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The “Dutchies” (Peter & Jlsa) and I were up at about 7am this morning. They immediately took off while I went to the convenience store to buy another banana to go along with my Core Power protein shake. Today we were definitely biking to Sebree, KY, a 65-mile bike ride. After my breakfast I hopped on my bike and took off for Kentucky! One thing I had heard consistently from bicyclists coming from Kentucky, was that there were a lot of dogs (some wild) that would come after you while you are riding. They would even try to bite at your ankles. Isn’t that special? I had a small, handheld container of mace just in case.

After about seven miles, I caught up to Jlsa and Peter. They were struggling up a hill, as they have four fully-packed panniers (two front; two back) on their bikes. I only have two on the rear, so I easily went past them, and said, “See you at the ferry!” Yeah, for the first time on this trip, we would take our bikes on a ferry, to cross the Ohio River. How cool! After arriving at the ferry landing, I waited for Jlsa and Peter. About ten minutes later, they showed up. The ferry was on the other side of the river, so while we waited for it, we took silly pictures of ourselves. Hey, why not?

We boarded the ferry, which held about six cars and our bikes. There may have been room for only three more cars, so it was a tight fit. So by crossing the Ohio River, we floated from Illinois to Kentucky, in just eight minutes. Pretty cool. Once we disembarked from the ferry, we were met by a nice smooth, black asphalt road which was surrounded on each side by very lush, dark green vegetable crops, which we later learned were soybeans. About a quarter mile down the road, we came upon the Kentucky welcome sign. We went into “silly” mode again and took more shots than a bachelor’s party. Of course, I did my “pose” and Jlsa and Peter joined in. It was great! Then we did a variety of other goofy poses next to the sign.

After about five miles into Kentucky, we came upon an Amish community and we decided to stop at a local store that they owned. I felt like I went back in time, as I rolled my bike on the dirt and leaned it against a hitching post for horses. Then I walked up two hand-made wooden steps, into the wooden general store. There was no electric light in the store as the Amish do not use electricity, so they had openings in the roof to let in the sun. It actually worked quite well as we only walked into each other six or seven times. Peter sustained a contusion above his left eye, but he sucked it up. The young Amish lady working in store was wearing a long dress with a bonnet in her hair. I swear I was living in the 80’s (the 1880’s). I bought some strawberry licorice, which they made… good stuff.

Then the Dutchies and I parted ways as I picked up the pace. I made it into Sebree at 3pm, as I kept a steady and quick pace with minimal stops. I immediately found the First Baptist Church, where the pastor for the past 34 years (Bob) and his wife (Violet) have been hosting cyclists along the TransAm route for fifteen years now! Bob gave me the grand tour of their church and by the end of the tour, I had my own room with bed, use of a shower and washing machine, and dinner at Bob and Violet’s house at 6:30pm. Amazing hospitality! At about 5pm, the Dutchies showed up and they were also invited for dinner in the evening.  I completed some website work, and when 6:30pm rolled around, Terry, Jlsa, Peter, and I went to Bob and Violet’s house for dinner.

I have to say, this was one of the best home-cooked meals I’ve ever had, and with such great company. There was white bean soup, fresh cucumbers and tomatoes from their garden, roasted pork, cornbread made from scratch, and sautéed summer squash. All of it, especially the roasted pork was delicious! With just a little room to spare in our stomachs, Violet pulled a chocolate cake out of the oven, and we had some with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. We were so full (thank goodness we are biking cross-country!). Then Bob and Violet asked if it would be ok to say a prayer for our safety for the remainder of the trip. Yes, it was ok. They led a really nice prayer. Thanks so much to Bob and Violet!