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Suzi’s Blog

The U.S. National Forest Campgrounds Guide website,, is a wealth of information about developed campgrounds in all 176 national forests and grasslands across the country. It is basically an encyclopedia, straight forward and impersonal. Suzi’s Blog adds a little personal touch to the website with postings about our experiences, adventures, and discoveries along with other postings related to camping, national forests and grasslands, and family fund.

I am Suzi Dow and I hope you will find something interesting, something helpful, something informative, but mostly something that will help you get out and discover our national forests and grasslands.

Caddo National Grassland – a well-kept secret

Several years ago Fred and I made a wonderful discovery – West Crockett Lake campground in the Caddo (pronounced Cad-OH) National Grassland (NG). Located in north Texas, above Dallas and on the south side of Red River seems to be pretty much undiscovered.  Developed in the 1930s, Lake Crockett was built to provide the area’s   Read More >>

In the Forest – Keeping dogs safe

We get at least one email a week asking, ” Can I have my dogs in national forests?”  The resounding answer is *YES* but there are things you should do to keep your dog safe.  Here are some tips we have gleamed from our years in national forests and grasslands. Keep your dog leashed.  There   Read More >>

Why the trash?

One afternoon, several years ago, Fred and I took the Bierstadt Trail into the Mount Evans Wilderness in the Arapaho National Forest. We were somewhat surprised by the number of other hikers on the trail but it was a Sunday and the weather pleasant. The trail lead to a tundra area through marshland and dense   Read More >>

Leftover Baked Ham Recipes

The definition of “Eternity” – a baked ham and two people.  I have learned there is a lot of truth in that definition.  The following are some recipes I’ve found and use for what’s left from our Christmas ham or, when on the road, chunks of baked deli ham.  Enjoy. Easy Stromboli Serves 6 1   Read More >>

Light Pollution

 A light pollution map If you have spent any time in a national forest or grassland west of the Mississippi River, it is likely you have noticed the night sky.  The sky appears bigger, taller, wider.  It also seems darker and has more stars that sparkle, not just twinkle.  The Milky Way is clearly visible.   Read More >>

Tips from one RVer to another

I’m always learning and picking up helpful information from other campers. Here are some tidbits from this year’s travels. Tennis ball jar opener: Carefully slice a tennis ball in half with a box opener or X-acto knife. Use its rubber lining to grip a stubborn lid as you twist to open. Lost sock: It seemed   Read More >>

Colorful Acorn Caps

The best crafts for entertaining children (whether camping or dealing with yucky weather) are really easy, take a little more effort than a quick run to the closest, and allow for some creativity once the basic skill is learned. This Colorful Acorn Caps craft has all these elements! FYI: Oak trees do not produce all   Read More >>

August 17, 1959 – earthquake!

There are dangers in the forests.  We recognize this. These dangers seem more like urban legend than reality. However, an earthquake caused scar on a mountain-side visible from US Route 287, in the Gallatin National Forest (MT) and just northwest of Yellowstone National Park, shows us, even in a place of such beauty, a terrible   Read More >>

What’s a vault?

Once upon a time we were asked, “What is a “vault? Isn’t it where the Forest Service puts important papers?” A reasonable question for someone unfamiliar with the vocabulary used by the Forest Service. For Fred and I it was the question that demonstrated a need for a glossary of terms to go with our   Read More >>

Shopping for a tent

I think it is official – the 2017 camping season has ended. Retailers have cleared out a lot of their stock, making room to tempt you with 2018 stuff.  A new tent might be a super Holiday gift.  You might even see, as I have, local sporting goods store advertising inexpansive, as in $20, tents.   Read More >>

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Fred and Suzi Dow