Our Travels

Our retirement began February 3rd, 2006. This is an account of our travels. We hope you enjoy them. You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge the picture. Please leave a comment for us...we love to read them.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Installment #13

Our last three weeks of this trip were spent with family and friends in Missouri, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Wyoming – beginning with a quick visit and lunch with Wanda Colburn in Kansas City, Missouri. We then began to cover more than the average 90 miles a day until we reached Humboldt, South Dakota on Interstate 90. Due to snow and poor visibility (see picture), we stopped at a service station for almost 24 hours. The snow plow operator in the parking lot managed to pile snow so close to the motorhome that we were wondering if we would be able to get out.

Our first tourist stop in South Dakota was the world’s only Corn Palace in Mitchell (http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/SDMITcorn.html) . As we were walking down the corridor to see all the past year’s pictures and designs of the corn palace, we came within three feet of a caged tiger. What a surprise that was. The Corn Palace is redecorated each year at a cost of over $100,000 – done with natural colored corn and grains grown locally. The first corn palace was decorated in 1892.

The next stop was in Wall, South Dakota, at Wall Drug (http://www.walldrug.com/) – Interesting facts about Wall Drug are that they give away about 5000 glasses of ice water per day during the summer months. Signs pointing the way to Wall Drug are all over the world including London and South Africa. The attraction of Wall Drug (a very small store) began in 1936 with the first "free ice water" signs and has grown over the years to cover a full city block. Pictures are of one of the famous "jackalopes" and a music machine in the Wall Drug.

We arrived at Uncle Bob and Bernadine’s in Hermosa, South Dakota, just in time for Bernadine’s birthday – which brought a new addition to their household – a cute puppy named "Daisy". Tony and Bob built a fence to keep the puppy contained. We saw cousins Janice, Mary, and Roberta while we were there.

We continued on to Alliance, Nebraska for a week at our favorite ranch and time with Larry & Judy Mann and their extended family. More visiting and eating steaks throughout the week thanks to Uncle Jean & Maxine, Judy & Larry, Janice & Archie, Cheryl & Todd, and Connie. Tony’s new experience this time on the ranch was getting to drive one of Jared’s new machines – a computer controlled and GPS guided tractor; this machine was programmed to span a 400 acre field fence to fence in perfectly straight lines 20 feet apart. After setting the speed and of course the cab temperature and radio volume the tractor proceeded automatically with no input from Tony, not even to touch the steering wheel, in fact he could turn the seat and look out the back or read a newspaper.

Last stop in Nebraska was in Scottsbluff to see Uncle Leo & Zetta, friend Pam, her daughters Trudy and Katie and Katie’s two daughters. We were also lucky to have run into friends from Spokane here – Ray & Ruth.

Next stop, Riverton, Wyoming, at brother Dick & Cindy’s for a few evenings of relaxation on their deck, around their outdoor fireplace, watching the deer, osprey swooping down to catch fish, and a bald eagle. Final visit was at brother Jim & Kathie’s in Green River, Wyoming, for a laughable week-end with them, their son Cody, and neighbors Lou & Tim. We went geocaching in three different spots and finished the week end with the highly recommended movie – The Illusionist.

Recap of our 124 day trip:
*Overnights were spent in 36 RV parks, 3 rest stops, 17 with friends and relatives, 17 at casinos, high schools, churches, and service stations, and 50 at various Wal-Marts.
*Miles traveled – over 11,500, average about 90 miles per day
*Stops made – over 400
*Visited over 30 relatives and over 30 friends
*Sixteen pressed pennies to add to my collection (http://www.pennycollector.com/) .

We arrived home on Tuesday, May 1st to find that our home survived our four-month absence without any problems. The last picture shows the scenery in the state of Idaho, and why we are glad to be back home and able to finally play with our Christmas presents (we left home December 28th). We stopped for lunch along the Little Salmon river - notice the deer on the other bank. As we pulled up, he was in the middle of the river just waiting for us to take the picture.

Thanks again for all the phone calls, emails, and blog messages during our venture. We always enjoyed hearing from everyone. Until the next big venture..........

~~Sharon and Tony

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