November 10, 2002

As we've done on many occasions before, those from the CMA chapter who could,  volunteered their time to flag the motocross races just south of Odin, KS.  Four of us were able to make it today.  The crowd was smaller than usual today, but the day was clear, sunny, breezy, and cool, and the racing was good.  However, the dirt was the worst I've ever seen.  The quads kicked up more dirt than the motorcycles while they're racing, but the bikes did their share, too.  My eyes burned all the rest of the evening from all the dirt, and didn't stop hurting til the next day.  I'll go back again, though.  Here, again, is the message.

November 15, 16, & 17, 2002

I took off on Friday afternoon headed for Pittsburg, KS, in the far southeastern corner of the State for the Brothers of the Third Wheel meeting on Saturday afternoon.  I rode through the late afternoon and into the evening before I decided to stop in Fredonia, KS, since I did not like riding at dusk and after dark, thinking about crazy deer out running around.  I got a room and went to a restaurant by the motel where I got to talk with quite a few people who saw the BugWing during the time I was there eating.  After eating breakfast the next morning I stopped at a gas station, where 3 came out from inside and others stopped while I got fuel.  I did this photo of 5 of the couple of dozen people I got to talk with while in Fredonia Friday night and Saturday morning before hitting the road again.

For years I've known about and have wanted to see "Big Brutus," which is a coal shovel not far from Pittsburg, outside the town of West Mineral, KS, but I had never gone off the highway a few miles to see it.  I took time on Saturday morning to do that, and I was not disappointed.  That thing is 160 feet tall, and is huge!!  This photo shows some people in the lower right corner to put things into perspective a bit.  A pickup can be driven into the shovel, with room to spare, and, while visiting the museum, I heard a tape playing that showed it in operation and provided some additional information about it.  If I'm not mistaken, I believe I heard a D9 cat could fit into the shovel.  Whatever the case, it's impressive.  The operator sat in a glass enclosed booth near where the boom attaches, and I think that booth is about 5 stories off the ground.  Those over the age of 13 can climb the boom to the top, but I didn't feel a need to do that.  After visiting the museum and talking for a
while with the lady who was on duty, I headed for Pittsburg and the Brothers of the Third Wheel meeting.

The BTW meeting started at 2:00pm and we were out within about an hour.  After a group shot, a more informal meeting continued for a while in the parking lot and was still going on somewhat when I had to hit the road again; this time for Tulsa where I headed to visit one of my sisters and her family.

The road marking is strange in southeast Kansas, or I was in a state of confusion, but I thought I followed the route I planned. I wrote the route on a sticky note and stuck to my dash before leaving Great Bend, but it didn't work.  My plan was to go to Miami, OK, then to Vinita, pick up Route 66, and head on to Tulsa.  However, I somehow wound up near Baxter Springs where I stopped at a station/business that sold motorized parachutes (or whatever they're called) and got some good advice from some really nice people on routes and time it would take to do I-44, or go to 66 and down that way.  Since I wanted to meet my sister and her family in Tulsa for church at 7:00pm, I decided to take I-44 and save time.  I was surprised to find myself in Missouri just a little bit before heading back southwest for Tulsa.

I pulled into Tulsa about 6:30, but had a good time traveling down I-44, having people wave at me or give a thumbs up sign, slow down and do photos as they passed me, and talking with more people in a gas station on I-44.  After a good service at Church on the Move in Tulsa, I sandwiched myself between my sister and her husband in two different vehicles, and we went on another 35 miles or so to their place.

After a good visit with them, some sleep, and more visiting, I got directions out of town and hit the road.  My brother-in-law's directions are like southeast Kansas road signs, or maybe my ability to follow the directions was impaired, but I had fun anyway and went through Sapulpa, even though I don't think that was on the route planned for me.  I remembered Sapulpa from 1963, when my family went to a big lake near there for a little vacation, and I sank my uncle's boat.  Actually, I had help, in that a guy took off in his boat and crossed the ski rope I was trying to pull in.  When he did that, water flooded over the transom and the boat went down in short order.  I had the presence of mind to jump in the front, turn it off, and jump.  About 6 inches of the bow stuck out of the water, and, after a bunch of guys got it pulled in to the shore, they dumped the water out, took the housing off the motor, let it dry for about an hour, and we started skiing again.  I'm not sure why, but I remembered a little gas station, probably on Route 66 in Sapulpa, but it's probably long gone.  Gas stations must fascinate me.  Back in the late 70's and early 80's I did a photo essay on abandoned gas stations and did a one-man show of those photos.

Anyway, I talked with some more people in a gas station there before getting back on the interstate where I eventually hooked up with I-35 and headed north.  Just before I left Oklahoma and crossed into Kansas, I stopped at another gas station where I met Malanie, from Los Angeles, and Harry, although I didn't ask where Harry lived.  I spent maybe 45 minutes in the station talking with them and others, and had a really good time talking with those I met.  It was a special stop on the way.

After making it through Wichita, I stopped for fuel again in Haven and talked with even more people.  When I pulled back into the garage in Great Bend, I had put 787 miles on the BugWing during the weekend.  It was a weekend to remember, but someone needs to read I Corinthians 6: 9-11. Go here, click off the NIV, and click on the Amplified.  Look it up.  Here's the link the message.

November 23, 2002

This morning, I headed out for Hutchinson, KS, for the Reno County toy run.  I was under the impression it started at 11:00am, so, when I got into Hutch, I saw from a block west of Main Street there was a parade going north on Main.  I went south until I crossed the tracks, found a way to the east by the tracks, and joined in the parade behind the street sweeper busy picking up by-products of some four-legged animals ahead somewhere.  I rode up Main Street like I knew what I was doing and like I belonged there, and nobody said a word to me.  The people along the street waved, pointed, grinned, and did photos, and the cops let me go. I had fun <G>

After I went up Main for a while behind the parade and the street sweeper did its thing right ahead of me,  I stopped and asked a cop at an intersection when the toy run started.  He said it started at 1:00, so I peeled off on a side street and let the parade, street sweeper and all, continue without me.  After fueling up and talking with some guys on bikes, also there for the toy run, I had time to go get a toy to donate.  Following that, I went on to Carey Park, where, as chance would have it, I was arrived just as one row of bikes, two-wide, had lined up, so I was directed to the head of the second line where the I parked the BugWing.  I heard someone say later that over 550 bikes entered the toy run, and I have no doubt about that.

When the parade of bikes got under way, we left Carey Park, went up Highway 61, up to 30th and then west, down Main to the south, and then west to where the toys were dropped off.  I put the BugWing in the Sons of Silence bike show and stayed around and talked with people until after the awards were presented.  While waiting at one point, Brad, a friend who used to live in Great Bend, went to his place to get a pristine copy of a 1983 magazine to give to me. It contains an article about a 3-wheel vehicle they called a 3VG, powered by a "16-horsepower, 730cc, two-cylinder industrial engine."  It, too, has two wheels up front.

While on the way back to Great Bend, I goofed off and got a Blizzard in Lyons where I met some more people in the parking lot of the DQ.  I met even more in Great Bend at one of my favorite places; a gas station, before I put the BugWing in the garage and did this update.  Some more found out about the message in various ways today, or, at least, got a reminder.

November 30, 2002

This thing is extending the riding season since I'm not out in the open like I was on a bike.  Today was the McPherson County Toys for Kids run in McPherson, KS, and I think I'd have stayed home if I had not been enclosed for the 120-mile round trip.  I'm not sure how many turned out, but quite a few managed to handle the balmy 39 degrees, with a nice, brisk, North wind.  The group assembled in a Wal-Mart parking lot and I saw some machines I had to photograph for inclusion in this site.  One was this three-wheeler, and another was a BMW. I wish I had been able to get a better shot of it from the side, but I'll do my best to do that later when I see it again.  It's unique.  (If you have a digital shot of it from the side, please send it to me and I'll replace this one). I have a 1981 R100 BMW I've put a lot of miles on and will keep, and I've owned a 1965 R69s that only had 10,000 miles on it, and a 1995 K75s I just sold earlier this year.  I had a Brand X before the R100, and I owned a 1966 650cc BSA Lightning after I got out of the Navy in 1967.  I started on a 1949 Cushman scooter in 1959, but don't have a photo of it.  Basically, it was a bare frame with a single cylinder motor, a centrifugal clutch I can still hear in my mind, and an exposed gas tank that served as a passenger seat on occasion. A local peace officer got exercised about that once. I didn't know. (I got sidetracked again).

People started gathering at 12:00, and, as 1:00pm approached, people started firing up the bikes in preparation to leave.  When we headed out on the run we went west through town, north on old 81, (it's flat here, too, just like a similar shot in Hutchinson last week), east to Main, south down Main, and stopped at the American Legion Post #24 to drop off the toys.  After a cup of coffee, I went to another place and had a bowl of chili where there was going to be an auction.  While on the way home, I stopped in Lyons and met some more people at (where else), a gas station.........

I can't stop without a reference to the message.