Big Day for Harley
This was an important day for Harley.  Today, he turned 40.  No, he is not an antique motorcycle.  At mile marker 31 on Interstate 86, near American Falls, Idaho, his odometer hit 40,000.  Ron and I both cheered in our “cone of silence” helmets, and kept running down the highway.

The first day of our trip home began well.  Although both the office and the dining hall opened at 7:00 am, we managed to have a biscuits and gravy breakfast and check out by 7:15 local time.  One highlight of the morning was watching the ranch hands move the horses across the highway -- which we could see from the dining hall.  About 70 horses spend the evening grazing the hillside on the west side of Highway 191, across from 320 Guest Ranch.  The next morning, they are herded across the highway, while several employees handle highway traffic control.  Both horses and ranch hands then head to the stables to get ready for another work day.

As we headed toward West Yellowstone again, it was interesting to realize that the most time we had actually spent in Montana was our stay at the ranch.  The Montana state line is only about 3 miles inside Yellowstone National Park -- so we spent most of yesterday in Wyoming.  Today, we made a stop for gas in West Yellowstone and headed out of town on Targhee Pass Highway, otherwise known as Highway 20.  In less than 10 miles, we were traveling Highway 20 in Idaho!

We learned one interesting fact on the ride down this highway.  Have you ever heard of Rigby, Idaho?  Well, this tiny town advertises itself as the birthplace of television.  It is the hometown of Philo T. Farnsworth, the inventor of TV.  Check out this article.

Continuing on Highway 20 until it met Interstate 15 at Idaho Falls, we made our next gas stop for the day.  Shortly thereafter, at Shelley, Idaho, we made a sightseeing stop at the largest Army surplus store in Idaho.  (Click here to check it out.)  We spend at least half an hour browsing through equipment parts, decommissioned vehicles, meal rations, bungee cords, and so many other goodies that we were glad we were on Harley.  Had we been in any vehicle with storage space, our budget would have been really hurting.

We stopped again for gas at American Falls, and then for an A&W lunch at Heyburn, Idaho.  On the eastbound trip, we spent the night in Twin Falls, Idaho.  This time, we wanted to extend ourselves a bit, to make the final day of travel shorter.  So, we got fuel in Twin Falls, instead, and kept driving down Highway 93 to the Nevada border.  Ron spotted a great place to stay in Jackpot, Nevada, in a motel room behind a casino called Bartons Club 93.  The room had parking outside the door, was large and comfortable, and was the cheapest we have found in years.  We got settled in, and walked to the casino for a real diner-style dinner.

Back in the room, we were surprised by the thunderstorm we had been outrunning all day.  Ron quickly covered Harley’s seat with a motel towel and a plastic garbage bag.  By fastening this in place with bungee cords, he made sure we would not do tomorrow’s ride on a rain-soaked leather seat.  We enjoyed the amazing display of thunder and lightning for half an hour or so -- and then it was over.  To bed... must rest for tomorrow...  We went about 350 miles today, and plan to do as much again.
big day for harley
Friday, June 25, 2010