Tuesday, August 2, 2011

House on the Hill

7/31/11 Bardstown to Berea, KY

Farm dogs. Heat. Inevtiable climbs. Met two guys who were just now coming from the east. One of them had gotten two flats on the way down Mt. Vesuvius and had ripped his nipple off. I know this sounds horrendously gruesome, but we cannot stop laughing. Maybe we are cursing ourselves but we are convinced there is nothing better than "nipple rip". We exchanged tips with one another, where to stay, what to avoid, etc. While we road away Chris shouted the most valuable information he knew, "DON'T FORGET, IT'S SHARK WEEK."
They shook their heads, knowingly and pedaled off.

I don't remember anything else about this day as we have done back to back centuries. New levels of exhaustion.

Berea is beautiful. Small historical town with a college. It is surprising find after winding backroads of nothingness. We noted on one of their signs that they offer "broomcraft" as an area of study. I can only hope this has something to do with magic.

Slept in a not so bad motel. Got some shark week in. In the morning we went to a coffee shop. Cute, crunchy little joint filled with fashionable young folks. Saw some art quilts and hit the road.

Berea to Booneville, KY

Rode 65 miles towards the Boonville boonies. Three miles before the town we came upon a sign at the bottom of a hill

LINDAS VICTORIAN ROSE B&B. Just like that. We got about a half mile past it before I shouted up, "Hey, wanna go to a creepy bed and breakfast?"

We turned around and stopped at the bottom of a steep gravel driveway. We called the number on the sign. It must come across in my tone that I am sick of explaining myself after eight states. "Hi. We're broke. Uhhh. We are cycling across the country...", I trailed off.

"Cyclists huh? Ok. Forty." This is my favorite deal and it usually follows my tired damsel in distress schpeil. "Where are you, I'll come pick you up".

"Um. I think I'm at the end of your driveway."

"Well, come on up." The lawn and all the land leading up to her home and the "house on the hill"- a menagerie of weird. A manequin wearing a tshirt and a baseball hat, an old van turned plant potter, brass children's beds wrapped in ivy. Stephen King novel. Hold on, it gets creepier.

She greets us warmly. She has a tank top on with arm holes big enough to see her bra, died red old broad hair, the kind that looks pink. She is smiley but obvious tough. An ex-smoker. She gives us a tour of the yard. "This is where I buried my six cats." I look away, not knowing what to say to this. I'm sorry? Oh, cool? How many cats do you have now?

"And this is where my husband is buried." Say what. No headstone. Just a little faded American flag stuck in the dirt, a miniature angel statue, fake flowers. Ok. Let's see this bed and breakfast, lady.

Years of wallpaper layers. Dusty chotchkes. Everything is topped with a horse figurine and or tea cozy. Three bed rooms and a kitchen. All one floor. Don't get me wrong, we are grateful. But when she hands us a gold key with a plastic tab marked "house on hill" in cursive, we are pretty sure we're going to be killed in the style of a paperback murder mystery novel.

Thankfully, we are not killed. We make eggs in the kitchen forgetting we have no butter. (The dinner Chris now refers to as the "eggtastrophe") We read in dim light and sleep heavy in crocheted blankets smelling of old lady parade. Get up in the early morning and ride hills in dense fog.

Every day is an adventure.

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