All our travels had been leading to a destination, Dale Keesecker’s farm, and his huge collection of vintage motorcycles, and finally, we were there. I had no idea what to expect except 60 plus motorcycles.
Well, Dale’s place is pretty big; there’s no other way to describe it. He has 5000 acres of crops feeding 1800 sows who make god knows how many piglets, all of it happening in a carefully controlled, environmentally thoughtful manner. Dale is not a guy in bib overalls but a sophisticated 21st-century farmer. If your food choices include bacon and you’re not going to raise the hogs yourself, you could do worse than to leave the work to him.
We started by looking at some of the finished bikes he keeps near his house, but then Dale said, “Do you want to see the place where we work on them?” so we jumped in his pickup and headed out. We flew down dirt roads, going a lot faster than we had when driving ourselves. We passed by old barns and houses and fields, and as we drove, Dale gave us a primer on agriculture and modern farming.
The modern farm is the result of many converging forces, mechanization, the desire for efficiency, the economics of the world marketplace, and more. Regardless, the bottom line is that making your way between poverty row and the Agrigiants is not for the faint of heart. More about that later. Right now, we had arrived at the workshop.
Dale’s workshop is a builder’s dream. Every tool and supply you might ever need along with all the benches, tables, and storage you can imagine. Everything laid out and waiting for whatever you want to do next. Even if building motorcycles is not your passion, take a look at this space. It’s organized like a place an art director might create, the intention of design clear in every detail.
Then we went over to the barn where more motorcycles lay awaiting their return to glory. In a way, this was the most remarkable place of all. There were more unrestored, untouched high-quality machines here, lying under thick piles of dust than most collectors have in their whole collection.
Vincents, Ducatis, Matchless, and Ariels peeked out from under their dust blankets, promising a great ride again someday. When people talk about Barn Finds, they are usually talking about a bike they found in a barn. This Barn Find is the barn itself, filled with motorcycles in every corner, a museum of used to be.
Eventually, we went back, and I started making pictures. Here’s a couple so you can see the beautiful metal. There will be more motorcycles in the next installment and more about farming too. In the meantime, if you want to see all the bikes I shot, head over to Motorcycles. They are all waiting for you there.
Ready for more? 100 Pictures of Kansas Part 5
The story began here;100 Pictures of Kansas
For all the pictures I made in Kansas here’s a link to the towns and roads and people I shot on the trip — Kansas; Roads Less Traveled, Towns Passed By