Literally Night and Day Rushmore

Moving from the snow in Montana to the warm sunny days in Arizona in just a few hours by plane was a shock to my physical and mental state. 

Jagger’s ready to go

Before I knew it, I found myself packing up my clothes and personal items, including items from the Coaches refrigerator and freezer that my family had been storing the last month. I’ve gotten better at using my perishables up before taking breaks from my home, the Coach — only a couple of large bags. Once returning to the Coach the refrigerator will take hours to cool down once I turn it on.

As family members leave for work and school, I say goodbye, see you in a few weeks when I come back down the hill from Payson to visit. I’ve determined to stay a few months there resting from my Summer of exploring. The house is empty now, and I load my hat, boots, and bedroll into the Workhorse bringing her to life once again. Come on Jagger; he jumps to action, anxious to go. Adios to my family for a spell and off Jagger and I ride.

There’s the Coach

Coach Storage

There she is Jagger I remark as we approach the Coach on the dusty trail. She shows signs of a long time sitting here waiting for us. I pull up the Workhorse, Jagger and I hop down. It’s time to transfer our load and hitch up. As I work quietly, Jagger sniffs around checking for signs of critters, it’s then that I reflect back on the Summer of exploration.

Lake Sheridan, South Dakota

Jagger lets out a “quiet bark,” and I peep out the drawn shade. The Sun is just coming up and nature is starting to stir. A new day is here, but what? I don’t recognize our camp. Oh, that’s right we moved yesterday to Sheridan Lake in the Black Hills National Forest of South Dakota. Good job Jagger. He was just celebrating the first day at a new camp.

Often it takes me several days to get used to opening the window shades to new views. One of the advantages of traveling full time. Of course, the disadvantage is having to move eventually. This will be the first camp we will call home for a week which extends over the Fourth of July holiday. Every year I stress a little when the holiday approaches, it’s a little more difficult to find a campsite.  More people RVing is creating scarcity and higher camping fees. Over 30% higher by my unofficial counting. I’m making more reservations well in advance. One of the disadvantages of having a larger RV (over 25′) is the places to camp are much more scarce.

During our exploration while at Lake Sheridan will be visiting Mount Rushmore. Sydney is traveling with us and the three of us have never visited this area before.

Mount Rushmore – No Fireworks

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore was busier than I expected and like many other popular National Parks when arriving, I found the traffic to be plentiful but well organized. I wouldn’t have guessed there would be a parking structure here. After paying the hefty parking fee, which is separate from the park entry fee, I lead the Workhorse up to the RV/high clearance parking area. Then Sydney and I left the Workhorse and headed to the visitor area to see what was offered.

We reached the main viewing area just below the spectacular vista of busts of our past Presidents; George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt carved in stone. I’m sure it was difficult to decide which presidents would adorn this mountain for eternity. It’s one of a kind sight that’s hard to put into words. Even the pictures I’ve included don’t do it justice. I will always remember my visit here.

Just below where we stood to view the monument, there was grandstand seating for the programs that were offered. It was here on the Activity Display board we discovered that there would be no firework show. Like many other places, it just isn’t worth the risk of fires. They do offer light shows, which in my opinion is even better than fireworks. We continued to take a few pictures and explored visiting several buildings of touristy things. We then headed back to the Workhorse and down the mountain to the Coach, calling it a day.

Visitor Entrance

Unfortunately, our visit to Mount Rushmore was accompanied by rain, cutting our visit shorter. In the back of my mind, I planned to return again for the Fourth of July Celebration the next day but we never did. We hadn’t properly prepared for this much rain, but we were able to dodge most of the heavy stuff, arriving back at the Workhorse as it increased. At least it wasn’t hailing I thought, as we passed a car covered with huge dents from a recent experience.

Safe Travels…Gary and Jagger


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Trail Log 

  • Dates: July 1-3rd 2018
  • In The Saddle: 121 Miles, 3 Hours (Reuter Campground to Sheridan Lake Campground)
  • Camp: Sheridan Lake Campground
  • Photos: Rushmore & Lake Sheridan SD

2 replies

  1. With the ever increasing amount of RV’s hitting the road, it has become more challenging than ever to roll without reservations. Unfortunately, that has taken the spontaneity out of the lifestyle and has us slowing down our travels. Enjoy your time in AZ with friends and family.


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