What a difference from where we stayed last night to where we are tonight. The Longhorn was quiet, peaceful, and remote. Tonight we are in a chain hotel in Idaho Falls which is a rather large, very busy city. The ride was pretty short – a little over 200 miles including the wrong turn I took that lead us 15 miles out of the way (oops). Shortly after we took off this morning we were climbing pretty quickly headed for the Grand Tetons. What a blast. US26 through the Tetons was built for motorcyclists. I love the rhythm of the curves and all done between 55 and 65 MPH – the legal speed limits. We came over the continental divide and through Togwotee Pass at elevation – over 9500 feet. The smell of the air at altitude is amazing. That hint of pine trees, the dry ground, and that little bit of chill that tells nose that your in the mountains. The big Harley was loving it too. I got the best gas mileage of the trip and the power of the new 103 motor meant no downshifting even though we’re certainly fully loaded.
The day’s ride was short enough that I was a little concerned we were going to get to the motel before check-in time. Even though we weren’t really hungry, we stopped at the Angus Restaurant in Swan Valley, ID. The food was average but the company was great. I love travelling with my wife and friends. As we finished eating I noticed that a guy had backed his pickup truck in next to the road and had signs on it saying that he was selling jerky (elk, deer, beef, buffalo). I thought it was funny so I had to talk to the guy. His name is Brian and he makes the jerky himself from a family recipe. No he does not shoot the game himself. Anyway, after the conversation I felt obligated to buy some jerky (elk). He gave me a card and said he would ship jerky anywhere. Must be good stuff if people are having it shipped to them.
US 26 continues south out of Jackson, WY where most people take a shorter route. I chose to follow 26 which ran along the Snake River. It made me think of Evel Kneival and his failed attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon. No jumping for me on this packed-to-the-gills hog.
We once again skirted around a summer pop-up shower and made it into Idaho Falls which is the other side of the Tetons. We stopped at the Harley dealer to correct a very small issue with Gregg’s bike (new gas cap). It turned out the service guy who helped him was from Hobart, IN. Both times we have stopped at dealers, we ended up talking to people who were originally from Indiana. What a funny coincidence.
Jana and I are doing laundry tonight because we had the time to get it done. We’re going to walk across the parking lot to a strip mall and find something to eat. Tomorrow we’re headed to Ontario, Oregon. Another chain hotel – oh well. The can’t all be the Arrow or The Longhorn.