Wednesday, June 15, 2011

We are now South Dakota Residents

We are now in Rapid City, SD, on our way from Oregon and Mom’s birthday party to Kansas City, MO to help with the SkillsUSA competition.  I will be showing you many pictures from this amazing competition next week.
Our trip through Washington, across Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and into South Dakota was pretty much uneventful except for the……. I’m embarrassed to admit…. running out of diesel.  Actually, I don’t think we ran out, but ran low on a very steep hill.  It was an amazing experience, one I don’t want to have again, but we met a sweet man who went out of his way to happily help us.  We felt he was an angel sent by God.  We were in an area where we had no cell phone or data service.  We broke down where there was lots of room off the side of the road, directly across from the view of a gas station in a little town down the hill.  We unhooked the Jeep, I drove up the freeway to the next off ramp, crossed the freeway and left into the little town.  There was Gary filling up two 5 gal. gas cans for his son who had just run out of gas.  Long story short, he filled up one for us with diesel, drove back to our rig, emptied the gas can, made sure we could start, and followed us back to the little country store/gas station.  Note to self: do not trust the gas gauge or try to make it “just a little further” for that cheaper diesel. 
Our primary goal was to get our mail service, driver’s licenses, and car registration in South Dakota. We looked into several mail services and finally decided on Americas-Mailbox.  We visited with the owner and several of the staff and found them friendly, efficient, and very professional.  They walked us through the steps we would be going through to get our licenses and registrations.  The license was so easy and quick, California could surely learn a few lessons from South Dakota.  We even had our new “Homeland security” enabled licenses with pictures in hand in about 20 minutes from the time we walked in the door.
The registration on the Jeep was a little more bumpy.  I forgot I had to have the Pink Slip not just the current California registration.  After a trip back to the RV I found it but too late to register on Friday.  That meant we would have to stay the weekend.  Not a problem we had lots to see and do.  And it gave us time to think about Vanity Plates.  Because of the reasonable cost of registering vehicles in S.D. we decided to order our license with “DA TOAD”.  That will be mailed to us in about a month.  The registration on the Jeep is not expired until July so we are covered – actually double covered. 
Here are some of our adventures over the weekend.  Boy did we have fun.
We drove up to Custer to visit the National Museum of Woodcarving. We were surprised to find that not only were there hundreds upon hundreds of carved figures, they were animated too. We were reminded the displays we used to see in the windows of downtown Fresno Department stores done by Sam Naman.  What a wonderful old craftsman that I had the pleasure to get to know when we were both in the Industry and Commerce at the Big Fresno Fair.
We drove a couple of miles through Custer to see friends, Pat and Mike McFall.  We see Pat and Mike every year at Nick Russell’s fun rally in Yuma.  I have the pleasure to help the McFalls with their Audio-Visual setup for the Pressure Pro Tire Monitor system.  We can’t say enough good things about Pressure Pro tire monitors.  They have saved many lives and property by alerting low or high tire pressure before a disaster. As distributors for this great system, they have happily helped us a couple of times even when I inadvertently called Pat in the middle of the night (forgot about the time change thing). It was great to see the progress on their new home/shop structure and get lots of hugs.
The next morning we went to Bear Country USA.  We have never seen so many wild animals up close and personal like we did this morning.  We drove our own car; sure wish I have washed the windows before we started.  We could spend as much time as we wanted to view the animals.  There were also baby bears that they raise for their own safety following hibernation.  The male bears would probably kill them. Here are some of the hundreds of pictures we took. We figured that for now this is cheaper than Alaska and no broken windows.

Lots and lots of babies.
The next day we went to the Crazy Horse Memorial.
What a change to this HUGE mountain in the last 35 years. The pictures on the right is what the mountain looked like when we visited when Jenny & Jason were little. Now the face is complete and the hole under the arm has been blasted through. 
The last thing we did after getting our Jeep registered was to do some geocaching.  We visited the beautiful Journey Museum and got a cache. We took pictures of all the president statues in down town Rapid City and got a cache.  Then we visited the Chapel in the Hills.

So until our next blog we will be On The Road Again Caching Places That We've Never Been, Tom, Barbara and Pansy

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