Friday, July 7, 2017

What we did During our Summer Vacation!

We learned several valuable lessons during our weeklong " summer vacation" in South Dakota last week. We left Pasha Lake Cabins early on a Wednesday morning and made our way south for our 20 hour journey to our property in the Black Hills. Our border crossing was just how we liked it…uneventful and 8 hours later we were at our friend Kevin’s house in Milltown Wisconsin.

We spent the next two days at his house. One day working around his house mowing and tidying up the place as it is for sale and he had a showing the following day. We managed to get out to dinner with my sister Judy and her husband Mike for the all you can eat rib special at The Thirsty Otter. It is just sad when “all you can eat” consists of one serving….. I remember the day when I was able to get my monies worth and even Barb’s! Regardless, the ribs and the company were awesome!
Day two consisted of getting ready for our trip west; groceries, loading up fence posts, the skid loader, auger, bucket and all the tools we needed. That night we showered, put on our best duds and headed to Balsam Lake where they had closed down Main Street for the big event........ a tractor pull! And this was not your run of the mill tractor pull, this was one specifically for lawn tractors!

What we were expecting and what we saw were two totally different things……we were expecting lawn tractors right off the yard, maybe a little modified and there were some of those. What we did not expect was the souped up lawn tractors with engines as big as 8 cylinder with almost 500hp! These things would smoke the tires all the way down Main Street much of the way on two wheels.









It was a great event and it looked like the entire town came out.
The following morning we jumped in the truck and headed west and we were off to the Black Hills! 12 hours later we pulled into Country Charm Cabins and Corrals where we spent the next 6 days working on our property and Kevin’s property.

But back to the lessons learned….. The first thing we learned is that this area is seriously crowded 4th of July weekend. Custer and Hill City were crazy busy. We drove by Bear Country, Reptile Gardens and Crazy Horse. There were cars everywhere filled with little screamers, we passed them all and headed to the quiet and peacefulness of Pringle. You know what we did not see this trip? A mosquito, not a single solitary mosquito, Barb was in heaven!

The second thing we learned was that the ground in South Dakota is much harder than the ground in Wisconsin. When we tried augering our first hole for a fence post we knew we were in trouble! We made it less than a foot when we hit solid rock and stopped dead. We tried a few different spots with the same result. Time to go to Plan B. So the next day we ran into Rapid City (~ an hour drive) to an implement dealer where we bought a new auger with a rock bit. This worked much better, we were able to get in all the corner posts except 2 which even the rock auger would not burrow into.
Ready to auger our first hole

We dug, we chiseled, we chipped and only got 2 feet!

After getting the new auger things went much better.....
The culvert work went much better. The ground was a lot less rocky along the edge of the roads and we were able to get the culverts in and graded with gravel we had delivered in about 2 hours each.
Working on our road frontage

Looks like I am supervisor material!

Getting started on Kevin's approach 
We also spent an afternoon clearing our building area. The power had been run to the building site the week before so we also leveled an area for our RV friends! Only regular outlets for right now, I will put a 50 amp plug in on the next trip.
Kevin cut while I dragged them away with the skidsteer

Barb even got in on the action!

RV site ready and open for business!
Work done, we were ready for a little fun, a few beers and a nice steak. Kevin called some friends of his that live in the area and they came over for steaks over a campfire. There is nothing like the taste of a wood-fired steak cooked outdoors!
View from our building site
Kevin shooting at the prairie dogs....
The valley was filled with wild flowers


Kevin, Barb, me, Rich and Cheryl

Kevin tending to the steaks
We put trail cameras out at both ours and Kevin’s property. Among several other deer I got a picture of this nice buck on our property.

But Kevin hit the mother lode on his camera! After two days he had pictures of deer, elk and even a mountain lion! It is hard to tell it is a mountain lion but it definitely was. 26, 42 48, 96, 108



Our summer vacation over we are on our 12 hour journey back east to Wisconsin where we will rest a day before we head back to the grind in Ontario where the walleyes and countless mosquitoes await our return!

26 comments:

  1. Wow...you guys have sure crammed a lot in in a very short period of time! Your property looks great. We look forward to seeing it one day. Safe travels back to Canada!

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  2. Wow you think we are busy !!!!! You guys sure look like you are very busy ... but enjoying every moment. Your property looks awesome. I am sure you are going to enjoy it immensely in the future.

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    1. It was a very busy week but you are right, we enjoyed it. Truth be told we could have stayed a lot longer.

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  3. The property looks to be in a great area. Love the wildlife. Look forward to seeing it in person.

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  4. I think the deer and elk need to be alerted about their new soon-to-be neighbors!! Run!! Seriously, you got a ton done; very impressive!!

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    1. I think the elk are safe, it takes 10 or more years to pull an elk tag in this area.

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  5. We always feel like slackers when we read your posts! Great work on your property and thank you for sharing your experiences. Are you going to get down to Q this winter where you can rest a little?
    Cindi and Roger
    HappilyRVafter.com

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    1. We are headed to Texas for most of the winter but might head over that way in Febuary or March.

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  6. We took a drive down but we were never able to locate you all. Beautiful area and you are spot on 4th of July here was CRAZY busy and pretty warm. The more time we spend in the Black Hills area the more we love it. Looks like you had a very productive week and very exciting pics of the wildlife. Enjoy the remainder of your summer.

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    1. Sorry we missed you, we must have been on one of our Rapid City runs.

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  7. I'm fascinated with what you are doing to get the property ready, Will be curious to see the land preps costs. I'm guessing your sell the prairie dogs online plan went bust 😄 Too bad that could have helped defray the cost of the auger lol

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    1. We are already finding things more expensive than Wisconsin. Must be due to all of the rock!

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  8. What a great adventure! Some how I feel like I'm traveling back (butterfly hollow) and though I also feel like I'm moving forward. The steaks on the grill would have brought us to you if ya just called our name. :=)

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    1. Bring your chairs, next time we will call your names!

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  9. What an awesome piece of property, Jim! How much annual rainfall does Pringle get?

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    1. I had no idea other than it is a little drier than some of the other areas. Pringle gets about 20"s annually.

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  10. South Dakota is sometimes on our east/west route as we go back and forth to see family. Glad to see you are thinking of your RV friends:) Your property looks beautiful. Can't wait to visit and see all the wildlife...ALIVE!!

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    1. No shooting anything while you are there, I promise!

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  11. Wow! I'd love to see what you guys can accomplish while "working" if this was vacation! Wishing you the best on your new home base! Looks like a great spot - hope we get to see it in person some day - and like someone said above - with the wildlife ALIVE! Congrats again!

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    1. Since you guys have never been to the Black Hills you will have to add it to your must see list. Lots to do and see there.

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  12. Bring one of those mowers to us in Barnesville. Our grass is getting long. Looks like fun carving out our campsite in the wilderness. Paved would be wonderful but don't knock yourselves out on our account. We can always stay at the KOA.

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    1. You will have to settle for gravel and maybe sewer hook ups next summer.......

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  13. Wow that's a lot you got done in a short period of time! That NH with a rock auger was a great way to go. Never knew they made rock augers so thanks for that learning.
    Now back to good ol Canada and slayin some walleye! Look like good sized fish you're catching. Hard to find the big ones here in Alberta. Well locally anyway. Great stuff.

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    1. The walleyes in this area are incredible, if you are ever over this way make sure you stop by!

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