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Published: August 24th 2017
On the road again and enjoying the sights, we left the State of Montana and headed Southeast for the state of South Dakota. Passing by old towns, open country filled with beautiful and interesting scenery. Our first stop on this leg was the city of Spearfish South Dakota, Chris's Camp RV park and a cool dip in the pool. The park is well laid out and far enough from the highway that there is no traffic noise. They have good shade trees and are family friendly, with two pools on the property as well as a small play ground and petting zoo. The WiFi was lacking but we were able to access the satellite to catch some TV shows. The staff is great, helped us get set up and take care of the facilities. There is a nice golf course nearby and good restaurants with in a few minutes drive. We disconnected the car and ventured around, first going on the drive to Devils Tower National Monument. It is about 45 minutes from Spearfish and worth the drive. You will find there are a few gift shops at the entrance. Including a KOA campground which has plenty of trinkets
to buy. The next day we enjoyed a drive up the beautiful Spearfish Canyon, it is a slow but very scenic route to take when heading to Mt. Rushmore National Monument. There might be bicycle traffic on the road but the 35 mph speed limit keeps everyone pretty safe. Do stop at the falls in the canyon and take some pictures. The little waterfall can be a very nice photo op, shallow creek is easy to cross but is defiantly cold on the feet. We took our time through the canyon and drove to Mt. Rushmore, the new facilities is great and very much needed for the crowds that visit this wonderful National Monument. Although we took our car, there is RV parking and plenty of parking guards to help direct you to the RV lot. A gift shop, restaurant and Museum are a welcome cool spot if you venture there in the heat of the summer. Take the walk up the granite walkway to the amphitheater for some great pictures of the monument. And if you are energetic, there is a trail you can walk to get closer. Driving back to the park, you will pass through Deadwood and
To North Dakota
Lead, these two towns are full of history and plenty of shops to spend money in. We found it well worth stopping in and spending some time, lots of history here.
Taking SD 85 north to Interstate 94 and then east toward Bismark ND, we stopped at Prairie View RV park, a small RV park just off the interstate near the little town of McKenzie. There is no host at the park and management is off site, but the cost is low for full hook up and it is a short drive to Bismark. After a few days we pulled out and traveled east again, entering Minnesota at Fargo / Moorhead and then turned south at St Cloud on our way to the Winnebago National Rally in Forest City Iowa. After a long day of backtracking the country roads due to construction closures, we hauled up for the night at a county campground on Lake Marion on MN 15 Just south of Hutchinson MN. The park is Green, Quiet and a park like setting with power and water available at the back in sites (no pull through) and a dump station is available.
After numerous detours
Welcome sign "Don't cha know"
on the back roads, we arrived at the Winnebago Itasca Travelers (WIT) rally and took up our spot being the only Alaskans in a RV gathering of 1400+ RVs and surrounded by Texans. We managed to get our windshield replaced at the Winnebago Factory Service Center and met a few people that were full time Rv'ers like us. Shortly after the rally officially started a storm blew through and the damaging 66 mph winds caught some off guard and removed awnings and relocated sun shades. The tents set up for most of the events were all damaged and really effected the planned events. But we did enjoy the local “Puckerdays” firework display and I got a few rounds of golf in. We took a day and drove to the Mall of America in Minnesota and enjoyed ourselves, lots of shops, dinning and activities. After dinning at the Hard Rock Café and shopping, we had a nice drive back to the RV where our two cats were waiting patiently. During the rally, we met a number of good folk that were full time RV travelers and had a good time at some of the events. The factory tour was interesting and
if you have an issue with your Winnebago, the service reps will help you out, but during the rally you will spend a lot of time waiting. If you are a member of WIT, you can put this on the to-do list at least once. I will say I am thankful for the understanding of the WIT staff when I missed one little item on my departure check list and ripped down the power pedestal we were using. And also grateful that the service center was able to replace the transfer switch quickly and get us back on the road that afternoon. I now take a little more time and do 2 walk-a rounds before shifting into drive. It sometimes is easy to get distracted and setting up a check list became a priority for me. I no longer complain when Julie asks if I did everything needed.
Leaving the rally, we headed northeast and took Interstate 35 to Interstate 90 at Albert Lea and turned eastward to La Crosse Wisconsin and pulled in late to the Ho-Chunk Casino RV park in Baraboo WI. A gem of a park behind the casino. Paved sites, tables, fire rings, Laundry
Adding another state to our travels
facilities and full hookups at a fair price. I was also impressed with the staff and the security patrols. The Casino has Fine dinning, a buffet diner Café and coffee shop, And there is also an activity center for the kids and teens. Best part is that the park is minutes from the Wisconsin Dells and all the activities there. Plenty to do and see there, Duck Rides, jet boats, water park, roller coasters and much more. We visited the "Ripley's Believe it or Not", some great T-shirt stores and picked up some great souvenirs. Had the weather been a little better we would have done the water parks and boat rides.
Leaving the Dells behind, we jumped over to Interstate 35 and headed north through Land o' Lakes and into Michigan. It is a beautiful drive and some nice towns along the way. Crossing from west to east on Michigan highway 2, we stopped at Whitefish RV park after a long day on the road. In retrospect, I should have gone a little further down the road. Although the owner is a sweet lady, this little park is mostly occupied by trailers and has very few pull through
sites. Power and water is available but we were not informed of the train tracks behind the park which woke us several times during the night and the duck hunters shooting next door at 5:30 am. We vacated as early as we could after day break and sure enough, just down the road to the east were several state parks that would have been a much better choice. The rest of the drive across Highway 2 is very scenic with lots of photo ops and once on Interstate 75, I recommend that after crossing the Mackinac Bridge (reasonable Toll), stop at the Fort and Visitor Center and get some trinkets while you take in the local history. This British Fort has been very well done and the light house museum is interesting. We stopped at an RV park just outside Lansing Michigan which was good for a one night stay, but not a repeat or a real mention in the blog. It is more of a camping in the city park for locals.
Leaving Lansing and heading south on Interstate 69 we crossed into Indiana and detoured from Interstate 65 toward Madison Indiana. It is an “off the
Near the Wyoming Boarder.
beaten path” town on the Ohio River with a lot of history and very friendly people. We spent a few days here shopping and taking in the sights, the Clifty Falls State Park is full of hiking trails and lots of trees. The waterfalls are interesting but hard to get to unless you are able to take on moderately rough trail hiking. There are a couple of nice restaurants and boat rides to take up your day. I had a number of people ask how we found the place, my response was that we try to get off the beaten path. When you do, you find the best part of what makes America such a great nation. It's beautiful All American towns and the people who can surprise you with generosity and kindness. Take the time to smell the roses and shake a few hands, you'll find some great conversations and fellowship if you just give it a little effort.
And so goes the journey with August arriving and more travels & memories to make. Till next post take care, hope you enjoyed this one.
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