Thursday, July 31, 2008

Leaving Long Beach, WA Tomorrow

Our stay at Long Beach was short but nice. As I said earlier, the park isn’t the prettiest RV park but it is fine. Today we saw a deer in the park, so beautiful! I imagine we will come back here some day, it’s really in a great location with a terrific beach close by.

Today started out sunny and nice, but by noon the clouds had rolled in and later the wind came up. We didn’t do much out of he ordinary, read, surfed the net, etc. I took Cheye down to the beach since we won’t be by the ocean for a few weeks. I can’t believe how unafraid she is of the ocean now.

I have been looking at getting a signal amplifier and antenna for our Verizon aircard. Most of the time we can get a signal, but it would be nice to get a stronger one so our internet would be faster. I’ve been looking at a Wilson booster and today there was a guy staying at the park that sells them so we bought one! Here in Long Beach you can’t get Verizon’s fastest coverage (Broadband Rev-A) and it is even difficult to get any coverage. We were able to get 1 or 2 bars if you put the computer in a particular spot in the trailer and didn’t move it. With the antenna we can get 2 bars anywhere in the trailer, so that helps. It will be interesting to see how it works on our travels. It will even work with our cellphone so maybe I can make calls from the trailer rather than driving into town!

Didn’t take any pictures or video today, so these are all from sometime during our stay here at Long Beach, WA.

left: North Head Lighthouse
right: view from North Head Lighthouse
video: the beach at Long Beach, WA

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cape Disappointment

This morning we took a trip to Cape Disappointment State Park. There are 2 lighthouses in the park along with the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center. Long Beach, WA is very close to the mouth of the Columbia River and I am sure most of you are aware that the Lewis & Clark expedition ended where the Columbia and the Pacific meet. The Interpretive was interesting with excerpts from journals written by various people on the expedition. There was also a short film about their amazing trip. Outside the views were amazing.

We also walked over to the North Head Lighthouse, unfortunately the trail to the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse was closed. The North Head Lighthouse was interesting, here is a link that has some of the history of both lighthouses: Click here

After our excursion we came home, had lunch and did a little more study on the locations of the different 1000 Trails parks. Later we took Cheye down to the beach for a romp in the water. Today’s weather is totally opposite of yesterday, so it was a sunny warm walk on the beach. Tonight we’re going to barbeque for dinner and them maybe a movie...maybe some popcorn too.

top left: Cape Disappointment Lighthouse
middle right: a view from North Head Lighthouse
bottom left: the sign on North Head Lighthouse
video: North Head Lighthouse

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Some Coastal Weather

Today's weather is what I think of as real coast weather. We went to Oregon beaches a lot while I was growing up and the Washington beaches have the same kind of weather... frequently cloudy, drizzle and wind, all things I associate with the beach. It doesn’t bother me as it gives me the perfect excuse to read, nap, surf the net, etc. So today is one of those louse around the house days.

This morning we went up to the Lodge and did a little internet surfing. Our Verizon Wireless aircard is struggling with any kind of connection so the 1000 Trails wireless came in handy. From there we came back to the house, I did a little reading and Dave did a little napping. I’m reading a book “Letters of a Woman Homesteader”. I bought it in Keystone, SD and it is a collection of letters written by a woman that homesteaded a parcel of land in the Wyoming area. She was not only a clever independent lady she writes fabulous letters! It is interesting to see a little into the lives of people in the early 1900’s. My what a difference 100 years makes.

This afternoon Dave went over to the office and got a booklet of all the 1000 Trails preserves. We haven’t received our membership stuff yet so we didn’t have one. So after dinner we got out the maps and opened the book and did some brain storming. Still no firm plans but we’ll get there yet. :)

My pictures are of a neighbor... a little bird with a nest in the grass just outside our door. I can’t figure out what possessed the bird to build a nest in such a dangerous place, but she did. Someone put some chunks of wood on either side of the nest otherwise I doubt you would even see it. Hope the eggs make it!
top left: bird on the nest
center right: bird beside the nest
bottom left: eggs in the nest

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Trip to Town

We went into Seaview/Long Beach this morning. The two towns run together and other than the numbering of the streets It is pretty difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins. It is a really nice downtown area, they have it fixed up with flowers and well kept store fronts. Lots of tourist type shops, t-shirts, knick knacks, goodies, etc. We found ourselves in a lovely bakery where we picked up some baked yummies.

After a little shopping around we had halibut & chips for lunch at one of the local restaurants and then back home. This afternoon was spent doing laundry and cleaning followed by a walk on the beach. Another beautiful day on the beach!

We met our neighbors, Ted and Diane, yesterday. They have been fulltiming for 13 years now. Really nice people. They were out getting things ready to leave tomorrow and we got into a conversation about 1000 Trails parks they have been to. Sounds like we will have a number of pretty parks to visit!
top left: the trail to the beach
bottom right: a beautiful day on the beach
below: a video of downtown Long Beach

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Long Beach Washington

We made it to Long Beach, we are again at a 1000 Trails campground. This one is totally different than Pacific City, it is much more like a plain ol’ ordinary RV park. Everyone is parked side by side and back to back. There is room between the RV’s but not a lot. Still it is fine, probably will not be one of my favorites as far as beauty but the beach access is fabulous, it is close to a larger town and there are bears! At least there are signs warning that they have bears and raccoons in the park. I’d like to see a bear, from inside the trailer of course.

We didn’t get in until about 2:00, set up and finally had lunch around 3:00. We stopped on the way in Tillamook at a Fred Meyer’s for groceries and a few supplies. The entire trip was on Hwy 101, so it was a slow but very pretty trip. After lunch we walked down to the beach which is lovely. It’s long (probably why they call it Long Beach) and good for walking. Cheye loved it of course, went a bit crazy when she first got off her leash... see for yourself:

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Leaving Tomorrow

We have really enjoyed our first 1000 Trails Campground here in Pacific City, OR. We think it is beautiful, reminds me of a National Forest park. The amenities are great and the beach fabulous. Tomorrow we head out but we are scheduled to return here in mid-August.

I have been writing down all of our campground stops on a calendar since we began our travels in May. We had fun looking through it yesterday, I had already forgotten a few of the places we have stopped in the 2 1/2 months we’ve been on the road. I’m sure it will be even more interesting in a year!

Today was a very gray, drizzly day and we didn’t do much. I got an email last night from one of the couples we met while on the road, Ted & Laura we met in Silverton Oregon. So I replied today and then I found my friend Sandy online on Google Chat so we chatted for a while. Besides that I vacuumed, ate,watched some TV (Nascar was on and Dave is a fan) washed dishes and we walked Cheyenne a couple times. Just kind of a regular old day in a RV park!

I’ve put together a video with a few views of this campground. I also took some pics of a couple unique trailers here. Seems like we are seeing quite a few of the tear drop and smaller trailers lately. I’m sure fuel prices are making the smaller tows much more appealing but I don't think Dave, Cheye and I would ever fit in one!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Short Blog

Just not much to report today. The morning was gray and chilly here in Pacific City, OR. Dave made pancakes for our breakfast this morning. We took Cheye out for a couple walks around the park, watched Chipmunks, talked. Oh, we made a few changes to our reservations and started the process of getting our pickup and trailer licensed in South Dakota. We didn’t register the vehicles while we were back in SD because you have to go to the county your address is in, ours is on the east side of the state. One of the services the mail forwarding company we use is to assist with vehicle registration so we decided to take advantage of that rather than spending the $$$ on diesel and RV parks.

This morning I also did some work on compressing video. I discovered lots of different settings when I clicked the “advanced” button in iMovie so I played around with them a lot of the morning. I reworked the video I posted yesterday so it isn’t quite so pixely and I re-posted it on the if I could only remember what combination of settings I used.....

photo: cute little chipmunk neighbor

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dog In the Ocean...again

Went into town, Pacific City, ( <-- Jim that is for you) again this morning in search of mail and to make a couple calls. Once we got the mail I found I needed to make 2 more phone calls so we sat in the local grocer’s parking lot taking care of business. I haven’t had to take care of this much business since we sold the house! Business done, a few more groceries purchased and back to the campground. We decided to go down to the beach before lunch today, so we headed out taking my trusty Flip Video with us. I actually take that thing everywhere, I really love how handy it is. Anyway, the tide was way out and we decided to head north up the beach. Cheye was in a Seagull chasing mood and really went after one following it out quite a ways into the surf! The surf wasn’t deep, she was running not swimming, but on her way back in she managed to find a couple, well, holes. In she went, over her head! Well, watch the video below. She was a fair distance away and the Flip Video doesn’t have any zoom to speak of, but you can still see her.

After lunch I went up to the Lodge to see what kind of internet speed I could get. I am happy to say I can get faster speeds on my Verizon Aircard with 1-2 bars than I could at the Lodge. The Lodge connection is a good enough to email and do a little searching around but not any serious business. While there some people were talking about other 1000 Trails campgrounds so I joined in. Dave came in shortly after that and we quizzed the others about where they have stayed and which places they liked. It was interesting, they both had memberships totally different from ours. I didn’t know there were so many different ones!

Tonight we had dinner and watched a movie. After that it was off to the showers and then work on the blog. So now that you are caught up with my day as far as it has gone I guess I’ll sign off!
top right: Cheye shaking
bottom left: on the way back from town
video: Cheye chasing a Seagull

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Whale Tale/Tail

This morning we went into town to pick up a few groceries and to call 1000 Trails Member Services (only 1 bar on my cell phone while in the campground...not enough to make a call). When we set up all our reservations we had a 2 day gap due to lack of openings. The gap was this coming Friday and Saturday night. Well we noticed online that there was an opening now here at Pacific City but the system wouldn’t let us book it. You see in 1000 Trails you can book for up to 21 days (for our membership) at a park but once you leave that park you can’t come back to the same park for 1 week It is a good plan I think, keeps people from monopolizing one place. Anyway, the computer was seeing it as a new booking rather than an extending our current reservation. Member services said the park here could extend our stay. So back to the park with our groceries, had them extend our stay and all is well, we are there through Saturday night.

After we got everything settled we came back to the trailer, we had lunch and then decided it was time to do laundry. So while we were waiting on the laundry we found a place by the lodge overlooking the ocean, we sat down, looked out at the ocean and we both spotted whales! We saw a few spouts (or as Dave puts it, whale breath) the backs and even a tail. Shame the trailer was so far away or I would have gone back for the camera.

the photo is from a view point overlooking the park
the video... toasting a marshmallow! Enjoy

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Quiet Day

Today was a quiet day, we went for a walk early in the morning looking at sites that we might want to use next time we are here. It was funny, we talked to some people along the way that told us they hadn’t made a single reservation and got in to the 1000 Trails campgrounds all summer. Hmmmmmm, well until I know the system a little better I think I’ll stick with reservations.

I got caught up on emails after our walk and did some internet surfing fitting lunch in there somewhere. Later I was feeling a bit restless so Cheye and I went on a walk around the park to areas we hadn’t been to yet. This is a big park! Later Dave, I and Cheye went down to the beach. Beautiful down there, sunny and no wind at all. After we got back it was time for dinner and we barbecued kabobs. That about sums up the entire day!

Dave is out building a fire now so I see a couple toasted marshmellows in my future...yum.

The video is just so you can enjoy the beach!

Top left: the beach
middle right: trail to beach
bottom right: Cheye watching Chimunks out the window

Monday, July 21, 2008

Our First 1000 Trails Campground

Actually, they call them 1000 Trails Preserves, but I like Campground better. I suppose it isn’t really a campground as they have cabins and trailers for rent, a small store, game room, laundry rooms, a “family lodge” room with a big screen TV and wireless hookup, miniature golf, basketball courts, indoor pool, hot tub and on Saturday & Sunday a little cafe! I am impressed, quite the place.

This morning we called 1000 Trails and got everything all set up so we are now able to book online. We actually have made reservations through September 2. We weren’t able to get some of our first choices, but we are happy with what we got. After we got everything booked we packed up and headed out about 10:30. It is only about 30 miles from Lincoln City so a short drive today. I somehow assumed you would have a space assigned to you at the 1000 Trails places, but not so. Basically you make a reservation and then drive through the park and pick from whatever is open. There were quite a few sites when we arrived and found one we liked and set up camp.

This afternoon we walked over to the store/pool/laundry area and bought ice cream cones (yum) and looked around a bit. A little later we walked down to the beach, great beach! Very long, great for walking. I was surprised to see cars parked on the beach. I thought that Oregon didn’t allow vehicles on the beach but evidently I was wrong.

Tonight we grilled burgers and are just relaxing a bit...after all it has been a tough day. ;)

Still having to compress the video...oh well!
photos taken at Pacific City

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Beautiful Day at the Beach

We started today about the same as yesterday, up and out to the beach. Beautiful sunshine and very little wind made for a great walk. This time we walked to the North rather than South, but to do so we had to cross one of those little streams that run across the beach. We tried to find a shallow spot and hop across but we both ended up with soaked feet. It was a low tide so there was a large rocky area with tide pools exposed and we explored them a bit. When we headed back we had to cross the stream again, re-soaking our shoes. With Cheye having done her usual running in the ocean and rolling in the sand all 3 of us were a bit wet and sandy when we crawled into the pickup.

After the beach we stopped for breakfast and then it was home. We spent a lot of the day looking at Plan A and Plan B for our 1000 Trails reservations. Hopefully we will be able to do our booking tomorrow. As I mentioned yesterday, trying to get a full week or two in one place is a little hard right now. I’m sure it will loosen up after Labor Day but until then we may have to stay at other RV parks in between 1000 Trail campgrounds.

I also tried to upload a un-condensed video but couldn’t . It is too big of a file and the internet connection is too slow here. So today's video is a bit choppy, just like yesterday's. Hopefully we will soon be in a place where I can get broadband coverage with our aircard.

op left: Siletz River
middle left: Sea anemone
bottom right: Beach at Lincoln City

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Very Relaxing Day

The day started off cloudy but the sun broke through about noon. We went down to the beach early, about 9:00 a.m. and Cheye had a ball! Running, chasing birds, drinking salt water (yuk!), rolling, just lots of fun dog stuff.

I had mentioned yesterday that we were going to call 1000 Trails reservation line today, we tried but they are only open M-F. You can book online but for some reason it isn’t working for us, neither is the automated reservation phone line. We suspect it is because something isn’t totally set up yet but we will call Monday and see. We were able to make reservations at Pacific City but that was by talking to a reservation operator, not by using any of the automated systems.

Anyway, after our walk on the beach we came back to the trailer and surfed the net, had lunch and then I decided on a nap. About the time I laid down Dave decided to finish taking out the shower door that came with the trailer - It was called a sliding shower door which ended up being a white plastic accordion folded door that the handle broke with the first use, the accordion part of the door kept falling out of the track and it was just cheap. We have replaced it with an old fashioned rod and curtain and like it much better! Anyway, back to my nap - one thing I think I’d want if we ever replace this trailer is a door on the bedroom. If either of us stays up late or wants to nap during the day there is only a cloth curtain to separate the bedroom from the living portion of the trailer. Consequently there is no sound barrier. Now I doubt even a door would block all the sound but it would help. Happily we both have earbud headphones, which I used this afternoon to drown out the sound of Dave working. It worked just fine and I had a very successful nap.

Tonight we are going back to the Italian Riviera restaurant in Depoe Bay. We really enjoyed the food there last time and I am looking forward to eating there again.

Here is a little longer video than I normally (of course) stars Cheyenne and her excitement of being back at the beach.
all photos taken at Lincoln City today

Friday, July 18, 2008

Back in Lincoln City Oregon

Ahhhhh.... back in Lincoln City. And back at Coyote Rock RV and Marina, such a lovely park. It is hoppin’ today, not many sites open. Still quiet and beautiful. We got in about noon, set up and ate lunch. Then we made a phone call to 1000 Trails and got our member number. Yeah! So we made our first reservation at Pacific City Oregon, about 25 miles north of Lincoln City. Unfortunately we are starting this membership mid-summer, in other words we are starting in the middle of busy season with no reservations made. We were only able to get in at Pacific City Monday through Thursday next week. We are looking at our options and will call them back tomorrow and try to make reservations further into the future. You can reserve up to 3 months in advance so we are going to have to sit down and come up with a plan!

It’s been lovely here today, low 70’s and a slight breeze. Tomorrow we will go in to one of the public beach accesses and let Cheye run. I really need to do a little cleaning, bookkeeping and organizing in the next couple days. It’s just so hard to make myself do something so boring when there are other fun and interesting things to do. :)

top left pic was taken in the Columbia River Gorge
middle right is the view out our back window of the Siletz River
below is the video I took yesterday of Cheye swimming

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Another Long Day On The Road

We are in Washington State in the Columbia River Gorge at a park called Peach Beach RV. Our target was Maryhill State Park but the “RV sites full” sign was out. Peach Beach is just next to Maryhill so we didn’t have to go looking too far. We left St. Regis at 5:30 this morning and made here around noon. Peach Beach is a nice park, a fair amount of trees and it is right on the Columbia River.

Once we got set up and registered we walked over to a fruit stand and bought some local peaches and blackberry syrup. Then we had lunch and took Cheye for a walk down to the river. She had a fun time chasing sticks Dave threw out in the water. Still no swimming, she just wades out and then lunges back through the water. *Update* we went for a walk around Maryhill Park, took Cheye down to the boat launch area and she actually swam! She got out and went right back in and swam around again, actually did this 3 more times. I think we finally have a water dog! I'll post the video tomorrow when I should have better internet speeds. (do I sound like a proud mom or what?)

We are both ready to be in one place for a few days. Tomorrow we have reservations through Sunday night at Coyote Rock RV in Lincoln City Oregon. We stayed there before and enjoyed it. The park is right on the Siletz River and is a very pretty. Looking forward to sleeping in, walks on the beach and hopefully some evening bonfires...maybe a toasted marshmellow or two. :)

top left: Peach Beach RV Park
middle right: Cheye swimming
bottom left: interesting trailer at Maryhill State Park

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Road Day 2

We, rather I, woke up ridiculously early this morning (4:00 a.m.) Dave was already up. He usually gets up crazy early and I sleep through it all until about 6:30 or 7:00, but today I couldn’t sleep. I think because I knew we wanted to get out on the road early. Well, early it was, 5:00 a.m.! We drove from Laurel, MT (just outside Billings) all the way to St. Regis, about 410 miles. You will recall we stayed at St. Regis on our journey to South Dakota (see post) and enjoyed Campground St. Regis, so we decided to stay here again. We needed laundry done and they have the cleanest laundry room, and bathrooms, I have seen. A really nice place to stop if you are in the area.

By the way, when I say “we drove” that means I actually got behind the wheel this time. Normally Dave does all the driving. When we were in Sheridan, WY we were parked next to a really nice woman named Vivian. She & her husband had sold their home in Florida in 2006 and started full timing. Her husband died a year later, but she has kept going by herself. She drives a huge Class A (the kind of RV that looks like a bus) with a car in tow (also known as a “toad”) and handles the entire thing herself. I felt rather silly that I was afraid to drive a pickup pulling a 30 foot fifth-wheel after meeting her.

The drive was long but we have our sights set on Lincoln City Oregon again. We have bought a 1000 Trails membership and everything should be all finalized by Friday or Monday. We, of course, want to get started using the membership campgrounds and have our hopes set on either Seaside, Oregon or Pacific City, Oregon. We will see where we can get in. I’m quite excited about it, the campgrounds look great!

While I was getting the laundry going Dave took Cheyenne for a walk. The park has a number of carved wooden figures, fish, pelican and bears. Evidently Cheye was caught off guard when going by one of the bears and got spooked. Dave calmed her and finally got her to go up and sniff the bear. We went by again later and she still wasn’t completely sure of it but decided it was okay after all...see for yourself:
both still photos were taken while driving in Montana

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Road Day

We got our drivers licenses this morning. A very pleasant DMV experience at Deadwood, nice people that chatted with us about Washington, traveling and South Dakota, very unlike the DMV in Kennewick or Sunnyside that we are used to. What is it about drivers license photos anyway? They are always awful! This one is so bad that if I got stopped by the police and they don’t think I’m using someone else’s license (because of the picture) I will be insulted.

We got on the road at about 9:00 a.m. and drove through to Laurel Montana. We are at a RV park behind a truck-stop-type place. The park is, well, convenient. We plan on heading out really early tomorrow. What is the rush you ask??? It's hot! We want to get back over to the Oregon coast and don’t plan on slowing down until we get there.
I was downloading pictures from the regular camera (not my Flip Video) and found some pics Dave took of Spokane Creek Campground in Keystone. They are the middle right and bottom left photos. The upper left photo is one I took while we were driving through Wyoming today... or was it in Montana...could even be in South Dakota... oh dear........ I can't remember!

Here is a video I took yesterday of downtown Keystone:

Monday, July 14, 2008

Leaving Deadwood Tomorrow

Today we went into town, got our mail at the Post Office and realized there was a problem. Due to some assuming (yes, I know I should never do that) we thought all of our mail was being sent here but part of it was sent to Keystone. This was not our mail forwarding company’s fault...totally ours. Oops. So after I called the Keystone Post Office to make sure the mail was there we decided on a trip to Keystone today. :) We had lunch while we were there and headed back to Deadwood. Keystone is cute town, probably closest to Mt. Rushmore. Totally tourist, but nicely done. On our trip back to Deadwood Cheye needed to stretch her legs and, well, do doggie stuff, so we pulled into Sheridan Lake park. Very pretty, actually the drive from Keystone to Deadwood is very pretty.

Tomorrow, early, we will go get our South Dakota drivers licenses. The drivers licenses are one of the main reasons we came to South Dakota at this time. Back when we decided to become full time RVers we had to decide on a mail forwarding service. The one we picked was in South Dakota. SD is one of the 7 States left without a State Income Tax, their vehicle licensing is not expensive and the mail forwarding company was highly recommended which are all the reasons why we picked it. Since our address is in SD we decided we better get our drivers licenses changed and so we headed to SD before the weather got bad and before the Sturgis rally! (Too many people in these parts during Sturgis.) So tomorrow is our drivers license day and then we will head out. Where? Well back to the west coast, probably Oregon.

top left: the Office at Whistler's Gulch Campground
top right: Sheridan Lake
bottom left: RV park at Whistler's Gulch Campground
bottom right: tunnel just outside Keystone, SD

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mount Moriah Cemetery

The Mount Moriah Cemetery is really a lovely place, high on a hill with lots of pine trees throughout. Old cemeteries are so interesting and of course sad. One area had a child age 14, the child’s brother age 25 and an infant sibling. The mother’s headstone was also there saying “The Mother of ...” and naming all the children. Strangely her date of death was never filled in, we are assuming she must have remarried and was buried else where. There was a large Potter’s Field of unmarked graves, a large mass grave from when there was a Small Pox epidemic and of course Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane’s graves. I guess Calamity’s dying request was “bury me by Bill”, so they did. Bill was shot in the back of the head while playing poker. It was kind of neat, while at the cemetery a doe trotted through, really beautiful and just added a touch more beauty to the lovely cemetery.

After we left the cemetery we stopped for some groceries and then back to the trailer. I spent most of the afternoon trying to back up my nice (only a few months old) Sony Vaio. Seems I have a problem, it keeps crashing over and over. I’m guessing the HD is bad. I was able to get it running in Safe Mode long enough to get my stuff off the drive, but it isn’t looking good. I did buy the extended warranty on it but I’ll have to get to a Best Buy. For now I am back on my good ol’ Mac. Of course I had to get the Mac all caught up, install the Flip Video, the Verizon Aircard, my gmail account, etc. Oh well, it was an interesting project for the day!
Top left is the Mt Moriah Cemetery
Middle right is Wild Bill's grave

Below is video of the deer in the cemetery

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Deadwood, SD

We made it to Deadwood and we’re staying at Whistler’s Gulch Campground. It is about a mile away from downtown Deadwood. They have a trolley that will take you into town for $1.00 a piece, so after we set up we went downtown and wandered a bit. The town is all done in a Western theme and is really cute. We looked around at the shops and casinos and finally sat down at one of the cafes, got a root beer, and watched people a while. We plan on going to the cemetery tomorrow, it is where Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane are buried.

This morning before we left Spokane Creek Campground we got to talking to a woman whose name I can’t remember (sorry!) about full timing (full time RV’ing). She said her husband wanted to try it for a year and she was asking about pitfalls and if we enjoyed it. It got me to thinking…what would I change or do differently if I had the last 2 months to do over again. I would have started setting up house in the trailer about 2 weeks before the closing of the house rather than 3 days. Hmmmmm I’m afraid that is about all. I mean the problems we had fixed on the trailer last month ended up creating a fun time visiting Jim & Kathy and my Mom. Same with deciding to get a dish installed after trying to use the “set up yourself” dishes. Getting the dish installed actually took us back to our old home area and we got to see some friends again so that was fun. I suppose we could have saved on fuel costs if we hadn’t done the back and forth trips, but oh well! I guess we knew going in that this first year would be a bit crazy. We are both loving the travel, learning to barbecue a lot more, eating out at restaurants less, having fun deciding what route to take, seeing attractions and enjoying each other. Tomorrow we will have been in our trailer 2 months, not really all that long. So far we are having a great time.

Top left was taken in downtown Deadwood
Middle right was one of the narrow winding roads we drove over today pulling the trailer

Here is a video taken in downtown Deadwood

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mt. Rushmore

Driving in to the campground yesterday was pretty intense…the roads were winding and very narrow. At times the trailer was hanging over the edge of the road. We were following the directions the campground listed on their website, but this morning Dave asked if there was a better way when we head out tomorrow. They told him about another road, less windy and less traveled, so we decided to scope it out this morning on our drive to Keystone. It did seem better so that’s how we will head out tomorrow.

We got to Mt. Rushmore fairly early, about 9:00, so the crowds weren’t too bad. We went by the cafeteria area, and decided to peek in, hoping against hope that it still looked like it did when it was filmed in North by Northwest, but it had totally changed. Oh well! Guess they had to remodel after 50 years ;) They were serving breakfast so we decided to eat. Then back out to photograph the monument. Pictures really don’t do it justice, it’s just amazing.

We came back on the windiest road I have ever been on, but it was beautiful! I wasn’t real thrilled with the tunnels that are only one vehicle wide and quite low, but they weren’t very long so I made it. We stopped at one scenic lookout to take pictures and let Cheye walk a bit. Then it was back to the campground and a relaxing afternoon. Right now we are slurping on milkshakes again, well mine is a malt actually, enjoying the fabulous weather today. Tomorrow, Deadwood.

above: narrow one lane road but pretty scenery
right: pretty pine forests by Mt. Rushmore