As many of you know, The Teamster has been on his "Five-O Tour”…a three week motorcycle ride followed by a golf trip with his brothers to celebrate his fiftieth birthday. A full month of five-o frolic and festivities.
He launched phase one of The Tour on May 2nd taking off from his home in the central valley of California, heading to the south west United States.
Phase one of The Teamster’s Five-O Tour was a solo ride including stops in Tehachapi, Laughlin, The Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Salt Lake City. (for those of you across the pond… that includes the states of California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah.)
The Teamster wanted his tour to be as unplanned as possible… to be able go where ever the bike might take him. The one real requirement was that he be in the city I was flying in to…on the actual day I was flying in. Given my schedule and his route, he determined Twin Falls, Idaho was a good place for us to meet up.
As I started surfing the internet for the lowest airfare available…I was having a difficult time finding flights. I went to the Twin Falls airport website to check which airlines fly into it.
A small regional carrier called SkyWest…an affiliate of Delta Airlines.
I learned a few other little tidbits about the Joslin Field, Magic Valley Airport of Twin Falls.
There are over 28 domestic flights out of Twin Falls each week…serving more than 840 passengers. (Imagine…over 840 passengers each and every week !!! ) The longest flight from Twin Falls is 174 miles. The smallest commercial aircraft flying out of Twin Falls is an EM2 with 30 seats. A nice little plane…. all things considered. (remind me to tell you the story about the crew on my flight.) It was after 10pm when I landed….so no pictures.
Our first leg was all Idaho, from Twin Falls to Boise via Ketchum and Mountain Home. For the most part we wanted to stay off the major highways and keep to the roads less traveled.
Ketchum was a destination recommended by The Teamster’s son, who is active duty AirForce, stationed in Mountain Home. Ketchum peaked my interest as the place where Hemingway spent many years…and ultimately his tragic last two years. The landscapes are beautiful, and the town is an upscale art community full of galleries and boutiques.
A few raindrops fell as we came into town. We decided to have lunch to let the weather pass.
The Kneadery was a great choice. Not only did they serve breakfast and lunch…they had plates of free brownies and cookies to snack on.
We stopped at the chamber’s visitor center to get directions to Hemingway’s grave. There are no signs or indications of where he is buried.
Just go to the back road of the cemetery and look for the grouping of three trees.
I looked up why people leave pennies on grave stones…there are several theories on how it began. In our time, it seems to be a way to note that people have visited the grave…and have not forgotten. Hemingway had a great talent…and battled many demons in his life.
We could see a storm approaching and the wind was getting a bit too strong. We stopped in a tiny town called Fairfield. It was a good thing. For sixty miles past Fairfield there is nothing. No towns, no services. not even a barn to take shelter under. Down the road, just before the horizon…the rain was pouring.
We hung out in a cafe frequented by local cattle ranchers and cement plant workers. Ordering a piece of their delicious red raspberry pie we fired up the laptop to find out what the weather was doing.
Those of you who read The Teamster know while we were waiting…the wind was so strong it blew my helmet off the bike and broke the face shield screw. That was while the bike was parked next to the building. You can imagine how strong the wind was on the open road.
The Teamster checked their little motel to make sure they had a room available…just in case. The beauty of The Tour is that we can alter our plans at a moment’s notice. I started tracking the storm using various county Doppler maps. Periodically one of us would go outside and stand out in the middle of the road to check the horizon.
I love the internet! We knew how many miles to the next town. With Google we could see the terrain and the type of roads. Via Doppler we watched the storm moving in the opposite direction of our path. As soon as we saw it start to break we headed out.
By the time we got to Mountain Home, the wind was just a breeze and we had blue sky all around. Originally we had hoped to visit with The Teamster’s son. However he was out of town at a top secret location practicing maneuvers in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan.
We hit Boise just about dinner time. We drove through downtown looking for a interesting restaurant, possible accommodations, and the best place to park. It was a true example of unsuccessful back seat driving…smile. We spotted “Cool Hand Luke’s Steakhouse and Saloon” with designated motorcycle parking right across the street!
See the little tower lookin’ place on the left side of the building? That is where we were seated…watching the city at dusk.