Day 57 The Idaho Run

Creston, BC – Boise, ID

600 miles

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In my last post, I described the kind yet slightly chatty residents of Creston, BC. This morning I reluctantly left Canada which had impressed and enthralled me for the last 4 days. But I recently discovered that I had had some personal stuff that required me to fly home to NYC for a few weeks. My plan is to leave Bumblebee with some amazing family I have in Boise, ID and fly home. But the trick is that I have only one day to cross the border and run the length of one of America’s longest (and most beautiful states).

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Crossing the border back into the US was not difficult as much as it provoked greater existential questions. Here’s what I mean:

Border Guard: How long were you out of the United States?

Me: About 4 Days.

Border Guard: What was the purpose of your trip?

Me: I’ve ben driving my motorcycle across America for the last 2 months.

Border Guard: [pause] Why are you doing that?

Me: [pause] Because it’s beautiful. One of the greatest trips I’ve ever taken.

Border Guard: [still staring]

Me: [keeping it going] Yeah, well, I have to say that the Blue Ridge Parkway was the most beautiful section roadwise, but when I got to New Mexico, ohhh the chiles….have you ever had a freshly roasted hatch chile from New Mexico? There a place outside Santa Fe that…

Border Guard: You’re free to proceed. Weclome to the United States of America.

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I crossed the border and quickly discovered that there’s pretty much just one road that serves as the North / South highway for the entire state. So much of the land is National Forest or Indian Land that it’s pretty easy to forget where you are. The landscape is stunning with beautiful mountains on each side creating a scenic corridor guiding me south.

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I was really pushed for time today as I had an early flight back to NYC in the morning. I rode all day starting at 7:30 am and finally pulled in to Boise right around 8pm. I only stopped for gas and nibbled on PowerBars. Needless to say, I was exhausted. This was one of the hardest runs of the entire trip.

I pushed hard on the bike trying to never let the needle drop below 70 and not stopping for any luring roadside attractions (FRESHLY CAUGHT SALMON!, MAPLE CANDY, TUBING TRIPS). And then, just as I thought I was making good time, just when I thought I might have enough time to enjoy a quick roadside meal at the countless charming local places I passed, I somehow crossed over the time zone, gaining an hour and putting me back behind schedule. Arrrgghhh…

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Again, the riding was simply spectacular but I was getting seriously sore.

Upon my arrival at their house in Boise, my hosts, Kipp and Signe, were unfailingly kind and whipped up some steaks on the grill and promised to take great care of the bike while I’m gone. My plan is to return in a few weeks and finish The Great American Motorcycle Trip.

It’s very hard for me to leave the trip unfinished (even temporarily). This trip has been one of the greatest adventures of my entire life, perhaps the best ever. I really wanted to complete it all in one fell swoop, but reality needs to intrude every so often. I promised my bike that I wouldn’t be gone long.

I’ll be back soon.

WHAT I LEARNED / DISCOVERED TODAY:

Idaho is enormous. This might have been my longest day of riding hour-wise. I covered more miles across Texas heading to El Paso, but the road let me ride at over 100mph and was dead straight. In Idaho, only a modest two-lane highway serves as a twisting road to get you to the more cosmopolitan southern region of the state. As a result, I was hunched over the majority of the day with no time to take a stretcher. Also, I changed my mind and now believe that Idaho is the salmon capital of the country over the Northwest. Really. It’s all river caught (as apposed to fishing boats) and fantastically delicious.

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