Minot, North Dakota
September 30, 2014

Dear Family & Friends:

I left for Egeland, North Dakota on Thursday, September 25. I hoped to get my bike started on Friday and ride it to Minot for service at the Honda dealer. That would allow me to start the long ride home on Saturday.

The flight to North Dakota was delayed, and I missed my connections  My bag with the tools to start the bike also missed the connections. So, I was delayed one day, and the Honda dealer was closed on Saturday. Now, my trip can’t start until Monday at the earliest.

The weather turned cold and rainy, which is exactly what I was hoping would not happen. It rained hard on Sunday.

Over the weekend, I worked hard to get the bike started. It has been sitting in a garage in Egeland, in the worst possible weather, for 14 years. It has not been serviced for more than 17 years. I replaced the spark plugs and charged and recharged the battery 4 times, trying to start the bike. I knew it would start for me. It has never let me down since I bought it in June of 1995.

Monday morning, Harold Ness (Sharon’s Uncle), Maynard Jackson (a friend of the family and Mayor of Egeland) and I worked hard to get the bike started. After much effort, it sputtered to a reluctant start. It was backfiring badly, but I hoped I could nurse it the 125-miles to Minot for service. I knew if it stalled, it would not restart, and I would be in deep trouble in the middle of nowhere.

Link to video getting the bike started

My bag was packed and ready to strap to the back of the bike. While Harold held the accelerator open to keep the bike running, I hurriedly strapped the bag to the back of the bike and made a beeline for the open highway.

The weather was cloudy and very cold (less than 40-
degrees). I was sure it would start raining and my trip would be further delayed. It didn’t rain, but the temperature made me feel like i was back on Everest. I didn’t dare stop to warm myself up for fear the bike wouldn’t restart. At times, I was shaking so violently it was hard to steer the bike. My jaw ached from the teeth clenching.

My always-faithful bike got me to the Honda dealer at mid-afternoon. When I pulled into the Honda service department, the bike stalled and would not restart. I love my bike!  In all these years, it has never failed me.

It rained all day Tuesday. I stopped by the dealer to check on the progress of the service. Here are some photos:


In the afternoon, I received a call that the service is complete and the bike runs perfectly. I’ll pick it up tomorrow and head out of Dodge City to destinations unknown.

Please pray for good weather. The weather report  for Minot tomorrow is cloudy, with high winds and possible rain.




13 thoughts on “Minot

  1. You probably would have had more success starting the bike if you and the bike weren’t upside down!!! Glad you’re on your way — safe travels!!!

  2. 2804 Dorset West Road
    P.O. Box 41

    Bill – Is this your second Harley? Where’s the one with the sidecar? Why did you leave a perfectly good motorcycle in the middle of nowhere for 17 years? Why didn’t you just sell it? Do you know that bad storage has ruined more motorcycles than any other single cause? You ought to learn how to adjust the mixture on a carburetor. Your bike sounds like it was running way too rich. And did you “adjust” the pipes to make it louder than stock?

    Gee whiz. This is a little lame. Looking forward to answers from my mountaineering hero.


    1. JR:

      Just getting around to a reply.

      I have two Harleys and this Honda. The Harley with the sidecar is in my garage in Costa Mesa. The second Harley is in my son’s garage in Carlsbad. I stored my Honda in Egeland, ND because my wife thought the garage in Costa Mesa was to full of steel stuff.

      I would NEVER sell that Honda……my first bike. I’ve warned my kids that anyone who signs a bill of sale to the Honda after I die is out of my will forever. You don’t sell your children.

      In order to get to the carburetor, you need to remove the gas tank. I can’t do that. The problem was the jets in the carburetor were clogged and gummy from years of disuse and the harsh ND weather.

      The pipes are stock. The bike runs very quiet compared to my Harleys.


  3. Bill,

    If you want, drive down to Reno. You can stay with me, and we can headed down to Bridgeport, and keep your bike in the garage. I’ll drive you back to Reno and you can head south when you feel like it. I have a spare bedroom with attached bath. It’s yours if you want it. You can also check out Robin and Bev’s new place.

    I headed down to a Twin Lakes on Friday. I can give you the garage code to get in. Robin and Bev are headed down on Saturday.

    Your call.


    PS: safe travels

  4. Bill,
    Always a joy (this time with a chuckle) to read of your adventures. The weather report calls for cold winds with snow. Travel south/southwest to enjoy the fall colors and keep out of harms way–especially the deer in Yellowstone NP ( a reference to a previous adventure).

    Travel blessings,


  5. If you head west before south, we’d all love to have you come stay with us a night! Regardless, safe travels to you Uncle Bill. You don’t do anything without making it into an adventure. 🙂

  6. Bill: I got a real kick out of this! After all the weather related challenges you’ve faced, about time North Dakota gets to take a crack at you! Please be careful and get home to that North Dakota girl you married. Knn

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