Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Uhh... let's see..
Okay. Got into Diggs Idaho late at night, and the whole town was closed.

Except one bar, the Lonely Wolf or something. The only lights still on... and it turned out to be one of the coolest places you can imagine: a small, tasteful bar in a tiny town... the bartender went to University of PA... local people at the bar were friendly and happy. Two crazy local chicks came in and gave the bartender a CD of great old '70's stuff... second-string Motown, etc. I biught them shots but I think they were lesbians as they gave me shot afterwards foir my shorty ponytail. Bartender Ben was cool and we went outside to smoke... he told me a little about Life in Idaho...basically rural.

Next day
Same drill: beat the Maid out by bare minutes. I split and headed west ... further and further into the Idaho desert.
 Although previous places had bveen very hot, this was the first area that I would consider as desert. The highwhay went on and on and on.. and despite how small Idaho looks on a national map, riding across it was a monumental task.

I went past the Idaho National Laboratories, site oif the first ever nuclear reactor, and obviously there is still a modern nuke development program from all the seccurity signs near the entrances. This was in heavy, wide desert.

Long long long... endless stretches of isloated desolation.. and of course you have to play down thoughts of breaking down out there... it would drive you mad thinking about it. The motor continued to run strongly between 75 and 100 mph.. although there's been this everpresent vibration that I'm chalking-up to a worn chain.

Idaho is giant and dry. Horses and cattle graze in seemingly desolate places... I suppose they manage to make their way back to their barns at some point, but damned if I know how. Wide vistas of increasingly flat-topped mountain mesas... exhausting stretches of horizon-to-horizon road-scape.

Crater of the Moon National Park. En route. Paid four bucks to drive seven mile loop. Amazing how expansive an area that lava flow covers... my guess is 200 square miles. The signs said there have been repeated volcanic explosions over many millions of years... the last one only 2000 year ago, and they're expecting more. The lava fields go on for dozens of miles, as far as the eye can see.

Small cross-roads towns 40-50 miles apart. I pulled into one that had a little supermarket of sort for the locals.. combination supermarket/deli/gas station/repair shop. The girl behind the market register was suddenly beauitiful.. long braided blonde hair and clean-cut Anglo face... nice legs beneath those jean-shorts. She smiled nicely and I had a hard time walking away.. what was I going to accomplish, passing by this remote village, hmm... get an e-mail address??

On and On... twist the throttle and find the seating position of least resistance. The thing about this bike though, in comparison to a Harley (which I saw bazillions of), is that it is light and VERY fast and can lean hard into mountain corners... makes the chore of sitting on a sportbike for weeks at a time worthwhile.

Ahh... past the Sawtooth Mountains... desolate highway stretches, fifty miles at a clip...eventually I came out of the mountains at Mountain Home...near Boise.. and picked up the Interstate for the border of Oregon.

Once over the border I stopped at a rest area.. and it was like I'd crossed over into Elysium. The sun was setting low... the rest area had tons of soft green grass, and the highway became smooth and scenic and sensuosly curvy.

I stopped in a tiny gas station ten miles into Oregon and a full-bearded mountain man came out and together with his dentally-challenged pick-up truck buddy, we tossed the breeze... and these were heart-felt people... fully open and friendly.. no sign of suspicion or guile. Open hearted... that's how I would label the Oregonians so far.

Finally pulled into Baker City and scrounged for the cheapest hotel... expensive at $55. Sometimes you just have to take it... your ass and arms ache so bad.
Couple a beers in the Best Western lounge and then to bed.

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