Some of you have written that the Harley-Davidsons we have seen are not that unusual; that they are out on the road every summer. But not so: we have learned that 2003 is the 100th anniversary of the Harley Davidson Company. The man in the room next door from us in Wichita has a Centennial Edition Ready to mount up Harley, which is very spiffy looking indeed. He explained to us that there is to be a big celebration in Milwaukee of the Harley Davidson Centennial. People are coming from all over America and all over the world. Another correspondent told of a group of young Danes on the airplane on their way to Milwaukee. The man in the room next door said that some estimates were as high as 500,000. Good for Milwaukee. He also told us that there were four routes converging on Milwaukee. The southwest route was just one. Other routes originate in DC, Portland, and New Orleans. It's good to know that there are folks who still know how to have a good time.
We drove by a direct route from Wichita to Kansas City, or rather Merriam, Kansas, where we spent the night and had a lovely visit with a newly met cousin Julie and Jim in Prairie Village. They were enjoying an air-conditioned house, which was a great blessing. It's still over 100. We swapped family stories, and got many old family histories to photocopy, and shared some pictures, and had a lovely visit.
Today also it is over 100. The temperature puts a damper on our sightseeing, because we don't want to walk around outside in this heat for very Popeye, in bronze long. We can recommend the drive from Kansas City to Jefferson City on U.S. highway 50. It's quite scenic, the road has been around a long time, and it's more interesting than the interstate. We had another short but wonderful visit with second cousin Nancy and Art who gave us a big push when we were just getting started collecting family history. They have sold a lot of lambs (which is one of their businesses) so were in good spirits, as caring for many sheep is kind of exhausting!
The ride across Missouri was very lovely; we traveled through the foothills of the Ozarks, and the roads had plenty of curves and hills which were just beautiful. We drove through mining country, but didn't see too many signs of mining along the roads -- mostly farms and country homes.
Today's ride was an exercise in map reading, as we negotiated our way in an east-southeasterly direction from Jefferson City, crossing the Mississippi River to Chester, Illinois, the home of Popeye. From the plaque: "Elzie Crisler Segar, born in Chester ... created Popeye from his recollection of Frank 'Rocky' Fiegel (1868-1947), local scrapper... William 'Windy Bill' Schuchert (1857-1941) ... appeared as Wimpy..."