Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Quick Trip

Gerry's Aunt Mary passed away a few months ago in Ohio.  She was born in a small town nearby and lived there until she married and then moved to the Cleveland, OH area.  

Joanne and Joseph are her two children who brought her ashes back to Mt. Olive, IL to be buried next to her husband.  It was a quick trip for them, arriving Sunday evening and leaving Monday afternoon for the 400+ miles back to Columbus, OH.  

We had dinner with them on Sunday night and then talked until after midnight.  Monday morning we went with them to the cemetery and met the funeral director who had everything set up for the burial of the ashes.  It was an especially brutal hot and humid morning and I think everyone was in a hurry to get back into a/c comfort.  After a prayer we all headed for downtown Mt. Olive so they could see what it looked like now.

When their parents were younger the children came back to the area every summer so they were familar with the towns.   They were surprised to see how forlorn some of the buildings on main street looked with boards covering windows and the general disrepair of the towns.

We did manage to stop at a pastry shop and enjoy some of the best pastry you can imagine.  Gerry and I shared a Danish pastry that was the size of a small pizza and it was great.  Afterward we sat around the table and talked about what they wanted to see in the short time left.  

Joseph, Joanne & Gerry
 After a quick tour of the area we bid them a fond farewell as they headed back east.  I assume they had a good trip as we haven't heard from them yet.   Hint, hint Joanne!

We decided to do a little geocaching.  There was some talk about a home made from a railroad car.  Since there was a cache nearby, we decided to investigate.  The cache was aptly named "All Aboard".

In 1933, a young couple wanted to marry and decided upon a unique and affordable alternative to purchasing or building a house – they purchased and remodeled a 1900 Pullman chair car from a salvage yard of the Chicago and Alton Railroad.

The car was in line to be sold or burned, so they made arrangements to have it moved from Bloomington to Dorchester on three flatbed rail cars. It was moved to a lot on skids, and the young couple spent their honeymoon remodeling the rail car, adding two partitions, maple hardwood floors, and all the amenities of the day.

A few years later a foundation and basement were dug across the street, next to the Lubrication Shop that is still standing, and the cozy home was moved to its permanent site.

The coach is now 115 years old, and is just as satisfactory a residence today as it was back then.



  
Dorchester is a small village in Macoupin, CO, IL.  The Big 4 train tracks ran through it many years ago and they had a large grain elevator there.   The tracks, grain elevator, etc are all gone now, but it is a pleasant little village.

The Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway, also known as the Big Four Railroad and commonly abbreviated CCC&StL, was a railroad company in the Midwestern United States. Its primary routes were located in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.
 
We also visited with a very old friend of mine who I've known since I was 4 years old.  He was a friend of my brother's and then became my friend also.  We went through 12 years of school together, joined the FBI at the same time and have kept in contact all these years.  Weye & Nancy are a super couple and we always enjoy seeing them.

They live on a farm and there is an oddity about their names.  Weye and Nancy have a son, Weye, who married a Nancy.  The families live next door to each other.  They have a neighbor lady down the road who also is named Nancy.  Of course, they all share the same last name so it must give new postmen fits sorting the mail and keeping it straight.

My niece lives a little further down the road and we stopped by her house and enjoyed a very nice dinner and evening with her husband Deveron and their family.  Their daughter Charlie is a bundle of energy and is like a perpetual motion machine.  Plus, she is a blond cutey and charming as well.

It was a long day and we returned to the motorhome tired and worn out but had a very satisfying day.  Now to get some much needed sleep and rest.  Good night!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Litchfield, IL RT 66 Museum

A group of citizens of Litchfield got together in 2011 and decided to build a museum to house artifacts from Litchfield.  The museum was finished in 2012 and immediately people in the area began stocking it with memorabilia.  The museum is small but has some interesting photos and artifacts from the area.

This old car was parked in front of the museum the other day.  Notice the Vic Shuling sign on the right.  He opened a gas station there in 1957 and I remember stopping for gas there when we were back in the area.


This beautiful old restored 1930 Ford was parked inside in an area called the garage.  It was in showroom condition and sparkled.  


 There weren't a lot of restaurants in the area back when I was in school and one of my favorites was Skinny's Cafe.  My dad was friends with Skinny and it was his restaurant of choice also.  He and his wife are pictured below.  As you can see his nickname didn't apply to his size.


 They had the best cheesburgers in Illinois and I was addicted to them.  It didn't take much convincing to have me tag along with my dad when he was going there.


Now there is a RV dealership situated on the spot where Skinnys was located.  I prefer that the restaurant would still be there.

Calhoun County is noted for producing the best peaches in Illinois and they are my favorites.  We lucked out this year and are back in time to pick up some of the delicious fruit.  They are almost the size of a softball and look beautiful.  I plan on enjoying one tomorrow for breakfast.



That was our day, how was yours?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Views From Old Hometown - Gillespie, IL

Gerry and I are visiting with family in Central Illinois for a week or so.  Our campground of choice is about 17 miles from my hometown of Gillespie.  Gillespie has a population of 3600 according to the latest population and has been the same size for many years.  There used to be a number of coal mines in the area and they closed in the 1950s and many jobs were lost forever.

Gillespie main street looking south
 The Illinois Terminal System used to run down the middle of the the main street.  The Illinois Terminal Railroad, known as the Illinois Traction System until 1937, was a heavy duty interurban electric railroad with extensive passenger and freight business in central and southern Illinois from 1896 to 1982. When Depression era Illinois Traction was in financial distress and had to reorganize, the Illinois Terminal name was adopted to reflect the line's primary money making role as a freight interchange link to major steam railroads at its terminal ends, Peoria, Danville, and St. Louis. Interurban passenger service slowly was reduced, and it ended in 1956. Freight operation continued but was hobbled by tight street running in some towns requiring very sharp radius turns. In 1986, ITR was absorbed by a consortium of connecting railroads.



 The building on the right used to be a bank and next to it on the left was the Woolworths Five & Ten store.  They had all sorts of nice things in the store and I enjoyed shopping there with the few dimes I had to spend. 

Another view looking south.  I stood in the road to take this picture.

I lived on Maple St near the Catholic Church whose steeple is on the left side of the photo.  About a block from where the picture was taken was the Big 4 train track which crossed the ITS.


 The building below with the false front is destined to become an outdoor beer garden one of these days.


 This theater showed first run films and it cost 9 cents to get in when I was a child.  Coming up with the 9 cents wasn't that easy for a 10 year old then.  The name of the theater has changed a number of times and a number of years ago the town was decorated with canna flower pots on main street.  That is when the name was changed to the Canna Theater.  I hear it's now being used as a church.


 Gillespie has always been a good baseball and softball town and the games were played at the Welfare Park.  The photo below is a softball field.  It was in immaculate shape and is well used to this day.




Softball field from left field
A baseball field was added a number of years ago after I left the area.  It also has a very nice playing surface and is popular with the local baseball players.

  
There have been many changes to my old hometown, some good and others bad.  The main street isn't as lively as it was in the 1950s and 1960s.  A number of businesses have closed and almost all of the bars/saloons have closed down.  We do have a Mexican and a Chinese restaurant in town now which is a big change from long ago.  There are two local car dealers which sell Fords and Chevys.  Big rivalry here between fans of each company with Ford leading the way.

Many of my friends have remained in the area and when I get a chance I look them up, plus I see them during the High School reunions.  Most of them look older now which is a surprise to me since I haven't changed.  Yah, right says Gerry.

At least the Dairy Queen is still open and serving great banana splits, cones and blizzards.  We visited it a couple times already and most likely will check it out again before we leave.

 My brother and his children have kept us busy with dinners out, visits and entertaining us.  It's great to see them and how well they are doing.

That is what we've been up to the last 4-5 enjoyable days.  

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Illinois RT 66 - Litchfield, Gillespie & Mt. Olive

Route 66 stretched from Chicago, IL to Santa Monica, CA and was roughly 2448 miles long.  At first RT 66 used existing roads and designated them as RT 66.  There are three different routes taken in the area around Litchfield and Gillespie, IL depending on the year the road came through there.

RT 66 through Litchfield, IL


RT 66 through Gillespie, IL
The mural below was painted on the side of the old Dippold Drug Store recently.  It commemorates the route that passed through Gillespie during the 1926-1930 era.



 The 1930-1940 section has always been called "old 66" around this area.  They still have a drive-in movie on old 66 and it shows recent movies on the weekend in the summer.  I snuck into that drive-in many times 60 years ago along with 2-3 others in a trunk of a car.   Funds were tight during the mid-1950s.  Later when I had sufficient funds, Gerry and I watched a few movies there.  Cars of that era had bench seats (no console in the way) in the front and it was possible to sit next to your girlfriend.  Of course that caused the windows to steam up a lot.  I won't say anymore than the above, but old timers remember those days fondly.

One of only 20 drive-in theaters in Illinois





 The Ariston Cafe in Litchfield has been owned and run by one family for over 90 years and sits between the old and new RT 66.  Location, location.  They make a great bowl of chili among many other great selections.  Try it, you will like it.  You need to do it in a hurry since it's for sale now at $1.2 million.  The Ariston is on the Historical Register and there is a very nice Museum across the street from the restaurant.  

Ariston Cafe 


This is what "new 66" looks like south of Litchfield, IL.  When I-55 was opened in 1977 they started work on closing one lane of Rt 66.  In some places the road is still there and others they have removed the pavement.  This is what a highway looks like after being closed to traffic for 38 years.  The southbound lane is still being used and connects Litchfield and Mt. Olive, IL




 Rt 66 approaching Litchfield from the south with both north and south sections still being in use.


The Soulsby Shell Station in Mt. Olive is closed now, but for years it was operated by one family. The Soulsby Service Station is a historic service station in Mt Olive, IL. The station is located along historic US Rt 66 and is the oldest usable service station on the highway in Illinois. It serves as an example of the house and canopy gas station design.


Henry Soulsby built the station in 1926 after an injury forced him to leave the mining industry and operated it along with his children Russell and Ola Soulsby.  His son Russell, a WWII naval communications technician, operated a radio and TV repair business out of the station as I-55 diverted highway traffic away from the site in the late 1950s.  

A few years ago we stopped by and chatted with Russell and he showed us his stock of vacuum tubes to radios and tvs.  His collection would have rivaled any big repair shop of it's day.  The room was full of tubes of all sizes and shape.  Hopefully they were saved for posterity so the younger generation can actually see a vacuum tube.  

The station stopped pumping gas in 1991 and closed in 1993.  The old oil change ramp was outside and standing during our visit.




That is my little trip down memory lane.  I should also include Jubelt's Bakery in Litchfield where they have the best pastries in the U.S.  We always stop by and I like the vanilla covered Long Johns and Gerry picks up the cheese Danish.  They are fantastic when you get one that just came out of the oven.




Friday, July 17, 2015

Hot & Humid Illinois

We spent the past few day visiting with Gerry's cousin in Macomb, IL and had a great time visiting with Fran and her friend Bob.  It was nonstop conversations on a variety of subjects and everyone had a great time.



Fran is retiring from Western Illinois University at the end of August after working there over 28 years.  Like most of us she is looking forward to retirement and hopes to do some traveling.  Happy trails Fran!

As would be expected a lot of the discussion centered around family matters and lore.  Their grandparents came over from Czechoslovakia early last century and he was an accomplished musician.  They have a picture of him playing on board the ship they came over on and he was a member of a band.  One story is that he was paid to play and that paid for their trip to the U.S.

I photographed a copy of an old photo that shows him playing on board ship as they arrived in New York.  It is hard to make out which one he is, but we think he's on the lower left side of the photo. 



He could play several instruments and this is the one he played in the photo above.  Fran bought it at the auction of her parents estate after their death.  Fran's father had kept the horn and she wanted to make sure she had something to remember her grandfather by.   




If you had noticed the time on the clock in the photo of Gerry and Fran, you would have seen how late it was when we left.  After the visit we drove around the McDonough County courthouse and were impressed by how nicely it was lit up by floodlights.  I stopped in the middle of the road (no traffic at that time of night) and snapped a few pictures.  What a beautiful building it is.  





The courthouse was built in 1872 and renovated  1978-79 and restored to the original brick & stone construction.  Architect Elijah E. Myers designed the building in the Second Empire style; the courthouse is one of the few remaining Second Empire buildings in the county.

Wikipedia
Second Empire is an architectural style, most popular between 1865 and 1880, and so named for the architectural elements in vogue during the era of the Second French Empire. As the Second Empire style evolved from its 17th century Renaissance foundations, it acquired an eclectic mix of earlier European styles, most notably the Baroque often combined with mansard roofs and low, square based domes.

The style quickly spread and evolved as Baroque Revival architecture throughout Europe and across the Atlantic. Its suitability for super-scaling allowed it to be widely used in the design of municipal and corporate buildings.

 

Now we have modern courthouses being built with no character at all.  What a shame.  

Friday we departed the Argyle Lake State Park and drove down RT 67 south toward our next destination of Gillespie, IL.  There were some very rough sections of the highway and I was down to 40mph trying to keep it from shaking the motor home to pieces.  The Illinois river was at flood stage when we drove over the Beardstown bridge and south of town there were sandbags alongside of the highway in the "bottoms".  We survived the trip and arrived at our campground around 3pm.  

Once we were setup our niece Jeanie called and wanted to know if we wanted to go out for dinner.  We were tired, worn out and ready to eat out rather than prepare a meal in the motor home so we decided to take her up on it.  The agreed upon restaurant was a nice Chinese one in Litchfield, IL.  It started out as the 4 of us and wound up being 12 people for the meal.  My brother & Sue, nieces Vonda & children; Jeanie and Curt; nephew Rick and Stephanie joined us.  We had a great time visiting with them and even the food was good.  

We decided to take the morning off on Saturday and catch our breath and then it will be non stop visiting with friends and relatives in the area.  I am looking forward to seeing everyone and catching up on their lives.  Oh, did I mention I have 7 nieces and nephews in the immediate area?  Let the good times begin.

That was our last couple days in hot & humid Illinois.  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Snafu Wednesday

Today was moving day and we sort of took our time since we were only going about 120 miles down the road.  We like the Little Bear Campground at exit 259 on I-80 and hung around another day to rest up.  Our site on the end of a row was nice since we had a large side yard and for the first couple days no neighbor.  There were a number of sites open, however a man in a little trailer decided to park next to us last night.  I wonder why people like to be so close to each other in a campground.

Just about the time we were ready to finish up our coffee we had a flicker in the lights.  That usually means the inverter switched from shore power to batteries.  I fired up the generator and it stayed on the inverter and didn't switch over to ac power like it should.  Ok, what now?  I checked relays, fuses, turning the genset off and nothing worked.  Finally I went outside and checked the genset and found out the relay out there had tripped.  I hate it when things like that happen and can't remember the last time a relay on the genset was a problem.  

The shore power eventually came back on and I switched over to it for the remainder of the time we were there.  Might as well use their electricity as our fuel to run the generator.  The lady at the office came around and and said the local power company had shut off the power to the whole area in order to make some repairs.

Shortly after that we were on the road to the Kum & Go fuel station to take on some $2.49/gallon diesel fuel.  We took on 56 gallons and soon was ready to go.  Nice to see diesel fuel that cheap and it helps with the pocketbook.

HWH filled out the forms for the repairs and sent them in to the extended warranty people and we will get $450 returned to us.  Who knows when the check will come in but at least they paid for the bulk of the service work.  Buying the extended warranty has paid off for us and I'm glad we have it.



We had an easy drive to Colchester, IL and are staying at Lake Argyle State Park for the next couple days.  Gerry's cousin Fran lives in the area and she wanted to take this opportunity to visit with her.  We met her and a friend for dinner and would up sitting in the restaurant for almost 3 hours chatting and catching up on family stuff.  We will visit with her on Thursday and take a tour of Macomb, IL to see all the sights.   Macomb is the home of Western Illinois University and Fran works there.

Oh, one more thing.  When the techs worked on the motorhome they weren't sure of all the buttons on the console and managed to turn the air horn off.  When I did my horn check today it sounded puny and wasn't loud enough to be of any use.  Once I switched back to the air horn it sounded great again.  It sure gets peoples attention when I tap on it when needed.

That was our day, how was yours?



 

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Day At HWH

I knew that HWH was on our route back east and took advantage of that and scheduled an appointment to have our leveling jacks serviced.  One leveling jack would go down after a couple weeks or so and I wanted that repaired.  The rear passenger side jack wouldn't retract all the way and it was a good time to have it repaired.

We had a 10:00am appointment and we stopped overnight at a campground about 9 miles from the plant.  There was a campground about a mile away but when I read the reviews of it a change of plans was made.  We made a good choice of staying at the Little Bear Campground just off of I-80 at exit 259.  Friendly staff and nice site, pool and a full hookup.  


We arrived early for the appointment and were told we would be next in for the work.  Well, two others came in after us and were taken first.  Gerry went in to ask what was going on since we were supposed to be next.  Evidently they had worked on these units and minor adjustments had to be made.  In the meantime we ran the generator (it was in the high 90s with humidity about the same), so it was comfortable waiting for our turn.

 We were told to pull into bay 6 and they would work on the motorhome after lunch.  Right at 12:30 the tech came to the motorhome and asked what were the problems.  Very professional and he didn't waste a lot of time chatting.  Before he arrived I managed to take a picture of part of the huge building we were in.  The also had a number of other large buildings where they manufactured their many products. 



They worked on the motorhome on and off for the next 4 hours and managed to correct all the problems.  We could have stayed in the motorhome while they worked on it or visit their customer lounge.  It was hot in the lounge but we couldn't run the a/c in the motorhome so we stuck it out in the lounge.



They called me back to the motorhome to help them with a few issues.  Finally, we settled our bill with them and found out they only charged for 2 hours.  That was nice.  Now we have to deal with our extended warranty people and get our money back from them after paying the deductible amount.  We may see our money in a month or so with luck.

I noticed a shell of a motorhome in the building and asked about it.  It seems HWH is working on a unique motorhome and plan to market them in a few years.  The man in charge of the project took us out to the motorhome and explained in detail all the features of it.  Many of them sounded neat, however a couple didn't make sense to us and we wondered who would buy the unit.  They plan on producing the unit and the buyer can install whatever they want in the motorhome.  i.e.,  dr office, dentist, residential or whatever they want it to be.  He didn't let us take any pictures since it is a prototype. 

Since it was late, we decided to return to the campground and setup for the night.  About the time we were setup a fellow camper who we met yesterday came over with his brother-in-law and asked if I wanted to join them on Tuesday for a golf outing.  18 holes of golf in the blazing sun with high temps and humidity wasn't my idea of a good time and I declined.  They stayed a while and visited with us.  Nice guys.

I checked the Yelp app and found a Mexican restaurant in West Liberty, IA that was about 7 miles down the road.  The restaurant was small and only 2 tables open when we arrived.  We grabbed a booth and both ordered a Taco salad for dinner.  Gerry had her margarita and I had a Dos XX LaRger beer.  No, I didn't make a typo, but they did.

We drove around the town of 3,200 people and saw a huge turkey processing plant.  An employee said they ran a couple shifts and they employed about 800-900 people.  There were also a few other businesses in the town.  Lots of Mexican restaurants, Tiendas, Spanish language names, etc.  I assume a large percentage of the work force was Mexican.

On the way back we saw a neat old barn and since I like barns, Gerry snapped a photo of it.  From the looks of the barn it has been around for a long time.



Oh, I also managed to pick up a geocache while we were waiting for the repairs to be finished.  Now I have added another smiley face for Iowa on my map.  It was too hot to look for many others and we headed back to HWH and their hot lounge area.

That was our day, how was yours?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Moving On Down The Road

The last couple days haven't been that interesting and I didn't want to bore you with the details.  However, I've been asked how come the blog hasn't been updated.  So, here goes what we've been doing the past couple days.

We arrived in Sioux Falls and drove to the fairgrounds where they had some full hookup campsites.  The camp host came out and told us that there was a special event going on the next day and we wouldn't be allowed out of the park between 9am-2pmk.  Plus they were calling for rain and the campsites were grass and soft dirt due to all the rain the past couple weeks.  Two strikes and they were out for a place to stay.

The Red Barn RV park had an opening and we headed for there.  It is an older park and has very narrow roads with trees, cars, truck and ROCKs lining the road.  As luck would have it the narrow lane I had to make a right turn into was almost impossible to access.  I made a couple tries and managed to run into a large rock placed right on the corner.  No damage, but after several back and forth attempts I managed to get past it.

The campsite itself also was very narrow with tree branches in the front.  I ran over a few of there 6X12 tiles that were supposed to be the patio.  Why they had them there I will never know since they weren't even close to our door and were only about 3ft wide.  The tiles didn't hold up very well to our rear wheels and I broke 3-4 of them.

The park manager finally said OK, you are all set and started to leave.  That is when I asked her to trim the branches (suckers) so I could exit the next day.  Reluctantly she said her husband would come up and trim the branches.  He arrived shortly and did a good job of trimming so it was easy getting out the next morning.

We drove down to Dakota Post,  our mail forwarding service,  and provides us an address in Sioux Falls.  They recently moved from one location to the another and we had to change our address.  PAIN!  While we were there we filled out a form to change our address on our driver licenses and they faxed the request to the DMV.

All this made us hungry and thirsty and we stopped by a neighborhood bar/pizza joint for dinner.  It was a 2 for 1 "Happy Hour" and we took advantage of that.  The pizza was also half price and we ordered a large one so we would have some left over for lunch the next day.  To our surprise it was an excellent pizza and we both enjoyed it very much.

We wound up taking the back roads the next day to our stop for the night.  US 20 in western Iowa was very rough and about shook the cabinets off the walls.  I cut down to US 30 and that was a great road.  Not a lot of traffic, a few towns and mostly corn fields.  We stopped for the night in Colo, IA at a rather nondescript campground for two nights.  Other than a short shopping 
trip into Ames, IA and some geocaching we just chilled out.  






Then we had an easy 140 mile drive to a campground near the HWH factory where we will have the jacks worked on Monday at 10am.



 See, I told you this would be boring, but there are times like this when your house has wheels.

Hopefully, you all had a more interesting couple days.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Big Bend Dam- Lake Sharpe Fort Thompson, SD

Our time was up in Rapid City and we needed to move on down the road.  We stopped at FlyingJ and filled the motorhome fuel tank along with the Honda's.  Easy in and out at the RV pump so that was a plus.  Then it was on to the Cabella's store a short distance away to empty our black & grey water tanks since the Elks Lodge didn't have a dump station.  The price was right at Cabella's as they provide rv space and a dump for free.  

We had a nice drive to Ft Thompson, SD where we stopped for two nights at the Big Bend Dam COE park.  They only had electric at the campsite and water spigots in a couple places in the park.  I thought I had enough fresh water in our tank, but when I went to use water, the tank was empty.  I had left a water line open and I was leaking water all the way from Rapid City. 

Big Bend Dam on the Missouri River


The COE campground is large with over 100 sites which are mostly pull throughs and are quite large.  We had more than enough room for the motorhome and car in the site on an asphalt driveway.

Our MH is in the middle with the dark front end.


It was a little confusing trying to enter the campground due to a very sharp curve that I couldn't make.  Luckily, there was a small turnout nearby and I went through it in order to get a straight shot into the road to the campground.

A Park Ranger waited for us to get turned around and lead us into the camping area.  The first thing I noticed was large tree branches that were split away from the trees and what looked like numerous trees that had been blown down.  After we were setup the ranger came by to  chat with us.  He said about 3 weeks ago they had 100+ mph winds come through the area and demolished the trees and damaged many camping units.  One woman was taken to the hospital.  The small town of Ft Thompson also was hit hard and many housing units were damaged or destroyed.

Campground across from the small harbor.

View of the dam.
 We had a relaxing two nights at the campground and appreciated the camp fee of $9.00/night with the Golden Age pass.  Most of the campers there had fishing boats, pontoon boats and other watercraft to play with while they were there.  They were all friendly and had a big wave for us as they passed by.  




It was a great stop and we recharged our internal batteries after all the running around in the Rapid City area.  There wasn't a single tourist spot anywhere near the campground and very few stores in Ft. Thompson.  No place to shop or spend our money.  Most of the surrounding area is Indian Reservation and there was one casino.

That was our couple days at the COE campground.  How was your day?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Custer, SD Pt II

I left some photos out of the previous days post since it was so long and I didn't want to bore you too much.  We did start to visit the Chief Crazy Horse memorial but it looked like not much has changed on the project for the past couple years. 

A sculptor was selected and work began on the memorial in 1948 and work progressed nicely for a while.  Then some in fighting between Lakota tribe members slowed down the project.  I don't want to go into all the issues, but a google search explains what has transpired over the years.


 Note the drawing on the lower right side of the memorial in the picture below.  It helps outline what the finished product will look like if it is ever finished.


 We came across a small herd of Long Horn steers on our way to Custer, SD.  The horns look they could be a dangerous weapon if the steers ever decided to take on a person.


A few years ago the town of Custer had a number of buffalo sculptures created by a resident.  He wound up making somewhere between 12-15 of the buffalo and we found a few of them on main street there.  They look life like except they aren't painted the colors of buffalo. 










All this touring made us hungry and since we were in the park, we decided to try out the State Game Lodge.  As we pulled into the parking lot the executive chef was walking outside and I asked him if the food was any good there.  He had a shocked look on his face and then said it was great.  I think he didn't realize I was putting him on.  We chatted for a while and then went inside to eat.  


 The State Game Lodge is a gracious native stone and wood lodge built in 1920 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It served as the “Summer White House” for President Calvin Coolidge in 1927 and was visited by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953.


 We only visited the dining room and didn't have time to look over the lodge.  What we did see was very elegant and well done.  The etched glass of an elk and buffalo behind us in the dining room was very well done.

Dale, Debbie, Gerry and me
 We all enjoyed our meals very much and Gerry had a super smoked salmon pasta with a dill &Parmesan sauce.  She even let me taste it and I regretted not ordering it.  Next time!

I covered our trip in yesterday's blog, but wanted to add in these unrelated things.  We all thought the trip thru Custer SP was the highlight of our stay in the area.