It dawned on me yesterday that I am running short of time. My flight to Australia leaves LAX about midday on Wednesday so I need to be there by Tuesday evening. Before I leave Portland I must clean the bike to keep Australian Quarantine happy, crate the bike and arrange for it to be shipped home. It would also be good to have the bike serviced, as it is cheaper here,
What happened to my spare days? The problem was the second night in Denver and the second night in Vernal Utah. The latter was because of the weather and thus wise, but Denver was pure indulgence on my part.
I had intended to take three and a bit days to get to Portland but late last night decided to scrap that and get there as soon as possible. That resulted in an earlier start and I hit the I90 W shortly after 7.30 am with Spokane Washington as my objective for the day. In the parking garage it was 18.5 C and I was getting toasty in my full riding gear, but on the interstate the thermometer dropped and dropped and kept dropping. It kind of levelled out at three degrees and yes, it was fresh! And traveling at 75/80 mph really enhances said freshness! But wait, there's more! As I approached Bozeman Montana the temperature began to drop again. I was concerned about ice of course, so was concentrating very heavily on the bends. I thought it was then warming back up a little, until I noticed some additional information on the screen. There was a minus sign preceding the numerals. It dropped as low as minus 2.5C, which quite impressed me, but not in a good way.
Eventually the mercury rose above freezing but it never got above 4C. I decided at Butte to stop and get warm with a second, proper breakfast, a wise move. Refreshed, back on the road and lunch was called in Missoula Montana. With the uni students back in town, the atmosphere was quite pleasant. But the purpose of the day was laying down miles and I did not dally. I pulled intc Wallace Idaho briefly for a pit stop. A very quaint place but it was raining, so no photo. The next refreshment stop was Coeur D'Alene Idaho, also very pretty, also raining. I was tempted to overnight there but was put off by the expense and stuck with plan A to go to Spokane. But when I got there I decided it was not a pleasant place and decided to strike out to Ritzville, sixty miles further,
You may have worked out that I am not fond of interstate riding because it is usually uninteresting and straight. The I90 had many satisfying, winding stretches and it was an enjoyable time of high speed touring.
As I rode those last twenty miles, heading south west, the sun was slowly setting. I felt a little melancholy, drawing an analogy with the sun setting on my trip. Tomorrow or early Thursday I will reach Portland and the episode, the chapter, will end.
I had dinner at the town pub and the locals keep to themselves here. But again the old town is pretty and, if it is dry, I will go and take some photos before I leave.