Seattle to Idaho

May 19-23, 2010

My flight from Buenos Aires stopped in Houston, where I cleared myself through customs. I’d been out of the country 7 months, had 26 extra pages tacked into my passport, and they only said “welcome home”. I DID ask for a stamp 🙂
and I got it.

Karen picked me up at the Sea-Tac airport, and brought me back to her place in Snohomish, North-West of Seattle. It was a sunny day, cool-ish, 70-ish, and I remember thinking it was a lot nicer here than in Buenos Aires. That night we went to an ADVrider meet & greet some nice folks had set up, and I got to meet lots of great motorbikers, Seattle locals. Timmer was going to help me at the airport, but Continental Cargo took their sweet time in getting the bike to Seattle even though it left BA 1 days before I did,

I remember being tired and wired at the same time, and I remember starting all my conversations in Spanish rather than in English. It was shocking to be back, but that only lasted about the three days I was here in Seattle waiting for the bike to clear customs.

I’d been offered lots of help with the bike, with things to do in Seattle, and even got to see a hand specialist for free thanks to ADVrider John Eicherman. Karen’s husband Burt brought me to the airport when I finally got the call saying the bike was here, and he helped me re-assemble it since I’d unbolted a whole bunch of stuff to make it “smaller” for transport.

By the time I hit the road Friday to ride to Idaho Falls and meet up with Edward, the weather had turned. Cold and getting colder, typical north-Wet weather. Everyone was telling me it was about 90 degrees the week before, and I was bummed. I had 890 miles to ride, it was CRAP weather, and I was exhausted and COLD.

I made it as far as Yakima the first night, arriving after 9 pm. I had an incredible stress headache, and I was staying with friends of friends, and basically landed on their doorstep, wilted on their couch, then shuffled off to bed.

The next day I rode around 500 miles on that little dirt bike, and finally stopped in Boise when it started to snow. enough was enough. I was soaked through, and knew I had a high pass to ride through and would stay at elevation for the rest of the ride (Idaho Falls is at 5000 feet) which was about 250-300 more miles…

I stopped at the first hotel I could find (see through the foggy visor and snow) and negotiated the rate down to $60. ugh. Wow. Back to expensive everything I guess. I took full advantage of the hotel room and turned the heat up to 85, dried everything out, did laundry, and tried to take the world’s longest shower. There was a TA Travel center next door and dinner there was advertised “second one free: so I had a roast beef open faced sandwich (the cheapest thing on the menu at $8) and then had another. I waddled back to the hotel and passed out.

I woke Sunday very early, but it was about 30 degrees out…even with the heated gear, 50 is my limit. I waited until 10 or so, doing internet, an rolled out when it was around 40 and I was still seeing my breath.

I got to Idaho Falls mid afternoon. Edward’s company had given us temporary housing at an airport hangar, and let me tell you I was impressed. When he told me that we’d be staying in an airport hangar I imagined pitching the tent in the middle of a big building, showing at the gym, or whatever. Nope, it’s NY loft meets tarmac central. There’s no windows, but it’s a great (posh!) space and we even have a kitchen.

Gosh, it’s great to see Edward again, and good to have a nice place to settle for a couple of weeks. Thanks sweetie for waiting SEVEN months for me to come back from my wild adventure…

So what’s next?

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