Restlessness, snow, winds, and two equipment malfunctions is what we encountered since leaving North Dakota. We left when we did to avoid forecasted snow, wind and freezing temperatures so what did we run into? Snow, wind and freezing temperatures of course! The storm that was supposed to track north must have heard about our plans to avoid it so it decided to head south and meet up with us.From North Dakota we drove 6 ½ hours south to Wood, South Dakota to meet up with a couple of friends from Wisconsin who were spending the week deer hunting on the Rosebud Reservation. We had not seen friends Kevin and Tom in over a year and although we told Tom, Kevin did not know we were coming, the look on his face when he pulled in from hunting and saw us was totally worth the trip! We spent two days with them and I was able to tag along while they hunted. The second night is when we ran into the nasty weather. It snowed most of the night and we woke up to 5 inches of snow and 30-40 mph wind gusts. The snow stuck to the side of the slides and piled on top of the slide toppers. I had to get up there and clean them off as best I could before we put the slides in. Even with that when we pulled the slides in a fair amount of ice and snow followed them inside the rig. Next up was trying to get out of the field that we had parked in. It took us 3 runs in 4 low to get up the hill but we eventually were back on the road. Hunting was great for the guys, overall they went 5 for 5 on some really nice whitetail bucks and had a great trip.
|The picture says it all!|
Barb got out and took a few pictures before the snow storm.....
|The old grain building in Wood|
|Not sure what this building was|
The Black Hills area probably has more campground per square mile than anyplace we have been but arrive in mid-November and you will find a completely different scenario. There was one park open in Custer; FrenchCreek RV Park so we called ahead to make sure we would fit….No problem they said. Due to our delay, we arrived after dark and if there is one thing we don’t like it is pulling into an RV Park in the dark. Luckily there was only one other rig in the park and we were able to pull into a site without a problem.
The next day when we woke up we had no running water! We turn on the faucet and nothing, no water, no sound of the pump running....nothing. We were completely froze up. It had gotten down to 10 the night before and although we had the tank heaters on and the furnace ran on and off all night we were still froze up. It was supposed to get up to 40 that day so we headed out on our land search after stopping by the automotive store and picking up some Mass Airflow Sensor Cleaner (who knew it even existed?) By this time the engine light was no longer coming on but we cleaned the sensor anyway. When we got home that afternoon I turned on the water pump, tested the faucet and we had water! Everything had thawed and we were good to go!We spent two days looking at different pieces of property. With snow on the ground it added a different element to what we were used to in the area made it look even more beautiful. You can expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $12,000 per acre depending on the view, location and whether the property has electric or water. Many of the homeowners in the area don't have wells and haul their water in using big tanks in a trailer or the back of their trucks then store it in an underground tank. We are open to this since it is a lot like RV living and we are already used to the concept of limited water and finding it when necessary. Ideally we would like a piece bordering Forest Service property with a view, a well and electricity but those pieces are on the high end ($10k-12k/acre) and usually larger parcels (40+ acres) which put them outside of our price range. Of the 20 or so pieces we looked at 4 are still on the short list and two that we are seriously considering.....
|40 acres outside Pringle. We could live with this view.....|
|....or this one! 22 acres outside Hill City|
|A cute little Fixer Upper on 10 acres, ready for horses and chickens!|
|The hub covers|
|The treads (white ring) had broken off and were still in the hubs|
|2 of our 4 new hub covers|
With another snowstorm forecasted that night, we left Custer and arrived in Casper 4 hours later just as it started raining, which later turned to snow. From there it looked like we had a one day window to get to Salt Lake before the next system moved through. The roads were good for the most part although we did run into some slushy ice covered roads early in the morning outside of Custer as well as in the higher elevations along two passes.
So after an 8 hour drive we arrived at the Cabela’s in
Salt Lake getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with….wait… there is no one
here…..both our kids have moved away! Boy, is this weird!
|Some spots were a little sketchy|
|But then the sun came out and warmed things up......everything was right with the world again!|