On Day 8 I knew that I needed to do my laundry as I really only packed for a few days and
have been doing hotel sink wash-loads pretty frequently. Luckily the hotel I had chosen in Jackson
(the Lexington) had laundry facilities and if I was up early enough I could get
all of my belongings done and be out by 10.
The waiting time also gave me the opportunity to catch up on
the Day 7 Journal entry and call around to a few Harley Shops to have my oil
and plugs changed. I was bumping up
against 3,000 miles since my last oil change (the day before the trip began)
and it’s better to be safe rather than sorry when on such a trip.
I found a shop in Pocatello ID which was only a 150 mile
ride through the mountains. It took a
little convincing for them to take my bike in as they had a number of major
issues to which they needed attend but eventually they agreed and said to come
by whenever as long as I didn’t mind waiting.
This ride was both functional and scenic as I again ascended from 7,000
FT to 9,500 FT on the bypass to the long, hot and straight road that would
ultimately lead me to the shop.
The ride to the shop was hot – 100 degrees on the flat with
a cross wind. This was not enjoyable
riding and I was a little dehydrated from the Australian Drinking Olympics the
evening prior. Water, Gatorade,
repeat. Nothing was a match for the
When I eventually arrived at HD the manager, Jason said that
he only had one technician in and that they had a major job on their lift. As it turned out, that major job was a couple
from Temecula, CA on a 2002 Fat Boy who originally came in for leaking break
fluid and ultimately needed their forks changed. This is a major issue as if their forks gave
out, the front end could’ve collapsed and they would’ve launched over the
bars. The shop was good enough to find
them a hotel and vow to stay as late as necessary to fix the problem, despite
the fact that it was a Saturday and they were closed Sunday.
My oil change was uneventful but still kept me there for a
few hours longer than the normal procedure.
I was back on the bike and headed 230 miles to Boise
Idaho. I never thought I’d say or write
those words but it is the only somewhat major city between Jackson and Portland.
On the way to Boise I had to pull over a few times more than
I normally would. The altitude changes
were having severe impacts as was the sun.
At one point I soaked my bandana and flannel to stay a few degrees cooler. It worked.
During that stop I added music and earphones to my ride – something I
don’t always do but this time I needed something to keep me entertained and
quite frankly, awake.
When the road exhaustion started to creep back, I found
myself belting out lyrics to whichever band was current on my ipod. Embarrassing but effective.
The ride to Boise started to smooth out and the sunset was
brilliant. I consider myself incredibly
lucky as I’ve now seen sunsets for an entire week – this is the benefit of riding
West every single moment of every single day.
As I crossed some of the game sanctuaries in Idaho I saw a
number of cows, some deer and coyotes.
Sadly I did see a Coyote lying dead on the road side. I understand that they are dangerous animals and
threaten small pets and even infants, but seeing what looks like a dog on the side of the road definitely
strikes a nerve.
8:50: Arrived at my hotel in Boise.
After checking in it was time to see the town. I did a few circles around Main Street and
the other busy streets nearby and was pleasantly surprised with the activity. Boise is a hopping town and the people were
The bartender recommended I have a penne dish with
sausages. As I have been doing the
entire trip I took the bartender’s recommendation even though I wasn’t in the
mood for pasta. As it turns out, this
was one of the best meals I’ve had on this trip.
Engaging in small talk with the bartender led me to my next
destination. She suggested Walla Walla
as a beautiful landscape with a few incredible vineyards. As I sat at the bar I immediately pulled up
Kayak and planned the next day’s short 250 mile ride. It’s unbelievable that 250 miles seems short
now, especially considering Boston to NYC is 225 miles and always felt like a
long haul. Perspective.