One of my favorite day rides from Pocatello involves a couple of different routes eventually leading through Logan Canyon in Utah. I usually do this ride at least a couple of times a year, so Saturday morning, after a quick stop at the farmers market to buy tomatoes, I took off.
I left Pocatello, travelling out towards the Johnny Creek area, past Indian Hills School. Soon I was traveling on Portneuf road to Inkom where I switched to Old Highway 30 , traveled to new US 30 and continued along the Portneuf River through Lava Hot Springs and over Fish Creek Summit, dropping down into the Gem Valley. At the bottom of Fish Creek Summit I turned right on county roads and soon was traveling on Central Road. After about 5 miles on central road, I turned right on Hegstrom road and following it until it intersected with Turner Road. Left on Turner and I then traveled until I was near the town of Grace. Just before Grace, I crossed the bridge across the Black Canyon Gorge of the Bear River and turned right on River Road.
Stopped for photos here, as the Black Canyon Gorge is an impressive sight. The bottom of the gorge lies at about the same level as ancient Lake Bonneville. The Bear River was left after the Great Bonneville flood and I crossed and recrossed it several times on this ride. It is a winding, twisting river that travels a 500 mile course, but because its path forms a horshoe, its mouth lies only 90 miles from its source in the Uintah mountains. Before the arrival of irrigation and hydroelectric diversions, it was a much wilder river. Early settlers in the Grace area around the turn of the century report river flows at nearly the top of Black Gorge. It is a beautiful river, and the road leads me through some beautiful, farm, ranch and mountain country. I stopped several times for photos. Eventually the River road led me to Cleveland road and its intersection with State Highway 34. This places you about half way between Grace and Preston. I turned right and after about 15 miles reached the junction of 34 and 36. State 36 lead over Emigration Summit through the Cache National Forest, a beautiful road with great groves of Aspen and wildflowers abundant. It was on the down side of this road that I had an encounter with a bumblebee or yellow jacket, I’m not sure which. Stung me right in the middle of my belly (a target of opportunity?) and, as I was in a particularly dicey section of winding road I could not pull over. Just had to crush whatever it was and deal with the pain. Not the first time I’ve encountered this particular motorcyclist’s hazard and probably not the last. Fortunately, I’m not allergic.
Eventually 36 intersects with US 89 at the small village of Ovid, about 4 miles southwest of Montpelier,Idaho. Turned south on 89 and soon was riding along Bear Lake, a splendidly beautiful natural lake which straddles the Idaho/Utah border and on a hot weekend draws large crowds of folks seeking cool refuge and recreational escape from the Utah cities along the Wasatch front. I passed through small towns like Paris and Fish Haven,eventually finding myself in Garden City, UT where I stopped for lunch and a cool down. It was beginning to get hot.
Garden City sits on US 89 near the bottom of the lake and from here the highway turns southwest through Logan Canyon . I began my climb away from Bear Lake, stopping briefly at the wonderful Bear lake overlook with its magnificent views of the lake. 89 soon begins its winding descent through the spectacular canyon through which flows the Logan river, eventually spilling out into the lovely College town of Logan, UT (Utah State University). In Logan, I turned right on US 91 towards Idaho, stopping briefly in Smithfield for a root beer at the A&W ( nostalgia for my youth) and motoring on through Preston to Downey and eventually Arimo and I-15. I stayed on I-15 back through Inkom and the Portneuf Gap to Pocatello. By late afternoon it was quite hot so I was glad to get to my cool shower and AC.
It was a great Saturday ride over a circuitous route covering nearly 300 miles but never traveling more that 100 road miles from home. I usually travel this same route with a few additions or subtractions, in reverse, at least once per summer. A good time was had by all. SOB
Here are some pics.