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VIDEO | Drifting into Illinois

August 8, 2021 –  Goreville, IL – Sometimes you just have to trust the signs; small indications that it is probably best to get off the road and call it a day.

Took off early at 7 a.m. sharp on Saturday to clock 100 miles, cross from Kentucky into Illinois, and make time.

Within 16 miles that plan went sideways… but, you roll with it. This is vacation.

Some great challenging hills, awesome roads, and great sights including the 90-foot Jefferson Memorial Cross at the Confluence.

Brief history: Started in 1937 when a few members of the community choir spearheaded by Mrs. Noah Geveden erected the small wooden cross on a hill at the ancient buried city now known as Wickliffe Mounds Research Center in Wickliffe, Kentucky.

Originally it was a 35-foot pole with cross arms.

Bill Howle wired it with 325 bulbs. The bulbs were lit during Easter and Christmas each year.

In 1981 it became necessary to seek another location for the cross. It was then that the idea was born to build a cross tall enough to be seen from the tri-states of Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky. The cross would be 90 feet tall and lit at night for all to see.

Fundraising began and 51 churches were represented on a committee. The original estimate for the project started at $150,000; by the time the project was done, it cost $316,405. Groundbreaking was held on May 22, 1994 with coverage from local TV and newspapers.

Slipped across the quarter mile bridge over the Ohio River and Mississippi River and found the great Hwy 37 north. Clipped off a steady 16 mph on the flats before hitting up/down.

Which brought me into Goreville and “the signs.”  It was about 4 p.m. but the weather was great, lots of daylight left and I could get 15 more miles in to Marion, IL.

Then I thought I heard someone talking; like a radio broadcast. I stopped and checked; my phone was off. Started again and heard it again… slowed and then an apple bounced past me, and then a bunch of grapes.

Upon further investigation, part of my hobo pack on the back of my bike had slipped down the bungee cord and rubbed against my back tire – that created a hole in the bag and the eventual attack of the fruit salad.

I decided to handle the loss by running over a nail and puncturing my back tire.

Luckily I’m still in town and rolled safely under the canopy of the local liquor store to fix the flat.

In steps Josh who asks if I’m riding the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail.

Josh said his church, United Methodist, has a free place for bicyclists to stay.

And with that I listen to the signs, fix the bike, roll back into town, meet Bill and Clairus Pritchett who let me into the church and you can watch the video above to see what my church motel for the night looks like.

What a great start so far in Illinois.

On a side note: Moving forward, when I roll my bike into the weeds to take a picture I will now be sure to scan for snakes first. Scenario below.


Now who wants to go back in and retrieve the bike?

Have I not commanded you? …  Be strong and courageous. … Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9

The 2021 Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s is raising money this year for music programming for seniors at Cedar Community, a 501c3, so all donations are tax-deductible.

Donate via the secure website through Cedar Community.  Donations should be marked “Amazing Ride 2021.” Click HERE to make a secure online donation.

Checks may be made payable to “Cedar Community Foundation” with “Judy Bike Ride” in the memo line and mailed to 113 Cedar Ridge Dr., West Bend, WI 53095

Be sure to include the Federal Tax ID Number for the Foundation: 39-1249432

You may also find a downloadable donation form HERE.

Cedar Community is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, and donations are tax-deductible.

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