2017 Travels travel blog

Carpe Diem at Rapid City Elks Lodge

We entered the Mountain Time Zone

US 85 in North Dakota

Crossing into South Dakota on US 85

Major "destruction" zone in S. Dakota

Pilot car leads us past construction zone

We stopped near Crow Buttes for lunch

Bear Butte on SD 79 north of Sturgis

Biker's Bar north of Sturgis

Campground north of Sturgis

Downtown Sturgis

Sturgis street scene

Sturgis Main Street scene
Dash camera screen snap

Sturgis Main Street scene
Dash camera screen snap

Sturgis Main Street scene
Dash camera screen snap

Rapid City Elks Lodge

Testing our new solar filter

Wed, 09 Aug: Plan "B" springs into action—again!

RVers, by nature, must be flexible to avoid madness. Things don't always go as planned, and if you must rigidly adhere to a predetermined Plan you'll become a rubber room candidate. Today was an excellent example of Plan "A" failing and Plan "B" working just fine.

We left our campsite at Theodore Roosevelt National Park's Juniper Campground and drove a short distance to the dump station. After eight days our waste tanks were getting a tad full and our fresh water tank could use a top-up. Dumping went without incident, but filling our fresh water tank took about 40 minutes due to very low water pressure. We did OK, but we do feel bad for the folks waiting behind us.

After those chores were behind us Bob rolled wheels at half past nine (Central time). After five miles of park roads we reached US 85 and headed south. Within a mile or two of leaving the park entrance we crossed the Little Missouri River and entered the Mountain Time Zone. Voilà, we're now an hour younger!

We made good time heading south on US 85 and eventually reached the ND town of Belfield, which is chiefly notable as the spot at which US 85 and I 94 intersect. Yes, there are lotsa truck stops here...

We stayed on US 85 south which eventually crossed into South Dakota. Whoopee, we're home! We continued south on US 85 to Buffalo, where our Plan "A" called for us to spend the nite. There was a city park just south of town that reportedly had three spots. Alas, it was not noted that they were small spots and not very suited for our forty feet. Scratch Plan "A" and on to Plan "B".

Plan "B" was to press on another 140 or so miles to Rapid City. Given that it was still Motorcycle Week in Sturgis, there was little likelihood of finding a spot between here and Rapid. We opted to continue.

Just south of Buffalo we encountered a major road project that required us to follow a pilot car around the work zone. After a fifteen minute wait at a flagger, the pilot car arrived and off we went. No major problem other than more dirt and dust.

South of Redig we broke for lunch in the shadow of Crow Butte (see pix). This was a beautiful spot and we enjoyed the downtime. Twenty miles or so down the road we left US 85 for SD 168, which we took east a dozen miles to SD 79. SD 79 is more direct and, most important, it bypasses Belle Fourche. So, we headed south toward Sturgis.

Sturgis SD is best known as the epicenter of the annual Motorcycle Rally that attracts tens of thousands of motorcycle fans—and YES, it is this week! Mostly Harley-Davidsons, this rally is a "Scene" (yes, the uppercase "S" is warranted). Bob inched our way thru town using Carpe's vastly greater mass to bully the hoards of bikers aside (not really, Bob is a really nice guy). See the many pix we took of our Sturgis encounter.

Once thru town we hopped on I 90 east to Rapid City, and then SD 79 business to SD 44 and the Elks Lodge in Rapid Valley. There were several vacant sites so we picked one and settled in. We plan to stay at the Elks Lodge for a week. Today's leg was 286 miles with an overall fuel economy of 7¾ mpg.

We had a very pleasant treat when we arrived in Rapid City. Our good friends, Ron & Joan Scott were also in town which allowed us to visit with them. They're dealing with "hang up the keys" issues and we don't envy them that daunting task.

Tue, 15 Aug: A busy week...

The Scotts didn't leave till Saturday morning so we got to spend some time with them. Thursday dinner at the Texas Roadhouse and Friday Happy Hour & dinner at the Elks Lodge. It was fun visiting with them ad we missed them.

We spent most of the weekend working on "life's chores". Monday we drove to the Pennington County Treasurer's Office and renewed our vehicle registrations. They were good till late September, but while we were in town it was so much easier to do it in person. Pleasant surprise, the fee for both vehicles was down ~$150 this year over last year. Vehicles are now old enough to qualify for a discount. Yeah!

Sandi got her new solar filter in the mail and she was anxious to try it out. Monday afternoon the sun came out so she gave it a shot. She's now eclipse ready. She also got a new Nikkor 200-500mm telephoto for next year's African Photo Safari. She's been one happy camper.

Earlier today we did five loads of wash and then stopped at Wal*Mart to victual. We'll be spending the next week in Glendo WY (pop 205) so we need to be self-sufficient. Not only is Glendo a small town with limited infrastructure, but the eclipse will bring thousands of visitors, many of whom do not have a home-on-wheels and a fridge/freezer.

Tomorrow morning we're off to Glendo...

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