It’s good to get away from it all! – big cities and jobs, etc., but not so much with regard to internet and cell phone coverage… and I sure hate getting behind with the blog posts 🙁
We’ve been in Wind Cave National Park at the Elk Mountain Campground for the past few days. (Click the links for more info) And now we decided to take our grandson Kaan to see Yellowstone NP. We’re currently enroute…
Let me try to bring you up to date with the limited connectivity we have here now, at Deer Park RV Park in Buffalo, WY. Our Verizon Jetpack doesn’t seem to want to take a charge anymore, so I’m relying on the park wifi and/or our iPhone hotspot…
When we left Ellsworth AFB FamCamp on Wednesday the 22nd, we didn’t expect to go off the grid, but that’s what happens at some of these national parks. And that’s where we ended up over the last few days – Wind Cave National Park. We headed south on 79 to Hot Springs and then came back up north on 385. My GPS (RandMcNally) said that the park had a campground and would accommodate big rigs.
We passed the Visitor Center and cave entrance on the way to the campground:
The Elk Mountain Campground turned out to be absolutely beautiful. Sites are water only – no electric or sewer. They cost $18 per day, payable with a fee envelope and firewood is by donation. We paid $9 per night with my disabled veteran NP access pass.
Here’s our site at Elk Mountain CG:
I should mention that we had to weave our way through the buffalo to get here:
In summary: We went on two of the cave tours and attended two of the evening ranger-talks held at the Campground amphitheater. Kaan and I really enjoyed the cave tours (Stilla stayed behind to watch little dog “Coach”), and the ranger-led nighttime wildlife walk was pretty cool as well.
We took the ‘Natural Entrance’ tour and then the ‘Fairgrounds’ tour. Our favorite was the ‘Fairgrounds’ tour.
On our last day at the campground we drove into the nearby town of Hot Springs to enjoy a lunch and visit the famous Mammoth Site. Unfortunately, my iPhone battery was low, so we relied on Stilla’s iPhone for pictures and I couldn’t get her phone to download the images 🙂 Maybe I can get it to work later and will update you with a few pics, because this was a really cool site where that are still actively digging. Meanwhile, click HERE for some really good images from google™.
Friday, we packed up and departed Wind Cave NP on 385 north. We decided to drive over to Yellowstone NP because our grandson Kaan might not get another chance for years, and we haven’t been there since the early ’90s. We drove by Custer SD where we finally had cell phone connectivity again and I updated our status on Facebook so friends and family would know we’re still alive. Then we headed northeast on 16 to get back on I-90 near Gillette, WY where we were earlier this month.
We finally landed at Deer Park Campground in Buffalo, WY after a 200 mile driving day. We definitely noticed it’s getting harder to find reasonably priced (for us) campgrounds the closer we get to Yellowstone. This place was $43 per night with full hook-ups. But having full hook-ups is nice so we can do some loads of laundry.
And now for the highlight – as we were pulling into Deer Park Campground we noticed another Alpine!
As some of you blog-readers already know, this is a rare occurrence since Western RV only manufactured ~1,700 of them over a 10 year period (’99 thru 2009) before they went bankrupt.
Meet Ken & Caren Dortch:
Here’s a front-view of their nice 2006 Limited:
It’s always nice to meet fellow Alpiners! They are always the nicest people as are most RV’ers. Ken and Caren are from California and have just started full-timing. We spent a large part of our evening getting to know them after we got set up. We exchanged contact information and shared Alpine stories. I hope I was able to convince them to join the Alpine Coach Association (ACA) and the Alpine SoCal group.
I owe Ken a few adult beverages, thanks Ken! They are heading to Yellowstone NP as well… you never know, we might see them again soon 🙂
Check back in to see where we end up… as of this morning (Saturday) even we don’t know. We just hope it’s somewhere near one of the entrances to Yellowstone NP so we can do day trips in the Silverado.