Friday 9th October
Packing up to go this morning we found a little field mouse in one of the outside cupboards. He was very reluctant to go and kept avoiding our efforts to get him out of the cupboard. I think he had decided that he wanted to travel and spend the winter down south.
We said goodbye to Chip the owner of the ranch and his dog Daisy and made our way down the track, past the horses in the corral and on to the road north to pick up the US 212 -The Warrior Trail Highway - east over to South Dakota. The road went across plains rangeland country and through the Northern Cheyanne Indian Reservation. We passed through small towns and communities such as Lame Deer – tribal headquarters. Came to wooded hills and valleys with sandstone rock formations and eventually entered Custer National Forest. Past here it was flat prairie land pretty much all the way until we got on to the I-90 and neared the edge of the Black Hills. We stopped off for lunch and found the back right tyre on the Celica completely flat.
Took the car off the trailer and put the spare ‘get you home ’tyre on and hoped it would get us to Rapid City. Whilst we were replacing the tyre the little field mouse appeared, he must have stowed away under the RV. He disappeared under car, haven’t seen him since! Arrived at Walmart in Rapid City where there is a Tire and Lube facility but they don’t do repairs and do not have an appropriate replacement tyre in stock but their other store across town does.
Saturday 10th October
Stayed overnight in Walmart car park and then headed across the city to the other store this morning only to find that they don’t have the correct replacement tyre. Went downtown to TMA Garage and they repaired the tyre for 21 dollars – job done. Rapid City lies on the edge of the Black Hills, between the mountains and the plains. It was established in 1876 after gold was found in the Black Hills. It has a nice Main Street full of old historic buildings and life size bronze sculptures on each corner of past US Presidents. Weather is still hot and sunny 31 degrees today. Moved 15 miles south of town to Heartland RV Park which is nicely placed to tour the Black Hills and Badlands National Parks.