Edward is checking out the new vehicle that Elliot made for him while he was traveling.
The camper and Edward are back at the farm in Ferndale. After a stop in Mount Vernon to unload all of the clothes, food and other supplies from the camper, they traveled up to the farm and the camper was parked next to the barn where it will be cleaned up from the trip and next week it will be space for guests when the family gathers.
Right now Edward is just enjoying not traveling. He gets to stay at the farm for quite a few days. Plans are being made for a camper adventure with Elliot, Emmala, and Eliza, but there are no long trips with miles and miles of travel planned for the rest of the summer.
It is cooler on this side of the mountains and there is a lot less smoke. Edward is enjoying those things. He is also thinking about the wonderful trip and the big adventure that he had in July.
Edward is checking out the icicle river. He didn't see any icicles, but the water was nice and cool on a hot day.
Edward is almost home. This morning we drove out of Montana and across Idaho and into Washington. Then we drove over to the Cascade Mountains. There is just one more mountain pass between here and Mount Vernon. It isn't very far from where we are camped. The camper is parked at Icicle RV Park in Leavenworth, Washington. Leavenworth is a town that is all done up in a Bavarian theme, with lots of tourist shops, cafes, and entertainment. And today it was full of tourists as well. It was a very busy place as Ted and Susan walked around. They looked at the art being sold by the vendors and they got a dish of ice cream.
We got to the campground early, around 3 in the afternoon. That meant that there was time for a nap and time for a dip in the river. When they checked into the campground, the person said to make sure that food was secured at all times because they have seen bears in the area. Edward would love to see a bear, but so far there haven't been any that could be seen at the campground. Edward supposes that they come around at night when everyone is sleeping.
Tomorrow is a short drive home. We should arrive before noon. It has been a long and wonderful adventure. Edward loves adventures and this has been a really good trip.
St. Regis, Montana
Edward tried a donkey ride at the Nugget Campground. He's been here before. They have lots of pretend animals and characters, including a bigfoot.
It was another smoky day, but the drive wasn't too long. The camper went up and over the Bozeman Pass and they stopped at Wheat Montana. Wow was that place busy! The camper was parked between two big semi trucks. It looked small in that parking place. Then they drove over the Tobacco Root Mountains and up over Homestake Pass to the west side of the continental divide. Still there was plenty of smoke. Lunch was at a rest area near Anaconda where there are lots of hiking trails, but Susan and Ted decided not to hike because there was so much smoke.
In the afternoon they arrived at this campground in St. Regis. They like this campground a lot. Edward has been here with them a couple of times before. There are walking paths and lots of things to see and do. They have a tradition of going to town and getting hamburgers and huckleberry shakes for supper. Best. Shake. Ever. That is what the advertisements say. Ted things they are right.
Tomorrow will be a short day, too. The reservation is for the Icicle River Campground near Leavenworth, Washington. The name of the river describes its temperature. It is on the way up into the Cascades, and it should be cooler and less smoky finally. At least that is what we hope. Then on Friday it is just a half day drive to Mount Vernon. They should arrive around noon to unpack and get ready for the next adventures. It has been a very big and a very wonderful trip. Edward has had a lot of fun and he is excited to get back to the farm to play with Elliot, Emmala, and Eliza.
Big Timber, Montana
Edward is in Big Timber. It is the place where Ted grew up.
Edward is in Montana after riding out of South Dakota and across Wyoming. Today was a very hot and smoky day. The hottest was when the camper passed through Billings, where it was 106. It was 101 in Big Timber when they arrived. There are a lot of fires burning in the mountains and there was smoke everywhere they went. It seemed like cloudy day. When they got to Buffalo, they could barely see the Big Horn Mountains and at Big Timber the Crazy Mountains are obscured by the smoke.
They got an early start and were in Big Timber a little after 4 in the afternoon. It was good to stop driving. The hot day meant that they didn't do much outside. They stopped in Hardin at a truck stop and it was 100 degrees outside and only about 65 degrees in the truck stop. It felt really cold to go into the truck stop building.
Edward was really glad to see Cody the dog. Cody wanted to play with the frisbee even though it was hot outside. He likes to lay in the floor where it is cool. Edward thinks that is a good idea. There were lots of stories to tell Lois and pictures to show of Elliot and the time in South Carolina. They are having a good visit.
Tomorrow the plan is to drive to St. Regis. Edward hopes that it is a little cooler there and maybe a bit less smoky. He will be glad to get back to Mount Vernon, where things are not so hot. Just a few days and Edward and the camper will be back at the farm in Ferndale.
Rapid City, South Dakota
After a fun day, everyone is relaxing and getting ready to drive tomorrow. We are heading north and west. Tomorrow we will be in Montana.
Edward has really had a fun time in the Black Hills and part of him is sad that it is time to move on. Tomorrow the plan is to go to Big Timber and the next night we will be in St. Regis - nearly to Idaho. Then it is onward until we get back to Mount Vernon and finally the camper will go up to the farm where it will play host to family members in a little while.
Edward loves trips and he loves adventures and this has been a long trip and a wonderful adventure. There are probably more surprises and new things to see in the days to come. Edward is happy to have the camper and a way to share in the family fun. He is getting excited to see Elize, Emmala and Elliot soon.
Rapid City, South Dakota
Here is Edward at the trail map for one of Susan and Ted's favorite places to walk in Rapid City. The wilderness park is alongside Rapid Creek just west of Canyon Lake Park and connects to the greenbelt trail system.
Ted and Susan had a wonderful day today. They got to go to church at the church where they worked for 25 years in Rapid City. The choir sang, the organ played and they got to see a lot of their friends from the church. It was a really fun day for them. They stayed and talked with people for a long time after the service, like they used to do when they were ministers at the church. In the afternoon they made some phone calls and Ted made a little repair to the camper. He always says that if you want to enjoy a camper, you have to enjoy fixing things on the camper.
Edward is enjoying being int he Black Hills. There is an osprey nest with chicks in it not far from the camper and there are lots of other birds nearby. The woods are full of deer and the hills seem like a very good home for a bear. Edward likes the camper and it is especially fun when Ted and Susan are staying in the camper for so many days.
Tomorrow is another fun day in Rapid City for the family.
Rapid City South Dakota
Edward is tired, tired, tired.
It has been a fun day. In the morning, Ted went paddling on Canyon Lake and saw lots of birds and watched the sunrise from the canoe. The family had brunch with Nick and Courtney and Caroline. Caroline is going to go to kindergarten in the fall. She is getting really tall! Then they went to Runnings, which is a fun store. Edward didn't get to go in, but Ted saw bunnies and other animals in the store. They got a few supplies and then went to have tea with some of their church friends. When that was over, they went out to Chuck and Sybil's house. There were lots of people there and they had a really good dinner and time to visit with their friends. Jim and Becky brought their dog and after the dog left, the two cats came in to visit and play. There was lots of talking.
Now everyone is tired. Tomorrow will be another fun day.
Rapid City, South Dakota
Edward is back in South Dakota! He is excited to be back in his old home town. When he went down by Canyon Lake this evening, he saw a Great Blue Heron that reminded him of lots of good times in the hills.
Travel today was easy for Edward. They were at Al's Oasis by about 10:30. WOW! The family was surprised to find out that Al's doesn't open until 11 am these days. The world has changed a lot in the past couple of years. Ted and Susan remember when they could stop by Al's for breakfast any day of the week.
The skies are smoky. There are a lot of fires north and west of here in Montana, Idaho, Washington and British Columbia. Edward doesn't like the smoke, but it does make the sun and the moon appear to be bright red or orange. It is a strange time.
Ted and Susan have already met up with a few of their friends and they have plans to meet with more tomorrow. Perhaps Ted will have time to take a paddle on the lake in the morning. Right now it feels good to be staying in the same place for a few days after five days of driving every day.
Edward will sleep good tonight.
Brandon, South Dakota
Edward is back in South Dakota! He is at the Yogi Bear Campground near Sioux Falls again.
Today's drive wasn't hard at all. Ted had a little work done on the truck in the morning, so the family didn't leave the campground until around 11 in the morning. That meant that Susan and Edward had a little time to relax, read, and think. The drive was fairly short, so the truck and camper pulled into the campground at about 5 pm. For most of the trip, the ride was smooth. There were a few bumps, but WOW! is Interstate 29 ever straight through Iowa. It seemed like there were no turns at all. South Dakota wasn't much different. Now the camper is near Interstate 90, which will take the family all the way back to Everett, Washington, about 25 miles from Mount Vernon. So most of the rest of the trip will be on I-90, heading west. Tomorrow's drive is only about 350 miles to Rapid City and then the camper will be in the same campground for 4 nights. That will be fun!
Edward has heard talk of stopping at Al's Oasis tomorrow. One thing Edward knows about Al's is that they have pie! Of course, Edward is always stuffed, but Ted and Susan might have a piece of pie when they stop.
Edward is looking forward to being at Canyon Lake Park tomorrow. And there are adventures with friends in the next days as well.
St. Joseph, Missouri
Edward climbed a tree to get a look around. No, that isn't the Muddy Missouri River in the background. It is just a pond at the campground where we are staying for the night.
The trip across Missouri wasn't too bad. It was a long day and there was some traffic at St. Louis and more at Kansas City, but everything went smoothly and this evening Edward and Susan and Ted are taking a break at the campground before heading up the Interstate to Sioux Falls tomorrow. One funny thing that happened today is that when the camper hit a bump, a big water bottle came rolling across the floor. It was empty, but it was one of those great big ones that holds 5 gallons, so it made a thumping sound as it rolled under the table. There it stayed until Ted pulled out the slide and set up the table. It gave him a laugh to see how it had traveled from the bunk room to the back of the camper. No damage was caused.
Tomorrow should be a shorter day and Edward is looking forward to getting to Rapid City on Friday. There are a lot of friends to see in Rapid City. Edward lived there for most of his life, even before Ted and Susan bought the camper and so it seems like coming home to him to visit there. The camper is going to be parked for four nights in Rapid City, so that will be a pleasant break from the driving of the past few days.
Whittington Woods, Illinois
Here is Edward with Susan in front of the Mount Vernon Post Office. But it isn't the Post Office in Mount Vernon, Washington. It is the Post Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois.
It wasn't too bad of a drive today. The road was a bit rough in places and there were some construction delays and one delay for an accident. We drove around Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee and Asheville, North Carolina. I guess the people liked to end the names of their towns with "ville."
We are camped again at Whittington Woods in southern Illinois. That means that we are no longer in Eastern Time, but are now in Central Time. We'll stay that way for the remaining cities before Rapid City. Tomorrow we drive through St. Louis and Kansas City. Those are both big cities with lots of traffic, so tomorrow will be a bit longer driving day than today.
It was fun to visit Mount Vernon, Illinois, though the downtown area is full of shops that have closed. There is even a 9-story office building for sale in the middle of downtown. Edward thinks it might have once been a bank. It is all glass on the outside. The town has a hospital and some big box stores that are located on the edge of town near the Interstate Highway. Interstate 57 goes right by the town.
Edward's adventures continue. He is looking forward to being at St. Joseph, Missouri tomorrow.
Edward is back at Volunteer Park in Tennessee tonight, but it has been raining since suppertime. Edward is looking out the window at the rain and remembering all of the fun times he had with Patrick.
The time to say good bye to Patrick and Rachel and Mike came and the trailer was hitched up to the truck. Rachel had a dentist appointment first thing in the morning, so after the camper was pulled out front they waited for a few minutes for her to get home so they could say goodbye.
It was a good thing that the traffic wasn't as bad as when they drove from Tennessee to South Carolina. They stopped for lunch at the North Carolina welcome rest stop and then made a quick stop for fuel in the afternoon. The places where the traffic had been so bad weren't as busy today, so they made the trip in about an hour less than they had when they drove the other direction.
But there were lots of bumps and rough places in the road. At one point the grill on top of the stove bounced off and onto the floor! That was a big crash, but nothing was broken and Ted just picked it up and put it back when he got to the campground.
Because we have been at this campground before, Edward saw a few things that are familiar. However, things look different in the rain. Edward hopes that it stops raining in time to take a walk before bed time.
Tomorrow the plan is to drive to the Whittington Woods in Illinois. Edward liked that campground a lot! After that it is two more sleeps before they get to Rapid City. South Carolina is a long ways from the places that Edward knows the best, but he is glad that he got to make the trip. It has been fun to see new places and special fun to play with Patrick.
Now Edward is thinking about getting back to Rapid City for a visit and then going on to Washington. He can't wait to see Eliza and Emmala and Elliot!
Dalzell, South Carolina
Today Edward played on the slide with Patrick. They went down the slide over and over and over again. Patrick liked it when Edward went down the slide first.
This is the ninth evening that Edward has been posting his blog from Dalzell. It isn't the longest that Edward has stayed in one place. He has stayed in South Dakota and in Washington for longer times, but he was mostly hibernating during those winters and other times. This time he has had a little bit about the trip to post every day that the camper has been parked at Mike and Rachel and Patrick's house.
Tomorrow, however, the camper is going to be hitched up to the truck and the family will be heading back towards Washington. The plan is to follow the same route that we took to get to South Carolina, which means that tomorrow we will drive in South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee. It will be a long day and there will be some rough roads and some traffic. Edward remembers that from the trip down here.
It will be hard to say goodbye to Patrick and Rachel and Mike. We have had such a good time visiting and we will miss them very much.
Edward is always looking forward to new adventures and he thinks that there will be plenty of adventure before getting back to Washington.
Dalzell, South Carolina
Edward is having fun playing with Patrick in the camper. Baloo and Christy are playing, too. Patrick was playing "Hide and Seek" under the yellow blanket.
Today was a fun day. There were no special projects. Early in the morning the family said good bye to Grandpa Dave and Grandma Karen. They left to drive back to their home in Virginia. It took them all day to get there, but they called and so we know they had a safe trip. In the morning there was time to play on the new play structure as well as play in the camper. Patrick took a long nap after lunch. Edward is used to long naps, so he approved. Then Patrick and Michael and Rachel and Susan and Ted all went to Swan Lake Park. It is a very special place with lots of water, plenty of swans from around the world, cranes and other birds. There were bright red orioles flying through the air and plenty of cypress trees. It was a very special place and they had a fun walk.
After supper they had a special frozen yogurt treat. Patrick loved the cold yogurt. It was a good and fun day.
Edward knows that the time here in South Carolina is growing short, but it has been a real treat to stay in the same place for a whole week. Still, Edward misses Elliot and Emmala and Eliza and so he will be happy when the camper heads up the road on the return trip. Edward thinks it is fun to have so may exciting adventures.
Dalzell, South Carolina
The play structure is finally finished. Well, it still needs some paint, but it is all ready for Patrick to play on.
Patrick didn't have time to visit Edward today. In the morning Michael and David and Ted lifted the crow's nest up onto the play structure. Grandpa Ted made a trip to the hardware store for a few more bolts and did some finishing work. Michael hung up the swings and Patrick got to try it all out. Right away he climbed up into the crow's nest. He really liked being up there. He tried the slide and the climbing wall and checked everything out.
Then he played in the water. In the afternoon, grandma Susan put on her swimming suit and she and Patrick got all wet playing in the water. Grandma Susan and Patrick slid down the slide into the little pool. It was lots and lots of fun. Even in the camper Edward could hear them laughing and splashing.
In the afternoon it looked like it was going to rain, but it didn't. It just got hot and muggy. After supper Patrick and Rachel and Grandma Susan and Grandpa Ted went for a walk around the bock. Patrick rode his strider part of the way. Zeuss the dog went along too.
Patrick's other grandma and grandpa, Karen and Dave, will leave tomorrow to go back to their home. Patrick will still be able to play with Edward for a few more days before they head back towards their home.
It is a fun summer for everyone!
Dalzell, South Carolina
The playhouse is almost finished. If you look closely, you can see Edward at the top of the slide.
Edward was excited to see all of the progress on the playhouse today. The walls on the upstairs went on and then Michael and Dave and Ted lifted the roof up to the top. After things were hooked together, it really started to look like a fun place to play. In the afternoon everyone went swimming, but they were only able to stay a little while at the pool because a thunderstorm came. It rained and it poured. Everything got wet. It was a good thing that Edward was safe inside of the camper.
After the rain stopped and the sun came out, the men went back to work on the playhouse. They added the climbing bars and then the place where the swings will go. There is another platform and railing called the crows nest that still needs to be added. It was exciting to see the ladder and the climbing wall and the slide get attached tot the platform. Patrick was so excited, but he can't play on it yet. There are some other things that need to be done to make it safe for him. And there is a lot of painting that needs to be finished. The men think that they will be done with the construction part of the project tomorrow. It was a little bit bigger job than they anticipated and it took a bit longer, but they are glad to have the work done.
Edward is excited to see how it is turning out.
Dalzell, South Carolina
Edward is getting excited about the new pay structure. It has a lot of interesting places to explore and things to do. There is even a telescope in the crow's nest.
The building on the play structure continued today. They got the base set up and added the floor to the second story. There is even a crow's nest above that. Edward didn't know that there was such a thing as a crow's nest for people, but it is a high place where people can go to get a good look at what is going on around them. It is kind of like a lookout tower in the forest, but this one is on top of the play structure. There was plenty of banging and building going on today. Patrick's two grandpas and his father worked on the building throughout the day.
Patrick's father also put ribs in the smoker. Whenever he is smoking meat, it really smells good. Everyone said that Michael makes the best ribs ever! Edward wished he could taste them for himself.
Patrick was having fun playing outside today, too, especially when he could play in the water. Rachel moved his slide around so he could slide down into the pool. That made a big splash and was lots of fun. He want to the doctor for his two year check up today and everything went fine. He is a healthy, growing boy. Edward already knew that before they went to the doctor.
Edward is interested to see what will be next with the play structure tomorrow. The days are passing quickly and before too long it will be time for Ted and Susan to pack up the camper and start back towards Mount Vernon. It will be a long drive and take a lot of days, but Edward knows that there is still time for more adventures with Patrick before it is time to hit the road.
Dalzell, South Carolina
Edward Bear is checking out the climbing wall. Some of the boards are new. Some still need to be replaced.
Today was a work day at the Calabrese house. Edward could hear saws and hammers and drills in the morning and in the evening. During the middle of the day, when it was the hottest, people rested and talked. The project is a new swing set with all kinds of neat things for Patrick to play on. It has a play house with an upstairs, swings, a climbing wall, a ladder with jungle gym bars, a slide and lots more. Michael and Rachel got it from some neighbors who are moving. Some of the boards need to be replaced to make sure it is strong and sturdy for Patrick and it needs to be put together. Right now it is a big pile of lumber and parts. Patrick's other grandpa, Dave, and Michael and Ted worked on the project. They will do more tomorrow.
Edward spends most of his days in the camper as usual, but Patrick comes over to visit every day. He likes to play with Edward up on the big bed. Patrick also likes the outside shower on the camper and plays in the water when it is OK with his mother. The days in South Carolina are being a lot of fun.
Dalzell, South Carolina
OH! Patrick was excited to have so many cards and presents to open and discover what was in each one.
Today was a really, really, big day for Patrick. It was his second birthday. In the morning we all had cinnamon rolls out on the patio and Patrick played in his bounce house and with his new water wall. There were lots of presents to open throughout the day. Patrick's favorite present was from his mother and father. It was a Woody doll from Toy Story. Patrick knew that he could pull the string and Woody would talk. He carried Woody around and played games with Buzz Lightyear and Ham and the Potato Heads. It was a fun, fun day.
Michael smoked a pork shoulder and made pulled pork for supper. It took all day long to cook the meat and it smelled so good! Edward really liked the smell of the meat smoking in the outdoor cooker.
There was time to pay in the water and Patrick played in the outdoor shower on the camper. Edward could see him out the window as he danced in the water. Playing in the water is a good way to cool down on a hot day.
More fun things are planned for tomorrow.
Dalzell, South Carolina
A day of playing with Patrick can sure wear a bear out! Here Edward and Patrick are playing with a bunch of bears that belong to Rachel.
When Rachel and Mike were dating, Mike gave bears to Rachel as gifts. She has saved them, but they were in storage for the time that they lived in Japan. They rode in a box in the camper with Edward all the way from Washington to South Carolina. Patrick didn't even know they were in the camper until he saw them come out of the box. Patrick was having a fun time with so many bears.
Today is Patrick's last day of being a one-year-old. Tomorrow is his second birthday. There is going to be a big celebration with cake and presents and a lot of fun times. Edward thinks it will be a good day. After all, the reason that the family made this trim at this time was to help celebrate Patrick's birthday. Patrick knows something exciting is going to happen, but he will be surprised by many things tomorrow.
Often when the camper is parked in the same place, Edward doesn't report in every day, but things have been so exciting on this trip that he plans to check in at the end of each day to report what is going on.
Dalzell, South Carolina
Edward is here! Patrick is playing with Edward after a long trip.
Today was a day of traffic, traffic, traffic. There was heavy traffic at Knoxville, Tennessee, at Ashville, North Carolina and at Columbia, South Carolina. For a long time it was just stop and go, stop and go. But we also traveled through some really beautiful country. As we drove through the Great Smoky mountains, there was a bear crossing sign. Edward didn't see any bears crossing the road, though.
Best of all - we got to Rachel and Mike and Patrick's house at about 4:00 in the afternoon which meant that Edward had time to play with Patrick before dinner and again after dinner. Yay!
Everyone is tired, but it is good to have reached this point in the trip. Edward can hear the frogs singing as he goes to sleep tonight.
Here is Edward hanging out by the bell at the Volunteer Park Campground just north of Knoxville, Tennessee.
WOW! Edward is getting exited. This will be our last campground before we arrive at Patrick, Rachel and Mike's house tomorrow. It was a long ride, with a couple of sections of going VERY slowly as the truck and camper were in heavy traffic at Nashville and again at Knoxville. But there were no troubles and now the camper is set up in a nice wooded campground. Susan and Ted took Edward for a walk around the campground and on the nature trail. They didn't see any animals except for a few dogs, but Edward thinks that this is the kind of place where a bear might like to live. There are plenty of dense forests and good hiding places and the rocks are full of caves.
This morning we stopped at a rest stop near Metropolis, Illinois. Susan took Ted's picture that makes him look like superman. The drive was through southern Illinois, across Kentucky to Tennessee and across Tennessee. Edward can tell that we are getting closer to South Carolina because the people all have southern accents and say Y'all a lot. At lunch they stopped at a Waffle House. Edward doesn't remember ever seeing a Waffle House before. Susan had pecan waffles and Ted had a grilled beef sandwich with hash browns instead of french fries. They drank sweet tea, which is ice tea, but made with sweetener. It tastes good. For supper they had regular ice tea, without the sweetener. When it is hot, that is good enough. And not only is it hot, but it is humid! Everything is sticky wet. It rained a short shower after the camper was set up and Edward could see the steam rising from the ground around the trailer. Some of the camper windows are fogged up!
Tomorrow is going to be a really fun day!
Whittington Woods, Illinois
Edward is checking out a fish that is much bigger than his.
Today was quite an adventure in driving. Ted and Susan and Edward drove all the way across Missouri, past Kansas City and past St. Louis and into Illinois. Mostly they were going east, but they have turned south again, heading towards South Carolina. The plan is to sleep here tonight, in Tennessee tomorrow and arrive at Patrick and Rachel and Mike's house on Saturday. It is a lot of driving. Today the road was especially rough as they drove through St. Louis. Bump, bump, bump went Edward. It is a good thing that he rides between two pillows in the camper. In the evening Ted and Susan went for a walk in the woods and later they took Edward to see some of the wood carvings in the park. This is a campground for trailers and motorhomes only. There are no tents allowed in this campground. Edward wonders why. It doesn't seem like it would be any problem to allow people to put up their tents. The forest here is very different from South Dakota or Washington.
Here is a picture of Edward with a carving of a Great Blue Heron. It looks like the heron is eyeing Edward's fish. Great Blue Herons like to eat fish.
Edward is getting used to the routine of driving during the day and staying at a new campground each night. This campground is very quiet. Some of the campgrounds are near the highway and are more noisy. Most of the campgrounds have swimming pools, but Edward isn't much for swimming. He has too much fur to dry out. Edward likes it that Ted and Susan usually eat their meals outdoors at a picnic table and that they go for walks in the evening. Sometimes they take Edward with them to get a few pictures.
Edward is excited that there are just two sleeps before he gets to see Patrick and Rachel and Mike. He is getting excited.
St. Joseph, Missouri
Look at the sign under Edward. Susan and Ted thought that it was a funny sign. We were on a walk around our campground in St. Joseph, Missouri.
Today wasn't too long a day of traveling. The drive went almost straight south all of the way. It was a change in direction after several days of driving East. Edward rode out of South Dakota, across Iowa and into Missouri. At times the road ran right along the Missouri River. When it did, you could see Nebraska. At Council Bluffs, Iowa, the downtown of Omaha, Nebraska was easy to see. St. Joseph is a bigger town with quite a bit of traffic, but there was time to explore the Pony Express Museum and take a walk along the River. The campground is nice and clean and quiet and it is nice to just have some time to rest up.
There are a lot of things that started in St. Joseph. It was the starting point for Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery Expedition. It was also the starting point of the Oregon Trail. Some of the people who traveled over the Oregon Trail turned north when they got to the Columbia River and settled in Washington. It was also the place where the Mormon Trail crossed the Missouri River and headed across Nebraska to Wyoming and on to Utah. St. Joseph is the place where the Pony Express had its Eastern End. The mail took the train to and from St. Joseph to the East Coast. Going west it rode in saddle bags with riders switching horses and riding a relay across the plains, deserts and mountains to California.
Brandon, South Dakota
Have you ever seen a dog in pink pajamas? Edward has! This dog was walking with its owner and another dog near the Dignity Sculpture at the Chamberlain overlook when Edward and Ted and Susan stopped for lunch today.
Edward is at a campground near Sioux Falls, on the eastern end of South Dakota. Tomorrow we will be going through Iowa to Missouri. That will make seven states so far and a lot more to go. This campground is called "Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resort." There are a lot of big fiberglass bears around the campground, which has a bouncing pillow, mini golf, horseshoes, swimming pool, water park, and a lot more! Edward didn't get to see all of the things that there are to do here.
Ted and Susan got in fairly early, around 4 in the afternoon, so they had time to do laundry and walk around the campground. We are now halfway from Mount Vernon to where Rachel and Mike and Patrick live in South Carolina, but we won't be taking any times when we have multiple days in one place, so there are four days of driving left to go. So far the travel has been easy and Edward has seen a lot of very interesting things.
Rapid City, South Dakota
Edward is looking out over Rapid Valley from the campground. He used to live a bit farther up into the hills, but it still is really, really good to be back in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Edward feels at home here.
Today Susan and Ted and Edward said good bye to the folks in Big Timber and to the Boulder River and headed east. They followed the Interstate highway to Rapid City, where Edward lived for most of his life. The road is familiar. This time they didn't take the bumpy Highway 212, but went on the Interstate through Sheridan and Buffalo and Gillette. They had their lunch in Sheridan because they had to stop for a boat inspection. Then it was back on the road. They got to Rapid City about 4 in the afternoon and dropped off Susan so she could visit Matt and Brittany and Emmery. Edward didn't get to go in to visit them. He would have liked to meet Emmery. She is only 18 months old. Susan says she is really cute.
Then Edward waited in the camper while Susan and Ted had supper with Chuck and Sybil and Kelton. They had a good time talking about a lot of different things. While they were gone it rained and it rained a little bit after they came back, but they took Edward on a walk around the campground for a few minutes.
They are not going to stay in Rapid City very long. There will be more driving tomorrow and for the next few days. They are only 1/3 of the way to South Carolina where Rachel and Mike and Patrick live. Edward knows that they will stay in Rapid City longer on their way home. He is looking forward to it.
Big Timber, Montana
Here is a picture of how Edward rides when the camper is traveling. He is squished between two cushions. It is a safe place to ride, but Edward doesn't like to have his ears squished against his head. However, Edward hibernates in the same place, so he knows what it is like. Bears like small places for hibernation.
Tonight is the last night that Edward will be reporting from Big Timber for a while. It has been a long time since he has stayed at the Boulder River this long and Edward has had a good time. Tonight as people are thinking about going to bed there are fireworks going off all around. A lot of people are basting them off to celebrate July 4. The countryside is dry and some people are worried about fire danger and there are no fireworks at the river because people want to stay safe. Edward isn't a big fan of fireworks, but he can remember July 4 last year when the camper was parked on Beaver Lake Road in Clear Lake and the family sat out on the outdoor deck and watched fireworks. There were a lot of fireworks over Clear Lake and it was fun to see all of the big bright blasts. But the mosquitos were intense that night. Almost everyone got bit even though they had repellant on them.
Anyway, there are still a lot of people at the River, but many are leaving tomorrow. Lucy and Dan and Sylvie have to leave at 6 a.m. to catch their flight from Billings. They are going to fly to Seattle. Lucy's mom lives in Whidbey Island and they will be visiting not far from where Edward now lives.
Tomorrow Edward and Susan and Ted will start driving toward South Carolina. Edward is excited to see Patrick. But first, they will be going through Rapid City. Edward still thinks of Rapid City and the Black Hills of South Dakota as his home. It is going to be an exciting trip.
Big Timber, Montana
By the end of the d ay, both Cody and Edward were so tired they took a nap together.
Edward Bear has had quite a day. There were lots of other people around and lots of other dogs around and there were a couple of really big meals and playing in the river and dancing and a whole lot more. Edward is so tired that his head is spinning.
The day started quiet enough, but then they started the mower and made a place where the tables could be set up and then there was cleaning and lots of preparation. They were cooking in the kitchen and Edward knew to stay out of their way. Then other people started to arrive. There were too many for Edward to remember all of their names, but Brandon and Josh and Amanda were there with their children and Rick came down from Livingston and Ben and Carol came with their two little dogs, who were, by the way, very nice animals. Edward always appreciates nice animals.
It was a good day of celebrating family and love and being together. Edward enjoyed just sitting and listening to all of the conversations. They were telling stories about the old days and singing songs and talking about new ideas and new projects.
There was lots of fun that continued until everyone was exhausted. Here are some pictures of Edward's day:
Big Timber, Montana
Here is a picture of some of the people: Lois, Julia, Charlie, Susan Vernon with George, Lucy and Dan.
Oh my! Edward awoke to the sounds of more people. He knew that this was going to be a gathering of family and friends, but he didn't know exactly how many people that meant. During the night, while he was sleeping, Vernon and Moya arrived. They brought their dog, George, with them. Now there are two dogs running around and barking and having a good time.
To Edward it seems as if the people are always talking at the same time and the more people there are, the more talk there is. Some people went on adventures today to see the Natural Bridge and to visit the Bakery and to check out the new grist mill and cafe. Edward stayed home, but wanted to go to Natural Bridge. He heard it was near the Lion and the Mouse and he knows that there are caves on that mountain. Edward loves caves. They are good places to look for other bears, but this isn't the right time of the year for bears in caves, so he doesn't know what he would have found. In the afternoon some of the people went to play in the river, but Edward stayed in the camper.
Edward knows that even more people are going to arrive tonight. Ben and Carol have three dogs. WOW! There will be a lot of dogs and a lot of people. Tomorrow is the celebration and Edward is interested to see what it will bring.
Big Timber, Montana
Edward is looking out the window of the camper. There is a lot going on out there. Sometimes he wishes he could go outside more often, but Ted and Susan sometimes go away and don't take him along.
Edward finds names to be interesting. The little girl whose mother is Lucy and father is Dan is named Sylvie. It is a very pretty name and Edward likes it.
The dog who loves to fetch balls and frisbees and sticks and anything that he can get people to throw is named Cody. Lucy and Sylvie and Cody all have the letter y in their names. None of the rest of the people around here do. Y must be a special letter.
Today was a lazy day at the camper. Ted did some work hauling things for Lois and Charlie helped. His name sounds like it should have a y in it, but it doesn't. In the afternoon Ted fixed a bed for when more people come to stay.
Everyone ate spaghetti for supper and had a fun time. They even had huckleberry ice cream bars for dessert. Huckleberries are Edward's favorites. They grow high in the mountains where the air is clear and there are lots of other bears.
It was another hot day, but there were some clouds in the sky and the sunset over the Crazy Mountains was very beautiful.
More people are coming tomorrow. It should be exciting!