Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Kobi is glad to get back home. He hates being on the road.

We drove basically straight back from our stay in the Badlands. One night in Bozeman and then home. It was a long drive but you know that when the horse smells the barn.  We have spent the last few days cleaning up the camper, raking the leaves in the yard and getting some work done on the truck.

The weather has been rainy and all I can think of is getting down to the rivers and fishing for Steelhead.  The problem is that right when we got home the rivers came up and have not gone down due to the rain.  Everything I have learned says, never fish on a rising river. Every day I check the weather reports and the river levels. I am ready to go, just need the right weather window.

Guess I'll read. Oh, hummmmmmm...

Monday, October 17, 2016

From Badlands to Wall Drug

What? We were in the area so we had to go to Wall Drug!

First here are some panorama shots and other pictures that I captured on my phone of the Badlands. Then scroll down to the Wall Drug photos.

Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota.
Remember the movie "BIG"?

The Badlands

Today we drove to the Badlands and took in this stark and beautiful place. The visitors center was our first stop and we learned a brief history of the area. We had been wondering how pioneers came to settle this area. We also continued to learn how badly we treated the Native Americans as the nation expanded. It was all very interesting.

We drove the Badlands loop and took a lot of pictures.  The weather changed from cloudy, to sunny, and then back to cloudy as we made the loop. By the time we returned home we were seeing lightning, hearing thunder and dodging rain drops.

Sheep have no clue about the yellow line!
We were a bit nervous because the truck was brand new.

Did I ever tell you Linda hates snakes as bad as spiders?

Got a Cool Shirt!

We took a little drive out to Sturgis. It was probably not the best time to visit; Sunday, October, middle of a big main street repair project. We were able to buy a couple shirts and Linda got some blingy sunglasses. I took a picture or two and then we called it a day. I guess that the rally really adds something to the place.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

You Really Have to Be There

We were up early and on the road with our sights on Jewel Cave National Monument. An early arrival was very important because we had stopped there the day before and they had sold out their tours.  Today we arrived just right and were able to grab four tickets on the Scenic Tour beginning at 9:30 AM.
Ladders provided our stability on these climbs.

Jewel Cave is the third largest known cave in the world with over 180 miles of mapped underground passages. The “jewels” are calcite crystals that line the cave walls sparkling when the light hits them.
The cave breaths and has winds blowing throughout its interior. These winds change with the barometric pressure of the weather above the ground.  Our hike took us about an hour and a half and covered only ½ mile of the cave.

The tour was very interesting; our park ranger guide was very informative. As you can see by the photos I learned that it is very hard to get photos of a cave as you hike through it. Caves have no light so the lights installed in the cave by man did little to give you good photos. Using a flash was allowed, but the flash only traveled so far and the camera photos do not show the size nor depth within the caves underground environment. Most photos below are of huge rooms in the cave. In other words, taking photos in a gray/white cave is probably going to provide poor photo images. Sorry!

Draperies form as water trickles over surfaces.

Dogtooth Spar on the cave walls.

Surveyor mark used in mapping the caves.

Friday, October 14, 2016


View from the veranda at the complex. 
Our next day’s exploration took us to Deadwood and then on to the Crazy Horse Memorial. Deadwood turned out to be a bit of a bust, it is mostly saloons and gaming areas. We didn’t partake in either activity provided in these establishments so we ate lunch at Saloon #10 and then left to explore the Crazy Horse Memorial.

The Crazy Horse Memorial was very interesting and its history really interested us all.  We enjoyed reading about all that has taken place. The Native American museum was one of the best we have visited. Everyone wondered if the memorial would ever be finished. 

Crazy Horse's face in stone.
Two workers loading the crane.
1/34th scale model with the mountain in the distance.

Crane in action on the finger of Crazy Horse.

Mount Rushmore and More!

We are staying in Bluebell Campground for the next four nights. In that time we drove to as many tourist areas that we could. Here is a bit of a roundup of what we did.

Custer State Park – Our first morning we got up and drove the Wildlife Loop Road where we were able to see numerous Buffalo, White-tailed Deer, and Pronghorn (Antelope). This loop is about 18 miles. It was beautiful and we were able to see much of the area without too many sightseers competing for photos.

We took a connecting route over to another road called the Iron Mountain Road which is another curvy narrow road that winds 18 miles providing wonderful vistas that culminate with distant views of Mount Rushmore.

We toured Mount Rushmore and all the exhibits that explain about the national memorials creation and all its history.

While at this stop Linda was able to run about the parking lots, checking off state licenses plates from her license plate app. This always makes her a very happy camper!

Leaving Mt. Rushmore we followed the Needles Highway which lead us on a very curvy 14-mile drive to rock formation called the Needle’s Eye. This entire mountain area is made up of very cool granite rock formations. The one lane rock tunnels throughout the day’s drive were definitely a bit conversation piece. Each one was so narrow Barry’s new truck’s crash sensors were vibrating all the time.

Once we passed the Needle’s Eye, stopped at Sylvan Lake and then headed home where our dog Kobi awaited our arrival.