After an overnight stop in Wichita, we continued south into Oklahoma and, once again, dropped off the freeway for a side trip. Bubba takes over the narrative.
We stopped off at the home of Pawnee Bill. He was in the Wild West Show business with Buffalo Bill so it was fitting that we visited his mansion.
The Wild West show traveled the world and gathered a lot of wagons. I got the idea this could be an alternate form of travel for me. I still harbored the suspicion Rick and Spider might take me back to that place where they found me.
The problem with all these rigs was that they are missing engines. They needed a means of propulsion. Looking at all the old posters around I could see they were powered by some four legged beasts. I didn’t see any horses nearby but I did see these guys.
This gentleman in particular seemed well suited for my needs. All I had to do was saddle him up and we could be back on the road. Or maybe I could politely persuade him…he is pretty large.
I got up right next to him and gave a shout but he must not have heard me. I went around to the back end and gave him a swift kick in the pelt but his fur was too thick and he didn’t feel that either. I decided that perhaps I could just lead him around by the nose. I climbed up and grabbed on to a nostril. He got a startled look on his face.
What followed is now called the great stampede of 2011. Buffalo tore through the ranch destroying everything in sight. The ranch foreman took issue with my bison interference and sat me down for a chat.
I looked around for something more my size and found a small beastie that I could probably jump on but someone beat me to it.
I guess I’ll stay in the car after all.
The suspense will soon be over for Bubba. We will reveal our destination to him soon.
Ooops! I had to change something. Read it again.
Bubba spent a sleepless night in Stratton, Colorado listening to the mysterious chanting in the cornfields. He claimed they were chanting, “Bubba, Bubba” over and over. The next day, we woke up bright and early and continued our trip east.
I still don’t know where they are heading, but we are in Kansas, moving fast. We stopped for a break at Fort Hayes, not far off the main highway.
The visitors’ center said this was a fort that was established to keep the Indians in the area safe. I’m not sure how that turned out for the Indians, but they all were gone in a few short years and the fort was scaled down. I saw an old guy in uniform sitting at the old guard house and decided to have a talk with him.
I guess the proper term here is to say, I moseyed out to talk to him. I asked him where the main road went and he told me it headed all the way out yonder to Salina and from there to Missouri. I was afraid of that. I think Rick and Spider are taking me back to where they found me. I asked the guy for some help and he and I formulated a plan.
I asked Rick and Spider if I could drive for awhile. They said if I could figure out a way to use the seatbelt I could drive. When we got back to the car, I jumped in the driver’s seat, hooked up a belt sort of type thing, and off we went.
I hit the gas hard (with a big stick) and when we hit Salina, I made a giant right turn and headed towards Wichita before they knew what was happening. They had surprised looks on their faces but didn’t object. Part of that may have been because they both had a tight grip and Spider had her eyes closed. Rick said something about this being like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. I don’t know who this Toad guy is but he couldn’t drive faster than me. The wind was howling past the car, or at least I thought that’s what that sound was. Turns out it was a siren from the Kansas Highway Patrolman behind us. I thought I was in a high speed Christmas parade but I guess those colored lights on the car mean something else. He took a look in the car and hesitated. I think he was surprised that a short guy like me could be such a good driver. He suggested that Rick drive, and left a nice note for us. In his haste, part of his uniform fell off. He must have been in a hurry to get somewhere else.
I decided that, at least in Kansas, Rick could drive.
Bubba received his warning for speeding, using a rubber band for a seatbelt, and having a plastic license. Bubba’s turn in Salina put us on a southerly route, just what we wanted to do. We weren’t taking Bubba back to his old abode but I didn’t think I wanted to tell him where we were going just yet.
We are all on the road. Bubba doesn’t know where or why but he is doing a lot of guessing. He should just enjoy the ride.
We left Park City and continued on our way. We made an overnight stop in Rifle, Colorado. Colorado is a BIG place. The mountains are big, the ranches are big and the cows are big.
That cow was in a corral outside Dinosaur Colorado.
They don’t want to do much in the way of stopping on this trip. They are headed east at a fast clip. Finally we did make a stop on the top of Lookout Mountain in Golden, Colorado. Lookout Mountain gives a great view of thirty-two states.
Lookout Mountain boasts that seven states, not thirty two, can be seen from its summit. However many, it is a wonderful view, with the Denver skyline in the distance.
Rick didn’t want to stop in Denver because he was afraid it didn’t have any real beer, only some apple juice looking stuff called “Curse” or “Kerrs” or something like that.
While we were on the mountain, we did stop at Buffalo Bill’s gravesite. There are still people trying to get him to move to Wyoming, but he doesn’t seem to want to go. His grave marker even notes that he lies there “by his request”. I’m guessing his real request was probably to remain upright and above ground.
I wanted to spend the night in these luxury accommodations but it was still early and we had to press on.
We raced on towards the Kansas Border, only stopping at dusk in the booming metropolis of Stratton, Colorado. This being Saturday evening, we were a little worried about heavy weekend traffic on Main Street. Maybe we didn’t have to worry so much.
We walked the whole of Main Street from the freeway to the Railroad tracks and didn’t see anyone except a strange bearded man who followed us for a bit. For every three steps forward, he would take one step sideways. His disappeared somewhere near the bar. It was eerily quiet. I couldn’t see anyone around. Off in the fields next to the town I thought I could hear a low chanting. Should I go into the corn fields to investigate? I had a growing hunger but it wasn’t to be the star of a slasher movie so I passed on that.
We decided to get something to eat instead but had a little trouble choosing. There was the Eagles Landing Bar that closed at eight o’clock, the VFW, and The Golden Prairie Inn. We chose the Golden Prairie because it was next to our hotel. We were met by the entire staff of two, who were outside chatting and awaiting the arrival of a customer. We were shown to an empty table in an empty restaurant.
I picked up some travel brochures to try to guess where we were headed. The top one warned of the effects of eating at any other restaurants.
When we got back to the room, I looked at the map. We seemed to be headed toward Missouri. Rick and Spider found me in Missouri about a year ago. Were they taking me back to dump me off? Were they tired of my occasional bouts of misbehavior? Maybe I shouldn’t have run over the Policeman in Paris or run from the one in Pisa.
Where are we going?