A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Amelia Earhart


Atchison, Kansas

The birthplace of Amelia Earhart.  Her childhood home is in town which one can tour for a six dollar admission fee, but looking at the photos online it seemed to be just a house (her grandparents’ house in fact) filled with antiques, not a proper museum.  I decided I’d pass on it but would take a walk to see what the park had in her honor.

I took a wrong turn and ended up in the International Forest of Friendship.  

Trees from all around the globe are planted here.

 I came across where she is buried. 

Not really.  Couldn’t resist throwing that in.
  They never found her after her plane went missing in the South Pacific in July of 1937, three weeks before her fortieth birthday. 
Another one of those daring daughters who worried her parents endlessly no doubt.

Finally I got back on track for the earthwork portrait of Amelia.

The viewing stand.  I made it.

Well gee whiz, that’s it?  It looked like a sand trap at the golf course.
This was disappointing.

Here you go.  This is what we missed out in seeing.
(Google image from high above)

Back at camp I was now a bit steamy.  I’d take a shower.

Restroom number one looked somewhat in need.

The one next door was marginally in better state of cleanliness.
This will do.

In the late afternoon we pulled forward past number nine with the shade, to number eight (another wasp nest home - carefully and slowly I plugged in the cord) with more shade now. The people had left further up the line so we wouldn’t be encroaching upon their space.  And guess what?  More rain, lightening and thunder in the early evening and amazingly, the electricity stayed on all night.

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Blackout Campground


Atchison, Kansas (pop. 10,885)

Warnock Lake Park

It had been a ninety-six mile day drive when we arrived.  I was surprised.  
I was enjoying scenery of the country roads of Kansas so much I didn’t feel it.

The campground was a short loop where each spot was close to the next.  Fortunately only two others were camped there, both at each opposing ends of the loop.  We pulled into number nine for the lovely shade it provided. Twelve dollars (old person rate - $3 savings) with electricity.  We had a brief rainstorm at 5 p.m.  It was then I noticed the refrigerator had switched over to propane.  The electricity had cut off.  Flipping breakers did nothing.  The pole was dead.  Crappy doodles!  We’d move elsewhere.

I backed up into number ten.  That pole was the home for a wasp nest but the power worked.  
Yet there was no way I could get decently level.

I backed up on further, onto a cement pad for number eleven where our home is in the photo.  Again, no way to get level.  Why pour a cement pad unlevel?   I backed up again to number twelve cement pad in the distance.  This one was not quite as lopsided and there we stayed for the night.  In the morning the refrigerator was running on propane again.  The power had gone out on this pole too sometime in the middle of the night.  I pulled back up to number eleven for by now we were getting too close to one of the other camper to back up more.  Parking half off the cement got us a bit closer to level.

I caught a city maintenance worker as he drove by early in the morning.  I asked why the electric would quit.  “Duh, I don’t know.  I’ll check the main breaker.”  I asked why pour out of level cement pads?  “They are forty years old.  They might have settled some.”  Yeah, right.  (I kept my sarcasm contained)  I never heard from him again.  Another worker came by at ten emptying trash cans.  I asked the same question.  “Duh, I don’t know.”  Neither looked at the electric boxes.  They could not care any less.

Next post will be more postive.

- comment reply -

Thank you Barb for the caretaker.org website.  I have thought about something like this but not at this point in my life.  I like wandering.  A few days stationary is about my limit then the urge to move is too great to resist.  Someday though I will need to settle down, no longer be a rolling tumbleweed.  Do I buy a small place, rent something somewhere or maybe be a caretaker for someone’s remote cabin?
I saved this website for the future.  Thank you again.

Friday, June 2, 2023

Being Grateful


We left the Ottawa Walmart B & B for Douglas Lake somewhere near Baldwin City, Kansas.  Claire was sending us on these unnamed gravel dirt roads around the heavily wooded lake dotted with fancy homes hidden deep inside the forest.  Beans got restless and started squawking at me.  I checked my phone.  Cell service had fallen down to one bar from four.  Here we go again.  Enough of this.  We turned around in some rich people’s driveway and got out from there never seeing the supposed campground on down the road.  Beans settled down and got back in my lap.

We started out on Plan B passing through Eudora (pop. 6408) birthplace of Hugh Beaumont who played Beaver’s father in the TV show Leave it to Beaver.  I saw a turnoff to the boat ramp for the Wakarusa River.  Ah, a good place for lunch.

It was really nice there and I thought it would be a good place to overnight at.  I was going to call the police dept. to check out that possibility then I saw the fine print on the sign board: Park is Open From Dawn to Dusk…Camping Not Allowed.  ‘sigh’

A couple in a blue van arrived while I was eating.  A young woman and man, he in a motorized wheelchair.  She unloaded two fishing poles and fishing gear then they went down the boat ramp where a level cement pad with railing stood off to the side overlooking the river.  I walked on down to at least see the river before we left.  She must have said something to him when she saw me coming down.  He spun the chair around by the hand control and feebly waved at me.  I waved back then he spun back around.  I asked them about catching fish in this muddy water.  She said this was the first time they had come here as they usually go to the lake.  “We’ll try.”  She baited a hook with a four inch long baitfish, casted it way out there in the middle almost to the bridge shadow.  She set the pole up in his chair somehow then worked on her fishing pole. I wished them luck and took a cement staircase back up to the lot.  
He never spoke.

By now Beans wanted out having seen me walk off.  I got her hooked up and we started down the staircase.  She got halfway, saw the couple and wanted to go back home.  I have ruined this cat.  We are by ourselves so much she just doesn’t want to be around strangers anymore.

For the next fifty miles of driving I thought about the young man in the motorized wheelchair off and on.  Sometimes I get tired driving.  Get tired doing what I do.  Good Lord, that poor guy is dependent on her for every aspect of his life.  God bless that woman.  And here I am thinking about my sore butt, being tired at the end of each day, wondering about why do I do this?  Seeing this couple gave me a reality check that I deserved.  I am grateful for having good health and being able to live my life on my own terms.  I need to always keep that in mind and quit sniveling. 

These tiny bait fish were lying on the ground outside my door.  What she was using for bait could have been caught with these baitfish.

- comment replies -

We are running a month behind according to Ellen’s perfect 70 degree weather map.  Where we are now we should have been a month ago.  We should be up in Minnesota now.   Well, I like it a bit warmer so maybe we are right on track.


Geez Debby, you could have left the part out about the waitress sitting in her car crying. 
 It pains me to see a woman crying.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Not What We Wanted to Do


The threatening black cloud bank eventually moved on and we had a nice drive to

Richmond, Kansas (pop. 459)

My camping app showed this was a free dispersed campground.

Not anymore.

We looped on around, crossed the small earthen dam and ran into this.
I paid heed to the sign and backed up back across the dam.

Only two spots were on this side of the lake.  We took number one; a guy was parked on the road blocking access to number two which had shade.  No electrical plug-in not that we were going to use it.  
They all must have been over on the other side of the flooded road. 

It was quiet and peaceful here.  While eating lunch I decided we’d stay at the ten dollar no plug-in fee.  That sign gave me the option to pay online so I’d give it a try.

There was nothing much at all on there on their website!

I tapped on the three bars in the upper left corner.
This was it!
No way to pay for a campsite.
Well I’d catch them in town on the way out tomorrow.

By now the cell service had dwindled down to one bar, if it even worked at all.  Just getting this far with the useless website was an ordeal.  I tried to upload pictures for a blogpost.  Forty-five minutes later it was still struggling on picture number one.  I gave up.  It was nearing tea time when we left for Ottawa ten miles to the north.

I was glad their website failed to deliver preventing me for paying that ten dollars.  
I would have liked to stay but there would have been no blogpost.

So we wound up yet again at the Walmart B & B, this time in Ottawa.

Right next to us was a Freddy’s.  In fact, I think I have been in this one before.  A young girl was working the counter.  Think she was in training.  Very shy.  I thought at the time, Poor girl, you are not going to last long at this.  I hope she was able to get a job where she didn’t have to deal with the public.
I recalled the last time I got a Freddy’s Steakburger.  It was disappointing.
I vowed no more Freddy’s for me.
No, didn’t go in.  Made my own dinner.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Humboldt Eat and Wash


Humboldt, Kansas (pop. 1847)

Humboldt’s city park was only nine plus miles north from the Martin and Osa Johnson Museum in Chanute.  They had RV camping available with electricity for ten dollars a night.  My camping app showed “free” if tenting which in most cases is the same for just parking and not hooking up.  But I didn’t see an area for tents only and every spot to park to camp was in the sun.  Then the police arrived.  “Oh he’ll know.”  He didn’t.  “You’ll have to go to the city office and ask.”  Heaven forbid!  He suggested Chanute to stay at.  “We just came from there.  Well, I’ll just have lunch then move on.”
I found some shade to park in.  It was quiet and nice.

After lunch I walked across to check out the showers.

They were better than those at Chanute even if they were old and well used.
Good thing I am not tall for the water came out of the hand-held faucet only but it was good.

Hunting for ticks.  Found one!

Around 6 pm we moved out up the road ten miles to Iola (pop.5396) to sleep and shop.

Coming out from the store early in the morning the weather looked interesting 
further north where we would be going.

- comment reply -
Regarding Osa’s life after Martin’s death,
Damselfly commented:  Osa was severely injured but recovered and gave hundreds of lectures from a wheelchair.  By October 1937, the New York Times was publishing dispatches of Osa’s latest trip to Africa, in which she described lifestyles and practices of the Maasai and other tribes.  She died in New York of a heart attack in 1953.
Thank you for helping me out Damselfly.  I had come across a picture of her giving a lecture from her wheelchair but cannot find it now.  You could just see her right knee still in bandage so it had to have been not that far from her being released from the hospital after a ten-day stay.
One tough woman.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Going on Safari


Chanute, Kansas

We went back to Safari Park for another night.  It proved to be a very nice place to be at to weather out the three-day holiday weekend.  As such, when we left Tuesday the Martin and Osa Johnson Museum would be open.

So why not go see it again?  As it turned out I don’t think I went inside back in 2012 as it was all new and interesting for me.  Sinbad and I must have rolled through Chanute on a day it was closed.

Gee, she’s cute.

Okay, I admit, by the time I finished the museum I was smitten not only by her cuteness but her adventurous spirit.

I like these pants she has on.

The museum was filled with tribal art from all over and I soon realized most all were donations by others.  Very few were from the Johnson’s travels as they focused on photography and film making.

Little Johnny would have loved reading these.

Here she would be nineteen years old.

Here are the Johnson’s in their early days with the gear they transported from town to town to show Martin’s film and story traveling with Jack London and his wife Charmain to the South Sea Islands.

Before setting off for Africa.  She would be twenty-eight here.

Notice her pet monkey.  They had pets all along their travels, not your standard dog or cat either.

High praise from the man Lowell Thomas himself.

They did well for themselves being able to purchase two airplanes.

Spirit of Africa

Osa’s Ark

Imagine lacing up these boots each morning.  Good protection against snakes.

I left the museum walking back to my life imagining what it would have been like to have lived the life they had.  And I could not help but to think of that one morning at sixteen years of age she woke up in her Kansas home not knowing that would be the day her life changed forever.

- comment replies -

I mentioned the pitcher’s size in the fact that I deeply respected her getting out there and participating and greatly admired her pitching abilities which most likely extended to all aspects of her softball playing. 
She would be an inspiration for all girls of all “weight size”.

Thanks Karen for informing me that the images are done with lasers.  Amazing in the detail of the images.