DAY. 37. JACKSON TO HAILEY. 430km
First off today was a lovely blast thru the rural roads of Idaho flanked by fields of wheat of an almost impossibly golden colour. As we headed West the temperature started climbing and climbing and climbing and by the time we got to Idaho Falls for lunch it was reading 35 deg C on the temperature gauge. We were now getting into seriously hot country. It is hard to reconcile these temperatures with the fact that the roads have high snow poles on each sides and numerous chaining up pullovers. It is a land of temperature extremes .
A land of wheat and corn and plenty-
And plenty of patriotism
The afternoon however was the real wake up call. We found ourselves on a 120 km virtually straight road with temperatures climbing to almost 38deg C The road just shimmered into the distance
Slightly sobering was the fact that we were passing thru a huge Nuclear test area where they build experimental feeder reactors and test them. I just hoped they were not having a bad day
We finished off the day by passing thru the Craters of the Moon National park. This is an area of black volcanic rock with very little vegetation. It was the site of a fairly recent volcanic explosion. I just hoped those nuclear folks down the road did not get ideas
Three very hot and weary travelers arrived in the town of at the start of the Sun Valley. We expected a drab rural town. In fact it was a delightful town and we had a meal in a restaurant that night that could only be described as superb.
In Hailey there were yellow ribbons tied to all the trees as one of the local lads had been captured in Afghanistan several years ago and had not been released. It was kind of nice to see and left a nice taste in ones mouth
DAY 38. HAILEY TO BOISE 320km
It was thru the Sun Valley today and then thru some national forests to Boise. Somewhere to the north of us big forest fires were raging. The smoke got progressively thicker and thicker and visibility got down to only several 100 metres at times
Then we broke thru the smoke as we went over a high mountain pass and into Boise we rode.
A smokey sunset in Boise.
We got a motel near the airport where we thought " Boise might be noisy" but fortunately that was not the case .
DAY 39. BOISE TO ELKO 437 km
A change of strategy today. To minimize the heat we decided on an early start to beat the heat so at 7am we rode off into the dawn. It was a wise decision the first hour was lovely and cool as we rode thru the rural town of Melba which proclaims itself proudly as the seed capital of America. It is also named after our new daughter in law Melba so we had to take some photos to send on
Then as we headed south to the Nevada border it got dryer and hotter and we were in big cattle ranch country that looked distinctly marginal except in the odd area where there was irrigation. However the countryside was fascinating to behold and in spite of the heat it was a good day.
Actually I think we are getting used to the heat now and getting better at adjusting the riding clothes to minimize the heat build up. It is still a dry heat so as soon as you get in the shade It is reasonably comfortable
A characteristic of this country at this time of the year is afternoon thunderstorms. We did see some in the distance but seemed to nicely miss them
A considerate touch!
Elko is in Nevada so there is the tacky strip of casino hotels. However you have to keep it in perspective as it does keep hotel rooms and meals nice and cheap with the cross subsidies
DAY 40. ELKO TO SALT LAKE CITY 370 km
After 40 days Moses came out of the desert and I thought of that as we rode out of the desert into Salt Lake City. However unlike Moses the tablets I was carrying were very small and were only of the pharmaceutical kind! No comparison really in terms of the effect on the world!
The big highlight of the day was visiting the Bonneville Salt flats. What a blast! By good luck rather than good management this week is speed week and as a result there were hundreds if not thousands of vehicles of all shapes and sizes getting prepped for the speed trials .
To get to the salt flats speed trial area you ride out on the salt flats for about 4 kms to where the tents and prep area are. That was an experience in itself riding the bike on the dead flat salt surface. It was easy to ride on but there were patches of loose salt just like patches of loose sand. One kept one's speed down so as to keep the salt getting into the bikes sensitive little nooks and crannies .
The worlds slowest BMW !
It was just a great feeling being there. Everyone was having fun and everyone was friendly and everyone was obviously loving playing round with and showing off their machines. One just got caught up in the lovely and enthusiastic atmosphere
That is telling you
Talking of rear ends
Checking the technical specifications
And the Kiwis were there with their two cars and we had a good chat to them. It was great to see the spirit of Burt Munroe being carried on.
Spot the difference!
We were very happy travelers yet again in spite of the long hard drag riding from Bonneville to Salt Lake City down the Interstate highway .
DAY 41 REST DAY IN SALT LAKE CITY
I have always wanted to come to Salt Lake City. We were not disappointed. It is very interesting to see the history of the city and to see how the Morman city and State of Utah runs itself and distinguishes itself from the rest of America
Capitol hill. - Utah style
If there is one characteristic of the city it is the friendliness and gentleness of everybody. This is part of the Mormon ethos but it seems to permeate right thru the city and it is all rather nice and pleasant. One cannot help but contrast it with being in a taxi queue in New York city where I once almost saw faces being scratched!
And a city of flowers and plenty of water
Tomorrow it is " Colorado here we come". From Colorado we track East again and in two weeks time we will be in the The Tinseltown of Los Angeles ". In the meantime there is another 7 National Parks to pass thru. So much work to do. Sigh!
There was a visual
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