We are still here…..in South Carolina!

wl2I cannot believe it’s been two months since I posted an update!  Where is the time going?? Well, anyway.  Here we are -still in South Carolina.  We are enjoying our stay here, and as I write this, I realize that our assignment will be completed in less than two months, so I might as well start getting excited about our next adventure!!  I really, really do hope we find one close by as we do not want to go too far this time.

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Here at the refuge, we continue to enjoy our beautiful site.  I love my running trails, the butterfly garden and the wildlife drive -and I do love volunteering at the visitor center, especially when I get to spend time reading and making crafts with the little ones during the monthly children’s program.   I have been helping Jim with some light landscaping duties, but really -he does most of the landscaping around here.  He enjoys keeping the area looking nice and neat, so he is out there pretty much every day.

wl8Besides volunteering work, we also do have plenty of time to ourselves.  I have been enjoying going to a church and a library nearby.  So little by little, I am making friends in this area, which is good because we do not have any neighbors here, and sometimes we do miss having friendly faces around to get together and socialize.

Our grandson is due in October, and I cannot wait to meet him!  Our daughter had her baby shower not too long ago and it turned out beautifully.  I really enjoyed seeing her friends join her in the sweet celebration.  My favorite part was that my mom was able to come by for the baby shower and she helped me so much in preparing for the shower, especially in making shower favors!  I (of course) could not pass the opportunity to make soaps and cards and decorations and all kinds of crafty stuff for the baby shower.

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wl18Having my mom around for my daughter’s baby shower was so good, and I was so happy to be able to take out and give her a trolley tour of the beautiful town of Savannah and later took her to the Wormsloe Plantation.  I was also glad that she got to meet our son-in-law and some of our cousins who came to visit us while she was here.

While I have been here in South Carolina, we have not been out and about very much.  Typically, we would be hiking; but hiking right now is pretty much out of the question due to the mosquitoes, heat and the high humidity.

 

I am still continuing with my wellness and running routine and my crafting; so that keeps me peacefully busy.  I have also been volunteering at the library reading to little ones and soon I will be giving classes on how to make soaps, so I am really excited about that!..

Well, that’s it for now my friends; hugs and Hasta Luego!!

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A new adventure awaits!

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Jim and I have been in South Carolina for about month now; but before I tell you how we are doing here, let me let you a little bit about our traveling adventures since we left Las Vegas.

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Our route from las Vegas to here took us through New Mexico, and I am so glad it did!  New Mexico is so, so pretty!  I had never been there (besides driving through it).  This time, we actually stopped and got a site for a couple of days at Coronado Campground in Bernalillo.    We also visited our friends at their beautiful adobe style home near Albuquerque.   We have known our friends Andy and Marty for almost 30 years and have kept in touch all this time.  Funny, how while we were together, it almost felt like it was just a few weeks since we had seen them.

We also met our friends from Spearfish, South Dakota.  Well, they are not from there, but we met Jeff and Peggy in South Dakota, so we call them “our friends from South Dakota”.  They are also RV’ing, just like us; and their volunteering adventures took them to New Mexico for a couple of months; so we got together and had lunch with them and also visited the Alien Museum in Roswell, New Mexico.   None of us had ever been there before, so it was a “must” stop.  We enjoyed it, but definitely -there is no need to go back again.

While in New Mexico, we also boondocked at a Navajo Reservation.  We found this spot through Harvest Hosts.  It was different to say the least, definitely a culture shock; but still, the stay there was very nice.  Went to sleep to the sound of howling coyotes; definitely very soothing to me.

While in New Mexico, Jim also discovered that he loves spicy ketchup (seasoned with sriracha sauce and cilantro).

Once we left New Mexico, Jim was determined to make it to Georgia in record (for us) time.  You see; shortly before leaving Las Vegas; our daughter called us to let us know that she is expecting a baby!  So of course; Jim wanted to get here as soon as possible.  We are so excited, I cannot even describe our emotions.  Jim has already purchased a present for our grandbaby and I am already planning a baby shower.

We have been here in South Carolina for over a month now; we initially stayed at McAllister State Park.  The campground was very nice.  I love that place because it is a great place to go for a run and the swings in the playground were very inviting.  Jim liked it because he was able to find a site in which we were able to enjoy satellite.  While there, we also got to visit our friends “The Laniers” whom we met a while ago, when they were camping and we were hosting at Juniper Springs.  We have stayed in touch and now, this is the 2nd time we catch up with them.  We love traveling and meeting friends along the way!

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Not only did we visit friends while we were on our way here; since we’ve been here, we have also gotten to see our friends, Time and Kristen from Juniper Springs.

051815Again -they are not from there; that’s just where we met them.  They now live in Hot Springs, NC.  We went to visit them and spend some time with them just hanging out, enjoying their company and meeting some of their friends while we were there.

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Right now, we are at our host site in the Savannah Wildlife Refuge.  This place is so, so beautiful!  Plus, our satellite works!!!  We also have free Wi-Fi and a free laundry facility.  So yes, we are super, super happy with our site.

051805Our volunteer work is also great.  Our main responsibility is to tend the visitor center and the gift shop; but we have been doing a lot of outside work.

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Since we been here, we have been clearing a couple of trails, doing yard work at the Wildlife drive, and maintaining the bird feeding station.  Jim has been on a mission to keep the visitor center ground looking pretty by mowing the lawn pretty much every week since we got here.

051802 There is definitely lots of sweating and physical labor going on here, but we like to think that it’s good for us, so we are happily doing it.  I am also happy to say that I have also helped with a couple of children programs here at the refuge; being with little ones is definitely one of my passions and I love it.  I wish there was more opportunities to do that; but oh well!

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Since I been here, I found a very welcoming little church to go to and nice little library as well.  The librarian was super nice to me when I went to visit; and she inspired me to help the library as well.  This coming month I will be going there to assist with their children’s reading programs and with their outreach program!  I am super excited!!!

Well, this is it for now.  I will try to update my blog more often -the next time I write my post, I hope to tell you how happy I was at my daughter’s baby shower.  The one that I am supposed to be planning now; yes,  a new adventure awaits.

Hugs and Hasta Luego!

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Viva Las Vegas! – But, it’s time to roll…

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Hello everybody; here I am again posting another little blog update.  Jim and I have been in Vegas now for about 5 months.  That means we are now slowly getting ready to roll again.  We are planning on leaving the first week of next month.  We will be making our way to the Savannah Wildlife Refuge, so we are super excited about it because we will be close to our Daughter.

Our stay in Vegas was not very exciting; I think, it’s because we are too old to go enjoy the strip as much as we used to when we were in our 20s.  We did make it out there a few times and did enjoy it, but I must admit -we got back home quite early, probably because we did not want to stay past our bed time and not spend too much money.  Good thing for us, our daughter did come by to visit; and of course, that was super awesome.  She got married here in Vegas, so that wonderful memory will always stay with us forever.  Also, my cousin Pablo and his wife Rose came to visit -and my friend Peggy also came by to visit, so for that I am thankful.

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Volunteering here in Vegas was good for me, and I did enjoy volunteering at the Rifle and Pistol Range Store, doing this gave me more training in working on a register and I really enjoyed talking to our customers; I was mainly selling targets, ammo or renting rifles and pistols to our customers; but that was pretty much it.  I did not learn much about rifles or pistols or ammo for that matter.  I guess, it’s because I did not have much interest in shooting.  It was fun to do it once or twice, but that was pretty much it for me. 0306

Jim, on the other hand, was more involved as he was volunteering out on the range as a Range Safety Officer.  I did not spend time with him doing that, but I hear he was very good at it.  He also volunteered at the Range Tower; I really don’t know much about what that entailed, but I did hear his sexy voice on the intercom giving safety and range instructions to the shooters.   I should also mention that if you are ever in the Vegas area and love to shoot; you should definitely come and check this range (Clark County Shooting Complex).  The price to enjoy this facility is fairly low and this range has everything you can possibly need.

In between our volunteering schedule, I did find an amazing church to go to and a wonderful library.  I did meet great people here, and I did get a part time job at a local grocery store.

Before, I go on telling you anything else about my part time job – let me say, I did enjoy it.  I did have to get up super early and be ready to work as early as 3 am in the morning.  My job was to cut fruits and vegetables and make fruit and vegetable platters; my favorite “assignment” was the Valentine’s Strawberry platters, I did have a lot of fun doing that.

I probably would have loved doing that way more if had more time to do it.  I would have loved to make them really pretty and taking my time making them more presentable; but it was more about production (completely understandable).  The wonderful thing about that, it’s that time flew amazingly fast and before I knew it, it was time to go home.  That was another great thing about that job.  I started super early, so I was also home very early.  My job did not last very long.  I think I started working the end of January and stopped in the middle of March.  I left with plenty of time to get ready for the move.  It does not take us much to get up and roll, but we did have a few things to get in order.  E.g. Vehicle registration, oil changes, etc.

I know going to Georgia is not at all what we had planned.  After all, we did not want to be in the heat of Georgia during the Summer; but – our daughter will be nearby.  And considering, we are inside the RV right now with the heaters on.  The summer heat does not sound so bad right now.  No worries, I know it will get hot; we will be ready for it.  I am really hoping the heat will motivate us to be more active.  The weather here is not very inviting for us Florida folks.

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I know, I will definitely miss the beautiful sunsets; Vegas does have the most colorful and vibrant sunsets we had ever seen.  Nature is so amazing and humbling; everywhere we’ve been since we’ve been on this adventure has been a great experience and we have seen some amazing views.  I cannot wait to find out what’s in store for us in our next volunteering adventure.

Well, that’s it for now.  Hugs and Hasta Luego!

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Happy News!!!

121Hello everyone! The end of the year is upon us, and so I decided to do a little quick update on my blog.  It’s been a while since my last update, probably because even though, we have been enjoying ourselves, we have not done anything too exciting.

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Despite the fact that we have lots of down time, we have not taken the time to go out and explore much.  Unlike our other volunteer locations, this time, we are very close to the city -so if we want to go hiking -we need to go out for a long drive.  The weather, although has not been terrible, it is cold.  So, that in itself has been a big part of the reason why we have not been out doing as much hiking as we would like. We have only been hiking once or twice.

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Still, we are enjoying our stay here.  Our volunteer work keeps us busy enough -and so we are happy here.  Recently, our site was upgraded too, which I love because this area just plain nicer; it is covered and a little bit more secluded, and best of all, I have a spot to go outside and do my yoga and exercise routine.

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The sunrises and sunsets here are absolutely beautiful, so for that I am very thankful!  If you know me, you will know that watching the sunsets makes me extremely happy as they give me a great sense of serenity no matter what is going on.

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My running trail is not as pretty as I was used to in South Dakota, but, I do love it -because it is just the right amount of challenging.  Takes me uphill and just about the time I begin to feel like I cannot go on, then it’s time to turn around and come back.  I must say, the uphill is getting easier and easier, so for that I am very happy.

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Jim and I have gone to the strip of Las Vegas only a few times; it is so inviting, but still we make it a point to stay away from it.  We did go to see Nascar drivers do burnouts on the strip and that was very cool.  We also went to see a Cirque De Soleil show on our 29th wedding anniversary and that was super awesome.

Our Christmas here was nice and quiet.  We did have a wonderful pot luck with some volunteers, watched movies in front of the fireplace.  I was feeling quite content knowing I had finished my Christmas cards and mailed a few presents on time.  Then, I was also reminded to be thankful for the little things in life that make us happy.  E.g. I went to the post office days prior to mail a few packages, and I encountered a very super long line.  As I was waiting there with no concerns in my mind, a post office attendant came and got me from the line and told me he would attend me.  (Oh, the perks of using USPS boxes).   I was out of there in less than 15 minutes!

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Anyway, I am going on and on now – after noting that I would give you a short blog update.  My last paragraph brings me to the main reason I wanted to give you this update.  I did not say it anything before to anyone (except for our immediate family) because I was waiting for my daughter to do it; I was waiting for her to give her happy news but since she hasn’t — Well, here it is; and I am so, so excited……Our baby is getting married!  The happy couple decided that since the parents of the bride were already in Vegas, that they would come here and get married!  The ceremony will be very nice and simple, just like our daughter always talked about.  So yes, Jim and I will be in-laws within the next week.  I don’t know all the plans, dates or times – but I know it includes a shopping trip for a dress, a trip to the beauty salon and a wedding day in the first week of the new year!  Yeyy!!!!

Well, that’s it for now – Hugs and Hasta Luego

PS – May you all be abundantly blessed with health, joy and happiness for the coming year.

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We are in Vegas Baby!

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After being on the road for a couple of months, it actually felt kind of good to get to our Winter destination.  I am so glad we took our time getting here though because we got to see some magnificent views along the way.  After stopping in Colorado and Utah, we continued on to Nevada.  During most of our travels, we boondocked a lot -staying in very remote areas.  Jim and I did very well adjusting to not having a lot of the commodities that we became so used to while at our last volunteer site; all in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our time boondocking.  The only down side was that once in a while we had to travel through some rough terrain.  The RV does not like that, and the FIAT cannot stand it.   So, after being out on our own and being very frugal with our water and power -it was a real treat to stay at the Valley of Fire Campground. It almost felt like we were in a resort.

11.8We have stayed at several campgrounds in our travels; but this one was one of the prettiest by far.  No, it did not have a pool – but other than that; it was wonderful.  The red fiery mounds or mountains did light up beautifully with the sunlight.  We could be looking at the same thing, but depending on the time of day -it looked completely different.  I wish I could describe it more eloquently so you can get a better idea of what I am talking about.

11.7 I also got to see a pink sky, which was so, so calming.  I had never seen that except in a painting that I had a long, long time ago while living in California.  I did not think a pink sky was real, but yes -I saw it.

11.6While we were at the Valley of Fire campground, Jim and I went on a several hikes (Mouse Tank, Rainbow Vista and White Domes), but one in particular (Fire Wave) I will never forget.

11.9It almost felt like we were on a different planet.  It was so beautiful!   It was an easy one too, no steep drop-offs or strenuous up-hill trails, but still -it was very rewarding.  It was also fun to be there because we discovered that one of our (mainly mine) favorite movies (Fools Rush In) was filmed there, so that was kind of neat.

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We did not get to do the “Wave” in Arizona as we had intended, but I am hoping I will be telling you all about it one day in the near future.

Before we came here to the complex, we had planned on staying at the campground only for a few days to treat ourselves to nice long hot showers and unlimited power.  But, while we were at the Campground -Jim discovered that the toilet needed repair.  Oh no! We’ve been dreading that for a while.  We hear so many horror stories when it comes to those kinds of repairs.  Jim called a few mobile repair techs, but none of them even wanted to take on the challenge.  One of them, did say –“only if you absolutely cannot find anyone, then I guess I can come -but I really don’t want to”.  Well, Jim decided to tackle the repair and ordered the part.  I am very happy to report that Jim did fix the toilet with very little help from me.  Hip, hip, hooray!    So anyway, for that reason, we ended up staying at the campground longer; and I am so glad we did -because it was so beautiful!

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Now, we are sitting in a huge County Shooting Complex.  Our first week here, we got our county volunteer badges, physicals, site assignment, keys to the mail box and to the free laundry facilities.  We both volunteered our hours already this week, but I am thinking that soon Jim will be  “working” most of the hours, so that I can go get a fun job outside of the complex.  I love kids, I love crafting, I love oils, I enjoy people – I am sure I can find something.  (May be crafting with children) Now, that would be awesome – or just crafting period.  We’ll see!

Since we’ve been here, we have had a lot of free time; so I have been “mastering” my yoga routine and my crafting skills.    I am also playing more with my facebook public page “misslittlelaura” I already have over 100 likes on it, yeyy!! My goal is 700 before my next birthday.  I hope I meet that goal since, I have yet to realize the one I set myself for the last one.  (I had said I wanted to do 50 pushups, then when I realized it was too ambitious I changed it to 37) – and I am still stuck on 27.

11.2Anyway, (as I have mentioned before) Jim and I have a lot of free time, so we’ve been enjoying some of the events here at the range and we also did get out to the Las Vegas Stip.  It is pretty, but there is so much traffic; even in the middle of the day!  So, I will probably not be going there much.  It’s was actually kind of strange seeing so many people.  We were getting used to being out in the middle of nowhere with no one around, but it’s ok – I think we will really enjoy this place.

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This week, we got word that our daughter has some free time, so we took a day and made the drive to go see her for an afternoon.  We were incredibly happy to see her!

Well, that’s it for now -Hugs and Hasta Luego!

Ps. I still have not made time to practice my guitar, I been looking for some apps but no luck.  Hey, maybe I can find someone to practice with around here.  I will keep you posted.

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Rolling along, taking our time in NoRush…

 

u21Jim and I have been on the road for about a month.  We’ve seen so many beautiful mountains; they are simply amazing -and they are everywhere! We went through Colorado, but only stayed there for a few days.

u15Besides enjoying a few hikes; we did get together with my friend Kristy and her two sons.  I am so glad we got to see them; it feels so good to see familiar faces along our travels.  I think getting hugs from friends is good for my soul, so yes – I was very, very happy to see them.  I had hoped to stay a little bit longer; long enough for me to go visit their new church home in Colorado, but we decided to keep on rolling -so I did not get a chance to do it.  Both, Jim and I do not enjoy cold weather, so we wanted to start heading to Utah before it got too cold for us.  We’ve actually been here a while and the weather has been good to us.  It’s still comfortable, but it does appear that soon we will have to keep on moving as the mornings keep getting colder and colder.

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u4We’ve been able to do a lot of sight-seeing her in Utah.  We visited the beautiful little town of Moab.  There, we did some breathtakingly beautiful hikes in and around Arches and Canyonlands National Park.  The rock formations are truly mesmerizing.  Some of the scenery is hypnotizing – I love everything about the hills, cliff and arches (especially Delicate Arch) – the only thing that makes me uncomfortable is seeing people (especially Jim!) get so close to the edge of the cliffs.  I get so worried sometimes; I have to be careful not to let my fear take away from the wonderful adventure of seeing such inspiring panoramic views.

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We were Moab for a couple of weeks or so, and there too; we got a chance to see friends from Big Cypress National Preserve.  I am so glad we got to see them, plus -they took us on a wonderful hike that we probably would have missed otherwise.

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As you can imagine; we’ve done lots and lots of sight-seeing -and we are loving it!  Something else that was extra special about Moab; was that, I found a wonderful church to go to.  It was a little bit out of the way; but it was so worth it to go there for morning service.  I found some wonderful warm and welcoming group of people.  The bible class, the sermon, the women’s prayer circle and the pot luck was all amazing!  I was thinking I may be able to go one more time, but again -we decided to keep on rolling.

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Now, we are boondocking near a town called Torrey; which is right outside the Capital Reef National Park.  Again, we are surrounded by majestic hills and mountains and the most glorious displays of natural sunlight and evening stars.  We’ve only done a few hikes here, but hope to do some more before we leave.  We still have a while before we actually have to be in Nevada, but then again -there is still a lot to see here in Utah.

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Something else I have not mentioned before, is that -I have been learning a lot about the Native American cultures – well I guess not a lot – but enough to know that -yes- I feel so connected.  From listening to stories, viewing pictures and reading some of the history – I can tell that definitely I am connected.

 I am so happy to be on the road and discovering not only new places, but also learning new things. Times and places like these are the reason I am so happy that we are able to live off-grid.  Thanks to Jim for making sure that the RV (NoRush) is well equipped to keep us comfortable while disconnected from mainstream civilization.  Well, I guess this is it for now.  Again, thanks for following our blog, my Instagram account and my fb pages.  – Hugs and Hasta Luego!

Ps.  I am still enjoying my essential oils and my yoga.  I am also still working on my crafts, making cards and painting rocks.  Oh, but I have not been practicing my guitar.

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Getting ready to roll again!

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Oh, my goodness! Where did the time go? Seems like we just got here and we already talking about leaving.   I just saw our volunteer schedule and are names are not in it anymore!!

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It’s a good thing though, we do not want to be here when it starts getting cold, and I am sure it will be soon.   We also want to take our time going through and enjoying the wonderful state of Utah We hear it is beautiful.  I have seen to many beautiful pictures, we cannot wait to go see for ourselves before reaching our Nevada destination.

Everywhere we go, we meet great people -so yes, we will be saying good bye to friends again.  It’s ok though, because thanks to social media, we do stay in touch, and hopefully we will see them on the road again.

I will certainly miss the wonderful running trails in South Dakota.  Everywhere we’ve been, I been blessed with having a wonderful place to work out, but I’ve got to admit – Spearfish definitely is on top of my list of best park trails.  It is just absolutely wonderful for runners and bikers alike.  I will definitely miss those trails.  I will be leaving another church family – and yes, I will miss them too.

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I know it sounds like I should be sad, but really – I am very excited to go to new places.   God is good to us, so I know we will be fine wherever we go.

Well – I actually do not have anything too exciting to share this time.  We have not really done anything out of the ordinary.  I have been continuing to absolutely enjoy my morning run and my daily workout routines.  I have added yoga to my daily workouts – that way, I will be able to keep my motivation to exercise while we are on the road.  I figured, even if I do not get to go out running (as we are traveling) -at least I will be able to do my yoga routine.  It is quite a good workout -I would have never guessed that. But thanks to my friends and neighbors, (one who encouraged me to do it, and another one for giving me a yoga mat, and another one for giving me a yoga block) I gave it a try, and I like it!

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Oh, I just remembered something I wanted to share.  This month, I decided that I would get serious about learning to play the guitar.  Shortly after I mentioned it to my neighbors -one of my neighbors gave me a guitar!  She actually was talking to a store owner and mentioned that she knew someone who was looking for a guitar -and the store owner asked her to give it to me! – AND, if that was not awesome enough -another neighbor just gave me three beginner books to help me learn.  Yeyy!! I said that I wanted to learn and God is definitely making sure I do by putting nice people around me to help me with my new endeavor.

Something else, that did this month is -I gave myself a great birthday present; finally got my starter kit from the Young Living Essential Oils.  I know, I know – sounds crazy, but I absolutely love my oils (I always have!)  As far as I know, there is no better way to live than to go to bed with the wonderful aroma of essential oils.  (I only wish Jim would agree with me).

–Something else – (Yes, I probably should take notes before I sit down to write my blog) Jim and I went back to Bear Butte and we hiked it!  And I made it all the way to the top -all by my little self.  Jim decided to stop and wait for me – turns out he got tired before I did – I don’t think that had every happened before.  I think it might be thanks to my essential oils – I’m just saying! lol

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Well, that’s it for now.  We will be on the road within the next two weeks. -so, who knows where we will be next time I post my blog.  Hugs and Hasta Luego!

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PS.  Thank you to all of you who read my blog and my “yosoybetty7” facebook page.  Extra Hugs to you my friends!!

Sturgis, the bikes are rolling in!

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The bikes are rolling in, and they are loud!  The famous Sturgis Rally is happening soon, so bikers from all over the country are rolling in and making a statement.  The campground is expected to be filled up to its full capacity and beyond; I know they are not invading our space, so it’s all good. b2

The bikers seem very nice and happy, I think they just having a good time.  Some of the volunteers that have been here in years past tell me it’s a lot of fun and to enjoy the activities, but the more I think about it, I think we just might stay put in the campground and let the commotion take its course.  I think it will be fun to just watch!

Jim and I have been busy doing lots of sight-seeing again.  We managed to go visit new places and revisit some our favorites.  Our daughter came to visit, and so we wanted her to see some of our favorite places.  We took her to Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Devil’s Tower, Tatanka Story of the Bison, Jewel Cave, and The Presidential Wax Museum.

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We also drove through the Black Hills and the Bad Lands so that she could see how beautiful this area is.  Camping was also in our itinerary, so we camped one night at the Wheels West Campground in Custer -and of course, we also had to stop at Wall Drug.  Yes, we just had to!

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I have so many great memories from each and every day that she was here.  It felt good to share them with her.  While in Mount Rushmore, all three of us (and a whole bunch of other veterans) were brought to the stage during the night ceremony to be honored during the lowering of the flag ceremony.  It was nice that all three of us experienced it together.  I loved it!   During our visit at Crazy Horse Memorial, we got to see a Native American man play several wind instruments.  I don’t know why, but lately -I am so in love with the pan flute music -so when I heard the music- I was immediately hypnotized by it, and loved every second of it.  (I even bought me a plan flute at Wall Drug, but of course -I am not doing a good job playing it.)

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The Devil’s Tower visit also ended with an adventure.  While at Devil’s Tower, we noticed that a storm was coming in.  It actually looked very eerie, but beautiful at the same time! There were some climbers up on the tower, so we stuck around for a little bit to watch them while they were very slowly descending from the top.

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After a little while, we realized that the storm was now very close -so we hurried to leave.  While on our drive home, we were abruptly greeted by a hail storm.  Even though, I was not happy with the hail coming down so hard on our little Fiat; I was very happy that our daughter also got to see it; she had never seen hail that big!

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We made it home safe and sound, and so did out little Fiat.  While on the scenic drives, we saw again the many beautiful rock formations and some pretty cool wild life sightings.   Our favorite wild life sighting (by far), was the buffalo running across the field.  The buffalo was so awesome to watch, but I cannot ignore the fact that the wild donkeys and little prairie dogs also made us smile.  We had a great time!

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I’m so happy that she was able to visit us here in Spearfish.  She stayed here for almost a week, and I was glad to hear that she was quite comfortable in the RV.  I was worried for a minute that she might not like it, but she did -and she loved the area too, so that was nice.  I want you to know that Jim was extra wonderful driving us around to so many places.  Also, our volunteer neighbors were awesome because they covered our volunteer shifts so that we could spend time with our daughter.  Also, the Black Hills VIP Pass, along with our NPS Volunteer Pass have been awesome to have.  Thanks to those passes, we have been able to enjoy so many attractions for free!

We’ve done just about everything we’ve wanted to do here in the area, so I’d say our mission of exploring the Black Hills and the Bad Lands has been fully accomplished.  Our volunteer season ends sometime in September, so we are already making plans to slowly start getting into rolling gear.  I wonder where the road will lead us. We were thinking Texas, but now it looks like we will be heading West instead.  We’ll see.

Well, that’s it for now my friends.  Hugs and Hasta Luego!

ps.  My daughter took a video of the buffalo running across the field.  It’s pretty cool, but I was not able to load it here.  To see it, click on my instagram widget on the right.

 

There is so much more beauty to explore!

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Jim and I have been exploring the Black Hills and the Badlands, which is really a dream come true for us.

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This area of the country is definitely beautiful! We are absolutely loving our long drives through the hills.  We have been out and about several times with the specific purpose of seeing wildlife -and we have not been disappointed.  We have been awed by the majestic buffaloes, the elk and goats; we’ve also been entertained by the silly prairie dogs (even the white ones!) and the playful goats.

Besides “just” taking longs drives, we have also been out and about and enjoying some of the venues and the many historical places in the surrounding areas.  The Needles Scenic Highway was spectacular and Bear Butte was very, very nice.  The view at the top of Bear Butte was gorgeous! The hike up to the top was only about two miles; but it was rocky, windy and kind of steep, so because of that, I would say it was a bit challenging and very exciting.

Once in a while I had to tell myself not to look down, but other than that – I enjoyed the hike very much.  In addition to the lovely views, the hike was particularly enjoyable because the trails were adorned by many colorful prayer cloths tied on to trees; they have a sacred significance, so we are not to touch them or disturb them in any way.

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Somehow, they were very peaceful to look at and they gave me a sense of serenity while I was hiking. Some of those cloths have been there for a long, long time -and I could not help but wonder who and why he or she left them there.   I am sure they all have their unique and interesting story.

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Jim and I bought a tent and a couple of inflatable mattresses months ago.  We figured it was time to put them to use, so we decided to go camping during our time off from volunteering.  We spent two cold nights in our tent.  We brought plenty of blankets, and way too much food, so we were fine – I am just so happy that I did not have to get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  I would not have been very happy about that.  I would say that our camping get-away was a success (with one exception – Jim and I managed to get on each other’s nerves) but other than that – yes, it was a success!

The second tent camping escapade was much, much more exciting!  I will start my narration by letting you know that despite our wonderful adventure; we did have to cut the trip short (by one day) shortly after chasing our tent about 150 yards due to strong gusts of winds and rain.  It may sound awful, but actually it was fun and very exciting.  I got to watch my husband chase the tent with such an athletic ability that I did not know he had.  Plus, watching him dive to the ground and actually stop the tent from rolling and flying away was priceless!  This my friends, I will never forget.

I will also not forget the beauty of the blanket of stars we witnessed at night.  I only wished I had stayed up longer.  The Badlands is such a beautiful place; we enjoyed it so much!  The buffaloes did make me nervous; they are such majestic beasts -and huge! I knew that my little Fiat would not be a match for them if they decided to get hostile.

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Thank God, they did not.  I know it’s not common for them to do so, but the little voice inside me was still making me very nervous.  Jim and I did climb a hill and the view was beautiful.  Jim did great coming down so smoothly; -me, on the other hand -had to get down on my bottom and slide down as graceful as I could.  The next time Jim wanted to climb a hill, I was not brave enough to try it -but he did.  He made it to the top and even did a couple of yoga poses to make me smile.  Right then, I wished I had gone up too -Oh well, the experience was still amazing.  I feel so happy knowing there is so much more beauty to explore.

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Well, that’s it for now – Hugs & Hasta Luego!

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Note:  Websites to some of the most recent places we’ve visited in this area. ( I know I am forgetting a few)

http://www.nativesunnews.today/news/2017-05-24/Top_News/Hiking_to_top_of_Bear_Butte.html

https://www.nps.gov/jeca/planyourvisit/scenictour.htm

http://www.rushmtn.com/

https://www.nps.gov/badl/index.htm

https://www.nps.gov/mimi/index.htm

http://www.blackhillsbadlands.com/business/four-mile-old-west-town

We made it to the Black Hills!

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Where do I start? I guess, I will start by telling you that while we were in Texas, we got the call letting us know that there was a volunteer spot for us -here in South Dakota.  Coming to South Dakota has been in our bucket list for a long time!  We were already planning on coming this way anyway, but we had no idea where we would be staying or what we would be doing.  So, needless to say, I was very, very happy knowing we had a free site to stay while enjoying the beautiful Black Hills area!  Since we’ve been here, we’ve been able to go sight-seeing and enjoy the beautiful scenery all around us.  The weather, although nice, has not been as warm as we would like, but it’s not too bad. – I take advantage of it by cooking our favorite comfort foods and also by enjoying a wonderful hot chocolate in front of the fireplace, which always makes everything better.

Going back a little, I would like to tell you that our stay in Texas was awesome!  The people of Texas were admirably pleasant and welcoming.  We enjoyed visiting Texas so much, we actually plan on going back and do our stay all over again.

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Well, anyway…we’ve been here in South Dakota almost a month now.  Since we’ve been here, we’ve visited Devil’s tower and Mount Rushmore.  We’ve taken long drives and seen lots of scenic places, but those two visits have been the highlights -so far.  Mount Rushmore is definitely beautiful and the rock sculptures are simply amazing.  I want to go back and enjoy them all over again -maybe, next time we will actually take the audio tour, which will probably make it a lot more interesting.

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Devil’s tower took my breath away!  I know, I know -it’s just a big rock, but oh my!  If you have ever looked at it as close and I did, you will understand why I have no words to truly describe it.  There is no way you can convince me that we do not have a magnificent Creator.  That rock literally looks like it was crafted.  While we were hiking there, we saw several climbers using their skills to climb up to the top of the rock.  They seemed to be taking a break while we were there, so we did not hang around long enough to see them reach the top.

So, we’ve been volunteering here at the beautiful DC Booth Hatchery.  We don’t get to “work” together, but we do have the same easy schedule, which is really nice.  I primarily get to help out at the gift shop behind the counter and at the Booth House giving tours to our visitors.  I really enjoy both, I guess it’s because I enjoy meeting people, I especially like it when little ones come to get a tour.  By the time this season is over, I have a feeling I am going to be an expert tour guide; for now, I am still working on perfecting my skill.    Jim volunteers at the museum and the rail car (also giving tours)-and once in a while he gets to help to maintain the grounds, which he really likes to do.

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Our site at the volunteer village in the Spearfish City Park is very, very nice.  We have plenty of room in “our front yard”.  We are also right next to the volunteer community fire pit.  We are expecting to have pot lucks there from time to time, but in the meantime; Jim and I are enjoying the fire pit whenever we want to, which is generally on Friday nights.  I also love the brook running right behind the rv.

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I love the water noise especially when I am falling asleep or while I am relaxing in the morning after my daily workout.  The only thing I am missing for now are the wonderful and unobstructed Florida sunsets that we often enjoyed and loved in Big Cypress.   It’s ok, though – the sunsets here are beautiful too, but just not as mesmerizing because of the dense tree lines.  All the trees that get in my way to see the beautiful sunsets are the same ones that look so beautiful throughout the day and especially while on my daily morning run, so I guess I won’t hold a grudge against them.

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Well, this is it for now my friends.  Hugs and Hasta Luego!

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