Saturday, January 23, 2010

Really late road trip re-cap

In Whiskey, Texas, just because a vacation trip took place 3 months ago doesn't mean you won't get a chance to read about it. Coverage of my October vacation to Kansas City begins now.

I had a week of vacation scheduled for the third week of October. Anxious to be out on the road during my favorite season to travel, I planned out an itinerary which would allow me to visit a friend in Kansas City and do plenty of sightseeing along the way. It would be a typical Whiskey road trip... run & gun, spontaneous changes, no motel reservations, and maximum productivity of limited time. That's how I roll, baby... and this is how it went down.

On the road: Highway 80 in east Texas

Tuesday, October 20 - Surrealville Sojourn

I was on the road just after sunrise with a goal of reaching Gurdon, Arkansas by mid-afternoon. In Gurdon, I would meet buZ blurr, the retired railroader who draws the "Colossus of Roads" railcar icons.

It was a great day to begin a road trip. I traveled east and north at a leisurely pace, stopping to photograph church signs, ghost signs, the Texas & Pacific depot in Marshall, and various other small town scenes, before arriving on buZ's doorstep at the appointed time.

Marshall, Texas: Texas & Pacific depot and steam locomotive display

Texarkana church sign: Shouldn't this say "Tweet God"?

I've been noticing the Colossus of Roads monikers for many years; the Colossus is one of my favorite drawings out on the rails. Every time a train passes by, I watch intently, hoping to see one. A couple years ago, buZ and I began corresponding via mail and e-mail. In fact, he originally contacted me through this blog after I posted some Colossus photos.

buZ and his wife really rolled out the red carpet for my visit and made me feel welcome. After a visit in their home, buZ provided me with a guided tour of Surrealville (that's Gurdon in buZ nomenclature). We stopped by the railroad depot, the yard, and his art studio... and even made it out to the family farm in "Surrealville West" so I could view the "Rust Never Rests" / "Fill the Ford Fully" works-in-progress.

Colossus Ground Zero: buZ blurr and Colossus drawings in Gurdon, Arkansas.

Driving to Surrealville West with buZ.

buZ blurr with 1950 Ford, part of the "Rust Never Rests" project. buZ welcomes contributions of old keys to "Fill the Ford Fully" in an effort to confound future archaeologists.

It was a pleasure and privilege to finally meet the man behind the moniker, and learn more about his background in railroading and his modern-day artistic endeavors. It was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. Thanks, buZ...

Surrealville scenes: empty chair in open field...

Signs of Surrealville...

chainsaw mailbox

I would tie up for the night in nearby Prescott, and planned to spend the next morning tracking down operations on a local shortline, the Prescott & Northwestern Railroad. Stay tuned...


np: Cross Canadian Ragweed - "Boys from Oklahoma"

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