More Suggested Road Trips Opened for COVID-19 Season

American workers, happy to be returning to the travel, food and hospitality fields, are welcoming us back with open arms–only six feet away.

We had wonderful feedback after posting several articles about our recent 32-day, 4500 mile roadtrip from the Texas Hill Country through much of the South, Washington D.C. (for July 4th), to part of the Midwest and back.

We enjoyed Gatlinburg in early July.

Like so many travelers, we learned that our preconceived ideas manifested from mainstream news (and the continually changing regulations around COVID-19) were blown away with the reality we experienced.

Reader feedback confirms what we are seeing: routes and destinations are open to travelers, including campers with self-contained RVs,  virtually everywhere.

Except in the most restricted areas–as determined by local politicians–most restaurants and stores are open with COVID-19 restrictions varying by state, city and location.

We often have trip themes to help make planning and experiences fun.
For example, our “Elvis Presley Roadtrip” took us chronologically to the King of Rock n’ Roll’s rented house while in boot camp at Ft. Hood, Texas. In Shreveport, we stopped at his statue in front of the venue he played on weekends for the Louisiana Hayride radio broadcasts.

We journeyed up the Delta Blues Highway 61 in Mississippi to Memphis. Graceland, Sun Studio, his first house on Audubon Street and other sites chronicled his life at home. Tupelo, his birthplace, revealed much about his childhood and roots.

Per your requests and shared information, here are updates on more great RV, camper and biker road trips around the country.

East Coast Lighthouses

The Atlantic coast provides picturesque lighthouse themed road trip opportunities. With beautiful beaches and lighthouses dotting the coast, there are comfortably accommodating routes. Some of the best East Coast lighthouses locations include:

Cape Cod, MA

Assateague State Park, MD

North Carolina’s Outer Banks (Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and Bodie Island)

Hunting Island State Park, SC

Tybee Island, GA

St. Augustine, FL

Maine also has several lighthouses, including the iconic Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse in Acadia National Park. But as of today, July 25, 2020,  Maine currently has a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for any visitors who are not New Hampshire or Vermont residents.

For the remainder of summer, lighthouses located in the Mid-Atlantic and South will likely be the most accessible.

Route 66 West

In our previous post, we offered information on Historic Route 66 in the Midwest, specifically Missouri through Oklahoma. We’ve since learned the Texas Panhandle through Arizona is fairly wide open.

Going West from Oklahoma, check out the Leaning Britten Water Tower on I-40 at exit 114 in Groom, Texas. The water tower, signage, and geography was the inspiration for the Pixar animated “Cars” movie series. The tower was deliberately constructed to lean to one side to catch our eye and get us to stop in Groom. 

Also in Groom, a giant Cross with statues depicting Biblical scenes is garnering much attention.

The Big Texan Restaurant in Amarillo is open. (7701 E. Interstate 40 Amarillo, TX 806-372-6000). With souvenirs galore, this famous steakhouse has been a Route 66 icon since 1960. It is home to the “Free 72 oz. Steak.” If you can eat their 72 oz. steak dinner in one hour, you’ll get it free.

After leaving The Lone Star State on the New Mexico border at Glenrio, Texas, Route 66 continued west in its original 1926 alignment, through Tucumcari, Cuervo, and Santa Rosa before turning north for Santa Fe.

From the capital city, it ran southwest thru Albuquerque and Grants to Gallup near the Arizona border.

In later years, it would continue west from the Santa Rosa area through Clines Corner on a more direct route to Albuquerque.

Arizona, always a favorite Route 66 destination, has many miles of original roadbeds still open–and minimal congestion on most segments.

The largest city on this route is Flagstaff, with only about 74,000 residents. Other stops along the way are smaller towns where excellent traffic conditions offer a great Route 66 theme drive in Arizona: Holbrook, Winslow, Flagstaff, Williams, Ash Fork, Seligman, Kingman and Oatman.

Some of today’s journey is on I-40, which parallels the old Route 66 in many places. Some RVers drive the segments of the original road where it still remains. Exits from I-40 onto Route 66 are marked in many locales.

Driving time non-stop from Lupton (near Gallup) at the New Mexico border to Oatman is about six hours. We usually split the trip up into at least two or three days, or more if we elect to camp for longer periods of time along the way.

At this point we usually try to carve out time to visit Grand Canyon National Park. It’s possible to visit South Rim with day passes at the southern entrances near Tusayan. Limited overnight accommodations are available, so book your campground reservations early.

I don’t have much personal experience with Route 66 in California, although about six years ago I did see an “End of the Trail” sign on the Santa Monica Pier.

American Mountains West

The motherlode of RV road trips for many, a usual America Mountains West tour begins in Colorado. There are good campgrounds all around Colorado Springs. Journeying outside Denver lets you visit Estes National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. The national parks may have timed entries, so advanced planning is important.

Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs.

We’re hearing Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is controlling the amount of visitors they are allowing and are busy. Good luck.

U.S. Grand Teton National Park, also in Wyoming, is following a phased reopening too, but one reader said it was fairly wide open in mid-July. She also mentioned Montana’s Glacier National Park is real good since they started increasing recreational access in early June 2020.

Due to the temporary closure of the United States and Canada border, visiting the Canadian or Alaskan portions of the Rockies may not be possible.

South Dakota’s Black Hills

Since President Trump visited Mount Rushmore on July 3rd, the area has welcomed more visitors.

The Black Hills in western South Dakota are good for experiencing a different set of mountains. It’s about a 6-hour drive (390 miles) from Denver to Rapid City. You’re also 7 hours (426 miles) from Yellowstone National Park to Rapid City.

Key Black Hills landmarks include:

Custer State Park

Spearfish Canyon

Crazy Horse Memorial

Mt. Rushmore

Deadwood

The Black Hills Wine Trail can be a relaxing way to see the Black Hills region. Many South Dakota wineries began reopening in late May. I’m told most are now open.

California

California is hit and miss and is gradually reopening for tourism. Others are telling us to stay away from San Francisco and Los Angeles for various reasons.

My personal experience has been driving from Napa Valley south along California Highway 1 (CA-1). It allowed us to drive on the lanes closest to the Pacific coastline. It actually is one of most scenic in the state, but I have to admit we drove it in a car, not an RV.

California’s Yosemite National Park is a must-see, but note that you currently need reservations. During the initial reopening phase, the park was issuing up to 1,700 day passes with limited operating hours. As of June 25, 2020, you can visit most of the key landmarks, including:

Yosemite Valley

Glacier Point

Mariposa Grove

Hetch Hetchy

Other inland California landmarks include the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. These parks can be a great option if you want to see more Giant Sequoias than what Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove offers. 

Final Thoughts

Although most states are RV-friendly this summer despite the coronavirus travel restrictions, there are a few cautions. We’ve heard Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, St. Louis, Milwaukee and New York City areas are not recommended.

Some states, including Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire, are currently only open to regional residents.

Many state and private campgrounds began reopening in May or June. We highly recommend you make reservations to secure your spots. Unlike previous camping seasons, some campground shower and bathroom facilities may not be open, but since June 19th (in the South, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions) they were all available.

However some rest stops had restrooms closed and water fountains off. But they tended to be more open as we moved through July.  As RVs are self-contained, you should be okay in most places.

COVID Beliefs Blown Away For RVers-Campers on Iconic U.S. Travel Roads

We have just returned from a 32-day, 4500 mile roadtrip (June 19-July 21) from the Texas Hill Country through much of the South, Washington D.C. for July 4th, to part of the Midwest and back.

Our preconceived ideas from news and the continually changing regulations around COVID-19 were blown away with the reality we experienced. It actually restored our faith in the goodness of America.

People of all ages, creeds, races and sexes were friendly, polite and eager to be traveling. By far, they agreed that what news outlets portray and what is actually happening are not in sync. We met scores of campers and travelers who indicated they had no problems with getting reservations and lodging.

We found our routes and destinations were open to travelers, including campers with self-contained RVs.

Pigeon Forge grist mill in Dollywood.

Most restaurants and stores were open with COVID-19 restrictions varying by state, city and location.

Our plans were modified only twice because of not feeling welcomed due to tourist closures.

1. We bypassed Nashville because the Grand Old Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame and Johnny Cash Museum were closed. Nearby Murfreesboro was welcoming for an overnight stay.

2. We left St. Louis immediately after driving to the Gateway Arch and seeing seedy characters in garbage, urine and feces infested tent encampments throughout the area. Wildwood, about 20 miles southwest on Historic Route 66, was awesome.

Here are some of the most notable routes we enjoyed and recommend.

Blue Ridge Parkway

A road trip gem, left Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg areas towards the Blue Ridge Parkway. This scenic byway traverses the Great Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains across Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. We especially enjoyed Appalachian towns like North Carolina’s Asheville and Mt. Airy (Andy Griffith Museum).

RVers should be aware some roads have tunnel height restrictions. Check the tunnel restrictions for your planned route. The most restricting tunnels have a maximum height of 18 feet. Cell phone reception could be an issue depending on your carrier (we had no problems with Cricket). There were very few gas stations and other amenities limited. We remained anticipatory and planned ahead just in case.

Blues Highway

Highway 61, known as the “blues highway,” is rich with the history of musicians in the Mississippi Delta area. It’s the birthplace of the blues and the roots of much of American music. 

The original route went from New Orleans to Minnesota, but most of the history of the blues is embedded in Mississippi.

We started in Vicksburg, Mississippi,  a great spot to understand some of the roots of the blues. In 1863 Vicksburg was under siege from the Union Army. General John Pemberton (Confederate) surrendered Vicksburg to General Grant (Union) after sustaining huge losses and facing a catastrophic defeat by an army that greatly outnumbered his abled soldiers.

The Blues developed from slaves toiling on the cotton plantations in Mississippi. The war was over and slavery was officially abolished. Opportunities slowly merged forward toward Memphis, St. Louis and Chicago. The music permeated across the Mississippi Delta.

Some say Clarksdale, Mississippi is the birthplace of the blues. While most of the old Juke Joints have perished, we stopped by  Ground Zero Blues Club (co-owned by Morgan Freeman). It’s a great place to see talented musicians perform and enjoy local food favorites including fried green tomatoes, Mississippi tamales and catfish.

At the Highway 61/49 intersection is a famous location known as The Crossroads. It’s where Robert Johnson was fabled to have sold his soul to the Devil to be the King of Delta Blues. Robert Johnson was born in 1911 and died just 27 years later. 

Highway 61 leads to Memphis, the land of Elvis Presley, SUN Studio, Beale Street and Graceland. The Graceland RV Park is conveniently located next to the Elvis Memphis complex and museums.

Natchez Trace Parkway

The Natchez Trace Parkway is an excellent route to see the southern United States by RV. We loved it because no commercial trucking or 18-wheelers are allowed.

Although it’s over 440 miles from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, we started in Tupelo, Mississippi after visiting Elvis Presley’s Birthplace. We stopped often to see waterfalls, prehistoric mounds, and other historical landmarks.

Like the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, there are maximum RV restrictions. The maximum length is 55 feet (including a tow vehicle) and a 14 feet height restriction. 

Route 66

Long before our current national interstate highway system, federal highways, like U.S. Route 66, were main thoroughfares. On historic Route 66, you can explore America’s Heartland and other enchanting pockets of the United States from Chicago to Los Angeles. 

We began the route in St. Louis and took it most of the way toward Branson. Be sure to visit Uranus, Missouri for a fun, quick pit stop.

We did join Route 66 again later in Oklahoma City. Continuing West, we could have carved out time to visit Grand Canyon National Park, but elected to return back to Texas after four weeks on the road.

New Travel Resources

U.S. State Department’s Traveler Checklist. Read more

The TripIt app has a relative new feature that shows safety scores from 1 to 100 for neighborhoods around the world, representing low to high risk. These scores cover a variety of categories, such as women’s safety, access to health and medical services, and political freedoms. Travelers will find safety scores for their lodging, restaurant and activity locations there.

Roadtrip 2020 Day 3: Delta Blues Highway

Ever since I was fortunate to meet with B.B. King for an interview in his tour bus in 2010, my interest in the origins of American music grew immensely–especially in the Delta Blues region.

The proverbial “melting pot” accurately describes how the Mississippi Delta was fertile grounds to grow gospel, blues, country, and rock into the soul of American music.

Highway 61 Marker in Vicksburg, 6/24/20.

Combined with the selfish need to dive deeper into the roots that influenced Elvis Presley’s success, it was a natural like desire to want to see, feel and experience Highway 61.

Our trip exploring the legendary Blues Highway began South, right through the heart and soul of Vicksburg. The antebellum architecture, Civil War history and of course, the Blues music are just some of the highlights in Vicksburg.

Up the road about 2 1/2 hours was my favorite Delta Blues town, Clarksdale. Dodie and I agreed it was like time stood still. The 1930s-40s-50s was alive, steeped in history with rugged character to boot.

It’s no wonder Oscar winning actor Morgan Freeman co-owns Ground Zero Blues Club there because that’s exactly what Clarksdale is–the ground zero center for the Blues. It’s Blues to the bone.

Clarksdale is just forty minutes south of Tunica and is famous for the landmark that is said to be the site where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil, it’s called “The Crossroads.”

B.B. King told me in 2010 the two biggest musical influences for him were Jimmy Rodgers and Robert Johnson, both absolute legends and pioneers of American music.

Clarksdale has lots of funky places to stay for music lovers and visitors. Even the Ground Zero has rooms available upstairs above the bar for overnight stays. A sign described the rooms perfectly: “…It Good.”

 Shack Up Inn is perhaps the most beloved, made up of restored sharecropper flats. It has its own restaurant and music venue and claims “The Ritz we ain’t.”

Tunica, which is home to the Gateway Blues Museum that also doubles as a visitor’s center. This museum is extremely well done and is really worth a stop. The front of the venue is constructed from a rustic train depot, circa 1895. Inside are beautiful Blues exhibits and artwork.

We found two good spots to consider for Southern comfort food. Back in Clarkddale, we saw “Baby Back Ribs and Hot Tamales” on the Crossroads northeast corner at Al’s Bar B-Q and the Blues since 1924. There is probably no better, or historic, place than Tunica’s Blue & White Restaurant. Also established way back in 1924, the Blue & White is situated right on Highway 61 and has served all the great Blues musicians over the decades.

Before we arrived in Memphis, we traveled through DeSoto County. Located due east of Tunica and just across the border from Memphis, DeSoto County is the home of Jerry Lee Lewis, John Grisham and timeless Delta traditions. Visitors will find the final resting places of blues greats, like Gus Cannon and Memphis Minnie.

A must stop for me was off the beaten path to the gravesite of Memphis Minnie.

Her real name was Lizzie Lawlars, and she rests besides her husband, Ernest Lawlars, who recorded under the name “Lil’ Son Joe.” They are buried in the New Hope Baptist Church Cemetery in Walls, Mississippi.

The headstone memorial unveiling took place on the morning of October, 13th, 1996 in beautiful fall sunshine and was recorded for radio presentation by the BBC of London.

The ceremony was next to the Memphis Minnie marker and the New Hope Baptist Church. It stands between Highway 61 and the Mississippi River, and cotton fields surround the church and the adjacent cemetery. The front of the monument has a small picture of Minnie and her birth and death dates.  

Ninety people attended, including Minnie’s sister Daisy and 33 members of her extended family, many of whom had no idea of their relative’s powerful musical legacy. Bonnie Raitt financed the memorial stone which bears engraved roses and a ceramic cameo portrait.

A plaque, one of many along the historical region, describes it best:

MISSISSIPPI BLUES TRAIL

Travel has been a popular theme in Blues lyrics, and highways have symbolized the potential to quickly “pack up and go,” to leave troubles behind, or seek out new opportunities elsewhere. Some of the most famous Mississippi artists who lived near Highway 61 included: B. B. King, Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, Son House, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Ike Turner, Robert Nighthawk, Sunnyland Slim, Honeyboy Edwards, Sam Cooke, James Cotton and Jimmy Reed, just to name a few.

The Mississippi Blues Trail road trip markers tell stories about Blues artists through words and images, about the places they lived and the times in which they existed—and how that influenced their music. The marker sites run the gamut from city streets to cotton fields, train depots, cemeteries, clubs to churches.

2020 Presidential Candidates flag/sign sitings, days 1-3:

Trump 36, Biden 0

Roadtrip 2020 Day 1: Sad News From Marble Falls Blue Bonnet Cafe

The Texas Wine Country is beautiful and we always feel blessed to visit Fredericksburg. But this trip, we are just passing through. Later this year we plan to visit the vast National Museum of the Pacific War.

It’s been years since H-E-B donated an existing store behind the Admiral Chester Nimitz museum (in old family hotel) to house the President’s Plaza and add more war artifacts. It’s been a least a decade since I visited.

I understand the entire complex has expanded and is now Smithsonian-like featuring WWII exhibits, including a recreated combat zone.

We also made a pit stop to enjoy buffalo grazing under shade trees at President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Park and childhood home in Stonewall.

Our first official stop was the classic Hill Country eatery in Marble Falls, the Blue Bonnet Cafe.

Dodie heard of its acclaimed status, but had never been. A must stop when traveling up HWY 281 North from San Antonio, the cafe has never let me down.

I told her about traveling from Memphis back through this way in 2001. It was getting late. We were hungry but thought it was worth passing up other dine in places, knowing the restaurant might be not be opened by the time we made it.

While others waited in the van, I went to check if they were closed. The door was locked. As I walked back, admittedly disenchanted, a voice called out of the darkness behind the building.

“You look hungry? You traveling?” a nice man with a touch of graying hair and glasses came out of the shadow.

“Yes Sir,” I was startled. “Coming in a little too late I guess. Almost made it.”

John Kemper

“Who’s with you?”

“My dad and son,” I replied, scratching my head. “We’ve been up in Mississippi and Tennessee, just trying to get them home to my house in Boerne.”

“Well, why don’t you just come on on,” the friendly man smiled and put out his hand. “I’m John Kemper.”

Dad, Mark and I had the best home cooked meal of the entire trip. But best of all, it made for an enduring memory.

A few months later, I was visiting Austin in business for H-E-B Food/Drugs based out of San Antonio. There to meet a vender and disposal waste manufacturer, they had set up a small mobile classroom type unit next to our store at William Cannon and IH-35 to show us new advances in waste recycling technology.

“I hope you don’t mind, Jack, but we invited another client to join us since we had this opportunity to bring this unit to the area,” the sales representative said. 

“Not a problem,” I replied about the time the other client walked up. I recognized him, and put out my hand. “I know you. Your name is John.”

“That’s right,” he smiled a bit puzzled. “John Kemper.”

“–and you’re from the great Bluebonnet Cafe in Marble Falls.”

He laughed, remembering the event when he let three hungry souls in after hours earlier in the year.

Kemper was a first rate guy and it was easy to see why his cafe has earned a worldwide reputation for good food and friendly service.

I wanted to say hi to him and asked our waitress if he was around today. She quickly looked behind herself and turned her head back to me with a disturbed and emotional expression.

“I’m so sorry to tell you this but John died last month.”

A rush of sadness hit our table.

Later, I looked at his obituary. He passed away on May 14th and suffered complications from Parkinson’s Disease.

“John turned the Blue Bonnet Café into a world-famous restaurant and served his community well. He helped originate the Walkway of Lights and Lakefest. He actively organized and campaigned for a local hospital for more than 20 years. He also served on numerous civic boards, including the Marble Falls Lake/LBJ Chamber of Commerce, where he acted as president, the Marble Falls Tri-Commission, the Baylor Scott & White Capital Campaign Steering Committee, the Baylor Scott & White Advisory Board of Directors Marble Falls Medical Center, and many others.”

Rest in Peace, John

Teach Your Children To Fish

Introducing a child to fishing can lead to a lifetime of adventures and experiences for both you and your child.

RVers, campers and roadtrippers can enhance the memories for younger travelers by just fishing together. Here’s some tips and ideas for presenting the world of fishing to children.

Generate interest in the outdoors before they are ready to fish

  • Take young ones for walks along lakes, rivers and piers
  • Seek out people who are fishing, look at their catch and talk about the fish
  • Look for minnows darting around dock piles or in the shallows at the water’s edge

Give your child the right equipment

In order for a child to feel comfortable and to master skills, he or she needs to use child-sized equipment.

  • A closed bale or “push button” reel (generally durable and eliminates 95 percent of the tangles associated with the open face counterparts)
  • If fishing from a pier, boat or near deep water, wear a properly sized U.S. Coast Guard approved flotation device.

Do your homework

By the time you get to waters edge, children will have only one thing on their mind: Fishing. Do as much of the prep work at home as possible which includes teaching your child:

  • How to use a rod
  • How to tie a proper fishing knot
  • How to rig the line
  • How to safely cast

It is great fun to practice casting in the backyard or park (watch for passersby — it’s another opportunity to talk about fishing safety). When planning the trip, set up your rod at home so all that is needed at the lake is to choose your spot, bait the line and cast.

Be safe

Instruct your child in the basics of safety such as always looking around before casting and being careful on slippery rocks. Life jackets may be appropriate depending on where you are fishing.

Remember:

  • Bring sunscreen
  • Pack a hat
  • Bring a sweater
  • Pack food and water
  • Watch out for poison oak

Fish for as long (or short) a time as they are interested

Kids have a much shorter attention span than adults. They may be ready to quit after just a few minutes, especially depending upon how the fishing goes. When a child is ready to pack it up, call it a day — all the more reason to make initial excursions only a short distance from home.

Focus on easy to catch species

For a child, the thrill of feeling the tug on the line is more important than what is doing the tugging. Fish for easy to catch fish such as sunfish or crappie.

Focus on the child

Make sure the fishing trip is about your child. Leave the radio, newspaper, and video games at home. Focus on personal interactions, time relaxing together and the solitude of fishing.

Be ready for the catch

Be prepared for the catch if it comes. It may take a while for the fish to bite. Remind your child to keep the line in the water.

  • Make sure a landing net is nearby
  • Talk about what it means to catch fish. It can upset some children to see a fish gasping and flopping around on the dry land.
  • Have the camera ready

Model ethical angling behavior

Your actions speak louder than your words.

  • Be respectful of other people using the water
  • Be aware of and follow fishing and park regulations for the area
  • Be licensed – check your state’s age requirements as children under certain ages do not need a fishing license, but adults do need a license to fish

For parents who do not know how to fish

Fishing is a hobby anyone can start at any age. Do some reading, make a few inquiries and in a short time you’ll be ready.

  • Check with local bait and tackle stores for information sources for how to fish, where to go and what is biting. They should be able to direct you to a book or brochure on basic fishing techniques. Make sure to ask about fishing regulations.
  • Talk with other anglers you meet. The anglers on the shoreline are generally happy to help. Feel free to ask.

For parents who know how to fish

  • Keep it simple. Do not try to impart the lessons you have learned over a lifetime in the span of a single morning.
  • Take it slow. Get them hooked so they will want to know more.
  • Choose one knot and one rigging and teach that to your child. Teaching a variety of set ups for different situations can be overwhelming.

Your child may not share your enthusiasm for fishing

Even if you do everything right, fishing is not for everyone. If your child just doesn’t get excited, let it go. They may be ready to try it again when they are older.

How ‘Big Rocks’ Can Improve Your Home, RV, Work, Life Experiences

I’m grateful for over 30 years (on and off) of employment with H-E-B Food/Drugs for many reasons. Besides working with awesome Partners (employees throughout Texas and Mexico), I’m especially thankful for the learning and training opportunities that proved so beneficial in life.

Learning and teaching Lean Enterprise and Six Sigma was especially rewarding.

Even today, years after my early retirement, I use these powerful techniques at home, in the RV and with projects.

Eventually earning Six Sigma Black Belt accreditation, I gave presentations across the country at various professional conferences.

At H-E-B, all of my Facilities Management regional offices (for retail stores, gas stations, manufacturing, real estate properties and warehouses) and their field Partners were trained. Some became belt holders of various degrees.

The results in productivity and value were amazing, saving millions of dollars over the years. Efficiency was the name of the game, by destroying waste along the way.

As an introduction to many classes and seminars, I’d present the substantial visual lesson from Stephen Covey’s First Things First “rock parable.”

With a large jar on a table, surrounded by various sizes of rocks, gravel and sand, I’d begin.

“Your life and work has big rocks and little rocks. The size represents the importance and, essentially, what should be prioritized. They all have to fit into your jar.”

I’d pour the little rocks in first and could easily get them all in the jar.

Next, I tried the big rocks, they wouldn’t fit.

Scratching my head, I’d suddenly come up with another idea.  This time I put the big rocks in first. Guess what happened?

Big Rocks always first.

The little rocks naturally fell into the remaining space allotted. I’d follow up with small bits of gravel and sand, representing inconsequential things people worry about, dwell on or spend far too much time on.

The moral of the story: Always take care of the most important stuff first. Always the big rocks! You can fit nearly everything else (that might be valuable and needed) later.

There are many ways to make sure your big rocks stay front and center.

One popular method is the Eisenhower Box or Matrix. I believe in it so much, that my children, now adults, use it naturally in their own homes and careers.

To use it, mark a piece of paper into four equal boxes or quadrants. Write or separate what needs to be done into one of the four boxes. Quadrant 1 will be top left, Quadrant 2: top right. 3: bottom left.

Quadrant 4: Not urgent and not important

Quadrant 3: Urgent, but not important

Quadrant 2: Important, but not urgent

Quadrant 1: Urgent and important


It becomes clear “urgent and important” items are your immediate priority.

We get into the most trouble when we confuse “urgent, but not important” with “urgent and important.” 

Live as much of your life as possible in Quadrant 2 activities: Studying, planning, vacationing, reading, exercising, taking your vitamins and medications properly, nutrition, mitigating, improving, resting, learning, organizing and getting rid of waste, etc.

The most successful and happiest people realize that things are always urgent, but if they only focus on the urgent (or what some may consider urgent but in reality, it’s not), the important will never get accomplished.

A common mistake people make in their planning, work and projects, is spending an inordinate amount of time on little rocks.

Imagine how much better your life, travels, and experiences could be if you weren’t so enamored with the bits of gravel. At a certain point–sooner than later–spending your time more on the little rocks, gravel and sand will give you significantly diminished returns.

That inordinate amount of time can have devastating effects on your “big rocks.”  Sometimes it’s better to attend to your true priorities, arrive safely on time or accomplish an important goal, than having a perfect little rock.

In future posts, I’ll present valuable Quadrant 2 type examples and information you can use at home, in your RV, workshop, or office to improve your life.

Follow me here to more tips, hacks and good information.

Clever Journeys: Severe Weather Camping Tips

How much wind would it take to blow you away?

Depending on what you weigh, the strongest sustained winds a large man might be able to withstand without getting blown away is near 70 mph. The maximum gust he could stand without getting blown away is roughly 95 mph.

Severe Weather Events

The following weather events are the most common while camping.  Knowing what to do can make you more educated in case of an emergency.  If you are camping in high-risk areas for hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, and flooding, be sure to have your alerts/radios activated during your stay.

Lightning

There are no reliable warning signs that lightning is going to strike.  If you are outdoors when a lightning storm occurs, your first thought should be to get to shelter to a building or inside your camper as quickly as possible.

If that is not feasible, the next thing to consider is crouching down close to the ground until the lightning passes. 

Make sure you are not the tallest thing around or close to a lone tree or tall object during a lightning storm. 

Generally it’s a good idea to unplug your power at a campground when a big storm is coming. If lightening hits the ground, even on the other side of the campground, it can cause a surge of power through the line into your RV and cause things to burn out. You are usually safe to run your built in generator.

The 30-30 Rule is an easy way to determine the threat of lightning in your area: 30 Seconds: Count the seconds between seeing lightning and hearing thunder. If this time is less than 30 seconds, lightning is a threat. Seek shelter immediately.

Over 60% of lightning fatalities happen when people biking, boating, hiking, camping or fishing.

Most lightning victims are close to safe shelter but don’t head towards it.

Lightening kills more people each year than Tornadoes and Hurricanes combined.

Tornadoes and High Winds

Tornado Watches are issued by the Storm Prediction Center for counties where tornadoes may occur. The watch area is typically large, covering numerous counties or even states. 

Tornado Warning: Take Action! A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.

If a Tornado Warning is issued get below ground as quickly as possible.

Get to the nearest storm shelter or basement. If that is not available, try to find a small interior room on the lowest floor the closest sturdy building.

Be sure to leave vehicles as they can go airborne in a strong tornado.

If you are caught in the open during a tornado, lie flat on the ground or try to find a ditch or culvert and roll into a ball to protect your head and torso.

Avoid highway overpasses as a place of shelter, they become wind tunnels during a tornado.

There are several atmospheric warning signs that precipitate a tornado’s arrival:

A dark, often greenish, sky  

Wall clouds or an approaching cloud of debris  

Large hail often in the absence of rain  

Before a tornado strikes, the wind may die down and the air may become very still  

A loud roar similar to a freight train may be heard  

An approaching cloud of debris, even if a funnel is not visible

Despite great strides made in meteorology that help us understand and predict tornadoes, there are still many unknown variables. Advance warning and proper precautions are the only certainties.

Tornadoes can occur at any hour but usually strike during the late afternoon and early evening (3 to 9 p.m. although I had a friend who his lost his life to one at 10:30 a.m.). Most move from southwest to northeast but can move in any direction.

High winds knocked train off bridge in New Mexico, 2019.

They have an average speed of 30 mph, but speeds can vary from nearly stationary to 70 mph.

Normally a tornado will stay on the ground no more than 20 minutes, however, one tornado can touch the ground several times in different areas.

 Wind Advisory means that sustained winds of 30 mph for one hour and/or frequent gusts of at least 45 mph are occurring or expected within the next 36 hours. These winds make it difficult to drive high profile vehicles. 

Winds ranging from 55-63 mph are classed as storm winds, and often result in significant structural damage to RVs, buildings and structures. as well as uproot trees.

Thunderstorm winds of 60-75 mph can overturn unanchored mobile homes (many are unanchored), blow over moving tractor trailers, destroy the average sized shed, and rip some house roofs off. Even worse, these winds are capable of downing trees large enough to easily kill a person.

One study indicated the minimum overturning wind speeds needed to overturn an 18 foot travel trailer was 53 miles per hour (MPH) from a  perpendicular direction to the RV.

For a 29.5 foot motor home: 65 MPH.

For a 29,983 lb. semI-trailer: 73 MPH.

For a 16.4 Class B camper van: 101 MPH.

If you have time and can do it safely when heavy winds are imminent, point your rig in the direction the wind is coming from. This will greatly reduce the impact compared to if you are getting hit broadside.

Put slides and awnings in and stabilizing jacks down. 

Stay hitched up to your vehicle if possible, or hitch-up. Being attached to another large object could lessen impact some.

If motorhome has air bags release the air so that you have less bounce.
If possible and it looks more safe, park next to a wall or hillside to potentially lessen wind impact and even hail damage. (We recently parked to the exterior wall of a trash compactor at a Wendy’s during a sudden hailstorm. Because we were on the side away from the direction the hail was coming down at a strong angle, we had no damages).

It’s vital to move your rig if you are parked under trees. Branches and limbs often go through roofs and windows, causing severe damage or total devastation.

Bottom line: if possible seek quick and more reliable shelter (restrooms, caves, basements, etc.). Variousness in materials, type, weight and conditions will cause different results.

Don’t try to ride out any severe storm in a RV.Even if they may seem sturdy, they do not have a suitable foundation and can be blown over by strong winds or swept away in the event of flooding. Look for the nearest solid structure if a tornado or high winds are present.

Avoid driving in high winds. A motorhome or trailer in motion has far different aerodynamics and dangers than those stationary.

Flash Floods

A flash flood is a flood with a rapid onset, generally less than six hours. 

You may not know a rainstorm 6 miles away happens until the water rushes and fills reservoirs where you are. Be aware if you are camping in a low ground area that is subject to flooding before you camp there.

If you are in a flood zone and get a warning, get to high ground as soon as possible.

Be especially cautious at night when you are driving. Don’t cross flooded roads.  It only takes 18 – 24 inches of water to float an average vehicle. If you are surrounded by water that is not moving, abandon the vehicle and move to higher ground.

If there’s enough time and conditions are safe enough before a storm, drive away from the area.

Otherwise, store the RV in a secure facility as far away as possible from the predicted path of a storm.

If you must park your RV in an open area, make sure it’s on high ground and away from large trees.

Severe Thunderstorms

Know your weather terminology:

Watch: A Watch is when conditions are favorable to become a problem. Be on Alert! Have your weather radios available to receive warnings.

Warning: A Warning is when a weather event is occurring or is expected shortly. If one is issued, it is time to take action.

Severe Thunderstorm: This is a storm that produces one or more of the following: a wind greater than 58 mph, hail resulting in 1 inch or larger, or a tornado.

If one of these is forecasted you will want to seek a way to break camp and move out of the path of the storm or seek indoor shelter.

The Three A’s of Campground Weather Safety

Years ago, before the days of cell phones, I was tent camping at Garner State Park in Texas with friends and had no way of knowing danger was ahead.

Lightning, strong winds and heavy rain were our only notice in the middle of the night. Concerned of flash flooding from the Frio River, we bit the bullet, grabbed what we could and drove to higher ground.

Others weren’t so fortunate.  We lost a tent, blankets and lawn chairs. Some lost their lives.

Even today, because of that experience, I stay alert of weather conditions.

The Three A’s of Campground Weather Safety

Awareness

Check the forecast before you travel or set up camp.  Once you are in camping mode or vacation mind, you are planning for fun! But weather can change that quickly so know what the weather is going to be like over the next couple days so you can make good decisions about your activities and destinations.  Use a reliable weather information website like NOAA  or the National Weather Service.

If you are in an area that has cell service, then a weather app with emergency weather notification is a great thing to have set up.  They have a free and paid version.  The app will send you a notification when there are watches and warnings for the area you are in.  Be sure to have your app set up to notify you even if your other notifications are off and also have your location setting turned on.

Alertness

Have your weather radios set up to alert you when there is a threat.  There are different kinds of weather radio options. We have one we can crank if all the other options (solar, batteries, electrical outlet plugin) fail or are unavailable.

Having a radio that doubles as a walkie-talkie can be a good choice to make the most of small space storage.

Frio River near Garner State Park, Texas.

Have a weather contingency plan.  What will you do if the weather suddenly changes and you are in danger?  Everyone on your trip should have a job to do and know how to do it in case of an emergency evacuation.

In case of an emergency, how will you make contact with help?  What is cell service is lost? Using emergency radios can make the difference in campground weather safety.

Action

Have a plan on what to do if there is threatening weather that may put you in danger.

Know where you are – use a GPS to help identify your location in case you need it.

Know your evacuation plan:  If you need to evacuate where are you going?  Are you going to stick it out?

Use your weather radios to keep abreast of changes in weather in your area.

If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. “It may be too late the second time,” Texas Park & Wildlife Department officials said. “The first time we can get them out by land, the second time it will be by boat if we can get to them at all.”

🔼Don’t attempt to drive through flooded roads, even if the water looks shallow. “If you can’t see the road, don’t try it,” the Texas Park and Wildlife official said. “It’ll be a deadly mistake.”

🔼Watch out for downed power lines and do not go near them, even around residences.

🔼If you get a weather notification for an approaching storm of any kind, start to clean up your campsite and put things away that could potentially become airborne in a wind gust situation.  Your RV windows, motorcycles and your camping neighbors will love you for it.

A few things to remember:

Have flashlights ready in case of power outage and you don’t have RV house batteries.

Have a weather radio and/or weather app set to alert you when there is a weather event

Have activity appropriate apparel and shoes for your outings in case of unexpected weather.  Dress in layers to avoid discomfort in changes of temperatures.

Keep a positive attitude!  You can’t control the weather but you can wait out bad weather by planning to have games and activities to do when bad weather strikes.

If your plans have to change because of weather, be sure to have some alternate activities planned.  A stash of games and cards can turn a disappointment into another kind of fun!

Texas flood.

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Essential Camping Safety Tips for RVers and Motorcyclists

Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and to ensure your trips are safe, here are tips uniquely for RVers and motorcyclists.

RVers and motorcyclists should plan out all escape routes and discuss them with (RV occupants) and fellow campers when traveling. Ensure everyone is informed of the survival plans.

Basic Camping Safety

🔼Keep watch on children! You are responsible for the safety of your children. Make sure you know where your kids are and what they are doing.

🔼Be aware of the natural surroundings. There may be plants with thorns or stickers.

🔼You are a visitor in wildlife’s home. Keep a safe distance from wild animals. Although they may look cute, they are wild and can carry diseases.

🔼Never feed the wildlife! Feeding wildlife can encourage bad behavior by animals and is against park regulations.

🔼Be careful with fire. Never leave a fire unattended and be sure your campfire is out when you break camp.

🔼Axes, knives and saws are useful tools, but be sure you know how to properly use them.

RV Safety Tips

🔼Have more than one fire extinguisher and insure everyone knows where they are and how to use them. Make sure they have the right amount of pressure according to the gauge. In fact, anytime you use an extinguisher, it should be recharged or replaced to avoid future problems.

🔼Watch where you park. Heat from underneath your RV can catch grass on fire.

🔼Never use any stove or cooking appliance for heating space. Smaller space means less ventilation and the greater the chance of a fire.

🔼Keep any combustible items like paper towels or dish cloths away from the stove and remain near the stove when cooking.

🔼Install and inspect smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors regularly. Test alarms every two-weeks to ensure they work properly. This is a fast and easy test that can save lives and property.

🔼A dragging brake line can cause friction. This can easily be ignited by dripping brake fluid. Make sure to check the pressure in your tires regularly and spot check at every stop.

🔼Always be aware of your surroundings.  Be aware of who is camping next to you, across from you and behind you. Pay attention to what is happening.  Know when the weather is changing and who is moving about around your RV.

🔼Always lock your camper when you leave it.  Even if you are just going to the laundry room or the bathhouse in the campground.

🔼Use window locks so your RV can’t be accessed by the sliding windows.

Motorcycle Safety Tips

🔼Pack safe. Keep the center of gravity of your bike in mind and make sure the heavy items are lower down.  below the COV of your bike. Even up the balance on each side of the bike – don’t put all the heavy stuff in one saddlebag! If traveling solo, pack your gear so it acts as a backrest to support your lower back.

🔼Make sure nothing is touching the exhausts. Use the most effective ratchet straps, bungees or cargo nets to secure the load and carry additional items on top for easy access.

🔼Pack light. Space is limited so be efficient and don’t fill up every available space. Seasoned motorcycle campers overwhelmingly pack light and trim luggage down to the minimum. You can always buy stuff along the way.

🔼 Pack efficiently. Determine what you really need, and pack accordingly. Pack your tent and sleeping bag last so they are first things you unpack at camp site, and make sure the things you’ll need on the ride – sunglasses, sunscreen, waterproofs and maps – are easily accessible.

🔼A tent. If tenting, use one with a waterproof floor or groundsheet and take metal stakes to fix it down and a driver. Pick the size of tent according to your needs – even if you are travelling solo, a two or even three-man tent will give you the space you need to hold your clothes and luggage as well as you, and won’t take up much more space than a one-man tent. Vestibules allow you to strip off wet rain gear and store wet luggage without getting the inside of your tent wet. Make sure you have a waterproof fly- sheet for wet nights. Try setting it up at home rather than working out how to set it up in the dark at your first camp site.

🔼Use a sleeping bag in a grade for  the range of temperatures you are likely to experience. Down insulation is more efficient and packs down smaller than synthetic fillings. Use compression bags to hold your sleeping bag, tent and pad to make the most effective use of space.

Orange County Choppers in New York salutes fire departmens and emergency responders across the nation (Photo: Jack Dennis)

🔼 Before you set off, make sure your bike is serviced and in good condition. A day or two before departure do a trial run of packing and riding your bike – ideally an overnight trip if you can. You’ll almost certainly over pack so it is a great opportunity to check and reassess what you are taking, and to ensure everything is efficiently packed and you know where it is and how to get at it. Of course, if someone with you is travelling by car, put the campsite equipment in there and only carry essentials – it also means you can take more stuff you will find useful, such as camp chairs, extra food or a cool box.

🔼When you are on your trip, don’t leave too late in the day to find a site – when you are tired, it’s easy to make bad decisions and leaving too late will increase your stress levels and make mistakes more likely to happen. When you’ve found the site, choose the best area – sheltered and flat, not sloping or rocky, and not low-lying so you avoid pooling water if it rains, or falling cold air if the temperature drops. Be friendly with other campers, and when you leave make sure you leave no trace you have been there – kill any fire you may have made, and pick up any trash and clear it away.

🔼Finally, when you are back home, make a post-trip evaluation of your packing – what did you not use, what did you not take that you needed – and make a note of it, so next trip you will be operating at maximum efficiency, leaving you free to enjoy the ride.

The Seven Cs of Camping

Many of the questions and concerns RVers, Motorcyclists, and Campers have are solved with mutual respect, courtesy and common sense.

Here are the “Seven C’s of Camping:”

1. Care – We will care how we camp by being considerate of others.

2. Caution – We will use caution in the use of camping equipment both on the road and at the campsite. We will handle fire and flammable fuels so as not to endanger others or ourselves. We will improve our camping skills, knowing the right way is the safest way.

3. Courtesy – We will practice politeness because it enhances the camping experience. We will respect the privacy of others, control our children and leash our dogs.

4. Cleanliness – We will be clean in our camping habits and teach our children the importance of cleanliness. We will pick up litter no matter who left it and be proud of the campsites we leave behind.

5. Cooperation – We will observe the letter and spirit of camping regulations and rules established to protect our enjoyment of the outdoors. We will work cooperatively with others to make it better for everyone.

6. Conservation – We will protect the environment in which we enjoy camping and help those whose job it is to guard and wisely manage our country’s natural resources. We will endeavor to leave a better outdoors for those who follow us.

7. Common Sense – We will apply common sense to every situation, knowing that reason, understanding and humor make camping better for ourselves and others.

New Texas State Park Plan Developing


The first new state park in North Texas in 20 years will be Palo Pinto Mountains State Park.

Tucker Lake is 90-acres.

It is located on 4,421 acres of scenic, undeveloped land 75 miles west of Fort Worth and 75 miles east of Abilene, near Strawn in Palo Pinto County.

Plans are underway for campsites to include RV sites, as well as walk-in tent sites and primitive camping areas. Picnic areas and play­grounds will provide gathering places for small and large groups.

The park fronts 4.7 miles on Palo Pinto Creek in the Cross Timbers ecoregion and contains diverse topography with extraordinary conservation and recreational potential.

Palo Pinto Mountains offer panoramic views.

Several 1,400-foot peaks, the 90-acre Tucker Lake, and two creeks surrounded by stands of live oak, mesquite, cedar elms and native pecan trees will provide a wonderful setting for hiking, mountain biking, camping, horseback riding, fishing, and stargazing.

Palo Pinto Creek meanders near the northern border of the park. A dam on Russel Creek impounds the 90-acre Tucker Lake, the centerpiece of the park.

Currently, as development continues, Tucker Lake is open for fishing until park construction begins. You do not need a fishing license to fish here!

Parking is limited, and the lake does not have a boat ramp. They allow boats with electric motors (no gas motors).

The impact on RVing and camping from the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions has been considerable.

Before 2020, State Parks were beginning to generate almost $900 million in sales activity.

In 2019 there was a $245 million impact on the incomes of Texas residents, and supported an estimated 6,109 jobs throughout the state.

The real power is the impact that state parks have on their local economies. Places like Galveston, Bastrop and Amarillo benefit economically from the thousands of visitors who flock to their communities to visit the state parks.

“State and local parks are important to our state’s economy and help preserve our Texas way of life,” said Dennis Bonnen. “With more than 10 million visitors annually, it’s clear that Texans support and enjoy our parks, and we should do all we can to make sure future generations can continue to do so.”

A decade of public opinion surveys show that Texans overwhelmingly support the parks and conservation of Texas’ natural areas. The latest survey showed 84 percent of all voters agreed with the statement: “Unless we protect Texas’ natural areas, we will lose the very things that make Texas a special place in which to live.”

Quick Guide to Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2020

The 2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will take place August 7 – 16

Plans for the 2020 City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally are currently moving forward and the odds are very favorable it will go on.

In the last few years Main Street was totally resurfaced and bump outs were added on each street corner. The City planted flower and trees in the bump outs to add beauty and increase the overall aesthetic of Main Street.

Harley-Davidson Way will now be open for both motorcycle parking and vehicle traffic. On Main Street, there are approximately 40 – 50 fewer motorcycle parking spots due to the bumpouts on the street corners, but with the increased spots on Harley-Davidson Way, it amounts to nearly the same motorcycle parking capacity as before.

Historical attendance peaked in 2015, with 739,000 estimated partcipants, but average attendance is closer to 500,000 the past decade.

It’s difficult to determine 2020 attendance due to the many concerns brought forth by the COVID-19 situation.  A final decision on whether or not to hold the Rally will be determined in two meetings. 

The Sturgis City Council will hold a special meeting on June 8 to discuss this topic.  On June 15, the City Council will hold a regular Council meeting and will make a final decision on holding the Rally.

The Sturgis Motorycle Rally is home to 10 days and nights of some of the best music in the country. From local, home-grown bands to up-and-coming regional acts to full-blown, national concerts, here are the scheduled concerts:

Concert Line Up

August 7: Puddle of Mudd
August 8: Shinedown, The Takeover, Cody Johnson
August 9: Lynard Skynard, Colt Ford, TDWP, Fozzy
August 10: REO Speedwagon, Light The Torch, Killswitch Engage
August 11: Willie Nelson & Family
August 12: ZZ Top, Motionless In White, Hairball
August 13: Jackyl
August 14: Skillet, 10 Years, Crobot

Billed as a very emotional exhibit, Remembering Our Fallen will be displayed at Sturgis Community Center to remind Americans of the ultimate sacrifice made by those who died from wounds suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan while wearing our country’s uniform.

The memorial includes 32 Tribute Towers with military and personal photos of over 5,000 of our nation’s military Fallen since 9/11/2001. This memorial was unveiled nationally at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. in late 2017.

This will be an incredible moving experience for everyone who attends the Rally” said Jerry Cole, Director of Rally & Eventsfor the City of Sturgis. “The Rally is one of the greatest patriotic events in the country. This exhibit along with the Gold Star family in attendance will make this a must-see exhibit

In 2019 the Rally generated $655,090,000 of direct spending by visitors, $65,509,000 in additional indirect spending, $615,116 in funding for local non-profit and charitable organizations and $1,165,688 in net profit to the City of Sturgis.

Schedule of Events

The Legendary Sturgis 5K Run has a $40 entry fee and is held Sunday, August 9, 2020. 7:00 am – 7:50 am – Check In/Registration with an 8:00 am Run Start at Fort Meade Softball Fields. It finishes at the Woodland Park Shelter.


Participants get a chip timed event,
Event t-shirt  (If registered before July-1-2020) Post Race Breakfast,
Signature Collectors Challenge Coin, and bus transportation back to the start.

Other significant events:


Sunday, August 9, 2020 – Drag Races. Move In, Test and Tune 1 PM – 5 PM, “Run What Ya Brung” Event 6 PM ($5 passes)

Monday, August 10, 2020 – AHDRA Nitro Drag Qualifying 1 PM – Until Finished

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 – AHDRA Nitro Drag Finals 1 PM – Until Finished

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 – Held open for Rain Day / BAKER “All In To Go All Out”

Spectator & Racer Arm Bands

August 9th – $10.00

August 10th – $20.00

August 11th – $20.00

Entire Event Arm Band (All 3 Days) – $40.00


Notes of Caution


Every year, motorcycles are stolen during the Rally. Expensive custom bikes are popular with thieves,  please take some precautions to lower the risk of your bike being stolen:

 Be aware of where you park.
 Avoid dark, poorly lit areas.
 Pay attention to people standing around who seem to take particular interest in your bike.
 Do not leave leathers, cameras, souvenirs, etc. on your bike.
 LOCK YOUR MOTORCYCLE!
 Factory ignition switch locks are easily overcome by thieves. High-quality disc locks, wheel locks and heavy cable or chain locks are recommended in addition to factory installed devices. Inexpensive locks are generally of poorer quality and are easily broken or cut.
 Determined thieves can steal any motorcycle, but common sense and taking these extra precautions will reduce your chances of being a victim.

City Ordinances

Indecent Exposure – $111

Open Container In Public -$61

Deposit of Filth – $86

Disorderly Conduct – $111

Careless Driving – $91


City Park Violations – $10

City trespassing – $111

Dog Running at Large – $56

Exhibition Driving – $66

Parking in Handicapped Zone – $100

Reckless Driving – Custody Arrest

Truck Routes Violations – $91

Use of Sound Amplification Device – Court Appearance Req.

Driving on bike path/sidewalk – $111



State Law

Cancelled License – $144


Violation of Restricted License – $94

Revoked Drivers License – Custody Arrest

Furnish Alcohol to Minor – Court Appearance Req.

Open Container in Motor Vehicle – $94

Possess of Controlled Substance – Custody Arrest

Possess of Drug Paraphernalia – $244

Possess of Marijuana – Custody Arrest

Possess of Substances for High Abuse (Distribution) – Custody Arrest


Juvenile Laws

Underage Alcohol Poss/Consump – Court Appearance Req.

(Continued) in Motor Vehicle – Court Appearance Req.

Underage Purchase of Cigarettes – $69


State Motorcycle Laws

Carrying Loaded or Uncased Gun – Custody Arrest

Cyclists Overtaking in Same Ln – $94

Eye Protection Required – $20

Helmet Required (under age 18) – $94

Illegal Handlebar Height – $20

Operation W/O Motorcycle Endorse -$94


South Dakota Motorcycle Driving Laws

Every motorcycle must be equipped with at least one but no more than two headlamps.

The handlebars of a motorcycle must be no higher than the shoulder height of the person operating the motorcycle.

All persons under the age of 18 must wear motorcycle safety helmets that are approved by the South Dakota Department of Transportation.

A person riding in an enclosed cab attached to a motorcycle does not have to wear a safety helmet.

A motorcycle operator must wear an eye protective device unless the motorcycle is equipped with a windscreen of sufficient height and design that protects the motorcycle operator. When headlights are required to be on, a motorcycle operator cannot wear protective eye devices that are tinted or shaded to reduce the light transmission of the device below 35 percent.

Motorcycles must have at least one tail lamp, which when lighted emits a red light visible for a distance of 500 feet.

Noise Limits: Every motorcycle must at all times be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise.