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Author Topic: Howdy is home at last but not really  (Read 474 times)

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Offline Howdy

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Howdy is home at last but not really
« on: September 02, 2017, 07:59:11 PM »
Well the Pigroast is finished for the year.  Lots of folks came, lots of pig was eaten, and lots of fat was chewed around the fire, tables, pole barn, out in the yard, and even at the many campgrounds and hotels in the area.  Jeff was a fine host, Tammy worked her fanny off as usual, and everyone had a chance to get something from the tables of gifts and loot.  As always Woodmizer and Stihl donated pleanty of wonderful things, as well as several other vendors.  There is always plenty to go around.  Each year Jeff creates a game to keep things interesting when awarding prizes.  I even won a package of Woodmizer sawmill blades which I traded for a Woodmizer Carhart style jacket due to the fact that I do not own a sawmill.  Somehow I could just see the look on my wife's face if I had won a sawmill and hitched it behind the boat, kiln, and motorbike I am already bringing home.  But the blades as expensive as they were, wew something I just did not have use for.  Many of the guys were looking at me wondering what I was going to do with the award, when I remembered the Woodmizer Carhart jacket I could try to trade for.  It took a fast move and I was successful just before I was swamped with offers to take them off my hands by mill owners. 

There were several new members attending the Pigroast this year and it was very nice to meet them.  I remember my first Pigroast and wondering how the people would see me.  I am not a forestry worker, sawmill owner, wood worker, or even someone who eats Grits.  What could I offer or talk about?  I saw if I just gave people a chance to include me they would and do so warmly.  I wandered from conversation to conversation sampling and learning as folks talked about such a varity of subjects that I easily found I was able to join in or at least listen and learn. 

So now that it is time to return home, I wanted to get a few hours down the road before stopping for the night.  The driving was easy and I was encouraged to keep moving for many hours.  Finally I started trying to find a hotel with rooms available but learned most were booked up.  Mile after mile and still no vacancy.  When I did find someplace with rooms, the cost was far more than I wanted to pay for a few hours sleep.  My goal for the next days travel was Le Clare Iowa and the home of the Antique Archaeology TV program.  I drove right on by cause of no rooms to be found.  Finally I found a Motel 6 about 15 miles West of Le Clear.  This place cured me of staying in Motel 6 hotels.  Gruesome is a kind way of describing the room I was assigned.  It was clean enough (I hope) but the large jetted bathtub sitting in the middle of the room made me wonder what activities may be offered at this place.  I have finally learned what happens to old bed sheets, Motel 6 uses them for towels but the bed was okay... except for the body hidden under the mattress.  It did cause a few lumps and I kept expecting the police to kick in the door.   I didn't look too hard but I did think about checking at the front desk to see if I needed to pay extra due to sharing my room. 

Traveling and road trips has always been a passion for me.  Taking the time to wander from town and village experiencing the local flavors, sights, and opportunities for adventure broadens and enriches a persons life.  Driving across the country using interstate highways and under a time commitment kinda kills the Blue Highways kinda feeling.  No longer does William Least Heat Moon have the vision of American roadways.  Now it seems to be McDonnalds, cheep gas, and questionable hotel rooms with only the roadkill being different.  Self imposed pressure to keep driving and get to the next destination is the norm now.  It's my fault this time.  I want to get home in time for my own family's gathering and so many miles need to be done to keep on schedule.  It would be great to have a book describing where big balls of string are or places to see wonders of the road.  I guess the only way to really experience the amazing land we live in is to have an RV and stop at each bend in the road. 

I have not always done the brightest or smartest things as anyone I know can attest to.  Somehow I got the idea of going through Yellowstone park on the way home.  This path also allows a visit to Wall Drug Store and Mount Rushmore both places I think would be fun to see.  The questionable area is this is Sturgis motorcycle week so I will be sharing the road with 700,000 road weary bikers.  And every hotel will be overbooked plus charging $200 for a seat in the utility closet.  Would it be an experience? Is this something my wife would advise to do?  Can I drive a loaded pickup truck pulling a boat down main street Sturgis?  Do I have a death wish?

Well I have made it to Wall South Dakota, the location of Wall Drug Store.  Yes the famous place which has been advertised on zillions of road side signs and home of a number of shops covering most of Main Street.  Currently the number of motorcycles here only stands at 648 but it's still daylight. Sturgis currently has 697,252.  Kinda makes a fella wonder why bikers choose to dress up in stereotypical garb.  Lots of leather, fringe, and torn tee shirts.  There was also one lady wearing a tee shirt with the fabric missing.  No sleeves, no front, no back.  Just a couple of scraps of cloth and a lot of flesh exposed to the wind.  Must be painful to ride through bugs.  At least she did have some colorful attachments in key areas of her chest.  Or maybe she had already found the bugs.  Either way I did find myself not looking back to check.  I don't have a death wish I guess. 

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has lots of motorcycles.  That is kinda like saying a dog has lots of fleas.  The streets are covered, the sidewalks are covered, the yards of the residences are covered, you get the idea.  For every motorcycle there are at least one person and often two walking around.  Leather is the predominate style of dress, vests, belts, jackets, hats, whatever you can imagine is worn here.  Hats seem to be a statement form of dress, everything from bandannas to top hats, fur and horns, ball caps to things I can't describe.  Lots of tee-shirts with sayings, pictures, and in your face graphics. 

As it is not easy to find parking for a truck and boat, I had to settle for a grocery store lot that promised not to tow your car within the first hour if you shop here.  After purchasing my needs, I wandered around and looked at the vendors each selling much the same as the next one.   Somehow I wasn't in the market for stuff and junk so I found a place to get lunch.  Magic Man's spoon found a willing server to hold it while I took a picture and she didn't even charge me extra.

Leaving Sturgis the next stop was Mt. Rushmore of course.  This was a popular location for motorcycles (go figure) and it was like driving through a swarm of bugs on the highway.  I got the picture I wanted and was able to avoid the $20 charge to enter the monument.  It wasn't easy, the place where I knelt for the picture was where I found the dead critter in the bushes.  I am glad I didn't squish it further and moved to another spot. 

Yellowstone Park beckoned so off I went.  Driving through Wyoming is an experience that I am glad I had the time for.  I am a fan of the Joe Picket novels by C. J. Box.  Reading of the adventures of a Wyoming Game and Fish warden makes a person want to travel down the two track roads and take in the vistas.  I stayed the night in Ten Sleep at the only motel in town which was run by a lady who did everything from front desk to cleaning the rooms.  Rustic but nice rooms offering a good nights sleep for werry travelers. 

Cody was the next stop.  As I had forgotten my electric razor at the Pigroast, I was in need of some cleaning-up.  Being in the wild west meant I needed to find an old time barber who would lay you back, slap on a hot towel, get some soap ready and slather it on while telling you the town gossip.  He would then take a sharp straight edge razor and scrape your skin clean of everything from whiskers to bumps and scars.  Afterward he would smack on some tonic water that guaranteed your skin would sting for a week.  And for this you would only be charged two bits.  Well I found the only barber willing to shave customers if his chair wasn't broken and for this he charged $35 bucks.  I was glad his chair was broken...  It seams not everything is the same as in the movies.

Yellowstone Park is big.  Real big.  Big like Texas is big. And that's just the area roads go through.  I would hate to be the person who was tasked with surveying the entire park, each stream, lake, hill and meadow.   It was enough to know I drove for hours and was still in the park.  One note of satisfaction was instead of charging me the $30 admittance fee the park ranger sold me a lifetime senior pass for admittance to every national park for only $10. At last a bargain.  I have experienced Yellowstone as most have through watching Yogi Bear and Boo Boo try to liberate picnic baskets from visitors while watching out for Ranger Rick the guardian of Jellystone Park.  Alas I did not have a picnic basket so Yogi kept on the lookout for other pickings.  I did have a chance to see Old Faithful blow it's top and even have a picture to prove it.

Leaving the park I entered Idaho where the air was dense with smoke from forest fires.  Once again I was required to stop at a boat inspection site where they power washed the entire underside of the boat and trailer.  States are very determined to stop invasive water life from spreading from invasive areas.  Having a much cleaner boat I spent the night in Pocatello and that's all I have to say about that.  Idaho I a nice enough state I guess but I was feeling the pull of home by this time and failed to see much else. 

Next stop was Pendleton Oregon where I have fond memories of two years attendance at the local community college.  I was from Portland and wanted to go to school away from home but not to far in to get there easily.  That left Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton or Treasure Valley in Bend OR.  I had relatives in Pendleton and nearby towns so it was an easy choice.  I was planing on spending the night but home was only four hours away and I was not tired yet so a quick gas stop and homeward bound I was. 

The boat owner was in Oregon City just outside of Portland and was leaving the next day for the Beach so he was happy to have me deliver the boat that night.  I spent the night in my own bed, cat snuggled up beside me and had a great nights sleep.  I delivered the motorcycle the next day and the truck after that.  It was a good run, I made a little money, got a kiln, and attended the Forestry Forum Pigroast.  How much better can life be?

 (Pictures to come when I get one of my grandsons to figure out how to get them out of my cell phone)

If I am glad to be home, why am I now in Arizona???

Offline 4x4American

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Re: Howdy is home at last but not really
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2017, 09:21:26 PM »
Well now see how'd ya get a senior park pass if your profile says you're 9 years of age lol

Boy, back in my day..

Offline Magicman

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Re: Howdy is home at last but not really
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2017, 09:46:08 PM »
It is always good to read your ramblings Howdy.  It was also a joy to be able to visit with you again at the PR, but time is always limited and visits too short. 

It will be interesting to read about your Arizona trip....I think.   :)
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Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline wesdor

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Re: Howdy is home at last but not really
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2017, 10:21:50 PM »
Always great to read of your adventures. I'm sorry I didn't know you were stopping in LeClaire - it is about 30 minutes from my house and we would have gladly provided a place to stay and fed you, 

You are so right - we live in an amazing country.

Offline submarinesailor

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Re: Howdy is home at last but not really
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2017, 11:43:13 PM »
Visited Yellowstone in 2000, loved it and been trying to get back sice then.


Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Howdy is home at last but not really
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2017, 03:56:12 AM »
 smiley_thumbsup .........Let the good times roll.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Howdy is home at last but not really
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2017, 07:36:58 AM »
Tom would of been proud of your writing skills.
I always enjoy reading your posts.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline gspren

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Re: Howdy is home at last but not really
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2017, 09:02:54 AM »
   Good move to get the lifetime senior pass in August, I believe they went up to $80 in Sept.
Stihl 041, 044 & 261, JD 2355 4X4 w/fel, JD 620, Yamaha Kodiak 400 & trailer, Kubota 400 RTV,  P&M OWB, 75 acres to play.

Online samandothers

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Re: Howdy is home at last but not really
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2017, 09:37:29 AM »
Stories from Arizona?

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