Don't Tell my Boyfriend-- I'm Taking His Bike to Yellowstone

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Shesaid, May 24, 2015.

  1. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Sep 25, 2002
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    My wife is driving thru Yellowstone Saturday with her BFF's, I'm sure it will be Deja Vu :)
    Great adventure, please continue.
  2. juno

    juno Long timer

    Oct 22, 2014
    Nice trip!
  3. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer

    Sep 29, 2008
    High Point, NC
    Great report. You have style!

  4. Belgradian

    Belgradian Been here awhile

    Jan 19, 2014
    keep it coming!:clap
  5. FBR

    FBR Been here awhile

    Jul 9, 2013
    Southern WI
    Nice report! I had the same feelings about Yelowstone, pretty disappointed and frustrated by the time I managed to ride out of there. While it is beautiful, it is also way to crowded and "Disney" like for my taste.:rofl
  6. Kawi-Mike

    Kawi-Mike Been here awhile

    Jul 23, 2012
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    I am really enjoying your writing style. As we all know there can be frustrations on a bike trip but at least we are on the trip. Keep it coming.
  7. Super38ACP

    Super38ACP You can get anything you want...Excepting Alice

    Aug 17, 2014
    The "Southern Arc" of the ATL.
    LOL, I'm pretty sure I've been right there in the same spot with him...

    Very entertaining report... can't wait for rest...
  8. vicster

    vicster Long timer

    Aug 22, 2007
    Fellow DR owner here wanting to thank you for the Ride Report.
    So many of your reactions to Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, etc., mirror mine.
    I think maybe The Loneliest Road in America is past its "best by" date. I got myself all psyched up for traversing it only to find that at no time was there not at least one other vehicle in sight, no matter how often I stopped or varied speed.

    OBIWAN Been here awhile

    Jul 14, 2003
    Oklahoma Pole of Inaccessibility, USA
    Me thinks Pink Foot is headed for a new Pinking.

    Is that the factory shorter side stand?
  10. rgp332

    rgp332 Been here awhile

    Nov 29, 2009
    Central Missouri
    I'm in ,good ride report!
    I lived in Bozeman in the early 90's ,then moved back to Missouri.I hadnt been back to Yellowstone since 93,went back in 2013, I couldnt believe how commerciallized it had become :(
  11. Shesaid

    Shesaid Still Trippin'

    Dec 3, 2012
    Central CA
    Hesaid and I visit Disneyland often-- the food is WAY better at the parks than in the park. :eek1 I mean, the food at Disney is better than what passed for food at Yellowstone!:wink:

    You want "lonely" 395 between Riley, OR and Alturas, CA-- wait for it, it's coming!

    No. I don't think so. If I recall right, the factory "short" kickstand is sitting on a shelf somewhere in our garage. The one on the bike is the factory regular one, cut down and pinked out.

    It will get shortened again soon, but probably not before the upcoming trip (starts on Saturday May 30, 2015) so I'm pretty worried since not only is it already not short enough, but I'm adding 20-25 pounds of hard cases and side rack onto the bike. :huh
  12. VegasDesertRat

    VegasDesertRat Zombie Killer

    Jun 17, 2012
    Las Vegas, Baby
    Awesome write up............I'll be reading it all soon.
    I also have a TW200 I keep in Parowan Utah to ride while up there.
    Have an XR650L to ride around Vegas, sorry to hear about no wavers in NV.
    I like Payday's and Diet Mtn Dew......can't wait to read some more of your adv.

    Go girl go.
  13. flyrodder

    flyrodder Donny, please.

    Sep 11, 2006
    Southern Bohemian Alps

    Rode through Yellowstone and Jackson last summer with two good friends in tow; what miserable places to visit on a motorbike. The scenery is majestic, but the crowds are panic and anger inducing. An hour in any direction from there always reduces stress levels.

    Can't wait for the remainder of your story. Have a great ride on the next adventure.
  14. XXMe

    XXMe Not my picture

    Oct 20, 2013
    Eagle River, AK
    Keep up the good work!
    I hadn't been in Jackson Hole since Sept '77 when it really was a sleepy little cowboy town! Went through last year coming back from AK and couldn't wait to get out!
  15. Shesaid

    Shesaid Still Trippin'

    Dec 3, 2012
    Central CA
    Wednesday, Continued....

    It's true, I was most excited to see the Tetons on this trip.

    I gassed up in West Yellowstone, another over touristed town similar to Jackson, but more spread out and less braggy about the amounts of money that flowed through it. If I'd had more time I would have walked the city streets in search of good food and trinkets to bring back for friends and family. Someday I'll come back to Yellowstone and see it properly, and perhaps I'll make West Yellowstone my base. Perhaps. But today there were still hours of daylight left, so I simply turned north and let the road carry me.

    Heading north on Montana's highway 191 left all the stress behind. The scenery turned to forested mountains and rivers and valleys, exactly the sort of rugged topography one expects from Montana. The late afternoon grew chilly but still pleasant. Traffic virtually disappeared around me.

    My mind was set on arriving in Bozeman. Expecting a room in a well-recognized hotel and a meal at a well-recognized restaurant. Not so much because that's what I wanted, or even because that's what was within my comfort zone; but because I knew Bozeman would be a big enough town that it would certainly offer these things in sufficient quantities to accommodate me.

    My ride along 191 had me passing inns and lodges and RV parks and camp grounds and all manner of small, independent offerings for meals and a night's rest where ever someone had purchased enough land along the highway to offer these things.

    Eventually I found myself in the town of Bellgrade. On the south end, Bellgrade felt like a real town. With houses and historic buildings and signs proclaiming Bellgrade's awesomeness. But as I crept past original Bellgrade, it started to feel more like a small city that had sprung up entirely due to Interstate 90 running through it.

    Pretty sure this was on the 191. The date/time on my camera was set incorrectly, so putting pix in order has been hell.

    Multi-story, box hotels dotted the road near the interstate. Super 8 and Comfort Inn... all recognizable chain names. Then the fast food restaurants. I circled around through the hotel chains and found myself wondering why I hadn't stopped at that last little ranchstyle inn 20 miles ago, the one that was across the street from the tavern.

    Not only did every hotel in Bellgrade have full parking lots, but they would also require that same hauling of gear up stairs and leaving the bike parked where I couldn't see it from my room that had lead to such anxiety in Idaho Falls.
    I really didn't want to stay in any of these hotels.

    But dark was encroaching and thunderstorms had followed me into town and were now threatening to do more than just drizzle occasionally. I needed to figure out where home was for the night.

    That's when I noticed that all the hotels with visible signs had the "NO" clearly lit in front of "Vacancy." I went back to the Holiday Inn Express but they didn't have a sign. I got off the bike and went inside. I stood patiently by the front desk while the staff busily helped check in other guests. The gentleman in line before me politely asked if they had any openings left for the night and the harried staff behind the counter sadly shook their heads "no."

    I smiled and said they'd just answered my question as well. And the man in front of me and I walked out of the lobby.

    What to do...what to do? I borrowed the wifi while I sat in the breezeway and I looked at the map. I was maybe 10-15 miles west of Bozeman. But I was west of Bozeman. Bozeman might have a room, but it would be another room in another big, square, box hotel and it would require going in the opposite direction of where I wanted to be.

    Somehow my desire to continue in my direction of travel won out against thoughts of doing an extra few miles; sleeping in a warm, dry room; finding a hot meal; or avoiding the rain... in the dark.

    I had seen some reviews for a hotel in nearby Three Forks that suggested just the sort of place I was looking for. The sort of place where you met the actual owners of the lodge when you checked in. 15 miles to the west. And if that didn't work out?


    I'd find something.

    It was too dark for me to pick out the street names along the frontage roads and I wasted precious avoiding-the-rain time trying to find the right one. So when I found myself pretty much back where I'd started, I took a deep breath and headed for I-90.

    My first-ever miles on the United States Interstate system. In the dark, and then the rain. Doing an impressive job of maintaining about 45 miles an hour, scanning the road for deer and other critters, looking for my exit.

    It really wasn't that scary. Traffic was light, no one cared if I was going fast or slow, the rain was still only a drizzle and it was only 15 miles before I reached the tiny town of Three Forks.

    Three Forks boasted 3 hotels. The Sacajawea, the Lewis and Clark, and the Broken Spur. I was looking for the Broken Spur. As I headed into town, the Sacajawea loomed on my left, a monstrous, plantation style mansion that had me looking to see if Colonel Sanders was sipping mint juleps on the porch. It was imposing. It also looked expensive. And it looked like they might be less than inclined to oblige any filthy motorcyclists who might wander into their lobby dripping wet.

    Billboards for the Broken Spur had dotted the side of the freeway on my short ride to Three Forks, but once I entered town, there was no mention of the place. By this time it was quite dark and the sky loomed low and threatening above me. Three Forks was closed. The entire town was dark and locked down tight, this was the sort of town that rolled its sidewalks up at sundown.

    I wandered the deserted streets. It isn't a big town, I'd find what I was looking for eventually. On the opposite end of town, I found myself in front of the Lewis and Clark hotel. More contemporary, and spread out than the Sacajawea, but just as white. And by "white" I mean-- white. Both hotels were painted white. Something about a big, white, building really says, "Don't come in here with your wet, bug-covered gear!" I decided to make one more lap of town in search of my first choice.

    I found the Broken Spur on the back side of town, down a little side road. As I turned the corner, I saw the sign outside the office with its warm, red neon "vacancy" sign glowing like a beacon to weary travelers in the night.

    A slow realization was kinda starting to dawn on me... I was a traveler. :ricky

    I parked the bike outside the office, I looked at the very full parking lot of the small lodge. I headed inside and asked the woman if the sign was, indeed, true. Did they have a room left?

    She looked at me. Not condescending. Not judgmental. If anything, maybe a little perplexed. She looked out the window at Pinkfoot. She looked back at me. She seemed to be processing a lot of information all at once and trying to solve some unsolvable equation.

    She asked, "It's just you?"

    I nodded.

    "You're on a bike?"

    I nodded.

    She looked out the window again, "That's a little bike." :huh


    I don't know what to say to that. PInkfoot is a 650cc dual sport bike. She weighs 360 pounds unladen. She is a "little bike," especially by road bike standards. But she is exactly the right size for me. And, as we all know, if she falls over, I can pick her up. Which has always seemed an important feature in a vehicle that might fall over.

    The lady in the office was now wearing a look of disappointment mixed with regret and determination.

    I was worried that the rooms had been rented for the night and the sign had simply not been updated. But she looked like she didn't want to tell me this, like maybe she was trying to come up with a Plan B. But then she said, "All I have left is the kitchenette, the suite, and the cabin."

    That sounds like there's a room left to me. But I understood the inclination of her voice; she was telling me that the only thing left were the premium rooms. Bigger than a solo traveler needed, with prices that would be likewise.

    But I was done for the night. Rain was imminent, it was well past dark. I had no idea where I was or what was on the way...and everyone kept telling me there were moose in these parts. And grizzly bears. Maybe this was not the night to initiate myself to the habit of stealth camping on roadsides.

    So I tried not to show my concern. I think this is a Californian thing, the mentality of not letting people know you think a price is too high or you might not be able to afford something. You don't haggle in California, you don't flinch at a price. You have to make eye contact, stay relaxed, and smile like the price is nothing to you. If you don't want to pay the price, it's not because you can't afford it, it's because the product is substandard.

    So I tried not to show the gulp I took just before replying, "OK. How much is that going to cost?"

    She told me to go with the cabin, as it was the least expensive. She took a breath and looked me in the eye as though she really didn't want to deliver the bad news, then she said, "It's 84 dollars.... is that OK?"

    I tried to look coy. Totally blank. I was under the impression that I was supposed to think this price was too high. "Is that OK?" Was I supposed to haggle? Was I supposed to be insulted and threaten to head for one of the other hotels in town? The hotels where prices for basic rooms started at $120?

    I tried not to look visibly relieved. I gave her my credit card.

    The Broken Spur Inn is run by a husband and wife team who live on site. Their house is connected to the large main room where they serve a continental breakfast in the morning. The office is a small room in the corner of the main room.

    My "cabin" was a free standing room located around the back of the entrance, set between the house and the 2-story lodge. My room was #34, so I assume there are at least 34 rooms.

    I got to park directly in front of my front door. My room was clean, neat, and comfortable, with a queen size bed and a futon that could have served as an additional bed, but made a great place to throw my gear.

    Sorry. I really thought I had a photo of my shit strewn all over the room.

    I had wifi connection courtesy of the hosts, so I set about contacting the people at home who were more worried about where I was than I was and set about finding outlets to charge all the infernal devices.
    ADVrider973 and gregoblv like this.
  16. no

    no kidding

    Nov 19, 2005
    Great story. It brings back memories. :lurk
  17. Shesaid

    Shesaid Still Trippin'

    Dec 3, 2012
    Central CA
    Thursday, August 14 :Lost and Alone on Some Forgotten Highway

    I was up at an impressive hour to enjoy a hot shower before strapping all the gear back onto the bike. Ready to ride by 8, I left my helmet and gloves on the bike with the GPS fired up and ready to record the day's travels, and I walked back to the office to turn in my key... my real key. Feeling 120% better than I had the previous morning. Nothing could go wrong today.:pynd

    I walked into the main room attached to the office and found a man sitting at the big dining table, all alone in the room. A variety of individually packaged pastries were set out on the counter, a sign that said fresh orange juice and milk could be found in the refrigerator and 2 air pots full of coffee beckoned to me as I stood there.

    I introduced myself to the gentleman sitting at the table, he was the other half of the husband/wife team who run the establishment and, before I knew what had happened, I was sitting at the other end of the table with a cup of hot coffee, deep in conversation with him.

    He was a dead ringer for Christopher Lloyd-- around the time of his Doc Brown days from the Back to the Future movies, but without the wild, mad-scientist hair style.

    A Dead Ringer

    He wanted to know where I was from, where I was going, why I was doing it, and he positively came alive when I mentioned I'd been to Yellowstone the previous day.

    Oh no! I've stumbled on a fellow geology geek. Albeit one with a few years of study and experience on me.
    While I sat there, sipping my coffee and listening to his tales of previous guests and the geologic history of the surrounding area, I worried silently about getting on the road. I weighed my desire to live in the moment, to not be so concerned with schedules and destinations that I can't find time to enjoy the experiences along the way, against my very unfortunate-- but very real-- need to get to the next location on the route in a predefined amount of time.

    But right here, right now, was where I was and where I was enjoying being. And maybe that was my tipping point. The point where all the conditions of my trip came together and lined up in a single place. The point where I relaxed and gave in. The point where I ultimately accepted that I may never get to do something like this again, and if I didn't make it home by Saturday night I still had Sunday as a time buffer... and if I didn't make it home by Sunday? Well then, I would have to make a lot of phone calls and rearrange my work schedule. But right here, right now, I was right here. And here is the only place I've ever wanted to be, really, no matter where it has happened to be.

    And then I looked out the window behind Doc Brown's head-- and saw the rain.

    Sheets of cold, wet, stinging rain pouring down outside. Occasional flashes of lightning. Distant, rolling thunder.

    Well that just cinches it, doesn't it? If that's not a sign I'm not sure I could tell you what is.

    I popped up out of my chair and interrupted my conversation partner to let him know that I needed to get a few things off the bike and out of the rain, and then I would be back inside for another cup of coffee and to listen to his next story.

    I didn't leave my hosts at the Broken Spur until 10 a.m. The only day of my trip that I didn't make my "on the road by 8" goal. But I shrugged it off-- I'd been ready to leave at 8.

    Good bye, Three Forks, Montana

    As I left the gas station on the way out of town, the sky was clearing to reveal a bright shade of blue rarely seen back home.

    My mood could simply not have been matched that day. I found those frontage roads that had been virtually invisible the night before and wound my way through sprawling hillsides toward Helena.

    The ultimate goal today was to sleep in Walla Walla, Washington: when I had been doing my route planning, I was determined to make it into the state of Washington. Otherwise, my map would have all the surrounding states colored in and leave Washington blank. I've always wondered how people manage that? When ever I see travelers with their maps of places they've been to on the sides of their RVs, trailers, and motorcycles, how do people manage to go to every state but Ohio? Really? You couldn't have managed to just made it across that state line? Just for the sake of coloring in that state on your map?

    And that's how I felt about making it in Washington. I couldn't bear the thought that I would have Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, and Oregon all colored in but leave Washington untouched. It seemed unthinkable!

    So I had studied the maps before I settled on my route, insisting on finding a way into Washington that didn't add more time than I had to spare to the trip.

    There are surprisingly few major roads that cross into the western states across our mountain ranges. I'm not sure I was entirely surprised by this, but it certainly was frustrating for my purposes.

    This meant that I was headed to Missoula, Montana this day, and would head south from there to a tiny town called Lolo, where I would turn right to cut across Idaho farther north than my previous visit, leading me into Washington so I could cut across the southwest corner in a manner that most people would probably say didn't even count as riding in the state.

    I justified it because I've already driven through enough of Washington to say I've done it, all I had to do was put my wheels in it this trip to say I've "ridden" Washington.

    This was Sacajawea country, and boy do they want you to know it!

    Montana was an entirely new experience. Everyone I encountered was pleasant-- downright friendly, even-- even the Harley's were waving again.

    I rode through Helena and didn't feel like I'd entered Big Box Chain Business-land. Helena felt a little like riding through my hometown and even navigating their city roads in afternoon traffic didn't intimidate me.

    On hwy 12, I was ecstatic to see haystacks in the fields along the road. Haystacks! Real stacks of hay. HAHA!

    I come from a huge commercial agricultural area, I've seen hay. I see hay all day. I see it grow, I see it harvested, I see it baled, I see it bought, sold, transported, and consumed. We bale our hay. In big rectangular blocks. Farm kids build forts out of hay bales. We stack them on flat bed trailers and sit on them in parades.

    I am no stranger to hay.

    Traveling through other areas, I also see big jelly roll style hay bales.

    But the only place I have ever seen hay stacks is in childrens' books. These were the things you can't find a needle in. These were the things that Rapunzel had to spin into gold. These were the things that kids climb on and slide down.

    I was pretty giddy about them. It's probably a good thing I was alone on a nearly deserted highway.

    The hay stacks were huge. Bigger than my house. And each one was confined inside an adorable little corral fence which I can't imagine actually kept deer out at all.

    I wanted to ride into the fields and take pictures of the bike in front of the hay. I wanted to climb up the side of one of the stacks and jump in it, roll in it, side down the side, pick up the loose hay by the handful and fling it at the sky.

    Who knew my inner child would be so delighted with a big pile of hay?

    Holy Shit! Would ya looky there-- Motherfuggin HAYSTACKS!

    I also didn't want to get chased out of a field by a pitchfork-wielding farmer or hungry Border Collies, so I settled for some photos from the highway and kept on riding. Dancing in the saddle and singing every road trip song I could think of.

    It was just an absolutely magical day. And I was in it. It doesn't get better than that.

    I found my way into Missoula easily enough and opted for a McDonalds for lunch and wifi. I took all the obligatory photos of the bike in front of the MickeyD's and posted them on all the obligatory social media sites that I knew folks back home were using to follow along on the adventure.

    After lunch I checked the map and set off through Missoula's college district in search of gas and, ultimately, hwy 12 toward Washington.

    I was impressed with how much I liked Montana's cities. I was near Missoula's state college and everywhere I looked there were signs rooting for the home team. It gave the city a feeling of community spirit. It made me want to go back to Missoula, maybe for a college game or a parade. I wondered what it would be like to live there.

    Train pic for the BF.

    A man at the gas station broke through my thoughts to tell me how much he liked my bike. He had a '92 model of the same bike-- which I remarked was only 10 years younger than mine. !!! Duh! I always do that. It's like the first decade of the century never happened. I guess his bike was actually 20 years younger than Pinkfoot. But we had a pleasant conversation while we pumped gas. He asked where I had started from, where I'd been, and what I thought of Missoula.

    I answered all his questions and assured him that Montana was my favorite state so far, and that I was especially enjoying how friendly everyone was. So he smiled broadly and welcomed me to the state as he continued on his way.

    That was a nice welcome. Californians are not welcome everywhere. We have a reputation that is not entirely unearned. I wouldn't have been surprised if he had told me to enjoy my visit but don't think about moving in.

    I love the Dinosaur gas stations. We don't have them in CA. This one even had DINOSAURS!

    Hmmm. Maybe I'll consider moving to Missoula.

    I found Lolo easy enough. Riding along hwy 12, marveling at the War of the Worlds-ness of the extra tall, angled-in street lamps. Busy taking in all the sights in the small town, on the watch for signage signaling my right turn into Idaho.

    I saw a big, digital sign that announced there was a fire on ID 12 and that travelers should expect delays.

    I considered whether I wanted to go ahead and take the 12 if that were the case.

    The next thing I knew, I found myself in Hamilton, Montana. It occurred to me that I had obviously missed my turn. A little map math revealed that I had been daydreaming for approximately 37 miles.

    I considered turning around and heading back. But some internal switch had been thrown and I had given myself over to the spirits of the road. Where I was was where I was supposed to be. So I kept going, heading south on 93.

    I fell in love with the small town of Darby, Montana as I drove through its old west style section on the south end of town.

    I made note to come back here with the Boyfriend.

    I made a lot of notes on this ride to return with the Boyfriend. So many places that made me think of him. So many places to stay a night, take a hike, grab a beer. :beer

    Traveling alone has always been an uninhibited, completely free feeling for me. I love the simultaneous senses of total control and total abandon. I love that I can stop when I want, where I want, for as long as I want. I love that I can change directions on a whim. I love that I can sing at the top of my lungs, I love that I can sing whatever I want. I love that I can make as much noise or be as quiet as I feel at any given moment. I love seeing what I see and thinking what I think.

    I have always loved a road trip in a car. Somewhere along the way, I learned that I also love to hike alone. Now I was learning that I love to ride alone.

    I suck at selfies.


    For as long as other people have been part of my life, other people have recoiled in horror at the thought that I would dare to climb into my car and point it in any direction other than my own home. With windows rolled tight and locks securely locked. They haven't be been comfortable with my trips to visit friends in other cities or other states.

    They haven't been comfortable with my trips to mountains, oceans, rivers, or deserts. They haven't been comfortable with my trips after dark and they certainly haven't been comfortable with the trips that only served to deliver me to the beginning of a new trip-- backpacking alone through forests and valleys on trails they've never heard of and can't find on a map.

    Choosing a career as a manicurist has meant that my entire daily life is filled with intimate association with other women. After 20 years of holding hands with America's female population, I can only shake my head.

    We truly are a demographic of sorrow and fear.

    Women are so afraid to leave their homes. To leave their comfort zones. Their well-worn tracks of the familiar.
    When I leave for a trip, they all want to be assured that I will either have a man with me, or a cell phone.

    There is no understanding that the places I travel rarely have cell phone service. And I can't understand what I'm supposed to do with cell phone coverage if I had it? If a drooling bear is chasing me, am I supposed to call the police?

    Even if I encounter a situation that would warrant a call to the police, what am I supposed to do? Sit and patiently wait the 3+ hours for them to arrive while the ax murderer dismembers me?

    Have we really divorced ourselves so thoroughly from our instincts? Have we allowed our survival skills to atrophy so much that we can no longer comprehend the need to use them?

    Relying on alarm clocks and television schedules, GPS navigation and well-lit streets to carry on with our daily routines and feel at all safe to do so?

    It's not uncommon for women to worry what will I do if I get a flat tire? What will I do if I get lost? What will I do if I can't find a hotel? There are always women who are concerned about the people I will encounter along the way, but it's the men who are convinced that the world is dark and evil and lying in wait to pounce on me. They immediately warn me that at every turn, there will be someone waiting to rape, torture, and kill me.

    Pointing out that evil lurks around the corner as I'm walking to my car after work each night is futile. That my chances of being a victim of a violent crime while I'm working, or sleeping in my own home, or shopping at the local mall, are higher than while I'm traveling alone.

    That women are in far more danger of being beaten and raped by their own spouses than by total strangers.

    If I clung to every horror story fed to me by a sensationalistic media or by paranoid-- albeit well-meaning-- friends, co-workers, and clients, I might as well kill myself, as I wouldn't even feel safe locked in my own home.

    he world is a scary place. Bad things happen to good people. Danger is real. But it's not guaranteed. And I don't have time for everyone else's fear. I have places to go and things to do and see; miles to put under my wheels and feet and wind to feel in my hair.

    The world is an amazing place. Good things happen. Adventure is real. But watching it happen to someone in the movies isn't good enough.

    My mind raced along with my wheels over the smooth pavement of hwy 93. Following the Salmon River through Idaho.
    I thought of the Boyfriend waiting back home. I know he's anxious about my trip. I know he'd prefer that I wasn't out here without him. Partly because he worries about me, partly because he is not made of the same solitary material that I am.

    He requires little human company, but he isn't good at being alone. He needs the company of a mate and he doesn't understand being separated once he's found her.

    We knew eachother for years before we became a couple. I've watched him go through more than attempt at mating for life.

    I'm not sure how it was that we didn't start dating when we met. I'm not sure it was a good idea to start dating so soon after he and his second wife separated. I'm not sure it was a good idea to start dating at all.

    But we did. By the time he got around to admitting an interest, I had come to the conclusion that it was probably for the best that we had never gotten romantically involved. We had been close friends for years at that point. I'd seen two marriages wither away beneath him. I can't say he was entirely innocent in that. I'd had plenty of opportunity to get to know him well enough to see what made us a poor match.

    I'd gone through 2 relationships of my own in that time that had left me determined to avoid another "opposites attract" fiasco. I was on the search for my glass hiking boot, and it was going to be carried by a man who already owned backpacking gear, whose point of view on religion and politics was congruent with my own.

    But there he was. All humble and questioning. Asking if he had missed his chance. Wondering if maybe we ought to give it a try.

    I had to know for sure.

    And so here we are, nearly a decade later. More in love than not. More laughter than tears. More looking forward to the future together than making excuses to spend time apart. :crash


    I know he doesn't understand so much about me. He doesn't understand why I would want to take this trip without him. He doesn't understand why I need the alone time. He worries that my leaving him at home is akin to my leaving him.

    That maybe I'm out here on the road thinking how great it is to be without him. That maybe I'll come home still thinking how great it would be to be without him.

    I can't take responsibility for his insecurities. It's not my job to fix that. It's certainly not my responsibility to betray myself to placate him.

    I occasionally have to point out this philosophy to him. To remind him that he wanted the woman who was a whole person without him. He thought this woman was desirable the way she was, traipsing off on her own with no sense of obligation to anyone else.

    That's the woman he wanted, so that's the woman he has. Be careful what you wish for. Kiss me, I'll see you in a few days. And just because I am having the time of my life, doesn't mean I don't miss you. And just because I miss you, doesn't mean you're invited.

    Face it, boys. Women are hard to figure and we're rough on the ego. But you seem to like us like that, so stop complaining.


    Part of the Salmon River-- I also saw a herd of Big Horn Sheep-- super cool!

    I am so glad I am getting to see this part of Idaho. It is so completely different from the southern portion.

    I had stopped worrying about where I was, or how far I would get before nightfall. There were RV parks and campgrounds, tiny inns and bed & breakfasts sprinkled all along the mountain highway. Where ever I was when the sun went down, I would find a place to sleep.

    I was in love with the scenery I was riding through, I was in love with the ride itself, and I was deeply engrossed in a thousand far away thoughts that poured through my mind with every turn.

    Thinking of my current relationship with all its quirks, what I love about him, what I don't; what keeps me with him, what makes me think about a life unencumbered... and soon my mind started drifting to all the other boys who have taken up residence in my heart, or have simply taken a piece of it.

    I strongly considered stopping to inquire about cabin prices when I came to an RV Park with adorable little cabins painted white with deep blue trim. They looked more like they belonged at the coast than here along the river in these mountains. But something kept me heading further down the road.

    I don't know if I was just enjoying the ride so much and wasn't ready for the day to end yet, if I was too lost in my thoughts, or if I just wanted to cover as many miles as possible before it got too dark to ride safely.

    I do know that this was the day when I came to trust that I didn't have to stress about finding a place to stay. I would simply find a place when I was ready.

    I rolled into Challis, Idaho just after sunset.

    There was a large, square, multi-story building with a big sign that read "MOTEL" at the northern edge of town. It wasn't a big chain, and at first I wasn't even sure it was open for business. But as I got a little closer, I saw a few cars in the parking lot.

    My first instinct was to make the sharp right turn into the parking lot. But I knew I'd rather find one of those little ranch-style set ups where I could park right in front of my room. If I just kept going, I'd come across one soon.

    Just a few yards later, I saw the sign that said "Holiday Lodge." It was still pretty light outside, but the vacancy sign was lit. I walked to the office, found the proprietor of the establishment and went through a conversation that was hauntingly similar to night prior at the Broken Spur.


    Linda looked at me and said, "It's just you?"

    Then she looked at the bike and said, "You're on a bike?"

    Then she observed that I would just need a single room.

    Then she got that worried look on her face like she wasn't sure I'd be happy with her answer and announced that the room was going to set me back $52.00.

    I tried not to look too overjoyed. 52 dollars? Heck! I'll take 2!

    She ran my credit card and handed me my key-- my real key-- and walked outside to point out which room it belonged to. The lodge was a small one, with only 10 rooms. My room was #10.

    We then spent the next hour standing out side her office talking. It was well after dark when she went back to her own room and I moved the bike to its new position outside my window and carried in my gear.

    I knew all the eateries in town would be closed by then, so I headed across the parking lot to the gas station/mini market next to the motel in hopes of finding something in the way of a microwaved burrito and a 24 ounce bud light. OK. I admit, I was hoping for something a little fancier than a Bud Light.

    My daily life consists of far more beer and coffee than is good for me. And is mostly responsible for for being 2 sizes larger than I'd prefer. But what I mostly learned from Weight Watchers was that I'd rather spend my money on beer and over-priced lattes than on weighing in and listening to more successful dieters assure me that "nothing tastes as good as being thin feels."

    It turns out, there's a lot of stuff that tastes perfectly size 14.

    This trip had been a lesson in detox. My last beer had been with dinner at the Owl Club in Eureka on Monday. My last latte had been in Gardnerville, NV on Sunday morning. Maybe Thursday morning's coffee at the Broken Spur had been a terrible backslide, but by Thursday night, a beer with dinner was sounding mighty good.

    For that matter, dinner was sounding mighty good.

    I knew I had more budget for gas and lodging than for food for the entire trip. I'd planned on living off of fast food the whole week. But by the time I rolled into Challis, a real meal was sounding good.

    But Linda had told me that most of the places in town closed around 8-8:30. It had been 8:30 when I found the hotel. There was no hope of finding chicken fried steak anywhere at this hour.

    Gas station burritos and beer it would be. At least I'd be able to take it back to my room and kick back on the bed while watching the Weather Channel.

    Alas. It was not to be. They were turning out the lights at the mini market before I had crossed the motel parking lot.
    Oh well. Back to my room for a dinner of potato chips, beef jerky and warm Pepsi.

    It was surprisingly satisfying.

    It had just been an overall great day.

    I watched 4 episodes of "How I Met Your Mother" while I tried to catch up with social media and emailing the BF.

    The BF was eager to help with the impromptu trip planning. It's what he loves to do. Since I was off course, our new mission was to get me headed west and into Oregon. We agreed there was just no way to get back into Washington without adding another day to my trip.

    The new route would take me west on the 75 to the 21, past the Sawtooth range and through the Boise Mountains into Boise. From Boise I could continue on the 20 into Burns, Oregon and get headed south on hwy 395.

    I ought to be able to get to Aluras, California by the end of Friday.
    zoid and gregoblv like this.
  18. bluestar

    bluestar sheep shagger

    Mar 14, 2014
    N.E. Louisiana
    :rofl I understand completely. If I had only known that it was just another 80 miles to Indiana, I could have checked it off the list earlier this month. I'm still kicking myself in the butt for missing it. :cry

    gregoblv likes this.
  19. Shesaid

    Shesaid Still Trippin'

    Dec 3, 2012
    Central CA
    Friday, August 15: California or Bust

    Another bright and early start. I was ready to ride around 7:30.

    I waved good bye to Linda as I roared out of the gravel parking lot... OK. Puttered. Gingerly. Back onto solid, predictable blacktop, only to make the sweeping right turn into the gas station next door to fill up the tank and restock my stash of snack foods.

    I wove my way through Challis on my way to the 75. It's a small town. Linda had mentioned some restaurants, but I didn't see any. They were probably farther down the 93. Yeah. I'm sure that's it. That's probably why I didn't see them.

    Today wasn't met with the enthusiasm and joy that had fueled my ride the day before. I wasn't back in the same funk I had been in on Wednesday, but something felt wonky. Not with the bike, with me.


    Outside of Challis, the terrain turned back to rolling hills and my road was another curvy ribbon of tarmac following a river. I passed ranches and alfalfa fields and various small settlements that didn't show up on a map.

    A couple campgrounds down along the river made me wish I'd kept moving last night. Even though I knew I stopped at exactly the right time, at exactly the right place for my Thursday lodgings.

    I'd meant to do more camping on this trip. It would have helped with the budget, sure, but I just plain like to camp. Instead, the obligation to stay in continuous-- if not constant-- communication had driven a need to bed down someplace with Internet connection if not phone service each night.

    I don't like being obligated to people. I don't like having people relying on me for things, I don't like being needed.

    I felt I had found a perfectly acceptable compromise on this trip, making sure to check in at least once a day. I made sure to at least get an email to the BF to let him know where I landed each night and update him on any changes in my original plans.

    So far, he had taken the whole thing in a surprisingly Zen-like stride. He hadn't so much as wrinkled his brow when I told him I was planning on going to Yellowstone. In fact, he had gone to the maps and started helping me plan routes. It almost seemed that he was excited for me.

    His emails along the way hadn't been filled with snarky admonishments or lectures. He had mentioned that "some people" were expressing concern that they wanted updates more often than every 24 hours but he hadn't been giving me grief about needing to know where I was every moment along my way.

    Granted-- the BF doesn't have a cell phone. There's no texting him. He doesn't do social media, he doesn't have a Facebook page or an Instagram account. He isn't watching my ride unfold the same way my friends and clients are. And I'm not talking to him on the phone every day because I genuinely have not had cell phone service in most of the places I've been; I can't figure out how to set the phone up to make calls over wifi; hotel rooms don't have phones in them anymore, and finding a pay phone anymore is like trying to find a needle in one of those haystacks back in Montana.

    Quite frankly, I felt I was doing a pretty good job of keeping in touch. But I'd already had 2 nights on this trip that had left me unable to report my whereabouts to the worry-warts back home. And I did worry about them worrying about me. So camping had kinda fizzled out of the equation.

    One one hand, the sort of trip I was on wasn't really out of my comfort zone. I was on paved roads the whole way, major roads. I was off the beaten path, but still on a path. I hadn't been anywhere where there wasn't a steady stream of traffic, even if it was well spaced out.


    All I'd done was go for a ride.

    I have a hard time grasping why something as simple as a road trip was met with such awe and concern from the average person. I don't understand why driving alone through Idaho is any scarier or more dangerous than driving alone through my own town? Or why riding a motorcycle instead of driving the car makes the doing it alone so much scarier to people?

    But so many people were stunned at the notion that I would do it.

    We do love our comfort zones. Afterall-- they're so comfortable.

    Camping alone does push my comfort zone. It's not that it's particularly statistically dangerous; but when I'm trying to sleep alone inside a thin, nylon hut, my imagination becomes downright competitive. Working overtime to come up with its best yet scenario to make every horror movie I've ever seen seem like a childrens' tale.

    Every falling pine cone, every scurrying mouse, every wind-blown leaf is a rabid, alien, bear looking for human women to carry back to its home planet. Or eat on the spot. You can never tell with rabid alien bears.

    Even so, I still really enjoy camping, even if it's just by myself.

    And pushing comfort zones helps keep them from shrinking till they crush you against your own headboard until you smother from the weight of your own imagination.

    I'd much rather go up against the rabid alien bears out here beside the Salmon River.

    But camping hadn't ended up being as big a part of this trip as I'd originally planned. I'm really only one step ahead of the BF as far as my relationship with modern communications technology is concerned. I have a cell phone as a concession, not an obsession. I knew I was unlikely to have cell signal throughout most of my route. I didn't expect to be able to update my progress often. I hadn't factored in how this was going to worry the masses at home though.

    I thought we'd all come from a generation ago-- grown up in times with out cell phones, or Internet. I figured the friends, parents, and boyfriend all not only knew who they were dealing with, but could grasp the concept of a land without phones.

    But I guess having a support crew back home isn't a bad thing by any stretch and it's nice to know that someone will come looking for me if I fail to report in after too long. And, with the exception of a couple of my clients' husbands, no one had tried to forbid me to go on the trip or collapsed in a fit of hysterics, so the least I can do is make sure I check in each night to let them know where I'm laying my head and give them an idea of where to look for me if they stop hearing from me.

    The rolling hills became steeper. The expansive grasslands turned to trees and the already chilly morning temps dropped a few more degrees as the road begin to climb into the mountainous region that is western Idaho.


    The scenery was stunning.

    The Sawtooth range came into view as I came into the town of Stanley. Stanley was sparsely populated, by filled with rugged, outdoorsy types in hiking clothes or hauling kayaks. I rode past a lodge or two and restaurant that looked like it promised one of those breakfasts consisting of a mountain of hashbrowns under an equally obscene amount of scramble sausage and eggs which would have been absolutely irresistible if I'd been passing through about 2 hours earlier.

    Oh how I was missing coffee.

    There was no excuse for my not imbibing daily, really. Just too lazy to take a moment to brew it, or too hurried to sit still somewhere with my hands wrapped around a hot cup, waiting for the dark, molten liquid to cool to a drinkable temperature.

    I like this motorcycle thing. But maybe I do miss my cup holders.

    The Sawtooth Mountains were a breath taking sight against the tiny community, all snow capped and glaciated craggy spires jutting up impossibly straight and tall over the valley floor before them.


    I could live here.

    I have a tendency to do that-- I think about what it would be like to live in pretty much every place I visit. Stanley, Idaho made its way to the top of the list pretty fast as I turned onto the 21 heading west toward Boise and, caught up in true motorcycle zen mode, decided I could skip a stop at the gas station... there'd be another gas station when I needed one.

    Linda at the Holiday Lodge in Challis had shivered visibly when I told her the route I was taking into Boise. She mentioned something about a pass and "no guard rails" and how I was "brave" and that she never takes that road when she has to go to Boise.

    So far the mountains had been beautiful, the road had been wide and twisty, the cliffs had been steep, but there'd been guard rails on all the corners. Well, most of them anyway.

    I marveled at the scenery, I filled my lungs with clean mountain air, I eyed the odometer suspiciously.

    The DR is a simple machine: old school, carbureted, manual transmission, no dash board warning lights, no cup holders, no fuel gauge. I have to pay careful attention to the amount of miles I've racked up since my last fuel stop in order to figure out how desperate I am to come across a gas station. I was flirting with 120 miles since Challis.

    This trip was a bonding experience for me and Pinkfoot: I had left home with the notion that I had a range of about 150 miles on a tank of gas. My windy, rainy trek across Nevada on Monday had been a wake up call as to just how much that range can vary, bringing my normal 57 miles per gallon fuel economy to its knees at a pitiful 45 miles per gallon which had me switching to reserve around 100 miles. And now that I was thinking about it... I'm not really sure how big that reserve is, afterall.

    Maybe I ought to start looking for gas.

    By this time in the game, I had come to trust that gas stations would magically appear when I needed them. So I was a little disconcerted when the next "town" warranting a name didn't actually have anything to offer in the way of something called a "town," most notably, a gas pump.

    I let the tank run dry before I leaned over to turn the little indicator on the petcock to the "reserve" position. This has become my habit for running out of gas on my smaller TW200. When it runs out of gas, the engine cuts out and the bike coasts peacefully on until I steer to the side of the road to switch to reserve. Then I just turn the key and start the little bike up and continue on until I found fuel.

    The DR runs out of gas a wee bit differently. First, it coughs rather violently. Not violently enough to throw me off, mind you, but enough to wrest me out of whatever day dream I might be firmly ensconced in. A couple of rough hiccups, lurching me forward like someone learning to drive stick shifting into 1st gear. Then it goes dead. In a manner much less peaceful than the TW. The DR actually makes me feel like I've strangled the poor thing into unconsciousness.

    Once I've put it onto reserve, it doesn't just roar back to life like a morning person at first light. It stutters, lags, makes that chuggachuggachurnchurn noise that engines make when they haven't caught. It always takes longer to start back up than I think it ought to. I worry. I turn the key off again. I wrinkle up my forehead and stare perplexed at bike. I wonder if I've killed it. I wonder if I've flooded the engine-- a concept that I barely had time to grasp before fuel injection took over the automotive industry and swept my mind clear of such concerns.

    I turn the key again, it makes some protests-- more like me waking up in the morning-- and then it catches and roars back to life and everything is as it ought to be once again.

    Maybe I shouldn't let the DR run all the way out of gas before I switch to the reserve position.

    Now I have no idea how many more miles I can count on before I'm out of gas for good. But I'm over the summit and on the downhill side of the Boise mountains, headed for "Idaho City" where, sure enough, I found a gas station just in time.


    I was out of the mountains and headed into Boise on my way to Oregon. The day was still early and I had every expectation of spending my last night on the road in Alturas, California.

    DAMN BOISE! And Google's navigation for that matter.

    I crossed the I-84 and found myself at what appeared to be the southernmost border of Boise at one of those giant freeway offramp/onramps that had served as little more than a place for travelers to find food and fuel for the last several years, but was now under construction and was destined to become another cookie cutter suburban neighborhood.

    Great. Another Idahoan city, just when I was starting to like the state.

    But there was a big, square, shiny Burger King up on a hill overlooking the urban sprawl going on around it and by now I had come to understand just how prevalent free wifi access had become in major fast food restaurants. So that looked like lunch to me.

    I ate my chicken sandwich and updated the social media, sent some emails and tried to figure out how to get from where I was, to where I was going.

    Actually the McDonald's in Missoula-- but you get the idea.

    All I had to do was hop on I-84 north then turn left. But the whole idea was to avoid the interstates. Especially here in what was, quite genuinely, a city in the middle of Friday afternoon lunch time.

    So Google maps and I had a pretty serious lunch date. Knowing that I'd lose all hope of data signal as soon as I was out of city limits, I set about diligently zooming in and saving maps as screen shots to my phone's photo gallery. In the long run, I had an impressive collection of step by step directions on navigating Boise's surface streets northward to US route 20 into Oregon.

    It was only about 12:30 in the afternoon; I had 8 more hours till sunset and 7 hours to Alturas. I left that Burger King with a smile in my heart, eager for a new state to color in on my map, new terrain, new scenery.

    Half an hour later, I found myself at an over populated Sinclair station on the outskirts of Boise, but not the outskirts of Boise I was looking for.

    I filled the tank and consulted the maps.

    I backtracked a few miles. I turned. I backtracked. I continued on. I turned. I backtracked. I turned the other way.

    I pulled over and consulted the maps.

    I backtracked. I turned. I pulled over and consulted the maps.

    I saw a lot of Boise. I cruised through historic residential streets lined with trees. I cruised through busy business districts on main thoroughfares 6 lanes wide. I cruised through agricultural areas out of town. I saw coffee shops and car dealerships and roadside fruit stands. Some of them twice.

    The maps smirked at me. They taunted me. If I'd just gotten on the interstate, this would have gone much easier.
    Eventually I found my way into the heart of Boise's business district, heading straight for the state's capitol building.

    Similar to our own capitol area in Sacramento in architecture, city structure...and traffic.


    But traffic surrounding me was doing a good job of not trying to kill me and at this point, I didn't have much choice. I'd finally found the signs leading the way to my promised land.

    I kept waiting to see some sort of "Welcome to Oregon" sign. Something to verify that I had managed to escape Idaho's clutches once again.

    I was almost in tears by the time I was trying to navigate my way through Nyssa. How can one road be so many different roads? Am I on the 26? the 201? the 20? All I want to know is that I'm going in the right direction.

    I passed the gas station. After all, it hadn't been that many miles since that busy Sinclair station where the odd man with the RV insisted on turning off his propane refrigerator before I started pumping gas.

    What was that about, anyway? Seems to me that if you have an appliance that shouldn't be around a gas pump, you should have turned it off when you parked. Or was it just me?

    But the point was, I didn't see how I would need gas before arriving in Burns, Oregon.

    At some point the don't litter signs along the road stopped saying Idaho and the slogan changed to something equally inane about Oregon.

    I guess I made it to Oregon.

    I was riding through some sort of no man's land between the states, where I could imagine that the residents weren't particularly concerned with where they lived. Their families had probably farmed this land for years before the state borders were put in place around them, or through them.

    The land looked a lot like home. Wide open farm land at the base of brown, grassy hills. Corn fields, cotton fields, alfalfa. John Deer vs Farmall, Chevy vs Ford.
    It was all so familiar. And then a new crop appeared to my right. Trellises maybe as tall as 20 feet erected in rows with long cables securing giant V's. Covered in climbing vines.


    Field after field of commercially grown HOPS!

    Not my picture: because I can't find mine.

    Very cool. I've never seen hops growing commercially before.

    I miss beer.

    Beer and coffee. Both things I can live without, both things I don't want to live without.

    Maybe I'll have a beer in Alturas.

    The BF and his family have friends who live in Alturas. I know I can just show up on their doorstep and they'd let me sleep on the floor of the log cabin that they built by hand. Or be just as happy to let me pitch my tent out in the field of the 20 acres they live on.

    But I also know that I will spend too much time listening to T ramble on about Church and State and who's responsible for the world going to Hell in a handbasket this week. And I'll have very little chance of getting on the road at an hour that will get me home by Saturday evening.

    So I was planning on spending a quiet night in the little motel next to the Brass Rail Basque restaurant along Hwy 395. And sitting in the delightfully 1970's-esque bar at the Brass Rail for a drink and dinner.

    I was daydreaming again, looking forward to my first real meal since the Owl Club and being home with my dogs and the BF tomorrow.

    I was climbing out of the farm lands and into the dead, dry, desolate hill country of eastern Oregon. The wind was almost as bad as it had been on hwy 50. I slowed down and pressed on.

    There wasn't much traffic out here with me, but what there was wanted to go fast. Much faster than I would think appropriate for these curvy roads. Once again I found myself seeking ahead for turnouts or wide shoulder areas along the road to let traffic pass me by.

    Oregon was the first place I have been-- on this trip, or others-- where I truly felt like the traffic was out to get me.


    I wasn't keeping pace with the traffic, but I wasn't crawling along the road either, so I was somewhat surprised at the rental RV gaining on me on the uphill run. I started searching for a turnout, but this giant box on wheels was bearing down on me and showing no mercy.

    I made sure to turn on my signal so he knew my intentions as I slowed and pulled to the shoulder. The shoulder was not particularly wide at the point, but it was wide enough to allow the DR to get off the road. I had just made it to the other side of the white line and was putting my foot down as the lumbering beast blew past me at what was really quite a blistering speed for an RV on an incline.

    I don't think I can adequately describe how close the passenger side rear view mirror came to hitting my head. On a stretch of road with no other traffic, and clear view of the opposite lane, the RV made absolutely no attempt whatsoever to give me any berth as it continued on its course as though I wasn't even there.

    It took me a moment to wrap my brain around that. It was, by far, the most inconsiderate move another drive had ever made toward me since I'd begun riding. It drove home all the insistences that other riders made about drivers who simply had no tolerance or sympathies for the elevated vulnerabilities of motorcyclists.

    And frankly, I was kinds pissed off at him. I felt that I had made a polite gesture in volunteering to pull out of his way. I didn't have to. I had just as much right of way as he did and I'd been traveling well within the legally posted speed limit.
    Instead of being grateful and saying "thank you," his driving communicated a clear "fuck you" instead.

    Well fuck him too. Hrumph.


    I got back on the road a little less humble, but a lot more afraid of my fellow travelers. Several cars passed me, several could have given me more room as they did so. But no one else made me feel like they were blatantly trying to kill me.

    The odometer was creeping into the 120's again. The 130's. Was that a sputter? or the wind? Cough cough...choke, gag. Deathly silence as the bike coasted down the hill.

    Burns was just a few miles up the road, no worries. I switched to reserve, got the bike started again, and stopped at the first gas pump I came to.

    This is Oregon.

    Few people outside of Oregon seem to be aware that you cannot pump your own gas in Oregon.

    It is actually illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon. If you pull up to a gas pump and attempt to start pumping your own gas you will most likely encounter an angry, shouting, belligerent attendant as he or she runs toward you, arms flailing, sputtering an incoherent string of words that will make you hope you don't have young children in your car.

    Or so I've heard from many a traveler who had found out the hard way.

    I had been forewarned of this many years ago before I had ever set a wheel across the state line.

    Being required to let some one else pump my own gas in my car is of little bother to me. Like many women, the idea of sitting in my car while someone else stands in the heat or the rain and ends up smelling like gasoline sounds like quite a treat.

    To the BF, however, it is an abomination: we drove to Seattle several years ago and I was, at the time, amused that he had carefully mapped out the mileage between the last gas station in California and the first gas station in Washington to make sure that we would not need gas at all while we were traveling through Oregon.

    The BF insists that it is a bad idea to let "some minimum wage moron" put gas into your car for you. That the attendant will "screw it up" and cause somehow ruin your trip.

    The Boyfriend is perhaps a bit, as some would say, anal retentive. :kat

    Now that I had a motorcycle, however, I had a completely different point of view on the matter of who should be in charge of filling the fuel tank of my vehicle. Putting gas in a motorcycle is not the same as putting gas in a car. You can't just shove the pump into the tank and hold the lever. It won't just automatically shut off when it has reached a certain full mark.

    And since the gas cap to my tank is located directly on top of the tank, you have to have a certain finesse to maneuvering the pump over the tank without dripping gasoline onto the painted surface.

    I had asked an online motorcycle forum about traveling through Oregon before I made this trip, and had been assured that motorcycles are an exception to the gas pumping laws. I could expect the gas attendants in Oregon to hand me the pump and allow me to do the filling myself.

    But you still have to find the attendant.

    I was no where near the bustling interstate of western Oregon. I was out here in the middle of nowhere. This tiny gas station slash mini market slash restaurant slash souvenir shop was a small block of a building that appeared to be made of adobe with one gas pump outside.

    I rolled up to the pump, making sure to roll over the little hose that would ring the bell inside.

    I'm lucky I'm old enough to remember full service gas stations from the 70's.

    No one came out.

    So I went inside.

    (to be continued...believe it or not, I have a day job, and I need to get to it!)
    gregoblv likes this.
  20. FBR

    FBR Been here awhile

    Jul 9, 2013
    Southern WI
    I really like your writing style, and more importantly, your outlook on life!:clap