Today Iíll be riding through several canyons and valleys.† I leave
Jackson Hole and the beautiful Grand Tetons behind (photos 1 &
2).† Not long after leaving Jackson, WY, I came into a pretty
little canyon with the ever-present stream running alongside the road.
Riding in the early morning just has to be the best time to ride.†
When you add the quiet roads, the morning sunlight and shadows, then
throw in fantastic scenery for a touch of spice, you have the makings
of a perfect ride.
The more narrow canyons gave way to broad pasturelands and eventually
opened into the ďStar ValleyĒ that is maybe five miles wide.† There
was more development here than Iíve seen for a while, but nothing
ďmajorĒ like a city.† Development out here in this sparse land is
a relative term.
I stop for breakfast at the Star Valley Restaurant and consume a mediocre
omelet with jack cheese.† It seems that some meals are just refueling
stops for me.† Iím starting to believe that I am more critical of
food than I think.† It must be because I live in a place that has
so many really good places to eat that Iíve become spoiled, God forbid.
The ďaverageĒ there is turning out to be better than the ďaverageĒ
While I was eating, a busload of seniors came in and all of a sudden
the place was filled with white hair.† For some reason the girl at
the counter, taking money from these free spending seniors at the
gift shop looked like someone had just stepped on her foot.† I thought,
ďMan, in a little town like this, your lucky to have a job.† Would
it kill you to act pleasant?Ē† If I owned the place, that young lady
would either work in the back out of sight, learn to smile, or work
for someone else.† Damn, Iím getting to be a hardass in my old age.
As I start out again, I get stopped at another one of the many road
construction projects that have to be done during the long summer
days. What an annoyance.† They grade the road for five to eight miles,
wet it to keep the dust down, and then lead you through at a pace
designed for people with four wheels. Screw Ďum.† I take my time.†
I have no desire to drop the Beemer in the dirt.† Maybe I should get
a GS dual purpose bike the next time around?
Back on paved road again, I amble back into Idaho (photo 3)
for a short while before entering Utah.† Along the way, I pass Bear
Lake, a large lake out in the middle of nowhere which straddles the
two states, with a small town, a marina, and some vacation homes built
along on side of the lake (photos 4,5,& 6).† Itís funny,
but no matter where you are people love to be around water.† There
were some small boats out on the lake but not as many as one might
think for such a warm day.† After stopping to take a few pictures,
Iím soon entering Utah and halfway to this days final destination
Hwy. 89 runs through Logan Canyon before reaching Logan, Utah. What
a great little canyon with ever changing rock formations worrying
over a sun painted river, surrounded and comforted by a soft blanket
of green.† As I entered the tree-lined streets of Logan, Utah, I came
to a vista overlooking the huge Salt Lake basin.† What a wonderful
sight!† What a wonderful town!† I want to live here.† Wait a minute.†
Iím not a Mormon. †Thereís no ocean here.† Never mind.
I didnít know it yet, but the best of the ride would soon be over.†
As Highway 89 wound down into Ogden, I stopped at a fruit stand to
have some locally grown cherries.† This is lunch and I suspect is
much better for me than the McDonalds I have been frequenting.
I fall in behind a Harley ridden by a young couple going in my direction.†
This is Utah, which has no helmet laws.† She wears one, he doesnít.†
I canít but wonder how that happened.† Was it his idea or hers?† If
it was his, what does he say? ďI donít mind if I smash my ugly mellon
dear, but I donít want you to bust that pretty little head of yours.Ē
If it was her idea, what did she say?† ďI donít care how you ride,
buster, but Iím not going to kill myself.† Now give me that damn helmet.Ē†
I would love to hear those conversations.
On the one hand I like the fact that people are free to make decisions
that my not be in their best interests.† Thatís America!† I donít
believe in helmet or seatbelt laws because those are decisions that
donít hurt other people. You decide if you want to take the chance
and live with the results. On the other hand, I seem to see a lot
of riders on motorcycles in Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado, which have
no helmet laws, not wearing them.† With the data so overwhelming about
the chances of dying from head injuries should you go down, I donít
understand that decision, but then again, to each his own.
I need to stop for some gas at a station in Ogden and an off duty
sheriff tells me that I canít get to Orem without getting on the I-15
interstate, heading south.† I jump up on the freeway at the beginning
of the commuter rush hour. God, I hate congested freeways.† As I grit
my teeth and try to dodge trucks with three trailers, the thirty-five
minutes it takes me to get to Orem seems like an hour.† I take the
800 North Exit and, bingo! Iím within three blocks of Jo Ann and Bernieís
place.† Well, maybe this is my lucky day after all.
I find Bernie and JoAnne (photo 8) at home in their new apartment
with a view of the Wasatch mountains.† We talk about the fact that
when we got married 35 years ago, our first apartments looked nothing
like these wonderful new units he and Jo Ann are now renting.† Yet
we were happy and proud of our what we had, and thought they were
just fine, which they were.† You spend what you make I guess.
Bernie and Jo Ann take me out to dinner at a local Black Angus restaurant
where I have a nice piece of halibut.† We then pile into Bernieís
new truck and drive over to see John and Renee, their son and daughter-in-law,
and my nephew and niece.†
John and Renee have four children and one on the way so, as the favorite
uncle, I get to play ďShark AttackĒ with the kids (photo 9).†
This entails lots of grabbing, tickling, laughing, yelling, and tends
to create a general feeling of pandemonium.†
We then go over to see John and Reneeís new home that they are having
built.† Their new home is about 2000 sq./ft. with another 1000 sq./ft
in an unfinished basement (photos 10, 11 & 12). †It has
four bedrooms and a great location at the foot of that mountain range
you can see from Jo Ann and Bernieís.
Itís getting late so we say our good-byes and I go home with Jo Ann
and Bernie. Itís nice having family to stay with, it sue beats staying
in a motel room. We have an enjoyable evening talking and remembering
and itís after midnight before we go to bed. This has been a memorable
day of riding and visiting family members.†
Miles traveled Ė 299.