Hello From South Dakota!

We started our summer trip a few days ago, a week after I tested positive for COVID! Unfortunately, I ended up with an extremely bad head and chest cold that laid me out for a few days. So, the day before the trip was “day from hell” – we packed and cleaned the house from sunrise to sunset. However, we are very happy to have friends staying in our home in July & August (welcome Rob & Clare!)

The five hour drive north to Hill City, South Dakota was great. The Wyoming landscape was surprisingly green and we had installed “Sumo Springs” which makes the bus drive much quieter and less bumpy. Thank God. Very worth the investment!

But when pulled into our first campground, the ultimate RV nightmare ensued. They had booked us for July instead of June. That meant we did not have a reservation. Dear God. Our first night?? The manager said there was one site available, so we headed up a steep hillside, with low hanging branches that crashed into our roof (ouch!), and discovered another camper already in that spot. In any case, the spot was too small for our 36 foot bus. In fact, the whole campground was too small! We felt like Godzilla stomping around the Lilliputian. We turned around to leave but ended up on a dead end road. Mind you, we cannot back up, as we are towing our car. By this time, Craig was about to blow a gasket. 

Fortunately, the campsite owner helped Craig detach our tow so we could drive the car off, back up the bus and exit hell. But in the end, it turned out great! After a few calls, I found a better campground closer to town. The next day, we rode the 1880’s steam train from Hill City to Keystone, about a two hour ride. It’s gorgeous in Hill City, about 1 hour south of Sturgis (yes, the motorcycle paradise), and it brags “the highest peak between the Rockies and the Swiss Alps” with lush green meadows in between the peaks.

Today we drove down the lovely Black Hills and visited Badlands National Park (South Dakota). I’m sure I was here as a child but I don’t remember it as an adult. It’s kinda like God created drippy sand castles out of dirt and volcanic rock. Very worth the drive through!

Our plan this summer is to visit friends in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. Some of these peeps are family, boating friends we met on the Great Loop, old friends we’ve had for many years, and even new pickleball friends from Colorado. We’re thrilled to see them all. We’ll keep you updated as we travel! Hope everyone is well!

24 thoughts on “Hello From South Dakota!

  1. Bonnie & Chris Clayton

    This makes docking, locks and trying to understand tow captains seem easy!!! Lol
    Sure hope you’re feeling better and it all turned out better in the end!!!!
    Enjoy the “adventure”!!


    1. LOLOL! There are so many boating similarities. Hey, are you guys in Michigan in July? We’ll be in Petoskey July 9th and will slowly move our way south. Would be fun to get together!


      1. Harlan & Sarah In-Vince-ible

        Hello, Looper Friends🙂💜
        Great Pictures. Huge Thanks for posting. SUPER Excited to see you guys when you get this way😎🌞
        You will be pros by then.


      2. Hey girl! Glad y’all are on the road with us! We’ll be in Holland 7/21–24. Rick and Rhonda from R&R live there, they were at Green Turtle with us. Any chance you could join us for a Looper reunion dinner?


  2. Kent Mueller

    Have fun looks amazing!! We can relate to covid! Kent got Wednesday & I got yesterday ! No real symptoms! Enjoy your bus! Im jealous!!! Drive safe! Sue & Kent


    1. Hey cousin!! Glad you are along for the ride! Are you going to be in Ohio this summer? Mom will be at Joe’s in August and will try to hook up with your Dad. Hi to your Mom!


      1. Yes, August 17th and staying about 10 days. I was going to let Lynn know, thinking we could go their way. That’s great if you guys and your mom will be there too. Thanks so much for the coupons, can always use them!!


      2. Give Lynn a call. That will be cutting it close, they will be driving up to our cabin in Wisconsin to see us that weekend. I hope the timing can work out!


  3. Melanie Marin

    Sorry to hear about the COVID—sounds awful. After a rocky start , it looks like smooth sailing now. What a rig! We arrived in Michigan yesterday and are looking forward to Pickleball in Petoskey. Hey, that could be a title of a vlog post! 😂 woot!


  4. Judy Papenfuss

    Whew! Sounds like an adventure. Have you ever seen CreativityRV? Robin boondocks a lot but has incredible practical information and is engaging. She’s been doing this lifestyle for 5 years.


  5. R. J.

    Glad to see you are publishing again—makes my day! Getting stuck in a dead end for the summer would have been a bummer. When we visited the Badlands our kids were about 12 and 14 and they were much more interested in when we could get ice cream at Wall Drug. Did you stop there? Looking forward to next chapter!


  6. Hey, R.J., great to hear from you! We didn’t go to Wall Drug but were excited not to see the billboards for it anymore, LOL. Right now, we’re staying in a marina parking lot which reminds us of our time on Joy Girl. Try to stay cool in Fort Collins!


    1. Craig Kozak

      Thanks for keeping the Pickleball Craigs up and running in our absence. There are some really nice courts just a few miles from here in Duluth, but the weather hasn’t been nice to us…yet… Hope all is well with you.


  7. Michelle Zeeman

    Ye gads!!! What a start! Good to get all the bad juju out of the way early! Looks beautiful! Safe and happy trails..see you soon!


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