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An Unexpected Road Trip Adventure: The End Is Nigh

LongRoofian July 21, 2015 All Things Hoon, Road Trip 6 Comments

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So after taking leave of the thefoamguy and his wonderful wife’s lake house, the plan was to meet up with them later at their home in the Queen City of the Ozarks prior to heading down to another lake in TaneyCoMo. Now as those two have their longstanding rituals of what it takes to close up the lake house for the week and get settled into their city house, this olelongrooffan knew I had a few hours to make that 45 minute drive back to their place. So I decided to do a rare thing and retrace my previous route and check out an area near Haven Lee Farm, Halltown Edition, just off old Route 66.

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As I was passing, once again, through Greenfield, Missouri, the old John Deere tractors shown in the lede image were spotted. Of course, this olelongrooffan had to stop and gather up an image or two of them. And as an added bonus, this 60 year old pickup truck was spotted still doing daily duties as an old farm truck. This olelongrooffan will wager that as a youngster, TheGentlemanFarmer, thejeepjunkie and myself pounded dang near twenty miles of those “T” fence posts, as seen in the bed of that old pickemup truck, into the rocky earth that is Haven Lee Farm.

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So out on the road to Haven Lee Farm, Halltown Edition, I decided to ride to the top of the hill on the way to our old homestead and, as this is a quasi private road, turn around and retrace, kind of, my steps in that old sweptline Dodge truck some 40 years ago. My fellow Hoons may remember that experience in that post I did about that event a whiles back.

It does appear though that when the county took over maintenance of this old farm road, and paved it, they decided to up grade the railings on that old bridge to highway guard rails. This olelongrooffan is just glad I didn’t smack one of those while heading out to “check the mail.” The results would certainly have been much more severe.

But there are many more stories about this low spot in the road involving Bus_Plunge’s wedding reception, a 29 cent bet between TheGentlemanFarmer and his best friend’s 1969 Plymouth Suburban longroof and more but those are reserved for future installments in the automotive experiences of this olelongrooffan. Plus, I am sure Bus_Plunge remembers many things about those events I never knew about. Stay Hooned.

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Now here, my longerroof is stopped on that old bridge and I am checking out where Goose Creek and Turnback Creek meet up, just upstream from our old personal swimming hole. See that big ass tree trunk lodged upon that other tree? There is a sign on the tippy top of that tree trunk that proclaims “No Trespassing.” But it is upside down. That means the upper part of that trunk is actually the bottom of that tree trunk. Yeah, those are some dang forceful water currents.

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And this is Britain’s Mill. I am pretty much sure I have shared this with my fellow Hoons during my previous road trip to this area and possibly fellow Hoon Marcal has done the same. It is an old grist mill that when I first saw it was in total disrepair. A couple years later, a then old man, Bill Cameron from School of the Ozarks got a bunch of students together and renovated it. BabySisterJoan, then a preteen, and this olelongrooffan were also involved in that renovation. Between that experience and hanging with TheGentlemanFarmer, I am confident my little sister, Bill, gained her ability to tackle pretty much any project she wanted. Successfully.

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And now this chicken coop. It is located immediately adjacent to Britain’s Mill, between it and the old homestead house for the Britain’s which is in such a state of disrepair that it will never be habitable again. The new house up the road and overlooking upper Turnback is in great shape though.

Now Mr. Britain, and upon TheGentlemanFarmer’s insistance, it will always be Mr. Britain, had a bunch of old cronies he hung with, much like we Hoons do today. One of them was an equally as old farmer by the name of Noel Vass. When I first met him, I called him Mr. Vass. “Youngster,” he admonished me, “save that Mister business for old man Britain, I am Noel.” And ole Noel was quite a character. He was a farmer and wore that badge proudly. I never saw him wearing anything but bib-overalls. His wife, Mrs. Vass, was a farmer’s wife but nowadays, this olelongrooffan would suspect she ruled that homestead. Now Hoons, remember this was back in the late 60’s and early 70’s. PC was not in anyone’s vocabulary and those folk were just good ole country folk who would do whatever was needed to help out. I remember one time when I was avisiting Mrs. Vass, rode my horse Buckskin the seven or eight miles to their place, just north of Paris Springs, by the way, and this 12 year old still a city boy was complaining about the powdered milk my Mom, on a ten kid food budget, was feeding us. Mrs. Vass, and my fellow Hoons can imagine her, old school knee length dress, full apron, knee high nylons, and hair braided back into a no nonsense pony tail, reached into her old single door Kelvinator refrigerator and drug out a two gallon pickle jar filled with the milk she had gotten from her old Jersey cow the day previous. She removed the plastic wrap and rubber band from the top of that jar and poured this olelongrooffan a real glass glass full of that sweet elixir and, Hoons, I will never forget that taste and that moment. She asked what I thought of it and I told her it was the best thing I had ever tasted. “Even better than A&W root beer.” Well old Mrs. Vass made sure that every time I came around there was a cool glass of that milk available for this olelongrooffan. Damn…the memories….

But back to this chicken coop.

One day this olelongrooffan was goofing off down in the swimming hole just up from that Mill. Well, Mr. Britain came ariding up on his IH Cub tractor and in his quasi gruff way inquired what was I doing tomorrow morning about 7:30? “I have no plans, Sir.” Well you need to meet me and Noel in the front of my chicken coop as we need your help. And wear some old clothes.” No questions asked and no explanation delivered. Well Hoons, needless to say at 7:30 in the AM the next morning, me and Buckskin showed up at that old chicken coop. I noticed upon arrival there was a fire with a 55 gallon metal barrel filled with steaming water hovering over it. I tethered Buckskin aways away from that fire and coop and headed over to see what was up. It was just Mr. Britain and I was almost to frightened to ask any questions. It was just a moment or two later that Noel Vass showed up in his 1971 Chevrolet C10 shortbed stepside pickup truck.

Now as if this olelongrooffan hasn’t digressed enough, about this old Stepside. When I first met Noel Vass, he was sporting a Bowtie pickup that was the same vintage as the one seen above toting around those “T” style fence posts. A bit later when I saw him again, yeah, I wish I had seen him a whole bunch more, he had acquired this new truck. It was a sweetie and just a basic white in color. The next time I saw it, it was covered in silver spots. I asked him about it and he mentioned he was painting the roof of his barn and the wind blew some of that silver paint over onto his truck. I asked him if he was going to have his truck repainted to cover up those silver spots and he looked at me like I was the City Kid that I was. “Hell, boy, it’s just a farm truck.” These days that Stepside C10 is nearly unobtainably priced, but remember this was 1972 or 73 and it was just an old farm truck.

So Noel pulls up in his stepside with livestock racks on the bed of it. He gets out and grabs a .22 caliber rifle from the rack above the seat and strolls around to the rear of that truck. He opened up that rear gate and aimed that rifle into the back of that pickup and shot a full grown barrow hog right between the eyes. Just like that, my fellow Hoons. As matter of fact as just described.

Man, you could have knocked me over with a feather!

“Hurry up and help me get it turned around,” Noel said, “we need to bleed it out afore all that meat is ruint.” And Mr. Britain and I spun into action. Noel cut the skin around the achilles tendons on the hind legs of that creature, ran a stick and a wire through them and it was hoisted up in the air with a wooden and rope block and tackle attached to a sturdy overhead branch of an oak tree near chicken coop. Noel then cut the head off, bled it out and then gutted it. We then dipped the carcass in that steaming barrel of water and commenced to scraping the hair off that hog’s hide with old wooden handled butcher knives.

And this olelongrooffan was all of about 13 years old. Yeah, life on a farm is sure different. But it was the best damn bacon I have ever eaten in my life.

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So anyway, enough digression. This is Mr. Britain’s old barn and I have relayed previously that I have painted this barn red on several occassions over the years. Always with no compensation because, at TheGentlemanFarmer told me, “That is what you do.”

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So enough with reminising, I gotta get to thefoamguy’s house so he can start drinking.

Over on Route 66 I spotted this Geo longroof and had to gather an image of it. Knowing where I am heading tomorrow, I noticed it was parked in front of a bunch of cabins.

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Yeah, back when Route 66 was the happening place, hotels and motels were not to be seen in many areas so overnight accommodations were in cabins such as these arranged in a U shape around the office out front. This olelongrooffan is sure those kids as seen in the above image are wondering why this Floridiot is taking a picture of these old cabins. Because History. Route 66 History.

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A tad bit later I arrived back in the big city and spotted even more modern cabins as noted by this cool old sign.

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And those modern cabins with their cool stone facades are in surprisingly well kept condition for buildings nearly 3/4 of a century old.

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And remember what this olelongrooffan said earlier about the sightings of tow mater? Well, things aren’t any different in the big city.

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Except everything is doubled in the Big City.

Stay Hooned as the Unexpected Road Trip Adventure is ending much sooner than this olelongrooffan would prefer.

Image Copyright Hooniverse 2015/longrooffan

  • stigshift

    My Mom, aged 76, and her partner are in the middle of a cross country road trip right now. Friends of mine have taken a 2 or 3 month long road trip from Dunedin, Fl, to points unknown. No map, no schedule, no deadlines. They are currently on the Pacific coast, in Washington. And your marvelously documented, reported and shared surprise road trip. Need to do some maintenance done on the old 210k Miata, win the Lotto, and go for a spin. The wanderlust is strengthening…

    • longrooffan

      Bus_Plunge and his PrvtRN left yesterday with their big blueburban and vintage Airstream for points unknown out west as well. Yesterday they saw the world’s largest ball of twine. As Bus_Plunge said after they added more twine to it, “It is as big as it ever has been.” Get to work on that Miata.

    • mve

      Where in Washington?

      • stigshift

        Actually, the new update is Newport Oregon.

  • mve

    The creeks are really high after all the rain we’ve had lately. I remember seeing that log with the sign in the water and wondering how it got there.
    There are some cool old motor lodges along 96 when you get past Mt. Vernon. Lots of old buildings, too.

  • 1977ChevyTruck

    “Yeah, life on a farm is sure different.”

    As a farm kid, I agree 100%.

    Two things you learn pretty fast on the farm:
    1. The circle of life and death is ever so apparent
    2. You can fix just about anything with some wire and some baler twine.