Friday to Monday, August 5 to 8— Jackson, WY to Idaho Falls, ID
The Wyoming sky was clear and a bit chilly this morning. I made plans for lunch so decided to take the most direct route from Jackson to Idaho Falls, over the Wilson pass into Victor, ID, down into Swan Valley, along the Snake River, and into town. It was a familiar ride, and I enjoyed reliving it. Highway 26 between Ririe and Idaho Falls was being re-surfaced—a process of cleaning, oiling, and spreading gravel onto the existing surface. The speed limit is always 35 as one drives over this slurry and lather of gravel. The lower speed limit is designed to prevent windshield damage from rocks churned up by the tires of the vehicles ahead. I always leave extra room between me and whatever is in front of me because I’m a little more vulnerable on my Harley. Nevertheless, I suddenly caught a view of a projectile headed my way, somewhat from left to right, coming across the top of my windshield. Without thinking, I turned my head to the left in an effort to dodge this “bullet”. It stung as it caromed off my right cheek, which began to bleed and swell ever so slightly. I was lucky. If I hadn’t seen it coming and been able to react quickly, I might have had a more debilitating experience.
Lisa and I planned to spend a long weekend in Idaho Falls with people who we got to know very well during our 6-year stint working there right before I reDeployed. My first stop was at Idahoan Foods where I visited with many friends made during my time there. I was able to meet Drew and Kerry for lunch. We had a great time catching up on general, local and industry news during our time together. They were an important part of my tenure, and it was good to see them three years later.
Lisa’s flight arrived and we gathered at our good friends’—the Nak’s—home. Dan and Collette are wonderful people with whom we share our faith and several important life experiences. They moved into a new house a little over a year ago, and we hadn’t yet seen it. It is a great home south of town near fields that glow in the evening sunset. It also has a man-cave to die for! Their two daughters, Aimee and Nicole, came home from Salt Lake City to visit with us. Nicole brought her fiancé, Mitch, to meet us. They then paid Lisa a great honor by asking her to officiate at their wedding next month.
I was lucky to be in town when Jim was available to drift the Snake River fly-fishing. Dan, Jim and I took several trips down the river over the six years we worked together, so this was a special reunion. I am still a novice when it comes to setting the hook, so was unable to land any trout this trip. But I really enjoyed being with these two guys and experiencing the calm of the Snake, along with a few thundershowers that kept the float exciting.
I spent Monday visiting with three friends who happen to be potato growers—Doyle, Garth, and Loraine. Each one has a special place in my heart based on who they are as men, and the experiences we enjoyed together over the past 20 or so years. That night Dan and Colette invited Jim and Cindy, RJ, and Chris and Bobbi over for dinner. It was a memorable weekend spent with really good people who we care about a great deal. I realized after we left that I was so intent on being present with everyone that I took very few pictures. I’ve regretted that on occasion, but not this time. The intentional time with these people was much more memorable that the pictures I might have taken with them.
I was thinking about the ride home as I fell asleep. Lisa had changed her plans and was headed to Kansas to be with our son and his family for a few days. Our home would be empty when I returned, and I wasn’t certain of the route I would take to get there.
Route: H89, H22, H31, H26
Miles Today: 110 (+166 riding around the area during our visit)
Time Today: 2:10
Total Trip Miles: 4,038
Weather: Sunny, warm, cloudy, rain showers
Lunch: Pachangas Mexican Food
Lodging: Nakamura Residence