In the morning, I packed up and didn't even make it out of the campground before I knew something was wrong with La Tortuga. At the turn off from the road, I pulled over and was shocked to see my exhaust wearing down the dipstick with both bolts missing. This has happened to me before and I suspect it is how my exhaust weld broke the first time. Rummaging through my toolbag, I uncovered a bolt that would barely fit with two or three light twists into the distant threads. It may hold. Throwing a bungee chord onto the rear fender support, I get it rigged up and set out onto the rough dirt road. By the time I reached the pavement four miles away, the bolt was long gone and I was back where I started. Fortunately zipties came into service and I got it to a running condition. Down into Shelter Cove I rode, on a hunch that the General Store may have what I need in this remote coastal community. They didn't have the specific item for sale but an employee ld me to the back room and handed me the nuts and bolts bin. My lego-trained eye immediately scanned the various sized nuts and bolts and picked out one that was the right pitch M8X1.25. Like the last bolt, it just barely reached the threads so I assumed the last one had worked out the outter few threads from the engine case. I bought a banana and thanked them for the free bolt. Turning back uphill, it only held in for about a mile and a half before also rattling loose. Back to the zip-ties. Redway was a long 35 miles with the precipitous terrain and steaming thickly piled patches of loose tar patch. The small black chunks adhered to the fender and one on the footboard. Soon the hum of my muffler began to deepen and I recalled my climb from San Rafael up through Nicasio where I first broke my muffler in half. The sound grew louder so I pulled over and confirmed my suspicions that my new exhaust with less that 8k miles on it was now also broken. Loctite is the kryptonite to Murphy's Law but I never seem to learn my lesson.
In Redway, I limb into Humboldt Motorsports with a hoseclamp around a cut up beer can serving to hold the expansion chamber to the header. Elegant, I know... After an introduction and display of the issue, an employee offers to weld it up for me as a permanent solution instead of half-assing it with hose clamps and exhaust rap as I had suggested. Although the later makes the rear wheel easier to remove, it isn't as stable for backpressure and engine performance. The exhaust is quickly removed and within minutes sparks began to fly as my exhaust returned to it's previous shape with a much improved weld. That is clearly a weak spot in the design although the pipe is only as big as my pinky. They had the spare bolts I needed to replace it, complete with 12mm head (I hate those 13mm Ace Hardware heads!). Black spray paint stuck to my hand as I clumsily grabbed the pipe while reinstalling it on the bike. As expected it started up and purred again nice and quiet. They didn't ask for payment and were quite happy to chat for a bit despite my offering to pay them. I'll be sure to order parts here on my next trip north in April.