July 1st, 2007: What a perfect day for Canada Day celebrations! It started out cloudy but soon cleared, and there was hardly any wind. We didn’t get down to the beach at all; we had company until noon and then took off for Hudson Bay for a visit with Mike and Marg and family, and some of Marg’s family from Manitoba. Kind of a winding down party after Danny’s grad.
We went up on Thursday and attended the grad ceremonies, but came home again afterwards. Danny is our last grandchild to graduate from high school.
Wednesday and Friday were our days of rest, then on Saturday we went to Marean Lake to a party being held by the parents of our granddaughter Jill’s Intended, Mark Ferguson. They are getting married at the end of this month. It was a great time for visiting, but now we are all partied out!
That was really a great holiday. We get awfully mad at the US sometimes, but Americans one-on-one are wonderful, warm and friendly folk. As I might have mentioned, we were more than impressed by the attitude of people in the tourist trades. We could learn a lot!
On the road from Gillette to Spearfish, we met well over a hundred brand-new Class A motor homes; none under 35 feet, likely very few under a quarter of a million dollars, and each towing a smaller car. At first we thought it must be a jamboree of some kind; then we realised almost all of them were either Dutch Star or Mountain Aire. Finally, we decided it must be a shipment from the factory to distributors out west. Individuals would contract to deliver motor homes, then use their own cars to return home.
Pastures and hay lands were very lush and green through all the northern states. Usually, by this time of year things are looking pretty brown, but they got some unusual spring rains. Cattle and horses were grazing in hay up to their bellies. We have never seen that country looking like that as usually it is winter when we travel that way. Lovely!
We saw a lot of antelope in south-western Saskatchewan, Montana and Wyoming, but none at all in the Dakotas. Now, in the Wadena News, I see a photo of a couple taken west of Fosston! They have been seen this far north before, even as far as White Fox, but sightings are few and far between.
Aside from Yellowstone, traffic was light everywhere. No problems at all finding campgrounds, even in the Park. Their kids are out of school by the end of May, so this would have been a prime time for American tourists.
After the 100° temperatures in South Dakota, we got home Tuesday to cold, cloudy and extremely windy weather. It felt like it might snow at any minute. We did take a side trip to Indian Head, though, to sample the wares of the Craft Tea Elevator there, and we weren’t disappointed. If the weather had been pleasanter, we would have prowled the town a bit, but as it was we caught a picture of their Indian Head, and of the famous round barn just north of town.
Once home, we got a phone call from Cathy – she had developed radiator problems near Crazy Horse in 100° temperatures and wound up being towed to Rapid City. There, she had to wait while they got a new radiator from Denver. They let her plug in, though, so she had the roof air conditioning, and they spoiled Freckles rotten! I guess it’s a fact of life – when you own a fifteen or twenty year old vehicle, you have to expect some problems. Cathy phoned tonight; she got her motor home fixed and it ran well all the way home. Plus she used far less fuel than we did, giving her cause to gloat.
There was four and a half inches of rain in our gauge when we got home (and ¾ inch more early Saturday morning, with musical accompaniment) – no wonder the sloughs and potholes had turned into lakes! Seeded crops were very poorly advanced, especially north of the Qu’Appelle Valley. A lot of fields were not seeded at all; those that were seeded were short, with a lot of fresh crop under water. What a terrible season!
We can’t say that about our lawn, though – it was nearly a foot high, and still quite damp. I wonder if the Park would let me pasture a couple of sheep in our yard? Anyway, I set our mower as high as it would go and knocked the tops off the weeds, so it looks a lot better.
Reports from Greenwater’s super fisher folk are that pickerel fishing is excellent, both in quality and in quantity. I know people who sat out in Tuesday’s cold, wind and rain to reap the harvest. One of them forgot his landing net so lost a good number, but he was still satisfied.
Put a mark on your calendar – the Beach Café is putting on a fireworks display again, on Saturday, August 11th. If it’s as good as last year’s, it will be a dilly.