Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Hills Keep a Rolling

Saturday and Sunday August 15 & 16

We rested our minds and bodies for a whole 36 hours. Funny, it only seemed like a day and a half. There was just a bit of disgruntlement on the part of some of team Jackson as we hardly stepped out of our Motel room in Berea once we had paid for it. Lewis wasn’t disgruntled as he used the time to catch up on all of the television shows that he normally doesn’t get to see. I’m afraid he is going to go into withdrawal once we return to Shelton and he loses the opportunity to watch I-Carly. We made a weak effort to walk into town Saturday afternoon but after crossing the parking lot in the sweltering heat, we second thoughts and realized that a day spent in the air-conditioned comfort (which we had paid for) was not really a wasted day. We did want the day off after all. So other than a couple of trips to Walmart (across the parking lot) and dinner at the Cracker Barrel (next door), we stayed cooped up in our room. I probably spent 4 or 5 hours on the computer which makes the day off seem almost like work. But it wasn’t physical. On Saturday we rode exactly no miles. So lets skip any more analysis of this day of nothing. On to Sunday,

The continental breakfast that is offered at the Holiday Hotel was insignificant. Some bagels and cheap danishes. Some coffee and Hot cocao. Some bread for toast with jam. No half and half. No fruit. No milk. So we supplemented this with fresh fruit and cottage cheese. We were packed and ready to roll by a little after 9:00. Not what I would consider an early start by any means. And then we’re off. The enthusiasm and determination are all in high gear after a day of no pedaling. It was another scorching day. The heat an humidity are working in combination. Our go get em attitude lasted for a couple hours of up and down riding before it was zapped by the weather. We stopped at Big Hill for a snack (this was only 8 miles down the road). The next stop was over 40 miles away. I ran out of fuel and liquids before that. With 7 miles to our final destination (Booneville Kentucky) we pulled into our last quick mart of the day. Closed. We sipped at our last drops of hot water and got back on the bikes to ride that final 7 miles. Less than a mile down the road we heard music, loud music. Initially I though it was a really good stereo with massive speakers. As we got closer I realized it was live music. Actually it was the sound check that a band was doing before they would begin the real thing. I had already told Donna that I would be asking the first person we saw for some water. Here was a whole bunch of people.

We pulled in the driveway and asked for some water. We were rewarded with ice cold bottled water. Mine last approximately 3 seconds. This was a birthday party that we were attempting to crash. The guest of honor was Taylor who was the lead vocalist in this southern rock band. She had a remarkable voice for someone who turned 15 just the day before. Taylors mother invited us to stick around for the party and to go ahead and use the pool. There was the promise of plenty of food and the music would be ongoing as well. I even went so far as to get an OK to pitch our tent and crash here overnight.

Immediately we hit the pool. The band continued tuning up while more and more people showed up. Once the tune up was over, the playing began. This young woman, Taylor has a mature southern voice that doesn’t quit. I’m guessing that she has a future in music. The rest of her group were more mature local guys who were in their 20’s and 30’s.

We sat back and listened to the music and eventually joined in on the food portion of the celebration. Once we had satisfied our appetite both Donna and I realized that we weren’t going to be camping here. While no one would have said anything, it would have been awkward using their bathroom. So we got back on our bikes and rode the final 6 miles to the Presbyterian Church in Booneville. The sun was just setting when we pulled up. That left us enough time to get the tent set up before it became too dark to see. The church has a covered pavillion and a bathroom and a shower for cyclists. It doesn’t come close to some of the other accomodations we’ve run across, but it certainly beats a city park with no bathrooms or showers. Since we ate at the birthday party, no dinner was required. We all got down to business with our respective journals and shortly after were ready to reitire for the day. Total miles: 62

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