So peaceful!! Last night as we made plans for the day's ride, we saw that the Cave In Rock State Park was located right where we catch the ferry to cross the Ohio River into Kentucky. We both thought what a nice way to spend a day in the area and see some of the sights. There was rain in the forecast for this evening, so it seemed like a doubly smart thing to do!
We left our little cabin at Deer Run Campground and RV Park. Shirley was delightful as a host, and the cabin was simple and basic, but out of the dew and humidity, so we woke up happy and well rested. Since we were stopped just before reaching Golconda, out of town by 2 miles last night, we dug deep into our pannier bags for the food reserves we have been carrying for hundreds of miles. Ramen noodles, vacuum packed tuna and salmon, tortillas and cheese. Yes, cheese. I have had the same block of cheese for 2 weeks, it melts every day into play dough like mush and firms up again in the cool of the evening! It is fine! We had a sandwich leftover from lunch that needed to be eaten, so we gave up cooking the noodles and just munched on what was easy! There was a little table in the room, a tiny 6 inch TV set on the same table, chairs and AC! We were tired and happy cyclists! We tried to sit outside and enjoy the evening air, but air seemed to be lacking, a little hot and humid for us so we retreated inside and just relaxed.
A lighter dinner meant we could treat ourselves to breakfast this morning! there was the cute little Dari-Bar just waiting for us as we finally reached the town of Golconda. Actually it was very cute! The town originated in 1797! as a ferry landing known as Lusk's ferry even then moving people across the Ohio River. So it has been around for a long time! It is still the ferry landing and tomorrow we will be down there first thing to take our turn to cross the river! I was just reading about the ferry, it is in jeopardy because of funding the ther operator is 80 years old! He has been running it for the last 20 years and has to have someone from the Coast Guard on board in case a lifeboat is need, someone has to be able to throw it in the water! Hope that isn't tomorrow!!! The ferry is free and runs on demand back and forth all day long! It will drop us off in Kentucky.
Well, you know the old saying out of the pan and into the fire! Illinois has been a great rest from the hills and climbs of Missouri, even tho it was short and is already starting to roll! We were so relieved to be out of Missouri but tomorrow, I think things are going to get serious! I am sitting here on the deck of our cabin overlooking the Ohio River to Kentucky on the other shore. Maybe I should just go inside and not look any more!!! We are headed for some difficult riding and we know it!! It wouldn't be the first time i worried for nothing, let's hope I am over exaggerating things!
Before we reached our cabin in the woods today, the road led us through another historical town of Elizabethtown. It was the first close up visit to the shore of the Ohio River for us. These towns have been here for hundreds of years! We did not find anything to read, but there was a grandmother waiting for her grandson to fish, and she grew up there. She was telling us about the historic hotel that is still in operation, that she remembers when she was a child and her mother telling her about it when she was a child! It was such an amazing location, high on the banks overlooking the river. And yes, i just wanted to stay!!
We did reach Cave In Rock State Park! It was only 30 miles in total today, but we arrived with rubber legs from the rolling road to get here! But what a beautiful reward it was when we arrived! Being Sunday, most people left this morning, the rest of the people would be here later, right now they were in church (according to the staff) and it felt like we had the whole park to ourselves! We were a bit early to check in so we relaxed on the deck overlooking the river, enjoying a breeze and watching the humming birds who had to work way harder than we did to get a drink!
We spent a part of the afternoon walking thru the park, the size of the trees are incredible. Maples, Oak and Hickory all tower along the walking paths and fill the surrounding Shawnee Forest. We had to visit the name sake of the park, The Cave! It has quite a nasty past as the cave has been used by scoundrels who murdered, robbed and hid in the cave. At one time someone even sold liquor out of the cave! It was fun to walk inside. Not really caves give me the creeps, but we did our tourist thing and walked along the beach of the river and around the gorgeous park. It was a relaxing day spent watching the river slowly flow by, the passing barges and soaking up the peaceful environment.
There is rain headed this way tonight, tornado warnings, heavy rain and all the excitement that goes with it. Hopefully there will be a break tomorrow long enough to let us get to the next spot that has any kind of accomodation out there! It is lovely here but would not like to have to hide our for another day if the rain demands it. I am ready to get this done!! Looking ahead,it is going to take some planning, it looks far and few between any place to camp or find a room. I just can't shake the nervousness I have about the next several hundred miles as we head south!! Wish us luck!