Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Mink Creek/Arbon Valley Loop

"Honey, I'm going to put the bike in the garage..."

My wife smiled as I walked past. She knows me all too well.

I had ridden some this morning the parked the Road King out front and attended to some yard work and other things. Now, I fired up and headed down to Main. Turning right I headed out south Main toward Inkom, past the golf courses and Johny Creek and onto Mink Creek Road. This would lead me up into the Caribou National Forest, over the mountain and eventually down into the Arbon valley. I was on one of my favorite short rides.

Looking back down Mink Creek. The weather was nearly perfect, high seventies with no wind.

Looking up Mink Creek from the same spot as above. Beautiful road, little traffic and the only potential problem; wandering cows on the open range and the cow flops they leave on the road.

Two cowboys in a pickup pased by and waved as I was taking this picture. Theirs would be the last vehicle I would encounter for nearly twenty miles.

On some segements of the road through the Arbon Valley you ride with mountains ahead and behind, big sweeping curves followed by long straights and nothing but fields of winter-wheat or pasture on either side. The road is well maintained and in great condition. You can really roll.

The conjunction of Mink Creek Road and Arbon Valley Road. At this point, I had not encountered another vehicle for almost twenty miles. It would be another three or four before I would. At times along this stretch you wind through hills covered with sage brush and juniper trees and their essence fills the air. It is a fabulous place to be in that moment.
I'm now traveling on the Shoshone/Bannock Indian reservation.
Eventually, Arbon Valley Road intersects with the interstate about five miles West of Pocatello. You can either roll up onto the interstate or, as I do,turn onto county 30 and head back into west Pocatello, down Garrett way, turn onto North Main and then home.

"Did you put your bike away Honey?"

"Yes,I replied, "It's in the garage."

Distance from from front of house to garage: 62.5 miles (In about 50 miles of this, I likely encountered fewer than a dozen other vehicles.)
E.T. for putting bike in garage: 1hr,40m.
Things of note encountered along the way: One beautiful Blue Heron; a small Prairie rattler sunning itself on the warm asphalt; my soul.
Estimated E.T. to do same task tomorrow: It takes what it takes.

Keep on keepin' on

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