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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.

Camping tip – Taking important papers

Do you have “important” papers that must travel with you?  I think medical records fall into this category.  Get a scanner and load onto a thumb-drive.  When need, just stick into your computer, or any computer, and there you are!  Our doctor actually provided a digital copy of our medical records including X-rays!

Dead biscuits – Why?

Thought I’d make some turkey (yes, there was some tucked way in the back of fridge) and biscuits sandwiches for lunch yesterday.  Now, I am something of a Gal-from-the-South so biscuit making is as much a part of my cooking as hush puppies and cornbread.  Well, you can imagine my surprise when my biscuits looked   Read More >>

Firewood is a protected forest product

A lot of homes rely on firewood as a part of their home heating.  It’s an important product our national forests and grasslands supply to many communities.  One district in the Deschutes National Forest has issued firewood permits for 1,700 cords (that’s two pick up trucks loaded down with firewood for every adult in the   Read More >>

Feel good story

You heard or seen all the recent sad news.  Don’t worry I’m not going to recount any but to say I was happy to come across this item.   It helped bring that festive holiday feeling back. “Rescue Dogs Sniff for Salamanders to Save Rare Species and Help People” – Shelter dogs are being trained to   Read More >>

Jane’s Oyster Crackers

Like just about everyone else, we’ve been busy with the Holidays, maintaining the website, working on new book, and life in general.   In our town, populated by older, empty-nesters, folks tend to spend Thanksgiving with family and stay put for Christmas.  Every year we have a few friends over for Christmas dinner and this year   Read More >>

Mono Lake, California – A Wondrous Place

For several years I have been slogging my way through Roughing It by Mark Twain. “Slogging” may be to harsh a word but this book is true Mark Twain and not even close to a Clancey-style page turner. Twain is more like reading a conversation and, while I love it, is easy to put down   Read More >>

Fall has arrived

I know for many winter is established.  Snow and wind have replaced the snap of frosty mornings and the swirl of colorful leaves but, here in southeast Arizona, we have just felt autumn in the air.  The cottonwoods and Aspen have turned gold and the scattered maples red.  My little Granny Smith apple trees seems   Read More >>

Thin the Threat bumper sticker

Fire is a natural change agent in our national forests.  Historically, low intensity fires burn small areas of Ponderosa pine forests every 5 to 40 years.  Forest with a great variety of conifers in wetter areas fires occur every 100 to 450 years.  These fires are larger and burn entire forest stands.  However, a century   Read More >>

Need firewood – there’s a permit for that

As the weather turns colder, many of my neighbors, and probably yours, are lighting a fire in the old fireplace.  The smell of smoke hangs in the air almost every morning as I walk the dogs.  Soon, most of what was left over from last year will be burnt and the wood pile will need   Read More >>

Even evergreen trees drop their “leaves”

Maple, oak, hickory, and other deciduous trees provide leaf-peakers a fabulous display of color in the fall.  But we don’t think about what’s happening to conifer, or evergreen, trees when the weather turns cold.  Whether Ponderosa pine or Douglas fir, all conifers drop old needles in the fall.  Watch the needles closest to the trunk   Read More >>

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Fred and Suzi Dow