American Skid Marks
Setting out on a great American motorcycle roadtrip.

Jackson to Salt Lake City

Wyoming south of The Tetons is horse country. I passed dozens of ranches and stables with horses wandering the open plains. There was no good place to pull off and take photos so you’ll have to be satisfied with pictures of me instead.

Me and my motorcycle in Wyoming

Leaving Jackson

This trip is a solitary endeavor. I mean, there are plenty of folks who have and are still helping me along my way, but in the end it’s just me and my motorcycle. Riding hundreds of miles every day, with no real company except my helmet, affords me with ample opportunity to ruminate on my life. There was a stretch of road between Hoback Junction and Alpine, WY that ran along the Snake River. Pine covered canyon walls over a black river decorated with whitewater mesmerized me. There are no pictures to show you, I was absorbed in the ride and my thoughts. No time to stop for photos. The perfect beauty of this countryside made me think of just how temporary my life is. How insignificant all of my endeavors have been, and how little I’ve allowed myself to focus on truly important things. Today, through those winding canyons I had a profound connection to how little time I’ve spent cherishing my friends, my family and honestly, myself. It was a spiritually cleansing ride, and I hope that I can recapture the deep zen I felt on the back of my motorcycle this morning.

I ate buffalo and elk jerky sold by a man on the road. I saw the worlds largest elk antler bridge; which implies, of-course, that there are other less fabulous elk antler bridges out there in the world. It made me think of the bone tree at Burning Man.

Man selling Elk Jerkey

Will update with this guys name later.

worlds largest antler arch

An Antler What Now?

Riding south along the western shores of Bear Lake I crossed into Utah. I wish there were shoreline pictures of Bear Lake to show, sadly, almost the entire shore is privately owned. Any photo I could have taken would have shown a sign reading, “Private Property. No Public Beach Access” or some other such shit.

Welcome to Utah sign

Utah State Line

Bear Lake

Best Shot of Bear Lake I Could Get

It was also along this stretch of road that riding with my visor open finally caught up with me. I remember sitting in class as a child; it must have been 5th grade. Out of nowhere, a paperclip slammed into the side of my nose. The strength and suddenness of the impact dazed me so hard that I almost fell out of my seat. My eyes began to water and what started out as a small intense pin point of pain gradually spread to the entire right side of my face. Today, at 70 mph, I was nailed by a little black beetle in the exact same spot. The whole right side of my face was sore for most of the rest of the afternoon and a big welt made wearing my sunglasses painful.

The road through Cache National Forest west of Bear Lake winds through the bottom of steep dark brown canyons. From the road you can see dozens of rock climbers attempting to scale the cracked surface of the rock. This is a brilliant place to ride a motorcycle. I drank water from a spring that bubbles straight out of the ground near the side of the road and stopped to rest and smell the thick pine fragrance in the air.

Motorcycle near Canyons

Headed for The Canyons

Mountain Spring

Burbling Spring Waters

Canyon Road

Canyon Road

At Brigham City I picked up the 84 headed south, another stretch of interstate that exhausted me near the end of what was already a long day. Riding into Salt Lake City I felt like doing nothing but laying down and going to bed. I rallied and went for a nighttime walk through the city, down to the Mormon Temple and by the convention center. Salt Lake is small and clean. I found a brewery and got preposterously drunk from just two beers, a combination of being tired and dehydrated. (I forgot to bring my camera, so all of my photos are on my cell phone, I’ll upload those to this post once I have a chance to retrieve them.)

I’ll tell you something, Salt Lake City doesn’t seem to have any homeless people. No really, I looked. Not for lack of places where the homeless would normally congregate, but they’re just not there. Maybe the city has lots of shelters, maybe the church has them shipped off to a ranch somewhere. Who knows, maybe … oh god … you know … that soy burger tasted like no soy burger I’ve ever had before!

Tomorrow I head out for Colorado.


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