The Midwest LTV Travelers Club members gathered for our 2023 Fall Rally (September 24 – 28, 2023) at the Horsethief Campground near Hill City, South Dakota. Hill City is a small town southwest of Rapid City, South Dakota, and north of Custer, South Dakota. Hill City is known as the “Heart of the Hills” because of its location near Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Monuments near Custer State Park and other attractions.
We had 38 LTVs, for a total of 74 people that attended the rally. There were many familiar faces; for some of the group, it was their first LTV rally. The Fall weather was great: cool in the mornings but warmed up by the afternoon.
There was much to do in the Hill City, Custer, and western South Dakota areas. Some of the activities included riding on the 1880 Black Hills Central Steam-powered Railroad Train, touring the Custer State Park, touring Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and other monuments and attractions, eating at local restaurants, hiking, biking on the Mickelson Trail, riding on four-wheelers and other off-road vehicles, shopping and touring around the small towns of Hill City and Custer.
We started each rally day with breakfast treats, fruit, hard-boiled eggs, tea, and coffee, and a morning meeting with the sharing of LTV modifications, solutions, information, rally updates, the daily schedule, and announcements. On Monday morning, Kelly Westphal and others in the group provided an overview of the area attractions, things to do, and biking around the area. Also, Rob Westphal, LTV Owner, and Midwest LTV Club Co-leader, spoke about the On-The-Go Water softener and how and why to use it with your LTV. The group also discussed e-bikes, bike carriers, bike helmets, and other bike-related things.
On Tuesday morning, Brian Hiebert, from LTV, attended our rally, provided updates and fixes regarding the LTV models, and answered many questions for the LTV Owners. On Wednesday morning, Scott Vidas and Pat Reid, LTV Owners, spoke about some modifications they have done on their LTVs, including winter storage battery and solar panel configuration, lubricants used on the LTV, additional rear light configurations, and more modifications. Also, Rob Westphal and Greg Palmquist, LTV owners and Midwest LTV Club Co-leaders, spoke about the winterization and de-winterization processes and Truma decalcification process utilizing the process documents that Brian Hiebert brought.
On Tuesday, many of the group went on the 1880 steam-powered train that left from Hill City and went round-trip to Keystone and back to Hill City. Other afternoon activities included playing horseshoes, hiking, bike rides on the Mickelson trail, playing games, seeing the local area attractions and businesses, chatting about our travels and plans, and meeting new LTV club members. Also, Mary Watters coordinated some crafts with the group, and they met in the later afternoons. The craft kits included weaving a basket that is a candle holder, Diamond Dotz greeting cards, and Tuck N Go quilted picture frames.
The evening meals ranged from grilled brats and cheeseburgers, a pizza dinner sponsored by Schaap’s RV Traveland from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and a soup and side meal with 15 plus soups–there was plenty of food at the rally! Every evening after the meal, we had bonfires, played board and card games, and had some guitar and vocal music by LTV owners. We were so fortunate to have a great group of volunteers who helped when needed with grilling, organizing the tables of food, serving food, cleaning up, and anything else we needed help with.
After the rally, many of the LTV owners stayed in the area and attended the Custer State Park Buffalo round-up and saw more of the local sites of the Black Hills, South Dakota area.
Our “LTV family” is always growing at each rally. It was a great time with these LTV owners. We hope others will consider joining us at a future Midwest LTV rally!
Written by: Kelly Westphal