Locomotive Rock, drug busts, canine pals, and dreams of a Mexican beach!

Ah, the promise of a new day . . . .


Bill and Ann have invited the crew and me to explore the Sonoran desert with them and their crew!

Samantha (Sammy) the beagle allows Bridget, Spike and me to share the back seat of her pick-up truck. Julie the doxie rides up front.  The crew is very excited to go on a new adventure!


Black Mountain watches over us as we bump along on the narrow, dirt road.

1-P1020247Our destination is Locomotive Rock.1-P1020245

Bill parks the pick-up and we all climb to the rock.


An expansive view of desert and mountains rewards our efforts.


On the way down the crew enjoys a brief respite.

1-P1020265Julie and Sammy take in the sights as well.

1-P1020267We explore some more.


Interesting shapes and subtle colors delight our eyes.1-P1020281

We continue south toward the border.

1-P1020270A little girl’s, pink backpack lies alongside the road. Occasionally we see empty gallon water jugs.

We pass crime scene tape.

Last month Border Patrol seized 1,922 pounds of marijuana (street value: $961,000) here.  Two days later 1,617 more pounds (street value: $546,500) were confiscated in the desert near Ajo.  Three Mexican nationals were arrested.

Border Patrol is a daily presence. One often meets their white vehicles on the road or sees plumes of dust streaming across the desert in the distance.


We discover a corral with an overturned water tank.

Bill takes us on twisty, rocky dirt roads, up and down and through washes.  We spot several empty campsites.


On the canine front, while we’re walking Julie the doxie catches a mouse which Bill makes her release.

Back at the car, Ann gives Julie a treat as a substitute.  Ann explains, “She was, after all, doing what dachshunds were bred for.”  The other three have to get a treat, too.


All four canines are good hikers today.  No one strays too far.  Everyone gets along and is totally involved in the desert.

As the sun dips low in the sky, the mountains upstage the desert plain.  Light drifts across caves, cliffs, and canyons.

Ann points out the window and exclaims, “Oh, look!  We should hike that someday!”

A big, blocky red and white cow suddenly appears in front of the car, startling us.  Further along, a coyote sprints across the road.

On the way back to our camps we talk about future travels. 

We toss around the idea of driving the hundred miles or so south from here to Puerto Penasco.

Bill tells me, “Get your passport card and this time next year we’ll camp at the beach in Mexico!”

As soon as the crew and I are home, I saute strips of chicken breast and mash potatoes for a filling supper.  We’re starving.

Bridget, Spike and I eat supper together. 

Both are ready for bed sooner than usual.  I tuck the covers around their tired, little bodies.  “We sure had fun today, didn’t we, crew.”




About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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80 Responses to Locomotive Rock, drug busts, canine pals, and dreams of a Mexican beach!

  1. Teri says:

    What a nice day!

  2. Glenda Cornwill says:

    What a great day…………I think I enjoyed it as much as you and the crew. Nice to share an experience too. Loved your photos. The area where you are staying holds a fascination around every turn. Thanks again for taking me on your ride.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Glenda! Nice to see you here again … You hit upon one of the things I enjoy about this desert. There’s something fascinating around every turn and a different angle can make it seem like you’re in an entirely different area.

  3. Nan says:

    What a neat day! Beats cleaning the motorhome while doing laundry today

  4. cinandjules (NY) says:

    What a fun adventure. Seems like Bill knows his way. Glad you went as a group….you wouldn’t want to come upon drug smugglers or peeps trying to cross the desert. That corral looks neat. A cow roaming in the desert….weird?
    Crime scene tape…that can’t be good. Not to mention it’s not biodegradable and can be a hazard to wildlife.
    Sounds like ya’ll had fun and worked up an appetite. My guess is Mr Spike is going to be snoring tonight!
    Thanks for taking us on your journey. Enjoy your night!

  5. Dixie(MN.) says:

    How Terrific!! Good friends to explore with and Great canine companions too! I sure hope to do all these things later this year when we plan to be in the same area.Your descriptions are wonderful!! I just can’t wait to start–you make it sound so enjoyable. I love hearing about your adventures! Hugs to your Pups! Thanks Sue. Dixie(MN)

  6. Mick says:

    Nice to see the expanse of the desert from higher up. It is really beautiful. Wish I was there but the photos will have to do for now. Thanks RVsue, Ann, Bill and extended Crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hmmm . . . You wouldn’t happen to be thinking of hitting the road, would you, Mick? You’d like taking pictures here. I don’t hardly try. I point and shoot and they come out pretty good! Of course, it helps to have a great camera . . .

  7. DiaryQueen says:

    Si quieres ir a México el año que viene, Sue, necesitas aprender un poquito de español, “¡por si acaso!”
    Translation: If you want to go to Mexico next year, Sue, you need to learn a little bit of Spanish, “just in case!!” Just a bit of advice from the Español teacher! Go for it, darlin’! ☺

  8. Your title sucked me right in. I was hanging on every word waiting to find out about the drug busts. It never even occurred to me that there would be drug smugglers around there. You’ve made so many nice friends in your new life. Be safe!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m as shameless as a supermarket tabloid when it comes to titles for my posts!

      Oh yeah, this is a drug highway…. more drug busts recently a bit north of here at Gila Bend and over Tucson way.

      Bill and Ann are fun to be around. Good people.

      • Cathy S says:

        We are in Gila Bend right now RvSue! A lovely place with 360 degrees of amazing views and perfect weather too. Headed to Quartzsite for the weekend for a Casita rally…why don’t you mosey over….????

  9. Pat says:

    Sue, wanted to say thanks for showing me the perfect spot to call home. It is beautiful and serene.

    Thanks so much.

    Pat at Darby Wells Road

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Pat. I was hoping there would be another spectacular sunset for your first night on the Darby Well Road. It takes clouds and tonight the sky is clear. Oh well, we’ll see plenty of stars!

  10. Timber n' me says:

    Wow Sue, Nice photo’s , what a great day,,,,,,,,,,,,,,th’ ol’ gal running, good gas and power too,,,,,,,,see ya

  11. tinycamper says:

    What a pleasure to share your wonderful day! 🙂

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

    I could have sworn the cactus with all the arms was the same one the Good Luck Duck posted a photo of the other day. Took a look and it’s not the same one. Thought they might be nearby but they are somewhere near Tucson. (I don’t know my geography very well.) Nice exploring. I would have loved doing that! The rocks, corral, etc.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I wonder what makes a cactus grow like that. Yes, the Ducks were (are?) near Tucson. Ajo is southwest of Tucson, forty miles from the border. Yuma is northwest of Ajo. And that’s your geography lesson for today, Donna!

  13. DeAnne from TN says:

    What great photos and commentary. It was a bit bittersweet for me, since I lost my Roxie, but again, looking forward to my retirement. Oh, the places I will go! I hope you do Mexico beach camp one day, so I will learn all about it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I was outside a few minutes ago, wandering around with the crew, and you came to mind, DeAnne. I know these days are difficult for you. I dread the day I’m forced to make that painful decision with either of my crew. Keep looking to the future… Before you know it, your days in the sun will arrive!

  14. Jill Thomas says:

    As I live in the mid-Atlantic area, I always enjoy seeing photos of deserts and the cacti and other beautiful vegetation of those areas. Thanks for the photos!

  15. Just so you know, Puerto Penasco isn’t really Mexico! If you really want to RV in Mexico, (and learn Spanish!) just follow along with us!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello! I’m not at the point yet of delving into the “real” Mexico. Going to Puerto Penasco which I understand is packed with people from the U.S. would be my first baby step. My friends and I would go for the beach. Maybe someday we’d go to see and experience Mexico. Not at that point yet.

  16. gingerda says:

    The fur kids look so cute in the back seat together. The pictures are great. Love the rock formation and the cactus with the weird shapes.
    Ginger from Las Vegas.

  17. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    That is my kind of day….love your pics and the dogs. Elder care keeps me here, your blog keeps my dreams alive. Thank you for sharing

  18. Mary in Aberdeen, Wa says:

    Awesome pictures….also a great narrative.
    What fun you’re all having.

  19. Ed Smith says:

    Life at it’s best. May it always be so.

  20. Marcia GB says:

    Thanks for taking us along on your great day. Your commentary and pictures made it come alive.

  21. Mel NV says:

    Ah hah! Found it. The movie was The Mexican, 2001
    Brad played a character named Jerry … The quote was “I need a lift in your el truck-o to the next town-o! ” good memory..I am a big Brad Pitt fan and I didn’t remember that one! Loved the pics today….it is obvious you are really enjoying yourself at this Ajo location….

  22. Jean &Skip says:

    Great pictures Sue, Darby Wells is one of our favorite spots too. The crew looks like they are enjoying it too. Bridget is walking really well now?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Jean and Skip, and Jake, Sophie, and Louie, too!

      Bridget did very well walking around the desert, even uphill to Locomotive Rock. Thank God for that. I’m still lifting her in and out of the BLT and I did the same in and out of Bill and Ann’s truck. I fear a sudden jarring could put her back in the stroller again.

  23. Kris OH says:

    well it’s snowing here today and it’s beautiful, but I somehow feel like I just took a hike in the desert and the sun felt great. thanks for taking us along. k

  24. PamP in SW Florida says:

    Look at that smile on Bridget’s face! One of the happiest ones I’ve seen of that camera shy girl. Loved seeing the beauty of the desert in your photos. Pam P

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I love Bridget’s happy face in that photo. I think she was so excited about me sitting in the back seat with her and all of us going on an adventure together that she forgot to be camera-shy.

  25. Oh goodness, I can only imagine the adventures that await you in Mexico, and perhaps Canada, should you decide to get a passport. How absolutely wonderful for you and the crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Tamara! That’s what makes RVing exciting — new experiences, new places, never feeling “stuck” in life! The crew and I are very blessed to be able to live like this.

  26. Janet says:

    Hi Sue and Crew, thank you for this great post. You make me feel almost like I am there with you. One thing my husband and I have talked about is how you (and other RVer’s in the area) feel being in remote areas as it relates to your safety. In today’s post where you talk about finding tell tale signs along the trail of either people wandering out there (are they illegals?) or crime scene tape have us wondering how you all feel about that? Do you feel safe? Maybe you have already discussed this in a previous blog that I haven’t read. We’re just curious how we would feel if given the opportunity to boondock in those beautiful remote areas…..we are tempted to give it a try!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Janet!

      I feel safe. People are more dangerous, in a way, than animals. Animals operate within certain, known guidelines. Respect them and use common sense and we can co-exist.

      Not so with people. I figure being away from people is safer than being near them. I’d rather be alone in the desert than alone in a city. As for illegals and smugglers, they don’t want to draw attention to themselves. I do use caution by not driving off alone with the crew where both groups of people frequent because of the possibility someone might want to take the PTV away from a little ol’ lady by herself. That’s why I haven’t ventured out into the empty desert until I was able to do so with friends.

      Besides, no risk, no gain… I wouldn’t shirk this life for anything!

      • DiaryQueen says:

        “Life” happens Sue, no matter where you are. When our youngest had a stroke AT 17 (!!) with as much as we nurtured her and took care of her, it couldn’t be stopped. Thankfully, she was cared for by His hands as well as those of her neuroradiologists (@ UVA) and she totally recovered post-op. We never had regrets – we just prayed A LOT – and she has since become an EMT, been accepted to UVA, and plans to study medicine. The point is to never allow fear to dictate your life and rejoice for the small things, as has been illustrated in your posts. Baby steps are fine, Sue – they worked for our Hannah! 🙂 🙂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Wow! What a life story! Astonishing! Deep anguish and pain to joy and ecstasy… Incredible! Best wishes to dear Hannah as she pursues a career in medicine. Thank you for sharing. You should write a book.

  27. what a great day you had–love to explore and dream of things that might have been. Glad all the critters got along so well.

  28. Bill and Ann says:

    Your pictures are beautiful Sue. You are quite talented.

  29. AZ Jim says:

    Nice entry today. I enjoyed the little trip. We have a couple more nice days then we get gloom (and maybe a little sprinkle here and there) for the weekend.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I looked up Ajo weather on wunderground which I find to be the most reliable online weather forecasting. Looks like nice weather in the 70s here, then cloudy on Friday with the low dipping to 34 degrees Friday night.

  30. D.J. Pruitt says:

    i always enjoy your forays into the desert or wherever you are and I just wanted to comment that I have been reading you for a good while and I think that is the ONLY picture I have ever seen of Bridget looking happy and excited,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re probably right, D.J. Bridget is a serious little girl. That plus her dislike of the camera means smiling photos are rare. Bridget expresses happiness and excitement by prancing, hopping, and squealing — things I can’t capture in a photo.

  31. cozygirl says:

    We used to have a sweet beagle….Duke! Loved following along on the trail….it’s keeping me going in the Midwest. So I just had a $400 shopping spree thanks to you….we’ll have the same outdoor rugs Sue and I’ll have all the maps I need :O) Couple more things I want…Jerry’s turn next. He is designing the new battery boxes on the hitch and then going the portable solar panel route. I had to quit voicing my ideas….he says he’s got this :O) I of course, want him to get the antenna geared up next…thanks for setup post! I’m still in domicile paperwork mode…it’s coming together. Wondering, do you use Verizon or Millenicom that so many speak of….looks like a huge savings for lots more GB’s?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yay! Thank you for shopping through my links.! You’re going to be happy with the mat and the atlases. I use Verizon. Millenicom may be better, I don’t know. I wasn’t in a position to comparison shop at the time.

  32. earthdancerimages says:

    What a wonderful way to spend a day! Photographs were wonderful! Sorry we didn’t make it to Ajo this year as we had hoped!

  33. Rita from Phoenix says:

    I think the media over does their scare tactic about drugs, smugglers, etc…but I have seen on news about shoot outs on I-10 between Tucson & Phoenix. However, these types of activities involve those engaged in illegal activity. I think Mexico is as safe to travel as anywhere but have to know the language (at least a little to get by). I’ve been to Puerto Penasco and camped when I was younger and before the area developed…it was very primitive back then…now I hear it’s developed and not like it used to be. Very nice area w/tons of fresh fish/shrimp to eat (at least that was the way it used to be). I was a little shocked when I saw pre-teens drinking alcohol cuz there was no age restriction…don’t know if they changed Mexican laws. Yes, do not go out into desert alone…glad you had friends to venture out with…always safer that way. I twisted an ankle once on loose gravel out in the middle of no where alone w/just my dog. Luckily I had trekking poles with me to help me limp back to my vehicle where extra water was stored. No cell phones back then to call for help.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ve been asked… Why don’t you hike more? … And a lady I met back in Borrego Springs proudly told me she hikes alone all the time. Well, not me. I’m enjoying life too much to throw it away or to waste time off my feet waiting to heal.

      And I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have poles or a walking stick, especially on uneven ground with loose rock.

      Enjoyed your comment. Thanks for writing.

  34. Ron Sears says:

    I am beginning so see some good in that part of the county.. I like the idea that you can let your dogs run and not having someone demanding that they be on leaches. Great shots thanks for sharing…

  35. Penny Archibald Stone says:

    Your blog is the most fun to read and the easiest format to follow. It helped me get through my last year of work.
    I posted a comment last year about good places to camp in Idaho. You visited one of our favorites -Brooks Lake. We were up there In September and saw your bears.
    I bought my casita 5 years ago -could not wait until I retired.
    After 30 years of teaching i finally retired
    My husband and I are heading for Baja. We will start the 1000 mile journey Thursday to Los Frailes where we will stay until April.
    Someone suggested Mexico to you. If you ever want to try Baja, you could travel down with us or others. This is a great area (and its even warmer than Arizona). There are places to tuck away by yourself.
    Keep up the great work. I hope to be able to read your blog on the beach so the Sea of Cortez.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Penny,

      Thank you for the compliment on my blog. Apparently you are living life to the fullest. Good for you! The wait is worth it, right?

      I would love to go to Baja! I hope you will stay in touch and let us know what it’s like. I’m intrigued by your statement “There are places to tuck away by yourself.”

      Have a safe trip and enjoy the beach!

  36. Wow !! What a perfect day Sue !! Lovely !!
    Thats a lot of Marijuana !


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