Monday, June 16, 2014 Happy 4th birthday, Auggie! We got up, got ready, and pulled out at 8:45. It was another sunny day and cool to start. It warmed up quickly as we left the highlands and quickly descended into the valley. We were getting 26 mpg as we coasted downhill, but on the uphill side, it was more like 10 mpg if we were lucky to have a tailwind. I guess that’s normal for travel across South Dakota and the wind that normally blows here. We’ve talked to other RVers and they are getting the same results. It was a lot of up and down the hills today as we headed for Custer, SD. On the top of the bluff, we could see the Black Hills through the haze.
In the valley, we found rolling grasslands with a sighting of a pronghorn and some steers.
We could see Mt. Harney in the distance–the highest point in the U.S. east of the Rockies. We made Rapid City at 9:30 and took the highway around town. We made the steep climb out of Rapid City and onto Mount Rushmore Road where we entered into the Black Hills National Forest.
It was beautiful forested country. We chose a campground that was centrally located between all the sights we wanted to see and near the city of Custer. We passed through the cute little western town of Hill City as we made our way to Custer.
The winding road made its way through the mountains–up and down, up and down. We passed within 1/2 mile of the Crazy Horse Memorial and got our first glimpse of the mountain.
We can’t wait to make our official visit this week and see how much progress they have made since I’ve been there with my parents as a kid and with Bob in the 1990’s. We arrived at Beaver Lake Campground about 10:50.
It was 10 minutes before checkout time and the people were still in our assigned campsite, so we had to wait a few minutes for them to close up the trailer and hook up. After about 10 minutes, we were ready to move into our site and set up.
We set up a “full” campsite this time since we will be here 9 days. That means putting out the rug and hooking up to the sewer. After relaxing from the ride and enjoying the solitude and the view, we did a little business and took a walk around the campground. We stopped and talked with a man from Louisville, KY. While we stood there, Auggie noticed “THE RABBITS”.
We had seen signs all over the campground that said, “Don’t pick up the rabbits” and “Don’t feed the rabbits”, but this was the first time we actually SAW the rabbits. As we walked around the campground we saw more and more rabbits. There were rabbits EVERYWHERE!! Now, Auggie had something else to chase and drive him crazy! We continued on our walk up to the office to get better cell phone reception. Bob made a few phone calls while Auggie and I waited. I think this rabbit wanted to know what Bob was doing.
We spotted a couple of sites that had teepees and they were all occupied. I bet it would be cool to sleep in a teepee. We’ll have to check it out when we find a teepee site that’s empty this week.
We came upon Beaver Lake on our walk. Some of the campsites had a nice view of the lake.
We enjoyed our walk and headed back to the our site. Auggie was totally tired out from our walk and chasing the rabbits.
We have a great view into the nearby forest and we are at the far end of the grounds away from the highway. We are on the end of a row and have no one next to us on one side. We will enjoy the solitude. We watched a Roy Rogers show on TV (how appropriate) and then cooked steaks on the grill. We celebrated Auggie’s birthday by giving him canned dog food as we always do.
I’m sure he didn’t know what was going on, but he was excited to have a special treat. He got 3 new tennis balls for his birthday and lots of loving. Happy Birthday, Auggie the weiner doggie! We had a nice dinner and took our evening walk. It’s great to be here!