David Freeze ride update: Going off the trail to see Lincoln’s birthplace
Editor’s note: David Freeze is biking coast to coast. His trek started June 10 in Oregon. He’s sending dispatches from the road to be published in the newspaper, at www.salisburypost.com, and on his blog, “Gotta Run” at blog.salisburypost.com/gottarun
Thursday, July 25
Once again, I woke up to great weather. The days are starting to get a little shorter, so the day’s ride is now beginning after 6. I left the Double L Hostel, headed for Sonora. It was great getting to know the Lucas family and Matthias from Berlin, too.
The 20-mile ride to Sonora wasn’t too hard, and besides a few dog encounters, all went well. A good portion of it was through another section of Amish farmland. They do such a great job of farming and diversifying to keep the farms profitable.
As I was following the maps, I realized that I was going to come within a mile of Lincoln’s birthplace. I was set to turn away and head east, but I rode on down to see the memorial to the late president as well as what we think his first cabin looked like. One of the rangers and I talked about his boyhood home on display close by, a shorter route to Bardstown and my planned visit to Stephen Foster’s town. I decided to see all of these things, knowing that I would get to climb plenty of hills and wouldn’t miss any of that.
Both Lincoln sites were well worth seeing, but I was disappointed to see that the boyhood home is locked up tight and not staffed currently. That has been a recurring theme as I crossed the country, seeing interesting National Park Service sites with no one working them. I left there and headed for Bardstown, a place with plenty of history and downtown beauty. It was actually rated the most beautiful downtown in the U.S.
Upon arriving in Bardstown, I thought that I wanted to see Foster’s home, thinking that it was the subject of his ballad, “My Old Kentucky Home.” I found out that the home actually belonged to a relative who was a famous politician. I paid to go see the grounds and exterior of the home which is now part of a state park. The famous song was playing on a carillon while I was there. The sound was absolutely beautiful.
From Bardstown, I had to figure out how to reconnect with the Transamerica Trail. I had earlier asked Kim Jeffires in Bardstown lots of questions. Some of these included how to find the famous Foster home, why Verizon doesn’t work in the area, what road could best get me best to Springfield, and more. Thanks to Kim for taking the time to time to answer my questions with a smile.
Finally, I headed out to Springfield and realized that I was on a very busy road with narrow lanes. It wasn’t wide enough for me to ride, especially if there were tractor trailers meeting each other. I did eventually make it Springfield where I am spending tonight. Total mileage was 82 for the day.
Tomorrow, I hope to make it to Berea, Ky., and finish out map 10. I will give a mileage update once that is done. Virginia is just around the corner.
Left over from yesterday’s update is the fact that I promised to put Matthias Erb’s website in today’s update. He is riding solo westbound, supporting himself on the ride, and lives in Berlin. He is doing the trip for fun and adventure, but wanted to see America before he has to go to work full time. Read about him at www.greatest-trip.blogspot.com .
David Freeze lives in Rowan County.