Day 12, Springfield, KY – Hudson, KY 98 miles (926 total)
Time on bike: 8:51:16
Avg: 11.1 mph
Daily Ascent: 5696 ft (58 ft/mile)
Max: 36 mph
The morning began just outside of the Lincoln Homestead just a few miles west of Springfield. Three log cabin structures stood in the morning mist where Abraham Lincoln’s father was raised until he was 25. I continued on to Bardstown which is the 2nd oldest city in Virginia when it was settled in the 1780s. Bardstown was the first center of Catholicism west of the Appalachian Mountains. The Diocese of Bardstown was established on February 8, 1808, and served all Catholics between the Appalachians and the Mississippi River, an area now served by 44 dioceses and archdioceses in 10 states. Bardstown is nicknamed the Bourbon Capital of the World. It is home to such distilleries as Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark and Heaven Hill. Bardstown is also the home of My Old Kentucky Home State Park, on which the Federal Hill mansion (the alleged inspiration for Stephen Foster's song "My Old Kentucky Home") was built.
As I cycled through Bardstown the Catholic presence was evident as I began to pass several concrete statues of the Virgin Mary, some of which were sheltered by a half buried bathtub creating a cave of sorts to shelter the statue. The statues were somewhat eerie to cycle past, I have to admit. They seemed to come from nowhere and they were in a number of yards and they had quite an elegant shrine built around them.
It was a welcome relief, of sorts, to run across interstate 65 because I went to college just off of 65 at Purdue, so it felt like a piece of home and also a milestone to cross as I felt like I was making progress. Dark clouds ahead caused me to pull off into a gas station and wait a few hours to see what the weather was going to do. The wind picked up but there was no rain so I pushed on ahead.
I went longer than usual trying to make up for the stoppage time and found myself in a rural farm land area looking for a place to put up my tent. A woman picking up sticks in her yard yelled at me, “Do you want to sign our guest book at the store?” “Well, to be honest, I’m looking for a place to put up my tent.” “You can do that too, let me get the keys and open the store back up.” So I ended up talking to Arnold, Lucy and Lauren, their 13 year old “mature” daughter until 10:30pm telling stories of Africa. We sat in their store and watched TV and sat around their booths and tables late into the night. Their store, as with many country stores, was a hodgepodge of a little bit of everything. The shelves weren’t stocked deep with items, but they made up for it with variety of items. Everything from cans of beans to fan belts for an automobile. They allowed me to take a shower which was also in the store and then fed me sausage biscuits for breakfast the next morning. Kentucky hospitality is a wonderful thing!