Tag Archives: RV’s

The Promised Land on a Horse with No Name

500 women over the age of 50 on the monterey bay peninsula are experiencing what I have as well as people across the country have been writing to me telling me their stories. Cici and I are overwhelmed with gratitude for the people who have sent me kind words, donations and offers to help us.  A special thank you to Melody and Diane, two inspiring women who gave us hope and friendship on the road.



Thank you to Eleanor at Vox and Karen Turner for their kindness and assistance with this article.


We have been featured on some pretty high profile pages, see below.








We also love what our friend Wanda Sue wrote about us in this week’s Cedar Street Times:


Monterey Workshop addresses Affordable Housing Solutions

Ask yourself: Now what was that all about?

Reducing a speech, lecture, or event into a one-line summary isn’t easy, but you’ll be surprised what you discover by condensing a major phenomenon into ten words or less.

If interested, try this: Focus on one specific event, such as the first Presidential Debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump last Monday. Then ask: What was that all about?

When I did the exercise, fifteen hours of contemplation resulted in extracting a comment Hillary made at the opening of the debate. Paraphrased, the most-important message I culled from event was:

One out of two Americans lives paycheck to paycheck

Never mind the fact neither candidate mentioned the H word. Hillary’s statement implied poverty is already a national epidemic. Mass homelessness proportional to disenfranchised Americans of the  Great Depression years seems imminent, even in a paradise like Monterey..

That not-too-distant future is now for CeliaSue Hecht, about whom you’ve read in this newspaper.

The former journalist who’s now homeless lives a nomadic life which is currently reminiscent of Biblical times.

Monterey’s rider on a horse with no name

CeliaSue is a stalwart symbol of bright, sober and mature homeless women with both courage and talent. She is a well-bred middle-class, college-educated former New Yorker, age 66, whom homelessness turned into a living example of the legendary person crossing the desert on a horse with no name. The steed in her case is a dusty white van shared with her dog Cici. It serves as the office from which she freelances as a writer and blogger.

During the six-months in which the City of Monterey was researching the feasibility of adopting five amendments to its Housing Element, each of which might hopefully ameliorate the affordable housing crisis in the city, CeliaSue Hecht went south to avoid becoming a starfish on another cold winter beach in Monterey.

Hoping to find a cozy room at an inn, she found instead, what I would succinctly define as a temporary oasis in The Promised Land for the Homeless, otherwise known as the desert near Giant Rock Airport.


The Promised Land for the Homeless?

CeliaSue has been sleeping in a trailer on a campsite where she helps tend a herd of thirty-plus goats. There is no running water or electricity, but a perk in this region noted for flying saucer sightings is an occasional anomaly above the yucca trees that could be a fortuitous sign or even revelation of future things to come.

Look at the photo and ask yourself: What is this streak all about?  Then try to define it in ten words or less.

As a  help, you might remember the most-beloved Bible story of them all, in which a bright star appears over the manger in which an infant sleeps while shepherds tend their flocks by night.

When I asked myself what this is all about, the answer was: History repeats itself.

If this goat could talk, it might reveal where the homeless go from here by baa-baa-baa-ing, “There’s lots of  land in the Great American Southwest!




if you live on the Central Coast of California or know someone who does and have an RV, camper, mobile home or trailer that is gently used and would like to provide a home for a senior or veteran, please call CeliaSue at 702-225-8206…have a list of those in need of housing. You can also contribute here:


Filed under Adventure, affordable housing, all you need is a dog, California, Dalmatian, dog friendly, dog travel, dogs, Don't worry be happy, donations, farm animals, goat, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Palm Springs, travel with dog, women with dogs

Advocates for Women

I have been back in the hospital now for two weeks. Three blood clots on my lungs, breast cancer was ruled out and ovarian cyst to be determined. Without housing, how can I get better?  Sleeping upright in my car night after night, my legs swell and blood clots develop in my legs and travel to other parts of my body and basically could kill me.


I want to create a nonprofit called ADVOCATES FOR WOMEN, the mission is to create, build or find housing for women 50+ who are displaced and have dogs since no one else is doing this and too many tell the women to give up their dogs.

What would happen TO HUNDREDS OF DOGS IF EACH OF THE WOMEN GAVE AWAY THEIR BEST FRIENDS, COMPANIONS, and FAMILY MEMBERS???? (Not to mention what would happen to the women sleeping on the streets or in their cars without the protection of their dogs) ?


As the Big Sur Sobranes fire burns hundreds of acres nearby, there are all kinds of fundraisers going on to help the people who have lost their homes due to the blaze. These people deserve the resources that they require. Yet this highlights and proves what i have been saying all along that where there is a WILL THERE IS A WAY. When people actually WANT TO DO SOMETHING,THEY DO IT.

For the past two years since I have been without a home, except for when I had a camper to live in and roommates, I have met numerous women of the hundreds of women also without homes and been displaced due to ECONOMICS. I have NOT seen the community come together in the same way, doing fundraisers to build, create or find HOMES FOR single women without children, women who are not mentally ill, not drug addicts, not alcoholics, with low income, not working or cannot find work, with dogs, many over 50 years of age, some illl and who’s health has deteriorated without having shelter.

We want to create CARETAKERS VILLAGE,  Land or a lot can be utilized to place SHIFTPODS, yurts, RV’s, campers, trailers, tiny mobile homes, etc. to CREATE a village for women over 50 with dogs who need HOMES ASAP.

WILL YOU HELP US ????  it takes a village…to get this DONE.




Cici has been with Mark Anderson again at the Monterey County Weekly, now for two weeks.


This week, she turned 10 years old and Mark gave her a big bone to celebrate.



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Filed under affordable housing, California, California fires, Carmel, dog friendly, dogs, economy, Monterey, non-profits, pet friendly lodging, Uncategorized, women with dogs

Happy Campers

Have you signed up for dog camp yet? Planning your summer vacation with your pooch?   Canine Getaway in NY is this month but others have dates in July and August and even September (see camps below) and get with the camping program ! Sounds like a lot of fun. Imagine camping with your best friend.

Did you ever go to camp as a kid? I went to day camp and when I became a teen, I went to sleepaway camp near Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains. Camp Somerhill, when I went there, was only for teens. And I made a lot of friends. We  swam, went canoeing, made crafts, sang songs by the campfire, played ball, archery, went bowling and to the movies and went on trips into town and beyond.

There are plenty of places you can visit that are pet friendly, hotels, inns and b&b’s. And places to leave your dog for a dog friendly time away from you.

Now, you and your dog(s) can partake of doggie camp together.  There are a few different summer camps for you and your pooch to choose from.

Canine Camp Getaway of NY will run from June 24-28, 2012 and it is located near Lake George too. It is a unique vacation for dogs and dog lovers, where dogs aren’t just allowed, they’re an integral part of the fun!

This is a dog-friendly vacation, where you can take your dog everywhere from the pool and the hiking trails to the dining room and the bar for nightly “Yappy Hour.” Guests can try all kinds of dog sports– like agility, frisbee, canine freestyle dancing, lure coursing, scent detection, flyball and doggie skateboarding — take classes like Canine CPR, “Barks & Crafts” and Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog preparation and testing, and learn from top veterinarians, trainers and dog nutrition experts, all while having fun with like-minded dog lovers.  Dogs are required to be on leash and at times dogs are put in different groups. Some smaller dogs feel more comfortable with dogs their own size. And individual activities for you and your dog can also be arranged.

This vacation also offers “human-friendly” activities like horseback riding, zumba classes, evening entertainment, gourmet dining and an onsite spa. If you sign up in the next 7 days, get $50 off!

Held at the Roaring Brook Ranch in Lake George, NY, Canine Camp Getaway of NY offers a scenic paradise where you and your dog can get close to nature. With nearly 300 acres, the resort offers plenty of wide open spaces for recharging body, mind and spirit while strengthening the bond with your four-legged best friend.

Located less than two miles from the lake, and surrounded by majestic mountain views and all the glories of nature, the resort is located just 3-1/2 hours from New York City.

There are activities for dogs of all levels, from beginner to advanced…  agility classes, swimming lessons and free swim, lure coursing, flyball, frisbee, scent detection, rally obedience, tricks classes, guided walks, Barks and Crafts, Canine CPR, Doggie Fitness Evaluations, Canine Good Citizen prep classes and testing, Therapy Dogs International prep classes and testing, obedience classes, a Doggie Costume Contest, dog trivia, dog bingo and much more.

Plus, seminars on such topics as Emergency Canine First Aid, how to address various behavioral issues and canine nutrition, among others. Nighttime entertainment include live music, cocktails and dancing in the dog-friendly lounge.  you can do as much or as little as you want.


This doggie camp has been happening for the past four years and generally is attended by 70+ dogs and owners says Janice Costa, chief top dog. Single rooms, double rooms and suites are available, and filled on a first-come, first served basis. Rates include lodging, three meals daily (beginning with dinner Sunday evening and ending with breakfast on Thursday), all tips and gratuities and all dog activities. Extra charges apply for alcohol, spa services, horseback riding and photography packages.


They welcome dogs of all sizes, ages and abilities, as long as they are social with dogs and humans. No formal training or experience is needed. Well behaved dogs may join their humans for meals in the dog-friendly section of the dining room.

Dogs are welcome throughout the premises, from the lounge during our nightly “Yappy Hour,” to the sparkling pool to all evening seminars. For those who want a little private human time, the facility offers an onsite spa, horseback riding, a sauna and an exercise room. A short drive into town offers guests opportunities for boating, golfing and outlet shopping.

Jessie Costa is the Senior Ambassadog

Born in Pennsylvania and dumped in a kill shelter when she got “too big,” Jessie had to overcome some major trust issues with humans when she was first adopted. However, she always enjoyed the company of other animals (even helping to rescue an injured squirrel once), so dog activities became a major part of the socialization process once she found her “fur-ever” home.

Coming from strong working lines, Jessie shared her Mom’s “Type A” personality, and it soon became clear that, like most working dogs, she was happiest when she had a job. Obedience, retrieving balls and running agility initially filled that void, and later, she expanded her “work” to include retrieving medicine, water and the cordless phone on command, as well as working with the elderly.

She welcomes like-minded dogs and dog people to join in the fun and to celebrate that most powerful bond between dog and human.

Lexie Costa the Junior Ambassadog

Part of an “oops litter” from a Black Labrador narcotics dog and a Belgian Malinois protection dog, Lexie comes from strong working lines. However, her joyfully silly personality and love of all things social suggest that somewhere in her lineage, she has equally strong “playing lines,” making her ideally suited for her unofficial job of “doggie cruise director” for Canine Camp Getaway of NY.

A high-energy dog who adores every creature she’s ever met, Lexie loved the idea of hosting a vacation where dogs and humans could spend time together romping, playing, learning, socializing, relaxing, and just having fun.

An inveterate swimmer, she loves pools of all sizes, and would swim in her water dish if she could. Lexie believes the dog-friendly pool is the very best part of Canine Camp Getaway of NY (though she also gets pretty wired up about lure coursing, too).

For more info, call 877-K9CAMPG (877-592-2674).

Glen Highland Farm

Another doggie summer camp getaway for you and your pooch is also in New York at the Glen Highland Farm. A gorgeous 175 acres of rolling countryside, it is a place for dogs and people to join in nature.

Border collies reign supreme at this farm. Since Glen Highland Farm is a year-round Border Collie Rescue, the Camp attracts many herding breeds. About 1/3 of the dogs at camp are border collies.

You have a choice of two different adventures… a six day group camp or you can stay in a tent, RV or cabin with your dog for two nights minimum.

For the six day group camp, Sept. 8-13, they offer an off-leash vacation with a little more ruffing it. There will be only 30-35 other guests here, so there is personalized attention during the day at all the sports and speaker sessions.  People that attend range in age from 25 years to 65+ and come as singles, as couples or with a friend.

Animal communication, tellington touch, energy balancing, doggie massage, homeopathic care and much more are available during the week with guest speakers who share their knowledge and experiences. And, they give you hands-on experience whenever possible.

This is a luxury camping experience with various options to boot. Magnificent tent sites are situated in private spots in the forest and creekside and most importantly, you sleep on comfy Swedish cots off the ground with tents on platforms. Each spacious tent fits two people and two dogs easily with large zippered windows and a screened porch for good airflow. Every tent site has an outdoor lantern for nighttime light as well as fresh water for you and your dog each day,  brought right to your door. There are 13 campsites available. You can also bring your own tent and enjoy the comfort of camping with gear you already know.

You can also choose to stay in the comfort of a rustic cabin. There are two cozy cabins available on The Ridge nestled in the woods, near the kid’s camp. Each cabin provides plenty of room for two people plus their dog or one person with multiple dogs or for anyone who wants to enjoy the cabin fully for themselves and their beloved canine companion.  And, two comfy cottages at the foot of The Ridge – with enough room to sleep 3-4 people with their dogs.

And you can also bring your RV or rent one. There are 11 RV hookups for use at the Farm, situated in a gorgeous 30 acre meadow.

Or you can stay at a local B&B. The Butternut Lodge is located right in the village of Morris, about 2 miles from GHF. There are four bedrooms, with shared full baths, kitchen, dining and living room areas and a sundeck porch. The kitchen is stocked with dishes and cooking utensils if you wish to cook meals for yourself apart from those offered at the camp. Contact Matt Meyers at 607-263-2580.

Delicious catered food will include organic vegetarian dishes as well as humanely raised grain-fed poultry and beef. At GHF, we honor dogs as well as all animals by offering food choices that do not encourage factory farming or cruel processing methods.  If you’re interested in a meal away from the camp,  there are restaurants moments away in Morris or Oneonta. There is no cooking at tent sites due to fire hazards.

Meals for your dog(s) are not provided at the GHF. Most campers enjoy preparing special meals for their dogs and there is access to the Doggie Kitchen. It’s a full kitchen complete with refrigerator, microwave, blender, sink and dishwasher plus it’s dog proof.


Camp Unleashed offers 4-day weekend retreats from May to September in various locations including Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Berkshires in MA and Sequoia, CA…

Camp Sequoia Lake is located near Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and the town of Miramonte, California. At 5,500 feet above sea level, surrounded by large pines and other beauties of nature, Camp Sequoia Lake is on 800 acres of privately owned lake and forest. The lake itself is nearly 3 miles around, the perfect place for you and your dog to play and relax.

Explore the Giant Sequoias on a nature hike, canoe together on the lake, learn new tricks with your dog and try canine musical freestyle. Rates and accommodations vary from sleeping in a tent to a cabin.



Dog camps are open to pure breeds and mixed, big and small, experienced and novices, so any dog can learn new things, or get better at the activities he already loves. If you’re looking for a real bonding experience with your dog, there’s probably no better place than a good dog camp.

Cost ranges between $600 to $1,500 per person, depending on the camp and length of program. Price normally includes lodging, meals and activities. Here are a few dog camps we’ve found sniffing around the Internet:

Camp Gone To The Dogs
Marlboro and Stowe, VT

Camp Unleashed 
West Stockbridge, MA

Canine Camp Getaway of NY 
Lake George, NY

Glen Highland Farm Canine Outdoor Adventures 
Morris, NY

Camp Dogwood 
Between Chicago, IL and Milwaukee, WI

Camp Winnaribbun 
Lake Tahoe, NV


More info about other doggie summer camps


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Filed under California, camping, dog friendly, dog travel, doggie camp, dogs, K9 travel, pet friendly lodging, pet travel, travel with dog, Uncategorized

camping in a yurt …

Cici and I are finally staying in a yurt, well actually I am staying in the yurt, she is not allowed… the yurt is quite spacious…

We camped out Saturday night at Sutton’s Lake near Florence, Oregon. Got the tent put up, got the air bed inflated outside the tent and could not get it inside… duh… so I slept outside the tent and Cici slept in the car… there were a lot of dogs there and squirrels, birds, and fun trees to sniff… I kept her under the blanket and then put her in the car for safe keeping… 🙂

Sunday I remembered that there are yurts in campgrounds in Oregon so I decided to check it out and asked at the Visitor’s center, and voila, was told that there were some in the area. I went to Honeyman’s camping area, was second in line and someone on the phone was asking about a yurt. The gal told them that they don’t reserve on the phone and that there was one yurt available… so I scooped it up for $29 last night… it’s big enough for a family of 4-5-6 … and it has electricity and a heater. Cici was not thrilled to sleep out in the car again… I checked on her in the middle of the night and she was fine after that.

I tethered her outside the yurt this morning and she played with two young boys from the yurt next door… squirrel stalking is her favorite activity… she was sniffing and digging and whining at the squirrels to get them to come out and visit with her to no avail…

Now we are out and about in the town… we met up with a couple yesterday also who had a Staffordshire, almost all black, cute as a bug, tried to take photos but the dogs would have none of that… will email them and see if they will send her photo.

We also made lots of friends at the campgrounds… being my social butterfly, she has to lick everyone…

And I had an amazing hot fudge sundae at BJ’s… the best ice cream flavors ever, kahlua crunch, coconut, s’mores and others… it was hard to choose, but they were all good (I had samples)… they make their own ice cream, too. I also put some of the candied popcorn on top of the ice cream and that was yummy.. they also have salt water taffy, which I did not try… nor the brownies, cookies, etc.   they were also willing to give me a dog cone but not free like in Mendocino…

This is a pretty pet friendly place though… lots of dogs galore… the campground is filled with people and their humongous RV’s, trailers, motor homes and all kinds of vans and motor toys…

there is a lake that we have not been to yet, but we went to the beach several times and my beach dog played ran around chasing after sticks.


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Filed under camping, dog friendly, dogs, four paws up, K9 approved, K9 travel, keep pets safe, mutts, pet care, pit bull, travel, travel with dog, travelwriting, yurts