Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Friday July 17, 2020

It is hard to believe I have made it here. It was over 2000 miles of driving all by myself. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I mostly took my time with several stops along the way and enjoyed the journey.

This is the first time I have ever been here and it blows my mind. Just look at that color.

I would describe it more as sand than rock, that appears to have washed away some with the rains. I have no clue how all of this was formed, but I sure enjoy the view.

The color just amazes me.

Most of these photos were take from the road side. The drive was increadible.

This one is for you, CHOCOHOLIC! I know you like to see some self portraits.

I started to hike this area with Berkley, but he gave up pretty quickly in the 103 degree heat. I can’t say I blame him! I carried him a short ways before turning around and carrying him all the way back.

First time I have ever seen one of these signs on a trail.

The trail was really really dry!

Mountain goats???

Fun facts about driving in South Dakota

  • The speed limit is 80 mph on some highways although you must maintain a speed of at least 40 mph. So if you want to drive around at a speed of 41 mph while site seeing you are free to do so.
  • You can drive without shoes on for all you Fred Flintsoners.
  • It’s perfectly legal to drive in the left lane of the interstate all the way to your destination. I never understood why people like it there. But it is totally legal.
  • You can wear headphones, for all of those husbands who don’t want to hear their wives nagging you about how close you are to the vehicle in front of you. You are free to put headphones on and turn up the music. That one is for you, Babydoll!
  • You must use your blinker or a hand signal if the blinker doesn’t work.
  • Transporting an open alcoholic beverage in a car is illegal – unless it’s in the trunk and away from the driver and passengers – then it’s legal.
  • You can no longer talk on the cell phone while driving as July 1, 2020 unless it is hands free.
  • You are totally within the law to pull your camper AND your boat behind your vehicle at anytime in South Dakota. As long as you are not exceeding 75 feet in length go ahead, play “highway train” if you’d like.
  • Riding in the back of a pickup truck is permitted. There are 20 states that still allow this.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Monday July 13, 2020

Sioux falls is in the middle of the town of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. There is a large beautiful park area surrounding the falls. This would be the perfect place for a romatic picnic. The grass is so soft and beautiful. So different from the stiff Florida grass.

There seems to be no restrictions here about going down to the waters edge and climbing on the rocks. There were people all over enjoying the park and the waterfall views.

Watching water cascade down the rocks is kind of like watching a campfire. It is just so mesmerizing.

This is my substitute hiking partner (Berkley) when my crazy hiking girlfriends are not with me.

OH MY! The speed limit in South Dakota is 80 MPH!

Mammoth Cave

Saturday July 12, 2020

I had to wait in line 1.5 hours to get a ticket to enter the cave. Because of Covid only 50 people are let into the cave at a time. There are a certain number of tickets that are reservable and a smaller number available for walk up. I was waiting on a walk up ticket.

The lowest elevation found in Mammoth Cave is 421 feet at the Green River.

Nearly 600,000 visitors take tours of the cave each year.

The cave and the land above it were established as a national park in 1941.

Three endangered species live in the cave: Kentucky cave shrimp, Indiana bats, and Grey bats.

The temperature inside Mammoth Cave is about 54°F, year-round. Temperatures near cave entrances can go a bit higher or lower.

Mammoth Cave has, so far, more than 390 miles of cave passage mapped, making Mammoth Cave by far the longest known cave in the world.

My handsome man!

Home sweet home for the night.

Eagle Falls, Kentucky

Friday July 10, 2020

Now this is a very rewarding hike! It is a great get on shape hike. It is only 2.5 miles long, but rated as strenuous.

Imagine my shock when I see that no pets are allowed on the trail. I did not see that listed in any of the reviews that I read.

I don’t want to leave Berkley just sitting in the van in a parking lot. I decide to break the rules and take him with me. I have his carrier with me and I can just put him in it when ever I come across anybody. There are only 3 other cars at the parking lot. So hopefully I don’t run into many people.

I take off and soon my heart is racing and my legs are burning. It feels good.

The trail has lots of ups, downs, stairs, and rock climbing.

I have a feeling I am going to be sore after this one, but the reward is the beautiful waterfall. I highly recommend this hike. It is located just a short ways from Cumberland Falls.

Cumberland Falls, Kentucky

Thursday July 10, 2020

After getting fired from my job. I was felling pretty lost and didn’t know what to do with my life. I believe I am a hard worker and did more then the job required of me. So it really came as a shock me, but I can understand it. I literally snapped. Everyone who knows me is shocked over what has happened. They know how easy I am to get along with and work with. After a week a home and feeling depressed and not knowing what to do I decided to hit the road for ANOTHER adventure of a life time. I live for adventure. It makes my heart sing! So here I go and you may follow along with me. I will not tell you the destinations I hope to go to, but you may follow along for the ride.

This is my first stop. It is located in the Daniel Boone National forest in Kentucky.

It is a tourist area with a mega parking lot and a very easy stroll to see to the falls. It is definitely worth seeing, although you don’t feel like you earned it on such an easy walk.

Oh and people, please try and limit your plastic consumption. It sure makes a big mess of the waterways! Plastic, even though it can be recycled, it can only be recycled into a lesser grade plastic and can never biodegrade.

What a ride this has been

July 8, 2020

Holy cow Batman, I feel like I have been chewed up and spit out. Read below for my life changing events.

I started am few posts over the last couple of months that I never completed and I decided to add them althought they are basically unfinished.

Friday May 8,2020

The dental office I work for shut down because of recommendations of the CDC because of the pandemic. Since I had time on my hands I decided to load up the van and hit the road. I planned to be gone for a week, but once I heard that the govoner had shut down dental offices for non emergency work and that I didn’t have to be back until May, my week soon turned into 4 weeks!

The longer I was on the road the worse things got for the USA and stay at home orders were issued. The country was shutting down and travel was becoming harder. I stayed mainly in Geogria since the state parks were still open. Although some of the popular trails and waterfalls were closed because of the crouds that they generate. There was still much to see and do and that is just what I did. I day hiked and visited waterfalls. I loved it.

My contact with people was minimal. I only went into the grocery store twice and a laundry mat once. The state parks in Georgia had you pay in full when you registered and then you just picked up any paperwork they had for you at the registration center or you just drove directly to the site and all your paperwork was there. It was simple and easy. I did use the restrooms in the parks some, but just to shower and I don’t think anyone else was ever in there with me. I also showered in the van, but when I needed to wash my hair I perfered to do it in a larger shower.

Tuesday June 16, 2020

I have returned to work and I  feel as if I’m not broke yet, but I am about to be broken. I am tetering on the edge of a very steep slope. I am no longer happy to be working day in and day out every single week. Especially in the field that I work in. Even having appointments on my days off throughs me into a tail spin. I don’t want to have to be somewhere at a certain time. I want to be free.

The whole Covid thing has really accelerated my depression. I don’t want to go into the dental office. I am a dental hygienist and we are at the top of the list for most at risk for getting the virus. I am literally right in front of the patients face with them breathing all over me. I can’t even believe we are even allowed to be open. For those of you that don’t know we create a massive amount of aersols in there. In my opinion we are not safe and the patient is definitly not safe because those aersols can remain in the air for up to six hours. If you need to go into a dental office for treatment right now I would just recommend that you are the first patient of the day. That way there are no aerosols in the operatory before you go in.

Wednesday June 17, 2020

I had two bad dreams last night. I have been having them nightly for a couple of weeks. I think it is from stress at work and my unhappiness to be there. One was at 10:30, which I was up for an hour afterward. And one at 12:30, which I was up pretty much the rest of the morning. I laid there thinking that I am not happy working so much, but I am working so much to pay off the van before next June so I can spend 6 mos traveling out west next year. I am just going to have to adjust that plan. Life is to short not to be happy. This feeling of not being happy at work has been brewing for a while. Things have changed there and in the wake of caronavirus I feel it is worse. So I made this quick decision to go in this morning and see if I can switch to part time.

Today June 16, 2020

I go ask to go part-time. My boss seemed upset by it. He told me he really wanted someone full time and he would think about it. I was a little hurt that he didn’t even ask me why, but oh well that is just my ego wanting to feel like I was more important as an employee than I really was. Since I also had time to think about it I didn’t really want to go part-time. I had my finanical goals that I wanted to achieve and going part time would not allow me to achieve them.

Over the last couple of years we have lost a couple of employees at the office and my requirements of what I needed to do on each patient had intensified to more that I could do in the time that was allotted to their care. This was very stressfull and made for some pretty shitty days. Over 6 mos ago I went to my boss and told him this. I just didn’t have enough time to give the patients the proper care that they needed and deserved. He told me that he look into it, but nothing changed.

So I decided to spell it out to him again…I needed more time with the patients or help doing the work. Since there was no one to help me with the work he dedided to give me more time. I loved this decision. It would allow me to give great patient care and I would still be able to work full time.

Now to the really intense part…the front desk girl. She stepped out of her roll of front desk girl and told me that I was costing the office production and that 40 minutes is enough time to provied the patient with supporative periodontal therapy, gingival irriagation and a fluoride treatment as well as do the part of her job that I have been doing. HA! What the hell would she even know about what I do in the back. She has never done it, nor is she licensed to do it. So our arguement escalated. I got physical and not in a friendly way, which resulted in me getting fired! Yup, fired. I had reached my boiling point and boiled over.

Anna Ruby Falls

Saturday April 4, 2020

This waterfall is pretty spectacicular. It is a tourist area and has been closed because of the large crowds that it attracts. Unicoi State Park has a trail that you can hike to the falls and that is how I was able to get there. It is a 5 mile one way hike and of that 10 miles I probably carried Berkley over 6 of it. He is a cute little thing but to small to hike that distance.

Wish me luck…

Tuesday March 31, 2020

“They said a mask and gloves were

enough to go to the grocery store,

but they lied!

Everybody else was wearing clothes!”

I’m going into Walmart.

Because I am down to my last roll of TP.

The refrigerator is pretty bare.

Once I’m back in the van from my trip out in public I painstakingly wiped everything down with disinfect. That whole project is enough to make you want to go on a diet.

Now for all you TP hoarders out there… there was no TP in the whole store. Not even the expensive stuff, but I was able to buy napkins so that’ll work!! At least I can save my bandana for a mask and not have to use it for TP!