Dressed in rain and heated gear, necessary with the altitude and cold mountain rains. I landed onto a huge valley, outskirts of Salt Lake City. I felt like I had landed in a frying pan. Utah is the land of contrast.
Right before I entered Salt Lake City's beautiful Express Lane, I stopped for fuel and removed layers of clothes. I was back in the heat of the desert, this time it was highly populated with traffic, highways and expensive hotels as the GPS revealed. I felt strange in that city, a bit lonesome. My friends were not there, I did not want to stay there. At the fuel station, a few locals suggested I continue riding north and bypass the Bonneville Salt Flats as the darkness was soon to follow, not much lodging in that part of the desert, camping was not an option that evening. I continued onto I-15, loving the HOV lane, it never ended, sweet ride, when I looked to the right, miles and miles, traffic was at a halt. Loved the signs posted that motorcycles are allowed. I have never noticed signs like that in the eastern part of the US, how lovely, they welcome us. I cannot wait to go back to Salt Lake City and visit my friends summer of 2015.
After meeting Ewan McGregor in Utah. I continued riding north through the beautiful Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, fighting the cold rain mountain passes as expressed in my blog post. I was on Highway 6 North in Utah (USA), connected to 89 North, down into the valley onto Interstate 15, Provo. Ears popping during the mountain descent.
It was getting late, around 8pm, in this part of the world, during August, there is abundant sunlight until around 9pm or a little later. I continued riding, I-15 that connects to I-84 Brigham City, then back on I-15 into Idaho. It was getting dark, fuel was low. I was getting concerned, back out of civilization, long stretches of dark highway. I spot a sign for fuel, station was closed. I pull over and ask a couple of construction workers how far to the next fuel stop. This kid loved seeing a woman on a motorcycle, runs over to me and he was like a little guardian angel. He says, "continue riding about another 30 or so minutes, find Exit 13, Malad City, there is a nice little affordable motel there." I found the lovely little town. Wonderful, by now it is after 9:30 pm, still daylight, but no restaurants. Right behind the motel, there was a restaurant, they were closed, the wonderful waitress asked the chef to cook some pasta for me. I loved this town and the hospitality of the people. I love Utah.
Up early, refreshed after a good rest, GPS batteries fully charged, plug in destination, Grand Teton National Park to YellowStone. The GPS took me northeast, highway 30 through Caribou National Forest. OMG, the most beautiful single lane stretches of roads with abundant wild life. Twisty roads, a bikers paradise even though the weather threatened rain. I did not care about the weather, just the pleasure of the roads I was riding. See my slideshow below for a glimpse of some of the roads and scenery.
When I arrived at Grand Teton, I was a bit agitated because the directions I received from Ara Gureghian were so vague. The Park Ranger at the Visitor Center was not very friendly either. The Instagram message said the following, "8 miles before Ennis, on 287 (East of Yellowstone exit) make left on Gravelly Range Rd (green Street Sign), also 249, also Fish Harchery (brown sign). 3 miles, right before bridge make left. We are there. I [...]
Notice the I [...], there was more to the story but my iPhone would not allow me to read it. I read the comment and thought, "geez, how am I going to find 'The Man' and 'The Dog'? His description is super hard to find." I cannot even see the rest of what he is trying to tell me. "What do I do?", I thought. Well, as usual, Missrider decides to hop on her motorcycle and ride. She always figures what to do while riding and asking the locals.
I continue riding northwest as if looking for a needle in a haystack. Feeling the stress, "will I find this man and his dog? Is this ride going to be a failure? so far no Bonneville Salt Flats". I rode through Yellowstone National Park to only find more heavy rain and horrible tourist traffic, oh I hate tourist traffic!!!
Finally out of that nasty weather and those tourist's, argh!!!
I was lost, thank goodness "The Man" figured out how to use Twitter Private Messaging and sent me his phone. I call, he says, "how fast can you ride, it is getting dark and you are around 90 miles away". Oh great, how comforting!!! I set out like a crazy woman, riding long stretches of highway on 249. I could smell and hear the caribou, saying to each other, "we better get out of the way, there is a crazy woman riding from Boston searching for a man and his dog, she will run over us" -- hahahaha!!!
Then suddenly, I see a little light in the distance, looked like a motorcycle. I must have been going 100mph or more, my speedometer was broken and I was going so fast, I could not read my GPS from the vibration of the bike at those speeds. I looked over and there is Ara and Spirit ---- hooorraayyy! My hero's, they came out to get me. It felt like slow motion, as if time stopped when Ara and I crossed paths. I wish I could describe the feeling when I saw them both. That vision of seeing them both on that bike will forever be in my mind. Sometimes during some of my adventures, I wish I could capture the essence via a photo, I can only save those moments in my own memories. My heart stopped beating so fast, I was at peace, I found them. My trip will not be a failure.....
Photos while riding through Caribou National Forest in Idaho, USA and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, USA. By far, one of my favorite areas to ride through, spectacular scenery and winding roads. Truly a motorcycle riders paradise. A must for me in the future...... when?