Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day 65 Motorcycle Museum

The Lodge Micro Motel in Hoisington, Kansas is a commercial building converted to a motel. The town hasn't had a "traditional motel" since the 2001 tornado took it out. Gregory is waving from our room on the far end.

The Micro Motel Room is Enormous (2 queen and 2 twin beds)

Another "heart" in nature.

The sky was truly divided today. We were riding towards the storm and it was gloriously clear behind us.

The All American Family - Geneseo, Kansas Mini-Mart

The owners of the Geneseo Mini-Mart told us the the guys putting up the barbed wire around these oil tanks (next to their store) was "our tax dollars at work". Apparently, it is to deter terrorists...

Northern Natural Gas Company

Miles of Clouds in All Directions


A Fixer-Upper

There are thousands of birds in this area as it is a migratory path for them. Two of the world's most significant natural wetlands, the Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge are here and apparently 46% of the migrating birds come through this area.

The Kansas Motorcycle Museum in Marquette, Kansas

The Kansas Motorcycle Museum was established in Stan Englman's honor and his wife La Vona still tells their story. This picture was taken on their wedding day!

Wiped out after a 70-mile day.

Date: Sept. 22, 2009

From: Hoisington, KS

To: Lindsborg, KS “Little Sweden USA”

Route: Hwy. 4E


Miles Today: 70 miles


Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph

Weather: Low 70’s and a glorious day with lots of puffy white clouds filling the sky

License Plates Collected: 5 Montana plates, 8 Wyoming plates (2 motorcycle) and 1 Idaho plate (found in WY), 2 Colorado plates

What was supposed to be another windy day turned out to be a glorious day. We were thrilled because we’d planned to ride the 60-plus miles to Lindsborg. As it turned out, with our side trip out to Marquette to see the Kansas Motorcycle Museum and our miles around Lindsborg, we hit 70 miles! Mike is currently passed out on the bed in his bike clothes and can’t seem to muster up the energy to get in the shower. (He let Gregory and I have our baths first. What a guy.)

The skies today were spectacular with miles and miles of billowy clouds everywhere. Gregory thought they looked like marshmallows melted over a campfire and I thought they were more like the whipped cream on the top of a cup of cocoa. They had flat bottoms and a wavy top. I just couldn’t stop staring out into the distance today in awe of nature’s beauty. No wind was such a blessing and really allowed us to enjoy our ride.

The Kansas Motorcycle Museum ( started because of one man, Stan Englman and his wife La Vona. They owned a shop in Marquette that housed a TV repair in the front and Stan’s passion, motorcycles, in the rear quarters. He raced Harley Davidson dirt bikes for years and over 600 of his trophies line the walls. He has passed away but his wife continues to share Stan’s story and the motorcycle memorabilia housed in the museum. La Vona told us that they sold the building to the city for $1.00 and the city went to work repairing the collapsing walls. They eventually had to expand the museum due to the interest. Today it is an amazing place just brimming with exhibitions of rare motorcycles and memorabilia. The 3rd Saturday in May Marquette has a rally “Thunder On The Smoky” and this year over 6,000 riders attended. We were so please to have made this 2-mile detour off route. It was just 8 miles from our destination of Lindsborg “Little Sweden USA” so we took our time in Marquette.

While visiting with La Vona and her sister-in-law, they handed us a flyer and explained that Marquette was giving away free building lots to “boost the population of our town and schools. You build your choice of home with your choice of builder, floor plans, etc. We provide up to two adjoining building lots, averaging twenty-thousand square feet each, complete with beautiful, wide-open views of evening sunsets and acres of green fields. Lot value may be used as part of your new home down-payment giving you instant equity!” (Flyer “Free Building Lots!” Once again we’ve been invited to become members of a community!

Almost set to leave the museum we met Dickson, a pilot with American Airlines and we chatted with him for a good while. It turned out he knew of our hometown of Paradise and neighboring Chico because he flew with another pilot from Chico. He even went as far as to say that he’d have invited us to stay in the guest house but his dad was housing an aviation student from nearby Kansas State who was helping him build a plane.

We also thought that Roger and Lynne who own the mini-mart in Geneseo might bring us home. We ate lunch at the mini-mart and chatted with Lynne for a good long while and just as we were about to leave Roger pulled up. He went as far as to say that they had housed bicyclists before. He was picking up Lynne though and they seemed to be off somewhere. It turns out they moved to this small community from Colorado Springs. It was getting just too crowded for them. However, a string of robberies almost had them closing down their small store.

Lynne told us a detailed account of how the store had been broken into on 6 occasions with a string of robberies up and down Highway 4 in these small communities. Each robbery they would break the front glass with a hammer and exit through the back so Roger bolted the back door closed to prevent their escape and he and his brother took turns sleeping at the store at night. His brother happened to be there on the night of the next robbery and at about 3 A.M. he captured a 19-year old who was already on probation. A few hours later they discovered an abandoned vehicle and reported that. After the store had been open for a couple of hours for breakfast the ladies cooking noticed the freezers had been moved around. They took a peak and sure enough the 28-year old accomplice was hiding behind the freezer. He couldn’t get out the back door! The customers out front dragged the guy into the aisle and had him face down waiting for the cops when the guy said, “I just wanted to get some food for my family.” Lynne said Roger just wanted to stomp on the guy and shouted something to the effect of, “If it is food you wanted there are lots of folks around here who would have helped you including my wife but don’t you say you only needed food when all you stole was cigarettes and Dr. Pepper!” The touching end to the story is that this small community presented Lynne and Roger with a card and a check expressing their thanks that they kept the store going. I could tell Lynne was very touched.

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee,
    The image can be seen at who can supply you with a canvas print of it.