back off the maps

After my little victory over the Adventure Cycling maps this morning, I decided to be adventurous and try the alternate route devised by my friend Nick. There will be plenty of terrain to try the Adventure Cycling maps out on west of Berea. But from here through to Berea, I’m on Nick’s word. Which means I can’t be sure what services to expect as I roll from town to town. Except, of course, for what the iPhone is able to tell me.

Tonight, I am in Morganfield, KY, after a much lighter 80some mile day. I met a couple of fellow cyclists also on their way to D.C. while I was at Flatbranch Coffee, so we talked for a while. They were very nice, idealistic, enthusiastic people so you should check out their blog at We might have joined forces for a while but they were staying another night in Carbondale and I was itching to keep moving, so it was not to be.

I can’t say I blame them though, Carbondale seemed like a very cool little town, and all-in-all I enjoyed southern Illinois. But upon crossing the Ohio River into Kentucky, the terrain and the colors changed completely. Everything was rich and rolling. I am really digging Kentucky–the whole 13 miles I’ve seen of it.

Here’s some pictures from today and a little commentary to go along with them:
1) Nice big shoulder on highway 13, coming out of Carbondale. The shoulders got progressively smaller today, but I was living in luxury for a while there.

2) This one’s for the Merellos out there. It actually says ‘Morello’s’, but close enough. This is in Harrisburg, IL.

3) The source of today’s incessant truck traffic, I suppose. Trucks are a mixed bag: they are great big rolling waves of air. If they’re coming at you on a two lane road, they can push enough air at you to significantly drop your momentum. If they’re coming up behind you, then they give you a push and create a vacuum that’s great to accelerate into; but if there’s not much shoulder, the initial push will give you significant wobble to fight against. A four-lane with a lot of shoulder is ideal for reaping the benefits bestowed by these beasts without incurring any of their wrath.

4) Not sure how well you can see it, but in the distance is the bridge I crossed the Ohio on. It was arched with absolutely no shoulder. I put the Bruce’s E Street Shuffle on and pedaled like mad. By the time it ended, I was in Kentucky.

5) Sweet Kentucky

6) Historic Morganfield


2 Responses to “back off the maps”

  1. Mom Says:

    Picture #3 did not come up for me. Perhaps Kentucky is sweet to you because it is a part of your roots. The Kidwells came to Missouri from Kentucky. Before that? I don’t recall but probably by way of Wales then DC area. I always feel at home there too!

  2. Jennifer Says:

    What’s funny is that when I clicked to comment; I was going to say I have always loved Kentucky too and have wondered if it was the genetic feeling of being home. In Dublin I used to stare across the channel at Wales and almost took the ferry one day to get there because I wondered if there was something there for me (knowing that’s where the Kidwells came from). Then there is the great German for the Gwinner too.

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