Back when we were working we would often drive 8, 10 even 12 hours or more to get to our destination. Now our daily treks rarely get over 4-5 hours. We are not in a hurry, there are no deadlines so why push ourselves? MapQuest said our trip from Ontario to Pringle South Dakota was somewhere around 1,100 miles and 18 hours. We were so excited to get there we reverted to our former driving habits.
Day 1 found us rolling out of Pasha Lake Cabins at 9:00 EST. 2 ½ hours later we were pulling up to the border. The crossing went without incident and we were headed towards Princeton Minnesota where we were scheduled to have dinner with our friend Joe. It rained most of the way, we stopped several time for fuel and to walk the dogs before we pulled into the restaurant at 7:00 CST. Day 1, 11 hour drive totally exhausted. We had a great dinner with Joe then headed to the local Walmart to park for the night. Let me tell you what a vast difference this day of travel made trading the sound of loons serenading us at night with the sound of trucks and traffic. We were already missing Canada but were equally excited about our ultimate destination.
Day 2 we decided to take it easy, rolling at 9:00am and only drove 6 hours from Princeton to the Cabela’s in Mitchell, South Dakota. We walked the store (did not buy a thing!), ordered Chinese food (disappointing) and just had a lazy evening.
Day 3 we were up and rolling at 7:00am, 7 hours later we pulled up to the gate of our property, we made it! After setting up we went for a walk around the property. It was good to see that the prairie dog population did not double while we were gone. We also checked our trail cameras which had been out in likely hunting areas between our place and Kevin's since our last visit in July. There were whitetail deer, mule deer, elk, turkeys and coyotes on camera, how cool is that!?
|Three nice bulls headed to water|
|This is before I fixed the time and date on the camera|
|This little guy made an appearance|
|Young fawn running and enjoying the day|
That night when we went to bed, it was quiet, too quiet. No loons, no truck or traffic sound, nothing….we had to turn on a fan for a little white noise just to get to sleep! On top of that our bodies are still on Pasha time which is not only Eastern Time is it also get up early stay up late time. For the past two weeks we had been getting up between 6 and 6:30 and going to bed between midnight and 1:30am depending on how many bears came in. Now that we are in Mountain Time that has turned into getting up at 4:30am. I am sure that will change over time but for now it is kind of a pain.
So here we are for the next 3-4 weeks. We have several goals we would like to accomplish while we are here. The main one is fixing and installing new fencing around the property. The current fence is in disarray and is a combination of barbed and barbless wire on 2 sides.
|The current fence is broken and falling over.....|
We would like to remove all of it and put up high tensile electric fencing as we plan to lease the property to a local livestock rancher. There is a huge tax benefit to do this. So the next day we made a list of necessary parts and made the 1 hour drive to Running's and Menards in Rapid City for supplies.
First on the list was a 50amp outlet, a breaker and some 6-3 wire for the rig. The temperature is supposed to get up into the 90’s later this week and we wanted AC! This project was not too bad and within an hour we were hooked up to power.
|Power is in!|
Next up was fencing supplies, T posts, wire, splices, springs and ratchets. The first fencing project was to replace the fencing along the road at the front of the property. Barb and I spent several hours cutting down the old fence and pulling the T posts.
|Barb working hard ripping out the old fence|
|The dogs just sat back and watched.....|
|As did the other "dogs" on the property|
The next day our friend Kevin arrived from Wisconsin to give us a hand for a few days. During his visit we were able to get the front fence line in and lay out the fence line for the east and west property lines. Let me tell you, this is no easy feat to draw 2,600’ straight line through the woods! But with the use of our GPS and a chainsaw we were able to get enough stakes in the ground to see that we were installing the fence right along the property line.
|Kevin putting the finishing touches on the front fence line|
Over the next couple of weeks we plan on continuing our projects around here but we also want to make sure we get out and about and enjoy the sights of the Black Hills!