Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Say Hello to Big Brutus...

This winter weather is really getting to me. I'm starting to suffer from PMS (parked motorcycle syndrome).

Today, I was sitting in my office looking at the display boards I made. I used 26" x 19" poster frames and added different things to them so I can recall each years rides just by looking at them. 10 years on one board and the other is still being added to.


I was noticing one of the pins.


It's one I picked up at the Big Brutus Visitor Center in West Mineral, Kansas. In 2009, my ridding buddy, John, and I were on our way back from the Southern FJR Owners Rally in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. I wanted to make a side trip to see Big Brutus. It took us a little out of our way, but not too far.
Big Brutus is a Bucyrus-Erie, 1850B, electric shovel. It weighs 11 million pounds, and was shipped to the area on 150 rail cars in 1962. It's not the largest electric shovel ever built, but it's the largest electric shovel still in existence. The unit is 160 tall, and the bucket holds 90 cubic yards. It was all electric powered and had what was basically a long 7,200 volt extension cord behind it. It was operated by the Pittsburgh & Midway Coal Mining Company until 1974. It's now a museum dedicated to the coal mining history of southeast Kansas.
For a small admission fee, you get a fact sheet, and get to walk through the insides of Big Brutus on a self guided tour.


It's hard to get a feel for just how big Big Brutus is, maybe this will help.. Look at the people coming down the stairs...


One more picture of the bucket. I didn't take this photo, I found it on Google Images. It's from a Kansas tourism web site, so I hope it's ok to use their photo...

Interesting info can be found HERE.

14 comments:

  1. Erik - love the idea of the display boards to help with the remembering. Brutus makes me think of the gigantic dump truck I saw in ... I think it was Alberta or ... maybe if I had made a display board I could remember!

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    1. The boards started after I realized I had a huge collection of patches and pins and I wasn't displaying them.

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  2. As my daughter would say 'thats one big digger'

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  3. Damn.... that is huge.

    I thought we used to see huge pieces of machinery in the mines of BC, but I don't think they were this big. I can't imagine it coming in 150 rail cars. Wow.

    And I agree with Karen - those display boards are an awesome idea. For the last two years I've taken advantage of a Groupon from Shutterfly and for $10 each have made a 20 page hardcover 8"x8" book of our moto travel pictures for that year. I like the board idea though, especially to display in your office.

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    1. Thanks, I'm not sure where I got the idea for them but I started them about 8 years ago. I was thinking of redoing the black one and using a lighter colored background.

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  4. I'm learning a lot here; the Board is a fantastic idea and I knew of the Shutterfly concept but hadn't thought of it for moto travel.

    Erik, I need to know....did you learn about Big Brutus from a motorcycle magazine, the issue where they did the Flint Hills? That was where I saw it mentioned and had expected to get down there when I spent my time in KS but never got that far south.

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    1. I learned about Big Brutus from the Sport-touring.net web site. Years ago, someone did a ride report and mentioned it. I'm a big fan of heavy equipment so this was a must see for me.

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  5. Nice to see I'm not the only one that likes the odd and unusual. My GF thinks I'm a little nuts for wanting to go and see the worlds biggest ball of yarn which, interestingly enough, is also in Kansas.

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    1. I'm all for road trips to the unusual!

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  6. I am going to steal your PMS phrase, it fits perfectly on how I've been feeling. It is snowing today, but tomorrow they're predicting 50 degree temps.

    Riding My Own Biography
    NINJA ZX-14 MotoVlog

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    1. Spring is coming here too, but slowly. Highs here this next week in the low 40's.

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  7. another idea for a years rides would be to put all the pics from a ride on an SD card and pick up one of those electronic picture frames for each year... kinda pricey... but then after you assembled a few frames, one for each years you'd have a HELL of a slide show running all the time! :))

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  8. Winter is still here in the UK. It was almost going to be a sunny weekend and a lift-the-cover-off-the Inazuma possibility but then the good old BBC Weather forecast snow for the next few days. Just when I had thought the warmer weather was coming. Drat! Back to gazing at the bike through the window...

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