Friday, June 21, 2013

"The 300"

If you have been following our journey for any length of time you know when we are moving we don't move very far every day.  Our sweet spot is 120-150 miles.  There are not many optimum overnight options between Sioux Falls and Rapid City....maybe a couple....Murdo, and Wall.  Even Murdo is slightly beyond our comfort range at 203, but Wall is way out of it at 300 miles.  Nevertheless, that was our plan for Thursday.  

On Thursday we did something we have not done the entire almost 17 months we have been on the road.....caravan with someone else.  We have done it several times in the past, but it has just not been an option for our journey up until Thursday.  Since our good friends Tom and Darlene were also departing Sioux Falls for Spearfish Thursday we decided to drive together.  Tom and Darlene don't drive long distances either, but they don't usually stop as often as we do.  Usually we like to stop every 60-80 miles.

But, I get ahead of myself, as usual.  We had unfinished business on Todd's '84 Newell left over from Wednesday.  We needed to attach the new hinge to the electrical bay door, and then in turn attach the electrical bay door back into its rightful position.  We figured this would take 1-2 hours, and it did.  It's amazing how much more effective we are when we are not exhausted.  The electrical bay door now closes flush with the frame, and it came out great!

Once we had that done I began to pack up.  We wanted to be on the road between 10 and 11, and TLE and I had taken out a lot of stuff for our mere 5 days in Sioux Falls, but nothing could be put away until I put my portable Black and Decker Workmate away.  It sits behind the Cannondale tandem against the wall, and until it is in place I cannot put the tandem away, or the to road bikes.

Darlene was kidding me saying that they were ready to go.....all they had to do was pull in their slideouts, and unplug....I told her she might have to eat those words....we both laughed.  TLE and I were ready to go within 45 minutes, and pulled the coach out onto the pavement to load the T-Bird.  Just as we were finishing that task Darlene walked up and told me she was going to have to eat her words.....the slides would not retract.......it took another 15 minutes to get them in.  As it turned out their coach was not level enough, and the slide controller wouldn't activate.  Sometimes low tech pays off!  We all had a good chuckle about the turn of events.  

Once that was done Tom realized he had one more small task to finish on Todd's coach, so TLE and decided to head up to the Flying J to add $300 of diesel at $3.61 and then jump on I-90 westbound.  We planned to meet up with Tom and Darlene at mile marker 301.5....about 80 miles down the road.....perfect!  They actually caught up to us with about 8 miles to go, so our timing was perfect.

Wall, SD, our destination, sits at about 2,700' elevation compared to Sioux Falls at 1400', so this day was about climbing......it was very gradual, but combined with the higher than expected temperatures it was a grind.  Eventually we had turn on the generator and run the front roof A/C it got so warm and muggy inside.  We have rarely had to do this, and it has been probably 5, or 6 months since the last time when we were in the Miami, FL area.

We stopped one more time at a rest stop about 100 miles from Wall, and then made it into Wall around 3:30 MOUNTAIN TIME!  Yes, we are now officially back in MOUNTAIN TIME, and only one hour behind Pacific Coast Time, so now our prime time TV viewing starts at 9 pm.

It was hot and humid when we arrived in Wall, and I was sweating profusely.  We found a place to park across the street from Wall Drug on very hot back asphalt.  Both Tom and I left our generators and A/C running.  Our plan had been do what we had just done and just dry camp over night after visiting Wall Drug, and having an early dinner, but it was so hot we decided pretty quickly we would walk a block over to Sleepy Hollow RV Park and get two 50 amp sites......as it turned out they had just two 50 amp sites left, and we quickly snagged them.....again no reservations!  Miss Serendipity smiles on us once again!

Once we had the coaches parked, and plugged in to 50 amps we headed over to Wall Drug to site see, and get a bite to eat.  Personally I'm not sure what all the hoopla is about, but thousands of people milling around what appears to me to be one large block long souvenir shop can't be wrong.  If you loved Wall Drug, when you visited please don't take offense.....it's just not my cup of tea.  I know the story of how Wall Drug became a major stopping point for people traveling across South Dakota is compelling, but I'm not sure how that relates to its current popularity.

We had a nice dinner, then Tom and I sat talking while the ladies did some window shopping.....everything seems quite expensive here, so no new souvenirs were acquired.

By the time we began our walk back to the RV park the temperature had dropped to 79.  I had some insurance work to do, and I needed to write my blog entry for Wednesday which was not about 12 hours late.  While I did that I watched game 7 of the NBA finals which saw the better team, the Miami Heat, win the game.  It was very close until the end when the Spurs committed some turnovers, and had to foul to stop the clock.  I think Miami won by 8, or 10 points,

On to Spearfish Friday!  Thanks for stopping by!

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