Journal May 9-May 14--Kentucky

May 9 London, KY to Renfro Valley, KY
We had three Mothers to honor today, Patti, Chrissy, and Gina. The morning was spent saying good-bye to the Below family, giving kids rides on the quad, including the biggest kid of all, Steve Below. He captained it like a pro, and I hope the pictures do him justice. We set a new speed record today on a hill north of Mt. Vernon: 49.9 mph. I try to round it off to fifty, but Henry won't let me.

We planned a motel, and as we stopped in the late afternoon to calculate the distance, we were invited to stay at the Christian Appalachian Project, about 20 volunteers of all ages serving the poor in this area. A great meal, fine fellowship, and a comfortable room followed. Joe, Anna, Mildred, Laverne, Marge, Dan, Mary, Steve and all the rest, we thank you!

May 10 Renfro Valley to Lexington, KY
We were sad to see Chrissy and William depart! While she was carrying our heavy gear and doing some shopping and laundry and such, we began to get spoiled, and we were thinking of another kind of cross-country trip, one with a SAG WAGON. Perhaps a motor home sag wagon. But we are happy that we are doing it this way, too. Maybe next time!!

We felt strong today, standing on hills and going fast down them. Our ride was a dangerous, narrow road through beautiful horse country. When we arrived at our Lexington hosts, Claire Carpenter and Geoff Young, we had a wonderful meal and enjoyed their company. They have a great, rich, full life here in this busy, growing city. They helped us to re-learn the wisdom of an early bedtime.

May 11 Lexington, KY
We are staying in with Claire and Geoff a second night so that we can see some of the horse country attractions in Lexington. Today Claire generously loaned us her pick-up truck so we could go up to the Kentucky Horse Park, where Ellie & Patti & Henry went on a trail ride while I gave Timmy a pony ride. We spent the day there, saw several shows and got a close look at the different breeds, saw some champion studs, viewed a movie about horses, and took a ride on a wagon behind some draft horses. All in all, we spent the day like typical tourists (ones with funny clothes, however) and enjoyed every minute of it. A fine day off the bike.

May 12 Lexington, KY to Louisville, KY
A fine chiropractic adjustment at Dr. Elswick's in Lexington started off our day. Two TV crews were there and with that, and a stop at a harness track to watch them train, it was another classic noon start. Too late to make Louisville, and we had reservations there, so we hitched a ride from a great guy named Len, but not until we had descended a huge hill into Frankfort and climbed back out. These hills in Kentucky are no match for Virginia's, but they are no slouches, either.

Our reception at the Old Louisville Inn in Louisville was overwhelming. Adding to our welcome was a TV crew filming our arrival, and a party in the back yard cheering and clapping. Our sponsor, Preferred Chriopractic Doctor, had arranged the accommodations, and we had no idea that we were staying at the most beautiful and historic place in this beautiful and historic city. The impressive architecture and antique appointments, however, paled in comparison to the warm welcome and instant friendship we experienced from Mary Ann, and her sisters Marty and Marylin. We felt as though we had found a long-lost family in the old south, and we were at home again. Our every need was either already anticipated or met with such grace that we were left speechless. Let me bend your ear for an hour some day about our experience there.

May 13 Louisville, KY
After an exquisite, elegant breakfast, we were chauffeured to our chiropractic visit with Dr. Brian Winton. Two TV stations were there to interview us, and they followed us back to the Inn. So did Dr. Winton and his 8-year-old daughter, who took a ride around the block with me on the bike. One TV crew spent the whole day with us.

The family helped me ride the quad down to Scheller's Bikes and Fitness, where the staff was anticipating our arrival. I spent the day there doing maintenance on the bike while the rest of the crew went to Churchill Downs racetrack for the day. The folks at the bike shop treated me like an old friend, and when I left I had a new front rim, headset, drive chain and gears, and new tape on the bars to make us feel spiffy. John, Casey and Amanda helped me stoke the bike back to the Inn, and what a frisky team they were.

Enjoying the company of our hosts that evening was the pleasantest part of the day, as we watched ourselves on TV in the living room, sipping spring water and pretending it was Mint Juleps.

May 14 Louisville, KY to Georgetown, IN
No early start as planned; it was too hard to drag ourselves from the breakfast table, the company was so stimulating and the food so good. Then when we got going, we were stopped in Louisville by the Convention Center Delegates and presented with T-shirts and duffel bags with Louisville emblems on them. They were so nice to do that for us, we were touched. Across the Ohio River in Clarksville, they were not to be outdone. At the Indiana Welcome Center, we were presented with T-shirts from THEIR town, nice ones, and had our picture taken with the Welcome Center staff. Down at a park on the Falls of the Ohio, we picked up some history and made some friends. A stop at a really nice bike shop took another half-hour or more, so by the time we were five miles from the Inn, it was 2:30.

Then we were faced with a four-mile climb through limestone ledges to a place called Georgetown. There we were overwhelmed with Hoosier hospitality. The restaurant wouldn't take our money, the local drive-in theater presented us with complimentary tickets, and while eating we got a call from Bob, a local guy we had met outside. He invited us to stay at his house, and he and his wife Mary Ann turned out to be the friendliest and most hospitable people on earth. We felt right at home. Bob is an executive with a big food company, Mary Ann is a successful Mary Kay distributor, and they have the life right here in southern Indiana. We watched a movie, ate a ton of popcorn, and talked until the wee hours.

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