Friday, 4 June 2010

Escape from Kentucky

Massive thunder storm about to hit.
We made it.

Racing the last 12 miles from Marion KY to the Ferry slipway, myself, Tony and two new cohorts, Travis and Jordan, speedy youngsters from North Carolina, boarded the boat that was to take us to freedom.

No more nasty rumble strips, crazed dogs, coal trucks, lack of Route 76 signs etc….

As we crossed over the vast Ohio river a wave of relief enveloped us, we had survived Kentucky and had now reached the safe shores of Illinois.

Don’t get me wrong, Kentucky wasn’t all bad; it had it’s fair share of lovely people and some great scenery, but it just hadn’t made an effort to make the roads cyclist friendly. Hopefully Illinois will be back up to Virginia standards!

Leaving the comforts of Sebree Baptist Church that morning I cycled along thinking of the generosity that Pastor Bob and Violet show to all the cyclists that come through their doors. Although I’m a staunch atheist, having a little post dinner hand-in-hand prayer with them seemed quite natural as a way of saying thanks.

In fact the prayer, that had also blessed our bikes, seemed to have paid off as a nasty squeak in my left pedal, that had been there for two weeks, miraculously disappeared! Maybe I have been witness to divine bike intervention!

The last miles of Kentucky had bought with it a few more Amish and Mennonite communities, we had been told that the Mennonites always drive black cars with no chrome, I had seen a line of such vehicles around a homestead the day before and assumed it was just a CIA rural retreat!

Seeing an Amish lady sat on the porch of her white washed timber home with her bonnet on dressed from a bygone age, it struck me as a bizarre juxtaposition, their simplistic lifestyle versus the materialistic, hi tech world that surrounds them. Travelling with so little on our bikes, under our own power, out of touch for periods of time with the outside world, I almost felt at one with elements of their life style. Although I don’t think I’d get away with a Rohloff Hub and a Netbook!
  
As we cycled off the ferry into “Cave in Rock” IL, the evening was drawing in, the four of us grabbed some food in a small restaurant and then pedalled up to the camp site. As we climbed the steep slope to the site I could hear a familiar noise….. my pedal was clicking again, it seems divine intervention is dealt out on a State by State basis!

Our day finished with a final godly act, a plague of mosquitoes. As we pitched our tents they attacked relentlessly, once inside we had respite until the onslaught continued in the morning.  

Link to Google Route Map
Link to Flickr Trans Am Album