Life On A B-I7

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TransAm Journal - Tue May 23, 2023

Day 14

Elkhorn City KY, 38 miles

Another beautiful morning, riding out of Council and through the little towns of Davenport and Bee.

I’ve been “gap riding” all morning. That’s my expression for when you have a mountain on either shoulder and the road is following the course of a river. Riding between the “gap” in two mountains. It can be a bit hazardous during the hour that moms are taking their kids to school, but other than that, it is glorious.

The mountains here are very different than out west. They are much older and “rounded” but the roads are steep nonetheless, I believe it’s because they were built at a time when less emphasis was placed on grading, just a guess. The climbing is difficult, with more curves and switchbacks.

I had a cup of coffee and a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit (BECB) at a gas stop just West of Bee. Talked to the man at the counter about his service days. He was in the Navy. He was stationed in San Diego, but he got up to Bremerton for Naval Days a couple of times. On furlough one time he hiked and camped around the Snoqualmie Falls area with some buddies. He said he likes Seattle a lot. I told him how pretty it was here and he said that he thought just an hour outside Seattle it was just as pretty. I have to agree with him, but with one caveat, it’s a different kind of pretty. The one here needs to be enjoyed and appreciated for its own sake.

I arrived in Haysi and filled my water bottles and bought a sandwich at Dollar General. A lady picking up trash in the parking lot encouraged me to go down to the city park and check out the brand new bike repair station the city just put in. I did just that. There was a crew there putting the final touches on the installation planting flowers. The lady running the show took my photo and told me I was likely the first person to use the new facility. I pumped up the rear tire to 40 lbs. and was on my way after thanking her for the wonderful new facility.

I arrived at Breaks Interstate Park. I’m looking out over what is called “The Grand Canyon of the South“. The Russell Fork River has Class 5 rapids in October. It’s a kayaker’s paradise in the fall.

I’ve seen more butterflies in the last 14 days than I have in the last four years. (Since my last bicycle tour four years ago.) I won’t be melodramatic and tell you that’s enough of a reason to get out there and do this yourself, but it certainly is one of the many reasons to consider doing this…

Good bye Virginia! Hello Kentucky!