Thursday, July 07, 2005

2005 Day 19

Lowman ID and the Idaho State Penitentary
Miles: 147

Day 19 - Boise, Lowman, and Idaho City IDJen and I feel like riding a little more distance today, and make a jaunt up to Lowman ID. Overlook near Lowman IDState Rte 21 is a fine road through spectacular Idaho mountains, and we stop a couple of times to take in the views. The town of Lowman (and believe me, I'm being generous calling it that) is nothing but one rickety-looking outbuilding that may or may not have sold gas, and SERIOUSLY. We choose not to stop, 'cause it looked just a bit too weird. (Cue banjo music.) The happenin' main street of Idaho City IDInstead, we have lunch at Idaho City, a little former mining camp that survives as a historic tourist town. We stop at Diamond Lil's Steakhouse and Saloon, which turns out to have a pretty decent burger. Jen poses with Diamond LilThe friendly likeable waitress is offset by the drunken local guy who apparently does not posess the slightest ability to read body language and non-verbal cues, and cannot figure out on his own that the two biker chicks who just walked in are in fact NOT dying to talk to him. (I think the owner finally took him aside and told him to stop pestering us.) Lunch improves after that. :)

Oh, sure, I love dogs. But not nearly as much as Jen does.After lunch, there's a Lab lazing about on the sidewalk in front of our bikes, and Jen happily makes friends with him. She misses her three Labradors when she travels, and this dog is pleased to be today's stand-in. His name is Buddy, according to his tag.

To me, it looks like The Shawshank Redemption. Except, you know, it's in Idaho instead of Maine, and all that.On the way back, we stop and walk around the old Idaho State Penitentiary, which is actually pretty interesting. Jen's hubby just recently completed his training as a correctional officer and started working at a California facility a few weeks ago (which is why he's not on this trip.) She wants the joke look-at-me-I'm-behind-bars photos, My best Carol Merril impressionand we horse around in the Criminal Women's wing, and stuff like that. Built in 1870, the Old Pen is typical of prisons of that era, which equated security with massive blocks of stone for construction. The main building and yard are hulking granite walls, brooding at the base of the mountains.

We return to the hotel mid-afternoon and there's more parking lot chatting and checking out bikes. There are some really pretty customs and mods here - these women love their rides. :) We're standing under some shade trees and I point out to Jen, "Hey, those women over there are checking out your bike." She replies, "No, I think they're checking out yours." We wander over because I am now dying of curiosity. Approaching, I call out, "Hey, I'm just wondering, out of all the bikes in this parking lot, why are you looking at the VLX?" And the woman replies with a straight face, "Well, from a distance we thought it was a custom glitter paint job, but when we got close, we saw it was just the bug splats." Jen just about falls on the ground laughing, and immediately bestows a new nickname to my bike: GlitterBug.

Next: Day Twenty

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