Friday, March 23, 2012

March Road Trip post script

After telling my story of woe yesterday I realized that I had forgotten to add the crowning touch to the part where I lost my wallet and camera and got them back. After returning from Sanborn, where I met the UPS driver, Hoot Malmgren, whom I have known for years, I thought that I would run out on the Sizer road to see if he had missed anything. So I got the XR650 out and headed west again. A few miles out of town "Harry" stopped running and I switched to reserve, thinking he was low on fuel. A little bit later the same think occurred and that's when it hit me, the bike was seizing up. For some reason I had changed jackets before leaving the garage and naturally I left my cell phone in the other jacket, just to compound the string of errors that were mounting up that day. Anyhow, I ended up walking back to town, calling Eli to come help, getting the truck and ramps out and bring "Harry" home. The knife twist in the back on this one is this, for years every time I changed the oil I tried to remove a filter in the oil lines without success, so this year I took him to the Honda dealer in Mankato to do the job along with the oil change. I hauled him back to Mankato and the oil filter housing was dry,not a good thing. They tore the engine down and the piston is scored etc., but luckily the top end, cam, rockers, etc. are ok. So now "Harry" sits forlornly, in pieces in a strange shop waiting to be rebuilt. They promised to split some of the costs, so hopefully it won't be too bad, but it will be bad enough. The thing is, I was doing all of this extra maintenance with the idea of heading back out to the Big Horns sometime this Summer. Was it Robert Burns who said" the best laid plans of men and mice oft times go astray"? I think that that statement fits here, don't you? That about covers it for now, see you next time, same time , same station.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March Road Trip

This blog will be the first that I have put up in quite some time. The subject, as usual, will be a bike trip heading west. As this has been one of the nicest Marches on record, I had the bright idea of making a quick run out to the Hills, again. I picked a couple of days when the weather looked promising and got ready to go. I left home one Tuesday morning headed west, about 20 miles from home I started looking for my wallet, stopped and check all of the 15 pockets in my riding gear and the trunk, no luck. I headed back home checked around the house, still no luck. About that time I noticed some recordings on the machine, one was from UPS with the note that a driver had picked up my wallet on the road west of town, and one from the post office letting me know that a rural carrier had picked up my camera. Looking back I then recalled putting them on the bike while I was getting suited up and neglected to put them in a pocket. Anyhow, to make a long story short I ended up in Sanborn to meet the UPS guy and retrieve my stuff. After that much stress I headed home to think again how lucky I have been. God must really be fond of me, and for the life of me I can't figure out why. In the future I have to try and rely a little less on good luck and the kindness of strangers, and a little more on paying attention to the details. The next morning I did head out again and this time each item had an assigned pocket and stayed there the whole trip. I went out through Pierre and across country to Sturgis. Leaving Pierre there was a sign that the next services are 66 miles away, and that service, when I passed by, did not not look real promising. An unusual sight at the intersection of highways 14 and 34, west of Pierre is a baseball diamond surrounded by big banks of lights and all of the facilities that go with a ball diamond, but it looked as if it hadn't been used in years. Things like that get me thinking, "what is this ball diamond doing out here miles from any settlement of any size". I could see it if it had been a rodeo arena in that area, but no, a ball diamond. Things that make you go hmmm. Anyhow, I got to Sturgis checked in and ran up to the Terry Peak area to see if the property Eli, Phil, and I looked at last Fall was accessible, but no, the snow was pretty deep, at least deeper than I wanted to wade through. So back to Sturgis via Lead and Deadwood before it got too dark. The next morning I was on the road headed toward Rapid City and I passed by one of those huge RV lots, so I turned back and stopped in to check out the 5th wheel toy haulers. Jan had asked that I keep my eyes open for one even though we keep saying we are happy with the one we have. Sure enough the had a very nice 30 foot model right out front. I took the tour and videoed the whole unit. Needless to say it ain't cheap, but as soon as I got home and played the video for Jan , I could see the wheels start to turn. The whole drive to the 5th wheel camper is the idea that it will pull easier than the trailer, and thusly save some of that $4+ diesel fuel. So now we are thinking about a run to the Hills to check it out. Last weekend the weather was nice, but windy, so Jan and I rode over to spend some time with the Theobalds. We had a good time with the gang and were home by noon on Sunday. This time of the year I have been busy changing oil and mounting new tires on a few of the bikes, and getting the new window boxes ready to mount on the south side of the house. Well, that is about it for now, stay in touch and reply if it moves you.