A bunch of Harley's and pickups are parked outside what looks like a local watering hole, so I pull over and park. I walk in, the only light is from three Coors lamps over the bar. Three tv's are showing NASCAR, football and baseball. A dozen rough looking faces turn as I walk in, seeming to say, "you're not from these parts, what do you want?" At first everyone seems to be in one group, but they're not; just watching the football game together, the Vikings against some other team.
I put my stuff down in a booth and sit down. No menu or waitress in sight. Touchdown: the crowd whoops and cheers. I wait a few minutes for a waitress and then walk up to the bar, asking a fellow there with his daughter if they're serving lunch. They sure are. I'm not sitting at the bar so the bartender ignores me. Then the waitress comes out - she's the chef too - and I ask for a good local beer. Local? She laughs. She gives the fellow with the daughter a funny look and asks him what local beers they might have. He looks at me funny and says, "there's Michelob lite and Miller lite." Sam Adams? I ask, figuring if I can't get something local, I might as well get something good. The waitress chuckles again. I order a Miller lite and a cheeseburger and sit back down.
The burger is a juicy quarter pounder with Ruffles on the side, for $2.75. In Boston the chips alone would cost $2.75.
The waitress, seeing my helmet, asks where I'm headed. To the Twin Cities, I say. From where? From Iowa. Coming from Boston, cross-country. She looks at me funny again. "Just for something to do?" she asks. "For fun" I answer. Ahh. All these funny travellers.
I leave a $3 tip on a $5 check and walk out, as the crowd whoops at another touchdown. As I walk to my bike I hear some people walking past, saying they had never seen the place so crowded, must be a game today.
Back to the road.