The 23-hour day

There’s a certain guy who posts on several of the RVing social-media pages I follow — a full-timer, constantly moving, always looking for new and remote places to plant his Class A motorhome. He’s fearless, a true nomad.

Not long ago he wrote about traveling across the Northern Plains on a particularly turbulent day. He confessed to being so humbled by conditions that he reduced his speed — on the Interstate — to 50mph and threw on his four-way flashers.

“That prairie wind is no joke,” he said.

Running farther across South Dakota today was, for us, that kind of day. It started relatively calm early but soon became vicious, with 35mph winds from our curb side. I held speed in the 50s for 170 miles. Once, seeing a pack of big rigs approaching in the rearview mirrors, I pulled the switch for Ernie’s four-ways to let them know that I was moving a whole lot slower than they were. (The speed limit on I-90 is 80mph.)

We stopped for diesel shortly after we left, which seemed like an efficient move until we picked the wrong line and were delayed 45 minutes behind a lackadaisical trucker. Rest areas seemed to be placed perfectly along our route, popping up precisely when I needed a break.

Although we didn’t set any records, and even accounting for crossing from Mountain into Central and losing an hour, we still rolled into our campground by 1pm.

This is our second straight repeat visit, another place we stayed on our way west. We enjoyed both the park, which is ordinary, and the area, which is pure Heartland. So we came back.

We’re supposed to be here two nights. That’ll probably change.

One reason we left early and pressed hard today was that we’d scheduled a 3pm veterinary appointment here for Dipstick. We arrived in plenty of time to hook up and set up before making the short drive to the clinic.

The sick little dog was poked and prodded and x-rayed. Blood work showed that his Cushing’s is under control, we’re glad to say, but his white count is very high, signaling an infection. And the x-rays revealed that he may have an intestinal blockage of some sort.

That doesn’t shock us. He’s a damned billy goat.

So he was administered an antibiotic, an anti-nausea injection and a big gulp of barium. We return to the clinic with him in the morning, when they’ll x-ray him again and try to pinpoint any blockage.

If they find something, that’ll probably mean inpatient surgery and a subsequent stay for monitoring. We may be here through the weekend.

There are worse places to be. Our commitment to caring for Dipstick (and Scout) comes first — we’ll adjust our plans as need be.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

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