Christmas in Mexico

We left our winter home at Rovers Roost on Saturday December 18th and met up with our friend Heidy at her home in Green Valley AZ for the night.

Sunday morning bright and early (still dark) we left her place about 6:30 and headed down I-10 and I-19 to the border crossing at Nogales.

Once we crossed the border onto MX15 we still had an inspection station, an immagration station, and 3 tolls booths to get through.

We stayed on MX15 (a four lane divided highway) down to Hermosillo where we then headed west about 60 more miles on MX100 to Bahia de Kino (Kino Bay) where we then pulled in to Islandia Marina and RV Park.

Our host Martita greeted us with a smile and pointed out two possible sites for us. We chose the one nestled under a big tree overlooking the Sea of Cortez.

We have a large site with plenty of shade over the coach, 1000′ of sandy beach, sun and water out our front window

The nights are cool, in the 40’s and 50’s and the days are breezy and in the low 80’s with lots of sunshine.

Our first full day found us keeping busy going about 20 minutes east to San Miguel Aleman to exchange our dollars for pesos, to pick up a few groceries, and to a local Telcel agent to get a 30 day MX sim card for my phone.

Just to give you an idea of how money works here, $100 American is about 2000 MX pesos.

Our groceries at a super market cost us $8.90, my 30 day unlimited talk and text (4.5gb data) sim card cost me $11.50, and our 30 amp full hookup site overlooking the beach at the Sea of Cortez costs $15/night.

While last night we cooked brats on the grill at our home by the beach, tonight we ate at Pulpo Loco (Crazy Octopus) in town. We got 3 combo plates of fried fish, bacon wrapped cheese stuffed shrimp, salad, fries, and fried shrimp. All 3 meals along with two bottles of Coke and a huge bottled water was 520 pesos (about $26)

Our first day here at Islandia RV Park we had the pleasure of meeting Julio, one of the regulars whose been spending winters here since 2007. A retired NYC firefighter, he’s quite a character. Although he doesn’t own or even manage the park, he loves to play host and invited us to join the gang at his place anytime we see anyone there.

Julio and others invited us down for Ray’s 89th birthday party complete with pizza and birthday cake

Thursday morning came too soon and it was time to say goodbye to our host Martita and head further south about 120 miles to Totonaka RV Park at San Carlos, also on the east side of the Sea of Cortez.

Saying goodbye to our host Martita at Islandia RV Park (Bahia de Kino, Sonora, MX)

San Carlos is a much larger town that Kino Bay and is more a tourist area loaded with restaurants and curio shops.

The park is very nice with over 140 FHU RV sites and about 25 motel rooms. Heidy is in one of their rooms and we are in the coach. They have a pool, hot tub, pickleball courts and they run a clean tight ship here, they’re always cleaning, raking, and checking the property. At this park our FHU site cost $26/nite (tourist area pricing).

Map of our route ending at San Carlos, Guaymas Sonora, MX

The day after Christmas, there is the annual lighted boat parade right off the beach and we walked down to watch as about twenty five or thirty large vessels dressed in hundreds of Christmas lights paraded by. It was a fun (and free) evening.

I’m sorry the pictures are blurry, it was dark and the camera had a hard time focusing.

Now the weather turned cool. Gray skies after Christmas and temps in the 50’s and 60’s so no beach time for now. But there ARE still PLENTY of places to eat that many of our neighbors here at Totonaka have told us that we need to check out.

The girls went shopping today, they were gone about 4 hours and came back all excited about what they stumbled across … a place where Heidy and/or Kathy and I could rent an RV spot either monthly or year-round and at a very attractive price!

We talked at some length about the possibilities and decided that all three of us would make a 2nd visit tomorrow. In the meantime … what else? It’s dinner time!

We went back to Daniel’s place the day after Christmas to “scope it out” a little more. He has four covered RV spots that are 60+ feet deep and about 30′ wide with an add’l 12’x60′ concrete patio. All sites are Full Hook-Up (water, electric, and sewer). The property is fenced and gated and Daniel and his wife live full-time on the property. He made Heidy a really sweet deal ($250/month) to park her rig there year round and stay in it full-time or for a few months at a time. Two of the four sites are occupied by folks who live there year-round. NOTE: Take a look at the supports for the roof. These are NOT trees but actually they are BRANCHES from giant eucalyptus trees. Eucalyptus is a very dense and heavy wood and makes for an excellent building material in this dry climate.

While visiting Daniel he drew a map for us to check out the “lookout” and one of the high-end new home developments on the bay.

To round out the afternoon (and our last day in Mexico) we decided to …. what else? Try out another restaurant of course!

The restaurant celebrates the “Day of the Dead” which is a Mexican holiday on November 1st and 2nd. It celebrates the lives of loved ones who have died over the last year.

From Google: “Ancient Mesoamericans believed that death was part of the journey of life. Rather than death ending life, they believed that new life came from death. This cycle is often associated with the cyclical nature of agriculture, whereby crops grow from the ground where the last crop lies buried.”

All in all, we had a great time visiting Mexico and making new friends. In a nutshell we have to say that;

  1. The Mexican people are gracious, friendly, accommodating, and thankful that we were there spending our money in their communities.
  2. The food cost is about one-half of what a meal (restaurant or grocery store) would cost in the states.
  3. Fuel is about the same cost or even a little more than here in the states,
  4. and the roads are generally terrible. Certainly not everywhere, but there are plenty of areas where you have to wonder if the RV is just going to shake apart right there on the spot.
  5. And the poverty is nearly everywhere, at least it’s not at all hard to find. We say plenty of people living in tin and cardboard shacks with no electricity and no running water. It’s sad to see such distress.

We drove our last day straight through from San Carlos to Casa Grande AZ (395 miles) and we have to say it’s “good to be back”.

Until next time, we wish you and yours a Happy New Year. We hope it’s a safe and healthy one for all of us.

Herb and Kathy

Uh-Oh Transmission slips

While we were in Yuma for a few days getting a new bra made and installed for the front of the coach (to protect the paint from flying stones and road debris), we noticed the coach transmission was slipping only occasionally when shifting from 4th to 5th gear. It happened three times over a three day period. Oh Crap …

I went to my good friends (Google and You Tube) and discovered that Allison (Transmissions) recommends trans fluid change (along with filters) every 40,000 miles or four years.

We’ve had our rig five years now and have put 60,000 miles on it. It was already 15 years old with 40,000 milles when we bought it. Guess I better get on the stick, eh?

So we went on up I-10 about 30 miles to Velocity Truck Center where they are both Freightliner and Allison Certified shops. We got in the evening before so we could be at the door at 7am when they opened.

Ready for first thing in the morning

We checked in at 7 and then ran a few small errands while we were “in the big city”.

Besides eating the previous night’s dinner at the great little family owned Italian restaurant, and breakfast the next day at Waffle House, we still needed to kill some time before the coach would be ready.

Drug store, jewelry store, coffee shop, and then what? Neither one of us are used to just having nothing to do so we Googled “Things to do near me” and found the Eddie Basha Art Gallery.

I could tell Kathy wanted to go and it would be a good way to kill off a couple of hours. I figured if I found it to be not exactly my cup of tea, they must have a seat or bench I could relax on and check emails, Facebook and such.

But WOW what a collection! Eddie Basha (1932-2013) was the fourth generation of Lebanese immagrants that owned and operated the family grocery store chain that started as one store and has grown to over 130 stores with 9000+ employees here in Arizona.

The gallery is Eddie’s private collection that the family continues to display free of charge to the public. The collection is mostly early western American (cowboy) art and early native American art.

It includes very large assortments of bronze castings, wood sculpture, oil paintings, stone sculpture, and woven baskets.

The picture gallery below shows just SOME of the hallways and alcoves dedicated to various artists

Eddie’s real joy in collecting these pieces was that he was often able to meet the artist personally and he took pride in developing life-long relationships with many of them.

So if you find yourself in the Phoenix are with a few hours available, we both highly recommend that you visit the gallery located inside the Basha’s corporate office in Chandler.

If you can’t make it there personally, here’s the link to the gallery web site with more info and photos.

We got our coach back about 2:30 and hooked up the car and headed right back to Casa Grande just in time for the afternoon social hour.

Thanks for following along, we look forward to meeting up with you somewhere down the road.

Herb and Kathy

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Greetings from Herb and Kathy


To all our family and friends, we are writing to wish you the best of the holiday season.

We write this now as we are readying to depart to Mexico for a couple weeks and will not return to our Arizona winter home until the first of the New Year.

Wow what a busy year Herb and I have had! As you may be aware, we spent March of 2020 through March of 2021 in Ohio living in the bunkhouse above the garage at Sara and Stu’s home.

It was good to be off the road during the Covid outbreak and we were so fortunate to be able to spend some quality time with both our children and their families.

Herb drove a bus for the county starting in May of ’20 and finished that job this past March when he had his rotator cuff surgery. We then went on down to Dale Hollow Lake State Park in Kentucky to camp host for 3 months and he recuperated with physical therapy at the local hospital. While we were there, it was great to welcome visiting friends Mark and Cindy, Mike and Kim, Chuck and Della, and Forrest and Mary. We all spent 3 days together gathering around the campfire, eating out, and we rented a double-deck pontoon boat for a day of fun on Dale Hollow Lake too! We also enjoyed a week-long visit from Stu and Sara – they rented a camper and parked right next to us!

We finished our KY gig July 4th and came back to Ohio so that Herb could get his hip replaced July 22nd. That surgery went well too (same doc as the shoulder) and we were able to hit the road westbound on Aug 20th.

We timed our departure from Ohio so we could join my sister’s family in celebration of her daughter’s wedding. Although the wedding was a small one last year during Covid, this reception in the Groom’s parents back yard in Michigan was a fun and beautiful event. We got to sit with my cousin Kristin and her husband Ed who we hadn’t seen in probably 20 years or so and had a great time reminiscing.

After that we traveled on to Owosso Michigan where we spent a couple days with Herb’s two sisters and their husbands. Another great meetup, we always have fun together. From Owosso we made our way further west in Michigan where we visited with friends we made while working at a camp in Baldwin Michigan. We also met up with a high school classmate who we hadn’t seen (or talked to) since 1972. Another great visit!

After that we loaded the coach onto the S.S. Badger Auto Ferry at Ludington Michigan and took the 4 hour cruise across Lake Michigan. Once we arrived at Manitowoc Wisconsin we met up again for dinner with Forrest and Mary at Green Bay.

Making our way further west found us meeting with Paul and Chris at Mason City Iowa and visiting the Surf Dance Hall where Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valenz and The Big Bopper made their final show before the fatal plane crash in a nearby corn field.

We then moved on down to the Kansas City Missouri area to spend a couple days with Ron and Judy who we had worked with at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in 2019 and we all took a tour of a private family mauseleum that our friend Carl (who we met in Mexico a couple years back) had inherited. What an interesting tour that was!

From Kansas City (now early September) we moved on to Spearfish SD so that we could reconnect with Matt and Sherry who we worked with at DC Booth Fish Hatchery in 2019. We spent a week there and during that time Jim and Brenda came by for a couple nights stay and David and Susan came up for a visit from where they were working at Custer State Park.

Since David and Susan also have a lot where we winter at Rover’s Roost in Casa Grande, Arizona we talked and decided it would be fun for the four of us to caravan together back to AZ once they were done with their gig at Custer.

We moved on just south of Custer to a two week stay at Angostura State Recreation Area while we waited for David and Susan to meet up with us October 1st. We enjoyed getting to enjoy Hot Springs SD while we were in the area.

Starting October 1st we made our way south to northwest Nebraska, then west into Wyoming and through Cheyenne, Laramie, Rock Springs and then down Route 191 through Flaming Gorge and on down across the Snowy Ridge (9114′ elev) through beautiful eastern Utah.

Nearing the middle of October got us back into northeast Arizona where we visited Winslow and Meteor Crater and ultimately down just east of Phoenix and we all four pulled into “the Roost” October 19th.

Early November we were delighted to have a visit from our Ohio friends Chuck and Della. They rented a VRBO nearby and we spent about a week together sightseeing some of the local sights. It was great to see them again and play “tour guide” a little.

Although we arrived here mid-October, it takes a couple months before everyone is back. It’s fun welcoming old friends back “home” with a big SKP hug, (but not so much today with Covid – we tend to smile and shake hands more often than before)

Our plan at this point is to be back in Ohio this summer (arriving March/April) depending on which way we go on the way back. We look forward to seeing all of you in the summer. To our RV’ing friends .. we look forward to meeting up again with you real soon. To each of you we wish you only the most wonderful Christmas celebration and a Happy and Joyous New Year to you all!

Herb and Kathy

Winslow & Meteor Crater AZ

As we continued our trek back to Arizona for the winter, our final leg would be heading west on I-40 between Winslow and Flagstaff (and ultimately down to Casa Grande)

Winslow Arizona (you’ll remember “Standin’ On The Corner” by the Eagles) is a great stopping point as you’re heading west. The town is a few blocks long and has only a handful of tourist trap type souvenir shops and another handful of restaurants. Canned music plays from loudspeakers mounted on utility poles at the downtown square and there’s always other tourists checking out the corner while you’re there.

The famous “Standin’ On The Corner

A short walk from an easily discovered parking spot got us down to the historic La Posada Hotel and to walk through the lobby was worth it. This is the last Fred Harvey Hotel built along the Santa Fe rail line in the ’30s that’s still in operation. The architecture and interior design are beautiful. You can read more about the Fred Harvey story here.

After our stop at Winslow we traveled west to Exit #124 and visited “Meteor Crater”. This crater is the largest and best preserved on planet earth.

The crater was produced as the result of a falling meteorite traveling at an estimated 26,000 miles per hour.

Meteor Crater measures 0.75 miles (1.2 kilometers) across and about 600 feet (180 meters) deep. The size of the asteroid that produced the impact is uncertain—likely in the range of 100 to 170 feet across—but it had to be large enough to excavate 175 million metric tons of rock.

You can still see the remains of mining operations that took place during the 30’s through the 50’s. The owner of the crater (Barringer) at that time was looking for anything of value that might have been left as a result of the explosion caused by the meteor.

This is where my Canon SX-60HS digital camera with it’s 1500mm zoom lens really came in handy!

The large picture below shows the overall view of the crater as seen from up on the observation deck at the rim. The smaller photos at the top of the gallery below show close-up views of two of the mine shafts that were dug during explorations. The steam boiler in the right-hand picture generated pressure to operate the lift winch (located behind the boiler). The winch was used to bring materials up out of the shaft and take men and tools down into the shaft.

Clicking on any of the thumbnails in the gallery will open a larger view for you to be able to see.

Short video of the crater (panoramic view)

We finished up our visit with WHAT ELSE but food? We found what appeared to be a popular watering hole in Winslow and we decided it was time for lunch before moving on down the road to our final destination of Rover’s Roost at Casa Grande AZ.

It was a great decision. Both couples split a meal and we’re so glad we did — the portions were HUGE (as Bernie would say)

This is a half order of our Chicken Fiesta Salad

We finally made it back to our “winter home” and have been settling in. The park club functions will officially start Nov 1st but some of us early birds have been keeping busy in the meantime.

All in all, it has been a great trip across the northern plains and down through Wyoming, Utah, and Arizona. We’ve seen a lot of beautiful landscape, hooked up with old friends along the way, met new folks that we can now consider friends, and continued to learn to love and appreciate each other as we continue this life adventure.

Thanks for riding along, we will look for you on down the road. I’ll be documenting some of our adventures while we are her for the winter, so there will be more to come.

In the meantime, be safe, be healthy and take care of each other as you travel this journey we call life.

Herb and Kathy

Tourist Review – Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site

We’ve been traveling the country for about five years now and we “workamp” or volunteer as we go. We usually work 12-15 hours per person per week in exchange for our RV site and utilities. Sometimes we get a little extra too, maybe reduced cost at the park store or restaurant, free laundry or some other perk to help out with our monthly living expenses.

We’ve worked in commercial RV parks, public park campgrounds, museums, and fish hatcheries.

But we’ve never worked at a prison!

Our good friends Matt and Sherry had an interesting gig this past spring working (volunteering) at the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site at Laramie, Wyoming. They dressed in period costumes and portrayed what it was like to work at (or be incarcerated in) the prison back in “The Olden Days”.

Full-time RV’ers Sherry and Matt

Well, since we were passing through the area (always looking for places to go and things to see), we took a few hours while we were staying at Cheyenne Wyoming and drove to Laramie to visit the prison.

The prison was built in 1872 and for 30 years it held a lot of violent and notorious outlaws including Butch Cassidy. It originally sat on 640 acres and the main building is over 18,000 square feet.

The prison is one of only three federally constructed territorial penitentiaries that still exist and the only one that has most of it’s original structure still intact.

The rooms that have been restored and are open for viewing include; the intake processing room, Warden’s office, the kitchen, north cellblock, dining hall, guards quarters, watchtower, infirmary, women’s cellblock, the prison bathroom, and the laundry.

The Prison Industries Building (also known as the Broom Factory) was built in 1892 by convict labor and holds the original broom making equipment that the convicts used to make the brooms that were sold all over the United States as well as being shipped overseas.

We found the venue really interesting to visit and just might like to work there ourselves in the future. Dressing up in period costumes and “playing the part” can be fun!

Thanks again for riding along and we hope to see you here again soon. In the meantime, be good to and for each other and you’ll be blessed back ten-fold.

Herb and Kathy

Campground Review – Encampment WY City Park Campground

Free campsites.net told us this was a low cost city park with no frills and it was correct. We really appreciate the city having this RV park for the weary travelers on their way south from Montana.

When we were there (mid-October) the water was shut off and the restrooms were closed, but that was ok as we always carry ample water to get us by for at least a couple days “just in case”.

The sites are sand/grass and mostly level. There are 8 sites total, some with full hook-up and some with electric only. There were only 3 picnic tables for 8 sites when we were there.

The Senior Center and the Thrift Store are both right there within a hundred feet however we didn’t go into either. The library is about 300 feet away and has free wifi we were able to connect to so that we could watch TV at night and be able to check email, etc.

There is NOTHING to do or see in town. Oh … I take that back – there is a museum that I think would be cool to see but it was closed on the Friday we were there and is always closed on weekends. Here’s a link to the GEM (Grand Encampment Museum) filled with artifacts representing the timber, mining, and agricultural history of the Encampment valley.

Otherwise if you want gas or bread or a gallon of milk you have to drive to the next town, but not to worry it’s only a mile down the road and it has two restaurants, a charming grocery/hardware/video store, and car repair shop.

You might refer to this park as “rough” but the four of us were fine with it. It was quiet, the few folks we met were friendly, we were allowed to connect to the wifi, and the lack of available water hook-up was not an inconvenience for us. Each site identification post had a locked donation box on it and the police came by the park a couple times each day waived hello while we were there just to make sure everything was o.k.

We enjoyed our quiet stay there. Next time we are in the area we will have to make sure the Grand Encampment Museum is going to be open the day(s) we visit.

Thanks for riding along with us once again. We look forward to seeing you on down the road.

Herb and Kathy

Tourist Review – Dead Horse Point State Park – SE Utah

When we stayed a couple weeks at Angostura Recreation Area (Hot Springs SD) you’ll remember that we had the pleasure of meeting and visiting with our neighbors Clark & Anita.

Clark and Anita (and their Oliver Travel Trailer)

They told us that as we traveled south from South Dakota through Wyoming and Utah, we just HAD to stop (and camp if we could) at Dead Horse Point State Park just northwest of Moab, Utah.

He told us if we didn’t make it to any of the other popular parks in that area of Utah (Arches, Canyonlands, Canyon de Chelly, Grand Staircase Escalante, Capital Reef) we’d just HAVE to visit Dead Horse.

As it turned out, our travels back to Rover’s Roost at Casa Grande Arizona found us traveling west along southern Wyoming and the east side of Utah and traveling down U.S. 191 instead of using the interstate highway system – and we’re so glad we did!

This way we stayed out of Colorado and the I-25 / I-70 yet we still got to see a LOT of beautiful scenery and ecosystems as we traveled up and down the hills and valleys, sometimes as high as 9000 feet!

But the Creme de la creme – has been Dead Horse Point State Park. The Colorado River runs through the park. The main (only) paved road through the park is Utah State Route 313 and it’s one way in and the same one way out. The $20 (non-resident) entrance fee is per vehicle so we parked our rigs in a gravel parking area just outside the park entrance and then we climbed into David and Susan’s car to visit the park.

As we all realize, photographs just never represent fully the depth and beauty of the subject. But I just had to share some with you here.

If you click on any of the thumbnails below, a larger picture will open. If you have a slower internet connection it might take a second (or a few) to sharpen up the image. Just be patient and you should be able to see and appreciate the beauty in the detail.

Here’s a short (1-1/2 minutes) video of some of the beauty we took in.

And a special thanks to Clark and Anita for putting us on to this gem. Next time we are going to be in the area, we’ll need to make campground reservations ahead of time!

Thanks once again for riding along on the journey of our lifetimes. It’s been five years now that we’ve traveled full-time and worked (volunteered) part-time along the way and it’s still fun – how about that!

Until we meet again, take care of yourselves and each other. You’re all you’ve got. Be good. And stay safe in this crazy world of ours.

Herb and Kathy

Tourist Review – Harvest Host Stay@Pine Bluffs Distilling, Pine Bluffs, WY

We found Pine Bluffs Distilling on the Harvest Hosts web site and procured our reservation.

Normally HH stays are one night only, but we were going to be coming through Pine Bluffs Wyoming on Monday and that is the one day of the week they are closed. We asked if we could stay both Monday and Tuesday and they replied “Absolutely, c’mon ahead”.

We pulled in late Monday afternoon, enjoyed an early evening dinner “on the veranda” with David and Susan, and let the hum of the fast moving every-thrity-minutes trains lull us to sleep.

On Tuesday – after our trip into Cheyenne to visit Messenger’s Old West Museum, we came back to the distillery to enjoy some product samples and take a tour of the operation.

KeeLee our Mixologist/Bartender was fantastic. She is so talented and loves to share her knowledge with the customers. Their whiskeys are all made from grain that’s grown ONLY on local farms by local farmers – they are truly a Farm to Table operation. They have seven different whiskeys and one vodka and they use; wheat, rye, barley, oat, (and I can’t remember the fifth grain!). Click this link to see all seven beautiful bottles.

KeeLee gave us all samples of their different whiskeys as she explained the differences and what we would notice about them and then took our orders. Kathy and I both had cocktails and we have to say they were “the best we’ve ever had” although if you know us at all you know we are not big drinkers. But indeed they were good!

Then Aaron took us on a tour of the operation and explained how everything worked.

They’ve been in business about 3 years. The owner (Chad) was a conservation officer in Nevada, newly married and ready to start a family. He knew that he didn’t want to stay in that career line. He moved to Wyoming to work with his cousin farming the land.

Although he had no experience as a distiller or brewmaster, he knew what he wanted to do. He did his research, developed agreements with local farmers for the grain as well as suppliers of other needed materials and equipment, developed a business and marketing plan, procured a few investors, bought the land, had the building built and started production. It was about a $3 million dollar investment.

We said goodnight to our hosts and retired to our rigs for the evening. Even though there is a Union Pacific train going through town every 30 minutes, (seriously!) we still managed to have a great night.

Thanks again for riding along. Stay safe and be good to yourselves and each other.

Herb and Kathy

Campground Review – Historic Fort Robinson State Park, Crawford Nebraska

Fort Robinson State Park and it’s two main campgrounds Soldier Creek and Red Cloud are located just west of the small town of Crawford, Nebraska on U.S. 20 and west of U.S. 385 in the extreme northwest corner of Nebraska.

The interactive map below shows everywhere we’ve camped overnight since we’ve been on the road. See if you can zero in on Fort Robinson. You can zoom the map in and out and move it about. When you click your mouse (or finger on a tablet) on any red balloon, the name and location of the park will be highlighted. Let me know if you find Fort Robinson! (you can click on “Accept All Cookies” to get rid of that annoying text box that covers part of the map.)

When we stayed (early October) the full hook-up campground (31 sites) at Red Cloud was closed for the season but the Soldier Creek campground has 80 electric only sites, clean pit toilets, and a shower house. Water hydrants and dumpsters are located on the main loop and there’s a dump station at the entrance/exit to the campground.

It’s about a 50/50 split of those sites that are reservable on ReserveAmerica and those that are held for walk-up only. I thought we were lucky to get a reservation a few days earlier given that we needed to stay on Friday and Saturday night. When we arrived about 3p.m. the campground was pretty empty, but they were still rolling in well after dark. By Sunday morning, about 80% of the campground was once again empty. The crowds there on Friday night and Saturday were local folks just trying to enjoy an end of season campout with family and friends. It was entertaining to see all the little kids playing soccer, football, or riding their bikes all around the campground — Kids just being kids .. it was great.

Our site at Fort Robinson Soldier Creek Campground

Here are pictures of some of the landscape surrounding the fort. The road (U.S. Route 20) is called the “Bridges to Buttes Highway” and the tall buttes adjacent to the park are impressive.

We took a short drive north of the parade ground up toward the Wilderness Camp area and found a small fishing lake. This is on the park grounds, so access is included in your daily entrance fee.

These guys are awfully curious

Many buildings still stand today and are used by the park as guest quarters. These include the main multi-story brick barracks that serves as the main guest reception and registration building and also has guest rooms and a full service restaurant.

Other buildings on the grounds include officers quarters, horse stables, commanders quarters, the post headquarters building, the veterinary hospital, and more. Unfortunately most of the buildings and tours were not open to visitors since we were there after the summer season.

Walking around the perimeter of the parade ground and seeing all the buildings … one can almost see the men walking to their assigned duties of the day or in drill on the parade ground.

The following text is taken from the back of the campground site map that they gave us when we checked in at the office.

“Fort Robinson was built in 1874 as a temporary encampment during the Indian Wars and used by the U.S. Army to beyond World War II.

One of the most tragic events in the life of Fort Robinson .. the Cheyenne Outbreak, occurred where the Soldier Creek Campground now sits.

Indians were being rounded up by the U.S. Army and forcibly sent to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. A band of Northern Cheyenne escaped and fled across the plains of Kansas and Nebraska, pursued by thousands of soldiers.

Captured by troops from Fort Robinson, the 149 men, women, and children, wo had survived the ordeal, were imprisoned in a log barracks.

The barracks the Indians were imprisoned in (before the breakout)

Told they would have to return to Indian Territory in Oklahoma, their Chief Dull Knife said they would rather die here in their old hunting grounds.

The army attempted to starve them into submission, and on the bitter cold night of January 9, 1879, they tried to escape. With the few guns they had managed to hide, the braves opened fire on the guards.

As the women and children ran toward the White River, the men fought a running battle with the hastily awakened garrison. Many Cheyenne fell between the parade ground and the river, where the campground is located today. It was one of the last battles of the Indian War.”

You can learn more about the history of Fort Robinson by following this link.

All in all, it was a great place to camp. We couldn’t have asked for better weather … warm sunny dry days and cool evenings allowed us to leave the windows open and listen to the breeze rustle the leaves on the trees.

Everybody in the campground behaved themselves and the ability to walk the grounds was an added benefit. We only wish we were here before Labor Day so that we could take advantage of the open buildings and the tours.

Once again, thanks for riding along. We hope you’ll consider scrolling down the page here and leaving a comment.

Until we meet again, take care of each other.

Herb and Kathy

Campground Review – Angostura Lake Recreation Area SD

We knew that after Spearfish SD, we wanted to work our way down by Custer State Park. This was so we could meet up with our friends David and Sue once they finished their volunteer gig there on October 1st.

Our plan was to hook up with them and we’d mini-caravan together on our trip back to Rover’s Roost by November 1st. David and Sue are leaseholders there as well.

We had considered staying in Custer State Park, but we were reminded that during the time we would be there, the annual Buffalo Roundup would be taking place and the park would be mobbed with about 25,000 EXTRA visitors, all coming to see the excitement of the roundup.

If you’d like to see and learn more about the Buffalo Roundup, follow this link.

We really wanted to avoid the crowds and the noise of a busy state park, so we looked for another opportunity south of there since that’s the direction we’d all ultimately be heading.

I use a number of apps and web sites when looking for a place to camp. We have found that there are some nice city or county parks in little towns off the main interstates. We also like state parks and Army Corp of Engineers campgrounds as they are less “commercial” like RV parks and more like campgrounds were meant to be.

This time, I used allstays.com to search an area south of Rapid City somewhere between Rapid and the Nebraska state line. I found Angostura Lake (resevoir) Recreation Area.

We’re now completing 2 weeks here at the park and we’ll be here a couple more days, leaving for Nebraska on Friday.

The park has four campgrounds within it’s boundaries and we just lucked out that we were able to get one of the Camp Host sites with full hookups because it’s the end of the busy season and the hosts have left for the year. All of the other sites have electric only so you have to go to the dump station to empty your waste tanks and take on fresh water.

We’re in the Cheyenne Campground at the top of the hill overlooking the lake. I guess if it was mid-summer we might have preferred one of the other campgrounds down by the lake but then we’d be putting up with more crowded conditions too.

The fact that it’s fall and we are up and away from the lake has afforded us the luxury of having an otherwise vacant campground around us most days.

Here are some pictures of the Cheyenne Campground in Angostura Recreation Area

If we’re sitting outside and see someone walking by we’ll always wave and say hello and sometimes they’ll come on over for a short chat. Sometimes we’ll meet other campers as we take our daily walks and we’ll strike up a conversation. Sometimes the folks we meet and talk with are full-timers like us and often-times they are Weekend Warriors or on an extended vacation from their Sticks-N-Bricks home.

New friends Clark and Anita that camped next to us at Angostura for a few days (their great Oliver trailer in the background)

Today, we had something unusual and unexpected happen. It was about 8:30 am or so and Kathy and I were sitting here having our morning coffee and watching the news on TV. A knock on the door. Who would be knocking on our door?

As Kathy went to the door to open it she looked out the window and remarked “I know this lady”.

Kathy opened the door and the lady apologized for knocking so early, but explained that they were leaving the campground and heading to Cody Wyoming but she just HAD to come over and say hello before they left.

Turns out that the folks that pulled in to the site next to us last night were actually from Ohio. Not just Ohio, but the same county where we used to live. Further, she (Janet) used to do Kathy’s mother’s hair when Lois lived in the local nursing home!

Not only that, but Janet and Homer’s daughter (Staci) and her son (Sammy) were traveling with them and I had sold Staci her home in Cardington back when I was a Realtor in Morrow County. What a hoot!

Janet, grandson Sammy, daughter Staci, and Homer all from Cardington Ohio

We had a nice conversation (although short because they were anxious to get on the road) with them and wished them well on their trip over to Yellowstone and eventually down to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.

As we’ve said before … this mobile lifestyle has afforded us the opportunity to see so many places and things that we would never see if we still had our Sticks-N-Bricks home. But far more meaningful to us has been all the people we’ve had the opportunity to meet along the way. Some of these folks are “passing through” like Janet and her family so our visits are short. But there are others who we get to spend more time with through our Workamping and volunteering gigs, so more meaningful relationships develop in those situations. We are so thankful to be able to be exposed to these situations and to meet so many wonderful people. Who knows how long this lifestyle will continue for us? But in the meantime, we’ll make the most of it.

Thanks again for riding along – we look forward to connecting with you again in our next post when I’ll share with you a little about the City of Hot Springs South Dakota.

Herb and Kathy