Day 18, to Springfield: Enter the land of Lincoln - Chris Cross America - CycleBlaze

May 10, 2022

Day 18, to Springfield: Enter the land of Lincoln

Here's a view on Main Street in Springfield, Ky., this evening, before I had dinner at Mordecai's, where I met a couple of older gentlemen doing the TransAm in half the time I'm planning to. Directly in front of the camera is a small clock tower that says 4:25 (I think this clock never sprung ahead). Across the street on the left is the Washington County Judicial Center, with a statue of Abraham Lincoln standing out front. Across the street and to the right is a red brick building that says on the second floor, "W.K. ROBERTSON, 1896." On the ground level is Strong Brew, which appears to be a coffee shop. Hmmm. I might want to remember that tomorrow morning.
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Day 18 stats

Start: Harrodsburg, Ky. (Anderson-Dean Park)

End: Springfield, Ky. (Springfield Inn)

The Daily Progress: 34.47 miles

Elevation gain: 2,231 feet

Lodging expenses: $78.38 at the Springfield Inn, plus 6 cash tip, plus $4.50 for laundry. I splurged for a hotel room tonight primarily for the shower and laundry. I'm sure my skin will appreciate it.

Food: $22 for dinner at Mordecai's plus $13.38 for groceries

Day 18 highlights

It was another gorgeous day for a ride.

The hills have been less long and steep and more rolling and occasionally even Type 1 fun!

The number of loose dogs is in the decline. There was still a chase or two, but nothing serious. Most dogs were acting the way I'd imagine bored high-school students do during roll call. They'd bark to let you know they were there and maybe act like they cared and then quickly lost interest. One dog was just standing in the middle of the road, and I zoomed past, behind it, without it seeming to care. I think we surprised each other with our apathy toward each other.

I have entered the land of Lincoln. I expect much more tomorrow or Thursday, but for now, check this out:

This is the house that Abraham Lincoln's grandfather (also named Abraham) lived in with his family when he was killed by a small war party of Native Americans. By law, the estate went to the eldest son, Mordecai, who would be the uncle of the future president. The house is a basic rectangular shape with white — actually, I'd better call that off-white — siding. It's got two stories, and I would guess four to six rooms per floor. There's a red brick chimney on each end of the house.
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A plaque on the ground near the front door says: "THE MORDECAI LINCOLN HOUSE CIRCA 1797 HAD BEEN PLACED ON THE NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES BY THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR." So this is the original structure, built in 1797?! Wow!
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Ramblings: A slow, funny, slightly awkward, endearing start to the day

The day started off in a  way. Oh! Actually, it started in a very crappy way: I woke up in my hammock, checked the time on my phone and then felt a light splatter of something on my face. A bird had crapped on me and of course some of it made it through the hammock's bug net. Yuck! 

I had another very slow start today. Hmm, maybe I should eliminate making breakfast and do something faster. This is a terrible time for that idea, though, considering that I just bought a ten-pack of instant oatmeal. D'oh! Well, after all the oatmeal is eaten, then maybe I'll do breakfast in a way that doesn't involve the camp stove.

Anyway, after breakfast at the community park in Harrodsburg, I went to the bathroom to get changed and apply the ointments for my skin infection, and I come out to find a group of older women doing an exercise class in the parking lot right next to the shelter where I had eaten breakfast and staged all my gear for packing. Strange place for an exercise class, I thought, and then I went down to the spot behind the shelter where I had hung my hammock last night. I packed up the hammock and sleeping bag and sleeping pad and returned to find the exercise class inside the shelter. 

The instructor and I acknowledged each other verbally and agreed neither of us was in the other's way, but you now get the full picture. Under this shelter are about eight picnic tables, one of which is entirely covered by all the worldly possessions that I've been carrying for the past two and a half weeks. In between the tables are about 15 middle-aged and senior-citizen women dancing and lunging to Aretha Franklin singing "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" as I bob my head and try to pack up all of my crap. Of course, every bag I try to zip shut or tie up doesn't want to close on the first try because I'm trying to move swiftly without looking like I'm rushing out of there, so of course I make mistakes, I close up some things before I'd actually put everything in them, and the whole process takes twice as long. I hadn't decided exactly where I was aiming to stop tonight, but forget it, we'll do it live!

One of the reasons for my slowness at the onset of all this was the fact that I wanted to reserve a spot on one of the tours of Mammoth Cave National Park, which I did during breakfast. Another reason was that on Sunday night, I had devised a plan for where to stay each night this week, but my push to get to Harrodsburg (in order to visit the urgent care clinic) put me about 10 miles ahead of schedule, so I tried to find a destination to aim for today that was roughly 10 miles ahead of my plans, but there was nothing practical.

Anyway, I'm loading everything onto Blue and taking my sunscreen bath over along the side of the pavilion as the class starts to wind down with a prayer of gratitude and asking for God's protection for everyone, especially the traveler in their presence today. As they split up and walked out, many of them walked past me to wish me safe travels. The instructor chatted with me a minute — her son is also named Chris (as was the trail angel back in Virginia, as was the guy sharing a room with me in the hostel in Damascus, as was Chad originally named in the first few days of his life before his parents renamed him from Chris to Chad ...  I don't think these coincidences are anything more than a sign that Chris is an extremely popular name, but it has been hard to overlook.)

So I'm finally rolling for what I figured would be a short day. It's already 11:15. Wow. Good thing I started the day 10 miles ahead of schedule.

Today's ride: 34 miles (55 km)
Total: 781 miles (1,257 km)

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