Monday, May 28, 2018

Elk and Bison and Deer.....Oh My!

Sullys Hill National Wildlife Preserve
Devils Lake, ND

Memorial Day finds us at our summer volunteer location, a bison and elk preserve managed by Fish & Wildlife. Sullys Hill started as a National Park in 1904 and was later transferred to USFWS. Today the preserve maintains a small herd of about 20 bison (currently there are an additional 4 red dogs/babies) and just over a dozen elk. Sullys Hill is 1 of only 4 national bison preserves. There is also a prairie dog 'town' and a few white tail deer.

Our campsite is inside the preserve in the maintenance area. We're asked to work 3 days a week performing some mowing and landscaping, visitor center, trash pickup and infrastructure maintenance such as sign painting, etc. There is an 'auto tour' route through the preserve so visitors can get up close to the bison from the comfort and safety of their cars. Joan and I have access to a UTV and have been driving the auto route and/or fence-line every day (including our days off) checking the fence and picking up litter. Really cool when your just just 20 - 30 yards from the bison as they move throughout the preserve.

The UTV allows us to get close to the elk as well...

We'll be here through the end of August, so if you find yourself traveling through North Dakota, be sure to stop by!

We've been in our new-to-us coach since December and we're really happy with our decision to upgrade. And even though the coach is 9 years newer than our previous coach there are still items that need a little TLC. While in Lake Mead we had the Aqua Hot system repaired as we had 2 bad pumps and a bad thermostat. We also had a chip in the windshield repaired.....small tirade here...40 years driving in Florida and the southeastern US = '0' chipped or cracked windshields. 6 years full-timing out west = 4 RV windshield chips & 9 jeep windshield chips/cracks!...tirade over...

Pocket Door on the floor
We left Lake Mead the end of April with 3 weeks to travel before we needed to report to Sully Hill. At our 1st stop near St George, Utah I noticed our pocket door sagging a little. The culprit was a missing screw in one of the hanging brackets so I pulled the door to replace the screw.
Also replaced a 12V water pump that went bad. I had changed out the Direct TV rooftop antennae to a Dish antennae but just couldn't seem to get all the channels I was supposed to. Finally after working with Dish and Entegra tech support we figured out the Direct TV inline power module and coax splitter were still connected and disrupting the Dish signal. I removed both of these items and Bingo...everything works as promised.

Our Entegra coach is quite a step up technologically from the Monaco we owned for 7 years. So Joan and I signed up for Entegra University in October. We'll be traveling to Middlebury, Indiana to attend a 4-day class along with 6 other couples where we'll be educated on all the various systems and maintenance of our personal motorhomes.

L_R Joan, Vicky, Harry, Jim, Brenda & me

We made stops in several areas on our way to Devils Lake to meet up with friends and family. In Ft Collins, CO we met up with my cousin Tim for a quick reunion and dinner.... in Custer, SD we met up with Vicky and Harry who are workamping at a to meet new friends Jim & Brenda and Larry & Sue...

.....went golfing with Phil, Jim & Harry.....and even got in a little motorcycling with Phil & Rudee.

Joan's cousin Robert and his wife Michelle stopped in as well and once he saw the elk in Custer State Park we couldn't keep him in the car!

It's a Boy!

Shout out to my youngest son Chris and Lindsey.....who have informed us we are to be grandparents for the 3rd time (their 1st) near the end of August-first of September.

Well that's it for now. Stay Tuned. More to Come!