Saturday, May 18, 2013

Tally (Ida) Ho!

Talking recently with my faithful cycling partner Roy, we bandied around the idea of heading back to Idaho to ride the Rails to Trails there this summer.  Last year we had the novel experience of riding on a paved trail and while it wasn't a piece of cake (or pie!), we enjoyed the many conveniences that this trail provides.

During our first day of cycling, many people told us about an old saloon called the "Snake Pit" which was featured in the 1997 movie "Dante's Peak" starring Pierce Brosnan and Linda Hamilton.  Nearing the rustic establishment late in the afternoon, we scoffed at the kitschy antlers hanging from its weathered exterior, the bleached animal skulls adorning its façade and the twisted branches that acted as a backwoods privacy screen.
The "Famous" Snake Pit

The inside was no better - with dollar bills plastered on every surface and miners helmets, hardhats and baseball caps nailed to the varnished log support beams.  Both Roy and I had seen this type of décor in numerous places we had cycled through but our blasé attitude didn't stop us from ordering ice cold beers and home made burgers.  I didn't ask for any pie but as I sauntered over to a display of Tee- shirts, I could hear my friend asking our server what kind of weird combination of ice cream and pie would this famous place serve?

I chose a grey Tee emblazoned with the Snake Pit logo and paid for it as we left the establishment. 
We were intent on finding a campsite as the sun was getting low on the horizon so we headed in a  south - easterly direction where we settled for a bald RV park near the Interstate.  It was while I was woken up for the umpteenth time by traffic on the Interstate that I realized that I had left my Snake Pit Tee-shirt on the counter of the bar while we made a hasty and booze - filled exit back onto the trail in order to find a camping spot before dark.

In the morning it was easy to tell Roy that we should continue and worry about the T-shirt later.  At our next stop we lingered in a handy bike shop built right on the trail in Kellogg, Idaho and watching the professional mechanic tune up my bike, the forgotten shirt became a distant memory.

Drive through coffee shop near Kellogg, Idaho
It wasn't until we had ridden the whole tour that I was seized by an unnatural desire to have the Tee-shirt I had purchased in my possession.  I managed to convince Roy that a quick trip down the Interstate would have us in Kellogg in no time at all and we could march into the Snake Pit and be gone in a flash.  If the place was open.  Which it was not on this Thursday evening at 9 o'clock.

On our second attempt, with Roy muttering obscenities the whole way and me trying to placate him by having bought gas at the nearby Chevron in Kingston, Idaho, we were successful.  Trisha, the server working this Friday night at the "Pit" remembered the two urban looking cyclists who had swaggered into the bar wearing their bright, graphic cycling jerseys and their Spandex shorts and who in a moment of light American beer haze had forgotten something they had actually paid for (unlike most of their patrons).
Tee from a few days later

My friend Roy has since forgiven me and I occasionally wear what he describes as"The world's most expensive Tee-shirt" and I wonder now at my stubbornness at claiming something that really has less meaning to me than the Tee-shirt I bought a few days later during our bike ride and I was able to blog about in the past.

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