South Dakota and the badlands
No WIFI available: Events of 7/6-7/7
It's been four days since I've posted. On the sixth we rolled out of Cabela's in rapid city and headed south to see the great mount rushmore. We were there before 7am and the parking lot guy was kind of enough to let us on through.... free of charge.
The stone faces were a quick visit. We saw them from the amphitheater seating and left. The trails under the giant heads weren't open yet and we needed to get rolling. It was supposed to be a hot day and Roo can't handle the heat and hills all at once. Two days prior I pushed her to hard and she gave up two exhaust manifold gaskets. A call to the Cummins dealer confirmed my suspicion. We most likely overheated the mainfold, warped it, and now it won't seal. That's bad. Turbo engines need exhaust to build boost for power. Leaky exhaust= crap power and lots of heat. Heat is bad. Heat = more broken stuff on motor.
Unfortunately the only time the cummins dealer in Wyoming (next state over) was available is on the 20th. Way to far away for us. It's blistering hot during the day and we won't survive two weeks out here. Katie and I are cheeseheads through and through. We love beer, brats, and cold weather. A quick ring to the next cummins shop was in billings montana. It's a 7 hour drive to the northwest but at least it's on our way. They squeezed us in for next week tuesday. Funny how the they already have RV parts in stock, for this year motor, and this style of pusher.... makes you think.
I digress. Back to Thursday the 6th. After rushmore it was balls out through the steep black hills forest to go to our next destination. Wind cave national park
Apparently this tunnel underground is the longest and most complex cave in the world. To us it was just an hour underground walking through a tunnel. Check another park off the list
It was warming up and we had to roll. Precariously the RV pointed northeast back to rapid city. The temperature gauge rising and falling slightly with each hill. It's amazing how 45 minutes of driving can just drain you psychologically. Will it break? Will it overheat? Will it warp the head? The hills lightened up and we made it to Wall. We stopped in the parking lot of wall drug. Katie looked perplexed " What are we doing here?" I responded " We have to go, you're gonna get asked if you stopped at Wall drug". With the generator humming away and the AC at full crank we left the animals to sit in their cool familiar shelter. Drudging through the crowd we meandered through the store. Color me unimpressed. A giant collection of tiny stores selling novelties, trinkets, and cowboy hats. Forty five minutes and two postcards later the RV fired back up to head south. Sage creek campground lay ahead. A free place to park to for up to 5 days on the outskirts of the badlands. Nine miles of washboard gravel? Yes please. Crazy skinny lanes for a 40ft RV. Check. We showed up after an hour of driving.... the only class A motor home there. Either crazy or stupid, we made it.
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I'm just a guy, with a wife, a dog, and three cats. Watch us travel the country.
Months of travel