Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Border to Border Day Five

Day Five
Start – Ketchum, ID 8:20am
End – Wallace, ID 7:15pm
I’m allergic to Idaho. As soon as we hit the border I started sneezing. Just thought I’d mention it.
Late start this am. Not Too Good was still hurting and it took him a while to get moving. Grabbed some Dayquil and now he’s feelin’ better.
Aside from an early extra 40 miles due to a GPS gas station problem, the day was nearly perfect. We had to layer up before we left. I had my leathers, chaps, jacket liner, and gauntlet gloves on. Full kit. Same with everyone else. Cold, but got better fast.
The ride today might be my favorite mainland ride ever. We spent nearly the whole day following the Salmon River. Incredible sweepers and twisties through mountain canyons right next to a raging river. Tall trees, everything is so green, it smells incredible – I love this part of Idaho. By far the prettiest part of the ride so far. I liked to so much that I made us stop and take pictures along the river. (Ed. Note: I do not stop rides for pictures. Ever. That says a lot about how pretty it was here.[Ed. note re: last Ed. Note: let me clarify that, I never stop a ride for pictures unless I see some really pretty flowers on the side of the road. Just had to clear that up.]) This is also about where we started pealing off layers, it started warming up. Perfect weather.
I’m sure at some point the river’s name changed but I wasn’t paying attention. I do know that at some point we passed the Big Wood River. I giggled in my helmet. I giggle as I write this (Ed. Note: and I giggle as a retype this. “Hey baby, wanna take on the rapids on the Big Wood?” “The Big Wood is running fast and deep this season.” “I am so sore from my trip on the Big Wood.” This could go on for hours.)
I got to pilot the spaceship today too for about 20 miles, through the end of the morning twisties. It’s…insane. It looks huge, its an 800lbs bike, but it handles so light. You roll on and it just settles into itself and goes. It leans so easily around corners, it’s a great bike. It’s a spaceship.
All the twisties today we got to ride really aggressively. Papa Rocket set a solid pace, we got to throttle up to and around 50 or 60. Dancing. Locked in. (Ed. Note: The boys like this kind of stuff waaay more than the girls.)
At some point we crossed from Idaho into Montana. Why are we in Montana? Because we’ve never been there. And there is a Victory dealership there. Duh. (Ed. Note: by now you may have noticed I say ‘at some point’ a lot. This is because I never had time to write anything down while we were riding. I had to keep a list in my head for 100 miles of things I wanted to write down in snippets at the next gas stop. Things like exact mileage and time are details that slip away under such circumstances.) It was the first state transition that didn’t come with an abrupt change in scenery. Stitches and I didn’t even notice until we pulled into our first town.
Montana is just as pretty as northern Idaho. Lots of tall green trees, real open otherwise, farmland. Speaking of farmland, for the last two days there have been huge bales of hay along the side of the road. To amuse myself every time we pass one I point at it and yell, “Hey!” (Ed. Note: or, “Hay!” Even I’m not sure how I’m spelling it.) It makes me chuckle. I don’t think anyone else knows what I’m doing when I’m pointing. No one has asked. Hehehe. (Ed. Note: I continued this for the rest of the ride. No one ever asked. I’m so funny.)
Oh yeah, I have to keep beating this dead horse: When you’re in a car on a narrow, two-lane, twisty road and a motorcycle comes up behind you, find a turn out and get out of the way. Don’t try to be fast enough to not be in the way, you can’t. Your Lotus couldn’t. Don’t get indignant and righteous over the suggested corner speeds, those are for you, not us. Just move. Find a pull out. Know that every minute you don’t makes the guy trapped behind you hate you just a little bit more. Share the road.
It was a long haul but we finally reached Missoula, MT and the Victory dealership there. (Ed. Note: I had to run upstairs and find the free t-shirt they gave us to check the spelling on that name. The things I do for truth!) Great ride the whole way. And the guys at the dealership were very cool. They gave us free t-shirts for riding out of our way to their shop. (Ed. Note: See, I told you we got free t-shirts. And why are we stopping at all these Victory dealerships? Because Papa Rocket likes to show off his paint job and Lillypad wants a new Victory really really really bad. And because they are pretty American-made bikes, which is a nice switch from the other brand.)
From there it was a straight shot onto the freeway (only our second time on the freeway the whole trip so far) and back to Idaho. Problem! Now the sun is starting to set and we are heading dead west. I hate riding into the sun. It hurts, its hard to see. (Ed. Note: So the whole line of us were riding with one hand shading our eyes, saluting the fallen day.) But even the freeways of Montana and Idaho are pretty. Heavily wooded. Finally saw some wildlife. Deer munching on grass on the side of the road. Gotta keep an eye on them, damn things will make a break for it if they got spooked. (Ed. Note: These were the first signs of wildlife the boys had seen. Stitches, have free eyes, saw a few other deer and things, and Lillypad sees more stuff on the side of the road than I care to think about. Yet another reason she likes to ride in the back. Stitches, by the by, isn’t the biggest fan of deer. She’s hit/killed three with her car. They make her nervous.)
We passed through a town today along the river with a posted population of 100 and another with a population of 26. That’s right, 26. What fun would that be?
Stopped for the night in Wallace, ID. Cute little mountain town. Hung out in a space ship we found in a parking lot. Tons of riding today, but all of it was incredible. Seeing Stitches’ family tomorrow.
490 miles today
2056 miles total



    2. Matt says "Hay!" when we see hay on the side of the road too. He'll point and giggle. I laugh too. And then I imagine how I could photograph people on the hay bails. Have I spent too much time with the two of you?

    3. I've always wanted to go to Montana, glad to hear it's as beautiful as I thought it would be!

  2. I knew what you were doing when you pointed at the bales of hay and yelled. And I knew you thought it was funny. Just like how I pointed out all the tiny (baby) cows and yelled "BUMP" over every speed bump. Oh, the little things we do for our own entertainment.