Camping with Suzi

Join me as we discover camping in our national forests.


Archive for the ‘national forest campgrounds’ Category

Lunch at Soda Butte campground

Fred and I have probably had more picnic lunches than your average camper.  The views are always wonderful and each location has something special.  While enjoying our sandwiches at Soda Butte campground in the Gallatin National Forest (MT) we were surprised by a fox taking lunch home to his family.  See the tail dangling out of its mouth?


Back home

In some ways it feels like we have been gone for years.  But on the other hand, didn’t we just leave?

We didn’t do as much this year as in the past but it was a full and busy five months.  There were an unusual number of problems.  From flat tires and broken starters to a bout of tick fever and swarms of blood thirsty mosquitoes.  And than there was some wonderful time with our grandchildren, amazing sights discovered, and we met lots of great people.

In future blogs I’ll tell you about some of our adventures but for now let me mention one of my favorite campgrounds – Colter in the Gallatin National Forest.  Located on the east side of Yellowstone National Park about three miles from Cooke City, MT, Colter is your basic Forest Service campground – no hookups and no water during our time there (results of a bad water test).  If you use a little imagination you can see from this photo that the views from the campground are breath-taking.


Colter campground must have the fanciest fee board in all of the Forest Service.


However, being so close to Yellowstone National Park and the Beartooth Wilderness, visits from bears are not uncommon.  I thought the bear paw prints in cement outside vault toilets and at the fee board were a subtle reminder.


Not such a secret – Blue Springs


Well-known to locals, this peaceful but very cold little spring is a short walk from North Fork campground in Mark Twain National Forest.

What makes a “good” concessionaire?

Allie and Rob are the new concessionaire for Red Bluff campground in Mark Twain National Forest.  They are, in our opinion, better than your average concessionaire.  See June 30’s (last week’s) blog.  So what do you think makes a “better-than-average” concessionaire?


Campground artwork



A young camper’s artwork at Red Bluff campground.  I agree with the thought.

New concessionaire at Red Bluff campground



Red Bluff campground in Mark Twain NF (MO) has new managers.  Rob and Allie bring some new ideas to job.  Our favorites: the lending library and nightly ice cream bicycle.


In their office, campers will find the lending library along with a rock museum, a couple of kayaks for rent, and a computer to access the camper’s email accountant.

Facebook rating

Our facebook presence has topped 9,200 as I write this!  Amazing.  But what I find even more satisfying is 4-plus stars “public rating” you all have given our page. Thank you.

DCF 1.0

What’s your idea of a perfect campsite?



My idea of the perfect campsites:  A creek to sing me a lullaby at night and the racket of a dozen birds to wake me.

Find yours at US National Forest Campground Guide

Exploding Rocks

Speaking of signs (see 5/7/14 Blog), here’s one from the ladies bathroom at Mesa Campground in the Gila National Forest. And yes, rocks collected from around nearby Lake Roberts will explode when “cooked” a campfire. Why? Unknown, need to research further. Could rocks from other location explode? Maybe, and until I know the “why,” I’m not dropping any rocks in to a campfire.


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.


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