I need a shirt, a sticker, a hat, SOMETHING, that says, ďNo, I didnít go to Sturgis. No, I donít care what the rest of the lemmings did. Iím too busy riding my bike to stand around and compare bolt on factory-authorized accessories with a bunch of people in brand new leathers.Ē Hmm, might be a little long for a sticker. Look, I appreciate the thought - itís a conversation starter. People see a long-haired tattooed guy on a black HD out in the American west in August, he must be on the way to or from Sturgis. Well, Iím not. I donít care. Iíll talk to you about bikes, riding, or any number of things for hours, but Iíve never been to Sturgis and donít plan to.
Hoback Canyon out of Jackson, WY was stunning first thing in the morning. A crisp 40 degrees, it was downright chilly in the shade from the hills. The morning light had a low, flat quality that seemed to highlight the edges of every tree along the river. I could live somewhere along this canyon - anyone want to pony up a buncha money so I can? Seems like the rich folks have bought everything in Jackson and nearby.
More wildlife today - another bald eagle, pronghorn antelope, and prarie dogs. And ravens - macho supersized versions of the common crow.
Rolling hills once we were out of the canyon down to Rock Springs. We hit the interstate for a short jaunt then took a right turn into the nowhere on WY 789. 50 miles of nothing but natural gas pumping stations and sagebrush. And suicidal jackrabbits turned into road kill jerky by the heat and the 18 wheelers.
Being out in the all alone, whether it be the cornfields of Kansas, the nowhere of Nevada, or the forested mountains of California, if youíre going to make it, youíve got to be smarter (and tougher) than average. Or you just wonít last. Thereís no Urgent Care down the street, thereís no WalMart across town, and the nearest firestation hasnít even been put up yet. Whatever comes up, is what you HAVE to deal with. This makes for some pretty gritty folks out there in the middle.
The question is, how do you end up out there in the middle? If you werenít born there, then how? I want to stop and ask people in the tiny towns what their story is. Iím worried that theyíll ask me about Sturgis, though. Happens at every gas station.
We fueled up in Baggs and continued into CO where the road turned into CO 13 to Craig, CO, where we picked up US 40 into Steamboat Springs, CO, our stop for the night.Posted by Chuck Skarsaune at August 18, 2005 02:51 AM GMT
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