Twin Falls to Pocatello – Day Two

I crashed late, and woke up early.   I can’t hardly sleep on the road.    There is too much “new” out there that I haven’t seen it seems, and the sounds of trains and traffic on roads that I don’t know the sounds of always seem to make sure I don’t sleep in.    I gotta admit, I do like experiencing mornings in new places.   Its maybe my favorite thing.      Plus, I was travelling with my daughter, and It wasn’t very warm.   If it was just me alone, I’d have loaded up the bike and headed down the road, but you can’t do that with your daughter.    I found some coffee, scouted out a place to eat breakfast, and soaked up a beautiful morning…

I’ve always thought that to get the most out of a road trip, you need at least 3 days on your bike.    The first  just slowly but steadily drains all the bullshit out that you may have accumulated.   All the petty things that you get worked up about at work, dumb situations or just life in general.    Things that don’t matter.    The 2nd day, you start to feel like your self again.    The third day is all about pure inspiration;  Fuel for the fire.     We were on that 2nd day, and I was loving it.

I found a couple of cool spots I wanted to see:   The first, was a roadside attraction that opened at 9 that featured Ice at the bottom of a cave.   The 2nd was the worlds first power generating nuclear plant from the 1950s.    We had about 350 miles to travel today, up through the sawtooth mountains.    I figured it would that might get chilly, and I had no idea how long it would be till we dropped off the mountains into the warmer valleys.

Bri was cold and so we rolled out about 10ish when she was decently warmed up.   She’d put her swimming suit in the tent on top of her dry clothes, and her pants were wet.    More dangers of travelling with her father — If Mrs Zip was here, she’d have noticed that.   She wasn’t, so we improvised.   I’ll be damned if I admit that to Mrs Zip.

We rolled into Shoshone, ate at a 103 year old railroad restaurant that supposedly one of my favorite authors (earnest Hemingway) used to come to after hunting, got gas, and headed toward the ice caves.   We got there about 10:30…

The next tour was in 45 minutes, and it was a 45 minute tour.   We passed, but took some pictures.   Next time.   I already knew I’d be back this way…

 

Shoshone Ice Caves

Shoshone Ice Caves

Shoshone Ice Caves

 

It had warmed up, so we raced into Sun Valley.   The roads and weather were damn near perfect.

Sun Valley was a bit yuppie and liberal for my tastes.    It reminded me of park city Utah, where Rich left wingers make their utopia, not realizing there is a whole other world out there.    It was cool, but I can only see so many esoteric art shops before I kinda want to vomit.   There was one cool place here, we found out in Shoshone at the cafe:

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Turns out, one of the greatest Authors of the 20th century lived here;  Earnest Hemingway.    I’ve read the old man and the sea and a few others of his books, and I’ve always loved his writing style. He made his home here not long after the fall of Cuba and eventually died here.    We found his grave site in the cemetery in the middle of town, took a picture and headed on up the incline into the sawtooth mountains.

I bought a gopro this last winter.    I’ve mounted it to my bike (which vibrates way too damn much), and my daughters helmet (which flops back and aims at the attention of a 13 year old).   I won’t post any of that here, other than to say I’ll keep working on video and photography.

The Sawtooth Mountains are awesome.    Lots of peaks over 10,000 feet, and the road and valleys have a ton of turns that just made the ride more than enjoyable.   Just by typing this, I want to go back and ride them again.

We took a couple pictures at the summit:

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Beautiful ride.   I wished I’d have taken more pictures.

We got gas in Stanley, Talked to some friendly locals along the way, and took the twisty road beside the river on the way to Challis.    Another lower in elevation, but awesome stretch of road.  Got a burger in Challis, and raced to Arco to get gas again.    I saw more interesting things a long the way that made me want to go back this way again.  I will.

Lots of open road and a few of Idaho’s natural surprises.    I opened up the throttle and really enjoyed the 75 miles toward Arco.

The first Electricity generating Nuclear Power plant was just south of Arco Nevada (EBR1).    I really wanted to see it.   It closed at 5, and because of our late start, we missed it by 15 minutes.    It barely mattered.   A) I’ll come this way again and B) this trip wasn’t about my own geeky desires to see Americas Historical Firsts:   it was about time with my daughter, and at this point she was a bit tired after 320 miles and I knew she’d be stoked to stay in a real bed at a motel with a pool.    After some navigational issues, we raced into Pocatello.

The pool was ice cold at the motel 6, so we just hung out.   She played Pokemon on her Nintendo DS, and I watched shark tank.    We had both enjoyed the day.    I was proud of her– for the miles we made, she hadn’t complained once.     Tomorrow was day 3, and day 3 was always the best.   I searched out backroad on my laptop for the way home, a place to eat breakfast and was asleep by 10.    She was asleep at least an hour before I was.

Day two:

1 day, 1 state 350 miles.

Road Trip: Utah to Twin Falls – Day one

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.

Road Trip prep with Bri

Loaded up, ready to go

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.

Golden Spike Utah

 

We paid our 7 bucks and saw what they had…

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10 Miles of Track laid in one day - Golden Spike

I don’t care who you are, even today that’s a feat.

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Golden Spike

A quick Picture by a stranger, then back on the road

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.

Idaho Border

Had to get a picture at the Border…

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.

Snake River Canyon

Snake River Canyon. I wanna come back here. There’s a road that winds down into the gorge and back up the other side.

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My Kiddo. She Travels like a pro. Snake River Canon.

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.

Evel Knevel Snake River Canyon Jump Monument

Evel Knevel Snake River Canyon Jump Monument

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.

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Day 1:   275 miles, 2 states.

Tomorrow, We Ride.

ride

I think the thing I like most about a road trip is what you find along the way.   People do and build interesting things, and figuring out the stories behind them makes it fun.   I’m not sure what we’ll find, but you always seem to find something good.     We’ll see.   Either way, tomorrow It’s on.   I can’t wait.

Tune up trip

Did a tune up trip this weekend, to see how Bri would do on the bike.   I’ve always called em a tune up trip; a practice run.   Where you see what gear you need, and how everything goes.  We did 120 miles and she seemed to love it.     This weekend we’ll do a thousand.    She’s a good travel buddy.    Utah it seems, has some great roads.

Thinking about going up through the Sawtooth mountains up in Idaho.   Hit up Golden spike National monument along the way, take some back roads and do some tent camping.   See where Evel Knevel jumped the snake river.    Find a hotel with a pool and just kick back and enjoy the day.   Find some new roads we’ve never seen.    Maybe make a moment she’ll remember, if the conditions permit.

I’m fucking geeked.   It’s time to ride.

Ride Plans

It’s been a helluva good few weeks.   It’s warm, the bike has been ridden around town like a raped ape, the Pittsburgh Penguins have won Lord Stanleys Cup, and I’ve been busier than hell.    Its been way nice.

We had a hog roast last weekend for B.A.C.A. up in Heber.   I’ve done it the last few years.  Poker run, and a good time.

It’s time to ride somewhere and see a thing.    I don’t know the north end of this area like I do the south, and it’s time to scout the perimeter.     I’ve promised my youngest daughter Bri a good few days riding on the bike, and we’re doing that next weekend.    I figured we’d head up to see Golden Spike National Monument, Ride up through the snake river in Idaho, and mozy our way back through Nevada and see if we can see a thing.    I promised her when she turned 12 we’d do a multi-day ride, and because of the Easy Rider Tour last year I couldn’t do it.   I need to keep my promise, and she seems eager to go and have a few days with Dad.     We’ll have a good time.   Something I hope she’ll remember.     Do some tent camping, swap some stories and I think there’s even a hotel on the route to hang out in the pool and watch her be a kid.    I’m pretty geeked up about it.

Trying to stay off the freeway… so the trick is to figure out a route on the way back that I can get gas in Nevada along a pretty long stretch.   I’m figuring out the map.   I’ll take an extra bungee and a buy a gallon gas can en route if need be.  Hopefully we can make a memory.

I had an adventure to yellowstone with my Dad about her age.   I remember sleeping in a 77′ Blazer, living off the road and hearing stories that I wish I could now remember all of.   It made an impression.    That’s the goal.   She’s a good kid.

Hell yes.  More to come!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

May we remember those who had lives and dreams, and gave so we could do the same.   Much respect…

And, for something a little on the lighter side: