Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Big Sky Country

July 1st...(Day 10 of Born Free Trip)

I pulled into Coeur d' Alene late the night before and didn't pass out until after 1a.m. Got a call from Leny, at 3:30a.m., who was already on his way from Helena to come help me out. He was in the Mountain Time Zone and I was still in the Pacific Time Zone...

So, half asleep, I got out of bed and packed the bike as I downed cup after cup of coffee. Finally on the road to meet Leny, I started off Eastward, into the Mountains and over Fourth of July Summit/Lookout Pass. It was colder than shit as I made my way to meet him. One of those stretches where you're counting down the miles until your next stop. Halfway to meet him, I could hardly feel my hands and my face wasn't too far behind. Even in July, the mountains at the crack of dawn - it was freezing.

Finally got to our meeting point and Leny was waiting for me with coffee and something to eat. We loaded my bike up in the back of the truck and headed for Helena. Made a stop at a Montana HD and the parts guys there didn't have a clue as to what rubber grommets I needed. I didn't have a part number but I had the grommet...still nothing. So, I settled for the one closest to what I needed and got back on the road.

We made it back to Helena by late morning and went straight to Leny's auto shop. I got the tank drained and off of the backbone to inspect the cracks. Turns out, the cracks were only in the bondo, so, we came up with a plan. Leny had this sealant called Right Stuff. He uses it on everything. We cleaned the backbone off, loaded it up with this sealant, threw some plastic wrap over it, then placed the tank back onto the backbone to let the sealant settle overnight. It would act as a cushioned spacer in-between the tunnel and backbone. This way, the tank would sit on top of the solidified sealant instead of having space in-between the tunnel/backbone and depending on the front mounts to carry the tank's weight.

Once done, we headed back to Leny's farm, drinking roadie-soadies on the way, getting ready for the night to come. There was a cancer benefit concert in town that night and we were meeting a group of friends for it. An old band called the Mission Mountain Wood Band was back together after a long hiatus, headlining the night's show. Got to the concert venue and had front row seats waiting for us. What followed was a great night with friends, drinking IPA's one after the other, good bands, and a lot of food that'll clog your arteries.

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