Camping with Suzi

Join me as we discover camping in our national forests.


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Quik Chicken Pilaf

My philosophy is, when camping, the cook is on vacation, too.  This is one of those quick, easy, filling, delicious, go to recipes that has be one of my staple recipes for many a camping trip.

Get your campfire going and set a pot over the hot coals. Cut a chicken breast or 4 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, into bite-size pieces. When the pot is hot (sprinkle some water droplets in the bottom of the pot and if the drops “dance” the pot is ready) add the cut up chicken. Brown the chicken on all sides. Toss in a handful or two of raisins. Leave chicken in the pot and add a box of wild and white rice (I like Uncle Ben’s) to the pot, preparing according to the package direction. Give the pot a stir before serving.   Serves 4 or 6 if you serve it with a nice mixed green salad.

Recipe Holder – brilliant!

recipe-holderOften I find I don’t have enough room in the kitchen of my “brick-and-stick” house.  However, I never have enough room in the motorhome’s kitchen!  Here’s something I found is a great help —


Yes, it’s my coffee cup (a water bottle works too) with a recipe mounted on a dinner fork!  Love it!!!!

Campfire safety basics

Wildfire destroy wide swaths of national forests and grasslands. The black stumps and scorch earth left by those fires are reminders we should always follow basic fire safety when in the forest or on a grassland. Here are some of those basics:

–     Scrape dead grass and other flammable materials away from campfire sites.

–     Keep campfires small and under control.

–     Keep a shovel and a water container nearby to douse escaped embers.

–     Put campfires dead out before leaving your campsite or going to sleep; this requires adding water and stirring hot coals until they are cool to the touch.

–     Do not park vehicles in tall dry grass – since hot tailpipe can cause dried fuels to catch on fire.

–     Do not use fireworks as they are strictly prohibited on federal lands.

–     Remember that any ignition – cigarettes, campfires, gunfire, vehicles – could cause a wildland fire.

Smokey Bear

Remember, only you can prevent wildfires

Holly Springs National Forest

hosp7The Holly Springs National Forest (NF) is only 154,654 acre but has 33 lakes ranging in size from 260  to 2 surface acres.  Fourteen of these lakes have “improved” fish habitat which means Good Fishing!


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.

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