Western US 2015: day 8

“In the direction of home” edited to “heading home”.

So we looked at the weather at home next week. Not good. The thought of ending a great ride in the rain was pretty disheartening.  It never fails, as soon as we’re headed toward the barn the whole thing  goes to hell in the hand basket. Even on the Cross Canada Tour where we were on the road for 3 1/2 months, as soon as we pointed the front wheel west our thoughts were of home. Last night we had planned to head up the west side of Idaho to extend things a bit but by the morning we thought, “To hell with it. Let’s make it a straight shot”.

We headed straight north on Nevada 225 and Idaho 51 as originally planned but the rather than continuing north we hit I-84 at Mountain Home and blasted to Ontario, OR.

Along the way we again found ourselves perhaps in a fuel crunch situation (the down side of some back roads). Thankfully in Owyhee, NV we found fuel with lots to spare. A couple of things made that stop interesting. First, we sped through a 15 mph school zone and the heat nailed us. Fifteen mph? Who has a 15 mph speed zone!? We were close but I was looking for a gas station and not the signs. Honest, officer. Anyway, he was a decent sort and when he noticed my old FD ID showing I was a Battalion Chief, he extended a “professional courtesy” and just gave us a warning. Before you non-emergency folks cry “foul!!!”, that only makes up for the time that one of our Queen’s cowboys slammed me with everything he could think of because I “flashed my badge” (he noticed it in my wallet [in my lap] when I dug out my licence). Anyway, the mood changed and it turned out our NHP dude is a biker, obviously rides a Harley, so he was all friendly and full of information after that. Ride on, Brother!!! 🙂

Right after that, when we were at the gas station he told us to go to, Arlene suddenly had a deafening rattle somewhere on her bike. Muffler, right side for sure. A little process of elimination determined that it was a broken hose clamp securing a heat shield. By golly if the service station wasn’t attached to a hardware store (and a deli). We bought and installed a new clamp, had a meatball sub and were on our way. Gotta love Owyhee, NV.

The ride was pretty standard fare although they were laying a new gas line along the way so got to see the process from virgin ground to all buttoned up and every step in between. I know. I’m a nerd.

The best part of the whole ride was that we got to ride through rush hour in Boise, Idaho. That was really neat. The down side of not really giving a rat’s ass about time, dates and time zones is that you find yourself in rush hour when you think you’re not going to be in rush hour. 🙁

We hit the motel on Ontario, OR and immediately soothed our souls with happy hour – super sized!

Now that we’re doing the Interstate thing it looks like Yakima, WA tomorrow via I-84. Yet another town we know backwards and forwards.

When it’s over, it’s over. That doesn’t mean we won’t enjoy the ride from here to home. A day on the bike is still a day of independence and discovery.

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