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Dad and Kerry's 2003 Trip to British Columbia

Day 9 - Craters of the Moon, Stormy Skies, and another KOA Kampground

FRIDAY, 22 August 2003

It took a while to get everything dried out this morning, so we didn't get on the road until a little after 10:00. The first thing we did was to go 20 miles "out of our way", to the Craters of the Moon National Monument [Map Point #2].

Dad's pass got us in for free, but we contented ourselves with riding the main 3½-mile loop. Maybe someday I'll go back to drive some of the "offshoot" roads and hike some of the trails.

On our way back to Arco I noticed a large, dark cloud system looming up behind us. We got well ahead of it, only to angle towards another system to the south. About the time we bypassed Atomic City (going from Arco towards Blackfoot) I looked in my mirror and Dad was GONE. I had checked my mirror about 20 seconds earlier, so it kinda surprised me. I turned around, went over a little rise, and saw Dad on the side of the road starting up his bike. Before I could get near him he waved me to go on, so I turned around and got back up to speed...with him right behind me. He later told me that he had spotted a trucker-style "stretch band" laying on the road. It worked out great, since he had lost track of one of his in Arco!

[Idaho] Highway 26 finally met up with I-15 and we headed south for Pocatello, where we filled up. On the way I stopped under an overpass to discuss what we should do about the rain falling from a cloud system directly ahead. We decided to continue on, and to stop only if the rain got really bad. I guess it passed over before we got to it, because we didn't stop until I needed gas (at the last of 3 Pocatello exits).

Several miles later we exited I-15 and took [Idaho] highway 30 through Lava Hot Springs and Soda Springs to Montpelier. I didn't realize that this route was part of the Oregon Trail, but several signs said it was so. At the intersection in Montpelier [just above Map Point #3] where we turned south on "temporary" US 89 (eight days ago) we found a grocery store where we bought enough food for lunch, dinner, and breakfast tomorrow. We went out and sat on a curb-thing at the edge of the parking lot, in the shade of a tree, and had cheese-with-meat-slices-on-hot-dog-buns sandwiches and chocolate milk.

We stuffed the rest of the food into our bags and continued down highway 30 toward Wyoming, paralleling another storm front. I misread my map and thought I could get to Kemmerer (location of J.C. Penney's original store!) before I would need to fill up. When I realized I was off by 20 miles I thought I could at least make it to Sage. Shortly before the last town prior to Sage I went on Reseve...WAY earlier than usual. So I pulled into the Flying J and gassed up. Dad struck up a conversation with another Concours owner. When I was done I pulled up to the building and either forgot to put the sidestand down or didn't put it down far enough. The bike fell over to the left and I did a kind of clumsy, trying-to-catch-my-balance, running get-off. I whistled to get Dad's attention and the other Concours owner heard me, but neither of them seemed concerned about my plight. The other guy started sauntering over, but by the time he arrived someone who exited the store had helped me pick up the bike. Whew - with a full gas tank and 40-liter luggage bags it was plenty heavy. It took a few presses on the starter button to get the engine going, and the OIL light stayed on longer than usual, but the bike ran fine again. Damage: Scraped left-side luggage bag and engine guard and bent-forward clutch lever. Rats! At least the portion of the lever that I use was unaffected....

By this time the storm coming from the west was plenty close, so we took off again, still paralleling the front. We turned east at Sage (which had NO gasoline pumps, or much of anything in sight), and started outrunning the storm again. By this time there were clouds dropping rain in almost every direction. We turned south before Kemmerer and about 15 miles later turned southeast on (Wyoming) highway 414 [Map Point #4], which aimed us right toward the only blue sky in sight. We filled up in Mountain View and headed for Manila, the whole time staying out of reach of any of the storms. In Manila [Map Point #5] we priced a motel room [with a] kitchenette at $66 - gulp! We went across the street to the KOA and got a KOA Kabin for $35.

Dad actually seems to like this KOA - it's not nearly as crammed-in-tight as the one on our first night.

We had chicken-flavored rice with green beans for dinner, plus some more hot dog buns with cheese and meat, and fruit cocktail and hot chocolate. As I washed the dishes I spotted a double rainbow and had Dad come out to look at it.

We talked about Sue's family, Barton's family, and Dad's family. Dad went to bed at 9:00 with little sign of rain after all. I called Sue both before and after dinner. And the first real rain finally started falling about 10 minutes ago: a little after 11:00!

Miles covered today: 386
Total miles covered: 2998

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