Our Walmart in Rapid City was a crowded one. We literally squeezed in between two RVs when we arrived late at night. In the morning we woke up and met the neighbor to our right. A single woman in her 60's (or there abouts) who was traveling across the country in a conversion van on her own! Wow! She'd done this before too. A sweet lady, she shared with us her experiences at the locations we were heading to and thought what we were doing was great, if I do say so myself :-).
Well, the morning dragged out what with our side conversations and all, and here we were at 11 heading to the local RV supply store to pick up a few items. While there, S consulted with the owner regarding a tire issue and said owner strongly suggested we head straight to the tire shop and get it replaced! Yikes!
Off we went to the auto shop that luckily was down the street. Hung out there while S and the mechanics worked out what needed to be done. Turns out two tires needed replacing and others rotated.....We were apparently on the verge of a tire explosion.....Someone's watching over us.....
Leaving our home behind, we headed to the local skating rink for another skating session. Ice rinks are not easy to come by in these parts, surprisingly enough, so we take them where we can get them, no matter what else needs to be done.
She was lucky enough to share the ice with a more experienced figure skating teen this time and very soon was asking her for pointers. The teenager was so sweet and helpful and even left her boyfriend hanging while she helped Analyzer :-). Spins are what Analyzer's really working on now and those are apparently one of the hardest thing to accomplish, taking at least several months. Given that her practice sessions are few and far between, it will obviously take much longer. It's been pretty frustrating for her.....
Well, skating wrapped up, back we headed to pick up our home and drop in on a local food coop to do some shopping. We were itching to get out of Dodge already but fresh food must be purchased when we have a chance. It was a cute little place with a surprisingly large selection. After dropping quite a bit of cash, we finally headed out of town. It was 5PM.....Thankfully we didn't have far to go. We were looking for a national forest campsite somewhere south of Rapid City in the Black Hills.
From our limited experience we've come to learn that if you can dry camp (sans hook ups) national forests are THE place to be. Every private RV park we've come across has RVs lined up side by side with very little space between them. Yes, they have full hook ups, usually, but no room to move! Not to mention privacy. We've never stayed at one and have no plans to do so if we can avoid it. The second best kind of campsites so far have been national parks. Sometimes they have one hook up or another, rarely all, and they do offer more elbow room generally in beautiful settings. National forest sites however have so far offered large roomy sites with plenty of space to park AND run around in!
Back to our search now, we were lucky enough to come across the national forest visitor center just as it was closing. Got directions to the closest campground not 15 minutes down the road (Orville, in case you're interested). It was a beautiful wooded area with lots of room to roam. The next morning we woke to some cooler temps which of course called for hot cocoa -
Temps quickly rebounded so out came the Blendtec for some breakfast smoothies.
After many nights in a Walmart parking lot it was such a breath of fresh air to be in nature again! We were all feeling the stress of the cities (from small to large) and were so relieved to be back home again among the trees. That morning the kids had a great time just hanging out outside, feeling the earth beneath their behinds and inhaling the luscious pine trees. Us 'old' folks took it all in too, enjoying the peace of it all and breathing a big sigh of relief.