Saturday, June 4, 2016

Dear Diary

I just discovered this post was not published.

This post might be called Dear Diary. Mostly some thoughts that were on my mind and not much about places. Read at your own risk.

A good friend of ours had a man that came over every afternoon at precisely 4:30 to have a free cocktail. He had to leave at 6:30 and waited until 6:25 to guzzle his drink - four ounces of vodka with a splash of grapefruit juice. That way he could be home before he felt the drink. His name was Al. Long retired, he had been a salesman for Dupont, selling dynamite. A job that consisted of entertaining buyers, dinners, drinks, trips, golf games, and more drinks. Al spent his mornings going to see his chums and finding one to buy him lunch. He made friends with the chef at the CC, so he could get free lobsters to take home. Al had money, but was a professional mooch.

Al could not understand why we traveled. He remarked more than once that we had a fine home and wondered why we would leave it. Guess some have wanderlust and others are the stay at home types. Perhaps they have never seen the Northern Lights or a hawk on the wing.

This has almost nothing to do with our travels, but it does with our lives. Before we left, Dorothy washed our ancient flip-phone. The interesting thing about that was that the girl who never knows where the phone is or how to use, it was chaffing at the bit to fly to Verizon to get a new one. We got an iPhone 6. I have to admit it’s impressive. It’s smarter than the both of us together. 

After resisting texting for decades, we now text. I like the speech to text. Dorothy, the dinosaur, plugs away with her fingers. Siri does not allow for pausing between sentences. She wants to send as soon as I pause. I also have a problem with my pauses in conversation with those who wait for the slightest pause to jump in. That’s my clue they are probably not listening to me.

Siri is a help in locating stores. Glenda is seldom up to date. She had no auto parts store in Yankton. Siri knew there were three within a mile of us.

Weather - Yes, we have weather. The rains continue. Wednesday there was nothing in the forecast for the next six days about rain. Thursday, it changed to rain Sunday and Monday. Just great, we were going to move a little north to see a waterfall and a canyon. We will have to pass on that as we need to get to place to hole-up for the holiday. Back in our working life we lived for holiday weekends. The forecast is for rain in the six of the next nine days. 

I know there is a difference between meteorologists and climatologist. One can not forecast the weather for the next 72 hours. The other cannot forecast the weather for the next two decades.

The weather on our first post retirement trip in 2006 was perfect five months. It rained out three days.

We wrote about our foraging for meat in Pella. After eating it all, we can report; the chuck roast was the tenderest we have ever had, the steaks were sweet and yummy, the sausage made with bacon was divine. The strawberry-rhubarb pie was perfect in every way.

Starting in Missouri and increasing as you go west more and more things are named after Lewis and Clark. This morning we heard a radio ad for a L&W Bone In Roast. No further details are available.

Tuesday, May 24

Yesterday afternoon, instead of the forecast rain, the clouds disappeared and we had a spectacular afternoon and evening. The good weather continued as we drove west to Lake Sharpe near Chamberlain, SD. We docked at another COE CG, Left Tailrace, which is, of course, on the Missouri River. The fishing is excellent here based on the line of folks waiting to clean their catch at the cleaning station.

We will hole-up here until the holiday madness is over. Hoping someone will offer us a walleye.

South Dakota was the province of fur trappers, until Custer discovered gold here which created Deadwood, Lead, etc. and eventually got Custer killed. By 1920’s the Dakota’s were known for fishing. Coolidge came here to fish for a month and that brought national recognition. While Coolidge was here the guy sculpting Rushmore got a meeting with him and a promise of federal funds. Today, SD is known for fishing and Rushmore. On the state flag is ‘The Mount Rushmore State’. 

I think a walleye would be better.

I flipped through a tourist guide to the capital, Pierre. Under Points of Interests were listed the numerous boat ramps. Yep, boat ramps. Growing up we learned the names of the state capitols. Pierre was pronounced like a Frenchman’s name, but is actually pronounced Pier. Just a little trivia for your day.

The last time we were through here it was boom times for oil. Trailer towns were popping up along the roads. With the price per barrel below $50, that has changed. We noted gasoline went up 35 cents in the last week.

Wednesday, May 25

Like NM, SD has several large Indian Reservations. We were on one this morning. It was typical, but the houses, while sad looking, looked better with green grass around them, rather than red dirt and brown skinny dogs as those in NM.

We are in waving country. Indians wave too.

If towns want a new school, they tax the residents and build one. Not so on a reservation. They get a grant from the government. That’s you and me. Lower Brule has the usual compliment of government built and staffed buildings: Water Works, Health Clinic, Ambulance Service, Police Station, Housing Authority, Farm Co-Op, schools and an extra fancy tribal HQ. Commercial business were a casino, bank and land leased to whites for farming. An argument could be made that we have been paying them back for taking their land on the installment plan for over an hundred years. The lack of business enterprises on any reservation is a window to results of socialism. Why work, when the government provides.

Good thing we arrived yesterday. The CG is almost full, only a few spaces left.  We have boon-docked only twice this trip. Unusual for us. The places we have parked only have hookups. 

Thursday, May 26

We drove SD 1086 called the Native American Scenic Byway up to Pierre. It runs along the south side of the Missouri River through rolling hills in the Lower Brule reservation. There is nothing commercial and only a few ranch homes you can see in the distance. Dorothy said it was the loneliest road in the country, not US50. We saw two other vehicles on the 40 mile road. Well four if you count a parked convertible truck and an ATV. We stopped to chat with the fellow on the ATV. He was cutting out horses to take to the rodeo the next day. All bucking horses. All paints.

I remarked to Dorothy that the terrain looked a lot like where Dances With Wolves was filmed. I Googled it and found that a ranch on the road was one of the filming locations. I think I saw Lt. John Dunbar riding on the hills. 

There are bison, but they were hiding from us.

We saw an SUV on the side of the road. The rear windows were bashed in as was the hood. Looked like someone had taken a ball bat to it. Then we heard about baseball size hail in the area. Blessed we missed that.

We toured our fourth state capital of the trip today. That brings our total to 14. Some day we will do the Alabama border states.

Our neighbors gave us generous portions of Walleye. Dorothy fried it. It is wonderful tasting fish.

Friday, May 27

What a rain storm last night. Had to stop watching a movie as the rain overpowered our speakers. This morning it’s completely overcast and the wind is calm.

We drove to Chamberlain in the rain to see the Sioux Indian Culture Museum. Great exhibits, lots of history. Well worth our time. 

The sun is partially out at lunch time. Maybe some pictures of rolling hills on the return trip.

We have our place for the holiday weekend. The forecast starting Tuesday is for a week without rain. We will see.

1 comment:

  1. "Guess some have wanderlust and others are the stay at home types. Perhaps they have never seen the Northern Lights or a hawk on the wing."
    And so it is with us. After being at home for just a few weeks, the planning begins for the next trip.
    We've always had to see what was just around the next bend.
    Heading out soon for a trip to see our VA family. Following the route of the homesteaders through Nebraska and Iowa.
    Enjoy your trip.