One of my least favorite things to do on a motorcycle is to run on the interstate. Today, we didn’t have much choice. We left Idaho Falls and travelled across US 26 to Mountain Home, Idaho then there was no option but to get on I-84 for the last 100 miles. The other thing that helped make this ride less than enjoyable was that the temp was sitting on 100 degrees just as we pulled onto the I-84. What could be more fun? How about a wreck closing the interstate about 15 miles from our destination. Just as we came up on the long line of stopped cars, the state police closed the road and directed us to the off ramp. Great – 100 degrees, slightly dehydrated, tired, riding a hot motorcycle and no clue how to get back on the big road. That’s why I carry a “For Sale” sign. One of these days, I’m going to throw in the towel at one of these lowlights, hang the sign on the bike, and let somebody else have this kind of fun. It all worked out and we made it to our night’s destination in Ontario, Oregon. We’re done with Idaho for now.
The part of Idaho that we saw from US26 is really a harsh environment. It was covered with desert plants, a few antelope, and some very, very small towns. When we rode by a field that was being irrigated, we could feel the temperature cool for split second. The air was so hot, I could feel my air passages drying out. I thought I was literally cooking my face. Certainly dehydration was a real concern. But we were able to stop frequently enough that we didn’t dehydrate.
We were concerned about gas. As it turned out we made it in good shape. I was being a little nervous so we stopped to get gas with 3/4 of a tank left. I put in a whopping 1.3 gallons but I knew I could make it to I-84 after that. The bike ran flawlessly in case anyone is interested.
The only real highlight of the day was stopping at Crater’s of the Moon National Monument. It is a lot of black lava that has been there for 11 million years. I made 2 big scores – a hat pin (lapel pin if you prefer) and a “smashed” penny. I love smashed pennies. They are cheap reminders of places we’ve been. The hat pins are less glamorous. I have a 2 ft by 3 ft US map and I stick the hat pin in the appropriate location. I can sit and look at the map and remember how I came to have each particular pin. More cheap entertainment.
As a result of the heat and the laziness on my part – there is only 1 real picture to share today. It’s a shot of the black lava at Craters of the Moon. I threw in one of the smashed penny, too but my camera won’t focus up close. You will just have to use your imagination as to what the hat pin looks like – I’m too rung out to walk down to the bike and get it.
My plan originally was to get to the coast tomorrow – about 500 miles. I did some looking and decided that getting there in 2 days still gave us plenty of time for the return leg. Bend, Oregon then Astoria, Oregon should be the next 2 nights.