Day 12 - Grand Rivers, KY to Elizabethtown, IL - Kerry - Two Far 2020 - NTF (Not Two Far) - CycleBlaze

June 11, 2020

Day 12 - Grand Rivers, KY to Elizabethtown, IL - Kerry

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I need to thank John for the route today.  I had mapped out 2 options, a 54 mile route with 2800 feet of elevation with lots of C-Stores along the way, and a 66 mile route with 3200 feet of elevation and only 2 stops.  I was all for the shorter route, but John wanted to see the river, so we agreed on the longer route, and it was a great choice.

Leaving Grand Rivers we were on a busy road for a few miles, but everyone was courteous and gave us plenty of space.  There were a lot of gravel trucks on this section and the reason was obvious as we passed the first rock quarry just outside of Grand Rivers.   

The Watco quarry just outside of Grand Rivers. We saw a few mines / quarries today and all appeared to have barge terminals.
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The barge terminal for above quarry
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Once we turned off the busy highway, we hit some more rolling hills, and the scenery was much nicer.  Just as I crested a small hill, I saw the scene below.  I only wish I were a better photographer, as the photo really doesn't capture the beauty, especially of the moon.

I thought this was a pretty scene. If you look closely, you'll see the moon above.
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Our first stop of the day was at Smithland where Jeanna was waiting for us at Thompson's Grocery.  John ate some snacks he had and I bought a slice because it was a long way to the ferry with no other stores along the way. 

As soon as we left Smithland, we crossed the Cumberland River.  There was a tug with several barges trying to do a 3 point turn around a sharp bend in the Cumberland and it was taking up the entire river.  Unfortunately, we couldn't stop for a photo because it was a narrow bridge with no shoulder and once off the bridge, trees blocked the view.    

View of a lock on the Ohio River, Looking upstream from Smithland. The Cumberland River joins the Ohio at the right of the photo
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Bottom land with Ohio River in background.
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Seeder by the field. We don't know if it was awaiting use or had just been used, as no plants were visible in this field. More on this later.
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As we neared Carrsville, we took a shortcut on Cave Springs Road.  We weren't sure if we could get through or not, as there was no street view on this section and we didn't know if it was dirt, gravel of paved.   Turns out it was a very nice paved road with great scenery.  It was while John was stopped at the top of a hill taking a picture that we met the couple below.  The offered us water and invited us in for a sandwich.  We politely declined, but we did talk for quite a while and enjoyed the break / visit.

Bobby (foreground) and Johnnie
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One good looking gal and 2 ugly mugs
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Today Carrsville is just a small collection of houses. It's glory days are long past.
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Boat ramp in Carrsville.
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Once we got to the ferry crossing we saw several pieces of large equipment working the fields.  We learned that although the river was low now, just two weeks ago this area had been under water.  That answered a question we had had as we rode along the river.  We both wondered why we didn't see any crops along the river bottom when the corn was so tall elsewhere in the area.

Ferry landing just across from Cave-In-Rock, IL. Notice the dirt piled up on the side of the ferry landing. That was what they removed from the landing after the flooding.
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Working the fields at the ferry landing
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We were first in line for this incoming ferry. While John & I arrived in time for the previous ferry, we had to wait as it was full. The ferry runs constantly, so it was a short wait.
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Upstream view of the Ohio while aboard the ferry
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As soon as we crossed the river we visited Cave-in-Rock State Park.  It was an interesting visit and well worth the stop, but unfortunately, most of my photos of the cave didn't turn out.

Cave-In-Rock Information
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Image not found :(
Our wonderful SAG driver
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This is not the cave, just a big crack
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John in the cave.
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Looking up at the ceiling opening while in the cave
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There were hundreds of birds nesting in the rock near the cave mouth
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Another shot of all the birds overhead
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As soon as we left Cave-in-Rock, we (or at least I, John loved it) went from cycling bliss to cycling hell.  The section between Cave-in-Rock and Elizabethtown is on both Adventure Cycling Association's  Trans-Am Route and their Great Rivers South Route.  The folks at ACA must be sadists!  The road is in very poor condition and had some killer grades.  Luckily, my recumbent is easy to push up a hill.  

I was glad to reach our cabin and call it a day.

The first bike rest stop we've seen on this trip. I took advantage as it was the top of a very steep climb. It was the first time I had to walk the bike this trip. 15% grades are tough on a recumbent.
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Today's ride: 66 miles (106 km)
Total: 639 miles (1,028 km)

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