2014 Travels travel blog

Carpes at America's Mailbox Campground

We continue north on US 385

US 385 in northern Nebraska

Back in South Dakota

We're "home" at our mailing service's headquarters

Americas Mailbox Labor Day pot luck

Don Hume, Americas Mailbox owner, addresses the crowd


Friday, 29 Aug: An easy day despite the South Dakota winds...

Yesterday we crossed into the Mountain Timezone so we went to bed based on Central Time. Hence, when we had enough sleep and opened our eyes it was only six, yet daylite was poking around the shades. Nothing like an early start.

We boondocked overnite so we were functioning in the no 120v AC mode. We are used to this as we love to boondock. No worries mate, Sandi dug out her water kettle and got the water going for tea. Normally we use an electric kettle, but when boondocking the stove becomes your best friend. Similarly, when it was time for breakfast nothing that required the microwave was on the menu. We did just fine...

After cleaning up the breakfast dishes and going thru our checklists Bob rolled wheels a few minutes after eight. Our route was to continue north on US 385 to Hot Springs in South Dakota where we'll continue north on state 79. We had the road mostly to ourselves and made good time to the border where the road became four lanes the remainder of the drive.

Just south of Rapid City we took the SD 79 bypass which took us right to I 90 at the exit we needed. A quick right on the north service road took us to America's Mailbox Campground. America's Mailbox is our mail service and they maintain a campground for their customers (and others). The place was packed, but we had reservations (yes, we occasionally do make reservations, especially when it is a holiday weekend.) Today's run was an easy 102 miles with a paltry 7⅓ mpg due mostly to high winds and very hilly terrain.

We were settled into our site by half past ten and picked up a tub full of mail that was waiting for us. At lunchtime Sandi decided she was "too tired" to fix lunch so Bob graciously offered to take her out. We dined at Quaker Steak and Lube and then visited Sam's Club for some victuals.

We are now back at the coach catching up on computer stuff. We will be here a week and then move to a nearby campground for a few more days. We love this area and hope to visit the Black Hills, Teddy Bear Town, Mt. Rushmore, get the oil changed on the car, and, oh year, renew our driving licenses.

Thu, 04 Sep: A busy few days...

We have not allowed any turf to grow under our feet since arriving in Box Elder this past Friday. It is difficult to believe that today is our last full day at Americas Mailbox Campground.

Labor Day Weekend was a busy time. We did some shopping but mostly hung around the house getting caught up on all the details that life seems to throw at us. The campground scheduled a pot luck BBQ for Sunday, but it got rained out. The rain date, Monday, was also stormy but the storm cells passed thru by late afternoon so let the eating commence!

Tuesday we had the in-house RV tech take a look at a minor, yet persistent fresh water leak. Bob (the tech) diagnosed it as a stripped screw on the water pump housing. He replaced the faulty screw and sealed the leaky corner of the pump. After letting the sealant cure for 24 hours we ran the pump and it is worse than before. Time for a new pump, which we have in our parts bin. As this is being written we are waiting for Bob to return and install the new pump. Meanwhile we're using park water so all is OK.

Yesterday, Wednesday, we visited the South Dakota DMV office in Rapid City to renew our driving licenses. It took us longer to fill out the form than to get the licenses renewed (no line whatsoever!) Forty dollars later we're now the proud owners of SD licenses that are valid until our birthdays in 2020. The big question is which will expire first; the licenses or us?

Tomorrow, Friday, we'll move about fifteen miles south to Rushmore Shadows Resort. It is a resort style RV park, the type we rarely patronize due to the steep ($60+/day) price. This park is having a special, $39 for three nites provided we attend a sales pitch to sell us a lot in the park. We can endure the 90 minute pitch, after all we survived endless and interminably long meetings when we still did that "W" thing.

After Rushmore Shadows we are still up in the air as to our next destination. We are still thinking about visiting Yellowstone National Park, but several in-park roads are closed which could possibly make visiting the park a hassle.

Update as of 1800: Murphy's Law prevails...

Bob finally came out to replace the leaking pump a bit before four. Of course, the replacement pump was a bit different from the original, which means Bob had to move water lines and fittings. He couldn't finish due to the weather so we arranged to move the coach into the shop first thing tomorrow morning. Meanwhile, we had no water pump but as we were hooked up to park water we were OK.

We'll see what tomorrow brings (see next entry).



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