Wednesday August 12
Last night ended up as contest of wits between the visitors from Shelton, Team Jackson, and the home town favorites, Rascally Ravenous Raccoons. Team Jackson pulled this one out in extra innings but it could have gone either way. We had all retired to the tent and had fininshed our journals and two thirds of Team Jackson was asleep. The only one awake was of course, yours truly. The first indication that we would be having visitors came when Father Raccoon approached the entrance to our tent and began to ‘snuffle’. I am assuming it was sniffing for food, but it certainly caught my attention. I hadn’t noticed it until I heard it first. I hollered at it and it scampered away. Of course this also woke up the other two thirds of team Jackson. There was a lively debate about who would stay watch to protect the others. Lewis volunteered to take the first shift. I decided to take all of our food panniers and my handle bar bag and store them in the bathroom as there were very few low hanging branches in which to hang the food. The extended raccoon family came back within a half hour and everyone got to see them this time. We hollered again as they were climbing all over the picnic table and bikes which were leaning against the table. Again they scampered off! This would be the last time that we bothered them. I awoke one more time in the middle of the night to 5 raccoons all within a couple feet of the entrance of our tent. They had given up on the bikes and were wondering if there might still be some people in the tent. I convinced them that we hadn’t left by whispering to them to just scat, which they promptly did. Final score: Team Jackson 3, Raccoons 0.
While we beat them, I paid the price by having interrupted sleep once again. We were all awake and packing by 6:15 and managed to pedal away from the state park at just a little after 7:00. We paid for our night ($12) on the way out as there was no one at the entrance when we arrived the evening before. Had we been able to get on the road just 10 minutes earlier, I’m certain we would have escaped with no one noticing we had even spent the night, hence saving $12 for something else. But it was worth the money to have a shower, but the raccoons detracted from our relaxation just a bit.
Our first destination was a mile back down the road to a restaurant that we had passed on the way to the Park. We all had a filling breakfast and once again, Lewis was the center of attention. He is certainly getting used to people asking him the same questions over and over again. And he usually answers them the same every time. “Do you ever pedal back there?” : “No”. “How do you like spending your summer on a bicycle?” : “It’s boring”. Donna and I both know different though. He is enjoying this more than we are as he doesn’t have to work nearly as hard as either one of us. He is often the recipient of special treats that we don’t merit. Go figure!
We began riding at about 8:30. The day began with splendid weather. Temperatures in the low 70’s that eventually topped out in the upper 80’s but with low humidity, it seemed much cooler than that. We made steady progress, stopping for drinks and or icecream in places like Madrid, McDaniels, Eastview, and finally Sonora. It was during our ride today that I discovered we no longer had posession of our digital camera. The last time I remember using it was at the Baptist Church in SeBree. I downloaded some pictures and may have left it on the counter in the cyclists area. That is what I am hoping. The other possibility is that it was taken from my handlebar bag while I wasn’t looking. Those raccoons may have pulled one over on me! There were many opportunities for the camera to have been taken, but I have a strong feeling that it is at the church. We haven’t been able to contact them yet but will try again tomorrow. In the meantime, no new pictures. We had our lunch in Eastview at a gas station/pizza store which had free wifi. It has been days since wifi has been available so I checked e-mail and responded to one and then Donna responded to a couple but there was no time to update the blog so it remains days behind. But the journal keeps going. So just hang in there and all will become clear, eventually.
Our ultimate destination today was Hodgeville, Kentucky. This is the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. We pulled into town just past 5:30 and discovered not much of a town. We had expected more and were just a bit dissapointed. I was prepared to get a motel room if the price was right. NO MOTELS! So we found the county Park behind the middle school and that’s where we are right now. No showers again but we have bathrooms and several ball diamonds to goof around on. We have to scram in the morning though as school has already started here in Kentucky (and also in Missouri). We’ll be going to the Abe Lincoln Museum in the morning and hopefully I will get to visit the Library to update the blog. Lewis earned his 5th transformer of the trip today. We had purchased this over a week ago and had been using it as a carrot to get him to keep up on his journal.
But the transformers have been losing their appeal to him. Within a day of receiving them, he's already relegated them to his bin of forgotten toys. And when riding a bicycle across the country, one doesn't really want to carry a bin of forgotten toys!