This is my Great Granduncle George (center). For 3 weeks in the summer of 1941, he and two other men rode 2 motorcycles from WaKeeney, Kansas to Yellowstone National Park WY and back in 2 weeks. They drove almost 2000 miles on Harley Davidson motorcycles, mostly on sand or dirt roads. George was a photographer (amongst other things) and chronicled the journey in images, notes penciled notes on the back of each print, and stories told for years afterward.
The day Kona and I rode in the back of a Series II Land Rover for 8 hours through rough desert terrain. 30 miles to the beach from our camp, 4 hours each way in low gear. The driver only knew two words of English (Johnny Cash) and when he said them he was beaming. He was listening to America on an old cassette player on the front seat playing Johnny’s greatest hits over and over, all day long. What I remember most is the suffocating smell of diesel fuel, those trumpets from Ring of Fire, and Kona laughing each time that Landy would bottom out. Every time I hear that song I’m immediately reminded about that day and the cold gusty wide open landscape of cactus and gravel. Read More