From Costa Rica and beyond

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The road to Idaho

This entry is meant to be a quick summary of my trip thus far.

My journey started in Saint Johnsbury, VT when I left the home of Judy and Tom Kelley.  They had allowed me to stay at their place, as my home was already occupied by tenants.  I think it was August 5, early in the morning, that I rode rather tentatively out their driveway with a very laden motorcycle.  Several hours later, I met with Friedrich and Angela Loehr for a delicious Chinese lunch in Brookline, MA.  I spent that night with the Howreys in their new home in Sudbury, MA.  From their I rode to see Rob Verger in New York City.  I met him at the noteworthy IAC building where he gave me keys to his apartment on the upper west side.  We had a great time that was centered around his new job at Newsweek.  I met and partied with a number of his colleagues and spent some real quality time in the IAC building, whether reading in a cozy corner of the ninth floor, visiting with Rob and his colleagues, or mooching free food there.

From NYC, I dashed across a rainy Pennsylvania and stayed an evening in the truckers' lounge of a travel center just outside Sandusky, OH.  The next day I rode up to Cedar, MI to see the Durbins.  I spent a few days there, enjoying good food, good drink and great company.  I also spent time savoring the scenery of Lake Michigan and the dunes.  I also visited the Greenfelder/Sparks family.  Tracy Sparks and I hiked along the lake on a gorgeous day.  Molly McKay and I caught up after not seeing each other for years.

My next stop was in Fruitport to see my parents and their pet collie Mollee.  It was great to see them, to go on walks, to explore more of the shoreline together and even just to chill in front of the tv together.  We checked out the latest goings-on of my father's childhood home (just around the corner) and had a couple great dinners out.

After that, my travels resumed in earnest.  I rode up to Ludington to take the ferry, SS Badger, an old coal burning steamer, across lake Michigan to Manitowoc, WI.  That was a fun and relaxing start to a long day that ended in St. Paul, Minnesota.

I stayed with the Greenes in St Paul.  They showed me around their neighborhood - a very nice community.  They were great hosts, even giving up their bed for me.  Mike and I enjoyed chatting about politics and economic issues.

Because a severe storm was threatening in South Dakota, I headed northwest to cross North Dakota.  I ended up finding a great place to stay in Jamestown, ND.  See the first blog entry for more on that.

The next day took me to Forsyth, Montana.  I visited a couple bars there and learned a lot about the town.  You can learn more about Forsyth in a slideshow.  Follow the link.

From Forsyth I rode through Billings and Bozeman, the Gallatin Gateway and into Idaho where I checked out Earthquake Lake and finally settled in at a campground in the Targhee National Park, not far from the Snake River.

Idaho was hot and barren the next day as I dashed across the state to Boise.  I've been staying here with Stacy Davidson, a former student from the Academy.  She lives here with her very nice beau, Benji Graybeal.  Boise is a cool town with a fun downtown, lots of places to hike, lots of trees (in contrast to the surrounding area), and even a Basque Quarter due to the many Basque who settled here to herd sheep.  I was very good fortune to be here in Boise where Happy Trails is located.  I have bought all my panniers from them and they are real experts on my bike.  They have done some repairs and even given me a contact (just in case) in Panama.

Tomorrow, I will start heading to the Pacific and then on to see my sister and others in San Francisco.  My future blog entries will hopefully not simply be quick summaries.  If this posting works, there should be a slide show for you to enjoy.

Addendum:  I can't get the link for my slideshow to work.  I'll work on that after posting this.

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