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Road Thoughts - Trip 1
Riding the HOG ABCs

This is going to be my first big motorcycle trip – almost 1000 miles in two days with one night of camping out. 


I have used the Harley-Davidson Ride Planner to plot the best trip to pick up the most Cities, Counties, and States for the HOG ABC program and also the Idaho Intermountain HOG Ride Idaho program.


We started early Saturday morning.  I packed the bike (2005 Road King Classic) the night before – because I had never packed my bike for an over night trip before.  Everything fit – with a little persuasion.


Off we go.


First stop Elmore county.  Humming along about 80 and then “Woah!”  Brakes.  Backup, Backup, Backup.  Just about missed the sign.


On down I-84. “Woah!!!”  Brakes Again! Backup, Backup, Backup, Backup! Missed the sign again.  Cruise control is just too handy.  Shoot the picture of Jerome Country.


Head North on 93 and stop on the sidewalk to get Jerome City.


Next is Lincoln County.  “Where’s the sign?”  “We should be seeing the sign soon?” Oh oh we’re in Shoshone.  There wasn’t a Lincoln County sign.  Cheap County


Oh well lets head to Picabo and we’ll rubber neck and look back to see if we can find a Lincoln sign on the way out of the county.

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“Crud!  Road construction.  One-way road.  Wait, Wait, Wait – Ok now our turn.  Wheee!  20 MPH.  Hey wait – there’s a Lincoln county sign – quick U-turn.  Got it.  Ok, now we have to wait for the pace car again. 


Wow, it’s starting to get hot.  Here’s Picabo for the Idaho Tour.  Off comes the jacket. Bathroom break.


So that’s the Craters of the Moon.  Doesn’t look like the moon at all, but the lava rocks look interesting.


Is it time to eat yet?


Ok, here’s Arco.  I still needed and A City and just incase there isn’t a sign in Atomic City. “Where to eat?”


That looks good, a big green building with the letters E A T on the roof.  Pickle’s Place.  Sound good.  Lets see.  I’ll have the Atomic Burger (house special) and a Chocolate Shake.  Yummy. 


Well time to ride.


Atomic City 1 mile that way.  Lets check it out. Well I’ve never seen a subdivision of Trailers before (no not trailer houses – just trailers).  And here’s a dirt racetrack – looks like they are getting ready for a race this afternoon – but alas no city sign.  Good thing we got Arco.


Well we made to Blackfoot, now how to find Shelley.  Think we go left at the next light?


“Where you headed?” Yells a guy in the car next to us.




“Yeah, take 91 North at the next light”



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Hey there’s Shelley. Another Idaho Tour City.


“Hey you guys need some help?” Shouts a guy from a pickup as we’re stopped digging out cameras. 


“Nah, were just taking a picture”


“Must be the HOG ABCs huh?”



“Take it easy” He drives off with a Harley-Davidson sticker in the back window.


Ok lets get gas.


“That’s a tasty looking hog you got there.” A guy says in a great southern accent as he gets in his truck to drive off.


“Uh, thanks, I think”


Ok how to get to Ucon?  Think there will be sign? I haven’t seen a sign yet.  Ok, lets break the cardinal “guy rule” – Ask.


“So how do you get to Ucon”


“I think it’s that way, but I’m not sure.” points the little lady behind the counter.


“Uh, thanks” I think I knew that much – “why did we stop and ask again?”

“Where you headed?” the guy in the blue tie-dye shirt asks.


“Ucon.” I reply, wearing my own orange/yellow tie-dye shirt.


“Yup, take a left at the light and you can’t miss it”


U cities are probably pretty rare.  Not quite an X or Z but close.


All right – on to Swan Valley – another Idaho Tour City.


Next stop Wyoming.  Got it.  I figured the sign would be cooler.  Oh well it counts.


Now on to Henry, Idaho.  Hold up.  We were supposed to turn there?  Get out the map.  Freedom that way.  Yeah we were supposed to turn.  Lets go.


Watch for Stock – Yeah right.


Watch for Stock – Whatever


Watch for Stock – Enough already


Whoah!  Those are cows in the road and they are not moving.  Careful Bessie, just a hog coming through. Go on about your business.


Watch for Stock – Ok, I’m watching now.

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Ok – got Henry (Idaho Tour) lets eat in Soda Springs.  That looks good we can park around back.  Warning – mineral deposits in the geyser may cause paint damage to your vehicle.  Ok – lets park out front.


Chicken Fried Steak – No mashed potatoes, no baked potatoes, ok, I guess I’ll have fries.


Food was ok, but it’s a good thing we stopped to eat now – the town’s closing up – 9PM on a Saturday night.


Time to find a campground. 


“You know there’s one just out of town on HWY 30” the convenience store clerk mentioned.


We’ll give that a try.


So does this allow overnight parking?  Worst that can happen is we can be kicked out.  That would be fun at 2AM.


Oh well.


Set up tents in the dark.  Should have brought a bigger flashlight.


Ah, rest at last.


Zoom, Zoom, Zoom – Oh, great we’re right next to the highway.  Ok time for some Tissue ear plugs.  Ah, better.


Toot, Toot, Chuga, Chuga – Oh, even better an active rail line. Maybe that’s the only train of the night – NOT.


Ah, I think I got a whole hour of sleep now.  What time it is.  4AM.  Cool, still more time to sleep.


Drip, Drip, Drip.  WHAT!!!  It’s raining in my tent.  Damn condensation!  Right next to the lake.  ARRGGHHH!!  Where’s my towel.  Wipe down the inside of the “rain forest”


Too bad we couldn’t have been kicked out at 2am!


Oh heck.  Let’s get up, pack, and find a place to eat.  Surely there is a Micky-D’s in Soda Springs.  Or not.


Well let’s head to Georgetown – there is supposed to be a Truck Stop just outside of town.


Ok, damp clothes, 50F, and 75 MPH is not a good combination.  How far is Ga-Ga-Ga-Gerogetown? There it is.  Boy what a fancy sign.  Another Idaho tour city.  Now lets eat.


There is a truck stop. Great road food – The daily special, Bisquits and Gravy, Two Eggs, and Sausage. Can’t go wrong.


Lets change clothes in the lounge and head out on the road.


Next stop Utah!


There it is Utah another HOG ABC state.  Ironically I still need Idaho.


Well time to split from my co-rider.  He’s got almost 3 more weeks of riding to do.


I head West on 89.


Crap!  Road construction.  Great gravel.  Ok not so bad, just a few hundred yards here and there.


Ah, top of the pass, road construction is done, and there’s the Rich county sign right behind me.  Wow, that the highest county sign so far.


On to Logan, UT.  Wow, I’ve never seen trees cover a road like a tunnel before. That’s pretty cool.


Now back to Idaho – North on 91.  Great!  More road construction.


Well I guess I’m back in Idaho.  Didn’t see a sign.  Hey, aren’t I in Franklin County?  Didn’t see a sign for that either.  Crud – probably dug up during the construction.  I’ll try the rubber necking Lincoln County trick again.  Well there is the Bannock County and no Franklin sign the other way.  Double Crud.


Well there’s Swanlake – Idaho Tour City.


And Downey – HOG D City.


And 15 North.


Ok where’s the turn to Twin Falls.  Where’s the turn.  Should I try this one? This one?  No. There’s a sign finally. 


Gee, this is the straightest, brownest, most boring stretch of road that I’ve been on for a while.


What is the exit for Rupert?


There it is.  Rupert 3 miles.  There’s a town back here.  Rupert that way.  Ok. Here Rupert, Rupert, Rupert.  There you are.  R City.


Next stop Twin Falls County.  Head to Twin Falls naturally. There the Snake River and the Twin Falls County sign right on the bridge.


Well here goes.


Please don’t hit my bike.  Please don’t hit my bike.  Please don’t hit my bike.  Got it.  T County.  Let go.


84 West to Hammett.  Gee it got hot.  110F?  Time for a Gaterade stop.  Hopefully Hammett has a store.  Yeah.  Hammett – Idaho Tour.


Next stop home.


Over all 972 miles and dozens of ABC pictures. 


Tally the Score

2 States - Utah, Wyoming

5 Counties – Elmore, Jerome, Lincoln, Rich, Twin Falls

5 Cities – Arco, Downey, Jerome, Rupert, Ucon

6 Idaho Tour – Picabo, Shelley, Swan Valley, Henry, Georgetown, Swanlake, Hammett


Great trip!


Now to plan the next trip






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