Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Finally a Meeting

Hi all,
Back when we still had the stix n bricks home and doing research on this full time RV thing we would read blogs of others who either were doing it already or planning on it. One of the blogs Wendy stumbled on was www.owensontheroad.blogspot.com. It is wrote by a couple, Laurel and George from Pennsylvania who were planning to full time about the same time we were. As we followed along with their planning stages and we were progressing with ours it became ironic how close our plans were. Laurel and I even retired on the same day and we headed out for adventure at about the same time.
 As we went about our travels we continued to follow each others blogs but our paths just never seemed to meet until now. George and Laurel have been working in Custer at what was once Flintstone campground now called Buffalo Ridge Campground. We talked and decided a drive up to Deadwood would make a nice day.
 We got to their campground and with only a quick introduction we felt like we have been friends for a long time.
 To keep this short we had a great day checking out Days of 76 Museum, a winery, had drinks and lunch while listening to some cool music. On the way home we stopped for dessert at The Chunky Chipmunk and then enjoyed a little more chatting back where our day began.

Fun fact- these wagons are taken out for the 4th of July parade every year.

 We had a great time meeting them and recommend you check out their blog for a nice report of our day.
 This year Wendy and I have both been doing the volunteer thing at Custer where last year Wendy was a paid attendant working 8 to 5 and me hosting 5 to 9. While we thought it was okay at the time it is nice to both be on the same schedule and we both have off until 5pm every day.
 It allows us to check out weekend events like the fairs and festivals. So far we have checked out the Custer County Fair, The Central State Fair at Rapid City and recently the Wine, Brew, and BBQ festival at Hill City.

The W,B,&BBQ fest was pretty cool, featured some of the local beer and wine crafters along with 20 or more BBQ'ers competing for $10,000 in prizes. Festival goers bought tokens giving small samples of the different BBQ. We had a great time and were stuffed when we left.)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Horsing aound in the Hills

Hi all,
So on with week two of hard time at Custer State Park, haha. Even though we gave up our off days for a week we have still been trying to have some fun.
 Wendy and I headed to Custer county fair this past weekend. We didn't figure it to be to big and weren't surprised as it was held in nearby Hermosa population 400.
 This was a classic western town fair, featuring  a lot of cowboy and cowgirls with a lot of horses.
We saw a couple events that we hadn't seen before, one watching hitched wagons complete a  obstacle course. Some of those drivers really knew their stuff maneuvering large Belgians hitched to huge wagons. Next we watched teams of two riders sort numbered cattle from a small pen. Neat how you see younger ones learning to keep the old west alive.

 Well all but a few bikes are left from the Sturgis rally, the numbers were way down this year after last years record setting year. We still saw enough bikes but it was good you could actually get around.
 Another day we decided to ride up Iron Mountain Road and bum Keystone a bit. As we were heading up we passed a couple tractors and got behind another. Turns out this is a biannual event where about 100 antique tractors take part in rides around the Black Hills. We got lucky and passed them as they lined up for a drive to Keystone and Hill City. We got ahead of them and were able to watch the procession through Keystone while enjoying a beverage from a balcony. They will be riding through Custer State Park later this week.

 Around the campground things have been pretty much the same. Our job here is to be out and about from 5 pm to 9. We make rounds and assure campers know that it is their last night. We have met some nice people and one couple from our old hometown of Mukwonago.
One difference this year has been the turkey, we seen at least three different broods about the campground with one group of 20 and two different age young ones. We have even seen some roosting in the pines behind our camper. We stuck up our birdfeeder and it took the no time at all to find it.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Week One Custer State Park

HI all,
Got our first week in at Custer State Park all well and good. Not many changes in our duties but different as Wendy is not doing the attendant work she did the last two years. She is hosting with me so we both get to goof off all day.
 The park has made quite a few improvements with the biggest being a new visitor center that features a Imax theater. Legion Lodge made some improvements and some new cabins were added.
 Many of the people that work or volunteer here return year after year(#4 for us) so it is nice catching back up with them. We still have the same supervisor and assistant supers. which is nice.
 We rolled right in to Sturgis bike week and really notice a lot less bikers from last years big anniversary hoopla. We ventured down into Custer one day to do some bike seeing, neat seeing so many different ones.

Some of the different campers in the park
 We did get in our favorite drive that takes you down through some of the park into Wind Cave National Park along a dirt road reentering Custer SP on the wildlife loop. It is some pretty open prairie and rolling hills.

Buffalo with pronghorn and beyond them a coyote, nice triple

 Didn't take me long to hit the lake for some crappie and gills, but like with most places fishing in the August heat has been slow.

 Wendy has put the basket maker in high gear trying to build up her reserves for the Buffalo Roundup craft fair. She has even started making needle bracelets to change things up.
 Today we are starting a two week stint with no days off, pretty bad I know. College kids are already heading back to school and a few other happenings has the park shorthanded. They asked if we could volunteer some overtime and we agreed. They will pay us time and a half = 0.haha. We still have every day off til 5pm so plenty of time for our hobbies, we just need to eat supper early like us old timers do anyhow.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

And We're Off

Hi all,
Remember us?? Slacking a bit but I'm sure your summer is keeping you busy to.
 Our last couple weeks in Wisconsin were a bit hectic, we needed to keep track on a calendar to make sure we could squeeze in all that we wanted.
  I want to thank all the family and friends that took time to see us, it gets difficult and we slip up and miss catching some.
 We had a nice visit with Bob and Rose whom we hosted with in Arizona. In summers Bob hosts at northern Illinois park. We decided to meet up in Lake Geneva, WI and took in a boat tour around the lake. As the weather has been extremely hot and humid we figured the lake breeze would feel good.
 They have different excursions to pick from the most famous being a mail run where they cruise up along the docks, a young girl or boy leaps off the bow and places mail in a mailbox fixed to the pier. They then leap back on the still moving boat and continue on. Sorry to tease you but we didn't do that tour as it fills fast and only goes out at 10 am.
 We chose the 2 hour full lake tour which gives you history of the many people and mansions. Lake Geneva is seven miles long and up to two miles wide. Much of the property along the lake was developed by Chicago elites. They pointed out mansions built by the Wrigleys, Maytags, Sears, and Schwinn.

 PS if you are thinking of buying land there it goes for $30,000 to $40,000 per foot of shore front. One nice feature is they maintain a public access to walk around the entire lake (21miles).
 While down in our old home range we were able to get together with some of our classmates. We would usually gather with this bunch at Christmas time and later began having a summer gathering. It is always fun catching up with these guys and we sure were glad we got a chance.
 Lastly we were happy to attend the wedding of Wendy's great niece Molly to Nick. They met attending school at Lacrosse, Wi and are now teachers. They spent the last two years teaching in Morocco, and on Sunday after the wedding were boarding a plane for a two year teaching job in South Korea, how's that for a honeymoon?

 On Monday we headed off for South Dakota for a two month volunteer there. As we drove I think we just kept getting more excited to be back to where we feel our RV life had begun. We made a stop in Adrian, Minnesota and planned one more stop somewhere in South Dakota. Well with 90 degree yuk outside we just kept in the cool truck and drove on. Luckily our site at Custer State Park was open and we were able to pull right in.

Sunflowers in South Dakota

Our first guests at Custer