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Day 25 – Herman the German

(67 miles)

Not a great start this morning as within a couple of miles of Farmington we couldn’t find the bike path we were supposed to and ended up on a short but obscenely steep climb which left our lungs gasping for breath and our legs burning – or bursting blood vessels in Matt’s case (he wouldn’t let me take a photo of them, but rest assured he has the inner thighs of an 80-year old woman). We then had to negotiate a steep downhill stretch on a rutted, gravel track in order to rejoin the route. The GPS definitely made itself useful at this point.

"Um...this doesn't look right!"

So today we entered the Ozark Mountains. More hills than mountains really. Or perhaps English mountains. Anyway, the scenery is changing – we’ve got forests of evergreens and grassy meadows flanking the sweeping roads. Other cyclists have described the Ozarks as one long self-propelled roller-coaster ride. Personally, I’ve never got out of breath on a roller-coaster, let alone sweated half my body weight on one. Maybe I’m just doing it wrong…

Patrick is rapidly pulling away in the ‘How many flat tires can I get?’ competition. But at least it provides us with a chance to rest – and on this occasion ponder if the Wombles are a global family:

Uncle Bulgaria wasn't home :-(

Could this be the next Diet-Coke Man?

Luncheon was served by the ladies of Diner 21 in Centerville (population 171). First course was a rather splendid ‘Big 21’ beef burger served with potato chips. Dessert was a sumptuous hot-fudge ice-cream sundae.

Tonight’s stop-over is in Ellington, in the garden of Herman who’s been hosting cyclists since 2005. Herman is German originally (reminds me of that Scrubs episode…) and retired. Full of stories and questions, he’s a remarkable man. And another home-cooked and very healthy meal gratefully devoured. I think Herman epitomises the TransAm experience – he started hosting cyclists after bumping into one in the local store and getting chatting. The guy was all set to camp in the city park but Herman persuaded him he’d be better off camping at his home and using his shower, etc. And since then he’s had a steady stream of cyclists staying with him.

Herman

2 Responses to “Day 25 – Herman the German”

  1. Silvia says:

    thanks for the great blog updates.. we really enjoy reading them… hopefully Patrick practiced his German on Herman…
    Silvia

  2. Dan says:

    I miss the food photos. Wanted to see the Big 21 and dribble onto my keyboard. You forget that all we have in England is black pudding and eccles cakes.

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