Utica, Kentucky to Marion, Kentucky

Late start because of another (sigh) rear wheel spoke issue.  Caught up with the group in Seabree.  Much happier to be biking closer to the group.  When I bike alone, particularly after starting out last, I get the idea that I am massively behind.

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I met up with the group again in Dixon where there were no open stores on the route.  A pair of middle school girls on their bikes came and talked with us and told us that a Dollar General was up the road a bit.

We sat in the shade of the corner tree on the Courthouse lawn.  It was glorious.  Biking today, particularly in the sun, I routinely come across these lawns darkened in the shades of multiple trees and they call out slumber and relaxation more than any bed with cool Egyptian linen sheets.

Sitting on the lawn, in the shade, eating my banana and drinking water, cool water, and Gatorade.  There is a heaven in simple pleasures, but you have to work hard to get them and recognize them.

We biked on to Clay, Kentucky and searched out an open convenience store on Memorial Day since it was the last stop with services prior to Marion - twenty two miles away.

So far our sample size is only two - but hands down the people from Kentucky have been the most welcoming and friendly.

Two days ago, while biking 152 off route to carve out some time to get to Maker's Mark - a red pickup truck came up even with me.  The man rolled down the window and asked where I was from.  "Colorado," I answered, still biking.  "Welcome to Kentucky!" He shouted, waved and drove on.

Here in Clay we went into the store parched and eager for Gatorade. Jim (Akron, Retired, Wife Judy)  struck up a conversation with Mr. Higleys who had asked if we were heading to the Ferry today or tomorrow.  When Jim got up to the counter to pay, Mr. Higleys paid for Jim's Gatorade.

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There is a redolent pleasure in drinking out-of-the-cooler Gatorade, sitting outside in the shade of the convenience store eaves, and having a sandwich.  One local dog was very interested so I gave him a portion of my sandwich.  I was chased by three dogs today, but one was so well fed that I had to encourage him to run faster.

Finally a real "Kentucky Girl" improbably dressed in neon yellow and the most blue - Krusty-the -Klown like hair I have seen on a living person (pictured, but sadly from the rear, came) up to us, camped out like loiterers at the convenience store and said, "Ha! Where y'all from?"  As typical we let Barry reply first and he said "Nottingham, UK" but I am positive she didn't understand a word of it, and said to him, "Now you have an accent."

A few thoughts from the route.  The mileage today has been elusive but in the end it was 71.5 miles.

Biking today mostly with Barry, John, and Lew - but Lew is struggling with his seat.  It's just excruciating for him so he is biking standing up or taking breaks.

My rear end hurt today, but yesterday it didn't.  So go figure.  Everyday it's a different thing.

Barry, I suspect, only goes slow for the company.  He easily can out-bike us.

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John, had a multilevel back fusion three years ago, which, he said, explains why he walks slowly and gingerly.  However his biking is not affected too negatively and he just consistently pedals away grinding away the miles.

Going at the slower pace that we go we spot little things like this wonderful little old truck that hailed from the Martin Family Homestead in Fishtrap, Kentucky and the old General Store (which sadly was closed for good.)

Marion Kentucky

We finally reached Marion.  It's always an incredible feeling of anticipatory rest once we reach our destination and all we have to do is find our resting spot.  I was biking with Barry and I said to him, "I'll bet most Nottingham lads wish they said they got inside Marion."

One of the surprising things about the TransAmerica Bike Route is the variety of places to stay.  Churches have been a mainstay for our lodging because they can accommodate groups, they have kitchen facilities for us to cook in, and there is a shower.

We have stayed mostly in Methodist Churches, a welcome and comfortable stay each time, because of my membership with the Eaton United Methodist Church so it's like seeing how another group of people would set up their church.

It is a wonderful service and outreach by these groups, and we are both grateful and humble every time these wonderful historic buildings are given over to us.

We have reached a few milestones.  We passed the 1,000 mile mark and we are now a fourth done in terms of days.  Tonight is our last night in Kentucky.  We cross the Ohio River tomorrow by Ferry and head into Illinois.