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ADT JOURNAL: CHAPTER 13
April 13, Sunday
Paul drove us back to Elizabethtown to resume our trip. He and Lois certainly treated us royally while we stayed with them. We climbed onto our bikes at 8:15 am in a light drizzle. After crossing the Indiana line it began to rain harder, so we stopped for donuts. A little way down the road, the rain, and at times, freezing rain, required another stop at a Hardees in Lawrenceburg. Starting again, the trail was beautiful along Laughery (pronounced Loffery) Creek. But, again, it began to rain ice pellets on us, stinging our faces. We asked a man out tending his garden if we could wait it out in his barn. It turned out John and Judy Pater owned a design and build woodworking shop. We got a tour of his clean and well-appointed shop and next they invited us in for some homemade soup. They told us about this historic valley and the hopes they had for their expanding business with the recent investment in the area due to the riverboat gambling casino in Rising Sun. On the road again, the weather was cool with occasional rain or sleet. We rode through Farmers Retreat and stopped in Friendship for the night, thoroughly cold. Friendship is the home of the American Muzzle Loading Rifle Association. Locals told us that during their summer events, upwards of 50,000 people converge on the place, effectively strangling traffic on all area roads for miles around. We ate leftovers from a volunteer fireman's fund raising dinner and camped in a vacant trailer in a flea market campground. Tonight's temperatures are predicted to be in the mid-20's.
42.1 miles, 10.3 mph, 4 hours, 4 min
April 14, Monday
There was a hard frost on the ground this morning 25 degrees by the small thermometers we carry on our bikes. The ride today was gorgeous with many paved level roads and clear blue skies. About 5 miles into the ride, we met an A.T. hiker trail-named "Doctari" or "Smokehkr" on AOL. He is also a bike enthusiast. He offered to sag our panniers about 20 miles and ride portions of the route with us. It was an unexpected surprise which we thoroughly enjoyed. We ate lunch in Madison and rode through Clifty Falls State Park, taking time for a short hike to view two of the waterfalls. It was really a pretty park. Then, on to Hanover College, where we met Stan Totten, a geology professor who has been an active ADT supporter who helped lay out and mark much of the trail in southern Indiana. We are enjoying the luxury of a nice room in the Campus Center at the college tonight. We are glad to be in out of the cold.
We have made several early observations of Indiana thus far, perhaps too early they may not hold. Anyway, the hills seem much less severe than Ohio or West Virginia we are actually able to ride most of them without walking the bikes. Second, we have seen far fewer roadside trash dumps and the highways seem to have less litter. Finally, we notice very few "no trespassing" and "keep out" signs posted along the roads. They seemed to be everywhere in West Virginia and Ohio.
50 miles, 10.3 mph, 4 hours 48 min 902 miles total biked thus far
April 15, Tuesday
Today was the best weather yet. It reached the 60's today. The day started out with mostly level roads and the hills grew as we traveled west. >From Hanover College we descended back down to the Ohio River level and rode along a peaceful gravel road (complete with road closed signs). We ascended up to the bluff again and rode through nice farmland for the rest of the day. We stopped for lunch at the Pigeon roost Memorial, the site of an 1812 Indian massacre of 24 settlers. Next, we reached the Clark State Forest office to make arrangements for tomorrow's hike along the Knobstone Trail. We ended up getting a ride down to Deam Lake Campground where they agreed to store our bikes in the compound during our hike tomorrow. The plan is to hike back up to the Clark Forest office and find another ride back to Deam Lake. The ranger here is loaning us a daypack for the hike.
The spring flowers are really beginning to pop. Today, we saw redbud, bluets, dandelions, spring beauties, and dogwood buds. Today's warmth was really appreciated, but rain and cooler temps are predicted for tomorrow.
36 miles, 10.5 mph, 3 hours 26 min
April 16, Wednesday
Things worked out great today for our hike on the Knobstone Trail. We left our campsite at Deam Lake at 7:20 am and took a side trail that joined the Knobstone Trail (KT) in 1 1/2 miles. The KT reminded us of the A.T. steep in sections, white-blazed, and good treadway. There were a few blowdowns as the spring crews haven't been out yet. Then, 1/2 hour after commiserating about the lack of other hikers, we ran into James and his dog. James just completed a southbound winter thru-hike of the A.T. He started in Maine in October and finished at Springer just 4 days ago. Now, he is hiking some of the ADT and just got on the Knobstone Trail today. It seems that the ADT is sparking the interest and imagination of a number of people. After chatting a while, we hiked on and finished our 14 miles on the KT. Then, we walked 3 more miles down to the State Forest office where we got a shuttle back to Deam Lake where we are spending another night in this fine campground.
17 miles hiked
April 17, Thursday
It was a cold night so we got off to a late start 9 am. The roads to New Albany were paved and level and we made good time, but half froze to death doing so. When we reached New Albany, we rode down "Mansion Row". We saw the stately Culbertson House and noticed they offered free tours. We took them up on their offer and got a chance to see a beautiful 150 year old house plus we were able to warm up our chilled bodies in the process. As we left the Ohio River, the land became rolling with some gravel roads. Strong winds also added to the cold weather and occasional snow flurries.
Laurie has perfected the art of drafting, which is a biker's term for riding as close as possible behind Bill for protection from the wind. Bill thinks a better term for this practice is "breaking wind". This also allows Bill to expend lots more energy pedaling so that Laurie can breather easier. Are you listening, Bruce?
We were thoroughly tired when we got into Corydon and checked into the Kintner House B&B. This is a great old restored inn even though we had to drag our bikes up 2 flights of stairs as we opted for the cheaper room on the 3rd floor. We went out to dinner with Janet Martin, president of the Southern Indiana Hiking Club, who is a local supporter of the ADT. We made arrangements for tomorrow's shuttle to hike a portion of the Adventure Hiking Trail.
45.7 miles, 10.8 mph, 4 hours 11 min 986 bike miles total
April 18, Friday
One of the objectives of the ADT is to link together existing trails. This objective was superbly met today as we hiked on the Adventure Hiking Trail in the Harrison-Crawford State Forest. Mike Esarey, another SIHC member and ADT supporter picked us up at the B&B and dropped us at the trailhead this morning. This 26 mile trail, of which about 22 miles is co-aligned with the ADT, was a real pleasure. The 12 miles of the AHT that we hiked today passes through one of the great karst landscapes of Indiana. This trail may be unique in that I can't think of any other karst area traversed by a hiking trail. "Karst" is a Yugoslavian word for exposed limestone terrain which contains caves, pits, sinkholes, and dry streambeds that have had their water "pirated" into underground rivers. The freshness of spring and the emerging flowers made this a very enjoyable hike. The trail is well-blazed and easy to follow, the maintenance was top notch, and there were even three hiker shelters that backpackers could camp in. And, on top of all that, the weather was perfect with sunny skies and warm temps. Janet Martin then picked us up at the end of the hike and brought us back to Corydon. We spent the rest of the day doing chores like laundry, typing our journal, and getting an interview with The Corydon Democrat newspaper.
12 miles hiked
© Copyright, William & Laurel Foot, 1997, Lynchburg, VA.
The Happy Feet