Monday, July 19, 2010

July 19, 2010 – Day 44 Idaho straight ahead and FREE Alaskan Ale!

Another day on the road that I thought might not be so great turned out to be super. Maybe it’s just luck but if it is I’m not going to challenge it.

I keep thinking I’m going to solve the GPS mystery and return to strictly back road riding but I seem to end up on the slab instead. I have a feeling it has something to do with the setting of “the fastest way” that I’ve chosen so maybe I’ll do it different tomorrow.

In any event I started the day with a short stack of hotcakes & coffee, compliments of the motel folks, and for only $3.00 more (00 + 3.00 = $3.00) I added two eggs over easy. Nice. No heartburn. No protein either which I need or my carcass goes into overdrive and begins to shut down. Well, not exactly shut down but I function better with something of substance which hotcakes fail to qualify as. But I digress, on with the day’s dialog.

The GPS (I suspect Garmin & Company have a hand in it) sent me north on highway 91 towards Idaho which I enjoyed immensely. Traffic was light for the most part and I crawled along at my usual slow pace taking in all the sights and generally gawking at everything I could. For some reason whenever I get like that I overlook the fact I should be taking pictures for the blog and this morning was no exception. I finally realized I hadn’t taken any when up comes the Devil’s Slide alongside the highway and I was in action. For anyone interested you can Google this for directions but it’s located alongside highway I-84 not far from Henefer, UT and there's a wealth of information to be had.

Shortly after that I crossed over into Idaho and would have stopped for a quick photo but both sides of the highway were overrun with tourists doing the same thing. Imagine that? Show offs. It didn’t much matter as the very next town had a welcome park set up for, uh, older gentlemen and I had to stop and check things out. How thoughtful the citizens of Franklin, Idaho’s oldest community are.
Thank you citizens of Franklin..thenkuvermuch

On down the road I visited Preston, ID, another super clean little community that reminded me of the town I grew up in. Some of these places are like a time warp, especially the ones further away from big cities. I didn’t hang around long, choosing instead to take a few more pics and move on.
Towns that plant posies are happy towns. True words.
Moving on, Highway 91 is a great ride

Highway 91 continued to supply great sites and more small settlements with Downey being a real gem. Their tumble-down town is probably a great place to live and relax in since their hey-day has long since passed them by. They have a huge billboard type sign proclaiming the advantages of life therein but I wonder just how many folks would be welcome after the population exceeded the local resources. You have to be careful what you wish for Downey…
The grain mill is past its prime
I doubt trains stop here these days
For Sale - Interested parties inquire within
My personal favorite place in Downey

Passing up a more modern roadside facility crammed with passing motorists I combined a fuel stop and lunch break at the tiny burg of Inkom, just another 9 miles down the road. There was a small 2-pump Sinclair next to the Village Mart and after gassing YP up I ventured inside to see what’s for lunch.
They had a pretty good selection of the requisite lard-laden goodies so I opted for a chicken-cheese sandwich with a big Arizona Tea/Lemonade and a small Snickers bar. All of this I consumed sitting sidesaddle on YP and watching the locals come and go at the mart. They actually do a thriving business for such a small place so maybe the owners are millionaires…
Inkom's mystery industry...what do they do there?
It's not a zombie factory is it?

It turned out that little town stretches out quite a ways and I should have ridden further into it but I didn’t realize such was the case, I thought I was seeing the whole thing where I stopped. It was only after I got back on 91 that I saw there was more of it but by then I was back in the riding mode. Goodbye Inkom.

Shortly after leaving Inkom I reached the on-ramp for I-86 heading west which was to be my magic carpet ride for the rest of the day. I recall stopping for water breaks a couple of times and I think I fueled up once more but nothing really struck me as memorable. The highlight was getting to ride at 35 -45 mph mile after mile due to road rebuilding, all part of our nations efforts to create jobs. This seemed to go on longer than any similar section I’ve encountered on this ride and given it’s a weekday you’d think there would be lots of guys at work. Not so, so maybe there’s a reason but none that I could see. There was no lack of heavy equipment and limitless opportunities, just no workmen. Go figure.

By the time I cleared out of the construction zone from hell it was nearing the time when I begin to look for accommodations. I wasn’t actually tired of riding but since it was approaching 5:00pm I figured I might as well. Jerome, ID, formerly unknown to me beckoned and turned out to be a fairly large town. They have all the desirable attractions for the traveler, nice eating places, plenty of motels, and fueling stops. I don’t know what it is exactly the local populace does but for me the Saw Tooth Best Western is all I needed.

Besides being a modern clean facility they include a really nice thing in their offerings; a social hour complete with your choice of a free brewsky or a glass of Vino, both lovely temptations for the grateful traveler.
I made my selection, a nicely chilled Alaskan Amber to accompany the McChicken dinner I obtained next door at the Golden Arches Company.

After all of that I felt ambitious enough to break out the small bottle of liquid car wash soap I’ve been packing for nearly 10,000 miles and gave the Yellow Peril her first bath. So as not to alarm the motel folks I also carry several high-vis lime green rags so they can easily tell I’m not using their pure white towels.
There's even classier company  for YP here

So that’s it, another day on the road and nearing my home state which I may well see tomorrow. Home itself is still quite a ways away but even my meandering riding style should put me there by the end of this week.

Linda tells me she mowed the lawn and it’s finally beginning its dormant stage so further mowing won’t be needed for quite awhile…. Timing is everything isn’t it?


  1. And we thought Chance grazed the grass.
    Alaska next stop?

  2. Maybe you'll be on one of those three wheelers by the time you get home?

  3. Noah, you and your dad should do the Alaska ride before it's all motels and skyscrapers. All you need is another KLR and head for Deadhorse. Do it while the old man can still swing a leg over his bike.

    Hey Doug,
    I'm still convinced the hack is the ultimate way to go but 3-wheelers I'm not so sure about. From what I hear they're a bitch to steer and get tippy in certain quarters. I'll stay with what I've got for now, still want to do Inuvik on it but probably won't make it this year.

  4. That has to be one of the strangest buildings I've ever seen. Who would ever think of combining a quonset hut with a log cabin?