Thursday, June 28, 2012

There are no words

Today we rode over the Bear Tooth Pass from Red Lodge, MT to Cooke City, MT and back to Red Lodge round trip it was about 180 miles. There are no words or pictures that describe the beauty of this trip. I can understand why Charles Kuralt who did the "On The Road Series" for CBS said it was the most scenic road in America. All I could do was stand in awe and thank God for such beautiful sights. This was not on my bucket list of things to see before I die but I am so thankful I got to see it. It was such a lovely day and I am glad I got to spend it with such a sweet person, my husband. We will post pictures in the next day or so.

Tomorrow we will head to Butte, MT and I will see my sister and her family before we head to Glacier.

Changing Weather

I didn't realize it had been so long since I posted. When we left Strugis with new tires on the jeep  we noticed it was pulling to the right so we stopped in Buffalo, Wy to get the front end aligned. Three days and $500.00 later we left.  We ended up having to have new ball joints. While we were there the temperatures got over 100 each day, I felt like I was back in Florida. Not a lot to see in Buffalo but we did ride up the Big Horn Mountains which were beautiful there was snow at the top and 100 degrees at the bottom.  The only day we were able to go the winds were gusting about 60mph. We thought we were going to have to replace the top on the jeep because the winds were blowing so hard. 
When we left Buffalo yesterday we stopped at Little Bighorn Battlefield. I am not a big history buff but we took a guided walking tour and the tour guide was wonderful. He actually made you feel like you were there during the battle. While we were on the tour we noticed the smell of smoke and there was a smoky haze in the area. We found out  there are wildfires in Montana and there was one over the pass from them. We finally got out of the smoky haze about 100 miles down the road. 
We are now in Red Lodge, MT and today we are taking a ride over the Beartooth Highway which is suppose to be the most beautiful highway drive in America. We awoke this morning to beautiful sunny skies and 45 degrees. So much for taking the top off the jeep.   We have been told that some of the pass has been blocked because of smoke but they have a pilot car to take you through the smoke. I am not sure we will do that but we are going to ride as far as we can. It is so sad the loss of homes and forest in Colorado and now in Montana. Well I guess I better go layer my clothing for the day so we can hit the road.  More Later!!!!!!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Black HIlls Bluegrass Festival

We have really enjoyed the 32nd. Black Hills Bluegrass Festival in Sturgis, South Dakota. I am not a big fan of bluegrass but I have to say I have enjoyed it as much as David. We have met some really nice people here and they invited us to their jam session yesterday. We didn't realize while we were hanging out with them they were the opening act today. David will not play with them because he doesn't think he is good enough. They all told him to bring his guitar over tonight and jam with them. Maybe if he drinks a few margaritas he will do it. We will be heading out of here tomorrow toward Glacier National Park

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Forty miles down the road

We left Rapid City yesterday in the cold rain and wind. We didn't travel but 40 miles because we are going to attend the blue grass festival in Sturgis, South Dakota at Elkview Campground. When we arrived yesterday there were only three campers here and we have very limited telephone service. I wasn't really sure about the place because there was on one here. It is considered a self-service campground, I have never seen one of these before.  We decided to stay because the wind and rain were so bad. We finally got our satellite up and running so we had TV. So glad we stayed because today the park is almost full and David is so excited about the music. Who knows by the time we leave here I may be really into blue grass. Hopefully have some pics of David picking and grinning later.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Mount Rushmore

We got moved to our new campground and we will be here until Wednesday. Once we got settled in and had lunch we decided to head to Mount Rushmore. On our way we stopped at Keystone another small town with the novelty shops. We wondered around the town for about an hour and decided to head to Rushmore.

Gutzon Borglum created the sculpture of the four presidents on the mountain that represent important moments in american history. The carving dates were 1927-1941 with 400 workers, the main tool was dynamite and the drill was a jackhammer.  It really makes you appreciate important moments in history.

Pine Beetle Infestation in the Black Hills: Since we arrived we noticed the some of the trees on the mountains and hills had turned a brownish red color. I assumed that their had been a drought in the area and caused the trees to die. We found out today they have been infested with pine beetles. Once infected the tree will slowly die. The beetles jump from one tree to another. It is really sad to see the destruction these things can cause.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Another beautiful day in the Black Hills

We awoke to a beautiful crisp 45 degree day after it rained off and on all night. We are still trying to get adjusted to mountain time so we are ready for bed way before it gets dark then we are up at 4:00 am mountain time. I am not sure we will ever adjust to the time or the air. I know we are both over weight but the air is so thin here we cannot get a really good deep breath. We have decided we may need oxygen while we are here. LOL

Since it is my sweet husbands birthday today he decided what we were going to do! Our first stop was Crazy Horse Memorial which we really enjoyed. The original sculptor was a strong believer in free enterprise and he felt Crazy Horse should be built by the interested public and not the taxpayer. He turned down federal funding on two occasions. Since his death his wife and seven of his ten children work with the Board of Directors to ensure progress is still being made. Since there is still no other funding it is a long slow process. They made us many promises, more than I can remember- They never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it!   Red Cloud, Lakota 1891

We then took a stroll down Hill City, which is a small town with lots of novelty shops on both sides of the road. The only we bought was ice cream which we did not need but really enjoyed. YUM, YUM

We decided to visit Prairie Berry Winery, a local winery that started five generations ago and they  make all their wines on site. We wanted to purchase a bottle of  Red Ass Rhubarb Wine mainly for the name.  Instead of just buying that bottle they had a wine tasting room and you could taste up to five different wines. Since we both love our wine we couldn't turn that down, about an hour later we left with more than one bottle of wine.

Who knows what we will get into tomorrow!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Up close and personal

What a beautiful and fun day we had today.  We packed a picnic and headed to Custer State Park where the scenery was breathtaking. We took the Wild Life Loop first and saw bunches of bison up close and personal, a herd of them walked right by the jeep as we sat in the road. We also saw some prairie dogs, pronghorns, "wild" burros, and deer.  We then traveled over Needles Highway which is 14 miles of winding roads, hairpin turns and several very small tunnels that have been blasted out of the solid granite rock. We then stopped at Sylvan Lake Resort and General Store which is considered the crown jewel of Custer State Park. We wondered around the lake and store had ice cream and then called it a day.


We finally left Forest City, Iowa on Tuesday morning and headed to Mt. Rushmore. We spent the night in Mitchell, South Dakota where the Corn Palace is located. It is really something to see but we had already been there and it was raining so we decided to just stay in and relax.

Back on the road again Wednesday morning in cool and windy weather. For those of you that have been this way know that you start seeing signs for Wall Drug which is a store that takes up an entire block with everything from junk to high dollar items about 200 miles before you get there. Even though we had been there before it was like a magnet pulling us back in. We did buy some really good hand cream because our hands are so dry from the dry air and I really wanted a $500.00 pair of cowboy boots for the wedding but could't do it because where am I going to wear a pair of cowboy boots in Florida.

We arrived in Hill City, South Dakota late in the afternoon and we are staying at Rafter J Bar Ranch Campground. We will be staying in the area until next Wednesday. Since we are creatures of habit the last time we were here we did not change our clocks and stayed on eastern time. That meant it was still daylight when we went to bed and we got up about 4:00 every morning. We loved it because we ate six meals a day. We decided since we are going to be in the area for a month or so we needed to adjust to mountain time this trip. We are trying to decide our sight seeing schedule so I better go and get ready. Will post more later.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

And the wind begins!

Well I haven't posted in a day or so but we are still in Forest City, Iowa. We did get our motorhome back on Friday afternoon and the extended warranty paid half of the bill and we were really glad they did that.  We got great customer service our entire stay, after some of the stories we have heard from other customers we were really concerned. While we were checking out our Tech told us we needed to check with the local company that does their paint work to see if they would fix our clear coat problem on the top of our home. He told us in 2007 they had problems with the  clear coat sticking to the light gray paint. We decided since we are here we should check and boy are we glad we did. They told us they would fix the problem at no charge and it would only take one day. We have an appointment Monday morning at 7:00 am, they all start early here.

Yesterday they posted a wind advisory for the area until Monday. The wind is blowing about 35 MPH today. We do not want to travel in the wind because it reminds us of the last trip to Montana which was really, really, really windy. Since we are Winnebago members we are staying the the park where they hold their rally in July. We have water and 30 amp electric but no sewage. We have really had to learn to watch how much water we use.

I will not say we will be out of here by Monday because I am not sure. It is almost like one of those movies where they get in you in a small town and never let you leave. On this I will say. "Laugh Out Loud"

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Time marches on

We had a good day today once we got started.  We decided to go to Clear Lake, Iowa which is really a nice and quaint town. It is where Buddy Holly played his last concert at the Surf Ballroom before the fatal plane crash. While we were there we ran into another couple having their coach worked on and we  had lunch with them.  Before we left Forest City we got directions to Clear Lake but we didn't quite get our right and left correct.  We turned the wrong way out of Winnebago so instead of going 25 miles it took us 60 miles. We did enjoy looking at all the wind turbines and corn fields. LOL

We returned from Clear Lake to find out we will not get our home back until Thursday so we are still at the motel and still have items at the campground. Of course I am having a harder time with this than David and he is really trying to be patient with me. We decided we needed to do something in the afternoon so we found a 9 hole golf course and played some golf today. So glad we did because after I got some exercise, even though I didn't play very well I felt much better. I think tomorrow we are going to check out of this motel and go stay in Clear Lake for the night.

Maybe next time I post we will be on the road heading to Mt. Rushmore.

Monday, June 4, 2012

My oh my oh my!!!!!!!!!!

We have been in Forest City for four nights and thought we would be out of here no later than Wednesday. Boy are we in shock!!!!!!!!!!!! We took the motorhome to have the slide repaired this morning and found out this afternoon the extended warranty will not cover any of the repairs until they send an adjuster, the closet one to Forest City is two hours away. They tried to call us this morning to see if that is what we wanted them to do since we had left the customer service area but our phone service here really sucks. We got no missed call or message. Since they close promptly at 3:30 pm they could not get anyone here today. We were told they might come tomorrow but if not we will probably not be out of here until sometime next week. We almost told them to fix it and we would just pay. It only gets better, we have paid for an RV site for a week and we now cannot stay in the motorhome because they have the slide out. Soooooo we are having to pay $75.00 a night for a motel room, the only one in town that we feel safe enough to stay in. We have all our stuff from the slide at the campground and all our other belongings in the shop at Winnebago. We are actually living out of Wal Mart bags. Since they do not have a Wal Mart here I cannot even restock our bags. Since we are so stressed we decided to get a bottle of wine each and drink until time to go to bed. 

We did take a tour of the Winnebago facility and it was very interesting. We are thankful we have our rig but this had been sickening. OH WELL MAYBE TOMORROW WILL BE A BETTER DAY.