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Old 08-25-2009, 01:22 PM   #1
SkiFastBadly OP
A beer? Yes, please
 
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Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Woodinville, WA
Oddometer: 1,500
Salt Lake To Seattle, Two Days, One Rider, No Problems

No, there are no pictures, among other things I forgot to bring a camera.

So I moved from Park City Utah to Woodinville WA in June, and I got talked into leaving my HD Heritage Softail behind because "a bunch of guys would love to make that ride". Well, of course, when I finally found time for the ride, they were all committed, so I did it myself. Figuring "what could go wrong on a two day 1150 mile ride through the desert and mountains on Harley?" I took off on Friday morning. Unfortunately I also went to bed on Friday morning. As the return to Park City was a bit of a reunion, I ended up drinking about two or three too many bottles of Zinfandel and woke up feeling like I'd slept with a racoon in my mouth. To quote Jimmy Buffett, my heard hurt, my feet stank, and I did not love Jesus. We left Park City (my buddy agreed to accompany me for the first hour on his GS1200, aka "the mechanical camel') and went over big mountain, past east canyon reservoir, and over to Morgan. The curves were making me a bit woozy but it might also have been the three cups of coffee and six marlboros on an empty stomach. At morgan,we parted ways, me to jump onto I84 to truely begin the trin, he to go find a napa autp parts store because his motorcycle simulation machine, er, his R1200GSA, had the oil light go on. Also, I believe the disk had to be defragged or something.

I started down I84 with the following thought in my head: "What am I, nuts? Two days to go 1100 miles? What the hell's wrong with me? I'll hate myself by noon." Turns out, it was actually pretty much fun.

I had almost worn my Harley Davidson leathers, but at the last moment decided to pack my genuine adventure rider two piece cordura coated multipocket matching red and black power ranger riding gear. This was because 1) it took less space on the plane ride out, 2) it's August and I figured in the leather I'd be sweating like a mormon in a liquor store, and 3) it's got a cool ADV fabric oval glued on the back, in case I ran into any of the FFs here. Nevertheless, by the time I got out of Utah into Idaho, it was already hotter than a fat woman's box, and I was soaking. Startng to feel less hungover, though. Then the most significant event of the ride occured. My damned mp3 player crapped out. Less than 100 miles into the ride, in mid-clapton, in fact. Just froze. And that was the end of the tunage. I pulled over at a gas station in Idaho to fill up and remove the qJays and replace them with the cheapo ear plugs I always carry. I also got into a conversation with a couple of guys on Harleys going the other way. Two of the dumbest guys I ever met. The conversation went something like "so there were three of us but we got drunk and I headbutted the other guy and his teeth got knocked out and he got mad and wouldn't ride with us anymore"...Starting to wish at that point I had taken the Uly instead.

As I was heading further up I15 toward Pocatello, I thought I'd pull off at a rest stop and buy a map. Remember when I put in those ear plugs? Let me tell you something, those things really clear out the ears. I pulled them out and they looked like somebody wiped their butt with them. Ewwwwww....Good thing I had more. Anyway, I bought an Idaho map and then I took out the Mapquest route I had put together. then I looked at the map again. then the mapquest route. Hmmm...something ain't right here.....I started reading through the mapquest directions that I had put together the night before (remember the zinfandel?) and in one section it said "60 miles on dirt". Now damnit, I don't mind dirt, I look for it on my Uly, but I was on the damned Harkey, so I was SOL and had to re-route. It's ok, it's an adVENture...so I cut over after Pocatello to Hwy 26 west.

Hwy 26 west from I15 is a peculiar rode. It's pretty much a bunch of sagebrush and few cars. Then I went by a town called "Atomic City" and thought, "what's next, Spacely Sprockets?" Turns out that this little patch of the planet is known for making and piloting nuclear reactors, for some reason. I just kept going, through towns advertising "atomic burgers", "atomic shakes", and "mutant fries".

Hooked up with 93 north, and now it started getting nice. Pretty much followed the river up through a place called Salmon, ID. Now, that's a weird name for a town that's 1000 miles away from the ocean, but there you have it. Apparently, the salmon really did come all that way before the damns and jellystone parks were built. Pulled over for fuel again and saw a guy who was definitely an adventure rider. He was on a BME Dakar, fully loaded with bags, a tent, sleeping bag, the whole bit. I wanted to shake his hand but he didn't have an ADV sticker so I thought "screw him, loser." we played follow the leader for about 100 miles along the salmon river, then he must have turned off or something. 93 is a very delightful road and I pulled into the Holiday Inn in Missoula with 578 miles on the odometer and 10 hours on the ass. I almost tried to go to Lewston that night but good thing I didn't, it took longer.

Now I know some of you don't consider a Holiday Inn part of an adventure ride, but instead of roasting wienes an dbeans in a can, and boiling water so it was safe to drink, I had two gin and tonics and a new mexican spiced t-bone steak, so screw you. I have to admit, I travel quite a bit for a living, and I've stayed in my share of Holiday Inns (the worst ever is the Memphis Airport Holiday Inn, trust me on that) so I was shocked at the quality of the food. if you're ever in Missoula, try the T-bone at the Holiday Inn. Really!

So I got up the next morning at 6:30 and did US12 from Lolo MT to Lewiston, ID. I gotta gell you folks, it was absolutely one of the best rides I ever took. Except I was freezing my ass off. And worried about deer. And the "moose crossing' signs had me on my toes. And the "next gas 67 miles" sort of got my attention too. But well worth it. Little road construction, but well worth it. From the time I was on 93 until I hit Lewston, I had been on the Lewis and Clark Trail. There were lots of markers. In fact, had I stopped to read each one, it would have taken me longer to complete the route than it took Lewis and Clark. But as I have read "Undaunted Courage", it was pretty cool. I can't imagine being stuck up in those mountains in the middle of winter with hardely anything to eat, reliant on indi...uh, native americ...uh "indigenous aboriginies", and with pretty much almost no beer.

From Lewiston, I kept on 12 until I was in WA and then took 261 up to I-90. Lots more motorcycles than cars on 261 so I guess that's the local loop. I was really just guessing the whole way. I could have stayed on 12 and gone all the way to Portland, I suppose, but i didn't want to spend another night in a h0tel. Ok, or in a tent. So, I'd recommend 261, which put me on I90 220 miles east of Seattle. The first hundred of those were horrid straight slab miles, but after that it gets pretty nice, you climb up into the hills, cross the columbia, and keep climbing. About 120 miles out I had two simultaneous thoughts....one that I was almost home and I was getting tired, and the other "oh crap, I'm almost done already". I pulled into the driveway about 6:15 PDT

Think I'll do it again next summer. Definitely on the Uly
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The crows seemed to be calling his name, thought Caw.

2008 Buell Ulysses
2008 Triumph Scrambler
2004 HD Heritage Softail

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