Date: October 23, 2009
From: Elizabethtown, Illinois
To: Sebree, Kentucky
Route: Illinois Hwy. 146, Illinois Hwy. 1, KY Hwy. 91, KY 120, Ky Hwy. 132
Miles Today: 68 miles
TOTAL MILES: 2, 684 miles
Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph
Weather: 50s, Cloudy with occasional rain
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
Broken Spokes: 3
Cracked Rim: 1
Let the dog chases begin! We know from experience that Kentucky is infamous for having lots of dogs that love to chase down cyclists. Well, let me tell you nothing has changed since 1994. We can usually scream at them in a gruff tone and they will persist for a bit and once we've passed their property they'll let us alone. However, today Gregory did say that one of them nipped at the red bag on our trailer and when we met up with Brian tonight he said one bit his pannier. Gregory knows that it is feet up if they get too close. I'm a bit leery about using HALT, the dog spray, because I wouldn't want any to inadvertently blow up into Gregory's eyes and I don't really want him handling it and accidentally spraying himself instead of the dog. We've heard a Wiffle bat works well…
I often write in a chronological fashion but right now all I can think about is how sore I am! After five and a half days out of the saddle (waiting for our new wheels) and a 68-mile day, I feel like I'm starting from square one. Yes, I was wearing my newer and most comfortable shorts and diligently applied my chamois creme, but this time it is not saddle sores I'm dealing with! All I can figure is that today I rode in my shorts, tights and rain pants all day and this created too much friction and heat thus creating what I assume to be a heat rash right down my more delicate region! Ugh! Can you say t-e-n-d-e-r? Tomorrow we've planned a 70-mile day to reach our hosts Beth and Garry in Falls of Rough and right now I'm wondering how I will manage that. (Beth and Garry found our blog and invited us to stay some time ago. We've been looking forward to meeting them and staying on their farm. They have lots of dogs and horses they've told Gregory.)
As an afterthought I probably should have done without the tights or taken the rain pants off part of the day but the threat of rain was looming most of the day. It was a relatively warm day, high 60s I imagine, and Mike and I rode most of the day in just a short sleeve jersey (and all those lower layers of course, minus tights for Mike). We were working our tails off in the hills and creating plenty of body heat. Obviously, or I wouldn't have heat rash! O.K. enough of this. I'll keep you posted…
Well, we finally made the ferry crossing from Illinois to Kentucky! This morning we rode out of Elizabethtown, Illinois with fellow cyclist Brian after saying our goodbyes to our new friends Bruce, Becky and Bertis. We also made a stop at the newspaper for our photo shoot (Julie, of the Hardin County Independent interviewed us yesterday) and we dropped off a couple more postcards with Postmaster Nina, said goodbye and showed her our bike.
Before our ferry crossing we wanted to be sure Brian saw Cave-In-Rock so Gregory took him down along the Ohio River shore to give him the tour while Mike and I watched the bikes. (We saw the cave a couple of days ago.) While waiting for the ferry we met Diane from Canada who was out visiting her mother (who still lives in the area) and doing a B & B tour (by car that is). Diane is a cyclist herself and toured from San Francisco, up the coast to Astoria, Oregon and across the U.S. to New York in 1972. She noticed our Chico VELO Wildflower jerseys and she hopped out of her car and struck up a conversation. She was just as nice as could be and we were so pleased to see her later that day when we pulled into Marion, Kentucky sometime after 1:00P.M. We chatted some more and she recommended a cafe for lunch and promised she'd check in on us via the blog. Nice to meet you Diane!
The ferry crossing was a lot of fun and Gregory really got a kick out of that. Brian rode with us a couple more miles and after we took pictures at the "Welcome to Kentucky" sign he went on ahead because he needed to make the town of Sebree before the post office closed. At this point we hadn't planned to go as far as Sebree today but after seeing Brian in Marion we could tell Gregory was eager to stay with him and hang out with him tonight. For me it was our earlier encounter at the main intersection in Marion that set the tone for my day and made it easy for me to push on.
After we said goodbye to Diane a man who was crossing the street approached us and said, "Welcome to Marion!" Well, we thought this was the perfect man to ask about lodging for the night. He told us about his Baptist church and their Life Center and said we could go on up the road and see if they might let us stay. He said, "They might let you stay, that is, if you aren't a Democrat…" I couldn't believe my ears. Whether I'm a Democrat or not shouldn't matter. I thought that Christians believed we should "love one another" without judgement. I don't think Jesus would have denied me a bed if I was a Democrat. I still can't believe he said it and it has been bugging me all day. Well, all baptists are not created equal because tonight we just finished having an amazing meal prepared by Pastor Bob and his wife Violet of the First Baptist Church in Sebree, Kentucky.
We've been hearing about Sebree since Oregon and are so pleased that we made it a point to stay here. They have built up quite a ministry for cyclists and have fed over 250 at their own kitchen table (their home is adjacent to the church and youth center). And that is just this summer alone. Many more have stayed here even if they didn't have the pleasure of dining with this fabulous couple. When the youth center was added on to the church, the kids agreed to share their space with the cyclists. We had an opportunity to shower, do laundry and they even have a kitchen available. Gregory was excited because they have a pool table, shuffleboard, Foosball, a basketball game, etc. and a television. He was also thrilled to make a kitty friend the minute we pulled up. Pastor Bob even let him bring her inside to play with until bedtime! We also had the pleasure of meeting Violet's brother Gerald who is visiting from Seattle for a family reunion. Violet and Gerald are two of fifteen kids! Right after we met him Gerald immediately took Gregory and me next door to see the neighbor's two-week old puppies. Now you talk about adorable! Gregory even got to hold one. They were pretty good size puppies
Though we had many hills to climb today we were also fortunate to have some relatively flat stretches. I know there are more difficult days to come in Kentucky and then we still have the Appalachians. I'm just thankful that it was fairly warm today compared to what we cycled in over a week ago and we didn't have torrential downpours. It was really just a light rain but the clouds kept us guessing all day as to whether to don the rain jackets or not. That is why we left our pants on. It is really a pain to keep putting them on and taking them off every time it starts to sprinkle.
I'll close by telling you what a feast Violet and Bob prepared for Brian, Mike, Gregory and I. (We had checked in with her at lunchtime so she had all this prepared as we rolled in at dark after 6:00 P.M… Brian arrived over an hour before us.) Dinner included: Ribs and chicken, cornbread, homemade macaroni and cheese, green beans, baked onions in a steak sauce, Irish potatoes and sweet potatoes and lots of Arnold Palmers (that is sweet tea and lemonade mixed). We topped that off with angel food cake served with vanilla ice cream! Giddy up!