Travels with Stella! 2 A Great American Ride--Out West

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Dr. Strangelove
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Re: Travels with Stella! 2 A Great American Ride--Out West

Postby Dr. Strangelove » Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:21 pm

I am rolling, rolling rolling closer and closer to Baxter Springs. Toward Ruth Ann and Lynn in their cut off britches and skinny little halters, but something our of the corner of my eye catches, makes me look and it is...
Kansas.

On this fine spring morning Kansas glistened, sparkled, shone like a Norman Rockwell. You could smell the earth. You could taste Middle America. And it was good. Kansas had many many little towns with past prime facades. Had gas stations with just a cement pad near the pumps. Had teenage girls on cell phones, laughing and talking about who is doing what and why and why not and more giggles.

Kansas seemed to be a nice place. It just had a good feel to it and what started as a spur on the route to find those Rolling Stones lips turned into something more. Something more gentle and something sweeter.

Kansas was green
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Kansas was blue
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and Kansas was gold
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At least the part of Kansas I saw--on State 7 going south.

I get to Baxter Springs, keeping my eye out for Ruth Ann and Lynn, but they are not to be found.

No cut off britches.

No skinny little halters

And I looked and looked and looked, but found no biker bar on main street.

No Lingerie Shop

No Rolling Stones Lips

In fact the only oral reference I saw was this
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There were a couple of murals, but they were not of the hell raisin' variety, pretty subdued really
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What, up, James McMurtry? Were you using that most nefarious of descriptions? "Poetic License?" Oh, Man.

But going to Baxter Springs did get me to a part of the country that surprised and was beautiful in its own way, so thanks, JM. But Ruth Ann and Lynn will live on in my memory.

From here it was high-tailing it home. The Southwestern corner of Missouri did not have the charm of Kansas, to me, and the roads in Arkansas were much more fun...and very familiar now--fourth time there I think.

I rocketed down 23, the Pig Trail and this was the first time I saw it in summer greenery. Stopped at Turner's store, y'all know the drill there, and if you don't, discover it.

I stopped that night in Daisy State Park
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and the next morning did a day long ride home

The trip was finished in all but memory--and working the photos; but it was a blast

There were some insights along the way that will and have helped me with my work, and the Shiprock Peace lingers.

I was gone 21 days, just under 6300 miles, and every moment was an adventure. No journey this--whatever that means.

I had returned to my real journey.

Hope I have been able to share some of the joys of this trip of Stella! and me, Out West.

Later

John
'09 Schwarze Blanche DuBois
Well, don't do that-Hippocrates

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Re: Travels with Stella! 2 A Great American Ride--Out West

Postby iowabeakster » Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:29 pm

Thank you, John. It was a pleasure to read. I was hoping you would: get home, decide to become a vagabond, take off again, and keep writing.

Well Done.
I was dreaming when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray...

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Re: Travels with Stella! 2 A Great American Ride--Out West

Postby Dr. Strangelove » Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:59 pm

Boy, wouldn't that be the life!

Now, if I could get people to believe that I AM that vagabond with no ties, making friends along the road, sponging off of new friends, writing a blog maybe selling some stuff, and traveling with some animal, at least a stuffed one. Well, that would be a real trick. :lol: And to get people to buy it! Yes, there would be a story there, but not the one I told.

I am glad you liked it . I think those middle states like Nebraska and Kansas and Iowa were a real surprise to me. I had only thought I had experienced Middle America before, but I hadn't. I was truly ignorant of what they would be like, but have to say I liked being there. There was a goodness to those areas that no one mentions when they talk of roads and show pictures of half eaten chili dogs.

Be safe.
Thanks again.

John
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Re: Travels with Stella! 2 A Great American Ride--Out West

Postby taosports » Sun Jul 19, 2009 9:23 pm

Thanks for taking us along on your adventure John. You are one hell of a photog and story teller. =D>

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Re: Travels with Stella! 2 A Great American Ride--Out West

Postby duckdave » Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:20 pm

Outstanding. THANKS, I really enjoyed that. And I did the bag mod you suggested with the cotterless pins. Worked out great---thanks for that too.
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Re: Travels with Stella! 2 A Great American Ride--Out West

Postby GypsyRR » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:00 pm

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I've been at that exact same camping spot!! The sunset was gorgeous there.


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Beautiful spot and wonderful memories from when I was there 14 months ago. The one that sticks out in my mind is catching bluegills from the banks, and also losing my loofah as it rolled under my trailer while heading to the showers one evening there. I think I laughed at myself till I cried that evening. Oh yeah, and I remember the moon that night shinning through a quilted sky with just a couple of stars like diamonds in the dark ---- ahhhhh, thank you for reminding me that I need to hit the road!!

This was a great ride report. Your stories along with the photos made it especially fun to read. I hope to see those areas of southern Utah that you rode through sometime. Thank you again. What a ride.
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Re: Travels with Stella! 2 A Great American Ride--Out West

Postby Dr. Strangelove » Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:16 pm

gee, Peeps,

thanks a bunch

I was told once not to make these reports "too wordy" because the readers only want to look at pictures. Maybe that is not true for this forum's members. Sometimes I get carried away a bit when writing, but I have always just listened to people because the vanilla mundane common conversations are what makes everyone unique. It is called eaves-dropping I believe :)

I am glad y'all appreciated it. It was fun to relate.

And Gypsy, Daisy is a favorite of mine also and as with you, lives on in memory for me.

"Quilted sky," hunh? Like that. I have never heard of an elusive loofah

John
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Re: Travels with Stella! 2 A Great American Ride--Out West

Postby Jaguar5 » Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:25 am

John,

Please do not change a thing about the way you document your rides!

I thoroughly enjoyed this write-up...it is inspirational. You have done an outstanding job of documenting your travels through our great country. I found myself logging on to the website just to find out if you had posted another installment. While I will most likely never take on such an adventure, reading your words and viewing your wonderful pictures makes me feel like I already have.

Thank you for sharing your experiences in such a manner.

Randy
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Re: Travels with Stella! 2 A Great American Ride--Out West

Postby bobw » Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:56 am

I just enjoyed your post from start to finish,,,,,,,again! I agree that you should not change your style. You are one of the truely gifted story tellers that grace these forums.

Safe travels and thanks again.

Bob

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Re: Travels with Stella! 2 A Great American Ride--Out West

Postby Dr. Strangelove » Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:08 am

wow, thnks, B

encouragement will only expose you to more or be careful what you wish for.

I find by just listening to people--and I have to talk to many in my work--you can pick up all sorts of, what is referred to in New Orleans, as "local color." We have that coming out the wazoo, and many different types, not just one. And then just repeat it...verbatim. And now that I work "across the Lake" where many were transplanted (emigrated) after Katrina, The Great Leveler, there are so many different types of accents, now being exposed to some very rural ones, that listening is very entertaining, and sometimes they come up with some real pearls.

I remember talking with a lady who was going to have, I don't remember, something, gallbladder maybe, anyway...I reviewed her history and was going over it, telling her what to expect, yada yada yada, and she says, " You know I am a transplant." You tell that to an MD getting a history, and he, I, responds in a knee-jerk fashion, " No, I didn't see that ( and really concerned as that changes a lot of things); what kind? (meaning Heart? Kidney? liver? Pancreas?)" She says, "huh?" I say, "No, I didn't see that...what kind? kidney? pancreas?"
" Oh, no, dawlin' We're from Chalmette." We all really laughed about that because it was so much an inside joke for us all and I told her I would tell that story to my grave. She did see the humor in it.

Chalmette is a suburb of New orleans, "in da Parish," meaning St Bernard Parish (county to y'all), that is mostly white middle class hard working people that were 100% flooded by Katrina, big time, over their roofs, and for white shrimping boots. It is local color because of the prevailing accent there which is sort of a Brooklynese, but referred to as a "Yat" accent, as in a standard greeting---Where Y'At (dawlin' optional). Literally translated that means Where Are You? but means How are you? The answer to Where y'at? is " Awright" assuming you are, in fact, Alright. Or this would serve as an opening to expand on how you are in fact doing...You could talk (tawk) about your mother (ya momma) or the extended family, (ya momma n em) Chalmette is a place of its own and as such the residents, or those of Chamette ethnicity (ok, that's a stretch, but you get the idea) those residents are referred to as "Chalmations." And smile when you say that. And there is a town called Violet farther down the river and its residents are referred to as Violations--yes we laugh when we say that.
Every little area is very provincial. Especially places like Chalmette.

But it is fun to relate it. I think most people can do it, if they just try. There are conversations that occur in daily life that, if repeated, bring others smack into a scene. Anyway...

Planning for the next one---

your comments are much appreciated

John
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Well, don't do that-Hippocrates

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Re: Travels with Stella! 2 A Great American Ride--Out West

Postby Sunbeemer » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:40 pm

Others have already said it, but I wanted to say it too, "What a GREAT ride report!" I truly enjoyed the story and the magnificent scenery captured truthfully by your lens.

I hope you won't mind that I have excerpted bits of your narrative to use for my future travel planning (your best roads, how you packed, etc.). Afterall, imitation is the highest form of flattery, right?

Also, I appreciate how much time and effort it takes to stop and get such pictures, not to mention writing, editing, and posting, and want you to know that it is most certainly appreciated, apparently by everyone who read it!
=D> =D> =D> =D> =D>

So, go for another ride soon...we can hardly wait [-o< !

Rich
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Re: Travels with Stella! 2 A Great American Ride--Out West

Postby DocStrange » Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:53 pm

I know this is many months after most here got to enjoy this, but I just wanted to say that this ride report was absolutely tremendous -- the beautiful photos and the terrific writing and the inspirational route. I am going to be coming back to it again and again when planning my trips to take note of those many hidden gems you found -- campsites, restaurants, roads -- and, too, the hidden, er, traps (of the speed variety). The fact that your bike is almost exactly the same as the one I am in the middle of buying made it all the more evocative.

Thank you!

Thomas
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Re: Travels with Stella! 2 A Great American Ride--Out West

Postby Dr. Strangelove » Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:24 pm

Thanks, Doc. Appreciate the kind words.

check pm

John
'09 Schwarze Blanche DuBois
Well, don't do that-Hippocrates

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Re: Travels with Stella! 2 A Great American Ride--Out West

Postby VSK » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:02 pm

Glad this thread received a bump up. Or noobs like me would never have had the pleasure of reading it!

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Re: Travels with Stella! 2 A Great American Ride--Out West

Postby fpgirard » Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:27 pm

I just saw this - wow...... inspirational.

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Re: Travels with Stella! 2 A Great American Ride--Out West

Postby skylarmav1 » Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:19 am

Sat morning, a couple days after the hustle and revelry of the new year and I'm sitting having a cup of coffee. Half watching the strange ice storm outside and half scouring the forum pages for techie info and tidbits to keep my Blue Beakster in top running shape. I stumble upon your journey and for the next 1.5 hours did not just read, but was drawn into this adventure like it was a classic tale of man and machine exploring a new found continent. I know it's been many years since this trip, but your words and pics make it as timeless as the landscapes you visited. Very cool. Thx.

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Re: Travels with Stella! 2 A Great American Ride--Out West

Postby Dr. Strangelove » Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:29 pm

Thanks, skylarmav...appreciate it. check out the others. Stella! now lives in College Station, Tx, but I ride her sister, Blanche DuBois now, and she's brought me to some interesting places, too.

John
'09 Schwarze Blanche DuBois
Well, don't do that-Hippocrates


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