Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cave in Rock, IL

On the Road

We woke this morning to cloud covered skies and moderate temperatures: perfect biking weather. As Dave hit the road out of Carbondale Lauren and I stayed behind gathering our things and saying our goodbyes. Once we were on the road we cruised for 41 miles before meeting up with Dave in Simpson, IL.

The rest day made Dave's legs fresh. "Forty miles is nothing any more," he proclaimed. "I feel like I just finished my warm up!" He covered the last 42 miles, back roads that follow the gently sloping hills of southern Illinois, in no time at all. We had all arrived at our destination, Cave in Rock, by 2.

Cave in Rock is a small town that sits on the edge of the Ohio River. Main St. is usually congested with a line of 5 or 6 cars waiting to load the ferry that traverses the river and arrives on the Kentucky shore. We sat in a small cafe a few roads back from the river and ate a hearty meal before setting up camp in the state park.

The state park is divided into two parts, the campground and the town's namesake: a large cave in a large rock. We ventured down there around 5. A light rain drizzled on us as we descended the stone staircase to the river bank. The river was quiet. The cave itself is mammoth in size and has a surprisingly long history. Travelers in the area marked its existence as early as 1739, but when Lewis and Clark came across the cave in the early 19th century it had been used for some time as a hide out for thieves, murders, and counterfeiters.

Cycling is great and all, but sometimes you just need to get your lift on. Here's Dave at the entrance to Cave in Rock doing some dips.

Dave, Lauren, and I wandered around the cave for a while before meandering down to the river shore to watch a large barge struggle upstream. The rain started to pick up so we made our way back to the campsite, found some shelter, and have spent the past few hours reading away. As I type Dave and Lauren have just started a game of Yahtzee. Tensions are rising.

But an hour ago the rain was coming down quite hard. It has started to subside now and we hope it clears up a little bit for tomorrow. The ferry will take us to Kentucky tomorrow where we will ride 80 or so miles (is Dave even getting a workout anymore?) to our destination.

The state park at Cave in Rock, IL. You can see Kentucky just across the Ohio River.

Fact of the Day

39.5 million people were living with HIV in 2006. The magnitude of the virus, a virus that does not discriminate between white and black, man or woman, gay or straight, is one of the many reasons we have chosen to spend out summer spreading awareness about this disease.

Trivia Contest
Answer to this morning's question: Popeye the Sailor. Popeye's creator, Elzie Crisler Segar, was born and raised in Chester, IL a small town on the Mississippi River.

Answer to this morning's BONUS question: Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri in 1835. Once described by William Faulkner as "the father of American fiction", Mark Twain's often wrote about his homeland and the river it bordered.

Today's trivia question: This is more of a research project. Name five schools, other than Stanford, that have Face AIDS chapters. (2 points/school, 10 points max).

With two correct answers this morning, Mrs. Evans leaps onto the scoreboard with 15 points! The top of the leader board remains unchanged: Nate Rooks (30 points) is followed by a tie in 2nd place between KTO and Matty Pru (20 points a piece).

Other News

Dave recently uploaded about 100 more photos to SnapFish. If you want see all of our fun and games, click on the link on the left side of the page. There are some great ones!

1 comment:

  1. I'm goin' for the prize here!!

    There are 5 chapters in Illinois (since that's the state you're in now!)

    Illinois Wesleyan University
    Columbia College
    Whitney M Young Magnet High School
    Hinsdale Central High School
    University of Illinois at Campaign-Urbana