The heat is on.

Saturday August 23…Day 12

Everyone woke up happy!

Well rested and excited about the trip again we ate breakfast in our hotel room beds before we suited up and went down to the pool.

Dogwood loved dipping her toes in the water and watching daddy drag her sisters around the pool taking turns dancing with him in the warm water.

After a quick shower, we visited a local library then had lunch before hitting the road to get to a Jayco service center.

Hours later, we entered South Dakota, ate a lite dinner and kept moving to get out of the heat.

Darryl; eyes tired from the road; stopped off for a break to pajama the kids and with the heat, we blocked off the back of the RV to keep the cabin cool when a spectacular light show began in the diner parking lot where we were stopped. We all looked out the window in awe of the night sky brighter than a Fourth of July fireworks finale; only this wasn’t fireworks. It was lightning, and a lot of it. Silent and beautiful heat lightning in the distance. We checked the weather forecast and sure enough a band of severe thunderstorms were headed right for us with a flash flood advisory in our immediate area.

We weren’t going anywhere. After this afternoon’s long drive we didn’t want to go anywhere anyway. We enjoyed mother nature’s display and fixed the table and dinette into one really huge bed where we all cuddled in what little cool air we could muster from the cab’s A/C and our oscillating fan and watched Peter Rabbit with popcorn while we waited for the storm to pass. Darryl’s phone even buzzed and wrang out with an emergency service weather broadcast warning us of flash floods. (big brother knows where we are and with modern technology, always watching)

SONY DSC

The night turned out to be a blessing because we caught up on some cozy family bed zzz’s and after a few hours we woke up to clearer skies and cooler temperatures.

Sunday August 24……Day 13

Wow! What a roller coaster of a trip so far.?! The days and events are starting to blur and blend together, if it weren’t for this journal I wouldn’t know what day it is, what state we’re in or my own phone number. (does anyone really ever call themselves?)

We moved from the diner early and stopped in a South Dakota rest area for breakfast, to get some information, and to stretch our legs. We got dressed and decided on Badlands National Park. We were NOT sorry.

I was captain for the day and while I enjoyed the perfect weather clear comfortable and sunny and the scenery of prairies and farms. I did not, however, enjoy to roadside signs. Every 20′ was a billboard… it was like how I would imagine a celebrity feels about the paparazzi flashing cameras in their face all the time. Sign after sign after sign. All saying the same three things. Ugh! Get out of my face!

I get the point of the repetitive advertising but the redundancy made me want to NOT go there. The exact opposite of the sign’s intentions.

We pulled in to the National Park unsuspecting of the majesty about to be bestowed upon us. Breathtaking, unsurpassable fascinating beauty. Spectacular magnificent and miraculous sandcastles-nature’s sandcastles erupting from the earth big enough to house Manhatten Island 10 times. Winding paved roads weaving in and around these structures with scenic overlooks of the vast lands.

 

Desolate at first glance; upon a closer look we saw birds of all kinds, sweet smelling roadside wildflowers, and grasslands with adorable prairie dog fleets. We learned about the ancient sea that once resided here and the now extinct aquatic life that inhabited it. As waters receded a lush forest took over, bringing even more diverse wildlife now extinct, probably due to the drastic climate change that transformed this wondrous place into a prairie ecosystem.

As the winds and dry air moved in, the Badlands that we know today was shaped from water and wind scouring the clay hills eroding these geologic beauties.

I’m dreading recounting this next part. (as I’ll bet you’ll regret reading it.

Oliver, our pup, is very sick. After the day of the poop, his diarrhea continued and he wasn’t eating so we brought him to a local vet clinic in Rapid City, SD.

Emergency Vet Services on a Sunday are pricey, but we HAD to help him.

After an x-ray and some blood-work we discovered a suspicious object in his abdomen and a mild case of pancreatitus. He spent the night in the ER getting IV fluids and anti-vomiting medication. Did I mention he was vomiting? It was the vomiting that concerned me the most; that and he wasn’t eating. If he just had diarrhea it would have been another story.

We finished our visit at badlands and I took Ollie for a walk as I always do before we hit the road. He took his few minutes and then strained trying to relieve himself. And this time it wasn’t just diarrhea, it was red. Blood. After we cleaned him up we setup his kennel and packed up our stuff. By the time we were ready to actually roll, he had vomited in the kennel.

We had to stop for gas but then it was straight to Rapid City and get Oliver to the Emergency Room.

The vet examined him and blood immediately started dripping from his rear. We agreed to admit him to the hospital for testing and treatment. A few x-rays and two nights in the hospital on IV fluids and medicine we got our pup back. He stopped bleeding and vomiting, his x-rays were now clear so whatever it was is gone now and we’re relieved that surgery wasn’t necessary. A recovering dog with a cone in a crate in our already cramped RV is not on my to-do list for this trip…maybe next time. Just to be sure he was okay, we stayed in Rapid City for another day and waited for him to be eating drinking and going to the bathroom regularly. He also needed to rest.

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