Bicycling the TransAmerica Trail

Cycling Across the US, Coast to Coast

Bicycling Adventure #3

54 days, 3,783 miles, Jul-Aug 2010

Ray Jardine

2010-08-23Kentucky page 39 of 54

Day 39, Kentucky

From Poplar Bluff to Wickliffe, Kentucky

I got going half an hour after dawn. Not that I'm taking anything for granted, but the end is in sight - if only just - so I'm slowing down just a bit, to enjoy the trip more. Although I did take the express route through Missouri - following Hwy 60 from Springfield.

The road wasn't as hilly today, in fact there were only two hills; otherwise the terrain was flat, good for making the miles. Granted, I had headwinds but not so strong as to slow me down much.

Throughout the day I stopped four times, for something to eat and drink, and to get off the bike seat. Then back for another 15 to 25 miles.

Taking a break in a farming region of eastern Missouri.

Now I'm going to talk about the people of Missouri. They're very friendly, in general, at least the many that I have met. It has been the same in Kansas and eastern Colorado, and in fact most of the places I've visited so far (except for some in the big cities).

Well, what about the drivers? Let me tell it this way: there's a Far Side cartoon where the professor invents a devise that can translate dog talk. To us they are saying "bark!" at everyone and everything, but to the professor with his bark translating devise, the dogs are saying "Hey!" at everyone and everything.

Well, I needed a devise that would translate car honks. At first I wondered if some of them were meant to say "Hey!, get off the road." But then I caught up with one bunch at a c-store, three young men acting sort of macho. They recognized me and the bike, and they were all big smiles and thumbs up. So now I think I understand that most honks are meant to say "Hey!, cool!"

Mid-afternoon I pedaled across the narrow bridge over the Mississippi River, into the state of Illinois, then five minutes later I was crossing another bridge spanning the Ohio River into the state of Kentucky.

Looking back at the bridge over the Mississippi River. No room for a bike, I had to time it just right then pedal full tilt.

Welcome to Illinois.

Bridge over the Ohio River, which feeds into the Mississippi.

Welcome to Kentucky

I stopped for the day on the banks of the Mississippi at a small town called Wickliffe Kentucky, and found a hidden stealth-site next to the river. Then I went for something to eat at a c-store. Then back at river's edge, I pitched my tarp and spitfire, and enjoyed a most refreshing swim. The water was warm, so I floated for a long while.

On the banks of the Mississippi River.

Tugs in drydock, adjacent my camp.

My swimming hole: a boat ramp.

My camp on the slit next to the Mississippi River.

The end of a delightful day.

Miles pedaled today: 102

The story has 54 pages. This is page 39.
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