Cow Plop

It’s too chilly to hike this morning.

I decide to wait until the sun is higher in the sky.

My laptop’s charge is low and I have a lot I want to do online while I drink my first cup of coffee.  In order to speed up the charging, I go out to the Perfect Tow Vehicle, start ‘er up, and carefully reposition her so the solar panel faces the rising sun.


That gives the batteries the boost they need.

Tilting a solar panel is great, but the sunlight is going to hit it from the side either in the early morning or the late afternoon or both.  Having the panel on the tow vehicle overcomes that.  Since I want my power and I want it NOW, I face the panel toward the sun as it rises in the east,  and around noon I’ll  put the panel down so we can go on our Cow Plop adventure.  Upon returning, I’ll park the PTV so the sunlight hits it from the west.

I’m getting ahead of myself here.

1-P1020332By noon the temperature has warmed enough for our little hike.  I put on a light jacket because the breeze is cool, I check that the camera is ready, and I grab my walking stick.

I don’t need to tell Bridget and Spike that we’re going.  They know the signs and are at the PTV’s side door in a flash.  Once they jump in, I move the stepladder alongside the PTV, climb up, and remove the panel supports, securing the panel in place.

We drive up the dirt road and cross about five washes.

Spike is looking out the side window, watching the scenery go by.  It’s probably nothing but a blur.  He’s happy.  That’s all that matters.

1-P1020360 I think he can tell this isn’t another boring grocery trip.

1-P1020325  I park within view of Cow Plop Mountain, which isn’t really a mountain.

1-P1020328It’s a big boulder, but I think you’ll agree that Cow Plop Boulder doesn’t sound as good as Cow Plop Mountain.  Bridget squeals to be let out as soon as I turn the ignition to off.  Spike and Bridget jump out.  Spike races ahead of us.  He’s on a mission to climb that hill!


Bridget and I try to keep up with him.

I gain a vantage point from which to photograph Cow Plop and the surrounding desert.

1-P1020342 Very few RVs are in view, a lot less than a week ago.


Spike is still ahead.   Before I can catch up with him, he’s come back with a new friend!1-P10203621-P10203651-P1020364

I walk up to the top of the rise and see a Class B motorhome.  Apparently this is the dog’s campsite.  The two canines sniff and play for a short time, short because Spike has to assert himself with a snarl.  Bridget chooses to keep her distance.

“Okay, Spike!  That’s enough.  Let’s go!”

I make the come-along-now hand gesture.  And he obeys!

Bridget takes the lead on the way back to the PTV.


The Perfect Tow Vehicle awaits in a garden of desert plants.



Right away I set out some water for the crew.  Then they both jump in the PTV to claim their seats.


I drive us to the base of Cow Plop.

It being Saturday, there are young people climbing on it.  See them at the top of the smaller plop?


I decide to skip the climb, rather than inject myself into their experience.

Bridget eyes say, “I’m ready for a nap now,” and Spike’s bark at the young people’s car is sharp and high.  His voice gets like that when he’s worn out.

“Good.  You two will sleep the rest of the afternoon.”

1-P1020401On the way back to camp, I spy something unusual in a saguaro.  I stop, grab the camera, and jog over to see what it is.

A bird has made a nest using grass, sticks and cotton stuffing.  Great architecture around this bird’s home!

Boy, the crew chomps their kibble with great gusto upon our return home.  Soon they are nestled in the covers on our bed, fast asleep.

It was good to be out with the crew getting some exercise, looking out over the desert, enjoying this brisk, clear day together.



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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36 Responses to Cow Plop

  1. Pat says:

    So that is what those are called. I walked out there the other day and thought it would be another good spot to park and explore. Love the pics!!!!!!

    Pat, DWR

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      There are some good campsites on the way out and around Cow Plop. I forgot to check my phone to see if you can get a signal there.

      • Merle from (WA) says:

        OK, now I recognize Cow Plop Mountain!! Great pictures…….we will have to take a walk into the desert for a closer look!

  2. Dedra says:

    Beautiful pictures!
    Wish I was there. Soon!

  3. placestheygo says:

    I love the Cow Plops! What a perfect name! So glad you posted desert pictures with Organ Pipes. That is one cactus I haven’t seen in the wild. The Desert Museum here in Tucson has one but that doesn’t count. Glad you and the crew had such a nice day.

  4. Oh MY!!!!!! They do look like cow plops!!!!!! LOL

  5. Glenda Cornwill says:

    Loved all your photos today and in particular the Saguao cacti which I understand is native to the area where you are at the moment. These cacti have always fascinated me and as we don’t have them in our Australian deserts then for me to be able to photograph them is very remote. I remember watching many Westerns in my youth where the cati were featured in the terrain of the deserts. I see they have the most beautiful flower………..amazing plants!!

    • Donna D. (stickhouse in CT) says:

      You might not be able to photograph the cacti in the US but the Australian outback has some pretty amazing plants. I came home with tons of photos of outback plants and trees. I also have not had a chance to see the cacti here and hope to someday.

      • Glenda Cornwill says:

        Hi Donna……………………..yes the Australian bush and deserts offer a miriad of intersting sights, flora and fauna……………..truly beautiful in their own right………..I do hope you had a wonderful time in OZ…………..GLENDA

        • Donna (stickhouse in CT) says:

          I had a fantastic time in Australia. Spent two weeks touring around NSW and two weeks in a small caravan driving from Sydney to Uluru and back. My all time dream would be to live 6 months there and 6 months in the US. (I just realized, you are Glenda. (Glinda) from Oz. Do you get teased about that?) I really do love your country and would love to go back someday.

          • Glenda Cornwill says:

            Donna………….so pleased about your good times in Australia. It is a wonderful country for sure. Would you believe that I have never been to Uluru!! It is on my bucket list. I have been to LA San Francisco and Hawaii the extent of my tastes of America. Love to go to the eastern side and so many more places that I have lost count!!

  6. Dominick Bundy says:

    Hi, Sue and Crew, Your Desert pictures are spectacular as usual. The last time I was in the desert was back in 1989, I love it and never wanted to leave. But I’ve must have forgotten the term you keep using about the desert. That is about crossing the washes. What are the washes? what does wash mean? thanks. keep following your blogs everyday cheers Dominick (snow bound in Rochester, NY.)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Dominick!
      Here’s a definition of wash I pulled off the internet: “A narrow, constricting dry bed of an intermittent stream, as at the bottom of a canyon, typically dry but subject to rapid flow during flash flooding.”

      Out here you know you’re approaching a wash by a sign that says “Do not enter if flooded.” People have lost their lives in washes by the sudden onslaught of water in the spring. Cars can be swept away. Some washes are so wide that bridges have been built over them. A few posts backs I showed photos of a wash when the crew and I walked one behind our camp.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Sorry about all that snow!

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

    Wow, those hills were definitely aptly named. It would be interesting to find out how and why they are formed that way and why they are so different from the other hills in the area. Guess I’ll do some googling! As always, thanks for the story and photos.

  8. Ky G says:

    And here i was thinking “gee, she found some wandering cows out in the desert” and “oh my, pics of cow plop!”
    Seeing as how i havent tripped in any lately, i was rather excited at first to relive a lost childhood memory
    Oh…and now my brain flashed to mushrooms…where has the time gone….
    ~Ky and Bingo

  9. Our first spot was close to the Cow Plop last year, Pheebs & I did manage to hike up to the fop of that small one. Nice views. Nice area around there with some deep sandy washes. A short jog into Ajo. And some nice roads for walking, hiking, or Jeeping on the southwest side of the Plop. Did you find the Indian Cemetery yet?

  10. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    A lazy susan type of set up is what you need for the top of the PTV. You wouldn’t have to move the PTV, just hop up on the stool and give it a turn towards the Sun. If it has ball bearings it will move real easy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I like the way it is. I only felt the need to reposition the PTV once in the year I’ve had solar, and that took about two minutes. I don’t tilt the panel in spring, summer, or fall.

  11. I’m glad you posted the photo with the people climbing on the smaller plop. I had no idea how big the two plops were until I saw them in comparison. Yet another great sight to add to the list! Thanks Sue,

  12. DeAnne from TN says:

    Sorry–can’t resist. “Plop plop fizz fizz oh what a relief it is!” Glad you got your relief by going on your trek.

  13. Dawn says:

    Great pictures, I feel like I was (almost) there! Considerate of you not to inject yourself into the cow plop climb. Most people are not so thoughtful. I went to a camper/RV show today, specifically to stand in a 17 foot trailer to see how it felt and to think about whether or not I could live in a space that saw. Stood in a couple of them that I think I could. Putting together a plan in my head. Will take 2 -3 years…but still. A plan feels good. Am concerned about towing and how to hook up when alone…how to back up a tow vehicle and line it up right for the trailer hitch. Remember my dad always following my mom’s directions when he backed up…don’t know how that would work alone. I know you’ve figured it out…share any tips?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Dawn!

      It must have been fun standing in those 17-footers, imagining yourself living in one. Yes, it’s never too early to plan.

      My guess is your dad had your mom help him when backing up because she was there and he could have her help. I bet he could’ve back it up to the hitch without her help, if he had to.


      1: Be calm and patient. Sometimes it’s going to take a lot of tries. Accept that from the get-go. Other times just a few. If anyone is watching you and making you nervous, tell them to find something else to do because they’re distracting you.

      2: Memorize how the trailer looks from the driver’s seat (in the side mirror) when hitched and going straight down the road. You’ll do this without planning to. Soon you’ll get the ball very close to the hitch by making sure the side of the trailer is lined up the way it looks when it’s already hitched. You’ll be surprised how accurately you can line up the tow vehicle with the trailer simply by making it look right in your mirror.

      I don’t use any tricks like golf balls on sticks or anything. Patience and developing a good eye works for me.

      Best of luck with your plans, Dawn!

  14. SSI John says:

    I am glad things have warmed back up so you and the crew can get back to hiking.

    I got to say today was not too bad a day on St. Simons Island. 75 degrees, brilliant blue skies, gentle breeze, nice day for a hike/job on the beach or just sitting and enjoying the sun! (I am envious of you and your likestyle so I am trying to appreaciate what I have now.)

  15. cinandjules (NY) says:

    75 degrees and no snow! Argh! Here I thought we were having a heat wave at 28 degrees.

    Now like everyone else…I see why they are called cow plops. Beautiful pictures once again.

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