I spent a night in the middle of the Bakken oil field – or more accurately, in the Walmart parking lot in Williston North Dakota – which really is in the middle of the oilfield. To remind you, Williston is/was the boom town that more than doubled in size in a few months when energy companies started exploiting the oil shale deposits. Oil was to be found everywhere. Prices went through the roof. Oil workers were sleeping anywhere they could find a bed. Investors built thousands of apartments.
When I was in high school I was enamored by broadway shows – Carrousel, Oklahoma, Sound of Music, but in redneck southern Illinois I never got to see one. But topping them all was the Music Man, and I got a copy of the movie soundtrack when I was a college freshman. I played it over and over, fell in love with Marian and even knew the “Trouble” monologue. I have not thought about it in years.
I returned home August 11 without any significant incidents.
The weather was fantastic for the entire trip, with only a couple days of rain, and only a few more with clouds. I did not require any air conditioning, either driving or stopping until I got to Iowa, where I found 2 days of rain, hot & humid, without a breath of breeze. Then the blue skies and cooler temperatures returned.
Here are some statistics on the trip, obtained from the truck’s trip computer and my fuel log.
Except for a couple of things, I am not particularly impressed with Winterset. I chose to spend the night here because it has an attractive city campground. It is the county seat of Madison county – the one with the bridges. They are trying to monetize this and the birthplace of John Wayne; neither of which are that interesting to me. What was interesting was the Madison County Court House and surrounding historic district.
I started this latest (Summer, 2022) trip west by crossing from Iowa to Nebraska on US Highway 30. At that point it is also the Lincoln Highway route. I followed US-30 / Lincoln Highway to west of Laramie, Wyoming where I turned south to visit some of the National Parks in the Great Circle. When I rejoined the Lincoln Highway in Utah, it follows US-50 to Sacramento and on to San Francisco.
This Stonehenge is atop a bluff on the Washington side of the Columbia River near Maryville. It was built between 1918 and 1929 by pacifist-entrepreneur Sam Hill as the first monument to World War I soldiers. Mr. Hill mistakenly believed that the original Stonehenge was the site of human sacrifice, and the monument was intended to remind viewers that people are still sacrificed to the god of war.
My dad was a multipotentialite. Don’t know what that is? Neither did I. But when I recently learned about multipotentiality I knew I found a term that described him. Multipotentiality has only become a thing in the past ten years. It describes people whose interests cannot be confined to a single activity and it accurately describes my dad.
There are only two significant attacks by enemies on American soil — Pearl Harbor and 9/11. All of us are aware of the efforts to “get bin Laden” and its ultimate success, but not many know about the retribution for Pearl Harbor.
In 1903, ten years before the idea of the Lincoln Highway came to be, and travel was dominated by horse and buggy, George Adams Wyman accepted a challenge to ride a motorized bicycle across the continent in 40 days, the first attempt by a motorized vehicle. The California Motor Bicycle Company provided the bike and expense money if he documented the trip in Motorcycle Magazine articles. (Marketing!) He was to receive a bonus if he completed the trip in 40 days. It took 50 days so he did not receive the bonus. But then, he did it by himself, without any support crew. You can only imagine the fragility of a 1902 bicycle with wooden rims and unreliability of a gasoline engine of the day. (His crankshaft broke, and he had to push the bike to Chicago.) Half of his 3500 mile journey was on the Union Pacific railroad tracks.