Monday, July 1, 2013

Movin' In

Aaaannd... we're back.  Sorry for the long delay between posts but we've been… busy. After Lyle and Linda left for their long drive back to Whidbey Island we had the task of moving our "stuff" into the rental house in Lead. Back when we were in the military and had to move every couple of years, each relocation was a golden opportunity to get rid of the junk that we had been accumulating. It kept the clutter down. But we moved to Redlands in 1991. We had 22 years to accumulate junk and our Redlands house had a ton of storage space to hide it all. Before this move Vicki spent six months getting rid of stuff. And it wasn't enough… not nearly enough.

Our first task was to get rid of the furniture the previous owner already had in the Lead house that we did not need. What we kept was mostly beds. We made a deal where we gave the excess furniture to the management company and told them they could sell it on Craigslist or use it in one of their other rental units and keep any proceeds to pay for their trouble. So they sent a couple of guys with a trailer to drag away tables and dressers and couches to try and make room for what was coming.

Boxes on the porch
When they came to move us out of the Redlands house, we stood and watched the boxes go out to the moving van. It seemed like a lot but you really only saw two or three of them at the time. You didn't realize how many there actually were. When they came and moved us into the Black Hills house, you got to see all of them at one time. There were boxes stacked up on the outdoor deck. There were boxes stacked up in the bedrooms. There were boxes stacked up in the living room, the laundry room and the recreation room. There were excess pieces of furniture and boxes stacked three and four high in the garage. We could barely walk through the house because of boxes. In the past when we have moved it's usually taken about 6-8 months to finally get everything unpacked. For this move, we had 10 days. At the end of 10 days, paying guests were scheduled to come and live in the place at $350 a night. They probably did not want to cohabit with our boxes.

So, we started to unpack. Boxes were opened revealing bundles of paper. Inside each bundle of paper was another bundle of paper. Inside that bundle of paper would be a glass or a dish or a knickknack.
Boxes in thr rooms
Each item had to be unwrapped and put someplace. Our hands got chapped from unrolling paper. We developed tendinitis in our wrists. With past moves, gradually opening boxes and discovering the wonders inside was kind of like Christmas on a perpetual basis. For this move, it was more like a punishment from Dante's Inferno. An infinite number of boxes full of things that had to be unrolled and unwrapped, endless amounts of stuff that needed to be crammed into limited amounts of space. And it went on for days and days. And we would be there still had it not been for the fact that we got some help. I won't go into the details, but Brian and Susan and Seth are our heroes.

In the end, we got everything sort of taken care of with an entire hour to spare. By "sort of" I mean we crammed our belongings into every available space in the house, took everything left and crammed it into the garage, then locked the garage and fled. There, the leftover stuff will sit until we get back (probably in September of 2014) and begin to deal with it. It will probably mostly end up as trash, but you just can't throw away that much stuff all at one time. You have to gradually get used to the idea. I mostly just tell myself that it is inevitable. Even if we move back into a "sticks and bricks" house, we are never again going to live in 3600 ft.². One way or another, much of this stuff simply has to go. My only regret is that there are certain items that I probably will want again but I have no idea where they are. Locating them in that garage would be akin to finding the Ark of the Covenant in the federal storehouse.

While we were unpacking, we were in no mood to cook, so we explored the culinary offerings of Lead, South Dakota. Let me sum it up for you. Cheyenne Crossing. If you are ever in the area and looking for a place to have dinner the answer is Cheyenne Crossing. There is a sandwich place which is okay for lunch and Mad Man'z pizza makes a lousy pizza but a fairly good calzone (which they call a pasty though it really isn't). Lewies is a biker bar that serves sandwiches and burgers. You can order your burger anyway you like but it's going to come back well done. The Roundhouse Restaurant is "okay" but after waiting 20 min. to be seated in a half-empty restaurant, you wind up paying premium prices for clearly less than premium food. The best place we found actually "in town" was Bumpin' Buffalo where you can actually get a decent meal at a reasonable price. But if you can, go to Cheyenne Crossing. We did - five times.

Cheyenne Crossing is a stage stop at the junction where Hwy 14a through Spearfish Canyon runs into Hwy 85, about 7 miles south of Lead proper. It was founded in the 1880s, which is pretty good considering that Deadwood did not exist before 1876. The old buildings now contain a gift shop, a bed-and-breakfast and a café serving the best food you going to find short of driving to Rapid City. The atmosphere is very homey and the food is strictly comfort all the way. If you go there, do not pass up the chance to have a cup of whatever the soup of the day is. All of the ones we tried were delicious. And at the end of the meal, be sure to get a piece of carrot cake, even if you have to take it home and eat it later.

Saturday morning, we fired up the motorhome and pulled out of the driveway about the same time the cleaning crew came to set up the house for the guests scheduled to arrive later in the day. We are scheduled to spend the week at a conference for full-time RVers in Gillette, Wyoming. Hopefully, I will now be back to blogging every few days and will let you know how things go.

You can compare these photos to the old decor at the Executive Lodging site.  It's pretty busy but we think it came out more "interesting".
The final results

The game room downstairs

This bedroom used to have a bunk bed

The great room with our giant TV
Dining area and piano


  1. OH! Cheyenne Crossing -- we go THERE for breakfast next time, instead of going to Spearfish!!! I'm glad you had five opportunities to have a meal -- I had read about the recommended "downhome cooking", cinnamon rolls, AND carrot we know!

  2. The giant TV looks so... so small.

    -The Kid