From Nixa, MO we headed to the northwest corner of Arkansas to visit a four-wheeling friend Scotty in Siloam Springs. We stayed with Scotty for several days and took care of some chores. We were very thankful that Scotty had air conditioning in his place. The weather had been unseasonably warm and the a/c was a real treat. We got to meet Scotty's new Rhodesian Ridgeback "Ray". From Siloam Springs, we headed northwest to the Tallgrass Prarie Preserve to do a brief drive-by and then continue on to La Junta, CO.
The photos below are what we saw.
Once we got into Oklahoma, we started seeing many oil derricks. The one above was happily producing oil and money for its owner.
Tallgrass Preserve, there are many buffaloes. These are
claimed to be the last remaining "free range" buffaloes in North
America. The road into the preserve is 10 miles of easy dirt
and took us right by the buffalo herd. The one above appears
be dozing in the late afternoon heat.
many buffaloes on the preserve, but apparently there were enough
visitors in vehicles that they were merely curious about our
but not alarmed.
from one of the overlook points were stunning and were a
throwback to what the original pioneers saw when they first
the preserve did not have trees except in the draws and
washes. On our exit from the area, we spotted this one lone
were very impressive. The height of the grass was
part of OK, we headed into Kansas and then west along some of
the back roads. In one small town, we elected to eat at the
cafe that had a nice view of the grain elevators across the
Note that the small red building was the Santa Fe railroad depot
the town of Cunningham, KS.
in to the cafe parking lot in Cunningham, KS and the whole cafe
emptied out to look at the Unimog. Farm boys like their
Kansas, we passed many miles of power poles that were pushed
over due to strong winds. To do this much damage, the wind
have been preceded by rain or the soil must have been already
allow the poles to be pushed over.
we passed more damage due to high winds. Above, these grain
elevators were hammered by high winds. Note the heat
We ended up staying in a motel in Wichita because of the heat.
path we passed some interesting articles of Americana. These
are wind mills made by an artist who clearly had too much time on
the big farms and feed lots have massive infrastructure to support
monument to the Texas Longhorn in Dodge City, KS. Dodge City
one of the cattle centers of the west and was the objective of
cattle drives. Today, Dodge City still has many feed lots
paralleled the original Santa Fe Trail and along the way we
stopped at one of the many museums that commemorate the trail.
damage to local infrastructure. This was an expensive storm,
into Colorado, we passed this surplus 5 ton truck near the road
in Lamar, CO.
to stop for lunch in Lamar and had to circle the block to get
to the restaurant. By happenstance, we passed this beautiful
truck that was restored by the owner of a truck repair
The truck had the twin-stick transmission and the Mack Thermodyne
direct injection diesel motor.
main line passed through Lamar to points east and west.
the tracks was the Lamar Santa Fe railroad station that was
converted into a visitor center and museum. In addition to
things that you would normally expect, they had a large GE
blade on display. There is a large wind farm south of town
that uses these blades.
it was done in the old days, steam locomotives and windmill water
locomotives used air brakes and the apparatus in the center of
the photo above is the steam-powered air compressor.
on the steam engine at the Lamar station.
departure from Lamar, we had to go around the block again and
spotted another nice restoration done by the local truck
This is a Federal brand truck. From Lamar, we continued west
La Junta, CO to visit our friends Rob and Erin and see their new
St. Louis, MO a large rock was thrown into our windshield by a
passing truck. The damage was extensive and the windshield
trashed. The hole was about 5 inches across. Upon
discussing this with Rob, he said he had a replacement windshield
would be happy to install it on our truck.
one of his employees attach the rubber gasket to the new
rope was placed in the trough of the gasket to aid in seating the
windshield. Using the rope method, they had the new glass
in just a few minutes. It would have taken me hours to
the same task, assuming I could have succeeded at all.
addition to the
had to replace the rear driver's hub while at Rob's shop.
That hub had been serviced in Helena, MT 2 years
prior. Due to our situation and parts availability, used
were installed in Helena. But, these parts served us well:
they got us from
Helena, MT to San Diego, CA to the Arctic Ocean and back and then
San Diego to Maine and then Colorado. The hub was starting
generate some metal particles in the oil, and since we had the
with us, we elected to change the guts before continuing on.
photo above shows no severe damage.
removed the driven gear, the wear spots on the gear race were
clearly visible. This gear would fail soon, no doubt.
may or may not have gotten us all the way home before giving up
we decided to inspect a Mercedes 1017A that he has for
sale. Above, Kathleen measures the height of the cab.
is a 5 ton, 4x4 cargo truck. The mechanics of this rig are
reasonably similar to the Unimog in that it has the OM352A diesel
and common control mechanisms.
system for the 1017A is classic Mercedes. The plastic
covers the 24V battery box.
of the 1017A is very beefy. In the photo above, you can
see the actuator arm for the load detection/brake modulator as
the air line actuator for the differential lock and lock sensor.
This segment of the trip was uncomfortably hot. In many of the photos above, the images are blurred by heat shimmer. On most nights, we stayed in motels because our camper does not have a/c and it was just too warm to sleep. Many thanks to Rob and Erin for hosting us at their place in La Junta. And congratulations on your new twins!
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