• Idaho – Nowhere on the American Coast

    Posted by Loren on October 11, 2012

    Idaho – the state that doesn’t appear to want any tourists. How else to explain “Potato” on their licence plates, and that previously being my entire knowledge of the state? Not really a conduit for attracting an international contingent of tourists. After criss crossing the state for 8 days the only potatoes I saw where of the fried type sitting proudly next to my hamburger. What I did see plenty of was empty, sweeping, glorious roads following the curves of rivers cut deep into the Rocky Mountains. That has a much better ring to it for an advertising campaign than “Potato”.

    Many things in life can only be be proven by trying. Sticking your tongue on a 9 volt battery does indeed produce a metallic tasting shock, for instance. An item marked “Caution Hot” will still be hot no matter how quick your reflexes are when touching it, and “Road Closed 6 miles ahead” does indeed mean that in 6 miles from the placing of the sign, the road will be closed. Having detoured a considerable distance and nearly sending myself into comatose on the I-90 Freeway, I wasn’t going to let something as minor as the road being closed stop my fun. By definition, the sign was actually incorrect. It should have read “Road – Not there in 6 miles”. A more than minor rock slide had taken the road out, and strangely they hadn’t yet built an overpass or three to alleviate the issue. Probably due to the entire Road Services equipment being used to turn the aforementioned I-90 into 20 lanes in 50 mile sections. This side story is told to once again bestow the virtues of the Garmin GPS and of course my trusted steed. Request alternate off-road route of the GPS, it calculates a path through a labyrinth of tracks, I turn off the ABS on the motorbike, and forge onward happy as a motorbike rider in the dirt. Just a side note when doing this. Spend less time patting the GPS in congratulations and more time watching where it is trying to send you. Might save a bit (a lot) of time backtracking.

    And so the days in Idaho pass committing myself to the hypothesis that roads placed next to rivers make for phenomenal riding and as a result sore cheeks from smiling all the time. During the weekdays I pretty much had the windy roads to myself while everyone else drove from one point to the other as quick as they could via the freeways. Fuel stations were shared with camouflaged men filling large 4×4′s towing trailers with a minimum of 3 camouflaged 4 wheelers mounted with gun racks. I of course couldn’t see them due to the camouflage. I was also able to add another two chapters to my thesis titled “Must See Attractions Are Usually Not Worth Seeing, And Certainly Not Worth The Entrance Fee.” The list is now extended to include Hells Canyon (“Deeper than the Grand Canyon”) and Craters of the Moon National Monument (flying past this one at freeway speed will be sufficient). I might be able to add a special appendix to the thesis to include not stopping at towns with Falls in their name, Idaho Falls, for example.

    And still no potatoes.

    You must stay at at campground called Bumblebee.

    Half of Idaho was on fire providing lovely sunsets and a slight case of asthma. These were located at a campsite that was so picturesque, I stopped my continually motion for a day so I could hang out next to the river.

    Sawtooth Mountains. No explanation required as to where they got their name from

    Craters of the Moon National Monument

    This is what happens when an engineer is placed in charge of sign writing.


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