog house under a full moon

  1. Daisy says:

    Merry Christmas!
    We spoke to Rusty and Timber and they are doing well!


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Same to you, Daisy, and to your family. I was on the phone with Rusty, too. He wants people who sent him gifts to know that the arthritis in his hands keeps him from writing thank you notes. He appreciates the gifts very much.

      Nice to hear from you, Daisy!

  2. Ilse Werdermann says:

    Dear Bridget,
    You have to put up with a lot from Spike, and I admire your patience with him. You are a real Lady! I love Canine Corner and I’m glad you took your turn to post.

  3. Pat says:

    The desert wind is always fun…..I have chased many objects across yards and open desert. Enjoy the sun and your peaceful piece of desert.

  4. Paul Miller says:

    Hey Lady

    Maybe you’ve been out in the dessert to long , dogs don’t talk (well mine do, but people tell me they don’t) .

    I enjoy reading about your packs travels.
    Paul …Ca.

  5. placestheygo says:

    So glad you survived the wind and rescued everything.

    Had to laugh out loud at Bridget’s commentary…love it!

  6. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    The wind comes from a giant who when he sleeps in his ice cave up north, creates the wind when he snores. When he gasps for air hurricanes are created and when he yells in his sleep Typhones make the seas rock and roll. The desert winds are off shoots of his breath known as Zephers. I hope Santa gave him a CPAP machine for Xmas.

  7. Merry Christmas to you and your crew Sue. As I read the start of your windy adventure, I got the familiar itch I get when thinking about RV’ing. As long as we’ve battened down the hatches, I love listening to windy nights from the coziness of our RV bed.

    We’ve been home just a few days from our last RV trip, with about a week to go before we head out again, and I’m getting the old familiar itch to get the heck out of Dodge (our home). I love that hitting the road never gets old!

  8. Timber n' me says:

    Yo Bridget, You sweet girl, don’t worry bout gettin yer pictur takin’, it’s ok,,,,,,, uh oh oh my human’s comin’ back from getin firewood,,,,it’s cold n’ winddddddyyyyyyyyyy here,,,,,,,, what,,,oh nuthin, jus lookin at th screen,,,,,gotta goooooo

  9. Susan in Dallas says:

    Is it my imagination or does Spike look almost gray instead of white in the last picture? Good move Bridget, getting you in a photo is much more difficult when you are under something!

  10. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Oh dear! Glad there wasn’t any damage to the canine condo, PTV, BLT or the Wilson antenna.

    You had me laughing…………again! At least you had shoes…not sandals like before!

    Bridget you are so darling….peeking out from under the PTV. Boys will be boys…..unbecoming is right…you’re such a lady!

    30-40’s would be a heatwave. Currently it’s 12 degrees w/no wind. Expecting 2 inches of snow an hour thru the night…can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

    Have a wonderful night.

  11. Rita says:

    Love the way Bridget peeks out even tho she’s camera shy (maybe she’s afraid of something being pointed at her).

  12. CT says:

    I think it was Santa & his reindeer flying really low over the BLT that caused the wind. Everybody wants to get a closer look at that Casita!!

  13. cathieok says:

    How did you did your solar panel fair in the wind?

  14. EmilyO from KS says:

    Am “practicing” to be a RVSue someday. Son is here for holidays and being he is over 6 ft I let him sleep in my bed and I sleep in the trailer. Our nights have been just above “0” and I sleeping snug as a bug in a rug inside Eggie wrapped up like you have described in you past postings. Oh, I have a little heater helping too. Thanks Sue.

  15. fossildreamer says:

    Looks like the Yuma area is best bet to honker down till the temps rise a little,, and like you know there are a lot of great places to call home for a day or more, Have a great NEW YEAR and safe travels… Now if I can only get Rattlesnake Joe’s thought’s about how that wind starts and stops out of my head !!

  16. geogypsy2u says:

    Oh how I grew to dislike those desert winds.
    I’m thinking south of the equator for next year’s entire winter. Barely went past 40 in days and nights, oh thank goodness for my electric blanket.

  17. Alison - PNW says:

    Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore. We must be over the rainbow.

  18. Jack says:

    The pond????

  19. mockturtle says:

    Yeah, wind can come on suddenly. I never leave the awning or anything else out in the desert. Had a rubber doormat fly nearly a quarter of a mile in Yuma.

    I’m very interested in your Wave3. Since I plan to buy an Olympian Wave heater, I’m trying to figure out if I need a Wave3 or a Wave6 in my 24′ Class C. Tioga George ditched his Wave6 for a 3 and finds it adequate. But, then, he winters in southern Mexico. What say you?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      To be honest, I don’t really know what would be best for you. Having said that, I’d lean toward a Wave6 only because it’s better to have too much than too little and you could always run the Wave 6 on low. Don’t base your decision entirely on me because I’ve never seen or felt a Wave 6.

    • Ed says:

      I have a Wave 6 in my 24′ Class C that I find adequate, I don’t think a Wave 3 would be. As Sue says you can run it at Low, Med or High.

  20. Cherylyn says:

    Like you I’m not partial to wind but I just shoveled another 6″ of snow so I’m ready to trade. I have been re-reading your earlier posts, helps keep me motivated to keep sorting/ tossing until summer/fall when I can hit the road. Like the previous post I had a question about the Wave heater. I can’t find it right off but I think I remember that you didn’t put a furnace in the BLT. Is there a reason that the Wave installed is better than having a furnace? I don’t have my casita yet so am planning and taking notes:)
    Wishing you a wind free day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s not a matter of what’s better. It’s what kind of heat you want. I like the heat of a glowing, catalytic heater, rather than blown air. I’m also more noise sensitive, probably, than most people. I didn’t want to hear a furnace. A Wave is quiet. Also the furnace would take up the under-sink cabinet space. As for cost, I think they’re about the same when you have to pay someone to install the Wave heater… maybe a little less for the Wave..

      • Ed says:

        When I bought me ‘new to me’ Class C one of the first things I did was take out the furnace. Although I do not boondock, If I did the furnace is a BIG electric draw and can almost drain batteries overnight. So it is not a question of ‘best’ it is a question of what is best for you.

  21. Reine says:

    Your post brought back memories. Year or so ago in Davis Mountains State Park we came back from dinner at the lovely restaurant after a cold front had blown in and found the patio rug in the gulley behind the Casita and our plastic crate step behind the Casita. Fortunately we didn’t have a canine condo to chase. But it’s so cozy to be INSIDE out of the wind when it’s blowing. Makes me really glad I’m not in a tent.

    FYI, we had a white Christmas here in Plano, TX and the high today (26th) was 30 on our back porch. Streets are clear now but still snow on the grass and bushes. It makes a nice contrast to our Christmas lights.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I never knew Texas could be so cold and snowy. it certainly is a state of extremes.

      The canine condo was like a balloon flying… The wind got inside it and pushed it along. i never would’ve caught it if not for that little bush being in the right place.

  22. stan watkins says:

    I wanted you to know. I am taking my wife and kids to Borrego springs tommorrow to find the sculptures and camp all do to your blog. Thanks a bunch. Wife really wants to go to Joshua tree but a full 10 degrees colder up there. Great to have an alternative. Stan

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, isn’t that nice to know. I hope you and your wife have a wonderful time! I appreciate you telling me. You’ll probably have some wind to deal with. Hope it calms down during the day.

  23. DeAnne from TN says:

    Hmmm…wind like that puts another “tic mark” in the installed solar panel vs. the portable panel. My research continues…

    • Timber n' me says:

      HI DeAnne, my solar panel is mount’d on a lazy suesan, so when it’s up i can catch th’ sun from sunrise to sunset. it’s mount’d on th’ roof by my door so’s to reach it n’ turn it, when i lay it down, it’s held in place with a bungee cord so it won’t swivel when we’er goin’ down th’ road,,,,,,,,,,,,jus a Idea for ya, n’ it’s out of th’ way,,,,i ‘m runin everything i have on a 43 watt @ 17.5 volts @ 2.48 amps in cluiding this laptop. n’ i have a Nu-Way ice shanty woodstove in here to keep us warm, i think if it works with canvas it’l work in here, it’s bin workin’ fer 3 in haf years so far. us ol’ mountain men puts our thaughts to work……………………see ya

      • DeAnne from TN says:

        Rusty–thanks so much for the info! I really like the idea of being able to move my solar panel to the sun instead of moving a vehicle to the sun. I want to travel to Montana, Oregon, and Idaho in the summers, so I like thinking of my Parkliner in the shade of the trees. You’ve given me one more option to consider.

  24. Timber n' me says:

    Sorry Sue, no pun intended, your are far from be in lazy in my book,,,,,,,,,,,,,hey puppies

  25. Judie says:

    Merry Christmas Sue to u and the crew! I do love the Canine Corner.

  26. Renee (from Datil) says:

    Hey, Sue, it looks like we’ll turn up in the same vicinity by next week, but I sure like the route you took from outside Bozeman to Yuma better than ours. We had to go clear back to Oklahoma for family health reasons…Washington, Oregon, parts of California would have been more scenic! (Not that Oklahoma is necessarily ugly, but “been there, done that” many MANY times! Currently outside Datil, where I got my wish for a white Christmas.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Renee!

      Recently I was thinking about Red Mountain campground, the crew and me floating down the Madison River, and you bringing us back upstream to pick up the PTV. Gee, lolling in the Madison was a great way to spend some hot, August days! I want to go back.

      I hope the health issues are resolved and you and your husband can enjoy the new year!

  27. Jack says:

    Suggest you drop off at Wellton, east of Yuma, south to the canal then look left. There should be Rvs in the distance. All state property, no limit and might be fewer people. There is a dump n’ water at the chevron, seven bucks. Good luck if you go.

  28. Jack says:

    Forgot to mention most important.. No charge for parking and its fun walking along the canal.

  29. suburbanlife says:

    Chasing around in the wind for flying equipment has to be an irritating adventure, but how invigorating? Does that desert wind etch the surface of the BLT? Amazing your PVC pipe bent, but held – must have been a few anxious moments there waiting and watching to see what might happen.
    And yes, Bridget is a great lady, naturally true ladies shun the limelight and are definitely not camera hogs. G

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I was laughing as I chased the flying canine condo! It was one of those times when I was aware of how ridiculous I must have looked.

      The sand here is very coarse. I guess all the fine stuff has been blown away long ago, so the wind does not carry sand to etch into the PTV and BLT. I am glad though that I put a hard finish on the BLT.

      Yes, I did wonder if the PVC pipe would hold. I considered taking it down … about 2 seconds . . . because the wind could’ve ripped it out of my hands or swung it around into a window.

  30. Tia in North Carolina says:

    When I was young, we tent camped. I remember snow during easter egg hunts, and digging trenchs around the tent in what felt like monsoons. My father always saying “Don’t touch the walls of the tent” so the water would not come through. We have had some high winds here in the Carolinas. Found my flag in the front yard, but not the mounting bracket that was ripped out of the porch post. No telling where that ended up. Stay safe Sue.

  31. jean/Southaven, MS says:

    I remember those desert winds tent camping near Tucumcary, NM several years ago. We had that tent tied down with every piece of rope we could find. I have lived in Utah and Arizona and remember the winds well. Glad everything fared well though it all.

  32. AZ Jim says:

    Three parties in one day! I went out to the Grandkids place in Carlsbad for Christmas, as I told you I would earlier. We went from party to party Christmas day. All had liberal libations and food. Well, you have to be sociable so……Let me tell you with the trip behind me and all the hand shakin and breeze batting, this ole man was mighty tired when I got back to Surprise AZ last night. I thought about you and your gang as I both went to and from California. I was very near at times. Weather was damp and dreary when we left the pacific area and not great even here in my desert home when we arrived yesterday. Still, it’s fun to go sometimes but so good to get home. I read of your wind experience, and I can’t tell you how many times I sat through wind all day and sometimes at night in the Yuma area while I fished the river. Have a super times at your next stop wherever it is, Sue.

    • AZ Jim says:

      I forgot to mention gas prices. I paid $2.99 in Arizona and $3.89 on the coast. What a difference in less than 400 miles. I know, like you it can make a difference in a fixed income.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi AZ Jim!

      Sounds like you had a great time and took home some lasting memories. When I see on television the kind of weather a large portion of the country is experiencing this week, the desert looks and feels pretty good! Thanks for telling us about your Christmas.

  33. carol says:

    o big wind here in pry un peeled our roof of, and then it began to rain!!

  34. Hannah says:

    Sue, I understand you are a loner and enjoy the isolation of boondocking but at Christmas time it seems so sad to me. This is a special time in the year to be with extended family and good friends, and to offer charity to others less fortunate. I can’t imagine spending it alone in a brown desert. I hope you find peace and love.

    • DeAnne from TN says:

      Being alone doesn’t mean lonely. Sue gives of her heart every day with her blog posts, and did spend Christmas with her extended family–Spike, Bridget, and her followers. She has found peace and love for herself in her brown desert surroundings, and that is more happiness that some of us may ever find.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Hannah! What a sweet message!

      The only thing sad is what you are projecting onto me from your own idea of what happiness is. My Christmas was joyful, not one moment of sadness! How can I be sad what I am loved abundantly and know peace in this life, as well as the next? This brown desert is lovely in my eyes. I don’t need green boughs, red ribbons, and sparkling lights to experience Christmas. The joy of Christmas and sharing with others goes on throughout the year, although I rarely mention it.

      I can’t express how wonderful it is to have peace, love, and happiness that doesn’t depend upon others. i appreciate your concern for me, Hannah, and thanks for writing. Reflecting on your comment brought me a renewed sense of gratitude for the happiness I have found.

    • AZ Jim says:

      Years ago in Vegas I approached a blackjack table empty except for a sour faced middle aged woman dealer. In an effort to be friendly I said “hi there, you look lonely!” She quickly replied “I am alone, not lonely!” I have always remembered, there is a difference.

  35. Charles says:

    This was great, glad I found you. Exciting Christmas, hope you have a wonderful New Year.

  36. Dawn says:

    I do admire you for staying anywhere!!! I love how the scenery can change even in a days drive and still you are happy!!! The travel bug in me desires the same. 2013 will bring some changes to our lives as well…hope to run into you across this great nation.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      And I love your optimism for 2013!

      I’ve come to realize that every camp has its own beauty. Sometimes it’s obvious and breath-taking, other times it’s subtle and gently pleasing.

      Right now I sit inside the BLT typing this, frequently glancing up to look out the window. The sky is clear and blue, and the bare branches of the ocotillo, mesquite, and ironwood tremble in the wind. Morning light brightens the desert floor and the mountain shadows reveal their timelessness. It’s all the more beautiful from having camped alongside rivers, lakes, and meadows, and in forests of majestic pines, fir trees and wildflowers.

      I hope you get to enjoy it all, Dawn! I’m looking forward to new adventures in 2013, too!

  37. DeAnne from TN says:

    Wow! I just saw a video about a man in England who has developed a gravity operating lantern! It works kinda sorta like a cuckoo clock–you attach a bag or sand, rocks, etc and the weight creates the light. He developed for third world people who cannot afford kerosene or oil. He expects to have them out in March and the price is only $10.00! He even leaves the terminals accessible so small electronics can be powered. What a great product for boondockers!

  38. Rita says:

    I see you replied to comments today 12/28/12….Ooooo does that mean we’ll see a new blog today? I can’t wait. I’ve been reading the archive from last year and it’s like reading a book! The best travel book/travel experiences I’ve read….almost pioneerish!

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