Sunday, April 22, 2018

A Tale of Breweries and Caves


The weeks started with a flurry of activity when friends Dale and Ruth flew into town for a weekend visit. Little did they know they would be leaving sunny Las Vegas and flying right into a blizzard! Saturday morning we made plans to meet up at Wind Cave National Park for a cave tour.
A bridge on the Michelson trail on our way to see Dale and Ruth
The Wind Caves are thought to be over 320 million year old has over 140 miles of caves but it is all compressed vertically within a 1 ½ square mile area with the deepest known point being 654' below the surface.

We took the Natural Entrance tour. We had been on this tour here last year but luckily this one was totally different both in the tour route and the tour guide and much better than last time. The tour lasted about 1 ½ hours has over 150 stairs and descends over 200' under ground. 
Barb and I with Ruth and Dale
The predominant formation within the cave is Boxwork which is formed when sediment seeps into cracks in limestone and hardens then the limestone dissolves over time just leaving the sediment boxwork. 





After the cave tour we drove to Hill City for lunch at the Bumpin Buffalo. Food was good but we will probably not go back. From there we headed over to the Sick and Twisted Brewing Company. This is a unique brewery with some pretty creative names for their brews. For example, my favorite was the Hump'her Honey Wheat while Barb's was the Nut Hugger.

They also have a winery attached to the same building Naked Winery with some equally interesting names. 

This interesting sign was in the restroom
Two days later we got together with Vicki and Harry fellow full-timers who recently arrived in Hill City for their summer work gig. They will be working at Prairie Berry Winery as "Wine Slingers" serving wine in their tasting room. Jim and Brenda joined us as we met them at The Miner Brewing Company which is actually a sister company to Prairie Berry.



The next two hours was filled with laughs and great conservation as we sampled many of their brews. The overall favorite of the group was the Maple Brown Porter while mine was the Miner Wheat.

The rest of the week was filled with work around the ranch; putting the finishing touches on the fences, getting caught up (again) with the prairie dogs, limbing trees and measuring out the exact layout of the house so we can begin digging in the drains and other plumbing within the house. This is tedious and time consuming work as if I am off by just an inch or two it can affect the entire layout of the house.

Speaking of the house, here is a sneak peak of the layout as it stands right now. Some people call it a "Shouse", some call it a Barndominium" but it is a structure with a large steel structure with the front third serving as the living area and the back a large garage area for the rig and vehicles.

The building site is tucked on the edge of the woods to protect it from the winds and provide a view down a small valley.

Parts of us want to get it going and finished as fast as we can while others are not ready for us to become part-time RV'ers. As of right now we are sticking to our 5 year build plan as there is just so much out there still to explore!







37 comments:

  1. Thanks for showing us the plans for your new home. Looks fabulous with just enough room for you and the dogs. We are excited to get into our new home but still thinking about next winter adventures. We also, are not ready to give it up entirely. Quite a few showings of Dad's house so hopefully we have a deal within the next couple of weeks. We are moving to the island regardless and will have someone else keep an eye on the house that will be left partially staged if we have not sold it yet.

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    1. We have listed our property in Wisconsin as well, if that sells we may start building sooner.

      From what I hear the housing market is pretty hot in your area but you are right about that price point being a little more challenging to find a buyer. Hope all goes well!

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  2. That sounds like quite the cave system, and we see lots more visitors in your future. Love the names of some of those brews too! We look forward to seeing that house one day.

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    1. By the time you guys get in this area they house will probably be built and finished!

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  3. I have mixed feelings about the naming of brews and wines. Funny, and a bit risque but do they have to name them that way to get people to buy them? What ever happened to a good beer or wine standing on it's own without some marketing guy naming it something fancy in hopes more people will try it.
    Anyway, looks like you found some nice tasting ones regardless of their 'names'.
    Nice to see Harry and Vickie's face again. Hope they enjoy their summer jobs. Sounds like fun!
    Nice looking plans to the new house. Maybe the plans will change a 'few' times before hammers hit nails?? Love the covered porches. Great idea!

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    1. Funny you should say that, we each tried a flight of beers and only found one that we liked. Usually we like several so you are right, they probably had to name the beers that way to market them instead of relying on their taste.

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  4. Love the 'barndominium' idea - nice layout.

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    1. It has it's pros and cons but overall it fits our needs. We have looked at free standing homes with separate garages but we like the layout of this one.

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  5. You had me at Brewery and closed it with wine singers. How do we sign up? The Barndo plans look great.

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    1. You guys should come out to visit, there are plenty more breweries and wineries in the area. Rumor has it there are even wild mushrooms that we could hunt!

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  6. Seeing your taste in beers explains a lot about you two. That bathroom sign should be in every bathroom. Men are gross. The barndamonium is how long. I see 30' wide. Is it long enough to build an ArK? Looks great.

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    1. You are right about that bathroom sign! The house portion is 38' and the garage part is 50' so our rig will fit comfortably in it. That way we can get it out of the frequent hail storms in this area!

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  7. We've talked and think a barndominium might be in our future. We walked/drove by one on our way to our summer campground last year. Every rotation off we're trying breweries and/or different eateries around Durango.

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    1. We now have a map of each of the breweries in the Black Hills so we have a mission to accomplish this summer!

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  8. It will be nice to have your dog house under roof for those times when Barb and the dogs toss you to the turkeys!

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  9. The garage is as big as the house, the way it should be! Great plans. Had a good laugh at the brew names and love the sign in the bathroom...LOL. Slow and steady is a perfect plan.

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    1. Plenty of room for the rig and a few toys and if we ever downsize, room for more toys!

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  10. I love the Bardominium idea, that is what we've talked about for our Idaho property, Lot 5! There are some really creative things you can do with those shell buildings.

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    1. I think it is the most cost effective way build a house and enclosure for the rig to get it out of the elements. We have been researching them for a few years and have some great ideas for the inside.

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  11. Love the beer names....and a few of them sound delish!!

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    1. Of all the beers they had there were only two that we would try again. The rest....not so much.

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  12. Looks like a great barndominium!! Keep on exploring!!

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  13. Love your floorplan! Just perfect. Looks like more fun with Ruth and Dale. Perfect bathroom sign. Sounds like a good 5 year plan to me! Congrats!!

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    1. Thanks, a little less than 1500 square feet of living space but it will seem enormous to us!

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  14. Like the barndominium idea πŸ‘Œ
    Have you been to Jewel Cave? Next time the grandkids come you should take them on one of Historic Lantern Tours. We took our girls on one when they were younger, it was a lot of fun and the kids loved it 😊

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    1. Jewel Cave is on our list but we have not been there yet. Never heard of the Lantern Tour, will have to check it out.

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  15. Nice floor plan. Assume the stairs going up to one large room or whatever?

    Love the porch!

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    1. The covered porch was one of Barb's "must haves". The upstairs loft will be over the back 1/2 of the house and have a bedroom, bathroom and open loft area.

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  16. Hopefully your next post won't have any of that white stuff, but sure sounds like winter just won't leave many areas. I like the house plan. With all your vehicles having everything under cover is perfect. Becoming part timers is a tough decision. You kind of will be kind of part timers with spending time at the property as you work on building over time. I've been struggling with our decision. But we had eight full years on the road full time with no stays longer than month and no work stops. We just traveled and toured for eight years. We've seen a lot and there is still places to explore but a little time away from the campground and some privacy will be a nice break for us since we usually stay at private parks. And...we now have a motorcycle again so we are very excited to take some long trips on the bike. We loved traveling around on the bike.

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    1. I think your wish may come try, we have not seen any of the white stuff yet this week! We totally get your views on becoming part timers. Part of us never want to stop traveling and part of us can't wait to see what adventures await us here. I am sure we will find a happy medium to satisfy both urges. Who knows, another motorcycle may be in our future too!

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  17. Isn’t the RV world small?.....we also know Brenda and Jim through Grand Design!! Great blogpost.
    www.wearethemillersblog.com

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    1. I believe they have mentioned you guys and we too read your blog posts. I will tell them you say hi!

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  18. Like the others I love those beer names! Can't wait to stop by for a visit with y'all for the beer tour! The house plans look awesome, but I think there's an error? Where's the guest room? Or are you planning to give up the Master and sleep in your rig when we visit? LOL! I vote for the 5(to 10) year plan as living on the road just won't be the same without you and Barb!

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    1. We will have a guest bedroom upstairs in the loft waiting for you (in 5 or 10 years).

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  19. So great to see your future homesite, however next time we prefer to see it with none of that white stuff😊 you 2 were awesome hosts for our "home" visit. Looking forward to seeing you down the road again, thanks for giving up a day to spend with us☺☺ loved it. Btw, our Sunday was spent in Spearfish Canyon, you need to add it to your must visit list☺

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    1. Great seeing you guys again! We have been through spearfish Canyon a few times and it is absolutely beautiful!

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