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

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

just hangin' around

We are quickly moving into summer here in the Black Hills, at least the calender says so. The weather has not caught on that it is almost July and we have had some really cool nights and it seems that most everyday it clouds up and we have storms move through. Rudee's schedule for last week shifted inexplicably to evenings each day. In the weeks prior she would work a couple of "closing" shifts and then her hours would be closer to my 8am - 7pm. We think it is just an oversight as her manager just took over the scheduling duties and was receptive to a change to get closer to my shifts. She doesn't mind closing but would not get home until around 11 pm and I just couldn't stay up that long, just look at any picture of me ..... I need my beauty sleep! LOL

A couple of weeks ago I repaired a leaky pump in our Splendide washer/dryer. The repair worked and we have no more leaks however it started acting up and would stop in mid cycle, right when it needed to pump the water out. We would have to manually advance the dial to get it to start working again, sometimes it we would have to advance it several times before it would start. I figured I would wait until my first day off, yesterday, to take it back out of it's cubby hole and see if I could figure out the problem. Lo and behold, it started working again just like it was supposed to. We have now done 5 or 6 loads and it worked perfect. Guess I'll wait and see what happens next week but we are keeping our fingers crossed.

A couple of weeks ago we made a stop in Sturgis to see the town before all the rally in August. We parked on main street and checked out a couple of shops, one of which was a thrift shop ran by a local womens club where I found a Black and Decker space saver coffee pot. Our motorhome had one at one time but had been removed by the previous owner. I looked it over at the store and quickly paid the $2.00 they were asking for it. I installed it when we got home and the brackets lined up with the existing holes in the shelve, Sweet!

I ran a few pots of vinegar water through it and it works good as new.

One of my jobs at Crazy Horse includes taking people up to the top of the mountain for a "private" tour. I love going up and seeing the monument close up and have met some really nice people on my trips. We sometimes see the mountain goats walking around and the view is always fantastic! One day last week we got to see some of the crew preparing the mountain for our summer night blast.

Look closely and you will see there are two of the workers that have rappelled off the top. They were attaching mount brackets in order to string the explosives for the blast.
I keep having to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming about the cool stuff I get to do, and I get paid for it too! :-)

Last Wednesday we got together with Dan and Jonell, liv2RV, and they all thought I needed to add a little culture to my rough and tumble life. We started with dinner at a nice restaurant in Keystone, The Powderhouse, where we had a nice meal. Then they took me to the "theater", pronounced with a British accent. :-)

The playhouse is located in Custer State Park and is free to us on certain evenings with our VIP passes. We saw a 22 act musical based on a childrens fairy tail and it was quite enjoyable. The cast were all very talented and we are looking forward to the next one. I still have to work on getting my pinky extended when I am hoisting my beer bottle but these things take time. :-)

We are looking forward to the night blast this Thursday at work. Should any of you readers find yourself in the Black Hills be sure and look us up! We are the ones that can't wipe the grins off our faces, we are having such a good time here. Of course our blog is not complete without a Buffalo picture.

He was a cutey! I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Horsin' around

One if the benefits of work camping at Crazy Horse is the VIP pass your provided. The pass is good for discounted, or often free, entrances to a lot of the tourist attraction nearby. Last year we enjoyed visiting some of the attractions but there were many more we wanted to go to but ran out of time. We are planning to revisit some of them this year as well as visit the ones we missed last year. We decided that the one we really wanted to see was the Wild Horse Sanctuary near Hot Springs, SD. This is a large (over 10,000 acres) ranch where they are dedicated to saving the wild Mustangs. The ranch was established in 1988 by Dayton Hyde who wanted to give the wild Mustangs a safe home where they can live as free and wild animals. They give tours as a way to support the ranch and reservations are a must. The tours are given on small school buses and are limited to around 20-30 people. We were able to take the two hour tour, normally $50 per person, for free with our card. The bus driver/tour guide was a very nice young lady who was very knowledgeable about the ranch and the different breeds of horses they have there. She took us up on the very high plateau that overlooks the ranch and the Cheyenne River which winds it's way through the valley.

I can certainly see why this would have been a prime place to live in earlier times. The Cheyenne Indians used this valley as a camp and in later years ranches were established by homesteaders who settled in the area after the Indians were removed to reservations. The first white family to settle on this land used this cave as their winter home when they arrived to late in the year to build a proper structure. That must have been one hard winter :-o.

Oh ya, they had some wild horses there too. :-)

We enjoyed the tour but both agreed that we would have been somewhat disappointed if we had to pay $50 per person for the tour.

Our work week has been moving along and we are settling in nicely to the routine. Our schedules rarely coincide but we do get the same days off and occasionally have the same lunch hour. My hours are pretty stable at 8am - 7pm but Rudee works a couple of nights closing so her shifts are variable throughout the week. We both agree though that this is a great place to work and live for the summer! I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

work, work and more work?

Yes folks, we are still in South Dakota working away and doing fine. I guess I have neglected the blog a little and I apologize for that. I'll try and do better. :-)
We are slowly getting back into the groove of our four 10 hour shifts per week and for some reason I am having a little more difficulty getting my "body clock" to adjust to Mountain time.
The weather here in the Black Hills has been warming up some but that has also meant afternoon thunderstorms most days. We have avoided most of the severe weather but it sure interferes with our motorcycle rides.
We have taken in some pretty scenery though, even on the stormy days.

One day last week I decided to make some homemade noodles. My Mother In Law is the champion noodle maker and she taught me all her secrets.

I doubt if I will ever be able to make them as good as she does but I get pretty durn close.

We have also been experience a problem with our Splendide "all in one" washer/dryer. The thing has never really dried the clothes very well. We would set the dryer selection for maximum time (2 hours) and the clothes would still be damp even after all that time. Our neighbors and friends Steve and Joan (FOSJ) were also having problems with their unit and had tried several things before calling for a technician to come and look at it. Talking to Steve I was hoping to correct mine with just a simple cleaning of the dryer vent and he suggested I take it apart and try that on the same day the tech was coming to fix theirs in case it was more complicated.
Yesterday morning was the day and I removed the unit from it's cabinet. The dryer vent was totally clogged with a big ball of lint and looked like it probably had never been cleaned. That was an easy fix but, as usual, nothing is that easy. When I pulled the unit out we found water under the unit and it had been leaking for quite awhile. Not a big leak but any water leak is a bad thing in an RV. I was able to get the service tech to stop in and he found the pump was leaking. He said we could rebuild it using a kit for under $40 (which he had on his truck) or he could order us a new pump for $120. He told me how easy they were to rebuild and gave me some pointers so I decided to give it a try and save a few $'s. The kit is just a new rubber gasket that seals the interior impeller shaft of the pump.
I removed the pump which was held on by two bolts and I had to disconnect two hoses and a couple of wires.

Once I had the pump in hand I removed the screws holding the two halves of the housing together. Inside the housing is the impeller that is screwed onto a drive shaft and after unscrewing the impeller you can remove the rubber seal which keeps the pump from leaking.

I cleaned everything up and installed the new gasket using the grease they provided with the kit. I put it all back together and hoped for the best as we gave it a test run. Whoo Hoo, no leaks and it is blowing hot air from the dryer vent!
I put the back in the cabinet and reattached the anchors that keeps it secure. We have done a few loads since then and the clothes come out warm and dry in 1/4 of the drying time as before and Rudee is happy to have a fully functioning dryer again.

The weatherman says the next several days will be cool and rainy so we are just planning on running some errands and "chillin" in the rig. I'll keep you posted.