Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Rally at the Rock

We left Carthage on Monday morning bright and early heading south on Hwy 71 toward Fort Smith, Arkansas. Once at Fort Smith, we headed east along I-40 to North Little Rock. All along the way we had a pleasant drive with no incidents including two stops at Flying J Travel Plazas.

From Rally at the Rock

We arrived in North Little Rock at approximately 1:20 pm and it took until after 4 pm to get to our camping space for the week. We have heard all kinds of reasons that it took so long to get to the area and we have also heard many disgruntle persons about how this rally is being run. We were guaranteed that we would have 30 amp electric for the entire rally and it took until after 12 pm today to finally get it. All of the seminars, entertainment and food is over two miles away from where we are and we are being eaten alive by fire ants. The trolleys, buses and mini-vans did start to move this afternoon so we can at least get up to where all the action is going on. We are also told that this is not the most desirable part of town; so, we have police security all around once the sun begins to set.

Oh well, we will see what tomorrow has in store when the rally actually starts and we have to be in certain places at certain times. This is when I will just continue to enjoy and make the best of all situations.

Until next time, Take Care.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Carthage, Missouri

This morning as is true for any moving day, we were up by 6:30 am and getting ready to move on down the road. We left Spring Lake RV Resort in Halstead, Kansas at 7:50 am and headed east on K-50 then took I-35 south to K-96 and then US-400 east to Carthage, Missouri. We arrived at 12:20 pm and got set up at Big Red Barn RV Park off of MO-71. The campground has 65 sites and when we arrived was not very full. By 6:30 pm about 75% of the sites were taken and I expect that a few more will be taken before morning.

From Big Red Barn

After we got set up I went over to the "Precious Moments Chapel and Museum" in Carthage. I had heard that it was well worth going over there and I am glad that I did. The work is outstanding and very moving. I spent about 2 hours there just looking at the glass windows, then strolling the grounds and seeing the museum. They were also having a big sale on all of the figurines so bought one for my great-niece and one for my sister.

From Precious Moments Chapel and Grounds

On the way back to the RV, I stopped at Wal-Mart as we needed some cash for the next week and that is the easiest place to get it.

Until next time, Take Care.

Saying Good Bye

We truly enjoyed being at Spring Lake RV Resort for the past week. These people feel like family to us and we again want to "Thank them for all that they did for us last year and in welcoming us again this year."

On Thursday night we went out to dinner with Jim and Marge Eckles, at Paradise Bar and Grill. I think all of us liked it better when it was Fireside; but, we enjoyed the company and being able to be together for the evening.

Friday night we ate at the Clubhouse. Russ enjoyed an open face roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes and salad. I had one of Gordon's delicious hamburgers with chips. After dinner hour, I played bingo and Russ went and started washing on the motor home finishing it after dinner on Saturday night.

From More Spring Lake RV Resort

Saturday, Russ helped out with building the new stage in the Clubhouse. He would not be Russ without something happening. He had a hammer in his hand and hit the wrong nail. He knocked off the tip of his pointer finger but is doing OK while it heals. It's just a bit hard making the baby blanket that Norma Royse needs very soon but he will accomplish it.

Saturday night was dinner at the Clubhouse again and then staying for the music concert by "Bound 4 Heaven." It was very good and well attended by the campground and people in the community. After the concert ice cream was served and it seemed that everyone had a great time.

Sunday morning was Church Service with many first done. Ellen the pianist played the accordion with Karen Gehring accompanying her on the piano. Judy played the harpsichord, and Wayne and Karen sang with another couple in the park. The message was delivered by Richard. We then had breakfast and it was back to the RV to start getting it ready for travel on Monday.

From More Spring Lake RV Resort

Earl and Ivalee Vanderhoff came by and invited us to go to dinner with them and Mary Ann. We went to a Chinese Buffet in Newton. We enjoyed being with these people and look forward to seeing them again in the near future.

Russ and I are seriously considering going back next June and spending the entire summer work kamping. It all depends on this winter and how the "Mamas" do.

Well until next time, Take Care.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Underground Salt Mine and Hutchinson Cosmosphere

Tuesday dawned a beautiful day so we decided that we would go into Hutchinson and see and so some of the things that we wanted to do. The first thing on our list was to stop and see what time the tours were for the Underground Salt Mine. We were able to get tickets for the 1 pm tour. That gave us 2 1/2 hours to do some other things. We went to Wal-Mart where I was able to get a hair cut and we also picked up yarn for Russ to make Norma a blanket for her coming new great-granddaughter.

We then went by to see Dr. Lowen, the orthopedic doctor who did Russ' hip replacement last year when we were here, and Cameron, his Physician's assistant. They were in surgery so we did not get to see them this time. We also stopped by to see Carrie, Anita, Jennifer and Dawn, the physical therapists, who did the necessary therapy Russ needed to get him back on the road. All but Carrie were there, so it was great to see them. Anita had her baby boy just after we left here June a year ago.

From href="">Kansas Underground Salt Mine

It was nearing 12:30 pm so we headed back to the Underground Salt Mine for our tour. There were 20 other people also on our tour. We rode in an elevator shaft 650 feet below ground. The guides are all volunteers and they take us around on a tram showing us different parts of the mine. We do not go where they are actually mining but we can see what is being done in other parts by what has been done in the area we are in. It is very informative and something everyone should see. Cost is $13.50 plus tax for adults.

On Wednesday, we went by Dr. Lowen's and were able to get a couple of minutes with Cameron. Dr. Lowen had a back log of patients so we did not push to see him just gave Cameron the message to let Dr. Lowen know that we came by.

From Kansas Cosmophere

We then went to the Cosmo sphere and took a self guided tour here. Very interesting and informative about space science from the beginning until now. We really learned a lot from the information that was provided and know that there is a lot more to learn either by returning here or by reading books and studies. Another worthwhile place to visit.

It was well after lunch time so we decided to make a trip to Yoder and have lupper at the Carriage Crossing. This is a restaurant run by the Mennonites and the food is outstanding. We enjoyed every mouthful and even bought home the dessert for later.

Another fun filled day.

Until next time, Take Care.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Spring Lake RV Resort

Saturday morning I had said that I wanted to sleep in and not leave as early as we have been recently but would you believe that I could not sleep so was up before 7 am and we were leaving the Prairie Oasis Camp in Henderson, Nebraska, by 7:45 am. All we had to do to get ready to leave was disconnect the electricity, pull in the slides and connect the lights for the towed car.

As we were leaving it was not raining but the clouds were very heavy like it could at any minute. We drove east on I-80 for about 10 miles and then headed south on NE/KS-81. When we got to I-70 we went east for 3 miles to the Flying J to get diesel at $3.909. We needed 45.539 gallons so we will be set for the next 9 days when we reach the Joplin, Missouri area.

From Spring Lake RV Park, Halstead, KS

We arrived here at Spring Lake RV Resort about 12:30 pm and went into the office to register. We were greeted by Karen Gehring, Norma and Bobbie. Wayne Gehring came through and a big hug was in store from him. We had been here last year when Russ fell and broke his hip. It was as if we were home. Saturday night, the park served dinner and we went and enjoyed our meal very much. They served meatloaf, mashed potatoes (real), corn and a roll. There was also different kinds of cake and brownies for dessert.

Sunday morning we went to the community Church Service at the clubhouse here at the campground. Pastor Norman Rodgers presented the message and did a very good job of saying that everyone should press forward as far as they can. We then went into Hutchinson to the State Fair. We walked around looking at the exhibits until we were both very tired and decided to go get something to eat and then come home and finish watching the race and ball games.

Today was wash day for me beings I had not done clothes in over two weeks. Russ went fishing in the ponds around the property here. He caught 3 bass and a catfish and saw 3 different snakes. We took a walk looking for the big frogs that we had seen here last year but did not find any. We did see friends from last year, Jim and Marge Eckles, Earl and Ivalee and Don Schrag. Don's wife Shirley came by on her way home from school. She is taking business math and algebra. We will be getting with all of these people at some time and visiting more while we are here this week.

Well until later, Take Care.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wacky West Campground, Valentine, NE.

This morning we awoke to cloudy skies and drizzle in Rapid City. We left Rushmore Shadows at 7:20 am and headed east on Hwy-16T. We stopped at the Flying J for diesel costing $3.999 per gallon.

We traveled along I-90 eastward to Murdo, SD. where we turned south on Hwy-83 to Rosebud, SD. and then crosssing into Nebraska and heading for the town of Valentine.

We are camped at Wacky West Campground which is family owned and run. It is an okay place for an overnight stay. The only real problem that we see here is that it is right next to the stock yard and we have bunches of cows just across the roadway. No worse than being at Wilderness in Menifee, CA.

It is still cloudy and cold but we are snug as bugs in a rug. Until next time, Take Care.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Badlands of South Dakota

Happy Birthday Russ. Well today you are officially old. You have completed the paperwork to receive Social Security and so you should see your first check the second Wednesday of November. That means that we can do a little more exploring this great United States of America. I hope that you have many more birthdays.

We left our little home just after 8 am this morning and stopped at the Flying J for gas and decided to have breakfast there also. The food was excellent and we checked out the area for getting Diesel on Thursday. No problem, a big wide fueling area and room to turn and get out.

We then headed east on I-90 to Wall, South Dakota. This is where the famous Wall Drug is located. Wall Drug became famous for the Ice Cold Water that was served to travelers beginning in 1931. Today they still take pride in serving the water and having signs all over the USA plus a number of foreign countries. We checked to see if they had a pair of boots in Russ' size as this is where we had found they last pair for him. No Boots today.

From Wall Drug Store

We left Wall Drug and continued south on Hwy 240 to the Badlands National Park. I could not believe what I was seeing. From what we had seen yesterday and then seeing what we did today was just like we were on two different planets. WOW. Please look at the pictures in my album to get a good idea of what I am talking about.

From The Badlands of South Dakota

From The Badlands of South Dakota

On our way home, we stopped by Wal-Mart for a loaf of bread and some cash. We then decided to have a late lunch/early supper at TGI Friday's. Here on Tuesdays they have buy one get one burger free. Russ also got a chocolate sundae because it was his birthday. We both enjoyed that sundae.

Until next time, Take Care.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Spearfish Canyon, Deadwood and Tatanka

Hooray, the sun was out after not seeing it since last Tuesday. We decided to go and drive through Spearfish Canyon. We drove along Hwy 14A seeing gorgeous scenery, beautiful waterfalls, awesome cliffs of limestone and just a wonderful outing in this part of the country. It is hard to believe the sights that we have been able to see since leaving San Diego area last February. We know that right now that we are in the most spectacular part of the country when it comes to the sights.

From Spearfish Canyon

From Spearfish Canyon

We continued east along 14A and 85 through Lead and up into Deadwood where we went to Kevin Costner's Tatanka "The Story of the Bison." This was very interesting and well worth going to see.


We stopped in the Golddigger for lunch and put a few coins in their slot machines. I ended up losing but Russ came out ahead and we left as "Happy Campers, again."

We followed Hwy 85 back to I-90 through Sturgis where they have a humongus motorcycle rally every August. All of the towns around are just inandated with motorcycles for about 2 weeks.

We arrived back at the motor home total worn out but feeling good about what we had done and seen. Live is great.

Until next time, Take Care.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Bear Country USA

Saturday morning we awoke to sunny skies but knew that if we wanted to see anything that we had better get going as they were calling for rain during the day. We drove about 4 1/2 miles down Hwy-16 to Bear Country USA. This is a 200 acre natural Black Hills habitat where the animals can roam freely. Being a cool day they animals were up and moving all over the place.

We saw Rocky Mountain Elk, Wild Turkey, Reindeer, Arctic Wolves, Big Horn Sheep, Rocky Mountain Goat, Black Bear, Timber Wolves (who were after the bears at times), Mountain Lions, Buffalo including a white one, Miniture Donkey. we went to the small animal exhibits where we saw river otters, porcupines, red fox, coyotes, lynx, raccoons, badgers, and the bear cubs. The cubs were all over the place and just made for a wonderful time of watching them play and frolic. I could have stayed and watched them all day.

We then took a ride down to Keystone and something was going on as traffic was backed up about 2 miles from town. We decided that we would not wait to find out what was happening. We turned around and went to the Christmas Village, just looking at all the Christmas ornaments that they have.

We decided to come back to the RV and just as we opened the door, there was a flash of lightning, a roll of thunder and the rains started. Along with the rain was some hail but now real winds. Thank goodness. This lasted about 30 minutes and then we had a little sun but mostly clouds.

At 2:30 pm it was cloudy but no rain so we decided to go and see the Chapel in the Hills. This is an exact replica of the Borgund Stavkirke located near Laerdal, Norway. When we got there the host told us that there was to be a wedding at 3:30 pm but that we could visit the chapel until then. There was a narration all about why and how they had brought the buildings from Norway and what all the meanings were in the sculpting around the doors. Very interesting. There was also a Norwegian Cabin on the grounds with many interesting pieces of furniture and living tools. This is a must see if you are in the Rapid City area.

While we were at the Chapel, the rains again started so we came on back home and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon working on uploading all the pictures I had taken for the day. Bear Country (95) Chapel in the Hills (25). I hope that you will take a look at them and enjoy as much as I am.

Until next time, Take Care.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Seeing Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park and Crazy Horse, Again

Friday morning came early for us, as we had made reservations with Ft. Hays Tours to go on their 9 hour tour of Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park and Crazy Horse. We arrived at 7:45 am and purchased our tickets. Breakfast was included in our tour package. I had pancakes and sausage along with orange juice. Russ had the biscuits and gravy with sausage and coffee. After breakfast we had a few minutes to wait for the bus so we toured the shops that Ft. Hays has set up. This is also the place where they have the set from "Dances with Wolves starring Kevin Costner.

We boarded the bus and left the parking lot at about 9 am heading for our first stop which would be Mt. Rushmore. We always enjoy going here and seeing the wonderful work that Gutzon Borglum did on the carving of the mountain with the four presidents.

We continued on Hwy 16A crossing pigtail bridges, going through tunnels that were just wide enough for the bus and doing switchbacks where you thought the people in the front of the bus were going to speak to the people in the back. It was a fun trip.

We then went into Custer State Park where we encountered the donkeys who await the bus for feeding. They know that there is always food for them and they also enjoy the petting. We then visited "The Game Lodge." This is where Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Dwight D. Eisenhower made their Summer White House during their term in office. We also had a delious buffet lunch.

Continuing on from Custer State Park we made our way to Sylvan Lake.
This is a beautiful and peaceful place as you can see from the pictures.

It was then to Crazy Horse Mounment. Work has been going on here for 40 years and they are still not anywhere close to being finished. Here are pictures of what has been done and what is to be done.

It is now after 5 pm so we are headed back to Ft. Hays where we will have a "Chuckwagon Supper" and entertainment. A fun filled day.

Until the next time, Take Care.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Rushmore Shadows Resort, Rapid City, SD


This morning we were again up early eager to get on the road heading for Rapid City, SD. We traveled east along Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota Hwy-212. This is mainly a dual lane highway with occasional passing lanes and a number of small towns to go through. We encountered two construction areas where we had to follow a pilot car.

We arrived at Rushmore Shadows Resort at about 1 pm. We got the rig all set up in Space 317, at the back of the park, then headed out for a late lunch early supper. We went to Golden Corral over by Wal-Mart. After lunch we came back to our little house and made reservations to go on a 9-hour tour of Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer State Park, and Needles Highway. We will also have breakfast there and return to a chuckwagon dinner and show. We did this tour three years ago and can't wait to do it again tomorrow.

Tonight is being spent watching Big Brother, Russ watching the football game and the RNC speech by John McCain.

Until next time, Take Care.
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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

7th Ranch RV Camp and Historical Tours

This morning we awoke to cloudy skies and cool weather again. Just as we were leaving Bear Canyon Campground it began to sprinkle. Not bad and we soon ran out of it and were on our way to Garryowen, Mt., 204 miles away.

We arrived at the campground at about noon and checked in Chip and Sharon Richardson, owners/managers. We could not believe how big the grounds are, sites are 70' long and very spacious. We are overlooking I-90 and wide open spaces all around. It is a very nice place and they honor Good Sam and Escapees.

We got all set up and then headed back to "The Little Bighorn Battlefield". We did the tour and also went to a 17 minute video explaining about Custer and the battle that took place here in June of 1876.

We then went to the museum in Garryowen. Garryowen comprises of a museum, trading post, post office and a subway shop all in one building.

This evening I took a walk around the park taking pictures of the sunset and views. It is a very nice area and I would love to come back here again.

Well until the next time, take care.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What Happened to Summertime?

Yesterday, September 1, 2008, Labor Day, we awoke to very cold temperatures. It was in the very low 30's and foggy, mixed with rain and wind. It stayed like that all day long. There was nothing that I could do that would warm me up, even having on the house heater. Thank goodness that we had topped off the propane tank when we stopped at Flying J last week.

The Leivas' and us went out to dinner at Applebee's as last night was their last night here at Bear Canyon. We had a very good dinner, all of us having there riblets and something else. It was then a stop at Safeway as they had orange juice and milk on special. We then came back to the motohomes and just hunkered down for the night after taking a quick walk around the park.

This morning the park began emptying out early including Jim and Nancy. We were looking out at the surrounding mountains and there was SNOW all over them. It is hard to believe that a few days ago it was in the high 80's and today SNOW. The remainder of the day was partly cloudy and the temperatature only got into the 60's but we did okay.

We will leave here tomorrow headed for Garryowen, Mt. and Little Big Horn.

Until later, Take Care.