Monday, August 14, 2017

Rapid City, SD

We have arrived! Bob and I made the three hour trip from Presho, SD to Rapid City without incident and we are tucked up in our campsite for the next week or so. Along the way we saw the topography change.

We saw fields of sunflowers growing. Such a pretty sight. They reminded us of traveling through Bulgaria, years ago, where the hills and fields were covered with yellow sunflowers. It's something we'll never forget.

As we got closer to our destination we started to see rock formations that disappeared and reappeared along the plains.

This is our view from our campsite.

We are close to Custer State Park, Mt Rushmore, and Badlands National Park. But it will most likely be a couple of days before we start our sightseeing because the weather forecast is predicting heavy rain tomorrow. Ah well, at least we didn't have to drive the motorhome in it. And we really don't have any hard time frames here so we will stay until we have seen what we want to see. I'm sure there are museums around here, too.

So tomorrow most likely will be a day to run errands.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Happy Birthday to Bob!

Bob spent his birthday today driving us to South Dakota. Unfortunately, we are in a one-horse town for the night that has no restaurants, but he told me, "It's OK. I got to spend my birthday in SD, a place I've always wanted to visit!" We'll find a good restaurant when we get to Rapid City and go out to dinner there.

We left Adrian, MN this morning and crossed the Missouri River a little after noontime. What a pretty sight!

We are staying at a tiny campground off I-90 and have a lovely view out our windows.

Bob was talking with our neighbors earlier and found out that the big motorcycle rally in Sturgis, SD ended this weekend, so we are hoping to see fewer tourists than if we had arrived a few days before. And hopefully less competition for campsites, since we don't have any reservations from here on. I'm sure we can find spaces, but we'll see!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Third Bologiversary

Today marks the third anniversary of the start of this blog. It's amazing how much fun it is to write, and I'm sorry I didn't start one years ago. Big thanks to my friend, April, for encouraging me to get one started in the first place!

We arrive in Adrian, MN yesterday, after going through a lot of beatiful farm area. Many of these farms have windmills as well as crops.

Today I spent the entire day on a sewing project, cutting up some chambray, machine-quilting it, and sewing it into a purse that I call Lily's Bag. Lily was a sweet schnoodle who brought much joy to her human mom and dad, my sister Gail and her husband Mark. Lily passed away last year and has been greatly missed. I enjoyed weaving inkle bands and making Lily custom collars, and I had some of the band left that I wanted to use in a special project.

And here is the bag. Just the perfect size for a phone and a few essentials. I will think of Lily when I use it.

Friday, August 11, 2017

La Crosse, WI

We have had two delightful days at Pettibone RV Resort, parked right along the Mississippi River. Thursday weather reports were gloomy but the rain never materialized. Bob and I did a bit of exploring, and he was sweet to include a couple of quilt shops and a multi-dealer antique center (the largest in Wisconsin, so they say) on the list of our stops. I made out quite well, purchasing some fat quarters and a pattern to sew myself a new purse. In the antique shop I found a brass lion drawer pull that I'm determined to find a use for.

I also bought a used paperback copy of Louis L'Amour's book, "Last of the Breed," a book I had read years ago but wanted to re-read. And Bob enjoyed himself, too, although he didn't find anything that begged to be taken home.

We spent some time yesterday afternoon lounging by the river. The breeze was pleasant and must have been blowing in the right direction because we did not see a single mosquito, though we had been warned about them.

Later in the afternoon I discovered that we were very close to a natural food co-op so I drove over there to top off the pantry. What a nice store it was, too. I set up my little Zojirushi breadmaker so that we could wake up to fresh bread this morning. A French rye loaf, something different.

Today we are heading west and will stop in Adrian, MN for two nights.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

On the Banks of the Mississippi River

We left Iowa this morning for Wisconsin and rode over some very rough roads to get here, some of the worst we've seen. But the views were pleasant and the rolling hills gave way to higher ones, almost small mountains, that were green and very pretty.

Still, it was with a sigh of relief that Bob and I pulled into our campground for the next two nights. We are backed up to the Mississippi River, and even though we are getting some showers we can sit outside under a pavilion that is about ten feet from our door.

How sweet is that! Tomorrow we will relax a bit and may get out to look for Kristen's Wisconsin "You are Here" mug from Starbucks. Perhaps even check out an antique mall and see what treasures we can find.

Dubuque, IA

When last we were together, dear blog reader, Bob and I had left Lancaster, OH and were heading for Indiana. We had single night stops in Crawfordsville, IN and Knoxville, IL before turning north to Iowa.

We passed mile after mile of beautiful farmland set in green, rolling hills. The last leg of our trip to Dubuque was short, and we arrived safely at a small county park in Peosta, IA for a couple of nights.

It was wonderful seeing our niece, Lori, and her husband Brian, with their three adorable boys! On Monday afternoon they popped over to welcome us and we gave them a tour of our MH before walking over to the playground so the boys could run around. Bob, Auggie, and I followed them back to their home where we visited and got to know the boys. It has been years since we saw them last, and it was the first time we could really spend time with them. Such a joy! We had a yummy dinner with the whole family before heading back to rest up for a day of fun.

On Tuesday, Lori showed us around Dubuque. We rode up the hill on the Fenelon Place Elevator, the world's steepest and shortest scenic railway, which is 296 feet in length and affords magnificent views of Dubuque and the Mississippi River. This historic funicular was built in 1882 by Mr. J. K. Graves who lived on top of the bluffs but worked at the bank at the bottom. Since he liked to take a half hour for his noon-time meal at home and nap for another half hour, his one hour lunchtime allotted to him was too short for his tastes. For it took Mr. Graves a half hour to drive his horse and buggy round the bluffs to his home and another half hour to return to work. Faced with this dilemma, he built a one-car cable modeled after those he had seen in Europe.

It costs a mere $1.50 for each one-way trip on the Elevator.

Looking up to the Bluffs.

The view from the top.

We took a brief walk through the neighborhood before a certain 2-year old decided it was too much walking and we returned for another fun ride down and a trip to the ice cream shop at the bottom. Thus refreshed, the six of us drove over to the Riverwalk.

We took photos of this magnificent stern wheeler, the American Queen, docked at the edge of the Mississippi.

The Star Brewery offers a place to sample local beers and watch the barges go upriver.

The Shot Tower, constructed in 1856, was used to manufacture lead shot ammunition. The tower was purchased in 1860 by J. K. Graves (the man who built the funicular) who sold it in 1862. It was restored in 2010 and is one of only a few remaining shot towers in the United States, and the only one west of the Mississippi River.

Bob and I returned to our niece's home, had lunch, enjoyed a nice afternoon and dinner before heading home for the evening. What fun!

This morning I awoke to a pretty pink sky.

Bob and I continue our journey today north to Wisconsin for a couple of nights before turning west towards South Dakota.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Lancaster, OH

We have been very fortunate with weather this week. Forecasts in western Pennsylvania threatened rain continuously yet we only saw occasional evening sprinkles. Yesterday, about an hour after we arrived in Lancaster, OH I got a severe storm alert on my phone. Heavy winds and rain, possibly hail heading our way in the next few minutes. Let's not take chances with a warning like that! We quickly pulled in the slides and waited about an hour as the weather front passed through the area. Fortunately we saw no hail, although we had some close lightening strikes.

Just in time for dinner, the rain ended and we settled back in. We were camped right across from a lovely lake and enjoyed a nice walk.

Today we are Indiana-bound for a night.