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15 May 2018, 11:40 PM MT, Butte, MT

My byline says I am in Butte. How did that happen? Butte wasn't even on my itinerary. Take a look at the map by clicking on the menu at the left. You see where I am. Note the big dip in the path. The path had been sort of straight across, but now the big dip.

Well, my plans got altered during the day. I had a delightful ride along a river or two with gorgeous scenery with the destination of Missoula in mind. Specifically Grizzly Harley-Davidson in Missoula. I wanted to get the oil and filter changed, and see why oil was coming out of my air filter, and to replace the radio if that worked out. As I have said, the radio is not that important, but I did need an oil change. I arrived there about 2:30 PM, it took that long to do the delightful and gorgeous ride along a river or two. But it was not to be. They could not change my oil and filter, they were too busy. Maybe I could come back tomorrow morning and if I was early enough in the line they could get to me. Most Harley dealers cater to travelers, they will almost always do a simple thing like change the oil. Well, I guess these guys don't. The service guy even said I would find the same problem at all the Harley dealers around, they were all too busy. Thumbs down to Grizzly Harley-Davidson.

I then checked my Harley app to find another dealer and saw that there was one in Butte, Copper Canyon Harley-Davidson, so I called and asked for service. I spoke with David Hicks who told me if I could get there in time, they could do the job for me. They close at 6:00 PM. It was 121 miles. It was 3:28 PM. I had to program my GPS so I could find them. I needed gas. I was off at 3:45 PM. I rode fast, and got there at 5:20 PM. You do the math. And they did the job. They also found that the reason for the oil coming from my air filter was that the oil had been overfilled at my last service, which was May 21. The air filter, which was replaced at the same service, was now trash. I really have to hand it to these guys, they know how to take care of you. Thanks very much David for taking such good care of me. As I was leaving I met the General Manager, Curtis Moen. I told him my story and how grateful I was to Copper Canyon and especially to David. No question I will call on you guys if I should find myself back in western Montana again.

Here's my bright and shiny freshly washed bike in front of Copper Canyon Harley-Davidson.

Altogether today I rode 317 miles. And the total mileage on the bike, at this very moment, is 33,333 miles. What a nice round figure. The total for this ride so far is 4,758 miles.

I have a few pictures from the day, but not as many as I thought I would have. The scenery was the same virtually every mile today. (That is, except for the mad dash from Missoula to Butte, where I didn't have time to take a picture, I had to get to Butte.) A river on one side or the other of the road, with hills or mountains on both sides. After taking a couple of pictures, they are all the same after that. But I will show you some.

I was riding north on Idaho Highway 13 to reach US-12. Partway to US-12, I saw this sign and knew it was a warning, this road is not going to be the best road for an 18-wheeler to take. If you cannot read the sign, it says TRUCK TURNAROUND AHEAD.

Here's what it looked like where I had come from. There is the river beside the road. There are the hills or mountains on both sides.

About half an hour later I reached US-12. Shortly after, I saw this sign.

Makes Tail of the Dragon seem kind of small.

Here are some shots along US-12. The first two are from the same location, looking forward and then looking back.

And this is farther up the road. You can see what I said before, they are all similar, river and mountains. This picture is a little different, the water is rather turbulent.

Then I started climbing faster. There was a pull-out on the side of the road, I stopped, read the sign, and decided there was nothing I could do anyway, I did not have my chains with me.

By the way, I did had chains once upon a time. And I used them. But not on a bike.

This is the highest elevation I had today, 5,233 feet at Lolo Pass.

And that's all for today. I am still running about half a day behind my preliminary plan, but I am quite OK with that. My guess at the beginning was that I would have lost more than a day, maybe two, by this time.

And my radio is still dead. That will have to wait until I get back home.

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