Travels With Oso con Migo

Odyssey In America

OAE On The Road Again -- Here We Go With Another Logorrhea

Nude Sunbathers Ahead

Greetings Virtual Travellers:

Sandwiched in Shrewsbury,

I'm getting on to New Hampshire slowly. It is taking a lot longer than I first thought. Every place I stop for a day is turning into a week. Probly gonna really screw up my medicaid/medicare application; I think I am overdue for the programme-entrance medical examination/evaluation.

Matthew at Lauren's CacheEach day the fuel prices go up it takes me longer to save up for the next mile of driving. That plus I am having so much fun visiting and mixing with--or mixing up--the lives of these friends who afford me succour (and a few kilowatts of electricity). On top of that there are so many geocaches to find along the Way, and the raspberries are ripe for the picking. Some days I spend hours caching and picking.

Writing of new friends and old friends; here is an old friend:

After Summer Camp and back home in Shrewsbury Matthew took me to some of the local geocaches. He'd found two of them previously but now it was my turn to search. Then we went to one he'd looked for but had not found. We looked and looked and finally were rewarded with a very clever hide. Then a last one that was a first time and an easy find for both of us. During our walks we discussed a cache he wants to build that would be only for Boy Scout patch trading.

Carlisle Pennsylvania Flying-J Fuel Stop

On to the bus museum near Hershey later, after propane and shower here. Went through several galleons of propane last night running genset to support the a/c cos the evening was so unbearably hot and humid. Mostly humid. I would have been better off finding a campground but I was here and all done for the day. I refueled when I arrived and now I will have to refuel before I can depart.

Antique Bus Museum at Hershey

More correctly named The Museum of Bus Transportation and in concert with the Antique Automobile Club of America, both museums occupy one building in the northwest corner, a bit north of Hershey Park Drive, on route 39. There are some neat old buses there. However they don't have any old Superior buses like The Cat Drag'd Inn. They don't even have any new Superior buses.

2006july19, Visiting PolarMail Rick in Allentown

Serious rain here yesterday. Inches and inches of it. I narrowly missed several acre feet of nickle and quarter sized hail when I turned off the highway cos I couldn't see the road for the spray in the wake of all the speeding trucks. The Blue Detour took me a couple of miles south before returning to the highway an exit further east and that distance was all it took. I heard the truckers on the CB talking about the hail as it happened and when I returned to the highway there were small branches and leaves down all over and hail blanketed the lawns. The air temperature dropped 20f degrees in the few minutes of the storm's passage. That part was nice and I was happy to have missed the hail; there are enough cracks in my windscreen already.

Had a good visit with Rick and Ethel. She's a great cook and Rick raises mushrooms. Under the maple tree is a stinkhorn mushroom, Mutinus elegans or a very close relative in that genus.

In another place close to the house are a patch of inky caps and further out in the yard is another collection of something neither of us knows the name of.

I can tell I'm getting close to New England

In the northeast corner of Pennsylvania I came across my first toll bridge and toll road. Somehow these things seem to be found only in this part of the country.  And along the way to ConnecTicut's State HighPoint I stumbled upon the high point of New Jersey. That was an easy drive up but I should have left the bus in the rest area on the highway. Damn near ripped the radiator from the roof on a low branch I was not paying enough attention to. Let my Self be hurried along... The branch lifted the pressure release lever of the filler cap up there and hot glycol spewed all over. Now I am off to the Rhode Island HighPoint later today. At the moment doing mail in a truckstop hotspot east of Waterbury.

Despite all the "ups" of this tour, all the wonderful folks I have met and all the fun I've had and good things I've done and helped with, the "downs" have taken hold and seem to outweigh. I know it is cos I let them in to take hold of me. I'm not sorry about much but I am sorry about that. I am loosing control, or have already lost control, of my direction. That is if I ever was in control in the first place. At least I have long thought I was in charge of my Self.

2006july22 Rhode Island HighPoint

This one was rather easy, just a few hundred feet south of the highway. Maybe even easier than DelewarE or FLorida. Rhode Island is number thirteen on my list of State High Points.

2006july23 Cape Cod Revisited

The last time I was on the Outer Cape was back when my now mid-twenties--and new father--sister-son Bryan was nine or so. Had to be the mid-80's? Before I ran away to Antarctica in '87 anyhow. Previous to our visit the last time was in the mid '70's at the end of a long series of annual Scout trips here.

When young Bryan went with me he was riding pillion on my 750cc. We made our way out to North Truro and camped at North of Highland on Head of The Meadow Road. Way in the back there was a trail from the back door of our tent straight out to the beach. The next morning we walked to Highland Beach for a day of kite flying and playing in the sand.

Next day we motored up to some little turn out I vaguely remembered from the old Scout trips. It was a place nearer to P'town where the road crew was always taking out sand and often over the years there would be a large loader there and a hard surface we would drive onto before disgorging a hoard of barefoot Scouts. Now on my chart I find a little loop in the road just northwest of Pilgrim Lake. We used to call it the Big Dunes; it was a favourite place to play.

When Bry and I arrived there that Spring morning, easily ten years after my last previous visit, it was like that "dump scene" from Alice's Restaurant: There was a chain across the gate and a sign saying No Playing in The Big Dunes--Closed Due To Over Use.

I was furious to say the least. There was no "over use" problem until the National Park Service arrived on the scene to make it a “National Seashore”.

We went in anyhow and had a pretty good time. But at that time, what I'd remembered as an open gravelled lot was a paved carpark with lines and bumpers and a couple of portapotties. All manner of signs and warnings posted by the National Park Service admonished one to Stay On The Trail. No Jumping From the Top. Danger This and Danger That.Kayaking the Waters of Cape Cod

We did everything I used to do with the Scouts. The worst thing was that in the National Park Service's audacious quest to stabilise the dune face and prevent the sand from migrating out across U.S.6 they had of course disallowed the town to take any sand from the area. It was only that effort by the town that kept the dune in check. And made the face of it so steep that it was a fun place to play. In the old days with the Scouts we used to run wildly across the top and leap out at the edge to fly halfway down and crash and roll. Sometimes, in late April, there would still be pockets of snow insulated under the hot sand to shock everyone on their bare legs.

Now the dune was a gentle slope with a fencerow across the top. Most of the wood slats of "snow fence" had been "sanded" away so there was a row of punji sticks just level with surface held in place by what was left of the binding wire. Deadly. And useless. My fury rose again.

We went eventually to the NPS visitor center out on Race Point Road and confronted the first lacky behind the counter who asked if he could help me. Uncle Shoe-Pounding Kruzchef would have been proud of me. Half way through my tirade about the inept management skill of the NPS the lacky pressed a button under the counter and two bouncers appeared from behind the flags. I've not returned to The Cape since. Until now. And I’ll avoid Truro and points north.

I had a great day on Sunday--did a couple of caches by kayak! There were seven all told in a state park, south a bit, not far from where I am visiting Tom on Cape Cod. Two of the caches in the state park were quite close to the shore of Cliff Pond, long walks from the carpark but only a short paddle across the water. First time kayak-caching! 

Now it is the August month

Ms.La Gata, after many moons of spellbound inactivity, has finally punded a few words into the shape of an addition to her lengthly moniker: Sara(h) La Gata con Migo Booger Mesquite La Rubia Frankencat Sinte Ikusheya Cat o' Mine Tales. Now I will have to update her passport and my webpage.

To coin a phrase: Another month, another Social Security deposit, eh?

Had a nice visit with Tom, several grand meals and a few more geocaches.

Visiting old friend and long time mentor Dick Cook, formerly editor of the Lowell (MA) Sun Dick is a Philantrophist and Renaissance man if there ever was one.  Franklin MA is the home of the very first public library in these dis-united states.

We are making a furious round of visiting other elders of the tribe and poking through mounds of mouldering mementos in the cellar of the hundred year-old house where he was born in Franklin. Some of these elders were kids in our Scout groups and are now 40-50 years old; others were his peers then, and still are, now in their 70's. My peers too I suppose. The older one gets the more one's peer group broadens.

Another place we went yesterday is The Peace Abby in Sherborn. A place of meditation and retreat in the honour of Gandhi, and Emily the Cow.

Is TupperWare anything like UnderWare?TupperWare UnderWare

Did you know that Tupperware, easily as important as a GPS device to the geocaching game, was invented in Leominster, MA and manufactured in Blaskstone on the RI/MA border! The patented “burping” seal "locks in freshness". Actually, I'm not sure this one is my size. But it might double as an athletic supporter. If only I were an athlete.

2006aug6 Two Months Till Tea

Now is just about the time to start planning a Mad Hatter's Tea Party. The date to behold is on the Mad Hatter's hat.

Les Gamins - Boys with TurtlesLes Gamins--Boys with Turtles

On the North Common in Fitchburg stands Herbert Adams’s (American Sculptor 1858-1945) first full bodied statue in the round. Adams sculpted this piece in his Paris studio during 1888-89 and it was cast in Brussels by the lost wax process. The piece was commissioned by Willis, Phillips and Wallace of Fitchburg and presented to that town, the home town of Herbert Adams, in 1889. What is of interest is that when the plaster model of the statue was photographed in the Paris studio the standing figure was not draped, that is, as one person I nterviewed put it: --The boy had all his plumbing. However it is draped at this time. When was the drape added? After some research at the Fitchburg Historical Society it would seem that there were two opportunities. The first would have been during the casting process. During the period when the plaster model became a wax mold the artist had ample time to make the alteration. The second opportunity to alter the boy and add the drape would have been when repairs were made after the statue had been in place on the Fitchburg Common for several years. No comment on whether the original model for the statue was similarly altered.

Thanks to the Fitchburg Historical Society and the several people I interviewed around town for their help with this research.

2006aug10 Camping in Nashua

I spent most of five gallons of gas today running around Nashua from one stoplight to the next; detours and construction, cop cars and fire trucks, following sign after sign that say “Post Office this way” and “Post Office that way” and then no sign that says “Post Office here” while I was busy with the traffic going the other way. Never did find the yarn store so further construction of Dish Washers is at a stand still. At least I nailed three more caches and listened to the same old news on the radio over and over and over.

I've been too long parking in various front yards. In fact today I got ticketed for overnight parking at my sister's. Been visiting here for nearly ten years, I told the desk sergeant, what's with the ticket now? He said they only recently put on a night parking patrol. But at least they have a provision for visitors under these conditions. I have to pay the first ticket but now I am on the No Ticket List for the next couple of nights.

2006aug12 Arrived Conway--Home Again?

But do I really live here? What is the relationship between "Home", "Residence", and "Live Here" when as for some of us they do not mean the same thing. For people who live in stick houses on a street in a city/state Residence, Home, and Live Here all mean the same thing. Well, for some Home might mean the house of their parents as in a student resident at some far away school going home for the holiday. For those who live on the road, peripatetic labourers, wondering wanderers, the "Home is Where I Park It" set, Residence is a matter of what state issued the driver license and vehicle tags. Home is a state of mind. "Live Here" and "Where Are You From" become discussions about what means "Live Here" and "How Far Back".

Our government makes mandatory that one has a "legal residence". For all the "United" of these States there is yet very little commonality in matters of voting, taxation, vehicle registration, and a host of other factors as diverse as medical and vehicle insurance rates, gun ownership laws, and WIC assistance, that comprise residency. "Keep 'em Guessing" can be a two way street.

Conway Truck Service is my Home Port Garage. Paul is kind and hard-working, an artisan with auto parts, a sculptor of steel, a cognoscenti of cars and trucks and buses. Especially old ones. The list of projects is long so I'll be estivating here for a while.

Be Well, Do Good, and Please Write.

Love, ajo

I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. --Sir Isaac Newton

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Copyright © 2006, A.J.Oxton, The Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.