Escaped Doodles

June 27, 2023 - South Dakota

We spent the month of June, more or less, in South Dakota. Some business we needed to take care of which required 30 days in Pennington County. Well, it is "home". We stayed at Americas Mailbox in Box Elder where they have a small RV park. Although, we spent two week of the time up in the Black Hills at Sheridan Lake.

The RV Park at Americas Mailbox felt like a low class trailer park. Not well maintained with tall weeds where there sould be grass. We had a simple full hook up site with no park restrooms, laundry or other facilities. It is inexpensive on a month to month basis. The residents were a real mix, from beat-up trailers complete with "good old boys" likely living there to million dollar motor homes setting up mail forwarding. There were no communal facilities so no-one spent time outside, quite isolating. Not sure if other parks in Rapid City or the Black Hills have monthly rates. For us it was central to the business we needed to accomplish. We remembered it as not being a great location so made reservations for two separate weeks in the Black Hills. Americas Campground was as bad, or worse, than we remembered.

The weather was pretty bad. It could be normal for the mid-west in spring but the weather doesn't seem "normal" anywhere anymore. There were five or six big storms that come through while in South Dakota. They seemed worse in Rapid City than the Black Hills but there were heavy thunderstorms both places. One day in Rapid City is rained heavy for 11 hours straight :-(.

In a trailer heavy rain is noisy. When it hails it can be deafening. But add in thunder and we had at least one scared dog. Ruby ended up hiding in the bathroom several times.

Here are two of the storms on Larry radar and cell phone radar.

Both Ruby and Cooper started asking what we'd gotten them into.

The time at Sheridan Lake we more relaxing. A nice National Forest campground above Sheridan Lake. We scouted the sites last fall and reserved nice campsites for our stays. Both have the same view from our site(s).

There was a good number of geese there. This family went through our site a couple of times a day, complete with gosletts. Nice forested country. Denise saw a bunch of turtles out sunning themselves along with the giant snapping turtle.

Seems like we're slowing down these days. We didn't do many tourist things while in Rapid City or at Sheridan Lake. We've driven most of the roads in the Black Hills and seen the major sights. Hugh has a knee that's bothered him since March. He thought it would work itself out and so decided not to pursue treatment during our six weeks in Prescott Valley. He didn't want to get into the middle of treatment before the trip. It's still hurting him, and if its still a problem went we get back to PV he'll see someone. But, with his knee hiking isn't a good option. So, mostly walks around, or near, the campground. One trip into Custer where we saw a buffalo.

The Black Hills are a very nice area. Interesting terrain and forests. It's a mix of National Forest and private but feels more developed than we're used to. Nice for a visit.

On June 26 we escaped South Dakota. Over the Black Hills to Kaycee, WY on the way to the Bighorn Mountains. The thunderhead below was seen to the east, lit by the afternoon sun. Pretty.

Safe Travels