Riding my bicycle across Vietnam
Today was tough! I think that today I officially lost my "fresh legs" status. I was very upset about that. For the first time, I had to walk up the hills, and they were not even nearly as long as some of my previous exploits like Hayter's Gap. It took me a loooong time to get to the destination today. I think that I was pretty whipped from the 70 mile day yesterday, but hey, I made it. Not too many pictures today unfortunately.
Today was a very steep day. We started out going up a large hill, which is never fun. I was lucky that I planned ahead to wake up early, and so I missed some of the heat going up the hills. Yay! There were very good views today, as always. More dogs, as always. I have noticed that the big mode of transporation in these little towns is teens driving four wheelers and dirt bikes... very interesting! At our destination of Hindman, we were planning on staying at a Cyclists Bed and Breakfast, which was camping + breakfast and shower for $25. When we arrived at Hindman, an unremarkable rural town, the B&B was closed! Since it was starting to rain, we set up camp in the city park. For dinner, we went to the local pizza place. As we were leaving, we started talking to this other woman, also a cyclist. Apparently her group was staying in a church, and she offered to let us stay there as well. We were reluctant, but after I toured the area, which involved AC, couches, toilets (no shower), a kitchen, a flat screen TV, AND AND XBOX, I was all in. There were several other people staying there as well, besides our original troupe of six: Sue and Mark were riding a recumbant tandem bicycle (see picture below).
See pictures below!
Big news today: The Biking Fam” has officially crossed into Kentucky, the king of energy. Whoopee! Here is a picture of one of my cycling companions, “Trekker Dan”, posing at the KY sign. You can follow him on Facebook using the button above.
I was shocked by the shear rock faces looming on one side of the road, and cliff on the other side as we entered the new state. In the morning, we rode through Breaks Highway Park, which offers some pretty awesome views, as well as some serious hills. On the other hand, I was immediately flabbergasted by the abrupt change in the roadside litter population. There was very little in Virginia, but as soon as we crossed the border there it was! Also, I was already chased by two dogs in my 10 miles of Kentucky riding, compared to 0 in Virginia. Luckily, the maps that we follow have a note about the abundance of loose dogs in Kentucky, and as such the entire troupe has prepared a mixture of diluted ammonia water to spray right at the buggers if we are attacked. At the time of writing we are staying in a lovely church gymnasium. It is only for cyclists. Has gym pads for sleeping, a kitchen (with stove and fridge), bathrooms and a shower, and AC, and above all, its free!!! Trekker Dan and I took a ride up to the local convenience store to get food supplies, and we were greeted by about five shirtless men riding ATV’s and smoking cigarettes. Between all of them, I doubt that a full set of teethkkitas could have been cobbled together. It is a very sad standard of living here, and it makes me remember how fortunate I am in life. For dinner, Dan and I cooked a feast: cheddar mashed potatoes, pepper and bean mix, turkey, and gravy. The best part about the meal is that we cobbled it together from everyones separate food, and created a meal for everyone. It was fantastic. Now, my lids are growing heavy, the taste of what I promised myself was the last powered mini donut, and it is time to hit the sack!
Good evening, Francis
Phew, it was a long, long day today. On top of everything, there were plenty of hills here and there to keep everything interesting. We stayed at a Presbyterian Church pavilion in Booneville, which had a cold shower. Nothing else to report, see the beautiful pictures below.