My days at Buffalo Gap National Grassland continue to delight.
I take walks along the rim and soak in the sights and sounds. There are a lot of birds out here, it’s unusual not to hear their calls. One in particular likes to perch on the sign near camp and will sing a majority of the day. I spot deer twice. The second time I watch one climb from the bottom to the top of the badlands wall, they’re amazingly agile.
The only real downside to this camp is the wind. It never truly lets up and many days is too strong to make sitting outside comfortable. It also makes my primary form of arm exercise – poi spinning – a challenge, but learning to compensate and not hit myself is probably good for me. Those who follow IO on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter will have already seen the video that goes along with this photo. It’ll be going up on the IO YouTube channel too when that’s ready.
Rain continues to come through regularly, but not the all day kind of rain I experienced my first few days here. Usually even on the rainy days there are periods of sun.
A funny thing happens over Memorial Day weekend. Friday through Monday the boondocking area is nearly empty, there are 2-3 other RVs/tents besides me.
On Tuesday, a boatload of RVs pull in. I can only figure these people thought the area would be too busy over the holiday weekend and stayed away, and instead made a crowd by all showing up the day after. There’s probably a lesson there somewhere.
My last night, the sunset is especially pretty. I’ve always enjoyed sunsets and I love that I get to see a lot more of them full-timing than I did living stationary.
I also witness one sunrise in the Badlands. At 5:22 am a few days ago my eyes snap open for no reason. I step outside with my phone and capture the orange morning light. I don’t particularly like being up that early, but it’s worth it now and then. Sunrises are more special when rarely observed.
June 1, Thursday
It’s been a great camp, but my 14 days are up… plus I need to dump my tanks. I depart from Buffalo Gap around 10 am and board I90 headed east. I90 through central and eastern South Dakota is not the prettiest drive, but it is easy. Traffic is light, the road is straight, and the wind blows gently from the east. Rolling fields line the interstate dotted with occasional cattle herds. River crossings lend some variety to the landscape.
In the late afternoon I pull into Camp America, an RV park near Salem, SD. It’s been a while since I really cleaned my tanks out and the full hookups here do the trick nicely. It’s a good park, lots of trees, well-manicured lawns, spacious level sites, and I pay $34 for the night with my Good Sam discount. The showers cost a quarter for six minutes which I think is kind of silly when I’m paying for water at my site anyway, but at least it’s not super expensive.
June 2, Friday
I chose Camp America because it was close to Madison, my ‘home’. In the morning I drive up to Madison to pick up my mail from Terri at My Dakota Address in person. I’ve used this mail forwarding company for five years now and have always been happy with the way Terri has treated me. With my mail is a package I’ve been waiting for for quite a while, but I don’t open it up yet. Today’s another 200+ mile day and I want to get going.
It’s another hot one, the thermometer inside Bertha reads at 91 degrees as I cross through southern Minnesota. I’m use to thinking of Minnesota as cold. Not today!
Like yesterday, lunch is had at a rest stop. How convenient is it to have one’s whole kitchen available at a rest stop while traveling? I don’t linger because of the heat.
Tonight’s stopping point is a Walmart in Austin, Minnesota where I finally open my package. Several of you have expressed an interest in paper copies of my two books, and while I was in Utah I spent a week formatting a hard copy of The Little Guide to Dreaming Big. This is the proof, and I have a few changes to make on it before releasing the final, but it’s coming along nicely. I’m so excited! Solo Full-time RVing on a Budget will take more effort because I need to format all the worksheets too, but I’ll be working on that next and hope to have both ready by the end of July. Stay tuned for further updates.
June 3, Saturday
I cross the Mississippi into Wisconsin in the morning. My timing is quite good, storms rolled through central Wisconsin overnight and are coming again this afternoon, but I’ll be pulling into my destination in the window between.
I arrive at my parent’s house around 12:30. I’ll be moochdocking in their driveway for the next couple months, with trips down to visit friends in Madison (Wisconsin Madison this time), and two adventures without the Casita thrown in (more on that coming up).
This is looking to be a good summer, I can’t wait!
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