Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Finally my Ghostrider owner friend, Paul, consulted a dealer friend of his in Calgary that had some software that could search dealers’ parts inventory all over the country.  He located two stators in Arizona, and one in Florida and New Jersey.  The next day we made arrangements with one in Chandler, AZ, to ship one up with next day UPS.  He wouldn’t do this at the dealer’s request but had to talk to me.  At the time it was in the afternoon and I was on a trail searching for some caches about a mile from the hostel.  He required me to send him a picture of my credit card, drivers license and a signed withdrawal authorization.  So I had to beat it back to the hostel where I had an internet connection to comply with his demand.

Raging Elk Hostel
Staying at the hostel was the highlight of my trip.  I met some great people and the next morning went on a hike with a couple from Toronto.  I had no roommate the second night but the third I was surprised to open my room door and find an attractive college girl from Pendleton, OR, in a top bunk.  The hostel furnished pancake batter and a kitchen.  Each morning the lady of the Toronto couple fixed me a pancake breakfast.  The second day which was a rainy one had nine mountain bikers on a trip stop by.  Fortunately for them it was their rest day.  They were a great bunch and I enjoyed them.  I played ping pong with one of the girls and watched some of the Tour de France with some of the guys.
Sign off of my deck

The folks I saw in Fernie for the most part seemed more fit than us Americans.  Few were overweight (Ryan, the tow truck driver being an exception).  However, many smoked, especially the younger ones.  Seemed strange to me.

Toronto friend on our hike

Ghostriders Paul & Bruno
The final cache
The plan was to ship my part to Eureka, MT, to avoid the problems of shipping to Canada and we would pick it up there.  Sure enough, according to UPS tracking the part arrived about noon the next day at the receiving station in Eureka.  However, my friends said that the station was so overrun that even though the package was there it might not be sorted and therefore, not available.  They wanted voice confirmation that it was ready but the receiving station would not answer the phone or return our calls.  Paul said he would send one of his employees down the next morning directly from home in hopes it would be available.  That’s what he did but the idiot in Arizona did not include an invoice and we could not get it across the border without one.  Then we had to call the dealer in AZ and have him email one to Paul who would in turn fax it to his employee at the border.  All that finally happened and it didn’t take Ghostriders long to install it and I was back on the road at 2:00 p.m.  Where’s the Easy Button? I’ve never had better service that what Ghostriders provided.  It was not cheap, however.

I now planned to do two day’s travel in less than a day and a half.  Things went well until I got on the Alberta plains and headed south.  I haven’t seen wind like that since I was in Nevada.  Fortunately when I got close to the border I turned east and it was a tailwind instead of a crosswind.  I really sailed.

There was a cache at the border I wanted but my GPS seemed to want me to cross the border around the border crossing.  So I crossed at the proper crossing and looped back for the cache which was at a cemetery.  As I was walking back to my bike from the cemetery I noticed two border patrol officers circling my bike.  Unbeknownst to me the cemetery was in Canada by about 50 feet and I had crossed back in illegally.  The boys weren’t real happy with me even though I thought it was funny.  They were very serious.

It was close to 8:00 p.m. when I got into Shelby and I was too tired and the wind blowing too hard to ride the 40 miles and back over to Chester.  I checked into the Crossroads (should have been named Crosswinds) Motel which was really nice.  The halls were decorated with old western movie posters with Montana in the name.  I saw lots of my old cowboy friends like Johnny Mack Brown, Jimmy Wakely and Alan Rocky Lane.

I was the only one at the 6:00 a.m. free breakfast and afterwards I gassed up and headed for Chester.  I located the cache at a cattle holding pen and then got another cache in Chester.  It just so happened that the owner of that cache was the same one who owned the state challenge so I got to meet him as it was located in his front yard.  He was a pleasant young fellow from Dayton, WA.

The rest of the day was hard and hot riding.  I must have had 20 miles of construction on highway 200 where I had to ride over rough gravel.  I got to Clarkston around 6:00 p.m. and I was so tired I didn’t got out of bed the next morning till 8:30. M/W


Yancey Warnock said...

So sorry I missed this one! I want to hear more about your grand escape from the Canadian Border Mounties!

Kathy said...

Don't encourage him, Yancey. And I even lec--er--discussed with him the importance of being on best behavior at the border.

Chuck said...

I wanted to hear about his escape from the girls. They must be very open minded. What was the awful road getting back to Clarkston?

Hallie said...

! I do not think it was appropriate for the hostel not to have separate sleeping quarters for men and women. There are really a LOT of very legitimate reasons for separate quarters.

Great photos! Looks like a beautiful place.

Kathy said...

I agree about separate quarters, Hallie. I would have thought he opened the door to the wrong room except that he had already slept there two nights. And when you have two more sets of bunks in a room, does she have to choose that one?

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike said...

Well, Yancey, it wasn't the Mounties (they always get their man). It was the US Border Patrol. It was hot and they wouldn't even let me open my bag to get a Dr. Pepper. And they were very leery of the GPS in my hand until they were sure what it was.

Chuck, the bad road was a stretch of highway 200 east of Missoula.

I don't know why they put that girl in the room with me, Hallie. I guess they figured I was just a harmless old man and she wouldn't care. And she didn't seem to.

Chris said...

What a story! And the comments are a hilarious continuation of the story (although I agree with Hallie and Kathy about the sleeping arrangements).