I decided a long time ago that I wasn’t making those “beelines” across country any more. It is pointless to go so many miles and not see whatever is along the way, but then again, I was a bit behind “schedule.” “Schedule” isn’t a word that I like either but in making a loose guestimate of this trip, I figured 8,000 miles to completion and North Ranch. I was already 2,000 miles over my guestimate. Twenty-two years of full-timing meant many trips across country and up and down; therefore, this time I did not stop to see and hike around the fabulous Devil’s Tower National Monument near WY’s eastern border on I-90, but I recollected big time. This whole trip is about revisiting memories in case I don’t actually do it again. I do not dismiss eastern WY, SD, and MN as in “there’s nothing to see.” I know better.
In the Black Hills, I remembered “Mt. Mushmore” as my youngest referred to it when she was little, an amazing sculpture of four of our presidents, especially awesome in the moonlight. I would have liked checking again the progress of Chief Crazy Horse, the Oglala Lakota Warrior being sculpted out of Thunderhead Mt eight miles from there. This was started in 1948 and aspires to be the world’s largest statue at some unknown finishing in the future. The last time I visited Badlands Nat’l Pk, SD, I had my oldest dau and my granddaughter with me. I did pull into the Wall Drug area for a fuel fill. I took pictures at the Corn Palace and admired again the artwork. Minnesota was green and its rest areas were clean and manned.
I crossed the Mighty Mississippi and started driving WI’s back roads. Numerous deer were both dead along the road and jumping in front of me. Traveling the narrow twisty country roads was dangerous but filled with photo ops of fascinating villages, old churches, closed stores, and falling barns. Neat dairy farms sprouted along the horizon.
Bob and Cheryl, Life on Wheels friends in Wisconsin Rapids, allowed me to hunker down in their 40’ motorhome for a week to include July 4th. Besides Cheryl’s fabulous cooking three meals a day (Bob wanted me to stay longer!), they took me to a cheese factory where I sampled chocolate cheese (Hmmm). We visited a flock of over 100 cranes (15 species) at the International Crane Foundation at Baraboo. They were (and are) involved with crane chicks being taught their migration route to Florida. Maybe you remember the TV story a few years ago when cranes followed a costumed biologist for 1200 miles in an ultralight aircraft to learn their migration route. (www.savingcranes.org)
God Bless until next time.
At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”