Thursday, August 20
Now usually when you think of a “mountaintop” experience you think of some type of (often especially good) spiritual experience. Our Mountaintop experience couldn’t really be considered of the spiritual nature, unless you factor in all the praying that we did!
We were about 200 miles into our day, and climbing up King Hill (elevation 7393). As we were chugging our way up the long hill Gary noticed that the transmission seemed to be running hot. We pulled over at the summit to investigate. Once we stopped the “low air” beeper started beeping. Believe me, you do not ignore this beeping. It didn’t really make any sense, but Gary figured he’d better check that out too! After he added a little coolant to the radiator to fix that problem he went to work on the low air. Now for those of you non-mechanical folks (like me) the “low air” is pretty critical. That’s because we have air BRAKES. Always nice, especially when you have to go DOWN from that 7393ft elevation. (Actually even if we weren’t headed down a hill, brakes are still pretty critical. Duh, Steph!) Turns out that one of the brake lines had a leak. Good news – we found the problem when we were in a safe place. Bad news – the closest store that MIGHT have a part Gary could use to fix it was back in Great Falls – 75 miles away (and it was already after 4:00). Good news – we carry a spare vehicle! 🙂 More good news – the store had parts that would work (and it was open!). And final good news – the fix worked!!!! We’ll test it again in the morning, but things are looking pretty good for an early morning departure off This mountaintop!
Friday, August 21 –
We have arrived safely in Manhatten, Montana and are parked outside of Sarah and Brandan’s house. Our house ran just fine coming down off that mountain, with lots of air pressure for the brakes and no alarming engine temperatures. And no BEEPING!!!!!
Montana has really surprised me with its variety of terraine. Here are some random shots of what I saw out of my window as we traveled down the road.
Leaving the campground –
Driving through an area hard hit by fire in the past
The mountains followed along to the west most of the way
The road ahead
Can you see the three crosses on the top of this butte?
OK – we actually stopped to get the picture above and the one below – I just loved these yellow daisies!
Driving through the Lewis & Clark National Forest
We passed this ranch/farm(?) three times with our extra trip into Great Falls. I love the way it was sitting all alone in the field.
We’ll be here in Manhatten for several days, just kinda hangin’ out and catching our breath. We’ll probably start on the massive cleaning that we need to accomplish following our long dirt road journeys. Everything I pull out of a closet or cupboard seems to have a thin (or thick, depending on where it was) layer of dirt on it. The “basement” bay areas are expecially bad. It’ll be a big job, but it will also give us a chance to get rid of some non-essential stuff! Let the cleaning begin!
In the morning.
Have a great weekend!