Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Pedal Ponders

Back after a glorious pedal over the plains. 

Each day the weather gets better. Today, straight south on a paved road with no shoulder problem. Very few cars use this road and those that do give a biker plenty of room. The wind, of course, is always a problem up on the prairie plateau but for every action there is an equal reaction and sailing back with a stiff breeze at my butt is just the greatest thing.

At one ranch I passed, I noticed that out back several hundred yards, amid a waste of rusting farm equipment and sundry junk, sat a big blue bread box. Someone's older stoner brother, no doubt, abides with his habit and eccentricities in that painted school bus. Who hasn't seen this a hundred times? A school bus squatting in a debris field. Let's call it rural recycling.

A little further on was a field of sunflowers-for-profit. So heavy-headed with seeds were these that none could lift their face to the sun anymore. With bended necks, all drooped on their chins submissively, I thought. Harvest and the dying time are already upon the plains.

Generally, when I arrive back in town, I plant myself for a fifteen minute cool-down in the pretty little park at 10th & Main. Here, I am in my glory. Not only do I share space with the wonderful statue of Wild Bill Hickok (above), but if I am really lucky a train on the old Kansas Pacific thunders by only a few yards from the park. The horn will blow out your eardrums. Since my diaper days, when I popped up in the crib each morning to watch the old Missouri steam engine pass by the window, I must always stop and watch a train go by even today.

Across Main is 10th Street. This is the front street of the notorious old Hays City that Custer, Cody and above all, Hickok, made so famous at the time. Modern bronze plaques at virtually ever door tote the tally of the poor nameless wretches who did, at least, make a name for Wild Bill.

On the corner of 10th and Main is the old bank building. Every half hour or so there is a loud and terrible taped screeching of owl, falcon and hawk sounds, designed to keep the pigeons moving. It does not work. The pigeon may have a brain the size of a raisin but with him, as with everything else in life, familiarity soon breeds contempt. On the roofs above, the birds continue to poop twice a minute and madly mate to make even more pigeons.

Apologia: I have repeatedly neglected to mention this but for the past several months yours truly has been blogging for something called Great History. If interested, go to and look for me under American History.


Candy from the Past