A week ago, a friend who had a work project in Star Valley asked if I’d like to accompany him on an early-morning ride and weekend on the road. I have come to really appreciate the fun of a road trip. Although I didn’t have the luxury of time to spend the entire weekend on the road, I did ride up to Cokeville, Wyoming before turning left and northwest for the return trip home along part of the Oregon Trail via Soda Springs, Idaho and Cache Valley, Utah.
We left for the ride to Evanston at first light. I guess I wasn’t quite prepared for how cold the ride was going to be, but when Kelly pulled over in Coalville, UT with the excuse of gassing up, I was grateful for the chance to get some blood circulating through my cold fingers as well as an opportunity to top of the tank. I have to admit I spent most of the morning kicking myself for not tossing my heated jacket and gloves into my tourpack—lesson learned.
Stopping in Evanston for a Sausage McMuffin and another excuse to warm up for just a minute, we were on the receiving end of a couple of comments from fair-weather bikers who commented about the cold and how they wouldn’t be out riding today. One of them was kind enough to point out the storm clouds bearing down on us from the west. Fortunately, other than a few sprinkles, the day ended up being a beautiful ride—and they’ll never know the beautiful day in the saddle they missed.
In Cokeville we met a nice couple heading home to Denver, Colorado from a trip down the Oregon Coast on an Ultra Classic. Having just been home for a month or so from my own trip down the coast it was nice to visit with them about where they had been and what they had seen. As we talked about bikes, riding, and road trips the cold didn’t matter to me anymore as we headed north out of town and I thought (for just a minute) about going up to Star Valley and blowing off the rest of what I had to do over the weekend. Instead, I took the left toward Montpilier, ID and home.
In Montpilier, at the decision-point between heading southwest to Utah Lake or northwest toward Soda Springs, ID and a visit to my Aunt Linda and Uncle Ron, I decided to head into Soda Springs and shared a great afternoon visiting with my Aunt and Uncle whom I hadn’t spent much time with for several years. They have a beautiful home overlooking a bend of the Bear River in a quiet little valley just outside of Soda Springs.
After a couple of hours visiting and reconnecting, I climbed back on the bike and headed for home. Although Fall was in the air, the afternoon riding home was perfect riding weather. I love riding in the canyons, but riding through pastoral landscapes and the villages associated with them, are a close second.
Riding through Preston, ID I couldn’t help but think of the movie Napoleon Dynamite and the drop in IQ I felt after watching it. Fortunately, I think I’ve recovered.
I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the ride through Logan, Sardine Canyon, and down Hwy 89 to Ogden and home. This is my favorite time of year to ride and a great day in the saddle (even through I won’t forget my heated gear next time I head out).