Travels With Oso con Migo

Odyssey In America

OAE On The Road Again -- Two Stop Signs, One Police Car...

Nude Sunbathers Ahead

Greetings Virtual Travellers:

Election Day--Officer Obie strikes again...

I was stopped again yesterday, tuesday, by the police, at the Bennet Cerf Park, just up the street from here. Random House publishers have a large distribution center there and donated the land for the park to the city. There are signs inviting one to visit, picnic, walk, and rest, and there is a geocache now as an added attraction. But there are no signs proscribing long buses with toads.

PA HighPoint with clothes on it.Always something. I drove past the single entrance to the park when I could see that there was no other way out and not room in the carpark to turn this rig and went on down the side street to the entrance of a loading dock area behind the warehouse. Three semi tractors blocked my use of that turn-around so I continued to the right up and into the confines of the loading area. Several autos cluttered and obstructed this space and it was a cul-de-sac. No way out now but to unhitch the toad, back down the bus, turn it around and come back to re-hitch. It was only this last move that caught the eye of some well-meaning observer and they reported to the police that someone was stealing a pickup truck from the carpark.
PAHP Cache
Well, I didn't know that of course so then I rehitched the toad and relocated to the entrance to the Bennett Cerf Park. No sooner had my GPS out when  the local constabulary was knocking on the door. It didn't matter to the officer that truck and bus have consecutive numbers on their tags from AridZona. No problem; I just had to prove that the little truck was indeed mine.

Well! I had quite an adventure finding this cache; in the end finding the cache was easier than finding a place to park.

Thursday on Top of PA

Foggy day. Cold too. Too cold and wet for a skinnywalk. This would be a really great place for one on a warm sunny day. Great trails and all sorts of neat rocks to climb over and under. Two geocaches here. One right at the HighPoint, the other about a half a mile away. I left the bus near the bottom of the hill and came up by little-truck to this state park natural area. Saw the men in the white coats at the high point just as I was leaving but they were not after me this time. In fact they seemed unaware that they were wearing white coats. Perhaps they should be chasing after themselves.
A Most Interesting Rock
The third cache of the day was down in the valley of Meyersdale. Built in 1911, the Salisbury Viaduct is 1,908 feet long and was used for trains until 1975. Now it is part of the Allegheny Highlands Trail. At one end of the trestle there is room to park one car and at the other end is where the cache is hidden. A small mouse guards the cache. A bird-mouse. By the time I found the parking spot the fog had lifted and so it was a nice walk across the trestle high above the road and river. Going across in a train must have seemed like flying.
Salisbury Viaduct

Veteran's Daze

More rain today. Yesterday was nice. Partly sunny, warmish, breezy. Managed three caches and the Indiana High Point. INHP is another of those with a drive-up window. A couple of the caches were more difficult for the parking problems than the actual finding of the stash. One of them, a fake coffee-creamer container in a cemetery, was chock full of ladybugs. Another of those missed photo-opportunities. Now near Indianapolis mapping the route to MOHP. After that: Mark Twain's Boyhood Home in Hannibal.

Two hundred-ei8hty-seven miles, from one Flying-J caravanserai (i70x123 east of Indianapolis) to another (northeast of Saint Louis i270x6). This is almost like KOA-hopping except that the showers are generally better here--and the prices too. However the view and ambiance are usually better at a KOA.

Indiana HighPoint SignSaturday was a nice drive over most of Indiana and all of Illinois. Not sure when I discovered The Cat was Drag'd Innto Central Time. The hardest part of covering all that distance is trying to keep up with the NPR outlets. They don't all carry the same programming at the same time so when I run out of the range of one station in the middle of "This American Life" I sometimes end up with the second part of "Wait-Wait". Let's get serious here for a minute: Is there a satellite radio in my future?
INHP summit with clothes on it.
The rain gave way to cloudy with dry roads and a stiff cross-wind from the starboard side. It was unusual to have to steer towards the verge for most of a day of driving; more often I am steering towards the crown.

Thursday Again--Seems Like Still

There have been a few obstacles in the Way of The Cat Drag’d Inn. The snow in the forecast never materialised however this stuff on the road is going to take more than a plow to push aside. This morning at dawn it was 28f at the Dancing Rabbit EcoVillage, frost on Ms.La Gata when she came in, and later at Zimmerman’s Mennonite store in Rutledge, a woman said to me: `It’s November you know—you need to have your long trousers on!’ I told her I’d be headed south afore the cows got home. In the meantime the fuel gauge on the auxiliary tank has commenced to misbehave and there has been such a long cloudy period that the battery is seriously depleted of charge. Where are my mittens?

Now writing from Kansas City (MO). Isn't there a song about goin' to here? I'm here, where's the song? Actually there are three other Kansas City named places: KS, OR, and TN; I wonder which one the song is about?
The Cows Do Come Home. Courtesy of a Post Card.
Time is not an issue. I have all the time in the world as long as there is little to do at Casa Blanca and no assurance of work elsewhere. The real problem is as usual: pesos, dinero, dollars, bread, &c. I betook my little used ATM card to a robotic dollar dispenser a couple of days ago only to have it refused. Even after I tried three variations on the PIN theme it was refused. Finally I called my bank in New Hampster. What ATM card, the unhelpful helpdesk said, I don't see no steeenkiing ATM card.

My ATM card had been erased! I mean, all evidence of my ATM card had been erased. Not just closed and indicated as such. There was no mark that I ever even had an ATM card. So much for high-tech banking.

Today I will visit a AAA office and attempt to cash a cheque. I can see it now: Driver license from AridZona, AAA card from TeXas, cheque from the Bank of New Hampster... Stay tuned.
A Kansas City Castle

Cloudy here in Salina. No stars. No shooting stars.

Just took some scones out of my oven. Box mix but I had to scratch a lot to use only half of it. I figure they cost about fifty cents a piece to make, not including propane and my exorbitant salary. That amounts to about ei8ht cents a bite. I guess they are still yummy at that.

Milestones along the Way

"It's about the journey..." one tagline said. Another, said of a lifestyle: "A life spent sailing close to the wind--and getting away with it."

Cold here (29f) as the first streak of dawn colour invades the dark sky above Goodland (KS). I have passed a few milestones on this westbound journey: The...Inn drag'd past the 100th meridian yesterday; she/we are now 742 great circle miles from port of AridZona tho still half-again that in proposed road miles; we have returned to the Mountain Standard Time Zone. And I found my mittens.
KSHP Mount Sunflower With Clothes on it.
There are several small outside fixes I am putting off until I find a warmer less windy environment. Too bloody cold here. Has been for the past few days. Yesterday at a rest stop along i70 I found a nice hollow in a picnic area where I could lie in the warm sun however the walking to and from that warm spot was enough to give a body hypothermia.

In the WallyWorld Caravanserai there are several collection tubs for the accumulation of recyclable waste. The big yellow truck came by just after I'd returned from my arduous ascent of Mount Sunflower (KSHP--4039'MSL) by way of the south face. My Great Aunt Georgie was born the same year the Harolds founded their farm on the slopes of Mount Sunflower. But I digress... I asked the truck driver if his company made enough money from the reclamation of these recyclables to pay for that big truck and his salary. Oh yes, he said, by all means we do.
The Howards' Welcome Tree
He related that an old farmer friend of his he'd not seen in years passed through town a while back and inquired if he was still driving that garbage truck around. This trash hauler driver asked his farmer friend how much he was getting for hay. Oh, the farmer said, hay is 86$ a ton right now when I deliver it. Well, the trash hauler driver said, looks to me like your the one driving garbage around: we're getting 110$ a ton for paper or glass and 1200$ a ton for aluminium cans. And the buyers come to me to get it.

An average of one person a day makes the ascent of Mount Sunflower; thanks to the Howard family for permitting access to this State High Point. Near the east access ramp from i70 to the town of Goodland there is a giant reproduction of a Picasso; three sunflowers in a vase tower above the water standpipe.

Limon to Colorado Springs; Wenzday again.

Some patches of old snow along highway 24 at an elevation of 5,000 to 6,000 feet MSL. This section of u.s.24 is old two-lane blacktop over concrete slab: ka-thunk--ka-thunk road. At the wrong speed there gets to be a harmonic relationship between the distance from thunk to thunk and the dampening effect of the front springs. Like a kid pumping up a swing. Until the bus is pitching like a boat on a choppy sea. And of course that speed is usually right where I want to drive for best mileage. Dramamine anyone?
The Goodland Picasso
In Matheson I found a post office and a consignment shop. Post Offices in small towns are always the easiest to find and there is almost always adequate parking right out front in the middle of the street. The consignment shop was chockablock full of things and stuff. I could have shopped all day but that I am running out of money and space to put things. I found the Matchbox series bus I've been looking for. Its an MCI with a tag axle but if I kick it around the yard a little, break the windscreen, and splash on some yellow and blue paint it might do for a Geocache Travel Bug.

Found Dee and the space she'd reserved for me in the RV Ranch adjacent to the glide path of COS and Peterson. Sara(h) is most happy. She has a nice dirt yard to play in and a tree to climb. There is a 1958 GM parked nearby with a family of four living in it. Dee said there are about sixty families who will Winter here. This is the first RV park I have stayed in for a long while. Laundry, housekeeping, showers, other folks. I met with several local Ham Radio people for breky Wenzday morning. Good chance to practice my Show and Tell. And then spent most of the day helping Dee rescue her computer from the vagaries of an almost crashed hard drive.

Happy Thanksgiving Leftovers Day

It turned out Dee's hard drive had failed. It sounded like the bearings went so we put in a fixed disk and then spent another day trying to restore the machine to its former MicroSoft glory. What a mess of conflicting error messages--do this, don't do that; can't you read the signs? Fortunately Dee has a lot more patience than I, she is a nurse after all, so I went off to fix an oil leak on my Clatterpillar; one can still use glue and duct tape on those problems.
An Onion JigSaw Puzzle

Over the Pass to The Land of Enchantment

There is a geocache here and a considerable assortment of trash. Collecting trash is, increasingly, one of my specialities these days. The most interesting item in this pile, besides the usual assortment of beer cans, plastic jugs and bags, is three still sealed, restaurant-sized bags of chopped purple onions. Must be 2-3 gallons at least. There was also ei8ht assorted flavour plastic and glass beverage containers each full of the same yellow coloured fluid.

Standin' on a Corner in Winslow AridZona...

Actually The...Inn is parkin' at a Truck Stop in Winslow however it is still such a fine sight to see. Miles and miles later it is Monday. And caches and caches also. Six of 'em I think. So far the weather continues mostly nice, only a little on the cold side. It was 24f this morning at the AZ/NM border. Laura reports that snow is in the forecast for Flagstaff this evening, cold and windy as well; I want to get through there before it gets too deep.

2006nov29 - Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jig!

Arrived last night--just in time for Red Hat Day- to be welcomed by Olga and a nice dinner in the dark. I'm back in hot water... (Don't I wish...) The switch is off. Shore power connected. It remains yet to open the month tall pile of mail and clean up the dust of all this travelling. The snow forecast for Flagstaff never materialised so The...Inn escaped southward unencumbered. After a couple more geocaches at the place called Sunset Point it was mostly all down hill and as the road went down the temperature went up. 35f at Flagstaff became 48f at Sunset Point--almost nice enough for a skinnywalk but for the incessant wind--and rose to 65 at my last fuel stop in downtown PHX. YUM!

Thank you all for riding along with me. My Thank you's especially to those who occasionally replied with comments, suggestions, and encouragement.

If any of you want to come out here and soak your heads, take a walk in the desert, play Scrabble, pet Sara(h)--or me--I'll be happy to put up with you, er... I mean put you up with my best accommodations. Peekup Andropov to meet you at PHX as necessary. I'll mostly be around at least until Spring.

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.