More “Catching Up”

Sorry.  Been busy, ever happen to you?  Me too.  Still, I know I should have been keeping up a little with the site.  Really no good excuse.

The week following the Draft Horse Competition we headed off to South Dakota to renew our drivers licenses.  In SD you have to show up and take an eye test to renew.  My license expired last February but a single phone call, a couple of emails and thirty minutes later I had a one year extension.  I really like working with the government in SD.  They are not “bureaucrats”.  SD seems to have a “hands-off” approach to government, just enough to get things done without all the hassles.  I have never talked to someone in any level of government there that I did not come away feeling like they had done all they could to help.  Refreshing!

While we were there we did the tourist thing and visited Deadwood and Lead.  We didn’t spend a lot of time there and did not take any pictures because it has become too “touristy” for me.  I did have an interesting conversation with one of the local “gunfighters” who was about to “Die for the 2000 time”.  They have two re-enactments daily.  He invited us in to watch the show but “been there, done that, got the powder burns to prove it” so we declined.

We also went to Mount Rushmore again.  It is still there.  The visitor area has been extensively redone since our last visit.  It is probably better than it was but I liked having more open area.

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For this trip we rented a Ford Focus so we would not put quite so many miles on our truck.  It cost about $200 in rental but we got 40mpg overall on the trip.  Buying regular gasoline instead of diesel saved us enough to pay the rental outright.  Then when you add the cost of an oil change, wear on the tires and all the other wear and tear the 1500 miles would have added I think we saved over $150 by renting.  Strange.  My only take-away was I would never buy that car.  It is smaller than our truck by a lot so there is less room, it rides worse than our big one-ton diesel but most importantly to me, it was very noisy.  When a passenger car is noisier than a diesel rig you know there are problems.  I guess they took out the sound deadening insulation because of the weight in order to get the gas mileage but it is a poor trade-off in my estimation.  Still it was fun driving something different for a change.

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