In this episode of the RV Podcast we look at the hidden dangers of campground water supplies and the water in your RV’s fresh water tank.
- 1 Show Notes for Episode #202 July 25, 2018 of Roadtreking – The RV Podcast [spp-timestamp time=”2:10″]
- 2 WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK
- 3 JENNIFER’S RV TIP OF THE WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”19:20″]
- 4 LISTENER RV QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”25:02″]
- 5 RV INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”38:00″]
- 6 TRAVELING RV TECH TIP [spp-timestamp time=”51:19″]
- 7 OFF THE BEATEN RV PATH REPORT – More about Mobridge [spp-timestamp time=”54:12″]
- 8 RV CALENDAR OF EVENTS [spp-timestamp time=”59:22″]
- 9 Please Subscribe and Give Us a Rating and Review!
There are concerns that bacteria and E.coli contamination are much more prevalent in RV water systems and that without proper filtration you and your family could be at risk when drinking water out of RV faucets. Coming up in our interview of the week segment, we’ll talk to the former CEO of a large RV manufacturer about what you need to do to have safe drinking water.
Plus, a serious warning about an outbreak of canine influenza, Jennifer’s RV Tip of the week, your RV questions, lots of important RV News, traveling technology ideas and an off the beaten path report from the Burketts.
Click the player below to Listen Now or scroll down through the show note details. When you see a time code hyperlink, you can click it to jump directly to that segment of the podcast.
Show Notes for Episode #202 July 25, 2018 of Roadtreking – The RV Podcast [spp-timestamp time=”2:10″]
WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK
Greetings from Southaven, MS, just outside Memphis, TN, where we have been all week watching our 12-year-olld grandson, Jacob, play in the Dizzy Dean League World Series on a team coached by our son, Scott. It’s been great family time for us and we’ve been using our Roadtrek RV as a “boy cave,” an air-conditioned respite for Jacob and his teammates from the 100 degree heat they’ve been having down here, a place to chill out with the AC between games. Those solar panels on our roof have soaked up the southern sun and kept our lithium batteries charged up and we’ve had plenty of power out there in the parking lot.
This heat we have experienced this week is happening in many parts of the country. Temperatures approached 120 degrees in parts of the U.S. Southwest on Monday, and forecasters said this week could bring the region’s hottest weather of the year. Forecasters issued excessive heat warnings to much of Arizona, including parts of Grand Canyon National Park, and extended into areas of Southern California and Nevada. A heat advisory was in effect for west Texas and southeast New Mexico with high temperatures well into the triple digits. In Waco it was 114 degrees. Parts of Utah were also issued an excessive heat warning with temperatures this week expected to approach 109 degrees. Phoenix reached a sweltering 115 degrees, which broke the previous daily record, according to the National Weather Service.
We are excited this week to announce that our online store is now up and running. If you’ve been watching our RV Lifestyle You Tube Channel you’ve seen us both wearing our hats and shirts complete with our logo. Lots of you have asked how you can get them and we promised we’d find a way. Well we finally have it all set up. Just go to shop.rvlifestyle.com. That’s shop.rvlifestyle.com. And let us know what you think about it. We’ll be adding lots of cool things in the weeks ahead, but right now it has the T-shirts, in men and women sizes, our, hats and a very nice sweatshirt for the colder months that are just around the corner.
We’ll be leaving Memphis by the weekend and headed back north again to Michigan where we’ll pick up Bo. He’s been at our daughter’s house there. It has just been too hot for him down here in Memphis. We did take him with us last week to the Owner’s Academy in Cambridge Ontario. We were there in April and they invited us back to the Roadtrek and Erwin Hymer of North America factory there last week. We presented a seminar on our Serendipity Travel style and told some stories from the road as we got to hang out with another cool group of fellow RVers. Bo was really well behaved. The Roadtrek folks are very dog friendly and he was right in the seminar room with us.
We’ve been on the road a lot this year and we wanted to share a concern we have about something that we are seeing more and more. Distracted drivers. On the way down here to Memphis this past week, we were almost hit twice by distracted drivers. In both cases it looked like the drivers were texting as they drove the interstate at speeds over 70 miles an hour. It drives me nuts that I can’t get their attention. I honk the horn in our RV but sfor some reason, Mercedes has built in this wimpy little “meep Meep” horn that nobody can hear and if they do hear it, it gets no respect.
Seriously, tough, distracted driving is a huge problem out there. Most states have put distracted driving laws on the books over the past few years. Getting caught calling or texting behind the wheel can cost drivers from $1000 in Oregon for a first offense to a whopping $10,000 in Alaska. But if you look around in traffic on any given day, you know that fines are not enough to stop some people from checking incoming text messages or Facebook status updates while driving. Some states are now adding jailtime as an even stronger deterrent. But in our travels, we’re seeing more distracted driving, not less. And it’s not just cell phones. GPS units and in dash vehicle entertainment systems all too easily lure driver’s attention off the road and onto electronic screens.
Over the past two years there’s been a 14 percent rise in roadway fatalities in the US, and the largest back-to-back increase in motor vehicle–related death rates per mile driven in more than 50 years. In some parts of the country, distracted driving causes more vehicle crashes than drunk driving. So we point this all out to say that it is dangerous out there. Be alert as you drive this summer and don’t be one of those distracted by all the gadgetry on your dashboard..
Meanwhile, here’s the RV News of the week you need to know about:
Did you see the stories out of the UK last week about a giant fissure appearing on a volcano at Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park? They stated the giant crack so close to Yellowstone National Park was causing concern a massive volcano was about to blow (see here ). We want to put your mind at ease. The 100 foot crack is NOT a sign of imminent disaster. Rather this part of the country is simply geologically active, and activity does not equal a massive volcanic eruption is coming soon. To read a through story debunking the hype on the Snopes website, click here.
A study released last week found that air pollution at U.S. national parks is just as bad as many U.S. cities. It also found that many national parks experienced ozone action days, when the public is urged to avoid being outside or doing vigorous outdoor activities, during the same summer months visitation is expected to be highest, among other things. Several media outlets featured the findings. To learn more click here or here.
Planning to do any camping in Oregon this week? If so, listen up. Due to extremely dry conditions all campfires and open flames in campgrounds are banned, likely for the entire week, in response to the Governor’s declaration of a wildfire emergency. Two people died in wildfires as of the weekend, and many had been evacuated from their homes. Wildfires are also burning in northern California – with one near Yosemite National Park and throughout Colorado, so be sure to double check conditions before heading to campsites in any of those areas. To read more about the Oregon fires, click here.
A story out of the Yukon Territory in Canada last week focused on the decision of a Walmart there to end overnight stays for campers in their parking lot. It appears the ban will only happen in the summer. The Yukon News quoted Walmart officials as saying customers had complained about the large amount of debris campers left in the camping lot, and an area campground owner said the Walmart was hurting business, while Walmart campers were quoted saying there was no where to stay. To read the story, click here.
Good news for all of you California west coast lovers – Highway 1 near Big Sur opened last week for the first time in about 14 months. The road was closed for nearly a year and a half when the worse mudslide in Big Sur’s history swept a section of the road into the ocean, making it very difficult for campers or other tourists to reach the popular area. To see before and after pictures, and learn more, click here.
This part of the program is brought to you by AllStays Pro, the best tool for RVers looking for places to camp, boondock or stay free overnight. Go to https://rvlifestyle.com/allstays for more info.
JENNIFER’S RV TIP OF THE WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”19:20″]
Our tip of the week for this episode is really a warning for dog owners. We want to pass along an alert we received from Lea DiBella, the excellent dog trainer we used for Bo last year. She sent out an alert to her clients warning about a rash of confirmed cases of canine influenza in Southeastern Michigan, particularly in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.
Several boarding kennels in those counties have been forced to cancel reservations for upcoming stays in order to thoroughly disinfect their facilities. Canine Influenza can seem similar to Canine Cough except it is significantly more contagious (nearly every dog will contract it when exposed) and has a shorter incubation period. And Michigan is not the only area experiencing an outbreak of this. It is throughout the Midwest.
It is recommended that you contact your vet and ask if there is an outbreak in your area. If so, many vets recommend owners of young, elderly or at risk dogs keep their dogs at home until it subsides
Please ask your vet whether or not your dog should receive the Canine Influenza vaccine.
If there is an outbreaK in your area, consider keeping your dog at home instead of using daycare or boarding facilities, especially if your dog has not received the vaccine.
For more info on canine influenza:
Be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.
I love hearing from you!
Jennifer’s tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping
LISTENER RV QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”25:02″]
Nadine bought a 26-year-old RV with battery issues. She lives in New York City hand has been to four different repair facilities. Best guess is there is some sort of parasitic drain from the coach. She wants some advice.
We suggest she review an article by our friend Mark Polk that really will help her understand the many different causes of old batteries failing – https://blog.gorving.com/2016/10/not-another-dead-rv-battery/
Mark says “the number one cause for lead-acid battery failure, sulfation. When you use a battery small crystals of sulfuric acid start forming on the plates in the battery. This is normal and when the battery is charged on a regular basis these crystals convert back into active plate material. The problem starts when a battery remains in a low state-of-charge for an extended period of time. Sulfation starts to form on plates when a battery drops below 12.5 volts. The longer a battery remains in a low state-of-charge condition the larger the sulfate crystals get until the sulfate cannot be converted back into active plate material and the battery is ruined. This can happen regardless if the battery is 1-year-old or 7-years-old. The important thing to remember is to always recharge a discharged battery in a timely manner.
There are numerous electronic devices and equipment in your RV that can drain the battery when you are not using the RV. These are referred to as parasitic loads and they slowly drain the battery, even when you are confident nothing was left on in the RV. Some examples are the TV antenna booster, the LP gas leak detector, clocks in stereos, electronic circuit boards, or accidentally leaving a 12-volt light on in the RV. Your automobile has the same type of parasitic drains on the battery, but it doesn’t drain the battery because you drive the vehicle and recharge the battery on a regular basis. In your RV it’s possible for these parasitic loads to drain the battery when you don’t use or charge the battery for long periods of time. And remember as soon as the battery state-of-charge drops below 12.5 volts sulfation starts, and if the battery stays in that condition for an extended period of time the battery will die. It’s a vicious cycle!
Another interesting dilemma not every RV owner is aware of is that batteries self-discharge while in storage. It’s not uncommon for a battery to discharge up to 10% a month in storage. At this rate it won’t take long to completely discharge the battery, and you guessed it if the battery is not recharged sulfation starts forming and the battery will die.”
Richard has a towable and wants to upgrade to a motorhome. He plans n visitng RV shows but wonders about the trade-in process, how it works and whether he should tow his trailer to the show itself to get a price.
Paul heard us talking about an old motorhome made by Henry Ford and shares some early RV trivia.
The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn has lots of information about it. In fact, between 1915 and 1924, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, tire magnate Harvey Firestone and naturalist John Burroughs (who took part 1916-1920), calling themselves “the Four Vagabonds,” embarked on a series of summer camping trips. Others joined the group at various times, among them family, business associates and politicians, including U.S. presidents. Over the years, the group crisscrossed the mountains, valleys and scenic countryside of Upstate New York, the New England states, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia,Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
The group traveled in style and their adventures were well-documented and publicized. Equipment used by the party included a folding circular camp table with lazy Susan seating twenty, a twenty-square-foot dining tent, sleeping tents with mosquito netting, a gasoline stove and a refrigerated Lincoln camping truck. A professional chef prepared the group’s meals and film crews and numerous outside journalists followed in their wake. Ford complained of the attention and its hampering effects on their trips, but there are strong indications that he nevertheless relished the publicity
Here’s a link to a full article and lots of old photos describing Henry Ford and his Vagabonds – https://www.thehenryford.org/explore/blog/camping-with-henry-ford-and-the-vagabonds/
This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.
RV INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”38:00″]
Just how safe is the water in your RV? From dirty campground water supplies and old, rusty faucets to stagnant water that gets very hot in RV tanks, there’s growing concern about contaminated water that can make you sick.
In the interview of the week segment, I interview John Sztykiel, the retired CEO of Spartan Motors, who has come up with a unique water purification system that works extremely well on RVs.
You can learn more about the filter and John’s effort to bring clean water to the developing world on is NoDirtyWater.com website.
His RV filter is available through RV dealers or his website.
Here’s a video version of the interview, followed by a complete transcript of our conversation.
TRANSCRIPT of INTERVIEW
John Sztykiel (from seminar): … because I’m going to talk a little bit about water.
Mike Wendland: I met John Sztykiel, a retired CEO from the RV industry, as he was speaking to a group of RV owners about his passion for clean water. He was talking of course about helping bring clean water to the developed world, but he was also showing off a device he said is perfect for RVers that brings clean water to an RV. The water found in some campgrounds around the country can only be described, he says, as toxic. I had to sit him down and have an interview about this.
John Sztykiel: Well, actually what’s interesting … I’ll talk first about the RV than the campground, but when you think about it water in an RV holding tank is the perfect setup to create bacteria. It’s dark, it gets warm, and there’s period of time where there’s no flow or activity at all. So what’s interesting is after two or three days in an RV, people are definitely going to notice a difference in the smell, and then they start to wonder what’s going on within the tank. There’s serious concerns about the quality and the health of water in an RV tank today, which is where no dirty water comes about. Within the campground, again the same things start coming to light, no different than city water, home, et cetera.
John Sztykiel: If you think the water is safe in a campground today, you’re playing Russian roulette. And so what’s interesting is, whether it be in a holding tank or within a campground, when people are traveling, whether it be in an RV, camping, or whatever, there are serious concerns about the quality and the safety of the water
Mike Wendland: And when we talk about the quality and the safety of the water, are we talking about just the water doesn’t taste right or doesn’t smell right, or are our people getting sick from this? Is there any qualitative studies on it?
John Sztykiel: There are now cases being written where people are getting, for lack of a better term, where you’re getting E. coli, legionellae, et cetera, from water either within the RV or within the campgrounds, which results … you’re not feeling well, you could have diarrhea, you could throw up, you get a slight case of what you think might be food poisoning, but it’s actually coming from the water. So what you’re seeing again is more people camp or RV, and the data shows more people are going out and about. There’s more and more concerns going on about the quality of the water.
Mike Wendland: The solution that you have with No Dirty Water, this little gizmo right in front of you here, this is pretty interesting stuff. How clean does that make the water? How easy is that to install? How easy is that to maintain? And since this technology has been around a while, right, why haven’t we seen this before?
John Sztykiel: Well one, only now are you seeing the technology where it’s low voltage, lightweight, high capacity. So this product here will process 2,880 gallons a day. That’s never been available before. It only weighs 7.2 pounds. It only draws one amp of electricity. So the redefining or revolutionary part of this is the activated oxygen or ozone is now in a very, very small package specifically set up for an RV or outdoor adventure kind of camping. So that’s what’s new and different. Easy to install, you can install it in one of two areas, either going from your line into the tank so it ozonates or activates and purifies everything within your RV holding tank.
Mike Wendland: You hook it up probably before or somewhere around the water pump-
John Sztykiel: Yeah.
Mike Wendland: … because that’s where the [city 00:03:43] water comes in, then it goes to the fresh. And is this on constantly?
John Sztykiel: It works when the water pump works.
Mike Wendland: And explain how that ozonates into the freshwater tank.
John Sztykiel: Well, we use the term we’re purifying the fresh water. But what this does is when the water pump works, it actually shoots short, small bursts of activated oxygen, which is another term for ozone. And that ozone literally as it goes from an O3 molecule to O2, that’s what kills the bacteria. It also creates a great taste, and it eliminates any odor whatsoever.
Mike Wendland: Yeah, larger question, could this go on a home system?
John Sztykiel: Right now, we’re very focused on RVs, camping, outdoor adventure, but absolutely. This system is set up for an RV, which is why you see a five gallon per minute filter, but the black box could work on a home, absolutely.
Mike Wendland: The larger social issues, which I know you guys are very much aware of, is something we should just touch on for a moment. Your real passion is in bringing safe, pure water to the developing world.
John Sztykiel: Well exactly, and what’s interesting is what NDW does, it was created to solve the world’s water issues. And 2 billion people a day interact with dirty water. Just over 9,000 people will die each day from water related diseases. So when we were working with our partners, we wanted a lightweight system less than 10 pounds, one that drew one amp or less, and third could do at least 2,000 gallons per day because it is set up perfectly to be solar powered if necessary and work in a developing world. So now the question is getting the wells drilled, but now we’ve got a lightweight, low cost, high capacity, portable system that could be solar powered if necessary for developing nations to give people clean, pure, safe water every day.
Mike Wendland: And meanwhile, it’s perfect for RVs because you’ve got this system that’s relatively contained that this can easily be interchanged with.
John Sztykiel: Absolutely, and that was the beauty. When I retired from Spartan Motors, I wanted a system which could solve the world’s water issues. And to do that, I knew I would do something which would work very well within an RV or camping because it’s got to be lightweight to solve the world’s water issues, it’s got to be lightweight to be in an RV, it’s got to be small to be in an RV, it’s got to be small to solve the world’s water issues, and it’s got to be low voltage or less than one amp because the sun is the only thing you can rely on in a developing nation. And in an RV, you want to be very, very concerned how you’re using your electricity.
Mike Wendland: That one amp draw, particularly for those who are doing more and more boondocking, living off the grid, just off of your solar powered batteries in your RV, this thing can go for days. That’s not gonna draw anything down.
John Sztykiel: No, you are absolutely right.
Mike Wendland: And that’s the actual technology breakthrough, right?
John Sztykiel: Yeah.
Mike Wendland: That low power that-
John Sztykiel: Low power, lightweight, low cost, and what’s interesting is the black box. The key item within the black box, the activated oxygen item, the ozone generators, has a shelf life of the 130 years. So the filter would have to be replaced probably once every six months. Your ozone, the most important part of it, the activated oxygen piece, life of once every 130 years.
Mike Wendland: And this is of course the filter part right here.
John Sztykiel: Yeah.
Mike Wendland: It looks like this just unscrews, you just put a new filter in it. Even I can do this.
John Sztykiel: Yeah, it’s simple. We want to make it very simple and easy to use, very simple and easy to install. Some people in an existing RV, they will put it right underneath their sink going right up to their fresh water tap. So every time they turn their faucet on, you’re going to get activated oxygen, you’ll purify the water, it’ll give a great taste, and it will also eliminate any odor.
Mike Wendland: The fact that it also purifies the water in the fresh water holding tanks is particularly of interest to me because as I said, I think a lot of people fill that up and they keep that water in there for a couple or three weeks.
John Sztykiel: Yeah. And then when you get into the summer time, and it’s like 80, 90 degrees in the tank, it’s probably 10 to 15 degrees higher. That is a perfect Petri dish for bacteria.
Mike Wendland: Yeah. Well, this is pretty good. This is available now-
John Sztykiel: Yes.
Mike Wendland: … and we’re going to see more and more RV manufacturers offering this-
John Sztykiel: Yes.
Mike Wendland: … as an option. We’ll put some links on the show notes for the podcast and here on our YouTube video as well to No Dirty Water, your great website. They can learn about the social footprint that this little gadget’s going to have. So this is how you’re spending your retirement from Spartan Motors, eh?
John Sztykiel: Yeah, it really is. I love it because one, I know we’re creating value but second, I know we’re creating a better world. And we’re making people smile, and it is so neat. When we do live tests, and we’ll be at a show next week, but when you see people smile from a great glass of water, it is an unbelievable feeling.
Mike Wendland: And the water really does taste better.
John Sztykiel: It does taste better.
Mike Wendland: Well, I want one on my RV, so we’ll look-
John Sztykiel: Look for it online.
Mike Wendland: Thank you so much.
John Sztykiel: Awesome.
The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country
TRAVELING RV TECH TIP [spp-timestamp time=”51:19″]
By Steve Van Dinter
The days are barely getting shorter, but in many parts of the country we’re just a week or so away from kids going back to school. And this year rather than dread the ringing bell, send them back to class all teched out.
For those entering into high school or college, chances are good there’s a smartphone also coming along. New cases, like the ones featuring the Avengers, Star Wars and Disney Princesses, make securing these devices a smart and stylish decision. Coming in a variety of colors and looks, there’s one sure to fit your interests and protect your investment from failing a test by gravity!
Keeping your phone powered up and ready to handle whatever the semester throws at it is also important. And especially in the dorm rooms, there never seem to be enough power outlets. That’s where the Verizon 5 Port Charging Hub comes in handy. Just insert the plug into one of your wall outlets, then connect up to 4 USB devices and an additional 1 USB-C device to the hub itself.
Newer phones – like the iPhone 8 and iPhone X along with most Android devices – can be charged wirelessly in addition to wired. So if you’re looking for the ultimate in charging convenience, consider picking up the Samsung Fast Charge Wireless Charging Stand. Not only do you not have to worry about messing around with cables, since your phone is upright and charging you can easily see text messages and respond without having to pick it up.
What tends to happen in the morning when you’re running a bit late for class or the school bus is about to pull up? You can’t find your backpack, right?! The Tile Combo 4-Pack can help with that. Just slip a Tile onto your backpack, purse, or wallet. Now the next time you lose them, just open up your phone’s Tile app, click on the title of the item you lost, and it’ll start to ring so you can find it. And if it’s your smartphone that’s lost, no worries. Just pick up any of your Tiles and double-punch the “e” to automatically ring your phone – even if it’s on silent.
This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.
OFF THE BEATEN RV PATH REPORT – More about Mobridge [spp-timestamp time=”54:12″]
By Tom and Patti Burkett
We were stopped on Mobridge, on the South Dakota plains, so I could get a haircut. Online research from the seat of the Roadtrek had turned up a suitable shop here, and I had an appointment for just after lunch. On the recommendation of the local librarians, we were eating at Rick’s, a pink stucco café on the edge of the downtown. As promised, the bison chili was first-rate, and we emptied our styrofoam bowls and wished for more.
While Patti walked across the street to Studio 650,I drove to the edge of town, where the US 12 bridge crosses Lake Oahe. The lake, created by a dam on the Missouri River, stretches more than two hundred miles through South and North Dakota. There are stories buried in the lake. Forest City is down there. Cedars transplanted from its watery town square now surround the Mobridge county courthouse. Several Native American villages are down there too, their residents still uncompensated for the forced relocation they endured in the 1960s. Across from the library I stopped to take a picture of the Fool Soldier monument in the park. A woman sitting on a nearby bench asked if I knew the story. “Not really,” I admitted. “They didn’t get anything but grief for what they did,” she told me, “until somebody finally put up that monument.” I asked if I could join her on the bench. “Hey,” she said. “there’s plenty of sunshine to go around.” Had she lived in Mobridge for a long time? “All my life. I was born in that house right there.” I wondered aloud if things had changed much. “Not so you’d know,” was her response. “It’s mostly snow and the rodeo, and the occasional tornado.”
Rodeo is the big deal in Mobridge for much of the year, I discovered. My hairstylist, Rudy, had opened the shop just to cut my hair, interrupting an afternoon of practice for her day job barrel racing. “I grew up working on a ranch and went to school to become a stylist. I never rode much as a kid. Growing up on a ranch it was too much like work. I started racing as an adult and discovered I loved it. I was living in the city, and it was hard to find a spot I could keep my horses. One day my mom called and told me the woman who owned this salon was retiring and selling out. I told her I wasn’t interested. No way was I moving back to Mobridge. Okay, I said to Mom, I’d come just to have a look. That was on a Friday. A week later I’d signed a mortgage and moved back here. It’s a pretty good place to live if you like to ride, and the shop does OK.
After my stop in the park, I wanted to find out about the Fool Soldiers, so I headed back to the library. The librarians were just finishing their lunch and again greeted me warmly. “Rick’s?” asked the one. I nodded. “Good, right?” asked the other, who seemed gratified we’d been brave and stepped into the unknown. I asked them to tell me about something that happened in town that folks still talk about, thinking it might be the bull I’d just heard about, or maybe the Fool Soldiers. Nope. They agreed it would be the tumbleweeds. Back in 1989, a drought lowered the level of Lake Oahe by nearly forty feet. Russian thistle quickly colonized the fertile soil. One night in early November, a strong wind started the weeds tumbling, and Mobridge residents woke to find streets blocked and weeds piled like sand dunes against houses and treelines. It cost more than $8000 to clear the town, and the story made the New York Times and People magazine.
As it turned out, we spent several hours in Mobridge. Tom heard about Dakota Twister, the runaway rodeo bull, and we discovered the sad and fascinating story of the Fool Soldiers. We’ll share those another time. For now, you’ll just have to make do with tumbleweeds, murals, buffalo chili, and a cowgirl hairstylist. You can find them all on US 12 in the middle of South Dakota. We’re Patti and Tom Burkett, and we’ve always got our eyes open for other travelers, out here off the beaten path.
RV CALENDAR OF EVENTS [spp-timestamp time=”59:22″]
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