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The Squaw Magnet in Montana - Part 5



Cracked year fenders - updated  

  1. 1. Cracked year fenders - updated

    • I used Indian rubber grommet fix, DID crack after 1000 miles
    • I used Indian rubber grommet fix, DID crack after 3000 miles
    • I used Indian rubber grommet fix, DID crack after 5000 miles
    • I used Indian rubber grommet fix, DID crack after 7500 miles
    • I used Indian rubber grommet fix, DID crack after 10000 miles
    • I used Indian rubber grommet fix, NO cracks after 1000 miles
    • I used Indian rubber grommet fix, NO cracks after 3000 miles
    • I used Indian rubber grommet fix, NO cracks after 5000 miles
    • I used Indian rubber grommet fix, NO cracks after 7500 miles
    • I used Indian rubber grommet fix, NO cracks after 10000 miles

It was cold. Real cold. I was riding through a valley on the eastern side of the Rockies in a desolate section of Montana on my way to the pass that would take me over the Continental Divide. For the first time, in what would become a nearly regular occurence for the rest of the ride, I had had to jump start the bike that morning as the temperature had finally gotten low enough to overwhelm the battery's cranking power. This section of Montana, in addition to being one of the coldest areas of the continental US, is also one of the windiest. The combination of the two was bone chilling. So much so that it was impacting my ability to enjoy the beauty of my surroundings, which was exceptional. The snow covered peaks of the Rockies were the backdrop for the kind of western pastoral scene which had captivated the imagination of so many of America's famous landscape painters. Rolling hills in every direction. The occasional pronghorn antelope grazing in an open field. A lone osprey majestically soaring through the air in search of its next victim. No houses or fences of any kind to encumber the view. Just a single, two lane road to accompany me through the idyllic scenery with no traffic, whatsoever, in either direction. The only sound that should have been audible was the exhaust note of my motorcycle. But there was another sound, a persistant clacking noise that was beginning to interrupt my reverie. Not conciously, at first, but in a manner that was causing me to become more and more annoyed when I should have been exultant. It progressed to the point that, finally, my concious mind was aware that something was wrong. What the hell is that damn noise? Then it hit me and the realization annoyed me even more. It was my teeth chattering. Crap, I'm cold.


Eventually, I rolled into the little town of Wisdom, Montana. The name dates back to the Lewis and Clark expedition. The normal practice of Lewis and Clark had been to name the rivers they encountered after people, usually the local Indians or politicians to whom they wished to pay tribute. Members of the Corps of Discovery also got rivers named after them. Even the woman that Clark had designs on marrying was so honored. By the time they got to the end of their eastern water route, however, they were, apparently, running out of people based ideas. Lewis, a member of the American Philosophical Society, started naming rivers after the values held in esteem by that august group, wisdom, philanthropy, etc. The Wisdom River has since been renamed to the Big Hole River after the name of the gap in the Rockies from which it stems but the town that developed on its banks has retained the name. At the time I pulled into Wisdom, however, I didn't give a rat's ass about any of that. All I cared about was whether Wisdom was smart enough to have a gas station and a nice warm cafe'. It had both and not much more.


I walked into the Wisdom Cafe' and began peeling off the multiple layers of my riding apparel. The waitress took one look at me and said, "You look like you need a cup of coffee". I took a look at her. Young and pretty with an absurd amount of cleavage. Under normal circumstances, I probably would have responded with something witty and flirtatious yet subtle like, "You look like you need a bra". But, I was so thoroughly numb from soup to nuts that even if I'd wanted to, I wouldn't have been able to conjure up any patter even remotely as snappy. And believe me, I didn't want to. All I wanted was that cup of coffee. I believe my exact words were, "Uh-huh". The coffee arrived while I was still getting out of my riding gear. I sat down and immediately wrapped my hands around the mug. It felt so good that I couldn't bring myself to drink so much as a drop of the mug's contents lest its temperature be lowered. I perused the menu and placed my order. Damn, that coffee smelled good. Bet it taste's good, too. Maybe I should order a second cup and find out. I guess my blood was starting to flow a little better as I then came up with an idea to solve my dilemma. As dificult as it was, I tore my hands free of the coffee mug and made a beeline to the bathroom. I just stood at the sink and let the hot water run over my hands. Oh, the bliss. Time stood still. I don't know how long I was in there but my breakfast was on the table when I returned. The coffee, however, was now tepid. I gulped down about half of it, knowing that the waitress would soon come by with a hot refill. She did. Her demeanor was pleasant but detached. She engaged me in the usual conversation, "Where you from?", "How long have you been riding?", etc. but in a manner that indicated that, had there been anyone else in the cafe', her attentions would have been directed elsewhere. I was still too cold to care one way or the other. I dug into my breakfast, chicken fried steak and eggs. Damn, it was good. I was still cold but the food was making me feel better. About half way through it, the waitress came over and told me that she was heading over to the gas station to get some cigarettes and that she'd be back in a minute. I paid little attention other than to the fact that she refilled my coffee cup before departing. By the time she returned, I was finished eating. I was glad she was back as, by then, I needed another refill. I was about to ask for it when, on her way back behind the counter, she brushed, slowly, against my body. She hadn't done that on the way out. There was plenty of room to get by me. I looked up. Her eyes were different. I'd seen that look before. Then, she opened her mouth and confirmed it. "Your bike is gorgeous!", let me know all I needed to know. The Squaw Magnet had struck again. In contrast to the conversation up to that point, her questions were now more personal and delivered with genuine interest. I was, by this time, sufficiently thawed out that I was finally capable of engaging in intelligent conversation. Funny thing is that, now, it didn't matter. I could have continued to utter an endless string of Uh-huh's and I think she would have still been just as fascinated. After she finally ran out of things to say, she thought for a moment, went over to the wall and removed the chalkboard that was there. Being the Wisdom Cafe', it was tradition to have daily words of wisdom written on the chalkboard and, apparently, it was time to come up with today's offering. She plunked the chalkboard down on the counter right in front of me. I had to move my dishes to make room for it. The rest of the counter was empty. She bent over the chalkboard, held her arms in against her breasts to accentuate her already pronounced cleavage and proceeded to erase yesterday's clever saying. It was at that point that I realized that I wasn't cold anymore. She grabbed a couple of books from behind the counter that were full of collected witty sayings, gave one to me and asked me to help her come up with today's pearl of wisdom. I thumbed through the book for awhile when a light bulb went on in my head. It occured to me that, just maybe, she was trying to come on to me. No flies on me. I decided to put this postulate to the test. "Here's one", I announced, "Confucious say: In order to find out if a woman is ticklish, give her a couple of test tickles". She looked at me, almost expressionless, for what seemed to be way too long a time. Finally, with a sly look on her face, she said, "I wonder if I'm ticklish?"


She was. Smart man, that Confucious. He would have liked Wisdom.


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