The challenges of boondocking

Bridget and Spike are no longer allowed to run loose at our Juniper Hill Camp.


I’ll explain why in a minute. 

I need to back up a bit in the telling of this story.

Every day a green pick-up drives through here on the road that runs between our campsite and Rusty’s campsite.  Rusty has made the acquaintance of the driver, a guy by the name of Don who’s been a cattle rancher in these parts for the past 38 years.  He lives on his ranch miles away from us and the interstate, and his cattle roam the National Forest land around Juniper Hill Camp.

A while back some crazy idiots shot at his windmill, messing up the blades to the point where the wind can’t power it anymore.  Now Rancher Don has to drive up this spur road past our campsite every day to hook up a generator so the cattle will have water.

Rancher Don stops as he comes through here, and he and Rusty chew the fat.

Well, Rusty relays a bit of information to me that comes from Rancher Don.  To quote Rusty quoting Don, “The green mojaves are running.”  Son of a bitch.

I’m not apologizing for that last thought.

Not this time.  This situation deserves bad language.  What, pray tell, is a green mojave, you ask?  Well, my dears, in short, it’s the rattlesnake of your worst nightmares.  The venom of a mojave green is said to be sixteen times more potent than that of a diamondback.  You read that right.  Sixteen times more potent.  According to Rusty’s experience, they can be aggressive, too, as in attack-your-vehicle-while-you-scream-and-frantically-put-up-the-window aggressive.

And you thought a cranky bull was a problem.

Rancher Don encountered four mojave green rattlesnakes recently, and, bless his heart, he shot all four dead.

1-P1030373Rusty adds some more information. 

The story is that, back in the day, the Barnum & Bailey circus was traveling across the Mojave Desert when their venomous snakes from Southeast Asia got loose.  Most were recaptured but a few got away (of course) and met up with the local snakes.  And that, children, is how the mojave green rattlesnake came into being.

It’s enough to make you move to Ireland.

Speaking of moving, why don’t we, you may be wondering.  It’s complicated.  If we move toward Prescott to the west, or toward Flagstaff to the north, or toward Camp Verde to the east, we’re going to hit bad weather.  A cold front with gusty winds, thunderstorms and snow at higher elevations is predicted for this part of Arizona for the next few days.  This according to NOAA National Weather Service.

What about south?

Well, the large BLM area around Spring Valley, Bumble Bee, and Black Canyon City where Rusty used to camp is no longer any good because now it’s ATVers-gone-wild country.  Bloody Basin Road is a possibility, but there aren’t many campsites there and it’s a drive only to find it filled up.

That leaves staying put.

As soon as the April blast of cold weather and snow is over, we can move north.  Rusty says a late storm happens every year, and I believe him, having shared a snowstorm with him in Ash Fork last April.

Therefore, the crew and I will remain at Juniper Hill a few more days.  We’ll watch out for mad bulls and insanely venomous snakes.  As soon as the weather cooperates, we start to head north.  I’m thinking Monument Valley, the Four Corners region, and Bluff, Colorado, for starters.

In the meantime, we stay close to camp and I supervise the crew in their pen.

This next statement will surely raise the ire of animal lovers.  I’m letting it fly anyway. . .   I kinda’ wish a green mojave meets up with a big, black ornery bull, the bull stomps the mojave to death, and the incident is so traumatic that the bull runs far, far away, never to frequent our campsites again.

And rvsue and her canine crew live happily ever after.


“Pssst.  Hey, Bridge, baby.  You’d better watch out.  Did you know a big snake is going to sneak up on you and bite your face off?”



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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129 Responses to The challenges of boondocking

  1. Angie2B says:

    ugggg, I hate snakes with a passion. I would freak out.

  2. earthdancerimages says:

    Never heard of the Green Mojave before and I hope to never meet one! Stay safe Sue and crew!

  3. Up here in Wyoming we have lots of rattlers. ..there is now a rattler vaccine for dogs, but I don’t know if it is effective against those greens (we have prairie green rattlers). Anyway, it is not expensive and it helps to get an annual booster. Since I camp quite a bit, I get my little guy his shot every year.

  4. Rik Skelton says:

    I’m from the SW and never heard of the green mojave and I used to hunt snakes for pictures; grab em by the tail to make them pose. Some close calls, my fault.

  5. mockturtle says:

    I think they’re mainly nocturnal, so stay inside and keep your boys inside at night!

  6. Pat says:

    I don’t like snakes……..YUCK. I hope all of you stay safe and can get away from the green monsters soon.

    I have lived in AZ for 28 years and never heard of these snakes.

    Time to head north and explore……lol

    Pat, now in Deming

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Pat . . . The green mojave are only in certain areas of Arizona, dependent upon elevation, mostly where there is bunch grass and creosote. Another area they hang out around is Kingman.

  7. Kay says:

    I wondered about the snakes. When I worked at the hospital we had one come in bitten while I was on duty, sadly, he did not make it.

    And that weather… 30 degree difference they say for us here in the front range. We are expecting 4 to 8 inches of snow by Tuesday. Although we need all we can get in the mountains so we do not have too many fires, cabin fever is sitting in.

    People… why must they always have the need to damage property not belonging to them? And then they grip about new laws for control.

    Well, Spike one of these days Bridget is going to eat all the Kibbles!

    I am writing down my items Sue and per Amazon I need to empty my cart and start over using a link from your site “she thinks.” I will be calling them before purchasing just to make sure.

    Take care and be safe.


    • rvsueandcrew says:


      I’m nervous about you calling Amazon to make sure I get credit. This may put up a “red flag.” Amazon does not want their Associates to generate sales through friends. Although it is entirely unrealistic, the purpose of the Associates program is to pull in new customers rather than move customers through links to generate income. I may be extra cautious, but I’d just as soon you shop my links from now on and don’t worry about what is already in your cart. You’re super nice to want to do this for me.

      • Kay says:

        Oh no worry, I don’t reveal my link info… I ask questions in general… I just figure someone should get the credit might as well be you and the crew because I enjoy the entertainment.

    • Judie from Alabama says:

      Isn’t it ignorant of people to destroy other’s belongings?! However I don’t agree with the new control laws….I think we’d do a lot better by teaching our kids the proper use of firearms and doing our best to set a good example for them. Some folks tho will do it no matter what and if they didn’t have a gun, they’d destroy it by some other means. There just doesn’t seem to be a lot of control over pure evil. Hope ur snow doesn’t last long-can’t imagine snow now. I love it and think it’s beautiful but have found that I’m just too old to live in it so I enjoy it thru pictures. lol

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi Judie…. If it isn’t “pure evil”, then it’s “pure idiocy.” The trouble is there’s a large percentage of parents who aren’t doing their job, or they’ve given up in face of the overwhelming influences of our society. But then there’s always a certain element… It used to be knocking over mailboxes . . .

        • Judie from Alabama says:

          True. I’d hate to be raising kids these days….with all the outside influences. Don’t think I’d make it. Lots of folks prefer to turn over the raising of their kids to the schools and that puts an extra burden on the teachers…they’re there to educate, they shouldn’t have to teach things that should be taught at home.

          • Kay says:

            Teachers are not the babysitters. They are the teachers and the kids should respect them. Too many parents forget this one detail. uggg,,, I have to go to bed can’t allow myself to get started on this subject, so I’ll just say “Parents do their job, world would be a better place.”

  8. Patrick A says:

    I have never heard of the Mojave Green but I looked them up and i will e-mail you a copy of a photo I found of one from the San Diego Zoo.

  9. Mitchell says:

    They be real….

    From Wikipedia:

    And a short video of them:

    Jeff Corwin in the video has much more temerity than me. Wow!

    Stay safe, Sue (and crew)!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for posting the links, Mitchell. I’m not going to look at the video. I researched the mojave green this afternoon, and now I’m wondering if I’m going to have nightmares!

      • Mitchell says:

        No, the video’s not bad. I actually thought it made the snake look a little docile. It’s NOT b ut… And the guy in the video obviously knows what he’s doing.

        • Emjay says:

          They AREN’T docile. That snake is either cold or it’s been drugged somehow. I’ve never met a rattler that wasn’t aggressive. You are right to keep them doggies penned up. Still, be watchful. The snakes like shade (if it’s hot) and security around moving creatures (people), so look before you go into or out of your little house and car. They can be under steps.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Okay, Emjay… consider me warned.

          • Emjay, If you watch all the videos on that site you get a real view of the truth. The videos show several of these fools getting bit. Do a Google search on “snake handler bitten by rattlesnake” and these fools are really exposed for how ignorant they are. I guess there are still people around that believe everything they see on Television and the Internet. The word “Stupid” comes to mind.

  10. cinandjules (NY) says:

    I too hate snakes……….well not hate them..hate em….just choose not to live amongst them.
    Too bad for Rancher Don…it’s ashame that people nowadays don’t respect each other or their property. Wasn’t that a trait that every parent taught their youngens?

    Have you got a long handle shovel handy in case one decides to come close? On second thought..(what was I thinking) ..How fast can you run toward the BLT carrying Spike AND Bridget?

    What an ugly snake! Wikipedia says it is active at night or early mornings before high midday temperatures. Has some sort of heat sensitve sensory that scopes out it prey. YIKES!!!!!

    Be careful on the last potty run for the crew! Meh? I’d take that ole heifer Blondie over the green mojave snake anyday.

    Spike is so cute whispering in Bridget’s ear………….Bridget isn’t listening. 🙂

    Be safe……..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m not getting out the shovel. I’m grabbing Spikey and running. If I run, Bridget runs right at my heels. I had a funny thought . . . I’d rather be around a mad bull and venomous snakes than lots of people. Hence I’m not in Cottonwood or Sedona.

      The idiocy that people display is astounding. One should not be able to witness the decline of Western Civilization over the course of one lifetime. Our public lands are littered with old cans with bullet holes in them, shotgun shells, broken beer bottles, tires, trash of all sorts, and the ubiquitous wads of used toilet paper. Ugh! I could go on but who wants to read my gripes . . .

      • Judie from Alabama says:

        U r soooo right Sue! It’s very sad that they don’t have more respect for things that can’t be replaced. Like I was saying earlier tho, some folks are just plain evil. I told my husband last night that instead of griping about getting old and the aches and pains that go with it, I’m gonna be grateful because the more I read, the less I like. That’s why I said I’d like ur lifestyle…I much prefer the company of animals, especially dogs to most people. Don’t mean to sound ugly but there just seems to be such a lack of respect for anything and anybody these days….no rules anymore, just whatever anyone wants goes. I grew up in a much stricter time and was taught to respect other’s and have manners. Things sure are different these days.

      • cinandjules (NY) says:

        Like everyone else here…googling green mojave snake…that snake is NO joke! The shovel comment was a joke…seriously grab the crew and run like hell! Scream if you want! Hell………..I’ll scream for you!

        We’re all going to dream about snakes tonight……….thanks! 🙂

  11. SusanandLance says:

    Hi Sue, I have been lurking for awhile, reading your blogs. We bought a used Casita from a nice couple in AZ a month ago. Too cold here in Taos to take it out yet. But having fun getting ready. So used your Amazon link and bought a LOT of stuff in the last few days. Glad it helps you out, love your blog. The snakes would be creepy, glad you can keep your crew in the pen for a few days. Will let you know when we take off in our casita–not full timing it, but looking forward to lots of great adventures in our “little white jelly bean”.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Congratulations, Susan and Lance, on your “little white jelly bean!” Thank you for reading my blog. I’m glad you are with us. Someday you can tell us about your adventures.

      And thanks for buying through my links. I appreciate it very much.

  12. mary ann says:

    between the snakes, the weather, and that bull, you are in a tight spot!

  13. CT says:

    Yuk! That nasty snake sounds like it might be a little too much even for tough ol’ Spike to scare off. Be careful & stay safe!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      We’ll be careful. Spike has been bitten in the face before, by what I don’t know. Back in Georgia he came in with his face swollen. It happened twice. Very scary.

  14. Cheryl Ann says:

    Yes, I hear THOSE rattlesnakes are very aggressive. More so than a normal diamondback. Be safe and the doggies, too! Can’t wait to hear where you will go next!

  15. Nan says:

    We encountered a diamondback this week. The adventure is in today’s blog. And last Sunday at Clark Dry Lake, we had a Scorpion. Seems the warmer weather is bringing the little devils out….yuck

  16. MG says:

    Do you know about these snakes?

    Sent from my iPad

  17. Ed says:

    Here is the entire story of how the first Mojave greens came to be. It sounds a lot like some of the tribal creation stories I have heard.
    One day, way, way, way back in the late 1800s, a circus wagon train was making its way to San Bernardino for a celebration. The wagons headed up a sandy wash toward the pass with lions and tigers and bears, and of course, a wagon full of deadly cobras from India. The wagons with the lions and tigers and bears were considerably heavier and wore deep ruts in the sand. The wagon carrying the cobras was lighter, and with the wooden roof on top was top heavy. After a bit, the cobra wagon tipped over and all the cobras escaped.

    Well, everybody was too afraid of the snakes to collect them so they just left without them. After a couple days the cobras started running into the rattlers. There was snake fights all over the place. Cobras were fighting rattlers and rattlers were fighting cobras. All the rats had been eaten so the victor of each battle got to eat the loser. Now, while rattlers were annoying and mean, the cobras were just plain killers and more often than not, the rattlers were the ones that were dinner.

    Now the weird thing is; only the boy rattlesnakes were being eaten by the victors- all over the valley. Eventually the girl rattlesnakes came out of hiding, and the boy cobras married them in little snake wedding cermonies and made passionate love to them during snake honeymoons and eventually then had little snake babies that had the head of a cobra and the body of a rattlesnake. These were the first Mojave Greens.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a creepy little tale. It’s creepy because it’s written in the style of a bedtime story. Imagine being a kid and hearing that before going to sleep . .. Thanks for “enlightening” us, Ed.

  18. Becki says:

    Sue * wondering if you bring in the kids beds in the evening? I agree all the beauty is worth the few hazards. Enjoy! Becki

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, I bring them in. I don’t want them getting wet with dew or a surprise rain. I throw their beds and the quilt into the PTV now that it’s warm.

  19. Victoria in Alaska says:

    One real nice thing about living in Alaska = no snakes! I do not miss the snakes, scorpions and poisonous spiders!

  20. Sandy says:

    Just up I-17 at the exit for Sedona…..turn right instead of left…….about two miles ??? down a gravel road is Beaver Creek Campground. It’s National Forest so half price for seniors. No hook ups or showers……pit toilets. Nice creek deep enough for swimming and shallow enough for Spike to have a good soak. Shaded ….can’t remember how many sites but not more than ten or twelve. It beats getting snake bit. We have camped there for since 1975. Check it out……love your blog be safe!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I researched Beaver Creek Campground along with some others. The elevation means cold, cold, cold. Also the road up that way — Old Fork or something like that — is closed. But that’s not the reason I crossed it off my list for April… I don’t want to deal with cold wind and possible snow.

  21. Mary says:

    Hi Sue and Crew! Sorry to get off topic but I have two questions. 1. How do you like using a straight Talk as opposed to the other cell phone carriers? I believe I was told that Straight talk is owned by Verizon?
    And 2. I want to look into a solar setup for my camper. Is there a panel you would recommend from Amazon? I think I will need 200w panel based on comments you have made about your usage.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Mary . . . There aren’t any rules about topics here… Just bring up what’s on your mind…

      I’m not a good one to evaluate a phone because I hardly ever use the phone. I don’t even call my own sisters! The only reason I have a phone is for 911, emergency road service, and an occasional appointment. Anyway . . . Straight Talk is okay. You get (not much) what you pay for (not much). My voice mail was always screwing up so I gave up on it, leaving it perpetually full of messages from 2011. But then I like not getting messages.

      As for a solar panel from Amazon… I’d have to look into it. I’m not an expert on panels. I could look for one, but I wouldn’t know if it were a good one or not. I guess you could tell by customer comments.

  22. Renee (from Datil) says:

    PETA be damned, as far as I’m concerned, the only good rattlesnake is a dead one. And this from one who not only loves animals, but even snakes (I used to have three boa constrictors of my own). Rattlesnakes scare me to death. Be careful out there. Oh, and watch out for those scorpions, too. Got stung by one this year & after 5 weeks, my thumb is STILL partially numb. Going to ask my doctor if this could be permanent nerve damange. Sure hurt like h*ll!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Great opening line, Renee. Sure got my attention. I know snakes keep the rodent population under control but I wish they’d stay away from people and pets.

      That scorpion ordeal is terrible. I hope you regain full feeling.

  23. I grew up with the Mojave Green right at our doorstep. It is true, they are aggressive at times. To avoid as much contact as possible with all Rattlers it’s best to venture out during the heat of the day when they are hiding from the heat.

    The biggest problem with the Green to me is how they blend in so well with the brush this time of year.

    The first thing I do when exiting any door is slowly bend over and see if there are any visitors camping under the edge of the trailer, vehicle.

    I am constantly aware of my surroundings, first I scan the first few feet all around me, then I do a wide view of the area I will be entering. I repeat this process each twenty feet or so of the walk. The wide view is helpful in that I can follow a path where I will not be forced into a situation where I have to pass too close to the brush or rocky areas where little devils can hide.

    I’ve taken many people on trips to the desert and the four things that are pretty common with them all is:

    1. They let their guard down too quickly just because a few moments have passed with no issues.
    2. They constantly choose paths where they are forced to walk way too close to areas snakes love to hide in and under.
    3. They have to constantly be told to stop and check under the step and edge of the vehicle before exiting.
    4. No snake bite kit.

    And a P.S. Keep the screen door closed! All it takes is a few seconds of your back being turned to find you have a visitor waiting for you when you crawl into the sack. : -(

    I’ve lived and played in the desert most of my life and I can honestly say that the environment does not kill people, the lack of knowledge does.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Very sobering message, Bob. Thank you for posting it. I admit I’ve been lax about checking the step area before exiting the BLT and the PTV. No more!

      There’s a marked hiking trail near here. The crew and I didn’t take it because it’s too narrow . . .for the reason you stated in #2. We’ve stayed on the roads. Now we’re staying around camp until we leave in a few days. We’re on the edge of a big, bare ground area (which I don’t photograph because it’s not pretty :). So at least I have a good view of our surroundings.

      • Hello Sue, one other thing I do is I always take my walking stick. There have been times that I had to use it to sling a snake away. This is kind of funny but my old walking stick has become such a part of my body that I can jab it at a small target and hit it every time. I once took a desert trip with my younger brother and he stepped right in front of a diamond back; I hit it right in the head first shot.

  24. katydid says:

    I like snakes (I know…wierd.) Snakes eat the mice and voles that send the shivers up MY spine. I have rescued garter snakes from shovel and axe weilding neighbors. Please live under my front porch Mr. Snake. I have no rodents. “Thank you” to my snakes!

    But Mojave green rattlesnakes – NO, now that I know that thes babies even exist, I don’t want them anywhere around. Stay safe Sue and crew – these sound like snakes no one can love!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You apparently don’t have the snake aversion that most people seem to have. It’s totally irrational, but there it is. I can’t stand snake exhibits or snake videos or snake documentaries or anything snake. Even a snake behind glass, I have an automatic reaction to flee.

  25. Elizabeth says:

    OH my…the snakes are far scarier than bulls in my opinion!!! Sneaky things!! Hope you are able to get safely away from there…I suppose those snakes could be most anywhere in the desert however. Well, at least if the weather is somewhat cooler, that helps one avoid snakes!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      This morning the temperature has dropped with strong, gusty winds. So the crew and I are holed up in the BLT. I just ordered a kindle book from an author I’m enjoying these days. As soon as I finish replying to comments, I’m making a cup of tea and climbing back under the covers with my kindle. Bridget and Spike are already conked out for a morning nap. Have a great day, Elizabeth.

  26. susan preston says:

    There is a vaccine for dogs for rattlesnake bites. Unfortunately, it is not effective against mojaves, and it really only gives you more time to get your dog to the vet for treatment. I am in Arizona and most of the vets here carry it – especially those in rural areas.
    Sue head for the White Mountains – for Arizona, it is pretty much snake free!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Maybe someday we will visit the White Mountains. During April . . . Mountains = Cold and possibly Snow!

    • Emjay says:

      Weellll…there are rattlers in the White Mountains, too. They aren’t Mojave Greens and are shy-er and not so populous there. Ordinary caution there means just being smart about not stepping into hillsides with lots of rocks, watching out for them near areas where rodents are likely to have a colony, looking on the other side oflogs before you step, etc. Don’t live in fear. Just be aware.

  27. Tammy says:

    Holy Moly, just reading your blog gave me the webbies. I hate snakes, and I worry worry worry about the dogs. We have seen snakes out here in the park so that means the Cooper Heads are out. We have few Rattlesnakes too but not like you. I make the dogs walk on the road when we go out now. Scares me to death….please be careful. I am scared for you!

  28. Lisa says:

    Wow, how scary! Not nice of Spikey to play with Bridget like that!

    Anyway, as one of you resident animal lovers, I just wanna say thanks for not killing off the bull in your fantasy – you let him just ran away, very thoughtful of you.

    Lastly, doesn’t it just figure that unthinking humans are the source of this problem in the environment? Kinda embarrassing…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I suppose I could’ve fantasized that the snake ran away with the bull, sort of like the “cow ran away with the spoon”. . .

      • Elizabeth says:

        hmmmmm, come to think of it…the bull stamping around your place may keep snakes at bay…one of my friends moved out into the country, in desert-like area…had horrid snake problems…but then she got a horse….no more snakes…even though the horse was a bit of a distance from the house…we figure all the running up and down the field by the horse must have vibrated the ground enough that the snakes went elsewhere…so maybe your horrid bull is an angel in disguise…I would still be most vigilant however!!

  29. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    Mother nature has a way of balancing out the animal populations. But man kills all the snakes because of his abnormal fear of snakes. This creates un-balance and dis-ease is the result. If people just took the time to pay attention to where they walk and put their hands there wouldn’t be so many horror stories about rattlesnakes. I am called Rattlesnake Joe because I rescue rattlesnakes from the RV park. I put them in a 5 gallon plastic pail with a bail handle, put the lid on [with air holes] and take them far out into the desert and turn them loose. If I run into a freshly run over snake, I stop and put the dead snake on a fense post for the buzzards and hawks, or prop him up on a big rock so a Coyote can eat him. Otherwise the crows, ravens ect, will get run over eating the dead snake. We Americans have forgotten how to live with nature. Pretty soon our planet is going to be dead if we continue KILLING EVERTHING. They are here for a purpose. We need to respect life not kill it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I agree…. unrestrained, wanton killing of wildlife is deplorable. However, IMHO, there are times when we human animals should be able to defend ourselves and our families from death or injury from wildlife. Snakes don’t always kill for food. Sometimes it’s a defense mechanism (a good defense is a strong offense, or something like that). That’s what I feel Rancher Don is doing when he shot four mojave greens. I’m sure the mojave greens would have no reservations about killing Rancher Don.

      Now don’t get all mad at me, Joe. I love and respect wildlife, too, and hate to see an animal killed for fun or some other trumped-up “reason.” We humans have upset nature’s balance too often, and unfortunately we continue to do so.

      That’s a valuable service you provide to the RV park. I’m sure the owners and residents appreciate your willingness to handle the snake visitors.

      • Rattlesnake Joe says:

        Unfortunately most people think I’m nuts and want me to kill the rattlesnakes. I suppose it would make them sleep better knowing there were a few less rattlesnakes. If that is the case we should have a national rattlesnake round up and flood the halls of Congress with the live specimens. That sure would make me sleep better. 🙂

    • Pam says:

      I want to know what RV park you stay in that has that many rattlesnakes so I can never, ever go there. 🙂

  30. Hi Sue
    Question: Do Casita’s have a screen door? My ‘used’16 ft Spirit Deluxe did not have one. I wonder if you have come across a source, or a retrofit solution. Location here, …North central Wyoming. Overnight flurries expected….otherwise, ‘spring has about sprung’. Enjoy your blog.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, Casitas have a screen door. Mine has a plexiglass guard at the bottom that a friend added for me to protect it from the crew’s claws.

      North central Wyoming… gee, it’s great to know what a place looks like when someone mentions it… only I saw it in summer!

  31. bythervr says:

    Hi Sue,
    While I normally wouldn’t condone killing wildlife in their natural environment this is the result of an invasive species being unnaturally introduced; the ecosystem is disturbed. Florida is having a terrible time with Burmese pythons. While rattlesnakes can ruin your day it’s their natural home and they belong there. Please be careful.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      We are being careful. Spike is a problem because he doesn’t do his business (#2) when on leash — at least not readily. He also refuses to do his business close to the BLT. He thinks he has to walk far away into the grass and bushes. I don’t want to walk there with him! And of course, last night, after dark he insisted he had to go outside!

      Bridget, like most females, knows how to “hold it” until a convenient time. 🙂

  32. Ms. Minimal says:

    Oh Spikey, quit taunting Bridget like that!

  33. Barry says:

    I ran into those snakes out in the death valley area years ago. They like to bury themselves os the road and jump out and get you. I was on a dirt bike and thru them up into the air and the guy behind me had to dodge them. They are really bad…It was in the red mountain, Ca area. And they have anther snake and it is the red mojave also bad…be careful because they are hungry…

  34. bythervr says:

    Hi Sue,
    FYI.. I used the link we chatted about a few days ago, over the weekend, and I’d be curious if you get the intended credit.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Barrie… I’m sure I did get credit, although I have no way of knowing for sure without knowing what you ordered. You may have told me but I don’t remember.

      Names of shoppers are not shared with Amazon Associates. Several people have inquired about their orders (whether I got credit) since I joined up with the Associates Program, and I did get credit for all of them. So I’m confident I got credit for yours.

      Thanks for ordering through my links, Barrie, and for wanting to make sure I get credit for your purchases.

  35. Jim Melvin says:

    I have also heard about the green mohave and it was not good. If the weather breaks I suggest Monument Valley. It is absolutely fabulous there. By the way I now have a dog I rescued in Mesa, AZ that is a real sweetheart. She is really looking forward to meeting Spike and Bridget one of these days.

    • libertatemamo says:

      We’re headed that way on Wed, but seems there is literally nowhere to stay except for Gouldings RV Park. The on-side dry-camping campground (Mittry) is closed and there’s no BLM land within the valley? Am I missing some good spot to stay?

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Nina… I remember reading about a place to stay in Monument Valley that is nothing more than a dirt parking lot, but with fantastic views. I believe Jim stayed there. I haven’t searched his site yet, but plan to.

        As you know from my post, I’m planning to go to Monument Valley (apparently Jim was speed-reading and skipped that part!). Gouldings RV Park is too pricey for me … $36 a night on weekdays, more on weekends.

        • libertatemamo says:

          The dirt parking lot is the one that is currently closed as far as I know. It’s managed by the Tribe and currently they’re renovating. The tribe doesn’t allow boondocking. We’ll see if I can find out more. We get there on Wed.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yup, Monument Valley is what I mentioned in this blog entry. I saw your dog on your blog… so cute and perfect for you, Jim. Life is not the same once you adopt a pet!

  36. libertatemamo says:

    Eeeks…I hate snakes. We’re up here in Prescott National Forest braving the wind today. Not sure how bad it’ll get today, but we’re hunkering down and waiting it out! Lots of people boondocking by Thousand Trails Road, but almost no-one on the other side of the road (well, apart from us). We’re moving when the weather breaks on Wed, so will probably not cross paths but enjoy your stay here!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The crew and I are leaving sometime later this week also. This wind is something else! You enjoy your spot. I don’t blame you for bypassing Thousand Tourist Road. 🙂

  37. Iris says:

    Hi Sue, great blog I am really enjoying it. I am in Parker, AZ until May 9th and then I am moving north to Huntsville, UT. Since I started this life style I have lost 3 pets, its only been 2 yrs, the desert has its way of luring them out, needless to say they dont run free like they did before. My heart can’t take it, my feamale is still morning her loss friend they were always together. I hate snakes with a passion I have nothing good to say about them. Well I hope I meet with you someday and just share an awsome meal with you. I am an excellent cook. Be very carefull.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I appreciate your concern, Iris. I’m sorry about the losses you’ve suffered.

      Thanks for the compliment on my blog. It’s a pleasure for me to read that it provides enjoyment. You be careful, too.

  38. MKReed says:

    OHHH I hate snakes too, stay safe Sue and Crew!

  39. AZJim says:

    Years ago I pulled into a camp area in the California desert to take a break from driving. As I entered a truck just leaving flagged me down to tell me there was a large rattler in one of the parking areas but asked that I not harm it. I looked around the area, saw the snake,, also saw kids and dogs here and there. I hope that snake didn’t mind too much when my axe took it’s head off.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Most of us are not trained or equipped to relocate venomous snakes. In that situation it was wise to kill the snake as you can’t control who might enter that area. How terrible to “pardon” the snake and then hear that a child died as a result.

  40. Connie & Mugsy says:

    To change the subject from snakes for a moment… Sue… have you visited Tioga George’s blog in the last couple days? George had stopped his old blog… no more travel stuff. A new direction in his life that has changed so much since the death of his son.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Connie, for the heads up on Tioga George’s blog change. I took a look and gave him my words of support.

      George has the courage to live an honest life of self-examination. His contribution to people searching for adventure is immense. He gave me the idea to full-time and I’ll always be grateful to him for that.

  41. Cindy says:

    Sue: Have you thought about getting the rattlesnake vaccine for your dogs? I don’t think it protects from the Mohave rattlers, but does provide protection from a number of other rattlers. It doesn’t completely protect the dog, but my vet said it provides more time to get to a vet, it reduces the pain and swelling and it reduces the dog’s recovery time. Best of all, it’s not too expensive. I’m thinking about the rattlesnake aversion training for my 2 dogs. I’m not thrilled with the idea because it uses a shock collar (1.5 seconds, supposedly) but I figure tht’s better than losing them to a viper. Hope you all stay safe out there.

    • cinandjules (NY) says:

      Can I chime in about training?

      If you’re not thrilled with zapping your dogs…teaching them “Leave It” isn’t hard. Rattlesnake aversion training is good JUST for snakes….”Leave it” training is good for anything/everything and doesn’t use a shock collar. It also doesn’t cost anything but a little bit of patience.

      I left a synopsis of how to teach it in the comment section of “Balmy days Balmy ways”. If you’re interested and need more info let me know we can do it via email.

      • blaylocklaw says:

        Cinandjules: Both of my dogs (a rescued Pit Bull and an aristocratic Wheaten Terrier) are pretty good at “leave it” but I guess I assumed (or feared) that wouldn’t be useful with a rattler, that has a striking distance of a few feet. I’m afraid that once I realized a rattler was close by and said “Leave it” it would be too late. I believe the aversion training teaches the dog to alert on the small and sound of the rattler from a distance and avoid it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m considering the vaccine. I hesitate with Spike. That last heartworm pill I gave him made him very sick.

  42. AZ Jim says:

    I joined the Amazon shoppers using your link today. This order wasn’t much, just a Grill rib rack but what the hell it all adds up I reckon. I frequently use Amazon so from now on, I’ll use your link. Watch the snakes of course but remember there is no place without it’s little drawbacks.

  43. Chip says:

    eeeuuuuuu. All this talk about this snake makes me not want to come to the desert. I have been planning on spending time in the desert when I go fulltime in a year. I have a question that “sorta” relates to this snake problem. I travel solo with no pets. So, I would not have the benefit of a dog chasing away the cattle and any other unwanted desert critters. I can just imagine one of the bulls head butting the side of my motorhome or using the motorhome as a scratching post.. Also will these snakes or any other critter climb up the tires or up under the motorhome.? Do you know of any special precautions that a solo traveler with not pets should take. I can see myself opening the motorhome door and screaming to chase “whatever” away before I step outside. LOL
    You and your crew stay safe.
    Chip in Middletown, Delaware
    p.s. LOVE YOUR BLOG!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chip!

      Great to have you join in the discussion. I’m sorry you’re at the end of the comments where your questions may not be seen by many people who can answer with more knowledge and experience than I possess

      I don’t think you’ll have a problem with critters. For instance, regarding the cows at the recent camp near Congress, AZ. If I didn’t have Spike to chase them off, I’m sure I could get rid of them with a lot of yelling or clanging of pots. As for the bull, he’s best ignored, but I don’t tell Spike that! I doubt he would come after the BLT without some provocation.

      I don’t know about snakes climbing up tires. It’s always a rule in the desert to never put your hand where you can’t see. I keep my metal walking stick by the door. Before stepping out, I tap the metal step and the ground to make warning vibrations.

      And, of course, during the cool winter months the snakes are underground.

      Please don’t let this snake post discourage you! The desert is not to be missed!

      • Chip says:

        Thanks! Your response is very reassuring. It sounds like living in the desert can and is a learning experience.

  44. Margie says:

    Sue, I hate to even mention this but it seems to be worth knowing. Mohave Greens can swim, and do. Not so much a problem where you are, I know, but a friend had one climb out of Lake Havasu right onto the fishing dock a few years ago. It was between him and the land end of the dock and was moving slowly because of the water temp, so it went back into the water on the end of his fishing rod… Despite the unfriendly creatures in the desert, I think I will always be captivated by the beauty of it, and the glorious sunsets! Just so everybody pays attention while they are in it…
    Take care – Margie

  45. Bev Deem says:

    I have thought long and hard about the Mojave Snake story. The Rancher probably covers a lot of acreage in managing his cattle and likely to see that many Mojave Rattlers. However, he made it sound like “herds” of them were moving. What a clever way to instill that fear in a couple campers sharing acreage with his cattle. My husband has been prospecting in the “wilds” of AZ for six years and has probably seen three Rattlers. We hiked in Mojave Rattler country near Meade City and didn’t see one. I’ve heard that Rattlers do not crawl more than a mile from their den and maybe that is why not that many are seen. Our cat wouldn’t leave the motorhome when we were parked in Overton, NV at our favorite spot and I opened the door to let her out. My husband spotted a sidewinder near our motorhome–the cat sensed it. I have a feeling your dogs would sense a snake and you would immediately notice their strange behavior. I was worried about your dogs being penned and having nowhere to go if a snake crawled in their pen but I’m guessing it is highly unlikely you will see a Mojave anytime soon. (Don’t make me eat my words…haha).

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I agree with you, Bev. Except for one thing.. . Rancher Don and his family are very cordial about Rusty and me staying on this National Forest land. In fact, Rusty commented the other day how considerate Don’s family is… They were on ATVs and slowed down while coming through this area, so as not to disturb us or kick up dust. I’ve never experienced that kind of thoughtfulness from passing ATVers.

      You are right about the large area of land that Rancher Don looks over, thus he’s more likely to encounter snakes. Especially if he has stored feed which draws rodents which draws snakes.

      I do rely on the senses of Bridget and Spike, as well as my own, when we walk the desert. I remember coming across a diamondback in Florida. I sensed its presence before I saw it and it never did rattle. I’m glad you, your husband, and your cat did not tangle with a sidewinder.

  46. PamP in SW Florida says:

    Oh dear, I’ve always worried about bad snakes getting your crew. It would be heartbreaking. Better they stay safe in their pen.

  47. Judy says:

    Sue. Snakes creep me out but I made myself watch the Jeff Corwin video to see jsut how wicked the snake behaved. He had to uncover one that was hidden under a small bolder. after one strike twd him, the snake tried to hide under another bolder. He retrieved it w/ the hooked rod of a thing. Possible this was evening when it was hot & the snake was less prone to be active. There is a long shadow but who knows if it was AM or PM.

    My HUGE point here is that after seeing the video I do not feel terrified out of my mind of the possibility of encountering one. Maybe if you could watch the video, it might calm your fears just a bit as well. Wishing you all the best.

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