July 6th 10:00 A:M : Check out time at the "Flaming Gorge" motel, the owner I will call him "Mr. Patel", although I don't know his name. Came out of his office to see me off. It was a very solemn occasion, I noticed a small tear as if I was going off to war. We used to talk every day, about India, raising children, the current state of America, and all sorts of things. I will miss him and his gracious wife. The Hindus are the most gentle and wise people as a group, that I know. Remember, the Hindus are the worlds oldest major religion, and that their 6000 year old texts such as the "Upanishads" knew the true age of the Earth. This fact about their religion amazes the heck out of me. I have been a believer in reincarnation since the age of 5 and remember asking my best friend sister "Robin", if she thought it possible for animals and other beings could be reborn after they died, even into different animals or unknown beings. She said it made sense to her. I doubt she remembers this conversation, but it occurred during a long road trip in the back of our Delta 88 Station Wagon.
The wind was only 10 mph, so instead of camping locally, I decided to get back to Logan. This bike should feel very stable at 80 MPH, but there is a big issue with the front suspension, and it needs to be fixed. After 100 miles I made it to the town of "Kemmerer" again, passed the subway I went to last time, because I wanted to see the rest of the town, and I wanted a real breakfast, which involves eggs, hashbrowns, coffee, toast, and bacon. Funny how that is the standard breakfast all over the country, Texas, Utah, New York, New Mexico, that is the standard cheap diner breakfast. I recently reread "Travels with Charley", and Steinbeck made the same observation. But it still rings true "John", thats the mainstay here 50 year after you pointed it out to me. (I would go on and inquire about "Johns' afterlife experience", but I try to stay out of peoples' business.
Wow! Kemmerer is a pretty big city of about 5000 souls, from the highway, you see a bunch of desert prehistoric, buttes, hills, and coyote/roadrunner, looking rock formations. Damn! I had no idea they hid an entire small city in that place. Leaving town you can't see it either.
I drove around Kemmerer and it was another lovely place, in the same lines of Green River. Trout fishing from the city docks, entire place tidy, clean, painted. Lots of well kept up old buildings, mixed with newer ones, none looked bad, no trash, no sleezy people hangin' around with nothing to do. Cops that wave at ya. This is the last stand of the Nice American town. Of course I've seen more, in Utah, Idaho, and other places in the West, but the Wyoming towns I visited this time, had the rest of them beat. Leave it to Beaver country for sure. Yet, there were quite a few liquor stores and bars, which only proves that the Wyomingites can handle their liquor!!!!!
Headed back to Logan but instead of going the same route, I opted to add 100 more miles to my trip, and headed North toward "Jackson Hole" and "Yellow Stone National Park. Since I didn't want to go to those expensive places, I turn right towards Monticello, Soda Springs, and A few other lovely south eastern Idaho places. By the time I hit Monticello, I already had 200 windblown miles under the belt, and my head was windbeaten into a trance by then (yes, the 10 MPH winds, moved up to 20, and the going was getting tiresome. So I stopped at a Mormon "Arctic Circle" restaurant, and although not hungry, still had a dollar burger and a Pepsi float (the Mormons have a buttload of Pepsi stock, so its what most Mormon areas offer instead of the superior "Coke" product. Funny how the word "Coke" means three things. We also went through "Coke Ville" Wyoming, which referred to a type of high grade processed coal. Actually the first meaning of the word "Coke". "Coke" as in the Cola was the third meaning. Take a wild guess, the second one.
From Monticello, Idaho, I spend through the high hills and valleys, all irrigated and green from the neighboring, Watsatch, Caribou, and Teton mountain ranges, which go from Ogden, Utah, up to Jackson Hole and beyond. Since they are all connected, they really should give them all one name. The mountains that pass Logan, Utah's East Side, have trails, where the insane can possibly walk from my future house, up into YellowStone, without leaving the mountains. Hope the big grizzly bears, Wolves, and Buffalo, don't start hiking their way down here. (the wolves have started), But it's nice to know that there are wild places like Yellowstone, but leave all that shit up there where it belongs!!! Its only 200 miles away after all.
Hit the lovely South East Idaho town and the county seat of Caribou County, and did a bit of site-seeing, had to catch some photos, of the "Soda Springs Geyser", which was actually made by when the opportunistic town's people, back in the 30's tryed to drill down into the rocks, and find some geothermal spring source for there swimming pool. But they got a big fuggin' Geyser, only they were smart enough to learn to turn it on and off, and they have it timed for once an hour. Fortunately, I got there while it was spouting! Otherwise, I might not have waited for it. All 5 of us onlookers were in awe at the sight of it.
Since I was only 80 miles from Logan at this point I had to stop for an afternoon beer, in order to counteract the effects of the coffee and Pepsi, earlier in the day. I got to talk to an old bar prophetess and we had a nice chat bantering about the five different routes to Logan, Utah. I told her that I preferred the "flattest" route, since I preferred the flat lands, coming from Texas and all. So she told me the quickest route, was a beautiful way to go, and yes it had some mountains, then weren't cliff hangers or anything, and that the trip was well worth it. Then as she told me about her five husbands, and her old three wheeled trike motorcycle that only goes 50 miles per hour, and how much she prefers "living in Soda" and not Logan, since it is a massive metro area, and it scares her to go there, and so on and so on. I finished my one beer and got the hell out of there. Against my better judgement, I took her advice, which turned out quite good, and turned south, with a nice wind at my back, going from valley to valley, all green and harvesting alfalfa, with the ubiquitous "Bear River" running hither and thither, to my right then my left, which also runs through Logan to guide me. Hilly but not quite mountainous, it was a joy ride, and the views were breathtaking. Easily the loveliest place that looks like Switzerland, except all the big Mormon farm houses, which used to house the various brides of the lone farmer, until the 1890's (wink wink), do not resemble the Swiss mountain villages in the least, but terrain sure does. I hope this part of America will never be discovered. A 50 mile drive that followed the prettiest valleys I've ever seen in all my travels. Too bad there were no places for a tourist to sit and grab a beer. Next time, I'll bring my own, and a lawn chair, and sit at the overlooks and just watch and dream.
After I drove through, what I will call the "Grace Valley" area, which were actually about 4 smaller valleys, with the introductory town called "Grace", the road steeply winded south, into the familiar town of Preston, Idaho, which was 10 miles from the Utah border, and at the beginning of the huge valley where I live known as "Cache Valley" (population 100,000 plus), so I was 30 miles to my lovely city. The road was a wide 4 lane all the way from Preston, and I just cruised on home, sad that my journey wasn't all the way to Texas, but happy to do a 500 + mile trip, which is about as far as I've ever gone by motorcycle. I was 29 the last time I made that distance. Call me what you want but I am proud of my accomplishment, through rough driving windy conditions, on a bike that needs some serious, front end work.
I landed in my favorite hotel "The Holiest Super 8 , with the hot tub now known as "Shiva", and where you will awake in the many arms of "Gonesh", feeling like a new man. Vishnu and Krishna, are permeating this place in spirit and I could continue to exaggerate and pull your legs, but you get the idea how much peace is felt around here.
For breakfast, I had the "Carbon County" make your own giant waffle, that most Super 8's allow you to cook, a genious machine actually. With all the cold cereal, orange juice, danishes, no meat but plenty to eat. I talked the owner into a 45$ per night weekly rate, and plan to stay here for the next 6 days.
After that, I might fly to Dallas, or I might take another motorcycle trip over to Santa Rosa California, in the red wood and wine country. I really want to try out the bike once I fix it tomorrow, but me and the luggage overloaded it by 30 pounds, and I want to really make sure the new front end adjustments, and rear end , will work. I also need either a taller windshield, or simply cut off the one I have so it's not blowing a super fast draft of air up my chin, and i do not want to crouch like a bug to get behind the thing. Riding this bike was not comfortable for me, except for the seat. My butt never hurt, but I think its cause my legs were so bunched up on the high pegs, my butt barely touched the seat. Ok, less about my butt!
I did little today, but find out how to fix the bike, check mail, do fish tank maintenance in my classroom... etc. I did find my student "Keiths" parents famous Chicago Hot Dog stand, near the court house. Keith was telling me about it, and since I love hotdogs more than any other Texan I know, I sought to find the place. I got there 15 minutes late, and Keiths mom promised to give me my hot dogs the next day, if I could make it by one PM. I will be back.
So I went to the local A and W, the only place in town besides convenience stores that sell hot dogs, and pissed the owner off by demanding onions and relish, rather than chili and cheese on my dog. Since the A@W is really a hamburger joint, he really didn't get while I wanted sauerkraut, at least relish and onions. So I got what I got, and he sneers, while I applied Tabasco sauce to his mustard onion monstrosity he served me. The dog was a top quality all beef dog, and the tabasco really helped! They did make some incredible onion rings, and the meal was a good one. Too bad the manager was such a dick. Oh well, I will get the real thing tomorrow, and probably dream about it the rest of the night.
I spent the rest of the evening calling old friends (not frienemies), and drinking a few Gin and Sprites, then heading down to the legendary jacuzzi which I call (Shiva), after the Hindu goddess of the underworld, which will straighten me out in less than ten minutes, which is Shiva's nature after-all.
Then I watched TV and wrote for the past three hours.