Tenting - much still to do

Trip Start Apr 18, 2007
Trip End Oct 16, 2007

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Flag of United States  , South Dakota
Monday, May 14, 2007

Woke to a very warm morning and headed for the local L&C Centre just off the Interstate. It was more of a rest area but had a few things in it like a full scale mock up of a keelboat. We then went to the local camping site right next to the river to ask if we could use a site to practice putting up the tent., they didn't want anything for it which was nice - we gave them something anyway.

Thereafter a true Laurel and Hardy episode occurred aided and abetted by a strong wind. We'd brought a 6-man tent for $50 in Wal-Mart a few weeks back. It was ok actually - easy to put up - but its entire "strength" derived from two thin poles about 12 feet long which form a cross that the whole tent hangs from.

Anyway we got it up ok - then the wind built up - it reached the point where half the tent was flat to the floor and the fly sheet was pressed up against the inner sheet all over - if you know about these things >> this is not a good thing if it rains.

Also if we were sleeping in there we'd be pressed up against one wall and unable to sleep because of the noise from the canvas. Ho Hum. We commence camping next Tuesday in Rapid City (near Mount Rushmore and the Badlands), Looks like a new tent from where I'm sitting - there is a specialist outfitter in Rapid City that we'll have to patronise before then.

By now it was 94F (albeit with a cooling breeze - see previous paragraph) and we headed back to the room for lunch. MJ had to have a snooze and then headed for the private pool/hot tub complex for a tanning session and a swim. Currently reading "Undaunted Courage" about Lewis & Clark - a very excellent book about their Voyage of Discovery.

About 6pm we went for a stroll along the River - it was absolutely lovely. Being Sunday evening the town was dead but a large party was down in the public rec area with a sandy beach down to the river inlet cooking on bar-b-ques in wrap-around heat. It sure ain't Wokingham.

Pizza from Pizza Hut and back to the room to have with the wine left over from Friday night. We had to sneak the half-full bottle out of the coffee shop (with the connivance of the owner) as it is illegal to take wine out. However South Dakota seems a really laid back place - in fact the number of police vehicle we've seen has gone down significantly from the Gulf Coast experience.

In fact much has altered - Interstate is empty, no cops, scarce Wal-Marts, wide open scenery. All that we love. Next few weeks are moving towards the Rockies, we'll be in Yellowstone in 14 days.
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