Day 8 - Iron Butt 4810

Iron Butt 4810 - Day 8

Tomorrow is my birthday, so RD gave me a present – an early night at the hotel. After I do laundry, double check the day’s receipts and write, I’ve been getting about 4 or 5 hours a night. So tonight is a real treat. In spite of the stop we still added another 880 miles of US of A to the odometer. We started in Wyoming, drove all the way through Montana, hit Idaho and Washington. We are just outside Oregon.

RD says we have 8 states and a little over 1800 miles to go in 2 days. It’s going to be close. He’s worried that the roads are not going to be as good as what we’ve been on. He’s done a great job of picking the roads so far. Can we ride about 900 miles a day in the heat for two days? I think so. Can we survive the wildlife…don’t know.

Today just as we were leaving Idaho, we came up on a young horse grazing right next to the highway. Loose horse, I thought. So did RD because we slowed down immediately to see if he would move. He was about the size of a yearling colt from the back. When he heard us coming he lifted his head and looked right at us. Bullwinkle! RD swerved right and the moose, he didn’t move an inch. Didn’t even flinch. Just kept standing 3 feet from the highway and chewing like he’d been doing it his whole life.

RD turned and looked at me and made his “Did you get the picture sign.” I looked down and sure enough the camera was in my hand, which was frozen into a white knuckled death grip fist. Then it started. My emotional backlash from a close encounter of the wildlife kind.

“You were serious? There are real moose here?”

He laughed.

“I thought you were making fun of me. Was that a baby? Where is the mother?”

Rd laughed harder.

“Do they have packs or herds or something? Are there any more?”

“Oh,” he said, “You better add elk to your list.” Then he took me by a statue of one on our gas/dinner/bathroom break to make sure I didn’t confuse it with a goat or something.

Do you realize that in 8 days we have had close encounters with moose, ground hogs, deer, antelope, pheasant and jackrabbits? With added fear of bears, elk and buzzards? If he tells me I have to watch out for cougars tomorrow, I’m ditching him and walking home. If I put all the animals I have to watch out for on one of those yellow hazard signs, it would just be one big black dot.

Today I spent the majority of my time shooting pictures of huge mountains in Montana. Mountains with rivers, mountains with snow, mountains with trees and mountains without trees because last years fires killed them all. I even have pictures of what the locals call “Crazy Mountains.” Southern Montana is well endowed in the mountain department. And in the very cool twisty turny road department as well.

RD is feeling the pressure and the backache of our mounting miles. He’s more worried about those we haven’t driven than those we have. Whenever he gets worried, he gets real bossy. I’m beginning to realize just how small a motorcycle can be for two people after eight days. Almost as small as the side cases that hold our entire luggage. Somehow this all resulted in RD laying down the law on a few things. It’s never worked in our marriage before, but I always applaud his perseverance.

RD rule #53 – Do not fall asleep on The Mistress. If you do and fall off, I’m leaving you.

Donna rule #1 – Ignore RD’s rules.

Donna rule #2 – Do not sneeze in your helmet.

New thing I learned on The Mistress today – how to give RD an Advil from the small bottle in the right hand pocket of my jacket, return bottle to pocket, and zip pocket while going 75 mph on the back of a motorcycle.

New thing RD learned today – no one can swallow an Advil without water.

See you on the road,


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