Hoten Holler!


September 24, 2016

The Two-Part Move

14-15 September, Cold and Highs in the 40s, followed by lots and lots of rain

Well, we finally did it.  We left Fort Welikit and pulled the Happy Camper out to Hoten Holler.  First we had a going away cookout with the owner and our fellow work campers.


It was a great summer, everyone got along well and we kept the campground running.  Work-camping was a fun experience, but I can’t say we would do it again.  This is mostly because we are hermit crabs and we don’t want to live in a campground….so on to a more secluded location!

 It is amazing how much stuff you can accumulate living in a small space, and we felt we needed to unload some things to lighten the load on the truck (Truck Norris).  We packed up Dave’s ceramic grill, all of our patio furniture, and a cooler full of cookware and canned goods and loaded them up on the awesome trailer we snagged from Iowa a few weeks ago. img_1943

We drove this the 20 miles down to the property and unloaded everything.  It was pretty danged cold on the 14th and we were happy to get done.  We packed the remaining items up on the 15th and brought Happy down to the Holler.  We are so completely grateful that the weather was good and it wasn’t muddy when we traveled.  We had great luck and were able to get set up on the southeast corner of the property.  Thanks, of course, to Cowboy Dave for helping find a great level location and lending us some stumps and blocks to even things out. 

The first night we were here, it rained all night long.  We woke up in a mud pit but were happy that the camper was rock-steady and hadn’t slid in the mud down the hill.  The weather has improved and we are finding our footings (no pun intended).  Thanks for reading!


Camper Life NOT in a Campground

17 September, Sunny and high 70s

We survived the move and have spent the last 2 days living basically off the grid.  We are using solar power to run the camper, propane to run the heat, and cooking on a grill.  We loaded up our freshwater tanks with water on the way into the property, since we do not have enough fresh water hose to reach the tap.  While it may seem to some of you readers like we are living on the moon, we still get Amazon deliveries and ordered a longer freshwater hose which should be here on Monday.  Consequently, we are in full on water saving mode.  We can walk up the hill to the tap and fill gallon jugs with water for things like drinking, doing dishes, brushing teeth etc.  But we are whittling away at our fresh water supply for showers and toilet flushes.

We are also a bit of a distance from the septic.  We couldn’t park right next to it or we would be right in the way of construction so we have come up with an alternative solution.  If you don’t want to hear about the lovely duties of emptying and cleaning a black water tank in an RV, you should probably just stop reading now.

We bought a portable wastewater tank…aka..poo tank.  We can hook up the drain between the camper and the poo tank and load up 15 gallons of waste.  Then we roll it over to the septic and hook up the drain and dump into the septic system.  What can I say, camper life ain’t for fancy people!  So far this isn’t too bad, but we aren’t rolling through snow yet.

The “Poo” Tank


We don’t have garbage service yet.  Dave was resourceful enough to come up with a hollowed out steel barrel which we are using as a burn barrel for our burn-worthy garbage.  We have to be careful, though, because it gets really windy here and we don’t want to be known as “those people from Florida who burnt down the National Forest!”

Another interesting adjustment is the lack of internet here.  Dave still has some data on his phone, but I am back in the dark ages.  It will likely be longer between blog posts because I’ll have to get to town to get them uploaded via someone’s WIFI, but fear not Hoten Holler-er Foller-ers….We will still keep writing from this end.

We also have no TV and limited radio stations.  I hope we get into our house quickly or Dave and I are really going to run out of things to say to one another.  We are doing good so far and haven’t resorted to grunting at each other like cavemen, but that might not be too far off in the future. So anyone that wants to write us an ACTUAL LETTER, please feel free!  I promise I will write back.  (Oh, a shout-out to say thanks to my friend Ray!  It totally made my day after I ran all the way up to the mail box today and didn’t just have junk mail or bills but a great letter from a good friend!)

So it looks like an autumn full of reading, running, and of course ranch work.  There is no shortage of things to do here. Today we fenced in the lower SW corner around the build site so we can get cows out here in the next few weeks.  Tomorrow we will hang the gates for the driveway. Other upcoming events include:  painting/sealing the inside of the cistern; painting the trailer; limbing trees for their health and for good landscaping, cutting/gathering fire wood, helping neighbors when we can; general ranch and camper maintenance.

We are also enjoying some leisure here.  As you can see, we like to sit and watch the sunset from our future living room.img_1971img_1973

Tonight, Dave is grilling a steak from the Black Hills Meat Market. Next week, Dave’s Mom and John will come visit for a few days.  Last night we had a great dinner with all of our neighbors. We walked home up the gravel road under the light of the most spectacular full moon.  We are expecting our timber beams to show up in the next few days and cannot wait to see what they will look like in the house.  We are loving it here, thanks for reading!


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