Camp Drake, Prescott National Forest, Arizona

Saturday, April 13

The last few days at Juniper Hill Camp, east of Prescott, our water supply dwindles, both the drinking water I store in one-gallon jugs and the fresh water in the tank.  Given a choice of cleaning me or the dishes, I choose ME!

Our first full day at Camp Drake, north of Prescott, is for housekeeping.

Every dish I own is dirty!

Every dish I own and almost all my pots and pans are dirty!

If the crew and I were living in a regular house, a day of housekeeping would be, well, drudgery.  Now that we live in a travel trailer — the beloved Best Little Trailer — housekeeping is a delight.

I set up my camp chair and folding table for a washing station outside.

The day is sunny and bright.  The breeze makes a soft brushing sound as it blows through the branches of the juniper trees around our campsite.  Bridget and Spike doze, alternating between the warmth on the outdoor rug, the coziness of the canine condo, and the cool earth under the BLT.

Spike considers himself the rightful tenant of the canine condo.

Spike considers himself the rightful tenant of the canine condo.

The housekeeping chores done, we venture down one of the dirt roads leading from our camp.

Drake was once called Cedar Glade.  Hmm . . . Why wasn’t it called Juniper Glade?  A little online research and I find the answer.  About six junipers have the word cedar in their common names.  Okay, moving on . . . 

The crew and I stay on the dirt road.

The crew and I stay on the dirt road.

The name Drake comes from the engineer of that name who constructed (I’m sure he had help!) the railroad shipping point.  Flagstone is quarried in Drake, and cement is produced by the, what else, Drake Cement Company.

The cement plant is our only neighbor in the Prescott National Forest

The cement plant is our only neighbor in the Prescott National Forest

The trains rumble past our camp and follow the graceful curve of the tracks until disappearing over a small hill.

Drake is one of a pair of ghost towns.  The other is Puntenney.  George Puntenney came to Arizona from Colorado in 1879 and built a lime kiln here.  The crew and I come across the small Puntenney Cemetery as we walk the dirt road meandering along a ridge.

It’s a sad place with only a few rocks and markers indicating the location of graves.  Another, much larger pioneer cemetery is located in Drake, which, by the way, is not much more than the cement plant these days.

Our campsite is closer to Puntenney than Drake. 

I like the sound of Camp Drake better.  The two ghost towns are close together, separated by Hell’s Canyon.  There isn’t much left of either community.

I read that schoolchildren walked across the trestle going to and from school, being careful not to be caught by a train while in the middle.  Quite unlike today, when schoolchildren are walked across a street by a crossing guard holding a sign and a whistle.

I grew up next to railroad tracks.  I still love the sound and sight of trains.

I grew up next to railroad tracks and played “dare” on a trestle. I still love the sound and sight of trains, but I stay off the trestles!

Sunday, April 14

It’s one of those glorious days that puts people in the mood to polish their vehicle.  I lounge around sloth-like until that mood strikes me.  I set up the stepladder and wash off the dust and grime from the upper part of the BLT, the side that faces the harsh afternoon sun.   I dry the surface and apply polish.

This is the second coat, which the NuPolish people recommend be applied within thirty days of the first coat.  Typically, I missed that deadline.  Oh well, a second coat at any time is better than no second coat at all.  It’s rewarding to wipe off the dry polish to reveal the shine.

How about the last post!

Quite an outpouring of love and support for our friends, Rusty and Timber!  Throughout the day I jump online to respond to messages promising house-warming gifts.

Monday, April 15

This morning Rusty and Timber visit the lady at the VA who coordinates housing for vets.  After the visit and a few errands, Rusty and Timber will camp near us at Camp Drake.  I’m anxious for Rusty to tell me about the visit.  And I’ll be sure to share any news with you!


Note:  I apologize for the delay in posting.  I wrote and rewrote this post twice before posting it publicly.  WordPress has slowed to a crawl, loading photos is hellish, and the connection drops frequently, including the save function.  It is not poor signal.  The Wilson antenna has us at five steady bars.

You can read about the situation by doing a search for “attack on WordPress.” (I cannot make a link at this time — just one of the problems!)

Please, if I do not post soon or if I do not keep up with replies to comments, do not worry about us. 


About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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48 Responses to Camp Drake, Prescott National Forest, Arizona

  1. AJfixit says:

    Both of the WordPress blogs I maintain have been ‘brute force’ attacked recently. They are trying to crack the password. My host has advised me of several steps to take. You are hosted directly by WordPress, no need for you to do anything but ‘enjoy’ the show. Maybe follow their advice on keeping your password strong and secure. Maybe these attackers will give up and go bother someone else. We can only hope….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a pain! It took me hours to make this post. There’s an error in the first paragraph — Juniper Hill Camp is EAST of Prescott. I corrected it in the draft but WordPress didn’t carry it to publication. I’ll try to fix it later. Everything is a major project!

  2. Drudgery, me too! I am sitting here at the computer looking at a stack of dishes begging to be washed…. but it is soooo beautiful outside! There is so much other stuff to do 🙂 !!! As we are packing, getting ready for our move, we notice we have so many duplicate things. More “stuff”!Wondering what Rusty needs that we could help out with… have a on of rubbermaid storage bowls, kitchen utensils including a full set of forks,knives, spoons etc! Cooking pots and pans…. sheets and blankets! We will be going thru Prescott to see my friend Sheilah in mid June and on to S. Cal. to visit Chuck’s sister before we head to Florida. We could drop this stuff off at his home if he can use it! Geri from T ot C NM…. for a few weeks more!

  3. Billy Bob says:

    Comedy errors are more fun than a well written joke. Yours had me roll’n.

  4. I have my own dedicated server set to lock the server when 2 login attempts fail. It then records the IP and they can never try from that IP again. I use 2 plugins for wordpress to help with security.
    Better WP Security and Limit Login Attempts

    Dedicated servers are expensive but I like the control I have compared to what you usually find on shared servers.

    I hope WordPress gets you back to normal soon Sue.

  5. cozybegone says:

    I still wash dishes in the sink and pass on our dishwasher for the most part…find it relaxing and a good opportunity to get my nail nice and scrubbed out especially after a day digging outside:O) But to move it outdoors…genius! That’s even more my like my cup of tea! Taking notes :O)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Ha! A new craze… dishpans outdoors! I boil a pot of water and pour it over the dirty dishes first. I have a water heater, but I want quick, very hot water.

  6. MJ Warren says:

    Hi Sue,
    Just a note, the link below has some great pics of your “neighborhood” Have been reading your blog since “the beginning” Right now we are neighbors, I live in Chino Valley. Remember you can fill up and dump at Ace Hardware in Chino.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow! Those photos are a lot better than the ones I posted. Thanks, MJ.

      You know, when I drove through Chino Valley I thought, “What a pleasant place to live.” I don’t know why that thought came to mind because it isn’t an exceptionally pretty place (no offense intended). It seems, well, nice…. Yes, I remember dumping at Ace Hardware in Chino… very helpful people there.

      So you are one of my “original” readers! I appreciate that.

  7. Pat Scrabeck says:

    Yes, washing dishes and clothes outside on a sunny day is just so much fun–kinda like playing house when we were kids. This might be a dumb question– but why don’t you use paper plates? Now that I am a single lady and don’t do that much cooking, they are my favorite go-to item for my meals. Of course, when the family comes over I do drag out the china and it is a nice change but for every day use–paper plates are the way to go. : )

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Paper plates create trash and then there’s the problem of what to do with the trash when camped miles from a dumpster. No burning allowed what with the fire danger, and I want to keep down the amount of trash I store in the PTV.

      Anyway, it’s not like I’m pressed for time and can’t wash a few plates and bowls while enjoying the campsite and a pretty day.

  8. derocknut says:

    I sure hope the wind isn’t getting you too bad there. Around my mom’s place southwest of there the wind is really blowing. Hang on to your hat.
    That stinks about the wordpress hacking and such. Hope it gets back to normal soon so we can continue to enjoy your posts.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The wind is picking up. It’s not bad this morning, but it tends to increase as the day progresses. We have some cold weather on the way. The last blast of winter . . .

  9. Pat says:

    It is really windy here at City of Rocks, but the views, quiet and neighbors make it a wonderful place to spend a couple of weeks.

    Enjoy Sue, but then I know you will. No problem is too big to if you are in the right place.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ve never heard anything but great reviews about City of Rocks. I’m glad you are enjoying yourself there… and you have the rocks to block the wind! I do believe we both are “in the right place.”

  10. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Doing dishes outside is nice and they can be air dried! I’m with you with the paper plates..we rather use the spotted tin looking campware in our RV……paper plates create more garbage..more for the already full landfills…and cost more in the long run.

    Spike looks comfy inside the condo. Bridget is again missing in action! Maybe her former owners were Asian…heh heh…my dad insisted on taking pics of us ALL the time…now…we hate posing to take pictures. He STILL insists on pictures….argh!

    Can’t wait to hear what news the VA representative had for Rusty. Can’t get any higher than being on the top of the list!

    The wordpress “hacker” doesn’t know WHO he’s messing with! Don’t under estimate the determination of desert woman!

    Have a wonderful evening.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m eager, too, to hear what Rusty has to say about his visit today. As of now he and Timber haven’t arrived at Camp Drake yet.

      My mother used to take photos all the time and we hated it. Her specialty was candid shots and it seems that my sisters and I had our butts photographed several times and each one made our butts look too big! After my mother died, I came to appreciate the many photos she left behind (except those of our behinds).

      You have a wonderful evening… Always a pleasure to hear from Cindy and Jules.

  11. AZ Jim says:

    “Please, if I do not post soon or if I do not keep up with replies to comments, do not worry about us.” You trying to tell me not to yell atja again when you disappear a few days? OK! I promise.

  12. mockturtle says:

    If the crew and I were living in a regular house, a day of housekeeping would be, well, drudgery. Now that we live in a travel trailer — the beloved Best Little Trailer — housekeeping is a delight.

    So true! Something about an RV that makes housekeeping a pleasure rather than a chore. I love my little ‘womb with a view’. 🙂

  13. geogypsy2u says:

    I was having trouble with WP late last night. Will have to look into this.
    Are you on the east side of the highway this year? Will be cruising that way next Monday on the way to Flagstaff and then the North Rim.

  14. Sherry says:

    This hacking just amazes me still. What DO the hackers get out of it? Someone must pay them to do it or why else would they? Or are they all teenage boys with too much tech know how and nothing better to do?? Hope WordPress gets it in hand so you are able to carry on.

  15. Joan Connor says:

    Ahhh….the simplicity of a pile of dishes on a little table outside. That truly spoke to me, Sue, as I have lived here in my home (bashin) in Mongolia with 3 salad plates, 3 bowls, several cups and an electric frying-type pan and rice cooker. For two years I have been sufficiently fed and not wanted for anymore. I toss and turn at night thinking of those many many many kitchen items I have in America that I certainly don’t need and don’t want anymore. I continue to toss and turn as I go through my inventory and am planning the minimalistic approach to my “new life.” I love reading how folks have simplified their lives and “never looked back.”

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I certainly could get by with fewer dishes. I keep extras for those times when I don’t feel like (or can’t) wash dishes. I’ve had kitchen contraptions in the past that were more trouble to clean than the tasks they were supposed to make easier. Once again, simple is best.

  16. Elizabeth says:

    Had heard that area was beautiful…I think my dad’s family used to live in Prescott for a time when he was young…it is indeed pretty…I LOVE GREEN!!

  17. Rik Skelton says:

    HI Sue, I’m in Portand,Or. We just got back from a camp trip to Turtle Rock near Gold Beach, Or. We have an A-liner folding trailer and I would love to buy the same trailer you have. My question today is, have you checked your MPG on a trip? I understand it’s not relevant when you are just staying around in one area but you have made some longer trips right? We are getting 18MPG with the rig we have now. Any insight will be appreciated, I love your blog, it’s the simplicity we all want.
    Rik Skelton

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Rik,

      I’ve never made a good check of the MPG. The closest I have was driving across southern Wyoming in a strong cross-wind, towing up long grades. I believe I took two readings that trip… 15 mpg and 17 mpg. Of course, the tow vehicle is the influencing factor here.

      I’m happy you love my blog. IMHO You can’t go wrong with a Casita!

  18. Kay says:

    Oh Spikey! Are you like forgetting to share that condo with Princess Bridgett? Speaking of Bridgette, where is she? The new camp looks peaceful. I am assuming you all have moved away from the cattle and snakes, that’s good!

    We’ve received about 10 inches of snow here, heavy wet stuff. Makes the trees look BEAUTIFUL. Puts a damper on my travel plans, I’ll have a week delay by the looks of things.

    Excited for Rusty and Timber to get into a comfy home and love the idea that he will keep his truck and camper for the “escape pod” when they need to get a break from the city life.

    Rowdy came in today after his first trip outside, snow balls stuck in his leg fur. He looked like a real life snowball. I walked out to the deck gate to take a look at the yard after seeing him. I think he romped through every inch of the yard!!!! OCD Rowdy.

    I’ll be curious what Bridgette reports in the Canine Corner, she’s been rather quiet lately.

    Take care and keep warm.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Kay… As you know Bridget is camera-shy. Often she is barely out of the frame, having ducked for cover. Sometimes I force her to have her picture taken. That’s why she often looks grumpy in photos.

      After two winters in the Southwest, my memory of wet, heavy snow is starting to fade… thank goodness! I do remember those balls of ice-snow that collects on mittens and dog fur. Rowdy is a riot!

  19. placestheygo says:

    Sometimes when I see all the responses, I think oh, Sue doesn’t need another one. But I want you to know I am here reading away and enjoying hearing from Spike and Bridget. Glad to hear someone has a positive word for the trains!!! Enjoy your new location!

  20. Caroline, Seattle area says:

    This question is totally unrelated to today’s blog, but …. what was the name of the place in Mexico you talked about visiting ? You mentioned it in a blog when you were saying goodbye to friends and said you might meet up with them next winter in ___ , Mexico. Couldn’t find it when I used SEARCH.
    My drugery today is researching medical tourism … for knee replacement in Cuba. An interesting option to research but I need to break from it. So, looking at winter escapes in Mexico could be my break from this. Do you recall the name of the place ? Thanks.

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