Hula-hoop honey

It was about a thousand miles ago…

She was standing on the median, thumb out. Hitchhiking, obviously. The trouble was, she was on the cross-street median. I wondered if she was an amateur–but only for a split second–because she was doing a dance with a hula-hoop. That got my attention for sure.

No amateur, this.

I rolled up to the gas’n’go. When I pulled out, she had disappeared from the median. Her act got her a ride, I thought, and well-deserved, too. But no, there she was, about a hundred yards down the highway. Her thumb was out and she was calling my name, twirling her hoop and grinning to beat the band as I rode up.

I did what anyone with a spare seat should have done a lot sooner. I hit the binders and stopped. We were headed to the same place. As it turned out, her eyes were bigger than her gear, and there was no possible way that I could strap it and her on board at the same time. Since she wasn’t giving anything up, I high-fived her for ingenuity and went on my way.

Another time.

 

 

Riverside Motel – near Hadashville, MB

I was road-weary. I was tired. The many deer on the highway in the darkness of night were starting to get to me. I needed to get off the road and snooze until daylight. Better to to sleep for a bit than to keep on going and chance a hit.

Oh, look, a motel. How fortunate for some.

 

UPDATED 2015-06-07: Now under new management!

Welcome to riverside motel Hadashville. I am a new owner. I bought the motel just one year with my partner. We have decorated every room, and make a big change everything, cleaned water, new bed set, free WiFi, satellite TV, Free parking, family food  and so on.
We can provide the complete hospitality service for everybody. Thanks!

Fang

* * *

Oh, look. A motel. What good fortune.

I had been passing by this place for decades but I never had the opportunity or a reason to stop since it was in the middle of nowhere–literally. I walked in to the lobby and a troll asked me for my name and phone number, which it wrote down on a piece of paper. I might have taken that as a clue, but in my advanced state of decomposition I let it slide. Now that I think about it, I should have been instantly reminded of my stay at a dive in Sweetwater, Texas, when I had to get off the road to avoid rain, sleet, hail, and wind. I got eaten alive by bedbugs and lived to tell about it, but I digress.

There was no key forthcoming, but I did get an admonition to leave the door unlocked when I departed in the morning. No problem. I’ve probably stayed in worse places, I thought to myself. (See here.)

I pulled up to the front of the room and eyed the door. It looked to have been kicked in a time or two.

Yup, for sure.

Inside, there were more mosquitoes than you can find over road kill, but I was tired. I swatted away as many as I could while I pulled the sheets back and inspected the bed with a flashlight.

Nope, I’m not sleeping there.

Both the chairs in the room were cloth. I wouldn’t be sleeping on either of them.

I figured I could at least get a wash before heading back out on the road, but I didn’t think that was a very good idea after inspecting the waterworks. Instead I used my stash of bottled water to brush my teeth and rinse my face.

I was back on the road shortly thereafter, where I caught a few winks at a weigh station farther east on the border.

Yes, I left the door unlocked when I pulled out.

Places to eat – Espanola, Ontario

Hong Kong Restaurant – I decided not to eat in the Pinewood Motor Inn’s dining room because it was packed and I didn’t want to wait. Am I ever glad that I walked down the street to this place.

Hong Kong Restaurant

The Hong Kong Restaurant in Espanola, Ontario isn't to be missed if you have some time for plenty of fresh, hot buffet food on your way to the ferry terminal 90 minutes down the road.

I found this little gem just a short walk away on the opposite side of the street. At first I was put off by the few occupied seats, but having walked past a motorcycle in the parking lot buoyed my spirits. After I sat down, others showed up. Obviously, the locals were aware of this place.

I told the waitress I’d be trying the buffet, but I was disappointed when I saw that there was very little food in the warming trays. No sooner had I walked up to the display when the chef walked out, surveyed the room, checked the food trays, and began bringing out fresh, hot goodies. A veritable delight awaited me. He did the same thing several times, ensuring that newcomers all had as much as was needed, fresh and hot.

Three plates later and I waddled back to my room, having been sated by some of the freshest, hottest and most abundant food I had ever eaten in a Chinese restaurant.

If you’re passing through Espanola on your way to the South Baymouth ferry terminal on Manitoulan Island, don’t miss this little gem. Don’t be disappointed when you walk up to the buffet and can’t see much food. It will be coming right up, fresh and hot.

The ferry terminal is about another 90 minutes down the road if the swing bridge is in use. If you’re on a motorcycle, no reservation is required. Added bonus: you’re sent to the front of the line, where you’ll be first on, and, obviously, first off.

Chi-Cheemaun ferry South Baymouth/Tobermory

On a motorcycle? No reservation required. You're first on/first off, since this thing can load/unload from either end. If you're in a cage, you'll need a reservation.

Highway robbery

How many times have you been hit up by a lying, cheating, stealing, change-grabbing gas-bar attendant when you’re on the road? Some of them are trying to stick their hand in your pocket while they make a show of giving you the change. Yeah, I’m fed up too.

Outside of Moosomin

I stop here on the bike for fuel on a regular basis. It's just outside of Moosomin. I always have to pay attention to my change before taking my hand off of the counter - especially if one woman in particular is behind the counter. If I don't, guess what?

It’s a good day to ride

Updated July 2011: Scooter Tramp Scotty has more to say about his riding life over on bikernet.com. Here’s a link to his description of life on the road. If you ever wanted a big picture of what it’s like to wander the highway highs and lows on a motorcycle, check it out.

*     *     *

Contrary to this guy and his wrong-way Corrigan Mexico motorcycle trip, Scotty Kerekes, a long-time rider and old Mexico hand, knows how to do it right. Ignore the typos, and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. I’ll listen and read about Scotty’s adventures before those of almost anyone else.

Scotty used to have a web site a few years ago, but it’s long gone now as he continues to ride across North America and Mexico on his overloaded bagger. Occasionally, he’ll stop long enough to write something and post it on the web, usually with photos.

Here’s Scooter Tramp Scotty’s Mexican Winter adventure.

And here’s another: Return to New Orleans.