Traveling west, we climbed the Wall and saw our final destination in sight. A mystical land held sacred by the native tribes for thousands of years. Somewhere hidden in the Black Hills of South Dakota was our next undisclosed location. We arrived to much fanfare and revelry. Now I know how Patton felt when he conquered Paris. Hugs and handshakes where plenty and tears of joy where flowing freely by our hosts Jim and Barb. Yes, Jim and Barb.
They were gracious enough to give up their spot with full hookups to us.
|Our morning coffee view.|
"What is with the urgent distress call?" I asked.
Jim said "I have run out of free labor and I have all of this work to do, Thanks for coming." Snicker, snicker. "So get some rest, you will need it."
Day One: Jim said that he had a few "chores" to do. First off, we were going to replace the water in the deer watering tub. So we filled a barrel and off we went into the wilderness of his property. We emptied the tub and filled it with fresh water. We wouldn't want the deer to have stagnent water now, would we? While that was filling he wanted to change the SD cards in his trail cams. So we went trudging through the under brush to find those. He did give me a nice tour of his land or rather the ranch, which they named "J bar B". (I knew drinking had to be involved somehow, you know they are from Wisconsin. A state with more bars than people). He even suggested that we could buy the parcel behind theirs so that we would be able to work for him all the time. How nice.
That brought us to lunch. One thing nice about this visit is that we discovered something new about Jim. That is his love of finger food. He loves to snack and snack on little finger foods. After lunch it was back to work.
Jim said "Have you ever driven a skid-steer before?"
Before I could answer a scene from a movie popped into my head. I don't know why.
I climbed into the cockpit of the thing and he quickly gave me some instructions. He then said that he would like it if I went to the front of the property to level all of the prairie dog burrows so that he could take a nap in his hammock. "It will be fun!" he said. So off I went, lumbering along, only to return several hours later. There where a lot of burrows. I did enjoy learning to use the skid-steer. I quickly got the hang of it.
With the work day over he said that we were going to have dinner at the local Pringle bar. (big surprise there. A bar.) We were meeting his neighbors. Also Richard Raab was going to join us. Richard is a fellow RV-dreamer that we had met out in Quartzsite 2 years ago.
Day two: Jim had to run to Rapid. That's what the locals call Rapid City to be cool. He was going to leave at 5:30 in the morning to get a few things needed for other projects. So we had our morning coffee and cooked breakfast for Barb. Jim got back just in time to have some also. The rest of the day was going to be a play day. We were going to go to Hot Springs to a brewery for beer tasting. (again with the beer.) They took us to the Highway 79 brewery which boasted 32 taps. However they were only using 18. A little disappointing but we made the best of it. Then chinese for lunch and a quick stop at the grocery store for, yep you guessed it, beer. Richard was having to leave his camp ground so Jim offered him a place at his ranch. Plenty of room and "chores" for everyone. Richard cooked the evening meal which was pulled pork and plenty of fixins that was very good.
There was still some daylight so Jim wanted to drill a few more post holes. Jim got in the skid-steer and Richard and I got in the UTV.
|First time driving a UTV.|
|This looks like a government operation. One worker and 3 people watching.|
|Very rocky soil which needed a special auger bit to get through it.|
Day Three: Original plan was to go on a Jeep tour but then that turned into a hike. Barb researched this and it said that it was "Strenuous, that it would take about 3 hours to complete". It was supposed to be a 2.8 mile hike. But they don't factor in the mile hike to get there and when you are done the mile hike to get back to the parking area. Don't believe everything you may read in other blogs.
It was a nice hike though. When they say 3 hours to complete, that means that you can take time to look at the scenery also. Some people hear 3 hours to complete as a challenge. Like."I bet we can do it in half that time!" So I will include some pictures. You will notice that all of the pictures are of their backs as they run down the trails and I try to catch up with my arthritis acting up. Which I didn't complain about once.
Dinner time and Lisa didn't want to be out done by Barb's taco so Lisa whipped out her endless taco bar made of chicken tacos. Mmmm, mmmm.
Day Four: We had originally planned to leave but decided to stay an extra day because we were having so much fun. Jim had plumbing to do in their new build site and he had a new free laborer with Richard there, so I decided to escort the ladies on a 10 mile bike ride. Jim dropped us off 10 miles from their ranch and turned us loose. It was an old rail trail so it was fairly flat and smooth with crushed gravel. I heard Barb say that it goes through Pringle so we could stop at the bar on our way through. But that didn't happen because once the ladies got going they were not going to stop for nothing.
The rest of the evening we relaxed because we were leaving in the morning. Duties call us else where.
I wanted to include a photo of my little mountain goat. Because if it wasn't for her laughter, life wouldn't be fun. Or maybe she is just laughing at me. Not sure.
Until we can do it again.
This was the only photo I got. I had to race a mile in front of them to just be able to turn around with my camera as they raced on by. We got back to the ranch to Jim and Richards reply, "Wow, we didn't think you would get back that fast?" Me on the other hand had to point out all of the nice benches and picnic tables the state went to all of the trouble and expense to put on the trail and we just past every single one of them. What's that saying about smelling roses or something?
Barb wanted a hole drilled for putting a pole in it for bird feeders. So back to work we went.
|Jim drilling Barb's hole.|
|Barb playing hid-and-go-seek with Dakota.|
All kidding aside. It was a great visit with great friends. Laughing comes so easy when we are together or maybe they are just laughing at me. Actually there are so many opportunities to laugh at each and every one of us. And the secret to keep them happy is plenty of beer and finger food.
Thanks for the fun filled days.