John had traveled through Rapid City with America by Bicycle. He and his riding buds stopped in for dinner at the Firehouse Brewery in 2013 and John wanted to share the experience with me. We had the most outrageous artichoke dip with parmesan-crusted black bread slices for starters. I also munched down one of their famous buffalo burgers. It tasted as good as they say.
Jewel Cave is the third longest cave in the world - over 181 mapped miles, with much more exploration opportunities available. There are several tours offered, (one which I mentioned on Day 8 - 11 under the "RV Adventure" tab on this website.)
Outside the Jewel Cave National Monument building sits this little torture chamber (if you don't like tight places). The crazier tours are four hours or more, but the cave gets so small, you have to fit through this space before joining the tour to make sure you don't get stuck in the cave. No thanks!
This space is 8 1/2 inches high by 24 inches wide. You must be able to wriggle your body through this space to go on some of the cave exploration tours. Visions like the one below, however, are highly motivational.
Located above the Wind River in Rapid City is this beautiful replica of a Norwegian Lutheran church. It is patterned after famous Borgund stavkirke, of Laerdal, Norway which was built around 1150 and is considered the most completely preserved stave church still standing in Norway.
John and Jim took the time to ride up to Chapel on the Hill above this lake area. It is a replica of a 1540
Norwegian Lutheran church that was built in Rapid City in 1976. Peace pervades the area. Services are every evening and it is a favorite place for weddings.
John came through Dubois in 2013 on his bicycle trip across the U.S. He discovered that the original name for this town was "Never Sweat" because the wind blew all the time. The U.S. Post Office disagreed and named it Dubois, with a French pronunciation. Being the independent-minded folks they are, the residents pronounce it "Dooboys" to this day.
Gary Keimig in his gallery among his breath-taking paintings.
I walked into a gallery on the main street and fell in love with these paintings. I told the caretaker how much I enjoyed them and he introduced himself as the artist, Gary Keimig. He grew up in a pioneering family int he area. It was a pleasure meeting him. (He says this is the spot all the tourists have him stand.)
You can see our RV park in the background of Buddy's Bar-B-Q. It was the Wind River KOA and has a wonderful river flowing through it. While we were there, it was over the bank with water and rushing swiftly along its way.
Outside of Dubois, the landscape became so dramatic, we had to stop and take pics.
Since this is a travel AND mystery blog, I wanted to share moments from our six week trip from Oregon, to Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Washington and back home.
Perhaps we will run into mysteries along the way. If we do, I'll let you know!
Many of you are experienced RVers and have your meal preparations all worked out. However, this is the first long trip we've ever taken in our fifth wheel, so I wanted to be prepared. Three days before our trip, I shopped for seven hours. Two days before we left, I cooked for 13 hours. The result of all this prep: meals were so dang easy! I kept the meat in the freezer in small bags and reheated as needed. Meal prep was quick and I had no greasy stove or counters to clean up.
I'll share some of the meals that worked great. Maybe they will work for you as well (even at home).
For our six-week trek, I planned to have Chinese Chicken Salad three times. I figured how much chicken John and I would use and sauteed it with salt and pepper. After it cooled, I bagged it in 3 baggies and labeled each.
The ingredients you see above include lettuce, mandarin oranges, sliced almonds, and Chinese noodles (it came with a plastic lid so would store well for all three meals). I also like to add cilantro and chopped green onions. I purchased Chinese Chicken salad dressing and it was delicious.
The result: quick, delicious Chinese Chicken Salad
Driving all day took away our need for a lot of calories, but not for good eating. The crunchy sliced almonds, fresh tasting Mandarin oranges and chicken provided a satisfying meal. Small bread sticks, unfrozen and toasted just before eating, limited the carbs.
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