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Friday, August 31, 2018

Taking Care of Business

Aloha Everyone,

Lyle, the owner of Rapid Upholstery graciously agreed to expedite the completion of Honu’s seats. We truly appreciated his hard work. On top of it all, today is Lyle’s birthday. He told us that his wife and the family celebrate his special day by taking off for Labor Day Weekend.

The two of us were also able to wash our sleeping bags. Using a large, commercial washer and dryer makes such the task easier than squeezing individual sleeping bag into more compact size machines.

The rest of the day was spent washing Honu at a self service car wash; reorganizing Honu’s cabinet spaces; and trying to tidy up.

Over the past 4 years, we have replaced all 6 of Honu’s tires twice, replaced all 4 of Honu’s house batteries, replaced the water pump, as well as kitchen faucet, and replaced the hose for the black water. We now have new upholstery for all 3 captain’s seats. Additionally, we have hired RV repairmen to work on minor repairs at least once a year. Living in an RV is similar to owning a land-based home. Maintenance is part of the routine. Since Honu is a home on wheels, repairs are needed more frequently. So far, we have travelled over 120,000 miles.

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Rapid Upholstery & Interstate Batteries

Aloha Everyone,

Another day for Honu’s repair and upgrades. Lyle, the owner of Rapid Upholstery was waiting for us when J.J. and I arrived a little pass 8:00 am. He had the materials and colors we had previously selected. Lyle then began dismantling the front passenger seat. He will use this as a pattern to make the driver’s seat. We will return tomorrow morning for installation. The third seat should be finished by Tuesday.

There are four “house batteries” for Honu’s cabin requirements when we are not connected to a power outlet. It’s for the refrigerator, lights, microwave and coffeemaker. Interstate Battery technicians immediately began removing them. The two under the hood were simple to replace but the two underneath the vehicle took time.

All in all, today was a very productive day!

Aloha -- Cathi

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Honu’s Repairs and Herman & Rita from Holland

Aloha Everyone,

Jim and his assistant Joe were friendly, congenial and professional. Jim retired from the US Air Force as an aircraft technician after 25 years of service.  

Joe, retired from the US Navy, is Jim’s pastor. He jokingly said, "During the week, I work for him, but on Sundays, he follows me."

Jim identified the problem with our reclining bed/seat. The replacement part has to come from Roadtrek. Joe also attended to the slow leak of our kitchen sink. He checked our “house batteries” and his professional recommendation was to replace all 4 immediately before we encounter a major problem.

Herman and his wife Rita are visiting the United States. Herman, retired from KLM (Royal Dutch Airline) spoke fluent English. We shared information and common experiences of travel, airlines, camping, family and grandchildren. We had a brief but very enjoyable time. They were on their way to Cheyenne, Wyoming then to Denver, Colorado. I suggested for them to spend even just a few hours at the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Aloha -- Cathi

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Dining “Out & In” in South Dakota

Aloha Everyone,

This week we set aside for Honu’s repairs and upgrades. J.J. and I went to Walmart Super Center and Safeway to purchase some provisions for the coming days.

Here  are some dishes we enjoyed dining out and in since arriving in South Dakota.

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, August 27, 2018

Tunnels, Tunnels then Mount Rushmore!

Aloha Everyone,

Our route took us through another section of Custer State Park. J.J. called them “hairpin turns” as roads made a sharp "u" then another "u" under bridges. There were also several low ceiling tunnels giving Honu less than a foot of ceiling.

The unexpected reward was a direct view of Mount Rushmore Monument Mountain as we came out of the last tunnel.

Back in Rapid City. Unable to find any restaurant in downtown with parking large enough for Honu, we ended up at Flying J gas station at a diner catered to truckers:-). Interesting choice: J.J. had cheese burger with ham and beans soup. I had cheese burger with no bun. I was also served cheese and hamburger soup!  A half spoon was sufficient to satisfy my curiosity. Luckily, J.J. found my soup to his liking and he had it packed for dinner.

Aloha -- Cathi

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Endless Adventures at Custer State Park

Aloha Everyone,

There are 9 campgrounds for RVs and tent sites featuring electric hookups, flush toilets and showers. Some like Stockade Lake South, where we are staying, also offer cabins for vacationers. Additionally, there are 4 specialized camping areas providing  more primitive camping experiences.

One can reserve a site for 14 consecutive days then transfer to another place for 24 hours and return to the same site for another 14 days, if it is available.

There are 5 lakes within Custer State Park for swimming, boating and fishing. The latter requires a fishing license. Other activities include hiking, biking, horseback riding and wildlife viewing.  

For visitors who prefer unique lodges and resorts with fine dining experience, there are 5 unique lodges located within the park.   

Honu’s nightly camping fee with electric and water is $25 plus $2 online reservation assistance fee, $1.13 South Dakota Sales Tax and a $.38 tourism tax. For out-of-state visitors, state sales tax and tourism tax are slightly higher.  

Highlight for today was an amazingly close encounter with a herd of 100-150 bisons right on the Wildlife Loop Road. The animals halted traffic going both directions, came up to Honu to take a sniff and entertained us for nearly a half hour. Without stepping out of Honu, I managed to take reasonable selfies with bisons :-). 

J.J. and I also enjoyed a lakeside picnic where the site was too breezy for us to enjoy al fresco but, full of duende.

Aloha -- Cathi