Okay, Mark, in the comments on the previous post, took me to task for describing Leavenworth as "kitschy." I take his point, sort of, in that I actually do know enough about the history of the town to appreciate its transformation into a successful Bavarian-themed tourist destination. (Short version: hard times, dying local economy, business community transforms the city by mutual decision and sheer force of will. Inventive, and fairly awesome.) HOWEVER, it was created, and while its achievements are notable*, without actual Bavarians, it is not authentic.
*It is thriving--I was there on a Monday, and there were LOTS of people in the streets.
It should be further noted that I *like* kitsch. Folks were very friendly, I was able to find a satisfactory vegetarian lunch with no trouble at all, and the natural beauty is breathtaking. Plus there is Bavarian-themed mini-golf, which I didn't play (why?!??), so I will return. That there's an artificial conceit in play bothers me not at all.
In other news, the rain is potentially hampering my efforts at reaching the 1000 mile mark. I rode today, but got utterly drenched on the way home. Hopefully it will let up by morning, as arriving at work that wet is not so fabulous. At least if I come home soaking wet, I can take a hot shower and put on my pajamas right away.