Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Badlands, SD

The Badlands, SD

We spent last night in Rapid City, SD at the Lazy J RV Park. The people next to us are from Sequim, WA. They helped us drink our wine. It was a fun evening and a much better ending to a frustrating day.  Now we have 2 new tires and are finally on our way.  It is late afternoon so we didn't want to drive far so we are camped in The Badlands.  The temperature is cool but not cold.  The scenery is spectacular.
Can you imagine looking at these
from your covered wagon?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Crazy Horse Memorial


We saw the Crazy Horse Memorial...Awesome. We started up into Custer State Park and saw a sign about a one lane tunnel but no turn we continued on our way.  We made it up the switchbacks towing our trailer and we almost made it through the one lane tunnel carved through the rock. We rubbed the front top right corner right up against a rock outcropping inside the tunnel.  OH-OH! But we made it. Still no buffalo, but saw a lot of wild turkeys (Do they know about Thanksgiving coming up in a couple of months?). The trees are changing color, the sun is warm, the breeze is chilly and fall-like. The drive was beautiful.

Laton used to ride a bike like this
when he did motocross in the 70's.

We continued our way through Hill City where we stopped at a Christmas Shop called Mistletoe Ranch and at Prairie Berry Winery where we bought some Red-Ass Rhubarb Wine, drove through the town of Deadwood and stopped in Sturgis, SD to tour the Motorcycle Museum.  That was fun and interesting until we came out to a half flat tire on the truck.  Luckily we found a repair shop to fix the tire just 3 blocks away. Of course this repair required us to find a large parking lot (the church 1/2 block away worked well), unhook the trailer, take the truck back to the shop for the tire repair, then hook the trailer back up and head to the nearest large town (Rapid City, SD) so we can buy a new tire tomorrow. So, thankfully, we have a whole bottle of wine to sooth our troubles away tonight!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Presidents!

Mt. Rushmore, SD
We finally made it to Mt. Rushmore and it is really awe-inspiring. We really left it late coming to this area.  There was a bison round-up on Monday. MISSED IT! Most of the parks and campgrounds are closed or in the process of closing this week, but we found a nice place to stay for the night.  We plan on seeing the Crazy Horse Memorial and Custer State Park tomorrow.  They light up the monument in the evening but we are too tired to go see the monument again. Have to rest up to see everything tomorrow.

Monday, September 27, 2010

We are not in Kansas anymore, Toto!

Lake Ogallala. NE

We have finally left Kansas and traveled through long stretches of corn fields, rolling plains of grain dotted by oil wells, small farms and small towns in Nebraska.  Meandering is fun. We have landed at Lake Ogallala and it is a lovely, lovely campground.  We are right on the edge of the water. We even have electricity which is nice. Laton and I and our 2 little Totos are having a nice evening.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Are We There Yet?

We drove along some country roads toward the SW corner of Nebraska today, and Toto...we are still in Kansas.  We are camped for the evening at Webster State Park which looks very much like Lake Cheney. We are planning an early start for Monday.  Hopefully, we can tell Toto we are not in Kansas anymore tomorrow!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tornado Warnings!

We have settled for a couple days at Lake Cheney, KS and this is the view from our front door...

We have unhooked and are spending a couple of days resting, catching up on the new fall shows, driving into Wichita for a little shopping. Kind of nice to be near some larger towns after a couple of years in the small towns on the coast of Northern California! Friday was great, but Saturday evening a huge thunder storm rolled in and the weather station was showing tornado warnings for the actual area we were in, but none struck!  We are going to start driving again tomorrow.  Our next goal is Mt. Rushmore, SD.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Good Times with Great People

Tim & Stacy

Laton & Carrie
Oklahoma City

We met Tim & Stacy when they replaced us as camp hosts at Prairie Creek State Park this spring and we moved out to Stone Lagoon.  It was fun hanging out with them this summer and when they moved to Oklahoma a few weeks ago, we were excited to be able to see them on this trip.  We had a great dinner last night  with them. Today was a fun day visiting Camping World and the Bass Pro Shop.  We had been looking for a large town to hit those two stores to pick up a few things for our RV. It worked out perfectly. We tried Oklahoma BBQ, fried catfish and fried okra for linner (lunch and dinner).  Then back to the trailer for naps and then a fun evening trying homemade beer and wine from some California co-workers and eating snacks.  We had a great time with our Oklahoma hosts. Thank you and we are looking forward to visiting them again

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Turtles, Skunks and Deer! Oh My!

Oklahoma Deer

But we only got pictures of the deer. This morning we watched 9 deer walk through our campsite, casually nibbling on the shrubs around us.  Maggie just watched them.  I thought she would get a little excited but she sat calmly for once. There is so much wildlife around us everywhere we camp. We are leaving to head to Newcastle, OK to visit some friends for a couple days.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Baby, It's HOT!

By 8:30 am today, we were really missing the electricity.  We are so spoiled with air conditioning. We packed up and headed out to Oklahoma! Check out this well put together museum in Panhandle, TX. It is the Carson County Museum.  It had a replica of a prairie dug-out, rooms set up as scenes from school, church, and home, old quilts, dresses, old time tools and a water pump windmill. This is a picture of me by the old train at the museum. It was hot!

We have finally settled into a great campground at the Quartz Mountain Nature Park on  Lake Lugert-Altus at Lone Wolf, OK. Tomorrow we head to Newcastle, OK to visit with Tim & Stacy, camp hosts we met this spring at Prairie Creek State Park in CA. 

Winter/Autumn Product Swap-Stamps from the New Catalog!

This is a slide show of a wonderful swap I was in with several other Close To My Heart Consultants. I just found out that the gal that did the washer necklace is a sorority sister's daughter (Sandy Bell's daughter, Haley). Such a small world we all live in! On the slide of the 3 cards made with orange papers, my card is the Happy Thanksgiving card on the far right.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Check out this Texas Sunset!

Sunset over Lake Meredith
We left Colorado this morning and drove down into the NE corner of New Mexico and then turned east to the Texas panhandle.  We have landed at Lake Meredith, Sanford-Yake Campground.  It has a wonderful view on a bluff overlooking the lake.  Check out the sunset we enjoyed from our campsite.

This campground is dry camp only but we are the only ones in the whole campground.  This appears to be a well-kept secret of Fritch, TX. We are thinking about staying another day since we don't have to be in Oklahoma until Wednesday afternoon.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Maggie's Daddy and Grandpa!

I was dinking around on the internet today and looked up Maggie's sire, Mergansers Abram Tank just for fun and found he has gone from national to international champion.  Maggie sure looks like her Daddy! The dogs are having a great time where we are camped.  There is no one around us (everyone left today) and we have a whole camp loop to ourselves. We have to keep a close eye on them because of snakes around here.  When the local ranger found out we are camp hosts he offered to hire us TODAY!  They are short on people right now. We said no thank you at this time. We will be leaving in the morning to head to New Mexico.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Fall Colors
We stayed in Montrose, CO last night and left early today and drove across the Rockies and crossed over the Great Divide. The fall foliage was outstanding...

Then we crossed over Monarch Pass, over 11,000 feet high and captured this stunning view.  We are at Lake Pueblo State Park and are really enjoying it.  We plan to spend a couple of days here.  Maggie is loving the Prairie Dogs that are all over the place.  She whines and wiggles at the door begging to be let out to chase them.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Highway 50

Highway 50
The Loneliest Highway
We are finally through Nevada and now we are camping out at Antelope RV Park in Delta, UT.  We had to refill with water so we stopped early to do some laundry in my terrific handy, dandy laundry room.  LOVE IT! This is what we watched most of today.

Toy Truck at Pinto Summit

We stopped at Pinto Summit to walk and water the dogs and found this sitting on a rock, an old toy truck.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Shoe Tree

Today is our second day of travel on our trip to see the states.  We made it to Lake Almanor last night. Tonight we are staying a very nice (free) BLM campground on the Loneliest Highway 50 halfway between Reno and Ely.  We passed an odd sight today called the Shoe Tree .  We had to turn around and get a picture. Those dangling things that look like moss hanging off the tree are hundreds of pairs of shoes tied together and twisted together hanging off the tree.  Tomorrow is an early start and hope to hit Utah.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hurry Up Already

Sadie & Maggie "Lets Go!"
We are planning a trip across the US starting 9-15-10.  We have been busy shifting things in the travel trailer, sorting stuff we don't need for a few months to store in our utility trailer, stocking up on dog prescriptions, people prescriptions, changing oil, rotating tires, fixing little things and we are almost ready.  But we have two little travelers that are more than ready, check this out! 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Majestic Creatures

The lagoon water level has dropped quite a bit due to the summer weather.  Today, we look out the back window of our travel trailer and we see several elk.  They have walked along the shore of the lagoon in belly deep water and are now eating grass where we park the boat. Here is a video of a couple of them. Laton took this video with his cell phone. They are the most majestic creatures.

Monday, September 6, 2010


Carolyn and Candy barrel racing

I spent the weekend with my sister, Carolyn Dikes, at a Gymkhana in Fortuna, CA.  It was really fun.  She had me bring a lawn chair because there is a lot of down time between events.  It was really cold Saturday evening so I was cuddled up to her horse while they waited to compete.  Candy is so awesome.  She was nice and warm and smelled so sweet, like hay.  I have not been around many horses because they are not exactly on my bucket it was very fun and very different.  I am posting a picture of her and Candy as they competed in the barrel race event.  Don't they look like they are having fun! I had a gift certificate for a wonderful B&B called Carter House so we stayed there Saturday night.  The breakfast was wonderful.  We really enjoyed our stay.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Gone Fishing

Alan fishing on Stone Lagoon with Laton
No fish were killed in the making of
this picture!
We had the pleasure of Alan and his lovely wife, Kirsty, visiting over Labor Day weekend. Alan & Laton went on a guided fishing trip up the Klamath River with my brother Ray Rook through Mike Coopman's Guide Service. The trip was successful as we ate fresh caught salmon that night with grilled corn on the cob and Laton's famous potato salad. The next day Laton and Alan tried their luck on the lagoon.