So this is where I stayed and I have to admit it was nice sleeping
in a bed after lying on the ground for the last week and a half.
Obviously there have been a few upgrades since the place was first
There was running water and a telephone and even cable tv. No
air conditioning but the night was plenty cool enough and I did
not miss it a bit. Heck, I live in Alabama. The July nights here
are probably similar to the April and May nights back home. I
thought the bathroom was interesting until I actually used it.
The noise from the toilet had cringing each time I flushed it
and I hoped I wasn't waking the entire town. Not sure what the
theory behind it is. If the drop is 5 feet there is only a pressure
increase of about 2 psi. That hardly seems worth the effort.
Not only did I find a great place to stay but there was even a
mini laundry mat within walking distance. I spent most of the
morning doing laundry. I wasn't lonely though and was quickly
adopted by Germaine the Pain, as I heard one lady call him. He
only had one good eye but that didn't seem to affect his desire
for scratching or his ability to purr. I ate a quick snack type
breakfast and was on the road by about 11:30.
As I figured, Hwy 21 was an absolute blast during the daylight
hours. It is a Ponderosa Pine Scenic byway and it was like riding
through Christmas time. I love that pine smell but where I live
I only experience it once a year when I put up the Christmas tree.
If you can imagine that clean, fresh smell while riding twisty
roads and viewing scenic vistas around every curve you have some
idea of my ride on Hwy 21. There was no photogenic sign, but the
pavement was winding the entire 90 miles to Stanley.
The road continued to climb into the mountains and once I reached
some of the higher passes I started seeing some sizable patches
of snow on the ground. Living in Alabama I don't see much snow.
Maybe once or twice a year we will get a few flakes and it may
stick on the ground for a day. I decided to take advantage of
my location and build a snowman in June. He might have been a
little bigger but there were some hungry mosquitos where I stopped
that acted like I was the first warm blooded animal to pass that
way in a long time. I retreated to the bike and then blew the
suckers away with some high speed wind.
In Stanley I stopped and had lunch and filled the bike with gas.
The weather was so nice that I ate lunch outside and talked to
two girls also visiting the area and camping nearby. Even the
view from the restaurant was spectacular. Idaho may be my new
favorite western state.
I left Stanley and headed south on 75. This turned out to be a
good choice until I hit Sun Valley. Hwy 75 is also a designated
scenic drive but when you get to Sun Valley every yuppie and his
brother is clogging up the road in his SUV yapping on his cell
phone while eating designer ice cream. Get me out of here! This
is exactly what I take backroads to avoid.
Once I hit the intersection of Hwy 20 and headed east things rapidly
improved. The secret of course is to go places the normal crowds
don't want to go.
The southern part of Idaho is mainly agricultural and is pretty
flat. There isn't a whole lot to see but I did stop at Craters
of the Moon national monument since I was riding right by it.
I didn't take any pictures because I couldn't find anything I
thought particularly pretty. The sun was directly overhead and
it was nothing but a black rock, jagged plain. Now of course I
think back and wish I had taken some pictures because it was
nothing but a black rock, jagged plain. I bet it is more photogenic
in the morning or at dusk when the sun is at a low angle. What
a weird place.
I stopped for dinner at a family restaurant in Idaho Falls. Man,
they don't skimp on portions here. My dinner included soup, salad,
a sirloin steak, garlic bread, choice of potato (I had potato
pancakes), dessert, drink and coffee. I skipped dessert after
eating my pancakes with syrup and coffee. If I remember correctly
the whole thing was under ten bucks!
After I waddled out of the restaurant I headed east on 26 towards
Jackson, WY and ended up finding a camping site in the Caribou
Another excellent day of riding. This makes two days in a row
of no rain! A first for this trip.