Three days at Newton Hills state Park


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Published: August 6th 2019
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July 9-11

We got up and left around 10 this morning going the 137 miles to Newton Hills SD State Park. We had stayed there in the summer of 2017 to visit local grave sites of my great-grandparents on my mother’s side. Newton Hills is about a mile from Beloit Iowa, were Grandpa Payne’s parents and grandparents were buried out near a farm. In 2017 we met the caretakers son who was trimming trees. He does a nice job of taking care of the graveyard. I had never been to see these graves until 2017. It was interesting. The area is a lush river valley with large field of crops separated by a few trees, mostly cottonwoods. Now in July as last time in August the area is beautiful. I could see why the family farmed in this place.

A little farther north in the South Dakota side of the river is Canton. My mother’s grandparents and great-grandparent on the Hales side are buried there. My mother’s-mother’s side of the family. It is a formal graveyard and quite large. It is still the towns cemetery. There is one other cemetery near town, northeast of town near farm fields is the old Lutheran Cemetery. It is no longer run by the church but the town. I’m not sure it’s active anymore. Mom’s uncle Robert Hales is buried there. We did not check to see if his wife Mavis is still alive. In 2017 she was 100 and lived in a local nursing home.

On this trip we did not visit the graves, it was very hot and humid. We used these three days to rest, read, blog, and tried to play with the dogs. The park was virtually empty on day two except for us. Caretakers were mowing under the canapé of trees that almost completely covered the campground. Last time, 2017 we had no time to just sit and enjoy the park, which was our plan this time. We walked the dogs but we really can’t walk enough to wear Red out. We threw the ball and let him and Dottie off leash to get some much needed exercise. That worked beautifully and they had a grand time. Upon going into the trailer we notice blood spots, then more in the kitchen and then on the carpet. We found that Red had taken the skin off of both of his front leg pads, near the wrist in a human. We think he was sliding on the asphalt and gravel getting the ball as he ran across it from the grass area. His pads were both bleeding and top layers of the pads were pealed back. We bandaged and wrapped them up for comfort and to stop the bleeding. Unfortunately we only had a small amount of materials.

We took a short trip into Canton, 11 miles north where we found a feed store. It was more like a general store, hardware, farm equipment and livestock feed store. We got our Vet wrap, fly swatted, and screws David had been looking for, and two large bags of DOT’s pretzels. We’ve become addicted to them. They are spicy buttery pretzels made in North Dakota. I think they must have cocaine in them or something. Once you try them you have dreams about them calling your name!!!! We got our first bag 16 oz, in Laramie, then got two big 32oz bags in Columbia MO, then two more 16oz here in Canton. The feed store guys said they have a hard time keeping them in stock, the whole towns addicted! First it was me, now David’s eye light up when he sees them. They don’t last long that’s for sure. Oh yeah and the 16oz bags have ranged from $7.99 to as much as $9.99, not cheap for sure!!

We got groceries too on our trip and had our first stop at a Dollar General store. We needed a squirt gun, cheap one to discipline the dogs. At home we use a spray bottle of water but ours broke on this trip. Angie had a squirt gun and it worked great and was small. Yep we found one at Dollar General. Then we made a quick stop at Taco Johns our favorite fast Mexican food place. We had one in Laramie growing up but none in AZ, CA, NJ or TX when we lived there. Now we find them all through Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota. It’s like a memory lane trip for us. The food is good too, much better than the Taco Bell’s.

Red seemed to heal fast and by day three we didn’t worry about bandages but no ball fetching for a while. We really enjoyed the down time. I got some cleaning chores done and David fixed a few things. One thing we’ve decided is that our wine cooler we bought with plans to finish building it in to our cabinet isn’t going to be done. It turns out that little bit of extra electricity on that circuit, same as kitchen and the TV, constantly trips the braker. Real pain in the middle of fixing a meal. It’s there now temporary but once at home it’s going to the back corner of the trailer. Hell I have not even drank any wine out of it! LOL

Our next stop will be Pierre to see my cousins. 264 miles northeast of here.


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