Day 27, to Goreville: The soundtrack of my mind - Chris Cross America - CycleBlaze

May 19, 2022

Day 27, to Goreville: The soundtrack of my mind

When I woke up and looked out the front window of the Airbnb, I was treated to this view just after sunrise. Across the Ohio River, a thin blanket of fog lines the top of the green riverfront in the distance and separates the riverfront front some green-blue hills on the horizon. An yellow-orange sun casts an orange-red aura in the sky around it and reflecting off the river. In the sky farther from the sun, wispy clouds catch a yellow tint and blend it with a faint blue, as if painted by watercolors.
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Here's a not-particularly-helpful view of what I think was the lock house built for operating a lock system that the Army Corps of Engineers built almost a century ago along the river, and a turret closer to the water, with a small road in between. The house I stayed in (a separate building not visible in this photo) was built to serve as a home for someone operating the lock.
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Thursday stats

Start: Golconda Lock & Dam 51 House #1, Golconda, Ill.

End: Goreville United Methodist Church, Goreville, Ill.

The Daily Progress: 41.12 miles

The Ascension (I never really liked the term "elevation gain," because we're not measuring the net increase in elevation. We're measuring the total amount of climbing. I haven't really come up with a term that I like — "feet climbed" sounds too weird, and "ascent" is probably the most accurate thing I've thought of — but why not call it something more interesting? In light of all the churches I'm passing, let's call it the Daily Ascension, or just the Ascension for short): 2,687 feet

Ice cream flavor: Savannah Fudge Pie (dark chocolate ice cream with little chunks of sugar cookie). The chocolate was satisfyingly dark. Also, I ate a whole pint. I've seen AT hikers do it and tried to banish the idea from my mind but it returned when I was at the grocery store and ... Yeah, new ice cream rule: Let's not eat an entire pint of ice cream unless we are celebrating my arrival at the Pacific Coast. Then I think I could be okay with it.

Lodging expenses: $0! Thank you, Goreville United Methodist Church!

Here's a selfie I took with today's furry friend, a very friendly gray and white cat who practically sat in my lap at the church as I awaited the arrival of the pastor's son, who let me into the church. I don't know if it fits right, but I decided to call the cat Judas because it was locked out of the church. In this photo, both Judas and I are looking at the camera, Judas on their side with their head hanging over the edge of the bench we're sitting on. Judas is stretching a paw toward the camera, witch toes toes spread wide and claws extended.
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Food expenses: $21.63 — dinner at El Tequila Mexican and groceries at Goreville Food Market

Thursday ramblings: The soundtrack of my mind

Today I discovered the power of music — music recorded by professionals and played by my phone, not music sung by me or playing in my head. It started with a brief text exchange with Dani in which I mentioned that it's almost Friday … and my mind went to the song by Rebecca Black. (Sorry. I feel like even mentioning it is a kind of aggression.) So I decided to play the song on Spotify and then I decided to start compiling a playlist of all the songs that have been getting stuck in my head while riding these past four weeks. And of course, I decided to play them while I ate breakfast and packed up.

I finally managed to leave on the early side (8-ish, which probably shouldn't count as early, but it's early for me on a bike tour). Part of the reason was that I'd planned on an earlier departure the night before because of the threat of midday thunderstorms. And of course the other reason was that the music was really having an effect. So I downloaded the songs on the playlist and set them to play out of my phone speaker while I rode this morning.

(I know there's a real debate about headphones while cycling and I haven't ruled it out in quiet areas, but I don't feel like they're worth it in places with any traffic, so I went without the headphones.)

This was a great way to knock out two-thirds of the days miles before 11 a.m. It felt great! Then a break for a snack and a good sit killed my momentum. Had to turn off the music because it was using up my phone battery even though the music had been downloaded before I left. So maybe I'll use music on the second half of the ride on some days to come.

Okay, okay, no more delaying. Here's the playlist so far. Remember that I never said this was good music, just music that has popped into my mind for whatever reason.

  • "Get Better" by Mates of State. Dani and I played this CD in the car on our drive home from Easter in New Jersey, and when I started this tour a week later, it was still stuck in my head. Special shout-out to our old neighbor in Arizona, Jessica, who gave us a bunch of burned CDs at one point and most of them still live in our car (which holds our only CD player) some 12 or 14 years later. Other bands in this collection included the Decemberists, MGMT and the National. Quite a collection.
  • "Jesus of Suburbia" by Green Day. This one is rarely far from my mind, but anything that reminds me of our late cat, Franco, was probably the reason I thought of this song and my parody of it, "Franco of Suburbia."
  • The "Mission: Impossible" theme. I believe I explained this way back in an early blog post. When riding fast downhill, I think of Tom Cruise's motorcycle chases. And this song plays in my head. And now it starts playing as I approach the top of a hill. It's very exciting.
  • "Ruby Soho," by Rancid. I thought to myself, after lubricating my bike chain and looking at how much lube was left in the bottle: "The lube is so low." ... And then: "Lu-bee, lu-bee, lu-bee, lu-bee so low! Ruby, ruby, ruby, ruby Soho! Destination unnnkno-own ..."
  • The theme of "Inspector Gadget." I can thank/blame the AT hiker Yellowstone for this one. We talked about the random things that popped into our heads on our respective trails and this is one he mentioned. And now it pops up in mine, too.
  • "Everybody" by the Backstreet Boys. 90s boy bands, man.
  • "I Wanna Be Sedated" by the Ramones. "Twenty, twenty, twenty-four [miles] to go. I wanna be sedated."
  • "No Rain" by Blind Melon. I was sitting under the shelter of a bathhouse at a campground and watching the rain, waiting for it to ease up a bit before I went and got soaked on a 20-mile ride that ended at the church with Betsy. I was considering whether I liked "watching the puddles gather rain." In hindsight, yes, I think I did like watching it more than riding in it.
  • "I am a Man of Constant Sorrow" from the soundtrack of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" This is the only song I could think of that used the word "Kentucky."
  • "I Want It That Way" by the  Backstreet Boys. Because 90s boy bands (and their producers) knew how to put out a song that would live in your head forever.
  • "Basket Case" by Green Day. Classic. I think this is the first song I tried whistling on this tour. I don't know what I was thinking.
  • "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham! Something reminded me of the gasoline fight in "Zoolander." Speaking of "Zoolander," in a separate conversation in which I joked about being really, really ridiculously good-looking, Dani  pointed out that I am riding Blue steel!
  • "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by the Proclaimers. As I approached the end of my first thousand miles, it occurred to me that "I would [bike] 500 miles, and I would [bike] 500 more, just to be the man who [biked] a thousand miles to fall down at your door." So this one is for you, Rob and Jenn. I've biked a thousand miles! When you find a sweaty, scraggly-bearded man passed out on your doorstep in a few days — yep, that's me!
  • "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morisette. I'm not sure how this one came up mind, but I think something make me think of a hairless dog, and my mind jumped to hairless bear and then cross-eyed bear, and — boom! — "I'm here! To re-mind you! Of the mess you left when you went away..." If you managed to follow even half of that bizarre train of thought, your name must be Dani, Ted or Sqmz!
  • "I Fought the Law" by the Clash. I really have no idea what prompted this one, but for what it's worth, this song will always remind me of my first speeding ticket, on a road trip to Miami with Jared and Dani. Good thing I can't go fast enough to get in trouble for speeding.
  • "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain. Really. I have no idea why.
  • "Friday" by Rebecca Black. As explained above.
  • "Bat Out Of Hell" by Meat Loaf. This is how I left this morning.
  • "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" by Meat Loaf. Because I can't think of Meat Loaf and not think of this song. I don't know why it's this one over, say, the one about paradise by the dashboard lights, but it is. You'd better believe it.
  • "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" by Green Day. Because all playlists end with this song, right?

Today's ride: 41 miles (66 km)
Total: 1,167 miles (1,878 km)

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Shari MooreAs I follow along with you the song I keep hearing is The Allman Brothers “Ramblin’ Man.” And of course “The Greatest Adventure” from The Hobbit. And Christopher… we need to have a serious conversation about ice cream. Clearly you’ve never been premenstrual. A pint IS a standard serving size. You weigh 120 pounds soaking wet (including your soggy socks) and you’re burning a bazillion calories a day. Let go of the rules! Eat! Enjoy!
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2 months ago
Chris GeorgeTo Shari MooreAh, two excellent contributions that I will add to the playlist I started using the list above. My dad used to play the Allman Brothers on the home stereo every now and then. Gotta love that guitar.

As for the ice cream, you have no idea how much ice cream I can eat if I don't stop myself. On a shorter tour, yeah, what the heck, I'd go nuts. But I can't let myself have a pint a day for four months! (Right?)
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2 months ago