Home!

This morning I woke up at around 3:30am and couldn’t get back to sleep so I decided to go ahead and start driving toward home.

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The night’s sleep in the Walmart parking lot was uneventful, though Jessie said she heard a horn honk shortly before we left.  Maybe the horn contributed to my waking, probably more I was just excited to get home.

The sun rose as we were in eastern Washington, west of Spokane.  The Palouse is so beautiful, especially when bathed in the light of dawn.

But later we drove through an area where a massive wildfire that has been burning for the last few days.  A thousand fire fighters are fighting the blaze that has so far consumed more than 19,000 acres.  The smell of smoke still hangs in the air and it looks like another planet, so desolate is the landscape.

At Coulee City Jessie got behind the wheel and I slept until Leavenworth.  Then we gassed up for the final push over Stevens Pass and home.

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So here we are, home a day earlier than planned, but glad to be back to our familiar surroundings.  The trip was wonderful and we certainly have many great memories.

Just try it, you might like it!

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I’ve been playfully threatening Jessie that we were going to stay in WalMart parking lots during the trip and she has not very playfully said “No Way!”

Well, here we are on what may be our final night in the RV, Jessie is a asleep and I’m driving, and I see a Walmart beside the freeway.  Oh, we gotta do it!

Expect a report from Jessie in the morning.

We can feel it

We are 33 miles from the Montana-Idaho border and we are getting anxious to get home.

No more John’s in Bozeman

We stopped in Bozeman for lunch, we just can’t wait until Butte, and lucky for us Google and John’s web site say there is a John’s here.

But there is no longer a John’s here. If you look closely at the pic you may be able to make out the outline of the old sign.

The dude behind the counter of the new restaurant recognized my Rothbury shirt, though, he was there too! That’s cool.

So you need some SSL help

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While fueling up the RV in Billings this morning I saw this ad placed above the pump that caught my attention.  The ad is from ZeeCreative a company that offers web design, hosting and other consulting services.

Are there a lot of folks in Billings, MT who are filling up their tanks and thinking, “Who can help me sort out an SSL certificate for my web site?”

Just struck me as funny.

Here is a closeup of the ad.

Custer’s Last Stand

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Our plan was to spend the night in Billings, Montana and on the way there we stopped at the site of the Battle of Little Bighorn.

On this hill Custer and his men fought against the indians but lost and were killed.  There is no way to know how authentic the placements are, but one thing that is neat about the monument is they have gravestones placed where Cavalry soldiers fell.  This gives the place more emotion.  I was expecting to find just a hill, and a hill indistiguishable from nearby hills would have had much less impact.

Deadwood

I have never seen the popular Deadwood TV show, and I admit I didn’t know it was a real town, but Jessie did and she was thrilled it would be on our way home.

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Deadwood is a neat old town that was incorporated in 1876 following the discovery of gold in the area.  Many of the old buildings still line Main Street and newer buildings are built to fit in, so it really feels like a step back in time.

Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane are both buried in Deadwood so our first stop was the cemetery where they lie.

After visiting the graves we went down to Main Street to have lunch.  I asked the parking garage guy for a restaurant recommendation and he suggested we go to the Midnight Star, owned by Kevin Costner.  The Kevin Costner thing kind of went right by me until we got into the restaurant.  The walls are covered with photos from his films as well as cases housing customes worn in the films.  There were customes from The Untouchables, Robin Hood, Dances with Wolves, and many many more.  We joked that there probably wasn’t a display for Waterworld, but our waiter told us that there was.  But we didn’t seek it out.

Lunch was good and we hit the road.  Deadwood was a neat old town, some day we’ll have to come back and tour around some more.

Tractors on parade

Leaving the KOA we were stopped by a long line of tractors traveling on the highway.

The woman who stopped us at the intersection told me they were from Iowa and were going to visit Hill City then were going to Mt. Rushmore.  There were 42 tractors, all driven by smiling waving grandpas, they were so cute!

Having fun at the KOA

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We spent our last day at the Mt. Rushmore KOA enjoying their facitilities and relaxing.  Sarah Michael and I went on the water slide, went swimming in the pool and played mini golf.

Jessie went on a ride on a horse and she loved it, though she complained about butt and leg soreness later.

At dinner time we weren’t really hungry but at about 8:30pm we decided to use up the last of our firewood and cook over a fire a few hot dogs.  It was a lot of fun and got us as close to roughing it as we would get on this trip.

While we ate our campfire dinner we started to see lightning over the hills.  The clouds moved closer as did the lightning.  The wind was really coming up too so we put up the awning and put everything away.  It started to rain while we were in the RV and the lightning continued.  Sarah Michael pulled out her new digital camera and made a video of the lightning.

It was a good end to our visit in the Black Hills and the KOA.  We hope to come back!

E-I-E-I-O

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One of the many attractions near Mt. Rushmore is Old MacDonald’s Petting Farm, a petting zoo just outside Rapid City.  We learned about it from brochures in the KOA park.  Sarah Michael wanted to check it out with one stipulation:  She did not want to go anywhere near the turkeys.

The farm is great for kids.  In addition to all the animals to see and pet they have a train ride, pig races, opportunities to bottle feed young animals, pony rides and lots more.  The goats are funny, they have a high bridge they can climb up to and walk across.