Thursday, August 12, 2010

July 24th, 2010 - Denver to Boise


The route out of Denver started out to be an amazing ride.  After a hearty breakfast of 5 Hour Energy and some beef jerky, I decided to take Hwy 40 across the mountains toward Salt Lake City.  The passage across Park City took me to about 9,800 feet and was breathtaking.  There were plenty of passing lanes on the ascent, so the ride was fast and fun.  The descent was too  picturesque that speed wasn’t a concern and it was over all too soon.

I made my way out of Colorado into Utah crossing what appeared to be a desert mountain range.  Even at 85mph, the distant mountains slowly crept by while the desert tundra next to the highway raced by in a blur.  I was thankful for my iPod and satellite radio.  I can’t imagine crossing these passages without audio distractions.

Someone told me that Utah was the orange cone capitol of America.  They were right.  I crossed stretches of road where miles and miles would be coned off restricting traffic access to one lane.  As if that wasn’t annoying enough, there appeared to be no work being done, nor was the road damaged in any way.  It was a perfectly clear lane, blocked from all traffic.  I was in a long line of cars stuck behind some clueless tourist pulling a rental camper when I noticed headlights in my left rearview mirror.  A long line of bikers streamed past me in the construction lane as if there were no cones and the lane itself was reserved especially for them.  I decided their reservation had my name on it too and joined them.  In no time, we had passed the lead car and left them in our rearview mirrors.  The large group of bikes broke apart into several smaller groups of two or three.  In no time, I was alone again on the open road with mom and my thoughts.
 
If Utah is the orange cone capitol of America, the state of Idaho must be competing for the dubious honor.  I’m told there are some beautiful places in Idaho.  I’ll take that for granted, but I never saw any of them.  Idaho was flat, boring, and seemingly entirely under construction.  I spent the last four hours of a fifteen hour ride with the setting sun in my face behind a windshield splattered with bugs that made the sun scatter blinding light across the windscreen.  I was squinting from the sunlight, my butt was burning from hours in the saddle, and every joint was stiff and aching.  It occurred to me that at that particular moment, this was not fun.  But, I make it a point to not complain about the things I tolerate.  This was my choice.  It had purpose.  I rode on.  My hotel had a Jacuzzi, so I relaxed in it for a few minutes fighting the urge to sleep.  Once back in my room, I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.