I think since the 80’s, I’ve made fun of Idaho. My only experience has been with Idaho drivers, who retire and work their way down to Utah and to drive really slow in front of me when I’m in a hurry. The little that I’ve passed through their state, its been on long stretches of their freeways, with their rounded off mountains in the distance and their potato fields. Idaho, to be quite honest bored the living hell out of me. Idaho has always been a state to get through — on your way to Yellowstone or Oregon.
I’ve said this before, but I did promise my 13 year old daughter a ride a year ago. I would have loved to take her down to Oatman on Route 66, or through Flagstaff where I know the country and we had fun options. It didn’t turn out that way, and a promise is a promise. Fuck. For my time and budget, pretty much all I had was Idaho. We’re planning a family California trip this summer, and Mrs Zip had me by the reality of her purse strings. Wellokay then… lets go to Idaho I guess.
The weather looked nice, and I got the bike ready to head north. My daughter seemed excited about the whole prospect. That made me a little more stoked. I had a loose plan to head up through Salt Lake City, over to Golden Spike, up through the Sawtooth mountains and down through Pocatello and then home. 3 full days on the bike.
We headed the 2 hours up on 1-15 through Salt Lake and Ogden and turned off at Brigham City. Not being a fan of interstates, it was awesome to hit a back road and see some country I haven’t seen. We headed the 30 miles toward Golden Spike.
The weather was perfect and the road was now at least interesting. It all of a sudden felt like a riding trip now, and I got excited to ride some new roads. We rounded past the very top of the Great Salt Lake and into our first destination.
Golden Spike was a big deal. It was the first time that the country was connected by rail train. That meant travel, commerce, and communication. It was life changing to even the average person. It was the internet of it’s day. I think that type of shit is cool.
We paid our 7 bucks and saw what they had…
We rolled out, and headed out towards Idaho. Twist the throttle, listen to some music, and enjoy the road…. Everything was getting good.
We hit the interstate for a bit, ate lunch and headed into Idaho. My daughter commented about how we were in the middle of nowhere, and we were. It was mostly farms, and open country. It was fairly awesome.
It was noticeably cooler now, and a bit windy. A cold front with cooler weather must be coming through. We stopped in Burley Idaho and it was good to see some civilization again. Met a couple of curious and friendly old local Bikers who went out of their way to say hello. They knew what we were up to. They told us about the local weather and to see where we were from and what we were going. It was a good sign. We rode on, got hit by a few long reaching farm irrigation sprinklers and headed into Twin Falls.
It reminded me of my long rides through Nevada, only greener and not quite so hot. Harley Baggers tend to like straight and long roads I think… They’re built for American Roads like that. You kick up a foot or two and enjoy the ride. Straight roads tend to give you a chance to rubberneck and see a thing. Maybe think a bit. Take it all in. I was starting to like Idaho.
We rolled into Twin Falls and crossed the Snake River, doubled back and took in the canyon.
Found a surprise: Evel Knevel was a hero of mine growing up. In the 1970’s, Evel Knevel was huge. I remember in grade school my principal was giving a speech in my class and said “you don’t want to be anyone other than yourself” (or something like that). I raised my hand, and said “I want to be Evel Knevel”.
Cool little monument. He attempted to to Jump the snake river here in 1974.
We headed the 5 miles north to our camp and chilled out. For a 13 year old, this was a long ride and more miles were ahead. We did a little swimming, charged our phones and relaxed a bit. This was a helluva good day.
Day 1: 275 miles, 2 states.