West 2020

Day 04

July 16

  This too will be another grind it out day to get to Oregon and the ride that I am really looking forward to doing. I got in so late last night that I sleep in a little this morning knowing all there is an Idaho state line sign and on the other end is a motel room and maybe an Oregon state line sign. The sun beats me up this morning but not by much as I get on with the getting on.  
  It's still nice and empty on I15 and for that I am very thankful.  

As I watch the sun come up over the clouds, I ask myself -

"I wonder how many sunrises I've seen from the seat of a motorcycle in over 50 years of riding?"

But that's an answer I cannot give any specifics to other than 'a bunch'.


Once again as I observe the skies it don't look good for the home team. But as I always say,

"Them that watch the weather seldom leave the house."

  I can see clear patches up head, but it's almost like the clouds are trying to push the sun back down.  
  But it's a battle the clouds will not win and I see blue ahead and forge on  
  I15 will be my companion for most of the day until I split off on I84 north of Salt Lake and Brigham City.  
  The stark contrast between the green and the brown is pretty dramatic to me.  
  But I reckon if you want green out here, you're gonna have to water it.  
  When my stomach signals my brain to see if my throat has been cut, and the time for fuel has arrived, I find a convenient place to meet both of those needs.  
  There's a Burger King in the facility, so this morning I do breakfast with a king. Not as good as home cooking but it will definitely fill the empty spot.  
  Soon I am back on the road and remember that I15 caresses my old friend highway 50 that I traveled back in 2017.  
  As I wander, I take note of interesting exit signs. I have to say that this one seems appropriately named and needs no explanation.  
  The ever changing terrain in Utah does break up the monotony of covering lots of miles on the interstate. Here in one view you get the green hills, the dry hills, the desert floor and a mountain.  
  Bu too soon I am jolted from my wandering thoughts to the reality of another construction zone to negotiate.  
  One thing I just can't get used to out here is the sight of triple pups and regular length semis pulling a pup behind them. I guess because of the straightness of the roads and lack of abrupt elevation changes it works fine. But it is still a mighty long rig if you go to pass one.  
  Soon I84 joins I15 in a marriage that only lasts about 40 miles - about the length of some celebrity marriages.  
  But before I can ponder that, I am thrust again into another construction zone without my permission.  
  When I escape that one, I notice another old farmstead left to it's own devices. It looks like a pleasant enough place with some nice shade trees but that evidently was not enough.  
  Soon the I15/I84 marriage comes to an end and I am left on I84 by its lonesome.  
  I come to the Idaho state line, but it is right at the edge of an active construction zone. I peer behind me and there is a big road grader bearing down on me with no apparent intentions of stopping. I manage to get the pictures that I want and escape before I become intermixed with another pile of gravel.  
  I wonder if the builder of this house patterned it after some of the old Southern stately plantations. It even has a widow's walk, which was characteristic of houses on the coast.  
  But once again I am snatched from reverie back to the here and now in the midst of a construction zone.  
  Once clear of that interruption to the thought processes, I see a crop duster plying his trade. I have to admire their skills as pilots trying to get close enough to the crops to apply the necessary stuff and not too close to apply the plane to the ground.  
  Further along I am reminded about the water versus don't water by a stark comparison before me.  
  I have to take a sign like this pretty seriously since they attached a wind sock so you can see just how it really hard it is blowing.  
  On the way into Oregon, the first state line sign is just too dangerous to try to get a picture. Since I'm in a little early today, I know where I can snag another one that has a safe place to pull off. I notice there is a KFC nearby, so I'll be dining with Colonel again tonight.  

However, when I do stop, they add a whole new dimension to the meaning of 'fast food'. It's hotter than blazes and they are slower than Christmas - which does not make for an award winning situation. When I finally get to place my order, I ask them nicely -

"Could you please put it in a plastic bag with handles since I am on a motorcycle?"

The response is -

"This is Oregon - we don't use plastics bags."

And I think to myself -

"There's some other things you don't use as well but I'll keep my opinions to myself since I would like to get supper after my long wait."

"Well, how about a paper bag with handles then" I ask, not wanting to stress them out too bad.

They manage to find one and I get my chicken and get out of the rarefied air emanating from the drive through window.

  With chicken in bag, I manage to get to my Super 8 room where I turn up the air conditioning to just short of cold enough to hang meat.  
  Again my bed is my table but I'm getting sort of used to it by now and have a system worked out.  
  Tomorrow will be a day of riding that I have really been looking forward to doing, so I attend to the vittles before me and then go crashing to the land of slumber where it does not matter what type of bags you have - paper or plastic.