A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

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.

Monday, May 29, 2023

A Short Move


Chanute, Kansas

Our second morning at Safari Park the guy down on the end had his three little yapping dogs in a corral pen on the grass.  The racket must have been music to his ears for he made no effort to curb the disturbance.  We moved over to the other side of the park.  There we had a picnic table.

I got involved in a project.  I cleaned my tea pot and hot water making pot with a scrubbing pad.
I even took the pad to the stovetop grills.

Beans surveys the new land.

We were down there on the right just beyond that car plugged in for the day. 
Then around three I moved us down here to be in the shade.

That evening after six we then moved a half a mile up the road to stay at Walmart which was equally quiet.  Why didn’t we stay at the park?  Well,  just the first two nights were free and then you had to pay, not that anyone ever came by to check.  But I am one who follows rules and regulations.  

HA!  Sure Dad.
Beans, be quiet!  

Really it was about picking up a few things before we leave Chanute and I’d rather step out my door and go shopping than drive on down there in the morning to do it.
Afterwards, over to fill the tank.  Averaged 18 mpg even this time.  Nice.

Also, I watched the girls softball team practice.  They looked to be high school age.  All the infielders wore a face mask.  I had never seen that before.  Those in the outfield did not wear one.
I wondered if the face mask was mandatory or by choice.

The pitcher was a slightly heavy girl but boy could she ever fire that ball across the plate.  
Underhand pitching of course.  All of them were very good ball players.
The Chanute girl’s softball will be a team to reckon with this season.

Memorial Day


Chanute, Kansas

I should have had this ready for the morning.

Santa Fe Park has a nice veterans memorial display.

Amazing they can get these images on the surface of the stone.

Bricks in front of the display had all the veterans from Chanute,
 the years they served and in what branch of the armed forces.

Looks like granite.
Must have been costly.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Osa Johnson

 Chanute, Kansas (pop. 8722)

The Martin and Osa Johnson Museum

   I have Osa Johnson’s book I Married Adventure (1940) and have wanted to see the museum ever since reading it long ago.  I did so back in 2012 when Sinbad was traveling with me.  If you only read one of her books, this is the one to read for it covers their entire lives of adventure film making beginning in the 1920’s.  They were pioneers in a genre we are all too familiar with today - nature/wildlife.  They were the first to film wild African game in their natural habitat.  Martin did the filming while Osa provided protection.  They didn’t have telephoto lenses in those days so they had to get pretty close to the wild animals.  Osa was a crack shot in the true Annie Oakley sense.  

  Imagine being a small town Kansas girl of 16, having your friend ask you to join her to see a vaudeville show in a town nearby, meeting this young man showing his silent film movies of his sea voyage with Jack London, then going back a second time to see the show and elope with this young man, not telling your parents until you are far away.  It changed her life forever, becoming world famous in their time.  But Martin’s untimely death in 1937, a plane crash which Osa survived, then the outbreak of World War 2 pretty much pushed their names into obscurity. 

Their films and some short bios are on YouTube.
Here is a link to a short one.  Just watch her stand firm in the face of a charging rhino.

- comment reply -
“You should get a plastic hook to hang over the shower door…”  
Well I in fact do have a metal hook in my shower pack which I forgot about since it has been forever since I have had to use it.  But the nastiness of the shower plus the lack of privacy (locking the door) kept me thinking of the situation any further than I did. 

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Safari RV Park


Chanute, Kansas (pop. 8722)

Odd that my camping apps show this as Safari Park but I now notice the sign shows Santa Fe Park.

This is a quiet place even if at a traffic intersection.  But it is at the edge of town so not too busy.  
Across the road is a Ford dealership.   “Ron Bower, line two please.  Ron Bower, line two.  Parts, line one please.  Parts, line one.”
Yes, I hear the announcement of every call coming in.  Not too many though.  New cars aren’t selling.

No sooner than did we park Dad, I want out!

I just told everyone you are now an indoor cat and now you want out all the time in a busy city?
What gives?

Oh, there is a storm drain.  I see now.


They have showers but they looked kind of nasty.  No bench or hooks to hang clothing on.
I’ll pass.  Still this was a good place to stay for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

There are seven baseball fields here, with four of them fake.  I never seen fake grass fields before.  The outfields are real grass though.  This one is still in the building stages with dirt piled up in left field.
Interesting that none of the four fake fields show on Google maps.  All of this is brand new.

These seats were comfortable.

I never seen a ban on sunflower seeds before.  I guess chew tobacco is still okay.