First days

I have not had internet since leaving Yakima and so I’m only now getting around to posting. I wrote on Word and am now pasting in what has happened. Enjoy!

Three days and each one has been a harder ride than the previous. Starting out a little late on Saturday put us in the position of needing to ride a little longer into the evening than was planned, but we found a great spot by the river and slept under a night of stars and full moon. The plan was to wake early and hit the ground running to make up some of the miles that we had fallen behind on from our first day, but the fact that we had already ridden ‘til after dark and then started first thing in the morning, not mention a lumpy ground for a bed, meant that we had not quite recuperated from the wearing down of the previous days ride. Add a second, even longer full day on top of that and it was a bit of a push.

Idaho camp on the Lochsa river

But we got going and crossed from Idaho in Montana and began heading south. Along the way we passed through two significant ghost towns in the late afternoon and took a glad break for a bit as we explored and took pictures. Nevada City was the first stop, which maintained an old train depot complete with train cars and an engine in the process of being restored. Then about two miles up the road was Virginia City, which is the more touted of the two but seemed less impressive to me.

Finally we pushed on from our extended break to try and make it to the end of the days’ route. We had a cabin 8 miles west of Yellowstone park that was ours if we could get to it, but it was getting dark and the air was getting cold. Anyone who has ridden a motorcycle can confirm that when the air starts getting cold it cuts through you and stabs at the skin like needles.  Which is precisely the way it was starting to feel.

As we motored on the sun was getting lower and the road followed along the winds of the river, which didn’t help to keep us warm.  It was at this time that the nearest severe accident I’ve ever escaped occurred in an instant. We were cruising down the road at about 60/65mph, myself in front and James following about 30 or 40 yards behind. Suddenly a dark figure sprang up from behind the guard rail, clearing it completely, and landed directly in my path with me literally mere feet away. The situation was one similar to a child darting out from a car when you don’t have time to think, the situation is just there! The dark figure was a giant moose, at least 8 feet tall if not a full 10, who seemed to be as surprised by me as I was by it. The mutual surprise may be what saved my life since the Moose jerked it’s head back causing its chin to narrowly avoid taking me off my bike by means of catching my helmet.

Just as soon as I had cleared the moose I stopped as quick as I could, concerned that it would not leave room for James to get by, or even worse, be agitated by the close encounter with me and strike at him; that is to say, the moose striking James and not the other way around. Fortunately the creature stayed put and James was able to also safely swerve by. We collected ourselves and quickly turned back to try and steal a  picture of it, but it hopped the opposite side guard rail, and with the sun  nearly gone we knew that it wouldn’t show up in a picture.

Immediately following this incident the sun disappeared and we were once again on a water-lined trek to our cabin. For approximately another hour plus we shivered our way to our one night home. The problem being that I had not heard back from anyone on the code for entering the cabin and it was looking like we would not be able to get in even if we did make it. Earlier in the day, however, I had started to become concerned when I never heard back in regards to gaining entry, and when it became clear that no one was calling I asked God “Please just let there be an open window or something”.

We finally arrived at the cabin, much later in the evening than we had hoped or planned, and in the cold and dark I checked to see if there had been a note left for us with a code. No note. I started trying the windows and nothing. But then I came around to the last window where James was standing when he spoke beautiful words “Here’s an open window.” He crawled in and we were able to open the door from the inside and finalize our evening, and two long days of riding, in the comfort of a blazing wood stove.

The next day would be Yellowstone and onward through Wyoming.

Cabin near Yellowstone
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2 thoughts on “First days

  1. I’m LOVING all the pics you’ve posted! Very inspiring! I should get on the road and go see something more than the grocery store! Kudos to you both just for getting out there.

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