Diner

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Every once in a while I dig up something from the archives. This is something I wrote after a quick trip to Alaska a few years ago.

Up ahead there is a diner. After travelling 150 miles without eating breakfast this is just what I am looking for. I park the bike and look around. There are no other bikes in the parking lot, not a big surprise considering that itís 7am and pouring rain.

Just what am I doing in this part af Canada, at this hour, riding a bike in the rain? At the moment Iím not quite sure. I arrived at my campsite last night at 11pm after riding over 1000 miles. I hadnít planned to ride that many miles yesterday and when I arrived at camp I hadnít picked a destination for today. Looking at the map in the tent I saw that I was not all that far from a freinds house in South Dakota. Now most of you might not consider 1100 miles and a border crossing to be ďnot all that farĒ but I never let my brain get in the way of making decisions. I carefully calculated the miles and hours it would take to get there. It would be no problem as long as I was not delayed and I left in a couple of hours. Oh yeah, sleep. Well there will be time for that when the vacation is over.

After a few hours of sleep I woke up to the rude screeching of my alarm. Now, as the morning traffic began to increase, after riding more miles than some people consider a full day of riding, I am walking into a diner leaving a trail of rain water behind me. The waitress greets me in a freindly voice, then turns around to see who walked in. That was the last I saw of that waitress. Another waitress took my order but seemed to be stairing at something in horror. Some day Iíll buy a pair of gloves whoís dye doesnít turn my hands a sickly blue black color.

The rest of the day ran just as smoothly. Traffic delays slowed me down. I picked a border crossing where a prison guard was sent as punishment for his mistreatment of death- row inmates. I found a road that was clear sailing, no one else was on the road. I guess everyone else had heard that they had torn the highway up and started rebuilding it. That was fun on a tour bike. As night fell I started seeing homesick deer. I knew they were homesick because they were all trying to get to their home on the other side of the road. No officer, Iím not being a smart ass, I really didnít know that the speed limit dropped from 55 to 20 MPH, I sort of expected a sign or something. Really, on the east coast we put signs up telling us how fast we can go. No we donít consider that cheating. Thank you very much, you have a nice evening too.

Finally I find the town where my freind lives, I find the house and everything. Itís only midnight, I donít know what everyoneís problem is. Oh yeah, my watch is still set two time zones west, I hope my freind is awake. Thereís no car in the driveway and no lights on, bad sign. Nope, nobody home. I donít understand this. I wrote just last Christmas that I might stop by sometime during the summer if I was anywhere in the area on my way back from Alaska. Oh well, time to look at a map and see where to go next. Iíve got some freinds in Toronto, thatís not too far from South Dakota. I think Iíll call first.