I did not know before we turned onto the Cassier that it even had a name. On my map it was 37 or 39 or something and I still think of it at "Hwy 37."
When I got the extra gas can I though it was overkill, extra, kind-of-silly. But it wasn't.
Somewhere before Belle II my gas light came on. Dave's and Siggy's and Scott's were on, too. There hadn't been any gas. It was more than 200 miles since we'd filled up. I knew I couldn't turn back and make it very far. We hadn't seen anybody else for at least an hour.
And me? I had the Deliverance song in my head. I was in the middle of nowhere with three complete strangers and I was going to run out of gas. I had two liters of white-gas, for my stove, but I'd never actually tried to run my motor with that stuff. Theoreticaly it would work, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that my stove-fuel was from a northern Wisconsin walmart, circa AD2000.
I have never felt so free.
There was nothing to do, but ride. We rode easy- no more 85mph. We went steady at 50 mph. Easy. Gas lights on. Bear looking at us. Rain. Ghost towns with defunct gas stations.
And then, Belle II. We got gas and coffee and chocolate cake and life was good again.
But then it got really, really epic. Mud and snow, baby! When we pulled over because Siggy had to pee, all I could do was yell, "YEAH, BABY!" because of all the things I've ever done, I've never felt so completely insane. "Whatever you guys do, DO NOT TELL MY MOTHER I DID THIS," I said. I constantly felt like I was in an old TV show where they say "do not attempt this at home." Because after we got gas Siggy seemed to become possessed and he lead us 80mph in the mud and there were times when the mud and gravel were up to our rims.
Dave goes, "Sport bikes aren't supposed to do this but my fat rear wheel just floats."
(Note: I don't know why my camera labled these photos "7/05/07" because it was still July 4.)
I didn't get any photos of the snow or the rain. I could hardly see through my fogged-up face shield. It was a muddy face-shield too. But Siggy was going and Scott and Dave were going, so I went. I was at the edge of my ability and I kept laughing at my bike- AN RS! What was an RS doing out there, with a bunch of sport bikes?
Eventually it started to get dark, we were running out of gas, and we came to a town and I still don't know where it was. The gas station was closed for the night and there were no hotels. Somehow we found one that was closed- as in, OUT OF BUSINESS, but someone was there and they opened up a couple of rooms for us. Mine was full of kid's toys and it looked like whoever had lived there had left in a hurry.
Here's the hotel:
There was frost on our bikes when we got up.
But the night before we relaxed in a bar and had a few beers and a few really good burgers and life was good.
There was something else. Back in the truck stop where we'd turned onto the Cassier we saw a First Nation guy with his arm all torn up and his face looking beat. Siggy asked him what happened. He said he'd wrecked his bike. Then, that night in the bar with no name, in he walked! Hundreds of mile later. And he got himself a case of beer. Scott was totally pissed because he'd been trying to buy some of the same kind- something Canadian that I don't remember, but the bartender said they were out. And every First Nation guy that came in bought a case! Scott started to get really mad, but what could he do- we were the only four non-First Nation people around. The guy with the torn-up arm goes, "You travel far." Then, "I still have two hundred miles, and it's 20 mph." He was going to Telegraph or somewhere I didn't want to go. And then he left. With his beer. Not even Scott could say anything.