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Hello from Paducah, KY

So, so!  Now, we’re in Kentucky, and a very good Kentucky it is, so far.  Paducah’s got about the cutest old downtown I’ve seen in ages all fancy brickwork and colorful painted trim.  The shops look a little twee, and it becomes a lovely ghosttown after 5:00 p.m., but during the day, it’s awfully charming.  The ghost town thing is not that unusual in any downtown, though.  Most of ’em are dedicated principally to commerce, and there aren’t many amenities for actually living. 

So far, this leg of the journey has been an immense improvement.  Apologies to those who live in and love the desert, but I have to admit that I love seeing some GREEN in the scenery.  I kind of gave short-shrift to the KATY trail in my last entry…my brain was a little frozen.  It had been a chilly ride in to St. Louis and my fingers and mind were a little stiff.  The KATY trail was likely to spoil us if we’d been on it much longer than we had…you kind of get accustomed to not having to deal with cars and then you start to like it.  Actually, I lie…around the time we got off the KATY trail, I was starting to get kind of bored with it.  It was peaceful, but it was awfully enclosed…a lot of times it was like riding through a green tunnel, the trees grow so thickly alongside of the trail.  Of course the green tunnel was good fodder for fancy – it seemed like something that should have come from Narnia, and so I did my share of daydreaming a non-churchy Narnia-like place.  Something akin to The Wind In The Willows, more likely.  That’s a story I’ll probably always love.  I like to re-read it this time of year actually.  I’ll probably have to do that after we get back home.

Anyway, we rode the bulk of the KATY trail and enjoyed it, and then we got off, got through St. Louis (and had Chipotle for the first time in an couple of months and enjoyed it thoroughly) and made our way into Illinois.  I must say that southern Illinois is awfully prosperous and tidy looking.  Seems like the majority of people keep their properties up very nicely, and there are some very attractive old farm houses.  I haven’t had a lot of commerce in IL, so I can’t say for the whole state, but I must say that things in the southern, agricultural regions are looking good.  Good representation at the local, state, and national levels of government seems likely.  There were a lot of political signs out along the road.  Not just presidential, but loads of local stuff…county commissioners, state’s attorney, hell, even county coroner.  Being involved is the way to go, if the state of the State of IL is anything to judge by.

I’ve long heard that Missouri is the buckle in the Bible Belt.  Well, that’s as may be, but I’ve seen some mighty spicy church signs in IL.  The three that I can think of right now are as follow:

“If you fail to pray U R prey” (note: they had plenty of space, but maybe they ran out of letters)

“God’s retirement plan is out of this world!!!” (yes there were three ex. points. Message seemed ominous…should one just drop dead and proceed immediately to heaven after your retirement papers have processed?)

“Repent or Perish” (cheerful and comforting, no?)

One thing about bicycle touring (which was spoofed by Monty Python) is that you really have to eat a lot…you’re powerfully hungry when you’re hungry and I know I find myself thinking about food a LOT.


We’ve come up with ways to stretch our food budget and supply, including one particular trick for granola that we’ll probably maintain after we get home.  1 box or bag of commercially prepared granola (Kashi makes a very nice one, but not the Good Friends one, which I won’t buy because the gormlessly-grinning people on the box look like they’re wearing hemp underpants and I don’t want to support that digression complete!)  Anyway, take one box or bag of commercially prepared granola, 1lb can of old-fashioned oats, and about 2 cups of raisins, and mix all of the above in a large zip-lock bag.  Still plenty of sweetness from the granola and the raisins, but you get about 5x as much cereal and it’s not so sugary that you get a rush and crash.  We’ve also been doing our own trail mix, since you can’t really buy sufficient quantities of prepared trail mix without going broke.  1lb bag of raisins, 1lb jar of peanuts, and a medium size bag of dark-chocolate M&Ms and usually one bag of commercially-prepared trail mix for variety, though sometimes I get just plain almonds, Craisins, or whatever else appeals to mix in.  Even though it’s not super-cheap if I mix in extras, it’s still a hell of a lot cheaper than an equal quantity of prepared trail mix.

That’s about it, though I did want to put in a good word for a really gerat pizza place we went to in Flagstaff, because I failed to mention it a couple of weeks ago and was hella remiss in not doing so.  It’s a regional chain called Oregano’s, (warning, their site plays music) and damn, was it good!  I mean, holy moly, that was a tasty and satisfying pizza!  I’d been craving pizza anyhow…I’d have eaten Pizza Hut at that point, but this was truly superior.  If you’re ever in Flagstaff or one of the other towns where there is an Oregano’s, it’s worth a stop. 

Well, that’s about it for now.  I’ve got a day to rest my butt, read a book, and be chill.  I’m not sure when our next library day will be or where, but I’ll check in then.  So far, so good on Phase 2 of our coast-to-coast adventure.

3 Responses to “Hello from Paducah, KY”

  1. Audrey says:

    Holy shit, Paducha KY! Matt and I stopped there for the night on our road trip home from FL. I have to say, it was single handedly the most fun I have had on a road trip ever! We stayed in a hotel on the far end of town where there was, of all things, a quilt convention going on. Stopped in the hotel bar and it was HOPPING, met some very colorful locals and had one hell of a good time! The other thing I love about KY, aside from the beautiful countryside is the fact that all the clerks call me darlin’. I absolutely love that! Hope all is well!

  2. It’s so true what you say about bicycle touring causing you to be extremely hungry. It wasn’t until my 5th long distance bicycle tour that I learned to train my brain not to think about food all the time. Before that I was dreaming of ice cream, pizza, bagels, milk shakes, and a whole lot more… all while I was riding the bike!

  3. Deanna says:

    Hello! It’s been a blast keeping up with your trip on this site. I’m glad you’re updating when you can. I’ve sent this link on to other friends and friends-of-friends, and I think you may have even inspired some people to do an epic journey of their own. Nice.

    Anyway, I’m actually writing because my own personal adventure, the adventure that is CIMO employment, (not quite as inspiring as yours, I’d bet…) involves me letting you know that you have some kind of a check here that you will probably want to pick up at some point. I don’t really know the details, but Kelly is privy to what’s going on, so you should probably get in touch with her when you get back. I’m just the messenger!

    I wish you guys the very best as you continue your trip, and I look forward to reading more about it.



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