Like the cowardly lion, we are all living with fear. Also like the lion, we can all find our courage.

Jeanne and I choose to travel, our COVID risks are as minimal as anyone else who takes precautions, and our mobility means we get to pick where we are. One area heats up, we’re gone. Someplace else seems more secluded and we show up like flies on shi***

So while we watched fear turn to panic on the news, and watched cities burn, we hiked. We stayed close to people we love, and took them hiking. While people screamed about who matters, we crossed 10,000 feet to the foot of Lamoille Glacier, with people we love.

We stayed in Pahrump until the heat came in and had planned to head to Elko,NV for some, or much, of the summer as the temps are cooler and the town is smaller. As fate would have it, Jeanne’s brother James not only got a job offer there, but was renting a “tiny house” in the RV park we booked into. Perfect.

Elko is a town of just over 10,000, and like Bakersfield, with a Basque and cattleman heritage. It is, I think an odd cross of redneck and cool vibes. It hosts the largest cowboy poetry festival in the world and the US’s largest Basque festival. It also hosts a great city owned shooting facility!

Our motorhome spent two and a half months in Elko, we spent two. How did that happen??? So it turns out that when a pandemic is spiking and peaceful protest turn violent, we go to our happy place. We go find a trail and a tale to tell about it – in this case….ROAD TRIP! We left the coach with James and headed for Oklahoma to visit family with stops along the way to see loved ones in Kansas and Colorado. Worried about staying in hotels during COVID? Screw that – we got a tent!

OK, we did also stay in hotels but spent several peaceful nights in the Rockies.

If you have scoured our site you may remember reading about the World’s Largest Ball of Sasal Twine in Cawker City, Kansas. Or the World’s Largest Cement Garden Gnome in Iowa. Well, Kansas never disappoints and we also saw the world’s largest reproduction of Vincent VanGogh’s Sunflower painting in Goodland, Kansas.

Of course, not to be outdone by a bunch of Kansans, Oklahoma also provided some roadside curiosities; the world’s only Main Street Oil Pumping Station, in the middle of Main St, Barnsdall, OK. It’s easy to find, it’s in the middle of the damned street and right across from the gigantic corn dispensing machine, because who doesn’t have to run out in the middle of the night for a 20 pound bag of corn feed?

Oh, and who can forget Green River, Utah’s contribution, the truck and trailer, trucking a trailer full of trailers on their way to other trucks.

We enjoyed Kansas storms, Colorado hiking to underground waterfalls, beautiful Oklahoma Lakes with vistas that go on forever, and were thrilled to see the monuments of the midwest: Water Towers and Grain Silos.

After enjoying the charming hospitality of the Scott and Jeanne Tunnicliffe at an undisclosed location in Colorado, and after an unhealthy amount of Bourbon and Scotch was consumed (along with wine, and beer, and grain alcohol laced apple pie shots – WTF was I thinking????) we made our way back to Elko for the best holiday of all, Independence Day in small town America.

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