Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Back to Biking--to Illinois!

Today I cycled 60 miles with 3,363 feet of climbing, for 6.75 hours on the road. The day started out sunny but became cloudy and quite cool due to the brisk wind. The temperature was in the mid 50s. 

Gorgeous day! The road surface was good, and there was almost no traffic (which was good because the roads had no shoulders and dropped off steeply). 

It was a good dog day. Yes, there were a number of loose dogs, but I either got the jump on them or they were friendly or indifferent. 

I did not get lost today! That improves my mood, no doubt. The riders who did take an unplanned detour ended up in the thick of a pack of dogs, and then had to pass by them again to get back on route. 

We had the Ohio River on our left most of the day. All the recent rain will end up feeding into the Ohio; flooding is expected in another day or two. 

The following shot is my failed attempt to show you the one super-steep hill that I walked today. This part at the top is not all that steep, but maybe you can tell that it drops dramatically around that corner (complete with a long, S-shaped curve) and that the Ohio River in the distance is a lot lower in elevation. 

We crossed a number of tributaries...

Can you see the Ohio beyond this pastureland?

At the end of our route, we took a ferry across the Ohio River to Cave-in-Rock, Illinois. The small, free ferry runs every 15 minutes or so. 

The ferry approached at quite a severe angle and, at the last second, docked perfectly on the tiny ramp. You could tell these guys have been doing this a long time. 

The view upriver from the ferry. 

A number of us stopped at Rosie's Country Kitchen in Cave-in-Rock to warm up and eat. 

After setting up camp (at Cave-in-Rock State Park) and showering, Nora and I walked to the cave. I was not expecting something so big!

Here is the approach:

The cave entrance (with Nora for scale). Notice the graffiti on the ceiling. 

Inside the cave, there is a fissure that lets in light. 

Looking back toward the entrance...

Walking back to camp from the cave, we saw the ferry crossing the river again. 

Today's route, part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Tonight is our only night in Illinois. We will use the ferry to cross back over the Ohio River tomorrow morning and pick up our route through Kentucky. 

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