Camping with Suzi

Join me as we discover camping in our national forests.


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Fall Colors West of the Mississippi River – The Great Divide Scenic Byway

Here in Arizona, as Halloween is fast approaching, there are hits of Fall in the cottonwoods lining the rivers and the Aspen groves high on the mountainsides.

Here’s the Forest Service’s Fall Colors website to help you go “leaf peeking.”

Here’s one of my favorite : The Great Divide Scenic Byway, State Highway 77 – a 29-mile route through Chequamegon NF from Hayward to Glidden, WI.

FMCA Rally continues

Here are some of the things we did at the FMCA Rally:

Ain't she a beauty?!?!?

Ain’t she a beauty?!?!?

Dani, our Golden Retrieve, got an Honorable Mention as a “Crowd Pleasers” in the Rally’s Pet Parade. Nobody noticed Ralf but he knows he is still my boy.


Friday was the “Chapters Fair” were representatives from all the chapters promote themselves. Some took a low key approach while a few, like the Cowboys from Wyoming, really made a big effort.

sign-2 sign-1

These are two of my favorite signs seen at the Rally.

Sweeping application is best.

Sweeping application is best.


I put the fire out all by myself!

I think there were a total of 42 “seminars” presented at the Rally.  One Fred and I attended was on fire safety.  Very interesting.   Two things I learned: Don’t stand to close – a wide, sweeping application is better and more effective than a steady stream in one place; and, practice, even it is only in your mind, is the better than being surprised and panicked.


Saturday saw the end all the fun with the Chugwater Band closing the Rally. I know we had a good time and I think others did, too.


Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) Rally

What an amazing, interesting, informative, exhausting, and fun week we had. Here are some photos from the Rocky Mountain Region’s Family Motor Coach Association’s Rally in Farmington, NM.

The organizers were hoping for more than 325 rigs attending but horrible winds kept many away.

On US 491, the wind, not wildfire, blocks view of mountains

On US 491, the wind, not wildfire, blocks view of mountains

Looking north on US 491, dust not rain.

Looking north on US 491, dust not rain.

Looking to the east from US 491, all is clear

Looking to the east from US 491, all is clear

But to us it seemed like there was a huge crowd in attendance anyway. The non-Class A RV, like ours, got lost in the many motor coaches and Class A rigs.


We did two presentations (FMCA called them “seminars”) on National Forest Campgrounds around Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. Here the photo of the first one. Our second seminar was scheduled for the same time as the Rally’s “BBQ by the River” event so attendance was a lot less. Doesn’t matter. Both groups were super and we appreciate them.

lecture-2 lecture-1


Another week on the road


Dani’s mode of travel. Note she does have on a harness so if, there are any sudden movement, she is safe.


Gas prices continue to increase.  $3.49 in Arizona and $3.89 in New Mexico.


One must be always be alert when traveling on a rural roads.


Our campsite at Mesa campground in the Gila National Forest. Located north of Silver City, NM and overlooks the little 72 acre Lake Roberts.


Here is a sign in Mesa campground’s bathroom.  Note the second line.  It is true!  The rocks you can collect around the lake will explode if heated in a campfire.  And the rock projectiles can do serious damage to anyone or thing in its way.


Volunteer campground host positions

We have an extensive Volunteer Campground Host Position page.  There are somewhere between 250 and 300 openings listed.  See the left hand column for tab that links to our listing or click here.


Hosts at Dorr Lake, Ocala NF, FL

Hosts at Dorr Lake, Ocala NF, FL

Central Montana is eye opening

Imagine living at least 100 miles from the nearest Walmart, about 50 miles from your children’s school (and there is a stretch of gravel road between your home and the paved highway), or dealing with almost 200 miles from quality clothing store such as Kohl or Macy. That’s what life is like in central Montana.


This photograph was taken on a stretch of U.S. Hwy 191 between Lewistown and Malta, MT. Glorious country with a surprising number of small lakes and pond and a near absence of trees. You can count all the houses along this 73 miles of 191 and those one-ton hay bales out number the number of cattle grazing in endless fields of grass.


I think this special land needs an equally special person to live here.

Rock Art of the Barrier Canyon people

One of the wonders we have seen are panels of Barrier Canyon people’s rock art. The rock art is a little freaky looking to me but amazing. It is older than the Fremont or Ute rock aart we often saw nearby.

Barrier Canyon Pictographs

Barrier Canyon Pictographs

The antennae and buggy eyes are other-worldly and I can see why some see extra-terrestrial overtones. But the overall beauty and wonder of these figures is humbling.

My Fred, the Japanese tourist

Fred is like a Japanese tourist at some of the places we have visited during our US Hwy 191 – a road less traveled adventure.  Clicking photos at every turn but can you blame him?


Here he is taking pictures of Park Avenue in Arches National Park.

Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch


Here’s his photo of Delicate Arch. The other 2,000 <G> are waiting to be put in an album.


Getting Organized – Tamping Wires

Fred says I am OCD about being neat.  Whatever – I like everything to have a place.  This seems even more important in an recreational vehicle (RV) where space is so limited.

I will admit one thing that bugged me for years was wires of electric appliances getting all tangled.  One wire was always wrapped around something else making removing one appliance from the others a challenge.  Than one day, while doing laundry at a public laundromat, the solution was suggested by a fellow RVer.  All you really need is an empty toilet paper tube.  (FYI:  I used an empty paper towel tub cut to size for the following.)  Here is how to solve the problem of a rat’s nest of appliance wires:

Untamed wires

My hair curling iron with untamed wire.

paper tubes

Add a paper tube,

masking tape on ends

Re-enforce ends with some masking tape (optional), and

wire tames

You have neatly tamed wires.

Beaver Creek campground

We are almost ready to hit the road.  One of our last discussions concerned whether to stay at Baker’s Hole or Beaver Creek campground in Montana.  Both are in the Gallatin National Forest and west of Yellowstone National Park.  Bakers Hole is closer and does have electric but check out this video of Beaver Creek campground.

Electric hookups and about 3 miles from Yellowstone or green, trees, mountains and 27 miles from Park — tough choice.  NOT!Edit

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