2014 Travels travel blog

Carpe Diem at Rushmore Shadows RV

This is a big park right on US 16

Considerable open space between us and US 16

Saturday we visited Hill City...

... which is home to Teddy Bear Town...

... which houses Ted, the bear we donated

Sandi visiting with Ted in Teddy Bear Town

Other denizens of Teddy Bear Town

Why park in the middle when you can crowd your neighbor
Yes, they...

Rube Goldberg is alive and well at Rushmore Shadows RV

Fri, 05 Sep: A very short day despite an early wakeup...

Today was an ACD (Alarm Clock Day). We don't like them, but on occasion even retirees need to be up and at em earlier than our internal clocks deem appropriate. Today was one of those days.

We had a very slight leak in our potable water pump (see previous entry for more details). The pump replacement was a bit more involved than anticipated so the RV tech (Bob) asked us to move the coach from our site into the shop first thing this morning. He opened the bay doors around 0720 and Sandi moved Carpe into the bay.

Once the coach was settled in and Bob was getting to work Sandi took our car (Carpe Dinkum) to Rapid City to have a fasting blood draw. She needs to get this done every two months and this is time. The clinic was almost empty so she was back at Americas Mailbox by 0815.

Work continued on the coach for a bit and then we moved the coach to the street for a lengthy leak check. Sure enough, we found some leakage on one of the hoses, which Bob promptly corrected. We think that it's sound now, but we'll be watching it like a hawk.

At 0930 we drove the coach to Sam Club sans car. We added 52.6 gallons of diesel to top off Carpe's tank. The cost was 20¢/gallon less than at Flying J. Let's see, 20¢ * 52.6 gallons = $10.52, well worth the gallon of fuel it took us to drive to and from Sam Club.

Once back at Americas Mailbox we connected the car and picked up our mail. After good byes to the AM staff and several of our fellow campers (neighbors) we rolled our wheels at 1040.

Our route took us along the SD 14 bypass to US 16 and then south toward Keystone. Our destination was the Rushmore Shadows RV Resort, an upscale (or so they claim) park close to Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and other Black Hills attractions. They normally charge $60+/nite, but we got a three nite for $40 special if we attend a sales pitch. We're scheduled for that 0900 tomorrow (Saturday). We'll report on that experience anon.

Sat, 06 Sep: We got the sales job, and survived...

As mentioned above, we got a special rate for three nites camping provided we agree to attend a sales presentation. Ours was at 0900 this morning and we were on time and ushered into a sales booth with Bruce, our "sales representative". Bruce was a nice fellow but not into hard sell which was just fine with us.

In a nutshell, they were selling membership in Rushmore Shadows for $9,500, but WAIT! If we signed up today we could have it for only $7,500. And, they also "throw in" a membership in Coast to the Coast RV park system, which is supposed to give us "free" camping at hundreds of RV parks around the country.

After some small talk we watched a group presentation and then back with Bruce. After a bit he called in another fellow who was more experienced and gave us the "numbers" and tried to sweeten the deal. We asked to take the sales brochures and his worksheet back to our coach to go over the numbers and talk it over.

He agreed to let us have the paperwork till noon. We went back to the coach and some quick internet research revealed that we could better the deal by several orders of magnitude on the resale marked. We returned to the sales office and informed Bruce that we weren't interested. He said OK and out we went.

We got in the car and drove to Hill City to visit Teddy Bear Town. Teddy Bear Town holds the Guinness World Record for the largest Teddy Bear collection, currently at 8,552 bears. We donated a bear last year so we wanted to visit. We also had lunch at a local burger joint that was pretty good, altho neither of us had a burger (Bob had a pulled pork sandwich and Sandi a chicken wrap.)

Back to our coach where we met our neighbor in the next spot. Miles and his bride are brand new full timers and are heading to Goshen, Indiana for a rally. They are also in the process of establishing South Dakota residency with Americas Mailbox. We hit it off very well and enjoyed meeting Miles.

Sun, 07 Sep: An "at home" day

We awoke at our leisure and enjoyed a relaxing breakfast. We worked on our computers most of the morning and did some laundry in the afternoon. The park was fairly quiet, and then the jerks arrived in two waves...

The first jerk arrived in a beautiful fifth wheel trailer and pulled into the space to our right. He had the trailer nicely centered in the space, but pulled out and around again so he could pull in on the extreme left side of the space which put his trailer only a few feet from our awning. Once he extended his slide there were only inches between the slide and our awning.

As if that wasn't enough, he then proceeded to set up an elaborate sewer hose project (see the pix) that encroached into our site. Why? Because he's a jerk...

The other jerks arrived in two fivers a few spaces down and proceeded to start the smokiest campfire one could imagine. We think they were burning railroad ties and the stench of wood preservative made our eyes water.

We're now very happy that we didn't buy into this park if this is indicative of the type of campers they allow. Another update re. our "promo" campsite. Bob found out that members of the Winnebago Owners Club get the promo rate waived (free). Bob contacted the office and they refunded our fee. Way to go Bob!

We are "outta heah" in the morning. Our plans are to head south to US 18 and then west to US 85 in eastern Wyoming. From there we'll take US 85 south toward I 80 and then west toward Ogden Utah. At least, those are our plans right now. Who knows?

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