Day 21 – 2018 Western States Tour

route

Day’s distance: 395 miles
Total trip distance: 4,191 miles

Much of the day was very pleasant. Temperatures started in the 50s with blue skies and fluffy clouds. This lasted until about 2pm when I encountered some gray skies and storm clouds. More on that later.

My destination was Twin Falls, Idaho, the same as yesterday, and I was on the road just after 8am. Heading north on Interstate 15, I was able to make good time due to a combination of light traffic (being a Sunday) and very generous speed limits of 80mph.

As I had time today, and wasn’t (yet) expecting to hit rain, I stopped in Payson for a latte at Joe Coffee Shop and Espresso.

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This place is a couple miles off the interstate but worth the ride for the good coffee and great bagel sandwiches. I had a Turkey and Avacado – their most popular option.┬áMuch more popular than the photo above suggests, there was a steady stream of traffic through the drive in as well as folks sitting inside.

Several local residents who were standing outside talking when I arrived asked about my trip. Two of them had or have a motorcycle and one used to live in Bellingham, WA. They told me about some of the local roads that I might enjoy and pointed them out on my Utah Butler Map. Every one was marked in either gold or red, meaning they were well judged and suitable for enjoyment.

I decided to take a detour around Salt Lake City as it was early and the change only added an hour to my day. So after getting back on I-15, I turned east on Hwy 189 and headed towards Heber City.

route close-up

Hwy 189, also known as the Provo Canyon Road, follows the Provo River. It is a wide, well-surfaced divided highway but had some fun sweepers and interesting scenery.

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The mountain peaks of the Wasatch Range, to the east of Salt Lake City were to my west on this ride, and rarely out of sight.

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I kept flashing back to the time I was stationed in Colorado Springs long, long ago. It was a combination of strong sunshine, cool temperatures, and the Wasatch peaks that reminded so much of that city in Colorado.

The detour around SLC was totally worth the extra time and miles.

Later in the day and closer to the Idaho border, the landscape changed.

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The skies were turning dark ahead, so I stopped and looked at the weather radar in the area. Sure enough, there was precipitation ahead along my route.

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I rode through some light showers north of Snowville, but was able to stay out of the rest of the precipitation until I was within 20 miles of Twin Falls. The temperature had fallen down to 50.

It looks worse than it was.

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The accumulated rains didn’t soak through my riding gear and I stayed dry and warm (enough) with the seat and grip heaters on low.

After checking in to my motel and cleaning up, I went to the local bar and grill for a bite to eat and a pint of ale. I was told by two ladies also sitting at the bar that I looked like a younger Ted Allen (Chopped, Queer Eye, etc.). Little did they know that I’m actually seven years older, but I’ll take it. LOL

Tomorrow, I’ll be riding north to Missoula through Stanley, a small town located in the Sawtooth National Forest. I’ve been there before, but not further north through Salmon, Idaho. The weather looks dry, though maybe cloudy.

From Missoula, I will (probably) ride back to Seattle via Hwy 12, one of my favorite semi-local rides.

 

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