Fun, Fun Fun!!

Fun, Fun Fun!!

Sunday June 29 - Visit to Custer, South Dakota

Yesterday began in the usual manner, coffee and computers.

Late morning we decided to take a ride to the town of Custer via the wildlife loop in Custer State Park. Mostly the wildlife appear in the morning and early evening hours but we ran across a few that could not tell time.

Here is a pic of a Pronghorn, (usually misidentified as an antelope).

Here is a pic of a lone Bison just taking it easy on the side of the road.

It seems like most towns like to have fake animals on the street corners. In Shawnee, OK it was horses, back in Baltimore it was crabs, and here in Custer SD it is buffalo.

Here are some pics of the downtown buffalo.

There are more but this is Ginger’s favorite because it is very colorful.

We walked around the town center for a bit but not much to see. Quite a few of the stores were closed and for sale or rent; typical of most small towns these days.

Since visiting Custer did not take a lot of time we drove south on Rt. 16A also known as the Needles Hwy. The road is very narrow with a couple of low height tunnels. As we approached the first tunnel a tour bus was approaching from the other direction. I yielded the right of way and was amazed a large coach would fit. I have driven passenger coaches before and I cannot imagine driving one on this road.

Here are a couple of pics of the needles.

There are a lot of hiking trails and rock climbing areas along the Needles Hwy. I chose to do my exorcise turning the steering wheel.

On our way back to the campground we came across these mountain sheep.

When we got back to the Inn we had cocktails outside as the weather was just beautiful. Then Ginger heated some leftovers for dinner. Mmm.... just as good as the first time. Just some TV and relaxing for the rest of the evening.

See you down the road.

Saturday June 28 - Lazy Day

We woke up to temps in the Kram-a-lot at 60 degrees; love these mornings!

We tossed around the agenda for today and I won. We did nothing. We sat around all day. I made breakfast, dinner, and the bed. We walked the boys several times, but other then that we were lazy.
We watched our family play Double Dominos via a live video feed from Mitchs computer. We use to meet once a month to play when we lived in Maryland (our home). It was fun to be able to share the time with them, but it only made me more home sick.
I want to see them and get hugs.

It was a great day to just relax. I got caught up on reading blogs and was able to find time to play some games.

I thought I would share a few more pictures

In front of Maryland stone 7th state amitted to the Union in 1788

A woodpecker pecking away at the tree

The way Gutzon made the eyes look real in very interesting. I am not sure I can explain, but he carved a rectangular piece of rock protruding from the eye cavity and depending on how the light shines on them, they look like they are looking at you.
That's all for today
See you down the road

Friday, June 27 - Mount Rushmore National Memorial

We had thunderstorms again last night, but it was not as severe in our area.
Walking the boys before the storm
B4 the storm
We awoke to one of my favorite things a cool crisp morning.
We did our usual morning routine, and decided we would go to Mount Rushmore today and see the sites. After an hour plus phone call from Beth our daughter (she can talk the stripes off a zebra) we were ready to leave about 10am.

We took the scenic route 16A, which took us through tree lined winding roads. Jesse commented on not wanting to bring the Kram-a-lot on these roads; there were some S curves that made me very nervous.

Along the road we saw Burros. They are not native to the Black Hills. They were released into the park after they stopped hauling visitors to the top of Harney Peak. They were very people friendly.

A baby (foal). By the way a baby female is called a Molly and a male baby a John.

We saw Mountain Goats.

We also saw a few wild turkeys off in the distance.
We went through several tunnels on our route which took about 1 ½ hours.

You can see the Monument from this view

The entrance to the National Memorial is free, but there is a $10 charge for parking; the parking pass is good for the whole year it was issued, not bad.:~)

It was a beautiful day to be here, temps were around 70 and there was a breeze, just perfect.

They have an Avenue of Flags as you enter the Memorial that has 56 flags which represent the states, districts, commonwealths and territories of the United States.

We hiked the Presidential Trail which was about ½ mile trail that begins on the Grand View Terrace, and takes you to the base of the mountain and past the Sculptor’s Studio. The beginning was easy all down steps the part after the Studio was all upstairs. We took many pictures of the monument I will show you a few of my favorites.

Same picture close up.

Profile of George Washington

We stopped at the gift shop and Ice Cream shop for refreshments.

Then we went to Wal*Mart for a few supplies and then home. I had started some chicken barbeque before we left this morning, so I just needed to add some baked beans and cold slaw and dinner was served. I made chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies for dessert.

We watched a movie (I watched, Jesse napped) until we were off to bed with the windows open.

See you down the road

Thursday, June 26 - A drive to get our bearing

This morning started as usual, walk the boys, and then have coffee while at the computer and discussing our plans for the day.

We are trying to decide how to proceed. They have these bus tours you can take to 8 different attractions you also get breakfast, dinner and a show.
It’s advertised as a foot stompin Western Music Variety Show. The cost is $70 per person and it takes 9 hours.

Also this morning I made Jesse his Father’s Day breakfast, fried matzos. (We were in Branson on Father’s Day and had breakfast as part of the rally)

I also took some pictures of the inside so you could see how we live.

We were ready to leave for the day around noon and decided to just take a drive to get our bearing. We drove to Keystone which is west of Hermosa. There is a small tourist area that is about 5 city blocks with tee shirt and souvenir shops.
How about this one of Jesse, cute huh!

There is also a museum of Gutzon Borglum life and his works. He was very talented artist and carved many statues of course the most infamous is Mount Rushmore. We drove past the mountain today on our way to Custer State Park. We both thought they would be bigger, but I guess we were pretty far away.

It was getting late so we decided to get back home. We will come back tomorrow to find where the buffalo roam.

When we got home we grilled beer sausages for Jesse and chicken for me. While eating our weather radio went off warning us of impending tornado watch until 2am. We made sure everything was put away in case of bad weather.

Until tomorrow

See you down the road

Wednesday June 25th- Marilyn's Day and Travel

Happy Birthday Marilyn!!!!

It seems that it is always someone in the family’s birthday, but if you think of it this way:
Jesse has 4 siblings and I have 3. Between them we have 7 Nieces and 8 Nephews and one Nephew is getting married next year. We have 8 Great Nieces and 3 Great Nephews. We have 2 Children and 5 Grandchildren. That’s a lot of birthdays.

Today we were up really early 4:30am. With the time changing yesterday back to Mountain Time, I guess we need to adjust our internal time clocks.

We had a cup of coffee and then took advantage and pulled out of McGreer Park in Big Springs, NE at 6:40am. We had not unhooked the truck so it was a quick and easy departure. It was a cool morning at 66 degrees so we traveled with the windows down and the fresh air flowing in. As the morning wore on the high temperatures got to about 77 degrees.

We drove on I-80W to US-385N. The terrain was not lush like it had been; we saw lots and lots of wheat fields, very few trees.

We arrived at Heartland Campground in South Dakota at 12 noon traveling 260 miles today. We will be here for two weeks before heading back to Pueblo. :~( It is your typical campground park, certainly no “it factor” but it’s a PA park and the cost is $128.50 per week.

First thing I did was clean inside from top to bottom, and then got everything set up. We both took showers and drove about a mile down the road to purchase a pizza and brought it back home.

Once we were done we decided to go ahead and get the laundry done. Thunder storms were moving in and we were hoping to finish before they started, but it was not meant to be. It started thundering and lighting with small hail and lots of rain. We were in the laundry room and the boys were home alone. Bayer and Buddy get upset from the thunder. We did have enough foresight to bring the truck with us, so we took a run for it. We left the clothes in the truck for the night.

We were tired, but not yet ready for bed, so we relaxed for the rest of the evening and watched a little TV.

Can’t wait to explore the area.

Here are the pictures I promised of the condo trailers.

This has 5 units in it and Jesse pointed out that the AC units were on top.

Note: AC units in the windows and satelite out front.

400 foot water slide with the beach area to the right
(This would be a nice place for a family vacation)

The lake and pier

Last one

See you down the road.

Monday June 23, 2008 - POPS Birthday

Today is Jesse Dad’s 93rd birthday. Sorry we can be there to help celebrate, but our love goes across the wires to him.

His cake above

Below is Sondra and Pop

I am writing this on Tuesday while on the road so, I can’t post the pictures from where we stopped for the night in Assaria, KS.

The most unique thing about this park to me was the 5th wheel trailers that appear to be set up for migrant farm workers. They have multiple rooms that are about 6x8. Each room has their own door with a window and one trailer had air condition units in each window, and outside each had their own satellite dish all the comforts of home.

The park had free WiFi (very slow) it also had a beach area and a 400’ waterslide. The sites were very small, but for an overnight at $10 (Passport America) we had 30 amp, electric and sewer it was fine.

Our route from Shawnee.OK was all interstate I 40 W to I 35N to I 135N, and was uneventful. We left at 9:15am and traveled 256 miles and arrived at Lakeside at 3pm. We stopped a few times to walk the boys and get lunch.

I made salmon cakes for dinner with salad, and green beans. After dinner we walked to boys around the park, by this time it was 7pm and we relaxed and watched TV until bed time.

We are planning a longer drive today into Nebraska. Can’t wait to see what this day holds for us.

See you down the road.

Sunday June 22 - Final Days with Family

Today is Sunday and we just returned from the home of Brian and his family. We said our goodbyes as we are on the road again tomorrow.

The girls wanted me to take a silly picture of them

We did our usual morning routine and I made potato salad for my contribution for dinner tonight. Around 12:30 we went to see the movie “The Incredible Hulk”. Jesse liked it and I thought it was okay. We returned home and awaited the arrival of Alyssa. It was her turn to be with us and walk the boys. (I will explain later in this entry)

Once the boys were fed and walked the three of us went to the Baker’s. Shannon was making dinner for us again, she was making barbeque chicken, broccoli salad, baked beans, corn and I brought potato salad. I also made homemade lemonade.

Brianna and I helped Shannon prepare the meal, and set the table.

Everything was really good and we were stuffed. We sat and visited for a while. When it was time to leave we said our goodbyes with hugs and kisses.

It was really good to see them all, but it was time to move on. We have changed our plans. We had planned to head to Amarillo (to get my license) then on to the mountains of Colorado. We are now planning to make our way to South Dakota and see the sites.

Yesterday we were up early and at the Baker’s by 7:30am. We were sitting with the girls for the morning.

I made breakfast for Jesse and the girls and then they watched cartoons on TV. I was writing and posting our journal in the kitchen. The girls would come in a few minutes to see what I was doing. They are all so cute.

When I was finished we played Chutes and Ladders Alora won and then put puzzles together. Once Mommy and Daddy returned home Jesse and I needed to go home and walk the boys and Alora wanted to go with us. I asked Shannon if it was okay and she said yes, but Alyssa was very upset that she couldn’t come also.

We told her that she could come with us tomorrow, they both wanted to walk Mr. B. We told Shannon and Brian we would bring dinner back with us. We were not sure what we were going to bring, the thought was KFC, or pizza. I remembered seeing a barbeque place and thought that would be a good idea. So we went to “Van’s Pig Stand” in Shawnee. We got a family meal which had baked beans, cold slaw, texas toast, ribs, and brisket. It was all very good and Shannon was thrilled to not have to cook.

We visited, looked at pictures and enjoyed our time with them. They are great parents and good people.

Ellie, they have these all over Shawnee, so I thought I would post a few.

See you down the road.

Friday June 20 - More Family Visits

I was really tired when Jesse arose this morning so I said “Do you mind if I stay in bed awhile longer” he said “no”. So that’s what I did. He walked the boys and then they came and got back in bed with me and we slept for another hour or so.

We got up at 7:30 and got dressed right away, as Jesse wanted to go over to the casino for breakfast. They have a special - 2 eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast and coffee for $2.99. Our total with tip and tax was $9.00, what a deal.

After that we played slots for a little while. Then we went back home and relaxed in front of our computers and watched TV.

Around 1:00 we decided to go to Wal*Mart and find a post office. I need to mail birthday cards for Pop (Jesse’s Father) and our niece Marilyn.

Speaking of Birthday’s "Happy Birthday Chad!!" He is one of the sons I was working for in Colorado.

After that, we were home again for a short while, then off to the Baker’s for the evening.

We got GREAT news from Molly and Bob Pinner - they have a contract on their house. We are very happy for them, Now the work begins, to get rid of all their stuff. They are such caring, good folks and we can’t wait for our paths to cross again, soon. Good luck guys!

Here are a few pictures

Brian getting ready to feed the alpaca’s.

Some of the Alpaca's

Shannon working on getting a sand foundation for the swimming pool they are putting up.

This is Alora she is 7

Alyssa who is 5

The youngest Brianna who 2 along with Shannon.

We were late again getting home again. We had a good visit with the Baker’s.

Their airstream camper

We have to be up early tomorrow as we are sitting with the girls at 7:30am. Shannon belongs to an exercise class and they are having guest from the Biggest Loser Couples - Amanda and Neal (white team) and she wanted Brian to go also.

Until tomorrow

See you down the road.