June 29, 2005 GMT
Jackson, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Zurich (airports) and Rome

We took the Harley for one brief run through Jackson, back to the one diner on the road to Yellowstone for breakfast, and then it was time to drop it off at the hire agency.

The guys at the bike shop were pretty impressed with us—apparently we were the first people they had had turn up there from California. The bike was a bit of a state, covered in dust, mud and flies, but they weren’t worried; when we saw the bike an hour or so later it was clean and shining just like when we first saw it.

Altogether, we had covered about 2500 miles in the 12 days we had the bike, and travelled through five states. We went through some real lows, especially the first couple of days before we got in tune with the bike, and hit some real highs. We baked crossing Nevada and froze in the Sierra Nevada mountains and in Yellowstone Park. We met some strange characters along the way. One of my abiding memories will always be the ‘salutes’ from other bikers as we passed. A friend of mine, Tony, has waxed lyrical about ‘the brotherhood of the road’ and I was always faintly dismissive of it, but there was a real sense of ‘community’ among the bikers we met. Whenever we stopped on the side of the road to take photos, other bikes would slow down and check we were OK before going on their way. Something rather special.

I am glad we went, we will have memories that last us a lifetime—and maybe the memories will encourage us to do something like that again before too long. We shall see.

Posted by Paul Neate at June 29, 2005 05:29 PM GMT
 
 

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