Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 13: Hindman, KY to Booneville, KY (65.5 Miles)

There was no bed... but, oh, there was a breakfast! We walked down from the greenhouse at 6:00am to find his patio table absolutely covered with fruits, cereals, juices, etc. It was a feast. We joined Chris & Chris for our morning intake of energy, then thanked Dave for his wonderful hospitality and took off close to 7:00am. The morning ride was nothing but perfect: a gradual downhill grade through foggy cliff sides. The traffic was light and we shared the road, drafting off one another and talking about the "old times." Our ride was rudely interrupted when we joined onto Route 80, a.k.a. the worst road in Kentucky. It was a four lane, 65 mph highway with a shoulder littered with broken glass, metal, litter, and rocks. It really reminded me of "Hell's Highway" in the outskirts of Naples, Italy... only more hilly. We probably only spent 45 minutes on this road, but it felt slow and miserable.

Routes 80 and 15 were not enjoyable in the least bit, but the rest of the ride through Chavies ("We got a nasty case of the Chavies") was nice and rural, albeit mountainous. We stopped in at a diner in Buckhorn for some lunch and a power outlet to recharge my camera battery. Afterwards, we set off through a river basin that led us into our final destination of the day, Booneville. We found a place to camp behind the Presbyterian church just outside of town, used their water spicket to shower, and then stuck around for the arrival of Chris & Chris (who had taken off from Hindman about an hour after us). We then walked down to the public library, conveniently located in a shopping mall right next to the Family Dollar Store. We then ate at a small smokey diner (I guess they don't have public smoking laws in Kentucky) and lounged around for the rest of the evening with the Chrisses.

Our plan for tomorrow is this: Either we: (A) Bike an excess of 90 miles to Harrodsburg, or (B) take an easy morning ride to Berea. Depending on the last remnants of the Appalachians, we'll have to see how we're feeling by the time we get to Berea. Reading the maps I've been using, it informs the reader: "Berea is the Trans-America Trail's gateway to the Appalachians." The maps cater towards east bounders more than those who travel west, so I must conclude that Berea will be the final exit of steep mountainous terrain (for the time being, at least).

I hope you all appreciate these blog posts... the last thing I want to do after a long day of riding is taking out this little netbook and utilizing my soar little piggies to write these words to you all. Also, I should apologize for the inconsistency of updating these posts... most places here in Kentucky are allergic to technology... oh, there I go again... bashing Kentucky (In all actuality, I've heard the further west you ride, the nicer the state becomes). Dave was mentioning that their "dry counties" are usually the worst in terms of crime, poverty, and drug use.... interesting correlation, eh?


Dad said...

Joe Blake:
I know we talk over the phone occassionally, but I wanted to drop you a note on your blog site to let you know how much I enjoy reading and visualizing your daily chronicles. There are more people following you along than you may realize. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Enjoy each day for the adventure it presents. Stay safe and Big Love, Pops

Anne said...

I, too, appreciate your entries. And I must add that I love the pic of the gray cat in the urn.

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