Idaho Falls - The Yellowstone Ride - CycleBlaze

June 12, 1995

Idaho Falls

A stormy arrival

I was awakened at about 7 Sunday morning, the morning after my first day's ride over Teton Pass, by a wrong number.  After about 11 hours, I was still in a deep sleep.  Once I got over my initial disorientation though, two facts struck me at once - the sun was out, and I could still walk!

I began planning this trip in mid-winter, settling at last on this route after considering rides in New Mexico, northern Colorado, and Montana.  I'm excited about the route I've chosen but uncertain about the timing.  I'm traveling early in the season in an attempt to avoid the worst of the tourism, but perhaps I'm here too early.  I've been following weather reports for a month to divine what to expect or even whether the passes will be open.  Weather in Oregon has also been a concern - after the worst April in a century I haven't been able to get the training miles in the saddle that I'd have liked.

So - on departure day, I'm a bit worried - there are thunderstorms in the Rockies; I'm not in the shape I should be; I'm four years older than the last time I tried a tour like this; and I'm tired.  Work has provided some last minute challenges.  Marsha (my supervisor) have had a showdown of sorts over the coming reorganization, which but she was good enough to let me know before I left that it was going to resolve acceptably.  It's a relief to not have to worry about it on the road.   And, amazingly enough, Production Control called me with a problem from work that kept me awake until almost one, and left me subconsciously worried for the rest of the night.  (I had forgotten the circumstances of this tour.  A few months before, I had quit my previous job and hired on as a contractor at SAIF.  Before long they offered me a permanent position.  I accepted, but pls the need for a brief vacation first).

My flight left Portland at about 6.  Rachael and I drove up to Portland together, and after an uneventful check-in we shared a last meal before my departure.  She's having her own adventure while I'm away - most importantly, she's taking the train to Everett Sunday night to offer moral support at our son Shawn's custody hearing the next morning.

My flight to Idaho Falls includes a transfer at Salt Lake City.  I was lucky to have a window seat on the right side of the plane to enjoy a breathtaking view of the lake as we descended.  Weather is stormy, with thunderheads and lightning bolts dramatizing the sky.  The lake itself is an amazing kaleidoscope of color, reflecting the colors from the sky and the hues of sundown.

The flight to Idaho Falls was nearly cancelled because of severe weather conditions in the basin, but in the end was just delayed a half hour and rerouted at the last minute for a departure at the opposite wing of the airport.  None of this was too comforting, as I anticipated an 11 PM arrival in Idaho Falls, two miles from my motel.

Remarkably, conditions in Idaho Falls are perfect - warm, clear skies, no wind - and It is always a bit of a surprise to arrive at a small airport and experience the relaxed pace and absence of pressure.  I have no difficulty reaching my motel, stopping on the way at a convenience store to pick up a beer. 

The motel is in a beautiful spot, adjacent to the falls the town is named for - a long, arching break in the Snake River, with about a fifteen foot drop.  It is illuminated at night, and the effect is spectacular.  After registering, I took my beer down to the waterfront to contemplate the setting before retiring for the night. 

I’ve managed to hang on to this flimsy pile for over twenty years now. Time to quit pushing my luck and post it for safekeeping.
Heart 1 Comment 0


Rate this entry's writing Heart 3
Comment on this entry Comment 1
Jeremy PerksWeather forecasts, they still haven't improved:).
Reply to this comment
4 years ago