My Panhead Story !

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crasha51pan
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#61

Post by crasha51pan » Mon Feb 25, 2008 5:38 pm

On any trip that took me across the Mojave Desert, one place I always stopped at was Manzanar War Relocation Camp. During WW ll, Japanese Americans were gathered up and moved to several camps around the nation so they could be watched.
It's a wonderment when you look at the place now. All thats left is a couple of foundations and the two guard towers at the entrance. The towers are closed off now, but in the past you could walk inside and the walls are signed by prisoners and son's and daughters of prisoners who were interned there.
It would give me a place to rest, suck down a cold one and wonder what it must have been like...
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crasha51pan
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#62

Post by crasha51pan » Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:09 pm

Needed somethin to do, heard about a Easyrider Rodeo goin on in Lancaster. Fired up the Pan and headed out. Don't know how many of you have made an event like that, but it's not my bag. The ride was good, but I didn't stay long. My heart belongs in the hills !!! Does the term "herded like cattle" mean anything to ya ?
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crasha51pan
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#63

Post by crasha51pan » Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:40 pm

Am sittin here thinkin about that one ride. We have all had it, the one your mind goes to when you think of "that trip". Now, centerpunchin a car at 60 MPH was bad, but that took about a second, then it was out of my hands. All I had to do from that point was to lay there, it was up to the ambulance crew and the Doc's at the hospital.
I'm talkin about that one ride that you could call, "The Test".
I had made up my mind, I was goin to ride the next weekend. The bike was packed, sleepin bag and clothes, oil and parts. I was ready. The mornin I left the sky was gray. Had watched the weather reports and was concerned, but it was too late to call it off. I didn't want to call it off ! I didn't know where I was headin, I let the bike point the way. Got out of the L.A. Basin and over the Grapevine. Dropped down into the Bakersfield Valley, at this point a plan started to develope. My thought was to go up towards Fresno, cut off into Yosimite, ride throught the valley and go up over Tioga Pass, drop down the other side which would put me in the Eastern Sierra Mountains, go back down Hwy. 395 to Mammoth Mountain and spend the night in the trees. I had been over Tioga Pass a bunch of times, but always coming from the Mammoth side and drop down into the park. It's a spectacular ride, Tioga Pass is at 10,000 feet. You see the high mountain meadows, El Capitan, granite rock walls, small mountain lakes,it takes your breath away.
As I was headin north, the sky was gettin darker. When I turned off of Hwy. 99 and headed towards the park I noticed the sky up against the mountains had turned "Black". I knew I was in for it. I stopped at a gas station/store and bought a box of large trash bags. Put two over my sleepin bag that was tied to the sissy bar and proceeded on. Paid my money at the entrance to the park and it started to rain. Not a soft gentle rain, it was pourin ! There were cars on the road so I was stuck in line, I did notice that there were no bikes. As you travel the valley floor, there are a number of long tunnels you go thru. I welcomed that, to get out of the rain but the problem was, the cars exaust heated up the tunnels and when I entered one my glasses would fog up so bad I couldn't see. At this point, I'm soaked, everything on me was soaked. Have you ever had the thought, "I can't get any wetter ?", that was me. Finally made it across the valley floor and the traffic started to thin. Nobody was headed up over the pass, except me ! As I started the climb, it got colder. It was raining so hard that I couldn't see the front of the bike. Came to the "last" store that is located in that neck of the woods and stopped in to gas. People were starin at me, I know what they were thinkin. Fired the Pan (was surprised she started, as wet as it was) and headed on up. It got colder and was rainin harder. At a point I was the only one on the road and I started to think that I was in real trouble here. There had to be 2 or 3 inches of water on the road, if I was to go over, nobody would find me. How I kept the bike up, I still don't know to this day. I figured, what the hey. I had to make it to the top, so I opened the throttle (I was past caring, I was desperit). By this time, I couldn't feel my hands or feet, I couldn't see the edge of the road and I couldn't look forward because of the rain, had to look down at the tank.
When I made the top of the pass, there was a ranger station you are supposed to stop at and show that you paid your entrance fee. I came on it so fast, my hands were so cold I couldn't pull in the clutch, my feet were so cold I couldn't down shift, so I blew right thru. As I went by the window I saw a face lookin at me, thats something else I will always remember (that look). Once over the top, the rain stopped. It was like magic. Now, I'm at 10,000 feet and before me streched a long ribbon of road that led down to Mono Lake and a little town called Lee Vining. As I came into town, there was a stop sign. I blew thru that too (same reason), there was a group of bikes who pulled to a stop, again there was that look. I saw a small coffee shop and motel, I pulled up. When I tried to get off the bike, I near fell over. It was hard to climb the few steps to the shop but I made it. When I opened the door, there were a good 7 or 8 people standin in line. They all turned to look at me and the weirdest thing happened, they all moved aside. Where I stood there was a hugh puddle of water, my teeth was chatterin so bad that the gal could hear it at the counter, I was so "white", they must have thought I was dead. I went to the head of the line, the gal ask me what I would like. I said anything "HOT", I didn't care. I was in survival mode here. I then asked her if they had a room to rent, she said they were full and then "surprised" me with this, she asked me if I would like to go in back and take a hot shower ? That sounded real good but I knew that once I got warm, I would be done for the day. I thanked her, took my "choca lotta mocca friz" or whatever she gave me and went back outside.
My plan now was to make it back down Hwy. 395 to Mammoth Mountain, make camp and pass out. It started to rain again, I made it into Mammoth and by now the thought of "campin out" was long gone. Found a large motel, went in and asked for a room on the ground floor where I could park my bike outside the room I would be stayin in (I never went far from my bike). She said she had one on the ground floor, but it was reserved. Again I was surprised, she looked at the clock and said that if she didn't hear from the person in 10 minutes, I could have the room. When I opened the door, it was good, it was warm. Went out and unpacked my bike, took my sleepin bag inside (still covered by trash bags) and covered my bike with a poncho (put her to bed). Took my wallet out and spread the contence on one of the beds to dry, laid out my one pair of dry Levi's and then went and jumped into a hot bath. I yelled so loud, I know they heard me at the office (maybe it was too hot, or I was too cold). I felt human again, ran across the street and bought a big spegetti dinned (to go), a six pack and beat feet back to my room. Called the wife to let her know I was OK and fell asleep. The next mornin, I headed home, it started to sprinkle but nothin like the day before. This time, I was headed back, across the desert. A much better trip !!!
That's the one for me, "My Test". Many years gone by, I think about it and wonder.

This would be lookin from the top of the pass (10,000 feet), down to where it would drop ya into Lee Vining/Mono Lake.....
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crasha51pan
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#64

Post by crasha51pan » Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:15 pm

The rim around L.A. gave a place to ride. I could find a back road with NO traffic, often I would pull over and just walk. Sometimes I would walk for a mile, just takin it in...........That's what got me thru the work week !!
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crasha51pan
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#65

Post by crasha51pan » Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:07 pm

Never much went for the "large runs". The Easyrider show, I was locked down and the Laughland Run, ya needed a machine gun to fight your way out of town.
I did happen on a run that took place every year that worked for me. It was the "Bridgeport" run. Set high in the mountains, it offered a friendly little town with great riding country. You had a thousand different places to camp, next to rivers, streams, lakes and tall pines. You had your choice. The run was small enough to not cause panic, the police were friendly (you could walk down the main street carrying a drink, pass a cop and he would smile and say "hi") you had a band playin on the courthouse lawn, drags at the little airport outside of town. It Was Good !!!
Remember one trip where I had spent the day in town and towards evening, I was headed back to where I was to camp. Stopped at a small store for one last beer, just outside of town. Was sittin at a pic-nic table when this brand new Jag pulled up. Guy got out with this tall, long legged blonde in a mini skirt. Those things were store bought, but still looked good. They went inside and shortly returned, the guy headed towards me. My radar went up and I stood as he approached. He asked if he could take some pictures of his girl friend on my bike. I gave her another look and said OK. Now, I had a great day and it was to get better. She straddled the bike, leaned back and up came the sweater. I'm here to say, this was "Playboy" stuff... The camera was a clickin and I was a smilin. That old Pan had never been so happy ! After a bit, he turned and said thanks (I said "your welcome"), they jumped back in that shinny new Jag and headed north. She smiled as they drove by. I jumped on my bike and headed south (I was smilin too).
Every year I looked forward to Bridgeport. The last time it was held was 2000. It seems that some of the gals was flashin people and the town "marms" didn't like it, so the run was cancelled. A huge loss for me !
The town of Mammoth picked it up the following year, but it was not even close. It had become the same old generic run, Bridgeport was special.
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crasha51pan
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#66

Post by crasha51pan » Sun Mar 02, 2008 7:27 pm

Had a dog, ran over it goin to work one mornin. Swore that was it for me, no more dogs. Me and "Big O" was sittin in the garage poundin down a few, checkin out my new black paint job on the pan when around the corner and down my drive came this "80 pound black hole" that ran into the garage and layed down between me and Oscar, next to my bike. We sat there and didn't say anything, I looked at him, at the dog and at the bike. Then came a lot of noise and around the front of the house came a rush of people, must have been 14 or 15 people. They were yellin, askin me if that was my dog. First, I told them to back off, then I told them that I never seen the dog before. Seems she had been jumpin up on parked cars all over the neighborhood, dentin and a scratchin. It was a lynch mob, I felt for the dog, but she was on her own.
They took her and put her in dog jail across the street. Hours later the wife came out and asked me to come inside. She went to the front door and said "come here". I walked to the door and looked, there it was, starin at us with it's ears down and head hung. I looked at the dog and then at the "ole" lady. I said, "don't even think it".
With the wife workin on me for a couple of days I began to weakin. Then the wife blind sided me with "it's a sign from God, the dog is black, your bike is black, what more proof do you need ?" ????????? Can't argue with that, went over and talked to the people who held her captive. They couldn't find the owner and were goin to take her to the pound (a death sentence for sure, she wasn't the prettiest dog on the block). Told them that before they did that, I would take the mutt (later decided that she was mostly Chow and a little of something else).
It took about 3 months of squareing off before it was clear on "who was in charge". She was a hardhead, but I liked that. She was not affraid of anything. Was workin in the garage when the wife came out, yellin for me to come and get the dog out of the house. Asked what was wrong and she said "she scares me, her eyes are glowin". I said, WHAT ? Go figure !!
Her and the wife did get close after time, so much so that when we would argue, the dog would come and park her ass between us, give me that stare and a low growel. There was no question on who's dog she was.
Have had her for 12 years now and would hate to say the the wife, you got to choose between me or that dog. I know who would lose. Still, she is the smartest dog I ever had and a great protector for the wife and kids. Besides, she was black, just like my bike.........
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crasha51pan
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#67

Post by crasha51pan » Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:21 pm

I stay away from large, organized runs. For me, it's like takin a trip to the "Mall". There was one run that came up that caught my interest.  You old timers remember the first biker flic "The Wild One" with Brando (personally, I was more of a Lee Marvin fan). This was supposed to be an account of a real event in a little central California town called Holister. Happened in 1947, and was more "movie" than truth. In 1997, they were to have "The 50th Anniversary of the Hollister Event", I wanted to go !! Took an extra 2 days off from work and left town early on a Friday morning. I'm headed out towards Santa Barbara, then to head up the coast. On the Ventura Fwy., I notice the inbound L.A. traffic, it's creeping along, bumper to bumper and the people have the same look on their face that I have every morning that I'm headed to work. I'm glad to be in the wind, can't help but let out a yell. I get a "thumbs up" from a guy sittin in that traffic jam. Get up past Santa Maria, gettin near Frisco, then head inland. It's afternoon now, I roll into Holister. Standard, booths, bikes, bars and broads. Lot's of people.  I forgot to mention, there was "POLICE", everywhere. I now remember why I stay away from events like this. Walkin around in town was OK, but at a point, ya got to ride. The problem there was, ya got on your bike, you picked up a cop. There were red and blue lights flashin everywhere. Hear the camp site for the bikers was located outside of town, so I went to check it out (there were so many reds lights flashin between the town and the campsite, it looked like a airport runway). Went a short distance, then decided to pull over. I leaned on a fence rail, there were maybe 4 or 5 other brothers sittin there too (they had to get off the road also), we started to count. One, two , three bikes, then a cop car. 1,2,3, cop - 1,2,3, cop. Thats the way it was. I have never seen so many police, ever !! I got back on the road, I counted 1,2,3, cop then I took off. Figured that put me behind one and 4 bikes in front of the other. Got to the fair grounds, again, herded I cattle. The bad thing was, when you decided to leave the camp site, you picked up a "black and white" sittin outside the gate. I made it back to town, had a beer at "Johnny's Bar", walked the main street and checked out the booths. The Angels were there (had a booth and everything ??), there was no killin goin on and things were generally "mild". EXCEPT, THERE WERE TOO MANY COPS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For me, the fun was gone, I had made the 50th of Holister but I found myself askin "what now" ?
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crasha51pan
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#68

Post by crasha51pan » Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:42 pm

Too risky to ride, I hung around town most of the day. Gettin on in the evening, I started to prepare for the night. I got a routine, got to lay in some suds, somethin for the munchies and a bag of ice to keep the beer cold (it was hot there). Over time, I really got pretty good at toten it all. Would have the store double bag the ice and beer, that would be my ice chest.
Headed for the fair grounds outside of town (I started to count 1-2-3-go). As I approached the gate, I just couldn't make the turn. I have a problem bein in a crowd, I have a bigger problem being herded into a area with one entrance and only one exit. I think it goes back to Nam. I drove on past. Didn't know where I was goin, but I couldn't go there ! Continued about a mile and saw a dirt road off to the right, pulled in, goin slow (still balancing my grub between my legs). The road ended, I shut off the Pan and walked around. I was far enough off the paved road so I couldn't be seen, there was a slow moving, moss covered river (if ya could call it that) near. It would do !!!
Set my camp, put the beer in the paper bag and poured the ice over them. Looked for someplace "shady" to put the bag. Found a bush, kind of hollowed it out and placed the bag inside, I was set. I carried a small tape player and a couple of tapes, I had grub, beer and sounds, bring on the night.
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crasha51pan
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#69

Post by crasha51pan » Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:26 pm

Some of you more "woodsie" brothers might look at that last picture and say, "somethin is wrong here, or, I have seen those bushes before" and you are right. Seems that I decided to pitch camp right in the middle of a patch of poison oak. Now, I have run across some "killer weed" before, but nothin like this ! Worse yet, that bush I hollowed out and squirreled my beer in, yep, poison oak. Now, every time I reached for a cold one, I got a dose. It didn't show for 2 days, about the time I got home. My arms turned bright red and blistered up so bad that it hurt to bend them. The worst of all was the "ITCH". It was relentless, all day all night. That pink lotion s*#t, it don't work. Nothin worked !!! I was in my own "livin hell" for the next 2 weeks. Figured that it was payback for all the foul things I had done in my life, it was God torturing me !!! I have been beat with a pool que, tire iron and ball bat. I have been shot at, blown up twice and stabbed, I have centerpunched a car at 60 MPH. I have NEVER been thru more agony than what that Poison Oak layed on me. I was not in a good mood when I returned to work the next week. It seems that another guy went to the Colorado River for that 4th of July weekend and got into the same thing that I did, only his was all over his legs. So here I am, bein tortured with "THE ITCH FROM HELL" and now there are starting to be some foul comments made about him having it all over his legs and me having it all over my arms (I'll let you figure out what was bein said...). That put me in a worse mood !

When I got up the next mornin, I packed and headed for town. Cops were up early and the lights were flashin. At this point, I had enough. Made a plan, decided to head inland, thru the Sacramento Valley and try and find Hwy 99 south. Would ride down to the town of Delano (where I had centerpunched that car at 60 MPH, 8 years earlier), go up over Greenhorn Mountain, drop down to the Kern River and spend that night at Homebase. It was already HOT when I started and I noticed a small stream running along side the road. I stopped here to cool off. It was good to be back on the road, I never seen another cop. The whole state was "cop free" cause they were all back at Holister !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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1950Bobber

Crasha51pan

#70

Post by 1950Bobber » Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:35 pm

Hey crasha51pan....

Been reading your "chronicles" and am enjoying it like reading a book. Not to sound or appear trite, I'm a Vet with 'ya, former Chief Warrant Officer helicopter pilot from Co. C "Black Widows", 101st Avn Bn, 101st Abn Div "Screaming Eagles", 1970-1977; welcome home Brother.

I ALSO ride a '50 Pan and have been riding chops and Bobbers for 42 years since 1966.

Plans are laid to experience a rather large loop of country this upcoming May '08 with 3 other Brothers all 58 years old like me and 1 baby at 55 yo, but he's got time under his belt too. Leaving Seattle, the trip will take us through Id, Mt, Wy, Co, NM, Az, Ut and Or...maybe others as well.

Just wanted to say, you've got book material here and I'd pay to read it and support 'ya!

Thanks for sharing and taking the time...must surely be cathartic (Sp?) for 'ya 'cause I'm benefiting BIGTIME! Give my best to that Son-in-law and my respects as well to your family for being as true to you as you are to them.

My favorate tat, scribed on my dominant right arm, states, "Audaces Fortuna Iuvat"...Fortune favors the Brave, or God rewards Courage...

'nough said.

your Brother in Arms,

Jim Franco
1950 Bobber

crasha51pan
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#71

Post by crasha51pan » Mon Mar 10, 2008 2:43 pm

Jim,

First, let me say that I envy you and your buds. Those are the trips that you can look back on "when you get old". Am sure you know this, but I gotta say it anyway. LOOK OUT FOR THE DEER !!!! When I go to town, even in my big old Dodge Ram, I look for a car to run "blocker" for me. Have already hit one. Evening, night and early mornin is the worst.
Would like to thank you for the "welcome home". Have given it some thought, and I feel like this. The only time that phrase means anything to me is when it comes from another Vet. We all have walked the same path ! I seen a sticker once that said "I was a Viet Nam Vet, before it became fashionable", and that kind of sums it up for me. Again, thanks ! And a welcome home to you , my brother....
About my story, you are right. I has been great fun for me. I am close to ending this, but I feel like I have made every one of those trips again (as I sit here, thinkin my ass is even feelin a bit sore from that old ridged). Winters are long here and the memories get me thru. You get near Eureka and you need a clearing to crash in, or a place to turn a wrench or maybe even a tow ( I got the Dodge and a ramp and some tie downs), give my a call. I kind of thought I was the last "Pan Man" left on the planet, I have seen some sweet lookin Pans on this site. It's nice to know they are still on the road. Keep the wheels turnin, have a safe trip and make some memories !!!!!!

1950Bobber

crasha51pan

#72

Post by 1950Bobber » Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:57 am

Good words, obviously from a good man....thanks. If Eureka is in my path, or close to it, we'll take you up on the invite. Ride fast. Life IS short....seize tha day....as it was said.........

Jim "1950 Bobber"

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#73

Post by crasha51pan » Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:55 pm

We have all had "that one person" who has made a huge impact on our lives. This clown would be it for me. Think I need to explain ! I have said how I need to ride the hills, trying to find the space that there is in the LA area. Hwy. 39 to Crystal Lake and the Angeles Crest Hwy were two. This day, up Hwy. 39, I started to notice these posters every mile or so. I stopped to check one out. From this point on, my life in these hills became unbearable. Now on every trip to the mountain there were black and whites crusing the back roads. Every trip, I'm being pulled over. After a number of weeks, I leave those hills and head for the canyons of Orange County. Black Star, Silvarado, Majeska, O'neil Park, these places have space. One of my spots was under a big old oak tree in Black Star Canyon. I would grab a sixer and set there and watch the redtail hawks riding the air currents. In the distance you can hear other bikes, mostly headed for a biker hangout called Cook's Corner (where I had my bike blessed). Here they came, two black & whites. I thought "not again", they pulled under "my" oak tree. "What are you doin here ?", I explain my search for space, they tell me to put my hands on their fender ! Saddle bags are dumped on the ground, pockets are searched, run for warrents, I'm clean. They seem angry, I ask them "whats up ?", they tell me that a girl was raped up here a few weeks back. Damn, I got nowhere left to go. I try this ride for a couple of weeks, each time the same thing, pulled over and searched.
This is the beginning of the end for me.......Things are starting to "way" on me.
My next door neighbor, Bill, a real biker and a good person. I would hear him start his bike and would see him and his girlfriend roll out front. I would ask, where ya headed Bill ? Goin to Oregon or Washington State or Washington D C with the Rolling Thunder Run. He was all over the map, I envyed him. Came home from work one night and walked in the front door, the wife was on the couch with these big red eye's. I ask what was the matter, she told me that Bill had died today. I was stunned, Bill was just a bit older than myself. Seems he walked into the bathroom to fix a leakin faucet and just dropped over. It was a big funeral, lots of bikes, lots of different patches. Bill was well liked ! They had placed his bike next to the casket with his colors drapped over his seat (he belong to a club "Just Riden" MC). Back at the house, we had blocked of the entire street so there would be a place for all the bikes to park. He had his ashes spread along the road a Sturgis. This event also hit me hard !!!
I just realized that, "I'm gettin old"...........
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crasha51pan
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#74

Post by crasha51pan » Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:31 pm

After the service and we got back home, the street on both sides was lined with bikes. My yard and Bill's yard was loaded with bikes, the sidewalks had bikes on it. People were gathered around in groups tellin stories about Bill. His younger brother (who I had met once before) had come down from Oregon for the service. We were standin on the porch when he looked at me and reached into his pocket, he pulled out a "big, fat joint" and handed it to me. He said "when you get to the right place, with the right people, try this (Easyrider 69). Makin no social statement here, just tellin ya what happened. I thanked him and put it in my vest pocket. There was food and drink, Bill would have enjoyed the party. A month or so had passed. I couldn't ride the mountains because of the "Jerk" in the poster. I was still trying to make the canyons of Orange County work for me (even after the Black Star event). It was Sunday, I geared up and headed for Silvarado Canyon. Was just cruising thru when I noticed the red and blue lights in my mirror. I know the drill so I pulled over. Same old questions, he asked if I had any weapons ? I told him that I had a Buck knife, he took it and placed it on his cruiser. He then asked if he could search me (he was goin to anyway), I said OK. I had nothin to hide ! He went straight for my fest pocket, rummaged around, and pulled out this "big, fat joint". OOP'S, forgot about that !!! I swear he smilled, out came the yellow book and he started to write. I did notice that the "big,fat joint" didn't go into a evidence bag, it went into his pocket. I head for home, walk in the door and show the wife my "yellow ticket". She shook her head. I called to find out what the fine will be, can't pay the fine. Must Appear, Damn ! Took a day off work and headed for the Orange County Court House, walked in and sat down. I looked around, "I'M IN A KINDERGARDEN CLASS". I'm surrounded by a room full of pimply faced kids ! They are all lookin at me, I know what they are thinkin, "What the OLD guy get busted for ?". Court starts, the judge is throwin the book at the kids. First, there is a lecture on the evil of their ways, then community service and drug classes. I'm thinkin that I will be wearin a orange jumpsuit, pickin up trash along side the freeway for the next 10 weekends. DAMN ! It's my turn. My name is called and I stand before the bench. He reads the charges and asks "how do you plead ?". Guilty your honor ! He then did somethin strange, he leaned forward and looked at me over the top of his glasses. He asked in a low voice, "ya gonna pay the fine ?". I said "yes sir". $100 and the court cost, down came the gavel. Now, all I can figure is that he took one look at me and thought "what's the use, too old for me to help now". I walked out of the room, down the hall to the little window and paid $145. I was a free man ! This is how it went for me. I was bein pulled over for handlebars bein too high, pipes too loud, bein too ugly, the sun was shinin, it didn't matter. I started to spend more time around home, with the boy. It had become too costly to ride !!!
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crasha51pan
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 4:58 pm
Location: Eureka, Montana
Been thanked: 1 time

#75

Post by crasha51pan » Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:15 pm

It's August, 02. We do what we have done for the past 22 years, we load up and head for our 20 acres in Montana. Only this time, it's just me and the "ole" lady (kids are grown, daughter married, son in the Navy). We are in our tent one evening, the conversation starts, "The kids are gone, why don't we move ?". We are 55 years old and both have a small pension we can draw. A few years back, we had a guy draw up some blueprints of a cabin we "someday" would like to live in. We made some calls and a builder drove out to our land to talk with us. We showed him our plans, he took them and came back 2 days later with a bid. It was in our range, we looked at each other and made a instant decision. We would do this ! Headed back to California, my head was spinnin. We wired the builder 8 grand so he could start. The thought crossed my mind, what if the house don't sell. What if we don't get enough for it. All of the sudden, the list of "what if's" is gettin long. Called a realitor, the house went on the market. It sold in 4 hours and we got more than we were asking. Too late for second thoughts now. What do I do with my Panhead ? It took a lot of money to keep my pan rollin, I knew that with our small pensions the money would not be there. Also figured that at 55, how much longer could I ride that ridged ? I didn't want to put the pan for sale until the last moment. We had asked for a 60 day escrow, so I had that time to still ride. The time grew near, I put my notice in at work, I put a add out to sell the pan, the furniture had been put in storage. It was a Saturday, we were leaving the next Monday. The phone rang, he wanted to look at the Pan. They came, they saw, they bought. Here was my problem, my back was to the wall and these guy's were from Japan. They tried to knock down the price, I wouldn't budge. He pulled out a wad of cash and the bike was gone. They put it in a crate and shipped it to Japan. I still have guilty thoughts about that, the bike should have stayed in the states. Monday mornin, me and the "ole" lady and that big black dog jump in the Trooper, pullin a small trailer and head north. We start a new life ! Arrive in Eureka, Montana. My new home. I have lived in the LA basin since I was 6 years old. This place has one main street, people wave as they drive by (at first,I thought they were flippin me off but the wife told me they were wavin. Hey, I'm from LA, you see a hand go up down there and it's because someone is flippin ya off. Thats just how it was !). This town did not have a single stop sign or street light. I'm lovin this ! We need a place to stay, to winter (whats that). We end up spending the next 7 months (while our small cabin is bein built) livin in a airplane hanger located at the small airport, north of town. No kitchen, we cooked in an electric frypan. We did have a TV, bring on the snow ! We would drive out to our land and watch the progress. First the clearing, then a foundation (right where I had placed the X, 20 years earlier), then a well. I can't believe this. My thoughts often go to my Pan, ridin the roads of Japan. Wondering if I did the right thing, should I have kept it ? I told myself that I was not thru ridin, I would have another bike. Maybe a Road King, somethin like that. We drove into town one day and there it was. It was like bein kicked in the nut's. It was a sign from God, I should have kept it !!!!!!!!!!This is on the main street (Hwy. 93) of Eureka. Cowboy and mule meets Panhead. Welcome to Montana... For you PAN-HEADS, you are not alone. Those classics are spread all thru this land (even Eureka, Montana)...
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