According to our map, “the Iroquois called the land Ken-ta-ke or rolling prairie land” and that’s what our terrain has been like the past several days. Some call it “gentle rolling hills.” I just call them rolling hills.
Day 18- June 18th
The night before we had a delicipus meal at a restaurant called Mario’s. The owner has had it since 1978. He gave us some food advice for our next town of Harrodsburg (45 miles from Berea)
We passed several farms as it will continue to be for awhile.
We stopped at a convenience store and got some cold drinks and sat outside on the picnic table. In a matter of minutes the place was packed with workers/farmers as it also was a deli. There was about 10 or so people inside. There was this cute 10/11 year old who was driving a 4×4 with his dad next to him. When they were leaving the son said “You better hurry up or I’ll leave you here.”
There was another father and son pair, the son was about 6. The dad was asking us questions and telling us about his work. We saw this plant that was being planted and he told us it was tobacco, which you grow first in the greenhouse then move it to the fields when it’s big enough because the dirt is too dry for the seeds.
We continued on. Harrodsburg was a really cool city. It was sorta stuck in time. If you removed the cars, all the buildings appeared as if they were still in the 1800s. We stayed at the Economy Inn a bit off route, wifi, no breakfast, biker discount of 5 dollars. The owner was quite excited about the discount.
We then went to Beaumont Inn, which was a suggestion of the Mario owner. There’s two restaurants: the main dining hall and a tavern. We went with the tavern as it seemed more authentic Kentucky food and cheaper.
We got fried banana peppers for appetizers, which were so good! And then I got fried catfish and Dad got the tavern meal, which is fried chicken and cured ham. The ham was interesting to try as it had different spices on it. It was good for an early Father’s Day dinner.
Day 19- June 19th
We stopped at King’s Donuts and Breakfast next to the inn for some breakfast sandwiches and donuts. We talked to one gentleman who said he drives a school bus, is a school janitor, and has his real estate license. He doesn’t want to retire because he wouldn’t know what to do.
This day/section of the map was a bit complicated to plan out. We want to average 50 miles a day, which placed us in Loretto at the end of the day, but it only had a B and B with the cheapest room at 125. We were looking at where else to go, but it would have been 80 miles. We decided to stay in Springfield at the inn, which was conveniently located next to a grocery store. The inn had a pool, which was nice.
We only rode 31.4 miles due to this and planned to ride longer the next day. Dad kept saying he felt like he didn’t even bike that day. It was nice to have a short day though, even though we just had a rest day. I believe I started to have tendinitis as my wrists are hurting. So having a shorter day was good. The terrain was more “gentle” rolling hills as if you went down the hill you had enough momentum to go up the next hill without much work. Along the other times you had to switch to a lower gear.
Unfortunately, the birthplace of the 16th President was really far off route for us to go. It was cool to learn about his family!
Day 20- June 20th
We left a bit earlier this day! 7:30!!! We headed to White Mills, KY for a total of 64.4 miles.
We stayed at another volunteer fire station, which offers a kitchen, restroom, and a shower. The volunteer fire fighters are very helpful and hospitable! Dan and Chuck are the two in charge. Dan lives next door and was offering his car for us to us and giving out adult beverages. Chuck talked to us for an hour about the area and his family. He’s a full time fire fighter in a neighboring town, a cattle farmer, and the chief for the volunteer fire department, along with owning his own landscaping company!
While we were there they received a fire call and we got to see the run out for it. Luckily it was early in the afternoon so we weren’t awaken.
They have a journal for cyclists to write in and we saw some familiar names, which was neat. We were joined by a young man from North Carolina who is doing about 100 miles a day.
Day 21- June 21st
Crossed the above pictured dam.
We went to Fordsville, KY after about 51 miles. The man from North Carolina passed us right before Fordsville and he left at 9:30. We stopped in several stores, getting a slight short rain in between. We did stop in a clinic/pharmacy to get wrist braces, which they ordered for the next day.
Day 22- June 22nd
It was hot and humid. Leaving town it said 88 degrees Farenheit and it was 9:40 am. The humidity was killer. Mostly flat, which was nice. Some issues with my braces, but got it handled by the end of the day.
We got to Sebree after 55 miles. We stayed at the First Baptist Church in their youth center.
Shower, wifi, kitchens (there’s two), laundry, cots….this place was amazing! They provided towels and has a room for cyclists to leave comments and take clothes if needed.
Grocery stores close by, which was nice. We joined another biker here from Philadelphia who is going West as well.
Day 23- June 23rd
We left about 8 from the church and it was already humid. The heat started picking up around 12 and so did the wind. We planned on going to Cave-In-Rock, IL, but due to the weather and the hills we stopped after about 43.93 miles in Marion, KY. The Philly man told us he might stop there as the United Methodist Church hosted cyclists.
We got to Marion and stopped in the McDonald’s. The thing with this route is that all the towns are small. The fact that this town has a McDonald’s means it’s a big town- 3,000 people. We got drinks and ice cream and as we sat there for 45 minutes, we decided to stay at the church.
The church was beautiful. We had showers and sofas to sleep on plus WiFi.
The Church has been hosting since the start and has copies of their original log book. Now the book is more sophisticated with pictures of us.
Another biker had stayed there for the past days because she needed to fix her bike since she crashed it on that steep descent near Vesuvius (see past posts). Her goal has been to reach the West by any means so biking, busing, hitch hiking, or road tripping. Originally from Ohio, she was very excited for her adventure. The Philly man was already there.
Dad and I grab sandwiches at Subway then went to the local Italian shop for canoli.
Our waiter turned out to be a Sophomore in high school, but was pretty tall and big (football and basketball player), which freaked Dad out because he thought he was older. Great canoli!
As I mentioned earlier, my wrist have been hurting so now I have been biking with these:
Day 24- June 24th
We left early to McDonald’s for a quick breakfast, but we still hit the road at 7:30am. We were joined by Philly and Ohio.
The pastor at the church told us about an Amish resell place on route. We stopped and bought some really cheap food.
We continued onto the ferry to take us across the Ohio River.
We crossed over into Illinois!
We found the Cave in the rock in Cave-In-Rock.
The route was quite pleasant in the morning. We saw a rest stop for bicyclists and took a break.
We stopped in Elizabethtown, IL for lunch.
Ohio decided to leave us here for a road trip to Colorado. We continued on in the heat. There wasn’t much wind, which was nice.
One thing about Illinois is that the bike route signs are not really there. So you really have to use the map. For part of this route there was bike route signs not 76 signs like before, but because it’s few we don’t rely on them.
We made it to the Bay Creek Ranch campground about 52.6 miles. We had some company:
The orange cat was super attached. It would follow us around and it laid outside our tent when we went to bed and when we woke at 5 am it was in front of our bikes.
There were also raccoons in the below pictured tree. They were eating berries or something. They were really attacking it.
Philly man joined us a little later.