Dia’s Journey Spokane to Mesa – Day 3 Ely, NV to Vegas

Barry kept checking the weather and it was supposed to be sunny but cold this morning leaving Ely. So, we took our time getting ready this morning and didn’t leave until about 10:20am. It was a little cool but the sun warmed us and neither of us used heated gear. We had a little trouble getting out of Ely, and I was trying to take 93 South but Barry followed a sign for Las Vegas which took us on 6. I had to do a u turn, but after a few seconds of bickering while riding on which way to go, I followed Barry. The sign did say “Las Vegas” but we had used a map yesterday and routed it on Hwy 93…I figured we would be meeting back up with 93 at some point.

Along the road

Along the road

Just out of Ely there was some fun curves through some mountainous area, but that only lasted about 10 minutes. From there we were back on the flat lands with mountains and hills in the distance. There were a few small towns, and as we drove through them all I could think was “why do people live out here? what kind of economy is there? what jobs do they have? etc” The little blips on the road broke up the scenery but it was mostly a lot of sandy and rocks. There was an area that had some lakes, and one of the smaller lakes was almost completely dried up. It looked like salt flats. It was so white, I thought for a second it was the reflection of the sun on the water it was so bright, but it was just a dried up lake. I imagine in the spring when they get more rain it actually has some water in it. Today there was a lone deer in the middle drinking out of a small puddle.

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We stopped in a small gas station a few miles outside of Alamo, but I was ready for some food, so I suggested we ride up the road to Alamo in hopes of a restaurant rather than gas station food. We found a cool little spot that was a hotel and restaurant. When we pulled in the parking lot there were two sherif’s vehicles, so I figured we would be eating lunch with the police and better not drink a beer!

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The waitress was a little goofy, but good natured. She informed us that they cannot serve alcohol but we could bring in our own. Of course, Barry always has some beer and some wine in the bike, so we had wine and beer with our lunch.

Byob or wine

Byob or wine

They had a veggie soup that was great with a sandwich. Perfect size for a road meal. On the way out the waitress asked if my husband had gotten his beer that she had put in the fridge…yep “husband”! I had to laugh and tell her that Barry was my dad. After a good laugh we hit the road with no layers, cause it was HOT out!

Yuck!

Yuck!

From Alamo we had a little over 100 miles to Vegas. It was more flat land, and as we got closer to Vegas there were all the power lines and different industrial looking buildings. Then after a few hills you could see the sprawl that is Vegas. The traffic got pretty busy and the roads were surprisingly shitty, I guess because they are too busy fixing the strip and keeping that part of Vegas looking fabulous. It was pretty hot going through all that traffic, and Barry and I decided to stop in Boulder.

I played $1 on a penny slot

I played $1 on a penny slot

Barry led us into this small casino/hotel. It was super old school and looked like time had forgotten it. The casino was small and full of stale smoke and old people playing the machines. We sat at the bar and got a beer, which were told would be comped if we spent $10 each on gambling…ummmm that is not a good deal! So we opted to pay for the beers which were $3 each. I had to laugh, if we had been playing the $1 slot machine and the waitress had come buy I could have gotten a beer for the $1 I put in the machine. I think she probably got a cut from the machines at the bar. Anyhow, I could only handle so much smoke so we headed out. We only had about 80 miles to go to get to Kingman.

Casino

Casino

We had called ahead and booked a room at the Best Western, only to find out there were two of them in Kingman…across the street from each other. As we were riding in, Barry was supposed to be getting directions from the “bitch in the box” aka GPS but we could see both hotels and we weren’t sure which one. I realized that the one of the left would be on the East side of the street which is what the address was, but the Bitch said it was on the right. We went inside only to find out it was in fact back at the other location on the other side of the street. When we got back on the bikes Barry yelled behind me “Just take me home, Dia!” I laughed and told him if he would have listened to me in the first place we would have stopped at the right one! So we finally got all checked in and settled. I am of course burnt in my classic face burn pattern with an extremely red nose and upper lip. I put on a lot of sun screen, but it just doesn’t seem to work since I only see the sun on my motorcycle adventures!

 Sun burn and giant margarita

Once we got settled we walked next door to a Mexican restaurant called Oysters…yes, not only do Mexican restaurants scare me, but one called “Oysters” in the middle of the desert is especially suspect!

Oysters

Oysters

Despite the scary name we walked inside and found it to be completely packed, probably because there are not many choices near by. There was only one server and she was busy, we ate a lot of chips and salsa and I had a margarita that was the size of my head. We split a chicken fajita, and overall the food really wasn’t too bad.

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Tomorrow we will be stopping at Mother Road H-D to visit the dealership as well as a couple of guys who used to work with us at House of Harley. Should be a fun ride and we will get in early. It is a short trip to Mesa where my mom, Karen is waiting with Zoe their pug. We will be getting our house ready so we can rent it out to travelers as well as for us. Tomorrow night, Lorie, our Harley-Davidson District Manager, also a close friend of mine will be flying in. We will hopefully get some TLC and some riding in on Friday and Saturday.

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Dia’s Journey Spokane to Mesa – Day 2 Ontario, OR to Ely, NV

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We had planned to get an early start but found it was cold and rainy when we got up so we waited till about 9am to leave. We were behind the giant rain storm that was heading north west, but apparently we rode too fast. We soon caught up, and it was a rain storm. We were stuck in the cold rain for about 100 miles. I am SOOOOOO glad I put my heated gear on before we left. Unfortunately Barry didn’t think it would be too cold, so he froze his ass off.

After the rain

After the rain

I also have to recollect that last time I was stuck riding on the freeway on my trip north to Spokane I got stuck in some horrible wind coming into Boise…so we were heading to Boise and were stuck in the cold rain…is it too soon to say I hate this place? We made it through Boise and to Twin falls where we stopped for lunch. A few miles before we got to Twin Falls we came into some horrific wind from the west, I think. I forgot my GPS but Barry still has me leading so I know the roads I am going on but I am not sure what direction I am heading at all times.

After the wind!

After the wind!

The sun was to my right so I was pretty sure I was heading South… Anyway, it was blowing from the west and making us ride at an angle. Before we made it to Twin Falls we stopped at a rest stop.

After I had gone to the restroom I saw there was an air hand dryer…let’s just say it looked like I had peed my pants from all the rain. So, I did what any biker would do. I dried my pants with the hand dryer. While inappropriately clinging to the wall to get the air on my thigh a lady looked at me, so I had to explain I was drying my pants after riding in 100 miles of rain. She laughed and said, “I have always wondered what it was like to ride a motorcycle in the rain.” I told her this wasn’t the best part, but it was all part of the journey! (A small reminder that I am a warrior princess on my Harley to most people…) So I sucked up my pouty cold self and climbed back on my steel horse.

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We made it into Twin Falls and I wish I would have pulled off on the “scenic” overlook right when we got into town. We went over this big canyon that was carved out by Snake River, it was spectacular. You could see small rock islands and large rock islands that had been made into a golf course and it looked like something out of a movie! I was leading and supposed to pick the lunch spot. I stopped at “Jakers” which said “Bar and Grill” on the sign. I had to a place that served alcohol (although I am pretty sure Barry and I were the only ones drinking at 11:59am). I got the soup and salad bar and Barry got some tortilla soup and beer (Remind me to never let Barry eat tortilla soup again, or at least get my own hotel room if he eats it!)

Barry put on his heated gear and riding pants when we left Twin Falls and we both ended up having our heated gear on more than we didn’t have it on. The whole ride was pretty uneventful as far as scenery. There was some mountains and from Twin Falls to Ely we where on the “Great Basin Highway”, aka Hwy 93. There were signs for Elk, Deer and some other horned animal (antelope?) but we only saw small shrubs and mountains in the distance. The wind was much less about 50 miles south of Twin Falls. We made our way to Ely and there really wasn’t much to stop and take a picture of, but I got a few shots of use at a rest stop :).

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Wait…did I mention today is Barry’s Birthday?! Yep, he is the big 31! (ok, not quite add about 40 years to that). I am so proud to be riding with my dad, he is so bad ass! So despite all the crappy weather and cold, I was still happy to be riding with my dad on his Bday. In August of last year we were riding together from Anchorage to Milwaukee. It is so cool to get to spend time with my dad and make memories on the road like this. There really isn’t anything else like it. I remember as a kid going on motorcycle trips with my dad in Arizona and New Mexico, now we are riding across the country together. By the time we made it to Ely, we were both pretty cold and tired. After we relaxed for a little while we walked to the hotel next door to get some dinner. We ate in a place called “Evahs” and was on the second floor of the smoked filled casino that was the lobby of the hotel, only in Nevada. The food was good and Barry was able to get his favorite, mac and cheese! Despite the weather it was a good day. Tomorrow is supposed to be cold in the morning, so we are going to wait till around 10am to head out.

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Dia’s Journey Spokane to Mesa – Day 1 Spokane to Ontario

Today I had lunch in Moscow and dinner in Ontario. I am such a world traveler…well it was Moscow, ID and Ontario, OR but still exciting none the less. Barry and I flew from Anchorage to Spokane on Sunday, arriving around 11pm. We got settled in at the hotel and tried to get some sleep for the first day of riding.

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Lonewolf HD took great care of my bike, they have had it stored for me since my ride last Spring from Tucson to Spokane. Barry got his new Road Glide Special at House of Harley-Davidson and had it tricked out with a stage 4. He managed in all his “retirement time” to put about 600 miles on it to break it in before he had it shipped south. The bikes were ready to go, but we didn’t do a very good job with arranging for a pick up while they were closed. Thankfully, all the Ernst family are super gracious so after a few texts and phone calls from me to the son’s, Chris and Bill Ernst, their dad Greg showed up to let us in to get our bikes. I am so thankful we were able to get our bikes out even though they were closed! Greg even let my dad get some gas and a couple of bungee cords. They are genuinely good people and I am so glad I got to meet them through out HD dealer group…aka 20 club.

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Waiting to get the bikes out of Lone Wolf HD

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Thanks Greg, Beth, Bill and Chris for taking care of our bikes!

From Lone Wolf HD we headed toward Lewiston, ID. This was all a bit of deja vu from my last trip since it was the same route I had taken on the way up. There were a lot of differences however, like fields that were once green and full of crops, tan and cleared as well as trees turning yellow, orange and red from fall. We are really lucky, even though it is fall, it is still pretty warm with temperatures from 60 to 70 during the day and some great riding.

With out late start and not having much options for dinner (actually no options) and breakfast (gross hotel food) I was starving by noon. We stopped in Moscow, ID to grab some food. I found an area that looked like Main Street. It was a college town and although I saw a restaurant right up my alley (fresh veggies and good ingredients) Barry opted for the Casa del (Something) Mexican restaurant. The chips and salsa was ok…but the fajita salad I received was terrifying. It was enormous and not very yummy. I ate a few bites and already felt my stomach disagreeing so I stopped.

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Scary lunch

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The scenery was diverse and it still surprises me how there can be pine trees and woods one minute them miles and miles of fields with rolling hills. The air changes temperature with the changing elevations and with water etc. From just outside of Spokane we got on 95 and headed south. This is the same route I took until we got to the split with 55 where I had come from Utah. We continued on 95 this time which took us into Oregon. We stopped at a little gas station tonight at about 4:30pm. I was feeling pretty tired and was hopeful Barry would let me convince him to change routes to 55 and stay in McCall. It was a super cute town and only about 10 miles from the intersection with 95 and 55. I had to go inside and get some coffee to wake up, and when I came out we selected a hotel that was supposed to be 73 miles…more like 93 miles or more! Oh well, we made it and had a “special” dinner at Denny’s. Another road meal I could live without! At least they had those mini bottles of wine…

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Barry trying to figure out his iPhone

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Thank god for small bottles of cheap wine

Well tomorrow we are heading into Nevada and this will all be different scenery and a long trip so I will have to make sure I wake Barry up extra early so we can hit the road!

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Safe for the night…I hear there might be rain tomorrow

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Survey of U.S. Dads Reveals: 32 Percent Forgotten on Father’s Day; 53 Percent Would Return Gifts; and one Even Received a Santa Necktie

MILWAUKEE (May 29, 2014) – While Father’s Day is meant to celebrate fatherhood and family, new data shows most American dads aren’t feeling the love. This year, Harley-Davidson rides to the rescue with a list of fresh ideas for unique Father’s Day gifts to let dad know how cool we think he really is.

A few lucky dads will also win upgraded gifts in exchange for sharing photos of past year’s flubs on Twitter or Instagram and tagging the post with #HDGiftSwap.

The survey, commissioned by Harley-Davidson, interviewed more than 1,200 American dads about their Father’s Day gifts and experiences. The findings are clear that not all dads get their due on their day — following are a few of their confessions:

  • Sadly: Nearly a third of American dads (32 percent) confess they’ve had family members who have completely forgotten about them on Father’s Day.
  • My Family Missed the Mark: More than half (57 percent of fathers) confessed to receiving a Father’s Day gift they did not like.
  •  “Take it Back:” More than half of dads surveyed (53 percent) said they’d received gifts they wanted to return. Perhaps that’s because more than half of the dads also confirmed they’ve received the same type of Father’s Day gift more than once.
  • Not All Gifts Are Created Equal: When asked about the worst gift they’d ever received, dads were pretty candid, sharing the following gifting gaffes:
    • “A painted rock.”
    • “A tie with Santa Clauses on it!”
    • “A coffee mug – for the 4th year in a row.”
    • And, perhaps with mixed emotions: “My 45 year old unemployed daughter moving in.”

“We love our dads, but oftentimes we hit a roadblock when it comes to ideas for Father’s Day gifts,” said Karen Davidson, Creative Director, General Merchandise, Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “That’s why we’re amping up Father’s Day with some great gift ideas so families can get out of the dad’s day gifting rut and give him what he really wants.”

#HDGiftSwap = Gift Upgrade

Through June 15 (Father’s Day), the Harley® Gift Swap invites dads to share on Instagram or Twitter the strangest, goofiest or worst Father’s Day gifts they’ve ever received. When they tag it #HDGiftSwap, Harley-Davidson will surprise a select few dads with free gear.

Stumped? Check out the Great Father’s Day Gifts at the House of Harley-Davidson! 

Harley-Davidson has the ultimate in cool Father’s Day gifts – from classic vintage tees and glassware to motorcycle accessories.

fathers

About Harley-Davidson Motor Company

Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson® motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson’s website at www.H-D.com.

About the Harley-Davidson Father’s Day Survey

The Harley-Davidson Father’s Day Survey was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, a leading global insights firm, May 8 to May 15, 2014, among 1,242 adult American men who are fathers, using an email invitation and an online survey.

 

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Dia’s Journey from Tucson to Spokane- Day 6

It is a good thing I am blogging all of this, because when folks were asking me where I stayed and what routes I took I couldn’t tell them! I am a bit more visual and would need a map to retrace my route! This morning was nice and relaxing. I slept in till 7 then decided I would stay in bed until 8, since I was only 40 minutes away from my final destination. I knew I would go stir crazy or start working if I got to Spokane too early so I took my time getting ready and loading up the bike. I used my trusty “urban spoon” ap to find a local coffee shop called Grumpy Monkey to have a cup of coffee before I hit the road. I ended up getting my order taken by the young woman who owned the place and it was awesome sharing with her about my ride and journey. She was excited to hear I found out about her place on urban spoon and told me the name came from her daughters nickname. I sat out in the sun while I drank my coffee then I headed out. I decided I was going to ride to Bonners Ferry which is north or CDA and near the border of Canada. So basically I was able to ride from the base of Idaho to the very top.

Coffee on my leisure day!

Coffee on my leisure day!

Ok, this was from day 5 but after I wrote my blog. Must the art have a butt hole?

Ok, this was from day 5 but after I wrote my blog. Must the art have a butt hole?

The ride to Bonners was lovely, through the hills and forests.

Heading into the woods on the way to Bonners Ferry

Heading into the woods on the way to Bonners Ferry

When I got there I saw a sign for a local brewery which I figured would be a good spot to stop. The Brewery was on the north side of the old downtown area and had an awesome patio on the back so I got to sit outside. Since I was at a brewery I figured I should try a brew, they had a huckleberry wheat which was pretty phenomenal.

Huckleberry wheat brew

Huckleberry wheat brew

I even ended up buying a cool hoodie sweater with their logo on it in a fabulous teal color! The waitress was cool and got to hear all about my journey…what can I say I am lonely with all this solo riding and love sharing my story because it is exciting!

Downtown Bonners Ferry

Downtown Bonners Ferry

Looks like rain coming back to the road!

Looks like rain coming back to the road!

From here I had to backtrack down to Sandy Point which is a nice resort town and then I took 2 to 41 which was basically a back country route that had a lot of logging trucks on it. It was very forested and was like riding through a pine air freshener.

To the left is Canada smile

To the left is Canada :)

More beautiful scenery

More beautiful scenery

Leaving sandy point

Leaving sandy point

The whole ride was relaxing because I had all the time in the world and was enjoying the journey. I made it to Lone Wolf Harley-Davidson and was immediately greeted by my friend Beth. Her and Greg own and operate this amazing dealership.

My final landing place

She took me on a tour of the facility and all I can say is OMG FREAKING AMAZING! They have so much space and the dealership is beautiful and well kept. They literally have 20 to 40 of every model of motorcycle and most of them are in rows upon rows in their enormous storage space. I am still in awe. Her personal tour was not rushed and was just like Beth, thoughtful and pleasant. She is a fabulous woman, and I can see why all of her staff love her. Greg is probably more like me, a little more numbers focused and focused on “work” although I can see that they are equally important and their opposite strengths are what make their dealership so amazing. After my tour and catching up with Bill, their son and meeting most of the crew including their pit bull who lives upstairs and gets to look down on the action, I decided to head to the hotel to unload all my stuff.

I made my way back to the hotel, it was crazy hot outside and my plan to stay off the freeway was a bad one, as I melted through the stop and go traffic. I got back to the hotel, unloaded my bike, reapplied deodorant and then headed back to the dealership. Beth was throwing us a little party, so I knew there would be some good food (as I was now starving since I hadn’t eaten since my early lunch at 11:30 in Bonners Ferry.) Of course, I got completely lost on my way back to the dealership, but unlike the Dia of a week ago, I enjoyed the multiple detours and stayed calm. I knew I would eventually get there and was enjoying trying to even out my tan…which is complete biker with the sunglasses area all white and the chin strap and forehead all white. Basically I look like…well, a biker I guess.

The party was fabulous with lots of finger foods and drinks. It was so enjoyable talking to all of the Lone Wolf staff and reconnecting with my 20 club group. (Our 20 club is a group of HD dealers that share 100% of our financial data and we are all their to help each other become better. We are not dealers in the same area as each other, so we are not competitive, but I have learned so much from this group.) When I got to the dealership tonight I rode into the service department, they have an automatic door that opens when you pull up! I checked in my bike for a 10K and asked them to give her a good wash…I had quite the collection of bugs from Tucson to here! They are going to store my bike for me until I can find another excuse to come down and ride it back south…speaking of which I have meetings in Las Vegas in October…I smell another road trip!

In my final thoughts on this journey, I wanted to conclude with some of the things I learned. I am really proud of myself for taking this step to ride long distance solo. I am not one of those “girl power” type of people but I honestly feel more self-confident after this journey. I can not explain how cool it felt when I was telling other gals about my journey and to see them light up and see the inspiration and how they shared my excitement. It isn’t for everyone, but it definitely was the most empowering thing I have ever done. I compared it to my experience drag racing, because that too was stepping out of my comfort zone. I tend to be a control freak; I can get so caught up in making sure everything is perfect or close to it. This trip was eye opening, sometimes you really should just not plan and let life lead you where it will. I started every day with a prayer for my safety and a good journey. I felt so protected on this trip and I really never was scared. I feel like I have a greater appreciation for our country, for my career and a deeper connection with this brand that is truly my whole life. To be completely honest, before this trip I was having a pretty tough go of things at work and was feeling a little depressed. This trip has really inspired me and given me the opportunity to reflect on the choices I have made and the future I will have in the business. I am happy to say that I have all the answers…

Just KIDDING! But I am much more focused and I really did need this trip to reflect and reconnect. This brand is more than just that, it is a life. HARLEY FUCKING DAVIDSON!

(Sorry for swearing mom, but it gets the point across!)

Until the next adventure…

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Dia’s Journey from Tucson to Spokane- Day 5 Boise to Lewiston…no make that Coeur d’ Alene

As my routine has become I was up and on the road by 7am. Today my whole route was off the freeway which i was greatly anticipating. My plan was to only go to Lewiston, which would be about 270 miles, an easy day. I put on a lot of layers when I left, the air was cool and I figured it would be a cold morning. I completely underestimated the chill the air would have going through the mountains on the Payette Scenic Byway. The first 40 miles I was freezing. When I couldn’t feel my fingers anymore I pulled into a little cafe on the side of the road. The ride in was beautiful. It was hills and mountains with a fast moving river winding along the side of the road. The sun was still pretty low in the sky and the mountains and trees kept a lot of the road in the shade. When I pulled off my gloves my fingers were completely white. I put my gloves on the top of my primary to heat them. I went inside and drank two cups of hot tea waiting for my hands to gain some color.

Miserably cold but thankful for the mom and pop and their tea!

Miserably cold but thankful for the mom and pop and their tea!

The couple that ran the place were an older couple and there was old black and white pictures up of them when they presumably bought the place. The man shared with me about his drive up the AlCan years ago and about how he was moving a bunch of stuff up to AK and all was upended in the trailer from the rough roads. I told him it was still like that in the Yukon. After I was finished with my tea I went back out to my bike to add some layers. I ended up tying a bandana around my neck backwards so the thicker part would cover the back of my neck and then put my leather bandana up to my nose. At this point I was really wishing I would have brought my chaps and heated gear. Since I was riding from Tucson, I pretty much packed summer gear. Half helmet, jacket, gloves and I am glad I brought my leather bandana and bought that fleece headband!

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I was still cold when I entered Cascade, and I saw a sign for a scenic view/park so I took the turn and headed down the road. It was supposed to only be 6 miles back…when I got to the end of the road there was a round a bout that took you up to a really cool resort that was hidden in the mountain. Although it was a pretty ride, the wildlife viewing area that it promised was non-existent. I didn’t mind the slower paced ride for a little bit to “warm up.” When I got back to the main road I pulled in the gas station at the intersection to get some coffee. Put my gloves back on the primary and drank my coffee and called Jon. If you have never used your primary as a glove warmer, it is amazing. It was like putting heated gloves on! I headed back on the road, and at this point my two delays had helped me get some warmer weather as the sun was higher now.

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McCall was a really cool town to ride through. I wish I would have stopped to walk around a bit, it seemed like a little mountain village with a bit of tourist action, maybe like something you would find in Colorado. After McCall the road went into some meadow space that was like a scene from Little House on the Prairie. After the meadows it was back in the mountains. This really was a pretty ride. I would recommend making the trip, enough twisties to make it fun but not too technical that you are tense the whole time. From here on out it was pretty much all vast open spaces and rolling hills. It was pretty amazing how many farms there are and so many different colors. I was getting warmer now, as the sun was up and it was actually starting to get hot! When I was going through Grangeville, it was fields of different crops as far as you could see with distant hills and mountains surrounding this flat valley area. I was taking my time since I had such a short ride, so when I saw a sign that said something about mammoths and historic site I made the turn. The road took me straight across the valley almost to the other side then it dead ended with another road that was dirt. At this intersection there was no sign for a historic point in either direction. So I turned around, this was the last time an Idaho historic marker would lie to me! If I couldn’t see it from the road I wasn’t going looking!

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When I got to Lewiston, there wasn’t much going on. I saw the HD shop in town, but they are closed on Sunday so I kept following the road toward what appeared to be downtown. As I desperately searched the buildings there was no sign of life. I finally found a restaurant that was open so I parked across the street and started pealing off layers. At this point it is HOT! The restaurant was a little more “upscale” but at least I figured the food would be good as long as they let me in. The waitress was nice, and I told her the open sign was still off she was thankful for the reminder. They were still serving brunch, since I had gained an hour heading north and it was only noon. I had an awesome huevos rancheros that was totally worth every penny! When I was finished I chatted with the waitress about my ride so far. I asked her about Lewiston, and she said there wasn’t much going on there. I was trying to figure out where I was going to stay for the night. It was too early to stop for the day. I asked her about Coeur d’ Alene and she said it would be worth the ride and would have a lot more action tonight. So, I headed out with just my tank on so I could get some sun on my arms. Within about 50 miles the coat was going back on, it is like Alaska, when you are sitting in the sun it feels warm but the air is still cool.

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Coming into Coeur d’ Alene (CDA from now on) was really pretty. You climb through some hills and forrest which then opens to a huge lake. The town is right on the water. When I was a few miles out the truck in front of me braked and switched lanes, and I saw what looked like a dog on the side of the road. I slowed to almost a stop so I wouldn’t hit it if it ran out in front of me. I got within a foot of it and honked my horn trying to scare it off the road. It just stared at me and as I started to roll again it chased after me! I hope it didn’t get hit, it was really a pretty animal.

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Once in CDA, I went to the Best Western (for the HOG discount) and apparently they were closed for renovations! Luckily I saw a LaQuinta on the way there so I whipped around and headed there. The place was all newly remodeled and the gal at the front desk told me when I was ready I should go to Sherman St. So I showered and called a cab. I am currently walking down Sherman stopping at bars/restaurants along the way to get a drink and chat with the locals. A pretty cool spot. I am currently in a bar called Moose Lounge, with a slightly distracted bar tender named Steve.

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For your info, there are no moose in Idaho, but they still have a bar named after them. They even have one from AK mounted in the bar. It is an AK moose, I can tell by the size. From here I will find some food and then back to the hotel. Tomorrow I only have to make it to Spokane which is like 45 minutes away. I am not really sure what I am going to do without 400+ miles to do!

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Dia’s Journey from Tucson to Spokane- Day 4 Richfield, UT to Boise, ID

Chicago, you have been misinformed. The real Windy City is Boise, Idaho! More on that when I get to the end of my day…as usual I was up by 6 and ready to go by 6:45. I ate some of the free breakfast at the hotel and chatted with the folks I saw the night before that were riding a Goldwing. It is true, you meet the nicest people on a Honda. They were heading back from Mt Rushmore to California. We shared some road stories and even gassed up our bikes together then they went South and I went North. Despite my best efforts today was going to be a Freeway Day. There really are not very many options heading in the direction I was going. I started out on a road that paralleled the freeway slightly east. Eventually the road intersected with 15 so that was my fate…

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Prior to the freeway there were some hills, or maybe you would call them old mountains. There were also a lot of farms and a lot of cows, including some disgusting feedlots (this is why I don’t eat cow check out King Corn the movie). Once I was on 15 I made some crazy good time. Basically since I left, my throttle has been sticking and has slowly been getting worse. Because I was aware of it, I made sure I didn’t get it stuck in an acceleration position I didn’t want. It was almost like cruise control. I literally could stick my throttle in position and take my hand off. There was a few times where I thought I had set the cruise but actually my throttle was just stuck. Since I haven’t made it to a lot of dealerships on this trip I decided to stop at one south of Salt Lake.

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Timpindale Harley-Davidson was one of the coolest buildings I have ever seen! When I pulled up at 8:42am they weren’t open and I assumed they may not open until 10 but I thought I would risk it for a break from the freeway. The sign said they were opening at 9am and there was already signs of life. Two girls came out and were hanging up a banner and they both were friendly and said hello. I started chatting with one of the girls and they were having a charity ride to Murray. I was tempted to join, until they told me the ride wasn’t leaving until around 11. Unfortunately I couldn’t detour that much today, as I was intending to make some distance. The gal I was talking to, Brittany, is coming up to Alaska for her honeymoon in 3 weeks! I gave her my card and told her to stop by the shop or email me for some tips.

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Inside the shop was just as unique as the outside. Apparently, they used all of the materials from an old steel factory to build the building.

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So everything was recycled and really cool looking. They had a small spiral staircase that was all welded out of metal that went up to the offices, I asked the gal if I could check it out and she told me that there were some cool antique bikes up there.

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Not only were they cool, it was quite a collection!

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I think they should have put them in a more visible location, but I am glad I went up to check it out. The service department was swamped so I gave up the idea of having them look at my grip. The service department was all in one room so the techs were working in the same room as the check in counter. I imagine that would be a little distracting but it was still kinda cool.

I figured on my way out before I got back on the freeway I would get some gas, while I was there one of the techs pulled up on a Triglide he was test riding. I asked him about my grip, but he said I would have to take the housing apart to find out what was going on in there, it was nice that he took the time to look.

From here I was back on the freeway, going through Salt Lake and beyond. I tried to get off the freeway and take a back road, but that was an epic fail. I stopped at a gas station to put some drops in my eyes and remove a layer. When I was pulling out of the gas station, I almost didn’t turn sharp enough and had to put my foot down as I over corrected my turn…total amateur move! Of course this was in front of some other guy on his Harley. Then as I shifted gears I felt stuff sliding out of my bag in between my back and the bag! I forgot to zip it! Luckily only my map book fell out and I was able to stop and run back to pick it up. I am not sure why I was having a clutz morning but I was. So from here I realized it was endless traffic stops through the downtown part of this town so I turned and got back on the freeway.

Here are my observations….

85 is fast on a Harley in sustained speed for hours at a time…I wish I hadn’t forgot my ipod…how many cows can a country eat?…apparently mutton is the new menu item, there sure are a lot of sheep…there are a lot of signs for national parks or other interesting things but all I can see is fields and farms…hot cold hot cold…why are there so many talk radio stations and no good music…

Basically there were hours of me riding on the freeway ready to drive off the side of a bridge. However, I as a hero at one point. Here I am cruising along and at this point the freeway is only two lanes. In the slow lane is a semi. In the fast lane is a semi with a white van behind it. Surely the semi in the fast lane is going to pass the one in the slow lane? After about 10 minutes of the van tailgating the semi I got in the slow line so I could get in the line of sight for the semi that wouldn’t move. I started flashing my light at him until I saw him look at me in his side mirror. He literally has us boxed in with his front end lined up with the other trucks tail end. When he looked at me I used my left hand to dramatically signal and point him to the slow lane while I mouthed “MOVE OVER!” Eventually he figured out what I was saying so I swooped back in behind him and led the way for all the trapped cars to get past them. One lady drove by me and gave me a thumbs up. I felt pretty accomplished at that point.

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I tried to take a side road again and made it to Twin Falls where there was another HD dealer. I think it was called Snake Creek HD. On the way here I found a cool little sandwich place that hit the spot. When I made it to the HD dealer I was fed, but really cold as the temperature had dropped a bit. Their service department was great, Josh checked me in and told me he would get to it as soon as he could.

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I wandered into the store (which is separate from service) and figured I would find a head wrap that would cover my ears because it was cold again. I chatted with the girl that worked there for a bit and bought a fleece ear warmer.

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Josh came over and told me he was able to fix the grip himself and there was no need for a service RO. He informed me the housing was too far to the left which caused the grip to stick. It worked like a charm! While I was getting ready to take off I had decided I would take the faster route and go to Boise rather than taking a really scenic route that went north east then back down into Boise in a big loop. I am sure it would have been pretty but it was pretty cool and I had already done 400 miles. So I tried to take a scenic non freeway route again that wrapped its way toward Boise. When I put in the hotel I had picked in the GPS it said it was 160 miles away. I was really confused because the signs said Boise was 100 miles away. So I started out then realized there was no sort of “direct” side route and it had me turning onto different country roads left and right. So again I opted for the freeway. Almost immediately it got really hot again. I could feel my already burnt nose burning more, but was determined to continue. I finally pulled off to put on some sun screen. Just in time for some cloud cover.

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Now for the big finale, when I was approaching Boise the land got really flat. Then when the signs were showing Boise about 20 miles away I noticed a haze across the whole plain that looked like fog. However, it was not fog it was dust from the INSANE winds that whipped up out of nowhere! So here I am going 80 and there are winds that feel like they are 100mph coming from all directions but a lot from the front. So my helmet was getting pulled back while my new ear warmer was sliding down and pushing my sunglasses down. I just couldn’t win. Meanwhile there were giant tumbleweeds blowing across the road. So I slowed down to about 70 and was dodging and weaving around these crazy bushes. I got nailed by one, which got stuck between my leg and the motor and another part of it got stuck in my seat. At this point I was cursing Boise and questioning why anyone would live here. When I pulled up to the hotel I was a complete mess. My face felt dry and raw and my eyes were wind blown, my hair was all over the place and I was exhausted. I made it 520 miles and was ready for a hot meal. After I got my room paid for I asked about nearby restaurants, preferably one that I could walk to so I could have some wine. I didn’t see any when I pulled in and as my luck would have it, there was only fast food at this exit. DAMMIT! While I was calling Jon and bitching to him about the end of my day and wanting a hot meal I had the brilliant idea to call a cab! So, I threw my jeans that were not only coated in bugs, tar and other road debris but were also fashioned with a large selection of splinters from the tumbleweed. I got a cab and headed to a place called the The Tavern at Brown Crossing. It was in a trendy little section of town tucked behind some neighborhoods. It was a cool spot, the food was all a little “buttery” and heavy but a good meal after a long day.

I ready for a freeway free day tomorrow! I am hoping to make it to Lewiston. Happy Trails, also I apparently left just in time to miss the crazy crappy weather we are having back home. :P

PS if you get a chance pull out a map and check out the ride it really puts it in perspective when you see the whole U.S.!

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