TransAm – Day 43 – Carbondale – Marion KY

July 27, 2018
Carbondale – Marion KY
163 km (101 miles)
2080 m (6822 feet) elevation
6:43 moving time
5270 km (3275 miles)

Today was our second day riding in Illinois which so far is our favorite state to ride in. The road surface is silky smooth, the scenery is beautiful, the people nice and drivers considerate.

We rode through some quiet backroads with no traffic and wonderful scenery. It rained a lot yesterday so this morning there was dense fog so the view was limited to 100 meters or so which made riding in the forest a wonderful and almost magical experience. Our photos don’t do the beauty justice.

The hills in Illinois are not as steep as in the Ozarks but we were constantly riding up and down and ended up climbing the most number of meters in a single day so far, more than 2100 meters!

The only way to cross the Ohio river in our area is by taking the ferry which we did and enjoyed a few hundred ‘free meters’.

By crossing the river we had entered Kentucky, our second state crossing in two days. Kentucky is the state we have looked forward to riding in the least of all the states. We have been warned about loose aggressive dogs and some of these dogs are not only a nuisance but can be dangerous. A rider we met today was bitten by a dog in Missouri and had to be taken to the hospital. The police were called to the scene and the dog was put down. Another rider we met today told us he used his pump to beat dogs who come too close.

We have also been told that the riding conditions in Kentucky are not exactly the best in the US and we could see the difference right after crossing the river. The shoulder is very narrow or non-existent. So far the traffic has not been heavy so hopefully the shoulder will be better where the traffic is heavier.

There are churches on every street corners in the towns it seems like.

We are feeling strong despite a long and hilly rising day. Kentucky is the second to last state so we are beginning to feel excited about how close we are to reaching the destination.

7 thoughts on “TransAm – Day 43 – Carbondale – Marion KY

  1. Bruce Thompson

    Wow! Another 100 mile day. Utica (about 68 miles from Marion) has a popular fire station for bikers. The town of Fordsville (100 miles) has a county park on the left before you enter the town. It has a pavilion but I don’t think it has showers. There is a diner in town. Rough River Dam resort (115 miles) has lodge and camping options plus a restaurant. Call ahead, if possible, if you are considering the lodge. It might be full on a Saturday night. Considerations for tomorrow (Sunday) — between Rough River Dam and Springfield are no motel options unless you divert to Elizabethtown. There is a bed & breakfast in Sonora. White Mills has a popular fire station for bikers, with a Dollar General store and a convenience store about a mile away. You will ride past them on the way to the fire station. Hodgenville has a city park and several options for food. Sometimes the city opens the nearby community center for bikers at the park. Howardstown has a pavilion next to a church but I’m not sure that you would even have access to a bathroom on a Sunday. It is a very tiny town. When you have an approximate idea of where you might be tomorrow night (Sunday) I will go there later in the day and if I can’t find you I will drive west along the trail hoping to see you. I have a blue Honda Element. If we don’t meet at least we will have tried! The important thing is that you are rested for the next day’s journey. You are very strong riders — living among volcanoes must be good for your health. Good luck for today and tomorrow.


    1. We are in Fordsville and plan on reaching White Mills tonight. Sorry we are hard to reach but are relying on WIFI in diners and such. Hopefully we will arrive not later than 4 o’clock but likely sooner. Will update in a few hours.


      1. BRUCE Thompson

        I received your message. Will be at White Mills at 1700 unless I see you before. You enter a new time zone today before White Mills.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Bruce Thompson

    Another thought — Do not let the fear of dogs consume you. I have lived and biked in Kentucky for twenty years, never been attacked and don’t remember the last time I used my spray. Most of the dogs are in the mountains in the eastern part of the state. If you have dog spray or a loud marine horn or even a commanding voice you should be OK. Even the friendly ones can get in front of you and cause a fall so I recommend that you don’t let them get too close. You will be fine.

    Liked by 1 person

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