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Messages - naustin

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General Banter / Re: Riding with others
« on: May 17, 2018, 04:16:36 PM »
Greg, You seem to have a daily thing going on at 7:38 (6:38 actually) AM.    You're not posting while you're on the throne, are you?   ;)

The vast majority of my riding has been solo, and still is.    The enjoyment of riding in a group - for me -  is less about any potential increase in safety, and more about the shared experience and camaraderie.   

I actually think "group" riding (by that I mean more than 2 or 3 bikes) is more dangerous than solo.   This might be simply because I tend to expand my bubble of awareness to encompass the entire group, and find myself mentally accounting for hazards that might affect other riders, even if it doesn't pose a direct threat to me.   As a result, its more fatiguing to ride in a group.   

And when I think of all the group rides I've ever been on, the number of incidents I've witnessed is actually pretty high.   The first group ride I ever participated in shortly after I bought my 1st bike (organized by the dealership) resulted in a guy I sorta knew running wide into a ditch for no reason at all, taking a helicopter ride, and spending the next several months in a body cast.  He did then lose two hundred pounds, so there was a silver lining.  But, that was basically the last "Group" ride I did for 12 years, and all my riding after that was solo, or just with my wife on the pillion until recently. 

Even now that I've started riding with this club occasionally, it seems like almost every ride I've been on, there was something that could have ended badly....  Somebody over cooked a corner stood it up across a double yellow, another guy went off into the gravel shoulder and stopped in the grass (stayed upright and rode on), there were a couple pucker moments passing cars without enough visibility, and who can forget the stand-up wheelies down HWY 61?  ::)  As much as we all say, "Ride your own Ride" -- I think a lot of that wouldn't happen if the riders were solo and actually riding their own ride.

And, don't get me wrong, I enjoy running double the yellow signs through the corners and shrinking the country miles when there is no one around.    99% of the time, and the vast majority of the riders I've met so far are really great people, and I'm looking forward to riding with this club more and improving my own skills following riders better than me.   But, I definitely don't consider the group rides somehow "safer" than riding solo.   Whether its human nature or just multiplication - I feel like the risk level goes up with every additional bike.

General Banter / Re: Pledge
« on: May 05, 2018, 06:13:49 AM »
Greg - thanks for putting yourself out to organize!  It’s appreciated and I know there are other folks that have the experience, and know all the roads very well (not me, yet) - but just have a hard time nailing down the time until the last minute.  Also, it’s smart to have two or three people team up to organize something - I know you have had designated “lieutenants” in the past riding clean-up, leading a second group, etc.

I pledge to attend several rides, and will be thinking about how I can help more in the future.

Thanks again!

General Banter / Re: Happy Equinox!!
« on: April 14, 2018, 01:12:42 AM »
That joke was a little funny back in the 90s, but it was already old 20 years ago!  Probably you guys were too... ;D

General Banter / Re: So close, yet ...
« on: March 16, 2018, 07:32:59 AM »
So, is it the aerodynamics of the fairing that is bugging you, or the handling?    Perhaps a different windscreen would help get rid of the sensation of pushing air out in front of you?   On your CBR, your body may have been in more clean air flowing all around you, while on the new bike with more protective fairings, the net result is that the air is being moved and potentially directed up and into your chest/helmet.  Take the windscreen off entirely and see what it feels like.   Perhaps a different windscreen with a better profile (read less style) would actually help the bike "Slice" through the air better.

General Banter / Re: LESS IS MORE
« on: October 11, 2017, 06:52:09 PM »
Congrats on the new bike.  8)

General Banter / Re: HAPPY EQUINOX!!
« on: September 23, 2017, 08:05:46 AM »
I'm still thinking about a targeted strike on Leland Sunday the 1st.  I won't make it to Pine Bluff, but the 11am gathering at Sprecher's is in range.   Planned a supersonic shot down I90 until I penetrate Wisconsin, and then avoid radar by terrain hugging as I sneak south.  On the way home, I'll likely cross the river at Lansing.

General Banter / Re: Multiple bikes
« on: April 08, 2017, 06:54:47 AM »
Greg - Here's a good read for you... :)   Trips like this are the reason I will always have an ST of some kind in the garage.,97618.msg2211914.html#msg2211914

General Banter / Re: Multiple bikes
« on: April 06, 2017, 04:20:45 PM »
You won't really appreciate the ST Bike until you're 1500 miles out and you're hitting the Day 3 groove with 7 days and all the best sceanery/roads still ahead of you.  ;D

Bike Help / Re: Repacking Mufflers?
« on: January 24, 2017, 07:17:37 PM »
I *think* the factory mufflers on my ST-1300 are designed with various baffles that split and route exhaust and sound in different internal paths such that there is no packing in the first place.  They also have integrated cats, which in and of themselves result in quite a bit of silencing.  They definetly are sealed, and there is no way to open them up anyway...

All that to say: not all mufflers have packing.

Introductions / Re: Is winter over yet? How about now? How about now?
« on: January 03, 2017, 08:06:03 PM »
While my ST-1300 is awesome for eating miles, if I was purely a solo rider and didn't need to be able to do 500 mile days two-up - I'd like to have a smaller and lighter SPORT-touring bike.  The ST1300 is really a sport-TOURING rig.   I've always wanted a VFR800.  But, I do prefer shafties. Too bad the VFR 1200 only has a 4 gallon tank good for ~150 miles.  ::)  The ST comfortably doubles that.

For Sale/Wanted to Buy / Re: Not mine, just a Honda fan
« on: October 29, 2016, 03:28:10 PM »
 :o   3,600 miles on a 14 yr old bike!   Still looks good!   

General Banter / Re: naustin - Banff & Jasper Ride Report / Intro
« on: July 19, 2016, 07:05:37 PM »
Thanks Greg - hope you enjoy it! It was fun for me to go back and re-read today.  :D

General Banter / Re: naustin - Banff & Jasper Ride Report / Intro
« on: July 19, 2016, 03:36:09 PM »
Last Day - Day 7: Seeley Lake, MT to Home
Impromptu – Unofficial – SaddleSore 1000
1,257 Miles (per BaseCamp)
6:30am Mountain Time to 2:20 Central Time ~19hrs.  = 66mph avg.

_Day 7 Route Map.jpg

I was up at my usual 5 AM and planning to be on the road by 6.   While packing up the bike, I left the door to my room open, and it unceremoniously shut behind me, locking me out.   I felt terrible ringing the bell and waking up the proprietor at 5:30 in the morning to give me another key and the delay kept me from getting on the road until about 6:30.

It appeared that the weather would be perfect.  The weather channel showed there were storms over eastern SD and Minnesota, and a vicious cold front coming in from the west – but there was a bubble of high pressure over Montana and Wyoming that I would enjoy all day on my way to Rapid City, SD where I planned to stay for the evening, and so I decided not to wear my rain liners or thermal base layer so I wouldn’t have to stop and take it all off later.

The temperature stared out in the low 50s, but quickly dropped into the high 30s at one point as I crossed the high plateau and foothills on my way to the I-90 interchange.  I was too stubborn to stop to add layers so soon after getting on the road, so I just cranked up the heated grips, gritted my teeth and shivered through it.

“Gotta Catch the Sun”

“Frosty Montana Morning”

The signs said 65 or 70, but based on the local ranchers with their big diesel pick-ups, the speed limit on Montana’s two-lane back roads is something more like 90 mph.  Keep an eye on your mirrors.

I made it to the freeway, and shortly afterward, stopped in Deer Lodge at a McDonalds to nurse my hypothermia.  After breakfast and a large cup of coffee that I nursed for quite a while, the temps were back into the mid 50s.  I got fuel and added some air to my tires across the street, and then got back on the freeway.

Once I crossed the continental divide east of Butte, it was essentially downhill all the way back to Minnesota. At 80 mph, the Honda V4 hums like an acoustic guitar playing the G Chord; you can’t hear it - but you can feel it.  There were bluebird skies, the temp was a steady, just-right 73 degrees, and the wind was at my back the entire day.  Under these conditions, with the Zumo pumping music into my helmet, covering miles was effortless.

I continued on through Bozeman, Billings, and Sheridan, WY passing mountains that had been capped in fresh snow earlier in the week.  The speed limit in Montana was 75, and it kicked up to 80 in Wyoming.  Running 80-85, the ST’s 320-mile range dropped down to 250-280.  3 hours was all I cared to do without at least a short break to stretch my legs, anyway.

“Perfect Weather”

I needed fuel at Gillette, Wyoming; my flashing fuel gauge was down to 20 miles remaining.  After filling up, I ate a gas-station personal pizza and met a car salesman who had just sold a brand new full-ton diesel crew cab Chevy and was putting in a complimentary tank of gas.  

He thought my ST was a BMW at first, and then had to tell me about the week 10 years ago when he rode back and forth from work to a campground in Sturgis for every night of the rally.  It was his best week ever, and he sold 20 trucks that week alone.  He was also very proud of the fact that some of the biggest coal mines in the world are near Gillette, and tried to encourage me to detour in order to ride past one of the huge open-pit sites.  

Thankfully he answered his cell phone in the middle of our conversation, and I had a good excuse to leave.

Soon, I approached the Black Hills.  It was mid-to-late afternoon, and the weather was still perfect as I rode though Rapid City, far too nice to stop for the night.  I wasn’t sure if I could make it all the way home, but the idea had crept into my mind.  The sound of my daughters voice on the voicemail asking for her daddy was hard to resist.

I occasionally peeked at the radar on my iPhone in my tankbag, and could see that the weather system over Minnesota was slowly losing energy.  It looked like clear sailing, at least as far as Sioux Falls.  I stopped on a freeway ramp to call my wife and let her know I was still riding, and would continue on until I got too tired.

“Calling Home”

The sun was setting by the time I reached Murdo, just west of the Missouri River at Chamberlain.  I got fuel, and had another PowerBar washed down with a StarBucks energy drink.   My mind was fairly well made up at this point, if I rode straight through, I could make it home a little after 2 AM.

It was the Friday of Labor Day weekend, and there was more traffic than usual, but it was all heading west.  In my direction traffic was light.  I passed through Sioux Falls and knew I was only 2.5 – 3 hours from home.   Brandon, SD was the last gas stop.

It was very dark, and I-90 from the Minnesota border to the east was practically abandoned.  I was happy for the ST’s high beams, which are like searchlights, but the occasional on-coming car kept me from using them constantly.  The weather had cleared, so I could see the Milky Way above me, but I could also still smell the recent rain.

I remember thinking; I should ride at night more often.

Suddenly, there were two deer in the middle of the road. I had ~ maybe ~ 1 second to react, shouted at them involuntarily, and added pressure to my right bar to track the nose of the ST into the gap between them as they moved left-to-right across the lane from the median.  I never even touched the brakes and I’m not sure if I even rolled off the throttle.

I missed the first dear, but clipped the second one.  I could hear it bounce off the fairing, but the impact was minimal and the bike’s trajectory was barely affected.  But, it couldn’t have been any closer to disaster.

I coasted slowly for a minute, and a rest area appeared almost immediately where I pulled over under a streetlight to inspect the bike for damage.  Everything appeared intact; no cracks in the fairing, the saddlebag was still attached and secure, and the bike appeared to be unscathed, except for the tip-over bar, which was bent back.  I’m pretty sure the deer took it to the head.  The powder-coating is even rubbed off.  At 75 mph, it was probably fatal.

It was the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, so there was nothing to do but continue on.  I trimmed my speed considerably, and used my High beam as much as possible.  What I really wanted was a few other vehicles to follow, so I could use their lights to see better, but there was no one else on my side of the road.  

After a nervous hour running 55-60 mph with no one catching me from behind, a truck finally entered the freeway from a ramp ahead of me.  I caught up to him and followed him the rest of the way home, hoping he would snowplow any more deer off the road.

“Light’s out”

The next morning, the only other damage I found, besides the bent crash bar, was a long scratch on the front fairing underneath the tip-over wing.  Not sure it was from teeth or hooves.

MN recently re-opened wolf hunting.  I think we should be doing the opposite.

About 20 miles from home, I finally caught up to the remnants of the rain that had been churning over Minnesota all day.  I expected it to be fairly light, as the whole system was collapsing, but it turned out to be very heavy.  It was difficult to see and I was grateful to be following a truck.  I pulled into the driveway at 2:20 am Central time – almost exactly 19 hours after leaving Seeley Lake, MT.

Unofficial (Accidental) BunBurner 1500

I knew based on miles and time that I had easily completed an unofficial SaddleSore1000.  But I realized the next morning, that I probably did a BunBurner 1500 without realizing it.  It was 1257 miles from Seeley Lake to Home, which means I only needed to have ridden another 243 miles between 2:20 CT (1:20 MT) Thursday afternoon and my arrival at Seeley Lake Thursday night.  Based on GPS Time Tags from my camera embedded in my pictures, I was at the Kootenay Valley Overlook at 1:13pm (MT), which adds approximately 326 miles to my 36-hour total.  

Therefore, I rode 1,583 miles in 36 hours, including an overlay of ~ 11 hrs. in Seeley Lake. (7:30pm Thursday to 6:30AM Friday).  I don’t have gas receipts, or signed witnesses – but my credit card statement, and the GPS camera timestamps are good enough for my own pride.

“Two Places 4,000 Miles Apart”

Overall, it was a great trip.  I should have worn my 3-season gear, and I had only just barely enough layers to endure the cold, but the mesh gear paid off on the perfect 73-degree day riding home.  I missed having my wife on the pillion and would have enjoyed the trip a lot more if she had been with me, and it was hard to leave my little girl for a week when I didn’t really have to.  But, I’m glad I went.

The map below reflects all four of my big trips since 2008.  Thanks for reading - I hope you enjoyed it!

Updated Everywhere Map

_Updated Everywhere Map.jpg

General Banter / Re: naustin - Banff & Jasper Ride Report / Intro
« on: July 19, 2016, 03:35:32 PM »
Day 6: Jasper, A.B. to Seeley Lake, MT
573 Miles

_Day 6 Route Map.jpg

The rain seemed to come in waves lasting about an hour.  I woke several times in the night briefly when the winds picked up, and once to the sound of a bear collecting the few sunflower seeds I had dropped around my campsite.  The “bear” was probably a ?mouse,” but I can’t be sure.  My tent does seem to have an inexplicable acoustical quality that amplifies animal sounds 1000%.

When I finally woke up around 5, the rain had tapered off to a light sprinkle.  I lounged in the tent for a while, considering whether to wait for it to stop entirely, or to break camp in the rain.   It was times like these that I most regretted not paying Verizon a little extra for an international data plan that would have allowed me to see the weather radar on my phone.

In the end, my desire to get home prevailed and I broke camp in the light rain, and departed the campground at first light.    Turning south on the Icefields Parkway, I was greeted by cold temperatures, rain and fog.   By this time, I knew that all my pictures from my tankbag camera had been ruined on the ride up the Parkway, and the rain and fog guaranteed that I wouldn’t be so lucky as to have another good day for pictures on the way home.  However, as I approached the Colombia Icefields and gained elevation, I climbed above the fog, and was able to get a few pictures before dropping over the opposite side of Sunwapata Pass.

“Approaching Sunwapata Pass”

“Morning Fog”

“Mount Athabasca”

At Saskatchewan Crossing, the blanket of fog became thick and I rode though the clouds, occasionally catching a glimpse of dark skies ahead.  Approaching Lake Louise, it became clear that there would be heavy rains to contend with, and I seriously considered skipping the Bow Valley Parkway and the town site of Banff all together, which would save me at least 2 hours.  However, despite the wall of water ahead of me, I decided that the trip would not be complete if I did not at least ride through Banff itself, and as long as I was committed to that, I couldn’t miss the Bow Valley Parkway.

_Day 6b Route Map.jpg

I encountered the rain upon arriving in Lake Louise.  Traffic on Hwy 1 was heavy, and I was glad to exit back off the 4-lane onto the Bow Valley Parkway where the lack of traffic and lower speed limit was a welcome way to endure storm.  There was no wildlife to see due to the storms, and only a handful of other vehicles.  As I continued south, I began to escape the rain, just in time for a picture at the famous spot below Castle Mountain.


I continued into Banff looking for fuel and lunch.   What a zoo.   The place is positively dripping in stupid money.  It’s full of high-end boutiques, and all of the storefronts are new and uniformly designed, landscaped and integrated.  The whole town felt like it was built yesterday as a theme park for Calgary’s elite ski culture.  It was PACKED with people and choked with traffic.   I didn’t even take any pictures.  This is not a place for me.  I got gas, did one lap of the downtown (which took forever), wolfed down a couple PowerBars on the entrance ramp back to Hwy 1, and left post-haste for the short blast back up the 4-lane north to Hwy 93.

I’m glad I rode the Bow Valley Parkway, and that I made the decision to go down to Banff and complete my planned route, but only because I now know I don’t really need to go back.

I immediately ran back into heavy rain as I traveled back north before turning west on Hwy 93 into Kootenay National Park.  The rain was steady until I finally ran out from under the backside of the weather at Kootenay Crossing, and I was able to get some good pictures at the Kootenay Valley overlook, just east of Sinclair Pass.

_Day 6c Route Map.jpg
“Kootenay Valley Overlook”

“Kootenay Valley Overlook”

“Better Weather South”

I moved on, passing through Radium Hot Springs, Columbia Lake, and Cranbrook, stopping only for fuel and at a roadside rest area to strip and remove my thermal base layer and rain liners before crossing back into the US at Roosville.

Unlike the crossing into Canada several days prior, there was a long line on the U.S. side, and I waited for 30-45 minutes.  When it was finally my turn, the border agent was courteous, but deliberate and asked me far more questions.  He asked me where I was from more than once, and I got the impression he was more interested in my body language than my actual answers.  There is no doubt, he was a pro.

I made it though without getting searched or delayed, which was a relief, and rode south toward Kalispell, MT where I originally planned to stay the evening.

I can remember when I was just barely old enough to read it, a National Geographic magazine article naming Kalispell, MT as the most beautiful city in the United States.  For some reason, that trivia stuck in my mind, and I marked that place as something to see one day. My wife and I had been in Glacier National Park in 2010, but never explored outside the western boundary, which only added to the mystique and my desire to get there on this trip.  Upon actually arriving in Kalispell, however, I found the outskirts peppered with chain restaurants and strip-malls.  The downtown area that I saw was run-down and unkempt.  In short – I looked like every other regional trade hub across the Midwest.  The article I had read as a boy was written almost 30 years ago, so I guess the place used to be something special.

I turned west toward Big Fork, and resolved to ride on down the less traveled Swan Hwy (Hwy 83) until I found a lodge or motel that suited me.   The land along the highway was developed, but primarily with private homes and cabins.  It was a pleasant ride, but I started to get concerned that I’d have to detour southwest into Missoula to find a place to stay.  Also, I began to see deer grazing in the fire-thinned areas of the forest - lots and lots of deer.

Finally, I arrived in Seeley Lake, MT and found what I was looking for.  Perfect!

“Seeley Lake Motor Lodge”

“Not Bashful”

I must have seen two dozen deer in the last 30 minutes before arriving at Seeley Lake, and these two in the parking lot of the motel were not bashful.  After I snapped the picture above, she walked right up to me to see if I would share my sunflower seeds and I actually touched her nose.  If I had something she was more interested in eating, I think I could have fed her from my hand and scratched her ears.

I think they need to either stop shooting wolves, or increase the bag limit on deer in western Montana.

Dinner was just down the street at “The Filling Station” bar and grill, and the inexpensive bar food was surprisingly satisfying.  I was able to use my phone again, and received several voicemail messages from my wife.  Apparently, my 16 mo. old daughter had been walking around the house pointing to all the spots I like to sit, and saying “Da-Da?”

How far am I from home?

General Banter / Re: naustin - Banff & Jasper Ride Report / Intro
« on: July 19, 2016, 03:34:59 PM »
Day 5: Jasper, A.B.
31 Miles

_Day 5 Route Map.jpg

Camping in Jasper was idyllic compared to the evil-clown-circus back in Deadwood, SD.  After dinner the night previous, I walked back to my campsite and found total peace and quiet.  Of course, the steady pitter-patter of raindrops on my tent fly may have had something to do with that.  Regardless, that light rain and cool air combined with the steady rushing flow of the Athabasca River completely robbed me of consciousness before the last light faded, and I slept soundly until daybreak.

I was up early, however, and intent on catching a ride on the Jasper SkyTram before the skies turned overcast and the haze settled into the valleys. Even though I had planned on taking the SkyTram ride on this day since the earliest planning stages of the trip, I had not made reservations online.   If the weather had been poor, and visibility low, I may not have actually wanted to go up the mountain.  

That rationale now seemed silly considering the low price of the ticket, and my building anxiety at the prospect of not being able to get in at the gate.  After seeing the hoards of people at Peyto Lake, I was somewhat concerned that a reservation would be a necessity.  I could see a gondola headed up the mountain in the distance, so I set off from the campground and arrived at the terminal around 7:00 am.

There was nobody there, except for the Whitetail doe standing in the road just around a blind corner on the way up to the parking lot.

There was a sign that said, “First Up @ 9:00am” (which seemed late to me), but I ran into town and made a quick lap to pass the time.  All I found in town at that early hour was an Elk casually meandering the main street, grazing on the landscaping, and a few tourists who seemed unsure whether to take pictures or defend the foliage and chase off the pillager.

I got back to the SkyTram station around 7:45 and decided to just sit and wait and enjoy the morning sun.  A few other guests arrived, all with reservations of course, and eventually the staff started to show up as well.  At 9:01, they opened up the ticket window, and to my relief, there was plenty of room for the first ride up the mountain.

“Jasper SkyTram”

As I waited to purchase my ticket, a retired couple from California traveling in a new Corvette joined me in my siege of the ticket window.  We chatted about nothing in particular, and I picked up on their deliberate avoidance of asking any personal questions, so I reciprocated and we talked about our observations of the area.  I wondered though, what they were hiding.   Although he mentioned they were from California, when the ticket clerk asked them where they were from, his wife responded – Costa Rica….

The clerk didn’t buy it - I could tell.  The thick South African accent probably didn’t help.

At the top of the mountain on the second floor of the Tram station, there is a restaurant, and I went there directly for breakfast as by this time I was starving.  It took the staff a while to get organized, but the food was decent, and the view was incredible.  My new friends from South Costafornica joined me at my table to enjoy their hot coco and talk about anything except me, or them – which only left the train coursing through the valley far below.   It is actually fairly remarkable to observe a mile-long train all at once – so I’ll give `em that.

I should really check out the America’s Most Wanted website, just to make sure…

After breakfast, I decided to hike to the Summit of Whistler’s Peak.  It doesn’t look like much in the following picture, but it’s enough to make you sweat in 40-degree temps.  The winds were furious, and the gusts nearly blew you off the trail.  I’d guess there was a steady 50-60 mph breeze in the exposed areas with gusts even higher.   I actually put in my earplugs.

“Pyramid Mountain”

“Yellowhead Mountain”

“Whistler’s Summit”

I burned several rolls of virtual film, and spent some quality time with a lounge-chair-shaped hunk of granite before heading back down.

After walking the 4-5 blocks of Jasper’s main drag, and finding all the same touristy crap in every store, I decided to have a late lunch, and to run up to Maligne Canyon for a short hike.

“Maligne Canyon”

There was a Wal-Mart sized parking lot, stuffed full of cars and tour busses, but I didn’t let it deter me.  The main trail includes four or five bridges over the narrow chasm that descends into the valley, and after the first bridge near the parking lot, the hoards of humans thinned considerably.  Apparently, most muggles don’t want to hike much further than the length of the tour bus they are riding.

I hiked quite a distance past the 4th bridge, and for a time was somewhat alone on the trail.

After my hike, I returned to Jasper, and collected various gifts for my wife and daughter, mostly from the National Park Visitor’s Center itself, and then bee-lined directly to Jasper Brewing Co.   I asked the bartender, (who looks just like Shaun White, but who will KILL you if you mention it), if there was an IPA on tap.  There were two, including a new seasonal “White IPA”, and my follow-up questions prompted the guy on the stool next to me to intervene.  Aaron, as it turns out, was part of the brew staff.   This was helpful.

“White IPA and Lobster Maki Roll Appetizer ”

Aaron was fairly new to the team at Jasper Brewing Co., and worked the previous 10 years as a firefighter for the forest service in B.C. and Alberta.   We discussed the efficacy of the emergency shelters made of foil that are issued to the firefighters.  Aaron’s opinion was that he would RUN through hell’s worst inferno before he huddled under one of those silly space blankets to bake like a potato. When described that way, I believe I would also RUN.

Since it was my last night in Jasper, I decided to forgo the “Millionaire’s Steak” offered on the menu at Jasper Brewing Co., settled up my tab, and moved the bike around the corner to “Evil Dave’s.”  

I had found the website for “Evil Dave’s” online while planning the trip, and something told me I couldn’t go home without eating the “Wicked Food” they serve.  Upon opening the menu, the first thing I read is: “Dave's not here man! No really, Dave's not here. He opened the restaurant in 2006 and hasn't been here since the restraining order of 2007. How's that for Evil ?”

Well, then!

“Evil Dave’s Tenderloin”

I ordered it: “rare, really rare – like blue rare.”

And that’s how it got it.  And it was warm and purple in the middle just like it should be.  I complimented the waiter and told him how this was the first of the last 25 steaks I’d ordered rare, that actually came properly prepared.  He said the chef is “patient – well, not patient at all – but patient with the food”, and the key is to warm the steak on a hot plate before you cook it.

Eat at Evil Dave’s.

After my meal, I stopped for gas and headed back to the campground to chew sunflower seeds by the river and watch the sunlight fade into the trees.

“Athabasca River”

“Traveling Light”

It rained again in the night, harder this time.  The rhythmic sound on my tent fly lulled me into an easy sleep.  But, I missed my wife and little girl, and hadn’t been able to communicate much while over the border.  I was having fun, but not nearly as much as if my wife had been with me.  I was ready to head for home.

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