Thursday, July 11, 2013

Changing Plans


All plans are subject to change. My expedition fits that mold. "Life happens while we make plans."

After emptying my house and camping on its floor last Saturday, I ventured west the next morning with Buggy and Flag. Stopping to see Audrey, Duane and Charlotte, I was encouraged to throw my backpack into the Buggy.

After goodbyes, we trundled down Highway 12 at a good pace. Two miles out, the front wheel was wobbling, the flagpole holder was coming "unglued," and then one of the big tires went flat. 

I would have worked on the tire on the side of the road, but figured there were too many other problems about the Buggy that needed to be considered. Turning back toward Harlowton with flag in hand, Charlotte appeared with a breakfast sandwich. She drove me back to town where we waited for Audrey and Duane to return from church.

Then, Jimmy Fisk passed the house in his monster truck. I flagged him down and we went out to bring the rig back to town, but not until he drove me by his prosperous-looking garden.

Duane and Audrey came on the scene. Then, Jim Freeser appeared to help patch the tire.

For a time, with suggestions from the Swickards and Ward Beley, the intention was to build a totally new conveyance for the trip. One larger and more substantial to carry food, water and gear across the miles of prairie and desert again. Dave Waldner at the Duncan Hutterite Colony agreed to help with the project.

While resting and holidaying at Charlotte's in Gardiner, Duane called with the idea to modify and strengthen the original Buggy - new axle and wheels, pole holders, stabilized front wheel, etc. So, on the most recent Saturday, we drove up to see Audrey and Duane, then put the Buggy in Duane's truck and carried it out to the Duncan Colony. Duane had already made some improvements on the rig and purchased a 1/2 inch rod to be made into a new axle.

At the Duncan Colony, I eventually found Gary Waldner, the welder-blacksmith. Gary looked over the Buggy and said he could make the changes when new wheels with flat-free tires could be procured. (I like flat-free better than fat-free.)

Tires were ordered from Marathon Tires in Kent, WA. Gary will make the Buggy road-worthy in short order after they appear in Harlowton Thursday. 

The Amity-Unity Tour should re-commence next week with occasional blogs to follow.

Best Regards from the Montana Walking Man.

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