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.
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.
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?
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.
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…
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.
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.
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 sighSomewhere 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.
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 😉
Thanks for reading, see you on the official route (maybe)!