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by Lloyd Treichel
Dateline: September 20, 2003 -- Loveland, CO
The last Wandrin update from Green Bay said I was headed to Junction City, Kansas to pick up Wandrin Wagon Junior (my new rig). However, a phone call determined that it was not going to be ready after Labor Day. Since I am used to making changes in the plans, I drove straight to Denver on the red roads (freeways) and camped at Wal-Mart most times.
As this column is posted, I am headed to Rocky Mountain National Park for a few days of hiking and viewing of the fall colors.
Following my son's wedding the weekend of the 27th, I will head to Junction City. This time the new rig will be ready. After that my plans are to head to Texas.
My apologies to all who had expected a virtual tour of the new rig. I'm as bummed as you are.
In spite of the "red road" journey to Denver, some of the stops along the way:
Spam Museum ... This is not to be confused with the unwanted email you receive. Hormel created this museum to honor its company history including its world famous Spam since which was introduced in the 1930s. The Museum is in Austin, Minnesota right off I-90. The friendly Spambassadors (try to say that with a straight face) are there to answer your questions just in case the museum displays and visuals are unclear. Finally, there is the museum store where you can purchase Spam and Hormel products in addition to T-shirts to tennis balls with the Spam logo. I'll bet that's something you have always wanted.
Archway Monument ... Near Kearney, Nebraska over the I-80 is the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument. The exhibits within the Archway tell the story of connecting the east to the west coast of the United States. This is a monument to the many routes that crossed this area from Indian paths; to the Oregon Trail; to the railroad; to the Lincoln Highway and to I-80. The Archway is located 1733 miles from Boston and 1733 miles from San Francisco; sort of the mid point between the coasts. You might want to remember these facts. It may come up in Trivial Pursuit. If not, consider yourself well informed.
Petrified Wood Gallery ... is located in Ogallala, Nebraska. I have a fascination for rocks from the fossilized evidence of life long ago to the building of homes with rock. The Petrified Wood Gallery comes from the imagination of twin brothers who at this writing are 75 years old. They started out collecting arrow heads when they were boys and in time expanded it to petrified wood. The well-documented displays of petrified wood include the usual to the unusual and have been gathered from around the world.
Hiking.... After several months of putting on weight and losing lots of muscle tone, I did some hiking. Needless to say I was out of shape. At the trail head of a hike, there was a sign warning me that I was entering mountain lion habitat. I didn't see one, but there was evidence that coyote frequent the area. From the scat that I saw it appeared that these coyotes were vegetarians.
Scarier than the mountain lions that hang out in those hills are the mosquitoes. After splattering the the blood and squashing the mosquito, I wonder where he came from. Was he a local type or from some place west of the Nile.
On one of my hikes, I was on a trail which is shared by horses, hikers and bikers. You won't believe this, but a biker actually yielded the trail to me. That was a first!
Boulder, Colorado ... Trying to park Silver Slug in the parking spaces designed for compact cars is a bit of a struggle. I end up taking two spaces and walk to my destination.
Cinnamon Roll Search ... A confession: I don't care for deep fried bakery items with the exception of apple fritters. They are so good, that when the craving hits, I go for it. That is one thing that can be found in most any bakery.
Years ago before I would head on my hikes I would stop at a one man bakery which had great apple fritters. I would buy one to go and at the destination of my hike, I enjoyed the view and the apple fritter. Any guilt that I had was relieved by knowing that I could hike off the calories that I just ingested.
That same one man bakery (no longer in business) had told me that the apple fritter was the last item to be made after all the other items. He referred to it as the garbage collection of the left over dough from all the other items. Add cinnamon and apples to hide any lingering flavors and then deep fry it. That was why it tasted so good....
If I want a baked item and there are no cinnamon rolls, my usual choice is a turnover -- apple most frequently.
Ego Plates ....
1XX 1XY -- On a van. Children are a boy and a girl?
LADYZMN -- on a PT cruiser. The guy didn't look like an Adonis so I decided he was gynecologist.
18 WHLER -- on a pickup. Going to grow??
ZU VIEL -- on a muscle car. (Too much)
Latest Read ... Some recent reads:
Cadillac Desert -- The American West and its Disappearing Water by Marc Reisner. "... [T]he West's cardinal law: that water flows toward money and power is the theme of this well researched and very readable book where the numerous dams and diversions built throughout the United States are built with tax dollars for the benefit of very few people.
Blue Latitudes - Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before by Tony Horowitz. After a short journey on a replica of Captain Cook's ship "Endeavour", the author visits Cook's Pacific Ocean stops and does a comparison of then and now -- 200 years later. Accompanying Horowitz on his travels is Roger, a light hearted Aussie. Roger provides comic counterpoint as Horowitz provides the historic fabric for the Pacific that Cook had visited.
McCarthy's Bar by Pete McCarthy. McCarthy journals his tour of Ireland including visits to his mother's home town, every bar that is named McCarthy and a meditation stop at a religious retreat. His dry commentary is descriptive, comic and very entertaining.
Thanks for reading ... If you are not already notified of updates, send me an email.