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Old 05-08-2005, 07:33 AM   #1
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Hello from the plains of Salem, South Dakota!

DeLorme reports an elevation of 1475 feet.

Enroute to Missoula, MT. Motorhome is running very well in crosswinds but it's s little bit of a struggle.

Expect to make Wall Drug soon and on to Rapid City.

The sun wants to come out but I think we're heading into a low pressure system sometime this afternoon.
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Old 05-08-2005, 07:33 AM   #2
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Hello from the plains of Salem, South Dakota!

DeLorme reports an elevation of 1475 feet.

Enroute to Missoula, MT. Motorhome is running very well in crosswinds but it's s little bit of a struggle.

Expect to make Wall Drug soon and on to Rapid City.

The sun wants to come out but I think we're heading into a low pressure system sometime this afternoon.
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Old 05-08-2005, 04:13 PM   #3
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We accomplished about 370 miles today along Interstate 90 through South Dakota and the landscape was at time breathless. Typically what you see are many shades of green, vast wide ranges, bison laying down on their sides snoozing and miles of barbed wire fencing.

As we were traveling on 90 we saw lots of billboards about an 1880s town and eventually we went by an exit on 90 that featured an 1880s town and sure enough there it was!

We went by the Badlands State Park but we didn't have time to run through the park since we heard that there were high winds and rain approaching. We got off I-90 at Exit 110, Wall, SD. We couldn't resist we had to go and see Wall Drug. OK we saw it, very nice little tourist trap and the historical pictures were a highlight for me. We each had a cup of hand made ice cream.

We settled into the Arrow Campground right down the street and we'll be on our way in the morning. The wind is buffeting the motorhome around and the slide topper is making a lot noise. I had to hook up in a 35 to 40 mph wind and rain. It's raining sideways!

Finished!

Sitting here with a good connection on my V620 WWAN Card. The CG has free Wi-Fi but no need! We're on Mountain Time, we gained an hour!

Elevation 2288 feet and climbing!
N43? 59.5056
W102? 14.7247
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Old 05-08-2005, 04:14 PM   #4
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Well, expect snow and rain. We are sitting in the middle of what you are going to get for the next couple of days.

Heading north a little early in the season aren't you? There is still heavy snow pack and cruddy Spring weather up there.

Chet
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Old 05-08-2005, 04:38 PM   #5
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Have a safe trip Driver, you better head east for the National Don't want you to be late cause of that 4 letter word. SNOW. It was a beautiful 80 degree Mothers Day here, but it was windy.
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Old 05-08-2005, 05:40 PM   #6
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Thanks for the warning Chet. It was kinda of warm up here the past couple of days and I thought that it would be at least dooable. OH well we'll see what Wyoming and Montana bring us.

Looks like we'll be looking to stay in lower Montana tommorrow night.

The weather forcast calls for sub-freezing temperatures in the evening but warming to the 60s during the day. The weather starts getting much better by "next" weekend. Sunday forcast is for 70?.
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Old 05-08-2005, 05:42 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Allegro Happy:
... you better head east for the National.. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>We'll be there right after the FMCA G.L.A.S.S. Rally in Barrien Springs, MI.

See you there!
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Old 05-08-2005, 06:03 PM   #8
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Have a nice trip DriVer. My wife and I took our Grand daughter to Mt. Rushmore last year and we also had to stop at Wall Drug for ice cream. We than went to Devils Tower in Wyoming. We enjoyed the trip very much.

Don
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Old 05-08-2005, 07:52 PM   #9
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Driver,

My daughter lives in Missoula, says the weather there has been light rain, on and off for the past couple days. It is supposed to get better in the next week though. Have a safe trip, enjoy the ride. Wish I was traveling with you!!!

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Old 05-09-2005, 03:55 AM   #10
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Hey Mike,

Isn't that Wall Drug store a real hoot?

We stopped there too a couple summers ago on our way back from Yellowstone, I think the campground you stayed at was the same one we were at. Don't recall the name but it was just across the tracks and a few blocks from the Wall Drug Store.

Stay safe and keep the shiny side up and the dirty side down! CYA in Lancaster.
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Old 05-09-2005, 03:59 AM   #11
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Did you stop in Mitchell, SD to see the Corn Palace?
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Old 05-09-2005, 04:40 PM   #12
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Mike, you have my envy. Those are some of my most favoritest routes. I hope you have time to explore a bit of the surrounding areas.
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Old 05-09-2005, 05:45 PM   #13
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Re: 1880's town
Wonder if the horse "Cisco" from 'Dances with Wolves' is still alive. He was stabled there a few years back when we stopped. Also had several other items from the movie. The double wagon from the beginning of the movie was under a shed near the stable and corral. The 'dead' buffalo from the hunt are upstairs in the barn. Pretty interesting place to stop and spend a few hours wandering around.
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Old 05-09-2005, 07:17 PM   #14
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I feel so fortunate to have such good Friends! Thank you for all the pointers and suggestions and yes, I wish I could bring you all with me.

We weathered some 40 to 50 mph winds last night in Wall during a rain storm and it was so bad that I had to close the living room slideout because of the noise from the slide topper. Trouble was that the wind billowed out the slide topper and when the wind backed off it folded up a part of the end of the topper and it was all buckled up. Good grief! I couldn't bring in the slide without damaging the new slide topper.

I had to take the tank off of the back of the motorhome's ladder and climb up there and straighten out the topper. I pulled up on the fabric and got the creases out of the topper in what seemed to be a gale. I took an FRS with me and when I transmitted to tell Colleen to bring in the room all she heard was wind noise. To my relief the room came in and no harm done.

Getting down now was a bit harder than getting up but I'm still here. This is getting to be an Adventurer in an Adventurer!

First thing this morning, tire pressure check. Adjusted same, ready to go! 95 psi F&R. We departed this morning the sky being initially overcast and it was Westward Ho on the Ninety! Rapid City came into focus before too long with all the Mount Rushmore, etc. promos all over the place. We'll be back on the return leg to see all this stuff, we've given ourselves a 3 day mini-vacation.

There they were the Black Hills of South Dakota! Very exciting! One thing that I just had to do was get weighed! I was talking about it and we took the opportunity to do it. We stopped at the Flying Hook in town and jumped on the scale.

May I have the tale of the tape if you please!
(remember we're full timin')
Steer Axle: 7680 GAWF: 8500
Drive Axle: 14280 GAWR: 15000
Total - GVW: 21960 GVWR: 22000
Trailer Axle: 3940
GVW: 25900 GVWR: 26000

As you can see! Totally legal and getting every pound of capacity out of our motorhome. The best thing about our motorhome is that it runs just as great the way it's loaded as it always has. The engine just powers up the slight grades without even wanting to downshift out of 5th. Climbs are predictable with shifts to 3rd gear on several occasions however the 8.1 just pulls right up the hills. RPM in the 4400 range not unusual and I even saw a 4450 in 3rd descending a grade. The compression holds the motorhome back quite well with an occasional jab of the brakes.

Bought another radio, same one that I already had. Apparently the transmit circuit failed and it was bleeding through on the auto radio. I could hear fine but I couldn't transmit 20 feet without making a bunch of noise. I do like my Nightwatch radio so I bought another one. It's a Cobra 25 WX NW ST. Just gotta have the WX channel. New radio is transmitting perfectly.

In Buffalo, WY, we filled up at an Exxon. One thing that I did find out is that an 8.1L engine does not want to burn anything less than 87 octane. Don't be tempted or misinformed about what they call regular up here, it's only 85.5 octane. The people in the gas station couldn't answer my question about 87 octane so I called my resources and I was told better to use 88 than 85.5. The 8.1L needs to be fed a minimum of 87 octane regardless of altitude. Bad news is $2.399 per gallon for "Plus" grade gas.

So onward we continued across the hi-plains of Wyoming. Makes me remember of the Clint Eastwood movie "High Plains Drifter"! You know what? The deer and the antelope actually do play up here. Next time you hear the song, it's true!!!!

Running the ridges on I90 here we saw an altitude of 5050 indicated on our DeLorme at one point but we were typically running around 4000 feet + or -. Climbing westward the fuel gauge is taking a beating but there are refreshing down grades. I even saw a 9.1 mpg indicated. Now that was funny!

We crossed over into Montana late this afternoon and continued past Garryowens, MT the site for the "Little Bighorn" defeat of General George Armstrong Custer. I hope to see this monument returning next week on our return leg.

We continued on to the point where I90 lakes a 90? turn to the left and goes out just about 270? to the west. We're camping in Hardin, MT at the KOA. Nice park, it won the President's Award in 2004.

I'm sitting here using the V620 and it's very remarkable where this card can grab a signal. I have had a signal about 80% of the time. It's also very cool to be able to go down the road and be on the Internet. Try that with a dish.

Roxy is just fine and she's having a good time chewing up my receipts.

Elevation: 2892 feet.

Stay tuned! The trip continues......
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