Our Home

Our Home

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Des Moines, IA Visit

As stated previously I was hesitant about the spot we chose at Cherry Glen Campground, this is a Corps park and a nice one, anyway this has turned out to be great. We have been here 9 days and have enjoyed every minute of it.

I finally got the unit level, I think, all of the indicators say we are level but I still have a feeling we are leaning to the street side a bit but I am living with that. I couldn’t get the satellite dish to hook onto the satellites so we have watched only the local channels off the regular TV antennae. It wasn’t bad but I do like my satellite dish.

Up until yesterday we have had cool weather and then it hi 87 yesterday. We sat outside all day and read. I have finished one book and half of another. One thing I have noticed is for some reason I don’t read as fast as I did when I was younger. I am not sure why but I guess I will deal with it.

Sunday was Bryon’s graduation from High School. The first of the seven grandkids to do so, the next one isn’t for twelve years so we have a while to wait. It was a very nice ceremony. Nevada High School isn’t big but they did a nice job in honoring the students. They gave out about fifteen scholarships, two of them $1,000 for four years, I was impressed by the community backing. Here are some pictures from the ceremony;

DSCN2539The stage is set.

DSCN2540Mat in the orange shirt, Tiffany next to him and Alexa next to Tiffany and long time family friend Ron next to Alexa.

DSCN2547Bryon second from the right.

DSCN2557Bryon receiving his diploma and it was signed, I checked.

DSCN2558Bryon after getting his diploma.

DSCN2570LR; Tiffany, Bryon, Alexa and Matt.

After the graduation we went to Applebee’s for dinner, Bryon had his choice of restaurant, the meal was very good and we enjoyed visiting with the kids. We were in the parking lot saying our goodbyes and the security fob on my key ring fell of the ring and crashed to the ground breaking apart. I thought I picked up all the pieces but later found out I am missing one piece. Since I thought it was broke I used the key to open the truck and this set off the alarm. I began pushing places on the circuit board and the siren would quit for a few seconds and then begin again, also the truck would not start, the system had disabled the ability to start the truck. Every time the alarm would go off I started pushing on the circuit board and for some reason a miracle happened the truck started, I thought great now we can go home. We finished our good byes and began to drive off. I didn’t get more than five feet out of the parking lot and the alarm started again, but the truck continued to run, so I pulled into another lot and removed the battery from the case. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before but I didn’t and now I use the keyless fob that came with the truck. I am going to contact Viper and see about a replacement if they aren’t too expensive.

Yesterday we sat outside all day and read. Well we did take a couple of walks down to the lake and watch the boaters battle 30 mph winds while trying to launch or remove their boats in the lake. There were a lot of jet skis on the lake and a couple boats with, what sounded like, pretty hefty motors in them. It was warm so there were a few sun worshipers out, on of them look like she was ninety and had leather like skin. I don’t understand why anyone would do that to themselves. We also took a couple of laps around the park and by evening it was nice and quite in the park. Right now there is only one other camper in our loop. I have the windows open and the birds are singing and it is great.

Tomorrow we are headed to Omaha for a couple of weeks, but we are stopping at Bob & Joe’s to have them check the propane system. Our alarm has been going off once in a while and we don’t know why, plus I smell propane when I open the doors to the propane tanks. The weather is suppose to be good tomorrow so we should have a good day of traveling.

Until later, Dreams Do Come True.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Great Time Visiting with Mom

We spent the last few days in a gem of a state park, Honey Creek State Park, not to be confused with Honey Creek State Resort Park. The sites are a mixture of gravel and grass, about 30 of them have full hook up and most of them are pull through. The gem part comes from the scenery as you walk or drive through the park. We spotted some old oak trees that had to be 100 plus years old. Here are some pictures of the campground;


Our purpose of being in the area was to spend time with my mother and celebrate her birthday on May 21st. We drove in each day and spent the day with her. We arrived at the park Weds in late afternoon after an uneventful eight hour drive, I told Sarah we aren’t going to drive that far again in a single day.

Thursday we took mom to her favorite haunts, Dollar General, Hy-Vee and my favorite Ben Franklin. The Ben Franklin store has bulk candy, the same as the dime stores had when I was a kid. Whenever we go to Ben Franklin I look around, I might see a bargain, and then I head for the candy counter and buy sack of bridge mix. I don’t know why I like this type candy but I do, it is great.

Mom showed Sarah how to make kitchen crochet towels, you hand them on the drawer handles or fridge door or oven door, anyway now Sarah knows how to make them. Sunday we made a trip to Wal Mart for supplies to make the towels and then spent the rest of the day with mom. We did eat all of our meals except breakfast with mom, they eat good at her place. Sunday night Tara brought pizza and we ate with mom and had cake for her birthday. Bryan, Tara’s son, surprised mom by stopping by before he headed back to Iowa City.


We had a great time:


This morning we left for Des Moines about 9:30, I love not having to hurry to break camp. It was a beautiful day for driving and with no wind we got 9.2 mpg. I even loaded the camper with a full tank of fresh water. We stopped at Blue Beacon Truck Wash to get the truck and camper washed, I knew I wouldn’t get to it for a few weeks. They did a good job and it was reasonable.

Our goal was to get to a CORE park early in the week so we could get a non-reservable site. I had set my site on Prairie Flower Campground, we go there about 12:30. The pay station was closed and the board on the side said to find a spot and come back and pay. So we drove the entire park and did not find an open site. I went stopped at the entrance and the camp host saw us and I went over and asked him about a site. He said they were sold out. He said Cherry Glen, another of the four core parks, had some openings because they were not taking reservations because some of the sites were being upgraded to 50 amp. He said they had some open sites left, so we hightailed it to Cherry Glen. When we got there I stopped at the office and the camp host, who has a site next to the office, saw us and came over. She showed me where a site was and we drove to it but it was a tight fit and she directed us to another loop with more than one empty site. We drove to them and found a good site, no satellite but nice. We set up and the only problem I had was getting the unit level, I am still experimenting with the jacks and how to level the unit but we finally got it done, I think, we’ll see what it looks like tomorrow.

We are here until June 1st and then we head to Omaha.

Dreams Do Come True

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mitchell, SD–Amy, Clancy, Mavrick, Lily–May 11-15

Sometimes with copy and pasting things get missed. I didn’t get this posted with the Sioux Falls posting. My apologies.


We had a great time in Mitchell with Amy, Clancy and the kids. We arrived on Weds the 11th and I was sick until the Friday evening, although Amy came in and got Sarah on Thursday and Friday. Friday night I went out to their house for dinner, Sarah was already there, we had taco cassorole, it was very good. It reminded me of Merilee’s cooking. Amy is a very good cook.

I am not able to to keep up with the kids, they are very active and have more energy than I have had for a long time. I’ll leave keeping up with them to their grandpa Cain.


Saturday night Clancy drove us all over to Carnival Brazilian Grill, http://carnavalbraziliangrill.com/, it was an interesting place to eat. None of else had every been to this type of restaurant before. They have a salad bar which was very good but the best part is the rest of the menu. You can order ala carte but they have three other items on the menu listed 1, 2, 3 with each one having a list of meat choices with one of them also having shrimp. The menu explains it much better. Anyway, if you go to one of these restaurants forget the salad bar and go for the meat. The meat is cut fresh off of skewers carried around by waiters, you can have as much as you want. It was all great, go hungry come away stuffed.

DSCN2469This was taken Sunday night at Pizza Ranch, they have a buffet with all types of pizza and very good. For lunch Clancy grilled brats and made potatoes, onion and green peppers in foil, all of it was great.

it was a great visit. Sunday night we relaxed, knowing we weren’t leaving until ten or so in the morning.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sioux Falls, SD

We left Mitchell yesterday, Monday, morning about ten and arrived at the Tower Campground, Sioux Falls, SD about 11:30 after a very uneventful drive. Tower Campground is divided into three separate areas, mobile home park, efficiency apartments and RV park. The RV park has an older section for mostly extended stay campers and the other is an area, I believe, was part of the mobile home park and is now being made into campsites. We were given a large site, next to the manager’s motorhome. We are here to establish South Dakota residency.

Our quest began Monday afternoon with a visit to Alternative Resources, our mail forwarding agent, to pick up our  mail and begin the process of establishing our residency. Alternative Resources offers a service of handling the paperwork to get our vehicle license plates and titles, I immediately accepted that offer, even though they charge for it I didn’t want to deal with the beauracy that I envisioned. Anyway, we filled out all the paperwork and left with a cost for the transaction and instructions to bring our new driver’s licenses to the office so they could make a copy. So today we went to the DMV at 8:30, we were given an application to fill out and had a seat. About 30 minutes later Sarah was called and I followed a few minutes later. The agent, Jim, began to enter my information into the computer, took my picture, my money, I took the eye test and Jim crossed all the t’s and dotted the eyes. He couldn’t get the system to take my information. So he asked me to have a seat and I did. A while later he called me up to the counter and gave me my license. He said he had to call Pierre and they had to enter me as a regular license, the CDL information and it finally took. So we are now South Dakota residents.

The rest of today was spent downtown doing some touristy things. We stopped at the USS South Dakota Battleship Memorial. Now I wanted to see this because I saw the Big Sioux river and there was no way the navy could float a battleship up it to Sioux Falls. It turns out to be a very nice memorial, it is an outline of the ship with some of the original pieces off the ship. DSCN2473DSCN2474DSCN2475DSCN2481DSCN2488

They have made an outline of the ship with a cement wall and put some guns etc. in the same place they would be on the original ship. This boat was a lot larger that the USS Texas we saw in Houston. The information building wasn’t open, I wish it had been it would have been very interesting. Here is some very good material on the battleship; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_South_Dakota_(BB-57).

From the battleship memorial we headed for Falls Park. I wanted to see the falls that gave Sioux Falls it’s name, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sioux_Falls,_South_Dakota.

This is a very nice town, Falls Park is great. Here are some pictures, DSCN2494DSCN2495DSCN2496In 1881 prisoners from the local state prison were quarrying rock from the area of the Big Sioux river and hauled it up the hill to the prison. The rock was used to build the prison walls and the warden’s home. You can still see the prison on the hill from the park. I was told the one of the original buildings is still there and is an information center.

 DSCN2497DSCN2498DSCN2499DSCN2503     I love the train in the background of my picture.

DSCN2504 Sarah looks great by the falls.

DSCN2505DSCN2506DSCN2508This picture and the next two were taken from a five story tower located in the park.



We ended the day with Sarah shopping at Michael’s and then dinner at Granite City.

This is a very nice city, I wouldn’t want to live here in the winter though. We have enjoyed our stay here and will return at some point.

Dreams Do Come True.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mt Rushmore and other interesting places.

Wednesday, May 4th, we spent with our good friends Mark & Sharon at their new digs. We met their bosses Doyle and Ty, nice people, they both wanted to know if we wanted a job for the summer. We graciously said no our summer is all planned out at this time. Doyle told us about a campground where they needed so we went looking for the campground. It was about fifteen miles south of Hill City and up in the high country, there was snow on the ground, and it seemed to me because it was so far out in the boonies they would have to pump sunshine to you. It was beautiful country but I don’t believe I would want to be so far from town.

Later we went back to their camper and had hot dogs and talked. Mark & Sharon have a great site, they are working for a federal park management company. Sharon will clean and stock the outhouses a couple times a day and Mark is on the mowing crew. They receive a wage and a free campsite with full hook ups. It isn’t a bad gig, I may want something like this a couple years from now.

Thursday and Friday Sarah had me out walking several times a day. Rapid City has a great park system and since there was one close to the park we would walk around it.

Friday afternoon Marie’s brother, sister and families arrived. They had rented the five bedroom lodge which was part of the campground. Daniel, Marie and kids and Marie’s mom and dad, Eddie and Elia, arrived around six. We visited while they all got settled into their new home for the next few days. David and Michelle, Marie’s sister and husband, went to the store for some groceries and to get dinner. We had lasagna and salad, very good meal. We all shared in the cost of the meals and each family was to prepare dinner on a given night.

Saturday we left about nine-thirty for Bear Country USA. This is a drive through park where the animals roam free. They had artic wolves, badger, beaver, big horn sheep, black bears, bobcat, buffalo, Canadian Lynx, coyote, elk, grizzly bear, mountain lion, porcupine, raccoon, red fox, reindeer, river otter, rocky mt. goat, striped skunk and timber wolf. All of the animals were out and about so we did see all of them. It was a very interesting ride and worth the price of admission. At the end of drive the last gate was guarded by two bears pacing back and forth in front of the exit, DSCN2234 It was as if they were trained to do that and they were very good at it. We waited for an opening and drove through it. As usual the gift shop was at the exit and the area for the babies.

DSCN2241DSCN2245DSCN2246DSCN2247DSCN2248 The best of the little ones were the baby bears, they were very active and interesting to watch.

A couple of my favorites, DSCN2222IMG_8235 now this is the life.

After Bear Country it was off to Mt. Rushmore. This is one of my favorite destinations. Every time I visit I marvel at the ability of someone being able to accomplish this feat.

DSCN2266 It is a must visit for every one.

DSCN2268Daniel, Isabel, Emily, Eli and Marie.

DSCN2272All the grandkids with Marie’s mom, Elia.

We had a picnic lunch while at Mt Rushmore. Now the park does not have a designated area to eat in you are welcome to picnic in any of the public areas.

We also walked the trail going under the faces, this gives you a different perspective of the monument. I don’t remember how far the trail goes but the several hundred steps to get back to the visitor’s center were enough to do me in. If you are looking for a vacation destination I strongly suggest Mt Rushmore.

Sunday Sarah and I went to church and I bought some roses they were selling for each of the mothers in our group. DSCN2379

The rest of the day we spent in the park and the surrounding area.

Sunday night we went to the Olive Garden for mother’s day dinner. Good food and great companions made for a great time.

Monday, Daniel, Marie, Emily, Isabel, Eli, Sarah and I went to Old McDonalds Farm about eleven so the kids could see the animals. This was a very nice place the kids got to pet the calves, goats, horses, sheep and all the other animals. The kids feed a few of the animals.

After the farm we headed for the Reptile Garden, now this was a very interesting place. The first thing we did was go to the snake show. Now I DON’T like snakes but I was impressed with the guy who gave the talk. He had a python, cobra, rattlesnake among others.

They also had three tortoises over a hundred twenty years old. They also had one of the crocodiles from a James Bond movie and a crocodile from Australia which was over 18 foot long, it was huge.

Tuesday, all to soon it was time for everyone to leave. Sarah and I were there to see everyone off and wish them safe travels. We really enjoyed being with everyone and hope they enjoyed their time in Rapid City as much as we did.

Tuesday afternoon Sarah and I went out to Mark & Sharon’s to see them before we left, it may be a couple of years before we see them again. We had dinner and visited and then it was time to say so long for now.

We left this morning and are now sitting in R&R Campground in Mitchell, SD. This park is quite close to interstate 90 but the noise is not too bad. Also, the RR tracks are about 250 feet from our campsite but again I like trains and so they don’t bother me. Actually, we have been here for five hours and only one train has gone by so I don’t believe it is a very busy track.

We will spend the next five days here seeing what is here and visiting with niece Amy and family.

Dreams Do Come True.