Tuesday night we kept a close eye on the weather radar. The storms passed just south of us by just a few miles. We had quite the lightning show and the thunder rolled but we were living right and it passed us by. :-)
Wednesday morning we headed out for what we hoped would be a dry (and safe!) day. The skies were thick with clouds but the rain held off. Again we drove through areas where the road was just starting to dry after a stray shower but nothing fell on us. Our goal was to make it to Mitchell SD but I had scoped out several campgrounds along our route just in case we had to stop and hunker down.
Traffic was fairly light and we made good time and arrived in Mitchell shortly before 5pm. Our stop was at another Passport America park and we got our full hook up site for just over $18.00. We became life members of PA several years ago, figuring we could better afford the initial membership while we were still working. The lifetime membership cost us over $300 but we never have to pay dues again and we have already more than doubled our initial outlay in savings on camping fees so it is a win/win in my book.
Once we were parked for the night the storms caught up with us. :-o They were not severe storms but we had a large amount of rain in a very short time. I kept a keen eye out for any rising water (there was none) after our flooding episode last month. The rain let up right about bedtime so we were able to sleep without having to worry about inflating our kayak. :-)
Thursday the weather man was calling for more storms to develop for South Dakota in the early afternoon, so once again we were in "storm dodge" mode. We did run into a little rain but it didn't last too long. We stopped in Rapid City at the Flying J and topped off our on board LP tank. Since we will be parked until the first of October it is likely we will be needing to run the furnace occasionally between now and then.
We then had about 40 miles to travel to our temporary home at Crazy Horse. They are repaving part of SR 16 between Rapid City and Custer so we were having to climb some of those hills at a pretty slow pace. I kept an eye on the temp gauge as it started to climb, luckily it never got close to being "in the red". The wind started picking up shortly after we left the truck stop and it really whips through some of these narrow valleys. I was glad when we finally got to pull into the campground entrance. We checked in and got our site assignment (#6) at the Heritage Village Campground. True to form, as soon as I pulled into the site the rain started. I got all the utilities hooked up and came inside to warm up since the temperature dropped from upper 60's in Rapid City to the low 40's at Crazy Horse. BRRRRRR!
I checked our cell phones and we had one little bar of service. I decided to brave the weather and get our cell booster hooked up. While I was outside on the ladder securing the antenna the rain started to hurt. Holy Cow, it's sleeting! Then it changed quickly to snow! I finished up and headed back inside. Our phones now have 4 bars. Cool! Next was getting our Mifi fired up and see of we can get online. Our phones are AT&T while our Mifi is on Sprint through Virgin. I have never been a fan of Sprint. We had it at work and I could never get much of a signal unless I was near a fairly large city. I crossed my fingers and checked our signal. Nothing, Nada, Zip! We both knew we could not go very long with no internet and my i-phone showed I had a 3g signal so we decided to dump the Virgin unit and go with an AT&T unit as soon as we could find one.
Today was errand day. We drove to Rapid City and picked up our mail at our mail service. We are with America's Mailbox and they are super people to work with. We had already sent them all of our vehicle registrations and they had our license plates ready for us to pick up. They gave us all the information we needed to get our drivers licenses and even registered us to vote! Plus the owner of the company was there and gave us a big "Welcome Home" as we walked in the door of the office.
We had about a 20 minute wait while getting our drivers licenses but we were prepared with all the ID and paperwork we needed so it was an easy process.
Our next stop was Best Buy where we got our new AT&T mifi unit. Rudee has been due for an upgrade on her phone but has not found one she likes. Best Buy had one she wanted on display so we decided to go ahead and get her a new phone too. After a lot of waiting, the salesman came back and said they were all out of that model and could not get them anymore. They suggested that a nearby AT&T store might have one so that was our next stop.
Success! They didn't have the same model as Best Buy but Rudee found one she liked even better.
No trip to town would be complete without a trip to Wal Mart so that was our last stop. We picked up some groceries to get us through the next several days and made our way back to the motor home. Tomorrow I will get all of our new South Dakota license plates installed and our transformation from Hoosiers to whatever people from South Dakota are called will be complete. I'll keep you posted.