Friday, August 30, 2019

Re-Shaping the World as We Know It

As I sit here in our Super Secret Undisclosed location, hunched over a computer screen like Dr. Evil,
stroking my hairless cat. I can't help from using our countries spy satellites to spy on myself. I use the Hubble Space Telescope to look down on our land to see what it looks like from outer space.
This is our land in a certain midwestern state. Sorry for the quality of the picture. I may be an evil genius but I still don't know how to take a screenshot from my Chromebook computer. Lets zoom in closer.
And closer.
That group of trees in the middle is our focal point. They are the only pine trees on the property. Everything to the left of those we have cleared now in preparations for our garage. I shall have a talk with NASA to fly over and get a more up to date picture.

The work has finally begun on our new approach road. We can't believe it.
This is looking down to the highway from our hill. They have removed the shoulder so that they can pour a concrete approach.
They have also installed the new culvert. In our wildest dreams, we never thought we would own a culvert. But look at us now. Is that a sign of success? Hmmm.

We have signed all of the papers to get our new garage going. We have gotten estimates for wells, septic systems , electrical systems and land prep. So with all of that done we decided to go out of town for a little while. And of course as we did that everything started to move. This approach we were hoping would have been done while we were in Alaska, but it wasn't. They started the culvert weeks ago and then nothing. Soon as we get to South Dakota the phone calls start. At least the project is rolling again.
Here they have started cutting into the hillside.
Nearly done. It doesn't take long once they start and have the right equipment.

Once we get back to our super secret location, we hope to be able to pull right into our very own little piece of paradise. More picture to follow.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Drifting Along

Things are starting to move along with our property now. Thank the maker. The new road approach is underway and we have met several times with our garage builder. So we decided to take a little vacation from that project and take care of some bucket list items and sneak up on some people.

First item on the agenda was to travel down the Enchanted Highway in North Dakota. We have lived here in the Dakotas and Minnesota area all of our lives and I don't know how many times we have passed this roadside attraction and have never stopped. We have time on our hands so we decided to take the road less travelled. Now according to legend, the town of Regent was dying and one person who identifies with the male gender, took it upon himself to create giant sculptures to entice people to travel to Regent, 32 miles south of the interstate. First sculpture is called "Geese in Flight".
These sculptures are spread out over a 32 mile stretch of highway to Regent. So to see them all you have to make the trip. GENIUS! Next up, "Deer Jumping a Fence".
It's an optical illusion because they look like they are jumping over the camper. Next up was a fishing sculpture but it was raining so I didn't get out of the truck. Besides, it was just fish anyways. Here is the photo of the fish, courtesy of Gladys.
After that giant grasshoppers.
The grasshopper wanted to eat our camper. Next sculture down the road was giant pheasants.
I almost hit these pheasants as they crossed the road. Next up. An American Hero. Theodore Roosevelt. I almost hate to put this in the blog because someone may want to tear it down.
Then the last one is the largest tin family.
So that is the end of the highway. They have 2 more sculptures in the works. They are just waiting for some land to put them on. The little town of Regent is trying to hang on and it would be a shame if it didn't. Growing up in this area of the country we have seen town after town fade away. That was a bucket list of ours and now it is in the bucket. 

Our next destination is a place just across the Montana border in the Custer National Forest. Someplace that I have not been to since Custer was a corporal.(Those that don't know, Custer was a General, HAHA)

It was actually about 30 years since we have been there and as we enter our old age, our memories are getting a little fuzzy. Case in point is that we were following what signage they had, which wasn't very good at all. We turned down the road we thought we had to go down and we look at each other and Gladys says to me, "Tango, this doesn't look familiar."
"I know what you mean Gladys. The road I remember was a wide gravel road that looked less like a goat trail and more like a road." So we continued on thinking that this had to be the place and after 30 years it would have to have changed. It looks like this road has not been maintained or used hardly ever. I am just glad we didn't have our fifthwheel.
Thankfully the sign that we could read said that the campground was 3 miles away. I just hope we don't meet someone coming the other way. Well we did find the campground and we were the only ones there.
Our memories failed us because this is not the campground we wanted. They had a forest service map and it confirmed the fact that we were in the wrong spot. Oops. We decided to stay the night anyways and do some exploring. The price was right. Free!
I climbed a hill to take a look at our surroundings. Lisa took a picture of me on top looking down.
That white spot is the camper in the trees.
And our surroundings. We really like being out west. The emptiness of the terrain and just looking at how vast the views can be. We were talking about how we were the only ones in this spot and compared it to Canada and Alaska. The difference now being that we can protect ourselves with something other than a can of bear spray. And I'm not talking about a rolling pin.

After an uneventful night we packed up and headed to Belle Fourche, SD. I sent a message to a friend telling them we were on our way and I thought that it was funny when my phone auto corrected it to Belle Douche. So know Belle Fourche has a new name for us. 

We are at the Belle Douche reservoir. Free camping. You can't beat that. I think this is the closest that we have ever camped to a lake or any large body of water. As we drifted off to sleep we were soothed by the constant lapping of waves against the shore. This was a nice campground except for the flies. That would be my only complaint about it. Where to next? We don't know yet. We are just winging it. Our reservation for the J Bar B isn't for another day so we will find another place we haven't been to before to explore.

I hope that no one is eating for this next part. The following is just another example why I don't really like some people. We stopped at the RV dump station to take care of some business. Those with RV's know what I am talking about. For those that don't, we had to dump our waste tanks. Everyone has to do it sooner or later. So we pull into the dump station to this sight.
That's toilet paper all over the ground and guess what those little nuggets are? It makes me think that the idiot that did that just didn't bother hooking up a hose and just let it fly. The mentality of this idiot makes me just shake my head in disgust. Even if it was an accident or on purpose, take time to clean up your mess before the next person has to deal with it. 

We reached our next destination. Another reservoir called Angostura Recreation Area. It is in the southern Black Hills of SD near the town of Hot Springs. It is a very large area for camping and it is close to the Black Hills. 
Up next is going to be our adventure at the J Bar B Dude Ranch. We can't wait for that hilarity to begin.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Pioneers on the Prairie

Glady's Butterpump
We landed back in Minnesota after our long trip to Alaska. Boy are our arms tired. Ba-Da-Bump!

After a few days of seeing everyone and resting we attacked our land with vim and vigor. Being gone 7 weeks sure let it get overgrown again. Our brush cut mower that we used to do the major amount of clearing with has been under the weather. So to mow the areas that needed mowing again we had to buy a riding mower.
We have noticed that we are accumulating all of the things we got rid of when we started our fulltiming life. 3 mowers now. 2 ATV's. A new trailer to haul stuff around with. 1 pickup camper. So what do we do with all of those things in the winter? We don't want to just leave them out in the elements. I guess we need a garage.
This is the garage that we have in mind. Something similar to that anyways. Large enough to hold all of our new toys plus store our 2 campers when they need to be stored. We are starting with the garage because we still want to travel. That is why we are hanging onto both campers.

We have been mowing like crazy and pushing the brush back farther. I am cutting more and more trees down all of the time. Battling mosquitoes and flies while we work. I have a new admiration for the pioneers and pilgrims that settled this country.

We had hoped that our new approach road into our property would have been finished by the time we got back from Alaska. We had our permits finished. All "I's" and "T's" have been dotted and crossed, so we were disappointed that it wasn't finished or even started yet. Once that is in, we can then work on Phase 2 of our project. The garage. But we need the road to get done so that we can get trucks up in there to start bringing in gravel.

As we work with the county we are learning about how much control a government entity can control your property. It's not their property, it's ours. We pay the taxes. There are so many hoops a person has to jump through to get anything done. Rules and regulations have to be followed to get anything approved. It makes me wonder how it ever got to be like that. I have heard it said that "Every law passed is a freedom lost." That is so true. For us, it means that we cannot build a building taller than 20 feet within 400 feet of a lake. Really!? If we do build a building taller than 20 feet, it has to be considered our dwelling then. It's a garage, for an RV. We revamped the building some to get it under the 20 foot limit now so we can keep moving forward.

So we wait and wait. We can still get our garage built because they build them all year long here. It would just be nice to see it done while we are here.

"Glady's! Hike up your bloomers and lets get back to work!"