Across Continents

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Grand Designs

January 17th, 2012

Grand Designs. Explaining it was a television programme about innovative house building and renovation projects. Exactly the sort of thing they’d just finished doing. For the second time. Lep and Perry having built a similar property on another lot. This time a few additions and modifications. Fine tuning. Open plan living area a little broader. Generous kitchen island. And little details. Shower embedded with smooth pebbles. Desk lamp base a model Penny Farthing. Biker Soap dispenser in the bathroom. Journal for fellow riders to share thoughts with other travellers.

I’d felt a bit jaded when I’d arrived. Irritated. A series of minor incidents. Cafe I’d been recommended. About to leave before my coffee finally arrived. Twenty minutes. But remarkably good food. When it eventually turned up. Even if it wasn’t quite what I’d ordered. Club sandwich rather than salad. "Our menu is somewhat large. Our kitchen and staff are not" said the sign.

Cracked asphalt, major highways rather than minor roads, eventually giving way to better shoulders. Later approached by a man in a gas station. Had someone been "******* with me?" he’d asked. A few uplifting glimmers. Smart new bridge across the Mississippi. Brief encounter with German rider Stefan, heading for California.

Back in the cafe I watched two women enter. Shuffling past uncleared tables. Into the single female restroom. Mother and daughter. Perhaps. Emerging five minutes later. Sidling off out the door. But good conversation over dinner. Huckleberry Finn. Fermented mare’s milk. The works of John Steinbeck. Restorative.


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