Tag Archives: South Dakota

South Dakota Adventure Wrap-up

Our South Dakota Adventure is officially over, and it most certainly needs a bit of a recap! Don and Jenny did their very best to give us a true taste of SD life – and they did a great job!
The Weather –
Eastern SD was blessed with warmer than usual weather for most of October. Days were generally sunny and bright, and even the cloudy days were still filled with fun.

But let’s not forget that dust storm- SDDustStorm-18
(Aunty Em, Aunty Em…..)
And just this past week we were given a quick reminder about why we are headed south!

(But Pa – I can’t find Mary or Carrie!!!!)

The Delicacies Don and Jenny made sure we enjoyed (or at least experienced) lots of the local delicacies. Like goodies at the Canova Annual Mountain Oyster Feed.

Let’s just say the ham was excellent!

We enjoyed fresh pheasant, thanks to some local hunters (and the fact we were there for the opening of pheasant season, which is a pretty big deal in South Dakota!) and a great rib eye steak dinner (remember, we’re in cattle country) with friends. Untitled
And just last night we went to the Howard Country Club and I had Chislic – a true Eastern South Dakota specialty.

Now those pretty delicious!

The Activities – Remember the skeet shooting? Untitled
Fun to watch, fun to try!
We took some great walks (though not quite enough to balance out the amount of the goodies we ate) and garnered a fair bit of interest from the local residents.

Jenny and I went horseback riding with Emily – Untitled
And I was reminded that I hadn’t been on a horse in about 8 years.

(What, you say your horse is limping? Why, I’ll be happy to walk with him back to the barn…..)

Gary & Don got to do some cattle rustling. We were checking out the clouds on the horizon when suddenly about 50 young steers came trotting into view. Untitled
And they did not belong there! After alerting the rancher across the street (just in case he hadn’t noticed) the guys jumped in their trucks to help head them off at the pass.

They were quickly joined by the official cowboys and all the cattle were secured within the hour. (Although they didn’t all make it home for a couple of days!).

And let’s not forget that pick-up truck ride and our weekly jaunts into Sioux Falls. Untitled
Along with getting that renovation done, we’ve had a great month discovering South Dakota!
We awoke this morning to this beautiful sunrise –

hooked up the truck to the house Untitled
and bid a fond farewell to Howard, SD

and our dear friends! Untitled
We might not make it back to Howard (and all our new friends there) for a couple of years, but we’ll be working with Don & Jenny next month, so I don’t have to panic about that just yet!

Real time update – tonight we’re in a Wally World parking lot in York, Nebraska (along with several other RVs and a couple of big trucks). Nebraska is one of the two states we haven’t been in yet (North Dakota being the other), so I’m happy to report that we think Nebraska is one very lovely state!


Putting the pieces of the puzzle back

Ok – we’re down to less than 48 hours before departure and everyone is getting very quiet. Jenny is busy wrapping up some painting chores, Don is hustling between the building and their rig, returning items to the rig and moving items to store in the building. The laundry is humming and the vacuum is getting ready to roar. We are simply trying to put the house back together.
With the exception of one piece of bead board that we need for the entry step, the floor is done. Complete. Finis.
And from the back to the front

Pretty amazing, huh?
Here are some of the detail shots –
That man of mine does some fine work, doesn’t he?

We can’t believe how spacious it looks. But of course, there isn’t any furniture in it either! And that’s where the puzzle pieces come in. Once we got all the furniture out, it seemed like it would be a good opportunity to actually move some items around. Raise your hand if you haven’t moved a piece of furniture in the last 10 years. Yep, that’s the life of an RV’er. Gary helped the process along by deciding that the sofa had seen enough wear and tear and off it went to the dump early on. Once the bank account recovers from the fuel pump and the new tires, we’ll be shopping for a comfy recliner. Meanwhile we’re going to move the desk over into the slide. That will take some additional construction, so I’m not going to share any official “we’re done!” photos just yet, but let’s just say we’re a whole lot closer to actually being able to pull out of the garage in the next two days!

Now to just make sure we collect all OUR stuff that has migrated out of the house these last 3+ weeks.

Getting Ready

With only three days left before we head to Oklahoma, there has been a lot of scurrying around getting things ready to go. Or ready to leave behind, as the case may be. While we are putting the finishing touches on the RV Reno and working on getting things back into the rig, Don and Jenny are not only getting themselves ready to leave, but they have the additional chores of closing up this home/garage/hanger for the winter. And don’t forget, it’s a South Dakota winter we’re talking about. One of the biggest items that needs attention is Jenny’s pretty little ride – the Stinson.
UntitledFirst of all – let me correct my earlier post. This is a 1948 Stinson, not a 1940 – and she’s as pretty as can be! Just like any vehicle that’s going to sit still for a season, certain things need to happen. But first she had to come out of her cozy little house. JennysStinson-1
Don and Gary pushed the wings, Jenny steered from the rear, and I watched the wing tips and the door openings.

And took a couple of pictures. 🙂

Once we had her clear of the hanger, Jenny and I hopped in and took her for a spin. JennysStinson-3
Jenny really wanted to take her UP for a spin, but those cows were in the bean field runway across the way and as much as the sky was calling, she resisted and just took her for a spin in the yard!

Annnnddd back around.
The purpose of that little exercise was to get the oil flowing in the engine so it would be easier to change. It was also a good opportunity for me to be able to say I’ve ridden in Jenny’s plane.

OK, you know that is totally staged, but she really did let me do a bit of the steering.
Anywho – once the oil was changed (glug, glug), came the really fun part. Fogging the carburetors. While the engine is running (and the prop turning) Don has to lie under the fuselage and spray fogging oil into the intake. Not sure of all the technicalities of this procedure, but it’s very important that the cylinders are coated before the plane is tucked in for the winter. And it’s also a pretty tricky and messy job.
Pretty much as fast as Don was spraying it in, the propeller was blowing it back into his face. It took several tries to get the job done, and once it was, Don was too! Glad I was just the relay-er of hand signals and picture taker on that one for sure!
After Don got cleaned up, it was time to get her back in the hanger. This time with a little help from the mower!
But we all got in the act getting her situated, making sure those wing tips had plenty of clearance.


So she’s all tucked away, with nice clean oil and lubed pistons, and is waiting for one final step. Before we leave, her battery comes out and lives in the freezer for the winter. Just hanging out with the burgers until spring rolls around again!
stinson air to air
While visions of the open sky are filling her dreams.

More South Dakota Favorites

I know I’ve shared about the dust blowing on the prairie and about the dust flying in the RV, but South Dakota has lots more to offer than opportunities for Dust.

  1. It seems that every week we make a trip into Sioux Falls.
    IMG_5440It’s about 70 miles, so you need to be very prepared and organized. On each of our two trips (so far – at least one more is in our future) we’ve made at least 5 stops. There’s no point in sharing pictures of Costco or Menards or Lowes or the Ophthalmologist office, but did you know that Sioux Falls actually has Sioux Falls? Untitled
    Even at dusk on an overcast day, it was still quite lovely. I can only imagine the area after a good rain!
  2. Although I would have to say that the green hills of Vermont will always be my favorite landscape, I am totally in love with the beauty of this area.
  3. This town. Don was raised here in Howard, moved away and raised his family. When he and Jenny were making plans to full-time RV, they chose to use Howard as their home base. They came back to the family homestead, carved out 5 acres and built a big ol’metal building to house their RV, their farm truck and back hoe and Jenny’s 1940 Stinson.
    UntitledUntitledUntitledIt also has a two bedroom apartment that is slowly being finished off. They just got their kitchen installed in September and we’ve been having a grand time cooking up a storm! IMG_5444 But aside from enjoying their work-in-progress house/hanger/garage, we’ve enjoyed being welcomed into this small family-oriented farming and ranching community. We’ve been included in birthday celebrations, impromptu runs to the local coffee shop, and met most of the neighbors.
  4. This Family. This weekend their son and family came out for a long weekend. It was such a delight to be included in the weekend’s fun – everything from a walk to the neighboring ranch
    to my first ever attempt at skeet shooting.
    Untitled(They were safe with me!)
  5. This. Every night. UntitledUntitledUntitled Untitled

        Yes indeed – we’re finding lots to love about South Dakota and Howard in particular!

    Oh, how are the renovations coming, you ask?
    Moving right along, thank you. Yes, we’re moving right along!

South Dakota Life

“Hey – you want to take a drive around the back roads in the back of the pick-up? Don can drive, and we can wave to all the neighbors. This might be our last warm day before we head south – let’s do it!”
Let’s face it – I’m all about experiencing ‘life’ – so sure, let’s do it!
Off we go! It was still in the 80’s even though it was 6PM and it looked like a great night for a drive.
Jenny’s practicing the wave? SDDustStorm-3
Not sure where the neighbors are, but it was so beautiful it didn’t really matter! SDDustStorm-5
Plus we had popcorn, so we were good.
Shooting into the western sky was tricky, but still work the effort.

Should we be concerned about that low cloud on the western horizon? SDDustStorm-8
Naw – it looks fine in my direction. Probably just some combines finishing up the bean harvest.
(Still watching out for someone to wave to….) SDDustStorm-10
Should we be concerned that the sun is now being obscured?
Still looking good ahead… SDDustStorm-14
But I think there could be trouble on our tail…
Um, I think it’s time to hop in the truck. Well, it still looks good in this direction. SDDustStorm-17
But now that we’re headed back home,
we’re pretty happy to be in the truck.

I know they really want us to experience the ‘real’ South Dakota, but when I began to feel like I was in an opening scene of Wizard of Oz….
There’s no place like HOME!

(Total time lapse from first photo to last – 28 minutes!)