June 25, 2005 GMT
Salt Lake City to Montpellier (Bumsville, Idaho)

Saturday morning we had breakfast at the sports bar before heading off. Wimbledon was on, and we got chatting to our friend of the previous evening. Apparently (and here I am demonstrating my credulity) he played tennis as a junior, up to College level (on a sports scholarship to College), and used to play with Andy Roddick when they were teenagers. He damaged his elbow at some point and had to stop playing, hence, as he said, he is now managing a restaurant in Salt Lake City. Well, interesting story.

The road north out of Salt Lake City skirts the salt lake at a distance; we got the occasional glimpse of it in the distance. Big. Flat. White. But then we were back into the mountains again.

The road north of Salt Lake City

The road was nothing special, until we approached Bear Lake, where it wound its way down a steep scarp. Which would have been fine, except the whole length of the descent was being resurfaced and was a dirt track. And to cap it all, they had just sprayed it with water to keep the dust down! Downhill, on slippery mud overlaying a loose surface, on a motorcycle! Not fun.

I kept it in first or second gear all the way, taking it very easy (much to the annoyance of the cars following us). I don’t suppose it was more than two or three miles but it was mentally exhausting.

We stopped at the bottom at a petrol station to fill up and get some refreshments. A group of motorcyclists at the station came over to ask us where we had come from, and how we had got the bike all covered in mud. You should have seen their faces when we told them, because they were about to set off up the hill!

The rest of the day’s travel was pretty uneventful, although David got quite excited when he found out we had actually crossed into Idaho. Apparently, among his friends at university, their name for somewhere that is the absolute pits is ‘Bumsville, Idaho’—and we found it! Or several of them. Paris was the first, and Montpellier, where we spent the night, wasn’t much better. But we were within striking distance of Jackson and decided to take it easy.

Paris, Idaho

Posted by Paul Neate at June 25, 2005 05:20 PM GMT
 
 

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