Saturday, June 30, 2012

Friday June 29, 2012-Moving day-Pueblo KOA to Mountain View RV Resort

Well, it certainly has warmed up! It was 70 degrees here in the desert of Pueblo Colorado, about 15 degrees warmer than what we've had in Cody. It was nice to be out though and after my coffee, I was out and about, getting things done for the final leg of this journey.

Of course, I had to wait for Stella to get done with the inside packing but there was no hurry and we got away about 8:15. I called Pat and Lori, who said they would meet us along the road in Alamosa Colorado.

We made very good time down the highway and were soon at the exit for Hwy. 160 over to Alamosa and Creede. We found the service station where we met Pat and Lori and after a short break, we were on our way to Creede. This place is gorgrous! It is out of town, and Pat brought us in by the back way, down some hard-packed dirt roads, but this place is a jewel! There are two sides, one-the high dollar, buy your own lot side and the RV Resort side where we are staying.

We later met some of the neighbors, Bill and Mary and Jim and Alice who invited us to eat supper with all of them. We had a great meal with them and had a nice chat session after supper. It was a great way to start our stay here.

So long.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thursday June 28, 2012-Moving day-Douglas KOA to Pueblo KOA

We were again up pretty early and with little put out, we were on our way about 8:30. It's not hard to make good time down a freeway and today was excellent! We got over 11 MPG all day, probably because we were mostly going downhill and there was no wind. Before we knew it, we were in Colorado.

 We went through Fort Collins, where the fires have been burning for some time but there was little evidence of anything when we went through. This is the mountains around Colorado Springs and as you can see, not much smoke here either.
Another shot of the hills around Colorado Springs. This major fire was a non-event for us. We are not disappointed and certainly feel sorry for those that were forced out of their homes and especially those that lost their homes.

This was a large field that is being used for a helicopter landing zone. Although we didn't see these actually fighting the fires, we know that this is their purpose.

We made it into this little KOA just outside of Pueblo. It is not a nice park at all, and after making a dificult U-turn to get to the park, we finally arrived just after 3 o'clock. We were soon set up but discovered that one of the kitchen drawers had broken due to the very bumpy roads. The bottom came loose and we will have to repair when we have some proper woodworking tools and glue.

We will make it into Creede tomorrow and look forward to seeing our friends Pat and Lori. I can't wait to get there and wash this filthy truck and trailer. Wait a minute, maybe Stella and Lori will get it done. After all, I drove all the way here. We'll see what happens.

So long.

Monday June 25, 2012-Ponderosa Campground

Here we are, entering the Old Faithful geyser. Another guest took this picture and I took one of him and his wife.

I've tried three times to get a video that I shot of Old Faithful loaded here but it just won't work! I tried, I really did!
We brought Tramp and Cassie with us to visit Yellowstone because we figured to be gone all day, and we didn't disappoint. We didn't get back home until after five and had planned to go over to Dave and Amy's house for supper tonight. We met Roy and Sally and Kevin and Nelly who were also going, and we rode with Roy and Sally because I had been driving all day.

We had a really great time at Dave's "ranch" and enjoyed looking at his haying equipment and his horses. He has about 400 acres that he has planted in hay, and sells to his friends and neighbors. This was a good way to end up our time here in Cody and we'll all be leaving soon. I won't make another post for tomorrow because it will all be routine stuff in getting ready to leave on Wednesday.

Wednesday June 27, 2012-Moving day-Ponderosa Campground to Douglas KOA

We were up and moving early this morning. I visited with Roy as he packed up and went down and saw Kim who was also leaving today along with the other Heartlanders that were still there but leaving today.

We pulled out about 9 and made good time. Stella wanted to up through Billings Montana to avoid having to go up through the mountains. It was waaay out of the way. We ended up driving over 430 miles today, so I was exhausted when we finally got to the KOA in Douglas. We got to the park about 5:15 and only set up the minimum necessary for the night. Many of the KOA's have kitchens and prepare meals for their guests, but this wasn't one of them. It wasn't a bad park but it wasn't a destination park either.

We were apprehensive about tomorrow's drive through the Fort Collins and Colorado Springs area because of the wild fires there. We've been monitoring the fires to see how much trouble they're going to cause us. We'll see...

So long.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday June 24, 2012-Ponderosa Campground

Today is the day we've all been dreading, the day that most had to leave. Today's entry will show you some photos that I omitted but that I want to share with you. They will be a hodge-podge but I will explain them to you.

This was one of the most important "people" at the rally, Tucker. He is Dave and Amy's lab and is very smart and obedient. He was everyone's friend, especially if you had food that you would share with him.

This is a photo of a frozen lake on the Beartooth Pass drive that we made. I couldn't believe how much snow was up here, but learned that the pass has just reopened because of all the snow.

This is the ski lift that I told you about. There are a couple of trailers for the employees to rest in as well as a couple of vans with equipment in them. They had a couple of porta-cans that were not open to the public. They would have made some friends if they had been...

We went to the Buffalo Bill Cody museum and saw many artifacts of his life and adventures. This is a typical tent and quarters for Buffalo Bill while in the field.
This is a Deadwood SD to Cheyenne WY stage coach as it would have been back in the day. This was reportedly the most comfortable way to travel then.

 A cowboy chuck wagon. Notice the amount of gear carried on this wagon, extra harness and gear for the horses or mules, tent poles and boxes and tools. The other side of the wagon contained a large barrel for water and much more gear.

The rear of the wagon carried the cooking area which had a folding cover that became the work area for the cook and compartments for food and supplies as well as kitchen utensils and dinnerware. A rolling cafeteria!

 There were several stuffed animals that were beautiful and life size. A large elk shared a scene with the below mule deer.

These animals are so much larger than the normal white tail deer that we see in Texas. Mule deer can be found in west Texas but are somewhat smaller.

 There was a large area devoted to American Indians. Here two braves overlook a teepee as it might have looked many years ago.

Here is an Indian family on the move.The brave rides the horse while the woman walks beside the dog, which also has a pack that he is carrying on a travois.

In the last couple of days I made some repairs on the trailer. We had a water leak on the icemaker line that was repaired by Doug and me by replacing the entire water line. So far, so good! While working on this problem, Dave noticed how dificult it was to get into the underbelly to make repairs, so the next day we went back to Ace Hardware and bought a couple of hook and eyes and latches and made it much easier to remove the back wall to get at the water lines.

Back to the present, almost everyone pulled out today but about ten rigs remain. Some will leave tomorrow, some on Tuesday and we along with the others that are still here will leave on Wednesday.

We are all sad to see our new friends leave, but glad that the rallies are over for awhile so we can get back on track on a diet. We always overeat at a rally because not only is the food very good, there is a lot of it! We'll have to see how it goes from here on.

So long.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saturday June 23, 2012-Ponderosa Campground

Today is the last full day of the rally and I want to bring you up to date on the "happenings" here in the last couple of days. Since the rally kicked off, we have pretty much stayed around here. We did go to the Buffalo Bill Museum, pictures of which will be showed to you in a later post.

 Here are Dave and Amy, Chapter Leaders for the Wyoming chapter. They have done an excellent job on this rally, especially when you know that this is their first large rally. They held another with only two rigs showing up but this weekend there were 27! They should at least win a prize for most improved chapter!

 Here we are, enjoying a meal in the area between Dave's trailer and ours. We had two meals back here, one of burgers and hot dogs and the other a potluck dinner.

 Here is another part of the group, behind the trailers. We used every bit of the yards that were shaded. The weather was just about perfect for us, warm in the daytime and cool at night.

We had more than just delicious food to enjoy at the rally! I'll give you more of a wrap-up in tomorrow's post when everything is completed. Oh and thanks to Jimtoo for sharing these pictures of the rally activities.

So long.

Wednesday June 20, 2012-Ponderosa Campground

To begin today's entry, I must tell you that this is post #1000! It's been a long time since May of 2008 when I began writing this journal but its been fun. I hope you've enjoyed it too!

Today we took Doug and Judy with us as we went over Beartooth Pass. It was the most beautiful drive in this area of the country, and quite possibly the most beautiful that we have seen.

We pulled into a pull through rest area for a "bio break" and this was the view. Quite nice, isn't it?

Doug spotted this Great Owl sitting on a post beside the road. We returned to take some photos of the bird but he flew away. We found him just off the highway, facing toward the woods. As Judy snuck up on him, I took a picture of how close she was to him. Neither of us got a good shot of it but we did get to see it.

A small unnamed lake with a beautiful snow-covered mountain behind.
It is hard to believe that this photo was taken in late June. It looks like the middle of winter here.
Beauty is all around you when you take this drive!

This shot of my GPS with the altitude displayed near the top of the pass. As you can see, we were at nearly 11,000 feet!

Another shot of the snow on the top of the mountain. You can also see some skiers that are using a ski lift to come back to the top. This lift doesn't use the traditional sit-down lift chairs but gives the skiers a handle attached to a cable so that they can actually ski up the mountain! I watched the lift for about ten minutes in 35 degree weather but didn't see anyone come up on it so I could take a photo of it.

We also entered Montanan at the top of the drive. We went to the small Montana town of Red Lodge where we stopped for a break and a snack.

We saw these mountain sheep or goats. We didn't see a lot of wildlife along this drive

This shot is out of sequence, but it is taken at The Top of the World, a small store that is near the mountaintop where we stopped for a rest and to get something to drink. It is an amazing place!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tuesday June 19, 2012-Ponderosa Campground

We took off this morning to go to the Buffalo Bill dam and the lake formed by it, then back to the historic village on the edge of town and then to the Buffalo Bill museum. Do you see the Buffalo Bill theme for many things up here?

 Here we are, almost to the dam and the lake. Oh how I wish I was in my truck because my air horns would sound soooo good in the two tunnels coming up!

 This is the lake with the dam behind it. Buffalo Bill and a partner were instrumental in the building of the dam for irrigation. This dam was a model for the Hoover dam!

 This is a picture of the face of the dam and the water rushing out below it. I don't know the flow rate, but it's pretty strong!

Here is the river below the dam. It has cut a pretty deep gorge, hasn't it?

Can you imagine the arguments that the father-son team on the TV show Ax Men could get into over this much wood? They could make an entire season of picking up this driftwood.
Here we are on the road into Yellowstone. Those senior passes we bought a couple of years ago paid for themselves by getting us into the park for free. We saw more snow today than we've seen in our lives. Of course, the snow near the road is very dirty because of all the dirty hands in it from the tourists. It's still pretty.

A view out over the treetops to the distant mountains. There were many, many views like this one and a camera cannot do them justice.
The deep gorge (some call this the "little Grand Canyon") of the Shoshone River. The walls of the canyon are yellow-hence the name Yellowstone.
This is taken in the cauldron areas where the steamy water exits in geysers and sometimes merely as steam. If you expand the photo and look closely you will see three elk. We saw lots of elk, antelope, bison, a bear and a Bobcat. Well, the Bobcat was a machine but it said bobcat across the back of it!
Beautiful rivers and snow-capped mountains in the background, how much better can it get?

So long.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sunday June 17, 2012-Moving day-Cam Plex, Gillette WY to Ponderosa Campground, Cody WY

Today was the day that everyone dreaded, moving out. In our lifestyle, moving is a common thing, but it gets harder to move from a nice campground, to a new one, especially since we made so many new friends that are going elsewhere. Several of us decided to wait a while before leaving and some of our group went with us to the church services, but most of our packing up chores were done and about 30 minutes after church, we were loaded up and on our way!

 We used several walkie-talkies to communicate between the different trucks. We didn't get far before one of the radios no longer communicated with the others, so we pulled into a rest area just outside of Gillette and got it working again.There were five of us in the caravan, led by Doug and Judy in their beautiful full body painted Landmark.Stella was the photographer on this trip and didn't get a picture of the rigs going down the road, but she got some great shots of the mountains as we approached the Bighorns!
 These pictures don't do justice to the beauty of the mountains. The panorama of the Bighorns is just so....majestic!
 Beautiful snow covered peaks! We would soon be driving over these mountains...

The trip was not uneventful. While going up the grades over the mountains, one of the trucks began to overheat so we had to pull over and let it cool. Then another of our friends had a problem with one of their tires going down. We pulled over and worked on adding air to the tire but it was leaking around the valve stem, so we found a tire repair shop that was still open and had it repaired. We stayed behind with them as the work was being done while the other three went on ahead. Luckily we didn't have any issues and were glad to stay behind with our friends. I would have liked it if the situation had been reversed.
It was all worth it! This is a picture out our back window in the park. We expect to do a lot of exploring in this area and there is so much to do. I will continue to add more photos as we explore the area.

So long.

Saturday June 16, 2012-Cam Plex

We went on a field trip to a coal mine today. We visited the Alpha Butte coal mine and had a good time. We went on a large bus but later learned that if we had taken one of the smaller local busses, we would have been able to go down into the mine itself, rather than go to the observation area above the mine.
Here is a part of the group waiting for the bus to arrive. The
Wyoming Center is where all of our activities were held and is a very nice venue.
Here is Stella standing in one of the huge shovel buckets. This is a 23 cubic yard bucket, and holds an enormous amount of material. A standard dump truck will hold 4-6 cubic yards of material, so special dump trucks are needed to utilize these huge shovels.
One of the discarded tires used here. These tires are very heavy and they use a special fork lift to change the tires. The tires cost an estimated $40,000 each. Mining is not a cheap operation!

Here is a picture of the mine in operation. When we looked around us as we entered the property, much of the land had already been mined and been returned to its natural state. To look at it, you would never know it. I saw many wild birds and we were told that wildlife soon returns to the area when the mining stops.

Here is one of the huge loaders that is used here. Notice the chains on the front tires? They are not for traction, but to protect the tire.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Wednesday June 13, 20112-Cam Plex

The rally has been going great! We are having soooo much fun and meeting lots and lots of new people. This is what the RV lifestyle is all about, having fun, meeting new people and eating great foods.

It is still cool in the evening and warm during the days up here in Wyoming. We have been enjoying the area so much but we haven't had too much time to get out to see the sights of Gillette. Oh well, we were told that there's not that much to see here except some coal mines and that will come later in the weekend.

Remember the good news that I told you about last week? Well I can share what it was with you now. I have been promoted from Chapter Leader of the South Texas Chapter of the Heartland Owners club to Regional Director of the Central Region (Central time zone). It consists of 16 states and goes from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada. It will be a lot of work but I think I can handle it. I am looking forward to lots of traveling and meeting even more new folks.

The announcement was made at the Leadership conference on Wednesday and to the general membership and on the Heartland Owners forum yesterday. Many people wished the best and we appreciate their confidence in us.

We hosted a potluck breakfast for the Texas contingent here Wednesday morning and I went to the Wisconsin chapter's meet and greet Wednesday afternoon. Let me tell you, those cheeseheads know how to PARTY!! I had a great time, and they had plenty to eat and drink. Stella had to work at the check-in trailer this afternoon, so I was Forced-forced I say! to go to the party without her. I couldn't let one of my chapters go without a visit from the new Director could I? Just doin' my job!

A big group of Heartlanders went to the Chop House-our caterer at the rally-on Wednesday. There were over 50 going, but we opted out and went out to eat with our friends Doug and Judy at Applebee's. We were not nearly as crowded and didn't have to wait over an hour for our food like some of our friends did and we had a good meal too.

Last night's meal was a catered meat dish (1/4 chicken) with us bringing side dishes and desserts. Even though we were in the last group to be fed, there was still plenty of food and we all had a good time. Coley Brady, VP of Sales for Heartland flew in to speak at the rally. Howard and Linda Payne hosted a game called Road Tested, a variation of the Newlywed Game. It was a lot of fun and we all had some good laughs.

The service guys left yesterday. They did an outstanding job and I can't believe the money that Heartland spent to send them to the rally. They sent 21 techs, two clerical assistants and two supervisors on a chartered bus along with a couple of pickup trucks pulling their parts trailer from Elkhart. 23 hours on the road! We couldn't say enough good things about the work they did.

The rally will be over before we know it, but we are already making plans for next years rally and even further out! This is gonna be a great ride!

So long.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Monday June 11, 2012-Cam Plex

Another cold and windy morning here in Gillette WY. It's not as cold as it has been but still chilly, in the 50's. I'm tired of my indoor/outdoor thermometer being out of order. The outside temp is stuck on 80 and never changes. This is the third thermometer that I've bought and they only last a few months before they either stop working all together or get stuck like this one. Maybe I need to shop somewhere beside Wal Mart.

About 20 of us went to the local Perkins restaurant for breakfast. Luckily for us, Jim B had called ahead and given them a heads-up that we were coming because there is another group in town but we got there first and had dibs on a couple of tables that were pushed together, so we all had a very enjoyable breakfast. Even though a group of 20 or so would normally be a problem, today was just fine. The wait staff took care of us well and wasn't overwhelmed by our numbers.

I went back home and just piddled around until I had to go on duty, parking folks as they arrived for the rally. There were sometimes three or four of us escorting people but it was all fun and I met some really nice people that I wouldn't have otherwise.

At the end of the day, a couple of the guys and their wives made a nice get-together for the Heartland guys that work on the rigs and for us, that worked for the rally. It was a very nice time and we had a BLAST! talking to everyone. This is the most fun that we've had in a long time.

The weather here has been all over the place. We've had low 40's cold, mid 90's hot and everything in between. We've had beautiful blue skies, cloudy skies, rain, hail, everything but snow! We have had an abundance of wind, just about every day! It blew so hard a couple of times, people ran their slide-outs in, fearing that their trailer would turn over. I've never felt like that, but the constant wind gets on your nerves. Since it's much cooler here than it is back home, I'll still take it!

So long.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sunday June 10, 2012-Cam Plex

Today was a pretty slow day here at the rally. There was no breakfast planned, as this is expected to be the first day of heavy arrivals and I was assigned to do parking of units. I had gotten a golf cart the night before, so I went outside about 8 o'clock and began by driving around to see who was up and about this morning. I soon found my working partner for the morning, Wisconsin Chapter Leader Tom W. We worked out what we were going to do but were soon asked to help move the service group's carts over to their trailer. It took us about 30 minutes to take care of that chore, and it wasn't very long until we were beginning to park new arrivals. I think we got 8 done before our relief arrived and we were off "work" for the day.

One of the new arrivals were our friends Dan and Karen. I have been following their progress to Gillette on Karen's blog and it was good to see our friends again. We had spent a week at their place in Michigan last summer when we were on our tour of the state.

We were all hungry when I was released, so we decided to go to the KFC that is nearby for lunch. After lunch, we returned home to relax. Later in the afternoon Karen came down to visit with her little dog Herbie. While they were here, Howard came by to give us our weight results. Thankfully we are within our specs and the only place that there was a problem is on the left side of the trailer that was heavy. of course that is the side with two slides, the appliances and the food pantry, so there's not much we can do about it. I was very glad to see the weights are in line. Now if we can just get our own weights in line...just sayin'

So long.                                                                                                                 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Saturday June 9, 2012-Cam Plex

Today began with another pre-rally potluck breakfast at Kevin and Nelly's place, down the street from us. Today we had waffles made by Dave (Cody Carver on the Heartland forum), Nellie's muffins, bacon, sausage and anything else that anyone could think of for breakfast. It was a great time for chatting and meeting new folks. When breakfast broke up, we came back home and relaxed for a bit. Soon we could see new arrivals and one of them was our friends Doug and Judy in their new Landmark Mesa. This is a new floorplan and a little bit bigger than ours and we liked some features of it, but not enough to make us want one. We're very happy with what we've got.

Later I walked down and met some Canadian folks that had just arrived. They are waaaaay down on the other end of the park, but I'm sure that in the next couple of days, they'll have neighbors. The economy has hurt the rally, with only 134 coming this year.

We had another potluck dinner but Al and Donna furnished burgers and all of us brought a side dish or dessert. The food was really good but the people were better. I met several new folks and visited with old friends. It had been windy all and warm all day long and I had worn my shorts to supper, but soon realized that as the sun got lower, the cooler it got, so while I went home to change and get a jacket, the party broke up. I met Stella, Doug and Judy coming back home. I've got parking duty tomorrow so I went and found my golf cart and brought it home with me.

About 9 o'clock or so it started to rain. Not a hard rain but a soft rain that is very restful and it didn't take me long to retire to the warm bed. I woke about 11:30 to pounding on the roof. HAIL! It beat on the roof and I got up to check on things to make sure the roof vents were closed securely and hadn't been broken by the hail but everything was safe and secure. We had been warned at supper that if bad weather approached,  an announcement over the loudspeakers throughout the park would notify us. We could stay in our trailers or go into the brick building, but hopefully that wouldn't occur. I had just gone back to bed and was almost asleep again when I heard a train horn in the distance. In my sleep, it sounded like a siren, so I jumped up, thinking there was a tornado coming! I soon realized that I had made a mistake-Stella was still safe and asleep in her recliner-so I went back to bed. I woke briefly a couple of times and it was still raining and still was this morning when I got up around 5. I'll have to go out a few minutes early to check the truck for any hail damage, but I hope everything is all right. I hope the rain is over for awhile because I have to work for the next few days.

So long.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Friday June 8, 2012-Cam Plex

Well the pre-rally fun has started. We went over to Kevin and Nelly's place for breakfast. Nelly was making her famous muffins, so we all brought something to contribute. I took the big coffee pot and Stella made some of her apple dumplings. We all had a good time but I got badly sunburned sitting in the sun. It felt good to sit outside and I didn't think about getting burned, but I paid for it later!

We had gotten our assignment for working and are on the schedule for assisting in parking starting on Sunday, but there were four people arriving today, so I volunteered to help out. We went over to the Wyoming Center, where all the activities will be held and helped get the arrival packets put together and took them over to the parking attendant trailer that was furnished by a local dealer.

We came back to the trailers and spent more time sitting around and visiting with friends. About 2:30 we went back over to greet the new arrivals. We got them escorted to their sites without any incidents and met some more new folks. One of the guys was in a bad mood because his truck had started to smoke from the brakes after he had a bad experience in a construction zone, but the bottom line is, he got here. Now to get his truck repaired so he can get back home in a few days.

Several people were going to a destruction derby tonight but we weren't going. I have seen enough wrecks in my career and didn't feel the need to see more. Besides that, my sunburn was really bothering me, so I just medicated my burned up head and stayed home. Our first full day went well and we are looking forward to the rest of our time here.

So long.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Thursday June 7, 2012-Moving day-Custers Gulch RV Park to Cam-Plex, Gillette Wyoming

Today is the day that we've been waiting on for some time, going to Gillette for the Heartland National rally. It had been raining lightly when I went to bed and a loud thunderclap woke me about 3:30AM, still raining. Rats! I have always hated setting up and taking things down in the rain, but I had the porch and steps down already and was as ready as I could be. Like always, I went back to sleep in my chair and when I finally awoke, the rain had stopped. Hallelujah!

I went outside and began working a little before 8 and made good progress. We were not really in that big of a hurry this morning because we are only going about 115 miles to Gillette, but there were still clouds in the skies and we wanted to get on the road. We ran through a little rain shower that lasted about 25-30 miles, but that just cleaned the dust off the truck and trailer and of course, the bugs from the front of the trailer. The rain stopped and we had a nice drive through some pretty country. We stopped for fuel at a little truck stop in Moorcroft WY and while there, one of the ladies that works there told me that it was reportedly raining hard in Gillette and was snowing! in Sheridan. Thank goodness we aren't going as far as Sheridan today, but snow in June?

When we arrived, we stopped off to get weighed by our friends Howard and Linda (RV-Dreams). Not only do they run their very informative website, they have a couple of rallies a year that are a lot of fun and very informative, especially if you are a full timer or thinking about being one, but they do weighing of RV's for the RVSEF. After a short chat with them, we were off to get set up.

After getting all set up, I came in and relaxed for a bit and then went for a walk to see who was here today. While walking, I met a couple from Colorado who were having a problem with their fridge. I gave them as much help as I could, which wasn't much, and went on my way.

We went over to Kevin and Nelly's trailer where many had gathered to visit after supper. I stayed over there until about 9 o'clock when the cold ran me back home. It was down in the low 50's tonight and those blankets will feel really good!

So long.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tuesday June 5, 2012-Custers Gulch RV Park

Today is supposed to be our last day of exploring and sightseeing in the area. We left this morning to drive to Rapid City and then to drive the "Badlands drive", but we got a late start and decided not to drive over a hundred miles to see more scenery like some that we'd already seen. We decided to make the Needles Highway drive but first stopped off at the Fort Laramie stockade.

 This is the entryway into the fort. The buildings in the center and on the left are reproductions and the ones on the right are originals.
 As you can see, the original buildings have fallen into disrepair and are fenced off from entry.

This photo shows two styles of roof, one a lot roof and the other a sod roof with grass growing on it.

This shot shows the original style of rifle opening in the fence. Also notice that small logs are used to fill the gaps between the larger logs that make up the fence.

After completing our exploration of the stockade, we went toward the Needles Highway. We stopped off the the gate into the Custer State Park to inquire about the very narrow tunnels. One of the gatekeepers was kind enough to measure the truck and that was the main reason that we decided not to drive through the tunnels. We had already paid our entry fee, so we took the drive to the first tunnels and turned around and came back out. See THESE photos of the area including the tunnels.

We drove back into Custer and stopped off at the Purple Pie Place for a snack before running a couple of errands and returning home. I guess we needed a down day because we were tired, having been on the go for the last few days. We leave here the day after tomorrow, so it was good to just go home. Stella used the afternoon to get some clothes washed, so it wasn't a wasted day.

The wind came up late in the afternoon and we were buffeted around by very small whirlwinds or mini tornadoes. We had not put our awning out in a few days but our neighbors had left theirs out and it got damaged. It was an electric awning and they had left and the door was locked, preventing anyone else from going in and lowering the awning. I can only hope they learned a lesson.

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I told you that I would have some good news? Well, I finalized it tonight but I still can't talk about it. I will be able to share this news with you soon, and will as soon as I can. It's good stuff, trust me.

So long.