Meet Me In St Louis, the full American experience.

Since I began this journey, people have been telling me how brave I am. That I’m brave for doing it alone, for going to concerts, amusement parks, baseball games and even restaurants alone. The thing is, I don’t feel very brave for doing it. Since the very beginning, I’ve been very determined to do this on my own, and to not let anything stop me from living my dream. And within that dream are all the little things that most people would never consider doing alone, like going to a concert or go ride roller coasters. But to me, that just seems very silly. If I let the fact that I’m alone stop me, I would never get much done at all, and thats not how I want to live my life. And I’m never lonely, as I’m constantly meeting fun people that I can interact with. So I don’t think it’s brave at all, I’m just trying to enjoy life and have a good time, that’s all. And I think the whole idea that you’re not “supposed” to do some things alone is ridiculous, if you want to do something, just go for it! I promise you will enjoy it.

And I’m having a very good time, that’s for sure. 

I got in the car and left Santa Claus on Saturday morning. It was a pretty pleasant drive, I once again rocked out to Taylor Swift in the car (if you follow me on Facebook you might have noticed…) and arrived at my hotel in St Louis at around 14 in the afternoon. Since I booked my hotel two days in advance and it’s a very busy weekend, I didn’t have too many options but luckily my favorite brand: the Hampton Inn had available rooms and this is the view I’m currently enjoying.

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Can’t complain about that view! 

I decided to go for a walk, and I had barely gotten outside of the hotel when someone asked “are you going to the game?” I had no idea what game he was talking about, but it turned out that I was very close to the Busch ballpark where St Louis’ baseball team the Cardinals are based. I decided to walk over there, and on a whim I walked up to one of the ticket booths and asked if they had any left. They did, so I just thought “why not” and that’s how I ended up spending my Saturday evening watching the Cardinals take on the Chicago Cubs in front of a 46 000 person strong crowd. Since the accident this has kind of become a “spare no expenses, do all the fun things!” kind of trip, and I love it. I just think “I could have died!” and suddenly nothing is too expensive or out of my reach. We should always live with that attitude, in my opinion. Life is precious, and we only get one chance.
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Before the game I walked around some more, and then went back to change and to apply more sunscreen if I happened to end up seated in the sun all afternoon.
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After some rest at the hotel I walked back to the park, and decided that if I was going to participate in America’s favorite past time, I needed to do it fully. So yeah, I had some hot dogs and beer. So happy to be out of dry county! Even though I get slightly offended every time they ask me for ID, I don’t look that young…

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As the game began, I realized that all those games of softball my PE teacher Kattis made me play in junior high actually payed off, because I actually understood some of the rules and what was happening. Well, some, not all. And here is the thing about traveling alone again that I love, had I been at the game with someone else, I would most likely have spent all night talking to them and not interacted with anyone else. And this might come to a surprise to anyone who has ever known me, but when traveling alone I actually become pretty outgoing and talkative. Yes, it’s true! So I decided to talk to the people sitting next to me, to try to get to know them better. And that’s when my night got even better.

On one side I had the very nice couple Brittney and Todd, who were Cardinals fans and I had a great time getting to know them throughout the game.
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Look at that, I got a Cardinals tattoo!

On the other side I sat next to Thelma and Janet who were there with their husbands. Also Cardinals fans, and Janet lives in North Carolina so it was fun talking about my experience cycling through her state. Such extremely nice people, I couldn’t have asked for better company. 
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Basically I just had a great time, the game was fun and the people I met was great and I’m just so incredibly thankful and happy for how welcome I feel wherever I go. As I was walking home later that night I just couldn’t stop smiling because of how happy I felt. And the Cardinals won so that helped a lot too. I’m definitely a Cards fan now! IMG_3069_2
The ballpark has a beautiful view of the Gateway Arch. 
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Happy, happy, happy! 

This morning I had a ticket to go up into Gateway Arch at 9:30 in the morning, which can seem early, but since I came to the US I haven’t been able to sleep for longer than 7 a single day. At home I usually can’t get up before 9…

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Cyclists! I’ve seen so many people on bikes around St Louis, love it! 
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This is the place where I went to pick up my ticket. Pretty cool. 

Gateway Arch was built between 1963-1965 and is 192 meters/630 feet high, and is also known as the gateway to the west. It’s a very impressive sight to see, and it only costs $10 to go up which I thought was super cheap.
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We got to ride in tiny little trams that took 5 people each in 8 tiny cars. One of the women riding in mine suffered from claustrophobia, she did not enjoy the 4 minute ride to the top…
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But once up there the view made up for the ride. On one side you can see all of St Louis which is in the state of Missouri, and on the other side you can see the east side of the city, which is in the state of Illinois. It’s divided by the Mississippi river.

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The ballpark is on the left side, and my hotel is the red building in the right corner by the road. 

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It was a lot of fun visiting the arch, and I’m glad I did, but 10 minutes at the top was enough for me. I walked back to the hotel to get Elsa the Bike and walk over to a nearby bike shop. As we were walking we came across the St Louis Pride Parade! I had absolutely no idea that it was happening today, but I’m glad I stumbled upon it. I love Pride Parades, how can celebrating love ever be wrong? Everyone is so happy, and especially with the historic decision to legalize gay marriage in the United States the other day. Finally it’s just “marriage”, no matter who you are.

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Of course they had an eagle in the parade. America! 
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Hillary Clinton was there. Or a cardboard copy of her. 
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They were throwing beads from the floats, so I got pretty colorful too! Love it.

But then it was time to take Elsa to the bike shop, and after having given her a once over I was told she was working fine and there’s nothing wrong with her. I didn’t even have to pay for it. I did buy a new pair of cycling gloves though, without the old pair I’m pretty sure my hand would have been ripped open, now the glove took most of it thankfully.

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So Elsa is fine, but I can’t really say that I am yet. Clapping my hands at the baseball game hurt like you wouldn’t believe it, and it’s still very sore both to touch and when I squeeze my hand in a fist. The bruise is fading pretty fast, but I honestly thought it would be better by now.
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I have been very honest on this blog up until now, and I want to keep being that. The truth is that I’ve been thinking a lot. Or more like my brain has been working overtime trying to think of what I really want out of this adventure. Cycling was fun and challenging, and though hard, I enjoyed it and it’s why I decided to actually quit my job and travel the world. But these past few days have just been amazing. I’ve enjoyed being able to be more spontaneous, and to be able to have more options when it comes to what I do and what I see. And I’ve been thinking of how amazing it would be to be able to travel America for the next two months and see all the sights, like Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, go down to Nashville and listen to music, continue on to Texas and see what it has to offer, maybe even go down to Florida, or google where the best 4th of July celebration is and go there simply because I can

But the point of the adventure was to cycle the world. And I still want to do that. It kind of feels like I would let people down if I change the adventure now, and that I would let myself down too. But I want to be able to travel more freely too, to just grab a backpack and get on a bus or train instead from time to time. If I could somehow solve that logistically I probably would, but I haven’t quite figured that out yet…

So right now I’m very confused. And it doesn’t help that my hand still hurts. Tomorrow I’m returning the car and spending Monday and Tuesday at Six Flags, but from Wednesday the schedule is empty, and for the first time it kind of scares me. Whatever route I choose, I’m sure I’ll enjoy myself immensely and have a lot of fun, but first I have to make the choice. And at this point I have no idea what that choice might be. Especially since I’m not even sure that I’ll actually be able to cycle without being in pain on Wednesday…

If you have any thoughts that could help, I would appreciate it a lot. Any feedback is appreciated right now.
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Let’s finish this post off with the beautiful view from my room this evening. It looks like a painting.

Thank you! 

Ho ho ho, greetings from Santa Claus.

It’s Thursday morning. Everything has been taken care of, I’m all packed and waiting for the car from Sharon’s car service to come pick me up at 9. You know, the same service who drove me to my hotel on Sunday evening?

And the clock turns 9. And then 9:10. 9:15. At 9:20 I go to call them again and ask where they are. I call them every other minute for 20 minutes but no one picks up. It’s the only type of taxi service in the area, and I’m 20 minutes away from the car rental place. Frustrated I go to the front desk where Roger has been working all night, the very kind man who helped me on Sunday night when I got there from the hospital. I tell him about my problem and after he’s tried calling the car service a few times he tells me that he gets off at 10, and that he and his girlfriend Heather can drive me there then. I had not expected him to offer that, but I’m so grateful he did because I have no idea what I would have done otherwise. So instead I got to ride with them, in his cool old pick up truck and talk about movies, books and Harry Potter the entire way. A much better deal! Sometimes people take you by surprise, and them offering to drive me 20 minutes out of their way after having worked an entire night just amazed me. There is a lot of good people in this world.

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So I picked up the car, drove back to the hotel and packed everything into the car. It wasn’t the easiest stuffing Elsa into the trunk, especially since it hurts a bit to lift heavy things with my hand, but I managed. And I was on my way!

It didn’t take too long getting to Indiana, only about 2,5 hours, but I enjoyed the ride. And I especially enjoyed driving up all those hills! And the car had a usb thingy, so I could connect my phone and rock out to Taylor Swift the entire ride. Sweet!
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Shortly after crossing into Indiana, I arrived in Santa Claus and Santa’s Lodge, the hotel I’m staying at. After checking in I walked the 10 minutes to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, the amusement park nearby. I paid $60 for a two day ticket, a pretty sweet deal if you ask me. The plan was to spend the afternoon at the water park, and it turned out to be such a good decision. The water park is huge, it has a lot of different slides, and on most of them you ride multiple people at the same time on a float. They also have two water coasters, which is like a roller coaster but in water and in floats, but they go up and down like a regular roller coaster. Okay, that was a bad explanation, but still. They were amazing! Unlike anything I’ve ridden before. These had a “single rider” option, so whenever there was a group that couldn’t fill up a float, I got to ride with them. One of of these rides, the second one I went to, I got to ride with these three kids. I didn’t know where to put my feet (we sat in a row), but the guy in front of me showed me to put them under his arms. I told him I’d try not to kick him and at the same time the two girls in front turned around and said “it’s fine if you do.” So that’s when I found out that they had humor.

After the amazingly fun ride we got off, and they turned to me and asked which one I was headed to next. As they were three and I was one, we made a great team (and we went under the 600 pound limit that most rides have!) (yes, they weigh us before we get on!) and that’s how I ended up spending my afternoon with Autumn, Cassidy and Riley, three cousins visiting the theme park. We tried all of the water coasters, we went on the regular (but enormous!) slides and just had an absolute blast. They didn’t care that I was an adult, I didn’t care that they were kids, we just all enjoyed ourselves immensely. I told them about the adventure I was on and they were amazed, Autumn and Cassidy immediately made plans to do something like that themselves when they grow up. Such sweet kids. Also they helped guide me through the park, since I couldn’t wear my glasses on the rides and was half blind as a result… I totally lucked out meeting them, they made my day perfect.

The water park closed at 19, so I packed up and walked back home, completely beat. But oh, so happy. I love traveling alone. It forces me out of my shell, out of my comfort zone and it makes me talk to people I would have never gotten to interact with otherwise. I love it.

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My hand is starting to look insane. 

After a night filled with thunderstorms and lightning, it was time to head back to the park and this time try the roller coasters.

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I tried all of the rides, but their newest one called Thunderbird (the red one) was the best one by far. I rode it 4 times, but after the first time I had to go buy a strap for my sunglasses so I’d actually be able to see everything, and not have to put them in my bag. A very good 2 dollar investment.

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After I’d ridden all the rides several times it was getting way too hot, so I once again spent the rest of the afternoon at the water park instead. I got talking to so many nice people, both kids and adults. Americans are really very outgoing, even young children starts talking to me and ask me questions. It’s a lot of fun, and very different from Sweden.

Girl working there: Are you from around here?
Me: I’m from Sweden, so no. 
Girl: Sweden?! Wow. I don’t think we’ve never had anyone from Sweden here before… 

I guess Indiana isn’t the first place people think to go when they travel here. Too bad, it’s great!
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At the park they have both free drinks everywhere, water and soft drink, and sunscreen stations. SPF30 available and encouraged to be used several times a day. But I’ve discovered one downside of traveling alone: it’s really hard to put sunscreen on your own back… and it’s just way too awkward to ask someone else to do it for you. I hope I’m not burned too badly…

When the clock was getting close to 15 in the afternoon, storm clouds gathered and they started telling everyone that they we’re closing all the rides until the storm had passed. I was feeling pretty finished by then, so I packed up and went home. The moment I stepped into the lobby the sky opened up and it’s been raining all afternoon.
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I’ve had a really great time here in Santa Claus, Indiana, and I’m so glad I found this place. Tomorrow I’m packing up again and heading to St Louis! I’m really excited about that too, it’s so much fun being a tourist after weeks of mostly just cycling.

See you in Missouri next time!

When bikepacking turns into carpacking.

Three full days of doing nothing. I’m usually very good at doing absolutely nothing, but not when it’s forced upon me. It gives me too much time to think, too much time to worry and I’ve done a lot of both. The doctor at the hospital told it should take 2-4 days for the swelling to go down and for me to be able to use my hand again, and while I can use it a lot more, it’s still very swollen. But you can see my knuckles! It’s actually starting to look like a hand again!
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The hand as of Wednesday. 

On Monday I basically did nothing, except decide that I was going to stay positive and keep cycling as soon as I felt better! I watched movies and kept icing my hand.

On Tuesday I quickly checked my bike, and somehow managed to bend the handlebars back to the almost correct position. The gears are working which is a relief! Then I took a walk into town, to go to the sheriff’s department to see if I could get a copy of the accident report. Unfortunately it wasn’t done, but I got to have lunch at a cute place called the Kentucky Fudge Shop.
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On Wednesday I woke up, went to have breakfast again and the same guy who had been working for the three previous mornings looked at me, and once again asked if I wanted to lengthen my stay by another night. They’re used to me here now… and yes, I did. Since the accident happened, my main focus has been to rest Monday to Wednesday, and then keep going on Thursday. But my hand is still not in good enough shape. I can clench my hand, but especially the area over the knuckles is extremely sore. I went on a small ride today to test the hand out, but every little bump made my hand hurt. I also almost panicked when a car came up behind me, but I just have to keep going. Fear is not something that I’m going to let control my life, I am in control. I also noticed that when I went a bit faster and used the breaks on the left side, they squealed quite a bit. I think I’ll have to have a bike shop look it over after all.
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Delivery pizza, an iced hand and HBO. I feel like this is becoming a ritual… 

I had talked to my parents earlier that day about how maybe I should rent a car and get out of this town at least, but decided against it and that I would ride on on Thursday instead. Those plans quickly changed now, and within an hour I had rented a car from Thursday to Monday, arranged to be driven to the car rental place in Danville to pick it up, and planned my entire upcoming week. It feels good to actually take action, even if I wish it was by getting on my bike to cycle. But I’ll be back in the saddle soon again, my hand needs more rest first. It felt good to finally have decided on something, so happy again I decided to go to the local community pool to tan and swim some. The guy working at the hotel thought I was crazy for going for a 30 minute walk there, but at least gave me a coupon to get in for free. I like how I can always just answer “I’m Swedish” as an explanation to when I’m considered crazy here.
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A medium blackberry lemonade from Wendy’s. I repeat, a MEDIUM. Only in America…
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So this is my itinerary for the upcoming week: 
Thursday: Pick up the car, load all my stuff and drive to Santa Claus, Indiana. There is a huge theme park and water park with a Christmas theme, and I am so excited!
Friday: ROLLERCOASTERS!
Saturday: Pack up and drive to St Louis, Missouri. I will be staying in downtown right next to the Gateway Arch. I’m really excited about doing all the touristy stuff, and luckily my cousin has lived there previously and given me a lot of pointers on what I should do. Also I’ll try to find a bike shop for Elsa.
Sunday: Seeing everything St Louis has to offer.
Monday: Leave downtown St Louis and head for Six Flags outside of town. Return the car and then it’s time for more ROLLERCOASTERS!
Tuesday: ROLLERCOASTERS!
Wednesday: Hopefully I’m feeling well enough to finally start cycling again.

So for a week or so, this won’t so much be a bicycle touring blog, but I hope I’ll be back in the saddle soon. I just don’t want to push my hand too hard already, and maybe make it worse again. I’m super excited about my week though, and I’m very thankful that I’m able to actually change my adventure to fit my new situation, even if it’s just for a week. I am definitely not one of those people who feel the need to cycle every single centimeter/inch, but it would have been nice to be able to say that I actually did cycle across the entire country. But who cares really? I don’t, and this is my adventure, it’s just taking a different shape for a while.

Once again, thanks for all of your comments and get well messages, I appreciate it!

When things don’t go as planned.

So I set off from Berea on Sunday morning, heading towards the transamerica trail despite google maps telling me that there was a shorter way with less hills to Harrodsburg which was my destination for the day. But I had decided to follow the official route, so off I went. I was feeling pretty good, but the hills were pretty brutal and I had to stop and walk up some of them. I hadn’t had one of those days since the middle of North Carolina, it felt like the roads were constantly going up or down, never a flat surface in sight.

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Can you see the deer?

As I was taking a break after an uphill, I heard a “hey there” from behind me, and I met my first other transam tourers. They were three men who had all started cycling by themselves but were now traveling together. They were doing much longer days than me though, so after trying to keep up with them for a little while I let them go and pedaled on in my own pace again.
IMG_2375That turned out to be both a good and bad decision. Good because I could stop and help a turtle to cross the road. It got a bit scared when I grabbed a hold of it, but then wandered away again. Bad because if I had kept on cycling with them, I might not have missed a turn, and had to make a huge detour.
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I also cycled past some Texas longhorns, and had to stop and take a picture. As I was doing that, a woman came out from the house and asked me about my trip. When I told her what I was doing, she ran back in the house and came out with some beef jerky made from her grass fed longhorns. That is what we call a trail angel. 
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But as I cycled on, I soon realized that I had missed a turn earlier on, so I had to make a very steep detour. It was getting pretty hot by then, but as always, it’s just to keep on cycling.

It was pretty slow going, especially with all the hills and the heat, so when I got to Burgin less than 10 km from Harrodsburg I decided to stop at a small restaurant and have lunch. After a hamburger and some cold drinks I headed on towards Harrodsburg, eager to be done with the day. And that’s when it happened. I had been thinking all day that I felt that the cars weren’t as respectful here, and that they were driving much closer to me. I wonder if it’s because they see so many cyclists coming past, that they get tired off it?

As I was slowly heading up a hill, a car was trying to drive past me while a car was coming by in the other lane, and she came too close to me. BAM! From that moment my memory is a bit fuzzy, because I went into instant shock. I realized that she had hit my hand and my handlebar, because my bike glove was ripped open and my hand was very rapidly swelling. My handlebar was also bent out of shape. I saw the car pull over further ahead, but then I got so dizzy I had to lean forward. I remember that I was cycling again, but then I woke up and realized that I must have fainted and dreamt that I was cycling. I was suddenly surrounded by people holding me and my bike upright, and I had no idea what was happening. I fainted once more, and the people surrounding me had to lift me up to get me off the bike. I was going into shock, but there were so many nice people taking care of me, getting me sweet tea and keeping me focused. After a short while I was able to respond to questions, and by then the police and sheriff had arrived.
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Where the red dot is, is where I was hit. SO CLOSE! I was almost in Harrodsburg… 

Someone kept my neck locked into position, and a very sweet man named John told me he would keep my bike and trailer safe in his garage. After a while an ambulance arrived and I was strapped to a board while being poked and prodded. They wanted to make sure it was only my hand that was hurt, which luckily it was. I was taken to a hospital in Daneville a bit south of Harrodsburg, and I was so happy that I had sense enough to remember to bring my computer bag where I keep my insurance papers. At the hospital they x-rayed my hand, but luckily nothing was broken. I can’t believe how to be honest, because her entire mirror broke and flew off the car when it hit my hand. But I was obviously under some type of protection that day.
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I was hurting pretty bad though, so after a lot of waiting around and trying to figure out everything with my insurance, they helped me get my painkillers at a pharmacy and then called Sharon’s car service to drive me to my hotel in Harrodsburg. I was a complete mess the entire day. I was crying on and off and just felt very small, and very much alone.

But I was picked up by a lovely woman called Sissy and she was so nice that I cried some more. Before she let me go she prayed for me, and we cried together. I got into the hotel, still a sobbing mess, and managed to tell the man working there that I had a reservation. He then helped me call John to ask him if he could drive my things to the hotel, which he could. There are some amazing people in this country, that’s for sure. Despite the horrific day I had, I felt so well taken care off. John has also called me today, just to make sure I’m doing alright. Yes, I’m meeting some amazing people on this trip, that’s for certain. And the police were amazing, and the paramedics who rode with me in the ambulance. They kept asking me ridiculous questions to make sure I was doing alright, and joking with me to keep my mind off the pain.

When I got to the hotel, it was 17:40, and I knew my mother would be worried sick. I had not been able to get a hold of her the entire time while I was in the hospital. I had a message telling me to call her as soon as I saw that, so I did. Having to call your mother in the middle of the night to tell her you’ve been hit by a car is not a fun thing to do, that’s for sure. I hope I never have to do that in my life again.
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I kept icing my hand all night and the swelling went down a bit, and I even managed to get some sleep. I was feeling very, very sad though, and thought several times about what my next move would be. I did consider quitting, I considered getting a car instead, and even going home. But I will not let this bring me down. It was a slight bump in the road, but it was just my hand! It could have been so much worse, and I’m very grateful that it wasn’t. But one thing is for sure, from now on this trip will be by my rules! No more doing things because it’s what I’m “supposed” to do, I decide!

And I’ve decided that I want to have fun. As much fun as I possibly can. This is not just about cycling, this is about adventure! So watch out America’s amusement parks, water parks, adventure parks and anything else that might sound interesting, I’m coming for you! This trip is taking a sharp turn, but I hope you’ll still be along for the ride. I can’t wait to get back in the saddle, and head out on this new and improved adventure. As far as I’m concerned, it can only get better from here. 

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Bill the Tropical Storm, and the path less taken.

It’s here. I’ve reached the very famous point in a bicycle tourists life. It took me two weeks, but I am finally there. What I’m talking about? The point where I am constantly hungry of course, and have started to require very large amounts of food very often during the day. So just a fair warning: this blog might now turn into a food blog instead.

Compared to how I was feeling two weeks ago, this is such a relief. Especially since food is SO good! I’ve had a lot of food during my days here in Berea… but first things first! Or well, first thing is food so. On Thursday afternoon I was walking across the street to get some dinner, it was only around 16:30 but I was absolutely starving. That’s when I saw my first other tourer! He looked lost.

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I went to a place called Cracker Barrel which is a chain restaurant that does southern type home cooked meals. After consulting with the waitress about what to get (I always open any conversation I have right now with “Hi I’m Cecilia, I’m from Sweden and I’m very hungry because I’m cycling cross country, what food should I get?”) She very kindly pointed me towards their sampler which I didn’t regret one bit! Ugh, so good. And the strawberry lemonade wasn’t too bad either. I tried getting a beer but was informed that Madison County is a “dry county“, meaning that they’re not allowed to sell alcoholic beverages. I was in shock to be honest, I’ve never heard of such a thing before… But looking at the map from wikipedia clearly shows that I’m right in the middle of it all. 
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Red is dry, yellow is moist/mixed and blue is wet.

And that was the American lesson of today, moving on. Or no wait, I have more. The day after I woke up to rain, but it wasn’t that bad, very light rain. I put on my Sweden jersey, picked some flowers and wished Sweden a happy midsummer. After that I took a walk into town, which turned out to be such a cute place. Berea is very focused on the arts, and there were galleries and shops everywhere. They also have a liberal arts college which is really cool, because every single student who goes there gets a scholarship that covers the entire cost, and it was the first college in the south to be both coed (=both men and women) and interracial. Amazing. That was the second lesson for today. Now I’m done I think. I might also point out that all education in Sweden is free, no matter what college or university you want to attend, maybe that’s why I got so excited about this college. Third lesson of the day for you, aren’t you feeling lucky?

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It really showed that it was a college town, because I actually saw people walking! For once it wasn’t just me! The entire town is filled with these amazing houses, and it had a great feeling to it.
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I had lunch at a place called Main Street Café that I had been told would be a good place to eat, and they were right. The first thing I saw on the menu was a fried green tomatoes sandwich. Um, yes please! Fried Green Tomatoes is a movie I’ve seen so many times, so of course I had to have it when I finally saw it on a menu. It was just delicious. I was literally sitting there making so many noises because of how good it was, that the waitress came to check on me several times just to make sure I was doing okay…
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After that I walked right back home and watched Fried Green Tomatoes on Netflix.

Oh, and that morning as I was having breakfast (pancakes if anyone’s interested) (and cereal and these delicious southern things called biscuits that reminds me of scones and also lots of coffee and maybe a muffin), the weather channel was on. The first thing I heard was “A warning for Kentucky tomorrow, as tropical rainstorm Bill will enter the area. Expect flash flooding, thunderstorms and please stay inside if possible.” It took me about 5 seconds before I had walked up to the front desk and booked my room for another night. I like having fun. Flash floods does not sound fun, or safe.

During the afternoon, the rain began, so I decided to order pizza for delivery. Oh wow, I’m so sorry, this is really turning into a food blog… but it was just such a cool process! Or I thought so at least. I ordered online and got to design my own pizza which was fun. Then I got an email with a link to the process of making my pizza. I could see exactly what was happening every single minute after I placed my order, until it was delivered to me. I was impressed.
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On Saturday morning I woke up to pretty heavy rain, that was ongoing for the rest of the day. It was extremely windy as well, I tried stepping outside for a moment, but was drenched within seconds. I’m so glad I decided to take another rest day… so it was a great day of Netflix, some route planning and eating as much as I possibly could.

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But I have really been thinking a lot about the transamerica trail. Why is it so important to me? I’ve been looking at the map and found these places that I would love to visit, but they’re not on my route so I can’t. But, isn’t the point of this entire adventure that I’m in charge? That I get to do exactly what I want to do? My favorite poem is kind of cliché, but I have loved it for years. It’s Robert Frost’s Road Not Taken.

I shall be telling this with a sigh 
Somewhere ages and ages hence: 
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— 
I took the one less traveled by, 
And that has made all the difference.
I’ve always felt that those last lines of that poem lies very close to my own heart, for several reasons that I’m maybe not ready to share right here right now. But I want to take the road less traveled by, and I always have. I want to be spontaneous. I haven’t even begun cycling on the transam, and I am already wanting to break free from it.

But I will give it a chance. A small chance. Because I have seen that there’s a town called Santa Claus (!!!) not too far from here and it has an amusement park and also there’s Fort Knox nearby that would be so cool to see, and there’s water parks and Six Flags theme parks and I have a very serious feeling that I might head north for a while… But like I said, we’ll see. I can afford to give it two days before I have to decide 😉

And to finish this off, I think my Keen sandals tan is coming along quite nicely… (monkey emoji that covers its eyes)
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Thanks for reading, see you on the official route (maybe)!