5 weeks in to a trip is a long time to be attached-at-the-camper. We are keeping positive attitudes and practicing gratitude but it’s hard not to snap sometimes. We had all had our cranky moments this week. Of course, I won’t go into details… I just want you to know we are human.
We made our way all across Wyoming with a one night stay in Buffalo, Wyoming. We drove through the most rural areas I have ever been to. Driving for miles, we passed a handful of other cars. This made me a bit nervous. No cell reception and no other humans in sight for miles. We made it just fine. (Sigh of relief)
Since it was a one night stop-over, we treated ourselves to a dinner out. Most of our breakfasts and dinners have been cooked at the camper, with lunches being our splurge when we are en route. We heard about the TA Ranch because it’s a Harvest Host site. We were supposed to stay there, but chickened out and booked a campsite. It was 90 degrees and we needed air conditioning. We did enjoy a steak dinner there.
We got to our campground on Sunday with enough time to go see Mount Rushmore. This was only the second time we saw a bit of rain in the whole 5 weeks so far- a lucky streak! And even here, it rained for 20 minutes and then was dry for the night show.
South Dakota is filled with motorcyclists right now, because Sturgis is next week and is about an hour from where we are. We are all entertained with the cool motorcycles and cars we see around.
Our stay here at the Horse Thief campground was off to a rocky start. The first site they gave us was next to a little hill- so we opened the door and had to step up an incline right away. It was also in direct sunlight, and it was 90 degrees. We unhooked and set everything up… when I decided the site was very uncomfortable and we should move, since this is a 3 night stay. The boys were not happy with me. That set the tone for some cranky attitudes in the following days. The good news is the new site is fantastic and we settled in nicely. The bad news is, it’s so far from the Wi-Fi that we have to walk down about 500 feet to connect to anything. So once again, we are flying blind and not able to google our next activity or get work done without taking the extra steps to the Wi-Fi. OY! I had no idea Wi-Fi would be such a challenge.
This is the model of what the larger carving in the mountain will look like. Only the face is complete. I visited Crazy Horse when I was a kid, and I’m not sure how much progress they have made in 30 years… 😳 We watched a movie on how it was started by one man blasting the stone himself. Impressive. Will it be done in 30 years when Spencer goes back?
We overcame our crankiness and got some activities in. I am working during the day and now Jason cleared most of his work schedule this week. I get work done in the morning- go out and see the sights- then log back in and work more in the evening. It’s exhausting, but worth it!
Jewel Cave National Park is the 3rd largest cave in the world. We only got to see this one room, but it was beautiful and a steady 49 degrees. At this point, the kids will kill me if I say “Smile!” One more time…
This 5 mile hike was called Hell Canyon Trail, and it was really fun terrain. Not too hot, or too steep, it was a nice 2 hour hike. The overcast sky, we found out later, is due to smoke from a far away fire.
Tomorrow we start the sprint back to New Jersey, with a series of one night stays. We miss everyone! Being so off grid has made it hard to talk on the phone and connect! We appreciate the focus it allows, but we do yearn for contact outside our family. Soon enough!! 5 more days to go.
You may be wondering what it’s like being in a small space with 6 living animals. Well, Maggie is hot-boxing it up with her farts at night, and doesn’t understand why that’s not OK. She has been ok with sleeping in her “crate” space under the bed, but has never fully transitioned off of east coast time. So she’s up, scratching and whining, at 5am most days. Overall though, the dogs have been good. The biggest mishap was when we tried to jump out of the car quickly at the Grand Canyon to take a picture at the sign, and Maggie jumped out (off leash) and ran wild! We rounded her up pretty quickly, but there were tons of people and cars around. They have learned the rhythm of the long car rides and seem to accept them and fall asleep. If they don’t, I pop a CBD dog treat in them and it does the trick.
Double rainbow at the campground tonight! This brought us all joy!
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