Travels With Oso con Migo

Odyssey In America

OAE On The Road Again -- Just The Facts Ma'am.

Nude Sunbathers Ahead

Greetings Virtual Travellers:

2006june17, Cherokee Nation, Just The Facts Ma'am

Where to start? It was a long and windy drive; some roads are meant for motorcycles--and there were a lot of them out this day--and big old buses should find other Ways. The maps and charts never do justice to the twists and turns and elevation changes, and the "Scenic Byway" designation only makes matters worse. (If I'm not careful here I might well talk my Self into a cul-de-sac.)

So here I am, on a partly cloudy late afternoon, northbound on U.S.19, a straight road (at least compared to U.S.129 from Tallassee to Robbinsville) from Cherokee to Maggie Valley, between a Santa Land Theme Park and an inviting wide spot, (35n28.043 83w15.806 to be precise) and I decide to take up the invitation brom the back of my mind to stop for tea.

Can you see where this is going yet?

Right directional on, ease left a bit to make room for a wide right turn and slow to a crawl, look one more time in the mirror, commence the turn to the right... WHAM!

A glancing blow on the forward starboard quarter (that's where the front door is), an "Oh Shit" from me, and a black Toyota with "RAV4" emblazoned upon its spare tyre cover bounced, literally bounced, sideways, into a tree that marked the verge and the far corner of the opening to the wide spot I was aiming for. It could have been worse I suppose. The wench speeding by, passing me on the right, could have arrived a second later and hit the bus more broadside amidships where the fuel tank is.

Accident DamageAs it is the door still closes and latches but it does not fit as well as it used to. The front bumper is bent forward, straight ahead, like the pincer of a giant beetle, the long-horn of an angry bull. My bike bounced up from its carrier and hit the right side windscreen causing cracks to extend from edge to edge. Sara(h)'s door is Ok but the porch light aft of it was wiped off and the fog light behind the bumper was smashed. I don't quite understand how that fog light was damaged; it seems to be out of the line of fire. The door is bowed in some and scratched. The fiberglass headlight molding is damaged. The worst part seems to be the bumper. Bending that back into shape and rewelding the braces and brackets is going to be a job for supermechanic.

The officer investigating the accident says its my fault. That any reasonable driver, seeing me pull into the left turn lane (the road is three lanes wide at this point with the middle lane being designated a left turn lane for access to Santa Land's carpark), would assume I was going to make a left turn. Not a right turn as indicated by my five-bulbs-blinking right turn directional signal? Perhaps, he suggested, I should have a sign proclaiming Wide Right Turns on the rear of the bus. Maybe surrounded with blinking Christmas Tree Lights, I thought.

The black Toyota was, according to casual on the scene evaluators, totaled. The black Toyota was not visible to me when I commenced my turn, either it was following too close or so far back in the dusky shadows, either way, I saw nothing when I commenced my turn. The driver of the black Toyota refused medical attention and refused transport from the EMT's.

Well! There you have it. I'll have nightmares for a while but otherwise I seem to be OK.

Summer Solstice

The good news is that North Carolina has a Mutual Responsibility law that specifies if either party to a motor vehicle accident admits or is found to have any causative action with regard to the event then their claim will be denied. Such is the case here. The other party was found to be travelling at an excessive rate of speed whilst passing on the right. Still not clear what being an unwitting participant in this event does to my driving record and the insurance companies decision is subject to appeal. We'll see how it goes.
Favourite Coffee Mug
Thunderstorms almost daily. An inch or two of rain each. Sara(h) does not like the thunder and slinks into one of her safe cubby places. I am enjoying the tall trees and lush grass--except for the almost continuous noise of mowing. Downtown is a short walk. I could live here. Except...

Mostly I am being dampened by the rain here in Waynesville Nortre Carolinia. Days and days of it now, several inches, water running in the streets. At this rate we need not drive far to paddle kayaks. The Cat Crawl'd Inn here under her own power, a short drive from the scene of the incident, to where I was bound in the first place. Friends here, New Hampster expatriots, with whom I have been visiting now for a week. Seems as if only a couple of days. Time to move on. I hope my reluctance to get going is not a reflection of any incipient apprehension.

I will continue to wander as chance and monies allow. Probly, if and when I make it to New Hampster, to my home port garage, I will get repairs to the bumper done. Mostly. The scrapes and scratches are already patched up and painted over enough at least to look better; I was able to use George's chop-saw to amputate the bloody bumper so it will be less likely to break someone's kneecap.

Whynot on The Potters' Highway does not have a post office.The Parrot Jake

However there are lots of potters along there. Several years ago Liz gave me a nice blue bowl that is just right for cereal with sliced peaches and yogurt. I've been wanting another just like it ever since so today I went looking for the artist who created this fine bowl: potter E.J. King. Way far down beyond Whynot I found his store amidst a collection of several. The doors were all unlocked but only at Jake's Pottery was anybody home. Jake, it turns out, is a parrot. His resident Human is named Robby who, it might be said, is only just getting his hands dirty in this business of making pots. Robby said he makes mostly mugs and so we talked about my commissioning a coffee mug like the one I have. He also said he's looking after Mr.Kings New Cereal Bowlshop so we went next door to look for a bowl to match the one I had in hand. The colours of the one I found there don't match perzactly but the shape is right and they nest mostly Ok. Now I can go a day longer before I have to wash dishes.

2006July4, A National Day of Mourning

Can a pony be a horse? Can a horse be a pony? That question and others about the differences and similarities of horses and ponys were answered at the Chincoteague Pony Show. Do you remember Misty the pony and the orphans who rescued her? The storey of Misty rates second only to Black Beauty as a horse tale.
Kayak at Sea?
Emily and George live in Assawoman on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. There is water all around. Fresh water of rivers and streams meets salt water of ocean and bay.  The protected seas between mainland and island invite me to paddle. The estuary of the Assawoman River is at low tide on this particular early morning. Before the heat of day the water is flat and thin, the kayak needs the channel of the public boat launch area to gain the depth of the slow river. Along the verge, the space between channel and bank, the water is shallow, so much so that this boat of little draught is skimming the black ooze of oyster beds and not gliding. I am poling through muck rather than paddling through water. "Dip, dip, and swing them back" is achieved only along a narrow deep defined by markers protruding from the rippled surface. The muck washes away from my paddles and they do indeed flash like silver in the morning sun.

George collects junk. Good useful junk mind you. Good for salvage value if nothing else. One of his recreational activities is to take things apart--rusty old electric fan motors from local chicken factories and anything with aluminium, copper, or brass parts--and sort the metals. He must make almost as much selling scrap as he does launching ozone study balloons for NASA. Emily studies genealogy and does hands on healing. We had a lot to talk about on both subjects.

Now writing from Germantown Maryland where hightest gas is 3$40 per gallon. Just had lunch with David and Davy and talked about a tour next Summer to visit hot springs in Idaho.

Shrewsbury Pencilvainea

Did you know that the Earl of Sandwich was an evil dude who stole credit for having invented what we now call the sandwich from the Duke of Shrewsbury?

Here too, I have been so enamoured of residing in the desert these past few years I have lost touch with some of the necesities of survival in the swamps and forests of the northeast. At the moment I'm visiting friends in Shrewsbury Pencilvainea as I wend my Way towards New England and certain filial visitations. The premature rot of veggies and growth of mould is taking a toll of my cleaning abilities. In the desert bread left out dessicates to a styrofoam hardiness but here it, and the cheese one might enShrewsbury within, moulds in transit between galley and table. One must eat fast.

Tying Knots... efoto by LarryLarry, once upon a long ago a Scout in Troop 55 Billerica where I was ASM, invited me to visit his Scout Troop 205 at their Summer camp. Tuckahoe is at 40n5.6', 77w5.87' and includes a small lake and facilities sufficient for several hundred Scouts and the other critters one might expect to find in the woods. At a campfire we sang:

Our paddles keen and bright,
Flashing like silver;
Swift as the wild goose flight,
Dip, dip, and swing.

There are several more verses, and a different tune, in an earlier version of Land of the Silver Birch as I eventually remembered it. We also sang Green Grow the Rushes and I hear that has been changed as well. Is nothing sacred?

I was able to show some of the boys how to build zipper fobs and alternate ways to build fires. Firebuilding and knot-tying have at least stood the test of time and not fallen prey to political correctification.

Thanks again to all those Old Scouts who helped me in my turn learn the things I taught during that all too short visit.

Be Well, Do Good, and Please Write.

Love, ajo

I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. --Sir Isaac Newton

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Copyright © 2006, A.J.Oxton, The Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.