I sat in that Motel 6 pullin' and stretchin' my last dollars, tryin' to make 'em fit a run for the coast... and no matter which way I tweaked it... that last dollar kept snappin'. Wantin' to run out to the Oregon coast was just a mite over ambitious this time...
It'd be a real unpleasant couple of weeks... pushin' that 800 lb motorcycle the last 500 miles or so home...
So... I made the decision that, this time, a lil' discretion was in order and I decided I should shave a thousand miles or so off this run and make Boise the far end of this circle.
When I got up in the morning I coffee'd up, fueled and headed South East on I-84. I've never been partic'lar fond of interstates... and I still ain't... but that piece of slab was the onliest way to get where I was headed that morning; The Thousand Springs Scenic Byway / Hwy 30 that starts near Bliss, Idaho.
Just south of Bliss is the Hagerman National Monument and Visitor center. That's the place where they found the fossils of what used to be the Native Horses... leastways, 3 million and some years ago!
|*Hagerman National Monument Horse Fossil*
Climbed back on the Raider and kept moving easy down U.S. 30. Just a few miles down the road from the Nat. Monument Visitor center is a section of the Snake river with high bluffs on the north side. It's the area that gave the byway its name.
A thousand springs blow out of the side of the bluffs and pour into the river...
For a mile or so ... you'll have to work at keepin' one eye on the asphalt while the other is tryin' to focus on the many springs cascading down the bluff...
When you come down into Boise out of the mountains you enter the high desert of Idaho. Running SE you pass through long miles of that dry, open ground broken up here and there by irrigated fields.
I kept moving and turned straight south onto Idaho 27 at Burley... and discovered one of the... uh... difficulties slow witted drifters can encounter when they're using multiple paper maps! :)
Just 'cause grey means pavement on one map... don't mean that's the legend working on that Other map. Turned out the road into the City of Rocks Reserve... AIN'T paved all the way.
Now, I'm not so wussy that I avoid un-asphalted chunks of road just 'cause I straddle a road bike... but... I might have made excuses to travel a different way if I'd known how washboardy that trail was gonna be...
... and I'd have gone another way to my Loss! It's a pretty sweet camp you'll find in there... even if the road is not quite prime.
|*Just south of Oakely Idaho on the way to City of Rocks*
|*Past the worst of it and nearly to camp*
|*West entrance to City of Rocks National Reserve*
It hit me as I was pullin' out of Oakely where I'd picked up my supper for the night at Searle's Market. I had one of those Cowboy Epiphanies... This'un is about why I like these solo rides into lil' corners of no where so much.
I'd passed a couple of small feedlot operations earlier in the day and it struck me that Those are how I see cities for the most part. The Human version of a feedlot. Yup, pack as many critters as you can into as small a space as you can and then squeeze the profit out of 'em.
Such thinkin' always seems to set maybe my favorite John Denver tune rollin' through my brain pan.
"To the Mountains, I can Rest there
To the Rivers I will be Strong
To the Forests I'll find Peace there
To the Wild Country where I Belong
To The Wild Country Where I Belong"
'less of course it be "Wild Montana Skies"
Ran that last lil' bit from the entrance monument and found a sweet camp among the City of rocks.
|*making notes of the day*
|*Left the rain fly off to see the stars in the Sweet Weather*
Me? I was cowboy engineering...
|*First you build your kitchen*
but... the flooring design interferes with the contents of your "cooking pot" and requires...
That'll keep your supper in the "Pot" while it cooks...
But then you'll discover that Sterno's designers apparently didn't feel the need to actually test their design before the slung it on the market...
The result being that you need to install a height adjustment device to get the heat near enough to your pot to actually cook anything...
|*Adjusting the Heat on a Sterno Stove*
So... While I was looking around camp while supper heated up I discovered they had added a few amenities...
Like Cup Holders scattered amongst the scenery viewing seating...
|*City of Rocks National Reserve Cup Holder!*
|*Two Course Biker Cowboy Gourmet Cuisine!*
Now, Ara the Beemer Chef might be able to whip up five star, one pan recipes in camp... but it takes a broken down old puss gut Biker Cowboy to spin up a fine 2 Can feast like this! :)
|*Tough Little Flower in City of Rocks*
|*Sunrise over City of Rocks*
I believe this camp may have revealed more stars and constellations... and the Milky Way than any other I've been in. The darkness and silence was awesome...
and tomorrow is yet to come...
Living High and Free