Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Black Hills, part 2

August 15th finds us on our way to Custer City, SD, and the French Creek RV Camp.  This is probably the friendliest campground we have ever visited....the owner (Rock) is a 70-something cowboy-biker type BSer who is a HOOT!  The camp is in town, two blocks from main street, with everything within walking distance.  The Friday night cook-out for camp guests is pictured below.  What a wonderful way to meet new people with like interests!

Custer City is such a fun little town to walk and browse.  Touristy shops along with museums and eateries fill the main street.  

The director of the town Visitor Center provided an excellent history lesson on Gen. George Custer, Crazy Horse, and the Battle of Little Bighorn, along with the early history of Custer City.  This prepared us for our visit to the Custer Courthouse Museum.

Old school items are always fascinating!  This is probably the oldest globe I've ever seen.  Notice the strange water fountain and the old pump organ also found in this museum classroom.

"Must Do" (we did it twice!!):  Eat lunch and/or dinner at Black Hills Burger & Bun Co.  The Western Bison Burger and fixings are PHENOMENAL.  Yum. Yum. Yum.

Our time in Custer City was short but sweet.  Yes, this is a place to return to in future trips to the Black Hills.

Now, on to Deadwood!  Before arriving at the campground, we stopped at the Crazy Horse Monument and were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the whole site.  This monument is another "Must See" .  The monument and museum honor not only Crazy Horse but all of the Native American Nations.  Artist Korczak Ziolkowski has definitely captured the spirit of the Native people and this hallowed land.

As we were walking from the parking lot to the museum, I couldn't help but notice that Crazy Curt looks a lot like Crazy Horse.

This was not our first trip to Deadwood, so very few pictures were taken.  Just a couple of new discoveries.  The Celebrity Hotel uses a "movies" theme and displays a variety of costumes and props used in well-known films.  My heart pitter-pattered with this one, the armor worn by Sean Connery in "The First Knight".

Life is about experiencing new things, right?????    No, Mom, I am not in jail.

A trolley car tour, live cowboy music (including musician/historian Randy Christiansen) at the Bullock Hotel, and the re-enactment of the cold-blooded murder of Wild Bill Hickock at Saloon #10 rounded out our visit to Deadwood.

There is SO MUCH to see and do in the Black Hills!  Have we been here before?  Yes!  Would we come back again?  Absolutely!!

Coming next:  Wyoming

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Black Hills, South Dakota

August 11, 2013, and we are driving our favorite direction....WEST!  First destination, the Black Hills of South Dakota.  Because we try to do no more than 300 miles in one day, the logical place to stop was Mitchell, home of the Corn Palace.  Of course we had to take pictures!  The exterior of the building changes (new corn, new design) every year, so even if you've been there before it is worth seeing.


Onward to Hot Springs, SD and three nights at the rustic Allen Ranch campground.  Fall River gurgled next to our site, about 20 feet from our door.

Lesson learned:  When the weather alert radio says possible tornado and ping-pong ball sized hail will be hitting Hot Springs within 15 minutes, grab the dog, the bag with valuables & meds, and a bottle of water.  Head to the safe place (concrete shower house) BEFORE the lightning and hail begin.  Fortunately, the hail was only dime sized and the beautiful little river did not flash flood.  No damage, and we did not get washed away.

Here is a "Must See"... Wind Cave National Park.  Three different tours are available to visitors, ranging from moderate to strenuous.  The Garden of Eden tour, while being listed as the least strenuous had more than enough stairs to tire us out.  But it was well worth every step, and we certainly would visit this park again....maybe even try the more difficult tour!

A "Must Do" on every trip to the Black Hills is the drive through Custer State Park.   Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope play.....  and the prairie dogs chatter non-stop!

These two prairie dogs were having a boxing match right before I snapped the picture!

One of many pronghorn antelope.  Do you also see the prairie dogs in this photo?

This burro stepped out in front of us, continuing down the road at a very leisurely pace.  She left behind her Jerusalem donkey friends and numerous other burros.

Another "Must See" is the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs.  Thousands of years ago, a large number of mammoths and other animals were trapped in a sinkhole at this exact spot.  Wow, what a dig!

The Black Hills area has so much to explore!!  Coming next:  Custer City and Deadwood!

On the Road Again

Just a note to my friends about the purpose of this blog.  Last year, when Curt and I started traveling in our camper, my son suggested that sending pictures to family could be most easily accomplished via this blog site.  Now that we are back on the road, I am going to TRY to do posts on a regular basis.  Please remember the purpose....PICTURES for family and friends, along with a few words of what we are discovering while on the road in new areas.  And, as relative newbies to almost-full-time RVing, some of the "lessons learned",  "tips to share", and/or "you've got to see this place" may be added from time to time.

January 2013 found us back home in Florida with a new-to-us motor home.  After spending eight months together on the road in 2012, we decided that: 1) we can live together in tight quarters and still love each other; 2)  we love exploring new places and getting to make new friends all over the country; and, 3)  we are having a ball and hope to become full time RVers.  Thus, the upgrade to a larger motor home. 

April 18, 2013, the first day of our 2013 trip! 

First destination stop, Branson, Missouri, to see "The Texas Tenors" and six other outstanding music groups!  

 May, June, and July were spent with family in Illinois and Minnesota, spoiling the grandkids and visiting Mom!!

August 10th found us in Grafton, Iowa for my 45th high school class reunion....UNBELIEVABLE, where has this time gone?????

Early morning, August 11th, we headed WEST!!!!  Next stop:  The Black Hills!!