gang aft agley

Writing from a Sunday night in Black Hills of South Dakota.  Our motor coach is nestled comfy amongst pine needles and grass in the Black Hills of South Dakota, near Hill City.

Today was the first time on this trip I’ve caught myself becoming discouraged and maybe a bit homesick.  We had planned to tour the Crazy Horse Memorial and Mt. Rushmore, both in the Black Hills.  Of course, the stupid rain which has been dogging us the entire trip parked it self above us and paced us right along at our 75MPH clip from Wyoming into Sioux country.  There hasn’t been a day yet on this trip where we haven’t been wet; rain and snow and even some hail in Yellowstone – we’ve seen every flavor of the precipitation part of the water cycle.  As we crested the foothills and got into mountain-carving land the rain became a fine mist and the visibility in general dropped off to maybe a mile.

Crazy Horse was only a blurry sketch of what it should’ve been, shrouded by gray and cloud and watery from the distance.  We spent most of our time inside at the museum and welcome center.  It was there that the weather momentarily bested me.  Staring at the people milling around, all of us I’m sure praying that we’d move from one window to the next and find the clouds somehow miraculously parted and the skies blue and inviting, a malaise washed over me.  “A wasted day,” I thought; “Stupid rain; when is it going to let up?,” I challenged no one.  I should’ve taken a cue from the family – Keaton was enjoying the museum exhibits and taking pictures of her own, Cohen was being the same amazingly well-behaved baby he always is, and Sharaun, no doubt having picked up on my mood, was reassuring and encouraging.  Family’s always got your back, y’know?

Since Crazy Horse was (maybe only to me) largely a bust, we decided that conditions for Mt. Rushmore would be no better and we might as well push that until tomorrow morning in hopes of clearer conditions.  The forecast says it won’t happen, but who knows.  In fact, looking at forecasts for the next few cities we’re in I see rain, rain and more rain.  I’m not sure we’ll escape it.  When am I going to cook these tasty burgers or juicy ribeyes for my family?  See… this is what came over me all at once at Crazy Horse – and it’s pointless.  Sharaun, ever my muse and lighthouse, helped me to see that once we got to camp.  A gorgeous wooded area in the middle of the Custer National Forest, I’m happier now just for her pointing out the obvious: rain and snow and hail and all – this trip is downright amazing.

She’s right.  As she is most of the time when it comes to stuff like this.  I am having such an awesome time.  I spent an hour just tonight rolling around on the bed with Cohen; rain ain’t got nothing on that.  And so with my family to remind me that the best laid plans of mice and men of go awry, and with so much other good times to make up for something not the postcard-perfect vision I had in my head – I’m set.  So don’t worry for me, and don’t let me bring you down.  I’ll be the guy with the smile behind the wheel of the advert-clad 30ft rented RV barreling through the rain and snow and hail on his way to God knows where.

Until later, take care from the road!


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