While worrying about my tire in Yellowstone, I thought for sure a day would be wasted getting Bonnie ready to roll again. I figured I would shack up somewhere in the vicinity of the repair. The guys at Rexburg Motorsports were so helpful and efficient I still had plenty of riding time left in the day. I decided I could make it all the way to Boise.
Moving westward I crossed this unusual flat land gusting with wind. It was government land used for experiments. That’s all I knew. It was called the Idaho National Laboratory. Makes the mind wander what could be going on here.
That question was answered when I showed up in a town called Arco. I met a fellow biker named Ron at the local gas station. He was enjoying a cherry slushy after crossing the hot gusty government territory. I asked Ron if he knew why the head of a submarine would be placed in the middle of Idaho? He told me they do a lot of nuclear testing at those laboratories. In fact Arco was the first town in the United States to get their electricity from nuclear power.
After Fueling up in Arco I stopped by The Craters of the Moon National Monument. What you see here is miles of volcanic debris. A land once covered in lava that has cooled leaving this blackened landscape.
Much to my surprise I saw a fellow Triumph traveler in one of the pull offs.
This guy Kinsey had ridden from Seattle to Yellowstone to meet his brother and now he was headed back home.
I had a shot of Kinsey with his bike but for some reason it won’t upload. Sorry Kinsey.
You pass a number of lonely towns along the way. Here an old saloon sits alone.
This beauty sits behind the saloon.
It was a long ride across Idaho to Boise. Just before hopping on the Interstate to make my passage to Boise I saw this tank.
The Idaho State Penitentiary
After waking up in Boise I looked to see if there was anything to see before continuing my journey west. Indeed there was. The Old Idaho State Penitentiary was a functional prison from 1872 to 1973.
This prison started in 1870 as a one cell prison. It grew over time being built with stone quarried nearby by the prisoners themselves. They even helped design some of the buildings.
There were large riots here in 1971 and 1973 over the living conditions. This was the dining hall designed by a prisoner who killed himself upon his release. It also was burned down during the 1973 riot.
This old sign sits weathering away next to the prison barn.
This was the women’s ward built outside the prison walls.
This is a cell on death row.
After vacating the death row cell an inmate would stand on that gray square with a rope around his neck. The executioner would pull that lever to the right.
The prisoner would then drop to this room below ending his life.
A seventeen foot wall surrounds the prison with a guard tower at each corner.
This building called the Bishop’s House sits outside the prison.
On to Oregon!