Our last week has flown by and now we are 1/2 way through our scheduled hours this week. The tourist season is picking up here in the Black Hills. On our days off we noticed a lot of additional traffic and less parking places available in the nearby towns.
We did get in a nice long bike ride Monday. Rand and Doug, our biker buddies from work, had some friends vacationing in the area and they also brought their bike. Fred and Jan are from Texas, as are Doug and Rand. They travel in a 5th wheel toy hauler with their Harley in the garage.
We met for breakfast in Custer at a small local cafe' we stumbled across a couple of weeks ago appropriately named "Our Place".
After breakfast they wanted me to lead the ride onto Needles Highway so the pressure was on. :-)
Both of these couples are experienced group riders so leading was not a chore and we quickly fell into a "riding rhythm" and had a great time. Here is our group at one of the scenic vistas.
We ended up circling around into the town of Keystone where we eventually found enough parking room to squeeze our 3 bikes into. The town was packed but Rand had requested ice cream and I sure didn't want to disappoint her. :-)
We had a great day of riding and getting to know Fred and Jan. They are in the area for another week so we are planning some more rides our next two days off.
Tuesday we decided to get our Sea Eagle SE370 inflatable kayak inflated and explore one of the lakes in Custer State Park. We had heard that the fishing was pretty good on Stockade Lake so decided to try our luck, well actually since I was the only one with a license, I was going to try my luck while Rudee paddled. :-)
We got the boat inflated and ready to launch in about 10 minutes. That's not too bad considering this was only our second attempt since we purchased the boat over a year ago.
Stockade is the largest of the lakes here in the park and the wind was blowing a little more then we like so we ended up staying on one end in a protected little cove. I fished while Rudee did her best to keep the boat in a good position for my casting. Over time we had a system worked out between us and had a great time on the water. I got several small "hits" on my lure and finally caught one decent size crappie. I decided to do a "catch and release" so didn't even get it inside the boat. Rudee is telling everyone I got it off the hook and it slipped out of my hand but I remember it a little different. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :-)
We enjoyed our day on the water and plan on doing some more paddling and fishing while in the area.
Wednesday was the start of a new work week for us and it has been very busy. There was a medical emergency in the visitors center shortly after I started my shift. I was working at one of the entrance booths so had no idea it was even going on. There was one worker who was a nurse and she started CPR on the person and there was two off duty police officers who assisted her, They also had a automatic defibrillator they used until EMS arrived. I wish I could have been there to help out, my past experience and training is on my resume' and they know I am current on my AED and CPR certification but unless you are nearby when these things happen there is little to no time to notify the trained people to respond. Sadly they could not revive the person and there was a sad cloud over the mountain the rest of the day. :-(
Our shifts are starting to become more and more separated from each other. I am starting to get more and more earlier shifts while Rudee is staying on evenings until closing time. We would like to work the same hours but it really is not that big of a deal since I can ride the bike in and she has the truck. We are both still enjoying the experience here. Last night after the laser light show I was in the gift shop waiting on everyone to leave so Rudee could close out. A man came up to me, shook my hand and said "thank you". I asked him if he enjoyed his visit and he couldn't talk because the show had stirred up a lot of emotions in him. He had tears in his eyes! That makes working here even more special and are things we will never forget. I'll keep you posted.