October, 2003

October 4-5, 2003

The day started off cool and overcast, but I headed down to Medicine Lodge for the Toys for Tots toy run put on by the Gabriel's Thunder chapter of CMA, and others,  in the Pratt and Medicine Lodge area.  Bikes met in front of the Assembly of God church and registration was between 9:00am and 10:30.  Some of the Southern Cruisers Riding Club members from Alva, OK, came up, and I got to talk a little with them about some of the Okie culture I missed a few weeks ago when I wasn't able to go down there for the bike show and burnout contest I look forward to each year.

After registration,  the run followed and took about 45 minutes to ride out east of town and loop back by taking a county road to the north and then back to the west.  After the run, they served a free meal and bike games followed that.  The most interesting bike game had two contestants at a time park their bikes facing each other, following which they walked to a spot about 50 feet away where they put their heads on ball bats and kept them there while they walked/ran around in a circle 10 times.  After that, they were to run to their bikes, turn the key on, and honk the horn.  The first to get to his/her bike and honk the horn, won. Mike and Pat are shown here getting ready to spin.  Pat made his 10 revolutions first, but fell to his hands and knees and crawled since he couldn't walk straight.  Mike finished his 10 revolutions and took off to the south headed for the bikes, but wound up heading west on a crooked course out of the photo before he fell down. Try it some time, but do it in a wide-open area where you won't crash into trees, bikes, etc!!

Around 2:30 or so in the afternoon I headed out.  I took the same course I followed last year, heading for Emporia where I spent the night at a friend's house.  I didn't have any fender trouble as I passed through Danville this time, but I made stops in Winfield where I met and got to talk with a guy named Charlie who posted this, and then I made another stop in Eureka to visit some relatives and to eat.  I finally made it to Emporia around 9:00pm.

By 6:00am on Sunday morning I was on the road heading to Cassoday for the monthly Biker Breakfast.   The Cassoday Cafe serves breakfast, but a number of street vendors do the same thing so there is plenty of food and a lot of bikes to look at.  Out CMA chapter had the responsibility for working the CMA booth this month, but the work is really done by Bill and Deb and a couple of others from the Hyway Harvesters chapter out of Augusta since they haul to and from Cassoday each month all that is needed, and then set it up and take it down.  Their efforts are very much appreciated!!

At some point in the morning I did this photo of some of the street while looking out from under the CMA canopy where free coffee, water, lemonade, and Gospel tracts are available, along with people who are willing to help in any way possible.   I did another photo looking down the street to the west, and, although I didn't get to run around much to see the bikes and I wasn't there for that purpose,  I did spot this
single cylinder John Deere-powered ice cream maker and had to do a photo of it.

After things were packed up in Cassoday I decided to head north on Highway 177.
 I thought about going to Manhattan and visiting some friends, but I found myself stopped in Cottonwood Falls where I got gas and decided to eat some lunch.   I ran into some bikers who just had just finished lunch downtown at the Emma Chase Cafe so I made a stop there, parking right in front of the cafe just down the street from the oldest, continuously used courthouse west of the Mississippi.  The stop at the Emma Chase Cafe was worth it, and I got to meet and talk for some time with Sue who owns the place and turns into Miss Emma when she puts on one of her hats.  She has a lot going on at her cafe and I can see myself going back there soon.  When it was time for me to hit the road, Miss Emma accompanied me out to the BugWing and I did one more photo of her in front of the cafe before riding off into the sunset.

A number of people came by and looked at the BugWing while I was in Cassoday, and one even posted another reference to it in a different site after he returned to his home.  It's clear he and some others don't care for "Bible Thumpers,"  but I understand that since there was a long period in my life when I didn't care for them either.  My spiritual eyes were finally opened, though, and now I are one!!  I'm not going to force anything on anyone, but I've been on both sides of the issue and I can see and discuss it from experience on both sides.  Also, I know they're not rejecting me.  They're rejecting the Author and they'll have to take it up with Him at some point and tell Him His Word is foolishness.  

Their references to this site basically being cluttered with Scripture and Bible stuff reminded me of, what else, more Scripture.  For example, at no extra charge, I thought first of the very page referred to in his post above that explains the problem.  With regard to my reference above to the "Author," I thought of:

2 Timothy 3: 16
Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God's will in thought, purpose, and action)...

I thought of:

John 15
18If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you.
19If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world [no longer one with it], but I have chosen (selected) you out of the world, the world hates (detests) you.
20Remember that I told you, A servant is not greater than his master [is not superior to him]. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word and obeyed My teachings, they will also keep and obey yours.
21But they will do all this to you [inflict all this suffering on you] because of [your bearing] My name and on My account, for they do not know or understand the One Who sent Me.

I thought of:

Matthew 7
13Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it.
14But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.

I thought of:

Romans 14
10Why do you criticize and pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you look down upon or despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.
11For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God [acknowledge Him to His honor and to His praise].
12And so each of us shall give an account of himself [give an answer in reference to judgment] to God.

Those of you who pray might pray for these guys and others who think this is all a bunch of nonsense.
 Some of you have also been where I came from and know what's possible in terms of turning around as a result of having the spiritual eyes opened.  While I was sitting in a bar about 1:40am in the morning on September 22, 1985, God got my attention and my eyes opened up enough that I knew I had to leave and change direction.  A few hours later,  I was in church where Biblical truth is preached and not watered down or distorted.  I did an about face that day.  It's possible for them, too, and I pray it happens.  

October 11, 2003

Last night, in preparation for leaving today, I did something I've thought of doing for some time.   You've read my whining about the BugWing feeling like it's starving for fuel sometimes, and how it has done it intermittently as I ride.  Not only that, but it has done it since the day I put it on the road.  I've tried new fuel filters, a new air cleaner, drilling holes in the breather box and making what appears to be velocity stacks out of the tops of spray bottles, and I also had the gas cap top drilled out, and had a fitting welded in place on the top so I could attach a piece of fuel line to the fitting to allow more air into the gas tank.  They've all helped, but nothing had stopped the thing from running fine for a while, feeling starved for fuel for a while, running fine for a while, etc.  The problem has baffled the best mechanical minds in the country.

Fed up, I got my drill out last night, put a 1/8" or so bit in it, unscrewed the fitting on top of the gas cap, held the gas cap up against the garage wall, and drilled all the way through the stinking thing in a few seconds, all while snarling, "Nyah ah ah!!"   I screwed the fitting back into the gas cap, attached the fuel line vent hose to it, put the gas cap back on the BugWing, and got a good night of sleep, filled with confidence in my ability to solve the problem.  When I got up this morning to head for Augusta for the CMA Chapter President's meeting, I fired it up, let it warm up, and hit the road, sure that my drilling last night had, in fact,  worked wonders.  Of course, it had.  The problem is solved!!  It ran fine all the way to Augusta and back.

Well, not quite to Augusta.  I met Les and Lola in Cassoday last week for the first time, and they were handing out flyers for the bike show in Andover today. Since Andover and Augusta are relatively close to each other, I rode to Andover and left the BugWing on the street where the bike show was being held.  Les said he'd make arrangements for a ride to Augusta, but he just gave me the keys to his vehicle and I used it to get to Augusta for the President's meeting that started at 10:00am.

After the meeting, I got back into the "sewing machine" (Lola's label for it, Les...not mine), and headed back to Andover around 3:15 or so.  Lola was working the registration table.  I intended to get a photo of her with Les, but I forgot to get back over there to get a shot of them together.  They did the organizing for the event, and some of the entries in the show are shown here.  I spotted the "Best of Show" trophy made out of a cylinder, flywheel, pistons, and rods from a Brand X motor, and secretly fantasized about taking it home with me.  Never have I wanted a trophy as much as I wanted that one.   It was the coolest trophy I've ever seen.  It was not to be, however, since something with chrome, no dirt, no bugs, and no paint chips probably got the "Best of Show" trophy.  
I found out who made it, though.  

Nursing my wounds and deep disappointment as a result of not winning, and realizing then I had some "issues" I had not dealt with yet,  I dried my tears enough to see,  fired it back up, and headed off to a more friendly part of the State.  I'm not sure if it could be sequelae related to my issues, or if it was the Chicken Fettucine Alfredo I had in Hutchinson on the way home, but something made me sick.

I'm all better now, and I'll be back out on the road...........

October ??, 2003

Now and then we all have experiences we have trouble explaining, and last night and today was one of those.  My wife came into the room where I was seated last night and asked me if I heard something outside or in the driveway.  Given the hearing loss I've experienced, I said, "Huh?"  She then explained she heard some sort of whirring or whining sound outside, and, when she looked out, she thought she saw a single light moving slowly in a circle, she thought she saw smoke or some kind of mist rising in the darkness, and all that was accompanied by that loud whirring or whining sound she mentioned.  I was at a loss since I'd heard nothing and I hadn't seen what she described, so I thought nothing more of it...........until this morning.

When I went outside to leave, I noticed what I'm going to call a "pavement circle."  As far as I can determine, no one has ever reported this phenomenon before. There, in the driveway, right behind and slightly to the Northwest of where I parked, I spotted it.  Given my wife's description, I could probably easily explain this circle as being rubber someone burned on the driveway with a motorcycle.  We know several who are capable of such a feat, but I'm skeptical and don't think it's that easily explained

As I approached the "pavement circle," I noticed
my compass would spin wildly in the counterclockwise direction, before reversing and spinning the other direction.  Wind seemed to be pulled from all directions toward the center where it suddenly shot upward.  Children and small animals seemed to avoid it. Right away, I had neighbors coming around claiming to have done it with a piece of tire tied to a length of rope, and they demonstrated how they supposedly pushed the tire on the pavement with their feet to make the circle.  Some even went so far as to make whirring, whining sounds.   It seemed pretty weird to me. Explain it as you will, but you saw whatever it is mentioned here first.

October 18 & 19, 2003

On Saturday I took it easy getting ready for the day, and missed the run preceding the toy run here today.  Since I missed that, I went to the city park a bit before 2:00pm and watched as others arrived for the parade.  While hanging out there I ran into Todd, who is with Bikers of Central Kansas, and talked to a number of others I know.  After the group arrived from the run, everyone assembled for the trip down Main Street and out to Wal-Mart where the toys were handed off and they held a drawing for a leather jacket.

Later in the afternoon, I met Curt of Bikers of Central Kansas, and Dr. Kirby, in the city park where I did a series of photos of Doc's 1952, restored, K-bike. Curt placed information about it in the BOCK site, and that write-up can be found here.  Unknown to me at the time, Curt was doing some photos of me doing the photos.  When we finished in the park, we moved to another location where I did some more photos of the bike.

On Sunday, I felt a need to get in the BugWing and head out for Nebraska.  My goal was to find the cousin I bought the GoldWing motorcycle from that powers the BugWing, and also to meet people along the way and have an opportunity to talk with them.  I changed course while riding and decided to go through Hays, Kansas, where I went to college at Fort Hays State University following my time in the Navy.  It was called Fort Hays Kansas State College when I was there, and I left after completing my graduate work in December, 1974.  The place has changed a lot since then through the addition of a number of buildings, and the destruction of a dorm.  I parked in front of Picken and Martin Allen for this photo, in front of Sheridan Coliseum for this one, and in front of McCartney for this one.  McCartney used to be the library, and I wish it still looked the same inside.

When I left the campus I headed east to Main Street, and then to the north.  It's not the Main Street I remember, but that's the way it goes.  While meandering around downtown a while I noticed some places were still there and didn't appear to have changed at all in the past 29 years since I left.  I could write at length about the time in Hays, but won't.  When I turned one corner I noticed a family on bicycles, and the father seemed to be pointing out the BugWing to someone in a child carrier behind his bicycle.  I waved, turned the corner, went around a block, and ran into them again.  I stopped, we talked for a while, and I found out their little boy has quite an interest in VW Bugs.

When I got back on the road I went on to Alma, Nebraska, and found my cousin Randy, and Pam.   He knew I had the BugWing under construction and knew I had it on the road, but he had only seen photos of it.  After visiting with them for a while, I was back on the road to visit my aunt, uncle, Randy's sister, and her husband in Holdrege where my aunt was in the hospital.  Following tha visit, I headed back south through Phillipsburg, and then over to Agra, Kansas.  After I was born, my family lived on a farm out in the hills north and west of Agra until I was about 4 years old.  There isn't much left of that town.

I did a U-turn and stopped at this point on the north end of Main Street in Agra where a Sheriff's deputy pulled up and expressed some curiosity about what I was riding.  We talked for a while and I learned of another car show next Labor Day.  He suggested I might want to enter the BugWing.  After we talked, I headed over to Smith Center where I talked with a guy for a while in a gas station, and then asked him if he knew where the house was that used to be the hospital.  He asked me if I had been born there, I told him I had, and he led me to the house about 4 blocks to the south of Highway 36.  When I pulled up there I met a number of people out front, and then met the owners of the house that now serves as a Bed and Breakfast.  They had a book those who had been born there could sign, so I got to do that.  After talking with some in the group for a while I got ready to go, but then met four young people who checked out the BugWing for a while. After talking with them, I got back on the road.  I made one stop in Osborne for a banana and talked to some people at a grocery store, and didn't stop again until I made it back to Great Bend.