Day 29: Meeting Karen - Heidi Ho - CycleBlaze

July 9, 2012

Day 29: Meeting Karen

Heart 0 Comment 0

I was on my way to the nearest town with a train station, but that's another story that I'll get to in a minute.

The decision was made and I was suddenly on a mission. But something caught my eye down a side road. I looked, didn't feel like stopping, and rolled on. But, you know how it is when you see something, and you think, "I don't feel like stopping," but then, SOMEthing starts pulling at your interest genes, like a cat trying to resist a moving shoelace....and the further away you get, the more you think about it, until the pull is too strong to resist.

I turned The Trucker around, rode back and rolled to a stop. After establishing that the woman spoke English I asked what this was.

"It's a pick your own flower stand," she said.

The pick your own flower stand
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
...and the price list with slot to put your hard earned franks
Heart 0 Comment 0

Now, I've seen a lot of self serve places. Farms with apples, the apple cider I bought yesterday. At home I've seen oranges for sale and no one to collect the money, just a box with a slot for your cash. Heck, in Gimmelwald there was a whole self-serve store! But here was a whole field of cut your own, self-serve flowers.

"This is so cool!" I told the woman who had just cut herself a bouquet of sunflowers.

She was Swiss but had traveled all over the world. "We recently spent two years in Hong Kong."

"Did you like it there?" I asked.

"Oh, yes. And I like it here, but I miss Hong Kong. I miss the food. There is much more variety in Asia. I do like some things (about the food) better here. You know where it comes from and don't have to wonder if it's loaded with pesticides, or other bad things. Here you might even know the farmer in person."

Her husband works for international companies. She was very friendly. Her English was excellent.

"In Hong Kong people are more open. Here, I don't know, people are more closed, reserved."

"Really?" I said.

"Look around," she said. "There are no people out."

I studied the surroundings. I'm not sure how many people I would have expected to see out in the middle of a field of flowers? Still, I had heard a similar sentiment from another local a few days ago.

"It's always nice to be home," she went on, "but there are things I miss about Hong Kong and other places that are different from Switzerland."

We talked about the flower stand, and farm stands in general. I told her how we have a lot of farm stands in California, and we compared notes a bit.

"What's your name?" I asked her.

"Karen." That would be easy to remember.

...and this is Karen
Heart 0 Comment 0

We took some pictures and I asked about the next town, and the train station.

"I've decided to start heading back to France," I told her. "I only have a week to go and I've been thinking of climbing Mont Ventoux."

The truth is I have been thinking about it for a while, climbing that mountain. The feeling got stronger the past two days, when I noticed the landscape wasn't changing. I had a feeling it would be like that the rest of the way to Geneva, so I was trying to decide if I wanted to ride for 3 more days in the same area, or do something different.

With that in the back of my mind, the decision came all at once. I was on one of those sections of bike route that was blissfully flat and pleasant. The arrow pointed right, and down. DOWN a steep grade for a kilometer or so.

I immediately got a bad feeling... The route turned left, and went on for another, flat, kilometer. Then it went left again, and up a leg breaking grade, simple to end up on the very same "blissfully flat and pleasant" road I started on before the down hill. And it was at that moment that I suddenly had it with those little leg breaking, pointless (in my mind), detours. It was time to move on.

She gave me directions and we waved goodbye. And as her car disappeared out of sight I headed to the station, and the train that would take me back to France, to Provence, to Mont Ventoux.

More pretty Swiss towns
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
People sure take a lot of pride in their property. Look at this barn, all decked out in tidy little flower arrangements.
Heart 0 Comment 0
What?! A tipi? Here? This isn't North Dakota! It's Switzerland!
Heart 0 Comment 0
I can't have a journal about Switzerland without a picture of a Saint Bernard. It would be wrong! Although, truth be told, I took this picture in France.
Heart 1 Comment 0

Today's ride: 73 km (45 miles)
Total: 2,842 km (1,765 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 1
Comment on this entry Comment 0