Irvine to Berea, Kentucky. (35 mi.) Mile 835
Sweet day of riding. We get a brake...and send it back.
Each half of today was very different. We have left the mountains behind, and moved into Kentucky's rolling blue grass country. The sun came out just as our weather radio said it would, meadowlarks sang, bobwhites called, and Kentucky's numerous colorful butterfly species flitted everywhere. Every day in eastern Kentucky we have had to squirt a few dogs, but even the dogs were nice to us today. Except for a few dicey miles in traffic coming into Berea, our ride was as the author of "Bicycling Coast to Coast" describes this section, "a bicyclist's dream".
Ready to enjoy the day
(note handy location of doggy pepper spray)
White churches dot the countryside
Berea is an arts and crafts tourist center
The second half of the day we explored Berea, a town of about 10,000 (a One McDonalds Town), with a small college, and claim to fame as the Folk Arts and Crafts Capital of Kentucky. This means that there are numerous shops devoted to selling handicrafts from southern Appalachia and Kentucky. We propped our bikes against the historic Boone Tavern, donned tourist duds, and joined crowds of other tourists going through all the shops. We checked out woven crafts, furniture, quilts, pottery, fine art, jewelry, cabin crafts, and even if they knew how to make a good espresso here. Then we went to the post office, collected and returned the wrong brakes, dealt with congested traffic, competed with tour buses, and found another motel as a treat to ourselves.
Motels allow us to check email, send out journal updates, and get pictures from home. Today our grandson Braden turns 10 months old. He has taken his first tentative solo steps, gone camping, spent the night in a tent, and taken swimming lessons. Sounds like he will be ready for a bicycle soon. Our laptop provides a way for us to be a small part of this by receiving digital pictures as well as sending them.
Over dinner we asked ourselves, "which half of the day was better?" Both were good, but luckily for us, since we have over 3,000 more miles of this, the answer was the first half. The second half of the day, though interesting, did not give us the same satisfaction, joy, and intrigue as the first. I guess we would be pretty foolish to have taken on this challenge if what we enjoyed most was shopping tourist destinations with crowds of people. So tomorrow, we ride out of town westward bound again.
Our bikes take a rest as we check out Berea