Hot Enough to Bake

The last thing we needed today was to end the ride stopped on US-12 in 102 degree heat. The Idaho DOT chose this summer to chip-and-seal US-12 near Lewiston and we were unlucky enough to sit for about 25 minutes waiting on our turn to run over the new surface.

Let me back up a little and explain how we got to that situation. We started the day in Missoula and the weather was pretty accommodating. We each cleaned up the bikes and packed our luggage. It really is surprising how much cargo these big Harley’s can carry. I admit I may be transporting more things than I will use on this trip.

The plan for today was to ride US-12 and enjoy a road we had seen on YouTube. This particular route is referred to as Lolo-to-Lewiston. Guess what towns it starts and ends with. On video, the view along this scenic byway look amazing. The views didn’t disappoint as we followed the course of the Clearwater River just as Lewis and Clark had done over 200 years ago.

We captured as many images as we could but there is no way to adequately show this amazing ride. This route should be on every motorcyclist’s list. Here are some of the images:

The total route was approximately 210 miles. We were cruising along toward the end of the day’s trek when the dreaded orange road construction signs began. The electric sign board notified us that the road was being chip-and-sealed starting 5 days ago. OK – riding on that kind of surface isn’t too bad if it’s been driven on for several days. In this case, the orange nemesis notified us that the re-surfacing activity was 38 miles long. Ugh!

It still wasn’t going too badly until the signs got progressively worse – loose gravel then fresh tar followed by the infamous “one lane road ahead, expect delays”. They weren’t kidding. Our timing wasn’t as good as it might have been with alternating traffic flow directions. We were stopped.

After the 25 minute delay mentioned earlier, we were rolling on very dusty, very loose gravel following a parade of log trucks and passenger cars. Did I mention that it was hot?

I was tired and dehydrated but thankful that I had ridden a great road and been able to share it with friends.

Dinner was next door at Ernie’s Steakhouse. The food was great but the best part was that it was only about 100 yards from our hotel. Ernie must have been a hunter – the restaurant was decorated with a lot of “trophies”.

I had that dreaded laundry chore to do tonight. I really need some clean clothes so there is no getting around it tonight. I did manage to capture a couple of images of Lewiston before I started the washer sloshing my clothes.

One last thought – we stopped for gas today at a small general store – gas station facility. I had trouble parking the bike on the gravel apron. It was very uncomfortable and embarrassing after watching my friends park with ease. I guess I can blame it on being tired and dehydrated. It’s incidents like this that cause me to consider switching to a smaller bike or shorter trips or the ego reducing trike. I’ll see how the rest of the trip goes.

Thanks for hanging in there with us as we continue westward.

One thought on “Hot Enough to Bake

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s