What I Did on My Summer Vacation
RV Life and Travel's Bob
(RVing the Summer of 2017)
At Mt. Pleasant Old Threshers Reunion, I Rode the Carousel
Remember back in grade school, where the first assignment each fall was to write about what you did over the summer? Well, since fall is here, I thought I'd write that traditional story: What I Did on My Summer Vacation.
My summer vacation story has a twist in it. We weren't really vacationing. Our motorhome was home, so we did all the usual things we do at home -- work to earn a living, cook, clean, do laundry, do home maintenance, etc. However, RVing, traveling and seeing beautiful parts of the country, and going to the fun places we went, it does compare to a lot of vacations.
Coleen and I decided to stay in the Lower 48 this summer, because we didn't think NeeMo could take the trip back to Alaska. NeeMo was our 17-year old dog, and he wasn't doing very well this spring. He was later diagnosed with a tumor.
After we lost him, we were a little lost ourselves. Rather than return to Alaska, we continued our stay in the Lower 48 for the summer. (By the way, "Lower 48" is Alaskan jargon for the contiguous United States.)
We spent part of the summer outside Rapid City, South Dakota, at a good friend's farm. We were parked up on a hill, near a wooded area. Deer and wild turkey regularly came through our yard. We put up a bird feeder and birdbath. They -- bluebirds, blue jays, woodpeckers, American finches, purple finches, chickadees, robins, and others -- entertained us when they came to eat, drink, and splash. Rabbits, including cute baby bunnies, were often just a few feet from our door. Our friends have a dog, and although it wasn't like having our NeeMo, it felt good to give him scratches and treats.
We installed more solar panels while we were there. We are about electrically independent, if we are in an area where we don't need to run our
Rapid City is in the Black Hills, so there are numerous tourist attractions. We drove through Custer State Park, where we watched bison and burros. We saw Crazy Horse Memorial and Mount Rushmore. One of my favorite attractions is the 1880 Railroad, with a steam train that goes back and forth between Hill City and Key Stone. Our friend, Pete, is a musician, and we went to his show in Hill City. We left right before the big motorcycle rally in Sturgis, but there were still a lot of bikes coming into the area.
When we left Rapid City, we again saw the mothers. (We had visited them in the spring, too.) We went to my mother's 90th birthday party at her lake home near Lake Park, Minnesota. All my sisters, my brother, and most of their families were there, so we got to see them. We'd taken a side trip to Wyoming to see Coleen's sister and her husband, before we left Rapid City.) I had a good time being at the lake, especially on my brother-in-law's Ski Jet. We then spent some time visiting Coleen's mother, in the nursing home, in Wilmot, S.D.
We then moved through Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky, and now we are in Tennessee. We stopped at the Iowa State fair for a day. We went to steam, tractor, and engine shows along the way. The show in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, was huge, and included some concerts. The other shows were smaller, but just as much fun. Each show that we went to had a camping area, so we could stay right on the show grounds. In Kentucky, we got together with Coleen's nephew and his wife.
So that's what I did during my summer vacation: enjoyed watching the wildlife; visited friends and family; saw some tourist attractions; took part in antique machinery shows; and traveled through nine states. Full-time RV life and travel is a good life!