Monday, June 15, 2015

On to South Dakota

Leaving the Santa Fe Area, we headed north, passing west of Taos and crossing into Colorado and the small town of Antonito.  Near AlamosaThe weather was cool and cloudy, and as we turned east in Alamosa we had a few breaks in the clouds that gave us a glimpse of the mountains to our north.  During one break, Little Bear Peak, at a snow-covered 14,000+ gave us look at what we’d been missing.
Colorado SnowWe spent the night in Lathrop State Park, a large park with lakes, hiking trails, and multiple loops for camping.  We found a secluded pull through site and settled in for the night.  We went to sleep with the gentle sound of rain of the roof, but noticed it became quiet as the night wore on. Colorado Snow2 The next morning we found out why – the rain had changed to snow and covered us with 3-4 inches of the heavy, wet stuff.  While it made for a pretty landscape, it also meant that the slides could not be brought in for travel until I removed the snow.  There’s nothing like starting the day on a ladder trying to push snow the consistency of marshmallow cream off of four slide-out awnings.  After cleaning the motor home and car, we were able to begin our travel over wet, but snowless roads.
We’re in our tenth year as full timers and South Dakota residents, and so it was again time to renew our driver’s licenses.  The five years since our last renewal has passed quickly, but when we look at where we’ve been, the numbers are surprising:  162 RV parks/campgrounds, 24 states, and over 40,000 miles!  And countless restaurants!
Rapid City DowntownWe always enjoy a visit to Rapid City and the Black Hills.  Along the interstate are all of the big box stores and a large mall, but the downtown area is still vibrant.  We visited there on a cool and cloudy day, and at the square found people enjoying a local beer fest in spite of the weather.  Down the street is one of Rapid City’s better known restaurants, the Firehouse Brewing Company.  Fire House breweryRapid City Square
We’ve always wanted to visit the Journey Museum in Rapid City’s green belt park, but never had the opportunity.  This visit we made sure to visit and are glad we did.  It’s a remarkable place, one of the best we’ve seen, especially for children.  There are hands-on exhibits, staff-led craft classes, and amazing displays.  Here’s one:Museum Scene
We also made a trip to the Wounded Knee Museum, located in Wall, famous for it’s “drug” store.  The story of the Wounded Knee Massacre is one of those stories that seem so hard to believe.  How we as a people could be so cruel is difficult to understand today, and even at the time was considered barbaric by many.  Wounded Knee MuseumThe museum is a work in progress, but does a good job depicting the events leading up to the massacre and the aftermath, including many gruesome photos of the battlefield.  Amazingly, twenty Congressional Medals of Honor were awarded members of the 7th Calvary for this “battle” that left over 300 dead, mostly women and children.
Wall DrugDrive anywhere on I-90 in South Dakota and you’ll see a billboard every 1/4 mile for Wall Drug.  Signs offering free ice water, 5-cent coffee, and free donuts for veterans entice travelers to stop.  Having been there a number of times, we can sum up our opinion in two words…..ho hum.  Inside Wall DrugWall Drug is a labyrinth of touristy souvenir shops that offer all the usual must-have items.  Wooden cork guns for the kids, shot glasses for the guys, and refrigerator magnets for the ladies – a veritable treasure trove of useless items.  And the food….do yourself a favor and go to Subway, it’s a huge step above anything available in the “downtown” area.   Not to say you shouldn’t stop here if passing through, it’s an amazing collection of stuff you’ll never need.
I’m way behind on blogs, so stay tuned, we can’t wait to tell you about Sheridan, Wyoming!

1 comment:

  1. And I thought getting rain off the slide was a pain. Snow makes for pretty pictures but that's about all.