I have only been in Kentucky for about 40 hours, but I love it here. People are super friendly and the landscape is beautiful. The biggest drawback I have found is the smell of the chicken slaughter houses. It’s pretty disturbing, and I now have a vivid picture of the scenes described in “Omnivore’s Dilemma.” I think I might go back to being a vegetarian as soon as I finish the trip. The look that cows give me as I ride by has already caused me to stop eating beef.
Anyways, besides that little tidbit, Kentucky is awesome! Ale and I have been in Sebree for a day and a half. We came in last night and stayed at a church, which offered cyclist lodging. The place is unbelievable! We have our own room and they have showers and laundry and a TV with huge couches. It is fricken amazing! To top it all off, the pastor’s wife, Violet, fixed us a wonderful dinner and talked with us for hours. She is a fascinating woman, who is one of the most honest, pure, and loving individuals I have come across. She fixes dinner for every cyclist that comes through and has outrageous stories. She has already hosted 250 cyclists this summer. Spending the night with Violet made me want to live somewhere along the transam when I am older and host cyclists coming through.
When Violet asked about our bikes and I mentioned my chain problem (it fell off twice on the way to Seebree), she offered to drive us to Evansville, Indiana to get it fixed. Since the next bike shop isn’t for another 250miles, I was extremely grateful for the offer and decided to take her up on it. The next morning, Ale, Violet, Geit (Australian biker going east to west), Tray (Violet’s grandsons), and I all piled in the car with our bikes and set off for the nearest bike shop. The ride was about an hour, and I sat next to Tray who talked the entire time. He is four years old and is one of the cutest kids I have ever met. His southern accent combined with his four year old questions and answers, kept me laughing the whole ride. We talked a lot about his 6 year old girlfriend and what it meant to date an older woman. He was adorable! He told me he wanted to learn to fly a spaceship so he could go get his girlfriend a star and bring it to her.
We ended up getting my bike adjusted and Ale and I stocked up on Stinger waffles and bars. After the bike store, Violet took us to the best healthy restaurant in town (Olive Garden). We had a wonderful meal and then headed back home to Sebree; Tray entertained us the whole way back.
When we got back to the church, Ale, Geit, and I watched a movie and each ate a bag of extra butter popcorn. It was truly a wonderful day off. When the movie finished, Ale and I decided to take advantage of the game room… dangerous. Ale and I have always had a sort of joke competitive thing going on, so things started to heat up as soon as we began to rally on the ping pong table. (sidenote: the first day I met Ale was at the Stanford field hockey summer camp, and she was desperate to find something she could beat me in. She made me do a push up, plank holding, and pull up contest in the dorm room after the day of hockey. Unfortunately for Ale I was in the best shape of my life and beat her in every category. Since Ale was not at all accustomed to losing, it became a running joke that she would find something to beat me at.) The ping pong score went up to 30, as we were literally one point apart the entire game. We were both sweating by the end. Ale was much better than I anticipated and when I asked her where she learned to play, she responded with, “ping pong class freshmen year, duh! While you were taking classes like math and physics, I was taking useful life classes.” We laughed throughout the entire game and finally Ale finished me off. Well done Ale.
We immediately moved on to the air hockey game. We screamed (it is way more scary than I remember) every time the puck jumped up and at one point Ale chipped the puck right at my crotch. The puck didn’t do any damage (luckily) but we thought it was fricken hilarious. I crossed my legs then ran to the bathroom praying that I didn’t wet my pants in a church. I think that is the hardest I have laughed in awhile. I ended up winning the air hockey game and then we were on to pool within seconds. I hit the 8 ball in about 10 minutes into the game, so it was a short one. Ale won the tournament. We put on some more deodorant and then went upstairs to have dinner with Violet, Geit, and Bob (Violet’s husband).
Ale and I helped Violet with the dinner prep as we all sang and danced to oldies in the kitchen. The actual dinner was delicious, and dessert was even better. It was so nice to be around the table in a warm home. I was blown away by Violet’s stories about her upbringing and how she became the person she is today. I was almost in tears at certain parts of the story. She is an absolutely incredible woman.
After dinner, Violet and Bob taught us a game called “O Hell” (pronounced, “o heck” in their house). It was very fun and we stayed up for hours playing and laughing. It was a wonderful night that I will never forget.