Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The kids visit- Part 2

Hi again,
 Thursday we took the gang and headed to Crazy Horse. After the trip there Wayne and Kathy headed off to check Needles and Sylvan. The kids and us drove to tour Custer. Mandi was collecting the pics of all the buffalo statues for her scrap booking.

Colleen & Mandi
 We then drove back to the park and drove up to Mt. Coolidge tower. We drove the wildlife loop back and found the friendly donkeys. The park doesn't mind feeding them as long as you feed them healthy stuff. We had heard they love the baby carrots, the kids had fun feeding and petting them.
 Friday was planned as a split up day. Mandi and Pat took the truck and headed to Sturgis and Deadwood.  We took Colleens bunch and went to Reptile Gardens.(Mandi was really sad to miss seeing her favorite- Snakes). Wayne and Kathy headed to Mt Rushmore. It worked out nice and Wayne cooked the gang chicken fajitas and some great frijoles which the boys love.
 Saturday was the sad day, after breakfast Colleen and the boys headed off toward home and we took Mandi and Pat to Rapid City airport for their flight back to N.C.
 Wayne and Kathy loaded up on Sunday heading off to see some other WI. friends.
 All in all it was a great visit with family and friends and we thank them all for coming. We also got a bonus as Colleen left Lukas here to stay with us. We only have three more weeks here and will then be back in WI. Back to see more great family and friends.
  I know its such cliche but Life Is Good!
 Mandi had been kidding us all week seeing only one buffalo by our campground- and just as we knew on Sunday morning a herd came in and lounged about all day, just figures ;).
Also the bighorn sheep walked through!

The kids visit- Part 1

Hi all,
WHEW!!! What a week!
Now I remember what vacations were like ;)
 We had been looking forward to this week for a long time, and it went to fast.
 Monday we got surprised by a visit from our Texan friends Wayne and Kathy. They were staying outside the park and are booked in here Wednesday through Sunday. They have a new 5th wheel and wanted to check things out before bringing it in. It was a nice visit and helped pass time as we anxiously waited for the kids to arrive. 
Wayne & Kathy

 Mandi and Pat along with Colleen, Goyo and our three youngest grandsons arrived at about 5:00 pm.
They had just spent four days at Yellowstone and are here from Monday to Saturday.  Wendy and I were to have planned the schedule while they are here.
 So after the arrival hugs the plan was they set up and as we have a laundrymat in the campground they could hit that. Wendy and I were on our camp host schedule and we would do that while they settled in.
  Tuesday we hit the road running. First was the Iron Mountain Road to Mt Rushmore. Next was lunch in Keystone- buffalo burgers was the main fare for most. All while eating, a fudge shop across the street was beckoning us to come in. Who could refuse that? Oh and after getting a couple pounds for the road we still couldn't pass up on the taffy being freshly made next door.

  We then headed to Mt. Rushmore Cave to do the 7D gunslinger adventure. We all had fun with that.
 Next was a visit to Bear Country. This is a two mile drive through a park featuring many different animals and of course a lot of bear. We all thought the best part was watching four little bear cubs frolic in a pine tree.
Iasiah & Lukas
 Wednesday we drove up Needles Highway and went to Sylvan Lake. Most of the gang hiked Little Devils Tower, Isaiah, Pat, and I hung out and did the shorter hike around the lake. After the hikes we picnicked and did some trout fishing.
 After that we headed back to camp and met up with Wayne and Kathy and did a drive on the wildlife loop.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Hi all,
We have been busy planning for the kids to be here. They arrive on Monday and stay until Saturday. We also have friends from Texas coming in on Wednesday until Sunday. Wendy was watching our site list and pounced on a cancellation for them. We are virtually full every night now.
 So this will be a busy week for us, but we are looking forward to some good times.
We got in a nice little hike the other day. Our campground is in a valley and Wendy had wanted to climb one side for the view and pics of campground from above. Rather than scale directly up we found a old dirt road that seemed to point the direction. We also took our gps so we wouldn't get to lost. It was about a mile but a very pleasant walk and we got to the rock edges for a good photo op.
 We mostly just relaxed about this week although I did get in a little fishing one day. Guess we're saving our excursions for when the kids get here.
 We have been contemplating if we will return next year. I keep saying that if I wrote on a piece of paper everything we would want in a volunteer experience it would be here. We have had moderate weather, not to hot and cool nights. We have the wildlife loop right outside the campground, and love watching all the different critters. We have different size lakes close by and great fishing. Good hiking and we still need to bike on the Mickelson Trail yet. The drive to a Rapids and good shopping is only 26 miles, Custer with smaller stores is only about 15 miles.

 On the other hand there is so much of this country that we have yet to explore, we just don't know yet. Our boss who has been great said that it wouldn't hurt him if we wanted a different position in the park. But overall we have had a great experience here doing this.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


 Hello everyone,
 In the last post we talked how the wildlife visits had been reduced, well the buffalo must have read the blog. They have been out in force the last couple days. We have had some big herds pass by and today they have been milling in our area all day. It is getting into the rut season and the bulls have joined the herds. One of the things the bulls do during the rut is make loud guttural sounds- like a loud belch. They also run the younger bulls away from the females. Some of the bulls seem to latch onto a cow and will not let her move without them by his side. It is interesting to watch and we are starting to see some good buffalo jams on the roads.
Game Lodge Resort
Our swimming pond
  It is only 1 week from tomorrow our kids are coming. We are looking forward to that, we last saw Colleen and her boys last October when we set out. They are trekking out too Yellowstone first and will be with us Monday through Sat. We have also asked off another day while they are here.
 We are also looking forward as some friends we had met in Texas this past winter are also coming in for a visit. When we met Wayne and Cathy they had talked about maybe wanting to full time. They have since bought a new fifth wheel and are on a big trip. It will be nice to hear of there adventure.

 Things in the campground are running smooth. We had two noise complaints around the forth of July, those were the first complaints we have had since coming here in May. Both of the guilty parties were leaving the next day so not much action to take. We had one fellow ranting that his tent site was the worst place in the park- said it had broken off tent stakes, roots and was all gravel. He was complaining to reservation outfit and then our park office. I moved him to a emergency site to make him happy. Less than an hour went by and a family came in looking for a site and Wendy told them they could have this (bad) site. They were so happy they were high fiving us and told Wendy she was their new best friend. What a difference of people.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Hello all,
 Our wildlife visits to our camp area have seemed to dwindle. It may be the full activity of vacationers in the park. We seem to get one old bull making a daily pass through. They baled the area between the campground and the road, maybe when the fresh growth of grass starts the critters will return.
The weather has been great, probably averaging 75 and a few more rains than usual- though no one is complaining.
  One big thing we notice here is a lack of mosquitoes. Even with the wet weather we have seen none. Family back in WI are reporting a bumper crop of them. I'm sure they are waiting for our fresh blood.
 I got in a couple hours fishing and brought home about 15 bluegills/crappie. Not bad for just throwing a line in from shore. We had bought a small deep fryer that is waiting for a test.
 We also got in another nice hike. This was another located up near Sylvan Lake. It was the Sunday Gulch Trail. Listed as 2.8 mi but taking the trail from Sylvan parking lot I clocked it as 4.45 on my cell app. It is also listed strenuous but we managed. Just going slow and smelling the flowers. It has a unique feature of metal pipe handrails down through some of the rocks.
Sylvan Lake
Small waterfall