Sunday, August 31, 2008

What is LABOR DAY to you?

Happy LABOR DAY everybody!!!!! Ever wonder just what they mean by LABOR DAY?

Almost no one "labor's" on LABOR DAY! Here is a quick definition that I found:

"Labor Day is a federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September. The holiday originated in 1882 as the Central Labor Union (of New York City) sought to create "a day off for the working citizens". Congress made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894.[1] All fifty states have made Labor Day a state holiday. Traditionally, Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer".

It is the Symbolic end of the Summer. So that's it for the Summer of 2008, tomorrow on Sept 1, it's all over for another year...... Time just keeps "movin on"!!!! In just a few weeks, we will be packing up and starting our move south............seems like we just got here!!! But both Pat and I are ready to hit the road!!!


(click on arrow to play video)
video

Our good friends Mark and Dale Bruss spent a few weeks with us this summer and it was a great pleasure to have them. It's always sad when folks leave, but we'll see Mark and Dale again soon at the HeavyDutyTruck Rally in Hutchinson, KS in a few weeks.....

It was awful quiet around here after Mark and Dale left, so we got real busy!! Took the Volvo to Rapid City for a full service, oil, filter and lube job. That took most of the day. Shipped out 3 PressurePro Systems and went fishing down at the lake for a day..........Friday, we took a little motorcycle ride out in Custer State Park, down the Needles Highway.
(click on pictures to enlarge)

Jim and Ingrid Gourdoux


Jim and Ingrid's Phaeton, very sharp Coach.

Saturday, Jim & Ingrid Gourdoux drove down from Spearfish and picked up a PressurePro system for their new 40' Phaeton Motorhome. It was great meeting these folks. They are workamping at the State Fish Hatchery in Spearfish.

Plus we got in 4 days of early morning hiking, including our favorite hike up the monstrous hill at Stockade Lake trail........Some think its a "killer", Pat and I love it!!
So, it was a full week. Time for some "NO LABOR" day!!!!!:-)

Next Friday, Saturday and Sunday we will be attending my 55TH High School Reunion in North Platte, Nebraska. That's 330 miles away, so Friday and Sunday will be travel days....but it should be real interesting. I haven't attended for many, many years!!! And I'm looking forward to it! My post will no doubt be late next Sunday..........But check, I'll get it as soon as I get back.

We hope and pray that all our Southern friends and family stay dry and safe. Tallahassee, with 16.5 inches of rain from Fay, you don't need any more!!! We're thinking of you!!

Thanks for stopping by and we hope you all have an enjoyable and safe LABOR DAY!!!!! You can hang it up now, Summer is OVER!!!!

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!!

Mike

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Another GRRREAT week !!!

Last Sunday, we decided to hike the Cathedral Spires trail in Custer State Park with our good friends, the Vickers. It was a SUPER hike up, under and around the beautiful rock spires. The weather was gorgeous for hiking. 73 deg was the high for the day!!
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Here we are at the Trail Head.....




Here we are at THE END of the Trail, on top, at the Base of the Spires. It's SOLID rock straight up all around us.


Here is a shot with the telephoto lens, as we looked up at some Rock Climbers that had climbed way up on the Spires and were preparing to go further...to the TOP!!

After the hike, it was such a beautiful day, that we decided to go on down the famous Needles Highway and tour Custer State Park a little. As a lot of you know, Pat and I worked in this great park for 9 summers. We know every INCH of it and always enjoy spending time here. We showed Jim and Donnalyn another one of our favorite "private" hikes. We walked an old fire road back into the woods to a place where we had a nice view of the faces on Mount Rushmore.

We toured around for another couple hours and headed on back home.....What an ENJOYABLE morning!!!!

There are lots of our old friends still workamping at Custer State Park, so we decided to invite them to a Pot Luck at our place and break in our NEW POLE BULDING........so Friday we were all set up.......................


Here is all the food everyone prepared. It looked and smelled superb!!




Lots of GREAT friends, old and new came!!! First, of course, was HAPPY(social) HOUR!!!!!



Bill Disney (on the left) and Bill Weatherford (in the center) still work in the Park and Daryl Kraemer (on the right) works on the Mickelson Trail.



Dick Peer and Mark Bruss. Dick (and Shirley) and Mark (and Dale) are also our neighbors at our place in Mission, Texas. Peer's are Campground Hosts at Game Lodge Campground in the Park and Mark and Dale are visiting us.




Jim and Donnalyn Vickers on the left, Dale Bruss and Ruby Disney enjoy the protection of the new building as it was COOL outside....



Bob Stewart joins the conversation. Bob is like us and "retired" from the Park after many, many years of service. Bob & Shirley brought us a "barn warming" gift....it was a bottle of South Dakota wine, made in Vermillion, SD and the label has a picture of a buffalo on it. I don't have a picture of the bottle but maybe I can get one on here next week. What a neat gift!!! Bob and Shirley know how much we love "buffalo stuff". Thanks Bob and Shirley.





It wasn't long until we had ALL made our way through the FOOD lines and sat down to enjoy the GREAT FOOD!!!!

Donnalyn and Shirley Stewart are helping themselves to those wonderful desserts that we couldn't LIVE without. Donnalyn made a delicious "chocolate dish" and Linda Weatherford made 2 "homemade, fresh shelled" pecan pies. They just LOVE to test my will power!!! That's OK!!!!!:-)



This is our GREAT friend and X boss, Ron Tietsort, and his two children, Hope and Noah. Ron is the head Law Enforcement Ranger in Custer State Park....... Let me tell you, he was a WONDERFUL boss!!! We saw Noah and Hope grow up while we worked in the Park and they just continue to GROW!!!! Pat used to babysit them when they were little. Ron knows how much I enjoyed driving around the Park when I was working there, so he called and asked if I would like to take a ride with him!!!! WOW<>

He goes on duty at 1pm, so he told me to meet him Thursday at his place and he would take me with him for the afternoon....Ahhhhhh,,,,,,Gee, I was in Heaven. I was so excited and pre-occupied, that I forgot my camera. Left it behind in my car..:-( So I can't show you all the beauty and enjoyable things we did.......But take my word for it,,I had a BALL!!!!! Thanks a MILLION Ron ! That was mighty nice of you!!! It sure made it a GREAT WEEK!!!!!!!

That about wraps it up for this week, Thanks for stopping by and I hope everyone is having at least half as much fun as we are.......!!!!! Take care!

I Know I said it already, but it TRULY was a GREAT WEEK!!!!!!
It's great to be alive!!! Praise God!!!

Mike

This Blog published every Sunday morning.......

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Not much NEWS this week.............

Things have slowed down a lot around the BLACK HILLS and our place. It was still a cool week, but most of the Bikers have headed back to their homes. We were able to get our morning walk in every day except Tuesday when we had to be in Rapid City at Dr. Hafner's Black Hills Regional Eye Clinic at 8:30 am. It was time for our annual eye check ups.

Here is a little 1 minute clip from the local newspaper on the headlines for the area. It's kinda neat........A Wagon Train, a Sturgis Shooting, Rattlesnakes and the Little League World Series are all part of this week in review.

Rapid City Journal

We were excited that the Little League team from Rapid City made it to the Little League World Series playoff's. It was a FIRST for South Dakota! We hoped they would make a good showing, but that wasn't going to be. They quickly lost the first game 10-0, then yesterday they came out strong in the beginning but lost it in the 4th inning. Final score was 9-4. That pretty much squelches their chances of moving into the finals. They have one more game Monday. It's FUN to watch these young fellows play and Win, Lose or Draw, this will be an experience they won't forget. We'll be there Monday cheering them on!!!

While we were in town we stopped by the new Cabela's Sporting goods store that just opened in Rapid City. Folks in the area are quite excited about the store and it's a nice addition to the Hills, but it doesn't compare to the Cabela's Home Store in Sidney, Nebraska. I was surprised... it's a small store, not even as big as the one in Mitchell, SD. However, it does have the usual MAZE of sporting goods, hunting and fishing supplies, plus much more. I am in complete AWE when I enter one of these stores. My eyes get as big as saucers.......WOW !!!! It has some NEAT inside displays. I went especially to see the Herd of BUFFALO............Here are a few photo's:

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The BUFFALO herd.....

A little closer up..... This is not a Mural or a painting. Its actual Buffalo standing on the ledge!:-)


You can see the pictures better if you click and enlarge them. They also aren't quite so dark.

That was about it for us this week, it was unusually cool all week. The high was 79 on Tuesday and the low was 43 on Saturday morning..............We ended up the week with a Cook Out with our old and new friends down at the Broken Arrow Campground. We met Jim & Patti Coble, some of our NEW PressurePro customers, who arrived yesterday and are staying at Broken Arrow for a week or maybe more???


It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!!!


Thanks for stopping by.............................Hope to see you next week....

Travel Safe!!!

Mike

This Blog published every Sunday..............

Monday, August 11, 2008

My FIRST video.....


Sorry I didn't get this published in time for my Blog.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

This is some kind of NEAT WEATHER this year!!!

The weather has really been GREAT in the Black Hills this summer!!! Here it is the FIRST week of August and we haven't had any real hot weather yet!!! Now that's my kind of place! Let me say it's not ALWAYS like this. I've seen some years when it was super HOT right now. It's BIKE WEEK in these Hills and we don't go out much during this week. It's so crowded you can't get anywhere, even finding the Post Office in our little town is almost impossible. However, the crowd count is down this year and it hasn't been so bad.


Back to the weather, it's been about 50 deg every morning when we get up and 82 was the high for the week. Last Monday the high was 69, Tuesday and Wednesday it was 77. The next 3 days highs were 81, 80 and 81. It doesn't get much better than that!!!!!


The bikes are all heading out and they have thinned out considerably the last day or two. HOWEVER, This mornings headlines are "Biker Shot". Sounds like the HELL'S ANGELS have made their presence known again this year. I'm sure you will soon see it on your National News TV channel.


So, what else is NEW? Well, the Electricians came Monday and put our electrical wiring to the POLE BLDG..............

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The Line is in and the "crooked" ditch is covered up. (-: Now I have electric plugs inside and my 220 welder hooked up!!

It sure is nice to have a place to get everything in out of the weather and plug in battery chargers, etc.

Someday if we get to the point where we can't travel or have to downsize considerably, we plan on making this into our living quarters. This will be the entrance and the living room and kitchen. The wall will be just left of the entrance door, that is 18 ft. It will be 18 x 40....we don't want a very big space.

This will be the Bedroom way in the back, then the Bath. Right where that little table against the wall sits, I framed out an area so I can put the plumbing and sewer in without having to chip out the Concrete. Right now this area makes us a nice out of the wind and weather gathering place.



We have dedicated this Building to Son SCOTT, whom we just lost recently to Cancer. I discussed this building so much with him and he wanted to come up and help me build it. I will say that he was here EVERY DAY supervising the job and helping us make decisions..........Boy, we miss him!!!!!! His name will be etched in the concrete FOREVER!!!! NEVER FORGOTTEN!!!!!


The time is FLYING BY!!!!!!!,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Seems like we just got here. Only 6 weeks until we will be loading up and leaving. Where did it go??? That time will be here soon and we will be on our way to Lincoln to spend a few days with Ann.. Then on down to Hutchinson, KS for the HDT rally....where all of the many Friends and Folks with Heavy Duty Trucks gather for a week of fun, friendship and learning about these SUPER tow rigs we all have built. I always look forward to our travels, but our time up here in the Black Hills is one of the most enjoyable times of each year.

Thanks again to everyone for stopping by our Blog. Glad to have you along and hope you come back again next week. I promise not to bore you with anymore on the POLE BUILDING!!!!:-) But, if you're interested in "oodles" of pictures of the Pole Building...click here:

POLE BUILDING

Our friends Mark and Dale are still with us....we're having a wonderful time. Mark has been helping Pat "tune up" our PressurePro website and transferring a lot of files to her new Dell laptop computer. He is also updating our old Dell desktop with new RAM and a new Power Supply. Thanks, Mark!!! To celebrate, we had a fish fry last night....South Dakota Walleye, "Southern" Cheese Grits and Hushpuppies, and Cole Slaw....YUM!!!!:-)

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!!

Mike

This Blog published every Sunday morning.....

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Pole Bldg COMPLETED!!!

Howdy!!!! Glad to have you visit our Blog! Hope your week was a good one. We made good progress with our building project. IT'S ALL DONE!!! Can you believe it? I can't... we've been planning it for 4+ years and it finally happened.
(click on all pictures to enlarge

Tuesday morning early(6:30am) the concrete people showed up right on schedule..........The POURING began!!

People and wheel barrels were going every direction........



Soon it looked like this....... OOPS..don't know what happend to this picture...



The next day the drive and the sidewalk were poured and the inside floor had set up and was ready for the "joints" to be cut....



Cutting the "joints" made it VERY dusty! Pat and I washed it all out with a water hose and here it is almost dried. Looking GOOD!!!



The electric is all ready to hook up and I even brought some of my tools over from the storage shed........


Just a little over 2 weeks ago, July 15TH, this is how it looked......................


Aug 2ND it looks like this.....Wow, amazing........There were times I wondered if it would EVER happen and here it is DONE!! Getting contractors to do stuff up here in the Hills is a TASK!! We are going to enjoy it!!!

Pat already has her little "chat room" all set up. Some place to get in out of the wind and weather. Happy Hour MUST go on, rain or shine!!!

NEXT PROJECT was to get the ditch dug for the electrical line. Digging up here in this ROCK country is no simple matter!!! We rented a TRENCHER at the local hardware store and began chewing through the rock. Good friend and fellow Rv'er Jim Vickers stopped by and was checking on our work. When he saw this ditch he stated "what were you drinking when you did that"? HaHa........Yep, it's a little crooked!!!!!:-) That little trencher didn't like the side hill slope, nor did it like all the rocks it was hitting. Plus, it was not self-propelled.... you had to PULL it BACKWARD. It was hard to tell where you were going to say the least, but eventually with a lot of SWEAT, we got it 18" deep or close enough. WHEW, that was a JOB!!! That little machine about tore us up!!! Myself, Mark Bruss and Pat were WORN OUT after that little ordeal. Glad we didn't have another 30' to go!!!!


OOPS, forgot to mention our good friends Mark and Dale Bruss arrived THURSDAY right on schedule.....just in time to help us dig the electrical ditch. It's GREAT to see them and have them around for a spell. Hope we didn't work them too hard the first day!!

Well ,that's about it for another week..........we all need a little rest. All that excitement for a couple of old folks has about done us in.........Now to start filling up that 40X40 pole Bldg!! I already have a start on that....

Thanks for stopping by, look forward to hearing from you and seeing you all again next week.

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!

Mike

This Blog is published every Sunday AM.