Day 24: Golden Retriever torpedo

7/8/15: 63 miles, Cave-in-Rock, Ill., to Goreville, Ill.

After we cleared out of the cabin, I loaded our wet crap into the car and our bikes on the back. Of course, the rear windshield was fogged up, and I gently backed into a small tree (really?! really). That’s what I get for not driving a car in a month.

I ran out to check the bikes, and it all appeared fine. Phew.

I drove John, Michelle and I back down to the Ohio River where we’d officially commence day 24. Said important goodbyes and moseyed on. We rode by what looked to be a low-security prison, setting a warm tone for the day.

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Day 23: Garden of the Gods (Rest Day)

7/7/15: Cave-in-Rock, Ill.

Rest day. We got a cabin at Rim Rock’s Dogwood Cabins, a few miles up the road from Cave-in-Rock. John and I threw our bikes on the car and drove up there. God, we stank.

Rim Rock’s was a pretty laid back place, owned by an older couple and dogs were allowed. — there were horses, goats, peacocks and other animals on the property.

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Day 22: So long, Ohio River

7/6/15: 60 miles, Sebree, Ky., to Cave-in-Rock, Ill.

Even though we slept in once of the nicest accommodations of the trip so far, I didn’t sleep much. You know how they say one side of the brain stays awake when you’re sleeping in an unfamiliar place? It’s supposedly a vestigial trait from the caveman days to keep us aware of predators while we sleep, or whatever. Anyway, that.

As John and I worked on a pot of coffee, we added our push-pins to the big wall map indicating the hometown of bike tourers who came before us. In town, we hit up The Dairy Bar for a simple diner breakfast.

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Day 21: Murph the Surf! (Serf?)

7/5/15: 36 miles, Owensboro, Ky., to Sebree, Ky.

Short day.

After waking up a bit groggy from drinking a case of Sierra Nevadas with John and Bryan, I slowly extracted myself from my tent and went over to jostle John from the garage.

“Do you remember last night when Bryan said he was going to make us breakfast?” John asked. I didn’t. But the prospect suddenly made me feel better.

Inside, sure enough, Bryan whipped together scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns and coffee. He, Will and Josh then went to church. They invited John and I, but we politely declined the offer. In the meantime, we did a load of laundry, showered and tore down camp from their backyard. We planned to leave when they returned. In the meantime, I decided to empty out my handlebar bag and sort through the crap that accumulated in it. I cleaned it up:

Day 20: What's in my @ortliebusa handlebar bag. #Knolling #packrat

A post shared by Nick Wright (@nwrighteous) on

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Day 20: Independence Day in Owensboro

7/4/15: 87 miles, Mauckport, Ind., to Owensboro, Ky.

Barely slept with the bar bumping until 2 a.m. across the lawn. Though, waking up to the  Ohio River, sweeping by just yards away with a swollen, quiet stillness, was worth it.

We got out of camp shortly after sunrise, not expecting to see anyone from the night before — hell, it’d only been a few hours since the last of ’em went home. There were a few runners, astonishingly, congregating at the far end of Mauckport. They must’ve known that half the town was sleeping off their raucous night, all but eliminating traffic from their route.
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We crossed the Ohio back into Kentucky over the Welsh Bridge, which slanted uphill against our favor. It was two lanes without any sidewalk or bike lane. So John and I waited for a long gap in traffic and tried to blast across.

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