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Day Twenty-Four: Somerset, UK

August 24, 2006

Generations of the Crumpet family worked the rolling pastures of Somerset County in southwestern England. Mr. Crumpet was born in America, but whenever he returns to the West Country, he feels like it’s never really left his bones.

“You know, you ought to get that checked out,” says Orange Bear.

“Now, Orange Bear,” smiles Mr. Crumpet, “we Crumpets are, after all, woodsy folks.”

Mr. Crumpet’s relations enjoy taking their American cousin for a little motor tour of the countryside. Mrs. Crumpet relishes the traditional hamstone villages along the way. Every few miles or so, Orange Bear stops for a chat with the odd badger, fox, or cow who shares local anecdotes or, ahem, racing tips.

Somerset is home to several National Nature Reserves where Mr. Crumpet is able to do some serious birdwatching. At West Sedgemoor, a colony of grey heron flourishes.

To the north is Bath, which was home to one of the Crumpet family’s favorite writers of all time, Jane Austen. Also, the city named for its natural hot spring reopened (after much delay) its public hot spa earlier this month. Bears are not allowed.

Bears (and sheep and cows) are allowed, however, to traipse up the famed Glastonbury Tor.

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