Wednesday, September 30, 2009

On the ROAD AGAIN!!!

Well, we "Jumped the Gun" and left Yesterday!!! There was possible rain and/or snow showers forecast for Wednesday, so we decided to go Tuesday. Monday was a hectic day getting things done in one day that I planned on having two days to do.....but we made it.  We left Custer at 0915, it was a SUPERB day, weather was perfect!!! We went down Hwy 385 to my old home town of Alliance, Ne...then turned Southeast on hwy 2...right through the GREAT sandhills...where I was kinda homesick there for a bit, but kept on truckin!  We were going to Kearney and spend the night in Cabela's parking lot.

However, about 7 hours and 340 miles into the trip, we decided to cut it a little short and stop in Broken Bow, Nebr. Broken Bow is a little town of about 3500 great country, western folks and is a town that has some great and some not so great, Rodeo memories for me. I call it "Broken Bones", as I got broken up here quite seriously one time. This is Rodeo Country and I do have some stories I could tell about my  Rodeoing days here back in the early 50's, but that will have to wait for another time.  The old Truck Stop and Resturant is still there with the big parking lot. That was our home for last night. The Truck Stop is all closed up but the Restaurant is still going strong!!  Pat went in and asked if we could spend the night and they replied "SURE"!  Things sure change, as this used to be a very busy 24 hour place. Not anymore, it was relatively quiet all night. 

Ms Megabyte2 is a little confused about this "moving house" but she did pretty good.  We put her up in the truck with us and she found her neat little cubby hole under the table and stayed there most of the trip.  She came out once to eat a bite and get a drink of water while we were stopped at some construction but she went right back to her cubby hole as soon as we started rolling again. She's a sweet kitty and a wonderful companion.

We had a great trip. The wind was in our face most of the afternoon, but that's Nebraska.  It sure hurt my fuel mileage, though. The Harley cover did good, even in the 15-20 mph winds gusting up to 30, which was a good first trip test.

This is the Harley loaded on the Volvo with the Rampage Loader and ready for the cover to be put over it.

  Here it is with the new Towable Cover.  I felt a lot better with some type of protection on the Bike and it showed no signs of coming loose, tearing or ripping. So,although I wish it was a little larger, they say it has to be stretched as tight as possible.  Soon I will be getting a separate cover for the front wheel and fender and who knows it might get a little bigger as it gets fitted and broke in.
Today we should have no problem going the next 300 miles on in to Hutchinson, Kansas for the Heavy Duty Truck Rally. Several of our friends are already there and we are looking forward to seeing them..
But FIRST, I'm gonna run over to this Ole' Cowboy Resturant and have me a good ole' fashioned COWBOY BREAKFAST!!.......WAHOO,,,,, (uh oh, don't tell Ms Pat!!:-)
See ya Sunday....thanks for stopping by!
It is a GREAT WEEK!!!
This Blog is Published every Wedensday and Sunday.....

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ms Megabyte2 is EXCITED about us leaving!!!!

Yes.... as you can see.....Ms Mega2 is quite excited that we will be leaving the Hills of Custer, SD. in a few days. As we scurry around preparing for departure, she snoozes for hours.... looking at us as if to say..."OK, whats next"?  We have been stationary for 4.5 months, I don't know how she will take to us getting on the road again. It will be interesting. She got along good on here first trip when we left Mission, Tx in Feb., which was her very First trip ever.  However, on our trip up here from North Ranch at Congress, AZ. in May, she was scared to death and didn't seem to enjoy it much..  So, we'll soon see. She usually rides in the truck with us, but last time she didn't like the noise, so we may try letting her stay in the 5TH wheel. We tried that once and she got under my chair and never came out...  Whatever we do, it will be whatever she wants!!! We don't want to spoil her,ya know!!!

We took the Volvo Truck in and had it serviced last Wednesday, so it's ready to go!! We took a nice long, last ride on the Polaris 4X4 in the backwoods yesterday.  It was a beautiful ride.  The forests are so pretty, relaxing and enjoyable in the Fall. So now the 4X4 is ready to winterize and put away.  Today, after Church, we plan on one last Motorcycle ride in the area. Then it will be ready to load on the Volvo.  The Boat is winterized, as is the Pickup, the Mower and the Weedeater. So we are getting there. I hope that on Wednesday morning we will be all ready to start our trip south.

It is always harder to leave this area than it is anywhere else we spend time, but we have been doing it for 15 years and we will continue doing it as long as we can. We know there are exciting and interesting things ahead of us down the road....AND, we know for sure...we will be back HERE!!!

The new "towable" cover came for my Motorcycle. Here is a picture of it on the Bike. It is superb material and really stretchable.  In this picture, it is setting in the Toy Barn.  It will be stretched down a lot tighter when I get it loaded and cover all the pipes, engine, etc.  It's kinda like "shrink wrap".  I will take another picture when I get it loaded and tied down.
(click on all pictures to enlarge)

I was a little dissappointed it didn't cover the front fender and wheel, so they agreed to send me a separate cover for that.  It will be a lot better than nothing on it at all......thats for sure!!!

Thanks for stopping by.  Hopefully, I'll be able to publish Wed morning before we depart.

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!! We continually Thank our Heavenly Father for what we have.


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wedensday

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

ONE WEEK from TODAY, we will be on the Road Again!!!

I don't have much time this morning as we have to leave home and take the Volvo Truck into Rapid City and have the oil and all filters changed, along with a full lube job. It's an annual affair done here because the labor flat rate is $70.00.....much lower than it is anywhere that I know of.   Some are $100.00!!!

It's 50 miles to the Volvo garage and we want to get there early, so we'll be leaving about 7:00am. It takes a couple hours to service one of these big trucks.  It holds 10 gallons of oil, that's 40 quarts. It has 3 oil filters, 2 fuel filters and 1 coolant filter, plus an air filter. I like to get there early so if they should see anything that needs repair, I have a chance to get it done the same day.  However, I have learned not to take that for granted, so I hook the Honda CRV on behind and take it with us.  Plus, I also have transportation to go get supplies down town while the truck is being worked it's gonna be a BUSY DAY.  In fact, since we only have ONE WEEK until departure, its gonna be a BUSY WEEK!

(click on all pictures to enlarge)

Mark and Dale Bruss departed yesterday morning. Here they are all hooked up and ready to hit the road towards Hutchinson, KS. That is the same place we're going when we leave here next Wed. There's a big group of us heading there for the annual HDT (Heavy Duty Truck) Rally. Mark and Dale are going early because Dale has to catch a flight to Pensacola, FL. and help her parents move into an assisted living apartment.

Mark and Dale have been here with us for just over 3 weeks and we miss them already.  I hate GoodBye's. It's always so sad to see our good friends leave. It's been great having them around and Mark really earned more than his keep!! I am so happy to have our "TOY BARN" all hooked up with electricty and the RV utility box installed..  It's SOOoooo nice to have lights!!!

Plus, my computer bit the dust a few days ago.  Mark saved the day again.....he had to completely "nuke" it and bring it back from the DEAD!!!  It took him several days and some huge downloads, but as usual he did a perfect job and it's like new again!!!  He is one of the best computer "guru's" we know. If he can't fix it, it can't be fixed.  It's mighty handy to have him around.  See you guys soon and travel safe!!!

Sunday afternoon Ms Pat and I took a nice long ride on the Harley out through the Custer State Park. We went down Needles Highway, cut across to Iron Mountain Road, then down the Wild Life Loop and back up over Mt. Coolidge and home.  About 65 miles and the colors are turning beautifully....a very enjoyable trip....Praise the Lord!!!  We have so much to be thankful for!

With that, we have to get out of here....time to go.

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, September 20, 2009

EOS (End Of Summer) Blow Out in the Toy Barn...

Yesterday we had a Big END of SUMMER get together in the Toy Barn. We invited friends and neighbors for one last get together before we head South.

We got the Toy Barn all set up for a Party.

Pat and Dale Bruss got the food and settings all prepared.

As usual, the get together started at 4pm for some serious discussion and renewing old friendships and food was served at 5pm. It wasn't long until we were all seated and enjoying all the good food. We provided the Brats and everyone brought a specialty dish. Dale prepared Italian meat balls and sausage. Our friends and neighbors Shirley and Bob Stewart provided Hors d'oeuvres that included "sheep" sausage.  It was all delicious!!! A little more after dinner discussions and it was soon time for the hugs and handshakes  and say Goodbye until next year. Travel safe and have a good winter everyone!

When we went on our early morning walk out at Stockade Lake, we saw this balloon taking off over the lake.  The very next morning we saw another one (picture below) just lifting off. I thought it was going to take a dip in the lake.  The basket got awful close!  Click on these pictures to enlarge them and notice the reflection in the lake. It was about 7:30 am and the sun was just perfect...

The Fall colors are really beginning to show up here in the Black Hills and it is really enjoyable to ride the Harley in this beautiful country.  The traffic is way down and the weather has just been outstanding.....40 deg mornings and 75 deg highs are MY kind of weather.

While Ms Pat was doing other things, I took a couple of very enjoyable 40-50 mile trips around the area on the Harley Softail. I knew all the Buffalo would be in the south end of the park as they prepare for the annual Buffalo Roundup in about a week, so I took one of my trips out that way. Sure enough, there they were right along the road. So I stopped and took this picture.

Soon I will be loading the Bike on the back of the Volvo with the special Rampage Loader and probably  won't unload it until we get to South Texas.

I hate to leave a Bike out in the weather without a cover. I haven't been able to find a cover that can be left on while you're hauling or towing your bike. In fact, I've ruined 2 of them already. Our Friends Gary and Jennifer Roessler told us about a cover that is "guaranteed" for towing. It's called the Geza Cover. The Roesslers haul 2 Harleys on the back of their Freightliner. So I have been in contact with Tom, the owner of the Geza Cover Company, and he is making me a cover that I can tow with. GUARANTEED!! It should be here this week. While Gary and Jennifer were here they gave us a nice long training scession and demonstration on how to use the Rampage Loader. So we feel much more confident doing it now. Thanks guys!!!

We still have a lot to do to get ready to depart on the 30TH and it is getting closer and closer!!

But let me tell was a GREAT WEEK!!!

Thanks for dropping by.....please stop back on Wednesday if you can.  I'll look for ya!

Remember to tell your kids you love them....they may not be around forever.

We're off to Church.


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Wild, Wild, West,,,,My "Home Sweet Home"!

I love Windmills. We presently live on Windmill Lane near Custer, SD. My Father had over a dozen Windmills on the Ranch I was raised on in the Sandhills of Nebraska. We even put a Windmill on his Grave Stone.

One of my jobs as I grew up was to ride my horse and check out several of our Windmills and make sure they were working, pumping water and the tank was full. Many times it would take me all day of steady riding to get them all checked. But it was an important, long, lonely job....just me and my horse Angel. Angel was a beautiful horse and was truly an Angel. She would work hard and never let me down, a faithful companion. I used to talk to her, sing to her and even ask her questions. She didn't answer me much, but I could always tell she was on my side. Warm, Hot or Cold, she was always there to do her share. I will always remember Angel.

Patches was the horse I had before Angel. Patches and I grew up together. I rode him 4 miles to school and 4 miles home every day for several years....I was in the 3RD, 4TH and 5TH grade. I remember the snow would be so deep sometimes that he couldn't get through it and we would have to head for higher ground. We had a barn at school where several of us kept our horses all day. We had to haul lots of hay to the barn for them to eat. Patches was a little tricky....he liked to play tricks on me. He could always tell when I wasn't paying attention while I rode him and he would suddenly STOP very quickly. That would cause me to flip right over his head and land flat on my back. It would happen so quickly that I wouldn't know what hit me. I always rode him bareback and if I didn't keep hold of the reins he would take off for home after he dumped me.....and I would have to walk! I learned to keep hold of those reins for dear life. I sure didn't want to walk home!

I hope you can click on this photo and enlarge it so you can read this beautiful poem. It has a lot of truth and memories in it for me.

As we travel, I still always look for windmills. They will tell you which way the wind is blowing. There are lots of different styles and sizes, little ones and big ones, some metal and some wood. Their main purpose in life is the pump Water! It's getting harder and harder to find a windmill. They are becoming a thing of the past. It seems so many things are like that anymore....A thing of the PAST...... All gone but the Memories!!

And Memories we all have. Thanks for listening to my reminiscing of some of my past out here in the Good Ole' Wild, Wild West. God Love it!!!

God Bless you all!!!

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!


This Blog is published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, September 13, 2009


We now have Electricity including LIGHTS in the "TOY BARN"!! Plus, I have an RV electrical Utility Box for visitors. Mark Bruss and I finished up the project Thursday. It's nice to have plugs all the way around the Toy Barn and also the overhead lights. I have been putting this off for a while now and with Mark's help and support, it is completed.... flip the switch and we have LIGHTS!!!! Here are a few pictures:
(Click on picture to enlarge and go to web album for more) Then click on back arrow to return to Blog.
RV 50amp electrial Installation Sept 2009 Custer

Friday, we shipped out a couple of PressurePro Systems, while the Kids went to visit Hot Springs and the Mammoth Site, along with Evans Plunge. Then about 3:30 pm, we all took off for the "famous" ALPINE INN in Hill City. We decided to take the Kids and Mark & Dale Bruss out to our favorite restaurant for the BEST Fillet Mignon we have ever found. Those of you that been in this area know that the Alpine Inn is the best. Hill City is a little town just 12 miles north of us. However. since it is SO POPULAR, you have to be there by 4pm. Even though they don't open till 5pm. We were right up front when they opened, but the line went for a long ways out the door. They can seat a 100 people and some of the folks had to wait a while. As usual it was DELICIOUS!!!! This was Randy and Lisa's last day....they flew out Saturday AM. They had a FULL week in the Hills and seemed to enjoy it immensely. The weather during their stay was perfect!!!

Saturday morning before they went to the Airport to catch their flight they stopped by to say Good Bye. It is so sad to see them go. We wish they could hang around forever and they also wish they could stay longer. The time goes by so FAST!!! I know they will be back as soon as they can and they have a lot of memories to share with their friends and family when they get home. They won't soon forget these great BLACK HILLS of South Dakota that we have been telling them so much about about for so long!! Hurry back Randy and Lisa...we love you and miss you already!!!

As of Friday, we have been here 4 Months!!! In just 3 weeks, we will be heading South for the Winter. I always feel sad leaving this place, but the cold weather is getting closer and closer. Yesterday the high for the day was only 55* and last Wednesday it was 30* when we got out of bed...frost all over the place. We don't mind that, but colder weather and SNOW is just around the corner. So the time has came to begin our preparation to head toward the warmer country. South Texas here we come......meanwhile we are enjoying the Fall colors of all the turning leaves.

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!

Thanks for stopping by.......

We are off to Church.


This Blog Published every Sunday and Wednesday..

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor Day Hike with the Kids,

It's early when I post this, but Pat mentioned that TODAY is 09/09/09.. Wow, that doesn't happen very often....REMEMBER to be sure and FLY YOUR FLAG on 09/11/09!!!!!!

Did you notice the NEW pictures we put under the Header above? They are photo's of some of our favorite spots around the area, all within 10 miles of our place.
The First one on the left is of Pat standing on top of Little Devils Tower in Custer State Park.
The Second one is us taken several years ago on Lovers Leap.(our favorite)
The Third is of Rhoda Roper and us on Sunday Gulch, the same hike we took yesterday with Lisa and Randy.
The Fourth is our "private" spot we found while working in the Park where you can see Mt. Rushmore through the tree tops.
The last Photo was taken on the arm of Chief Crazy Horse. We have hiked and driven up there many, many times.

If you click on any of the Photo's, it will take you to our Web Albums where there are more.

(click on all photo's to enlarge) I Hope!

The kids from Florida are visiting and the weather has been perfect. The nights around 45-50 deg and every day the highs have been around 80*. They are having a ball. They love to hike and so do we... so every day (except Sunday) we have taken them on an early morning hike!

On Labor Day we picked them up at the Calamity Peak Motel at 7:30 AM and headed for our favorite hike on Lover's Leap. This is a 3 mile strenuous hike that has one of the most beautiful views in Custer State Park.

This is Ms Pat and her daughter Lisa sitting at the top of Lovers Leap. As you can see, it is quite a high ledge and the cliff drops straight down behind them.

Lisa, Ms Pat and Randy. Here you can see the great view behind them. Way back in the background is Mt Coolidge, Custer State Park's Fire Lookout Tower and Radio Control Dispatcher. This is the Operator we received all our Emergency Calls from when we worked with Law Enforcement in the Park.

The kids thought this was an outstanding hike and enjoyed it very much. We were back home before lunch and I began work on my ongoing project of wiring the Toy Barn. I'm getting the wiring in for electrical plugs all around the walls and 4 big lights down the center.

Yesterday we took them on another one of the many hikes here in the Park. This hike is called Sunday Gulch and is in the Sylvan Lake area. It is also rated as a strenuous 3 mike hike. By 10am I was back working on the wiring. Between the hiking and all the ladder climbing pulling wire, it's doing a number on these old legs. When 4pm rolls around, I'm ready to quit and enjoy Happy Hour.

Today we are going to Rapid City for a Dr's appointment for Ms Pat and to replenish supplies, so we will give Lisa and Randy a rest! Ha, I believe I may just enjoy the rest myself!!! Maybe more than they will....LOL. They seem to be in excellent shape and have never shown any sign of weakness. I will say I am surprised, but pleased, to see that they are in good shape and do a lot of walking at home in Florida.

They are quite impressed with the Black Hills of South Dakota and are really enjoying their stay. But it is going fast. They will be leaving Saturday. Today they are headed to see the Badlands and Wall Drug. That will be a full day for them.

Meanwhile, we are headed to the big city.... Thanks for stopping by...

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!!


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Life just gets better and better!

Life in the Black Hills of South Dakota is about as good as it gets!! I'm sure I've told you before how much we enjoy life up here. We took our Harley up to Deadwood Thursday and rode up Spearfish Canyon road to Spearfish.. It was a beautiful ride and we enjoyed it so much, that we turned around in Spearfish and came right down it again back to Deadwood. Trailering the Bike to Deadwood went well also. How neat it is to just ride the bike into the trailer and lock it into the Chock, step off, strap it down and take off. When you get there, it's very simple to back the bike out of the trailer and go on your way. Like I say, life just gets better and better! Here are some pictures.

(click on the link below the picture to see more photos of Spearfish Canyon) Use your back arrow to return to the Blog.
From Spearfish Canyon Bike Ride Sept 2009

Friday evening Pat's oldest daughter Lisa and her husband Randy arrived from Florida. This is their first trip to the Hills. Their flight left Tallahassee early that morning. It had been a long day for them, but they were quite excited to be here. After a Pot Luck dinner in our Toy Barn, they were off to the motel for some much needed rest...and to prepare for an exciting week.

From Our Kids
Here they are parked in our front yard with their rental car...

Earlier Friday, just before noon, our friends Mark and Dale Bruss pulled in.....with their 40' Travel Supreme 5TH wheel and big Red Volvo 770 truck. We have been looking forward to their visit and we quickly got them situated in their "favorite" spot. Now they have the same beautiful view of the Hills and Cathedral Spires out their front door that we do....:-)

Yesterday, after our Hike at Stockade Lake with Lisa and Randy, Mark and I had a project planned. Mark agreed to help me put in a 50amp RV receptacle on the front of our "Toy Barn" (note the new name of our garage), so our visitors can have full power while they are here. Plus, we're going to install several 20amp plugs around the inside and a few lights overhead.
We had a great day and I'm happy to report, we got the 50 amp receptacle installed and Mark is now plugged into it and has FULL 50 amp Power!!! Above, Mark is putting on the final touches of the 50amp breaker box. Isn't that GREAT!!!! Now all we have to do is install about 10 - 12, 20amp plug in receptacles, two switches and 4 light fixtures inside. We'll save that for another day. It's too close to Happy Hour to start another project. :-)

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!

Thank you all for stopping by. Have a Super Labor day weekend and remember...don't forget to tell your kids you love them...they may not be around forever.

We're off to early Church.....


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Friends depart and Friends arrive!!

WOW......I was impressed with all the comments, emails and personal contacts concerning stopping my Blog. Thank you all very much...the encouragement means a lot to me. When we aren't traveling, or having a disaster, it's hard to find things to write about.

I'll stay with it as long as I can meet the set of standards I set for myself when I decided to do a Blog. I knew it wouldn't be easy, as I'm the worlds worst typist and slower than Molasses in January. I'm definitely not a writer in any way, shape or form. This computer stuff is hard for me as I don't know what I'm doing most of the time. It's a lot of trial and error and can be extremely frustrating at times. But, I will be consistent, I will be reliable and dependable. I won't make you click over here time and time again just to find out that I haven't posted yet. I know how tired I get of doing that. I won't give you a line by line description of every little thing we do in our normal daily life from the time we get out of bed and I won't tell you what we had for breakfast, lunch and dinner, nor what a great dessert we had. No pictures of FOOD!!! I will try to keep it short,(sometimes it's tough!) and to the point and I will post a few pictures to better describe the discussion. If I slip up, let me know and also please advise me of your "pet peeves" in Blogs.... I will do my best to avoid doing them.

It was enjoyable having Rocky and Sheri Rhoades drop in on us for a few days. They are just returning from a long trip up into Canada. We had a great time getting to know these brand new Rv'ers that are on a very worthy Mission. These folks are truly the "Hero Makers"!!!! Rocky spoke at our church service Sunday about their work and he was very well received by all. Check out their web Site "Hero Makers". God Bless them.

Even Ms Megabyte2 had a GUEST!!! Rocky and Sheri travel with a kitty called "DESTINY". Destiny is a beautiful little lady. Sheri has this neat spiral net playpen for Destiny, so we put the 2 pens together and let them get acquainted. They did "talk" a little, but there were so many other distractions, they didn't get together much. Mega2 doesn't even seem to like it outside very much, not for long anyhow.

This is Rocky and Sheri's Teton and Volvo 770. Does that truck look familiar?? This is a strange coincidence, but it looks a lot like ours doesn't it? Come to find out it came from the same fleet of Freight Trucks. It is the same color, same year, same engine, same transmission, same everything....right down to the same radio and 10 speaker amplified sound system. It is EXACTLY a sister to our Volvo 770. This freight Company buys dozens of trucks, all the same color and very fully equipped. They also hire drivers that really keep them unusually CLEAN!! This is the 3RD truck from this Fleet that is in our group of HDT Escapee Forum Members...every one exactly the same. My key even works in the ignition and doors!! Nice going Rocky and Sheri! Enjoy your retired Century Freight Lines Truck... it's a Beauty. It will carry you many, many safe enjoyable miles.

In a few days, good friends Mark and Dale Bruss will be here to see us. Looking forward to seeing them and at the same time we have kids coming from Florida. Pat's daughter Lisa and her husband Randy will fly in on Friday. This will be there first visit to the "Beautiful Black Hills". It will be fun watching them inhale the special beauty this place has to offer that seems to get in your blood!!! You'll be seeing and hearing about all these folks in the future.

Meanwhile, tomorrow we are planning a one day trip up North through Spearfish Canyon. This is a definite recommended Bike ride in the hills, along with Custer State park. Pat has a dental appointment in Deadwood, so we will take the bike with us in the new Cargo Trailer. The appointment is at 8am and it's a good 50 miles to Deadwood, so we will have to start EARLY!Hopefully, she will get out early and we will take the Canyon ride.

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!!!

Thank you all for stopping by........


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..