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This journal entry comes to you from Mount Vernon, Indiana from Babcock & Wilcox, which is a division of Bill's previous employer. Thanks to Dave Williams and Jill Kost for their hospitality and plant tour.

April 19, Saturday
We are enjoying the luxury of staying in the same place for three nights in a row while we hike on the Adventure Hiking Trail. Today Mike Esarey took us out to the trail and hiked the 10 mile northern section with us. It was nice to have an extra person to share our conversation, and the trail continued to be a joy to hike. At one point we met three horsemen on a nearby horse trail. They asked why anyone would want to hike ten miles when they found out how far we had come that morning. Later, after dinner at the Overlook Restaurant with Mike and Deb Esarey, we reviewed our route with Mike that we planned to cover for the next two days. The area is remote and apparently confusing. Up until this point we have been able to travel through Indiana without making any wrong turns. Back at the B&B , our conversation turned to a really important issue — notable trail restaurants. We have come across several outstanding entries in our new contest. Granny's Cafeteria in Corydon inspired this idea and is a definite nominee. Other contenders so far are Weavers Restaurant in Hancock, MD, Tucker Country Inn in Parsons, WV, the Hanover College student cafeteria, and the Overlook in Leavenworth, IN.

10 miles hiked

April 20, Sunday
We bid a fond farewell to the Kintner House Inn which was a really great place to spend three nights. Corydon seems like a very friendly, comfortable town with a lot of pride in their history. It is a top notch trail town for the hiker or biker with all the services you might need (except no bike shop). We were thrilled with our route today as we traveled through part of the Harrison-Crawford State Forest, along Indiana 62 past Wyandotte Cave, and into Leavenworth where we stopped at the Overlook Restaurant for that piece of pie we couldn't manage last night. Then, we traveled on paved roads with few cars on high bluffs along the Ohio River. The views were breathtaking. Due to oxbows in the Ohio River,there is a place where you can look north from Indiana and see Kentucky. At Alton, we stopped for snacks at the Old School Country Store and chatted with Charlie McLain, the owner. He told us about the ten foot by twelve foot jail over behind the firehouse that was used to lock up riverboat rowdies during the heyday of river travel. We checked it out and took a picture of Bill behind bars. We then reached the Mogan Ridge area, which was to be a rugged off road section for the bikes. When we reached the trailhead, however, it was posted "No Bikes Allowed". Locals also told us that the old road would be muddy and in rough shape in some areas. So, we opted to ride around the area on roads. This turned out to be a very fortunate decision. As we rode into the little town of Derby, we commented about how beautiful the Ohio River was and what nice cabins lined its banks. With rain predicted for tonight, we decided to inquire about the cost of renting a cabin. When the owner, Diane, found out we were on a transcontinental journey, she offered us a wonderfully furnished cabin for only her cost for the maid service. We constantly marvel at our good fortune and the warmth and generosity of the people we meet. Later that evening we were interviewed by Phil Junker, a reporter for the local Perry County News. We also met Willa and Bob Ramsbottom. Bob is an avid cyclist and hiker who helped us plan tomorrow's route. This community seems so close-knit and friendly.

46.8 miles , 9.6 mph, 4 hours, 50 minutes.

April 21, Monday
We got off to a late start (9:30) because we waited for the rain to stop while we cooked a giant breakfast in our cottage. One of our "jobs" on this trip is to make recommendations to the state and national ADT coordinators on sections of trail needing improvement or to identify alternate bicycle routes. We had heard from the local coordinator and others that the existing ADT route for hiking was difficult to find and follow. The route we chose, with Bob's help, took us through Bristow on lightly traveled, paved roads. We arrived at the St. Meinrad Archabbey by 1:30, a short day but this unique stopover had to be experienced. St. Meinrad's is a Benedictine Monastery that has guest rooms for travelers for a nominal fee. It also houses a college campus, and is the home of Abbey Press, a publisher of gifts and cards. We toured the monastery, attended the 5pm vesper service with the 135 monks in their robes, and ate dinner in the guest house cafeteria. We also sought out the monastery computer lab to update our journal and trail notes. Brother Maurus, our host, was gracious and informative as we drilled him with questions about monastic life. Like the Graymoor Monastery on the Appalachian Trail in New York, this visit really helps your understanding of this way of life.

27 miles, 10.4 mph, 2 hours 34 minutes

April 22, Tuesday
We ate breakfast in the monastery's guest house dining room and hit the road by 7:20 am. We noticed a dramatic change in topography as we left St. Meinrad. The hills began to lessen and we started seeing long stretches of level road occasionally punctuated with small hills. We did manage to ride on about 10 miles total of nasty gravel roads — ones that had been recently supplied with deep fresh gravel. We had a nice stop at the Lincoln Boyhood National Historic Site. We toured a good museum, saw a short film, and saw a reconstructed cabin and farm outfitted as it would have been while Lincoln lived here from age 7 to age 21. We rode steady for the rest of the day, taking breaks for lunch in Boonville and buying a couple of Blizzards at Tastee Freeze. We came into Evansville from the south along a remote road near the river. After reviewing our mileage tonight, we think 70 miles is about the maximum mileage we can cover in a day, given the weight of our gear, the use of mountain bikes, and the tolerance level we have for sitting on a bike saddle for over 6 hours. We do know that it is much easier for us if we can look forward to a warm bed and a shower at the end of the day. We could probably not cover this kind of mileage if we had to camp each night. Tonight, we are in the Cool Breeze Estate Bed & Breakfast in Evansville, which is located in the historic district on 2nd street.

70 miles, 11.4 mph, 6 hours 5 min 1129 total miles biked By reaching Evansville, we have almost completed the state of Indiana. Tomorrow, we will pass Mount Vernon and enter into Illinois. On Friday, we will start our backpack trip on Illinois' River to River Trail. Therefore, we may not be able to post a journal entry for a while.

© Copyright, William & Laurel Foot, 1997, Lynchburg, VA.
The Happy Feet

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