Monday, 2 January 2017 – Snow, high of 15°

Anyone notice how this winter just keeps piling on? It has become routine to hear the locals say things like, “We haven’t had a winter like this since we moved here 15 years ago!”  Or “It never snows like this, at least not this early in the season.”  And the ever popular “Normally it snows and then melts the next day.  This is the banana belt you know!”  The local news station reported that this December was the 3rd coldest on record EVER for Rapid City.  Gotta love our timing as we hear from everyone we meet, “Last winter was so mild, this is really unusual!”

We really don’t mind the snow and cold as long as things keep working.  The camper is warm and the house is really warm.  There has been some progress since our last post. 

Yesterday Dave and I dug out the slate we had harvested from the National Forest.  Foolishly, we just left it in a pile on the side of the driveway and didn’t put a tarp over it.  That was before it snowed and drifted so we had to once again go digging for the slate in about 2 feet of drifted snow.  Once we found it, we cleaned it as best we could and brought it into the house to warm up.  We spent this morning trying to align the pieces on a 4×4 piece of cardboard to mimic the hearth for the wood stove.  Todd gave us some good direction on how to lay it out and this is what we have come up with.slatelayout1

We had a great New Year’s Day.  We went to visit our neighbors down the road at Rock Ridge Ranch and had some coffee and good conversation.  Later that evening we went to Cowboy Dave and Linda’s for appetizers and some football.  We are pretty spoiled out here since everyone always hosts us and we cannot really reciprocate by having people over for dinner in the camper.  Once we move in, the dinner parties will commence!