Bridget? A trail dog? Who knew?

I’ve grown to admire Bridget.

Sure, she has her quirks and irritating habits.  She howls and yips when I leave her and Spike in the Perfect Tow Vehicle.  She is improving a little.  I let her sniff my credit card when I park the PTV at the gas pumps.

“See, Honey?  I’m only going to pump some gas.”

Then she quietly watches me through the driver’s side window.  The credit card maneuver, however, only works at gas pumps.  If I take my purse out of the PTV, she howls, full throttle.

Her sit-downs are less frequent these days.


“C’mon, Bridget!  Keep up with us!”

I correlate this behavior to teenage rebellion, even though Bridget’s beyond the teens in dog years.  She refuses to move in order to assert her independence.  It’s her way of saying, “I’m sick of you taking my picture” or “I don’t want to go for a walk.”

Lately Bridget has impressed me with her homing instinct.

Whenever there’s a break in the wind and cold, Bridget, Spike, and I hike off the road to climb the rocks and hills and walk the washes around Darby Well Road and our campsite.

1-P1020686 Ever since I recognized Bridget’s ability to find home, I tell her when we’ve gone far enough.

“Okay, Bridge, time to take us home.”  Home is a special word for her.

Proudly she turns and sets off. 

Spike and I trail behind.  (Spike is too influenced by his nose to be the leader home.  He’d lead us the wrong way, down the side of a cliff into a ravine, if a jackrabbit went that way.)


“Spike!  No!  This way!”

Bridget confidently takes us on a winding path of her own making that efficiently navigates the desert to our campsite.

This is pretty amazing, when you think about it, because she can’t see over the many boulders, bushes, and other obstacles between us and home.  The desert is unfamiliar territory.  She has no past experience to rely upon.

I can tell she enjoys this important responsibility.


If she leads us to a place that’s too treacherous for me or for all of us, she back-tracks, chooses another way, and keeps us on track, nevertheless.  It amazes me every time.  If I were to become lost, I’d want Bridget with me.  But, then, if Bridget were with me, I’d never be lost!

Well, we’re back to one feeder.


I don’t know what brand this strawberry feeder is.  The gila woodpeckers apparently don’t care, as long as it works, and it does!

1-P1020726Here’s a third woodpecker trying to join the party, but the palo verde thorns mess up his approach.  The smear on the right side of this photo is not the fault of the camera.  I took these bird photos through the window of the BLT.  I guess you could say it’s the fault of my lax housekeeping!

A few readers recommended their favorite hummingbird feeder. 

You can see those feeders on the Shopping Links page, “For your campsite.”  I’m going to pick one from that selection. Haven’t decided which one yet!

I added quite a few new items today. 

It isn’t a coincidence if you see something you purchased lately being featured on a Shopping Links page.  I pick up ideas for products to post from looking at the list of orders you’ve placed.  I sincerely thank you for every order you make through my blog.


Well, that’s it for today, folks.  I managed to get through the day without running over anything!



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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68 Responses to Bridget? A trail dog? Who knew?

  1. Nan says:

    Now that is woman power!

  2. Glenda Cornwill says:

    Bridget is a super star and gives credit to the stories you hear of dogs and cats as well finding their way home over large distances. They are simply amazing! Loved your photos of the woodpeckers….and hope you get another good bird feeder soon!!

  3. yes, there are some hummingbird feeders which do much better. I am wondering if your gila woodpeckers can use one that has a platform. Those work best for our hummingbirds and all 8 holes have a bird drinking from them and several “humming” nearby waiting a turn. That is, until later in the summer when the rufous hummingbird appears to chase all the others away and claim the feeder for himself. He has no time to drink, since he has to keep his territory free of intruders.
    BTW, Bridget is a real star, coming into her own, that girl.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Mary! The next feeder I get will have perches. I hung the strawberry feeder so that there would be branches for the woodpeckers to sit on when drinking. That’s why it’s in the palo verde.

      Yeah, I’m proud of Bridget.

  4. mary ann (pontotoc, ms) says:

    bridget is amazing~what a good girl! thanks for sharing the great photos of the woodpeckers, i just couldn’t visualize how they were drinking at that feeder. about your amazon link, it must be interesting to see such an eclectic combination of items coming through!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      This whole Amazon venture is a lot of fun. I enjoy finding products, making the pages, looking at the items purchased (of course I don’t know who buys what), and watching the money come in, too!

  5. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    Do you think those 5 woodpeckers who you couldn’t ditch gave their special geographical secrets to Bridget? Did they teach her that Barrel cactus always point a little south because they love the sun so much? Is that how she knows the back trail?

  6. Hotel California says:

    She has the homing instinct of a badger.

  7. Katy in NH says:

    Katy in NH

    Hi Sue,

    I have been a fan of your blog from the beginning.

    I ordered several things from Amazon via your website including the Thermos Thermal Cookware. This is my second one – ordering it for my mother. Although it is pricey, it really works well to serve as a ‘non-electric crock pot’ and a great ice bucket or holder for cold things at a buffet like potato salad. There is a website called that has recipes although with slight modification of method, you can cook any of your normal crockpot recipes. What things that i like most about it is that you can brown the meat, onions, etc for your soups and that it doesn’t use teflon. It can also be used as a normal pan so it is multifunctional which is so important for our limited storage. This is the modern version of ‘hay box cooking’ which was popular 100 years ago.

    One thing i noted is that the list of benchmark maps doesn’t include Colorado (although that didn’t keep me from ordering it 🙂 !

    Thanks for the almost daily entertainment – i look forward to your journal especially during this snowy NH winter. Hope to be on the road during winters beginning the coming year!

    • Marsha (Michigan) says:

      Kay – I’m glad to hear of first-hand experience with a thermal cooker. I was looking at purchasing one last year, but wasn’t sure if it really worked as well as stated (would I get real bang for my buck). Does it take up a lot of room? That was another concern when camping small.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Marsha … If Katy doesn’t see your question about the size of the thermal cooker, click on the link for the cooker and scroll down. Usually Amazon posts the dimensions of the product.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Katy… I, too, appreciate the information about the cooker. It is a large purchase, so hearing from someone who has one is very helpful.

      I don’t know what happened with Colorado! I’ll add that Benchmark to the list.

      I’m sending you a big THANK YOU for reading my blog from the beginning (and still coming back for more) and for shopping my links. Best wishes as you dream and plan about your winters on the road!

      • Katy in NH says:

        I have had mine about 5 years and it measures 9.5 high x 10 wide by 10.5 deep.

        Amazon’s site says 11.6×11.6×11.6

        They are both the same model number so not sure if the size has changed a bit or if Amazon is including the outside packing box.

        When my mom’s arrives next week, i will measure it, cook some soup in it and report back no later than March 11 on any differences between this new one and the frequently used one that i own and post an updated review. It is a very large purchase and that way you will have the info on the new one. (Mom will be happy for me to give it a trial run – especially when i deliver it with some great soup steaming 🙂 ) Other foods where these excel is dried beans, chili and from scratch tomato sauce, or gravy, depending on where you are from 🙂 I will respond in this comment string.


        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Katy . . .Or feel free to comment under the most recent post so the information won’t be buried. There are probably several who would like to know. Marsha’s a regular reader, so she’ll see it. Thanks for helping out.

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

    When someone orders from Amazon through your link, do you see only what is ordered or does it also reference who is doing the ordering? I’m picking your brain in case I want to follow your example down the road. (You make a good reference for me for many things! lol)

  9. Kellee says:

    Hi Sue! Finally payday for me so I ordered three books on full-timing as a gift to my husband (who is almost finally convinced!) and a cd for my son from your Amazon link – I will let you know what I think of the books from a wannabe perspective!

    Love to see Bridget so full of life! Our terrier, Becker, knows exactly where home is! His little 11 year old self gets really perky when we go onto our street after a walk!

    Keep posting and blogging – it is what gets me through the workday!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Kellee,

      Thanks so much for remembering to use my links. It’s reassuring to have a dog with a good homing instinct. You never know when it might be up to Becker to find the way home!

  10. Debbie in FL headed to MT says:

    Hello RVSue and crew, I have been following you for a long time and really love your style of writing, from the heart. You always have a unique way of getting my interest. Love all that you report about, the people, places, the wonder of the world and the way you make us examine life. Love Bridget and Spike. Love your helpful readers. We have been living in Florida, but for the last ten months in a TT and in six weeks getting ready to move to Montana (where we have also lived). The camper has made it possible to smoothly downsize and make the move, while bringing home with us. So, when you see the Montana Benchmark, some books and a water filter for the RV, thats us. I am so happy to be able to buy thru Amazon and have you benefit, you have entertained me more than you know. I will be reading one of your stories and laugh, then my husband will ask “what is she up to now”, and then I tell him whats happening and share the pictures you take. Have a great day and keep enjoying life everyday the way you do!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello Debbie…

      Florida to Montana… quite a contrast! I’m glad the TT worked out for you during your transition. Good luck with the move.

      The sincerity of your thank you for my blog brightened my morning! And I appreciate your help by shopping through my links.

      You and your husband have a great day, too!

  11. Cat Lady says:

    Wow, Sue! It’s a shame that Bridget can’t teach the gps-maker crew a few of her tricks. They try to send my 34′ moho + toad out in fields and one-lane roads … not a good thing.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I can relate… I still quake at the memory of one-lane Coyote Road. I don’t know how the PTV/BLT didn’t fall over the edge and down the side of the mountain.

  12. katydid says:

    Hi Bridget,
    You’re awesome!

    Hi Sue,
    I have an expensive hummingbird feeder. It was a gift. The birds of all kinds completely ignore it. I wouldn’t even hang it any more, but the HUMMINGBIRD MOTHS like it. They are pretty elusive but when you catch sight of one, they are amazing to watch!

    katydid, south of Chicago

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hummingbird moths? Really or are you kidding?

      • earthdancerimages says:

        Hummingbird moths were regular visitors to my coral honeysuckle vines in FL. They are very interesting to watch. Look like small furry hummingbirds! The ones I saw always visited at dusk.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi Geri! Very interesting. I never heard of them before.

          • katydid says:

            I really did’nt think there could be such a thing when I first saw one. I typed into google “hummingbird or moth” and found The cute video starts slow but it is almost as funny as your solution to the feeder!

  13. Ron Sears says:

    never saw a woodpecker on a humming bird feeder…great pic…have a great day

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I find the gila woodpecker fascinating. They have an interesting flight pattern of dips and a very distinctive call. Glad you liked the pics, Ron.

  14. cinandjules (NY) says:

    What a lovely post regarding Bridget’s trailblazing/homeing skills. You absolutely make me laugh.
    Life wouldn’t be so eventful without our little companions.


  15. earthdancerimages says:

    Loved seeing the woodpeckers at the hummingbird feeder! You might want to try a thistle sock to hang from a tree…. WalMart usually carries them. I know you are not near a Walmart now, but maybe your hardware source does. They attract the comical golden finches! So much fun to watch! We have 2 flying saucer type hummingbird feeders that have places for their claws to wrap around. Not sure if you saw them when we were all in Zion last summer, but they are easy to fill, hang AND they seem to attract a lot of hummingbirds! We got them at an ACE Hardware. Geri in T or C NM

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Um…. I’ll look these up on AMAZON! 🙂 Goldfinches are one of my favorites. I remember watching them go after the goldenrod when I was a kid. Fortunately I didn’t have allergies!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I found the thistle sack and added a link for it. Pretty neat. My personal wish list keeps growing!

      • earthdancerimages says:

        Here is the link to the flying saucer type hummer feeder. Ours was about $15 and had yellow flowers. but much the same. It gives you an idea of what to look for anyway!

        You can refill those seed socks with more thistle seeds. A sock will last us about 6 months until it has to be replaced!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Geri . . . I removed the link you posted to the flying saucer type feeder because links to Amazon competitors are against the Terms of Service and they jeopardize my Amazon Associates status. If you look on the “For your campsite” page, you’ll see I have a similar feeder listed there.

          When people click on the thistle sock link I’ve also posted, and then scroll down, they’ll see the refills.

  16. Gabrielle Becker says:

    Hello, Sue: I have been away for ten days on a cruise and just got home to catch up with your blog. One of the first ladies I met at the hotel before the cruise was a lady from Texas who just got delivery of her new Casita trailer! Small world, eh? Without you I would have never had a connection to this nice lady. We continued our conversations on the ship, and I have made a new friend. Thank you, Sue. Gabrielle and Penny from Ottawa, Canada (where the snow is still 3 feet high and it just never stops)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Gabrielle! It’s fun to hear how my blog is like a pebble in a pond with the ripples bringing about good things in people’s lives. I’m happy you made a new friend.

  17. Chuck says:

    Hi Sue! Another great post! Bridget is such a sweetie but the Kanine Kids agree with me that the stroller thing was reeeealy stretched out, right Spike? Don’t know if Geri told you we’re not going to workamp any more so will be downsizing to a Casita sized tt. Just got the Mothership cleaned out and cleaned, will be posting pix on our blog soon. Casita has a new model that is cloce to the Liberty but the twin bed benchs are wider and the bath more ‘molded. Think it’s called the Independence. Woof to the Crew from Chuck in T or C, NM

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Chuck! Thanks, glad you liked the post.

      I think you’ll enjoy getting back to a smaller rig that you can take more places, even though the Mothership is one beautiful fifth wheel.

      The Independence also has 3 burners, instead of two… not something I care about. If I can’t cook my meal in one pot, I change the menu! A wider bed would be nice… I wonder how the wider twins affect the floor space. I’m going to look to see if they have pictures on their website.

  18. Katy in NH says:

    To Marsha and Sue –

    I saw your comments and responded in the original string above

  19. Ron says:

    I was in Rice a week ago and saw all 4 models,my feet are to big for the independence , but I do like the changes in the shower.
    1 more week till I pick up our Spirit Deluxe at Rice.

  20. RV AJ says:

    Bridget looks like a big rabbit in that first photo!

  21. Rita from Phoenix says:

    LOL Bridget reminds of a horse we use to have….he’d poke along slowly leaving home but boy once headed home he’d high step & prance to get home. They sort of remind me of me…I hate to leave home but once on the road I’m fine & I love coming home. Wow lots of neat stuff on the shopping link…I was drooling over several items…adding and subtracting so I don’t go over spending budget for the month. Thank you for sharing…a lot of the items are on sale and some even posted used items or attachments. So strange to see wood peckers at the hummer feeder. Love Brige & Spike photos in desert but I have to say my favorites pics of Spike are him soaking in water…Spike the water dog.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rita,

      You aren’t the only one drooling over the Shopping Pages! Several of those items are on my wish list, too!

      I’m sure Spike will be thrilled when he spies his first body of water for this year’s travels. How he loves to soak! It doesn’t matter if it’s near-freezing cold, in he goes.

      Always nice to hear from you, Rita…

  22. BadKat says:

    I have been reading a long time and now am in our Airstream ready for the adventure. Our puppy of 11 yrs rescue has had a serious medical issue which soon will be resolved. Ever in South Louisiana and need a vet Tchefuncte goes more than the extra mile. Brings tears to my eyes knowing what they have done to save her. She is going to make it! A dog named Pink that has had breast cancer.
    We are off an running as soon as the vet says go.
    Thanks to your blog we are going on our adventure out west. Always wanted to live on a boat..did not happen..the wheels will do. So excited and gotta order your outdoor rug. Love it and goes with the Airstream Blue.
    Kat (New Orleans)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Kat,

      I’m happy to hear your Pink is fixed up and you’re ready for the road. Your adventures together will be sweet.

      There have been times when driving across the immense open land of the West that I’ve felt like I was in a boat in the ocean… miles and miles of uninhabited country . . . Wonderful!

      I picked that outdoor rug to match the blue of the Casita graphics. It’ll look great outside your Airstream, too. I know it will serve you well. Thanks for using my link.

  23. Dominick Bundy says:

    I wonder if the liberty deluxe will eventually be discontinued ,Now that the Independence is here? Gee I hope not. Dominick Rochester, NY.

  24. Penny/Texas says:

    Miss Independent Bridget, shes so funny, I love your crew! Great pics of the woody’s at the feeder, though they look really strange at a humming bird feeder..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for reminding me, Penny. I’d better go out and check the level of nectar in the feeder. Every time I look at that feeder there is at least one woodpecker drinking.

      Bridget IS funny. She loves accomplishment. I’ll always remember the first time she jumped up on the bed by herself. She had tried several times and failed. Eventually she grew big enough and strong enough. How proud she was, prancing around on the bed!

  25. Angie2B says:

    Sue, I got my thermo pot. I got the cheapest one Amazon had for 59.00. It’s stainless steal trimmed in red. I am happy with the construction, price and that it has two inner pots. So far so good.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yay for you, Angie!

      Please keep us informed how it works for you… I’d love to be able to post a less expensive model on the shopping page, even if it means less commission for me! Ha! (I’m not ALL about $$.)

      A thermal pot that works for sixty bucks would be especially good for boondockers! Thanks for using my link and for giving us feedback . . .

  26. Ron says:

    I have a suggestion for the next time you get bloggers block.
    How about letting the followers post questions to you on that day.

  27. Cari in Texas says:

    That’s so interesting about Bridget’s homing ability. I’m sure it’s reassuring to you too in case you get disoriented out in the desert 🙂 I’m fortunate that my Oliver knows his way home too. He has a penchant for wiggling out of the gate in my back yard fence and going for adventures/walks in the neighborhood. I used to chase him and walk around looking for him, but now I just open the garage door and soon here he comes racing up the alley. Or he’ll meet me at the front door. I have no idea how they do that.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Imagine walking a dog over boulders, down washes that curve hither and you, up hills, behind organ pipes, circling one way and another, keeping off any semblance of a path — in an area the dog has never seen before — and she leads you home in the most direct route. Dogs are amazing!

  28. Anita Fisher says:

    Hey Sue!! I just adopted another girl from my local shelter! She is sooooo adorable and looks at me like I am God….so sweet! But she has Bridgets attitude!!! God I Love her!!!! My kids say I did it because my youngest just moved out…and maybe a little…but I didn’t want my other girl home alone while I work at night…..Keep up the great stories!!!! Again you are fabulous….write a book!

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