Travels With Oso con Migo
Odyssey In America
OAE On The Road Again -- Two Stop Signs, One Police Car...
Election Day--Officer Obie strikes
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Saturday 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?
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
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,
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?
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.
Cloudy here in Salina. No stars. No
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
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
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.
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
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
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?
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.
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
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
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
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.
I do not know what I may appear to the world; but
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
shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all
before me. --Sir Isaac Newton
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Copyright © 2006, A.J.Oxton, The
Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.