Date: November 4, 2009
From: Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
To: Danville, Kentucky
Route: Hwy. 127
Miles Today: 34 miles
TOTAL MILES: 3,053 miles
Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph
Weather: Cloudy & 39 degrees in A.M, Hail at 11:00, Sunny & 50s in afternoon
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, 4 Kentucky (2 Gifted from Beth and Garry Feltus, one gifted from cousin John, one from Hwy. 127)
Broken Spokes: 3
Cracked Rim: 1
Our first hail of the trip! Mike and Gregory were coming out of the Harrodsburg post office with armloads of packages and it started to hail on us! A nice lady I'd been talking to got a plastic bag from her car for us to carry our packages and I balanced 2 boxes and one large envelope while we rode up Main Street to find a lunch spot. As we pushed the bike across the intersection the CPA on the corner leaned out his door, asked about our trip and recommended Kentucky Fudge Company at the top of the street (steep street) all the while we are getting hailed on! The hail quickly turned to rain and we had a long lunch to avoid the cloudy, wet and cold weather and also because we were enjoying the packages from our family and friends.
Gregory got all kinds of Halloween goodies from his cousin Zane including a United States License Plate Map Game from State Farm (Uncle Steve is an agent). We completed the map and realized that Gregory has most of the U.S. state names and locations memorized though he does need to work on some of the ones he hasn't ridden through. We also did the Halloween word search and crossword they sent. Thanks guys! Grandma and Grandpa Williams sent a cute Halloween card with a skeleton on a bike and some spending money for Gregory (to get a treat) and Grammy and Papa Winter also sent a card and some spending money! Grammy also sent out a couple of essentials like our Microsoft Office discs (remember we had our desktop scrubbed in St. Louis and they wouldn't reload "Office" because it isn't an Apple product) and an extra jog bra for me since a washing machine ate one of mine!! Gregory got a belated birthday card and Subway gift card (his favorite!) from his Aunt Kim and Uncle Starrett and our friends Blue and Craig (from Ferguson, MO) sent us a bunch of great gift cards including: WalMart, Walgreens, Arbys, Wendys and Subway! It doesn't stop there! Our dear friends the Lewis family sent us a care package with all sorts of great Chico, California products including Lundberg Farms Rice Chips, Honey Sticks, "Happy Camper" Peanut Brittle, Cinnamon Toothpicks (I loved these as a kid), Maisie Jane's California Sunshine Orange & Spice Almonds, Pop Rocks, etc. etc. Thank you to everyone for making this such a fun mail stop! We are now about 15 pounds heavier so we better get busy and start eating up these goodies. It won't take long!
The mail stop really served to buoy our spirits since it was cloudy, cold and spitting rain all morning as we road 20 miles along the busy Highway 127. Gregory started the day with just his lightweight gloves and before he said anything about being cold, his little hands were like ice cubes. The cars zoomed by as I put his heavy gloves on him and because my fleece jacket was handy on top I put that on over his rain jacket (it wasn't raining yet at this point and I thought it would warm him up)! After the rain started we had to stop again and take my fleece off and put his extra fleece on under the rain jacket.
Harrodsburg was where we rejoined the TransAm route so after lunch we headed out of town to hop of the road towards Berea, our destination for the day. Along the way we stopped on the side of the road to confirm directions and had the good fortune of meeting Jim Hicks. He confirmed that we were indeed on Hwy. 152 and then we had a nice chat with him before heading out. We crossed over Hwy. 127 and headed out on Hwy. 152 only to find no shoulder and a steady stream of traffic including a lot of semis and trucks hauling gravel from the gravel plant right where these highways intersect. Mike was already grumbling about how much fun this road was going to be and had pulled off to let some traffic by when Jim Hicks pulled in behind us. He got to talking to his wife about us and she remembered that the bridge on our route, that crosses Harrington Lake between Burgin and Bryantsville, was currently closed!! It is a good thing we met Jim or we would have had another "bridge out" backtracking experience like we had the other day on our way into Prospect! Ernst, at the Danville Bike and Footwear confirmed the bridge situation and recommended another route which meant going back to the junction of Hwy. 152 and Hwy. 127 and continuing on Hwy. 127 to Danville. I wasn't excited about getting back on 127, which we'd been on all morning, but at this point we didn't have much choice.
The ride from Harrodsburg to Danville wasn't too bad since the sun came out from behind the clouds and warmed us a bit though it was still in the 50s. Unfortunately, Mike became uncomfortable complaining that it felt like he was sitting on a ball. I initially thought, uh oh he has that same sort of pea-sized ball I got with my nasty saddle sore…but as he explained it more I came to find out that he was feeling bruised on his sit bone. At first Gregory and I were joking around saying, "Mike has a ball on his bottom. Ha. Ha." It was kind of funny at first but we could tell when it was time to cut that out. He was really hurting. At any rate he spent the last few miles into Danville trying to adjust and I could tell he was really uncomfortable. As we entered town he announced, "I'm done." I think we were all a little relieved because it had just been a rough day for everyone. I didn't even mention my itchy watery eyes. I still haven't figured out what is going on but I'm sure the fact that I tossed and turned all night last night and didn't get much sleep contributed to the problem. I'm going to "hit the hay" earlier tonight.
In Danville we first went to the bike shop to meet Ernst and thank him for his help. We enjoyed looking around his shop and looking at his pictures of the touring he has done with his kids. He rode a tandem with his son Andrew when he was only 10 years old and they have done various sections of the TransAm over the years. We told Ernst that we were staying over tonight and asked if he knew anyone who would host some cyclists. His house was in chaos at the moment but he connected us with Mark and Joni who are good friends and also enjoy cycling and running.
Mark made us feel welcome from the moment we spoke with him on the phone. Even though he knew he'd be home late, and his wife was out of town until after midnight, he still invited us to ride on over to his home and make ourselves comfortable until he got there. We let ourselves in and had showers and put in a load of laundry before Mark showed up. We learned that Mark and Joni have three terrific sons who are all accomplished runners and are off leading lives of their own. Their home is very inviting especially since you are welcomed by Joni's many handmade quilts.
Mark cooked up some quesadillas and we had a really nice visit. After a call from his wife, Mark told us that she had seen us on the road earlier that day!! It makes me think about how interconnected we all are and how we may not even realize when our life touches another. Tonight we are blessed to have met Jim Hicks who gave us directions and saved us from a bridge out; Ernst at the Danville Bike Shop who we called to confirm about the bridge, who shared his TransAm journey with us, and who connected us with Mark and Joni who have welcomed us in their lovely home.