Wildfires, Heat Waves and Idaho Falls

One of the more interesting travel days during our motorcycle ride from Washington to Wyoming was crossing through the wildfire-invested wilderness of Montana and Idaho.

Brian was tracking the major wildfires in the area and showed me quite the map when we set out on our ride from Hamilton, Montana to Idaho Falls, Idaho early in the morning. After a great day traveling along scenic highway 12, this day of riding was shaping up to be quite the adventure.

Of greatest concern was the Moose fire pictured below, which was uncomfortably close to route 93 – our main thoroughfare. We looked at whether we could reroute, but it would have significantly impacted our plans. We would have been at risk of not making it to Idaho Falls, where we were scheduled to stay that night, and it would have increased our mileage that day and the next, which sounded exhausting, especially given the triple-digit temperatures in the afternoon.

We decided to leave early, stick to our original plan, and cross our fingers / hold our breaths (pun intended!) through the Moose fire stretch.

Happily we were able to navigate around the fire with minimal interruptions. There were sections with significant smoke, and we did try to move through those quickly since our helmets provided no relief from the congested air.

We had to make one pit stop, and a gentleman pulled up to us and said he was traveling north and wanted us to know we were almost through the worst of it.

This proved to be true and the air cleared significantly as we continued riding south of the fire. One stretch in particular was lovely with bright blue skies so we took a break to look around and take a few pictures.

The second section of our ride was much less eventful and not my favorite stretch of our trip – we were simply driving fast through flat farmland until we approached Idaho Falls.

Idaho Falls seemed like a lot of fun, but we were exhausted and didn’t feel like walking all over in the triple-digit heat. Instead, we cleaned up, walked down to the falls at the center of town, popped in a brewery for a flight and an early dinner, and then looped back along the water to our motel.

I’d love the opportunity to visit Idaho Falls under different circumstances and spend a little more time exploring.

As things stood this trip, I was simply grateful to have safely arrived and looked forward to less heat and smoke for the remaining days of our trip!

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