"if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room"

Thursday, July 24, 2014

the "hidden" Black Hills

One thing we are doing this year that we did not do a lot of last year is exploring the back roads of the Black Hills. This area has a large amount of National Forest Service lands that are accessed by gravel roads that twist and turn for miles and miles. Most of these roads are accessible by almost any type of vehicle although you do need to be careful and 4 wheel drive comes in handy at times. We rarely, if ever, meet another vehicle driving these roads and now that the summer tourist season is in full swing the main roads and tourist areas are really busy. We have been treated to some great sights on these drives and enjoy the peace and solitude they provide, it's good for the soul!

We are keeping very busy at work and each day seems busier then the one before. The large motorcycle rally kicks off in less then 2 weeks and our visitors change from families on vacation to thousands of motorcyclists enjoying their "adult" time away from home. We rarely, if ever, have any issues with the bikers and I have found them to be respectful and happy for the most part. The truth is that most of them are hard working folks who love to travel on two wheels similar to our passion to travel in an RV albeit with a slightly different "dress code" :-)

Speaking of Sturgis, we took a ride over to check out their preparations yesterday. Joan's (friends of Steve and Joan)  cousin Kevin and friends Mike and Julie arrived earlier this week. They were riding their Harley's from Ohio on their way to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. We showed them around the Hill's a little and they rode to Sturgis with us to check things out. We had a great time with them and look forward to running into them again some day. Joan snapped a photo of Kevin and I trying on hats, we both wished we had more time to fix our hair! :-)

My hours have been shifted some for at least a couple of weeks. I am staying late on at least 2 nights per week because one of our summer employees left. They have hired his replacement who is starting today but then one of our work camping couples are taking a short "vacation" so they can explore Yellowstone and I will be covering for them for several days. The bright side of it all is I will be putting in some OT hours and we can always use the extra money. :-) I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

workin' away

Things have seemed a little slower paced here in the Black Hills this year compared to the same time frame last year. That all changed during the week ending with the 4th of July weekend. We had visitors in droves (a good thing!) here at Crazy Horse. I have been very busy at work and am loving my new assignment(s). I am working in the admissions area here and am called upon to do several different duties including doing van tours to the top of the monument, filling in as a bus driver doing tours to the bottom of the mountain, working the information desk as well as playing "banker" to the fine folks working the entrance stations. I have also responded to a couple of medical emergencies putting my knowledge as a former Paramedic back to use. I really don't know what to expect when I clock in and that is the way I like it, I guess that is how I have always worked starting back in my days as a Firefighter/Paramedic and later as a Deputy Sheriff.
A few days ago, as I was manning the information desk, a gentleman came up wanting to purchase a raffle ticket for the 2014 Harley Davidson they are giving away. I noticed he was wearing an "RV Dreams" logo hat. I asked him if he was a fan of Howard and Linda and learned he and his wife were new full time RVers. They had attended an RV Dreams rally and were really enjoying their new lifestyle. He asked me "are you Workin' Rvers?" Yep, that's us! :-) I wish we had gotten more time to talk with him and I would have loved for Rudee to have met them but they were heading back out on the road. Save travels Gene and Eileen, we'll meet up again another day I'm sure.

Our days off consist of doing as much motorcycle riding as we can. The weather has still been a little wet but we have gotten in some nice rides through the "Hills". We are only 4 weeks away from the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally and are looking forward to spending our days off checking out the crowds there. We usually just do a lot of "people watching" and always see some sights that you just don't see anywhere else. What an adventure! :-) I'll keep you all posted.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

just hangin' around

We are quickly moving into summer here in the Black Hills, at least the calender says so. The weather has not caught on that it is almost July and we have had some really cool nights and it seems that most everyday it clouds up and we have storms move through. Rudee's schedule for last week shifted inexplicably to evenings each day. In the weeks prior she would work a couple of "closing" shifts and then her hours would be closer to my 8am - 7pm. We think it is just an oversight as her manager just took over the scheduling duties and was receptive to a change to get closer to my shifts. She doesn't mind closing but would not get home until around 11 pm and I just couldn't stay up that long, just look at any picture of me ..... I need my beauty sleep! LOL

A couple of weeks ago I repaired a leaky pump in our Splendide washer/dryer. The repair worked and we have no more leaks however it started acting up and would stop in mid cycle, right when it needed to pump the water out. We would have to manually advance the dial to get it to start working again, sometimes it we would have to advance it several times before it would start. I figured I would wait until my first day off, yesterday, to take it back out of it's cubby hole and see if I could figure out the problem. Lo and behold, it started working again just like it was supposed to. We have now done 5 or 6 loads and it worked perfect. Guess I'll wait and see what happens next week but we are keeping our fingers crossed.

A couple of weeks ago we made a stop in Sturgis to see the town before all the rally in August. We parked on main street and checked out a couple of shops, one of which was a thrift shop ran by a local womens club where I found a Black and Decker space saver coffee pot. Our motorhome had one at one time but had been removed by the previous owner. I looked it over at the store and quickly paid the $2.00 they were asking for it. I installed it when we got home and the brackets lined up with the existing holes in the shelve, Sweet!

I ran a few pots of vinegar water through it and it works good as new.

One of my jobs at Crazy Horse includes taking people up to the top of the mountain for a "private" tour. I love going up and seeing the monument close up and have met some really nice people on my trips. We sometimes see the mountain goats walking around and the view is always fantastic! One day last week we got to see some of the crew preparing the mountain for our summer night blast.

Look closely and you will see there are two of the workers that have rappelled off the top. They were attaching mount brackets in order to string the explosives for the blast.
I keep having to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming about the cool stuff I get to do, and I get paid for it too! :-)

Last Wednesday we got together with Dan and Jonell, liv2RV, and they all thought I needed to add a little culture to my rough and tumble life. We started with dinner at a nice restaurant in Keystone, The Powderhouse, where we had a nice meal. Then they took me to the "theater", pronounced with a British accent. :-)

The playhouse is located in Custer State Park and is free to us on certain evenings with our VIP passes. We saw a 22 act musical based on a childrens fairy tail and it was quite enjoyable. The cast were all very talented and we are looking forward to the next one. I still have to work on getting my pinky extended when I am hoisting my beer bottle but these things take time. :-)

We are looking forward to the night blast this Thursday at work. Should any of you readers find yourself in the Black Hills be sure and look us up! We are the ones that can't wipe the grins off our faces, we are having such a good time here. Of course our blog is not complete without a Buffalo picture.

He was a cutey! I'll keep you posted.