March 5-6, 2005

Twenty years ago, March 5, I bought my Moto Guzzi California II. By any measure it has been a very good motorcycle. The first thing I did (the next day) was to take it on a large loop of western Kansas with the intention of breaking in the new motor the best way possible (I think I succeeded).

I wasn't really interested in repeating that older route, but it did seem fitting to at least head in that general direction, once again.


This is what it looked like, March 6, 1985. The looks of the bike haven't changed all that much. The windshield is different, and the exhaust is different, but that's about it.

The other reason for the trip was to ride the short section of highway 4 through the town of Healy. That's one of the few sections of roads in the left half of Kansas yet to be ridden.

Haviland, on US 54 west of Wichita.

Haviland is the home of Barclay College, a small church-affiliated school.

North of town, on an unnamed county road, I stopped for this glamour shot.

There is not much left of Centerview, Kansas anymore. This building and a few houses.

Looping back down to Mullinville


Again leaving the (relatively busy) highway, I turned north and followed the pavement, wherever it led.

The church at Windhorst, Kansas used to be the center of the diocese of western Kansas. No more. It's not even clear that it is still used as a Catholic Church.


The last time I was here, there was a two story brick school just north of the church. It's gone now. Burned.

The old (and unused) gymnasium is all that's left. Besides the church it's the only non-residential building left in town.

I spent the night in Dodge City.

On that first trip, twenty years earlier, I lost all electric power (including ignition) in Dodge City. Now, considering that I had only owned this bike for one day, it took more than the average time to figure things out. It turned out that several of the wire spade connections had been crimped onto the wire without first stripping off the insulation.  Oh well. Easily fixed, but not encouraging.

The next morning in Cimarron, Kansas, on US 50.

From Cimarron, I turned north to Dighton. Poor Dighton's not looking too good, these days.

But, this old service station is.

West to Scott City before turning north.

Breakfast in Scott City was cheap, large, and good.

And, this is Healy; my destination.

The town of Healy is just to the left. It doesn't take long for the trains to run through town.

Arnold Kansas is east of Healy, on highway 4. It's a quiet place.  Population not much above 30. None of the roads are paved and there are no businesses open. Even the post office is scheduled to be eliminated.

This was the old bank. Current grain prices are posted in the scale shack.


This friendly dog is a Tibetan Terrier. Just waiting to be scratched.


McCracken, Kansas is further down highway 4.

Several cars parked in front of the local cafe. Not much else happening in town.

A nice piece of sculpture in McCracken.

Bales of hay on the hillside. This is highway 4.

Just north of Lyons, Kansas

The county courthouse in Lyons.

Sterling Kansas on a windy day.

A nice loop. About 650 miles. I'll do it again, in twenty years.


last edit: 3/9/2005