Not Re Travel

22 Sep

Just a quick post today to share: I frequently get unwanted, unsolicited, and supposedly blocked calls on my cell. Typically the come on weekdays rather than weekends when friends and relatives know I have unlimited minutes.

I used to answer even when I did not recognize the area code. However, I got tired of using my limited weekday minutes trying to get live caller to stop or idiotically swearing at a recording. The following site allows me to check the number of the entity that called and then return the call if needed or register my complaint IDing it as scam or fraud: http://www.whitepages.com/phone

It’s a healthier way for me to release my tension : )

Wagons West

20 Sep

We’ll be here till after early voting begins in South Dakota on September 23. The campground, located about a mile from the west entrance to Custer State Park, is something of an historical site. The signage adjacent to the campground describes the history of the area which resulted in the name of General Custer being attached to so much of the area: the state park, the county, the town.

dsc03465 dsc03466

The campground exhibits at least 15 vintage wagons, only one of which sports the cloth cover of the prairie schooner of the day. The flag pole next this wagon exhibits the flag of the historic period with the stars still primarily forming a circle. The pole beyond displays the current flag.

 

 

dsc03462dsc03463

The restaurant/campground office bears the denomination ‘7th Cavalry Café’. Although I’ve never been a fan of Custer, I do love this Golden Valley. From Wagons West, we can walk toward the park on another section of the Mickelson Trail to Stockade Lake. On a trek over the weekend, Pippy discovered the skeletal remains of a deer, likely roadkill from some time ago. She carried the foreleg pictured the entire distance ‘home’ to enjoy at her leisure.

dsc03470

dsc03464Rock in front of the restaurant just a sample of the beautiful specimens fount in ‘the Hills’.

Wagons West

18 Sep

Yesterday we moved a short distance from Heritage Village/Crazy Horse to a spot at Wagons West east of Custer. The decision at this time was based on two issues: the campground is closing earlier than usual, on the 15th, and the ‘tame’ rabbits which have taken over the area. Pippy’s instinct to chase the interlopers was simply too strong. After being drug down on my belly and suffering a broken finger, despite a restraining collar, I had had enough. The campground does have decent WiFi, a great improvement over past years when internet service was iffy at best. However, the lack of TV, phone, or radio reception is still a major drawback that I tolerated for eight years.

 

We’ll stay at our new location thru South Dakota’s early voting on September 23 and then make our way slowly to the sunny Southwest for the winter [route yet to be decided]. We still have ready access to the Mickelson Trail and are much closer to Custer State Park. Our first walk of the day included sighting of three white-tail deer browsing on the periphery of the campground and the pass-over of a large flock of geese, probably headed for lakes in the nearby park.

 

Here are a few pictures from Wagons West:

dsc03453dsc03457

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dsc03458dsc03460

 

 

 

 

 

 

dsc03461From top left to right: Moonset over Wagons West,

Two of the daily visiting white-tails,

Access road to neighboring Lutheran camp,

Classic Black Hills rock formation,

And one of the many wagons at the park.

9 Sep

Again today, my cell phone rang three times from unfamiliar numbers. I’ve begun letting them ring and checking later on a reverse number look-up website. Often the site will say that the number is a scam. Nice to know.

Weather here was chilly and windy and rainy off and on. And, since there is no TV reception, I’ve been working on a knitting project and watching ‘Great Literature Cinema’. So far today: Jane Eyre, David Copperfield, Cyrano de Bergerac, and The Last Time I Saw Paris….

Pippy has survived with a lengthy indoor grooming and watching for rabbits. [Three, count ’em]

dsc03451

Garryowen to Custer

8 Sep

Yesterday was a tiresome travel day [about 285 miles], much of it spent on Interstate 90. It’s a route I’ve driven before between Garryowen and Custer. I sometimes take two-lane roads exclusively except for the short hop between Hardin and Garryowen [even that can avoid the interstate as there is a frontage road running parallel. It was a three-state day, Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota; Pippy gets her geography lesson as we cross each state line.

 

As we approached Sheridan, WY, I decided to stop at the Welcome Center/Museum/Rest Area. On earlier trips with the ‘big rig’, I always parked in the lot with semis. The grass in that area is posted with signs prohibiting dogs. Up the hill, there’s a dog exercise area with a much smaller, circular parking area. We chose to take our break there and Pippy thoroughly enjoyed the views, the scents, and the longer than usual rest area walk. Noting a large bird circling, I watched for some time and concluded, correctly it turns out, that it was a bald eagle. A check with my Sibley’s field guide shows the entire state is its common hangout.

bozeman-overlook

Pushing on we saw the Bozeman Trail Overlook and enjoyed the Bighorn Mountains adorned with a few low-lying clouds. At last we left the interstate at Moorcroft and I made an oft-repeated stop at Donna’s Diner where the locals mix with travelers at lunchtime. One can overhear interesting conversations in such small town gathering place. A retired policeman was sharing experiences with a traveler from Gillette who described a gun-battle in his neighborhood, presumably between folks involved in drugs. He noted that ‘everyone seems to be carrying a gun these days’ and that perhaps he should break down and get one. The former cop cautioned that one must be careful when traveling from state to state as some require that weapons be disassembled.

 

The conversation moved on to the results of the new marijuana law in Colorado. Both related tales of acquaintances with Colorado plates who had been stopped and searched in other states suspecting that they were transporting drugs. And a daycare center with a marketable crop in its backyard…. I had to stop eavesdropping and hit the road.  The speed limits on interstates vary considerably from state to state. Montana has separate limits for cars and trucks [65]; considering my vehicles weight, higher profile, and increased stopping distance, that suits me fine! Wyoming’s 80! No way!

 

Pippy seemed to spend more time viewing the changing landscapes than usual, even at cruising speed. She clearly recognized the turn into Heritage Village and began searching immediately for bunny rabbits

6 Sep

Just a quick second post for today; I’ve been transcribing some stuff I wrote shortly before retiring in 2007. On the day this was written, I made a trip to and from the dentist after work:

A neighbor up the road has earned my admiration now for years as he is a devoted runner. Based on the points along the highway where I’ve spotted him, I know he routinely runs at least six miles a day, rain or shine, hot or cold. Such devotion to fitness! When I passed his house today, there he was, his smooth fitting shirt emphasizing the trim, taut muscles as he mowed the lawn…on his riding lawn mower! Now is that a ‘pair-o-ducks’ or what?

Returning from the dentist, comfort restored, all the day’s deadlines met, anticipating fresh vegetables for dinner, enjoying the vibrant Indiana summer countryside…. There next to the road, in a small fenced pasture area, stood a small herd of alpacas [or were they llamas?]. My amazed mind struggled to identify the creatures and grappled with the question, “Why are they here?” Don’t they belong on a rugged mountain trail in South America? Why would anyone take a magnificent animal out of its native habitat and climate and confine it in a flat, hot, barren pen in the middle of Indiana? The poor creatures must be bewildered, frightened, and feeling totally lost [assuming animals, particularly llamas, have such ‘feelings’]. One of the beautiful creatures was up against the fence, ears erect, gazing intently across the road. And what was he staring at? – a little league baseball game. Well, maybe moving to Indiana was not such a bad deal after all.

 

7th Ranch

5 Sep

We’re back at 7th Ranch on the Crow Reservation. This is definitely one of our favorite places [I believe I can speak for Pippy as well]. Here she is allowed off-leash in the pastures. A run or two, with returns to me, show her delight at being free. Then I set a general direction across the pasture and up or down the hills. She leads and or follows mostly at her own pace with frequent checks to see where I’m headed. Like me, she tops a hill and then stops to survey the horizon’s beauty.

Looking down at CGLaxin'

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sage attackFlag view

 

 

 

 

 

 

[as we top a hill, Pippy takes in the view, and relaxes for a bit, and attacks sage brush, and checks on me…}

Today is Labor Day and the weather forecast for high elevations in western and central Montana is a winter storm warning, snow! Fortunately we’re in the southeastern part of the state where we had rain for about 36 hours; this after several days of mid- to upper-nineties.

Reno Cr Rd and beyondNature cut

 

 

 

 

 

 

SE from pasturePokey

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Reno Creek road passes under the interstate and leads to 7th Ranch, and Nature does carving on the countryside, and we are above the sounds from the road and train tracks, and Pippy has learned to steer clear of the ‘pokeys’]