Imperial Dunes Recreation Area

The crew and I take a little ride over to Imperial Dunes.


It’s Saturday and I see few quads.  Imperial Dunes Rec Area is huge so they’re probably out in the sand somewhere.


This area is called Bates Well.   A big sign says “Fee permit required beyond this point.  No exceptions.”  The size of the font is intimidating enough to send the PTV into a U-turn on the spot.


Oh, there’s one!


The people walking in this photo are a long distance away.  I zoomed this photo so you could see them.

1-P1010973I could’ve edited the wires out of this photo.  I’d rather keep it real.  Actually, I’m too lazy to fool around with retouching.

Back on Sidewinder Road I take some shots of various RV neighborhoods.


I find it curious how RVers group together.  Do they know each other?  Is this innate human behavior?  Like flocks of birds?


Ogilby Road dispersed camping area is big enough that no one has to have a neighbor.  Here’s someone camping the way I like to camp.


 I changed the position of the Best Little Trailer.

When we returned from going to the dump station the other day, I went back to our campsite.  However, I angled the BLT, more SE to NW than E to W.  I didn’t like how the door side of the BLT was in shade all day.  Now it’s angled just enough so that we get sun on that side, but it doesn’t hit the refrigerator directly.

What about the solar panel?

Well, since the solar panel is mounted on the Perfect Tow Vehicle, the BLT doesn’t have to be perfectly angled toward the sun.  Once unhitched I can park the PTV so the panel is in optimum position to the sun’s rays.  That’s a big reason why I had the solar panel put on the PTV!


Notice the pile of laundry in the passenger seat.  I’m going for the record of longest days between trips to the laundromat.  Also notice two little legs below the BLT.   She’s going for the longest days between photographs.

You’d rather hear from the crew than from me.

Soon I’ll get them back to work on the Canine Corner.  There’s way too much napping going on around here.



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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65 Responses to Imperial Dunes Recreation Area

  1. jean/Southaven, ms says:

    I can not believe I am the first to comment. Being camera shy must be a girl dog thing, my dog Suzie gets the saddest looks when I try to take her picture. butz, Ozwald will get so excited and will pose for his picture. just sneak up on Bridget and get when she when she least expects it.

    love the desert. when I lived out west and would come home to Memphis to visit, the green would be so striking. but the desert has many moods and that is what I loved about it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Jean . . . You got me thinking about the things I’ve come to love about the West. Dry air is a biggie, after so many years in humid GA and FL. The openness, meaning being able to see far and wide and also the big sky. The rivers, the mountains, the tall trees, the desert, even the foggy coast… the many moods, as you say. The desert is the most surprising of all. I never expected to fall this much in love with it.

  2. Pat says:

    Oh the memories of driving past the dunes…..going west hurrying to San Diego to get on a ship. Then east to return to work…..yuck.

    Now like you I see how long I can go before doing laundry. I think at least 6 weeks, maybe a little longer.

    There is a laundromat on Foothills Blvd and the parking used to be rig friendly. I have never stopped, just drove by when I lived out there.

    Enjoy the peace and great sunsets.


  3. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Looks like the next “wind” day will be laundry day. Bridget is so shy……….AND where is mr Spike?
    I love hearing from the crew……but your part of the blog is just as funny/interesting.
    Is the PTV just as organized as the BLT?

    I just don’t get the fun of OHV’s..perhaps I’m becoming an old goat!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The PTV used to be just as organized as the BLT. Now it is a total wreck inside. Every time I stop at a new camp and pull out the stepladder, mat, and chairs, landslides occur. I’ve been trying to get up the ambition to empty it out and start over.

      As for the OHVs, I think the fun is for the person riding. They’re wearing a helmet and going for the thrill.. The obnoxious part is for the people who are not on an OHV. They get to breathe the dust and listen to the noise and see the desert torn up.

  4. Bruce Knutson says:

    Sue, we’re almost to the point where we’ll be looking at purchasing an air card or mobile wifi modem soon. I noticed that you are using Verizon. Have you any knowledge of folks using AT&T products that do the same thing that yours does? I’d hate to sign up with a carrier (I use AT&T for our cell service) just to find out that I should have gone with a different carrier. Haven’t been able to find a site that does comps between carriers. Does your Wilson antenna plug directly into your modem/card, or do you have to use an amplifier?

    • Connie & Mugsy says:

      The consensus on most of the RV boards is that Verizon has much better coverage than AT&T. But it depends on where you go… and where you stay… which will work best for you. Another option that many RVers recommend is Millenicom.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Bruce,

      I use Straight Talk for cell service (and I believe ST uses other company’s cell towers) and Verizon for my air card. Connie’s comment has good information for you.

      I don’t have an ampllifier. The Wilson antenna plugs into the end of a short adapter cord which plugs into the air card. I assume that’s so the antenna can be used with different types of air cards.

      • Connie & Mugsy says:

        I actually have two cheapie prepaid phones. One is a tracphone that still have minutes left over from the 90s and the other is a Verizon. One or the other of them seems to always work. They cost me about $17 a month for the two of them.

    • Mick says:

      Make sure the air card you buy has an antenna jack. Make the sales person show you the jack or do an internet search of the model number. Not all air cards have this feature. You also have to be careful to select the correct antenna adapter cable. This store has good information but I bet they are sorry they named the store 3G:

  5. Gayle says:

    I vote for innate human behavior. Resonation of like vibrations. It’s physics. Consider: On road trip, we park on empty market lot leaving one empty space between us market baskets. Lo and behold, a woman drives in, I have to close my passenger side door while she jockeys into that empty space beside us. There were 300-plus empty spaces!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Gayle,

      Your anecdote about the woman squeezing next to your parking space reminds me of another phenomenon I’ve detected. When a car tailgates me, I take the first safe opportunity to pull over and let it pass, a habit I picked up after being rear-ended by a distracted driver years ago. Anyway . .. Many of these tailgaters, when allowed to pass, will refuse or hesitate. If they do go by me, then they drive as slowly as I drive. In other words, they aren’t in any hurry. It’s like they tailgate out of a need for security. Or maybe so they don’t have to look at the road ahead or pay attention to driving. They can cling onto my rear bumper like a baby possum or something. Really weird.

      • Connie & Mugsy says:

        Drives me nuts… especially on 2 lane roads with narrow shoulders… and soon you have a parade with a couple fuming truck drivers included. I tend to go slower and slower and slower until the jerk finally passes me. There have been times when I’ve almost had to stop before the he would pass instead of tailgate. (and it is invariably a man)

      • Gayle says:

        Not to belabor the point, but Ted & I saw “Lincoln” this morning. This late in the run, there were only 7 of us in a theater of 200 seats. And WHERE were we sitting? Yep, in a little bunch in the middle row, middle seats, surrounded by 193 empty seats! Ergo, my question: Do boondocking RVs huddle up like this, too?

  6. Rita says:

    Good thing you are off to yourself. Almost everyone I know from CA to KS has been sick with sore throat and cold. My kids had it last week and now it’s my turn. There are sand dunes between Yuma and Quartzsite also….not a lot of people go there. Hope you don’t catch the bug everyone has.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Funny you should mention that, Rita. Just today I was knocking on wood that my health is good, not even a cold since hitting the road more than 18 months ago.

      When I was teaching, I was frequently sick (but often had to come to work anyway), because I faced a hundred-plus young people a day. Rarely a day went by in the winter months that a student didn’t cough in my face at close range. And then anyone working inside all day is subject to recycled air and the nasties it carries . . . Oh, those were the days . . . to forget!

      I hope you bounce back quickly from whatever “bug” you’ve picked up.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    If I knew people of like mind who would enjoy camping with us closeby for a few days, I would welcome that…but not for full time…I do relish my privacy too. Both hubby and I are somewhat hermits, here in our little barn apt in the woods…we have enjoyed this to the hilt!! I would never have the gumption to camp and live alone as you do, Sue, but I admire your ability to do so!! Thanks again for sharing your life with us…I so enjoy the little dogs too…one thing I miss so much right now…no doggies!! I still HOPE to one day live a bit more as you do!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Elizabeth!

      Yes, it’s fun for a few days to camp with friends . . .like when I camped at Dome Rock Quartzsite, last winter.

      Your barn apt. in the woods sounds lovely… That’s Virginia, if my memory is working today. There’s some beautiful country in that state.

      One of the reasons I have the “gumption” to live alone as I do is the fact that I haven’t been married for several years. I lived alone in my stick house. I think when you have a partner, you naturally depend on each other, which is good. It does make the prospect of full-timing alone more daunting.

  8. Eileen P. says:

    Hi RV Sue,
    I’m the person who posted last month who grew up in Hudson Falls. I have just finished reading your blog from start to finish. What a great year+ you’ve had! I have visited (albeit more quickly) many of the spots you’ve been to, from either in the late 90’s with my late husband (we traveled in Casitas — 16′ and 13′ at different times, then many years in a Toyota Dolphin mini-class C) and now on my own with my two rescue dogs.I have a Class B, and it’s perfect for the doggies and me. I still work full-time, but do my best to get out as often as I can, and have already started on my own “seven year plan”.

    And please let me digress with a shout out to my neighbor in RockHound State Park (New Mexico) who referred me to your blog on Thanksgiving Day of 2012 — I think it was Jan, or Pat….yikes, so sorry I don’t remember. She brought me some paperback books and we talked about my two dogs, Sally and Trax. I know she follows you, so hope she sees my “thank you note”.

    RV Sue, now that I’m current, I plan to follow your blog daily — am enoying your writing. Lots of laugh out loud moments. Love your pups — I say every day that my dogs saved ME, not vice versa.

    • Pat says:

      You’re welcome, glad you enjoy the blog. It was great meeting you and your wonderful babies.

    • DeAnne from TN says:

      I love that you said your dogs saved you–mine saved me too! Over the last couple of years I have been through a nasty divorce and my children are now estranged, but “my puppies” are always here waiting for me every day. There were there when no one else was. I always hope that my dogs know I love them as much as they love me. Sounds silly, doesn’t it?

      • Gayle says:

        To DeAnne from TN: Many years ago at a Jungian seminar, I told the analyst that I was “estranged” from my father. He said you can’t be “estranged” unless there is/was love there; and, that love will either bring you back together or comfort you forever. I suggest daily affirmations of your eternal love for them until God/spirit delivers them some new attitudes. In the spirit of helping, Gayle

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Eileen! Congratulations for making it all the way to the present in my blog. Good luck with your seven year plan!

  9. Cherylyn says:

    It’s so funny, I was sorting thru some old pictures (de-cluttering continues) and ran across pics of Imperial Dunes from the days before ATV traffic. Unmarked natural beauty.

    • Connie & Mugsy says:

      I have to say that I was disgusted by all those tracks… I don’t get it…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ve come across places in the desert that are cordoned off with a gov’t. sign telling people to stay out. (Two not far from here.) These signs say that the fence is to protect ancient geoglyphs, and to please be careful not to drive over any geoglyphs they might come upon. Oh right . . . somone tearing their a”# across the desert, bouncing up and down, is going to notice a geoglyph and CARE about what remnants of previous civilizations will be obliterated by their playtime.

  10. Donna D. (stickhouse in CT) says:

    I don’t understand the “human nature” of being clumped together either. Guess they subscribe to “safety in numbers” type of behavior. I find nature to be a lot safer than people. Nature is fairly predictable at least a lot more than most people. Hope to see the dunes someday.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ve had the same thought many times, Donna. Nature, given respect, will not hurt you. People… well… If they don’t hurt you, they can make your daily life miserable. Sorry to be negative on this point, but that’s the way it goes. I’ve had my fill of neighbors from when I resided in stationary houses over the years.

      • Donna D. (stickhouse in CT) says:

        I’ve been fortunate in having decent neighbors where I have lived but since my mid-twenties I’ve lived in more rural areas where each house had at least 1/2 acre or more so everyone pretty much minds their own business yet are friendly and “neighborly.” I really do like people but I tend to need time alone in order to recharge. Nature is also a great re-charger for me!

  11. Carol Leonard says:

    One day on the way back from Yuma we drove up the little road to the top of the dunes & I took video pictures of the dune buggies. One stopped & asked if I would like a ride. I sure would! It was a two seater with seat belts & roll bars. He took me up, down and all over the dunes. It was a thrill I will always remember.

  12. Val says:

    Great pics Sue ……so cute with the little legs showing :). Great shot of the dunes…
    Look forward to your blog each day.

  13. DeAnne from TN says:

    Now we know you have a Flintstone BLT–Bridget has to run underneath to make it go!

  14. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    Others may group together but as for me, “give me land, lots of land, under stary skies above, don’t fense me in, let me be with my Casita and the gal that I love, don’t fence me in, I want drive the desert till I lose my senses, I love my gal and I can’t stand fences, so don’t fence me in…”.

  15. Timber n' me says:

    Home on th’ range, wher th’ buffalow rome, n’ cyottes wale n’ th’ stars glow n’ no reruns,,,,,,,,,,,thanks Lord God,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,n’ thanks for th’ card n’ cookies from Geri n’ chuck, all th’ gifts n’ cards from everyone also,,,,,,,,,,,,,up on a mountain top standin all alone ( xsep Timber ),,,,wonderin’ bout th’ years gone, i look in th’ valley be low, n’ listtin to th’ brease in th’ trees n’ wonder bout them days long ago,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    • EmilyO from KS says:

      Timber, you and Rattlesnake Joe just crack me up. Warms my belly when I laugh! Am down in the back after wrestlin’ with all them people in town today, so took little laughs.

      • Timber n' me says:

        Well, EmilyO from KS,,,,no tv n’ listtin’ to Ovler Twist n’ playin’ with my buddy Timber , with th’ woodstove goin’ n’ th lite cold wind blowin’ n’ readin this blog n’ Raddlesnake Joe’s comint jus got me a goin, wayout here in th’ vast desert, have a great laugh, n’ Great New Year too,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    • Rattlesnake Joe says:

      Forget the bad parts of long ago. We can’t do nothin about the past, it is what it is…in the past. If you spend too much time lookin back you’re shur to run smack into a pole. Time heals all wounds. Consider it a learning experience, one us vets know all too well. Everyday is a new beginning for us now. Timber will fill your heart with gladness and you sing more purty songs.

      • Timber n' me says:

        I wern’t signin’ bout th’ bad times, I was kineda rema’missin’ my donkee walkin day’s wen i was livin’ like a rocky mountain fur trapper with no worries, but this dadburn truck, she’s another story, Joe,,,,,,,,,,,n’ Timber ses Hi

  16. Great pics.
    Yep the napping, been some here too. I think it is pre travel day rest. Becoming a practiced F/Ter I guess.

  17. Cathie Laurent says:

    That’s a mighty fine laundry hamper you have there!
    Cathie in OK

  18. Sue says:

    Sue do you know Old Fat Man Adventures? Well he has insulated his RV extra in places where the insulation was on as good as he would have liked. I wonder if you could do the same behind your fridge so that the sun doesn’t effect it so much. Like a good peace of the new kind of insulation, I don’t know what it is called. It looks like a half inch thick plastic of some sort. There must be something you could do to help that situation. As far as your girl goes, well maybe she feels like she gained a few pounds and pictures are out of the question right now. She sure looks cute under the there peeking out.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sue! Yes, I know Barney of Old Fat Man Adventures. We met when we both happened to find ourselves camped next to each other at Brantley Lake State Park in southern New Mexico, when the crew and I had been on the road only a short time. Here’s the post about that day.

      I must have given the impression that sun on the fridge is a problem. It isn’t. I park so that the sun doesn’t hit the fridge or if it does, only for a short time and at an angle. If I had to park the BLT so the fridge was out of the sun AND the solar panel was angled for optimum results, then I’d have a problem. That was my point in this entry.

      Yes, I think Bridget is afraid a photo might make her butt look too fat. Spike doesn’t worry about such things.

  19. heddy47 says:

    Sue, I am still enjoying every day of your post! My countdown is under two months now and I’m so excited….Since you have had this experience for some time now, is there anything you wish you’d done differently – from organization of the vehicles, equipment you bought, places you’ve been. I’d be interested to hear…

    Thanks so much for the delight you are giving so many!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Heddy! And what a “heady” time this is for you… less than two months to go!

      What would I do differently? Hmmm… I’d say I’d do the organization of the PTV differently but I haven’t figured out how yet! Equipment? I would have bought a taller ladder. I love the Costco ladder I have. It’s extremely stable. I first saw it on Tioga George’s blog. Unfortunately it’s not quite tall enough for me to clean, polish, inspect, etc. the top of the Casita. I may end up replacing it with a folding ladder I’ve spotted on Amazon, if I can ever get over the pain of forking over the money for it.

      Would I change anything about the places we’ve been! Absolutely not! (Well, except the horrible road to Coyote Creek SP, NM).

      Best wishes for your final preparations and for lift-off!

  20. Renee (from Datil) says:

    Hope you’re staying warm during these chilly nights. I know it’s colder where we were last week (NM), but I expect more from Arizona this time of year! Bridget reminds me of my older granddaughter, who — although she didn’t go so far as to hide under a vehicle — would thwart my picture-taking with hand-blocking.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Renee!

      Yes, NM does have some cold winter days and nights. What’s up with Arizona? I expect more warmth, too!

      The crew and I haven’t moved from Ogilby Road, Yuma (California side) because the weather is the best around, as far as I can tell. I haven’t turned on the heater since last winter! As long as I close up the BLT at sundown, we stay warm.

      Bridget, if in one of her moods, will actually run from the camera. If she had hands I’m sure she’d do like your granddaughter.

  21. Julia Kovach says:

    Hi Sue! I just joined your site, as I was recommended by Ruth from “At Home on The Road”. Boy, was she right in steering me your way. I love this post! I’ve always dreamed of travelling this way across our beautiful country and writing and shooting pics…….Your pics are wonderful and your information is very useful and also pretty amusing. I really enjoy your perspective and style of writing. Well done, my new friend. xoJulia

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Julia, and welcome to my blog! Thanks for the compliments and the lovely way you introduced yourself here.

      I appreciate you following along with us. I’m always glad to have a new ‘passenger.’

      And thanks to Ruth for sending you our way!

  22. Pauline says:

    People are strange creatures. Seems when they have all the space in the world, they camp right on top of each other. Now, I would like to be able to see a neighbor’s place…I like to know some one is out there but please, I want to be able to yell at Jerold in the back yard without the world hearing me.
    I am so proud of you, my Sister. Your blog is such a success and you have such loyal followers. I always knew you could write!!!

    Love you

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Pauline,

      Funny . . . as I reply to your comment about neighbors I am about to go out of my mind with the racket coming from a neighbor’s generator! It’s been going all morning long. I started unloading the PTV to clean it out and get it organized. I noticed my head starting to pound… oh no, a headache . . . and then I realized it was the blasted generator noise! If it was to keep somebody’s ventilator going, I would tolerate it. But the jerk is outside practicing his golf swing (rather badly, I might add). It’s all I can do to keep from going out to the PTV and laying on the horn. It’s such a pretty day and I want to be outside, doing stuff around the campsite! I guess I’ll have to leave here if he’s going to do that every day. It’s something he started yesterday . . .must have a new appliance or something. No consideration at all. That thing is LOUD. We aren’t even parked close together.

      Nice to hear from you. Can you guess I’m feeling grumpy? I need Jerold to yell at.

      • Connie & Mugsy says:

        Not to make excuses for this guy, but he might be charging his batteries?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          How long does it take to charge up some batteries? From 8 in the morning until 1 in the afternoon? And isn’t there some way that the sound could be muffled? Is there a product, maybe a hood of insulated material that could be put over the generator to absorb some of the noise? This generator has an irritating whine that goes along with the typical droning.

          They strung a clothesline and have been hanging loads of clothes and bedding for two days now. I think they’re running a washing machine all morning. Go to a laundromat!!!

          • Connie & Mugsy says:

            Sadly no… there is really no way to muffle those loud generators. Everyone complains about it, but the ones big enough to do a lot are noisy. I almost never use mine, but I have it because it is a real issue when you get to resale. Your guess about the washing may be correct. But, also it takes many hours to charge your batteries if they are way down. I do the required “exercise” of my generator each month… running it for 2 hours under load… and my battery reading will only go up a couple notches. And he may have a bigger battery bank than I do with my two. Irritating for everyone around though… 😦

  23. DeAnne from TN says:

    This week’s lesson plans completed–check. Semester report completed–check. Grades submitted for report cards–check. Glass of wine in hand–check check!

  24. Walt says:

    I suspect the comment made earlier about “safety in numbers” is right on the money. I don’t think it is because people fear the solitary aspect of being alone so much as they fear the fact that there would be no one around to help should a villain come calling. I suppose there is a feeling of vulnerability for some parked alone. I don’t do much camping alone (hard to get my wife to allow me away), but on those rare occasions when I have done so, I admit to occasional unease. It doesn’t last long, and it isn’t enough to keep me from wanting to do more boondocking away from the crowd – if I can just keep from getting the truck and trailer stuck. But that’s another story.

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