Short, Short Trailer, Long, Long Trip: California Pacific Coast Highway 2016_10_17

A one night stand at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, then we are just hours from the waters of the Pacific. We will head South for a few days of rest, at a familiar and favorite campground, before we turn and head East.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park wasn’t far enough from the cold or rain for us. We have already spent time in this beautiful park, so we only stayed one night. It was a great night.

Campsite at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, CA

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, CA

And off to the beach we go!

A quick lunch stop in Moss Landing. The Sea Harvest Fish Market and Restaurant had a few cars, but we opted for the view and a couple of PB&J sandwiches. It always amazes me they use prime ocean front property, for farming! You don’t see that in Florida.

Floating things with sticks on top…them might be sailboats!

California Rt 1, best road view ever!

Views from California Route 1

California Rt 1, bridges, curves and views

When we arrived in Pfeiffer Big Sur, we found the State Park closed due to fire. The recent rain had finally squelched all the fire, but they still needed to verify the safety of the area. This wasn’t our camping destination, but we were hoping to do some hiking here.

We arrived at Kirk Creek Campground, to this! With a view like this we weren’t surprised.

FULL…of view

So we headed up the road to Plaskett Creek Campground. Both parks are within the Los Padres National Forest, which is awesome. Plaskett, unfortunately, is across the highway from the water and the view. We were fortunate to meet up with the “fill-in” ranger, who let us know he would be at Kirk Creek the following day.  And…if we arrived at just the right time, he would still have a site available for us. Thanks Alec! You’re the best!

Our first Pacific sunset!

Plaskett Creek Campground, Los Padres National Forest, CA

We moved to one of our most favorite campgrounds ever! Kirk Creek Campground. They are now on a reservation system, the last time we were this way, it was first come, first serve. We could only get two nights, but they were glorious.

Kirk Creek Campground, Los Padres National Forest, CA. The views from this campground are amazing!

Kirk Creek Campground, Los Padres National Forest, CA

As we are apt to do, we met some friendly neighbors. It’s a good thing, because Nyah scared their cat Fuzzy off. Fuzzy is apparently used to a little freedom, George and Cheryl set up camp, open the door and Fuzzy goes out exploring. He was very elusive when it came to pictures, but I understand he’s a pretty good mouser. George keeps a blog of Fuzzy’s adventures here.

Friends, wine, and sunsets…all is good in Paradise

We needed ice, so we unloaded the Harley, it was a good excuse  to go for a ride. Which, we have not been able to do for weeks!

Riding CA Rt 1

If you can find the trail head (on the South side of the campground,) you can hike down along the creek to this fabulous spot and just watch the waves roll in.

Kirk Creek trail, Los Padres National Forest, CA

Kirk Creek trail, Los Padres National Forest, CA

Kirk Creek trail, Los Padres National Forest, CA

Looking down from the top of Kirk Creek trail, to the goal! Los Padres National Park, CA

And this…

Beautiful. Kirk Creek Campground, Los Padres National Forest, CA

We needed to be on our way. If only we could stay at all the places we liked best, all the time, we would have it made.

Looking South from Kirk Creek Campground, Los Padres National Forest, CA

The shoreline at Kirk Creek was a bit rocky and craggy for Nyah to get her feet in the Pacific, so we pulled over at the first place we thought we could get to the beach. What a spot, well worth the short hike to get there.

Nyah’s beach day

Nyah’s beach day in the Pacific Ocean. This has nothing on the Bahamas…just sayin.

Let me test this water out. Yea…not for me! What temperature is that ice water? And did you see the iceberg!

Let’s go Mom, I’m done with this place!

Is this the best they can do for a turtle?

California turtle

It’s not too long a walk back to that short, short trailer.

Short, Short Trailer along California Route 1

After we got all our tootsies warm, we headed down to Piedras Blancas State Marine Preserve. Nyah said she’d seen enough of the Pacific, but we were welcome go take another look, while she took an all important nap. These are the guys too young for mating, they hang out on the beach in the fall instead.

Elephant seals at Piedras Blancas State Marine Preserve.

The Piedras Blancas Light Station was very impressive, would love to see it up close sometime.

Piedras Blancas Light Station, CA

When we got to Cambria, we started looking for sign to take us East on 46.

Got to go East when you run out of West

Here is our last glimpse of the Pacific from a lookout on Highway 46.

Last glimpse of Pacific from Highway 46

We are heading to Death Valley, so I guess they prepare you by making the route go through Bakersfield. They take ugly to a new level…I’m sorry, I’m sure there is some part of Bakersfield that isn’t coyote ugly, we just missed it!

Bakersfield, CA

We did need to stock up on some ice and provisions, so we took advantage of a Casa Walmart stay, and since we didn’t really know when we would be near restaurants again, we had an early Anniversary dinner.

Noooo! I don’t care if they say you can. You don’t throw food on the floor!!!! Happy 18th Anniversary, I love you!

In the morning, its off to Death Valley. Tonight, I’m thinking of the Pacific Breezes.

Kirk Creek trail end. RELAX

Thanks for following along with our adventure.

Short, Short Trailer, Long, Long Trip: Family, San Jose, and San Francisco, CA 2016_10_10

We made it to the West Coast, to enjoy a week of family, and exploring the area like a real tourist. Even though the drought wrought area was blessed with rain, almost our whole stay, we still had a great visit! We spent the week with our daughter, Jennette and her husband, Ray, and our grands, Monta and Gabby. Our son, Josiah and his girlfriend, Sami, flew in to meet us also, so it was a great week for family.

Nanny was excited to see the wind turbines, because that meant we were getting close!!!

Are we there yet?

We set up camp at Sanborn County Park, just up from Saratoga, CA. Although we had an awful time with our reservation due to lack of any cell communications and the fact that we arrived on the Columbus day and that is a holiday for County employees. We managed to get a site for the first night, and a move to the site we would have for the rest of the rainy week! The park had an area for tent camping, RV electric hook-up sites, a dump station and a huge park for picnics and hiking.

Sanborn County Park


Sanborn County Park, we had a cook out, of course!

A fun day at Happy Hollow Zoo. I think PopPop may have had more fun than the grands!

Happy Hollow Zoo


Happy Hollow Zoo

PopPop helped someone master the stepping stones over the water.

Happy Hollow Zoo


Happy Hollow Zoo


Happy Hollow Zoo

PopPop can even make fun at Costco!

Shopping with PopPop

Do these ducks look a little spoiled? I guess the drought is real, when the ducks have to find swimming pools.

California Ducks

We celebrated Ray’s birthday with cupcakes and assorted shenanigans.

Happy Birthday Ray!

The shenanigans included lots of excitement in the bear castle.

PopPop and Uncle Josiah might be a bit large for this bear hut

Hanging out fun. PopPop where did you find that famous orange hat?

Strong Mama. And, yes, this hat does have a story! What goes around comes around, hahaha

Noooo, Uncle Josiah!

Playing outside in between the rain, at Jennette’s courtyard.


Playing outside in between the rain, at Jennette’s courtyard.


Dinner inside! Yea, more rain!

This is how low tech Silicon Valley really is.

Low tech


Who’s bigger, the kid or the cat? Say hi to Tyson!

Let’s do a family photograph!

Family photo time…

Ok, that works…I guess?

As good as it gets around here!

We all headed out on Saturday, to the Campbell Oktoberfest celebration. I somehow managed not to get pictures of everyone.

Campbell Oktoberfest. Nanny checked for trains…no grands were injured during this photo-shoot!

We had a great visit with Josiah and Sami, but they had to head back home…wish you could stay longer!

Josiah and Sami

On our last full day, we tempted more rain and headed to San Francisco. Off and on, but we had a great tour guide…Thank you Ray!

RAIN


Nyah made it to San Francisco


Nyah heading into the City


San Francisco, CA


San Francisco, CA


San Francisco, CA


San Francisco, CA


San Francisco, CA


San Francisco, CA


San Francisco, CA


Fun at the Fort. San Francisco, CA


Bridge view from the fort. San Francisco, CA


Yea, that hill that thinks its a street, or is that, street. Lombard Street


San Francisco, CA

Dinner in China Town at Brandy Ho’s on Columbus Avenue.

Brandy Ho’s, San Francisco, CA


After dark. San Francisco, CA

Well we had one last morning at the park, and then it was time to say goodbye to our babies.

Saratoga, CA


Saratoga, CA


Saratoga, CA


Saratoga, CA

Last smile for Nanny…you know I cried all the way to our next stop!

Saratoga, CA

I never understood my grandmother’s tears when we left…until now!

Saratoga, CA

We had to be on our way. Thanks for stopping by, this trip isn’t over yet…and you won’t believe what’s going to happen. Come back again!

Over the mountain to our next adventure

Short, Short Trailer, Long, Long Trip: Calaveras Big Trees State Park 2016_10_07

 

We are blessed to re-visit the awesome Calaveras Big Tree State Park, in California. We spent a couple of days here, many years ago, on our way to Yosemite National Park. This time, it was even more relaxing, and with the motorcycle, we were able to explore CA 4, which was an exciting ride.

We ran, full speed, from the cold in Carson City, Nevada, and didn’t look back! I hope we can go back again someday, but with a warmer rig or warmer weather! We were advised not to take Ebbetts Pass (CA 4) to Calaveras with our van and trailer rig, so we set the GPS for Placerville, CA and headed in from there.

This proved to be a nice drive, a semi-freeway, mingled with two and four lane roads.

We went through Lake Tahoe, never spotting a welcome to California sign!

Welcome to California!

Lake Tahoe, CA

Interesting bridges along the route

We arrived at Calaveras and set up camp. TWICE! Between picking a site and then paying, we did not realizing the first site was reserved…oh well, we ended up with a great site all the same.

Calaveras Big Trees State Park, Arnold, CA

Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA. Still jacket and hat weather, but no signs of snow!

Motorcycle Ride! We finally were able to get back on the bike, and took  a ride back towards Lake Tahoe, on the the road we didn’t want to tow the trailer on. It was perfect temps for a ride and this is absolutely a bucket list place for riding. The road does go down to almost one lane, for a good portion, and I have never been on a 24% grade road before! No smoking brakes for us!

CA 4 – Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway – Alpine State Highway (depending on which map you choose to look at)

Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway, California

Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway, California

Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway, California

Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway, California

We took a short lunch break and checked out this National Forest Campground.

Silver Creek Campground, on Noble Creek. Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway, California

Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway passes through Stanislaus National Forest and Humbolt Toiyabe National Forest

Yes, that white stuff is snow, but I didn’t see any mosquitoes!

Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway, California

We spent Saturday evening around the campfire of B.J. and Karen, from Santa Barbara, CA. They just returned from a trip to Alaska, and shared their experiences and tips with us. Another item to add to the bucket list! Other Saturday sights were this blue jay and the meadow near the camp sites.

Blue Jay, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

Meadow, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

Sunday, we walked the North Grove, which is an easy paved 1.7 mile loop, close to the Park entrance. Then we rode the motorcycle across the Park, which is about ten mile (one way,) and a fantastic ride to the end of the park. The great views and quiet road, led us to the South Grove trail.  This is a five mile loop hike to the Agassiz Tree, the largest Sequoia in the park, through a few other rather tall trees. As we came out at the end, there was a small gathering of people, watching us come up from the trail. It seems the rustling in the bushes was a bear! Unfortunately, we didn’t get a pic, but, we didn’t have an up-close encounter at the creek, either!

North Grove, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, California

North Grove, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

North Grove, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

North Grove, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

North Grove, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

North Grove, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

South Grove Trail. The five mile hike, which we did in the late afternoon, was not overly difficult.

South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

Agassiz Tree. South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

Does this tree make me look short? Agassiz Tree, South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

Agassiz Tree. South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

Agazzi Tree. South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

A nice sunset view of the creek.

Big Tree Creek, South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

We had a great visit at Calaveras, you need to rest up PopPop…we are off to visit the grands tomorrow!

Resting before next week with the grands! South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

Short, Short Trailer, Long, Long Trip: Moving West – Making Miles 2016_10_02

Running from the cold is what Florida Crackers do best! Who wants to be cold, if it isn’t necessary. We wanted to stay a few more days at the beautiful Atherton Creek National Forest Campground, but the weather was calling for snow…soon, and we wanted no part of it!

So South and West we went.

Day One: 243 Miles to Willard Bay State Park, just outside of Salt Lake City.  We only stayed one night because it started raining, and the “campground” was nothing more than a large paved parking lot. There may have been amenities, we would have loved to ride our bikes around the dyke or done something on the water, but the rain pushed us on.

Driving Utah

Making miles, Utah

Are we there yet? Utah

Willard Bay State Park, Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, Utah

Day Two: 388 miles to Casa Walmart, Winnemucca, Nevada. One more State behind us. We stopped for a lunch break at the Salt Flats, and made it to Winnemucca well after dark. This was definitely a little town with a big gambling problem! It took us a bit to get past all the casino joints (please, don’t think Las Vegas style,) and find a friendly place to eat some dinner. We had just O.K. BBQ at The Pig, it could have been the late hour, but it was a little dry for our taste, but everyone was very nice.

Welcome to Nevada! Salt Flats? We love Salt Water. Nyah is suspicious, this doesn’t look like her kind of beach!

Usually a stay at Casa Walmart includes a little shopping for food and ice, but today’s adventure began with a trip to their tire center. Seems the Trailer tires aren’t wearing evenly, so this was a good opportunity to have them switched on the rims and try to salvage a few more miles. Job accomplished, sandwiches in the parking lot and we are on our way.

Wearing out rubber

Day Three: 186 miles to Washoe State Park, Carson City, Nevada.

We went under several of these odd bridges along the way. A little Googling indicated they were Wildlife Bridges. Top one is under construction, bottom one is up and working (we guess…didn’t actually see any wildlife out here. Should I be looking for them to cross 2 by 2?)

Wildlife Bridges, Nevada

Washoe State Park, Carson City. We loved everything about this park, except the night-time temps (more to come on that one!) We were greeted by several B.A.S.E. jumpers careening towards our camp site from the cliffs and hills above. Not a sport for the faint of heart, looks interesting, but I’m sure my motion sickness would kick into high gear over that stunt.

B.A.S.E. Jumping, Washoe State Park, Carson City, NV

Our campsite was right in the valley/lake basin. There are no reservations here, first come first serve. But there were plenty of sites to choose from.

Washoe State Park, Carson City, NV

Washoe State Park, Carson City, NV

Washoe Lake. Washoe State Park, Carson City, NV

Nyah lovin the run and jack-rabbit fun

Which Way did he go? I could get that jack-rabbit, if I get another chance!

Which way did he go?

The bridge to Carson City, NV

This was our camp site, right in the thick of things.

Washoe State Park, Carson City, NV

The wild horses came through the back side of the camp every morning!

Wild horses can’t keep me away!

Going into Carson City gave us the opportunity to try the In and Out Burger place. It was good, for fast-food.

In and Out

We stayed at Washoe for an extra few days because we finally had cell service, and there was this little problem at home which required attention. Fortunately, we avoided a direct hit and all went well, except for a few days without power. Thank you Ashley and Ron for rescuing the conch and Ashton for keeping No Ka Oi safe!

Hurricane Matthew!

Hurricane avoided at home! But here we had a different weather concern. The freezing weather finally caught up with us! Night one, we were cold. Night two…we were really cold. We woke up several times…we had every blanket we owned on…we wore several layers of sweatshirts and pants…we snuggled…we shivered! In the morning, when I picked up the tea kettle, the water was frozen. The dog’s water dish was frozen. The top of the trailer and the van had a layer of ice. We went to Carson City to shop for a heater! Night three…we slept much better!

Ice!

The cold weather caught up with us, and we were ready to move along and we were ready for California. Next stop, Calaveras Big Tree State Park.

Time too find some warm weather!

Short, Short Trailer, Long, Long Trip: Grand Teton National Park 2016_10_01

We left Yellowstone on a rainy morning. Fortunately, by the time we arrived in the beautiful Grand Teton National Park, the rain was gone and only a few clouds remained.

Without a plan for camping, we stopped in Corter Bay Village. Their campground was closing for the season, and after a nice chat with the ranger, we redirected to a U.S. Forest Service Campground, on the Southern side of the park. The village would have been a nice place to stay for a couple of days, to catch up on laundry and take showers (we did take advantage of those, as long as we were here!) There was a small grocery and gift shop, if stocking up was necessary.

Here are a few of our favorite shots of Grand Teton National Park.

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park

On the way to the U.S. Forest Service campground, we visited Mormon Row Historic District. Mormon families settled here near the turn of the 19th century. They clustered their farms to share labor and community. There were 33 homes surrounding the church and school at one time.

John Moulton Homestead, Mormon Row Historic District

Creek on the edge of the Mormon Row Historic District

We fell in love with this campground. It was quiet. It was beautiful beyond words. Along Gros Ventre Road, the Atherton Creek campground sits high, overlooking Lower Slide Lake. It belongs to the U.S. Forest Service and was closed for the season, which basically means they had come through and shut down the water. The gates remained open, however, and we along with a half dozen other campers, and a few deer, enjoyed the fall beauty.

Atherton Creek Campground, U.S. Forestry Service

Atherton Creek Campground, U.S. Forestry Service

Atherton Creek Campground, U.S. Forestry Service

Mama Deer. Atherton Creek Campground, U.S. Forestry Service

Baby, following mama’s hiding instructions. Atherton Creek Campground, U.S. Forestry Service

Sunset. Atherton Creek Campground, U.S. Forestry Service

We would have stayed longer had it not been for the forecast calling for snow!!! So we high-tailed in down the road, to warmer places…we hope! Thanks for following along with our adventure.

 

Short, Short Trailer, Long, Long Trip: Yellowstone 2016_09_26

 

North Gate, Yellowstone National Park

North Gate, Yellowstone National Park

I haven’t given up our blog. Yes, the past few months have been crazy, with the holidays, a sick pup and more travel, but I am determined to post an overview of our Short, Short Trailer trip. So here is the next stop along the way…YELLOWSTONE!

We were so excited to get to Wyoming, because we were only hours away from Yellowstone. Actually, we were 355 miles from a Casa Walmart, which put us about three hours away from Gardiner, Montana. We were able to get a Wyoming sign shot at a rest area.

Welcome to Wyoming

Welcome to Wyoming

We made a reservation for a site at Rocky Mountain RV Village. It was a very nice park, with an Elk problem, they only did walk throughs, we never saw one enter a camper. This is our camp site. We had electric for A/C when we had to leave Nyah to ride the motorcycle.

Nyah soaking up the Montana sunshine

Nyah soaking up the Montana sunshine, Rocky Mountain RV Park, Gardiner, MT

This is the view from the campground overlooking Gardiner and the North entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

Gardiner, Montana. North entrance to Yellowstone National Park

Gardiner, Montana. North entrance to Yellowstone National Park

I already want to go back. It would be wonderful to schedule months of nothing more than hiking, viewing and soaking in all the beauty Yellowstone National Park has to offer, our five days in the park were not enough.

Having the motorcycle made touring Yellowstone very personal and close up. Being the end of September meant there was a little less traffic to contend with, but never underestimate how many times people will stop…dead in the road…to take a picture! We actually had a fender-bender while we were in the park, fortunately, no one was hurt, and we were in the van when it happened and not on the motorcycle.

 

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North entrance, Yellowstone National Park

Here is the photo-journal, with captions. I don’t have more words to describe all this beauty. Enjoy!

 

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Gardiner River, Yellowstone National Park

 

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Yellowstone National Park

 

Sheepeater Cliff, Yellowstone National Park

Sheepeater Cliff, Yellowstone National Park

 

Sheepeater Cliffs, Yellowstone National Park

Sheepeater Cliff, Yellowstone National Park

 

Motorcycling Yellowstone

Motorcycling Yellowstone

 

Phantom Lake area, Yellowstone National Park

Phantom Lake area, Yellowstone National Park

 

Wildlife, Yellowstone National Park

Wildlife, Yellowstone National Park

 

Wild flowers and fall folliage, Yellowstone National Park

Wild flowers and fall foliage, Yellowstone National Park

 

Results of Pine Beetle epidemic, Yellowstone National Park

Results of Pine Beetle epidemic, Yellowstone National Park

 

Petrified Tree, Yellowstone National Park

Petrified Tree, Yellowstone National Park

 

Tower Falls, Yellowstone National Park

Tower Falls, Yellowstone National Park

 

Hiking to Lower Tower Falls, Yellowstone National Park

Hiking to Lower Tower Falls, Yellowstone National Park

 

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park

 

Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

 

Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

 

Midway Geyser Basin. Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

Midway Geyser Basin. Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

 

Midway Geyser area, Yellowstone National Park

Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

 

Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

 

Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

 

Mud Pots, Yellowstone National Park

Mud Pots, Yellowstone National Park

 

Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park

Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park

 

Gardiner River, where the Boiling River meets. You can swim and soak up the heat, as close as you dare! Yellowstone National Park

Where the Gardiner River and the Boiling River meet. You can swim and soak up the heat, as close as you dare! Two miles South of North entrance. Yellowstone National Park

 

Lewis Lake, Lewis Lake Campground, Yellowstone National Park

Lewis Lake, Lewis Lake Campground, Yellowstone National Park

 

Sunset, Yellowstone National Park

Sunset, Yellowstone National Park

Photos do not even begin to tell the story of how beautiful and how big Yellowstone National Park is. If you have never been there or if its been a while, I hope this post will spark your desire to see her again soon!

Thanks for sharing our adventure with us.

Short, Short Trailer, Long, Long Trip: Badlands National Park 2016_09_19

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We made it to South Dakota!!! Where we purchased our National Park Annual Pass, as we entered Badlands National Park. This is where we wanted to be, and wow, what a change for this Florida girl. Mountains, valleys, hills, rocks, dried up rivers…I should have paid more attention in Geology 101. All of this is beautiful and as unlike Florida as you can get (if you don’t count snow!)

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And it is soooooo BIG.

My camera will not do justice to the bigness of this place.

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We set up camp for our first two nights down at the Sage Creek Campground. We had been advised that riding the motorcycle from this campground would not be an issue. Then we turned onto this!

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We weren’t sure the van and trailer would make it to the campground on this washboard road, and we were more than sure taking the bike out of here was not an options. We decided to stay at least one or two nights and then move to another campground inside the park, when we were finished hiking and were ready to ride the bike. We loosely set up camp, because there are no designated campsites in Sage Creek Campground, just find a spot and set up. The pic on the left is our second campground, the right is Sage Creek.

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Sage Creek Campground on right. Cedar Creek Campground (left)

Russ and Nyah climbed to the top to watch the sunset.

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Bright and early in the morning, the locals came out. Nyah wanted to play with the buffalo, but we wouldn’t let her.

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Buffalo over by the out-house…I want to play with one!

Goofing around and resting up, from our long drive north.img_3800

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Be careful how high you stack your cairn, or it might not last!

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Puppy love

We needed ice, so we took a ride on the “back road” to Wall. Wall is quite a small town, way out in the middle of nowhere.  I can’t actually remember exactly where I saw my first Wall Drug sign, because I didn’t pay any attention to it, or the one after that or after that! But eventually it clicked, and I realized that an advertising blitz was on. I had to bust out google to figure it out. In 1931 Ted and Dorothy Hustead needed more business for their small town drug store. They came up with the idea of reaching out to the travelers on the local roads who were out visiting the Badlands and other natural wonders. Tourist who were hot and thirsty. They made road signs to attract them into town by offering free ice-water. And it worked, then and now! Read their story here.

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Being silly at Wall Drugs, Wall, SD

While down in the valley, we hiked around Sage Creek. Which actually had some water in it. Very muddy water.

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Sage Creek, Badlands N.P.

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We hiked around the rim of Sage Creek.

 

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The landscape was beautiful and my hiking buddies made for a few good shots too.

 

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A few flowers remained into the fall.

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Tree balance.

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Sprinkles of fall.

Badlands was full of Buffalo. Not only did they invade the campground in the morning, we found this one on our hike. Yikes, did that big boy just stand up when we came over the berm? Yes! Oh, please stay over there…we will pass quickly. They are much larger when you are not in a car.

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Stay, nice buffalo, stay…

I wonder what the entrance fee is? Do they do annual passes or pay daily?

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We also saw big horn sheep.

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These prairy dogs where fun to watch. I’m pretty sure their numbers were right up there with the buffalo.

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After two days down by Sage Creek we moved up to Cedar Creek Campground. Sage Creek was free camping, with no facilities, only pit toilets. Cedar Creek Campground had water and pay showers along with “real” flushing toilets, but no electricity. The main reason we wanted this campground was the paved roads, so we could get the motorcycle out, and go riding through the park. The weather was perfect for riding.

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We are well underway into our Short, Short Trailer adventure. I’m trying to get all the pics and adventures posted, but I am so busy having fun, I can’t keep up! Thanks for following along with us, there’s more to come. Up next Sturges and points on our way out of South Dakota.