Saturday, October 17, 2009

Day 89 ~ Hard Core

Snoozing at the Goreville United Methodist Church

Waking Up Is Hard To Do

Grace Kitty wants to go with Gregory

At Delaney's For Our Interview with Dixie of the Goreville Gazette

Mysterious Mike

My Spotty View Of Things

Amber Glass ~ Flat #8

Yeah! We made it to the River Rose Inn B & B set on the beautiful Ohio River.

Catfish, shrimp, hushpuppies and okra at the floating E-town River Restaurant

This was my dinner. Everything I mentioned above is here except the catfish.

Date: October 16, 2009
From: Goreville, Illinois
To: Elizabethtown, Illinois
Route: Hwy. 147, Hwy. 145, Hwy. 146
Miles Today: 53 miles
TOTAL MILES: 2, 608 miles
Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph
Weather: Low 40s, intermittent rain, gray and cloudy
License Plates Collected: 5 Montana, 8 Wyoming (2 motorcycle) and 1 Idaho (found in WY), 2 Colorado, 1 Kansas (gifted from David of Baldwin City), 1 Missouri (To be sent to Grammy’s by our new buddy, Kansas City firefighter Shawn), 1 Illinois
Flats: 8 (#8 today)
Broken Spokes: 3

This morning we left the Goreville Methodist Church with Gregory's new kitty friend Grace trying to tag along behind. The cat was literally following Gregory down the sidewalk. We waved goodbye to the church secretary, Carol, who came out to see us off and we pedaled two blocks back to Delaney's Restaurant for our interview with Dixie Terry from the local paper. Last night, Pete (owner of Delaney's and the one who set us up with the church) called Dixie whom he thought might like to do a story. We chatted throughout breakfast while she took notes and later got a couple of snaps of us on her instant wind up camera. She promised that if she gets the article published she'll send a copy to Grandma and Grandpa in North Carolina. She wasn't online herself and I assumed the Goreville Gazette isn't either.

We sat and talked with the locals until 10:30A.M. and Gregory was pretty patient as he kept himself busy with his drawings. Around 10:00A.M. Gregory really wanted to get going and said, "Mom, I like it better on the bike. I can do my day dreams. I can't daydream in here with everyone talking." I just thought that was so wonderful and it filled me with joy not only because he is enjoying the riding, even in 43 degree weather, but also that he is keeping his imagination active. This is what happens when we unplug and free ourselves from electronic devices, etc. Hooray!

Mike's comment of the day was, "It is days like today when I feel like we are hard core." I had to agree. We were riding in frigid wet weather and climbing hills all day. We were chased by over a dozen dogs and changed a flat in the wet grass on the side of a road with no shoulder. We also must have stopped at least a half a dozen times in the first half hour to adjust Gregory's shorts, apply Glide, fix his ankle straps, take a potty break, put on rain booties, adjust a helmet, etc., etc. I was losing it a bit on that one! Patience is key when riding in extreme conditions and I just had to remember to be in the moment and take one little thing at a time. Gregory wasn't really complaining he just needed help to make his ride more comfortable and I can certainly relate to that one.

We had lunch in Eddyville after taking a sort of round about way of getting to the restaurant. The folks we flagged down to ask ended up at the same place and we enjoyed talking with them at lunch. They informed us that we were coming up to Dead Man's Hill and that it would be a nasty one with a steep climb, a leveling off and then another steep climb. They really psyched Gregory out and when we got there he was really moaning and groaning. I had to remind him that he rode 17 percent yesterday! Dead Man's Hill turned out to be 9 percent and it was a grunt but the worst thing was that we were riding on a flat front tire! I knew something was wrong because Mike was making really wide swinging swervy movements with the front end. At first I thought he was just having trouble controlling the front end because he was tired or because of the grade so I patted his back and encouraged him saying, "You can make it honey!" One swerve too many and we were off the asphalt but had made it to the top of the first steep section. The front tire just looked low so he pumped it up the best he could but Gregory and I could hear the air coming out of the tire. Sure enough we had a puncture. This time it was a small bit of amber glass. We pushed the bike up to a tiny gravel pull out and yanked off the front panniers. Mike was not a happy camper, especially since we had just set out after lunch, it was 2:30P.M. and we still had to make 22 miles of hills to finish our day. To make matters worse this tiny pull out ended up being someone's driveway and we had to move the bike without the front wheel attached. Gregory and I just tried to be as quiet and helpful as possible until the repair was done and we were rolling again. I gave Mike a kiss and tried to have him look at the bright side. It currently wasn't raining! We'd ridden in rain off and on again all day and were just blessed that it wasn't a solid downpour! Mike's comment this morning was, as the Irish would say, "It's a nice soft morning." I was singing, "It's a misty, moisty morning, when cloudy was the weather, I chanced to met an old man, all dressed in leather..."

Speaking of grunting up hills, Mike has taken to calling me Monica (after the tennis player Monica Seles who grunts a lot when she plays). I've tried to tone it down a bit but when we've been climbing for a long stretch and I'm working really hard I just can't help making a little noise. The boys have both given me a hard time about it but they know when to draw the line. Climbing all day really takes it out of me and I have been really sore the past few days but I also know I'm getting stronger and stronger.

The last few miles weren't too steep thankfully and we pulled into our B & B in Elizabethtown at around 5:15P.M. The River Rose Inn is this gem that we were surprised by. Luck would have it that our day ended here. There was one vacancy left when we called at lunchtime and I'm glad we took it. Bruce had another call after ours and the woman tried to get our room asking if we'd put down a deposit (which we hadn't). Thankfully for us Bruce held our room.

The Inn is a 100-year old building set on the Ohio River. Owner Bruce made us feel welcome from the moment we spoke on the phone and it was so comforting to know the last 22 miles we were riding towards a hot shower, warm bed and as an extra bonus laundry facilities. Gregory had an appreciation for the proximity to the river and the neat old building but was more excited about his collection of 300 VHS tapes. I enjoyed exploring the home and checking out the many collections of memorabilia each room holds. Bruce shared a bit of the history of the building including the several floods experienced here.

Another delightful surprise was the E-Town floating restaurant within walking distance of the restaurant. Bruce recommended the catfish and beans so of course we had to partake. We are in the south now and everything is deep fried so I'm glad I rode 50+ miles today. We asked for a sampling of the river catfish before placing an entire order and though we did find it tasty we decided not to partake in a full order. We even got Gregory to take a "No Thank You Bite' and he is not a fish lover. Of course, I was withholding his soda for ransom. Hee. Hee. The fried shrimp platter was calling my name and it was outstanding. I even ventured to try fried okra. I'd had it many years ago and didn't like it but I'm glad I was brave and had some. I found that I really enjoyed it. It tasted a bit like my fried zucchini that I make at home and I ate the entire order. Mike shared in a few bites but I didn't force Gregory to have any. We closed the place down at 8:00P.M. talking with owner Patrick about the various hoops he has had to go through establishing this unique restaurant on the water. It sounds like business is great and during high season he has people lined up out the door and on land. He can serve over 1,000 pounds of fish in a week!

1 comment:

  1. It's 102 degrees in Phoenix, AZ today ... how can you be cold? I congratulate you all on your continued journey. What an incredible adventure. Ride safe.