Day 64: 48 miles, Jul 21
Great day! Cooler yet, mercifully, and my destination, Berea, is considered the gateway to the Appalachians. Along the way, I chatted with an old tobacco farmer about the Kentucky method of barn curing. He was mostly interested in telling the story (once he learned I was from Tennesse) about the time that "Kentucky beat the @#$% out of Knoxville" in basketball. This was 1993, and I believe he said the score was 101 to 40. Anyone remember this?
I also thoroughly enjoyed seeing downtown Berea, which is greatly influenced by Berea College. The Artisan Center, where this picture was taken, was really great, too. The lamp is handblown glass and blacksmithed steel by a local artisan.
Right as I was about to leave the center, a familiar face appeared before me. It was Tony with whom I rode in Wyoming! He and his wife and family fed me dinner one night, and then I lost track of them without exchanging contact info. He's from Knoxville and was visiting relatives in KY. Turns out he arrived at the next day's destination, Jackson, WY, and decided not to stay. His wife was driving the truck and RV trailer, so it was an easy matter to move onwards. Glad to see you again, Tony!
Tony mentioned to some of the staff there how we had met and that I am an opera singer. I don't suppose it really does take much, so they managed to goad me into singing. Being a large public space, the sound was pretty good and, well, loud. A few moments later, I excused myself to get a drink from the center's deli and discovered that, according the cashier, anything I wanted was free. Turns out one of the ladies who had heard me phoned the deli and paid for my dinner. Thanks!
As I left the Center I had intended to go to the local campground, but it "came up a cloud" as my grandmother would say. And what a storm! In the 90 seconds it took me to get the the Days Inn, I was nearly blown over from the wind! As I discovered the next day, this storm was to mark the end of the intense heat.