Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Lunch in Canada

With a spark of decent weather I was inspired to sneak off for a quick bike ride last weekend. A business partner for this China project was in town from San Jose, CA all weekend so I didn't think I'd have chance but he took some other meetings Friday night and Saturday morning so a brief window of time opened up.

Friday morning I thought it would be nice to get out in the northwoods and have lunch in Canada. I finished up some work, swapped out the seat, tank insert and "tour pack" storage bag on the bike then took off in a hurry. Didn't check the weather, didn't pack much ( just overnight right? ) but remembered to bring extra CD's, socks and rain gear just in case. I got to use it right away...

The weather kept getting colder and clouds turned to sprinkles then gave way to rain. My biking buddy Walter and I used to say when driving in the rain, "well... you can only get so wet" but after a few years of driving to Sturgis or other out in the middle of nowhere trips with just wet jeans, soaked shoes and a jacket it changed expanded to "but you can get really, really cold." I ended up putting on all the clothes I brought with me.

It was a total re-charge for my system to be able to get out in the woods with not too many cars around and open up the throttle for long periods of time. Coming back down to 2 lane speeds of 60 mph feels like crawling but helps you enjoy the scenery. :0)

One fine example of the upstanding urban centers of northern Minnesota is Orr. It has the convienience of having the bank, the grocery, the laundromat, the butcher, the gas station, the A&W and the bait shop all under one roof. The parking lot also shares the public access for the lake. Wonderful! We've got so much lakefront property up here we can build a gas station on it. Minnesota is called the "Land of 10,000 lakes" but according to some surveys and websiteswe've got 15,291 lakes of 10 acres or more, almost 5,000 square miles of water. ( Click here to check some other not so interesting info. )

With my three layers of clothes I made it to Canada for lunch. You know you're in the great white north when you see a Robin's Donuts, eh? Funny thing about the border crossing. Canada was guarded by a charming 20-something young woman who must have weighed about 105 pounds ( 47-48 kilos ), was very pleasant and suggested a fabulous Chinese resteraunt. No line at all. Returning home to the motherland involved 2 armed guards at my checkpoint behind two lines of several cars, interrogation and eventually being detained while my bike was emptied and inspected. I was asked on three seperate occasions if I "Had any knives, firearms or any other weapons in my vehicles or on my person." I've cleaned up my act a little because of business meetings with corporate raiders related to this China thing. Even with no earrings and sideburns and a grandpa style bike I still seemed suspect. Do I look like some kind of pshychotic gun toting nut job?

So this is where my federal tax money and massive budget deficate is going... and there wasn't a border patrol on duty that didn't look like he spent plenty of time ammassing an extra 60 pounds of mass at Robin's Donuts in Fort Frances.

I scrambled to Duluth in the dark and rain to stay at my mom's place and check in. I don't think I've been there since we shot the Scrapped scene last year. We talked about her mothers death and her families oddities that pop out durning the stress of loosing a loved one. Then we found a common interest in the TV show "Lost." Crazy.

Took off the next morning in the rain with a temp reading from a bank sign at 41 degrees. ( 5 degrees centigrade ) It was better than having to drive in snow. Just made it home in time to shave, put on a tie and make it to a lunch meeting. Life is good.


At 3:46 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

"Do I look like some kind of pshychotic gun toting nut job?

Do you really want us to answer that question? With some of the faces you make I would have to say yes : )

At 10:52 AM, Blogger EquineSpirit said...

Wow! Sounds like ya had one heck of a good time!

At 11:06 AM, Blogger Cam said...

Yes, you will get wet. Welcome to Canada. How long did it take your leathers to dry out? My current record is 4 days of drying (over an evil heat register) from a 15 minute rain ride.

Note to self: You can't outrun a rainstorm. It is ALWAYS better to stop and put the raingear on when it starts to drizzle. You can twist the throttle all you want, but clouds cut corners and ignore traffic signals.

At 2:31 PM, Blogger wes said...

Ahh Cam, You are wise.

I found some raingear on clearance that happened to be xtra-jumbo size so it fits over my jacket. Back in the day I would just get wet jeans, jacket, boots, etc. and it would take days to dry out like you said. I'd stop, put on dry socks and T shirt then drive it dry.

Young and foolish ( er, I mean ambitious. )


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