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“Often, it’s not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be.”
― Heath Buckmaster

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hi(gh), desert

Left from the Modern Hotel in Boise this morning and jumped on HWY 2o towards Bend, Oregon.  They call it the High Desert.  Once we left civilization we had 130 miles to the nearest town.  No gas stations, no shops, just desert.  It was a great view.  The road cuts through some of the rolling hills of the area.

We came to a construction zone and the flagger talked to us for about 10 minutes while traffic was all stopped.  She recommended a small restaurant in Burns, Oregon.  (The only town in the middle of the 260 mile stretch of road)  We took her advice and found the establishment in town.  From the outside it looked dirty, small, not pleasant.  We went inside and it looked like it was a set from the movie ‘Road House’, except it was a Wednesday afternoon and the only people inside were three older men at the bar.

The waitress recommended the Steak Sandwich…..  Oh. Em. Gee.  It was marinated in whiskey and cooked to order.  The most delicious thing I’ve eaten in months… by far.  We talked with the wait staff for about an hour while we ate.  Discussing everything from Unions to geographic limitations of living in a desert.  The town was located approximately 130 miles in any direction from the next town.

The ride out of town, after we were full, was long, straight, and desolate.  No traffic.  Just us.

 

Two Wheeled Therapy.

Rubber side down.

people persons

As the title suggests, we are social creatures.  Today we made a lot of new friends.  When departing from Cody, WY a man approached us as we were loading our bikes back up.  He was wearing BMW Motorrad suspenders and was roughly 60 years old.  As he walked up to us, we knew he was interested in our bikes.  His first words to us were in a heavy German accent; “Forgive me, I don’t speak English.”  He was here in the states from Germany on vacation with his family.  Joergen, told us about his BMW bikes and how much he loved rifles.  His big conversation was about how he has been on the  Nurburgring on a BMW ‘K’ bike.

Dave knew just enough German that we could have a conversation with him.  Fascinating man.  Once again, bonded by two wheels…  Bliss.

We stopped in for breakfast at the ‘Irma’, which is a bar / hotel that ‘Buffalo Bill’ owned.  There was a film crew filming a documentary about the Irma today.  We sat next to them during breakfast while they continued to film….We are totally going to be in the background of every shot.

After breakfast we started west and hit Yellowstone.  That is a breathtaking place.  No wonder it is so popular.  While we were there we met a very nice couple, Bob and Wendy.  Bob was a Police Chaplin in the Chatham area of Canada and we knew some of the same people.  He told me a story about one of the officers that had been struck and killed on the interstate on a traffic stop.  He was the second person on the scene.  His voice trembled, his eyes welled up as he remembered the details from so many years ago.  Sometimes we take for granted how much people will let us into their lives, even for a brief moment.  I enjoyed the conversation with them, I asked to take their picture to remember them by.  (Their photo is the background of this post)

After Yellowstone, we rocketed across the high plains at what could be described best as ‘Spirited Riding’.  We ended up in Boise, Idaho for the night.  What a cool town.  It is definitely a hipster town.  Who knew?  Really friendly people, unlike most hipster towns where everyone is better than you and they know it.  We made friends with a guy at the hotel bar and talked in depth with him about bourbon and wines.  Learned some neat things.

What an amazing day….  Meeting so many new people and just enjoying everything.

 

Two Wheeled Therapy.

Rubber side down.

a group of presidents, a devil and a big horn

Seeing as how my mom is probably the only person who actually reads my nonsense, I feel that this is a good time for me to say; “Hi mom, love you.”

Today was an amazing day.  I’m pretty sure I had a smile the entire ride today.  We started off early and rode to Mt. Rushmore, conveniently located 4 minutes from our hotel.  BOOM.  Amazing views, I think we were more interested in the terrain outside of Mount Rushmore than the actual monument itself…  It was pretty neat to see, though.

We rode from there to ‘Devil’s Tower’.  That was a fun road in.  Twisty, winding roads and an amazing backdrop to set it all in.  Wyoming made us feel like we were in the real ‘west’.  At the tower we met a couple from Ohio (Pickerington) and had a nice conversation with them.  We chatted for about 30 minutes with them about everything humans can possibly think of to talk about in 30 minutes.  Very nice people.

We departed and hit I-90 (my favorite interstate so far) and made up some serious time and dropped down into Big Horn National Forest……  WOW.  Simply amazing.  As we made our way into the town just outside of the forest we stopped for fuel.  We made friends with an older gentleman, a local.  We talked with him about everything from hunting to bikes to the coal mines.  The best part of that conversation was him telling us about an airplane that had crashed during WWII.  The plane and its crew had just seemed to vanish.  The wreckage was found two years later and now the area is known as ‘Bomber Mountain’ in honor of the victims.

As we rode through Big Horn, the views just kept getting better and better.  Skies clear, mind clearing….  Awesome day.

 

Two Wheeled Therapy.

Rubber side down.

speed demons and dirt riding champions

If there is one thing I have mastered, it is taking a selfie on a motorcycle at ‘operating speed’.  And just what that is…well…..(trail off slightly)

 

Today we departed from Omaha and set out west.  The rest of Nebraska could be summed up as ‘Fun’.  Lenient speed regulations, the overall lack of traffic, and the will to get to the next destination made for an exhilarating ride.

As we crossed into South Dakota, we stopped at a major intersection for five minutes.  There was nothing near us.  No other traffic, no people.  Just us.  How we envisioned the west to be.  It was like stepping back into time.  Every town we stopped in felt like it was a prop from the movie; “There Will Be Blood”.  The local gas station was a meeting point for farmers on a Sunday afternoon.  Cowboy hats, coffee, and nobody knew a stranger.  It felt nice.

As we entered the Badlands area we were persuaded by another group of motorcyclist to travel down the path less traveled.  Which means, the K1600GT was treated just like the R1200GSA was treated.  The difference, the GSA was built for offered use.  The GT was not.  25 miles of dirt ‘roads’ and I had my fair share of being stressed out of my mind.  User advice, the K1600GT does not handle well in non-pavement conditions.  Dave, on his GSA was loving it.

Hit an awesome thunderstorm as we entered the Black Hills.  The lightning coming down was mesmerizing.  We got wet and blown around by some incredible cross-winds.  We survived and ended up in Keystone, SD for the night.  Long day of riding.  Just shy of 550 miles, 25 off-road and grueling……Lets not do that part again.

 

Two Wheeled Therapy.

Rubber side down.