big, bend

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Pottsville, Pa. -- "An all-white jury has acquitted two teenagers of all serious charges stemming from the fatal beating of an illegal Mexican immigrant last summer."

The foregoing is an excerpt from a story found this morning on Google News.  I get the majority of my morning news from Google News: I like to browse the electronic news as I drink my morning coffee whilst waiting for my waste elimination system to go on line and download.  Retirement is such a delicate balance: coffee in one hand toilet paper in the other.
I have no idea why two "white" teenagers beat a Mexican Illegal to death in Pottsville. Pa: a cultural impasse I'm sure, a misunderstanding of sorts, a miscommunication because of the language barrier?  I know I often get frustrated when people don't understand what I am trying to communicate and, in frustration, beat them to death.  Know what I'm saying?  Musulims, sometimes,  have that problem in attempting to communicate their religious beliefs and in frustration often put people to death by the sword.  Which is not the same as beating someone to death, but close. 
Remember: May is "National Beat Someone to Death Month".  Are you ready?
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big, bend

planes, trains and inclosed spaces

Well the travel industery is upset with Joe Biden because he advised his family to avoid public travel in enclosed spaces as the "Chili Pepper Flu" dashes about the globe.  I agree with Joe, plus traveling on aeroplanes is a bit of a bitch anyway and I avoid it as much as possible and sub-ways we don't have here in Fort Wayne, we do have a few busses that are used by the poor and non Republican to get to free medical clinics to treat odd strains of TD brought in by displaced persons from Burma and Mexico.  At least I think it's TB.  Best way to avoid the flu is to avoid people :shop only at 3 AM, don't go to Mexican restaurants for lunch or dinner, stay off planes and small enclosed sailing ships headed to or from Mexico, Central America, Burma, and New Haven, Indiana..
big, bend

Papal Shit

I used to be ashamed to be an American and now because of the flap over Obama speaking at South Bend I am ashamed to be a Hoosier.  Actually I really don't really consider my self a Hoosier because I was born in Missouri, grew up in Illinois and wound up in Fort Wayne because of a series of events that I won't go into here.  I do, however, consider my self a Midwesterner, a Low Land -High Plains Drifter (High Plains because of my years in Nebraska).  If religion is the opiate of the masses why are they all not stoned, placid and lying on the ground?   Or better yet ,why isn't the DEA after em?
big, bend

SWE 08


This posting on the SWE 08  was initially written in Word, as was the previous posting, and I have attempted several times to copy it into lj but for some reason all I get is garbage when I try.  So I am now typing it out for a second time and am very disgruntled with the process at this time and am considering writing the rest of the "trip notes" out by hand and placing them in the snail mail system to all but no one would be able to read them (which might be preferred).  After leaving Eastern Nebraska we headed up to the Nebraska National Forest near Halsey NE.  The National Forest is located right off of State Rt. 2 and besides being a "place to camp" it is a tree nursery and, at times,  training ground for the local "Storm Troopers".  At least I think they may be "Storm Troopers" disguised as an ATV club dedicated to ATV rescue.  We arrived on Friday morning and set up the camper on a hill surrounded by ponderosa and jack pine trees, young trees not more that twenty to thirty years old.  Through out the day there was constant ATV activities: going up the hill, going down the hill, waving at the campers from Indiana; going up the hill, going down the hill, ignoring the campers from Indiana.  The ATV's were driven by middle aged fat, white men and women and by middle aged fat, white children.  Apparently all of the weeks activities were over and now it was just time to relax and drive aimlessly about the camp grounds running off any and all local wild life.

As soon as we finished setting up the sky became overcast and dark with rain clouds, the temperature dropped and as I was cooking supper over the camp fire it started to rain.  It rained for the rest of the night along with thirty to fifty mile an hour winds and hail, followed by trains.

No it did not rain trains they just rolled by the camp ground every half hour throughout the night.  One hundred car long coal trains coming out of Wyoming passing within about an eighth of a mile from where we were set up.  DOT regs call for a train to sound it's horn at every crossing, there are two at the entrance of the Halsey National Forest; four blasts, one long two shorts and one long, all night long punctuated by thunder and towards morning coyotes yapping, obviously upset by the passing trains.

In the morning it cleared up, the wind dropped and the "Storm Troopers" started their morning rounds just as I was starting to fall asleep.  They would greet each other by sounding their horns, one long two short and one long.  As soon as the camper died out we made a run for it followed by several ATV's looking for someone to rescue.  With blood shot eyes we were looking forward to camping along the Niobrara river up near Valentine..   

big, bend

SWE08


Tomorrow (11/12) we head for home. It is Tuesday and we are at a Comfort Inn in Collinsville Illinois, the home town of my youth. This Comfort Inn is located on highway 157near the confluences of Interstate 55 and I 70 at the base of the glacial terminal moraine of the last Ice Age, sixteen thousand years ago. Where once roamed woolly mammoths and giant sloth’s now rumbles Kensworth and Peaterbuilt’s pulling forty foot trailers full of the commodities of the day. We have spent the last 64 days running with the eighteen wheeled monsters traveling eight thousand three hundred and fifty miles on what we decided to call the South West Expedition 08 or the SWE 08. The original plan was for seventy three days and since it was to be an extended length of time we felt that to call it a vacation was a lot like calling a Clydesdale a pony, the Queen Mary a skiff, the Mississippi a stream.  It is interesting to note that the ground on which the motel is built was once a horseradish farm owned by one of the Eckman brothers; a chunk of dark, rich Mississippi river bottom soil where as a young teenager I toiled for Seventy five cents an hour: suckering, lifting, planting and digging the big white roots.  (Collinsville was once the horseradish capitol of the world).  Ain the morning we will meet my cousin Ray and his wife for breakfast. He is much older than I, by a month or so, so I really feel sorry for him. I still make about seventy-five cents an hour on SS and I really don’t care for horseradish that much.

  

The SWE 08 departure date was September the 9th, 2008 ACE. After securing the camper to the back of the Ford Focus we pulled out heading West on the first leg of the expedition.  Our first encampment was in Iowa City at the Country Inn where we frolicked with other travelers in the heated pool and hot tub. We parked the camper just out side of out window so we could keep an eye on it (can’t trust the natives, so I’m told) however other than McCain-Palin signs we had no problems with the indigenous peoples of the area (the Ioway or Baxoji, a Siouan tribe now taking revenge on the white man by taking his wampum away at various casinos across the state). We found no traces of the Louis and Clark Expedition of 1804. I don’t think that came through this part of Iowa. 

 

The next morning after a continental breakfast, provided by the Country Inn staff, we headed on to Nebraska City and the home of our nephew, Don Ayer, who owns several acres back in the hinterlands of South East Nebraska. He and his wife Sandy live in an immense two story home/hunting lodge on 60 acres of woods, a lake and trails in the low rolling hills. They of course offered a bed, but we, being the intrepid explores that we are elected to set up the camper (known as The Good Karma) next to their lake under to a big weeping willow tree.  Don’s brother Ron was also staying with them and he helped us set up. I wanted to see if Maggie could do it her self but Ron insisted on helping her. Don and Sandy of course fed us royally the two days and nights we were there. It rained the first night we camped fortunately it was a short walk to the house for breakfast: bacon, eggs, steak, toast and coffee.  Boy camping is rough.  The day that we left to head north to Omaha (another Siouan tribe) we parked The Good Karma in their massive Butler building with the tent up to dry out while we were up north with family in Elkhorn and Lyons, camping in guest rooms and eating lunches at the Happy Days Senior Center (the land of the whistling ears). We would return in one week’s time to hook up the camper and proceed west.

 

When next I post I will tell of hail storms, rain, gusting winds, and 100 car coal trains passing in the night, every half hour, 1/8 of a mile from the camp site, passing two crossings where it is a DOT law that they sound their air horns four times at each crossing, one long two shorts and another long.      

big, bend

SWE 08

Not much time for an entry.  We are in Lovelnd CO at the base of Rocky Mountains National Park, at camp Mark and Amy. We will ascend shortly.  The elk are in rut and bugling their harems together.  I am also in rut but have misplaced my bugle.  Thus far we have avoided rattle snakes, bison and aggressive praire dogs.  The Bad Lands weren't and the Black Hills were filled with light.
big, bend

SWE 08


Lyons Nebraska, the Land of the Whistling Ears. We survived the encounter with the hostiles of south east Nebraska; though I feared the worst, cannibalism; for all they did was force food upon us, fattening us up like the cattle they tend and slaughter: Friendly folk, more or less, but they place a great emphasis on food and football.  
We have been following the trail set by Lewis and Clark in 1804 and re-blazed by Bennie and Cecil in 1957. We are drying out our equipment, which was soaked by the remnants of Ike (never did like Ike).  Next stop the Bad Lands and Black Hills (sounds bleak, what).
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