June 2019
  • Day17


    June 26, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 84 °F

    Numbers and journals to come later. Trying to unpack is the worst!

    Total miles driven: 6,510.00
    Total states: 17
    Total paid campsites: 9
    Total free campsites: 7
    Total number of gas fill-ups: 35
    Average miles per gallon: 11.05
    Total spent on gas: $ 1,552.00
    Total spent on food: $ 1,031.00
    Total spent on lodging: $ 238.00
    Total spent on souvenirs: $ 225.00
    Total spent on misc: $ 184.00
    Total for trip: $ 3,232.00

    I honestly do not know how we spent 1,000 on food when I feel like we barely ate. Granted, brew pubs can get pricey since you'll drop 50 bucks on just the alcohol. And it feels like it's a law to spend money on snacks when you stop for gas even though you have perfectly good snacks in the car!

    Things I learned on this trip:
    Redd should always bring pants even if he thinks he doesn't need them.

    Paula packs too many clothes even when she thinks she's packing minimally.

    We didn't use 1/2 of the kitchen things we brought to cook.

    We didn't eat 1/2 the cooked food I brought.
    We ended up throwing some pork loin and hot dogs.

    Ribeyes are always good but are especially good for breakfast.

    Our little cherub, our converted cargo trailer, is a liability when overlanding. I was terrified we would break axl or bust a tire on the rough roads. We are going to sell our sweet Cherub and put a camper shell on the truck. This way we can easily access whatever we want.

    Chico is not a cold weather camping dog. Poor guy was miserable the whole time.

    Baylor hates riding in the car for long periods but resigned himself to it after 3 days. Sad puppy face was seen 99% of the time.

    21 days *might* be too long when your boss is freaking out because its busy and you're on vacation. 21 days is not long enough if you want to move slow and enjoy, like Paula wants to do.

    Always remember to pack the compact jumpstart battery, the tire inflator and the jumper cables.

    The journey is as important as the destination. Enjoy the scenery. Take it all in. The skies of the high desert and prairies are so gorgeous, that blue is breathtaking. The snow on the conifers are beautiful. Fog rolling in with the sunset behind it in the ocean is not something I'll get to see every day. Redwood trees are God's masterpiece. He put them there to remind us that we are children.

    I am so thankful we took this trip. I feel we are closer as a couple than ever. Camping really draws you together because it takes everyone pulling together to make camp work. Looking forward to summer 2020!
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  • Day17

    Detour and Last Day

    June 26, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 66 °F

    We were rerouted 2.5 hours east of our original route through Kansas to come home. We suspect due to heavy flooding. The flooding through here is insane. The highway in some parts is literally eroding away.

    Drove to Joplin, MO and slept in a truck stop. It is hot and humid. A bad storm rolled through around 3am. I contemplated going to the storm shelter but didn't due to no emergency warning or storm siren going off. It was so bad and riding a super severe storm in a trailer is sketchy at best.

    Getting some starbucks and driving thru to New Iberia!
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  • Day16

    Badlands National Park

    June 25, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 54 °F

    Had a storm brew all afternoon which finally broke around 5pm. The wind dropped the temps 20 degrees! We cooked dinner on the flat top and visited with our camping neighbors.

    We woke up around 1am to see the night sky. Since BNP is a dark sky initiative, I knew we'd see quite a bit of stars. I did not expect to see the milky way unaided. Simply spectacular is an understatement.

    Dawn was at 4am when the meadowlarks started singing. Guess the coyotes howling all night woke them up early. I loved listening to the coyotes.

    Rain storms brewing again this morning made for a beautiful sunrise. Beginning our trek south and east today.
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  • Day15

    Wall Drug, Since 1931

    June 24, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 73 °F

    Homemade pie for the second time today? Yes please.

    Wall Drug is a weird place. It started out as a pharmacy and general store in the '30s. Since SD is sparsely populated they have to lure in the tourists with all these crazy road signs, like sirens singing to the sailors!

    Once there you are surprised to find out they make their own pie, doughnuts, and ice cream. Plus they have the oldest operating soda fountain in the US. Not that the soda fountain looked old fashioned at all. Soft serve ice cream machines and coke fountain drink machines. Rather disappointing. But the pie was not disappointing.

    To staff their place in the height of tourist season Wall Drug hires international students to come and work for a few weeks. They house them during their employment. We spoke with a girl from Kazakhstan who seemed less than impressed with Wall, SD. Lol.
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  • Day15

    Badlands National Park

    June 24, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 73 °F

    This place looks like it should be in Arizona rather than South Dakota. We snagged a free campsite at Sage Creek and now we are touring the area. We just visited a Minuteman Missile site, which is pretty cool. Little did I know at the height of the Cold War there were over 1,000 of these missile sites scattered throughout the country.

    We stopped at the Badlands visitor's center to get a map of the park. Apparently we had come up the back way and missed all entry gates. I dont know how they stay in business because there are multiple farm roads coming into the park with no gate.

    I wish we could have hiked a few of the trails but it was pretty "hot" that day and I didn't want to leave the dogs in the truck with the temps in the 80s.
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  • Day15

    Pie for Breakfast...lol

    June 24, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 61 °F

    Stopped for breakfast in Rapid City..they had pie for breakfast., who is Paula to say no to pie?

    We already had stopped at Starbucks for coffee. Thing about pulling the trailer, it's very hard to get into places. Starbucks is notorious for small parking lots. Redd had to drop me off on the street so I could get the coffee then pick me up on the way out.

    The restuarant was called Colonial House. They had a bunch of really great photos of the building of Rapid City. Good thing about your state or town not being too old, there will be photos of the construction. SD didn't become a state until 1889 or 1890 so plenty of photos in the archives.
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  • Day14

    Black Hills/ Mount Rushmore

    June 23, 2019 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 57 °F

    Went to Mount Rushmore camp at a campground in the Black Hills the weather here is crazy drop 20 degrees in about 3 minutes we had a hail storm sunshine and a rain shower all within 10 minutes. Black Hills is not one of Paula's favorites. Deadwood was better with Swearingen and Bullock running the show. End of the day with a stop at to brew pubs minor Brewing and Firehouse Brewing a good dayRead more

  • Day12

    Yellowstone Sidetrip

    June 21, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 36 °F

    After breakfast and coffe in West Yellowstone and getting ice, we pulled into the Yellowstone gate. We decided to buy the annual pass as we thought we'd use it in The Badlands. It was snowing again as we drive into the park. The snow lends a different element to things. It makes it look like a Christmas village.

    There was literally no one on the road. I'm not sure if it was because of cold weather or because it was not yet 9am. It was so glorious.

    We drive up to Old Faithful to check on eruption times. I wanted to try and hyperlapse the eruption at sunset. Sadly either we miscalculated or Old Faithful ran slow or both. As you can see in the photo of us standing at the OF sign, there is no one there. Last year you couldn't even see the sign due to how many people were there.

    As we were leaving OF we saw another cargo trailer conversion. We stopped to talk to the people who were from Lake Tahoe and we toured their rig. Omg it was so nice. The guy was a carpenter by trade so it was professional looking.

    We decided to try to check into Canyon. We were stuck in traffic for at least 2 hours. Not sure why. So we decided to turn around and make a loop of the park and go the back way to Canyon. Got stuck for 1.5 hours in the Geiser Basin. Finally made it out of traffic. We were rewarded with 3 separate bear sightings that afternoon!

    Went down to Slough Creek to see if the golden eagle was on her nest but it looked empty and destroyed. We did see the osprey sitting in her nest in same place as last year plus hundreds of chimney swifts in mud nests behind a thermal feature

    The bison seemed to be up high in Hayden and Lamar. I think the Yellowstone is too high for the babies to cross. I saw only a few few cinnies.

    Heading back to Canyon it began snowing again. We decided to eat at the lodge rather than cook. After dinner we drive an hour to Old Faithful but never saw the eruption. It was 30 degrees and I lost the light to film. But there was absolutely no one there which is a glorious thing.

    Our side trip to Yellowstone was seriously a highlight of this trip. Even though it was cold, I loved the fact that snowed on us for 3 days. I loved how different the park looked and how it kept the crowds down.
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