We Thought We Were Pretty Funny When We Were Being Towed Into Sundance, WY (Pop. 1164) That Perhaps We Would Become Residents 1165 and 1166…..

That was Sunday, May 15th….. Today is Friday, May 20th.  And guess whose still Sundance, WY?  Yup …… Guess the jokes on us, folks.   (And before anyone is led astray~  the ‘Sundance Film Festival’ does NOT take place here….. not that I ever thought otherwise, of course.)

But then, Bernie and Joanne (owner of the Mountainview RV Park Campground Park we are ‘residing’ at) would be fabulous neighbs’, and we would always have the beautiful Mountain Views in front of us and endless green pastures with buffalo and horses meandering about all around us (when its not chucking down rain/snow/sleet or blowing winds so fiercely I have seen small bunny rabbits be whipped away like they are tumble weed, that is)…..  Oooooh, but on the upside, the Drive-Thru Liquor store in Sundance is quite clever.   (I haven’t seen anything like that since Aussie-town)   But wait, that would require having a ‘working Diva’ to be able to…. ahem, *drive-thru.*  Which brings me back to happier times~   ‘Vroom Vroom Diva times’….

*Insert Going Back In-time CHIMES here*

We were actually just coming back from one of the top 5 most incredible camp-tastic’ experiences of all times  (Which is pretty massive when I think back to all the insane places we have had the chance to set up camp).  Spearfish, SD.  We were all on our own just past Roughlock Falls off of the Canyon Scenic Byway and literally camping in. the. SNOW.  It was BEEEEEAUTIFUL.  Bloody Cold.  But without a doubt, we felt like we hit the jackpot.  They even filmed a clip from “Dancing with Woods” just down the dirt road… how could it NOT be gorgeeeeouso’?  I mean, if its good enough for Kevin Costner, its just got to be good enough for the Wyatt’s.



Ray even made drenched wood burn~ Macgyver fantastic!  And then we hit hit up our very first cooking video……








Sidenote: Right before I went to bed at Spearfish that night I saw a discarded old brochure on the trail that stated ‘Bear Country: Rules to stay safe.’  All I could think about before I fell asleep was bears roaming about and how were were not leaving the safety of Diva that icy evening.  (Holy Hanna, it must’ve gotten down to 25 degrees easy).  Ray has a habit of having to use the potty at 2:39am every morning~ and as soon as I heard that van door slide open all I could think to sleepily shout out was “Whatch out for da’ bears!” And Ray calls back after he closes the door…. ” CARE BEARS??”   The next morning I realized the piece of discarded brochure was from a tourist attraction called “Bear Country Park” that you actually drive through just outside of Rapit City….Hence the only bears we  would’ve most likely been seeing at 2:39am would have been Tenderheart Bear.

Sunday, May 15th: So after  our big high after waking up to a sunny day (what ISthat big ball bright ball in the sky??) we worked our way back out of Spearfish and crossed the WY boarder…. and just  about 50 or so miles inside of the big Cowboy State (haven’t even had a chance to nibble at) thats when it happened.  I don’t even KNOW how to describe the sound we heard.  Like a loud  ‘DREAM KILLING NOISE’ that rattled us to our very core as we had totally JUST relaxed into the Diva after HWY 18’s free-bee’ wrench adventure~ and we were not expecting this.  Uh uh.  Nope.  Not ONE LIL’ BIT.

Moments later after KER-PLUNKING off of 90W  (mile marker 172 to be exact) Ray realized a piece of the valve had literally snapped clear off of the rocker arm (notice I should not know these terms as well as I do??) all AGAIN to do with how the ‘engine was built ‘ by our beloved company of GEX down in Arkansas.  (and I bet its even Sunny down there).  Remember, this is engine numero’ DOS.  ‘Three’s a Charm’ does NOT work for this kind of situation my friends.  However, it does work when we are talking about the amounts of ‘bee-bop’s’ to the head I want to give the Prez of the company Larry (yes, we now know him by name) for giving us such a Rock Star engine.  The first one blew-up and the second one was built was such shady parts that keep snapping/falling off.  Super.

Diva Being Towed Into Mountainview Campground....

So, we were then ‘towed’ to our camping spot at Mountainview RV park by Herbs Towing (whose motto is: “I can come to you if you can’t come to me”… CLASSIC.) and we are now working on night numero’ 5 in the lovely BALMY town of Sundance.    So now that I am all cozy in my lil’ cabin (yes, Bernie and Joanne hooked us up and took pity on our Diva Cursed ways  in the 100 mile per hr winds and 35 degree temps) lets reminisce on happier times when were were VROOM VROOM DIVA…..
(Now we are just bitter every time another RV gets to leave the Park, and we have to stay.  This can’t be healthy).
We do have a visitor with us right now…. and I am not naming any names, but is starts with a D and ends with an AVE….  And he may have just come to save the day….(you’ll have to read on to find out.)
Friday, May 13th:
What the??? Could that be an icicle dangling from Prez Washington’s Nose?!
Don’t you DARE judge us when we tell you it was so bloody cold in Rapid City we decided it was time to get all ‘BEST WESTERN’ up-in-here.  Diva’s icey metal box just wasn’t going to cut it.  In fact, I believe the daytime HIGH was going to be 37 degrees.  (Remember, just 2 days prior it was 88.)  As we actually rounded the corner to see the ‘faces’ it started snowing.  Gorgeous little snowflakes that glistened the sign perfectly that stated “TO SEE THE FACES YOU MUST PAY AN EXTRAORDINARY AMOUNT EVEN THOUGH YOU CAN SEE IT FROM THE FREEWAY.” ” OH.  AND P.S.  THIS WILL MAKE RAY GRUMPY.”
I of course talked the ‘cheap monkey’ into still going in as we had just really made the most of our Best-of-the-West hotel experience and stretched every $58.00 …… All the way from the last packed of hot chocolate and peanut butter packet we just MAYhave pocketed to the 1st oil change we performed in their parking lot. (GO RAY!)   But the $11.00 golden admission fee into the faces was worth it- if even it was to see the mountain goats that greeted us.  (And you would be happy to know that the good people of our nation were snapping more pictures of those billy goats then of Teddy’s Roosevelt’s Glasses.  CLASSIC.)

Ray not enjoying Wall Drug. Not AT all.

But its interesting coming to these touristy-tastic’ places really, its almost like we have the run of the show. Easier for them to be Wyatt-tized, I suppose. 😉  From  reservation only campgrounds to Wall Drug (which is still just as redonkulous as ever, not to mention their new ‘WALL DRUG BACKYARD’- WOWZA!  Talk about an extension of of a crazy-town pit stop right there?)  there was no parting of the crowds necessary…..   And Ray even got to get DE-WALL-VIRGINIZED.)

But probably the most unique experience to be a part of was that of a ‘ghost-rific’ stretch of road which is usually lined with RV’s, mini-vans and cars on their Americana’- “are we there yet” road trip adventure…. It was that of the mystifying Badlands.  Or what I have coined the ‘Naughty-Lands’ …..244,000 acres of that National Park and not an acre did disappoint. It was a 35 mile loop through a windy stretch of road that leads you straight through the layered colored coppered hills~ and we were captured at every pass. We didn’t even let the weather get in our way… No sireee’ BOB.  And as quickly as they disappeared going into the national park, they reappeared. Those bloody SIGNS….. Although they did make good on their ‘Wall DRUG COFFEE 5CENTS!’ we did have to GOWF at ‘Al’s Oasis’ just 100 miles before Wall as their 5 cent coffee signs led to an 88 cents uproar.  SHAME SHAME!!
0 to 1… Diva’s up: Tuesday 5/17
But I will tell you what signs we should have been heading….. it was those ‘Herby the Love Bug-tastic’ signals (oh yes, Diva has her grunts when we are going up hills or taking on long stretches of roads) but I assumed when we entered into Wyoming-town that Sunday afternoon she was just ‘flirting with the cowboys,’ not telling us she was about to get sick all over highway mile marker 172.  Silly me.
So to make an even LONGER story short.   We sought the guidance of our Guru Dave straight away after Diva threw up her guts on the side of the road and he immediately shipped the rocker arm to our RV Park (it must’ve cost him a packet– since the UPS office said we were in ‘the stix’) and it came Tuesday afternoon.  (Just picture this UPS driver pulling into the campground, and here is this crazy pants girl with an ‘EEYORE HAT’ jumping around wildy and shouting with so much excitement to see him arrive. It was A SHOW.  I think he was scared to get out of his truck).
Perhaps we may have been too naive…. or extremely optimistic.  But after Ray expertly put the rocker arm onto the van, it didn’t work.  And two Sundance Mechanics later (‘uh huh, looks like you are sh$*t outta’ luck here….’you’re gonna need a new engine’) and one hysterical laugh in the car later that almost brought us to our breaking points, we decided to pull it together….. because, we wyatt’s, we’re JUST USED TO HAVING TO WORK AT OUR DREAMS.
That Tuesday evening a gentle and calm voice was on the other end of the line and as we explained our situation to Dave~completely exhausted and scared-stiff at what this all may really mean…..  and thats when he said…….
“We are on this road together and we are going to finish it out.  I just so happen to be in the Badlands vacationing in my VW right now….. I can be there by Wednesday night.  Let me make a few phone calls….. “
*INSERT GASP HERE. ….and maybe even throw in some ‘goose-pimples.’ *
How does one repay the simplicity of  ‘GOODNESS.’ How do you give back ‘THAT MUCH?’  From all the people we have met along the way… from the wrench that the kind man gave us that stopped on HWY 18, to the free wood that the park owner chopped us on our very first night in Lost Is. (did he even know how much that meant?) or to the TOWN of Sundance~ and Bernie and Joanne, the owners of Mountainview RV Park for their constant ‘giving.’  How do you say thank you enough.  And where on earth do you even begin to try to describe your gratitude to someone that has once again, put their ‘life’ on hold…. and driven 100’s of miles to support you and give you a hand.  Because ‘hell or high water– we are going to finish this out, we have a lil’ red VW to fix.’  Ray and I are grateful.  We don’t just wake up and take these things for granted.  We know that without the support of our friends, family and even ‘Herb’s Towing’ of Sundance, WY…. we just wouldn’t make it through.
But when we woke up that Wednesday morning, I looked out my blinds from our little cabin, and guess who we saw.  Dave’s VW.  He didn’t waste a moment.  Not a second…. because thats the kind of man he is.  FULL STOP. “RAY…. RAY!!!  DAVE’S HERE!!!!!” …..after we wiped our eyes and blinked a few times to make sure he was REALLY REALLY in front of us, like the very superhero he was he was he then told us he found a way to help us.  And it just might work.
(if we don’t blow away first…..)
His girlfriends son Mickie was going to take the engine out of his very own Bug in HIS garage in MN and drive it to Sundance to put in OUR van.  InCREDible.  He could be here by Friday night….   And we could then be saved, if all goes according to plan.
(and of course, if we can brave the WY weather elements until then… HOLY SMOKES.  Why didn’t I pack my long underwear??)
Just what may happen when the engine arrives is still an unknown…..Ray and Dave are taking the old one out as I finish up the blog this Friday morning May 20th.
Will the Diva be saved?  Will we drive on towards our dream and make it to Cali?

Mary Poppins-Tastic' in WY!

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