McDaniels to Utica: 79 kms
Utica to Marion: 111 kms
Total distance so far: 1716 kms
McDaniels had a lake. Or more correctly it had a river with a dam at the end of it but it was water, and it was possible to plunge into it.
When you have been riding for five hours in 35 degree heat that is something that you could die for and we of course went straight in. I was a bit surprised that no one else in the group, with the notable exception of Ronnie who you will meet soon on these pages, followed suit.
I guess when you live in Scandinavia and you only get the chance to swim in natural water for a tiny fraction of the year, you grab every chance with all limbs, so to speak.
These yanks are probably spoiled. 🙂
It was warm again when we finally set off on our velocipedes. A nice ride to the “town” (basically a crossroad with a fire station) of Utica.
And would you believe it, that was where we were staying. (The fire station obviously, not camped on the crossroad).
On the way Ami saved a butterfly in distress which was the most exciting thing that happened on a pleasant, if uneventful ride.
No sorry, I forgot, the most exciting thing was that I got given two delicious pieces of Super Supreme pizza at a small take away.
I was sweeping and had caught up with Emily and as we were sitting outside this establishment, a young girl came out with three pizza boxes in her arms and jokingly told me they were all hers. I feigned enormous disappointment at this but my acting talents are obviously more developed than I thought because the girl came back a couple of minutes later offering up two lovely looking slices.
As Emily didn’t want hers I got a free lunch.
While we were getting settled into our new dwelling an alarm went off and firemen suddenly appeared while sirens wailed.
We learned later that some idiot in a small (by American standards) car had tried to cut across one of the enormous crop spraying vehicles that you see around here and ended up stuck in between its wheels.
The firemen showed me some pictures. It was amazing that no one was hurt and it was a reminder again that not all motorists should be deemed competent to own a license.
It was quite interesting talking to these guys. In places like these they are all volunteers and come from all walks of life. They were saying that there had been a problem persuading the younger generation to join but that recently that had been changing and that recruitment was improving.
I am full of respect for people who are prepared to do something that dangerous and time consuming only for the sake of their communities and families. They get about 150 call outs per year so it is quite an undertaking. If they didn’t I guess the whole system would fall apart as a very large part of American fire fighting is built on volunteering.
It was very nice of them to give us somewhere to stay and it was much appreciated.
We got a new leader today. Jared drove a dejected Christi to Nashville airport and a very nice guy who also answers to the name of Ron joined us to take her place for the next two weeks. After that he has other commitments so someone else will then join, hopefully for the duration of the trip. ACA are frantically trying to find someone who can do this.
We also managed to get ourselves interviewed by the local paper who were doing a piece on the Trans Am.
I am keeping my eye out for it when it is published and when/if I find it I will link to it here.
The ride from Utica to Marion, our next church, was long, 111 kilometres. We made good time and were no more than five kilometres out from our goal when Ami was hit by hunger, thirst and energy deprivation.
We ended up sitting by the side of the road, eating our lunch and watching the cars go by.
Stupidly I didn’t take a photo, but the nearest small road to where we were sitting had the cutest name. So just to prove it exists here is a screen grab of it on the map.
Marion was to be our last night in the state of Kentucky before we hit Illinois.
A beautiful and diverse place, the eastern mountain area is beautiful and you can still get, from it’s ruggedness, an idea of the pioneer spirit that would have been needed to penetrate it on the way westwards.
I won’t miss the wild dogs, but your signs are impeccable and getting lost virtually an impossibility on a bike.
Still westward and onwards.
See you all soon.