Monday August 17
The night at the Presbyterian Church was a peaceful one. We awoke to a heavy fog and plenty of condensation that coated everything from the night before. Packed up and headed towards the café by 8:30. We all had a hearty breakfast and were on the road pulling away from Booneville at just a little after 9:00. The fog burned off before 10:00 and we spent the remainder of the day in partly cloudy skies. The thunderstorms that were supposed to happen and cool things off, never materialized. So the cooling off never occurred either. We are definitely in the for some hard days as we wind down this adventure. Todays climbing was more tiring than any we have done to ate. It must be a combination of the heat and exertion as we’ve had longer climbs back in the Rockies. But the up and down and up and down is zapping all of our reserves. Lewis doesn’t like walking up the hills, while I don’t have the stamina to ride up. Today he repeatedly expressed his desire to just go home. Fortuantely Donna is with me on the the absolute necessity of finishing up what we started back on the first of June. If I was the only one who felt that way, I’m guessing that this trip would be over as Lewis is really starting to hate walking up these hills in this heat.
We averaged only 8 miles an hour today and managed to ride a measly 44 miles. We could have ridden just a bit more but not the 25 miles that would take us to the next campground. One positive development is the fact that there are more gas stations that sell gatorade now. We stopped 3 or 4 times today and passed by at least another 3 or 4 places. Our initial plan today was to pedal through the town of Hazard Kentucky and stay at the Walmart. We’ve heard that this is allowable but haven’t had the nerve to try it yet. The highway that we followed to get to Hazard was the busiest we’ve been on for some time. There were plenty of trucks and way too many cars. The 36” shoulder was a nice change but half of that had been turned into ‘wake up bumps’ which certainly kept us awake. Since our decision to visit Hazard was taking us off the course by 5 or 6 miles, we reconsidered and found a motel room and saved the extra miles of riding. The extra miles on highway 15 were just not what we had in mind. And then in the morning we would have ridden the same 5 or 6 miles just to get back on course.
So we are relaxing in our room once again and watching TV and I’m having my first beer since before we entered Kentucky. That’s right. Hazard Kentucky located in Perry County, is not a dry county! I had pretty much given up on Kentucky and was prepared to go another 3 or 4 days when we will leave Kentucky in favor of our final state Virginia. Already the excruciating hills are seeming just a bit less daunting. Bring them on. Team jackson will prevail! (or we’ll just push those bikes)