We awoke early after our second night at Brown County State Park's Horseman's camp partly so we could pack up and get out without being seen, but also so we could make it to Nashville for lunch with Jenny's stepfather John. The morning was largely uneventful, we stopped off at a gas station on the way to Nashville to refill our water bottles, picked up a few provisions at a local IGA grocery store and headed on to Nashville.
Nashville, IN is a small town built at the foot of some rather large hills. Our plan was to meet John somewhere, unload the equipment from our bikes into John's car for safekeeping then lock up the bikes and have lunch. Our arrival into Nashville was a little unnerving, it was Saturday so the whole town was out and we rode through the main market area where it seemed as though everyone was watching us ride by. Apparently two cyclists loaded with 90lbs of gear isn't a common sight in this small town.
We got into town a little early and found a gazebo with electrical outlets so we sat down, took off our packs and started charging phones. It wasn't long, however, before John, in the area for a men's weekend at a swet lodge, arrived. We packed our belongings into his car, as planned, had a pleasant conversation over lunch, I ordered a cheeseburger and fries, moved on to an ice cream shop for a little treat, one banana split for myself, then said our goodbyes and parted ways.
We weren't really sure, at this point, where we would stay the night, but we knew we wanted to start making our way towards Bainbridge where we planned to stay, at least a few nights, on a friend's property. Jenny thought we should check out a city park to see if we might be able to camp there and after going round and round, up and down, we finally found it. The park here was too small and didn't appear to have any place to tuck away sight unseen for the night so we decided we'd just start riding in the direction of Bainbridge and hope something would pop up along the way.
On our way out of Nashville, up a rather steep hill, we were stopped by a woman driving by who inquired about our situation. Stopping traffic, she asked where we were from, where we were going and where we planned to stay the night. She seemed friendly and, though it didn't occur to us at the time, we may well have been able to pitch our tent in her yard for the night, wherever that would've been.
At any rate we moved on, keeping our eyes peeled for a spot to setup our tent and tarp the bikes for the night and eventually happened upon a small wooded area set back a bit from an intersection. The area had enough coverage to keep us hidden during the night, but not so much that we couldn't make our way through with the bikes. Clearly this area was owned by whomever lived in the house adjacent to it, but, again, there looked to be enough coverage that we wouldn't be seen unless someone was looking. We moved in while the road was quiet then waited until dark to pitch our tent. The owner let his dog out at one point, which was a bit concerning at the time, but we made it through the night and set out again before dawn.
We decided to, again, simply head in the direction of Bainbridge and start looking for camping spots when the hour was late. Service is provided to my phone by T-Mobile which, apparently, doesn't often have service outside of metropolitan areas and highways so Jenny, who's service provider is Verizon, usually figured out the directions as she could more easily access Google Maps. At one point, though, at an intersection facing yet another large hill, she asked which way I wanted to go. I suggested right, so as to avoid the hill knowing we'd probably run into another one shortly anyway, and so we took the turn.
After heading a ways down this country road we came upon a small creek and decided to pull out our water filtration system to fill up our water bottles and reservoir. A few people stopped to ask if we were okay and, on our way out, a gentleman in a diesel pickup truck slowed to briefly converse with me. I was on his passenger side so he was talking over who I imagine to be his wife in the passenger seat. The truck was so loud I couldn't understand a word he was saying, but to be polite I generally just smiled, nodded and occasionally uttered something I thought might in someway resemble something similar to the response he could have been looking for. It seems to me that he probably couldn't hear me either and may well have been doing the same thing.
So we continued on this road for a while and found a nice spot up the side of a slight hill to pull off and eat lunch, rest a bit and break out the solar panel to charge up. It was a sunny day so it didn't take long for our phones to charge, plus I usually kept mine on airplane mode because I didn't have service anyway and found that it conserved battery power quite a bit.
After lots of twists and turns on country roads nearing the end of the day we came to, yet another, large hill. Jenny was feeling overheated at this point, it was hot, sunny and humid, and we were out of water so we decided to pull over in this little nook on the side of the road by a field of soybeans and rest a bit. We back and forthed over whether we should just wait until dark and setup camp here, but the no trespassing sign just a few feet away suggested we should keep moving.
We tried up the hill, but Jenny decided she wasn't going to make it so we made our way back down hill and into our rest area. We sat there for a bit and decided to cross the no trespassing sign and hide out until dark. No sooner did we cross past the sign than did the property owner pull up into the nook to ask "Do you need help?" Of course you could tell he wasn't really concerned about our well being so much as he was concerned about the well being of his property.
Jenny started in about our travels and that she had become overheated and needed to rest. Jim, as he would later introduce himself as, offered to bring us water to which Jenny started to explain that we had our own filter and just needed to find a source. Confused Jim said he had water in his barn he could bring us, Jenny began to reply and I interrupted to accept Jim's offer. Jim disappeared briefly and returned with four cold bottles of water which was certainly a sight for sore eyes.
After he left we decided to hide out until dark and setup camp there. We're pretty sure we could've asked him to setup our tent and he'd have said yes, but we passed on this opportunity to start asking property owners for a night's stay. Jim seemed like a real nice fellow, the kinda guy that likes to keep people in stitches as often as possible, but the stern and intimidating no trespassing sign painted him in a different light so we weren't ready to test the waters here so to speak.