Berea KY, 66 miles
I finished map set 2 of 12 today. This is my highest mileage day so far. I have crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains, I’m now in the Blue Grass area of Kentucky!
I’m not a performance athlete I started today at 6 AM. it took me 13 hours to go 66 miles. I may not be fast, but I am persistent. With an early start, you have to find ways to keep warm. I’m sure grateful that I have a light-weight down jacket for the morning rides. My sweetheart bought it for me. She told me I would need it on the trip. I’d be seriously cold at times without it.
I got chased by dogs again today three times. (Something about the number three, I seem to get three Rebel Yells a day and chased by dogs three times a day.) My strategy for handling dogs is to get off the bike and walk. I put the bike between myself and the dog, they aren’t smart enough to try and get around to the side of the bike that I’m on. One dog was so upset he couldn’t get to me that he bit one of my panniers as consolation. Left a nice set of teeth marks in the bag, but otherwise no significant damage.
I had a sit-down Breakfast in Boonville, it was, interesting. I’m still getting used to the bacon, for some reason it tastes different than what I’m used to. I can’t begin to speculate why that might be. For breakfast I ordered bacon, a waffle and hash browns. They all tasted the same, like bacon. To be on the safe side, I ate about 1/3 of each item on the plate…
When people find out I’m traveling alone, everybody says “you be careful.” So I asked a lady this morning why she said that and her answer was “well I guess I’ve just watched too many horror movies…” I think I’m going to have to keep asking. (I think when you boil it down, it’s mostly a custom to say that.)
I feel compelled to mention my beard the sprouting nicely, Those of you that know me are well aware that it comes in white like a typical old man. It fits in well down here. I don’t know if it gets me any respect, but it does help me blend in a little bit!
I’m not a purist when it comes to hydration. My motto is “drink early and often.” I don’t have a special sports drink that is my go-to. Frankly, Minute Maid Lemon Aid mixed half-and-half with water is very satisfying. Yesterday I was introduced to something pretty special, “Climax Spring Water.” Naturally filtered by Kentucky Limestone and Sandstone and bottled at the source. I have to admit it is very good stuff and I’ve been keeping my eye out for it in convenience stores along the way.
I stopped for a funeral procession today. It was a long one, about 30 cars or so. One of the cars gave me a wave and a thumbs up out of appreciation.
I was in a pretty remote area, a lady sitting on her front porch yelled at me, “where are you headed?” I yelled back “Oregon.” She said “that’s where most of them are headed.” (I wish I could make the text sound like her voice, the accent was about as back-woods as you could possible imagine — charming really.) It’s strange to think you’re not the only one to make this journey when you are passing through such a remote area…
Speaking of not being the only one to make the journey, I’ve been hearing about a fellow that is riding the TransAm to get into the Guinness World Records. He’s 78 years old. (There are some riders in their 80’s that have made the trek, they just haven’t performed all the documentation necessary to satisfy Guinness.) He started several days ahead of met, today five miles outside Berea he pulled up to me and I said “you’re the guy that’s riding to get into Guinnes!” I was correct. We introduced ourselves and had a nice chat. His name is Bruce. He had a reservation in town and encouraged me to make one right away since it is Memorial Day weekend. He also offered to buy me dinner, so I made a reservation for the night at the same hotel where he was staying.
That turned out to be a very good decision. The hotel is a landmark and a grand old hotel. Construction was started in 1907 as guest lodgings for Berea College, it was immediately expanded when the state put a highway, The hotel was ultimately finished in 1909. It’s named the Boone Hotel and Tavern. (I had also heard about this place from a few people along the route. Yes, it is named after THE Daniel Boone.) Incidentally, Berea is one of the top ten endowed universities in the country. Tuition is free but all students are required to work in some capacity on campus. It’s not easy to get in, they have a 30 percent acceptance rate. It was very progressive when it was founded and still is today.
Bruce and I had a beer on the patio, then after getting cleaned up ate dinner together in the Hotel’s Dining Room. It was a fun evening. We have a lot in common, I hope I see him again along the way. For the record, he rides a custom built Surly Disc Trucker. That’s a great touring bike. I did my first ever tour on one!
I’m Getting a little bit stronger.
A little “Kentucky Back Roads” ridin’.