April 24 - May 1: Kentucky

4/27 - Bardstown (53 miles 836 total)
a sunny clear day dawned at harrodsburg. temps were cool to start...tho' not as cool as our start at berea...but the sun shown all day & temps warmed into--i dunno--at least the 60's. winds picked up by midday, but again they were pretty shifty & never a problem.
we pretty well decimated the continental breakfast offerings at the motel (even 3 of those little plastic boxes of cereal don't go very far in filling up a biker), packed our lunch & snack goodies at the table patti had set up out in the parking lot, & left town mostly between 7-7:30.
rollers....that's the word for today. many of them were some pretty high rollers at that! after getting out of the early-morning traffic of harrodsburg, we emerged into beautiful rolling countryside....as picturesque as you can imagine. at the end of the day many riders were pretty tired from the endless climbing, but if you got enuf of a run down one hill, you could usually roll up the up side of the next hill most of the way to the top. of course some situations didn't allow you much of a downhill 'launch' & that just meant more muscle power to get to the top of the next crest. & there was always a 'next crest' today!
several of us were lingering at one of our subaru stops this morning when a horse-drawn cart cloppity-clopped past us. what a tranquil sound that is. on the flatbed were sitting several amish women, one holding a baby. we waved to each other. along the roadsides are highway signs warning drivers to be on the alert for the horse-drawn buggies in this area.
springfield, ky, was 25 mi into today's agenda. what a quaint & lovely little town. sari & i stopped at a gas station for a restroom & some juice, then pedalled on out to the edge of town & found a grassy spot at the top of a hill. we had our just-bought juices with our sandwiches & other lunch snacks. our biking friends kept riding by....each one exclaiming about the fabulous food they'd enjoyed at a little diner back in town. hmmmm....we missed it. finally, the numerous raves about the diner's pies put sari's & my bikes into reverse & we headed back to the main street of springfield....hills & all.
the photo shows the crew at cecconi's. (notice the gorgeous pie on the counter.) the blonde at left, vhonda, is the owner. she bakes the pies. (she baked 25 last saturday to fill all her easter-sunday orders!)
cecconi's was started 68 years ago, & even tho' vhonda is not in the cecconi family, she's kept the name for her place. it's a real gathering place for the town; we met such friendly folks there. & OH MY, THE PIE!!! earlier as sari & i biked back to cecconi's, we talked about how we would split a piece of pie since we'd just eaten our lunch. but one step into that diner, one glance at all those friendly faces, one sniff of those fresh-baked pies, one look at those mile-high meringues....we were goners. sari ordered coconut & i ordered brown-sugar; our pieces were still warm....just the right distance from the oven for optimum enjoyment. i've never even heard of brown-sugar meringue pie before. vhonda said that her mother perfected the recipe. it's sort of a pudding with a brown sugar flavor, topped by the most melt-in-your-mouth meringue you've ever savored. i've tasted a lot of fabulous pies on that pie-a-thon that we iowans call RAGBRAI, but i'm here to tell you that there are some spectacular pies here in kentucky, too! don't miss a stop at cecconi's if you're ever anywhere near springfield.
sari & i got onto the route & headed back out of town again to the lincoln homestead about 5 miles north of springfield. i'd never known that there were 2 springfields of importance in the life of abraham lincoln....& that, in fact, he was born in kentucky. later we'll also pass thru springfield, il, which i always assumed was his birthplace. (history has never been my forte; i bet you've noticed.) we were the only visitors at the homestead site; the gift shop was closed. perhaps it's too early in the season.
at any rate, the photo shows the house in the background that nancy hanks (abraham's mother) lived in when she was being courted by abe's father.
in the foreground are our group's two 69-year-old riders, darleene (center) & gerrie (right), both coloradans, & one of the group's 57-year-old riders (me).
more & more rollers as we continued on toward bardstown.
that's gerrie nearing the top of a hill on foot. she walks up the steepest hills....always with good cheer & determination to traverse almost every inch of this transamerica route on her own power, one way or another.
the background gives you a good idea of how rolling our route was today....& how beautiful. (notice the cows; have i mentioned cows before??)
from early in this trip, sari has been sharing with us her excitement about meeting her long-lost high school friend jean catlett, who lives with her husband ken in bardstown; now we were getting close & the excitement was mounting. jean & sari last saw each other when they were in 10th grade at a high school in germany, where their fathers were stationed. the narrow, shoulderless, high-traffic road the last few miles into bardstown wasn't fun, but we made it to the general nelson best western motel by mid-afternoon. 2-3 riders were already in the motel pool by the time we arrived.
the folks here at the motel are fabulous. they put on a reception for us at 5:00 in the very nice meeting room near the pool....mint juleps & lemonade, raw veggies & dip, chex mix. a couple of folks from local media wandered in to talk to gloria. they let patti use the kitchen, a much more spacious setting than she's used to. patti made her incomparable veggie lasagna for supper....& spinach salad. boy we LOVE that menu! we love all her menus, but that veggie lasagna is.....oh boy oh boy!
sari isn't the only rider who is visiting friends/family here in bardstown. anne's mom traveled from ashland to visit anne. rose's brother, emil, & his wife betty drove 150 mi from crossville, tenn, to spend some time with rose. it's fun for all of us when friends & family visit our group. & if they're here at dinnertime they get to join us for some of patti's fabulous food. i'm sure they find that's an extra added attraction!
this evening, sari's friends jean & ken catlett drove me with sari to their lovely home here in bardstown so i could use their phone jack. my modem connection doesn't agree with the high-tech electronic equipment of the motel's phone system. while at the catletts' i had the happy opportunity to share the luscious chocolate cake that jean had made in anticipation of sari's visit. in fact, jean herself admits that her life has been a continual joyful frenzy since learning of sari's planned stop in bardstown. she has cleaned parts of her house that she didn't even know existed.....even arranging her spices in expiration-date order. few of us have friends who would go to those lengths! jean has arranged with a reporter from the local news to come to her house tomorrow to interview sari & jean on this long-awaited reunion after 49 years. with their warmth & good cheer, the catletts exemplify everything wonderful you ever imagine about southern hospitality.
we understand that the sun will shine on our layover day here in bardstown tomorrow. we all love biking, but the respites are sure nice.
Higher quality versions of the pictures from my trip are available here. If you would like copies of the original, full-size photos, feel free to e-mail my son Mark with your request. Stay tuned....

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