Day 14 – 9/13 Rapid City (SD) to Billings (MT)

Wow, what a beautiful morning sky.  Sun is shining full force at 7am, sky is blue, not a single cloud, and I can see the mountains far away in the horizon.  It’s going to be another nice warm day.  We are on the road today, heading to Billings, MT.  This was home for almost two weeks.  We are going to miss it, but are excited as well to continue our adventure.  We did some preparing last night, so hoping we can leave early enough today, no later than 10, but prefer at 9, so we have enough time to make stops and still arrive around 5-6pm. 

As I was writing about yesterday here and having my coffee, I heard some weird noise coming from outside and when I looked out the window, 2 hot air balloons were descending towards Rapid City, wow, what a beautiful view.  I ran outside to get some pics and a quick video, very cool. I called Carol before I went out, and she came just in time to see the balloons through the camper window, but they were far away already.  A few minutes later we heard more, and woke the kids up, and a few more came down. 

Kids were excited to see those, and they were close to us, descending a bit behind the hill that was right in front of us.  That was pretty cool to see, nice way to start the day, and get everyone up early, hahahaha… that was around 7:30am. 

With everyone up, we started getting ready to go, our drive was about 6 hours, not including stops, so I wanted to leave as early as possible.  We did the usual, I got the outside ready, and Carol got the inside.  The girls helped her a bit, and they finished breakfast and the trailer around 9:15.  I hitched the trailer, undid everything outside and emptied the tanks after they were all done, and we were out by 9:40.  Not awesome, but good. 

We didn’t have any stops planned, but wanted to drive through Sturgis to see it and get a feel for the city, so we did.  You can totally tell it is a biker city.  All the bars are western saloon style, lots of bike gear ads, some pretty big places like the Full Throttle Saloon, which was really cool with bike statues in the front.  We didn’t take pictures as we just drove through and I was driving, and I usually take most pictures.  But, it was cool to drive through and see it.  I can imagine that small town completely packed for the rally week.  It is worth it to at least drive through. 

We were going to take I-90 to Montana, but ended up taking 79N to 212W.  212 is a bit more back roads, and was actually easier and quicker, but there were a few patches of construction where the road was not the greatest, but overall was just fine. 

The views were super nice, plains, then mountains, and then smaller mountains over mountains as we got closer to Billings.  About 90 miles away we merged onto I-90, and the RV Park was about a mile off into town, and we pulled in around 4pm, which was very good timing. 

All the sites here are for RVs, it is really a big parking lot for RVs with full hookups.  We backed in, which took a few back and forth as Carol and I work out the mechanics of communicating the backing in assistance.  Bia helped me get the trailer setup and connected.  Carol started making dinner, I went to the gas station to fill up and get some local beers, and the girls were playing around. 

We had dinner outside, it was nice.  We sat on our chairs, ate, talked, laughed, it was a nice family moment.  Then Carol went inside to clean up, and I stayed outside with the girls. 

They were making bows and arrows with twigs and branches, and we were laughing at their attempts.  Eventually, Carol gave them glow sticks and they were shooting those in the dark as arrows, and that was fun.  They were trying to see who could shoot them further.  I also got my green laser light out, and Bia and I pointed at some stars, it’s a bit easier to see stars here, but not great as we are in the city, and there’s a light post right by our site.  It was very fun to be with the girls outside, they were playing, having fun, being kids. 

We wrapped it, cleaned up outside, and all got ready and went to bed around 10, it is a school day tomorrow.  Oh, the wifi here is awesome, so hopefully we have a few days of being connected with no issues. 

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