Date: October 26, 2009
From: Caneyville, Kentucky
To: Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky
Route: A Mapquest route that Beth gave us. We were mainly on Hwy. 70 at the end.
Miles Today: 50 miles
TOTAL MILES: 2,809 miles
Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph
Weather: Low to mid 70s with clear blue skies
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, 2 Kentucky (Gifted from of Beth and Garry Feltus)
Broken Spokes: 3
Cracked Rim: 1
Gregory is the mighty corn hurler! Early on in the day we were stopped by the side of the road for a bathroom break and while Mike made a couple of phone calls Gregory and I took the dried kernels off of a cob of corn. He decided he wanted to put them in a baggie and use them for target practice! We made him promise not throw them at cars or dogs but let him take aim at every sign alongside the road. It kept him busy all day and we celebrated each time we heard a "ping" signalling a direct hit. Mike drew the line on taking target practice on the uphills!
We left this morning at least 20 pounds lighter. Mike did a major purge and we left a box with Garry and Beth that they kindly offered to ship for us. We decided to send home our stove, cook pot, utensils and fuel bottles, etc. With the days getting shorter and colder we just found that we weren't up to cooking in the evening. We've been rolling in near dark exhausted from climbing steep hills all day and just want to eat a hot meal and go to bed. We should be just fine without them since we know where the restaurants and grocery stores are located on the TransAm route and we always have bread and peanut butter and other snacks on hand.
Speaking of things being lighter, we all got on the scales at the Feltus Holler Farm Cottage. Mike was pleased to find that he is at his lowest weight that he can remember at 178 pounds. Even his driver's license has read 185 pounds since he got his permit! He weighed 195 lbs. at the beginning of our trip on July 20th. I'm pleased to say that the "budda belly" is gone and he is looking fit and healthy. Gregory and I on the other hand haven't lost or gained a pound. I am maintaining my weight at 150 pounds and Gregory is holding at 62 pounds. Some days we feel like Gregory isn't eating enough but he always seems to have plenty of energy to spare. I on the other hand eat a lot more carbs than when I am more sedentary. I control my diabetes with diet and exercise so I have to watch my carbs. My legs feel more muscular so I'd like to think I've lost weight and gained muscle but the important thing is that I feel healthy and strong.
We couldn't have asked for a nicer day. We were able to ride in shorts and short sleeves all day! Woo! Hoo! The sun felt great! There were clear blue skies and the temperature was perfect at around 70-75 degrees. We still had some steep climbs today but not as many as compared to the past couple of days in Kentucky. The fall colors seem to get deeper and richer each day and of course are at their most glorious when the sun is filtering through the foliage.
We still had to deal with lots of dogs today but we are finding that if we just cruise past them at a slower pace and say, "Stay" and "Good Boy" that we get better results than trying to race by. This just seems to get them more excited and revved up for a hot pursuit. Of course, when we are climbing a steep hill we don't have a choice in the matter. Ha! Most of the dogs don't come out into the road but we did have one little guy today who chased us right down the middle of the road for quite a ways. He never even got close and it was kind of comical to watch him. I even got a little video clip. The other day we did have a dog bolt right out in front of Mike's front wheel. Mike screamed so loud he scared the dog into cowering back to his yard but not before Mike had to swerve to miss him. For someone who was bitten by a dog as a child (on the foot and while on a bike) I am handling the whole dog thing pretty well I think. Trust me you don't EVER want to be bitten. It is super painful.
We arrived at our destination of Mammoth Caves near dark. Again, we did enjoy riding at dusk and watching the sun set through the trees but we are sometimes cutting it a bit close. We have lights but don't like to ride in the dark. One of the nice things that came out of our late arrival were the dozens of white-tail deer all along the roadsides and throughout the campground and visitor's center grounds. On the flip side it was a bummer that the store at the campground was closed forcing us to head even further up the road to the visitor's center area to find food and lodging. We are happy to be here and looking forward to touring the caves tomorrow morning.