Around the country – 2004

Day 47, 48, 49

Haven’t updated for a few days…

Tuesday – we went out to the lake and went on heidi and doug’s jet skis. It was a bit windy, but the temperature was hust fine. Taylor loved going out on the jet skis and basically didn’t want to get off. Heidi dumped melissa in once!

Wednesday – hung out at kim and barbs and watched Taylor while kim & melissa went out to visit Kim’s grand parents. Wednesday night we went to heidi and doug’s company picnic. The kids ran around and had a good time. The adults had a quick poker game in which kim and I ended up with all the chips. Unfortunately, we weren’t playing for real money 😦

Thursday – went to lunch out at the golf course and visited Duke and Janine’s condo. In the afternoon, we got ready to hit the road again. That night we went over to heidi and doug’s for bbq dinner, and spent the night in their driveway.

Day 46

Went from billings to helena today. Got off to kind of a slow start. Woke up and said good bye to michelle before she left for work. Got everything ready to go, and then realized that we left Taylor’s car seat in michelle’s car. So, kim talked jamie into driving her to michelle’s car so we could get it.

The drive was about 4 hours long, so we got into Helena fairly early. Pretty much spent the rest of the day hanging out at ken and barb’s. Heidi and doug came over for a bbq dinner. Melissa went home with them for the night – i think she is happy to get away from the rest of us for a bit 🙂

Day 45

Got up this morning and felt fine. Kim and Michelle were a bit hung over (at least the bucket was empty), so Frank and I went and got them some Krispy Kreme’s.

Frank and I went fly fishing for the afternoon. We each had one strike, but didn’t actually hook any. It was opening day for antelope w/bow, so we took the back way home looking for a big one. Passed a field w/~10 deer in it and 8 of them were bucks. Also saw a bunch of turkeys. Did finally see some antelope, but only a couple of small bucks, so we stayed in the car.

Day 44

Hung out in billings today. Took them to the water park. The big girls pretty much ran off by themselves and kim and I took turns chasing after taylor in the kiddie pool.

We got jamie to watch the kids and Kim, Michelle, Frank, and I went out to dinner. After dinner, we hooked up with some of Frank and Michelle’s friends at a bar and then went over to their house for a few more drinks. When we got back to the motorhome, Kim decided that she needed to sleep with a bucket (since she had a few too many). Fortunately it was still empty in the mornin

Day 43

Miles today: 368

Miles Total: 7580

Left mount rushmore for billings today. Followed highway 16 out of SD into wyoming back to I90. Once on I90, it was a straight shot to billings to go hang out at Kim’s Cousin’s house.

Nothing real exciting happened while were driving today. The geography is starting to feel more like home.

The plan is to hang out here for a couple of days, and then head to Helena for a bit. Everyone is starting to get a bit excited about heading home – we are only a couple of days away if we really wanted!

Day 42

Miles Today: 164.9

Miles total: 7212

Weather: 50s & 60s

Woke up this morning with a light fog outside. Got moving fairly early as we had lots of sights to see today. Our first stop was at the badlands national park, which was about 45 minutes from where we spent the night. Got to use my national park pass! Just 3 more uses and I break even. We did the “short” loop through the park. Stopped at several of the overlooks and took pictures. It is some pretty amazing geography and you drive right through the heart of it – I would recommend it to anyone passing through south dakota.

The reason that we took the short loop was so we could go have lunch at wall drug. Pulling into town was kind of interesting – the sturgis motorcycle rally is happening this week and there are bikers everywhere. The road in front of wall drug had motorcycles 2 deep down both sides of the road, as well as down the middle, so you got a narrow single lane going in both directions. Wall drug is an interesting place – it really can’t be described any other way.

For the afternoon, we went to Mount Rushmore. Again, tons of bikers around, making parking a bit interesting. When we got to the parking lot, Taylor was asleep, so we took turns walking up to the monument and taking pictures. The monument itself really doesn’t take that long to see.

We are staying at a KOA just west of mount rushmore. The place is packed – almost everyone here is for the bike rally. We got one of the last full hookups. Fortunately our route tomorrow will not take us through Sturgis proper, I’m sure it is a real zoo.

Overall, I have to say that south dakota has exceeded my expectations. Probably could have spent a few days in this area doing different things

Day 41

Day 41

Miles today: 413

Miles total: 7047

Weather: 50s & 60s

Location: Belvidere, South Dakota

No coverage today, so we’ll see when this finally gets posted. Travelled through iowa and half of South Dakota. Not real exciting – we saw corn. One nice thing about driving through these states is that the rest areas are frequent and they all have dump stations (now that we don’t need it).

Day 40

Miles Today: 386.5

Miles Total: 6634

Weather: upper 60s, low 70s Woohoo!

We were actually on the road by 8a this morning. Hit Kansas City around 11a, which was perfect timing – no problems with traffic.

We keep driving by waffle houses and kim has been bugging me to stop and try one. So today we had waffles for lunch. Itfwas basically a smokey diner thar served breakfast all day. My waffle w/blueberry topping was pretty awesome, but hit was a pretty scary place, so we won’t be stopping at any more.

We are spending the night tonight in Council Bluffs, Iowa in a casino RV lot. The kids could not go into the casino restaurant, but we could go to the snack bar at the greyhound track. So, we ate dinner and watched the dogs run. The kids really liked it. I couldn’t believe how fast the dogs actually run. You really have to see it to appreciate it.

The engine is not charging the house batteries again. So, we have to run the generator for the kids to watch TV. Ki may try and rip it apart myself next week when we are in helena.

Day 39

Miles today: 409

Miles total: 6267

Weather: 80s and sunny

Location: jonesburg, missouri

hit a bunch of states today – tennessee, kentucky, illinois, missouri. They should just rename Illinois to annoy because the speed limit for motorhomes is 55 on the interstate. Holding tank was full and I couldn’t find a rest area with a dump, so we had to spend a good portion of the drive like a car and stop at rest areas for a break. The highlight of the drive was pulling into st louis and sweing the big arch.

The rv park that we are at is a bit scary. The actual spot is fine, but the store and other facilities are a bit run down.

Day 38

Miles today: 232

Miles total: 5858

Weather: lower 80s, Sunny

Location: Lebanon, TN

Drove through the great smokey mountains national park today. It was a fairly windy mountain pass. Stopped at one spot for kim to take some pictures, we’ll see how they turn out. It really didn’t seem that crowded, until we left…Once outside the park, there was three lanes of bumper to bumper traffic almost all the way to I-40.

We decided to travel a little later than normal and made it all the way to lebanon, TN where we checked into a really scary hotel.