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Old 07-31-2014, 04:02 PM   #166
Dr. Greg OP
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Thank you VERY much; I'll bet that's the problem. That's exactly what it's doing, since I did "hardwire" it to the bike battery (plus it's got its own battery)...BTW, note that proper use of both ITS'ES in that parenthesized clause...

--Doc

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Originally Posted by TowPro View Post
Try stuffing an ear plug in the battery compartment of the Montana. If the battery disconnects (because of vibration, bump, etc) it will do exactly what you describe, even when running on external power.
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:57 PM   #167
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Thursday, July 31: the Rest of Wednesday, and Dr. Greg finally goes CAMPING!

After leaving my lunch stop in Leitchfield, KY, I had visions of a pretty uninspired ride all the way home. Yes, I had survived my melancholia-induced crisis, but...just droning on and on. Well, what was I after? Didn't I wanna get home?


Dr. Greg finds a CAMPSITE...onward to Pennyrile State Forest.

Droning along the "Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway" (now there's a name only a GPS could like ), I stopped to refuel at one of the faceless "service centers" that dot the interstate landscape; this one happened to be at EXIT 24 on the Wendell H. Fo...well, you get the idea.

I strolled inside the convenience store to take a break, and decided to open the "ALLSTAYS Camp & RV" app on my iPhone (a useful little application, BTW [I dislike the term "app"...just like "selfie"]). Anyway, the app(lication) showed a camping area at the "Pennyrile State Forest Resort Park" about 10 miles south of the parkway. The also list descriptions, reviews, websites, and phone numbers, so I took a look, then decided to call the number. "Yeah, we got lotsa tent spaces, come on down!" said the friendly guy at the Pennyrile Campground. So I did!

Had to go thru the little town of Dawson Springs, Kentucky (town motto: "A Special Place"...humph, wonder whot's special about it? Shoulda asked...) At the margin of town something caught my eye...SCREECH!! I hit the binders. Aha, a liquor store! My bourbon supply was gettin' low, so...

Got out to Pennyrile, and...nobody home. But I finally rounded up the guy in charge (he was cleaning the restroom, a worthwhile activity) and he said "camp anywhere w/o a yellow tag." So I selected CAMPING SPACE #1. Nothin' but the best for Dr. Greg...

Busted out the tent, figured since there was NO WIND (the weather was glorious, more on that later), I could just set the tent up on the pavement. Better a tent than another monster RV.


I finally get to camp!!

Folks, I gotta tell ya: do I have a sense of timing, or what? At 1621 hours, the temperature was 82 F, the humidity felt like about 40%, and there was a slight breeze...just enough to be pleasant. No bugs that I could tell. When I walked back up to "settle up" ($18 w/my AAA discount...seems a little high, but...) with the park ranger, he said "Man, you picked a great day. Usually in late July here it's 95 F, and 95% humidity...dew point high 70s (I was surprised he knew the "dew point"). I replied that I hoped the weather hung around for his sake. I suspect he was exaggerating a little, but it certainly was unseasonably nice...


My Noisy Neighbors...

The campground "loop" I was in was sparsely occupied; I took a surreptitious pic of my nearest neighbors. Amish? Mennonite? One and the same? They had a pickup and trailer, and I thought Amish were non-mechanized...well, doesn't matter. They had a coupla babies (hey, I like babies, just like dogs; and cats) and I figured they weren't gonna be boozing and carousing much...


Hopefully these folks would obey the "quiet time" at 2300 hours...

For my $18, I did a few campground amenities. Even though it was unseasonably cool, spending all day on a bike with full gear (I think I'm the only rider in North America wearing all that stuff) does tend to make one, uh, PERSPIRE just a bit. So a shower at the close of the day is always refreshing.


Always nice to wash off the "road film"...

And this shower was pretty nice. Good water temp control, etc. I emerged from the darn thing wonderfully refreshed, with a very positive attitude towards the evening.

My positive attitude dropped a bit when---while taking my evening constitutional---an older couple (not as old as moi, y'unnerstand) drove up in a big F-350 diesel P/U towing a big house trailer. "Is the campsite down there?" the man asked me (I could feel the refrigerated air pouring out of the cab)..."I guess so" I replied. The "gna-gna-gna" of the Ford diesel V-8 (why are those things so friggin' noisy...the Chevy Duramax is much quieter [and far less common]). He shifter 'er in his granny 1st gear and idled down the loop. "Dang RVers" I thought to myself. He finally found a spot, and---mercifully---shut the V-8 down. We need more little diesel engines, llike the 1.9L in my TDI Golf...it has a nice little clatter, but...OK, ok, I'll shut up.


"Red" all over again...

Sitting by my tent, reading my book, smug in my environmental friendliness (unlike my F-350 neighbor) I was startled by a "Howdy"...yup, it was my F-350 friend. We started chatting, and---as always---he turned out to be a very nice guy. I was (again) somewhat chagrined at my prideful attitude. Remember the "Red" story earlier in this RR? All over again...sigh. Honest, I'm tryin' to improve.

I finally calmed down, poured myself another glass of bourbon (honest, Mrs. Greg, I'm behavin' myself), and finished my book (re-reading In Cold Blood by Truman Capote). Yeah, ICB is not really uplifting, but it was the last book TC ever wrote (it affected him greatly), and it is acknowledged as the best of its type. I seem to read it about every decade (just started "Caravans" by James A. Michener, another re-read). I love to read.


Adieu from Pennyrile Forest in Western Kentucky...

Shortly before I finished reading, the Amish (or whatever) folks strolled by, and we had a little chat. Like me, they seem to like to walk around after dinner. They were apparently doing some loggin near that area. One of the young men was definitely someone I would NOT wanna arm-wrestle with. Of course, Dr. Greg was once defeated by Mrs. Greg in arm-wrestling (true story!). It was my left (thrice-broken) arm; maybe that made a differenc.


Enjoyin' the evening: good book, good booze, good headphones...good bike, too.

A nice cacophony of tree frogs (my best guess) lulled me to sleep around 2130 hours in the Pennyrile State Forest of Western Kentucky. What a great day. And I had finally found a camping spot. I love camping...it just hadn't worked out (yet) on this trip. Finally.


A Thunderstorm? NO WAY!

Slept like the proverbial baby until 0330 hours, when I was awakened with a faint (then, not-so-faint) rolling, booming sound. Thunder!? Can't be! And I (confidently) hadn't erected my rain fly (much prefer the open tent). Actually much prefer NO tent, but I don't try that much anymore.

I pulled on my shorts (I sleep au naturel) and scrambled out...looked up, and was heartened to see the friendly "W" of Cassiopeia. All the other familiar stars were there, too. Then I heard what now sounded like a garbage truck, banging cans, etc. Whew! Got back in my sleeping bag, put on a BBC Podcast (nice segment on the 50th anniversary of "Fiddler on the Roof" this year). BTW, Mrs. Greg taught me that musicals contain good music. Thank you, Annie. Now back to sleep.

BTW, I am wearing my "muscle shirt" in the above pic (not a "wifebeater"...don't own one).


Thursday, July 31: Pennyrile State Forest --> Seymour, Missouri.

After the false "thunderstorm" alarm, I slept like a...well, you know. Jangled awake at 0600 by my medication alarm, I put on a couple of BBC News podcasts while I dozed till about 0655. Can't postpone it any more...dragged my clothes one, and got out to face the day.

And it was a pretty nice day: 67 F at 0655, and very clear sky (by western Kentucky standards). Got the Jetboil (love that thing) fired up, and instant oatmeal and instant cappucino goin'...two of my favorites. See, I'm wakin' up!


Dr. Greg tries to face the day in western Kentucky...

While packing up (takes me 2 hours no matter the environment: home, camping, motel...) I noticed the preponderance of little spiders...the darn things were everythwere. On my neck, inside my boots...I'm sure I'll bring a few of them home. BTW, I never kill spiders ('cept Black Widows, etc.); I like havin' 'em around.

Also, the pavement in this campground was very, um, nubby. Very "sharp" paving...if a road-race track were made such, it would have exceptional "grip" but would tires very quickly. All I know is, it took a toll on my poor bare feet (I know, wear shoes!). Most of the day today my feet were a little tender. But what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger! Right?

I was ready to roll by 0915. And that included a discussion wish the Amish ladies on how to run the pay washing machine at the campground. I gave 'em my best explanation, and hoped that I wouldn't have to arm-wrestle the big guy if they had problems...


Ready to roll. Better get out before they try the washing machine...


Leaving Western Kentucky...

I left the interstate for US 60, and---just before the Confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi, I stopped at the "Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site." There was a $4 charge to just walk around, so I declined (I didn't wanna spend much time, anyway). Basically, it's an archeological site of a Native American village from between AD 1100 to 1350. Heck, we have those all over the place in New Mexico. But I did take a couple of (free) pics:




Coupla pics that proved I was at the Wickliffe Mounds Historic Site...


The CONFLUENCE...

I was near an amazing place. That is the CONFLUENCE (love that word) of many great rivers. Yeah, the Ohio and the Mississippi, but also nearby, the: Tennessee and the Cumberland. To a self-professed "drought" junkie who hails from perpetually dry country, this was an amazing place. The "Lewis & Clark" monument that I photographed on my "outbound" leg was occupied by a bunch of junky trucks, so I didn't stop this time. But I did get a pic crossing the Ohio River:


Crossing the Ohio River (yet again, but it never fails to impress).

Then---shortly thereafter---when crossing the Mississippi, I tried to get a pic, but...my stupid camera fouled up again. I enclose the following two pics to show that I tried...




Tried to get another pic crossing the Old Man...stupid camera!


Now across the Mississippi and into Missouri!

The weather in Missouri looked, well, a little unsettled but not too bad...


Hey, no tornadoes, at least...

After going thru Poplar Bluff, and missing my ol' buddy "luckychucky" (a great guy, BTW, as is Melissa), I noticed the darkish cloud coming up ahead. Hmmm, better zip up the jacket vents. Good idea!


A little rain shower almost got Dr. Greg, but not quite! Neener-neener!

Continuing on towards Springfield, the day was actually very nice: temp in the 70s, the odd rain shower, but really enjoyable.




Very mellow weather continuing thru southern Missouri. Whew!

So I ended up stopping in Seymour, Missouri. About 30-40 miles E of Springfield, MO. I'll prolly head thru Springfield on the interstate tomorrow, then on into Oklahoma. Yay!! The last state before New Mexico!! Annie (er, Mrs. Greg), I'm gettin' closer...

This has been such a great trip. I'll round everything up at the end, but...what could possibly go wrong now? I can't imagine...

--Doc

P.S. Oh yeah, whenever I see Missouri farming country, I think of Dick Summers, one of the main characters in A. B. Guthrie's stellar trilogy (The Big Sky, The Way West, and These Thousand Hills). After his "mountain man" exploits in The Big Sky, Dick Summers goes back to Missouri, to become a "grayback farmer." He's lured out of "retirement" to head back to the mountains again. Those books are highly recommended.
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:34 AM   #168
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Friday, August1: Morning update...SW Missouri, USA

August!?!? Where has the summer gone? Can you believe that public school will be starting for some poor folks in a coupla weeks? When I was a grad student, we were on the "quarter" system, and the Fall quarter started about the end of September. That's more like it. This thing of starting school in the middle of the summer...man, I'm glad I'm retired


Dr. Greg's least favorite riding weather condition.

Awoke this morning to a weather condition we rarely have in New Mexico: FOG...


What is this strange opacity in the atmosphere?

Clearly, the associated wind chill (well, it wasn't really very cold, but...) called for a stroll to the nearby Cowboy Cafe...gotta wait till the fog clears enough to feel safe (the key word is feel...)


The sign on the front says "Cowboy Cafe"...

And---instead of instant oatmeal and instant cappucino---a REAL breakfast:


Calories! I need CALORIES!


The Home Stretch...

Fellas, I'm kinda on the home stretch here. Not too far away from Oklahoma, and that state actually borders New Mexico (although it's a LONG way across the full width of Oklahoma). But this is Friday, so maybe home on Monday.

The iPhone map app(lication) says: 864 miles (toll roads)...some of you guys could do that in one day. But you'd already have long since been on the road now (it's 0828). I'm just not up to that.

So maybe three days...get home sometime Monday. That's dangnere a friggin' MONTH on the road. A personal record, such as it is.

Gotta go,

--Doc
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:06 PM   #169
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Wow, what a cool ride. Very jealous right now.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:48 PM   #170
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Awww...thanks for the kind words. I've been enjoyin' myself, but---after darned near a month on the road---I'm ready to be home now. But I'm sure that after a few weeks of takin' out the trash (in the interest of full disclosure, Mrs. Greg actually takes out the trash) I'll be ready for another trip. I think that'll be the PNW trip (you still out there, JPhish?)

And it is my pleasure to share with y'all. Just return the favor when you take your next trip ...

--Doc

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Wow, what a cool ride. Very jealous right now.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:03 PM   #171
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Friday, August 1: Seymour, Missouri --> Ponca City, Oklahoma.

Made it to the state NEXT to New Mexico: Oklahoma! I've heard there was a musical by that name...


Ponca City, Oklahoma...


Fog: a dangerous situation...

As I said earlier, my least favorite riding condition is FOG. If you can't see where you're going...and that includes INTERNAL fog, as in a foggy face shield. I recently got a "Pinlock" face shield for the Shoei Hornet DS, but haven't really been in conditions to try it out. Including the current trip.

After leaving Seymour, was a bit worried to see the fog (er, cloud at ground level) begin closing in again...


Is the fog really gone for good? (not a good illustration of it, but...)

Turns out the fog WAS gone for good. But it was a little chilly, therefore I was very happy I had that high-calorie (well, relatively) breakfast. I don't eat as much as I used to (when I was a cyclist doing 400+ miles per week) but my body still needs to be fed.

My first fuel stop of the day...for some reason I have a bit of moral turpitude with this particular business...


Wotan isn't sure what to think about "Kum & Go"...doesn't translate into German .

Oh, while I'm thinking of it, I meant to make a couple more comments about the wonderful breakfast at the "Cowboy Cafe." It was definitely a gathering point for the local "Missouri pig farmers" (not casting aspersion at any hog producers, y'unnerstand), and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing their amiable discussions.

Surely most of you have seen "On Any Sunday" (I saw it in the theatre in 1971, neener-neener). D'ya recall the Elsinore Grand Prix (occurred about 20 miles from my hometown), and the "pig farmer from Murrieta?" Hah, hah, good fun. BTW, Murrieta has changed, and ain't many "pig farmers" around those parts anymore. Sigh...wish the property I inherited from my folks had been in Murrieta...it used to be a "wide spot in the road" but is on the "golden corridor" from LA to SD. Unlike my "backwater" home village of Valle Vista. Ah, yes...another of my financial disasters. Like selling the '65 GT-350 Shelby Mustang for $3,750 in 1974. Why did I bring that up?



Musings of a Relaxed Mind...

Compared to, say, southern Ohio's Triple Nickel, US 60 leaving Missouri required somewhat less concentration...leaving my mind some freedom to wander (honest, Mrs. Greg, I'm still focused).

When I pass a car (or, as is more likely on US 60, the reverse), I see the front wheel turning and think "hmm, tapered roller bearing." Can you imagine what the world would've been like if steel couldn't have been hardened? Thinking of bearings makes me consider the journal bearing ("plain" bearing)...oil pressure is only to get the lubricant inside the bearing. Hydrodynamic forces maintain the oil film that separates the bearing surfaces. What a miraculous mechanical device! The hydrodynamics is governed (so to speak) by the Navier-Stokes partial differential equations. Tremendous strides have been made in the past decade in CFD (computational fluid dynamics). Not my area of mechanical engineering, but I tip my hat to them.


My dad's (the legendary "Duke" Starr) birthplace...

I was passing near Carthage, Missouri, my dad's birthplace. Mighty pretty country, and a mighty pretty day...


Green rolling hills of Oklahoma...Dr. Greg's dad's old stompin' ground.

Kinda like seeing Pennsylvania helps me appreciate Mrs. Greg, seeing my dad's country also helps. Not much opportunity in NE Oklahoma in the 30s, so the Starr family moved to "the OC" in SoCal. Couldn't make it there; moved back to OK to "starve with folks they knowed." Then WW II changed everything. Back to the OC, when my dad got out of the Army Air Corps "boy meets girl" and Dr. Greg appeared 9 months (and 2 days) after their marriage. But I digress...


Pioneer Woman Museum.

My situation in Ponca City is 0.7 mile S of the Pioneer Woman Museum, which I intend to visit tomorrow morning before I leave (opens at 1000). I walked (!) up there to check it out, but passed this very cool "memorial garden"...












Some fotos from the garden...pretty cool place!

Finally, here's the statue of the "Pioneer Woman"...I recently read a book of the same name primarily about Kansas pioneer women. The museum here (it's been a while since I've visited a museum; I'm tickled to find this one) should be most interesting.


The statue of the Pioneer Woman (doesn't look like the Pioneer Kid is very happy...)


The Home Stretch...

I'm planning to spend the final night of this trip tomorrow evening in Guymon, Oklahoma. I've not retraced my outbound route completely, but quite close. That's OK, everything looks different going the other way. Sort of...

And I'll be getting home on Sunday, instead of the Monday I expected. So I'll have Monday to clean Wotan, then I'll go to my consulting job (as usual) on Tuesday.

NOTE: Just received an email from the "boss" that four guys at my consulting job (including some I've known for decades) have just been "RIFFED"...dunno yet about Dr. Greg's destiny. Good thing I have Social Security...

--Doc
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:56 AM   #172
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Just caught up on the last couple of days...good luck on the "riffed" situation.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:21 AM   #173
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Hey, almost home. Congrats and thanks for the Guthrie trilogy. They'll be here on Tuesday.

..sorry about the GT350. I had a '63 Stingray I sold for $2200 in 1968 just before shipping off to basic training. and yes I remember the pig farmer at the Elsinore GP. That movie inspired me to enter the Virginia City Grand Prix (1974?). I had a round case Husky 250 for it, not unlike the ones that starred. What a grueling event...

Thanks again
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:30 AM   #174
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On your next trip through the Commonwealth of Kentucky, instead of the WHFWKParkway , a little south is U.S. 68. It is desegnated as a Senic Highway through Kentucky.
It 's far more enjoyable traveling than the Parkway, though a bit more time consuming. 68 takes you past Shakertown in Mercer County and the Jefferson Davis Memorial in Todd County. Further on 68 crosses the Land Between the Lakes . After LBL get off 68 and find your way to Hickman to catch the ferry to Dorena ,Mo. The ride across the Big Muddy will only cost you $5 , well worth it.
I'm no expert on the differences between Amish and Menonites, but , if they travel by car , or bicycle or any other vehicle that has air filled tires, then they're Menonite.
The Amish are prohibited from "riding on air", they can roller blade, roller skate or skate board, on solid wheels.
The Menonites have fewer restrictions, unless they are "Old Order Menonites" ,which have another set of rules.



On the ferry from Hickman to Dorena.
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Old 08-02-2014, 11:29 AM   #175
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Thanks for following. Got a clarifying email from the boss...looks like I'm still around. For a while anyways...I'm pretty low down on the totem pole .

--Doc

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Originally Posted by grahamspc View Post
Just caught up on the last couple of days...good luck on the "riffed" situation.
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Old 08-02-2014, 11:33 AM   #176
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Hey, glad I inspired someone---be sure and read the ABG books in the "proper" chronological order. You'll enjoy them.

And---I won't remind you about the '63 Stingray if you'll agree not to remind me about the '65 GT-350...I think we had this discussion some years ago; I have an anecdote about a '63 Stingray, 4-bbl 365 HP 327 c.i. but I won't go into it here.

--Doc

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Originally Posted by Pantah View Post
Hey, almost home. Congrats and thanks for the Guthrie trilogy. They'll be here on Tuesday.

..sorry about the GT350. I had a '63 Stingray I sold for $2200 in 1968 just before shipping off to basic training. and yes I remember the pig farmer at the Elsinore GP. That movie inspired me to enter the Virginia City Grand Prix (1974?). I had a round case Husky 250 for it, not unlike the ones that starred. What a grueling event...

Thanks again
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Old 08-02-2014, 11:38 AM   #177
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Thanks very much for the alternative KY routing information---KY was a most beautiful state; I plan to see much more in the future, and will likely take your advice to heart.

Unfortunately, by the time I got into KY on this trip I was in "LET'S GET HOME" mode, so wasn't in the mood to dawdle. I did, however, end up finally doing my camping in SW Kentucky, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Thanks for following the RR; always nice to know that someone is actually reading this (besides me )

--Doc

P.S. And thanks for the clarification of Amish/Mennonite practices...I was quite ignorant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bk brkr baker View Post
On your next trip through the Commonwealth of Kentucky, instead of the WHFWKParkway , a little south is U.S. 68. It is desegnated as a Senic Highway through Kentucky.
It 's far more enjoyable traveling than the Parkway, though a bit more time consuming. 68 takes you past Shakertown in Mercer County and the Jefferson Davis Memorial in Todd County. Further on 68 crosses the Land Between the Lakes . After LBL get off 68 and find your way to Hickman to catch the ferry to Dorena ,Mo. The ride across the Big Muddy will only cost you $5 , well worth it.
I'm no expert on the differences between Amish and Menonites, but , if they travel by car , or bicycle or any other vehicle that has air filled tires, then they're Menonite.
The Amish are prohibited from "riding on air", they can roller blade, roller skate or skate board, on solid wheels.
The Menonites have fewer restrictions, unless they are "Old Order Menonites" ,which have another set of rules.
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Old 08-02-2014, 11:47 AM   #178
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Saturday, August 2: Mid-day update.

Stopped in Alva, Oklahoma (up near the Kansas border) for lunch; buncha "good ol' boys" around as usual. One of the older ones is "one-armed"---wonder if it was (1) farming accident, (2) military incident, (3) auto accident, or (4) motorcycle. I ain't a-gonna ask.

Yesterday at lunch a blow-hard was behaving in a very annoying manner...bragging about how many construction crews he had, and just making noise. Very relieved when he left. Glad none of youse guys are like that.


My new camping pillow.

One thing I forgot to mention: for years I've taken a "full-size" pillow camping; just jammed it into my dry bag (made a nice backrest). I finally got tired of its size, and bought a NEMA "Fillow" pillow (sp?) instead. This trip was my first chance to try it. WOW! It was better than my full-size pillow. If any of you are in the market, I'm a true believer in those things. I may use it after I get home.


Pioneer Women museum.

Spent about an hour at the Pioneer Women museum in Ponca City, Oklahoma. It was perfect: not too much stuff (resulting in either spending too much time or missing stuff), but enough to make it worthwhile. Took a buncha pics; I'll post 'em all tonight.

Very nice riding thru northern Oklahoma on rural highways. Taking a slightly different route, but very similar, of course. Will spend tonight in the Guymon area, then home tomorrow!

Thanks for following...

--Doc
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Old 08-02-2014, 12:26 PM   #179
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I'm still following along too Dr. Greg. Don't say a whole lot but am enjoying your RR and pix.
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Old 08-02-2014, 03:55 PM   #180
Dr. Greg OP
Tryin' to get home..
 
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Joined: Nov 2005
Location: ABQ, New Mexico
Oddometer: 1,134
Well, bless your heart...don't need to say anything, just glad to have you still here. Finally got ensconced (BTW, I never knew that word started with "en"...always pronounced it "esconced...and I won the spelling award in BOTH the 7th and 8th grade ) at the end of the day...but I digress as I so often do.

Lotsa stuff to update this evening, better get to work...

--Doc

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Originally Posted by bluestar View Post
I'm still following along too Dr. Greg. Don't say a whole lot but am enjoying your RR and pix.
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