Saturday, August 20, 2022

August 31

With all the movement and all the seeing and doing of the past few days we decided to have a hang out day at our Sage Creek campsite to chill and catch up on the blog which is maybe turning out to be more than I can handle.

If you’re wondering about the rules for these free dispersed camping sites they’re pretty simple. You can stay for up to two-weeks, you need to be one-hundred feet from water and self-contained, meaning—take your garbage. That’s pretty much it.

As the sun set the infield ring was pretty full with tents and we had a couple of vans, at a comfortable distance on either side of us last night. Our neighbor to the left, Steve, was from Washington and was on his way home from a high school reunion in Madison, Wisconsin. He drove VW Eurovan and was an Environmental Toxologist—he studied the pollution levels in the air, land and water. He was also a birder. We shared a cup of coffee with him and he pointed out a western meadowlark to us which had a beefy yellow breast. He got his camera out and took some pictures of the bird that were really good. Nice guy.

After a cool morning, where I had my jacket and skull cap on, it grew hot. By 10am we were inching towards 90’s again. Also, by that time we were pretty much the only people left here. I guess none of the other campers had blogs to catch up on. They did their homework while I had drinks and looked at the stars.

While I worked Donna gave the van a good cleaning. A couple days here in this arid-dehydrated land things get dusty. She made a rule just like at home—no shoes on in the house. I was pretty much wearing my Fila pool sandals, so I didn’t give her any pushback unlike at home where I’m always trying to wear my shoes in the house and she’s always catching me.

When she was done, she went on several little hikes. Since we had been here she had assembled a pretty good collection of rocks. They were the same kind of layered rocks that formed the Badlands, but of course on a much smaller scale. The spotty internet connection—note to self: Weboost—made determining what type of rocks they were impossible. She loves rocks—the patterns, shapes and colors. Every time we go on vacation she exhumes some stony gems living peacefully below the surface near we’re staying. We haven’t talked about it yet, but I know she’s going to bag these up and I’m going to have to drag them all over the country after she flies home for work. It’ll be the second or third thing she asks me when I get home—“Where are my rocks?”

I suppose it could be worse, she could collect shoes, wait she does that too—nevermind.

By mid-afternoon it was in the 90’s and I was sweating sitting in one of our deluxe lawn chairs under our Moonshade awning which attached to the van by magnets. The warm western breezes had some kick to them and we had to stake the awning after it had been blown free from the van.

When I was finally all caught up I coaxed Donna into another hike in the surrounding hills, which was beautiful but hot. Giant bison droppings dotted the land everywhere. It was kind of amazing they made it to the top of these hills. The view down to the campsite and beyond was amazing.

When we got back, we took our first ever van showers. We have a hot water heater but we’ve yet to use it and today, given the heat, it wasn’t necessary.

From there it was tuna melts, tunes, drinks and more stars.

Tomorrow, Rushmore, Crazy Horse and Custer.  


How we got here...
An Ode to Fire and Donna
Chronological Posts From The Road 
Going Mobile: What We Learned
Our Rig: A Pictorial Essay



  1. Hi Paul. Loved reading about your travels and seeing your pix. Look forward to your views of Mt. Rushmore & seeing you & Donna in Montrose on Wed. Mary

  2. 👍🏽 keep these cards and letters coming 👍🏽

  3. Need pics of crazy horse, was there in 97. Would love to compare pictures

    1. Here's a little preview...both Rushmore and Crazy Horse- underwhelming

  4. Hi brother in law. Van life seems so exciting. I tried it with Maureen for a few nights. We enjoyed it. I hope to someday soon to be able to get away and do that on longer trips. When I retire soon.