Saturday, June 18, 2005

Enjoying The Bluegrass State

After leaving Big Ugly in West Virginia, we made our way across our
fifth state line into Kentucky. We spent our first night there in
Sandy Hook, at Infinite Possibilities Ministries. The center was
great, but it also happened to be located at the top of one of the
steepest hills we've seen on the trip so far. A few of our crazier
riders did manage to make the climb on their bikes though.

After leaving Sandy Hook, we made our way to Mount Sterling. Along
the way, we passed through the tiny town of Preston. Last year's HBC
group had told us there might be some famous whittlers outside the
small grocery store in Preston, so we stopped for lunch on the lawn
beside the store, hoping they might turn up. Inside the store some of
us tried Kentucky's Ale-8-1 sodas ($0.55 for the soda, $0.80 to keep
the bottle). The whittlers never showed, but we enjoyed Preston and
scored the sodas and some pear butter from a generous neighbor. When
we made it in to Mount Sterling, we picked up our mail drop goods. We
had A LOT of great care packages. My personal favorites were the
sugar cookies decorated by Matt Broach's little sister and the package
for Ramie Speight that allowed us to actually try out the cookie
recipe we put up on the website. After sorting through our packages
and being shuttled to showers, we were fed not only home-cooked meal
for dinner, but for breakfast as well (complete with biscuits, sausage
and egg casseroles, and apple butter!).

From Mount Sterling we made our way in to Frankfort. Along the way,
we stopped at the Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon Distillery for a
tour. After abandoning our cleated shoes on the front porch, we were
taken through the entire process of making Woodford Reserve Bourbon,
from the fermenting and distilling to the aging and bottling. From
there, we took some beautiful side roads to Kentucky State University,
where we joined with the local Habitat for Humanity chapter to promote
bike safety. We helped offer a bike safety clinic and participated in
some tricycle races before bedding down on the gymnasium floor.

From Frankfort we made our way into Louisville. We spent the morning
riding to Long Run Park, where we met Judge Jim Moyer, who lead us the
rest of the way into the city. We arrived a few hours early to meet
Jim, so some of our group did more trailer-painting work and enjoyed
leisurely naps in the park grass. The other members of our group
stopped a few miles before the park at the Hi Ho Day Camp to swim,
play, and eat with the campers. Jim lead our group in to the
University of Louisville, where we met up with fellow Yalies at the
Bulldogs in the Bluegrass program. After dinner, we joined up with
the Bulldogs to explore what we could of Louisville. The next day was
a much-needed day off, so we spent the day seeing the sights of
Kentucky - Churchill Downs, The Louisville Slugger Museum, and more.

Getting back on our bikes this morning after Louisville was tough, but
the ride was mostly flat and went by quickly. We made our way across
another state line this afternoon, over the Ohio River into Tell City,
Indiana. We changed time zones sometime before lunch as well, so
we're all enjoying the extra hour. It's back into Kentucky once again
for tomorrow, and then on to Carbondale, Illinois!