We got an early start and made our way through the eastern suburbs of Louisville and into downtown using the route that Jason helped us scout out the night before. As we crossed the bridge over into Indiana, we could see the swimmers in the river for the first leg of the Ironman Triathlon.
We looked for a place to get breakfast in Jeffersonville, IN. There was a vendor selling newspapers on a corner, and he recommended a place called Jerry’s up the street. As we tried to find it, we took a wrong turn and ended up almost getting on the Interstate, but luckily there was an exit ramp that put us back down on the street, and finally we found Jerry’s. The place was a good family-style restaurant. Afterwards, we noticed a Sherwin-Williams store in the shopping plaza right across the street. It was closed, but we posed for a picture in front of it anyway.
The route through Indiana involved many steep, winding roads. We took a break to fill our water bottles in a fountain in the public square in the town of Corydon. More steep hills ensued as we made our way back to the Ohio River and the Kentucky border. Yes, when you’re talking about riding around a river valley, even Indiana is not as flat as you would imagine.
When you look ahead on a map and see a town where you can look forward to taking a break, you get this picture in your head of what it will be like. But it turns out these towns are not always the inviting oasis that you imagine. The appeared to show the bridge across the river going right into downtown Brandenburg, KY. So, we imagined an easy coast out of the Indiana hills to the river, where we’d cruise across the bridge to find a cozy cafe to enjoy a nice lunch. It was not so pleasant, though.
The Ohio River is VERY wide, and the bridge at this particular crossing was all UPHILL in the direction we were going. Once we got to the Kentucky side, it was a mile or two MORE uphill before we actually got to Brandenburg. And the road was just a currently under-construction bypass that was not very near to the downtown area at all, and most of the only places available for lunch were fast-food chains. We stopped at a grocery store to stock up for tonight’s dinner and tomorrow’s breakfast. We checked out a couple of local places for lunch, but both were closed, until we finally found a Mr. Gatti’s pizza buffet that fit the bill well enough.
The rest of the day involved more steep hills in the August heat and humidity, until we finally reached the Yellowbank Wildlife Management Area campground. This is a primitive campground, with no running water or other services. We had planned to stock up on water about 10 miles earlier at a gas station that was shown on the Adventure Cycling Association map, but this gas station was nowhere to be found.
There were a couple of groups of hunters camped at the area, so we wandered over and made friends with one group, who were from the Louisville area and were there for a dove hunt that was organized for the next day. When we mentioned that we were short on water, they were nice enough to lend us one of their jugs of water. We used enough to make our dinner and fill our water bottles enough to get us started on the ride the next morning.
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