My Long Way Round – Part 4

Origin: Couer D’Alene, Idaho
Destination: Couer D’Alene, Idaho
Mileage: 0

I slept in until 11. It felt good to wake up and not worry about re-packing my gear, re-securing my luggage and re-routing for the new day’s travel. This was my off day. I caught up on some RSS feeds and other computer stuff that I had been deprived of while I was on the road. My friend had gotten off of work early that day so she was home about an hour after I rolled out of bed. It was a simple day, but simplicity was just what I needed. The trip to the grocery store that had lost power was out of the ordinary, but amusing. I bought a new chain for my bike and the next morning took it in to be replaced. The condition of my bike was weighing on my conscious and it was a relief to get it repaired and have confidence that I could make my way through the second half of my journey safely.

The majority of the day was spent just sitting and talking. The majority of my interactions with people for the previous week had been minor exchanges. The routine phrases reactively spoken during purchases, a comment from a fellow motorcyclist or an inquiry into my trip that stemmed from the observation of my Illinois license plates. It was nice to hold a conversation for more than 45 seconds and didn’t take place at a gas station.

I had meticulously planned my trip up to this point, but I had left the rest unplanned. So I had to decide where I was going and how fast of a pace I was to ride to it. Luckily my friend had some maps she didn’t need and we plotted a course according to my trusty guide (Motorcycle Journeys Through the Rocky Mountains) with a highlighter. This proved to be a huge help throughout the rest of the trip. I plan on using this method again on any trip of this length.

We had a lovely dinner and the night continued on with more conversation and the inevitable smoking that always seems to follow. The next morning we took a tour of the lake. Couer D’Alene was a quaint and charming town. It was a refreshing break from the grind of the road. Early in the afternoon I hit the road again through the twisty mountain roads of Idaho towards Yellowstone National Park.



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