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

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Rudee and I both thought Friday took an extra long time getting here this week but it finally came.
We both had busy weeks in our jobs which usually means the time goes fast but not this past week for some reason.
I had to sit through a 4 hour training session on Wednesday morning. My company requires we take certain classes before our big week of training in September. This class was one we had taken back in January but for some reason we had to take it all over again. Same instructor, same 4 people in the class, same everything. Pretty much a waste of time.
They did say our training has been pushed back one week to the 3rd week of September. I am looking forward to learning and actually working with the new system, hopefully it will improve my outlook on my job some.
209 weeks 5 days until I turn 55. This is the day I have set for my "retirement". Not sure if it will actually be on my birthday but I will be eligible to draw what little there is in my pension after I turn 55. Rudee is the same way only it goes more by her years of service combined with her age to hit a magic number. She will be eligible to draw hers the following March and then we will be free to do some traveling and work camping.
We will not be able to completely sustain ourselves while traveling year round with only our pensions (I also get a small pension from my days at the Sheriff's Dept.) and will need to supplement our account some. That's where the work camping comes in. We will work camp at various jobs and sites for a few months (or the entire season) to pad the account and then resume our travels. If there is any Social Security left when we reach that age we should be able to "officially" retire and not have to work camp unless we want to.
So unless something catastrophic happens that is our timeline. At this point we are keeping ourselves busy paying off our debts and counting down the days until we can hit the road.

The mornings have been a little cooler here and there is a noticeable change happening. I think the dog days of summer have ended and Fall is approaching fast.
This morning I turned the fireplace on to take the chill off and Rudee has been turning the electric heat on upstairs so it's not as cold getting out of the shower.

We have a picnic to attend today with our motorcycle group. It's being held at the park here in Crawfordsville so we wont have far to go :-).
The weather is supposed to be really nice this whole week end so maybe we can do some more riding. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

worn out ...

As I said in the last post, we have visitors with us this week end. All three grand kids are here, Nicholas (7), Avalynn (5), and Olivia (4) while their Mom (our daughter Amanda) travels to Illinois to help a friend move. Their father, Ryan is working all week end and instead of him having to bring the kids every morning we decided it would be best, and easier, for them to just stay here.
Early Saturday morning we had a thunderstorm roll through and wake Rudee and I up. The storm wasn't too bad and only lasted a short while and we were back to sleep. The kids never even stirred.
You might wonder where we sleep everyone. Nicholas takes the couch and the girls get to sleep on a pallet made of blankets on the floor. I guess it is not the perfect place for the girls but they like it and seemed to sleep just fine. Me, I wouldn't be able to walk straight for several days and would be stiff and sore for another month at least :-).

The weather was very overcast and it looked like it may start raining again at anytime. I suggested we take a road trip and we decided to visit the Indianapolis Zoo.
Rudee loves the Zoo. I could really care less, but it seemed like a good way to entertain the kids so off we went.
Indianapolis does have a nice zoo and it is worth a visit if you are in the area. We started out at the Dolphin Pavilion where there was a free show starting in 15 minutes. The pavilion is a very large building with a large pool where the Dolphins live, work and play. They had a nice 30 minute program where we learned about bottle nose Dolphins and watched as they jumped, played and did tricks. We all enjoyed the show.

The Zoo is laid out in such a way that you follow a tree lined, winding path that takes you through the different displays. We saw a large number of exotic animals and the kids really enjoyed themselves. Olivia kept wanting to see the Monkeys, of course they were near the last display but she got her wish and was really excited to see them.

We all boarded a small train and took a ride through the Zoo and got to see some of the animals from the train as well.

Nicholas got to feed a Giraffe and we all got to touch a shark. YIKES, 1,2,3,4,5 yep still got all my fingers :-).

One thing that bothered me was they had an area smilier to a small amusement park with several rides including a small roller coaster. What's up with that? Do people really come to the zoo to ride carnival rides? To me this was kind of disappointing and looked more like just an effort to reap as much money from the visitors as possible (yes the rides cost extra) and took away from the "zoo" type feel of the place.
We spent about 4 hours touring the displays and were all getting pretty tired by the time we headed to the exit.
The rain never came and it started to clear off on the drive home. Once back at the 5er we decided to just veg out in the air conditioning. We ordered a Pizza for supper and ordered up a movie through our Wii/Netflix connection on our TV.

Sunday morning it was my turn to cook breakfast. Well actually Rudee did a lot of it and I kind of took over half way through. Rudee and the kids had French Toast with bacon. I made myself an egg Mcmuffin.
The kids stayed entertained watching cartoons on the TV most of the morning. Shortly before noon we headed to the pool for a swim. The water was a little on the cool side but they didn't mind and spent about an hour swimming and playing. They all really enjoy the water and never want to leave but we did have to feed them before their Mom showed up :-).
Amanda arrived shortly after 1:00 and things really settled down. Rudee and I just couldn't believe how quiet things were in our little home on wheels :-).

Since it was a pretty day we decided to take a motorcycle ride and ended up in Lafayette, In. Rudee had gotten a $10 gift card to use at Red Lobster so that's where we had dinner. We shared a platter with crab legs and shrimp scampi and were both stuffed when we finished.
We thought about stopping on the way home for an ice cream but neither one of us had any room left for desert so we just enjoyed the evening ride home.

Things are getting exciting at work. They are integrating us onto the parent companies computer system so I have been taking a lot of on line training. We go "live" on September 13 and during that week they are sending us for a week long training in Ohio. Rudee and I both have Friday the 3rd and 7th off so this week will be my last full week of work until after training.
We are not sure what we are going to do over our long Labor Day week end. We are going to take the bike somewhere but have not figured out just where yet. We are leaning towards the Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia area but this seems to change daily. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, August 20, 2010

typical week

This week has been pretty basic for us here at the KOA. Rudee and I both worked all week (boo!).
We did attend the monthly meeting for our motorcycle group on Wednesday night. Along with the meeting we had an auction as a way to raise some funds for the chapter. The items were donated and we had fresh backed goods, motorcycle accessories and some knick knacks.
Yours truly was the auctioneer which isn't too hard of a job but meant I couldn't bid on anything :-(.
We raised a little over $300 and this money will keep the chapter afloat for a while longer.
We have some guests staying with us this week end. All three of the grand kids are going to be staying with us until Sunday afternoon. I'm sure we will both be ready for some piece and quiet by the time Sunday rolls around :-).

Rudee and I have been "fighting" over the laptop every evening for over a year. I decided that enough is enough and found a nice Acer Netbook on sale at Wal Mart so I bought it. Now we can both surf the web together and the Netbooks are really small so we can take it along with us on our motorcycle trips as well. It's pretty cool.

We took the grand kids swimming this evening and they are watching a movie now. Hopefully we wore them out enough so they go to bed soon. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, August 16, 2010

week end bike trip

Every year one of our friends in our motorcycle chapter organizes a ride to Elizabethtown Kentucky. This week end was it.
Rudee's sister and brother n law were going as well and had called us asking we meet them in Plainfield so we could ride together.
We had to be up and on the road early Saturday morning and we left the 5th wheel at 6 a.m. :-O. It wasn't even daylight yet!!
We had only ridden about 1/2 mile when the dry roads changed to wet roads. The rain must have just quit and we lucked out and didn't get wet.
The sky started getting brighter the closer we got to Plainfield and it looked like the rain clouds had moved out.
We met David and BJ at the Denny's for breakfast. David's twin brother Dennis and girlfriend Marcia also joined us.
We had a nice breakfast and then fell in formation for the ride. David led us south through the rolling hills. The traffic was light and we made good time. We stopped for gas before we got to Louisville where we hopped on the interstate to bypass the busy city streets.
Once we were south of the metro area we exited off the interstate onto US 31W. The traffic had increased quite a bit since this morning and the temps were starting to heat up as well.
We stopped into a Hooters for lunch (I only go there for the chicken wings ... honest) and were able to cool down (in the air conditioning) and heat up (with the hot wings) at the same time :-).
After lunch we rode the final 40 miles to Elizabethtown and found our motel.
Rudee and I were staying at the Baymont while both sets of Greenlee's were next door in the Ramada.
Rudee and I made a bee line for the indoor pool where we had the entire pool to ourselves.
We spent the next hour just chilling out in the pool before heading back to our room.
The rest of the chapter had ridden down by a different route and were staying at the Howard Johnson's. We met up with them shortly after they arrived around 4:00 pm.
Several went to the pool for a quick dip and we hung out with Rob and Jany Runyon in their room.
We made plans to go to Texas Roadhouse for supper so Rudee and I rode over to put our name in for a table.
The restaurant was pretty busy even though it was still early. We had to wait about 30 minutes for our table but the meal was worth the wait.
The reason for the trip was to attend the Saturday night show at the Lincoln Jamboree in nearby Hodgensville Kentucky. This show has been going on every Saturday night for over 50 years. The owner/emcee, Joel Ray Sprowl, is back on stage after suffering a stroke last year.
The house band is a mix of young and old (some of the players having been there 30+ years) and play a mix of country and gospel music while Joel Ray introduces the songs and entertains with his corny jokes and banter.
They even have guest impersonators including Dolly Parton, Charlie Pride, Don Williams and even Elvis Presley.
The show lasted for a solid 3 hours and we all had a good time. Plans were made to meet at the Denny's in Elizabethtown for a late night desert so we all loaded up and headed that way. There were about 20 motorcycles all riding in staggered formation for the trip. Rudee and I were near the back and it was quite a sight to see all those bikes ahead of us.

Sunday morning we hooked up with some of the group and followed them on a winding trip towards home.
We stopped in Smithfield Kentucky at the Our Best Restaurant for lunch. They specialize in "home cooking" and our group of 20 enjoyed our meals and the southern hospitality. They even had fried green tomatoes which is one of Rudee and my favorites :-).

The rest of the ride home was hot, hot, hot with the temperature rising into the mid 90's.
We made it home around 4:30 and were both about ready to pass out from heat stroke. I parked the bike and we quickly got our swim suits on and walked over to the pool and jumped in .......... ahhhh, that's the ticket.

We had a nice week end and it helped recharge our inner batteries for the work week ahead. No real plans for this week and it looks like this heat wave may finally be over. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, August 9, 2010

little bitty part let me down

Sunday we slept in longer than usual. I was up at 8:30 and Rudee rolled out of bed about 10:00. I guess we were both pretty wiped out from our big travel days.
We rode the bike over to Plainfield and stopped to visit my Mom in her apartment. She was not feeling real chipper so we only stayed for 30 minutes or so.

We also stopped at Rudee's parents house to visit. Her Mom was out shopping but we did get the chance to visit with her Dad for a little while.

We needed to be home by 4:00 because Amanda, Ryan and the grand kids were all coming over. We just made it about 5 minutes before they got there. Rudee and Amanda then drove into town and picked us all up some pizzas for dinner.

After dinner Ryan wanted to check out the air leak on the Freightliner. I showed him where it was leaking and, with a pair of pliers, he removed the leaking part. Turns out it is a switch that is screwed into the air line and the switch had gone bad and was leaking. Pretty easy fix once I get the correct part.

I didn't want to go to bed Sunday night. I was tired but I knew that when I woke up vacation would officially be over :-(. I finally gave up the fight and turned in around 11:30.
Monday morning Rudee and I were both busy at our desks reading and returning 2 weeks worth of emails. Mine took me a full 45 minutes just to read them all, much less act upon any of them.

Rudee's company had started assigning her new work in the middle of last week so she is already starting behind. Why do they insist on doing this? They wont let you even catch your breath before they are piling it back onto you.

My company at least didn't give me any new assignments until today but I had a full morning of playing catch up on some of my old stuff.
I did have to drive to Indianapolis to look at a car and this gave me the opportunity to stop and pick up the switch I needed for the truck. Once I got back home and got off work I went out and installed it. Holy Smokes! It works! and no leaks!

Here is a picture of the part. Cost me a whole $6.22. Man if I had only known that on the way home I could have found one on the road somewhere and our ears wouldn't have been ringing from that constant loud air hissing sound all the way home. Here is the part:

We drove to Lafayette and took Matthew and Mandie out to eat. The battery on our Chevy Impala that we loaned them had gone bad so we stopped at Wal Mart and got a new one. Matthew and I installed it once we got back to their apartment. We hurried to get the thing in because there was a storm rolling in and we could here the thunder rolling in the distance.

Rudee and I decided not to hang around and get caught in the storm so we headed home.

Nothing much on the schedule for this week. Maybe we just need to hang around the KOA here and soak up the cable TV and be lazy. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

the long drive home

Friday morning we were all up and packing things for our trip home. We said our goodbyes to Mike and Les who we were blessed to meet here at Custer's Gulch. Hopefully our paths will cross again sometime. Safe travels guys.

We slowly made our way through Custer, Hill City and finally Rapid City where we hopped on I-90 and headed east.

We couldn't believe the amount of motorcycle traffic coming at us. There was a steady line of motorcycles, vehicles hauling motorcycles and toy hauler campers that obviously held motorcycles, all heading towards the big rally in Sturgis.
Mike and Les will have a lot of company this week :-).
As we were leaving the campground I heard air leaking in the dash of the Freightliner. There are two air pressure gauges on the dash and both were showing normal and everything else was working normally so it was more of a loud "hissing" annoyance than anything else.

South Dakota is a pretty long state and took most of the day before we reached the Minnesota state line.

Rudee had the laptop fired up and had found a campground, Adrian Municipal Campground in Adrian Minnesota. She called and they had room for all three of us and it was only $22 for full hook ups.

We arrived to find the campground was part of the city park. The camphost was very nice and when she saw our rigs she decided to take me to the sites in her golf cart to make sure they would work for us. The sites looked fine and we quickly got parked. There was a steak house just outside the entrance to the park so we all decided to walk there.

After dinner we all agreed to be up and ready for the road at 7 am and then we all turned in.

Rudee and I watched a movie that lasted a little longer than we would have liked and didn't get to bed until after 11:00 That would have been fine except for the large, loud, scary thunderstorm that rolled through around 2:00 am and woke us up. :-(

Saturday morning we were all up and headed out right at 7:00 am. We had about 650 miles to cover to get home and it was going to be a long day driving.
Rudee made us an egg, bacon and cheese muffin for breakfast as well as packing us some snacks to eat on the road.
The air leak was still going strong and was getting louder. I did find where it was leaking from on one of our stops but couldn't get it fixed. I finally stuffed a towel around it to quiet it down some but I still had to turn the volume of the radio and CB almost to maximum in order to hear them.
The drive was pretty monotonous and boring. Once I get the big circus train up to speed it's just a matter of setting the cruise control and hanging onto the steering wheel.
We made pretty decent time until I took the wrong exit in Waterloo Iowa. I was looking for US 18 and ended up on US 18 Business which took us through the business district with all of it's stop and go lights.
We all made it through my little detour just fine and were soon back on the "big road". Heck fire, I always wanted to see what Waterloo looked like. :-).
Ron and Terri decided to take an extra break for lunch. We were wanting to get home before dark so we decided to forgo lunch and just keep hitting the snacks Rudee had made. Niles and Deb followed Ron and Terri into the rest park and we all said our goodbyes over the CB.
Rudee and I continued on alone and were in and out of rain for the next 100 miles. We finally broke into blue skies and were in the clear for the rest of the way home.

We made it home at 7:15 and pulled back into our site here at the KOA and did a quick set up. We were both hungry so we hopped into the Dakota and had a late supper at Applebee's.
Back at the 5er we unloaded the bike as the sun was setting and then just called it a night, we were both dead tired.

We spent 2 weeks in the Black Hills and had a great time sightseeing, riding our bike, and spending time with good friends (both old and new). We drove 2150 miles traveling back and forth and the truck and 5er both did great (except for that @#$& air leak!!).

Monday morning we are both back to the 8-5 world and are pretty bummed about it. Post vacation depression I guess (or maybe just the fact I really can't stand my job anymore).
Our goal this week is just to get settled back in and get back into the swing of things. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sturgis, hmmmmm.

Wednesday morning our little group left the campground around 10:00 am. Niles led us through some nice back roads and eventually we arrived in Sturgis where we planned to spend some time walking around and seeing the sights.
The place was hopping and we were having trouble finding a place a park. During the rally the entire downtown is blocked off for motorcycle parking only but since we were a few days early the spots were all full with both cars and bikes.
We eventually found spots near the end of the "strip" and started walking. What a difference from when Rudee and I were here a couple of days ago. Most if not all the vendors were set up and open plus the crowd had arrived and the sidewalks were full of bikers.
We walked the entire main street and then turned around and walked back. Here are some photos:

I even spotted a celebrity, Paul Tuttle Sr. from Orange County Chopper:

We all made a few purchases and were all pretty pooped from all the walking. We only saw one scantly clad gal. She was selling beer from a booth and left very little to the imagination (I didn't know they made implants THAT big!!).

Niles then led us back to the town of Nemo where we stopped in a neat little restaurant for supper. The restaurant was part of the 4 T Ranch which is a guest ranch that has been in operation since the 40's. They had a lot of photos on the walls of the old days and the place had not changed much since then.
After dinner we rode back to the 5th wheels and relaxed around the campfire.

Thursday was to be our last day here :-( and Rudee wanted to try for the Bad Lands again. We headed out early and made a quick breakfast stop before passing through Custer State Park.
I stopped for gas just East of Rapid City and decided to stay on a side road instead of getting back on the Interstate. The road was nicely paved and had very little traffic. Rudee noticed that something kept hitting her foot as we rode. I stopped and that's when we saw all the grasshoppers. There were thousands all over the road!
Once we got to the Badlands I stopped at the first overlook and the front lower 1/2 of the bike was covered with dead bugs. We even had grasshopper pieces all over our shoes and our jeans, YUCK!

We had a nice leisurely ride through the park, taking our time and enjoying the unusual landscape.

The visitors center has a gift shop and full service restaurant so we had lunch there before heading back towards the Black Hills. I took the back roads home and on the way we stopped for a break at a gas station near Rapid City. I stayed by the bike while Rudee went inside and that's when a large group of about 15 bikers pulled in. I guess my old Cop senses were on alert because I immediately thought these guys looked like trouble. I couldn't put my finger on what it was but when they passed by me and pulled up to the pumps I saw why. They were all wearing their "colors" (vests with patches) that identified them as members of the Hells Angels motorcycle club. Luckily Rudee came out of the store about this time and we saddled up and headed out pretty quickly. I'll use the bathroom at the next stop, thank you very much! :-)
We arrived back at the 5th wheel around 4pm and loaded the bike back up onto the Freightliner. We then drove into town and had one final meal in Custer. We made a quick stop at the grocery store and another to top off the fuel tanks and were soon back at the campground where I got hooked on. Rudee busied herself getting things ready inside and I did all I could do the outside to get ready to leave Friday morning.
We are all traveling together on the way home. I am hoping we will get at least 500 miles in tomorrow so we can be home Saturday, I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Oh Hail !!

Sunday morning we woke up to cloud cover and some light rain showers. Once we were both showered and dressed the rain had quit but it still looked pretty iffy. We decided to head into town in the freightliner and grab some breakfast.
When we came out of the restaurant the clouds were starting to break up and it looked like we may get to do some sightseeing on the bike.
Once back at the camper I decided to wash the muck off the back cap of the 5th wheel. I use a product called Protect All. You pour a cap full into a bucket and then, using a car wash type brush, wash an area and then just squeegee it off. I follow that up with a quick buff with a dry towel and it looks pretty good. Doing it this way you can wash using only a bucket of water and are not spraying the trailer with a hose since a lot of campgrounds don't like you doing the "car wash" type of hose downs.
Rudee helped me do the washing and I even got the ladder out and cleaned all the windows. We did stop with the back cap though and will need to do the roof and sides too. I'll save those for another day since to do the roof we will need to get the hose out and spray it down.
Once we got our chores done we decided to take a little ride. Niles and Ron joined us but their girls stayed home this time.
The skies were clearest to the west so I headed towards Wyoming. We rode to Newcastle Wy which is around 40 miles and stopped for gas. We had a couple of choices on the return trip and decided to head north east and loop back into South Dakota through Lead where we would turn towards home. We had plans for dinner and needed to be back by 4:30pm. Mike and Les Kennedy had invited us all to their rig for a Mexican meal and Rudee wanted to bake a cornbread cake to take over.
As we rode back towards South Dakota we were all keeping an eye on the clouds building to the east of us. They were large white billowing clouds and all I could think of was "oh no, here we go again".
We made it back to Lead S.D. and turned to make the 50 mile trip back into Custer when the clouds seemed to turn from white to black :-(.
They were still pretty far off in the distance and I thought we had a chance to make it back home and still be dry............. I was wrong .............. again !!
The rain started about 10 miles north of Hill City but it was not real heavy. We didn't even need our rain suits on and it was nice that the rain had cooled the temperature down.
Once we got through Hill City the rained increased and the temperature decreased, I was getting downright cold! Custer is only about 12 miles further so on we rode.
As we were approaching Crazy Horse Mountain (about 1/2 way) the rain started stinging a little more then usual. That's when I realized it was Hailing ...... OUCH!
The hail got bigger and more plentiful so I pulled off to the side of the road. Niles and Ron rode on.
Rudee grabbed her jacket from the saddle bag and we too got back on the road since besides the hail there was a lot of lightning and I really didn't want to just sit on the side of the road and get hit by either hail or lightning.
We rode about 4 more miles with the hail bouncing off us but when we finally made it into Custer both the hail and rain had stopped. Rudee and I both had some welts on us from the hail stones and were sure we would have some bruises.
I can cross "riding a motorcycle through a hail storm" off my bucket list now, not that it was on there in the first place :-).
We did have a nice evening at the Kennedys. Les made a Enchilada Casserole that was out of this world. We all gathered at their place and had a great meal and talked into the night before we finally called it a night and headed home. Thanks for a memorable evening guys.

Monday we were up early and, since the skies were clear, wanted to get an early start. The rest of the gang was just starting to stir so Rudee and I headed out on our own.
When we were here 5 years ago we started towards Devils Tower Wyoming but never made it. We were going to change that today. I retraced the route we had taken yesterday and we were soon back in Newcastle where we continued west on US 16. In downtown Newcastle we stumbled across a historical marker that denotes the spot where a cowboy named "Slim L" was hanged. Seems as though Slim murdered his neighbors because they owed him some money. The local Sheriff got suspicious when the neighbors were missing and questioned Slim who eventually confessed and led them to the bodies of his former friends and neighbors. While Slim was awaiting trial a lynch mob formed and took him from the jail at gunpoint. They proceeded to hang Slim from the railroad bridge in the center of town near the spot where the marker was. This all happened in 1903, I guess the old west was still alive then.

Devils Tower is an unusual volcanic formation and can be seen for miles.

The Indians thought it was a very spiritual place and still have ceremonies here. The National Parks Service does allow rock climbers to climb the walls (against the Indians objections) but we did not see any today.
We did see a guy who had parked his motorcycle on the side of the road and he was playing his bag pipes. Was a little strange to see a huge guy all dressed in leathers standing on the side of the road playing bag pipes, but I guess the differences in us all keeps things interesting :-).
We spent a little time at the visitor center and then loaded back up and retraced our steps out of the park.
We turned towards Huelet Wy and stopped at the Ponderosa Bar and Grille there for lunch. We shared probably the best cheeseburger we have had for a long time ......... ummmm good.
Once lunch was over we pointed the bike towards South Dakota again.

We rode through some small towns and eventually made it into Sturgis.

The rally does not "officially" start until this Friday. There were several vendors there setting up and a few of the bars were already open. We did a quick drive through and then decided to head towards home and find a place for supper on the way.
We ended up coming all the way back to Hill City before stopping at a bar and grille. We shared a steak and still brought 1/2 of it back home with us.
We were both pretty wiped out when we made it back to the 5th wheel. I built a fire and Mike and Les came over and had some s'mores with us. The rest of the gang soon pulled in (they had taken an evening ride) and we were soon swapping stories around the campfire.
No real plans today, just going to "wing it" and see what we can get into and of course I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

RV Dreamers

I have followed the adventures of Howard and Linda Payne for a few years now. They started fulltiming shortly after we got the bug. Howard writes a daily blog and has started some small business' to help fund their travels. They even started having a rally once a year for "rv-dreamers" to get together. The little on line community they have developed has grown over the years. We have not had the chance to attend any of the rallies and have not met any of the others except by email or through the on line forum on Howard's web site ( http://www.rv-dreams.com/) until this past week.
Niles and Deb introduced us to Mike and Leslie Kennedy. They are a fulltiming couple from New Mexico and travel in the same floor plan Montana that we have.
Mike and Les are a great couple and fit right into our little group here in the "Hills". We got the chance to spend some time with them on Friday when we accepted their invitation to go to Deadwood.
We all rode over in their Chevy dually pick up truck. Mike wanted to do a drive through of Sturgis so that was our first stop. Well we really didn't stop because the only thing going on seemed to be a bunch of tents getting set up for the big rally. We were both hoping to see some "debauchery", from the safety of the truck of course :-).

We got to Deadwood and it was getting close to supper time so we scouted out a place to eat. The Silverado Casino was advertising "all you can eat" Crab Legs and Prime Rib and we quickly decided that was it. The food was really good and we all had our fill.

After dinner we did some gambling and people watching as we walked the "strip". None of us were big winners but Les did find a "hot" machine that kept her playing for a long time and she even cashed in a little bit and treated us all to an ice cream with her "winnings". Thanks Les!

We made it back to the campground around 11:00pm. The rest of our group had already turned in so that's what we did too.

Saturday we did some more riding and sightseeing. Here is a photo of Ron being "King of the World"

We rode to Wind Cave National Park to get a stamp in our passports. We bought these passport books a few years ago. They list all the National Parks across the country. Each park has their own stamp with the date on it and you can stamp your passport book when you visit. We have done several of these in the past few years and always keep the book in the bike. The stamps are usually in the visitors center at each park and are a cool way of commemorating your visit.
After looking around the displays some we continued on to Hot Springs S.D. which is a neat little Town in the Southern Hills. We had a nice lunch and then did a ride through town. The temperatures had really heated up into the upper 90's (Niles' bike said it was 99*!) and none of us really wanted to get off the bikes to walk around in that heat.

We continued our ride and ended up at Jewel Cave National Park for another stamp. This cave is huge with miles and miles of tunnels. They are still discovering new passages and "rooms" in this cave. They do have tours of various lengths but were booked solid when we were there. The cost of the tours are a pretty good bargain varying from $4 - $8.

We headed back towards Custer where Rudee and I stopped in town to grab a few groceries. Niles offered to do the cooking tonight on his grille and we picked up some thick pork chops for him to toss on for us.
As we were grilling the daily thunderstorm rolled through. We huddled under Nile's and Deb's awning trying to stay dry and it brought back memories of the four of us on that patio a couple of days ago :-).
The rain quit before the meat was done and we were able to enjoy a "dry" meal.

This morning it has been raining off and on and looks like it may be this way for awhile. We may need to get the Freightliner out and do some "touring" in it. That will be a first for us, it usually just gets to pull the 5th wheel around and then sits, neglected, at the campgound until it's time to head home. I'll keep you posted.