Day 59 The Sawtooth Trail

Boise, ID – Ketchum, ID

190 miles

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Today, I traversed the Sawtooth Mountain Range to get to Ketchum, ID, the home of Ernest Hemmingway. The day started well with a hearty farewell breakfast with Kipp and Signe in Boise.  I just have to say how terrific it felt to put on my motorcycle leathers again, and assume this identity of motorcycling wayfarer that has given me so much pleasure over this summer. It feels really good to be back.

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That being said, it’s clearly been a while since I’ve been back in the saddle and I discovered that I don’t really have my sea legs yet. Case in point, I pulled over to the side of the road about 10 miles outside Boise when my ‘CHECK OIL’ indicator illuminated.  I wasn’t surprised, as my bike had been sitting idle for about 7 weeks now, so I topped off the engine with 10W40 oil and sped away. I WAS surprised when hot oil started spurting out of my cylinder heads and all over my riding suit. Apparently, an important part of oil replacement is putting the oil cap back on when you’re finished. Ungh…

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After amazingly finding the oil cap along the side of the road, the next 150 miles of riding were sheer pleasure. Idaho has been astounding me through every sweeping curve of the road. The Sawtooth Mountains are aptly named as their jagged peaks reach out above the south fork of the Payette River, and loom over winding Route 75 that I took into Ketchum, Idaho.

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At one point today, I got off to stretch a few miles before Stanley, ID and walked down to the foot of rushing crystal-blue stream. I honestly considered just breaking camp right there to fall asleep listening to the babbling brook dance off the rounded river stones. But then I figured I’d probably get eaten by a bear and kept riding.

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I pulled into Ketchum around 5pm, and after sorting through TripAdvisor, settled on the Best Western at the edge of town. I’m having dinner at the Sawtooth Club this evening and hitting Whiskey Jacques for a cocktail before heading to bed. Ketchum is a beautiful town, although I thought there would be more of an emphasis on Hemmingway. Instead, most of the town is based around the local ski mountain which overlooks the entire town. I’m looking forward to exploring more  to try to find more connection to one of my favorite authors before heading to Driggs and Yellowstone Park tomorrow.

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WHAT I LEARNED/DISCOVERED TODAY:

It’s not hard. When you take the cap off Christof…put it back on. ‘Nuff said. Also, Idaho is ridiculously gorgeous. I’m moving.

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