It rained a little overnight at Breaks Interstate Campground. We stayed mostly dry this time. However, I didn’t sleep well (was woken a few times by Jacob unknowingly pushing me in his air mattress) and in the morning I found out that a raccoon or some other critter made it in to my panniers and destroyed my “greens powder” and cocoa powder. Uggh!
I woke Jacob at 6:15 and we cooked breakfast, loaded up, and started moving at 8a.
We found Kentucky! Jacob had been waiting for that moment to say bye bye to VA. We celebrated at an overlook, took pictures and tried not to fall down the slippery stairs in our bike shoes.
KY is coal trucks and miners domain. I started singing “hi-ho hi-ho it’s off to work I go”. They do go around us bikers, but don’t think they’re too happy to have us on their road.
We rode down a few small roads along a creek. We figured out that we were in trouble when the water flowed in the opposite direction. Hills a’comin. This happened a lot.
At the top of one hill, as I waited for Jacob, a man stopped his car to give me a pomegranate V8 energy drink. “You need this more than I do!” It was delicious! I took a picture of Jacob in front of the “Last Chance Beer and Liquor” store.
We did get a lovely downhill after that climb. We talked like Sesame Street… “this downhill is brought to you by the letters J E S U S!” (lots of churches)
We were in the middle of NO where at 2pm. I did the math in my head and didn’t think we’d make it to our next destination of Hazard KY. So we started to book it. It was hot. Can you guess what happened then?? Jacob busted a spoke at the beginning of a climb. No bueno. It was at this point that he also said “my legs have straight-up never been this sore”. Great. Well, he fixed the wheel, we kept moving and got about 20 miles from our destination at about 5:30p.
We then ran into a group of 5 British cyclists biking east who gave us some advice. “Go Rt 80 the whole way to cut out the turns and windey road. 80’s a nice road, wide shoulder, along a creek.”
At the end of the day, Jacob no longer trusted British cyclists. The shoulder had rumble strips and the hills were aggressive. Who cares though, we made it!
As soon as we saw the Motel in Hazard, KY it started raining. This motel was sketchy to say the least. It took forever for them to decide which room to give us that wasn’t “all tore up”. Hmmmm. Too tired to care!
Today I learned to climb “as slow as possible”. Like, if I think there’s any way I can go slower up an ascent, I tell myself “you should probably do that!”. I sang “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again” as I climbed…don’t know where that came from, but it had a good rhythm in my head. We did close to 90 miles. I ate tuna, tortilla, avocado and veggies for dinner then immediately got in bed, lights out! A very long, good day.
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