Summer 2013 Travels travel blog

Outside the Lewis and Clark Center - Ron is kinda short compared...

They have buffalo with names of doners. Silver ones mean they gave...

Other doners are on the brown buffs. There are several groups of...

This is the start to the earth lodges, A tall square in...

A completed earth house - the floor is about 30 - 60...

A center fire pit with beds and workspace around the outside.

A worship center honoring a great hunter.

Sunday: AH!! this is the day the campground quiets down. All the people with little kids on bikes and yappy dogs go home. Smoky fires are left to smolder with garbage in them. Today the camp hosts found part of a burned inner tube, veggie cans, melted water bottles, and lots of other garbage in the campsite fire rings. Why do people do that?? They said that a couple weeks ago, people had camped for a week. They left their dogs tied to the same tree all week and didn't clean up after them. The also threw all of their beer bottles into the fire ring – most of them breaking on the outside of the ring. Wouldn't you just love to bring your kids to a campsite like that??

Monday: A nice quiet morning. The shower water was hot and the shower was spotless. I was the first one in it and it was really nice to take a shower.

After that we went to Washburn to go thru the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. We had been to one in Great Falls, MT, but this one was a bit different as it told about the winter they spent here with the Mandan Indians. I was able to get a hat pin to put on my quilt. (I have a big square piece of fabric that has the United States printed on it. As we travel I collect pins to put on the quilt at the places we have traveled.)

After lunch we went out to Fort Mandan – a re-creation of the fort they lived in during this long winter, They have done a really good job of rebuilding the fort and making it look like people really lived there.

We also sat thru a half hour “Birds of Lewis and Clark” lecture. They found 25 new species of birds during their trip. It was really interesting.

On the way back in we stopped at the camp host booth and signed up for a few more days. We will leave a week from Tuesday.

Tuesday: This was a kick back day. I wasn't feeling good after our trip out yesterday. I think I got a bit too much sun and not enough water.

About the only thing I did was the dishes and picked up the living room a bit.

Wednesday: A semi-kick back day. Ron went to the post office to mail an Anniversary Card to Mark and Tara.

I tore the bed apart and remade it from scratch. A couple sleepless nights can raise havoc with sheets and comforters. They get all wonky on the bed and it is hard to sleep. Should be a better night tonight.

The sun was pretty bright this afternoon, so Ron put out the awning. Up underneath next to the MH was a little brown bat. We have seen lots of bats flying around at night because there is a bat house next to the shower house. I guess this one got lost during the rain storm last night and decided that under the rolled up awning was a good place to seek refuge.

Thursday: I made some Banana/Pecan muffins for breakfast this morning. I can't eat them (raw bananas) fast enough – even tho I buy the green ones.

After breakfast and showers we headed out for Knife River Indian Settlement. There we watched a 15 minute video about life in the villages around the turn of the century and then visited the museum.

We also walked out to where they have re-created a Mandan hogan. It is huge – about 40 ft across the floor and twice as tall as a man. It is made of logs and then covered with dirt for insulation. They even kept their horses in there.

We walked out on the prairie when we could see mounds of collapsed hogans.

After lunch we came back to the park and talked to our neighbors. They are from Florida and are enjoying the west.

Friday: This is the fun day – it is the day all the weekenders come in. Altho, some did come in yesterday. There are 30 sites in this loop and we are the only MH. There are a couple of Class C's but you can tell they are weekenders, too.

How do you tell, you ask. The first clue is that they are double towing with a big, bad, bass boat on the back of their 5th wheel or tag along. Then they unload at least a cord of wood, 4 bicycles, and the big BBQ from home. Then they put down their awning (even if the sun isn't shining), cover the picnic table with a table cloth, string lights along the awning, between the trees and anywhere else they can find. Then they start unpacking the boat which held a half dozen chairs and sometimes a table, at least 3 coolers, 7 fishing rods, two dip nets and more wood for the fire.

We have one little table outside with our portable BBQ, no lights, and the awning only goes down when the sun is baking on that side of the MH.

I have to admit that these guys know how to drive. As I said, most of them double tow with a boat behind their RV. I've seen them whip the boat beside their site, unhook, and back the RV into the site in about 10 minutes flat. I think a lot of them are farmers and/or truck drivers for the oil boom here in North Dakota. Whatever they do – someone had taught them how to drive.

Saturday: We both slept in today and didn't get up until after 9 am. After breakfast and showers we loaded up the dirty laundry and headed to Hazen, ND, about 30 miles from here.

We couldn't find the laundromat so we stopped a lady on Main Street and she said, “Follow me!” and took us right to it. Nice lady.

So we did the laundry. No biggie except the dryer I picked didn't work and only fluffed (no heat) them for about 30 minutes. I finally changed dryers and they were dry in about 15 minutes.

We then went to a local Pizza Cafe and had some really good Calzones. That served two purposes – I don't have to make dinner tonight and I wasn't hungry when I bought groceries.

We loaded up the back of the pickup with a few groceries – and some beer for the old man – and headed home.

While we were sitting here tonight it started to rain. It has been raining for about an hour – at times quite hard. But it doesn't stop our intrepid neighbors. They are still adding the wood to the fire pit and sitting around it drinking beer. Me – I'm in my nice dry MH with music and a throw around my knees. None of the Daniel Boone stuff for me.

Tomorrow we will watch all of them pull out and the park will be ours again. We plan on moving on Tuesday and heading south along the Missouri River to a COE park south of Bismarck. It is called Beaver Creek and is on Lake Oahe.

Anyway that is the way our lives have been going. Hope you and yours are well and happy. ENJOY!!

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