søndag 27. juli 2014

Day 43: Kentucky!

141.6 km

The day started with breakfast in the form of power bars at the same gas station I had dinner at last night. I had gotten word from Anthony to look out for glass that had shredded his tire on the way in to Elizabethtown so after making my way over hills and getting chased by two dogs for a couple of meters, I managed to navigate through the glass covered shoulder in to Elizabethtown. I stopped at a restaurant where I got myself a meal and got crackin' on some writing. The big Ohio River was running past town and after doing 20 more km over shoort, steep hills, I got to Cave In Rock where the ferry was going back and forth over the river that also made up the border between Illinois and Kentucky. I also met a couple biking across the country from New York who were in their day 40, taking their time across. I was very curious about Kentucky ever since I started planning for the trip because cyclists have been telling stories of poor areas coal mining areas in the eastern part and also the vicious stray dogs that reside here. 

As the ferry made its way over, an older guy in a truck shouted something and waved me over. He warned me about the "awfully steep" hills across the river and offered to take me and the bike in his truck over them. I politely declined the offer and tried to explain to him I had to do the whole thing myself, to which he responded "I ain't gon' rat you out!", in an thick southern accent. I first thought he was joking but after seeing he was dead serious I started to get a tiny bit worried. We talked more on the ferry ride across the river, but the sound of the engine and the accent made it really hard to catch anything this guy was saying. He also told me that I would head into Amish country for a couple of km once we get off the boat.

Riding into western Kentucky didn't seem much different at first but I really started to notice the accent more and more. After a quick stop in the first town I encountered - Marion, I pressed on in the now hotter temperatures. There wasn't much in terms of a place to stay between Marion and Sebree so after a tiring ride, I arrived at a cyclists-only lodging in a Baptist church in Sebree. I showed up pretty late and hadn't called ahead so I expected having to find someplace else, but the pastor Bob and his wife Violet who lived next door waved me over and showed got me checked in. Bob showed me around the huge basement and invited me and a British westbounder to supper at his house once I got cleaned up. The church had extremely necessary things to a traveler like 50'' TV, pool table and a drum set, but also good-to-have things like water, restroom and shower. 

The other cyclist - Elliot and I got a room and a matress each and headed off to supper. Being on the road for so long had made me miss home cooked food. No matter how good the restaurant food is, you get tired of it after a while and since this is America and apparently many restaurants along the way only consider fried stuff as people-food, it was heavenly with a home cooked meal. We had a most pleasant meal and Violet showed us pictures and told stories from visiting cyclists. Seeing photos of a disabled guy passing by on his cross country ride on an arm powered bike, dragging his own wheel chair really put the trip in perspective. 

After a long and hearty meal, Elliot and I headed back to the basement and chatted for a while before heading off to a bed. We had really hit it off and it was a shame this guy wasn't headed east as he would have made for a great riding partner. 

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