Not Prepared to Hike the Badlands….

So our 6 year old wanted to hike the badlands in the middle of the day?

As we drove through in our RV he was genuinely upset that we didn’t have the proper gear with us in order to go “adventure” hiking.

I did not expect this.

It was crazy hot.

You probably need/should wear:

1. Sun hats with a brim & upf. You can check out this review –

2. long sleeve sun clothes – something like this.

3. Over ankle hiking boots;

4. Sunglasses;

5. At least 2 quarts of water per person;

6. There is a ton of loose rock/shifting gravel so I would consider a walking stick;

7. Small survival/first aid kit; and

8. Maybe a kerchief.

But that’s just me. we saw people heading out with no water or gear?

And we saw some people returning lobster red… yeah. No thank you.

I mean , you even have to sign a book saying you are heading into the back country. And they warn you about having the right gear and water. (They also warm about rattlesnakes – shudder).

Anyways, we were not prepared (or in shape) for this one.

Maybe next year….

Helicopter Tour of Mt. Rushmore – Keystone, SD

Worth the money.

It is about a 15 minute walk from Rushmore View RV Park to Black Hills Aerial Adventures.

We paid for the Mt. Rushmore Tour ($109/person) and about 15 minutes long. I had taken this helicopter tour (not sure if it was same company?) when I was a kid 35ish years ago?

Helicopter View of Mt. Rushmore

Glad my kid could take it too.

Kid riding in front seat of copter.

Rushmore View RV Park – Keystone, SD. Truth in Advert.

We are staying at Rushmore View, which is an interesting/quirky tiny RV stop. We are here for four days. The RV office people were absolutely lovely. But it is a SMALL RV park – in fact they say right on their website – “Built in the days when RV’ing was car-camping and compact motorhomes, most sites are short and close together.” No fooling. There was truth in that advertisement.

We are the 5th RV down on the row to the right.
We are WAY close to left side neighbor.

Totally reasonable distance to right side neighbor….

Elderly dog keeping an eye out for that deer….

But…we kind of like it. Walking distance (less than a block) to a laundromat (totally empty of people in am in August). A little convenience store – and this cute little creek thing runs right behind us….

Spot #16 – fits 24’ RVs. Nice and wide – and not too close to #17.
Spot #17 – Probably could fit a 30’? Deer not included….

I was ticked because originally we booked a pull through spot here that I immediately hated (#27). ‘Cause nothing ever goes as planned….

RV Spot Map. Started at green spot and moved across the way.

Once they changed it – I’m perfectly content. Go figure.

Anyways, we like Keystone, SD. You can pretty much walk everywhere in town tourist trap wise.

The boys panned for gold at Big Thunder Gold Mine while I worked at this little,!funky, rinky-dink RV spot.

And it’s minutes to Mount Rushmore from here.

Not the view from RV Park. But there is a view….

Temperature Tools for Inside RV

Also called listen to your mother….

So mom told me that power outs at RV places are typical. She was right. This is our third real RV camp stop …and we lost power.

We had bought a Temp Stick. This sucker is easy to use and alerts your phone via app if temp in RV gets too hot (we set ours at 80).

Pricey…but good insurance.

Yes, we have auto generator start for certain temps, etc., but we also leave elderly dog in RV with air on while we go goof off for an hour or two. And nobody needs a tech malfunction in this scenario.

While we didn’t need it this time…I’m glad I got this as backup so I don’t inadvertently as mom said “cook my dog” in the heat. Vomit. Shudder. And now you know where I get my Snark from….

Callie – the awesome elderly dog.

Boondocks we love! Coffee Cup Fuel Stop – Hartford, SD.

I need to get this Blog organized. Truly. But I’m going to start posting about boondock stops we love. We had pulled into Love’s Truck Stop…and pulled right the hell back out because it was FULL of the Sturgis/Covid Rat (aka Soon to be Donor Bikes) Crowd.

Don’t post here re anti-motorcycle stuff. My husband, father, and I have all owned motorcycles (including Harleys).

Harley and bikes we lost to Hurricane Sandy. Very Sucky.
In happier times (pre-Hurricane).

That being said – Sturgis this year was DUMB. Seriously Darwin at his finest. DUMB. Anyways, we are dodging that Covid rat crowd as we travel through SD. We even wore two masks in Wall Drug – because those idiots were THICK in there and maskless. Dumb.

Anyways, we ended up staying/boondocking at a BP lot called Coffee Cup Fuel Stop in Hartford, SD that was wonderful. Truly.

Decent coffee and snacks.
There was even a safe space to put out bump out AND walk the elderly dog safely.

Loved it.

Visiting Friends for a wild time. Best water balloons and disposable straws ever.

So we made a “friend stop” in Illinois. First, it pays to have awesome friends. Gratitude. Second, this post should be sub-titled “excellent product discoveries via other more experienced moms…”.

So we were introduced to some truly awesome, easy to load, water balloons. They load about 40 – 60 or so at once off of a hose and self-tie. SELF-TIE! These suckers rock. Ordered some that are waiting for us when we get home.

Load AND tie off of a hose?!

We also learned about non- paper, but marine biodegradable in 50 days straws. This stuff rules – and no icky mouth feel. Love ‘em.

Decomposes in water or landfill – doesn’t feel like paper or melt in your drink.

We had a really great time visiting. We were really sad to have to leave so soon. We are hoping we can hang longer (maybe meet in Wis Dells?) next year!.

RV – Random things we have made, bought, or modified.

The Grand[parent] Tour – Part 3.

We have now been living out of RV for about/over two weeks. Some stuff is still broken. But some things GParents were able to help us make, fix/modify.

We needed interior step cover so elderly dog didn’t fall to her doom while we are driving.

Stairwell on RV house side.

We had been using beanbag chair – that was too big. GParents suggested we make a step. This was a three day build because of stain, polyurethane, glue drying issues. The whole family worked on this one. Looks easy – but….

We had adhesive weatherstripping on sides to prevent minor rattling… that came off. Then the glue didn’t hold. Hope the staples work out….
The Grandad (aka Boppa) with step cover.

It worked PERFECTLY. Looks good. And does not rattle – a nice snug fit.

Step cover next to stairs.
Step cover in place.

Also, we had Callie’s stitches removed while we were here.

Eye stitches out.

Head stitches are out.

Things that haven’t worked out:

First sewer hose.

Length was too short to be easy to use.

First water hose – same problem. Too short.

Needed longer hose.

Banging curtain on sides of house needed weatherstripping:

Added adhesive weatherstripping – hope it stays stuck….

Bought chocks. Not sure if necessary, but….

Boppa made wood pads for jacks:

Jacks have a 9” diameter – pads are 16” sq. And 3/4” plywood.

Mirror magnet didn’t work – new magnet.

Needed additional magnet for when those heavy paper cups tip over? Not even kidding.

The dangerous paper cups push this sucker open when we drive. Hope extra magnets help.

Needed temp curtain (thank you Grandma Kathy) until we can figure out how to purchase permanent one. Why this wasn’t included with a new RV purchase?

Curtain (modified fitted sheet)

And the damn Dinette/bed. It does not lay flat. Cannot be pushed down or cusions changed to go flat. We have tried.

Notice random gap and bump in center.

Sleeping on it was impossible for the kid. Pushing it down wrecked edges of table (this is some cheap POS).

Pushed table down as far as it would go and it wrecked the edges.

So GParents gave us cushion mattress to go over top of table. And we are sticking beanbag in space to fill gap.

No idea who thought this design up. Design and construction for this just sucks.

One helluva Grand Cupcake- Triple Chocolate Nutella.

So we are supposed to be dieting. We are also visiting the grandparents in new RV-Thor Delano FB. So. Yeah. That dieting thing is working out just about as well as you’d expect.

And then Grandma Marianne dropped this bombshell of a cupcake on us during our visit. Triple Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes. Incredible. They should be illegal.

Triple Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes

Here is the recipe for these chocolate monsters:

Licking the beaters with Grandma Marianne.

Of course Grandma Irene had just purchased a new kitchen towel for us for our RV….


Berkeley 3” Shad on jig is Best Fishing Bait … EVER.

Our whole family loves to fish. It’s kind of our thing.

So while we were staying up in Tomahawk, Wisconsin visiting the Grandparents as part of the RV Grand Tour” we were introduced to Berkeley 3” Shad bait by Grandpa Ken.

Smelt – 3 to 3.5 inch

The boys caught 3 different types of fish on a jig on two different days at different times on different lakes:

1. Walleye

2. Two Species of Bass; and

3. Northern

This is some Awesome Bait.

Highly Recommend.

We Made it to Wisconsin! No Snark here.

Ah, the great northern land of Mosquitoes as big as a baby’s fist. Once the sun sets (and after s’mores by the fire) you better get inside quick like!

Kid practicing his fire-making skills (closely supervised of course).

My husband and I were born and raised in Wisconsin. We don’t go back much – ‘cause it’s freeze your ass off cold in winter and humid, hot, and construction exasperating in summer.

That being said, occasionally… there are summer days that are just glorious here. Where the temperature is cool (70s and not humid). Day 1 in Wisconsin is that day.

Tomahawk, Wisconsin

So I am working from RV, husband is doing chores, grandparents are entertaining kid, and dog is mostly snoring. All in all, not a bad day.

Working from RV is going great!

I’ll talk about RV Electronics and working remote in my next bit….