I’m writing this a couple days after it happened. It was a long 2 days getting from Yellowstone to Reno.
As soon as I left the gates of Yellowstone it started dumping rain. Are you detecting a theme to my misery? Nothing really eventful happened on the way out, except utter blindness from my foggy visor and glasses. As soon as you get outside the park there is a super tacky town with all kinds of touristy souvenir shops and Chinese made Indian artifacts and goofy crap like that. I drove as fast as I could without becoming a statistic.
I hit Montana, briefly. Yet another state that’s completely redoing the good work that Eisenhower started in the 50’s. Roads were a mess!
Idaho is a beautiful state with the most hatefully slow drivers in America! They get in their pickup trucks and hop on the highways doing 10mph lower than the speed limit just to irritate the out-of-towers. Two lane roads with endless oncoming traffic heading towards Yellowstone. My first views of Idaho were of foothills, dense forests, rivers, and lodges wile tailgating a Ford Explorer going EXACTLY the speed limit. I couldn’t bring myself to care about my surroundings, I was annoyed.
My first stop in Idaho was this gas station that had a weird dome being built on it’s site. No idea what it meant. As I was pumping gas middle aged women and teenaged girls in prom dresses kept pulling up in cars and getting diet cokes. I didn’t ask questions. I just averted my eyes and drove on.
The beautiful forests gave way to endless farmland. Way off in the distance, to my left, I could see the 3 Tetons. So disappointed that I chose to blow them off. It’s Saturday and I still had 10 hours to drive. That translates into 14 hours on my bike.
I was doing some serious driving this day. No messing around, but I did have to stop on occasion. Idaho had this funky rest area where you could walk up to the roof to get a view of the volcanic formations all around the area. There were paths in the back that took you on a geologic tour.
The sun was giving me the impression it was going down soon, so I took what I thought were going robbed my last shots of Idaho. I was wrong of course, I still had 3 more hours before hitting Nevada!
My delusion of making it to Reno that night faded as soon as I stopped at a gas station and ate this.
It wasn’t as nasty tasting as it looks. It was made by a young guy that had all kinds of bad tattoos up and down his arms, like stickers slapped on the inside of a middle school kid’s locker. He also had the strange fashion statement of having a bandana tied around his left knee. Is that some kind of code, like in the movie Cruisin’? This guy was also the host for the creepy RV Campground next door. I think I’ll pass. Instead I stayed at this lovely joint, the Top Motel.
This hotel was cozy but smelled like bleach and sin. It did have the best wifi connection outside of a McDonalds.
The next day, Sunday, I took a shower, which caused more problems than it was worth. The showeri was so high pressure that it felt like my skin was being peeled off. I suffered through the misery so I wouldn’t have to spend another day in my own filth. I finished up and stepped out of the shower into a giant puddle half an inch deep! The entire bathroom was flooded and soaking into the main room’s carpet. Great way to start a day.
I got my shit packed onto the bike and drove off. I’m on some frontage road trying to find the freeway entrance when my Spyder decides it doesn’t want to shift anymore. It won’t go into 2nd gear! I’m in the middle of god knows where Idaho with a nonstandard motorcycle, hundreds of miles from the nearest Can-Am dealer. Several conniption fits later I manage to get the bike in gear. Throwing it in reverse and then trying first and second gear seems to have solved the problem. Needless to say, I had to get home before this thing turns into an $18,000 boat anchor!
First stop for the day is at this place…
This entire trip there wasn’t a single truck stop that had an actual diner in it, until this one! I ordered the chicken fried steak and eggs. Fabulous.
It’s sad that all small towns seem to be franchise havens. Subway, KFC, Burger King, etc. There’s no local color. No interesting flavors at these places. It depresses me. The Garden of Eden diner had old broads serving coffee and old timers sitting at tables, not afraid to complain about the faggots that seem to be everywhere in town these days. Food was good, but something has gone wrong with half the people in this country. I feel rather sheltered living in the biggest little city. Onward!
Seconds after leaving the truck stop I was startled by this sudden crack in the earth when I crossed what I thought was just an overpass.
An hour or so later I make it to Nevada, greeted by the crappy casino town of Jackpot. It seems that when you have nothing useful or interesting to offer to the world all you have to do is open a casino. Not my best photo, but then every time I stop I have to worry about the bike being able to get into gear. I can’t take chances.
I had to stop at this rest area for water several miles outside Jackpot. I was doing 90mph up this hill, slowed to 80 as I hit the top, and then saw ahead of me a state trooper 1/4 mile off to the left on a dirt road waiting for speeders! What a prick! There’s nothing out here but dirt and traffic revenue. This state needs to find something interesting to contribute to the world, every other state in the union has casinos now. Screwing over travelers to pay for a badly run state is not the solution.
I hit the road hard after my water break. Long miles brown and yellow with patches of green. I blew through Winnemuca. No reason to stop. They have sleazy billboards for whorehouses around town. I’ve seen enough. No pictures here.
I stop for gas 30 or 40 minutes later in Puckerbrush. Yes, that’s right, Puckerbrush. Population 23. I’m filling up my bike when I see this tall, skinny, shirtless dude wandering around the parking lot. His head is pressed into his shoulder holding a cellphone in place while he’s walking a chiuaua and fidgeting with a cigarette butt in his mouth. I can hear him talking constantly on the phone as he moves around the lot with the dog, picking up old butts and trying to light them. All I can think is “get me the hell out of this town!”
The rest of Nevada is a blur. I pulled in to Reno around 7:20pm. It’s so familiar yet so foreign. Reno really is a big city, compared to a majority of the places I had driven through. Everything seems different. I’m glad to be home, but somewhat sad my journey is over.
I missed my animals. Fargo, my dog, Slash, Burn, and Mutilate, my cats. Fargo greeted me at the door all excited. No cats to be found. My mom had cleaned up the house a bit. She planted new flowers in the front, cleaned out my shed, organized the backyard, and even cleared out the broken fence in the the back. Of course my truck has a brand new dent the shape of a pole, but it’s a small price to pay!
I called my mom and we went for some Bankok Cuisine. Damn good, as always. I then called it a night. I sent an e-mail to my boss that I wasn’t coming in on Monday and proceeded to watch 3 episodes of True Blood until my body finally faded into sleep.
The Epic Ride ends.