2011 Travels travel blog

Carpe "at home" in Americas Mailbox campground
A real nice customer "perk"

Fields of sunflowers along I 90 in South Dakota

Crossing the Missouri River in South Dakota

We finally stopped at Wall Drug in Wall, SD
This is the outfit...

Downtown Wall, SD
Can you say "tourist trap?"

Lots of "shovel ready" projects on I 90 in South Dakota

Americas Mailbox boasts the largest flag in South Dakota

Here we are at Americas Mailbox's new headquarters

Sandi tries to access the battery charge solenoid
Of course it'd be in...

That's it on the right...

Neighbor uses RV jacks as a post hole diggers?
The closest jack is...

Carpe is a good jack user
We get laughed at for using jack...

Another view of Americas Mailbox's 60' flag
Don tells us that the flag...


Wed, 17 Aug: We arose early mostly because the sun decided to shine right into our open bedroom windows. Traffic around our Mitchell WalMart overnite parking spot was beginning to pick up, so we breakfasted and got things ready for the road. Once we stowed all loose gear (which includes all the bears), completed our checklist, we rolled wheels at 0825. A very nice part of our WalMart overnites is their close proximity to major highways. We were on I 90 rolling west (really, the sun was behind us) in no time.

It was a lovely drive with a typically upper midwest interstate mostly devoid of any other vehicles. We'd sometimes go ten or more minutes before overtaking (or, more common, being overtaken by) other vehicles. We swapped off every hour or so, which helped keep the driver fresh and alert.

West of Pierre we crossed into the Mountain Time Zone (GMT -0700), another indication that we're heading west. Given that time change we arrived at the wee town of Wall, SD about 1145 (MDT). Wall is famous for Wall Drug, the place that started giving away free ice water in 1938. They're now also know for having billboards all along I 90 (and other major routes) for hundreds of miles in all directions.

We had lunch at the drugstore's cafe, and it was most enjoyable. We wandered through the store and walked along the very tourist-oriented main drag. Our original intention was to overnite in Wall Drugs' parking lot, but since we "found an hour" we decided to continue on to Box Elder. The fact that our batteries weren't very happy at not being charged on the road cemented our deviation from original plans. But, we've always said our plans are as firm as a politician's promise, deviation is the norm.

We pressed on the additional fifty miles to Box Elder where we had reservations at Americas Mailbox's campgrounds. Some background... Our mail forwarding service for 3½ years now has been Americas Mailbox. Originally located in leased facilities in Rapid City, they embarked on a building project last fall, and moved into their own custom built facility in Box Elder this past spring. Bob and I are investors in their new building so we were quite keen to see "our building". We were very impressed, especially with their 60' American Flag—the largest in South Dakota.

Anyway, Don and Barbara also included a nineteen site RV park behind the building and that's were we'll be for the next week. We need to register our coach for next year, update the address on our driving licenses, register to vote, get the coach's charging problem resolved, Dinkum oil change, haircuts, laundry, wash the coach, Sandi blood tests, etc., etc. So, a week in one place seems like a great idea.

We visited with Don and Barb until they closed and then off to our favorite Rapid City restaurant, The Firehouse Brewing Co.. Alas, with our new diet we couldn't enjoy their latest microbrew, but the food is as good as ever. Walking downtown Rapid City with its "Avenue of the Presidents" is always fun. Sandi got to visit with Ronald Reagan...

Back to the coach and off to bed about 2100 (somehow it felt more like 2200)!

Sat, 20 Aug: We've been "vegging" here a few days now and managed to accomplish some of our chores, but we're not breaking sweat doing so.

First thing Thursday morning Sandi arose early (time zone change, remember?) and headed off in search of a medical lab to have a blood draw. Her doc at Mayo Jacksonville wants regular blood work to confirm the new meds aren't doing any harm. She found a LabCorp near the Rapid City Hospital and was back to the coach by 0800 where Bob had a freshly brewed pot of tea awaiting the "wounded warrier".

Following breakfast we emptied the cargo compartment (the smallest one in the coach) where the battery charge connect solenoid lives and removed the jillion screws holding the cover in place. After some trouble shooting we determined that, indeed, charge current was not passing across the solenoid. Bob got one on order from the local Winnebago dealer so now we have to wait until it comes in to see of it is, in fact, the culprit.

We got the paperwork ball rolling by handing over a large wad of $$$s to Americas Mailbox so they can get the coach and car registered for another year. We also completed our voter registration forms which need to be updated with our new address. Don't want to miss next year's vote!!!! That was about the limit of our adventures so we "vegged" the rest of the day.

Yesterday (Friday) we slept in and after a late breakfast went to the DMV office to get our address updated on our driving licenses. Alas, we forgot to bring (Sandi's bad) all the paperwork we needed, so we left and stopped at WalMart for some groceries. After lunch we again tried DMV, but Friday afternoons are not the time for that place as the line was out the door. We'll try next week.

Stopped at Sam's Club for auto fuel ($3.329/gal) and picked up some goodies in the store. Then back to the coach for a relaxing happy hour and Firehouse Brewery left overs for dinner.

Thus far today we've accomplished virtually nothing, but it's taken us the better part of the day to do so. The weather is gorgeous and we're just hanging around reading and playing on the computers. If all goes well we'll continue doing much of the same tomorrow.

More anon...



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