Sunday, February 1, 2015
Thru The Mid West And Into Montana
Thru The Mid West And In Montana! Well here I am again down the road in another town .This time I'm camping in a town park next to the highway department.For 5 bucks a night you get a site,a shower and there is running water and electric ! Such a deal.I'm about 2/3rds of the way thru Minnesota in this town named Fosston.It's a nice little Mid West town with friendly natives and a good market with a deli.That's actually how I found the campsite.I went into the store to buy a gallon of water so I could get a gallon container to drain my oil in.Yes,it's time for the first oil change .I spent 400 miles looking for an auto parts store that sells Valvoline racing oil in 50 weight 'cause that's what my big twin takes...You may be asking yourself why does this fool need a special brand of oil? Well, it's simple . There are two basic reasons,ZINK to protect the cam lobes and lifters and anti foaming additives so the bearings don't get hammered from lack of oil when the shit oil fails and foams up.Very simple really and,there is a third reason,Moto Guzzi recommends it! so some added protection is a good thing. The oil is all chanced and the wast oil is all contained and dealt with.The bike has been using oil,leaking it out the rear main seal 'cause I overfilled it the other day.It should clear up now that I have the correct amount in there and I'm now running straight 50 weight rather than a 50/50 mix of 20w 50 and straight 50.The thicker oil will help the motor under the harsh conditions. I'm working her hard day after long day. Rode another long day today,not as long as yesterday but long enough to get to where I need to be.Oh,I got sidetracked, The campsite,that's what I was talking about.Anyway,I met this old guy in the parking lot of the market and we were talking about traveling and being retired.It turnes out he's a retired cabinet maker so we clicked.We talked a while and when he was leaving I asked him if there was a good place to camp near by and he told me about this little gem right here two blocks away run by the town.This is what I love about the Mid West,the people are so very friendly.It's refreshing after dealing with these suburban fools on Long Island.If you tried to talk to one of them in a parking lot they'd get on the cell and call the cops or just walk away like you are invisible .America is a wonderful place when you get out into the country away from all the idiots with the big jobs and the big money and the big houses and the big problems that they create with their big egos. Met this really cool guy today.He was the counter guy at the auto parts store. The man had no arms.He had plastic arms and hooks.He rides a Honda Goldwing trike! We talked bikes for about a half hour.It was nice taking a break from riding and just talking with this guy. Rode thru some really desolate country today.The vastness of this place is incredible.It's 40 miles between towns and when you get there it's not even a town just a couple houses and a change in speed limit sign. I'm filling my tank at 100 mile intervals rather than the usual 200 miles it will do before I hit reserve. Tomorrow I leave the woods and head into the vast northern plains.North Dakota and Eastern Montana are grass land and the distances between stops will be great.Gonna rest up tonight and see if I can get out early tomorrow.I'd like to be in Montana by Sunday or Monday.Time to dig out the cell phone and call Cosmic Bob ! It's 7am on Saturday.A beautiful day again.Gonna make tracks for North Dakota today and see how far I can get.. I'm anxious to get out west now.I want to get into the coolness of the Rockies and see some glaciers ! I never traveled in this part of the US before so it's all new to me.I'm enjoying it immensely .When I was a kid I rode across to the south of here on the new interstate RT 80.. That was a very boring trip thru the Mid West .This time I'm really getting to see something.The food is so much better too.There are all these mom & pop places that serve real food rather than these corporate chains that serve manufactured garbage..Yesterday morning I had my one meal out in this cafe that this woman ran.It was a real nice place with all sorts of little homemade things all over,some local art work and a stuffed badger! I pigged out on eggs,pancakes and home fries.That meal took me thru the entire day!.Today my main meal will be in late afternoon.It's a peanut butter sandwich and coffee for breakfast today.Ah peanutbutter,what would we do without it! Well, gotta pack up and hit the road now.Hope to be 400 miles down the road tonight. I packed up the bike in sunshine and a light breeze and by the time I was 5 miles out of town I could see I was heading right into severe weather.My weather radio said this would be the case so I thought I'd make a break for it and get a motel before the shit hit the fan.Well Mother Nature had other plans for me today.I turned back and returned to the city campground .At 5 bucks a night I figured it's the wise thing to do.I'm going to wait until the front moves thru..That's supposed to be around midnight tonight but until then we are under a severe thunderstorm watch with large hale possible and a chance of a tornado thrown in for good measure.In other words it's gonna be a bad day on a bike! Well,whatever happens I'm in a place where I can get shelter and my bike is under a picknick table area with a roof to protect it from the hale if it comes.There is a building here where the bathroom & shower are where I can go if need be so things are good.The market in town 2 blocks away had a nice deli section so I guess in between the storms I'll go get something to munch on and walk around some.Actually, I'm enjoying the break.It's cool and the tent is comfortable.I have my Ipod and computer all fully charged and there is electric here so I can recharge them before I move on.It's really amazing how fast I can adapt to living on the road.I supprise myself sometimes.Didn't think things would be as easy as they are.You know,on my last adventure out on the road for 3 months a day like today would have been an ordeal to overcome.Think I'll rest some now until this bout of rain passes and then go get something to eat. Went shopping and got this great fried chicken for lunch.Bought some other stuff to have around and came back to eat & hang out.Been listing to music for a couple hours.Was listening to this Leon Russel song" Stranger In A Strange Land" .Sometimes I feel like the main character in that book,what was his name,Oh man,this is really reaching deep into my brain,I read that 40 years ago. Shit ,what was it ? Well anyway sometimes I feel like him and today is one of those days. The first round of storms has moved thru.It appears I am on the edge just like back in Michigan and not in harms way.Well,this remains to be seen but I'm hoping this is the case.Paid my 5 bucks for another night.I love it,there is no one here you just put your money in a slot in a metal box.If this was New York no one would pay but here in the hinterland that's not the case and I'm a paying customer.I actually feel secure enough here to walk away from my camp and explore town some.I'm the only one here.Last night there was an older retired couple towing a camper.We talked this morning and it turns out they are on their way home from a 3 month trip up to Alaska..We had a nice chat for about a half hour over coffee and then they were on their way east towards PA.where they live.So many nice people on the road.I think if I were to win Lotto I'd live on the road for the rest of my time here on Earth.You know,just wandering like a nomad going from here to there and experiencing things just for the sake of the experience rather for some other purpose.Just expanding my mind with other peoples ideas and experiences sort of like when I was a hippie.You see,I can never loose that hippie experience.It's so ingrained in my being .I think that's what I find so attractive about the west. That spirit of freedom .For some reason that spirit is lacking or asleep in east coast people for the most part.It's lacking in lots of west coast people too mind you but it's visible out there where it's hidden in NY.I know it's there though but it's elusive.There seem to be signs of it coming to life in Brooklyn though.Of all places , Brooklyn seems to be one of the new centers of the alternative culture. I spent last weekend with one of my new friends . Jen helping her sell T shirts at Mid Ohio, She's an artist and the T's she's selling are her own creations.She was telling me of all sorts of cool shit going on in Brooklyn. And then there's the whole vintage motorcycle scene there.All these young people are restoring and riding old bikes! Very cool indeed! I am really looking forward to Missoula Montana .That's another place that the counter culture of today gathers from what Bob has been telling me.I'll find out in a few more days.I was thinking of going to "Burning Man" but that 300 dollar ticket is telling me it's not real.I have a feeling it's just another money grabbing thing for some rich yuppies who want to act cool.So,I've decided to pass on that one and just hang out in California up north longer.Maybe spend some quality time near Garberville . I wish I had the means to paint while on the road.There are so many things in my head that I want to get out.Sure hope I don't loose them when I get back home in October.I'm taking pictures like a mad man.! The cold front is here! It's cooling down nicely but there is still storms all over the area,just not here!.Looks like I dodged another bullit .Tomorrow is forcast as partly sunny and high 70's.Perfect riding weather so it looks like I make my get away from here in the morning and head into the Northern Plains. Not much going on in this town.Some kid in a pick up just did a burn out up the street and besides that nothing else has happened here today at all! It's nice to actually have a full day off with nothing to do. I'm feeling rested and tomorrow when I finally get back on the road I'll be feeling good and ready for another thousand miles or how ever far Missoula is from here. Looking back on Mid Ohio I really made a score.I found one of the most elusive parts there is for my Moto Guzzi ,a headlight ring! Not only did I find a ring but I found a perfect one and I stole it! Last and only one I ever saw on ebay went for close to 300 dollars.I bought this one plus a clutch lever and perch for a BMW airhead for a whopping 30 dollars!!!!! He shoots he scores!.Back in '07 when I was on my first trip on this bike I went down in the rain on slick road.It was a low speed event,maybe 1 MPH.I was making a left on to the inter state ramp when the bike just slid right out from under me.It had new Dunlops on it that the previous owner had installed.Just a week before my friend Tony who is another bike collector told me he thought those tires were shit and I should get better tires.I figured I'd get new rubber after the season was over and use them up seeing as they were new.What a mistake that was.When I went down the only thing that happened was the headlight poped out and was dangling from the wires and this scratched that beautiful chrome headlight ring all up.I looked and looked then gave up.Got used to that little scratch and wrote it off as a battle scar.See,like everything else in my life it just fell out of the sky on me when I wasn't even looking for it.What I was looking for was a good used tachometer 'cause mine took a shit about a month ago.I can ride without a tach but I like to have everything in working order on my machine.You know,it's just one of those things about me.Well,the tach is still dead but I found a perfect chrome headlight ring! As for those Dunlops,I pulled them off the day after I returned home and installed a brand new matched set of Avons. I've gone thru 3 sets of Avons since and rode in some really nasty rain storms traveling over the past 3 years .There is no question,you get what you pay for with the Avons and I'm on a new set right now.I'll probably replace these mid trip out on the west coast for my return ride too.The sun is out and it's getting hot in this tent now.What a strange day today has turned out to be. Called Bob before.Just got his machine but now he knows I'm headed his way. I'm really looking forward to the mountains. Been a long time since I was in the Rockies boy.Last time was back in 71 when I crossed the country in my 1960 Ford panel truck with my friend Victor. That was a great trip.We were heading to Mexico via NY from LA but couldn't go to Mexico so Victor went back to LA and my friend Hugh and I headed to Alaska instead . Hey,you need to be flexible right.like last week when I wanted to take the ferry to Wisconsin but went up to the UP of Michigan instead.This is what makes a road trip interesting,your plans can fall apart and you just do something else.The sun is back out and I'm baking in here.Think I'll go for a walk.
Posted by valiantwagonguy at 1:05 PM