2  First Midwest to West Coast Trip in the Green Van
August 15-17  Salisbury to Arlington
    Depart Salisbury 11:25 August 15 to spend a couple of days in
Arlington, Virginia getting ready for my trip west.   am speedometer
99340.6 It's great to be starting on a cross country trip, to see that it
really is there and to put my feet down all across the country. I had come
cross country years before with my uncle and a couple of his kids in his
big black Lincoln and that was a great trip following old historic route 66
east from Claremont, California to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. To me
every new trip is like a new exploration to discover the country for
myself. I remember history classes when your learn lists of authors from
the past and names of what they wrote but it doesn't mean anything
unless you actually read it for yourself. When you fly you just imagine it,
like watching pictures of the astronauts on the moon-did they really go
there or was it faked like some conspriacy theorists say. Anyway I get to
Arlington, next day go to get my tire balanced that was giving me the
trouble on the northeast trip and that clears up the problem. I went to
see Roosevelt Island National Park in the Potomic River and went to the
mall by the Washington Monument to do some sightseeing.

Starting Odometer  99340.6
August 18, 1980 Day of Departure
   I picked up a u-haul trailer and went back to the apartment where we
spent a good part of the day loading it and decided to leave in the evening
to avoid traffic. A note about the times given for the blog-it is not when it
is being written but the time I have for leaving any over night spot for the
day. Also there is not much information about this part of the journey
because we are trying to make good time and I have to break my rule
about using interstates. Besides the trouble dealing with traffic pulling a
trailer, my van had a small 240 engine at that time and had difficulty
going up hills. We started south on 95, then past Richmond took 85. My
sister did part of the driving which was amusing because she would have
to practically stand up to use the clutch pedal. We stopped for the night in
a rest area off 85 in northern North Carolina. 99558.8-99790.0 232 miles
for day.

August 19, 1980  Day 2  Hooray for Wafflehouse
    We got any early start and only had brief stops for gas and pit stops until
we got to Georgia and stopped over at Hartwell Lake Recreation Area at the
Singin Pines part where we went in swimming and took about a 3 hour
break. Heading out at 2030 to cover some more miles, we had a short
stopover at a Waffle House for a diner of grits and coffee. They never had
these near any of the places that I lived and it use to be one of my favorite
travel stops. Unfortunetly my last stop at one was quite disappointing. It's
always a bad sign when the waitresses boyfriend is hanging out because she
is usually thinking more about her boyfriend then good service. We ended
the day at the Alabama welcome stop off 85 just over the line. We covered
516.5 miles and flipped the odometer for the first time that day-final reading

August 20, 1980 Day 3  On the Gulf
   We headed west on 85 until we reached Montgomery and then south on
65, getting lunch at another Waffle House in Greenville. When we reached
Mississippi my sister was anxious to see the Gulf and go in the water. We
stopped first at Ocean Spring at the Gulf Islands National Seashore but it
didn't seem to be a good area to go in. Next we stopped at Biloxi Beach
where the water was really dirty and started a joke that has continued
over the years about having a vacation in Biloxi or it being my fault for
choosing it as place to stop since it was so disgusting. We ended up going
further down to a beach near Gulf Port, where it was suitable to go in the
water and take a bucket shower. The water was still pissy warm and not
much cleaner. But my failure to find a nice beach area along the gulf,
which may not exist, was trumped by my refusal to take a side trip to New
Orleans which I have heard complaints about for some twenty years. But I
didn't like the idea of pulling a uhaul into the small streets of New Orleans
and try to manuever around the traffic or even think of finding a parking
space. (My sister has since been to New Orleans on more than one
occasion). We ended up at a rest area of 10 near Jennings about three in
the morning ending a long day on the road. 566.8 miles for day

August 21, 1980 Day 4  Arrive in Austin
   We got an early start and headed towards Houston. We wanted to go
to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts which we did, but it meant that we
ended up in rush hour traffic leaving. It was bumper to bumper, over
90 degrees (I had no air conditioning) and my heat gauge was going up
past the line and I was expecting the engine to seize up in the middle
of the Houston beltway with a trailer. I replaced the radiator several
times over the years, always long after it started topping out and the
engines always kept going. It would come down some while I was
moving but sitting would always send it up, and so I would try to get
by by avoiding areas where I would be in stop and go traffic. Anyway
we made it and we arrived at the River Hill Apartments in Austin about
8:11pm ending the first phase of my trip, total miles from Salisbury

August 22-24, 1980  Stopover in Austin
  I spent the next three days in Austin. Went to Barton Springs for a
swim the first day, and even as hot as it was in Texas diving into that
cold water from the underground spring was a shock. I also replaced
my tailpipe. A big night out was to go to the Dunkin Donuts down the
street from the statehouse. A street type person came in and ordered a
coffee and proceeded to dump in a half of one of those counter sugar
holders and when he called the waitress over to refill the sugar her
eyes kind of bugged out from how much he used. I guess it was his
main source of energy. I went to a couple of used book stores and got
a straw Van Gogh hat from Open Oats which came in handy later in the
trip. My next assignment was to take the trailer to Hobbs, New Mexico
because there was such a difference in the drop off cost. I guess all
those space aliens landing out there near Roswell were using up all the

August 25, 1980  Heading on West to Drop off the U-Haul
I had only a short time before the trailer was due so I drove pretty much straight through. I headed west on 190 and did enjoy the view of the countryside of rolling hills. Once I turned onto I10 dead mule deer laying along the road were a common sight. Short entry but long day-I stopped at a rest stop east of Sonora at 12:33 am for a nap.
August 26, 1980  New Day 1 After Dropping off U-Haul Trailer
  Off to an early start, I wouldn't feel free until I got rid of the trailer. I
was low on gas but when I stopped in Sonora, the middle of nowhere the
gas was much more  expensive then it had been so I asked for 5 gallons
to be able to make it to a city. I should of paid closer attention because
the guy kept pumping past 5 and when I noticed he was just over ten
when I finally stopped him. I continued to Fort Stockton where I was
able to fill up at the more usual price I had been paying and from there I
headed north on18. I took a break for lunch at a picnic area past
Grandfalls and did a water color sketch. The first art work since I started
this trip. Finally dropped off the trailer at the Hobbs U-haul at 6:14 pm or
5:14 making the change to mountain time.
   I now consider this the beginning of my midwest trip. Odometer
reading of 1786.5 with approximately 12 gallons of gas and $178.72.
This was going to be another low budget trip like my northeast one. Now
I could get back to the back roads and headed west about 15 miles and
then took route 529 to look for a spot for the night. There seemed to be a
pretty good flat expanse along the road with what looked like a power
plant further back. I always preferred a flat place to park for sleeping or
one that leaned slightly towards the drivers side. If it leaned the other
way I would feel like I was falling out of my bed all night. So I was ready
for a peaceful night out on the lone prairie.

August 27,1980  Day 2 Near Roswell for the Night at Alien Spacecraft Landing Site
Time to get into my official trip mode. I did my tai chi and discovered something interesting. I picked my night spot because it was level and the dirt seemed firm enough to drive on, but while I was doing tai chi it dawned on me just how level the area was. I scratched through about a half inch of dirt and hit concrete, and wherever I walked it was the same thing. I was on a gigantic concrete strip that must of been more than a square mile. Over-grown with weeds and bushes and covered with dirt, except for being so level it looked just like any of the rest of the landscape. It must have been an air strip during the second world war, or a landing place built for alien spacecraft. Anyway I did my first painting of the mesquite bushes. Next I headed into Artesia and stopped at the Dr. John Clarke rest park for a break, then into Roswell where I got a map of New Mexico and went to the Roswell Museum and Art Gallery.
   I saw an interesting sounding place called Bottomless Lakes State Park and I headed there next. I did another painting there of a lake and mountains and ended up staying there for the night.  I thought I would have the place to myself but a couple girls arrived and pitched a tent. That made it one of the most heavily populated spots that I stayed at during this part of the trip. I did my tai chi and went to bed. 128 miles for the day,
August 28,1980  Day 3  Lincoln County and Smokey the Bear Grave
  I got up and did my tai chi then took some pictures but the high
contrast from light to dark was hard to deal with and I still haven't
figured out how to fix that with photoshop but I will add them
anyway. I went back into Roswell and saw the Featherstone Art
Collection and about 10:00 I headed west on 70 to Lincoln County for
a day of discovery.
   I did a watercolor off of the main road and then headed to the Fort
Stockton Museum. The fort was at that time a kind of special needs
place with a real nice setting and the museum had art. I was
surprised to see a watercolor of the boats in the canal in the little
town of Lewes which is 6 miles from where I grew up. Next after I
left there I found not only the gravesite of the famous Smokey the
Bear but also a whole museum dedicated to him. Unfortuneatly the
life size talking and moving Smokey statue wasn't working because
the kids would always break his arms when they were moving. I bet
the adults broke it too.
   Next stop was a roadside table near Nogel where I did an oil
painting of Corrizo Peak. I went back to the area a couple of years
ago with my cousin on the mission to find a ranch (we didn't) but it
was neat to start feeling that where we were was somehow familiar
and then when you reach a certain spot to realize that I had painted
a picture here long ago as all the features fell into place. A note about
my paintings. I did these all outside in the sunlight which you could
guess since they were all on location. The thing is I never saw them
indoors in house light until over a year later and only then did I
realize that because I didn't make an allowance for the differnce in
intensity of the light that they come off somewhat darker than they
appeared to me while I was painting them. Since that time I  always
make sure that I work with my painting shaded when I am outside.
Another thing I did learn on this trip was to keep my head in the
shade when I was painting for an extended period.
   I went to the Flaming Valley State Park to check it out and get
some water, but since they were charging for spending the night I
went a couple miles back down the road and stayed by a roadside
picnic table for the night.

August 29, 1980  Day 4  Back Roads New Mexico
   When I travel since I am living in my van I consider wherever I am as
my current home although it is generally for only one night. So I want to
talk about the one finger wave, and it isn't what you think, especially you
city people. It may no longer exist because of all the weekend cowboys
that made a lot of money in movies or music or even the dot com people
who were buying up ranchland as a hobby. But when I traveled through
the area whether man, woman, young or old they would always give me
the one finger wave. This was done just before passing me on the
backroads by lifting their index finger off the steering wheel in a quick
wave as we passed each other. I was use to driving with my hands on the
bottom of the steering wheel and they would be past me before I could
get my hand up and I would feel bad for not returning the wave. So I had
to drive with my hand on top of the steering wheel so I would be ready
for the little motion of raising my finger in recognition of the local custom.
And you could tell all the locals because everybody else from the area
drove with their hand on the top of the steering wheel raising their finger
just as they zoomed by. A subtle gesture making a personal connection in
an area where you probably didn't see too many people. I knew I was
back in an urban aea when people no longer drove with their hand on the
top on the steering wheel.
    I returned to the Valley of Fires State Park and went on a nature trail.
Then headed north to Manzana State Park. Sadly these monuments didn't
state outright,  but actually were monuments to how the missionaries
exploited the indians in the name of you know who, that mythical
character that the religious right is still using to try to justify running this
country according to their own self serving agenda. Any way I shoudn't
talk politics because I never thought about it while I was traveling, I just
wanted to see the country and take pictures or paint. I parked along 14
for the night and tomorrow would be getting back to civilization and
maybe a donut shop for a hot meal-coffee.

Shrubs in Field  12x16
Bottomless Lakes  12x16
Bottomless Lakes State Park, NM
Bottomless Lakes State Park, NM
Corrizo Peak  16x28
August 30, 1980  Day 5  A Day in Albuqerque
  I was about 30 miles from Albuqerque and it didn't take me too long to
get there. I replenished my supplies at the Safeway on Central Ave, part
of old route 66, then I headed to the University of New Mexico to see the
art gallery but it was closed. Next was Kmart where I got a muffler
repair kit and finally I treated myself to a donut and coffee at Dunkin
Donut-$ .72. I went to the Old Town Plaza area and walked around
looking at the shops and galleries. I took a break at San Gabriel State
Park. I made a phone call to a lady that had stayed at my mothers one
year while attending college back east and got a chance to stop around
and visit then headed north a short distance and stopped at a kind of
trash dumping area for the night. Not one of the most picturesque night
locations but it served its purpose and I didn't like to drive far at night
without being able to see things.

August 31, 1980  Day 6  North to Santa Fe and Beyond
Up at 7:55 and did some van maintenance-added oil and patched the
muffler. Then north into the countryside again. First stop at Coronado
State Park and Monument and saw the pueblo ruins and got a photo of the
Rio Grande, a long way from Texas. I stopped off in a park area to use the
bathroom and saw they had free hot showers so I took advantage of the
    I got to Santa Fe and parked along the river park and walked around
town. I saw the cathedral and the Palace of Governors. The Fine Arts
Museum was closed for renovations. A couple hours was enough to see
what I wanted to see so it was on into the hills to see the Santurio of
Potrero in El Chemayo. An old spot of pilgrimage for people wanting
miracles. One guy carried a large cross all the way from Albuquerque. In a
little room in the back of the chapel there is a hole in the floor where you
can get magic dust-I mean holy dirt. I realized that if all these people had
been getting dirt from the same hole for all these years there would have
been a gigantic hole in the floor and I suspected that it had been
replenished(checking wikipedia I saw that this had been verified to the
tune of several tons a year). Now there are a lot of things that I don't
have the answers to-there have been many people who think that
miracles have happened because of their pilgrimage or by using the dirt
and it may be true or there may be something going on that is not
realized. Anyway I had enough dirt in my van already so I didn't take any.
    After leaving Chemayo I took a photo along the road and then stopped
by a creek past Candiyo and walked up a path by the creek. Then I
painted a picture of the creek and ended up spending the night there.

September 1, 1980  Day 7  Taos and more National Forest
   I stopped at a scenic view and then on into Taos where I parked by Kit
Carson State Park. I wasn't impressed by the art in the places I visited (for
those who don't know Taos is supposed to be one of the big art spots in the
country). They all seemed to follow the same formula. they would have a
number of very large and very expensive big paintings almost photographic
of scenery or storms or some other theme. These they probably didn't want
to really sell because they would impress customers who saw them and
then they would buy reproductions or posters of many different sizes down
to postcards. My approach is to work smaller, quicker sketches that are
much more affordable and fit in just about any size house so everybody can
have an original piece of artwork that is meanigful.
   Next I went to the Rio Grande Wild River Recreation Area further north
and did some finishing touches on the Carrizo painting and decided to stay
there for the night. The van stalled out going up a steep hill when I was
leaving and I couldn't get it to start. So I rolled back down hill and pop
started it. I went through Carson National Forest on a primitive side road. I
love this because I can go real slow (15 to 20 miles per hour) and see more
and even hear the birds singing in the trees. It would be neat if there was
a primitive road all the way across the country. I know there are recreated
wagon trains routes in some areas of the west and at a later time in the
trip I did see wagon ruts from the old Oregon Trail. Average daily expenses
for this part of the trip $10.97 

September 2,1980  Day 8  North to Colorado
   I spent the day at Rio Grande Wild River Recreation Area. I did some
reading, then gessoed a couple of canvasboards and masonite sheets. I
was going to do a painting but it was too windy and then it got too hot. I
was too learn on this and other trips that september was the best travel
month. The temperatures were cooling, kids were back in school and there
weren't as many people-tourists and others around. Being out in the wilds
was not as much a transplanted city out into the woods and often I was
the only person in a campsite.
   I headed north into Colorado late in the afternoon and had picked up a
couple of migrants going north so when I saw some places I was
interested in painting I didn't want to leave them off in the middle of
nowhere so I kept going. I was on the 160 going into Walsenburg and
found I good place to drop them off and I decided to return to La Veta Pass
and to go back to one particular place I had seen the next day to paint a
picture. La Veta Pass-9413 feet above sea level on a little cut off into the
woods for the night.

September 3, 1980 Day 9  Mount Lindsey and a Bull
  I returned as planned to the Old La Veta Pass Road to do a painting. I guess the sight of the mountains in the background and the stand of aspens at the base with the fields in front caught my eye. I pulled up the dirt road some and found a good location by its side to set up. I set up a few feet right in front of my van. There was a barb wire fence running along the road a few feet away. It was still pretty windy and I was using a cheap tripod easel that was real rickity. What I would do is tie my old army duffle bag full of clothes to the easel to keep it from blowing over. I started painting and in the distance there were a number of cows and a bull. They were about 300 yards away. As I was painting I noticed the bull walking along the fence in my direction at a slow pace, but I figured no problem, there was a fence there. Then as he rounded a corner in the road just about 100 yards from me I realized he was on the same side of the fence that I was. I didn't have time to break things down, but just jumped in the van as he walked by. When I did a gust of wind blew the painting face down in the dusty road. I got out and retrieved my painting after the bull walked on by. The dust was very fine an was embedded in the whole picture but you couldn't see it, but if you touched it it felt just like a real fine sandpaper. Well I just went on and finished the painting, so now I not only have a landscape painting of Mount Lindsey, I have some of the actual landscape in my painting.
   I packed up and headed into Walsenburg to the Safeway and restocked my supplies: quart of apple juice, 6 pack of beer, canned beef tamales, 2 bananas, yogurt, and raisin bran cereal. The cereal cost more than the beer.
    I went up 25 a ways and stopped at the Huerfano Battle Scenic Area. then on to a camping area in the San Isabel National Forest Recreation Area where I spent the night. Now for a note on how dumb our government bureaucracy is. I just read a newspaper article about how the number of people using the national forest is going down. And of course they paid for a research study as to why. The study came up with all kinds of things that the forest people had no control over. Not their fault. One person the writer interviewed nailed it on the head. It was because they were charging now for what use to have been free. I know this applies to me, because I have a principle of never paying for where I stay. When I started out on my travels it was a given that I could stay in any national forest for free-only primitive or no facilities but that was fine with me. As time went by they started doing improvements or just started charging for different more select areas. So I started going less and less to these areas, because I never could tell whether it was free or not. My attitude is damn the improvements just keep it wild and free.
   76.1 miles for the day, $9.08 average expenses.
A painting done later from slide  Wldflowers by Road 16x20
Mount Lindsey 20x24
September 4, 1980  Day 10 Eastern Colorado-Between the Prairie and the Mountains
  Went to leave and the car stalled and flooded, this has happened a
number of times now and is kind of unsettling since I have very little
money less than $100 now) and am often out in the middle of nowhere.
Got off about 40 minutes later and stopped at a picnic area (Davenport)
and walked down the Squirrel Creek Trail, only about 3/4s mile.
   After this short hike I continued into Florence where I treated myself to
a donut and coffee at the Daylight Donut Shop. This doesn't qualify as a
real donut shop to me because it isn't open 24 hours, which is important
when you keep strange hours, but you generally don't find them in the
rural areas. Next back to civilizaton-Colorado Springs where I was able to
go to a real donut shop. I felt I needed another being away from them for
several days.
   Back to the woods-Pikes National Forest where I stayed at one of their
campgrounds. I did a painting of the valley and mountains to the north
and I gave this away a few days later to a friend from college that was
living in Denver and I failed to take a photo of it so I don't have it on
record and don't really know what it looks like.

September 5, 1980  Day 11  From the Backwoods to Denver 
  I moved to an area by Manitou Lake in Pikes National Forest and started a
16x20 inch painting of the lake and Pikes Peak. This is a lot too cover and I
didn't finish it, but after sitting around for a while an unfinished painting can
become finished without doing any more work on it just by accepting it as it is.
   After leaving the forest I went north on 67 and began following the Platte
River. I took advantage of the river to take a bucket shower. Getting a little
chilly but by concentrating on the tan tien I didn't feel cold then back to the van
and dry off-the body starts putting off so much heat that it can warm up the van
a couple degrees. This was a really nice route which feels like you are out in the
middle of nowhere and then I hit another road and there I am in the urban
sprawl of Denver.
  I got the phone number of my college friend from the phonebook and got
directions to his house. His wife, who had taken art classes when I did just had
their first baby that day and they were both pretty excited. I parked there for the
night and my staying in the van kept me out of the way. It's a great way to visit
people because you have your own space, bed, food, etc. and you don't interfere
to much with other peoples' schedules.  And as I am updating this entry I realize
that baby is now 38 years old. 

September 6,1980  Day 12  Hanging in Denver
   I went to downtown Denver and one of the first places I went was the
Denver Art Museum. Another friend from college had a used book store in
Denver and after finding another parking place near downtown that was
free parking I went looking for the store which after finding I moved the
van there and spent the afternoon at the store with my friend, and
checked things out. Interesting neighborhood and nice for walking
around. Can't remember the name of the store but it was next to the Star
Agency, a entertainment booking agency, and one of the days I was in
Denver they had a trmendous jazz alto player performing for free. That
evening I went back and parked for the night by my other friend's house
again. It's very seldom on my travels that I stay in the same location or
even area more than one night. Funds are getting really low and the plan
is to spend some time in the area and do a kind of loop tour in the three
state area while I am waiting for my mother to send me an insurance
check for the stuff I had stolen on my last trip up in Hartford Connecticut.

September 7,1980  Day 13
  After giving Bill the painting of Pike's Forest I went downtown to the
book store again. I left three paintings there to see if Harvey could sell
them, then I headed north on 76. It's hard to avoid the interstates in
parts of the west because they converted the regular through road into
the interstate and the side roads often dead end. But once route 6 split
off on it's own I followed it. I stopped at a picnic table in Hillrose and had
lunch. Then a little further northeast I stopped at Prewitt Reservoir. The
mosquitos were pretty bad so I stayed pretty much in the van but I
thought it had a good potential for a painting the next day. With the
mention of mosquitos I want to mention the screens I had made for the
van. I cut out nylon netting for each window that opened-the two roll
down windows in the front and the pop out windows in the back. Then I
sewed velcro around the edge of the screens and glued the other part of
the velcro around the windows making them easy to attach and remove
and they worked really well and with the two ceiling vents I called my
van the flow through tea bag. It made the 90 degree plus days and
nights bearable without being bothered by insects.
133.2 miles for the day, average daily expenses down to $7.52 with
about $60 left.

September 8,1980  Day 14  North to Nebraska
   I got up early, a little after six and cleaned up the van, then did some
work on my previous canvas. I started work on another canvas of trees
along the lane but it got too windy, so I moved into the van and tried to
finish from there. As things got brighter the interesting colors that I had
seen the night before disappeared. It was a little after three and I wanted
to move on while I had daylight.
   I got to Sterling and was feeling tired so I took a short nap. Then onto
Sidney, Nebraska where I stopped at the Safeway for supplies. I followed
the 385 detour route and parked on a closed off road for the night. It would
have to wait for tomorrow and daylight to start exploring Nebraska.

Prewitts Reservoir  12x16
September 9, 1980  Day 15
  I was traveling on the backroads now going in the general direction of
northwest. I stopped at a granery by the railroad tracks to do an oil
painting. Next I headed for the natural outcroppings in the sandstone
hills called Courthouse and Jail Rock. I did a watercolor sketch in this area
and then moved on to see Chimny Rock where I did another watercolor. I
haven't uploaded any watercolors yet for two reasons. They are not as
well marked and so a lot of them are just somewhere and the other
reason is traveling like I was and using a sketchbook they got somewhat
beat up and rained on a couple of times. But the ones from here I can
recognize and I will try to scan them and upload them later.
   Now to the ironies. As people traveled west along the Oregon Trail these
places were landmarks showing the way, and people wanted to
commemorate thier passing and there are quite a number of names and
symbols, sayings scratched in the soft sandstone. These are protected by
law and it is now unlawful to do what the pioneers did. Scratch your name
in the sandstone-it is now considered vandelism. Present day people are
not considered colorful or a part of history. So I didn't keep up the
tradition of the previous legal generations of inscribers. Jim isn't a real
colorful moniker anyway. I guess I could of used the nickname
"moonman" which I some how picked up when I was in college. I guess it
was from staring at the moon. But anyway what will happen is that as the
sandstone continues to erode all the historic names will be gone and we
haven't been allowed to leave any reminders of our passing. So years
from now a tourist won't be looking at the rocks and say "Look, someone
named Moonman was here back in 1980." But don't worry. I think there
are enough lawbreakers so that something will be there.
   Next it was on to another much larger geological speciman-Scott's Bluff
National Monument. A big monolith that has resisted eroding. I hiked up
the 1.6 mile path to the top for a panoramic view of all the surrounding
prairie. Down below I jumped when I was taken by surprise by a
rattlesnake. I didn't surprise it because someone had cut off its head. On
the way up, which was a narrow trail that skirted the edge of the cliff I
had another bit of excitement. I ran into a bull snake in the middle of the
narrow path, aobut 3 feet wide, cliff to my right and shear dropoff to the
left. Now they always say snakes are more afraid of you then you are of
them and just give them a chance to leave. This foot and a half inch snake
wasn't leaving. It was rearing up, spitting and hissing and staying right in
the middle of the path. I waved my hands in the air and shouted, I
backed down the trail and picked up rocks to throw at it and it wouldn't
budge. Suddenly a runner came up the trail and I shouted there was a
snake but too late. I could say the snake struck him and he fell of the trial
to his death but that wouldn't be true. He kind of hopped in the air when
he saw it and kept on running up the trail. So I got up my nerve and kind
of hopped around it and went on up, hoping it would be gone when I
came back down.
   On my way back to the car I saw a sign pointing to the original Oregon
Trail and sure enough you could still see the old wagon wheel ruts in the
   Next I headed into the city of Scottsbluff and went to one of my favorite
Mister Donuts in the country. I had a coffee and donut and two free refills
for $.57. And what was so nice is that they had a sign on the wall saying
that you could have two free refills. Now for a little history lesson. Back
years ago when Mister Donut was about the only thing open all night
(there were so called blue laws everywere making it illegal to stay open-
hence 7-11 actually stood for the times that that convience store was
open) they would give free coffee and donuts to the police when they
came by. It helped discourage robberies because who's going to rob a
place that you will probably find the law at. And this was a sensible thing
to do to.. However it has generally been disallowed any more and the
police are supposed to pay for their stuff-it's seen as a form of bribery and
it also was abused. Take the night I was there. Two cops came in late in
their cruiser and got their free donuts and coffee, took an break and then
when they went to leave one of the cops asked for two dozen donuts to
take with him-gratis. When they left I figured by what the waitresses
were saying this was a regular thing for this guy to do.
   Clothes washing chores at a laundromat on 71 north, a six pack of
generic beer from a liquor store next door and then going further north I
found a cutoff next to 71 where I stopped for the night. A full day.

Granery by the Railroad Tracks, Nebraska
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