2012 Rolling Over the 100K
Part 6 of 10
The Sportsman Motel
Riding through the State of Montana is not much different than riding across the Alberta badlands from Lethbridge to Regina, Saskatchewan – there ain't much there when it comes to the lay of the land. In Montana, however, the string of small towns along route 2, including Chester, Havre, Malta, Glasgow, Wolf Point and Culbertson all carry their own distinctive charm, character and sense of humour. This is exactly what gives Montana its special kind of magic. While staying overnight at the Townhouse Inn in Havre I treated myself to a little luxury. It was pouring rain so hard there was no way I would consider trying to pitch my little MEC tent between the deepening puddles outside. Since I was dripping wet anyway, I decided to continue being all wet by watching the downpour of rain outside, from the relative warmth of the hotel pool - inside. This was followed by a hot meal and a warm dry bed where I got some well deserved sleep. The next morning, however, I awoke to heavy pounding rain on the hotel roof. It was coming down with a vengeance so I immediately asked the front desk to extend my stay one more night. The clerk replied, “I'm sorry Sir. We are fully pre-booked for tonight”. I got dressed in my rain-suit; gritted my teeth; took a deep breath and headed east along Route 2 splashing through the many puddles along the way.
The Sportsman Motel
Not since my “Alaska Sunk” trip in 2010 had I experienced such torrential rain non-stop. Even with my windshield and visor down I was not able to see the road clearly. “Pull over and stop!” you might say, but there was no place to pull over to; no bridges to take shelter; and no gas stations to seek refuge. I was the dumb one here. It didn't take much to realize that I was the only vehicle on the highway. No-one else was in sight. I was wet; I was cold and I became exhausted to the point where I was simply not able to continue riding any more. As soon as I got to Malta I checked into the Sportsman motel even though it was only twelve noon. The room was not the best. The toilet and sink were in the living room with no door but it was reasonably clean and dry. It had a huge TV hanging on the wall. For the cheapie price of $50USD it was good enough for me. I was in no mood to haggle. I dried-off the best I could and I slept for the afternoon right up until suppertime without waking up.
I woke up hungry. About 100 yards down the street was a Chinese restaurant. Half a dozen egg rolls and two cans of Coors light beer sounded good so I decided to pay them a visit. “I'd like six egg rolls and two cans of Coors Light to go please,” I said to the Chinese cashier who spoke English almost perfectly. “I'm sorry Sir, but I can't give you six egg rolls. We only serve them in groups of two”. What!!!...I couldn't believe my ears. I had to confirm the idiocy of what I'd just heard. “Well,...how many egg rolls would I end up with if I ordered three groups of two – to go?” Her head looked down as she punched buttons on her calculator. She turned to me stone-faced without the slightest hint of a smile and said, “That would give you a total of six, Sir.” “Thank you Miss”, I said. “I'll take three groups of two egg rolls to go”. When she handed me my brown paper bag I thought it wise to check my order. I asked her for some plum sauce with my egg rolls but she said that she only had sweet and sour sauce; honey and mustard sauce; honey and ketchup but no plum sauce. I took the honey and mustard sauce. I reminded her that even though my beers are paid for, I still don't have them. She looked at me expressionless and said that the two beers are waiting for me at my table. When I told her that I had ordered them “To Go” she said that alcoholic drinks could not be taken outside the restaurant. I had to drink them inside the restaurant, at my table. Since I wasn't getting anywhere - I gave up the conversation. I brought my brown paper “To Go” bag to my table; I sat at the table; ate my meal; and drank my beers inside the restaurant. That's the kind of thing I'm talking about when I say that each town has its own special kind of charm, character and humour. The food was great and I thoroughly enjoyed my meal.