Today I am taking off from shooting. I’d been planning to venture around the Flathead Valley for a multi day trip, circling the wildlife areas of the south, the Mission Mountains, and the northern end of the Flathead Lake. The goal was to find more bison to photograph and incorporate some of the stunning sunrises that I can never wake up early enough for. I’m all packed up, pending an hour of coolant work on the car. Instead, today became centered on the coolant system, after many debacles flushing the system the night before. If you read back to the earliest posts in this blog, you’d see that while being mechanically adept with bicycles, suspension and small electronics, cars are not always my best subject. The blog even acquired its name from an old travel friend who referred to an old bronica camera I repaired as a fortunate toaster, amazed that I cared so much about a kitchen appliance, until she realized it was just my camera.
But no. No roadtrips today. In the process of bleeding out my ancient coolant, which has been loosing its fight with the Montana heat and never ending sun, the system refuses to push coolant through and may be leading clogged parts. The heat went out. I almost had to send a friend to plains 45minutes out, to get a few hoses, thermostat and radiator cap/valve. But after some wrenching this morning, it came back to life, the heat came back on and we are back to being road worthy. The clog appears to have flushed out in a gush of rust and debris. 110,000 miles will do that to a small 4 cylinder coupe.
None the sooner, returning from a 30 minute excursion to the only gas station, I dove into the local diner, PJ’s, for a pancake before the closed at 2pm. country life often has me up at early times. I spent a while talking about the guy next to me, Don Angle. Turns out this town collects Ohio people as well as some extremely talented photographers.
I headed off to the house determined to work and camp out in the backyard. Maybe I’d get a chance to catch the sunrise with the camera. Yet, in the morning I woke in a quite large puddle after testing out the new tent in a storm. the view was too awash with clouds and fog, despite having to rush and check camera stuff to determine how much water got where. Luckily, no water damage, just my pride spent fighting the intermittent rain to dry out the gear.
I keep telling myself that tomorrow may be bison day!