Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I Tried To Be Patient...

As always, my quip, my standard line is, "wait for winter...that's when all maintenance/repair will happen.  It breaks, I push it into the corner and ride something else."

My final day of riding in Wyoming was just a bit too much for the old '96 KLR.  Starting out that morning in the Snowy Mountains, I had a bunch of gravel (and less) National Forest roads to explore.  Mid-morning after a very casual and relaxed start to the day, I hadn't ridden very far when I noticed the bike feeling a bit funny.  It wasn't long and funny turned to squirelly.  Looking down at the rear while still in motion, nothing seemed drastically wrong.  In between funny and squirrelly,  I stopped and looked, not really noticing something but then suddenly, it all changed at once.

Just as I've already shared with my close associates, squirrelly turned to "9 inch pogo stick."  The seal had let go on the monoshock and I would soon be hoping for some Dramamine in my tank bag.  Pavement riding was bad enough, but getting back there from my gravel trail was turning downright uncomfortable.  Squat, tire break loose, up, squat, tire break loose, up....and repeat.

So once I got back to camp, the bike went onto the trailer and some planned History Part 2 stops were being planned on my way back to the Midwest. 

Once home, unloaded and "....pushed into the corner...."

Between the shock and my cooling issues on the Kawasaki, it was easy to give it a rest.  It wasn't like I lacked being able to ride something else.  The more I thought about it, the more it bothered me and finally tackling the problem seemed like less trouble than procrastination.  Into the shop and up on the lift.

Here's the nasty old thing....


Shock has been sent away for a rebuild with new spring.  Other things are being adjusted, cleaned, replaced, etc. etc.


After working on the dirty old KlR in the shop I walked out into the garage and looking over the other machines there, noted various colors, hues, bright and dull.  I suddenly realized that brighter, possibly something in more pastel tones was missing.

This one has taken care of that.  From this point forward, it shall be called My Little Jewel.  Possibly a threat to the Hyosung, these two will be separated in the garage from one another to avoid trouble when I'm not watching.  New chain, axle adjusters, an SAE cord, Ram ball, some Velcro stickum for my Timex that moves from bike to bike....I think this one will be ready for the Slimey Crud Run in a couple of weeks.


So, with these repair and maintenance operations being executed, it would appear that in one (and only one) metric, winter has arrived early in the valley.  In every other way, there's a lot more road to explore this fall and you can count on us doing our very best to get that accomplished.  After all, there's a pie chart that's getting filled.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Wyoming - Some History Part 2

This will be the final Wyoming Post....at least for the '17 trip. 😎

History....back to it.

Still in Wyoming, near Guernsey, this Pony Express historical marker was just off the roadway on my way to Register Cliff.  The Pony's carried the mail for a short 19 months, April 1860 to October, 1861 and went from St. Joseph to Sacramento, making the trip in 10 days.  Roughly 157 stations, 10 miles apart for pony changes. Riders rode day and night, 75-100 miles at a time and couldn't weigh over 125 lbs.



The Register Cliff....







Wagon ruts along the Oregon Trail....






The Rustic Hotel, just outside of the Fort Laramie site...


Fort Laramie, originally Fort William in the 1830's began as a trading post for beaver pelts, then buffalo hides.  Its location at the confluence of the Laramie and North Platte rivers had everything to do with its importance and growth as the West was settled.  In 1849 the US Army purchased the fort to protect the growing number of settlers moving on the Oregon Trail.  The location was important because it was situated at the low spot on a long climb through the South Pass, essentially the lowest elevation over the Continental Divide.





 Irrigation ditches....



Northern Plains tribe movements.....


 "Big Medicine Road.... Between 1849 and 1851, the California Gold Rush caused an average of 50,000 people in 10,000 wagons with 75,000 head of cattle to pass by annually."






 Officer's Row....



 

Then....



Now....

A fort without a wall??



In 1890, the Fort was sold to homesteaders.  The Transcontinental Railroad was finished, wagon trains no longer the primary method of emigrating West.


East of Rapid City, just east of famous Wall, the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site along the I-90 corridor.

A mile north of the Visitor Center, looking south....

 
 




Times that things almost went wrong ....




 Flip charts of various US urban areas with the rings of destruction levels.  One Megaton airburst...


 Proliferation....













 I stopped at Delta-01, but didn't have the necessary reservations to take the tour there.






D-9 Launch site.....one of 10 surrounding D-01 Launch Facility.



 Porthole for man entrance....



 Silo cover that moves on this rack and pinion with blast charges, forcing the opening.


 Looking down inside....viewing glass added for our benefit




Copper shielded, gas shielded cables....1700 miles worth.  A great many pennies.


 Redundant communication system...




I took this photo to highlight the "fuse" in the fence, this the southwest corner of the fenced in area.  A test blast was performed, a small charge in the missile for a very limited, non-armed flight.  The silo cover shot forward, down its track, raced through the chain link fence on one side, dragging the entire perimeter fence south, right over the top of the rising missile.  The discovery led to the south wall fence being altered to break free independent of the entire "square."






Stopping once more, this time during daylight hours, at the Chamberlain Lewis and Clark Visitor Center.



 A special event, the Mobile Vietnam Vet's Memorial Wall display.






Life size model of the keelboat used to float the Missouri River.







Last but not least, my only tactile souvenir of the trip, a poster that I bought in Dubois at a great little gift shop.