April 24 - May 1: Kentucky

4/30 - Rough River Dam State Resort Park (51.5 miles 887.5 total)
what a picture-perfect day for biking....or doing anything outside. it was cool & clear when we left elizabethtown between 7:30-8. we had no sag support today because gloria took rose's bike to a bike shop so a mechanic could fix its brakes.
sue hart had a flat before she even got out of town. other bikers helped her fix it.
the climb today was only 1450 ft (per marcia). i think most of that was due to one of those endless & very steep hills sort of mid-route today. otherwise the terrain was rolling & absolutely lovely. we had light breezes & very little traffic to boot. bikers' paradise.
we've noticed that many of the barns in kentucky are black. the boards seem to be covered with creosote or some other very black coating. some have red roofs, making them very distinctive & attractive. often when we can see inside we notice wooden frameworks that look like racks. someone told us that the barns are black in order to absorb the heat of the sun & enhance drying of the tobacco that will be hanging inside later in the year.
when it comes to livestock, kentucky is known for its horses.
i snapped a picture of that darling little colt this morning while his mother was busy eating nearby.
later sari & i watched him struggle to his feet & wobble precariously along behind his mother as she sought thicker tufts of grass for nibbling. the colt seemed interested in the grass, too, but couldn't figure out how to lower his head to the ground without toppling over, so settled for trying to nurse, but mom was too busy munching to allow him a snack.
midday sari & i came upon several other bikers at a convenience store, where we all stopped to have lunch. which means eating the sandwiches & bananas we've brot along with us, then buying a drink or ice cream bar in the store in order to use the restroom. it's a procedure we've got down pretty well by now. actually, the restroom was not in the store but in the owner's house, which was attached to the store. it was a very congenial atmosphere; the owner had chairs sitting around the coffee pot where locals sat to chat on a sunny sunday morning.
speaking of kentucky livestock, here's a creature you don't necessarily think of when you think kentucky.
we were pretty close to our destination when we saw this fellow strutting around his pen...squawking, tossing his head, fluffing his feathers.....quite a show!
we're pretty sure he was trying to impress those ladies in the back of his pen, not us.
as we approached rough river dam state resort park, the number of vehicles on the road increased, particularly vehicles hauling boats. we all stopped at the lodge to get our room assignments; many of the cabins weren't yet ready, but the one i was to inhabit was. WOW are these cottages nice!! they're really very nice, small houses. there are 2 bedrooms, each with 2 double beds; 2 full baths; a living room; a kitchen with double sink, microwave, full stove, dishwasher, fridge, & table & chairs; & a deck off the back....everything nicely furnished & decorated. we're really roughing it here in rough river park!
you can see in the picture how sad we are about these 'rustic' accommodations.
the lake is thru the trees down in back of the cottage. those are the riders who'll live in cabin 211 tonight: from left, judy, marcia, gerrie, & darleene. i'll be here, too.....5 of us. i'll use the blow-up mattress tonight; i haven't taken my turn on that for ages. & it's really very comfortable. i'll have the whole living room to myself.
since we crossed into the central time zone today, we arrived here in very early afternoon. most of us did some wash & hung it out to dry on the deck; it was a perfect drying day. i then went out walking for about 1-1/2 hours. i found a nature path down near the lake & followed it up to the lodge. this spacious park is not exactly what you picture in the way of a state park; it has tennis courts, a golf course, a beautiful lodge with restaurant & gift shop, & even an airport! small planes take off & land all the time.
what a supper patty fixed this evening: grilled fish, linguini tossed with pesto, spinach salad with walnuts & blue cheese, & steamed FRESH ASPARAGUS! there was cheesecake for dessert. we always have to pinch ourselves to realize that we're not dining in the area's best gourmet restaurant. our cuisine has been dubbed gourmet healthy. it's very low fat, & when there is fat it's olive oil, the good one.
tomorrow is a 90-mile day. we groan to think about it. breakfast has been moved up to 5:30 & we're to be on the road by 6 or soon thereafter. another gorgeous day like today would be perfect, but marcia tells us that there's a 60% chance of rain & thunderstorms by afternoon. sure hope we get the 40% part of that forecast.
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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