Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Short Hop and Skip Away

     With less than 60 miles to go to our destination, we were ready for this leg of the journey to finally be over; we had after all been on the road for more than a week.  I knew that once we landed in Rapid City we could spread out, relax and enjoy some down time together before daddy had to go back to work. There was a list of sights to see and things to do, and this list was growing with all the billboards of local attractions that I hadn’t found in my research of the area. This would of course all be determined by the work that was to be found in the area, if you haven’t learned this about us yet, it is that I target the free family friendly activities. This way of life allows us to do more as a family together and enjoy more of the simple things in life.
     This last leg was slow going as we were still steadily climbing higher in elevation with every hill that we crawled over.  Ol’Blue just wasn’t used to the higher altitude and less oxygen just yet, but she pushed forward like the workhorse we know she is.  The best sight we saw during these short 60 miles were the edge of the Badlands, oh how I would have loved to have been able to drive through those and enjoy that ruggedness on the edge of the prairie, but that would have to wait, we had other plans for this day.
     While researching the area for campgrounds that were centrally located to where the hubby may possibly be working I found one with a wonderful view of Rapid City.  What I didn’t know was the route to get to this particular RV Park perched upon a very steep and high hillside.  The hubby managed to get the rig through downtown without bouncing it off a telephone pole or street sign on those narrow and congested streets. We were going good, hitting all the lights on green. Looking ahead there was a huge hillside with a very steep grade to go up, and only a traffic light between us and this said hill. While trying to get the momentum up to make it up the hill, we watched the light cycle from green to yellow and to red; losing every bit of the force we had to help get our huge rig up the hill.  As the light turned we slowly trudged up the steep grade, crawling at only about 5mph, up, up and up.
     Finally, we could see the top, luckily the RV Park was ¾ of the way up this hill, and we didn’t have to crawl all the way to the top. Turning into the park I started rethinking the wonderful view. You see, in order to have this spectacular sight outside of every window that seemed like you were perched on the edge of a cliff, you actually had to carve a flat perch out of the steep hillside; it felt as if there were a strong wind you would topple down the hill like dominoes with stopping point in sight.
yeppers, I could see a wind blowing hard enough
to roll us right down this hill into those trees.

     The first site we parked in was close to the office and all of the traffic, the only problem was backing the rig up a small incline into this site.  We dumped all the transmission fluid once again; you’d have thought we’d learned our lesson in Bear Creek, AL while attempting the same feat. After refilling the fluids we could finally get backed in and set up, ready to rest for a bit and enjoy this magnificent view laid out all around us.

                 believe it or not but there were actually 5-7 sites below us,
                              if they were parked there, you'd see their rooftops,
                                    pretty steep hill to carve an RV Park into

     It was time to plan out our weekend and be the tourists for a few days before getting serious again.  The lil one had acquired a habit of looking at all the brochure racks in each new city and state that we landed in, this is where we got a lot of our maps and information about the new area; talking to the locals helps a lot too. The front desk was helpful too; they informed us that the state and national parks were free for the next week; until their summer season kicked off.  It didn’t take much to decide where we were headed next. On our list to do was Custer State Park to see the buffalo, Crazy Horse and Mount Rushmore for the history and lessons to be learned there.  It was time to rest and relax with dinner and a movie and dream of the sights to be seen in the very near future.

Until next time….

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”
― Gustave Flaubert

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