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Day 27 – A proper cup of tea

(81 miles)

We said goodbye to Jim this morning knowing he wasn’t going as far as us today and probably wouldn’t catch us later on the trip at all. I hope he meets some more folk riding at his pace soon – it can be a bit lonely cycling on your own every day!

This morning’s ride was probably my favourite so far. There was almost no wind, the sun was out but hadn’t got really hot yet and we were riding through some beautiful high praries with just the occasional valley to cross. The roads were quite enough for us to cycle side-by-side and chat rather than keeping in single file.

Its good to be near the top

At our 2nd breakfast gas-station stop, we stumbled across what appeared to be a cowboy convention - or was it just a farmers coffee-break?

We came across three bridges that were down, but we’d been warned about them by other cyclists and knew we could just walk out bikes across the engineer’s bridge alongside. This is so much better than taking detours! And you usually have a little chat to the workers there too, which is fun.

Negotiating the bridge-works

Side-note: On previous trips to the States I’d got used to everyone giving you a friendly, if a little formulaic, “Have a nice day now!” when you leave somewhere. Oddly though, this isn’t what they say when you’re on a bicycle. No, now it’s “You be careful”. Now, I’m sure this is said out of genuine good-will and concern for our safety as we wobble off on our feeble bicycles next to the mighty trucks that are thundering by. But a tiny part of me always imagines that what they’re really saying is “You be careful. Wouldn’t want you getting run over out there by a big green pick-up truck or something.” – as they flash you a leering smirk and climb into, yes, a big green pick-up truck. But that’s just my imagination running wild – I must re-iterate that we’ve had nothing but friendliness from everyone we’ve stopped and chatted to!

We stopped for lunch in Marshfield at a new ‘speciality hot dogs’ diner called Jays Nest that has just been open 6 weeks. Thanks to Dustin for the tip on his blog! I had the ‘Jack Russel’ – definitely the best hot dog I’ve ever had.

If you're on the TransAm, have lunch here when you pass through Marshfield!

The Jack Russell

We just had 16 miles to ride in the afternoon to get to Fair Grove where we pitched our tents for free by the Fair Grove Historical Society’s building. Restrooms, shower, pavilion with picnic tables, and a spicket all next to our tents – the perfect spot.

There was a farmers market at the pavilion when we arrived

While I’m on the subject of recommending places to eat (this is starting to feel like an eating tour with a little bit of cycling in between!), we discovered a great little cafe in Fair Grove – ‘Odd Fellows’. As we were eating I commented to Matt that it was unusual to find a place like this in small-town rural USA; it was much more like somewhere you’d expect to find back home in the UK. Then, just as we were finishing up, the owner comes out and asks in a thick south London accent if we’d like a cuppa tea – on the house! Turns out he’d moved over here, built the place (he’s a brickie by trade) and now runs the cafe! So we sat back and savoured a proper cup of tea (PG Tips) courtesy of Jon, the owner.

2 Responses to “Day 27 – A proper cup of tea”

  1. Jessie says:

    But the tea doesn’t taste the same over there does it….?

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