A busy few weeks in Wisconsin//Stuck in South Dakota!

Our time in Wisconsin has gone by fast, as we get ready to head out to West Yellowstone, Montana for our summer jobs.  I spent several days getting poked and prodded with all sorts of medical tests.  I knew I was in for some fun when my doctor said “welcome to your 50’s, let’s get a colonoscopy!!”  Makena also had her veterinary appointment, but Dan declined any visits at this time.  He wanted to wait and see how our new insurance will cover all my tests, before he undergoes his own. We were happy that they covered everything at 100%.  Unfortunately, Assurant Health has decided they were not making as big of a profit under the new law, so they are going to sell off their health insurance line of business, but keep the more profitable ‘pre-paid funeral expenses’ and other ‘disability’ lines of insurance.  So next year we will be looking for a new carrier.  We will try to schedule Dan’s appointments in the fall, before we start back at Amazon.

The truck had some recall work done, an oil change, and new brakes done for 1/3 of the cost the Ford dealer wanted! (thanks Kevin!).  Dan is feeling better about taking the 5th wheel up into the mountains this summer. (more on the truck later)

We cleaned and defrosted the refrigerator, and fully restocked our freezer and pantry.   The nearest Wal-Mart to West Yellowstone is 84 miles (one way), so we wanted to stock up on food.  There is a grocery store in town according to our employer, but with being in such a remote area, we are anticipating “sticker shock” on the food prices.

We were able to visit with some friends and family, but time goes by too fast to see everyone.  My niece Molly had her last all district choir concert, which we were able to attend.  Not sure who was more excited….my niece or my sister and brother-in-law realizing they did not have to attend any more of these performances! We did enjoy Molly’s performance.

Margie, Molly, Greg

Margie, Molly, Greg

We also celebrated my sister-in-law Annette’s birthday.

Annette, Brian, me & Dan

Annette, Brian, me & Dan

Dinners with friends Dave and Angie, Mike and Karlyn and Robin and Mary on various nights reminded us we need to start exercising again!  Good thing there a lot’s of hiking trails in Yellowstone!

And we had our now annual ‘patio beer’ with my former co-worker Amy!




I started a draft of this blog a week ago, and was planning on posting it when we left Wisconsin.  We had to leave a few days earlier than expected, because of some additional repair work that needed to be done on the 5th wheel.  Look for a future post on that.  After leaving Indiana, we had two very long driving days to get out to Rapid City, SD.  Our goal was to meet up with Tom and Ellen, our co-workers for our summer job.  And we wanted to visit with Phil and Rudee, our co-workers from last summer at Crazy Horse.  We did make it here in time, and had a nice get together.

Unfortunately, the truck started making a bad noise about 20 miles before we arrived to Rapid City, and eventually the ‘check engine’ light came on! So a trip to the Ford dealer revealed the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’.  Some exhaust tube thingy in the engine broke, blowing exhaust fumes into the dash, and melting part of the windshield wiper fluid lines.  The part in the middle that is all black is the culprit.

burned out part

burned out part

The good news is that all of this is covered under the 100,000 mile manufacturer’s engine warranty.  The bad news is they have to order parts from Colorado, and they will not arrive until Monday.  Therefore, we will not be able to start our summer jobs on time.

And now for the UGLY:  There is a winter storm warning this weekend!  6 – 12 inches of snow is expected by Sunday here in Rapid City!  Ugh!

The Ford dealer is hoping the parts won’t be delayed by the storm.

So we are just going to sit still for a few days.  We are trying to take a positive view of all of this.  “No rain. No rainbows” is a popular slogan in our favorite state of Hawaii.  A simple saying, but sometimes you need a few bad things as a reminder to always appreciate the good things.  Wish us luck!

Quote for the day:  “There is something good in all seeming failures.  You are not to see that now.  Time will reveal it.  Be patient.” – Swami Sivananda

6 thoughts on “A busy few weeks in Wisconsin//Stuck in South Dakota!

  1. With a F-350 dually you have no worries in the mountains out West. Once you get comfortable using the engine brake, you’ll find you rarely need to touch the brakes. We have taken our 16,000 lb 5’er across both Canada & U.S Rockies a few times, even with the old F-350 SRW.

  2. You have a great attitude :-). We plan on visiting Phil and Rudee on our way back east in the fall. Just remember, it can always be worse…remember what happened when our truck “made a bad noise”! We saw snow today as well, but not as bad as what you are supposed to get. Hang in there and hope to see you soon.

    • It’s bright and sunny today, snow is melting and Dan is sitting at Ford dealership, waiting for the part to come in. They have the truck all taken apart already.

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