June 23, 2012

Hermosa, South Dakota (25 miles from Rapid City)

We are spending one week in Hermosa, South Dakota because we are taking advantage of all the free or nearly free parks we can stay at in this area while we enjoy driving around in our new crossover to see the various sites.

Stopping in Custer State Park

The weather looks great on that picture. But, we have been experiencing severe thunder storms about every 3-4 days. Lots of wind (up to 60 miles per hour), heavy rain and our third hail storm. Luckily, we are able to follow the storms on our cell phones and our NOAA radio with its frequent warnings. The temperature is 87 degrees now and expected to get to 101 degrees in the next few days. Needless to say, our air conditioner is on from noon on most every day.

Last weekend, we went into Rapid City for their Summer Festival. Since we don't purchase much these days (except food) -- as we can't carry anymore in our motorhome -- we merely walked about and saw the various vendors with their amazing crafts.

Summer Festival in Rapid City

We also drove in to Deadwood last Saturday to attend their Wild Bill Hickok Days. Only problem was that we arrived in the morning and most of the activities were scheduled for late afternoon and evening. And, it was too hot to stick around. 

Street blocked off in Deadwood, South Dakota for events later in the day.

Coming back from Deadwood, we stopped along the way to take more pictures before the rain came.

We found this combination of rock, greenery and small creek interesting.

But the most fun and excitement we had was driving through Custer State Park again. This time we didn't just see a couple of buffalo. We saw hundreds. Sorry for all the pictures, but we had fun capturing them on camera. Jerry also got some cool video. 

Buffalo all over the place in Custer State Park.

You can see all the cars stopping along the way to see the buffalo.

There were lots of little ones.

Chanti checking out the situation. We taught her never to bark at deer.
So all we had to say was "deer" and she just observed the buffalo
without barking.

Now they all decided to take over the road. Glad we were
in a car and not on a motorcycle.

From there we climbed to the highest peak in the Black Hills. The views were spectacular.

And this is what we saw!

This is where we stood to take the pictures. 
I tripped on the way coming down but was able
to protect my camera while getting a few bruises.

TV and cell towers on the very top of the mountain.

Jerry is working on his book these days and I'm trying to improve my photography techniques. We are both enjoying this life -- doing what we want. Retirement is great. 

June 13, 2012


Jerry is having a great Father's Day this year. First, he got a new cell phone (Droid 4 because he likes slide outs). Second, he got a new car. Before I go any further, the new car purchase was not on our agenda -- but we didn't have a choice in the matter.

Let me explain. The transmission went out on the Tahoe when we were in town (about 10 miles from the RV park). We were very lucky that it happened in town rather than when we were out exploring the hills around here. So the Tahoe gets towed to the local Chevy dealer and the dealership gives us a ride back out to the RV. Three days later, we get picked up because all the work is done on the Tahoe (new transmission, along with other work Jerry requested such as new front brake calipers and pads, steering box, lube and oil, and 4x4 system check etc.). Total cost -- just over $4,000. Ouch!

As we were leaving, the mechanic decided to check if the Tahoe is a towable vehicle. Now this was something that was thoroughly checked out before we started towing the Tahoe a year and a half ago. Turns out that the new Tahoes are towable, but not one that is 15 years old. Long story made short -- the transmission went out because we towed it. Too bad, because Jerry wanted to run this vehicle to one million miles (it has 179,000 miles on it).

What to do! No choice but to trade it in on a new car, which is exactly what we did. We are now driving the Chevy Equinox. And yes, it is a towable vehicle.

New Chevy Equinox

Other than that little bit of excitement, we have been driving around the black hills, checking out places, went to see a movie (Best Little Marigold Hotel -- definitely a movie for old folks), and catching up on things in general. We have a list of 10 things we want to do and see while we are in this area and are working our way through the list. Also, Jerry was a guest speaker on a small business radio program here in Rapid City the other day.

Here are some pictures we've taken along the way. 

This is the view out of our RV front window 
(taken with cell phone camera)

Taken on Sunday at the Pactola Dam and Reservoir

Gives you an idea of how fast the weather changes around here.

In fact, we have lived through two hail storms with winds up to 40 miles per hour so far. More to come I'm sure.

Taken on the bike path near the RV park. 

Until next time, stay safe, happy and healthy.

June 2, 2012

Rapid City, South Dakota

Well at least we are out of the tornado areas of Oklahoma and Nebraska. Saw on the news that they are still experiencing them in those areas. But, our weather here in Rapid City for the last two weeks is interesting to say the least. It can turn on a dime. One day the high is 60 degrees and today we have 87 degrees. The wind comes and goes from 5-10 miles per hour to 35-40 miles per hour. One thing we are enjoying is all the pretty clouds -- something we don't see that often on the west coast.

Parked at Rushmore Shadows RV Resort

On Monday, we have moved on to Hart Ranch, a beautiful RV resort here in Rapid City. It is huge with lots of amenities.

We have made a list of the different sites we will visit while we are here. We made one trip through Custer State Park, but the weather that day was overcast and rainy. Will will go back and hopefully can take better pictures. But, here are a couple of pictures we took that day just to show you the beauty of the rocks and hills.

 First, one more picture of a buffalo near the road.

Custer State Park

Rocky hills in Custer State Park

Stopped to eat our lunch along the way.

Don't think our motorhome could make it
through this tunnel in Custer State Park.

Took a 6-mile bike ride on a path near the RV park this morning
and passed some beautiful areas. This was one of them.

Have a great week, everyone.