Monday, September 15, 2008

Motorcycle country

There are big patches of Kansas that are sublime motorcycle country, and this is one of them. It's an area called the Smokey Hills, which are well named. When I drove through them last week, it was much prettier than the above photo, because everything was green. (I couldn't find a really good photo.) The skies were thick with gray clouds as the rain fell. The roads themselves are two-lane black asphalt that wind up and around and over through gorgeous landscape where you're often the only vehicle on the road. There's even a picturesque town, Marquette, with a motorcycle museum and signs that say, "Watch out! Motorcycles are everywhere!" When I drove through Marquette, I thought, "This is a place where I'd like to come and stay a few months and work on a book." There's a cafe, a little library, friendly people, and gorgeous roads leading out of town from every direction.

Motorcycle Roads in Kansas

And more.


Nancy P said...

This is for Beth and Far and all of you other motorcycle lovers out there. My checkered past includes a few of those. :) There was the one with the old BMW motorcycle. . .

Kelly McCullough said...

I'm more of bicycle kind of guy but it still looks like a good place to have fun on two wheels.

Nicola Slade said...

Noooo, I like small, sensible cars, but then I'm a wimp! Great picture, Nancy. I come over to your blog for a breath of fresh air and a glimpse of the wide open spaces and you and Andif never disappoint.

Lisa M said...

Nancy you are turning my idea of Kansas on its ear with all the fabulous sites. Just shows how stereotypic my thinking is about places I've never been.
As fun as it sounds, I won't be touring on a motorcycle. Picking bugs outta my teeth and being sucked into the votex of 18-wheeler backwash are the least of my fears.
Nicky, I was a bit upset yesterday when I couldn't hear what you said because everyone is mumbling on the tv. No really, my husband and I do complain about tv mumbling or overly loud music more often than I'd like.
Dang it I'm becoming an old poop. Already was a curmudgeon.
While Nancy and Beth are cool biker mavens. Sighs.
Kelly, I'll huff and puff with ya on a bike.
Andi--Miss your presence. Hope you get power back soon. Having to drive for coffee is cruel and unusual punishment.
Love the light pictures!!
Terrific Tuesday to All.
Hope no deer or other wildlife hinder your way.

olivia said...

Morning All.

Nancy, that looks like a beautiful area. Love the name - Smokey Hills - and fitting, with the clouds resembling little puffs of smoke.

I used to ride a motorcycle - had my license. Was a great way to get around when I lived out in the boonies. It was an on-road/off-road type so I could drive it through the woods and then on the highways. :-)

Anonymous said...

Well, I didn't know I had wondered into a site that is filled with Wild Women! You go, girls! I'm with Nicola again. I prefer traveling in the relative safety of a car. Boring, I know.

Amazing info re: Kansas, Nancy. You could earn $ writing travel pieces for the state tourism board.

I miss the poetry man who used to visit here. I like poetry. I was reading a Billy Collins book last night and one of the poems reminded me of Andif and the pooches. I could just see them going down the path through the woods. So here it is in part. This is for you Bebo, Giddy and Hopeful.


The way the dog trots out the front door
every morning
without a hat or an umbrella
without any money
or the keys to her doghouse
never fails to fill the saucer of my heart
with milky admiration


Off she goes into the material world
with nothing but her brown coat
and her modest blue collar,
following only her wet nose,
the twin portals of her steady breathing,
followed only by the plume of her tail....

Running late, but I wanted to share that for Andif's arrival.

Have a great day!

Beth said...

Morning, everyone! Thanks for the post, Nancy. That does indeed sound like perfect motorcycle territory. Olivia, I could never drive one myself - you get gold stars for bravery! I'm quite content to sit on the back (no bugs back there, Lisa) and watch/smell/feel the world zoom by.

Tho I'm not sure I'll ever be a biker chick - some of women scare me. :-) I don't have enough tattoos...

You can be our new resident poet, anon - that's a great one! Love Billy Collins. I believe you're referring to Rick, who visited as cormac for a while, til he forgot to sign in anonymously... He still makes great caramels!

Have a great week, folks - I'm plugging ahead on the third book, and enjoying record temps in N Idaho. Winter? Phooey!

Kelly McCullough said...

The muffin in the corner worked so well yesterday that I'm going to do the same again today. Lemon poppy seed and a big mug of Empire Keemun (the best of all possible black teas-yum!).

Off on a U-boat now en-route to faerie occupied Europe and a rendezvous with a beautiful and deadly Russian sorceress, and all without ever having to to leave the comfort of that table in the corner. I love my job.

I hope everybody has a marvelous day whatever you are doing. And I especially hope that Andi gets her power back and Kimber gets internet again soon. Curse you, Ike!

Janet said...

I'm awaiting word about a woman I admire so much. She hunkered down with her autistic son. She's a shrimper and a fighter. Only news is about Galveston and Houston.

Nancy P said...

Olivia, I admire the heck out of that. I'm a chicken when it comes to driving motorcycles or even bikes on city streets, though I'm happy to be a rider. But if I lived in the country. . .? Maybe, maybe.

Morning, you Big Bad Bikers, Kelly and Lisa! See, you're still braver than I am. Regular bikes and I? No mix. I might consider a 3-wheeler. Bwaah! And Nicola, if I lived in Great Britian, with all that traffic on those narrow streets, you'd never see me on two wheels of any sort. Out in the Scottish Highlands, though. . .oooo.

Anony, that's a lovely poem by my fav poet and also quite a good one to read on a day when the country/world seem to be sliding off the edge economically. I miss our poet, too, but I think he's been really busy for months.

Beth, on the back of a motorcycle it's hugs, not bugs. :)

Janet, we're waiting word about our cousins in Beaumont. We know they survived the storm fine, although they regretted staying, but we're hoping they left after that, because conditions are beyond miserable. At least they have a house to be in, though even that is less and less a comfort with every day spent without power or water, etc. I hope you get good news on your friends soon.

FARfetched said...

Heh… you trying to get me out there? ;-) I stuck the light liner back in my jacket this morning, and brought the heavy gloves. Fall is in the air, and I'm thinking about some hand guards to keep the wind off my hands. It kind of sucks to not be able to type for 15 minutes when you get in on a cold morning.

The roller derby thing yesterday looked interesting, although I was unable to find time to post (I thought I posted at Olivia's, but it's not there this morning). I remember watching some roller derby on TV when I was a kid, highly entertaining but I never wanted to mix it up.

Anyway, having a little m/c is coming in handy right now, with the fuel situation the way it is. The three stations closest to the office were out both morning & evening yesterday. At least we're not having any problems with our electricity! (gee, does this stuff sound kind of familiar?) Hope everyone gets it back together soon.

Dina said...

Hi all. Nancy, this is most definitely not just for motorcycles. I would love to hunker down there for a bit.

I can see I have to add driving through Kansas onto my to do list.

Nancy P said...

Dina, when you drive through Kansas? Check with me first. :)

Far. . .frozen hands. . indeed, there are limits to motorcycle love. But that gas thing sure makes you look smart. Do those stations have gas today?

Kelly, the world you're entering while you write today sounds infinitely better than the one the rest of us are in!

Lisa M said...

Anon--love poetry, but I have to remind myself to read it. I get so busy with other things I don't take the time. And I like to linger on the words and relish the beautiful language.
Thanks for reminding me to stop and watch the pup dogs in this instance.
It was a Fantastic moon again this morning and a beautiful sunny day here.
Waves to all on way back to work.

AndiF said...

slips in and speaks very quietly so Evil Eye won't notice ... got my power back 50 minutes ago.

And I got a text message from Jen that she's also without power and phone and not expected to be back up till Thursday.

slips out before Evil Eye starts paying attention.

FARfetched said...

Thanks Andi, I was wondering whether Jen was in the dark or not.

Nancy, it looks like at least two of the stations had gas to sell as of this morning. I expect the next few weeks will be like they were after Katrina; one station or another will be waiting for the tanker to show up, but if one station is out you can move to the next.

I think if I were running a convenience store, I'd put a 10-gallon limit on purchases for the rest of the month. That would smooth out some of the bumps, and maybe get people coming inside more often (where the *real* profits are to be made). I can't imagine that a convenience store that's out of gas would see much other traffic.

AndiF said...

Oh and just saw the poem -- thanks (from me and the Pack). And since we're talking about poems, I thought I'd offer up one in return:

How To Eat a Poem
by Eve Merriam

Don't be polite.
Bite in.
Pick it up with your fingers and lick the
juice that may run down your chin.
It is ready and ripe now, wherever you are.

You do not need a knife or a fork or a spoon
or plate or napkin or tablecloth.

For there is no core
or stem
or rind
or pit
or seed
or skin
to throw away.

Nancy P said...

(whispers) Hi, Andi. Say hi to Jen.
Wonderful poem.

Far, I do wonder if the shortages you're having will spread.

boran2 said...

Hi all! That is a pretty photo, Nancy. It does make one want to visit and linger for a while. But I'd do it in my new/old car, with the sunroof open of course. ;-)

Nancy P said...

Ah, Boran2 has dropped by for his nightcap. I've swept him on out, though not without a beer in his hand. Now to close up this shop and set the lock for the shop next door to open in the morning.