Our blog is to keep family and friends informed of our motorhome journeys.
We have dreamed of this for many years and finally our dream has come true.
We are looking forward to many happy miles ahead.
One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Scenic Drive Around Lake Oahe,SD

03 July 2020

When we start out on our adventures looking for Historic Markers and Fort Sites, we never know where we will end up and how many miles. What began as a 3 hour tour ended up taking us far beyond our destination and turned into a 10 hour day and over 300 miles.

We drove the 60 miles to MoBridge on Hwy 12 and driving up Hwy 1806 to Fort Yates with the intend of being able to cross the Oahe Lake at Fort Yates in ND. Well there is no bridge and we had to continue on to Bismarck where off IH 94 we could take exit 170 to Hwy 1804 on the East side of the Lake. John thought there might be markers for several forts now under the lake due to the Dam construction.

Stopping in Fort Yates we visited the original gravesite of Sitting Bull. His children later moved it to a different location.





It was a nice drive and very scenic with the rolling hills and views of the Lake. Very fertile farm and ranch lands. Saw lots of cattle, few pheasants and even a road runner. Not quick enough to get photos of the birds. Stopped in Mobridge at Pizza Ranch for dinner.










Tomorrow we depart for Fort Sisseton SP in NE part of state in the Glacier Lakes area. Looking forward to visiting the fort and lakes. Will be there for 4 nights. Weather is hot and windy.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Arrival Gettysburg,SD and Drive to Pierre

01 July 2020

Sadly we had to depart Spearfish, SD and the beautiful Elkhorn Ridge RV Resort for Gettysburg, SD in the North Central part of the state.

What should have been a 4 hour drive via IH 90 to exit 30 in Sturgis and Hwy 79 to Hwy 212  turned into a 7 hour drive as we had to backtrack in Faith due to Covid-19 Checkpoint at Cheyenne Reservation disallowing transits through the reservation. This is a federal mandate. So we ended up going up Hwy 73 to Lemmon and then Hwy 12 through Mobridge to 83 to 212. We arrived at Bob's Resort 14 miles west of Gettysburg,SD.



This area is a huge agricultural farming community on the 45th parallel with a population of around 1200 in the 2010 census.It is known as the city "where the battle wasn't".It was settled by over 200 Civil War Veterans.

The town has a Museum "Dakota Sunset" that features the 40 ton Medicine Rock imbedded with human footprints and a handprint. The Rock is considered sacred to the Lakota people and was originally located 15 miles west near the Missouri River.




02 July 2020

Today we drove to Pierre looking for markers and a revisit from 2010 to the Oahe Dam area.You travel from the prairies to rolling hills..quite a contrast.On the way we stopped at the Sully County  Courthouse in Onida and a marker for Fort Sully 2.



Continuing on we stopped at the viewpoint of Oahe Dam and Lake and more markers. Near the Visitor Center, which was closed, is the Oahe Chapel built in 1877 to served the Sioux for worship and school. Oahe is Indian meaning foundation or place to stand on. The Dam was built between 1848 and 1961 and is one of the world's largest earthrolled dam providing more than $371 million in annual revenue to American People.











The earliest residents of the region were Arikara, Sioux, Mandan and Hidatsa tribes.

In the 1940's the Missouri River was dammed to create 4 massive reservoirs providing over 440 miles of waterway and 3,000 miles of shore becoming South Dakota's fishing paradise Lewis and Clark arrived in the area in 1804. The Missouri Rivier is the longest river in North America beginning in the mountains of Western Montana flowing east and south for 2,341 miles finally entering the Mississippi River in St Louis.










 \Our last stop was the Verendrye Monument in the town of Fort Pierre. The Verendryes reached this area in South Dakota 61 years before Lewis and Clark burying a lead plate to lay claim for French Sovereignty on the upper Missouri River. In 1913 a group of children playing in the area  found the plate.






The evening brought thunderstorms and high winds.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

4 Stop Day

26 June 2020

A busy day today with 4 stops including Breakfast at Uncle Louie's in Sturgis, drive to Bear Butte and signage for Camp Sturgis,Loop drive to Fort Meade National Cemetery down to Hill City and visit to CCC Museum and Visitor Center in Hill City with stop for Ice Cream at The Cream.

John ordered The Big Louie and I Eggs Benedict. Food was delicious and John ate the whole thing. I ate less. Service was friendly and prices reasonable. A must stop if in Sturgis. By the way the big Rally first week in August is a go. Some 800,000 bikers, tourists and others converge in the area for at least 10 days of food, entertainment and riding.Campsites and accommodations are booked several years in advance. This is the 80th Rally 7 Aug-16th.






Our next stop was Bear Butte SP and a marker for the site of Camp Sturgis 1878 founded by Col Samuel D Sturgis commander of the 7th US Cavalry The post was named in honor of his son LT James G Sturgis who was killed at the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876. The post was built to monitor the Sioux and to protect the mining interest in the Black Hills.Later the town of Stirgis founded.The site of the camp is on private property.








Bear Butte near the town of Sturgis is a beautiful mountain with several hiking trails from the Visitor Center and just off Hwy 79 as is the marker. The mountain is a very sacred site for the Native Americans.It is seen as a place where the creator has chosen to communicate with them through prayer and vision.

Continuing on we drove the Loop from Fort Meade to the Fort Meade National Cemetery continuing on to the Black Hills National Cemetery. Fort Meade Cemetery was established in 1878 and closed 70 years later after 188 interments.The Black Hills Cemetery was established in 1948 and as of 2005 had over 19,000 interments. The other National Cemetery is located in Hot Springs, SD.







Our final stop of the day was in Hill City on Hwy 385 and visit to the CCC Museum and Visitor Center. The Civilian Conservation Camps was established in 1933 as part of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal legislation putting hundreds of young men to work environment and construction projects in more than 800 parks during its nine years of existence. They were paid $30/month and had to send $25 home to family.It is due to this program and the hard work of these citizens that we are able to enjoy our many parks and sites today.






The Museum has a very good display of the history with many locations is South Dakota.

At the suggestion of some bicyclists we met on the Loop Drive, we decided to indulge in a cup of ice cream at The Cream Shop in Hill City. Thanks guys, it was delicious and just what we needed after a long day.



Time is drawing near for our departure on the 1 July. We have so enjoyed our stay here at Elkhorn Ridge RV resort that we booked our stay next year for May and June. Looking forward to our return.





Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Badlands,SD

22 June 2020

I nice day today do we decided to drive to the Badlands NP south of Wall. We were last here in 2010. We took IH 90 East to exit 110 as the Reifel Visitor Center from exit 131 was closed. The 110 exit takes you on Hwy 240 to the Pinnacles Entrance.

As you go thru the entrance take the first right Rim Rock/Sage Creek road for some awesome viewing overlooks and most of all viewing the many Bighorn Sheep. We drove as far as the Sage Creek Basin Overlook and returned to the Badlands Loop Road to continue the tour. The Loop road has many overlook spots and you eventually end up at exit 131 on IH 90.


















The Lakota called the area Mako Sica and the early French Trappers les mauvaises terres a' traverser. Both mean "bad lands".

For centuries the area has been viewed with dread and fascination.Colors that shift with the sun and moon. The area can be challenging to cross with the buttes, gullies and wide prairies. The Badlands have extreme weather conditions with extreme heat in the summer, violent lightning storms, extreme cold in the winter with winds that roar out of the north.Wildlife is abundant. This land has supported life for over 11,000 with the earliest people being mammoth hunters,then nomadic tribes hunting bison. The Arikara was the first known tribe inhabiting the White River area. They were later replaced by the Sious or Lakota in the 18th century. Later the trappers followed by soldiers, miners, cattle farmers and homesteaders forever changed the landscape. After the Wounded Knee Massacre in1890 the Lakota were confined to reservations. A sad story for the Native American as is so often the case.

I took lots of photos


I have selected a few of the best. To get a different perspective of the changing colors from morning to evening, we discussed the possibility on a return trip to camp in the park campground which only offers electric on some sites, but for 2 days we could manage. The campground is located by the Cedar Park Lodge.











On our way back we had to stop at Wall Drug for ice cream. This is a famous stop and they advertise for miles on IH 90.Suggest you do a search for the history.






Stopped in Sturgis at Pizza Ranch for dinner.