Monday, August 24, 2015

End of our first month on the road

We had reservations for the Tee Pee campground. I think we’ll enjoy this place, it’s very quiet and pleasing to the eye.

The owners are really nice and really helpful. We decided to stay a whole week more so we could get our mail, have the drapes we ordered before we left San Diego delivered and to get our drivers licenses and registrations.

The DL office is closed Mondays so we decided to leave everything until Tuesday and get it all done at once. 

Meanwhile we explored the town, went shopping at Cabellas (our favorite outdoors mega store) and locate the Firehouse Brewery for lunch and to select a beer we liked for our growler as we have a movie night planned.

All laundry done, pork steaks grilled we poured a little wine for Barbara, A nice ESB for me, popped some popcorn and settled in to watch “The second best exotic marigold hotel”. It has been cold all day so we laughed as we put on long pants and sweaters for the first time this trip and dug out a second blanket to put on the bed. We had to turn the volume up at one point due to the noise of the rain falling on the roof.

And it stayed cold and rainy for a couple of days which gave us the opportunity to get our Drivers Licenses and vehicle registrations done. Not an altogether seamless task but far, far better than San Diego or Baltimore would have been. There were so few people at the DMV that you could walk in without an appointment and be done in 30 minutes.

This week has been the Central State Fair and Rodeo. Being a city slicker I haven’t been to a rodeo before and we went before 3pm when admission was free. This is a real country – county fair with all the usual arts and crafts. livestock, vendors etc. On top of which were events you’d never see in a less rural event: Mutton Busting where little kids ride bucking sheep in a pen! And pig wresting where a team of 4 people (Some  - big strapping farmers, some young 12-13 year old girls) get into a mud filled arena with 4 color coded pigs and attempt to single out the one they have been assigned and place it in a feed trough. Oh yes I forgot – they soak each pig in a gallon of vegetable oil first!!

Then the rodeo. This one was described as a “Rancher Rodeo” and the events were centered around ranch type work. Teams of riders “Roped, Doctored and Trailered” cattle against the clock, Then they had to round up and milk a “Wild Cow”. The Wild Cows were HUGE with gigantic horns and believe me they didn’t want to be milked! The teams had to milk them into a beer bottle, sprint across the stadium and show a judge there was some small amount of milk actually in the bottle. After one round the “Cow” was so ticked off it started charging the horses and riders like a bull in a bullfight. The night finished with Bronc Riding but for Ranch Rodeo the rider can choose to use BOTH hands to hang on with. We had a lot of fun and got back after 9.30pm which for us lately is a late night!

Our next tourist event was Mount Rushmore. Crazy Horse and Custer State Park. The line of traffic to get into Rushmore was about ½ mile long, we went past the entrance did a U turn and ended up taking pictures from the road and heading to the Crazy Horse monument which is a self-funded by the tribe. The monument is pretty impressive but their ambition is to set up a 4 year accredited school for Native Americans. The displays of artifacts, art and photographs had our full attention for several hours. 

We finished the day driving back along 16A thru the Custer State Park which was an excellent twisty road through mountains and lakes with a great overlook of Rushmore through the trees.

We saw an ad for “Kool Deadwood Nights” apparently with free bands and a hot rod show and so off we went. Drove thru Sturgis on the way, nothing special without a million bikes! The road to Deadwood was nice but the town was wall to wall traffic. Just as I gave up on getting a parking space we saw a sign off the right and drove into the first spot right by the road! Next to Deadwood Dicks too so we sampled some nice Red Ale before crossing the road and trying the Elks Lodge which was right there! So were the bands and a portion of the car show. Dinner was disappointing, a tourist quality steak that was tough as leather.

As we went to bed the wind came up and it shook the rig for the next 24 hours! We decided on maintenance and washing for entertainment. We restrung one of the day/night shades that had broken, I tightened down the flange bolts on the commode to fix a slight leak and Barbara did the laundry. PHEW a heavy day!!

Minuteman Silo Elmsworth AFB
Part of the Air an Space Museum tour.

To finish the week we went back to the Elks Lodge where we had been told that the Sunday Brunch was “Spectacular”. $11 each and not only as much as you cared to eat but as much as you DARED to eat if you liked! Very nice buffet plus a custom made omelet if you wanted, fruit and desert. We retreated to the rig and had a quiet day digesting!

And there endeth the first full month of our adventures.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on your 1st month on the road. I'd love to be doing what you're doing. Did you encounter any smokey skies or ash falling from the fires?