Hey kids! Sitting here in hotel room enjoying some Peet’s made with the JetBoil (Yes, I know the hotel has its own coffee and coffee maker, but you know it sucks!). Terry left at deer-thirty this morning for a 4 hour motorcycle dirt venture, Jack is beginning to stir, and I’d better spew forth some words before I’m hit by Hurricane Jack.

Saturday afternoon we took the motorcycles out for the maiden journey. We’re only about 6 miles from the Nevada/Utah border, so we headed east to check things out. But before we left Great Basin N.P., we signed up to tour the Lehman Caves (You remember stalagmite’s and stalactite’s from school, right?) at 1PM. Now, if you think you’re going to stock up on supplies at any of the small towns surrounding the park, you’re are oh so sorely mistaken. The town of Baker resides at the base of Great Basin. There are a handful of homes, some with cars out front, some actually inhabited. There are several businesses that closed up shop years ago and no real industry to speak of. So you’d think that a town such as Baker would have the feeling of desperation. Not so. The people that live here are friendly, upbeat and stuck in 1985. The 2 business that are open (a store/restaurant/bar and coffee shop/bakery/4-cabin hotel) are home to some very proud people. The restaurant/bar seems to be the hub of the town as they were preparing some BBQ for the Saturday evening rush.

After crossing into Utah and back into Nevada, just to say we did it and for the photo-op, we headed back up the mountain for our Lehman Caves tour. While we waited for the tour to begin, Terry met a guy (driving a semi with a 5th wheel attached, KTM motorcycle strapped onto the back and a yellow lab as his co-pilot) who was from, you guessed it, Auburn! Small world. Chatted it up with him for a while until it was tour time. The inside of the caves were completely awesome. Tom, remember touring the Shasta caves? These have them beat by several miles. The entire tour lasted about 1 1/2 hours and was full of very cool sites. Our tour guide, however, was such an ODD little dude. He was for sure the love child of a Star Trek fan and the kid that got shoved into the locker in high school. He did try his best with the jokes, I’ll give him that. There actually was a couple (dressed as cave-husband and wife – NO JOKE!) who lived in the caves in the early 1900’s. Also, several weddings were performed inside as well as a Hollywood movie shot in one of the sections. If you’re passing through, I highly recommend the tour…tell the quide we said “Live long and prosper”.

We sat on the steps of the Visitor’s Center after the tour and met yet another couple from the Tahoe area. They, too, rode motorcycles but were doing the mountain bike thing this trip. It’s amazing how something like a motorcycle can link you to so many people that you’d never think to talk to. It’s weird and I like it… And as we were on the steps taking a feeding frenzy break, I noticed a very menacing cloud looming over the mountain peak that was the back drop for our campsite. Hmmmmm…. “Uh, Terry, I think we’d better go back to our campsite NOW!” We threw our gear on, loaded up Jack, and headed into the great, black unknown. As we were riding the 3 miles to our campground, it began to rain. And then it began to snow. Are you fucking KIDDING ME?!?!? We all laughed just our of sheer disbelief. Against our bodies exhausting attempts at stopping us, we knew we were going to have to pack up and head out tonight. Damn! I really, really, REALLY don’t want to pack up wet gear and leave. Our campsite was covered in a fresh layer of slushy snow. Fucking perfect. We began the packing process, shoving wet tents and chairs into their carrying cases and covering cooking gear with plastic bags. I knew the only way we were going to live through this without committing a murder/suicide was to stay calm and try to lighten the mood. Didn’t work. I finally had to have a heart to heart with Terry. (Earlier in our trip, we promised each other that if the other was acting like a whiny brat, we would tell them to knock it off and stay in the moment, that moment being that we were away from home, on an adventure into the unknown and lots of things, good and bad, were going to happen. At least we weren’t home doing laundry or dealing with employees.) I finally broke through the icy persona and we got everything shoved into the truck. Though a little soggy and a lot muddy, we made it out just before the next ‘Cloud of Terror’ passed over. We were fortunate we got out in time.

Where were we headed? Well, seeing as there’s nothing, and I mean NOTHING, between Great Basin and Cedar City, Utah, we headed for Cedar City, one of the Mormon capitals of the world and just a motorcycle ride away from the polygamy town of Colorado City. We arrived in Cedar City around 10:30PM (add an hour for the time change) only to be awakened at 5:30AM by one of the 5 screaming children next door. I know, I know, I have a kid, too, but dammit, people, I gotta get some sleep!

And did we head into that cute little family environment of Colorado City where the men rule and the women sport those snappy little outfits? Later, my friends, later…

Moral of this day’s events: Perspective is everything. Just when you think you’re having a bad day, take a look at the guy in the wheelchair or the child going through chemo….how do you feel now? It’s not so bad, is it? Cheers.