Jessica and I meet again with some thirty fine members of the Idaho Adventure Motorcycle Club for breakfast at Rockie’s Diner before being led by Sam by Bonneville Point past Mayfield and Skull Rock for lunch in Pine, Idaho. From there we split up to return by different routes.
Like Tom Sawyer listening for the tears at his own funeral before emerging from the shadows, Sam popped up in Idaho as this ride was nearly underway. And as Aunt Polly rejoiced at the sight of Tom, we were honored to have Sam back in Idaho for his own memorial ride, a remembrance made most palpable by the cloud of dust trailing off his fat katoom tire as he led us on this historic tour.
Our route began, per the IAMC bylaws, with breakfast at Rockie’s wheeled to our tables by short skirts on roller skates.
This was our first sight of Sam since our lucky motorcycle meet up in Hawai’i last summer.¹ We emerged sequentially from Rockie’s full of egg and pork, linked sausages successively encased in neon cordura.
We followed a pleasant bit of asphalt out around the prison and over to Black’s Creek Road with a first stop at Bonneville Point which overlooks the old Oregon Trail’s westward descent into Boise. What the site lacks in amenities it makes up for with enormous thorns.
By the time we were all parked, we occupied more than the full width of the lot. And a fearsome lot we were.
With that many riders it was like a Victoria Secret luggage and jacket show. Mmm, look at that sweet Pelican case ... I think it was a fashion faux pas if you weren’t visible from space.
Sam posted a better angle on Ryan’s lot-side MacGyver’ing¹ ... something about the tubulator that puts down hydraulic fluid to deter pursuit vehicles.
From Bonneville Point we got back on the highway towards Mayfield, everyone keeping right at 35 MPH or a bit under (you’d be surprised at the lean angle needed for 35 MPH).
It was nice to have a passenger to manage the camera. Working the focusing ring with my left hand, the mode and shutter release with my right, always leaves me feeling iffy about the Bavarian steering. Especially ‘round corners.
Darn. An overnight rain shower would have been welcome.
Next stop was the Mayfield dance hall. Almost thirty guys and only three ladies meant few slow dances.
As Sam noted then and later, the recent graffiti on this historic building is pathetic. The only Mayfield gangs are cows or sheep and they didn’t seem impressed. What’s the point?
Sam explained this hall used to draw people from far and wide ... a glory all but faded into nothing.
Jessica, as usual, was quick to be off and exploring, braving the stairs up to a balcony turned chicken coup.
The future has closed in on this era leaving a worn tapestry of bygone ways spread across the Idaho landscape that we as adventure riders are privileged to witness.
With gesticulation and a hint of fire and brimstone, Sam recounted the history of the place. It reminds me that one day a future Sam will stand at the places I live and work and talk about the quaint folk who long ago lived there.
A hop and skip down the road were the remains of the Canyon Creek Station, an important waypoint for Oregon Trail and other travelers, which that day included a bunch of folks on motorcycles in neon colors.
Down the road and a bit up highway 20 brought us to Castle and Skull rocks. One of our number, if I overheard correctly, wanted to quickly zip up on some rocks to get a picture of the rest of us arriving. That would have been nice. Instead we all showed up to see him involved in some kind of Greco-Roman wrestling with his motorcycle. And the motorcycle seemed to be winning. A couple people went to his aid, the other twenty snapped pictures.
The formations were interesting. Jessica and I might have climbed around a bit but being part of a mob comes with the obligation to press on.
Heavy bike like this, best to park pointing downhill.
After much cajoling, we coalesced into a photo-worthy bunch.
The road visible at the right edge was cut by a ribbon of water. It became the ride’s big “water crossing.” I think there are some photos floating around.
More so in the right light, we’re told.
Jessica and I have been riding together a long time, from the days when it meant getting in trouble with her parents.
From the rocks we headed up around Anderson Ranch Reservoir to eat lunch in Pine. I’m sure their cook was thrilled.
From Pine, we all headed to the Y-Stop in Prairie. A few had gone there earlier to eat. The rest of us split along two routes. Jessica and I went with the small group on the shorter route over House Mountain Road. The road was clear, the scenery and smell of pine quite enjoyable.
Stopping for a little bathroom break, I thought I’d cross a short patch of snow to park closer. The front tire slid, the emergency skis failed to deploy and we rolled over into the mud. I say rolled because ... well, look how this thing is shaped. I think Gary has a picture of the bike on the ground, though he did complain that we were too quick to get up. Sorry about that.
It was a beautiful day to ride, wasn’t it?
That’s too bad: they forgot to coordinate their shirts.
The Y-Stop was our last whole-group stop. From here we went north and west in a few waves.
Jessica and I went with the north group up around Arrowrock Reservoir. We hung back a long way this time to avoid dust.
These guys hung back so far I didn’t even realize they were with our group.
A great ride and wonderful to see familiar faces and lot of new faces with names I still don’t know. See you out there!