Peg, Scout and I are off again. Yes the awning was replaced and works fine. There is a lot to discuss around the warranty repairs to Gracie; however, I think I will let some time pass before I vent on the disgraceful way Winnebago and Carefree treated us. Anyway another time.
In Rapid City, we were well taken care off at the Hampton Inn. Great staff that after just a day or so knew Scout and said hello to him. He enjoyed it a lot. Peg and I took the opportunity to tour the Black Hills and take in Deadwood. Our second excursion into Custer State Park was much more fruitful this trip than the last with observations of Buffalo, Antelope, Big Horn Sheep and other animals. Please note that in some of the images below I was playing stupid tourist by getting way to close to the animals and this is not recommended to anyone. Like so many tourists who are maimed, injured and killed each year by wildlife contacts, I just couldn’t hold back getting that picture of a buffalo pooping in the woods or those big horns blocking the road. Luckily all is well that ends well.
The images through the tunnel of Mt. Rushmore are classic. Driving around the Black Hills is filled with such opportunities. Having been to Deadwood several times over the decades, it never fails to entertain and I highly recommend it to anyone in the area. Of course, take the short journey to Lead and visit the old Homestake Mine and museum. This is where the Sandia Labs Neutrino measuring site is and well worth the visit. The Deadwood damages weren’t too bad, I think Peg made $10 or so and I, as always did not quit while up and left a $60 contribution. Good times were had by all as Scout was welcomed just about everywhere. I swear he thinks he is a rock star.
We beat a path down to Longmont Colorado to the St. Vrain State Park. Nice park with great RV sites, concrete pads, shelter and firepit. Of course, there was a wonderful view of the Rocky Mountains. Scout found the swimming here exceptional. We used this spot as a staging point to visit the Rockies. I had planned on at least one day in the Rocky Mountain National Park; however, my planning was flawed as it is on a reservation only system. I did not look up the park until we were already in Longmont so I was disappointed to learn that it would be the next week before there was an opening.
We took a day trip up to Estes Park and the Visitors Center anyway. It was a fine time with plenty of mountain road driving and views to die for. I love the mountains. Out of the west side of Estes we took the road to Devils Gulch. It is a great trip through farm and ranch land then a drop down the side of the mountains that had switchbacks galore where, I swear, Lil Red just fell down to the next level and at the bottom we followed a river with lots of rapids and waterfalls. As throughout the west now the fires in the region are an issue. While the smoke was less intense than Rapid City it was still remarkable and it seems that it has gotten worse after we left for Eagle Nest, NM.
Eagle Nest rests at 8400 feet give or take in the mountains and generally is in the Taos area. Lots of ski runs here for sure. We took a cruise around Taos, Mora, Mora County, Angle Fire and surroundings. This is great country. Eagle Nest is in a beautiful valley with the lake and surrounding peaks rising above the tree line. We are here at the end of the summer season and well before the winter ski season. You will see in the images that the colors have changed. Thankfully, the smoke has finally cleared. Peg and I are both very tired of smoke in the air. In the clear air, Scout and I took a walk in the state park and into town. We found ground hogs that are half the size of a full grown beaver. I swear they were sizing me up for dinner. At least Scout was there to protect me (lol).
Tomorrow we head south to Carlsbad to see my daughter, Laura. I am looking forward to the visit. It will be an interesting trip. The morning brings us 32 degree temps and a “wintery mix”. This is on mountain roads with switchbacks and cliffs sure to raise Peg’s white knuckles response!
Enjoy the images, they are mixed up so you will have to figure out which is which place. It is kind of a Covid thing.
Black Hills Estes Park Eagle Nest