Tuesday, May 3, 2016

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Overnight in Kansas

I've been way behind on posting to the Memoryroads blog, but will begin posting more often as well as going back to fill in some of the recent past.

However, I have just left Omaha where I participated in a dual exercise combining efforts of Team Rubicon and Habitat for Humanity.  I stopped for an overnight break in a wayside park across from the Kansas Wetlands Educational Center on Rt. 156.  It is a beautiful view overlooking the Cheyenne Bottom Lands  which is the largest marsh in the United States and an absolute necessity for migratory birds!

It was cool this morning to say the least, and very very windy last night, but this morning, skies are clear and the sun is out.  A good day!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Natchez, Mississippi

It was late February and I had 2 goals coming up quickly.  One was a quick 4 day weekend event, early in April, in Omaha, Nebraska as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity's Disaster Corp/Rebuild Team and another event in  Hobbs, New Mexico as a volunteer for a month of home building.
Trying to put everything together in my life in Florida, so I could get on the road, meant...Get Going!!!  I had prepped my home and vehicles early enough to get on the road and allow a couple of extra days, should I need them for some unforeseen problem.

 Loaded my new bike onto my new Pick Up which were to be towed behind my motor home.
 Relaxed for a bit watching the last sunset I'd see for many months out of my driveway in N. Fl.

 I found myself arriving in Natchez, Ms. making good time but I needed to figure out some details before going further.

Omaha was now almost directly North of me and Hobbs was due West.  I planned for and bought airline tickets before leaving Florida.  The plan was, for a round trip between Dallas, TX. and Omaha and leaving my rig, towed vehicle and dog somewhere near Dallas, safe for my weekend trip.  In my mind, I could not, in my short time available, satisfy my concerns of safety.  My only option then was to just drive to Omaha and then back south to Hobbs, NM.

That was not a problem as I had the time set aside if needed.  I also had time to visit Natchez, Ms. which I had never visited.  I was camped in a state park, NE of Natchez about 10 miles out.

  It was a great place, on a large lake, to relax and take long walks, which Pete(my dog) and I did in the evenings.  Actually, I was able to take the same spot I parked in years ago, in my Class C RV.

I had picked up some brochures at the Mississippi Welcome Center on the Interstate and decided to tour a Natchez old mansion, of which there were about a dozen with tours.

Shields Town House  1860
The Towers   1798
Pleasant Hill   1835
Elgin   1792
Hawthorne   1814
Gov. Holmes House   1794
Linden   1800
Selma   1811
Brandon Hall   1856
Richmond   1784-1832
Melrose   1842-1848
Longwood   1860-1861*
Rosalie   1820
Stanton Hall   1857

 I love history.  A local gal at an Indian Museum I visited day 2, said she felt one home was special.(*)  Longwood.
The largest Octagon shaped home in the United States, Longwood, with intended 30,000 sq. ft. of interior space.  The construction of this home was begun just before the Civil War and due to the workers mostly being from Pennsylvania, was never completed as they quickly fled north to sign up for military duty.

Longwood property was bought by Dr. Haller Nutt to satisfy his wife's dream. He owned 43,000 acres, had 800 slaves and had an income of $228,000 in 1860.  The Civil War certainly changed lives. He and his wife plus11 children ended up living in the only finished part of the home, the basement soon after the war started.  He died soon of pneumonia, after loosing his financial wealth to the war. His wife managed to raise the children and continued living in the home until she passed in her nineties. 
The family kept the home until the 1960's and the new owners paid for the basic stabilization of the old structure before giving it to the City of Natchez for Historical Preservation.
 Looking into the center of the home's 8 sided central room, tour in progress.
 Side room with stored original materials.  Windows were never completed.

 Interior main floor and upper floors were never finished.  The central room looked up to a rotunda 6 stories up.  Amazing architecture and craftsmanship.
This is only a short part of the entry driveway into the property but if I heard correctly, the land baron and cotton magnate owned 6 or 7 plantations and 27,000 acres. 

Driving into town I passed a local bar/lounge one afternoon and this Rat Rod was sitting outside.  I had to turn around and take a closer look.  It was really 'rattie' and as such, quite cool.
  Check out the 'seats.'
I wouldn't want to drive this a long distance!

From here, I drove north to Omaha, and very much more comfortable than in this.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

New Postings

After leaving Alaska's Arctic, I proceeded over into the Canadian Yukon along the Top of the World Highway to the old gold mining town of  Dawson City.  All of this road trip was Spectacular!

The trip south from there was no less wonderful and I will be slowly but surely posting more and more photos and some text explaining them.  I just had to catch my breath once returning to Florida and get some of life's necessities back in order.

Before saying good night tonight, I'll throw in a few photos but will wait to add text.

I'm considering putting together a movie with about 10 minutes of video highlights on Youtube.  Is there interest out there for this?  If so, please use the comment box below.

thanks and goodnight!
 Montana Sun Setting

 Hay Festival near Lewiston

 Blackfeet Nation

 Lewis and Clark Museum

Midwestern towns say things straight up!

 Early Stude-a-whatcha-gonna call it.

Southern Montana Sunset

 Cape Canaveral missle mishap a few weeks ago.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Lincoln Tritt

             These words by Lincoln Tritt hang in the museum at Alaska University, Fairbanks.

The Arctic's Beaufort Sea to Fairbanks, Alaska

Dirty is too gentle a term for the condition of my RV once in Prudoe Bay.  It took $38 in quarters to get it near normal at a car wash once back in Fairbanks.
I had passed this young man Tyson, P. who was on a bicycle. I was then traveling north but decided to stop and see if he needed anything on my trip back south.  He, like the other rider, Radu the Romanian, I chatted with days earlier, asked for water. I also gave him a couple of cokes (His expression was like a child at Christmas!  His eyes lit up when seeing the cold cans of coke!  Funny.)

We exchanged info and traveled on but I've been in contact with him.. he's fine and now in Fairbanks.
It's a long trip on 2 wheels, when you are alone in bear country.  He had a scary story to tell me..but that's another story.

I stopped once again in Wiseman, Ak., a very small village off the main road.  Something told me I needed to see more and I did.  I ran into the man who had created a mini museum there and he took the time to open it up and discuss his history and that of his village.

Clutch is his name and hockey was his game.  He still plays in Masters events around the state.

We were supposedly trying to get a photo of the Caterpillar casting shown on the top of this radiator, but we kept joking around.

The prayer chapel was another place I wanted to revisit.  A time capsule saved for visitors and the locals.  It felt magically special inside.  Definitely there was a presence.
 The chapel had a 'mud room' at it's entry, for wood storage, a little generator and a sign in book.

 The rear of  the 20' room.
The original wood burning stove and some coffee makings for anyone to enjoy.

This state is huge!  Did I say that before?  Yikes it's big.  Miles and miles of Miles and miles....but so captivating! Often 30 mile visibility in all directions and probably no other human but yourself.
 Gravel roads with plenty of patches and pot holes.

 From the northern city of Fairbanks to nearly 500 miles further north to the end at latitude 70deg.15.19min., the single road was often in miserable condition but drivable.  When it was raining, which was often, the pot holes which were often deep, would fill with water, so you would have no idea as to how deep they were.  One wheel or the other was always in one.  For 125 miles to and from Camp Deadhorse at the northern end, I averaged 15 mph, to save by class c from being too beaten up by the roads.  One of my engine batteries broke loose so I had to McGyver it back into a safe position and part of my air suspension bent out of shape, pinched an airline causing my RV to drive at an angle..but I made the trip all the way back to Florida, just fine.
This was inside camp Dead Horse at Prudoe Bay. Even here, they could not keep up with road maintenance.

Yes, I stopped to let geese cross the road.

 Oh yes....snow and fog especially in the Atigun Pass and the drive 50 miles north of it.  Often the visability was maybe 100' and that was in avalanche zones.

A black bear had been sitting on the right side of the road.  He had noticed me before I noticed him, but quickly took off running.  I blasted my horn to make sure he kept running away, wanting him to fear roads.  click the video. (my little dog Pete, could not control himself verbally!)


Monday, August 10, 2015

North to the Arctic Ocean

 From Fairbanks and back is almost 1000 miles.
 Riverside campsite aside Middle Fork Koyukuk River, at village of Wiseman, Ak.

 Off the road and down 15' was this pick up and beer cans.....

 Avalanche area? Oh sh__!

 Wiseman, population 14.  Nice little town though.  I met good folks.
 1929 Catapiller.

 Young Romanian named Radu, biking from Prudhoe Bay to Argentina. (I stopped and asked and glad I did, he needed some drinking water.)
 This Land Rover took 50 years to get to their finish line, the Arctic.  They started in Argentina in 1960.  Long story to be documented by the BBC.
The young Romanian biker as we stood on the mountain side in the rain.

Pipeline at Coldfoot.

 Some roads led to interesting old towns and also...small bridges to get there.
 A long way north but still driving up to 70 degrees, 15 minutes, and 19 seconds of Latitude, which is another 227 miles to the end of the road.  (as the crow flies)
Atigun mountain pass had steep incline, rain and poor visibility; all through numerous avalanche zones.

The gravel road was full of pot holes and patches; muddy and slippery.  Often had to reduce speed to 5-15 mph, but at times could make 35-40.

Grizzly foraging..
 Pot holes, inside of pot holes! Miserable driving.
And this is mid August weather.

Prudhoe Bay Hotel:  Heated trailers combined as a living station for Oil related workers.  Great prime rib, rock fish and chicken wing dinner.  Yes, I had them all!  Heading to the Arctic Ocean in the morning.

And finally the Arctic Ocean !  33 degrees, raining and windy. .... I 'love' the South !!  ;)