Back on top of Judith Peak, Lewistown, Montana. Martin drove up all the washboard gravel in this giant roll back! 

The Pilgrimage: Day 7

We climbed the road to Judith Peak in a roll back tow truck at 8 am. Martin had a special appreciation for my struggle after working a big ass truck up that awful washboard crap. The wind had dissipated, and it was almost nice up on top of the mountain. 

Martin, of Hanser's Towing in Lewistown, MT

Martin called his friend Coy to help me figure out what the hell I did to piss Lazarus off so much. We did the normal troubleshooting and Coy kept riding off to ask some other guy questions. The third time he took off I asked to go with, and I met the most pig headed, disgusting man I have met in a long time. 

Coy was listing off what we had done and didn’t work, and the symptoms. The mechanic kept stating the only thing it could be was the stator. I said once that I replaced the stator right before I left, but he didn’t look at me or say anything in response, so I thought he just didn’t hear me. 

When Coy repeated what I said, the man shook his head and said it was the stator. I said louder, No, it’s not the stator. It became clear to me then that this pig headed man was actually just ignoring my presence entirely. I can manage my anger a lot of the time, but having my opinion ignored purely because I’m a woman was a little too much. I said ‘Let’s Go’, to Coy while he was in the middle asking the pig what we could do to fix the stator. I still give myself brownie points for not telling the jack wad where he could put his wrenches. 

When we got back to the tow truck, and Coy started in on the ‘it must be the stator’ ploy, I told him flat that it wasn’t the stator and I appreciated his help, but if he thought it was my stator, he could leave. I took the battery out and Martin put it on the charger, and made a couple jokes about a woman in charge that made me feel better. 

Martin followed me back out to the bike, said he didn’t know anything about bikes, but said he’d help if he could. He started listing off things to make sure I checked them, when he said Oil. I laughed, got down to check it and started laughing harder. It was empty. 

Between my top end leak and dropping the bike four times, Lazarus had ate almost three quarts of oil. 2.75 quarts of oil and a battery charge later the bike lived!!

I did a little dance to celebrate, and went about getting my stuff put back together, when I realized I lost my motorcycle pants. 

I ran all over town, then very very very reluctantly rode back up the mountain for the fourth time to find my pants. Turns out the mountain had tried to eat them. The wind picked them up and threw them 50 ft over the edge. Climbed down, retrieved them, and returned to Lewistown at 6:40p… too late to get on the road. 

So, Martin let me stay at the town shop again, AND I got to go on a call with him to clean up and haul a dump truck that was filled with grain. It was pretty cool, and we finished that around midnight. 

A look into Martin's daily life working as a tow truck driver.

Everything was back on the bike, the bike was working and I had my pants. Hurray! 

Zortman, Montana

The Pilgrimage: Day 8

After two days in Lewistown, I was excited to get back on the road, but I was bummed I had to leave my new friend, Martin. Drug my feet and when I finally did leave I could feel Lewistown trying to tug me back. It was a very strange feeling. 

Made my way to Zortman, MT. Which is supposed to be a ghost town on my map, but much like Elkhorn, MT, there is a thriving small town there. These two little buildings and the church on top of the hill, seem to be the only surviving buildings from the initial gold boom. 
Sat there drawing for about twenty min before the natural curiosity of a few of the locals kicked in. 

An old man walked by and asked me a few questions and kept walking. Three cars stopped to ask if I was broke down. Then a man named Daren, came over and drug me back to the bar to introduce me to the other people who had been watching me trying to figure out what I was doing. 

I got the small town tour, then Daren and the owner of the bar took me up into the mountains to show me a neat old cabin. Someone bought the property, totally rebuilt the cabin, put beds, couches and wood stoves in it, and now it’s just up there for public use. And it’s not trashed! It was pretty freaking cool, and I would never have known it was up there. 
Small towns. are. the. best.