I’m a Magnet for Squirrels & Black Flies!

Day 38: Still camping in South Dakota. What a surprise! Around 3:30am we had some rain! A few hours earlier I opened my tent flaps to let the breeze in and now I was closing them! The morning heat was here so I started breakfast and hung my wet tent fly on my car. Then, I was doing battle with a squirrel! I saw this squirrel yesterday. It was obnoxious then, but I was only writing at my table. Today I was with yogurt, cereal, coffee and tea so probably a tempting scene for a squirrel wanting to steal something! After shooing it away with small stones and water and it returning each time, I took my can of OFF and sprayed it toward the squirrel. He did not come back!

An hour later I saw a woman trying to feed a squirrel, no doubt the same one I shooed away! She is crouched over with arm extended and some food in her hand. I couldn’t believe it! Don’t people know not to feed wild animals? Don’t they realize these animals will be pests for the next people who camp here? Fortunately a man, from another campsite, started to yell to the woman and tell her not to feed the squirrel.

Today’s drive was from North Sioux City, South Dakota to Donaphin, Nebraska This was to be a short 3.5 hour drive, basically to shorten  my drive the next day. It’s hot and humid. If it wasn’t for that Canadian wildfire smoke I would still be in Bemidji, MN … oh well!

In reality, the drive was about 45 minutes longer due to a car crash. Unfortunately the crash involved cars in both directions. I am not sure how it happened. The oncoming car had a crashed front end and windshield and the car going my direction was in the median upside down. Wow!

Tonight’s campsite I am crammed between the restrooms and the swimming pool. Actually the next tent site is close too. I did have a nice grassy area to setup my tent. I will be out of here early in the morning for a 6 hour drive to Fort Collins, CO. I should have a good night sleep, but my insect bites on my ankles are still hurting me. One advantage of this campground is the highway traffic is a mile away. Nice change of pace, may not need earplugs! (But I did.)

Day 39. I heard lots of commotion at the campground so I checked my Dark Sky app to see if they were early departures or breaking down their tents or driving trailers out for a reason. Yup, in 35 minutes rain will be in our area! I was out within 29 minutes and decided to eat granola bar and Granny Smith apple on the road. 

Driving from Donaphin, NE to Fort Collins, CO I discover I am in the middle of sandhill crane country! I had heard of Kearney, NE as one of the areas people descend upon when it is sandhill crane migration time. Someday I may be back!

The final 90 miles to Fort Collins, Co I drove on smaller roads rather than the interstate. I wanted to see the prairie lands, the communities being built outside of Fort Collins, the sheep farms, landfill and to simply have a change of pace in the driving.

When I stopped for gas near Fort Collins a woman recommended Estes Park as place to visit . When I spoke on the phone with my mom, she told me the plague is here. Apparently a child had died from it. She and I reminisced about the time my youngest sister was bit by a squirrel at the bottom of the gorge at Royal Gorge, CO in 1968, I think it was!?! Fortunately my sister did not need rabies shots. Good thing as we were in the first week or so of our 10 week family camping trip around the USA.

At NE campsite, to the left were restrooms and to the right the pool. But the grass was nice!