Saturday, June 30, 2012

Blowing up the Mountain

Ellsworth AFB, Rapid City, SD - We didn't go somewhere everyday,  athough it seems like it.  After being at the base for 3 days, I had to go to the Visitor Center to sign the RV Tech to get in to work on my AC.  The SGT at the counter took my ID and scanned it in and proceeded to tell me my card was expired.  I replied, "How can that be, its INDEF" meaning it is forever.  Well it seems as it hasn't expired they have just changed the bar coding on the back and I needed to get another.  That was a good idea as they have changed the ID cards to allowing you not to put your SSN on the card.  While I was doing that Carolyn also got hers redone.  Now neither card has my SSN on it.  It just has a number that only one computer system can read and know what to do with.  Basically its just a number that doesn't mean anything.  Although everytime I came in  they scanned me and looked at something on their scanners, probably tracking my every move. :)

We did several more drives.

Mount Rushmore - A very nice memorial although not very large.  Went late in the day and stayed for the evening lighting ceremony.  A storm with 40 - 60 mph winds skirted the mountain.  I was in my element.  A few of our pictures.

We went to meet some now friends that I have been following their blog for about 6 years, Larry and Lee Ann.  They have the same See Eagle that we have and we went to watch them set it up as I have not unpacked mine yet. :(  Looked pretty easy, we'll see.  Nice folks and I forgot to get pictures (twice), so I'm borrowing Lee Ann's, my apolygies.
They informed us about the Crazy Horse light show and night blast for the next night.  Admission was 3 cans of food per person, neat.  They only have two night blasts per year and we just happen to be here for one, that's usually not the case. :)  It was a neat show.

 My camera does not do movies well I found out.  It only does 15 sec spurts. Here is the last one.

 On to Devils Tower. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

There Is A Lot To See

Ellsworth AFB, SD  -  Things have been real busy.  The 5 or 6 hours making circles through the local parks and drives will take it out of you. The result is
Carolyn throught she had to get this shot.  Mid 80's with a 12 to 20 mph wind and less than 20% humidity makes for very nice snoozing. I call them my power naps.  5 to 10 minutes and I'm ready to go again.

Needles Highway, Custer State Park - we made several trips along this drive.  It was our favorite drive.  There is barely room for 2 full sized vehicles to meet and at one time I had to back up about a city block to allow a rented Class C to come through.  We probably could have made it but there was no guard rail on the lower side and being rented (not that I'm any better) I gave him some room.  We saw the Cathederal Spires.

The Needles Eye area, Custer State Park.

The Wildlife Loop, Custer State Park - The picture at the top of the blog came from there.  The cows were with their calves (I guess that's what you call them) and Carolyn thought it was cute so here is one of those.
There was a nice pronghorn going up a hill, barely saw him, but if you blow it up you can tell.
We also went by Sylvan Lake, Custer Sate Park.  It is a small lake, more like a pond, but presents a nice picture.
The Iron Mountain Highway, Custer State Park was a nice drive and had good scenery.  It has several tunnels and loops that cross each other.  Some of the tunnels opened out to a view of Mt Rushmore.

And that is just some highlights.  There was a lot more and the scenery was fantastic.  Temps up in the Black Hills were almost 10 degrees less than down around the Rapid City area.  The first day up on the Needles Highway we left Rapid City at 68 deg and it got down to 47 deg when a storm blew up and had a little rain and hail.  It was 75 when we got back to town.

Yesterday was 108 deg in Rapid City.  We went to Crazy Horse to see a night blast and when we got there it was 85 deg and very comfortable.

That is about all for tonight, getting tired.  Will post more tomorrow and see if we can clean up this visit.  There has been alot.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Badlands

It has been a busy week.  Upon our arrival, we just got set up before a big thunderstorm blew up.  It was blowing pretty good.  We are in the Fam Camp at Ellsworth AFB.  For $20 a night it is convenient and close to all of the facilities.  Diesel which is a city block away is only $3.68 a gallon.  That is a deal.  The sites are on concrete pads and paved roads.
That is my neighbors dish run out about 30'.

Last Saturday we drove down to the badlands and made a loop around and through the park. It was clear we weren't in Alabama anymore. It is a pretty big park with a lot of it designated as a wilderness area. While I would like to physically I don't do wilderness anymore. :)  Luckily there is a road that runs the length of the northern area of the park.  About 2/3 of it is paved with nice pullouts.
We were there during the middle of the day and the sun and the small camera did not allow for capturing the colors in the rock. It would be a nice place to be there in the early morning or sunset to see those colors. The next time we come by I think we will spend a night or two in Interior to allow for easy and quick access to the park, also they have an evening program that would be interesting.

The west side of the drive was gravel road and went by a prairie dog town, but then there were suburbs all over the area. :)
We also came across some of the resident Bison and this fellow was beside the road. Approaching he turned and walked away, but stopped looking away.  Had to yell twice to get to even turn his head, but at least he allowed me a profile shot.
Carolyn is getting good at spotting animals and spotted a female Rocky Mountain Sheep laying just below one of the pull offs.  I stalked close enough for a decent shot, although where she was I probably could have just walked up in the open.  I'm sure she has seen people before.
It was a nice day.  We didn't go into the Black Hills on the weekend thinking there would be lots of people.  We like to see things at our pace and not be held up or pushed by others.

Monday night just after going to bed, our third AC fan disintegrated.  Just 4 weeks ago the second fan did the same thing.  After going through the first one, I knew it was not major, but didn't have a fan replacement and before I finally got it shut down smelled a little electrical burn smell.  Thought I should get a tech to look at it and order the parts.  It was as I thought and just the fan.  If you look closer you can see three more cracks in the fan.
I should be able to handle the next one myself as I ordered two fans so I have a replacement on hand.  Of course that means I will not have that problem again. :) :) :)
More later.  It is nice to see things at your own pace and if you get tired just go home and rest.  There is more coming.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I'm Alright and Didn't Break Anything

Well five weeks in Sioux Falls finally passed.  It had its ups and downs (later), but Friday we pulled out.

Sioux Falls was named for the falls that are downtown. There is a nice park that surrounds the falls area.

As I've said before, Sioux Falls has numerous parks and bike trails through the town and are maintain very well.

We hadn't been in town very long when Paul and Marti Dahl - RV Sanity came in town.  Great folks and while there we did get out to dinner one night and found out we have a lot in common. Didn't get any pictures, but before they pulled out the next AM, I managed to get a quick one.  Marti is in there somewhere. I know we'll see them again somewhere.

Our site at Tower Campground was very large and up front. (got to see everything going on). They are currently expanding this side of the campground and will have 46 sites when finished.  I believe the city is requiring an average of 2500 sq ft per site. 

In getting ready to travel I really wanted to wash the MH. I washed the roof, no problem. Started around the coach with my Solution wash and that is when it happened.
This is a reenacted picture. I was getting onto the top rungs when it went out from under me.  Only about 6'. The ladder was sprung and will not fold up.  Trash. I didn't break anything, but was sure glad the 6-8 guys that were putting in the new sites behind us did not work today because of rain. :)
I'm still a little sore.

Our last night we had dinner at Steve and Debbie Fields, friends we met here. Both of of have been waiting for our 5 weeks to be over.  I am 3 days ahead of him. It was a good time and I know we will see them in our future travels.

We left Sioux Falls Friday AM and arrived in Rapid City, SD.  We are staying at Ellsworth AFB, about 7 miles from town.  More later.

Have I told you lately, (no because I haven't posted), Life is pretty good.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Out of Space, Again

It appears that as most bloggers probably already know, you have a limited amount of space per post. In the last post the last picture took all of it.  I will have to watch out for that in the future.

We left Cave City and had a short drive to Radcliff, KY, the entrance city to Ft Knox.  With not many places to stay in Louisville, we thought that would be a nice spot to stay convenient to Louisville.  Luck would have it they just had a departure the morning we arrived in a site that would accommodate our coach, although it was just water and electric (50 amp).  We were just staying two nights so that was no problem.  We did drive onto the Fort and took a picture even though we were not supposed to.
It's not as good as some are, but at least I was there.  I'll bet Odd Job is still burned into the bars below (remember Goldfinger).  Also, didn't see any gold stacked up...

We left Wednesday, May 9th headed for Sioux Falls. We made good time across Indiana and Illinois.  We were looking at staying at Scott AFB just east of St Louis, but we got there about noon had plenty of diesel and just kept going.  Around Columbia, MO found some diesel for $3.84 at a Texaco.  Their pump cut off at $100 so after two times they came out and did something to let it run until I finished.  That was the cheapest diesel I had found since I bought it in Nov.

We blew right around Kansas City and headed north.  About dark, saw a rest area sign saying that was the last one in MO.  We pulled in with all the trucks and found a spot.  I was tired as we had been going for about 12 hours.  I really needed that rest. 

Next morning while having coffee, looked out and saw a man getting a tool box out of a RV in front of me and walk around the front of his RV and disappear.  I thought he had a problem and went to check.  He needed some nuts to fix his exhaust that had blown off. I headed off to look and low and behold I had just what he needed in some of my junk.  His wife tried to had me a wad of green bills and I said no way.  I just hope that one day when I need help (and I will) someone will help me out.  Trying to pay forward.

We had a nice four hour drive on to Sioux Falls.  We are at Tower Campground which is almost downtown.  We have all of the shopping, food and government offices you need or want within a three mile circle. 

Now one thing they should work on is southern BBQ.  Living in the south, BBQ is on every corner and a staple of life like salt. :)  Got to wanting some and looked around and they have a Famous Dave's BBQ.  It is kind of like Jim & Nicks around B'ham and that looks like about it.  It was good, but did not serve a serving anything like the Tin Top south of Calera.

Don't have enough space for pictures so will get pictures of Sioux Falls next time.  At least everyone knows where we are.

Oh yeah, this new found freedom is real nice.  Life is Good!!!