2010 Alaska Sunk
Part 4 of 15
If I had to move to a small Northern Ontario town I would choose Ignace. Its about half-way between Thunder Bay and the Manitoba border. Frankly, its in the middle of nowhere but there's something about that town which I find warm and friendly. That includes Davy Lake Campground which is a great place to stay. I've stayed there quite a few times and I've gotten to know the owner, Stephanie and her husband and two kids. I took the time to finally wash and dry a few of my clothes in their laundromat. I tried to dry-out my sleeping bag but I just couldn't get it bone-dry. I think it needed three hot and windy days on an outdoor clothes-line in the middle of summer. I chatted for a good while with Stephanie and the kids before I went to bed for the night. She said that if I dropped in the office as I was leaving she would have a steaming hot coffee waiting for me. That's the kind of nice folks they are in Ignace. I headed over towards her office the next morning and she was coming towards me, dressed for an office job, with a hot cup of coffee in her hand. She apologized saying that she had been called in to work unexpectedly and thought that I could still use a nice coffee. She said that I could drink it in their gazebo. She wished me a pleasant journey and she left. I couldn't bring myself to tell her about who, or what, I had seen during the middle of the night.
I looked at my watch and it was exactly 3:30 in the morning and I had to get to the washroom in a hurry. It was an emergency. It was pitch black outside and I found it strange that the light in the campground washroom was still on. I could see the yellow light glow through a small window just underneath the apex of the roof. I opened the door and I froze. I was looking at a small man, stark naked, facing away from me. His back, buttocks and legs had no hair at all but braids of long black hair hung from his head Rastafarian style. As I walked to the sink he turned his head and looked at me. Although his body looked young his face was aged and weather- beaten. He wouldn't or couldn't stand fully upright. He stooped as he moved. I spoke to him and said “Hi, where are you going?” He waited a while before he answered and then he said “Vancouver”. I said, “How are you going, by car or motorcycle?” He said that he had an old “Sportie” (which means Harley Davidson Sportster for you non-biker types). He spoke very slowly as if choosing his words was difficult. He went on to say that he had wanted to get to Las Vegas but he was stopped at the border because he didn't have a passport. When I asked him why didn't he get a passport first, I wished I hadn't. He said harshly, “They won't give me one!” Then I asked, “Who won't give you one?” “The Government!” he shouted. Every instinct and nerve-ending in my body was screaming at me to just let it go - but I just had to ask ,“Why Not?”. “Because I never had a mother!” he snarled. Obviously, I had agitated him. He grabbed his stuff and “scampered” out of there like a flash of lightening. I saw him galloping across the campground and into the trees beyond howling like a wolf all the way. “Why on earth didn't I bring my camera with me?” I said to myself. I never saw him again.
I had always believed that bikers and computer nerds were two species of mankind separate and apart in matters of likes and dislikes; values; love ; honour and sociability and anything that really mattered in life. Not any more. Not since I met David in a Tim Horton's parking lot at Dryden. David blended two worlds together and created a brand new phenomenon for the 21st century - Biker Nerd.
He was one of these young guys with a smile painted on his face at all times. He was travelling light so to speak. He was riding from Alberta to Halifax, Nova Scotia on a 250cc Kawasaki trail bike. I couldn't believe it! Those things don't have shocks for riding on the Queen's highways, only for jumping off cliffs. I told him that I didn't think he'd ever make it without getting a new rear-end, on himself, not the bike. But he didn't mind. He seemed like the happy-go-lucky type.
All I could see was his knapsack on his back and an aluminum briefcase strapped to the back of his Kawasaki. I asked him what did he carry in his aluminium briefcase and he said, “Let me show you!” Upon opening the lid all I could see was a layer of solid white Styrofoam. This was the top part. He removed the upper part to reveal more Styrofoam, custom moulded to fit the exact shape and size of his laptop computer. “I never go anyplace without my laptop” he said. I was struck with absolute admiration for this kid. You are truly a “Biker Nerd” I said with respect and he responded by saying “Thank you Sir, I consider that a compliment”.