Temps in the 50s pushing low 60s is just about perfect if you’re riding on the 7th of March—although it was a little colder than that when we topped the 6400-ish foot pass before dropping down in Fairview. This time of year I tend to get cold a little easier than Phil, but when we hit the Home Plate, I thought Phil (in jeans and sans helmet) had probably bled off a little more heat than he thought and would be in need of something warm to heat him up from the inside. Although he said he was fine, he didn’t argue at the offer of stopping for some hot chocolate before we continued on to lunch in Nephi.
We wrapped our fingers around the warm mug and shot the breeze for about an hour before we mounted up and headed another couple miles south on 89 before we turned west on 116 at Mt. Pleasant.
I can’t help but think of a slower pace of life when we ride through these little towns and the friendly people who wave as we pass by. With the exception of the paved roads and the automobiles, I don’t think these Main Streets have changed that much in the last 100 years. What’s more, it’s like this all the way down Hwy 89 through Utah and into Arizona.
116 feels more like riding through the high desert with the exception of the interruptions of Moroni and Fountain Green as we push northwest toward Nephi. Riding into the afternoon, the temperature rose as we pull into the parking lot of Lisa’s Country Kitchen, which has become the place we tend to stop when we’re traveling through Nephi. The food is usually good and the service is quick and friendly. I’ve come to appreciate these local restaurants—although I’ll admit I don’t have a very sophisticated palette.
After lunch we pointed the bikes north on Nephi’s main street and followed the old highway up to Santaquin before going west again toward Elberta and then home. We passed a couple bikers headed the opposite direction on this stretch of road and stopped again in Elberta to stretch our legs while we looked at the old war memorial that commemorated all those from Elberta who had served in the arm forces since WWI. There were probably more people on the memorial than were then living in the area.
I still think the old Sinclair station on the corner is pretty cool.
I’m sure we’ll get surprised with at least one more snowstorm before we’re done, but it’s hard to resist a few hours in the saddle on bluebird days like this in early March. We almost had the road to ourselves along the west side of the lake, but we knew we were in civilization again when we hit the Saturday afternoon traffic from Saratoga Springs the rest of the way home.
We’ve got a few trips in the works this year, but I’m sure there will be other spontaneous days when we hit the road with no other intention than to just hit the road.