We got bored last night, about 7:30, and decided to go out for a "short ride". We rode up to Alpine, which is 18 miles from Thayne. We stopped at the little grocery store there and Linda went in and bought some bottled water. While I was sitting in the parking lot, it dawned on me that the road, just to the right of the parking lot, is the one that is mentioned in our guest guide as being a really scenic drive. From what I recalled reading, it was 22 miles in length and wound its way through Bridger National Forest.
When Linda came out of the store I asked her if we could take that drive...she said sure. I knew that it was a gravel road (based on the description in the guest guide) but I figured if it was really rough or a mess, we'd just turn around. Turned out the first half wasn't bad at all. Hard packed dirt with a few stones on top. Gorgeous drive, right along the river with lots of national park campgrounds along the way. We couldn't believe how many campers there were out there and it certainly is a ATV and fishing paradise. We left the house with light coats on but not dressed for cool, mountain temps. When the "22 miles" came and went we were starting to get a little worried because it was getting dark and cold.
We kept driving and then came to a big sign that said the way back to Alpine was 35 miles, to proceed to route 89 it was 53 miles and there were two other choices...towns or destinations we had never heard of and the shortest was 30 miles away. I wanted to cry ! By now it was 9:30, Linda was frozen to the bone and it seemed our only option was to turn around and go back the way we just came. Oh and did I mention that the second half of those 35 miles was pure wash board roads. So we turned around and started back the way we came. We stopped and put on whatever clothes we could find in the saddle bags (rain gear, neck gator and heavy gloves). I was pretty comfortable but Linda was really cold.
We booked along as safely as we could drive....on wash board....in the dark....in the wilderness with lots of horses and cows on the loose. At one point two little fawns jumped out in front of us and I applied the brakes enough to slow down...skid a little (under control) while the one little fawn gathered himself up from the split he did in the middle of the road and get out of our way. Nothing scary about it....just didn't want to hurt them at all. I can't believe that they didn't hear us coming. The heck with those deer things you mount on the front of your car. With the tools rattling and vibrating in the saddle bags...we must have sounded like a monster coming down the road. Probably why the one did a dido in the middle of the road !
We made it home at 11:05 from our "short little ride"....cold and weary. We turned the heated mattress pad up on high to try and thaw Linda out. When I went out this morning, here's how the bike looked. Pretty, huh ? There was dust in every nook and cranny on that bike. And if you zoom in on the picture, you'll see two bolts missing under the right light on the fender. Had to make a trip to the hardware store to get those cause tomorrow we're driving up to Jackson with another trike owner we met here in the park to get a nice little ride in. Packing extra clothes and gloves just in case....We sure did have a good laugh over that little escapade. I picked up the guide, when I came in the door and saw where it said 55 miles.....not 22. Hmmmm....it's all good.