Campsite visitor and campfire chat

Sunday, February 24

1-P1020675Wind, wind, and more wind.

Oh, the poor birds!  I’m glad I got another feeder for them.

I mix up a sugar solution, pour it in, turn the thing over, and the water spurts out of each flower!  Down goes the water line!

Well, I’ll try this again.  I probably put it together wrong.

I reassemble it. 

I test it with plain water.  Good!  It holds!

I make up another sugar solution, pour it in, and there go the flowers again, spouting the solution until it’s all gone.  Each time it appears that it’s going to work, so I fight the biting wind to hang it up, and then I stand back and watch the water pour out of the plastic flowers.  Frustrating!  Four cups of sugar and sixteen cups of water later, I finally give up and email the Perky-Pet company.


Monday, February 25

Neighbor Glenda is at the door!  We haven’t seen much of each other because it’s either too cold or too windy.  The wind has abated and it’s warmer, so she and Jeff will have a campfire later.  Would I like to join them?

While we’re talking, a pick-up drives up. 

A man jumps out and greets us both.

“Sue, do you remember me?”  Pause.  “Last year?  I saw you at your campsite over there.”

“Oh, yes!  I remember now.  What’s your name?”

“Terry, from Canada, but don’t hold that against me!”

“I remember. . .  You’re the rock guy!”

Terry tells me he continues to read my blog. 

“I was reading your blog yesterday about you passing a guy on the road, and I thought, hey, she’s talking about me!”

“That was YOU?” I exclaim.  We share a good laugh over that.


I inquire about his wife who was being treated for cancer when I met him last winter.  He tells us she didn’t make it.  As Terry recounts the last months of her life — their last trip together followed by her rapid decline — my heart breaks for him.  Glenda and I look at her photo . . . A beautiful woman with sparkling, kind eyes and a warm smile, a mother of two grown daughters.

In spite of his pain, Terry retains his exuberance for life. 

He’s here to collect more rocks which he’ll take to Quartzsite.  He’s also here to let the beauty of the desert help him heal from his loss.1-P1020689-001 We exchange email addresses and promise to keep in touch.

Around sunset Jeff builds a big campfire.

I set up my camp chair next to Glenda on their outdoor mat.  I place the crew’s dog bed on it also.

“I bring this because it helps them settle down in one spot.”  Of course, Spike proves me wrong by wandering all over the place.  He prances and plays with Kira the keeshond for a while.  Bridget clings.

Glenda and Jeff put together a list of suggestions for my Amazon products pages. 

(See “Shopping Links” in header).  Glenda explains each of the items and how they’re useful.  I thank them for their thoughtfulness. (I really do appreciate how people support my efforts!)  Glenda looks beyond the saguaro that guards their Casita and notices the full moon aglow at the horizon.  We both grab our cameras.

1-P1020679-001 Of course, I focus more on the crew than I do on the moon!  (The BLT sits in the dark to the left of the moon in the photo.)

Before leaving for the short walk back to our campsite, I clip a headlamp on my hat and pick up my chair and the crew’s bed.  Together we walk toward the moon and home.



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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48 Responses to Campsite visitor and campfire chat

  1. Karin / phxross says:

    How do you stay warm at night? Do you have enough power from solar to run your heater? We’re headed to NASCAR here in Phoenix and the RV (5th wheel) had been parked in their staging area for 10 days. Sunday I went out to spend the night and this it in Monday morning when unreserved RV parking opened. When I woke at 5:30 am it was 42° in the trailer, I then turned on the heat to get me to 55°.(and promptly jumped back in bed to sleep 1 more hour). Out batteries can’t handle having the heat on all night and we’ll run out of propane too.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Karin…

      I stay warm by bundling up and snuggling the crew. A few times this winter I’ve run my propane heater a few hours before bed or a few hours in the early morning. (I don’t use electric heat unless I have electric hook-up.)

      It doesn’t take much propane or heat for this small living area. Plus I prefer it cool for sleeping.

  2. EmilyO from KS says:

    Your ending – – – oh, how so romantic . . . . for the appreciation of life, the desert, etc. etc.

  3. lynne says:

    Love hearing about your time with Glenda and Jeff! I am imagining sitting at the fire with the three of you watching the moon rise over the rocks.
    Cold and gray here in the southeast.

  4. Good for Terry…
    Box Canyon Mark

  5. cinandjules (NY) says:

    How frustrating indeed. At least it isn’t the red stuff that stains! I looked up Perky Pet funnel filled feeder and found this: (someone else had the same problem)
    When filling this feeder, it is important that the base of the feeder is properly aligned. To accomplish this, align the raised tabs on the underside of the top part of the base with the notches on the top of the cylinder on the bottom half of the base.
    Also are you leaving some airspace inside?
    Don’t they know…..Boondockers have to conserve their water! I can just imagine…your words…as the water poured out. 🙂

    The news of Terry’s wife must have been a bit awkward…….may she rest in eternal peace.

    Browsed the new additions to the shopping link. Growing selection of goodies!

    The anti anxiety spray/diffuser is a good product…..HOWEVER….it must be near the pet. We used the diffuser with no results..the pheromone collar is way cheaper and the pheromone it emits is ALWAYS near your pet. It really works to calm our cat who is very insecure. She’s a totally different cat since she started wearing it. (Jules could use one…… due to menopause.)

    Sounds like you really enjoyed your evening…great picture of the moon and the crew!

    50 degrees today with sunshine! Tonight is sleet, snow and freezing rain!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cindy and Jules!

      It’s nice of you to try and help me fix the problem with the feeder. Believe me, I tried. I even watched the company’s VIDEO on how to set up the feeder. For crying out loud, a hummingbird feeder requires a TUTORIAL? I lined up the notches, blah, blah, blah. Today I get an email from the company and they suggest wiping vegetable oil where it screws together. Good grief. I haven’t tried that yet. I’m not in the mood to get fed up right now.

      Thanks for the tip on the pheromonomoneamon. .. I’ll add the collar.

      Wow! 50 degrees with sunshine, followed by sleet, snow and freezing rain. Sounds like spring has come to northern NY!

      • cinandjules (NY) says:

        What do you think about one of those crank up /solar radios that has preset NOAA weather channels? Eton is one company that makes them. While traveling/boondocking…all you need to know is what county you are in….when the broadcasts are made. Since its crank up…you never need batteries. You can listen to the am/fm radio while lounging in your chair. Use the flashlight when the crew makes their last “run” of the night. It also has an alarm clock…..but who needs one of those!

        If you would like to try it out first…………I have tons of Wells Fargo reward points…I can send you one….general delivery.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I have a NOAA radio that plugs in or uses batteries. I haven’t looked at the link yet. I know what they are and it’s a fabulous idea! I want to add it to the product pages.

          LATER: I checked it out and added it to the “For the road and campsite” page. Great addition!

  6. Gayle says:

    On my first road trip this year, I will toast Terry’s wife and wish her a bon voyage on her new journey. I am also making a prayer flag (see http://www.prayerflagproject) for Huell Howser, which will fly over our 1st campsite of 2013. WE ARE A COMMUNITY.

  7. Laurie Herndon says:

    SUE, Take tiny pieces of tin foil and cover the hole where the flower stick on and it should keep the air tight seal to keep from leaking. mine leaks too and this has worked for me. did you know hummers will come to a simple flat plate or bowl with sugar water inside as well if you keep it close to the hanging feeders….just a thought. I must drop in and see you sometime. continue to enjoy your posts…envious in L.A. snuggle your doggies!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s not leaking out of any seal. It leaks out the hole where the bird puts its beak in the flower. I’ll take another look at it and see if there is any way that tin foil will help. Interesting about the bowl or plate…

  8. Angie2B says:

    Sue, this is totally off subject. You have inspired me to try boondocking here in Indiana next summer. Anyhoo, I was wondering if you or anyone you know has tried the thermal pot cooking? Apparently, you bring what you are cooking, like soup up to a boil then pour it into this really well-insulated pot and 4-6 hrs later you have a still very hot, well cooked meal. It is supposed to be good for crockpot type meals. I have read on some of the Rv sites that it is a really good things for boondockers.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ve heard of solar cooking… where you heat the food to a boil and then let it slow-cook in a solar oven like the one shown on the Shopping Links “For the campsite” page. The method you mention seems too good to be true, but what do I know. It’s kind of like leaving food sit on the counter for several hours after cooking, a habit I’ve shied away from.

      Maybe readers are familiar with this mode of cooking?

      • Angie2B says:

        I ordered one off Amazon. I feel bad, I didn’t know I could order through your site and give you credit. I’ll remember next time. 🙂 I’ll let you know how it works out. If you don’t hear from me..,,,you’ll know not to order one. Bahaa

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Or if we don’t hear from you, we’ll know not to forget my Amazon links! Bwahaha .. .

        • Nan says:

          Sandie Dixon of Where are the Dixons today has one of those cookers. She swears by it. And where do you plan do Boondock in Indiana?

          • D.J. Pruitt says:

            You might check out Travels With Andy blog (Andy Baird). I remember some time ago he made Lentil Soup in a Thermal Pot. It might be in the Gertie part of the blog.

      • Sierra Foothills Mama says:

        I use a thermal pot while boondocking. It is just a normal lookinf pot that comes with a tighly sealed thermos that you put the food in to continue cooking crock pot style. You heat the food to 160 degrees (it needs to be 75% full) put the whole pot in the BIG thermos and after a day of fun you come back to your trailer to a home cooked meal. No electricty needed, just a burner to heat the contents. Meat has to be cut up so it starts out pretty hot so no roasts but great stews, beans and soups etc.

        These pots are quite common in the third world where electricty is not always available. There are lots of ways to use the pot and most crock pot favorites work well. They come in a number of sizes and are available on Amazon. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      After reading about thermal cooking, I added a thermal cooker to the “For your home” page. I appreciate the suggestion, Angie.

  9. This was a lovely post, in sentiments and photos. I do enjoy all of them, but especially this one. I could feel the moon rise over the desert. Thank you.

  10. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Did you know it takes 75 years to grow “arms” on a Saguaro cactus?

  11. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Yikes! In a robotic tone: Flood warning in the following area. Heavy monsoon rains predicted in your area…seek higher ground. 🙂 Thank god you changed your batteries!

  12. dawnkinster says:

    Loved the post, the photos…the community aspect, even while alone out there in the desert. I feel sorry about Terry’s wife and I didn’t know either of them…so I hope all of us reading about his loss somehow spreads it out a little and lessens it for him.

    Hummingbird feeders should be easy. Most are not expensive and work just fine. I’d make the company send your money back. That’s ridiculous that it requires a tutorial and a customer service suggestion. Obviously not designed correctly.

  13. The last image of the moon and desert setting looks a bit like heaven on earth. I wrote this yesterday on my desert hermit site. There will be no doubt now that I am truly a desert rat, 🙂

    Thank you again Sue for writing, you keep me strong as I await my soon departure for the promised land.

    The Desert and I

    February 25th, 2013
    By Desert Hermit

    The desert and I are one,
    one a part of each other.

    I walk on water each time I cross your desert sands,
    your river of time.

    With each new morning as the sun rises,
    I am yours and you are mine.

    When I have crossed the final path and to dust returned,
    we shall be more one than temporal time allowed.

    As others walk upon our desert sands,
    we together shall wait for each to join us and be one.

  14. Nan says:

    Today a Casita and what looked like your PTV pulled into Dry Lake in Borrego Springs today. I thought it was you.

  15. D.J. Pruitt says:

    That’s a keeper photo of the doggies. I love this picture.

  16. Susan in Dallas says:

    Was reading your shopping links and was curious about the solar oven. In Texas you don’t want to bake in the summer in your house. After visiting Amazon and looking at a book about the topic, I’m going to check it out from the library to see if making an oven is feasible. Not able to boondock, but maybe this will be an adventure. Thanks for the link and info.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Susan. Good luck with that project!

    • jean/Southaven, ms says:

      my husband and I learned to make a solar oven when worked with the Bou Scouts. you take a bos that has a separate top to it like a box that reams of copy paper comes in, covert it all over, top and bottom on the outside with foil. Put some small rocks inside and sit you ppan with whatever houses baking on the rocks. put the top on the box and itinerary the sun. Works just like you oven.

      • jean/Southaven, ms says:

        Do not know what my iPad did but not whT I typed. Put your pan with what you want to bake on the rocks. Put top on box and sit box in sun.

  17. RVingFT says:

    How fun to read that my 2 favorite Casita bloggers are sitting around a campfire together!

    I remember discovering Jeff & Glenda on their FIRST outing 🙂

    Great shot of the moonrise … thanks. Have a great time in the desert. We will get there one day 🙂

  18. AZ Jim says:

    Hi Sue
    Do you have a “scorpion light”? Here in the desert southwest they are a very handy thing to have when you are outside at night. I think it’s probably a good item for your Amazon portal. It’s amazing when I go out at night during warm weather I find several, they really glow under under UV (black light). I have two both are led types. A good tip is never just pick up anything on the ground without being aware that is where the mighty scorpion hides. They only require a 1/4″ clearance to crawl under an object. Take care and you and the crew enjoy.

  19. Virginia says:

    I had a problem with those hummingbird feeders myself. They get very sticky, gooey and attact other wildlife like squirrels and then the ants come after the squirrels chew the little plastic flower petals to bits and splash sugar water all over the place. The problem you had was different, of course, a badly engineered feeder but problematic nonetheless. I don’t feed the wild birds much anymore either because my cat got a male cardinal last year around the feeder. She brought the bird to me thinking I would be thrilled as she knows I love the birds. My heart sank and she just looked up at me like she gave me this wonderful gift. His female mate was in the tree tops around my house all summer long looking for him day and night calling out this rather lonely song. So, as a result, I don’t feed the birds anymore.

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