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Draplin Design Co., North America


This transmission comes to you from Omaha, Nebraska. A proud Omaha.

Got up real early this morning at Gary’s, south of Denver a bit, and hit the road up to Boulder. Thanks again to Gary and Shelley for the hospitality and good conversation. Great house!

Turns out Jeff Baker and Mark Sullivan were in town “figuring shit out” with the folks at Freeskier magazine. Their independence is very attractive. They’ve managed to do very well with their book and carve out a strong position in the ski world. Bravo. An “indie” title that could teach us a thing or two. Big plans for moving forward.

I got to meet Brad Fayfield and the Freeskier staff, shared some war stories from the road and let them all “get in good” with a very-yappy Gary. Nice group of kids. Nice building. Good energy. Very happy for the Snowboard mag staff. They are in good hands. Now, let’s make some mags, you fuckers.

Oh, yeah: Tom Winter was just as fuckin’ awesome as his name. Best name in the snow industry. Tom Winter.

Got my ass outta Boulder soon after after and out into that big prairie. I always forget how far that Nebraska border is from Denver. That I-76 run is a real bear. I always underestimate that 200 miles. Shit.

I got into Nebraska, whipped past Ogallala and thought about the “Incident at Ogallala.” I thought about Leonard Peltier and the monumental injustice connected to that sad situation.

The next 350 miles were very smooth, all the way to Omaha. I love this stretch. Always have. The trees and green marshlands, fields and gentle, rolling hills are very soothing. I veered off the big road, and up to downtown Kearney, hit the original Cabela’s store to stock up on gear and took highway 30 east for a good 50 miles, connecting with I-80 again. That’s where you see Nebraska. “One horse” towns. Wait. No. Better yet: “One combine” towns, with a bar and a gas station.

This is America, man. I felt proud and thankful on that little stretch. What a country. How vast!

Secondary roads are where it’s at. But, I’m on a bit of a tight schedule trying to get back to see those goddamn Flaming Lips tomorrow night up in Minneapolis, so, I have to fight to urge to explore too much.

Tomorrow, I’m gonna take little roads all the way up to Minneapolis, savoring small town Iowa’s hidden gems. With some luck and skill, I’ll find Laurens, Iowa, and shut the rig down to honor a couple moments of silence in the memory of the amazing Alvin Straight, famous for riding his lawnmower from Laurens to goddamn Mt. Zion, Wisconsin. The best. The absolute best.

Gary is rolled up like a little cinnamon roll on the bed. Big S is resting out in a well-lit parking lot. Shit’s good in Nebraska. Really.

Some images from the last couple days, you hellions:

006. “Etch-A-Gary”
007. “Wyoming: Sparsely-Populated, Big-Skyed.”
008. “Cockpit detail.”
009. “Little Man Lube & Tire”
010. “Southeastern Wyoming sunset.”
011. “Northeastern Colorado morning.”
012. “Big S, at rest, Highway 30, Nebraska.”
013. “Gary growled at the bovine snouts stiking out of these…” “Easy, Gary, easy.”
014. “Grain elevators, every 10 miles.”
015. “Waitin’ on a train, waitin’ on a traaaaiiinnnn…”
016. “God bless it, man.”

There Are 2 Comments

I’m jealous. You should have stopped at the Rio to see your hostess friends.

Posted by: Rod on 08/23/06 at 9:16 AM

hey be nice to nebraska… travelling down I-80 when you go buy Ogallala/Grant exit, I’m just 20 miles south of there… grew up there and spent 23 straight coyote and deer hunting years there until I found this little spot called SEATTLE… when you go by that exit, do the sign of the cross for my bible pounding christian pushing parents that live there…. if you have the time drive that extra 20 miles south to Grant and stop in on Jim (my dad) at Top Notch Automotive, right as your coming into town… he could show you the 13 classic restored cars he has in the 13 car garage there… safe travels my brother…

Posted by: styk on 08/23/06 at 8:35 PM
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