Friday, June 13, 2008

Day 8 - Hello Kentucky!

I will miss Virginia! It was so much more than I had ever expected. I Loved the scenery, the people, everything about Virginia. Our stay at Breaks Interstate Park was 3.5 miles from the Kentucky border. We woke up early again, hoped on our bikes, and rode 6 miles to eat breakfast in Kentucky at the Rusty Fork in Elk Horn City (and yes the food was delicious, even in a haze of second hand smoke). Apparently biscuits and gravy are a staple at breakfast time in the south. I took the less adventurous route and stuck to scrambled eggs and toast.

Eastern Kentucky has a different vibe than Virginia. We were chased by 4 different dogs this morning. Apparantly people in KY don't beleive in electric fences or leashes. Luckily none of the dogs could catch me, and I didn't mind the change of pace, I sometimes enjoy interval training. Drivers also seem to be running late for everything. People in KY like to drive thier cars fast! The pickup trucks sound more like a fleet of Harley-Davidson motorcycles and it's really cool to have flames painted on the side of your sports car. As I rode through the countryside in KY, I could not escape the sweet song of the rooster. Roosters not only crow at the crack of dawn, but well into mid-day. Many of the houses and trailers we passed had at least one or two roosters roaming the yard.

This region of KY is a big coal mining area. The roads are very dusty with rocks and dirt covering the ashphalt. This made riding slightly more difficult. The people we've met so far in KY have been very friendly and helpful to us.

Today, we rode 92 miles and spent a total of 7 hours on the bike. We are spending the night in Hazard, Kentucky. Sam's knees started to really bother her, but mine were virtually pain free. We are averaging very good milage each day and with all these hills and mountains to climb it has taken a toll on our bodies. Today was a difficult ride because there were 3 very steep climbs up windy mountain passes. As usual, the descents were fun as we raced down the switchbacks only to find ourselves climbing again once we got to the bottom.

Tomorrow we have about 100 miles of riding to reach our next stop, Berea, KY. We plan on staying two nights in Berea, which includes our day of rest. The weather report is calling for rain, so we'll have to see what the conditions are like when we wake up. I can't wait to see what else Kentucky has to offer!

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