Monday, July 31, 2006

Newcastle, Wyoming

It cooled off some today so we drove into Newcastle, Wyoming about 35 miles away. There are two things to see in Newcastle; the Anna Miller Museum which was really interesting and the "hand dug oil well" which we didn't go see. Newcastle has a great courthouse as so many of these small towns do. The log cabin is the Jenny Stockade which is the oldest building in the black hills gold rush and was once a stage station. We had lunch in Newcastle then drove back to Custer. Drove thru the Jewel Cave National Monument area and saw the effects of the huge fire they had about five years ago. We did some grocery shopping and then back to the RV for a nap.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


We haven't posted anything for a while since all we're doing is working for the campground a few days a week and laying around the RV cause its gotten pretty warm here. I'm working in the office trying to learn a multitude of new things and Carole is working on the waterslide keeping the kids in order. We're off tomorrow (Monday) so we're taking a drive probably to Newcastle, Wyoming (about 30 miles from here). Its supposed to cool off into the 70's - my kind of weather. We're both really enjoying working for the campground. Am posting a photo of Cindy (one of the owners) with us. We're headed into Custer for dinner.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Iron Mountain Road - South Dakota

We didn't work at the campground today so we took a drive up Iron Mountain Road. So many U-turns you had no idea what direction you were going. We almost didn't get out of Custer because there was a parade down Main street so we meandered around the residential areas trying to bypass Main Street. At one point we almost ended up in the parade.

Iron Mountain Road is really, really twisty. Has three really narrow tunnels and you can see Mt Rushmore framed in the tunnels. Carole took a pic of the Bug going thru one. We came across a herd of buffalo and stopped to take pictures - they were only about twenty feet away from us. Down the road a little further we found the loose donkeys!! Apparently the miners just turned them loose when the mines closed. They hang out by the roadside begging from the drivers. We started out with a loaf of bread and fed the entire loaf to them. At one point we had three trying to put their heads into Carole's window - it kind of scared her. They're so tame that they won't hurt you. I got out and was feeding them especially a mother and her baby.

We next stopped at a place called the Wolf People. They have two really tame wolves - one white and one black. The black one is only about 17 months old and still pretty much a baby. He comes to the fence and whines to be petted. You can reach thru and pet him and he licks and licks your fingers. The white female trys to get some attention but the male pushes her away. He wants it all for himself. They also had some really nice bronze statues of wolves, buffalo and an elk.

The weather has been perfect for me (too cold at night for Carole). The days are in the low 80's and the nights are in the fifties - good sleeping weather.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Deadwood South Dakota

Monday we went to Deadwood. On our way we stopped at a little place called Boondocks. They have a lot of movie memorbilia and a diner complete with old cars out front. Deadwood is a cute town with most of their buildings from the 1880's. We had lunch at a place called the Four Aces - okay but sure wasn't Vegas. The booked a tour of Mt. Moriah cemetary and while we were waiting, Carole went and gambled and I went to the shops.

The tour of Mt Moriah was really interesting. Originally everyone was buried in town but they needed the space so they moved everyone up onto the hill. Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane are buried there, next to each other. Our tour guide told us Wild Bill was never Sheriff in Deadwood and was shot to death about six weeks after he arrived. He and Calamity Jane were never lovers. She was a prostitute (not very successful cause she was really ugly) and drank and cussed like a man. She actually died from alcholism and asked to be buried next to Wild Bill. Apparently the rumors of them being lovers was started after his death when she would talk to reporters for free booze and she told them whatever they wanted to hear.

Drove back to the RV. The drive to Deadwood is, as usual, beautiful.

Carole and I are staying in Custer until August 15th. We've been asked to workkamp here at the campground thru the Sturgis Rally. They're shorthanded and we only have to work 21 hours a week between us for free camping, wifi, propane and laundry. Will give me a chance to see if I want to workkamp for an entire summer.

We're having problems with the Bug - keeps dying when we slow down or stop. Yesterday we called a RV repair guy cause the AC didn't seem to be cooling and found we have a big electrical problem. He immediately unplugged us and said he's try his best to get to us today. Thank God for self contained RV's.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Custer, South Dakota

It got pretty warm today so we decided to just go through Custer. Had breakfast in town then went to the 1881 Custer County Courthouse Museum. Nice little museum. Took photo of the buffalo in front of the museum. Carole had some photos developed then we went back to the RV to nap and read. Can't get near the pool - too many kids.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Hot Springs, South Dakota

Today we drove 30 miles to Hot Springs. Amazing the difference in the countryside in so short a distance. Custer is about 5300 altitude and Hot Springs is about 3400. Custer is rolling hills with lots of pine trees - Hot Springs is grassy, rolling hills with no trees and hotter than Custer. Hot Springs is a pretty little town with most of its old buildings made out of a reddish sandstone.

We went to the Mammoth site - really interesting. They’ve discovered about 55 fossil mammoths so far as well as other animals. The entire site is inside a building so the photos didn’t come out too great - too dark. It was originally a sinkhole that animals got stuck in because the sides were too steep and rocky to climb out of. The one photo above is a replica of the sinkhold. The fossil photo is a prehistoric bear that was 15' high when standing upright.

We drove back to Hot Springs for lunch then walked across the street and down a pathway along side a small creek and by a small waterfall. At the end of the path is the Kidney Springs Gazebo. The mineral spring has been running for ages and the Indians used it as a gathering place.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Mt Rushmore and Needles Highway

Dropped the Bug off at the mechanic's and he loaned us his car to go sightseeing.

We went to Mt Rushmore, had breakfast in the cafeteria where they filmed part of North by Northwest. Took a few photos, went through the gift shop and left. Really not must to see except the heads. No museum or anything.

Took the Needles Highway drive - lots and lots and lots of curves and horseshoe turns but absolutely beautiful. This is the road that has several really, really small tunnels. Note the car starting to drive thru the tunnel behind Carole. Must have taken a hundred pictures of the black rocks. Got back to the RV about 4pm - pooped.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Custer Park Wild Life Loop

Today we drove through Custer State Park - the Wildlife Loop. By the time we got there it was about 11:30 so we didn't see a whole bunch of animals. We did see some burros behind a fence with people stopping to pet them. Then we saw a pretty large herd of buffalo. We stopped and took photos as they strolled leisurely across the road. They're quite confident they have the right-of-way and because they're as large as some cars, they do!!! The scenery in the park is awesome. First you're up in the pines then you drop down into rolling prairie dotted with one or two trees. If anyone had told me I was going to fall in love with South Dakota I would have said they were crazy. I love this area and would like to spend much more time here.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Crazy Horse Monument

Got the Bug fixed so we could go sightseein today. We went to the Crazy Horse Monument. Actually got to see them blast some of the mountain. Really interesting place. Took the bus tour to the base of the mountain. Maybe our grandchildren will see it finished. As you can see from the photos, the sky was pretty cloudy and there was lightening behind the mountain. Also saw some Lakota dancers. Drove back to the campground through lightening, thunder, hail and sunshine. This weather is like Texas, if you don't like it just wait a minute. We plan on swimming if it quits raining this afternoon.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Today we went to Hill City. Walked around the town and had lunch. Lots of places to buy tourist stuff. They were having an old car show with all these great old cars lining the streets. There were a few I recall with fond memories. Then we took the 1880 steam train to Keystone. Takes an hour one-way through some beautiful, mountainous country then you just turn around and come back. We're having some problems with the Bug - it keeps wanting to die at slow speed. Will have it checked Monday - think it needs the carburetor adjusted for this altitude.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Custer South Dakota

We're in Custer which was only a 40 mile drive - sitting in the RV while its raining buckets, thundering and lightening outside. We're at Beaver Lake Campground - really nice spot. Open field on one side of us which is great for the dogs altho right now, its looking more like a lake than a field.

Yesterday we went into Rapid City and went to the Prairie Edge Museum. They had lots of beautiful Indian crafts but pretty expensive. I did buy a small print and Carole bought some stuff, too. Rapid City is a neat little town. They have five foot tall bronze stautes of all the presidents on the street corners in the downtown area. In front of the Museum there is a statue of an Indian and one across the street (see photo).

Drove to Walmart to get some film developed, had lunch and drove to the Journey Museum which has a lot of prehistoric fossils of huge animals that lived here in the Black Hills including the huge sea turtle (see photo). We're going to the office to do laundry if the rain ever stops.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Rapid City, South Dakota

Weather has been great - days in the 70's and nights in the 60's. The wind seems to blow all the time here, just like Texas. Yesterday we went to Bear Country USA. You stay in your car and drive through. The raindeer and bears come right up to the car or saunder right down the middle of the road. They have lots of babies and there were about seven up a tree. Took lots of photos but my *&^$#%^* camera wasn't in the "on" position. We then drove to the Cosmos Mystery area. One of those places where you can walk on the walls and everything is slanted. I got so sick when we were inside a little cabin that I had to quit the tour early. Carole did finish the tour and we went back to the RV to nap and read and let my stomach settle down. The picture is of our guide free standing away from a wall. We haven't gone swimming yet - too cool to need to cool off.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Badlands South Dakota

Monday we drove through the Badlands of South Dakota. Fascinating!!! Big rocks loom up from a flat, grassy plain. Also stopped in a little town (population 69) of Interior. Just went there because of the name. Tomorrow we leave for Rapid City for three days.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Wounded Knee Museum

Went to the Wounded Knee Museum in Wall, SD. Very interesting museum. Then went back to Wall Drug and did some more looking. Took the picture below with one of the "evening ladies". Had buffalo burgers for lunch. Wall Drug is pretty much a tourist place with all the touristy stuff for sale. Did the tourist thing and bought some T-shirts. Went back to the RV Park and went for a swim, then read and a nap.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Wall, South Dakota

We're here!!! Great drive to Wall. Beautiful country - rolling, green hills. We'll be in Wall for three days. Had a sprinkle of rain but not enough to wash the RV off. Here is another photo we took at the Pyramid Rocks in Scott City, KS.

Valentine, Nebraska

First opportunity to get on the internet. Stayed first night at Wellington Texas at their city park. It was free and we had the place all to ourselves. Drove to Scott City, Kansas and met up with Kate. Drove around the Chalk Pyramids - they were fascinatiing. These great huge rocks in the middle of flat fields. Were supposed to spend the next night at North Platte, Nebraska but missed the *&^$&( turnoff so ended up in Valentine.