Tuesday, June 26. St. Meinrad, IN to Mt Vernon, IN. 84 miles of riding in 6:42 hrs of riding.
Feeling in the groove today, and got to enjoy some dirt (er…gravel) too!
I woke up at what I though was like 6 AM – according to my watch – but then when I checked my phone for emails I noticed that the time was 5 AM. Ahhhhh…the time change in Indiana. My phone automatically accounted for that. So I had a great jump on the day. Worked on my computer for a bit so as to not wake Judy, and then when she did roust, we jammed on the packing, left friggin Wally World for good, hit a Subway for coffee and breakfast subs, and I was able to get on the bike at just after 7 AM. That’s our new MO here, what with our bodies used to getting up at 6, now it’s 5, so with the hot weather I can start and end earlier in the day.
Now this Wally World place, wow, I mean there was a parade of golf carts last night, and it seemed that everyone was packed so tightly together that you could just smell you’re neighbor’s dirty socks for God’s sake. And the golf cart thing…whole families would rent these deplorable things and then just drive everywhere. Never walking anywhere mind you – everyone was driving a golf cart…and checking their cell phones on the golf carts!! No bloody wonder this country is experiencing an obesity crisis. Some of the carts were packed with like 5-6 people. I mean there were three seaters with sun roofs. Anyway, It was quiet as a funeral there in the morning, with us being the only people up. So good to get the hell out of there.
Got rolling and had some nice cool weather for a change to start. Felt awesome after just being a pile of protoplasm by the end of yesterday. Has to be all the great foods that I’m ingesting: like last night’s 6 hot dogs, salad, chinese eggplant with hot chili sauce, blue corn chips, fig newtons and probably a few other things that I forgot. Met Judy in Boonville for the first segment, and still felt really good with the Subway breakfast footlong in the tank. Then got going for the second section and was pleased to find I was on gravel for a good bit. Only trouble was that it’s been so dry that the dust from a car got kicked up and it was like a blaster for several hundred yards. Then the dude turned around and came back and passed me creating another dust storm of lime dust. One of my buds, Pete Baughman suggested earlier that I may want to wear those portable breather masks on the lime gravel sections, and I’m inclined to agree after today.
So that was fun in the dirt down around this lowland area – the Pigeon Creek wetlands. Then back to asphalt and down to the down of Newburg on the Ohio. This was a beautiful little city on the river with an awesome bikeway along the river. Put down a salad, coke, cheese sandwich, and then prepared for the section of the day that I dreaded – going through, or around Evansville. I just hate riding through cities. So I was curious how this ADT was going to do it. Well, it started off pretty good, on this nice little chip-seal along the Ohio River that eventually turned to gravel. I mean it was kind of doing the end around if Evansville, bypassing the whole Eastern Suburbs. But then I came to a bunch of No Trespassing signs – written on old tires in red paint. That to me is a sure sign of: “you come in here and we’ll shoot your ass off.” So again, there’s a road all right, but now it’s private property. So I stopped and got my phone and GPS’ed the area to look for alternative routes, and just about that time some guy from the phone company pulled up in his truck. Guy told me he was just about to call the cops when he saw me, because people had been coming in there and stealing copper line. So he gave me directions to bypass the privatized area.
Rode on, through this sketchy neighborhood, and then thankfully back to the south and back to the river road I was previously on - Shawnee. It turned back to pavement and then went right up into the center of town. Jumped on a Greenway bike trail for a short stretch and then along the CSX main rail-yard just to the west of downtown Evansville. And that was it, I was through Evansville with the most minimal of issues. Quite a contrast to my debacle in Cincinnati. Got on a few more backcountry paved roads and made it to Judy for our third stop of the day. Just drank a coke and I wanted to get in like 10-15 more miles for the day to give me 80+. So we set the final meeting site for just on the outskirts of Mt Vernon. Got it rolling and hit gravel after a mile or so. Despite the fact that it was like riding on ball bearings, I was still able to clip along at 11-14 mph – that due to the great tailwind I’ve had all day long coming out of the east – crazy weather.
For the first time in the day I was feeling the heat, which by that time was in the mid to upper 80’s. It was like the sun was reflecting off of the lime gravel. About 5-6 miles in felt the old hypoglycemia thing coming on – energy drop, feeling kind of out of sorts, and just craving fig newtons or something sweet. Rode it out for the rest of the way and I was damn glad to see Judy there cuz I just wanted something sweet in a huge way. She handed me this half a vanilla milk shake and I just inhaled it, then snagged the rest of a bag of fig newtons and munched those down. We even went back to Dairy Queen and got me a chocolate shake – they’re half price from 2-4 PM each day. Ok, satiated for the time being.
Next up was getting a place to camp. Now I’d called this little campground and got directions to it. The lady was nice and said they had plenty of electric site available. So we get there, and I go in to register and this grubby dude who looks like he was an actor in the movie “Deliverance” opens up this top half door in a dilapidated office with like hand written crap all over the walls – the rules and regs I suppose. I greeted the dude and asked for a campsite. “What do you want,” he said. “I’d like a site,” I responded. “What” he said. I reiterated that I wanted an electric campsite. “We don’t have any electric, just primitive,” he said. And I looked out the window and saw that there was like 8-10 electric sites. And I pointed to the sites out the window and the dude, reiterated that they had no electric sites. Again, I pointed out the window. So the guy tells me to camp up at Burdette Park, a place about 5-6 miles away. And at this point I felt as though I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone. So I look back at him and he just shuts the half door on me. So I kind of loudly said, “you’re a friggin nut job dude.” And I hear him say something behind the door.So I went out and looked at Judy and told her, “I can’t believe what just happened. Dude kicked me out!” She thinks it was my lycra riding kit that kind of made the guy spaz out. Anyway, we went down the road to Burdette Park, and the place is awesome. Not only is it much nicer, but it’s only 23 bucks as opposed to the Nut Job Place being 30 bucks. So here we be camping again. Nice place, great dinner on the way. Another day done. Tomorrow we should make IL by mid-morning. Going to post this and ride with Judy for a bit in the park here. Late…………pete