Got here about 5pm. Tried to cover up the stove pipe hole where the stove pipe on Gammy's bent over right at the roofline. All the wires were still connected so I don't know quite how it bent over. A tree on the hill had fallen over the fence behind Clark's. Clark's threshold split when I stepped on it. The middle tree is absolutely dying. Other than that, things are ok.
I drove through Socorro, New Mexico, then up to Las Vegas where I stayed, then to Clayton, then straight north through Colorado and stayed in Sidney, Nebraska. Colorado had a strong tail wind for me so I got 41.22 mpg on that leg of the trip. Average was 39.9 (without synthetic oil). There was some hail in northern Colorado, then fog all through Nebraska, then it started raining when I got to South Dakota and it's been raining off and on since. there was 1.5 inches of rain in the gauge this morning when I checked it from putting it out last night.
The lilacs haven'd leaved out yet. The creek is high but still in its banks. I heard frogs here and there.
Went to Narnia, bought groceries, got the bottles for water testing, bought some supplies. It was so foggy coming back on 44 that I was driving about 40mph. Still in the 50s.
It's drizzly and cold, about 39 degrees at 5:30. The high tomorrow is supposed to be 40! And of course, that's the day I'm going to rent a pickup and get my motorcycle.
I came back from town a minute ago and just around the corner from Chester's were 5 huge turkeys right in the middle of the road. By the time I got my camera ready they were not in as photogenic a spot.
Hardly any traffic today.
Below is the Frerichs mine mill, which is just above the hotel with the minature golf and race carts. I'd never heard of this mine before. It's in Whistler Gulch.
It started snowing huge snowflakes last night, so I took some video. This morning there's about 4 inches on the ground of wet snow. It was snowing those big flakes again so I took some more video. Thermometer says 34 degrees. I walked down past Koppos to the creek crossing and took a few photos. The house on the slag pile is still for sale, and in fact I see telephone poles lying there. I don't think he has electricity yet. The creek is high but not flooding.
So I wimped out and decided to rent the truck tomorrow instead. It's supposed to be nice tomorrow, then rain comes back Thursday. This is already the wettest May in recorded history (9.2 inches) and could be the wettest month in recorded history.
So today I'll finish Starcraft and do laundry. Yeah.
I went into Rapid city and rented a truck. I picked up my bike and some supplies, then came back here. Then I took Gammy's dead refrigerator to a recycler in Rapid. Finished my Starcraft marathon tonight. Once a year is enough of that.
As I was heading out this morning the turkeys were having some mating rituals in front of Chester's. I wish I'd had my video camera, but at least I got a few photos of them. I stopped my car and watched and they seemed oblivious to me being there. There were 2 guys fighting at first, then the girls seemed to push each other around a little too. Then they gradually wandered off.
This morning I was pumping to fill up the shower bags (I've only had one shower so far!). I heard pretty loudly in Jeraldine's direction some turkeys gobbling. I thought they were responding to the squeaking pump. But then they sounded like they were getting louder, so I ran to the cabin and got my video camera. I then walked down the road and saw the turkeys on the hill east of Jeraldine's house. I got some good video of the turkey strutting around, but it was from a distance.
The stupid truck I rented got like 10 mpg, so I spent a ton of money on gas. I think I'll have to rent it once more this summer, so I'll have to plan many things to do with it.
Finished my Starcraft marathon last night.
I went up Railroad Street that goes behind the fairgrounds into Spruce Gulch. Unfortunately, it ends at a gate at some private property. That's apparently how grandpa got into town. It's possible to walk down Two Bit Road, but that's farther east so it would be a longer walk. I'm going to ride my bike on whatever way is accessible and figure out the mileage from the cabin.
Went to Spearfish and saw Bill Clinton give a speech at BHSU for his wife Hillary. About 300 people were there. After about an hour long speech he lingered and shook hands and spoke to people in the front of the room next to the barrier. It was interesting watching the secret service. One tall guy stood right behind Clinton eyeing the people directly in front of Bill. He certainly had long enough arms that he could have grabbed anybody doing something inappropriate.
Talked to the outhouse guy today. About $100 to suck the thing out. He wants me to pour water in there to soften things up before he comes out.
I came back through Spearfish Canyon and videoed the falls, assuming that since this is the wettest month in history, the falls should be pretty big. They were big but not huge. In fact, Spearfish Falls looked just like the photo that's there from 1913. There were very few people driving the canyon, so the tourists haven't shown up yet.
It was raining on the way back from Lead. When I got near the cabins there were deer, so I got video of them.
I was going to start running around on my bike, but the back roads are too muddy...
Even some of the good secondary roads are muddy in places where a spring has appeared or just lots of water. So I'll wait until things dry out more. And there were frogs croaking in the puddles here! There seem to be frogs everywhere, which is cool, since they were missing for a long time.
I went into town to measure the distance from the Fairgrounds to the Golden Crest road, which turned out to be 4.7 miles. So that probably adds 2 miles to the hike not being able to go down Spruce Gulch.
I went to Dalton Lake and got a few more specimens of the weird sedimentary rock there. The creek was about double normal but not flooding.
It's been raining off and on today, including some hail, so we might have made the record books as the wettest month in recorded history, which I think was 9.22 inches in 1905.
There are lots of deer around everywhere, like last year.
I went to Rapid City today. On the way there were more turkeys, right on the road up elk Creek Road. The male was strutting his stuff for 4 females, so I stopped to take video. Big Mistake was standing up outside the car. They all ran away. If I'd stayed crouched I woulda got great stuff.
Did laundry in Sturgis. Bob's Family restaurant is closed and for sale.
In Rapid I bought a test core sample from Homestake at the School of Mines rock sale. I also bought a sample of tourlamine? from Hill City. This is the mineral being mined in Tinton. I asked about ice caves but none of the students there was interested in the subject.
There was hail this morning, about peanut sized, again. We had an inch of rain today from a big gusher this morning and one at night when I got back. Forecast is for more and more and more. I need to do outdoorsy stuff!
There is standing water once in a while outside Clark's back wall, right under the window. Even still, there has been no more water inside on the floor. This makes me think it's either from a driving rain hitting the window, or melting snow piled up back there. Because there can hardly be more saturated ground with rain than we're getting now.
I went to a Baptist Church in Rapid because they advertised a series on cults. They talked about New Age. The disturbing thing was that they considered liberalism and the Democratic Party under the sway of New Age thinking, meaning "don't vote for Democrats."
Class starts today online.
I dug a ditch to drain the water constantly running into the back of Clark's. It's a regular spring there. I'm debating whether to put pipe in to help the draining.
I went into the library to upload a video (they're so nice there to let people upload and download files). There are turkeys right across the street from the library that you can hear and sometimes see.
The draining from behind Clark's is noticeably less today. It didn't rain last night so that might be the reason.
So the goal will be to have the water drain from the back to where the little shovel is. I think I'll put 1 1/4" pipe and gravel in that ditch, then cover it up, and have it drain into a little gravel pit. Also, I'm thinking of running a pipe off the other side too since the water seems to come from the south end all the way to the north end.
It's still cool (about 50 degrees) and wet. I think it's supposed to clear up Monday. Sheesh. I'll have to use the wood stove to warm up my shower water today.
the main story is still rain. It rained 1.5 inches last night, and should rain until tomorrow (it's drizzling now). For some reason the water behind Clark's has dwindled, so that's good. Nothing much to do except my homework. I need to mow, tighten up the stove leak (it leaks just a tiny bit still), finish the new drain, etc. There's a small leak in Gammy's outhouse roof too now, so the metal roofing should be put on there.
I just checked the rain gauge and there's been 1.5 inches more since I drained it this morning. Here's pics of the creek and the stream by the pump. There's flooding and even evacuations in Belle Fourche, Spearfish, Box Elder, and other places.
There was 2.1 inches of rain within the last 24 hours here. It quit about midnight. The stream by the pump was making suds, which I couldn't understand. It's gone down already. Bear Butte Creek might be down a little. But it's a nice sunny day today with a forecast for more rain tonight. I'm listening to the rocks tumble through the culverts.
It's interesting living here because the only thing handy is electricity. That gives some heat, light, and power to do stuff. But water has to be fetched. Heat comes from gathering wood and keeping the fire going. Showers depend on the sun heating the water bag (a problem so far). And the internet connection is sooooo sllloooowwww. But the deer and turkeys right outside the door, and having to deal with nature directly is fun.
The turkeys are still strutting their stuff up at Jeraldine's. I got some video from here but when I try to walk down the road they go away.
There's a part time job at KDSJ I might try to get if it's only 10-15 hours.
The falls on the way into Galena. It looks to me like the creek is now just starting to go down a tad. The pond in the yard is going down. I went into Sturgis and Deadwood today and took photos along the way. The road that turns off Vanocker Canyon was almost washed out when a culvert got stuck. A guy with a backhoe was there unstopping it. He said the Newell dam was probably going to bust. There were a lot of loose culverts in the creek near Sturgis in Boulder Canyon. Every creek was brown and boiling, but not too far over the banks. And of course it rained some more this afternoon. Hopefully I'll get to start mowing the yard tomorrow.
The pond is pretty much gone this morning. The creek is down maybe an inch. So things dry up pretty fast once the rain stops. It's cold and cloudy today. I plan to work on the french drain. Lots of ATVs have gone by, including one with what looked like a 6-year old driving it! Yikes.
The low last night was 34. The lilacs are still not blooming. The turkeys come by once in a while now to eat the dropped seeds from the feeder, but they're so skittish it's hard to get a photo of them. I'm hoping to finish the new french drain ditch today, then maybe move the gravel around tomorrow. But the forecast for the future is 30-40% chance of rain every day, which so far has meant rain every day. It's sunny right now.
There are tourists in Deadwood, with most plates being from neighboring states. I see far fewer foreigners though. Maybe it's just too early in the season. My favorite slot machine has not been kind to me this year so far. I may switch to the 2nd favorite.
Tonight is the meeting about Brohm, so I'll go to that, in Deadwood. Chance of rain is good except for when I'm gone on the weekend, of course. But I might chance is and run around today.
Just finished the french drain on the north side of Clark's. It's essentially a 4 inch wide by 3 inch deep tube of pea gravel surrounded by gardening cloth, ending in a big tub of pea gravel. It took 4 bags of pea gravel, which I expected 2 or 3. For some reason as I was digging I'd run into little pieces of window glass all over, and one piece of china.
Not much else going on, just homework. Went to Rapid yesteday and saw Kung Fu Panda, which I liked. Took the water in for testing. Bought more pea gravel. Gambled a bit and broke even.