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My Big Red Couch

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Fresh Roasted Sole

Memorial Day weekend is a big motorcycle weekend for our family. Pretty much every year for the last 5 or 6 years we have headed North to Grizzly Bear Cabins at Denali Park to meet with the Fairbanks HOG Chapter, hang out and drink a lot of booze.

This year we headed North on Friday after work, I was on my modified 2000 Harley-Davidson Softail Deuce and Jamie was in the minivan with our daughters and their baby sitter Katie. We ride with Katie's dad, Tom, and her mom didn't want her riding the 210 miles to Grizzly Bear on the back of Tom's Softail so she went with us.

The big ride to Denali is on Saturday but we cut the trip up in half by going to Trapper Creek and staying at North Country Bed and Breakfast, home of our friends Mike and Cheryl. North Country is on a several acre lake and the view of Mt. McKinley (aka Deanli) is spectacular. It's always peaceful there and I am thankful to be able to stay there on an annual basis.

Rested and ready we all awoke fairly early on Saturday. I switched to my two-up seat and offered Kaite a ride, at least to the McKinley view at mile 140 where we planned to take a family picture and beyond if she was up to it and if it wasn't too cold.

We fuelled up at Trapper Creek and headed up the highway. The State of Alaska, in their infinite wisdom, had begun work on a new McKinley view turnout, an actual parking lot removed from the highway rather than the extra lane that currently served as the McKinley view, but in the interum the tore out the asphalt at the old McKinley view. There were orange cones everywhere and no asphalt to pull over onto so I continued up the highway. At Byers Lake I pulled into the rest area. Actually, I turned at the wrong spot and headed into the camp ground rather than towards the rest are and Vietnam Veterans Memoral. I stopped at the self-pay station and Jamie pulled up next to me in the minivan. She asked me why I stopped there and I told her I wanted to know if she still wanted to stop somewhere for a picture. McKinley was clouded up at the top so and there wasn't really any other place to stop for a picture so we decided to give up on that idea.

I was going to ask Katie how she was doing on the back, I was barely aware of her presence back there because she is so small, when Jamie commented on my bike's performance. "I know you just got your bike serviced and switched to synthetic oil but every time you go over a bump there is a puff of white smoke. You had better take a look at your bike before we keep going," she said. As the words were coming out of her mouth I could smell rubber. My first thought was the belt, my second the tires. Katie stayed on and I hopped off.

The source of the rubber smell was immediately obvious. Katie was wearing super chunky boots with about a 6 inch heel and a 4 or 5 inch sole. Somewhere along the road she took her right foot off of the passenger foot peg and put it on my exhaust pipes. The soles were so thick that she hadn't even noticed. It was a good thing that we stopped where we did, the pipe had melted through the sole of her boot all the way to the leather.

One fresh roasted sole is the cost of a good road story.

And she never felt a thing! Posted by Hello

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