How the West Was Won

20110629-011349.jpg Just after 5, not a cloud in the sky, sitting in the shade in Illinois, gazing into Kentucky across the Ohio River. Add that to my list of you had to be there accomplishments. I made it to Cave in Rock today. There is a cave there and my short hike to find it painted the aforementioned scenery.

A man and a woman pull up to the bank on a little motor boat. I've stop getting the names of people I'll know less than 30 minutes, even though the memories of my interactions with them will last a lifetime. They were great folks from about an hour down river. They brought with them cold beer and a rambuxnious dog. I sat and talked with them about my trip, the cave, the area; it's really amazing the variety of people I get to talk to each day. I passed my website along to the woman, but with the whole wordpress nonsense in the address I hope she's able to find it.


The cave was pretty cool, nothing like Mammoth Cave, but it doesn't have to be. The whole area has a unique history. I picked up some stories speaking with two others from the area. The couple had unfortunately been washed out of their home due so some flooding in the spring. They'll be living in the campground until the fall, but they still live on with Unbridled Spirit. .

The couple spoke of the Harpe Brothers (who may or may not have been brothers). They were serial killers who went on a rampage throughout the area before society came in to settle it. Most of the mischief went on by the very cave I saw today. Gangs, pirates if you will, robbed flat boats moving down the river. The Harps wanted to be a part of this. To impress the gang, they robbed a man, stripped him naked, ties him to a horse an then ran the horse of the cliff above the cave. This act was too dastardly for the criminals of the area. They ran the pair back into Kentucky. After splitting, Big Harp was captured in Dixon (a town I rode through), and his head was cut off an staked on what is now called Harp's Head road (I was told this same tale by Bob and Violet so at the very least it's a regional legend). I also heard stories of Tecumseh, and the origins of Forde's Ferry road. All of this is what you don't learn, but should, in your history classes, and all of this is what you don't learn when you drive.

I played tag with both groups of Mike and Joan, and Sara and Adam today. We all travel a different paces, and stop at different places. We were all headed to the same spot tonight so we decided to setup camp together. It will most likely be the end to our run, but it was good while it lasted.

I'm having the best time out here. I just keep coming back for more.

Fun Facts: At some point today I crosses the 1,000 mile mark. Also, Cave in Rock was used in a scene of the movie How the West was Won