January 20 to February 14, 2014 NOMADS Project, Mercedes, MS

February 15 (Approximately) to June - Gate Guarding, TX or LA.

June, 2014 - Up to Alaska!

September - NOMADS Annual Meeting, Branson, MO

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Custer, climbing and checks

Garryowen,  MT

The days here are really hot and the nights can be quite cool.    If we want to site-see we need to take off early in the day and return to the "relative" coolness of the rig early afternoon.  We did just that the last two days.

On Monday we went back to Little Bighorn Battlefield.    We first listened to the Ranger's talk.  Then we walked around the Military Cemetery.   This cemetery has been closed to further burials since the 1970's.   There are some burials here of casualties of the battle but most burials are that of veterans from WW I and II, the Korean conflict and Vietnam.

The dead from the battle were first buried in shallow graves where they died, including Custer.  His is the stone in black.

They were hastily buried but three days after the battle.   Most of them were later moved to a mass site.  Custer's remains were buried at West Point.

There were 210 dead from the 7th Calvary and 53 from the Reno-Benteen troops.   It is estimated that 40 to 100 Lakota/Cheyenne lives were lost.

Yesterday we drove over to near Billings to see

Pompets Pillar is a massive sandstone outcrop that rises 150 feet from a two-acre base on the banks of the Yellowstone River.

This is a location explored by Wm. Clark from the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  Clark stopped here on his way back from the Pacific.   He and Lewis had separated for a while to rejoin further down the river.  

As history bluffs will remember, part of the expedition was the Indian woman Sacajawea, who was their translator.    She had a young son whom Clark was very fond of.  He nicknamed him Pompy and named this tower of rock after him.   To get to the top, we climbed 220 steps plus several areas of steep boardwalk.   At the time it was around 90.  A short time later the temp climbed to a high of 104.   That was our exercise for the day!

It is difficult to see due to sun glare on the glass but Clark had carved ino the rock his name and the date, July 25, 1806, he had explored this area.

From the top we got a good view of the Yellowstone River below.

This is another site we don't see everyday.  Apparently people in these parts don't take lightly to scofflaws.
Temps expected close to 100 again today.   We decided to stay at the campground and go only as far as the laundry.  Tomorrow is another day!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Doin close to nuttin

Garryowen,  MT

This weekend was sure a do-nothin weekend.    We took a ride into the nearest town, Hardin, about 20 miles away yesterday to buy a few vittles.   (when did I start talkin like Granny!)

Then last night we agin took us a walk up the hill behind us.  ( I know why - we's in the hills just not Beverly)

It is quite the climb.

From the top we view the campground.

After the walk we sat outside and watched the sunset.

This morning we attended church in Hardin.   When we got back to our site we found visitors, 11 grouse walking around the site and under the rig, even under my chair.

Judy, what type grouse are they?   They are very tame as long as we don't get TOO close.  We have seen them walking around the campground several times now.

I made a pot of soup which we had some for lunch.   It is supper time but neither of us are really hungry.  Len suggests making dip with Velveeta and Ro-tel.    I bought the ingredients some time ago and I have Tortilla chips.   I've never made it before but it sounds like a winner to me.

I am thinking we will take our hike in a while when it cools off some more.  Then we can sit outside and watch another sunset while having our snack.  Yup, sounds like a plan.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A little further north

Garryowen,  Montana

Shortly before 9 yesterday morning we pulled out of our campsite at Circle J Ranch in Ten Sleep, WY after our three weeks of volunteering at this United Methodist campground.

We crossed back over the mountains on US 16 with their switchbacks and breathtaking scenery for the 63 miles to Buffalo, WY and I90.

On I90 we headed north into:

After a 160 mile, 3 hour drive we arrived at:

for the next week.   What a great find.   The campground is immaculate.  Back in SD when we registered we were given cold bottles of water.  This campground goes one better -  our choice of ICE CREAM!    

 Our site is ideal

The view as we walk out of door could not be better.   Rolling hills with mountains in the distance.

Up the hill behind us is part of the Little Bighorn Battlefield.    We climbed the hill and decided for our health we needed to do this at least once a day.  Yea, right. 

Yesterday we drove over to the battlefield entrance but decided since it was close to 100 out we would not be getting out to walk around.   We will leave that for another day.  However I checked the forecast and the predictions show from 96 to 102 for our remaining time here.   Our visit will take place first thing in the morning as the temperatures go down into the 40's at night.

The road goes through some private open range land.   We saw these two coming up a ravine and it was evident they would be crossing in front of us.  We stopped to allow their passage.  Aren't they too beautiful?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Two weeks of work

Ten Sleep,  WY

The main construction project here at Circle J Ranch is the Pavilion.  

Donna and Linda cleaning up the grounds and lodge:

Shredding documents some going back to 1989!!!

Finding a little time to rest and chat.

The view from our back window.  They like to lay in this area several hours a day all in a bunch.   I just don't get it.   They have wool coats on and it can be in the high 90's.   They have the option of walking down the hill and going through a fence to a green pasture with a flowing stream of cool water.

Now - for a question.   Can someone tell me the name of this huge moth/butterfly???

I don't mean George or Fred or Oscar.  I mean what type or species!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The surrounding area

Ten Sleep,  WY

One week of work behind us.   Gosh it's been really hot for those working outside on building a pavilion.   They decided to start at 6:30 am and work until 12:30.   As for me, I spent three days inside with campers and another day cleaning up the office and shredding lots of documents.

This chapel is on the camp's campus.    It was built in early 1900's in the town of Ten Sleep and moved to Circle J in the 1970's.   Circle J is about 7 miles out of town.

On Friday we took off with another couple and explored some back roads.   A short drive out of Ten Sleep and it is nothing but dirt roads leading up higher into the mountains.

At one point we came to a crossroad and decided to take the 20 mile road to the town of Shell.  Little did we know what we were getting into.  For about two miles this is what the road looked like.

It jarred our teeth and our friend with us, Donna, remarked she wish she had worn her heavy duty bra.  On this section of road we came upon two women on motorcycles.  One stopped and took our picture as we passed as if to say she could not believe a truck was traversing this route.

Eventually the road smoothed out.

Along the way we came across several Pronghorn antelopes who appeared as interested in us as we were of them.   He is there in the brush, a little difficult to find.

About 4 miles before finding our way to the paved road between the towns of Shell and Greybull, we came across this site.

We managed to find a few tracks.

Tomorrow it is back to work.   Temperature on Tuesday is expected to be close to 100 but drop to low 70's on Wednesday.  Come on Wednesday!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Back to work!

Ten Sleep,   WY

Well here we are in Ten Sleep.   Got here Saturday when the weather was cooler for a few days.   Back up to the high 90's today.

 Before leaving Gillette, Leonard had to air up two tires when our Pressure Pro indicated they were a little low.

Our route took us west on I90 until we hit Buffalo, Wy.   Surely something big was going to happen in town as people were lined up along every route.

In Buffalo we picked up US 16 west which leads directly to Ten Sleep.  What a ride!  It is about 60 miles from Buffalo to the camp.      I never expected to see snow but there it is in the higher elevations.

Again we had twisting roads with some steep grades.   At one point we went through some construction which appeared to be necessary due to a wash out.

On the other side of the construction we heard a "ping" on the windshield when a truck passed us.  Opps!  We hoped we would not have a problem.   But of course we do.   Only three months ago we had to replace our windshield due to a stone hitting it.  This morning we got up to find a foot long crack moving along the drivers side.  Here we go again!

The views on US 16 are breathtaking.

And again, some severe switchbacks.

The location of the camp is in a canyon at about 5,000 feet.   These are our views.  Our site:

Across from us.

Some of the camps buildings which are about 300 feet across from where we are parked.

As expected we do not have cell service.   For that we go about 3 miles into town.  I am currently on the camps wifi.

People have questioned about the town's name - Ten Sleep.   From what I understand this town is mid way between a Sioux camp in SD and another in Montana.  It took them "10 sleeps" to get here from either direction.  

It is close to 8 pm.  I am sitting outside now and the gnats or mosquitoes are being fierce.  I will try to catch up on the blogs I follow tomorrow.    I need to get inside before I am completely welted up.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Into Wyoming

Gilette, WY

We left Hermosa, SD this morning at 10:15, got on I90 west into

We drove only 161 miles before getting to Gilette at 1:15.    This puts us a little half way to our desination of Ten Sleep, Wy. where we are expected tomorrow.

Ten Sleep is 40 miles from the nearest grocery store and 120 miles from the closest WalMart.  That being the case, we decided to really stock up on groceries, vitamins and get some cash.

We found a good spot where we parked for the night at the worlds largest RV park chain:

Being hungry as it was past lunchtime and before dropping lots of money at the above campgrounds store, we went next store to Perkins.  No pancakes for us but the senior pork chop meal suited me just fine.  Len had the senior turkey dinner.  Gotta love those old people prices.

Here it is only 4:30 and we are surrounded by 6 other "campers".  This must be a very popular campground indeed.