Rose early, about 6:00ish, fixed coffee, ate a light breakfast and hit the road for The Wildlife Loop. Saw bookoo buffalo, deer, antelope, donkeys and prairie dogs. Got some great pictures. The donkeys come up and stick their heads in the windows begging for food.
Worked our way back to the campsite, broke camp and Yertled over to a different campsite (long story) and re-set up camp. Ate a snack of soup and crackers and headed out to Iron Mountain Road, a very narrow, pigtail curvy road, but beautiful. Reached an elevation where we could see Mount Rushmore in the distance. Pulled over, climbed a small cliff and got some great pictures of George, Thomas, Abe and Teddy.
Stopped in Hill City, gassed up, headed for a local park to potty Chica, then to a local bar to fulfill a life-long dream of Mary’s — to sit in a bar and have a beer in Hill City. So we saddled up to the Bumpin Buffalo Bar, ordered beers, and Mary promptly knocked hers all over me and the bar. Finished the beers and hit the Needles Highway back to Custer State Park. Needles is narrow, curvy and scary through the tunnels.
Got back to the campsite about 5:00ish and chilled. I went for the beer, Mary for the wine, which she promptly dumped all over the ground. Some days are like that, right? Chilled for about an hour, then fixed bacon cheeseburgers with potato salad and baked beans. Yum! Mary took Chica for a walk and cleaned up the kitchen. I walked the trash down the road to the dumpster. It’s 9:00 as I write this, and still light outside, although barely. Homeward bound tomorrow, a full day on the road.
Rose early and took our time showering and fixing a breakfast of eggs, bacon, cheese and peppers on toasted bagels. Yum! Mary took Chica for a short walk. Sometime around 11:00 we pulled out of the campsite and hit the dump site and water station. On the road by noon and explored Badlands National Park, a beautiful place. Still windy, very windy. South Dakota is terribly windy, all the time it seems. Stopped at several overlooks, took pictures and short walks. On the road by 1:00 headed for Custer State Park. Arrived at our campsite at about 5:00 and had a rough time backing Yertle into a tight place. I’m still an amateur at backing up a trailer. Unhitched, set up camp and drove to find firewood. Splurged tonight. Built a fire and roasted two sweet potatoes, then grilled steaks over an open fire. Fantastic! What a life of leisure. Retired to Yertle to catch up on this blog and enjoy a nightcap. My 6th sense says no HP tonight. But or tomorrow there’s champagne in the cooler. That’s always a good sign.
Rose early and prepared Yertle for the return trip. But first, headed to Palisades State Park for breakfast and family goodbyes. Arrived around 10:00 am and enjoyed a wonderful breakfast of quiche, bacon, fruit and salad. Hit the road about 11:30 and waited on a train about a mile down the road. First it stopped with the caboose at the road crossing, then it backed up. Took forever. Finally made it to I-90 headed west. Very windy. Had to keep it at 55 mph to keep the sway manageable. Arrived in the Badlands National Park around 5:30. Stopped at the gift shop, then headed to the campsite. Wound up parked beside 4 other Airstreams. Pretty cool. Mary took Chica for a short walk. Fixed a wonderful meal of brats and peppers and potato salad. Settled in for the night around 9:00ish.
Rose around 6:30ish and fixed coffee. Hit the road to Sheldon, IO, at about 9:30 in the BatMobile without Yertle. Arrived about 11:30 and made our way to the local park, a war Memorial, which was surrounded by US and State flags. We had lunch at a picknick table, then headed to the local high school for the graduation at 2:00, which ended at about 3:30. Then we booked it back to Sioux Falls and arrived around 5:30. By 7:00, everyone had arrived for dinner and celebrating. Hit the sack around 10:00ish, too worn out for HP.
Rose early and spent the day preparing for the graduation party. Swept the garage and mowed the yard, about an acre and a half. Reminded me of all the reasons we moved from the country 11 years ago. Waited for one of Mary’s other sisters to arrive from Minneapolis, then ate, drank and settled in for the night. No HP — boo hoo.
Pretty uneventful. Rose early, fixed coffee, cooked breakfast of eggs and jalapeño bacon. Booked it nearly 300 miles to Sioux Falls and arrived mid- afternoon. Set up Yertle in Mary’s sister’s front yard. Drove into town to Lowe’s and Home Depot looking for a sliding screen door. Found one, then destroyed it trying to install it. That’s what happens when you work with a brother-in-law who’s an engineer (grin). Spent the rest of the evening eating, drinking and chatting. Hit the sack fairly early, about 9:30.
Rose early, about 6ish. Fixed coffee. Read our email and the news. Broke camp about 10ish and hit the road. Long tiring drive, hardly any traffic, about 300 miles. Arrived in Niobrara State Park at about 4:00. Mary and Chica took a walk while I set up Yertle in campsite 54. Much more crowded here, but a very nice place, although too close to the highway. Kicked back to beer and whiskey. Built a fire and fixed sausages, potato salad and grilled bell peppers. Very good. Retired at about 9:30ish. Big day tomorrow, two celebrations in Sioux Falls. Our nephews, brothers, graduate high school and college.
Left home mid morning, about 10:00 on May 24th.. Drove a meandering route north up into Wyoming, then northeast into Nebraska to Chadron State Park, Nebraska’s oldest State Park. Arrived around 4:30. It was peaceful, quiet, and beautiful. Hardly anyone there.
We settled into campsite 36, built a fire and kicked back to beer and whiskey. Then we fixed a dinner of burgers, potato salad and broccoli slaw. Yum. After dinner, we retired to Yertle and played a game of Uno. Mary beat the pants off me, which was good preparation for the HP that followed — you know, the stuff I’m not supposed to mention.
Slept hard all night (grin).
Boogied home as fast as possible. Hit snow crossing the divide on Trail Ridge Road.
YertleLing to Steamboat Lake State Park — Day 4
Rose late, fixed coffee, then a breakfast of jalapeño bacon, sausage and banana on peanut buttered toast — excellent!
Mary and Chica went for a walk while I scouted out the shower facility and campground convenience store. When they got back, we took our first showers in thee days, but I don’t think anyone noticed but us. Afterwards we fixed a lunch of leftovers.
We chilled in the sun for a couple of hours and then drove to Steamboat Springs. There, we found our way to Fish Creek Falls, a beautiful area with a 283′ waterfall. Ran into friends from our home town there, which was a big surprise.
After that we made our way to a gas station where they had a Tucker Snowcat from Medford, Oregon parked in front. Cool lookin vehicle, like something straight out of The Shining. Next we stopped in at the Chop House where we sat on the Yampa River drinking beer and Tom Collins’s, eating ordeurves and people watching.
Made our way back to camp, built a fire and chilled, then retired into Yertle for reading and conversation.