Sunday, April 19, 2009

An Early Trip South

I know, I know it has been awhile since my last post and I really have no excuse. Let me think, I guess that I had a return visit at Mayo in March that went well, and I have been getting some therapy on my jaw, and I had another bout with a respiratory affliction that has come around some with an application of more meds. I gotta say that I am getting a little tired of this stuff. Anyhow last Wednesday I packed up the ST and headed south to Arkansas to check out the roads in that direction for a change. I had been watching the weather in that direction all Spring and it looked as if the weather gods would smile on me if I moved out smartly, so I did. I spent the first night in Kirksville, Missouri and scored a Missouri highway map from a kindly couple that overheard me at the desk inquiring about a map. In way southern Iowa I waved at a lot of Amish kids walking home from school and the motel had a couple van loads of, I am assuming Hutterites maybe, the type of folks that a person can feel safe around. Stopped for a snack someplace the next morning and sat and listened to the banter between the woman at the counter in a MacDonalds and her customers and realized, yup I'm back in the south. South of Rolla the roads got really interesting, rolling and curvy, chasing a herd of horses down the road and a police roadblock. When they noticed my PGR sticker they waved me through. I stopped for a break in Thayer Missouri and got talking with a group of motorcyclists from St. Louis. I was again looking for a map and one of those guys gave me his Arkansas map and then proceeded to hilite the best roads in the northern part of the state. Believe you me just about any road in the north half of Arkansas is a good ride. They have had a terrible ice storm down there recently and I think that almost every tree had the tops broken over, it was really a mess with big stacks of branches by the side of the roads were people had collected them. Anyhow, I had a terrific ride to my next stop at Mountain Home, Arkansas. I did manage to drag my toe once in a corner but other than that I was fairly careful. The next morning it was up across central Missouri through the Lake of the Ozarks area and that area is just nuts with development and traffic etc.. I can see that in the Summer it would be crazy busy in that area and beautiful too. I stopped for dinner and had a talk with an older gentleman that noticed the USS Lassen ball cap of Han's that I was wearing on the trip. He asked if the DDG was a destroyer and I said yes and told me about his experiences on the USS Hopewell DD681 in WWll. He had been at Guam when the Japanese surrendered and talked about two Jap subs flying the white flag and their crews wouldn't look at the Americans. We chatted about Guam some, as I spent some time there too in the 60's. When I went outside there was another older lady checking out the bike and commented how nice it looked, so we talked awhile too, she and her husband used to ride an Indian a long time ago. She told how they used to ride to Colorado and Indianapolis to the races before there were freeways and comfortable rear seating. If a person only wasn't in such a hurry it is amazing the storeys that you run across when you are on a bike, it seems to open up opportunities that you don't get in a car. Anyhow, I made it to Story City, Iowa that night and was at my favorite eating establishment when another older lady wiping tables saw the ball cap and remarked that her husband had been in destroyers in WWll. I have to tell you Hans, that ball cap has gotten more remarks from people than any hat that I have worn lately, thanks again for the gift. After Story City it was an easy 3 hour run home, where I surprised Jan with an early arrival. This morning I headed down to Sioux Falls for a National Guard send off. It was cold and rainy on the way down so I drove that one, luckily I took some warm clothes along as it was to be indoors but ended up outdoors. There were Guards from western Minnesota that filled up 5 planes for a trip to Ft. Hood in Texas for some training before they deploy to Kuwait this time. Tuesday we have a bunch from South Dakota shipping out so maybe I'll ride to that one, if the weather co-operates. Jan and I did spend a weekend with the Theobald boys ( the young ones) a couple weeks ago while their parents ( Steve and Gen) went to Chicago to visit a friend. I did scan a few slides while I was holed up with whatever it is that I had this time and ran across a couple of our eldest child, who now has children older than she was in the pictures. So there it is, any questions leave a comment otherwise be well and stay in touch. Oh ya, the picture with Jan and I in formal wear was at her sister's wedding , Paula and Steve Johnson. Come to think of it there are a lot of Steves around. It is my middle name, my son-in-law's, and brother-in-law's too, whatever. Bye.