Kevin reflects on Day 1

This is day one of the Ohio cycling trip. So far we have taken long hour bus rides and have visited exhilarating historical landmarks in Ohio and Kentucky. Last night we got in a bit later that usual, due to the fact that our buses were delayed back to back to back, but I’ll try to not complain about it. So far I have honestly been enjoying myself with my fellow peers.

We started in Maysville, Kentucky, which was a slave state, and where we spent the night in a hotel and had pizza. The next morning we got up around 7:00 am and we ate some satisfactory grade breakfast.  From there we went across the Ohio River and drove to Ripley, Ohio.  From my understanding, Ripley had quite a reputation for helping slaves become free and helping them into northern free states.  We first hiked up the hill to the Reverend John Rankin’s house.  Rankin was a white pastor from Tennessee who preached against slavery.  He eventually had to move away from there due to threats towards him and his family and he chose to settle in Ripley, Ohio.  He successfully helped more than 2,000 slaves into free states, which honestly I find pretty impressive.

Another home that we visited today was the home of John Parker, a former slave who bought his freedom and became an ironworker.  He also lived in Ripley, Ohio and also helped hundreds of slaves cross over the Ohio River from Kentucky and into the northern free states.  He and Reverend Rankin worked almost hand in hand helping those slaves and never lost anybody. From his many years as an ironworker he became very wealthy.

Then after that we drove over to Cincinnati, Ohio where we went to the National Freedom Center.  There, we watched a movie produced by Oprah Winfrey, which had to do with the Rankin’s and John Parker.  Cool that we were just in their homes! After that we watched a one woman play about Harriet Tubman and the highs and lows of her life, which I found REALLY DECENT and also informative. This one woman played all the different characters in Harriet Tubman’s life, sang slave spirituals and hardly had any props.   We then got a tour around the museum and learned even more about African American history through our tour guide.

In conclusion we had a pretty good first day and hopefully tomorrow I will have a good day and do some cycling!!! And even maybe learn some more too.

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