Into The Great Big Open

Around the planet by motorcycle

So begins the long freeway burn to Vancouver, B.C.  — necessary to ensure that the bike is prepped, crated and in the shipper’s hands on Monday the 9th. I rode fill-up to fill-up, stopping at rest areas to pull off my boots and socks to let my toes loose to play in the grass. I was paying extra attention to staying hydrated: the August sun turned the interstate into a hell-hot anvil.

My sights were on Bruneau Dunes State Park in Idaho, a dozen miles south of Mountain Home. With sore joints I set up camp and washed laundry, then walked out to the dunes to stretch my legs and see what the dunes were all about.

Bruneau Sand Dunes, Idaho

Bruneau Sand Dunes, Idaho

I chatted with my camping neighbor, who was driving from the east coast to Portland, Oregon to start a new job on a cruise ship. In addition to being young and cute, Anna from Baltimore was also kind enough to share her beers and campfire with this worn out rider. Around midnight, she suggested that we walk out to the dunes to see stars, and not wanting to sound like an aching, tired middle-aged fart, I agreed. Flashlights in hand, we stumbled past surprised kangaroo rats, and after a few “unintended detours” found ourselves sprawled on the cool sand, gazing at a moonless firmament, engaged in the philosophical discussions that such settings tend to produce.

On the walk back to camp, the moon rose red and large on the horizon, and she tried to convince me that it was Mars.

From Farmington we headed to Durango to meet Larry, who would ride with us for the day. John had peeled off from our group during the previous night’s deluge, so after Larry joined us, our group again numbered four.  Randy and Larry were on Guzzi big twins, and Pete was astride a BMW RT1150, so your author’s overloaded 650 single was the rolling roadblock, setting the pace at a blistering 60-62 MPH.

Approaching Moab, Utah

Approaching Moab, Utah

From Durango we rode under cloudy and spitting skies through Cortez and Mancos, stopping for a butt rest in Monticello. We picked up highway 191 and chased it all the way to Price, Utah.

In the morning, Larry said “Good Luck” and headed back home to Durango, leaving Randy, Pete and me to enjoy the sweeping and scenic road to Duchesne.  This was the point where Randy was to begin his return to Silver City. At the gas pumps we shared a manly abrazo, and at that moment, some dust kicked up by a passing ore truck went right into my face, so I had to rub my eye a bit.

Pete and I continued up highway 40 to Heber City, and onward to the junction of I-80. Pete said his farewells and pointed his front wheel at Salt Lake, while I started toward Cheyenne, ticking off the first solo miles of my ride, feeling lonely and excited and ready, missing the companionship of my motorcycling amigos.