The wind was blowing hard and predicted to be from the southwest, with gusts up to thirty miles an hour. Tootie suggested she drive me and my bicycle thirty-five miles southwest of Chapel Hill so that I could bike with the wind. I got out of the car in the parking of lot of Loves Creek Baptist Church on the north side of Siler City (population 8,000); pulled the bike out of the trunk and headed off towards downtown.
I did not eat at this place but it looks memorable.
Siler City is Norma Rae country. Or, it was formerly Norma Rae country before almost all the textile mills closed in the past twenty years. I passed one closed mill after another. Chicken processing plants have opened more recently. I do not think Siler City was ever a pretty town.
I have met several people who live in the Siler City area; the liberal diaspora of Chapel Hill spreads out to near here. I rode into the older downtown.
There was modernist architecture.
Before heading north back towards Chapel Hill I decided to bike an hour long loop though the countryside south of Siler City, maybe looking for the American Dream.
I might have found that dream on the way back into Siler City from the south, when I cruised through the quite nice neighborhood around the Siler City Country Club golf course. I wonder if this house shocked the neighbors when it was built.
Siler City made national news back in the year 2000 when former Klan leader David Duke held a rally downtown. The rally was more a less a failure in that locals seemed turned off by his message. The inspiration for the rally was the influx of Hispanics who mostly came to work in the chicken processing plants. The percentage of the population in Siler City who is Hispanic went from basically zero to about forty-five percent in ten years.
This seemed a good day to look for a Mexican restaurant. I would never have found this place without Yelp. It starts with a Mexican grocery store downtown that has no sign.
You walk in through the store past the impressive meat department to a small restaurant in the back.
The menu is on the wall. Women were preparing fresh tortillas in the kitchen.
Accompanied a guava soda and green hot sauce, I got four tacos, two asada (grilled beef) and two lengua (beef tongue).
After lunch there was no alternative other than to bike northeast towards Chapel Hill through farmland pretty much the whole way.
In the liberal la-la land that is Chapel Hill, we miss entire movements. Maybe twenty-five percent of ALL the houses displayed this specific sign, not only in Siler City but all along the roads through the countryside back to Chapel Hill.
These signs are the inspiration of a sixteen year old from nearby Asheboro. He has encouraged thousands to buy them.
About halfway back, predictably on a creek for originally for water power (Cane Creek), I passed Lindley Mills. On their website they say they are 10th generation owners and they now produce high quality organic flour.