Arco Idaho to Atomic City: Journal Entry 16

Sunday morning Bill wants to go ahead and ride the short mileage from where we left off just west of Arco. We get out before the sun and prepare for the ride. Blackie will enjoy a short day and have all afternoon to rest before we push on to Blackfoot. I think we all need the rest. We are staying at the Arco Inn. It is quiet and a good place to take a Sunday nap.

First thing Monday morning, we feed ol’ Blackie in preparation for today’s ride. He is not much interested in food and is rarin’ to go. We have to go to a store for Bill’s ration of coffee. I swear he drinks a whole pot every morning. When we get back we sit in the glow of the full moon, waiting on the sun. Blackie is saddled and seems to wonder why they aren’t on the road yet. I think the horse is enjoying this trip. He doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of stress. His gait is always steady, with no signs of lameness.  gallery

I leave the motel at about 8 a.m. after contacting the CBS affiliate in Idaho Falls. Their coverage includes Blackfoot and Pocatello. We hope they are interested in featuring our journey and our cause. Bill has made it about eight miles by the time I catch up with him. He is surprised to see me this soon. I guess he thought I would stay in Arco for a while. I got everything done that I could so rather than burn more time I decided to get on down the road.

 It’s a good thing Bill started at 5:30 this morning. By 10 a.m. we can tell it’s going to be another scorcher. My second stop is at the rest stop where there is supposed to be an historical marker. At this point Bill has 16 ½ miles under his belt. The area is under construction so I’m forced to stop just barely out of the road. There is actually plenty of room for folks to go by without problems; it’s just a lot closer to the road than I normally like to stop. The trucks and motor homes make so much noise and push a lot of wind. The truck and trailer shudder every time one of them passes by. After this stop, I drive to the point where Highway 20 turns south. This will make about 24 ½ miles today. It is time to stop as the heat is really coming on now.

We drive to Atomic City in hopes of finding some shade and a place to camp for the night. The owner of the Atomic City Bar and Store shows us a place where there is a nice pole barn with some pens already partially set up. This is a good shady spot for Blackie. We only have to use two of our panels to make the pen secure. When we have made sure the horse is comfortable, fed and watered, we go to the store to meet with some of the locals. It doesn’t take long for them to warm up to Bill. He is so easy to get along with and his “gift of gab” makes him hard to ignore. It seems that most of the 29 people who are permanent residents here work for the INL. This is an area where much of our Nuclear Power technology was developed.

After we have a pizza and conclude our conversation with these great folks, we head to our camp for some much needed shut eye. All that is missing is a nice warm shower before bed.