May 9, 2001

5/9/01 Sebree, KY

79.4 miles

True to form, we were up before 6AM and on the road in less than an hour. The whole valley was shrouded in a thick blanket of fog. We turned on our blinking rear red lights and hoped the people on the road at this early hour drove conservatively (meaning slower). It was a lot of climbing and coasting to get out of the Rough River Valley.

I forgot to mention that our campsite had some new visitors: some of the largest deer ticks I've ever seen; and Mike had an altercation with a raccoon trying to get into his bike panniers. It chewed and scratched some pretty good size holes in it. He ended up needing the pepper spray to get the animal out of camp.

As the miles ticked away on our odometers and the fog burned away with the rising sun, we decided to stoke our engines with a little breakfast. The diner we walked into was one of the nicest we have eaten at. But from the second we stepped in, we never felt welcome. I said hello to a few patrons that were looking in my direction -- no response. We got furtive looks from everyone, and neither waitress smiled or changed the flat tone of their voices. And while we sometimes get this in the first few seconds at other local restaurants, usually people warm up to us. Kind of put an off-color taint to the morning.

Sign outside of a church

Most of the day was hot and sunny (I forgot to put sun screen on). The farm land was mostly corn, with the fields getting larger and larger with lots of farm equipment. With the flats we moved pretty fast. I really thought I was hammering out the miles. I actually thought I might be pushing Mike too hard. When I finally asked him, he said it was a "nice, easy pace, but you can go faster if you want." Youth does have its advantages.

Some more observations along the road: The barns in Virginia and central/eastern Kentucky were painted black, but now we're seeing red. We've also seen a lot of trampolines and, in western Kentucky, a lot of basketball goals (usually with a grass court).

I was dead tired when we finally reached Sebree. It was kind of confusing finding the city park to camp in. With Memorial Day still a couple of weeks away, the promise of bathrooms and showers didn't happen. There were a few port-a-johns near the ball fields. One of the caretakers told us to camp anywhere.

We decided to go eat first (food is never far from our minds). Back near the post office was the Pizza Palace Plus and we got lucky with a Wednesday special of a large pizza for the price of a small. What a deal! Of course, we ate it in record time. It still amazes me that I still can get sweet tea this far west. After a long while, we headed back to the park.

We picked out a couple of spots for the tents, but before we started to set them up, the trains began rolling through. After the fourth loud train passed us in that first hour, we packed up to look for a different site across the park near the pool.

Without a shower and because a few strange cars kept circling the park, it was hard to get to sleep. A hot, sticky night.