Florida to Alaska on Bicycle (#26) May 14, 1997: Kentucky: Land Between the Lakes
In 1997 I rode a bicycle from Florida to Alaska. I'm posting the story here on flickr
I write in my journal: “I think I should start enjoying myself more and quit driving so hard to meet deadlines. Its getting to be like a regular job and that is not what I had intended. Maybe Fairbanks is a good riding destination. I’ll still try for Deadhorse though for now.”
I left my stuff out in the rain, and now had it all spread out on two picnic tables. I can’t believe how much stuff I have with me and that it all fits on my bicycle. I decide, however, that it would be a good idea to send some unnecessary stuff back home. I also need some things. Sending stuff home is fairly simple. Receiving stuff in the mail is a bit more complicated. First it is necessary to look ahead on a map to determine a post office and zip code so my parents in Florida know where to send the things I need. It has to be far enough away so I am not stuck waiting, but if it gets there much earlier that I do, I risk having the Post office send it back. I will pick up a package at the town of Karnak in the southernmost tip of Illinois.
For now, though, I leave Land Between the Lakes – but not before doing some shopping in the visitor’s center. I bought a book called “The Pictorial History of the Natchez Trace”, and a little guidebook of trees. The man at the center, “Roger”, wanted me to be sure to mention his name when I wrote about my trip so here it is, dude. It started out rainy and my bike computer doesn’t work at all anymore. Kentucky was pretty hilly too, but not like Tennessee. I figured I could find an ATM somewhere, and spent all my money on those books at LBL. Well, there was no ATM in Smithland, KY, so I spent my last dollars at a food stand on a burger and some fries. I got my first glimpse of the Ohio River near Birdsville. I was starving and trying to find somewhere for food and water, which I finally got in a place called Joy. It had been pretty cold the past couple days (60’s), and the people in Joy said it wasn’t always like that. I wondered if it was always as windy, though, cuz it was like gale force winds I had to plow through – which is still better than hills.
On Route 1608 I took a picture of nothing but grass and sky – don’t ask me why. Perhaps a prelude to the expanse of nothingness that would greet me in Northern Alaska. It’s the raw simplicity of it that draws me to ponder it. As if I can look in at the purity of it all come to some sort of epiphany. Nothing remarkable has come to me yet...read the whole story.