My continued adoration of the Bike the US for MS alumni family

There’s quite a bit of hooplah about Virginia on the TransAm. I didn’t really want to believe my native land was considered hellish, unforgiving, and among the most challenging states on the route. But compared to Virginia, Kentucky was much smoother, literally and figuratively.

Sitting on behind Mike & Shanon in central Kentucky.
Sitting on behind Mike & Shanon in central Kentucky.

Adam said Kentucky’s slogan might as well be, “Kentucky: Pretty much what you thought it was.” There’s Wildcats gear everywhere, every local town seemed to have a bluegrass festival, and the countryside was vast and serene. I don’t have many interesting things to say about Kentucky. It was nice. I turned 25 in a place called Booneville, which is a sentence I never thought I’d write. I had a wonderful day, yet it’ll be forever afflicted by the shooting in Orlando. My heart aches for all those affected and lost. I am disgusted at the Senate’s faux empathy for the LGBTQ community, and I hope and hope and hope that the LGBTQ community gets the protections it deserves and that firearms are embargoed. I digress.

There's an amazing passive-aggressive battle amongst Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, and probably a few other states about what Abe Lincoln's hometown is. Illinois state signs declare the state is "Lincoln's Boyhood Home" yet Kentucky's LaRue County proudly announce it's where he was born. Everybody's trying to get a slice of old Abe, apparently.
There’s an amazing passive-aggressive battle amongst Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, and probably a few other states about what Abe Lincoln’s hometown is. Illinois state signs declare the state is “Lincoln’s Boyhood Home” yet Kentucky’s LaRue County proudly announce it’s where he was born. Everybody’s trying to get a slice of old Abe, apparently.
Jeff and a feral kitten
Jeff and a feral kitten

But we’re onto the midwest! After a night in the eponymously named Cave In Rock, IL, where there’s a (you guessed it) cave in a rock, we have a day off in Carbondale! Oh, let me tell you about the Green family and Carbondale.

Brian Green is a Bike the US for MS legend, having ridden and route-led both the TransAm and Northern Tier from 2010 to 2013. Now, when the TransAm team rolls through his hometown of Carbondale, his family puts everyone and them some. Yes, they provide smoked turkeys, homemade garden salsa, kegs of beer, and (brace yourself) HOME-MADE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES, but just being around a family who are so enthusiastic about the cause and willing to talk with us about our travels (they know more about the routes than I do) is a dream. They’ve done so much more than just house and feed us, and I really can’t say enough good things about them. Thank you to Pam, Gene, Brian, and the entire Green family.

The aforementioned cave in a rock in Cave In Rock.
The aforementioned cave in a rock in Cave In Rock.

It’s shocking to think we’re 1/3 of the way through the trip already. In a few days we’ll be in Missouri, before going into Kansas. Keep sending me your addresses and I’ll keep sending you postcards from bizarre places. Best wishes.

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