Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Custer, South Dakota

We have arrived safely in Custer, South Dakota after another pleasant, and thankfully, uneventful day on the road.  We continued our journey across I-90 in Wyoming as far as Moorcroft where we picked up US 16.  I was somewhat leery about the 80 or so miles on US 16.  It is one of those designated “scenic routes” which often prove less than suitable for a big rig handled by non-professional drivers.  However, to my surprise and utter glee, it was a very nice road--smooth surface, wide lanes and shoulders, and up hill passing lanes.  The only “bad” spot was the three or four miles through Hell’s Canyon around Jewel Cave where the lanes narrowed, the shoulder disappeared, and the road was quite curvy.  The good news is that there was very little traffic, so none of those things were issues.

There are several things we want to do while in Custer.  Our main objective is Mt Rushmore, which is on the agenda for tomorrow.  Later this afternoon we will make a plan for seeing Jewel Cave, Crazy Horse, Custer State Park, and hiking Harney Peak.  We’d like to see Devils Tower, but it is about 100 miles from here back in Wyoming.  We’ll see how our time works out.  Wall Drug and Badlands National Park are both about 100 miles east of here, so we will probably just find a campground near there when we leave here.

Although our drives have been uneventful, just about every day we have had some part of the trailer break or come loose.  One of the first travel days, the cabinet door in the far back “rear living” area came open.  Of course, I didn’t notice it (I actually can’t see it) when I put the slides out.  It got caught, of course, on the slide.  I did notice, luckily, when the slide stopped moving so it didn’t crush the cabinet door.  It did bend the hinge preventing the door from closing now.  So far, the piece of velcro we ran through the handles seems to be working.  The next day, one of the screws which holds the large day/night shade over the rear window came out, stripping the hole, of course.  If you are an RVer and have day/night shades, you know how tender and delicate those things are.  Hanging from one side put too much pressure on the end cap forcing it off.  We decided the best thing to do to keep from destroying the shade altogether was to take it completely down.  Yes, we had to remove the lambrequin, both top and sides, to be able to get at the remaining screw.  A few words were said before that ordeal was finished.  The next day, I walked in after our drive and discovered the lampshade had unglued itself from around the rim.  Today, Gene discovered a large amount of water in our basement storage compartment.  Yesterday, he refilled our fresh water tank and he is hopeful that the water got in during that process and that there isn’t really a leak somewhere.  Nevertheless, everything in the basement had to be removed to dry in the sun.  We are now taking bets on what will break on the next driving day.

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