Think about this ... "be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle"

Monday, June 30, 2008

Let there be ...

STARBUCKS!!!!!!  Now I can jump start my days again!
Today we rode out to Hulett, WY (Rick went there yesterday also) and returned by Devils Tower.  Makes a decent backdrop for a picture of the bikes ~ yes?
A shot of the Hulett area - isn't it so pretty.  I just love this area - I know I sound like a broken record don't I!  Sorry ...... I really do think we should buy a parcel of land in these parts so we can park the coach out here for months next summer - either that or "work camp" somewhere out here.... I am so sad to be leaving here in the morning.  I know Sioux Falls, our new hometown, is beautiful with the river etc and the lovely falls but there just is something about the Spearfish area that really grabs me...  
So anyway, we are pretty well packed up and ready to head out in the morning ~ the bikes are loaded, the car would be but someone parked their motorhome too close behind us so we can't get the car in now, the sunscreens are off the windows, the awnings are in, the wheel covers are packed away as well as the grill and our outside chairs........ guess that's about it .... We will be stopping somewhere about 1/2 across the state - probably Murdo (I think) for a night or two then we are booked at a campground in Sioux Falls for four nights over the holiday weekend.  After that who knows - we will have to find a place that "suits" us.  I've inquired at a couple places but they have no vacancy for the three or four weeks we will need.  No Elks Lodge with rv parking in Sioux Falls so who know where I'll end up but I'm not particularly worried about it (yet)!

Oh yeah, I just posted a few more pictures on the picasa site.  For some reason I couldn't add to the June, 2008 random album so I made a second June 2008 random album....... I think I called it additional June photos or something like that.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Hmmmmmm ~ I guess it's been a few days since a post!  OOPS.  On Friday (I guess it was) we did a bike trip back to Sturgis.  Seems you can't be in the area with bikes and not take them to Sturgis ....  so here they are.  It is quite quiet in Sturgis now but give it a month and a half and there certainly won't be a quiet street anywhere in the town.  Probably there won't be any Sturgis natives in the town either, as they leave town for rally week and rent out their properties ~ which probably pays some of their mortgages for the entire year.  I keep driving by the house we rented here in Spearfish ... I have such terrific memories of that house and our time there in 2002.  

While we were in Sturgis the other day we were at a place that had an Elvis "statue" so we had the owner take our picture with "him"  for Connor (aka "cutie pie"), my grandson.  You see Connor's other grandmother is an Elvis fan and when Connor and Trish lived with them in Michigan while Josh was in Iraq this last time Grandma taught Connor "you ain't nothin' but a hound dog" ....... captured, of course, by Trisha on video ......... leg shaking and all, while they were making cookies and Connor is standing on a stool to help - it's pretty funny (but of course that is a very biased opinion I admit) ~ anyway, this picture was taken for Connor.

Yesterday we went back to Deadwood (no bikes this time) because Rick wanted to go to the Deadwood  Elks while he was here and that particular Lodge is only open a couple days a week with odd hours (I think I posted about that earlier?).  Well the light wasn't on at the Lodge but we chanced it anyway.  Yup it was open (sort of ... they were prepping for a private party, but we were able to be there).  Rick had his picture taken at this very bar (hard to believe isn't it!) when he was here back in 1997... don't know where the picture is but here is the 2008 version .. how'd I do?  I am trying very hard to remember the lessons learned at the Beth and Betty Alves school of smiling!!  I'm getting tired of "unpostable" pictures of yours truly, because I am such a "frump face"  so this is my attempt at redemption!  Plus, one of our Whitman neighbors commented on the blog pictures - while the scenery is wonderful there are few pictures of us!!  So these are for you Gina!
Finally, this is "us" at the  Midnight Star Casino in Deadwood.  This is the casino owned by oooooooh Kevin Costner.  The casinos in Deadwood are "different" than any casinos I've been to and I like them better.  The buildings are all very old and the decor of them is period "correct" rather than the glitz of Vegas.  It's a nice change but Rick thinks it's only a matter of time before that changes.  I hope not!

So it seems that today will be another lay low day in the Whelan world .. it is another beautiful day here in Spearfish but me thinks we'll be hangin' out watching the Red Sox.  

By the way, we have extended our stay here again!  We were originally suppose to be out of here this past Wednesday, then extended to be out of here today, now we will be leaving on Tuesday ~ absolutely positively must make our way over to Sioux Falls to settle in there before Rick flies out.  Plus we've made a reservation (we rarely make reservations - hate the commitment) there starting Thursday for four nights which should allow us time to "scope out" a more desirable (less expensive??) place for me to be while he's gone.  During that time I will also (along with Sir Arlo) be heading to Nebraska or Iowa to meet up with my younger sister "Kimerly" (aka Kimberly), from Vermont, who will be in Kansas City for some job "training" - the Omaha area seemed like sort of 1/2 way between us  ..... I am still up in the air whether to take the coach or book an Arlo friendly motel.  Certainly Arlo would be more comfortable in the coach but we shall see.  

But I digress, remember what happens here in Spearfish tomorrow?  STARBUCKS  - the Tracey/Starbucks drought is thankfully over!!!  How many pounds should I buy "just in case"?  Oh man maybe that's why I didn't sleep well last night - the anticipation of it!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A bike travel day ........

Thursday's adventure - well the day had the potential to not be one of the best ..... I've been dealing with serious Starbucks withdrawal, serious ..... I was in the local grocery store this morning - to return some pre-packaged Starbucks Rick bought last night - very thoughtful, but it was whole bean (Rick didn't notice that on the package) - our coffee grinder is no longer with us so....... as I was rounding the corner from the dairy section to make my way to the registers - when what to my wondering eyes should appear ~ holy mackerel it must be a mirage ...... no it's NOT ~ it's a Starbuck's kiosk ....... I beg, I plead, I whine (oh so unbecoming of me) but they won't sell me a pound, no way no how, no matter how bad I tell them my withdrawal is ..... they are training and are not opening until Monday ~ can you imagine the nerve of these people!!!  Come on Tracey, suck it up and be brave......... so off I go.  After that start to a day I think I should just come back and hibernate for the day but alas, we roll the bikes out and head on an adventure.  

Above is a picture of the bikes along the side of Wyoming rte. 111 in Beulah, WY ~ population 33 (or was it Aladin, WY pop. 15).  I thought this was interesting landscape .....
We continued along through a couple small, and I mean small, towns.  One of the neat things about these parts is that there can be 50 miles between towns and 10 miles between houses.  With that said you can travel 10 or 15 miles without seeing another moving vehicle of any sort.  It is another aspect of these parts that I love.  

Above is the star attraction in Belle Fourche, SD - which is the "center of the nation" thus this granite marker, really pretty ...

After we left Belle Fourche we headed east to ..... St. Onge, SD (2000 census shows a population of 347 living in 121 houses!  A tiny town, but friendly!  We took the pictures below in honor of our friend Jack St. Onge ....... whose great great great great great ancestors settled here as trappers and fur traders!  So this visit was in your honor Jack - and no we didn't buy cowboy hats etc (there was no store to buy them in for starters!  We did, however, stop and hoist a brew in your honor (are you honored?)

After lunch and refreshment in St. Onge we headed back to Spearfish - at this point Sir Arlo had been alone for about four hours which is usually our limit ... along the beautiful back road we found this abandoned brick house along a calm creek (pronounced crick by the locals) where I promised Sir we would bring a picnic tomorrow so he can play and not be afraid of rushing water while Rick will probably explore the abandoned house!  I don't think I've mentioned today how much I love this beautiful area.  I think we should buy a piece of land here - we have always felt that somewhere along our travels, be it this year or five years from now, we would just "know" if we had found a place to stay for a while - this area is definitely a contender!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Spearfish Canyon

Last night Arlo and I went up into the Canyon but it was getting too late for him to swim much so we all went back today.  I think the Canyon is my favorite part of South Dakota - or definitely my favorite part of the Spearfish area.  It is just so vast and beautiful up there.  Above is a picture of Bridal Veil Falls.    When Rick and I were here in 2002 the falls were dry.  When Rick was here in 1997 (thank you Frank for clarifying the years!) the falls were falling!
Above is "just" a random shot of Spearfish Creek - I took 202 pictures today ~ thank goodness for digital cameras!  I narrowed it to 130 pictures and moved 20+ over to the picasa site to a new album called, strangely enough, Spearfish Canyon!  I will also add a few into Sir Arlo's album there ~ Sir had a great day (well I think he did) and has been napping ever since we got home a couple hours ago.
Another shot of the canyon mountains - isn't it so beautiful and green.  Also, we went in search of the film site for the winter scenes in Dances with Wolves - oddly enough there was a sign on the road but when we got down the dirt road the 2 3/4 miles indicated on that sign we never found any indication exactly where the site is but there was a lovely "park" of sorts down there that we suspected is the "site" ....... I think we should just watch the movie again and go back ~ but not tonight we're headed into a "Bluegrass Festival" in town which should be very interesting but it doesn't start until 9:00 - what's up with that?  9:00 is almost my bedtime in spite of the two hour nap I had today!!  Yeah yeah, I'm getting old or King Richard is wearing me out with the constant go go go.
At the top of the Canyon is Spearfish Canyon Lodge  and the Latchstring Restaurant where we stop every time we are up there, as we did today.  They have a great deck which used to overlook one of the "gorge" areas but is rather overgrown now.  There is a loop trail down to Spearfish Falls that I walked today - above is a view from the back yard of the restaurant and below is Spearfish Falls.  I think Spearfish Falls is prettier than Bridal Veil because you can get much closer to it............ then again none of it is too shabby in my book!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


They finally came out to play!!!  Today we went to Deadwood - one of King Richard's favorite SD places.  I'm not sure I quite get that ~ it is a fun place with lots of history but..........
Anyway, this is the Elks Lodge where Rick and Frankie hung out in 1997 (or was it 1998?).  
This lodge has funky hours - in fact they don't even post their hours - if the light on that sign is on they are open .... if the light is off oh well!  The light was off today  ;-(
One of the many casinos in Deadwood.  Deadwood is by no stretch a mini Vegas .... it's different way different - all with an "old time" theme.  The buildings are very old - Wild Bill and Calamity Jane days ... I will have to read wikipedia or some of the many many tourist brochures that I pick up at "welcome centers" when we enter a new state (other than the state of confusion, but that isn't a new state for either of us!)
More of the Deadwood "history" that intrigues Rick ... last time we were in Deadwood (which was 2002 by the way, I remembered after my post the other day that right beside me was the coffee cup, that always makes my morning coffee taste better, that I bought when we were out here for rally and it had the year on it!  DAH) anyway, ramble ramble, last time we were in Deadwood we went up to the cemetery where Wild Bill and Calamity Jane are buried.
Lastly for today, above is Saloon #10, which legend has (again read the travel brochure Tracey) it is where Wild Bill was shot....

So, after a riding day here we sit outside watching the Red Sox in a rain delay (but It is Jerry Remy day so it's alright) waiting for the daily massive thunder storm to descend upon us.......... more great memories of our 2002 trip.  Speaking of which, as an after thought as I close this post..... below is the house we rented in 2002 - it's still there (and the barn and farm house next to it that we had fun exploring) and hasn't been paved... aaaaaah it's all so good in beautiful Spearfish, SD - I LOVE THIS TOWN....... I LOVE THIS AREA........

Monday, June 23, 2008

Home sweet home

We arrived in SD yesterday.  We will be in Spearfish for probably, hopefully, a week or so although I think only at this campground for three nights then move somewhere else in Spearfish or the surrounding area.  Spearfish is one of my favorite places in the world.  Rick and I were here a few years ago (neither of us can remember exactly which year but I think it was 2001 or 2002) for Sturgis Motorcycle Rally which is always the first week in August.  Rick had been here prior to that in 1997 or 1998.  

Spearfish is in the beautiful "blackhills" of South Dakota - in fact the most western border of SD, about 4 miles from Wyoming.  We are at the base of gorgeous, beautiful, spectacular Spearfish Canyon.  Also, part of Dances With Wolves (with ooooohhhhh Kevin Costner) was filmed here.  We are close to Sturgis, Deadwood and Lead, SD all of which will be motorcycle rides for us because word has it those babies are coming out today.  

You might have noticed there are no pictures today........ well here's the story ~ we traveled 216 (I think it was) miles yesterday from Casper, WY to here.  We stayed off the interstate again and traveled for about 75 miles on beautiful back roads, hopefully we will be doing more back roads travel and less interstate but we'll see.  Anyway, back to the pictures - the windshield was so encrusted with splattered bugs that there was no way I could do any picture taking.  Have no fear tho......... there will be many pictures of the Spearfish area to come - maybe tomorrow's post ~ we shall see how many I take and get uploaded today but tonight we will be celebrating our first anniversary so that takes priority over anything today!!!  Ah a year ago we were doing the "I do's" on the Charles on the deck of the SS ??? (not the SS Minnow) ~ but I/we never did find out the name of the "duck" we were on - does anyone know?  I just know it was one very fun day and we had a blast and hope everyone that was there did also.

One more thing ... as we traveled yesterday we passed many many many (read hundreds) of antelope.  I think antelope will now be my obsession and the subject of probably 500 pictures!  You've been warned!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Wyoming ~ NOT Utah .......... ahhhhhhhh

Oh Jeezum - now I have to try to remember where I took these pictures!  Well I know it wasn't Utah!  This was somewhere on route 80 between Salt Lake City, UT and Rock Springs, WY.  A neat little (as in short) tunnel we went through.  It was a pretty ride yesterday heading east - I did always say Utah was a very pretty state!  We seemed to run parallel to train tracks and rivers most of the way - Rick thought it looked like an ad for Lionel Trains that used to be around in the ummmmmmm 50's!!  

So we left the "service" shop we had been at for how many days (?) around 10:30 ish yesterday morning - what a joyous event THAT was.  We had a great travel day - all 176 (I think) miles of it which is far more than we like to do but we "lost" so much time there that Rick had a need to try to make it up now!  We stayed last night at a KOA "campground" in Rock Springs, WY - I had decided some months ago that I really am not a huge KOA fan anymore - they changed their "reward" system so those of us long time customers don't get the discount we used to get - KOA's tend to be rather expensive anyway, but I just decided to book at that particular one - it was easy on and off the highway - that's about all it had going for it.  
There is an Elks Lodge down the street about five miles but unfortunately they don't have any rv facilities - we've sort of missed staying at lodges along the way but UT and WY did not have many available so we are back to private campgrounds for a while I guess.  We did, obviously, enjoy a couple hours at the lodge last night - what a beautiful old building - HUGE building - that Lodge is - one of the members took this lovely photo of yours truly happy couple on the second floor balcony - where the members lounge is.

So bright and early - 9:30 AM which IS bright and early for us ~ we headed out of Rock Springs and traveled 231 miles (WOWWWWWW) up to Casper along some of the most beautiful roads we've been on . we got off interstates for a change.  I took over 250 pictures but ended up deleting probably 3/4 of them because they either had mirrors or window frames in them or huge smooshed bugs that I don't think anyone would think enhanced any of the beauty along the way so see I think of blog readers - sure wish I knew if anyone likes these pictures or not but only Ms Bethalene leaves us comments so I go on assumptions here!  Anyway, rambling along ...... if you are able to double click on the photo with the highway sign above please do so - there is an antelope there - I think, but am not certain - that perhaps Wyoming is where the deer and the antelope play!
Not to mention where the beautiful mountains are too - along with the North Platte River.....

Gorgeous, gorgeous travel along this route.  It seemed like around every corner we would oooh and aaaah more than the last.  I don't remember Wyoming being this beautiful when we were out here for rally week a few years ago but then again we were in the very north east corner of the state and at the moment we are in pretty much the center - don't know if that makes a huge difference or not.

We are now at the Casper KOA - the only place I was able to find that had a space for us tonight - it seems to be a decent place and we'd even like to extend a night or two but they are booked!  So much for gas prices influencing peoples travel plans I guess.  Speaking of which we paid the bargain price of $4.609 for deseil fuel today - about 15 cents less expensive than it was in Utah.

So unless we can extend here tomorrow we will be heading either to Buffalo, WY about 115 miles away or to Gillette, WY about 175 miles away then on to Spearfish/Sturgis, SD (our home state!!) within a couple days.  I am really looking forward to being back in the Spearfish area again and damn it the bikes will come out of the trailer at last - tendinitis or no tendinitis ......

That's all for now folks.........

Friday, June 20, 2008

Glory be, Praise be

Glory be, Praise be to KING RICHARD IN THE HIGHEST ................ he got us into WYOMING today!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Shocking but true, we are still here!  You are surprised aren't you?  Yeah, and I just fell off a fruit truck - well that's what they want to believe here - so the story at 11:30 was some of the parts came in but the others will be in on the afternoon delivery - unbeknownst to them I do know a thing or two about UPS deliveries - it was a huge part of my life for 23+ years ~ the next story was "they" (I am not sure who they is) loaded the third package on the wrong truck but one of the office staff here was going to get the package from the driver and as soon as she was back with it the guys would get right on it so we could get out of here (no one has even bothered or dared to come over to our coach in two hours) ....... well it's 5:49 - this joint closes at 6:00 - guess we're here another night do you think?
Oh and also - is something missing from the above picture?  Yeah - four other coaches that were here in day nine's picture - you know three of them that came in after us, plus others that had come and gone since we've been here........... stay tuned tomorrow is day 12 ....... what do ya think?  bets anyone?

Maybe, just maybe today ~ fingers crossed

We decided yesterday to get the heck out of here and go for a little adventure.  I was hoping to go far far away for a couple days, but we went to a local (30 miles away) state park (East Canyon State Park in Morgan, UT).  It was just beautiful and sufficed as an attitude adjuster for
 me!  We came around a corner on the curvy, 15 mph road to the park and this is what we encountered - no warning signs you just come upon them - hundreds and hundreds of sheep and their little dog Toto (well I don't know if the dog's name is Toto or not and he definitely was NOT little) ~ let me tell you that dog took his job very very seriously.  A good thing Sir Arlo never got out of the car - that dog chased us down the road when we were leaving ~ he didn't care that we sat there for about 15 minutes or that I was in and out of the car taking pictures!!  The rolling hills and sheep really reminded me of the mental picture I have of Ireland - rolling green green green and "baying" sheep - is that a correct mental vision Owen, Jess and Moelicious?

Back to the state park ... there was a campground with around 20 sites or so ~ some full hook ups (even 50 amp, which is very unusual for state parks from our experience) and three yurts for rental plus a couple picnic "pavilions" and many individual picnic shelters.  It was just a gorgeous, quiet place - just what I needed to shut me up for the moment.  The picture to the right shows part of the campground area and the yurts and picnic shelters.

Sir Arlo did lots of swimming, including trying valiantly to get the ball in this picture ~ where's Casey when his pal needed him ... sure wish he'd been there to help and save the day!  Casey is Arlo's best friend in the whole entire world ~ Casey is a yellow lab who will do anything for a ball ~ Casey lives to chase balls.  Richie and Mary (Casey's "parents")  - you two would just love this park - for your kayaks and Mary's swimming - it is exactly the kind of places we always tried to find when we'd be weekending together and could only find at Lake Forest.

And last, but certainly not least is a picture of Utah's version of a restaurant bar - check this out closely - those taps have no connections!  This was at the "Outback" in Layton, UT last night - well every night I'm sure, but we happened to be there last night.  In Utah, because the state government here dictates the "morals" (or lack thereof in their eyes) of all people ... bar areas in restaurants can't really pour alcohol - they yell the "order" through a window to the back .... why you ask is there such foolishness?  Well it's like this .............. children are allowed to sit at these "bar" areas and the powers that be here don't want children to see how drinks are made!!! HUH  what the hell is up with this?  Oh, and by the way, that changed for a while when the Olympics were in the area!!!  How bout that Mitten Romney - did he do good or what to save the Olympics!!!!  Am I missing something with all this "logic" ....... yet another of the reasons we've been here far too long.

And as a post script - it is now 1:27 and the parts for the refrigerator have arrived and been installed, fridge is back in place ......... the sun shades that were due on Tuesday (remember that was day what.............NINE) still not here!  Gotta love it ..... I am beyond annoyed, aggravated and bitchy (thank you Dana and Wendy for your concern yesterday!!).  Rick did, however, point out that I should do a positive post ....... how did I do?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Life line update.......

So the refrigerator parts that were ordered /shipped on Friday - that would be day FIVE - yeah right - they were ordered/shipped yesterday - day EIGHT.  And the sun screens that were promised for today - yeah right - they will be delivered Thursday...........

So the stay in this flippin asphalt jungle continues - we can't even get the bikes out - So how about a car trip to Idaho for a few days?????  I have to get out of here NOW NOW NOW not another 24 hours in this place ............ I'm (hopefully WE) are done, gone gotta go .......... and how about spending our first anniversary here - oh lovely!  NOT GONNA HAPPEN .....

Okay - done bitching for the moment..

HELP, SOS, someone please throw me a lifeline

So here we sit, day NINE!!!  So you get a clearer picture of our location .... we sit on a main road (N. Main St. to be exact), not 300 yards from interstate 15, not 1/4 mile from Hill Air Force Base, with very loud jets all day long and the other way 1/4 mile are train tracks with lots of late night traffic.  Oh the good stuff, there is a 8' X 15' patch of thick green grass out front for Arlo to pee and poop on every morning, there is a great butcher shop next door and a fruit store and grocery store and state liquor store I can walk to.......... 

Did I mention we are starting day NINE here.  Rick had trouble yesterday with the awning that was "fixed" last week on you guessed it day FIVE - so much for that "fix"!  And great news, some mensa candidate and/or powers that be decided on DAY flippin' FIVE to order the parts for the outside refrigerator - they shipped from the east coast on Friday - they should be here Thursday or Friday (day 11 or 12) - so much for Rick's thought that we'd be out of here tomorrow after they sun screens arrive and are installed today.  Yeah and there was a knock on the door yesterday to tell us that the warranty work that was sent for approval on Friday - DAY FIVE - was approved saving us 200 bucks - big deal just get me out of liver can't take anymore.  I am about to finish my second book since we've been here.

What's wrong with this picture..... people that arrived after us have long since gone and there are FIVE flippin new coaches here now - yup and here we sit - for day NINE!  It makes brown desert, wind, sand, 107 degrees and waiting three and a half hours for tire replacement look like a picnic........

I have tried, really tried to make lemonade out of these lemons we've been handed - my patience are long gone, I have a nasty, bitchy disposition (I can't even stand to be around myself anymore), I have no desire to be around other people - least of all anyone who works here. When we finally (if we finally) get the hell out of here Whelan's Wheels won't be seeing Yellowstone or the Tetons when we fly right on through Wyoming on the mad dash to South Dakota - nope those plans have certainly changed - did I mention we are starting day NINE in this hell hole?  

Was it Harry Chapin or Jim Croce that said in a song, if "they" gave the world an enema they'd put the tube somewhere in NJ?  Well I think they did put it here in Sunset Utah.......... someone please get me the hell out of here - until then screw it I'm goin' back to bed.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Off to Temple we go

Well we did it, we finally got to Temple Square in Salt Lake City.  What a beautiful area, just gorgeous.  Filled with apprehension we did the "tour".... with lots of trepidation, but we did it... it was painless ~ not nearly as informative as I had hoped about the Mormon religion but I guess I could really just google it and probably get ummm maybe 10,000 hits and really educate myself!  Anyway, above is a picture of yours truly (and most people know how much I hate, absolutely hate, having my picture taken) sorry but this was the best of the pictures that showed the entire Temple building (behind me) and the Tabernacle to my left.
Above is the Temple building (which by the way, is not included in the tour - it is not open to the public) from quite a distance.  What a spectacular building - Chad, I think you would be very interested in the architecture.
Above is the Tabernacle building - where the famous Tabernacle Choir performs every Sunday morning (among other times).  There are inside views of this lovely building on our picasa site in the Temple Square album.  I took several pictures of the grounds at Temple Square - the gardens are spectacular, just gorgeous.  They made me miss my Whitman gardens - the beauty of the gardens, if not the work and expense of the Whitman gardens!
Above is "Assembly Hall" - in itself spectacular - sort of a "mini" Temple - I'm not sure that would be a flattering description to the Mormons but to me it seemed equally as beautiful.  This building was not included in the tour but I believe it was open to the public.
The picture above is of a trolley stop outside Temple Square.  If you click on the photo to enlarge it you will see why I took this picture....... on the roof are several birds ~ we thought, from a distance ~ they were "real" birds - well they are real but not alive .... they have golden beaks and really had us "scratching our heads" for a block or two - Rick swore he saw one move!!!  (what can I say)

And to end it all for today........ from our "campground" HA ... still snow on the mountains a mile or so away - it is 89 degrees here at our "site" but lots of snow on them thar mountains....  Below - so you can all see why we are on the miserable side, and getting so so so anxious to get out of here - this is where we've been for a week!  Oh lord, I hope hope hope the parts we are waiting for will be here as promised on Tuesday so we can "blow this clambake" bright and early Wednesday!!!  Wyoming and South Dakota here we come and not a moment too soon!