All posts by Rudy

About Rudy

Retired. Content. Living the good life. Listening to music. Watching movies. Computing. Golfing. Cycling. Mowing the lawn. Planning my next adventure.

Home on the Range

After a way-too-big breakfast at the hotel (waffles with peanut butter, scrambled eggs and 3 sausages, yogurt, and coffee) we left Watertown, South Dakota, and headed east. We decided to zig and zag our way toward Rapid City — the ‘scenic’ route. And that’s what it was. Very nice 2-lane highway with very little traffic, through farm country. Rolling hills speckled with black angus dots and lots of combined corn stalks. Miles and miles of tiny big round bales stretching out to the horizon. At one point Vince Gill was singing so loudly on the itunes that we missed the Garmin telling us to turn at the next intersection. After several ‘recalculating’s we finally realized we were heading North and needed to get back to our suggested route. Turned at teh next corner and ended up on a few miles of unpaved dirt road — with a few ‘soft spots’ and ‘dead end’ signs that added a little or our excitement. But soon enough we were back on the right road and our ETA was only about 15 minutes later for all our troubles.

Lunch was delayed. We’d eaten such a massive breakfast. We made it all the way to Pierre (the capital city of SD, I think) before we pulled in at the trusty old golden arches for a much-needed washroom break. I had a milkshake and Sue a coffee. Then back on the road.

In the afternoon we got onto the I-90 and listened to classical music while we followed the twin ribbons of divided four-lane west into the hills of the Badlands. Lots of dinosaurs and petrified forests and Wall Drug signs and no more small towns to slow down for. We took a turn south at Wall Drug, opting to take the road atlas “Best of the Road” route through the Badlands. We had to pay a $15 park entrance fee even though we weren’t actually going through the park. That was okay. The scenery really was great — we finally hauled out our camera and missed our first photo of the trip because of dead batteries. No problem. Spare batteries in the backpack. Nope, the replacements are dead too. Third set worked. Let the picture-taking begin. We parked our car and took a short walk on a very nice boardwalk that led up to the terraced cliffs of the badlands. Along the way we met 2 women. Said hello. Kept walking, thinking how good this was for us to get a bit of exercise and stretch our legs. When we got to the top we startled a man who was already up there. We had seen him from below. We greeted each other and marveled at the scenery. Sue asked him how old the tiered cliffs might be. He motions the layers and says 10 million, 20 million, 30 million… We asked if the sidewalk would take us around a loop and back to the parking lot. He says he thinks so, but he had come up the same way we had. We left him up there and continued along the path, hoping it would lead us back to the base. About halfway down I heard what sounded like a gunshot up on the hill. Hmmm… hunting here in the badlands? Should we be wearing orange? We met one of the women at the bottom (the man had explained that his wife and sister-in-law were down there waiting for him). She asked if we’d seen a man up there. Yes, he should be coming down not far behind us. Well, I thought I heard a gunshot up there. Yeah, we heard it too. Hope those aren’t hunters. She looked worried. We headed back to our (unlocked) van and continued on our way. But now I began wondering if maybe that guy up there had committed suicide! Or what if the woman finds him shot and thinks it was those two hikers who hurried up and down the trail and then took off! Maybe I’ll have to check the local paper tomorrow morning to see if anything terrible happened in the National Park yesterday.

We arrived in Rapid City shortly after that. We’re now in Mountain Time Zone so that means it’s an hour earlier than what it feels like to us. We checked into a La Quinta with a huge attached waterpark (oh no, lots of screaming kids) and got a 3rd floor room (pet-free). Went to the attached bar and grill for beer and salad. Then hurried back to our room to catch the beginning of Game 6 of the Rangers-Cardinals World Series. Sat in bed and watched the game and wrote this journal entry.

Sue is scouting out tomorrow’s route and hotel options — probably we’ll end up near Denver. Hopefully the snow and ice from yesterday’s first winter storm has melted.

Leaving Manitoba in the broad daylight

Today is day one of the 2011 winter escape. We had great hopes of leaving by 9 am. We had said all our goodbyes the night before. The water was turned off, the thermostat was turned down. But there was no way we were leaving on time! Even after we finally drove our loaded van off the driveway at 10:30, we still had to make one more stop at PrintStudio so that Sue could drop off her Sobeys coupons for Lois. After more goodbyes, we were off. But wait! A few miles down the 52 hwy Sue remembered that we had forgotten our road atlas. Turn around. Back home.

We had to pull into the garage at U.S. customs — and Sue had to surrender her illegal basmati rice. That took a bit of unpacking and repacking.

Sandwiches from home enroute. Nice drive. First gas stop was at Watertown, SD. Well, why don’t we call it a day here? Okay. Checked into a Hampton Inn. It’s cold here! Thats when we discovered that Rudy had forgotten his jacket at home. And his sandals. A bit of verbal abuse from Sue.

Walked through the big Walmart next to our hotel and bought a new fleece for Rudy. Then out for some very delicious burgers at the neighbourhood bar and grill. Everything around here is all decked out for hunters. “Welcome Hunters” signs in all the windows and doors. In fact, we decided to alter our route because Sue struck out getting a hotel reservation in Dickinson, ND this morning because all the rooms were booked by hunters. That’s why we are here in Watertown. We’ll head west to Rapid City after breakfast this morning. Hoping to avoid the big SNOWSTORM that has hit Denver. And we thought we would escape all that bad weather this year. We’ll see.

Sent from my iPad

Good morning from Tofino, BC

Sitting here in Tofino. We’ve had our breakfast (coffee, a Boston Creme, a really delicious yogurt, and what’s left from a pound and a half of fresh BC cherries). We’ll read for a while, then head down to Ucluelet. Plan to spend the night at Dave Wiebe’s farm in Duncan. Maybe we’ll watch a bit of the Bomber/Stampeder game tonight.

Friday – it’s Friday!

not that i don’t like going to school. no, i love my job. and once i’m there it’s always great. but i sure do like sitting here all lazy in the morning and drinking my cup of copy, listening to itunes, and updating stuff on my computer. it’s as good as it gets.but now i better leave this and go get ready for another day. i’m listening to the latest k.d. lang and sheryl crow albums. not bad.

Saturday morning – marking assignments again

Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. Today I’m marking Canadian Studies (grade 11) ‘Western Gazette’ newspaper projects. In fact, I’m NOT marking — I’m fooling around with my blog instead — anything to keep me from doing what I ought (and hate) to do. Mom always said (in Low German) the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be finished. So, now that I’ve posted and looked at my new theme for this old blog (and updated wordpress and most of the plug-ins) I’ll get my second cup of coffee and ‘have at ‘er’. Until next time, adios.

a week of school left

good thing i mowed the lawn last night. now it’s wed. morning and it’s raining again. we had a wicked rain on sunday just after we finished cycling the mcc bike the interlake cyclathon — 200kms. and now it’s raining again. it’s days like this, when i get up early and sit at my computer with my first cup of coffee and look out the front window of my house — and it’s all gray outside, the driveway’s washed clean by the rain, sheryl crow is singing sort of country music on my itunes, and i think to myself, this must be what retirement will be like. ahhh. and one week from today exams begin, and there will be no more lessons to teach until next fall. this will be a good day.

Another Thursday Night — marking

So I got home tonight and thought I had the whole evening to do nothing — maybe just sit and watch TV. Then I got caught up reading the journals of the students in my web design class — and then I started marking finished web projects — and although I took an hour break to go for a drive and get a Dairy Queen blizzard and a Tim Horton’s coffee, I ended up marking until 10:30 — the CBC news was mostly over — and BINGO! another evening’s dead and gone. Oh well, the weekend is almost upon us.

Happy Mother’s Day

Sunday Drive in Manitoba

Just got back from a ride in Ed & Val’s motorhome. Tim & June, Roy & Maryann, Ed & Val, Rudy & Sue took a drive out to the Pembina Hills. Saw the big Manitoba windmills, had lunch at the Pembina Crossings Restaurant, ice cream in Winkler, and gawked at the old Mennonite housebarns Neubergthal. Had a fun day. I’ll post a few photos (courtesy of Ed).

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