Travels with Pickles

September 2016 Travelogue

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This picture taken when we drove Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway is an accurate depiction of our September.  September saw us leave Southwestern Colorado and head to Northern South Dakota.  Just before we left Colorado we had the front awning spontaneously extend.  We got the part ordered and installed and figured we got lucky.

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We headed out from Colorado with a planned overnight in Cheyenne, WY.  The drive was gorgeous, although the devastation wrought by the pine beetle in the Rockies was depressing.  We saw a young deer grazing on the side of the road on our way out of Ignacio.  At the top of the Rockies, we were privileged enough to spot a marmot crossing the road.  At first we thought it was a squirrel but it was far to large to be a common squirrel.  Once we got to South Dakota we saw a fox catching a break at one of the ponds  on the side of the road.  Unfortunately, the cute critters were all too quick to be caught on camera.

We pulled into Cheyenne, WY exhausted after a long day driving the Rockies and traffic on the Western outskirts of the Denver suburbs.   It was a disaster.  We missed the first turn into our site, which was narrow at best,  and drove around to retry.  We made the turn but the leeside of The Gump shifted on the loosely compacted gravel.  The result is below.

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It was cold in Cheyenne but we were lucky that the camp host and a couple of other campers came to our rescue.  We got the glass cleaned up and a piece of plastic taped to the outside of The Gump.  We talked about what to do, stay in Cheyenne to get the window repaired or drive on to Spearfish.  We crawled into bed exhausted, dejected, and broken hearted.  Two weeks, two major problems compounded by cold made for a miserable night.

We carried on to Spearfish, praying the entire six hour drive from Cheyenne that the plastic would hold.   It did and relieved we pulled into Elkhorn Ridge RV Resort.  It was everything it was supposed to be!  We couldn’t have been more thankful for wide, long spaces, proper roads to traverse, and no gravel in sight.  We pulled The Gump in and immediately went to inspect the window.  To our utter relief and amazement, the plastic window held.

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As you can imagine, stress was high and sleep was rare.  I will leave the rest of the window story for a later post.  To add to the challenges, we discovered a water leak soon after settling in here at Elkhorn Ridge.  Dave quickly discovered it was caused by over pressurization but it was just one more layer on top of the stress.  Most of the remainder of the month was spent recuperating and “enjoying” the ever docile South Dakota winds. 

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We did however take a Saturday and put the dogs in Lana and drove the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway.  It was breathtaking.  Fall colors were in full display and the weather was on the verge of snow but it never quite got there.  Wally and Sangria loved it.  Their heads were out of their windows most of the afternoon, as I huddled in my inadequate jacket.

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September was a challenging month.  It had it’s moments of indescribable stress and moments of serene beauty.  We spent the month reminding ourselves and each other that God never gives you more than you can handle but for a while there, we were dancing on the edge of too much to handle.  Here’s to October being a more relaxing and adventure filled month.