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Old 10-02-2014, 02:13 PM   #1
mreimler OP
Adventure Crasher
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Joined: Apr 2005
Location: Shakopee, MN
Oddometer: 339
Montana Adventure (lite)

This trip was quite a change for us. No trips to the ER. No big vehicle breakdowns. Just a good time had by all. More or less. Last year was not the best as we had all of the above. LINK TO LAST YEARS FUN

We start at the usual place with the usual characters.

Tom, Roy JD, me. Seems like everyone except JD is older, heavier and slower.

Friday afternoon we loaded the bikes and headed for Montana with Roy doing his best "I just want to be accommodated" impression.

He stayed like this for 98% of the drive.

We drove till evening and spent the night at some hotel. This year we all had Scala communication systems so we spent the evening trying to figure out how to make them all work together. I hope somebody looked through the window to see this.

Combined age of group: 222 years
Combined years post secondary education: 24
Time to complete task: We were still working on it for the next two days.

We wanted to get up early to start the action packed day #2 beginning with a stop in Murdo SD at the Pioneer Auto Museum. Dave, the proprietor, is quite a character. Stop in if you get a chance.

My favorite pick

Represent the home folks in Mpls!

Action packed stop #2 was Ellsworth AFB for a tour of the flight museum and missile silo.

The silo tour was awesome. We got to go into the silo and the guide was super knowledgeable!

The little hatch on the ground was a like a safe door that, once opened, you crawl into to open another combination panel to set the correct switch order that opens the big hatch for entry. Little hatch was 18" in diameter. Only real skinny guys got that job. There is a 4' thick concrete plug that must lower to gain access to the silo via the big hatch. The total process take about an hour which is supposed to give the good guys plenty of time to get there if bad guys try to open up a missile silo. We went in the back door as it was a training site.

So, museum side trip completed we headed for Billings to park the truck/trailer. After a few hours I start to hear a faint ticking type sound from the right side of the engine. Of course it gets louder so we start looking for Ford dealers in Billings. Tom & I guess exhaust leak which is not "bad" but if a chunk of manifold breaks out it gets "bad" fast. By the time we get to Billings is 6:00 on a Saturday so no dealers are open. We drop the trailer at JD's cousin's house and drop the truck, with a note, at the dealer for repairs. It's always an adventure traveling with this group.

The next day, Sunday, we head to the south east side of Glacier in preparation for the real start of our trip. We stay at a fantastic house in East Glacier.

Almost too nice for the likes of us.

A really cool spiral staircase lead to the loft sleeping area.

A small living room and two bedrooms off the main level.

A nice kitchen

And a great fire pit for relaxing the evening away

We finish the evening at a fine Mexican restaurant where JD orders what turns out to be a 5 pound burrito

So ended the 1st part of the trip. Tomorrow we start the real ride!! More to come.
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Old 10-02-2014, 06:48 PM   #2
mreimler OP
Adventure Crasher
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Joined: Apr 2005
Location: Shakopee, MN
Oddometer: 339
The new day dawns bright and clear.

Tom shows us how to make coffee ADV style.

Tommy being Tommy

As we ride through Glacier Park we hit construction.

Apparently Tom likes to take pictures of people peeing.

JD! Give us a thumbs up!

Mark! Give us the thumbs up!

Roy! Show us the thumbs up!!!

Awesome! Thanks for the effort.

Roy and I soaking in the beauty that is Montana.

Now we're hungry so we discuss a lunch stop on the helmet "phones". We find a tiny town in the middle-of-no-where Montana and JD says "two blocks up and left". Sure enough, two blocks up and left gets us to this great little café,

We wonder how he knew about this place. JD tells us that when he was 16, he spent a summer in this little town building grain bins with his cousin. Of all the places in Montana we could have stopped that day, we pick a place JD knows like the back of his hand. Weird.

This is JD wishing he didn't have a piece of chocolate cream and a piece of banana cream pie for desert at the café. Buuuuuurp.

Ancient aliens? Mayan alter? Neatly stacked rocks? You decide.

More beauty.

The Tomster.

We find a fire tower at the top of a mountain pass that is beckoning for us to climb.

Come on up boys.

View from the top.

Time to head for the next challenge.

Roy kept telling us he had "a bad feeling about this trail".

Hey. Where did Tommy go?

This picture in no way shows how steep this hill was.

But you can ask Roy when you see him.

And since we had the helmet "phones", I could hear him as he got OOC. Now it's funny but at the time it was scary as hell. When he landed all he said was "oouuffff..........ouch"

The first thing good friends do in an accident is check on the well being of their buddy. Second thing is take pictures of the incident. Third thing is help pick up the bike. You have to have priorities.

Here's a shot that sort of show how steep the hill was.

Poor Roy with is slightly "used" new bike.

We patched it up for him to an "almost good as new" condition.

Good thing we had 4x4 Band-aid brand bandages in the 1st aid kit.

On the way onto town and hotel, JD says his fork is blown and fork oil is all over his front brake rotors. We stop at a little bike shop hoping for the best but expecting the worst.

Of course he has fork seals for a 2007 Suzuki V-Strom. We're all so happy that he saved the day we spend more money on warm gloves, other stuff and something that was totally a spur of the moment why-are-you-buying-that kind of item.

A tiny little car starter. It's about as big as a large cell phone. This comes in very handy later in the trip.

Now it's on to the hotel and V-Strom fork seal replacement.

Tom steals a sign post to use a center stand

Job well done!

We clean up. It's late so the only thing open is a bar so we eat some crappy bar food, drink beer, and sleep the sleep of the dead. More to come.
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:00 PM   #3
mreimler OP
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Joined: Apr 2005
Location: Shakopee, MN
Oddometer: 339
The next day is another bright sunny day. Damn cold, but sunny. The whole trip has been way colder then it normally is for our September trips. Thank goodness for heated jackets and grips.

Tom poses at a rest stop.

This road is long, straight and links no-place and no-where.

This place was out in the middle on nowhere and looked rather spooky

I can't remember where this place was but they had the best country fried steak I've had in a long, long time.

The boys having fun on a great ride!

We ran into this guy on the trail. He had a flat tire and needed help getting it changed.

As we talk he tells us he was a Marine Recon Scout in Vietnam. He made sure we understood that he "wasn't much of a fighter, but the Marines were loosing recon guys so fast at that point in the war that they started taking anybody with a pulse". He even wrote a book. I think Roy has a link to his book.

We finally get into West Yellowstone and try to find a couple rooms. After 5-6 trys we end up here.

Roy comes out smiling says he has good news and bad news. The good news is they have two rooms. The bad news is only one of the rooms has two beds. Guess which one he gives to me and JD. The old White Buffalo looks like a nice place until JD and I find out that our room is in the "old annex" behind the nice building. Yikes our room was spooky!

The next morning we wake early. The plan for the day is t0 ride through Yellowstone to see the mini grand canyon and then head to Red Lodge via the Chief Joseph hiway. At the park gate I see a sign that says the road to Red Lodge is closed. The Ranger tells us the road closed yesterday because of snow. After a discussion on alternate routes she tells us "you can't get there fro here". Oh well the best laid plans...we head to Billings instead and figure we'll get home a day early.

My truck has been repaired (cracked right exhaust manifold) and we pick up the trailer, load up the bikes and get some dinner.

The next morning we get packed up, jump in the truck and rur..rur...rur..rur.... Dead battery! Our sadness is replaced by jubilation as we get to try out the tiny little car starter we bought the other day. The tiny little cell phone sized battery starts the truck with no problem. We drive for a few hours before stopping for something to eat. After eating rur...rur...rur...dead battery. Out comes the rescue pak and once a gain we're off. A few hours later we stop for gas. Rur...rur...rur. Out comes the rescue pak and we drive a cross the street to buy a battery.

Tom gets right to work

I can only guess that this is some sort of medical procedure.

We stop again later for gas and when it's time to go we can't find JD. Oh wait, he's over there.

As we get into the Twin Cities, we go past Sport Wheels (huge motorcycle junk yard) and stop to see if we can find a center stand for JD's bike. No center stand but plenty of rusty bikes that nobody thought would be worth anything. Old Honda 750's, Yamaha RD's, Kawasaki triples rusting into the ground.

And so ends another fun ride with great buddies! The truck is running fine after a new exhaust manifold and a new battery. Roy's bike is almost as good as when we started. JD's bike is better than when we started since he put new parts in it. Nobody had to spend any time in a hospital. This trip goes into the success folder!

Next year we're headed for Slovenia. Now THAT will be an adventure!
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Old 10-03-2014, 02:42 PM   #4
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Joined: Apr 2006
Oddometer: 69
Thumb Shout out to Matt & Kim at Two Wheelz

A little background on acquiring parts in Butte, MT...
If you need Wee-Strom fork seals, you might think the logical place to get them would be from the Suzuki dealer. Perhaps logic does not apply in Butte. When I called they said, we wouldn't have fork seals for a 2009 v-strom in stock. We could order some for you and have them here in about 3 days. Honda delaer - nothing. KTM dealer - nothing.

Two Wheelz cycle shop happened to be only a couple blocks from the hotel we chose for the night, so I tried them. Matt answers the phone and says, the computer says I have some, but let me make sure I can put my hands on them before you come over. Within 90-seconds he's back on the line and confirms he has them. He puts together the correct fork oil and seals for me and has them waiting at the counter when I walk in.

They've got a great shop and provided outstanding service. Matt and Kim are also avid riders (no surprise) and so he gave us some options for the next leg of our adventure.

Can't say enough good things about Two Wheelz. Stop in and pickup something next time you're in Butte!
"I cried because I could not wheelie, until I met a man who had no motorcycle"
Dr. J. Christopher Krok

2006 trip:
2007 trip:
2008 trip:
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Old 10-03-2014, 02:50 PM   #5
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Joined: Apr 2006
Oddometer: 69
Sparky's Garage

The Sparky's Garage we ate at is in Dillon, MT.
"I cried because I could not wheelie, until I met a man who had no motorcycle"
Dr. J. Christopher Krok

2006 trip:
2007 trip:
2008 trip:
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:14 AM   #6
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Nov 2009
Location: WestSconnie
Oddometer: 333
This trip was a lot more mild than normal. Thanks for sharing another adventure. JD introduced me to your ride reports many years ago and I got hooked. Great pics!

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