Monday, May 12, 2014

Is This Spring Time in South Dakota or Winter in Siberia?

We've completed 2 weeks at Crazy Horse and things are cool man.....real cool! In fact right now it's 32 degrees outside.....with winds blowing a constant 20+ mph......the snow flakes are blowing horizontally as we look out the window.......a forecast low of 28 with 1+ inches of snow tonight. Cool man! This is the 2nd snow since we've been here.

Wednesday we woke up with 2-3" of snow covering everything from our lawn chairs to the grill to the car....icicles hanging off the bottom of the slides. We were so excited we left the MH 3 hours before our scheduled start time at work and just drove around taking pictures. We drove a couple miles south of town and then turned off onto a small gravel road back off into the forest. We were taking pictures and saw numerous deer before stumbling across a little reminder from home.

We know from talking to everyone back in Florida that the temps are already into the 90's. When Joan and I were in Florida and it got that hot we always started looking for a swimming hole....the cooler the water the better. One of our favorite places was Rock Springs just north of Apopka. So here we are in South Dakota and wouldn't you know it......they have a Rock Springs too. Anyone interested in joining us for a little swim?

A couple days can make a huge difference this time of year..........Tuesday


Last week on one of our mutual days off we decided to go geocaching with Phil & Rudee We downloaded 7 caches into our smartphone c:geo app and headed out. We had pretty good luck, eventually finding 6 of the 7 caches; even after encountering a weird recurring issue. Phil &Rudee both use handheld GPS devices while Joan & I use our smartphones. We all had the cache GPS points loaded and at each individual cache all of our units directed us to within 5-10 feet of each other. But on all 6 of the caches we found none of them were at the designated location. At each site we would spread out and continue to search; and with 4 of us looking we would eventually find the cache. But each of the 6 were found almost 50 yards west of the original location. Really strange!

Notice anything strange about this location where we found one of the caches?

And some of the caches were so small. This one was inside the bottom of a metal gate post. It could only be seen by placing a mirror under the bottom of the gate and looking up inside the hollow post.

We saw some unusual sites as we drove around the area. One of them was this bicycle 'montage'?

Work at Crazy Horse has been fun. I'm feeling more confident with the narrative that I share with the folks who take the bus tour and Joan is working hard to get her feet into shape to withstand the all-day standing that's required in the gift shop.

My dad is showing signs of improvement including occasional recognition of friends and family and he is responding to some verbal questions with gestures. No oral communication as yet but he is getting better. Thanks for keeping him in your thoughts.

That's it for now. Stay tuned. More to Come.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Remember That Drive North to Get to South? Well We Ended Up Going South and East Too!

Well, it's been a couple of weeks since I last posted and for those of you who have been sitting at your keyboard waiting for the latest entry I apologize. It's been really hectic. Joan and I left Lake Mead on Tax Day 4/15 headed for Custer, SD. We had a little over 2 weeks to travel 1000 miles before we were to begin work at Crazy Horse on 4/30. So we decided to take a little bit longer route, traveling short distances each day and basically trying to relax and enjoy seeing parts of Utah and Wyoming that we have never seen before.

There were lots of lizard petroglyphs
One of stops was Dinosaur National Monument. Pretty cool. Not only do they have lots and lots of dinosaur bones but petroglyphs and pictoglyphs as well. What's the difference you might ask.....pictoglyphs are painted on the surface of a rock or stone outcropping while petroglyphs are 'chiseled' or scratched into the surface of the stone. Definitely worth a stop if you're in the area.

Then it was on to Flaming Gorge in northeast Utah. We had to climb a steep 2-lane highway reaching a little over 9,000' that felt a little challenging with a big 18 wheeler on my tail but after that the scenery and drive were really spectacular. We stopped at the Flaming Gorge dam and decided to take the dam tour. Our tour guide was a local who had lived nearby since she was a young girl. She did an excellent job of sharing with us about the dam and the local area filling in little details with stories of her exploits in her younger teen age years. The drive north towards Wyoming from Flaming Gorge is one that I would recommend to anyone traveling in the area. And for motorcyclists it would be especially neat with curvy winding roads and fantastic scenery.

On Easter we found ourselves in Casper, Wyoming and took a drive up into the mountains above the city. The elevation wasn't too high but there was plenty of snow with snowbanks of 6-10' along the side of some roads. And many of the houses and cabins were still snowed in with 3-4' of snow in the yards. Joan had come down with a bad head cold and we were thinking we might should drive straight on over to Custer and set up in our summer campground so she could rest. We'd still have several days to explore and we could take day trips to some of the attractions further north. As we were pondering next steps I received a call from my sister letting me know that my dad had suffered a stroke and was being taken to the hospital. That kinda' made our decision for us so we headed to Custer the next day. Joan was feeling a little better so on Thursday we decided to drive the car back to Florida. 34 hours and 2000 miles later we arrived in central Florida and spent the weekend with my mom, dad and family. By Sunday dad was no longer in critical care and it was just a matter of time until we got a diagnosis and prognosis for his recovery. On Monday we hopped back in the car and drove back to South Dakota.

On Wednesday we started orientation at Crazy Horse. What a spectacular place; we could not be happier with our decision to work here this summer. We've taken a couple of drives in and around the area and are very excited about the motorcycling opportunities and attractions that we'll be able to explore this summer. Joan is working in the gift shop and I'll be driving the bus that takes visitors on a tour of the property and to the base of the mountain. A job where they're going to pay me to talk......who a' thunk it!

We've already made new friends and met up with old friends in the few days we've been here. Jim and Barb of Jim and Barb's RV Adventure parked in our campground for 3 days and we got to sit down and spend some time with them. What a neat couple. We were really surprised about the number of similarities between their ideas and experiences and ours. We're really hoping to see them in the future.

And yesterday our friends Phil and Rudee of Workin' RVers arrived and are parked right next door. They worked Crazy Horse last year and enjoyed it so much they decided to return. Reading their blog about their experiences is probably the primary reason we decided to try Crazy Horse.

A View from Crazy Horse's Arm
back towards Visitor Center and
our campground

Crazy Horse from the base of the mountain
Just one of the roads we're
anxious to ride!

This may turn out to be a strange summer what with my dad's situation, but for now the family is doing well and we think we have a plan in place. And we'll appreciate you keeping my dad in your thoughts as we find out more about what the future holds.

That's it for now. Stay Tuned, More to Come.