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We rode into Libby, MT early in the evening on July 1. We checked in and went into the restaurant, not before I had tallied the bikes in the lot: of twenty bikes parked, fourteen had Alberta plates. There were a couple of tables with diners near where we were seated, and another long table with a large group across the room.

While we were ordering dinner, I had to ask: wtf is a "chicken fried steak"? The lady across the banquette turned and laughed, and said she wanted to ask that too, because she was Canadian and we don't mistreat our beef that way. The dad at the table across the aisle piped in as well, more Canadians. His kid was wearing a Baseball Canada t-shirt. I have umpired all over Alberta for the last ten years, and we remembered a tournament where we had all been. When I went to get salad, I overheard the conversation from the large group, maybe twenty people at a family reunion or something, and they were talking about interprovincial inspections when moving a car from Manitoba to Saskatchewan. More Canadians. Other than the staff, the place was full of Canadians.

So I went back to my table, grabbed my glass, dinged my spoon and offered a toast to the room: "Happy Canada Day, eh?"

The whole place broke up. It was the "eh?" that did it, I'm sure. We had a good party after that and departed as friends as well as compatriots.

Happy Summer, and ride safe!
Scott Fraser
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