David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
10/12  O Windy Day; O Windy, Windy Day
10/12  Illinois Beach State Park (South)
10/13  Evanston, IL
10/16  Left on Halsted and straight for a couple days
10/16  No peace from barking dogs.
10/17  No peace from barking dogs.
10/18  Little ants. Big Earth.
10/18  Cold, sore, sun burned and lonely.
10/19  Evansville -- what a hole.
10/19  And that's why I drive a Multitrack
10/20  Concern for my life on the Bridge O Death
10/20  Hang it, I'm not broke.
10/21  Who's idea was it to come THIS WAY?
10/21  A couple of notes.
10/22  So Lawng Kentucky
10/23  The difference between a hill and a mountain
10/23  Highway 68 is awesome
10/24  Way down yonder 'round the Chattahoochee
10/25  And I thought Chicago was tough.
10/27  I'm not so tough
11/01  Still in Atlanta
11/03  FINALLY leaving Atlanta
11/03  "A Pilgrim," he called me
11/04  A new contestant
11/05  A whole new country
11/06  Trailers West
11/06  Did somebody order pine trees?
11/07  Deep Blue Chevron Station
11/08  I think I goof off too much
11/10  Sea Roaches, Oil Rigs and Casinos
11/11  Hot time in the bayou
11/12  Running on one cylinder
11/12  The adventures of Broken-Knee
11/13  Way to go, Brown!
11/13  Thank God for Advil and Bungie Cords
11/14  Kids in the streets with guns
11/15  I can see cows for miles and miles
11/16  Pleasantly surprised
11/18  Not much to report
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
Nomadic 2005
Bicycle Trip 2009
Bicycle Trip 2010
Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
Bicycle Trip 2015
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

Who's idea was it to come THIS WAY?

1999-10-21

Today I hit the bigger big hills. At first I would see one of these hills approaching, and think, "Oh no! Not another one!" After a while however, I would grit my teeth together as I saw a hill coming and say, "Bring on the pain, baby! Bring it on!" However, near the end, after the numbness had set in and I would see a hill coming, I'd simply look down to see if my legs were still pumping and shift into a lower gear.

I actually covered about fifty miles, fifty long and painful miles. The satisfying thing, however, is knowing that probably even a week ago I would not have been able to do it. Line upon line...

For those of you following my route, I took 231 from Cromwell, KY to Aberdeen. There I met a trucker who looked, talked, and walked like the trucker from Smokey and the Bandit (I can't remember his name. Reed?) I backtracked a little and followed 70 all the way to Mammoth National Park. I do not recommend 70 to anybody on anything that doesn't have a motor. Beside the hills, it was a smooth road with light traffic.

70 brought me through some of Hill Billy country. The Hill Billies were easy to spot. They lived in small, rundown shacks surrounded by garbage, stuff somebody may never need, and "hounds." And many of them were "self employed." I'm guessing it would be an easy thing for them to clean up their yard if any of the four cars sitting out front actually ran. I guess, when you live way out in the hills and your car dies, there's not a lot you can do except let it sit or push it into a ditch (as the resourceful Hill Billies did).

I'll also take a wild stab in the dark and say that most folks around these here parts are Baptist. Baptist churches are thick! Most every one was small, and they usually look nice. There are probably circuit ministers that hit three or four every Sunday.

And the opossum seems to be making a comeback, although dead raccoon are still in the lead. But I'm not counting. That would be morbid.

I am now happily camping (illegally, I think) in the southeast corner of Mammoth Cave National Park. I'm happy mostly because it's dark and it's not freezing yet. This morning I woke up and realized that there was no condensation on the inside of my tent. That's odd, I thought, until I realized that it was all frozen, and, thus, not dripping on me, which was good in a way.

I did one of the cave tours. It was the 2 mile historic tour. In my experience, historic tours are the best because history tends to have a lot of good stories. This one was dry. Perhaps it was the guide. The cave itself was neat, even though I only saw 2 of the 12 miles open to the public, out of the 300 miles of known caves here. And there are other caves in the cities near by. I won't visit those, and I didn't take any pictures. To do a park like this justice, you'd have to spend at least a couple of days, not just the later part of the afternoon.

Oh, and they have showers here! It costs $1.75 and the showers are in abck of a grocery stor, but that's a small price, as I'm sure most of you would agree.

Does anybody know if there are bears in this part of the country? I think there are, but I can't remember for sure. Because something big (soft footfalls) just circled my camp, and I think I saw it, and it wasn't a deer.
 
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