Network Connection Unavailable… Glacier, MT.

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Some rambling to keep me sane, published whenever I can. Whenever a Network Connection is available in these necks of the woods!”


Glacier, Montana-4 xxx

“ Like a God, like an ogre? The personification of the natural is exactly the tendency I wish to suppress in myself, to eliminate for good. I am here not only to evade for a while the clamor and filth and confusion of the cultural apparatus but also to confront, immediately and directly if it is possible, the bare bones of existence, the elemental and fundamental, the bedrock which sustains us. "
~ Edward Abbey ~ [Desert Solitaire]

 Glacier, Montana-5

Elevation comes with a price sometimes. Lower elevations are more deserted. Hotter it is though as I try to maintain the balance. Not that there is anyone next to us, only by sight I can see between the trees other’s presence. It is National Forest, dozens of service roads, maybe more, are present for setting up camp. There is a murmur off the road when we are here during the day and I can also hear the train go by. Freight trains and also Amtrak which stops in East Glacier and West Glacier. I should look into their schedule and figure out if we could do such a round trip. I think the scenery would be spectacular and I love trains. Spirit with his jacket would fit right in. Something new to think about. I met a gentleman from Portland who took the train to get here and then on camp and hike. For $98 each way, much less expensive than driving and definitely more fun. What a novel idea.

Glacier, Montana-8 xxx

The rain woke me up. It is a gentle drum roll and as I look outside all is still black. Dark and quiet as my imagination penetrates the square miles which surrounds me blanketed by the millions of trees. I often think about the wildlife throughout such spaces where no one has yet set foot on. How much freedom there must be with a chain of command established from day one based on solely survival of the fittest. Size, strength, how all is designed to be what it is. Freedom and chain of command? Oxymoron maybe? A paradox? Ambiguity? Not much choice in the matter as they are only birthrights unlike our Human Society so unlike unfortunately based on greed and much deception from digging as such into each other, the mind being such a different and complex "mechanism" than sheer strength with only an instinct of survival.

Glacier, Montana-14 xxx

Regaining momentum lost as as the gears are slowly turning again within these patches of silence so welcome. The passion for the road is resurfacing. The colors surrounding me, the sights, the shapes and the smells are making their way into my consciousness. I have had good Human help from a Friend we reconnected after some silence. A true Friend ready and willing to listen, one that felt a while back from miles away I needed the touch we all need, unfortunately too often absent so replaced by small talk becoming senseless, a Friend to nurture and offer wise words helping me rebuild my bridge crumbled just a few months ago. I feel lucky and fortunate as sometimes the loneliness after loosing a Mother, a Best Friend, also crumbles the path one has been on. Rare are such Friends with their ears open to the true sounds of hardship willing to be on the giving end with an array of much needed support. The World has changed and the intensity of advancements in our technology, specially communication, has only pushed us backwards inducing us with volume of Social Media and setting back the true Human touch which once was present over a cup of coffee or an afternoon spend visiting. Quantity over quality has come to the forefront mixed in with superficiality scaring almost too many to divulging who we really are, what we really feel, from a fear of the fear recognizing our true Human self which is still so in depth beautiful and delicate.

Glacier, Montana-7 xxx

Underlying words of true compassion becomes a vanishing act these days within this busy Society forgetting the simple fact that this path is not a rehearsal as so many might think. It is not about the beautiful "things" one tries to adorn themselves for an act of the best scoring of the "look at me" syndrome. Our core, our wealth, our Human monetary currency has truly never changed. It is our Heart, our true Love for each other that always has prevailed, and yet the stocks are down replaced too much by the sparks of physical possessions which in turn keeps everyone too busy with the overtime needed to comply, which in turn locks the doors to our most valuable insights, what we were designed for, to feel and to truly support each other.

Glacier, Montana-5 xxx

The props of this stage turned around this morning. From rain to sunshine and again now more rain, weaker and stronger it plays it’s melody while I wonder when the finale will be. It has only began. The network connection here comes and goes, goes more than it comes and I cannot bring up the weather app on my phone. E mail is sporadic but I was able to have a Friend check for me the outcome of this region for a couple days. It is nice to have such support and feedback. I did pick up some of the forecast from the only local radio station though. Not a pretty picture, yet at least we have no winds as I knew those massive Mountains would shelter us while at the same time we are on high grounds to avoid all flash floods I hear are predicted. Always ready 24/7 with the guards up. I hear of a tornado in Madison County hitting at 90mph with much damage. I don’t know where it is but must not be too far. This reminds me of a couple years ago when it hailed on us for a couple days. We packed up and headed to East Glacier to finally having in mind a motel room to regroup and dry out. It was late afternoon and the best rate was $140 for the night! Ouch… We came back and reset camp. I must admit as challenging it was, for the first time the aspect of being "miserable" also surfaced.

Glacier, Montana-16 xxx

From a dark somber and wet day with a constant non stop rain and low clouds hovering with their message to stay inside to this morning filled with rays of sunshine lifting the Heart. All so amazing as at the same time the Soul starts smiling and the physical freedom is reinstated almost as "what do I do now?". Is today normal or was it yesterday? Is there even such a thing or is it the array of the darkness and the brightness just as Life the complete package we need to accept and live with. Continuous sunny days will not allow us to appreciate them. Throw in a couple storms, a few cold wet days and suddenly the value of the Sunshine surfaces stronger than ever wanting to savor each of its moments. Just as Life is. All seemingly has been designed with the same pattern. Seems like it. Too much of a good thing looses it’s value too fast unless turned over and faced with the "other side".

 Glacier, Montana

The "other side" confronted us yesterday on the road. I have always felt Lance has always watched upon us and now no harm thinking my Mother does also. We had just left East Glacier riding towards St Mary’s to on ride “The Road to the Sun” as I call it “backwards”. The hack felt a bit squirrely but so was the road. Noises even through my earplugs are my music being so in tune with them, specially engine noises. I heard a "crack" and my internal alarm sounded as I looked in the rear view mirror to notice maybe a rock picked up by the front tire and hitting the bottom bash plate on it’s way up. Didn’t see anything. Past the straightaway, as we are going to start negotiating the first steep and hair pin curve another crack. Spirit’s ears stand up. I stop as a pull off is right there. And what could it be? Drive shafts seems alright, all seems to be fine and as I also look at the wheel, or maybe the wheel looking at me with as it’s big mouth open, I discover… It truly was a “Duh” moment as another play took place in my mind starting along these lines "what if…". What if I had not paid attention? What if I would have lost control a cliff welcoming us?”. I had to erase those thoughts and Thank our Saviors. The wheel is the pusher and again another “Thank You” having a spare with already a decent tire on it. Aluminum wheel, cracked open as I never seen before. A couple motorcyclists stopped to land a hand which I did not need and yet much appreciated, both with half a century experience, they had also never seen anything like it.

Cracked wheel xxx

Cracked wheel, Ural.-2 xxx

Cracked wheel, Ural. xxx

I must say she runs well, Old Faithful has the upper hand on the road, Crusty on the back roads, the funky ones as I call them when 2 wheel drive and mainly reverse come in so handy taking away all apprehension. Yet, I must admit, my confidence, my trust, the main ingredients between a machine as such and it’s rider, is severed and pretty much lost. Today anyhow. What to do? Turn her in now as being already a sponsorship which has never taken off properly and gone sour? or wait till we are ready to head south were Old Faithful awaits? South is still hot. August is the worse month for us. There will not be any fuel money to come back up. Phone calls on Monday! As they say, literally today "not a very happy camper" even if so thankful we escaped what could have been a tragic accident.

Poet A

Poet B

By Sunday I had found a Ural Dealer 180 miles away in Helena, Montana “Poet Motorcycles”. By also Sunday night two e mails had been send to the Ural Importer in Seattle with a photo and details of our whereabouts and location. We did not waste time and headed to Helena on Monday morning as by mid morning we had the go ahead of a replacement wheel, tube, rim protector, all mounted and balanced as “Poet Motorcycle” did have one. Ural moved fast, it was appreciated. Even more was Tom, the owner and operator of the Shop in business since the mid seventies yet a brand new Ural Dealer. We were his first Ural customers! What a way to start as him also throughout his decades of experience had never seen anything like it. He took the wheel right off a model sitting on his Showroom. Great “old fashion” service as nowadays so rare. I don’t feel as bad, this was one in a million and we are safe. Now, still in Helena, to decide if we are going back to the Glacier which yet held so much unseen spaces for us or head East towards “Big Horn National Forest”, Wyoming. I guess we will find out in the morning.

Glacier, Montana-17 xxx

Stay well, 
               Till the next connection,
                                                  Ara and Spirit

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • RSS
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Tumblr
  • Technorati

7 Responses to “Network Connection Unavailable… Glacier, MT.”

  1. Upriverdavid Says:

    The “STARS” are watching out for you..Let us know if the dealer ever discovers the reason for the wheel failure..I have two bikes.

    Have Fun,

  2. Doug Smith Says:

    Wow, never saw a wheel literally come apart like that!
    I’ve been on the “Going to the Sun” road dozens of times, not a good place to lose a wheel.
    I grew up in the Big Horn Mountains region…great place to spend some time.

  3. scruffy Says:

    glad you two are safe ~

  4. Mark Hasslinger Says:

    I’ve experienced a split driver also in much the same looks, only my wheel was an original steel rim. It is good to know that the aluminum wheels also break. I bought two aluminum rims to replace the steel rims on the bike not worrying about the sidecar much.

  5. Suzanne Says:

    Spectacular pics, especially the first one. That wheel is CRAZY!!!

  6. Denny Gibson Says:

    Truly scary photos. The splendid service certainly takes some of the sting out of the experience but I’m thinking that regaining confidence will require an understanding of the failure.

  7. Don McGilvray Says:

    Glad you listened to your “Inner Voice”, and stopped right then to check out the cycle… Add me to the growing list of folks with m/c who have never seen a wheel fail in that manner. One thing to hit a rock or pothole and deform the rim badly enough to cause failure, but to have it split long the line of spoke openings like that is a puzzler. I wonder if that wheel somehow missed a “normalizing” of the metal during the production pressing process? One will probably never know.

    Kudos to the new Ural dealer in Helena! With his willingness to help you, he should be successful in his new endeavor.

    You were camped in one of my favorite spots on earth! Glacier Park and Waterton Park across the border in Canada enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery I’ve ever experienced.

    Ride safely, my friend!

Leave a Reply