DeWayne and Joy

DeWayne and Joy

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Settled In

Just a quick post to give everybody an update.

We left Lingle, WY yesterday morning and made really good time to Rapid City.  The terrain changed every few miles from rolling grasslands to hills and trees, then back again.  And right in the middle somewhere, we crossed into South Dakota.

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Finally, Rapid City came into view:

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Following Snookie’s expert directions, we drove straight to the Air Force Base, made it through the gate and into the FamCamp with no problems.  I snapped a quick picture of the park, then we rounded the bend to see Snookie waving to us in the distance.

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It was so great to see her and Bob again.  We got set up in no time, then I was invited to join one of the frequent games of Mexican Train.  Snookie took me over to meet Valerie and Sherry at Valerie’s picnic table and we sat in the shade with a wonderful breeze blowing while they attempted to teach me this new (to me) game. 

We had a blast and I, of course, came in dead last.  But I’m getting the hang of it and there’s another game scheduled for this afternoon.  So wish me luck.  I love the game.

We’re seeing more and more motorcycles arriving in the FamCamp in anticipation of Sturgis Week and tents going up already, so I’m wondering just how many tents and motorcycles there will be by next week.  I’ll keep ya posted. 

I have laundry going and need to go put it in the dryer, so I’ll shut up and get this posted.  I hope everybody is staying cool.  Check back in a day or two for more news from Rapid City.

But in the meantime……


Friday, July 29, 2011

On The Road Again!

Greetings from Wyoming! 

DeWayne’s Mom is doing great and back to her old self, so we decided it was time to give her some space and get out of her hair for a while.  Plus, the unbearable heat in OKC this summer has been no fun at all, with no indication that it will get any better anytime soon.  Sooooo…..we decided to hit the road.

To sum it all up….WE HAD A BAD CASE OF HITCH ITCH!

We also lucked into a GREAT deal on a 29', '93 Hitchhiker fifth wheel RV about a month ago that is in really good shape.  It isn't as big as our Open Road, but is built so much better and we really like it, so although we bought the Hitchhiker to sell at twice what we gave for it, we liked it so much that we started considering just keeping it and selling the Open Road.  So, we decided to give it a whirl and take it on a trip to see if we can live with the reduced space.  It's important to know since we have accepted workamping jobs in Mission, Texas for the winter and we will be living in one or the other RV's for six months.  So this is a test, so to speak.

We have some business to attend to in South Dakota, and we have REALLY been wanting to see Snookie and Bob (we haven't seen them in a year) so we knew we would be going there at some point.  The original plan was to go straight there and spend two weeks, seeing the sights, then back home.  Then we heard that the heat wave would be affecting South Dakota too for a while, so we got a wild hair and decided to go further north to Glacier National Park in Montana.  It’s one of the places we were going to visit last summer, but never made it.  So we thought we would give it another shot, then swing by South Dakota on our way home.

We packed up and hit the road Sunday afternoon on July 24th.  First stop – Amarillo.  We stayed at the Oasis RV resort for the night, which is a really nice RV park and one that we had stayed in back in November.  It’s big and roomy with all pull-through slots and laundry/bath houses scattered all through the park so that no one is far from one, if needed.  They also have a restaurant, although we haven’t tried it yet.  Maybe next time.

We left Amarillo on Monday and turned north toward Colorado Springs, CO.  We were scheduled to stay two nights at the Mountaindale RV Park outside of Colorado Springs and it turned out to be a really nice park as well.  We even had mule deer grazing within 15 feet of our front door and when we went out to see them, they were not spooked at all.  They just nibbled away, then slowly moved off down the road.  I tried to get pictures, but it was too dark, so my camera got totally confused about what to focus on and refused to let me take any.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  The heat was not as bad in Amarillo (99 degrees), considering that it was 108 when we pulled out of OKC.  Then on Monday, it was still in the upper 90’s until we got almost to Raton, New Mexico.  We went over a pass and the temperature reading on the truck started dropping like a rock.  I kept snapping pictures with my phone and each time, the temp would drop another degree or two until the final low reading:
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What a beautiful sight to see 54 degrees!  Of course it inched back up after we cleared the pass, but I think it settled somewhere in the 80’s.  Hey, we weren’t complaining! 

Oh, and I had to get a close up of my number one chauffeur…..
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I say that because I rode all that day in the back seat since I’ve developed a swelling problem in my legs and feet, so doc says to keep them propped up.  Anyway….

Here are a few pictures along the way:
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We arrived at Mountaindale RV park during a steady sprinkle, so we didn’t waste any time getting set up for the next two nights.  And we noticed when we got out of the truck that it was making a knocking noise that wasn’t there before.  Uh oh!

Next morning, DeWayne made some phone calls to his mechanic back in OKC and to some local shops around Colorado Springs and decided that it was best not to drive the truck until the source of the noise could be diagnosed.  So after a quick phone call to Good Sam’s Roadside Assistance (worth it’s weight in gold), a tow truck arrived and DeWayne’s “Pride and Joy” was loaded up and hauled away to the shop.
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Sooooo….we were afoot for the day. The day that we planned to take in a few sights around Colorado Springs.  Pike’s Peak and the Royal Gorge are within driving distance and although DeWayne had seen them both before, I hadn’t seen them since I was 2 years old and don’t remember at all.

But it was not to be, so I entertained myself just looking at the scenery, taking pictures of the park and playing with the camera zoom to get close-ups of the vegetation around the RV.
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DeWayne scheduled a taxi for early Wednesday morning to take him to the shop where the truck was.  The diagnosis was the vacuum pump which he learned was added for the purpose of the engine brake (or jake brake as some of us call it).  Anyway, he drove back up in it before noon, grinning from ear to ear since he had his truck back and only had to spend $90 at the repair shop.
We decided to make a run to Walmart for a few items we needed and to have supper at Chili’s, complete with baby back ribs and Tropical Sunrise Margueritas.  Yummmmy!

It was showering off and on as we left to go into Colorado Springs and I’m so glad I took the camera, because I got some good shots of the distant rain as well as a rainbow.  Not to mention the beautiful scenery around us as we drove.
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Back at the RV park, I took a shot or two of our RV space:
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We spent an extra night at the RV park and in the meantime, we talked to Snookie in South Dakota and found out that when we planned to be there would be right in the middle of Sturgis Week and there wouldn’t be an RV slot available anywhere near Rapid City.  Soooo, due to the fact that we would already have to re-arrange our schedule and reservations because of the truck repair and all other things considered, we just decided to go back to our original plan:  head to South Dakota now and spend two weeks there, then go home.  And we will be able to spend more time with Snookie and Bob, not to mention any new friends we hope to make while we're there.

So we left Colorado Springs yesterday morning and drove to Lingle, Wyoming for two nights and we will leave in the morning and drive to Rapid City where we will catch up with old friends, see the sights, and DeWayne might even get in a few rounds of golf for the next two weeks.  I just hope the heat dome that has been hovering over OKC forever will be moved out by the time we start our journey home. 

The cornice/mini blind/curtain assembly on the back window of the RV fell down during our trip yesterday, so DeWayne went to town today to get reinforcing anchors and is in the process of putting the whole assembly back up.  Just as well that I’m finished with this post because it’s time to put it away and help him by holding everything up as he screws it into place. 

So, it’s on to South Dakota tomorrow.  I’m sure I will have lots to post about after we get there, but in the meantime…..