travel tales for family and friends. . .

wild horses. . .Theodore Roosevelt NP - North Dakota

Monday, May 31, 2010

Badlands National Park and Bear Country

All told, this has been a rather uneventful week, but we have done a couple of fun things, so I'll catch you up.

An RV friend, Kathleen, after reading about our excitement at the Corn Palace, said, make sure we didn't miss the Wall Drug Store and our free cup of ice water.  I had no idea what she was talking about, but as soon as we left Mitchell SD, we started seeing the billboards every few hundred feet. . .

They were like Burma Shave signs. . .you couldn't miss them. . .and then I remembered reading about it on a friends blog, and I will have to agree with their take. . .if you've never been, I guess you need to go, but just so you know. . .it's just a big old tourist trap. . .sorry, but we were hard pressed to find very much historical value. . .but ok, now we can say we have been there. . .done that!

Next, Badlands National Park. . .it's one of those things, if you are that close, you need to see it. . .
Our first impression was that it reminded us of the Painted Desert in New Mexico. . .
but much more intense. . .
we certainly got a sense of how the bad guys in the westerns could just disappear into the Badlands.
and of course, "The Beast" looks awesome everywhere!
Nearly rattled our teeth out driving down a scenic overlook but we did see mountain goats,
Prairie Dogs
huntin' prairie dogs
two bison
and antelope? (maybe?) not sure, so I guess it was worth it,
 but I tell you, it was rough. . .just so you know
Isn't this a beautiful backdrop for this ranch, but I tell you what. . .if I lived way out there. . .
on that road. . .I would grow my own food. . .'cause I simply would not want to hafta drive
that road any more than necessary. . .goodness! Did I say it was rough?  It was ROUGH!
and then there was Bear Country. . .what can I say?
It was a drive through zoo. . .their motto was "you're in our territory now, so stay in your cage," 
which I though was a cute saying.

Now if you have kids, absolutely. . .this would be a great place to take them. . .but seriously. . .
I'm not a big fan and I thought $30 to drive your vehicle through was a little ouchy. . .but it was what Dave wanted to do for the day. . .so hey, I'm game. . .let's go!

My favorite shot. . .this timber wolf crossed the road in front of us. . .
we will probably never get a shot of one of those in the wild.
and there were bears. . .lots and lots of bears
seeing an 800 lb grizzly in this setting does not do justice to the magnitude of what they are capable of
even I had to admit. . .the bear cubs were adorable
It's sort of like a kitten. . .if only they would stay that size. . .

We have a big day planned tomorrow. . .a bus tour of Mt Rushmore, Custer State Park, where I hope to see a herd of buffalo, Needles Highway, and several more interesting sites. . .

If you want to get our updates, just submit your email address at the top of this page. . .you will only receive updates from EvansEscapades. . .and can unsubscribe at any time. . .

We love to hear from you, so leave us a comment or email us at EvansEscapades.gmail.com



An Irrational Fear of Dogs



OK. . .I admit it. . .I have an irrational fear of other people's dogs. . .I do not want to pet them, I do not want them jumping on me, and basically, although I never say anything I would really prefer that everyone just keep their precious little angels to themselves.

All of these feelings of angst, left over from my Mailman days, have been brought to the forefront by my next door neighbor here in the RV park in South Dakota. He has a gorgeous German Shepherd. The first day we arrived the dog was outside, unattended, (the owner was not even home) on about a 12 foot leash. When we stepped out of the truck, he was barking and lunging at the end of the leash. . .ok, ok. . .I ignored him, we got set up. . .I got out the lawn chair to sit outside. . .not possible. . .the dog barked without taking a breath.

This poor animal was left out there for at least eight hours until the owner arrived home about 10 pm.

The next morning the owner of the RV park delivered a package to the owner of the dog. . .guess what? The dog BIT him. . .and NOW, the owner of the dog is allowing him to run around outside OFF leash.

I am terrified to go outside, and my hubby thinks I am being irrational. . .which I am!

I do NOT want to raise a stink, because the owner of the dog is SO STUPID, that after the dog biting incident, his statement was, "I'm taking the dog to have him put down." Are you crazy. . .you leave an animal chained up for hours with no exercise. . .creating untold pent up anxiety. . .and then when he reacts, you are going to kill him? I am just sick about the entire situation.

I want a refund, and to move to another RV Park. . .I have already spoken to the owner of the RV park, and he has basically stated that he has no intention of dealing with the situation. I'm sure he feels the same as I do, if he presses the issue, the STUPID owner will have the dog put down. . .What to do, what to do?

_________________

June 4, 2010 - Update - I am happy to report what I think is a fair resolution for all parties, hopefully, even the dog.

The campground owner did listen to my concerns, and did tell the owner that the dog would need to be on leash, and supervised at all times.  He further stated to me that he will be changing the park policy to state the same.

The owner has voluntarily chosen to take the dog to the animal center here in town, and surrender him.  The animal shelter will attempt to place the dog in a proper environment.  I am hoping with all the big ranches in this area, they will be able to find him a good home where he can have plenty of running room.

I believe this incident caused the campground owner to realize what a precarious position he was placing himself in, as far as liability.

I feel so much better about the entire situation, and it has been a pleasure to be able to go outside of my RV without the anxiety.  Thanks to everyone for your support.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mitchell SD, claim to fame. . .the Corn Palace

Left Iowa on Tuesday. . .crossed over into South Dakota mid morning. . .beautiful farms all the way in. . .these are some hard working folk who live in this beautiful state.


Had a stopover in Mitchell SD. . .just because it was convenient. . .and because the roads in Iowa were so rough, we needed to make repairs to things that shook loose. . .wow. . .they fastened all the trim boards with brads. . .those do not hold up with the jolting, so we are screwing them in.  I guess we will just repair them as they fall off. . .two this trip. . .one on a previous trip. . .can't be too many left.

Found a great Passport America Park, R & R RV Park, right off the freeway. . .nice pull throughs. . .and even our twin was here. . .these folks are headed to Alaska. . .what are the chances that they would park us right together?  too funny. . .

Found out the Laura Ingalls Wilder Homestead was not too far away. . .as a child, I read every book she wrote, so I was excited to visit. . .however. . .in the NORTH Country, things do not open for the season until Memorial Day Weekend. . .so I guess I was a week early. . .I really hated to miss it. . .

Then, we found out that Mitchell SD is famous for the World's only Corn Palace, oh boy, oh boy. . .let's go see that.  Actually it was interesting in a bizarre sort of way. . .it is popular enough to be featured on the Travel Channel. . .
There are murals all the way around the building, which are created out of ears of corn which are cut in half, and screwed to plywood in a sort of paint by # design

Each year a different artist is chosen to design the murals for the upcoming season. . .the current murals are stripped down, and work begins on a new set. . .
As I said it was beautiful in a weird sort of way. . .lots of time and effort certainly goes into it, and 500,000 people per year visit. . .so there is definitely some appeal.
After all this excitement, we needed to drop off a few things at Goodwill. . .so while Dave made a deposit at the back door, I went in the front for a quick withdrawal. . .three St John's skirts that would have cost me $50 each at Penney's were mine for only $3.50 each. . .quick run through the wash, and nobody the wiser. . .what a deal!

In the morning we head to Mt Rushmore. . .looking forward to meeting up with RV friends and enjoying the experience for the next two weeks. . .check in again soon.

Keep up with our travels by email, or follow our blog on your RSS feed. . .we look forward to hearing from you, so email us anytime. . .EvansEscapades@gmail.com

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Truman Presidential Library - Independence MO

Dave and I decided that when we are within driving distance of a Presidential Library, we should make an effort to visit. . .so when we discovered the Truman Presidential Library was in Independence MO, we decided to stay over and visit it. . .


The building itself was very nondescript. . .there were no signs indicating anything about it being the Presidential Library. . .the admission price was $8 pp but I found a coupon for buy one admission, get one free. ..always a great thing. . .


I remember growing up with a tv, refrigerator, and dinette set that looked like these
Truman had a tough presidency, at the start of the cold war, and during the beginning of WWII. . .
this was an exhibit of American air power during the war. . .very impressive. . .
One very admirable thing President Truman did, against the advice of his advisors, was to recognize Israel as having a right to exist. . .this Torah was a gift from the very first President of the Nation of Israel. . .


This blurb from the 1946 election reads much like articles I read in the papers today. . .I was reminded of a book I read titled "The Roaring 2000's". . .the premise being that history and economic trends repeat themselves in forty year cycles. . .spending time in the Truman Library, and calculating where the economy is now, makes me realize that Mr. Dent was somewhat accurate in his premise. .
 .and then there was the "Fair Deal", goodness, this really did read like current politics. . .

So once again I am reminded of Solomon's statement thousands of years ago. .."There's nothing new under the sun". . .

Sign up for email updates at the top of the page, we'll be heading towards Mt Rushmore tomorrow. . .so more exciting stories will follow. . .you will only receive updates from EvansEscapades, and can unsubscribe at any time. . .send us an email at EvansEscapades@gmail.com. . .we love to hear from you

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Long Week in the Travel Life of the Evans'


Goodness. . .we were so excited to make it to the fish camp at Toledo Bend.  We always have high hopes that this time, the cell phones, and the air card will work. . .but alas. . .noooo!  Four days without either. . .not sure how the old timers made it out on the road without being able to be in touch with everyone. . .

However, we had a great time fishing with my uncle. . .here's a shot of our catfish haul. . .mostly my uncle doing the hauling. . .but they were all caught on a rod and reel, so it was a lot of fun!

My uncle and I cleaned and filleted all the fish for two great fish frys
and my Dad supervised. . .
actually, Dad is getting very good at supervising. . .he decided the propane tank needed to be raised off the ground. . .here he is supervising "the boys."
even Dave had to work
So, while the guys got all this done, Uncle Rayburn and I fried catfish and french fries. . .oh, soooo good. . .not a crumb left. . .it was great to be there with my uncle,  both my brothers and my Dad. . .even my oldest son made it up for a little while, but had to get back to pick up my grands after school on Friday.

Okay, so all this excitement got us through last weekend, and Monday we headed out to Many, La. to meet up with long time friends, but being without phone and internet service, we just couldn't make connections. . .maybe next trip. . .

Sooo. . .on to Shreveport to have lunch with Dave's cousin Karen. . .and her little angelic look-a-like. . .Cara. . .what a cutie. . .so glad we got to see them. . .sorry, forgot to take pics. . .what was I thinking?

Tuesday evening found us in Texarkana, AR. . .now we have been through Texarkana many, many times. . .but always on our way to somewhere else. . .and always on the freeway. . .so this was my opportunity to actually see this town that straddles two state lines. . .how interesting. . .

This is State Line Ave. . .note the Texas flag on one side of the street, and the Arkansas flag on the other. . .
State Line Ave splits, and goes around the POST OFFICE / Courthouse. . .
of course. . .you know if there is anything unusual about a Post Office. . .I need to see it!


Leaving Texarkana on Wednesday, we headed for Missouri. . .
Western Arkansas is much like East Texas. . .there are so many trees, there's really no view to speak of, but once in a while we would get a glimpse of the distant Ouachita Mountains. . .
the mountains were much more interesting from a distance, than they were up close,
Wednesday night found us at the beautiful Big Red Barn RV Park, in Carthage Missouri. . .
what a wonderful, convenient place. . .it will be very high on our list if we ever find ourselves in Carthage again. . .and if you want a really great deal. . .this is a Passport America Park. . .so if you are a member, (click on the link at the top of this page for more info), you can stay for 1/2 price. . .
Thursday morning in Carthage started out so well. . .we got everything ready to roll. . .we were only going to drive about two and a half hours to Independence Missouri. . .so we had plenty of time to finally make it to the Precious Moments Chapel. . .just look at this picture. . .it just makes you feel warm and cozy, doesn't it?
well. ..what can I say?  Is that not adorable or what?
and of course, this reminded me of our Christopher, who I know is an angel in heaven. . .
and although we no longer collect figurines. . .with Dave's firefighter background. . .
who could resist this little guy?
beauty around every corner!
and I'm sure this is how Heaven will be. . .only better! ! !
The artist, Samuel J. Butcher, painted 15 murals in four days. . .that is amazing. . .and the murals were amazing. . .although photography was allowed, I did not want to seem disrespectful. . .there was definitely an aura of worship and praise that permeated the entire place. . .you can see more information, and some beautiful depictions of all the murals, and the stained glass windows here. . .

It was a wonderful, glorious experience, which I will highly recommend when you find yourself anywhere near!  Even a day trip from Branson, would be well worth it. . .

With our day starting out sooo beautifully, and only a two hour drive to Independence MO, we were prepared. . .we would arrive about 1:00. . .thirty minutes to set up. . .lunch. . .and then. . .we would enjoy our afternoon. . .five lakes at this RV park. . .fishing. . .ahhhh. . .just sit back and relax. . .HA!. . .this picture doesn't even tell half the story of the afternoon we spent. . .made it to the RV park. . .no problem. . .well. . .actually, the problem was. . this park is NOT set up for BIG RIGS. . .but, we could have coped. . .except. . .that it had rained for two weeks straight. . .and it was MUDDY. . .add to that. . .the road was NOT paved, and the pad was NOT big enough. . .AND there was a HILL. . .helloooo. . .thirty thousand pounds, a slick hill, and mud, DO NOT mix well, so THIS was the result. . .what a mess. . .but what a great, nice, group of folks. . .two Chevrolet's and a Dodge lined up, all in a row, (my pic didn't come out), and did everything in their power. . .did not even budge us. . .well actually, the result was the truck and the trailer slid ALMOST into the tree you see there in the front. . .OK. . .so as you can imagine, I am screaming, NO, NO, NO!!!. . .SO we call the heavy duty wrecker, BUT, the hill is SO SLICK, he can't get the wrecker high enough up to be of any help. . .SO, we call for a FOUR WHEEL DRIVE WRECKER. . .these guys come out in this little bitty wrecker. . .SERIOUSLY. . .there is NO WAY!. . .BUT. . .those guys knew what they were doing. . .and within the hour. . .they had us outta there. . .the wrecker driver's comment. . .
"Give a REDNECK a WINCH and some TIME, and HE can getcha outta anything."

Ya know what?. . .I'm a believer!

All is well. . .we are now safely parked at a PAVED campground in Independence. . .

Sign up for our Email updates about Independence MO, Omaha NE, and our arrival at Mt Rushmore at the top of the page. . .you will only receive updates from Evans Escapades, and can unsubscribe at any time.











Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter