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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Another week at Sheridan Lakes

All we do up here is work, well at least that’s all Sarah does. I don’t know if I really explained our duties here. Sarah is on the janitorial staff, well there are two of them on the staff, 2012-05-18_15-47-34_2822012-05-18_15-47-38_549this is Sharon and Sarah. As you can see they are prepared to clean 68 outhouses in the various locations around the forest. These ladies work hard and deserve all the compliments they get on the cleanliness of the outhouses.

Now I work as a camp host while it isn’t a very demanding job from a physical labor stand point it is demanding from a time stand point. I have to be in the campground seven days a week except for Tues & Thurs from 8 am to 8 pm. This is bad but then add to that no internet access and I thought I would go nuts the first couple of weeks. Now I do get into town on Thursday and get on the internet, the Slate Creek Café has free Wi-Fi and I go there for breakfast and do my internet access. We have a beautiful view of the lake and our camp loop is generally one of the quietest loops in the park.

Ok, so what have we been up to.

Tuesday, June 18, 2012

We left the campground early and headed for Wind Cave National Park to tour the Wind Cave. I am writing this at the camper so I have no internet but you can Google Wind Cave National Park and read all about it. This cave has more than ten miles of passages explored and most of that was done by a young man named Alvin McDonald, he was sixteen when he started his explorations and spent the next four years of his young life exploring the cave. He died of the  plague, I believe, at the age of twenty. In the thirties the Conservation Core came in and put in lighting and cement paths and stairs so ordinary folks could see this fantastic cave. DSCN5619This formation is called the box something because it resembles the way a cardboard box is made, the honey comb type of structure. Ninety-five percent of this type of formation in the world in found in this cave, five percent is found in England and no other cave in the world has this particular formation. Here are a few other pictures from the cave.

DSCN5549As you can see some of the passages were rather narrow. The guide kept saying don’t touch the walls. I hate say this but it didn’t matter if I went straight at it or turned sideways, I TOUCHED THE WALLS. DSCN5573DSCN5602DSCN5603There were a total of 450 steps we had to navigate. I asked the guide if they were all up and he said no. Boy was I relieved, I didn’t know how they would extricate me from the tunnels.

DSCN5608DSCN5609DSCN5612DSCN5623DSCN5624DSCN5625The pictures don’t do justice to the color of the walls and ceiling, it was a great trip.

The rest of the week was work. We did go out to eat on the 21st with Mark & Sharon. We went to the Alpine Inn in Hill City. You have your choice of steak or steak, it was good. We ate there the first time we came up to see Mark & Sharon.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

We headed for the South Dakota Air & Space Museum located at commercial entrance to Ellsworth AFB. I was disappointed in that they didn’t have very many displays but what they had were interesting. We took a tour of the airbase and the missile site that was used for training purposes. At the height of the cold war, for you young folds that is the period of time when the American and Russia were nuclear powers, there were fifty minuteman missiles sites in South Dakota. These were unmanned sites and were controlled by a central command center. Each center controlled ten missiles, these centers were strategically located throughout the area. When the cold war ended and the nuclear treaties signed the US was allowed to keep two missile sites, that I know of, one of them being here in SD out by the Badlands, the other by Tucson, AZ.

Human’s are interesting beings. Last Saturday night the campground was filling up and we were down to one camp site left. A car pulls up and asks if we have any camp sites left and we say we have one. We show them the location of the site on the map, knowing it is the last available site in the campground and they want to go look at the site, knowing if someone comes in while they are “looking” at the site we will be obligated to rent the site to the requestor. It is interesting how people react to situations and what is available to them.

As you know if you saw my previous post, we have a forest fire going on across the lake. Sheridan Lake has group camping, a marina and a beach on the north side of the lake. Unfortunately these are located on the north side of the lake and this is where the fire is raging. As of today they are saying it is contained to about 350 acres so it isn’t a big fire but it has closed the lake to boating of any kind and we’ll see what it will do to the camping reservations we have for this weekend. Here are a few pictures I took today of the fire.

DSCN5655IMG_1476The helicopter dropping the bucket for more water.IMG_1534IMG_1542IMG_1543IMG_1604IMG_1606IMG_1608IMG_1609IMG_1610

We are safe on the south side of the lake, this fire would have to escalate substantially to get to us, so we aren’t worry about it.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Forest Service opened the north side of our campground and opened the lake to boating again. We have had a few cancellations, I don’t believe they were due to the fire though. I did have a couple of campers leave today who were booked through till Monday, their reason was they couldn’t get out on the lake. They left before we found out the lake was open again.

July 4th week should be interesting, we are preparing for a busy week, no one has a day off, we are on call to help where ever needed.


Almost half way through our gig here.

Dreams Do Come True

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