Blue Smoke And Bad Vibes

Jackson Hole Wyoming …. The stillness of the morning wraps around me and the warmth of the coffee cup in my hand, helps me to appreciate what the road I have traveled, has brought me to this morning.  The hard bench of the picnic table seems like only a minor inconvenience as I soak up the grandeur of Jackson Hole, and this wonderful spring like morning.  High up in the branches of a stately lodgepole pine, I hear the familiar call of a Blue Jay and all is well in my world.

My life seems serene and circumspect, and then the GM Diesel in the old 4107 roars to life!  Blue smoke diesel exhaust fills the air, and like a gentle fog, engulfs everything in sight.

Damn old bus I think to myself, “I wish he would just leave.”

That is the bad thing about early risers, they fire up at just barely the crack of dawn, and if they are driving some poorly maintained exotic relic of the late forties or fifties, they do not have any air pressure at all.  So they will run the old bus for what seems like a lifetime, before they are ready to release the brakes and leave the campground.

This in turn, does not make us many friends in the community of man.

I used to hate old buses with a passion, I did not care how slick they were or how many hours the operator had put into them, to me they were smoke belching monsters that ran far too long in the campground before they finally left.  I really disliked them because they were noisy and I was often still sleepy.

Many a time found me not a big supporter of bus folk.  Their loud pipes, noxious fumes and seemingly callous attitude toward other campers did not enamor me to them at all.  That school of thought was fostered mainly because I did not understand the methods and benefits of good maint. and the headache and anxiety of bad air lines.

Now days, it is not so bad, I understand buses and bus people a little bit more than I used to.  This kind of makes me a little sympathetic to their needs.

Daddy’s Hobby our bus, can sit for several days and still fire right up and move out, immediately, because it doesn’t have a whole lot of air leaks and will hold a ready supply of sail boat fuel whenever I need it.

Another thing changed.

They say old habits are hard to break, and to some point, that is true.  I no longer get up early and hit the road to get a good start on the day.  We kind of linger a little, sip on the coffee, sit around and while away the time, watch the parade out the front gate, and when we are ready, we fire it up and we leave.

So here it is, the take away, where the rubber meets the road.  I have found out, albeit somewhat late in life, that if you are in a hurry you should not be driving a bus.  If you don’t want to make new friends and impress the locals, you leave at a decent hour.

And if you can, you try your best to route yourself thru Jackson Hole, Wyoming, because it is a really neat place, and worth more than one visit in this lifetime.

Watch those right handers …


It Just Smelled Good

Old Man River.  The Mississippi River is now hitting historic low water levels because of the extended drought that is hitting the nation.  Barge traffic is down as operators have to load them 25% less than before or they go aground.  Some 30 barges have went aground this summer so far.  The river in some places is now one-way as Northbound barges have to wait on the Southbound traffic in order to navigate the once mighty river.

Good News/Bad News.  I now understand that Los Angeles is taking treated sewage water (affluent) and piping it some 15 miles upstream of the wells and injecting it back into the earth.  They say it takes a number of years for the water to reach the pumps and then enter back into the system.  While it is traveling this distance, it is being purified.

So the bad news is if you are visiting LA this summer, you most likely will be drinking treated sewage water.  Now for the good news … Most likely will not be enough of it to go around.

Now there are losers … And then again … There are losers.  A man who went into a police station in Pennsylvania stole a bag of marijuana off the counter.   He told police later on that “it just smelled so good” so he lifted it.  Can you imagine being locked up for that, and the big guy looks at you and says, “What are you in for?”  I would like to be there for that one.

And the winner is.  Someone walked into a little gas station 60 miles north of Detroit this week and bought the winning ticket on The Powerball, must be nice. The estimated profit of this adventure into lottery world will be about $241 million after taxes.  I sure hope that they can find it in their heart to donate a little of that to charity.

The lottery is fun isn’t it? It often reminds me of Keno in Laughlin, Nevada.  You sit back in those big ol’ soft chairs and they skin you. The first number is 36, the second number is 21, and here is another number …. YOU DON’T HAVE … Number five!  Two hundred and forty-one million dollars … Take a moment or two and allow that to gently roll off the tip of your tongue.

Everybody ….. ready?


(Man, if’n (Okie Talk) you was sick, that shore make you better, huh?)

That would be like what?  125 brand new Liberty Coaches with all the bells and whistles, you could have your own fleet of rolling luxury.  That would almost be tantamount to driving one new coach every day for six months or so.


I can actually remember when that kind of money was the budget for the year for some states in this nation, or perhaps the GNP of a small country located on the globe in a place most of us never heard of or could locate on a map.

You could load up the old forty-five footer with the Moped hanging off the back and drive the 1,500 miles to Maine for some lobstah, better yet, you could hire someone to drive your forty-five footer with the Moped hanging off the back to Maine for some seafood chow and sleep all the way, if’n (Okie Talk) you wanted to.

Things sure are changing, used to be a wish for a million dollars was something to wish for, now the jackpots are starting out at $40 million as if it were chump change or something like that.

Now a million dollars paid out in thousand dollar bills, piled on top of each other, would be about 4” tall.  Not bad.  A billion dollars, in thousand dollar bills would be approximately 63 miles high, and a trillion, that magical number the government likes to deal in, at one thousand dollar bills, would be a little over 63,000 miles high.

Yeah, I could use a little of that, for sure.

First thing I am gonna do is drive my old hoopie up there to Liberty Coach outside of Chicago and tell them I want one with all those electronic gizmo’s, slides and some of that Hawaiian Maui Wowie Teaky Wood, and an electric dog polisher.

The rest of it I guess I will just fart it off.

Have yourselves a good weekend, see you on Monday.


Cartoon courtesy of American and coach picture Liberty Coach, both linked.

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Red All Over

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