Sunday, August 30
I believe I left off we were in Hardin and was on the hunt for a 32” windshield wiper. We headed out to Gillette, WY where we stayed overnight in hopes of getting a wiper from an RV superstore. However, when we called before heading over there on Monday morning, we found they did not have one. So we picked up the 28” that Walmart had and were on our way.
One of the things that we learned is that the further east we go, the hotter and more humid the weather was getting. When in the Northwest, we did not need the A/C full time, therefore only ran the generator for a few hours. This worked well when dry camping. We are now finding that we have to run the generator the entire time we are parked, therefore the cost of the diesel is running close to what it would cost to stay in an RV park. There are other reasons to dry dock, sometimes it is just that your not sure where you are going to stop until a couple of hours in advance and you cannot always find an available space. So we will try to plan a little better so we do not have to dry dock in the hot east.
The scenery in this part of Wyoming and Montana look a lot alike, we did see another black bear along the road way in Montana. Steve had seen a couple in Idaho but I missed them. This one was fairly close to the road, I was so busy watching him I forgot to take a picture until it was too late. We have actually seen quite a few animals on this trip. We have seen a lot of eagles, coyote, black bear, lots of deer, chipmunks and hawks not to mention the numerous different birds we have seen.
We arrived in Gillette, SD and set up camp. The site and the facilities were very nice and we were happy to have 50 amps so we could run both of our A/C’s and we were scheduled to stay 2 nights. Steve headed into Sioux Falls on Tuesday to pick up mail, get his South Dakota drivers license and to complete the registration on both the RV and the Jeep. We also found an RV supply store that had the 32” wipers so he was picking those up as well. My plan was to hang out at the RV, get the laundry caught up and get the RV cleaned. We’ve kept a pretty good scheduled of doing all of the laundry and cleaning the complete RV weekly so it was a couple of days overdue. So we both completed our tasks and in the interim, I had heard about the world’s only Corn Palace in Mitchell and also I saw some pictures of Sioux Falls and decided we needed a little more time to take in the sights, so we extended our stay an extra day.
Tuesday night we visited the Corn Palace. While it all sounded pretty “corny” it was really very fascinating. The interior and exterior were covered with murals made from ears of corn and the corn husks. Over 3000 bushels of corn, grains and oats are used to create the murals and the theme of the murals is changed every year. The first corn place was constructed in 1892 and the detail of the murals is amazing. The original Corn Palace was built in order to display the agriculture from the area.
Wednesday we drove into Sioux Falls. Just as we pulled into the Falls Park, we spotted a little (city) sight seeing shuttle that we jumped on for $1.00 and it took us on a nice tour of the downtown area and gave us a bit of history. Many of the buildings were built back in the late 1800’s and are made of Sioux Quartzite which is an extremely hard and dense stone. The Sioux Quartzite is only found in the Sioux Falls area and is very expensive to mine and expensive to buy and use. Some of the carved stone blocks in the buildings weight over 3000 lbs. each and they were hand carved. These buildings look almost new as the stone maintains it’s color and always looks clean. We hopped off and had a nice lunch, walked through town and checked out some of the over 100 sculptures. The sculptures are created by various South Dakota artists, sponsored by various business and donated to the city. They must be on display for 1 year and then they are auctioned off. They were very creative and this is just a small sampling. We hopped back on the shuttle and heading back to the park.
The park is beautiful and you can walk all over the falls. We were told that just 3 days earlier, they had had so much rain, the water in the falls was so heavy that you could not even see the stones at the falls edge. But they were beautiful the day we were there. We also went up into the observation tower and the view from there was gorgeous as well.
It was a fun day so we headed back to the RV to get ready to head South. Life is good.