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

Friday, July 30, 2010

the big big horns

On Wednesday we headed off to ride a bit along route 16 headed west.  Route 16 here in Wyoming is an alternative to Interstate 90 headed to Yellowstone.  It does, however, cross the Big Horn Mountain range so we were a bit concerned doing it in the coach (of course towing the trailer).  Plus Rick had ridden eight miles of it on his bike on Tuesday.  So off we went to explore.  

We stopped at one of the many National Park campgrounds (no hook ups and $14.00 night).  Gorgeous, secluded and peaceful sites they are.  With a creek running through the one camping area we stopped at ~ a refreshing stop for Sir Arlo.

Photo below was taken at one of the "scenic" turn offs - scenic indeed do you think?

And, as King Richard pointed out "look Tracey, they named a canyon road after YOU" ....  Interesting legends abound about the "crazy woman" who got a canyon and a creek named in her "honor" (not this crazy woman, the one from days gone by, from Wyoming!).  We did not attempt Crazy Woman Canyon Road ~ word has it that it is a very badly rutted dirt road several miles into the canyon and it was suggested to us that perhaps the escape didn't have clearance enough to safely (for the escape) travel it!

As we traveled we kept going up and up and up ... to the highest elevation of route 16 over the Big Horns ~ Rick believes this is the highest elevation we've traveled since our full time journey began October 2, 2007!

The road really wasn't all that bad in the car, but we did decide that we will not be traversing it in the coach.  The steep down grades just seemed a bit much for coach and driver and I didn't want to "deal" with a totally stressed husband at the end of a travel day - just not worth it!

The sights are absolutely outstanding, and I'm so happy we did it in the car.

Below, another of the abandoned buildings that I am so intrigued by these days.

By the way, Rick did the photography on this journey.  I was driving and it seemed a bit unsafe for me to be multi~tasking to that degree.  Good job huh!

Our destination ended up being ...... Tensleep, WY.  Check out that link for some interesting info about Tensleep and how the town got its name.

I can't imagine a town named Tensleep without a "local joint" named "Dirty Sally's" - just sort of fits doesn't it?

Scenery on the return to Buffalo.

An aspen (I believe) grove ....

So we come to the end of post number two for the day.  I think there likely won't be a third one today - stick a fork in me, I'm done, headed to the shower and soon to bed.  I will try to finish up with the photos loaded for pending posts tomorrow ~ we shall see, however, as we are headed out tomorrow for Hardin, MT, but I am working on catching up posting ... seems just so much to post about and I've been on a sewing roll these days as well ~ creating some pretty things.

go west young man

A moon (not mine, I don't do that anymore ~ I'm too "old" and the results of gravity are to unattractive) over Bulldog Campground in Sturgis the last night we were there.  What a terrific place that was with an outstanding owner.  

We left Sturgis on Monday, heading to Buffalo, WY.  What a fun little town this is.  Old West and fun!

Anyway, our travel from Sturgis to Buffalo was yet another beautiful drive with spectacular scenery along interstate 90.  Check out these rolling hills with the mountains in the distance.

Along the way we passed all these snow fences ... gosh darn imagine what the winters must be like in these parts to have such an abundance of snow fences!

And finally, off in the distance the outstandingly beautiful Big Horn Mountain Range.  These photos were taken from  approximately 50 miles away from the base of the range.

I have photos loaded for two more blog posts ~ yup, I guess I've been a slacker again.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

a very festive and fun fun fun week

So off we went to Deadwood to celebrate King Richards birthday, thank you to all those who took the time to email, text and phone himself, the King ~ especially my sister Candy who's perseverance was greatly appreciated by both of us ... you really hung in there Candy through trying to learn YOUR new phone and us having horribly bad cell service here in the beautiful Black Hills.

Deadwood is one of Rick's favorite places (not sure why, but he just loves it) so that was his destination of choice to celebrate the birthday that he felt certain he would never see!
Below is a photo looking out from the parking garage towards main street, looking east I believe, at Bullocks.  If you watched the HBO series "Deadwood" (I watched about 30 minutes of it total, the language was just a bit over the edge for me, when every third word was "the big one").  Anyway, Bullocks was the site of the hardware store in the series.  It also is another beautiful old building in Deadwood.  

Our "dining destination" was the Deadwood Social Club, above, and part of, Saloon Number 10.  The original Saloon Number 10 was the site of the shooting and death of Wild Bill Hickok, way back when.  I think that perhaps one of the reasons himself loves this little town so much is that it is full of history.

No trip to Deadwood would be complete without a visit to the local Elks Lodge.  If the light is on, they are open - no set hours, ya gotta watch for the light!  

And as history has it, Rick has his picture taken behind the bar at this Lodge.  Sometime we are together in said photo, not this time however ... I'm not available for photo ops these days!  So the bartender happily stood in.  Doesn't the King look great for an old guy!  We had so much fun that night, great dinner, great people along the way, Rick had a blast and I got to be the D.D. through the winding, very winding 20 miles down the black hills roads back to Sturgis!

This is a shot of the campground we are at here in Sturgis 
vast open space, Sir gets to run and play and act like a fool because we have the place pretty much to ourselves!  I am just loving it here.

The day after himself's birthday we got on the bikes for a great ride through St. Onge and Belle Fourche then down into Spearfish (one of my favorite places) ~ about a 40 or 50 mile loop ~ great weather, in the low 80's.  The weather has been terrific here low 80's nearly everyday (except today which was 90) and beautiful nights in the low 60's perfect sleeping weather!!!

Anyway, on the return from this great ride we stopped at the "Full Throttle" (a "biker bar") that is open for rally ~ there are two or three "big name" establishments here that are open only for rally, as well as many many campgrounds that are only open for a month or so preceding rally and a week or so after rally ends.  I guess this is an indication just how profitable rally week is to the area!  

With that said, when we were out here in 2002 for rally we rented a house with three other people (friends of ours) ~ people in these parts leave their homes for two weeks every August and rent out the property ~ the proceeds of which make several mortgage payments, if not a years worth of mortgage payments!  Kind of a "win/win situation".  It sure worked well for us in 2002!

I digress once again ... the photo below is of himself behind one of the bars at the Full Throttle ... hmmm is there a theme here?

About five or so miles from the Full Throttle is the Bear Butte State Park ~ we didn't go there, but the photo below is of Bear Butte ... Beautiful or what?

Yesterday we did my much anticipated ride (in the car so Sir could join us in search of a beautiful swimming hole for him) through Spearfish Canyon ~ absolutely the most gorgeous place I've ever seen.

Seriously, how can you not think this is gorgeous?
The photos above were taken from the outside deck dining area of another of my favorites.  After we left there we headed down through the canyon towards Spearfish.  Alas, we found a suitable place for Sir to partake in some water sport, where the water wasn't rushing so ferociously that he was in danger.  

What a view huh!

And we had it all to ourselves!

Well except for the multitudes of baby butterflies ... thousands and thousands of them, teeny, tiny little fellas ...

So, my earlier post today (seriously, what is up with that two posts in one day?) stated that we'd extended our stay here and hopefully would be dealing with a trailer "situation" here in the Sturgis/Spearfish/Rapid City area ... well himself has spoken and we will be heading westward in the morning ... I hope when the time comes and the problem rears its very ugly head, once again, that I will be able to bite my tongue and not do the "I told you so" ... and rather Sir and I will just go for a nice quiet walk and not fly off the handle (so to speak!!) and hopefully we won't be forced to deal with it when we are climbing over an 8000 foot mountain in Montana, Idaho or into Washington .....  

With all that said, I had a terrifically productive day at my sewing machine while the King was out on his bike.  It isn't often that I pat myself on the back but I did create a beauty for a very special friend today!   I was on such a "roll" that I started a couple other projects too (well cut them out anyway) then found out we are "outta here" in the morning so that creativity sort of faded away ...

As for the "video" below ~ don't even bother .... it wouldn't load and I can't get rid of the foolish icon thing.  Any advice Chad - mac/iphoto/video???? UGH and of course it was a great one of Sir Arlo fighting with Spearfish Creek!

the hills the rolling hills etc....


Seriously, how can you not love these gorgeous rolling hills and vast open land in South Dakota.  I haven't found one part I don't love - Sioux Falls that has so much to offer ~ great restaurants, fabulous parks throughout the city, many museums.  Then you head west through these hills ...

passing by many many abandoned homes.  This just blows my mind - these homes were someone's dream once, their pride and joy.  If the walls could talk imagine the stories they might tell.  And there are no more stories created within those walls anymore.

Then further along interstate 90 you spot your first glimpse of the amazing bad lands.  I remember when Rick and I were here for rally a few years ago, after we did the badlands ride I called my dad and told him I know why the badlands are referred to as the badlands ~ they surely are bad!  Beautiful and breath taking but BAD!

We won't be riding through the badlands this time through the area, nor will we be riding through Custer State Park either.  We did drive through fabulous Spearfish Canyon yesterday so Sir could go swimming in Spearfish Creek.  That trip will be a post for another day ~ I wish I could upload videos here because I took a couple doozies of him playing - what a clown he is.

So yup we were "suppose" to leave Sturgis this morning but guess what ... nope we didn't!  Rick did some coach and trailer maintenance and I've been at my sewing machine for the last five hours.  We are having a bit of a trailer "issue" that should be addressed sooner rather than later, but the decision when and where is Rick's.  We do have to be out of this campground on the 31st when the rates go up and the campground is sold out for rally!