Josh reflects on Day 1

The Ohio trip started out in the train. It was supposed to be  a 17 hour ride from New York to Kentucky but due to unknown circumstances it took 19+ hours so the ride was long and boring for the first 15 hours until a few friends and I went to the food car and started playing cards.  We arrived in Kentucky at 1:00am to stay at a motel.

The first day we started by having a group breakfast then our first stop was to visit the Rankin house in Ohio. There we met a few people that would help us and give us a tour of the Rankin residence. It was a great site but before we got to see the Rankin house we had to walk up a passage through the woods that led up to the Rankin house. This path was used by slaves to escape slave catchers but now the passage, which was re-constructed by the people of Ripley in honor of Rankin, is for  people to see how difficult it was to reach Rankin’s safe house. Then we went to visit the Parker residence.  John Parker was a slave that gained freedom and then  went on to row hundreds of slaves across the Ohio river and up to safety at  the Rankins.

We had lunch on the banks of the Ohio river then we travelled back to Kentucky to go to the Underground Railroad Museum where we met Crystal Marshall who gave us a tour.  She let us hold some of the artifacts that were in the museum like a slave collar that had long iron poles attached to prevent the slave from running away.   She also showed us where the original family of the house hid slaves. Finally,  we went back to the motel where we had pizza for dinner and a few of us played soccer . Tomorrow we will go to Cincinnati to the Freedom Center and then on to our first campsite and bike ride.  I am really excited to be on this trip but already nervous for the 300 miles of biking ahead.

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