I can't help but think of that classic John Mellencamp song "Pink Houses" while traveling through Kentucky. Today was another ride through the winding country roads and stops for food at the country stores. A lot of front porch sitting and hanging around the gas station may be a Sunday thing, but it's been the theme all week out here. The image that really took the cake was the group of locals fishing on a man made pond within smelling distance of a busy road, without any visual barrier between me, them, and the pond (I'm talking 15 feet away). Why not just dump some goldfish into your bathtub? That way you'll at least have some privacy. I'd like to think the 21 year old kids that died on the beaches at Normandy made that sacrifice so I could ride my bike across the U.S., so I could get a degree that would help me make this country a better place, so I could work hard, play hard, and sleep hard. Some people just don't get it; 'But ain't that America'.
What I thought was going to be 30 miles to a motel doubled when I found myself unwilling to back-track (every mile you go out of the way you have to come back, and I'd already taken a fairly modest diversion to Mammoth Cave). I rode less than 20 miles yesterday, giving me a little extra boost on the road today. I started pretty late, just after 11 (that was when I thought I'd only be riding 'til 3). Before I knew it was 7 o'clock and I was checking into the Pine Hill Motel. This was my first experience at a motel where there were no towels, or soap, of any kind. Talk about a tight budget.
The ride was different today. It was mid 70s, overcast, the whole time. From 11 to 7 it felt like it was 4 o'clock; one of those surreal days where time stands still.
I keep getting a little bit stronger after every sunrise. Once I surmount the Ozarks, I'm primed and ready for that first 100 mile day. Two or three nights separate me from the state of Illinois; I've been putting in work.