Fun Times and Friends in South Dakota

My last post which was a while ago I had just arrived in South Dakota and had stopped for the night near Chamberlain. There are couple reasons why I haven’t put anything out recently. The main one being my computer died and I had to wait till I got a new one before I could put out new posts. I probably could’ve done it on my tablet but that would’ve been a real challenge for me. And another thing I had my RV in three different times for service in less than two weeks’ time. But more on that in my next post because that deserves one all by itself. Now for this post I arrived in Rapid City area, just after two days of leaving Wisconsin. On my way, there I made a quick stop in the Badlands and Maxine and I got out and did a little hiking. This rugged and beautiful part of South Dakota always amazes me. Here’s a couple photos of the terrain.IMG_1742004820180612_114456From there I got a campsite for a couple nights just south of Rapid City at a Passport America Park. It was nothing fancy but it suited my purposes and the price was right at 15 dollars a night, for a full hookup site. When I was there, I looked up my new friends Cliff and Pauli who had worked with me for a period of time at Hamburg State Park in Georgia. They are working at a private campground right next to Bear Country USA this summer. They have been super busy, with very little downtime, but they hope to get some relief as some new help was coming soon. We had a nice visit and caught up on things and I’m sure we’ll see more of each other down the road. Sorry no photos of our get-together. On the second day that I was in the Black Hills I took a ride through Custard State Park, this is my favorite place out here in the Black Hills. It’s not hard to find buffalo in the park, and here’s a couple I seen on my drive through the park.20180612_190342IMG_18300110And I always try to find the herd of wild donkeys that roam the park. I saw a few but they were off in the distance and I couldn’t get close. But here’s a photo of me, with them a couple years ago, I always enjoy their company.IMG_20350254Another reason for stopping in the Black Hills was to look up my friends Jim and Barb who I met a couple years ago, while staying in Quartzsite, Arizona. I have not seen them since that time and it’s been a little over two years. But I follow their blog and keep in touch with them through it. You can find their blog here and follow their travels to. A little over a year you ago, they bought a piece of property in the Black Hills with intentions of someday building a house and using this area as a home base. We made plans to get together on Wednesday evening with them, their close friends Dino and Lisa (who were also visiting for a few days). I had also met Dino and Lisa in Quartzsite two years ago. Jim and Barb’s neighbors also came along, for dinner at a local bar and restaurant. You can see a photo of the group that Jim took here on his website and more information about our visit. Thanks Jim for the photo.13

Jim had offered to let me stay at the property back before I even got to South Dakota, but I didn’t want to impose. So that is why, I stayed the first two nights in the campground about an hour away. But after going out to dinner and talking some more I took him up on his offer and was planning on spending a night or two on his property. The next day Thursday, while I was making my way to his property my RV started to overheat. I knew I didn’t want to cross the mountains with that trouble so once I got to his property, after stopping and letting the RV cool down some. I made a bunch of calls and found a truck service center that was willing to work on it. But the problem was I could not get in till Tuesday morning. That meant I had to hang around all weekend. Jim and Barb were gracious and offered to let me stay, on their property which was wonderful. Here’s a photo of my rig where it said on the edge of the driveway, look at the beautiful views they have.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADino and Lisa were also staying till Sunday and here’s their rig on Jim and Barb’s RV pad that they put there on the property last year. They have electric and sewer hookup and storage tank for water.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJim and Barb had moved their RV over to the area that they are working on, where eventually they will be putting up their house. You can read more about their plans of what they’re going to build here on their journal site.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis gave me extra time to do more exploring of the area. Maxine and I visited several of the lakes in the area.IMG_1837011420180613_140839

And of course, she had to go swimming.20180613_140832

One of the days it was so beautiful I decided to treat myself to a helicopter ride in the area. This is something I always thought about doing but one thing or another preventative it, so as a Father’s Day present to myself I did (it was a lot of fun).20180615_144902

It was hard to get good pictures because of the glare on the glass but here’s a couple of us flying around.20180615_14505420180615_145346

It was a fun and exciting little trip and it sure is a beautiful area to see from the air.20180615_150603

Another thing was to drive by Mount Rushmore, as I always do when I’m in the area. I’ve stopped there several times before and with Maxine along I didn’t bother to stop and go inside the monument.20180613_13360120180613_134112

Another couple spending the summer in the area, are Harry and Vicki, who I also met out in Quartzsite at the same time I met the others. I did not get the see Vicki because she works full-time out of her rig, but Harry is working at a local winery (Prairie Berry Winery). He passes out free samples so I stopped by for a taste and say hi to him. 


After spending some time sampling the tasty wine, I of course ended up buying several bottles. They have unique names. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOver the next few days I had the opportunity to help Jim with some plumbing he was working on where the house is eventually going to go. In these photos, you can see some of the work we finished. After I had left over the next couple weeks he got it finished and you can read about it here on this post. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis spring they put up a nice shed on the property where they can use the store some of their equipment.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jim and Barb have an ongoing battle with the local prairie dogs and you can read about it here on his blog. But they have not got them all, as you can tell from this picture. IMG_17960088

Jim has this wonderful skid steer of a friend of his that he can use, it is very much needed for any post hole digging. Because everywhere you go there’s lots of rocks. In this photo, Jim was putting in a whole so Barb could put up a post and hang some birdfeeders on it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here Barb is keeping a close eye on where the hole should go, it took a couple tries to get the whole in the right spot. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dino and Lisa are watching from their trailer, in the background. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You can read more of Dino and Lisa’s travels on their website here.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat pretty much covers my time in South Dakota and the Black Hills. It was great to reconnect with all the people I got to see. The plan originally was not the stay as long as I ended up staying.  I just altered my stops along the way to the Oregon coast. In my next post, I will be covering my ordeal with the RV breaking down. That’s it for now safe travels, Rick



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