We left SE Michigan on June 9, 2013 and arrived back home on August 3rd. This was our first extended trip in the bus since we both retired. Our basic bus route looked like this:
Our first day’s drive took us to Twelve Mile, IN where we stayed a couple of nights to visit friends. Another day’s driving got us to the Iowa 80 Truck stop west of Davenport, IA, our first overnight in a truck stop and our first boondocking experience. From there another day’s driving across Iowa got us to the Walmart on the SW corner of Sioux Falls, SD for our second night of boondocking and our first overnight at a “Wally World.”
A full day of driving, with a stop in Mitchell, SD to see the Corn Palace, got us to the Three Flags RV Park NW of Rapid City. We spent four nights camped here and used the car to visit Wall Drug, Badlands NP, and sites in the Black Hills, including the Prairie Berry Winery, Mt. Rushmore, Custer SP, and the Crazy Horse monument. We also visited Sturgis, Belle Fouche (the center of the nation), the D. C. Booth Historic Fish Hatchery in Spearfish, and drove through Deadwood.
We then went to Gillette, WY where we spent three weeks. Weeks one and three we attended RV rallies (FMCA and SKP respectively) at the CAM-PLEX. Week two we camped at the CAM-PLEX and went sight-seeing, including Devil’s Tower NM, Sundance, WY, and an open-pit coal mine tour. We also had some time to sit, relax, and visit with the folks parked on either side of us.
We relocated to Sheridan, WY for two weeks to work on a Habitat For Humanity project for the HFH Eastern Bighorns affiliate with a group of 18 SKP RVers. We drove through the northern Bighorn Mountains in our car one day. At the end of the two weeks we crossed them again, this time in our bus on US-16. Our destination was Wapiti, WY about 18 miles west of Cody and 30 miles east of the East Entrance to Yellowstone NP. We spent at week parked at the Green Creek Inn and RV Park and used our car to visit Cody, Yellowstone NP (2x), Grand Teton NP, and drive the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway and Beartooth Highway.
When we left Wapiti We drove to Billings, MT where we stopped to visit with Cherie Ve Ard and Chris Dunphy of Technomadia (who were having work done at Interstate Power Systems) before continuing on to Miles City, MT for the night. From there it was on to Medora, ND for two nights and a chance to explore the South and North Units of Theodore Roosevelt NP (the only NP named for a person).
A day’s drive across North Dakota brought us to a vineyard just west of Fargo, ND where we used our Harvest Hosts membership for the first time. Another day’s drive brought us to the Forestedge Winery near Laporte, MN. Forestedge Winery is also a Harvest Hosts location, but the owners are fellow members of an FMCA chapter we belong to, so we got to spend two nights and share a couple of dinner meals with them. We drove the car to Hibbing, MN to visit the Greyhound Museum and the see the world’s largest open-pit iron mine.
From Laporte it was on to Ironwood, MI were we spent the night in a city park. Another day’s drive brought us St. Ignace, MI where we spent two nights and some time in a favorite little town of ours. Our final day of travel brought us down the center of the Lower Peninsula and home.