Marion

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First day of rain, first ferry trip, first miles in Kentucky, and first stop in a church ! I’m now in the dog state. I hope I’ll be ok.

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Leaving from the ranch this morning was quite strange, the sky was so dark it felt like dusk. The photos don’t carry that feeling. I was happy I didn’t get sick due to the subway sandwich that had gone through a day of heat. Still, there was no way it wasn’t going to rain. After half an hour I was seeing flashes of lightning due east. But I remained hopeful I could avoid rain, just because, you know, I’ve been lucky up to now.

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After 9 am, a few drops of rain, that quickly built up to a steady rain, and then real buckets of water washing in my face (plus of course headwind). As Zhang told me, it’s not too bad. Well I wasn’t seeing anything anymore but taking my glasses off helped. The real strong rain lasted only for 20 or 30 minutes. I was completely soaked, but not more than on a hot day, and apparently I kept on moving forward. Still, a couple cars stopped to ask if I was ok – they were probably concerned about my mental sanity. But I reached Elizabethtown and it was almost done.

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I encountered Anthony and Rick, also going west, who had been following my trail of business cards all over the middle west. Going much faster than me, they passed me by yesterday evening, but had been waiting the rain out at the gas station. There, I tried changing my socks, as my feet were again in their own little pools, but it didn’t help. The shoes were so much soaked that the new socks were wet immediately. Next time I will swallow my pride and wrap my feet in plastic bags.

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We moved over towards the ferry over the ohio river, rain resumed but on a much lower level. Illinois was done ! The ferry was a very quick trip to the other side, the ninth state, Kentucky. I was there finally ! After this one is done, I’ll be very close I the end.

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A good thing with the rain, the dogs, being less stupid, were all hiding. I got left behind quickly and reached Marion around 1 pm, having been quite slow all the way. I was drenched, and unsure which motel to go to. So I stopped at the McDonalds to have lunch. They have wifi and cold coke, and that’s enough to feel better.

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In there I was immediately approached by the local pastor (Methodist pastor, to be precise, every town having four or five different Christian churches around, I even saw a Catholic church today). He offered to host me and gave me directions. At this point I knew that there was a lot of possible stops at churches all over Kentucky, sometimes being the only possible stop. But I had planned to go to a motel and I have a very hard time changing plans. So it took me the whole meal to switch tracks.

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And there I was, at the church office (already a strange combination of words to me), at the back of the church and at a very large building that is mostly used for Christian school. There’s all the facilities, even a DVD player with… Bruce almighty. A good thing I left the DVD of Seven back in Farmington.

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There I met with Jerry and Nathaly, going west, who stayed the rain here over the day. The church welcomes almost 200 riders every year ! They came along withe over to the laundry, where I had to dry out my shoes and my clothes, if I wanted to move again the next day. We also exchanged tips on the trail and if course, on dogs encounter.

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Another state flag ! Jesus says “wow”.

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