Monday, May 24, 2010

St' Louis to Deadwood in two days.

We had two amazing days of travel since we left St Louis. The big thing about the leg from St' Louis to Onawa, SD was the constant wind. I don't mean nice breezes that were wild and constant. An occasional gust would blow the motorhome over half a lane and it made for some tense driving. Fortunately for me, Helen seemed to be at the wheel whenever we came a cross a construction area with very narrow lanes.

Helen had become concerned about Jodie's constant panting while we drive. She's been traveling for years, but seems to be getting worse with time. At Onawa, I got on the computer for some ideas about how to ease her problem but got no concrete information. We were in very nice campground in Onawa, On-Ur-Wa Campground was nice and clean. The owner, Becky was very personable and "hands on", showing us to our site. Wifi was terrific, but I was too tired to do much. Thus, it was an early night and we were off early in the AM for points further west.

Yesterday we got to Deadwood, SD, but it was not an easy ride. We decided to treat Jodie a little different. We put a quilt on the couch and let her ride there. We opened the window a crack along with an overhead vent and she was able to get a snootful of fresh air when she wanted. This leg of the trip went much better.........for a while. Driving through the hills of South Dakota, I would get a "low water" alarm from time to time. At first it was just a momentary peep, but it kept getting longer and longer. At a rest stop I checked the level and it seemed OK so we continued. I found no evidence of leaking coolant. This seems to be the bane of my existence lately. Then I THOUGHT I could smell antifreeze, but wondered if it was my mind playing tricks. We stopped at another rest area and I could see water dripping from the heater, but it was just condensate. I went around to the rear to add water to the coolant system and Helen yelled that it was antifreeze. Sure enough! I simply took one of the hoses off the heater core and ran it back to the other side of the valve and we are all set to continue. We won't have a heater in Alaska, but so what.

Next we were looking for a campground in Deadwood, a town Helen and I wanted to visit. Helen said that the shortest way to Deadwood is exit 31 on I-90. However, my GPS wanted me to task exit 61. Notice the 30 mile difference. The GPS took is in a great circle around Deadwood coming in from the southwest. I think we probably drove 40 miles out of our way, but we did get to the campground.

Here is the next problem. The campground is a dump! The grounds are a bog. The mens' room will not be used by me. The laundry turned Helen's wash orange. There is no cell phone signal in the valley, and the "Free" wifi is $3.50 for 20 minutes. I'm writing this from the library in Deadwood.

That's all for now. I might have more to say about Deadwood later. It's quite a place.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to see you are having heater core trouble, when we stayed in the Black hills we stayed at Mt Rushmore KOA, it was an outstanding campground, even had an ice ream store, lot's of dog walking room too. I believe it was about 20-30 miles from Deadwood as we spent a day up there and the drive wasn't bad, another good camo ground is Rafter J although we haven't stayed there we have heard good things from friends who have.You guys still have quite a ways to go just to get to the Alaska highway, I hope Jodie is doing better, We have been lucky, with Rigg's so far, he loves his Dad's pickup, and this week will be his first trip in the camper. I put a guard up over the screen door so his paws don't rip the plastic screen. He is still a bull in a china shop, you know, a seven year old in an adult body. After you get west of Wyoming, that's as far as we've been west so we can't help with campground recomendations. Be safe out there, we are following your adventures. Sam & Donna & Rigg's