Going Up The Country

By Jerry Nichols

Just a short road trip from Helendale, CA where I’m from, to Thatcher, UT and back, only 1,417 miles. Always a fun trip on my 2014 Indian Chieftain, I rolled out of Helendale with perfect riding weather, 68 degrees….

Going up the country, I chose to bypass Peggy Sue’s Diner, saving my belly room for some good German food ahead. Stopped into Eddie World at Yermo, CA for my first fuel stop as I was headed up the 15 toward Las Vegas; I was starting to feel the heat. This is where I fueled up Betty and downed a Gatorade …Let’s roll!

A quick shot here off of Main Street in Beaver, UT looking east toward the snow covered peaks of the Tushar Mountains.

Further up Highway 15 I spotted a locomotive with a dynamic brake stack fire. Leaving Yermo, CA, this was something to see; by the time I was able to find a safe spot to rest the bike for a photo, the train had stopped. The flames must have been whaling up to thirty feet high with the train in motion. Wow, glad they stopped, it could have been catastrophic.

Finally reached my lunch stop and I wasn’t disappointed, Cafe Berlin 4850 W Sunset Rd # 100-105 Las Vegas, NV just off the Bruce Woodberry Beltway, open daily, fantastic authentic German food and German beer. Other than pizza and tacos, it’s an all-time favorite of mine.

I had the Schnitzel Wiener Art and Spaetzle, this meal is well worth the ride if you fancy a good German meal. And also a Bitburger Pilsner, from Bitburg, Germany. This beer has been brewed there since 1817 and is one of the world’s premium pilsners and my personal favorite since I found out about it during my military service in the early 80’s over in Germany.

I rolled out of Las Vegas with a satisfied palate, headed north. After a short night’s stay at Virgin River Casino in Mesquite, NV I skipped breakfast and I was on to see The Beave.

Beaver Taco never lets me down; it’s at 1451 South Main Street, Beaver, UT, and always fun to get a photo out front with their mascot. Oh by the way, I’m now an hour behind schedule due to the time change, uuugh, Mountain Time.

Headed south of Saint George, this will have to be another trip. Those canyons look stellar. I could just picture myself rolling down that road, I can’t wait to return for more exploring.

I stopped for a quick shot off of Main Street in Beaver, looking east toward the snow covered peaks of the Tushar Mountains. Spring time is showing off her wings.

One last stop before leaving town, a place called Shopko, I have forgotten my belt; they have almost everything right there in Beaver. Now time to get on that Quick Throttle and get my butt up to Thatcher, UT for my buddy’s 50th birthday party. Speed limit is now 80mph. Time to roll that power on….

Upon arriving at my friend’s house in Thatcher, UT I was seen rolling into his back yard, party in full swing, always enjoy making a good entrance and visiting longtime friends. One of the best things about riding there is the low fuel cost.

So the after party I find Betty out back with the chickens, safe and sound. Time for a quick bath, a tiger in the tank and return south.

Well I made great time from Thatcher all the way down to Nephi, UT, time to fuel up at the One Man Band Diner 1142 UT -132 in Nephi. This little diner has a profound American menu of awesomeness. Hey it’s kind of cozy in here, I said to myself, but where is the waiter? Oh I get it; as I look over at my table and see a phone for me to dial in my order, how cool is that?

So I am placing my order over the phone and looking at the waiter who is not even looking back at me, Dude. I’m right here. Silly ordering system, but this young man was at the top of his game. He took my order and within ten minutes the light on my table buzzes for me to pick up my order, well there ya go. The perfect serving machine. I picked up my order and Wow, now that’s a serious ribeye steak, cooked to perfection. Not sure what that other thing they served with it was, come to find out it’s called a “scone” and man was that good. Tasted like a light cinnamon French toast. Yum City.

On the way south I stumbled upon the Dixie National Forest in the southern part of Utah. Headquartered in Cedar City, this park covers almost two million acres and stretches for about 170 miles. The views there are phenomenal. As I was riding up to this place I had to wonder just how it all came about, this earth of ours is a great place, we are truly lucky to live here.

Betty, take a breather while I explore for a few. After just a short hike I came across a cactus in bloom, yucca plants, lizards and flowers, a true desert paradise.

As I gaze upon the Dixie National Forest hills and the sun is starting to set I’m reminded that I don’t live here and I must go.

Another spectacular sight ahead as I was headed south of Saint George, this will have to be another trip. Those canyons look stellar. I could just picture myself rolling down that road, I can’t wait to return for more exploring, and I shall one day soon.

Another night at the Virgin River Casino in Mesquite, NV. The stay was welcomed as I took in an evening spa, nothing like hot jetted water to make this ole aircraft maintainer’s bones feel better.

The next day Las Vegas traffic was challenging as always, I felt this weird force coming from the three towers south of Las Vegas; it’s supposed to be a “solar plant” near a town called Primm, NV; most folks call it State Line. Needless to say, I didn’t linger.

So a bit later I pulled into this gas station on the east side of Baker, NV. Uh oh. What happened to this place? As you see in lots of our rural America, the signs of a struggling economy. Or could it be extra-terrestrial. Ok, upon further investigation I found the proper place to fuel up. Now Betty, stay here I’ll be right back.

I have arrived. Alien Fresh Jerky, 72242 Baker Blvd Baker, NV, a favorite stop-off for many travelers. Beware of the Alien Forces, I think they have scanned my brain. Out front and all around this unique building is evidence of another world we just do not know.

And on home I go. Always a great traveling companion, my loyal friend and motorcycle Betty. She took me to Utah and back without a scratch, I think she’s a keeper.