Thursday, June 5, 2008

SOUTH DAKOTA, HERE WE COME!

Five years ago this month, during our first year of fulltiming, we visited South Dakota, our adopted "home" state, to register our vehicles, get driver's licenses, open a bank account, visit our mail service company - and sightsee. Neither of us had ever been to South Dakota.

It turned out to be a pretty great place to call home, when you don't have to be there in winter... oh, and when you know where the tornado shelter is!

We need to return this year to renew our driver's licenses, which coincides with an Escapees Boomers rally to be held in Sturgis (of wild motorcycle rally fame) beginning June 21st. Two nights ago, we pulled out books, maps and the computer and began planning our trip from Sacramento to Sturgis.

If all goes well, we will be leaving Sacramento on June 12th, which gives us ten days to travel 1,390 miles to Sturgis (at a cost of around $830 if we pay an average of $5/gallon for our diesel fuel).

Our first two nights will be spent drycamping in Nevada, at Rye Patch State Recreation Area and at the West Wendover Truck and RV Lot, right on the NV/UT border (I know, you're green with envy). Our third day of driving will end in Salt Lake City, where we will stay three nights at a "Camp VIP", the Salt Lake City KOA.

We rarely use KOA campgrounds (too expensive and frequently too run down), but this particular KOA is highly rated by other campers, the location is good and, after several long driving days, we'll be ready for some luxuries (like unlimited hot water, my favorite). You'll be able to read our nitpicking opinion when we post our review after our stay.

Two more days of driving through Utah and Wyoming, with overnights in Rawlins (we'll pick whichever campground looks best when we get there) and at the Douglas City Park in Douglas, Wyoming, will put us in Custer State Park in South Dakota - the site of our exciting FIRST drycamping (no hookups) experience five years ago. We have a reservation for two nights in our favorite of the several campgrounds there.

From Custer State Park, it is a short hop up to Sturgis, SD, and Rush No More Campground, where we will meet up with 30 or so Boomer rigs for an 8 day rally. Sightseeing, hiking, socializing and plenty of time to kick back and relax - I hope!

These photos all were taken on our trip five years ago. Mount Rushmore turned out to be much smaller than I imagined, and the Black Hills to be much more interesting than I imagined.

We saw bison several times, in both North and South Dakota, frequently much closer than in the photo. The bottom photo shows part of Badlands National Park, which came as a huge surprise to us as we drove west from Sioux Falls to the Black Hills - I had never even HEARD of Badlands National Park.

Travel - what an education!

2 comments:

  1. I'm sure you're stay in Sac. has been fun--catching up with friends and family, but I'm really starting to go into virtual travel withdrawal, so I'm glad you'll be hitching up soon!!! I use your blog pictures as my desktop background--gives me an escape from the never ending spreadsheets I otherwise have to look at.
    Thank you--safe travels!
    love,
    donna

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  2. Nancy and Jerry HurleyJune 6, 2008 at 8:53 PM

    The Black Hills is one of our favorite areas of the country also. Don't know when we'll get back there, so it's nice to hear about and see your experiences.
    Enjoy!
    Nancy and Jerry

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