Day 28 – Sebree KY to Golconda IL

No one else joined me at the church last night which meant I could get up and start banging around early. Still somehow it’s hard to get out the door quickly. Entirely my own doing but I need my coffee, I need to shave (every once in awhile), I’ve got to get water bottles ready, some food in me, sunscreen, bags packed etc. I’m getting better at it but still seems like it takes too long because I love that morning light, and I want to spend more time in it.

This morning all the flowers were turning their faces to the rising sun.

Still I was on the road by about 7:15 and what great weather I had. I don’t think it got over 80 all day so I got a lot of miles in, mostly before lunch. The morning was an overall descent where I crossed the Ohio for the last time – this time by Ferry. I think if I had gone by kayak from Cincinnati to here it would have been a lot faster. It’s surprising how hard it is to follow the river for any distance on land.

Tyson “chicken houses”. I’m pretty sure these were empty at the moment. Pastor Bob says you have to air them out a couple of weeks in between to keep down disease. They still smelled horrible.
Tractors do not look like they used to.
Word of Truth Baptist Church. Most churches around here seem to be Baptist.
My last crossing of the Ohio, this time into Illinois
Anyone know what these are? Are they purple Martin houses? They are very common at Amish houses.

I only met one other cyclist on the road today. Brian is from Minnesota and is crossing the country with his brother. His brother drives the RV while Brian pedals all day, and then they camp at night. Now that’s brotherly devotion. This way Brian doesn’t have to carry any real weight and he even has a backup bike if he runs into trouble.   I think it must be hard for Brian’s brother not to put on 15 lbs this way, sitting across the dinner table every night with someone who’s just ridden 80 miles has got to be tough not to follow suit.

Brian from southern Minnesota – riding from Astoria OR to York Virginia

 

Plymouth Fury – mid ’60s. I love these and the Impalas same vintage.

Which brings me to my endorphin-fueled epiphany of the day; everything is contagious. I’ve heard it said before about eating habits – that some areas of the county are heavier because everybody eats like everyone else (ok gross generalizations yes but just for discussions sake). I think the same is true about working habits, and exercise habits. If you live where everyone plays golf, you play golf. If everyone comes to school talking about the internet meme of the day, you go on lookout for internet memes. So choose your neighbors and friends wisely – you’re going to end up like them. I’m sure that you’ve probably had a version of this thought before but somehow this morning in the wilds of Kentucky it seemed profound enough to put down in my notebook.  Ok, please discuss. Where does this break down? Free will? Pish posh.

Brian confirmed one thing that I’ve heard before – that the Ozarks have the toughest hills on the TransAm. They have a million little steep climbs where you go up, sometimes at grades over 15%, and then right back down and you start on another one. He said that he had a 70 mile climb in Colorado that wasn’t that hard – just a very mellow grade for a long way. So I have the Ozarks to look forward to.

I am getting antsy to get to Missouri, see family and have a little down time. I had a vague goal of getting to Bolivar by July 4th that I’m going to have to buckle down to make. I need to spend some real planning time with maps tonight and see if I can do it.

Speaking of tonight – I’m currently pilfering electricity to run my MiFi to post this. I didn’t get to this campground until about mile 90 and I’m pretty much out of gas. But no one is here, the showers and bathrooms are locked. So I’m kind of “squatting” here to see if anyone shows up. If they don’t I’m sleeping on their porch tonight. It’s a weird conundrum- they have a sign signifying this is a campground, I called the number and left a message, and there are all these empty RVs around. This is where the adventure happens eh?

As the sun is going down a few rain clouds darkened the skies and left this wonderful glow shining under them.

I have thought quite a bit about the whole “adventure” side of this trip. It was probably the most common reaction that people have had when I tell them what I’m doing. “Oh you’re going to have such an adventure.” Well yeah I hope so but when things mostly go right, it’s not such a big adventure. I mean its been fun and interesting, fascinating really. But there’s a part of me that keeps waiting for old farmer McGillicuddy to strike up a conversation with me and mention the funny goings-on down at the old mill. That’s the way it works on Scooby Doo. More than likely though I wonder if the adventure really starts when stuff goes wrong. And this evening, I’m 50 miles from any real hotel, 20 miles from another campground, I’m tired and I’m staying here. Adventure!

My favorite sign of the day that I failed to get a picture of; on a small house by the roadside: “Indoor Yard Sale.” Doesn’t that mean “Store”? Actually it’s brilliant. Got right around those tough Western Kentucky zoning laws.

I had a late lunch in Elizabethtown. The first place I went in smelled so off I turned around and walked out, and I’m glad I did. I wandered down by the river and found the E-town River Restaurant. Most of the menu was catfish so I went with the catfish. You know they’re serious about their catfish when you can choose your catfish “river” or “pond”. Who chooses pond? Heavens.

E-Town River Restaurant. Literally on the river.
Catfish sandwich, fries, hush puppies, BBQ baked beans, coleslaw, and sweet tea. Southern IL is the south. Ya’ll know what hush puppies are, right?

One table of bikers (i.e. Harley variety) started up a conversation with me about the trip and pretty soon I ended up talking with everyone in the restaurant, one after another. For some reason, one guy wanted my advice on what electric bike to get his brother with a bad ankle injury but I felt sorely unqualified to answer that. One woman said that she overheard that I was “self-supported” (in cycling means on your own, no SAG wagon or someone to get you out of trouble) and she met me in the parking lot to buy me lunch. She wanted to help me on the journey in some way. I told her she didn’t need to do that but she insisted. So I told her I was raising money to help the environment and that I would put it to that cause. I wish I had thought to do a selfie with her – I think she would have liked that – but I was kind of thrown off balance by her. Next time I’ll try to stay a little more Mile 1.

Mile 1

Which reminds me of a good question Megan had in the comments last night about conversations on the environment. I’ve kind of been a chicken in that department I’ll admit but we’re in sync because I was thinking about it as I rode today. I just have to jump in and be a little more gutsy about that. I think it’s hard for me to resist my natural tendency when I’m out in an area where I don’t know people – I want people to like me. But that’s probably way overrated. One thing that I “knew” before this trip but really know now, is that electronic media is a crappy venue for any real understanding to occur. Facebook et al offer venues for people to just spout their beliefs and essentially walk away. If you’re standing face to face with someone, you can’t do that. When the barriers are gone, people are overwhelmingly fair (or at least fairer) with each other.

Ok one final picture. I swear that I did not set this up. Know how I’ve been ranting about all that lawn mowing? OK this guy has figured out a solution.

The mower-cycle.  Serendipity plain and simple.

Ok we’re not going to discuss that little 4 mile wrong turn at the end of the day. Chalk it up to low blood sugar.

4 thoughts on “Day 28 – Sebree KY to Golconda IL”

  1. What 4 mile wrong turn? I didn’t see one😉 Again, I am enjoying your thoughts, reactions and pictures. It has become my morning commute entertainment. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I spent today with Wayne, Dennis, Gordon, Adrienne, and the usual’s. But without you. We all wish you well. Gordon signed off and almost snuck out the door before I called him back to recognize that all that we are doing is his baby and he deserved to be recognized for it. Rather than leave so quickly he listened, received an ovation and shed a sweet tear.

    Jim, thanks for your posts. Each one makes my day.

  3. Thanks everybody for your encouraging words. It keeps me moving, pedaling and writing.

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