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

Sunday, August 31, 2014

change is in the wind

Fall weather seems to have arrived early here in the Black Hills. The night time temps have been consistently in the mid 40's to low 50's the last couple of weeks. We don't mind though as it makes for some nice sleeping weather. :-)

Last week we hooked up with Dan and Jonell (Liv2RV) and took a trip into Rapid City to visit the Chapel in the Hills which is an exact replica of a chapel in Norway built right here in the Black Hills.


Besides the Chapel they have a small museum and gift shop.
After visiting the chapel we grabbed lunch at the Firehouse Brewery downtown and then visited the local fair. We ended our day by using our VIP passes to get half price at the Fort Hays Chuckwagon Show where we enjoyed a "Cowboy" meal of beef, potato, beans and cake all served on tin plates followed by live music. We were sure bushed by the time we made it back home but we had such a fun time. Thanks guys!


Last winter, while working at Amazon, Rudee smelled something hot inside the motorhome saying it smelled like wires burning. I traced it to the water heater which we quickly turned off and the smell went away. We have since only used it on LP gas and it has been "on my list" to repair. I finally decided to tackle it a few days ago.


The electrical components of our water heater are on the back side of the unit and I was not looking forward to removing the whole heater to make the repair. There is a small access panel under the motor home and once I removed the panel I could see inside but had very little room to work. I did locate the problem, there is another switch that controls the electric heating element and it was burned and melted (cheap plastic switch!). There is really no need for this switch as there is another one inside the coach so I was able to bypass it by unplugging the wires to it and just splicing them together. I turned on the circuit (Whew, no smoke!) and tested all the connections. Yipee, it works! Now we can go back to heating the water with the campground electric instead of our expensive propane! :-)

We are starting to look towards the end of our contract here at Crazy Horse. We are set to work through September with our commitment fulfilled on September 30th. This summer sure has flown by! We are looking forward to visiting family and friends again before heading to Amazon in October. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, August 11, 2014

We survived Sturgis

Once again the Black Hills were filled with the sounds of thousands and thousands of motorcycles. Yep, it was time once again for the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. This is the "Mother" of all motorcycle rallies and draws an estimated 1/2 a million bikers from all over the world. Work is, of course, a zoo with two of our larger parking lots blocked off for nothing but motorcycle parking. Rudee and I look forward to this week and is one of the reasons we enjoy this area. We like to make the trip to Sturgis and ride "into the center of the beast". We find a parking spot and spend most of the day just walking through the crowds people watching and looking through the endless vendor tents. Monday was our first day off during the rally and we made the hour long ride with Steve and Joan (and several thousand others) :-)




We passed on the bikini bike wash and oil change. I'm still trying to figure out why you would want to try and change the oil in a bike while wearing a bikini but this "is" Sturgis after all. :-)

We made it to Main Street and even at 11:00 am it was difficult finding any parking spaces and we had to park several blocks away.



Vendors of all types line the streets selling just about everything. We saw motorcycle parts, t-shirts, hats, sunglasses, helmets, and even one booth selling ..... ahem...."marriage assist devices". Yep, Sturgis has just about everything! :-)
We found a spot for lunch where we could watch the parade of people and bikes driving by.


We all enjoyed our day but Sturgis "after dark" is something we have agreed to avoid so we left in the early afternoon to make our way home.

Tuesday Rudee and I made another ride passing through Sturgis once again. We arrived early and I had the mufflers replaced on our bike to give it a little more "rumble". Once that was completed we headed West and ended up doing a drive by of Devils Tower. We have visited the park in years past so this was just another scenic ride for us.



We made it back home just before a thunderstorm opened up on us, another great day motorcycling in the Black Hills. :-)

Work will start slowing down some now that the kids are starting back to school and the vacation season will be coming to a close. All of us work campers are starting to realize our time together is coming to an end. Some are considering coming back for another year here while others are researching their next summer destinations. Most are wintering someplace warm after visits with family or maybe a side trip on the way South. In our case we have only 7 more weeks and our contract will be up. Let's see what we can get into next. I'll keep you posted.


ps: this is the end...... "Sturgis Style"! :-)


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.