June 14, 2006
I woke up, lowered myself from a picnic table, and went at some breakfast – bagels, peanut butter, and Snickers. I watched some guys cut the grass in the town park, packed up, and went on my way.
One of the first places I came to today was the Lincoln Homestead State Park. I guess it’s where Abe Lincoln was born or lived for a while or something. The house was really tiny, for a president. Was ol’ Abe really that humble?
More importantly I picked up a free state road map at the gift shop, and had the opportunity to investigate something I’d been mulling over yesterday. The day before, I received an email from an old friend that I haven’t seen in ten years, Andy Logemann. We used to go bike-riding together all the time. I knew he lived in Indiana, but never knew that it was southern Indiana – actually not all that far from where I am in Kentucky. He invited me to visit, if it wouldn’t be too far out of the way.
Well, it is out of the way, but these sorts of opportunities don’t come around very often. And now looking at the map, I saw that I could check out Louisville Kentucky on the way. This decision was really a no-brainer.
So now it’s away with the cushy Adventure Cycling maps, and out with the state road map. Time for a little extra-credit expedition! (Insert Mission Impossible theme song here)
Consequently, today’s route was quite boring. I stuck to one road pretty much all the way to Louisville, because I could see by the map that it wasn’t a main, busy road, and it took me on a nice direct course to where I needed to go.
This afternoon a guy on a racing bike in a red jersey passed me, and I caught up with him at a gas station, about a half mile up the road. His name is Jake, from Salzburg, Austria. I think he took me for a typical ignorant American, because when I asked him where he’s from, he said, “You know the movie, The Sound of Music?” assuming that I’d never heard of Austria or could locate it on a map. He’s part of a racing team that he and his friends call The Wolf Pack, and they travel around to different locations in the States, training and doing a little racing.
We rode together for an hour or two, until he had to turn around and go back. It was nice to have the company for a little while.
A neat thing about being on a tour is that I don’t have to do loop routes, or out and back. I just go. Riding with Jake made me realize how accustomed I am to traveling alone, and I prefer it, in a way. When I was planning this trip, I harassed my friends to come with me, but now it’s great to do my own thing whenever I please – the ultimate freedom – and I haven’t fully appreciated it.
I blew straight through downtown Louisville this evening, because I’m on sort of a deadline (Now that I just wrote all that about freedom). Andy’s leaving town for the weekend Friday afternoon, so I need to get up to Bloomington by tomorrow evening. I’ll check out the sights in Louisville on the way back – it looked like a really, really cool city – outdoor cafes, young people walking and riding bikes everywhere, etc.
I crossed the Ohio River on an awesome bridge… into Indiana! Got a room here on the north bank, then went back out on the bridge for some sunset photo-ops. My view of the sunset overlooked the spot where Lewis and Clark embarked on their famous expedition.
Looking in the mirror tonight, I noticed some crusty days-old salt buildup in the hair above my ears. Nice. Life is good.
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Google Map Route may not be 100% accurate.