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Grandpa Lost His Mind
A Journal - Crossing America by Bicycle

June 28, 2007      Miles 40      Total miles 3381      Ended at: Springfield, Kentucky


There are two cafes in Hodgenville but when I went to eat breakfast, one was closed today and the other opened at 11:00 so I rode about 15 miles and got a great breakfast at New Hope. This part of Kentucky has been in a drought for almost two months and they are needing rain badly. There was an 80% chance of storms today.

I decided to take a shortcut on my route and I am glad I did. Just five or six miles outside of Hodgenville I came across Abraham Lincoln's childhood homeplace. Actually, they don't come right out and tell you that this wasn't actually his home but one which was near his home and built like it. There was a ranger there and I asked her and she said this old cabin isn't actually the one he lived in but it has been placed at the same location. The schoolhouse where he and his sister, Sarah, attended was a two mile walk from this place. This is a beautiful area and the Lincoln's moved here because of the fertile soil. They had problems with the title to the land and moved after five years.

There are a lot of hills in this area. They are not tall enough to be considered mountains and they refer to these hills as knobs. Some of them make for difficult climbing on a bicycle. Of course, in most cases the roads go through the passes and valleys.

When I saw these buildings in Loretto, I couldn't figure out what they were. They are depressing looking and I thought maybe it was some sort of old prison system housing. It turns out they are warehouses for whiskey kegs. The name of the distillery is Makers Mark. The buildings are painted black to draw heat. There were a lot of these buildings and I was told they hold 15,000 to 20,000 kegs each while the whiskey slumbers and works its magic. One man told me there are only 40 employees from the town who work here because everything is automated.

The rain everyone had been praying for finally arrived. It wasn't a hard rain but it lasted for several hours. It probably wasn't enough to do a lot of good but it was a help. I told someone in a cafe today they should pay me to ride through Kentucky because I have been rained on at least two days since I have been here. I like riding in the rain when it isn't cold but I worry that I am not as visible as I should be.

There is a sign by the road which says when this monestary was built. It was confusing but I think it was built in 1852.
When I got to Springfield it was still raining steadily. I decided to go to the library and update my journals and wait out the rain. I went to a local cafe and had one of the best meals I have had in a cafe. It was less that $8.00. I wanted to ride on but decided to stay here for the night. It is supposed to rain tomorrow too.

Here are a couple of interesting photos from Springfield.