Posts tagged Travel

I’m Back!!!!!

From the Badlands!  Yep, I decided yesterday that I wanted to take a ride, so about 2 in the afternoon (and didn’t get back here till 9 p.m.) I headed down the road thinking that I might go back towards Mt. Rushmore and actually visit Crazy Horse…. But, I just wanted to drive and not get out of the van unless I really felt like hopping out, so down the road I went.

Drove thru Sturgis which is gearing up for Biker Week and I mean they are gearing up!  Tent stores set up with thousands of t-shirts and other stuff to appeal to biker fans who will be flocking to this area within the next week.

Not being a biker, I passed on checking out the goodies and headed on down towards Rapid City where I knew I had to decide just where I was going.

Seeing more and more Wall Drugstore signs as I went, I knew it was time to hit the Badlands!

Last time I was thru them it was late evening in March (20 years ago) so I didn’t see much at the time.  Yesterday was a whole different matter.  If you have never been there, you have got to go!  Not only does it look like a moonscape but the National Grasslands add their own appeal to the area.  The views were breathtaking!

To think that the last time I really saw any of the views offered was 50 years ago just blows my mind!  Just wish a family member was still around for me to pin down the actual year I saw all the wonders of western South Dakota and Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, but I just have to be content with the knowledge that it was when I was between 5 and 7 years of age, I guess.

Since I was near Wall Drug, I did stop in to look around there, too.  I remember stopping there with my brother 20 years ago though we had only popped in for a few minutes, but I have to tell you…….  Nothing seems to have changed! LOL  That place is a great tourist “trap” and well worth stopping by to see!

Well, I have to do some laundry and a few dishes and get myself into town for an oil change, so I guess I’ll hop off till the next time!

Since I am only here in South Dakota for another week, I know I’ll be popping in again before then.  Crazy Horse still awaits!

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Since it has been a long, long time since I wrote….

It really is time for an update or two.

My summer in McCloud has been fantastic!  The gas and fuel prices made for some empty rv spaces we really didn’t want here (as has been the case all across the tourism industry), but most all weekends have been seeing us near full capacity.  The season is winding down, with Labor Day weekend just a few days ahead of us, to be followed by my departure from the park on Sept. 15th.  I sure am going to miss this beautiful location and my new “family”.  All the people I have worked with are dear to my heart in so many ways.  I’m going to miss them, though I just may be back here again next summer!  Tricia, the sweetest manager I have ever worked for has already said I have got to come back should I not find something else that draws me more towards the east coast.  It’s going to have to be a mighty tempting offer for me not to consider coming back, let me tell you! LOL

Being at the base of Mt. Shasta has been a real delight.  Every time I look at the mountain I see something new and different.  When I first arrived Mt. Shasta was still covered in snow, but as the summer has passed the snow has receded to show the glacier near her top.  Fortunately, no fire has struck on the mountain this season, though the whole northern part of California has suffered through some extreme blazes.  We had some smoke here in the park on occasion, but nothing compared to the surrounding areas.  Redding (only about 1 hr. and 10 minutes away) really has been slammed with smoke, and fires came mighty close to that city, but they are recovering and time will only help them more.  Many folks from that area came to stay with us for a few days just to breathe cleaner air and we were not only glad for their company, but happy they could see further than the end of their street and inhale purer air for a while.

Because of the fires I haven’t done all the exploring I would have liked to do up here, but it just wasn’t smart to go into unknown to me territory to see the sights.  They will still be there next year or at some future time for me to investigate.

So, what else happened around here while I’ve been in the area?  Well, Danielle, one of my co-workers had her baby girl about 2 and half months ago.  The sweetest doll you have ever seen!  Her name is Riley and she has the chubbiest baby cheeks you have ever seen.  And a head of hair that many people would love to have! LOL  That girl is never going to have to worry about thin or limp hair!  I sure hope her mommy brings here by the park again one day before I leave so I can hold her once more before I take off.  Babies smell so sweet and special, don’t they?

We’ve had a number of wedding parties, group gatherings and family reunions here in the park, so helping make sure everyone had their needs met was a big part of our job, most times fun to help make happen, at others rather trying, but experiences I will treasure all the same.

I did make a couple of trips to Redding and even a few up to Yreka (only 45 minutes away and they have the closest Wal-Mart which explains most my trips, I’m sure), but I have to say the most memorable day I spent happened when Tricia and I went to a Lavender Farm!  Yep, it was a lovely day.  We stood in 10 acres of lavender fields looking over a glorious valley and listened to the bees humming in the blossoms.  I’ll have to see if I can find the link to their site for you, so hang on a couple of minutes while I make a side trip in my computer! LOL  http://www.mtshastalavenderfarms.com Take a look and drool!  Tricia got a few pix, I’ll see if I can download them tomorrow or the next day, I’ve already yakked long enough for now.  And, I still haven’t told you all where I am heading next, have I!!???!!!!!!!

Well, you gals on my quilt list know, since I did drop in there a few days back to let you know, but you are still the only ones besides my family and friends here in the park.

So, without further ado…………….

I am heading for Mesa, AZ.  No snow for me this winter! LOL  I’ll be working at http://www.orangewoodshadows.com as the Activities Director and I am so excited not only about the location, but the job itself.  While I have organized lots of activities over the years for many organizations, I have never had a position like this one!  And, truthfully, I would never have even considered trying if it hadn’t been for Tricia suggesting it.  She opened up a whole new field for me when she said she thought it would be perfect for me.  Well, time will tell since I will be down there for 7 months giving it a try.  And, I’ve already been told by the manager of that park that I would be welcome to come back next winter, if I should choose to do so.  The man hasn’t done more than read my resume and talked to me a couple of times on the phone, so we will see if he still feels that way after the season.  It looks to me that everyone in the park enjoys playing in their spare time, so I have a feeling I am going to have a grand time there making even more new friends and family, cause I love to “play”, too! LOL  And just think, I am going to be only 3 hours from the Grand Canyon!  I’ve flown over it and driven within about 50 miles of it, but I have never had the chance to actually stand on the Rim and say I am at the Grand Canyon, but I will do it some time this fall!

Well, I am really getting off here now.  McCloud has a small library which I found just a day or so after arriving last April and I just had to go get a couple more books to help pass my evening hours these last weeks before heading south.  I had thought I would only return the books I had checked out a few weeks ago and say good-bye to the librarian today, but those books just called to me once more, so I’m going to go read a bit before hitting the pillows.

Pictures coming soon!!!

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Not much new happening yet…

But, the van and trailer have now made their “maiden voyage”! Yesterday after getting help from my grandsons the trailer received a lot more of what worldly goods I still have to my name. It will take me a while to find all of it in here, but that’s to be expected since I have so many lovely storage drawers and cupboards and I was sort of jamming it all in just to find room in the van for a couple of people to actually sit! LOL

DS (dear son) and DDIL (dear daughter-in-law) showed me what all is involved in disconnecting from the “stick house” world and making the “mobile world” become a reality. Not real hard, but I sure do need to make myself a checklist so I can remember things like putting my little house step up before driving off!! I forgot, but thankfully DDIL didn’t!

DS drove us down their “pitched” gravel driveway (had me holding my breath, let me tell you!) to the county road below and on into Twin Bridges which is about 7 miles from their house. Everything ran like a dream! The van didn’t seem to mind one little bit that she had something hooked to her like a very fancy pack horse, she just cruised along without a care on her mind.

I got to see DS back up and pull around, etc. so I could see how the van and trailer respond to each movement….. But, when it came time for me to actually think about driving, I turned “chicken”! LOL I will do better, I promise! DS wanted to see how the van would react to some small but steady uphill pulling, so he had headed us back down the road towards Dillon, which is actually about 20 miles south of Twin Bridges. Would have been a good place for me to actually do some driving, but I got a bad case of jitters, so he went ahead and drove. Van didn’t overheat or find the pulling at all different than when we had been out on the flats!!!!!!!!!! And, she didn’t even protest when we hauled back up that driveway of theirs. The van has front wheel drive, so the trailer does make her nose sit up a bit in the air, but she dug those tires in and pulled like a true champion. Slow but steady and we made it up that grade and then I learned how to unhitch and get set up once again to sleep in my little house on wheels. Imagine my delight, if you can, when I opened the door and stuff didn’t come crashing out at me! I might not know where all I put stuff in here yesterday, but at least it will still be in place when I go looking for it again! LOL

If the weather starts cooperating a bit better, it’s possible I will be making my first real rving trip this next weekend. The “kids” had to get some odds and ends of work done on their fifth wheel, so it will be ready for pick up in Bozeman on Saturday. DS thought it might be a good idea to combine retrieval of their trailer with an overnight camp out of both rigs. Sounds like a plan to me! I can drive at least part of the time and still have a knowledgeable passenger with me as DDIL will ride along and use their walkie-talkies to stay in contact with DS if we can’t figure something out on our own.

Will keep you posted if that trip happens!! These spring snows, short and sweet as they have been do still have a bad habit of changing a person’s plans!

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