As I finally came into a series of downhill miles that led into Haysi, I was then greeted with a downpour. I threw on my rain covers and jacket and booked it into town. After some close calls with a few deep puddles, I decided to pull under some shelter outside an abandoned grocery store (there are a lot of closed businesses out here). It was then when I was greeted by George Washington Jackson, who told me his life story and the story of the town. He warned me of the climb towards Breaks, with stories of his brother getting hit by a coal truck and other motor vehicle related accidents. Shaken, but not stirred, I decided to press on when the rain began to lighten up. My body started to give out on me again; however, I finally pushed myself upwards into Breaks Interstate Park... also known as the east coast's Grand Canyon. It features some amazing rock formations that are 200 million years in the making. That stuff takes patience.
Exhausted and smelly after riding my mobile torture device for 12 hours, I decided that I needed a long shower and a soft bed. I found a pretty cheap room at the lodge with an amazing view. After freshening up as best as I could, I biked down to the park restaurant for some delicious pasta and garlic bread. Biking without the panniers on makes the Bianchi feel like a stranger to me, as if the bike will fly out from under me. Sadly, Jonathan was unable to get down this evening and we're still finding the best way to meet tomorrow. I don't have any cellphone service down here and I'm hoping to hear from him before passing out. I might sleep in a little bit tomorrow... I think I deserve it. =)