Monday, September 15, 2014

The End of Summer.......What? Snow! What you talkin' about Willis!

2 weeks ago our friend and fellow biker, Chris from Atlanta called to let us know he was going to be in the area for a couple of days. He was traveling by motorcycle from Atlanta, GA to Kallispell, MT to visit his daughter and wondered if we had a place he could rest his head for a night. Sure, stop on by was our immediate response. Chris is the kind of guy that has never met a stranger....if he stops at a gas station, he ends up in a 30 minute conversation with another customer about 'who knows what'! He arrived on Saturday about noon and after a quick stop to unload his bags we headed out on the motorcycles. We decided to take on Needles Highway and Iron Mountain Rd....and just for good luck we set up the GoPro camera to see how it would work on the bike. The ride was fun and the camera worked great. It takes great shots and gives you quite a perspective on how you ride. Later in the afternoon, the clouds moved in and we caught the tale end of a storm just as we were exiting Iron Mountain Rd, so we ducked into a bar-b-que joint in Keystone and checked out the videos we had just taken while we enjoyed something to eat. Sunday morning we made a quick trip to Crazy Horse and then checking the weather, Chris decided to head out towards Kallispell while there was a break in the forecasted storms. His stay was short, but fun.

Work has been interesting since Labor Day, as most of the families are staying home with children now back in school. But even with the cooler weather starting to make its presence known, we are seeing a large number of tour buses stopping by and unloading what many in the biz refer to as the "newlyweds and nearly deads". Also a lot of international visitors; just in one afternoon I drove groups from Poland, Russia, Holland, Italy and Australia/New Zealand. That can be a challenge when you are attempting to present a narrated tour around the base of Crazy Horse Mountain with 2 or 3 different group leaders translating your narration in as many languages.

Barb in stealth Mode.....
Last weekend fellow RVr's and co-workers at Lake Mead Bill & Barb pulled into our campground to stay for a couple of nights while on their was from Wisconsin to Lake Mead via Yellowstone. We had a great time with Bill & Barb as we took them through Crazy Horse, Custer Park, Mt Rushmore and the surrounding areas.

.....Stalking the Great Bison!
We even made a trip over to Hermosa for pizza at Lintz Brothers Pizza. We were sad to see them go, but know we will be spending more time with them this winter at Lake Mead.

Joan and I have been attempting to utilize our VIP cards before our time here in South Dakota runs out. As employees of Crazy Horse we got VIP cards that provide us with free or deeply discounted entrance to lots of area attractions. We've toured Thunder Mountain Mine, where we panned for gold; and visited 2 additional caves. Earlier in the year we toured Wind Cave National Park and took a tour through the cave system. During the last 2 weeks we also toured Jewel Cave National Monument and Wonderland Cave. All 3 cave systems offered different things to see on their tours and the price was hard to beat as the tours were free.....Thanks VIP!

Twice a year Crazy Horse hosts a Night Blast to celebrate the birthdays of both the Crazy Horse sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and his wife Ruth. September 6 is the sculptor's birthday as well as the anniversary of the death of Crazy Horse himself. We have a large crowd attend both of the night blasts and it's 'all hands on deck' to manage the crowds including transporting them from the overflow parking areas located 500 yards further away from the complex. I went in to work the evening shift and Joan stopped by just before the blast to watch the excitement. The night blast is more pyrotechnic in nature rather than a true blast or shot to remove rock from the mountain and people from all over southwest South Dakota drive in to watch.

Bradley, grandpa Tommy & Ryan

Shout Outs to 2 of our grandchildren:
Happy Birthday to Bradley

and Tristyn.....1 year old this week!

The weather it is a changin'........snow was forecast for last Thursday and the weather heads were right on target! It started snowing Wednesday evening and we woke up Thursday morning to 3-4 inches on the ground and temps in the high 20's.

It continued overcast and snowing all day Thursday while I was working and that was a first...the first time I've spent an entire day working and watching while it snowed!

Rudee, John & Joan

Friday was sunny and cold with temps in the low 20's in the morning and topping out around 35 for the day. We got some great snow pictures and tried our best to enjoy the snow while suffering through the cold temps.

Only 2 more weeks for us here in South Dakota as we will be headed for Lake Mead the end of September! The summer has flown by and we've had a great time.

That's It For Now. Stay Tuned. More to Come!


  1. Beautiful summer I enjoyed it allot. :)

  2. Boy, you got a lot more snow than we did. Thank goodness the heavy snow stayed south:) We only got about an inch in the park. The mountains received a lot more. We hiked in snow yesterday for the last mile. But there was a lot slush since the temps had warmed considerably. I must say the mountains looked so much nicer all dressed in snow:)

    It sounds like you have had a lot of visitors during your stay at Crazy Horse. How nice to be available as tour guides.

    We have seen a ton of tourist buses, as well, a lot of French and German's and the usual influx of Asian's.

  3. Are you going to make it to the Q RV Big Show??

    1. We've never been. We may try and ride over for a day to check it out.

  4. Kudos to surviving your big snowstorm and freezing temps. I guess you acclimatized a bit with your first workamping gig in Oregon.

    Have fun at Lake Mead. The photos we've been seeing of how low it is are awful. I can only wonder if the big rainstorms in Arizona and Las Vegas area will begin to fill it up again. (All that water had to go somewhere!)

    Take care on your drive west.

  5. Those VIP cards were sure a nice bonus to your summer gig. If snow is falling, it's time to move on.

  6. Sorry we weren't around to scrape off your windows! We escaped just in time! It was warm and sunny at the Packers game!

  7. The snow pictures are so pretty! I can hardly believe the summer is almost gone and you will be heading south again.