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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Polar Express to Fayetteville! All Aboard!

Dear Blog,

Today started out innocently enough with our usual morning coffee and stroll around the campground.  Over a hearty breakfast of veggie patties and bagels, we decided to bicycle into Fayetteville - a ride of 28 miles round trip.  Kathy had done some research and found the Huske Hardware House Restaurant & Brewery, a brewpub with a standard range of its own-brewed beers, plus some pretty good food.  It received a high rating on, which is always one of the criteria we use to screen new beer destinations.

The weather today was pleasant - partly cloudy and a high in the low 50's.  We dressed warmly to fend off the cycling wind, and off we went around 11:00.  On the way, David spotted a pharmacy offering flu shots, so we stopped for him to take care of that health project.  Then on we pedaled.

Most of the ride took us through farmland.  There were also suburban houses every 300 yards or so along each side of the road, as well as commercial or industrial establishments every quarter mile or thereabouts.  Otherwise, lots of fields.  This area specializes in turf farms, so all the fields were bright green with newly sprouted grass.

Here's a photo of one classic barn we passed:

Our entry into Fayetteville wasn't too auspicious:  a combination of highway interchanges, industrial buildings and some down-and-out stores and the like.  However, as we approached the center of town, we entered the historic district, where things were a little more spiffed up.

We passed the Fayetteville Market House, an historic building, about which you can learn more here.  The main street we pedaled on, Person Street, was bricked, with newly reconstructed sidewalks and parking areas, making it a pleasant shopping area.  We crossed the requisite railroad tracks (which always seem to cut through the center of small Southern towns), and found the Huske Hardware House.

No sooner did we get settled than OVER A HUNDRED little kids and parents hippity-hopped into the restaurant and upstairs to a balcony dining room.  They were all in their PJ's!

We overheard the restaurant hostess explaining that, every year at Christmas-time, a local train runs a "Polar Express" from some local embarkation point.  Parents and kids hop on, ride the train and watch the movie, "Polar Express" while riding, then arrive in downtown Fayetteville, where they march down the street in their jammies to the brewpub for a big buffet lunch (and another showing of the Polar Express), then return by train to where they started.  Sounds like fun to us!

We got to share in the "Polar Express" part of it a little, because all the TV monitors in the restaurant showed the movie once the entourage arrived:

After lunch (and a couple good beers), we cycled home to the campground.  We were pretty happy to see the sign for the town limits of Wade:

We only had a couple miles to get home.  Celebrated with a dinner of perch and spinach with onions.  Now we're going to settle down to a movie.  Maybe we'll watch...


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