Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Martin Manor RV park plus Bed & Breakfast

We have reservations here for the next two and a half weeks.  We have really enjoyed this past couple of weeks except for the last two days temperatures.  At least here we can keep the trailer plugged in and the fridge running.  We can also keep the AC on a mild setting to keep the inside from becoming an oven.

Y'all stay tuned as on August 10, 2014 we head out again northward toward Wisconsin.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

completed the big loop

This morning we completed the big loop around the Dakotas with a fuel stop in Sioux Falls.  Now we are backtracking on our way back toward the homestead.  We started this trip with this overnight campground in Nebraska City and here we are back again.  This is our sixth visit to this campground because it is a convenient distance from home.

Yesterday afternoon in Mitchell, SD the temperature was in the upper 90s with a heat index at 108°.  We had a few rain showers overnight with a front moving through that cooled us down very nicely this morning.  Now this afternoon in Nebraska City the temperature just a little while ago was 101° but the office says that a front is passing through this evening to cool us down a bit, we sure hope so.

In the past from here we would head East from St Joseph on US-36 to Macon and then down US-63 but this trip and future trips we will continue on I-29 to KC then East on I-70.  The reason is to stop at the Flying J fuel stop off of I-435 around KC.  We now have a Pilot/Flying J charge card that has several advantages so we try to use them as much as we can.  The advantages are, it will activate the truck lane pumps without a trip into the desk, there isn't any dollar cutoff amount so we can get a full fill up, It gives us an 8 cents/gal discount off of the cash price, and it doesn't put the large fuel dollars on our other card limits.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

nice Sunday drive

Today we moved from Rapid City to Mitchell, SD on our way back toward the Martin Manor.  After two days of driving/riding we will take tomorrow and rest with just a brief trip to the local Walmart for a few supplies.  The Corn Palace is currently in stages of major renovation so there won't be a picture this trip.

Yea! we're now back in our comfortable time zone.  The hour that we gained a week ago was lost today but now we can enjoy our days like we know them at home.  My body clock hasn't changed in this past week as I have observed bedtime and rising time at my CDT schedule.

The views today still had a lot of haying operations going on with what looks like giant marshmallows everywhere plus there were some fields of wheat that looked about ready to cut.  We saw a couple of fields that had been cut and the straw baled.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

ND to SD

Today's drive was from the badlands of North Dakota to the badlands of South Dakota, well almost.  I realize that Rapid City isn't in the badlands but we will pass through that area first thing in the morning on our way eastward.  Today's scenery was mostly various stages of hay production.  I don't think we have ever seen so many bales in the field both big round ones and a few small square ones.  Some were working native prairie grasses and others working huge fields of seeded crops.  They must get sufficient rainfall in this area as we didn't see any irrigation plots.

On this route there weren't any mountains to twist and turn around so the highways were mostly due north, south, east, or west.  There were many miles without the use of the steering wheel to the point that I hoped it wasn't frozen in position and would work whenever we did come to a bend in the road.

Friday, July 18, 2014

We have sure enjoyed our stay here

This has really been a good stop in our travels.  A little different topography than other places but really beautiful in its own way.  We couldn't have ask for any better weather, thank you GWF.  I think we have made good use of our time and not overdone to a point of exhaustion.

There is another trail ride outfitter here that offers a two hour ride.  We thought about it and then had another thought, this has already been struck off our bucket list.  Our bucket list is quite short as we truly have enjoyed our travels to date but aren't quite ready to hang it up just yet.  I have our August trip all reserved and we will see what we can find in Wisconsin, perhaps some cheese.  September is planned but modified from the original intent.  September will now be a visit with Phyllis plus some trailer service in Indiana.  We have to keep our home-away-from-home in top shape.  Our good neighbor thinks that the Martin Manor is our second home.

Tomorrow morning we start the drive homeward with a move to Rapid City, SD.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Chateau de Mores

Our tour this morning was this site that memorializes the life and activities in North Dakota of Antoine de Vallombrosa, the Marquis de Mores, who arrived in 1883 from France. Among his enterprises were a beef packing plant, a stagecoach line, a freighting company, refrigerated railway cars, cattle and sheep raising, land ownership, and a new town which he called Medora, in honor of his wife.

famartin's 07-17-14 album on Photobucket

Chateau de Mores - This 26-room, two-story frame building was built in 1883 as the summer residence of the Marquis's family. The Chateau is now a historic house museum and contains many of the original furnishings and personal effects of the de Mores family. 

From the porch of the Chateau I took this picture of our trailer in the campground.  The ridge is just across the Little Missouri River and our trailer (if you zoom in) is right in the tree line.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

our evening

Last evening started with a "pitchfork steak fondue" dinner.  They put several rib-eye steaks on pitchfork tines and then dip them in vats of oil for deep frying.  My steak was delicious.  Instead of a steak Jo had a cowboy buffet with bison roast as her entree.  These two pictures show the fondue process.

In the same location was the "Medora Musical" amphitheater where we enjoyed the show.  The group of singers/dancers were great as was the band.  The ridge of badlands behind the stage was also a part of the show.  As we were walking to our seats we saw a couple of elk  on that ridge.  A little before the show started a cowboy on horseback herded those elk down the ridge and out of sight.  As the show started a group of cowboys on horseback escorted the hostess of the show on to the stage.  Later in the show they enacted a battle and those same cowboys were Teddy's Rough Riders in the battle.  After a mid-show intermission they had a stand up comic but neither Jo nor myself care much for that kind of entertainment.  We much prefer the singing and dancing.  At the end of the show during the finale the hills behind the stage were illuminated with the colors of the American flag.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

change of pace

After yesterdays outings we have spent the day just recuperating from minor aches and pains.

We have tickets this evening for a "pitchfork stake fondue" and a "cowboy cookout" before we sit down at the Medora Musical.  The musical is in an amphitheater and is supposed to consist of cowboy and western music, should be good.  I'll let you all know tomorrow about the cookout but I imagine it will be more food than we can eat.  The temperatures this evening are supposed to be mid 70s which will be nice.  This morning the low was 45° and for the past several days we have had our heat turned on for the over-night times.

Monday, July 14, 2014

This afternoon's experience

After lunch at the trailer we drove back into the park to the Peaceful Valley Ranch and took a 1-1/2 hour trail ride.  We were part of a group of 12 plus two wranglers and the trail took us up into the depths of the park and back out.  Jo's horse was "little Joe" and mine was "dude."  Jo was first behind the lead wrangler and I was next.  Other than getting on and off I think Jo had an easier time than I did.  My legs/hips complained all the way about spreading around that saddle.  We're just not as limber as we used to be.  They didn't allow cameras, purses, or cell phones so we just enjoyed our ride through the sage brush and prairie dog towns.  We did see a small herd of wild horses along the way but no bison.

Teddy's National Park part two

This morning we toured the South unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  This part of the park is larger and seemed to have a more varied terrain.  We got more pictures today as there were more bison sightings plus several prairie dog towns plus a couple of wild horses.  The lone bulls were each a different sighting in different parts of the park.  I even got one picture of Jo sitting in our truck waving at me.

 This cabin was on the Maltese Cross ranch where Theodore lived for awhile after his wife died.  Shortly after this he bought and established his own ranch at Elkhorn as described in yesterdays post.

 In the museum this model sports Teddy's own clothes, saddle, and tack.
 pioneer women's clothes and side saddle

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Teddy's National Park part one

The Theodore Roosevelt National Park is actually in three separate parcels.  What they call the South Unit is close to our campground and the North Unit that we explored today is about 50-60 miles north along the  Little Missouri River.  The third part is a small undeveloped parcel about half way between the North and South units along the Little Missouri River.  This third part which is only reachable by jeep, horseback, or foot is where Teddy established his Elkhorn Ranch to raise cattle.  By the time he arrived in 1883 the buffalo had almost been eliminated and with the vast grassland areas there was good pasture for cattle.  This whole area of North Dakota is designated as the Little Missouri National Grassland area.

Most of the area along the Little Missouri River is North Dakota badlands which show up in most of our pictures.  These were all taken inside the North unit.