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Archive for July 9th, 2009

Schweitzer Summit

Schweitzer Summit

I hadn’t been hiking on Schweitzer since 1979.  Not much has changed.  That’s how it is with the physical world.  It outlasts all of us.  We’re just a blip in time.  Sure we think we’re forever, but despite all the hosannas, even Michael Jackson’s music will soon be forgotten.  It’s not human nature…we’re talking Mother Nature!

Last August in route to the Harley-Davidson 105th Anniversary celebration I posted about the posse travels and stop in Sandpoint, Idaho which is home to Schweitzer.   And again over this past July 4th holiday weekend I found myself disconnected from everything deemed important and traveling the “long-bridge” across Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced: ‘pond –oh– ray’)… the largest natural lake in Idaho.  The lake is 65 miles long and over 1100 feet deep in some areas which explains why the Navy continues to perform underwater acoustic testing at an old WWII base.

LibertySchweitzer mountain is an amusement park of the mind.  Rather than going on rides, being turned upside down by some mechanical contraption, you look at the Selkirk Mountain landscape and your mind does somersaults.  How did this happen?  It’s hard to imagine a glacier which was part of the continental ice sheet forming a lake over 800 feet deep as far away as Missoula, Montana.   Now it’s only a “small” remnant of all that glacial action.

One evening relaxing from a mountain hike I happen onto HBO and watched the Nicholas Stoller movie, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” starring Jason Segel and Kristen Bell.  It’s a comic look at one guy’s herculean task to deal with and get over a recent break-up.  Overall the movie was better than I first thought and afterward’s I caught the local news who were in an uproar over Sarah Palin’s resignation.  Palin was born in Sandpoint, and her father, Charles R. Heath, was a science teacher and track coach. I attended school where Charles taught after my father pulled orders for a tour in Vietnam and we relocated closer to relatives. Even though the Palin family moved to Alaska when she was an infant many in the area have a source of pride in her connection to the city.

Lake Pend Oreille

Lake Pend Oreille

I couldn’t help but connect the dots between the movie and how the resignation were seemingly intertwined.  Palin was like the ex-girlfriend they’re SO over, never want to see again, have already forgotten about – really it’s OVER – but they can’t stop talking about her.  Whatever you think of Palin, her argument for resigning seemed logical and the only “incoherent rambling” was coming from the obsessively focused media who couldn’t stop talking about her resignation and her potential TV show…yep, they are SO over her!  I half expect to see Keith Obermann (MSNBC) crying because he has no one to help drive up his viewer numbers.

Instead most folks that I visited were asking: Have you seen all the Michael Jackson coverage on TV?  Or speaking of resignations, how’s work going?  And what’s going on with all the IED troop casualties in Afghanistan?  It was a hysteria filled July 4th news cycle, but I’m thinking everyone needs to take a moment of pause, get some wind in the face, hike a mountain summit and enjoy becoming placed in natural perspective.

Photos taken at Sandpoint and Schweitzer Summit.

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Douglas A-26CYeah, it’s a little Randy slang from American Idol, but the title reference is about the new Indian Motorcycle called the Chief Bomber.

Two new models were introduced at last month’s dealer meeting and photo’s are starting to surface on the internet.  The new models are the Dark Horse and the Chief Bomber.  The Chief Bomber was inspired by WWII aircraft and is a limited edition model.  It will be available for one year in Military Green and Silver Smoke finishes.  The pin-up girl tank artwork was inspired (above photo is not a replica of the fuel tank) by the aircraft Bomber nose art of that era. For an added touch the leather used on the seat and saddlebags are reminiscent of the feel and color of an old bomber jacket.

MargieThe Chief Dark Horse is a sinister “matte” finish which is all the rage and highly desired by youthful riders.  The components on the bike including the blacked out headlight, tappet blocks, suspension, engine components, exhaust system, and hand controls make the few remaining chrome components stand out. The Bomber and Dark Horse are priced at $30,999 and $27,999 respectfully.  While that is pricey there are plenty of devotees who believe owning a gleaming reincarnation of the vintage bike is necessary.

Indian_BomberAfter a year in operation under the new company structure and management there are 15 Indian Motorcycle dealerships open worldwide.  All Chiefs have a 105 cubic inch PowerPlus V-Twin with electronic closed loop sequential port fuel injection. Engine cylinders are Nikasil plated and the stainless steel exhaust system is an integrated 3-way catalytic converter with heated oxygen sensors.   They have a 6-speed Baker transmission with belt drive. Brakes are 4-piston Bembo calipers and 11.5″ dual rotors up front. Fuel is stored in a 5.5-gallon tank and assembly of the motorcycle takes place in Kings Mountain, NC – U.S.A.

At the various rallies you’ll find large crowds gathering in and around the Indian booth.  There is something about these “Pretendian” motorcycles and how they recapture the glory of a half-century ago.

Photos taken at Evergreen Aviation Museum (“Margie” Artwork from nose of Douglas A-26C Invader).  Indian photo courtesy Motorcycling Magazine.

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