In August 2007 the Rounders (or a few of us!) met in Pocatello, Idaho for a get-together.  Most of the Rounders live on the east side of the US and Canada, so this was a chance for the left-siders to meet.  Norm (Joggernot) from New Mexico, Jim (Tigger) from Texas, and Rob (Bubbagazoo) from Edmonton all came, and I rode up from San Diego.

    I was the last one to arrive, because I did a one-day trip on the Friday.  I left at 5 AM and rolled in just a bit after 7 PM.  With the one-hour time change, that made it a bit over 13 hours.  It’s not hard to do with 75 mph speed limits over most of the west!  I spotted Norm’s and Tigger’s bikes as I rolled toward my room, and then parked next to Rob’s BMW.  Rob came out to say hello as I bleared off my bike, and we agreed to have dinner after I had a chance to change and brush out my hair. 

    After a nice dinner with Rob and a couple of martinis, I went to bed.  I had a hard time getting to sleep because the bed, although decent, was not compatible with my specific sore spots!  But I eventually did fall asleep.

    The next morning we all met for breakfast at nine.  I finally met Tigger (Jim) and Joggernot (Norm), who gave me an enormous and much appreciated hug.  (I offered to shake his hand -- what was I thinking!)  Wonderful guys, all of them!  Friendly, outgoing, chatty, and just a hoot to spend the day with.  We had a good breakfast at the hotel and plotted an outing, a typical Marshmallow Butt ride out to the Craters of the Moon National Monument.  It was about 110 miles each way.

    We took off at, I think, 10:30, heading north to Blackfoot Idaho.  The guys went right past the freeway exit north, and I turned and honked at them, wondering what was up.  Rob came back and motioned to follow him, so we went ahead up to Blackfoot, where we turned off the freeway for the road to the Craters of the Moon.  Finally, Rob took off his helmet and told me that the others had wanted to get some oil at a motorcycle store! Oh . . . I missed that.  So, we waited on the side of the road in beautiful and very flat downtown Blackfoot for Norm and Jim.  They finally arrived, and off we went to the west.

    As we rode, what had been fairly lovely blue skies began to look more and more threatening.  Up ahead of us were the sort of hazed dense gray clouds that don’t bode well out on the plains . . . but of course we pressed on.  We passed the little town of Atomic (which was a bar in the road) and the more substantial town of Arco.  Arco was nestled up against a small range of hills, and the storm we saw was just to the north of it as we passed through.  Norm found some gas in Arco (there was a Chevron, a Shell, and a Texaco station in Arco, but there was no Arco in Arco . . . what a shame) and I watched the lightning play in the storm.

    Back on the road again, and we quickly finished the last 20 miles or so to the Craters of the Moon.  The winds had kicked up because of the storm, and we were getting blown sideways quite a bit, but nothing too terrible.  It had died down by the time we reached the Visitor’s Center at the entrance to the park.

    The Craters of the Moon is quite a fascinating site -- we rode through the area on the loop road.  I’ll let the pictures do the talking!  (Notice that there is a “Start Slideshow” link above.)  After the tour, we headed back to Arco, where the rest of us got gas.  Norm asked the gas station lady where we could find a decent lunch, and she recommended the Golden West Cafe on the road back to Blackfoot.  It was a pretty decent little cafe.

    (As an aside, when my friend Terry and I rode from Seattle to Cody, Wyoming back in 1993 we stopped for gas at that same Chevron.  I can’t remember if we ate at the Golden West Cafe though!)

    By this time, the storm had blown away from Arco.  As we rode east though, we could see those gray clouds far off in the distance.  I’m sure all of us were wondering when we would ride into the storm.

    Before we reached Blackfoot, Norm sped to the front and took the lead.  He turned off the road to the EBR-1, which was the first (very small!) nuclear power plant.  The exhibits also included two experimental nuclear jet engines from the 1950s.  Pretty astonishing . . . that’s one technology that was not pursued in the end.

    The delays for lunch and for the museum probably were a good thing, because as we neared Blackfoot the clouds ahead of us stayed just far enough ahead so that we never quite got wet.  We rode underneath the edge of the clouds (and the temperature dropped about 20 degrees, it felt like!) but it did not rain.  The roads were wet, though, so it had obviously been raining not too long previously.  Finally, when we reached I-15 and turned south toward Pocatello, we were aiming again for blue sky!  After a few miles more, we were in the clear.

    Back in Pocatello everyone split up for the afternoon (or at least I did . . . it was shower time for Ms. Rat-hair).  We all met for dinner at 7:30, and we spent a delightful two hours and more.  I had an Appletini or two and kicked back to listen to everyone tell lies and stories.  All in all a fun time.

    We all agreed that we should have planned an extra day or two so we could have ridden together more!  Next year, we hope to meet in Gillette, Wyoming, during the BMWMOA rally for some more fun and lively chatter!

    You can find Rob’s report on the trip here!

Rounders in pocatello!