Moving on to the Black Hills!

Published: August 13th 2019
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July 18
This morning we got up after a thunder filled night of sleep. The mosquitos now seem to know our names and greet us cheerfully the minute we step outside. We were anxious to leave this place this morning so I only offered David cold cereal for breakfast. We just couldn’t leave here soon enough. The dogs were quick too this morning, quite happy to get in the truck. We are heading west to the Black Hills. We’ve never spent a lot of time in the Black Hills just a quick stop so in total we will spend 7 days sight seeing.

Unfortunately, our worries about the drivers side front tire and the shimmy is first in our list to attend too. David called yesterday and got a tire and alignment appointment for tomorrow about 20 miles north of our destination in Hermosa SD. Our RV park is south of Rapid City near the road we turn to go see MT Rushmore.

Although our highway today, highway 44, is two lane slower road we really enjoyed the 90 miles to Hermosa SD today. Much of the first half of the trip was near badlands formations to the north of us and we drove though the grasslands national park as well. We were lucky to see some bison roaming near the road there. The later half was dotted, on either side of the road, by ranches and ranchers mowing, turning and bailing hay. The grass was very tall and we were told that this was the wettest year on record for this area of the country. Some folks told us that the hay was so wet they thought much of it would mold this year. Moldy hay makes it a bad choice for feeding horses or cattle. Not sure why they would cut it if it was just going to mold?

We arrived at our new campground just north of the town of Hermosa, a very small town, one gas station, not really much of a grocery store. These were the only stores near town. Our campground, Southern Hills was a fairly new park. Trees were quite small. Small amount of grass and heavy white groveled roads and camp spots. The office was a small shed near the entrance where we were met by a lady and a man on a golf cart. The lady checked David in and the man had us follow him to our spot. We later learned they were camp hosts. The gravel was so deep the trailer bogged down and was really heavy to pull the trailer on it. When we pulled into our pull-through spot the trailer sunk down 6-8 inches and caused the truck to spin the rear tires as I was trying to maneuver the trailer back so we could straighten out. David said we’ve dug a big hole. So the camp host, old truck driver in his previous life, suggested we pull out and go around again to reposition out of the hole. Turns out that the ground under the heavy gravel was wet from all the rain which was just causing the trailer to sink in. We did go around again and got positioned. The trailer being only two single tires on each axle and being so heavy sunk in again. The heavy motorhome next to us with duals didn’t sink in nearly as much and it’s much heavier.

After we got settled David proceeded to crawl under the back of the trailer, right were all the big holes were to get the spare tire down from the trailer. We had not had any more tire issues but we wanted to buy a new tire to be our spare as this is the one we think has belts separating. The current spare was the bad tire we had removed in Columbia Missouri. We didn’t want to finish our trip without a good spare. David got the spare into the back of the truck in preparation for his run into Rapid City tomorrow.

The dogs got a chance to get off leash. The big vacant field just to the north of us was big enough and far from both the RV Park and roads we felt comfortable letting them off with only their E-collars. Red ran, and ran. Poor Dottie had to be protected from Red running right over her as he flew by. Dottie enjoyed exploring the tall grass and weeds and would dart like a rabbit promoting Red’s prey drive to kick into high gear and run after her, which is what she wanted. Romping and running however in the hot sun was hard, the dogs quickly tired and before long we had to head for water at home. You know I didn’t see one mosquito! Not that I missed them!!

The dogs slept most of the afternoon under the ceiling fan and in the air conditioning. The camp host had told us about a restaurant just about a block north of us, in front of the vacant field. We decided about 5 pm to walk over to the little bar/restaurant. It was small but very nice, only half a dozen tables. It appeared that it was new this summer. We saw several couples that we knew were also in the RV park so it may be the RV Park is a main customer base. We ended up ordering burgers and fries and onion ring appetizers. The food was really expensive. When it came it seemed sparse for the price and only average quality, nothing special. We walked back home but it was still so hot out we weren’t ready to walk the dogs.

We watched a little TV and took the dogs out. It was a beautiful moon lite night. We headed to bed early so David could get the tire issues addressed in Rapid tomorrow.

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