Hunter and I trailer our motorcycles to the Hemingway Butte riding area where we spend the afternoon improving our hill skills. Hunter does great, especially considering it’s only his second motorcycle ride.
Hemingway Butte just south of the Snake River is an area I haven’t ridden since before Hunter was born. It’s dry and dusty trails create an experience more visceral, more prosaic than aesthetic. “The trailheads offer restrooms and loading ramps, and they provide access to hundreds of miles of roads, moderate to difficult trails and sand washes on steep, rocky terrain.”¹
Having been a year-round bicycle commuter for some thirteen years meant I had to quickly buy a car when I took a job in the next town over. My criteria steered me this way. While a few have politely called it “cute” I think it’s one of the uglier subcompacts. Using the little hippo to pull our motorcycles, however, is an enjoyable irony.
Hunter was still worried about hills like those we rode in Danskin¹ so I told him this ride would be “follow the leader” with him in the lead. He didn’t have to worry about going down any trails he didn’t want to.
It didn’t take long for him to start tackling on his own hills that a week ago scared him to a stop. He would tell me excitedly of his conquests when next we stopped aside each other. I was proud of him.
After playing on the hills by the parking lot, Hunter led us back across the sage plane toward Reynolds Creek its martian landscapes.
The ATV track turned into a rocky trail winding narrowly along Reynolds Creek but Hunter kept going and going until a loose, round rock tossed him to the side. I was proud again. He walked it off and took a rest along the creek before we turned around.
I am curious about the story.
We had a great ride. I wish we hadn’t got the automatic clutch for Hunter though I know his mom is happy it holds him back. He’s ready to tear it up.
I need to share this: on the Highway 45 grade up from the Snake River, I shifted the little hippo to fourth and passed a Kia (with a trailer and two motorcycles, remember)! It was glorious.