January 2020
by dal


Before I get back to the story I was scribbling I wanted to share some information I just received.

Our old pal Harley Dodge Dart was found dead by some hunters last fall. He was in his old pick-up on yet another narrow, dirt road in the Montana mountains around the Bitterroot. Foul play was not suspected.

I guess he was found not far from his “ranch”. Of course calling his place a ranch is about like calling Esmerelda a limo.

You might remember Harley from an adventure we shared a few years ago. I wrote about it HERE.

I wonder who will replace him in the library of fascinating old characters that have earned a place in this ancient world?

Semper Fi

Harley Dodge Dart

He died like he lived…alone and peacefulusmc










42 thoughts on “Harley…

  1. I remember the story and was trying to find it a week or so ago when I was thinking about coincidences and this story stuck in my mind with the magazine found with the date of your birthday on it. Crazy.

    Sounds like he died where he wanted to be.

      • My bad, I should have read it again.
        Either way that was a very strange coincidence and it seems like there are a lot of them with almost everyone’s solve.
        I’ll bet you wouldn’t do that again….

      • Hi,
        True friendship is cover,
        Nostalgia is never over.
        How happy is his soul,
        He still has many lover.

        Your loyalty is very respectable. Thanks.

  2. Semper fi Harley, Heaven holds a special place for the Marines who fought their way out of the Chosin reservoir. They did not retreat, they advanced to the rear, and history will remember the “Chosin few”.

  3. It’s very heart Breaking when you know someone that you care about and they die alone. Life can be so lonely for so many.
    Sorry for your loss Dal.

  4. Dal, I’m so so sorry for your loss. Looks like y’all had an exciting adventure. That was sweet of you to go with him.,❤️

  5. People choose solitude and the freedom that accompanies. No regrets. He lived a long life.

    Tomorrow is just an excuse away…go get yours NOW. RiP.

    Auld Lang Syne.

  6. Dal,
    I just read your story about your adventure with Harley.
    You have waaayyyy more courage than me!
    I would have never done what you did. So many things could have gone wrong.
    Thank you for the LOL!!
    Sorry to hear Mr. Dodge passed away. He did not have a good life. So unfair, so sad. RIP.

      • I understand. You met him. He chose that life I guess and was happy with it. I hope I too can live 90+ years. I doubt it.
        Looks like austerity, no stress working for somebody else and a low calorie diet is key to longevity.

      • Dal,
        Thank you for your remembrance of an almost invisible man, Harley
        Dodge Dart.
        Did you have any contact with him after your treasure search?
        Do you have any idea if he could somehow check on your
        blog from time to time over the years, perhaps when he went to
        His lifestyle might have suited a trusty canine companion quite
        well, but he didn’t even have a dog to talk to, as far as you know?

        Your story “The Shaft” is as good as it gets! I’d sure like to
        know what you told your wife before you set out on that
        adventure. Ha. Thanks D.C.

        • I never saw Harley again and never heard from him. He had no way to contact me other than snail mail. He had no phone and had no internet access or email.
          He knew about the treasure hunt and about me from a drinking buddy of his in Missoula. The same friend that let me know about Harley’s death.

  7. Dear Dal,

    I just read the story you had written about this man. He lives in your story. You made him a living character. Well done. You won’t google my name and realize the projects I’m working, but your work and meeting this man deserves a chapter in a book you need to write.

    I’d buy it. Hell, I’d put 100 bucks toward you publishing it upfront and giving me a few copies of it, so long as I could see the story of the man in print. In your writing sample you display rare plumb to the universe. But you also missed the random Saturday Evening Post, once again.

    I’m still uncertain what to make of SEPs, but they are part of this and you found a clue in that well. Maybe. No one knows for certain.


  8. Just read about old Harley for the first time. And some say there are no treasures to be found! What a character – R.I.P. – JDA

  9. Dal, today is Mr. Terrific’s Birthday, and after rereading your story from April of 2014 was one of the best presents I could possibly get. I remember reading in April 2014 about the excursion into the abyss and how wild that trip was for you, you must have the faith of a saint to trust and explore this old hard rock mine shaft. “Danger Will Robinson…Danger. Fire in the hole!!! these were yelled just before I blew things up.

    I had worked each summer while attending the University of New Mexico in the Potash Mines near Carlsbad (See Caverns National Park) as a Shot Fire Technician (dynamiter) a trade I learned in the Amphib Navy Ordinance School in 1960’s, and Dal may I say that my respect for you has greatly increased over these past 9 years, you are one “Brave Dude…Dude”, now I see how working with Crayton Fenn was a calling.

    This story line from your original Shaft post is confirmation that you get what is being said a lot today and I will try and confirm in upcoming Winter Thoughts ll.

    Harley said “I was thinking about this old sink I got next to the cabin. I got that sink from my dad, who in turn, got it from Forrest’s dad. It came out of one of the Fenn Haven Motor Court cabins in the 60s when they were remodeling. I was thinking that Forrest probably knows that old sink is up here. This is where warm water halts. And no wonder no one could figure out where to start. I mean who else knows about this sink? So don’t you tell anyone where exactly it’s at cuz I don’t want a herd of treasure hunters up here messin around on my property.”
    Dal when I wrote Winter Thoughts on March 07, 2017 Forrest started posting a lot of Scrapbook things the made me wonder about a sink, or a baisn as a possible WWWH, but he posted stories about Bells, train and Church and then about Religion see SC Books 171, 172, 176, 177 and 178 thing was I did not get what that was all about until later when I googled religious symbols and geographic places, then a Spiritual awakening of my original definition of WWWH came over me, and now I see. this idea has finally come full circle, the one about the repurpose and redefining of the old game and fish term I have seen since childhood, “Where Warm Waters Halt” it is a riddle IMO that Forrest has a spiritual connection to and soon I will complete Winter Thoughts II, the Abridged Scrapbook Solution, my plan is to show my humble belief of how this first clue will bring tears to your eyes and religion to your search for the holy grail.


    • RIP Harley, thank you for the sacrafice and your service to our county and the people of Korea, I pray that Kim J. will see that his isolation and confrontational attitude is not good for the Pennusial, North and South may someday recombine, hopefully in harmony, when it does, your efforts will have been worth the cold.


  10. Dal – I hadn’t read Harley’s story before. What a beautiful write-up that is. He was a wonderful odd duck who seemed incapable of guile or pretense. “What you see is what you get”. There aren’t many like that anymore. We should all take more leaps of faith and reach out to others even though it may go against our nature. Here’s an extremely corny expression but I’ve found it to be true. “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet”.

  11. R.I.P. Harley – The world is just a little less colorful with your passing.

    I had read your story Dal quite a while ago, but gave it another read just now as a token of remembrance. I had forgotten what a great adventure story that was! One of the very best stories that the Chase has inspired, IMO.

  12. Cheers to Harley. He must have had many more stories and I hope somebody got them down as well and colorfully as your shared experience from 2014, Dal. Thanks for that refresher and sorry for your loss. I will be grateful to the universe if I make it to 90.

  13. Wow! What a fantastic story. Colorful people like Harley are what make this world so much more fun and alive! Kudos to you Dal for taking that leap of faith (literally!) and making an old Montana “good-ol-boys” day.

    Harley will be missed by many of us even though we did not have the personal experience you did. Simply because he stands for a slowly vanishing breed of man. One who chooses to live his life on his terms and stands up to what he believes in; one who does not feel the need to conform to society’s norm; and one who will leave a lasting impression on anyone who’s lucky enough to have crossed his path, even if it’s just for a day of adventure. 😉

    RIP Harley. The world’s a little less colorful without you.

  14. Sounds like having a drink in any dive bar in the Rockies would suit this colourful Harley.

    Damn electrified world (lifts shot glass and swigs)! He had his priorities correct to fight that modernization across his property.

    Wonder what will happen to his piece of paradise? Dal, do you know?

  15. Semper Fi, Harley.

    Although I did not have the pleasure of knowing Harley I salute a fellow Marine.
    Some say live life on life’s terms, Marines say I live my life on my terms within the limits of my ability.
    R.I.P Harley


  16. Harley R.I.P.

    Don’t fret that you didn’t find the treasure, that elusive rabbit dodges us in life’s meadows yet today.

  17. Y’all who are addressing Harley as if he’s still alive should realize that he isn’t. But “immortality” can be simulated or approximated when someone, while alive, does something that is notable, effecting a change that is notable after the person dies. I suppose that a
    suitable example, would be that of the historical person known as Jesus Christ.

    I think that many reasonable folks might want to do something similar (even if on a smaller
    scale). Being a good writer or artist may be one way.

    Good luck, everyone. As always, IMO.

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