Sunday, June 28, 2009

AK '09 - Day 8

The alarm didn't go off but I woke up a few minutes before 5 without it. I wanted to leave by 6 so I hustled into the shower, packed everything up, loaded the bike and went to check out. Although breakfast wasn't supposed to be served until 7 they already had it out for the truckers. The Super 8 on I-29 in Fargo really appreciate their truck driving customers. If I'm headed through Fargo again it'll be the place to stay but next time I'll get a non-smoking room and pay extra if I have to. My clothes reak.

I grabbed some non-sweet donuts, an english muffin and some juice. Then completed the check out process. With everything done all that was left was to get on the bike and ride. I figured I'd find gas along the way out of town.

The fuel gauge readjusted and indicated I wasn't about to run out of gas as I had thought when rolling into town. I finally stopped for fuel an hour later in Valley City, ND. Tip about getting gas in Valley City, although the sign says there are 3 exits, take the first one when heading west. The other 2 loop back to the first one where the gas stations are. I called Reagan to say good morning while I was filling up the tank. The receipt printer didn't work so I had to walk inside and wait for the half baked cashier to print a receipt. The dude would have been entertaining if I hadn't been eager to keep rolling.

The route was pretty simple, head west on I-94 to Bismarc, go north on US 83 to Minot, then north on US 52 all the way to Portal, ND where I crossed the border without hassle. I didn't realize it was open season on Teal but apparently it was. I wonder if I have to claim the brown teal I killed on I-94 since it was in Montana. I mean what does Texas care :) I'm sticking to my story, I was riding down the rode when the teal flew straight into the right jug. At 80mph that proved fatal.

The immigration officer asked me if I had enough money to be in their country. I looked at him a little odd and he asked if I had enough to enjoy my vacation. I told him I had an American Express card plus cash in the bank. That seemed to satisfy him. But then he wanted to know where I worked, so I gave him the company name and hoped he didn't ask what I did. The customs guy wasn't interested in anything but my yellow slip as he was in the middle of a story so he took the slip and said thank you.

I was officially in Canada. Woo hoo! My "Ride the World" sticker has a little validity finally. US 52 becomes Canada 39 so I followed it to Regina where I picked up 11 into Saskatoon. 100 kmph seemed really slow but I discovered just like in the US, people drive at least 10 over so I just made sure there was always a faster car in front of me. The biggest challenge today was that so much of the ride was straight, flat and BORING.... There was one thrilling moment when I looked over and saw 2 deer grazing in a field near the road. No one else seemed concerned but I certainly didn't want to end my trip by hunting deer with the BMW.

I arrived in Saskatoon at 5:15  but it was actually 4:15 since they don't observe the day light savings thing. Check in was easy and the clerk was very friendly. As requested I got a first floor room opening to the parking lot. I have a door on the inside plus one to the parking lot. How cool is that? It certainly made unloading the bike a breeze. The room may be the most expensive on the trip to date, but if I didn't know any better I'd think I was staying in a Marriot.

I cleaned up, checked my email and headed out. This motel couldn't have been in a better location. There was an ATM across the street so I could get some Canadian cash and there was a restraraunt down the street. I almost went to the Tim Horton's but the motel clerk said it was like Starbucks so I may try it for Breakfast in the morning if the Super8 breakfast is the same old same old. I ended up at Dave's Family Restaraunt which was next door to Dave's Lizard Lounge. The restaraunt was closed so I went to the bar.  They called it family food but I think it's probably more like bar food. None the less, the waitress warmed up to me after I told her I was from Texas. Then there was the owner, Ken. He's a hoot. If his gig as a restaraunt owner goes south he should go on the road as a comedian. He told me he's the real owner but it used to be called David's but it had changed by a previous owner. So he changed it back and added "& Ken" really small. It's a local joke. He's a funny guy.

So what about the food. It was good bar food and the Rickards Red was good. Between the amazing room at Super 8 and the entertainment of the bar I think Saskatoon is a fun stop along the way. But things in Canada cost more so be prepared. Remember the immigration agent wants to make sure you have enough money :)

Tomorrow I catch up with my "support crew". That's what I'm calling them since there's 3 trailers between the 4 riders. If one of them had a camcorder it'd be an easy sale to tell the locals we were filming a show for a the Discovery channel. The independent portion of the trip is coming to an end but the adventure is hardly over. I have renewed confidence in future long term trips but then again I also like traveling with others.

No comments: