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Uphill and Against the Wind - TransAm E-W
By Dave T

Day 22: Rough River SP to Sebree - Fred the bootlegger and a BBQ

Saturday June 7, 1986, 78 miles (126 km) - Total so far: 1,092 miles (1,757 km)

Gene was shaking my tent at 5:30am so I got up and got things packed up. While I was packing Gene was patiently waiting for me to get ready when all of a sudden Gene freaked out and yelled... "WHERE'S MY WALLET??".... He somehow misplaced his wallet and over the next 30 minutes checked the whole campground then started to unpack all his stuff. Everyone else was sleeping, but Gene made enough noise to wake a hibernating bear. During the unpacking the nylon against nylon was enough to irritate all the members from the BC group and he got a few 4 letters words thrown at him. FINALLY, he found his wallet, stuffed at the bottom of his pannier in yesterday's pants. Poor Gene, another day in a dry county and he'll forget where he put his bike!

The day was hot, humid and sunny. I'm glad we got going early because hot afternoons are tough physically. The terrain is like deja'vu, rolling hills through tobacco country once again. We actually had a pretty good ride, passing thru many small towns with little population. We got to Sebree about 2pm and got some lunch, bad lunch at that.

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Kentucky Tobacco Country

Photo courtesy and copyright by Gordon Hamachi

Guess what? Another dry county and Gene is about to break down crying once again. The rest of the BC group arrived and we discussed our dilemma of another dry county. Somehow while inquiring about a cold beer I found out that the county just north was wet and there was a liquor store right on the county line, about 4 miles away. I'm told this is a common occurrence here in Kentucky, putting a store right at the county line.

While we decided it was not acceptable to go the night without a cold beer we decide that someone has to go (to the next county). Sheryl and Diane looked tired so the men stepped up and drew straws, and Fred was the short stick (no pun intended Fred). So, everyone anteed up, and Fred went on his way to the next county for beer. Fred, we figured would take like 3 hours, and we all sat around laughing about it as we setup camp. We shouldn't have been laughing because when Fred returned (about an hour), not only did he have a case of beer but IT WAS ON ICE! Fred took the big BC billy pot Sheryl was carrying and put 24 beers in it, covered them with ice and strapped it to his rack. These were the coldest and best tasting beers so far. Funny...Fred is lucky he didn't get robbed by 2 hillbillies in a pickup truck. Someone could have drove past him and swiped a beer.

Now that we had beer some food was in order. When we were discussing dinner a big church group showed-up at the park and started a big BBQ picnic. I bunch of ladies came over and invited us all to join in the BBQ as there was plenty of food. I asked the lady if anyone would be offended if we brought beer. Hell no, we're Catholic's the one lady said. This was funny because all across Appalachia I didn't see one Catholic Church. I am Catholic, or supposed to be anyway. I feel way more comfortable picnicking with the Catholics......

Big day tomorrow 90 miles or so, and going into Illinois, got to get some sleep. The city park was right next to the train tracks (go figure). During the night 5 trains went by and scared the crap out of me, and I didn't sleep very well. ~~~


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