Along the way I got passed by numerous farm implements of varying sizes. A couple of times I had to pull off the road to allow them to pass. After 50 miles of riding, I took a break in a random field adjacent to a stream. It was an idyllic slice of central KY, and I was fortunate enough to find a Pileated Woodpecker’s nest with chicks in it.
When I arrived in Howardstown I immediately found the gas station/restaurant. It wasn’t hard as there wasn’t much else in town, besides a liquor store. I ordered fried jalapeños, because I could and ate a snickers. As I went to pay, the lady behind the counter informed me they couldn’t take credit cards since the phone lines were down. Shit, all I had were CCs. She apologized (although it wasn’t her fault) and told me not to worry about it; she would cover the snack and dinner later. What a sweet heart!
While eating, I began to ask where I could safely camp. It seems to be the best way to find legal camping, and to not camp somewhere dangerous. The spot I had planned to camp at was near a boat ramp and river; possibly shady but also accessible by bike. Her reaction wasn’t positive; apparently, the youth of the area were notorious for causing problems down there.
That’s when another local arrived. She was the head of the one room school house and church down the road. I was invited to stay under their pavilion, and to tell other cyclists about the sleeping arrangements. I was saved (as far as sleeping is concerned). She came back a couple of times to check on me, at least that’s what I told myself.
There was truly one classroom and the library as the school. Nothing else. But there were industrial fans under the pavilion, which kicked ass. I went back to the gas station for dinner, and was treated to a local Louisville news. It was a strange reminder of how far I had come and how close I was to home: a home I was riding past in order to get to the West.
I finished dinner, returned to the pavilion, was visited one more time and told the children would be at school around 7:30. I was welcome to stay and visit with the children. I set my alarm for 6; I had no desire to play with school kids tomorrow.