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Idaho, the land of farmers…

Road in Idaho

where men are men and sheep are happy…. and there are some pretty decent roads less traveled!

I traveled this last weekend from Salt Lake City, Utah to Burley, Idaho on mostly back roads. I figured, with the exception of about 30 miles, it was nearly freeway free. Julie traveled from Boise to Burley and reported the same thing; about 3o miles was required on the freeway (the rest can be done by country roads). Julie did mention that she got off the beaten track and turned around and ended up having to knock on a farmhouse door for directions (she got an invite for fresh homemade pie by the elderly couple – who felt sorry for her because she had Alaska plates and they thought she was really lost) – getting lost without Zuma leading the way is very easy. Many country roads do not have signage.

I did have potatoes for breakfast in Burley. I assume they were locally grown. They put a lot on my plate (a mountain) and they were cooked just right. Folks in the small town restaurant stared like they never saw two gurls with helmets (either that or it was Sunday and we weren’t dressed like everyone else). At any rate, we could certainly feel the disapproving glares. It was not the first time, and probably not the last.

I went for the ride, and the company, and Sunday had us having a relaxing picnic by the shores of the Snake River. I was hoping to be able to go skinny dipping, but the river was too deep and wide, and pretty mucky-looking. Not like some of those rivers in the Hill Country near Texas. No skinny dipping today!

We said good-bye and we each headed out in different directions. I allowed Zuma to lead me deep into the country. I passed an absolutely wonderful town called Albion Valley which I highly recommend spending a weekend in. It looked like a yuppie oasis in the middle of cattle town. Aside from Annie’s Saloon, there was a wonderful welcoming cafe (Sage Mountain Grill) and a hotel (Marsh Creek Inn) that looked pretty decent. This place certainly had potential. If I was not in a hurry to beat the rain and dark back to SLC, I would have tried this town for a cappuccino. My guess is they would know you don’t try to put a lid on one!

The town gave way to rolling hillsides and rocky outcrops scattered here and there. Apparently, this place is known for its rocks. They have rock trails, and cities of rocks and many public areas dedicated to the special rocks that are formed in this part of the country. I kept driving.

The clouds got uglier, and just about the time I crossed back into Utah, I ran into some rain storms. It was hot, so I took the opportunity to take off my jacket and enjoy the downpour on the side of the road. I found a big rock (surprise – Utah has them too), and proceeded to get drenched in the warm showers. I ate a bag of Muncho Chips (they do not sell these in Alaska)! That brought back memories. I used to eat them all the time when I was in high school. I got back on my road and enjoyed the coolness my wet clothes and speeds of 60 miles an hour created when combined.

A good country road can be rated by its smells, the scenery, how many cars pass you per hour (the fewer the better), and the small communities you wind through. This drive had it all. I think I averaged about 1 car every 15 minutes. The last leg of the road I did not pass a single car in over 45 minutes. I gave this road a 7 on the scale.

Eventually, I ended up taking highway 83 as it winds past Golden Spike National Historic Site. I did not stop because I have been there before, instead I kept to the main road. I passed what used to be called Morton-Thiokol. You remember them don’t you? How would it be to forever be labeled the company responsible for the space shuttle Challenger crash due to a faulty “O” ring?
http://www.onlineethics.org/cms/7050.aspx

Pretty bad I guess; they have changed the name of their outfit to ATK (but are still owned by Thiokol) to sound not so bad? Sort of like changing your name from Kentucky Fried Chicken to KFC? At any rate, ATK is still happily producing space parts in Utah at their very large and interesting compound – hopefully no faulty parts.

Picture of chihuahua wearing sunglasses
Blind Chihuahua Scriptorium – Conflicts in Capitalism
http://www.dogchurch.org/scriptorium/Leviathan.htm

The compound is really kind of scary looking. It spreads for miles with lots of buildings which look suspiciously close to underground bunkers that store dangerous stuff. They look spaced out enough to dampen the effect – say one should blow – and they are very much separated from what appear to be the main buildings and processing plants. Amongst the bunker-like buildings there were a ton of cows grazing… or perhaps Morton “Thio-kows.” I had an image of cows being launched into space and mooing as it was occurring. I think it may have been too hot and I was starting to feel the effects. I wonder if these Thio-kows are genetically engineered to produce better tasting meat/milk? The grass they were nibbling on was certainly greener!

I made it back to Salt Lake City by dark. Whew! I can certainly say I sampled no class in Idaho, but suspect Albion Valley needs a second chance!

Patty and Jaz left New York, and according to the GPS are in the Chicago area. Michael and Gene got lost in the desert, and Gene ran out of gas (Harley’s don’t get as good gas mileage as BMW’s). This resulted in a 70 mile RT voyage for Michael to track down gas and bring it back to Gene. They ended up finally making it to Carson City, Nevada. They made it to Eureka last night and should be in Salt Lake City late tomorrow.

I am hoping to take off to Montana on Thursday morning, depending on repairs/additions to my motorcycle. I have a meeting set for Monday with staff at Glacier National Park!

If Patty and Jaz are a little slower, I am hoping to connect with them at that point.

ATK compound

No more faulty rings, but tasty “Thio-kows” to grill!

Motorcycles in lots of pieces... But back together again...
Screams like a gurl?
About Maya

My name is Maya, and I wander.

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