On the Road: From Buffalo to Idaho and Back
(Page 8 of 19)
We continued on to Great Falls, MT and toward Larry’s place at Seeley Lake.
June 16, 2010
I resolved to get a proper shut off valve ASAP or I’d likely be going home via Greyhound. I tried to piece together something that would work at a NAPA store in Big Sandy, MT. While the guy there was very helpful, we ended up using brass fittings that were really for air line and built a contraption which was about 5 inches long and around $25. I figured I’d keep it in case I was pressed into using it, but thought I might do better down the road (and I did). Oh yes. One more point here. Never call your wife when you’re out west, and when she asks what you’re doing, cheerily reply: “I’m in Big Sandy.” It could lead to a serious and costly misunderstanding if she doesn’t realize that’s actually a place. Those nouns can be so confusing…person, place or thing.
We decide this too would be good night to get a motel, since I had no clean or dry clothes to change into. This is where we met Davidina, the proprietress of the Graystone Manor, and possible Mistress of the Dark. Elvira has nothing on this gal. The Graystone is newly reopened under her stewardship, and I suspect she had a heavy hand (emphasis on “heavy” here) in its décor. The best way I can describe the motif is Post Modern Industrialist Deconstructionism. Everything is either black or gray (stone), with primer, spot putty and grinding wheel marks on the doors -– which (I think) is the intended permanent finish. It’s all very Goth (is that even still a current term?) as is Davidina her-own-self. She told us she’s a transplanted Californian (who knew?) and was named after her Father David. If you’re into this sort of style, you’ll love it. If you’re not, well just simply try to look past it. Davidina is actually quite a gracious hostess, the rooms are large, as are the beds and pillows, and everything is clean and functional - sometimes to a fault.
You each also get a free drink coupon to the City Casino just a few hundred feet up the road. This was the clincher in choosing lodging for the night, as you might also surmise given our travel habits to date.
Davidina provided us with directions to the laundromat a few blocks away, where Roger of the Falls Laundry very kindly stayed well after hours to allow us to finish laundering, drying and folding our clothes. He also swore an oath to never tell my wife Bonnie that I actually know how to do those things. With that out of the way, we headed back and parked the bikes for the night.
We each had at least two drinks at the City Casino, since it was within walking distance. This place is beautifully finished, with a lovely wooden bar, a very impressive and elaborate antique stove, and a fabulously photographed and displayed history dating back to the beginnings of the city. You really must stop in when you’re in the area.
June 17, 2010
Word to the wise, touring motorcyclist: When you clamp off your fuel line with a Vise Grip and it’s dark outside, always use a flashlight to make sure you fully pinched off the hose. If any part of it can still flow fuel, and you should have a leaky needle and seat in a carb, it will flood that cylinder and could hydro lock the engine, potentially damaging the engine (like a bent connecting rod). Fortunately, when I removed the Vise Grip the next morning and tried to start the engine, the starter clutch disengaged the starter when it met resistance. Oh boy.
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