additional hazards in the western us
NOAA and the NIFC ,National weather service and national Interagency Fire Center, have sites regarding lightening safety and large forest fire predictions for this summer. Specifically for the areas we will be riding through on the way to Spokane. Above average fire hazards exist which may mean low visibilities and the need for alternate routes. A check with these agencies via weather radio may be helpful for those camping and without the normal media news.
Another road hazard‘«™
A phenomenon quite common on lesser traveled roadways of the western USA can be an extreme hazard to motorcyclists and others traveling the same universe‘«™
You can recognize this particular variety of road hazard by the multiple layers of dust and dirt that hang from every surface of a once-pristine 4-wheel drive vehicle‘«™ The dirtier and more mud encrusted, the bigger the hazard! It‘«÷s the working cowboy/rancher in a pick up truck!
This particular variety of western wildlife spends a great deal of time driving on back-country roads and trails where they are the only vehicle on the road. They are not used to sharing with others. When they see something interesting off to the side of the road, (or for no apparent reason at all,) they will just stop in the middle of the road and sit there, staring off into who-knows-where, with no thought towards pulling over to the shoulder or to signal other vehicles that they are stopped. I have even seen them slam their trucks unto reverse and back down the middle of a public highway! To ad to the hazard and confusion, the dust and dirt that covers the vehicle tends to obscure their tail lights and makes the brake lights nearly impossible to see.
Should you encounter one of these vehicles in your travels of the western USA, I strongly recommend you approach with extreme caution and give them a wide berth. Be especially aware of the large, ugly dog that may be perched on top of the bed mounted tool box.
it can be quite scenic, so you might find yourself making lousy time and wanting to look at something besides the road/car in front of you.