It’s been quite a year and it’s hard to believe we’re finally nearing the end of 2020. We’ve had our fair share of challenges this year however we did manage to squeeze in some fun and travel despite health issues, lock downs, and the COVID-19 threat.We began our year in Casa Grande, Arizona at the beautiful Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort. It’s ranked as one of the top resorts in Arizona which is no surprise. We had a lot of fun before health issues got in the way forcing us to cut our trip short.

We believe we both had COVID in January. Cathy got it bad and was nearly hospitalized but for the grace of God. Looking back, she had all the coronavirus symptoms but no one knew what coronavirus was yet. Shortly after that she began suffering what seems to be long term after effects of the virus. This culminated in two heart surgeries for her plus additional issues.

The good news is her heart is doing fine. The jury is still out on other issues.

Between Cathy’s health challenges and the coronavirus shutdowns we were sheltered at our house in Nevada for many months getting stir crazy like pretty much everyone. By September, not only were we anxious to get on the road but we had business to take care of in our home state of South Dakota. We loaded up the RV and hit the road for what ended up being a nearly 8,000 mile trip.

We traveled through Nevada and Utah working our way north. There was a lot of talk about the large numbers of RVs that have sold this year as people discovered the freedom and relative safety of camping. Many were concerned that campgrounds would be overcrowded, but we didn’t have trouble getting into RV parks on this trip. We did find that all had adopted some type of safety protocol.

The Solstice Motorcoach Resort in Mesquite, NV


Six inches of fresh snow in Wyoming forced us to deviate from our planned journey. We continued north through Idaho and into Montana. We really love Montana. The weather was perfect and we were able to enjoy some outside activity.

We moved east to Billings to another beautiful campground – the Billings KOA, the world’s first KOA campground.

Set along the scenic Yellowstone River, the campground is impeccably maintained. While the pool and some activities were closed because of COVID, the sheer beauty and plentiful amenities shows why they’ve won awards. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Billings.


We headed over to Devils Tower National Monument. President Theodore Roosevelt designated Devils Tower as the first national monument on September 24, 1906. The National Park Service wasn’t created until 10 years later. Jeff has always wanted to visit since seeing the movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

The Tower is an amazing geologic feature that protrudes out of the prairie surrounding the Black Hills. The Northern Plains Indians consider this sacred ground. The tower features hundreds of parallel cracks making it one of the best climbing areas in North America.

The name Devils Tower is interesting for two notable reasons. First, the name came about because of an incorrect translation by an interpreter in 1875 during an expedition led by Colonel Richard Irving Dodge. The lack of an apostrophe was a typo in the initial document designating the national monument, and it has been used that way ever since.

We hiked a bit and were able to watch climbers rappelling down the face of the tower. It was something to see.


South Dakota

Home sweet home. It was good to be back in town. We took time to visit Mount Rushmore again. If you haven’t been, put it on your bucket list. It is spectacular. This year, we attended the nighttime ceremonial lighting of the monument. They do a wonderful job paying tribute to any veterans in attendance. It is a patriotic and heart-warming evening.


We made a drive through Bear Country USA in Rapid City – not too far from Mount Rushmore. We weren’t really sure what to expect, and wow, this was a great adventure. There is so much wildlife roaming about. We thoroughly enjoyed the drive and the walk through of other exhibits.

Many more photos in the gallery.

We voted! After years of absentee voting, it was fun to vote in person on the first day of early voting.


The next stop on our trip was the small town of Seneca, Kansas where we picked up a new addition to our family. Little Bella Boo is a Cavapoo (sometimes called a Cavadoodle). She’s half King Charles Cavalier and half Poodle.

She instantly won our hearts. For Mandy, it took a little while, but she’s adjusted to her new sister, and the two of them are having fun playing together.



We weren’t planning to go as far east as Ohio, but with Cathy’s heath issues this year, we decided to make the trip to get a second opinion from the number one heart hospital in the country – the Cleveland Clinic. We were so impressed by the Cleveland Clinic. We’ve never experienced health care this thorough and efficient. We can’t say enough positive things about the doctors and staff there. And the best news, Cathy’s heart is doing well.

Staying overnight at a Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

While in Cleveland, we camped in nearby Streetsboro, Ohio at Woodside Lake Park. Fantastic campground. We enjoyed our time there.



Next stop: Nashville. We had been through Nashville once before many years ago, but never really experienced the city. This trip, despite COVID restrictions, we were able to explore and really enjoy the town.

We spent time wandering through the Johnny Cash Museum. Lots of great history and memorabilia here.

Many more photos in the gallery.

Then we ventured down Broadway and found a restaurant where we could sit outside on the patio and listen to some of the live music playing at the nearby honkey tonks.

Whenever we’re in a city that offers bus or trolley tours, we take them. It’s a great way to get around town, and learn some of the history. In Nashville, we took the trolley tour and wound our way around the city. We drove past Nashille’s Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens, Greece. It was designed by architect William Crawford Smith and built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. Today, it is the centerpiece of Centennial Park and functions as an art museum.

We visited the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and were a bit disappointed. We’re not big country music fans, but we expected more from the displays. It may be that there have been so many country artists throughout history, that they had to limit space for each artist. Here are some highlights.

Many more photos in the gallery.


We stopped in Memphis to visit Graceland. We’ve been here before and it is always interesting. They’ve made a lot of changes since our last visit. Well worth the stop if you’re in the area. It’s surprising how small the mansion is. Back in the day, it was surely huge, but it’s small compared to mansions these days.

If you visit, make sure to also see Elvis’ planes. The Lisa Marie is incredible with it’s gold sinks, conference room, bedroom and more.

The museum also features quite a collection of Elvis’ cars and motorcycles.

Many more photos in the gallery.

Back in Nevada

We made the long drive back to our Nevada home where we’ve been sheltered in place. We took a couple of short trips to Phoenix, Arizona and St George, Utah, but other than that have remained at home.

Merry Christmas

The recent celestial event that just happened to occur on the coldest/darkest day (Winter Solstice) of this year is a wonderful reminder of the Star of Bethlehem that announced the gift of Jesus as the light of the world. He is truly our only hope for peace and salvation in a cold/dark/weary world.

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn’
Fall on your knees, oh, hear the Angels’ voices
Oh, night divine, oh, night when Christ was born

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year.