On to day 2:
I woke up slightly before it was bright and
early; it certainly wasn't bright, just early. Those lovely Idaho hills don't really retain that much heat at night, because it was oppressively cold! I kept on having to warm my hands up after touching the Tiger's panniers or top box, because they would just sap the warmth right out. After apologizing to the Steamer after such a cold start, we were off and headed to Evanston, WY.
I was able to get some pictures that morning that I had been too tired to get the night before - There was this earthen dam with some optimistic words on it... I think they'll need a bit more water than what is contained in that reservoir to make their forest green:
They did have a rather green lawn and fountain to contrast the dryness (in the background) of the rest of their "forest"
Before cruising on down to Utah and Wyoming for the day, I stopped by Albertson's to grab some deli food for breakfast. Inside the store I was rather amused to see an entire aisle labeled quite simply, 'Budget Beer'. It reminded me of what a ski patroller said to me this summer; "The difference between good beer and cheap beer is infinitesimal, but the difference between beer and no beer is infinite." I wonder if that ski patroller was from Idaho.
I got the funniest looks in the parking lot of that Albertson's as I was oiling my chain. A 1983 Honda VT500S parked next to me as I was in the store (My first bike was an '83 VT500FT) and he came back out as I was (very carefully) applying oil to my chain. We had a conversation about his bike and how he's lucky to have a shaft drive, and he wished me luck on my voyage before leaving. You certainly do meet lots of people you never thought you'd meet while on a solo trip.
My spirits were high after being back on the road once more. The loneliness of going on a solo trip really settles in when you're camping all on your lonesome. I snapped a picture while at a rest stop that morning, among my traveling companions:
After a few more hours of the deliciously boring Interstate 84, I noticed a large and rather exciting sign with some silly slogan about how action packed Utah is. "Ootah," I thought to myself, "So exciting there's an exclamation point right on their license plate!" Idaho must have been hung over when they made their license plate. Famous Potatoes... really? That's the best you can come up with, Idaho?
I pulled off at the nearest rest stop because I was desperate for a nice stretch and a drink of water. The rest stop had a good example of an Ootah sign:
When I was sitting on the curb of the rest stop, I was continuing a thought that started while on the interstate - comparing states by the quality of their rest stops. Washington was decent, Oregon was pristine, Idaho was also decent, and Utah was quite good as well. "Someone
must be paying taxes on these rest stops," I thought. While I had my mind on public restrooms, I noticed something in the distance - Rocky Mountains! I took a picture from my curbside perspective.
Onwards and Southwards! I continued south for Park City, UT, and Evanston, WY for the night. My exciting activity for the day was to try Park City's alpine slide - I worked at an alpine slide in Government Camp, OR all summer. It's difficult to explain to the layman what an alpine slide is - a bit like a half mile long water slide without the water. Except you haul ass down the track on a little plastic sled. Here's a video of the one in Government Camp that I made this summer - I put a GoPro on my fastest co-worker when he was on his break: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_Sj1...ature=youtu.be
I stupidly didn't get any pictures or videos at Park City's alpine slide, but they definitely had a much classier establishment than Skibowl. Their slide was also trickier to ride. I took this picture after I had ridden their slide:
I decided early on that I should "conquer" one more state since I was only an hour's drive from Wyoming. So, I continued east through some beautiful country:
No, I wasn't pulled over - the Sheriff was enjoying the view just as much as I was!
I also saw some of these fantastic red rocks - this was one of the most scenic interstate rides I have done!
I arrived in Evanston, WY a couple of hours before dark, so I took the opportunity to take a picture of this sign:
I thought that it was ironic how Wyoming's motto is "Forever West", but this is the farthest east I have ever gone on two wheels! I guess your perception of whether a certain part of the country is east or west is relative. I had a little bit of a Lord of the Rings moment, replaying the scene where Frodo takes one last step away from home in my head, except with Frodo riding to Mordor on a Triumph Tiger.
After getting my contradictory picture of a "Western" state, I went to the classiest of all retail establishments - Walmart! I picked up some necessities that I forgot to pack (soap). At the checkout stand, the cashier - a mid-fifties looking woman - noticed my helmet and asked where I was going. With a smile, I replied "Here!" She seemed amused that I had picked Evanston as a destination on my trip and continued to tell me about her adventurous days when she owned a Harley. I booked a $16 tent site at a mom and pop campground and set up camp for the night, and enjoyed a shower. What a great day!