With the BMW MOA event over, it was time to start our way back east, we had a lot of ground to cover on the first day. We woke up early on a cold morning, temperature mid 50's, remember that number, more later. I had planned to do about 500 miles or until we got tired whichever came first. With all the BMW riders leaving camp today, the commotion started early with all the packing, we woke up and proceeded to do the same. We cooked a quick breakfast of oatmeal and coffee, packed our camping equipment and said goodbye to the place. Bikers were leaving in all directions and we followed a few out of Redmond.
My plan was to follow route 26 north east through Ochoco National Forest and stop in John Day for a proper sit down breakfast. Leaving Redmond we headed east on Route 126 until Prineville then jumped on route 26 and followed the road north east. The roads in Oregon are beautifully kept offering us beautiful vistas and with very little traffic, we made good time and arrived in John Day before lunchtime. We stop at the Squeeze-in Restaurant and Deck and sit down for a breakfast of eggs, bacon, home fries and pancakes. Two cups of coffee later and we were back on the road.
We leave John Day continuing north east. A few miles after we pass Prairie City we round a turn and come upon a giant Conestoga wagon up on the hill, I quickly pull in. The Conestoga wagon serves as a tourist information center and sits on a high hill offering a beautiful view of the Strawberry Mountain range and the John Day River Valley. Someone had taken a few shots at the sign though.
We continue through the Malheur National Forest now heading south east towards Boise, Idaho, passing farms along the way and lots of little towns. We enter Idaho, where nearly one-third of the potatoes grown in the United States come from and continue south entering Interstate 84 near Boise. We are now on the Oregon Trail. We make a stop for gas and a drink and I snap a photo with my phone of one of the famous signs. The temperature in the mid 90's as we stood outside eating ice cream.
We reach Bliss, get off Interstate 84 and head towards Shoshone now following route 26 east again. We pass lots of farms again as we approach Richfield, you can see the irrigation circles on the following satellite picture. We make a stop for gas and to take a break from the heat. Remember the mid 50's when we left Redmond? it is now 105 degrees, we have gone through a 50 degree swing in a single day.
I had looked in the map and decided we would head towards Carey which is just west of Craters of the Moon National Monument, find a motel and spend the night. We pull into Carey, make a stop at the first gas station and were surprise to hear from the clerk that there were no motels in town and the nearest town with a motel was Hailey. We decide to backtrack and head towards Hailey so we could visit Craters of the Moon NM the next morning. As we approach Hailey we pass a small airport and see dozens of small jets on the runway. We continue downtown, find a motel and settle in for the night. I find out from the front desk clerk the town is famous with the rich. Hailey is the site of Friedman Memorial Airport, the airport for the resort area of Sun Valley/Ketchum, 12 miles (19 km) north. Hollywood actors (and former couple) Bruce Willis and Demi Moore have homes in the town as well as other famous people. I spend an hour in the jacuzzi and indoor pool before retiring to bed. We had covered a little over 500 miles and gone through a change of 50 degrees in temperature, we were beat and I quickly fell asleep.