We had delayed our departure for long enough so we decided that Wednesday morning was "D" day. We were up early so we could spend a few minutes with the Grandkids before they had to leave for school.
Bye bye Guys, Love you all bunches and bunches, big alligator tears made their first appearance about now.
I disconnected the hoses and cords and hooked on the bike trailer before going out to breakfast with our daughter Amanda. Once we were back at the house we said our good byes to her and had our second round of alligator tears before heading back out onto the road.
Without a doubt leaving family after a visit and knowing it will be months before seeing them again is the hardest part of our lifestyle. We love you guys and will miss you more then you could ever imagine.
We headed west on I-74 and soon found ourselves in Illinois where we were met with a thick layer of low hanging gray clouds. The wind also picked up and we ended up fighting it the entire trip. We ran into a few showers, no hard rain but enough to run the wipers occasionally. Our first night was spent at the Amana Colonies RV Park in Amana, Iowa. The park is more of a rally park (think Fairground style parking) and is huge. They are a Passport America park and offer full hookups for $18 per night for members.
Thursday morning we headed out early because we wanted to get some miles under our belts. Now that we are fulltimers I try and avoid traveling on the week ends. The biggest reason for me is it just seems like it would be easier to get a tire changed or road service if something should go wrong on the rig while on the highway. The weather was more of the same, on again off again showers, windy and we had the same gloomy layer of clouds covering as far as the eye could see. We took I-80 west until turning North onto I-29. The traffic was fairly light, even through the larger cities and we made decent time in spite of the headwind. Once we got to Sioux Falls we turned west on I-90 which would take us to the Black Hills. Our stop for the night was in Plankinton, SD at another Passport America park. Hills RV Park is decent for an overnight stay. They have fairly long pull through sites with full hook ups and Wifi which was a little on the slow side but usable to check emails etc. They are right next to I-90 but the noise from the highway wasn't bothersome since traffic was pretty light. I would imagine during Sturgis week the noise level would change somewhat. :-)
Friday morning we woke up to clear skies for the first time since we left Indiana. The wind was still blowing but didn't seem as hard as the last two days. We headed out for our final leg of the trip. Today's drive was a shorter one, under 300 miles plus we crossed into the Mountain Time Zone so we gained an hour without even trying. :-) We made one stop at a rest park for a quick snack and bathroom break before arriving at our exit in Rapid City. There is a Flying J truck stop at the exit so we took advantage and topped off both the propane and the diesel in the motorhome. The last leg of the trip was on the winding, hilly US 16. There are several fairly large climbs between the interstate and Crazy Horse bit the road is nicely paved and once again traffic was pretty light. We arrived at our "summer home" shortly after 2 pm and got set up on our site. The sites are somewhat downhill so the front end of the motorhome is fairly high and I had to use several boards under the wheels but our side yard is a lot bigger then last year.
I did have an issue setting up. I plugged in the 50 amp extension cord into the pedestal and when I turned on the power Rudee heard a "pop" inside the rig and one of our GFI plugs started smoking. I shut it down quickly and started inspecting. I found several breakers tripped so knew it was some sort of power surge. I decided to switch to the 30 amp plug in on the pedestal and that worked fine. I have checked everything out on the coach and everything is fine except for the GFI which I will replace. I'm not sure if the problem is with their pedestal or with my extension cord. I will check the cord today and if it is OK they are going to check the pedestal on Monday. We will just stay plugged into the 30 amp until then. We had a plug in style surge protector that went missing at some point. I'm pretty sure I left it at a campsite versus it being stolen but I'm not 100% positive on where. We are shopping for a hard wired unit but need to recover from the air conditioner purchase first. Needless to say we are happy to be back on the payroll again. :-)
Once we got comfy in our site we checked in with the folks at Crazy Horse. There were a lot of familiar faces and we had a great time talking to everyone and are really looking forward to our season. Friends and fellow bloggers Steve and Joan, FOSJ, started working here on Wednesday. Joan is working in the gift shop with Rudee and Steve is driving one of the tour buses. They had to work until 6:30 so we made arrangements to go out to dinner once they returned to the campground. We are parked right next to them, they ride Harleys and Steve golfs, yep gonna be a good summer! :-)
We had dinner at the Alpine Inn in Hill City where your only choices are small or large Filet Mignon. We all chose the small and it comes with a salad, bread and potato for $9.95. The meal was very good (as usual) and we had a great time laughing and telling stories. Once back at the camper we invited them over for some dessert of Hummingbird Cake given to us by our good friend Jany Runion as a "going away" present before we left Indiana. Thanks Jany it was fantastic!
Our first shift will be Wednesday for orientation so we have a few days to settle in before starting work. Let the summer begin! I'll keep you posted.