Our fifth wheel and the truck

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Week Five

Hi again,

We arrived in Loveland on Monday afternoon and set up the van and then went out for dinner. We seem to be eating out a lot and I keep nagging Norm to buy a barbecue so we can have some steak or chicken or something that doesn't have some sort of sauce over it. It just seems that so much that you order has some sort of sauce over it or it is smoked or it is covered with cheese! Still as one lady told me when I asked for no cheese on my chicken and salad sandwich, you are in America now and we eat cheese! So maybe while in Rome I do as the Romans! LOL

On Tuesday we went up into the RMNP for the day and once again I run out of superlatives to describe it. Hair raising would be one when you look out of the truck window and you can see a drop off that must be 100metres - STRAIGHT DOWN! Forget the white knuckles I have chewed my nails down to the knuckles!

Even this late in the summer there is still snow in some parts of the mountains. The valleys between the mountains are just beautiful and around every bend in the road is a new vista that takes your breath away. We went up into the alpine tundra area - and while we were standing on the top of a mountain in Colorado we ran into a couple from Wollongong in NSW. The tundra is an amazing example of how nature can adapt to extremely harsh conditions.

On Wednesday we went back to the RMNP to take another road through however we ended up taking a one way dirt road with so many hairpin bends that Norm was a little stressed when we got to the end of it. One of the bends was so tight that he had to do a three point turn to get around it. Not fun when you are sitting in the passenger seat looking straight down the mountain - not fun for the driver either!

Thursday we spent just looking around Loveland, me getting a pedicure (so lovely) and doing some shopping. I love outlet stores!! Mind you, having said that, I didn't buy anything for me but Norm certainly got some good deals on a jacket and some t-shirts.

After we left the park, we wandered around the gorgeous town of Estes Park for a while and then headed home. We were suffering from what I have diagnosed as SOD! Sensory Overload Disorder!!!!! But you do get to a point where you just can't take any more in.

I love Colorado but there comes a time when you have to move on and we need to be in Goshen Indiana for the boot camp on 12th September so on Thursday we left CO. and went north east to Custer in South Dakota.

I can now understand why that song talks about 'The Black Hills of Dakota' because from a distance they really do appear black.

Enroute to Custer the GPS took us down a narrow,gravel track to a dead end. Whoa!!! Norm had to do a twenty point turn inbetween a farmer's gateway (equipped with a cattle grate) to get us out of there. He certainly got lots of practise at reversing the rig! We can laugh about it now but at the time it was pretty hard work. Mind you it probably looked really stupid with me running to the back of the rig to make sure it didn't hit anything then running to the other side and back again and Norm trying to get this thing backwards through a narrow gate! I had a pair of low heeled sandals on and nearly broke my ankle on the cattle grid a couple of times. The farmer was probably sitting somewhere having a good laugh at these hopeless tourists!

So a very valuable lesson - Don't trust your TOMTOM completely!

While in Custer we visited Bear Park USA. It is like a zoo the only difference is the people are in cages - not really. But you have to stay in your car with the windows up especially in the bear enclosure as the bears and wolves in the same enclosure can wander wherever they wish. We really enjoyed the close up and personal view of the animals living in an almost natural environment.

We then went to the Mt Rushmore NP with the mountain carvings of the four presidents. It really is an amazing achievement the way it has been done and the size of it.

After Mt Rushmore we went to see the Crazy Horse Memorial that is currently being carved from a mountain. The guy who started it took two years just to construct the steps to get him and his gear to the top of the mountain. It has already taken 50-60years just to get the face carved from the mountain. This is a family thing as the man who started it has died and now his wife and seven of his ten children are carrying out the rest of the carving. They are using his original measurements and the models that he made to complete the work.

The next day (Sunday) we just went for a walk through the town of Custer and had an easy day as we were taking off on the next leg of our trip to Goshen.

The next instalment will be from Wisconsin. See y'all later.


  1. Gday, i am catching up (slowly). Did you take pics of this. :)

    "One of the bends was so tight that he had to do a three point turn to get around it. Not fun when you are sitting in the passenger seat looking straight down the mountain - not fun for the driver either!"

  2. Gday again, you won't need Boot camp after all Norm's experience of driving and twenty point turns. LOL