Proceed at your own risk

I probably shouldn’t blog because I am in a very grumpy mood.

So proceed at your own risk . . .  The crew and I set out in the PTV this morning.  I want to find another place for our morning walk and at the same time look over another forest road for a possible camp during a future spring.  Once out on the highway we immediately cross over Hell’s Canyon.  Not far we leave Prescott National Forest and enter Kaibab National Forest.

I turn onto a forest road that looks promising for boondocking.

The Perfect Tow Vehicle in repose.

The Perfect Tow Vehicle in repose.

I park the PTV at the intersection of three dirt roads, let out the crew, and off we go. 

It’s a beautiful day for walking, perfect temperature, clear, blue sky.  The road I choose soon looks like it would be too narrow and rough for towing the BLT, so we cut across a field and pick up another road.


Grass, junipers, grass, grass, junipers, big junipers, little junipers, grass . . . .

We investigate several short spur roads that lead off of this dirt road.  Campsites are plentiful and most are pretty nice.


Dirt road, grass, junipers, some more junipers, and lots more junipers

Bridget and Spike begin to tire.

1-P1030548Bridget sits down and refuses to go any further.

“Well, let’s go back and I’ll drive us up this road to see where it goes.”

I can tell the road ascends a ridge.  I like to camp in an elevated place.  We get to the beginning of the road and I spot the sign post.

“On darn!  No motorized vehicles.  Gee, such great campsites and the road is off-limits.”

Another boring photo of the PTV

Ho-hum.  Grass, junipers, junipers, PTV, dirt, grass, grass

I’m beginning to detect a pattern.

I look at the National Forest maps online ( to determine where camping is allowed so I don’t break the new rules.  For instance, Old Highway 89 is a road where camping is allowed.  The map shows many sites on both sides of the road, maybe 50 or 60.  Wow!  A goldmine of campsites for boondockers!

However, when you actually drive Old Highway 89. . .

There isn’t one decent place to camp!  The rules say you must camp within 300 feet from the center of the road.  The road has a deep ditch on both sides, or there are trees and boulders in the way, or it’s too exposed with no trees at all or the ground is soft and mushy or it’s so dang sloped it’s impossible.  Mile after mile, no place to camp.

Actually there is a decent place . . . ONE.

In fact it’s spectacular!  A short spur road runs away from Old Highway 89 up to a ridge.  From this flat spot you can enjoy an expansive view, including the red rock cliffs of Sedona.  It’s the kind of campsite where you get out of your vehicle and stand transfixed, mumbling, “Oh my.  This is so beautiful.  Oh, wow.  I love it here. This is perfect . . . .”

Well, get over it because you can’t camp there.

Why?  Because it’s about 800 feet from Old Highway 89 and the rules are you can’t camp beyond 300 feet.  Even though there’s a road out to the campsite and no plants or wildlife would be disturbed if you camped in the flat spot alongside the spur road.  Frustrating!

I’d rather there be NO designation for camping on Old Highway 89 (because in reality there isn’t any place to camp and who wants to camp along a thoroughfare anyway if you could).  Just let that one heavenly site remain for camping.  We boondockers would come out ahead.

I’ve seen this phenomenon in several places.

The map shows lots of campsites.  In reality there are none.  Find a beautiful campsite.  It’s too far from a designated camping road.  Sometimes it’s a matter of a few hundred feet too far.  I’m about to get paranoid:  Is this a plan to discourage boondocking?

I warned you I’m grumpy.

I know, I know, I’ve got no reason to be grumpy.  But as long as I’m letting it fly, let me tell you, the crew has got on my last nerve.  Both Bridget and Spike lie in the dirt instead of lying on the 9-foot-by-12-foot mat.  I guess it isn’t big enough for them. Then they come in the BLT, roll around on the floor, jump on the bed, in and out, dirt and dust everywhere!   Not cute.  I sweep and wipe down the place repeatedly.

Spike is getting really obnoxious with this licking of Bridget’s ears.  He slurps and slaps his tongue around inside her ears, morning, noon, and night.

I’m sick of him slopping up her ears. 

Now Bridget has this deal where she has to be lifted up onto the bed because she’s too precious to jump up on her own.  And if I don’t lift her up, she starts a high-pitched whistle-whine.  I lift her up and two minutes later, she jumps down so that she needs to be lifted up again.

I just had to get up and throw Spike on the bed because he lies in the doorway barking.  No apparent reason.  Just barks to hear his own voice.  I’m supposed to blog with this going on?  I want to pop both their butts.

Tomorrow Rusty goes to the VA. 

I hope all goes well.

Goodbye.  I’m going to turn on the TV and fill my head with crap.



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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126 Responses to Proceed at your own risk

  1. Michelle says:

    Spikes telling Bridget you know rvsue is sending those grumpy vibes. Lets take her mind off her troubles. Guess it worked. Hoping everything goes well for Rusty tomorrow. Please thank him for his service.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m writing this the next morning and a few minutes ago Rusty fired up the truck and took off for the Prescott VA. By the end of the day he will be another step closer to his house.

      • susan preston says:

        Hi – needed to buy a new printer and will be buying it from Amazon. Tried to get in through your link and it is apparently turned off? I just get the big yellow star and can’t get in to Amazon? Suggestion?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          What!?! Oh no…. What link did you use that gave you a big yellow star? I clicked on all the Amazon links on the main post page and they worked fine for me. Thanks for the feedback. I want to know when a link is broken.

          • susan preston says:

            Hi – Up near the top on the right hand side – it says “Thank you for shopping AMAZON! Click here. When I click it gives me the big yellow star and doesn’t send me to Amazon. I do a fair amount of Amazon shopping and would love for you to get the credit. susan

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Anyone else have this problem? I noticed sales dropped very low yesterday.

          • Jay says:

            I made an Amazon purchase about half an hour ago through your blog — clicked on the main link on the upper right-hand page. Seems to be working fine now.

        • Susan says:

          It is working now. Will get my purchase done shortly.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            YAY!! Sorry for the difficulty. Be sure to see George’s advice several comments below this. Thanks again, Susan, for buying your printer through my blog.

  2. Laura says:

    I have to deal with 31 ten and eleven year-olds tomorrow. Want to trade? 😉

  3. Nan says:

    Sorry you could not find a camp site. 2. Our vet said that one animal licks another’s ears, it could be due to a blooming infection in the ears of the licked. 3. friends that we met in Q use Huggies wipes on their Terrier. They said that the Huggies remove the dirt and dust in a flash……AND I HATE the sounds when Oliver or Olivia insist on licking…..especially when I want to sleep a bit later! Hang in there, the nerves will get better. When? I have no idea, but that’s what they say….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m quite certain it isn’t infection. Speaking of patterns, I see a pattern with the ear licking. Bridget is fine, no rubbing of the ears, no head-shaking, no tilt of the head, etc.
      Then Spike gives her a particularly sloppy ear licking throughout the day and poor Bridget is up at night, shaking her head. Exasperating!

      • Casitagirl says:

        Maybe you should put something blechy tasting on Bridget’s ears to get Spikey to stop. Don’t they make something to stop thumb suckers?

  4. placestheygo says:

    Sorry you had a bad day but that was a funny post. Sounds like you have two spoiled children on your hands. Maybe they need a little pop on the butt. I’m sure they couldn’t handle time out!! Hope tomorrow is a better day!!

  5. Bodhi says:

    Oh, to have your problems… (((hugs))) Most of us have 1st World Problems and Rat Race Issues but you have difficulty locating the best view. I truly feel love for you, Sue, and I empathise with your frustration. I really do. And, I really wish I could come and help you out with all that.

    Feel better soon… hang in there… do you meditate?

    I hope this doesn’t come off as negative or offensive I mean it as helpful and supportive.

    Peace, Love and Nature’s Splender

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Most days I am filled with gratitude for being alive, for being free, for being healthy, for all my blessings. When a grumpy mood comes over me, there is a reason. I think I know what it is and maybe I’ll write about it. Thanks for the support. I really wasn’t suffering. Blogging tends to exaggerate.

  6. Judie from Alabama says:

    Awful about the campsites….why even say they’re available? Frustrating! My dog licks my daughter’s dogs ears every time he’s around. As for Bridget and getting up on the couch…I just experienced something similar with Killer so I decided to mention it, just in case. He got to where he’d look at the couch but couldn’t seem to jump up anymore. Found out after xrays that he has a bulging disc in his back. Vet put him on dexamethasone for 10 days…it seemed to help but now he’s on another medicine because we noticed him having trouble moving again. Vet said if he was human he’d put him on complete bed rest. We have to be careful with his walking and start over very slowly….he has to walk just to relieve himself and then as the weeks go by, we can increase his activity level…no more jumping up or down off furniture which has been interesting to say the least. I know she had problems with her hip before, hope it hasn’t returned. It’s odd here because now my son’s dog has a pinched nerve in his neck which prevents him from turning to the right. Don’t know what’s going on with these sweet babies. Sounds like u had a rough day, sure hope tomorrow is better for u and the crew!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Sorry about Killer’s back. That must have been painful for him.

      I’d bet the farm that Bridget is doing this for attention. She’s pretty frisky these days. When she wants me to lift her up on the bed, I’m sitting on the bed looking at the computer. She’d rather pull me away from what I’m doing and get some attention. Yesterday she tried the whistle-whine right outside the door while i was inside cooking. I refused to go outside and lift her in. Instead I walked away from the door and waited. After a moment she came flying in, no problem. She’d have me carry her all day long if she could get away with it!

      • Ladybug says:

        Are you sure she’s not part cat? Because that’s what my cats do…..I’ll be home all day, the cats are sound asleep, and as soon as I start doing something (like reading, knitting or the computer) for me, BOOM! Here they come running, begging for attention-‘mommie, hold me!’. Exasperating, I tell ya!

  7. Gayle says:

    Are you posting the affiliate income you are making from Amazon purchases?

  8. Andrea on Glendale says:

    You are so down to earth..and I love reading your blog Sue!! We have six dogs and early morning we hear all kinds of funny sounds coming from these pups..gotta love em.. A better day tomorrow 🙂

  9. Elizabeth in VA says:

    Everything you wrote made sense, Sue…I am sorry in such a pretty place there is no legal place to be!!
    As to licking ears…I have no idea if this would work but it should not hurt anything…I had problems weaning one child…so I slathered liquid vitamin E on the breast…she only tried it a couple times and decided on her own it tasted nasty…end of that. So far as I know dogs are not allergic to Vitamin E…you might want to check that out…but I doubt they would find the taste very nice either!! Maybe there is something a vet would recommend to make Spike decide on his own not to lick her ears…

    As to his barking…sounds like he is getting a bit senile…seems to go with deafness. I noticed our last dog doing some strange things once she went deaf (she was blind, or nearly so, before the deafness set in). Poor things…is there some kind of food that makes them sleepy, like turkey?? Maybe keep some on hand when they bug you and put them to sleep!! For awhile…

    Hope tomorrow is better. I have had some down days this week too…I guess when we see how crazy our world, and country is getting, how can we not be affected some by that? But emotions are like that…this too shall pass…hang in there!!
    Elizabeth in VA for a few more days…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I had Bridget’s ears checked when we were back in Georgia because of Spike’s licking. Absolutely fine, a little dry . . . because of Spike’s licking!

      You probably are right about the barking. And also about recent events in this country. After more than half a century hearing and witnessing violence, I am getting very tired of it. I will never understand the tendency of males to destroy.

      • Elizabeth in VA says:

        Well, in some ways, I think it is DNA…I used to think that environment controlled things, but after raising the kids, who must think a lot differently than I do, (tho’ I am thankful they are all good citizens and helpful to others, but meanwhile just not much interaction with me who was always about relationships and doing all possible to help the relationships to grow)…hmmmmmmm, it simply cannot all be environment…the DNA must be the main controller…and then you have to ask why? Well, seems to me that the Creator made people in the ways HE chose to…that does not leave us of no responsibility however…we still need to be good people, making right choices, doing good…but it appears that some people are simply incapable of so doing what is right or good…or so it seems to me. I do understand your feelings…it ticks me off when I go through an airport and they look at me as if I might be some threat…how stupid…I have yet to hear of a single freckle-faced, (used to be) red-haired woman doing anything like what we have just seen happen this week!!! I used to be online with some other women of similar hair color…we had many jokes among us…it was amazing to me how alike we all thought about things!! When we went to Israel in 2010, I could not believe how easy it was for us getting into and out of the country!! I asked the lady we stayed with how that was…did they investigate us when our names came up for a trip there, and knew when we arrived who we were? Yes, she said, they do that and they knew you were absolutely not a problem!! AMAZING…we are flying again in a few days…can you see how I am feeling?…wondering what indignity they will put me under this time…what a crazy place we live in!!

  10. Wayne Scott says:

    I’ve heard there are sometimes difficulties in finding campsites. Hope that is the exception not the rule. Kind of scary for our sized rig if you are having a problem with the BLT.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It still is possible to find boondocking sites. The Kaibab NF and Prescott NF have maps that make the public lands look very camper-friendly, but in reality they aren’t.

      I understand why these under-the-radar efforts to restrict boondocking have been put in place. The area the crew and I walked was chewed up in many places. Big, wide tire tracks like those of ‘monster trucks’ were around trees and off the roads. Deep ruts from revving through mud. It was obvious that fools play with their trucks, spinning out, racing around. We came upon a man-made watering hole with berms ripped up from a vehicle of some sort. So to prevent that, everyone is told to keep out.

      • earthdancerimages says:

        I believe that a lot of campsites are being downsized because of the danger of wildfires! We are in such a horrible drought that every precaution is being taken to do whatever is necessary to lessen the danger of fire. I know this because of the 6 o’clock news! 🙂

  11. Carolyn says:

    … never have cared for slurping dog sounds .. they do an awful of licking and slurping … don’t care for desert dirt either. well? a grumpy day here and there is … life? oh, lol. I feel your day ~ I really do but you write it out and with a sense of humor ..

    there are days I’m so grumpy I can’t get tickled with my grumpiness ~ want to secede from the day and get back under the covers … I recognize this mood … (I’m old) ~ ! sit down and start to write about said whatevers that made me grumpy! and then heeere comes that wonderful sense of humor…. don’t know how people can live without one… I’d be dead or strait jacketed without mine….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I appreciate the company in grumpiness, Carolyn! It seemed like every little thing drove me up a wall yesterday. I almost didn’t post. Then I thought, well, I’ll post and let it all out. It does seem ridiculous the next morning.

      I’m not perfect, that’s for sure!

  12. Reine in Plano,TX says:

    Since your blog is about the REALITIES of Living on Less and Enjoying Life More, I’m glad you posted about your crummy day. Everyone who’s contemplating your lifestyle needs to know your world isn’t all wonderful campsites, beautiful views, perfect weather and well behaved crew members. Some days nothing seems to go right. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. If the crew isn’t cooperating on where they lay down, it sounds like it’s time to put the pen on the rug so they have to stay on the rug. Sorry about the problem finding a new campsite.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Reine… In the grand scheme of life, my irritations are pretty petty (say pretty petty 5 times fast!). You do make a good point. As wonderful as the freedom to boondock and roam full-time is, you still have to take yourself along for the ride. 🙂

  13. Glenda Cornwill says:

    An entry like this one is why I so love reading our blog!!

  14. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    It is probably the heat that is affecting you…turn on the air conditioner and life will be sweet again. You could call the ranger in that district and talk about the problem with him or her? Maybe they don’t even realize there is a problem? Dogs may lick another dogs ears because they smell something is wrong in the other dogs ears. Dogs saliva is antiseptic so they can lick their wounds and heal. When was the last time you took a cotton ball and a little bit of mineral oil and cleaned Bridgets ears? Spikey was being a good boy for reaching inside her ears and giving them a good cleaning I think. During the Viet Nam war U.S. prisoners of war would get the camp dogs to lick their wounds as that was the only medicine there was…and it worked.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Turn on the air conditioner and blow my batteries, you mean. Call the ranger? These new rules are the result of the federal mandate for multiple-use management of public lands. (multiple-use: RVers, tenters, backpackers, day-trippers, ATVers, 4-wheel drivers, hunters, ranchers who lease public lands, photographers, etc.)

      In other words, several months of committee work, reviews, and revisions until final approval followed by implementation last May. I doubt any boondockers were on the committees! Rangers can only enforce.

      Interesting about dogs in Viet Nam. The thing with Spike is . .. He has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I’m not joking. He has to do things a certain way and easily becomes obsessed. Anyone who has visited our campsite can verify this one example of Spike’s OCD: Whenever we have a visitor, Spike runs over to Bridget and licks her ears. That isn’t an infection. The only infection Bridget has is Spike!

      • Rattlesnake Joe says:

        Familiarity breeds contempt. I think you need a vacation too. Doing the same things all the time even if you love it …will wear you down. You’re only human ya know. So may I suggest a night out at the Drive In Theater. A double feature that will scare the wits out of you with the first movie and the other a nice mystery…like Ten Little Indians by Agatha Christy. While you are back in time at the drive in, don’t forget the cartoons like Daffy Duck, followed by Sylvester & Tweety. When the news comes on you can go to the concession stand for popcorn, drinks and that Taffy bar that lasted soooo long. Have fun watching the Travel Log movie of Yellowstone Park with the voice of Ranger Rick that we all loved. Smile when he shows how cute little baby bears can look when getting into mischief. Enjoy the previews of coming attractions of Invaders From Mars and Follow That Dream with Elvis. Don’t forget to hang up your speaker before driving off.

  15. Rita from Phoenix says:

    I’m sorry you had a bad day but please ‘don’t kick the dog’ because you had a bad day with locating a camp site and stupid new boon docking rules. I believe Bridget never completely healed from her injury & therefore sits down…she can’t tell it you it hurts but she can sit to let you know something is wrong. Yes, dogs lick one another when one is sick or injured…they prob can smell an infection where we might not. Maybe Spike smells something on Bridget and he is trying to help her. A woman said her dog saved her life because her dog smelled her & would back away. Come to find out her dog could smell breast cancer. I know my dogs lick me a little too often when I am sick & in bed…I guess they can smell and sense I am sick. Bridget & Spike lie in the dirt to keep cool…I use to do that when I was a kid…the dirt was cooler than sitting on a rug or blanket. It was close to 90 degrees in Prescott today as we drove through there on our way back to Phoenix. We saw Drake road & the quarry you blogged about but kept away from dropping by because I know you don’t like that. I get the feeling old man depression is creeping around you…kick him in the butt instead & don’t let him ruin your week. I know I am just a reader but I would tell my best friend the same. I wish & hope for you a better day and week. Hugs to Bridget & Spike 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Rita… Read my reply to Joe (above) for an insight into Spike and the ear thing.

      As for the dirt, it’s not cool. They lie in it when it’s hot. If they want to feel heat, they can get that on the mat. But nooooo… They have to get themselves covered in this powdery dust. It sticks to everything!

      Thank you for respecting my privacy. The Drake Road is very close to where we are camped. I’m sure it would have been fun to meet each other. I’m a snot about visitors because I fear it would get out of control with so many people aware of our camps. I appreciate your understanding.

      I do feel better today. Maybe it was that pesky depression trying to get back into my life.

  16. I laughed so much during this post, my husband made me send him the link so he could read it too.

    You are truly one of a kind . . . In a good way!

    Hugs from a fan.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      And I laughed reading your comment, Tamara! I had hoped while writing that my rant about the little irritations of the day would seem humorous. It did help to write about them! Thanks for writing.

  17. karen cole says:

    It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but your post brings this response to mind. The licking of the ears. Bridgette may have a yeast infection if not she will get one if the licking continues. I had two wheaten terriers, Jazz, my female had a minor yeast infection in her ear and Rudy, the male constantly licked it. He could smell it where I could not, at least at first. It eventually got bad enough for me to smell it too, so off to the vet. Got the proper medicine and her ear cleared up and Rudy stopped licking! May be worth a check by the vet or at the very least a good close sniff in her ear to see if yeast is present. It smells like yeast. There is also usually some debris present too, black waxy stuff. But, the dog licking the ear can cause yeast also, it’s the moisture that allows it to breed. Sorry, don’t mean to make an already bad day worse.
    My best

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Karen . . . I think Spike’s OCD licking began a long time ago when Bridget may have had an ear infection. That experience evolved into this compulsion which is most obvious when we have visitors. Spike gets happy about company and then is compelled to lick Bridget’s ears. Now that compulsion has extended to all times of the day… immediately upon waking, when he returns from a stroll around the camp’s perimeter, when we settle in for the night, etc. When I try to hold him back, he struggles. I’m pretty sure it’s a mental issue. And believe me, Spike is mental!

      I bet your Jazz and Rudy are adorable. I love terriers. Even the nutty ones.

  18. Patricia says:

    Sometimes you just have to get it all out. Let ‘er rip Sue!
    I love it. And I enjoy your blog very much.

  19. Ky G says:

    ugh…licking dogs. i swaer mine does it to annoy me from time to time to get my attention…and then other times it is his allergies from a certian type of grass…i give him zyrtec…but..ok, dont get mad…if i want him to really knock it off…i give him….benadryl . oh looky there…he is sleeping ! nice doggy 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      So you understand what I’m talking about. Certain sounds drive me to distraction. As Spike has aged, he’s become sloppier and noisier when he drinks and when he licks Bridget’s ears. Gets under my skin!

  20. Donna (stickhouse in CT) says:

    Well, you have lots of advice even though you didn’t ask. I understand getting aggravated with pets. I won’t go into it all but my 17 year old cat can drive me nuts! And if I’m having a bad day, she drives me even nuttier! I think she knows when I’m having a bad day and steps up her irritating habits just to be annoying. Lol

  21. Angie2B says:

    I know this is going to sound crazy, but maybe you need a little vacation. Go to a motel for a couple days and board the dogs? Or go to the movies? Just something a little different. Take care and don’t forget to baby yourself once in a while.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh Angie, you gave me a belly laugh with “maybe you need a little vacation.” Haha!

      Actually your comment has a ring of truth. I may blog on that.

      • Donna D. (stickhouse in CT) says:

        I recently read someone’s blog (can’t remember whose) where the RVers did exactly that. They parked their motorhome and stayed a motel/hotel somewhere taking full advantage of all the amenities, lots of water, a full shower and tub, spa, swimming pool, cable, wifi, etc. It was a break from their day to day lives.

  22. Allen says:

    I hear you Sue, you arenot alone. Breathe in breathe out

  23. bythervr says:

    Hi Sue,
    LOL… We all have days like that. When I’m having one of those days I try to think “You know, I’m not as bad off as…” But even that doesn’t always work because, at that momoent, I’m SURE this is as bad as it get for ANYONE. :-)…LOL. Enjoy!


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      If ever there was a day for me to remember “You know, I’m not as bad off as…” The trouble is, when I’m that irritable, just thinking about how I SHOULD be grateful makes me all the more irritable! 🙂 Maybe it’s a chemical thing… surely I don’t have to take responsibility for being a grump!

      Cheers to you, Barrie.

  24. Cathy says:

    Cathy, KS: Oh, Sue, I have 2 older dogs and some frustrating days so I surely understand. Now why can’t the dogs just realize you are having a bad day and make it better? I wonder sometimes, “Man’s best friend?” And, government rules? All of those to “improve” one thing or another? I feel like one of those little cars that my brother had when we were kids, the bump and go ones, since I go a few feet and hit a barricade and turn and go a few feet and……………….. A vicious and frustrating cycle sometimes. We all deserve a day or two to be grumpy! And, my prayers are with Rusty and getting his situation in order. I can always share in the joy of someone else getting what they need/want while I am just waiting for “my ship to come in” and that makes life a lot more bearable doesn’t it?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Cathy…. Bumper cars, great metaphor for modern life! And yes, I do hope Rusty brings back good news this afternoon. Even if only that the application is complete and on it’s way!

      Enjoyed your comment . . .

  25. Phil R says:

    I know I shouldn’t laugh at others misfortunes, but that was funny!
    We were practically neighbours a while back. We came down 85 and turned onto 8 just above Ajo. Lovely country!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Phil… Great to hear from you! Also good to know you got a laugh out of my ornery post. It sounds like you didn’t go all the way to Ajo. If you ever have another chance, do go there.

  26. Mary Ann (Pontotoc, MS) says:

    Sounds like “one of those days,” Sue. Sometimes those quirks are funny and endearing and other times they drive you nuts! I had to laugh because all weekend I dealt with my rattie’s nerve-splitting barking at another neighborhood dog. Trying to teach him not to bark like that was futile of course. My prayers will be with Rusty today as he takes another step along the path!

    • Mary Ann…. I am Sue’s sister and I live in Rienzi MS….between Corinth and Booneville. We are almost neighbors!

      • Mary Ann (Pontotoc, MS) says:

        Pauline, we are very close indeed (but far enough away that you can’t hear Lucky’s eardrum shattering bark)! Nice to meet you, neighbor 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Mary Ann!

      “One of those days” is right. I feel much better this morning (maybe because the crew is taking a long nap!). Your comment about quirks being funny and endearing and other times irritating is very true. It occurred to me there will come a day when I’ll wish I could hear Spike bark and slurp again.

      Thank you on behalf of Rusty for your prayers. This is an important and challenging day for him.

  27. Ms. Minimal says:

    Wow, we are in similar places mentally. Maybe it’s the moon? I have 2 dogs, a cat & an adult daughter in a 22′ Tioga. Most days I can deal with all of it but the past few, the dogs are driving me crazy and the cat (which is my daughters) represents an extra 20-45 min of my day that I just don’t feel I have to spare. She’s moving into her own RV soon & the cat is going with her. There is light at the end of my tunnel… For now, I try to find my quiet happy place and trudge on.

    I hope you find the perfect campsite for you and the crew & that there is mental peace around the corner. If you have room, maybe a step is in order for the Bridge?

    Ms. Minimal

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m amazed that all of you have managed to stay alive so long in such close quarters. Best wishes for finding your “quiet happy place.”

      There isn’t any room for a step. Knowing the Bridge, she’d want an electric lift.

      Hang in there and thanks for the cyberhugs!

  28. G says:

    Ahhh Sue, frustration is a matter of perception. You are sitting surrounded in nature with your two closest companion and free to do what you want to do when you want to do it as I sit in my cubicle on the second conference call of the day, several reports due and issues, headaches and problems at work which are mostly man made.
    Smile many of us wish we were you! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You are absolutely correct, G! If I had to go back to the rat race… reports, deadlines, conference calls, headaches . . . oh, I remember . . . I couldn’t do it. Not after experiencing the freedom of retirement and vagabonding wherever and whenever. I’m sure many readers feel the same way reading my petty complaints. I’m living the life of dreams!

      I’m smiling again. Thanks for your comment.

  29. blaylocklaw says:

    I’ve noticed my dogs often reflect my own mood 🙂 Just sayin ….

  30. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Good morning sunshine!

    I have to admit your grumpy mood made me chuckle. Especially when I got to the chapter on Spike and Bridget. I think they were just trying to run around like banshees and get you in a better mood. They know when your mood changes!

    I don’t think anyone of your followers heeded your warning to proceed at your own risk. Personally it made me read faster!

    As for the boondocking spots…how unfortunate to find nothing…and the only one that is promising is too far! That just means something better is just ahead.

    Thinking positive thoughts regarding Rusty’s appointment.

    Yesterday is over..done with ka-put…today is another day! Enjoy

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Your comment made me smile. “Good morning sunshine” indeed! This post is my “spoiled little brat” post.

      Yes, today is another day. It’s sunny and going to be a hot one. Much better than snow and cold! I’m looking forward to hearing about Rusty’s day. I’ll be sure to share his report with you.

      Have a great day!

  31. Ingrid says:

    Ever since we returned to the sticks n bricks, I’ve been in a grumpy mood. Preparing the house for sale has been overwhelming and I can’t wait to get back on the road. We had trouble with boondock sites on county road 525….too rough and unlevel for our likes. Lone Rock on Lake Powell (Utah-Arizona border) is still a fav. As for those little guys, they do know how to train us. Bear has me trained to cater to his every whim …. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I appreciate the reminder, Ingrid, of the weeks prior to selling my house when I wanted so badly to get out on the road. It must be worse when you’ve already experienced the road adventures and have to go back to take care of unloading the house.

      I remember you mentioning Lone Rock previously and plan to go there someday. If Highway 89 running from Flagstaff to Page weren’t closed due to the road falling away, I probably would head straight to Lake Powell and that campground. I’m interested in seeing Monument Valley, but I’m not excited about it due to reports I’ve read about tourists (when I hear the words “gift shop” I want to run away) and wind and dust at this time of year. We shall see . ..

  32. You are entitled to grumpy days!! I will have to have Sassy and Charlie send a note to Spike and Bridget…

  33. Joy A. -- Sonora, CA says:

    It’s OK to have a post like this….after all not every day is rosy. Good to hear you are normal.

  34. gingerda says:

    I’d be in a grumpy mood too, over the lack of boondocking spots, especially when it’s on the map that you can boondock there.
    My son’s dogs do the same darn thing about licking ears. The sound of it drives me up the wall. They go to the vet on a regular basis and there isn’t anything wrong with their ears, it’s just something that they like to do I guess.
    I have days like yours…where everything irritates me. Just have to get through it and usually the next day is a whole lot better. Hang in there!!
    Ginger Las Vegas

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      So I’m not the only one who finds this licking business annoying. Gee, Ginger, we apparently have a lot in common regarding moods. Yes, today is a lot better. Thanks for commiserating with me . ..

  35. wheelingit says:

    I’m actually happy you wrote this because it reflects an experience I had a few weeks ago and didn’t know if it was just me!! When we were boondocking at Prescott National Forest near Cottonwood I studied the MVUM map and found 6 forest service sites near our location that ALL showed available camping. Excited to explore I decided to drive around and see what I could find. Out of all 6, only 1 was even remotely usable. Two of them had “no camping” signs when I arrived, even though the MVUM clearly showed camping OK, another had “no vehicles” sign on it, several had NO (zero) cleared camping areas and several were so rutted/bad that I couldn’t even drive the CRV down them!!! Only one of the 6 had any kind of site and it wasn’t particularly nice. I was sorely disappointed and wondered (like you) if the forest service was deliberately clamping down on camping. Seems that may well be the case, sadly.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Aha! So it isn’t me being in a bad mood! It’s hard not to think it’s a deliberate plan to discourage boondocking. Thanks, Nina, for writing the details of your experience with these bogus maps. What’s even worse than finding the number of allowed camping spots is a lot less than indicated on the maps . . . Now I feel I can’t trust the maps! The day I broke the power cord outlet on the PTV was the day I drove over horrible roads that the map said were good for camping. They were impossible for camping! All that treacherous driving on a “wild goose chase.” eerggh!!

      I’ve heard old-time boondockers lament the loss of good camping on public lands. I thought, gee, how paranoid and negative. Now I see what they were talking about.

      Thanks again for writing, Nina.

      • libertatemamo says:

        I think it depends on the forest service, but it certainly seems like Prescott & Kaibab are clamping down…overuse I guess? Still, it’s very frustrating that the maps show so many “camping OK” roads which are really not. I was particularly amazed at HOW BAD the so-called “camping” roads were in some spots….totally impassable in some areas even in perfectly dry weather.

        If/when you get to Utah you’ll find there is PLENTY of open, available boondocking up here. Almost all of SE Utah is BLM and the roads are pretty much all open to boondocking. We found many smaller, secluded sites which would fit you perfectly esp. around Valley of the Gods & Trail Of the Ancients. The only problem you’ll have is internet. Seems the majority of the area is 1X Verizon only and many areas have nothing at all!! There are “spots” of 3G, but you gotta search for them.


        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I know this sounds negative but here goes anyway. I suspect the plan is to have maps that show how camper-friendly the National Forest district is while at the same time limiting camping. Anyone who looks at those maps (and who doesn’t look at the actual roads) would think, “Wow, look at all the camping available. These campers have nothing to complain about!”

          I did notice Utah has lots of BLM land. Bad news about internet though.

          • Chuck says:

            Sue, I think you are a lot closer to the truth than you realize, unfortunately……If you notice, a lot of the ‘road closed’ and ‘NO camping’ signs are very new. Chuck in T or C, NM.

    • Sierra Foothills Mama says:

      The “bait and switch” of boondocking in the central Sierras is also clear in the Stanislaus National Forest. My answer is to find a good spot with an existing fire ring and no “No Camping” sign and then set up a neat, respectful of the environment camp. I have had rangers check my fire permit, but never ask me to leave even when I knew I was out of bounds. I think they use these rules to control people who try to set up a new spot, are not respectful, or just jerks in general. My motto is it is easier to beg for forgiveness (and move if necessary than ask for permission.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I’m glad to hear it’s that way in your experience in the central Sierras. In Arizona you can be camped next to a fire ring and be a respectful camper and if you are more than 300 feet from the road (or in some cases it’s only 30 feet), you get a warning which goes in the database. Break the rules twice and you are fined $265 (I don’t remember the exact amount but it’s around this much).

  36. Jean says:

    Oh, Sue, I love it when you act like everyone else. We all feel like that some days. Sometimes several days in a row. But, we make it thru and see the sun instead of the clouds. I bet you are just worried and it comes out in your mood. Patience and everything will be fine again. Keeping you and Rusty in my prayers every day.

  37. George says:

    Hi Sue
    When ever you click on a link and a yellow star comes up just left click somewhere else on the
    page and then go back to the link and right click on it and a drop down menu will pop up, then
    scroll up to the top and choose open and the link will open. I don’t know if someone else
    mentioned this or not but thought I’de mention it. George

  38. derocknut says:

    Sue, it could be worse ya know. You could have a hyper puppy who has a toe fetish and licks your ears….hmmm, sounds like my Gypsy. LOL.
    As for the grumpy mood, as my mom says, “this too shall pass”. I resort to chocolate but that’s just me 😉
    Hey, maybe if you licked his ears he’d stop because it annoyed him…lol. Ok, I know, ewwww gross.

  39. PamP in SW Florida says:

    Oh Gad! You have my sympathy. Our pets/kids can sometimes get so annoying! Bridget reminds me of the ‘I dropped it” game most babies learn in their highchairs. Drop something, say Oh oh, Momma picks it up and down it goes again. I’d be in a sour mood too if I was trying to camp alongside a road what they call campsites. We will listen and you’ll feel better just by telling us. What are friends for?

  40. PamP in SW Florida says:

    An add on– My 14yr old Willy, a terrier mix, is going deaf. This makes his barking worse – you know all terriers are basically a barking machine inside a fur coat. I think he feels/hears vibrations in the floor and goes ballistic over it. Now, he can’t hear me tell him ‘hush’. I too have resorted to hand signals for ‘come’ or ‘go outside’. His licking has also gotten worse – I definitely think its a OCD thing. Is it a stess reliever for him? It’s a stress maker for me! I liked the suggestion of the vitamin E. That much licking can’t be good for Bridget. Still, I love him so much.

  41. rvsueandcrew says:

    I’m pretty sure the barking is related to Spike’s deafness and poor eyesight. Sometimes he walks around the campsite barking, like he’s putting up a sound barrier or something.

  42. Cari in Texas says:

    Your blog made me laugh, with you not at you. I got up this morning on the wrong side of the bed, and every little thing just seemed to rub me the wrong way. People were getting in my way, they weren’t driving right, and my lunchtime soda at McD’s tasted flat (after I had already left, so couldn’t replace it). And then I get home and my dog digs out under the fence gate and goes cruising around the neighborhood. He’s done this before, and thankfully he always comes home before anything happens to him, but there’s always that worry. I just have to remember to breathe in, breathe out slowly, and be grateful for the good things I do have.

    How frustrating that the maps don’t match the reality of the location. I’m taking notes for when I start my ‘adventure’ next year, for sure. And all that juniper – I’d be miserable, since I’m apparently allergic to it and mountain cedar.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Apparently a bunch of us had a bad day! Oh, I know that worry… Spike is a master at ducking out of view so I panic. Enjoyed your comment, Cari.

  43. DeAnne from TN says:

    I think Spike could use some puppy Valium for his OCD! Hope you’re feeling better; I had a few days like that last week. I just keep focused on my prize.

  44. Gail Reese says:

    The full moon is rising! It’s full on the 25th so if you are like me, you will have about a full week of annoying behavior to deal with. Apparently the full moon affects animals as well as humans. Figure this week will be a challenge and nothing I can do except know that it only lasts a few days. In the meantime, find the humor in the moment and just laugh. It will all pass with time. When you consider how wonderful it is to be able to to live such an adventurous lifestyle, its just a minor bump on the road.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      My experience supports the full moon theory. Anyone who has taught middle school knows that students go nuts during the time of the full moon.

      Yes, my gripes are petty compared to my life as a whole.

  45. Oh my gosh Sue, you’re hilarious even when you’re grumpy! Thank you for cracking me up this morning while I was sitting, sleep deprived, in that same ol’ dreary office I’ve spent so many years in, hand over mouth, trying not to laugh out loud (with you, of course, not at you, like some other lovely person here said) .

    I’ve been looking at what I think would be the best way to do Rusty’s wish list. I research things like crazy (OCD person). I’ve tried several things that leave too much room for someone to come on and just mess things up ’cause that’s what some people do. I know you’ve said you get many spammers here. I think the best thing to do is me write a nice html table you can copy and paste into your blog and people can comment on what they want to buy. The first one to comment that they want to buy *the toaster* gets to buy that gift. This will be a lot for you to keep up with, I wish I could think of a better way. God knows I’ve tried.

    In other news, we got work camping jobs and we’re on the move May 1st! We’re so excited!

    Peace and love to you, the crew and of course Rusty and Timber too!

    Rusty, thank you! Sue, thank you! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I do appreciate all the thought and work you are putting into this, Carrie. I will email you soon so you can turn it over to me and get on with your workkamping job. I hope you have a wonderful experience. Thanks again!

      • Carrie says:

        You’re so welcome! I’m more than happy to do this and looking forward to my new work place too! Woohoo! I think we’re all moving along nicely. Looking forward to hearing about why you might have been grumpy and Rusty’s progress. Oooh good grief, time to get ready for bed already. Nighty night. zzzzzzz

  46. Kay says:

    Well, I don’t understand this “300 feet from road rule” at all.

    But, the whole Spike sloping in Princess Bridget’s ear…. oh I can so relate to that noise. That noise just drives me baddy. I can easily get in a cantankerous mood quickly from that alone.

    We had 19 inches of snow and it melted. Today, about 1:00 it started snowing and we have 4 inches on the ground. The OCD Rowdy has had one heck of a good time this past week. He’s kind like Spike is water when it comes to snow. CRAZY!

    Well, I guess Rowdy wants back outside for another round of rolling in the snow.

    Spike and Bridget still gathering material for the Canine Corner?

    Hang in there, we have to be crabby sometimes so we know we are still able to be good!


  47. Barb says:

    YAY! You really are normal! LOL
    ugh. The thoughts of the ear/sloppy thing just curls my toenails. BLAH!!!

    Wishing a wonderful non-slurpy day and good luck for the VA.
    Hugs from Hoquiam!

  48. rvsueandcrew says:

    UPDATE ON RUSTY AND TIMBER: I apologize for the delay in posting about Rusty’s visit to the VA yesterday. My computer needs to be charged up. Apparently the solar panel was covered in dust and I didn’t realize it until the sun was going down.

    In short, Rusty came back to camp with great news! His application is being expedited and he may get his house or apartment in 5 or 6 weeks. It looks good!

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