Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Great North Road
The Chacoans built elaborate road systems covering over 1,500 miles.  Most of the roads connected to Chaco Canyon.  The Great North Road leads from Chaco Canyon to Kutz Canyon.  To the Puebloans a road is a type of altar, a channel for the life's breath, and to travel the straight road to the center place is to strive for equilibrium.

Approaching Kutz Canyon the North Road becomes a narrow corridor crossing a private commercial fracking fluid soil recovery farm.  The North Road is criss-crossed with bulldozed roads for fracking soil trucks.  Surrounded by the fracking fluid soil recovery fields Arena Alto Great House is several hundred yards from Kutz Canyon adjacent to the North Road.  This sacred site's great kiva was recently bulldozed by road construction.

The North Road is more tha a guide or corridor linking Chacoan Great Houses and features.  It is a map to a lifeway, it holds the stories of the Chaco civilization. 

be strong, be safe, Talon

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Soaring Like Eagles
Pierre's Chacoan Outlier
In the Native American culture eagles are honored with great care and shown the deepest respect. They represent honesty, truth, majesty, strength, courage, wisdom, power and freedom.  

The view from above has always held a special feeling for me.  Freedom of flight.  No longer constrained to your feet.  Spent quite a bit of time over the years making photographs from helicopters and fixed wing planes.  Remember every moment of it.  Loved every moment of it.  This past August received my FAA Remote Pilots License.  Certified to soar like eagles.  Working on the soaring.  

The Greater Chaco Landscape Project incorporates an aerial perspective.  Documenting sacred sites that are effected by the industrialization of the surrounding landscape.  Work which represents honesty, truth, strength, and wisdom.  Work which carries the deepest respect.  With over 10,000 new oil and gas leases proposed for the Greater Chaco Landscape, there is much work to be done.  Help become a part of this important work.

be strong, be safe, Talon


Monday, November 19, 2018

Paul Hollywood Rides into Madrid New Mexico
Heard a rumor Paul Hollywood star of the UK "Bake Off" Netflix series was going to be riding a Big Dog chopper into Madrid.  Paul is working on a new special riding his motorcycle from New York City to Los Angeles.  Stopping along the way at unique locations and eateries.  Had to check it out.
Sure enough.  Paul pulled up on his rigid frame Big Dog chopper just as I put down the kickstand on my LowRider.  Following a short welcome to New Mexico we shot the breeze about bikes, two lane highways, and the freedom of the road like a couple of biker brothers.  I asked Paul.."I'm not a baker, but I am a I still get the handshake?"  Got the handshake.  Paul is the real deal guy.  Sure enjoyed our time together.

Thought for the day...Listen to rumors you never know where they may lead you.

be strong, be safe, Talon

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Bison Advise
Riding across the Standing Rock Reservation last June working on a story for Harley-Davidson came across some good advise.  Felt the need to share it again.

Cherish wide-open spaces
Stand your ground
Have a tough hide
Keep moving on
Have a strong spirit
Let the chips fall where they may
Roam wild and free 

be strong, be safe, Talon 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Life Is Good In The Borderland
Columbus New Mexico just a short three miles from Puerto Palomas de Villa, also known simply as Palomas, a small town of 4,688 people in the in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.  Nancy and I just returned from a two day trip across the border at Columbus to Palomas.  You might ask,  Why did you go to a small village across the border in Mexico?  Could it possibly be for some of the best dental and eye care available at a small fraction of the cost for the same services in the US?  Not difficult to answer that question.  Wonderful, thoughtful, friendly folks across the border.  One of the nicest experiences and best services we have had in quite some time.  Going back?  You bet!
Pancho Villa On His Indian Motorcycle. The US Army Used Harleys To Try To Catch Him.
Learned some interesting history while we were in Columbus.  In 1916 the US Army was unable to catch Mexican Pancho Villa along US border towns. They asked Harley-Davidson  for motorcycles to help track down and catch him. Harley sent them thirty-five motorcycles. While they did not help the Army catch Pancho Villa the Army realized the value of Harley-Davidson motorcycles to the military.  Maybe it was because Pancho was riding an Indian...?

On all my motorcycle photo essays as I ride from border to border across this great US country I am always amazed how lines drawn on maps and walls as barriers try to separate us as human beings.

Life is good in the borderland.  You have only to experience it.

be strong, be safe, Talon

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Greater Chaco Landscape Workshop
 April 9 - 13, 2019

Chaco Culture National Historical Park, located in northwest New Mexico, is arguably the most significant ancient cultural site in the United States.  Between AD 600 and 1260 Chaco Canyon was a major hub for the Ancient Pueblo People.  The canyon contains the remnants of great houses, kivas, roads, gridded gardens and irrigation systems built by a people who were proficient in astronomy, architecture, agriculture and the arts.   This workshop presents a rare opportunity to explore and photograph Chaco Canyon’s great architectural and cultural heritage.  You’ll walk on ancient roads and through buildings placed and designed by the cycles of the moon and sun, and by the Chacoan’s amazing innate grasp of engineering parallel to today’s technology.
The workshop will also focus on the breathtaking surrounding areas known as the Greater Chaco Landscape.  This includes Angel Peak Badlands and Ah-Shi-Sle-Pha, two areas known for its unusual geological landforms found only in the Four Corners Region of New Mexico.  While photographing some of Mother Earth’s finest work you’ll also learn how the Chacoans built roads and outliers (smaller inhabited villages) throughout these areas, all of which are linked directly to Chaco Canyon. 
This four-day workshop is directed to the photographer seeking a unique off the beaten path experience.  Please note there will be a fair amount of walking in open desert landscape.  Weather in April averages 60 to 70 degrees during the day with evenings as low as 30 degrees. The workshop will be based out of the historic Casa Blanca Inn in Farmington, New Mexico, about a three and half hour drive from either Santa Fe or Albuquerque.

The workshop is limited to 8 participants.  Your tax-deductible donation of $1850.00 includes honorariums, most meals, water, light beverages and snacks.  Lodging and transportation are not included.  For your convenience we have set aside rooms at the Casa Blanca Inn.   To register for the workshop please click HERE.

I've spent the last sixteen years photographing and documenting Chaco Canyon, its artifacts, and its outlying sacred sites.  As you explore the area with me, you'll understand why I'm so passionate about preserving Chaco Canyon's legacy for future generations to come.  Your tax-deductible workshop donation allows us to continue to produce this necessary and timely work.  To learn more please visit Question of Power.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Monday, October 8, 2018

Kutz Stairway - Greater Chaco Viewscape
The Great North Road from Chaco Canyon leaves Pierre's Outlier heading directly to Upper Twin Angels mound in the Angel Peak Badlands.  A small shrine-like ruin sits on top of the mound.  This marks the point where the North Road ends and the Kutz Stairway descends 500 feet into the canyon.  People of Chaco traveled along the bottom of Kutz Canyon to Twin Angels Outlier over 800 years ago.  The stairway is a challenge to define due to hundreds of years of erosion and the industrialization of the area by oil and gas development.

Kutz Canyon is dotted with well pads and multiple crisscrossing oil and gas access roads.  Along the canyon rim the Great North Road has been covered with fracking fluid evaporation ponds.

Nancy and I spent several days last week along the rim and in the canyon working to capture the spirit, meaning and importance of this sacred site.  Click here to view Kutz Stairway - Greater Chaco Viewscape.

be strong, be safe, Talon

Friday, October 5, 2018

Alice Gilmore - Standing Strong for Truth and Justice
December 2006, a harsh cold winter day on the Navajo Nation.  Alice Gilmore's grazing permit was in the process of being taken away from her illegally.  The purpose, to build the proposed Desert Rock coal burning power plant on her permitted land on the Navajo Nation.  Alice stood strong.  Defending her rights.  Speaking the truth.

That December day, when I first met Alice, was the beginning of an incredible journey working with her. I photographed Alice, recorded her stories, and traveled across the Navajo Nation in my Jeep with her.  There were times of laughter and times of tears together.  She drew a hard line in the sand.  Spoke the truth.  Prevailed in the end.  Truth is always the winner.

Alice finished her journey of 87 years on Mother Earth a few days ago.  That winter day in 2006 seems like yesterday.  It has been an honor to know and work with her.  Her face and strong words of wisdom will forever be in my memories of her.

Safe journey Alice.  Thank you for Standing Strong for Truth and Justice. 

be strong, be safe, Talon

Monday, August 20, 2018

Crafting the Spirit of a Portrait
As photographers, how do we define a portrait?  Is it the pose?  The lighting?  The location? A moment in time?  By definition, a portrait is a representation of a person.  The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person.  But how do we go beyond these simple definitions?  How do we craft the spirit of a portrait?  It is the connection between photographer and subject that lies at the heart of a successful portrait.

Learning how to make that connection is the core of an upcoming workshop I will be teaching at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops in Santa Fe, NM on October 1 - 5, 2018.  It will be an exciting week of exploring, learning, and Crafting the Spirit of a Portrait.  Here is the complete workshop information.  Look forward to our paths meeting in Santa Fe.

be strong, be safe, Talon 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Lucy A. Willie 
 Lucy A. Willie was Navajo, and an elder in her community on the Navajo Nation in Burnham, NM.  I first met Lucy in November of 2004.  Stories of health problems, social justice issues regarding mining rights, desecration of ceremonial and burial sites, with the losses of grazing permits and homes had drawn my attention to the area.  For 12 years I documented birth, death, joy, and sorrow in the Willie family.  I viewed, experienced, and photographed a way of life, which is quickly vanishing in America.

Lucy took me into her family.  Taught me the Navajo way.  Called me her younger brother.  Made me the uncle of her daughter and granddaughter.  Showed me how to herd her sheep with the dogs.  We cooked fry bread.  Laughed and cried as one.  Traveled untold miles together over the reservation working to bring social and environmental issues to light.  Lucy never stopped believing in the truth.  She stood tall and strong for her family, community, and country.
Lucy completed her journey on Mother Earth on Saturday July 14, 2018 at 7:20 am.  She co-founded Dooda Desert Rock.  Her peaceful spirit and strong resistance to wrong brought positive changes for all future generations.

Thank you sister.  It was an honor far beyond words to know you, work with you, and be called your younger brother.  May your journey ahead be filled with peace and joy.  I will always remember your gentle smile and the lessons you taught me. 

be strong, be safe, Talon

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Beginning of the End?
President Donald Trump declared war on Harley-Davidson on Tuesday, saying it's decision to shift limited production overseas would be the “beginning of the end” for the iconic motorcycle company.  He also predicted he would suffer little fallout for his aggressive tweets. "The people who ride Harley-Davidsons are not happy with Harley-Davidson,” Trump told reporters.  "Their employees and customers are already very angry at them,” Trump said in an early morning tweet....REALLY?  Maybe he needs to go for a ride on a Harley and actually listen to people.  After spending the last two weeks traveling across this beautiful country, meeting and talking with bikers, HD employees, and by the way riding an  incredible machine, it is impossible for me to understand where this crazy, illogical, thoughtless rhetoric comes from.

It saddens my heart when an iconic American company is threatened and attacked in such a reckless manner.

be strong, be safe, Talon

Friday, June 22, 2018

HWY 83 - Day 11 - Magic City
Good sleep in Westhope in the bank building last night.  It was FDIC insured and secure.   Breakfast at a four table cafe.  Invited to join a table with the local folks and share stories.  Before I knew it we were all laughing and chatting like long lost friends.  Could only happen in a small farm community.  Rode back south to Minot to drop off the LowRider at Magic City HD.  Good folks.  Had a hard time putting the kickstand down for the final time.

Shared a beer with a friend, Arlen, from North Dakota tonight.  Special way to end the ride.

Couldn't help but think about some Bison advise I had read at Standing Rock Reservation.  Lessons of the road.
 Cherish wide open spaces
Stand your ground 
Have a tough hide
Keep moving on
Have a strong spirit
Let the chips fall where the may
Roam wild and free

Wingin' my way back to Santa Fe in the morning.  Via the friendly skies.  Be missing the road with the wind on my knees and the sun on my back.
Roam wild and free, Talon

Thursday, June 21, 2018

HWY83 - Day 10 - Knife River Indian Villages, End of the Road, Sleeping in a Bank
For centuries the Upper Missouri River Valley was a lifeline winding through the landscape.  It's wooded banks and rich soil became the home of the Earthlodge people.  They hunted bison and other game but were essentially farmers living in villages along the Missouri and its tributaries.
Alisha is Chief of Interpretation and Cultural Resources at the Knife River Indian Villages.  She is a direct descendant of the Mandan and Hidatsa Earthlodge people.  "The Knife Villages had been established for over 500 years at the time of contact with Europeans.  The Hidatsa arrived in the area around 1300.  Archeological evidence shows that the Knife River area has been occupied for more than 11,000 years.  In 1837 a smallpox epidemic transmitted by the Europeans reduced the populations by 90 percent.  In 1885 the US Government forced the remaining tribes to move to the Fort Berthold Reservation."
Hand painted buffalo robes depicted and celebrated important events.  They were placed within a sacred area of the Earthlodge.  Cooking fires were in the middle.  Buffalo hides were wrapped around the upright beams to give thanks and respect for all the bison provided for the people.
Walking through the villages and along the Missouri River this morning I was filled with a sense of peace and tranquility.  Agriculture with gardens of corn, squash, beans, and sunflowers were the main crops.  The women of the Mandan and Hidatsa nurtured their gardens as they did their children.  It was here in this village Lewis and Clark met Sakakawea who traveled with them to the Pacific Ocean.
A short 85 miles further north brought me to the end of HWY 83 at the border of the United States and Canada.  At one time the road gently curved into another country. Today it is all about passports, immigration, forms, and government regulations.  2211 miles from the Gulf of Texas to the border of Canada in North Dakota.  Across vast grass plains, sand hills, headwaters of mighty rivers.  Through disappearing Americana and history that formed this country.  Folks I met in small towns and big cities, chatted with, heard stories, and drank coffee with.  All part of the Last American Highway, a journey through time.
Lookin' for a room for the night.  Pulled up to the Gateway Motel in Westhope, ND just 6 miles from the border.  It was a bank at one time.  Now the city hall, library and a motel with 16 non-smoking rooms.  Entered the building.  Sign with a phone. "Call this number if you need a room".  Called the number.  Jim answered.  Told him what I needed.  He took my information, gave me the combination to a key box where I found my room key. "Don't forget to leave your key on the dresser in the morning.  If you don't we are goin' be charging you for each day the key is missing."  Got my attention.  Key is laying on the dresser.  BTW 15 additional rooms still available tonight.

Tomorrow ride back south to Minot.  

Kickstand down Weshope, ND 210 miles

be strong, be safe, Talon

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

HWY83 - Day 9 - Standing Rock, Sitting Bull, Mandans on the Missouri
Rode to the Sitting Bull Monument this morning.  Chief Sitting Bull, or Tatanka Iyotake, was a Hunkpapa Teton Sioux spiritual leader. In the 1870s, Sitting Bull had relocated to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.  He became a great spiritual leader and organized a resistance movement against US expansion on treaty-reserved lands. On December 15, 1890, nine years after surrendering to the US government, he was shot to death by government police.  The police had been executing an arrest warrant in order to prevent Sitting Bull from attending a Ghost Dance ceremony.  The location overlooks the Missouri River. Quiet, peaceful, overlooking the country he loved.
Clear skies and dry pavement were my companions today.  Leathers finally beginning to dry out.  Into North Dakota sections of the original two laner share the true feeling of the original road.  Passed through Strasbury,  home of a bandleader and musician who became a household name with his popular TV show in the 1950's, Lawrence Welk. 
At Washburn turned west to meet the Missouri River.  The Mandan people, who lived along the river, provided food, supplies, and shelter for Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery.  Fort Mandan was built in 1804 and the men of the Corps wintered over there until April of 1805.  Lewis and Clark met Sakakawea at Fort Mandan.  It was here the Corp made their final preparations for the push into the unknown American West toward the Pacific Ocean.
Met Charles, a recent college history grad and park ranger at Fort Mandan.  "We're not too busy at the moment.  If you like I'd be happy to provide you with a personal tour of the Fort.  It is build of local cottonwood trees.  This is a reproduction.  The original fort was built down river from the Mandan and Hidatsa villages.  The exact location of the original fort has been lost.  It is most likely covered by the Missouri River now.  This replica was built in 1972."  Nice to have a personal local expert to share the history.
Pulled up to the Coal Country inn to check on a room for the night.  Unique, industrial type of motel...discovered it was set up for working crews at the local coal power plant.  Complete with it's own store, cafe, and laundry.  Took my boots off as instructed.

Kickstand down at the Coal Country Inn, Stanton, ND. 240 miles

be strong, be safe, Talon

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

HWY83 - Day 8 - Fog, End of Pavement, Lookin' for Buffalo
Woke up to heavy rain in Valentine this morning.  Rained all night.  Little break about 8am.  Suited up, covered up, saddled up.  10 miles down the rainy road hit fog so thick was thinkin' about getting my Leatherman out to cut my way through.   Orange sign in fog...road work ahead...10 more feet...gravel road...10 more feet...pavement ends...It ended at the Rosebud Reservation.  No pavement, no gravel, just slippery old fashion mud.  This is a US HWY.  Now maybe it is under construction.  Wondering about how the road could be like this on the Reservation?  Oh...just let me guess.  Hold tight, keep the throttle steady, stay focused, slipping and sliding side to side.  Just lookin' for a little solid ground. BIG shot of adrenaline getting through that one.
Out of Murdo SD rain let up a bit. Smiling when I saw the dry pavement.  Smooth two lanes.  Travel Tip: At Murdo HWY 83 meets I90.  You can run the original 83 instead of jumping on the interstate.  Drive through town and make a right hand turn at the stop sign.  Road will be all yours.  It was mine today.
South of Fort Pierre is the Fort Pierre National Grasslands.  If it weren't for a sign, you'd never know it.  There is no interpretive center, not even a scenic overlook.  Seems like the incredible prairies have always gotten the short stick when it come to preserving and appreciating our natural heritage.  It is a stunning short grass prairie.
Sign: Turn Right now. Buffalo Interpretive Center 5 miles.  Rode the five miles twisting and turning through the green grass covered sand hills.  Stunning country.  Saw the Center coming up down the road.  Pulled in.  It was locked up, boarded up, and closed up.  Hadn't been interpreting any thing for quite some time.  No buffalo left to interpret is my guess.
Finally found some buffalo in Fort Pierrie.  Used them for a backdrop with my iron pony.  Not sure where the Stanley County Buffalo roam these days.
Grain silos dot the landscape in South Dakota.  Farming has replaced the Great Grasslands.
Into Mobridge tonight under clear skies.  Dry pavement never looked so good.  Nice family run motel called the MoRest.  Parkin' right at the door. Paying my respects to Sitting Bull tomorrow morning.

Kickstand down MoBridge, SD.  262 miles.

be strong, be safe, Talon

Monday, June 18, 2018

HWY 83 - Day 7 - Warmin' the soul
Woke to a sky looking like it was filled to the brim with water.  Stopped to have a McCafe and study the Nebraska map before leaving McCook.  First sip of coffee.  Heard the familiar "Where are you headed?".  A very special thing about the folks in Nebraska.  They don't know a stranger.  In less than a minute Don was sitting across the table from me chatting away as if we were close old buds who were just gettin' caught up a bit.  Born and raised in McCook, Don was a helicopter pilot in Nam, used the GI Bill to study dentistry, opened a practice in McCook, married his high school sweetheart, has a daughter who is following in his footsteps and taking over his practice of 40 years.  "Just work two days a week now. Kinda retired, not really. Don't know what I would do if I couldn't go into the office at least twice a week."  Started to get a good history lesson.  "This area around here at one time had both the tall grass prairie and the short grass prairie.  Grasses were 8 feet tall on the tall grass prairies and 3 -4 feet tall on the short grass prairie.  Over 2 million buffalo roamed the prairies right here in McCook.  Proud history."  It was a good conversation.  A real conversation.  Enjoyed the time chatting with Don the dentist.
83 north from McCook is a beautiful two lane running over the Sand Hills of Nebraska.  Today low overcast, fog, light mist, light rain, then it rained harder than I have ever ridden in before.  Ever.
Even through rain and fog the beauty and tranquility of the Sand Hills surrounded me.  Rained so hard didn't have to stop for a drink of water all day.  Just licked my lips and swallowed. Figured got my 8 glasses easy.
Pulled over and walked to the top of a hill.  The horizon melted into the landscape.  Trees blended softly with the grasses. Sky gently kissed the earth.  Didn't matter if it was raining.  Didn't matter if my goggles were filled with water on the inside.  Took a special moment to stop and give thanks to Mother Earth for all the beauty she provides for us.
Dryin' out tonight in Valentine, NE.  Everything is wet.  That's only the physical stuff.  My soul was warmed and filled with the beauty of the day.

Kickstand down Valentine, NE. 220 wet miles.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Sunday, June 17, 2018

HWY 83 - Day 6 - Across the Kansas Plains
Bagged the seat on the bike last night.  First rain of the trip.  Woke me up hitting the window of my room.  Overcast this morning leaving Garden City.  At an intersection turn a wrong direction.  Find myself heading west on Highway 50.  Four years ago I was in the same spot on a new 2014 LowRider doing a story on 50. Still remains one of my most favorite rides.  Morning thought: is Texas flatter than Kansas?  Thinkin' Kansas might win out on this one.  If I had a marble I do believe I could put it in the middle of HWY 83 in Kansas and it wouldn't roll in any direction.  Actually, I'd bet dollars to donuts it wouldn't move an inch in any direction, North, East, South, or West.  Now if I only had a marble...
Stopped to top off the gas tank.  Heard a friendly "where you headed"?  Met Liz and Bob.  Both Harley riders.  Liz works with Lace, Grace, and Gears.  It's a group of women riders attempting to set the world record of the most women riders meeting in one place at one time.  Their goal is to bring 1200 women together in Bardera, TX this fall.  Bob worked for a Harley shop in Illinois where he met and did some crazy motorcycle ice racing with Evel Knievel. Had a good time swapping stories.
The 225 miles of HWY 83 across Kansas is the land of wheat and cattle.  Most of the cattle are in feedlots, not like this perfect "free range" picture.
In the spring of 1868 there were two Williams in the buffalo hunting trade around west Kansas; William Cody, who supplied the Kansas Pacific Railroad workers with buffalo meat, and William Comstock, who fed the soldiers at Fort Wallace with his catch. To settle the dispute that they had on who the rightful owner of the nickname would be, they held a contest to see who could bring back the most buffalo in a day. Cody, with his large-caliber Trapdoor Springfield rifle he named “Lucretia Borgia” and his circling technique that kept his kills in one area instead of scattered, won the contest 69 to 46.  The contest took place 10 miles west of the town of Oakley, and the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center was established there in 1995. A large sculpture was commissioned  and dedicated in May of 2004. Placed on a hill just outside of town to keep above the horizon, the statue towers above the plains.  It was all about a "contest" to see how many of these magnificent creatures could be slaughtered.  A sad piece of history.
Kansas travel tip:  It may be difficult if not impossible to find any place open for a meal on Sundays.  If you see a Casey's  Gas/Convenience Store that will be your best Sunday meal plan.
Stopped at Casey's for my Sunday lunch.  "You the guy ridin' that blue motorcycle?  Blue is my favorite color.  Not only that...Blue is my name."  Blue had blue eyes and was wearing a blue shirt with blue jeans.  His uncle had been a rodeo clown following the circuit across Kansas.  Blue was a bull rider for a short time before a serious accident.  His belt buckle caught my eye.
"My Dad gave it to me when I was a kid.  He had a special feeling for the buffalo.  Respected them, loved them, always felt sad about what happen to them."
Out of Kansas into Nebraska tonight...the good life.  No buffalo sighted.

Kickstand down McCook, NE. 230 miles.

be strong, be safe, Talon

Saturday, June 16, 2018

HWY 83 - Day 5 - Dinosaurs, Horses, Combines
Breakfast.  The most important meal of the day.  Today was no exception.  It takes so much energy just packin' up the bike each morning.  Always ready for a good dose of eggs with a side of ....Those are two eggs over easy, a good portion of hash brown potatoes, jumbo patty of sausage, with whole wheat toast lathered in butter.  Oh, black coffee and some strawberry jam included.  Now this will keep you going no matter which way the wind is blowing out there on HWY 83.
In early 1992, Gene Cockrell took $2,000 dollars worth of concrete and steel and built a dinosaur on a bluff outside his home town of Canadian, Texas. He did it, he said, so that local children heading up US 83 would always know that they were almost home. He also wanted curious travelers to ask about it.  Maybe stop a while in town. He named the dinosaur "Aud" after Audrey, his wife who he married in 1947.  Don't know how much she appreciated the dino being named after her.  Then again, we all have different ideas on how to become famous.
Chris Harris put Canadian Tx on the map when he earned the title of National Bareback Riding Champion.  Crusing through Candian this morning on my iron pony, rounded a curve, and there was a full blown barrel racing event firing up.  All young kids warming up their rides to beat the clock circling the barrels.
Around 10am the winds started blowing full force.  83 is a smooth two lane between northern Texas and Oklahoma.  To my good fortune the wind was blowing from the south.  Simply said, that put those 40 mph winds right on my back.  Good place for them.  Before I knew it my speedo was pushing 75.  Had to keep rolling back on the throttle.  Felt like floating  across the landscape.
HWY 83 cuts across a short section of Oklahoma.  Right at the state line was one of the largest wind farms I have ever seen.  Went for miles.  Those blades were generating the kilowatts today!  Clean, quiet, beautiful energy.  Need more like these.
Up and down the road in Oklahoma and into Kansas the convoys of combines and haul trucks filled the road.  Wheat in full harvest.  Grain elevators were advertising $5.00 a bushel.  Must take a lot of wheat when you see the million dollars of equipment in the fields to harvest it.
Finished ridin' into Garden City passing hundreds of "nodding donkeys" better know as pumpjacks.  Working the earth below as the combines covered the ground above.

Kickstand down in Garden City, KS tonight.  230 miles.  40mph winds.  Feeling like I could keep ridin' forever with the wind on my back.

be strong, be safe, Talon