The Two Bill’s – Part 2

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This story appears in my first book, A Casual Traveler

 The Way Back 

            Usually, going somewhere is more fun than coming back. Whenever I plan a trip I try to take that into account. I don’t know how everyone else feels, but I hate covering the same ground twice. I’d much rather make a loop and go out of my way, than drive down the same road more than once. Unless something is worth seeing again, from a different perspective.

            Cathryn and I had a great ride getting to Vancouver, but I knew I had my work cut out for me, trying to find an eventful and scenic way back home. The whole idea of the trip was to cover new ground, since both of us had been out west before. Seattle came to mind. Although I’d been there twice, I never had time to see more than a few token attractions on the waterfront.

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The Two Bill’s – Part 1

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This story appears in my first book, A Casual Traveler

 Westward Ho

Cathryn’s big question was, “How do I pack for a whole month?” She was faced with the dilemma of how to get her clothes, shoes, and toiletries into one small suitcase, that fit into the trunk portion of our Harley Davidson motorcycle. I had laid out a plan to ride all the way to Vancouver, and back, within a month…or so.

“You only need to pack for five to seven days,” I offered, “We can do our laundry along the way when we stop for more than a day.” I broke the trip into segments, staying in a few different places for more than one night at a time, so we could take a rest from the bike, and not have to be on it every day of the trip.

We met with our friends Greg and Brenda, to discuss the first leg of the trip. They changed their final destination, deciding to only ride as far as Milwaukee with us. It didn’t matter, we were going on with or without them. Figuring traffic would be lighter, and a hotel in downtown Milwaukee cheaper, we left at 9 am on Sunday, July 3rd.

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Steerfish in Spearfish

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You never know what you’ll end up eating when you’re on the road and looking  a  good meal. Cathryn and I struck it rich in Spearfish, South Dakota when the manager at our motel recommended Steerfish Steak & Smoke.

Spearfish is one of those towns that most folks have never heard of, but this restaurant and the annual motorcycle rally in neighboring Sturgis have put them on the map. If you are ever anywhere in the area, visiting this eatery is a must.

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Better with Bacon @ Arby’s

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I never, ever, thought I’d be blogging and bragging about any food at a fast food restaurant. The new Brown Sugar Bacon Club Sandwich changed my mind.

Cathryn and I were on the road, returning home from our motorcycle trip to the west coast and back. We were into day three on the road, in the middle of Iowa, somewhere along highway #20. The gauges on the gas tank and our stomachs read almost empty, so we pulled off the road to fill up.

The choices were Subway or Arby’s and the latter won the coin toss. We couldn’t remember the last time we had eaten there. Ironically, a couple of nights before, I had seen a tv commercial about the new brown sugar bacon sandwiches at Arby’s. So, I ordered the Club and asked the girl if my sandwich would look like the one in the picture.

Of course, she looked at me like I had two heads, but another girl said that it was a big sandwich and I would like it. When I picked up the tray, I knew she was right. It had some serious weight to it.

The sandwich was stacked high with meat and bacon and all the other yummy stuff you get on a club sandwich. It had to be a half a pound, on a nice soft bun. I usually shun Arby’s for all their processed crap, but it was easily the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten there.

If I had to complain about anything it would be the brown sugar bacon. It was a bit sweet. I thought a smoky bacon would be better. Just saying.

Seattle’s more than Seafood

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Seattle deserves a lot more time than we allowed ourselves there, but with a Kamikaze agenda, we hit enough bars and restaurants to give us a good taste of the seaside city. For me, downtown Seattle means Pike’s Market on the waterfront. You could spend a whole day wandering through the dozens of shops in buildings on both sides of the street, and not see it all.

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Bikes n Brews

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin…home of the Brewers. And I don’t mean the baseball team. Shlitz, Blatz, and Pabst put Milwaukee on the beer map years ago. The Harley Davidson Museum is now a tourist attraction for motorcycle riders from all parts of the globe. They have their world headquarters and a factory there. IMG_2995

The old brewery buildings downtown have been converted to upscale condominiums. The city also converted other industrial buildings along the river into trendy shops and restaurants, creating the River Walk. It was hard to look at the old brewery buildings and not think about Laverne and Shirley.

 Milwaukee was our first stop on our cross-country motorcycle trip. Our friends Greg and Brenda made the first leg of the ride with us and did the museum tour at HD. Cathryn tried out one of the bikes to get the real feel of riding a hawg, then her and I took a ride along the lakefront, where they set had off 4th of July fireworks the night before.

We stayed in the Astor, an old hotel downtown that has been refurbished to include trendy apartments.

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Lord Amherst-burger

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By Cathryn Gagnon:

The historic town of  Amherstburg is the home to a cozy little pub called, Lord Amherst Public House and Wine Bar. It’s located at 273 Dalhousie Street, and named after  Lord Jeffrey Amherst, who served as the first Governor General of British North America.  This quaint meeting place comes complete with creaky wood floors and traditional English pub fare. Separate from the pub, there is a wine bar upstairs. It has a rustic European décor and features imported and local wines.

Our server was sweet, welcoming, and attentive.  We started off with a Grimbergen, dark lager, craft beer. It had caramelized undertones with a crisp coffee finish.  Since it was my birthday lunch, and my mother was buying, I thought I would splurge. We ordered soup and sandwiches.

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