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

Friday, August 30, 2013


During our days off this last week we decided to dial things back a little bit, or so I thought. Monday we took a much needed trip to the Super Walmart to stock up on groceries. The cupboards were getting a little bare. :-)
Once we made it back to the camper and got everything put away it was getting late in the afternoon so we decided to take a drive along some of the National Forest Service roads. We set our sites towards Bear Mountain where they maintain a fire tower at the peak. The roads are gravel but are fairly well maintained, even so it was still slow going with all the curves and switchbacks. The 14 mile drive took us about 40 minutes but we were rewarded with a nice view at the top.

There was even an RVer backed into a spot next to the fire tower.  No one was around the RV but it was obviously a long term set up so maybe he mans the look out?
We enjoyed our drive and saw a lot of wild life including, Deer, Rabbits, Turkeys and one small snake that Rudee could have gone without seeing. :-)

Once back at the campsite I threw a couple of steaks on the grill along with some corn on the cob. I soak the ears (still in their husks) in cold water for an hour or two and then place them (whole) on the grille. I turn the corn when the husks start to turn dark brown and they come out great! I also started a campfire with a bundle of wood we purchased. We even ate outside under the awning, just like "regular" campers! I love spending time like that and we even had some visitors from some of the other work campers who dropped by to share our fire. :-)

I have written before about one of our perks here being a VIP pass that gets us into a lot of the tourist attractions for free. Rudee was checking into things to do and stumbled across a Zip line that was free for us. OH BOY! Those of you that know me, know that I really don't like to be dangling above some deep abyss where falling would cause you a very painful death. Being the sport that I am and seeing that Rudee really wanted to go I decided to give it a try. We rode the bike over and got our tickets for the "ride". There was another couple in front of us so we got to watch them take the plunge.

I also got the chance to check the cable for any fraying that I was certain would be there. :-)
All too soon it was our turn to go and we got strapped into the chair. You ride side by side in a ski lift type chair dangling from a cable that was looking smaller by the minute!

Before I knew it they opened the gate in front of us and we were off!

The ride was actually kind of pleasant but once we reached the bottom I found out why they put two seat belts on us. The stop was a little sudden! I can't remember the last time I was able to touch my nose to my knees but I sure came close last Tuesday! :-)

We both enjoyed the ride and Rudee treated me to an ice cream cone afterwards for being a good boy and conquering my fear. All in all a fun day! I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

looking for the next big thing

Things are getting quieter here in the Black Hills and the past week at work we have seen a decrease in visitors now that most schools are back in session. We are starting to think about our future for this winter as well. Our current finances dictate that we will need to make a wage this winter so we have narrowed our search to those places that provide us with some income. Unfortunately they seem to be few and far between as far as work camping jobs. Most of the campgrounds that are in areas where they can stay open during the winter tend to offer work in exchange for site situations. I guess they are in the warmer, more sought after winter climates so they seem to have enough interest from workers who are just looking for a warm place to park in exchange for a few hours of labor per week.
We have considered doing the Gate Guarding thing again this year but, frankly, we have been dreading being so isolated and being tied down to the 24 hours a day 7 days a week this work requires. We considered doing the sugar beet harvest but I don't think Rudee is up for the "work in the elements, manual labor" that this job entails.
I have made inquiries on a couple of jobs in Workamper News but I have not heard anything from one of them and the other said they were not currently hiring and haven't been for several months. This puzzled me that they would pay for a new advertisement for workers but then not have any openings. They told me I would be an excellent candidate and to check back every few weeks in case things changed. Oh well, back to the search.
We decided to apply to Amazon for their work camper program. The work only lasts until late December and is not our first choice in work camping but at least we'll be making some $$'s to get us by for a few months. We are waiting now for their call and interview to see if we have a job or need to keep looking.
Such is the life of a work camping full time RVer just trying to keep the dream alive. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

he's a horny guy!

Monday and Tuesday are our days off of work so we really like to take advantage of the time to enjoy everything that the Black Hills has to offer. We normally spend our time sightseeing on the bike as there are really no bad roads to ride around here. Monday we took a nice circular route from Custer to New Castle Wyoming and then up to Deadwood and back home. We really enjoy our time riding and the stress of everyday living just slips away with each passing mile.
Just outside of Hill City there are large signs warning passing motorist to beware of Big Horn Sheep in the area. We pass these signs all the time and have yet to ever see a sheep or even "signs" that a sheep has been in the vicinity. Monday as we rounded a curve we saw a motor home pulled off the roadway onto the shoulder. As we passed the stopped motorhome I spotted the reason he was stopped.

Big Horns!

We were able to watch the sheep for a while and felt very fortunate we were able to spend some time with them. :-)

Tuesday was a lazy day for us and we decided to leave the bike in it's garage for the day. After laying around most of the morning I decided I wanted to go fishing. Rudee packed us a sack lunch and we headed for the lake. I still had some trout dough bait left from my last trip and was hoping I could catch us some dinner. :-)
We got to the lake and found a nice shady spot. The fish were pretty active and in just a few minutes I had caught my first one, a small blue gill. I caught several more blue gills and finally a couple of small rainbow trout. None the fish were really big enough to keep so I played "catch and release" until the clouds rolled in and we started hearing thunder in the distance and decided we better high tail it home before we got wet.
Tuesday evening we met with some other full time RVers who hang out on the RV-Dreams Forum. Loretta and Bill are workcamping near Rapid City, Jim is right up the road from us at Custer Crazy Horse Campground while Ruth and Dale have been hanging around the area getting their South Dakota residency stuff completed. Here is a photo Ruth posted on the forum of our group, including the "photo bomb" guy in the back ground. :-)

I'm happy to report that Rudee is feeling much better. She has some large bruises from her most recent poking and prodding but at least her "spells" have decreased. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

it's been a heck of a week!

Well, where do I start? A couple of weeks ago while on a bike ride with our friends visiting from Indiana Rudee said she "felt funny". She complained of short spells of her heart "fluttering" and when it happened it made her short of breath and coughing. We decided to cut our ride short and head back home where she could rest. Fast forward a couple of days and she had another spell while at work that seemed worse than the ones previously so a coworker drove her to the emergency room in Custer to get things checked out. By the time they got to the emergency room the fluttering had stopped and they could not figure out what was wrong. They did put her on a monitor for 24 hours to see if it could record anything. She did have a spell while the monitor was on and it ended up being PVC's (premature ventricular contractions) but they said they were "benign" and since they  were so few treatment was not necessary unless the spells become worse or more frequent.
Guess what? The spells continued to get longer and she had more and more of them so we called the Doctor back and he had me bring her right in where he did a stress test. She was having quite a few PVC's and her EKG showed some "signs" so they referred her to a Cardiologist in Rapid City the next day.
We met with the Cardiologist and he set up a Cardiac Catheterization early the next morning and also prescribed some beta blockers to help control the PVC's. He was confident her heart had no blockages but no guarantees until the Cath was done.
The procedure was scheduled for 7 am so we left the camper at 5:30 to make the drive. She was the first patient of the day and the whole thing only took about 30 minutes and no blockages were found. She had to stay flat for two hours and they monitored her another 2 hours after that before letting us come home.
She has been off work ever since while I was able to finish out the last 3 days of my work week. Her leg is still sore and bruised from the catheter but she is starting to get back to normal again. She has started the medicine and the spells have decreased some as well. She is ready to head back to work though, being couped up in the motorhome all day by yourself is no fun. :-)

Tonight we are meeting a group of other full time RVers who hang around the rv-dreams forum. We missed the pitch in dinner with them last week because of Rudee's doctor visits. This time we are meeting at the Alpine Inn for dinner. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

we survived!

The Sturgis rally has officially ended. We were really hopping at work all week but things should return to "normal" now. Here are a couple of pics I took of our main parking area during the rally.

I had to get a picture of this rig that came through our gates the other day. I guess I would classify this as a "fixer upper". :-)

The pictures don't show it but when the guy drove off the motorhome was actually going up the hill sideways, kind of a Class C Crabwalk! The tags were from Florida, I'm not sure if it is up for the trip back home though. :-)

Rudee and I took another ride into the town of Sturgis on Monday and was amazed at how quickly the bikes disappeared. Most of the vendors had left and the few remaining were finishing packing up. Last week we had to get in a 30 mile line of bikes to ride from Hill City to Sturgis. We made the same ride again today and only met a handful of other vehicles. :-)

We are attending a pitch in meal with some other participants of the RV Dreams Forum at one of the resorts near here this evening. Should be a fun time meeting other full timers and work campers. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


We made it through our long, extremely busy day Saturday and were both more then ready for our two days off! We made plans to meet up with our friends Deb, Niles, Craig and Joanie for breakfast in Hill City. We had a nice breakfast and enjoyed hearing about all their rides and sight seeing since we talked with them last week. Once breakfast was out of the way we loaded up on the bikes and headed towards Sturgis. I guess I should say we got into the long line of bikes heading towards Sturgis. :-) There was also a steady line of motorcycles heading our direction as well. There were a few breaks in the line of bikes but it was a steady stream the entire 40 miles on SR 385.

Getting through Deadwood was slow but the scenery at the "bikini bike wash" was a pleasant distraction.

We got to Sturgis and stopped at the edge of town where they were offering test rides on the brand new Indian motorcycles as well as several other models. Niles and Craig both signed up for test rides on several different makes and models. The wait for the rides to start would take up most of the afternoon so we passed on that and headed into downtown to see what all the hype about Sturgis is about.

The town blocks off all the curb parking for motorcycles only (free) and the local folks also have parking in just about every inch of their driveways and yards charging $5 per motorcycle. We were lucky and found one of the few remaining curbside spots that was still within walking distance of Main St.
There is every conceivable size, type, make and model of motorcycle known to man here.

Main Street as well as the surrounding blocks were lined with booths and vendor trailers selling everything imaginable. We started walking down Main Street and  looking through them but our main goal was to people watch and "take it all in" and did we ever see some sights! :-)
I wont post all the pictures on the blog but here is a link to them on my online albums. Be warned though, there are some rated R photos so if you are easily offended you should not click the link. Sturgis Photos

*link to photos should be working now*

if the above link does not work try this one. Sturgis photos link

We made a couple of small purchases at some of the vendors and I got some patches sewn on my leather "biker" vest. We also squeezed in a late lunch at the Iron Horse Saloon in the middle of town. We spent all afternoon walking and looking. We were both like wide eyed kids on our first trip to Disney, although Snow White was dressed a little differently here. :-) We only made it up one side of Main Street before calling it a day but we had so much fun we decided to come back Tuesday and see the rest.
On the way home we stopped into a Chinese restaurant and had a tasty meal while a storm rolled through. The rest of the trip was on wet roads but we made it home safe and sound. :-)

Tuesday is our last "weekend" day and since the rally will be over Sunday we wanted to go back just for the experience if nothing else. Our friends didn't seem too interested in seeing the rally so we headed out alone this time. Fighting the crowds and traffic is challenging but was worth it to us.
We lucked out and got another decent (read "free") parking space when Rudee spotted a bike pulling away from the curb in front of us. Our goal this trip was to explore Lazelle Street which runs parallel to Main and is lined with vendor tents and activity. Sturgis seemed even more crowded today  but we enjoyed ourselves none the less. By lunch time we had worked our way to the end of the line of vendors and were lucky enough to score an outside, shaded table at Roscoe's Steakhouse. We had a great view of all the passerby's on Lazelle Street while we shared some chicken strips.
We lingered at lunch for quite a while and enjoyed watching all the people passing by, it was quite a sight for a couple of small town Indiana kids! :-)
After leaving Roscoe's we made our way back towards the bike walking, shopping and sightseeing along the opposite side of Main Street from yesterday. We made a few more small purchases but mostly we just soaked it all in.
Our friends invited us to meet them for dinner at the Alpine Inn in Hill City so once we reached the bike Rudee sent them a message that we were leaving Sturgis to head that way. Turns out they had come back to each do another test ride on the bikes they rode yesterday. Maybe there is a new Indian Motorcycle in their future? Both couples are pretty deep into the Goldwing lifestyle so I doubt they will be trading but who knows? We were confirmed Goldwing riders for over 20 years but we traded and we sure are loving our Harley. :-)
We made the trip to Hill City and even though we were not traveling together and were on different routes, we arrived within a few minutes of each other. We shared stories on the outside seating area on the porch of the restaurant until our table was ready. Our meals were good and we enjoyed the evening with them. We said our goodbyes to them before heading home. Both couples are leaving for Indiana on Friday and we will be headed back to work and it's doubtful we will see them again before they leave.

We both really loved our "Sturgis Experience". The thing I liked most was the people watching ..............well actually the girl watching. ;-)
All fun aside, I can understand that this type of place is not for everyone and if you don't have a motorcycle you are at a big disadvantage getting around and parking. We have purposely avoided the scenic roads just for the fact of the heavy traffic involved on these popular routes.  We will return to these in a few weeks when we can enjoy them more. We also avoided the "party" campgrounds around Sturgis. They host some of the more unusual events as well as the big name concerts. We would have loved to go to some of the concerts but didn't have the time nor the $$'s. We both really enjoyed what we did get to do and if you are people watchers like we are this is the place to be in August! I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

bikes, bikes and more bikes!

The annual Sturgis Bike Week motorcycle rally kicks off this week end. We have seen a huge spike in the number of bikes on the road around here. That also means more business at Crazy Horse. I have been scheduled for overtime everyday this week and expect that to continue through next week as well. We are planning a trip over to Sturgis either Monday or Tuesday, maybe both days. :-)
I promise to pry the camera away from Rudee and get some pictures of the "sights" but first we have to get through the rest of the work week.

The weather has been a little challenging here with storms popping up almost everyday. We were awakened at 3:30 am this morning with rain, lightning and thunder ....... then the hail started. That stuff was really loud on our fiberglass roof! Once it got daylight we checked the vehicles and didn't see any real damage so it must have been small but there sure was a lot of it!

I work today from 11 am until closing at the entrance gate and it looks like it will be another busy day. One good thing about being on my feet all day running in and out of the ticket booth is I have lost 10 lbs! I'm not getting too excited about it though because I usually gain that much while sitting still doing gate guarding. Maybe I'll do my New Years resolution early and keep the flab to a minimum this year. :-) I'll keep you posted.